Theocracy

 

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"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State..."

Thomas Jefferson's interpretation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment which comes from an 1802 Jefferson quote


I Want a Theocratic Nation!

www.davidicke.com

Looking for the perfect society? Do you think a theocracy, where religion is the law of the land and where God rules over all His peaceful people, is the Utopia we’re all looking for? Can’t wait for the Bible to be all we need to reduce crime, eliminate gangs, and bring prosperity to all? Think again. A theocratic society is one of the most destructive societies known to man. Time and again, theocracies have proven to us—up to present day—that they are not only not peaceful utopian societies, but rather the antithesis of all that is ethical or moral or just in a society. And just for the record, the US is NOT a Christian nation. That implies a theocracy. It implies the establishment of a state religion. There is no state religion in the US, thus we are not a theocracy. We are a secular country.

Historical Background

Let’s look briefly at several time periods where theocracies ruled. Without going into detail, I’ll cite some broad events of European history. Christians generally sweep under the rug that the Crusades destroyed an entire democratic society in southern France in the Middle Ages—murdering some 20,000 people (men, women and children) in their fervor. They seem to have amnesia about why Ireland is in chaos. Oh, here's why: the strained notion of theocracy being the leader of men, instead of men’s brains is the cause. The Balkans has been a tinderbox for centuries—starting with the Serbs and the Turks—and did anyone mention that it's an Eastern Orthodox vs. Muslim problem? 

The widespread death and destruction in East Timor was as much about about the Muslim majority vs. a Roman Catholics minority as it was about elections for independence. Israel heads off all out nuclear war by keeping the religious right wing of its population from gaining control, then turning that power against the Islamic nations that surround it. And, especially, Christians turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the hundreds of years of Perfect Christian Rule where the Spanish Inquisition caused tens of thousands to die over the simple notion that they might want to choose their own god—but more often than not it was for no real reason at all. John Calvin attempted to make Geneva a perfect Christian city. What ended up happening was what perfect Christianity does...suppress the truth and suppress all that is good and decent. And Michael Servitus was burned at the stake for speaking the truth. What about New England around 400 years ago? Well, Quakers were hanged and burned when a perfect Christian society was established. When Spain attempted the same, Jews were killed, burned and made to leave that country. Jews have been purged in country after country for centuries by 'god fearing Christians'.

Everywhere you look in history, you find that theocracies place superstitious beliefs superior to natural law or to laws that man has worked out in concert.

It's no fair saying that these problems are caused by a few people who weren't following the intent of Christianity. Hey people...that is the intent of Christianity—history is replete with the examples. You can't blame a few people who follow that religion and say they're the bad apples. The religion itself is the apple tree. The bad apples fall from the bad tree. With a theocracy in place, the end result is destruction.

A fundamentalist Christian-based theocracy would inevitably lead to it’s own collapse, but not before bringing down a lot of people, institutions and resources along with it. History is my witness! In fact, if Christian “values” were put into place today in the US, this what you can expect:

 

The 10 Commandments strung up all over the place with few other laws to supplement them. Oops, that's already happened. The erosion of the separation of church and state has already begun.

To wit, history has recorded this event: In Anniston, Alabama, Ralph Reed stating plainly “As long as there’s breath in our bodies, the 10 Commandments will never come down from this courtroom” ( www.reagan.com  from the 4-14-97 rally in Montgomery County, AL). Of course, he was referring to the fact that a judge had placed a copy of the 10 commandments in his courtroom.
Furthermore, did you know that Congress has already passed a bill that lets public schools display the 10 Commandments? Further attempts to circumvent pluralism.
Fundies already carry signs, have t-shirts and bumper stickers with the following phrases on them:
“Intolerance is Beautiful”,
“Hatred is a Bible Value”
“God said it,
I Believe it,
That Settles It”.
The further injection of mythology in place of evidential science in the classroom (creationism), etc.
The ruling in Kansas schools may well be just the beginning if we're not vigilant.

Theocracy=Totalitarianism=Violence

When you look very closely you find that a rise in religious fervor parallels a rise in violence. Let’s take modern day examples now. "Reverend" Phelps runs from state to state with his hate-filled family and launches tirade after tirade against gays—even dead ones at their funerals. Women’s right to choose is targeted by murderers claiming to be Christian messengers. Legislators claiming to be born-again Christian stand on the steps of their state capitols and tell us with a straight face that gun control is not necessary, but rather a deeper religious (Christian, of course) conviction is the real answer. I ask you, why do youngsters go on shooting rampages in their schools in the most Christian of rural areas? The more people you have attending church, the more crime there is (the state of LA has more church-goers than any other state in the US—yet twice the national murder rate). The World Church of the Creator supposedly has followers all over the US who “know in their hearts” that violence is the only way to deal with their inadequacies. So, Jews, gays, and other minorities are violently murdered in a Christian manner. Yes, they are a fringe group, but they are Christian aren't they? They use the Bible as their weapon and not a single Christian denomination has attempted to silence them. Wake up people: violence is fostered by and follows religion, and, in the US, by Christian ideals. It always has—and continues to this day. Again, it's not fair to say that these are the views of splinter groups...they're all Christians!

Swaying weak-minded people with passionate oratory is the hallmark of those such as Jerry Farwell, Pat Robinson, James Dobson, Gary Bauer and Ralph Reed, and others of the evangelical ilk. Indeed, their perfect America would be one where the “bully pulpit” would be manned by one of them—perhaps even a Christian Junta.

Here are just a few of the thousands of quotes from Ralph Reed when he was Exec Dir. of the Christian Coalition:

"I honesty believe that in my lifetime we will see a country once again governed by Christians . . . and Christian values. What Christians have got to do is take back this country, one precinct at a time, one neighborhood at a time, and one state at a time."

"We've learned how to move under radar in the cover of the night with shrubbery strapped to our helmets,"

"They call them extremists. We have our own names. We call them senators, congressman, governors, mayors..."

"I want to be invisible. I do guerrilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag. You don't know until election night."

He already rewrote history by claiming that the country would once AGAIN be governed by Christians--when it was never run by Christians in the first place. And I could quote a lot more people, but I've made my point.

They would have the only reference book necessary to them, they would be able to espouse the 'One True Truth' that’s required and they would have all the Christians looking up at them waiting for the delivery of God’s perfect word. I can see it this way since that's the way Christians take in their 'word' now. They look up to their religious leaders to tell them what's so. After all, they're just worms. How could they be expected to actually read their Bible for themselves when there are clearly others around who have and who know how to manipulate it for their own insidious means. Hmmm, I smell totalitarianism in the works. I think I can name a few of those failed totalitarian experiments: Khomeni, Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, and more recently, the Bosnian Serb death camp leader named Radovan Karadzic. (Slobodan Milosovic could be included in this group since his argument was as much religious as it was ethnic, ie, Eastern Orthodox v. Muslim). Each of these political leaders uses or used their religion to wield power and control. In fact, Hitler was a Catholic, was never ex-communicated from the Catholic church and used his Christian upbringing (along with then-existing, Lutheran-induced hatred) to rend Europe apart. (Oh, and how about that Pope Pius, "Hitler's Pope"?)

Theocracy and Government

Moving over to the Muslim countries, in Tehran, Iran in 1999, the coexistence of a theocratic state with a democracy showed what happens when the two ideals clash: demonstrations in the streets, tear gas, shots fired, people killed, people hauled away to jail, newspapers closed. Yes, those demonstrations could have been just like dozens in any country that have happened over the last 30 years. But those demonstrations had special meaning. They were started by educated people realizing what's been taken away from them by clerics. What would you think if your leaders said to you, “Liberties will only be allowed within the framework of the supreme clerical rule established in Iran after the [1979] revolution (CNN, July 13,1999). Hardly a sympathetic statement to an educated ear.

Iran is your modern example that theocracies and democracies can’t coexist, are fundamentally at odds with each other, and do not succeed.

Moving over to Africa you find two countries, Christian ones, that have taken Christianity a step backward. Those two countries are Kenya and Uganda. In September 1999, the President of Kenya (Daniel arap Moi) stated, "It is not right that a man should go with another man or a woman with another woman. It is against African tradition and Biblical teachings." Huh? Well, what you have is another theocratic president espousing incomplete and entirely inaccurate Bible teachings. The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, stated one day earlier that gays were guilty of abominable acts. I assume that means those who have never had sex with their own gender as well. He went further tho and ordered his Criminal Investigations Department to look for gays, lock them up and charge them with this religious felony. He is quoted as saying, "Even the Holy Bible spells it out clearly that God created Adam and Eve as wife and husband, but not men to marry fellow men." How this fits same-sex relationships is not clear since the right to marry the same gender is non-existent in all African countries. What we have is government mixed with religion. What you end up with is Christian intolerance, Christian non-ethics and Christian immorality.

