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´╗┐Title: The Christ - A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidences of his Existence
Author: Remsburg, John Eleazer
Language: English
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                   A Critical Review and Analysis of
                     the Evidences of His Existence

                            JOHN E. REMSBURG

                            "We must get rid of that Christ."

                                New York
                        THE TRUTH SEEKER COMPANY
                        Forty-nine Vesey Street.

                               To My Wife
                            Nora M. Remsburg
                        This Volume is Inscribed

                              Humbly he came,
                Veiling his horrible Godhead in the shape
                Of man, scorned by the world, his name unheard
                Save by the rabble of his native town,
                Even as a parish demagogue. He led
                The crowd; he taught them justice, truth, and peace,
                In semblance; but he lit within their souls
                The quenchless flames of zeal, and blessed the sword
                He brought on earth to satiate with the blood
                Of truth and freedom his malignant soul.
                At length his mortal frame was led to death.
                I stood beside him; on the torturing cross
                No pain assailed his unterrestrial sense;
                And yet he groaned. Indignantly I summed
                The massacres and miseries which his name
                Had sanctioned in my country, and I cried
                        "Go! Go!" in mockery.



"We must get rid of that Christ, we must get rid of that Christ!" So
spake one of the wisest, one of the most lovable of men, Ralph Waldo
Emerson. "If I had my way," said Thomas Carlyle, "the world would
hear a pretty stern command--Exit Christ." Since Emerson and Carlyle
spoke a revolution has taken place in the thoughts of men. The more
enlightened of them are now rid of Christ. From their minds he has made
his exit. To quote the words of Prof. Goldwin Smith, "The mighty and
supreme Jesus, who was to transfigure all humanity by his divine wit
and grace--this Jesus has flown." The supernatural Christ of the New
Testament, the god of orthodox Christianity, is dead. But priestcraft
lives and conjures up the ghost of this dead god to frighten and
enslave the masses of mankind. The name of Christ has caused more
persecutions, wars, and miseries than any other name has caused. The
darkest wrongs are still inspired by it. The wails of anguish that
went up from Kishenev, Odessa, and Bialystok still vibrate in our ears.

Two notable works controverting the divinity of Christ appeared in
the last century, the Leben Jesu of Strauss, and the Vie de Jesus of
Renan. Strauss in his work, one of the masterpieces of Freethought
literature, endeavors to prove, and proves to the satisfaction of a
majority of his readers, that Jesus Christ is a historical myth. This
work possesses permanent value, but it was written for the scholar
and not for the general reader. In the German and Latin versions, and
in the admirable English translation of Marian Evans (George Eliot),
the citations from the Gospels--and they are many--are in Greek.

Renan's "Life of Jesus," written in Palestine, has had, especially in
its abridged form, an immense circulation, and has been a potent factor
in the dethronement of Christ. It is a charming book and displays
great learning. But it is a romance, not a biography. The Jesus
of Renan, like the Satan of Milton, while suggested by the Bible,
is a modern creation. The warp is to be found in the Four Gospels,
but the woof was spun in the brain of the brilliant Frenchman. Of
this book Renan's fellow-countryman, Dr. Jules Soury, thus writes:

"It is to be feared that the beautiful, the 'divine,' dream, as he
would say, which the eminent scholar experienced in the very country
of the Gospel, will have the fate of the 'Joconda' of Da Vinci, and
many of the religious pictures of Raphael and Michael Angelo. Such
dreams are admirable, but they are bound to fade.... The Jesus who
rises up and comes out from those old Judaizing writings (Synoptics)
is truly no idyllic personage, no meek dreamer, no mild and amiable
moralist; on the contrary, he is very much more of a Jew fanatic,
attacking without measure the society of his time, a narrow and
obstinate visionary, a half-lucid thaumaturge, subject to fits of
passion, which caused him to be looked upon as crazy by his own
people. In the eyes of his contemporaries and fellow-countrymen he
was all that, and he is the same in ours."

Renan himself repudiated to a considerable extent his earlier views
regarding Jesus. When he wrote his work he accepted as authentic the
Gospel of John, and to this Gospel he was indebted largely for the
more admirable traits of his hero. John he subsequently rejected. Mark
he accepted as the oldest and most authentic of the Gospels. Alluding
to Mark he says:

"It cannot be denied that Jesus is portrayed in this gospel not as
a meek moralist worthy of our affection, but as a dreadful magician."

This volume on "The Christ" was written by one who recognizes in the
Jesus of Strauss and Renan a transitional step, but not the ultimate
step, between orthodox Christianity and radical Freethought. By
the Christ is understood the Jesus of the New Testament. The Jesus
of the New Testament is the Christ of Christianity. The Jesus of
the New Testament is a supernatural being. He is, like the Christ,
a myth. He is the Christ myth. Originally the word Christ, the Greek
for the Jewish Messiah, "the anointed," meant the office or title of a
person, while Jesus was the name of the person on whom his followers
had bestowed this title. Gradually the title took the place of the
name, so that Jesus, Jesus Christ, and Christ became interchangeable
terms--synonyms. Such they are to the Christian world, and such,
by the law of common usage, they are to the secular world.

It may be conceded as possible, and even probable, that a religious
enthusiast of Galilee, named Jesus, was the germ of this mythical
Jesus Christ. But this is an assumption rather than a demonstrated
fact. Certain it is, this person, if he existed, was not a realization
of the Perfect Man, as his admirers claim. There are passages in
the Gospels which ascribe to him a lofty and noble character, but
these, for the most part, betray too well their Pagan origin. The
dedication of temples to him and the worship of him by those who deny
his divinity is as irrational as it will prove ephemeral. One of the
most philosophic and one of the most far-seeing minds of Germany,
Dr. Edward von Hartmann, says:

"When liberal Protestantism demands religious reverence for the man
Jesus, it is disgusting and shocking. They cannot themselves believe
that the respect in which Jesus is held by the people and which they
have made use of in such an unprotestant manner, can be maintained for
any length of time after the nimbus of divinity has been destroyed, and
they may reflect on the insufficiency of the momentary subterfuge. The
Protestant principle in its last consequences, disposes of all kinds
of dogmatic authority in a remorseless manner, and its supporters must,
whether they like it or not, dispense with the authority of Christ."


CHAPTER I.                                             PAGE

Christ's Real Existence Impossible                       13


Silence of Contemporary Writers                          24


Christian Evidence                                       50


Infancy of Christ                                        65


Ministry of Christ                                      120


Crucifixion of Christ                                   213


Resurrection of Christ                                  296


His Character and Teachings                             340


The Christ a Myth                                       433


Sources of the Christ Myth--Ancient Religions           444


Sources of the Christ Myth--Pagan Divinities            499


Sources of the Christ Myth--Conclusion                  566




The reader who accepts as divine the prevailing religion of our land
may consider this criticism on "The Christ" irreverent and unjust. And
yet for man's true saviors I have no lack of reverence. For him who
lives and labors to uplift his fellow men I have the deepest reverence
and respect, and at the grave of him who upon the altar of immortal
truth has sacrificed his life I would gladly pay the sincere tribute
of a mourner's tears. It is not against the man Jesus that I write,
but against the Christ Jesus of theology; a being in whose name an
Atlantic of innocent blood has been shed; a being in whose name the
whole black catalogue of crime has been exhausted; a being in whose
name five hundred thousand priests are now enlisted to keep

            "Truth forever on the scaffold,
            Wrong forever on the throne."

Jesus of Nazareth, the Jesus of humanity, the pathetic story of
whose humble life and tragic death has awakened the sympathies of
millions, is a possible character and may have existed; but the Jesus
of Bethlehem, the Christ of Christianity, is an impossible character
and does not exist.

From the beginning to the end of this Christ's earthly career he
is represented by his alleged biographers as a supernatural being
endowed with superhuman powers. He is conceived without a natural
father: "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When, as
his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together,
she was found with child of the Holy Ghost" (Matt. i, 18).

His ministry is a succession of miracles. With a few loaves and
fishes he feeds a multitude: "And when he had taken the five loaves
and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and brake
the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and
the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and
were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments,
and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about
five thousand men" (Mark vi, 41-44).

