reply to post by open mind
Dummying down? Probably not a conspiracy but rather a convergence of shared interests. Across 2,000 years that makes it look conspiratorial.
I attribute the very existence of modern Christianity to the first Emperor Constantine. He along with Paul were the co-founders. Constantine is famous
for his conversion on the bridge that led to a military victory when he painted crosses on the shields of his army. Poppycock, but it makes a good
story. Emperor Constantine was not unlike the others living in that time period. He was an adherent to several religions at any given moment and he
looked upon religion as one more weapon of mass destruction.
Rather than making Christianity the ONLY religion of the Empire as we have been falsely told by those with a strong vested interest in that POV, it is
all the more likely he wanted Christianity systemized so it could join the other more popular religions of the day. In other words Constantine wanted
the strongest arsenal available at his command.
Curiously, it was Constantine the Emperor and not the Bishop of Rome who called the Council of Nicaea, the first council since the Council of
Jerusalem around 45-50 AD. In fact, I am not even sure the Bishop of Rome was invited. For sure, in the early 4th century, the papacy had not yet been
invented. The first church council - we named it “church” later - was in Jerusalem when James, the brother of Jesus, and Peter called Paul to task
for what they regarded as a grievous error in his missionary practice. Acts 15: 7-11. Paul was admitting new converts to Christianity without
circumcision, that is, without requiring conversion to Judaism before becoming Christian. Paul was not a Judean Jew, but was a diaspora Jew born in
Anatolia, now modern Turkey.
Paul refused to submit to the authority of James and Peter and the others in Jerusalem, almost certainly including Mary Magdalene, so they agreed that
each would go his separate way. They agreed to disagree. This seems to be foretelling of the split of Islam some 6 centuries later, into what has
become the Shia and Sunni divide. By the bye, Shia is to Islam as Catholicism is to Christianity and Sunni is to Islam as Protestantism is to
Christianity. Shia have a hierarchal head and saints and miracles and so on, whereas the Sunni do not.
So back to Emperor Constantine. And his mother, Helena. For reasons best kept to themselves, the people living in and around Judea and Jerusalem in
the 4th century AD had neither a memory of nor a concern about the various places which she, Helena, was about to make into Christendom’s first Holy
Sites. She arrived in Jerusalem with her pockets full of gold and an irrepressible urge to see the places Jesus had seen.
Local folk, like all local folk in the presence of great power, they aim to please. “Yes, now that you mention it, Your Imperial Majesty, this was
indeed the very site of the crucifixion.” Then the queen flips her humble servant a small gold coin. Ipso facto, you have re-discovered Golgotha!
Archaeology? She can’t even spell it and sure as heck she didn’t know what it meant. And so ALL the Holy Sites were miraculously found by Queen
Helena. More than 300 years after the fact. That's 10 or more generations. Not one site was marked. Not one site was mentioned elsewhere. It makes
you wonder, does it not? It does me. And Queen Helena? Surely she is at the very least the patron saint of archaeology?
Sometime later, maybe 350 AD, Constantine set out to build 50 churches in his new capital city Byzantium he had renamed Constantinople. Well, to build
some and to remodel others. He summoned some of the more notable church leaders in the area and gave them orders to sort out the 200-300 letters,
books, and commentaries then circulating amongst the congregations and to make them into one volume. I think 25 of the current 27 books of the New
Testament were selected. The still dubious book of Revelations of Jesus Christ to John was the last one chosen, hence it is located at the end of the
The other books were rejected or discarded, or in some of the stories, were burned. Constantine had the selected books copied into 50 Bibles adding
the Septuagint done by Jewish scholars in Alexandria and finished in the 1st century BC. He had a copy chained to the pulpit of each of the 50
churches. Although none of those 50 copies have survived, almost everyone believes the story to be true.
The Bishop of Rome was then struggling to become prima dona in Italy. According to Sir Edward Gibbons writing in his opus magnus “Decline and Fall
of the Roman Empire” that effort did not succeed until the late 6th or early 7th century AD. Aside: The papacy did not “supplant” the all
inclusive Church Council as the Church’s final authority until the First Vatican Council in 1868. At that time the Bishop of Rome was declared to
speak ex cathedra on issues of faith and morals. Vatican 2 was called more for show than for go. End.
FINAL. The first century inhabitants of Judea spoke Aramaic, a Semitic language originating in Mesopotamia (Iraq). The early Jewish church people
thought Jesus was going to return in their lifetime as Messiah, which meant to them a leader who would restore King David’s throne in Jerusalem and
expel the foreigners. The early traditions were oral. Perhaps a short time before but certainly after the failed revolt of 66 AD, all the books of
the New Testament were put to writing. The books were in Greek, the lingua franca of the Mediterranean basin. The Book of Mark seems to be the
first. Followed by the various letters of St. Paul. The other writings were completed around 125 AD. Many books written after that time period were
rejected simply for being too far removed in time from the incidents of interest to them.
Of course, none of the originals survive. Nor do any copies of the originals survive. It is possible we have a copy of a copy of the original.
Possible. Not probable. It seems unlikely that what we have today is 100% of what was originally written. More likely, we have 5% to 20%. Despite
computers and editors, most books written today contain errors. I said all that to say this, imagine a speech made in Morocco and first reported 50
years after the fact by a fellow from Finland and then his written report was translated into Old English. Reliable? I'm sure you would not want to
bet your fortune on it.
Dummying down? Not necessary.
[edit on 8/27/2007 by donwhite]