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Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus

 
maya12-21-2012
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06/08/2008 08:29 PM
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Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
Robert Bushman
2007
(revised 16 Apr 08)

While I do not consider myself a Christian in the traditional sense, I do have tremendous respect for the teachings of Jesus, whoever he may have been. And that is the problem: when we look closely at the situation, we’re not really sure who he actually was, what he actually did, and what he actually taught some 2,000 years ago.

Whoever he was, Jesus was clearly an extraordinary figure, so it seems well that we should trouble ourselves to get clear about his extraordinary message. “We must concern ourselves with working it out,” as New Testament scholar, James Robinson puts it, “if we do not wish ultimately to find ourselves committed to a mythological Lord.” 1

Over the past century, there has been much interest by scholars in establishing the “historical Jesus,” that is, getting a factual description of him and his message, in distinction to the large body of unsupported traditional belief that has grown up around him over the ages. The main source of information about him is, of course, the Gospels of the New Testament. It is this source that modern Christianity bases its understanding of the teachings of Jesus. I find, however, that I am not comfortable with these Gospels as a reliable source about him. I am not a scholar of ancient scripture, but here is how the reliability issue looks to me on the face of it:

1. Hearsay is inadmissible. Nothing in the Gospels was written by Jesus himself. He didn’t even edit or approve what was written. I have had some experience with news reporters quoting what I have said in their articles on the basis of notes they took when I was speaking. I have no doubt that they believed they were reporting accurately. There was no reason for them to do otherwise. However, the facts would inevitably get skewed in some way. This is essentially why our commonly accepted standards of reliability exclude hearsay evidence. All of what is written in the Gospels is hearsay.

2. Time degrades memory. The Gospels are not on-the-spot transcriptions of the words of Jesus as they were spoken. There were written after the fact—not later in the day or the next day, but 40-120 years later. How much credibility should we put in the accuracy of memory that old? Granted, there have always been those with phenomenal memory, and perhaps even those who make it their business to be a society’s memory and who can remember such accounts accurately. We might also grant that the inaccuracies of recall may be of minor significance. But to me, it’s unsettling. We have no way of knowing how accurately the teachings of Jesus were remembered.

3. No eye-witnesses Of the four supposed writers of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, only John was supposed to have been an actual witness. But, was he? The Gospel of John seems to have been written 90-120 years after the fact, clearly eliminating John as its actual writer. That means that none of the Gospels were written by eye-witnesses. At the time of Jesus, the normal life span of a person was around 40 years. Let’s say that a young disciple of Jesus would have been about 20. So, a 20-year old, writing 40 years later at the earliest, would put him around 60 years of age—a possible age, but not likely. Far less likely is for one to have written anything 120 years later. This strongly suggests that the Gospels were not written by their presumed authors, and that is the conclusion drawn by many scholars of The New Testament. With the Gospels not written by the Jesus’ disciples nor by other eye witnesses, they fade even further into the unreliable territory of hearsay.

4. Pseudepigrapha There was a fashion at the time for people to write something and attribute its authorship to someone else, usually a famous person, in an attempt to give one’s writing more credibility. Such writings are called pseudepigrapha—“falsely inscribed.” That custom makes authenticating authorship problematic. We know the Gospels were supposed to have been written by major disciples of Jesus, but we don’t know who actually wrote them, or what qualified them to render an accurate account.

5. Oral transmission favors what makes a good story. As the record of Jesus and his teachings wasn’t written until long after the fact, it was originally transmitted orally--as retold stories. It’s well-known among those who study the oral transmission of information that when a story is retold, the teller will inevitably, if not even deliberately, distort the story in order to make it more interesting. The teller will highlight certain aspects of the story by filling in detail where there was none to begin with, and by leaving out detail thought to be incidental or not contributing to the point being made. Certain aspects of the story are exaggerated or at least accentuated in order to give it more audience appeal. For the teller, it may be a simple matter of honest, logical supposition, but the process is nevertheless imaginative. If the teller is not interested in accurate history but only in telling a good story, then a more active creative process occurs. The audience is certainly part of this process, because the audience rewards a good story teller. The audience at the time of Jesus was likely one predisposed to the mystical and the magical, and thus elicited such stories about Jesus. Of course, all these problems get magnified when a story is retold by yet other story tellers. Granted, there may have been those who were trustworthy in retelling stories of Jesus faithfully. I feel uneasy, though, about accepting the accuracy of spiritual teaching by story-tellers.

6. Language, culture, and time are formidable barriers. Anyone who has spent much time in another culture knows how communication barriers abound. All cultures hold their own worldview and many kinds of symbols—words, metaphors, myths, icons, and otherwise—to represent that worldview. We are very far removed from the time and place of Jesus. Today, we have a vastly different worldview and use a much different set of symbols for our worldview. Trying to piece together a highly unusual and complicated story, from a foreign culture, with limited and faulty documentation and from the standpoint of our modern symbology and perspective—some 2,000 years after the fact—seems pretty audacious to me. I don’t doubt that we miss the mark by a wide margin.

7. Lost in Translation When translating, one must of course understand the meaning of what is to be translated before it can be rendered in another language. This understanding must go well beyond the kind of understanding we normally content ourselves with when we casually read something in our own language. Anyone with even a passing acquaintance of another language recognizes that there is virtually no one-to-one correspondence between even the common words of two languages. Also, because the language into which one translates implies different assumptions about reality, and has a different set of requirements for what is to be made explicit in language, translators often find themselves in the awkward position of having to necessarily interpolate an author’s intended meaning. Translators unavoidably, even if unintentionally, introduce distortion into an author’s intended meaning because it is filtered not just through translators’ beliefs about what is true, but also through their agendas. We get The New Testament only in translation—twice: Aramaic to Greek, then Greek to English (except for The Gospel of Luke, which was originally written in Greek). Unfortunately, we do not have any of the original Aramaic documents to check accuracy with. Speaking as a scientific linguist who has worked in a translation office, I feel discomfort with two-generation translation.

8. Lost by Copying Anciently, of course, there were no printing presses. What was written was written by hand. The parchments on which the writings were made deteriorated with use and age, and had to be recopied—by hand. The reality is, accidentally or intentionally, copy error happens. The originals are now entirely gone. What survives today is the result of multiple generations of copies—copies of copies. Though careful comparison of the various old manuscripts that we now have does reveal copy errors, it is impossible to assess how much distortion has ultimately been introduced by such error.

9. The disciples themselves didn’t get it. The distortion induced by a hearer’s unconscious filtering and misperception is much more serious than the distortion induced by hearsay, bad memory, translation, copying, or storytellers. The teachings of Jesus were radical—beyond the grasp of his disciples. There are many references in the record to their inability to understand his message. What he taught and what they understood are likely two different things. Jesus couched his public message in allegory and metaphor, which effectively hid it from those ready to stone him for blasphemy. But even in his private teaching, all that the disciples seemed capable of hearing was what their prior beliefs predisposed them to. Jesus went well beyond those beliefs, and consequently, I believe, his essential message was lost on their ears. Through their record, we don’t get it either.

10. The books were cooked. Another important source of the distortion of information about Jesus and his teachings came in the fourth century AD. Roman Emperor, Constantine, had an empire of pagan groups and several, disparate Christian sects that had been growing in popularity and strength, and in disruptiveness. In order to keep his empire under control, Constantine employed a proven strategy for wielding power: he had a single, mandatory religion created for his entire empire. He decreed that religion to be Christian, though he himself was not Christian. However, at the time there was no consensus on what constituted Christian belief. He therefore convened a council of Christian leaders at Nicea and commissioned them to settle their differences and codify the result as the religion for his empire. This the Council did, through a factious political process, creating a dogma out from a difficult consensus on some traditional Christian beliefs. Their consensus was suffused with mythic imagery from Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Babylonian, and other cultures of the empire.

At the time, there were many “gospels,” or records of the teachings of Jesus, floating about, perhaps as many as a hundred. At the conclusion of the Council of Nicea, all those gospels save four were systematically collected and destroyed. The remaining four were those that best supported the conclusions of the Council. They were further doctored to generally harmonize (though they still don’t, exactly), and then canonized as the Gospels we now have in The New Testament.

Today, of course, we have found a few surviving copies of other gospels that didn’t make it into the Bible, and they do differ from the canon in important ways. But we still do not know how reliable these other gospels are, and we’ll never know what we’re missing.

The upshot is that much of core Christian belief today is literalized pagan mythology, such as: Jesus as a divinity—the son of a virgin mother and “only begotten” of God2, Jesus as an intercessor with God and savior of humankind; the eating of his flesh and drinking of his blood as a sacrament, the sacrifice of his life as an appeasement for our sins; and further notions of our guilt, salvation or damnation, sacraments as necessary for salvation, and the authority of a priesthood (i.e., the Church). Each one of these elements are derived from multiple antecedents in pagan mythologies. Their use followed the same pattern of the subordinate, Hebrew culture adopting alien beliefs from the dominant cultures around them that Old Testament Hebrew prophets inveighed against. It looks to me that those beliefs were superimposed onto the record of Jesus for the greater glory and power of church and state, but were not authentic.

In my estimation, these impediments taken together make the New Testament a dubious document at best from which to draw any definite conclusions about the teachings of Jesus; moreover, conclusions about God and ourselves.

What about modern sources of Jesus’ teachings?

The position that The Book of Mormon is an independent corroboration of Jesus as a divine redeemer fails in that it perpetuates the very paganism introduced by the Council of Nicea.

However, there are other, illuminating modern sources. Seth, the nominal source for Jane Roberts, has commented on the historicity of Jesus. According to Seth, the modern concept of Jesus is actually a composite of three Jewish mystics of the time: one called Jesus, John the Baptist, and one other. Through distortions introduced by oral transmission of the buzz created by these radicals—stories feeding an audience hungry for the miraculous—ideas about these three coalesced over time into the single iconic image that survives today as “Jesus.” —An interesting proposition, though perhaps impossible to validate.

Another, excellent modern source of Jesus’ teachings is A Course in Miracles, published in 1976. Here the spiritual intelligence is so compelling that I stretch for comprehensive perspective. Because it appears to be a primary source, it may be free from corrupting influence. The Course teaches the essential non-dualism and ephemeral ego taught by the great mystics of all spiritual traditions. Not surprisingly, The Course contains hardly any of what would be recognized today as core Christian belief. To my mind, that is another indication of the failure of The New Testament and the tradition of the Christian church to bring us the essential Jesus.

Fitting to the historical Jesus, the Course employs a non-western, spiral rhetorical form and is occasionally even poetic. It offers an ingenious daily practice for the correction of misperception, which leads to direct experience, or “awakening.” The Course is, however, rather dense for most readers, including myself. (Many have gained access through Gary Renard’s, The Disappearance of the Universe.)

Jesus seems to have spoken to others in our time as well. I recognize that it is tempting to dismiss such accounts, but when they are corroborated by the great mystics, when they offer profound, transcendent spiritual intelligence that pierces the heart, they get my attention. In my opinion, the book Dialog on Awakening by Tom Carpenter is one such example.

I still do like to read “Jesus” in the New Testament. An extraordinary, enlightened spiritual intelligence does shine through. I value the New Testament, but cannot accept it at face value. I approach it cautiously, and treat it more as mythic imagery. Like Thomas Jefferson, I highlight the best and cut the rest.

Despite the best of our intentions, getting the bottom truth of Jesus sorted out from The New Testament may well be an impossible aspiration.


1 James M. Robinson, A New Quest of the Historical Jesus. (Studies in Biblical Theology No, 25). SCM Press Ltd, London, 1959, p. 12-13.

2 Mythological precedent analogs to Jesus’ “virgin birth”:

1. Egyptian Horus was born to virgin Isis.

2. Greek demigod Perseus was born to mystical union of the god Jupiter and the virgin Danaë.

3. Greek demigod Attis was born to virgin Nana.

4. Roman god Mercury born to virgin Maia.

5. Roman figure Romulus born to virgin Rhea Sylvia.

A virgin birth of a hero is common in other mythologies as well: Buddha, Aztec god Huitzilopochtli, Genghis Khan, and Krishna.

[link to robertbushman.info]
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
Let me guess maya 2012 we ought to believe the Old Testament right?
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maya12-21-2012 (OP)

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06/08/2008 08:33 PM
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
WHAT YOUR CHURCH AND PASTOR NEVER TOLD YOU ABOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT #1

For everyone reading this series of articles please understand that I grew up as a fundamentalist Christian. Not only that but I attended Southwestern Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas, and received a M.Div. degree. Upon completion of my degree I was quickly ordained and began in earnest my Pastoral Career. While in Seminary I encountered what seemed to me a hodgepodge of religious beliefs that seemed more disjointed than in unity. Things just did not add up and contradictions abounded. I constantly wondered how a perfect God allowed or fostered such confusion of religious beliefs; much of which seemed to consistently disagree and contradict what Israel had previously been taught by God and I could not seem to find peace about all this especially in light of the constant reiteration in the Jewish Scriptures that Israel was to be "the" light for all the world concerning the "truth" about YHVH. Prior to Seminary I read a book called Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus and this book showed me that behind passages which I had heard preached my whole life were Hebraic meanings that I have never heard. Realizing that Jesus is a Jew I quickly saw that unless I understood the passages as Jesus the Jew understood them that I did not have the actual meaning of the passage that God intended I know and understand. I had to find out the Jewish meaning of my faith. All was well until I began to further my studies in related religious studies concerning the above issues. Over the next few years I had my legs cut out from under me as I studied and encountered spiritual truths and facts that often contradicted what I had been led to believe by both the New Testament as well as other religious authority figures. I was shocked to find that what I had been told since a child was not true in many instance; I quickly realized that much of what I had "accepted by faith" was without substance and that many things taught me by my Pastor as a child and even at conservative Baptist Seminary was in error. Understand I was fortunate enough to know some professors well enough in Seminary who confided in me that "all is not as it appears" but they had to hold the "party line" in order to insure that they continued their employment and received their pay checks. But even then they were preparing me for what I would discover on my own in my personal studies into the difficult areas of Christianity and the New Testament which they would not touch in class due to the explosive nature of the subject.

It is a tragic and sad fact that most church-going Christians open their New Testaments and read without ever once considering that they are absorbing the words of a translation from the pens of biased, often politically motivated monks and ministers as transmitted through countless centuries of numerous councils and corrupt church fathers. They are unaware that the New Testament they believe to be "inspired", "infallible", and "inerrant" and which they hold so near and dear contains hundreds of many shocking contradictions and errors when compared line upon line and precept upon precept with the Jewish Scriptures that Jesus used. Understand that a superficial reading of the text once a week will illuminate this sad fact to no one. Only when one undertakes a serious investigation and study of the New Testament will one be able to see the truth about the document he relies upon for his faith and practice in this life. When one sees this for himself one is overwhelmed with the deceptions uncovered. But few ever encounter such truths and facts concerning the New Testament which sheds the light of truth upon it's many problems. When one undertakes such a comparative study where the Jewish texts are compared with the Christian texts one quickly will see that many dogmas and beliefs in one's Christian religious belief system are in error and often this results in a conduct or behavior is violates what God commanded in the Jewish Scriptures; such erroneous conduct based upon false beliefs is "sin" according to the Jewish Bible and these false beliefs and conducts pass unnoticed by the vast majority of Gentile Christianity....unnoticed that is until we die and meet God face to face and receive our Eternal Condemnation. God calls much of this "sin" and we are not aware because we never "question" what is written in our Christian translations of the Jewish texts as to if God really endorses such. Sadly we never knew there were problems; let me assure you that there are and many of them are critical problems in doctrines and dogmas that just might affect one's eternal salvation such as hidden idolatry that passes for orthodoxy in Gentile Christianity. I am here to tell you that I have questioned such "dogmas" and "doctrines" only because in my studies I ran upon conclusive contradictory evidence and factual data which brought much of the New Testament into question regarding it's validity for faith and practice. Understand both you and I originally took everything in the New Testament "by faith" as being true. It is way past time we investigate whether our faith be sound or if we have built our relationship with God on sinking sand. Again let us understand our faiths as New Testament Christians and followers of Jesus is built off the Christian document; the New Testament. Let me quote a New Testament passage which speaks the truth on the matter:

2 Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in "the" faith; prove your own selves.

This requires we examine the Christian documents as to their truth as it is responsible for Christians beliefs, dogmas, and doctrines!

In this passage you are told to "examine" yourselves….from the Greek:

3985 peirazo (pi-rad'-zo); from 3984; to test (objectively), i.e. endeavor, scrutinize, entice, discipline: assay, examine, go about, prove, try.

The root word is: 3984 peira (pi'-rah); from the base of 4008 (through the idea of piercing); a test, i.e. attempt, experience: assaying, trial.

Understand this is what this series of articles will accomplish. I will put the New Testament on trial as the evidence will be presented to determine if what you have accepted "by faith" is warranted or if you possibly need to reconsider what "you believe" to be true.

Also we are told to "prove" to yourself that you be in "the" faith of the early church…from the Greek;

1381 dokimazo-

1) to test, to examine, to prove, to scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals
2) to recognize as genuine after examination, to approve, to deem worthy
Understand that just because something is written in the New Testament does not mean it is true. This is a sad fact you will quickly come to realize. This is true even though the information is openly taught in major religious colleges in comparative religion classes and is readily available in most public libraries. But Christians believe that they have no need to look into such things since they are falsely reassured by their clergy that they have "the truth". I wish it were true, but my research over the years has proved such a statement totally false. In reality, it is the Jews who have the truth, have always had the truth, and will be the nation to lead the world in repentance at the advent of Messiah. The church-going public labors under deception because any damaging information about the bible has been purposely and systematically hidden by a clergy that has no illusions as to how their flocks would react if they knew the truth about "God's infallible word. "

As a prime example of this deception fundamentalist Christian ministers are notorious for attacking secular and so-called liberal Christian scholarship, which openly and bluntly publishes the truth about the state of the New Testament. Let me give you an example of such attacks by fundamentalist Christians upon the truth. In A Creationist's Defense of the King James Bible, which was written by the noted fundamentalist Christian educator, Henry M. Morris, he states:

"In any case, one of the serious problems with almost all modern English translations is that they rely heavily on Hebrew and Greek manuscripts of the Bible developed by liberals, rationalists, and evolutionists, none of whom believed in the verbal inspiration of the Bible."

The question I guess I hear the most from my readers is this: "Are we to believe that God would entrust the preservation of His eternal Word to men such as these?" This is nothing more than an assumption; one which fails to take into consideration the free-will of men to defy God and His commandments. As you study with us you will see beyond a shadow of doubt that God does oversee His Word to preserve it; however, it is not the New Testament nor the Christian Old Testament which has been preserved but the Jewish Masoretic Text which is the backbone of the Jewish Bible today (JPS Translation and the Stone Edition Tanakh). For over thousands of years only minute differences appear in these Jewish texts where as the New Testament and the Christian's Old Testament has hundreds of thousands of conflicts and disagreements...many, many of which are in crucial and particular places that affect not only atonement, forgiveness, but Messianic beliefs as well. Simply said the Christian's Bible has been "fixed" long ago and few today know of this tragic adulteration of God's Holy Word! One thing is for certain: the Jewish Scholars and the Jewish people know of it and that is why the vast majority of them cannot accept many things taught about the Messiah in the Christian documents.

