What did Jesus really say?
A book by Dr. Mishaal Abdullah Al-Kadhi
1.2.5: Historical Origin of the "Trinity" Myth
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
Mr. J says: "Most "proofs" against the traditional teachings of Christianity consist of pitting one passage of Scripture against another." Should it not be impossible to "pit one verse of the Bible against another"? Should the verses of the Bible not be consistent? Should they not reinforce each other rather that refute each other? What kind of logic is this?
As we shall now begin to see, humanity has over the ages taken great liberties with the text of the Bible. This has ultimately resulted in countless contradictions between the verses. This means that as a result of this continuous unrelenting tampering, the message of the Bible can no longer be trusted as the original 100% unchanged word of God. The Bible itself bears witness that a "false witness" will always result in discrepancy (Mark 14:56). Mr. J continues, "...and almost always taking such passages out of context."
Please go back to such verses as "I and my father are one" and the many others which we have just dealt with in the last two sections and see whether Muslims or the Church quote the Bible out of context? Please show me where I have been unjust or unfaithful in my presentation of the verses. If the Bible had remained 100% the word of God then it would be impossible for it's verses to contradict each other, however, if mankind has been taking liberties with the words of God then the verses will indeed contradict themselves: "Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care)? Had it been from other than Allah, they would have surely found therein much discrepancy." The Qur'an, Al-Nissa(4):82. Why not apply the same test to the Bible?
"The Christian message about Jesus revolves around three facts: the incarnation, the crucifixion, and the resurrection." Have we now totally given up on such matters as the "Trinity," the "original sin," the "atonement," and so forth...? We have already disproved all of these. "Prove from the Bible or otherwise that any one of these three things are not true, and like a three-legged stool the truth of the message would collapse." Please go back and have another look at your stool. Does it not need the doctrines of "Trinity," "begotten son of God," "original sin" and "atonement." In order to remain standing? If you would like, you can find many very serious discrepancies in the narration of the crucifixion and many other matters in Ahmed Deedat's books "The Choice," and "Crucifixion or Cruci-fiction," as well as his many other publications (you may get a sample from sections 2.1 and 2.2).
But someone may now say: "If the Trinity was not revealed by God Almighty or Jesus (pbuh) then why does Christianity believe in it?" The answer lies in the council of Nicea of 325 CE.
In "The New Catholic Encyclopedia" (Bearing the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, indicating official approval) we get a glimpse of how the concept of the Trinity was not introduced into Christianity until close to four hundred years after Jesus (pbuh):
".......It is difficult in the second half of the 20th century to offer a clear, objective and straightforward account of the revelation, doctrinal evolution, and theological elaboration of the Mystery of the trinity. Trinitarian discussion, Roman Catholic as well as other, present a somewhat unsteady silhouette. Two things have happened. There is the recognition on the part of exegetes and Biblical theologians, including a constantly growing number of Roman Catholics, that one should not speak of Trinitarianism in the New Testament without serious qualification. There is also the closely parallel recognition on the part of historians of dogma and systematic theologians that when one does speak of an unqualified Trinitarianism, one has moved from the period of Christian origins to, say, the last quadrant of the 4th century. It was only then that what might be called the definitive Trinitarian dogma 'One God in three Persons' became thoroughly assimilated into Christian life and thought ... it was the product of 3 centuries of doctrinal development" (emphasis added).
"The New Catholic Encyclopedia," Volume XIV, p. 295
They admit it!!! Jesus (pbuh), John, Matthew, Luke, Mark, all of the apostles, and even Paul, were completely unaware of any "Trinity." !!
