The Truth Behind Religion Ep. 1: Saul of Tarsus: The Man Who Made Jesus a God

“…through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory,”
–Paul the apostle, Romans 3:7

The long-time legend, passed down from generation to generation, which states Jesus Christ was tortured, killed, and then rose from the dead three days later is a fact—with no ifs, ands, or buts about it—to those raised since birth to believe it. To those who weren’t indoctrinated as children to believe such a physics defying story it’s thought, justifiably, to be a work of pure fiction. In truth, there is absolutely no reason to believe such an occasion as the resurrection did, or could have happened; or any other purported “miracle” within the pages of the Bible with no evidence behind them to be considered a solid claim—historically or scientifically. While they did feel he was a prophet when he lived, these Godly beliefs were by no means the beliefs of the men who really carried on Jesus’ ministry after he died; they were the lies of a hijacker by the made up name of Saul of Tarsus; also known as St. Paul the Apostle. He is an extremely important character in the grand scheme of Christianity. So who was he? Well, according to Biblepath.com:

“Saul (later to be known as the apostle Paul)… from the Jewish tribe of Benjamin… a Pharisee… a great persecution broke out against the Christian Church… Saul… dragged off Christian men and women and put them in prison… About noon, as he came near to Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around him… Jesus instructed Saul to get up and go into Damascus… Saul was to become known as the apostle to the Gentiles… Saul’s great abilities and earnest enthusiasm in spreading the gospel of Christ have made his name revered wherever the Christian religion is known.  It is his writings which make up much of the New Testament of the Bible… Most of his missionary efforts were in what is modern day Greece and Turkey; and the surrounding areas… When Paul returned to Rome… By order of the Emperor Nero, [he] was beheaded with a sword.”

As we can see, Paul was heavily instrumental in spreading the word of “the Lord” in the earliest of days of the “followers of the way,” as the carrying on ministry behind Jesus was called back then—Christian was actually a derogatory name to begin with. Questions galore pop in the mind of the non-Christian regarding Biblepath.com’s explanation of Paul, which is just a basic retelling of the Bible’s glorification of the guy. Non-Christians generally know one character: Jesus. But according to Biblepath.com, Paul is one of the most important people in the New Testament!

How does this unknown man get credit for writing most of the New Testament? Well, the most important aspect to note of Paul’s part in the Bible is his entrance; this should be scrutinized relentlessly, not blindly accepted. By the Bibles own admission he wasn’t one of Jesus’ disciples; he never met Jesus in his life; he only claimed to have met Jesus after his death. Not only that, but the explanation of Paul’s introduction to the Lord—literally in heaven—is told three different ways within the same writing at one point in the Bible; an easy way to spot a liar; and I’m positive any professional interrogator would agree.

As the story goes, years after Jesus was crucified, Paul was on his way to Damascus under strict orders to kill Christ’s remaining ministry members—when suddenly Jesus started to talk to him from the sky:

“And it came about… as he journeyed… suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him… he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ And he said, ‘Who art Thou, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but rise and enter the city and it will be told to you what you must do.’ And the men who travelled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.” –Acts 9:3-7.

Next, in the same book, a few chapters later, the story changes:

“And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul… And I answered, ‘who art Thou, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’ And those that were with me beheld the light, but to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me.’” –Acts 22:7-9.

As we can clearly see, just before (in Acts 9:3), the Bible tells us Paul and the men he was with all heard the voice, but the two others with him didn’t see anything out of the ordinary; then, right after in Acts 22:7, the men with Paul see the light, but don’t hear the voice. The two accounts completely contradict each other—within the same book! Next is the third rendition: the Book of Acts 26:13, 14.

“…at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me. And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’”

In this last excerpt, the style of penmanship has changed altogether; the language is different; the story is different. Now all three men fall to the ground—they were standing and Paul fell in the other two versions. Once again only Paul hears the voice; and “in a Hebrew dialect”? Would a Hebrew man of the Tribe of Benjamin even have to clarify? Of course he wouldn’t. Regardless of all that, we can now clearly see the telling of the same story has changed dramatically three times in one book—inconsistent; unbelievable; not a shred of evidence to support it.

To add a little logic to this fantastical situation, if Jesus—”the Almighty God,” as they say—has the power to just appear in the clouds to communicate with people, which is a ridiculous idea to begin with, why only do it only once in history to a man he never knew? If he really cared about the state of the world, why not intervene during World War II when his people—remember Jesus was Jewish, not Christian—were being hideously tortured in cruel and unusual ways, tested on like animals, gassed, starved, burned, and slaughtered by the millions? Where was Jesus on September 10th, 2001? There are disgusting wars being waged in the Middle East and Africa with devastating human and earthly consequences; where is he now?

Also, if a plane was flying overhead, people on the ground would be able to see it for miles; one man can’t see something in the sky that no others witness, especially given that Paul describes the light he encountered as being bright enough to blind him, but nowhere else in history do we hear of a blinding light over Damascus; and a light that bright would irradiate the whole southern hemisphere!

To understand how important Paul is to the religion known as Christianity today, one must first understand the chronology of the New Testament’s authorship. The New Testament is designed to make its reader think the four gospels—Mark, Luke, John, and Matthew—which tell the story of Christ’s life (different every time), were written long before the books that follow them—Acts to Revelation—but that’s simply not the case. The first book written in the New Testament is widely agreed upon by experts to be Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians—written in c. 50 AD—which sits near the back of the Bible in page order, seemingly as a letter written in support of the gospels, but it’s actually the reverse. The first to be written of the four introductory gospels was the Book of Mark, nearly twenty years after Thessalonians; well after Paul had left his heavy influence on the faith he was the most instrumental in creating.

His impact involved turning Jesus into a God among men; the idea of the trinity; the worship of the instrument used to torture Jesus to death; bringing the story of Christ to non-Jews; and spreading the Christian cult throughout the Roman Empire. In actuality, the leadership of Jesus’ ministry continued on under James, his brother, the actual first bishop of the Church of Jerusalem—a Judaic-Christian Church which adhered strictly to the Law of Moses, and who did not consider Jesus a god. Paul had no right from them at all to spread his version of Christianity. For evidence of this, we’ll look at Galatians 1:1 where Paul writes:

“Paul, an apostle (not sent from men, nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father).”

What this says, in modern terms, is Paul is an apostle appointed by Jesus, not his continuing ministry in Jerusalem; he’s appointed himself in his rank as an apostle without the consent of those he needed it from. Also, notice how Paul separates Jesus and God in the verse above, as if they are two different people; he’s the one responsible for that whole ludicrous, unexplainable theory. You see, Paul was a Hellenist—a Greek influenced culture of Judaism—and therefore a dualist—to halves to the whole. As religious researcher Ally Shabir recently stated in a debate on Paul the Apostle’s influence on the Christian faith:

“[Paul] confused Deuteronomy 6:4… ‘Your Lord God is one,’ and made it ‘there’s a Lord and a God.’”

This is interesting because the Orthodox Church would end up bending this view in their favour later on.

A bit further up, Paul once again reasserts his position over the actual disciples of Jesus to the Galatians (1:11):

“For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.”

It’s abundantly clear from this last comment the intent of Paul’s agenda. He’s saying outright, It doesn’t matter what the Church of Jerusalem says about Jesus, I have nothing to do with them. What I’m saying is true because Jesus told me himself—even though he was long dead. This is further illustrated a few verses up when Paul tells of what he did after his revelation from the sky:

“…that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.” –Galatians 1:16, 17.

So Jesus appears to Paul, and instead of going to Jerusalem to join the brethren and tell them the good news, he goes to Arabia and back to Damascus to preach? Preach what? By what authority is he really doing this? The answer is: Nobodies. He’s telling us right there how he hijacked the legend of Jesus and began to spread his own word all over the place, bending the story to fit his every whim by claiming authority from a sky-god. Here is what Jesus is quoted to have said to his disciples about spreading his word to non-Jews:

“Do not go in the ways of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans.” –Matthew 1:5.

Jesus, as history shows and as we will prove later in this series, was a revolutionary ordering his troops to go through Jerusalem and gather support for his cause—to get rid of the gentiles from Rome illegally occupying Israel and taxing his people. He states, according to the Bible, to stay away from the gentiles because he’s trying to reclaim a Hebrew run holy land—gentiles literally meaning “non-Hebrew”; the enemy. There’s no way he’s telling his disciples, “I got this place called heaven, but only tell Jewish people.” That’s just silly. As we will learn, Jesus was a Hebrew holyman recruiting Jewish Israelites, not anyone he could; that was Paul’s idea. To further this point, here’s how Paul speaks of his apparent first meeting with the disciples:

“But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.” -Galatians 2:6.

“Those of high reputation,” would be the Jesus’s actual disciples and continuing radical ministry. It’s clear what Paul’s feelings of them were based on the above quotation. He saw them as nobody to be his teacher. He, in fact, is the one who teaches them of his revelation, or at least that’s how he tells it.

In the next chapter of Galatians Paul publically rebukes Peter; Jesus’ supposed favorite disciple. We have many records within the Bible of Paul claiming his authority over the people who personally knew Jesus—Galatians 2:11, 1 Corinthians 11:23, 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 are a few more examples if you care to look them up.

A look at the Book of Acts tells us after Jesus’s death, his twelve disciples continued to attend the Synagogue; recognize Judaic prayer times; and preached the word of Yahweh—they remained devout Jews. In the Bible, the Letter of James (Jesus’ real brother and predecessor) has the Jerusalem Church attendee’s “atoning for their sins”—proof they didn’t believe Jesus had died to forgive them. The Letter of James, which is thought to actually have been written by one of James’ followers from the Church of Jerusalem, certainly not James, has him preaching the word of Yahweh throughout it. They were Jewish, not Christian.

Paul, on the other hand, stakes his own claim as the man appointed by Jesus to spread the word to “the uncircumcised,” but this is a huge contradiction to the belief system of Jesus; he was a devout practicing Jewish man—a “rabbi” as they called him, which by Jewish law also means was married, but that’s a story for another day. See Genesis 17 to verify God, who is purportedly Jesus, commanding Abraham to keep all Hebrews circumcised “as a sign of the covenant between Him and His people”; a law Jesus wouldn’t dream of breaking! Matthew 5:17, 18 has Jesus saying:

“I did not come to abolish the Law… For I truly say to you… not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law…”

“The Law,” just to be perfectly clear, is Mosaic Law—the Holy Law of the Hebrew people.

To get an ID on who Paul the Apostle really was, an ancient Greek writing whose author identifies himself as Clement I, second bishop of Rome, who history shows held office from 92 AD–99 AD, holds a big clue. The document in question is known as the Clementine Homilies, a very rare, very hidden, detailed description of when and why Clement was made bishop by Simon Peter. In relation to Paul, at one point in the text a letter from Peter to James exists:

“Peter to James, the lord and bishop of the holy Church, under the Father of all, through Jesus Christ, wishes peace always.

Knowing, my brother, your eager desire… which is for the advantage of us all, I beg and beseech you not to communicate to any one of the Gentiles the books of my preachings which I sent to you, nor to any one of our own tribe before trial… for if it be not so done, our word of truth will be rent into many opinions. And this I know… already seeing the beginning of this very evil. For some from among the Gentiles have rejected my legal preaching, attaching themselves to certain lawless and trifling preaching of the man who is my enemy. And these things some have attempted while I am still alive, to transform my words by certain various interpretations, in order to the dissolution of the law.” –The Clementine Homilies, Christian Classics Ethereal Library.

Aside from Peter saying outright that the apostles recognized strict Jewish Law and meant to keep it that way, he also identifies, “a man who is my enemy”; a man preaching Peter’s words to the gentiles of Rome and twisting them horribly to fit his own agenda. Could this gentile be Paul?

For our next entry we’ll look at the Latin discovered version of this text: Clementine Recognitions. To set our scene up: Like his brother Jesus used to, James is in the Temple recruiting followers:

“And when matters were at that point that they should come and be baptized, some one of our enemies, entering the temple with a few men, began to cry out, and to say, ‘What mean ye, O men of Israel?.. Why are ye led headlong by most miserable men, who are deceived by Simon, a magician?’

While he was thus speaking… and while James the bishop was refuting him, he began to excite the people and to raise a tumult, so that the people might not be able to hear what was said.

Therefore he began to drive all into confusion with shouting… and at the same time to reproach the priests… to excite everyone to murder, saying, ‘What do ye? Why do ye hesitate? …why do we not lay hands upon them, and pull all these fellows to pieces?’

When he had said this, he first… set the example of smiting… Then ensued a tumult on either side, of the beating and the beaten. Much blood is shed… in the midst of which that enemy attacked James, and threw him headlong from the top of the steps; and supposing him to be dead, he cared not to inflict further violence upon him.

But our friends lifted him up… when the evening came… we returned to the house of James, and spent the night there… Then before daylight we went down to Jericho… 5000 men. Then after three days one of the brethren came… bringing to us secret tidings that that enemy had received a commission from Caiaphas, the chief priest, that he should arrest all who believed in Jesus, and should go to Damascus with his letters, and that there also, employing the help of the unbelievers, he should make havoc among the faithful; and that he was hastening to Damascus chiefly on this account, because he believed that Peter had fled thither.

And about thirty days thereafter he stopped on his way while passing through Jericho going to Damascus. At that time we were absent, having gone out to the sepulchres of two brethren which were whitened of themselves every year, by which miracle the fury of many against us was restrained, because they saw that our brethren were had in remembrance before God.” –The Recognitions of Clement.

It was somewhat of a lengthy excerpt, so we’ll dissect the crucial content held inside starting from the top. The scene enters with James in the Temple preaching the word to his fellow Israelites, apparently right on the verge of inducting initiates to the new Church of Jerusalem by means of baptism, when one of their enemies comes walking in with a couple thugs. Try as he may, James can’t get a word in edgewise, and these thugs begin to terrorize and him and his ministry—so bad that blood is spilling, eventually leading to James being hurled down a staircase by that very enemy. By staying still and playing dead, James avoids a further thrashing, and afterwards hides the night out at his house with a number of his ministry. With Jerusalem no longer safe, James flees early the next morning with his team of 5000 followers to Jericho. This is where this story explodes!

This unnamed “enemy” of the church receives a commission from the high-priest to go to Damascus and arrest all the followers of Christ’s ongoing ministry he can find—James’ ministry, who were called The Way. Having received word ahead of this happening, James and company flee in fear to a hidden spot they know of just outside of town; and right in time for this enemy of theirs to miss them when he stops in Jericho for a few days. Why is this enormous news? The Bible states Paul was commissioned by the high-priest to persecute Christians in Damascus:

“Now Saul [Paul], still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.” –Acts 9:1-3.