IS THERE A PERFECT BIBLE?
What you must understand after reading such a quote above is that Dr. Morris' idea of the perfect bible translation was the King James Version (El Cajon, Ca.: Institute For Creation Research, 1996, p. 5). I know, many of you are thinking "what is so wrong with that"? When you come to the knowledge of the hundreds of corruptions and outright purposeful mistranslations and misquotations in the King James Bible (both OT and NT) which does severe injustice to the Jewish Hebrew Scriptures, you will not longer ask such a question. As you read this series of informative articles you will see that one of the most severe violations of intellectual integrity by the founders of Christianity is shown by their gross distortions of the Old Testament for purposes of indoctrination. In their never-ending quest for religious legitimacy and status, the writers of the New Testament have not hesitated to twist, distort, pervert, and concoct Old Testament verses as expediency dictated. Here the true colors of the creators of Christianity come through in all their radiant splendor. Examples of their dishonest display of propagandistic propensities are abundantly evident to anyone with a reasonably critical eye. You need to know that although it is not my purpose in this series of article to expose individual examples of such errors we at Bet Emet have demonstrated hundreds of such errors in these textual fabrications and purposeful mistranslations for theological advantage in two of our other websites in order for you to see these examples for yourself:

[link to returningtofaithofyeshua.freeservers.com] &

[link to paulproblem.faithweb.com]

Upon your individual and persistent study you will come to see without a doubt an overall scheme of dishonesty by the writers of the New Testament and the translators of the Jewish Old Testament Scriptures.

Such deceptions and distortions by the writers of the New Testament and the Essene translators of the Jewish Palestinian Masoretic text fall into three broad categories: misquotations, nonquotes, and misinterpretations. A misquotation is defined as deliberately misquoting an Old Testament passage; a nonquote consists of quoting a non-existent Old Testament passage, and a misinterpretation consists of correctly quoting an Old Testament passage while distorting the meaning intended. In these series of article I plan on dealing primarily with the New Testament and since doing so I plan on showing you that the crafters and writers of the New Testament are guilty on all the counts in hundred of places and only a reasonably critical eye and knowledge of true Jewish Masoretic text, called unfortunately today the "Old" Testament Scripture, is necessary to spot such perversions in the New Testament. If one is interested in individual examples of such New Testament distortions of the Old Testament and the Jewish Scriptures one needs only to examine not only this webpage but the documentation on this website as well as they contain evidence to prove our point.

But you must see it for yourself. This is the purpose of not only this series of articles but Bet Emet Ministries; to reveal the truth for New Testament believers by exposing the unsoundness of such a document in hopes one will repent of such false beliefs once he sees the truth for himself. Israel is the light of the world and God did not make a mistake in commissioning them to be so and it is high time we as Gentile believers learn our place in the economy of God. We must always remember that with every lie exposed and repented of one takes a closer step toward the God of Truth.

Answer for yourself: When one come to the truth behind the New Testament and sees for himself that God never said or gave mankind such dogmas and doctrines as contained in the New Testament, then why follow them?

Let us see what other fundamentalist Christians have to say on the matter. In an article entitled Modern Bible Versions Are Dangerous-Watch Out For Them!, the directors of the Fundamental Evangelistic Association of Los Osos, California has this to say about so-called liberal Christian scholarship:

"We must also be aware that the Bible is under attack. Satan, who succeeded in selling the first 'reviled' edition of God's Word to Eve in the Garden of Eden, has surely been busy in this 20th century along the same lines.... It was not until the publication of the Revised Standard Version in 1946 and 1952 that many Fundamentalists became aware of how effectively a new Bible version or translation could be used as a tool of Satan" (Modern Bible Versions Are Dangerous-Watch Out For Them! Fundamental Evangelistic Association, Los Osos, California, pp. 1,6).

Having Pastored for years I noticed that many fundamentalist ministers spend almost as much time denouncing so-called liberal scholarship as they do in preaching from "God's infallible word." Their time would be better served looking into what the Liberal Christian scholars have to say. I did. I started out to prove them wrong for after all the New Testament "says this" and "says that". But when I undertook such a task in defense of the New Testament I was quickly presented with evidence and facts which exposed my New Testament as a fraud in many but not all places! Read the last sentence again. I said many but not "all" places. God desires we have faith in truth and not fables or anti-Semitic lies. Having seen the evidence then repentance in many of my religious beliefs was the only course for me to take. Such condemnation by fundamentalist Christians who have not evaluated the evidence for themselves is a tactic which is sadly quite successful in warning Christians away from any damaging information, which in turn ensures the continued financial profitability of the Christian religion. Understand the basis for much repudiation of "factual truths" by the fundamentalist branch of Christianity. If they were to stand before their flocks and tell them that they were wrong and that their New Testament is flawed in hundreds of places, then they would lose their following and their financial backing. They would have to get a real job and that is beneath most who have lived off the ignorance of their flocks. Perhaps in fairness it should be said that the blame for such deception cannot be laid fully at the feet of the present-day clergy, because, as we shall now see, many of these men simply do not know these truths for themselves due to their lack of intense study and others are simply carrying on a long Christian tradition which they were never taught to question. Only by the grace of God did I run across materials in my years of study which challenged my Christian beliefs, and taking such challenges I responded to prove myself vindicated in my beliefs. I was overwhelmed at times at the evidence I uncovered which proved my "error laden" New Testament for what it really was…..a combination and mixture of anti-semitic religious lies carried over from pagan mystery religions and gnosticism along with small amounts of Jewish truth.
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06/08/2008 08:36 PM
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
God is capable of insuring that His Word reached us intact as intended.

It has stood for 2-5000 years before inumerabhle critics who now know.
maya12-21-2012 (OP)

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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
Let me guess maya 2012 we ought to believe the Old Testament right?
laugh
 Quoting: boring. 448263

I'm not telling or suggesting that you believe or don't believe in anyone. I'm just putting this idea out there for people to discuss.

To me, somthing never added up correctly with religion, in general. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE our ultimate creator, whether you refer to Him as God, Yehwah, Allah, etc.

I'd really love to believe the story of Jesus, but the more I look into the Bible, the more the New Testament looks like it was contrived by TPTB.
Once you've eliminated fear and darkness, there's only love and light!

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maya12-21-2012 (OP)

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06/08/2008 08:40 PM
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
WHAT YOUR CHURCH AND PASTOR NEVER TOLD YOU ABOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT #2

In what I am about to say now I do not intend to offend anyone. Please understand that. But over the years of my Pastorate I was amazed at the lack of Biblical knowledge by those who called themselves Christians. It seemed to me that rarely I would meet a person who had a workable knowledge of the New Testament let alone the Old Testament which is another story entirely. But they are not totally to blame because the church has centered on preaching instead of teaching since the early fourth century. This is why Biblical ignorance is rampant in the Christian Church in America today. If one can quote 10 Scriptures then he considers himself knowledgeable about the Bible. Thus the xxxx is led around by blind Pastors who themselves are more interested in building bigger ministries than equipping their people to know the truths about their faith. Such truth is dangerous as it liberates mankind from the selfish ambitions of hirelings. If the Christian body of believers knew the truth about their faith then there would be a tumult in Christendom today which would rival the "big bang" of creation.

Answer for yourself: So what is the history of the document Christians call their New Testament?

Answer for yourself: Can the New Testament stand up to critical examination to prove its infallibility, inerrancy, and inspiration?

Answer for yourself: Have you as a New Testament believer ever seriously examined the New Testament to prove to yourself that it is inspired, infallible, and inerrant, and worthy of your commitment to follow its religious tenants?

Answer for yourself: And upon such examination of the New Testament if it be found to be a creation of anti-Semitic dogmas of Rome taken from centuries of syncretistic pagan religious mixture will you repent of such heathen beliefs and return to the faith of the real Yeshua which is not Gentile Christianity, but Biblical Judaism?

These are tough questions only you can answer. But if you ever hope to answer them then you must have the truth about the New Testament. Let us begin our serious inquiry into the infallibility of the New Testament by researching together the History of the New Testament.

THE HISTORY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
After three centuries of obscurity and serious internal conflict, in the fourth century AD a second rate religious cult emerged virtually overnight as the supreme faith of the Roman Empire. This occurred when Emperor Constantine the Great was supposedly converted to Christianity and at once became the benefactor of the church. With this unexpected turn of events, and with the enthusiastic backing of the ''first Christian emperor," the surprised Christian Church fathers wasted little time in cementing their new-found authority throughout the empire. Without hesitation they began to centralize all Christian activities through the office of the Bishop of Rome, while at the same time seeking to convert the emperor's subjects to the faith of Christ.

At first the conversion of the pagan masses was undertaken by some inventive methods. One was by Constantine himself offering a bribe (twenty gold coins and a new set of clothes to every new Christian convert), which, needless to say, was initially successful but didn't have a lasting effects (Walker, The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, p. 174). The better method proved to be the Christian Church's absorption of pagan doctrines, Gods, Goddess and customs into their ever-expanding catalogue of theology and tradition. Please understand it is these Godless customs and doctrines which are expounded from the pulpits of American Christianity today. Sadly, for the most part, these congregations are totally unaware of the origins of such Christian dogma as taught by their Pastors because they have never personally studied the origins of such dogmas both preached and contained in the New Testament.

Into the church of the fourth century came the old Persian Mithraic mass, unaltered in many instances to this day. The church absorbed the ancient Vestal Virgins of pagan Rome, who were then called by the new title of nuns. The ancient pagan office of the hierarchy of the mysteries (from which we get the religious term "hierarchy") was transformed into the papacy. The ancient holy day of the sun-God, Sunday, or Dies Solis, was the replacement for the Jewish Sabbath. The pre-Christian legends of a human virgin giving birth to a halo-bedecked baby savior God on December 25, whose life was immediately sought by an evil king while three wise men from the east visited him as he lay in a manger, was given over to Jesus. The pre-Christian legends of a crucified savior-God, who died upon a cross for the sins of humanity in the spring only to be resurrected three days later from his tomb, became the legend of Easter. The pre-Christian pagan symbols of bread and wine, eaten by the faithful to represent the body and blood of the sacrificial savior-God, entered the church as the Eucharist. Into the church also came hundreds of new Christian saints, transformed from the Gods and Goddess—and demons—of the old pagan faiths.

In addition to the better known Christianized pagan Gods, like St. Nicholas and St. Valentine, here is a small sampling of the numerous Gods and Goddesses absorbed by the early Christian Church:

ST. FEBRONIA, who was the original St. Valentine, was derived from the Goddess Juno Februata; her worship was shared with that of Cupid, the Roman God of erotic love, and included a festival of sexual orgies. The Goddess became the male St. Valentine and Cupid, whose symbols was a winged phallus (penis) was changed to a winged cherub; and the old day of February 14 was retained as the new St. Valentine's Day.
ST. SOPHIA was the same as the Goddesses Ishtar and Isis; her Goddess daughters, Faith Hope and Charity became Christian Saints.
ST. AGAPE was the first of the Goddess Aphrodite's sacred whores, as were St. Chione and St. Irene. ST. SEBASTIAN was the Christian version of the Gaulish savior-God Bacchus.
ST. GEORGE was originally the pagan savior-God Green George, his day, now St. George's Day, was the day of pagan Rome's Feast of Pales, a fertility festival.
ST. ALBAN was the famous English saint who was created from the title of a British Goddess named Albion. St. Alban was supposedly slain on Holmhurst Hill, where, coincidentally, there was a temple of the Goddess Albion.
ST. DAVID, the patron saint of Wales, was originally the Welsh sea God DEWI, who was Christianized in the 11th century. The old God's symbol, the Red Serpent, became the Red Dragon of Wales.
ST. AGATHA was a regional representation of Ishtar offering her breasts, which according to legend, were cut off; the severed breasts, being reinterpreted as bells by the church, is the reason that St. Agatha became the patron of bell founders.
ST. DENIS was originally the God of Paris, being their version of the savior-God Dionysus.
ST. CLARK was the Celtic Goddess Sinclair, changed into a Christian Saint.
ST. GENEVIEVE was the Gallic version of Diana, the Goddess mentioned in the book of Acts.
ST. MARGARET was the Christian version of Aphrodite Marina, or Margarita, Pearl of the Sea, a title later given over to the Virgin Mary.
St. CRISPAN was the pagan tutelary God of shoemakers; the old God's day, October 25, was adapted as St. Crispin's Day.
ST. JANUARIUS, who had the title of "peter," was the Christian version of the Roman God of Gates, who held the keys to the kingdom of heaven; when he was transformed into St. Peter his famous keys became the keys to the gate of the Christian heaven.
ST. DEMETRA, and ST. DRMETRIUS are the female and male version of the Goddess Demeter.
ST. URSULA was the Catholic version of the Saxon Goddess Ursel.
ST. FAITH was created from the pagan daughters or virtues of the mother Goddess Sophia; her name in Latin. Bona Fides, means Good Faith, which is a term still in use.
St. IGNATIUS, the pagan "God bearer," was a pre-Christian God who was brought into the Catholic Church.
ST. BACCHUS bears a name that needs no explanation to anyone slightly versed in pagan mythology.
ST. MITHRA, who was the God most responsible for the mysteries being introduced into Christianity.
ST. SATUR and ST. SWITHIN who, as princes of shadows, are identified by all mythologist as Satan!
ST. CATHERINE is admitted by Christian scholars as a preposterous creation, because she was nothing more than a continuance of the mother Goddess of the Fiery Wheel—or Sun—and her worship is still found in India, where she is known as Kathakali.
ST. LUCY is the Christian version of Juno Lucina, Mother of Lights.
ST. JOSAPHAT is the Christian version of the Buddha..
ST. CERAUNOS was originally the thunder-serpent Keraunos.
ST. COSMAS and ST. DAMANUS were the Christian versions of the pagan Gods Castor and Pollux.
T. SEBASTIAN and ST. HUBERT, patrons of hunting, were once pagan lords.
ST. MERCURY was a Roman God whose temple was Christianized in the sixth century along with himself.
ST. ACHILLES was derived from the God Achilles with absolutely no attempt being made by the church to disguise his identity!
ST. THECLA, the "Famous One," was the Ephesian mother Goddess Diana, whose pagan shrine continued as a Christian place of pilgrimage until the seventeenth century AD.
Keep in mind, these are but a small sampling of the many Gods, Goddess, demons, devils and other spirits that were absorbed by the Christian Church in their efforts to convert the world!

NOW LETS THINK
On one hand you have the Jewish people with their religion and customs which is strange and alien from all other nations of the world. One only need to remember the book of Esther at the hatred for the Jews by the non-Jews of the world. And it is into this world that Paul and others are taking this "Jewish Gospel" along with the writings of the New Testament in hope of "conversion" of the masses to the faith of Christ.

Answer for yourself: If you understand the scenario I just pictured for you then does it not seem to you, at first glance, remarkable with what readiness the non-Jewish cultures of the world dropped their ancestral faiths an accepted Christianity through the persuasions of Christian missionaries?

Answer for yourself: What can explain the openness and readiness of these non-Jewish nations to receive this "Jewish Gospel" as taught by Paul and as recorded by the writers of the New Testament as the documents circulated among the congregations?

THE TESTIMONY OF THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS
The information is massive so I have just chosen a few examples to show why early Christian Doctrine along with their writings (the New Testament) was so readily accepted among the pagans to whom they evangelized. Remember that behind all of this is our question regarding the "truthfulness" of the New Testament as a Revelation from God and not one copied by men from prior pagan sources. Now on with the testimony of the Early Church Fathers:

1. The Holy Father Minucius Felix, in his Octavius, written as late as A.D. 211
In this writing Father Felix indignantly resents the supposition that the sign of the cross should be considered as exclusively a Christian symbol; and represents his advocate of the Christian arguments as retorting on an infidel opponent thus: "As for the adoration of crosses, which you object to against us, I must tell you that we neither adore crosses nor desire them. You it is, ye Pagans, who worship wooden Gods, who are the most likely people to adore wooden crosses, as being parts of the same substance with you deities. For what else are your ensigns, flags, and standards, but crosses? Your victorious trophies not only represent a simple cross, but a cross with a man upon it".

2. Tertullian, a Christian Father of the second and third centuries, writing to the Pagans says:
"The origin of your Gods is derived from figures molded on a cross. All those rows of images on your standards are the appendages of crosses; those hanging on your standards and banners are robes of crosses" (Egyptian Belief, p. 217).

3. Justin Martyr, in his Dialogue with Trypho, says:
"That there exist not a people, civilized or semi-civilized, who have not offered up prayers in the name of a crucified Savior to the Father and Creator of all things".

Also Justin remarks: "It having reached the Devil's ears that the prophets had foretold that Christ would come…he [the Devil] set the heathen poets to bring forward a great many who should be called sons of Jove [that is, the sons of God]; the Devil, laying his schemes in this to get men to imagine that the true history of Christ was of the same character as the prodigious fables and poetic stories". (Justin, Apol. 2.). We must understand properly the above quote. In the attacks upon Christianity by heathenism Christians were blamed from "copying" the pagan' religious beliefs and the only answer that the leading apologist for this new "Gentile Christian faith" could come up is that "the Devil" did it!

4. Eusebius, the ecclesiastical historian, says:
"that the names of Jesus and Christ were both known and honored among the ancients (Eccl. Hist., Lib. 1. Chap. iv.)

Also Eusebius states: "that which is called the Christian religion is neither new nor strange, but if it be lawful to testify the truth, well known to the ancients". (Eccl. History, lib. 2, ch. v).

5. Gregory of Nazianzus, writing to Saint Jerome, says:
"A little jargon is all that is necessary to impose on the people. The less they comprehend the more they admire. Our forefathers and doctors have often said, not what they thought, but what circumstances and necessity dictated". (Heiron ad. Nep. Quoted in Volney's Ruins, p. 177, note. Boston: 1872).

6. Isaac de Casaubon, the great ecclesiastical scholar, says:
"It mightily affects me to see how many there were in the earliest times of the Church, who considered it as a capital exploit to lend to heavenly truth the help of their own inventions, in order that the new doctrine might be more readily received by the wise among the Gentiles. These officious lies, they were wont to say, were devised for a good end". (Quoted in Taylor's Diegesis, p. 44).

7. M. Turretin, the learned Christian advocate, says in describing Christianity in the fourth century, when the Canon of the New Testament was established says:
"That it was not so much the empire that was brought over to the faith, as the faith that was brought over to the empire; not the Pagans who were converted to Christianity, but Christianity that was converted to Paganism". (Taylor, Diegesis, p. 50).
8. Saint Augustine says:
"That in our times is the Christian Religion, which to know and follow is the most sure and certain health, called according to that name, but not according to the thing itself, of which it is the name; for the thing itself which is now called the Christian Religion really was known to the ancients, nor was wanting at any time from the beginning of the human race until the time when Christ came in the flesh, from whence the true religion, which had previously existed, began to be called "Christian:; and this in our day is the Christian religion; not as having been wanting in former times, but as having in later times received this name". (Opera Augustini, vol. i. p. 12, quoted in Taylor's Diegesis, p. 42).

9. Paul
Paul pleads with his listeners that he was made a minister of the gospel, which had been preached to every creature under Heaven (Col. 1:23). You must think now! In saying this Paul was indicating that the doctrines he was bringing the Gentile world were already known by the peoples he targeted for "conversion". We find Saint Paul, the first Apostle of the Gentiles, avowing that he was made a minister of the Gospel which had already been preached to every creature under Heaven, and preaching a God manifest in the flesh, who had been believed on in the world, long before the commencement of his ministry, and who could not have been Jesus of Nazareth, who had certainly not been preached at that time, nor generally believed on in the world till ages after. Paul was preaching to the Gentiles a Jewish adaptation of their own prior pagan superstitions and religion. The reason for such compromise by Paul is not difficult to fathom once comes to the truth about Paul but let me warn you the "half" has not been told about the truth concerning this Paul. You need to know but it is not pretty when you find the facts about him both hidden in places in the NT as well as documents that exist outside the Bible that expose him for what he really was. We can read Luke's accounts of Paul but let us never forget that Luke was his friend and friends tend to bias their depiction of other friends. The truth about Paul can be found at this website: [link to paulproblem.faithweb.com.]