So what did exactly happen in this fourth century CE? Let us ask Mr. David F. Wright, a senior lecturer in Ecclesiastical History at the University of Edinburough. Mr. Wright has published a detailed account of the development of the doctrine of the "Trinity." We read:
"...Arius was a senior presbyter in charge of Baucalis, one of the twelve 'parishes' of Alexandria. He was a persuasive preacher, with a following of clergy and ascetics, and even circulated his teaching in popular verse and songs. Around 318 CE, he clashed with Bishop Alexander. Arius claimed that Father alone was really God; the Son was essentially different from his father. He did not possess by nature or right any of the divine qualities of immortality, sovereignty, perfect wisdom, goodness, and purity. He did not exist before he was begotten by the father. The father produced him as a creature. Yet as the creator of the rest of creation, the son existed 'apart from time before all things'. Nevertheless, he did not share in the being of God the Father and did not know him perfectly." Wright goes on to demonstrate in this book how before the third century CE the "three" were separate in Christian belief and each had his or it's own status.
"Eerdman's Handbook to the History of Christianity," chapter on "Councils and Creeds,"
Tertullian (155-220AD), a lawyer and presbyter of the third-century Church in Carthage, was the first Christian to coin the word "Trinity" when he put forth the theory that the Son and the Spirit participate in the being of God, but all are of one being of substance with the Father (Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, V4, p. 711).
About this time, two separate events were about to lead up to the official recognition of the church by the Roman empire. On the one hand, Emperor Constantine, the pagan emperor of the Romans, began to notice the increasing number of converts to the new faith among his subjects. They were no longer a petty fringe sect of no great concern to the empire, rather, their presence was becoming increasingly noticeable, and the severe division and animosity between their ranks was beginning to pose a serious threat to the internal stability of the empire as a whole.
On the Christian front, controversy over the matter of the Trinity had in 318C.E. once again just blown up between two church men from Alexandria, Arius, the deacon, and Alexander, his bishop. Now Emperor Constantine stepped into the fray. The emperor sent these men many letters encouraging them to put aside their "trivial" disputes regarding the nature of God and the "number" of God, etc. To one who had become accustomed to being surrounded by countless gods, and goddesses, and demi-gods, and man-gods, and incarnations of gods, and resurrections of gods, and so forth, the issue of whether a given sect worshipped one god or three gods or "three gods in one" was all very trivial and inconsequential.
After several repeated attempts by the emperor to pacify them failed, he finally found himself in 325 CE faced with two serious controversies that divided his Christian subjects: the observance of the Passover on Easter Sunday, and the concept of the Trinity. Emperor Constantine realized that a unified church was necessary for a strong kingdom. When negotiations failed to settle the dispute, the emperor called the "Council of Nicea" in order to resolve these, and other matters. The council met and voted on whether Jesus (pbuh) was God or not. They effectively voted Jesus into the position of God with an amendment condemning all Christians who believed in the unity of God. There is even extensive proof that most of those who signed this decree did not actually believe in it or understand it but thought it politically expedient to do so. Neo-Platonic philosophy was the means by which this newly defined doctrine of "Trinity" was formulated. One of the attendees, Apuleius, wrote "I pass over in silence," explaining that "those sublime and Platonic doctrines understood by very few of the pious, and absolutely unknown to every one of the profane." The vast majority of the others signed under political pressure consoling themselves with such words as "the soul is nothing worse for a little ink." It is narrated that out of the 2030 attendees, only 318 readily accepted this creed ("Al-Seerah Al-Nabawiyya", Abu Al-Hassan Al-Nadwi, p. 306). They then approved the doctrine of homoousious meaning: of "CO-EQUALITY, CO-ETERNITY, AND CONSUBSTANTIALITY" of the second person of the Trinity with the Father. The doctrine became known as the Creed of Nicea.
Only on returning home did other attendees such as Eusebius of Nicomedia, Maris of Chaledon and Theognis of Nicaea summon the courage to express to Constantine in writing how much they regretted having put their signatures to the Nicene formula: "We committed an impious act, O Prince," wrote Eusebius of Nicomedia, "by subscribing to a blasphemy from fear of you."
However, the damage was already done and there would be no undoing it now. It has been recorded that thirteen conferences were held in the fourth century wherein Arius and his beliefs were condemned. On the other hand, fifteen supported him. While seventeen conferences issued decrees similar to the beliefs of the Arians ("Al-Seerah Al-Nabawiyya", Abu Al-Hassan Al-Nadwi, p. 306).
