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ADDITION 43


AN APPRECIATION OF JUDGE PARISH B. LADD [died 1912]


  1     Fifty Years of Freethought  2368-2368
  2     Who's Who in Hell  2368-2368
  3     Alameda Free Library 2369-2369
  4     WorldCat [OCLC]  2370-2371
  5     Melvyl  Catalog of U.C. Libraries 2371-2371
  6     God Pro and Con  2372-2372
  7     Imperialism—Expansion—Caesarism, America Without a Brutus 2373-2375
  8     The Question of the Philippines [David Starr Jordan] 2375-2376
  9     The Credentials of Christ 2377-2386
10    Commentaries on Hebrew and Christian Mythology 2387-2400
11    Appendix to Hebrew and Christian Mythology 2401-2403
12    The Priest and the Church, What Have They Done for the World? 2404-2408
13    Genesis to Revelation 2409-2422


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AN APPRECIATION OF SAN FRANCISCO JUDGE PARISH B. LADD.


Note: I thank Robb Marks, Bookseller, PO Box 350 ● Rockton IL ● 61072, once again. This time, for introducing me to Judge Parish B. Ladd, in the Fall 2003 catalog [received 10/18/2003]. Robb Marks advertised: "Hebrew and Christian Mythology [see 2386] by Judge Parish B. Ladd LL.B., of the San Francisco Bar". I had never encountered a reference to the man. An additional personal attraction: I lived 8 years (1964 - 1972), in San Francisco (including Dental School and Dental Practice).



from: Fifty Years of Freethought, George E. Macdonald, Advisory Editor: Madalyn Murray O'Hair, [Volumes I & II], Arno Press & The New York Times, New York/1972 (1929, 1931).


          'THE FIRST OBITUARY FOR 1912 WAS THAT OF JUDGE Parrish [PARISH] B. LADD OF ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA, WHO HAD WRITTEN A NUMBER OF ACCEPTABLE FREETHOUGHT BOOKS.


          [for context, etc.] John Helm of Port Hope, Canada, was the next—a lifetime subscriber to The Truth Seeker whose subscription had yet four years to run. His local paper, the Pope Hope Guide, said: "His lifelong philanthropy won universal respect, and few men leave behind them such universal regret. His loss to the community will be irreparable." Mr. Helm had organized and was president of the Port Hope Benevolent Society, and he would have been 100 years old if he had lived until his subscription to The Truth Seeker expired. And that was the age of his contemporary, another who always took The Truth Seeker, Dr. H.S. Borrette of Susanville, California. He died in March at 100 years 9 days....' [Vol. II, 400-401].


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from: Who's Who in Hell, Warren Allen Smith, Barricade, c2000.


"Ladd, Parish B. (19th century)


A freethinker, Ladd wrote Commentaries on Hebrew and Christian Mythology (1896) and The Hebrews: Never in Egypt (c. 1898). {GS ["Stein, Gordon. God Pro and Con" [ix]]}" [636].



Note: to this date (3/2/2004), I have not found additional references to Parish B. Ladd. I have tried the Internet, reference librarians, e-mails, phone calls, offers of payment. My guess: much suppression. I would like to research in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Alameda Historical Society, San Francisco Call Bulletin (newspaper), etc.


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from: Alameda Free Library, Reference Dept., 2200-A Central Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501 March 9, 2004


Dear [Lino Sanchez],


I'm sorry about the slow response to your inquiry about Judge Parish B. Ladd who died in 1912. I did find some interesting information about Ladd.


I searched the Oakland/Alameda City Directory from 1877-1923. Here are the results of that search:


1884-1885 Ladd, PB, atty-at-law (SF), res 973 Washington, Oakland

1886-1887 Ladd, PB, atty-at-law, 911 Paru, Alameda (Paru is a street in what we call the "Gold Coast," a lovely high end Victorian neighborhood that really takes you back to the late nineteenth century)

1888 Ladd, PB, atty-at-law, 220 Sansome SF, res 911 Paru bet Clinton & San Jose Aves

(This 1 listing above was found in Bean's Directory of the City of Alameda, 1888)

1889-1890 Ladd, Parish B., lawyer, SF, res w s Paru, near Clinton


1891-1894 Ladd disappears from the Oakland/Alameda area


1895-1912 Ladd, Parish B, atty, SF


1912-1918? Ladd, Mary, widow-Parish B, 907 Paru

(His wife continued to live at 907 Paru until sometime after 1918. The Library doesn't have directories for 1919-1920, and she is not listed from 1921 through 1923. It's interesting that in 1915 her name is listed as taking in "boarders" at her 907 Paru address)


In addition I found Ladd in J.C. Bates' History of the Bench and Bar of California, 1912. I am enclosing the citation. Although a Ladd is listed in the index, his name doesn't appear individually in the body of the work, but under Finlayson, he was listed as a member of the firm of Ladd & Finlayson from 1885 to 1886. I find it interesting that the firm is called Ladd and Finlayson, though it doesn't[?] appear that Parish was a partner. Perhaps he worked for his father?[?] Or maybe this is not Parish Ladd at all. Two different people named Ladd are listed in the Oakland/Alameda City Directory, living at several different addresses during the 1880's. Both are "clerks." Neither are attorneys.


I hope this helps.


Sincerely,

[Signature]

Librarian


[added by hand] Ooops—I forgot to tell you that I found no obituary in the Alameda newspaper. We don't have the San Francisco Chronicle back that far.


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_____ _____ _____



from: WorldCat [OCLC] List of Records



RECORDS FOR LADD, PARISH B.


COMMENTARIES ON HEBREW AND CHRISTIAN MYTHOLOGY

Author: Ladd, Parish B.

Publication: New York: The Truth Seeker Co., 1896

Document: English: Book

Libraries Worldwide: 9 [excerpts included]


COMMENTARIES ON HEBREW AND CHRISTIAN MYTHOLOGY

Author: Ladd, Parish B.

Publication: New York: P. Eckler, 1896

Document: English: Book

Libraries Worldwide: 8


IMPERIALISM - EXPANSION - CAESARISM.

AMERICA WITHOUT A BRUTUS.

Author: Ladd, Parish B.

Publication: San Francisco, 1890s

Document: English: Book

Libraries Worldwide: 3 [excerpts included]


THE CREDENTIALS OF CHRIST.

LACK OF PROOF THAT HE WAS AN ACTUAL PERSONALITY ...

Author: Ladd, Parish B.

Publication: New York, The Truth Seeker Co., 1800s, ?

Document: English: Book

Libraries Worldwide: 2 [entire pamphlet included]


GENESIS TO REVELATION.

A FREE THOUGHT COMMENTARIES OF THE WHOLE BIBLE.

Author: Ladd, Parish B.

Publication: Chicago, H.L. Green

Document: English: Book

Libraries Worldwide: 2 [excerpts included]


THE PRIEST AND THE CHURCH;

WHAT HAVE THEY DONE FOR THE WORLD?

Author: Ladd, Parish B.

Publication: Chicago, H.L. Green 1902

Document: English: Book

Libraries Worldwide: 1 [excerpts included]


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EVIDENCE TOUCHING THE NONPERSONALISM OF THE HERO OF GOSPEL LEGENDS.

Author: Ladd, Parish B.

Publication: [Chicago, 1900

Document: English: Book: Microform

Libraries Worldwide: 1


APPENDIX TO HEBREW AND CHRISTIAN MYTHOLOGY.

Author: Ladd, Parish B.

Publication: New York: Truth Seeker Co., 1900-1990? [probably: c. 1898]

Document: English: Book

Libraries Worldwide: 1 [not in National Union Catalog] [excerpts included]


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from: Melvyl The Catalog of the University of California Libraries


SEARCH [LADD, PARISH B.] RESULTS: 4 ITEM(S)

 

Author         Ladd, Parish B.

Title              CHALDEO-BABYLONIAN CIVILIZATION

Publisher     Los Angeles, 1904

Description 23 p

No. Regional Library Facility


 

Author         Ladd, Parish B.

Title              COMMENTARIES ON HEBREW AND CHRISTIAN MYTHOLOGY/by Parish B. Ladd.

Publisher     New York: The Truth Seeker Co., c1896.

Description 230 p.; 20 cm.

No. Regional Library Facility

So. Regional Library Facility


 

Author         Ladd, Parish B.

Title              CHALDEO-BABYLONIAN CIVILIZATION...by Judge Parish B. Ladd.

Publisher     Los Angeles, Cal. S.W. Davis, 1904.

Description 23p.

California State Library


 

Author         Ladd, Parish B.

Title              GENESIS TO REVELATION FREE THOUGHT COMMENTARIES ON THE WHOLE BIBLE, by Judge Parish B. Ladd...

Publisher     Chic. H.L. Green, n.d.

Description 32p. port.

California State Library


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from: God Pro and Con, A Bibliography of Atheism, Gordon Stein, Garland, 1990.


 

1532  Ladd, Parish B. COMMENTARIES ON HEBREW AND CHRISTIAN MYTHOLOGY. New York: Truth Seeker, 1896, 230 + 104p.

 

1533  Ladd, Parish B. GENESIS TO REVELATION: A Free Thought Commentaries [sic] of the Whole Bible. Chicago: H.L. Green, 1903, 32p.

 

1534  Ladd, Parish B. THE PRIEST AND THE CHURCH; WHAT HAVE THEY DONE FOR THE WORLD? Chicago: H.L. Green, 1902.

 

1535  Ladd, Parish B. THE CREDENTIALS OF CHRIST. New York: Truth Seeker Co., n.date, [c.1898], 16p.

 

1536  Ladd, Parish B. THE HEBREWS NEVER IN EGYPT, New York: Truth Seeker Co., n.date, [c.1898]. [Who has this?].

 

1537  Ladd, Parish B. WAR OF THEOLOGY ON SCIENCE. New York: Truth Seeker Co., n.date, [c.1890]. [Who has this?].


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from: Imperialism—Expansion—Caesarism, America Without a Brutus, by Judge Parish B. Ladd, L.L.B., of the San Francisco Bar, Residence and Address, Alameda, California. 1899? [10 pages of text. no page numbers]. [received (interlibrary loan) 12/11/2003. Pamphlet #9, of 17 pamphlets, bound in a book].



"LIMITATION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL POWERS

OF CONGRESS IN THE ACQUISITION

OF FOREIGN TERRITORY.


          As the American people are at this time much exercised over the war which is being waged by the administration in the Philippine Islands [now, 12/21/2003: compare: Afghanistan. Iraq.], a short essay on the legal points involved may prove instructive to some, and interesting to others. Let us first look briefly at the facts, and then divest ourselves of prejudice, and apply the law...."


          "There can be no doubt but what the present war now being waged in the Philippines by the President and his cabinet, is in excess of their power, menacing to our liberties and destructive to the principles on which our government rests; if allowed to go unchecked, despotism will be the inevitable result.


          SOME OF THE WISEST STATESMEN OF EUROPE HAVE PREDICTED THAT OUR UNBRIDLED DEMOCRACY, IN THE HANDS OF AN IRRESPONSIBLE MAJORITY IN CONGRESS, WOULD SOONER OR LATER END IN A DESPOTISM. If this time is not already at our doors, the acts of our late Congress and the menacing attitude of the Executive, point to its near approach. From the present outlook, it is only a question of time when the Cubans will renew the war in that island, this time against the American forces, for it is apparent that our President does not intend to give up that country. Ever since William McKinley went into office, we have had little else than war, unjust war, slaughter, and taxation, nor does it seem that we are to have anything else as long as he continues in office.



THE STRUGGLE OF THE FILIPINOS FOR LIBERTY...."


          'According to a New York dispatch of May 11, from Rome via London, the head of the religious orders in the Philippines, addressed to the Pope a protest against what they called "the atrocities of the American soldiers committed on the natives" they say: "Never was there such a brutal war," adding, "The hatred of the United States will live forever in the hearts of Filipinos. The New York press, and especially the Post, publish private letters, almost daily from soldiers in the Philippines, showing, to use their language: Total depravity of the American volunteers and the Government which has put them in the field to burn houses and commit murder." According to Rev. Mr. Brown, of Oakland, Lieutenant Hayne of the California Artillery, U.S.A., located at Manila, writes to an Oakland friend, saying: "I have seen a war with all its horrors. I have seen two hundred acres of houses burned. I have put the match myself to houses while old women knelt at my feet sobbing and begging for me to spare their shack of palm leaves. I have ordered the destruction of acres of


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vegetables and fruit trees * * the only means of living to the poor fellow who was on his knees to me."

          The war waged in Cuba by Weyler, the so-called butcher, was mild and humane when compared with this war which is being carried on by William McKinley [1843 - 1901 (President 1896 - 1901 (shot))], who said, if we are forced into a war with Spain, it must be a war for humanity, a holy war. We look in vain to see one spark of humanity, or to find the holy spot in this war. From a press dispatch of February 5, we read, "The engagement proved a veritable slaughter of Filipinos; thousands of them being killed. General King's brigade charged upon a numerically stronger force of the enemy and drove them yelling, helter-skelter into the Pasig river, where, in a frenzy of terror, they were drowned like rats. The Americans are buoyantly elated over the punishment they have given the treacherous natives." Treacherous natives, defending their homes, wives and their children against the fiendish acts of American barbarism....


          According to the Independent Belge, of May 19, Professor Rudolph Vischow, the leader of German Liberalism, in speaking of the Peace Congress at the Hague, says: "The United States has been plunged into a war by the criminal agitation of brainless demagogues and the incapacity of rulers * * it has sinned against humanity and civilization." No words could be more apt, this is just what all the nations of Europe (England excepted) and all of the better men of the world have been saying.


          The American people of to-day are, above all others, cursed with political demagogues [now, 12/21/2003: compare]. Some without brains, some with brains only for mischief. Applied to our late Congress, the able and good men were too far in the minority to even check the tide of corruption. For his part, in forcing on to Spain a war without cause or merit, and his maintenance of this cruel war for the subjugation of the Filipinos, the name of William McKinley will go down to posterity loaded down with everlasting disgrace.


          THAT A MAJORITY OF THE PRIESTS, CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANT, ARE URGING ON THIS SLAUGHTER IN THE PHILIPPINES IS, JUDGING FROM THEIR PAST HISTORY, JUST WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN PREDICTED.


          It is possible that William McKinley, in his zeal to spread the gospel among the Filipinos, at the mouth of the cannon, dreams that a secend [second] term may atone for all this slaughter and carnage; will not the blessings of heaven soothe the aching heart of our pious President.

 

"I've tried the force of every reason, him

          Soothed and caressed, been angry, soothed again."

Apollo.


          If William McKinley succeeds in securing a second term [he did, and was shot in 1901] on his Philippine record, then we are in error in believing that the American people are capable of self-government. In this discussion we have left untouched, the financial side of this expansion question. When the people find that they are paying $674,981,022, besides $77,047,270 more for ships, all imposed by the third session


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of the 55th Congress, with the pension list of millions to follow; everything they eat, drink and wear, taxed, a stamp duty on every legal document, then they ["THE PEOPLE"] MAY BEGIN TO REALIZE THAT IMPERIALISM AND EXPANSION ARE DEAR LUXURIES TO DEFRAY THE EXPENSES OF WHICH THEY ARE BEING CALLED ON BY POLITICAL DEMAGOGUES TO SURRENDER THEIR PROPERTY AND MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR A FUNERAL OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC.


          It is to be hoped, that in the near future, we may have a President more in unison with the code of ethics, who will deem it his duty to make amends, at least to a limited extent, for the numerous wrongs now being inflicted on the poor Filipinos, who are so nobly struggling for that liberty which we claim for all mankind. But alas, THE SLAUGHTER GOES ON, MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN GO DOWN BEFORE THE UNBRIDLED PASSIONS OF AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT, HISSED ON BY THE GREAT UNTHINKING MULTITUDE WHO FAIL TO SEE IN AN EMPIRE THE LOSS OF THEIR OWN LIBERTIES.' [End of pamphlet].