Answer for yourself: Did you notice the testimony of early Church fathers testify to the fact that the Christian religion is not new or a Divine Truth which dropped down from heaven, but the same religion of the ancients only retold with different names for their Gods and saints?

Answer for yourself: Then if the above claim and charge be true, then are we not to expect that in the writings of the New Testament to find such pre-existing doctrines carried over from pagan mystery religions?

Answer for yourself: After seeing the New Testament as a mixture of conflicting doctrines and dogmas, many of which come directly from pagan mystery religions, what is to by your response before God?

Answer for yourself: Once you see for yourself that these non-Jews who wrote and continually altered the New Testament did no more than lend to heavenly truth the help of their own inventions, in order that the new doctrine might be more readily received by the wise among the Gentiles by offering them no more than what they already had only dressed up in new names (Jesus), can you now better see the ease of conversion of the polytheistic non-Jews, and what will be your approach to the New Testament which can no longer be shown to be the citadel of truth?

But a more complete study of the subject only reveals more concerning the unusual ease of this conversion much less surprising, by making it apparent that the Christian Church's Gentile missionaries:

Added the leading dogmas of Biblical faith to their own existing pagan faiths rather than replacing all their pagan beliefs by Biblical Jewish beliefs
Caused in time the cessation of the masses to worship their pagan Gods but transferred such pagan concepts from such Gods to Yeshua, the Virgin, and saints
Invested Yeshua, the Virgin, and saints with the attributes of their pagan Gods and recorded such in the New Testament as if inspired by God
Retained most of their old religious dogmas and ceremonies and passed them off to the unsuspecting as if God inspired
With the absorption of the old pagan faiths and the recording of them in the "infallible and inerrant document called the New Testament", mass conversions became a reality. Think about it for a minutes. The pagans to whom the Gentile Gospel would come would not have to give up anything at all in accepting this Pauline Yeshua. The same concepts and beliefs held by them about their pagan Gods and Goddesses were only transferred and made applicable to Yeshua, the Virgin, and saints as well. The conversion of the non-Jewish world in the earliest centuries was accomplished easily by only changing the names of their Gods; the concepts staid the same. And few know the truth about the alteration of the religion of Yeshua which went into all the world and accept today unquestioningly that what they have as taught by Christianity is what God intended they have. Nothing could be further from the truth and God is not amused as the apostasy of the people of God today. Not only that, but neither could He be pleased with the apathy and lethargy inherent in most believes who fail to study to discover these truths for themselves before they die.

Understand in closing, it was these early writers and redactors of the New Testament manuscripts who "wrote into the oral traditions of a Jewish Rabbi named Yeshua" pre-existing accounts of their pagan Gods and molded such stories in and around the life of Yeshua. Therefore, without a through background in comparative religion one is helpless in reading the New Testament because he lacks the knowledge and skill necessary to separate out truth from fiction.

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Anonymous Coward
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
Man does not foil God's plans.

God is not subject to man's mercy.
maya12-21-2012 (OP)

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06/08/2008 08:51 PM
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
WHAT YOUR CHURCH AND PASTOR NEVER TOLD YOU ABOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT #3

With the absorption of the old pagan faiths within the texture of Christianity in the latter first and early second century, it was then that a secure Christian hierarchy began an intensive campaign to outlaw rival pagan religions. However, in a move to placate the remaining pagans and win them over to Christianity, the hierarchy often rededicated pagan temples and shrines, which essentially allowed former pagans to continue their worship virtually uninterrupted. This is why one can still find pre-Christian pagan idols of a mother-goddess holding her infant savior-son still surviving in a number of Christian churches—the only exception being that they now have the Christian names of Mary and Jesus.

CHRISTIANITY'S OWN TESTIMONY CONVICTS THEMSELVES
The Christian Church cannot escape the origins of their services, as The Catholic Encyclopedia bluntly admits: "In this age of Pan-Babylonianism it is not at all surprising that the germinal ideas of the Christian Communion should be located in Babylon, where in the Adapa myth mention has been found of 'wafer of life' and 'food of life."' (Volume X, p. 12.) The editors of this article go on to quote the famous religious historian Franz Cumont's Mysterien desMithra, in which he documents the origin of the Mass to the Roman sun-god Mithra. They also note that even the ancient Catholic historian Tertullian was so angry when he found the tremendous similarities of Catholicism to Mithraism that he ". . . ascribed this mimicking of Christian rites to the 'devil."' (Ibid., p. 13.)

Few know but Tertullian, an early Church Father, often questioned the legitimacy of his own faith. One should only ask himself: "What did Tertullian find that so upset him?" I want you to pay particular attention to his reply. "The origin of your gods is derived from figures molded on a cross. All those rows of images on your standards are the appendages of crosses; those hanging on your standards and banners are robes of crosses" (Egyptian Belief, p. 217).

The priests of Mithraism celebrated Mass by using holy water, bells, candles, and offered communion on Sunday, which all took place in one of their elaborate idol-bedecked cathedrals. (The Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ed. 1938, Volume 15, p. 621.) Another example is found in ancient Tibet and Nepal, where the worship of their crucified savior-god was found to be very close to the Christian Jesus. "In Tibet was found the pope, or head of the religion, whom they called the 'Dalai Lama,' they use holy water, they celebrate a sacrifice with bread and wine; they give extreme unction, pray for the sick; they have monasteries, and convents for women; they chant in their service, have fasts; they worship one god in a trinity, believe in a hell, heaven, and a half-way place or purgatory; they make prayers and sacrifices for the dead, have confession, adore the cross; have...strings of beads to count their prayers..." Doane, Bible Myths, p. 400.)

Historian Arthur Wigall writes that, "When Christian saints triumphed, these paintings and figures became those of Madonna and child without any break in continuity: No archaeologist, in fact, can now tell whether some of these objects represent the one or the other" (Wigall, The Paganism In Our Christianity, p. 129). E.J. Waggoner comments that when Christianity prevailed over paganism, "It worshipped in the same temples; it performed, to a certain extent, the same rites; it actually abrogated the local worship of one of the multitudinous deities of paganism". Noted mythologist S.C. Wake writes: "The 'Black Virgins' of the French cathedrals prove, when examined critically, to be basalt figures of the goddess Isis. The Virgin Mary succeeded to her form, titles, symbols, rites, and ceremonies . . . It is astonishing how much of the Egyptian and the second-hand Indian symbolism passed over into the usages of the following times. The high cap and hooked staff of the god became the bishop's miter and crosier" (Westropp, Hodder M., Wake Staniland C. Ancient Symbol Worship, Influence of the Phallic Idea in the Religions of Antiquity, p. 97).

"It is well known that when paganism was superseded by Christianity, the older religion was by no means obliterated", writes George H McKnight in his book, St. Nicholas. He continues: "In Greece the pagan temples often were converted into Christian churches. At Athens, the Parthenon, a temple of the Virgin Pallas, became a church of the Virgin Mary, the temple of Theseus [Zeus] became a church devoted to . . . St. George . . . In many of the churches of Rome may be seen beautiful classical columns taken from the earlier pagan structures." He notes that at Syracuse in Sicily, one can find that ". . . the older classical temple of Minerva has been transformed into a renaissance cathedral [the church was renamed, appropriately, Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, or Holy Mary over the shrine of Minerva]" (Westropp, Hodder M., Wake Staniland C. Ancient Symbol Worship, Influence of the Phallic Idea in the Religions of Antiquity, p. 125).

A pagan temple in Rome, sacred to the "Bona Dea" (the good goddess), was rededicated to the Virgin Mary. Another temple sacred to Apollo was demolished and rebuilt—using the materials from the older temple—in honor of St. Apollinaris. The temple of Mars is now the church of St. Martine, and the temple holy to Caelestis Dea, or the heavenly goddess, was converted into a Catholic church at Carthage. What is interesting in this instance is that the last pagan high priest of this temple, whose name was Aurelius, disappeared from history (in AD 390) at exactly the same time a new Christian Bishop of Carthage appears—whose name, coincidentally, was also Aurelius.

Answer for yourself: Did you catch that?

The church of St. Reparatae in Florence was originally dedicated to the great goddess Nutria. The church of St. Stephen in Bologna was built from the temple of Isis. In Rome, the temple dedicated to the god Romulus was made over to a St. Theodore. Quite revealing is that the old custom of women bringing their sick children to the temple to be healed by the pagan god Romulus continues to this day, the only difference being that the present-day faithful now evoke the name of St. Theodore (Doane, Bible Myths, pp. 396-397).

The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome was built over the sacred cave of the Magna Mater. The Church of St. Clemente in Rome has beneath its altar a vault where there is a beautifully carved shrine and altar to the sun-god Mithras. Atop the altar is the sun-god wearing his radiant crown. The temple of the Roman mother-goddess, complete with the god Mithra's phallus standing on top, once stood on the site of the present Vatican. Actually it is still there buried under the artificial hill that was constructed to form the court of St. Peter's." And the memory of the ancient mother goddess accounts for the name of St. Mary's Rotunda, which is so important to the Vatican complex.

In addition to the rededication of the great pagan temples, throughout Europe and the British isles local parish churches are usually built on the tops of hills where a former pagan holy site was once located. This is why many of the old phallic stones of the pre-Christian religion can still be found standing in the church yards of the present Christian churches.

At any rate, such is the history of Christian tradition. But all these changes were simply a prelude to accomplishing the overall objective of enforcing Christianity on the whole of the Roman Empire. Understand such a plan was carried out by merging Jewish beliefs with prior pagan beliefs. Such a mixture assured acceptance by the non-Jews by bringing to them another god fashioned already in the image of those that they already revered.

Answer for yourself: To a polytheist what is another god? These amalgamation of beliefs were first fashioned in oral traditions and later recorded in a document called the New Testament. You have already read the testimony of early Church Fathers to the guilt of the Church in doing such. Now comes the next step in Rome's overall plan…the destruction of as much as possible existing documents which exposed their religious duplicity.

The next and most important step involved a centuries-long campaign of horrendous destruction of anything which revealed the plagiarism by the Catholic Christian Church which took the majority of its "dogmas and doctrines" from prior pagan mystery religions to which they and their "missionary targets" were already familiar. Only in this way would they be able later to hold sway over the masses and none would have "proof" any longer of the Church's copy-cat "theology". This would ensure that Rome could not only claim a "Divine Revelation" since all proof of their plagiarism of pagan mystery religions would be destroyed, but they could then continue without fear of exposure teaching pagan lies and myths as "Divine Truths" which were intended to secure the allegiance and finances of the masses who would depend on such religious establishments for their very "salvation" for soon the Catholic Church would teach that there "was no salvation outside the Catholic Church and its doctrines". Is was only a short step from teaching such pagan lies and myths to recording these pagan myths in a "Divine Document" latter called the New Testament. Without previous references to their dishonesty, the path was cleared for global conversion, for if you remember, they were taking the same stories and myths and only changing the name of the characters. And we read the New Testament most of our lives as if it were "inspired, infallible, and inerrant" never once knowing that most of the accounts in the New Testament had been told before for thousands of years by the people the God of the Old Testament would tell Israel to stay apart from and to whose religion they were not to adopt!

Answer for yourself: What impact would it have if it could be shown that the core teachings of Christianity, a religion espoused as given by God from Heaven, were nothing more than the retelling of pagan mythology as applied to a Jewish Rabbi named Yeshua.

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Anonymous Coward
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06/08/2008 08:53 PM
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
God is capable of insuring that His Word reached us intact as intended.

Unless you think God isn't capable.

It has stood for 2-5000 years before inumerable critics who now know. It remains. They do not.

Do you think you are now the greatest and wisest who will now defeat it?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 448240
Anonymous Coward
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
Man does not foil God's plans.

God is not subject to man's mercy.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 448240
maya12-21-2012 (OP)

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WHAT YOUR CHURCH AND PASTOR NEVER TOLD YOU ABOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT #4

Read any good books lately? Well I can assure you that your Church does not want you to read certain books because if you do then you will become aware of the deceptions within the New Testament of which I continually speak.

As many men and governments before and after the time of the fourth century had learned, if a dictatorship is to control an entire people it is essential to first control education. In other words, to be successful a dictatorship needs to maintain a murderous grip over what their people hear, read and think. Just look at the Communist dictatorship of the former Soviet Union for your example in your own life time. But you don't need to look just at the Soviet Union; lets look closer to home beginning with the Christian Church of the earliest centuries who controlled knowledge. Following a proven method, the main objective of the Roman Empire's new Christian dictatorship beginning with Constantine became the destruction of books and a monopoly on education.

Calling it a "service to God," Christianity's venerable church fathers caused an unfathomable amount of historical materials to be forever lost to the world, such as the entire contents of the ancient Palatine Apollo Library which were burned on the orders of Pope Gregory the Great (AD 540-604). His decree stated that the library was to be burned "lest its secular literature distract the faithful from the contemplation of heaven" (Smith, Man and His Gods, pp. 228, 253). Knowing that the library contained thousands of scrolls from the pre-Christian mystery religions—whose doctrines and customs had been recently absorbed by the Christian Church—Pope Gregory might just have well said "lest its secular literature expose the origin of the Christian Church!" This was the real reason why anything remotely connected to the old pagan religions was savagely attacked by the church! The whole of Roman authority as well as Christian Imperial influence would be severely damaged if it was shown that the core teachings of Christianity, a religion espoused as given by God from Heaven, could be shown to be nothing more than the retelling of pagan mythology as applied to a Jewish Rabbi named Yeshua. Such damaging documents exposing Christian Roman religious lies passed off as Divine Truth as well as their document, the New Testament, had to be destroyed whenever found in order to preserve and protect the Church-State of the Roman Empire. Failure to censer the truth when found could only lead to the enlightenment of the people whereby Rome could no longer use fear and ignorance to control the masses through religion. Rome you must remember saw too it that there was "no salvation" outside the Bishop of the Roman Church; thus it was easy to see how Rome used ignorance of the truth and fear of the loss of one's salvation to control the masses to do the bidding of the Roman Church-State which could be seen in her political and financial desires to propagate herself. If the masses were to learn that salvation as taught by Rome was only pagan ideas recast through a Jewish Rabbi and that their salvation was in doubt, then rebellion to such a religious and political hierarchy would be the guaranteed outcome. All evidence revealing Rome's religious duplicity had to be destroyed whenever and wherever it was encountered.

ROME DESTROYS THE EVIDENCE TO THEIR RELIGIOUS LIES…AND IS THE MORTAL ENEMY TO KNOWLEDGE
Every book in the Gnostic Basilides, Porphyry's thirty-six volumes and an additional 27,000 papyrus rolls of the Gentile mystery religions were all burned by order of the church. Concerning the great ancient library of Alexandria, built by Ptolemy, Joseph Wheless writes: "This Library became the most extensive and celebrated of the ancient world, containing some 700,000 manuscript books at the time it was savagely destroyed, in 391 AD, by the benighted Christian zeal and fury of Bishop Theophilus of Alexandria and his crazy monks of Nitria, as related in Kingsley's Hypatia or any history of the times" (Wheless, Forgery in Christianity, p. 58) These events are simply summed up by Edward Carpenter, who writes, that "the Christians took special pains to destroy the pagan records and so obliterate the evidence of their own dishonesty" (Graham, Deceptions and Myths of the Bible, p. 444).

The official Christian zeal for the destruction of books continued unquenched over the coming centuries. For instance, when the Spanish invaders arrived in South America one of the first acts of the accompanying priests was to order the mass destruction of the ancient libraries of the Aztecs. This action became imperative when the priests discovered that the natives had a pagan religion that virtually mirrored their own. With native religious customs like a virgin-loom crucified savior god, a Eucharist, a clergy that essentially consisted of a pope, priests and virgin nuns, and adoring a golden cross as the symbol of their salvation on which their savior god was crucified, the Catholic priests had ample reason to be zealous in their actions. (The Spansih did this with the Mayan culture, too.)

The above example is startling when you think about it. These Catholic missionaries travel half-way around the world and these "ignorant" natives have the same religion that they had in Catholic Europe?

Answer for yourself: How is that possible?

Well the answer is not hard but it is involved and a complete understanding of how the residue of "sun worship" became worldwide will explain a lot; not the least of it the ministry and later success of Paul in the New Testament among the Gentiles. Again I warn you that this information is not pretty but very unsettling but necessary if the New Testament believer truly desires to know and return to "the faith" once given to the saints. a faith that taught the incarnation of God in every human being never limiting it to be one supposed "literal" and "historical" person by the name if Jesus as did Rome. What was metaphysical and mystical regarding the Soul of mankind as taught in the Divine Mysteries was later "literalized" and "historicized" and limited to a "Jesus" of Rome's creation wherby what was always understood mystically and meaphysically was "literalized" in a Jesus to whom access came now only through the doors of the Roman Church. What appears to be Paganism, when understood alleghorically as it always was, become the hightest of Spiritual Truths for man's Soul.. I have devoted one entire website to this problem of how the faith and religion of Yeshua, a Jew, was litearlized, historicized, paganized and passed off as a debased and imporoper modification of the ancient Divine Mysteries and you can see how it was done in detail and the doctrines taken from it as we later find "literalized" and "historicized" as found in the New Testament by visiting this website: [link to paganizingfaithofyeshua.netfirms.com.]

The ancient Indians of South America worshipped a trinity of gods, the chief god, or father, being Icona. His son, called Bacob, was born of a virgin mother, named Chibirias, who dwelled in heaven with the holy spirit. The son, Bacob, born of a virgin, came to earth as a human and was tied or nailed to a cross, where he both died for the sins of humanity and the fertility of the earth, after which he was raised back to life (Yucatec Trinity in South America quoted in The Mythology of All Races, Volume Xl, p. 143. See also, Hislop, The Two Babylons, pp. 18-19.). T.W. Doane writes: "Sometimes Quetzalcoatle or Bacob is represented as tied to the cross and at other times he is represented in attitude of a person crucified, with impressions of nail holes in his hands and feet..." (op. cif, p. 200.) These native pagan crosses corresponded, as T.W. Doane writes, "in every particular with those delineated on Babylonian monuments;" but it was also distinguished by the Catholic designation, "the tree of subsistence", "the wood of health", "the emblem of life," etc. (op. cit., p. 347.)

In his renowned histories of South America, James Prescott relates how the Spanish missionaries, when they first arrived in Mexico, ". . . could not suppress their wonder as they beheld the cross, the sacred emblem of their own faith, raised as an object of worship in the temples . . . [they] were not aware that the cross was the symbol of worship of the highest antiquity in Egypt and Syria; and that rite, resembling those of communion and baptism, were practiced by pagan nations on whom the light of Christianity had never shone." (Prescott, History of the Conquest of Mexico, Volume 111, pp. 368, 371.) In fact, the Christian priests found in Palenque, Mexico a heathen temple known as the "Temple of the Cross." This temple, almost 3,000 years old, preserved a cross that is identical to the modern form now being used in the Catholic Church. With such discoveries the priest at first thought that the land had been reached by other Christian missionaries, yet when they finally understood the antiquity of the native religion they were confused as to why legends and symbols so close to their own Catholicism should be found there (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume X, p. 252.). Traveling into what would one day become Vera Cruz, Mexico, they found a marble cross, identical to their own sacred symbol, topped with a crown of gold. The natives told the astonished priests that "one more glorious than the sun died upon the cross!" (Murray-Ayosley, Symbolism of the East and West, p 70.)

