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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Day of Wrath, 20

Nine percent?

At the beginning of our century some Amazonian tribes continue the practice as horribly as described above. With the advances in technology we can even watch videos on YouTube about such practices, like children being buried alive.

Let us remember the exclamation of Sahagún. The humble friar would have found it rather difficult to imagine that not only the ancient Mexicans, but all humanity had been seized by a passion for killing their little ones. Throughout his treatise on infanticide, Larry Milner mentioned several times that our species could have killed not millions, but billions of children since the emergence of Homo sapiens. At the beginning of his book Milner chose as the epigraph a quotation of Laila Williamson, an anthropologist at the American Museum of Natural History:

Infanticide has been practiced on every continent and by people on every level of cultural complexity, from hunter-gatherers to high civilizations, including our own ancestors. Rather than being an exception, then, it has been the rule.

Milner cowers in his book to avoid giving the impression that he openly condemns the parents. Before I distanced myself from deMause, in the Journal of Psychohistory of Autumn 2008 I published a critical essay-review of his treatise. My criticism aside, Milner’s words about the even more serious cowardice among other scholars is worth quoting:

As for the research into general human behavior, infanticide has been almost totally ignored. When acts of child-murder are referenced at all, they generally are passed off as some quirk or defective apparatus of an unusual place or time. Look in the index of almost all major social treatises and you will find only a rare reference to the presence of infanticide. […] Yet, the importance of understanding the reasons for infanticide is borne out by its mathematical proportions. Since man first appeared on earth about 600,000 years ago, it has been calculated that about 77 billion human babies have been born. If estimates of infanticide of 5-10 percent are true, then up to seven billion children [9 percent!] have been killed by their parents: a figure which should suffice as one of incredible importance.

Even assuming that this figure is contradicted by future studies, the anthropologist Glenn Hausfater would have agreed with Milner. In an August 1982 article of the New York Times about a conference of several specialists at the University of Cornell on animal and human infanticide, Hausfater said: “Infanticide has not received much study because it’s a repulsive subject. Many people regard it as reprehensible to even think about it…” In that same conference Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, a primatologist at Harvard said that infanticide occurs in all groups of evolved primates. Given the psychological limitations of academics, it is not surprising to see that the few who are not silent on the subject argue that the primary cause is economic. But the “economic explanation” does not explain why infanticide occurred equally among both the rich and the poor, or why it had been so frequent and sometimes even more frequent in the most prosperous periods of Rome and Carthage. The same is true about those seeking explanations about the taboos, superstitions and customs of the peoples, or the stigma attached to children born out of wedlock. None of these factors explains infanticide for the simple reason that modern Western societies have had these features and refrain from practicing it. Marvin Harris’s position is typical. Harris has calculated that among Paleolithic hunters, up to 23-50 percent of infants were put to death, and postulated that female infanticide was a form of population control. His colleagues have criticized him as a typical proponent of “environmental determinism.” If environmental determinism were true, there would have to be more sacrifice and infanticide today given the demographic explosion.

It is true that Milner fails to condemn the perpetrators. But despite his flaws, outlined in my 2008 review in deMause’s journal, the information Milner collected under a single cover is so disturbing that it made me think: What is really the human species? I have no choice but to try to ponder the question by analyzing one of the most horrendous forms of infanticide practiced over the centuries.
 

Historical Israel

In the past, the shadow of infanticide covered the world, but the Phoenicians and their biblical ancestors, the Canaanites, performed sacrifices that turn pale the Mesoamerican sacrifices of children.

The Tophet, located in the valley of Gehenna, was a place near Jerusalem where it is believed that children were burned alive to the god Moloch Baal. Later it became synonymous with hell, and the generic name “tophet” would be transferred to the sacrificial site of the cemetery at Carthage and other Mediterranean cities like Motya, Tharros and Hadrumetum, where bones have been found of Carthaginian and Phoenician children.

According to a traditional reading of the Bible, stories of sacrifice by the Hebrews were relapses of the chosen people to pagan customs. Recent studies, such as Jon Levenson’s The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity have suggested that the ancient Hebrews did not differ much from the neighboring towns but that they were typical examples of the Semitic peoples of Canaan. The cult of Yahweh was only gradually imposed in a group while the cult of Baal was still part of the fabric of the Hebrew-Canaanite culture. Such religion had not been a syncretistic custom that the most purist Hebrews rejected from their “neighbor” Canaanites: it was part of their roots. For Israel Finkelstein, an Israeli archaeologist and academic, the writing of the book of Deuteronomy in the reign of Josiah was a milestone in the development and invention of Judaism. Josiah represents what I call one of the psychogenic mutants who firmly rejected the infanticidal psychoclass of their own people. Never mind that he and his aides had rewritten their nation’s past by idealizing the epic of Israel. More important is that they make Yahweh say—who led the captivity of his people by the Assyrians—that it was a punishment for their idolatry: which includes the burning of children. The book of Josiah’s scribes even promotes to conquer other peoples that, like the Hebrews, carried out such practices. “The nations whom you go in to dispossess,” says the Deuteronomy, “they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.” (12: 29-31). “When you come into the land that the Lord is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering.” (18: 9-10).

This emergence, or jump to a higher psychoclass from the infanticidal, is also attested in other books of the Hebrew Bible. “The men from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the men from Cuthah made Nergal, and the men from Hamath made Ashima; the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim” (2 Kings: 17: 30-31). There were kings of Judah who committed these outrages with their children too. In the 8th century B.C. the thriving king Ahaz “even sacrificed his son in the fire, following the detestable ways of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites” (2 Kings 16: 1-3). Manasseh, one of the most successful kings of Judah, “burnt his son in sacrifice” (21:6). The sacrificial site also flourished under Amon, the son of Manasseh. Fortunately it was destroyed during the reign of Josiah. Josiah also destroyed the sacrificial site of the Valley of Ben Hinnom “so no one could use it to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech” (23:10). Such destructions are like the destruction of Mesoamerican temples by the Spaniards, and for identical reasons.

Ezekiel, taken into exile to Babylon preached there to his people. He angrily chided them: “And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough? You slaughtered my children and made them pass through the fire” (Ezekiel 16: 20-21). The prophet tells us that from the times when his people wandered in the desert they burned their children, adding: “When you offer your gifts—making your sons pass through the fire—you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you inquire of me, O house of Israel? As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will not let you inquire of me” (20:31). Other passages in Ezekiel that complain about his people’s sins appear in 20: 23-26 and 23: 37-39. A secular though Jung-inspired way of seeing God is to conceive it as how the ego of an individual’s superficial consciousness relates to the core of his own psyche: the Self. In Ezekiel’s next diatribe against his people (16: 35-38) I can hear his inner daimon, the “lord” of the man Ezekiel:

Therefore, you prostitute, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord says: Because you poured out your lust and exposed your nakedness in your promiscuity with your lovers, and because of all your detestable idols, and because you gave them your children’s blood in sacrifice, therefore I am going to gather all your lovers, with whom you found pleasure, those you loved as well as those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around and will strip you in front of them, and they will see all your nakedness. I will sentence you to the punishment of women who commit adultery and who shed blood; I will bring upon you the blood vengeance of my wrath and jealous anger.

