Faith in Constant Revision

An old adage that is apparently taken to heart by the Mad Tea Party and Radical Religionists in the United States today is “ignorance is bliss.”  After all, the idea is openly alluded to in the New Testament.  No, no, this is not a silly attempt at history revision as so ardently indulged in by those aforementioned political/religious nutcases.

Dear old “saint” Paul made the young cult’s anti-intellectual message clear around 95 CE.  At that time he was attempting to channel the  young Christian cult in a new direction away from its earlier concentration on trying to attract Jewish converts.  Paul’s drive to alter the earlier “gospel” accounts with the idea for broader appeal is evident in several of the later books.  For example, in II Corinthians, written c. 100-105, it is averred that only Paul’s account of Jesus’ life is the true one: the apostles that are said to have actually associated with and interacted with Jesus—some of whom were allegedly still preaching—he called deceivers! 

Paul is credited with penning I Corinthians (15:12, on resurrection), written c. 94-100, but his doctrine of resurrection was not accepted by the early church.  In I Timothy (1:3), written later, c. 103-105, Paul is pictured as struggling with the so-called heretics of his doctrine.  Also in I Timothy (6:3), Paul’s revision of the earlier cult doctrine is muscled into place with Paul saying that anyone who disagrees with him will go to hell!  But his history altering doctrine was not voted into “official” status by the resulting corporate church (Catholic) until the Councils of Nice in 325 and 382.

The people that Paul’s message sought to reach and shape as adherents were the throngs of common people; more accurately the lesser educated.  If one doubts that his church sought to keep people in ignorance, look more closely at the New Testament for any instruction on how to attain enlightenment.  Indeed, even in pre-Pauline works such as Matthew 10:16—second revision c. 70-75—it openly equates wisdom with evil.  And in Matthew 10:19 and in Mark 13:11 (edited c. 55-60) the instruction is for people not to study a problem but to pray and ask for divine guidance.  On the surface that sounds good.  But the implication seems to be that God did not give man a brain to use so he might assume responsibility for himself. 

Paul retained that early church idea of encouraging minimum brain activity in his housecleaning enthusiasm.  So in I Corinthians 3:15 it is declared that wisdom is foolishness!  And the author’s Roman mindset is exposed in II Corinthians 10:5 where it is stated that every thought must be a slave to god.  And because confession is said to be good for the soul, the author openly admitted in I Corinthians 1:18 and again in 2:16 that Christianity is directed to the ignorant, not to the learned and wise.

Paul allegedly set out on his Christian mission around the year 45.  The message that he is said to have sought to establish was not particularly dissimilar to other Pagan religions of the timeframe.  For example, well-known gods such as Tammuz, Mithras and others were also resurrection savior-gods, so the doctrines he is credited with did not depart radically from the ancient Pagan presentation.  In support of Paul’s doctrine, however, the NT book of Galatians 2:9, written later c. 94-100, Paul is said to mention James and Cephas (the latter better known as Simon/Peter) and John, as having been the three principal leaders of the original church in Jerusalem.  Of these three, only Cephas (Peter) and John were part of the claimed twelve apostles.  Tradition has it that Peter and John were arrested by Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, and according to Acts of the Apostles, written c. 84-90, the judges of the apostles “…saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, (and) they (the judges) wondered; and they (the judges) recognized that they (the apostles) had been with Jesus.”  And yet it is these “uneducated, common men” who are credited with establishing god’s preferred faith system.

Nero became Emperor in 54.  According to Christian lore, around the year 55, by present means of recording time, Paul was responsible for mass burnings of books which he had judged to speak of “strange things.”  In other words, the early authors of the “gospels” were already attempting disposal of older literature available to the public which had to do with other religious/spiritual concepts.  That move required some economic and political clout to implement such an undertaking, and the aristocratic Piso family and some of their literati friends happened to have such influence. 

Christian tradition (no historical support) has it that Paul was arrested in 58.  In that timeframe the cult was not known as Christians; the little sect referred to themselves simply as the brethren.  The first book, Mark, was only then beginning to be widely distributed in 58—which also required economic support for copiers and distribution.  The story timing of Paul’s alleged arrest thus just happens to coincide with the noticeable shift in Nero’s character in this same timeframe.  Six years later, in 64, much of Rome went down in flames, and in 65 many aristocrats and distinguished persons organized against Nero, which is known as the Pisonian Conspiracy, named after the principal leader Gaius Calpurnius Piso.  The plot was uncovered by Nero, and among the prominent Romans other than Piso who died as a result were the famed statesman, dramatist and former tutor of Nero named Seneca, and Seneca’s nephew Lucan, who was a popular epic poet.

A note of interest:  Somewhat later in the year 84, Pliny the Younger, noted for his epistle-style writing skills, became a member of the Piso family by marriage to Gauis Calpurnius Piso’s great-granddaughter, known as Calpurnia.  And it was through the following timeframe that Acts of the Apostles, I Corinthians, Galatians, and Ephesians were penned.

In the year 98, Marcus Ulpius Trajanus, more commonly known as Trajan, became sole ruler of the Roman Empire upon the death of Nerva.  Trajan (d. 117) happened to be married to Claudia Phoebe Pompeia Plotina Piso of the aristocratic Calpurnius Piso clan, which had long held considerable interest in the Christian movement.  And it was in this era (up to 140) that so many of the New Testament books freely poured out upon the Roman world.  Among them: I Corinthians; Galatians; Ephesians; Book of  Romans; II Corinthians; I Timothy; Titus; Book of John; Colossians; II Timothy; Philemon; I and II Peter; I, II, II John; Jude: Revelations; and Hebrews.

By 115 the Christian movement was exerting a magnetic effect upon the targeted lower classes, slaves and criminals.  And in this timeframe literary friends began to insert little innocent references into their writings which implied a righteous historic background for the cult.  So even then history was being revised slightly for effect—a tactic dutifully practiced to this day by the political minded religionists in the United States.  Among those willing to aid and abet such spiritual inspiration was the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus—a pseudonym for Cornelius Palma, a friend of Pliny the Younger and the Pisos.  There was also Suetonius Tranquillus, Roman  biographer and historian who also happened to be a close friend of Pliny the younger.

With a background such as this, there is a long-established precedence which the revisionists dutifully emulate in the US today.  And the religious extremists’ scheming political drive brings with it a depressing awareness to the fact that the symbol of their fanaticism happens to have once been a Roman implement of torture.

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2 Responses to “Faith in Constant Revision”

  1. […] Faith in Constant Revision (via Time Frames and Taboo Data Blog) An old adage that is apparently taken to heart by the Mad Tea Party and Radical Religionists in the United States today is "ignorance is bliss."  After all, the idea is openly alluded to in the New Testament.  No, no, this is not a silly attempt at history revision as so ardently indulged in by those aforementioned political/religious nutcases. Dear old "saint" Paul made the young cult's anti-intellectual message clear around 95 CE.  At that time … Read More […]

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