The Kingdom of Heaven

Introduction

In my last blog (See: Is the Law Dead for Christians) I wrote about how the old testament law has not been done away with by Jesus or the Apostle Paul. Moreover I showed how Jesus even expected his followers to practice the law at a higher level than the Pharisees. To practice the law at a higher level than the Pharisees one must spiritualize the law of Moses and fulfill it within their very being. For example instead of sacrificing an animal in a temple what we’re really suppose to do is sacrifice our inner animal in the temple which are our bodies. This is why the Apostle Paul continually said things like,

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. – Colossians 3:5

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. -Galatians 5:24

“…I beat my body and make it my slave…” – 1st Cor 9:27

This leads us to the topic of the kingdom of heaven. On this issue Christians are no different than the Pharisees because they fail to heed the very words of Jesus on the nature of the kingdom.

The Nature of the Kingdom

The kingdom is inside you

If you ask modern Christians when the kingdom of heaven is going to come they will tell you that first the anti-Christ needs appear on the world scene to deceive the whole world create a one world government and lead the armies of the world to attack Jerusalem. When Jerusalem is surrounded by all the armies of the world then Jesus is going to appear with his angels, destroy the anti-Christ and set up the kingdom in Jerusalem which will last for a thousand years. This is the view most Christians will spew when asked when the kingdom of heaven will come, now contrast this with what Jesus said in the Gospel of Luke when he was asked when the kingdom of heaven would appear.

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” – Luke 17:20-21

Christians believe Jesus is going to set up a physical kingdom in Jerusalem, Jesus in his own words basically said, the coming of the kingdom isn’t going to be a physical here or there that can be seen with the naked eye because the kingdom of heaven is within you.

Thus the modern Christian and the Pharisees of Jesus’ time are similar, the Pharisees looked to practiced the law of Moses physically instead of spiritually while Christians look for a physical manifestation of the kingdom when the coming of the kingdom is a spiritual event which happens within the physical body of the follower of Christ. Luke 11:52 makes a lot more sense when you realize the kingdom is inside of you. Jesus said,

Woe to you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye have not entered in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. – Luke 11:52

Therefore we can rightly conclude that once the disciple of Christ has sacrificed their inner animal, hormones, and lust within the altar of their body-temple then and only then can the believer enter the kingdom within.

‘Within’ or ‘Among?’

The favorite rendering of Luke 17:21 by Christian translators is “the kingdom of heaven is among you.’ They reason that Jesus could not have possibly been saying that the kingdom of heaven was in the hearts of the Pharisees, but is this true? The word translated as ‘within’ in Luke 17:21 is the Greek word Entos. This word is only used twice in the New Testament, the only other time it was used was in the Gospel of Matthew chapter twenty-three. Jesus says,

“You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. – Matthew 23:27

Here we see entos again being translated as inside. Jesus condemned the Pharisees for not focusing on first cleansing themselves on the inside instead of the outside. Furthermore on the issue on whether the correct translation is within or among the Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament says,

 This ‘within you’ is the obvious, and, as I think, the necessary meaning of |entos|. The examples cited of the use of |entos| in Xenophon and Plato where |entos| means “among” do not bear that out when investigated. Field (_Ot. Norv_.) “contends that there is no clear instance of |entos| in the sense of among” (Bruce), and rightly so. What Jesus says to the Pharisees is that they, as others, are to look for the kingdom of God within themselves, not in outward displays and supernatural manifestations. It is not a localized display “Here” or “There.” (Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament on Luke 17:21)

Since there are no Greek writers who used entos to mean among we can rightly conclude that within is the correct translation.

Lost saying of Jesus on the Kingdom of Heaven

In the Gospel of Thomas saying 22 a rather strange concept is put forth by Jesus, it says,

Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to his disciples, ‘These infants being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom.’ They said to him, ‘Shall we then, as children, enter the kingdom?’ Jesus said to them, ‘When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the kingdom.’” – Gospel of Thomas, saying 22

This same saying is found in the writings of the disciple of the Apostle Peter, St. Clement, in his 2nd Epistle of Clement. Also this saying is found in the recently discovered Oxyrhynchus papyri.

While this saying no doubt has many correct interpretations one interpretation is that both men and women are made up of male and female polarities and it is these polarities that must be transcended so that, “the male not be male nor the female female.” The fulfillment of such a merging of our positive polarity with our negative one is seen in the symbol of the ying and yang. Therefore when the opposite polarities within us are brought into unity then we can enter the kingdom of heaven.

Summary

We have seen that the nature of the kingdom is a spiritual one not a physical one. The kingdom will not be a localized here or there where it can be seen with the human eye because as Jesus said, “the kingdom is within you.”

I have also demonstrated that the correct translation of Luke 17:21 is within not among. Entos is never used to mean among in any Greek writing and in the new Testament it is only used twice and in both occasions it clearly means inside. Christians arbitrarily choose to translate entos as among because the kingdom being inside the Pharisees goes against Christian dogma.

In the Gospel of Thomas and other biblical documents and artifacts it was shown that a lost saying of Jesus clearly shows that to enter the kingdom you must overcome duality within yourself. The fact that the kingdom of heaven is spiritual in nature and not a physical kingdom which will be set up in Jerusalem goes against Christian doctrines but it was Jesus himself who said the kingdom is inside us and not in a specific location. Therefore Christians who continue to cling to the left behind theology call Jesus Christ a liar, not with their mouths but with their beliefs.

The Secret Gospel

Early Opponent of Christianity

Introduction

 In the year of 178 A.D., Celsus, the Epicurean philosopher and opponent of Christianity, published a work in opposition to Christianity known as The True Word or Discourse. Seventy years after its publication The True Word was still so widely circulated, that the Church Father Origen was commissioned by St. Ambrosius to refute this attack by Celsus in a work called Contra Celsum (Against Celsus). Both of these works are crucial to our understanding of early Christianity because in the True Word we see the allegations of this Epicurean philosopher against the church and in Contra Celsum we see the official response of the church to the allegations of Celsus. It’s like a window to the past opens up and we get to sneak peak at the beliefs and doctrines of the early church.

True Word

The True Word was written to oppose the “false word” which was Christianity, sadly The True Word has been lost to history but some of the arguments Celsus made against the church are preserved in Contra Celsum. Celsus as an Epicurean philosopher sought to understand nature by looking to nature itself, so it’s no surprise that in this work Celsus uses the same logic and arguments you hear out of modern day critics of the bible, for example he attacks the Christians for having blind faith:

Some do not even want to give or receive a reason for what they believe, and use such expressions as, “Inquire nothing. Believe and your faith will save you.” (Celsus, The True Word)

he attacks Christians for believing that God came down from heaven in the form of a man:

“God, my friends, is all-perfect and all-blessed. If He leaves His present state, and comes down as a man among men. He must pass from blessedness to unblessedness and from perfection to imperfection, from good to bad, and no such change is possible with Him. Change is the condition of mortality. The immortal remains the same for ever. (Celsus, The True Word)

and he even attacks Jesus Christ questioning his virgin birth and resurrection. While writing from the perspective of a hypothetical Jew, he writes:

“You, sir, have invented your birth from a virgin! You  Jesus were born in a small Jewish village. Your mother was a poor woman who earned her bread by spinning. Her husband divorced her for adultery. You were born in secret and were afterwards carried to Egypt, and were brought up among the Egyptian conjurers. The arts which you there learnt, you practised when you returned to your own people, and you then persuaded them you were God. It was given out that you were born of a virgin. Your real father was a soldier named Panther. The story of your divine parentage is like the story of Danaë. (Celsus, The True Word)

“Who saw your prophet after he rose—an hysterical woman or some of his own companions who dreamt of him or were deluded by their enthusiasm—an experience that has happened to thousands? More likely they wanted to impress others with this fantastic tale and so provide a chance for other beggars with this cock-and-bull story. All the world were witnesses of his death. Why were none but his friends witnesses of his resurrection? Had he desired to prove that he was God, he would have appeared to his accusers and his judge, or he would have vanished from the cross.” (Celsus, The True Word)

But this blog will focus on one particular claim made by Celsus. Celsus claimed that:

Of associations some are public, and these are in accordance with the laws; others, again, secret, and maintained in violation of the laws; of this latter sort is Christianity. The Christians teach and practice their favorite doctrines in secret. (Celsus, The True Word)

Celsus accused the church of teaching and practicing their favorite doctrines in secret. This alone means nothing but it is the response of Origen that should shock believers and unbelievers.