In the US, the Republican political party would do well to take these examples of history and current events into account as they address those in our nation who are listening. You can’t have a democracy and expect to insert or replace it with one’s personal mythology or superstition (read: religion, and in this case Christianity). It won't work. If it works for you then you use it at home. I know all about your mythology, buddies, and it's fraudulent.

The fact that the US Republican party aligns itself with a religious faction is a sign that they have nothing solid with which to base its politics. In the US a political party by its very definition is designed to minister to the secular and practical needs of a people. It is not designed to affiliate itself with or espouse a religious belief system. It is NOT designed to determine what morals you or I will follow. Gosh, I think the Constitution makes that VERY clear. But, despite this, the US Republican party has decided to align itself with right wing Christian conservative religious beliefs. These beliefs are headed by a small group of conservatives who believe in what’s commonly called “post-millennial Christianity”. Simply put, they can’t wait for the “second coming” to “make things right”, so they’ll just do it themselves (it’s not surprising that they’re tired of waiting after two whole millennia). They’ve rewritten history to produce a brand new history of the making of the US. They believe (and the watchword is 'believe') with mass zealousness that the US was founded as a Christian nation.

Anyone who has studied the history of the founding of the US is well aware that the US was nowhere near being a Christian nation at the time of its founding. The region of North America that was to become the US was colonized fully 150 years before the US became a nation. The original people who arrived were so religiously fanatic that they were kicked out of their country. They were the religious people, not the founders of the US, who were well aware of the tyranny of so-called God-sanctioned governments. In fact, polls at the time of the founding of the US showed that less than 10% of the population of the entire 13 colonies called themselves Christian at that time. I'm not making this up. You can see this for yourself in any large atlas found in any library. Look for the pages on historical geographical boundaries and the population distribution of the time. That's how I found it myself—by accident—since it's certainly not something that a religionist will tell you. You’ll find that along with other interesting statistical information about the early days of the new republic..

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, Thomas Paine, Ethan Allen and Ben Franklin are on record as not being Christians.

Hey, you, Christian religionist, did you forget that those people were the founders of our country? Christians conveniently forget all of this. Most likely, tho, they don’t know it.

Some Christian orators, tho, speak for hours about the Christian origin of this nation as if they were there taking notes while the founders talked. Unfortunately, they are incorrect. Yes, there is plenty of religious activity that accompanies governmental activity. But it's because of the fact that certain members of government were and are members of a church or other religious institution. In addition, during the first days of the republic, legislators lived very far from their homes. In some cases it took weeks to get home. Quite a few amenities of home could be found in Philly and DC at the time...including church services in government halls.

It's when modern legislators push a specific brand of Christianity—fundamental proselytizing Christianity—as absolute truth and expect us to follow them like lost people that's the problem.

By regurgitating (ie, vomiting) the Christian fundamentalist party line, our Republican party has forgotten a very important point about the creation of the US. Our Constitution was written in a time when not a single country had ever been created out of an ideal. All countries at that time were founded because of historical, ethnic or religious reasons. Ours was created because of a set of ideals that a group of men decided on. They didn’t look to Jehovah to write anything on a tablet or on a wall, nor did they create our Constitution out of divine revelation. They founded our country based on man-made ideals in the Age of Enlightenment. There is no reference to Jesus, nor is there a reference to Jehovah or Christianity in the Constitution. Christians craft a stealth method of pretending that we're a Christian nation by pointing to the reference of “the Creator”. Sorry, it denotes the god of nature, not your religion. Don’t take my word for it, read the US Constitution for yourself. And read books that were written by and about the men who created that document. You'll find out for yourself.

Eventually, as the Republican politico-religious system evolves it could end up back to its roots of mainline politics working for people. On the other hand, it may eventually evolve into a religious party outright—perhaps even creating a splinter group. The danger is that even tho these conservatives are small in number now (vocal tho they may be), if we forget what happened in Germany in the 1930s (the Nazi party won with only 15% of the vote) we could easily live thru our own unique brand of religious fervor if not outright religious terror. It's happened before, it's alive in fundamentalist Islamic countries today, and it could easily happen again.

Conclusion

Religious authority fosters violence and mayhem—historical evidence is loud and clear. Religious leadership generates intolerance, hatred, death camps, injustice, black and white morality, and the loss of humanity wherever it exists and wherever it has ever existed. Religion-based nations retard civilization and rewrite history. They require as part of their tenets the suppression of knowledge, thought or discussion; the alteration of past history, ignorance of the present, and the denial of basic human needs. In short, the regression—not the progression—of the people who are governed.

Theocracy fails because the premise is false. Theocracies are based on mythology. Mythology is only story, and by definition, is not truth. Theocracies are not based on anything tangible or provable, much less useful for uplifting humanity. In short, a theocracy is the antithesis of society, the antithesis of civilization, the opposite of a just and humane world.

http://www.mksmith.org/ 

Fraud in the Bible

or

It Sucks That You Don't Know
Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic

What is Pious Fraud?

Pious fraud was a common technique employed by early Christian writers to make a point. Their intention was to convert anyone and everyone by any means available. One of the more persuasive methods was to write a text and falsely tell others that it was written in first person. For example, the four canonized gospel tales were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. That has been a well known fact for about 200 years. And to this day, no one knows who the gospel stories were written by. These texts are perfect examples of pious fraud. Pious fraud is the foundation of the deception known as Christianity and it continues to this day.

During the first couple of centuries of the Common Era the early Christian priestcraft, which would eventually become the early Catholic fathers, were in the process of assimilating religions from all over Europe. Ultimately the new religion become known as the Christian religion, or more accurately The Catholic Church. The Bible was put together by hundreds of people who were either at the head of the fraud or were pawns in its assembly. Once the original languages were translated into Latin, it was only a matter of time before the original language nuances could be discarded. Ever wonder why it was punishable by death to read the Bible during the Middle Ages? Punishable by death by the common folk to read it, that is. Well, the reason was that the priestcraft was well aware of the errors, inconsistencies and flat-out lies that riddled the Bible. If the common man found out, it could have been the death of the Church's authority, power and control over the masses. And since the original languages are rarely, if ever, used by those who read the Bible (well, those who actually READ it), the fraud is perpetuated.

When a pious fraud is knowingly perpetuated in the name of power and money, you have deception. Remember, 1700-2000 years ago, when these texts were being assembled into a 'new testament', the vast majority of humanity was illiterate. Science was not known. Demons rules the world. Anything could be put forth and said to be 'absolute truth' when it was in fact, completely fraudulent.

What is the implication of this? The implication is self-evident. The story of Genesis, that Christian proselytisers love to advance (although it is part of the much older Jewish texts), is a complete and utter forgery. In that story we are led to believe that there was a single god who created the earth, etc in six days. Not only has science proven the timeline to be completely false, the religious aspect is a complete fabrication. At the time that the Genesis story was supposed to have been written the Hebrew people were not monotheistic. That's history. They believed in many gods and Genesis proves it. The story actually goes back to before the Hebrews were a distinct people - it is not Hebrew in origin.


Pious Fraud in Translation

Let's take a look at the very first words of the book of Genesis. Note very carefully that the Hebrew culture, at the time of this writing, was not monotheistic, but rather, polytheistic. Will your priest, minister or preacher tell you that? No. But you can find out for yourself with a simple dictionary.

The Hebrew word for God is el; the plural is elohim, gods. What is the first sentence in the Bible?

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Gen. 1:1).

Here is Genesis 1:1 in Hebrew (transliterated into the Latin alphabet, of course):

"Bereshith bara elohim," etc.,

"In-beginning created (the) gods (the) heavens and (the) earth."

In the same chapter the word "elohim" (gods) is used thirty times., Those gods are the ones who created the 'universe' in 6 days.

To clarify, here is the translation of the Hebrew text of Genesis 1. Notice how Jewish and Christian 'fathers' don't bother to tell you what the original text says. They would like you to believe that a single god created everything. But, they messed up big time and actually translated it properly. In plain English, the translation reads 'let us make man in our image':

Here are three examples of the Hebrew plural gods mentioned in Genesis: 

1. "And-said elohim (gods), let-US-make man (adam) in-image-OUR, after-likeness-OUR" (1:26).

2. And when "adam" had eaten of the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge, "the Lord God" said, "Behold, the-man has become like one of US, to know good and evil" (3:27).


