The scandal behind the assembling of the New Testament canon.
When the New Testament, just like the Old Testament, is examined carefully, it becomes painfully obvious that this set of writings could not possibly be the “inspired word of god” that it is professed to be.
It is absolutely filled with massive contradictions and inconsistencies that cannot possibly be reconciled or explained away.
But the case for infallibility of the New Testament becomes all the more shaky, and even scandalous, when we consider how this collection of books was put together in the first place.
In fact, doing this helps explain the existence of all the contradictions.
Let’s have a look at the fraudulent circumstances in which the New Testament came about.
The development of the New Testament Canon
The New Testament Canon is an agreed-upon list of twenty-seven books that includes the Canonical gospels, the letters of Paul, James, John, etc., along with other important Christian writings.
This Canon developed gradually, over time, and thus the idea of a complete Canon existing from Apostolic times has absolutely no foundation in history.
This Canon, like that of the Old Testament, came about as a result of often heated debates and disputes, not reaching its final form until the Council of Trent in 1546 (for Roman Catholicism), the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563 (for the Church of England), the Westminster Confession of Faith in 1647 (for Calvinism), and the Synod of Jerusalem in 1672 (for the Greek Orthodox).
From the earliest periods of Christian history, the writings that were available to the average devotee were rather sketchy.
Certainly the New Testament, as we know it today, was entirely unknown to the early church.
The Pauline epistles, or at least some of them, were circulating, perhaps in collected forms, by the end of the 1st century AD.
Justin Martyr, in the early 2nd century, mentioned “memoirs of the apostles” as being read weekly, alongside the “writings of the prophets,” or the Old Testament.
A four gospel canon (the Tetramorph) was asserted by Irenaeus, around 180 AD.
But why only four, when there were many other gospels in circulation, now called apocrypha, such as the Gospel of Peter and the Gospel of Barnabus?
Irenaeus gives us the “answer” in his Against Heresies:
“…it is not possible that the Gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are. For, since there are four zones of the world in which we live, and four principal winds, while the Church is scattered throughout the world, and the pillar and ground of the Church is the Gospel…it is fitting that she should have four pillars…”
But anyway, by the early 200s, Origen may have been using the same twenty-seven books as in the Catholic New Testament canon, though there were still disputes over the canonicity of Hebrews, James, II Peter, II and III John, and Revelation, collectively known as the Antilegomena.
The famous Muratorian fragment is further evidence that there existed, at this time, a set of Christian writings somewhat similar to the twenty-seven-book New Testament canon of today, including, again, four gospels.
Since these 27 books are so widely accepted today, you would think that they would have been accepted all along by believers, from the very beginning.
But such was not the case.
Thus we must ask:
How can one believe that there was a “divine hand” in the formulation of this Canon, the New Testament, when it had such an unsure history, and since it took so long to come together?
But when we look at statements from early church fathers about the reliability of apostolic writings, the problem becomes all the more perplexing.
For example, Origen made this interesting comment about the copies of the gospels that he had at his disposal:
“The differences among the manuscripts have become great, either through the negligence of some copyists or through the perverse audacity of others; they either neglect to check over what they have transcribed, or, in the process of checking, they make additions or deletions as they please.”
It can’t get any plainer than that.
This is why, for example, that there are so many contradictory accounts in the story of Christ’s life, between the four canonical gospels.
Along this same line, Irenaeus said of Bishop Marsion that he:
“…dismembered the epistles of Paul, removing all that is said by the apostle respecting that God who made the world, to the effect that he is the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and also those passages from the prophetical writings which the apostle quotes, in order to teach us that they announced beforehand the coming of the Lord.” - Against Heresies.
Here Irenaeus was saying that Marsion was altering Paul’s writings to make it look like Christ was fulfilling Old Testament prophecies.
But anyway, isn’t it obvious that if Irenaeus and Origen had doubts about how much of the canon was reliable back then, that we have no way of being confident of it today?
While there was a good measure of debate in the Early Church over the New Testament canon, the major writings are alleged to have been accepted by almost all Christians by the middle of the 3rd century, although this is debatable.
But nevertheless, even if this were the case, once again, why did it take so long to reach this consensus?
Regardless, there was still an ongoing debate over the legitimacy of many “apocryphal” books that raged for centuries after that time--books such as the gospels of Thomas, Peter, Barnabas, Bartholomew, the gospel of the Hebrews, the Egyptians, 3rd Corinthians, the Epistle to Seneca the Younger, Epistle to the Laodiceans, Epistle of the Corinthians to Paul, Epistles of Clement, and so on.
