Christianism ("Christianity"), Etc.

The very great mass of material before me makes it impossible to treat it all in one volume, hence I only summarily refer to the forgeries and interpolations in Cassiodorus [485/490 - c. 580], Bede [c. 673 - 735], and Ammianus [Ammianus Marcellinus c. 330 - 395]. All these and many more will be analyzed in a future [?] volume. The next volume will give the proof that the Physiologus is of Syrio-Arabic origin, and incidentally will confirm the fact that Gregory of Tours [538 - 594] has come down to us highly interpolated and that a series of other works, ascribed to Rufinus [probably the Rufinus 345 - 410] and others, are eighth century forgeries. Meanwhile,

I BEG THE READER TO CONCENTRATE HIS ATTENTION ON JORDANES' GETICA AND TACITUS' GERMANIA, WHERE THE CONCLUSIONS ARE FINAL.

Again and again must I express my thanks to Mr. J.B. Stetson, Jr., of Philadelphia, through whose assistance my labors have brought such early fruition. The last chapter, on an interpolation of Venantius Fortunatus [c. 540 - c. 600], is by Mr. Phillips Barry, who has followed my investigation for years, and is now collecting material on the origin of the Celtic Antiquitas.

The Author [Leo Wiener]." ["ix"-xi].

"It is obvious that Isidore [probably St. Isidore of Seville c. 560 - 636] took nothing whatsoever out of Eutropius [probably the Eutropius d. c. 370], and could have made nothing out of Orosius, if such had existed. Isidore got everything he needed out of Justin, while Pseudo-Orosius tried to improve Isidore with passages from Justin [Justin Martyr c. 100 - c. 165], Eutropius, and St. Augustine [354 - 430]." [22-23].

'We now have the difficult task of explaining how Orosius' Historica adversus paganos got mentioned in works presumably of the fifth and sixth centuries. Zangemeister mentions one manuscript of Orosius [early 5th century], the Laurentianus (L), which they claim to be of the sixth century, because of its being written in uncials. But UNCIAL MANUSCRIPTS CANNOT BE DATED BY THE SCRIPT ALONE, and the Laurentianus is by no means a good copy, as far as the text goes. At the end of Book V there is the following notice: "Confectus codex in statione magistri uiliaric antiquarii ora pro me scribtore sic dnm habeas protectorem." Thus we see that a Goth was the copyist. There can be little doubt that it was a Spanish Goth of the eighth century, one of those who used the title Ormista for the book.' [27].

"But the Decretum Gelasianum is a well-known forgery, of which the oldest manuscript is of the eighth century.3" [27].

PAGE 1961


"A paraphrase from Gennadius on Orosius is found in Marcellini Comitis Chronicon, under the year 416.3 It is generally assumed that this Chronicle was written in the middle of the sixth century. The palaeographic proof is based on manuscript T, SUPPOSEDLY of the sixth century.4 Fortunately we have a reproduction of this manuscript.5 A glance at it shows that it cannot be earlier than of the eighth century, on account of the use of long i in the uncials. On the historical side, the proof is based on the fact that it quotes Orosius [5th century] profusely. If, indeed, Marcellinus quotes Orosius, and not vice versa, Marcellinus cannot be earlier than the end of the seventh or of the eighth century. Marcellinus is generally unknown in the Middle Ages.6 He is apparently excerpted by Jordanes [6th century], but Jordanes is an eighth century forgery. The citations in Bede are too late to be of any use; besides, Bede [c. 673 - 735] has come down to us in interpolated editions of the end of the eighth century.7" [29].

"We can now approach the interpolations and forgeries connected with Cassiodorus [c. 490 - c. 585], at least such as refer to the Historia tripartita and the De institutione. Of neither have we any early texts, the manuscripts of the latter not remounting above the twelfth century, and of the first not much farther back.

In the Preface of the Historia tripartita1 we are informed that Cassiodorus read Socrates ["Byzantine church historian." c. 380 - c. 450], Sozomenus, and Theodoretus and found that there was too much material in them, also that by the aid of Epiphanius Scholasticus [c. 510] he reduced the three to one work.2 This is contradicted by the statement in De institutione divinarum literarum that he ordered Epiphanius to translate the works and bring them together into one volume.1 It is now generally admitted that Cassiodorus could not have written such horrible Latinity and have committed the many blunders contained in the Historia tripartita, and that Epiphanius Scholasticus must be guilty of the atrocious translation, Cassiodorus being merely responsible for its edition.2 But it is inconceivable that Cassiodorus, with his limpid style, could have fathered a work which Beatus Rhenanus calls a perversion, not a version.3" [30-31].

"Orosius is several times mentioned in Gregory of Tours [538 - 594]. Cointe has long ago pointed out that there were interpolations in Gregory of Tours, but Arndt and Krusch think that Cointe's theory has been exploded, because we possess uncial manuscripts of Gregory's works.3 This is the weak point in the reply, since IT MUST NOW BE ACCEPTED AS SETTLED THAT NO UNCIAL MANUSCRIPT CAN BE DATED ON THE BASIS OF ITS SCRIPT." [32].

"This development and embellishment of the original story in Eusebius is obviously apocryphal, since Justin Martyr2 and Tertullian3 know of Christianity among the Scythians much earlier; but the account in Philostorgius [c. 368 - c. 433] is so clearly a development of the chance references in Sozomenus to Gallienus, Asia Minor, and captives, that the first can only have borrowed from the second. Sozomenus wrote about 450, when Philostorgius was most likely dead. At any rate, the history of Philostorgius goes up to 424, that of Sozomenus, at lest up to 439. It is, therefore, certain that Philostorgius had nothing whatsoever to do with the account of Ulfilas [c. 311 - c. 382]. Photius [c. 820 - 891] was not above distorting facts, and his lying propensities have been fully discussed. His tendency to insert passages

PAGE 1962


of his own into the work of other people is well known.4 Just as he appropriated whole passages from Theodoretus,5 without even mentioning the fact, so we may be quite sure that he similarly plagiarized Sozomenus for his passage in Philostorgius. The testimony of Photius, for we have not the original Philostorgius, is worthless and must be abandoned." [47].

"Obviously there was no statement made before that Auxentius was from Dorostorum. If it was, then the whole commentary is a worthless jumble from the start. One can see how the forger (for it can only be a forger who wrote this Commentary) came to make the final statement. He made Auxentius, the friend and associate of Demophilus, write the letter about Ulfilas, and later3 made both accompany Ulfilas to Constantinople. Now, the Auxentius who was the associate of Demophilus was Auxentius of Milan,4 who died in 374. The forger, noticing toward the end of his Commentary that he had made a blunder in date, created a new Auxentius, of Dorostorum, to present a letter about Ulfilas in or after 381, although no such Auxentius is known to history." [50].

"We shall find a still worse forgery in Ammianus later on. It is certainly curious that not a word was ever written about Ammianus before the sixteenth century, except a short reference to a sentence from the fourteenth book in Priscianus, XI. 51, and that the work of Marcellinus, which Poggio claimed to have found at Hersfeld or Fulda, should almost begin with that sentence, FOR HE CLAIMED to have found Marcellinus only beginning with book XIV. It looks as though Poggio used the sentence in Priscianus as a basis for his fabrication.2" [148].

"It is only Tacitus and Strabo who speak of Germanic Marsi. In the Annales of Tacitus, I. 56 and II. 25, and in I. 50, 51 we are told how the Roman soldiers arrived in the evening in the villages of the unsuspecting Marsi. Caesar divided his legions into four parts, and these laid waste fifty miles of territory. Neither sex nor age was spared. Their dwellings and sacred things and that famous temple, which they called Tamfanae, were razed to the ground.

This story is identical with that of the destruction of the Italian Marsi, as told in the Roman historians and retold in Orosius, V. 18. But THE FORGER OF THE ANNALES [OF TACITUS] got his account of the destruction of the temple from Isidore:

Isidore, Etymologiae. Tacitus."

[Two columns, in Latin, for comparisons, not presented]. [160].

"This correlation of the Marsi with Arminius in Tacitus, which is identical with the correlation of Herminon and the Marsi in Pseudo-Berosus, if nothing else, CONDEMNS THE ANNALES OF TACITUS, IN THE FORM IN WHICH WE HAVE THAT WORK, AS A BOLD FORGERY, and Strabo as greatly interpolated." [161-162].

"I have already shown that there are many interpolations in Dio Cassius." [162].

PAGE 1963


"No doubt many more interesting myths may be discovered in Jordanes. In the meantime, I have given enough to show that Jordanes is an eighth or early ninth century forgery, without a trace of historic background, except in a most distant way. I shall return to the subject at some future time. Now that I have discovered and described the condition of the Gothic Antiquitas, from which Jordanes drew most of his stories, I shall point out the most significant results from this Arabico-Gothic forgery." [End of chapter IV.] [173].

'Pseudo-Berosus.

