Christianity’s Criminal History, 111

 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.


Everything a person needs to know is contained in the Bible

Augustine’s intellectual achievements—which are of a theological nature—have been always overrated. With the exception of certain psychological observations, he always wrote under the inspiration of others, and limited himself to ‘converting into a personal experience what he grasped when meditating on the thoughts of others’ (H. Holl). ‘Never in his life did he have the courage to think autonomously’. A historian so enlightening and worthy of being read as H. Dannenbauer is tempted to apply to Augustine the old sentence with which Goethe referred to Lavater: ‘Strict truth was not his. He lied to himself and others’.

Augustine felt genuine addiction for authority. He always had to find shelter under something, to adhere to something: to the Manicheans, to academic scepticism, to neo-Platonism and, finally, to Christianity. In this regard, he only believed in the Bible by virtue of the authority of the Church (which based its authority on the Bible). The authority of the Bible is in turn a guarantee, Augustine thinks, of the truth. What it affirms is true; it is completely infallible. ‘Moreover, Scripture sometimes appears as a criterion of profane knowledge. Of the historical narratives, we should only believe as long as it does not contradict the affirmations of Scripture’.

Already in the time of Augustine both the wealth of knowledge and the quality of education had declined. However, some classical training still counted to the point that, with it, it was possible to make a career in the Roman Empire and get access the high and even the supreme dignities.

The bishop of Hippo had no notion of Hebrew. Also, his knowledge of Greek was flimsy. He could hardly translate Greek texts. He, a rhetor and for several years a professor at several high schools, barely read the Greek Bible.

To the classics, including Plato and Plotinus to the extent that he knew them, and to the Greek Patristics, he read them in a Latin version. And it is likely that most of his quotations were second hand. Only very few come from direct sources: Livius, Florus, Eutropius, perhaps Josephus, but above all Marcus Terentius Varro, the great scholar of ancient Rome, whose Antiquitates rerum humanarum and divinarum (Antiquities of Human and Divine Things) is his only source of information regarding the pagan deities.

Augustine’s scientific and natural training was very weak. Certainly he did not think it necessary to admit the existence of pygmies, of cynocephali, or of people who protected themselves from the sun under their flat feet. He firmly believed, of course, that the diamond could only be broken with the blood of a goat and that the wind from Cappadocia impregnated the mares. He also believed firmly in purgatory. Moreover, he was the theologian who endowed this idea dogmatic entity.

He also believed firmly in hell, being himself the one who depicts it for us as real physical fire, and who teaches that the intensity of heat is governed by the gravity of sins. On the other hand, he does not believe that the Earth is spherical (nulla ratione credendum est, ‘there is no reason to believe that’) even if it had been demonstrated centuries ago.

The natural sciences, according to Augustine, are opinions. The investigation of the world is at the most investigation of a world of appearances. This applies to the theatre as well as to natural science or magic—eagerness for shows, curiosity, that’s all.

Profane knowledge and culture do not have any value for themselves. They only acquire value in the service of faith and have no other purpose than to lead to holiness, to a deeper understanding of the Bible. Philosophy, that in his old age seemed to him ‘subtle charlatanism’ (garrulae argtiae), has no other value than mere help to interpret the ‘revelation’. Everything thus becomes a resource, an instrument for the understanding of Scripture. Otherwise science—any science—is alienation from God.

The curiosity, the eagerness to know always created suspicions in Christianity. Tertullian had already fought it with crudeness and Augustine, more fiercely, attacks almost systematically curiosity and the longing to know, which leads him to anathematize science.

Painting, music and sculpture are also superfluous. Medicine, architecture and agriculture deserve the same judgment, unless they are to be practiced professionally. This bishop saw in the Church the Schola Christi (Christ’s School) and all the sciences outside it were suspect. Ultimately, everything a person needs to know is in the Bible and what is not there is harmful.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 110

(Iconic image of Tatian)

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.

Natural Science

Even geometry seemed disgraceful to Christians. Still at the beginning of the 4th century they refused to make bishop the Christian Nemesius of Emesa because he was dedicated to the study of mathematics.

