Christianity, Jesus Christ & the Bible

Bible : we don't have the originals
Gospel : they are not eyewitness accounts
Gospels : we don't know who wrote them

Gospels : we do not have the original texts
Paul : earliest christian author (before the gospels)
Josephus Forgery "Testimonium Flavianum"
Messiah Cyrus the Persian King
Jesus : was he a carpenter ?

Judaism : a false religion in ancient Bible
How Jesus became God

Jesus : no witness record
Jesus against sex
Dead Sea Scrolls : Jesus not mentioned
Gospels : filled with discrepancies and contradictions
Reliability of the Gospels
Jesus shaped after Moses ?
Legend of Christian persecution
Daniel is not the author of the Bible's Book of Daniel
Passover's custom of releasing a prisoner : no historical record

Bible : we don't have the originals (Misquoting Jesus p.10 - Bart Ehrman)
This kind of realization coincided with the problems I was en­countering the more closely I studied the surviving Greek manu­scripts of the New Testament. It is one thing to say that the originals were inspired, but the reality is that we don't have the originals—so saying they were inspired doesn't help me much, unless I can recon­struct the originals. Moreover, the vast majority of Christians for the entire history of the church have not had access to the originals, mak­ing their inspiration something of a moot point. Not only do we not have the originals, we don't have the first copies of the originals. We don't even have copies of the copies of the originals, or copies of the copies of the copies of the originals. What we have are copies made later—much later. In most instances, they are copies made many cen­turies later. And these copies all differ from one another, in many thousands of places. As we will see later in this book, these copies dif­fer from one another in so many places that we don't even know how many differences there are. Possibly it is easiest to put it in compara­tive terms: there are more differences among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament.

Gospels : they are not eyewitness accounts ("Did Jesus Exist?" by Bart D. Ehrman)
My point in this discussion, in any event, is that the Gospels of the New Testament are not eyewitness accounts of the life of Jesus. Neither are the Gospels outside the New Testament, of which we have over forty, either in whole or in fragments. In fact, we do not have any eyewitness report of any kind about Jesus, written in his own day.

Gospels : we don't know who wrote them ("Did Jesus Exist?" by Bart D. Ehrman)
It is also true that we do not know who wrote the Gospels. Although they are attributed to two of Jesus’s disciples (Matthew the tax collector and John the beloved disciple) and to two companions of the apostles (Mark the secretary for Peter and Luke the traveling companion of Paul) these ascriptions are almost certainly wrong. Something similar obtains for most of the rest of the New Testament. Of the twenty-seven books found in the New Testament, only eight of them almost certainly go back to the authors to whom they are traditionally ascribed. Either the others are all misattributed to people who did not in fact write them, or they were actually forged, that is, written by authors claiming to be famous people while knowing full well they were someone else.
Again, I have dealt with this issue more fully elsewhere and do not need to go into all the details here. The one thing we can say with some
assurance about the Gospel writers is that even though Jesus’s own followers were lower-class Aramaic-speaking peasants from rural Galilee, who were almost certainly illiterate, the Gospels were written by highly educated, Greek-speaking Christians who lived outside Palestine. They were not Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Gospels : we do not have the original texts ("Did Jesus Exist?" by Bart D. Ehrman)
To begin with, even though the Gospels are among the best attested books from the ancient world, we are regrettably hindered in knowing what the authors of these books originally wrote. The problem is not that we are lacking manuscripts. We have thousands of manuscripts. The problem is that none of these manuscripts is the original copy produced by the author (this is true for all four Gospels—in fact, for every book of the New Testament). Moreover, most of these manuscripts were made over a thousand years after the original copies, none of them is close to the time of the originals—within, say, ten or twenty years—and all of them contain certifiable mistakes.