Excursus: from: The Question of the Philippines, An Address Delivered Before the Graduate Club of Leland Stanford Junior University, on February 14, 1899, By David Starr Jordan [1851 - 1931], President [1891 - 1913 (chancellor 1913 - 1916)] of the University, Palo Alto, California, 1899. Printed for the Graduate Club by the Courtesy of John J. Valentine, Esq. [Pamphlet #7, of 17 pamphlets, bound in a book (see 2372)].



          [in favor of Imperialism] '....But some urge that we must hold far-off colonies, the farther the better, for the sake of our own greatness. Great Britain is built up by her colonies. "What does he know of England, who only England knows?"


                     "Just pride is no mean factor in the state,

                     The sense of greatness makes a people great."


          The grandeur of Rome lay in her colonies, and in her far and wide extension must be the greatness of the United States.


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          [against Imperialism] But the decline of Rome dates from the same far and wide extension. Extension for extension's sake is a relic of barbarous times. An army in civilization must exist for peace not for war, and it should be as small as it can safely be made. A standing army means waste, oppression, and moral decay. Carlyle once said something like this,


"IT IS NOT YOUR DEMOCRACY OR ANY OTHER 'OCRACY THAT KEEPS YOUR PEOPLE CONTENTED. IT IS THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE VERY MUCH LAND AND VERY FEW PEOPLE."


But this is not half the truth. The main reason of our prosperity is our freedom from war. Our farmer carries no soldier on his back. We fear no foreign invader because we invite none. Were the people of the continent of Europe once freed from the cost of militarism, their industrial progress would be the wonder of the ages. As it is they are ground down by worse than medieval taxation....' [31].


End of Excursus


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pamphlet (c. 1898):             THE CREDENTIALS OF CHRIST.


LACK OF PROOF THAT HE WAS

AN ACTUAL PERSONALITY.

 

Judge Ladd Examines, from the Standpoint of Established Rules of Evidence, the Pretensions of the Church as to the Necessity for a Redeemer, the Predictions of His Coming, and the Testimony that He Finally Appeared upon Earth—"Not Proven."


By Parish B. Ladd.


          From my point of view it is inexplicable why so many Freethought writers, including most ecclesiastical historians, continue, in the face of history, to treat the Christ of the New Testament as a real being.


          It seems to me that the proof of his personality is wanting.


          When viewed from the standpoint of well-established rules of evidence, the proof fails to establish the affirmative.


          In order to clearly comprehend the issue, we must first inquire into and settle the points on which the church bases its claims.


          As we understand the church, she makes ten specific points, and on them asks mankind to believe her assertions.


          By presenting these points in their chronological order, and in that order discussing them, we may thereby make ourselves better understood.


(Truth Seeker Tracts, New Series. No. 12.—Page 185.)

[No date] [stamp: "Harvard College Library"]




THE CREDENTIALS OF CHRIST.


          Permit us to say, what all know, that the church begins with the so-called fall of Adam. It ends with a series of decretals (498 A.C.).


Claims of the Church.


          First. The church asserts that the (so-called) fall of Adam necessitated the coming of a Messiah.


          Second. That the prophecy of Isaiah clearly foretold the coming of Christ.


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          Third. That there were twelve apostles appointed by Christ who necessarily were witnesses of the personal existence of their appointer.


          Fourth. That the writings of the apostolic fathers bear evidence of a personal Christ; that these fathers, living, as the church says, contemporaneously with the apostles, were familiar with Christ through his apostles.


          Fifth. That St. Peter was a contemporary of, and received his appointment directly at the hands of Christ, and that the acts and writings of this saint bear evidence of the personal Christ.


          Sixth. That St. Paul lived early in the first century, received from the apostles statements concerning Christ, and that the fourteen letters (epistles) of Paul in the Bible bear witness of the real Christ.


          Seventh. That the four gospels, the fourteen letters of Paul, and other New Testament writings, were all of the first century, and are conclusive evidence, containing a complete biography of Christ, including his crucifixion, his body remaining in the tomb for three days, and his resurrection.


          Eighth. That Josephus and several pagan authors have recognized the real existence of Christ.


          Ninth. That the inscriptions and emblems taken from the tombs of Greece, Italy, and Asia Minor had reference to Christ, and as such were corroborative evidence.


          Tenth. That the decretals running from the time of Christ down to the fifth century establish the existence of Christ.


          The foregoing, as we understand, comprise all of the points on which the church relies as proof of the personal existence of Christ and the divine origin of her creed.



THE POINTS REVIEWED.


          In order to arrive at the truth it now devolves on us to carefully review and consider the several points above stated in connection with the evidence bearing thereon. In doing this we must treat the matter as we would any other, as we would try issues in a court of law, applying the same rules.


          WAS CHRIST A REAL PERSON, OR WAS HE AN IDEAL, A MYTHICAL BEING? This is the issue.


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          First. Did the alleged fall of Adam necessitate a redeemer. This necessarily involves the predicate, the other question—Was there ever an Adam to fall? This question necessarily precedes the other, and if determined in the negative settles both questions.

          Owing to the consensus of opinion of the leading ecclesiastical historians on this matter, our review will be short and decisive.

          Since the unearthing and deciphering of the cuneiform characters taken from the ruins of Chaldea, showing stories of the creation of the world, of an Adam and Eve, as merely symbolic of earth and water, and these stories being conceded to be much older than the Hebrew Adamic story, it has been admitted by all, or nearly all, ecclesiastical historians, including the more learned priests, Catholic and Protestant, that the so-called Mosaic story of creation—of Adam and Eve—are but borrowed myths and legends. This necessarily settles the first point. NO ADAM TO FALL, NO FALL; CONSEQUENTLY NO OFFICE FOR A REDEEMER TO FILL.

 

          Second. The prophecy of Isaiah is next in order.

          Let us here fall back on the critics, and see what these learned men have to say about the book of Isaiah:



ISAIAH'S ALLEGED PROPHECY.


          The words of this prophecy, on which the church relies, are: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty of God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."

          Giving this language its natural interpretation, it simply means that a wonderfully great man is to be born of the Jews, who is to be their civil ruler, their governor, their king; he is to be named the great Father, the Prince of Peace, the mighty God (so say the critics).

          The name this ruler is to go by cuts no figure in a man's attributes. It is all summed up in the idea that the Israelites are to have a second great king like unto David. How any other interpretation could be put on such language is not easy to comprehend, but it was a straw on which the fathers attempted to build the future church.

          How well the clergy know that their dupes can be made to believe anything but the truth!


          Even assuming that it could, by forced construction, be applied to Christ, what then? Was Isaiah inspired to thus write? Was he the author of the book? Let us see. This little prophecy ascribed to Isaiah was just what the priests stood in need of, for they have ever maintained that without it there would be no foundation for their Christ.

          Like most other priestly devices, it, too, has finally turned out to be a forgery. In consequence of the growing unbelief in the Bible, and the shaky foundation of Christianity, this book of Isaiah has called out a little army of critics, in the neighborhood of a hundred. Of this number there stand about twenty of the more prominent, among whom may be mentioned Koppe, Doderlein, Justi, Eichhorn, Bauer,


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Paulus, Betholdt, Rosenmuller, De Wette, Agustin, Gesenius [Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm Gesenius 1786 - 1842], Jahn, Hengstenberg, Delitzsch, Ewald, Heidelberg, Cheyne, et al.


 

ISAIAH DID NOT WRITE IT.


          In some of the details, it may be said, the diverse opinions are about as numerous as the writers, but there are certain prominent features in the book on which the leading critics agree; they say that the book of Isaiah (66 chapters) is of a composite character, i.e., it is the work of numerous writers, written at different times and places, and that the book, as it has come down to us, did not exist before the Babylonian captivity (586 B.C.). They further assert that the book, less some subsequent editions, was edited (amended, compiled) during the exile (between 586 and 535 B.C.). As Isaiah lived between 760 and 710 B.C., he had been dead nearly two hundred years when the book was written, which precludes the possibility of his being the author. As to the composite nature of the book, the consensus of opinion of the leading critics is that it is a collection of prophecies, etc., delivered by different persons, collected and arranged in their present form. If any of these prophecies were made before the captivity and then existed in writing, of which we have no evidence, they were burned at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem (586 B.C.), for we have ample evidence that all of the sacred writings of the Hebrews were then destroyed.

          It will thus be seen that the book could only have been made up from tradition, or scraps of writing which existed in private hands outside of Jerusalem, or, probably, from both sources. In any event, the book ascribed to Isaiah is not his work, consequently a forgery.

          By some of the critics it is said that the whole of the latter part of the books, from chapters 27 to 66, was written during the exile, and that all, or nearly all, of the first thirty-nine chapters appear, on examination, to have been written by others than Isaiah. All of the critics agree that the words above ["For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty of God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."] copied were interpolated. The writer in the Encyclopedia [Encyclopaedia] Britannica (a most unwilling witness for the critics) reluctantly says: "With the exception of chapters 21, 24, 27, the book of Isaiah cannot, on exegetical grounds, be referred to the age of Isaiah. If the book be the work of a sopherim (copiest student, editor) during exile, why should not the wisdom of the prophet have extended to the prophetically-minded sopherim?" Most brilliant reasoning; truly characteristic of the wisdom of a priest. This devout logician further says: "Why so many English and American biblical students refuse to give up Isaiah as the author of the book is the fear that orthodoxy would thereby be insensibly undermined." This is the gist of the whole matter in a nutshell. It is not truth that the clergyman is after. It will thus be seen that this destroys the so-called prophecy of Isaiah as evidence in the support of the theory of a Christ.


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NEW TESTAMENT BOOKS.

 

          The prophecy being out of the way, the church must start on point No. 3 with an empty satchel. WHAT HAS BEEN HERE SAID AS TO THE ORIGIN OF THE BOOK OF ISAIAH APPLIES IN FULL FORCE TO MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THE BOOKS OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS, WHICH, AS THEY HAVE COME DOWN TO US, WERE MADE UP FROM TRADITION AND SCRAPS OF WRITING, PICKED UP ALL OVER THE EARLY HEBREW AND CHRISTIAN WORLD, CHANGED, MODIFIED, AND AMENDED TO SUIT THE WHIM OR WISHES OF THE EDITOR OR COMPILER. The original writings, according to the practice of religious writers of those times, contained neither dates, locations, nor names of the writers, so no one knew where they came from, when they were written, or who were their authors. When from oral tradition and from such scraps, the books, as they were eventually compiled, were completed, the editor boldly ascribed to his compilation the name of some noted dead person (so says Huxley et al.) in order to give the book character and credit with the religious people. These books so made are now claimed by the priests to be the work of inspiration. This disposes of Isaiah, leaving the church to commence de novo its evidence at the alleged birth of Christ.


          Next in order comes point three—the twelve apostles. We do not understand that the ecclesiastical historians claim that these men left any writings. In fact, the church, on its own showing, admits that but one out of the twelve could either read or write, unless Peter be excepted. In any event, all of the epistles ascribed to the apostles have been found by the critics to be spurious.

          The authorities tell us that little or nothing is known of them ["the twelve apostles"] outside of tradition. When or where they were born, when, where, or how they died, as well as their so-called discipleship, we have no evidence whatever. Tradition and the comments of the church fathers on such tradition cannot be considered as of any value.

          In the absence of all evidence we are forced to conclude that there were no such men ["twelve apostles"] [see Article #8, 200-203; etc.].

          The Catholic church says Peter was appointed by Christ, and that Peter appointed the other eleven, while the Protestants claim that Christ named all of them; but neither Protestant nor Catholic has any evidence in support of his naked assertions.

          Peter Simon, or Simeon, are different names applied to the so-called founder of the dynasty of the long line of popes. Matthew, Mark, and Luke differ as to Peter's nativity, and the account of his discipleship is as various. In short, all is guesswork.


THE GOSPELS, HAVING BEEN PROVEN TO BE FORGERIES OF THE SECOND AND THIRD CENTURIES, ARE NO EVIDENCE.


          This disposes of the third point of the church, and no evidence of a Christ.


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THE APOSTOLIC FATHERS.


          The fourth point made by the church rests on the alleged writings of these men. "Apostolic Fathers" is the name given to Clemens Romanus, Ignatius, Polycarp, Barnabas, and Hermas. The church claims that these men were the associates of the so-called twelve apostles, and so lived and wrote during the first half of the first century. The authorities tell us that nothing whatever is known of any of these men outside of their alleged writings (supposed to be in the hands of the church). The critics tell us that all of these writings, other than that of Hermas, are forgeries. As to Hermas, he did not live until about the middle of the second century. His writings consist of one book, entitled, "Pastor of Hermas," in which no mention is made of Christ. This lets out the five apostolic fathers and their writings, leaving the church at this point without any evidence in support of her man Christ. (For authorities see "Hebrew and Christian Mythology." [see 2386])


          Saint Peter comes in here at point five. The Catholic church parades this saint at the head of the column as the greatest of all, after Christ. The church fathers, through their writings, have made a great hero of this man, and made the church to rest on his shoulders. Outside of this manufactured evidence, the so-called epistle of Peter constitutes the church's showing. As to these epistles the critics—Baur, Schwegler, Overbach, Zeller, et al.—have pronounced them to be spurious. On the whole,


IT SEEMS QUITE CLEAR THAT PETER WAS A PURE MYTH CREATED BY THE CHURCH AS THE ROCK ON WHICH TO ERECT POPEDOM.



THE EPISTLES OF PAUL.


          Paul, the apostle, now appears on the canvas at point six, with fourteen letters, or epistles as they are called.

          As to these letters, the critics have determined, on inspection, that ten out of the fourteen are forgeries. As to the other four, they simply say: It does not appear on their face that they are spurious. The church having put in evidence fourteen epistles, alleged to have been written by Paul, ten out of fourteen having been, on mere inspection, pronounced forgeries, the natural inference would be that the other four, too, were spurious.

          Outside of these epistles, little or nothing is claimed to be known of the man—even his name is in doubt. It is claimed by the church that this man was born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but the church has no proof on this point. As late as the fourth century, tradition gave his birthplace at Giscala in Galilee.

          The authorities tell us they cannot learn when or where he was born—when, were, or how he died, or when the several acts ascribed to him took place. Vague tradition thinks he died at Rome. Thus it would seem that the very existence of the man [Paul] is in doubt.


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          The church must have anticipated that this question would sometime arise to give her trouble, for she has paraded before her people certain letters alleged to have been written by Paul to Seneca, and his answers thereto. Like all other spurious things, this so-called correspondence, these letters, have long since been recognized by scholars in and out of church to be forgeries. On this state of the case, it can hardly be claimed that either Paul or his alleged epistles are of any force in determining the existence or non-existence of Christ.



THE GOSPELS.


          Next comes the seventh point, the four gospels, and other New Testament writings. On these, for a time, the church deemed herself impregnable; here was firm ground; all else failing, she could rest here in safety. But, alas for poor human nature and the crumbling fortunes of the church! For the last fifty years the learned critics (most of whom were leaders in the church, true Christians) have been at work to discover the origin of the gospels and other New Testament writings. Now what do they tell us? They say that the four gospels, the Acts, in short, all of the New Testament books, except possibly the four great epistles it [by (attributed to)] Paul, are forgeries, and as to these four epistles, h [it] is claimed, too, that they are spurious. Here te [the] evidence fails—the impregnable fortress has been razed to the ground, leaving the church to again retreat.

 

          [eighth point] Driven from point to point, the church falls back on pagan writers, on the pagan world, for evidence as to the existence of Christ.