Geometry and other scientific occupations were considered little less than impious activities. The historian of the Church Eusebius attacked these ‘heretics’ with these words: ‘Neglecting the Sacred Scriptures of God they were occupied with geometry; for they are earthly men, they speak earthly and do not know Him who comes from on high. They eagerly study the geometry of Euclid and admire Aristotle and Theophrastus’.

The natural sciences were the subject of particular condemnation on the part of Christian theology. The repercussions of that condemnation lasted for a long time and even led some researchers to the stake. In the usual school education on the natural sciences (and history) did not find a place until very early in the Modern Age. In the very universities they were not imposed as independent disciplines until the 17th century. Already in the last days of the ancient age, medicine experienced a strong decline—except perhaps in Mesopotamia—in favour of the predilection for the occult. The patriarch Severus of Antioch, for example, and also the Armenian Eznik of Kolb insist on the existence of demons in man and reject any attempt at naturalistic explanation by physicians.

Already the apologist Tatian, disciple of Justin, reproves medicine and makes it derive from the evil spirits: ‘Namely, the demons separate with their cunning men from the veneration of God, persuading them to put their trust in herbs and roots’.

These words exude that deep aversion, so typical of the ancient Christians, about nature, the here, and the earthly. ‘Why do people place their trust in the powers of matter and do not trust God? Why don’t you go to the most powerful of the lords and prefer to be healed by herbs?’

In this way medicine as a whole was reduced to diabolical work, the work of the evil spirits. ‘Pharmacology and everything related to it comes from the same workshop of lies’. Analogous is the opinion of Tertullian, who made fun of doctors and researchers of Nature, and that attitude continued throughout the Middle Ages and even later. It was natural for Tatian to have no esteem for science as a whole:

How to believe a person who claims that the sun is an incandescent mass and the moon, a body like the Earth? All these are no more than debatable hypotheses and not proven facts. What utility can research report on the proportions of the Earth, on the positions of the stars, on the course of the sun?

The purely scientific explanations do not count anymore. Those people who, in the 4th century, were looking for a geophysical explanation of earthquakes (instead of considering them caused solely by the wrath of God!) were inscribed in the list of ‘heretics’ by the bishop of Brescia.

Since the supreme criterion for the reception of the scientific-natural theories was that of its degree of compatibility with the Bible, science not only stagnated: the very knowledge accumulated since time immemorial was discarded. The prestige of science waned to the same extent that the Bible ascended.

The theory of the rotation of the Earth and its spherical shape goes back to the Pythagoreans of the 5th century BC. The Christian Church renounced this knowledge in favour of the Mosaic story of creation and the biblical text preaching that the Earth was a disk surrounded by the seas. European students did not know about its spherical figure until a millennium later, in the High Middle Ages, through the Arab universities of Spain!

Lactantius defames natural science by calling it pure nonsense. The Doctor of the Church Ambrose reproves it radically as an attack on the majesty of God. He is not interested in the least about the question of the position of the Earth. That is something without any relevance for the future. ‘It is enough to know that the text of Sacred Scripture contains this observation: He suspended the Earth on nothingness’. St. Ambrose’s notion of natural philosophy is illustrated by the heartfelt affirmation that ‘the gospel according to John contains all natural philosophy’.

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…

On progressive Christianity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christian love is murdering the white race.

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

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

Christianity’s Criminal History, 91

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

There is no evidence of Peter’s stay and death in Rome

Nor was he ever the bishop of Rome. It is an absurd idea, but it is the basis of a whole doctrine that the popes and their theologians literally put on the roof. There is no definitive proof, even that he was ever in Rome.

The Christian community of Rome was founded neither by Peter nor by Paul or the ‘blessed founding apostles’ (in the 6th century, Archbishop Dorotheus of Thessalonica attributed a double bishopric to them), but by unknown Judeo-Christians. Already then, between these and the Jews there were so serious disturbances that Emperor Claudius, in the middle of the 1st century, ordered the expulsion of Jews and Christians, among whom no differences were made: Judaeos, impulsore Chresto, assidue tumultuantes [Claudius] Roma expulit (‘Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, [Claudius] expelled them from Rome’—Suetonius).

