Strange Greece and Italy would absorb a religion created in Judea, but the fertile crescent is where most of the action was taking place at the birth of civilization, and where written language first appeared 3,000 years before Christianity.
First, however, some visitors from the North arrived calling themselves Sakas and traveling in hemp-covered wagons pulled by oxen. They were ardent explorers and traders, and fierce warriors, and pioneered the silk trail, and made extensive forays into Persia, although King Darius went to war against them because they were the only people other than the Greeks he’d failed to subjugate. Even more amazing, the Sakas rode the first horses, wore gold armor, and covered their bodies with psychedelic tattoos of fantastical griffons and dragons. The first sighting of a Saka caravan must have been an awesome sight for anyone who’d never seen a horse before and the horse soon assumed epic statute in every culture, a symbol of great power and virility. Only the rich owned horses.
But the Sakas also brought cannabis flowers, which they threw onto hot coals in tipis, while gathering inside to inhale the smoke before dancing and singing with great enthusiasm. This ritual was described by Herodotus, who witnessed it first-hand. Unfortunately, the Sakas never established a written language, and this is why so little is known about them. Cultures can collide or harmonize, and it seems collisions are more frequent, and most our our history is the story of wars and battles. But after the smoke clears, there’s always an opportunity for harmonization.
The arrival of the written word could be compared with the invention of the Internet. Suddenly, ideas could be transmitted to all corners of the world simultaneously. The Phoenicians brought written language to the Greeks after it had already been established in the fertile crescent, and some say Homer was a Phoenician.
Despite being over 10,000 lines of poetry, the Iliad was an oral tradition for centuries, recited at festivals and games. Any child with a prodigious memory would have likely been recruited by the nearest temple. Even in the fertile crescent, the altar boys were the ones who recited the sacred words with accuracy. The Iliad is the bible of Greece, and established a pantheon of gods and goddesses who ruled the universe from a nearby mountain top. The Greeks triumphed over Persia largely because of their democracy. Free men were more committed than slaves when it came to combat, especially as they had families to protect and were defending their homeland.
Several hundred years later, Rome built its culture on top of Greek tradition, and Virgil wrote the Aeneid establishing Rome’s divine right to rule. Epic poems were designed to enchant and entertain with allegory and parable, but also to keep the population in place by anointing the oligarchy with divine connections. I’m sure there were many aspiring poets in all cultures who never made it into the history books, while others who pleased the rulers got recited at games and festivals.
In ancient times, slavery was a fact of life, and cultures with the most slaves built the biggest temples. It was not unknown for poor people to sell their children into slavery, and apparently that’s what may have happened to Jesus, since according to stories circulating in Alexandria at the time, his mother was impregnated by a Roman soldier, and since she was unmarried and a poor laundry woman, she sold Jesus into indentured servitude for 30 years. Some Egyptians believed Jesus performed his miracles through their magic.
But just about everything in the Jesus myth has origins in some other culture and the list of self-birthers includes Marduk (Sumeria), Horos (Egypt), Buddha and Krishna (India), and Perseus (Greece). Placing the birth date on the winter solstice is an obvious attempt to tie Jesus to the ancient Sun God myth so he could ride those impressive coattails. Even monotheists employed the sun to represent the eye of the One.
I don’t believe Jesus claimed divinity, though the mantle of divinity was placed on him after death. Why was Jesus so elevated while his half-brother James cast aside? It was James who created the real Christian ministry, and became such an inspirational leader that his death in the year 60 provoked some of the worst riots in Jerusalem history, resulting in the destruction of the temple and banishment of all Jews from Judea. Also, the word “Christ” originally meant “anointed” and was a reference to anyone treated with the sacred temple oil of the Old Testament. But hundreds of years after the fact, the words Jesus and Christ were fused together.
