Tag Archives: theology

Gospel Forgeries

forgedWhat is very important for people to understand is that during the early centuries there were MANY different beliefs regarding Christ. Today’s Christian beliefs regarding Christ were NOT the majority belief during the early centuries. What we have today is the result of centuries of fighting and forgeries. The opponent with the biggest material resources and secular arm of power to enforce their agendas was the opponent whose beliefs won the battle and paved the way for what is believed as “orthodoxy” today.  Just as we have countless theological beliefs and differences today, so it was then. What makes the difference between then and now is that we have copyright laws that prevent people from forging books in other people’s names. Back then, forgery was a huge problem. Historical evidence attests to this fact and, scholars agree on this point. Whenever the disputes over doctrine collided, it was a simple fix – they forged documents that leaned toward their theological views and wrote these forgeries in the names of well known people. The debates over what was the “right belief” were prevalent and heated back then just as they are today.

In his books, scholar Bart Erhman covers this issue of forgeries excellently and, brings to the forefront of reasoning, the questions that most Christians either REFUSE to ask, or CHOOSE to overlook. It simply frustrates me that Christians tend to believe blindly what they are told regarding the Bible and scripture, as well as doctrine and belief, without doing their own due diligence and research on the issue. As a matter of fact, it is not just Christians that are guilty of not doing their due diligence on their religious teachings and scriptures — other religions have the same problem. Countless followers do not research to find out if what they are being taught is true.  Because religious people tend to ACT on their beliefs in unethical and immoral ways to hurt others that believe differently (in the name of their religion or God), it morally behooves us to search out if what we are being told by religious leaders IS TRUE. What type of godly testimony do we have if we ignorantly believe what we are told? What does this tell the world? That we are NOT going to do the research; that we do not CARE what the REAL TRUTH is; that we are too AFRAID to find out if we have believed a lie? What IF you have believed a lie? Wouldn’t you WANT to know? What IF those lies are destroying the relationships within your family and your marriage? WOULDN’T YOU WANT TO KNOW?

I was handed lies my whole Christian life about the Bible and doctrine. Those lies led to abuses and strife in the home, destruction of my marriage and family, isolation, fear of government, fear of authorities and other religions, fear of the church and religious leaders. Today, because of an honest effort to find out if what I was taught was true, I have been freed from the bondage to the lies I once believed. If you are in bondage to ANY religion that has attached to it FEAR of retaliation for not conforming, then my guess is that you are believing lies too. Just my honest opinion. There is no FEAR in TRUTH.

Whatever you are being taught needs to be challenged with the utmost effort and research! I believe that this journey into truth requires character, humility and, a heated desire that will enable one to not only uncover the lies, but once uncovered, discard them for the right beliefs based on the FACTS presented. It’s time to NOT take mans word that truth is truth! Why? Because men lie to further their own agendas; and when they do propagate lies, it brings abuse and suffering to those that are weaker or slighted by their dogmas and rules.

I will simply leave the following quotes from Bart Erhman’s book, Lost Christianities, as the thoughts to ponder in hope that those who read them, will decide to embark on that journey into truth that will either validate their beliefs, or damn them as lies.

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Gospel Forgeries

“Almost all of the “lost” Scriptures of the early Christians were forgeries. On this, scholars of every stripe agree, liberal and conservative, fundamentalist and atheist.” – Lost Christianities, Bart Erhman

“That Christians in the early centuries would forge such books should come as no surprise. Scholars have long recognized that even some of the books accepted into the canon are probably forgeries. Christian scholars, of course, have been loathe to call them that and so more commonly refer to them as “pseudonymous” writings. Possibly this is a more antiseptic term. But it does little to solve the problem of a potential deceit, for an author who attempts to pass off his own writing as that of some other well-known person has written a forgery. That is no less true of the book allegedly written to Titus that made it into the New Testament (Paul’s Letter to Titus) than of the book allegedly written by Titus that did not (Pseudo-Titus), both claiming to be written by apostles (Paul and Titus), both evidently written by someone else.” — Lost Christianities, Bart Erhman