Answer for yourself: Did you notice the above author described the crucifixion as the "sun" and not the "son" that dies upon the cross? This is just the beginning of how sun-worship is tied to the story of Jesus in the Gentile's New Testament!

The path of the Sun through the Sky and Heavens was always understood to be a visible expression of the Cosmic Intelligent Invisible Creative Principle we call God who humbled Himself and "fell" into material manifestation and incarnation in the whole of material existence, mineral, vegetable, animal, and human. This incarnation of Divine Mind or "Krst/Christ" was personified by the ancients whereby they would relate such scientific and metaphysical realties to others, however, with the rise of Rome they "literalized" the whole of it and gave it a supposed historical existence, and brought forth this perversion of Divine Spiritual Truth limited to but one supposed person of their own making and we find this in the "Jesus Story". In so doing Rome robs the whole of humanity of their incarnational purpose to bring to birth this indwelling God within them and evolve themselves into the "fullness and stature of Christ."

These Catholic priests would soon find themselves even more confused, as Prescott notes: "Their surprise was heightened, when they witnessed a religious rite which reminded them of Christian Communion." The communion in the form of the Aztec sun-god deity ". . . was made of the flour of maize, mixed with blood, and after consecration by the priest, was distributed among the people, who, as they ate it, "showed signs of humiliation and sorrow, declaring it was the flesh of the deity." (Prescott, History of the Conquest of Mexico, Volume 111, p.369.)

SINCE THE CHURCH WON’T ADMIT THE TRUTH…THAT THEIR DOCTRINES ARE COPIES OF PAGANISM…WHAT DOES SHE DO?
Don DeSolis, a Catholic writer in the eighteenth century, tries to explains these obvious "Christian" counterparts within the pagan customs of South America: ". . . it seems that the Devil . . . was ambitious to imitate Baptism . . . and even the Sacraments of the Catholic Church, since he introduced among the Barbarians the Confession of Sins . . . and Communion which the priest administered on certain days. They had likewise Jubilees, processions, offerings of incense and other forms of divine worship; Nay, they even gave their Chief Priest the title of Pope in their language:" "Satan, . . . whether with a design to abuse and profane the Sacred Mysteries and Ceremonies by mingling them with his Abominations, is still aspiring to imitate the Most High." (De Solis, The History of the Conquest of Mexico, Volume 1, p. 355-6.)

We can add to these examples that of the Christian Crusaders who destroyed every book and scroll they could find when they entered the so-called holy land. You may not be aware of this but this action was, in fact, one of the main objectives of the Crusades. But with all this destruction there was still another outstanding problem—the bible itself, especially the New Testament, the contents of which are most revealing to the critical eye.

Answer for yourself: The church could destroy all existing extra-Biblical pagan mystery religious documents which reveals the plagiarized New Testament, but what were they to do about the New Testament itself, since knowledgeable people who would possibly read it could recognize such copying of pagan myths as passed-off Roman "Divine truths"?

THE CREATION OF AN IGNORANT CHURCH TO PROTECT ROME'S SECRET
Remember that there is nothing new under the sun says Solomon. The problem of an informed church was so damaging and obvious that Pope Gregory, who had denounced "all secular education as folly" and who had burned a few hundred tons of pre-Christian scrolls to erase the past and protect Rome's plagiarism of pagan myths, finally commanded that the common people should not read the bible (Graham, Deceptions and Myths of the Bible, p. 444). This command meant that the ordinary Christian man and woman could only hear selected bits and pieces of the bible as interpreted by their priests in his Sunday sermon. The Catholic Christian Church was spared embarrassment and ensured their continued domination of the people who would never know different or the facts behind the New Testament. Finances would continue to be collected forever to ensure the longevity of the Church-State as long as the people never learned the truths behind the dogmas and doctrines Rome borrowed from their pagan past and included in their "infallible" New Testament. It also meant that the "protectors of the faith of Christ" could keep their holy book from close scrutiny and critical assessment. The paganism of the New Testament they hoped could never be found out by the masses. The Catholic Church had destroyed almost all existing pagan religious documents which mimicked the New Testament in religious concepts and ideas and now they had limited the people from ever reading it. They were safe they thought and their positions of influence safe-guarded. The people were to be kept in the "dark" concerning the truth and the Dark Ages were about to begin. Ignorance was bliss to the leaders of the Catholic Church.

Answer for yourself: Today one might wonder "why didn't the average Christian protest the pope's command"?

The answer lies in the absolute control the church wielded over both king and commoner, which perhaps is easily demonstrated in the title of the powerful and notorious pope, Innocent III (1198-1216). In 1198 he was crowned "FATHER OF PRINCES AND KINGS, RULER OF THE WORLD, VICAR OF CHRIST and GOD". DeRosa says that this pontiff "…never doubted this blasphemy was his due" (DeRosa, Vicars of Christ, p. 67). Innocent, whose name is a historical joke because he is credited as the father of the infamous "holy" Inquisition, added to his power by claiming that "All things on earth and in heaven and in hell are subject to the Vicar of Christ" (Halley, Halley's Bible Handbook, p. 776). Innocent's god-like attitude was bequeathed to his successors, an example being Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) who openly declared that, "We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty" (Leo XIII, The Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, 3rd ed. P. 304, extracted from The Reunion of Christendom, 20 June, 1894).

In the coming centuries Pope Gregory's orders against bible reading were backed by the threat of death: "In 1234, the Synod of Taragona declared that anyone was a heretic, who, having in his possession a copy of the Scriptures in the vernacular [i.e., in their own language], refused to surrender it to be burned within eighty days" (Barrett, While Peter Sleeps, p. 223). In other words, after 1234 A.D. anyone possessing a bible that he or she could read was guilty of heresy, and the fate of an unrepentant heretic, after the initial routine torture sessions, was being burned alive.

The prohibition against bible reading was further assured by the fact that the Christian Church had essentially eliminated education in the Holy Roman Empire. By the Middle Ages ninety-nine percent of all Europeans couldn't read or write—a number that usually included most ruling kings and princes. For those few who could read, the study of any subject that might call into question the "truth" of the bible was a perilous undertaking, the most dangerous being a study of the sciences.

Even though the ancient scientist Eratosthenes of Alexandria had measured the circumference of the earth in the third century BC, and his colleague Hipparchus invented longitude and latitude in the second century BC, and even though the ancient Phoenicians had sailed and explored most of the world a thousand years before the time of Jesus—establishing colonies as far away as South America—the Christian Church declared that the earth was flat. It was an "infallible" declaration went unopposed because the church controlled all avenues that might call into question their brand of scientific" reasoning—this and the fact that they had already burned every book of science in existence, including those of the ancient scientists Democritus and Leucippus, who taught the atomic theory of matter in the fifth century BC, and all of the books of the ancient mathematician and geographer Eratosthenes of Alexandria (Eartosthenes of Alexandria:, The Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., Vol. 13, p. 526).

In contrast, and at the time most Christian kings and princes in Europe couldn't read or write, a Moorish king had a library of 600,000 books available to his subjects. The Moorish city of Cordova, Spain had eight hundred public schools, while only one percent of Europe was literate. Religious historian Lloyd Graham writes: "It was difficult to encounter even a Moorish peasant who could not read and write.... In Christian Europe scholars were burned at the stake; in Moorish Europe they were the highest paid men in the realm. One Moorish king gave his leading scholar forty thousand pieces of gold each year, while in Christendom, Roger Bacon, credited with inventing the camera, clock, telescope and lens, gunpowder and steam power, was imprisoned fourteen years as a sorcerer and heretic" (Graham, Deceptions and Myths of The Bible, pp. 457-458). True to their own stated objectives, once the Spanish had driven the Moors out of Europe a hateful Cardinal Ximenes "delivered to the flames in the square of Granada eighty thousand Arabic manuscripts" to be burned " (Graham, Deceptions and Myths of The Bible, pp. 444).

Indeed, the church's hatred of science was so intense that its hierarchy even went so far as to bring charges against Pope Sylvester II. Desiring something more than a religious education, and because there were no universities in Christian Europe that taught anything other than theology, Sylvester, when he was a cardinal, went to a Moorish university in Spain and received an education in medicine. It was putting this education to practical use that ran him afoul of the church hierarchy. After being accused of sorcery, historians note that it was only because of his high office that Pope Sylvester escaped prosecution and the horrors of the Inquisition.

Such an attitude towards the sciences meant that the Christian Church can be held directly responsible for catastrophes like the so-called Black Death, the bubonic plague of the Middle Ages that killed between one-third to one-half of Europe's population.

Now I want you to pay attention to the next quote from a rather well respected church father; Augustine. Remember when you read this quote that many of your Christian Doctrines today are directly attributable to this man. Now after reading the quote think to yourself if you should follow any reasoning coming from such a man and how much of your Christianity today is absolute foolishness. During this deadly sickness of Europe, called the Black Death, the church still agreed with the "wisdom" of its venerated St. Augustine, who declared: "All diseases of Christians are to be ascribed to demons; chiefly do they torment first-baptized Christians, yea, even the guileless newborn infant" (Graham, Deceptions and Myths of The Bible, pp. 458).

At the same time the church was torturing and burning scientists as heretics, one of their most often recommended remedies for illness was driving out the offending demon by the use of "holy water" or by touching a "blessed" relic, which is to say by touching the bones of a saint, or vials of Jesus' blood, pieces of the "true Cross" or, in one instance, a piece of the wing of the archangel Gabriel, which, the church said, he left behind when he came to tell the virgin Mary that she was with child. All of these so-called cures were, of course, for sale from the Christian church.

Throughout Christendom local churches offered cures for just about any type of ailment, all effected by their own local relics. Any "holy" relic dipped into well water, could, as the church advertised far and wide, cure tumors, baldness, impotence, infertility, bad teeth, heart, liver and stomach ailments, broken bones, difficult pregnancies, sores, lepers . . . !

The selling or use of holy bones (or relics) became so profitable that a special papal corporation was founded in Rome to discover, sell, and transport, holy relics to all parts of Europe. The greed became so great that Joe Nickell, in his book, Inquest on The Shroud of Turin, writes: "The living bodies of likely future saints were covetously watched by relic mongers; when Thomas Aquinas fell ill and died at a French monastery, his body was decapitated and his flesh boiled away by monks greedy for his bones. It is said that St. Romnald of Ravenna heard during a visit to France that he was in mortal peril because of the value of his bones and fled homeward . . ." (p. 51.) "Rome, says Gregorovius, was like a moldering cemetery in which hyenas howled and fought as they dug greedily alter corpses." (Woodrow, Babylon Mystery Religion, p. 54.)

One of the most famous examples of relic profiteering is that of Saint Nicholas. He is supposedly buried in the city of Bari, Italy, where his remains were brought after being supposedly discovered by some merchants in Myra. According to the story when these merchants found St. Nicholas' body it was flowing in holy oil, and after his re-burial in Bari this "holy oil" miraculously continued to exude from his bones. Claiming that the oil had miraculous healing powers, the monks began one of the biggest money making schemes in the history of the Italian Church. Unless there were a failure in the local olive oil crop, this "holy" oil was sold by the Christian clergy of Bari, gallon after gallon, century after century to the ill and dying. (McKnight, St Nicholas, p. 147. See also, Walsh, The Story of Santa Klaus, pp 45-46).

Notably the superstition of relics as means of magical cures continues today by the wearing of holy medals or the use of icons. Every Catholic book store, or other related business, sells millions of medals and icons of the church's many different saints for protection against a host of threats. Noting that the ancient pagans wore the same kind of charms, or believed in the power of religious icons of their gods or saints, T.W. Doane makes the connections of the ancient custom to the present-day: "The Christians also used amulets with the name or monogram of the god Serapis engraved thereon.... even the charm which is worn by the Christians at the present day, has none other than the monogram of [the god] Bacchus engraved thereon, i.e., I H S." Bible Myths, p. 405.)

With such "divine" cures bringing a steady flow of money-paying faithful patients to the church, that same church certainly had no need for medical science, and least of all for the "heretics" that promoted scientific experiments. This attitude is why some of the most famous scientists in European history, Leonardo Da Vinci included, had to often work in secret and in fear for their lives!

As yet one more example of the church's relentless war on secular education, early in the seventeenth century one of history's greatest scientists was put on trial for his life charged in an ecclesiastical court with heresy. Despite his reputation and his advanced age, before the mock trial he had been tortured relentlessly by the disciples of Jesus Christ. His heretical crime was to challenge the church's position that the earth was the center of the universe and that the universe revolved around the earth.

After he could no longer endure the torture, and remembering that his colleague Giordano Bruno had been burned at the stake for conducting the same research, this broken old man recanted. Being led before a group of pious Christian priests and clerics the great Galileo admitted the following: "1, Galileo, being in my seventieth year, being a prisoner and on my knees, and before your Eminences, having before my eyes the Holy Gospel, which I touch with my hands, abjure, curse, and detest the error and the heresy of the movement of the earth." And thus the church, that had already declared the earth to be flat because that is what the bible teaches, was secure in its belief that the earth did not move but stood stationary at the center of the universe. Galileo published his work, Dialogo in 1632. Essentially building upon the theory of Copernicus, he was able to demonstrate the fallacy of the church's teaching that the earth was the center of the universe and everything revolved around it.

Perhaps all this madness is best summed up by one historian who wrote that within the Christian Church of the Middle Ages a heretic was a man with an opinion! (Reinach, Orpheus, p. 318).

FINALLY THE LIGHT OF TRUTH AND KNOWLEDGE SURFACES
It would not be until 1865 that the major crack came in the strict domination of Christianity over education. Up until that time virtually all universities appointed religious authorities to supervise all fields of scientific inquiry. In 1865 Cornell University was founded and, under a great deal of protest, became the first major school in Christendom to appoint a non-cleric as its dean. However, when the academic world finally broke free of the murderous grip of fanatic Christian ignorance, intellectual freedom was far from being a reality.

Even after the clergy could no longer arrest, torture and burn people for thinking, questioning, or for reading a forbidden book, they still waged a relentless war on secular education by using their considerable influence with the uneducated masses forever in fear of eternal damnation. Notice again the same tactics used by the Church who controlled not only knowledge but salvation as well. In the majority of Christian churches members were and still are told either directly not read certain materials, or they are warned away through more subtle means, such as sermons ridiculing and discrediting a particular work or author. We at Bet Emet encounter such a blindness to the facts and fear of truth occasionally as our articles are sent to others but we cannot be deterred from the quest and calling we have received from God. God is sacred and not a book which can be shown to be lies; lies that have replaced God's Truth no less for millions who never do their own study to see if "they be in the faith"…"the faith once given to the saints".

Both the Catholic Church and her Protestant Sister still dictates to their members what they can and cannot read. In 1515 the church, alarmed by the number of "heretical" books being published, moved to put an end to this danger. Thus was born the Imprimatur, the official Vatican stamp of approval received by works that are in line with Catholic dogma. The office is still in operation and any good Catholic book will contain this stamp of approval on the title page. (Lea, A History of the Inquisition, Volume 111, p. 615.)

For any fundamentalist who finally works up the courage to get outside the carefully screened and recommended reading of their church the reasons for these warnings become painfully obvious. No where is this more true than in a critical study of the New Testament. Such a critical study of the New Testament will reveal to you gross distortions of the Old Testament for purposes of indoctrination by anti-Semitic Gentiles. The process really began with the corruption of the translation of the Jewish Scriptures by the Essenes of Egypt when they were also involved in sun-worship. In their never-ending quest for religious legitimacy and status, the writers of the New Testament have not hesitated to twist, distort, pervert, and concoct Old Testament verses as expediency dictated. Examples of their dishonest display of propagandistic propensities are abundantly evident to anyone with a reasonably critical eye. Such deceptions and distortions by the writers of the New Testament fall into three broad categories: misquotations, nonquotes, and misinterpretations. A misquotation is defined as deliberately misquoting an Old Testament passage; a nonquote consists of quoting a non-existent Old Testament passage, and a misinterpretation consists of correctly quoting an Old Testament passage while distorting the meaning intended. The New Testament is guilty on all the counts in hundred of places and only a reasonably critical eye and knowledge of Old Testament Scripture as take from the Jewish Bible and not the altered Christian Old Testaments is necessary to spot such perversions in the New Testament.

We must always remember that with every lie exposed and repented of one takes a closer step toward the God of Truth.

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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
WHAT YOUR CHURCH AND PASTOR NEVER TOLD YOU ABOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT #5

I have spent some time laying the foundation for this present study. I have labored to present to you the history of your faith as championed by the Catholic Church and as inherited by the Protestant Church. You need to understand that they literally controlled and yet control what you are to believe as your faith as a Christian. They do this through both preaching of false dogmas and doctrines as well as point you to a document which is full of error and lies taken from pagan mystery religions. The Catholic Church not only had possession of the New Testament manuscripts but controlled what you heard and what you were "to believe". By the time that the books of the New Testament would be printed in the language of the people for all to read and see for themselves, hundreds and hundreds of changes had already been made in the text by monks and adept "theologians" who made sure the manuscripts carried the "current teachings" of the Catholic Church. The New Testament was to be a reflection not of truth or the original faith of Yeshua but of Catholic theology as it evolved by emperor's decisions and majority votes; from one Church Council to the next. Over time by majority vote the New Testament took upon itself a life of its own which can be shown to be quite different from the doctrines believed by the Jerusalem Church.

Perhaps one of the most pointed questions I get in my e-mails over and over is this:

"Does it make sense that God would give man His revelation and then stand by helplessly as it became garbled and corrupted? Such an idea is preposterous."

I understand the desperation of such a question but the student does not grasp the incalculable damage done to the New Testament over the centuries by the Catholic Church. He lacks the facts in the matter at hand. Once you see this for yourself then such a question needs not to be asked because you have proof as your answer.

Ironically, I totally agree with that statement! If a Divine Being, who we are told created the whole universe, transmitted His divine will into the writing of a book, then it makes no sense that He'd allow that book to become corrupt. The Creator of the universe would be perfection manifest and beyond error, whereas man is notoriously corrupt in everything he puts his hand to! This is the rule by which one should judge any human-proclaimed holy writing, and one to keep in mind as we NOW consider the facts pertaining to and the origins of the New Testament.

WHERE ARE THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS?
To get an overall picture let's start by first noting that there is no such thing as an original manuscript of the New Testament. This means that there is no known prototype from which later copies of the New Testament were made. To the contrary, there are several so-called families of Greek texts, none of which agrees with the other, that stand behind the present day New Testament.

Answer for yourself: Did you notice I said no "two" (2) New Testament manuscripts agrees with each other?

Take time to let that statement sink in.

The more important of these families of Greek texts are the Alexandrian texts, the Western texts, the Caesarean texts and the Byzantine Texts. Metzger, A Textual Commentary On The Greek New Testament, pp. XVI, XVII states that the Alexandrian texts are represented by the codex Vaticanus and the codex Sinaiticus. The Western text were those used by the church fathers Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Marcion and Tatian. The Caesarean text apparently originated in Egypt and is thought to have been brought to Caesarea where it was used by Eusebius and others.

The state of these texts can be seen in the admission of the turn-of-the-century editors of The Catholic Encyclopedia, who represented a church that even today fully believes and teaches the infallibility of the bible.