When a “prophet” (an individual who has made a leap to a higher psychoclass) maligned his inferiors, he received insults. Isaiah (57: 4-5) wrote:

Whom are you mocking? At whom do you sneer and stick out your tongue? Are you not a brood of rebels, the offspring of liars? You burn with lust among the oaks and under every spreading tree; you sacrifice your children in the ravines and under the overhanging crags.

The very psalmist complained that people sacrificed their children to idols. But what exactly were these sacrificial rites? The spoken tradition of what was to be collected in biblical texts centuries later complained that Solomon “built a high place for Chemosh, the detestable god of Moab, and for Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites,” and that his wives made offerings to these gods (1 Kings 11: 7-8). And even from the third book of the Torah we read the commandment: “Do not give any of your children to be passed through the fire to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God.” (Leviticus 18:21). A couple of pages later (20: 2-5) it says:

Say to the Israelites: “Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him. I will set my face against that man and I will cut him off from his people; for by giving his children to Molech he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. If the people of the community close their eyes when that man gives one of his children to Molech and they fail to put him to death, I will set my face against that man and his family and will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molech.”

Despite these admonitions, the influential anthropologist James Frazer interpreted some biblical passages as indicating that the god of the early Hebrews, unlike the emergent god quoted above, required sacrifices of children. After all, “God” is but the projection of the Jungian Self from a human being at a given stage of the human theodicy. Unlike Milner, a Christian frightened by the idea, I do not see it impossible that the ancient Hebrews had emerged from the infanticidal psychoclass to a more emergent one. In “The Dying God,” part three of The Golden Bough, Frazer draws our attention to these verses of Exodus (22: 29-30):

Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. You must give me the firstborn of your sons. Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.

A similar passage can be read in Numbers (18: 14-15), and the following one (3: 11-13) seems especially revealing:

The Lord also said to Moses, “I have taken the Levites from among the Israelites in place of the first male offspring of every Israelite woman. The Levites are mine, for all the firstborn are mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether man or animal. They are to be mine. I am the Lord.”

The psychohistorian Howard Stein, who has written scholarly articles on Judaism since the mid-1970s, concludes in an article of 2009 that the gathered information suggests a particular interpretation. According to Stein, the substrate of fear for the slaughter “helps to explain the valency that the High Holiday have for millions of Jews worldwide,” presumably echoes of very ancient happenings: actual sacrifices by the Hebrews.

In contrast to what the evangelicals were taught in Sunday school as children, Moses did not write the Torah—it was not written before the Persian period. In fact, the most sacred book of the Jews includes four different sources. Since the 17th-century thinkers such as Spinoza and Hobbes had researched the origins of the Pentateuch, and the consensus of contemporary studies is that the final edition is dated by the 5th century B.C. (the biblical Moses, assuming he existed, would have lived in the 13th century B.C.). Taking into account the contradictions and inconsistencies in the Bible—for example, Isaiah, who belonged to a much more evolved psychoclass, even abhorred animal sacrifice—it should not surprise us that the first chapter of Leviticus consists only of animal sacrifices. The “Lord” called them holocausts to be offered at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. After killing, skinning and butchering the poor animal, the priest incinerates everything on the altar “as a burnt offering to the Lord; it is a pleasing aroma, a special gift presented to the Lord.” A phrase that is repeated three times in that first chapter, it also appears in subsequent chapters and reminds me those words by Cortés to Charles V about the Mesoamerican sacrifices (“They take many girls and boys and even adults, and in the presence of these idols they open their chests while they are still alive and take out their hearts and entrails and burn them before the idols, offering the smoke as the sacrifice.”) In the book of Exodus (34:20) even the emerging transition of child sacrifice to lamb sacrifice can be guessed in some passages, what gave rise to the legend of Abraham:

For the first foal of a donkey, they should give a lamb or a goat instead of the ass, but if you do not give, you break the neck of the donkey. You must also give an offering instead of each eldest child. And no one is to appear before me empty-handed.

Compared with other infanticidal peoples the projection of the demanding father had been identical, but the emergency to a less dissociated layer of the human psyche is clearly visible. As noted by Jaynes, the Bible is a treasure to keep track of the greatest psychogenic change in history. The Hebrews sacrificed their children just as other peoples, but eventually they would leave behind the barbaric practice.

After captivity in the comparatively more civilized Babylon in 586 B.C., the Jews abandoned their practices. In his book King Manasseh and Child Sacrifice: Biblical Distortions of Historical Realities, published in 2004, Francesca Stavrakopoulou argues that child sacrifice was part of the worship of Yahweh, and that the practice was condemned only after the exile. Like their Christian successors, the Jews had sublimated their filicidal impulses in the Passover ritual. Each year they celebrate the liberation of their people and remember how Yahweh killed the firstborn Egyptians: legendary resonance of the habit of killing one’s eldest son.

But the biblical Moloch (in Hebrew without vowels, mlk), represented as a human figure with a bull’s head was not only a Canaanite god. It also was a god of the descendants of the Canaanites, the Phoenicians. The founding myth of Moloch was similar to that of many other religions: sacrifices were compensation for a catastrophe from the beginning of time. Above I said that Plutarch, Tertullian, Orosius, Philo, Cleitarchus and Diodorus Siculus mentioned the practice of the burning children to Moloch in Carthage, but refrained from wielding the most disturbing details. Diodorus says that every child who was placed in the outstretched hands of Moloch fell through the open mouth of the heated bronze statue, into the fire. When at the beginning of the 3rd century B.C. Agathocles defeated Carthage the Carthaginians began to burn their children in a huge sacrifice as a tactical “defense” before the enemy. The sources mention three hundred incinerated children. If I had made a career as a film director, I would feel obliged to visually show humanity its infamous past by filming the huge bronze statue, heated red-hot while the Greek troops besieged the city, gobbling child after child: who would be sliding to the bottom of the flaming chimney. In addition to Carthage, the worship of Moloch, whose ritual was held outdoors, was widespread in other Phoenician cities. He was widely worshiped in the Middle East and in the Punic cultures of the time, including several Semitic peoples and as far as the Etruscans. Various sacrificial tophets have been found in North Africa, Sicily, Sardinia, Malta, outside Tyre and at a temple of Amman.