Peter’s stay in Rome has never been demonstrated, although today, in the era of ecumenism and the approximation of Christian churches, even many Protestant scholars assume it. But assumptions are no demonstration. Even when according to legends full of fantasy, Peter suffered martyrdom in Rome and was crucified as his Lord and Saviour, although, out of a desire for humility, with his head down…

In reality, there is not a single solid proof about that. Not even Paul, who would be the one who founded the Roman community with Peter, and who writes his last epistles from Rome (although he never cites his adversary, Peter, in them) knows anything about it. Nor is there any data about it in the history of the apostles, the synoptic Gospels. Likewise, Clement’s important first Epistle, from the end of the 1st century, knows nothing of the history of ‘You are Peter’ or of another appointment by Jesus, nor of any decisive role of this apostle. Clement limits himself to reporting with imprecise words about his martyrdom. In short, throughout the 1st century there is silence in this regard, as well as in the 2nd century.

The oldest ‘witness’ of Peter’s stay in Rome, Dionysius of Corinth, is suspect. First, because his testimony comes from the year 170 approximately. Secondly, because this bishop is very far from Rome. And thirdly, because he affirms that Peter and Paul not only found together the Church of Rome but also that of Corinth: an aspect that contradicts Paul’s own testimony. Does a guarantor of this type deserve more confidence about the Roman tradition?

But those who doubt this, or even deny it, ‘only raise an infamous monument to their ignorance and fanaticism’ (Gröner, Catholic). But is not precisely the other way around? Is not fanaticism more frequent among the faithful than among the sceptics? And also ignorance? Don’t religions, Catholicism and the papacy live on it? Don’t their dogmas overflow in the irrational and supernatural, in logical absurdities? Do they fear nothing more than authentic criticism? Haven’t they instituted a strict censorship, the index, the ecclesiastical authorisation to be able to print, the anti-modernist oath and the bonfire?

Catholics need Peter’s visit, they need the corresponding activity of this man in Rome, who will head as ‘founder apostle’ the list of Roman bishops, the chain of his ‘successors’. In this theory the ‘apostolic’ tradition and the primacy of the pope are largely based.

They affirm therefore, especially in popular writings, that the presence of Peter in Rome ‘has been demonstrated by historical research beyond all doubt’ (F.J. Koch); ‘it is a result of the investigation confirmed in a general way’ (Kösters, Jesuit); it is ‘totally incontestable’ (Franzen); it is attested in ‘all the ancient Christian world’ (Schuck); there is ‘no’ news of antiquity ‘as sure as this’ (Kuhn), which does not make any more certain the image that Peter has ‘set up his episcopal chair, his seat, in Rome’ (Specht / Bauer).

In 1982, for the Catholic Pesch ‘there is no longer any doubt’ that Peter died martyred in Rome under Nero. (However, the martyred bishop Ignatius does not say anything about it in the 2nd century.) Pesch considers it unquestionable. But neither he nor anyone else provides any proof. For him it is only ‘an attractive idea to assume that Peter left for Rome’.

______ 卐 ______

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The Antichrist § 9

Wherever the influence of theologians is felt, value judgements are turned on their heads and the concepts ‘true’ and ‘false’ are necessarily inverted: whatever hurts life the most is called ‘true’, and whatever improves, increases, affirms, justifies life and makes it triumph is called ‘false’…

Christianity’s Criminal History, 89

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

Interpolations in the New Testament

Christians were very fond of interpolations. They have constantly modified, reduced and expanded the New Testament writings and, for that, they had the most diverse motives. They used interpolations, for example, to reinforce the historicity of Jesus or to promote and strengthen certain ideas of faith. Not everyone was able to modify a complete work, but he could easily distort the text of an opponent by introducing or deleting something for his own profit. Falsifications were also done to impose unpopular opinions that the author was not in a position to impose but that, under the name of someone famous, there was a chance to achieve it.

Important authors also fell into this practice. Tatian reviewed Paul’s epistles for aesthetic reasons and Marcion did so for content reasons. Dionysius of Corinth in the 3rd century and Jerome in 4th century complain about the numerous interpolations in the Gospels. But St. Jerome, patron of Catholic faculties and who made ‘the most shameful fabrications and deceptions’ (C. Schneider), accepted the commission of the murderous Pope Damascius to revise the Latin Bibles, of which there was not even two that coincided in somewhat long passages. Scholars have modified the text in some 3,500 places to legitimize the Gospels. And in the 16th century the Council of Trent declared as authentic this Vulgate destined for general diffusion, although the Church had rejected it for several centuries.