Now pay attention to the next quotation. Although admitting to thousands of conflicting scriptures in the New Testament text families, they nevertheless offer this weak excuse: "It is easy to understand how numerous would be the readings of a text transcribed as often as the Bible, and, as only one reading can represent the original, it follows that all the others are necessarily faulty. Mill estimated the variants of the New Testament at 30,000, and since the discovery of so many MSS. [i.e., manuscripts] unknown to Mill, this number has greatly increased" (Vol. IV, p. 498. The Catholic Encyclopedia, published in 1910). I need to stop here and ask you a very important question.

Answer for yourself: Did you notice that the Catholic Encyclopedia estimated 30,000 variants and contradictions in the New Testament manuscripts in 1910 and do you know that the true number is much higher because of the newer archeological discoveries in New Testament studies since 1910?

Answer for yourself: Are you aware before reading this article that the Greek "New Testament" manuscripts from which the New Testament in your Christian Bible is taken had "thousands and thousands" of conflicting scriptures?

Answer for yourself: Can you give an answer why when considering the Masoretic Text of the Old Testament as handed down by the Jewish Scribes is almost 99% accurate with just minimal discrepancies whereas the Greek Scriptures handed down from the non-Jewish Catholic Church has thousands and thousands of "conflicting scriptures"?

Answer for yourself: Remember the question posed earlier: "Does it make sense that God would give man His revelation and then stand by helplessly as it became garbled and corrupted? Now I ask you "What does it appear to you that God is preserving as His Word; the New Testament or the Old Testament?

Take time to let that statement sink in.

Concerning the New Testament Gospels the editors note: "The existence of numerous and, at times, considerable differences between the four canonical Gospels is a fact which has long been noticed and which all scholars readily admit" (Volume VI, p. 658.The Catholic Encyclopedia was published in 1910).

LETS GET MORE CURRENT IN OUR INFORMATION
Regarding the lack of uniformity of these various texts, a later work, Forlong's Encyclopedia of Religion, tells us: "There are some 1,760 MSS. to be compared; and the various readings are computed at 150,000.

Answer for yourself: Now did you notice that the number of variants and conflicts are now over 150,000?

Answer for yourself: In all honesty where is the work of the Holy Spirit in this?

The revisers confess to 100,000 in 1,500 MSS" (Vol. I, p. 316.) In other words here we are being told that there are l50,000 conflicting words or verses in the so-called original Greek New Testament manuscripts from which Christianity derives its holy book.

Take time to let that statement sink in.
Answer for yourself: Can you honestly say that the New Testament, according to the facts you have seen, is the work of the Holy Spirit especially in light of the facts regarding how meticulously and with such few discrepancies the Jewish Old Testament was preserved by the Jewish Scribes?

NOW FOR THE REAL BAD NEWS…CHRISTIAN SCHOLARS ADMIT THAT "SOMEWHERE" IN ALL THE CONFLICTING N.T. MANUSCRIPTS IS TRUTH…."SOMEWHERE"………BUT WHERE?
However since the above reference works were first published the discovery of ancient New Testament manuscripts have more than doubled in numbers. By 1989 the Munster Institute for New Testament Textual Research had catalogued 5,488 Greek New Testament manuscripts. Only 59 of these contain the entire New Testament, while roughly 1500 contain only the Gospels. The present count of New Testament MSS. include 96 papyri, 299 uncials, 2,812 minuscule and 2,281 lectionaries, or works containing selected passages for use in church services (The Oxford Companion to the Bible, p. 488). The relevant information that you need to know about these 5,488 manuscripts is that virtually all of them differ in some mayor or minor degrees one from the other!

Answer for yourself: Did you notice that now, out of 5,488 New Testament manuscripts that no 2 agree?

EVEN CHRISTIAN BIBLES WILL TODAY TELL YOU THE FACTS IF YOU LOOK
After noting that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John alone are preserved in some 3,500 different and often conflicting manuscripts, the editors of a contemporary work entitled, The Complete Gospels, bluntly admit that, "The Greek texts behind our English translation [of the New Testament] is a reconstruction produced by patient and exacting comparison of thousands of differences in wording among the numerous copies" (The Complete Gospels, p. 2).

By way of defending such damaging information, Christian apologist and fundamentalist Eric V. Snow first acknowledges that there are 200,000 estimated variations in the New Testament, but then excuses this fact with the following remark: "Scholars Geisler and Nix, building upon the work of F.J.A. Hort, said only about 1/8 [of the 200,000] have weight, with 1/60 [of the 200,000] being 'substantial variation."'

Answer for yourself: Can you feel secure knowing that your religious belief system whereby you are trusting New Testament dogmas and doctrines for your salvation can be shown to have "substantial variations"?

Eric V. Snow adds to his so-called defense by also quoting the well-known NT scholars C.F. Sitterly and J.H. Greenlee as saying: "Such a wealth of evidence makes it all the more certain that the original words of the NT have been preserved somewhere within the MSS."

What Christian scholars like Eric's two experts are saying is that somewhere in all the jumble of the surviving disagreeing New Testament manuscripts there must be some originality...but where!)

Answer for yourself: As a typical New Testament believer, have you when reading the New Testament, the ability to pick out from these "jumbled and disagreeing New Testament Scriptures" what is originally true from what is false since the Christian scholars attest that "truth" is jumbled somewhere within it?

Answer for yourself: Are you qualified to read the New Testament and have the ability to discern "truth" from "error" on every page?

Answer for yourself: Have you invested years of scholarly research in order to equip yourself with necessary skills that ensure you can pick out the lies from the truth when reading the New Testament?

I never was real good with math but let's get out our handy pocket calculators. Take the 200,000 NT variations admitted by Christian scholars and divide by 8; we have 25,000 NT variations which quoted scholars like Geisler and Nix said have weight. Now, let's divide 200,000 by 60. We come up with 3,333 New Testament variations which these two Christians scholars said were substantial! Taking the low number of 3,333 substantial variations, we still have a major headache for those who uphold the infallibility of the New Testament!"

Answer for yourself: Have you ever thought that you should ask your Pastor how many of these 3,333 substantial New Testament variations conflict in matters of salvation let alone in doctrines where your life-style is either pleasing or displeasing to God?

Speaking of Doctors Westcott and Hort, fundamentalist minister, educator and author Dr. D.A. Waite criticizes their work by charging that Hort deliberately understates the number of variances between his reconstructed Greek New Testament translation and the "original" Textus Receptus, or the "received" Greek text behind the King James Version of the New Testament. Waite notes that he counted some 5,604 places where Westcott and Hort "rejected the Textus Receptus", which includes 9,970 Greek words that were either added, subtracted or changed from what he terms the original Textus Receptus.

Answer for yourself: Did you hear that? At least 9,970 words were either added or subtracted or changed from the earlier translation of the Bible; the Textus Receptus?

Answer for yourself: Do you recall the following verses from the Old Testament?

Deut. 4:2

2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Deut 12:32

32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

Answer for yourself: Did any of these 9,970 words which were either "added, subtracted, or changed" in the New Testament affect, influence, or change Biblical doctrines or dogmas from what the Old Testament once said?

You better listen to what I just asked. The horrible fact is that many do! Over the years my research, as well as the research conducted by many others have revealed the same results. The tragic fact is that the typical believer in the Church pew has not the slightest idea to the corruption which has occurred to the New Testament. The typical New Testament believer would literally die if he knew the horrible and severe violations does to the Masoretic text by the writers of the New Testament and their subsequent translations which are filled with gross distortions of the Old Testament for purposes of indoctrination. In their never-ending quest for religious legitimacy and status, the writers of the New Testament have not hesitated to twist, distort, pervert, and concoct Old Testament verses as expediency dictated, and subsequent translations of the New Testament followed suit in the steps of their predecessors.

Waite calculated that these changes came to 45.9 pages of differences within the whole of the New Testament (The Four-Fold Superiority of the King James Version, Collingswood, New Jersey, 1992, pp. 5-6. This reference is taken from Waite's book Defending the King James Bible: The Four-Fold Superiority of the King James Version). The next time you go to church and read from the New Testament I want you to count 45 pages and hold them between your thumb and realize that this much "verbiage" in the New Testament is considered by scholars to be substantial variations !

Again, such statistics are not very reassuring to "infallible New Testament" advocates. However, as I will endeavor to show, the above figures are the least of the problems inherent with the New Testament.

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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
WHAT YOUR CHURCH AND PASTOR NEVER TOLD YOU ABOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT #6

Over the past centuries countless Christian ministers and scholars, both Protestant and Catholic, have appealed to the "original Greek" of the New Testament while attempting to make some theological argument, which may have indeed formed the foundation of an important doctrine. The question I wish to put forward to you is this:

Answer for yourself: What comprises the original Greek New Testament?

Answer for yourself: Is it, as Christian scholars attest, to be found in the so-called Textus Receptus?

We shall now see.

THE PROTESTANTS HAVE TO COME UP WITH THEIR OWN BIBLE SINCE LEAVING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE VULGATE
When the protesting children of Roman Christianity left their mother church they also rejected its bible. That is, they rejected Jerome's Latin Vulgate, traditionally said to have been translated by Jerome from an early New Testament version called the Old Latin, which itself rested on the authority of the Alexandrian and Western Texts. Of necessity the newly designated Protestants had to find another source of authority for their new-found faith. For this need they turned to what essentially was the only alternative—the large collection of New Testament manuscripts known as the Byzantine Greek Texts, so-called because they surfaced inside the Eastern (Orthodox) Christian Church, which had formally split from the Western, or Roman Catholic Church in the eleventh century.

In many important instances the Byzantine Texts differed greatly from both the Alexandrian and Western Texts, and, as already noted, they also differed greatly in comparison with each other.

Answer for yourself: Do you remember that previously we stated that no "two" Greek New Testament manuscripts agreed with each other?

Answer for yourself: Did you notice that not only did the Byzantine Texts differ from the Alexandrian and Western Texts, but they also disagreed with "each other" as well in the same family of Texts?

This meant that in order to use the collective Byzantine Texts Protestant scholars had to reconstruct a new Greek bible.

THE ERASMUS GREEK NEW TESTAMENT…CALLED "THE LEAST CAREFULLY PREPARED BOOK EVER PUBLISHED"…HOW HONEST WAS HE… AND HIS NEW TESTAMENT?
Such an attempt had already been made by the great Dutch Catholic scholar Desiderius Erasmus, who worked in Baste, Switzerland. But his Greek New Testament, printed in 1516, left a lot to be desired.

Among the many faults in Erasmus' reconstruction efforts was that he was able to locate only two rather inferior Byzantine manuscripts for the greater part of his work. (Metzger, op. cit., p. xxi). The editors of The Cambridge History of the Bible add this: "Further, while Erasmus suggested that he had consulted many manuscripts, in fact he used few in the preparation of the text he published, and most of these he found in Baste." Vol. 1, p. 60).

Answer for yourself: First of all did you notice that Erasmus, the first man to give the Protestants the Greek New Testament from the Byzantine Texts "lied" about his production?

Further, Erasmus used only the Complutensian Polyglot for his translation of the book of Revelation, which indeed in his copy was missing the last page, or six whole verses of the last chapter. As a substitute for the missing versus Erasmus simply used Jerome's Latin Vulgate for "what he supposed the Greek text should read" (The Oxford Companion to the Bible, p. 490). So after all part of the Catholic Bible crept into the Protestant Bible anyway!

On top of this, Erasmus is known to have tampered with the text of the Byzantine manuscripts he was using. For example they didn't contain the infamous, and completely spurious passage of I John 5:7, which falsely acknowledges the doctrine of the Trinity. Virtually all scholars acknowledge that this passage was the work of a monk copyist in the fourth century AD. It is known as the Johannine Comma, and, as the editors of Harper's Bible Commentary state, "This gloss [lie!], apparently motivated by early trinitarian debates, is not found in any Greek manuscript before the fifteenth century" (Harper's Bible Commentary, p. 1294.)

Answer for yourself: Is it a fair assumption to say that Erasmus' theology was instrumental in creation of his New Testament regardless of what the Greek manuscripts he used "contained within them" or "did not contain within them"?

Answer for yourself: Besides this "doctrinal creationism" do you know where other doctrinal "creationisms" lie within the New Testament which God never intended you believe or cherish?

Most modern Bible translations agree that I John 5:7 is a false insertion, and do not include it in their work. Even the extremely liberal Living Bible makes a note about this scripture! Most bible commentaries, such as Peake's Commentary on the Bible, are forced to admit that I John 5:7 doesn't belong in the Bible, noting that, "no respectable Greek manuscript contains it." (p. 1030.)

The verse is, in fact, not found in the earliest copies of the Vulgate itself; although it is included in the present Catholic bible. After rendering the spurious verse in the main text The New Testament, a Catholic translation from the Latin Vulgate, says in the footnote: "According to the evidence of many manuscripts, and the majority of commentators, these verses should read: "For there are three that bear witness: the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three are one." The Holy See [the papacy] reserves to itself the right to pass finally on the origin of the present reading." (p. 638.)

Religious historian Salomon Reinach writes: "The Roman Church refused to bow to evidence. 'How,' she argued, 'if these verses were an interpolation, could the Holy Spirit who guides and directs the Church, have allowed her to regard this lofty affirmation of the Trinity as authentic, and permitted its insertion in the official edition of the sacred books?" (Orpheus, p. 260.)

Again the Church and the New Testament believer make a fatal assumption; namely, that the Holy Spirit is directing the Christian Church in such plagiarism of pagan doctrines as truth!

When his fellow Catholics complained that he'd left this passage out, Erasmus supplied it in his next edition on the justification that a Byzantine MSS. in Dublin contained the verse. However, not having access to the Dublin MSS., Erasmus simply took the text from the Latin Vulgate and translated the Latin into Greek (The Cambridge History of the Bible, Vol. 1, p. 60).

These examples and many others tell us why Erasmus' Greek New Testament contains words that do not agree with any known Greek text. Moreover, Erasmus' translation of the last six verses of Revelation are still found in the so-called original Greek New Testament.

Relevant to this point is that Erasmus, in trying to be the first get a Protestant Greek translation of the Byzantine Texts into print, threw together in a few months what his competitors at Alcala de Henares University took years to assemble. The University's text came to be known as the Complutensian Polyglot, which, as previously noted, Erasmus used in his translation of the book of Revelation! One contemporary critic in England called Erasmus' work the "least carefully penned book ever published", which is echoed by the editors of The Cambridge History of the Bible, who conservatively say of Erasmus' work that it shows "plainly the signs of undue haste" (Vol. I, p. 59).

ERASMUS' GREEK NEW TESTAMENT (TEXTUS RECEPTUS) …THE FOUNDATION FOR ALL LATER GREEK NEW TESTAMENTS
However, the main problem with Erasmus' translation, or reconstruction, which became known as the Textus Receptus or the Received Text, is that it formed the foundation for later Greek New Testaments, and hence it is essentially the "original Greek" of the present day Protestant New Testament and the one proclaimed as God's infallible word by fundamentalist Christians.

And we must not forget that truthful Christian Biblical scholars call his work "the least carefully penned book ever published".

However, such claims can only be made by ignoring the embarrassing history behind the Textus Receptus. The Textus Receptus got its name by way of the Elzovir brothers, who printed bibles in Leiden and later in Amsterdam. In the preface to their second edition of the Greek New Testament of 1633 is found the following: "Therefore you dear reader now have the text received by all, in which we give nothing changed or corrupted." From this sentence the term Textus Receptus (The Received Text) was derived (Metzger, op. cit., pp. xxii, xxiii).

STEPHANUS….THE KJV…I GUESS HE MEANT WELL…BUT…
The next translator to try his hand at producing a Greek New Testament from the Byzantine Texts was a Parisian reconstructionist printer and part-time scholar named Robert Estienne (or Etienne), who is better known as Stephanus. Called the editio Regia, his Greek Bible was published in Geneva in 1551 and must have been more to the liking of the Protestant world because it essentially became "the original Greek" behind the best known of all Protestant New Testaments, which is to say the Authorized Version or the 1611 King James Bible. It was this same Stephanus, by the way, who first employed the use of chapter and verse divisions in the Christian bible. This is a major problem in itself for often the correct interpretation of passages is severely hampered by his chapter divisions. Isaiah chapter 52 and 53 are prime examples.

THE ERASMUS' TEXT REBORN…IN THE KJV 1611
Although the concept of chapter and verse divisions was in itself a much-needed improvement for bible study in some instances, Stephanus' efforts in this area have been greatly criticized because his divisions often broke sentences apart or inserted chapter breaks in places that broke the continuity of a story. The oddity in this situation is that numerous "the bible is the infallible word of God" advocates have argued over the years against anyone trying to correct certain problems caused by Stephanus' clumsy divisions by declaring that "one doesn't mess around with the infallible word of God!"

But the real problem with the Stephanus translation is that he relied heavily on the translation of Erasmus' Greek text. In fact Stephanus' translation is but a repeat of the fifth Erasmian text with variants. As Erasmus before him, Stephanus also used the Greek of the above mentioned Complutensian Polyglot. This translation was undertaken in 1502 under the direction of Cardinal Ximenes de Cisneros, Archbishop of Toledo, Spain, by license of Pope Leo X . Cardinal de Cisneros founded the University of Alcala de Henares at Complutum where the work on his Complutensian Polyglot began in 1502, with the New Testament finally being completed in 1514 and formally published in 1522 after the pope gave his permission. It was against this translation work that Erasmus was competing, as he wanted to be the first to get a translation of the Byzantine text into print to chiefly satisfy commercial demands. Polyglot bibles, by the way, are editions containing a biblical text in several languages, usually in parallel columns (The Oxford Companion to the Bible, p. 601).

In his work the good cardinal used both the great codices of the Catholic Church (i.e., the Alexandrian and Western Texts, which were loaned to him by the Vatican) and the Latin Vulgate itself to augment his limited collection of Byzantine codices, all of which tells us immediately both the underlying scholarship of Stephanus' text and that of the 1611 King James Bible (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. V, pp. 289-290).

In other words the KJV Bible, the production of Stephanus, is a mixture of Catholic manuscripts and Byzantine Eastern texts. It is a mixture!

The editors of The Cambridge History of the Bible write, "For their Greek text the [KJV] translators worked from Stephanus and [Theodore] Beza, without any sure principles of textual criticism to guide them ....[and they did make extensive use of [the]Geneva and Rhemes [Bibles]" (Vol. 1, p 167. The KJV translators essentially used the 1588, 1589 and 1598 editions of Beza's work).

As to the so-called translation of Theodore Beza (whose name was given to the famous Codex Bezae), even though he published nine consecutive corrected editions of his Textus Receptus (from 1565 - 1604 with a tenth published after his death), his foundational "original" Greek was simply borrowed from Stephanus' translation, which, remember, was borrowed from the work of Erasmus: "He [Beza] made little significant change from the fourth edition of Estienne [i e., Stephanus] . . . which he had before him in preparing his own edition" (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. V, pp. 289-290).

In other words the "inspired original Greek" behind our modern Protestant New Testament, the fundamentalist-proclaimed infallible word of God, is traceable only to the sixteenth century where we find that it was essentially a piece-meal composition as reconstructed by three different men:

A Catholic Cardinal
A Catholic Scholar
A Parisian Printer
Answer for yourself: How does that make you feel knowing that as a Protestant your Bible and New Testament is the work of only 3 men, let alone Catholics?

Answer for yourself: Do you think that their theologies “crept” into the text in places where you believe to be “inspired”?

It you have paid attention so far you already have been given examples where it had!