Terracotta urns containing the cremated remains of children, discovered in 1817, have been photographed numerous times. However, since the late 1980s some Italian teachers began to question the historicity of the accounts of classical writers. Tunisian nationalists took advantage, including the president whose palace near the suburban sea is very close the ruins of the ancient city of Carthage. The Tunisian tourist guides even make foreigners believe that the Carthaginians did not perform sacrifices (something similar to what some ignorant Mexican tourist guides do in Chiapas). Traditional historians argue that the fact that the remains are from very young children suggests sacrifice, not cremation by natural death as alleged by the revisionists. The sacrificial interpretation of Carthage is also suggested by the fact that, along with the children, there are charred remains of lambs (remember the biblical quote that an evolved Yahweh says that the slaughter of sheep was a barter for the firstborn). This suggests that some Carthaginians replaced animals in the sacrificial rite: data inconsistent with the revisionist theory that the tophet was a normal cemetery. Furthermore, the word mlk (Moloch) appears in many stelae as a dedication to this god. If they were simple burials, it would not make sense to find those stelae dedicated to the fire god: common graves are not inscribed as offerings to the gods. Finally, although classical writers were staunch enemies of the Carthaginians, historical violence is exerted by rejecting all their testimonies, from Alexander’s time to the Common Era. The revisionism on Carthage has been a phenomenon that is not part of new archaeological discoveries, or newly discovered ancient texts. The revisionists simply put into question the veracity of the accounts of classical writers, and they try to rationalize the archaeological data by stressing our credulity to the breaking point. Brian Garnand, of the University of Chicago, concluded in his monograph on the Phoenician sacrifice that “the distinguished scholars of the ridimensionamento [revisionism] have not proven their case.”

However, I must say that the revisionists do not bother me. What I cannot tolerate are those subjects who, while accepting the reality of the Carthaginian sacrifice, idealize it. On September 1, 1987 an article in the New York Times, “Relics of Carthage Show Brutality Amid the Good Life” contains this nefarious phrase: “Some scholars assert, the practice of infanticide helped produce Carthage’s great wealth and its flowering of artistic achievement.” The memory of these sacrificed children has not really been vindicated even by present-day standards.

The Carthaginian tophet is the largest cemetery of humans, actually of boys and girls, ever discovered. After the Third Punic War Rome forced the Carthaginians to learn Latin, just as the Spanish imposed their language on the conquered Mexicans. Personally, what most alarms me is that there is evidence in the tophets of remains of tens of thousands of children sacrificed by fire over so many centuries. I cannot tremble more in imagining what would have been of our civilization had the Semitic Hannibal reached Rome.

Lately I’ve had contact with a child that a couple of days ago has turned six years old and who loves his mother very much. I confess that to imagine what a Carthaginian boy of the same age would have felt when his dear papa handed him over to the imposing bronze statue with a Bull’s head; to imagine what he would have felt for such treachery as he writhed with infinite pain in the fired oven, moved me to write this last chapter. Although my parents did not physically kill me (only shattered my soul), every time I come across stories about sacrificed firstborns, it’s hard not to touch my inner fiber.

In the final book of this work I will return to my autobiography, and we will see if after this type of findings humanity has the right to exist.

 
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The objective of Day of Wrath is to present to the racialist community my philosophy of The Four Words on how to eliminate all unnecessary suffering. If life allows, next time I will reproduce the final chapter. Day of Wrath will be available again through Amazon Books.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 79

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

 
Opposition to the Old Testament

In the 2nd century, when Christians were still not exercising war as they would do permanently a little later, among them there were perhaps more opponents of the Old Testament than defenders. And none of them saw more clearly their incompatibility with the biblical Jesus doctrine than the ‘heretic’ Marcion, at least none of them derived consequences of such premise and with such success. In his Antitheses (lost) Marcion showed the contradictions and elaborated the first canon of Christian writings, based on the Gospel of Luke, the one with the least Hebrew influence, and in the letters of Paul.

Apostle John (left) and Marcion of Sinope (right), from Morgan Library MS 748, 11th century.

Seventeen, eighteen centuries later, theologians weave wreaths of praise towards the outlaw, from Harnack to Nigg; the theologian Overbeck, friend of Nietzsche (‘the God of Christianity is the God of the Old Testament’!) states that he has correctly understood this Testament; for the Catholic theologian Buonaiuti ‘it is the most dense and insightful enemy’ of ‘ecclesiastical orthodoxy’.

It is precisely the ‘heretical’ circles that have fought the Old Testament. Many Christian Gnostics condemned it globally. Two hundred years later, the Visigothic apostle Ulfilas, an Arian of pacifist sentiments, was shocked by the contrast between Yahweh and Jesus. In his version of the Bible to the Gothic he made around the year 370, which is the oldest German literary monument, the bishop did not translate any of the Old Testament history books.

After the century of the Enlightenment, criticism intensified again. The perceptive Lessing, who also considers the historical foundations of Christianity precarious, exclaims at the sight of the old book of the Jews: ‘On this clay, on this clay, great God! If you had mixed a couple of gold nuggets…!’

With greater passion Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) scourges the ‘unprecedented blasphemy’: to claim that the Almighty God had expressly ordered Moses to attack a defenceless people and because of their different beliefs to completely annihilate all living beings; to assassinate in cold blood all the children and the unarmed men, to slaughter the prisoners, to tear apart the married women and to respect only the young girls for carnal commerce and rape. Mark Twain (1835-1910) could not help but comment caustically that the Old Testament is essentially concerned with blood and sensuality; the New with salvation and redemption through fire.

Theologians have also rejected the Old Testament as the foundation of life and doctrine, among them some as renowned as Schleiermacher and Harnack, who strongly opposed that this book

be preserved as a canonical document in Protestantism. We must make a clean slate and honour the truth in worship and teaching. This is the act of courage demanded today—almost too late—to Protestantism.

But what good would it do? The masses would continue to be deceived by the New Testament and its dogmas. But the Catholic Wörterbuch christlicher Ethik (Dictionary of Christian ethics) still finds, in 1975, ‘the roots of the ethos of the Old Testament’ in ‘the decisive personal attention’ of Yahweh ‘to the world and to man’, found in the Old Testament ‘fundamentally and to the defence of what we call human rights; behind its humanum there is Yahweh with all of his divine weight’ (Deissler).

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Christianity’s Criminal History, 78

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

 
Portrayals of the biblical female world

Among the singularities of the Old Testament lies the more or less strong opposition, that it always found a place in Christianity, about this section of the ‘Word of the Lord’: the most extensive. It not only was full of enormous warlike cruelty, but also consecrated deceit, hypocrisy and treacherous murder. For example, the heroic deeds of Phinehas, who sneaks into the tent and pierces a couple of lovers with a sword; the bloodthirsty actions of Judith, who enters the camp of the Assyrians and treacherously murders General Holofernes; the fatal blow of Jael, who amicably attracts Sisera, the fugitive captain of the king of Hazor, who is exhausted, and murders him from the back.