In the preceding pages I have shown what the constitution of the Gothic Antiquitas must have been, and how it was composed out of scraps of Dio Chrysostom, Persian mythology, and Syrian romances, many of these through Arabic sources. The influence of this Antiquitas on the works of antiquity has been enormous. Nearly all writings which dealt with reference to the Goths were in the eighth century "CORRECTED" in the light of what was supposed to be a genuine source of information. I have barely begun to trace the results of that baleful school of "correctors," who have tampered with genuine works, and the still more baleful school of forgers, who, on the basis of the Antiquitas, have created havoc in history.' ["174"].

"Poor Annius Viterbensis [Nanni]! What obloquy has been heaped upon him in the last four hundred years! As great a scholar as Trithemius, to whom we owe the preservation of one of the most important forgeries of the eighth century, he has suffered even more at the hands of his detractors, as well as his friends; but it will not be difficult to reestablish his reputation as one of the great Renaissance writers." [200]. [See: 1744-1746 (Nanni)].

"It is sheer madness to accuse such a man [Nanni] of wilful forgery. A man who is supposed to have concocted all the Italian and Germanic antiquities would most certainly have committed a forgery on the Spanish antiquity, since his whole volume is dedicated to Ferdinand and Isabella; but he only builds up the origin of Spain by harmonizing Eusebius, Berosus, and the other authorities, in so far as they bear on Spanish antiquity. Of course, the books he published were all forgeries, but they were forgeries made in the eighth or ninth century by that clever school of genealogical forgers who produced the writings of Aethicus, Virgil Maro, Hegesippus, Jordanes, Tacitus, etc. Most, possibly all, the books, came from a collection which was made in 1315 by a certain Guilielmus of Mantua,4 in which there was also a fragment of Verrius, which he quoted.5" [204].

"I DO NOT DISCUSS THE CORRESPONDING PASSAGE IN TACITUS' GERMANIA, BECAUSE I SHALL ANALYZE THIS SILLY [see 1989 (clumsy)] FORGERY LATER ON." [218].

"Hunibald's History of the origin of the Franks is a forgery, and the only question is whether Trithemius was deceived by some one else who ascribed these forged Annals to Hunibald or whether he [Trithemius] himself concocted this Hunibald." [221-222].

PAGE 1964


"What else can be concluded from all this but that the whole history of the Franks originated in Trithemius' head?" [224].

"Now Tacitus, or, to speak more correctly, Pseudo-Tacitus,2 has consistently transferred the description of the Gauls to that of the Germans, in order to harmonize the Gallic and Germanic sides of the Franks. In the Germania the account of the Druids is found scattered in various chapters. In chapter VII we are told that no one among the Germans dared to punish criminals except the priests, as the crime was considered one against the gods. This is a paraphrase of the judicial duties of the Druids in Caesar:

Tacitus. Caesar."

[Two columns, in Latin, for comparisons, not presented]. [236-237].

"Chapter IX in Tacitus is similarly cribbed out of Caesar, VI. 16 and 17:

Tacitus. Caesar."

[Two columns, in Latin, for comparisons, not presented. [237].

[footnote] "1P. Hochart (De l'authenticité des Annales et des Histories de Tacite, Paris 1890), is unquestionably mistaken in his assumption that Poggio Bracciolini forged the Historiae and Annales, because the Germania was written before 851 and is based on them. But, to say the least, the Historiae and Annales have interpolations of as late as the eighth century, and these I discuss elsewhere." [239].

"In chapter XI of the Germania we have a good illustration of the eclectic [see 1852] way in which the history of the Germans was made up.

Tacitus. Caesar."

[Two columns, in Latin, for comparisons, not presented. [240].

"From what precedes it is clear that the forger who wrote the Germania, either on his own account, or because he found it so in his sources, tried to ascribe all the qualities of the Gauls and Druids to the Germans, that is, to the Franks. This is precisely what is done throughout Hunibald's work, as we learn from Trithemius' compilation." [241].

"Hochart observed,1 quite correctly, that in Tacitus' Annals and Historiae there is a queer description of a ship that has a prow at both ends and can move in either direction. Curiously enough, the Germania has the same account, and from a study of the three passages it may be shown that we have before us, to say the least, eighth century interpolations in the Historiae and Annales." [245]. [See: 1816].

PAGE 1965


"The Germania of Tacitus.

A number of passages in the Germania have already been shown to proceed from a forger. We can now review the whole and discuss the borrowings and forgeries in detail." ["273"].

"With a little patience one may find the origin of all the romantic account of the Germans in Caesar's De bello gallico. I have shown enough to prove that the forger combined rascality with a ready wit and a certain amount of linguistic stupidity in his retelling of Caesar. I shall now proceed to investigate those parts which show unmistakable Arabic influence, thus definitely locating the forgery after 711." [291].

"THE UTTER WORTHLESSNESS OF THE GERMANIA [OF TACITUS] IS PATENT, BEYOND ANY POSSIBILITY OF DEFENCE. ONLY THE MENTALLY BLIND WILL DEFEND IT,

even as the nineteenth century forgeries, such as the notorious Kooeninginhof Manuscript, still find advocates. It is sad to contemplate that Germanic history and allied subjects are based on the Germania and the Getica, two monuments of conscious fraud and unconscious stupidity, the result of the first flower of Arabic romance, which led to The Thousand and One Nights. One may as well reconstruct history from this latter work, as draw any historical conclusions whatsoever from the Germania and the Getica." [End of chapter VII.] [299].

"Word Index ["316"-320]

Aeth. = Aethiopian.--Arab. = Arabic.--AS. = Anglo-Saxon.--Assyr. = Assyrian.--Avest. = Avestan.--Chald. = Chaldaic.--Copt. = Coptic.--Egyp. = Egyptian.--Eng. = English.--Finn. = Finnish.--Fr. = French.--Ger. = German.--Goth. = Gothic.--Gr. = Greek.--Heb. = Hebrew.--Ir. = Irish.--Ital.= Italian.--Lat. = Latin.--LLat. = Low Latin or Late Latin.--MPers. = Modern Persian.--Navar. = Navarrrese.--OCatal. = Old Catalan.--OFr. = Old French.--OHG. = Old High German.--OIr. = Old Irish.--OItal. = Old Italian.--ONorse = Old Norse.--OPers. = Old Persian.--OPort. = Old Portuguese.--OS. = Old Saxon.--OSpan. = Old Spanish.--Pehl. = Pehlevi.--Pers. = Persian.--Prov. = Provencal.--Sansk. = Sanskrit.--Scand. = Scandinavian.--Span. = Spanish.--Syr. = Syriac.--Talm. = Talmudic.--Welsh = Welsh...." ["316"].

PAGE 1966


"Subject Index" ["321"-328] [two entries (samples)]

"Orosius, his history a forgery, 8; based on Isidore, 8 ff.; not mentioned by St. Augustine, 12; quotes from De civitate Dei after his own death, 12; in the Decretum Gelasianum, 27; in Pseudo-Isidore, 27 f.; and Marcellini Comitis Chronicon, 29; not mentioned by Isidore 30; mentioned in interpolated Chronicon of Prosper, 30; in interpolated Gregory of Tours, 32 ff.; and Isidore, 33; and Florus, 34; and Valens 46 f.; in Apollinaris Sidonius, 118; and the Marsi, 161." [325].

"Tacitus and Arminius, 164 ff.; his Historiae interpolated or a forgery, 238, 245 ff.; his Annales interpolated or a forgery, 162, 238, 245; and Dio Chrysostom, 273; and Vegetius, 274; see Germania." [327].

_____ _____ _____

from: Contributions Toward A History of Arabico-Gothic Culture, Volume II, Leo Wiener, Neale, MCMXIX.

"Carolingian Plagiarism"

"The chief duty of modern scholars, when dealing with Carolingian times [c. 613 - c. 987], is cautiously to examine every bit of evidence and to proceed on the supposition that any given manuscript may have interpolations or may be a downright forgery." [261]. [See: 1958].

PAGE 1967


from 1899 (Jacob Wilson): WORKS OF ROMANCE ARE FOUNDED ON FACTS [see Addition 35, 1718 (Lino Sanchez)], AND WHAT MORE CAN BE SAID OF HISTORY?

from 1885 (Forster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot): "It is said that Napoleon called HISTORY 'A FABLE OR FICTION AGREED UPON.' Chronology may be included under the same heading, most certainly the chronology of the time before the introduction of some kind of record." [14]. [See: 1954 (Biography)].

from 1752 (John Henry Newman 1801 - 1890): "ALL KNOWLEDGE OF THE [GREEK AND] LATIN CLASSICS COMES TO US FROM THE MEDIEVAL TRANSCRIPTIONS OF THEM, AND THEY WHO TRANSCRIBED THEM HAD THE OPPORTUNITY OF FORGING OR GARBLING THEM. WE ARE SIMPLY AT THEIR MERCY".

[note: history is also defined as: "his story"!].

from 1843 (Edwin Johnson 1842 - 1901): "WE HAVE NOT IN OUR HANDS A PURE EDITION OF THE GREEK AND LATIN CLASSICS OF THE [ROMAN] EMPIRE."

from 1759 (Lino Sanchez): THE NEW TESTAMENT IS A COMBINATION OF FICTION, PLAGIARISM, FORGERY!