Why were these rejected and the others accepted?
What criteria was used?
There are no cut-and-dry answers to these questions, except to say that “orthodoxy,” as it became defined in the fourth century, got to decide which books were inspired, only because this had become, by that time, the prevailing branch Christianity.
If, say, Gnosticism had become the prevailing branch of Christianity, today’s canon would look much, much different indeed.
Anyway, it wasn’t until the latter part of the fourth century that we can say with certainty that a New Testament canon was officially in use that was akin to what we call the New Testament today, without any further major contentions over the authenticity of several epistles that prevailed earlier in that century.
We know of this from an Easter letter of Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, in the year 367, wherein he gave a list of the books that now comprise our New Testament, and he used the word “canonized” in regards to them.
Shortly thereafter, the North African Synod of Hippo, in 393, approved the twenty-seven book New Testament canon, together with the Old Testament Septuagint books, a decision that was confirmed by the Councils of Carthage in 397 and 419.
(Note: The Septuagint is the Old Testament translated from Hebrew into Greek. Because it is said that 70 rabbis took 70 days to translate it, it’s often referred to as the LXX.)
These councils were under the authority of St. Augustine, who regarded the canon as already closed by that time.
But we must ask, If the New Testament, as we know it today, is “inspired,” shouldn’t it have been known, from the start, which books comprise it?
Why was this not decided until centuries after the alleged time of Christ?
This question can’t be asked often enough, for it is a major thorn (amongst many others) in the side of Christianity.
Anyway, shortly before this time, Pope Damasus I’s Council of Rome, in 382 (if the Decretum Gelasianum is correctly associated with it), issued a biblical canon identical to that mentioned above (or, if it’s not correctly associated with the Council of Rome, the list is at least a 6th century compilation).
Likewise, Damasus’s commissioning of the Latin Vulgate edition of the Bible, around 383, was instrumental in the fixation of the canon in the West.
But who were Augustine and Damasus to decide which books were and were not “inspired”?
If they were an authority, wouldn’t that have to mean that they were “inspired” as well?
And how about the translators?
Were they inspired also?
And what do we do with the fact that, for many centuries during the Dark Ages, the bible wasn’t even available to the masses?
In fact, the Vatican had the bible on the top of its list of forbidden books, which meant that you would have been executed if caught with even one page of the bible in your possession.
How could this book be the basis of one’s faith--the basis by which we are supposedly going to be judged one day by “god”--when:
1. It has so many contradictions within it;
2. We can’t be sure, to this day, which books were actually written by the authors attributed to them, and thus which ones are truly “inspired”;
3. It wasn’t available to most believers for most of Christian history;
4. There were so many alterations made to it over the centuries by editors and compilers?
Questions like this place this “holy book” on very, very shaky ground!
Astonishing admissions by the Catholic Church
Ironically, the Catholic Church actually agrees with the assessment that the authenticity of the New Testament is not at all solidly grounded, as many people think.
The Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. iii, p. 712, states:
“Our documentary sources of knowledge about the origins of Christianity and its earliest development are chiefly the New Testament Scriptures, the authenticity of which we must, to a great extent, take for granted.”
Furthermore, the Catholic Church has stated, in the Preface to the same Catholic Encyclopedia cited above, that:
“…[the Gospels] do not go back to the first century of the Christian era.”
This statement--it goes without saying--clearly conflicts with mainstream Christian assertions that the earliest Gospels were progressively written during the decades following the alleged crucifixion of Christ.
This same encyclopedia further admits that:
“…the earliest of the extant manuscripts [of the New Testament]…do not date back beyond the middle of the fourth century AD.”
That is some 350 years after the time the Church claims that Jesus Christ walked the sands of Palestine.
This being the case, the true story of the origin of the New Testament canon slips into one of the biggest black holes in history.
Little to nothing is known about Christian scriptures, and the form that they assumed, prior to this time.
Thus we must ask: How much of what we know as the New Testament today existed before the middle fourth century, and how much was simply invented or altered at that time?
It’s very important to note that Justin Martyr, writing in the middle of the second century, never quoted from, or even mentioned the existence of, any of the four gospels.
Justin didn’t even mention the authors of those gospels, except for one reference to John, but with no allusion to any alleged gospel that he supposedly wrote.