          Here the church tells her people that in the writings of Josephus, the Jew, in those of Suetonius, Abgarus, Tacitus, Lucian, Pliny the Younger, and Celsus, Christ has been clearly recognized. As to the mention of Christ in Josephus, it has long since been conceded, by ecclesiastical historians and others, that the reference found there is a forgery (interpolation); that the earlier copies of the book did not contain the reference. As to the pagan writers, the greatest stress is laid on the statements of Tacitus [see Addition 36, 1735-1991, passim; etc.]. All of these pagan writers (except Pliny, who was born about 61) lived in the second century, consequently could have known nothing, personally, about Christ, and this applies, equally, to Pliny.

          Tacitus, in speaking of Christ, simply said (basing his statement on what the Christians claimed) that Christ was put to death as a criminal. Tacitus did not pretend to know or speak of Christ other than from hearsay derived from Christian sources, and as to the other pagan writers, there is nothing whatever that can, by even forced construction, be tortured into a direct recognition of the existence of such a man as Christ. As to Governor Abgarus, the church claimed that he wrote to Christ to be cured and Christ answered him (the letters the Catholic church is now supposed to possess). These letters have long since been recognized by all scholars as base forgeries.

          The eighth point disposed of, and no proof of a personal Christ.

          Inscriptions and emblems for point nine are now due.


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"DISCOVERING" PROOFS.


          The church as late as 1578, feeling somewhat uneasy on this point of evidence, appointed Count de Rossi et al. to make search among the sepulchres and tombs of Greece, Italy, and Asia Minor for relics contemporaneous with Christ. After considerable time so spent, the count reported a find of emblems of the dove, the olive, the lamb, the palm leaf; also the letters AO.

          At the time of these finds, the church claimed that these emblems were intended to represent the personal Christ, but later it was found out that some of them came from Jewish catacombs of dates earlier than Christ, and that the others were of dates not earlier than the third century, A.C.


          Driven from point to point, the church finally rested on her arms in the last ditch, at point ten, on the decretals. These decretals run over a period from the alleged birth of Christ down to 498 A.C. They were supposed to be the decrees of councils and writings of the early fathers of the church, when the sayings of Christ were fresh in the memory of these holy men, and as such they were held in almost as high esteem as the Bible itself. These documents remained unquestioned down to the fifteenth century, when for the first time they were discovered to be base forgeries and now stand so admitted by both Catholic and Protestant scholars.


          Thus, one by one, the props have fallen, until the church of to-day stands on naked faith, without an iota of evidence in her favor.


          This would seem to dispose of the entire issue—no evidence that such a man as Jesus Christ ever lived.


          A great majority of, if not all, Christians never reason on religious questions, but take for granted what the priests tell them. For the benefit of the clergy we will now add some affirmative proof in support of the negative.



SILENCE OF CONTEMPORARIES.


          Assuming, for the purpose of letting in this evidence, the date fixed by the church as the time of the birth of Christ to be correct, we call attention to Philo [see Addition 34, 1557-1564; etc.], an Alexandrian Jew, born about 15 B.C. He was a very learned man, devoting the most of his time to writing on metaphysical subjects, including Judaism. He was mindful and noted every point in the religion of his people. Although a resident of Alexandria, he was in constant communication with the learned rabbis of Jerusalem, often visiting that city in person. This was at the very time when it is claimed by the church that Christ was, by his preaching, disturbing the Jews, and at the very time when, it is alleged, he was tried, condemned, and put to death.

          Occupying this place, Philo was in a position to learn every move of the slightest import which took place in Jerusalem. With all these facts before us, it is admitted by all the authorities that Philo never as much as heard of Christ.

          Does this look as though Christ was tried and condemned at Jerusalem and then put to death?


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          Philo was only a man, but his biography comes down to us not only in his own works but in civil history, while Christ, claimed to be a god, is unknown to civil history. Added to all this, Rome, at the time of the alleged Christ, had in all her provinces numerous writers devoting their time to the recording of every event of any moment whatever. In the writings of all these men not an allusion can be found concerning Christ—not one of them ever heard of him. Last, but not least: How is it that the fathers of the church have never been able to find out when or where their hero [Jesus] was born or to fix the time within more than one hundred and thirty years (so says Renan), but left the date to be guessed at in the sixth century by a Sythian monk by the name of Dionysius Exigeus?


          And how is it that the church, if she had a real man, came to suspend to the cross, as an emblem of worship, a lamb, and there keep it from the time of Constantine down to the sixth century, when, by a decree of council, a man was substituted in the place of the lamb? And how is it, if there was a real Christ and the church is a divine institution, or even a good one, that she committed all these forgeries and put to death, as long as she had the power, all who attempted to inquire into these things? It would seem that there can be but one answer to these questions.


          As all these matters have been fully treated of and authorities given in my "Hebrew and Christian Mythology [see 2386]," I deem it unnecessary to cite authorities here.

 


ORIGIN OF THE STORY OF THE DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION

OF CHRIST.


          THE [CHRISTIAN] CHURCH HAVING BORROWED FROM THE JEWS AND THE PAGANS EVERY IOTA OF HER RELIGION, as a matter of course she borrowed from the same source the story of the death, burial, and resurrection of her hero, including the three days in the tomb, all of which we shall learn by consulting the ancient religions.

          The pagans had at a very early date learned the path of the sun in his course to the south in winter, and his return in spring. They saw that on the 21st day of December the sun in his orbit had reached the greatest distance to the south of the equinoctial line, where, so far as time can be counted, that body remained at a stand-still for three days (said to be in his grave), then commenced his return. This was recognized by the pagan nations as the resurrection of their God, who was coming back to give light, warmth, and life to a lost world; to resuscitate and restore vegetable and animal life; to give food, comfort, and happiness to man.

          It was to the pagans, as it is with the Christians, a time of festivities and rejoicing; the God had risen.


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          In this resurrection a new life, a happy future, was in store for man. The new-born God had atoned for the sins of all. The summer was to bring a bountiful harvest; the wine, the fig, the fish, and the spring lamb (emblems of Christianity) were to adorn the table; the supper was to be eaten in remembrance of the sun god. This old pagan myth, in all its parts, including the time, was borrowed by the Christian fathers and applied to their mythical God. [1-16] [End of "THE CREDENTIALS OF CHRIST."].

 


_____ _____ _____


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from: Commentaries on Hebrew and Christian Mythology, by Judge Parish B. Ladd [died 1912], LL.B., of the San Francisco Bar, New York: The Truth Seeker Company, 28 Lafayette Place. c1896. [230 pages of text]. [Received, and first seen, 11/1/2003].



"Preface.


          The claim which has so long been persistently maintained of the supernatural origin of Christianity and its Christ has at last been met by positive denials, and thereby an issue has been raised.

          Because of the natural difficulty of proving a negative, the rule has long since been permanently established that he who asserts a thing which is denied must first offer proofs sufficient to make a prima-facie case, before the party denying the allegation is called upon for a defense.

          Has the church ever made sufficient proof that its religion and its founder were of supernatural origin to call for counter-evidence? We think not; but the claim has been made, and for nearly nineteen hundred years it has been acquiesced in by a very large and respectable body of men calling themselves Christians.

          It may be said, not without some show of reason, that this long acquiescence is equivalent to proof sufficient to make a prima-facie case.

          Assuming such to be true, we are put on the defensive, but with the right to enter a special plea as to the force of the proof offered by the church, and under this plea we may criticize the church's position, and inquire: First, whether such a man as Christ is said to have been ever lived; second, if he be a real person, then what do we know of and concerning his sayings and doings." ["vii"].



          "This is an age of unrest, an age of intelligence: the masses of our people are thinking for themselves; they are no longer satisfied to accept the dogmatic expressions of the priest and clergyman on these issues; they are determined to investigate, to look into the foundation of a system of religion which seems to them to violate the well-recognized rules of natural law, and thereby conflict with their common sense....

          The question here presents itself: How is the proof to be obtained, and where is it to be found? The great mass of our people have been and are too much engrossed in business to have kept up with the numerous works of critics, scientists, and historians which have been published in the last fifty years, or to even suspect where the needed evidence lies. Very few, even intelligent people, know anything concerning ancient history, as studied from the ruins of monuments of Chaldea, Egypt, and Assyria, or the numerous works of science and criticism which have so shaken old opinions and beliefs.

          The facts disclosed by these works are practically out of the reach of most people, because they have not the time or patience to hunt up and wade through hundreds of volumes to obtain such knowledge." [viii].


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          "AS TO CHRISTIANITY AND ITS FOUNDER, WE THINK THE EVIDENCE RAISES

A SERIOUS DOUBT OF THE MAN'S EXISTENCE; that if he ever did live, the fathers of the church have never been able to find out when he was born or when he died, or to fix the real time within more than one hundred years; that the time given in the scriptures was arbitrarily fixed by the church in the furtherance of its interests and at the expense of truth; that of the sayings and doings of Christ little or nothing is definitely known; that the four Gospels and other Christian writings are forgeries, and were made up from tradition, letters, and scraps picked up here and there, voted into the Canon in the interest of the church, to which have been added, at different times, such matters and things as suited the church; that much of the sacred writings was the result of force, fraud, and bribery.

          In point of morality, after citing and comparing most of the pagan religions with Christianity, we find them all superior to the latter.

          As to the leaders of the church, Catholic and Protestant, the evidence shows them to have been dogmatic, superstitious, intolerant, and cruel in the extreme; that to perpetuate their power and rule, they have put to death more than 30,000,000 of innocent men, women, and children, a very large proportion of whom were tortured in a manner only conceivable by fiends." [ix-x] [End of Preface.]



'CHRIST, OR CHRISTUS: WAS HE A REAL CHARACTER, OR WAS

HE A MYTH?


          Christ, or Christus as he was called by a Roman historian, was born, it is claimed, in Judea, in a little obscure town called Nazareth, 753 years from the foundation of Rome.

          The first question which here arises is: Was he a real person, or an ideal being placed at the base of a religion as a foundation upon which to rear the framework of a new mythology? We use this term in its proper and true sense, for all religions, as a matter of fact, are but myths. That a man by the name of Jesus Christ once existed; that he was a Jew and lived in Judea, may be true, for Jesus has been, and is to-day, a common name among the Jews. But


AS TO THE JESUS CHRIST OF THE FOUR GOSPELS, THE EVIDENCE CLEARLY SHOWS HIM TO BE A MYTH. THE CLAIM THAT CHRIST WAS THE SON OF A GOD IS AN OLD PAGAN STORY TOO SILLY AND CHILDISH TO MERIT CONSIDERATION.

That claim is to-day only made by the man who lives by repeating stale falsehoods and worn-out legends, and by a class of men, women, and young children who have not sufficient capacity to understand plain facts when clearly presented.

          The question then is, did the generally credited historical Christ of Nazareth ever live? This is an open question, to be determined one way or the other according to the weight of evidence.

          The fact that the existence of this man has been accepted by nearly one-fifth of the inhabitants of the earth, for nearly 2,000 years, would, under ordinary circumstances, raise at least a very strong presumption of the real existence of the


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man; thereby throwing the onus, or burden, of refuting this presumption on the party raising the issue. I say, under ordinary circumstances. The facts that the best evidence on this question has been suppressed, and that the power of the church has been used without stint to suppress investigation, take the case out of the ordinary rule, thereby throwing the burden of proof on the church party to maintain its claim. IT MUST BE REMEMBERED THAT IT HAS BEEN ONLY WITHIN THE LAST FEW YEARS THAT ANYONE HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO QUESTION THE POSITION OF THE CHURCH.

          THE ONLY EVIDENCE THAT THE CHURCH HAS TO OFFER IS THE FOUR GOSPELS; IF THESE GOSPELS ARE FORGERIES, AS THEY HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO BE, THEN THE CHURCH HAS NO EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF THE EXISTENCE OF SUCH A MAN. In addition to this, the church fathers were never able even to guess, within more than 130 years, the time of he man's supposed birth (Renan [Joseph Ernest Renan 1823 - 1892]); nor can they tell who was his father, or even where he was born, or what became of him between the ages of twelve and thirty. If, in fact, such a man did once live, how is all of this ignorance concerning him to be accounted for? An obscure monk, near the close of the sixth century, after prodigious labor, finally guessed that the man was born about 580 years prior thereto; even this guess was not accepted by the fathers of the church until the close of the eighth century.

          The question here naturally arises, If Christ were a real being and Christianity true, why did the church destroy all of the original evidence bearing on these points, and why did the church, under the penalty of death, prohibit every attempt to investigate its claims in these matters? Does not the truth everywhere invite investigation? and is it not equally true that crime and fraud fear the light of truth? Apply this rule, and ask yourself on which side the church and its priests stand.

          If the whole system or scheme of Christianity was borrowed, and the names ascribed to the four gospels are forgeries, all of which we have hereinafter shown to be the fact, why the necessity of placing a genuine person at the head of these forgeries and borrowed legends?

          Christ, the actual Jesus, says Octavius B. Frothingham [1822 - 1895], in his "Cradle of the Christ," is inaccessible to scientific research; his image cannot be recovered; he leaves no writings, his followers were illiterate, the mind of the age was confused; he is reported to be a Pharisee, and a native of Nazareth. The Messiahs all started out of Galilee, all found followers. Tradition goes out of its way to connect Christ with the "House of David." The moral precepts put into his mouth, including the Sermon on the Mount, says Strauss, were such as the times called for, and so they were copied from tradition.

          The critics of Strauss [David Friedrich Strauss 1808 - 1874] insist that the person of Christ must have lived; that he could not have been invented. Strange position to take, says Frothingham, in view of the fact that idealization is one of the commonest feats of mankind; that the human imagination is constantly constructing phantoms. The materials for constructing the person being given in the Hebrew Genesis, and the plastic power being provided by Hebrew enthusiasm, the result might have been predicted.

          The critics of Baur [Ferdinand Christian Baur 1792 - 1860] insist that the New Testament and the developments of the first century could not have been created out of Rabbinical fancies. Strauss answers this by saying, "persons are not necessarily individuals; names are often used to represent multitudes and nations; such a person


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was not necessary to account for the existence of the religion afterward called Christianity; the personal Christ had faded away; he had disappeared from view before the gospels were written. The conclusion is that no clearly defined traces of the person of Christ remain on or beneath the surface of Christendom."

          Philo [c. 20 B.C.E. - 50 C.E.], an Alexandrian Jew, a man of great learning and influence, an extensive writer, was born 20 to 10 B.C. This great sage traveled extensively over the Roman Empire; was in frequent consultation with the Emperor and statesmen of Rome, also with the learned Rabbis of Judea at the very time when, it is said, Christ did his preaching, and at the time of his alleged crucifixion; in the face of all these facts, Philo never so much as mentions such a man as Jesus Christ in any of his extensive works.

          According to the gospel stories, Christ at twelve years of age confounded the wise men of Jerusalem with his superior knowledge, then was lost sight of until thirty years of age, when for two or three years he traveled over Judea, often visiting Jerusalem, and everywhere he went was surrounded by the lame, halt, blind, deaf, and other incurables, all of whom he instantly cured by a look, a word, or a touch, and he even raised the dead.

          At the end of two or three years, he was, by order of the Rabbis, apprehended, given a public trial, condemned, and put to death, and at the end of three days he arose from the dead and thereafter appeared to and conversed with great numbers of people. I may here properly ask, Why did not some one or all of these people who saw him after his resurrection come forward and in some manner or form vouch for these wonderful things? That not one of them did do so is enough to stamp the gospel stories as untrue. All of these things, according to the gospel story, took place in and around Jerusalem, a city filled with Jewish priests and other learned men, including Philo, and not one of them ever heard of any of these wonderful cures or even of the existence of the man Christ.