Origen responds to this charge by saying:

“to speak of the Christian doctrine as a secret system is altogether absurd. But that there should be certain doctrines, not made known to the multitude, which are after the exoteric ones having been taught, is not a peculiarity of Christianity alone, but also of philosophic systems, in which certain truths are exoteric and others are esoteric. Some of the heroes of Pythagoras were content with his ipse dixit; while others were taught in secret those doctrines which were not deemed fit to be communicated to the profane and insufficiently prepared ears.  Moreover, all the mysteries that are celebrated everywhere throughout Greece and the barbarous countries, although held in secret, have no discredit thrown upon them, so that it is in vain he endeavors to calumniate the secret doctrines of Christianity, seeing that he does not correctly understand its nature”. (Origen, Contra Celsum)

Origen does not deny that Christianity has secret teachings,  Origen responds by saying yeah we teach secret doctrines but we’re not the only ones who do that, the philosophers and barbarians do the same thing so that doesn’t discredit Christianity. Before we get into the evidence that Christianity has secret teachings the question needs to be asked, who today would claim Christianity is a secret system? No one would. In the minds of believers and unbelievers alike if there is a religious group who isn’t scared to share what they believe it is the Christians so to accuse them of having secret teachings would seem absurd in our modern culture. It seems that this type of argument should be leveled against the Masons who do practice their doctrines in secret, the Masons are so secretive that many think they are planning on creating a one world government.

Evidence Christianity is a Mystery Religion

A mystery religion is defined as, “ religious cults of the Greco-Roman world, participation in which was reserved to initiates. The main characterization of this religion is the secrecy associated with the particulars of the initiation and the cult practice, which may not be revealed to outsiders. That Christianity is a mystery religion can easily be seen when one actually reads the Bible without their doctrinal biases. To begin to grasp the concept that Christianity once had secret teachings I am going to begin with the Apostle Paul and the letter he wrote to the Christians who lived in Corinth hence why it’s called the Epistle to the Corinthians.

In chapter one in the Epistle 1st Corinthians Paul tells the believers at Corinth that:

“in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ” – 1st Cor 1:5-8

Paul clearly tells the believers at Corinth that they possessed all knowledge of the testimony of Christ. The testimony of Christ is the knowledge of Jesus’ life, words, crucifixion and resurrection. It is important to remember that Paul letters were written before the gospels ever existed so he simply couldn’t give them a copy of the gospels which tell the story of Jesus. The believers had the testimony of Christ and were now just simply waiting for the revelation of Jesus. Yet in chapter two the mood changes and Paul begins to tell these believers that they have just begun in their walk with the Lord he tells them that they are nothing but babes in Christ and they don’t know the true essence of the gospel.

 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony (mystery) of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. – 1st Cor 2:1-2

In some versions of the Bible like the NAS for example there is a footnote that explains that in the most ancient manuscripts the word testimony in this verse is wrong and the correct word is mystery. The fact that in chapter one Paul already said they received the testimony of Christ should make it easier to accept that the correct word in this verse should be mystery and not testimony.

This leads to the first piece of evidence that Christianity is a mystery religion. The gospels were written in Greek and in the Greek language mystery (Musterion in Greek) means:

Musterion – hidden thing, secret,  religious secrets, confided only to the initiated and not to ordinary mortals a hidden or secret thing (New Testament Greek Lexicon)

In chapter one the believers at Corinth we were told had received the testimony of Christ (i.e. Christ and him crucified) but in chapter two Paul tells them he did not tell them the mystery of God. By chapter three Paul is outright telling these believers that they aren’t even spiritual.

Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? – 1 Corinthians 3:1-3

What should be troubling to modern Christians is that Paul told these believers who were told the testimony of Christ and didn’t lack any spiritual gifts that they were still worldly – mere babes in Christ – who he could only feed milk and not solid food. This is a common theme you find in early church writings, babes in Christ are often told they can’t handle solid food (deeper knowledge) because they aren’t yet mature in their faith. Instead they are given milk since they are still babes in Christ. In other words in the same way you that you cannot feed a baby solid food before it is ready (because it will choke) a baby christian cannot be fed deeper knowledge because he/she will “choke” on  it. The secret teachings of Christianity is found all throughout the early church.

Testimony of the Early Church Fathers

 The early Church Father Ignatius (A.D. 35-117) in his Epistle to the Trallaus writes to fellow Christians and tells them:

“Might I not write to you things more full of mystery?  But I fear to do so, lest I should inflict injury on you who are babes.  Pardon me in this respect, lest, as not being able to receive their weighty import, ye should be strangled by them” (Ignatius, Epistle to the Ephesians)

Again we see that food is being represented as a degree in knowledge. Babes in Christ get milk, while the mature get solid food. Ignatius couldn’t write things more full of Mystery because the Trallus believers would have chocked on it.

Christianity started out as a mystery religion, and remember the definition of a mystery religion, a mystery reliigon is a religion in which, participation in the religion is reserved only for initiates. In his Epistle to the Ephesians Ignatius wrote that he had been;

initiated into the mysteries of the Gospel with Paul, the holy, the martyred.” (Ignatius – Epistle to the Ephesians)

This might seen strange to a modern Christian, why would Ignatius have to be initiated into the mysteries of the gospel? Maybe because Christianity was a mystery religion.

The disciple of the Apostle Peter Clement of Rome (A.D. ???-101) wrote about Jesus and the mysteries, he said;

We remember that our Lord and teacher, as commanding, said to us, guard the mysteries for me, and the sons of my house.  Wherefore also he explained to his disciples, privately, the mysteries of the kingdoms of the heavens.” (Clementine Homilies)

Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 150-215) stated that:

“The Lord… allowed us to communicate to those Divine Mysteries, and of that holy light, to those who are able to receive them.   He did not certainly disclose to the many what did not belong to the many; but to the few to whom He knew that they belonged, who were capable of receiving and being molded according to them.  But Secret things are entrusted to speech, not to writing as in the case with God… And to him who is able secretly to observe what is delivered to him, that which is veiled shall be disclosed as truth; and what is hidden to the many shall appear manifest to the few” (Clement of Alexandria, Stromata)

Clement said, Secret things are entrusted to speech, not to writing” which means the deeper mysteries of God are not written down in a book somewhere.

Those Christians that were spiritually mature were taught the secret doctrines Celsus accused the church of practicing in private. This is why the Apostle Paul said:

We do use wisdom when speaking to people who are mature in their faith. But it isn’t the wisdom of this world or of its rulers, who will soon disappear. We speak of God’s hidden and mysterious wisdom that God decided to use for our glory long before the world began. – 1st Corinthians 2:6-7

Paul clearly states that the mystery of God is only revealed to those who are mature in their faith. What Christians fail to realize is that studying about Jesus’ life, words, deeds, death and resurrection are for babes in Christ (new converts to the faith) but there comes a time when a believer must graduate past such elementary teachings. This is confirmed in the epistle to the Hebrews when the Apostle Paul says;

“Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment” Heb 6:1-2

Can you imagine a preacher in a church telling his congregation that it’s time to leave the elementary teachings about Christ and move onto maturity, he would be labeled a false teacher and will most likely lose his followers. Yet this is exactly what the Bible tells us. Christians deny that there is any higher teaching, to them Christianity begins and ends with Jesus Christ but Paul said, “let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity.” Christians ignore these words of Paul, they also ignore Paul when he says:

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. – 2nd Cor 5:16

This is exactly why the Biblical scholar Rudolf Bultmann rightly concluded that:

Christian faith is, and should be, comparatively uninterested in the historical Jesus and centered instead on the transcendent Christ” (Encyclopedia Britannica)

This information is shocking to modern Christians. The Christian may ask, “do you mean to tell me i am actually suppose to move past teachings about Jesus Christ. My reply is: Yes you are, the elementary teachings about Jesus are for new converts but Christianity is deeper than Jesus so do as Paul says and leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity if you want to begin to comprehend the mysteries of God.

Et tu Jesus?

To further understand Christianity’s secret teachings we must go back to the great master teacher himself, Yeshua ben Yosef.  When his disciples asked why he taught the people in parables but when they were in private he spoke to them openly, Jesus responded and said;

“The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding…’ – Mark 4:11-12

Let’s go back once again to the definition of a mystery religion. We’re told that the main, “characterization of this religion is the secrecy associated with the particulars of the initiation and the cult practice, which may not be revealed to outsiders.” Here we not only see Jesus saying the secrets of the kingdom of heaven was given to his disciples but to those on the outside they only received parables. Moreover the word translated as secret is the Greek word Musterion (mystery) this is the same word Paul used in his letter to the Corinthians.

We see this again in the latter part of Mark chapter four. We’re told that:

Jesus used many similar stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand. In fact, in his public ministry he never taught without using parables; but afterward, when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them. – Mark 4:33-34

The word translated explained in this verse is the Greek word Epiluo. This word in Greek means:

Epiluo – (1) to unloose, untie (2) to clear (a controversy), decide, settle (3) to explain what is obscure and hard to understand. (Thayers New Testament Greek Lexicon)

Why would Jesus have to unloose and untie and explain what is obscure and hard to understand to his disciples when they were in private? Believers and unbelievers alike believe that a parable was meant to clarify a teaching, nothing could be further from the truth, they were meant to hide teachings from those who were on the outside. In explanation of the above words of Jesus the Wycliffe Bible Commentary correctly states that the purpose of parables when they state:

“The purpose of parables was to instruct the initiates without revealing the items of instruction to the ones who were without. This is in keeping with the Biblical principle that spiritual understanding is restricted to those who have become spiritual…” (Wycliffe Bible Commentary)

This is exactly what we find in the writings of Paul, spiritual things are only for those who have matured past the milk and were ready for solid food. What this also means is that those on the outside who try to interpret the true meaning of the parables of Jesus are liable to abuse them, meaning try will come to the wrong conclusion because they are trying to understand the parable from their limited knowledge, not knowing that the parable is not revealing the items of instruction to the ones who were without. 