Of the fruits of this council, Jesus (pbuh) was made "Very God." Shortly thereafter, his mother Mary (pbuh) was given the title of "Ever Virgin." It would not be long until these concepts were later combined in 431AD to give her the title "Theotokos" (God-bearing). This is how she became known to us as "Mother of God."
The persecution of the Jews was just now getting into full swing and with it a severe disdain and intolerance for all Christians who did not convert to the new creeds. The books of Arius and his sympathizers were ordered to be burnt, and a reign of terror proclaimed for all those who did not conform with the new, "official" Christian beliefs. The following is one of the public declarations in this regard:
"Understand now by this present statute, Novatians, Valentinians, Marcionites, Paulinians, you who are called Cataphrygians ... with what a tissue of lies and vanities, with what destructive and venomous errors, your doctrines are inextricably woven! We give you warning... Let none of you presume, from this time forward, to meet in congregations. To prevent this, we command that you be deprived of all the houses in which you have been accustomed to meet .. . and that these should be handed over immediately to the catholic [i.e. official] church."
Following the Conference of Nicea, the matter of the "Trinity" remained far from settled. Despite high hopes for such on the part of Constantine, Arius and the new bishop of Alexandria, a man named Athanasius, began arguing over the matter even as the Nicene Creed was being signed; "Arianism" became a catch-word from that time onward for anyone who didn't hold to the newly defined doctrine of the Trinity. Athanasius, the bishop who is popularly credited for having formulated this doctrine, confessed that the more he wrote on the matter, the more his thoughts recoiled upon themselves and the less capable he was of clearly expressing his thoughts regarding it. After the Council of Chalcedon in 451, debate on the matter was no longer tolerated; to speak out against the Trinity was now considered blasphemy and earned stiff sentences that ranged from mutilation to death. Christians now turned on Christians, maiming and slaughtering thousand because of this difference of belief.
Some people might object that the words of all of these eminent Christian scholars and highly respected references are all in error. They claim that Jesus (pbuh) did indeed teach the "Trinity" to the disciples, but that he did so in secret to them alone. The disciples then went on and secretly taught others, and then a couple of centuries later it was made public knowledge. However, not only is this theory based upon no evidence from the Bible, but it actually contradicts the words of Jesus himself:
"Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing."
Worship of the Roman sun-god was very popular during the third century CE among the pagan Gentiles as it had been for centuries before that. As had become the popular custom, Emperor Constantine (who presided over the council of Nicea) was popularly considered to be the "manifestation" or "incarnation" of the supreme Roman sun-god. For this reason, in order to please Constantine, the Trinitarian church compromised with him on the following points:
Muhammad Ata' Ur Rahim records that Constantine was determined that the masses not think that he had forced these bishops to sign against their will, so he resorted to a miracle of God: Stacks of somewhere between 270 and 4,000 Gospels (one copy of all available Gospels at the time) were placed underneath the conference table and the door to the room was locked. The Bishops were told to pray earnestly all night, and the next morning "miraculously" only the Gospels acceptable to Athanasius (The Trinitarian Bishop of Alexandria) were found stacked above the table. The rest were burned. (Jesus Prophet of Islam, Muhammad 'Ata ur-Rahim).
"The reign of Constantine marks the epoch of the transformation of Christianity from a religion into a political system; and though, in one sense, that system was degraded into idolatry, in another it had risen into a development of the old Greek mythology. The maxim holds good in the social as well as in the mechanical world, that, when two bodies strike, the form of both is changed. Paganism was modified by Christianity; Christianity by Paganism. In the Trinitarian controversy, which first broke out in Egypt - Egypt, the land of the Trinities - the chief point in discussion was to define the position of 'the Son.'"