This puts our enemy from the Clementine documents who received word from the High-Priest to pursue and arrest followers of the Way, the very one who threw James down the stairs and followed him to Damascus, as the same man the Bible tells us was commissioned by the High-Priest to pursue followers of The Way to Damascus: Paul the Apostle!

In the New Testament, Paul is credited with the authorship of thirteen letters to various church’s and governments. These letters are the base of Christian faith as it exists today—the blind faith aspect of believing in Christ, the virgin birth, the resurrection, the miracles, and, of course, the heavily implied anti-Semitism which has been forced down the church’s follower’s throats for all of its history—all a product of Paul and his manipulations.

Paul’s letters are quite revealing of his agenda to shift the blame for the death of Jesus on the Jews, which is crazy because Jesus was Jewish—Paul’s constantly asserting his authority over the Hebrew Followers of the Way and implying they aren’t to be trusted: while outright saying the entire Jewish race is not to be trusted. We’ll dissect each of Paul’s writings in chronological order to gain further perspective of this.

First we have The First Letter to the Thessalonians, written c. 51 AD, which sits as Book number thirteen in the New Testament. During Paul’s ministry of preaching, the second city he visited in Europe was Thessalonica, a Grecian port city. As to be expected, the Roman authorities demanded Paul and his cronies leave town as word got out that he was trying to convert everyone he could find away from their faith, Jewish or Gentile. Obeying orders and leaving for Athens, Paul then sent back one of his minions by the name of Timothy to keep preaching and converting there. As a result a small church was set up. Thessalonians is a letter to keep that church obedient to Paul as an authority appointed by God; create malice against the Jewish race and the Church of Jerusalem; and to get them converting others in Greece. To get an idea of where Paul’s intent is at, we’ll go over a few quotations:

“…the Jews, who both killed our Lord Jesus and the prophets and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved… But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.” -1 Thessalonians 2:14-16.

Here, in Paul’s own words, we have an admission that the Jewish Church of Jerusalem (James’ church) was against his preachings to the Gentiles, and the satisfaction he gets from them being persecuted and martyred. This is also a perfect example of the hate propaganda against the Jewish race—the race he claims to be at times when it’s convenient—that Paul’s works are filled with. The next verse, relating to “those who have died,” is quite revealing:

“…we do not want you… to be uninformed… about those who are asleep… For we believe that Jesus died and rose again… By this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout… Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.” -1 Thessalonians 4:13-17.

This verse is quite telling of the promises Paul was making to his audiences while he was preaching. Quite clearly he is saying here that Jesus is due to return at any minute; definitely within his own lifetime—“we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord.” Taking this aspect of urgency into consideration, it makes it easier to understand how Paul and his cronies were converting people to their cult so successfully.

Most Christians today live their lives thinking Jesus will judge them after they die; thus, asking their acceptance of their Lord and saviour before death is a requirement, but not as much an urgent one. Paul was saying, “There’s no time to fool around! He’ll be here any minute and if you don’t convert now, you’ll be too late!” This method, which is used by many factions of Christianity today and always has been, is extremely effective. It’s comparable to 9/11 and the Iraq invasion. The fear inflicted in the United States because of the planes hitting the twin towers gave their government the urgency they needed to send their troops to invade a country that wasn’t even involved. Ten years later the American people as a majority feel it was the wrong move to attack Iraq, and are upset with the domino effect of invasions happening in the Middle East since; and though some won’t fully admit it out loud, they know they were taken advantage of in the wake of the panic—that’s the power of fear and urgency. This is precisely how Paul was so effective at attracting converts, his level of urgency.

It’s also interesting in the above quote to note Paul’s description of Jesus descending “from heaven with a shout,” to wake up all the dead Christians to fly up into the clouds to live with him. As we see none of these things spoken of the gospels, we can only assume Paul is making this bit up completely, most likely on the spot. To put it in perspective, if someone were to tell you today that heaven is in the clouds, you would call them crazy. Anyone who has taken a flight in an airplane knows it’s not. But, when you put yourself in the shoes of an ancient man in Macedonia two thousand years ago, the sky is as mysterious as God himself. The sky, in fact, is associated with the gods of most ancient cultures. Pyramids were built to emulate mountains because mountains were the gateways to the gods; who lived in the sky. To your average ancient man of the status quo, Paul’s story would seem more than believable.

Because of the message of urgency in Paul’s first letter, his Second Letter to the Thessalonians is his attempt at a take back. The Christians in Thessalonica had taken Paul’s words to mean the end of the world was at hand, which was clearly his message. But, because of this, the people of Thessalonica stopped going to work—which was spreading Paul’s word—and sitting around like doomsdayers staring at the sky for a glimpse of Jesus. Knowing this would lead to an eventual breakdown of his Macedonian arm, Paul invented the Anti-Christ and tried to pass him off as something the Macedonians should have known about all along—duh!—though he was never mentioned in the much longer first letter before. Either way, meet the Anti-Christ:

“…that you may not be shaken from your composure… to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come until the… man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship… he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as God. Do you not remember that while I was with you, I was telling you these things?”-2 Thessalonians 2:2-8.

With this “son of destruction” set to appear right before the apocalypse, people could get back to work. All that was left was to remind the Thessalonians who was boss:

“Now we command you… in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep aloof from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition that you received from us.” -2 Thessalonians 3:6.

“And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that man and do not associate with him, so that he may be put to shame.” -2 Thessalonians 3:14.

Next in line we come to the Letter to the Galatians, estimated to be written by Paul around 55 AD; either right before, or right after the Letter of James, making it fourth in order of chronology, though it sits tenth in order of New Testament Books. Located in Asia Minor, the Galatians were first haunted by Paul on his second missionary journey, this letter written to them during his third. As we have seen from examples in the beginning of this chapter, this is the letter where Paul claims his authority over the Jerusalem Church and the “Judeo-Christians”, and its founders, who, as we know, were Jesus’ actual ministry.

Here in Paul’s letter we see him strongly warning the Galatians against falling for the gospel of the Judaeo-Christians, whom, it clearly appears, came to the Galatians after Paul to correct his wild story of their fallen messiah, telling the Gentiles of Galatia they must be circumcised to be of the faith as the Law of Moses requires. Paul writes this letter in response:

“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel, which is really not another, only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ… I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.” –Galatians 1:6-9.

Get the picture?

The picture of Simon Peter, a devout Hebrew, travelling around to spread his version of Christ makes sense when one takes into account there was someone else is out there hijacking his sacred beliefs and exploiting them. As we have seen in the Clementine Homilies, Peter describes having problems explaining to the Gentiles the true story of Jesus because of the “certain lawless and trifling preaching of the man who is my enemy.” As we can now see in Galatians, Paul is adamant of convincing his followers he is the true authority for Jesus after death; all who try to prove otherwise are liars, especially those who knew him in real life. Here we will break down Galatians 1:11-2:6 in two parts.:

“For you have heard of my former manner of life… I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure… But when He… called me through His Grace… that I might preach among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles… but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus… three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him for about fifteen days. But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother…”

Right here we have a few vital things to note: Paul telling us that James is Jesus’s brother, which the Bible mentions repeatedly but for some reason many Christians have trouble believing; also, we see it took Paul three years from the time he starting preaching his gospel to the time he actually went to Jerusalem; and then, when he finally gets to Jerusalem he stays for only two weeks, talking to none of the fathers of the church except Cephas, which is another name for Peter. He reports seeing James, but gives no detail about talking to him at all. James, after all, was preaching to large crowds at that time just as Jesus had, so it’s likely Paul only saw him preaching, unless this is the exact time he threw him down the stairs as the Clement papers and the Bible corroborate happening. It is hard to believe though, for a few reasons, that Paul ever stayed with Peter; mainly because he contradicts that very statement in this next one we’ll see by saying “I was unknown to the church leaders in Judea,” after he leaves Jerusalem his first time. Let’s take a look:

“Then I went to the regions of Syria and Cicilia. And I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; but only they kept hearing, ‘He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy’… Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem… and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation… But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me…) well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.”

If Paul had stayed with Peter (Cephas) for two weeks, Peter and the rest of the church leaders would certainly have known who Paul was, especially since he had been preaching his own gospel for over three years by that time, as he before claimed. But now we have Paul, a few sentences later in the same letter, stating it took him another fourteen years after that to return to Jerusalem a second time to finally meet “those of high reputation”; before which time the Church of Jerusalem were well aware of someone going around and preaching their faith with no authority. Didn’t at least Peter know it was him? Didn’t he say he stayed with Peter three years into his ministry? If they were aware that Paul used to persecute their faith, how were they not aware of him also preaching it? By Paul’s own account they were both aware and unaware of him at the same time. Clearly he is lying again! The only way Paul would know the leaders of the church would be from his job of a Christian prosecutor. By telling the Galatians, who don’t know the real church in Judea, he personally knows the church, he can assert his authority over them:

“But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face… For… he used to eat meat with the Gentiles… I said to Cephas in the presence of all, ‘If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it you tell compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?.. May it never be! For through the Law I died to the Law… I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.’” –Galatians 2:11-20.

Whether or not this situation really happened, the moral of the story is clear. Paul is claiming to have publicly rebuked Peter in front of a crowd at the Church of Antioch. He proclaims his power over him and even goes so far as to claim he was crucified with Jesus! Even though he means it metaphorically, for someone to say that to Peter—someone who was at the crucifixion—would be a bold move indeed! Of course Paul gives no account of a reply from Peter in his letter and leaves the story on a high note; the story having been told for no other reason other than the message behind it—Paul’s in charge.

Furthermore Paul then scolds the Galatians for daring to believe the Jewish-Christians commandments to obey Mosaic Law, telling them they no longer have to live by the Law because Jesus came to abolish it; now they have to live by “faith”, also known as believing in something that has no evidence to back it up, and only the faith he preaches:

“You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you..? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?.. Even Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Therefore, be sure that it is those of faith who are sons of Abraham.” –Galatians 3:1-7.

This is actually a clever manipulation of words directed towards completely baseless mind control.

Translation: “You idiots, who’s been talking to you and telling you Jesus was a Jew who followed the Law of Moses? All I wanna know is: did you start believing in Jesus because of the Law of Moses, or because I told you to have faith? When God asked Abraham to slaughter his son Isaac he went to do it, no questions asked, and God respected him for it. Therefore, if you believe exactly what I tell you about Jesus, God will love you as much as He loves Abraham.”

Unfortunately for Paul and anyone who believes this logic, Abraham almost killing his son because God told him to was not a noble thing to do; it was a stupid thing to do, and in all probability it never even happened. Once again, like in all his letters, Paul is forcing his followers to completely take his word for it when it comes to Jesus and no one else’s; and he’s forcing them to do it for no other reason than faith.

Some scholars, such as Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, believe Paul wasn’t even a Jewish man as the Bible tends to say, but instead an imposter; an agent of the Romans—and I agree. In his letter sent the Galatians, who were gentiles, it is interesting to note what Paul pens here:

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Lawin order that… the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we may receive the promise of the spirit through faith.” –Galatians 3:13, 14.

When it is convenient Paul refers to himself as a Jew, but every now and then he slips up. Here he is undoubtedly noting himself as a Gentile.

In 57 AD, just west of Athens sat the port city of Corinth. Known for drinking, taverns, and wild parties, it consisted of a Greek, Roman, and Oriental population, held a 20,000 person outdoor theatre, and the Temple of Aphrodite. Paul visited Corinth on his second missionary around 50 AD and was thrown out of the Synagogue for preaching against the Law—typical—at which point he moved next door to the House of Titius Justus to preach to the gentiles. After receiving a letter from the church in Corinth seven years later in regards to problems that were occurring among their congregation, the First Letter to the Corinthians is Paul’s response back, quite a long one, to install his doctrine.

Like all of the church’s Paul had set up, the Corinthian’s were divided amongst themselves on the meanings of many aspects regarding Christianity—such as the rules for worship, marriage, food, and the resurrection. In his explanations for these, Paul does his best to convince his followers in Corinth—as he did his best to convince all he spoke to—that thinking things out rationally for yourself was a bad thing; and completely surrendering yourself to blind faith in Jesus was a good thing. Greece, as history loudly tells us, was the capital of scientific thinking in ancient times and its people the founders of rationality, and so Paul tells his readers how thinking is the work of the Devil; his gospel of Jesus should not be scrutinized for rationality, but accepted as the truth because of his authority through Christ. He was a silver tongued recruiter:

“For indeed Jews ask for signs, and Greeks search for wisdom… but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.” -1 Corinthians 1:22, 1:27.

“And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration with the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.” -1 Corinthians 2:4, 5.

Remember, the “power of God” is what Paul believes he, himself, is. Preaching this illogical myth to the analytical Greeks would have been a hard task for Paul; it’s no wonder why both Corinthians letters are so long. Paul’s irrational, apocalyptic story was too confusing for them. To negate all the arguments which a man who looked to nature to prove his beliefs could ever present, Paul first coined the excuse which every Christian on earth still uses today to explain people who see the obvious holes in their religion:

“But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to Him, and He cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” -1 Corinthians 2:14.

Before putting this in modern terms, I’ll point out that the Greek word used for “natural man” also translates to “worldly-minded”. With that being said, here is what Paul just said in today’s English: “The reason why people with knowledge of how the world works don’t believe in Jesus is because God thinks they’re fools. They’re so smart they can’t understand Him? How about He’s so smart, He can’t understand them!” Very mature Paul. He simplifies this statement with a misquote from the Old Testament:

“For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” -1 Corinthians 2:16.

Translation: “Don’t try to find out how the world works, that’s for God to know. All you need to know is what Jesus wants you to know.” Luckily for Paul, he was the one telling people what Jesus wanted them to know.

The saddest part is this is still the logic of people today. Imagine if all of us had just sat around not asking questions about the world and waited for Jesus to come back as Paul had wished. Say goodbye to every piece of technology in your house since the year 57 AD.

In short, Paul is the inventor of the most ignorant and detrimental aspect ever known to Christianity: faith over knowledge; and 1 Corinthians is a perfect example.

To Paul’s chagrin though, his letter wasn’t heeded by the Greek Corinthians—so he sent one of his recruiters, Titus, to head to Corinth and straighten things out. After meeting Titus in Macedonia weeks later, Paul heard the news that the Corinthians had gotten things together; the Second Letter to the Corinthians, also written c. 57 AD, is his response to them after receiving the good news. Unfortunately for the Corinthians, Paul also uses this opportunity to write a few pages about the importance of giving him money in the name of the Judean Saints in Jerusalem. His reasons include:

• It proves your obedience to the top-dogs:

“Because of the proof given by this ministry they will glorify God for your obedience… and for your liberality of your contribution to them and to all.” -2 Corinthians 9:13.

• It costs a lot to send men out to brainwash people into believing their ludicrous story.

“For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.” -2 Corinthians 9:12.

• It’s just good for your soul to give us money.