Not only that, but none of the authors of the New Testament epistles ever mentioned any of the four gospels, let alone having quoted from them, or any of the sayings or teachings of Christ recorded therein.
This is very troubling indeed.
It’s obvious that the gospels, in whatever form they may have existed before the fourth century, if they existed at all, had undergone serious alterations by that time, along with other New Testament books.
This is not speculation.
It’s a fact.
For example, Eusebius (260 to 340 AD) wrote about Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, who lashed out against forgers who had not only mutilated his letters, but apostolic writings as well.
Quoting from Dionysius, Eusebius wrote:
“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.…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.” - Ecclesiastical History, Book 4.
This was even going on back in the second century.
Celsus, a pagan critic, wrote that:
“Some of them [Christians], as it were in a drunken state producing self-induced visions, remodel their Gospel from its first written form, and reform it so that they may be able to refute the objections brought against it.” - As quoted by Origen in Against Celsus.
Do you see what a cracked foundation our New Testament stands on today?
Of course, Eusebius was no bastion of truth himself.
In one of his works, he wrote a chapter entitled “How it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as Medicine, and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived.”
These are the “Church Fathers” upon which Christians ultimately base their trust in regards to the accuracy and reliability of the modern New Testament.
Let’s look at a typical example of deliberate alterations of the New Testament text by early editors.
In the opening of the book of Hebrews, there is a passage in which, according to most manuscripts, we are told that:
“Christ bears all things by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3).
However, in the fourth century Codex Vaticanus manuscript, the original scribe produced a slightly different text, with a verb that sounded similar in Greek.
The Vaticanus reads:
“Christ manifests all things by the word of his power.”
Here the word phaneron was used, translated as “manifests,” instead of pheron, translated “bears” in most modern texts.
Centuries later, another scribe read the manuscript and noticed the discrepancy.
Thus he decided to erase the word for “manifests” and replace it with the word for “bears.”
Some time later, a third scribe decided to change it back to “manifests,” and wrote a scribal note in the margin, indicating what he thought of the earlier scribe.
“Fool and knave! Leave the old reading, don’t change it!”
But there were far worse shenanigans going on than this--entire books were forged, of course.
Tertullian tells us that a church leader, in the latter half of the second century, was caught in the act of forging a book called Acts of Thecla, and was severely disciplined by being removed from his position of authority.
But this didn’t stop this forged book from gaining popularity and being widely distributed.
Thus, for centuries thereafter, Thecla was a household name throughout a large part of Christendom, and in some places she was just as popular as the Virgin Mary.
Many Christians are under the impression that the New Testament compilers of the third and fourth centuries were just as “divinely inspired” as the original authors allegedly were.
Yet look at what Eusebius said about the “Church Fathers” of his era:
“But increasing freedom transformed our character to arrogance and sloth; we began envying and abusing each other, cutting our own throats, as occasion offered, with weapons of sharp-edged words; rulers hurled themselves at rulers and laymen waged party fights against laymen, and unspeakable hypocrisy and dissimulation were carried to the limit of wickedness....Those of us who were supposed to be pastors cast off the restraining influence of the fear of God and quarreled heatedly with each other, engaged solely in swelling the disputes, threats, envy, and mutual hostility and hate, frantically demanding the despotic power they coveted.”
This doesn’t sound very “inspired” to me!
The Nicaean Council
Though the New Testament evolved over time, it assumed essentially its current form under the authorization of Emperor Constantine, at the famous fourth century Council of Nicaea.
Christian historians give little or no hint at the turmoil that was involved in the decisions made there regarding the assemblage of the New Testament, and they often depict Constantine as having had little or no influence in this work.
Christians are led to believe that there was essentially unanimous agreement at Nicaea, as to what books were to be included in the New Testament.
But in truth, the whole affair was nothing but a big mess of one contention after another.
One of Constantine’s main problems was the uncontrollable disorder amongst presbyters (or the church fathers) and their belief in numerous gods.
Constantine sought to curb the disreputable character of these “church fathers”--a history that has all but disappeared from the historical record.
These “fathers” were “maddened,” he said.
According to Origen of Alexandria, in his Against Celsus, these church fathers were:
“...the most rustic fellows, teaching strange paradoxes. They openly declared that none but the ignorant was fit to hear their discourses.…[T]hey never appeared in the circles of the wiser and better sort, but always took care to intrude themselves among the ignorant and uncultured, rambling around to play tricks at fairs and markets.…[T]hey lard their lean books with the fat of old fables...and still the less do they understand...and they write nonsense on vellum...and still be doing, never done.”