Answer for yourself: And who knows how and by what means these three came to select from the differing texts the final verses for their "original Greek" New Testament?

IN A NUTSHELL
The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, p 353. and The Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ea., vol. 3, p. 518 attest:

The history of the KJV is summed up thus: "Sixty years after the first edition of the Bible was printed, a Dutch scholar Erasmus in 1516 printed a Greek language version of the New Testament. He used only three or four available twelfth century copy manuscripts [he actually used two!] and a later copy of Jerome's Latin translation which he translated back into Greek; this translation had now gone through countless copies and had been converted from Greek to Latin and back to Greek. This mishmash brought about a self originating, concocted Greek text producing a unique reading never to be found in any other known Greek manuscript. Unfortunately this artificial perverted text became the basis for the received text, the Textus Receptus, which was later used as the base text of the King James Bible. In 1611, King James of England had the Textus Receptus adopted into the King James Bible, including all the error in the Erasmus Text. This became the basis for most Protestant translations in Europe until the end of the nineteenth century (Armageddon 2033: Facts on Bible Time Prophecies, Leafy Grove Keston, Kent, England: The Bible Research and Investigation Company, 1996, chapter 4, "The Clean Up of Scripture").

At any rate, the work of these three men stand behind what is regarded by fundamentalist Christians as the most sacred of all bible translations, which is to say the King James Version (KJV) of the Holy Bible. This is a joke!

Answer for yourself: How comfortable are you resting your eternal security upon the work of 3 men, 3 Catholics, let alone considering the hundreds of thousands of conflicting scriptures contained in such a document called the New Testament?

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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
WHAT YOUR CHURCH AND PASTOR NEVER TOLD YOU ABOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT #7

Answer for yourself: How much do you know about the King James Version of the Bible?

Ever since as authorization by King James I back in the seventeenth century, the King James Version translation has been "the bible" of the majority of English-speaking Protestants. Indeed when Protestants get into the argument of biblical infallibility it is virtually always the KJV that they hold up as the model of perfection. Even when other translations are used the majority of fundamentalist ministers strongly recommend that they be "checked for accuracy" against the KJV. This is why of all the countless translations since 1611 the KJV is by far the world's best seller. But having already seen the real foundation behind the "original Greek" of the KJV, let's now look a little closer at the history of the translation itself.

When present-day Christian fundamentalist declare that the KJV is the "inerrant" or "infallible" word of God, they probably don't know that the KJV translation has undergone many changes—word deletions, additions and changes—in the last 350 years; they probably don't know that the present KJV lacks fourteen entire books (the so-called Apocrypha) which were in the original translation of 1611 but were dropped in the 1769 revision. They probably have never been enlightened to the tact that the KJV or the Authorized Version was never authorized by anyone other than England's King James I. Their ministers have conveniently forgotten to tell them that the original KJV had a calendar of annual holy days which all believers were expected to follow and that these days included such notable Roman Catholic examples as the Purification of the Virgin Mary, The Annunciation of Our Lady and Innocent's Day. In fact, fundamentalists ministers like to declare that the KJV was so popular with the common people that all other translations fell into disuse, which, they claim, indicates that it had God's blessing. But the truth is that when the KJV was printed all other translations ceased to be published. Its triumph over previous translations is due to that fact and that fact alone. "It [the KJV] replaced the Bishop's Bible in public use because after 1611 no other folio Bible was printed" (The Cambridge History of the Bible, Vol. l, p.168).

Concerning the accuracy of the translation work of the 1611 KJV, history doesn't paint a flattering picture. In 1881, upon the release of the Revised Version (a reworked edition of the 1769 KJV, which was a revision of the original 1611), the revisers had this to say about the so-called Authorized Version of 1611:

"The texts relied on are founded, for the most part, on MSS. [manuscripts] of late date, few in number, and used with little critical skill . . . "

As an example of that last point we may note that during the translation of the KJV disputed points about a given text were settled by a vote of the translators, which, in the case of a deadlock, meant that "God's infallible word" often depended on the deciding vote of the chairman of the translating committee—and his vote depended entirely upon his own religious views (Forlong's Encyclopedia of Religions, vol. 1, p.300)

.

Furthermore to this confusion we can add the political and religious views of his majesty King James I.

THE INFLUENCE OF KING JAMES ON HIS BIBLE
As already noted the man behind the KJV was England's King James I. James' influence on the translation bearing his name has been negatively commented on by numerous scholars, which is a point that is all but unknown to most Protestants. In fact, the king hand-picked the scholars for the work, carefully selecting only those who were both politically and doctrinally in accord with his views . On 22 July 1604 King James "appointed certain learned men, to the number of four and fifty, for translation of the Bible" (The Cambridge History of the Bible, Vol. l, p 164).

Before they set to work the king also issued his hand-picked so-called translation committee fifteen rules which they had to follow in their work. One rule was that the very popular Bishops' Bible, which then was in use throughout the Anglican Church, "had to be followed and as little altered as the Truth of the original will permit. When a word hath divers significations, that to be kept which hath been most commonly used by the most of the Ancient Fathers, being agreeable to the Propriety of the Place, and the Analogy of the Faith.... These translations to be used when they agree better with the text than the Bishops' Bible; viz., Tyndale's, Matthew's, Coverdale's, Whitchurch's [the Great Bible], [and the] Geneva . . . " (The Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ea., vol.3, pp. 533-534).

Scholars complain that fifteen such rules certainly tied the hands of the translators. But more than this, the last rule adds additional complications to the claim of an infallible word of God.

Because the Bishops' Bible played such an important part in the translation of the KJV, it is essential to this study to look into its history. In 1526 William Tyndale, working from the Greek of Erasmus' printed text, produced his New Testament, which, it should be noted, was not authorized by the Christian Church (Metzger, op. Cit., pp. xxi, xxii). After he was burned at the stake for this heresy, John Rogers, a friend of Tyndale's, printed the so-called Thomas Matthews Bible in 1537 by simply using William Tyndale's New Testament and Pentateuch. Thomas Matthews is thought to have been an alias for John Rogers (The Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ed. Vol. 3, p. 532). In 1539 a lawyer named Richard Taverner published (many historians call it "pirated") a revision of the Matthew Bible, which was followed in 1539 by yet another revision by Miles Coverdale. Unlike the previous editions or translations, Coverdale's work had the official sanction of King Henry VIII's ministers. When finished, this new translation became known as the Great Bible because of its large format (The Oxford Companion to the Bible, p. 759). However, Coverdale not only based his revision on the Matthew Bible he also consulted the Latin Vulgate and Erasmus' edition of the Greek text—the latter of which, as the reader probably noticed, was the Greek behind the Matthew Bible to begin with (The Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ed. Vol. 3, p. 532).

During the reign of Queen Mary I, who tried to revert England back to Catholicism after the death of her father and brother, King Henry VIII and King Edward VI, the printing of all English language bibles in the kingdom was stopped. Those who wanted to produce bibles in English had to go over to the European Continent. It was during this time that the Geneva Bible was produced (so-called because it was printed in Geneva, Switzerland). The New Testament was translated by William Whittingham, pastor of the English Church in Geneva, whose "original Greek" authority for the work can be traced directly to the translation of Erasmus—an important point considering the Geneva Bible also played a part in the translation work of the KJV.

In short order the Geneva Bible became the bible of the English speaking world and was widely used in both England and Scotland, especially during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. However, as the editors of The Oxford Companion to the Bible point out, "Its extremely Protestant notes were offensive to the [English] bishops, and in 1568 a tension of the Great Bible was published, which became known as the Bishops' Bible, owing to the great number of bishops on the committee" (The Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ed. Vol. 3, p. 759).

In other words, the scholarship behind the Bishops' Bible was the Great Bible, which, as noted above, was rooted in Erasmus' Greek New Testament, and which also formed another building block of the KJV. We can add to this point that the KJV translators understood that they had a need to translate certain passages to uphold King James' "Divine Right of Kings" doctrine, which was the cornerstone of his reign—and one, by the way, that ultimately caused the English Civil War and the death of his son, King Charles I.

ALTERATION OF HEBREW AND GREEK WORDS ON PURPOSE
If the overall history behind the KJV weren't already bad enough, many scholars also point out that in certain places the KJV translators changed the meaning of the original Hebrew and Greek words to better fit the doctrines of their own Anglican faith. That this complaint is valid is easily noticeable in the role call of King James' hand-picked translation committee. They include Dr. John Bois, Dean of Canterbury, Lancelot Andrews, Dean of Westminster and Bishop of Winchester, Dr. William Bedwell, an Anglican theologian, Miles Smith, Bishop of Gloucester and Dr. George, Abbott and Archbishop of Canterbury (The Cambridge History of the Bible, Vol. I, p. 164). Couple all of this with the fact that the KJV translators were working from a very faulty and piece-meal Greek reconstruction that had flowed from the pens and whims of essentially three men in the previous century, and we have the truth, or perhaps it is better said, we see the farce behind the so-called infallible King James Bible.

This history tells us why Hugh Broughton, the foremost Hebrew scholar of England at that time the KJV was published, rejected the suggestion that he endorse the work by saying that he would rather "be rent to pieces by wild horses than have had any part in the urging of such a wretched version of the Bible on the poor people. "

As an example of the truth behind Broughton's opinion, just two short years after the release of 1611 KJV a revision was released that differed from the 1611 original in over four hundred places. In 1769 Dr. Benjamin Blayney of Oxford produced another edition of the KJV which he also called The Authorized Version, although scholars point out that it was never formally authorized by either king or Parliament (The Oxford Companion of the Bible, p. 760). It was this new edition that dropped the fourteen books of the Apocrypha from the "infallible word of God" while at the same time introducing countless other changes to the text. However, changes to the text, whether authorized or not, was only part of the problem.

In 1851 the American Bible Society compared six different publisher's editions of the King James Bible then in circulation and discovered over 24,000 variations in the text—which was understandable since the printers had to typeset the bibles by hand. Even so, one minister rightly asked how could there be an inerrant King James Bible when even the different editions had ten's of thousands of variant readings? Such a sad state didn't go unnoticed and in 1870 the Church of England formally authorized a revision of the KJV. Fifty scholars, most of whom were Anglicans, went to work. In the New Testament alone some thirty thousand changes were made, with some five thousand based on what they called "a better Greek text." That last notation means that since the time of Erasmus, Cardinal Ximenes de Cisneros and Stephanus' piece-meal compositions, men had been steadily working to produce a better "original" Greek New Testament, which the new translators were now going to employ in their new translation. All of this brings us to the present day "original" Greek New Testament.

ORIGINAL GREEK…WHERE IS IT AT?
The present day Greek New Testament is essentially the work of two scholars, Dr. Brooke F. Westcott and Dr. Fenton J.A. Hort, who, in 1881, produced an "original" Greek New Testament entitled, The New Testament: A Translation from the Original Greek. What we need to note here, however, is that Doctors Westcott and Hort primarily used Stephanus' Textus Receptus augmented by another translation by Professor Konstantin von Tischendorf for their work. As neither Stephanus nor his predecessors ever saw, let alone used an "original" Greek New Testament manuscript for their work, one wonders how Doctors Westcott and Hort came up with the second part of their title, "A Translation from the Original Greek"?

This point aside, not long after Westcott and Hort's work the Christian world was presented with yet another "original" Greek New Testament by the efforts of Dr. Eberhard Nestle (Novam Testamentum graece) printed in Stuttgart in 1898. Important to this study is the tact that Nestle primarily used the text of Westcott and Hort, who used Stephanus' work, who, remember, used the translation of Erasmus' piece-meal reconstruction. However, even this effort was just a stepping stone in the history of the "original" Greek New Testament. Nestle's "original" Greek New Testament was eventually corrected and augmented by Doctors Erwin Nestle and Kurt Aland, whose work is known as the Nestle/Aland Greek Text.

Earlier in these articles I quoted fundamentalist minister Dr. D.A. Waite's complaint that F.J.A. Hort and B.F. Westcott had either added, subtracted or changed almost l0,000 words in their Greek New Testament in comparison to the Textus Receptus of Erasmus and Stephanus. Dr. Waite noted that this amounted to 45.9 pages of changes. In his book, Defending the King James Bible, Waite offers this further complaint about the current Nestle/Aland Greek New Testament, which, as noted, is essentially based on the work of Westcott and Hort, who based their translation on the work of the Received Text of Staphanus and Erasmus: "The fact that there have been TWENTY-SIX EDITIONS IN EIGHTY-ONE YEARS (a new edition every 3.1 years) would give you the DISTINCT impression that these men, and their followers, who put confidence in their editions, have NO ASSURANCE WHATEVER of what ARE NOT the very and the exact GREEK WORDS OF GOD in the New Testament!"

Answer for yourself: Did you hear that and does that sink in?

Answer for yourself: If the New Testament is to be believed to be "The Word Of God" then knowing these facts does it not stand to reason that God has done a terrible job of preserving it?

Despite the fact that Dr. Waite misses the point that if the New Testament is indeed the word of God, then God has done a miserable job preserving it, his complaint about the present day Greek text, which stands behind all modern translations, speaks volumes about the history of New Testament corruption and needs no further comment other than to criticize his unmitigated defense of the Textus Receptus, which stands behind his beloved KJV.

In his attack on men like Westcott, Hort, Nestle and Aland, whom he calls "theological heretics", Waite conveniently forgets to mention why it was that they decided it necessary to produce a new Greek bible in the first placed. He forgets to mention the sloppy methods by which the "original" Textus Receptus was produced, nor does he bother to relate the history of the biased, opinionated men or their methods which ultimately produced the KJV. Undoubtedly Dr. Waite forgets all this because the men who produced the KJV were, as good Protestants, quite close to his own Baptist theology!

With blunt admissions like these, which are a slap in the face of the "infallibility of the New Testament" doctrine, we can see why it is that men like Dr. Waite try to warn fellow fundamentalists away from reading the works of so-called secular scholarship which expose such facts to the "believing xxxx".

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Anonymous Coward
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
God is capable of insuring that His Word reached us intact as intended.

Unless you think God isn't capable.

It has stood for 2-5000 years before inumerable critics who now know. It remains. They do not.

Do you think you are now the greatest and wisest who will now defeat it?

 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 448240

Ok, let me re-phrase with a question:

Do you think God is not capable of ensuring that His Word reaches us as He intends because man has defeated God's intention and Will?
maya12-21-2012 (OP)

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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
WHAT YOUR CHURCH AND PASTOR NEVER TOLD YOU ABOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT #8

Faced with the irrefutable truth that the history of the Protestant New Testament is one of mass of confusion, a die-hard fundamentalist, trying desperately to cling to his faith, might naturally be tempted to look at the forerunner of their New Testament, i.e., the Latin Vulgate, as a possible candidate for the "infallible" word of God. Even though such a claim is made by the Roman Catholic Church the truth is that their own history relates a different story.

Christian legend says that in the time of St. Jerome the bible then in use, which is now known as the Old Latin, was deemed to be in a mess. So hopeless was the situation that the pope himself prevailed upon the great St. Jerome to correct the situation by using the "original Greek" New Testament to produce a new translation (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 2, p. 441). This Jerome supposedly did. The editors of The Cambridge History of the Bible make the point essential to this study: "A natural question is: Can the 'old' Greek manuscript that Jerome used in the preparation of the Vulgate gospels be identified? The short answer is, No" (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 2, p. 529). However, as they point out, scholars are able to partially identify some of Jerome's work as being based on both the Alexandrian and Western families of text—which doesn't tell us a whole lot (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 2, p. 529). For instance it doesn't tell us anything about the "original" manuscripts or their origin, nor does it tell us how much of these Jerome used or indeed how many changes he made. To accept the Latin Vulgate as the "infallible word of God" one essentially has to place their faith in Jerome and equally in the numerous revisers that followed him. They also have to unquestionably accept the manuscripts behind the Vulgate.

Considering that all we really know of the Vulgate is that it is based on the Old Latin, then we need to examine this source closer, which is virtually impossible because it has an obscure origin. The only definite fact about the Old Latin is that the surviving fragments exhibit many variations, which means that they are far from being a candidate for the "infallible" word of God." On top of this almost all scholars seriously doubt that Jerome ever translated the entire New Testament, which tells us that the Vulgate, like the Protestant versions, is essentially nothing more than a composite work (The Cambridge History of the Bible, vol. I, pp. 373-374). Jerome is essentially credited with translating the four-gospels. Short and to the point, these are the facts that are conveniently forgotten while Roman Catholics denounce the heresy of Protestant bible translations!

Answer for yourself: But what about the other sources for Jerome's work? What about the Alexandrian and Western texts, which scholars have identified as partial sources for the Vulgate, and which, by the way, are also employed by scholars for modern Protestant translations?

THE GREAT CODICES
A “codice” is a manuscript volume containing the Scriptures. To further complicate matters for fundamentalist Christians the last few centuries have brought the discoveries of several so-called great Uncials, so designated because they were written in Greek capital letters. The Unicals are the oldest known extant manuscripts of the Christian New Testament and are as follows: The Codex Alexandrinus from the fifth century AD, the Codex Sinaiticus from the fourth or early fifth centuries; The Codex Vaticanus, the oldest, from the fourth century; the Codex Ephroemi, from the fifth century and the Codex Bezae from the sixth century.

One would think that the discovery of these MSS. would be a welcomed event in Christendom, hailed as a great advancement in the study of Christian scripture. It was not!

Answer for yourself: Why not for Heaven's sake?

This is because the great Uncials not only disagree with the present Christian bible, they show unmistakable signs of having been heavily edited.

Imagine, the oldest known MSS. of the New Testament show disturbing evidence of having been "worked over" by Catholic monks!

And, if these facts weren't bad enough, some of the great Uncials include the ancient and so-called spurious books of the bible. For example the Codex Sinaiticus includes the Epistle of Barnabas and The Shepherd of Hermas—a fact that focuses one's attention on the infamous Christian councils and their disgraceful process of "canonizing" the New Testament, a subject that I will deal with shortly.

To completely understand why these oldest of all manuscripts are so controversial within fundamental Christianity we only need cite several examples.

In 1938 scholar T.C. Skeat examined the fourth century Codex Sinaiticus under ultra-violet light. Under the visible text he found the following verse, which had been erased: "Consider the lilies of the field: they neither card nor spin. " Biblical historian Robin Lane Fox writes, "the King James translators have beguiled us with a wrong version; there was growing, no toiling, in what the author wrote. Strictly, there were no 'lilies', because they are a very free translation of the Greek; however, the botanists' favorite candidate for the flower in question (a Stembergia) would spoil the flow of the saying" (Fox, The Unauthorized Version, pp. 140-141, referring to Matthew 6:28).

Another example is the story of Jesus' encounter with the woman taken in adultery. Manfred Barthel writes, "Two passages in this Gospel [John] are not included in the most reliable ancient manuscripts, and stylistic analysis confirms that they were added by another writer" (What the Bible Really Says, p. 232). Robin Lane Fox adds, "'He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her"; “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more". The episode is missing from the surviving fourth-century codices which underpin the rest of the New Testament text; it is not known in an early papyrus or any quotation by an early Christian author, although the subject was relevant to so much which they discussed. Its style is universally held to differ from the rest of the fourth Gospel, and in its present place it interrupts the flow of the text" (The Unauthorized Version, p. 143).

Most Christians are unaware that there are two versions of the Acts of the Apostles. One is almost a tenth longer than the other. Again, Robin Lane Fox makes the relevant observation: "The shorter, usual text is based on one of the main Greek lines, the Alexandrian, whereas the longer alternative is best represented in a book-text, Codex Bezae, of the fifth to sixth century date which contains the Gospels and Acts in Greek and Latin. Its extra wordings and variant readings are sometimes reflected in early Christian quotations or in early papyrus fragments of Acts' text" (The Unauthorized Version, p. 141).