“…you will be enriched with everything for all liberality, which through us is giving thanksgivings to God.” -2 Corinthians 9:10.

After this bit of extortion in his second letter, Paul goes back into his famous mode of discouraging the belief of any other people trying to say they were Christ’s apostles; he assures the Greeks that if they say that, they’re lying; only the gospel he gave them is correct:

“For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached… or a different gospel which you have not accepted, bear this beautifully. For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles.” -2 Corinthians 11:4, 5.

“But what I am doing, I will continue to do, for I will cut off opportunity from those who desire… to be regarded just as we are… For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.-2 Corinthians 13:12-14.

Every letter Paul sends someone is a declaration to beware of those who tell other accounts of Jesus. This, to me, is the typical behavior of a paranoid person trying to convince of someone of a lie. It’s comparable to the cheating boyfriend: he’s always ultra-paranoid that his girlfriend is cheating on him when she’s not; he knows there is someone else out there that she deserves, one that will treat her better; he lies about where he has been to fool her; and he’s always telling her that he loves her while he really only sees her as an object. To prove his love, Paul then admits to the Corinthians—and all else who have read his letter since—where he got the money to travel throughout Rome and preach in the first place:

I robbed other churches taking wages from them to serve you.” –2 Corinthians 11:8.

Let’s take a second to really analyze this comment. Now, by saying, “I robbed other churches,” Paul is referring to other Christian churches, since they were the only religion to use a church as their place of worship at that time in history; and while he admits he used to persecute Christians before he became one himself, by saying, “to serve you,” he is implying he robbed these churches after his conversion. The only churches Paul would visit after becoming a Christian would be the ones he was preaching at, the ones he started himself, or the one he claimed to visit in Jerusalem. This means he is admitting he robbed the people he was converting and possibly the head Church of Jerusalem! So while he was spreading propaganda about being a good Christian brother and quoting scripture—“You shall not steal,” in Romans 13:9—he was robbing everyone blind; it’s the behaviour of an ancient sociopath!

The next year, c. 58 AD, Paul wrote his Letter to the Romans; a very telling letter in many ways. Romans was the seventh written of the New Testament books in order of chronology and sits as sixth in order of front to back. It’s the closest to where it should be out of any other of the strategically placed gospels and letters.

Paul wrote this letter from Corinth in excitement. Though tradition holds that he and Peter founded the Church of Rome, scholars disagree with this assertion. As the Ryrie Study Bible proposes, those who were converted elsewhere, like the converts spoke of on the day of the Pentecost in Jerusalem (Acts 2:10), or other Roman converts of Paul, most likely carried the gospel back to the Imperial City and began their own church; it was almost entirely gentile. By the time Paul wrote his Romans letter the Church of Rome was already widely known and he was anxious to get there to minister it. He kicks off the letter by completely contradicting the Church’s current view that Jesus and God are one in the same. Paul, and there are many examples to prove this, felt Jesus was a lesser God than his Father and he separated the two:

“Paul, a bondservant of Christ Jesus, called an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God… concerning His Son, who was born a descendant of David… who was declared the Son of God.” – Romans 1:1-4.

Paul often refers to Jesus as “Lord,” or “our Lord”; or uses the term: “God through Jesus Christ,” giving Jesus the roll of the human offspring of the Almighty God upstairs. Paul says that God isn’t for mankind to understand and that’s why he sent his son here to die—but a son is a son and a dad is a dad. It’s very close to the Gnostic’s of the first centuries viewpoint that the Orthodox Church would work so hard to destroy a hundred years later; it’s ironic they chose to use Paul’s letters for the base of their holy book at the Council of Nicaea when the Bible was finalized in the 300’s, when he noticeably disagrees with their number one tenant.

As we move along the letter to the Roman’s we begin to see Paul’s overall tactics. The same ones he uses every letter: he sucks up while tooting his own horn; then he explains how Jesus is to be worshipped on faith, not reason; and then he starts laying into the non-Christians of the area he’s writing to, telling his followers it’s because they worshipped the wrong deity that God made them foolish perverts. To illustrate, we’ll go over an example for each of these allegations:

• Kissing up with a side of horn tooting:

“First I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all… For God… is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, always in my prayers making request if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you in order that I may impart some spiritual gift to you… Thus, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.” –Romans 1:8-15.

• Faith means blindly believing:

“As it is written, ‘but the righteous man shall live by faith.’” –Romans 1:17.

• Laying into the non-Christians of Rome and criticising their gods:

“…they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to wise they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures… Therefore God gave them over to the lusts of their hearts and impurity… for they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator… For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions… men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts.” –Romans 1:21-27.

So, by Paul’s authority, since these heretics didn’t believe in the right God, He punished them by making them immoral gay sinners. Keep in mind that these are the words and philosophies of Paul, not Jesus. Absolutely none of the spiritual tenets Paul writes in his letters are based on what Jesus is alleged to have said in the gospels. They are 100% his own creations.

Next we’ll take a look at fear mongering at its pinnacle. Just as Christian Children are still told, Paul explains what you would be if you weren’t a Christian; why you would be that way; and what you would deserve for it:

“ Just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind to do these things which are not proper, being filled with all the unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful… those who practice such things are worthy of death.” –Romans 1:28-32.

“Those who practice such things are worthy of death”? It’s hard to picture Jesus saying those words. In fact, they sound more like the words of the Old Testament god. Either way, they are inventions of Paul and no one else. As he relates the dialogue of his brief encounter with Jesus in the clouds three or four times in the New Testament, one must wonder where he was imparted with all this other wisdom of the thought processes of god. Jesus certainly never told him. Paul certainly claims his authority from Jesus, but where did he get all this metaphysical information from? The same place every man who has ever claimed to speak for god gets it from: their psychotic imagination.

Next in Romans something quite revealing happens towards the end of the letter—a slip up in the Bible which puts Paul’s true identity under a shining light. He begins to send greetings to Romans he knows and Romans he is related to, quite a few of them, proving he is in fact a Roman by blood; royal blood! One such name he identifies as his kinsman—meaning family member—is a man named Herodion:

“Greet those who are the household of Aristobulus. Greet Herodion, my kinsman.” –Romans 16:10, 11.

Herodion in Greek translates to “Little Herod” in English; or “Herod Junior”. During Paul’s ministry, Herod Agrippa—a persecutor of Christ’s actual continuing Jewish ministry—was the Roman King of Judea. This is the same family as King Herod Antipas, the man who executed John the Baptist and Jesus; and Paul is identifying him as his family. Let me repeat in case you missed that: Paul is openly identifying himself as a family member of the man who killed Jesus! Right before Herodion he also sends a greeting to the household of Aristobulus. Who is that? This family tree will explain:

herodion family tree paul the apostle hijacker of christianity inventor of christianity invented god
Herodion Family Tree

As we can see, Aristobulus is also of Herod’s family line; he was married to Salome and fathered a son named Herod, who would be called Little Herod! Who is Salome? Ancient, first-century Roman historian for the Jews, Flavius Josephus explains everything:

“Herod [Antipas], her husband’s brother by the father’s side, he was tetrarch of Galilee; but her daughter Salome was married to Philip, the son of Herod, and tetrarch of Trachonitis; and as he died childless, Aristobulus, the son of Herod, the brother of Agrippa, married her; they had three sons, Herod, Agrippa, and Aristobulus” –Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews Book XVIII, Chapter 5.

Unbelievably, Salome is the daughter of Herodias, wife of Aristobulus, and mother of Herodion—Herod the little, or Herod Jr.; and this is also amazing for another reason relating to the death of John the Baptist. We’ll refer to Mark 6:21-29:

“And a strategic day came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet… and when the daughter of Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests; and the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you… up to half of my kingdom.’ And she went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ And she said, ‘The head of John the Baptist.’… And immediately the king commanded him to bring back his head. And he went and had him beheaded in prison, and brought the head back on a platter and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.”

This daughter of Herodias, as we know from the family tree and Josephus’s history, is Salome. Salome, as we also know from Josephus and the family tree, was the wife of Aristobulus and mother of Herodion. Which means this story plainly says Salome ordered the death of John the Baptist from her uncle Herod because she aroused him on his birthday! Disgusting yes, but not only that, by Paul greeting Aristobulus and addressing Herodion as his “kinsman”, he is admitting his family connections to the people who had John the Baptist and Jesus killed!

Now, with Paul being related to Herod, it suddenly makes sense how he could afford to travel Syria and Greece three times, each trip costing more than three years salary, according to the Ryrie Study Bible. He was royally funded to eradicate the growing rebellion of John the Baptist and his successors Jesus and then his brother James. Herod’s royal money would be the source of Paul’s travels and the multiple travels of his ministers, such as Barnabas and John Mark (John Mark? Do those names sound familiar?). These voyages would cost enormous amounts of money: paying for lodge, food, camel feed, water, clothes, boat fare, etc. By the Bibles own admission Herod was scared of John the Baptist’s disciples overthrowing him:

“And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they regarded him as a prophet.” –Matthew 14:5.

Josephus also records:

“…John called the Baptist [the dipper]… And when others massed about him, for they were very greatly moved by his words, Herod, who feared that such strong influence over the people might carry to a revolt—for they seemed ready to do anything he should advise—believed it much better to move now than later have it raise a rebellion and engage him in actions he would regret. And so John, out of Herod’s suspiciousness, was sent in chains to Machaerus… and there put to death.” –Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 18.5.2 116-119.

To sum things up: by Paul admitting he is of Herod’s family and sending them greetings, he is tying himself in with the Roman family of Judean puppet kings who killed John the Baptist and then Jesus; and the proof is all there in the Letter to the Romans.

Next we move onto the Letter to the Philippians, written by Paul in c. 63 AD. By this time Paul was in prison in Rome for disturbing the peace repeatedly up and down the Mediterranean for twenty years with his nonsense. Philippi, actually, was the first church Paul set up in Europe, and his letter to them is quite morbid and depressing. Feeling that his execution is right around the corner, he writes of death being an accomplishment. Jesus, he feels, will be there after death to greet him; the only reason he feels he should stay alive is for the sake of his wisdom over the rest of Christendom—HA!:

“But I am hard pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.” –Philippians 1:23, 24.

Because of Paul’s depressing attitude of expecting death, his doctrine changes from: Jesus will come back and save us in our lifetime; to: we must die to be with Jesus in heaven:

“Many are..enemies of the cross… who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is of heaven, from which we eagerly await for a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” –Philippians 3:18-20.

This comment is the root of one of the worst attitudes to grace the Christian’s character: Don’t try and improve the evil world you live in because you can’t; but if you’re a Christian Jesus will let you into heaven after you die. It’s an apocalyptic attitude which is detrimental the wellbeing of society and the planet. For your average death row inmate it may be a hopeful thought; to the person living elsewhere it’s a twisted morality.

In the same year he wrote Philippians, Paul also wrote a letter from prison to Philemon—a slave-owner of the Colossian Church—in regards to a man named Onesimus, a slave who had stolen Philemon, his master, and run away to Rome—a crime which carried the penalty of death. In Rome he was recruited by Paul to Christianity and convinced to go home and face the music, taking a short note from Paul asking that Onesimus not be punished for stealing, but forgiven, and that he be sent back to live with Paul afterward. There are two other letters Paul wrote from prison to the Colossians and the Ephesians, but as these are widely contended by scholars to be written later by Pauline followers in his name, we won’t bother scrutinizing them:

“While seven of the letters attributed to Paul are almost universally accepted as authentic (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, Philemon), four are just as widely judged to be pseudepigraphical, i.e., written by unknown authors under Paul’s name: Ephesians and the Pastorals (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus).” -The Blackwell Companion to the New Testament, David E. Aune.

Now that we’ve seen the real revelations inside of the writings of Paul the Apostle, a clearer picture of Christianity is beginning to form. It was quite a bit of information so we’ll spell out the picture we’ve seen based on the evidence before we move on.

By reading the Clementine Homilies and Recognitions we confirmed:
• James, brother of Jesus, was the first bishop of the Church of Jerusalem.
• After Paul attacked James, James fled to the Dead Sea, right where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
• Paul was a state employed enemy of the apostles, hired to destroy Jesus’ continuing ministry under James.

By extensively reviewing Paul’s letters we found:
• He never really met Jesus in his life.
• He had no authority from Christ’s actual disciples to spread his story about Jesus.
• He invented and changed his doctrine as he went.
• He discouraged worldly knowledge.
• He demanded ultimate supremacy.
• He demanded money from all churches.
• He was a thief.
• He was a liar.
• He claimed to be Jewish at some points; gentile at others, but remained heavily anti-Semitic the entire time.
• He was related and connected to the inbred, royal family of Herod Antipas, the killer of Jesus and John the Baptist.

The Bible holds no account of how Paul died, but it is commonly held within Christianity that he had his head cut off by Emperor Nero in the mid-sixties. This is possible, but based on the evidence we’ve just seen, it’s also possible he got away scot-free. One thing is for sure, Jerusalem was attacked by Roman forces in 70 AD, the Temple was smashed to bits, the Church of Jerusalem was obliterated, and the line of Herod was no longer a monarch bloodline, so they couldn’t have gotten Paul out of trouble after that. Nevertheless, the point is, Paul was connected to some of the biggest names in Roman history by his own testimony, so it’s more than possible to assume he bowed out into the shadows after his voyage around the Mediterranean and disappeared. All his letters from prison are disputed as not being his own penmanship by experts, so it’s likely Paul became like George Orwell’s Big Brother from 1984: just a name to represent the authority behind the church. Quite obviously he was an enemy of the real followers of Jesus, hired by his “kinsman” to hijack their teachings and completely distort them in order to destroy their revolutionary momentum. By Paul inserting his gentile beliefs into the growing Church of Jerusalem’s dogma he made them look like heretics to the Jews and gave Herod a reason to have them all killed, thus keeping them from overthrowing his kingdom. Because of Paul’s efforts and twenty years of travel he brainwashed an amount of people that would make any scientologist green with envy. Almost every doctrine within Christianity was written by him; and if anyone should be recognized as the Father of all Christians, it’s not Jesus Christ, or Yesu ben Yosef as his real name would have been, it was none other than Paul the Apostle.


by Olan Thomas

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Sources:
The Ryrie Study Bible: new American standard translation; (1976); Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.
The Nag Hammdi Library In English; (1988); Harper and Row Publishers.
Hebrew Interlinear Bible (authorized version); Westminster Leningrad with vowels;
http://www.scripture4all.com.
Greek Interlinear Bible (authorized version); http://www.scripture4all.com.
Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 1; Philip Schaff; (1885); Christian Classics Ethereal Library.
Dating the Oldest New Testament Manuscripts; Peter Van Minnen; Duke University; http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/scriptorium/papyrus/texts/manuscripts.html.
Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why; Bart D. Erhman; (2005); HarperCollins.
The Gnostic Gospels; Elaine Pagels; (1989); Vintage Books, a division of Random House.
Testimonium Flavianum, from Flavius Jospephus and His Testimony Concerning the Historical Jews; Marian Hiller Center for Philosophy and Socinian Studies.
Antiquities of the Jews: Book XVII; Flavius Josephus (c. 100 AD); http://www.jewishwritings.com.
Antiquities of the Jews Book XVIII; Flavius Josephus; Christian Classics Ethereal Library; http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/ant-18.htm.
Was Jesus a Disciple of John?; William B. Badke; (1992); The Evangelical Quarterly 62:3.
John the Baptist and Josephus; J.G Goldberg; http://www.josephus.org/JohnTBaptist.htm#Salome.
The Dead Sea Scrolls; Geza Vermes; (2004); Penguin Books.
The Dead Sea Scrolls: a new translation; Michael Wise, Martin Abegg Jr., Edward Cook, (1996); Harper San Francisco.
The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered; Robert Eisenman and Michael Wise; (1993); Penguin Books.
The Clementine Homilies; Phillip Schaff (editor); Chritian Classics Ethereal Library; http://www.ccel.org.
The Recognitions of Clement; http://www.compassionatespirit.com.
Jesus the Terrorist; Peter Creswell; (2010); O Books.
The Life of Constantine (Book III); Eusebius (c. 335 AD); http://www.newadvent.org.
Constantine I; J.F Matthews and Donald MacGillivary Nicol; (2006); The Encyclopedia Britannica.The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus; Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas; (1996); Random House.
The Nicene Creed; The St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church.
Internet Medieval Sourcebook; Fordham Universtiy: the Jesuit University of New York; http://www. fordham.edu/halsall/sbook.asp.
The Interpretation of Matthew’s Gospel: R.C.H Lenski; (1943); Augsburg Fortress.

