There is nothing
so easy as by sheer volubility to deceive a common crowd
or an uneducated congregation.
– St. Jerome (Epistle to Nepotian,
Would the partisans
of Christ have set out deliberately to lie? Were they such barefaced
charlatans that they concocted falsehoods
deceits merely to advance themselves and their designs? By their
own admission, YES they were. They may well have been believers,
in that they held to a certain faith. On this was built
the fanaticism either to die, or to kill others, for that faith.
faith absolves the believer from any fidelity to objective truth.
God's Truth – Lies
fantasy advances in small steps by which those who already see
a higher truth help the less gifted to achieve that sublime
state by using various devices. In Jewish tradition, one such
a device was midrash, the teasing out of new, contemporary
meanings from antique, sacred texts. By such means, the scribes
could resolve a current issue by interpreting what the scripture
had really meant all along. Was that a lie?
False accreditation was
another much used method, common practice during antiquity. Most
of the texts in both the Hebrew bible and the New Testament were
forged in the names of their authors to give them authority. This
merely helped others recognise 'the higher truths' presented
to them. Who could argue with Solomon, say, or Apostles of the
Labyrinth of Deceit
of the most inveterate forms of imaginative creation was the invention
of sayings and whole speeches which,
just as fiction-writers do today, they put entire
into the mouths of the personages of whom they were writing.
in the Gospel of John, chapters 13, 14, 15, 16 and
17 are almost one continuous verbatim monologue all three
thousand six hundred words of it! supposedly uttered
by the godman, a truly remarkable instance of total recall
by the fabled octogenarian author!
of Christianity were fond of allegory and parable.
Few people have a head for pure theology. Popularising a convoluted
point of theology for the unlearned by an illustrative story
gets the point across. What perhaps is missed is that Christian
theology is several levels deep: it uses fictional characters
to tell fictional stories to make doctrinal points. Some dogmatists
no doubt believed (still believe) that one day, long ago, a real
whale swallowed a real Jonah. After all, Jesus supposedly said:
Jonas was three days and three nights in the whales
belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights
in the heart of the earth." – Matthew 12.40.
The whole point
of Jonah was not about Gods ability to conjure up
man-swallowing fish; it was that Yahweh loves even the depraved
folk of Nineveh (and their cattle). The 6th century BC scribe
who wrote Jonah used the name of a prophet mentioned in 2
Kings to make a point about the worthiness of evangelising
to the heathen. He has his reluctant hero sail from Joppa and
encounter a storm. Cast overboard somewhere out at sea, the big
fish is a literary device to get Jonah back to Joppa, from where,
more enthusiastically, he can set out again for the big, bad
city of Nineveh.
theological point could be made simply our god loves all
who repent, dont be reluctant, go and tell it to the heathen but
would that entertain the crowd? Simple folk of course would start
to take the entertaining story as a literal truth. Then, several
generations later, when the story falls into the hands of the
author of Matthew who may well believe that the
Jonah story is true he has his own fictional
Christ figure quote Jonah to give authority to a different theological
point: death can be conquered.
Thus by small
steps a complex weave of fantasy is woven. As indeed
Fathers cheerfully admit:
will only mention the Apostle Paul. ... He, then, if anyone,
ought to be calumniated; we should speak thus to him: The
proofs which you have used against the Jews and against other
heretics bear a different meaning in their own contexts to
that which they bear in your Epistles.
We see passages taken captive by your pen and
pressed into service to win you a victory, which
in volumes from which they are taken have no controversial
bearing at all ... the line so often adopted by strong
men in controversy – of justifying the means
by the result."
– St. Jerome, Epistle to Pammachus (xlviii, 13; N&PNF.
Was Saint Paul
an unabashed liar? From this verse in Romans it would appear
"For if the
truth of God hath more abounded by my lie unto his glory,
why yet am I also adjudged a sinner?" – St. Paul,
context Paul is actually censuring other Christians who say "Let
us do evil, that good may come" (that is, from God's judgement). But
like Paul we can "take the passage captive" to
make a point.
not alone in his candour. Bishop Eusebius, the official propagandist
for Constantine, entitles the 32nd Chapter of his 12th Book
of Evangelical Preparation:
it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine,
and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived."
notoriously the author of a great many falsehoods but
then he does warn us in his infamous history:
shall introduce into this history in general only those
events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards
– Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 8, chapter 2.
Clement of Alexandria was one of the earliest of the Church Fathers to draw a distinction between "mere human truth" and the higher truth of faith:
"Not all true things are the truth, nor should that truth which merely seems true according to human opinions be preferred to the true truth, that according to the faith."
