Unknown origins of Christianity

A_Nony_Mouse
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Unknown origins of Christianity

Over the years of looking into the origins of religions the most salient observation on Christianity was to the effect, 'something very interesting happened in the Roman empire in the first century AD unfortunately we have no idea what it was.'

After Pompey annexed the eastern Greek empire to Rome the natural osmosis of religious ideas became a direct injection via legions of administrators as well as the legions themselves. Additionally the administrators and well off members of the legion acquired slaves directly from where they were stationed and brought them back to the Rome and to other assignments within the empire. There was later even an emperor, Gabulous I believe it is spelled, who brought his sacred rock (see the stone in the Qaba at Mecca) and performed the worship dances for the upper class Romans.

Mithra is perhaps the most commonly known of these imports. Very little is known about the cult or its extent but it does appear to have been limited to the legions. Other "magical" figures of wisdom such as Apollonius of Tyana appear to have gained a following although what little is known of him is from a "biography" written after his death that does not pass muster on what we would call a biography. As a result we know little of him. Some have suggested Paul the apostle was Apollonius although nothing supports this but the name similarity.

The beginnings of the Sol Invictus cult were also in this time period which eventually became the dominant cult of the upper class. And here we can jump ahead to a lot of unsupported speculation about Constantine inventing Christianity via Esubius.

What is clear is that there was a trend towards a single deity. It is further clear that until the mid 2nd c. AD there is no identifiable cult of Jesus. Yet by the early 3rd c. a modestly codified Christianity is approved by Constantine. The rare earlier mentions of the Crestus and similar names are not described as performing any identifiable christian rituals nor do they behave as Christians. For example, a local administrator tells the Crestus to stop their rituals and they do.

The stories of Apostles traveling and baptizing and founding churches cannot be distinguished from later invented myth. The details do not match what secular history is known nor arkie digging and other things.

The first mention of a gospel, singular, is early in the 2nd c. AD and the first (implied) plural mention of them is in the late 2nd c. There is no historical basis for a claim they were written by contemporaries of a Jesus character. Factually no one knows where the gospels came from. We do know after they appeared they became extremely popular. And for the first time details of Jesus which should have been mentioned by Paul but which were not become things everyone has to know.

The situation is not much different for the epistles. There is a claim of an original letter by Paul is in some church or other. I looked into it. The letter is described as a postage stamp sized fragment.

Dealing back to a Jesus the absense of evidence is the most striking. His cures were common at the time and some of the same methods were used by Emperors when they cured people. In other words either common attributions to important people or standard stage fair as on the god network and revival tents. Perhaps incorrectly one assumes emperors did not indulge in theatrics leaving us with attributions to indicate importance.

If there was a person who was considered important enough to attribute these cures to at the time he escaped all contemporary mention. This is not to suggest anyone was chronicaling events in Palestine or that we should expect same rather we simply observe the absense of evidence.

The rest of the story has 12 apostles and several hundred near-apostles spreading out to announce the good news. Again there is no mention in the historical record.

At this point believers start rationalizing the silence based on the assumption the gospels are largely true. That is the same error old testament believers make. Identifiable Christianity does not appear until the mid to late 2nd c. AD. There is nothing prior to that to reconcile.

What we have in the empire in the mid to late 2nd c. is an emerging monotheism. This idea had been banging around among Greek philosophers for centuries. There was an unspoken rule, the philosophers could be atheists as long as they kept it to themselves, a rule Socrates broke. The idea that the gods were the shadows on the cave wall of a single something or other was familiar to the educated in the empire.

By the time of Constantine there were several monotheist cults which got along among themselves and with each other which I have mentioned above and others except Apollonius never got much of a following. There was one cult which did not get along with the others cults or with each other. It was the Christians.

There is a long mythology of warring churches and civil strife because of them. This is largely the imagination of the "Constantine invented Christianity" school. Whatever this warring cult was all about it had some populist interest for Constantine as he used it to loot the temples of some gods. Christians converted the shells of the temples to their saints while the emperor kept the gold.