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6 thoughts on “The Truth Behind Religion Ep. 1: Saul of Tarsus: The Man Who Made Jesus a God

  1. There are some rather glaring problems with your over-arching “Pauline conspiracy” assertions…

    You speak of Paul “inserting his gentile beliefs” into the early church doctrines, but at the same time, you are trying to assert that his conversion experience was totally false, which begs the question as to what exactly where his “gentile beliefs” would have come from in the first place…

    I don’t think you appreciate just how far-fetched your overall hypothesis is, to suggest that basically all the teachings of Christianity somehow all trace back the singular figure of Paul, who went from first persecuting and killing Christians as a devout Pharisee, and then for some unexplainable reason, concocted a totally fabricated account of meeting a risen Jesus, only to totally hijack the original “true” message of Christianity, which would have been totally in line with what he preached and fought for in the first place?

    I mean, what?? Why do you suppose the Pharisees would’ve wanted to see Jesus crucified at all then, if Jesus had actually been preaching a message of political resistance against the Romans?

    Do you seriously believe that Paul could have succeeded in overtaking and superceding the eyewitness accounts of all the disciples who WERE there when Jesus walked the earth? You really think one guy could’ve come along and single-handedly re-written the entirety of Jesus’s life and ministry?? Now THAT’s a conspiracy theory for the books!

    The problem is, in order to try and assert ANYTHING as being true about Jesus, or his followers, etc., then you have to somehow appeal to SOMETHING written in the New Testament, yeah…? But, if you try and roll out this “Paul wrote most of the New Testament and it’s clearly lies propagated by Paul” idea, then, you really have nothing left to point to AT ALL. You can’t talk about how Jesus “really” preached a message of political resistance against Rome, or how Paul was “really” a gentile, etc.! You have nothing in scripture that you can still point to, because you’ve already undermined it completely by asserting that it’s all a conspiratorial forgery in the first place. So sorry, no picking and choosing which parts to use as “evidence” of your theory, and which parts to simply rip out and throw away. Go ahead and quote Josephus all you want, but it’s not going to propel your argument as much as you might think…

    Overall, I’m just wondering… So you really think Paul completely “invented” the concept of the anti-Christ and the apocalypse too? Was the book of Revelation not in fact written by John at all, but also a Pauline forgery? That it, again, quite an assertion! Because not only does this mean that Paul had to somehow fake the book of Revelations being written after his own death (oh wait, that’s right, you believe Paul REALLY retired in style somewhere in the villas of the Roman elite!) but then he also managed to pull off the false testimonies of people like Polycarp and Iranaeus, who DEFINITELY lived after Paul was dead.

    Anyways… Im sure it’s probably not much use to bother getting into the weeds of any of this, because when I read this statement, it really reveals the motivations for why you put so much effort into trying to defend such an tenuous proposal in the first place:

    “This comment is the root of one of the worst attitudes to grace the Christian’s character: Don’t try and improve the evil world you live in because you can’t; but if you’re a Christian Jesus will let you into heaven after you die. It’s an apocalyptic attitude which is detrimental the wellbeing of society and the planet. For your average death row inmate it may be a hopeful thought; to the person living elsewhere it’s a twisted morality.”

    From this it is clear that you do not understand the very teaching which you are so intent on proving to be a forgery.

    Christians do not believe that it is futile to try and “improve the evil world you live in because you can’t”.

    What they believe is that “evil” is not something that can ultimately be eradicated through finding the perfect balance of things like legislation, social conditions, economic equality, education, etc.

    They believe that evil lives within each and every one of us, and ultimately most be dealt with from the inside out. The evil we see all around us stems from the inner rebellion against God, that we are each born with. It’s that simple.

    “If he really cared about the state of the world, why not intervene during World War II when his people—remember Jesus was Jewish, not Christian—were being hideously tortured in cruel and unusual ways, tested on like animals, gassed, starved, burned, and slaughtered by the millions? Where was Jesus on September 10th, 2001? There are disgusting wars being waged in the Middle East and Africa with devastating human and earthly consequences; where is he now?”

    Now THERE is a question. I’d say it is a valid one, because the allowance of radical evil is no small thing for us to understand. Sometimes I still don’t fully. Why would a perfect, loving God allow for a completely evil fallen angel to corrupt his creation and tempt man to sin? (as the Bible claims….)

    The thing is, the Bible talks about God being totally and perfectly Holy, that is, HIS standard for right and wrong, good and bad, wickedness and righteousness, is absolute, it’s “all or nothing”, and so He doesn’t operate on some kind of “sliding scale” the way we do, as we tend to regard things like the mass deaths on 9/11 or all the wars and genocides as being truly “evil”, while the evil we have each done in our individual lives, things no one else has even seen, or known, or heard in our thoughts, but God has, we never stop and question why God didn’t suddenly swoop in exact justice on OURSELVES for being wicked, for hurting our fellow man, for murdering others, even if it was just with words or in our own hearts….

    We might be tempted to accuse God of being absent in the face of atrocious evil in the world, but once the lens is turned and allowed to focus on the evil going on in the depths of our own hearts, we can then see that His holding back is not indifference, but total and pure Grace….

    • The rebuttal:

      1.
      “There are some rather glaring problems with your over-arching “Pauline conspiracy” assertions…You speak of Paul “inserting his gentile beliefs” into the early church doctrines, but at the same time, you are trying to assert that his conversion experience was totally false, which begs the question as to what exactly where his “gentile beliefs” would have come from in the first place…”

      —-As the Bible tells it, Paul took it upon himself to “spread the word to the gentiles,” which is why I say he inserted Gentile beliefs—those beliefs that would be suited towards those Gentiles he was preaching to—and not the beliefs of the actual people who knew Jesus in his lifetime. Remember, Paul never really met Jesus or the disciples, by his own admission, until 17 years after he had been making up stories all around the Mediterranean about who Christ was—and he never knew him the whole time. So what could he possibly have been preaching? For example of your question though, as it says in the article, in The Book of James it states James, Peter, and the others were in the Temple atoning for their sins, something only Jewish people do, but Paul spreads the word to the Gentiles that Jesus died for the world’s sins, and he is the only one who can forgive them when they ask him to, which is something the real followers of Christ clearly didn’t believe or else they wouldn’t have been atoning for their sins, which is a Jewish tradition. Paul made obviously made that bit up.
      —-And of course I don’t believe Paul’s revelation of Christ really happened. It’s a story only children could be fooled into believing. I don’t think I need to point out the sheer impossibilities of something like that ever happening to prove it didn’t. Dead people are dead. It’s silly to me. Now, I’m not saying people who believe it did happen are stupid, but I am saying they are indoctrinated into believing something that can’t happen did happen. To add to this, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and to claim dead people don’t appear in the sky and talk to you isn’t extraordinary by any means, it’s common sense, but saying they do is; so the burden of proof really doesn’t bare on me, but you, since it is you who believes it could and did happen.

      2.
      “I don’t think you appreciate just how far-fetched your overall hypothesis is, to suggest that basically all the teachings of Christianity somehow all trace back the singular figure of Paul, who went from first persecuting and killing Christians as a devout Pharisee, and then for some unexplainable reason, concocted a totally fabricated account of meeting a risen Jesus, only to totally hijack the original “true” message of Christianity, which would have been totally in line with what he preached and fought for in the first place?”

      —-No, I don’t claim that nearly all of the “teachings” of Christianity trace back to Paul, they are a collection of many religions, faiths, philosophies, myths, and beliefs at the time and in the area; but I am saying many of them do, and I am also saying that nearly all of the “dogma” traces back to Paul—he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, type stuff—as Paul wrote over half of the Christian Bible and is credited for spreading the religion almost single handedly. The most important invention of Paul’s being that Christ is a resurrected god, which is not something Christ or his ministry would have actually believed, though I’m sure they did believe he was chosen by god to be the next king of Israel, and I’m sure they believed he healed people—as people even today still believe in healing. From research I’ve done, which is soon to come to this series that I’m sure will fill a lot of these gaps in for you, I do feel Christ probably taught peace and love as the gospels report, which is admirable, but since the earliest known gospels that exist are written no earlier that the 3rd century, 200+ years since Jesus died, in Greek, not Hebrew, then I think it’s fair to say they are unreliable accounts of Christ’s life and heavily influenced by the man the Bible tells us brought the story of Jesus to Greece: Paul the “Apostle.”

      3.
      “I mean, what?? Why do you suppose the Pharisees would’ve wanted to see Jesus crucified at all then, if Jesus had actually been preaching a message of political resistance against the Romans?”

      ——I never stated the Pharisees wanted Jesus dead even once, in fact I never said Paul wanted Jesus dead, since jesus was long dead by the time Paul even came into the picture. The fact Paul is reported a Pharisee has nothing to do with the motive I’ve ascribed him; his family connection to Herod and Aristobulus is. Herod, remember, was the ruling Roman-puppet-king Judea; and Jesus and his ministry were running around Judea saying Jesus was of the line of David and the actual rightful king. To expand on this, the Bible also says Jesus was challenging both the Temple and the state. To him, according to the Bible, the Pharisees and the Sadducees were “hypocrites” and “cheats.” He would not have been liked by many. As well, there were many people preaching political resistance to the Romans at the time, not just Jesus, the zealots alone were a massive uprising, so I don’t think it’s as simple as “if Jesus didn’t like the Romans how come all of Israel wasn’t on his side?” It’s much more complex of course, just as issues today are; there is no black and white in politics or revolutions. So, let’s look at who gained from having a Roman occupation, and who also gained from having Christ, John, and James killed. Only one family in Judea did, the royal family line of Herod. Refer to Romans to see Paul identify them as his family.

      4.
      “Do you seriously believe that Paul could have succeeded in overtaking and superceding the eyewitness accounts of all the disciples who WERE there when Jesus walked the earth? You really think one guy could’ve come along and single-handedly re-written the entirety of Jesus’s life and ministry?? Now THAT’s a conspiracy theory for the books!”

      —–What accounts of the disciples? There are no accounts of the disciples. There are only accounts “according to” people, and they are not even disciples. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? Only two of those names appear in the gospels, Matthew and John, and they both refer to themselves in the third person within the writings, proving they weren’t written by the person they are attributed to be “according to.” The 4 gospels contradict each other on vital issues, most importantly Christ’s genealogy, not to mention two of them leave out the virgin birth—imagine that!—and also tell completely different accounts of what happened during his life, and more importantly, after his death. They can’t be taken as evidence of someone’s life. I recommend looking into “Dating the Earliest Known Gospels,” which is listed above. In that you will see the earliest gospel record was that of the Gospel According to Mark, which was found to be written in Greek 200-300 years after Christ was dead, which ends with Mary and Mary going to the tomb, and does not mention seeing Jesus resurrected—experts believe that piece to be added, the book of Luke to be a copy and alteration, the book of.Matthew next, and then the Book of John, which is almost different in every way from the other 4 gospels—and includes a word for word copy from the story of Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa from the Book of Legends. There are PLENTY of other gospels, which are referred to as the gnostic gospels, which were written before the gospels in the Bible and are also ascribed to disciples, including one from Mary Magdalene thought to be older than all four gospels, definitely the gospel of Thomas is older than all four—and these gospels are also agreed upon to be written hundreds of years after Christ’s death. The gospels were clearly handed down as word of mouth for quite some time before having been recorded in such a way that they stood the test of time, but it’s clear to see the dogma of Paul—ie. forgiveness from Christ, abolishing the jewish Law, starting a new faith, coming back from the dead, etc.—was from an outside source not representing the Jewish values of Christ’s actual ministry.
      —-Evidence shows the disciples not to be spreading their doctrine to Gentiles, so yes, of course Paul superseded them, because he was the one spreading the word without their authority, and in fact, against their wishes. See Galatians to find out what happened when Paul finally claims to have met the church of Jerusalem; he says they contributed nothing to him and he left right away, he believed Christ talked to him from a cloud and that was all the authority he felt he needed to tell people whatever he wanted. The question is, do you actually believe him?

      5.
      “The problem is, in order to try and assert ANYTHING as being true about Jesus, or his followers, etc., then you have to somehow appeal to SOMETHING written in the New Testament, yeah…? But, if you try and roll out this “Paul wrote most of the New Testament and it’s clearly lies propagated by Paul” idea, then, you really have nothing left to point to AT ALL. You can’t talk about how Jesus “really” preached a message of political resistance against Rome, or how Paul was “really” a gentile, etc.!”

      —-Again, refer to when the gospels were written and tell me you still trust them to be actual credible accounts of the events within them. I will leave this question for the next part of this series though, which will deal purely with the gospels, probably in the next few days, and look forward to your response.

