Subjects: Aramaic, Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament, Greek influence,
1 Statement: "Dead Sea Scroll 4Q196 is Tobit in Aramaic. 4Q213-214 Testament of Levi is also in Aramaic. "
Comment: Yes! 4Q196 (Tobit) is papyrus (see my 399.: "1,300 parchments"). 4Q197, 198, 199, (Tobit) are Aramaic, and parchment.
[See: The Dead Sea Scrolls on Microfiche Inventory List of Photographs, Brill, 1993, 75 (found 10/14/95)].
59 "Qumran Aramaic Texts" are listed by Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J., A Wandering Aramean Collected Aramaic Essays, Scholars Press, 1979, 101-102 (Chart 2) [found 10/10/95]. They appear to be principally "religious" (in comparison to "secular"). Probably principally parchment.
Results: The dramaticness of my 399. has been greatly reduced. The basis persists: The great preponderance of Hebrew parchment (and probably applies to papyrus) manuscripts in the Dead Sea Scrolls (Qumran) collection.
2 Statement: "The Sermon on The Mount was originally Aramaic [oral? written? both?]. "
["The Sermon on the Mount (According to Matthew)": Matthew 5.1-7.27
See: Synopsis of the Four Gospels, Greek-English Edition, Edited by Kurt Aland, Ninth Edition, German Bible Society Stuttgart, 1989 (1972), 49-64].
[See: "Aramaic": Encyclopaedia Judaica, Macmillan, 1972, Vol. 3, 259-287 (map, 253-254)].
[See: A Second Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism, Edited and with Introductions by, Gordon Stein, Prometheus, 1987. from: "Parallels to the Teaching of Christ" (Joseph McCabe), 98: "McCabe was of the opinion that there was nothing of substance in the Gospels that did not have a precursor in the work of the Talmud [long history. complex.] [see my 266.], the Old Testament or Greek and Roman works. " (see 158: Greek influence: Comment: Impressions: [written prior, to finding the above])].
Comment: This statement has no significant support. The following quotation is presented as a simple summary:
"Some Aramaic influences have been discerned in parts of the New Testament that have a Palestinian setting, but not to a point where scholars are obliged to conclude that some books, or parts of books, were originally composed [again: oral? written? both?] in Aramaic. "
(Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1992, Vol. 14, 874).
3 Statement: "The idea that Jesus did not speak Aramaic...is incorrect. "
Comment: Commonly, yes! "My" author (401.) is arguing for the "mother tongue" of "Jesus" (the language used when: A toe is stubbed. The hammer hits a fingernail.), and apparently excluding Aramaic, Greek, etc.
What language did "Jesus" speak? One possibility: Hebrew as a "mother tongue", plus Aramaic, and Greek [was the "son of God", miracle worker, etc., "slow at languages"?].
[See: A Wandering Aramean Collected Aramaic Essays, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J., Scholars Press, 1979, 38, 44-46, etc.].
Comment: What [tendentiousness (not ipso facto invalidating, but, alerting)] pervades my 398.-401., and similar pronouncements, etc., is exemplified by the following footnote, from: Jesus of Nazareth His Life, Times, and Teaching, Joseph Klausner, Macmillan, 1925, 101:
"A detailed account and defence--inadequate in the present writer's opinion--of Kalthoff's teaching [denial of an historical Jesus, etc.] (which has an ultimate aim to deprive Palestinian Judaism of its chief share in the creation of the new world faith and so lessen the value of Judaism) [see my 223.] is given in B. Kellermann's Kritische Beiträge zur Entstehungsgeschichte des Christentums, Berlin, 1906. "
[Nationalism (Political-economic, ("sport") Imperialism, etc., considerations)!].
Comment: from: Encyclopaedia Judaica, Macmillan, 1972, Vol. 10, 10:
"Jesus is the common Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua. Jesus' father, Joseph, his mother, Mary (in Heb. Miriam), and his brothers, James (in Heb., Jacob), Joses (Joseph), Judah [sic], and Simon (Mark. 6:3) likewise bore very popular Hebrew names. "
Comment: Impressions: Propaganda design ("bore very popular Hebrew names") (compare: Saul [Paul = Roman praenomen ("patrician" [Dict. Bible, J. McKenzie, S.J., Bruce, 1965, 648])], et al., in the New Testament) (see my 127.-139., etc.)!