What little we know of the events of the council he called are not endearing to Christian tradition. Some day I may find a collection of all the material but at the moment it appears that is limited to a few scholars who give out little bits and pieces of it. Essentially they were a pack of uneducated loonies. Many showed signs of mutilation from their run ins with authorities. Where we think of this as a deliberative body it was not. One presented his case in pantomime. If he was in white-face it is not mentioned.

This is the sort of thing that leads some to claim a same mind took over and invented the religion. It is the only "story" that fits these characters in and a religion as a consequence. The problem with this is they assume a fixed religion out when the very few things in the Nicean creed are the only ones we can safely assume were agreed. They are a trivial number of theological points and not a single procedural point such as are there sacraments? saints? angels?

With all of this, what we have in evidence is very little. Pompey got involved with a religion that hated competing religions and their members. Two centuries later a religion claiming roots in that antisocial religion appears in a form we can recognize as Christian which hates competing religions and other Christians who disgree on trivia. Half century after that it is the recognized religion of the empire with a codification of some of the trivia sponsored by the emperor.

That is all the solid information we have. Everything else is story telling based upon the slimest of evidenciary material.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

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Luminon
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My sources says a few things

My sources says a few things about that.
Jesus and John the Baptist were cousins and most probably Esseans. Jesus wasn't Paul.
Some miracles of Jesus were either a natural tricks, or they were proverbial. Some miraculous properties of that person were also confused together with Apollonius of Tyana, giving Jesus even less of historical coherence. Some of the sources says, that Apollonius himself was a reincarnation of Jesus.

Btw, it's not directly that time, but it's interesting nonetheless. My sources says, that originally a part of Christianic Scripture was a teaching of greek philosopher Origenes. This teaching was basically about reincarnation. His teaching was removed by Justinian the Emperor during Constantinopolis Council in the year 533ad, and the verdict was confirmed 20 years later, on the second Council.
I have verified that the teaching of Origenes indeed includes reincarnation and that it was indeed removed by Justinian.
Proof is here, two quotes from Wikipedia article, I've been searching for years:
Like Plotinus, he wrote that the soul passes through successive stages of incarnation before eventually reaching God.[3] He imagined even demons being reunited with God.

The Emperor Justinian chose the theory of eternal damnation over Apokatastasis and the underlying need for purification of all souls through multiple incarnations.
Sträuli, Robert (1987). Origenes der Diamantene. Zurich: ABZ Verlag. pp. 71, 355–357. ISBN 3-85516-005-8.

I know that Nicaea 325ad was a big deal, but Constantinopolis 533ad could have been just as big. Behold, the principle of responsibility (the teaching of reincarnation) was removed. Since then, Christians preaches the fire and brimstone, instead of returning back on Earth and reaping what we were sowing. The following centuries might be much less bloody and dark if Justinian the emperor wouldn't be such a dick.
 

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


A_Nony_Mouse
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Luminon wrote:My sources

Luminon wrote:

My sources says a few things about that.
Jesus and John the Baptist were cousins and most probably Esseans. Jesus wasn't Paul.

Some miracles of Jesus were either a natural tricks, or they were proverbial.

I summarized what is known from evidence. I recited no evidence of the existence of a Jesus or anyone who might have been such a person because there is none. From the same place in Josephus where Jesus is interpolated (added later) there does appear to have been a James. It is not clear what to make of this. Either Jesus and the description or just the description could have been added.

Luminon wrote:
Some miraculous properties of that person were also confused together with Apollonius of Tyana, giving Jesus even less of historical coherence. Some of the sources says, that Apollonius himself was a reincarnation of Jesus.

The point of the miracles is that the methodology described in the gospels was attributed to others. Spittle and mud to cure blindness was supposedly used by one of the emperors. Important people did wonderous things or they were merely an alternate form of flattery. The essential point is the miracles are the same parlor tricks used by preachers to this day. One assumes these are very old performance art.

