Julian, 41

Julian presiding at a conference of Sectarians
(Edward Armitage, 1875)

Two days later, I was visited by the Grand Chamberlain himself. I found it hard to believe that this enchanting creature with his caressing voice and dimpled smile was daily advising the Consistory to execute me. He quite filled the small apartment where I had been confined.

“Oh, you have grown, most noble Julian! In every way.” Delicately Eusebius touched my face. “And your beard is now most philosophic. How Marcus Aurelius would have envied you!” For an instant one fat finger rested, light as a butterfly, on the tip of my beard. Then we stood face to face, beaming at one another; I with nerves, he with policy.

“I don’t need to tell you how pleased I am to see you at court. We all are. This is where you belong, close to your own kind.” My heart sank: was that to be my fate? a life at court where the eunuchs could keep an eye on me? A swift death was almost preferable. “Now I suggest that when you see the divine Augustus, you will beg him to allow you to stay always at his side. He needs you.”

I seized on the one fact. “The Emperor will see me?”

Eusebius nodded delightedly, as though he had been entirely responsible for my amazing good fortune. “Of course. Didn’t you know? He made the decision at this morning’s Consistory. We were all so pleased. Because we want you here. I have always said that there should be a place for you at the side of the Augustus. A high place.”

“You flatter me,” I murmured.

“I say only the truth. You are, after all, an ornament to the house of Constantine, and what better place has such a pure jewel to shine than in the diadem of the court?”

I swallowed this gravely and replied with equal insincerity, “I shall never forget what you have done for me and for my brother.”

Tears came to Eusebius’s eyes. His voice trembled. “It is my wish to serve you. That is all I ask for.” He leaned forward—with some effort—and kissed my hand. The rhetoric of hate is often most effective when couched in the idiom of love. On a note of mutual admiration, we parted.

I was next instructed by one of the eunuchs in the court’s etiquette, which was nearly as complicated as what one goes through during the Mithraic mysteries. There are a dozen set responses to an emperor’s set questions or commands. There are bows and genuflections; steps to left and steps to right; alternative gestures should I be asked to approach the throne or merely to remain where I was.

The eunuch loved his work. “Our ceremonies are among this world’s marvels! More inspiring, in some ways, than the mass.” I agreed to that. The eunuch spread a diagram for me on a table. “This is the great hall where you will be received.” He pointed. “Here sits the divine Constantius. And here you will enter.” Every move either of us was to make was planned in advance like a dance. When I had finally learned my lesson, the eunuch folded his map with an exalted expression on his face. “We have considerably improved and refined court ceremonial since the divine Diocletian. I am sure that he never dreamed his heirs would be capable of such exquisite style as well as such profound symbolism, for we are now able to beautifully reflect the nature of the universe in a single ceremony lasting scarcely three hours!”

The cutting down of court ceremonies and the removal of the eunuchs was one of the first acts of my reign. It was certainly the most satisfactory.

Shortly after sundown, the Master of the Offices and his many ushers escorted me to the throne room. The Master of the Offices gave me last-minute instructions on how to behave in the sacred presence. But I did not listen. I was too busy preparing the speech I intended to make to Constantius. It was a masterpiece of eloquence. After all, I had been preparing it for ten years. Face to face, I intended to make Constantius my friend.

The Master of the Offices ushered me into a huge basilica which was once Diocletian’s throne room. The Corinthian columns which line it are twice the usual height and the floor is of porphyry and green marble. The effect is most splendid, especially by artificial light. In the apse at the far end of the basilica stands the throne of Diocletian, an elaborate chair of ivory decorated with gold plaques. Needless to say, I remember everything about that room in which my fate was decided. Torches flared between the columns while on either side of the throne bronze lamps illuminated its occupant. Not counting my childhood encounter with Constantine, this was the first time I beheld an emperor in full state. I was not prepared for the theatricality of the scene.

Constantius sat very straight and still, his forearms resting on his knees in imitation of the Egyptian kings. He wore a heavy gold diadem set with huge square jewels. On one side of him stood Eusebius, on the other the praetorian prefect, while around the room the officials of the court were ranged.

I was officially presented to the Emperor. I paid him homage. Only once did I falter in the course of the ritual; when I did, the Master of the Offices was quick to whisper the correct formula in my ear.