[What was the "mother tongue" of these Fictional characters (see my 1.-564. passim, etc.)?].
For related discussion, see:
A Books [A Wandering Aramean, etc.] by Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J.. See: Responses to 101 Questions on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Paulist Press, 1992.
A superb small book (photo of author, etc.). Fitzmyer appears to be very "even handed" (informative, etc.) when referring to John Allegro (very controversial personality [1923 - 1988]); Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh (The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception); Robert Eisenman [and Michael Wise] (The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, etc.); etc.
from 146-147: "Another factor in the delay of publication [of the Dead Sea Scrolls] has been the doling out of these important fragmentary texts [number? value?] to graduate students for their doctoral dissertations at Harvard University by team members who are now professors there. Instead of publishing the fragments that were entrusted to them as established scholars, they have been spending their precious time directing such dissertations of students, to whom the texts had not been entrusted. The scandalous delay is thus compounded by an inequity. One has to be a graduate student of these professors at Harvard University in order to be privileged to publish such texts.
All these factors, scholarly [political] monopoly and delay, Mideast political situation and its consequences, the doling out of texts to students, have created the problem recently alluded to in the news media. "
B Hershel Shanks, Editor, Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls, Random House, 1992. [See: Allegro; Baigent; Eisenman; etc.].
James C. VanderKam, The Dead Sea Scrolls Today, Eerdmans/SPCK, 1994.
from: Imperialism and Social Classes, Joseph A. Schumpeter, Tr. Heinz Norden, Pub. Augustus M. Kelley, New York, 1951, 44 (thanks to David Aberbach [found 10/8/95], Imperialism and Biblical Prophecy 750-500 BCE, Routledge, 1993, 7):
[Assyrians] "It is evident that the king and his associates regarded war and the chase from the same aspect of sport--if that expression is permissible. In their lives, war occupied the same role as sports and games do in present-day life. It served to gratify activity urges [see my Reference 173.] springing from capacities and inclinations that had once been crucial to survival, though they had now outlived their usefulness. Foreign peoples [compare (historically): Christians, and Others] were the favorite game and toward them the hunter's zeal assumed the forms of bitter national hatred and religious fanaticism. War and conquest were not means but ends. They were brutal, stark naked imperialism, inscribing its character in the annals of history with the same fervor that made the Assyrians exaggerate the size of the muscles in their statuary. "
[see my Reference 173. ("Existential cannibalism", etc.), 175.].
SPORT (this sense)! Probably describes Christian preaching, proselytizing, etc.
from: The New Testament Its Making and Meaning, Albert E. Barnett, Professor of New Testament Interpretation Candler School of Theology, Abingdon, 1958 (c1946).
129: "The earliest documents of which any traces remain were composed in Greek, and there probably were never any Aramaic Christian writings.104"
'104Grant [F.C. Grant] thinks it wholly unnecessary to suppose that the Gospels were "originally composed in Aramaic and later translated into Greek. " The idea that they were written at an early date as "personal memoirs" in his judgment violates the "canons of Semitic historiography. " (The Earliest Gospel, pp. 27-28.) In his opinion "the best solution of the problem of the gospel tradition is...the form-critical one of stereotyped oral tradition...originally...in Aramaic and then translated...into Greek...by different persons at different times [see #4, 147-149]. " He concedes the possibility that some "pericopes and sayings may...have been written down in Aramaic before translation into Greek," but he is sure [sic] that such a document as Q was never anything but "a Greek document. " (Ibid., pp. 123-124.)'
135: "The Gospel was written originally in Greek. There is no sound basis for a view of the Gospels as translations from Aramaic originals. Had Christianity remained a Palestinian movement, there might have been no Gospels. The writing of gospels was a phase of the adjustment of the Christian message to Hellenistic forms and taste. That the first readers of Mark were Hellenistic Christians is borne out by the regularity with which explanations of customs,12 phrases,13 and names14 are supplied. Such explanations would have been superfluous for Palestinian readers. Christians in general rather than a limited circle seem to have composed the public to which the evangelist addressed his message. "
Comment: Impressions: Oral tradition (see above), via Aramaic (etc.), provided substrata, for the Gospels.
