Christianity’s Criminal History, 105


 Editors’ note: To contextualise these translations of Karlheinz Deschner’s encyclopaedic history of the Church in 10-volumes, Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums, read the abridged translation of Volume I.
 

The hostility to the classic culture of the first Greco-Christian writers

We already showed above how decidedly, with what resolutely rude expressions, Tatian, the ‘philosopher of the barbarians’, the self-proclaimed Herald of Truth, about the year 172 and against everything that had rank and renown in Greco-Roman culture vilified philosophy, poetry, rhetoric and the school.

The writer Hermas inserts at the very beginning of his jibe of the non-Christian philosophers the words of Paul, ‘The wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God’ without allowing another truth to prevail than that of the Gospel. In a rather coarse way, ignorant of any deep and superficial sense, Hermas describes philosophy as ‘lacking in foundation and utility’, of ‘pure adventurous, absurd, chimerical and abstruse speculation’, even though he only knows his victims through mere readings of compendiums.

The same with the majority of Christian authors. Ignatius of Antioch, a fanatical adversary of Christians from other orientations to his (‘beasts with human figure’) and first in using the term ‘catholic’, repudiates almost the entire teaching school, and any contact with Greco-Roman literature, which he apostrophises as ‘ignorance’, ‘foolishness’, its representatives being ‘rather lawyers of death than of truth’. And while he affirms that ‘the end of time has come’, ‘nothing of what is visible here is good’ and sarcastically asks, ‘where is the boasting of those who are called wise?’, he affirms that Christianity has overcome all this and has ‘eradicated ignorance’. He is considered ‘one of the great peaks of early Christian literature’ (Bardenhewer).

Towards 180, Bishop Theophilus of Antioch decrees in his three books Apologia ad Autolycum (Apology to Autolycus) that all the philosophy and art, mythology and historiography of the Greeks are despicable, contradictory and immoral. Moreover, he rejects in principle all worldly knowledge and refers to the Old Testament praiseworthy, ‘lacking in science, shepherds and uneducated people’. Incidentally, Theophilus, who did not become a Christian and a bishop until he was an adult, owed his education to the classical world. That world whose representatives, of course, ‘have raised and continue to falsely pose the questions when, instead of speaking of God, they do it about vain and useless things’; authors who, not possessing ‘an iota of truth’ are all of them possessed by evil spirits. It is evident, then, that ‘all others are in error and that only Christians possess the truth, having been indoctrinated by the Holy Spirit, who spoke through the prophets and announced everything in advance’.

Apart from Tatian, Ignatius and Theophilus of Antioch, also Polycarp and the Didache radically repudiate ancient literature. The Didache, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Letter of Barnabas and the Letters to Diognetus do not mention it. The Syrian Didascalia (complete title: Catholic Doctrine of the Twelve Apostles and Holy Disciples of our Redeemer), falsified by a bishop, says: ‘Get away from all the writings of the pagans, for what have you to do with foreign words and laws?… What do you miss in the word of God, that you throw yourself to devour those stories by pagans?’

Only the Father of the Church Irenaeus and the ‘heretic’ Origen, among Christians who write in Greek during the first centuries, lend almost full recognition to all branches of knowledge. However, Irenaeus disapproves almost the totality of Greek philosophy, to which he does not grant a single true knowledge. And Origen, who precisely makes very wide use of it, rejects the rhetoric as useless. All the Greco-Christian writers agree, however, on one point: all place the New Testament far above all the literature of Antiquity.

Published in: on November 7, 2018 at 6:38 pm  Comments Off on Christianity’s Criminal History, 105  
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Christianity’s Criminal History, 102

Editors’ note: To contextualise these translations of Karlheinz Deschner’s encyclopaedic history of the Church in 10-volumes, Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums, read the abridged translation of Volume I. In the previous chapter, not translated for this site, the author describes the high level of education in the Greco-Roman world before the Christians burned entire libraries and destroyed an amazing quantity of classical art.