If Constantius was curious about me, he did not betray it. His bronze face was empty of all expression as he spoke. “We receive our most noble cousin with pleasure.” But there was no pleasure in that high-pitched voice. I felt myself suddenly blushing. “We give him leave to go to Athens to continue his studies.” I glanced at Eusebius. Though his own grim advice had not prevailed, he gave me a small delighted nod as if to say, “We’ve won!”

“Also…” But then Constantius stopped talking. There is no other way to describe what happened. He simply stopped. There were no more words for me. I stared at him, wondering if I had gone mad. Even the Master of the Offices was taken aback. Everyone had expected a full speech from Constantius as well as a response from me. But the audience was over. Constantius put out his hand for me to kiss. I did so. Then with the aid of the Master of the Offices, I walked backward to the entrance, bowing at regular intervals. Just as I was about to leave the presence, two squeaking bats swooped suddenly out of the shadowy ceiling, and darted straight towards Constantius. He did not move, even though one almost touched his face. As always, his self-control was marvellous. I have never known a man quite so deep or so cold.

I returned to my apartment to find a message from the Grand Chamberlain’s office. I was to proceed at once to the port of Aquileia. My belongings had already been packed. My servants were ready. A military escort was standing by.

Within the hour, I was outside the walls of Milan. As I rode through the warm night, I prayed to Helios that I never see court or Emperor again.

Published in: on September 23, 2018 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
Tags:

Julian, 40

Julian presiding at a conference of Sectarians
(Edward Armitage, 1875)

 
Julian Augustus

At the beginning of February we arrived at Como, a town on a lake about thirty miles north of Milan. Here I remained a prisoner for six months. I was allowed to see no one except the servants who had come with me. Letters from Oribasius and Maximus were not delivered. I might as well have been dead. I consoled myself with reading the complete works of Pliny the Younger, who had lived at Como. I remember with what loathing I read his famous description of “darling Como”. I hated the place, including the blue-green lake.

During this time I had no idea what was happening in the outside world, which was probably just as well for I was the subject of fierce debate in the Sacred Consistory. According to Eusebius: “He is another Gallus. He must be put to death.” A majority of the Consistory agreed with the Chamberlain. Surprisingly enough, the opposition was led by the Empress Eusebia. Though she was not a member of the Consistory, she was able to make her views known. “Julian has committed no crime. His loyalty has never been seriously questioned. He is the last surviving male member of the imperial house. Until such time as we provide the Emperor with a son, Julian is heir to the principate. But should Julian be executed and should the Emperor then—heaven forbid—die without issue, the house of Constantine is at an end and there will be chaos in the empire.”

Eusebia finally prevailed. But it took her six months of argument, during which time Constantius said not a word. He merely listened and brooded and waited.

At the beginning of June a court chamberlain arrived at Como. “The most noble Julian is to wait upon the divine Empress Eusebia.” I was startled: the Empress, not the Emperor? I tried to question the chamberlain but he would say no more than that I was to be given a private audience; no, he could not tell me if the Emperor would receive me; no, he was not even certain that the Emperor was at Milan; he revelled in being uninformative.

We entered Milan through a door in one of the watchtowers. In complete secrecy, I was hurried through narrow back streets to a side entrance of the palace. Once inside the palace I was met by chamberlains who took me straight to the apartment of the Empress.

Eusebia was handsomer than her portraits. The eyes and mouth, which appeared so severe when rendered in marble, in life were not severe at all, merely sad. A flame-coloured robe set off her pale face and black hair. She was not much older than I.

“We are pleased to receive our cousin, the most noble Julian,” she murmured formally. She motioned to one of her ladies-in-waiting, who came forward with a folding stool and placed it beside the Empress’s silver chair.

“We hope our cousin enjoyed his stay at Lake Como.”

“The lake is very beautiful, Augusta.” At a gesture from her, I sat on the stool.

“Yes. The Emperor and I enjoy the lake.”

For what seemed an eternity, we discussed that wretched lake. All the while she was studying me carefully. And I must say I was studying her. Eusebia was Constantius’s second wife. His first wife had been Galla, the half-sister of Gallus. Galla had the same mother as Gallus, who had the same father as I, but I never knew her, and I don’t think Gallus ever met his sister more than once or twice. When Galla died, Constantius promptly married Eusebia. It was said that he had always been in love with her. She came from an excellent consular family. She was a popular figure at court, and on more than one occasion she had saved innocent men from Constantius’s eunuchs.