3. And when the Tower of Babel was being built: "The Lord [Heb. Yahveh] said ... Come, let US go down," etc.

When speaking of the Hebrew deity, Yahveh, elohim, (gods) is used in the Hebrew texts, The plural elohim is used 2570 times. It is always falsely translated to the singular "God", thus falsely making us believe that this text was written at a time when the Hebrew people were monothestic, when it clearly is the case (written at least 2570 times, no less!) that they WERE NOT.

In the three Genesis verses above, there are three different designations of the Hebrew deity or deities: elohim, (gods), falsely translated "God":

Lord God (Heb. Yahveh-elohim); and Lord (Heb. Yahveh). Yahveh is the proper name of the Hebrew God, which, in English, is Jehovah.

Yahveh-elohim is a Hebrew "construct-form" which is translated to "Yahveh-of-the-gods." Invariably these personal names were falsely translated "Lord" and "Lord God," respectively, for purposes of pious fraud.

First Man, First Woman

There was no first man "Adam," according to the Hebrew text. The word adam in Hebrew is a common noun, meaning man in a generic sense and in Genesis 1:26, it states:

"And elohim (gods) said, Let us make adam (man)"; and so "elohim created ha- adam (the-man); ... male and female created he them" (1: 27).

In the second creation story, where man is first made alone:

"Yahveh formed ha-adam (the-man) out of the dust of ha-adamah-the ground" (2:7).

Man is called in Hebrew adam because he was formed out of adamah, the ground; just as in Latin man is called homo because he was formed from humus, the ground. Early Christian father Lactantius stated it as 'homo ex humo' ('man from the ground', or 'dust' as it commonly stated today).

The forging of the name Adam from the Hebrew noun adam into a mythical proper name Adam, was after the so-called Exodus. The fraud in the forging of fictitious genealogies from "in the beginning" to Father Abraham.

And this wasn't done by Christians, but rather by early Hebrew priests. Nonetheless, early Christians took this deception and used it for their own newly forged religion.

Who has a Soul?

In Genesis 1 is the account of the creation of the elohim-gods-on the fifth day, of "nephesh hayyah" which is "the moving creature that hath life," and of "nephesh hayyah-every living creature" out of the waters (1:20, 21); and on the sixth day of "nephesh hayyah-the living creature" out of the ground (1:24); and he gave to ha-adam-the-man dominion over "kol nephesh hagyah-everything wherein there is life," (1:30.)

The Hebrew text states that all animal living creatures are by God called "nephesh hayyah," literally "living soul".

In Chapter 2 is the history of ha-adam made from ha-adamah; and, in contrast to these lowly "living creatures" (nephesh hayyah), Yahveh-clohim "breathed into his nostrils nishmath hayyim -- (living breaths), and ha-adam became nephesh hayyah - a living soul". (2:7)

In Hebrew everywhere you read the word nephesh it simply means soul, and hayyah (living) is the feminine singular adjective from hai, life.

In the original Hebrew texts, Man was created exactly the same as the other animals. All had or were 'nephesh hayyah' or living souls.

Remember, tho, that the reason there are two creation stories is because two culture's stories of creation were woven together by the early Hebrew priestcraft.

Unknown scribes, in translation, made animals merely creatures, and "Creation's masterpiece, Man," became a "living soul." They falsely altered these plain words so as to deceive us into believing a special God-breathed soul is in man which is completely different from animal that merely perishes to dust.

The implication of this is that someone has fraudulently decided that we are a special creation that has a soul, and eliminated the actual words of what Genesis says. Now all other animals don't have a soul. According to the story, all things that live have a soul. So what happened here? Forgery. That's what happened.

Chalk one up for vegetarians.

There Was No Continuous Hebrew Monotheistic Culture

When Yahveh appeared to Moses in the Burning Bush, and announced himself as "the God of thy fathers," he was a total stranger to Moses. How do I know? Read the account. It doesn't take a scholar to read where Moses ASKS who's talking. No, Moses wasn't merely surprised at the voice…he simply didn't know what was going on. (The fact that Moses is just a rehash of the Egyptian Mises is another essay altogether. But for the purposes of this essay, I'm pretending that Moses was a real person.)

Moses did not know this Yahveh, and had never heard of him. So that he asked, "What is thy name?" - so that he could report it to the people back home in Egypt, who had never heard it. After some intermission, the God came directly to the point, and declared - here are the exact words - one of the most notorious falsities in the Hebrew text:

"And elohim spake unto Moses, and said unto him., anoki Yahveh -- I am the Lord!

"And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of el-shaddai, but by my name Yahveh (JEHOVAH) was I not known to them." (Ex. 6:2, 8.)

The Hebrew God for the first time since the world began, is "revealed" to mankind the "ineffable name" of Yahveh, here first appearing in the Bible translations, and there printed as JEHOVAH in capital letters; for more vivid and awe-inspiring impression.

But this is a notorious lie - since we known that Moses did not write the first five books of the Hebrew text.

In Genesis 2:4, the name YAHVEH first appears; "in the day that Yahveh-elohim made the earth and the heavens." Its first recorded use as a mystical personage, was when Eve "conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from Yahveh-the Lord." (Gen. 4:1.)

The personal name YAHVEH occurs in the Book of Genesis one hundred and fifty-six times. It's spoken dozens of times by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as any one can read in Genesis. Every single time that the title "the Lord" and "the Lord God" appears, it is a false translation by the priests for the Hebrew personal name YAHVEH.

Throughout the Hebrew "scriptures" it occurs thousands of times: "The sacred name occurs in Genesis ~156 times; and is found in the Old Testament approximately 6000 times, either alone or in along with another Divine name."

More exactly, the Tetragrammaton (YHVH), appears in the Old Testament 6823 times as the proper name of God as the God of Israel. As such it serves to distinguish him from the gods of the other nations." Thus was the Hebrew tribal god YAHVEH distinguished from Bel, and Chemosh, and Dagon, and Shamash, and the dozens of "gods of the nations". Just as James would distinguish his name from Rudolph, or Cary, this was precisely the Hebrew usage - to distinguish one heathen god from another.

And this the pious translators, foisting their fraud on us, sought to hide, giving names to all the "other gods," but suppressing a name for the Hebrew deity, who as "the Lord," or "the Lord God," was high and unique, "a god above all gods," -the one and only true God-thru the use of a tetragrammaton.

But yet a more malicious and evil-intentioned deception, 6828 times, is the name of the Hebrew God concealed by false rendition for the deliberate purpose of forging the whole Hebrew texts, as translated, into a semblance of harmony with the false declaration of Exodus 6:3, that "by my name YAHVEH was I not know unto them."

Search as one may, outside Exodus 6:3, the god-name YAHVEH (Jehovah) is never to be found in the translations, except in Psalm 78:18, and Isaiah 12:2 and 26:4. (But they are irrelevant for this discussion because those passages were written well after the original 5 books were forged.)

The false translations thus "make truth to be a liar," the lie of Exodus 6:3 to seem the truth; and a barbarous heathen tribal god among a hundred neighbor and competitive gods to be the nameless One Lord God of the Universe. For more on this tribal god, you can read

Who is this Jehovah and Where Does He Live?

What does this imply? It implies this: the Hebrew-Christian-One-God is a patent forgery and myth; a mythological Father-god can have no "only begotten Son"; Jesus Christ is a myth even before he is mythically born by the forged whimsy of the early Christian 'fathers'.

A Few Translations

These translations, while only three in number, will change your whole way of thinking about what is being presented in your Bible.

Son of Man: In all three major Semitic languages (Aramaic, Hebrew, and Arabic) the term barnasha means "human being". Jesus often referred to himself as a human being (28 times in the Gospels). Barnasha comes from bar (son) and nasha (man). The meaning of barnasha has created a lot of confusion in the Gospels. It is impossible to translate the Aramaic term of barnasha literally as "son of man" - and yet most biblical translators have and still do just that to this day. In the Aramaic language the word bar is combined with many other words to create different meanings - most specifically is means a "likeness." For example barabba means "resembles his father". Barhila translated literally would mean "son of power" but in reality it means "soldier". So when we read in the Gospels the phrase "son of man" it should be read correctly as "human being".