Not only were there many clusters of church fathers who had believed in a multiplicity of deities, but they also embraced a wide range of vastly differing doctrines.
Optatus of Milevis tells us that there was a great deal of clashing over attributes of their various gods, and that “altar was set against altar” in competing for an audience at the Nicaean conference.
From Constantine’s point of view, there were several factions that needed satisfying, and he set out to develop an all-embracing religion during a period of irreverent confusion.
Constantine was not concerned with maintaining purity of doctrine (whatever that means), as some would have us believe.
He was only concerned with reaching an agreement, to minimize divisive differences.
The assertion that Constantine embraced the Christian religion, and subsequently granted official toleration, is contrary to historical fact, and should be erased from the record forever.
Simply put, there was no Christian religion, in the form it is known today, at Constantine’s time, and the tales of Constantine’s “conversion” and “baptism” are entirely legendary.
In fact, the Farley edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia acknowledges these very same points.
This encyclopedia further admits that Constantine “never acquired a solid theological knowledge,” and that he “depended heavily on his advisers in religious questions.”
According to Eusebeius, Constantine noted that, among the presbyterian factions, “strife had grown so serious, vigorous action was necessary to establish a more religious state,” but he could not bring about a settlement between rival god factions.
His advisers warned him that the presbyters’ religions were “destitute of foundation,” and needed official stabilization, according to Eusebeius.
Constantine saw in this confused system of fragmented dogmas the opportunity to create a new and combined State religion, neutral in concept, which could be protected by law.
When he conquered the East in 324, he sent his Spanish religious adviser, Osius of Córdoba, to Alexandria with letters to several bishops, exhorting them to make peace amongst themselves.
But the mission failed, and Constantine, probably at the suggestion of Osius, then issued a decree that commanded all presbyters and their subordinates to “be mounted on asses, mules, and horses belonging to the public, and travel to the city of Nicaea,” in the Roman province of Bithynia, in Asia Minor.
Thus was the Council of Nicaea born.
When the attendees arrived, they came with all their varying religious ideas, texts, and doctrines.
While at Nicaea, Constantine instructed Eusebius to organize the compilation of a uniform collection of new writings developed from primary aspects of the religious texts submitted at the council.
His instructions were as follows, according to the 1922 book God’s Book of Eskra, translated by Professor S. L. MacGuire:
“Search ye these books, and whatever is good in them, that retain; but whatsoever is evil, that cast away. What is good in one book, unite ye with that which is good in another book. And whatsoever is thus brought together shall be called The Book of Books. And it shall be the doctrine of my people, which I will recommend unto all nations, that there shall be no more war for religions’ sake.”
Constantine believed that this amalgamated collection of myths that was put together at Nicaea would unite all variant and opposing religious factions.
According to Eusebius, in his Life of Constantine, Eusebius himself next arranged for scribes to produce:
“…fifty sumptuous copies...to be written on parchment in a legible manner, and in a convenient portable form, by professional scribes thoroughly accomplished in their art. These orders were followed by the immediate execution of the work itself.…[W]e sent him [Constantine] magnificently and elaborately bound volumes of three-fold and four-fold forms.”
They were the “New Testimonies,” and this is the first mention (c. 331) of the New Testament in the historical record.
With his instructions fulfilled, Constantine then decreed that the New Testimonies would thereafter be called the “word of the Roman Savior God,” according to Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, and these writings were also to serve as the official resource for all presbyters’ sermonizing in the Roman Empire.
According to Eusebius, Constantine then ordered earlier presbyterial manuscripts, as well as the records of the council, to be “burnt,” and he further declared that “any man found concealing writings should be stricken off from his shoulders” (beheaded).
As the record shows, presbyterial writings pre-existing the Council of Nicaea no longer exist, except for some fragments that managed to survive.
Some scant remnants of council records have also survived, and they provide alarming ramifications for Christianity.
The savagery and violence this council encompassed were concealed under the glossy title of “Great and Holy Synod,” assigned to the assembly by the Catholic Church in the 18th century.
Anyway, Constantine died in 337, leaving behind his legacy of a paganized form of Christianity that, to this day, is considered “true Christian orthodoxy.”
Later Church writers made him “the great champion of Christianity,” to which he gave “legal status as the religion of the Roman Empire.”