Luminon wrote:
Btw, it's not directly that time, but it's interesting nonetheless. My sources says, that originally a part of Christianic Scripture was a teaching of greek philosopher Origenes. This teaching was basically about reincarnation. His teaching was removed by Justinian the Emperor during Constantinopolis Council in the year 533ad, and the verdict was confirmed 20 years later, on the second Council.
I have verified that the teaching of Origenes indeed includes reincarnation and that it was indeed removed by Justinian.

If you look into what the so called Church Fathers taught you will discover all of them, had they preached the same thing a few centuries later, would have been condemned as heretics for something they taught.


Luminon wrote:
Proof is here, two quotes from Wikipedia article, I've been searching for years:
Like Plotinus, he wrote that the soul passes through successive stages of incarnation before eventually reaching God.[3] He imagined even demons being reunited with God.

The Emperor Justinian chose the theory of eternal damnation over Apokatastasis and the underlying need for purification of all souls through multiple incarnations.
Sträuli, Robert (1987). Origenes der Diamantene. Zurich: ABZ Verlag. pp. 71, 355–357. ISBN 3-85516-005-8.

I have little use for Wikipedia. How do you know I did not invent that entry? In the case of emperors making decisions, certainly they were the final authority in eastern rite churches as kings were for Protestant churches. They also had the entire top hierarchy of the churches advising them on what to approve and preparing very intelligent sounding reasons for doing so.

Not that I see a difference between an idiot flipping a coin and learning idiots coming to a considered opinion in matters of religion. By definition such things are untestable and therefore they are unknowable.

Luminon wrote:
I know that Nicaea 325ad was a big deal, but Constantinopolis 533ad could have been just as big. Behold, the principle of responsibility (the teaching of reincarnation) was removed. Since then, Christians preaches the fire and brimstone, instead of returning back on Earth and reaping what we were sowing. The following centuries might be much less bloody and dark if Justinian the emperor wouldn't be such a dick.

While there is a tendency to blame religion for events there is no evidence it has other than an occasional transient effect on human behavior. Prostitution would not be cleaned up with such regularity if there were lasting effects.

The Christian/Islam/Jewish religions duplicate the rational interests of a state and add things of no interest to a state. The state has a rational interest in preventing theft and murder. That state has no rational interest in prostitution, gambling and alcohol regardless of how deliterious as they have nothing to do with social order.

It is primitive Judaism that is the root of all the asserted rights to use civil authority punish things which have nothing to do with social order.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


PRF Brown (not verified)
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Ancient History Thesis: Constantine Invented Christianity

The "Gnostics" were the eastern empire Hellenistic people who preserved the literature of Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, Apollonius of Tyana, Plotinus (via Porphyry) at that epoch in which Constantine became the sole military commander of the East and Western Roman empire.  The New Testament canon raised to the status of the one true holy writ in events leading up to the council of Nicaea, which included the destruction of ancient temples.

We question the chronology of the non canonical corpus of literature.  We posit that the entire corpus of NT apocryphal tractates are best understood perhaps, as authored after the fateful year of Constantine's supremacy, c.324 CE.   The NT apocrypha are popular Hellenistic romance stories which all feature strange and mysterious acts and gospels of the same characters who appear in the NT canon.  The NT Apocrypha ("Hidden books&quotEye-wink MIMIC the canon.  They may represent polemic, seditious additional stories about "Jesus and the Twelve" which were NOT AUTHORISED by Constantine.  They were written by greek academics, ascetics, docetics, gnostics. 

Who was Lithargoel in TAOPATTA?

 

Best wishes,

 

 

Peter Brown

Australia

 


A_Nony_Mouse
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PRF Brown wrote:The

PRF Brown wrote:

The "Gnostics" were the eastern empire Hellenistic people who preserved the literature of Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, Apollonius of Tyana, Plotinus (via Porphyry) at that epoch in which Constantine became the sole military commander of the East and Western Roman empire.  The New Testament canon raised to the status of the one true holy writ in events leading up to the council of Nicaea, which included the destruction of ancient temples.