[see Addition 34; etc.].

PAGE 1968


from: The Fabrication of the Christ Myth, Harold Leidner [born 1916], Survey Books, Tampa, Florida, 2000. [received, and first seen, 4/1/2002]. [Must See!].

"My parents were Polish Jews" ("Author's Note" [see 1970]).

Excursus: from: #3, 47:

223. "It is odd that the Jews have always [Not in my researches. Much fear, collusion, etc.] classified Jesus as a myth [Sources?], yet his crucifixion allegedly took place in Jerusalem....Apart from the Gospels which cannot be regarded as either historical or objective since they were written for the sole purpose of fostering the faith of Christians--what other documentary evidence exists to prove that Jesus ever existed at all?" [Soledad de Montalvo].

[see Reference 223.] [see 102., 110.-112., 126., 211., 224., 226., 299., 363., etc.].

224. 'It is now more than half a century since Renan put the question, "Has Jewish tradition anything to teach us concerning Jesus?" This question must be answered in the negative. As far as the contemporaneous Jewish literature goes, it does not contain a single reference to the founder of Christianity. All the so-called Anti-Christiana collected by mediaeval fanatics, and freshened up again by modern ignoramuses, belong to the later centuries, when history and biography had given way to myth and speculation. Almost every Christian sect, every Christian community, created a Christ after its own image or dogma [see 260.-263., 288.-289., etc.]. The Jewish legend [of Jesus]--a growth of those later centuries--gave him an aspect of its own, purely apocryphal in its character, neither meant nor ever taken by the Jews as real history.'

[Solomon Schechter 1848 - 1915 (Cambridge. "headed the Jewish Theological Seminary" [New York])] [see 223., 401., etc.].

225. "That the Talmud is useless as a source of reliable information about Jesus is conceded by most Christian scholars." [G.A. Wells].

End of Excursus.

PAGE 1969


"Author's [Harold Leidner] Note" [371]

"I was born in 1916 in New York City. My parents were Polish Jews recently arrived." [371].

"Education: College of City of New York, 1932-1936. B.S. degree. New York University School of Law, 1936-1939. LL.B. degree. Passed the New York bar; admitted November, 1940.

U.S. Patent Office: passed examination for patent attorney and was registered as a patent attorney 1956.

I did not practice law as I was attracted to other fields. However this legal background has been of great value in evaluating the testimony and credibility of New Testament documents; especially patent law, which deals largely with questions of dating, priority, originality of material, infringement and copying." [371].

"Major influence: I was drawn to the field of gospel studies by a book that made a profound impression on me. This was The Case of the Nazarene Reopened, by Hyman E. Goldin (Exposition Press, 1948). Goldin was a lawyer, rabbi and Talmudist. He subjected the four gospel writers to sharp cross-examination as to each one's version of the crucifixion story and was able to show almost line-by-line divergence, contradiction, impossibility and fabrication in the four accounts. Here an orthodox rabbi had broken the ghetto taboos and had made a direct challenge to the Christian case.

And I was compelled to follow his arguments.

From that time onward (I came upon the book in the 1950s) I took up extensive reading on the gospel story and on early Christianity in general. My book is essentially a continuation and updating of Goldin, dealing with much of the material made available after his time, and like Goldin's book, is a legal brief for the Jewish side. The main defense that is used is to show that the gospel account is fictional and fraudulent in its entirety, and that an alternate explanation for Christian origins can be provided." [371-372].

PAGE 1970
 


1

TOO MANY JESUSES

"The indictment or information must so describe the person killed that the accused may know whom he or she is charged with having killed. If known, the name of the deceased must be alleged."

Corpus Juris Secundum, "Homicide" 144a. (vol.40, 551)

The name Jesus appears frequently in the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus. In the Loeb edition of his works the index lists this name no less than twenty-one times referring to different persons, and it is one of the most common names in the index. The famed and much-disputed reference to "Jesus the Christ" appears as number nine on the list, with many Jesuses before and after. Some of these had outstanding careers and some met death under strange and tragic circumstances. The premise of a unique and remarkable Jesus is thus placed in question at the very outset of our inquiry. Others had their share of drama as well.

Josephus has been accused many times of writing as little as possible about "the" Jesus, and suppressing what he knew. One would think that the very name would cause a guilty start and a quick glance over the shoulder. However our historian writes freely about the other twenty with no accusation of suppression as to the others. In fact it is the scholars who do the suppressing, writing as little as possible about the name frequency and the other references.

The books of Josephus appeared in Greek, and we give the list of names [Jesus characters] in their Greek form, as given in the index or in the text:

  1. Jesus son of Naue
  2. Jesus son of Saul
  3. Jesus, high priest, son of Phineas
  4. Jesus son of the high priest Jozadak
  5. Jesus son of Joiada
  6. Jesus, high priest, son of Simon
  7. Jesus, high priest, son of Phabes
  8. Jesus, high priest, son of Seë
  9. Jesus the Christ [see #3, 74]
  10. Jesus son of Damnaeus, became high priest
  11. Jesus son of Gamliel, became high priest
  12. Jesus son of Sapphas
  13. Jesus, chief priest, probably to be identified with 10 or 11
  14. Jesus son of Gamalas, high priest
  15. Jesus, brigand chief on borderland of Ptolemais
  16. Jesus son of Sapphias
  17. Jesus brother of Chares
  18. Jesus a Galilean, perhaps to be identified with 15
  19. Jesus in ambuscade, perhaps to be identified with 16
  20. Jesus, priest, son of Thebuthi
  21. Jesus son of Ananias, rude peasant, prophesies the fall of Jerusalem'

PAGE 1971


[19-20].

'The present writer has researched New Testament literature for a good number of years and has never seen the Jesus list from the Loeb index published and commented on by any writer

[I (LS) published this list (no comments) in The Freethought Exchange, July/August 1995, pages 101-102; reproduced on www.christianism.com, 1997, pages 73-75].

The Christian apologists are anxious to preserve the uniqueness of Jesus, and play down all material tending to question that uniqueness. The apologists are even more anxious to preserve Josephus as an unshakable witness for the Christian case. If the list were discussed then it would at once raise the question of why Josephus did not write "Jesus son of Joseph." It appears that the charge of cover-up and suppression should be directed at the scholar-apologists, not at Josephus.' [21].

'Josephus will be a major witness in our inquiry, hence a biographical note is in order. He was born into a leading priestly family in Jerusalem in the year 37 by our present calendar and died some time after 100. In his own life, as strange as any that he narrates, he was a Temple priest, Pharisee, emissary to Rome, then briefly and dubiously [what else is dubious?] a general in Galilee in the war against Rome. He was captured, and to save his life went over to the Roman side. After that he was an eyewitness to the siege and destruction of Jerusalem. Despite that--or perhaps because of that, to atone for the desertion--he became a spokesman and propagandist for Judaism in all his writings. Above all, he was a historian of the first rank, a task to which he devoted his life after the war. He worked with a staff of assistants and with matchless documentation available to him from Judaic, Greek and Roman sources. He devoted almost thirty years to these writings.

A tribute to his importance is given by Louis Feldman, who did the English translation for several of his books in the Loeb Library edition. Feldman writes:

"Josephus is our most important extant source for the period from the end of the second century BCE to the year 70, when the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans... He is indispensable for our understanding of the political, social, economic and religious background of the rise of Christianity and of the other sects of the era, as well as of Jewry of the Diaspora. He is our most important literary guide to the geography, topography and monuments of Palestine, so that the archaeologist must dig with a spade in one hand and a copy of Josephus in the other. And he is most important as a historian of the Graeco-Roman world who sheds crucial lights on events of the last century of the Roman Republic and on the first century of the Roman Empire."2 ....' [22].

'The index to the Loeb ten-volume edition runs to 225 pages, small print, double column per page. It is mainly a list of names, and these run to the formidable total of 1,932 individuals (this by my count; I may be off slightly). And of this large number, only two have come under challenge as to their genuineness: Jesus and "James, the

PAGE 1972


brother of Jesus called the Christ." The others are unquestioned. Josephus is a model historian 99.99 [?] percent of the time, and fails only where he does not confirm the official story.

Returning to our Jesus list, we note that a number of the individuals referred to show linkages and parallels to the gospel Jesus. Again Josephus shows no awareness of this where we would expect him to note this at once. The list can be reduced to eighteen names, omitting "Jesus the Christ" and numbers 18 and 19, as not clearly identified. Of these eighteen, six [Jesuses] show linkages to the gospel story--from marginal literary resemblance to apparent plagiarism from Josephus by the gospel writers. Thus one-third of the names are relevant, and as indicated below, every major aspect of the career of the gospel Jesus is echoed in these other figures cited by Josephus--and without the need for the "historical Jesus."