But historical records reveal this to be incorrect, for it was “self-interest” that led him to create Christianity in essentially its current form.
Over the ensuing centuries, Constantine’s New Testimonies were expanded upon, “interpolations” were added, and other writings were included, according to the Farley edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia.
For example, in 397, John “golden-mouthed” Chrysostom restructured the writings of Apollonius of Tyana, a first-century wandering sage, and made them part of the New Testimonies, according to the 1685 book Secrets of the Christian Fathers, by Bishop J. W. Sergerus.
The Latinized name for Apollonius is Paulus, and the Church today calls those writings the Epistles of Paul.
Apollonius’s personal attendant, Damis, an Assyrian scribe, is apparently “Demis” in the New Testament, as found in 2 Timothy 4:10.
The medieval Catholic Church hierarchy certainly knew the truth about the origin of the “New Testament” epistles, for Cardinal Bembo (who died in 1547), secretary to Pope Leo X, advised his associate, Cardinal Sadoleto, to disregard them, saying:
“…put away these trifles, for such absurdities do not become a man of dignity; they were introduced on the scene later by a sly voice from heaven.”
The Catholic Church, as a whole, has admitted that the epistles of Paul, or a good deal of them anyway, are forgeries.
In Farley’s Catholic Encyclopedia, we read:
“Even the genuine Epistles were greatly interpolated to lend weight to the personal views of their authors.”
Likewise, St. Jerome (who died in 420) declared that the Acts of the Apostles, the fifth book of the New Testament, was also “falsely written.”
As the 17th century church historian, Johnann Mosheim, wrote:
“The Christian Fathers deemed it a pious act to employ deception and fraud….The greatest and most pious teachers were nearly all of them infected with this leprosy.”
The shock discovery of an ancient bible--Codex Sinaiticus
A spectacular discovery in a remote Egyptian monastery revealed to the world the extent of later falsifications of the Christian texts, which were themselves, from the start, only an assemblage of legendary tales.
On February 4, 1859, 346 leaves of an ancient codex were discovered in the furnace room at St. Catherine’s monastery, at Mt. Sinai, and its contents sent shockwaves throughout the Christian world.
Along with other old codices, it was scheduled to be burned in the kilns, to provide winter warmth for the inhabitants of the monastery.
Written in Greek on donkey skins, it carried both the Old and New Testaments, and later in time archaeologists dated its composition to around the year 380.
This ancient document was discovered by Dr. Constantin von Tischendorf (1815–1874), a brilliant and pious German biblical scholar, and he called it the Sinaiticus, the Sinai Bible.
Tischendorf was a professor of theology who devoted his entire life to the study of New Testament origins, and his desire to read all the ancient Christian texts led him on the long, camel-mounted journey to St. Catherine’s Monastery.
During his lifetime, Tischendorf had access to other ancient bibles unavailable to the public, such as the Alexandrian (or Alexandrinus) Bible, believed to be the second oldest bible in the world.
It was so named because, in 1627, it was taken from Alexandria to Britain, and gifted to King Charles I (1600–49).
Today it is displayed alongside the world’s oldest known bible, the Sinaiticus, in the British Library, in London.
During his research, Tischendorf had access to the Vaticanus, believed to be the third oldest in the world, and dated to the mid-sixth century.
It was locked away in the Vatican’s inner library.
Tischendorf asked if he could extract handwritten notes, but his request was declined.
However, when his guard took refreshment breaks, Tischendorf wrote comparative narratives on the palm of his hand, and sometimes on his fingernails.
Today, there are several other bibles written in various languages during the fifth and sixth centuries, examples being the Syriacus, the Cantabrigiensis (Bezae), the Sarravianus, and the Marchalianus.
A shudder of apprehension echoed through Christendom in the last quarter of the 19th century, when English-language versions of the Sinai Bible were published.
Recorded within these pages is information that disputes Christianity’s claim of historicity.
Christians were provided with irrefutable evidence of willful falsifications in all modern New Testaments.
So different was the Sinai Bible’s New Testament from versions then being published, that the Catholic Church angrily tried to annul the dramatic new evidence that challenged its very existence.