 
Since the time of Jesus Christianity has taught to hate everything that is not at God’s service

The Gospel was originally an apocalyptic, eschatological message, a preaching of the imminent end of the world. The faith of Jesus and his disciples was, in this respect, firm as a rock, so that any pedagogical question lacked any relevance for them. They did not show the slightest interest in education or culture. Science and philosophy, as well as art, did not bother them at all.

We had to wait no less than three centuries to have a Christian art. The ecclesiastical dispositions, even those enacted in later times, measure artists, comedians, brothel owners and other types with the same theological standard.

Soon it was the case that the ‘fisherman’s language’ (especially, it seems, that of the Latin Bibles) provoked mockery throughout all the centuries, although the Christians defend it ostensibly. This, in despite Jerome and Augustine confess on more than one occasion how much horror is caused by the strange, clumsy and often false style of the Bible. Augustine even said it sounded like stories of old women! (In the 4th century some biblical texts were poured into Virgil hexameters, without making them any less painful.) Homines sine litteris et idiotae (illiterate and ignorant men), thus the Jewish priests describe the apostles of Jesus in the Latin version of the Bible.

As the Kingdom of God did not come upon the Earth, the Church replaced it with the Kingdom of Heaven to which the believers had to orient their entire lives. This meant according the plans of the Church; for the benefit of the Church, and in the interest of the high clergy. For whenever and wherever this clergy speaks of the Church, of Christ, of God and of eternity, it does so solely and exclusively for their own benefit. Pretending to advocate for the health of the believer’s soul, they thought only of their own health. All the virtues of which Christianity made special propaganda, that is, humility, faith, hope, charity, and more, lead to that final goal.

In the New Testament it is no longer human pedagogy what matters, which is barely addressed. What is at stake is the pedagogy of divine redemption.

In the work of Irenaeus, creator of a first theological pedagogy, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa, the idea of a divine pedagogy is often discussed and God becomes the proper educator. Ergo all education must, in turn, be engaged in the first and last line of God and this must be his role.

That is why Origen teaches that ‘we disdain everything that is chaotic, transient and apparent and we must do everything possible to access life with God’. Hence, John Chrysostom requires parents to educate ‘champions of Christ’ and that they should demand the early and persistent reading of the Bible. Hence, Jerome, who once called a little girl a recruit and a fighter for God, wrote that ‘we do not want to divide equally between Christ and the world’.

‘All education is subject to Christianization’ (Ballauf). Nor does the Doctor of the Church Basil consider ‘an authentic good he who only provides earthly enjoyment’. What was encouraged is the ‘attainment of another life’. That is ‘the only thing that, in our opinion, we should love and pursue with all our strength. All that is not oriented to that goal we must dismiss as lacking in value’.

Such educational principles that are considered chimerical, or ‘worthless’ (everything that does not relate to a supposed life after death), find their foundation even in Jesus himself: ‘If someone comes to me and does not hate his father, his mother, his wife, his children, his brothers, his sisters and even his own life, he can not be my disciple’.

How many misfortunes such words have been sowing for two thousand years…

Christianity’s Criminal History, 93

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

 
As the historical-critical exegesis of the Bible teaches us, Jesus—the apocalyptic man who, totally within the tradition of the Jewish prophets, waits for the immediate end: the irruption of the ‘God’s imperial rule’, and thereby makes a complete mistake (one of the most solid results of exegetical investigation)—certainly did not want to found any Church or institute priests, bishops, patriarchs and popes.

As late as the middle of the 2nd century, the Roman Christian community had about thirty thousand members and 155 clerics. None knew anything about the appointment of Peter, nor about his stay and martyrdom in Rome.

 
The list of fabricated Roman bishops

The oldest list of Roman bishops was provided by the father of the Church, Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon, in his work Adversus Haereses, roughly between the years 180 and 185. The original Greek text is not preserved; only a complete Latin copy of the 3rd century or 4th, if not the 5th. Literature about it is hardly noticeable, the text is ‘spoiled’ in a manifest way. What remains a mystery is the origin of the list. Ireneus wrote down a little more than the names.