“We have been told that you are planning to become a priest.”

“I was at a monastery, when I was… told to come to Milan.” I started to stammer as I often do when I am nervous. The letter “m” gives me particular trouble.

“But do you seriously want to be a priest?”

“I don’t know. I prefer philosophy, I think. I would like to live at Athens.”

“You have no interest in politics?” She smiled as she said this, knowing what my answer must necessarily be.

“No! None, Augusta.”

“Yet you have certain responsibilities to the state. You are imperial.”

“The Augustus needs no help from me.”

“That is not quite true.” She clapped her hands and the two ladies-in-waiting withdrew, closing cedar doors softly behind them.

“Nothing is secret in a palace,” she said. “One is never alone.”

“Aren’t we alone now?”

Eusebia clapped her hands again. Two eunuchs appeared from behind pillars at the opposite end of the room. She waved them away.

“They can hear but they cannot speak. A precaution. But then there are others listening whom one knows nothing about.”

“The secret agents?”

She nodded. “Everything we say to one another in this room they can hear.”

“But where…?”

She smiled at my bewilderment. “Who knows where? But one knows they are always present.”

“They even spy on you?”

“Especially on the Empress.” She was serene. “It has always been like this in palaces. So remember to speak… carefully.”

“Or not at all!”

She laughed. I found myself relaxing somewhat. I almost trusted her. She became serious. “The Emperor has given me permission to talk to you. He was reluctant. I don’t need to tell you that since the Gallus affair he has felt himself entirely surrounded by traitors. He trusts no one.”

“But I…”

“He trusts you least of all.” This was blunt. But I was grateful for her candour. “Against his own good judgment, he raised your brother up. Within months, Gallus and Constantia were plotting to usurp the throne.”

“Are you so certain?”

“We have proof.”

“I am told that secret agents often invent ‘proof’.”

She shrugged. “In this case it was not necessary. Constantia was indiscreet. I never trusted her. But that is over with. You are now the potential threat.”

“Easily solved,” I said with more bitterness than I intended. “Execute me.”

“There are those who advise this.” She was as much to the point as I. “But I am not one. As you know, as the whole world knows, Constantius cannot have a child.” Her face set bleakly. “I have been assured by my confessor that this is heaven’s judgment upon my husband for having caused the deaths of so many members of his own family. Not that he wasn’t justified,” she added loyally. “But justified or not, there is a curse on those who kill their own kind, That curse is on Constantius. He has no heir and I am certain that he will never have one, if he puts you to death.”

There it was at last. My sense of relief was enormous, and perfectly visible in my face.

“Yes. You are safe. For the time being. But there still remains the problem of what to do with you. We had hoped you would take holy orders.”

“If it is required, I shall.” Yes, I said that. I am giving as honest an account as I can of my life. At that moment, I would have worshipped the ears of a mule to save my life.

But Eusebia was not insistent. “Your love of learning also seems genuine.” She smiled. “Oh, we know whom you see, what books you read. There is very little that has escaped the attention of the Chamberlain’s office.”

“Then they know that it is my wish to be a philosopher.”

“Yes. And I believe that the Emperor will grant you your wish.”

“I shall be eternally grateful, and loyal. He has nothing to fear from me, ever…” I babbled on enthusiastically.

Eusebia watched me, amused. Then when I ran out of breath, she said: “Gallus made him much the same speech.”

On that dampening note she rose, ending the interview. “I shall try to arrange an interview for you with the Emperor. It won’t be easy. He is shy.” At the time I found this hard to believe, but of course Eusebia was right. Constantius feared all human encounters. One of the reasons he was so fond of eunuchs was that, by and large, they are not quite human.

Published in: on September 16, 2018 at 12:01 am  Comments Off on Julian, 40  
Tags:

C.T.’s New Testament

Disclaimer of September 12, 2018. In the below post mistakenly I used a fundamentalist order of the New Testament. In the new incarnation of this site I’ll be using Marcus Borg’s order of the 27 books of the New Testament.

 

______ 卐 ______

 

As I’ve said elsewhere, I believe that Jesus of Nazareth is a semi-legendary figure. Today I spent all day watching videos of lectures and debates with Bart Ehrman. When I complained years ago that visitors were not familiar with the studies of scholars about the New Testament, I did not imagine that ignorance was so widespread. Just yesterday and today, seeing the videos of Ehrman, I realise that only recently there has been an attempt by some scholars to pass this knowledge to the general public through the most powerful rhetorical means: the spoken word.