148: "Christians probably wrote nothing in Aramaic. The extant documents from the earliest period are all in Greek, as were the documentary sources they presuppose. "
from the same Reference, 128, an ex cathedra pronouncement: "Competent scholarship no longer raises the question of the historicity of Jesus. That he lived and that his life and message were in some sense responsible for the Christian movement are not subjects of debate. Without him there would have been no church, no evangelic tradition, no Gospels, no New Testament. "
"are not subjects of debate [compare the classic: "The Bible is not on trial"]", etc.: A remnant of the assumed power (principally since Constantine), in the Christian sphere (Evokes heinous memories! [see 162-163: The Dark Side of Christian History]).
[Compare arguments used against Thomas Paine, et al. ("Ignorant"; "Any school boy could.... "; etc.)].
This pronouncement (128) I reject (see my 1.-564. [#1-4], etc.)! The Aramaic comments, I am inclined to accept.
from: Cambridge Biographical Dictionary, 1990, 14:
"AESOP legendary Greek fabulist, said to have lived in the 6th century BC. He was variously described as a Phrygian slave who was granted his freedom, and as a confidant of King Croesus of Lydia, for whom he undertook various unlikely missions. The story that he was ugly and deformed is a medieval invention. The Fables attributed to him are in all probability a compilation of tales from many sources. The stories were popularized by the Roman poet Phaedrus in the 1st century AD, and rewritten in sophisticated verse by La Fontaine in 1688. "
[Compare: 1 "Apostle Paul". 2 The Gospels. 3 Reworked, etc. (see my 490.). 4 Fiction in Antiquity (see my 1.-564. passim [#1-4], etc.)].
from: Alexander the Great, Peter Bamm, McGraw-Hill, 1968, 120, 248:
"In Cappadocia ["(cen. modern Turkey)" (Webster's New Geographical Dict.)] which was never incorporated in Alexander's empire, Greek and Persian culture met and mingled under conditions of freedom. A great-grandson of the last satrap appointed by Darius III had made himself king who, although Persian, was an enthusiastic philhellene, with the result that a lively and uninhibited exchange of ideas could take place under his aegis. This is one of the reasons why Cappadocia developed into a centre, not only of the Christian faith but also of Christian thought. The sponsors of this spiritual movement were the 'Cappadocian Fathers'. Christian theology, as Harnack [Adolf von Harnack 1851 - 1930 (see my 447.)] once wrote, is a Gospel-based [pause] creation of Greek philosophy [see 158: Comment: Impressions:], and the Cappadocian Fathers were among its founders. "
"Harpalus ["a living witness against the gods" (see 160-161: Cicero, The Nature of the Gods, 229)], a scion of the princely house of Elimiotes and one of the king's boyhood friends, had fled with an enormous sum of money after scandalous goings-on with the loveliest and most expensive courtesans in Athens. "
[Harpalus: "return from Egypt (B.C. 331)". "perhaps...first...record...exotic gardening". (Wm. Smith, Dict. Gr. & Rm. Bio. & Myth., V. 2, 351, 352)].
from: Albert Schweitzer [1875 - 1965], Paul and His Interpreters, Macmillan, 1951 (1912) (1912 German), 120-122, 122-123:
"It was Bruno Bauer [1809 - 1882] who about the middle of the nineteenth century opened the ball with his criticism of the Pauline letters.1
This work is not on the same level as his criticism of the Gospels.1....In what sense Paulinism is to be considered the work of a school with Greek sympathies within Christianity is not explained.
In addition to this, Bruno Bauer complicates his task by regarding not merely the doctrine of the Apostle of the Gentiles [Paul], but Christianity in general, as a creation of the Greek mind....
It was not Palestine, according to this thesis, but Rome and Alexandria which cradled Christianity. Palestine merely supplied the background [see my 384., 385.] for the picture which the first Evangelist undertook to create of the beginnings of a movement which really originated with Seneca and his adherents. Whether there ever was a Jesus [Bruno Bauer denied an historical Jesus (see my 235.)] or a Paul may be left an open question. It is in any case certain that the one did not utter the sayings which the Gospels put into his mouth, and that the other is not to be regarded as the author of the letters. "
Comment: Impressions: (one paradigm) Christianity was a Greek-Roman result, with a Jewish (etc.) conglomerate substratum, consisting principally of the "Old Testament", oral traditions (via Aramaic, etc.), etc.