          Let us here pause and ask any intelligent man or woman whose mind is not entirely obscured by religious superstition, whether he or she can believe these things could, in fact, have taken place and not have been seen or heard of by any one of the learned men? There can be put one answer: Suppose that one-half of these wonderful things should take place to-day, in any part of the civilized world, how long would it be before every intelligent man and woman would know of, and be talking of them? While we thus present these points, we are not unmindful of the fact that no amount of evidence, however conclusive in itself, would convince the bigoted or willfully ignorant devotee of his error. He would be like the Rev. McClintock [John McClintock 1814 - 1870 ("First president, Drew Theol. Sem. (1867–70)" (Webster's Bio. Dict.))], who, in his cyclopaedia, after reviewing all of the critics and proving beyond question that Moses did not write the Pentateuch, winds up by saying, that he prefers to believe that Moses did write the books. That is, he prefers to believe what he knows to be false, rather than believe the truth when it does not accord with his preconceived opinions—and this is equally true with a majority of the devout.

          The Encyclopaedia Britannica admits that Philo never heard of Christ or of the Christians [see Addition 34, 1557-1564; etc.].

          If such a man as Christ had then lived and been a man of any note, how is it possible that he could have so completely escaped the notice of Philo?


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          The Rev. Robert Taylor [1784 - 1844], after a most thorough research of every known document concerning the Christians of the first century, says that he cannot

so much as find an allusion to such a man as Jesus Christ.

          Where were the numerous Hebrew and Roman writers during this period that they never so much as heard of Christ? Could the man have lived and gained any notoriety and all of these writers not have heard of him? It seems quite impossible.

          Among his biographers, the authors of the four gospels, two of them do not mention the so-called miraculous birth, and two of the four fail to notice his so-called ascension.

          Two of the most important things in the man's history are thus overlooked by his biographers.

          Kant [Immanuel Kant 1724 - 1804] and Spinoza [Benedictus de (also Baruch) Spinoza 1632 - 1677], in speaking of this matter, say that while it may be possible, it is not probable, that the historical man Christ ever lived; that Christianity must rest its claim on an ideal being in the form of man. Plato [427 - 347 B.C.E.] and Philo [c. 20 B.C.E. - c. 50 C.E.], with a theoretical religion almost identical with Christianity, rested their scheme on an ideal man.

          And now comes the Rev. McClintock, one of the most bigoted Christians, admitting the truth when it is against Christianity only when forced to do so, and, in this case, seeing no escape from the overwhelming force of evidence, speaking through McClintock & Strong's "Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature," says: "In the conflict between Christianity and reason, Puritan theology holds Christ to be the very center of the system, that all lies in the question whether such a person, historically, be necessary. Suppose philosophy could show to the conclusion of all thoughtful men, that the person of a Christ is a self-contradiction and an impossibility, there would no longer be any conflict between Christian theology and philosophy, because with the person of Christ, would be abolished the Christian theology. Christ is not, strictly speaking, a proper name, but a designation of office. Jesus Christ, or rather Jesus the Christ, is a mode of expression as, John the Baptist, or baptizer." He further says: "In the prophetic scriptures we find this appellation given to illustrate the personage who, under various designations, is so often spoken of as destined to appear in a distant age as a great deliverer. Messiah, Christ, Anointed, is, then, a term equivalent to consecrated, sacred, set apart." After saying this, he adds, "The import of this designation as given to Jesus of Nazareth may now readily be appreciated." He further says: "Christ, Messiah, Anointed, all refer to one and the same thing, meaning the revealer of divine truth, often represented by the figure of the lamb, the vine, and fish; these words have no reference to the person."

          Thus we have it from the highest ecclesiastical authority that Christ is a myth, the personification of an idea, an allegorical being, a shadow, to be made by a lamb, a vine, or a fish. This accounts for the fact that the early church fathers placed the figure of a lamb, instead of a man, on the cross.

          When the author wrote the above he must have had Eusebius [c. 260 - c. 340] in his mind, who said sixteen hundred years ago that Christianity was no new thing, that it was as old as Abraham. This is putting Christianity in the background by one who has by the church been properly characterized as the father of ecclesiastical history.


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          Athenagoras [2nd century], an Athenian Christian writer, in his "Apology to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius" (176), used Hebrew scriptures without even a mention of such a man as Christ or of Christian writings.

          Dr. Reich says that Hermos, one of the Christian fathers of the first century, whose writings have come down to us, nowhere alludes to such a man as Christ. This writer, Reich, in speaking of the writings of the first century names Strabo, the elder Pliny, Plutarch, Arion, Dion, Chrisostomos, Seneca, Quintius Curtius, Philo, et al, and then says, there is not to be found in the writings of any of these men as much as an allusion to such a man as Christ, or to Christianity. It will be remembered that the writings of these men cover every event and every man of the slightest importance at that time. Strabo wrote seventeen books. His twelfth book is devoted to Palestine and the Hebrew religion. The elder Pliny's writings are a complete cyclopaedia of all things human and divine. Seneca's [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] works treat of the very things comprised in Christian ethics, and not a mention by any one of them of Christ or Christianity.

          The struggle is now fully on between the numerous critics on the one side, the most of whom maintain that Christ is a myth, and the more learned theologians on the other, who are divided in opinion. The one class is with McClintock, conceding away the person of Christ as lost, but at the same time attempting to save the creed or religion; while the other class, like the former, seeing that the four gospels have been proven forgeries, are attempting to sustain the personal existence of Christ by appealing to pagan writers. They assert that Josephus, Suetonius, Abgarus, Tacitus, Lucian, Pliny, and Celsus, in their writings, have recognized the existence of the personal Christ.

          While this contest is waging hot among intelligent men, the priestlet, like all babies, is vigorously shaking his rattle-box in the ears of devout old women, silly girls, and heedless boys, unmindful and ignorant of the near approach of the critical cyclone that is about to destroy him and his Christian dogmas.

          Let us see if any one of these seven pagan writers has in any way recognized the existence of Christ.

          The statement in Josephus [c. 37 - c. 100] has long since been recognized by all critics to be a clear case of forgery, made in the time of Eusebius, and probably by him, as he was well known to be a forger of Christian writings.

          Lucian [c. 120 - after 180], from the Euphrates, a philosopher of note, in his "Philopatres," [Philopatris: Forgery! 10th Century! (see Article #24, 496)] is, by forced construction, made to speak of a trinity and a Galilean, who, he said, by way of ridicule, has ascended to the third heaven, where he is engaged in keeping records of the good and bad actions of men. This is noting more nor less than a take-off or burlesque of the claims of the Christians, and is now regarded as a forgery, so says the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

          As to Abgarus, king of Edessa [(Abgar) 4 B.C.E. - 50 C.E.], the church fathers reported that he wrote a letter to Christ to come and cure him of a malady, to which Christ wrote back that he would send a disciple; that Abgarus turned over to the church a picture of Christ, the letter and the pocket-handkerchief used by Christ while on the cross to wipe the sweat off his face. EUSEBIUS [c. 260 - c. 339] BELIEVED THIS FOOLISH STORY; but, like that told of Lucian, the whole affair is known to be spurious, says the Encyclopaedia Britannica.


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          As to Suetonius [c. 69 - after 122], in his life of Claudius, he makes mention of Chrestus, the leader of the Chrestians, a well-known pernicious Jewish sect of that time.

          As to Pliny, he wrote [?] to the Emperor Trajan [see 1856-1858; etc.] to be instructed how to deal with the Christians, who, he said, adhered to an extravagant superstition called Christianity; but in no way or manner does he recognize the existence of such a man as Christ.

          Celsus wrote two books in the second century, against Christianity, in which he ridicules the claims of the Christians, and speaking from their own assertions and writings, calls their leader, Panthera, the son of a Roman soldier. In no manner does this writer recognize such a man as Christ.

          The question here naturally suggests itself: Why did the fathers of the church commit all these forgeries, to prove by pagan writers the existence of their Christ, if he was a real person? The answer is obvious: he was a myth, and they not only knew it, but were the parties who created the myth with intent to cheat and defraud the people, that they, the priests, might keep in power.

          Tacitus [c. 56 - c. 120], on whose statement the Christians place their greatest reliance, belonged to the second century. He speaks of the Christians in the most contemptuous manner, calls them the followers of one Christus, who was put to death for a crime. How anyone can torture this into a recognition of Christ, it is difficult to see. In this statement Tacitus was only repeating, or reciting, the words of the Christians, but in no manner asserting or stating that there ever existed such a man as Christ.

          The Encyclopedia [Encyclopaedia] Britannica, after recognizing the forgery in Josephus says: "Not a single fact about Jesus can be learned from Jewish writers except in the 'Unexpurgated Edition of the Talmud,' where some twenty references are made to Christ, in which he is called Panthera [see Article #3, 47, 224., 225.]." This last authority, speaking further of Christ, says: "Our knowledge (of Christ) derived from heathen sources is much less than we could have desired and expected. The silence of contemporary Gentile and Jewish writers, which would be otherwise inexplicable, finds its explanation in the New Testament [this phrase?]."

          What a position! Compelled to rely on forged gospels and bogus Christian writings to sustain a forlorn hope.

          Having exhausted its efforts to find some mention of Christ and Christianity by any one of the numerous pagan and Jewish writers of the first century, the church turned its attention to the tombs and catacombs of Italy, Greece, and Asia Minor, for some symbolic evidence of its hero and its creed. For this purpose, in 1578, Bario, Marchi, and Count de Rossi were appointed. After much time and labor these commissioners succeeded in finding as emblems the dove, the anchor, the olive, the lamb, the palm leaf, and the Greek letters A.O. (Alpha and Omega). At the time of these finds, it was believed that the emblems referred to Christ, but none of them bore dates back of the third century. Since these things were unearthed, the same emblems have been found among well-known Jewish catacombs, bearing dates prior to the alleged birth of Christ. Dr. Reich, after referring to the writings of the apostolic fathers, the absence of any mention of Christ by Hebrew and pagan writers of the first century, and to the result of this search among the catacombs, says the so-called evidence of Christ and Christianity rests on faith alone, without any historical evidence whatever in its support. So it seems that naked, unsupported faith is all the


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Christian has to rely on as a substitute for history, science, and common sense.'

[83-94] [End of: Christ, or Christus:].



          'The Rev. Dr. Robert Taylor [1784 - 1844], one of the ablest ecclesiastical scholars and writers of the time, in his "Diegesis,' says: "The resemblance between paganism and Christianity as taught in the first century, was so absolute as to deceive the most learned student of the two mythologies." Mosheim admits with reluctance that even in the third century the more intelligent of the Christians could not see any difference between the two. Eusebius [c. 260 - c. 339] himself, in speaking of the pagan religion, says: "Our gospels are none other in substance than the sacred text used by the school of Philo." "The early Christians so closely followed the teachings of Philo," says Mr. Taylor, "as to copy verbatim very much of his writings." This author further says: "The copying covers the selfsame doctrine, rites, ceremonies, festivals, discipline, and psalms, and also the rules as to the bishops, priests, and deacons, the observances and claims to apostolic founders; in short, everything of the slightest importance practiced by the school of Philo was followed by the leaders of the early Christians."

          Let us bear in mind that Philo lived and wrote before Josephus, and at least fifty years before the first Christian writings, and when Christ, if such a person ever existed, says Dr. Taylor, was not over ten years of age. This author further says: "Here then we have in the writings of this philosopher and historian of unquestioned veracity, living and writing up an already established religious system, more than fifty years before the earliest dates that Christian historians have assigned to any Christian document whatever, a complete system of ecclesiastical polity, its bishops, its hierarchy of bishops, its subordinate clergy, the selfsame scriptures, the selfsame allegorical methods of interpreting these scriptures, the selfsame doctrines, ceremonies, festivals, discipline, psalms, epistles, and gospels, in a word, everything and every iota of Christianity." This author further says: "Philo, while partly following Plato, taught the immortality of the soul, the doctrine of the Trinity, the manifestation of a divine man who should be crucified, and the eternal rewards and punishments of a future life."

          According to the Rev. Mr. Taylor, the Christians copied their entire religious system from the theoretical teachings of Plato as modified and improved by Philo. They also seem to have copied from Plato the story of the conception and birth of their Christ. Plato lived over 400 years B.C., and for a long time after his death his followers worshiped him as one of the Gods.

          It was taught and believed that Plato [c. 428 - 348 or 347 B.C.E.] was born of a pure virgin named Perictione, who had conceived by a touch of the God Apollo, and that Apollo had revealed to Ariston, to whom Perictione was betrothed, that Plato was his son.

          The Christian story is a good copy of the above, with a change of names only. Thus the whole outfit seems to be a borrowed concern.

          In speaking of the forgeries, Mr. Taylor says: "Eusebius did not hesitate to write anything which would redound to the benefit of the church, nor to suppress any truth which seemed injurious to it." Eusebius, in lamenting the unsettled condition of


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the creed, says: "What was orthodox one day is heresy the next. We make creeds at one time to be destroyed a little later, and in this our zeal, we are destroying each other."

          He might have added that the factions were constantly changing places with each other; that those who were hunted, banished, and tortured as heretics one day, became orthodox the next day, and in turn persecuted their opponents.

          Hudibras strikes the keynote by saying:


          "What makes all doctrines plain and clear?

          About two-hundred pounds a year.

          And that which was proved true before,

          Proved false again? Two hundred more."


          Le Clerc [Jean Le Clerc 1657 - 1736], in his "Criticisms of the Epistles," claims that he has proven beyond question that the Platonism of Philo was borrowed, and constitutes the foundation and the entire structure of Christianity.

          Basnage [Jacques Basnage 1653 - 1725] (Histoire des Juifs) has clearly shown that the theological works of Philo were composed before or about the time of the alleged birth of Christ.



The Cross, the Trinity, and the Creed, Were of Pagan

Origin.


          The Rev. Dr. Taylor [Robert Taylor 1784 - 1844], in speaking of the Christian sign of salvation, says: "It should never be forgotten that the sign of the cross, for ages anterior to the Augustan era, was in common use among the Gentiles, that it was the most sacred symbol of Egyptian idolatry, that it has been found on most of the Egyptian obelisks, and that it was believed to possess all the devil-expelling virtues which have since been ascribed to it by the Christians." The posts set up along the Nile, to which were attached cross beams to indicate high-water mark, became objects of worship by the ignorant Egyptians. Jupiter bore a cross with a ram's horn, and Venus a cross with a circle.

          Rev. Mr. McClintock, in his Cyclopaedia, adds his sanction to the above, by asserting that: "The cross was in general use as a sign of divinity and eternal life, among several ancient nations. It was used in the Temple of Serpais, and found in the hands of Isis, Iseris, and other divinities; it was found by Laird on the sculptures of Korsbad and Nimroud, it was carved on the walls of the temples of India, and was in common use among the Britons, Gauls, Scandinavians, and Phoenicians; and the early use of the cross among the Christians was emblematic of the vine, the fish, and the lamb."

          From the time of Constantine [died 337 (Emperor 306 (312) - 337)] to near the close of the sixth century, the Christian cross bore the emblem of a lamb, which became an object of worship by the faithful until 680, when by decree of the general Council of Constantinople, the image of a man was substituted and the further use of the sheep was prohibited.


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          These signs seem to indicate that there never was a real man crucified. The lamb, the vine, and the fish, according to the Rev. Mr. McClintock, were emblematic of salvation and eternal life. Such was the use to which the cross was put by nearly all the pagan nations.

          When the Christians copied and adopted the pagan rules, practices, ceremonies, and religions, they also adopted the cross, and thereby designed its use to be the same as with the pagan nations.

