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writer, who pretends to give a correct account of everything (i. 4), does not even mention this massacre, and probably never heard of it. “Matthew” says that Herod, desiring to slay the child (ii. 16-18), caused all the male children of Bethlehem under two years of age to be slaughtered. But Herod was dead when this massacre is said to have occurred. Neither Josephus nor any other historian makes any mention of it ; and the early Christian Fathers, who were most assiduous in searching for evidence which might corroborate the Gospel narrative, knew of no such records. Can we picture to ourselves the omniscient Yahuh having to smear the doorways with blood as a mark of security while the butchery of Egypt's firstborn was going on? Tradition tells us that the seventh Ptolemy had all the young men of Alexandria murdered ; this may be the Egyptian version of the massacre.

MATTHEW 11. 23: “He shall be called a Nazarene.There is no such prophecy ; neither does the word Nazarene occur in the 0. T. The fact is, the Greek word Nazaraios has been wrongly rendered, and really means a Nazarite (from the Hebrew Nazar=to separate). A Nazarite was one who had made a vow to abstain from wine, and from cutting his hair. Samson and Samuel were Nazarites ; also James. The word “Nazarite” is frequently used in the O. T., but never in reference to Jesus. So that the Messiah is represented as having gone to Nazareth in order to be called a Nazarite! The ignorance displayed in the error is obvious.

MATTHEW III. 3: “For this is he that was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying : The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord ; make his paths straight." These words are put into the mouth of John “ the Baptist," who was said to be preaching in the wilderness of Judæa about the time of the expected birth of Jesus. The original froni which the above is taken is in Isaiah xl. 3, and is, as usual, a misquotation, for in the text, correctly rendered in the R. V., it is as follows : “ The voice of one that crieth : Prepare ye in the wilderness the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” But the translators of the A. V., in order to make the quotation square with the Matthew writer's deception, rendered it : “ The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness : Prepare ye the way of the Lord ; make straight in the desert a highway for our God." The Hebrew Yahuh is made to tell his prophet to comfort the people by proclaiming the news that their service in Babylon was nearly ended, and their transgression, for which their captivity was supposed to be a punishment, was forgiven. Isaiah was speaking of himself, not of someone to be born some seven centuries later. The passage was written about two hundred years after Isaiah's time, towards the close of the exile in Babylon; and the highway was about five hundred miles of desert. The word "desert” may be rendered “the heavens.” In Psalm lxviii. 4 we find (literally): “Sing unto the Mighty One; sing praises to his name. Cast up a highway for him that rideth through the heavens. His name is YAH.” This is, of course, a song to the sun-god. That a baptizer named John made an appearance in Palestine during the reign of Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Galilee, and that he was put to death by him, may be historical ; but the Gospel accounts of the prophecy, and of his imprisonment and death, are simply fabrications.

MATTHEW VIII. 16: “They brought unto him many that were possessed with devils, and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying : Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses.” The original is in Isaiah liji. 4, and is again wrongly quoted, for there are no such words as the above ; but we find : “Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows,” which is part of the lament regarding the captivity and the return of Israel to Jerusalem.

MATTHEW XIII. 34: “All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: I will open my mouth in parables.” The quotation is from Psalm Ixxviii. 1-3, where we find David saying : “Give ear, O my people, to my law; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable," etc.—which had no more to do with Jesus, who was not born till many centuries after, than with the man in the moon. A “parable,” in Hebrew Scripture, meant an oracular saying, song, or poetic recital of a number of events. The Jews and the Assyrians learned this poetical manner from the ancient Akkadians.

MATTHEW XXI. 5: “Behold, the king cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt, the foal of an ass.” This riding feat, impossible outside a circus, is an amusing error of the Matthew fabricator (founded on a similar legend of Bacchus, who rode in procession on an ass), and led the translators of the A. V. to piously, but dishonestly, alter the original quotation, in order to make it square with the mistake of the Matthew writer, making the Hebrew word meaning even read as and. This is, however, rectified in the R. V. The quotation is from Zech. ix. 9: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem. Behold, thy king cometh unto thee; he is just, and saved by victory ; calm, and riding upon an ass, even (and, A. V.] upon a colt, the foal of an ass.” Jesus never was a king, either of the Jews or of any other nation. The text has reference to the fall of the proud cities of Syria—Tyre and Sidon—and the rise of Greece; and predicts the invasion of a kingdom.