But even after James’ congregation scattered to the winds, they left behind many secret documents, most of which were destroyed during the first few centuries of Christianity, but starting around WWII, a few of these started to turn up in caves near the Dead Sea and in the fields around Alexandria. And they tell a much different story from the one in the New Testament.
In Sumeria and Babylon the priests were in charge of water engineering, and had to construct elaborate aqueducts to keep crops irrigated, and these works required constant supervision.
Religion was created to anoint the local King with a divine right to rule, while giving his High Priest a ceremonial tradition stretching back to creation. By building the big temple, they were able to sweep aside the privately-controlled shaman traditions from each tribe. But they also must have co-opted those traditions as much as possible. Costumes and rituals provided the sense of enchantment required to keep the populace happy and productive.
Egyptian creation myths seem influenced by the Sumerian one, as the same basic pantheon of Gods is put into play. However, the biggest difference in Egypt from Sumeria and Babylon is that no aqueducts are necessary because the Nile delivers the needed water when it floods every season, and leaves a nutrient-rich soil behind when it recedes.
In the beginning there was only Nu, dark, watery abyss of chaos.
Out of Nu rose Benben. (A great earthen pyramid believed to have happened near Thebes.)
Above Benben, Ra, (Sun God) was born.
Then Atum was born, King of all Gods, who self-created the God of Wind and Goddess of Fertility.
Written in BC 1754, Hammurabi’s Code began with a brief creation myth, and then proceeded to list 282 laws for ancient Babylon, covering all sorts of minutiae, with many violations punishable by death.
When Father Sky, sublime king of Angels, and also God of Wind, lord of heaven and earth, decreed the fate of the land, they assigned Lord Marduk, the over-ruling son of the God of Water, God of righteousness, dominion over earthly man, and made him great among the Angels.
Marduk called Babylon by its illustrious name, made it great on earth, and founded an everlasting kingdom, whose foundations are laid as solidly as those of heaven and earth.
Then Father Sky and God of Water called me by name, Hammurabi, the exalted prince, who fears God, to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil-doers, so that the strong should not harm the weak, so that I should rule over human beings like the Lord Sun, and enlighten the land, to further the well-being of mankind.
CODE OF LAWS
1. If anyone traps another by placing an evil curse on him, and the accuser cannot prove it, the accuser will be put to death.
2. If any one accuse another, and it cannot be proved, the accused will go to the sacred river, jump in and if he drowns in the river, his accuser shall take possession of his house. But if he escape the river unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to his accuser.
3. If one bears false witness in a trial, and it is proven, the accuser shall be put to death.
4. If anyone satisfy the elders to impose a fine of grain or money, he shall receive the fine.
5. If a judge try a case, reach a decision, and present his judgment in writing; if later error shall appear in his decision, and it be through his own fault, then he shall pay twelve times the fine set by him in the case, and he shall be publicly removed from the judge’s bench, and never again shall he sit is judgment.
6. If anyone steal the property of a temple or of the court, he shall be put to death, and also the one who received the stolen thing from him shall be put to death.
7. If any one buy from a son or the slave of another man, without witnesses or a contract, silver or gold, a male or female slave, an ox or a sheep, an ass or anything, or if he take it in charge, he is considered a thief and shall be put to death.
8. If any one steal cattle or sheep, or an ass, or a pig or a goat, if it belong to a god or to the court, the thief shall pay thirty-fold. If they belonged to a freed man of the king he shall pay tenfold. If the thief has nothing with which to pay he shall be put to death.
9. If any one lose an article, and it is found in the possession of another: if the person in whose possession the thing is found say “A merchant sold it to me, I paid for it before witnesses,” and if the owner of the thing say, “I will bring witnesses who know my property,” then shall the purchaser bring the merchant who sold it to him, and the witnesses before whom he bought it, and the owner shall bring witnesses who can identify his property. The judge shall examine their testimony, both of the witnesses before whom the price was paid, and of the witnesses who identify the lost article on oath. If the merchant is then proved a thief, he shall be put to death. The owner of the lost article receives his property, and he who bought it receives the money he paid from the estate of the merchant.