He walks for miles upon the waters of the sea: "And straightway Jesus
constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him
unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he
had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to
pray; and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship
was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves; for the wind was
contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them,
walking on the sea" (Matt. xiv, 22-25).

He bids a raging tempest cease and it obeys him: "And there arose
a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it
was now full.... And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the
sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm"
(Mark, iv, 37-39).

He withers with a curse the barren fig tree: "And when he saw a
fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but
leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee, henceforth,
forever. And presently the fig tree withered away" (Matt. xxi, 19).

He casts out devils: "And in the synagogue there was a man, which
had a spirit of an unclean devil.... And Jesus rebuked him, saying,
Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him
in the midst, he came out of him and hurt him not" (Luke iv, 33, 35).

He cures the incurable: "And as he entered into a certain village,
there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off; and
they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy
on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves
unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were
cleansed" (Luke xvii, 12-14).

He restores to life a widow's only son: "And when he came nigh to the
gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only
son of his mother, and she was a widow; and much people of the city
were with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her,
and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier; and
they that bore him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto
thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he
delivered him to his mother" (Luke vii, 12-15).

He revivifies the decaying corpse of Lazarus: "Then said Jesus unto
them plainly, Lazarus is dead.... Then when Jesus came, he found that
he had lain in the grave four days already.... And when he had thus
spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that
was dead came forth" (John xi, 14-44).

At his crucifixion nature is convulsed, and the inanimate dust of
the grave is transformed into living beings who walk the streets of
Jerusalem: "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded
up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain
from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks
rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints, which
slept, arose and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and
went into the holy city, and appeared unto many" (Matt. xxvii, 50-53).

He rises from the dead: "And when Joseph had taken the body, he
wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb,
which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to
the door of the sepulchre, and departed.... And, behold, there was a
great earthquake; for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
and came and rolled back the stone from the door.... And as they
went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail"
(Matt. xxvii, 59, 60; xxviii, 2, 9).

He ascends bodily into heaven: "And he led them out as far as to
Bethany, and he lifted up his hands and blessed them. And it came to
pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up
into heaven" (Luke xxiv, 50, 51).

These and a hundred other miracles make up to a great extent this
so-called Gospel History of Christ. To disprove the existence of
these miracles is to disprove the existence of this Christ.

Canon Farrar makes this frank admission: "If miracles be incredible,
Christianity is false. If Christ wrought no miracles, then the Gospels
are untrustworthy" (Witness of History to Christ, p. 25).

Dean Mansel thus acknowledges the consequences of the successful
denial of miracles: "The whole system of Christian belief with its
evidences, ... all Christianity in short, so far as it has any title
to that name, so far as it has any special relation to the person or
the teaching of Christ, is overthrown" (Aids to Faith, p. 3).

Dr. Westcott says: "The essence of Christianity lies in a miracle; and
if it can be shown that a miracle is either impossible or incredible,
all further inquiry into the details of its history is superfluous"
(Gospel of the Resurrection, p. 34).

A miracle, in the orthodox sense of the term, is impossible
and incredible. To accept a miracle is to reject a demonstrated
truth. The world is governed, not by chance, not by caprice, not by
special providences, but by the laws of nature; and if there be one
truth which the scientist and the philosopher have established, it
is this: THE LAWS OF NATURE ARE IMMUTABLE. If the laws of Nature are
immutable, they cannot be suspended; for if they could be suspended,
even by a god, they would not be immutable. A single suspension of
these laws would prove their mutability. Now these alleged miracles
of Christ required a suspension of Nature's laws; and the suspension
of these laws being impossible the miracles were impossible, and not
performed. If these miracles were not performed, then the existence of
this supernatural and miracle-performing Christ, except as a creature
of the human imagination, is incredible and impossible.

Hume's masterly argument against miracles has never been refuted:
"A miracle is a violation of the laws of Nature; and as a firm and
unalterable experience has established these laws, the proof against a
miracle, from the very nature of the fact, is as entire as any argument
from experience can possibly be imagined. Why is it more than probable
that all men must die; that lead cannot of itself remain suspended in
the air; that fire consumes wood, and is extinguished by water; unless
it be that these events are found agreeable to the laws of Nature,
and there is required a violation of these laws, or, in other words,
a miracle, to prevent them? Nothing is esteemed a miracle if it ever
happens in the common course of Nature. It is no miracle that a man,
seemingly in good health, should die suddenly; because such a kind
of death, though more unusual than any other, has yet been frequently
observed to happen. But it is a miracle that a dead man should come to
life; because that has never been observed in any age or country. There
must, therefore, be a uniform experience against any miraculous event,
otherwise the event would not merit the appellation. And as a uniform
experience amounts to a proof, there is here a direct and full proof,
from the nature of the fact, against the existence of any miracle"
(Essay on Miracles).

Alluding to Christ's miracles, M. Renan, a reverential admirer of
Jesus of Nazareth, says: "Observation, which has never been once
falsified, teaches us that miracles never happen but in times and
countries in which they are believed, and before persons disposed to
believe them. No miracle ever occurred in the presence of men capable
of testing its miraculous character..... It is not, then, in the name
of this or that philosophy, but in the name of universal experience,
that we banish miracles from history" (Life of Jesus, p. 29).

Christianity arose in what was preeminently a miracle-working
age. Everything was attested by miracles, because nearly everybody
believed in miracles and demanded them. Every religious teacher was
a worker of miracles; and however trifling the miracle might be when
wrought, in this atmosphere of unbounded credulity, the breath of
exaggeration soon expanded it into marvelous proportions.

To show more clearly the character of the age which Christ
illustrates, let us take another example, the Pythagorean teacher,
Apollonius of Tyana, a contemporary of the Galilean. According to his
biographers--and they are as worthy of credence as the Evangelists--his
career, particularly in the miraculous events attending it, bore a
remarkable resemblance to that of Christ. Like Christ, he was a divine
incarnation; like Christ his miraculous conception was announced before
his birth; like Christ he possessed in childhood the wisdom of a sage;
like Christ he is said to have led a blameless life; like Christ his
moral teachings were declared to be the best the world had known; like
Christ he remained a celibate; like Christ he was averse to riches;
like Christ he purified the religious temples; like Christ he predicted
future events; like Christ he performed miracles, cast out devils,
healed the sick, and restored the dead to life; like Christ he died,
rose from the grave, ascended to heaven, and was worshiped as a god.

The Christian rejects the miraculous in Apollonius because it is
incredible; the Rationalist rejects the miraculous in Christ for
the same reason. In proof of the human character of the religion of
Apollonius and the divine character of that of Christ it may be urged
that the former has perished, while the latter has survived. But this,
if it proves anything, proves too much. If the survival of Christianity
proves its divinity, then the survival of the miracle-attested faiths
of Buddhism and Mohammedanism, its powerful and nourishing rivals, must
prove their divinity also. The religion of Apollonius languished and
died because the conditions for its development were unfavorable; while
the religions of Buddha, Christ, and Mohammed lived and thrived because
of the propitious circumstances which favored their development.

With the advancement of knowledge the belief in the supernatural
is disappearing. Those freed from Ignorance, and her dark sister,
Superstition, know that miracles are myths. In the words of Matthew
Arnold, "Miracles are doomed; they will drop out like fairies and
witchcraft, from among the matter which serious people believe"
(Literature and Dogma).

What proved the strength of Christianity in an age of ignorance is
proving its weakness in an age of intelligence. Christian scholars
themselves, recognizing the indefensibility and absurdity of miracles,
endeavor to explain away the difficulties attending their acceptance
by affirming that they are not real, but only apparent, violations
of Nature's laws; thus putting the miracles of Christ in the same
class with those performed by the jugglers of India and Japan. They
resolve the supernatural into the natural, that the incredible may
appear credible. With invincible logic and pitiless sarcasm Colonel
Ingersoll exposes the lameness of this attempt to retain the shadow
of the supernatural when the substance is gone:

"Believers in miracles should not try to explain them. There is
but one way to explain anything, and that is to account for it by
natural agencies. The moment you explain a miracle it disappears. You
should not depend upon explanation, but assertion. You should
not be driven from the field because the miracle is shown to be
unreasonable. Neither should you be in the least disheartened if it
is shown to be impossible. The possible is not miraculous."