Can you see a re-occurring theme happening here?

Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. – Matthew 13:36

When Jesus taught in public he veiled the true meaning of his teachings by way of a parable, but with his closest disciples he explained everything to them. Paul told the Corinthians that when he visited them he couldn’t openly speak about the mystery of God the only thing he could tell them was Christ and him crucified but he also explained he does speak about the mysteries of God to those who have become mature. We also see from the early church fathers that there are divine things which could not be spoken to those who are still babes. As we’ve just seen, even Jesus himself claimed that he told those on the outside of his inner circle parables so that,they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding.”

Enter the Gnostics

Any one who has studied early Christian “heretical” groups will know everything I am saying fits perfectly with what the Gnostic Christians believed. Gnostic Christians claimed that they had a hidden secret knowledge that was passed down from Jesus Christ himself and that one was saved by this secret knowledge which they called Gnosis. The Encyclopedia Britannica does a good job in trying to convey the meaning of Gnosis, they describe it as thus;

“Among the majority of the followers of the movement, ‘Gnosis’ was understood not as meaning ‘knowledge’ or ‘understanding’, in our sense of the word, but ‘revelation’.  These little Gnostic sects and groups all lived in the conviction that they possessed a secret and mysterious knowledge, in no way accessible to those outside, which was not to be proved or propagated, but believed in by the initiated, and anxiously guarded as a secret.  This knowledge of theirs was not based on reflection, on scientific inquiry and proof, but on revelation. It was derived directly from the times of primitive Christianity, from the Savior himself and from his disciples and friends, with whom they claimed to be connected by a secret tradition, or else from later prophets, of whom many sects boasted. It was laid down in wonderful mystic writings, which were in the possession of the various circles”. (The Encyclopedia Britannica)

Now hopefully you can see why the Encyclopedia Britannica describes Gnosis as NOT being based on reflection, on scientific inquiry and proof, but on revelation. Also you are beginning to see how this secret Gnostic tradition started with Jesus and was passed to his disciples and the apostle Paul and later to the early church fathers, therefore we see evidence that the Encyclopedia Britannica is correct when it states that this secret gnostic tradition; “was derived directly from the times of primitive Christianity, from the Savior himself and from his disciples and friends, with whom they claimed to be connected by a secret tradition.”

The Resurrection Has a Deeper Mysterious Meaning

What Christians literally believe is the milk of the gospel. The milk of the gospel was explained by Origen in his reply to Celsus. Origen writes:

For who is ignorant of the statement that Jesus was born of a virgin, and that He was crucified, and that His Resurrection is an article of faith among many, and that a general judgment is announced to come, in which the wicked are to be punished according to their desserts, and the righteous to be duly rewarded?” (Origen, Contra Celsum)

Some of the same doctrines Origen mentions here are the same doctrines the Apostle Paul called the elementary teachings about Christ and that the believer must graduate past.

“Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity,not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment” Heb 6:1-2

Let’s bereak this verse down, the Apostle Paul told the Hebraic followers of Jesus, let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity,” but what were the elementary teachings about Christ Paul said they had to move past? He mentions them in the rest of the verse, Paul said they had to mature past – laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death – This means the believer must mature past existing in a state of perpetual repentance from sin – and of faith in God – The believer must stop having blind faith in God and mature so he/she can know God directly through Gnosis – instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands – The believer must mature past ritual baptism and the laying on of hands – the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment – The believer must mature past the belief in a literal bodily resurrection and the concept of eternal judgement.

Origen does NOT disagree with Paul because after listing the doctrines of elementary Christianity Origen says:

“And yet the mystery of the Resurrection, not being understood, is made a subject of ridicule among the unbelievers.to speak of the Christian doctrine as a secret system is altogether absurd. But that there should be certain doctrines, not made known to the multitude, which are after the exoteric ones having been taught, is not a peculiarity of Christianity alone. (Origen, Contra Celsum)

Origen says that the multitude were not taught certain doctrines until the exoteric ones had been taught. In his response to Celsus Origen even goes so far as to say that exoteric christian doctrines like the literal resurrection of the physical body was:

“preached in the Churches… for the simpleminded and for the ears of the common crowd who are led on to live better lives by their belief”. (Origen, Contra Celsum)

This is exactly why it is important to understand that the Bible is an allegory (See: The Key to Understanding the Scriptures). In his treaties on The Soul and the Resurrection, St Gregory writes that:

“… the resurrection is no other thing than ‘the re-constitution of our nature in it’s original form.” (St. Gregory, The Soul and the Resurrection)

Thus what Christian believe to be a literal physical event is actually a spiritual one. In other words this exoteric doctrine of a literal resurrection was taught to babes in Christ, but the true meaning of the resurrection was taught in secret to those who had matured in their faith, those who matured received the esoteric meaning of the resurrection. This is why the Gnostic Gospel of Phillip says:

Those who say they will die first and then rise are in error. If they do not first receive the resurrection while they live, when they die they will receive nothing. (Gospel of Phillip)

Those who say that the Lord died first and (then) rose up are in error, for he rose up first and (then) died. If one does not first attain the resurrection, he will not die. (Gospel of Phillip)

The true resurrection is an event that must take place while one is still alive in the body, not in physical death. The literal resurrection though was taught to those who were immature in their faith or in the words of Origen, “preached in the Churches… for the simpleminded and for the ears of the common crowd who are led on to live better lives by their belief”.

A surface reading of the Bible will lead one to believe that one must physically die first to be resurrected. This is exactly why it is important to understand that the Bible stories are actually allegories. (See: The Key to Understanding the Scriptures)

Conclusion 

Evidence has been shown that Celsus was right when he claimed Christians have doctrines that they practice in secret. Origen did not deny this at all and the evidence is clear is that early in it’s history Christianity had secret teachings which started with Jesus, who told his disciples the secrets of the kingdom which wasn’t for those on the outside, to Paul who told the Corinthians that he didn’t tell them the mysteries of God, to the early church fathers who said these secret teachings go back to Christ himself:

 We remember that our Lord and teacher, as commanding, said to us, guard the mysteries for me…” (Clementine Homilies)

“The Lord… allowed us to communicate to those Divine Mysteries, and of that holy light, to those who are able to receive them. He did not certainly disclose to the many what did not belong to the many; but to the few to whom He knew that they belonged (Clement of Alexandria, Stromata)

This means the Christianity we all know is incomplete. In modern times all we have left is the exoteric doctrines of Christianity because in the 4th century when the Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman empire, he proceeded to persecute the Gnostic followers of Jesus to near extinction. The simple truth is the Gnostics were correct and they faced persecution from the “orthodox” church in Rome, and when it seemed like they were about to be destroyed some of their scribes went into the desert and hid their sacred writings in the hope that a future generation will one day discover them. That day came in 1945 with the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library which contained esoteric writings such as The Gospel of Thomas. The first saying in the Gospel of Thomas has Jesus saying:

“Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death.” (Gospel of Thomas, Saying 1)

The Gospel of Thomas is a spiritual book for those Christians who had moved past the milk of the gospel and were ready for deeper knowledge. Those Christians who love the milk of the gospel and fail to move past the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity condemn any higher knowledge and claim all Christianity is about is Christ and him crucified. In not knowing that Bible stories are actually allegories Christians don’t realize that the gospel account of Jesus being crucified is also a mystery that has a deeper meaning. If the Gnostic Gospel of Phillip is correct in saying that the resurrection is an event that must take place while you’re alive, does this shed light on the fact that Jesus actually was never crucified and that the gospel narrative of the crucifixion is an allegorical symbol of a higher teaching? Maybe Origen was onto something when he claimed that the literal resurrection was “preached in the Churches… for the simpleminded and for the ears of the common crowd who are led on to live better lives by their belief”.

The only way you can interpret the sayings of the Gospel of Thomas and therefore not taste death you must become initiated into the mysteries so that you can eventually learn the truth from the Son of God himself via a revelation (i.e. Gnosis).

Jesus said: He who drinks from my mouth will become like me, and I will become like him, and the hidden things will be revealed to him. (Gospel of Thomas, Saying 108)

If what i have presented in this blog is true then this means that there is nothing a preacher, theologian, or any one else can tell you that can save your soul, the bible as understood today by modern man cannot save you. Professing with your lips and believing in your heart that Jesus Christ is your personal Lord and Saviour cannot save you, only Gnosis can save you. The Gnostics were right and modern Christianity is a mere shawdow of it’s former self thanks to the church of Rome.

The Key to Understanding the Scriptures

Introduction

So far we have tackled issues starting with the fact that the Bible has been changed over the course of it’s history – (See: Has the Bible been Changed? Part One) – and that the gospels originally portrayed the beliefs of the Ebionites. The Ebionites believed that Jesus was the son of Joseph and Mary and that he became the Christ at his baptism, I also showed that that the virgin birth story was not originally apart of the gospels. (See: Has the Bible Been Changed? Part Two) – in not recongnozing these corruptions Christians keep themselves locked in a mental prison which no one can free them from but themselves. The same is true when Christians do not come to grips with the many seeming inconsistencies, blatant contradictions and how their God is portrayed in their holy book. This blog was written to help explain some of the biggest but often ignored biblical mysteries of all time.