10. If the purchaser does not bring the merchant and the witnesses before whom he bought the article, but its owner bring witnesses who identify it, then the buyer is the thief and shall be put to death, and the owner receives the lost article.
Six thousand years ago, when horses were first being domesticated in the Ukraine, the first written language appeared in Sumeria, 35 miles from where Jerusalem would be founded one thousand years later. The Sumerians had a Bible that anointed their rulers with a divine right to rule, one with a creation myth that contained a flood story mirroring the story of Jonah that would appear much later in the Old Testament.
“For the sake of Mother Goddess, I will stop the annihilation of my creatures, and return the people from their dwelling grounds. Let them build many cities so that I can refresh myself in their shade. Let them lay the bricks of many cities in pure places, let them establish places of divination in pure places, and when the divine rites and exalted powers are perfected, and the earth is irrigated, I will establish well-being there.”
After Father Sky, Wind, Water and Goddess of Fertility fashioned the humans, they made animals multiply everywhere, and made herds of four-legged animals exist on the plains, as was befitting. The builder of the universe started with a solid foundation. The right of Kings to rule descended from heaven, and after the exalted crown and throne of kingship descended from heaven, the divine rites, and exalted powers were perfected, and bricks of the cities laid in holy places, and their names announced and proper notifications distributed.
The first city was Eridug, given to Nudimmud the leader. The second, Bad-tibira, was given to the Mistress.The third, Larag, was given to Pabilsaĝ. The fourth, Zimbir, was given to the hero Utu. The fifth, Šuruppag, was given to Sud.
Something that was not a dream appeared, and it told Zi-ud-sura to build a huge boat and fill it with all the seeds of the earth and the animals.
And the Gods of Sky, Wind and Water said, “Heed our words, pay attention to our instructions. A flood will sweep over the world. A decision has been made that the seed of mankind must be destroyed. The verdict, the word of the divine assembly, cannot be revoked. The order announced by Father Sky and Mother Goddess cannot be overturned.”
All the windstorms and gales arose together, and the flood swept over the world. After the water swept over the land, and waves and windstorms rocked the huge boat for seven days and seven nights, the Sun God came out, illuminating heaven and earth. Zi-ud-sura drilled an opening in roof of the huge boat and the Sun God entered the huge boat with his rays. Zi-ud-sura the King prostrated himself before the Sun God. The King sacrificed oxen and offered innumerable sheep. More and more animals disembarked. Zi-ud-sura the King prostrated himself before Father Sky and Mother Goddess and they treated him kindly and granted him eternal life. At that time, because of preserving the animals and the seeds of mankind, they settled Zi-ud-sura the King in an overseas country, to the east, in the land Dilmun.
Remember when they laughed about Wikipedia? I can assure you the sections on Christianity are well-researched and edited, and abound with links to primary sources, making the trails so much easier to navigate. You might as well call the Internet the Jesus Channel because it’s so packed with documentation and debate concerning every possible nook and cranny. Except one. That one dark hole in the center of the Jesus story.
Meet James the Just, first Bishop of Jerusalem, which makes him the first Pope in Christendom. Wonder why almost nobody heard of him or celebrates his name? There’s a reason for that, and it’s because he led the movement that was sweeping through the Jewish ghetto in Jerusalem. James didn’t eat meat, drink alcohol, cut his hair, respect Roman authority.
But he did respect Jewish authority, for James and his congregation all had to be circumcised in order to get baptized, as they considered themselves a Hebrew sect and not a completely separate religion.
Any sick among the new inductees would have been treated with their holy anointing oil, whose primary ingredient was cannabis, which was having a miraculous success rate. James was a conservative who respected the ancient ways of Moses and the prophets, and rejected the materialism of Rome. He was leading a non-violent movement, family friendly, and not a bunch of gangsters plotting a government coup. I don’t believe James and his crew were getting high on cannabis, at least not on a daily basis, but I could be wrong.