Well, in this case it was, so to speak, an intervention of the ‘official’ type. But usually it was produced clandestinely. And one of the most famous interpollations of the New Testament is linked to the dogma of the Trinity that, apart from later additions, the Bible does not proclaim, and for very good reasons.

The classical world knew hundreds of trinities since the 4th century BC. There was a divine Trinity at the top of the world, all the Hellenistic religions had their Trinitarian divinity, there were the dogmas of Trinity of Apis, of Serapis, of Dionysus, there was the Capitoline trinity: Jupiter, Juno and Minerva; there was a thrice-greatest Hermes, the god of the universe three times unique, who was ‘only and three times one’, etc.

But in the first centuries there was no Christian trinity because well into the 3rd century Jesus himself was not even considered as God, and ‘there was hardly anyone’ who thought of the personality of the Holy Spirit, as discreetly ironizes the theologian Harnack. (Except, let’s be fair, the Valentinian Theodotus: a ‘heretic’! He was the first Christian who, by the end of the 2nd century, called the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit a Trinity, something that the Christian tradition still did not dream of.) According to the theologian Weinel, ‘there was rather a revolted mass of ideas about the celestial figures’.

Everything that in Christianity was not pagan comes from the Jews. Another trinity characterised the ‘Holy Scriptures’ in the Revelations of John: God the Father, the seven spirits and Jesus Christ. Soon St. Justin finds a tetralogy: God the Father, the Son, the army of angels and the Holy Spirit. As has been said, ‘a revolted mass’. But little by little, the ancient doctrine—which until the 4th century was widespread even in ecclesiastical circles—, the Christology of the angels, fell into disrepute and was considered heretical. In its place a true dogma was imposed, in addition to all the Christian Churches: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

At last they had the right people all together, but unfortunately not yet in the Bible. Therefore it was fabricated. Fabrication was necessary because in the New Testament there were—and they are—‘false’ opinions, even of Jesus. For example, in the Logion of Matthew 10, 5: ‘Do not go to the nations of the pagans and do not set your foot in the cities of the Samaritans either. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel’. From what fate the Greco-Romans would have been spared, and also the Jews, if the Christians had followed these words of Jesus! But for a long time they had done the opposite. In evident contradiction with Matthew 10, 5, the ‘risen’ says right there ‘Go and teach all peoples and baptise them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…’

This passage, the mandate of the mission of Christ, is considered true precisely because the Christians soon went on the mission to the pagans: the opposite of the first mandate of Jesus, preach only to the Jews. And to justify this in practice, at the end of the Gospel the mandate to do mission in the wider world is interpolated. And, incidentally, this contained the biblical foundation, the locus classicus, for the Trinity. However, considering that the preaching of Jesus himself lacks the slightest sign of a Trinitarian conception and that none of the apostles was commissioned to baptise, how Jesus, who exhorts to go ‘only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel’ expressly forbids ‘the path toward the pagan peoples’. How could this Jesus ask to do the mission for the world?

The latter mandate, which is increasingly questioned by rationalism, is considered by critical theologians to be a forgery. The ecclesiastical circles introduced it to justify a posteriori both the practice of the mission among the ‘pagans’ and the custom of baptism, and to have an important biblical testimony for the dogma of the Trinity.

Precisely for that reason in the first epistle of John there was another falsification, minimal in appearance but of special bad reputation, the Johannine Comma.

What was modified was the passage (First Epistle of John 5:7-8): ‘There are three who bear witness: the Spirit, the Water and the Blood, and the three are one’, leaving it as ‘There are three who testify in heaven, the Father and the Word and the Holy Spirit, and the three are one’. The addition is missing in almost all Greek manuscripts and almost all of the old translations.