Miracles must be dismissed from the domain of fact and relegated to
the realm of fiction. A miracle, I repeat, is impossible. Above all
this chief of miracles, The Christ, is impossible, and does not,
and never did, exist.



Another proof that the Christ of Christianity is a fabulous and not
a historical character is the silence of the writers who lived during
and immediately following the time he is said to have existed.

That a man named Jesus, an obscure religious teacher, the basis of
this fabulous Christ, lived in Palestine about nineteen hundred years
ago, may be true. But of this man we know nothing. His biography has
not been written. E. Renan and others have attempted to write it,
but have failed--have failed because no materials for such a work
exist. Contemporary writers have left us not one word concerning
him. For generations afterward, outside of a few theological epistles,
we find no mention of him.

The following is a list of writers who lived and wrote during the time,
or within a century after the time, that Christ is said to have lived
and performed his wonderful works:

        Josephus,                 Statius,
        Philo-Judaeus,            Ptolemy,
        Seneca,                   Hermogones,
        Pliny the Elder,          Valerius Maximus,
        Arrian,                   Appian,
        Petronius,                Theon of Smyrna,
        Dion Pruseus,             Phlegon,
        Paterculus,               Pompon Mela,
        Suetonius,                Quintius Curtius
        Juvenal,                  Lucian,
        Martial,                  Pausanias,
        Persius,                  Valerius Flaccus,
        Plutarch,                 Florus Lucius,
        Justus of Tiberius,       Favorinus,
        Apollonius,               Phaedrus,
        Pliny the Younger,        Damis,
        Tacitus,                  Aulus Gellius,
        Quintilian,               Columella,
        Lucanus,                  Dio Chrysostom,
        Epictetus,                Lysias,
        Silius Italicus,          Appion of Alexandria.

Enough of the writings of the authors named in the foregoing list
remains to form a library. Yet in this mass of Jewish and Pagan
literature, aside from two forged passages in the works of a Jewish
author, and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers,
there is to be found no mention of Jesus Christ.

Philo was born before the beginning of the Christian era, and lived
until long after the reputed death of Christ. He wrote an account
of the Jews covering the entire time that Christ is said to have
existed on earth. He was living in or near Jerusalem when Christ's
miraculous birth and the Herodian massacre occurred. He was there when
Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He was there when the
crucifixion with its attendant earthquake, supernatural darkness, and
resurrection of the dead took place--when Christ himself rose from the
dead, and in the presence of many witnesses ascended into heaven. These
marvelous events which must have filled the world with amazement, had
they really occurred, were unknown to him. It was Philo who developed
the doctrine of the Logos, or Word, and although this Word incarnate
dwelt in that very land and in the presence of multitudes revealed
himself and demonstrated his divine powers, Philo saw it not.

Josephus, the renowned Jewish historian, was a native of Judea. He
was born in 37 A. D., and was a contemporary of the Apostles. He was,
for a time, Governor of Galilee, the province in which Christ lived
and taught. He traversed every part of this province and visited
the places where but a generation before Christ had performed his
prodigies. He resided in Cana, the very city in which Christ is said
to have wrought his first miracle. He mentions every noted personage
of Palestine and describes every important event which occurred there
during the first seventy years of the Christian era. But Christ was
of too little consequence and his deeds too trivial to merit a line
from this historian's pen.

Justus of Tiberius was a native of Christ's own country, Galilee. He
wrote a history covering the time of Christ's reputed existence. This
work has perished, but Photius, a Christian scholar and critic of
the ninth century, who was acquainted with it, says: "He [Justus]
makes not the least mention of the appearance of Christ, of what
things happened to him, or of the wonderful works that he did"
(Photius' Bibliotheca, code 33).

Judea, where occurred the miraculous beginning and marvelous ending of
Christ's earthly career, was a Roman province, and all of Palestine
is intimately associated with Roman history. But the Roman records
of that age contain no mention of Christ and his works. The Greek
writers of Greece and Alexandria who lived not far from Palestine
and who were familiar with its events, are silent also.


Late in the first century Josephus wrote his celebrated work,
"The Antiquities of the Jews," giving a history of his race from
the earliest ages down to his own time. Modern versions of this work
contain the following passage:

"Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful
to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works; a teacher
of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him
both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ;
and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us,
had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first
did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third
day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other
wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named
from him, are not extinct at this day" (Book XVIII, Chap. iii, sec. 3).

For nearly sixteen hundred years Christians have been citing this
passage as a testimonial, not merely to the historical existence,
but to the divine character of Jesus Christ. And yet a ranker forgery
was never penned.

Its language is Christian. Every line proclaims it the work of a
Christian writer. "If it be lawful to call him a man." "He was the
Christ." "He appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine
prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things
concerning him." These are the words of a Christian, a believer in
the divinity of Christ. Josephus was a Jew, a devout believer in the
Jewish faith--the last man in the world to acknowledge the divinity
of Christ. The inconsistency of this evidence was early recognized,
and Ambrose, writing in the generation succeeding its first appearance
(360 A. D.) offers the following explanation, which only a theologian
could frame: "If the Jews do not believe us, let them, at least,
believe their own writers. Josephus, whom they esteem a very great man,
hath said this, and yet hath he spoken truth after such a manner;
and so far was his mind wandered from the right way, that even he
was not a believer as to what he himself said; but thus he spake,
in order to deliver historical truth, because he thought it not
lawful for him to deceive, while yet he was no believer, because of
the hardness of his heart, and his perfidious intention."

Its brevity disproves its authenticity. Josephus' work is voluminous
and exhaustive. It comprises twenty books. Whole pages are devoted
to petty robbers and obscure seditious leaders. Nearly forty chapters
are devoted to the life of a single king. Yet this remarkable being,
the greatest product of his race, a being of whom the prophets foretold
ten thousand wonderful things, a being greater than any earthly king,
is dismissed with a dozen lines.

It interrupts the narrative. Section 2 of the chapter containing it
gives an account of a Jewish sedition which was suppressed by Pilate
with great slaughter. The account ends as follows: "There were a
great number of them slain by this means, and others of them ran
away wounded; and thus an end was put to this sedition." Section 4,
as now numbered, begins with these words: "About the same time also
another sad calamity put the Jews into disorder." The one section
naturally and logically follows the other. Yet between these two
closely connected paragraphs the one relating to Christ is placed;
thus making the words, "another sad calamity," refer to the advent
of this wise and wonderful being.

The early Christian fathers were not acquainted with it. Justin Martyr,
Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen all would have quoted
this passage had it existed in their time. The failure of even one
of these fathers to notice it would be sufficient to throw doubt
upon its genuineness; the failure of all of them to notice it proves
conclusively that it is spurious, that it was not in existence during
the second and third centuries.

As this passage first appeared in the writings of the ecclesiastical
historian, Eusebius, as this author openly advocated the use of
fraud and deception in furthering the interests of the church, as
he is known to have mutilated and perverted the text of Josephus in
other instances, and as the manner of its presentation is calculated
to excite suspicion, the forgery has generally been charged to
him. In his "Evangelical Demonstration," written early in the fourth
century, after citing all the known evidences of Christianity, he thus
introduces the Jewish historian: "Certainly the attestations I have
already produced concerning our Savior may be sufficient. However,
it may not be amiss, if, over and above, we make use of Josephus the
Jew for a further witness" (Book III, p. 124).

Chrysostom and Photius both reject this passage. Chrysostom, a reader
of Josephus, who preached and wrote in the latter part of the fourth
century, in his defense of Christianity, needed this evidence, but
was too honest or too wise to use it. Photius, who made a revision
of Josephus, writing five hundred years after the time of Eusebius,
ignores the passage, and admits that Josephus has made no mention
of Christ.

Modern Christian scholars generally concede that the passage is a
forgery. Dr. Lardner, one of the ablest defenders of Christianity,
adduces the following arguments against its genuineness:

"I do not perceive that we at all want the suspected testimony to
Jesus, which was never quoted by any of our Christian ancestors
before Eusebius.