This is an odd development. If Josephus were aware of the historical Jesus then he would certainly be aware of the resemblances and duplications to his own writings. How could he be silent? We leave this to the experts ["spin Doctors"] to answer.' [23].

'....we are led to a major premise: we do not need the human "Jesus of Nazareth" as the starting point, nor do we need a process of legend and myth building lasting decades and generations to arrive at an exalted and supernatural Christ. We can start right at the top and posit that Jesus is a radically christianized version of the supernatural Joshua. We thus have an alternate statement for Christian origins....' [35].

'3

The Jerusalem Church

"The scanty and suspicious materials of ecclesiastical history seldom enable us to dispel the dark cloud that hangs over the first age of the church."

Edward Gibbon [1737 - 1794], Decline and Fall' [41].

'Despite the efforts of innumerable scholars over the past three hundred years, not a particle of hard conclusive evidence has been produced confirming any part of the life of Jesus. The prevailing mood of doubt and skepticism has been expressed by Rudolf Bultmann: "One can only emphasize the uncertainty of our knowledge of the person and work of the historical Jesus, and likewise of the origin of Christianity."23

Concerning the crucifixion story, a key episode is the assumed trial of Jesus before the Jewish Sanhedrin. Here Bultmann writes:

"I think the whole narrative in (gospel of) Mark is a secondary explanation... The account of the proceedings before the Sanhedrin in Mark 14:55-64 must be reckoned as a faith legend."24

Meaning that Mark, considered to be the earliest and most historical of the gospels, is giving a fictional account.

PAGE 1973


John Dominic Crossan, a recent writer, is even more emphatic:

"It is impossible, in my mind, to overestimate the creativity of Mark, but those twin trials (i.e., before the Sanhedrin and before Pilate) must be emphasized for what they are, namely, consummate theological fiction...It is magnificent theological fiction, to be sure, but entailing a dreadful price for Judaism."25 ["25. J.D. Crossan, The Historical Jesus, 390"]' [102].

'We may observe that New Testament scholarship is one long despairing search for what happened at the Beginning, because no documentary evidence can be found and all must be guessed at, since the later accounts are contradictory and suspect. To reconstruct this lost Beginning the scholars try to replace the missing data with "documentation" from all the social sciences [see 1988]--comparative religion, anthropology, sociology, etc.--to wind up with divergent accounts. And to the present, not a particle of hard conclusive evidence has been found confirming any part of the gospel story.

Here Josephus boasts that in the matter of keeping records...

"our forefathers assigned this to their chief priests and prophets, and down to our own times these records have been, and I venture to say, will continue to be, preserved with scrupulous accuracy."10 ["10. Josephus, Contra Apion, 1:29"]' [141].

'Justin was the most prominent Christian spokesman, missionary and apologist during the second century (AD 100-200). His birth is placed about 100, and he narrates that he was converted in his youth by a "venerable old man," apparently an elder of the new church, and who imparted the full content of the faith. If we place the conversion about 120, and posit that the "elder" had himself adopted the faith some decades back, then we are getting to about AD 90. This clearly brings us to the first age of the church.

Moreover there is good evidence that the gospels, in their final edited form, date after Justin and that Justin is giving an earlier form of the Christian polemic. THE GLIB ASSERTION THAT THE GOSPELS DATE FROM THE FIRST CENTURY, ABOUT AD 70 TO 90, DERIVES ONLY FROM THE UNPROVED: THAT THERE WAS A JESUS OF NAZARETH, AND THERE WERE DISCIPLES WHO PRESERVED TRADITIONS ABOUT HIM THAT TOOK WRITTEN FORM AT AN EARLY DATE. But first there must be proof that this "Jesus" [see #3, 41-104] existed and that he had "disciples" [see #8, 200-203] otherwise the early date is a Christian attempt to create history and legitimacy. IT REMAINS WITHOUT PROOF.

To go by the test of outside confirmation, which is the only test we can use, it is only late in the second century that the present four gospels are mentioned by name and quoted by name. They became canonical only about AD 180. This late dating, and evidence that much had taken place before the gospels appeared, was noted by Renan. He pointed out that the gospels surfaced towards the close of the

PAGE 1974


second century, about AD 180, or a hundred and fifty years after the assumed original events. They were the end product of a long process of editing and revision, by parties unknown. He noted also that the said church father Justin is placed prior to all this, and he diverges markedly from the gospels. These texts became canonical and authoritative after his time therefore it remains possible that Justin is giving us an earlier version of Christianity....' [151-152].

'One of the strongest arguments for the existence of "Jesus of Nazareth" has been that the gospels appeared about forty years after the alleged events, and with no intervening contradictory material. Now these texts appear to be hearsay at eight [?] generations removed, and with much intervening material. This opens up the whole area of the turbulent second century, with its chaos of rival sects, gospels and doctrines--so much so that the pagan Celsus noted sardonically that one would have to toss dice before deciding which sect to join.7

If the gospels indeed have this very late date, then the scholars have carried out a two-fold deception: by asserting the very early date they have bolstered the case for the "historical Jesus" by fake evidence; and they have in turn blocked off inquiry into areas that could challenge the entire case, blocking off the critics and opponents as well as the writings of early Christians--all this with the argument that these writings were late and irrelevant.

The scholar-apologists, committed to the "historical Jesus of Nazareth" as the starting point, have declared the gospel of Mark the earliest and most historical of the four. But if all four have equally obscure origins and are being revised at a late date, how can we be sure of this priority? The scholars have smuggled in the unproved Jesus to establish priority, but if this is dropped then alternate origins and alternate gospels are possible.

To return to Justin E.R. Goodenough, in his book The Theology of Justin Martyr, has no great admiration for his subject. The world of ideas that Justin grew up in and absorbed was not given to profundities. "The popular philosophical environment of Justin [was] a welter of crude superstitions expressed in myths and in snatches of philosophical terminology."8' [155].

'Justin is vehement on his insistence that Jesus is God [see Addition 30, 1326; etc.], and makes this his starting point. Thus at this stage of our inquiry we have two diametrically opposed concepts: the secular-naturalist view of the present-day New Testament scholars, that the starting point is the human Jesus of Nazareth, and against this the doctrinal-religious view, that the starting point is the incarnation of the Son of God. "Christ is not mere man of human origin, begotten in the common way of men."14

"He came forth as God from above, and became man among men, and will come here again."15

The writings of Justin are relevant to the question of gospel origins, since major themes in Justin are found in the gospel of John and in the gospel of Matthew. With John, it is the divinity of Jesus and with Matthew it is the prominence of PROOF-TEXTS from Scripture. These two elements comprise the primary tradition, and exclude the "historical Jesus." This indicates that the portrait of Jesus as a purely human figure is a later development.' [157].

PAGE 1975


'Justin and the gospel of John present a sacred drama. A divine being is incarnated and appears on earth in human guise. He carries out a salvationist mission on earth, acting in secrecy and beset by hostile forces. He seeks out his elect ones and imparts instructions to them, then returns to the heavens. It is basically the Gnostic [see: The Jesus Mysteries (1826-1827)] mystery, and if Justin is giving us the primary tradition, then he is rejecting the basic premise of modern scholarship. To the secular scholars, the starting point is the human Jesus of Nazareth, who was then mythified and deified. Justin starts at the top, with "high Christology." The human Jesus of Nazareth emerges as the end point at a much later stage.

We may note here that Bultmann was in agreement with Justin in giving priority to John [note: Justin did not know John. The "priority to John", by Justin, is a retrospective evaluation]. "In John the original meaning of the gospel comes out in fullest clarity, in that the evangelist, while making free use of the tradition, creates the figure of Jesus entirely from faith."21' [158].

'John's gospel may be earlier than the other three gospels--thus undermining the "historicity" of those three, and showing their human "Jesus of Nazareth" to be a later development.' [159].

'....From the foregoing, we have good evidence that the primary tradition and the primary gospel was that given in the gospel of John. THE VAUNTED PRIORITY OF MARK DERIVES FROM THE PREMISE THAT JESUS OF NAZARETH EXISTED and that Mark is giving the earliest "traditions" concerning this Jesus. Mark is arrived at by ruling out the other three: John gives a sacred myth, with no pretence at history; Luke removes himself by stating that many before him have composed gospels (Luke 1:1); Matthew relies mainly on visions and instructions from angels, also the working out of PROOF-TEXTS, "that it might be fulfilled that which was spoken by the prophet," in composing his life of Jesus. This leaves Mark as the least difficult to work with, and this created his priority.

Bultmann expresses his own reservations regarding Mark:

"Mark is the work of an author who is steeped in the theology of the early Church, and who ordered and arranged the traditional material that he received in the light of the faith of the early Church."33

"It has come to be recognized that the outline of Mark is not historical."34

We will continue with the testimony of Justin as giving the primary tradition.' [End of Chapter 11] [161-162].