These and other similar acts have more than two thousand years and not only do they appear in the Bible: they have been justified and exalted through the ages. Even in the 20th century the cardinal archbishop of Munich and expert in the Old Testament, Michael Faulhaber, military prior of the emperor, follower of Hitler and post festum of resistance, pompously praises ‘the act of Judith’: the action of a woman that, according to Faulhaber, has ‘lied’ first, then ‘woven a network of conscious lies’ and finally ‘killed a sleeper in a treacherous way’. However, ‘as a warrior of the Most High, Judith felt she was the depository of a divine mission. The struggle for the walls of Betulia was ultimately a war of religion’.

If something ‘sacred’ is at stake, the Church hierarchs always consider any diabolical action valid provided that it is in the interest of the Church; that is, of their own. Consequently Christian Friedrich Hebbel, a vehement detractor of Christianity (‘the root of all discord’, ‘the smallpox virus of mankind’) with his Judith (1840), which made him famous, is disqualified for presenting only one ‘sad caricature of the Biblical Judith’.

Another poet deserved a much more favourable opinion from the same ecclesiastical prince. After Faulhaber reminded us the feat of Jael with the words of the Bible (‘Her right hand to the workman’s hammer, And she smote Sisera; she crushed his head, She crashed through and transfixed his temples’), he says nonetheless that this is ‘unworthy, perfidious, hypocritical and murder’. But the Bible glorifies this woman as a ‘national heroine’ through the hymn of the prophetess and Judge Deborah. And so the entire Catholic world celebrates her for two millennia and also her most famous author, Calderón de la Barca:

In one of his sacramental plays he provided Judge Deborah with the allegorical figures of prudence and justice; and Jael the other two cardinal virtues, temperance and strength. Jael, who destroys the head of the enemies of the revelation, becomes a projection of the Immaculate, who, according to the words of the Latin Bible, crushes the head of the old serpent. Hence Calderón’s words while destroying the head of Sisera: ‘Die, tyrant, to arms’. Under the pen of Calderón the whole story of Deborah becomes a little Marian doctrine.

Nice expression that of the ‘little Marian doctrine’!

At least for those who know—because the great mass of Catholics are ignorant—, Mary is not only the Immaculate, the caste, the queen, the triumphant dominator of the impulses: but the successor in the head of Janus of her ancient predecessor, Ishtar, the virgin Athena, the virgin Artemis, also the great Christian goddess of blood and war; not only ‘our beloved Lady of the Linden’, ‘of the green forest’ but also of murder and massacres, from the beginning of the Middle Ages until the First World War.

Faulhaber published on August 1, 1916, ‘the day of commemoration of the mother of the Maccabees’, in ‘war edition’, the 3rd revised edition of his Charakterbilder der biblischen Frauenweit (Portrayals of the Biblical Female World) to ‘bring to the German feminine world in bloody and seriousness the days and the examples still alive of biblical wisdom: the sources that still emanate spiritual strength and altars still flaming above-earthly consolations’. Women could ‘learn much war wisdom’ from these biblical women; ‘much sense of courage’, ‘much spirit of sacrifice’. ‘Even in the days of the war the Word of the Lord is still a light in our path’. And in the 6th edition, Cardinal Faulhaber presents his Portrayals in 1935, the Hitler era, and praises Deborah as ‘a heroine of ardent patriotism’, ‘which makes in her people a rebirth of freedom and a new national life’.

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Christianity’s Criminal History, 77

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

 
The Jewish apocalyptic

The apocalyptic genre (from the Greek apokálypsis) plays an important role, a kind of transitional role from the Old to the New Testament, especially in the epoch that goes from the 3rd century BC to the 2nd century AD.

In the apocalyptic genre one can see a kind of Jewish eschatology, so to speak, an unofficial eschatology which extends to the cosmic: beyond the official national eschatology of the rabbis. Unlike the latter, the apocalyptic literature was universalistic. It encompassed Earth, heaven and hell. However, their followers carried rather an existence of secret meetings, similar to what happens today in many sects and their relations with the churches.

As stated above, the research sees in these writings a ‘link’ between the Old and New Testaments and assigns the apocalyptic genre an intermediate period between the two. This is all the more logical because the apocalyptic authors—Jews whose exact origin (Essenes, Pharisees) is difficult to establish—are falsifiers: people who did not write under their own names but with pseudonyms; who attribute their revelations of a primordial time, from the last hour, from the beyond, its mysterious manifestations of the future, of dreams, states of ecstasy (sometimes to heaven as, among others, Enoch and also the Christian apocalyptic writer John of Patmos) to ‘visions’ while the prophets are generally based on ‘auditions’. Often, the enlightened ones who have to illuminate us are accompanied by a revealing intermediary, an angelus interpres (exegete angel) who explains to the author what happened and, of course, to us.

Typical of this sort of prayer-ridden counterfeits is their dualistic concept of the world, deeply influenced by Iranian ideas, and their theory of the two eons, one temporary and the other eternal. Typical is that the seen events are about the end of times and the ‘pains of the Messiah’ are described as imminent. All this goes from horrible human and cosmic catastrophes (women stop giving birth, the earth becomes sterile, stars collide) to the Last Judgment and a messianic splendour painted full of fantasy. Of course, the sufferings of the wicked are included, which provided a strong consolation to the righteous, together with imperious warnings of penance and conversion.

The expectation of the proximity of the end is just as typical as the hope in the hereafter and there is determinism, since ‘God has everything planned’ (4 Ezra 6): the beginning and the end. ‘This world has been created by the Highest for many, but the future only for a few’ (4 Ezra 8, 1): a novel manifestation of his Summa Misericordiae (the sum of His mercy). It is also characteristic of these intermediate testamentaries that they introduce many mysterious figures (animals, clouds, mountains) and a complicated numerical symbolism: a religious coryphaeus of earlier times in the form of Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Ezra, Moses, Isaiah, Elijah, Daniel. Theirs is an occult writing known only by a group of the elect, but now God wants to spread it.

The imposters often represent their visions of history as prophecies, in future form. Naturally, writing generally many centuries after the events and having placed their omens on their lips, they predict everything with great precision.

Their readers are amazed. So predisposed, they believe everything that they prophesied for a distant future about the horrors of the end and its magnificence. This pia fraus (loving fraud), this ‘representation of history as a vaticinium ex eventu’ (Vielhauer), has distant Old Testament parallelisms in the Pentateuch itself (Gen 49, Num 23 et seq., Deut 33) but its authentic model is, perhaps, in the oracle sibylline literature of the Hellenistic-Roman era.

In addition to the biblical falsification of the book of Daniel that we have already seen, there is also the book of Baruch [left: Gustave Doré’s illustration], presumably written by Baruch ben Neriah: the scribe, companion and friend of the prophet Jeremiah.