– Clement (quoted by M. Smith, Clement of Alexandria, p446)
Chrysostom, 5th century theologian and
erstwhile bishop of Constantinople, is another:
"Do you see
the advantage of deceit? ...
For great is the value of deceit, provided it be not introduced
with a mischievous intention. In fact action of this kind ought
not to be called deceit, but rather a kind of good management,
cleverness and skill, capable of finding out ways where resources
fail, and making up for the defects of the mind ...
it is necessary to deceive, and to do the greatest benefits by
means of this device, whereas he who has gone by a straight course
has done great mischief to the person whom he has not deceived."
– Chrysostom, Treatise On The Priesthood, Book 1.
'Golden Mouth' John is notable for his extensive commentaries on the
Bible which emphasized a literal understanding of the stories;
the style popular at Alexandria until then was to acknowledge an
allegorical meaning of the text.
eminent believers added
falsehood to the beliefs of later generations. For
the best of reasons they clarified obscure
points, conjured up characters to speak dialogue that could have
been said, invented scenarios that could have happened,
borrowed extensively from a wider culture. And this all before
they became the custodians of power and had real reasons for
lies, inventions and counterfeits. As we shall see, gods
immutable laws became as flexible as putty.
The 5th and
6th centuries was the 'golden age' of Christian forgery. In
a moment of shocking candour, the Manichean bishop (and opponent
of Augustine) Faustus said:
things have been inserted by our ancestors in the speeches
of our Lord which, though put forth under his name, agree
not with his faith; especially since as already
it has been often proved these things were written
not by Christ, nor [by] his apostles, but a long while
after their assumption, by I know not what sort of half
Jews, not even agreeing with themselves, who made up their
tale out of reports and opinions merely, and yet, fathering
the whole upon the names of the apostles of the Lord or
on those who were supposed to follow the apostles, they
maliciously pretended that they had written their lies
and conceits according to them."
In the ferocious battle for adherents, the propagandists sought to outdo
each other at every turn. One example: by the 5th century, four
very different endings existed to Mark's gospel. Codex
Bobiensis ends Mark at verse 16:8, without any post-crucifixion
appearances; it lacks both the 'short conclusion' (of Jesus sending
followers to 'east and west') or the 'long conclusion' the
fabulous post-death apparitions, where Jesus promises his disciples
that they will be immune to snake bites and poison.
Once the Church
had grabbed mastery of much of Europe and the middle-east, its
forgery engine went into overdrive.
'The Church forgery
mill did not limit itself to mere writings but for centuries
cranked out thousands of phony "relics" of its "Lord," "Apostles" and "Saints"
were at least 26 'authentic' burial shrouds scattered throughout
the abbeys of Europe, of which the Shroud of Turin is just
At one point, a number of churches claimed the
one foreskin of Jesus, and there were enough splinters of
the "True Cross" that Calvin said the amount of
wood would make "a full load for a good ship." '
S, The Christ Conspiracy.
Loyola (1491-1556), the tireless zealot for
papal authority he was the founder of the Society
of Jesus (the Jesuits) even wrote:
always be disposed to believe that which appears to us to
be white is really black, if the hierarchy of the church
may have swept away some abuses perpetrated by the priesthood
but lying was not one of them. Martin
Luther, in private correspondence, argued:
would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake
of the good and for the Christian church ... a lie out
of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would
not be against God, he would accept them."
– Martin Luther
(Cited by his secretary, in a letter in Max Lenz, ed., Briefwechsel
Landgraf Phillips des Grossmüthigen von Hessen mit Bucer,
Christian forgeries include:
of Constantine 'Without doubt a forgery...'
A two-part document purporting to be from the
first Christian emperor to Pope Sylvester I (314-35).
In the 'Confessio' Constantine thanks Sylvester
for his Christian instruction and baptism (and
consequent cure of leprosy!) In his 'Donatio' Constantine
confers on the pope and his successors primacy
over all other bishops, including the eastern patriarchs,
senatorial privileges for the clergy, imperial
palaces and regalia, Rome itself and the western
In truth, this
monstrous 8th century forgery (peppered with anachronisms)
was almost certainly written by the future Pope
Paul I (757-67) while his equally ambitious brother
Stephen II (752-57) sat on the papal throne.
Decretals (aka Pseudo-Isidorian Forgeries) A riot of more than a hundred
fake letters and decrees attributed to pontiffs from 1st
century Clement (88-97)
to 7th century Gregory I (590-604). Now attributed
either to 'Isodore Mercator',
a supposed 9th century master forger and papal aide, or to a group of Gallic forgers trading on the name and reputation of Isodore of Seville.
Like the Donation, the Decretals conferred
rights and privileges on the papacy.