And nowhere is there talk of a primacy of Peter! By the end of the 2nd century Peter was not yet counted in Rome among the bishops. And in the 4th century it is affirmed that he was pope for twenty-five years! Bishop Eusebius, a historian of little confidence, even guilty of falsification of documents, transmitted in his time the succession of Roman bishops.

Eusebius ‘perfected’ also the list of Alexandrian bishops, very similar to that of the Romans. The same with the Antioquian list, associating an Olympiad with each one of the bishops Cornelius, Eros and Theophilus. In the list of bishops of Jerusalem he also worked with artificial computations, not having ‘practically any written news’ of the years in which they were in office. Later, Bishop Epiphanius made an exact dating comparing it with that of the emperors.

Around the year 354, the Catalogus Liberianus (Liberian Catalogue), a relation of popes that goes from Peter to Liberius, indicating dates in days and months, was continued and ‘completed’, as indicated by the Catholic Gelmi, who immediately added: ‘All these data have no historical value’.

The Liber Pontificalis (Book of the Popes), the official book of the popes, the oldest list of the Roman bishops, contains ‘a great abundance of falsified or legendary material’, which the author ‘completes by new findings’ (Caspar). In short, it carries so many fabrications that until the 6th century it has hardly any historical value, not naming Peter, but a certain Linus, as the first bishop of the city. Thereafter Linus is in second place and Peter in the first.

In the end a ‘position of Peter’ is constructed (Karrer) and becomes ‘papacy’. ‘Like a seed’, writes the Jesuit Hans Grotz in a poetic way, ‘Peter fell on the Roman earth’. And then many others fell, as is still happening today. Little by little all the ‘successors’ of Peter could be counted, as has been said, with the year in which they acceded to the papacy and the date of their death, apparently in an uninterrupted succession. (Editor’s Note: Deschner’s books have no illustrations but see the image that I chose for this post: part of a poster of the purported bishops of Rome from St. Peter to Pope Francis under the heading ‘I Sommi Pontefici Romani’. The poster is so large that, already unfolded, I had to hang it on a wall to photograph it.)

However, over time the list of Roman bishops was modified, perfected, completed in such a way that, in a table compiled by five Byzantine chroniclers, of the first twenty-eight bishops of Rome only in four places do the figures agree in all columns. Indeed, the final editor of the text, perhaps Pope Gregory I, seems to have expanded the list of names to include twelve saints, in parallel with the twelve apostles. In any case, the list of Roman bishops of the first two centuries is as unreliable as that of the list of the Alexandrians or Antiochenes, and ‘in the first decades it is pure arbitrariness’ (Heussi).

Note of the Ed.: Fabricated list of popes. Starting at the left,
St. Peter. Note the noblest faces the artist used for these
non-existent popes to make the faithful believe that the first
popes were not only saints, but also holy men of the white race.

The invention of a series of traditional names and tables, partly constructed, artificially filling the gaps, existed long before the appearance of Christianity and its lists of bishops falsified from the beginning. It is comparable to the Old Testament genealogies, which through a succession of names without empty gaps, guaranteed participation in the divine promises; especially the list of high priests after the exile, as a list of rulers of Israel.

Furthermore, the ancient pastors of Rome were not considered in any way ‘popes’. For a long time they had ‘no other title than that of the other bishops’ (Bihimeyer, Catholic). Whereas in the East, patriarchs, bishops and abbots were long known as ‘popes’ (pappas, papa, father), this designation appears in Rome for the first time on a tombstone from the time of Liberius (papacy 352-366).

At the end of the 5th century, the notion acquired a naturalisation certificate in the West, where the Roman bishops used the word ‘pope’ to call themselves, along with other bishops, although they did not do so regularly until the end of the 8th century. And until the second millennium the word ‘pope’ does not become an exclusive privilege for the bishops of Rome.