In a series of articles published in the London Quarterly Review, in 1883, John W. Burgon, Dean of Chichester, used every rhetorical device at his disposal to attack the Sinaiticus’ earlier and opposing story of Jesus Christ, saying that:
“...without a particle of hesitation, the Sinaiticus is scandalously corrupt...exhibiting the most shamefully mutilated texts which are anywhere to be met with; they have become, by whatever process, the depositories of the largest amount of fabricated readings, ancient blunders, and intentional perversions of the truth which are discoverable in any known copies of the word of God.”
This was nothing more than face-saving, trying to prevent the Christian ship from sinking.
Modern biblical scholars make similar claims, arguing that the Sinaiticus and the Vaticanus are corrupted texts.
But the laughable truth is, the New Testament is corrupted, period, regardless which text it’s based upon.
In fact, Christianity itself is corrupted.
Yea, it’s a fraud!
The revelations of ultraviolet light testing
In 1933, the British Museum in London purchased the Sinai Bible from the Soviet government for £100,000, of which £65,000 was gifted by public subscription.
Prior to the acquisition, this Bible was displayed in the Imperial Library in St. Petersburg, Russia, where few scholars had ever set eyes on it.
When it went on display, in 1933, as “the oldest Bible in the world,” it became the center of a pilgrimage unequalled in the history of the British Museum.
It should be pointed out that this old codex is by no means a reliable guide for New Testament studies, as it contains an abundance of errors and serious re-editing.
These anomalies were exposed as a result of months-worth of ultraviolet light tests carried out at the British Museum in the mid-1930s.
The findings revealed replacements of numerous passages by at least nine different editors.
Photographs taken during testing revealed that ink pigments had been retained deep in the pores of the skins, and thus the original words were readable under ultraviolet light.
Nevertheless, this bible has yielded some interesting revelations.
Forgery in the gospels
When the New Testament of the Sinai Bible is compared with a modern-day New Testament, a staggering 14,800 editorial alterations can be identified.
These amendments can be recognized by a simple comparative exercise that anybody can and should do.
Serious study of Christian origins must emanate from the Sinai Bible’s version of the New Testament, not modern editions, since its age predates manuscripts that modern translations are based upon by at least 100 years.
“Hogwash!,” say modern Christian apologists, arguing that this is a “heretical” text.
But heretical according to who, and by what standards?
The modern “accepted” text, which we have already seen, came about in a most dubious fashion, with multitudes of alterations.
So that can’t serve as any reliable source either!
Anyway, the Sinaiticus carries three gospels that have since been rejected: the Shepherd of Hermas (written by two resurrected ghosts, Charinus and Lenthius), the Missive of Barnabas, and the Odes of Solomon.
However, it is more so what is NOT written in that old bible that embarrasses Christian scholars, a few examples of which we will now take a look at.
One glaring example is subtly revealed in the Encyclopaedia Biblica (Adam & Charles Black, London, 1899), where the Catholic Church divulges its knowledge about exclusions in old bibles, stating:
“The remark has long ago and often been made that, like Paul, even the earliest Gospels knew nothing of the miraculous birth of our Savior.”
That is because, of course, there never was a virgin birth.
The so-called “fulfilled prophecy” of Isaiah 7:14, which supposedly foretells the virgin birth of Christ, is not even a Messianic prophecy.
But no matter, the Hebrew word for virgin, Beulah, is not even found in this verse.
Anyway, it’s apparent that when Eusebius assembled scribes at the Council of Nicaea to write the “New Testimonies,” which later became known as the “New Testament,” he first produced a single document that provided an exemplar, or master, version for the four gospels.
Today it is called the Gospel of Mark, and the Catholic Church, in its Farley edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia, admits that it was “the first Gospel written,” even though it appears second in the New Testament today.
It’s painfully obvious that the scribes of the gospels of Matthew and Luke were dependent upon the book of Mark as the source and framework for the compilation of their works.
The Gospel of John, on the other hand, is independent of those writings, and thus the late-15th-century theory that it was written later, to support the earlier writings, is most likely true.
Thus, the Gospel of Mark in the Sinai Bible carries the “first” story of Jesus Christ in history, one completely different to what is in modern Bibles.
It starts with Jesus “at about the age of thirty” (Mark 1:9), and knows nothing about Christ’s virgin birth, or mass murders of baby boys by Herod (which, even in modern versions, is only found in the book of Matthew, and thus is obviously a later innovation).
Words describing Christ as “the son of God” do not appear in the opening narrative, as they do in today’s editions (Mark 1:1).
And the modern versions’ family tree, tracing a “messianic bloodline” back to King David, is non-existent in all ancient Bibles.