"Nor do I recollect that Josephus has anywhere mentioned the name or
word Christ, in any of his works; except the testimony above mentioned,
and the passage concerning James, the Lord's brother.

"It interrupts the narrative.

"The language is quite Christian.

"It is not quoted by Chrysostom, though he often refers to Josephus,
and could not have omitted quoting it had it been then in the text.

"It is not quoted by Photius, though he has three articles concerning

"Under the article Justus of Tiberias, this author (Photius) expressly
states that the historian [Josephus], being a Jew, has not taken the
least notice of Christ.

"Neither Justin in his dialogue with Trypho the Jew, nor Clemens
Alexandrinus, who made so many extracts from ancient authors, nor
Origen against Celsus, has ever mentioned this testimony.

"But, on the contrary, in chapter xxxv of the first book of that
work, Origen openly affirms that Josephus, who had mentioned John
the Baptist, did not acknowledge Christ" (Answer to Dr. Chandler).

Again Dr. Lardner says: "This passage is not quoted nor referred to by
any Christian writer before Eusebius, who flourished at the beginning
of the fourth century. If it had been originally in the works of
Josephus it would have been highly proper to produce it in their
disputes with Jews and Gentiles. But it is never quoted by Justin
Martyr, or Clement of Alexandria, nor by Tertullian or Origen, men
of great learning, and well acquainted with the works of Josephus. It
was certainly very proper to urge it against the Jews. It might also
have been fitly urged against the Gentiles. A testimony so favorable
to Jesus in the works of Josephus, who lived so soon after our Savior,
who was so well acquainted with the transactions of his own country,
who had received so many favors from Vespasian and Titus, would not be
overlooked or neglected by any Christian apologist" (Lardner's Works,
vol. I, chap. iv).

Bishop Warburton declares it to be a forgery: "If a Jew owned the
truth of Christianity, he must needs embrace it. We, therefore,
certainly conclude that the paragraph where Josephus, who was as much
a Jew as the religion of Moses could make him, is made to acknowledge
Jesus as the Christ, in terms as strong as words could do it, is a
rank forgery, and a very stupid one, too" (Quoted by Lardner, Works,
Vol. I, chap. iv).

The Rev. Dr. Giles, of the Established Church of England, says:

"Those who are best acquainted with the character of Josephus,
and the style of his writings, have no hesitation in condemning
this passage as a forgery, interpolated in the text during the third
century by some pious Christian, who was scandalized that so famous a
writer as Josephus should have taken no notice of the gospels, or of
Christ, their subject. But the zeal of the interpolator has outrun
his discretion, for we might as well expect to gather grapes from
thorns, or figs from thistles, as to find this notice of Christ among
the Judaizing writings of Josephus. It is well known that this author
was a zealous Jew, devoted to the laws of Moses and the traditions of
his countrymen. How, then, could he have written that Jesus was the
Christ? Such an admission would have proved him to be a Christian
himself, in which case the passage under consideration, too long
for a Jew, would have been far too short for a believer in the new
religion, and thus the passage stands forth, like an ill-set jewel,
contrasting most inharmoniously with everything around it. If it had
been genuine, we might be sure that Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and
Chrysostom would have quoted it in their controversies with the Jews,
and that Origen or Photius would have mentioned it. But Eusebius,
the ecclesiastical historian (I, 11), is the first who quotes it,
and our reliance on the judgment or even honesty of this writer is
not so great as to allow our considering everything found in his
works as undoubtedly genuine" (Christian Records, p. 30).

The Rev. S. Baring-Gould, in his "Lost and Hostile Gospels," says:

"This passage is first quoted by Eusebius (fl. A. D. 315) in two
places (Hist. Eccl., lib. i, c. xi; Demonst. Evang., lib. iii);
but it was unknown to Justin Martyr (fl. A. D. 140), Clement of
Alexandria (fl. A. D. 192), Tertullian (fl. A. D. 193), and Origen
(fl. A. D. 230). Such a testimony would certainly have been produced by
Justin in his apology or in his controversy with Trypho the Jew, had it
existed in the copies of Josephus at his time. The silence of Origen
is still more significant. Celsus, in his book against Christianity,
introduces a Jew. Origen attacks the argument of Celsus and his
Jew. He could not have failed to quote the words of Josephus, whose
writings he knew, had the passage existed in the genuine text. He,
indeed, distinctly affirms that Josephus did not believe in Christ
(Contr. Cels. i)."

Dr. Chalmers ignores it, and admits that Josephus is silent regarding
Christ. He says: "The entire silence of Josephus upon the subject of
Christianity, though he wrote after the destruction of Jerusalem, and
gives us the history of that period in which Christ and his Apostles
lived, is certainly a very striking circumstance" (Kneeland's Review,
p. 169).

Referring to this passage, Dean Milman, in his "Gibbon's Rome"
(Vol. II, p. 285, note) says: "It is interpolated with many additional

Canon Farrar, who has written the ablest Christian life of Christ
yet penned, repudiates it. He says: "The single passage in which he
[Josephus] alludes to him is interpolated, if not wholly spurious"
(Life of Christ, Vol. I, p. 46).

The following, from Dr. Farrar's pen, is to be found in the
"Encyclopedia Britannica": "That Josephus wrote the whole passage as
it now stands no sane critic can believe."

"There are, however, two reasons which are alone sufficient to prove
that the whole passage is spurious--one that it was unknown to Origen
and the earlier fathers, and the other that its place in the text is
uncertain" (Ibid).

Theodor Keim, a German-Christian writer on Jesus, says: "The passage
cannot be maintained; it has first appeared in this form in the
Catholic church of the Jews and Gentiles, and under the dominion of the
Fourth Gospel, and hardly before the third century, probably before
Eusebius, and after Origen, whose bitter criticisms of Josephus may
have given cause for it" (Jesus of Nazara, p. 25).

Concerning this passage, Hausrath, another German writer, says it
"must have been penned at a peculiarly shameless hour."

The Rev. Dr. Hooykaas, of Holland, says: "Flavius Josephus, the
well known historian of the Jewish people, was born in A. D. 37,
only two years after the death of Jesus; but though his work is of
inestimable value as our chief authority for the circumstances of the
times in which Jesus and his Apostles came forward, yet he does not
seem to have mentioned Jesus himself. At any rate, the passage in his
'Jewish Antiquities' that refers to him is certainly spurious, and
was inserted by a later and a Christian hand" (Bible for Learners,
Vol. III, p. 27). This conclusion of Dr. Hooykaas is endorsed by the
eminent Dutch critic, Dr. Kuenen.

Dr. Alexander Campbell, one of America's ablest Christian apologists,
says: "Josephus, the Jewish historian, was contemporary with the
Apostles, having been born in the year 37. From his situation and
habits, he had every access to know all that took place at the rise
of the Christian religion.

"Respecting the founder of this religion, Josephus has thought fit
to be silent in history. The present copies of his work contain one
passage which speaks very respectfully of Jesus Christ, and ascribes
to him the character of the Messiah. But as Josephus did not embrace
Christianity, and as this passage is not quoted or referred to until
the beginning of the fourth century, it is, for these and other
reasons, generally accounted spurious" (Evidences of Christianity,
from Campbell-Owen Debate, p. 312).

Another passage in Josephus, relating to the younger Ananus, who was
high priest of the Jews in 62 A. D., reads as follows:

"But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the
high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper and very insolent; he was
also of the sect of Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders,
above all of the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when,
therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a
proper opportunity. Festus was dead, and Albinus was but upon the
road; so he assembled the Sanhedrim of judges and brought before them
the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James,
and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them
as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned" (Antiquities,
Book XX, chap. ix, sec. 1).

This passage is probably genuine with the exception of the clause,
"who was called Christ," which is undoubtedly an interpolation, and
is generally regarded as such. Nearly all the authorities that I have
quoted reject it. It was originally probably a marginal note. Some
Christian reader of Josephus believing that the James mentioned was the
brother of Jesus made a note of his belief in the manuscript before
him, and this a transcriber afterward incorporated with the text,
a very common practice in that age when purity of text was a matter
of secondary importance.