PAGE 1976


"12

From Proof-Text to Gospel Tradition" [165]

"In preaching and defending his system, Justin was challenged on all sides by rival sects and of course by the Jews. The supreme weapon used by Justin, in proving his theology and refuting all opponents was that of PROOF-TEXTS FROM SCRIPTURE. Here Justin shows himself to be a past master, and a walking library of these texts. His position is now invincible--AS LONG AS ONE BELIEVES IN THE SACRED FORCE OF THESE TEXTS, and in Justin's own reading and interpretation. Hence the topic of these texts, so arid and distant to the present-day secular layman, is to be considered in the sequence of development of the gospels. IT IS ONLY WHEN THE ARGUMENT OF THE TEXTS FELL BY THE WAYSIDE THAT THE HISTORICAL JESUS HAD TO BE CONSTRUCTED TO CONVINCE THE OPPONENTS." [165].

'13

Gospel Errors

"...so-called histories... published by persons who never visited the sites nor were anywhere near the actions described, but based on a few hearsay reports put together..." [note: Josephus [c. 37 - c. 100] did not [too early!] comment on the Gospels. This comment, in Contra Apion, has application to the Gospels]

Josephus, Contra Apion, 1:46

Whatever the faults of Josephus, all grant that he knows the terrain, the customs, the history of the region--and he is quick to point out the ignorance of others in these matters. However a critical reading of the gospel narratives will show that these were written long after the assumed events and far from the scene, and that the writers were densely ignorant at every point. They are turning out a botched and inept job--meaning that they are fabricating the "life of Jesus" starting from point zero. Let us examine the gospel expertise....' [181].

'....the blunt conclusion emerges that the gospel writers did not know the geography and customs of the Holy Land, and did not know Judaism itself. Meaning that they were not using "historical traditions" but were working with, and adapting, source materials having nothing to do with historical data of any kind. If the writers were ignorant of major elements in geography, custom and religion, how can they give direct verbatim reports of what Jesus said, and if they are wrong in so much why should we believe any part of their narrative?

In addition to the acting out of proof-texts [continued on 1978]

["proof-texts" (my reaction): basically, quoting "scripture", to "prove", substantiate, etc., a doctrine, argument, etc. Used for childish one-upmanship. Barbaric rationalizing, for what the "proof-texter" has pre-determined to effectuate.

PAGE 1977


Infamous examples: "proof-texts" used to rationalize perennial persecutions of Jews and Heretics, and, centuries of Inquisitions.

Present day uses of "proof-texts" (from the usual Fictional sources--the Old Testament, and, New Testament), are similar to quoting a letter of a child, to Santa Claus, to "prove" the existence of Santa Claus, and then, attempting to exert powers, in relation to the "proven" Santa Claus]

and the use of free imagination, the gospel writers made use of specific sources in fabricating episodes in the "life of Jesus." We turn now to these sources....' [191].

'We must ask why Matthew went out of his way to use Joshuan material when he had the highly historical Jesus of Nazareth as a model, and why he distorted and falsified this material to serve his own agenda. The plain inference is that THERE WAS NO ORIGINAL [JESUS]. All had to be taken from sources and duly christianized. We have shown this in the "life of Jesus" constructed by Matthew from Joshuan materials.

But if THE LIFE (OF JESUS) IS A FABRICATION, CONSTRUCTED OUT OF SOURCE MATERIALS, how much confidence can we have in the crucifixion story--and what sources were used by the gospel novelists for that one? We turn to this topic....' [End of chapter 15] [216].

"NOTES: ...

      3.   Joshua, 1:12-14
      4.   Joshua, 17:18...
    11.   Joshua, 20:24 [10:24]...
    13.   Joshua, 10:26...
    16.   Joshua, 10:27
    17.  Joshua, 10:27...
    20.  Joshua, 10:17, 18
    21.  Joshua, 10:17-18, 27" [217].

[Note: Henry Shires, Finding the Old Testament in the New (see 1504-1518), only references (218) Joshua 1:6, 7, 9, 18; 23:9; 24:18. How (why) did he miss the above Joshua references? Denial? Skullduggery? Just missed them?].

PAGE 1978


"16

The Development of the Passion Narrative" [219]

'The passion narrative, comprising the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus, is the central drama of the gospels. In addition to the gospel accounts, many other versions of the Passion were composed during the turbulent second century. These narratives are now labeled "apocryphal" and "non-canonical" because they lost out. We would like to see where Justin fits into this welter of rival crucifixion stories.

He preceded the gospels and he diverges from the gospels in the matter of the divinity of Christ, and it turned out that he was giving the primary tradition. Here we have evidence that the same situation exists as to the passion narrative: Justin diverges and appears to be giving the primary tradition.

In hindsight, we can say that THE FOUR GOSPELS EMERGED AS THE WINNERS BECAUSE THEY APPEARED TO BE THE MOST PLAUSIBLE AND HISTORICAL. Especially in the passion narrative the gospel accounts gave a much better version of the events than the "apocryphal" accounts. A particular error of these rejected accounts, which disqualified them, was their emphatic statements that the Jews alone carried out the execution of Jesus. For a crucifixion to take place in a Roman-occupied province, under the iron control of Roman troops, the execution would have to carried out by Roman troops. Indeed, crucifixions were the very symbol of Roman authority. Therefore any account that had the Jews carrying out the crucifixion of Jesus would have to [be] rejected as fictional.

Here we find, almost without exception, that the apocryphal texts name the Jews as the executioners, and the canonical accounts name Pilate and the Romans. WHAT, PERCHANCE, IF THE APOCRYPHAL TEXTS CAME FIRST, AND THE GOSPELS THEN TACKED ON THE ROMAN PRESENCE TO MEET THE OBJECTIONS OF THE CRITICS?' [219].

'....A LARGE NUMBER OF EPISODES IN THE GOSPEL PASSION NARRATIVE APPEAR TO DERIVE FROM PHILO. NO FEWER that [THAN] TWENTY-FOUR CAN BE FOUND. We must ask why Crossan [Who killed Jesus? Exposing the Roots of Anti-Semitism in the Gospel Story of the Death of Jesus] stopped short at three and did not go much further into the content of Philo's book ["Concerning Flaccus"], since he rejected Mark's version outright. We can guess that Crossan prudently refrained from venturing further into this dangerous territory, since it would question the very existence of the passion narrative. His colleagues have also stayed clear.

Bultmann quotes approvingly a statement that the gospels are little more than the crucifixion story:

"Since the main emphasis lay upon the conclusion, the Passion and the Easter story, it has quite correctly been said, 'With some exaggeration one might describe the gospels as Passion Narratives with extended introductions.'

(M. Kähler)."25

If the ["crucifixion"] story drops out, then the gospels are dismantled.' [226].

PAGE 1979


'A comparison between Philo and the gospel will show that Philo's original stands up better:

a: A given detail or incident in Philo's account will be granted the highest authenticity as that of an eyewitness, even where it is openly partisan, while the same incident, when transferred to the gospel setting, will show errors and implausibilities. This demonstrates the artificial nature of the gospel version. It is derivative.

b: A standard criterion used by New Testament scholars for the genuineness of a given gospel episode is the "criterion of embarrassment." The argument is that the writer of an artificial account would leave out material that shows human shortcomings if he could, but he had to put these in as part of the authentic tradition. As examples, the scholars offer as proofs of genuineness that the gospels reveal human flaws and weaknesses on the part of Jesus and the disciples: the despair of Jesus in the Garden, the panic and flight of the disciples to avoid arrest, the disbelief of the disciples at the news of the Resurrection at Easter morning. But now we find that these very details are there in the source. They are in Philo's account. The gospel writers simply transferred them from Philo to the gospel. Hence this line of argument cannot be used by the apologists.

With this in mind we give our list of parallels, following the sequence of events in the gospel passion, although Philo--as will be explained--follows his own sequence dictated by the Alexandrian events:

    1.   We have a Judas-figure, fully created. He behaves honorably at first and
         arouses no suspicion. He is "in charge of the purse" and only later is he
         led into betrayal.
    2.   Judas is led to the betrayal by the malice and dishonesty of the enemies of
         the Servant. They are moved by "envy."
    3.   There is a "temple act" involving the deliberate disruption and violation of the
         religious precincts of the Jews.
    4.   There is a Last Supper, attended by a small group of friends. The motif of
         finality and farewell is spelled out.
    5.   The Garden Scene presents the fear and despair of the Victim at his
         approaching and inevitable death. It takes place at night and he is alone.
    6.   The Arrest is made by a detachment of soldiers, fully armed.
    7.   Throughout Philo portrays the Servant-community as innocent and the
         opponents as cruel and merciless--duplicating the gospel motif.
    8.   The companion show cowardice and fear lest they be arrested as well. They
         desert their leader.