      6.
      “You have nothing in scripture that you can still point to, because you’ve already undermined it completely by asserting that it’s all a conspiratorial forgery in the first place. So sorry, no picking and choosing which parts to use as “evidence” of your theory, and which parts to simply rip out and throw away. Go ahead and quote Josephus all you want, but it’s not going to propel your argument as much as you might think…”

      —-Well, to negate the scripture or gospels is pretty easy if you look at them logically: People don’t walk on water, people don’t bring people back to life, people don’t turn water into wine, people don’t make bread appear out of nowhere, people don’t make fish appear out of nowhere, people don’t make the blind suddenly see, people don’t touch and heal crippled people, people don’t crawl out of their graves, people don’t cast evil spirits from people into pigs, people don’t talk to snakes, and if they do the snakes don’t talk back, virgins don’t give birth, angels don’t appear in peoples houses, people don’t die and come back to life. Why not heal blindness altogether? Why not make it so people aren’t crippled? And how cruel is it to strike evil spirits into innocent pigs? How much power does this “god” actually have? These are more parlor tricks than acts of god, don’t you think? The creator of the universe thinks it’s better to come to the world to kill himself to forgive the people he created imperfectly instead of just fixing them? What kind of a belief is that? And that’s just a few of the physics defying holes in this miraculous tale. Basically Every single verse in the gospels of Jesus are easy to spot as fiction if you don’t go into reading the Bible already thinking it’s the word of god—somehow. Again, the burden of proof doesn’t lay with me saying these things can’t happen, everybody knows these things can’t happen; it lies with you saying they can. I’m just not the type to walk away from a magic show thinking, “I can’t believe he actually chopped that girl in half!” And I definitely am not going to believe a book written about a guy 300 years after his death is true when its telling me about all the miracles that he accomplished while was he was alive and in another part of the world from where the book was written. I’m very surprised anyone can.

      7.
      “Overall, I’m just wondering… So you really think Paul completely “invented” the concept of the anti-Christ and the apocalypse too? Was the book of Revelation not in fact written by John at all, but also a Pauline forgery? That it, again, quite an assertion! Because not only does this mean that Paul had to somehow fake the book of Revelations being written after his own death (oh wait, that’s right, you believe Paul REALLY retired in style somewhere in the villas of the Roman elite!) but then he also managed to pull off the false testimonies of people like Polycarp and Iranaeus, who DEFINITELY lived after Paul was dead.”

      —-Yes, if you look into what scholars believe about the Book of Revelation, not only are they almost positive it was written by a different “John” than the gospel, but also a work not attributed to any of the Jewish men who carried on Christ’s ministry, and it was literally the last book to ever be written in chronological order. Irenaeus lived long after Paul, yes, and therefore long after Jesus, and he was a Roman, not a Hebrew—different time, different place—so his account bears no proof on the situation whatsoever. You might as well have a priest today try and authenticate the words of Paul—they aren’t eyewitnesses.

      8.
      “Anyways… Im sure it’s probably not much use to bother getting into the weeds of any of this, because when I read this statement, it really reveals the motivations for why you put so much effort into trying to defend such an tenuous proposal in the first place:
      “This comment is the root of one of the worst attitudes to grace the Christian’s character: Don’t try and improve the evil world you live in because you can’t; but if you’re a Christian Jesus will let you into heaven after you die. It’s an apocalyptic attitude which is detrimental the wellbeing of society and the planet. For your average death row inmate it may be a hopeful thought; to the person living elsewhere it’s a twisted morality.”
      From this it is clear that you do not understand the very teaching which you are so intent on proving to be a forgery.
      Christians do not believe that it is futile to try and “improve the evil world you live in because you can’t”.
      What they believe is that “evil” is not something that can ultimately be eradicated through finding the perfect balance of things like legislation, social conditions, economic equality, education, etc.
      They believe that evil lives within each and every one of us, and ultimately most be dealt with from the inside out. The evil we see all around us stems from the inner rebellion against God, that we are each born with. It’s that simple.”

      —-Well, that I commend, but I respectfully disagree that is the root belief of Christianity; if anything it is a modern side belief of Christianity, and if you look into the first 1600 years of Christian history the belief and the way the belief was enforced was quite different—you were Christian or you were killed, and I sight the Cathars, Crusades, and Inquisitions for mountains of proof of that fact; and I also sight those histories for centuries of the orthodox church condemning any kind of education other than what the preachers preached. In fact, people weren’t even allowed to read the Bible for a thousand years or so, just live according to it, which meant living according to what you were told was in it. Your Christianity stems from a much different Christianity, believe me.
      I think we can both agree that Christianity relies on the scenario that god sent his one and only son down to earth to be sacrificed for something Adam and Eve did a few thousand years before. This sends the message that one person can pay for anothers crime. That isn’t a good message to me. We are all responsible for ourselves, and we can’t have someone take our guilt.This to me is a death cult; a human sacrifice cult where only one sacrifice was needed, and then it was to be worshipped forever after. Everything you just said about Christianity could be said about any religion with their prophet or god in the place of “Christians” or “Jesus”, but where’s the proof that Jesus did all these things? Nowhere.

      9.
      “If he really cared about the state of the world, why not intervene during World War II when his people—remember Jesus was Jewish, not Christian—were being hideously tortured in cruel and unusual ways, tested on like animals, gassed, starved, burned, and slaughtered by the millions? Where was Jesus on September 10th, 2001? There are disgusting wars being waged in the Middle East and Africa with devastating human and earthly consequences; where is he now?”

      Now THERE is a question. I’d say it is a valid one, because the allowance of radical evil is no small thing for us to understand. Sometimes I still don’t fully. Why would a perfect, loving God allow for a completely evil fallen angel to corrupt his creation and tempt man to sin? (as the Bible claims….)”

      —-Exactly. He wouldn’t. Assigning evil a name and a character was what ancient people did and it didn’t help defeat it then, so it won’t today. Why the Christians give the Devil so much credibility is beyond me. He kills god, you are to be afraid of him, he is around at all times, he can’t be defeated? Again I ask: how powerful is this god? And who keeps giving god all these rules that he must follow? He HAS to send his son, who is himself somehow, down to earth to be hideously tortured? And he follows this rule? There is no loophole for god? he can’t defeat the devil? Why not? He wants to send people, who he created, to live in misery, and then in hell for eternity if they aren’t Christian? Do you know how many people this god of the bible has created to send to hell for the past 2000 years? To me that’s sadistic? Why does he do it if he’s not a sadist, and why can’t he stop it if he doesn’t support this system? Who is god’s god? This god is either an angry slave driver, or he could use a little help.

      10.
      “The thing is, the Bible talks about God being totally and perfectly Holy, that is, HIS standard for right and wrong, good and bad, wickedness and righteousness, is absolute, it’s “all or nothing”, and so He doesn’t operate on some kind of “sliding scale” the way we do, as we tend to regard things like the mass deaths on 9/11 or all the wars and genocides as being truly “evil”, while the evil we have each done in our individual lives, things no one else has even seen, or known, or heard in our thoughts, but God has, we never stop and question why God didn’t suddenly swoop in exact justice on OURSELVES for being wicked, for hurting our fellow man, for murdering others, even if it was just with words or in our own hearts….”

      —-If he’s indifferent to what we do than why did he send his son to die? I don’t think he’s hard to understand. He, god, has all the characteristics of a psychopathic dictator, and i don’t say that to offend, but take a look at the Old Testament when you get a chance and keep in mind that was the god who Jesus is supposed to be. Then take into consideration of the whole basis of the story of Christianity: worshipping the hideous torture and murder of a 33 year old man because god had no way around it. Not my god. Is that your god?

      11.
      “We might be tempted to accuse God of being absent in the face of atrocious evil in the world, but once the lens is turned and allowed to focus on the evil going on in the depths of our own hearts, we can then see that His holding back is not indifference, but total and pure Grace….”

      —-Whether or not god exists is an unanswerable question, but whether or not Jesus was god can be answered; and the answer is a resounding no when any ounce of logic is added to the equation. I think it’s easier to not accuse something no one can prove even exists of anything. We are our own mind, we don’t need an ancient holy book to tell us how to treat each other to be good, and we certainly can’t take the word of 2000 year old conmen claiming they saw god in the sky one day on the way to Damascus, especially when we find out he’s related to the people who killed that person.

      (Write quick, didn’t proof read, but who are we kidding, I never do.) 😉

      • 1. ” Paul never really met Jesus or the disciples, by his own admission, until 17 years after he had been making up stories all around the Mediterranean about who Christ was—and he never knew him the whole time”

        Really?? wrong… Where do you come up with 17 years? You’ve already discounted the gospels and acts and the NT as made up, so how can you know which parts to pick and choose as references?

        But if you actually DID just read the NT and take it at face value, you would notice that A) Paul actually did participate in certain rituals at the temple in Jerusalem as well, and actually took the time to explain why this wasn’t in conflict with the Gospel of Jesus, BUT, B) neither the book of James nor anyone else actually says that James or Peter or any of the apostles were going to the temple in order to receive atonement for sins! Simply not true. (the book of James is all about NOT going back to the temple system!)

        and your point about the “impossibilities” of things like the resurrection of the dead or people floating up into the sky is interesting. Because it’s not like the people who were alive at that time had any less of a grasp of the fact that “dead people are dead”! In fact, as a whole they’d probably had more face-to-face experience with death than any of today actually do. They understood that dead people do NOT come back to life, and that people do NOT float up into the sky, or any of the other miracles Jesus did.

        The funny thing is though, that the Bible says that even though thousands of people were there to witness many of Jesus miracles, apparently that itself wasn’t even enough for most of them to believe that He was who He claimed to be (which absolutely WAS the son of God…)

        2. “I do feel Christ probably taught peace and love as the gospels report, which is admirable, but since the earliest known gospels that exist are written no earlier that the 3rd century, 200+ years since Jesus died, in Greek, not Hebrew, then I think it’s fair to say they are unreliable accounts of Christ’s life and heavily influenced by the man the Bible tells us brought the story of Jesus to Greece: Paul the “Apostle.””

        Ok, but how does your own claim that the texts are unreliable knock the entirety of your platform from which to make any claims at all as to whether Christ taught vague, “admirable” things or not?

        It seems rather convenient to be able to write off the parts you don’t like as bogus and phony, and then just hold onto the bits that seem more palatable…. (lots of people do this very thing though!)

        3. Your related-to-Herod theory is of course pure and utter speculation, choosing to propose possibilities that of course could never actually be corroborated, instead of accepting what Paul said about himself time and time again…

        If Paul was really some kind of “Herodian plant”, then how would it have made sense for him to go trapsing around the Roman Empire for decades after Herod was gone, perpetrating some made-up religion which ultimately did nothing to preserve or extend the Herodian dynasty? That doesn’t make any sense at all. Grasping at straws.

        4. Of course you claim the eye witness accounts are “false” and unreliable etc. Yawn. The so-called “contradictions” of the Biblical accounts have been address ad infinitum by Biblical scholars and apologists far wiser and more articulate that I. If you insist on believing such things, then you are choosing to believe that a LOT of people decided to make up a LOT of false statements, but for what purpose….?

        Do you think the persecution endured by the first-century Christians was all falsified history as well?

        5. I’ve read the gospels. Your point about the time they were written isn’t nearly as logically “damning” as you would think…. You see what you want to see.

        6. “Well, to negate the scripture or gospels is pretty easy if you look at them logically: People don’t walk on water, people don’t bring people back to life, people don’t turn water into wine, people don’t make bread appear out of nowhere, people don’t make fish appear out of nowhere, people don’t make the blind suddenly see, people don’t touch and heal crippled people, people don’t crawl out of their graves, people don’t cast evil spirits from people into pigs, people don’t talk to snakes, and if they do the snakes don’t talk back, virgins don’t give birth, angels don’t appear in peoples houses, people don’t die and come back to life.”

        AGAIN, duh! People don’t do these things. So either all these stories were total bunk, OR, Jesus wasn’t “just a man”…

        “Why not heal blindness altogether? Why not make it so people aren’t crippled? And how cruel is it to strike evil spirits into innocent pigs? How much power does this “god” actually have? These are more parlor tricks than acts of god, don’t you think? The creator of the universe thinks it’s better to come to the world to kill himself to forgive the people he created imperfectly instead of just fixing them?”

        Instead of just “fixing” them…. Now THESE are some more valid questions. Was it just parlor tricks? Was Jesus just fooling around to get attention? Was his death on the cross not really by his own choice, but just a tragic end to a conjuror?

        According to the Bible, there was no other way for God to “fix” the problem, and this is admittedly something which tends to chaffe against the core of our internal, human concepts of things. To us, we think that God could just wave his magic wand and make all the pain and brokenness and disease etc. just go away. That’s what WE would do after all, in our infinite wisdom…

        No. For whatever reason. The bible says that God understands things on levels and dimensions that we don’t even come close to understanding. It says that He knows that somehow, Christ’s death in our place WAS the only way. The only way to “fix it all”.

        You can reject the whole idea as something repugnant to your own reasoning, but at least don’t take the silly route of claiming that the people of that time didn’t understand that all the miracles attributed to Jesus in the Bible were most definitely IMPOSSIBLE by the most common standards of human perception!

        7. What the “scholars” say huh? Won’t even touch that one…. (those handy “scholars”……)

        8. “The Cathars, Crusades and Inquisitions”…..

        Okay, you’re talking about the Roman Catholic Church friend, and you won’t find any defense of that whole ungodly system from me (nor even of institutional “Christianity” in general for that matter, whether catholic or protestant)

        But the short answer is, those dudes didn’t know Jesus. Period. They weren’t Christians, but they sure used His name to do lots of awful things. The RCC started with who? Constantine, who I contend was not a true convert himself at all, but an opportunist. The lives of Christians for the first three centuries after Christ was not at all like the things you listed, it was very, very hard, and not politically expedient or advantageous.

        ” In fact, people weren’t even allowed to read the Bible for a thousand years or so, just live according to it, which meant living according to what you were told was in it”

        Quite so. That is very much the point. What people were TOLD was in it was vastly different from what the scriptures actually say……

        9. Who said Satan killed God, or that he hasn’t been defeated? Your statements in number 9 were so numerous in their assumptions it would take forever to address them individually, so I would just say a blanket “NO” to all of em!

        Satan is real, the demonic realm is real too. You can think what you want, but I have experienced this reality first hand, and I know that Jesus has absolute authority over every demon, including Satan himself. Satan’s “power” is not an overt kind, whereby he takes people by force. It is the same as it has always been, by deception, by telling people the very things they are itching to hear and to believe already.

        I have heard the “God is a masochist” arguments plenty of times before…. The “sadistic” god who creates people just to send them to hell, etc., bla bla bla.

        Funny how every time I get into a conversation like this, it almost inevitably boils down to this inner rejection of the very IDEA of the basic truths of the Gospel, instead of all minutia surrounding the alleged holes in all the evidence etc. It becomes clear that the underlying message of the cross is what offends, and so I’d say that’s what really has to be addressed…

        People already know how to be good? REALLY?