History of the Conflict between Religion and Science, Prof. John Draper, pp. 52-53
Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of David and Jesus, son of Mary. That was because they disobeyed and were ever transgressing. They used not to forbid one another from the evil which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do. You see many of them taking the disbelievers as their protectors and helpers. Evil indeed is that which their ownselves had sent forward before them, for that (reason) Allah's Wrath fell upon them and in torment they will abide. And had they believed in Allah, and in the Prophet (Muhammad, pbuh) and in what has been revealed to him, never would they have taken them (the disbelievers) as protectors and helpers, but many of them are the rebellious, the disobedient to Allah.
The noble Qur'an, Al-Maidah(5):78-82
History was repeating itself. God had cautioned the Jews in the past to never give concession in their religion to the non-believers. They, however, disobeyed Him and felt that a little compromise here and there might go a long way towards facilitating "the greater good" and the continuation of the faith. This trend was now repeating itself. A small compromise here and a little concession there, it would not be long until all remaining differences would be resolved. But at what price?
This is indeed why God's last prophet, Muhammad (pbuh) was once again cautioned to never give the slightest consession in God's religion no matter how tempting the pagan polythiests might make their offers.
Noon. (God swears) By the pen and what the (angels) write (in the Records of men). You (O Muhammad pbuh) are not, by the Grace of your Lord, a madman. And verily, for you will be an endless reward. And verily, you are upon an exalted character. Verily, you will see, and they will see, Which of you is afflicted with madness. Verily, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He knows best those who are guided. So obey not the deniers. They wish that you should compromise (in religion out of courtesy) with them, so they (too) would compromise with you.
The noble Qur'an, Al-Qalam(68):1-9
Many more sweeping campaigns for the utter and complete destruction of all "unacceptable" gospels to the Trinitarian Church would be launched over the following centuries. One example of such campaigns is the one launched during the period of 379-395 AD during the reign of the Christian Emperor Flavius Theodosius wherein all non-Roman Catholic Christian writings were destroyed, or the campaign of Christian Emperor Valentinian III (425-454AD) which again commanded that all surviving non-Roman Catholic writings be utterly destroyed. Such campaigns would become the norm in the centuries to come.
Muhammad 'Ata ur-Rahim informs us in his book that Arius was quickly condemned and then excommunicated. He was reinstated, but was poisoned and killed by the Trinitarian Bishop, Athanasius, in 336 CE. The Trinitarian Church called his death "a miracle." Athanasius's treachery was discovered by a council appointed by Costanatine and he was condemned for Arius' murder. (Jesus Prophet of Islam, Muhammad 'Ata ur-Rahim)
Constantine had made it an imperial law to accept the Creed of Nicea. He was a pagan emperor and at the time cared little if such a doctrine contradicted the teachings of Jesus (pbuh) and the centuries of prophets of God before him who had suffered severe hardship in order to preach a monotheistic god to their people as can be seen in the Old Testament to this day. He just wanted to pacify and unite his "sheep." Ironically, Mr. Ata' Ur Rahim records that Constantine embraced the beliefs of the Arians, was baptized on his death bed in 337 by an Arian priest and died shortly thereafter. In other words, he died a believer in the divine Unity and teachings of the Arians and not the new Trinitarian beliefs of the Athanasiun sect.
This "triune God" theory was not a novel concept but one that was very much in vogue during the early Christian era. There was:
...and so forth (please read chapter three for more).
However, it is popularly recognized that the "Trinity" which had the most profound effect in defining the Christian "Trinity" was the philosophy of the Greek philosopher, Plato. His philosophy was based on a threefold distinction of: The "First Cause", the "Reason" or Logos, and the "Soul or Spirit of the Universe" (please see section 18.104.22.168). Edward Gibbon, considered one of the Western world's greatest historians, and the author of "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," generally considered a masterpiece of both history and literature writes in this book:
"..His poetical imagination sometimes fixed and animated these metaphysical abstractions; the three archical or original principles with each other by the mysterious and ineffable generation; and the Logos was particularly considered under the more accessible character of the Son of an eternal Father, and the Creator and Governor of the world."
"Decline and fall of the Roman Empire," II, Gibbon, p. 9.