The Sinai Bible carries a conflicting version of events surrounding the “raising of Lazarus,” and reveals an extraordinary omission that later became the central doctrine of the Christian faith--the post-resurrection appearances of Christ, and his subsequent ascension into Heaven.
Obviously the Christian religion evolved over time.
Anyway, continuing on…
No supernatural appearance of a resurrected Christ is recorded in any ancient gospels of Mark (the Sinai, Alexandrian, Vatican, Bezae, and other manuscripts), but a description of over 500 words now appears in modern versions (in Mark 16:9-20).
These same 500 words are also lacking in the oldest Armenian version of the New Testament, in sixth-century manuscripts of the Ethiopic version, and ninth-century Anglo-Saxon Bibles.
However, some 12th century Gospels have the now-known resurrection verses written within asterisks--marks used by scribes to indicate spurious passages.
Yet there they are in our modern bibles, as though they have always existed since the “time of Christ.”
Christianity claims that the resurrection is the fundamental foundation of the Christian faith.
Yet no supernatural appearance of a resurrected Christ was recorded in any of the earliest gospels of Mark.
Don’t you find that just a LITTLE bit strange?
When this doctrine was first introduced, it must obviously have been met with much resistance, prompting Paul to write:
“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 5:17).
This threat obviously had to be made, in order to intimidate early Christians into believing in this fairy tale.
And, of course, it must be pointed out that there are no first century references to Christ’s alleged resurrection--all we have to go on is the bible, a book filled with contradictions and inconsistencies.
Anyway, the resurrection verses in today’s gospel of Mark are universally acknowledged as forgeries, and the Catholic Church admits this in its Encyclopedia Biblica, saying:
“…the conclusion of [the book of] Mark is admittedly not genuine...almost the entire section is a later compilation.”
Undaunted, however, the Catholic Church accepted this obvious forgery into its dogma, and made it the basis of Christianity, as did Protestantism.
The trend of fictitious resurrection narratives continued, of course.
The final chapter of the Gospel of John (21) is an obvious sixth-century forgery.
The Catholic Church admits this in the Farley Catholic Encyclopedia, stating:
“The sole conclusion that can be deduced from this is that the 21st chapter was afterwards added and is therefore to be regarded as an appendix to the Gospel.”
Modern-day versions of the Gospel of Luke have a staggering 10,000 more words than the same gospel in the Sinai Bible.
Six of those words say of Jesus: “and was carried up into heaven.”
But this narrative does not appear in any of the oldest Gospels of Luke available today.
Today, the Gospel of Luke is the longest of the canonical gospels, because it now includes what is called “The Great Insertion,” an extraordinary 15th-century addition totaling around 8,500 words (Luke 9:51–18:14).
Speaking of this “Great Insertion,” the Pecci edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia states:
“The character of these passages makes it dangerous to draw inferences.”
Just as remarkable, the oldest Gospels of Luke omit all verses from 6:45 to 8:26, known as “The Great Omission,” which consists of a total of 1,547 words.
In today’s versions, that gap has been plugged up with passages plagiarized from other gospels.
Dr. Tischendorf found that three paragraphs in newer versions of Luke’s rendition of the Last Supper didn’t appear until the 15th century.
But tamperings with the Book of Mark date as far back as the late second century.
In about 195 AD, Bishop Clement of Alexandria made the first known amendment to the gospel texts.
He deleted a substantial section from the Gospel of Mark, written more than a hundred years before that time, and he justified his action thusly in a letter:
“For even if they [the deleted parts] should say something true, one who loves the Truth should not...agree with them.…For not all true things are to be said to all men.”
In other words, he was admitting to deliberate suppression of “truth,” according to the prevailing bias that he and his fellow bishops held.
But what exactly was in this section of Mark that Clement saw fit to remove?
It was the section that dealt with the raising of Lazarus, except that, in this version, Lazarus was portrayed as having died a spiritual death, not a physical one.
And thus when he was “raised from the dead,” it was a spiritual resurrection, and not a physical one.
So what went on here is that the bishops decided that the John account made better sense to them, and was far more dramatic, and thus they omitted the Mark account.
And by what authority?
Their own personal opinion!
Why is this history of New Testament tampering lost to us?
As was the case with the New Testament, so also were the writings of early “Church Fathers” (those that were deemed damaging to the power of the Catholic Church) modified over the centuries, and many of these early records were suppressed as well.