          As to the Trinity, Dupin [Louis-Ellies 1657 - 1719] ("Bibliotheque Ecclesiastique") says: "The word triad, or trinity, was borrowed from the pagan schools of philosophy, and introduced into the theology of the Christians of the middle of the second century, by Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch." The trinity of Plato, says the author of the notes to Gibbon, was closely followed by Philo and St. John; and the idea of the three persons forming one essence or trinity in the Platonic philosophy is precisely the same as that in the Christian theology. Among the early Christians, the Arian faction accused the orthodox party of borrowing their trinity from the Valentinians and Marcionites, so says Beausobre [Isaac de Beausobre 1659 - 1738] ("Histoire du Manicheisme").

          Among the fathers of the church, a dispute arose as to the third person who should go in the make-up of the triad, a respectable minority insisting that Mary should have the place, but the matter was compromised by giving her a position at the right hand of her son, and assigning the third place to the Holy Ghost.

          Mr. Taylor [Robert Taylor 1784 - 1844], in speaking of Eclectics, who had their school at Alexandria, says: "The most indubitable testimonies prove that their philosophy was in a flourishing state at the period assigned to the birth of Christ, that the Eclectics were the same as the Therapeuts, or Essenes of Philo [c. 20 B.C.E. - c. 50 C.E.], and in every rational sense that can be attached to the word, they are the real authors and founders of Christianity."

          The disciples of Plato, says Augustine [354 - 430], admitted the beginning of the Gospel of St. John as containing an exact transcript of their own principles.


[Note: research to corroborate, etc., the following discussion of Origen. Origen, like the Bible, Jesus, Paul, et al., etc., is a "grab bag". Everyone grabs what they want (and there is plenty in the "bag")].


          Origen [c. 185 - c. 254], one if not the most distinguished of the early Christian leaders and writers, was born 184 and died 257 A.C. He taught that Christianity and paganism were one and the same, with a common source.

          The pious Lardner [Nathaniel Lardner 1684 - 1768] says of Origen: "He undoubtedly was the most distinguished, wisest, greatest, and best man that was ever engaged in promoting Christianity."

          Mr. Taylor says of him that he was the first author who gave us a distinct catalogue of the New Testament: "The sacred text owes its felicity to the criticisms and emendations of Origen, who pruned excrescences, exscinded ["cut out"] the most glaring contradictions, inserted whole verses of his own pure ingenuity and conjecture; and diligently labored, by claiming for the whole a mystical and allegorical


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sense, to rescue it from the contempt of the wise, and to moderate its excitement on the minds of the vulgar." This author further says: "It is not to be denied that this wisest, greatest, and best man that ever bore the Christian name, relapsed at last into paganism, and worshiped the idols of his ancestors."

          The reason why Origen renounced Christianity after a life spent in its support may be told as follows:

          Celsus [2nd century], one of Rome's greatest historians and most profound reasoners, during the reign of Hadrian, 117 to 138 A.C., published two books of criticisms on Christianity, in which he clearly demonstrated the absurdity of the Christian doctrines and claims. Following which, and as a matter of history, he proved, from Christian sources and church documents, that Mary procured a divorce from her husband, and while wandering about Judea, fell in love with a Roman soldier by the name of Panthera, who was the real father of Christ; that the boy, being in destitute circumstances, went down into Egypt to procure employment; that while there he fell in with Egyptian jugglers, from whom he learned the art of working pretended miracles; that on his return to Judea he set up a claim to the Messiahship, which he supported by his Egyptian system of miracle-workings, and that his alleged miracles were performed privately in out-of-the-way places, to slaves, women, and children, of the most ignorant class.

          In the original Talmud the name of Christ several times appears, where he is always spoken of as the son of Panthera.

          Celsus was a pagan author of the highest order, who had within his grasp all the then obtainable evidence pertaining to the church and its founder. While Celsus expressed serious doubts as to the real existence of Christ, but assuming on church authority or claims that such a man did live, he, Celsus, presented his facts from church sources so clearly, and made his arguments so forcible and conclusive, as to put the church on the defensive. Many of the most able writers came to the rescue, and among them Origen [c. 185 - c. 254], whose attacks were conducted with his usual force and skill; but in the end, instead of converting the followers of Celsus to Christianity, he himself became convinced that Christianity was not only absurd in theory, but false in fact and founded on fraud, of which the fathers of the church were the authors.

          Having been convinced of all this, Origen was too honest, too frank, and too sincere to continue an advocate of so false a system. So he renounced the faith and returned to the philosophical teachings of the old Platonic school.' [136-142] [End of: Alexandrian Codex or Bible, and Others.].



          "From what has hereinbefore [now, herein before] been shown, it will be seen that the church fathers did not hesitate to commit forgeries as well as other crimes in the interests of the church. Forged gospels, forged decrees, forged epistles, forged land titles, stolen pagan writings, briberies, force, and other frauds, all go to make up the foundation of Christianity. What a sublime system of religion! It is no wonder that the devout are so strongly attached to this idol of purity.


          On the foregoing showing, what is Christianity but an old, stale, threadbare, antiquated system of fables, legends, and myths which had ceased to serve the purpose of the ancient philosophers and mythologians, and had been by them cast


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off, to be picked up and made the foundation and superstructure which now overshadows a large part of our globe, and holds within its clerical grasp millions of otherwise intelligent human beings?" [159-160].


"Arrogance of Christian Doctrine.


          The Christians from the first avowed the doctrines that their God was the only true God; that they were absolutely right, and all who did not agree with them were heretics and enemies to their creed and their God; that they were ordained by a higher power to subdue and bring into the church all mankind; and that it was their right and duty to convert the world to Christianity, and to punish those who refused to be thus converted.

          The natural and inevitable result of such a doctrine, when attempted to be put into practice, was to array all others against this sect. Torture, persecution, and death to dissenters, heretics, and infidels was the natural and legitimate result of such a doctrine.

          In the infancy of the church, and up to the death of Constantine, 337 A.C., the church was too weak to enforce is precepts against the pagans, and even against the heretics except by excommunication. This weapon it freely used upon those who dared to call in question the orthodox opinion; and it often happened that those who were orthodox at one time were heterodox a little later, depending on the vote of the bishops or the whim of the emperor. The church everywhere tolerated no dissenting opinions. In all ages and countries where it had the power, it enforced its decrees by torture, death, or banishment. It was only when civilization and humanity would no longer endure these outrages that the church adopted a milder form of persecution; this it did from necessity, not from choice. The church is as intolerant to-day as it was from the fourth to the seventeenth century, it has only changed its weapons and mode of warfare.

          Laws of disenfranchisement and ostracism are now in full force on the statute books of many of the American States. There are laws in full force and effect in several of the States depriving the unbeliever of the right to vote or hold office, and in some States he is, or was a short time ago, not even permitted to testify in the Courts.

          In the State of Massachusetts, the old laws stand unrepealed, making it a penal offence, punishable by fine and imprisonment, to ride on Sunday, or for the keeper of any public-house to permit any person other than guests to stand or sit around the premises. Another law of that State, still in force, punished with imprisonment in the State prison any person who shall deny the divinity of any one of the three Christian Gods.

          In 1870 the Vatican Council at Rome issued a bull anathematizing all persons who deny that the world was made out of nothing, also all who oppose religion as promulgated by the Roman church, or who assert the doctrine of evolution, or that God and the universe are one and the same.

          As late as 1875 several Catholic journals of Italy, Spain, and Belgium, joined by some priests, clamored for the restoration of the Inquisition, and asserted that without force the church was doomed.


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          While this was being done by the Catholics, numerous persecutions, for religious opinions, were being carried on in Protestant Sweden against men of learning for speaking disrespectfully of Christianity. In two cases, the men, for publishing Strauss's "Life of Christ," were heavily fined, and served long terms of imprisonment.          A little earlier, in 1765, at Abbeville, France, La Barre [Chevalier de La Barre c. 1747 - 1766], on a charge of pulling down an old wooden crucifix, was condemned, and on June 6, 1766, was led to the place of execution, one hand cut off, his tongue drawn out with iron pinchers and cut off, after which his head was cut off ["He was condemned to have his tongue cut out, his right hand cut off, and to be burned at the stake. The verdict was appealed [result: tongue and right hand spared]....La Barre was to be tortured before his execution....After his beheading, his corpse was burnt along with a copy of the Philosophical Dictionary [by Voltaire]." (from: Encyclopedia of Unbelief, 1985, Volume Two, 717)].

It was thereafter proven that the crucifix was blown down by a gale of wind.

          In the face of the foregoing state of facts, will it do to say that the spirit of religious persecution is not as rife today as in former years? It lacks the power to enforce its demoniac spirit, and that is all the difference." [169-171] [End of: Arrogance of Christian Doctrine.].



'Conclusion.


          Every system of religion, whatever may have been its status in former times, must in this day of free thought and advanced science be able to stand the test of criticism and reason, or it must take its place among the fables, legends, and myths of the dead past. Many of the ancient systems, resting on, if possible, better foundations than the present living ones, have passed into oblivion, leaving doubtful manuscripts and more enduring monumental inscriptions of their influence and power over the minds and bodies of men. The great and powerful religious systems of Chaldea, Babylon, Egypt, Scandinavia, Persia, Greece, and Rome, which so long swayed the destinies of the world, and were accepted as divine and immortal truths, have passed away to sleep in the grave of eternity; while in India, the cradle of all religions, and in China, these institutions are struggling in their death-throes.

          Judaism is a thing of the past, vibrating between life and death, its soul having already departed, leaving the body to be claimed for burial by strangers. And, last of all, Christianity is on trial, not for its murder of thirty or forty millions of innocent men, women, and children, and other crimes, but for its claim to be of supernatural origin.

          Criticism, science, history, reason, and common sense are the prosecuting witnesses, and they have been brought into court as the result of free thought and free speech, in spite of the strenuous efforts of the church to crush them.

          Listen to Byron [George Gordon Byron 1788 - 1824] while he says

 

"Even Gods must yield, religions take their turn,

'Twas Jove's, 'tis Mahomet's; and other creeds will rise

With other years, till man shall learn

Vainly his incense soars, his victim bleeds,

Poor child of doubt and death, whose hope is built on reeds."

[see Appendix X, 829 ("grasping for hands that are not there" (Mencken))]


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          Dr. L. Buchner [Ludwig Buchner 1824 - 1899], the great German scientist, in his "Man in the Past, Present, and Future," speaking of Christianity, says: "It stands, by its dogmatic portion or contents, in such striking and irreconcilable, nay absolutely absurd contradiction with all the acquisitions and principles of modern science, that its future tragical fate can only be a question of time."

          We are living in an age of reason and common sense, an age of science and toleration, an age of progress and growing humanity. The world is better than it was in the dark ages; man is better to-day than he was yesterday; and he will be better to-morrow than he is to-day. Even the mythologian is betraying signs of awakening humanity. Whether life be the result of force acting on organized forms, and dependent on such forms for its existence, or whether it be independent matter, residing in such organized forms and self-existent, science gives no response. And whether life is to continue beyond the grave is a problem resting on the hidden and immutable laws of nature, the key to which is as accessible to the insect and the quadruped as to the scientist or the priest. Man in his onward course is no longer a slave to superstition.

          The mythologian may lament his fading glory, he may hurl his anathemas, he may bewail his declining influence, he may parade his pit of torment, and he may call upon his self-made divinities to hurl their thunderbolts, while the sensible world smiles with contempt at his childish simplicity.

          The church has lost its power to use instruments of torture and to apply the torch to an unbelieving world. The loss of this power carries the church down with it; its death is only a question of time[?].

          When the mythologian shall have shuffled off his clerical garb, and when his doctrines, his dogmas, his superstitions, and his nonsense have all to the grave gone down, may the world forgive and forget his errors, his crimes, and his intolerance, while his ashes repose in peace and tranquility under the ever-watchful care and guidance of Horus, Ra, and Tum, where no bugle's blast shall wake him to battle again.' [228-230] [End of Conclusion.] [End of book].


_____ _____ _____


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from: Appendix to Hebrew and Christian Mythology. By Judge Parish B. Ladd, LL.B., Of the San Francisco Bar. New York: The Truth Seeker Company, 28 Lafayette Place. No date [Hebrew and Christian Mythology, c1896 (see 2387)]. [104 pages of text, plus 8 pages of advertisements].



          "Next in order comes point three—The twelve apostles.

          We do not understand that the ecclesiastical historians claim that these men left any writings, unless Peter be excepted; in fact the church, on its own showing, admits that but one of the twelve could write. In any event, all of the epistles ascribed to the apostles have been found by the critics to be spurious.

          The authorities tell us that little or nothing is known of the apostles outside of tradition. When or where they were born, when, where or how they died, as well as their so-called discipleship, we have no evidence. Tradition and the church fathers' comments on such tradition cannot be considered as of any value whatever.

          In the absence of all evidence, we are forced to conclude that THERE WERE NO SUCH MEN. THEY ["THE TWELVE APOSTLES"] BEING PURE MYTHS, the church, in the fifth century, made the time of their several birthdays to correspond with the days when the sun entered the respective signs of the ecliptic, as we shall learn anon.

          Peter, Simon and Symeon, are different names applied to the so-called founder of the long line of popes. Matthew, Mark and Luke differ as to Peter's nativity, and the account of his discipleship is as various. In short, all is guesswork. The gospels, having been proven to be forgeries of the second and third centuries, are no evidence.

          This disposes of the third point of the church and no evidence of a Christ.



          The fourth point made by the church, rests on the alleged writings of the Apostolic Fathers.

          "Apostolic Fathers" is the name given to Clemens, Romanus, Ignatius, Polycarp, Barnabas and Hermas. The church claims that these men were the associates of the so-called twelve apostles, and so lived and wrote during the first half of the first century.

          The authorities tell us that nothing whatever is known of any of these men outside of their alleged writings (supposed to be in the hands of the church).

          The critics tell us that all of these writings, other than those of Hermas, are forgeries. As to Hermas, he did not live until about the middle of the second century. His writings consist of one book, entitled, "Pastor of Hermas," in which no mention is made of Christ.

          This lets out the five Apostolic Fathers and their writings, leaving the church at this point without any evidence in support of her man Christ.



          Saint Peter comes in here at point five.

          The Catholic church parades this saint at the head of the column, as the greatest of all, except Christ.

          The church fathers, through their writings, have made a great hero of this man, and made the church to rest on his shoulders.


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          Outside of this manufactured evidence the so-called epistles of Peter, constitute

the church showing. As to these epistles, the critics, Baur, Schwegler, Overbach, Zeller, et al., have pronounced them to be spurious.

          On the whole, it seems quite clear that Peter was a pure myth, created by the church, as a rock on which to erect popedom.



          Paul, the apostle, now appears on the canvas, at point six, with fourteen letters, or epistles, as they are called.

          As to these letters, the critics have determined, on inspection, that ten out of the fourteen are forgeries. As to the other four, they simply say, it does not appear on their face, that they are spurious.

          The church having put in evidence fourteen epistles, alleged to have been written by Paul, ten out of the fourteen having been, on mere inspection, pronounced forgeries, the natural inference would be that the other four, too, are spurious [see Article #4, 106, 427. (van Manen); etc.].

          Outside of these epistles, little or nothing is claimed to be known of the man—even his name is in doubt. It is claimed by the church that this man was born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but the church has no proof of this point. As late as the fourth century, tradition gave his birthplace at Giscala in Galilee.

          The authorities tell us that they cannot learn when or where he was born, when, where or how he died, or when the several acts ascribed to him took place; vague tradition thinks he died a martyr at Rome. Thus it would seem that the very existence of the man is in doubt. The church must have anticipated that this question would sometime arise to give her trouble, for she has paraded before her people certain letters, alleged to have been written by Paul to Seneca, and his answers thereto. Like all other spurious things, these letters have long since been recognized, by scholars in and out of the church, to be forgeries.