A similar collection, the 'Dionysiana', was named for a 6th century monk 'Dennis the Little' (Dionysius Exiguus), inventor of the BC -AD dating system. Dionysius provided the papacy with Latin translation of the canons the Eastern Church. This ripe collection included fifty canons from the very Apostles themselves.
Legion' Decree of Marcus Aurelius In this
fabricated letter from the emperor to the Senate, Marcus
is said to have forbidden persecution of Christians because,
in a battle with the Quadi in 174, prayers from Christian
soldiers brought on a thunderstorm which rescued the Romans
from thirst and dispersed the barbarian opponents. The emperor
is said to have accorded the Twelfth Legion the suffix fulminata or fulminea,
that is, 'thundering.' Tertullian (c.160
- c.230), north African theologian, made up this nonsense;
the twelfth legion had had the suffix legio fulminata from
the time of Augustus. The stoic Marcus Aurelius had
nothing but contempt for the Christians.
of Emperor Antoninus Pius to the Greeks More
fakery, this time from the pen of 4th century Bishop Eusebius (Ecclesiastic
History, IV, 13). He has the pious 2nd century pagan
forbid 'tumults against the Christians.'
The Clementines These
fancies, twenty books of 'curious religious romance' (Catholic
Encyclopedia), masquerade as the work of 1st century pontiff
Clement I. Written in the 4th century, their purpose was to
bolster Rome's claim to be the primary see: here we have the 'Epistle
of Clement to James' which originated the notion that St.
Peter was the first Bishop of Rome.
between Seneca and Paul - a 4th century invention
of 1st century letters. They alluded to fires in Rome and
to the persecution of Jews and Christians.
Acts of Paul and Thecla – "Love for Paul" was the justification for this particular compendium of fable. None other than Tertullian condemned his rival's handiwork.
"If those who read the writing
that falsely bears the name of Paul adduce the example of Thecla to maintain
the right of women to teach and to baptize, let them know that the presbyter
in Asia who produced this document, as if he could of himself add anything
to the prestige of Paul, was removed from his office after he had been convicted and had confessed that he did it out of love for Paul."
– Tertullian, De batismo, 17.
Flavianum' - The infamous 'passing reference'
to Jesus Christ supposedly written by the 1st century Jewish
historian Josephus (he adopted the family name of the imperial
We know in
graphic detail the course of the first Jewish War because remarkably the
history recorded by Josephus somehow survived. Whereas whole
libraries of antiquity were torched by the Christians, curiously,
this testimony of a Jew made it through the centuries. A subsequent
work by Josephus, The Antiquity of the Jews, which
iterated and extended his story of the 'chosen people' also
of these two overlapping works was no coincidence because they
rather too well 'confirm' from a 'non-Christian source' the
existence of the godman.
short, sometime in the 4th century, while most else of ancient
scholarship was being thrown into bonfires, a Christian scribe probably
Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea 'rescued' the histories of
Josephus and 'doctored' them to provide convenient 'proof' that
Christ had been flesh-and-blood and was neither a fiction (as
pagan critics maintained) nor solely a spiritual being, as gnostics
reasoned. (See full discussion: The authentic
pen of lying Christian scribes!)
of All Fakes
Shroud of Turin
science signalled the decline in the wholesale
manufacture of Christian forgeries.
freethinker Leonardo da Vinci had the last
laugh on the Church when he put his own face
on a fake so clever that it remained 'authentic'
for five hundred years!
of Sulpicius Severus - a 5th century disciple of
Bishop Martin of Tours invented the lurid story of the Neronian
historian Josephus says nothing about any "persecution" under
Nero, though he is not slow to describe him as "acting
like a madman" who "slew his brother, and wife,
and mother, from whom his barbarity spread itself to others that
were most nearly related to him; and how, at last, he was so
distracted that he became an actor in the scenes, and upon the
theater." (Wars, 13.1)
a bonfire of Christians had actually happened Josephus would
have mentioned it but he does not, and nor does any
early Christian writer.
the Neronian persecution never occurred. It is a fiction
of the Church, invented for its greater glory."
Drews, The Legend of St Peter, p63.
16 of Life of Nero by Suetonius. This
is the origin of the 'Christians burnt as torches' nonsense.