Paul : earliest christian author ("Did Jesus Exist?" by Bart D. Ehrman)
THE APOSTLE PAUL IS our earliest surviving Christian author of any kind. Many readers of the Bible assume that the Gospels were the first books of the New Testament to be written since they appear first in the New Testament and discuss the life of Jesus, who obviously started it all. But Paul was writing some years before the Gospels. His first letter (1 Thessalonians) is usually dated to 49 CE; his last (Romans?) to some twelve or thirteen years after that. It is commonly said among mythicists that Paul does not speak about the historical man Jesus and has no understanding of the historical man Jesus. This simply is not true, as an examination of his writings shows full well. Apparently one reason mythicists want to make this claim is precisely that Paul is our earliest available witness, writing within twenty years of the traditional date of Jesus’s death.
One way that some mythicists have gotten around the problem that this, our earliest Christian source, refers to the historical Jesus in several places is by claiming that these references to Jesus were not originally in Paul’s writings […]
But it is important to remember that when Christians today think about their faith, they often think about the ultimate source of their faith in the New Testament, which begins with Gospels that describe the things Jesus said and did. And so for Christians today, it only makes sense that a Christian is informed about Jesus’s life. But when Paul was writing there were no Gospels. They were written later.

Josephus Forgery "Testimonium Flavianum" ("Did Jesus Exist?" by Bart D. Ehrman)
This passage is known to scholars as the Testimonium Flavianum, that is, the testimony given by Flavius Josephus to the life of Jesus.14 It is the longest reference to Jesus that we have considered so far, and it is by far the most important. In the best manuscripts of Josephus it reads as follows:

At this time there appeared Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one should call him a man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of people who receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and among many of Greek origin. He was the messiah. And when Pilate, because of an accusation made by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him previously did not cease to do so. For he appeared to them on the third day, living again, just as the divine prophets had spoken of these and countless other wonderous things about him. And up until this very day the tribe of Christians, named after him, has not died out. (Antiquities 18.3.3)

The problems with this passage should be obvious to anyone with even a casual knowledge of Josephus. We know a good deal about him, both from the autobiography that he produced and from other self-references in his writings. He was thoroughly and ineluctably Jewish and certainly never converted to be a follower of Jesus. But this passage contains comments that only a Christian would make: that Jesus was more than a man, that he was the messiah, and that he arose from the dead in fulfillment of the scriptures. In the judgment of most scholars, there is simply no way Josephus the Jew would or could have written such things. So how did these comments get into his writings? It needs to be remembered that Josephus, by his own admission, was something of a turncoat in the war with Rome. This is how most Jews throughout history have remembered him. Among his own people he was not a beloved author read through the ages. In fact, his writings were transmitted in the Middle Ages not by Jews but by Christians. This shows how we can explain the extraordinary Christian claims about Jesus in this passage. When Christian scribes copied the text, they added a few words here and there to make sure that the reader would get the point. This is that Jesus, the superhuman messiah raised from the dead as the scriptures predicted. The big question is whether a Christian scribe (or scribes) simply added a few choice Christian additions to the passage or whether the entire thing was produced by a Christian and inserted in an appropriate place in Josephus’s Antiquities. The majority of scholars of early Judaism, and experts on Josephus, think that it was the former—that one or more Christian scribes “touched up” the passage a bit.

Messiah Cyrus the Persian King ("Did Jesus Exist?" by Bart D. Ehrman)
The word messiah is Hebrew and means “anointed one.” As I pointed out earlier, the Greek translation of the term is christos so that Jesus Christ literally means “Jesus the Messiah.” The origin of the term goes back into the ancient history of Israel, to the time when the nation was ruled by kings, who were said to have been specially favored, “anointed,” by God. In fact, the king was literally anointed during his inauguration ceremonies, when oil was poured on his head as a way of showing that he was specially favored by God, as seen in such passages as 1 Samuel 10:1 and 2 Samuel 23:1. Other persons thought to be God’s special representatives on earth, such as high priests, were sometimes anointed as well (see Leviticus 4:3, 5, 16). Even outside the Hebrew Bible, in the Jewish tradition we have records of such anointing ceremonies showing that a person stood under God’s special favor (for example, 2 Maccabees 1:10; the Testament of Reuben 6:8). In fact, any leader who was specially used by God could be called his anointed one; even the Persian king Cyrus, who was one of Israel’s conquerors, was said by the prophet Isaiah to have been God’s instrument, and is explicitly called his “messiah” (anointed one; Isaiah 45:1).