The first to refer to Mt, 16, 18, is, of course, the despotic Stephen I (papacy 354-357). With his hierarchical-monarchical conception of the Church, rather than episcopal and collegial, it is to a certain extent the first pope.

Not even Augustine, so fond of Rome but sometimes oscillating delicately among the pope and his African brothers, defends papal primacy. That is why Vatican I, of 1870, even reproached his ‘erroneous opinions’ (pravae sententiae) to the famous father of the Church. Sumus christiani, non petriani, ‘We are Christians, not Petrians’, Augustine had affirmed.

Similarly, like the bishops and fathers of the Church, the ancient councils did not recognise the primacy of law of Rome.

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Published in: on August 28, 2018 at 10:04 am  Comments Off on Christianity’s Criminal History, 93  
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Christianity’s Criminal History, 86

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
John

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Race and appearance of Jesus

A brief exchange in my previous post moves me to copy-and-paste the below paragraphs from a Wikipedia article with the same title of this entry.

 
Despite the lack of direct biblical or historical references, from the 2nd century onward various theories about the appearance of Jesus were advanced, but early on these focused more on his physical appearance than on race or ancestry. Larger arguments of this kind have been debated for centuries.

Justin Martyr argued for the genealogy of Jesus in the biological Davidic line from Mary, as well as from his non-biological father Joseph. But this only implies a general Jewish ancestry, acknowledged generally by authors.

The focus of many early sources was on Christ’s physical unattractiveness rather than his beauty. The 2nd century anti-Christian philosopher Celsus wrote that Jesus was ‘ugly and small’ and similar descriptions are presented in a number of other sources as discussed extensively by Eisler, who in turn often quotes from Dobschütz’ monumental Christusbilder. Tertullian states that Christ’s outward form was despised, that he had an ignoble appearance and the slander he suffered proved the ‘abject condition’ of his body.

According to Irenaeus he was a weak and inglorious man and in The Acts of Peter he is described as small and ugly to the ignorant. Andrew of Crete relates that Christ was bent or even crooked: and in The Acts of John he is described as bald-headed and small with no good looks.

As quoted by Eisler, both Hierosolymitanus and John of Damascus claim that ‘the Jew Josephus’ described Christ as having had connate eyebrows with goodly eyes and being long-faced, crooked and well-grown. In a letter of certain bishops to the Emperor Theophilus, Christ’s height is described as three cubits (four feet six), which was also the opinion of Ephrem Syrus (320–379 AD), ‘God took human form and appeared in the form of three human ells (cubits); he came down to us small of stature.’

Theodore of Mopsuhestia likewise claimed that the appearance of Christ was smaller than that of the children of Jacob (Israel). In the apocryphal Lentulus letter Christ is described as having had a reddish complexion, matching Muslim traditions in this respect. Christ’s prediction that he would be taunted ‘Physician, heal yourself’ may suggest that Christ was indeed physically deformed (‘crooked’ or hunch-backed) as claimed in the early Christian texts listed above. In fact, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and Ambrose actually considered lack of physical attractiveness in Jesus as fulfilling the Messianic prophecy ‘Suffering Servant’ narrative of Isaiah 53.

A study on the 2001 BBC series Son of God attempted to determine what Jesus’ race and appearance may have been. Assuming Jesus to be a Galilean Semite, the study concluded in conjunction with Mark Goodacre that his skin would have been ‘olive-coloured’ and ‘swarthy’—these results were criticised by some media outlets for being ‘dismissive’ and ‘dumbed down’. However, this type of analysis suggests, that even though Caucasian, Jesus may not have fit into all modern definitions of whiteness in the Western world.

In academic studies, beyond generally agreeing that ‘Jesus was Jewish’, there are no contemporary depictions of Jesus that can be used to determine his appearance. It is argued that Jesus was of Middle Eastern descent because of the geographic location of the events described in the Gospels, and, among some modern Christian scholars, the genealogy ascribed to him.