        “We are our own mind, we don’t need an ancient holy book to tell us how to treat each other to be good”

        You’ve summed it up pretty perfectly there friend. Unfortunately, this idea has not panned out very well, would you say? is religion, or those “tortured-man worshippers” really what’s responsible for the horrible condition we find ourselves in? At least you admit there IS something wrong, that’s more than some people are willing to acknowledge…..

    • 1.
      YOUR QUESTION: ” Paul never really met Jesus or the disciples, by his own admission, until 17 years after he had been making up stories all around the Mediterranean about who Christ was—and he never knew him the whole time.”
      Really?? wrong… Where do you come up with 17 years? You’ve already discounted the gospels and acts and the NT as made up, so how can you know which parts to pick and choose as references?

      ———-MY ANSWER: Actually I’m right and here is a direct quote from Paul in your Bible’s Letter to the Galatians to prove every word of it:

      ————“When He… called me through His Grace… that I might preach among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles…I went to the regions of Syria and Cicilia. And I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; but only they kept hearing, ‘He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy’…Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem… and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation… But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me…) well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.” Paul, the Book of Galatians.

      ———-So there it is for you to see. Paul claims he went to Jerusalem 3 years after he was already preaching his own gospel around the Mediterranean, but then says the apostles still didn’t know who he was a few sentences later. He then says he travelled around for another 14 years before going to jerusalem to finally meet “those of high reputation,” who were the real disciples; who he then says “contributed nothing to him.” Why would he say that? Because he had no authority and he knew it, and of course so did they. And then he left again. Just add the years that Paul wrote himself in the above quotes that he spent before going to Jerusalem and revealing who he was to the actual church: 14+3=17. Also remember this is a man who persecuted these people for years after Christ’s death. He comes in the book of Acts, that’s after Jesus is dead. He is an imposture, no doubt about it. Would you believe me if I told you I saw Jesus in the sky yesterday? As far as it goes, the two of us have spoke, so you already know me better than you know Paul the Apostle. Why do you believe him when he says such things? Well, because to see through it would be to change your entire belief system around, which is nearly impossible for anybody. But these are the facts: Paul never met Jesus; and Paul didn’t meet Jesus’s apostles until 17 years AFTER he had been preaching his own gospel.

      2.
      YOUR QUESTION: “But if you actually DID just read the NT and take it at face value, you would notice that A) Paul actually did participate in certain rituals at the temple in Jerusalem as well, and actually took the time to explain why this wasn’t in conflict with the Gospel of Jesus.”

      —————MY ANSWER: You are going to have to show me what you mean, because I’ve read the NT many times now, and according to the quote by Paul in the Letter to the Galatians which I quoted above, he never submitted his identity or his gospel to church in Jerusalem until 17 years after his revelation. How does a guy even have a gospel when he’s never met these people? Easy, he had information about the people he was paid to arrest. Is it not convenient that someone who admits it was his job to ruin a movement suddenly begins to lead it? Any other time in history this would be the act of an insurgent, but again, since peoples most deep beliefs are involved, logic goes out the window.

      3.
      YOUR QUESTION: “Neither the book of James nor anyone else actually says that James or Peter or any of the apostles were going to the temple in order to receive atonement for sins! Simply not true. (the book of James is all about NOT going back to the temple system!)”

      ————-MY ANSWER: It is true, and though I don’t have a Bible on hand I don’t know the exact quotes, but James 5:13-the end is about anointing with oil for sins during prayer, which is an early Jewish tradition according to Elijah, who is mentioned within the verses I just referenced—and they don’t pray to Jesus, but to each other. So yes, there is sin atonement. As well, as I mentioned in the article above, this letter is thought to be written by one of James’s followers after his death, according to the scholars, and most likely edited many times, as all of the New Testament books and letters have been edited and changed through translation.

      4.
      YOUR QUESTION: “…and your point about the “impossibilities” of things like the resurrection of the dead or people floating up into the sky is interesting. Because it’s not like the people who were alive at that time had any less of a grasp of the fact that “dead people are dead”! In fact, as a whole they’d probably had more face-to-face experience with death than any of today actually do. They understood that dead people do NOT come back to life, and that people do NOT float up into the sky, or any of the other miracles Jesus did.”

      ——–MY ANSWER: I beg to differ. People two thousand years ago had far less knowledge of how the cosmos work than we do today and people still believe these things could happen and did happen.

      5.
      YOUR QUESTION: “The funny thing is though, that the Bible says that even though thousands of people were there to witness many of Jesus miracles, apparently that itself wasn’t even enough for most of them to believe that He was who He claimed to be (which absolutely WAS the son of God…)”

      ———–MY ANSWER: Where is your evidence for this? There is no history, other than the Bible—which historians agree does not hit the requirements to be considered actual history—that says any of the miracles in the Bible happened. The only historians to even write about Christ came after his death, Josephus and Tacitus, and they don’t seem to mention a resurrection, or any miracles, just that he was a holy man who gained a following that Pilate had killed “at the suggestion of those among us.” The bible could claim a billion people witnessed dead zombies crawling out of the ground with laser guns in their hands, it makes no difference to me—it’s a clear made up story; not truth. The Bible doesn’t even mention where these dead people went afterwards—I guess they still could be wandering around. If it were truth, then other civilizations around that area at the time of Christ’s crucifixion would have stories about an earthquake which ripped the ground apart, spurring all the dead of Jerusalem to return to life, as the Bible reports, but they don’t; or a story about a light so bright in the sky, brighter than the sun—which Paul claims to have seen when he met dead Jesus—that it would be seen for thousands of miles around; but there is no history of that anywhere but the bible either. Of course this stuff didn’t happen.

      6.
      YOUR QUESTION: ““I do feel Christ probably taught peace and love as the gospels report, which is admirable, but since the earliest known gospels that exist are written no earlier that the 3rd century, 200+ years since Jesus died, in Greek, not Hebrew, then I think it’s fair to say they are unreliable accounts of Christ’s life and heavily influenced by the man the Bible tells us brought the story of Jesus to Greece: Paul the “Apostle.””

      Ok, but how does your own claim that the texts are unreliable knock the entirety of your platform from which to make any claims at all as to whether Christ taught vague, “admirable” things or not?

      ————-MY ANSWER: It’s not for me to know, but it is my personal opinion that the Jesus of the gospels must be accurate to a degree. I don’t believe Paul made Jesus up, I believe he hijacked the story of a fallen hero who had created the largest controversy in Jerusalem history in order to subvert it. I base this on the evidence that he himself says it was his job to destroy the movement on the exact day he claimed to have seen Jesus the sky; I couple this with the fact that Paul fits the description of “the enemy” Clement I writes about during his stay with Peter and James as he is explained in the Book of Acts; and throw on the fact that in the Letter to the Romans Paul identifies himself as a family member of Herod and Aristobulus. What other conclusion can one draw? That Paul is telling the truth? That this guy saw Jesus in the sky, and in that one brief meeting he had all the information he needed to preach for 17 years? This isn’t plausible, realistic, or even convincing in the absolute least. It is clearly a lie.

      7.
      YOUR QUESTION: “It seems rather convenient to be able to write off the parts you don’t like as bogus and phony, and then just hold onto the bits that seem more palatable…. (lots of people do this very thing though!)”

      —————MY ANSWER: Well, no I write off the parts that are obvious fabrications and can’t be proven or even scientifically tested; and then I compare what history says compared with what the story says. These are the conclusions I, and many others, have come to.

      8.
      YOUR QUESTION: “Your related-to-Herod theory is of course pure and utter speculation, choosing to propose possibilities that of course could never actually be corroborated, instead of accepting what Paul said about himself time and time again…”

      ——MY ANSWER: Well, first of all, it’s not my theory, there are many books with that fact in there, including the explanation, in the sources above, but I would love to hear how you interpret the words, “Herodian my kinsman” and “Greetings to Aristoblus” in the same sentence when those are both family members of king Herod, documented in the Bible, considering the experts agree he identifying his family.

      9.
      YOUR QUESTION: “If Paul was really some kind of “Herodian plant”, then how would it have made sense for him to go trapsing around the Roman Empire for decades after Herod was gone, perpetrating some made-up religion which ultimately did nothing to preserve or extend the Herodian dynasty? That doesn’t make any sense at all. Grasping at straws.”

      ——–MY ANSWER: This is far from grasping at straws. Of course it would make perfect sense for Paul to continue on his ministry. He had churches set up all over Rome—Thessalonica, Galatia, Asia Minor, Ephesus, etc,—by the time the Herodian line was overthrown—churches bringing him in vast amounts of income, as I quote above from Paul’s own letters. Why would he ever turn around with that type of power? Why do you think he has so many letters to the churches he set up? He was obsessed with the movement and obsessed with his churches giving him absolute obedience. He was more a dictator than a spreader of any truth or tangible wisdom whatsoever; and as we know, dictators and cult leaders never throw in the towel and walk away. And for another thing, just because the Herodian line ceased to rule, doesn’t mean they went from rich to broke. They would have remained a very wealthy family for generations. The Bible doesn’t even mention where Paul died, he just disappeared into history, only to be deemed a saint by the church of Rome well after his own death.

      10.
      YOUR QUESTION: “Of course you claim the eye witness accounts are “false” and unreliable etc. Yawn. The so-called “contradictions” of the Biblical accounts have been address ad infinitum by Biblical scholars and apologists far wiser and more articulate that I. If you insist on believing such things, then you are choosing to believe that a LOT of people decided to make up a LOT of false statements, but for what purpose….?”

      ———-MY ANSWER: I will spare the long story because there will be more written on this subject in the following parts of this series, in which I will get into the gospels, the histories, the contradictions, and the alternative gospels and histories. But I will point out the amount of money and control the people at the top of the Christian churches have had since it’s birth. One look at most churches in this world will show you how much controlling peoples beliefs is worth. There is a saying from a few centuries back, though I forget who said it, that goes: “Religion: The ignorant (which means “lacking information”) believe it, the wise see through it, and the powerful use it.” Nothing could be more true.

      11.
      YOUR QUESTION: “Do you think the persecution endured by the first-century Christians was all falsified history as well?”

      ——-MY ANSWER: No, of course I don’t; and I never said i did, so that is pure speculation. Just because a people are persecuted doesn’t make them correct in their claims. At some time or another every religion has been brutally persecuted—Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, and all the denominations within them, and more—that doesn’t make their holy books true or their claims about god true at all. In fact, history has proven persecution only makes people cling to their beliefs all the more, as they view the ones persecuting them, who don’t share their beliefs, as evil—and why should they not when they’re having evil acts committed against them? This still doesn’t make their miraculous claims true; it just proves they are persecuted, nothing more.

      12.
      YOUR QUESTION: “I’ve read the gospels. Your point about the time they were written isn’t nearly as logically “damning” as you would think…. You see what you want to see.”

      ———MY ANSWER: I suppose you’re right, afterall, everything is a matter of opinion. But yes, it takes more evidence than books written about a guy hundreds of years after he was dead by people in another part of the world that have never met him, which also claim this man was god and obliges me to beg his forgiveness, to convince me to believe any of the miraculous stories it claims to be true—stories, I might add, which have appeared throughout many ancient cultures nearly word for word before the books were even written. Maybe that’s just me, but if I wrote a story about a guy in 1714 that walked on water, changed water into wine, and was god himself, and then tried to convince you what I wrote was true and you’re just gonna have to take my word on faith, and then started to ask you to devote your life to this man, and give me money; would you believe me?

      13.
      YOUR QUESTION: “Well, to negate the scripture or gospels is pretty easy if you look at them logically: People don’t walk on water, people don’t bring people back to life, people don’t turn water into wine, people don’t make bread appear out of nowhere, people don’t make fish appear out of nowhere, people don’t make the blind suddenly see, people don’t touch and heal crippled people, people don’t crawl out of their graves, people don’t cast evil spirits from people into pigs, people don’t talk to snakes, and if they do the snakes don’t talk back, virgins don’t give birth, angels don’t appear in peoples houses, people don’t die and come back to life.”

      AGAIN, duh! People don’t do these things. So either all these stories were total bunk, OR, Jesus wasn’t “just a man”…”

      ——MY ANSWER: Well, yes, people do believe these things. All of these things are in the Holy Bible. Who decides what is true and what is false? If some of it are lies, then why should we believe any part of it? People all over the world believe all of those happened. Those are things reported by the men who wrote the gospels. They are the central belief of Christianity. If one doesn’t believe the stories in the Bible, the only source for the story of Christ, then in what way are they Christians; and from what source do they form their beliefs? Simply put: The Bible is the only source for Christian history, and to be a Christian means you believe the Bible.

      14.
      YOUR QUESTION: “Why not heal blindness altogether? Why not make it so people aren’t crippled? And how cruel is it to strike evil spirits into innocent pigs? How much power does this “god” actually have? These are more parlor tricks than acts of god, don’t you think? The creator of the universe thinks it’s better to come to the world to kill himself to forgive the people he created imperfectly instead of just fixing them?”

      Instead of just “fixing” them…. Now THESE are some more valid questions. Was it just parlor tricks? Was Jesus just fooling around to get attention? Was his death on the cross not really by his own choice, but just a tragic end to a conjuror?

      ——MY ANSWER: Ockham’s razor states the most obvious answer which raises the least questions is usually the correct one. I think the option which raises the least questions in this situation is to admit none of those things happened and are just fables. For instance, there is an ancient Jewish story about a man named Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa written long before Christ which is a replica of the story of Christ curing a centurion’s son in the Book of John. It’s word for word lifted from Hanina’s story and then given to Christ instead. Quite clearly the Bible, by the time it was put in it’s complete form as we know it today, was edited, added to, lost and recounted many times; each letter, each story, each book, in order to make the story more viable to the people being sold the story by the person selling it. There are many examples of identical stories ascribed to people other than Jesus from thousands of years before the story of Christ appeared on the scene. Just look in the Book of John to see one of the disciples named Theodian (or close to that name) and obvious Greek/Roman name which doesn’t appear in any other gospel. This Roman probably inserted his name to make it look like he or his family were one Christ’s disciples; why else have a Roman name in one gospel and none of the others, I implore you to look it up. For another indication of this editing and timing of writings, just look at the wording of the book of John, which refers to the Hebrews as Jews. Ask yourself, why would a hebrew call his fellow men Jews. He wouldn’t, the book of John is quite clearly written by a Greek much later than any of the other gospels—and the historians agree with this.

      15.
      YOUR QUESTION: “According to the Bible, there was no other way for God to “fix” the problem, and this is admittedly something which tends to chaffe against the core of our internal, human concepts of things. To us, we think that God could just wave his magic wand and make all the pain and brokenness and disease etc. just go away. That’s what WE would do after all, in our infinite wisdom…”

      ——-MY ANSWER: This is the same god the Bible tells us created the entire universe in 6 days. They call him omnipotent, which means he can do, and does do, everything that happens, will happen, and has happened. It is a huge contradiction to say he follows any rules at all—the Bible never does. As everything else in the Bible, the view goes back and forth from god being powerful to weak; from just to evil; from happy to mad; from loving to jealous, just depending on what part of the Bible you’re reading—another clear indication the book had many authors over the span of many centuries. There is no point in trying to understand it because it makes no sense. It’s made up and does nobody any good to try and put logic into it. You might as well try to figure out if unicorns once existed on Mars—there is no way of knowing and it makes no difference either way.