Son of God: The word bar means a likeness or resemblance to the suffix word. The Aramaic term that Son of God comes from is bardalaha. Translated literally as "son of God" it does not mean this. Bardalaha in reality means "like God" or "God-like". So when Jesus is referred to as the "Son of God" we should read this correctly as "God-like" or "like God". So what does that tell you about the translation we read in today's Bibles? It tells you that Jesus was not the Son of God - but that he was "God-like". There is a big difference. Jesus himself repeatedly referred to himself as a "human being". The Aramaic reference does not mean one is physically divine - it means there is an important spiritual relationship between God and the man whom is bestowed that phraseology. In addition, don't forget that the Council of Nicea in 325 CE voted to change the human Jesus to a supernatural being. It wasn't until that time that any church thought of Jesus as such.

Only Begotten Son: The world ehedaya is Aramaic. It is very important to understand its meaning when hearing that phrase being bantered about. When we read that Jesus was God's "only begotten son" - it is an incorrect translation of the Aramaic word. The term is found exclusively in the Gospel of John. The phrase we read in English was translated from a Greek word, monogenes. Monos means "single" or "one" and genos means "kind". So the Greek translation originally was with "one-of-a-kind". So where does 'begotten' come from? The Greek word genos is distantly related to the verb gennan which means "to beget". Thus, to translate monogenes as "only begotten" is improper and incorrect--which is an indication of an ill-trained translator being involved with the text. The actual translation should be "unique son" or "one-of-a-kind". The Aramaic word ehedaya means "sole heir" and "the beloved". So when we combine monogenes ehedaya we get "one-of-a-kind, beloved son". That's considerably different from 'only begotten son'.


http://www.mksmith.org/

Examining Miracle Claims

Joe Nickell

Today's widespread scientific illiteracy, even an outright attitude of anti-science, is concurrent with the spread of magical thinking even in our own relatively enlightened culture. With the rise of the "New Age" movement has come a resurgence of such nonsense as astrology, crystal healing, the "channelling" of departed spirits, and alleged abductions by creatures in flying saucers. Similarly, there has been a revival of religious fundamentalism, including miracle claims. These range from magical images and "miraculous" relics to various "divine" experiences and claims of healing by faith alone. Here is a brief look at some of the miracle claims paranormal investigators encounter.

Magical Images

While New Agers have their "Face on Mars" (a simple formation that is touted as evidence of an ancient civilization on the planet), the new religionists, especially Catholics, have their image of Jesus discovered in the skillet burns of a tortilla in 1978 (as still preserved in the New Mexico home of Mrs. Mario Rubio, as I learned from her daughter, when we appeared together on "Oprah"). This was followed by similar "miraculous" images that appeared in such unlikely locations as the foliage of a vine-covered tree (West Virginia, 1982), rust stains on a 40-foot-high soybean oil tank (Ohio, 1986), and a forkful of spaghetti illustrated on a billboard (Georgia, 1991). As well, portraits of the Virgin Mary were seen in such diverse places as the stains on the bathroom floor of a Texas auto parts store (1990), and the grime on a window in an Italian village (1987). These appeared not to be anything more than the result of what one priest termed "a pious imagination."

"Miracle" images have frequently had an assist from the hand of man, not always a pious hand to be sure. Consider the mysterious faces that appeared, disappeared, and reappeared with changes of expression on the floor of a peasant woman's house in the town of Belmez de la Moraleda in Spain. By Easter 1972, hundreds of pilgrims had come to see the phantom portraits. Before long, however, local newspapers charged that the peasant woman was perpetrating a hoax for personal gain, and the secular and ecclesiastical authorities soon banned tourist trade at the site.

Similarly notorious effigies are the "weeping," "bleeding," and otherwise animated icons that surface from time to time and raise troubling questions even for religious believers. For in shifting from the view that a statue is only a representation to the belief that it is truly animated is to seemingly cross a line from veneration to idolatry. Invariably, however, these are either investigated and found to be pious frauds or they are withheld from scrutiny. An example of the former was the statue of Our Lady of Fatima at a Catholic church in Thornton, California, in 1981. The sculpted virgin not only changed the angle of her eyes and tilt of her chin, reported churchgoers, but also wept, and even moved about the church at night. A bishop's investigation, however, found that the movement of eyes and chin were apparently only variations in photographic images, while the weeping and perambulations were branded a probable hoax. Conversely, in the case of a weeping icon in a Greek Orthodox church in Chicago in 1986, the bishop refused permission for tests, thus leaving the inference, to skeptics at least, that there was something to hide.

As the Thornton case indicated, allegedly miraculous photographs are quite common. A few of these, in my experience, are blatant hoaxes, while most are photographic "glitches" of one sort or another. As "Investigative Files" columnist for the Skeptical Inquirer magazine, I received last year some "miracle" photos from the popular TV series "Unsolved Mysteries." My subsequent investigation showed that one was a "Golden Door" photo common to Marian apparition sites and thought by pilgrims to be proof of the doorway to heaven mentioned in Revelation 4:1; another, that showed (at least to Marian zealots) "angel wings" was caused by light leakage into the film pack; and so on.

No doubt the most famous image that is touted as a miracle is that of an apparently crucified man appearing on the Shroud of Turin. Many believe this is the actual burial cloth of Jesus, and claim that the image cannot be explained by modern science.

In fact, the shroud has no history prior to the mid-fourteenth century, at which time (according to a later bishop's report) the forger who made it was discovered and he confessed to having "cunningly painted" the image. Obvious problems with the image include hair that hangs as for a standing rather than recumbent figure, "blood" flows that are unrealistically "picture-like" and suspiciously still red (unlike real blood that blackens over time), and the unnatural elongation of the figure (resembling those in gothic art). "Blind" microscopic analyses show significant traces of paint pigment on image areas, thus proving the pigment red ocher was a component of the image. The "blood" was actually tempera paint. In 1988 samples of the cloth were independently carbon-dated at three laboratories around the world. Using accelerator mass spectrometry, the labs obtained dates in close agreement: The cloth dated from about 1260-1390, and that time span was given enhanced credibility by correct dates obtained from samples of ancient cloths of known date.

As to the "impossible" image on the shroud likened to a photographic negative because its darks and lights are reversed skeptics have countered that the reversal is only partial and that similar quasi-negative images are automatically produced by an artistic rubbing technique. (Somewhat analogous to a gravestone rubbing, the cloth is first wet-molded to a bas-relief and, when it is dry, pigment is rubbed on with a dauber so as to darken the prominences and leave the recesses white. I proposed this solution in 1978.)

Miraculous Relics

If it were not a fake, the shroud of Turin might be called a relic an object associated with a saint or martyr. So prevalent had relic veneration become in St. Augustine's time (about 400 AD) that he deplored "hypocrites in the garb of monks" for hawking the bones of martyrs, adding with due skepticism, "if indeed of martyrs." His contemporary, Vigilantius of Talouse, condemned the veneration of relics as being nothing more than a form of idolatry, but St. Jerome defended the practice on the basis that God works miracles through them.

Among the "miraculous" relics of Catholicism is the much publicized "blood" of San Gennaro St. Januarius in Naples. Januarius was supposedly martyred during the persecution of Christians by Diocletian, although the church has never been able to verify his existence as an actual historical person. In any case, since the fourteenth century what is represented as the martyred saint's congealed blood periodically liquefies and reddens, in apparent contravention of nature's laws.

While outside researchers have never been permitted to conduct definitive tests on the material in the sealed vial, two modern investigative teams have nevertheless proposed solutions to the mystery. One, by three Italian chemists, involves a thixatropic gel (made by mixing chalk and hydrated iron chloride with a small amount of salt water) which liquefies when agitated and re-solidifies when allowed to stand. The other, proposed by forensic analyst John F. Fischer and me, uses an oil-wax-pigment mixture that liquefies at even a slight increase in temperature. The apparent reddening may merely be due to light being more readily transmitted through the liquefied substance. Although the actual formula may never be uncovered, it is important to note that the "blood" has occasionally liquefied on its own, without the usual prayerful entreaties and under circumstances (such as repair of its casket) that would seem unlikely for the working of a miracle. It should also be noted that since the fourteenth century there have been several additional saints' bloods that liquefy all in the Naples area and thus suggestive of some regional secret.

Even more macabre relics exist among them the allegedly "incorruptible" bodies of saints, i.e. corpses that have "miraculously" failed to succumb to decay. Actually, however, in many cases artificial means even embalming have been used to help preserve corpses; other means, such as wax masks, have frequently been employed to conceal their poor condition. Some appear merely to have to have become mummified (fostered by tomb rather than earthen burial), or saponified (in which burial in lime-impregnated soil converts the body fat into a hard soap that resists putrefaction). Periodic examination and conservation are other factors that promote "miraculous" preservation. It should also be noted that many instances of alleged incorruptibility cannot be verified or more importantly are disproved by the facts, the bodies eventually being reduced to bones or requiring extensive restoration in order to be placed on view.