‘Baruch’, who appears as a messenger of God and experiences a multitude of visions, claims to have written his own book in Babylon, after the destruction of Jerusalem. He also says he knows and means much more than the prophets; and still in 1931 the Lexikonfür Theologie und Kirche did not ‘see any reason to doubt the authorship of Baruch’.

Today there are very few who claim the authenticity for this work of the Old Testament (as well as the book of ‘Daniel’) insofar as it was written half a millennium after Baruch: the first part perhaps in the 1st century BC (the farthest moment), the second part probably in the middle of the 1st century AD.

The forgeries almost always emerged as an internal necessity of the apocalyptic genre. They were widely used by the Christians and became typical of them. The easy way was simply to believe in the ‘works’ of ancient authorities—those of the twelve patriarchs; Daniel and Enoch, whose authenticity already Origen doubted, as well as the ‘works’ of Abraham, Moses, Isaiah and Ezra; in total a list of twenty names—, as their ‘prophecies’ and ‘revelations’ were being ‘fulfilled’.

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Christianity’s Criminal History, 76

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

 
The same as the work of Isaiah, the book of Ezekiel, written almost all in the first person, unites prophecies of misfortunes and beatitudes, reprimands and threats with tempting hymns and omens. For a long time it was considered the undisputed writing of the most symbolic Jewish prophet, the man who in the year 597 BC left Jerusalem with King Jehoiakim to exile in Babylon.

Until the beginning of the 20th century Ezekiel’s book was almost universally seen as a work of the prophet himself and of true authenticity. From the investigations of literary criticism by R. Kraetzschmars (1900) and even more by J. Herrmann (1908, 1924), the opinion prevailed that this presumably unitary book emerged in stages and that a subsequent hand reworked it. Some researchers even attribute to Ezekiel only the poetic parts, assigning to the compiler the texts in prose.

In this scenario the compiler would have designed at least the bulk of the work: no less than five-sixths. According to W.A. Irwin, of the total of 1,273 verses only 251 come from Ezekiel and according to G. Hölscher, 170. Although other authors accept the authenticity of the text, they admit several redactions and editors, who interspersed falsified passages among those considered authentic and also manipulated the rest at their discretion. It is very significant that the Jewish tradition does not attribute the work to Ezekiel, but to the ‘men of the great synagogue’.

The book of Daniel was clearly and completely fabricated: something that, surprisingly, already affirms Porphyry, the great adversary of the Christians, in the 3rd century. Although his fifteen books Against the Christians were targeted for destruction by the first Christian emperor, something has been preserved in excerpts and quotations, among them the following phrases of Jerome in the prologue of his comments on Daniel:

Porphyry has destined, against the prophet Daniel, the book XII of his work. He does not want to admit that the book was written by Daniel, whose name appears on the title, but by someone who lived in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes (that is, some 400 years later) in Judea, and maintains that Daniel did not predict anything of the future but simply told something of the past.

The book of Daniel would come from the prophet Daniel, who apparently lived in the 6th century BC in the royal court of Babylon and whose authorship has also been questioned in modern times by Thomas Hobbes. Critical research has long since stopped considering it an authentic book. But in 1931 the Catholic Lexikonfür Theologie und Kirche (Encyclopaedia for Theology and the Church) says: ‘The nucleus of the different episodes can reach very ancient times, even that of Daniel… Most of the Catholic exegetes essentially consider Daniel as the author of the book’.

The first-person form of the visions of chapters 7-12 and, of course, their place in the Holy Scriptures made the Christian tradition believe for a long time in the authorship of the book by Daniel: about whose life and acts they know only for his own work. It is probable that it was the last to reach the canon of the Old Testament and, from the traditionalist point of view, must be defended accordingly as authentic.

But it comes from the Revelations of the time of the Syrian king Antiochus IV Epiphanes, probably from the year of the revolt of the Maccabees, 164 BC. Ergo the author lived long after the events described in the historical part of his book written in the third person (chapters 1-6). In this way, the ‘prophet Daniel’, who four centuries before is the servant of King Nebuchadnezzar in ‘Babel’ and who understands ‘stories and dreams of all kinds’, can easily prophesy. This is what Porphyry had discovered.

Consequently, in the historical epoch of the book in which Daniel presumably lived and described, the ‘prophet’ mixes everything. Thus, Balthazar, the organiser of the famous banquet, although was a regent he was not ‘king’. Balthazar was not the son of Nebuchadnezzar but of Nabonidus, the last Babylonian king (555-539). Artaxerxes did not come before Xerxes but after him and ‘Darius the Mede’ is not a historical figure at all. In short, ‘Daniel’ knew more about visions than about the time he lived.

Special forgeries of the Septuagint are also some well-known pieces, which Catholics call Deuterocanonics and Protestants apocryphal: the story of the Three Boys in the Fiery Furnace [Left: Gustave Doré’s illustration], the story of Susanna and Bel and the Dragon. All these special fabrications appear today in the Catholic Bible.

The book of Daniel is the oldest apocalypse and, among all the apocalyptic literature. the only one that reaches the Old Testament and consequently becomes canonical. In the Catholic Bible there is another forgery, Baruch’s ‘Deuterocanonical’ book, with which we turn our attention to a special literary genre, made up of obvious falsifications, which later goes on in an organic and integral way into Christianity.

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Published in: on July 27, 2018 at 1:12 pm  Comments Off on Christianity’s Criminal History, 76  
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Christianity’s Criminal History, 75

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Christianity’s Criminal History, 74

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

 
Other forgeries in the Old Testament

Something analogous to the Pentateuch can be said about what the Holy Scriptures endorse regarding David and his son Solomon. Both had to live, reign and write around the year 1,000, but their alleged works are usually several more recent centuries.

The Jewish and Christian tradition of the Bible attributes to King David the entire Psalter and the book of Psalms, in total 150 psalms. In all likelihood, not a single one comes from him. However, according to the Bible, David has written them.

Under the slogan of ‘David as a singer’, the treatise Sachkunde zur Biblischen Geschichte (Expertise on Biblical History) describes in a relatively neat way the ‘harp player’ of that time. This implies real authorship in equal measure to M.A. Beek’s claim that tradition, which introduces David into history as a poet of psalms, has ‘surely a historical background’. But Beek said a few lines before that ‘outside of the Bible we do not know any text that sheds light on the reign of David or that merely cites his name’. This reminds us of Beek’s historical Moses! Of David, he says: ‘David played a stringed instrument that could be called more a lyre than a harp. The illustration of such a lyre appears in a container manufactured around 1000 BC’. If around the year 1000 there was a lyre that could be represented, why could not David have it, play it and also—among his raids, slaughters and actions related to the cutting of foreskins and roasting in ovens—have written the biblical book? The conclusion seems almost obligatory, especially since David really appears in the Old Testament as a poet and musician, specifically in the two books of his contemporary, the prophet and judge Samuel, an eyewitness and at the same time an auricular witness.