Even the practice of promoting men to the status of gods was common among the Gentiles at the time. Julius Caesar, for instance, was acknowledged by the Ephesians to be "a god made manifest and a common Savior of all human life." In the end, both the Greeks and the Romans acknowledged Caesar as a god. His statue was set up in a temple in Rome with the inscription: "To the unconquerable god." Another man who was elevated by the Gentiles to the status of a god was Augustus Caesar. He was acknowledged as a god and the "divine Savior of the World." Emperor Constantine was also popularly believed to be the human embodiment of the Roman Sun-god. And on and on. Is it inconceivable that such people, after hearing of Jesus' (pbuh) many miracles, of his raising of the dead, of his healing of the blind, would consider elevating him to the status of a god? These were simple people who had become accustomed to countless man-gods, and Jesus (pbuh) had become a legend among them even during his lifetime. No wonder it did not take them long to make him a god after his departure. In the Gospel of Barnabas, Jesus himself indeed foretold that mankind would make him a god and severely condemned those who would dare to do so (see chapter 7). The Bible itself bears witness to the fact that these gentiles were all too willing to promote not just Jesus (pbuh), but even the apostles of Jesus to the position of gods (see Acts 14:1-14).
Moreover, the concept of resurrection was also not a novel one. The Greeks, like many other pagans, worshipped the earth and associated it's fertility with the fertility of woman. Many earth-mother goddesses arose out of this belief, such as Aphrodite, Hera, and so on. With this earth-mother goddess came the concept of a man-god who personified the vegetation cycle and often the sun cycle. In the case of Osirus, Baal, and Cronus, he also represented a deceased king worshipped as divine. This man-god was always assumed to have been born on the 21st or 25th of December so as to correspond to the winter solstice (time of year when the sun is "born"). Forty days later, or about the time of Easter, he had to be slain, laid in a tomb, and resurrected after three days so that his blood could be shed upon the earth in order to maintain or restore the fertility of the earth and in order to provide salvation for his worshipers. This was a sign to the believers that they too would enjoy eternal life. This man-god was usually called the "Soter" (Savior). This "Soter" sometimes stood alone, but usually was "The third, the savior" or "The savior who is third." This man-god would be defeated and usually torn into pieces and his enemy would prevail. At this time, life would appear to have been sucked out of the earth. There would then come a third being who would bring back the dead god, or himself be the dead god restored. He would defeat the enemy. This is dealt with in a little more detail in chapter three.
For more and to learn the details of how the Pharisaic adaptation of the cult of Mithra influenced Paul in his reworking of the religion of Jesus, please read "Mohammed A Prophesy Fulfilled," by H. Abdul Al-Dahir. You are also encouraged to read "Islam and Christianity in the modern world," by Dr. Muhammad Ansari, "Bible myths and their parallels in other religions" by T. W. Doane, and "The history of Christianity in the Light of Modern Knowledge; a collective work," Blackie & son limited, 1929.
Does any of this sound at all familiar? Is it just an amazing coincidence that Paul's "New covenant" which he preached to these pagan Gentiles ended up three centuries later so closely resembling their established beliefs, or did God intentionally mold His religion after the departure of Jesus (pbuh) in order to closely resemble that of the pagan Gentiles? Remember Paul's own words:
"All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any."
1 Corinthians 6:12
and "And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, … I am made all things to all [men], that I might by all means save some."
1 Corinthians 9:20-22.
But more on this later.
Even though the "Trinity" was formulated in the council of Nicea, still, the concept of "Jesus was God," or the "incarnation" (mentioned above by Mr. J.) was not formulated until after the councils of Ephesus in 431, and the council of Chalcedone in 451:
"...the Catholics trembled on the edge of a precipice, where it was impossible to recede, dangerous to stand, dreadful to fall; and the manifold inconveniences of their creed were aggravated by the sublime character of their theology. They hesitated to pronounce that God Himself, the second person of an equal and consubstantial trinity, was manifested in the flesh; that a being who pervades the universe, had been confined in the womb of Mary; that His eternal duration had been marked by the days, and months, and years, of human existence; that the Almighty had been scourged and crucified; that His impassable essence had felt pain and anguish; that His omniscience was not exempt from ignorance; and that the source of life and immortality expired on Mount Cavary. These alarming consequences were affirmed with the unblushing simplicity of Apollinans, Bishop of Laodicia, and one of luminaries of the church."
"Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," VI, Gibbon, p. 10.
Groliers encyclopedia under the heading of "Incarnation" informs us that
"Incarnation denotes the embodiment of a deity in human form. The idea occurs frequently in mythology. In ancient times, certain people, especially kings and priests, were often believed to be divinities. In Hinduism, Vishnu is believed to have taken nine incarnations, or Avatars. For Christians, the incarnation is a central dogma referring to the belief that the eternal son of God, the second person of the Trinity, became man in the person of Jesus Christ. The incarnation was defined as a doctrine only after long struggles by early church councils. The Council of Nicea (325) defined the deity of Christ against Arianism; the Council of Constantinople (381) defined the full humanity of the incarnate Christ against Apollinarianism; the Council of Ephesus (431) defined the unity of Christ's person against Nestorianism; and the Council of Chalcedon (451) defined the two natures of Christ, divine and human, against Eutyches."
Notice that it took the Church close to five hundred years after the departure of Jesus to build up, justify, and finally ratify the "incarnation." Also notice that the apostles, their children, and their children's children for tens of generations were too ignorant to recognize the existence of an "incarnation." Jesus' (pbuh) very first and very closest followers were too ignorant to recognize this "truth." (for more on this topic, please read section 5.11)
It is not surprising then, that this doctrine of incarnation is not mentioned in the New Testament. Once again, the one verse which validates this claim, 1 Timothy 3:16, is again recognized as a later forgery which was foisted upon Jesus (pbuh) fully six centuries after his departure:
Regarding this verse, Sir Isaac Newton says:
"In all the times of the hot and lasting Arian controversy, it never came into play … they that read 'God manifested in the flesh' think it one of the most obvious and pertinent texts for the business."
Jesus, Prophet of Islam, Muhammad Ata' Ur-Rahim, P. 157
"This strong expression might be justified by the language of St. Paul (I TIM. 3.16), but we are deceived by our modern Bibles. The word "o" (which) was altered to "theos" (God) at Constantinople in the beginning of the 6th century: the true reading, which is visible in the Latin and Syriac version, still exists in the reasoning of the Greek, as well as the Latin fathers; and this fraud, with that of the three witnesses of St. John, is admirably detected by Sir Isaac Newton."
"Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," VI, Gibbon, p. 10.
Notice how, shortly after the "incarnation" was officially approved, it was recognized that the Bible needed to be "corrected" and "clarified" so that the reader could see the "incarnation" clearly. All that was needed was to change one word. Thus 1 Timothy 3:16 went from saying:
Before the inspired sixth century "correction":
"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: which was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." to saying:
After the inspired sixth century "correction":
"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory"
Thankfully, more recent and faithful versions of the Bible such as the Revised Standard Version (RSV) are now beginning to discard such innovations. Much is yet to be desired, however, it is a start.
Even the holy "Easter" holiday is a pagan innovation unknown to Jesus (pbuh) and his apostles. The name "Easter" is derived from the pagan spring festival of the Anglo-Saxon goddess of light and spring "Eostre" (or "Eastre") and to whom the month of April was dedicated. Many folk customs associated with Easter such as colored Easter eggs (representing the sunlight of spring in her festival), the Easter bunny (a symbol of fertility) are of pagan origin also. Her festival was celebrated on the vernal equinox (March 21st), and so too is the Christian "Easter." It was celebrated to commemorate spring and the sun regaining it's strength. Once again, the "Son" Jesus (pbuh), regained his power and came to life at the same time (see chapter three for more).