By the minute 30 in this video for example, Ehrman talks about what we have been saying recently with some sections of volumes II and III of Karlheinz Deschner’s Christianity’s Criminal History: that there are literary forgeries even in the New Testament itself.

White nationalists in the United States would do themselves a huge favour if they began to educate themselves on the New Testament theme from the point of view of history. For the leap from level 5 to level 6 it is essential to know the historians’ consensus about the New Testament. The biography of Ehrman himself is very didactic. He started his career as an evangelical fundamentalist, and only began to have doubts when he learned Greek to study the New Testament in a more scientific way, as the original New Testament is in Greek.

With entry 100 of Christianity’s Criminal History I finish my selection of translations for what will be the first volume in English in this abbreviated selection of Deschner’s work. A visitor to this site, who unlike me is a native English speaker, has volunteered to correct the syntax of my Deschner translation, which I will soon send him in a single Word document.

Given that The West’s Darkest Hour (WDH) is a place for white nationalists to awaken to the real world, from level 5 to level 6, and that the stumbling block is Christianity (and the neo-Christian ethos of the secular world), an idea has occurred to me.

In this article I said that the order of the New Testament of our Bibles is very deceptive. And that if we read it chronologically—that is, beginning with the oldest manuscript—it would be easier to see how the legendary layers were formed around the figure of Jesus. Why not put together a New Testament in the order in which it was written and sell it to the general public in printed form?:

Date written C.E.

1) James – 49

2) Galatians – 49

3) First Thessalonians – 50-51

4) Second Thessalonians – 50-51

5) First Corinthians – 54

6) Second Corinthians – 55

7) Romans – 55

8) Mark – 57-59

9) Ephesians – 60

10) Colossians – 60

11) Philemon – 60

12) Luke – 60

13) Acts – 61

14) Philippians – 61

15) First Timothy – 62

16) Titus – 62

17) Second Timothy – 63

18) First Peter – 63

19) Second Peter – 63-64

20) Matthew – 60s

21) Hebrews – 60s

22) Jude – 60s or 70s

23) John – late 80s

24) Revelation – late 80s – early 90s

25) 1 John – late 80s – early 90s

26) 2 John – late 80s – early 90s

27) 3 John – late 80s – early 90s

28) Thomas – as early as 40 or as late as 140?

I could read it in the order above and offer my comments on this site about each of the 27 canonical books of the New Testament.

I have added book 28 to the list, the Gospel of Thomas that the Jesus Seminar (mentioned on this site) included in The Five Gospels. The fact is that, although I numbered it as book 28, the Gospel of Thomas could have come before the old Gospel of Mark as it is similar to Q. But I place it as #28 in C.T.’s New Testament as its dating is uncertain. It is the only ‘apocryphal’ text that I would include in my collection.

The idea is not to copy and paste in WDH these 28 books. I’d only put my impressions here once I finish reading each book, and leave the 28 books for the printed version with my comments. We could call that printed book The Ordered New Testament, or something like that.

What do you think?

Julian, 39

Julian presiding at a conference of Sectarians
(Edward Armitage, 1875)

 
On 1 January 355 a warrant was issued for my arrest. But by then I had joined a religious order at Nicomedia. I am sure that at first none of the monks knew who I was, for I had come to them with head shaved and I looked like any other novice, Oribasius also protected me. When the imperial messenger arrived at Pergamon to arrest me, Oribasius said that I had gone to Constantinople.

I was a monk for six weeks. I found the life surprisingly pleasant. I enjoyed the austerity and the mild physical labour. The monks themselves were not very inspiring. I suppose some must have had the religious sense but the majority were simply vagrants who had tired of the road and its discomforts. They treated the monastery as though it were some sort of hostel rather than a place to serve the One God. Yet they were easy to get along with, and had it not been for the Galilean rituals I could have been quite happy.

I don’t suppose I shall ever know how I was discovered. Perhaps one of the monks recognized me or perhaps the secret agents in checking the rolls of the various monasteries for new arrivals had grown suspicious. No matter how it was done, it was done swiftly and efficiently. I was in the kitchen of the monastery, helping the baker to fire his oven, when a detachment of household troops came clattering in. Their commander saluted me. “The most noble Julian is to accompany us to Milan, by order of the Augustus.”