Anyway, as the research points out, the books ‘of Samuel’ appeared from a hundred to four hundred years after the death of Samuel, just as many of the ‘David’ psalms did not appear until the time of the second temple (after 516 BC): more than half a millennium after the death of David! The collected psalms had been constantly edited and elaborated. The selection of compilations may have lasted until the 2nd century BC. It is not excluded that incorporations were still made in the 1st century after Christ. Curiously, a radically different interpretation of the celestial chords of the royal court around the year 1000 BC is considered three thousand years later, and not without a solid base in the biblical text, by German poets such as Rilke and company who said that it is nothing but sexualisation. One of these poets unabashedly states that it was David’s ‘butt’, rather than his music, that ‘relieved’ King Saul.

Just as David, the ‘bloodthirsty dog’ became the ‘kind psalmist’, his son (begotten by Bathsheba, whose husband David had killed), the ‘wise king Solomon’ has become famous as the creator of religious songs. But it is totally unprovable if Solomon ever developed literary activity.

(Note of the editor: As in all art that Christian painters have produced throughout the centuries, in this engraving of Judgement of Solomon by Gustave Doré the characters have been completely Aryanised. If machines to see the past could be invented, white nationalists would be shocked to see the Semitic physiognomy of the main characters of the Bible, if they even existed.)
 
What is certain, on the contrary, is that by means of a coup d’état, allied with his mother, the priest Zadok, the prophet Nathan and the general Benaiah, Solomon seized the throne; that he executed part of his adversaries, banished others; that he demanded from his subjects very high taxes and forced provision of work, which led to a growing dissatisfaction and a general decline while, according to the Bible, it was to satisfy 700 principal wives and 300 concubines. This scenario does not allow us to deduce precisely a great literary production. But the Sacred Scriptures award him three books: Book of Proverbs, the Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs. ‘I believe that for the most part, this is a premeditated deception and that it was also in its day’ (S.B. Frost).

The author of Solomon’s Ecclesiastes (in Hebrew Kohelet) expressly claims that the book is ‘the words of the preacher, the son of David, the king of Jerusalem’. It used to be generally considered that Solomon was its author and for that reason alone the work became part of the Bible. But the real author is not known, nor his name, nor when he lived. The truth is only that, as H. Grotius first put it clearly in 1644, Solomon did not write it, to whom the first verse intends to attribute.

By language, spirit, and reticence it seems more like a work that emerged in the 3rd century BC, from the Stoic and epicurean philosophy: the influences of the environment and the Hellenistic period. There is no other book of the Bible that is so non-conformist, so fatalistic; that invokes so insistently the vanity of the earth: ‘vanity of vanities and all is vanity’; wealth, wisdom, everything ‘under the Sun’, a book that never ceases to lament the brevity of life and disappointments, in which God himself stands hazy on his throne in the distance. It is therefore not strange that several times it has been modified, or that its canonicity was not definitively established until 96 AD.

An impressive Jewish fabrication, in any case, is the Song of Songs, which knows no resurrection and in whose last verses I always feel (uselessly) alluded: ‘And above all, my son, beware then, in the make books there is no end and much study exhaust the body’. Ergo: ‘Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, because with the dead towards whom you go there is neither thought nor knowledge’.

Let no one say that there is nothing worth reading in the Bible!

After the writing of the books of the kings, ‘Solomon’ also wrote three thousand sentences and one thousand five—according to other sources five thousand—songs: of the trees, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows from the wall. He also wrote of the animals of the earth, of the birds, of the worms and of the fish. The book of Proverbs was attributed to Solomon for a long time. Chapters 1 to 9 are now included in the Bible. But in reality, the structure of the book betrays various authors who wrote it in different times: chapters 1 to 9, for example, were written after the 5th century. In total, the appearance of sentences extends throughout the entire Old Testament era, and the final compilation may have been produced around 200 BC.

Also, the Wisdom of Solomon, admired by the early Christians, was considered his work, especially because the author is expressly named Solomon and chosen as king of the people of God. It was considered a prophetic and inspired book. Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Tertullian and St. Hippolytus attest to its canonicity, as does St. Cyprian who cites him repeatedly as Holy Scripture. Most old exegetes believe it. And although a man like Jerome was more critical he continued to admit it as official reading. At any event, the book continues in the Bible of the Papal Church.

But in reality the Wisdom of Solomon is almost a millennium more recent than Solomon, the original language of the forgery was classical Greek; the author—many critics admit two—lived in Egypt, probably in the Hellenistic city of the wise, Alexandria, and wrote his work, which puts on the lips of the (presumably) wisest of the Israelites, in the 1st century before or after Christ.

The influence of this forgery has been enormous.

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Christianity’s Criminal History, 73

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

 
The five books of Moses, which Moses did not write

The Old Testament is a very random and very fragmentary selection of what was left of ancient transmission. The Bible itself quotes the titles of nineteen works that have been lost, among them The Book of the Wars of the Lord, The Story of the Prophet Iddo, The Book of the Good. However, the researchers believe that there were many other biblical texts that have not left us even the title. Have they also been holy, inspired and divine?

In any case the remains are enough, more than enough; especially of the so-called five books of Moses, presumably the oldest and most venerable, that is, the Torah, the Pentateuch (Greek pentáteuchos, the book ‘containing five’ because it consists of five rolls): a qualifier applied around 200 AD by Gnostic writers and Christians. Until the 16th century, it was unanimously believed that these texts were the oldest of the Old Testament and that they would therefore be counted among the first in a chronologically ordered Bible. That is something that today cannot even be considered. The Genesis, the first book, is without good reason at the head of this collection. And although still in the 19th century renowned biblical scholars believed they could reconstruct an ‘archetype’ of the Bible, an authentic original text, that opinion has been abandoned. Or even worse, ‘it is very likely that such an original text never existed’ (Comfeld / Botterweck).

The Old Testament was transmitted mostly anonymously, but the Pentateuch is attributed to Moses and the Christian churches have proclaimed his authorship until the 20th century. However, while the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the first Israelite fathers, must have lived between the 21st and the 15th centuries BC, or between 2000 and 1700 if they actually lived, Moses—‘a marshal, but at the bottom of his being with a rich emotional life’ (Cardinal Faulhaber)—must have lived in the 14th or 12th century BC, if he also lived.

In any case, nowhere outside the Bible the existence of these venerable figures, and others more recent, is ‘documented’. There is no proof of their existence. Nowhere have they left historical traces; neither in stone, bronze, rolls of papyrus, nor in tablets or cylinders of clay, even though they are more recent than, for example, many of the Egyptian sovereigns historically documented in the form of famous tombs, hieroglyphs or cuneiform texts: authentic certificates of life. Therefore, writes Ernest Garden, ‘either one is tempted to deny the existence of the great figures of the Bible or, in case of wishing to admit their historicity even with the lack of demonstrative material, it is supposed that their life and time they passed in the way described by the Bible… had circulated for many generations’.