The fact that the early fathers, who were acquainted with Josephus,
and who would have hailed with joy even this evidence of Christ's
existence, do not cite it, while Origen expressly declares that
Josephus has not mentioned Christ, is conclusive proof that it did
not exist until the middle of the third century or later.

Those who affirm the genuineness of this clause argue that the James
mentioned by Josephus was a person of less prominence than the Jesus
mentioned by him, which would be true of James, the brother of Jesus
Christ. Now some of the most prominent Jews living at this time were
named Jesus. Jesus, the son of Damneus, succeeded Ananus as high
priest that very year; and Jesus, the son of Gamaliel, a little later
succeeded to the same office.

To identify the James of Josephus with James the Just, the brother
of Jesus, is to reject the accepted history of the primitive church
which declares that James the Just died in 69 A. D., seven years
after the James of Josephus was condemned to death by the Sanhedrim.

Whiston himself, the translator of Josephus, referring to the event
narrated by the Jewish historian, admits that James, the brother of
Jesus Christ, "did not die till long afterward."

The brief "Discourse Concerning Hades," appended to the writings of
Josephus, is universally conceded to be the product of some other
writer--"obviously of Christian origin"--says the "Encyclopedia


In July, 64 A. D., a great conflagration occurred in Rome. There is
a tradition to the effect that this conflagration was the work of an
incendiary and that the Emperor Nero himself was believed to be the
incendiary. Modern editions of the "Annals" of Tacitus contain the
following passage in reference to this:

"Nero, in order to stifle the rumor, ascribed it to those people who
were abhorred for their crimes and commonly called Christians: These
he punished exquisitely. The founder of that name was Christus, who,
in the reign of Tiberius, was punished as a criminal by the procurator,
Pontius Pilate. This pernicious superstition, thus checked for awhile,
broke out again; and spread not only over Judea, the source of this
evil, but reached the city also: whither flow from all quarters
all things vile and shameful, and where they find shelter and
encouragement. At first, only those were apprehended who confessed
themselves of that sect; afterwards, a vast multitude were detected
by them, all of whom were condemned, not so much for the crime of
burning the city, as their hatred of mankind. Their executions were
so contrived as to expose them to derision and contempt. Some were
covered over with the skins of wild beasts, and torn to pieces by dogs;
some were crucified. Others, having been daubed over with combustible
materials, were set up as lights in the night time, and thus burned
to death. Nero made use of his own gardens as a theatre on this
occasion, and also exhibited the diversions of the circus, sometimes
standing in the crowd as a spectator, in the habit of a charioteer;
at other times driving a chariot himself, till at length those men,
though really criminal, and deserving exemplary punishment, began
to be commiserated as people who were destroyed, not out of regard
to the public welfare, but only to gratify the cruelty of one man"
(Annals, Book XV, sec. 44).

This passage, accepted as authentic by many, must be declared doubtful,
if not spurious, for the following reasons:

1. It is not quoted by the Christian fathers.

2. Tertullian was familiar with the writings of Tacitus, and his
arguments demanded the citation of this evidence had it existed.

3. Clement of Alexandria, at the beginning of the third century,
made a compilation of all the recognitions of Christ and Christianity
that had been made by Pagan writers up to his time. The writings of
Tacitus furnished no recognition of them.

4. Origen, in his controversy with Celsus, would undoubtedly have
used it had it existed.

5. The ecclesiastical historian Eusebius, in the fourth century,
cites all the evidences of Christianity obtainable from Jewish and
Pagan sources, but makes no mention of Tacitus.

6. It is not quoted by any Christian writer prior to the fifteenth

7. At this time but one copy of the "Annals" existed, and this copy,
it is claimed, was made in the eighth century--600 years after the
time of Tacitus.

8. As this single copy was in the possession of a Christian the
insertion of a forgery was easy.

9. Its severe criticisms of Christianity do not necessarily disprove
its Christian origin. No ancient witness was more desirable than
Tacitus, but his introduction at so late a period would make rejection
certain unless Christian forgery could be made to appear improbable.

10. It is admitted by Christian writers that the works of Tacitus
have not been preserved with any considerable degree of fidelity. In
the writings ascribed to him are believed to be some of the writings
of Quintilian.

11. The blood-curdling story about the frightful orgies of Nero reads
like some Christian romance of the dark ages, and not like Tacitus.

12. In fact, this story, in nearly the same words, omitting the
reference to Christ, is to be found in the writings of Sulpicius
Severus, a Christian of the fifth century.

13. Suetonius, while mercilessly condemning the reign of Nero, says
that in his public entertainments he took particular care that no human
lives should be sacrificed, "not even those of condemned criminals."

14. At the time that the conflagration occurred, Tacitus himself
declares that Nero was not in Rome, but at Antium.

Many who accept the authenticity of this section of the "Annals"
believe that the sentence which declares that Christ was punished
in the reign of Pontius Pilate, and which I have italicized, is
an interpolation. Whatever may be said of the remainder of this
passage, this sentence bears the unmistakable stamp of Christian
forgery. It interrupts the narrative; it disconnects two closely
related statements. Eliminate this sentence, and there is no break
in the narrative. In all the Roman records there was to be found no
evidence that Christ was put to death by Pontius Pilate. This sentence,
if genuine, is the most important evidence in Pagan literature. That
it existed in the works of the greatest and best known of Roman
historians, and was ignored or overlooked by Christian apologists
for 1,360 years, no intelligent critic can believe. Tacitus did not
write this sentence.

Pliny the Younger.

This Roman author, early in the second century, while serving as a
pro-consul under Trajan in Bithynia, is reputed to have written a
letter to his Emperor concerning his treatment of Christians. This
letter contains the following:

"I have laid down this rule in dealing with those who were brought
before me for being Christians. I asked whether they were Christians;
if they confessed, I asked them a second and a third time, threatening
them with punishment; if they persevered, I ordered them to be
executed.... They assured me that their only crime or error was this,
that they were wont to come together on a certain day before it was
light, and to sing in turn, among themselves, a hymn to Christ, as
to a god, and to bind themselves by an oath--not to do anything that
was wicked, that they would commit no theft, robbery, or adultery,
nor break their word, nor deny that anything had been entrusted to
them when called upon to restore it.... I therefore deemed it the
more necessary to enquire of two servant maids, who were said to be
attendants, what was the real truth, and to apply the torture. But
I found it was nothing but a bad and excessive superstition."

Notwithstanding an alleged reply to this letter from Trajan, cited
by Tertullian and Eusebius, its genuineness may well be questioned,
and for the following reasons:

1. The Roman laws accorded religious liberty to all, and the Roman
government tolerated and protected every religious belief. Renan says:
"Among the Roman laws, anterior to Constantine, there was not a single
ordinance directed against freedom of thought; in the history of the
Pagan emperors not a single persecution on account of mere doctrines
or creeds" (The Apostles). Gibbon says: "The religious tenets of the
Galileans, or Christians, were never made a subject of punishment,
or even of inquiry" (Rome, Vol. II, p. 215).

2. Trajan was one of the most tolerant and benevolent of Roman

3. Pliny, the reputed author of the letter, is universally conceded
to have been one of the most humane and philanthropic of men.

4. It represents the distant province of Bithynia as containing,
at this time, a large Christian population, which is improbable.

5. It assumes that the Emperor Trajan was little acquainted with
Christian beliefs and customs, which cannot be harmonized with the
supposed historical fact that the most powerful of primitive churches
flourished in Trajan's capital and had existed for fifty years.

6. Pliny represents the Christians as declaring that they were in
the habit of meeting and singing hymns "to Christ as to a god." The
early Christians did not recognize Christ as a god, and it was not
until after the time of Pliny that he was worshiped as such.

7. "I asked whether they were Christians; if they confessed, I asked
them a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment;
if they persevered I ordered them to be executed." That this wise and
good man rewarded lying with liberty and truthfulness with death is
difficult to believe.

8. "I therefore deemed it more necessary to inquire of two servant
maids, who were said to be attendants, what was the real truth, and
to apply the torture." Never have the person and character of woman
been held more sacred than they were in Pagan Rome. That one of the
noblest of Romans should have put to torture young women guiltless
of crime is incredible.