Adopting the decrees of the Council of Trent (1545–63), the Catholic Church ordered the preparation of a special list of specific information to be expunged from early Christian writings.
In 1562, the Vatican established a special censoring office called Index Expurgatorius.
Its purpose was to prohibit publication of “erroneous passages of the early Church Fathers” that carried statements opposing modern-day doctrine.
When Vatican archivists came across genuine copies of the Fathers’ writings, they corrected them according to the Expurgatory Index.
The Catholic Encyclopaedia Biblica reveals that roughly 1,200 years of Christian history are unknown.
“Unfortunately, only [a] few of the records [of the Church] prior to the year 1198 have been released.”
It was not by chance that, in that same year (1198), Pope Innocent III (1198–1216) suppressed all records of earlier Church history by establishing the “Secret Archives.”
Some seven-and-a-half centuries later, and after spending some years in those Archives, Professor Edmond S. Bordeaux wrote the book How The Great Pan Died.
In a chapter titled “The Whole of Church History is Nothing but a Retroactive Fabrication,” he made these interesting remarks:
“The Church ante-dated all her late works, some newly made, some revised, and some counterfeited, which contained the final expression of her history.…[H]er technique was to make it appear that much later works written by Church writers were composed a long time earlier, so that they might become evidence of the first, second, or third centuries.”
Supporting Professor Bordeaux’s findings is the fact that, in 1587, Pope Sixtus V (1585–90) established an official Vatican publishing division, and said in his own words:
“Church history will now be established.…[W]e shall seek to print our own account.”
The Findley Catholic Encyclopedia further reveals that Sixtus V spent 18 months of his life as pope personally writing a new bible, and thus introduced into Catholicism a “New Learning.”
Gospel authors exposed as imposters
There is something else involved in this scenario, and it’s recorded in the Farley Catholic Encyclopedia, where the Catholic Church admits that it does not know who wrote the gospels and epistles, confessing that all 27 New Testament books began life anonymously:
“It thus appears that the present titles of the Gospels are not traceable to the evangelists themselves..…[T]hey [New Testament books] are supplied with titles which, however ancient, do not go back to the respective authors of those writings.”
The Catholic Church maintains in this same volume that:
“…the titles of our Gospels were not intended to indicate authorship,” and that “the headings…[w]ere affixed to them [and therefore they are not Gospels written] according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.”
The names Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were arbitrarily applied to these books late in the second century.
Not only do we not know who wrote the gospels, but within these books themselves are clear indications that they were written by anonymous authors who lived a considerable amount of time after the alleged time of Christ.
For example, “Luke” opens his gospel by telling us that his story was handed down to his generation, and thus it is not a “first hand” account:
Here’s how he put it, in Luke 1:1, 2:
“Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word…”
The author of Matthew’s gospel occasionally let it slip that he was writing long after the alleged time of Christ.
For example, in Matthew 28:15, we have the account of the Jewish authorities supposedly covering up the resurrection of Christ, and then we are told:
“…this saying is commonly repeated among the Jews until this day.”
Writing about the field of blood, Matthew 27:8 says:
“Wherefore that field was called the field of blood, unto this day.”
Even more disturbing, John 21:24 reads:
“This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.”
Can it be any more clear that we are dealing with second hand information, aside from all the contradictions and later additions and subtractions over the ensuing centuries?
What a mess!
The consequences of these revelations are obviously quite fatal to Christianity’s pretence of divine origin of the entire New Testament.
Anyway, after years of dedicated New Testament research, Dr. Tischendorf, in his book Alterations to the Sinai Bible, expressed dismay at the differences between the oldest and newest gospels, and he had trouble understanding:
“...how scribes could allow themselves to bring in here and there changes which were not simply verbal ones, but such as materially affected the very meaning and, what is worse still, did not shrink from cutting out a passage or inserting one.”
He also stated, in his 1865 book When Were Our Gospels Written?, that modern-day bible editions have:
“…been altered in many places,” and are thus “not to be accepted as true.”
No wonder Pope Leo X once stated:
“How well we know what a profitable superstition this fable of Christ has been for us.”
The bible has roughly 100,000 textual variants, 5% of which are major, significant ones--that’s 5,000 major problematic textual variants in the bible.
The New Testament alone has 1,438 major variants.
In light of this, and so very many other problems, can you still honestly say that you believe this book to be “the word of god”?
his is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.”