Paul was a relative of King Herod, and a Roman citizen, and after Jesus departed this earth, Paul led a goon squad on a mission to wipe Christianity off the face of the earth. Despite the oppression, or maybe because of it, the First Christian Church of Jerusalem takes off like a rocket.
Paul conspires with Peter to seize control of the church from within, and they do this through the Council in Jerusalem in the year 50. In the New Testament version of this epic meeting, Peter submits a proposal saying gentiles do not need to be circumcised to be baptized and James accepts idea and makes it dogma, thereby dividing Christianity and Judaism into two separate religions.
I would submit to you it is far more likely that the vegetarian James, who likely had hair past his waist as a razor had never touched his head, rejected this proposal and kept his church firmly within the realms of Judaism. Meanwhile, Peter has to be put in protective custody because everyone is so outraged by this proposal. Fortunately, Peter is rescued by an angel and whisked off to Rome, and anytime a Santa Claus story like that appears, I would suspect the real story is being covered-up.
Paul has a vision of meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus, is blinded and then healed by a Christian and converts. But soon he also must flee to Rome, because nobody in Jerusalem believes this conversion.
Paul eventually meets up with the incredibly talented Luke, who will write a third of the New Testament in highly literate Greek, while blending Egyptian and Greek art styles into the first Christian art movement. The bulk of the rest of the New Testament are letters written by Paul discussing various aspects of church dogma.
Soon after his Judgment in Jerusalem, James is lured to a parapet under guise of speaking to the multitudes and then pushed off, stoned and battered with a bat used to beat-out dirty laundry, sparking some of the worst riots the city has ever seen. When the population cannot be brought back under control, the Romans are forced to destroy the Temple and banish all Jews from Judea.
Think about it. Jesus crucified, no big deal. James murdered, tear down the Temple and make the Jews homeless.
Don’t you think it’s a bit odd James was written out of this script when he seems more of a messiah than Jesus, and even John the Baptist is flanking Jesus on his other side as another contender for that role.
Celsus was a Greek philosopher who wrote a penetrating analysis of the flaws in Christian theology in the year 177. I’d imagine there were many opponents to Christianity at the time like Celsus who were devoted to common sense and rational thought, but Celsus alone survived the test of time, and, in fact, his book Contra Celsum, only survived through parts quoted inside a rebuttal written fifty years later by Origen, who would soon find himself excommunicated because he failed to subscribe to the trinity concept. Celsus was condemned as a heretic by order of Valentinian III and Theodosious in 448, and all his writings destroyed.
It is clear the writings of the Christians are lies, and their fables are not well-enough constructed to conceal this monstrous fiction. I have heard many of their scribes, aware of the inconsistencies, pen in hand, alter original writings, three, four and several more times in order to conceal the contradictions in the face of criticism. There’s nothing new or impressive about Christianity, which is simple-minded when compared with other religions.
One ought to first follow reason as a guide before accepting any belief. Anyone who believes without testing a doctrine is certain to be deceived. Imagine what a Jew—let alone a philosopher—might say to Jesus. “Is it not true, good sir, that you fabricated the story of your birth from a virgin to quiet rumors about the true circumstances of your origins? Is it not the case that far from being born in the royal David’s city of Bethlehem, you were born in a poor country town?”
Jesus came from a village in Judea, and was the son of a poor Jewess who gained her living by the work of her own hands. His mother had been turned out of doors by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, on being convicted of adultery with a soldier named Panthéra. Being thus driven away by her husband, and wandering about in disgrace, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard. Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain magical powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god. I could continue along these lines, suggesting a good deal about the affairs of Jesus’ life that does not appear in official Christian records. Indeed, what I know to be the case and what the disciples tell are two very different stories. For example, the nonsensical idea Jesus foresaw everything that was to happen to him (an obvious attempt to conceal the humiliating facts).