For Judaism, Moses is the most important figure in the Old Testament. It is mentioned 750 times as a legislator; the New Testament does it 80 times. It is claimed that all the Laws were being handled as if Moses had received them at Sinai. In this way he acquired for Israel a ‘transcendental importance’ (Brockington). Each time he was increasingly glorified. He was considered the inspired author of the Pentateuch. It was attributed to him, the murderer (of an Egyptian because he had beaten a Hebrew), even a pre-existence. He became the forerunner of the Messiah, and the Messiah was considered a second Moses. Many legends about him emerged in the 1st century BC; a novel about Moses, and also a multitude of artistic representations. But the tomb of Moses is not known. In fact, the prophets of the Old Testament quote him five times.

Ezekiel never mentions him! And yet, these prophets evoke the time of Moses, but not him. In their ethical-religious proclamations they never rely on Moses. Neither the papyrus Salt 124 ‘has a testimony of any Moses’ (Cornelius). Nor does archaeology give any sign of Moses. The Syrian-Palestinian inscriptions barely quote him in as little measure as cuneiform texts or hieroglyphic and hieratic texts. Herodotus (5th century BC) knows nothing of Moses. In short, there is no non-Israelite proof of Moses, our only source of his existence is—as in the case of Jesus—the Bible.

There were already some who in Antiquity and in the Middle Ages doubted the unity and authorship of Moses in the Pentateuch. It was hardly believed that Moses himself could have reported on his own death, ‘an extraordinary question’ Shelley mocks, ‘almost as how to describe the creation of the world’ in Genesis. However, a deep criticism only came from the pen of Christian ‘heretics’, as the primitive Church saw no contradiction in the Old or New Testaments.

In the modern age Andreas Karlstadt was one of the first scholars in which some doubts were aroused when reading the Bible (1520). More doubts were raised by the Dutchman Andreas Masius, a Catholic jurist (1574). But if this pair, and shortly afterwards the Jesuits B. Pereira and J. Bonfrère, only declared some citations as post-Mosaic and continued to consider Moses the author of the whole text, the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes declared that some paragraphs of the Pentateuch were Mosaics but post-Mosaic most of the text (Leviathan, 1651). In 1655 the reformed French writer I. de Peyrère went even further; and in 1670, in his Tractatus Theologico-Politicus Spinoza denied Mosaic authorship for the whole thing.

In the 20th century some scholars of religion, among them Eduard Meyer (‘it is not the mission of historical research to invent novels’), and Danek of the school of the Prague, have questioned the historical existence of Moses himself; but their adversaries have rejected such hypothesis.

It is curious that even the most illustrious minds, the greatest sceptics and scientists under whose daring intervention the sources of material are shelled so that there is little space left for the figure of Moses, present us again, as if by sleight of hand, Moses in all his greatness as the dominant figure of all Israelite history. Although everything around this character is too colourful or too obscure, the hero himself cannot be fictional they say. As much as the criticism of sources has reduced the historical value of these books, almost annulled it, ‘there remains a broad field of the possible’ (Jaspers). It is not surprising, then, that among some conservatives Moses is of greater importance than the Bible!

In short: after Auschwitz, Christian theology returns to win over the Jews. ‘Today again a more positive idea of ancient Israel and its religion is possible’. However, Moses is still ‘a problem’ for the researchers, ‘there is no light to illuminate his figure’ and the corresponding traditions remain ‘outside the capacity of historical control’ according to the Bibl. Hist. Handwörterbuch (Hist. Bibl. handwritten book). Although these scholars strongly refuse to ‘reduce Moses to a nebulous figure, known only to legends’, they admit at the same time that ‘Moses himself is faded’. They claim that ‘the uniqueness of the Sinai event cannot be denied’ but they add immediately ‘although the historical demonstration is difficult’. They find in the ‘stories about Moses a considerable historical background’ and some paragraphs later claim that this ‘can not be proved by facts’, that ‘it cannot be witnessed by historical facts’ (Cornfeld / Botterweck).

This is the method followed by those who do not deny the evidence itself, but neither do they want everything to collapse with a crash (No way!). For M.A. Beek, for example, there is no doubt that the patriarchs are ‘historical figures’. Although he only sees them ‘on a semi-dark background’ he considers them ‘human beings of great importance’. He himself admits: ‘To date we have not been able to find documentary evidence of the figure of Joshua in Egyptian literature’. He adds that, apart from the Bible, he does not know ‘a single document containing a clear and historically reliable reference to Moses’. And he continues that, if we do without the Bible, ‘no source is known about the expulsion from Egypt’. ‘The abundant literature of the Egyptian historiographers silences, with a worrying obstinacy, events that should have deeply impressed the Egyptians, if the account of the Exodus is based on facts’. Beek is also surprised that the Old Testament rejects

curiously enough, any data that would make possible a chronological fixation of the departure from Egypt. We do not see the name of the Pharaoh that Joshua knew, nor the one who oppressed Israel. This is all the more amazing because the Bible retains many other Egyptian names of people, places and offices.

Even more suspicious than the lack of chronological reference points in the Old Testament is the fact that none of the known Egyptian texts cites a catastrophe that affected a Pharaoh and his army while chasing the fleeing Semites. Since historical documents have an abundance of material on the epoch in question, at least some allusion would be expected. The silence of the Egyptian documents cannot be dismissed with the observation that court historiographers do not usually talk about defeats, since the events described in the Bible are too decisive for Egyptian historians to have overlooked them.

‘It is really curious’, this scholar continues, ‘that no tomb of Moses is known’. Thus, ‘the only proof of the historical truth of Moses’ is for him ‘the mention of a great-grandson in a later epoch’.

‘And Moses was 120 years old when he died’ says the Bible, although his eyes ‘had not weakened and his strength had not diminished’ and God himself buried him and ‘no one knows to this day where his tomb is’. A pretty weird end. According to Goethe, Moses committed suicide and according to Freud his own people killed him. The disputes were not rare, as with Aaron and Miriam. But as always, the closing of the fifth and last book of the Pentateuch significantly recalls ‘the acts of horror that Moses committed before the eyes of all Israel’. Every character always enters the history thanks to his terrifying feats, and this is so regardless if he lived or not really. But whatever the case may be with Moses, the investigation is divided.

The only thing that is clear today, as Spinoza saw it, is that the five books of Moses, which directly attribute to him the infallible word of God, do not come from him. This is the coincidental conclusion of the researchers.

