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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..."
interpretation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment which
comes from an 1802 Jefferson quote
I Want a Theocratic Nation!
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.
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.
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
|Fundies already carry signs, have t-shirts and bumper stickers with the
following phrases on them:
“Intolerance is Beautiful”,
The further injection of mythology in place of evidential science in the
classroom (creationism), etc.
“Hatred is a Bible Value”
“God said it,
I Believe it,
That Settles It”.
|The ruling in Kansas schools may well be just the beginning if we're not
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  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.
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.
Fraud in the Bible
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
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
"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
Here are three examples of the Hebrew plural gods mentioned in Genesis:
"And-said elohim (gods), let-US-make man (adam) in-image-OUR,
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
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
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
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
"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.
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
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
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
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
Examining Miracle Claims
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.
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.)
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
on the Shroud of Turin (1983;1988),
of the Supernatural (1988), and
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
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.
Why George W.
Bush is the Favourite to be President of the United States - WINDSOR-BUSH
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
Horrors by James Haught. www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0879755784/tgsthegoodstew/
- 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
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
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.'< p>
"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."
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.'"
The Case Against Christianity
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.
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,
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
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
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.
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.
EMPRESS IN CAPPADOCIA
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
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."