          On this state of the case, it can hardly be claimed that either Paul or his alleged letters are of any force in the determination of the existence or non-existence of Christ.



          Next comes the seventh point, the four gospels and other New Testament writings. On these, for a time, the church deemed herself impregnable; here was firm ground; all else failing, she could rest here in safety. But alas for poor human nature and the crumbling fortunes of the church.

          For the last fifty years, the learned critics (most of whom were leaders in the church—true Christians) have been at work to discover the origin of the gospels and other New Testament writings. Now what do they tell us! They say that the four gospels, the Acts, in short, all of the New Testament books, except, possibly, the four great epistles of Paul, are forgeries, and as to these four epistles, it is claimed, too, that they are spurious.


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          Here the evidence fails—the impregnable fortress has been razed to the ground, leaving the church to again retreat. Driven from point to point, the church falls back on pagan writers—on the pagan world—for evidence as to the existence of Christ. Here the church tells her people that in the writings of Josephus, the Jew, in those of Suetonius, Abgarus, Tacitus, Lucian, Pliny the younger and Celsus, Christ has been clearly recognized.

          As to the mention of Christ in Josephus, it has long since been conceded, by ecclesiastical historians and others, that the reference found there is a forgery (interpolation): that the earlier copies of the book did not contain the reference.

          As to the pagan writers, the greatest stress is laid on the statements of Tacitus. All of these pagan writers (except Pliny, who was born about 61) lived in the second century, consequently could have known nothing, personally, about Christ. This applies, equally, to Pliny. Tacitus, in speaking of Christ, simply said (basing his statements on what the Christians claimed [brilliant caveat!, to more Christian forgery]) that Christ was put to death as a criminal.

          Tacitus did not pretend to know or speak of Christ, other than from hearsay derived from Christian sources, and as to the other pagan writers, there is nothing whatever, that can, by even forced construction, be tortured into an affirmative recognition of the existence of such a man as Christ." [12-16].


_____ _____ _____


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from: The Priest and the Church, What Have They Done for the World?, by Judge Parish B. Ladd. Price 25 cents, 10 copies for $1.50, H.L. Green, Publisher, 213 E. Indiana Street, Chicago, Office Free Thought Magazine, 1902. ["1902" added by pen]. [30 pages of text].



Headings:


"The Council of Nice." [5-5].


"Quarrels over the Trinity, Incarnation and the Sacrament." [5-6].


"Quarrel Over Images." [6-6].


"Conflict Between Church and State." [6-7].


"Astronomical Ignorance of the Priesthood." [7-7].


"Ignorance and Savagery of Christian Europe." [7-9].


"Suppression of Learning." [9-9].


"The Priests of the Sixteenth Century." [9-10].


"Indulgences." [10-10].


"The Infallible Popes." [10-11].


"Monks of the Middle Ages." [11-12].


"Inquisition." [12-13].


"The Crusades" [13-14].


"Italian Wars" [14-14].


"Persecutions of the Huguenots in France." [14-21].


"America for Sale to Rome." [21-22].


"Puritans in America." [22-22].


"Conquest of Mexico and Peru." [22-22].


"Other Persecutions for Heresy." [22-23].


"Persecution of the Jews." [23-25].


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"Witch Burning by the Priesthood." [25-26].


"State Prison Statistics." [26-27].


"Late Wars." [27-27].


"Heresy Trials of This Time." [27-28].


"War on Science." [28-29].


"Man's Lot in Another Life." [29-30].



"THE PRIEST AND THE CHURCH—WHAT

HAVE THEY DONE FOR

THE WORLD?


By Judge Parish B. Ladd.


The discussion of the subject presented by the above headlines is an unpleasant one; crimes are always unpleasant to contemplate and much more so to discuss. But as the priest and the church have left an unpleasant history behind them they have no right to expect us to shield them from the effects of their own wrongs. In this dissertation we shall confine our labors to authentic history.

          The priest of to-day, reckless of the most potent facts, wilfully blind to the history of the centuries behind him; unmindful of the lurid glare from the footlights of hell, which for nearly two thousand years have played around his midnight dreams, unblushingly proclaims that all purity, goodness, justice, progress and humanity are the offspring of the church and the priesthood. What a mockery, what a travesty on truth; what an insult to common intelligence. [opposite, photo: Judge Parish B. Ladd].

          Let us force aside the priestly babble, raise the curtain, turn on the searchlight, and look at the crimes of the priest and his church in the light of history; history of their own making, the truth of which the priest and his church are ever attempting to suppress.

          While Christianity in embryo dates back some five centuries earlier, its history properly begins with Constantine, who threw his imperial mantle over the children of the mangean[?] nestling [Jesus?], and thereby vitalized the germ which, in after years, blotted out all learning, slaughtered a moiety of the human race and crushed the liberties of the people of all Christendom.

          Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantine was born at Naissus, 272 Common Era, reigned from 306 to 337. He was all things to all men, a patron of Apollo to hold the pagans; a supporter of the cross to gain the favor of the Christians; a murderer of all rivals to hold the throne; a fit leader of the new church which followed in the wake of its murderous master for more than thirteen hundred years, and until shorn of power by the civil governments of the world; he warred with, and conquered, Maxentius and Licinius, rivals for the imperial purple; he claimed conversion to Christianity by pretending to see the sign of the cross in the heavens, which, with the name Christ,


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he, a little later, had inscribed on his banners, with the words, "By these shall ye conquer." He murdered Licinius. His wife Fausta he puts to death in a tank of boiling water; he beheaded his eldest son Crispus while he, Constantine, was presiding at the Christian council of Nice; he murdered the husbands of his two sisters, Constantia and Anastasia: he murdered his nephew, 12 years of age. These murders were among his first Christian acts, which were laid hold of by the priests and their church as first offerings to appease the wrath of an exacting god; to be followed on a more extensive scale by the priesthood in the centuries to come, as we shall learn further on. The subjects here involved are so extensive; the history of the church and its priesthood so voluminous that, to do full justice to the matters involved, would require a large book; but we must not forget that we are writing for a magazine where space is not at the writer's disposal. If we go to some length in a few of the more important matters, that means brevity in all others, as to what the priest and his church have done for the world.

          That the priests in all ages have made their gods, or remodeled old ones; made their sacred books and their religion, all in their own interests, will not be questioned by any honest scholar. The priest, as such, under different names, dates back to the remotest antiquity.

          In the dark and almost fathomless portals of primordial times, a class of men more cunning, if not more wise, than others, emerged from out the realms of barbarism, claiming to have the power to mediate between the gods, conceived of through ignorance, and their fellow-savages. The first trace we have of this homo, finds him, the head of a family, beseeching the heavenly powers for protection of his household; he is pator at home endowed with the powers of appeasing the wrath of the divine hierarchy, who, but for his intervention, would sacrifice all mankind; to him as such mediator, the family looked for protection. Every circle in ancient society had its gods, always in trinities; its priests and sacred altars. As we are here treating of Christianity, the pagan world must be passed in silence.

          The priest and the church, what have they done for the world? That THEY HAVE GIVEN TO MANKIND A MYTH, CALLED JESUS CHRIST; a Bible, and a system of religion, no one will deny. That they have committed numerous frauds and forgeries to sustain their claim for a personal Christ, is overwhelmingly sustained by history; nor is the proof lacking, in history and criticisms, that THEIR BIBLE WAS MADE UP MOSTLY FROM FABLES, MYTHS, LEGENDS AND FALSEHOODS, DRAWN LARGELY FROM ORAL TRADITIONS, AND EARLIER WRITINGS BY UNKNOWN PERSONS AND AT UNKNOWN TIMES AND PLACES. Out of this heterogene mass of tradition and earlier writings the priest and his church have given to the world a code and stamped it of divine origin. They have also given to the world stories of five Apostolic Fathers and twelve so-called Apostles; all of whom, say the authorities, are spurious.


The Council of Nice.


          The priest and his early fragmentary church gave to the world a second [first! Second, 787 C.E.] council of Nice [First Council of Nicaea 325 C.E.], composed of 318 bishops, all of whom, with the exception of Constantine [died 337 (Emperor 306 (312) - 337] and Eusebius [c. 260 - c. 340], were of the most ignorant class...." ["3"-5].


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"Late Wars.


          Late wars fail to show that the priest and his church have improved in morals or civilization, on their records of the Middle, or Dark Ages. Without going into details, suffice it to say, that the late war by all Christendom made on China to force missionary teachers on that people—the work of the priests and their church—show blood-curdling cruelties unequalled in the history of the world. While the war in the Philippine Islands, waged by America, partly for conversions, stands out in point of barbarity, downright savagery, more prominent than any war in the annals of time. The order from General Smith to exterminate every living being over ten years of age and convert the country into a desert, has no parallel in history, nor does this barbarity of Smith stand alone or unapproved, for the whole war, from inception, has been one of murder, arson, rape and spoliation, made and carried on by a pious President with the approval and sanction of the American Congress, composed largely of brainless political demagogues. As to the English war in South Africa, it is excelled in savagery only by ours in the Philippines. While the Philippine and South African wars were not brought about by the clergy, the priesthood has never lifted a hand to stay these wars or check their cruelties; but, on the other hand, almost to a man the priests have approved of them.


Heresy Trials of This Time.


          The priesthood and church having lost the power to slaughter whole communities...." [27].



'....In all these branches of science, the priest, like a hungry dog with a bone, has been fighting for his dinner. The finale of all these allied sciences culminating in evolution, has been to drive the gods from the universe. It only remained to take the next step to drive the Bible and the priest out of the world. This step came in what is known as the Higher Criticism, owing its origin to Prof. Baur and the Tubingen School. Under this criticism the Bible is gradually finding its proper place among the myths, legends and fairy tales of the dead past, LEAVING THE PRIEST TO PROCURE HIS RATIONS IN OTHER FIELDS.


Man's Lot in Another Life.


          Here the priest and his church will come back at us, and say, "If Christianity is all false and we have inflicted all this misery in the world, we have taught a future life, which has been a source of happiness to mankind on earth."

          Let us see what kind of fruit this tree of external life has produced. If it be true that a future life is desirable, what then? The priest has not stopped at a future existence; but to it he has attached rewards and punishments; to the former he assigns but few; while the great mass of mankind are to suffer eternal torments. Under this state of the case the true believer, if there be any such, which we deny, that believer must think that even his chances for future happiness are not assured; while he sees that the most of his relatives, wife, father, mother, children, brothers and sisters, are doomed to eternal torments. With such a belief, the lot of the believer


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must be anything but a happy one. Our nature is such, in spite of all religious dogmas, that the thought of eternal suffering to mankind in general, much more to those who are dear to us, is not, in the very nature of things, calculated to produce other than misery; for who, even the savage, could be happy in the belief that his dear ones are to be consigned to eternal torments.


ALL THIS CURSED STUFF IS THE WORK OF THE PRIESTHOOD; to their murders on earth they have inculcated a belief of hellish torments beyond the grave. Insult to injury, all forced on the ignorant multitude to hold them in subjection that the priest and his church may live in luxury while the dupe lives in squalidity and feeds the priest.


There are, undoubtedly, many who, having inhaled this cursed nonsense so long that some of the poison, like calomel, has penetrated their bones; but with most people—sensible men—it has not sunk into their organisms far enough to break in on their business or disturb their nocturnal dreams.

          Oh, cruel fate, but give us a home on some desolate isle—some nook in a cave—some retreat away from the sound of martial drums—some lonely dell far from the doleful noise of church bells—some barren waste, undefiled by priestly tread in search of victims—some desert home where the drifting sands move unobserved on the trackless waste.


                     "Some day philosophy no doubt,

                     A better world will bring about;

                     Till then the old a little longer

                     Must blunder on amid strife and plunder."'


[29-30] [End of 30 page essay].


● ● ● ● ●


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from: Genesis to Revelation, A Free Thought Commentaries of the Whole Bible. By Judge Parish B. Ladd, Price 25 cents, 5 copies for $1.00, H.L. Green, Publisher, 213 E. Indiana Street, Chicago, Office Free Thought Magazine, N.D. ["1903" (God Pro and Con, Gordon Stein, 2000)].



"Genesis to Revelation


By Judge Parish B. Ladd


          What do we know of the sources and authorship of the books and other writings of the Bible? By Judge Parish B. Ladd, of Alameda, California.


          The examination of the evidence bearing on this question will constitute the theme of my discussion in this article.


          However laborious the task, I intend to cover the entire series from Genesis to Revelation.


          Such an article, however brief, will, at all times, be convenient as a textbook of reference to a subject of the most vital interest, not only to the Hebrews and Christians, but to all scholars. [opposite: photo of Judge Parish B. Ladd.]


          The evidence to be used herein will be largely drawn from what is known as the Higher Criticism, which all know, or should know, is distinguished from the lower criticism—an inquiry into the translations of the biblical writings; while the Higher Criticism goes to the very existence of these writings—to their authorship, times when, and places where written. The Higher Criticism, as we know, took its rise with Ferdinand C. Baur, the founder, president and distinguished leader of the Tubingen School of Theology in Germany; he was born at Croustadt, June 21, 1792. A more profound scholar Europe never had. When he published his criticisms on the books of the Bible the Christian world was thrown into spasms. The entire faculty of that school followed in the wake of their president. So thoroughly convincing were the arguments and deductions of this great man, say the late writers, the leading clergymen and scholars of, not only Germany, but of England and France, accepted, as true, his deductions (see Ency. Brit.). But it must not be understood that with the professors of that school, all of whom to start with, were Christians, the investigations stopped; for from that time to the present the Higher Criticism has, from time to time, had most valuable accessions to its ranks, never more numerous than now.


          It is sometimes said by clergymen of limited knowledge, whose wishes control their thoughts, or who speak from the prompting of selfish motives, that the works of the Higher Critics are dying out. Never were men more mistaken, or wilfully in the wrong. It is because of the fact that the most of our authority comes from his sources that I have thus spoken of the Higher Criticism.


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          In order to make the subject-matter of this article clearly understood, we must know something of the early Hebrews, their location and language; especially the language used in their scriptures. When and from whence the morn of Israel? As to this matter I can only say the birth of Israel is in doubt. This question, coupled with Moses and the Exodus, I treated to some extent in a former article in the August number (1899) of the Free Thought Magazine, to which reference is hereby made. For all purposes here, suffice it to say that from a very early date much of Syria and Padan Aram to the north and east, were inhabited by a class of people known as Semites; they existed in tribes and worshipped one deus primus—our great solar orb—under different names. Their language of dialect differed among the different tribes. Hebrew and Aramic [now, Aramaic] were used by the early Hebrews, which, at a later date, became the written language of the Old Testament.


          A brief statement of the source of the languages used by the Hebrews becomes a necessity as a foundation for a better understanding of what is to follow. We are told by numerous writers that the Hebrew language is traceable back to Arabia, where it was used in common by a people designated Shemites, speaking Shemitic. All nature to them was life; hence Felix Arabia; they had the past and future tenses—no present, masculine and feminine, but no neuter gender. Their written language was consonantal. But as to written language can be made manifest without vowels, the reader was left to supply them. The result was, that the meaning of the consonantal characters had to be orally taught and committed to memory. In later times, with the Hebrews, this task was assumed by the Levitical priesthood, where a few of its more prominent leaders become the custodians of all of the Hebrew writings; consequently of nearly all knowledge among that people. By the use of this knowledge the Levitical priesthood controlled all of the Hebrew tribes; to hold this power they formed, or established, a political hierarchy, commenced to write up and make rules for the guidance and government, not only of themselves, but for all their people. These rules and laws, as with all other priests, as a matter of policy, came from the gods, i.e., in this case from Jehovah-Elohim; coming from on high, they were sacred; hence the sacred or inspired Hebrew Bible.