Divine Experiences

Some Christian fundamentalists (those who believe in the literal truth of scripture) place special emphasis on what are called "charismatic gifts of the Spirit" which include, notably, speaking in tongues, prophesying, and even (among a distinct minority) demonstrating imperviousness to fire and poisons, including poisonous snakes.

Speaking in tongues, known in psychological jargon as glossolalia, is an ancient practice, mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 2:1-4) and recurring in Christian revivals through the ages. Modern analysis, however shows that it is actually "linguistic nonsense." A professor of anthropology and linguistics at the University of Toronto, William T. Samarin, conducted an exhaustive five-year study of the phenomenon on several continents and concluded:

Glossolalia consists of strings of meaningless syllables made up of sounds taken from those familiar to the speaker and put together more or less haphazardly. The speaker controls the rhythm, volume, speed and inflection of his speech so that the sounds emerge as pseudolanguage in the form of words and sentences.

Glossolalia is language-like because the speaker unconsciously wants it to be language-like. Yet in spite of superficial similarities, glossolalia fundamentally is not language.

Samarin also noted that according to more than half of the glossolalists he studied, it was easier to speak in tongues than in ordinary language. "You don't have to think just let the words flow. One minister said he could 'go on forever: it's just like drumming.'"

Another charismatic gift of the spirit is prophecy. Early Christians mined the richly metaphorical ore of the Old Testament to "discover" therein supposedly prophetic passages of Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Some verses were held to accurately foretell such key events in Jesus' life as his birth at Bethlehem, his miraculous healings, his arrest and scourging, and his crucifixion. Actually, it appears that certain New Testament details were deliberately appropriated by the gospel writers from the Old Testament. For example, Isaac Asimov points to a passage in Matthew one absent from the other gospels "Which may well have arisen merely out of Matthew's penchant for interpreting and describing everything in accordance with Old Testament prophecy, ritual, and idiom..."

Among modern prophecies, the most attention-getting ones are those that predict the biblical apocalypse or other doomsday scenarios. For example, consider the prophecy made by the founder of the Church Universal and Triumphant, Elizabeth Clare Prophet (whose surname, incidentally, is genuine: she is the former Mrs. Mark Prophet). She has predicted that the world will end in a nuclear holocaust, and her followers have located themselves on a Montana ranch where they are busily building nuclear shelters and stockpiling weapons. She has frequently postponed the date of Armageddon and explained each time that it did not occur as being the result of fervent church prayers. Countless such cases have occurred throughout history, not only attesting to the failure of prophecy but also bearing witness to the credulity of religious zealots.

Taking up serpents is a practice of certain fundamentalist Christians (who take literally the passage from Mark 16:16-18, "they will pick up snakes in their hands"), that is too extreme even for many ardent Pentecostals. The practice is actually part of regular church worship that includes fervent preaching, "witnessing," speaking in tongues, and "hillbilly"-type singing. While poisonous snakes are indeed dangerous and must be handled carefully, the knowledge that the rural folk bring to the practice can be most helpful. For example, unless snakes are hot, hungry, or frightened, they move little and are relatively non-aggressive. Also, snakes raised from hatchlings can become accustomed to handling. Large snakes grasped behind the head will be unable to bite, and whenever they are lifted from the ground they usually will not bite.

In the event a participant is bitten, the fact is attributed to lack of faith. The devout forego any medical help for snakebite, but that does not mean they forgo all treatment, which may consist of rest, the use of ice packs, and elevation of the wound to slow the spread of the poison and thus lessen the shock to the body. In fact, the effect of snake bites varies according to such factors as the health and size of the victim, the speed of venom absorption, the location of the bite and the nature of the bite whether it is mild (as with a glancing strike), moderate (which consists of only local pain and swelling), or severe (which results in excruciating pain, significant swelling and discoloration, and a general sick feeling); multiple bites are the most deadly, and an attack of several snakes is life-threatening in the extreme.

The same biblical passage that refers to taking up serpents also promises, "if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them." Among certain independent "Holy Roller" churches, therefore, is the custom of drinking strychnine. This often precedes snake handling, which is interesting in light of the fact that strychnine has been advocated to treat certain physiological effects resulting from snake bite. It would appear that a healthy person could sip a little dilute strychnine without serious harm and that, in the event of snake bite, its presence could actually be beneficial.

As to fire immunity, that is sometimes practiced by members of the Free Pentecostal Holiness Church, and it usually takes the form of holding kerosene lamps improvised from bottles to their hands or feet, even their chests and faces. Scott Rogo, author of the credulous Miracles: A Parascientific Inquiry into Wondrous Phenomena (1982), was impressed by this "type of 'miracle,'" but in fact the fire handlers invariably place their flesh beside rather than above the flames, keep their hands moving when they pass through the fire, and otherwise apply well-known principles of physics just like firewalkers and fire eaters throughout history.

Among Catholics, there is an impressive variety of experiences that are held to be miraculous, including stigmata and visionary experiences. Stigmata, the supposedly miraculous duplication of Christ's wounds upon the body of a Christian, typically take the form of wounds in the hands less commonly the foot, side, and brow (as from the nail and lance wounds and punctures from the crown of thorns). Some writers believe the explanation for stigmata is an "auto-suggested effect," although experimental attempts to duplicate the phenomenon, as with hypnosis, have been ultimately unsuccessful. My own view considering the numerous cases in which a cause is known is that pious hoaxing may account for all such cases.

Catholicism has a long tradition of visionary experiences, including that of a Mexican peasant named Juan Diego who in 1531 was allegedly visited by the Virgin Mary who caused her self-portrait to appear miraculously upon his claim that beneath the paint on the obviously traditional portrait is the divine image!

Among the Marian apparitions in this century have been those at Fatima, Medjugorje, and Conyers. Only the visions at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917 have been declared authentic. They were reported by three shepherd children, only one of whom talked with the Virgin. She was ten-year-old Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, an obviously fantasy-prone personality who frequently claimed to see angels and other apparitions and whose own mother described her as "nothing but a fake who is leading half the world astray." The events culminated on a rainy October 13 with an estimated seventy thousand pilgrims in attendance. Suddenly, Lucia directed everyone's gaze upward as the sun appeared from behind clouds whereupon many experienced what is known in the terminology of Marian apparitions as a "sun miracle." The effects are varyingly described but many say the sun performed strange gyrations none of which actually occurred, as astronomers know. The effects were surely optical ones. For example, because one cannot focus on an object so bright, the eyes may dart back and forth, thus creating, by the effect of image and after-image, the appearance that the sun is "dancing," or the eyes may attempt to focus, retreat, again attempt, and so on, thereby giving the illusion that the sun was "pulsating."

Sun miracles are still reported at such modern-day sites as those which began at Medjugorje, in the former Yugoslavia, in 1981, and Conyers, Georgia, in 1990. Unfortunately, some pilgrims have reportedly suffered retinal damage at some sites, and there has lately been a tendency to discourage the masses from staring directly at the sun. Instead, many are now attempting to photograph the sun miracles with video sequences and polaroid snapshots (mentioned earlier). The former sometimes record an apparently "pulsating" sun, but that is due to the automatic light meter shutting off and on.

Other reported phenomena at today's sites include rosaries that reportedly turn to gold (some claimants are careful to state "a gold color"). Examinations of many of these show them to have acquired a yellowish tarnish or to have worn through their silver plating so that the underlying brass showed through. An even more remarkable claim came from Conyers where statues with heartbeats were alleged. Asked to investigate these (and other effects) by an Atlanta television station, I found that there were no surprise heartbeats detectable by my stethoscope. Apparently people were reaching up to feel the pulsations and were feeling the pulse in their own thumbs.

Faith Healing

One of the most significant of the Marian apparitions was that allegedly seen in 1858 by fourteen-year-old Bernadette Soubirous (now Saint Bernadette), at a grotto near Lourdes, a town in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Although the parish cur branded the affair a hoax, Bernadette's several visions culminated in her being directed to a hidden spring in the cave that had "healing" waters. Despite "multitudinous failures" over the intervening years (one such failure being Bernadette herself, who suffered for many years from tuberculosis of the bone and died at age thirty-five), a few cases have been certified as miraculous or rather as "medically inexplicable." Independent medical investigators have found otherwise, however, observing that virtually all of the diseases that were supposedly cured were those that were susceptible to psychosomatic influences and/or were known to show spontaneous remissions. Emphasizing the uncertain nature of Lourdes' power, French writer Anatole France visited the site in the late nineteenth century and said, surveying all the discarded crutches, "What, what, no wooden legs???"