PAGE 1980


    9. A Herodian king visits the city and meets with the Roman governor to discuss
         the fate of the Servant.
    10. There is a Mockery Scene, wherein the target is attired in royal garb and
         receives mock homage from his enemies.
    11. In the trial of the Servant false charges are placed against him through malice
         and calumny.
    12. There is a spy mission, by an observer who conceals himself among the
         servants and does not reveal his identity.
    13. The Servant is scourged and beaten prior to crucifixion.
    14. The tragic events take place on a national holiday, when it would be
         appropriate to show clemency and offer release.
    15. Mob instigators bully and threaten the Roman official, and force him to carry
         out the sentence instead of clemency or amnesty.
    16. Judas repents and makes full confession of his sins.
    17. Judas meets his death by being torn to pieces in an open field.
    18. For the crucifixion, there is a via dolorosa on the way to death that the
         doomed Victim must travel.
    19.The crucifixion takes place on "the third hour" which is nine in the morning on
         the Roman reckoning, as in [the] Gospel of Mark.
    20. There is jeering and abuse by the onlookers
    21. The garments of the Servant are divided by his enemies.
    22. The death of the Servant leaves his followers hopeless and despairing,
           however there is miraculous news of the revival of hope at early dawn.
    23 This is doubted at first, but later confirmed and the doubts are removed.
    24. All gather in joyous celebration, with praise to God for the rescue.

With these 24 points available, why did Crossan stop at 3? And if 24 points of duplication can be found in a single document, covering every major element of the passion narrative, are we not entitled to name this as the source of that narrative? Philo has provided enough material to label the gospel account of the passion as fictional in its entirety. And as Bultmann and Raymond Brown have pointed out, the passion amounts to the gospel itself, hence the whole structure must go.' [234-237].

[See: Addition 34, 1576-1579 (Philo in the New Testament)].

PAGE 1981


"It is clear that Philo has composed ["Concerning Flaccus"] a unified, well-planned drama that moves in a straight line from the opening scene of high promise to the unmarked grave on the lonely isle. And each episode in the story finds a parallel in the gospel Passion. Crossan, as noted, had limited himself to three episodes in the account to find gospel parallels. We can now state that the entire book was used by the gospel writers to construct their passion narratives." [278].

"21.

Josephus [c. 37 - c. 100 C.E.] and the James Passage" [285]

'The passage, in the present text [Josephus, Antiquities 20:200], contains a reference to the slaying of James "brother to [of] Jesus called the Christ" hence is always cited by those supporting the disputed reference to Jesus found in Antiquities, volume 18, paragraphs 63, 64, and proving that Josephus was aware of the existence of Jesus. The reference to James appears as a single line imbedded in a rather lengthy episode dealing with the high priest Ananus. The line appears irrelevant to the content of the Ananus episode, and could be deleted with no effect on that story. This at the outset is a good hint that the James passage is a Christian interpolation. Line 200, in our present text, refers to "James, brother to [of] Jesus called the Christ."

In context, as will be shown, a large question mark can be placed against the genuineness of this phrase.' [285].

'Concerning the above [discussion], the "fair-minded" reader may well conclude that the reference to "James, brother of Jesus called the Christ" has no relevance to the story, and is a forgery.' [291].

'22

Josephus [c. 37 - c. 100 C.E.] and the Testimonium

"The passage [Josephus, Antiquities 18:63-64] concerning Jesus Christ which was inserted into the text of Josephus between the time of Origen and that of Eusebius may furnish an example of no vulgar forgery."

Gibbon, Decline and Fall

What Gibbon meant by the above statement is that we are dealing with a FORGERY that was carefully and astutely drawn, and that it made Josephus a witness to the basic elements of the Christian case, all in a brief text.' [297].

'By the sharpest of ironies, it was the opponents who invented the human Jesus. The tactic used by Celsus and his aide was the same as that used by the opponents in the Age of Enlightenment, sixteen centuries later. In both eras they

PAGE 1982


were erecting a human figure and a human biography to counter the portrait of Jesus as a divinity.

Albert Schweitzer [1875 - 1965], in his landmark study, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, indicated plainly that the historical Jesus was never established or confirmed by standard conventional evidence, but instead was but forward as a radical hypothesis by the skeptics and rationalists of the eighteenth century. In the opening chapter of his book he makes this important statement:

"The historical investigation of the life of Jesus did not take its rise from a purely historical interest; it turned to the Jesus of history as an ally in the struggle against the tyranny of dogma."6

That is, if Jesus could be presented as a purely human, historical person, free of supernatural elements, and if it could be argued that a later Church had invented all its dogmas, mysteries and miracles and had foisted these on the human Jesus, then that would strip this Church of all legitimacy and authority. Had the skeptics "turned to" the Jesus of history or had they created him? In both cases, in the early period and in the eighteenth century, the gospels were the only source for the counter-histories.' [314].

'Origen [c. 185 - c. 254] argues solely on the basis of proof-texts [see 1977] from Scripture to prove all events in the career of Jesus. He offers no other evidence.

"Jesus is the Son of God who gave the Law and the prophets. We, who belong to the Church, do not transgress the Law but have escaped the mythologizing of the Jews. We have our minds humbled and educated by the mystical contemplation of the Law and the prophets."18

"All the prophecies which preceded His birth were preparations for His worship. And the wonders which he wrought were by a divine power which was foretold by the prophets."19

"The ignorance of the Jews regarding Christ was caused by their not having heard the prophecies about Him."20

This is the sum total of his argument, and is the Christian situation as of his period, about AD 230. He has no history or tradition.

The victory of Christianity came a century later, when Constantine [Emperor 306 (312) - 337 (c. 280 - 337)] chose this ["Christianity"] as the official religion of the empire. This led to the suppression of rival sects and religions. The Jews survived, but were gradually stripped of all rights under Roman law, and reduced to pariah status. The long epic of Hellenic universalist Judaism came to an end and was replaced by the sealed-off ghetto.

PAGE 1983


What this means is that Christianity in the early period never succeeded in proving its case on the basis of historical evidence, but only through the crushing force of Roman authority, censorship and suppression. Fifteen centuries would pass from the time of Origen to the reopening of challenges to the gospel story. We may inquire whether the scholar-apologists of the modern period have made a better case.' [318].

'A survey of New Testament scholarship in the modern era will reveal remarkably little in the way of results. A good summary of the first one hundred fifty years of this research is provided by Albert Schweitzer [1875 - 1965] in his classic, The Quest of the Historical Jesus. He begins in the 1760s and brings the quest down to his own date, the early 1900s. He covers the work of some 250 scholars, no two of whom agree, and in the closing chapter writes:

"There is nothing more NEGATIVE than the result of the critical study of the life of Jesus... He is a figure designed by rationalism, endowed with life by liberalism, and clothed by modern theology in an historical garb"1

In this closing chapter Schweitzer also reveals that this "critical study" was a bogus enterprise. New Testament scholarship pretends to be engaged in objective research, however the field is dominated by members of the Christian establishment, engaged in apologetics and damage control. The scholars discussed by Schweitzer were theologians, almost without exception. They were ordained clergymen, or at least graduate students of theology, and the enormous body of research carried out by them during the nineteenth century is labeled by him as "...the science [sic] of historical theology"2

At that period the scholars in the field had not yet arrogated to themselves the title of historians. Instead they labeled themselves as critical theologians or historical theologians.' [321].

'all the scholars in the field, from the earliest period to Schweitzer's day, from radical to conservative, were engaged in missionary activity rather than historical research. And this continues to the present. Almost every writer in the field today is on the faculty of a theological department or institution. Any scholar-theologian who takes this missionary approach cannot pretend to be engaged in historical research of an objective nature. He will certainly find ways to interpret the data to fit his goal, and will find ways to reject documents that threaten the goal.

Schweitzer also indicated that the quest had a dubious origin. It began by smuggling in the premise that "Jesus of Nazareth" existed, and then used this literary creation to attack the church establishment. In the opening stage, that of the eighteenth century Age of Enlightenment, Jesus was presented by the rationalists, skeptics and philosophes of that era as free from all supernatural and miraculous elements. The writers "turned to the Jesus of history as an ally in the struggle against the tyranny of dogma"--without the small formality of proving that this Jesus had actually lived. The quest proved to be a game of catch-up, to locate the personage they had posited in the first place.' [322].

PAGE 1984


'Raymond Brown was considered among the most influential of American scholars in this field ["Theologian-Apologists"]. His book The Death of the Messiah lists 1500 authors in the index, along with scores of scholarly publications and reference works. Let us see what he has to offer on the passion narrative--the "PN" as he calls it.

Having gotten Josephus to vouch that Jesus plausibly existed, Brown goes on to make this central to the story. All is unproved but Brown [Raymond Brown exhibits quintessential "Bluff and Bullshit"! (see #1, 31, 184.)] makes this so emphatic that THE ILLUSION OF HISTORICAL FACT IS FOISTED UPON THE READER:

    "Jesus was a human figure of actual history."7

    "One can characterize as bedrock history that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified at Jerusalem."8

    He was "...someone who lived at a particular time in a particular place among real people."9

    "We shall begin with indisputable facts... All four Gospels have a Sanhedrin session that dealt with Jesus."10

    "That Jesus was buried is historically certain."11

    "It is solid history that Jesus was associated with John the Baptist and that John Baptist was put to death by Herod Antipas."12

The above illustrates the modus operandi. By placing the assumed Jesus in a historical framework of time, place and 'real people' then Jesus is made historical himself. Which is like saying that in the novel War and Peace the character of Prince Andrey becomes historical because he is in the framework of hundreds of historical facts dealing with Napoleon's invasion of Russia. But at least Tolstoy had his facts right. As we demonstrated in an earlier chapter, the attempt of the gospel writers to describe the terrain, the customs and the religion itself of the region led to error upon error. The writers know as little of Judea and Galilee as they know of the Upper Amazon.' [351]. [See: 1899 ("works of romance are founded on facts")].