Before the 4th century, none of the Greek Fathers of the Church used it, nor did they cite it, as a careful verification has pointed out in the writings of Tertullian, Cyprian, Jerome, and Augustine. The fabrication comes from North Africa or Spain, where it appears for the first time about 380. The first to question it was R. Simon in 1689. Today, the exegetes reject it almost with total unanimity. However, on January 13, 1897, a decree of the Roman Office proclaims its authenticity.

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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Published in: on August 17, 2018 at 6:20 pm  Comments Off on Christianity’s Criminal History, 87  
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Christianity’s Criminal History, 83

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

God as the author?

The New Testament is the most printed and (perhaps) most read book of modern times. It has been translated into more languages than any other book. It has been interpreted, says the Catholic Schelkle, with an intensity ‘that surpasses everything. Would not any other book have been exhausted long ago with such exhaustive exegesis?’

Is it possible, apart from its Jewish ancestors, that it offers with some good things so many contradictions, legends, myths; so much secondary transformation and writing work; so many parallels, as shown by the History of the Synoptic Tradition by Bultmann with the tales of universal literature—starting with the old Chinese fictions, through the stories of Indians and gypsies, the tales of the seas of the south to the Germanic legends, with so many inappropriate remarks and nonsense—that many men have taken it so seriously, and many still take seriously?

The New Testament is, not only formally but also in terms of its content, so diverse and contradictory that the concept of a ‘New Testament theology’ became, a long time ago, something more than problematic. In any case, there is no unitary doctrine of the New Testament but great deviations, inconsistencies, notable discrepancies, even in regard to the ‘testimony of Christ’ itself. Only the fact that the Lord is attested gives the whole a highly heterogeneous unity. In view of this, speaking of inspiration or inerrancy leaves speechless even those of us who take it for laughter!

At the Council of Florence (February 4, 1442), the Council of Trent (4th session of April 8, 1546) and Vatican Council I (3rd session on April 24, 1870), the Roman Catholic Church has made the doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible, which carries inerrancy, a dogma of faith. In this last conclave they decreed that ‘the Sacred Scriptures, written by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, have God as author’. Therefore, the ecclesiastical theologians flatly deny the contradictions or even the simple possibility of falsifications in the Bible.

Contradictions and inerrancy, falsification and sanctity, illegitimacy and canonicity, hardly harmonise among themselves. Also, the high moral and religious dignity attributed to the biblical authors, their presumed conscience of the strict truth, is wrongly combined with all that. The ‘authority’ of their books is based and has been based precisely on ‘faithfully reproducing the prophecies about Christ by the prophets and the testimony of Christ by the apostles’ (Von Campenhausen). This is how the apologists have defended and still defend themselves, usually with eloquent words, against accusations of falsification.

Even a scholar not exempt of criticism such as Arnold Meyer, at the end of his article on religious pseudoepigraphy, not precisely in favour of the Churches, avoids the word ‘falsifications’—which I always prefer to the decent babblings of ‘serious’ science—and ‘prefers to speak of an ancient form of the creative literary force, which strives to give again the word to old figures, in a way as real and effective as possible, so that the truth finds today the same as yesterday a dignified voice and a successful defence’.

In fact, the fabrications of Christians—and of Jews—must be judged in a much more rigorous way than those of the pagans. Although the latter possessed sacred books, for example in Orphism or Hermeticism, these books did not have the meaning of a revealed religion. On the other hand, the Jewish and Christian revelations, the doctrines of the prophets and of Jesus, were obligatory; inviolable.

However, the Christians modified the writings of the New Testament and also of the Fathers of the Church, the texts of the ecclesiastical conclaves. In fact, they fabricated totally new treaties in the name of Jesus, of his disciples, of the Fathers of the Church; they falsified full acts of the councils.

It is significant that Norbert Brox (a Catholic theologian!) still calls in 1973 and 1977 ‘uncertain’ the scientific investigation of proto-Christian pseudo-epigraphy. He wrote: ‘All these efforts try to save themselves from the calamity of having to attribute to authors, with proven ethical and religious pretensions, a dubious behaviour in which they do not believe; and they want to delimit, from the whole mass of falsifications, an integral area: religiously motivated and beyond all suspicion’.

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Christianity’s Criminal History, 81

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


Fabrications in the New Testament

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

—Carl Schneider, evangelical theologian


The error of Jesus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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