9. The declaration of the Christians that they took a solemn obligation
"not to do anything that was wicked; that they would commit no theft,
robbery, or adultery, nor break their word," etc., looks like an
ingenious attempt to parade the virtues of primitive Christians.

10. This letter, it is claimed, is to be found in but one ancient
copy of Pliny.

11. It was first quoted by Tertullian, and the age immediately
preceding Tertullian was notorious for Christian forgeries.

12. Some of the best German critics reject it. Gibbon, while not
denying its authenticity, pronounces it a "very curious epistle";
and Dr. Whiston, who considers it too valuable to discard, applies to
its contents such epithets as "amazing doctrine!" "amazing stupidity!"

Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny--these are the disinterested witnesses adduced
by the church to prove the historical existence of Jesus Christ;
the one writing nearly one hundred years, the others one hundred
and ten years after his alleged birth; the testimony of two of them
self-evident forgeries, and that of the third a probable forgery.

But even if the doubtful and hostile letter of Pliny be genuine,
it was not written until the second century, so that there is not to
be found in all the records of profane history prior to the second
century a single allusion to the reputed founder of Christianity.

To these witnesses is sometimes, though rarely, added a fourth,
Suetonius, a Roman historian who, like Tacitus and Pliny, wrote in the
second century. In his "Life of Nero," Suetonius says: "The Christians,
a race of men of a new and villainous superstition, were punished." In
his "Life of Claudius," he says: "He [Claudius] drove the Jews, who at
the instigation of Chrestus were constantly rioting, out of Rome." Of
course no candid Christian will contend that Christ was inciting
Jewish riots at Rome fifteen years after he was crucified at Jerusalem.

Significant is the silence of the forty Jewish and Pagan writers named
in this chapter. This silence alone disproves Christ's existence. Had
this wonderful being really existed the earth would have resounded
with his fame. His mighty deeds would have engrossed every historian's
pen. The pages of other writers would have abounded with references to
him. Think of going through the literature of the nineteenth century
and searching in vain for the name of Napoleon Bonaparte! Yet Napoleon
was a pigmy and his deeds trifles compared with this Christ and the
deeds he is said to have performed.

With withering irony Gibbon notes this ominous silence: "But how shall
we excuse the supine inattention of the Pagan and philosophic world,
to those evidences which were represented by the hand of Omnipotence,
not to their reason, but to their senses? During the age of Christ,
of his apostles, and of their first disciples, the doctrine which they
preached was confirmed by innumerable prodigies. The lame walked, the
blind saw, the sick were healed, the dead were raised, demons were
expelled, and the laws of Nature were frequently suspended for the
benefit of the church. But the sages of Greece and Rome turned aside
from the awful spectacle, and, pursuing the ordinary occupations of
life and study, appeared unconscious of any alterations in the moral
or physical government of the world. Under the reign of Tiberius,
the whole earth, or at least a celebrated province of the Roman
empire, was involved in a preternatural darkness of three hours. Even
this miraculous event, which ought to have excited the wonder, the
curiosity, and the devotion of mankind, passed without notice in
an age of science and history. It happened during the lifetime of
Seneca and the elder Pliny, who must have experienced the immediate
effects, or received the earliest intelligence of the prodigy. Each of
these philosophers, in a laborious work, has recorded all the great
phenomena of Nature, earthquakes, meteors, comets, and eclipses,
which his indefatigable curiosity could collect. Both the one and
the other have omitted to mention the greatest phenomenon to which
the mortal eye has been witness since the creation of the globe"
(Rome, Vol. I, pp. 588-590).

Even conceding, for the sake of argument, both the authenticity and
the credibility of these passages attributed to the Roman historians,
what do they prove? Do they prove that Christ was divine--that he was a
supernatural being, as claimed? No more than do the writings of Paine
and Voltaire, which also contain his name. This evidence is favorable
not to the adherents, but to the opponents, of Christianity. If these
passages be genuine, and their authors have penned historical truths,
it simply confirms what most Rationalists admit, that a religious sect
called Christians, who recognized Christ as their founder, existed
as early as the first century; and confirms what some have charged,
but what the church is loath to admit, that primitive Christians,
who have been declared the highest exemplars of human virtue, were
the most depraved of villains.

An unlettered and credulous enthusiast, named Jones, imagines that he
has had a revelation, and proceeds to found a new religious sect. He
gathers about him a band of "disciples" as ignorant and credulous as
himself. He soon gets into trouble and is killed. But the Jonesists
increase--increase in numbers and in meanness--until at length they
become sufficiently notorious to receive a paragraph from an annalist
who, after holding them up to ridicule and scorn, accounts for their
origin by stating that they take their name from one Jones who,
during the administration of President Roosevelt, was hanged as a
criminal. The world contains two billions of inhabitants--mostly fools,
as Carlyle would say--and as the religion of this sect is a little
more foolish than that of any other sect, it continues to spread until
at the end of two thousand years it covers the globe. Then think of
the adherents of this religion citing the uncomplimentary allusion
of this annalist to prove that Jones was a god!



The Four Gospels.

Farrar, in his "Life of Christ," concedes and deplores the dearth
of evidence concerning the subject of his work. He says: "It is
little short of amazing that neither history nor tradition should
have embalmed for us one certain or precious saying or circumstance
in the life of the Savior of Mankind, except the comparatively few
events recorded in four very brief biographies."

With these four brief biographies, the Four Gospels, Christianity
must stand or fall. These four documents, it is admitted, contain
practically all the evidence which can be adduced in proof of the
existence and divinity of Jesus Christ. Profane history, as we have
seen, affords no proof of this. The so-called apocryphal literature
of the early church has been discarded by the church itself. Even
the remaining canonical books of the New Testament are of little
consequence if the testimony of the Four Evangelists be successfully
impeached. Disprove the authenticity and credibility of these documents
and this Christian deity is removed to the mythical realm of Apollo,
Odin, and Osiris.

In a previous work, "The Bible," I have shown that the books of the
New Testament, with a few exceptions, are not authentic. This evidence
cannot be reproduced here in full. A brief summary of it must suffice.

The Four Gospels, it is claimed, were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke,
and John, two of them apostles, and two companions of the apostles
of Christ. If this claim be true the other writings of the apostles,
the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, and the writings of the early
Christian Fathers, ought to contain some evidences of the fact.

Twenty books--nearly all of the remaining books of the New
Testament--are said to have been written by the three apostles, Peter,
John, and Paul, a portion of them after the first three Gospels were
written; but it is admitted that they contain no evidence whatever
of the existence of these Gospels.

There are extant writings accredited to the Apostolic Fathers,
Clement of Rome, Barnabas, Hermas, Ignatius, and Polycarp; written,
for the most part, early in the second century. These writings contain
no mention of the Four Gospels. This also is admitted by Christian
scholars. Dr. Dodwell says: "We have at this day certain most authentic
ecclesiastical writers of the times, as Clemens Romanus, Barnabas,
Hermas, Ignatius, and Polycarp, who wrote in the order wherein I
have named them, and after all the writers of the New Testament. But
in Hermas you will not find one passage or any mention of the New
Testament, nor in all the rest is any one of the Evangelists named"
(Dissertations upon Irenaeus).

The Four Gospels were unknown to the early Christian Fathers. Justin
Martyr, the most eminent of the early Fathers, wrote about the middle
of the second century. His writings in proof of the divinity of Christ
demanded the use of these Gospels had they existed in his time. He
makes more than three hundred quotations from the books of the Old
Testament, and nearly one hundred from the Apocryphal books of the New
Testament; but none from the Four Gospels. The Rev. Dr. Giles says:
"The very names of the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
are never mentioned by him [Justin]--do not occur once in all his
writings" (Christian Records, p. 71).

Papias, another noted Father, was a contemporary of Justin. He
refers to writings of Matthew and Mark, but his allusions to them
clearly indicate that they were not the Gospels of Matthew and
Mark. Dr. Davidson, the highest English authority on the canon, says:
"He [Papias] neither felt the want nor knew the existence of inspired
Gospels" (Canon of the Bible, p. 123).