In just these few examples out of hundreds we can see why so many present-day ministers have denounced the great codices as corrupt—they present an embarrassing predicament. Essentially, what we see in the most ancient extant Greek manuscripts is the evolution, if you'll pardon the expression, of the New Testament Gospel stories especially when compared to the present-day finished product. That this is exactly what these MSS. prove has caused no small embarrassment for countless theologians who, on more than one occasion, have said that it was unfortunate that these early MSS. survived to the present because by their contents they serve no useful purpose for the unity of the Christian faith.

Such embarrassment stands behind the following comment from Christian fundamentalist, Dr. D.A. Waite, in his book Defending the King James Bible. After relating the story about how Professor Konstantin von Tischendorf discovered the Codex Sinaiticus in a trash basket at St. Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai, and buying it for several hundred dollars, Waite quotes a Dr. James Qurollo: "I don't know which of them had the truer evaluation of its worth—Tischendorf, who wanted to buy it, or the monks, who were getting ready to burn it!" Waite adds to this comment, "He had to pay for the trash. It really was that, because of all the heretic' changes"(Waite, Defending The King James Bible, p. 60).

Heresy, as Dr. Waite charges, is not the only transparent argument used against the great codices. Here is an even more radical excuse, which is offered by a Christian fundamentalist church: "The oldest extant copies [of the New Testament] are the most corrupt! . . . The oldest fragments of the New Testament are of the 'Western Text,' used by the early Catholic Church fathers in the first three centuries. This type of text is full of spurious additions, notable corruption's, deletions and contradictions. These 'oldest' fragments vary so from each other that there would be no way of knowing what constitutes the New testament! This 'Western Text' admittedly originated in Rome!"

Dr. D.A. Waite echoes this opinion: "Both Dr.Scrivener and Dean John William Burgon agreed that the greatest pollution of the stream of pure manuscripts was accomplished in the first 100 years after the New Testament was written! So some believe that the oldest are not necessarily the best! This is especially true since the heretics had their knives out "correcting" the Greek N.T. almost as soon as it was written" (The Four-Fold Superiority of the King James Version, p. 8). Waite follows this thought in his book, Defending the King James Bible, when he writes of the oldest codices: ". . . [they] had very little, if any, use by their owners. I believe this was true because the owners recognized them to be perverted texts, having been defaced and polluted by heretics and others . . . they are neither the best nor the purest. They were corrupted by heretics" (p. 59). With these biased, ignorant words ringing in our ears, let's touch on a very significant point.

Christian fundamentalists laud the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, in particular the Book of Isaiah, as incontrovertible evidence that the Old Testament is the "infallible word of God." That is to say, because the Isaiah scroll essentially agrees with the now accepted book of Isaiah, or the Masoretic text of the Christian bible, it is proof; say the fundamentalists, of Isaiah's authenticity and God's hand in its preservation. This is a fine sounding argument if it weren't for one problem: Among those same Dead Sea Scrolls is a copy of the book of Jeremiah that is more in line with the Septuagint, which is the translation behind the Old Testament of the great Uncials. This fact has caused considerable controversy within many fundamentalist Christian circles, and it may well be one of the reasons that it took some fifty years before Christian scholars were finally forced lo make the Dead Sea Scrolls public.

But let us notice something: the same men who hold up the ancient example of the Dead Sea Scroll book of Isaiah as proving the authenticity of the bible, will not apply the same test to the oldest Greek MSS. of the New Testament. That is because when applied to the New Testament this comparison proves the opposite of what they are claiming, which is the doctrine of an infallible Christian bible. Hence they complain that the oldest are the most corrupt! This claim, by the way, is an unscientific principle, especially in the field of history where the closer one comes to the original source the nearer they are to the truth. At Qumran was discovered older Hebrew texts that differed considerably in unique places from the Greek Septuagint and which also predated it by some 1000 years. This is of importance because they also basically agreed with the oldest existing (up to then) Hebrew texts of 900-1000 A.D. These older Hebrew texts had differed also considerably with the Greek LXX and were basically discounted by Christianity as the more authentic because of their age as well as their "theological diversity" when compared with the LXX. But with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls the Jewish Palestinian Masoretic text was exonerated and now the question as to "theological diversity" falls squarely upon the Greek Septuagint which now appears to have altered in no small way the "theology" concerning atonement and the Jewish Messiah. Basically Christianity has been turned upside down with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Perhaps the irony of the whole situation is that if the great Uncials had been in complete agreement with the present-day Christian bible, their discovery would have been hailed as one of the greatest events in Christian history! Indeed, most Christian fundamentalists blatantly display their hypocrisy in this regard by their consistent use of the earliest known fragments of the New Testament as proof of the New Testament's authenticity. In other words because of their age (the earliest dating from the second century AD) these fragments are lauded as proof that the New Testament was written by the men to whom later church lathers assigned authorship. However, what is conveniently forgotten is that these early fragments, like the great Uncials, are from the so-called Alexandrian and Western texts, meaning that they often disagree with the present-day Byzantine Text-based New Testament.

Even more to the point is that when compared one to another, these fragments are full of contradictions. First of all there are only some eighty eight pieces that date before AD 300, with only a few dating before AD 180. As to their conflicting readings we only need cite the example of two early papyri from the Gospel of John. They overlap across seventy verses and, as Robin Lane Fox notes, "even if the plain errors of their copyists are excluded, they differ at no less than seventy small places (Fox, The Unauthorized Version, p. 139).

However, none of the above information seems to deter the intellectually dishonest. Even with the history of the New Testament squarely in front of them they still make statements like this: "None of the modern [NT] scholars have thought to look at the bulk of later New Testament Manuscripts —95% of known Greek Biblical MSS. [i.e., the Byzantine Texts]—which the Greek people and its church have always used! These later MSS., copied century after century from earlier ones as they wore out, are the fundamental basis of the King James Version (KJV)."

As we have seen from the information already presented the author of this statement is being completely dishonest. Scholars have indeed "thought to look at the bulk of later New Testament Manuscripts", which is why there is such great confusion among the many different New Testament translations. Further, the manuscripts that the "Greek people and its church have always used" date back only to the seventh century AD, with complete texts preserved about 200 years later than this time. The author compounds this misinformation with the following: "The nearly 4,000 MSS. of this Byzantine or Official Text agree so perfectly with each other that the only work of the critic is to weed out individual scribal mistakes in the copying of each Ms. The text is not in question!' The author of the above never bothered to give any sources for his statements, which was wise considering the evidence would expose his dishonesty. Yet, I for one, as a former dedicated "the bible is the infallible word of God" advocate, would never have questioned such statements in the past. I would have read this statement in total agreement! Why? Because my fundamentalist background and natural life-long bias in favor of Christianity would lead me to accept without question such an argument—just like a born-Buddhist would accept the fundamentals of his faith without question. The fact is that like 99.99% of all Christians, I had never bothered to research the history of the New Testament. I was born into a Christian fundamentalist family, had grown up believing in New Testament infallibility, and that was good enough for me. My past attitude can be summed up in the little fundamentalist ditty so often quoted: "the bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it!"

What I sadly found out upon serious investigation is that nothing could be further from the truth, and because of believing such lies of biased non-Jews I lived the vast majority of my life opposing the God I loved both in doctrine and conduct because I had believed "in the New Testament" and patterned my life and thoughts after it. Thank God in Heaven that my eyes were opened to the beautiful truth of Biblical Judaism; the faith of Yeshua.

Let us continue our study in the next article in this series

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maya12-21-2012 (OP)

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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
Do you think God is not capable of ensuring that His Word reaches us as He intends because man has defeated God's intention and Will?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 448240

Good question!


WHAT YOUR CHURCH AND PASTOR NEVER TOLD YOU ABOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT #9

Most scholars agree that the language of Jesus and his disciples was Aramaic, which means that they never would have written a New Testament in Greek. Further these same scholars note that the sayings of Jesus, as found in the four Gospels, bear traces of having been originally translated from Aramaic into Greek The Jerome Biblical Commentary tells us: ". . . the words of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels, definitely show Ara[maic] influence.... Since Aramaisms are strongest and most frequent in the words of Jesus, an Aram[aic] saying-source, either written or oral, underlies the Synoptic Gospel tradition"' (Vol. II, pp. 11-12)

THE ALEXANDRIAN INFLUENCE UPON YOUR NEW TESTAMENT
First of all you need to know that the hot-bed of religious scholarship in the first century was Alexandria, Egypt. It was the melting pot for all world religions and provides fertile soil for all religions to mix and exchange views. So we find in Alexandria a little of everything as far as religions myths and stories.

Next you need to know that there is a distinction between the Gospels stories of Jesus' life and the actual quoted sayings of Jesus. This needs to be kept in mind. In other words, while most scholars agree that the most primitive "New Testament" consisted only of the sayings of Jesus, which were likely composed in, or translated from Aramaic, they note that the actual stories surrounding Jesus' life and death, as found in Gospels, were most assuredly composed in Greek. This betrays the Alexandrian influence upon the accounts recorded within the New Testament which are taken from pagan mystery religions and written into the life of Jesus. Such is the Alexandrian influence.

What I say now is at the crux of the problems revealed so far. Scholars, being virtually unanimous that the New Testament was composed in Greek, while at the same time incorporating the Aramaic sayings of Jesus, offer compelling evidence for the accusations that it was later Greek-speaking church fathers who composed the New Testament as we know it. Until the Christian church realizes this truth there may be no hope for her education into the corruptness of the New Testament. The true Apostles did not write the Gospels and many of the supposed letters of Paul were never penned by him. Biblical criticism whereby internal evidences are scrutinized reveals such details.

Evidence for the demonstration that it was the Greek-speaking church fathers who composed the New Testament and not the Jewish followers of Yeshua is seen easily in 3 facts:

Within the New Testament and written into the life of a Jewish Rabbi is something totally foreign to him as well as the Old Testament and his faith; namely the integrated pagan legends of a virgin-born, crucified sun-god in the Gospel stories which were drawn from the existing mystery religions of such Greeks.

The accusation is also backed by the admission that the quotations or allusions to the Old Testament found in the New Testament depend upon the Greek Septuagint and not the Masoretic Text which the Jews rejected because of its corruptions at the hands of its Greek translators. The Septuagint was the Old Testament version used by the early church fathers, but would have been deemed unworthy of use by a first century Orthodox Jew like Jesus.
The existence of the earliest Gospel ever found, the Gnostic Gospel According To Thomas.
As if that was not enough, the scholarly contention that the original New Testament contained only the sayings of Jesus was given a tremendous boost by the discovery in Egypt in 1947 of the Nag Hammadi manuscripts, specifically a gospel account now known as The Gospel According To Thomas. The entire manuscript was written in Coptic and dates to ca. AD 350, while some portions, in Greek, date to ca. AD 140. Actually, the entire MSS. is but a translation of a second century original composed in Greek. This gospel, in certain respects, is actually the oldest known complete MSS. of the NT in existence. But, significantly, it is a Gnostic Christian production containing only the sayings of Jesus and therefore rejected by orthodox Christians. More than likely the main reason why The Gospel According To Thomas is rejected by Christianity is that if they admit that these sayings of Jesus were indeed all there was to the original gospels, then there is a very big problem with the modern four Gospels, because there is much more than the sayings in the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John! Added to that one's knowledge of Aryan-Sun Myths and their crucified saviors and sun-gods, along with the stories comprising their lives which date up to thousands of years before Jesus, then it is hard for an objective reader of the New Testament to find a story about the life of Jesus in the New Testament which has not be told previously multiple times over about these pagan gods ( [link to paganizingfaithofyeshua.netfirms.com)]

Answer for yourself: Are you a thinking believer?

Answer for yourself: Are you an objective believer who wants the facts and the truth at all costs?

CAN YOU HANDLE THE TRUTH?
To the thinking believer there is only one conclusion to which one can arrive: The New Testament is a woven tale by non-Jews who patterned this "Jesus" which was preached to them after their own pagan gods and only changed the names of them thereby conforming "this Jesus" in the image of their pagan gods and their pagan religions. The results of such efforts is the New Testament which is a collection of articles which betray such plagiarism. But one must have the knowledge before hand if one is to see and recognize such alarming perversions as applied to the Historical Jesus.

The editors of The Complete Gospels explain that, "The frequent word-for-word agreements between Matthew and Luke are impossible to account for if both were independently translating from Aramaic (p. 250).

These facts along with corrupt church history and the confused state of both the Protestant and Catholic so-called original Greek New Testaments, have caused a few scholars to claim that the whole of the New Testament was originally written in Aramaic. Although on the surface this argument seems logical history itself doesn't support the claim.

THE PESHITTA TEXT….THE ARAMIC BIBLE
There is a New Testament translation that has been promoted by many as the only reliable text because it is allegedly a translation from the original Aramaic writings of Jesus' apostles. The translation, known as the Peshitta, which means the "simple version," purports to have been copied, century after century from the original Aramaic manuscripts—which notably are conveniently missing. The Peshitta is reproduced in English in the Lamsa translation. There are a number of flaws in this claim. First of all, history tells us that the earliest version of what came to be called the Peshitta, known as the Old Syriac, contained only the four Gospels and not the entire New Testament. Although those who promote the Peshitta somehow date this work to ca AD 160, the second problem is that the only "original" of the work survives in quotations found in later writings.

The fact is that the earliest surviving manuscripts of the Peshitta date only from the fourth and fifth centuries. They are The Sinai Palimpsest (Sinaiticus) and Cureton's MSS., which is called the Curetonranus. But scholars point out that these MSS. are really of little value because they were made from an early Greek text with many "Western features," which is to say the Western texts used by the early Roman Christian Church. To throw a further "wrench into the works" the editors of The Oxford Companion to the Bible tell us that the Greek text in question was itself revised "on the basis of an early form of the Koine, or Byzantine Greek NT Text; this revision, eventually called the Peshitta, emerged in ca 400 AD to become the standard New Testament of the Syriac Churches" (The Oxford Companion to the Bible, p. 754)

In other words the "original" texts of the Peshitta did not originate from the first century Aramaic-speaking apostles, but came from both early Western and Byzantine Greek texts, which we have been discussing throughout this study.

To completely understand the composition of the Peshitta let's look a little closer at its pre-history, meaning the works that formed its foundation. They include a so-called harmony of the Gospels called the Diatessaron. According to the church father Eusebius the compiler of the Diatessaron was a man named Tatian who was a native of Mesopotamia and a disciple of Justin Martyr, meaning that he received his Christian education and training via the Church of Rome. In other words it is a Catholic production. This is made even more clear since Tatian is said to have originally composed the Diatessaron in Latin (The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, p. 296). Biblical historians also tell us that this Tatian changed the text of the Gospels during his translation work to support his extreme hostility to sex. Despite this open tampering, Tatian's work was widely accepted in the Eastern Christian Churches where it made a serious impact on Christian scholarship (Fox, The Unauthorized Version, pp. 139-140). It was in the Eastern Churches, remember, that the Byzantine texts originated.

All of this takes us to the Greek MSS. behind the Peshitta. Regarding these, we read the following in The Encyclopedia Britannica: "The MSS. differ considerably in reading, and each has certainly been influenced by the Diatessaron [of Tatian…Catholic theologically influenced], so that in Syriac-speaking lands about AD 400 the Gospel was extant as a Harmony and as 'separated Gospels,'. . . the single copies having many discordant readings, just as had been the case in Latin before Jerome. To remedy this, Rabbula, bishop of Edessa from 411 to 435, prepared a revised edition of the 'Separated Gospels,' freely correcting the text from Greek mss. such as were then current at Antioch: this edition he established by authority and suppressed the Diatessaron with such success that no Syriac copy of the Diatessaron survives, and of the unrevised version only Syr. S and C. Rabbula's revision is now used by both the great divisions of the Syriac-speaking Church: to distinguish it from the elaborate later revision of the (Jacobite) Old and New Testament it is usually called Peshitta, i.e. the simple version." The editor's conclusion is that, "The Peshitta has only the value of a post-Nicene revision (14th ed., vol. 3, p. 517).

The long and the short of it is that the so-called Peshitta is nothing more than its rival translations—a book produced by questionable men inside a notoriously corrupt church, all of which does little for the "infallibility of the bible" argument!

Let us continue our study in the last article in this series.

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mrsnacks
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
Robert Bushman
2007
(revised 16 Apr 08)

While I do not consider myself a Christian in the traditional sense, I do have tremendous respect for the teachings of Jesus, whoever he may have been. And that is the problem: when we look closely at the situation, we’re not really sure who he actually was, what he actually did, and what he actually taught some 2,000 years ago.

--------------------------------------------

How can you have tremendous respect for the teachings of Jesus when in your own words you are not sure who he is or was and if he existed or not. You're not sure what he did yet you have tremendous respect for him. How can you be a Christian in any sense ? Very stupid comment.
Anonymous Coward
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
Maya... oh Maya... simple and direct question for you:

Do you think God is not capable of ensuring that His Word reaches us as He intends because man has defeated God's intention and Will?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 448240
maya12-21-2012 (OP)

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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
WHAT YOUR CHURCH AND PASTOR NEVER TOLD YOU ABOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT #10

So far the case for a divinely-inspired original Greek New Testament has been lacking. Let's see if this can't be helped along by closing our study with the examination of another related event, which is the canonization of the New Testament.

"Canon" is a word describing the much-fought-over, officially accepted books of the Christian Churches which comprise their holy bible. "Canonization" is the term used to describe the process by which these books became canon. To the untrained ear it all sounds very scholarly and religious.But to those familiar with ancient church history what canonization really means is that the pious liars, cheats, perverts and murderers who comprised the hierarchy of the early Christian Church were the ones who decided irrevocably what books of the New Testament were sacred and what books were to be discarded.

In other word if you carry a New Testament you have the summary of Catholic Theology at its highest and you might as well go to mass.

If this critical assessment seems a bit harsh it is probably because the average Christian has little if any knowledge of the early history of their church or their Bible. Take for example this blunt admission from the Roman Catholic Church about the character of the church fathers of the fourth century: "The primitive disciplined charity of the early Christians had been diluted by self-willed scholars, ambitious politicians, and easy-going laxists" (Knights of Columbus, The Catholic Pilgrimage, p. 4).

What is important in this study is that it was in the fourth century AD that the final New Testament canon was decided for the entire Christian Church! (The Encyclopedia Britannica 14th edition, vol. 3, p. 514). Not a very reassuring thought when one considers, as historian Michael Grant notes, it was a time in which men "crept into the church to secure its benefits”, (Grant, Constantine the Great, p. 161) and doubly ominous when we consider that it was during this time that the present-day, much-worked-over, surviving New Testament MSS. were produced.

Perhaps even more revealing is that the church fathers of the fourth century were not only politically and morally corrupt, in many cases they were not even interested in Christianity. That the bishop of Troy was known to pray to the sun-god at the same time he was holding Episcopal office, is only one example of the kind of church fathers one deals with in early church history (Grant, Constantine the Great, p. 136). Another good example is found in the famous fourth century Council of Nicaea and the man responsible for its organization.