Uncertainty is characteristic of faith-healing cases in general. Healing occurs naturally in the body and as many as an estimated seventy-five percent of patients would get better even if they had no medical treatment. That fact together with spontaneous remissions, illnesses that have been misdiagnosed or simply misreported, and other factors, including psychosomatic illnesses and even outright fraud helps to explain the apparent success of so many faith healings. Quite often, the apparent success is short-lived and follow-ups often reveal that the old condition has resurfaced.

So-called faith healing can even be deadly, if it causes people to reject medical treatment. This has happened in all too many instances, notably among adherents of Christian Science who following church dogma reject all forms of medical intervention, including drugs and instruments such as thermometers, as well as even such simple measures as ice packs or back rubs. Instead, members depend on faith healers called practitioners whose training consists of a brief period of religious tutelage and whose treatment is limited exclusively to praying.

Of course one cannot prove miracles do not exist, but apart from the well known difficulty of proving a negative one does not have that burden, which is actually on the claimant. Invariably, when we subtract the cases which have been clearly disproved, or which have plausible counter- explanations, or that are inadmissible because they cannot be substantiated, there seems insufficient grounds for invoking a miracle. Perhaps this article will make people more aware of how easily they are deceived not only by pious fakes but also by their own wish-fulfilling natures.

Joe Nickell, Ph.D., is Senior Research Fellow of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), and he contributes a column to that organization's magazine, the Skeptical Inquirer. A former professional magician and private investigator for an international detective agency, he is author of numerous books, including

Inquest on the Shroud of Turin (1983;1988),

Secrets of the Supernatural (1988), and

Looking for a Miracle (1993).

Examining Miracle Claims was originally published in the March 1996 issue of Deolog

Christianity is a Hoax

the strange case of Mssr. Abelard Reuchelin and his deduction that...

Christianity is a Hoax

"the New Testament, the Church, and Christianity, were all the creation of the Calpurnius Piso family, who were Roman aristocrats. The New Testament and all the characters in it...are all fictional." And so begins one of the most amazing little pamphlets that I've come across in many an aeon. Its conclusions, if true, are astounding, for they shake the foundations of history and make a mockery of the wits and intellects of a great host of epoch bending sages, philosophers, and theologians. Thus the gospel according to one Abelard Reuchelin, an earnest researcher of historic genealogies who specialized in ancient families. he began to zero in on one family in particular, the Piso family of Roman Patricians, who dominated the Roman aristocracy over several generations, producing caesars, consuls, generals, statesmen, philosophers, historians, scholars and bishops of the early Church. blood and marriage relations within the Piso family included Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, Trajan, Vitellius, Vespasian, Julius Caesar's uncle Lucius Piso, Galba Caesar, and on and on. Rome was essentially ruled by the same tribe directly for over two hundred years, and indirectly via the Church up to the present.

what did Mssr. Abelard discover, then? merely that the authorship of the New Testament, and hence Christianity, was an ongoing Piso family project for over two generations, utilizing some of the best literary minds of the age as a battering ram against a series of alarmingly effective Jewish revolutions primarily in Judea, but also spreading to Egypt. the Pharisee party was in a powerful geopolitical position to choke trade routes and a powerful ideological position to challenge a variety of what they viewed as idolatries, with a monotheism that was at its core anti slavery. Roman abuses and the abuses of their puppet regimes had created a tinderbox that could easily be fanned into a full scale insurrection of the Eastern provinces. It was obvious to the patrician strategists that the Jewish ideology had to be countered on its own terms. similar to the fostering of American pacifism in the 1930's by Germany, a messianic splinter religion was planted within Judea which preached a pacifist message. the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the subsequent Epistles, the personages including the Christ figure, the apostles, the later important converts, Simon Peter, Saul/Paul, etc. were fabricated out of various Eastern mythologies, and in some cases, the biographies of the conspirators, themselves.

The case for this argument is made stronger by a glaring and obvious body of supporting historic fact, although fact by omission. one of the great conundrums to Biblical research has been the nagging lack of independent contemporary documentation making any reference whatsoever to a nascent Galilean religion. All extant literature dating from before 100 A.D. which makes reference to early Christianity is from the pen of the conspirators, often writing under pseudonyms. Reuchelin claims that the contemporary Jewish General and historian Flavius Josephus is, in fact, Arius Calpurnius Piso. However the real dogbone to this bare cupboard of references to early Christianity is to be found in the strange silence that surrounds researches into the famous Dead Sea Scrolls; leather, parchment and metal scrolls written in Hebrew which have been unearthed in the hundreds, often complete and in excellent condition. here are a records of religious events, important commentaries and chronicles by a sect of Essene scribes and scholars writing in Judea for a hundred years up to 70 A.D. And nowhere is mention made of a new religion, a Messiah, a worker of miracles, a preaching to multitudes, a trial and crucifixion. Nothing. this silence is a great embarrassment to Biblical scholars and is treated extremely gingerly by the Biblical academic community.

Perhaps Abelard Reuchelin is on to something. you can decide for yourself by getting the pamphlet and a package of photocopied abstracts from the Abelard Reuchelin Foundation, Box 5652, Kent WA 98064 or Vector Associates, Box 6215, Bellevue, WA 98008.

source:
http://www.totse.com/files/FA038/chrstfke.htm 

Additional Resources:
Bush~Windsor~Piso Bloodline

Why George W. Bush is the Favourite to be President of the United States - WINDSOR-BUSH BLOODLINE

'The Christ Conspiracy"

The New Testament Did Not Exist!

by Dr Vendyl Jones

Have you ever thought of what Christianity would be today if we had no New Testament? Perhaps, one might question if there would be such a faith as the Christian faith without the New Testament.

What do you suppose might happen if all the New Testaments were to vanish? Could we go on? Could we survive?

Yet, the early church, from the days of the apostles till the fourth century had no New Testament as a collection of 27 books. There are two things the so called "New Testament Church" did not have.

The first thing is the New Testament and the second is "a church." Primal Christians had only the Torah. The five books of Moses.

They had the twenty-two books of the Prophets and Holy Writings that included Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah and the two books of Chronicles.

Then, of course, they had and used the fourteen books of the Apocrypha. They met and worshipped with the Jews in the Synagogues.

Many times we read in the New Testament statements such as:

" . . . the scripture saith . . . .." Or
" . . . it is written . . . .." Or
" . . . what saith the law . . . .." Or
" . . . thus saith the L-rd . . . .." Or
" . . . as the prophet said . . . .."

When many read these statements, they think it is referring to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John or one of the New Testament epistles.

Not so! The New Testament did not exist in those days. The only scripture they had was the Tanach and Apocrypha. The New Testament church only had the Hebrew Scripture.

If there was a church in your community by any name, who had a sign in front that read: "This church only teaches from the Old Testament" what would be the response of the community? What would be your response? Would you dare to visit that church? Would you consider becoming a member?

Do you think that church's pastor would be invited to join the local ministerial association? Probably not! Yet, can we not put that sign on every church mentioned in Acts and the Pauline epistles?

Any church today that posted and practiced such a sign "we only study the Old Testament" would be considered a cult or an occult.

Some people would become very angry immediately, not giving it a second thought and brand it as heresy.

While when the more moderate would only feel a little sick at the stomach for such a blatant statement.

They would be turned off by such a thought. That is only natural!

That is exactly the response the primitive churches got from their communities!

Do you know of any church today dedicated to in-depth constant study of the Torah, Prophets and Holy Writings of the Tanach or so called Old Testament?

Do you know any church that would treat the scriptures as the Older Testaments and the Newer Testaments as it was so amply state by Rabbi Zalman Shechtcher-Shalomi?

Originally the writers of the Newer Testament, all were Jewish, viewed the Older Testament of the Hebrew Scriptures as the supreme authority of what they wrote.

Much later their writings became the Newer Testament. Their authority was in Torah primarily, enforced by the Prophets and Holy Writings.

Their Newer Testament writings never showed or claimed supremacy over the Older Testament!

They did all their writing in the Jewish mind-set. This attitude always concedes all authority to the Torah!

It never irritates or challenges the authority of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Unfortunately, when the Byzantines, in the fourth century after Jesus, removed the apostolic writings from the Jewish mind-set and< forced them into a Greco Roman mind-set everything changed.

First, they collected 27 of many writings and called the collection, for the first time the "New Testament."

The monks inverted the authority and made the "New Testament" superior to the Hebrew's sacred scripture that they titled the "Old Testament" for the first time.

This implied that the "new" had now replaced the "old." The Jewish< Holy Scripture was now obsolete and abrogated by the New Testament.