For this reason, he has been portrayed as an olive-skinned individual typical of the Levant region. In 2001, a new attempt was made to discover what the true race and face of Jesus might have been. The study, sponsored by the BBC, France 3 and Discovery Channel, used one of three 1st-century Jewish skulls from a leading department of forensic science in Israel. A face was constructed using forensic anthropology by Richard Neave, a retired medical artist from the Unit of Art in Medicine at the University of Manchester.

The face that Neave constructed suggested that Jesus would have had a broad face and large nose, and differed significantly from the traditional depictions of Jesus in renaissance art. Additional information about Jesus’ skin colour and hair was provided by Mark Goodacre, a senior lecturer at the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham. Using 3rd-century images from a synagogue—the earliest pictures of Jewish people—Goodacre proposed that Jesus’ skin colour would have been darker and swarthier than his traditional Western image.

He also suggested that he would have had short, curly hair and a short cropped beard. This is also confirmed in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, where Paul the Apostle states that it is ‘disgraceful’ for a man to have long hair. As Paul allegedly knew many of the disciples and members of Jesus’ family, it is unlikely that he would have written such a thing had Jesus had long hair.

Although not literally the face of Jesus, the result of the study determined that Jesus skin would have been more olive-coloured than white, and that he would have most likely looked like a typical Galilean Semite of his day. Among the points made was that the Bible records that Jesus’ disciple Judas had to point him out to those arresting him. The implied argument is that if Jesus’ physical appearance had differed markedly from his disciples, then he would have been relatively easy to identify. James H. Charlesworth states Jesus’ face was ‘most likely dark brown and sun-tanned’.

Published in: on April 28, 2018 at 12:18 am  Comments (6)  

Kriminalgeschichte, 14

Below, translated excerpts from the first volume of Karlheinz
Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums

(“Criminal History of Christianity”)

For centuries the crying against the heretics spread; not an objective polemic, but the demagogic of denigration. ‘In these circles to vilify was considered more important than a refutation’ (Walter Bauer). We can verify it in paleo-Christian literature.

 
The ‘beasts with a human figure’ of the second century (Ignatius, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria)

In the first Clementine Epistle, written about the year 96 C.E. (and attributed to the supposed third successor of Peter), the oldest document in patristics, he attacks the leaders of the Corinthian opposition who wanted to turn to the East, abandoning the West, and calls them ‘heated and reckless individuals’, ‘leaders of contention and disagreement’, who ‘tear apart the members of Christ as they eat and drink, and become fat, shameless, vain and braggart, hypocrites and fools’, ‘a great dishonour’…
 
St Ignatius

Ignatius of Antioch says that ‘heretics’ live ‘in the manner of the Jews’, who propagate ‘false doctrines’, ‘old fables that serve no purpose’. ‘He who has been tainted by it, is guilty of eternal fire’, ‘he shall die without delay’. And also those who teach error ‘will perish, victims of their disputes’. ‘I warn you against these beasts with a human figure’. The holy bishop, who calls himself ‘wheat of God’ with ‘seductive benevolence’ (Hümmeler) and his ‘language full of the ancient dignity ‘(Cardinal Willebrands), was the first to use the word ‘Catholic’ to designate what today is the confession of seven hundred million Christians.
 
St Irenaeus

Towards the year 180, Irenaeus, the bishop of Lyon, intervened in the chorus of those who thundered ‘against the heresies’. He was the first ‘father of the Church’ because he was the first to take for granted the notion of a Catholic Church and knew how to comment theologically; but he was also the first to identify the masters of errors [‘heretic’ Christians—note of the Ed.] with the figure of the devil, who ‘declared the beliefs of others as deliberately malicious’ (Kühner).