I made no protest. The monks stared in silence as I was taken from them and marched through the cold streets of Nicomedia to the imperial palace. Here I was received by the city prefect. He was nervous. Under similar circumstances five years earlier, Gallus had been ordered to Milan and he had been made Caesar of the East. The same fate might befall me. It was hard for an official to know how to behave.

“Naturally, we regret these security precautions.” The prefect indicated the guards. “But you will understand that the Grand Chamberlain’s office was, as always, most specific. No details were omitted.”

I was polite and non-committal. I was also somewhat cheered to learn that my military escort was to be commanded by Victor, the same officer I had met at Macellum.

Victor was apologetic. “I don’t enjoy this duty. I hope you realize that.”

“Neither do I.”

Victor frowned. “I particularly dislike taking a priest from a monastery.”

“I am not exactly a priest.”

“Even so, you were prepared to take orders. No one has the right to keep a man from God, not even the Emperor.” Victor is a devout Galilean; at that time he was convinced that I was also one. I said nothing to disabuse him.

The next day we set out for Constantinople. Though I was treated like a prince, not a prisoner, I took it as a bad omen that we were to follow the same overland route to Italy that Gallus had taken a few months before.

As we were leaving Nicomedia, I noticed a head on a pike. I hardly glanced at it, since there is almost always the head of some felon or other on display at the main gate of every town.

“I am sorry,” said Victor suddenly. “But we were ordered to use this gate.”

“Sorry for what?”

“To lead you past your brother’s head.”

“Gallus?” I turned clear round in my saddle and looked again at the head. The face had been so mutilated that the features were unrecognizable, but there was no mistaking the blond hair, matted though it was with dirt and blood.

“The Emperor has had it displayed in every city in the East.” I shut my eyes, on the verge of nausea.

“Your brother had many good qualities,” said Victor. “It was a pity.” Ever since, I have respected Victor. In those days when secret agents were everywhere and no man was safe, it took courage to say something good of a man executed for treason. Victor was equally outspoken in my defence. It was his view that the two charges made against me by the Grand Chamberlain’s office were not serious (that I had left Macellum without permission; that I had met Gallus in Constantinople when he was already accused of treason). Of the first charge I was innocent. The Grand Chamberlain himself had written Bishop George, giving me permission to go wherever I chose in the East. I had wisely kept a copy of this letter. As for the second charge, I had been summoned to Constantinople by the then reigning Caesar of the East. How could I refuse my lawful lord? “You have nothing to fear,” said Victor. But I was not optimistic.

Since I was travelling as a prince, I was greeted at each city by the local dignitaries. Concerned as I was about my own fate, I was still able to take some pleasure in seeing new things. I was particularly pleased when Victor allowed me to visit Ilios, a modern city near the ruins of ancient Troy.

At Ilios I was taken round by the local bishop. At first my heart sank: a Galilean bishop was the last sort of person who would be interested in showing me the temples of the true gods. But to my surprise, Bishop Pegasius was an ardent Hellenist. In fact, he was the one who was surprised when I asked him if we might visit the temples of Hector and Achilles.

“But of course. Nothing would give me greater pleasure. But I am surprised that you are interested in old monuments.”

“I am a child of Homer.”

“So is every educated man. But we are also Christians. Your piety is well known to us even here.” I could not be sure if he was being ironic or not. My friendship with Maximus was general knowledge and a good many Galileans were suspicious of me. On the other hand, my arrest in a monastery had given rise to a whole new legend: the priest-prince. In this role, I explained to the bishop that it was merely as a student of Homer that I wanted to see the famous temples our ancestors had built to those gods (false gods!) and heroes who had fought in this haunted place.

Pegasius took me first to the small temple which contains the famous bronze statue of Hector, said to be done from life. In the unroofed courtyard which surrounds the temple there also stands a colossal statue of Achilles, facing Hector in effigy as in life. To my astonishment, the altars in the courtyard were smouldering with sacrifice, while the statue of Hector shone from a recent anointing.

I turned to the Bishop. “What do these fires mean? Do the people still worship Hector?”

Pegasius was bland. “Of course they do. After all, it would be unnatural not to worship our brave men in the same way that we worship the martyrs who also lived here.”

“I’m not sure it is the same thing,” I said primly.