Hereafter, the monks only used the Jewish Bible to try to prove the validity of their New Testament. They used the text they had abrogated and nullified.

The purpose of the B'nai No'ach Study Program is to help the non-Jew understand what the Word of G-d means to him. It is an attempt to get Christians to return to the scriptures and learn "the first principles of the oracle of G-d."

B'nai No'ach is not church. It is an attempt to fill the void the church has not filled in people's lives. B'nai No'ach is not a prayer meeting nor a praise and worship event. It is not and does not take the place of church.

At all cost we must avoid making B'nai No'ach another sect or denomination. B'nai No'ach is our effort to help you to know G-d and know his living Word.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Vendyl Jones is the original inspiration for the Indiana Jones character of the movies.

In real life, Vendyl is director of the Institute for Judeo- Christian Research located in Arlington, Texas.

RELIGION IS MENTAL ILLNESS
GOD IS A PSYCHOPATH

 

The following is the legacy of "religion":

Christianity - The Roots of Anti-Semitism

"With the wrath of an Old Testament prophet, historian Dagobert Runes (whose mother was killed by the Nazis) blamed the Christian church for the Holocaust. He wrote:

"'Everything Hitler did to the Jews, all the horribly unspeakable misdeeds, had already been done to the smitten people before by the Christian churches. . . . The isolation of Jews into ghetto camps, the wearing of the yellow spot, the burning of Jewish books, and finally the burning of the people - Hitler learned it all from the church. However, the church burned Jewish women and children alive, while Hitler granted them a quicker death, choking them first with gas.'

"Dr Runes said Christian priests and ministers still were inculcating hostility to Jews as the Third Reich arrived.

"'The clergymen don't tell you whom to kill; they just tell you whom to hate,' he wrote. 'The Christian clergymen start teaching their young at the tenderest age that THE Jews killed the beloved, gentle Son of God; that God Himself, the Father, punished THE Jews by dispension and the burning of their holy city; that God holds THE Jews accursed forever . . . .'

"'For all the 2,000 years, there was no act of war against the Jews in which the church didn't play an intrinsic part. And whenever there was a trace of mercy, charity, or tolerance to be found amid the savagery, it came not from the church but from humanitarians in the civil world, as in Napoleonic France or during the American Revolution. . . .'

"'Some fancy that these brutal outrages . . . occurred only in the Dark Ages, as if this were an excuse. Nay, when George Washington was president, Jewish people were burning on the spit in Mexico . . . Wherever there are Christian churches there is anti-Semitism.'"

Source: Holy Horrors by James Haught.  www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0879755784/tgsthegoodstew/ 

Judaism - 4,000 Years of Massacring Neighbors

"The massacre at Dueima in 1948 was perpetrated by the official Labor Zionist Israeli army, the Israel Defense Forces (Tzeva Haganah le-Israel or ZA-HAL). The account of the massacre, as described by a soldier who participated in the horror, was published in Davar, the official Hebrew daily newspaper of the Labor-Zionist-run Histadrut General Federation of workers:

"'They killed between eighty to one hundred Arab men, women and children. To kill the children they [soldiers] fractured their heads with sticks. There was not one home without corpses. The men and women of the villages were pushed into houses without food or water. Then the saboteurs came to dynamite them.

"'One commander ordered a soldier to bring two women into a building he was about to blow up. . . . Another soldier prided himself upon having raped an Arab woman before shooting her to death. Another Arab woman with her newborn baby was made to clean the place for a couple of days, and then they shot her and the baby. Educated and well-mannered commanders who were considered "good guys" . . . became base murderers, and this is not in the storm of battle, but as a method of expulsion and extermination. The fewer the Arabs who remain, the better.'"

Source: The Hidden History of Zionism by Ralph Schoenman.  www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0929675010/tgsthegoodstew/ 

Slavery by the "Good People"

"In another area of human rights, many Christian clergymen advocated slavery. Historians Larry Hise notes in his book, Proslavery, that ministers 'wrote almost half of all defenses of slavery published in America.' He listed 275 men of the cloth who use the Bible to prove that white people were entitled to own black people as work animals."

Source: Holy Horrors   www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0879755784/tgsthegoodstew/ 

God is a Psycho

"In December 1984, on Mohammed's birthday, Khomeini told his people:

"'War is a blessing for the world and for all nations. It is God who incites men to fight and to kill. The Koran says, "Fight until all corruption and all rebellion have ceased." The wars the Prophet led against the infidels were a blessing for all humanity. Imagine that we soon will win the war. That will not be enough, for corruption and resistance to Islam will still exist. The Koran says, "War, war until victory! . . ." The mullahs with corrupt hearts who say that all this is contrary to the teachings of the Koran are unworthy of Islam. Thanks to God, our young people are now, to the limits of their means, putting God's commandments into action. They know that to kill the unbelievers is one of man's greatest missions.'

"Amid all the killing, Iran also declared war on sexuality. Women were commanded to shroud themselves so completely that no lock of hair showed. Morality patrols in white jeeps cruised streets, arresting women for being 'badly veiled' and sending them to prison camps for three-month rehabilitation courses. Western magazines entering Iran went first to censors who laboriously blacked out every woman's picture except for her eyes."

Source: Holy Horrors   www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0879755784/tgsthegoodstew/ 

Religion is Mental Illness

"Philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote:

"'Religion is based . . . mainly upon fear . . . fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand . . . . My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race.'"

Source: Holy Horrors      www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0879755784/tgsthegoodstew/ 

The Case Against Christianity
Karim Reyes

The basics of Christian belief (both Catholic and Protestant) are that 1) Jesus died and was resurrected, 2) Jesus is God Incarnate, 3) Jesus performed miracles of healing, and 4) Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit form the Trinity of God. Modern evangelicals believe that these doctrines are fully supported by the Bible which is the revealed Word of God. If Skeptics argue otherwise, they are accused of warping the text or viewing it "in the wrong way". In this sense, Christianity is like a Rorshach test where if you do not see the butterfly, you are labelled crazy. However, when we examine the history of Christian belief, we find that it is the doctrines themselves which are warped.

The Resurrection

Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, (140-202 A.D.) wrote a series of books which opposed the Gnostic movement in the early Church. These books provide great insight into the doctrinal disputes of his day. Gnostics are Christians who from the beginning rejected the Incarnation and the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ as fabrications. They followed Scriptures attributed to Phillip, Thomas, John and Peter, believing them to be the Word of God. According to the Gnostic teacher Basilides, "[Jesus] did not himself suffer death, but Simon, a certain man of Cyrene, being compelled, bore the cross in his stead; so that this latter being transfigured by him, that he might be thought to be Jesus, was crucified, through ignorance and error, while Jesus himself received the form of Simon, and, standing by, laughed at them." (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.XXIV .4 ) Other Gnostics believed that Jesus was released after his trial, never having bore a cross. Some traditions say that he lived to be over fifty years old and died a natural death.

God Incarnate or Adopted Son?

"About 320 A.D. there arose a great deal of controversy over whether or not Jesus was God Incarnate. A young presbyter named Arius contended that Jesus was the adopted Son of God and not equal to God at all. He pointed out that even Jesus Himself had said "the Father is Greater than I". The controversy became so heated that the emperor Constantine himself intervened and summoned a synod to Nicea in modern Turkey to settle the issue. Today, Arius' name is a byword for heresy, but when the controversy broke out there was no officially orthodox position and it was by no means certain why or even whether Arius was wrong. There was nothing new about this claim: Origen, whom both sides held in high esteem, had taught a similar doctrine" (Karen Armstrong, A History of God). At the Council of Nicea, the bishops wrote The Nicene Creed. It should be noted that these bishops only represented the christianity of the west, and the bishops of the east continued to contend that Jesus was created by God and therefore not God.

"By 359 AD Arianism had prevailed as the official faith of the empire" with the support of Constantius II. After the death of Constantius, the new Emporer Valens persecuted the Arians in order to clear the way for the return of the Nicene "orthodoxy" (Arianism, Microsoft Encarta). However, a reading of the chronology of the Arian controversy will illustrate that even after sixty years of violent debate, the issue was never finally settled. To this day, there are 22 million Christians in the Orthodox Church who reject the doctrine of the Incarnation. These include the Armenian, Coptic, Syrian and Ethiopian Churches (Eastern Church, Microsoft Encarta).