Irenaeus also advanced, like the great polemicists of the Church, the attacks against Gnosticism: one of the rival religions of Christianity and perhaps the most dangerous for the latter. Of undoubtedly of older origin, although little is known of its origins and many points remain controversial today, it represented an even more extreme and pessimistic dualism; its diffusion occurred with incredible speed, but in an infinity of variants that confuses the scholars. As it also borrowed many Christian traditions, the Church believed that the gnosis was a Christian heresy and as such fought against it, though of course without achieving the ‘conversion’ of any head of school or sect of the Gnostics.

The fact is that many of these, because of their personal qualities as has been granted by the Catholic Erhard, ‘fascinated many faithful of the communities’. From the year 400 more or less, Catholicism was dedicated to systematically destroy written documents of this religion, which had a rich collection of them. Even in the middle of the 20th century, when in a place in Upper Egypt a complete Gnostic library was found in Nag Hamadi, there were ecclesiastics to resume defamation of the gnosis ‘a poison of infiltration… to eradicate’ (Baus).

Irenaeus harasses the ‘mental lucubration’ of the Gnostics, ‘the malice of their deceptions and the perversity of their mistakes’. He calls them names, ‘vain histrionics and sophists’ who ‘give vent to their madness’. This saint, whose importance for theology and for the Church ‘can hardly be overestimated’ (Camelot), in his main work exclaims: ‘Oh, and oh pain’ as to the epidemic of ‘heresies’, to correct himself immediately: ‘It is much more serious, it is something beyond the woes and exclamations of pain’. The father of the Church particularly censures the hedonism of his adversaries.

According to the account, the Marcosians, who reached as far as the Rhône valley (where Irenaeus learned of their existence), were prone to seducing rich ladies, although Catholics also always preferred the poor. [Note of the Ed.: Deschner seems to write with irony here] It is true that some Gnostics were in favour of debauchery, but there were also rigorous ascetics. Irenaeus puts a lot of emphasis on incontinence. ‘The most perfect among them’, he affirms, ‘do all that is forbidden without any embarrassment; they surrender themselves without measure to the pleasures of the flesh, secretly dishonour the women whom they seek to indoctrinate’.

The Gnostic Marcus, who taught in Asia, where they claimed to having become acquainted with the wife of a deacon, had ‘as an assistant a little devil’, a ‘forerunner of the Antichrist’ who ‘had seduced many men and not a few women’. ‘His itinerant preachers also seduced many simple women’.

The priests of Simon and Menander were also servants of ‘sensual pleasure’, ‘they use magical spells and formulas, and practice making love filters’. And so were the supporters of Carpocrates; even Marcion, despite his acknowledged asceticism. He is branded as ‘shameless and blasphemous’ by Irenaeus. ‘Not only must the beast be raised; it must be wounded on all sides’.
 
Clement of Alexandria

At the threshold of the third century, Clement of Alexandria considers that ‘heretics’ are ‘deceitful’ individuals, ‘bad people’, unable to distinguish between ‘true and false’, who had no knowledge of the ‘true God’ and of course, were tremendously lustful. They ‘twist’, ‘force’, ‘violate’ the interpretation of the Scriptures.

Thus, Clement, praised even today for his ‘breadth of sight and his spiritual benignity’, defines Christians of other tendencies as those who ‘do not know the designs of God’ or the ‘Christian traditions’; who ‘are not afraid of the Lord but only in appearance, as they commit sin by resembling the pigs’. ‘As human beings converted into animals, they are the ones who despise and trample on the traditions of the Church’.

Kriminalgeschichte, 12

A month ago I wrote that the oldest Christian texts are a treat if we compare them with the version of Christianity that conquered the United States: the worst Christianity of all times. I also said that it’s the worst precisely because it transmuted the anti-Semitism of the early theologians into the philo-Semitism brought to this continent by the spiritual sons of Cromwell.