“Other books, however, are widely regarded as forged. The author of 2 Peter explicitly claims to be Simon Peter, the disciple of Jesus, who beheld the transfiguration (1:16-18). But critical scholars are virtually unanimous that it was not written by him. So too the Pastoral epistles of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus: They claim to be written by Paul, but appear to have been written long after his death.” — Lost Christianities, Bart Erhman

“How could forgeries make it into the New Testament? Possibly it is better to reverse the question: Who was  collecting the books? When did they do so? And how would THEY have known whether a book that claims to be written by Peter was actually written by Peter or that a book allegedly written by Paul was actually by Paul? So far as we know, none of these letters was included in a canon of sacred texts until decades after they were written, and the New Testament canon as a whole still had not reached final form for another two centuries after that. How would someone hundreds of years later know who had written these books?” — Lost Christianities, Bart Erhman

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If scholars know about forgeries in the Bible, and have known about them for centuries, why do Christians fight against that knowledge? Why aren’t they addressing this reality and fighting for the truth to be made known and/or corrected in Scripture? My guess on that question is a simple one and, possibly, a hated one. Here is my opinion on that question, if you don’t like it, just agree to disagree with me:

I believe that the changes that were made to scripture were done in order to:

  • Give men pre-eminence and dominance over women.
  • Proliferate inequality of the sexes
  • Allow for sexual dominance and control
  • Afford men power, control and prestige in religion and the world

If one just reads the countless articles on this blog that expose these truths scripturally and historically, these points that I give will become obvious. Why else would male-dominated religions wish to use, and tout as infallible and inspired, corrupted texts that have been altered by MEN to oppress and suppress women and, bring the masses into bondage to FEAR of their God, their rules? Why else would religious leaders defame, attack, label and “name-call” those women and men who bring these facts to light?  It wasn’t women that made the forgeries, keep that in mind. Inequality always leads to abuse. Just my opinion based on the evidence uncovered. Read my blog articles yourself and form your own opinion. BUT, You don’t have to believe me. Afterwards, go on your own quest for TRUTH. Let the FACTS guide your thought processes and build your foundations — not hear-say and opinion from fallible men who have agendas to uphold.

The Quest for Power and Control

outofcontrolSadly, as corruptions entered the early church and the church hierarchy began to develop, the struggle for power and control of the churches (sees) among bishops proliferated.  Bishops, (other terms we use today are ‘Priest’ or ‘Pastor’) were fighting for preeminence and control. From the following tidbit of church history, we can see some of the doctrinal corruptions as well as this struggle. The fight was so bad amongst the clergy, and the power they wielded so strong, that secular leaders lived in fear of them! In many parts of the world today, secular authorities are still living in fear of religious leaders. The times have changed, but not the church or the fear it instills. Anywhere religion is intertwined with secular powers, you will find all manner of abuses and atrocities hidden. The number one race of people that are affected by this marriage of religion and state?  Women and children.

But Cyprian’s language on this subject is thrown into the shade by that of the Apostolical Constitutions, which savours of the servility and prostration before rulers, common in the far East. “The bishop is the minister of the word, the keeper of knowledge, the mediator between God and you. After God he is your father, who has begotten you again to the adoption of sons by water and the Spirit; your ruler and governor; your king and potentate; your earthly god. . . . Let not the laity on all occasions trouble their governor; but let them signify their desires to him through the deacons, with whom they may be more free. For as we may not address ourselves to Almighty God, but only by Christ, so let the laity make known all their desires to the bishop by the deacon, and let them act as he shall direct them. . . . How dare any speak against their bishop, by whom the Lord gave you the Holy Spirit through the laying on of his hands; by whom ye were sealed with the oil of gladness and the unction of understanding; by whom the Lord illumined you and sent his sacred voice upon you, saying, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee!”

[Notice how man has now placed himself as the ‘mediator’ between God and man AND given himself honor and reverence of position? There is only one mediator between God and man and, only one person that deserves honor and reverence.]

This passage belongs indeed with more probability to the fifth century than to our present period. But when ideas such as these were becoming current, it is no wonder that the more worldly minded among the bishops began to assume to themselves great outward importance. Many who occupied the sees (leaders of the churches) in the large cities were addressed and waited upon as though they were persons of rank in the State.

It was now also that the bishop of Rome began to put forward a claim for pre-eminence over his fellow bishops. Even before the end of the second century, Victor, a haughty and ambitious prelate, had attempted to assert such a superiority. The attempt was premature; the Roman bishop was still only one amongst many equals, and when his decrees clashed with the judgment of others, superior in experience and character to himself, he was forced to give way. Thus in 254, in the dispute upon the validity of baptism administered by heretics, when the Roman Bishop Stephen found Cyprian of Carthage, Firmilian of Caesarea in Cappadocia, and other eminent prelates opposed to him, he attempted to brandish the spiritual weapons of the Church against all the host of his adversaries. He excommunicated the bishop of Carthage, denouncing him as an Antichrist, and threatening with spiritual censures any members of the Roman Church who should dare to entertain his delegates. He proceeded to cut off Firmilian and the Asian bishops. But the thunderbolts which were to be launched with such tremendous effect by his successors were not yet forged, and the prelates treated his “audacity and insolence” with contempt, Firmilian declaring that he who boasted of being the successor of Peter was “the real schismatic, who by his excommunication of others had made himself an apostate from the communion of the Church.”

[Notice how religious leaders use the term “anti-Christ” as a label for anyone that disagrees with them and THEIR beliefs or, to gain the preeminence over someone else?]

But spiritual Rome was nevertheless advancing by sure steps towards the same pinnacle in the ecclesiastical world which the capital of the Empire had occupied in the political. Notwithstanding his dispute with Stephen, Cyprian calls the Roman bishopric “the throne of Peter, and the chief Church whence priestly unity takes its source.” The Emperor Decius, after the martyrdom of Fabian in the year 250, was so conscious of the growing power of the Roman see that he declared he would rather hear of a rival to his throne than of a new bishop.” — Edward Backhouse, Early Church History to the Death of Constantine.

Throughout church history, we see the development of a system of power and control designed to manipulate people and bring them into submission to men. “Spiritual Weapons” (murder, torture, shaming, public humiliation, gossip, slander, labeling, etc.) are used against those that fight either within the system for preeminence, OR, used against those that fight the system because of the corruption they see. Really, it’s a lose lose situation for anyone desiring to see the filth purged and the purity and love brought back. What existed back in 200 A.D., exists today. Nothing has changed, it has only gotten bigger, broader and more powerful.

The church systems of the world influence billions. That’s a lot of power and control! The corruptions that existed back then, have grown exponentially and encompass every religion worldwide.  How do you remove the POISON from a serpent this big that has been growing out of control for centuries? Think about it?

Paul’s Real Teaching as to Veiling – Part 1

truth
Through translation, man has corrupted scripture in order to have power and control over women. The TRUTH we are taught regarding women, is nothing more than lies wrapped up with the palatable (for men) trappings of men’s interpretations, preconceptions and opinions.

Now that we have covered all the changes to these passages due to preconceptions and opinions of men, let’s look at the real meaning of the following passages. What one will realize is that women have been done a great injustice on this subject because of translation. Instead of these passages covering the truth, they have been “pointed” by translators to a LIE. . . a “subjugation and control” lie where women bare the brunt of the abuses, as a result. Here are the verses once again:

1 Cor. 11: 1-16 – The usual sense (not ours) put upon these words by expositors, beginning with verse 3, we give in the language of Dr. Weymouth’s Modern English translation:

(3) “I would have you know that of every man, Christ is Head,  that of a woman her husband is the Head, and that God is Christ’s Head. (4) A man who wears a veil praying or prophesying dishonours his Head; (5) but a woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonours her Head, for it is exactly the same as if she had her hair cut short. (6) If a woman will not wear a veil, let her also cut off her hair, but since it is a dishonour to a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her wear a veil. (7) For a man ought not to have a veil on his head, since he is the image and glory of God: while woman is the glory of man. (8) Man does not take his origin from woman, but woman takes hers from man. (9) For man was not created for woman’s sake, but woman for man’s. (10) That is why a woman ought to have on her head a symbol of subjection, because of the angels. (11) Yet, in the Lord, woman is not independent of man nor man independent of woman. (12) For just as woman originates from man, so also man comes into existence through woman, but everything springs originally from God. (13) Judge of this for your own selves: is it seemly for a woman to pray to God when she is unveiled? (14) Does not nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it is a dishonour to him, (15) but if a woman has long hair it is her glory, because her hair was given to her for a covering? (16) But if anyone is inclined to be contentious on the point, we have no such custom, nor have the churches of God.”

I would sincerely ask that you please click on these links to read the eight MISFITS of these verses by Hebrew and Greek Scholar, Katherine Bushnell: Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4.

SO, WHAT IS PAUL’S REAL TEACHING AS TO VEILING?

The real purpose of these passages was to stop the practice of men veiling in worship, as Dr. John Lightfoot so ably contends. The Jewish man veiled as a sign of reverence before God, and of condemnation for sin. This sort of head covering was called a tallith, and is worn, to this day, “by all male worshippers at the morning prayer on week days, sabbaths and holy days: by the hazzan at every prayer before the ark: by the reader of the scroll of the law when on the almemar,”–so states the Jewish Cyclopaedia. The hazzan is the chief functionary of the synagogue, and the almemar is the reading-desk. The Romans also veiled in worship, and the Corinthian church was made up in large part of Roman converts. The testimony disagrees as to whether Greeks veiled in worship, or did not. The question therefore arose, were women to be forbidden veiling, as the Christian men, or not? Paul, in the passage, (1) forbids men to veil (since “There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus”); (2) permits women to veil; (3) but guards against this permission being construed as a command to veil, by showing that ideally  the woman should unveil, before God, man, and angels; (4) shows that there is special propriety in women unveiling when addressing God in prayer; (5) declares that (contrary to the teaching of the Jews) there is nothing for a woman to be ashamed of in showing her hair, for it is a “glory” to her; (6) and disavows veiling as a church custom.

St. Paul’s words are to be interpreted as follows:

3. But I wish you to understand that of every [Christian] man Christ is the Head; but of a wife the husband is a head [also]; and God is Christ’s Head.

4. Any [Christian] man praying or prophesying, having his head covered [as is required among the Jews, in sign of guilt and condemnation] dishonours his Head [Christ, who has atoned for all his sins.].

5. But any wife praying or prophesying bare-headed dishonours her [other] head [her husband], for it would be one and the same thing as [having] her head shaved.

6. For [Jewish law provides that] if a woman is not covered, let her be shorn. Now if it would bring disgrace to a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

First of all we wish to say, where the practice has ceased of veiling in sign of guilt and condemnation before God and His law, this whole teaching, in its literal sense, has no application; the veil has no significance, and can be worn or rejected in worship. But the spiritual teaching remains, that among those who believe that Christ has made for them a full and SUFFICIENT atonement, any badge that signifies guilt or penance for sin is out of place, for women as much as for men. This is the lesson for all Christians to learn. Women need to especially learn a lesson here; what have they to do with wearing a badge of servility to the male, because of Eve’s sin? Has not Christ atoned for Eve’s sin also? Does that remain as the ONE point where Christ’s atonement failed?

(Verse 3) We add the word “Christian”, to verse 3, because, as Chrysostom says: “He cannot be the Head of those who are not in the Body. . . so when he says ‘of every man’ one must understand it of believers.” We add “also” because woman could not be a believer at all, and in the Body, unless Christ were likewise her Head. The word used here and throughout this passage, for man, is aner, meaning “the adult male, or husband.” Dean Stanley rightly explains, “Anthropos [“man” without regard to gender] would have been the natural word to use with reference to Christ. . . but for the sake of contrast with ‘woman’ he has changed it to aner.” But there is further reason: according to the Oral Law of the Jews the aner alone was obliged to wear the tallith.

(Verse 4) “Every man (aner) . . . having his head covered dishonoureth,” not “his own head, by wearing the token of subjection,” as expositors say, but dishonoureth Christ. The symbolic language of “headship” having just been introduced, in all fairness it requires its application to what follows. Besides, Paul taught actual “subjection” of man to man, and to religious leaders, Eph. 5:21, 1 Cor. 16:16, and hence would NOT teach that the mere symbol of “subjection” was not to be allowed the male. The meaning is, “every man. . .having his head covered dishonours Christ his head,” by wearing the tallith.

(Verse 5) If I should describe how I had burned down a house, I should have small chance of escaping punishment by a mere denial, later, that I had done so. A sufficient proof that I had done the deed is “But you have even told HOW you did it.”  So here; a description by the person as to HOW a thing may be done nullifies the force of a seeming denial by that same person of that deed. Says Dr. A.J. Gordon: “It is quite incredible that the Apostle should have given himself the trouble to prune a custom which he desired to uproot, or that he should spend his breath in condemning a forbidden method of doing a forbidden thing.” These words prove conclusively to an unprejudiced mind that Paul DID NOT silence women praying and prophesying in the churches, as is claimed in the ordinary interpretation of 1 Cor. 14:34.

“Dishonoureth her head,” i.e., her husband rather than her own head, in analogy to the argument of verse 4. This is because she would lay herself open to the charge (before Jewish law at least), of being an adulteress, and such a charge is always considered dishonouring to a husband. In what sense it would amount to having the head shaved, the next verse explains.

(Verse 6) “For if the woman be not covered, let her be shorn.” Paul refers to the Oral Law of the Jews. Says Lightfoot: He “does not here speak in his own sense but cites something usual among the Jews.” It admits of proof that such was the Oral Law. A woman “sinner” is described in the Talmud as “she who transgresseth the law of Moses and the Jewish law.” The gloss explains: ” ‘The Jewish law, that is, what the daughters of Israel follow though it be not written” (i.e. the Oral Law). The question was asked: “How does she transgress the Jewish law? Answer: “If she appear abroad with her head uncovered, if she spin in the streets,” etc., etc., through a long list. For the offences here enumerated, one of which is uncovering the head, it is prescribed that the wife should be divorced “with the loss of her marriage portion.” (Kethuboth, fol. 7, col. I). Furthermore, in that section of the Talmud called “Sotah,” which treats of unchaste women, under the sub-head, Of the duty of Repudiation of a Wife for adultery, we learn that this DUTY rested upon a Jew whose wife was seen abroad with her hair “not don up”, i.e. not covered. Thus we learn that a Jew, even if favorably disposed towards his wife’s profession of Christianity, and towards the practice of unveiling in worship, might be compelled by his relatives or the synagogue authorities, much to his regret, to divorce his wife, if she unveiled. The rest of the story, as to what would be done with the woman who unveiled, and thus furnished sufficient proof of “adultery” to compel her husband to repudiate her, we learn from Dr. Edersheim’s Sketches of Jewish Social Life, p. 155: “It was the custom in case of a woman accused of adultery to have her hair shorn or shaven,” at the same time using this formula: “Because thou hast departed from the manner of the daughters of Israel, who go with their head covered. . . therefore that hath befallen thee which thou hast chosen.” An unveiled Jewish wife might, then, be tried for adultery; and when so tried, be “shorn or shaven.” Paul here cites this obstruction to commanding women to unveil, but her permits it (verse 10).

“Now if it is a shame,”–The word translated “but” (de) readily admits of the translation “now” in this sense, see Jno. 6:10, 19:23, 1 Cor. 15:50 etc. That is, if it be a case which disgrace and divorce would follow, she is permitted to cover the head,– “Let her be covered.”

A little historical evidence at this point ought to go a long way. If the Apostle, as is so often assumed, was accustomed to forbid women unveiling, how did it come to pass that women “sat unveiled in the assemblies in a separate place, by the presbyters,” and were “ordained by the laying on of hands,” until the eleventh canon of the Church Council of Laodicea forbade it, in 363 A.D.? I give the account in the words of Dean Alford in his comments on 1 Tim. 5:9; the same admission is made by Conybeare and Howson in their Life of St. Paul, and stands undisputed in church history. (to be continued)

— Katherine Bushnell, 1923

There is so much more to come on this topic that I must stop here and continue in another lesson. Please remember that thus far, what has been taught has been skewed to put women in a place of subjugation and control that the Bible did not authorize nor command.  History must be studied in conjunction with scripture to ‘unmask’ the MISFITS used by men to point women to a place of servility to men.  You won’t want to miss the continuence of this “unveiling” of the real meaning behind these passages! Please subscribe to the news feed so you do not miss the next article.