“Well, at least we have managed to preserve many beautiful works of art.” Then Pegasius proceeded to show me the temples of Athena and Achilles, both in perfect repair. I noted too, that whenever he passed the image of an old god, he did not hiss and make the sign of the cross the way most Galileans do, fearing contamination.

Pegasius proved to be a marvellous guide to Troy. I was particularly moved when he showed me the sarcophagus of Achilles. “There he lies, the fierce Achilles.” He tapped the ancient marble. “A hero and a giant—actually, a giant. Some years ago we opened the tomb and found the bones of a man seven feet tall, and where his heel had been there was the head of an arrow.”

It was awesome to be so close to the legendary past. Pegasius could see that I was impressed. Despite all efforts to the contrary, I am transparent as water. “Those were great days,” he said softly.

“They will come again,” I blurted out.

“I pray that you are right,” said the bishop of Ilios. Today this same Pegasius is my high priest of Cappadocia. He was never a Galilean though he pretended to be one, thinking that by rising to a position of importance among that depraved sect he would be able to preserve the temples of our ancestors. Now he revels in his freedom.

Priscus: And now he revels in life at the Persian court, where, according to gossip, he is a convert to Persian sun worship. Julian took up with the oddest people.

Published in: on August 26, 2018 at 9:11 am  Comments Off on Julian, 39  
Tags:

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, 88

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

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

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

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

Peter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John

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

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

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


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

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

 
Other apostles

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

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

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

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

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

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

______ 卐 ______

Liked it? Take a second to support this site.

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.

______ 卐 ______

Liked it? Take a second to support this site.

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

Christianity’s Criminal History, 86

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

______ 卐 ______

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
John

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

______ 卐 ______

Liked it? Take a second to support this site.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 85

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

 
Why were falsifications done?

Well, there are many reasons. An important one was the increase in authority, although often it was only a concomitant circumstance. Attempts were made to achieve respect and the spreading of a text by passing it off as that of a renowned author or altering its age, that is, dating it to earlier times so that it formed part of the evangelical past.

This is how both the ‘orthodox’ and the ‘heretics’ proceeded. The counterfeiter confused his readers about the author, the place and the copy. For as the Christian communities grew and time passed, new problems, situations and interests naturally arose, to which the old literary tradition—the so-called classical period, the early apostolic times—could not respond. But since their approval was needed or at least reflect the legitimate continuity with the origins, several writings and ‘revelations’ were produced: false works that were dated to earlier times.

Catholics falsified to be able to resolve ‘apostolically’, in the sense of Jesus and his apostles (that is, with authority), the new problems that arose from the ecclesiastical discipline, the Church’s law, the liturgy, morality and theology. The ‘orthodox’ also falsified in order to fight, with falsifications of their own, the falsifications of the ‘heretics’: often widely read such as those of the Gnostics, the Manichaeans, the Priscillianists, etc., as is the case of the Kerygmata Petrou, the Acts of Paul, and the Epistula Apostolorum.

The forgers warn against ‘heretical’ falsifications as in the third Epistle to the Corinthians. They insult and curse the forgers by practicing exactly the same method, often in a more refined and less manifest way. And the ‘heretics’ falsified above all to impose and to defend their divergent beliefs before the dogma of the Church.

Finally, it was also falsified to guarantee the ‘authenticity’ of another text by means of a forgery; and also to harm personal enemies, to discredit the rivals. Although more rarely, it was done to defend friends, as shown in the claimed letters of Boniface. But only very rarely has the name of a counterfeiter come to us, such as that of the Catholic John Malalas, a rhetorician about whom we know nothing else.

What methods did counterfeiters use?

The simplest and most frequent method of falsification was the use of a false but illustrious name of an author of the past. This happened in the pagan world in a similar way as in the Jewish world, but in the Christian era it was systematic. Towards the end of Antiquity and later, an authority from the past generally was more notable, especially when the forger felt he did not have a ‘name’.

Resorting to a known contemporary was too risky as he could discover the falsification at any time by making a statement, reducing its effects. Although a work with the name of the falsified author does not have to be a forgery in itself, the falsifier is usually also the author of the work. A great amount of ‘apocryphal’ books, even New Testament texts that emerged with the purpose of deceiving, are conscious falsifications of a literary genre during antiquity: shoddy pieces of work that pretend to come from the pen of a totally different author whose ancient personality is considered venerable and holy.