      16.
      YOUR QUESTION: “No. For whatever reason. The bible says that God understands things on levels and dimensions that we don’t even come close to understanding. It says that He knows that somehow, Christ’s death in our place WAS the only way. The only way to “fix it all”.”

      ——-Well, if you accept that is a true story then I guess it was the only way, but i don’t believe it was and I don’t believe it’s true, and there is absolutely no evidence anywhere to show otherwise.

      17.
      YOUR QUESTION: “You can reject the whole idea as something repugnant to your own reasoning, but at least don’t take the silly route of claiming that the people of that time didn’t understand that all the miracles attributed to Jesus in the Bible were most definitely IMPOSSIBLE by the most common standards of human perception!”

      ———MY ANSWER: What did they understand? This was a time when they thought the world was flat, they believed they were the center of the universe, the only planet with the only people designed by god in his image for his amusement. We now know what stars are, that we have many planets in our own solar system, billions of stars and planets in our own galaxy, the world is round, we share nearly exact genetics with all of the species on earth, and we also have travelled around the sky enough to know god isn’t hiding up there making crashing noises when there is a storm. We understand things now that could only be explained by whoever had the best story back then because it was all untestable with the technology available, or the thought processes of that time with the information available—this isn’t to say they were less smart, only less advanced; further down the scale which led us to where we are now, which technology wise we cannot thank Christianity for at all, in fact it has been detrimental to independent thought for most of its history—and let’s remember this was the bronze age after all.

      18.
      YOUR QUESTION: ““The Cathars, Crusades and Inquisitions”…..

      Okay, you’re talking about the Roman Catholic Church friend, and you won’t find any defense of that whole ungodly system from me (nor even of institutional “Christianity” in general for that matter, whether catholic or protestant)

      But the short answer is, those dudes didn’t know Jesus. Period. They weren’t Christians, but they sure used His name to do lots of awful things. The RCC started with who? Constantine, who I contend was not a true convert himself at all, but an opportunist. The lives of Christians for the first three centuries after Christ was not at all like the things you listed, it was very, very hard, and not politically expedient or advantageous.”

      ————-MY ANSWER: Every person on earth who is a Christian right now is an offshoot of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church was the only game in town until the reformation, which was a movement responding to the mass killings the Inquisitions had inflicted for centuries in Europe around the fifteenth century. The Cathars were followers of Christ who read the gnostic form of gospels, and were wiped out by the Christians who use your exact book today for refusing to accept it. The first gnostics in the 3rd century, or so, were burned alive as well for not accepting the “official” Christianity which comes from the Bible of today. As well, Christianity sprung up by the sword around the time of the Crusades at the hand of the Catholic church by forcefully converting poor peasants in early Europe. You either became Christian or died, from Europe to Jerusalem. Hundreds of years into this senseless domination and mass murder some people finally split away, this around the 15th century or later, when Martin Luther still took the same book as the Catholics but made a less authoritarian way to believe it. It’s still the same nonsense book made by the people he separated from.

      19.
      YOUR QUESTION: ” In fact, people weren’t even allowed to read the Bible for a thousand years or so, just live according to it, which meant living according to what you were told was in it”

      Quite so. That is very much the point. What people were TOLD was in it was vastly different from what the scriptures actually say……”

      —–MY ANSWER: Yes, but does this mean the stories in the scriptures are true? No it doesn’t, it just implies they were so poorly written that the church didn’t want them analyzed; which makes sense because once analyzed they fall apart as fast as the official story of 9/11 story—in fact they fall apart faster. Actually that’s a good analogy: Imagine we were forced to believe 4 different accounts of 9/11 which contradict each other were the true story. Now imagine the people who wrote that “official story” wrote it 300 years from now. There is no chance they would know what happened; and who knows what the story will have developed to by then if all the information documenting it disappeared by then. It’s, to me, ridiculous to believe the accounts we have of Jesus are even remotely close to what really happened, probably very little of it is true, if any. We can definitely rule out all the magic which the Bible reports as true, at least until we see someone perform one of the miracles which Jesus is credited to report.

      20.
      YOUR QUESTION: “”Who said Satan killed God, or that he hasn’t been defeated? Your statements in number 9 were so numerous in their assumptions it would take forever to address them individually, so I would just say a blanket “NO” to all of em!

      Satan is real, the demonic realm is real too. You can think what you want, but I have experienced this reality first hand, and I know that Jesus has absolute authority over every demon, including Satan himself. Satan’s “power” is not an overt kind, whereby he takes people by force. It is the same as it has always been, by deception, by telling people the very things they are itching to hear and to believe already.”

      ————MY ANSWER: Well, this is where it comes to the old, “I’ve experienced it, so take my word for it.” Unfortunately, unless you can prove it, there is no reason for me to believe you. There are people out there who truly believe they talk to god everyday, or people who believe they are god, or people who believe god listens to them personally pray and answers their prayers, and people who believe in their horoscopes, and people who believe in magic spells, and people who believe in aliens, and people who believe in ouija boards, but there is no reason for me or anyone else to believe these people until they have proof. If ghosts are real, show me a ghost; that would have to be my reasoning.

      21.
      YOUR QUESTION: “I have heard the “God is a masochist” arguments plenty of times before…. The “sadistic” god who creates people just to send them to hell, etc., bla bla bla.

      Funny how every time I get into a conversation like this, it almost inevitably boils down to this inner rejection of the very IDEA of the basic truths of the Gospel, instead of all minutia surrounding the alleged holes in all the evidence etc. It becomes clear that the underlying message of the cross is what offends, and so I’d say that’s what really has to be addressed…

      People already know how to be good? REALLY?”

      ——MY ANSWER: Yes it all needs to be addressed. The central idea is to love the master you fear, and that can’t be changed either, because the book is the law and that’s what it says in the book. To believe in the Bible you must accept what it says within. I, for one, don’t accept it. And by and large people are good. And yes, those who are good people don’t need a book to tell them to be good. The real fear for me comes from the people who believe if the Bible didn’t tell them not to kill or not to steal then they otherwise would. In fact it usually takes religion to make an otherwise good person do something bad; like burn someone at the stake, or blow up a bomb on their own back; or any of the other atrocities done in god’s name that otherwise wouldn’t have happened.

      22.
      YOUR QUESTION: “We are our own mind, we don’t need an ancient holy book to tell us how to treat each other to be good”

      You’ve summed it up pretty perfectly there friend. Unfortunately, this idea has not panned out very well, would you say? is religion, or those “tortured-man worshippers” really what’s responsible for the horrible condition we find ourselves in? At least you admit there IS something wrong, that’s more than some people are willing to acknowledge…..”

      —–MY ANSWER: Yes I agree, but I would hold religion, all religions, responsible for making it so easy to commit murder, hate another person for their beliefs, and die without thinking life is all they truly have for sure. Look at the Middle East right now; though the powers at the top are destroying the mao for money, the ones taking part in the fighting are doing it to serve their religion. Don’t think for a second Christianity is any different. Religion divides where there need not be division, and for that reason I will always oppose and expose it for what it really is.

      *Gonna have to end the thread for now though or I’ll never get another article done! lol. …and we can pick it up on part two of this series. I’m sure we’ll have a lot to go over. 😉

  2. 1). “Why do you believe him when he says such things?” Well, for starters, because I’ve actually read the content of letters, as well as the gospels, and the books written by the other apostles, and the entirety of the Old Testament, and found that the message which runs throughout ALL of it is quite consistent, and fits together perfectly, and quite in contradiction to the notion of there being some conspired, “infiltrated” message.

    Again, you seem oblivious to the irony of how you are simultaneously refuted the reliability of Paul’s writings in certain instances when you disagree with what it says, yet then turn around and refer to his writings in order to back up a point you wish to make…(?) If it’s a lie, a conspiracy, a fake, then you gotta throw it all out, yeah? You got nothing left to work with, save the writing of other (presumably) non-infiltrated and tainted sources such as Josephus or whoever.

    Otherwise, you are simply picking and choosing which parts are “valid” according to how they either fit or conflict with your own theories….

    2. “Is it not convenient that someone who admits it was his job to ruin a movement suddenly begins to lead it? Any other time in history this would be the act of an insurgent, but again, since peoples most deep beliefs are involved, logic goes out the window.”

    Logic indeed! think about what you are actually trying to propose here…

    From what I understand, your argument is basically that we should clearly recognize that Paul HAD to have made up his entire conversion experience, in order to infiltrate and subvert Christianity away from it’s original beliefs/intent….

    You think that’s logical?? If the “true” message of Jesus and all the original Jewish apostles wasn’t forgiveness of sins through faith in Christ, but merely a political, jewish interpretation of Jesus’s “messiah-ship”, then why would Paul, or the Pharisees, have had any motive to “subvert” it in the first place??

    The whole Herodian plot theory is just quite a stretch, sorry to say. It’s conjecture upon conjecture, and I think there are way larger logical fallacies standing in the way which bear pointing out, rather than spend energy addressing fanciful ideas about Paul’s Herodianly-inspired motives!

    Because timing ASIDE, what you are proposing essentially means that somehow you think Paul managed to go out, by himself, come up with this whole fake conversion experience story, and then start proselytizing people around the Roman Empire, creating a whole false belief system around a guy who had been killed and was still quite dead, until he eventually goes back to Jerusalem and meets the original Jesus posse, and either A) convinces them to believe his own twisted version of things, in total contradiction to what (you are suggesting) they all really originally saw, and believed, and preached, or B) somehow didn’t “convert” the other 12 (actually there were hundreds if not thousands of Christians in Jerusalem/the Roman empire before Paul came around, remember Pentecost?) but actually somehow managed to totally just subvert and supplant everything they had preached, written, and taught, replacing their beliefs with his own, conspiratorial ones….

    How the heck to you propose that Paul managed to single-handedly silence what would’ve been the opposing voices of all the other apostles, who actually SAW Jesus, and who you must at least admit continued on themselves preaching and teaching the same message all over the world?

    Think about what you are actually saying…. ONE guy, for motives that don’t even make any sense, supposedly manages to rewrite and overpower the testimonies of hundreds, nay, thousands of other people…??

    If the original 12 apostles didn’t in fact believe in the resurrected Christ, but this was only some heresy that Paul injected into the group some 17 years later, then what exactly do you suggest they were all DOING that whole time?

    Are you seriously suggesting the apostles/disciples (hundreds of them) were just sitting around putting there hope in a physical, mortal, Jewish messianic figure who the hoped would free them from Rome, even though they all knew he was dead???? What reason for ANY kind of “Christianity” would there have even been, before your alleged Pauline conspiracy injection?

    This is just a glimpse of the massive logical fallacies inherent in the overall Pauline conspiracy thing, and yes, I realize I’m not going through each of your numbered points, but I suppose it’s getting a bit drawn out as it is. I’ll just touch on a couple more for now,

    in 18) you say: “Every person on earth who is a Christian right now is an offshoot of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church was the only game in town until the reformation, which was a movement responding to the mass killings the Inquisitions had inflicted for centuries in Europe around the fifteenth century”

    You could not be more incorrect on this one! The Catholic church actually killed a good many true Christians as a matter of fact, whether they were the Anabaptists or others, because they wouldn’t go along with Catholic doctrine. The Catholic church simply LIES when it tries to assert that the papacy goes all the way back to Peter. It’s total bunk, and can be disproven quite easily, and if you compare the various teachings/doctrines put out by the Vatican over the centuries to the actual words IN the scripture, you can see that they are absolutely in stark opposition to one another. LOTS of people and institutions have used the name of God, or the Bible, as an excuse to justify their own fallen agendas. Satan himself is actually quite a master at doing this very thing, and so, actually every instance of “false flag religion” is really his handywork…

    in 14) you say: “They call him omnipotent, which means he can do, and does do, everything that happens, will happen, and has happened. It is a huge contradiction to say he follows any rules at all—the Bible never does”

    I would completely disagree of course, but again, this would be because you are judging whether or not you see God as being “just or unjust”, “good or evil”, based on your own determinations, and that very much touches upon your eventual statements down in 21):

    “And by and large people are good. And yes, those who are good people don’t need a book to tell them to be good. The real fear for me comes from the people who believe if the Bible didn’t tell them not to kill or not to steal then they otherwise would. In fact it usually takes religion to make an otherwise good person do something bad; like burn someone at the stake, or blow up a bomb on their own back; or any of the other atrocities done in god’s name that otherwise wouldn’t have happened.”

    Again… You are taking the tried-and-true tack of the old atheist approach of attributing all “atrocities” in history to religious zealots… How original!

    By and large, people have an internal understanding that there is such a thing as right and wrong, (particularly when you happen to be the party who is being wronged!) this is called a conscience, and the Bible actually very plainly says that we all have such a thing. But that is very different than us being able to accurately determine what exactly IS good, and what is evil!

    You say, “The real fear for me comes from the people who believe if the Bible didn’t tell them not to kill or not to steal then they otherwise would”

    First of all, this is not quite accurate anyhow, because the what the Bible actually teaches is not “Hey, guess what, murder is wrong”, it actually goes far beyond that, and tells us that Hate=murder, and thus, we’re pretty much all guilty of murder on a spiritual level. (do you think THAT is something that all people instinctively understand/believe?)

    But to simply assert that Christians are people who believe that they’d be out killing people left and right if they didn’t have a book telling them not to, is again, a gross misunderstanding and underestimation, because it’s not even enough to just “know” that murder is wrong. Both the Bible, (and all of history in fact), is FULL of people who very much “knew” that murder was wrong (or any other sin for that matter), and yet got tempted somehow and did it anyway!

    Do you really think atheists are less prone to lie, steal, kill, etc. than religious people?

    Do you seriously believe that it is religion which twists people’s thinking around into convincing them to cheat on their spouses, steal from their neighbor, wage wars, plunder the innocent, etc. etc.?

    Is that what you think motivates the perpetrators of things like 9/11? Or all the world wars? All the false flag nonsense, and skull-doggery, and war-mongering, and assassinations, and fake money printing, and so on and so forth????

    You really think that all stems from people who believe in something called a “sin nature” that lives within each of us, that we need to repent from and have the perfect Spirit of God come in and live within us? You really think that’s what motivating all the globalist “elites” out there???