Theophilus, who wrote after the middle of the latter half of the second
century, mentions the Gospel of John, and Irenaeus, who wrote a little
later, mentions all of the Gospels, and makes numerous quotations from
them. In the latter half of the second century, then, between the
time of Justin and Papias, and the time of Theophilus and Irenaeus,
the Four Gospels were undoubtedly written or compiled.

These books are anonymous. They do not purport to have been written
by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Their titles do not affirm it. They
simply imply that they are "according" to the supposed teachings of
these Evangelists. As Renan says, "They merely signify that these were
the traditions proceeding from each of these Apostles, and claiming
their authority." Concerning their authorship the Rev. Dr. Hooykaas
says: "They appeared anonymously. The titles placed above them in
our Bibles owe their origin to a later ecclesiastical tradition which
deserves no confidence whatever" (Bible for Learners, Vol. III, p. 24).

It is claimed that the Gospel of Matthew originally appeared in
Hebrew. Our version is a translation of a Greek work. Regarding this
St. Jerome says: "Who afterwards translated it into Greek is not
sufficiently certain." The consequences of this admission are thus
expressed by Michaelis: "If the original text of Matthew is lost,
and we have nothing but a Greek translation; then, frankly, we cannot
ascribe any divine inspiration to the words."

The contents of these books refute the claim that they were written
by the Evangelists named. They narrate events and contain doctrinal
teachings which belong to a later age. Matthew ascribes to Christ the
following language: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build
my church" (xvi, 18). This Gospel is a Roman Catholic Gospel, and was
written after the beginning of the establishment of this hierarchy to
uphold the supremacy of the Petrine Church of Rome. Of this Gospel
Dr. Davidson says: "The author, indeed, must ever remain unknown"
(Introduction to New Testament, p. 72).

The Gospel of Luke is addressed to Theophilus. Theophilus, Bishop of
Antioch, who is believed to be the person addressed, flourished in
the latter half of the second century.

Dr. Schleiermacher, one of Germany's greatest theologians, after a
critical analysis of Luke, concludes that it is merely a compilation,
made up of thirty-three preexisting manuscripts. Bishop Thirlwall's
Schleiermacher says: "He [Luke] is from beginning to end no more than
the compiler and arranger of documents which he found in existence"
(p. 313).

The basis of this Gospel is generally believed to be the Gospel of
Marcion, a Pauline compilation, made about the middle of the second
century. Concerning this Gospel, the Rev. S. Baring-Gould, in his
"Lost and Hostile Gospels," says: "The arrangement is so similar that
we are forced to the conclusion that it was either used by St. Luke or
that it was his original composition. If he used it then his right
to the title of author of the Third Gospel falls to the ground,
as what he added was of small amount."

Mark, according to Renan, is the oldest of the Gospels; but Mark,
according to Strauss, was written after the Gospels of Matthew and
Luke were written. He says: "It is evidently a compilation, whether
made from memory or otherwise, from the first and third Gospels"
(Leben Jesu, p. 51). Judge Waite, in his "History of Christianity,"
says that all but twenty-four verses of this Gospel have their
parallels in Matthew and Luke. Davidson declares it to be an anonymous
work. "The author," he says, "is unknown."

Omitting the last twelve verses of Mark, which all Christian critics
pronounce spurious, the book contains no mention of the two great
miracles which mark the limits of Christ's earthly career, his
miraculous birth and his ascension.

Concerning the first three Gospels, the "Encyclopedia Britannica"
says: "It is certain that the Synoptic Gospels took their present form
only by degrees." Of these books Dr. Westcott says: "Their substance
is evidently much older than their form." Professor Robertson Smith
pronounces them "unapostolic digests of the second century."

The internal evidence against the authenticity of the Fourth Gospel
is conclusive. The Apostle John did not write it. John, the apostle,
was a Jew; the author of the Fourth Gospel was not a Jew. John was
born at Bethsaida; the author of the Fourth Gospel did not know
where Bethsaida was located. John was an uneducated fisherman;
the author of this Gospel was an accomplished scholar. Some of the
most important events in the life of Jesus, the Synoptics declare,
were witnessed by John; the author of this knows nothing of these
events. The Apostle John witnessed the crucifixion; the author of
this Gospel did not. The Apostles, including John, believed Jesus to
be a man; the author of the Fourth Gospel believed him to be a god.

Regarding the authorship of the Fourth Gospel, Dr. Davidson says: "The
Johannine authorship has receded before the tide of modern criticism,
and though this tide is arbitrary at times, it is here irresistible"
(Canon of the Bible, p. 127).

That the authenticity of the Four Gospels cannot be maintained is
conceded by every impartial critic. The author of "Supernatural
Religion," in one of the most profound and exhaustive works on
this subject ever written, expresses the result of his labors in
the following words: "After having exhausted the literature and the
testimony bearing on the point, we have not found a single distinct
trace of any of those Gospels during the first century and a half
after the death of Jesus" (Supernatural Religion, Vol. II, p. 248).

Fifteen hundred years ago, Bishop Faustus, a heretical Christian
theologian, referring to this so-called Gospel history, wrote: "It
is allowed not to have been written by the son himself nor by his
apostles, but long after by some unknown men who, lest they should
be suspected of writing things they knew nothing of, gave to their
books the names of the Apostles."

The following is the verdict of the world's greatest Bible critic,
Baur: "These Gospels are spurious, and were written in the second

Acts, Catholic Epistles, and Revelation.

The Acts of the Apostles is supposed to have been written by the
author of the Third Gospel. Like this book it is anonymous and of late
origin. It contains historical inaccuracies, contradicts the Gospel of
Matthew, and conflicts with the writings of Paul. Concerning the last,
the "Bible for Learners" (Vol. III, p. 25) says: "In the first two
chapters of the Epistle to the Galatians, he [Paul] gives us several
details of his own past life; and no sooner do we place his story
side by side with that of the Acts than we clearly perceive that this
book contains an incorrect account, and that its inaccuracy is not
the result of accident or ignorance, but of a deliberate design."

This book purports to be the product chiefly of three minds: that
of the author who gives a historical sketch of the early church,
and those of Peter and Paul whose discourses are reported. And yet
the three compositions are clearly the products of one mind--that
of the author. The evident purpose of the work is to heal the bitter
dissensions which existed between the Petrine and Pauline churches,
and this points unmistakably to the latter part of the second century
as the date of its appearance, when the work of uniting the various
Christian sects into the Catholic church began. Renan considers this
the most faulty book of the New Testament.

The seven Catholic Epistles, James, First and Second Peter, First,
Second and Third John, and Jude, have never been held in very high
esteem by the church. Many of the Christian Fathers rejected them,
while modern Christian scholars have generally considered them of
doubtful authenticity. The first and last of these were rejected by
Martin Luther. "St. James' Epistle," says Luther, "is truly an epistle
of straw" (Preface to Luther's New Testament, ed. 1524). Jude, he says,
"is an abstract or copy of St. Peter's Second, and allegeth stories
and sayings which have no place in Scripture" (Standing Preface).

The First Epistle of Peter and the First Epistle of John have generally
been accorded a higher degree of authority than the others; but even
these were not written by apostles, nor in the first century. Dr. Soury
says that First Peter "dates, in all probability, from the year 130
A. D., at the earliest" (Jesus and the Gospels, p. 32). Irenaeus, the
founder of the New Testament canon, rejected it. The Dutch critics,
who deny the Johannine authorship of the Fourth Gospel, and assign
its composition to the second century, say: "The First Epistle of
John soon issued from the same school in imitation of the Gospel"
(Bible for Learners, Vol. III, p. 692).

Second Peter is a forgery. Westcott says there is no proof of its
existence prior to 170 A. D. Smith's "Bible Dictionary" says "Many
reject the epistle as altogether spurious." The brief epistles of
Second and Third John are anonymous and of very late origin. They do
not purport to be the writings of John. The superscriptions declare
them to be from an elder, and this precludes the claim that they are
from an apostle. The early Fathers ignored them.