Jesus : was he a carpenter ? ("Misquoting Jesus" by Bart D. Ehrman p.202-203)
Celsus's Christian opponent, Origen, had to take seriously this charge that Jesus was a mere "carpenter," but oddly enough he dealt with it not by explaining it away (his normal procedure), but by denying
it altogether: "[Celsus is] blind also to this, that in none of the Gospels current in the Churches is Jesus himself ever described as being a carpenter" (Against Celsus 6,36). What are we to make of this denial? Either Origen had forgotten about Mark 6:3 or else he had a version of the text that did not indicate
that Jesus was a carpenter. And as it turns out, we have manuscripts with just such an alternative version. In our earliest manuscript of Mark's Gospel, called P 45 , which dates to the early third century (the time of Origen), and in several later witnesses, the verse reads differently.
Here Jesus's townsfolk ask, "Is this not the son of the carpenter?" Now rather than being a carpenter himself, Jesus is merely the carpenter's son.

Judaism : a false religion in ancient Bible ("Misquoting Jesus" by Bart D. Ehrman p.189)
Christians began to insist that Jews had not only spurned their own messiah, and thereby rejected their own God, they had also misinterpreted their own scriptures. And so we find Christian writings such as the so-called Letter of Barnabas, a book that some early Christians considered to be part of the New Testament canon, which asserts that Judaism is and always has been a false religion, that Jews were misled by an evil angel into interpreting the laws given to Moses as literal prescriptions of how to live, when in fact they were to be interpreted allegorically.

How Jesus became God ("Misquoting Jesus" by Bart D. Ehrman p.157-158)
Wettstein examined the Codex Alexandrinus, now in the British Library, and determined that in 1 Tim.
3:16, where most later manuscripts speak of Christ as "God made manifest in the flesh," this early manuscript originally spoke, instead, of Christ "who was made manifest in the flesh." The change is very
slight in Greek—it is the difference between a theta and an omicron, which look very much alike (QE and OS). A later scribe had altered the original reading, so that it no longer read "who" but "God" (made
manifest in the flesh). In other words, this later corrector changed the text in such a way as to stress Christ's divinity. It is striking to realize that the same correction occurred in four of our other early manuscripts of 1 Timothy, all of which have had correctors change the text in the same way, so that it now explicitly calls Jesus "God." This became the text of the vast majority of later Byzantine (i.e., medieval) manuscripts—and then became the text of most of the early English
translations. Our earliest and best manuscripts, however, speak of Christ "who" was made manifest in the flesh, without calling Jesus, explicitly, God. The change that came to dominate the medieval manuscripts, then, was made in order to emphasize Jesus's divinity in a text
that was ambiguous about it, at best. This would be an example of an antiadoptionistic change, a textual alteration made to counter a claim that Jesus was fully human but not himself divine.
Other antiadoptionistic changes took place in the manuscripts that record Jesus's early life in the Gospel of Luke. In one place we are told that when Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the Temple and the holy
man Simeon blessed him, "his father and mother were marveling at what was said to him" (Luke 2:33). His father? How could the text call Joseph Jesus's father if Jesus had been born of a virgin? Not surprisingly, a large number of scribes changed the text to eliminate the potential problem, by saying "Joseph and his mother were marveling. . . ." Now the text could not be used by an adoptionist Christian
in support of the claim that Joseph was the child's father. A similar phenomenon happens a few verses later in the account of Jesus as a twelve-year-old in the Temple. The story line is familiar:
Joseph, Mary, and Jesus attend a festival in Jerusalem, but then when the rest of the family heads home in the caravan, Jesus remains behind, unbeknownst to them. As the text says, "his parents did not know
about it." But why does the text speak of his parents when Joseph is not really his father? A number of textual witnesses "correct" the problem by having the text read, "Joseph and his mother did not know it." And again, some verses later, after they return to Jerusalem to hunt high and low for Jesus, Mary finds him, three days later, in the Temple. She upbraids him: "Your father and I have been looking for you!" Once again, some scribes solved the problem—this time by simply altering the text to read "We have been looking for you!"

Jesus : no witness record ("Did Jesus Exist?" by Bart D. Ehrman)
It is also true, as the mythicists have been quick to point out, that no Greek or Roman author from the first century mentions Jesus.
Still, to press yet further on the issue of evidence we do not have, I need to stress that we do not have a single reference to Jesus by anyone—pagan, Jew, or Christian—who was a contemporary eyewitness, who recorded things he said and did.