In particular, the forgers of many of the lives of saints use the first person and turn to eyewitnesses to strengthen their lies. And no less effective were, above all, the counterfeiters of the Christian books of revelation, promising the readers and propagators the blue of the sky and at the same time threatening their detractors. The conmen presented sworn witnesses as guarantors of their lies, and to reinforce confidence they even said some truths on the sidelines.

After all, in Christianity, by the will of God everything is allowed. In antiquity most of the counterfeits were made to support the faith. In the Middle Ages, it is falsified in particular to secure or expand possessions and power. Already in the 9th century, papal documents were falsified throughout the West, naturally by ecclesiastics. The fact is that the percentage of pseudepigraphs is very high in proto-Christianity. The practice of unscrupulous falsification has always existed, even in the beginnings of Christianity. ‘Unfortunately,’ confesses the theologian Von Campenhausen, ‘truthfulness in this sense is not one of the cardinal virtues of the ancient Church.’

______ 卐 ______

Liked it? Take a second to support this site.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 84

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

 
Christians falsified more consciously than Jews

We have to bear in mind in the first place a relevant fact: of no Gospel, of any writing of the New Testament, and of course of any biblical text, we have an original, even though until the century of the historical Enlightenment it was affirmed that they had the original of the Gospel of Mark, even in duplicate, one in Venice and the other in Prague and both originals in a language in which none of the evangelists wrote: Latin.

Even the first copies are missing. We only have copies of copies of copies, and new ones constantly appear. In 1967 there were more than 1,500 manuscripts of the Greek Old Testament and 5,236 of the New Testament. Although, with some frequency, an item has been mistakenly recorded several times, very few of them contain the complete New Testament and most of them are relatively recent. Only the papyri date back to earlier times, some of them to the 2nd and 3rd centuries, but they are very fragmentary: of the oldest only a few words are left (John 18, 31-33, and 37- 38).

Since in antiquity books were only reproduced by hand, falsifications were simpler and, while copying, at any time changes in the text could be done: enter new paragraphs, make suppressions or even complete them. In the manuscripts of the New Testament, errors, mistakes for lack of attention or ignorance as well as conscious falsifications arose in this way, sometimes unintentionally and other times intentionally; the latter especially in the 1st and 2nd centuries, when the New Testament did not yet have canonical validity and there was not the slightest qualm, as many other falsifications show us, in modifying the text.

The copyists, the editors and the glossators intervened constantly. Some passages were suppressed at will, others were enlarged; the text was reordered or shortened. It became uniform, polished, harmonised and paraphrased; confusion and degeneration increased and the field became a jungle of conflicting versions (Lietzmann); a chaos that today makes it impossible for us to establish, in many places with certainty or at least probability, what was the original text (Knopf).

If many Christians are hardly satisfied with these undeniable facts, so much so it is irritating that the books of their ‘inerrant’ Bible are false. That imputation, either by the author or in the course of its transmission, is called pseudoepigraphy.

Some falsified Christian works, especially those of the most ancient times, may have been done in good faith, with good intentions, and strictly speaking they are not forgeries or crimes from the psychological or subjective viewpoint. But objectively they are still falsifications or forgeries. However, nobody could or would want to call a spade a spade as it would disfigure the face of supposedly inerrant writings inspired by God.

In any case, the Old Testament is better off in comparison with the New and the early Christian literature as the Jews, especially those of earlier times, were much less versed in falsification and all that this implies. The pseudepigraphs of the ancient Jews did not yet emerge in an aura marked by the constant struggle against the heretics; of mutual suspicion, and corrosive distrust.

For that reason they were not attacked but rather received with enthusiasm. Those peoples were barely prepared for counterfeits, much less did they take into account the potential of counterfeiting. The reproaches of counterfeiting were not generalized for a long time among the Jews as they would later be among the Christians, when each of the many sects falsified to impose their theories of faith on the great Church, and this, by means of counter-falsifications—sometimes even by the simple method of destroying the contrary writings.

However, as hearing about falsifications became a constant, it is difficult for someone to have falsified in good faith. The redaction of a ‘true’ religious pseudoepigraphy is ‘quite improbable’ and it is evident that ‘in the Christian sphere it occupies an essentially smaller space than in the Jew or the pagan’ (Speyer). That is to say: the Christians falsified more. They were the ones who did it the most.

______ 卐 ______

Liked it? Take a second to support this site.