The Miracles of Jesus

Prior to the modern age, just about anyone could raise the dead or walk on water. Buddha is said to have cut himself to pieces with a sword and then come back to life. Apolonius of Tyana could cast out demons. The Emperor Vespasian healed the blind and the lame. When Joan of Arc passed by, dead infants yawned and came back to life. We can also mention Honi, Septimus Sevi, Caesar Augustus,the Baha'u'lah, Mohammed and hundreds more miracle-working saviors. How commonplace were miracle accounts in the Ancient Near East? Consider this: Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary. How was the Virgin Mary born? Anna, her mother, was lamenting her barreness when an angel appeared to inform her that she shall bear a child and "thy progeny shall be spoken of in all the world" (The Protevangelion IV,1). You have to wonder how Anna was born.

Of all the Gospels written about Jesus, the most relevant is the Gospel of Thomas. Discovered in 1945, scholars date it about 50-70 A.D. making it the oldest and most reliable of all the gospels. "It is a collection of sayings used to instruct newly-baptized Christians. It appears to reflect an early form of Johannine preaching and probably came into being at about the same time as the Q document (the sayings source from which may scholars believe Matthew and Luke drew much of their material)". (The Gospel of Thomas and Christian Wisdom, Stevan L. Davies). According to tradition, the Gospel of Thomas was written by Judas Thomas the Twin who was the brother of Jesus. In this gospel, you will find no virgin births, no trinities, no miracles, and no resurrections. The only thing you find are the words of Jesus.

The writings of Paul also lack any mention of a virgin birth, trinity or bodily resurrection. Most scholars date Paul's writings earlier than any of the gospels. If early Christian traditions omitted these "essential" Christian beliefs, then it seems likely that they were later inventions.

The Canon

The Christian canon came about in much the same way as the doctrine of the Trinity - after hundreds of years of controversy and debate. The Catholic Church finally settled upon those texts thought to have the most authenticity of tradition. The Church historian, Eusebius of Caesaria, lists the books which were doubtful choices: Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude and Revelation. He also lists the revered Scriptures which were rejected by the Church as inauthentic: 1 Clement, The Shepherd of Hermas and The Didache.

Revelation was a particularly controversial choice. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "during the fourth and fifth centuries the tendency to exclude the Apocalypse [Revelation] from the list of sacred books continued to increase in the Syro-Palestinian churches. Eusebius [of Caesaria] expresses no definite opinion. He contents himself with the statement: "The Apocalypse is by some accepted among the canonical books but by others rejected" (Hist. Eccl., III, 25). St. Cyril of Jerusalem does not name it among the canonical books (Catech. IV, 33-36); nor does it occur on the list of the Synod of Laodicea, or on that of Gregory of Nazianzus. Perhaps the most telling argument against the apostolic authorship of the book is its omission from the Peshito, the Syrian Vulgate." But notice the remarkable conclusion to the matter: "But although the authorities giving evidence against the authenticity of the Apocalypse deserve full consideration they cannot annul or impair the older and unanimous testimony of the churches."

The "unanimous" testimony of the churches includes the following statement by the Roman presbyter Caius: "But Cerinthus by means of revelations which he pretended were written by a great Apostle falsely pretended to wonderful things, asserting that after the resurrection there would be an earthly kingdom" (Hist. Eccl., III, 28) Caius is saying that Cerinthus, the Gnostic, forged the book of Revelation. Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria and a disciple of Origen, also asserted that Revelation was written by someone other than the Apostle John.

Even if we were to accept the Bible as containing the authentic teachings of the twelve apostles, our earliest manuscripts date about a hundred years after the original texts were written. How trustworthy are the copyists? Our modern New Testament contains copyist additions such as Mark 16:9-20. A reference to Jesus in Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews (18.3.1) is such a blatant Chrisian forgery that even Christian scholars admit as much. Also, keep in mind that the same Christians that we are trusting with an accurate transmission of the Bible burned down whole libraries full of Gnostic Scriptures. Eusebius, the Church historian, confessed to being more concerned with spreading the Christian faith than recording history accurately.

Conclusion

Modern Christian doctrine, far from being a consensus on Christian belief, reflects only a minority viewpoint. Other Christian groups had different beliefs, different canons and different perspectives. Why was the Western Church so much more successful than its competitors? Neither Gnostics nor Orthodox Christians were very evangelical. But more importantly, the Catholic Church had the backing of the Emperor Constantine and used that power to persecute other Christians. The Catholic Church is also responsible for the destruction of libraries full of competing Scriptures. The fact of the matter is that Christians East and West are clinging to doctrines created by men. Jesus said, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

'This people honors me with their lips,
But their hearts are far away from me.
But in vain do they worship me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'" Mark 7:6-7 (RSV)

Some prophecies do come true.

source:
http://home.earthlink.net/~wyvern37/case.htm 

AN ENGLISH EMPRESS IN CAPPADOCIA

www.davidicke.com

The Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, made Christianity an official religion. He also turned Istanbul into his capital city and renamed it Constantinople. On the walls of the Serpent Church in the Goreme Open Air Museum in Cappadocia, Constantine is seen together with his mother St. Helen. Between them mother and son are holding the so-called "True Cross" - the cross on which Christ was crucified.

In his oldest representations, Christ is shown not nailed to the cross but as a shepherd with a lamb in his arms. Early Christians actually rejected the representation of a cross which they considered to be a pagan symbol. Before Christianity, the cross was used by different civilizations as a sign of the unity between lateral and vertical spaces and as a cosmic representation of the universe.

Later, Christians came to accept the cross as a symbol of victory against death. The oldest known cross bearing this meaning was made in Palmyra in 134 AD. The cross became a widespread symbol of Christianity following the reign of Constantine the Great.

Constantine became the Caesar of Galia following the death of his father, Constantius Chlorus. Yet, his rule was not recognized by Maxentius, ruler of Italy. On the eighth of October 312 AD, the armies of Constantine and Maxentius met near the Milivia Bridge on the Tiber River, eight miles north of Rome. According to the historian Eusebius, before the battle began, Constantine had a vision in the afternoon of a cross in the heavens bearing the inscription Hoc Vince ("Win by This"). Lactanius, another historian of the time, reported that the night before the battle, Constantine received instructions in a dream to have the chi and rho (the first letters of the Greek name of Christ) inscribed on the shields of his soldiers. Chi and rho when inscribed together, form the shape of a cross.

The tradition of the Christian pilgrimage was started by Constantine's mother Helen, who visited Jerusalem in the year 327 AD at the age of 72. During her visit, Helen discovered pieces of wood in the cellar of an ancient temple dedicated to Aphrodite. It was claimed that these pieces belonged to the three crosses on which Christ and the two thieves had been crucified.

There are different beliefs as to how the cross on which Christ was crucified was eventually identified from among the three. According to one belief, a corpse was placed on each of the crosses and it came back to life when it was placed on the "True Cross." Another belief stated that a sick person placed on the "True Cross" was healed. It is also generally believed that the "True Cross" bore the inscription "King of the Jews."

Some scholars have claimed that the pieces of wood discovered by Helen actually belonged to the tree trunks which symbolized the god who was the son and male consort of a great female deity. It was believed that Attis, also known as Adonis, Bacchus, Dionysus, Sol Invictus as well as many other names, died annually on March 25th. In the cellar of a temple dedicated to the mother goddess, this death was re-enacted by the burial of a tree trunk symbolizing the god. The god would be reborn exactly nine months after his death, at the time of the winter solstice.

It is not known whether Helen returned from her pilgrimage or if she passed away in the Holy Land. However, since the ninth century Hautvilliers Monastery at Reims has claimed to be the final resting place for Helen.

Before she died, Helen sent a piece of the "True Cross" to her son Constantine who had it placed at the Sessorian Palace in Rome where Helen stayed during her visits to the city. Constantine converted the palace into a church and today the building is known as S. Greco in Gerusalemme, dedicated to Helen.

During the Middle Ages, pieces of the "True Cross" proliferated in churches across Europe. According to Calvin, all the pieces of the "True Cross" could fill the cargo area of a good-sized boat! People believed that the cross was made of wood from the "Tree of Life" which was taken from the Garden of Eden by Adam.

Helen was born in what is now Turkey. Her father was an innkeeper at Drapenum in Bythinia, a town that was on the Bay of Izmit, near Istanbul. Constantine later changed the name of the town where his mother was born to Helenopolis.

Perhaps because Helen had spent time in England with Constantine's father where she been particularly favored as a saint, she was then canonized by the Church. The twelfth century historian, Geoffrey of Monmouth, has claimed that Helen was the daughter of King Cole, legendary founder of the city of Colchester and frequently mentioned in English lullabies as "Old King Cole."

http://www.dreamtours.com/c.htm