Jesus against sex ("Did Jesus Exist?" by Bart D. Ehrman)
The reality is that there was a tradition in some parts of the early church that Thomas really was the twin of Jesus. The Aramaic word Thomas, itself, means “twin.” That Jesus and Thomas were identical twins plays a key role in the Acts of Thomas, in one of its most amusing episodes. While Thomas is en route (reluctantly) to India, his ship stops in a major port city, where the king’s daughter is about to celebrate her marriage to a local aristocrat. Thomas as an outside guest is invited to the wedding, and after the ceremony he speaks to the wedded couple but in a highly unusual way. As a good ascetic Christian, Thomas believes that sex is sinful and that to be fully right with God, people—even married people—need to abstain. And so he tries to convince the king’s daughter and her new husband not to consummate their marriage that night. But he is frustratingly unsuccessful in his pleas. He leaves the scene, and the newlyweds enter their bridal chamber. But to their great surprise, there is Thomas again, sitting on their bed. Or at least they think it’s Thomas since he does, after all, look exactly like the man they were just talking with. But it is not Thomas. It is his identical twin, Jesus, come down from heaven to finish the task that his brother had unsuccessfully begun. Jesus, more powerfully persuasive of course than his twin, wins the hearts of the newlyweds, who spend the night in conversation instead of conjugal embrace.

Dead Sea Scrolls : Jesus not mentioned ("Did Jesus Exist?" by Bart D. Ehrman)
The Dead Sea Scrolls, which do not mention or allude to Jesus, despite what you might read in sensationalist books, were probably written in the first century BCE. We do have the writings of the important Jewish philosopher Philo from the early to mid-first century. He never mentions Jesus, but we would not expect him to do so, as Christianity had probably not reached his native Alexandria by the time of his death in 50 CE, whatever one thinks of the mythicist view of Jesus. From within Palestine, the only surviving author of the time is Josephus, as we have seen.

Gospels : filled with discrepancies and contradictions ("Did Jesus Exist?" by Bart D. Ehrman)
It is absolutely true, in my judgment, that the New Testament accounts of Jesus are filled with discrepancies and contradictions in matters both large and small. Anyone who doubts that simply has to compare very carefully a story found in one of the Gospels with the same story found in another. You can pick any set of stories you like. Compare the genealogy of Jesus found in Matthew with the one found in Luke. They simply cannot be reconciled (they are both genealogies of Joseph, but who is his father, grandfather, great-grandfather?). Neither can the stories of Jesus’s birth (did his parents flee with him to Egypt, as in Matthew, or did they instead return to Nazareth a month after he was born, as in Luke?).4 Neither can those of his death (was he crucified the afternoon before the Passover meal was eaten, as in John, or the morning after it was eaten, as in Mark?) or of his resurrection (were his disciples instructed to go north to Galilee and it was there that they met Jesus raised from the dead, as in Matthew, or were they instructed not to leave Jerusalem so that they stayed put, not only to see Jesus raised but to spend months there, as in Luke?).

Reliability of the Gospels ("Did Jesus Exist?" by Bart D. Ehrman)
The Gospels are filled with nonhistorical material, accounts of events that could not have happened. This is shown, for example, by the many discrepancies they contain in matters both great and small. If you have two contradictory accounts of the same event, both accounts cannot be accurate. And once you read the Gospels carefully, with keen attention to minute details, you will find such contradictions all over the map. Eventually these small details add up to big pictures, which also are sometimes at odds with one another.

