The historical origin of Christianity

There has never been a man that ever walked the earth in human form of any race, creed or colour by the name of Jesus Christ.

On the main, I agree with the above statement. What I find hard to believe is how Williams gets to this conclusion. He argues that Jesus is the apotheosis of O-Serapis who was in another age Ptolemy 1 (Soter). I am putting the horse before the cart!

It should be noted from the very word go this book is very Afro-Centric. His audience is Africans or people of African descent, not in the evolution sense which would make everyone African but according to common usage-Negroes. He is, by writing this book hoping to awake in them an awareness of how Judaism, Christianity, Islam – man made religions- as he refers to them have been and continue to be used to subjugate them. It is short on references but very big on claims. In fact, each claim he makes is a PhD dissertation on its own. So instead of dismissing it forthright, I think some of them deserve to be looked into a little deeply. I wouldn’t call it a scholarly work nor a theological treatise. The way to view it is as research questions or hypothesis in need of proof.

He starts by quoting a book, Dictionary of the Bible by McKenzie S.J who wrote

The writing of the life of Jesus has been the major problem of NT scholarship for more than 100 yrs; after numerous shifts of opinion, the consensus of scholars is that the life of Jesus cannot be written.

He says to get to Jesus we must start at 332 BCE with the invasion of Alexander the Greek into Egypt. On the demise of Alexander, Ptolemy I, Soter, takes to the throne and demands admission into the Egyptian pantheon of deities. The Melchite Copts made a composite god- Osiris and Apis- and gave the name Oserapis later Serapis. He says this development goes on till we get to Ptolemy V, Epiphanes (Eucharistos).
The next important event in the history of Christianity, he writes, are the five council meetings viz, council of Niceae 1, council of Constantinople, council of Ephesus, council of Chalcedon, council of Constantinople II.
The Donatist Schismatic Controversy, the Donation of Constantine and the strong statement by Arius he says are the three main reasons for the calling of the first council. He says there was never an Edict of Milan, that this is forgery or work of fiction to be precise.
Among the statements I find hard to believe is the claim that

If you are told about a Jesus Christ, Christians or Christianity before the council of Ephesus or Chalcedon (431, 451 CE) or of a Christian church before the building of the world’s first Christian church, the Hagia Sophia (531-537 CE) you are being misled.

Of the councils, the Council of Ephesus he says is the most important. It is in this council that we have Theotokos- Virgin Mary- installed following problems arising from the preaching of Nestorius and his followers. Serapis was also transformed to the Messiah (Christos) with the help of the Melchite Copts.

The council of Chalcedon 451CE among other things defined one Christ, perfect god and man, consubstantial with man, one soul being into two natures, without division or separation and without confusion or change.

If the foregoing hasn’t sent you to the library near you, the claim that the name Jesus came into being 1565yrs after the image and name Serapis were created in Egypt. The name Iesus was first applied to the icon during the Council of Lyons, 1245CE. To buttress his point, he does a brief historical survey of the development of the letter J.

Tertullian, Augustine were they Copts? The Clementine letters or the letters of Paul, if what we have today refer to Jesus, was this done after the fact? At what stage in history do we have a single book known as the bible as we currently have it?

I will end my post, as he ends his book, with a quote

To discover to the world something which deeply concerns it, and of which it was previously ignorant; to prove to it that it had been mistaken on some vital point of temporal or spiritual interest, is as important a service as a human being can render to his fellow creatures, and the most precious gift which could be bestowed on mankind.


The gospel of Thomas and the quest for historical Jesus

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Quote: On Jesus

We have said several times on this blog that the Jesus of the gospels did not exist. The Jesus born of a virgin, performed miracles, died on the cross and went to the clouds and remained there, that I will need evidence. If there is a historical Jesus, it is not the Jesus Hubris Christ of the bible and am willing to listen to anyone who has information that would lead to the identification of this other Jesus. That said, I have here a quote from The Quest of the historical Jesus by Albert Schweitzer, which the author tells us is a conclusion one would arrive at when they read the life of Jesus by Bruno Bauer

The formation of the church and the arising of the idea that the Jesus of the Gospels is the messiah are not two different things, they are one and the same thing, they coincide and synchronize; but the idea was only the imaginative conception of the church, the first movement of its life, the religious expression of its experience.