After the council of Nicea, 325C.E., the following proud proclamation was made:
"We also send you good news concerning the unanimous consent of all, in reference to the celebration of the most solemn feast of Easter; for the difference has also been made up by the assistance of your prayers; so that all the brethren of the east, who formerly celebrated this festival at the same time as the Jews, will in future conform to the Romans and to us and to all who have of old observed our manner of celebrating Easter."
For much, much more on the topic of the pagan influence on today's "Christianity," please read the books "Islam and Christianity in the modern world," by Dr. Muhammad Ansari, and "Bible myths and their parallels in other religions" by T. W. Doane.
As mentioned above, the very first Christians were all devout Jews. These first followers of Jesus (including the apostles themselves) followed the same religion which Moses (pbuh) and his followers had followed for centuries before them. They knew of no "new covenant" or annulments of the commandments of Moses (pbuh). They had been taught by Jesus (pbuh) that his religion was an affirmation of the religion of the Jews and a continuation of it.
"The first fifteen Bishops of Jerusalem" writes Gibbon, "were all circumcised Jews; and the congregation over which they presided united the Law of Moses with the Doctrine of Christ."
"Decline and fall of the Roman Empire," II, Gibbon, p. 119.
As we have seen in the previous sections, this fact is indeed confirmed in the Bible where we are told that after the departure of Jesus, his faithful followers continued to keep up their daily attendance at the Temple of the Jews (the most holy of Jewish synagogues) in observance of the religion of Moses.
"And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,"
Also remember the words of Professor Robert Alley:
"....The (Biblical) passages where Jesus talks about the Son of God are later additions.... what the church said about him. Such a claim of deity for himself would not have been consistent with his entire lifestyle as we can reconstruct. For the first three decades after Jesus' death Christianity continued as a sect within Judaism. The first three decades of the existence of the church were within the synagogue. That would have been beyond belief if they (the followers of Jesus) had boldly proclaimed the deity of Jesus"
This would also have been beyond belief if they had preached the total cancellation and destruction of the law of Moses, as Paul did.
"We know already to what degree imposture and credulity went hand in hand in the primitive times of the Christian Church, the last being as ready to receive as the first was to forge books, this evil grew afterwards not only greater when the Monks were the sole transcribers and the sole keepers of all books good or bad, but in process of time it became almost absolutely impossible to distinguish history from fable, or truth from error as to the beginning and original monuments of Christianity. How immediate successors of the Apostles could so grossly confound the genuine teaching of their masters with such as were falsely attributed to them? Or since they were in the dark about these matters so early how came such as followed them by a better light? And observing that such Apocryphal books were often put upon the same footing with the canonical books by the Fathers, and the first cited as Divine Scriptures no less than the last, or sometimes, when such as we reckon divine were disallowed by them. I propose these two other questions: Why all the books cited genuine by Clement of Alexander. Origen. Tertullian and the rest of such writers should not be accounted equally authentic? And what stress should he laid on the testimony of those Fathers who not only contradict one another but are also often inconsistent with themselves in their relations of the very same facts?"(emphasis added).
The Nazarenes, John Toland, pp. 73 (From: Jesus Prophet of Islam).
Jesus (pbuh) himself did indeed foretell of this most tragic situation:
"They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time comes, that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.."
Well then, why did the masses in the centuries after this not revolt and renew the original teaching of Jesus (pbuh)? Because the Bible was made the property of the privileged few. No one was allowed to read it, nor to translate it into other languages. When these privileged few came into power in what would later be called by the West "The Dark Ages," (our more politically correct generation now prefers to refer to it as "The Middle Ages") the Bible was hoarded by these men and they were claimed to be the only ones who could understand it's teachings. The first authoritative English translation of the Bible was completed by Mr. William Tyndale, popularly considered a master of both the Hebrew and Greek languages. The King James Bible was based upon his translation. He was forced into exile in 1524 and later condemned and burned to death as a heretic in 1536 for the vile and blasphemous deed of translating the Bible into English.