Jesus shaped after Moses ? ("Did Jesus Exist?" by Bart D. Ehrman)
Take as an example the way the story of Jesus is told in the early chapters of the Gospel of Matthew. It has long been recognized that Matthew wants to portray Jesus as a “new Moses,” and so it is no surprise to find that the things that happen to Jesus in Matthew closely parallel the Old Testament traditions about Moses. Just as the ruler of the land, the Egyptian pharaoh, sought to destroy Moses as an infant (Exodus 1), so too the ruler of the land, the Jewish king Herod, sought to kill the infant Jesus (Matthew 2). Jesus and his family escape by going to Egypt, the land of Moses. Just as Moses brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to come to the Promised Land (Exodus 13–14), so too Jesus returned from Egypt to Israel. Matthew emphasizes the point by quoting the prophet Hosea’s declaration of the salvation of Israel: “Out of Egypt have I called my son” (Hosea 11:1, quoted in Matthew 2:16), only now the “son” is not the nation of Israel but its messiah, Jesus. To escape Egypt, the Israelites had to cross the Red Sea at the exodus. The first thing that happened to the adult Jesus is that he too entered and then came out of the water at his baptism (Matthew 3). The Israelites were in the wilderness for forty years being tested by God, and so too Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days to be tempted (Matthew 4). The Israelites traveled to Mount Sinai, where they were given the Law of Moses; Jesus immediately went up to a mountain and delivered his Sermon on the Mount, where he provided an interpretation of the laws of Moses (Matthew 5–7). In point after point, Matthew stresses the close parallels between the life of Jesus and the life of Moses. And his reason for doing so is clear: for Matthew, Jesus is the new Moses, who provides the authoritative interpretation of the Law of God to the people who choose to follow him. This portrayal is distinct to Matthew: the other Gospels do not include all of these parallels (no king sets out to kill the child; there is no flight to Egypt, no Sermon on the Mount, and so forth). It is the way Matthew personally shaped the story, for reasons of his own.

Legend of Christian persecution ("Misquoting Jesus" by Bart D. Ehrman p.196)
In fact, most of the pagan opposition to Christians during the church's first two centuries happened on the grassroots level rather than as a result of organized, official Roman persecution. Contrary to what many people appear to think, there was nothing "illegal" about Christianity, per se, in those early years. Christianity itself was not outlawed, and Christians for the most part did not need to go into hiding. The idea that they had to stay in the Roman catacombs in order to avoid persecution, and greeted one another through secret signs such as the symbol of the fish, is nothing but the stuff of legend. It was not illegal to follow Jesus, it was not illegal to worship the Jewish God, it was not illegal to call Jesus God, it was not illegal (in most places) to hold separate meetings of fellowship and worship, it was not illegal to convince others of one's faith in Christ as the Son of God.

Daniel is not the author of the Bible's Book of Daniel ("Did Jesus Exist?" by Bart D. Ehrman)
Carrier’s argument becomes more interesting when he appeals to a passage in chapter 9 of the book of Daniel. This is one of those postdated prophecies so common to the final six chapters of Daniel. By postdated prophecies I mean this: the book of Daniel claims to be written by a Hebrew man, Daniel, in the Babylonian exile, around 550 BCE. In actual fact, as critical scholars have long known (Carrier agrees with this), it was written closer to 160 BCE. When the character Daniel in the book “predicts” what is going to happen, the real author, pretending to be Daniel, simply indicates what already did happen. And so it sounds as if the sixth-century prophet knows the future because what he predicted in fact came to pass.

Passover's custom of releasing a prisoner : no historical record ("Did Jesus Exist?" by Ehrman)
So too it is completely implausible that when Jesus was put on trial at the end of his life, Pilate offered to release one of his two chief prisoners, Barabbas or Jesus, as was allegedly his custom at Passover (see Mark 15:6–15). We have no historical record of any such custom being carried out by Pilate or anyone else. And it defies imagination that the ruthless Pilate, not known for currying favor among the crowds, would be willing to release a violent and dangerous insurrectionist every year just because the crowds wanted him to do so. This scene, like the census, almost certainly didn’t happen. But that has little bearing on whether Jesus existed. It simply means that this alleged episode did not happen.

Prophet Muhammad's color according to Islamic sources
Biblical parallels with texts from ancient Egypt [Kemet (km.t)]
Christianity, Jesus Christ & the Bible

Deception of Asiatic Black Men, Freemasonry, Panafrican masons (Black Masonry)
Semites : they were not Black

New Testament - Curse of Ham - Lynching - Lynchings : pictures - Maat (Ma'at) - Bible : contradictions
Black Code - Coloured man - Wesley Muhammad refuted - Gandhi - Moor means BLACK
Medu Neter : origin of the Greek & Latin alphabets
Nation of Islam : teachings of Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan & Fard Muhammad
Wesley Muhammad refuted Black Arabia hoax & the African Origin of Islam myth
Kwanzaa : Karenga plagiarized Hanukkah
Moorish Science Temple of America: Doctrine of Noble Drew Ali
Greek words derived from Medu Neter (ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic)
www.afrostyly.com/english | Shaka-Ndugu-KMT