'Brown relies heavily on the word "TRADITION." However there is a wide difference between tradition and history. Historical research makes a sharp distinction between what is labeled as factual event, confirmed and corroborated as to time and place, and what is found in legend and tradition. Tradition is defined generally as "...the handing down orally of stories, beliefs, customs, etc. from generation to generation."

In Christianity, tradition has the specific meaning of "the unwritten teachings regarded as handed down from Jesus and the Apostles."

Thus the word ["tradition"] very conveniently establishes the existence of Jesus and the Apostles at the beginning, and also establishes the sincerity and good faith of the gospel writers at the end. These ["gospel"] writers can be accused of many things, but they have avoided the main charge: that the whole story is a fake and they have invented the story. It is the magic word "tradition" that has rescued them and granted their bona fides ["Good faith, freedom from intent to deceive." (O.E.D.)].' [352-353].

PAGE 1985


'Clyde Pharr writes:

"THE THEODOSIAN CODE AND NOVELLAS [supplements] form the richest single source and the only official collection of contemporary information for the political, social and economic conditions of the later Roman Empire."8

The Code, in effect, spelled out the concordat between the later emperors and the Catholic faction, chosen among many rival sects, as being the most disciplined and submissive to authority, and most unswerving in its support of the empire. The emperor, his army and bureaucracy, would control politics and the economy, maintaining 'order' with iron force. The Church would control the social and religious life of the State, preaching harmony, with each party to the concordant upholding the other.

FROM THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT SUBMISSION TO AUTHORITY HAD BEEN PREACHED AS A VIRTUE. Tertullian, about AD 190, affirmed his loyalty to Caesar, and declared that the fall of Rome would mean the end of the world:

"We are ever making intercession for all the emperors. We pray for them long life, a secure rule, a safe home, brave armies, a faithful senate, an honest people, a quiet world, and everything for which a man or a Caesar can pray." (Apologia 30:4)

He [Tertullian] then quotes 1 Timothy 2:2: "Pray for kings, for princes and powers, that all things may be tranquil for you." (Apologia 31:3)

"There is another need and a greater one, for praying for the Emperors... The end of the age itself, with its menace of hideous suffering, is delayed by the respite which the empire means for us... I set the majesty of Caesar below God, and all the more commend him to God, to whom alone I subordinate him." (Apologia 32:1, 33:2)' [363].

'A heretic was defined as anyone who wavered in the slightest from the Catholic faith: "If any man should disturb the Catholic faith, he is deserving of deportation [paraphrase]." (Code 16.4.3)

"Those persons who may be discovered to deviate even in a minor point of doctrine from the tenets and the faith of the Catholic religion are included in the designation of heretics, and must be subject to the sanctions issued against these heretics [paraphrase]." (Code 16.5.28)

"No man shall argue about religion or discuss it, or give any counsel. If any person, with flagrant and damnable audacity, should dare to persist in his actions of ruinous obstinacy, he shall be restrained with a due penalty and proper punishment." (Code 16.6.2 [source?])

PAGE 1986


In this world of harshest authority on all sides, with all freedom of movement in thought and occupation now forbidden, there was no longer a place for a religion as flexible and challenging as Hellenic Judaism. Its very existence was seen as a threat. Meaning that this Judaism would either be wiped out, or would have to adopt the specific role and marginal place dictated by the triumphant Church--and that was a pariah existence. Since the Church was indispensable in the matter of instilling obedience throughout society, any request by the Church to the emperor would be granted. The Church would now settle accounts once and for all with the Jews.' [365].

"The attacks began after Constantine, with Judaism fully protected under law prior to that time." [366].

'"If any person should be converted from Christianity to Judaism, then his property shall be forfeit to the treasury." (Code 16.8.7, dated AD 353, and showing that Judaism was still gaining converts)

The wording of one law indicates that attacks on synagogues were beginning:

"It is sufficiently established that the sect of the Jews is forbidden by no law... [The authorities] will restrain with proper severity the excesses of those persons who, in the name of the Christian religion, presume to commit certain unlawful acts, and attempt to destroy and despoil the synagogues [paraphrase]." (Code 16.8.9, dated AD 396 [393])' [366].

'"Jews and Samaritans shall be deprived of all employment in the imperial service [paraphrase]." (Code 16.8.16)

There are virulent statutes, referring to "the detestable and offensive name of Jews." (Code 16.8.19)

The laws were aimed at...

"...a perversity that is Jewish and alien to the Roman empire... It is more grievous than death and more cruel than murder that [if] any person of the Christian faith shall [should] be polluted by Jewish unbelief [disbelief]." (Code 16.8.20[19], dated AD 409)

This was a call for the removal of Jews from all contact with Christians, to avoid the pollution. A process of 'ethnic cleansing' then took place, the removal being to ghetto areas. The method of choice was setting fire to synagogues. This is the plain inference of a statute that provided no penalty for those that set the fires, merely the pious utterance that "now and henceforth no person shall seize and [or] burn their synagogues [compare: posted "off limits" lists, for sailors, which served as tips, when going ashore]." (Code 16.8.25[26], dated AD 423)

To this was appended an order that the Jews be compensated by being given a site on which to construct a new synagogue--which of course would be set on fire in due course.

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Even this token concession was removed by Novella Title 3.8[10] (dated AD 438): "They shall not dare to construct a synagogue anew... They must repair the ruins of their synagogue[s] [at the original site]."

Again a futile tactic. The only recourse left was to retire to a ghetto district, out of reach of the mob. The ghetto existence of the Jews therefore derived directly from the Church's incitement to violence.

....the long epic of Hellenic Judaism, that had started 325 BC in Alexandria, came to an end. It had endured, with its remarkable history and achievements, for more than seven hundred and fifty years.' [367, 368] [End of text].

Comment: (a classic topic) what part did Christianism ("Christianity") play, in the destruction of the Roman Empire? What part in the destruction of Hellenic Judaism?

'As we bring our inquiry to a close several conclusions may be stated:

1. THE GOSPEL STORY IS FICTIONAL IN ITS ENTIRETY. THERE NEVER WAS A JESUS OF NAZARETH AND THERE NEVER WAS A CRUCIFIXION STORY.

2. In particular the passion narrative must be condemned as a deliberate fraud, meant to attack and defame the Jews.

3. CHRISTIANITY HAS FABRICATED ITS ORIGINS, ITS LEGITIMACY AND ITS HISTORICAL TRUTH BY THE CAPTURE AND OCCUPATION OF THE JUDAIC SCRIPTURES [see Addition 34, 1504-1518], AND THE CLAIM TO BE THE TRUE ISRAEL. THIS IS A CONQUEST AND OCCUPATION WHICH THE JEWS HAVE NEVER RECOGNIZED.

4. An alternative explanation can be provided for Christian origins and early Christianity--one that does not require the "historical Jesus."

5. NEW TESTAMENT SCHOLARSHIP IS A BOGUS ENTERPRISE. It creates scenarios and takes over material from the social sciences [see 1974] to give the impression that Christianity has an authentic historical origin. The POSE of objective research is used to prop up the gospel story but no hard evidence can be found to support that story.' [358].