The problem with codificaiton is that not a single record from the council mentions any codification. The idea of creating a canon cannot be assumed.

PRF Brown wrote:
We question the chronology of the non canonical corpus of literature. We posit that the entire corpus of NT apocryphal tractates are best understood perhaps, as authored after the fateful year of Constantine's supremacy, c.324 CE. The NT apocrypha are popular Hellenistic romance stories which all feature strange and mysterious acts and gospels of the same characters who appear in the NT canon. The NT Apocrypha ("Hidden books&quotEye-wink MIMIC the canon.  They may represent polemic, seditious additional stories about "Jesus and the Twelve" which were NOT AUTHORISED by Constantine. They were written by greek academics, ascetics, docetics, gnostics.

Problem is the absense of physical evidence to distinugish apocrypha from canon. There is a rejected gospel of Peter which is almost identical to Matthew if I remember correctly. On the other hand we find things in the apocrypha which to our minds might lead to rejection but the things have parallels in the approved gospels. For example the Judas gospels runs on about the risen Jesus not being recognized at first. This same claim is made in approved gospels.

The same problem as to when created for the canon also applies to the apocrypha. They bear no unique anachronisms that would date them after Nicae. There is also the problem that the Sinai and Vatican bibles are significantly different from the material which today constitutes the bible. Given the apocrypha largely fell out of interest what we have are likely their original forms as there was nothing to be gained by inserting support for new dogma.

PRF Brown wrote:
Who was Lithargoel in TAOPATTA?

Goel is savior in Hebrew. It sort of telegraphs the ending.

Attributing this to Gnostics is all to easy. When in doubt it is gnostic. There were clearly many different approaches in early Christianity. Breaking one out as off gnostic when we do not have a date of creation or enough information about the other early streams of Christianity to exclude them does not make sense. The Gnostics are the first organized alternative to the one that appears to have derived from Nicae. There is nothing in particlar which suggests its creation needed an organization behind it. Revelation is completely different from everything else yet it would only take one man to create.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


PRF Brown (not verified)
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The new testament "apocrypha" as a "Homerization" of the canon

Does anyone remember when the dead sea scrolls were claimed as "Christian"?

Does anyone have the foresight to understand that the Nag Hammadi Codices

and the NT apocryphal tractates are non Christian?
 


What are the NT apocrypha?

These are the "other books" which never made it to the "bible".
Some of these are believed to have been authored before Constantine.
But if we examine the actual witnesses in Eusebius' "history" there are problems.

Were the NT Apocryphal writings all written as a reaction to the canon?
A fourth century chronology like 325 to 336 CE agrees with the C14.
If the canon existed prior to Nicaea it was rather obscure.
That all changed after Antioch and COnstantine's supremacy.

We are actually looking at Hellenistic romance narratives of the canon.
Cleverly mixed bits of the canon. Gnostic.
Cleverly appended and inserted additions of "tradition".
Acts not only of Peter and Paul and Mary and Andrew and Thomas and Matthias but also of Pontius Pilate.
Gnosis as in "KNOW THYSELF" -- the Hellenistic appeal to wisdom.

An explosion of politically resistive and dissident Hellenistic literature.
UNAUTHORISED ADDITIONS - extremely heretical.
Preserved out of the cities in Coptic and Syriac as primary sources.
They had to be hidden.
Constantine admits that they were being secreted!

They were thus called the "Hidden Books" or the "Apocrypha" associated with the new testament.

If you were caught in the possession of these hidden books ....
well -- there were political consequences..... as follows.:

 

Quote:
Constantine the King
to the Bishops and nations everywhere.
Inasmuch as Arius imitates the evil and the wicked,
it is right that, like them, he should be rebuked and rejected.