The origins of the elements of the above, "go back", through Mesopotamia, Egypt, etc.
Back through, the humus and humours of humankind.
For related discussion, see (books are in chronological order):
A Edwin Hatch [1835-1889], The Influence of Greek Ideas on Christianity, Foreword with new Notes and a Bibliography by Frederick C. Grant, Harper, 1957 (1890). [A Classic! "(Kenyon Medal, British Academy, 1971)"].
B Gilbert Murray [1866-1957], Five Stages of Greek Religion, Columbia U., 1930 (1925) (Four Stages of Greek Religion, 1912).
C Martin Nilsson [1874-1967], A History of Greek Religion, Norton, Second Edition, 1964 (1949 2nd) (1925).
D Martin Nilsson [1874-1967], Greek Folk Religion, Foreword by Arthur Darby Nock, Harper, 1961 (c1940 Columbia U.).
E Werner Jaeger [1888-1961], The Theology of the Early Greek Philosophers,
The Gifford Lectures 1936, Oxford, 1964 (1947).
F E.R. Dodds [1893-1979], The Greeks and the Irrational, Beacon, 1957 (c1951 U. California). [Dedication: "To Gilbert Murray" (plus a Greek word)].
G Werner Jaeger [1888-1961], Early Christianity and Greek Paideia, Harvard U., 1961.
from: Jesus of Nazareth His Life, Times, and Teaching, Joseph Klausner, Macmillan, 1925, 100:
"Otto Pfleiderer ("Urchristentum," 1887; "Die Enstehung des Christentums," 1905) argued that all the early Christian beliefs about Jesus' birth and resurrection originated from eastern pagan cults [(see my 104. [Augustine]) % Aramaic speaking?] which spread widely throughout the Roman Empire. "
from: A Wandering Aramean Collected Aramaic Essays, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J., Scholars Press, 1979, 4-5:
"But this question of the diversity of the NT books and the varied approach to a possible Aramaic substratum is compounded by the problem of just how many of the Greek NT writings were actually composed in Palestine itself. The vast majority of the Pauline and Deuteropauline literature seems to have been composed elsewhere: 1-2 Thessalonians probably in Corinth; Galatians, Philippians, 1 Corinthians probably in Ephesus; 2 Corinthians probably in Macedonia (in part at least); Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, possibly in Rome.16 Only if one were to consider seriously the Caesarean origin of some of the Pauline Captivity Letters would there be a Palestinian origin for them. As for the Gospels, again even though one might agree that they reached their final stage of redaction [see my 216., 490.] in places other than Palestine (Mark possibly in Italy; Luke possibly in Greece; Matthew possibly in Syria; John possibly in Ephesus), there is nevertheless a certain proneness to reckon with an underlying tradition [see above: Pfleiderer: "eastern pagan cults"] that may ultimately have been Palestinian. While the same is possibly to be admitted for the Acts of the Apostles, the extent to which any of the other NT writings comes from a Palestinian locality is indefinite and can be debated. "
from: the Gospels: Their Origin and Their Growth, Frederick C. Grant, Harper & Brothers, 1957, 34:
"It is generally assumed by New Testament scholars that the gospels were written in Greek, not Aramaic. Indeed the whole New Testament was a Greek collection of books, from the start--as Professor Goodspeed has always insisted, and rightly. "
"It was in the Greek-speaking gentile world outside Palestine, where the historical [Fiction] and biographical [Fiction] interest was strongest, that our four gospels and book of Acts were written. "
[see my 40.-63., 88., 172.-184., 267., 270.-274., 286., 350., 351., 361., 457., 492., 514., 558. (see my 1.-564. passim, etc.)].
[Cicero 106 - 43 B.C.E.]
from: Cicero, The Nature of the Gods, Tr. Horace C.P. McGregor, Introduction by J.M. Ross, Penguin, 1984 (1972), 208, 209, 117, 229-230, 23:
"'Upon my word, I cannot feel contempt for the ignorance of the uneducated masses, when I consider the sort of rubbish that is talked by Stoic philosophers [influence on Christianism]. We all know the popular beliefs. The Syrians worship a Fish-God._ The Egyptians have defied almost the whole animal kingdom. Even in Greece a number of human beings have been translated into gods. "
'When we call corn "Ceres" or the vine "Bacchus" we are using a familiar figure of speech. But do you think that there is really anybody so mad as to believe that the food which he eats is a god?'