With the rule of the church came the great Inquisitions. The Inquisitions were a medieval church court instituted to seek out and prosecute heretics. Notoriously harsh in its procedures, the Inquisition was defended during the rule of the church by appeal to biblical practices and to the church father Saint Augustine himself (354-430 AD), the great luminary of the church, who had interpreted Luke 14:23 as endorsing the use of force against heretics in order to convert them. Mr. Tom Harpur observes
"The horrors of the Crusades and the notorious Inquisitions are all but a small part of this tragic tale."
Okay, but surely of those who had access to the Bible there must have been some who would have revealed these matters. As it happens, there were. Sadly, they were all put to death or tortured until they recanted their views. Their books were also burned. For instance, Isaac de la Peyere was one of many scholars to notice many serious discrepancies in the Bible and to write about them openly. His book was banned and burned. He was arrested and informed that in order to be released he would have to recant his views to the Pope. He did. There are countless such examples for those who would simply research their history books.
The Trinitarian church's campaign of death and torture for all Christians refusing to compromise their beliefs continued for many centuries after the creation of the Trinity in 325 CE. Many brilliant scholars and leaders of the Unitarian Christians were condemned, tortured, and even burned alive in a very slow and drawn-out manner. Only some of these men are: Origen (185-254 CE), Lucian (died 312 CE), Arius (250-336 CE), Michael Servetus (1511-1553 CE), Francis David (1510-1579 CE), Lelio Francesco Sozini (1525-1562 CE), Fausto Paolo Sozini (1539-1604 CE), John Biddle (1615-1662 CE)... and on and on.
This wholesale condemnation became so bad that it was not sufficient to condemn individuals any more, but rather, whole nations were condemned and killed. An example is the Holy decree of 15th of February 1568 which condemned all of the inhabitants of the Netherlands to death as heretics. Three million men women and children where sentenced to the scaffold in three lines by the benevolent Trinitarian church. Why does no one cry "Holocaust" for these poor people?
"Upon the 15th of February 1568, a sentence of the Holy Office condemned all the inhabitants of the Netherlands to death as heretics. From this universal doom only a few persons, especially named, were excepted. A proclamation of King Philip II of Spain, dated ten days later, confirmed this decree of the Inquisition, and ordered it to be carried into instant execution. . . Three millions of people, men, women and children, were sentenced to the scaffold in three lines. Under the new decree, the executions certainly did not slacken. Men in the highest and the humblest positions were daily and hourly dragged to the stake. Alva, in a single letter to Philip II, coolly estimates the number of executions which were to take place immediately after the expiration of Holy Week at 'eight hundred heads.'"
"Rise of the Dutch Republic" John Lothrop Motly
Toland asks in his book The Nazarenes:
"Since the Nazarenes and Ebonites (Unitarian Christians) are by all the Church historians unanimously acknowledged to have been the first Christians, or those who believe in Christ among the Jews with which, his own people, he lived and died, they having been the witness of his actions, and of whom were all the apostles, considering this, I say how it is possible for them to be the first of all others (for they were made to be the first heretics), who should form wrong conceptions of the doctrines and designs of Jesus? And how came the Gentiles who believed on him after his death by the preaching of persons that never knew him to have truer notions of these things, or whence they could have their information but from the believing Jews?" (emphasis added).
(From: Jesus a Prophet of Islam)
Only today when true religious freedom, scientific knowledge, and archeological discoveries have come together in the study of the Bible and other ancient documents have Christians started to see the truth. An example of this can be found in the British newspaper the "Daily News" 25/6/84 under the heading "Shock survey of Anglican Bishops" We read that a British television poll of 31 of 39 Anglican Bishops found 19 to believe that it is not necessary for Christians to believe that Jesus (pbuh) is God, but only "His supreme agent." Muslims too, strangely enough, have been told this over 1400 years ago by God Almighty in the noble Qur'an. The Qur'an tells us that Jesus was not God nor the Son of God (in the orthodox sense), but only a very pious and elect servant and messenger of God. This is even testified to by Jesus (pbuh) himself in John 17:3 "And this is life eternal, that they might know YOU the ONLY true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have SENT."
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