LUKE XXIV. 44, 45: “All things must needs be fulfilled which are written in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms concerning me...... Thus it is written that [the] Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the third day.” There is not a single word in the above Hebrew books referring to Jesus, into whose mouth these words are put; nor is there any prediction that anyone should rise from the dead on the third day. But all previous Messiahs and sun-gods had descended into the lower regions for three days and nights, and rose again, as we have seen.

JOHN XII. 37, 38 : “But, though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him, that the saying of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled which he spake : Lord, who hath believed our report ? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed ?” This is taken from Isaiah liii. 1, which, as we have seen, is part of a lament regarding the captivity and the return of Israel (the Jews) to Jerusalem. The “arm of the Lord” is a figurative expression for the work of the Hebrew God, Yahuh.

JOHN XII. 39, 40 : “Therefore they could not believe, because that Isaiah said, He hath blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, and be converted ; and should heal them.” This is taken from Isaiah vi. 8-12,

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where that person is referring to the exile of the people in his time. The Israelites were to be deaf and blind to the warnings and exhortations of the priests, and were to worship the gods of other nations, until they were carried away captive to Babylon, and their land had become desolate. The blindness and hardness of heart referred to the worship of strange gods by the people of Isaiah's time (Isaiah xliv. 9-18), and has no reference whatever to people living centuries afterwards.

JOHN XII. 41: “These things saith Isaiah because he saw his glory; and he spake of him.” The original of this is in Isaiah vi. 1-3: “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple; above it stood the seraphim ; each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried to another, and said : Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory." Now, the “glory” that Isaiah saw was that of the Hebrew God, Yahuh-the sun, and the person " he spake of” was also Yahuh, who was sitting between the two cherubim (see page 135); but the John writer attempts to induce his readers to believe that by “him ” Isaiah was referring to the future Christian Messiah.

And such are the “prophecies” upon which the Christian edifice relies for support, and upon which Christians rely as evidence of the truth and reality of their “Messiah”!

XXI.

MIRACLES OF GREAT ANTIQUITY_BRED OF IGNORANCE

AND SUPERSTITION — NOT BELIEVED BY THE EARLY FATHERS — THE MIRACLES ATTRIBUTED TO JESUS — SILENCE OF HISTORY—THE JEWS ANXIOUSLY LOOKING FOR A MESSIAH – UNABLE TO ACCEPT JESUS — THE EVIDENCE OF THE JOHN GOSPEL-SPECIAL MIRACLES -MIRACLES NOT FOR MAN, BUT FOR THE GLORIFICATION OF THE DEITY AND THE CHURCH-DISEASE AS A PUNISHMENT FOR “Sin" — CASTING OUT DEVILS — UNFULFILLED PROMISES — THE MAGICIAN'S STAR —

RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION. We have seen that “inspiration,” “possession,” and “exorcism” led to the idea that certain persons possessed supernatural power to perform particular acts contrary to the laws of nature, called “MIRACLES.” The following heroes and gods performed miracles :—Zoroaster, who confirmed his divine mission; the Egyptian saviours, Horus and Serapis, who raised the dead to life ; Osiris ; Isis, to whose temple the sick resorted in crowds ; Marduk, the Assyrian “Logos,” who raised the dead to life; Bacchus, who changed water into wine; Æsculapius, son of Apollo, who cured the sick and raised the dead ; Apollonius of Tyana, who restored a dead maiden to life ; Simon Magus, the Samaritan, who, by his proficiency in performing miracles, was called “the Magician.” It may be added that Simon Magus professed to be “the Wisdom of God,” “the Word of God,” “the Paraclete” or “ Comforter," "the image of the eternal Father manifested in the flesh," and his followers claimed that he was “the firstborn of the Supreme.” All these were titles in after years applied to Jesus. They had a gospel called “The Four Corners of the World,” from which Irenæus probably borrowed his reason for

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