The Great Mystery 

If the Christian God is the supreme intelligence and creator of the universe who is all-seeing, all-knowing, omnipresent, then the question must be asked by all intelligent people everywhere: Why didn’t God author a set of scriptures where the meaning was so plain that everyone who opened the book would derive the same meaning from what they read?

The answer to this crucial mystery was addressed in the writings of the church father Clement I, who was the disciple of the Apostle Peter. This work written by Clement is one of the oldest documents in all of Christianity and is known as the Clementine Homilies, and in this document you get a more in-depth look into the beliefs of the Ebionites. In the Clementine Homily, the Apostle Peter is set to have a religious debate with a man named Simon Magus. Before the debate Peter sets forth the beliefs of Simon before his disciple Clement, Peter tells Clement that:

“Simon today is, as he arranged, prepared to come before all, and show from the Scriptures that He who made the heaven and the earth, and all things in them, is not the Supreme God, but that there is another, unknown and supreme, as being in an unspeakable manner God of gods; and that He sent two gods, one of whom is he who made the world, and the other he who gave the law. And these things he contrives to say, that he may dissipate the right faith of those who would worship the one and only God who made heaven and earth.” (Clementine Homilies, 3.2)

Peter then goes on to explain how he is grieved that Simon believes such things:

“When I heard this, how was I not disheartened! Wherefore I wished you also, my brethren, who associate with me, to know that I am beyond measure grieved in my soul…And for the sake of this attempt Simon comes to do battle with us, armed with the false chapters of the Scriptures.” (Clementine Homilies, Book, 3.3)

After this Peter drops a bomb that should shock many Christians, Peter explains to Clement that:

“And with us, indeed, who have had handed down from our forefathers the worship of the God who made all things, and also the mystery of the books which are able to deceive, he will not prevail; but with those from amongst the Gentiles who have the polytheistic fancy bred in them, and who know not the falsehoods of the Scriptures, he will prevail much. 

“And not only he; but if any other shall recount to those from among the Gentiles any vain, dreamlike, richly set out story against God, he will be believed, because from their childhood their minds are accustomed to take in things spoken against God. 

“And few there shall be of them, as a few out of a multitude, who through ingenuousness shall not be willing so much as to hear an evil word against the God who made all things. And to these alone from amongst the Gentiles it shall be vouchsafed to be saved. Let not any one of you, therefore, altogether complain of Simon, or of any one else; for nothing happens unjustly, since even the falsehoods of Scripture are with good reason presented for a test.” (Clementine Homilies, Book 3.4)

The Apostle Peter portrayed the scriptures as, books which are able to deceive” and that the only people Simon Magus will be able to convince are polytheistic Gentiles, “who know not the falsehoods of the Scriptures. Peter also goes on to say that the falsehoods of scripture are presented for a test. Why would Peter say such a thing? Does he not believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God?

That Peter might have believed in the scriptures as the inerrant word of God is erased when you see what he says to Clement next, Peter portrays the scriptures as a mish-mash of contradictory doctrines. Peter states:

“…if any one dares to hear anything against God, as trusting in the Scriptures, let him first of all consider with me that if any one, as he pleases, form a dogma agreeable to himself, and then carefully search the Scriptures, he will be able to produce many testimonies from them in favour of the dogma that he has formed. 

“How, then, can confidence be placed in them against God, when what every man wishes is found in them?”

“Therefore Simon, who is going to discuss in public with us tomorrow, is bold against the monarchy of God, wishing to produce many statements from these Scriptures, to the effect that there are many gods, and a certain one who is not He who made this world, but who is superior to Him; and, at the same time, he is going to offer many scriptural proofs.

“But we also can easily show many passages from them that He who made the world alone is God, and that there is none other besides Him But if any one shall wish to speak otherwise, he also shall be able to produce proofs from them at his pleasure. For the Scriptures say all manner of things, that no one of those who inquire ungratefully may find the truth, but simply what he wishes to find, the truth being reserved for the grateful now gratitude is to preserve our love to Him who is the cause of our being.” (Clementine Homilies, 3.9-10)

In the above quote Peter states that the scriptures were written in such a manner that each person who reads them would find what he or she was predisposed to believing in. That Peter’s warning is correct, is overwhelmingly proven by the modern church. Many very intelligent minds and astute biblical students have studied the scriptures and continue to hold conflicting opinions that oppose what the next person sees very clearly represented in the Bible.

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that Jesus is God and they can demonstrate their doctrine in the bible. Baptists, Pentecostals, and most other Evangelical Christians believe that Jesus is God, and they also have a whole host of biblical citations to prove their doctrines. The Mormons believe in the pre-existence of the soul. Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, this Orthodox, that Orthodox, this Church of God, that Church of God, the Universalists, the Reformers, the all inclusive Liberals, the Conservatives, etc., they all faithfully read the scriptures, yet these groups can’t come to any agreement on numerous important doctrines. How can we trust such a book when as the Apostle Peter stated, “what every man wishes is found in them.” 

Untruths were purposefully written into scripture

According to St. Gregory of Nyssa the early church father Origen was considered, “the prince of Christian learning in the third century.” The Encyclopedia Britannica calls him, “the most prominent of all church fathers.” St. Jerome considered him, “the greatest teacher of the church after the apostles.” When early Christianity was under attack by the pagan philosopher Celsus it was Origen who was commissioned by the church to respond to Celsus. In Origen’s most celebrated work titled De Principiis he wrote concerning the factualness of the literal narrative of the Bible, Origen said:

“Where the word found that things done according to the history could be adapted to these mystical senses, he made use of them concealing from the multitude the deeper meaning; but where in the narrative of the development of super-sensual things, there did not follow the performance of those certain events which were already indicated by the mystical meaning, the scripture interwove in the history the account of some event that did not take place, sometimes what could not have happened; sometimes what could but did not.” (De Principiis)

 How could an intelligent individual not agree with Origen that the scriptures contain things in them that “did not take place, sometimes what could not have happened; sometimes what could but did not.” Sometimes the untruths in scripture are so blatant that only a fool would believe the literal text of the scriptures. This was done intentionally by the biblical authors so that the believer is unable to read the text of the body of scripture in its literal sense, or in the words of the Apostle Peter, the falsehoods of Scripture are with good reason presented for a test.”

Such of an example can be found in the book of Joshua:

“Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, ‘O sun, stand still at Gibeon, and O moon in the valley of Aijalon.’ So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day” (Josh 10:12-13)

The untruth in this section of scripture is so obvious that only a fool would believe the sun stood still when modern man knows it is the Earth that orbits the Sun and it is the Sun that is stationary.

Another untruth is found in the creation account in the book of Genesis. According to the first book of the bible the sun, moon and starts weren’t created until the third day yet the Bible tells us there was an evening and a morning after the first two days.

And there was evening, and there was morning —the first day. – Genesis 1:3

And there was evening, and there was morning —the second day. – Genesis 1:6

With regard to reading this portion of scripture as actual events in history, Origen wrote:

“What man of sense will agree with the statement that the first, second and third days in which the evening is named and the morning, were without sun, moon and stars, and the first day without a heaven. What man is found such an idiot as to suppose that God planted trees in paradise in Eden, like a husbandman, and planted therein the tree of life, perceptible to the eyes and senses, which gave life to the eater thereof; and another tree which gave to the eater thereof a knowledge of good and evil?  I believe that every man must hold these things for images, under which the hidden sense lies concealed” (Origen – Huet., Prigeniana, 167 Franck, p. 142).

“What man of sense”, Origen asks, will blindly believe such statements? A man of reason would ask: “If there was no sun, moon and stars, how could there have been a day, night and dawn of a new day?” “What man is found such an idiot,” Origen says, who could believe that God planted trees in the Garden of Eden which gave to the eater the knowledge of good and evil, while the fruit of another tree gave eternal life? To go one step further than Origen, I would like to add, what man or woman is so mentally incompetent that they would believe the reason people grow old and die, why women go through so much pain during childbirth, and why evil exist in the world is because a talking snake tricked a man and woman into eating the fruit from a tree. Only idiots believe such things.

But remember the words of Origen, these obviously ridiculous things were written into the scriptures to conceal from the multitude the deeper meaning. Thus the Bible is actually an allegory which on the surface appears to be a historical narrative. The dictionary defines an allegory as the, “representation of abstract ideas or principles by characters, figures, or events in narrative, dramatic, or pictorial form.” Absurdities like a dead man rising from the dead, the sun standing still and there being an evening and a morning when there was no sun, moon, and stars, these ridiculous things were written into the text so that the true seeker of truth would reject the literal word of the scriptures and seek the spiritual  allegorical meaning.

This is exactly what Origen meant when he said:

“Scripture contains an unhistorical element in-woven with the history, in order that the worthlessness of the latter may drive us to seek the spiritual meaning” (The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics)

The Christian should immediately ask, “why are there events reported in the Bible that on the surface appears to be history, but in reality they never actually happened?” Origen answered this in the last part of the quote by stating, “in order that the worthlessness of the latter may drive us to seek the spiritual meaning.” Fundamentalist Christians may reject this but is this not what the Apostle Paul alluded to in his letter to the Galatians when he said:

For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise. 

This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. – Galatians 4:22-26, NASB

In view of the fact that the Apostle Paul writes that the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar are not historically true but are an allegory, how does this information impact the genealogy of Jesus? Was his lineage born from an allegory, or does the lineage of Jesus itself convey a series of profound sacred truths to the disciple? These are important questions a sincere seeker of truth should ask themselves.

Contradictions were purposefully written into the scriptures 

 Skeptics have pointed out on numerous occasions that there are so many contradictions and inconsistencies in the Bible that only a fool thinks he can harmonize all of these contradictions. Here are a few examples, in the book of Acts the story of the conversion of Paul is told numerous times in this one book yet each time the story is told the story contradicts itself, for example:

Acts 9:7 tells us that, “The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.” (KJV)

But when the story is told again in Acts 22:9 we’re told that:

“And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.” (KJV)

The book of Acts has other inconsistencies too. Acts 7:14 tells us that:

After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. (NIV)

This is in direct contradiction to what the book of Genesis tells us:

“…the members of Jacob’s family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all. – Genesis 46:27, NIV

Multiple inconsistencies can be found in the lineage of Jesus in the New Testament,  and what was recorded in the old testament. I am going to give a few example of this, for example Matthew 1:17 says:

“Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.”

When we examine this matter closely we find a number of contradictions. First of all the most obvious contradiction is that if the genealogy of Jesus is laid out in three sets of fourteen generations we should have forth-two people named yet there is only forty-one people named, someone is missing from Jesus’ genealogy. The second problem is found in Matthew 1:11.

and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon (NIV)

But 1st Chronicles contradicts this statement by saying  Josiah was the grandfather of Jeconiah.

And the sons of Josiah were, the firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. And the sons of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son. – 1st Chronicles 3:15-16

Where was Jacob buried? The book of Genesis tells us that Jacob was buried at Machpelah near Mamre.

They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre, which Abraham had bought as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite, along with the field. -Genesis 50:13

The book of Acts tells us that Jacob was buried at Shechem.

So Jacob went down to Egypt; and he died, he and our fathers. And they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. – Acts 7:15-16

Within this contradiction we find another contradiction. The book of Acts just told us that Abraham bought the tomb at Shechem, the book of Joshua tells us something differently.

And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor. – Joshua 24:32

 Who bought the tomb at Shechem Jacob or Abraham? The book of Genesis says Abraham did, the book of Joshua says Jacob did. Moreover the book of Genesis says the tomb was bought from Ephron the Hittite. The book of Joshua and Acts both agree it was bought from the sons of Hamor. So you have multiple accounts that cannot agree on who bought it, where the tomb was located and whom it was purchased from.

How did Judas die? The book of Matthew tells us that Judas died because he hung himself:

And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. – Matthew 27:5

Yet the Acts of the Apostles tells us that Judas died by falling off a cliff:

“Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was counted among us and received his share in this ministry.” Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. – Acts 1:16-18

If the objective of scripture was to convince people of the historical reliability of the narrative therein then the biblical authors failed terribly. And if the holy spirit wrote both the new and old testaments there should be uniformity between them but this is not what we find when we critically examine the scriptures. But if in the words of the Apostle Peter, the falsehoods of Scripture are with good reason presented for a test, and the objective of the falsehoods of scripture are to drive us to seek the spiritual meaning as Origen said, then this makes a great deal more sense than putting your trust in a book with so many mistakes in it. The problem is Christians either ignore or try to harmonize these contradictions are literally blinded and reject any thing that does not conform to their current belief system.

Why is God Such a Barbaric A**hole?

In the Clementine Homilies the Apostle Peter portrays the Gentiles as being easily deceived, because they are accustomed to believing bad things about God.

the Gentiles…from their childhood their minds are accustomed to take in things spoken against God. (Clementine Homilies, Book 3)

The same is true of Christians today, Christians believe in a God who tells us, “Thou shall not kill” yet he is the first one to break his own law.

• God kills a man who touched the ark of the covenant to keep it from falling (2nd Samuel 6:6-7)

• He repents that he made man and drowns everyone on the globe except Noah and his family. (Genesis 7)

• God kills 70,000 innocent people because David ordered a census of the people (1 Chronicles 21:9-14)

It doesn’t stop there.

• The God of the Bible also allows slavery, including selling your own daughter as a sex slave. (Exodus 21:7-11)

The God of the bible condones murder, rape, pillaging, plundering, slavery, genocide and child abuse. He’s loves physical circumcision, animal sacrifices and blood sprinklings. Christians not only overlook these atrocities they even defend it when any intelligent and moral person would reject such a God. But in worshiping the God they read about in the literal text of the scriptures and not realizing that scripture contain things that did not take place, sometimes what could not have happened; sometimes what could but did not’ Christians not only fail the test Peter speaks of they also fall victim to the falsehoods of scripture. What the Apostle Peter and Origen are stating is no different than what the great Jewish theologian Moses Maimonides said:

“Every time that you find in our books a tale the reality of which seems impossible, a story which is repugnant to both reason and common sense, then be sure that the tale contains a profound allegory veiling a deeply mysterious truth; and the greater the absurdity of the letter, the deeper the wisdom of the spirit”

The Jewish Zohar puts it like this:

“The narratives of the Doctrine are its cloak. The simple look only at the garment — that is, upon the narrative of the Doctrine; more they know not. The instructed, however, see not merely the cloak, but what the cloak covers.” (The Zohar, iii., 152; Franck, 119.)

So to answer the question, why is god such a barbaric a**hole? As you should have anticipated, God is not really like what he is portrayed as in the Bible. The stories of God doing god-awful things are allegories. In the words of Origen:

“But all the narrative portion, relating either to the marriages, or to the begetting of the children, or to battles of different kinds, or to any other histories whatever, what else can they be supposed to be, save the forms and figures of hidden and sacred things? As men, however, make little effort to exercise their intellect, or imagine that they possess knowledge before they really learn, the con­sequence is that they never begin to have knowledge” (Origen, De Principiis, Book IV)

Conclusion

I asked a very important question in the beginning of this blog, I asked: Why didn’t God author a set of scriptures where the meaning was so plain that everyone who opened the book would derive the same meaning from what they read?

The answer is this: It was by design. 

It was by design that the Jehovah Witness sees his doctrine in the scriptures. Regardless of how many pamphlets the born again Christian publishes in an attempt to prove the doctrine of the Trinity, the Jehovah’s Witness will continue to see their favorite passages of scripture that affirm their position that Jesus was not God. The scriptures say all manner of things and this was done on purpose so that the sincere seeker of truth would reject the obvious absurdities and seek the deeper spiritual meaning of the scriptures.

Only idiots argue over things like did Noah take dinosaurs on the ark or did they perish in the great flood. Only idiots ignore or try to harmonize, explain away or defend the numerous bible contradictions and absurdities. Only idiots worship a God who’s morality is lower than the creatures he created. But as we have learned these things we read in the literal text hide spiritual messages and it is this knowledge that is the key to understanding the scriptures.

 

Has the Bible been Changed? Part Two: The Ten Words

Abstract: At the first council of Nicaea it was declared that Jesus Christ, God the Son was co-eternal with the Father. What this meant was there never was a time when Jesus wasn’t the Son of God, but not only is Jesus God’s eternal Son he is equal to God which in fact makes Jesus God since they are of the same substance according the the Nicene creed. This has been the dogma of the church for the past 1700 years, but what if I told you there are ten words that could change Christianity forever, ten words that are so deadly that it strikes at the very heart of the post-Nicene church and would bring this religion of two billion plus members crashing down upon it’s very foundation. Would you believe me? Well contrary to popular thought the earliest biblical witness show this to be the case, using the earliest biblical manuscripts in conjunction with several quotations of the pre-Nicene Church Fathers, it can be demonstrated that the very same scriptures that we use today read differently prior to the adoption of Christianity as the state puppet religion of the Roman government.

The Ten Words

The baptism of Jesus

The Holy Spirit anointing the mind of Jesus

Preserved in our oldest biblical manuscripts and the writings of the pre-nicene church fathers there are ten words that are no longer in the gospels they have been removed from the scriptures, but thanks to textual criticism the truth has been uncovered. Not only are these ten words preserved in our oldest manuscripts and pre-nicene church fathers but paradoxically they are perserved in another part of the New Testament, the book of Hebrews which proves the forgery.  In one of the oldest existing biblical manuscripts known as Codex Bezae the words spoken to Jesus at his baptism by God isn’t the words we find in our biblical text today, it contains ten words that can change the Christian religion forever. To understand how this is so we must begin with the baptism of Jesus for it is here that we shall discover why these ten words are so dangerous.

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17)

What if i told you that the underlined words in this retelling of the baptism of Jesus wasn’t the original wording but it was something else. Would you want to know what the original wording was? Would you even care? If you’re a Christian you should care because the true words that were spoken by God himself have been censored by the church of Rome. The words spoken to Jesus by God at his baptism was NOT, “This is my Son whom i love; and with him I am well pleased” the true words spoken to Jesus were, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.”

Evidence from Early Church Fathers

Christian philosopher, apologist and martyr Justin Martyr who lived from A.D. 100-165 wrote concerning Jesus in his work known as ‘Dialogue with Trypho a Jew’, Justin said:

“He was in the habit of working as a carpenter when among men, making ploughs and yokes; by which He taught the symbols of righteousness and an active life; but then the Holy Ghost, and for man’s sake, as I formerly stated, lighted on Him in the form of a dove, and there came at the same instant from the heavens a voice, which was uttered also by David when he spoke, personating Christ, what the Father would say to Him: `Thou art My Son: this day have I begotten Thee’” (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho a Jew)

Justin then goes on to explain to Trypho:

“For this devil, when [Jesus] went up from the river Jordan, at the time when the voice spake to Him, `Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten Thee,’ is recorded in the memoirs of the apostles to have come to Him and tempted Him, even so far as to say to Him, ‘Worship me;’ and Christ answered him, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan: thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve’”. (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho a Jew)

The great theologian and mentor to Origen, Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 150-215) in his writing known as The Instructor’ wrote concering the baptism of Jesus:

“For at the moment of the Lord’s baptism there sounded a voice from heaven, as a testimony to the Beloved, ‘Thou art My beloved Son, to-day have I begotten Thee’” (Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor)

In his commentary on the gospel of John, Origen (A.D. 185-254) writes that:

None of these testimonies, however, sets forth distinctly the Savior’s exalted birth; but when the words are addressed to Him, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee‘, this is spoken to Him by God”. (Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of John)

The church father Methodius (A.D. 260-312) was a Bishop, author and a Martyr. In his work titled Banquet of the Ten Virgins’ he wrote that:

“Now, in perfect agreement and correspondence with what has been said, seems to be this which was spoken by the Father from above to Christ when He came to be baptized in the water of the Jordan, ‘Thou art my son: this day have I begotten thee’”. (Methodius, Banquet of the Ten Virgins)

Lactantius (A.D. 240-320) was a Christian author and adviser to the Emperor Constantine and a tutor to his son. In his The Divine Insitutes Lactantius writes:

“Then a voice from heaven was heard: ‘Thou art my Son, today have I begotten Thee,‘Which voice is found to have been foretold by David. And the Spirit of God descended upon Him, formed after the appearance of a white dove. From that time He began to perform the greatest miracles, not by magical tricks, which display nothing true and substantial, but by heavenly strength and power, which were foretold even long ago by the prophets who announced Him; which works are so many, that a single book is not sufficient to comprise them all” (Lactantius, The Divine Institutes)

Unless these early leaders of the Church were reading from completely different gospels the words,“Thou art my son, today have I begotten thee” have been removed from our gospel’s and replaced with, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Evidence from the Epistle to the Hebrews

There is biblical evidence from outside the gospel’s where it is confirmed that the words spoken to Jesus by God was, “Thou art my son, today have I begotten thee.” This evidence can be found in the epistle to the Hebrews chapter one verse five, i am going to quote verses one through five so you can see the whole thing in it’s context, it says:

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee.” (Hebrews 1:1-5)

To understand why these words clash so violently with modern Christian dogma I will quote from the Adam Clarke commentary. Commenting on the phrase “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee,” found in Hebrews chapter one verse five the Adam Clarke commentary says:

“This most important use of this saying has passed unnoticed by almost every Christian writer which I have seen; and yet it lies here at the foundation of all the apostle’s proofs. If Jesus was not thus the Son of God, the whole Christian system is vain and baseless: but his resurrection demonstrates him to have been the Son of God; therefore everything built on this foundation is more durable than the foundations of heaven, and as inexpugnable as the throne of the eternal King.” (Adam Clarke Commentary on Hebrews 1:5)

The Adam Clarke commentary exposes it’s Christian bias when it claims:

“The words, This day have I begotten thee, must refer either to his incarnation, when he was miraculously conceived in the womb of the virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit; or to his resurrection from the dead.” (Adam Clarke Commentary on Hebrews 1:5)

This is a forced way of interpreting this passage, when God told Jesus, ‘this day have I begotten you’ he was referring to that moment in time which means at his baptism in the river Jordan Jesus became the Christ/Son of God for the first time. This contradicts the doctrine of the trinity which says Jesus was eternally God but as we saw in part one, the trinity concept was added to the bible centuries after the bible was finished. What this means is that Jesus was a man who became the Son of God, this of course goes against Christian dogma that Jesus is divine.

Is Jesus God?

If Jesus was God then surely Jesus’ chief disciple would have taught Jesus was God right? According to Acts chapter 2 Peter told his fellow Israelites that:

Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know” (Acts 2:22)

Here Peter confirms that Jesus was a man accredited by God, and a man whom God did miracles, wonders and signs through. If Jesus was God then how could God work miracles through himself? This shouldn’t be surprising because this is the same Jesus who said many times throughout his ministry:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself…” (John 5:19)

“…I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.” (John 8:28)

The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works”(John 14:10)

Here Jesus himself tells his detractors that it is the father who dwells in him that does the works.

“Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” (John 20:17)

If Jesus was God or co-equal with God from all eternity how could he ever call mere mortals his brothers? Moreover, how could he return to God if he was God? These biblical verses along with the proof that the trinity concept was added to the bible at a later date should cast doubt on the modern Christian belief that Jesus was God.

Ancient Unorthodox Views of Jesus

Not all early Christians believed in the trinity or that Jesus was divine. The early church theologian Hippolytus of Rome (A.D. 170-236) in his principle work ‘Refutations of all Heresies’ he describes the beliefs of a first century sect of Jewish-Christians called the Ebionites. He says they believed that Jesus;

“was justified by fulfilling the Law. He was the Christ of God, since not one of the rest of mankind had observed the Law completely. Had any one else fulfilled the commandments of the Law, he would have been the Christ.” Hence “when Ebionites thus fulfill the law, they are able to become Christs, for they assert that our Lord Himself was a man in like sense with all humanity.”(Hippolytus of Rome, Refutation of All Heresies 7.22)

Church Father Epiphanius of Salamis (A.D. 320-403) also writes about the Ebonites, he says;

For since they wish Jesus to be in reality a man, as I have said before, Christ came in him having descended in the form of a dove and was joined to him (as already we have found among other heresies also), and became the Christ from God above, but Jesus was born from the seed of man and woman. (Epiphanius of Salamis, Panarion 30.14.4-5)

These hostile witnesses attest to the fact that there were believers in Jesus who believed he was simply a man who became the Christ, not someone who was always the Christ/Son of God as Christians claim today.

Historian Edward Gibbon’s most important work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’ was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788. This is a grade A quality work because Edward Gibbon used primary sources to gather his information. In this work Edward Gibbon describes the beliefs of early Christians, he writes that in Jesus they believed there was a;

“…supernatural union of a man and God… In their eyes, Jesus of Nazareth was a mere mortal, the legitimate son of Joseph and Mary: but he was the best and wisest of the human race, selected as the worthy instrument to restore upon earth the worship of the true and supreme Deity. When he was baptized in the Jordan, the Christ, the first of the aeons, the Son of God himself, descended on Jesus in the form of a dove, to inhabit his mind, and direct his actions during the allotted period of his ministry” (Gibbon; The Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire, V.4, P.366).

Here we see even more evidence that early Christians believed it was at the baptism of Jesus where he became the Christ/Son of God.

The second century writer Irenaeus (A.D. 110-202) describes the beliefs of a Gnostic Chrsitian named Cerinthus, (A.D. 100) he believed the same thing as the Jewish-Christians, the Ebonites, Irenaeus writes that Cerinthus;

“represented Jesus as having not been born of a virgin, but as being the son of Joseph and Mary according to the ordinary course of human generation, while he nevertheless was more righteous, prudent, and wise than other men. Moreover, after his baptism, Christ descended upon him in the form of a dove from the Supreme Ruler, and that then he proclaimed the unknown Father, and performed miracles” (Irenaeus, Bk 1, Ch 26, doctrines of Cerinthus)

All of these early christian beliefs of Jesus have one more thing in common, the denial of Jesus being born of a virgin. Most Christians overlook this one fact, the gospel of Mark was the first gospel written, but guess what? Mark’s gospel has no virgin birth story in it, the gospel of Mark starts out with the baptism of Jesus. In Marks gospel Jesus isn’t special because he was born of a virgin but because when he was baptized the holy spirit came upon him and made him the Christ, the Son of God. Then God spoke from heaven saying, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” This is why the words spoken to Jesus by God had to be changed from, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee” to “This is my Son whom i love; and with him I am well pleased.” This had to be edited out of the bible because it confirmed the beliefs of early Jewish and Gentile Christians who were considered heretics by later Christians because they didn’t believe in the divinity of Jesus.

More damning evidence comes from the fact that the original gospel of Matthew had no virgin birth story in it. The gospel of Matthew was first written in the Hebrew language before it was written in Greek which is where our translations of the Bible come from. This Hebrew version of the gospel of Matthew is lost. Edward Gibbon writes:

“But this Hebrew Gospel of St. Matthew is most unaccountably lost; and we may accuse the diligence or fidelity of the primitive churches, who have preferred the unauthorized version of some nameless Greek”.

Gibbon rightfully calls our copy of Matthew the “unauthorized version of some nameless Greek”, because the only true Gospel attributed to Matthew is the original Hebrew version which was never given to the Gentile Church, and we no longer possess today.

Of this Hebrew original of Matthew, St. Jerome wrote to the Bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus:

“A difficult work is enjoined, since this translation has been commanded me by your Felicities, which St. Matthew himself, the Apostle and Evangelist, did not wish to be openly written. For if it had not been Secret, he would have added to the evangel that which he gave forth was his; but he made up this book sealed up in the Hebrew characters, which he put forth even in such a way that the book, written in Hebrew letters and by the hand of himself, might be possessed by the men most religious, who also, in the course of time, received it from those who preceded them. But this very book they never gave to any one to be transcribed, and its text they related some one way and some another”.

It is this copy of Matthew that the Ebionites used and like i mentioned before this version of Matthew is lost we just have the Greek version which is in our Bibles today. But it is interesting to note that the enemy of the Ebionites Epiphanius noted that:

“The two first chapters of St. Matthew did not exist in the Ebionite copies (Epiphan. Haeres. xxx. 13″

As any Christian should know the first two chapters of the gospel of Matthew deal with the immaculate conception and virgin birth of Jesus Christ. If this is true then this is more evidence that the doctrine of the virgin birth was added sometime after the gospel of Matthew was originally composed. There is sufficient reason to question whether in its original form, Luke contained the narrative of the Virgin birth. That the original version of Luke did not contain the first two chapters of the birth narrative is further demonstrated in the allegation of the church father Tertullian that the heretics used copies of Luke that did not contain these chapters.

Conclusion

I have shown you that the earliest biblical manuscripts, early church fathers and The Apostle Paul himself record that the words spoken to Jesus by God was “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee” which proves Jesus was a man who became the Christ at his baptism, this view fits perfectly with what the Ebonites believed about Jesus.

I have also shown you biblical verses which state Jesus was not God and that God was working miracles through Jesus. Peter said in the book of Acts chapter 2 that Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God, Jesus himself said he did nothing it was the father who dwelled in him that did the miracles.

The question is who are you going to believe Jesus and his first century followers (The Ebonites) or the puppet church of Rome who three centuries after Jesus they declared him to be God, then went on a mass crusade and killed off the Ebonites and other “heretics” and then proceed to tamper with the scriptures to hide the truth. Elaine Pagels was correct when she stated:

“It is the winners who write history — their way.” (Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels, pg. 142)

Has the Bible been Changed? Part One

Intro to Textual Criticism: Reconstructing Aunt Sally’s Letter

This simple illustration comes from an article on the Christian website Stand to Reason. The illustration is meant to instruct those who are not familiar with textual criticism as to the objective of this disciple. The illustration goes like this:

Pretend your Aunt Sally has a dream in which she learns the recipe for an elixir that would continuously maintain her youth. When she wakes up, she scribbles the directions on a scrap of paper, then runs into the kitchen to make up her first glass. In a few days her appearance is transformed. Sally is a picture of radiant youth because of her daily dose of what comes to be known as “Aunt Sally’s Secret Sauce.”

Sally is so excited she sends hand-written instructions to her three bridge partners (Aunt Sally is still in the technological dark ages–no photocopier) giving detailed instructions on how to make the sauce. They, in turn, make copies which each sends to ten of her own friends.

All is going well until one day Aunt Sally’s pet schnauzer eats the original copy of the recipe. Sally is beside herself. In a panic she contacts her three friend

They finally round up all the surviving hand-written copies, twenty-six in all. When they spread them out on the kitchen table, they immediately notice some differences. Twenty-three of the copies are exactly the same. One has a misspelled word, though, one has two phrases inverted (“mix then chop” instead of “chop then mix”) and one includes an ingredient that none of the others has on its list.s who have mysteriously suffered similar mishaps. Their copies are gone, too, so the alarm goes out to their friends in attempt to recover the original wording.

Here is the critical question: Do you think Aunt Sally can accurately reconstruct her original recipe?

This is what textual criticism is all about, finding out what the original words of the document in question are. In this case the Bible is the document in question.

Ancient Testimony

Saying the Bible has been changed isn’t a new claim, this was said back when Christianity was still an infant on the world stage. This section will provide testimony from christian and non-christian sources which accuse their religious opponents of changing, adding, and deleting certain text in holy scripture. We’ll start things off with the pagan philosopher and arch nemesis of the early christian church, Celsus. Celsus is best known for his anti-christian work titled, The True Word, This writing from around A.D. 177 is the earliest known attack on Christianity. Celsus wrote that:

“Certain Christians, like men who are overcome by the fumes of wine and care not in the least what they say, alter the original text of the Gospels so that they admit of various and almost indefinite readings. And this, I suppose, they have done out of worldly policy, so that when we press an argument home, they might have the more scope for their pitiful evasions” (Celsus, The True Word)

The great teacher and early christian scholar Origen who was and still is considered the greatest Christian teacher outside of Jesus Christ and his apostles, it was this man who was comminsioned by the church to responded to Celsus attacks on the Church. Origen responded to Celsus by saying:

Besides, it is not at all fair to bring this charge against the Christian religion as a crime unworthy of its pretended purity; only those persons who were concerned in the fraud should, in equity, be held answerable for it” (Origen, Contra Celsus)

Notice Origen does not deny that people are changing the scriptures he just says you cannot blame this on the religion itself but the people who commit the fraud.

The church father St. Jerome who is best known for translating the Bible into Latin, this translation is known as the Vulgate. St. Jerome commented on the fact that when scribes came across something while copying scripture that they did not like they assumed it was a mistake by the previous copyist and would correct this mistake by adding their preconceived beliefs to the text.

They write down not what they find but what they think is the meaning; and while they attempt to rectify the errors of others, they merely expose their own” (Jerome, Epist. lxxi.5)

The ancient church historian Eusebius who was the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine quoted Pope Dionysius of Alexandria on how his letters had been corrupted by the hands of fellow christians.

“When my fellow Christians invited me to write letters to them I did so. These the devil’s apostles have filled with tares, taking away some things and adding others. For them the woe is reserved. Small wonder then if some have dared to tamper even with the word of the Lord Himself, when they have conspired to mutilate my own humble efforts” (Hist. Eccl., Bk. 4. 23)

Eusebius had his own problems with people corrupting the bible in his own day. Eusebius wrote:

Therefore they have laid their hands boldly upon the Divine Scriptures, alleging that they have corrected them. That I am not speaking falsely of them in this matter, whoever wishes may learn. For if any one will collect their respective copies, and compare them one with another, he will find that they differ greatly. (Eusebius, Church History)

Probably the most influential church father of them all, St. Augustine, who is best known for his work, City of God, spoke on the corruption of the scriptures as well, he said:

“For those who are anxious to know the Scriptures ought in the first place to use their skill in the correction of the texts, so that the uncorrected ones should give way to the corrected” (De Doctrina Christ., II. 14)

The church father Tertullian, who is considered the founder of Western Theology blamed heretics for the corruption of the scriptures. He makes reference to the fact that Marcion removed whole sections of scripture because he did not agree with what was written.

“Now, inasmuch as all interpolation must believed to be a later process… One man perverts the scriptures with his hand, another their meaning by his exposition… Marcion expressly and openly used the knife, not the pen, since he made such an excision of the scriptures as suits his own subject matter” (De Praescript. 38)

Scholarly Tesimony

Without the ancient testimony of early Christians this next section would just come off as academia picking on Christians and the Bible but that is far from the truth. There are problems with the Bible and Christians need to come to grips with that.

Biblical scholar and critic Dr. F.H. Scrivener writes that:

In the second century we have seen too many instances of attempts to tamper with the text of Scripture, some merely injudicious, others positively dishonest”. (Introduction to the criticism of the New Testament)

Dr. Scrivener then goes on to say:

“it is no less true to fact than paradoxical in sound, that the worst corruptions to which the New Testament has ever been subjected, originated within 100 years after it was composed: and that Irenaeus and the African Fathers, and the whole Western, with a portion of the Syrian Church used inferior manuscripts” (Introduction to the criticism of the New Testament)

In the introduction to the New American Bible it is stated that modern critical analyze of the gospel of John:

“..makes it difficult to accept that the fourth gospel as it now stands was written by one man. Chapter 21 seems to have been added after the gospel was completed; it exhibits a Greek style somewhat different from the rest of the work… Within the gospel itself there are signs of some disorder; e.g., there are two endings to Jesus’ discourse at the Last Supper” (NEW AMERICAN BIBLE, p.xxxvii)

The New American Bible also brought up an interesting fact that most Christians today do not realize.

It should be remembered that for the ancients authorship was a much broader concept than it is today. In their time a man could be called the ‘author’ of a work even though he did not write it. (NEW AMERICAN BIBLE, p.xxxvii)

It is more than probable that a disciple of Jesus named John had nothing to do with the gospel of John we read today in our bibles and was in fact written by someone centuries later who had never met John or Jesus. Even if John was the author how do we know which parts are from him or the persons who edited his work down through the centuries? These are important questions to ask.

One of the most common biblical manuscripts used to make our modern English translations is known today as the Nestle Text. Yet it was German Biblical scholar and textual critic Prof. Eberhard Nestle himself who warned us that:

Learned men, so called Correctores were, following the church meeting at Nicea 325 AD, selected by the church authorities to scrutinize the sacred texts and rewrite them in order to correct their meaning in accordance with the views which the church had just sanctioned.” (Einfhrung in die Textkritik des griechischen Testaments)

Methodist biblical scholar, theologian and textual critic Dr. Vincent Taylor was desribed as:

‘one of the outstanding New Testament scholars of his day and theologian of great renown and influence’ with an ‘immense’ literary output.” (O. E. Evans, ‘Theologians of our Times’ in The Expository Times March 1964 vol. 75 no. 6 164-168)

Dr. Taylor wrote concerning certain scribes introducing their favorite theological beliefs into the Bible and taking away doctrines that they deemed were unacceptable, he said:

“The manuscripts of the New Testament preserve traces of two kinds of dogmatic alterations: those which involve the elimination or alteration of what was regarded as doctrinally unacceptable or inconvenient, and those which introduce into the Scriptures proof for a favorite theological tenet or practice” (The Text of the New Testament)

Maybe the most well known biblical scholar and new testament textual critic living today is Prof. Bart Ehrman, Bart Ehrman has written three New York Times best sellers, (Misquoting Jesus, God’s Problem, Jesus Interrupted). Misquoting Jesus dealt with the subject of textual criticism. In one of his many books dealing with early christianity, ‘The Orthodox corruption of Scripture,’ Prof. Ehrman wrote concerning early christian debates on the nature of Christ, he said that:

“…theological disputes, specifically disputes over Christology, prompted Christian scribes to alter the words of scripture in order to make them more serviceable for the polemical task. Scribes modified their manuscripts to make them more patently ‘orthodox’ and less susceptible to ‘abuse’ by the opponents of orthodoxy” (The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture)

What Prof. Erhman is saying is that some things in the bible were altered by certain scribes to make it fit with their pre-conceived notions of Christ. Now that their view was in the bible it made their job easier to debunk their opponents who might have held to a different view of who Christ was.

The Trinity

So far we have seen ancient and scholarly testimony that the Bible has been tampered with by men who would add or remove things they didn’t like in the scriptures so that the Bible would reflect their pre-conceived beliefs. Remember Dr. Taylor telling us that scribes; “would introduce into the Scriptures proof for a favorite theological tenet or practice.” No where does this apply more than to the doctrine of the trinity. At 1st John 5:7 the King James Version of the Bible tells us that:

“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1 John 5:7 KJV)

Yet this part of scripture which seems to support the doctrine of the trinity is found no where in the earliest copies of 1st John. The Adam Clarke commentary says regarding 1st John 5:7 that:

“..it is likely this verse is not genuine. It is wanting in every manuscript of this letter written before the invention of printing, one excepted, the Codex Montfortii, in Trinity College, Dublin: the others which omit this verse amount to one hundred and twelve. It is missing in both the Syriac, all the Arabic, Aethiopic, the Coptic, Sahidic, Armenian, Slavonian, etc., in a word, in all the ancient versions but the Vulgate; and even of this version many of the most ancient and correct MSS. have it not. It is wanting also in all the ancient Greek fathers; and in most even of the Latin”. (Adam Clarke Commentary)

Another favorite verse of Christians who support the trinity comes from the gospel of Matthew.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matt 28:19-20 KJV)

 Theologian F.C. Conybeare speaks of the preceding verse and says:

“In the course of my reading I have been able to substantiate these doubts of the authenticity of the text Mathew 28:19 by adducing patristic evidence against it, so weighty that in future the most conservative of divines will shrink from resting on it any dogmatic fabric at all, while the more enlightened will discard it as completely as they have its fellow-test of the three witnesses” (F.C. Conybeare, Hibbert Journal)

F.C. Conybeare then goes on to quote biblical scholar Dr. C.R. Gregory, and writes:

The Greek manuscripts of the text of the New Testament were often altered by the scribes, whoput into them the readings which were familiar to them, and which they held to be the right readings. (Canon and Text of the New Testament, 1907, p. 424)”

Even The Catholic Encyclopedia says:

“The baptismal formula was changed from the name of Jesus Christ to the words Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by the Catholic Church in the second century.” (The Catholic Encyclopedia, II, page 263)

Trinitarians claim that God is made up of three persons (father, son, holy ghost) who are all equally God but mysteriously they are all still one not three separate Gods. The son of course is Jesus Christ who Christians claim was God in human form. One of the verses used to support this claim is 1st Timothy 3:16, it says:

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1st Timothy 3:16)

This seems like an open and shut case that Jesus was God in human form. Christian scholar and textual critic Bruce Metzger says regarding this verse the pharse:

 God in the flesh; does not occur in an Greek manuscripts earlier than the 9th century….all ancient versions presuppose ‘hos’ or ‘ho’ – [he who] or [he]. The reading theos(god) arose…deliberately… to produce a verse that more clearly supports the Trinitarian position.” – (The Bible in Translation; Bruce Metzger)

Ladies and gentlemen what you have just witnessed is the creation of a God with the pen. This is a Christian who is admitting this fraud. The truth is all verses in the Bible which seems to support a trinity were always added to the bible at a later time and was never apart of the original document. I’ll end this part on the trinity with a quote describing what I am trying to say perfectly.

 It’s interesting to see that many of the scriptural “evidences” said to be in favor of the doctrine of the Trinity, are grounded in mistranslation, errors in textual transmission, and sometimes even outright forgery. These can often be exposed by even a cursory glance at an English/Greek interlinear Bible or a Greek concordance… “After all, if the Bible already clearly taught that God existed as ‘three co-equal and co-eternal persons,’ it should hardly seem necessary to tamper with the text. (The Trinity- A Doctrine Overdue for Extinction; Part 2″ Imperfections in the King James Version”by Ted Whitten)

Codex Bezae

Things weren’t only added to the bible some passages were edited out of the Bible. Codex Bezae is one of the oldest copies of the bible, it dates back to the fifth century. The Encyclopedia Britannica says that Codex Bazae:

“…has a text that is very different from other witnesses. Codex Bezae has many distinctive longer and shorter readings and seems almost to be a separate edition. Its ‘Acts, for example, is one-tenth longer than usual’” (Encyclopedia Britannica)

How can it be that there exist a bible that is said to be almost a separate edition? Which edition is correct our version today or Codex Bezae? These are very serious questions a sincere seeker of truth should ask.

Regarding this serious problem, Dr. Vincent Taylor wrote that Codex Bezae:

“…is characterized by a series of remarkable omissions in Luke, especially in chapters XXII and XXIV, and by many striking additions and variations in the Acts” (The Text of the New Testament, Dr. Vincent Taylor)

One of those significant textual omissions in Codex Bezae is found at Luke 6:5. In this version of the Bible it says:

The same day, [Jesus] saw a certain man working on the sabbath and said to him: Man, if you know what you are doing, you are blessed. But, if you do not know, you are accursed, and a trespasser of the law. (Codex Bezae “D” Luke 6.5)

Of course this saying of Jesus is alien to most Christians because it is no longer found in our copies of the Gospel of Luke, fortunately with the discovery of Codex Bezae we know this saying was originally in the bible, moreover a somewhat similar saying was found in the newly discovered Gospel of Thomas.

“If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the (Father’s) domain. If you do not observe the sabbath day as a sabbath day, you will not see the Father.” (Gospel of Thomas, Saying 27)

Coincidence? I think not. The missing verse from Codex Bezae had to removed from our bible because it showed that Jesus expected people to keep the laws of God which included observance of the Sabbath. By the way the true Sabbath is on Saturday not Sunday. Scribes who believed we didn’t have to keep any commandments of God found this saying unacceptable and refused to copy it and so it simply got edited out of the bible.

Conclusion

While I could have added more examples of biblical tampering I believe these examples should get any truth seeking Christian to question whether the Bible we have today is 100% the same as it was when it was first written. I think I have unquestionably demonstrated that the bible is not a perfect document and has in fact been changed in it’s history. The question Christians who believe in the inerrancy of the bible need to ask is why didn’t God protect the bible from being corrupted? Most Christians don’t want to confront such a question because it will most likely shatter their perfect little paradigm and get them to question their faith and to some Christians questioning your faith is a sin.

In part two of this series I will prove the biggest biblical forgery of all-time, that words spoken by God in the gospels were edited and changed by scribes to something God did not say. These words spoken by God himself are no longer found in the bible but they are found in the earliest copies of the bible and the wrintings of the early church fathers, and if it is true that God said these words there is a 0% chance Christianity is the correct religion which is why these words had to be censored. Stay tuned for part two of “Has the bible been Changed.”