The men who invented this story were insistent Jesus was descended from the first man and from the king of the Jews. The poor carpenter’s wife seems not to have known she had such a distinguished bunch of ancestors. What an absurdity! Clearly the Christians have used the myths of Danae and the Melanippe, and of the Auge and the Antiope in fabricating the story of a virgin birth. After all, the old myths of the Greeks attribute a divine birth to Perseus, Amphion, Aeacus and Minos and are certainly no less lacking in plausibility than the Christian stories.
Now perhaps you will argue that we have the words of the prophets who foretold the coming of a messiah. With due respect, I must ask why is Jesus to taken as the subject of the prophecies, rather than the thousands of others? What can be applied to Jesus can surely be applied to others. This is a very old ploy—anyone can prove anything from so-called prophecy. These same prophecies could easily be applied to others besides Jesus, for our prophets say that the “one who is to come will be a great prince and leader of nations and armies.”
But when you claim things like, “I am god,” or “I am son of god,” or even “I am holy spirit,” or “I have come to bring life for the world is coming to an end as I speak. And the wicked will perish in the fire for their sins. Only I can save you. You will yet see me, for I will return armed with heavenly powers, so blessed is he that worships me now. As for those who refuse, whole cities and nations will be cast into the fiery pit, while those who believe in me will be saved.” This sort of thing is heard every day all over Judea coming from the mouth of every two-bit prophet.
Christians are fond of saying that in the old days the Jewish god made great promises to those who followed his commandments. But at the risk of appearing unkind, I ask how much good has been demonstrated to these people, and why would anyone put faith in such a God, when instead of being masters of the universe, the Jews have no home?
Certainly the Christians are not alone in claiming inspiration for utterances they ascribe to their god through their prophets. I need hardly mention every case of prophecy that is said to have occurred among our own people—prophets and prophetesses as well—claiming the power of oracular and inspired utterance.
Let’s assume for a minute that Jesus foretold his resurrection. Are you ignorant of the multitudes who have invented similar tales to lead simple-minded hearers astray? It is said that Zamolxis, Pythagoras’ servant, convinced the Scythians that he had risen from the dead. And what about Pythagoras himself in Italy! Or Rhampssinitus in Egypt. The last of these, by the way, is said to have played dice with Demeter in Hades and to have received a golden napkin as a present from her. And what about Orpheus among the Odrysians, Protesiaus in Thessaly, and above all Heracles and Theseus?
The Christians postulate, for example, that their messiah will return as a conqueror on the clouds, will rain fire upon the earth in his battle with the princes of the air, and the whole world, with the exception of believing Christians, will be consumed in fire. An interesting idea—and hardly an original one. The idea came from Greeks and others—namely, that after cycles of years and because of fortuitous conjunctions of certain stars there are conflagrations and floods, and that after the last flood, in the time of Deucalion, the cycle demands a conflagration in accordance with the alternating succession. This is what is responsible for the silly opinion of some Christians that god will come down and rain fire upon the earth.
It is equally silly of these Christians to suppose that when their god applies the fire (like a common cook!), all the rest of mankind will be thoroughly scorched, and that they alone will escape unburned—not just those alive at the time, mind you, but even the long dead will rise up from the earth possessing the same bodies as they did in life. I ask you, is this not the hope of worms? For what sort of human soul is it that has any use for a rotted corpse of a body? It is nothing less than nauseating and impossible.
In truth there’s nothing at all unusual about what the Christians believe, except that they believe it to the exclusion of more comprehensive truths about god. They believe in eternal punishment. Well, so do the priests and initiates of the various religions. The Christian threaten others with this punishment, just as they are themselves threatened. God does not inflict correction on the world as if he were some unskilled laborer who is incapable of building something properly the first time around. God has no need to purify what he has built by means of a flood or a conflagration.