The question which has so much exercised the minds of men-whether Jesus was the historic Christ- is answered in the sense that everything that the historical Christ is, everything that is said of him, everything that is known of him, belongs to the world of imagination, that is, of the imagination of the Christian community, and therefore has nothing to do with any man who belongs to the real world.

The historicists who visit this blog would do us some justice if they could respond to the above claim by leading us to any credible evidence for the historical Jesus. Am sure we would all appreciate.

On the death of JC

Continuing with our story from where we left it here, we would like to investigate how the supposed Jesus died.

There have been many theories and the one I like the most is that JC was smuggled to India where he died in obscurity.

None of the gospel writers were there when he was taken to the tomb by Joe of Arithmathea [ why this dude has never been looked for I don’t know and he holds the key to the JC narrative] and whether he was alive or in a coma. There are no coroners’ reports to tell us the time of death and likely cause of death.

My good friend, TMI, brought to my attention the JW contention on the manner of death of the NT hero. They contend he died on a stake and not a cross among other contentions that they have with the true christians :D. Who has the true story of the death of our zombie Jesus? The JWs or the True Christians [ all puns intended]

And while we on it, how many people* are going to heaven?

* hint: the JWs have the answer.

6 reasons to believe

This post was originally posted here. Some responses can be found here for those who are interested. We would want to add our two cents worth of commentary to it.

Reason 1

Does God exist? The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today.

To claim design, one must know the end or be in a position to know the end to which something has been done. There is no evidence anywhere the universe was designed not that it is sustained by any power other than those inherent in nature. Where is the evidence that the universe needed a creator.

We are given examples why this is the case and I will only deal with one. They write

The Earth…its size is perfect. The Earth’s size and corresponding gravity holds a thin layer of mostly nitrogen and oxygen gases, only extending about 50 miles above the Earth’s surface. If Earth were smaller, an atmosphere would be impossible, like the planet Mercury. If Earth were larger, its atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, like Jupiter. Earth is the only known planet equipped with an atmosphere of the right mixture of gases to sustain plant, animal and human life.

The earth just is.  We have found ourselves on earth, we can speculate about how it would be if things were different, but that doesn’t change the fact that the earth just is. Thinking of how I would act if I were the world dictator doesn’t make me one. We are capable of speculation and most times we are misled by it as we forget to ground our speculative reason on what we know and can verify.

Reason 2

Does God exist? The universe had a start – what caused it?

This assertion is in need of proof. It would be a leap of several magnitude to come from the universe having a beginning to god did it. To rule out the universe always existing in some form or other is a case of special pleading.

Reason 3

Does God exist? The universe operates by uniform laws of nature. Why does it?

We don’t know. All we can infer is that order seems to be inherent in nature.

Reason 4

Does God exist? The DNA code informs, programs a cell’s behavior

Being part of nature and in nature, we wouldn’t expect it to behave other than it does.

Reason 5

Does God exist? We know God exists because he pursues us. He is constantly initiating and seeking for us to come to him

Last I checked it is proselytes knocking people’s doors selling faith. No one I know of has met this supposed god. All those who claim to hear him say they hear a voice in their heads. I don’t know, but how can we tell they are not hallucinating. Why should we take the claims of one over that of another?

Reason 6

Does God exist? Unlike any other revelation of God, Jesus Christ is the clearest, most specific picture of God revealing himself to us

Bunk! Honestly I didn’t see this coming. I don’t think the Jesus figure as claimed in the bible existed. This is wishful thinking and not a reason to believe.

I find this very disappointing. I was hoping to be convinced there is some reason to hold onto belief in the supernatural, and then this is all! How sad.