Judge it by yourselves. In the first book of his ten-volume Criminal History of Christianity Karlheinz Deschner explains the anti-Judaism in the Church from the 2nd to the 4th centuries:

The increasing hostility against the Jews in times of primitive Christianity is observed in the writings of the iospatres aevi apostolici, that is, of the apostolic fathers, a designation created by the patristics of the 17th century to refer to the authors who lived shortly after the apostles: ‘When the earth was still warm from the blood of Christ’, according to the expression of St. Jerome…

St. Justin, an important philosopher of the second century, was much pleased (as was Tertullian, Athanasius, and others) about the terrible destruction of Palestine by the Romans, the ruin of their cities, and the burning of their inhabitants. All this is judged by the saint as a punishment from heaven, ‘what has happened to you is well deserved… criminal breed, children of harlot.’

And the invectives of the ‘very fine Justin’ (Harnack), whose celebration is attached to the 14th of April by disposition of Leo XIII (who died in 1903), do not end there. The saint devotes many other epithets to the Jews: he calls them sick souls, degenerates, blind, lame, idolaters, sons of bitches and sacks of evil. He states that there is not enough water in the seas to clean them.

This man, who according to the exegete Eusebius lived ‘at the service of the truth’ and died ‘for proclaiming the truth’, affirms that the Jews are guilty of all ‘injustices committed by all other men’, a slander in which did not fall even Streicher, Hitler’s propagandist.

At the beginning of the third century, the Roman bishop Hippolytus, disciple of St Irenaeus and father of the ‘early Catholic Church’, wrote a poisonous pamphlet, Against the Jews. He called them ‘slaves of the nations’ and demanded that the servitude of this people does not last seventy years as the captivity of Babylon, or four hundred and thirty years as in Egypt, but ‘for all eternity.’

St. Cyprian, who was a very wealthy man, rector and bishop of Carthage in the year 248 after divorcing his wife, devoted himself to collecting anti-Jewish aphorisms and thus supplied ammunition to all Christian anti-Semites of the Middle Ages. According to the teachings of this celebrated martyr, characterized by his ‘indulgence and cordial manliness for the good’ (Erhard), the Jews ‘have as father the devil’; exactly what the Stürmer said, the newspaper of agitation for the Hitler SS. The great author Tertullian says that the synagogues are ‘the sources of the persecution’ (fontes persecutionum)…

The Stürmer was the periodical that inspired Andrew Anglin to name his Daily Stormer.

Even the noble Origen thinks that the doctrines of the Jews of his time are only fables and vacuous words; to their ancestors he once again reproaches for ‘the most abominable crime’ against ‘the Saviour of the human race; that is why it was necessary that the city where Jesus suffered was destroyed, and that the Jewish people should be expelled from their homeland’…

With the increase of clergy power in the 4th century, the virulence of anti-Judaism also grew, as the theologian Harnack observed. It was becoming more frequent for the ‘fathers’ to write pamphlets against the Jews. Some of the oldest ones have been lost; our references begin with those of Tertullian, Hippolytus of Rome, and a number of Church doctors, from St. Augustine to St. Isidore of Seville in the 7th century. Anti-Jewish pamphlets became a literary genre within the Church (Oepke).

Gregory of Nazianzus, even today celebrated as a great theologian, condemned the Jews in a single litany, where he calls them murderers of God and of the prophets; enemies of God, people who hate God, despise the Law, devil’s advocates, race of blasphemers, slanderers, scoundrel of Pharisees, sinners, lapidary men, enemies of honesty, assembly of Satan, etcetera. ‘Not even Hitler made more accusations against the Jews in less words than the saint and bishop of sixteen hundred years ago.’

Deschner devotes a few pages to the anti-Semitic pronouncements of St. Ephrem (306-373), John Chrysostom, St. Jerome and Hilary of Poitiers. Then he tells us:

In 1940, in the middle of the Hitler era, Carl Schneider confesses that ‘rarely in history is anti-Semitism as determined and as uncompromising… as that of those early Christians’.

Compare this primitive Christianity with the standing applause with which all the congressmen, both Democrats and Republicans, received Benjamin Netanyahu—and tell me with a straight face that I am wrong that the worst type of Christianity conquered the most powerful nation in modern history!