As therefore Porphyry,
who was an enemy of the fear of God,
and wrote wicked and unlawful writings
against the religion of Christians,
found the reward which befitted him,
that he might be a reproach to all generations after,
because he fully and insatiably used base fame;
so that on this account his writings
were righteously destroyed;

thus also now it seems good that Arius
and the holders of his opinion
should all be called Porphyrians,
that he may be named by the name
of those whose evil ways he imitates:

And not only this, but also
that all the writings of Arius,
wherever they be found,
shall be delivered to be burned with fire,
in order that not only
his wicked and evil doctrine may be destroyed,
but also that the memory of himself
and of his doctrine may be blotted out,
that there may not by any means
remain to him remembrance
in the world.

Now this also I ordain,
that if any one shall be found secreting
any writing composed by Arius,
and shall not forthwith deliver up
and burn it with fire,
his punishment shall be death;
for as soon as he is caught in this
he shall suffer capital punishment
by beheading without delay.



(Preserved in Socrates Scholasticus’ Ecclesiastical History 1:9.
A translation of a Syriac translation of this, written in 501,
is in B. H. Cowper’s, Syriac Miscellanies,
Extracts From The Syriac Ms. No. 14528
In The British Museum, Lond. 1861, p. 6–7)


The Homerisation of the new testament canon.

Yes it was an unthinkable audacity which dared to write this stuff!
What sort of miserable heretic would Homerise the NT Canon?
He would have to be the disciple of the devil himself!
He would be audacious as to be fit to be struck down by thunderbolts.

He would be described by Photius as follows:

 

Quote:
In a word, his books contain a vast amount of
childish,
incredible,
ill-devised,
lying,
silly,
self-contradictory,
impious, and
ungodly statements,

so that one would not be far wrong in calling
them the source and mother of all heresy.

 


A_Nony_Mouse
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.

PRF Brown wrote:

Does anyone remember when the dead sea scrolls were claimed as "Christian"?

Also consider there is no evidence of any connection between the scrolls and the Essenes nor of the Essenes to Qumran. Their origin is still an unanswered question.

PRF Brown wrote:
Does anyone have the foresight to understand that the Nag Hammadi Codices

and the NT apocryphal tractates are non Christian?

What are the NT apocrypha?

These are the "other books" which never made it to the "bible".
Some of these are believed to have been authored before Constantine.
But if we examine the actual witnesses in Eusebius' "history" there are problems.

Were the NT Apocryphal writings all written as a reaction to the canon?
A fourth century chronology like 325 to 336 CE agrees with the C14.
If the canon existed prior to Nicaea it was rather obscure.
That all changed after Antioch and COnstantine's supremacy.

There are several "creeds." Nicaea produced the first. It makes the most sense to read them as a list of the only things upon which they could all agree at each council. Note the differences between them and consider ommissions from later ones means there was no longer agreement.

It is not clear why individual proto-orthodox ideas were included and excluded into the more or less fixed form of the religion that was around in the 6th c. Some are easy to explain such as the ones which were sort of an early version of "Jews for Jesus." They required converts to become full fledged observant and snipped Jews. Genital mutilation was not only unpleasant but considered primitive and savage and done mainly by very senior male priests of some goddesses as symbolic castration.


For the most part the Gnostics were small groups within established churches that added hidden meanings in addition to and superior to that which was officially taught. Laymen claiming superior knowledge to the priests and bishops were not well received.

But it is not clear why the hierarchy did not adopt the idea for a senior rank of laymen who presumably contributed a lot of money and time. The pagan churches had that custom which included anointing with olive oil -- making them Christs anointed ones. Of course that is why the mentions of Christ or Chrestos is not convincing as it is selective non-translation. The sentence "They called themselves Anointed" is a translation. "They called themselves Chrestos" leaves anointed untranslated for religious effect. In this context we have no mention of any "Jesusites" from non-christian sources.

The hardest part of this, the part that takes the most time, is realizing the baseless assumptions we make because of our culture. You can search all the literature even remotely related to religion and the first unambiguous statement of monotheism is found in Islam. Problem is our culture assumes the Old and New bible stories were monotheist. It is not easy to realize the full extent of the impact of that false assumption and revise all previous thoughts on the subject in light of it being false.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml