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.

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)