A CRITICAL LOOK AT CONSTANTINE…SHOULD WE FOLLOW HIS COUNCIL AND THEIR THEOLOGY?
As noted at the beginning of this study the man who promoted Christianity into a world-class religion was the so-called first Christian emperor, Constantine the Great. However, for the sake of considering New Testament origins, let's note a few examples of his Christianity. For instance, long after his alleged conversion Constantine continued his devotion to pagan gods. In one case he removed the great Palladium (the large stone phallus or penis of the sun-god) from Rome to Constantinople, his capital city, and set it up as a symbol of his own masculinity. On top of this image he placed a statue of himself in the guise of the sun-god Apollo, to which his faithful subjects were commanded to bow and worship (Walker, The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, p. 764).

The editors of The Encyclopedia Britannica say of Constantine that, "He was at best only half heathen, half Christian, who could seek to combine the worship of Christ with the worship of Apollo, having the name of one and the figure of the other impressed upon his coins, and ordaining the observance of Sunday [i.e., the day sacred to the sun-god] under the name Dies Solis (The Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th edition, Volume VI, p. 301). Apolllo and Mithra were one and the same god from two different places, i.e., Greece and Persia, both being mingled in later Roman worship. For those who don't know it, it was at this time that Sunday officially replaced the seventh-day Sabbath within the Christian Church.

As a further example of his lack Christian ethic, historians note that Constantine was guilty of murdering his own son and wife, among countless others. A notorious example of this can be seen in the following. Long after his "Christian" conversion Constantine fell ill and ordered that a large number of children be killed so he could bathe in their blood, and thus effect a magical cure. He was only dissuaded when a group of Christian parents pleaded for mercy (Grant, Constantine the Great, p. 175). Most revealing is that Constantine was not even baptized into the church until he lay on his death bed. On 22 May 337 water was poured on his forehead and the "first Christian emperor" was pronounced saved in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (The Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th edition, Volume VI, p. 301).

However, Constantine's lack of Christianity mattered little to the church notables who gathered for the emperor's great council on May 20, AD 325, at Nicaea. This is because Constantine had long since bought their loyalty, giving away such wealth that the Christian clergy was among the greatest land owners in the empire, often living on palatial estates reviling even the wealthiest subjects. "whose at court dined with Constantine—like Apostles surrounding Christ in paradise," wrote Constantine's official biographer, the church father Eusebius. Historian Michael Grant adds, "…churches became endowed with great wealth, Christian art and architecture increasingly showed the grandeur of imperial ceremonial" (Grant, Constantine the Great, p. 160). But wealth wasn't the only bribery used by Constantine to gain loyalty.

As an added assurance that his will became law in the church, Constantine also relied on the fear that he had instilled in virtually everyone in the empire. Whether this fear came from the thought of loosing their wealth or from falling prey to the routine executions ordered by the emperor doesn't matter. What does matter is that within the church Constantine's control was so complete that it was referred to as Caesaropapism (Grant, Constantine the Great, p. 159-161). Also important to this study is that it was this man who called the famous Council of Nicaea, whose purpose was to decide some fundamental church doctrines.

Take time to let what you now know of Constantine sink in and then ask yourself if the doctrines decided basically by this man for all of Christianity today should be “believed”?

Moreover, it was Constantine who set the agenda and it was he who issued the final statements of decision. And just in case there should be any open dissension, Constantine also let it be publicly known that he would personally deal with those who did not conform to his wishes. Indeed after the Council of Nicaea, when Constantine's decisions had been forced upon the church, Eusebius wrote to the emperor: "We committed an impious act, O prince, by subscribing to a blasphemy from fear of you" (Smith, Constantine the Great, p. 202).

Answer for yourself: How does that make you feel when Constantine’s right-hand man tells him after the Council of Nicaea that “they” had “committed an impious act”…likening it to “blasphemy” because “they feared Constantine”?

Answer for yourself: Are you aware that Nicaea rejected the faith of Yeshua as it had spread into all the world up to that time and gave you instead Constantine’s paganism with Jesus’ name attached?

Answer for yourself: Can you now understand why Bet Emet Ministries is a voice crying in a desert of Biblical ignorance in America today?

THE LEGACY OF CONSTANTINE LIVES ON IN OTHER COUNCILS
Such bullying tactics set the stage for later councils, notably the Council of Ephesus held in AD 449, which erupted into bloodshed. When one group of delegates could not get their way, they went after the other side with clubs, until after the battle, they had enforced their decrees on the Christian Church. As one historian wrote: "Fanatical bands of monks terrorized the assembly of Church notables (Nigg, The Heretics, P. 121). To be fair, these actions were not unheard of. Indeed, bloodshed had long been an established way of doing business within the Christian Church, going back as far as Pope Damascus, who murdered 137 priests and other followers of his rival to gain the papacy. The situation surrounding the Councils of Nicaea and Ephesus was by no means unique (DeRose, The Vicars of Christ, p. 38).

Another prime example of the character of the early church fathers is found in the famous Bishop Eusebius, who attended the Council of Nicaea and who is rightly considered as one of Christianity's greatest liars. It is commonly admitted that he forged a writing known as the Lepers, which were supposedly an exchange between Abgar and Jesus. He falsely declared that he had found the originals and gives a translation of them in his Ecclesiastical History (Wheless, Forgery in Christianity, p. 155). That such an episode was by no means unique to Eusebius comments volumes on the integrity of the early church fathers and the canonization of the New Testament!

It should also give us pause for serious concern when we consider that not only did the earliest complete MSS. of the New Testament surface during this time, as well as the absorption of numerous pagan doctrines, customs and deities into the Christian faith, but it was from this time and among these particular church fathers that the twenty-seven books of the New Testament were selected and officially canonized as holy scripture.

How that came about is briefly, and with a certain amount of gloss, summed up in the following account from a correspondence course lesson offered by a fundamentalist Christian college: "Prior to the fourth century there was no [official] catalogue of the New Testament canonical books. However, even during the time of the apostles, quotations of some of these books were made by writers of the Christian faith.... Clement, Paul's fellow laborer, referred to 1 Corinthians as 'Paul's epistle.' . . . Tertullian (AD 160-220) regarded the four Gospels and most of the books of the New Testament to be genuine.

Eusebius of Caesarea [circa AD 260-340 and the same man mentioned above in the forgery scandal] declared in his Ecclesiastical History (AD 315) that it was, ".... universally admitted that the four Gospels, Acts, the Epistles of Paul, the first Epistles of John, Peter, and Revelation are genuine.... Jerome's residence in Palestine and great knowledge of the sites of bible history qualifies him to make statements as to the authenticity of the books of the New Testament Scriptures. He [the church lather Jerome] assigned authorship of the books to the person whose name the book carried. He assigned the Acts of the Apostles to Luke, and the Epistles of the Hebrews to Paul, noting that there was some doubt as to authorship of this epistle which today is considered anonymous" (Zion Faith College, lesson no. 1, pp. 3-4).

Answer for yourself: Did you notice for yourself that even Christian Colleges sometimes teach the truth when they tell you that the Apostles did not write the Gospels?

As to these reliability of men like Eusebius, Clement, Tertullian and Jerome on the matter of New Testament authorship, we can ignore the questions about their character and merely note that in this instance they are only repeating tradition, which we now knew wasn't reliable because modern critical analysis confirms that manly hands played a part in the composition of each New Testament book.

Regarding the canon itself history tells us that the first known canon was put together by the so-called great heretic, Marcion, in circa AD 150. What is of significance here is that, as Salomon Reinach, notes, "Down to this time all quotations from 'Scriptures' in the works of the Apostolic Fathers, refer exclusively to the Old Testament" (Reinach, Salomon, Orpheus. (New York: Horace Liverlight Inc., 1930), p. 229. In other words, until AD 150 and the time of Marcion the church fathers either didn't know of any "New Testament" manuscripts, or if they did, they seriously doubted their authenticity.

Answer for yourself: So what does that say about the Gospels being written by the Apostles? It tells us the Gospels were the creation of non-Apostles much later after the deaths of the Apostles.

At any rate it was Marcion who collected various books of what would one day be the New Testament—another significant point because Marcion, being notoriously anti-Jewish, deliberately excluded the Old Testament from his teachings. Indeed he even went so far as to purge the writings of Paul and what we now call the Gospel of Luke of what he considered Jewish traits' (Legge, Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity, book II, p. 207). But despite his obvious lack of Christian character, we find this positive statement about Marcion in The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church: "The significance of Marcion lies in the fact that he compelled representatives of orthodox Christianity to deal seriously with the problems of evil, to think deeply about the biblical teaching concerning creation and redemption, to reexamine the Pauline writings, and to decide upon the question of the canon" (Legge, Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity, book II, p. 207).

Relevant to both the question of the canon and Marcion's role in the matter, let's quote biblical historian Robin Lane Fox here about Marcion's tampering with the NT books: "In the 140's an important Christian, Marcion, troubled many of his fellow Christians by producing a 'Gospel' which abbreviated Luke's so as to suit his theology . . . He edited ten letters of Paul, changing and omitting bits which he did not like and also omitted the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. This enterprise played havoc with the written text." Fox astutely comments: "If Christian texts were being changed and edited to this degree, even a gap of a century between the original and its first survival on a papyrus is a long and potentially dangerous time. We simply do not know what may have happened to the author's words at important places. " (Legge, Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity, book II, p. 139-140).

In all fairness it should be mentioned that Marcion wasn't the only early Christian notable who tampered with the New Testament. In an open attempt to write the doctrine of the Trinity into the pages of the New Testament Apollinaris the Elder, and his son Apollinaris the Younger, rewrote the New Testament using Platonic theology" (Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, Volume 2. P. 183). Athanasius is thought by historians to have been Apollinarian, so called from Apollinarius "the younger," who rewrote the New Testament with his father in the platonic dialogues, in an effort to combat those in the Christian Church who taught against the Trinity (The Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ed., Volume 2, pp. 109, 600). Now pay attention to what I say next and imagine the implications. The significant point here is that a disciple of the two Apollinaris' was a man named Athanasius who was the first to mention all twenty-seven books of the present New Testament in the famous Thirty-ninth Paschal Letter of Athanasius (The Oxford Companion to the Bible, p. 103).

The Encyclopedia Britannica tells us the following:

"The triumph of the Athanasian Canon, indeed, went along with the triumph of Nicene Christianity. And while the movement received its impulse from Athanasius, the power by which it was carried through and established was largely that of his powerful ally the Church of Rome (11th ed., Vol. 3, pp. 876-877). As In the Western Church the canon of Athanasius was likely approved at the synod of Rome in AD 382, being definitely confirmed in 405 by papal declaration. In other words the present New Testament canon was produced inside the Roman Catholic Church and approved by a Roman Catholic pope, which is only natural as Roman Catholicism and early Christianity was one and the same thing! (The Oxford Companion to the Bible, pp. 103-104).

Here is a partial list of the different books that were floating around the Christian world and seriously considered by the early church councils for inclusion in the canon: A gospel written by Jesus' own hand; letters and other correspondences written by Jesus; letters written by the virgin Mary; Pilate's official report to the emperor of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, with Pilate's confession of faith; the reply to this from Tiberius; the trial of Pilate; official documents of the Roman Senate about Jesus, Gospels, epistles, acts, by every single one of the twelve apostles; and official documents of church law and government, written in Greek by the apostles. the number comes to about 50 or more "holy" books (Wheless, Forgery in Christianity, p. 101; also The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VI, p. 656).

As to the Gospels themselves, out of which only tour were finally selected and canonized, at one time there were some 200 different ones circulating in the Christian Church. As late as 450, Bishop Theodore of Cyrrhus said there were at least 200 different Gospels revered by the churches of his own diocese, until he destroyed all but the canonical four" (Walker, The Woman's Encyclopedia, p. 467). Here are some of the known (or at least the surviving) Gospels, which, keep in mind, were at different times and in different places accepted as the "infallible word" of God by the faithful of Christ: The Gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, the Gospel of Signs, the Gospel of Thomas, Greek Fragments of Thomas, Secret Book of James, Dialogue of the Savior, Gospel of Mary, Infancy Gospel of I homes, Infancy Gospel of James, Gospel of Peter, Secret Gospel of Mark, Egerton Gospel, Gospel Oxyrhynchus, Gospel of the Hebrews, Gospel of the Ebionites and the Gospel of the Nazoreans.

Essentially, Christian history proves one thing: it is only by faith in the early church fathers that present day Christians can accept the canonized New Testament as the word of God.

Although the average Christian can easily repeat some well-rehearsed Jesus legend, or quote one or two favorite passages, they will look at you with a blank stare if you should mention any of the facts related in this study. That is because, to say this one more time, most Protestant and Catholic ministers have deliberately kept their congregations in ignorance of the true history of their church. My only hope is that you, the reader, will take what is written here and go to the nearest library to seek out the books of scholars, both Christian and secular, and use your logic and common sense to make a final determination.

Answer for yourself: Given the history of the New Testament as I have labored to show you, my closing question to you, the reader, is "which part of your New Testament is infallible, inerrant, and inspired and worthy to be followed by you for your faith and practice as you attempt to please God with your life?

Answer for yourself: Which parts of the New Testament are blatant attempts to lead the reader from what Jesus both believed and practiced and what Rome wanted instead?

Answer for yourself: What part of your faith, as inherited from New Testament beliefs, is before God truthful and which is not; and do you know how to spot the lies from the truths when you read the New Testament?

Answer for yourself: Do you want to learn how? Well, Bet Emet is for you then because we will share with you, as we have done here in this series of articles, the hard facts and truth withheld from you whereby you can make an intelligent decision about your faith before God. It is our hope and prayer that armed with these facts you life can be lived more pleasing to God and when you pass into the next world you won't have to stand ashamed before the Creator of the Universe because you have been led by your Church and your Pastor to "believe in the wrong Gospel".

Shalom

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mrsnacks
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06/08/2008 09:18 PM
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
Whoever he was, Jesus was clearly an extraordinary figure, so it seems well that we should trouble ourselves to get clear about his extraordinary message.


-------------------------------------

Wow ! Now I ask you, with what you said previously, how did you arrive at the conclusion that Jesus was clearly an extraordinary figure. You are not sure he existed or what he did. You have defined out of existence the gospel record accounts of Him. So what is the basis of what you just said? This oughta be good.

John Doe is an extraordinary person. I am not sure who he is or if he did anything but I know for sure he is one extraordinary person.
mrsnacks
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
Whoever he was, Jesus was clearly an extraordinary figure, so it seems well that we should trouble ourselves to get clear about his extraordinary message.


-------------------------------------

Wow ! Now I ask you, with what you said previously, how did you arrive at the conclusion that Jesus was clearly an extraordinary figure. You are not sure he existed or what he did. You have defined out of existence the gospel record accounts of Him. So what is the basis of what you just said? This oughta be good.

John Doe is an extraordinary person. I am not sure who he is or if he did anything but I know for sure he is one extraordinary person.
mrsnacks
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06/08/2008 09:20 PM
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
Whoever he was, Jesus was clearly an extraordinary figure, so it seems well that we should trouble ourselves to get clear about his extraordinary message.


-------------------------------------

Wow ! Now I ask you, with what you said previously, how did you arrive at the conclusion that Jesus was clearly an extraordinary figure. You are not sure he existed or what he did. You have defined out of existence the gospel record accounts of Him. So what is the basis of what you just said? This oughta be good.

John Doe is an extraordinary person. I am not sure who he is or if he did anything but I know for sure he is one extraordinary person.
maya12-21-2012 (OP)

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06/08/2008 09:21 PM
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
How can you have tremendous respect for the teachings of Jesus when in your own words you are not sure who he is or was and if he existed or not. You're not sure what he did yet you have tremendous respect for him. How can you be a Christian in any sense ? Very stupid comment.
 Quoting: mrsnacks 380606

I didn't write this, my friend! I'm guessing this is a rhetorical question? I merely put it out there for discussion. I do, however, agree with much of what is written in the "What your church and pastor never told you" part of the thread.
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Anonymous Coward
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06/08/2008 09:23 PM
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
There is a legend of a man who lives beneath the sea.

He's a fisher of men.

:dragonrebo:
:FisheroMen:
Anonymous Coward
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06/08/2008 09:29 PM
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
Maya... oh Maya... simple and direct question for you:


Do you think God is not capable of ensuring that His Word reaches us as He intends because man has defeated God's intention and Will?

 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 448240

You just said you wanted discussion. Let's discuss.

Please answer.
maya12-21-2012 (OP)

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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
Maya... oh Maya... simple and direct question for you:

Do you think God is not capable of ensuring that His Word reaches us as He intends because man has defeated God's intention and Will?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 448240

Hiya AC 448240,

Just some food for thought:

Hitler tried to exterminate the Jews in his quest for NWO. Why? Was it because their Bible told the TRUTH and he didn't want the truth EXPOSED? He was obviously afraid of something that would uncover his facade.

As for me, I was born Methodist but currently have no association with any particular denomination. I do, as of this date, believe in an ultimate creator, Yahwah. Up until today, it was God and somehwere deep inside I'd like to think that these different names are the same person.

There is corruption in every facet of society, including religion. Unfortunately, religion may be the biggest lie, EVER.

Our Creator's word will always reach us and hopefully will be interpreted the way it was originally intended.

Can you explain, AC 448240, why the Bible has been revised so many times and why chapters were not included in the current version?

I suspect the church is the same as the Government, perhaps even providing the template for NWO through keeping the people in fear of a higher power.

I don't FEAR God, Yawah, Allah, etc. The ultimate creator I know is one I LOVE and don't fear.

Do you fear God, AC 448240? Do you agree with everything written in both the NT and OT of the Bible? Is it possible that there may have been changes in the Bible to keep the people in submission?
Once you've eliminated fear and darkness, there's only love and light!

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Anonymous Coward
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06/08/2008 09:31 PM
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
A male Furyan would cause his skulburn untimed death.


The Chronicles of Riddick


A dragon will be BORN AGAIN.

Eragon movie trailer

You've killed dragons Harry.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

You keep what you kill.

The Chronicles of Riddick

Now that you're dragon has found you, it will serve you and only you.

Eragon

Thanks to you, I'm no longer an agent of the system.

The Matrix

Shall I reveal to you how I lost my power

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Anonymous Coward
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06/08/2008 09:32 PM
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
Maya,
I'm sorry, but you didn't answer my question
so I will try yet again.

Do you think God is not capable of ensuring that His Word reaches us as He intends because man has defeated God's intention and Will?
mrsnacks
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06/08/2008 09:35 PM
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
In the process on my journey virtually every church doctrine I have been taught from the pulpit and through seminary courses and Bible studies and turned up false. This has been what I believe God has shown me in my seeking for the truth these past few years.

I am talking about the doctrine of the trinity. The doctrine of eternal hell and punishment. Tithing. who satan is and who are the demons. Even the sinners prayer isn't in the Bible.
Who Jesus is and who we are. So yes I am a Christian but I am not. Sounds strange. The Good news is that God is the Savior of mankind. God will save all and none will perish. That is the God I believe in. God is truly love. In Christendom they tell you to love your enemy and do good to those that persecute you. Don't return evil for evil etc. Yet God sends billions to fry in the hell fire for eternity ? Doesn't make sense. The God of mercy and love would not do that yet Christianity has lied to us. All it takes is to pray and ask God to lead you to truth and seek it. He will reveal it to you and what you will come up with is that the doctrines of the churches are the doctrines of men and not God.
Anonymous Coward
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06/08/2008 09:37 PM
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Re: Why I do not accept the New Testament as a reliable source of the teachings of Jesus
In the process on my journey virtually every church doctrine I have been taught from the pulpit and through seminary courses and Bible studies and turned up false.
 Quoting: mrsnacks 380606



The Matrix is all around you Neo, you can feel it when you go to church.

:TheMatrix: ::woowoo::

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