Deception in the early church
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22-09-2012, 04:42 PM (This post was last modified: 10-10-2013 08:54 AM by Bucky Ball.)
Deception in the early church
Well well. What do we have here?
Isn't the legal standard for the veracity of a witness "Liar in one, liar in all"?

Admitted, purposeful deception in the early Christian Church by "Church Fathers"

Let's look at a few early church leaders, many of whom had access to gospels texts, meaning they could have changed them.

"I will only mention the Apostle Paul. [...] He, then, if anyone, ought to be calumniated; we should speak thus to him: ‘The proofs which you have used against the Jews and against other heretics bear a different meaning in their own contexts to that which they bear in your Epistles'."
Jerome, Epistle to Pammachus

"We see passages taken captive by your pen and pressed into service to win you a victory, which in volumes from which they are taken have no controversial bearing at all ... the line so often adopted by strong men in controversy – of justifying the means by the result."
St. Jerome, Epistle to Pammachus (xlviii, 13; N&PNF. vi, 72-73)

Was Saint Paul a liar? Looks like it.

"For if the truth of God hath more abounded by my lie unto his glory, why yet am I also adjudged a sinner?"
St. Paul, Romans 3.7.

However, in context, Paul is actually censuring other Christians who say "Let us do evil, that good may come" (that is, from God's judgement). But like Paul, we can "take the passage captive" to make a point.

Bishop Eusebius, the official propagandist for Constantine, entitles the 32nd Chapter of his 12th Book of Evangelical Preparation:

"How it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived."

Eusebius is famously the author of many great falsehoods, yet at the same time he warns us:

"We shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity."
Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 8, chapter 2

Clement of Alexandria was one of the earliest of the Church Fathers to draw a distinction between "mere human truth" and the higher truth of faith:

"Not all true things are the truth, nor should that truth which merely seems true according to human opinions be preferred to the true truth, that according to the faith."
Clement (quoted by M. Smith, Clement of Alexandria, p446)

John Chrysostom, 5th century theologian and erstwhile bishop of Constantinople: "Do you see the advantage of deceit? [...] For great is the value of deceit, provided it be not introduced with a mischievous intention. In fact action of this kind ought not to be called deceit, but rather a kind of good management, cleverness and skill, capable of finding out ways where resources fail, and making up for the defects of the mind ... And often it is necessary to deceive, and to do the greatest benefits by means of this device, whereas he who has gone by a straight course has done great mischief to the person whom he has not deceived."
Chrysostom, Treatise On The Priesthood, Book 1.

"Golden Mouth'' John is notable for his extensive commentaries on the Bible which emphasized a literal understanding of the stories. The style popular at Alexandria until then was to acknowledge an allegorical meaning of the text:

"Thus eminent ‘believers’ added falsehood to the beliefs of later generations. ‘For the best of reasons’ they ‘clarified’ obscure points, conjured up characters to speak dialogue that could have been said, invented scenarios that could have happened and borrowed extensively from a wider culture. And this all before they became the custodians of power and had real reasons for lies, inventions and counterfeits. As we shall see, god's immutable laws became as flexible as putty."
(St.?) John Chrysostom

The 5th and 6th centuries were the 'golden age' of Christian forgery. In a moment of shocking candour, the Manichean bishop and opponent of Augustine Faustus said:

"Many things have been inserted by our ancestors in the speeches of our Lord which, though put forth under his name, agree not with his faith; especially since – as already it has been often proved – these things were written not by Christ, nor [by] his apostles, but a long while after their assumption, by I know not what sort of half Jews, not even agreeing with themselves, who made up their tale out of reports and opinions merely, and yet, fathering the whole upon the names of the apostles of the Lord or on those who were supposed to follow the apostles, they maliciously pretended that they had written their lies and conceits according to them."

In the huge battle for adherents, the propagandists sought to outdo each other at every turn. For example, by the 5th century, four very different endings existed to Mark's gospel. Codex Bobiensis ends Mark at verse 16:8, without any post-crucifixion appearances. It lacks both the 'short conclusion' of Jesus sending followers to 'east and west' as well as the 'long conclusion', the fabulous post-death apparitions, where Jesus promises his disciples that they will be immune to snake bites and poison.

Once the Church had gained acceptance by much of Europe and the Middle East, it's forgery engine went nuts.

"The Church forgery mill did not limit itself to mere writings but for centuries cranked out thousands of phony "relics" of its "Lord," "Apostles" and "Saints" […] There were at least 26 'authentic' burial shrouds scattered throughout the abbeys of Europe, of which the Shroud of Turin is just one […] At one point, a number of churches claimed the one foreskin of Jesus, and there were enough splinters of the "True Cross" that Calvin said the amount of wood would make "a full load for a good ship."
Acharya S, The Christ Conspiracy.

Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), the zealot for papal authority and founder of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, wrote:

"We should always be disposed to believe that which appears to us to be white is really black, if the hierarchy of the church so decides."

The Reformation may have swept away some abuses perpetrated by the church liars, priesthood but lying was not one of them. Martin Luther, in private correspondence, said:

"What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church [...] a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them."
Martin Luther (Cited by his secretary, in a letter in Max Lenz, ed., Briefwechsel Landgraf Phillips des Grossmüthigen von Hessen mit Bucer, vol. I.)

The Donation of Constantine:
'This document is without doubt a forgery, fabricated somewhere between the years 750 and 850.'
Catholic Encyclopedia

A two-part document purporting to be from the first Christian emperor to Pope Sylvester I (314-35). In the 'Confessio', Constantine thanks Sylvester for his Christian instruction and baptism (and consequent cure of leprosy!). In his 'Donatio', Constantine confers on the pope and his successors primacy over all other bishops, including the eastern patriarchs, senatorial privileges for the clergy, imperial palaces and regalia, Rome itself and the Western Empire.