Letter For this pious fancy the forger created a
fictitious predecessor to Pontius Pilate, governor of Judaea,
calling him "Publius Lentulus". The forger has
his creation write to the Roman Senate, reporting Christ's "raising
of the dead". He describes Jesus as "the most
beautiful of the sons of men."
was first printed in the "Life of Christ" by
Ludolph the Carthusian (Cologne, 1474). It was probably composed
in 13th/14th century, based on an earlier Greek forgery.
of Pilate to Caesar Pilate's conversion to
Christianity and even the debauched Emperor Tiberius
a closet-Christian! Another gem from the pen of Tertullian!
things Pilate did to Christ; and now in fact a Christian
in his own convictions, he sent word of Him to the reigning
Caesar, who was at the time Tiberius. Yes, and even the Caesars
would have believed on Christ, if either the Caesars had
not been necessary for the world, or if Christians could
have been Caesars.
– Tertullian Apol. xxi and Anti-Nicene Fathers, iii,
of Jesus to the King of Edessa
Nothing less than the handwritten note of the godman himself! This fabrication
was supposedly delivered by the apostle Thaddeus, together with
a self-portrait by the artist Jesus Christ (he wiped his face
with the canvass)! Actually, the text is borrowed from the 'concordance'
of Tatian, compiled in the 2nd century, and known as the 'Diatessaron'. The forgery
is almost certainly the work of Eusebius, Christian propagandist of the
4th century. He was the first to mention the letter and claimed to
have personally 'translated' it from Syriac (Ecclesiastical History I,
Virgin Birth Fraud
The most colossal blunder of the Septuagint translators, the mistranslation
of the original Hebrew text of Isaiah, 7.14, allowed deceitful early
Christians to concoct their infamous prophecy that somehow the ancient
Jewish text presaged the miraculous birth of their own godman.
The Hebrew original
'Hinneh ha-almah harah ve-yeldeth ben ve-karath shem-o immanuel.'
the verse reads:
'Behold, the young woman has conceived and
bears a son and calls his name Immanuel.'
translators of Hebrew scripture (in 3rd century B.C. Alexandria)
slipped up and translated 'almah' (young woman) into the Greek 'parthenos' (virgin).
The Hebrew word for virgin would have been 'betulah.' The
slip did not matter at the time, for in context, Isaiahs prophecy set
in the 8th century BC but probably written in the 5th had
been given as reassurance to King Ahaz of Judah that his royal line
would survive, despite the ongoing siege of Jerusalem by the Syrians.
And it did. In other words, the prophecy had nothing to do with events
in Judaea eight hundred years into the future!
a pagan Greek from Palestine, fled to Ephesus at the time of
Bar Kochbars revolt (132 -135 AD). He joined the growing
Christian community and found himself competing with the priests
of Artemis, an eternally virgin goddess. Justin successfully
overcame the sentiments of established Christians and had Mary,
mother of Jesus, declared a virgin, citing his Greek copy of
Isaiah as 'evidence' of scriptural prescience. The Greek priest
who then forged the 'Gospel according to St. Matthew' went
one stage further, taking the word 'harah' in Hebrew
a past or perfect tense and switched it into a future
tense to arrive at:
'Behold, a virgin
shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they
shall call his name Emmanuel.'
– Matthew 1.23.
All this to
arrive at the monstrous fiction that ancient scripture foretold
of the arrival of an infant actually called Jesus!
Lying in 21st century
The Pope has
chosen to canonise Juan Diego, supposedly a
sixteenth century Mexican Indian who had the good fortune to
have the Blessed Virgin (in the guise of 'Our Lady of Guadeloupe')
impress her own image onto his cloak. Not surprisingly, Diego
was a paragon of Catholic devotion, completely submissive to
Spanish colonial authorities. Mind you, the story only surfaced
a century after its alleged occurrence, at the height of the
campaign to eradicate indigenous religions.
Brading, Professor of Mexican History at Cambridge University:
'When the Pope
canonises Juan Diego, he will have elevated to sainthood
the hero of a religious work of fiction.'
– The Times, 31 June 2002.
with the man given the task in 1947 of restoring Diego's
cloak, on which an image of the Virgin appeared, revealed
this week that the image was not a miracle. Instead, he said,
it had been painted on.'
we look at the Middle Ages and the Reformation, the first centuries
of the Christian era or even today, Christianity has always
been a fabrication, layer set upon layer of lies and nonsense,
a fraud from its very inception.
Graham Phillips, The Marian Conspiracy (Sidgwick & Jackson,
Marina Warner, Alone of All Her Sex (Picador, 1976)
John Shelby Spong, Liberating the Gospels (Harper, 1996)
John Shelby Spong, Born of a Woman (Harper, 1992)
Robin Lane Fox, The Unauthorized Version (Penguin, 1991)
Leslie Houlden (Ed.), Judaism & Christianity (Routledge, 1988)
W.H.C. Frend, The Rise of Christianity (Darton Longman Todd, 1984)
Riane Eisle, The Chalice & the Blade (Harper Collins, 1987)
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by Kenneth Humphreys.
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