"How for instance could Diagoras ["at Athens as early as B.C. 424" (Wm. Smith, Dict. Gr. & Rm. Bio. & Myth., V. 1, 998)] or Theodorus [late 5th century B.C.E.] have been superstitious once they had denied the existence of the gods? I do not think Protagoras [c. 490 - c. 420 B.C.E. (see my 158.)] could have been so either, who would neither assert nor deny their existence. The teachings of all these philosophers do not merely free us from superstition, which is a senseless fear of the gods, but also destroy religion itself, with all reverence and worship. Then there are those who have argued that all our beliefs about the gods have been fabricated by wise men for reasons of state, so that men whom reason could not persuade to be good citizens might be persuaded by religion [see my 25., 82., etc.]. Have not these also totally destroyed the foundations of belief?"
''Diogenes the Cynic [Diogenes of Sinope c. 410 - c. 320 B.C.E.] used to say that Harpalus [see 157: Alexander the Great, 248], who was regarded as one of the most successful robbers of his time, was a living witness against the gods, because he enjoyed so long a run of good luck. I have already mentioned Dionysius [Dionysius the Elder, Tyrant of Syracuse 405 - 368 B.C.E.]. This man, after pillaging the temple of Proserpina at Locri, set sail for Syracuse and enjoyed such a fair wind through the voyage that he said in jest, "See, my friends, how the gods repay my sacrilege. " This shrewd character saw the truth clearly enough and never found cause to alter his opinion. When he made a naval expedition to the Peloponnese and came to the temple of the Olympian Jupiter, he stripped off from the statue of the god a heavy cloak of gold, with which it had been adorned by the tyrant Gelo from booty taken from the Carthaginians. And while he was about it he joked that a cloak of gold was heavy in summer and cold in winter. So he gave the god a woollen one instead, which he said would be suitable for any time of year. This same man ordered the golden beard to be wrenched off the statue of Aesculapius at Epidaurus, saying that it was not proper for the son to sport a beard when his father Apollo had none. He also had all the silver tables removed from the temples. These tables were all inscribed in the old Greek style as belonging to "the kindly gods", and Dionysius said that he was pleased to take advantage of their kindness. He also had no qualms about carrying off the golden statuettes of Victory, and the bowls and crowns, which the statues of the gods held in their outstretched hands, saying that he was merely accepting what they offered. "It would be silly," said he, "to pray to the gods for their gifts, and then to ignore them when they are on offer. " They say also that he used to exhibit these spoils of the temples in the market-place and have them sold by auction. But after he had collected the money, he ordered all the buyers to restore the sacred objects which they had bought to the temples from which they came. In this way he combined mockery of the gods with the swindling of his fellow-man.'
Comment: Impressions: Reference to: "living witness against the gods"; "he combined mockery of the gods with the swindling of his fellow-man. ".
These examples of disapprobation, doubt, unavengement, envy, etc. (with the "gods" as "not at home" projected superegos), are Roman (doubtful Greek) reactions, of Cicero.
Here, Cicero is a Proto-Christian!
[Introduction (see my 104. [Augustine])] "Cicero is also accused of complete lack of originality: all he did was translate from the Greek. His own words are cast in his teeth: he admitted to his friend Atticus that his philosophical works 'are only copies, and don't involve much labour; all I contribute is the words--I have plenty of those!'*....'we are not mere translators, but contribute our own judgement in deciding what to select and how to present it.' ....in Cicero's day (to quote Reid's words) there was 'absolutely no demand whatever for views of truth which professed to be new. Originality in a philosopher, far from being looked upon as a merit, would rather have been treated as a sin.' Nor is there any philosophical merit in originality: the question to ask of a philosophy is not whether it is original but whether it is true. "
from: '"The Freethought Observer", September/October 1995, page 20, "The Freethought Bookshelf", James A. Cox, reviewer:
The Dark Side of Christian History, Helen Ellerbe, Morningstar Books, PO Box 4032, San Rafael, CA 94913-4032. 0-9644873-4-9 $12.95 [415/472-6000]
Over a period of nearly two millennia, the Christian Church has oppressed and brutalized millions of individuals. Meticulously researched and courageously written, "The Dark Side of Christian History" by Helen Ellerbe examines the Church's devastating impact upon human freedom, dignity and spirituality. Written for the lay reader, this controversial book is especially relevant today as the religious right is attempting to assert greater influence in American politics and society.
The Dark Side of Christian History presents a compelling argument that the Church's desire to control and contain spirituality motivated its persecution of heretics, its burning of libraries [see my 156.-162.], the Crusades, the Inquisition[s], and the witch-hunts. This dark Christianity has left a legacy, a world view, which permeates every aspect of Western society. It is a legacy which fosters sexism, racism, the intolerance of difference and the desecration of the natural environment.'
[see my 71., 83., 169., 549., etc.].
1 How long will this book be in print? 2 If and when it appears in libraries, probably it will be stolen (known as "overdue", "missing", etc.). 3 (My copy arrived 10/19/95) Buying is recommended.
from: The Dark Side of Christian History, 16:
'As one historian writes... "to achieve salvation, an ignoramus need only believe without understanding and obey the authorities... "6....Some Gnostic Christians, for example, insisted that Jesus had said, "By their fruits ye shall know them... "7 Baptism did not necessarily make one a Christian, they said, since many people "go down into the water [see my 421.] and come up without having received anything. "8 The simple standards of the orthodox, however, made it much easier to garner a large following.' [See: 163-164 (Douglas)].
'Orthodox Christians assembled the Bible not to bring all the gospels together, but rather to encourage uniformity. From the plethora of Christian gospels, Bishop Irenaeus compiled the first list of biblical writings that resemble today's New Testament around 180 C.E. [see my Reference 484.; 485., etc.]. By 393 and 397, Bishop Athanasius had a similar list ratified by the Church councils of Hippo and Carthage.9 By prohibiting and burning any other writings [see my 169.], the Catholic Church eventually gave the impression that this Bible and its four canonized Gospels represented the only original Christian view. And yet, as late as 450, Theodore of Cyrrhus said that there were at least 200 different gospels circulating in his own diocese.10 Even the Catholic Encyclopedia now admits that the "idea of a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning...has no foundation in history. "11' [see my 493.-495., 534., etc.].
(7/21/97) Note: the above paragraph contains 3 errors (misreadings [3., is via another author]) [my belated discoveries (long story!)].
1. change "Christian gospels" to: Christian "works" (Baigent, H.B.H.G., 1983, 365), or, Christian writings.
2. Athanasius died 373. Augustine was the personage (Metzger (424), 237-238). 3. not, "200 different gospels", but, 200 copies of the Diatessarona ("harmony of the four ["with one or more extra-canonical [sic!] sources"b] Gospels"c, by Tatian [died c. 185]?).
aAncient Christian Gospels, Koester, 1990, 405 (Peterson)
bKoester, 403 (Peterson) cC.E. V. 14, 464
from: The above (162) reference and reviewer, and for me, just arrived: "All the Obscenities in the Bible, Gene Kasmar, Kas-Mark Publishing Company, 6066 Shingle Creek Parkway, #182, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430-3216. 0-9645995-0-3 $9.95 1995 [also, from H.H. Waldo Bookseller: 1/800/66 WALDO]
[concluding remarks] Long overdue, Kasmar's momentous and original work joins a growing wave of new books (for lay and secular audiences) that are finally beginning to expose the King James Bible (together with other ecclesiastical dogmatic and canonical teachings) for their error-ridden and obscene content. "
[See: Chapter 19, "Paul and Sex", and the numerous references to Paul passim. Compare with my 424.-564. passim (#3, 105-128), etc.].
Yes (again)! Buying is recommended.
from: Norman Douglas [1868 - 1952 (see my 419.)], How About Europe, Chatto & Windus, 1941, 199, 224, 225:
"It was Nietzsche's joy to unmask the soul of the Christian. As Mr. Edward Garnett says: 'His special instinct for tearing off the idealistic veils which hide the religious
nature in its use of human suffering as a means of attaining worldly power, makes Nietzsche the great specialist on the arts of priestcraft....He lives in literature as the most powerful antagonist of the Christian soul.'"
[see my 171., 172.-175., Reference 173., 175.; 314., 381., 463., 465., Reference 465.; 552.-559., etc.].
"One would like to think that Mr. J.M. Robertson was wrong in saying that Christian cruelty has been as much viler than pagan, culture for culture, as the modern Christian environment is uglier than the Athenian. "
"We have lost the intelligence which is the basis of gentlemanly feeling. A two thousand years' course of 'believing the impossible' cannot but debase the general standard of intelligence. And race-sentiments adapt themselves to these changed conditions, with the result that our emotional fibers are hardened--vulgarized".
[see my 408.-410., 547.].
from: "The American Rationalist" The Alternative to Religious Superstition, Sept/Oct 1995, 35, 37-38:
["A Religious Bully"] "Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, recently issued, makes the telling comment that lawmakers (everywhere) "have an obligation to oppose legislation allowing these practices" (abortion, euthanasia and artificial contraception). He may feel that way, but where is the responsible opposition? Someone should be publicly saying, loudly and clearly, that the head of one religion has NO authority or justification to tell those of any other persuasion what they MUST do.
No, the Pope is clearly off base here. He will never allow other Christian denominations to unite with his without insisting that he be in charge of all. The Pope is a religious bully and tyrant. We say it clearly, but unfortunately, not very loudly. Will you join in to increase the volume?" [Gordon Stein].
["Can A Christian Be A Moral Person? by Greg Erwin"] 'Christians believe that they have been forgiven in advance for all of the sins that they may commit. All a Christian has to do is "believe on Jesus Christ" and the Christian's sins are forgiven. Over the centuries, this horrifying doctrine [See: 163-164 (Douglas)] has been responsible for innumerable criminal acts by Christians who believe they can "sin" and evade responsibility through confession or believing afterwards.'
"Christians believe that they can find an accurate guide to their code of conduct in a 2,000 year old book [see my 16., 26., 33.-39., 71., 83., 88., 89., 91., 93., 395., 420., 532., etc.], which favors slavery, misogyny, tyranny and religious intolerance, but contains no reference to environmental caretaking, population control or democratic civic responsibility. With no incentive to be good citizens or to make this a better world, many Christian groups live a hermit-like existence, divorced from society, or as uncomprehending parasites on society. "
"Not all of the reasons stated above apply to every Christian, and, of course, some Christians have lead reasonably crime-free lives despite the teachings of their religion. However, it is likely that they are the exception, rather than the rule. I suggest that, just to be on the safe side, all those professing to be "Christians" should be barred from public office, and perhaps, denied the vote.
Of course, they should not be harmed or mistreated in any way. Hate Christianity but love the Christian! Just because it is necessary for a democratic secular society to take reasonable precautions against superstitious Christians' irrational and erratic behaviour, is no excuse for atheists to begin behaving like them. "
from: Myths and Legends of the Ancient Near East, Fred Gladstone Bratton [See: The Legacy of the Liberal Spirit, Beacon, 1960 (c1943), chapters: "Origen"; "Erasmus" (more "Dark Side of Christian History"); etc.], Crowell, 1970, 8, 8-9:
"Sophisticated philosophical, psychological, and sociological theories aside, one cannot minimize the historical view, which recognizes the difference between the primitive and the rational mind [see my 431.-433., etc.]. Primitive people, ancient or modern, make no distinction between the natural and the supernatural, between nature and man, human experience and cosmic events. They have no knowledge of natural laws or natural causation. Speculation among the ancients could not take an intellectual or rational form; it had to be poetic or imaginative. Theirs was a world of myth, magic, and miracle. In the presence of the unknown and the inexplicable they resorted to the supernatural by way of the mythical explanation or the ritual drama. When famine, flood, or other disasters endangered their lives the strain and tension compelled them to resort to myth and ritual. To account for the creation of man and the world, to insure continuity of life in the Hereafter, to guarantee order in social life and nature, and to give supernatural sanction to the cultic ritual, the myth was a necessary implement.
Myth and ritual promote social cohesion and rapport, continuity of belief, and a sense of security. "
'The majority of Christians throughout the world today are held to their religious beliefs by this same psychological means--as seen in the biblical stories, the creeds, the ritual of the sacred meal, and religious festivals. The consciousness that the "uttered rite" and the commonly held beliefs have been transmitted for centuries and are observed in the same way throughout the world gives to the believer a sense of efficacy and permanence.
Closely related to the true myth [Christianism ("Christianity") (etc.)] but less vital to the cultural life of the community are the folk tale and the fairy tale.'