In truth, this monstrous 8th century forgery (peppered with anachronisms) was almost certainly written by the future Pope Paul I (757-67) while his equally ambitious brother Stephen II (752-57) sat on the papal throne.

The False Decretals (aka Pseudo-Isidorian Forgeries):
They are a riot of more than a hundred fake letters and decrees attributed to pontiffs from 1st century Clement (88-97) to 7th century Gregory I (590-604). Today they are attributed to either 'Isodore Mercator', a supposed 9th century master forger and papal aide, or to a group of Gallic forgers trading on the name and reputation of Isodore of Seville. Like the Donation, the Decretals conferred rights and privileges on the papacy.

A similar collection, the 'Dionysiana', was named for a 6th century monk 'Dennis the Little' (Dionysius Exiguus), inventor of the BC -AD dating system. Dionysius provided the papacy with Latin translation of the canons the Eastern Church. This ripe collection included fifty canons from the very Apostles themselves.

The 'Thundering Legion' Decree of Marcus Aurelius:
In this fabricated letter from the emperor to the Senate, Marcus is said to have forbidden persecution of Christians because prayers from Christian soldiers brought on a thunderstorm which rescued the Romans from thirst and dispersed the barbarian opponents in a battle with the Quadi in 174. The emperor is said to have accorded the Twelfth Legion the suffix fulminata or fulminea, that is, 'thundering'. Tertullian (c.160 – c.230), a North African theologian, made up this nonsense; the twelfth legion had had the suffix legio fulminata from the time of Augustus. The stoic Marcus Aurelius had nothing but contempt for the Christians.

'Letters' of Emperor Antoninus Pius to the Greeks:
More fakery, this time from the pen of 4th century Bishop Eusebius (Ecclesiastic History, IV, 13). He has the pious 2nd century pagan forbid 'tumults against the Christians.'

The Clementines:
These fakes, twenty books of 'curious religious romance' (Catholic Encyclopedia), masquerade as the work of 1st century pontiff Clement I. Written in the 4th century, their purpose was to bolster Rome's claim to be the primary see. Here we have the 'Epistle of Clement to James' which originated the notion that St. Peter was the first Bishop of Rome.

More "pious fraud".

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein It is objectively immoral to kill innocent babies. Please stick to the guilty babies.
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22-09-2012, 04:49 PM
RE: Deception in the early church
Psst. You used the old version of the text.

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22-09-2012, 04:55 PM
RE: Deception in the early church
(22-09-2012 04:49 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Psst. You used the old version of the text.

Dang. Now I'll have to put them together. I'll do an edit, in a bit.
Thanks. Vosur helped me edit it.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein It is objectively immoral to kill innocent babies. Please stick to the guilty babies.
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22-09-2012, 05:01 PM
RE: Deception in the early church
Which 'early church'? There were hundreds!
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22-09-2012, 08:26 PM
RE: Deception in the early church
This is what I've come to understand regarding Jesus Christ: If he was the Son of God, then God, Himself, has left us no way to verify it. Such are the lies and grift of ancient and modern preachers, that if God has left us to their veracity, then He has made a mockery of the truth--in which case it doesn't matter what Jesus Christ preached or did.

Jesus has come and gone, and he has never returned as he supposedly said he would. If he is to be known only through religious experience, then he is as diverse as every human being who picks up a bible and utters his name. To me, he has become like a mirage I followed through the desert of my younger life. Finally, I just stopped and accepted the fact: I live in a desert.
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22-09-2012, 08:53 PM
RE: Deception in the early church
(22-09-2012 08:26 PM)Egor Wrote:  ... Finally, I just stopped and accepted the fact: I live in a desert.

And then after forty days and forty nights ... meh!

Come join us at the oasis, it's not far away.

Nice work, as ever, Bucky.

Erx, in your line of business you must have access to the right suppliers... can we get the OP turned into easily digestible bumber stickers?

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23-09-2012, 06:29 AM
RE: Deception in the early church
I saw a documentary-like thing on the early religions and the deception in them--it was neat. Seeing the first coin operated machines, how lighting a fire can open doors.... all done to make people believe the god of that religion was the one worthy of worship (i.e. money).

Basically, churches/religions were probably founded in the same way as scams are today--only back then the people didn't understand what was going on (whereas we do today), so people believed it--really the "priests" and "religious leaders" back then were probably atheist, the first ones at least. Today, people are, I won't say gullible, but too prone to believing "just because" or "just in case", confirmation bias, and ignoring everything else (religion wise) because their religion teachers say to, or accept it but say their god is above it so it doesn't apply to it.
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23-09-2012, 12:05 PM
RE: Deception in the early church
I will believe any evidence that supports the gospel, but believe the Bible over any evidence that contradicts the gospel.

This is the Christian "faith" position as it stands now. It should just be their creed.

If you created three columns on a notepad titled:
Proves the Gospel - Neither proves nor disproves - Disproves the Gospel
...and read through the Bible starting with Genesis 1.

The first column would be empty.
The second and third columns would be about equal, but with items moving from column 2 to 3 on a steady pace.
As long as you ignore column 3 and argue column 2 as "can't prove it's not true" you can hang in there in that "faith" thing for a time. But, like many on this forum the weight of column 3 starts to make it impossible.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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22-01-2013, 06:22 PM (This post was last modified: 22-01-2013 06:41 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Deception in the early church

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22-01-2013, 07:13 PM
RE: Deception in the early church
Without Paul there is no Christianity. Paul of Taursus is more essential to Christianity that Jesus of Nazerath, of that I am convinced. The biggest problem with trusting the sources (the ones that don't conflict with the laws of the universe) is the massive censorship that occurred during the Council of Nicea.

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