          Just what spoken language was used by the Hebrews before the captivity is uncertain. In Padan Aram, Northern Syria and the high lands of Mesopotamia it was Aramaic. It necessarily follows that the Hebrew tribes, who lived in those lands, spoke Aramaic, while the tribes in Palestine used the dialect of Canaan, which differed little, if any, from that of Phoenicia, called Hebrew by the Israelites. This view of the matter is supported by the weight of authority. At an early date there seems to have been a blending of the Hebrew and Aramaic.


          Many writers assert that the Hebrew Canaanite dialect ceased to be the common spoken language from the time of the captivity, 586 B.C.E., when the Chaldee Aramaic superseded it with the common people, while the Canaanite became the language of the learned. The earliest monumental Hebrew writings appearing on the coins of the Maccabees, 143 B.C.E., were, it is said, derived from the Phoenician alphabet.


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          The name, or word Hebrew, according to some writers, comes from Heber, eber, an adjective. The Septuagint renders it, Abraham the crosser, meaning emigrant. Origen says the word comes from crossing the river towards Canaan. After the blending of the northern and southern tribes, Aramaic gradually encroached on the Phoenician or Canaan dialect, finally superseding Hebrew as a spoken language, leaving Hebrew, as modified by that of Canaan, the sacred language, leaving Hebrew, as modified by that of Canaan, the sacred language of the priests. It is claimed that the Hebrew square characters come from the east, probably from Arabia; they were first found on the Moabite and Phoenician inscriptions about 900 B.C.E. In the old Semitic, and later with the Hebrews, the consonants alone were used, where Ihvh, or Ihyh, was used to represent Jehovah. The writers tell us, what we all know, that no language can be spoken or understood without the use of vowel sounds, which did not exist in the early Hebrew. The most ancient Hebrew, as it appears on the Siloam inscriptions, agrees with the Moabite. As to the Massoretic system of points, their authors and times are unknown. The consonantal text extended to the early part of the second century Common Era, when a system was devised for the insertion of vowel points, mere dots, which had to be explained and taught to become useful; but as this opened the door to the Hebrews in general, it was begrudgingly and slowly given out; first a few points only, in time more, until the system was completed about 500 C.E. From this time back for about a thousand years, all of the Hebrew writings were purely consonantal, understood by only a few of the higher priesthood, who, in filling in the vowels made the Hebrew Bible to suit themselves.


          The Rabbis in this case were no exception to the priesthood in all ages, whose selfish interest lies in keeping the great masses in ignorance.


          I have deemed it necessary to say this much about the language, in order the better to understand the authenticity and times of the several Old Testament books.


          Ezra.—As Ezra figures so extensively in the Hebrew books and other writings, we must know something of him, his time and place in history...." ["2"-5].



          "The biblical story of the creation of the world, of Adam and Eve, etc., of the flood and many other things, we now know, from the unearthed Babylonian writings, to have been taken from old Chaldean legends. The story of Moses and the Exodus, which has so long been looked on by Hebrews and Christians as of divine origin, has no foundation in fact whatever. The most advanced thinkers and scholars of to-day, including many rabbis, unhesitatingly assert that Moses was a myth, the Exodus a romance." [6].


"The traditional history of Ezra leaves him in doubt. It is also claimed that Ezra introduced the present square characters, and, with the aid of others, made the Messorah, a work explaining the letters, words and vowel-points of the Hebrew text of the Bible; but we are told that the vowel-points were slowly added long after Ezra's time.


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          The Old Testament text, as before stated, was originally consonantal, which could not be read without supplying vowel sounds. The correct reading of the text rested on oral tradition handed down in the schools. Neither Jerome nor the Talmud (middle 5th century C.E.), knew of any signs for the vowels. The consonantal text was fixed at the end of the second century C.E. The marks for the vowels and other signs, i.e., the Massoretic or vocalized and punctuated Hebrew text, as now printed, dates from the sixth century C.E.


          Such is the confusion that some writers attribute the authorship of the books of Chronicles, of Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ezekiel, Daniel and the twelve prophets to Ezra; some others all the 119 Psalms (see Cyclo, of Bib, and Ecc. L.); while some others include the entire Old Testament (See Irenaues [Irenaeus], Clement, Alexander, Augustine, Jerome, De Wette, et al.). If these critics are correct in their conclusions, then Ezra is the sole author of the Old Testament Bible. But this must be understood to apply only to the original text, a mere digest, or blocking out of the work, which was materially modified, altered, and thoroughly changed from time to time thereafter by others.


          Many later writers characterize these statements as mere guesswork. This is too rash a statement, for to reach conclusions after weighing the evidence is not guesswork. The writings which the more conservative critics ascribe to Ezra cover a period of seventy-nine years, from the reign of Cyrus to the eighth year of Artaxerxes. As to the books of Chronicles, of Ezra and Nehemiah, all the critics agree that they are of a composite character, in which Ezra may have had a leading hand as compiler or redactor (see Smith's Dic. of the Bible, Dr. Davidson's Cyclo. of Bible Lit., et al.). It may here be said, once for all, that the writings of the Old Testament, when first presented to the world, were one continuous narrative; an unbroken, heterogeneous mass of disjointed, incongruous materials, treating on divergent subjects in a hodge-podge manner. This heterogene, from time to time, underwent prodigious siftings, where the homogeneous matters were grouped under appropriate headings, by editors, or, more properly speaking, redactors. But, with all the amending, the original matter was too much confused to admit of being harmonized. Later these writings were cut up into books, chapters and verses. Hence the Old Testament, as a whole, is unintelligible; nor are the chapters, considered separately, much better. It will readily be seen that the names of purported authors could not have been ascribed to the books until the division into books, which was at a late period." [7-8].



"The Thora [now, Torah], or Pentateuch.


          In speaking of the Pentateuch, the Higher Criticism tells us that when first read or proclaimed by Ezra to his people, it was not divided into books. The books and their titles were of dates, taken from the most prominent words used, and so we have Genesis, Exodus, Laviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. These books ascribed to Moses, who, it is claimed, lived about a thousand years before the captivity, bear on their face, or, as the critics say, internally present the most indubitable proof that no part of them antedates the captivity (586 to 536 B.C.E.). These books dealing largely


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with the legends, Kings and people of Babylon, show, most clearly, that their birthplace was Babylon. That many things were added and new books written during the thirteen years of Ezra's silence at Jerusalem, and for a long time thereafter, is clearly proven. Those who assert that Ezra wrote the whole or a major portion of the Old Testament, mean that he blocked it out—created the skeleton, on which, in after years, editors and revisors added the flesh. The division into verses was made not earlier than the ninth century C.E., nor was this division recognized by the church until adopted by Dominican Pagninus in 1528. The canon which popular belief assigned to Ezra and the Synagogue, was formed by slow degrees, not completed until the second century C.E., during which time revisions went on. The division into three parts, the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings, is quite ancient, but the final order or arrangement of the sacred books did not exist until the fifth century C.E. (see Cyclo. of Bib. and Ecc. Lit.), As before hinted, a little special attention to the books of Genesis and Exodus is here demanded.


          Genesis.—Prof. Astruck, a Belgian physician, was the first to call public attention to the fact that this book was not the work of one man, as the two stories of creation, the Elohistic and Jehovistic, show two distinct accounts, essentially different. The style of the book is so heterogeneous that Stahelin, De Wette, Ewald, Von Bohlen, Knobel, Dilitzsch, et al. say there were at least two original documents which were combined by a later writer, and that the contents were largely drawn from Egypt and Chaldea; that the Elohistic is the oldest; that the later writer of the Jehovistic account instead of blending the two, give a digest of each, to which he added his own views. Volke, Von Bohlen and many others assert that the whole contents of Genesis is unhistorical, partly mythical.


          Exodus.—Every historical statement in this book, say the authorities, has been called in question. De Wette calls the story of Moses' birth a myth, and likens it to that of Romulus and Cyrus (more of this anon). By the weight of authority, to-day, the stories of Moses and the Exodus have been completely overthrown. As these stories were first told nearly a thousand years after the events related therein, they could not under any rules of evidence be accepted as history. As to the miracles related, it is enough to say no miracle can, in the very nature of things, become the subject of history. That the greatest thinkers and scholars at this time have given up these stories, we have their living statements to that effect. (See Rabbi Solomon Schindler's "Dissolving Views in the History of Judaism," published as [at] Boston in 1888, wherein he tells his people that they must give up the story of Moses and the Exodus as non-historical.) Having disposed of the Pentateuch, I now take up the other Old Testament books in the order in which they appear in the Bible." [9-10].



          'Chronicles, First and Second Book.—Jerome tells us that in the original Hebrew, these books were but one. They purport to give the history of David, of Solomon, the early account of Judah and Israel; the sacred history of the Jews from their reign to the end of the captivity. This book is, in substance, the same as Ezra and Esther, which were written after the captivity. At which time the pure Hebrew language had been lost, as appears by the character of the orthography and language, both of which are Aramic in complexion, and agree with the writings after the exile.


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The book was revised and compiled still later. Spernoza, Gromberg and De Wette assign the date of the book to the time of the Maccabees. Ewald says this and the book of Ezra were originally but one, and by one author; the mode of expression in both being the same. Some others say the source of these books is unknown, but the discrepancies and contradictions show them to be of a composite nature.


          Ezra, The Books of.—Of these books, one is said to be apocryphal. The books were not written contemporaneously with the events narrated therein, as the writer was familiar with Esther and Daniel. Treating them as one production. Some say it was written in Egypt; others say the book is the work of more than one man; that the legends of Zerubbabel were copied into the first book from other writings. The expression, "She is the strength, kingdom and power forever," being borrowed, went into the Lord's Prayer, where it reads, "Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever." St. Jerome tells his people that this book of Ezra is a dream of the third century. According to some of the critics, the book of Ezra is the only book in the Old Testament which was not written by Ezra, for they claim that he wrote all the other Old Testament books, i.e., he blocked out in a crude form all of the original writings, which, thereafter, constituted the foundation on which the Old Testament was finally built. But we must understand that the several books of the Old Testament, as we now have them, were the work of many centuries of sifting, remodeling, adding to, extracting from, and otherwise adapting them to the requirements of the times. This system of amendments was carried to such an extent, according to our best writers, as to leave little of the original matter intact.' [13].



          "Job.—Some call this book historical, others that it is an imaginary narrative, intended to teach a moral lesson representing patience; that the book follows so closely the eastern style, that there is little doubt that it was copied from some Arabian author. The Talmud maintains that it is fiction, intended to teach some moral lesson...." [14].


          "Psalms.—While it is claimed that this work is by David, Jerome, holding the opinion followed by modern critics, says the titles and contents of Psalms most clearly show that they were composed at different and remote periods by several poets. As some of these psalms contain Caldaisms [sic], it is said they are of late date, after the captivity, i.e., after 586 B.C.E., some 300 years after the death of David. As dead men are not usually psalmists, this would seem to let David out. Eleven of these psalms have been ascribed to the sons of Korah, not that these man wrote them, but because the authorship was unknown. Ten of them are ascribed to Moses, by the Talmudist. Myths, like dead men, are not psalmists, so Moses must be released. Many critics contend that most of these songs belong to the Maccabaen period. (See De Wette, Longert, Olshausen, et al.)


          Proverbs, Thirty-one Chapters.—This book bears evidence, say the writers, of having been taken from earlier writings. The text, now in use, differs essentially from the ancient versions. Ewald says, the germs of Proverbs were taken from popular sayings, and fashioned by later hands to meet more advanced thought; that the


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Proverbs ascribed to Solomon are of a composite character, which is shown in the diversity of their style, and the original has been much modified in successive redactions. Those who claim for the book, say if Solomon was not the author, some later writer followed his style. Some of the chapters were compiled, at least, four centuries after Solomon's time. Ewald assigns a much later date for them. Davidson and Bertholdt say the general tone is not that of a King, but of a priest. As to the three-fold supplement, nothing is known as to its time. Hitzeg, Bunsen and Bertheau say it came from Arabia.


          Ecclesiastics.—The fourth of the poetical books attributed to Solomon. The Hebrew name of this book is Koheleth, the name of an office, personified and ascribed to Solomon. But the Talmudic writers say Hezekiah or Isaiah wrote it. Jahn, Ewald, De Wette and among orthodox writers, Unbreit, Gerlach, Stuart, Keil, deny that Solomon was the author; they say it is full of Babylonian expressions, which could only have been used during or after the captivity." [14-15].


[Isaiah.—] "Isaiah, while he probably wrote some of these poems, had been dead some 200 years, when these prophecies were put into the book ascribed to him, according to the statements of numerous critics. The general rule of ascribing to the books the names of popular men, long after their deaths, applies not alone to the Old Testament books, but to the New Testament books as well. The genuineness of almost every part of this book of Isaiah has been attacked by Doderlein, Eichhorn, Justi, Paulus, Rosenmuler, Baur, Bertholdt, De Wette, Gusenius [Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm Gesenius 1786 - 1842], Hitzig, Ewald, Umbreit, et al. The friends of the book tell us that all the critics have left of Isaiah is chs. 17, 20, 28, 31 and 33; all else is spurious." [16].



"Conclusion as to the Old Testament Books.


          From the foregoing we learn that not one of the Old Testament books was written by the party whose name is ascribed thereto as author, unless Malachi and Haggai be an exception. Nor is the time when, or place where written known. Chronology was little known and less observed among the Hebrews, for all their early sacred, and even other writings, contained neither the name of the writer, time when, nor place where written. The nonauthenticity of these books having been clearly shown, what is the result? Any book, paper or other document not written in whole by the purported author, is a forgery. (See Bouvier's Law Dictionary; also Webster, Worcester, et al.) The poems ascribed by Chatterton to Rowley; he not writing them; were held to be forgeries (Worcester). The Old Testament books come within this definition.


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Ezra the Source of the Old Testament Books.


          A careful review of the foregoing authorities, while not conclusive, seems to warrant the belief that Ezra, during the Babylonian captivity, wrote, in a crude form the Pentateuch, the five books ascribed to Moses. These were the books, or writings, which he read to his people on his return from Babylon, 444 C.E. Following this event, Ezra, say the critics, was lost sight of for thirteen years; during which time, it is believed by several of the writers, that he, in a crude form, wrote all, or the most of the Old Testament. After this, as all the critics maintain, these writings went through the hands of numerous editors, redactors and compilers, who cut out, added to, altered, amended, sifted out and put in order the material out of which, at later dates, the Hebrew Bible was made and cut up into books, chapters and verses. In these numerous revisions each editor or redactor wove into the original his traditions, notions and ideas. This state of things continued down to our era, and so radical were the mutations that only a skeleton of the original was left. The ascriptions to the several books could not have been made until the writings were divided into books. These books, as we have learned, were so often merged, and separated, i.e., added to and taken from, that if names were attached to the books as first divided, on such theory new names had to be added or subtracted from the authorship to fit each change. When these so-called authors of the several books had their names ascribed to them, and by whom, is unknown, except as to the Pentateuch, where, it is more than probable, that Ezra at the time of writing it, affixed the name of Moses thereto. But to the discredit of Ezra, we now know Moses was a myth. (See Dissolving Views in the History of Judaism, by Rabbi Solomon Schindler, of Boston; also my article on the Origin of the Hebrews in the August number (1899) of the Free Thought Magazine.) Since the days of most of these critics, we have had the cuniform [now, cuneiform] writings of Chaldeo-Babylonia, from which most of the stories told in the so-called five books of Moses were taken in whole or part. The creation and flood stories belong to this category; also the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments, which are but an abbreviation of the old Babylonian system of laws. (See Prof. Derlitzsch's recent lecture before the German Emperor; also George Smith's "Assyrian Discoveries and His Chaldean Genesis," and numerous other writers.)