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Subject Index
  • Alexander the False Prophet, 1813, 1871-1872, 1878
    amended, 1879
  • Annals [Annales] [of "Tacitus"], 1760, 1773-1774, 1776, 1783, 1786-1790, 1796, 1808-1810, 1814, 1817, 1847, 1851-1852, 1854-1855, 1857, 1864, 1876-1878, 1915, 1917-1918, 1925, 1940, 1944, 1963-1965
  • Arbuthnot, F.F., 1882-1885, 1911, 1968
  • Augustine, 1736, 1739, 1754, 1760, 1768, 1770, 1786, 1822, 1839-1840, 1843-1845, 1847, 1854, 1903, 1915, 1943, 1959, 1961, 1967
  • Benedictine, 1780, 1839, 1843-1844, 1846, 1848-1849, 1859, 1886-1887, 1911, 1924-1925, 1940
  • Bible, 1756, 1770, 1772, 1790, 1810, 1829, 1841-1842, 1877, 1880, 1898, 1900, 1939, 1941, 1950, 1958
  • Bracciolini, Poggio, 1752-1753, 1774, 1788-1789, 1796, 1807-1810, 1941-1942, 1944, 1965
  • Catholic, 1755-1757, 1779, 1797, 1804, 1826, 1847, 1857, 1877, 1881, 1894, 1919, 1920-1921, 1955, 1986
  • Christiani, 1796, 1843, 1847, 1850, 1858, 1863-1864, 1875
  • Christianism, 1736, 1799, 1803, 1811-1813, 1988
  • Christianity, 1736, 1739, 1748, 1759, 1772, 1778, 1784-1785, 1787-1788, 1826, 1847, 1854, 1856-1858, 1865, 1873, 1880-1882, 1908, 1915-1916, 1918, 1920-1921, 1924, 1940, 1948, 1950, 1962, 1969-1970, 1972-1973, 1975, 1983-1985, 1987-1888
  • Christus, 1768, 1773, 1847, 1853, 1856-1857, 1864, 1875, 1877
  • Cicero, 1752, 1779, 1802, 1805, 1809, 1838, 1843-1844, 1900-1903, 1910-1911, 1941, 1943-1944
  • clumsy, 1736, 1806, 1811, 1827, 1844-1845, 1854, 1964
  • cognitionibus, 1796, 1863, 1875
  • Consolatio, 1779, 1901-1903
  • Crown of Thorns, 1748, 1819, 1822, 1837
  • discovery, 1740, 1742, 1744, 1746, 1778, 1789, 1808-1809, 1852, 1891, 1903, 1944, 1947, 1956
  • Edessa, King of, 1746-1747, 1877, 1892
  • Epiphanius, 1795, 1803, 1849, 1959
  • Erasmus, 1752, 1753, 1777-1779, 1805
  • Eusebius, 1746-1747, 1755, 1759, 1765, 1771-1774, 1785-1786, 1788, 1793, 1798, 1800, 1812, 1826, 1892, 1935, 1959, 1962, 1964, 1982
  • Farrer, James Anson, 1750, 1766, 1781, 1888
  • fiction, passim
  • forgery, passim
  • Fulda, 1926, 1940, 1963
  • garbled, 1849, 1879
  • Germania, 1808-1809, 1816, 1900, 1942, 1959-1961, 1964-1967
  • gloss, 1843, 1856
  • Hadrian, Emperor, 1761, 1796, 1799, 1804, 1848, 1875, 1878, 1937

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  • Hardouin, Jean, 1736, 1742, 1752, 1754, 1756, 1781, 1838-1840, 1842, 1848, 1859, 1886, 1937
  • Historia Sacra, 1774, 1788, 1813, 1847, 1917
  • Hochart, Polydore, 1783, 1786-1790, 1798, 1807, 1813, 1815-1817, 1857, 1878, 1942, 1944, 1959, 1965
  • illuminate [decorate], 1742, 1756, 1769, 1829, 1906-1907, 1911, 1928, 1940
  • interpolation, 1758, 1772-1773, 1784, 1786, 1800, 1811, 1827, 1843-1844, 1850-1851, 1856, 1859, 1865, 1875, 1878, 1911, 1918, 1960-1963, 1965, 1967, 1982
  • Jesus Christ, 1739, 1746-1747, 1750, 1754, 1759-1760, 1763-1764, 1767-1776, 1778, 1783, 1785-1786, 1792, 1795-1796, 1806, 1810-1811, 1818-1820, 1826-1827, 1831-1833, 1835, 1837, 1856-1857, 1861-1862, 1865, 1874, 1877-1880, 1887, 1892, 1896, 1915-16, 1930, 1933, 1935-1936, 1939, 1969, 1971-1980, 1982-1985, 1988
  • Johnson, Edwin, 1786, 1838, 1840, 1857, 1882-1883, 1885, 1912, 1968
  • Josephus, 1745, 1759, 1770-1773, 1810-1811, 1827, 1843-1846, 1848, 1851, 1854, 1865, 1877-1878, 1899, 1904, 1935,-1937, 1971-1974, 1977, 1982, 1985
  • Julius Africanus, 1793, 1801, 1803
  • Ligorio, Pirro, 1748-1749, 1766, 1805
  • Lucas, Vrain-Denis, 1806, 1894
  • Lucian [c. 117 - c. 180], 1760, 1775, 1777, 1813, 1848, 1856, 1859, 1865-1871, 1873, 1878, 1909, 1934
  • Mabillon, Jean, 1755, 1766, 1841, 1887, 1925, 1932
  • Monte Cassino, 1847, 1849, 1940-1941
  • Montfaucon, Bernard de, 1756, 1841, 1924
  • Nanni, 1744-1745, 1779-1780, 1805, 1964
  • Natalis, 1810, 1814, 1817
  • Nero, 1742, 1760, 1776, 1784-1788, 1793, 1796, 1798-1799, 1808, 1810-1817, 1840, 1853-1854, 1864, 1866, 1868-1870, 1875, 1878, 1900, 1913-1918
  • New Testament, 1747, 1749, 1757, 1759, 1763-1764, 1766-1770, 1775, 1777-1778, 1781, 1792, 1826-1827, 1840, 1847, 1851, 1859, 1880, 1892, 1912, 1932, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1974-1975, 1978, 1980-1981, 1984, 1988
  • Old Testament, 1764, 1766, 1768, 1770, 1774, 1840, 1859, 1883, 1886, 1939, 1978
  • palaeography, 1736, 1766, 1804, 1828-1829, 1841, 1859, 1885, 1888-1890, 1900, 1940, 1945, 1960
  • Paul, 1757, 1760, 1762-1763, 1777, 1784-1785, 1787, 1793, 1795, 1799, 1803-1806, 1811, 1813, 1822, 1826-1827, 1831-1834, 1837, 1841, 1845, 1854, 1857, 1866, 1874, 1882, 1892, 1894, 1915-1917, 1924, 1933, 1944
  • Peregrinus, 1813, 1848, 1867, 1873-1874, 1878
  • Phalaris, 1739, 1741, 1759
  • Philo, 1745, 1754, 1770-1771, 1810, 1827, 1979-1982
  • Philopatris, 1848, 1866-1868, 1878
  • plagiarism, 1759, 1761, 1781, 1813, 1816, 1912, 1967-1968, 1973
  • Pliny [62 - 113], 1754, 1781, 1784, 1786, 1790, 1793, 1795-1799, 1802, 1808-1809, 1811-1812, 1847, 1852, 1856-1858, 1861-1864, 1875, 1877-1878, 1906

PAGE 1990


  • Pontius Pilate, 1773, 1853, 1877
  • Prefect, 1799, 1810, 1846, 1851
  • printing, 1755, 1763, 1810, 1840, 1850, 1887, 1890, 1895, 1898, 1908-1909
  • redaction, 1795, 1800, 1805, 1814, 1825, 1958
  • relics, 1746, 1748-1749, 1790, 1818-1819, 1821-1823, 1825, 1831-1834, 1836, 1896, 1928
  • Ross, J.W., 1774, 1789-1790, 1807, 1810, 1813-1814, 1816-1817, 1944
  • Senatus Consult, 1795, 1797, 1802
  • Seneca, 1760, 1770, 1777, 1787, 1801, 1805, 1809, 1814, 1817, 1826, 1840, 1844-1845, 1854, 1892, 1903, 1906, 1913, 1940-1941
  • Shroud of Turin, 1748, 1822
  • Sigonio, Carlo, 1752-1753, 1779, 1813, 1825, 1901-1903
  • Simonides, Constantine, 1749-1750, 1766, 1805, 1888-1891, 1945
  • Smith, Joseph, 1896
  • Speyer, Wolfgang, 1764-1766, 1780-1781, 1788, 1790, 1800, 1802, 1805, 1808, 1810, 1825
  • Suetonius [c. 69 - after 122], 1761, 1786, 1802, 1810-1811, 1814, 1817, 1847, 1852, 1856-1857, 1864, 1875, 1878, 1904
  • Sulpicius Severus [c. 360 - c. 430?], 1774, 1783-1784, 1787-1788, 1813, 1844, 1846-1847, 1853-1854, 1863, 1917-1918
  • Syme, Sir Ronald, 1781, 1798, 1807, 1816
  • Tacitus [c. 55 - 120], 1752, 1760, 1770-1771, 1773-1774, 1776, 1783-1784, 1786-1790, 1795, 1807-1811, 1813-1814, 1816-1817, 1825, 1844-1847, 1851-1852, 1854-1857, 1860, 1864, 1875-1878, 1900, 1913-1918, 1940-1942, 1944, 1959-1961, 1963-1967, 1989
  • Tertullian, 1736, 1762, 1768, 1773, 1784-1785, 1790, 1792-1793, 1796-1797, 1799, 1808, 1811-1812, 1846-1847, 1849, 1854, 1857-1864, 1892, 1915, 1937-1938, 1942, 1962, 1986
  • Wiener, Leo, 1900, 1942, 1946-1947, 1949-1959, 1961, 1967
  • [from: #4, 116, 490.: addition; annotated; conscious fiction; enlarged; version; improved; not of unity of authorship; altered, rewritten, and expanded; compiled; recension; inserted; edited; embellished; prepared for church use; literary creations; borrowed (plagiarized); reworked (my favorite!); Catholic forgery; all proceeded from one circle or "school"; etc.].

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