Naturally, there are still enough people like Alois Stiefvater and enough little treatises such as Schlag-Wörter-Buch für katholische Christen types (Schlag Words Book for Catholic Christians) who continue to deceive the mass of believers by making them believe in the five books of Moses, that ‘although not all have been directly written by him, they are due to him’. How many, and which ones Moses wrote directly, Stiefvater and his accomplices do not dare to say. What remains true is that the Laws that were considered as written by the hand of Moses or even attributed to the ‘finger of God’ are also fabrications. (On the other hand, although God himself writes the Law on two tablets of stone, Moses had so little respect for them that in his anger against the golden calf he destroyed them.)

It is also clear that the writing of these five books was preceded by an oral transmission of many centuries, with constant changes. And then there were the editors, the authors, the biblical compilers who participated throughout many generations in the writing of the books by ‘Moses’, which is reflected in the different styles. It looks like a collection of different materials, such as the entire fourth book.

Thus arose a very diffuse collection lacking any systematic organisation, overflowing with motifs of widely spread legends, etiological and folkloristic myths, contradictions and duplications (which by themselves alone exclude the writing by a single author). Added to all this is a multitude of heterogeneous opinions that have been developed in a gradual way, even in the most important issues. Thus the idea of the resurrection arises very little by little in the Old Testament, and in the books Ecclesiasticus, Ecclesiastes and Proverbs any testimony of beliefs in the resurrection is missing. In addition, the scribes and compilers have constantly modified, corrected and falsified the texts, which acquired new secondary extensions every time. And these processes went on for entire epochs.

The Decalogue or Ten Commandments, which Luther considered the supreme incarnation of the Old Testament, proceeds in its earliest form perhaps from the beginning of the age of kings. Many parts of the Pentateuch that must have been written by the man who lived, if he lived, in the 14th or 13th centuries BC—no less than sixty chapters of the second, third and fourth books—were not produced or collected by Jewish priests until the 5th century BC. Thus, the final redaction of the books awarded to Moses—I quote the Jesuit Norbert Lohfink—’took place some seven hundred years later’. And the composition of all the books of the Old Testament—I quote the Catholic Otto Stegmüller—was prolonged ‘for a period of approximately 1,200 years’.

Complete set of scrolls constituting the Hebrew Bible.

Research on the Old Testament has reached enormous dimensions and we cannot contemplate it here—saving the reader from the labyrinthic methodology: the ancient documentary hypotheses of the 18th century, the assumptions of fragments, complements, crystallisation and the important differentiation of a first Elohist, a second Elohist, a Jahwist or Yahwist (H. Hupfeld, 1835), the formal historical method (H. Gunkel, 1901), the various theories about the sources, the theory of two, three, four sources, the written sources of the ‘Jahwist’ (J), of the ‘Elohist’ (E), of the ‘writing of the priests’ (P), of ‘Deuteronomy’ (D), of the combined writing… We cannot get lost in all the threads of the story, the traditions, the plethora of additions, complements, inclusions, annexes, proliferations, textual modifications, the problem of the variants, the parallel versions, the duplications—in short, the enormous ‘secondary’ enlargement, and the history and the scrutiny of the texts. We cannot discuss either the reasons for the extension of the Pentateuch into a Hexateuch, Heptateuch or even Octateuch, or its limitation to a Tetrateuch however interesting these hypotheses may be within the context of our subject.

A simple overview of the critical comments, such as Martin Noth’s explanations of the Mosaic books, will show the reader its editors, redactors, compilers; of additions, extensions, later contributions, combinations of different states of incorporation, modifications, etc.: an old piece, an older one, a fairly recent one that is often called secondary, perhaps secondary, probably secondary, surely secondary. The word ‘secondary’ appears here in all conceivable associations. It seems to be a keyword, and even I would like to affirm without having made an exact analysis of its frequency: there is no other word that appears with greater assiduity in all these investigations of Noth and his work.

Recently Hans-Joachim Kraus has written Geschichte der historisch-kritischen Erforschung des Alten Testaments (The story of the historical-critical exploration of the Old Testament). Innovative and advanced for the 19th century was W.M.L. de Wette (died 1849) who perceived the many stories and traditions of these books and considered ‘David’, ‘Moses’ and ‘Solomon’ not as authors but as nominal symbols, such as collective names.

Due to the immense work of scholars in the course of the 19th century and the eventual debunking of biblical sacred history, Pope Leo XIII attempted to obstruct the freedom of research through his 1893 Encyclical Providentissimus Deus (The most provident God). A counteroffensive was opened also under his successor, Pius X, in a decree. From De Mosaica authentia Pentateuchi (Authentic Mosaic Pentateuch), June 27, 1906, Moses was considered an inspired author. Although on January 16, 1948 the secretary of the papal biblical commission declared in an official reply to Cardinal Suhard that the decisions of the commission ‘do not contradict with a later scientific analysis of these questions’, in Roman Catholicism ‘true’ always means: in the sense of Roman Catholicism. The final exhortation should be understood along the same lines: ‘That is why we invite Catholic scholars to study these problems from an impartial point of view, in the light of sound criticism’. But ‘from an impartial point of view’ means: from a partial point of view for the interests of the papacy. And with ‘sound criticism’ it is not meant to say anything other than a critique in favour of Rome.

The historical-scientific analysis of the writings of the Old Testament certainly did not provide a sure verdict about when the texts arose, although in some parts, as for example in the prophetic literature, the certainly about their antiquity is greater than, say, the religious lyrics. When it comes to the age of the Laws, there is less certainty. But historical-religious research with respect to the Tetrateuch (Moses 1-4) and the Deuteronomic historical work (Moses 5, Joshua, Judges, books of Samuel and the Kings) speaks of ‘epic works’, ‘mythological tales’, ‘legends’ and ‘myths’ (Nielsen).

The confusion that reigns in scholarship is manifest in the abundance of the repetitions: a double account of Creation, a double genealogy of Adam, a universal double flood (in one version the flood subsides after 150 days; according to other it lasts one year and ten days; and according to another, after raining forty days there are added another three weeks), in which Noah—then 600-years-old according to Genesis 7:6—took in the Ark seven pairs of pure animals and one of impure ones and, according to Genesis 6, 19 and 7, 16, there were a pair of pure and impure animals. But we would be very busy telling all the contradictions, inaccuracies, deviations with respect to a book inspired by God, in which there are a total of 250,000 textual variants.

In addition, the five books of Moses know a double Decalogue; a repeating legislation on slaves, the Passah, a loan, a double on the Sabbath, twice the entry of Noah into the Ark, twice the expulsion of Hagar by Abraham, twice the miracle of the manna and the quails, the election of Moses; three times the sins against the body and life, five times the catalogue of festivals, and are at least five legislations about the tenths, etc.

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Christianity’s Criminal History, 72

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

 

Fabrications in the Old Testament

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

—Arnold Meyer

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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