So too their fantastic story—which they take from the Jews—concerning the flood and the building of an enormous ark, and the business about the message being brought back to the survivors of the flood by a dove (or was it an old crow?). This is nothing more than a debased and nonsensical version of the myth of Deucalion, a fact I am sure they would not want to come light.
“Many of the ideas of the Christians have been expressed better—and earlier—by the Greeks, who were however modest enough to refrain from saying that their ideas came from a god or a son of god. The ancients in their wisdom revealed certain truths to those able to understand: Plato, son of Ariston, points to the truth about the highest good when he says that it cannot be expressed in words, but rather comes from familiarity—like a flash from the blue, imprinting itself upon the soul. But Plato, having said this, does not go on to record some myth to make his point (as do so many others), nor does he silence the inquirer who questions some of the truths he professes. Plato does not ask people to stop questioning, or to accept that god is like such and such. Rather, he tells us where his doctrines come from. There is, in short, a history to what he says, and he is happy to point to the sources of his knowledge, instead of asking us to believe that he speaks on his own authority.
Not only do they misunderstand the words of the philosophers; they even stoop to assigning words of the philosophers to their Jesus. For example, we are told that Jesus judged the rich with the saying “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of god.” Yet we know that Plato expressed this very idea in a purer form when he said, “It is impossible for an exceptionally good man to be exceptionally rich.” Is one utterance more inspired than the other?
“You Christians have a saying that goes something like this: “Don’t resist a man who insults you; even if he strikes you, offer your other cheek as well.” This is nothing new, and its been better said by others, especially by Plato, who ascribes the following to Socrates in the Crito. “Tis never right to do wrong and never right to take revenge, nor is it right to give evil for evil, or in the case of one who has suffered some injury, to attempt to get even.”
Christians, needless to say, utterly detest one another. They slander each other constantly with the vilest forms of abuse, and cannot come to any sort of agreement in their teaching. Each sect brands its own, fills the head of its own with deceitful nonsense. They say, “First believe that the person who tells us these things is god’s son. Now if these believers confess Jesus and others confess someone else, and if they all together have the slogan “Believe and be saved, or damn you,” what is to happen to those who really do want to be saved? I mean, which path are they to follow, since advice of the same sort comes from all quarters? Are the ones who crave salvation to throw dice in order to find out where they should turn?
Homer writes as follows of the words spoken by Hephaestus to Hera: “Once when I was ready to defend you, he took my by the foot and cast me down from the heavenly places.” Zeus speaks to Hera as follows, “Do you remember when you were hanging on high, when I attached anvils to his legs and cast unbroken chains of gold about your arms? You were hanging high in the ether of clouds. Then the gods struck, but I, seizing him, pitched him from the threshold of heaven, and he fell helplessly to earth.”
If the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve are truly creator’s works, can it be that god should make what is evil? How can he repent when they become ungrateful or wicked? How can he find fault with his own handiwork, or threaten to destroy his own offspring? Where is he to banish them, out of the world that he himself has made? I mean, if it is accepted that all of nature—everything in the world—operates according to the will of god and that nothing works contrary to his purposes, then it must be also be accepted that the angels, the demons, heroes—everything in the universe—are subject to the rule of the great god who rules over all.
Two years before a Bedouin shepherd discovered the Dead Sea scrolls hidden in a cave not far Jerusalem, a farmer in Southern Egypt made a similar discovery when he turned up some old sealed jars in his field containing some leather-bound papyrus manuscripts, one of which ended up being used by his mother as fire-starter before they realized how ancient and valuable they were. Unlike the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were written in Aramaic and Hebrew, these were written in Coptic.
The documents date from the 2rd to the 4th centuries and are assumed to have been copied from Greek originals. Over the years many more Gnostic texts written in Coptic have been uncovered in Egypt. These texts are available free online and tell a different story from the one told by the New Testament.