  3. PROPHET JESUS OF GALILEE & THE SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM
    Why Did Jesus Cleanse the Temple?
    What we need to realize first of all is the fact that animals were not kept in the temple itself. Neither was buying and selling occurring in the temple itself. No person was allowed into the temple except the very priests. The buying and selling of animals and the exchanging of currency occurred in the Court of Gentiles – the furthest district of the temple grounds. The next thing you must realize is the fact that the priests who were of Sadducee sect [Acts 4:1; 5:17] did not turn the temple courts into a common market place where you would go shopping. They kept the animals allowed for sacrifice at the temple grounds so that those who came from far or those who did not have an animal for sacrifice could buy some. Since the only currency in which the sacrificial victim could have been bought was a Tyrian coin they had money changers available to convert the common money into Tyrian coin. The money changers were also there in order to collect the temple tax prescribed in the Jewish Pentateuch. The comment in The New American Bible in reference to Matthew 21:12 also acknowledges these facts:
    “The activities going on in the Temple area WERE NOT SECULAR but connected with the TEMPLE WORSHIP. Thus Jesus’ attack on those so engaged and his charge that they were making God’s house of prayer a den of thieves constituted a claim to authority over the religious practices of Israel and were a challenge to the priestly authorities. These activities were carried on in the court of the Gentiles, the outermost court of the Temple area. Animals for sacrifice were sold; the doves were for those who could not afford a more expansive offering [Leviticus. 5:7]. Tables of the money changers: only the coinage of Tyre could be used for the purchases; other money had to be exchanged for that.”
    In regards to John 2:14 we read:
    “Oxen, sheep and doves: intended for sacrifice. The doves were the offerings of the poor [Leviticus. 5:7]. Money changers: for a Temple tax paid by every male Jew more than nineteen years of age, with a half sheckel coin [Exodus. 30:11-16], in Tyrian currency”.
    Virtually all biblical scholars agree that activities going on in the temple courts in Jesus’ day were perfectly lawful as far as the Jewish Pentateuch was concerned. In Deuteronomy 14:22-27 we find the command that those who live too far from the chosen place should take the silver with them and buy the sacrificial animals at the chosen place. Since the Jewish Pentateuch which is also recognized by the Christian Church sanctions sacrificial cult and buying sacrificial animals at the chosen place – why then did Jesus take such a drastic action? Why did he charge the temple clergy of turning the temple into a den of robbers? The answer is obvious. He objected to the sacrificial cult in general. He agreed with Jeremiah that the sacrificial cult was the product of the lying pen of the scribes. It will also become apparent that Jesus regarded the killing of animals as murder. Jesus did not think that the temple should be Jewish only. Nor that it should be a place of sacrifice.
    He stated that the temple should be The House of Prayer for ALL NATIONS.
    Jesus believed in the synagogue and not temple. In the synagogue prayer was offered as a sacrifice. In the temple animals were butchered. In the House of PRAYER all nations should participate.
    In the temple only those of Jewish ancestry were allowed to worship. Gentiles were allowed in the outermost court. When condemning the activities in the temple courts Jesus referred to two Old Testament prophets: Isaiah and Jeremiah – who both opposed the sacrificial cult:
    “Is it not written: My house shall be called a HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL NATIONS? But you have made it A DEN OF ROBBERS” [Mark 11:17].
    When Jesus stated that temple should be called the “House of Prayer for all Nations” he referred to Isaiah 56:7.
    Jesus emphasized that ALL NATIONS – that is, GENTILES have the right to participate in the HOUSE OF PRAYER.
    The second statement “den of robbers” comes from Jeremiah 7:11 – the very chapter where Jeremiah claimed that sacrificial cult did not come from God Jeremiah 7:21-23.
    What did Jesus mean when he stated that the Sadducees [the priests] transformed the House of Prayer into a DEN of ROBBERS?
    The answer is quite astonishing. The word den has been translated from the Greek word spelaion – number #4693 in Strong’s and means: a grotto, a cavern. Grotto means: a cave. Cavern means: a hollow cave. The Greek word spelaion has been translated den and cave by the King James translators in the New Testament. The word den itself means a cave. The word den in Jeremiah 7:11 comes from a Hebrew word mearah – number #4631 which means: dark cavern or cave. This Hebrew word has been translated cave, den and hole in the Old Testament of the King James Bible. In the New Testament of the King James Bible the word DEN appears three times. Each time referring to Jesus’ statement a DEN of robbers. The word cave appears only in John 11:38 in reference to the tomb of Lazarus – since his grave was a cave. In the Old Testament [according to Jewish tradition of the Masoretic text] we read that Abraham bought a field with a CAVE. This cave became the grave or burial place:
    “Afterwards Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre [which is at Hebron] in the land of Canaan. So the field and the cave in it were legally transferred over to Abraham by the Hittites as a burial site”
    [Genesis 23:19-20].
    Abraham himself was buried in the same CAVE [Genesis 25:10]. Isaac, Rebekah and Jacob were also buried in the same cave [Genesis 49:29-32]. Jesus charged the priests of transforming the House of Prayer into a GRAVEYARD.
    By perpetually cremating the holocausts on the altar – the temple became the graveyard. But what did Jesus actually want to express by the word robbers? The English word robber comes from the word rob which means: to seize and carry off the property of by unlawful violence or threat of violence. This word is distinguished from the word thief in that it involves violence whereas the word thief only implies stealing.
    The word robbers in Jeremiah 7:11 comes from the Hebrew word periyts – number #6530 in Strong’s and means: violent ones i.e. TYRANTS. This word is also translated destroyers and ravenous in the King James Bible. In the New Testament the word robber has been translated from the Greek word leistes used to render the Hebrew word. It is number #3027 in Strong’s and means: to plunder, a brigand. The word brigand means: a robber in a band of outlaws. An outlaw is a violent robber who resorts to murder. When the temple guards were sent to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus stated:
    “Am I a robber, said Jesus, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me?” [Mark 14:48].
    Robbers were confronted with swords and clubs because they were violent ones.
    In John 19:40 we are told that Barabbas who was released instead of Jesus was a robber [leistes].
    In Luke 23:18 we are plainly told that Barabbas was cast into prison because of rebellion and murder. Barabbas was a ROBBER, that is, MURDERER.
    Jesus thus charged the priests with murder. He claimed that by perpetually butchering the innocent animals on the sacrificial altar they have become the violent ones. By perpetual slaughter and cremation of the victims they have transformed the temple into a graveyard. After Jesus took control of the temple he immediately allowed access to the blind and the lame.
    Please note:
    “The blind and the lame approached him in the temple area, and he cured them”
    [Matthew 21:14 The New American Bible].
    Now please note the comment on this text from the same Bible:
    “According to 2 Samuel 5:8 [LXX] the blind and the lame were forbidden to enter “the house of the LORD”, the temple”.
    According to 2 Samuel 5:8 David hated the blind and the lame and barred them from entering the temple.
    “David said on that day, Whoever smites the Jebusites, let him get up through the water shaft and SMITE THE LAME AND THE BLIND WHO ARE DETESTED BY DAVID’S SOUL. So they say, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house” [The Amplified Bible].
    The Masoretic Text uses the word ‘bayith’ which has been rendered ‘house’ and ‘temple’ in the King James and Amplified Bible. The Good News Bible follows the LXX, that is, Greek Septuagint and renders the text of 2 Samuel 5:8 in the following manner:
    “That day David said to his men, ‘Does anybody here hate the Jebusites as much as I do? Enough to kill them? Then go up through the water tunnel and attack those poor blind cripples’. That is why it is said, The BLIND AND THE CRIPPLED CANNOT ENTER THE LORD’S HOUSE”.
    Jesus nullified this rule and allowed the blind and the lame access to the temple. There he displayed his power by healing them. These are the last healings recorded by Matthew. Luke states that after cleansing the temple, Jesus taught there every day. The priests wanted to kill him but feared the people who were on his side:
    “And he taught every day in the temple. But the high priests and the scribes and the elders of the people sought to get rid of him; But they were not able to find what to do to him; for all the people gathered around him to hear him” [Luke 19:47-48].
    Mark tells us that after Jesus took full control of the temple he refused to allow anyone to bring anything into the temple:
    “And he would not allow any man to bring goods into the temple” [Mark 11:16 Lamsa’s translation from Peshita].
    The Greek uses the word skeuos which means: vessel, utensil, implement.
    Jesus interrupted normal activities of the temple. In doing so he interfered with the daily sacrifice. Since he drove out all sacrificial animals and refused anyone to bring the same into the temple, he obviously made it impossible for the priests to indulge in sacrificial rites. If Jesus identified with the Jewish Pentateuch and the prescription for the daily sacrifice and other sacrificial offerings then he would not have interrupted the same. In our canonical gospels we have an incomplete preservation of Jesus’ statement regarding the temple. It is stated that he would destroy the temple and make another in three days. The testimony however does not fully harmonize.
    In the Gospel of Thomas however it stated that Jesus said:
    “I will destroy this house [temple] and no man will be able to rebuild it”.
    This statement must be authentic and original. The Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate who was originally a Christian but later abandoned Christianity and reverted back to Paganism actually believed that Jesus said that the temple would never be rebuilt. In order to prove Jesus wrong he gave a command to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. He charged many Jews from the Roman Empire to return to Jerusalem and build the temple. He also provided materials. When the workers went on site to start building the temple, God intervened supernaturally to prevent its construction. They attempted three times to rebuild it and each time there was a supernatural intervention so that the project was abandoned. The events were recorded by Church Fathers and the Roman historian. The facts are stated in many books that deal with supernatural and unexplained mysteries as well as the writings of the several Church Fathers. It is now more than 1900 years since the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. To date it was not rebuilt. We have the word of Jesus that it will never be rebuilt since God had enough of sacrificial cultus.
    Undergirding the theory that it was the cheating money-changers whom Jesus targeted as the culprits in the system of animal sacrifice, is the claim that the whole process had become “too commercial.”
    This is akin to claiming that the institution of slavery had to be dismantled because it had become too commercial. Although both Temple sacrifices and human slavery had a firm economic foundation, it was the inherent immorality of those systems that brought together the historical forces which finally led to their collapse.
    Several hundred years after prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, and Hosea had denounced the sacrificial slaughter of animals, Jesus carried out what is euphemistically called the Cleansing of the Temple. It was just before Passover and he disrupted the buying and selling of animals that were being purchased for slaughter. And because Christian scholars and religious leaders continue to ignore biblical denunciations of that bloody worship, they also try to obscure the reason for Jesus’ assault on the system.
    They have done this by focusing on the money-changers, although they were only minor players in the drama that took place. It was the cult of sacrifice that Jesus tried to dismantle, not the system of monetary exchange. In all three gospel accounts of the event, those who provided the animals for sacrifice are mentioned first: they were the primary focus of Jesus’ outrage.
    The Gospel of John gives the most detailed account of the event.
    “When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
    In the Temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords and drove all from the Temple, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said: ‘Get out of here.’ (John 2:13-16)
    Matthew’s gospel does not detail the kind of animals that were being sold for slaughter, but it gives the same order of events.
    “Jesus entered the Temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.
    ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer but you are making it a den of robbers.’” (Matthew 21:12-13)
    The same account is given in the gospel of Mark who, like Matthew, also reports that Jesus accused those at the Temple of making God’s house into a “den of robbers.” And there is universal acknowledgement that in both gospels, when Jesus said this, he was quoting from the prophet Jeremiah (7:11). That prophet had hurled the same accusation at the people of his own time, almost six hundred years earlier. He said it while standing at the Temple entrance, after he had already warned the people “do not shed innocent blood in this place.” And when Jeremiah said God’s house had been turned into a den of robbers it could not have had anything to do with money-changers–they did not exist in his time.
    In the time of Jeremiah, as in the time of Jesus, there was a great distinction made between “robbers” and “thieves.” In contemporary times that distinction can best be understood by comparing the crime of petty theft with crimes of armed robbery by those who violently attack/kill their victims. But in ancient Israel there was an even greater distinction. A thief could be anyone who succumbed to a momentary impulse to steal something, but a robber was someone for whom violent crime and killing was a lifestyle.
    Both Jesus and Jeremiah were indignant about the violence of sacrificial worship, not the possibility of petty theft by money-changers. When they said God’s house had become a den of “robbers” the Hebrew word that was used (here, transliterated) was “per-eets’” defined as “violent, i.e., a tyrant–destroyer, ravenous, robber.” It was the violence of the system, the killing of innocent victims in the name of God, that they were condemning. The money changers operating in the time of Jesus were driven out of the Temple because they were taking part in the process of sacrificial religion, not because they may have
    been cheating the pilgrims.
    The gospel of Mark correlates Jesus’ attempt to dismantle the sacrificial system with the plot to kill him. Like Matthew’s gospel, Mark’s account of the Temple Cleansing starts by saying that Jesus “began driving out those who were buying and selling there.” It goes on to relate how he explained to the people why he was doing this, by quoting Jeremiah’s opposition to animal sacrifice:
    “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. But you have made it a ‘den of robbers.’”
    And in the verse of scripture immediately following that statement, Mark reports that “The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard about this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him because the whole crowd was amazed at his teachings.”(Mark 11:18)
    It is ridiculous to claim that the religious leaders of Jesus’ time would have plotted his death because he undermined the function of the money-changers. Nor would the crowd have been “amazed at his teachings” if Jesus was simply telling them to make sure they were not short-changed when they purchased Temple coins. What the people were amazed at was his condemnation of animal sacrifice; it had been hundreds of years since that kind of condemnation had been heard in Jerusalem. And it would not be allowed. A few days after he tried to overthrow the cult of animal sacrifice, Jesus was crucified. The religious leaders of his time were determined to preserve the belief that it had been ordained by God, who demanded its continuance.
    That determination is echoed in the teachings of contemporary Christian leaders. In spite of Jesus, and in spite of the many biblical denunciations of animal sacrifice (*see endnote) they continue to maintain the ancient fiction that it was God who demanded His creatures be killed and butchered as an act of worship.
    It is understandable that in the time of Jesus the religious leaders were committed to upholding the system of Temple sacrifice at all costs: it was the center around which their lives revolved and their livelihood depended. And in biblical times, most people were illiterate and dependent on what their religious leaders taught them concerning the scriptures. But it is not easy to understand why contemporary Christians uphold the validity of the cult of animal sacrifice. In an age of widespread literacy, there is a choice to be made. The bible clearly presents an ongoing conflict between those forces that demanded sacrificial victims in the name of God, and those forces that opposed it as a man-made perversion.
    And because there is a choice to be made, it is deeply disturbing to see Christian leaders joining hands across the centuries with their ancient counterparts, in order to validate a system of worship in which the house of God became a giant slaughterhouse, awash in the blood of its victims.
    *Partial list of scriptures opposing animal sacrifice.
    Psalm 40:6
    Isaiah 1:11-17;
    Jeremiah 7:3-7,11,21-25
    Hosea 8:11-13,
    Amos 5:21-25
    Micah 6:6-8

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