          Having concluded the examination of the criticisms and other writings bearing on the authorship, times when and places where the Old Testament books were written, I now proceed to an examination of the authorities touching the authorship, times when and places where the New Testament books and other New Testament writings were made.


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New Testament Writings.


          As preliminary to the exploration of the New Testament writings, a few explanatory words will be first in order. The four Gospels first appear on the list. As so much has been said by Christians about these gospels having been written in the first century, and by writers about their appearance early in the second century, we should know something about what gospels these Christians and other writers refer to. With the early Christians, every piece of good tidings, whether oral or in writing, concerning the new religion, was called a gospel. Whether any of these, oral or written glad tiding-gospels, were in circulation during the first century we do not know, for not a single piece of writing of any kind, of the first century, concerning the Christian sect, has come down to our time. I say this most emphatically, notwithstanding the numerous assertions to the contrary. Such assertions are mainly due to ignorance on the subject; but not a few of them are wilful attempts to pervert the truth, made generally by clergymen whose pecuniary interests dominate their integrity. So we have no writings of the first century touching the new religion. That there were numerous oral and written glad tidings—gospels of the second century—we have ample proof. In fact, the Roman world was flooded with them; everywhere the Christians were listening to stories concerning the new sect, and reporting to the priesthood what they heard said about it. These stories, most of them oral, were reduced to writing by different priests, and called by them gospels. It was the gospels which were used and quoted by some of the early church Fathers, whose sayings have come down to us, which are being used by designing men, as proof of the existence of our four gospels as early a the last half of the first and the first half of the second century. Even the gospels which the church Fathers refer to as of the last half of the second century were not our present ones. Before these, the Eastern church, the African church and the Western church, each had a collection of these glad tiding gospels. Some spurious, some genuine, all mixed in one confused mass. These three collections, we know, from the best evidence before us, did not agree, nor could an argument have been expected under such circumstances. These were the gospels which the early Fathers and later writers, and some of the critics, refer to. The gospels, as we now have them, were not put into their present condition until consolidated by the second council of Nice, which convened 325 and finally adjourned 381 C.E. This was the famous council presided over by the Emperor Constantine, who, with Eusebius, were the only men in that body of any ability; all others, say even Christian writers, were ignoramuses. It was this council which fixed the status of Christ and settled the writings of the New Testament; but notwithstanding this, numerous changes were made in these writings down to the fifteenth century. I have deemed this much necessary in order to lay a foundation for a better understanding of what the critics have to say as to the time of our four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The generally accepted belief, created by the clergy, is that these gospels were written by their purported authors, and written in the first century.


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          Matthew.—Signifying gift of Gehovah, whose real name, says Eusebius, was Judas, often identified with Levi (see Michaelis, De Wette, Sieffert, Ewald, et al), who maintain that the name, Matthew, was substituted by a Greek editor for Levi. Strauss, followed by many others, calls the gospel of Matthew an unapostolic composition, originating, probably, at the end of the first century. Some consider it the work of an Aramaen Matthew. Many others assert that it was made at a later time. The gospel in no way designates the date of its composition, not could it, for its composition was of slow growth from oral tradition and earlier writings. Schleiermacher (Stud U Krit) says this gospel was made up of a collection of discourses for a basis, to which modifications and interpolations were made resulting in the present gospel. This view has been accepted and maintained by Lachmann, Meyer, De Wette, Credner, Wiesler, Cruisius, Ewald, Renan, et al. Disputed by a few only. This gospel [Matthew], as we now have it, says Ewald, is an Aramaic collection of sayings of the narrative of Mark. During the second century numerous gospels, of every conceivable kind, were afloat. Prof. Norton, following Schleiermacher, Stevens and Paulus, says, at least, the two first chapters are spurious. The church fathers never heard of this gospel, even in a crude form, until the end of the second century (Clement, 189; Tertullian, born 160; Origen, born 185).


          Mark.—John was his Jewish name. Mark was adopted later. Papias, Irenaeus, Tertullian and Jerome say Mark was an interpreter of Peter, to translate the Aramaic into Greek; while Lange, Meyer, et al. assert that Mark wrote a gospel of his own from what he remembered of Peter's preaching. Schleiermacher et al. call this gospel spurious. some of the critics say Mark is an abbreviation of Matthew and Luke, while Weisse, Wilke, Ewald, Hitzig et al. assert that Mark is the oldest, and that the other two were taken from him. All of the critics agree that the four gospels rest on oral tradition and a few scraps of writing. Molinus says various New Testament books have been attributed to Mark. The weight of authorities put Mark at the end of he second century, if not later. Tradition gives two distinct accounts of the origin of Mark's gospel, one by Augustine, that Mark followed and abridged Matthew; the other by Jerome, that Mark wrote at the dictation of Peter. Baur and his school maintain that the third gospel is a conciliatory combine of Matthew and Mark, in which Ebionism and Paulinism were left out. Tradition ascribes the time of Mark, in a crude form, to a period after 70 C.E., and that ch. 16:9–20 were added at a later date. Rues says original Mark consisted of only 1:21, 6:48, 7:27, and 8:37; that all else has been added and the original changed throughout.


          Luke.—Nothing known of him, except from the Acts of the Apostles and from Paul. As both of these have been found to be spurious, Luke is left out in the cold. Some time in the second century Luke, for the first time, appears in the Muratorian canon as the author of this gospel, i.e., a rough draft of the gospel. Since then tradition names him as the author, not only of this book, but of the Acts of the Apostles. As to the time and place of his birth and death all is silence. Semler, Hilgenfeld, Ritschl, Baur and Schleiermacher, dispute the authenticity of Luke's gospel as we now have it. They say the three first gospels were not ascribed to their pretended authors until the end of the second century; that they have since then been revised and greatly enlarged. This agrees with what I said at the commencement, that they were simply floating gospels, in a crude form, nameless and dateless. They


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had no paternity, no time, no definite source; wayward bastards, made up from oral tradition, and scraps of writings, all from unknown times and of unknown authorship. They floated, as orphans, over the Roman world until maturity, when they were ascribed to their present nominal authors, which, I here assert, was not until some time during the session of the second Council of Nice, which convened 325 C.E.; while some critics, all differing, fix dates from the end of the second century on, I insist that the evidence does not give these four gospels authors until so given by this Nicene Council. The four gospels, as we now have them, except some amendments, were the result of a compromise between the Eastern, the African and the Western churches at this council. Before then, each of the three divisions had its own gospels and knew none others (see numerous authorities). It was at this council that the three churches, each with its own gospel, and other smaller churches with their gospels, agreed to, and did, by a majority vote, settle on what writings should go into the canon as our present four gospels. Until then how could they have been ascribed to any one? It was this council which made our New Testament, and made it by a majority vote, and this was the council which, the writers tell us, was, with the exception of Constantine and Eusebius, made up a lot of ignorant bishops, with little capacity to do anything, and this is the council which was almost constantly involved in quarrels, which at times reached such a stage of violence that the emperor was compelled to force adjournment. In short, the whole of Christianity was created in this council, less some subsequent amendments. Tertullion [Tertullian], Irenaeus, Origen, Eusebius, Jerome, et al., charged that Paul was the author of all the original gospel manuscripts. Baur says Luke was revised, altered and generally amended, by a later editor, to harmonize the Jewish and Pauline factions.


          John.—Nothing whatever is claimed to be known of John except what appears in the New Testament. Strauss, Weisse, Baur, Higenfeld, Halle, Zeller, Kostlin and a host of others dispute the authenticity of John. Even its stanchest friends among the critics admit numerous interpolations and additions, calling most of the book legendary...." [20-25].



          "Acts of the Apostles.—The title of this book would indicate that the apostles wrote it. The Acts, originally, were extremely numerous; many of them have been lost; many others have come down to us in fragmentary forms; the most of these fragments were held to be apocryphal; a few of these found their way into the canon. These now constitute our book of Acts. These canonical Acts have been questioned, doubted and pronounced spurious. The church fathers being unable to learn anything as to the twelve so-called apostles, selected twelve names and fixed the times of their several births to correspond with the time of the twelve signs of the Zodiac. These astronomical signs left no writings, so early tradition named Luke as the author of the Acts. Baur says the Acts was written, not as history, but for the purpose of healing the quarrels between the Petrine and Jewish Christians. The writer in Encyclo. Brit. says the Acts is found in two manuscripts of the fourth century. The Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus in one monuscript [manuscript] of the fifth century. The Codex Alexandrinus in two manuscripts of the sixth century. The Codex Bezor and Landionus belong to the ninth century. These manuscripts differ widely. The Codex Bezor is full of interpolations. It was from these dissimilar manuscripts, largely from


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the Codex Bezor, all from oral tradition, that the Acts was made. Scrivner, after full research, concludes that the Codex Bezor was taken from an original of the third century. If the original did not exist until the third century, our Acts must have been still later. The church fathers generally attributed the authorship to Luke, and it is said this has generally been accepted. This would put Luke no earlier than the third century. Some of the critics say the Acts is the work of more than one writer. The Tubingen school, relying on the internal evidence, fix the date of the rough draft of the Acts in the second century. Prof. Baur, as I have before said, says the book of Acts is spurious." [27-28].



          "Paul.—It is claimed by churchmen that Paul was born 1 C.E.; that his labors run over a period from 36 to 66. This is a strong position to assume in the face of evidence which calls the man's very existence in question. The more intelligent of the clergy know full well, notwithstanding their statements to the contrary, that no writings of the first century, concerning Christianity, have come down to our time, unless they can fix Paul and his alleged epistles to have been of the first century. The only evidence we have of the existence of this man [Paul], is contained in the Acts of the Apostles and in the fourteen epistles ascribed to Paul himself. As the Acts have been proven to have been written some time during the second, third or fourth century, how could Paul, if of the first century, be known to the writer of the Acts of the second, third or fourth century? If Paul was a real being he must have lived some time during the second or third century, which would discredit his alleged exploits of the first century. This is not all, for the Acts have been found to be spurious, thus leaving Paul to rest on himself. Paul is called up to prove the genuineness of the epistles ascribed to him, and his epistles are invoked to prove the existence of the man Paul. This kind of proof won't do; it has never been allowed of any one. NO PROOF, NO PAUL. More of this anon ["soon", etc.]. Now as to the epistles of Paul, fourteen in all. The Tubingen school long ago pronounced ten of the fourteen epistles of Paul to be spurious. Ferdinand C. Baur, its president, admitted but four of these epistles to be genuine, Galatians, I and II. Corinthians, and Romans, nor did he feel sure of these; the others were rejected on internal evidence. Since Baur's time there has arisen a new school of critics, who while following Baur to a certain extent, adopted a new system of their own. These more modern critics declare the whole fourteen epistles of Paul to be spurious (see Universal Cyclo. 9:171. Also Davidson's Introduction to the N.T., I. Edn., 1848). At the head of this school of critics stands Rudolf Steck, a Swiss professor, who maintains that the spirit of all these epistles belongs to the post apostolic age. The standard treatise of this modern criticism is, "Der Galater brief nach Seiner Echtheit intersucht" (The examinations of the Galater letter as to its genuineness, Berlin, 1888). The writer in Universal Cyclo., George B. Stevens, says the opinions of Steck are shared more or less by Dutch theologians, as Loman, Von Monen [van Manen], Von Loon and Volter, who have written extensive treatises on this matter." [28-29].



          "Peter.—Simon, or Simon Peter, or Symeon, or Cephas, or Kepha, are different names applied to the founder of the dynasty of the long line of popes. Matthew, Mark and Luke differ as to his nativity, and the accounts of his discipleship are no


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more certain. Peter, Paul and Simon Magus are so inextricably mixed up that some of

the critics believe them to be legendary characters. Tradition traces Peter and Paul to Antioch, where a quarrel takes place between them; no more is heard of Peter for over a hundred years, when Clement barely alludes to a Peter, claimed to be the Apostle. The Jewish and Gentile factions of the second century constructed a romantic legend making Peter a hero, and Paul, as Simon Magus, a false prophet (Cyclo Brit.). Epistles of Peter. As to the first epistle, Cludius and Eichhorn say if Peter is the author, Mark is the actual writer. De Wette thinks the author a follower of Paul. Schwegler says this epistle belongs to a later period. The genuineness of the second epistle has long been disputed, it is said to closely resemble Jude, and that both were borrowed from Zendavesta (see Herder and Hasse). Bertholdt says the second chapter is spurious. Ullman says both the second and third chapters are post apostolic and spurious. Lange says the second chapter and the two last verses of the first chapter, and the first ten verses of the third chapter are spurious. Renan says nearly all is spurious. Mayerhoff says the second epistle was written by a Jewish Christian of Alexandria about the middle of the second century. Huther agrees on this date. Schwegler assigns it to the end of the second century, and says it was written to conciliate Paul and Peter, which would put both these men at the end of the second century. Eusebius tells us (in his time about 340 C.E.), the first epistle was reported genuine, and the second spurious. Hermas, the author of the Shepherd, and Papius and Polycarp (150 C.E.), were among the first to note the first epistle. Burr, Schwegley, Keim, Hilgenfeld, and a host of others, say the second epistle was written about 112 C.E., in the reign of Trajan, and taken from Pauline writings verse for verse to some extent. Origen says it was doubtful whether Peter was the author of it. The genuineness of both epistles has been denied by Holtzman et al. The writer in Encyclo. Brit. says the evidence in favor of the second gospel is singularly weak, and there are no traces of it earlier than the third century. Eusebius and Jerome place it among the disputed books, and this is now, says a late writer, the generally accepted opinion. If the gospel of Peter is spurious, as generally conceded, what becomes of Peter? Spurious, too." [29-30].



'Conclusion.


          If the reader has carefully perused this article and weighed its numerous authorities, he will, in all probability, have learned that of the Old Testament books, there are but two which have been saved from the wreck of ascribed time and authorship; nor does the matter stop here, for not one of the New Testament books, epistles or letters have been able to stand the test of criticism which has so copiously been showered on them. Not one of them has come down from the so-called apostolic age; not a scrap of writing of that time concerning the Christians has reached our time; nor can the reader name a single true author of any one of these books, epistles or letters; not one of all these writings, as we now have them antedates the fourth century, common era; all rest on oral tradition and earlier writings, the authors of which are unknown; their growth, like the books of the Old Testament, was slow; first, the buds, then a long season before the mature fruit. The earliest traces we have of any of these New Testament writings do not go back of the last half of the second century, when they existed only in a crude form, thereafter


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sifted, altered, amended and otherwise revised from time to time until the fourth century, when the second Council of Nice put them in order, gave them their present authors, fixed its stamp on the several books, epistles and letters. In short, the entire New Testament is the child of that council, in which but two men, Constantine and Eusebius, possessed any ability. (See the statements of Sabinus, Bishop of Heraclea.)

Let us call up Carlyle [Thomas Carlyle 1795 - 1881] and listen to his monition ["cautionary advice", etc.]:


"Without lamp or authentic fingerpost, is the course of pious genius toward the eternal kingdom grown. No fixed highway more; the old spiritual highway and recognized paths to the eternal, now all torn up and flung in heaps, submerged in unutterable boiling mud. Oceans of hypocrisy and unbelievability; speedy end to superstition, a gentle one if you can contrive it, but an end. What can it profit any mortal to adopt locutions [sayings, etc.] and imaginations which do not correspond to fact, which no sane mortal can deliberately adopt as true; and which the most orthodox of mortals can, after closing his mind to reason, persuade himself to guess that he believes."' [31-32] [End of booklet].


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