Revelation is the only book in the Bible which claims to be the word of
God. At the same time it is the book of which Christians have always
been the most suspicious. It is addressed to the seven churches
of Asia, but the seven churches of Asia rejected it. Concerning
the attitude of ancient churchmen toward it, Dionysius, Bishop of
Alexandria, says: "Divers of our predecessors have wholly refused and
rejected this book, and by discussing the several parts thereof have
found it obscure and void of reason and the title forged."

"The most learned and intelligent of Protestant divines," says the
Edinburgh Review, "almost all doubted or denied the canonicity
of the book of Revelation." It is a book which, Dr. South said,
"either found a man mad or left him so." Calvin and Beza both forbade
their clergy to attempt an explanation of its contents. Luther says:
"In the Revelation of John much is wanting to let me deem it either
prophetic or apostolical" (Preface to N. T., 1524).

Considered as evidences of Christ's historical existence and divinity
these nine books are of no value. They are all anonymous writings or
forgeries, and, with the possible exception of Revelation, of very
late origin. While they affirm Christ's existence they are almost
entirely silent regarding his life and miracles.

The Epistles of Paul.

Of the fourteen epistles ascribed to Paul, seven--Ephesians,
Colossians, Second Thessalonians, First and Second Timothy, Titus,
and Hebrews--are conceded by nearly all critics to be spurious, while
three others--Philippians, First Thessalonians, and Philemon--are
generally classed as doubtful.

The general verdict concerning the first seven is thus expressed by
the Rev. Dr. Hooykaas: "Fourteen epistles are said to be Paul's;
but we must at once strike off one, namely, that to the Hebrews,
which does not bear his name at all. ... The two letters to Timothy
and the letter to Titus were certainly composed long after the death
of Paul.... It is more than possible that the letters to the Ephesians
and Colossians are also unauthentic, and the same suspicion rests,
perhaps, on the first, but certainly on the second of the Epistles
to the Thessalonians" (Bible for Learners, Vol. III, p. 23).

The author of Second Thessalonians, whose epistle is a self-evident
forgery, declares First Thessalonians to be a forgery. Baur and the
Tubingen school reject both Epistles. Baur also rejects Philippians:
"The Epistles to the Colossians and to the Philippians ... are
spurious, and were written by the Catholic school near the end of the
second century, to heal the strife between the Jew and the Gentile
factions" (Paulus). Dr. Kuenen and the other Dutch critics admit that
Philippians and Philemon, as well as First Thessalonians, are doubtful.

That the Pastoral Epistles are forgeries is now conceded by all
critics. According to the German critics they belong to the second
century. Hebrews does not purport to be a Pauline document. Luther
says: "The Epistle to the Hebrews is not by St. Paul, nor, indeed,
by any apostle" (Standing Preface to Luther's N. T.).

Four Epistles--Romans, First and Second Corinthians, and
Galatians--while rejected by a few critics, are generally admitted
to be the genuine writings of Paul. These books were written, it is
claimed, about a quarter of a century after the death of Christ. They
are the only books of the New Testament whose authenticity can be

Admitting the authenticity of these books, however, is not
admitting the historical existence of Christ and the divine origin of
Christianity. Paul was not a witness of the alleged events upon which
Christianity rests. He did not become a convert to Christianity until
many years after the death of Christ. He did not see Christ (save in
a vision); he did not listen to his teachings; he did not learn from
his disciples. "The Gospel which was preached of me is not after man,
for I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it" (Gal. i,
11, 12). Paul accepted only to a very small extent the religion
of Christ's disciples. He professed to derive his knowledge from
supernatural sources--from trances and visions. Regarding the value of
such testimony the author of "Supernatural Religion" (p. 970) says:
"No one can deny, and medical and psychological annals prove, that
many men have been subject to visions and hallucinations which have
never been seriously attributed to supernatural causes. There is not
one single valid reason removing the ecstatic visions and trances of
the Apostle Paul from this class."

The corporeal existence of the Christ of the Evangelists receives
slight confirmation in the writings of Paul. His Christ was not the
incarnate Word of John, nor the demi-god of Matthew and Luke. Of the
immaculate conception of Jesus he knew nothing. To him Christ was the
son of God in a spiritual rather than in a physical sense. "His son
Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according
to the flesh; and declared to be the son of God with power, according
to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Rom. i,
3, 4). "God sent forth his son, made of a woman [but not of a virgin],
made under the law" (Gal. iv, 4).

With the Evangelists the proofs of Christ's divinity are his
miracles. Their books teem with accounts of these. But Paul evidently
knows nothing of these miracles. With him the evidences of Christ's
divine mission are his resurrection and the spiritual gifts conferred
on those who accept him.

The Evangelists teach a material resurrection. When the women visited
his tomb "they entered in and found not the body of Jesus" (Luke xxiv,
3). The divine messengers said to them, "He is not here, but is risen"
(6). "He sat at meat" with his disciples; "he took bread, and blessed
it, and brake, and gave to them" (30). "Then he said to Thomas, Reach
hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and
thrust it into my side" (John xx, 27). This is entirely at variance
with the teachings of Paul. "But now is Christ risen from the dead,
and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came
death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead" (1 Cor. xv, 20,
21). "But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with
what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not
quickened, except it die; and that which thou sowest, thou sowest
not that body that shall be" (35-37). "It is sown a natural body;
it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there
is a spiritual body" (44). "Now this I say brethren, that flesh and
blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (50).

The Christ that Paul saw in a vision was a spiritual being--an
apparition; and this appearance he considers of exactly the
same character as the post mortem appearances of Christ to his
disciples. "He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve; after that
he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; ... after that,
he was seen of James; then of all the Apostles. And last of all,
he was seen of me also" (1 Cor. xv, 5-8).



We have seen that the Four Gospels are not authentic, that they are
anonymous writings which appeared late in the second century. If their
contents seemed credible and their statements harmonized with each
other this want of authenticity would invalidate their authority,
because the testimony of an unknown witness cannot be accepted
as authoritative. On the other hand, if their authenticity could
be established, if it could be shown that they were written by the
authors claimed, the incredible and contradictory character of their
contents would destroy their authority.

As historical documents these books are hardly worthy of credit. The
"Arabian Nights" is almost as worthy of credit as the Four Gospels. In
both are to be found accounts of things possible and of things
impossible. To believe the impossible is gross superstition; to believe
the possible, simply because it is possible, is blind credulity. These
books are adduced as the credentials of Christ. A critical analysis of
these credentials reveals hundreds of errors. A presentation of these
errors will occupy the five succeeding chapters of this work. If it
can be shown that they contain errors, however trivial some of them
may appear, this refutes the claim of inerrancy and divinity. If
it can be shown that they abound with errors, this destroys their
credibility as historical documents. Destroy the credibility of the
Four Gospels and you destroy all proofs of Christ's divinity--all
proofs of his existence.


When was Jesus born?

Matthew: "In the days of Herod" (ii, 1).

Luke: "When Cyrenius was governor of Syria" (ii, 1-7).

Nearly every biographer gives the date of his subject's birth. Yet not
one of the Evangelists gives the date of Jesus' birth. Two, Matthew
and Luke, attempt to give the time approximately. But between these two
attempts there is a discrepancy of at least ten years; for Herod died
4 B. C., while Cyrenius did not become governor of Syria until 7 A. D.

A reconciliation of these statements is impossible. Matthew clearly
states that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod. Luke states
that Augustus Caesar issued a decree that the world should be taxed,
that "this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria,"
and that Jesus was born at the time of this taxing.

The following extracts from Josephus, the renowned historian of the
race and country to which Jesus belonged, give the date of this taxing
and the time that elapsed between the death of Herod and the taxing,
and which reckoned backward from this gives the date of Herod's death:

"And now Herod altered his testament upon the alteration of his mind;
for he appointed Antipas, to whom he had before left his kingdom,
to be tetrarch of Galilee and Berea, and granted the kingdom to
Archelaus.... When he had done these things he died" (Antiquities,
B. xvii, ch. 8, sec. 1).

"But in the tenth year of Archelaus's government, both his brethren,
and the principal men of Judea and Samaria, not being able to bear
his barbarous and tyrannical usage of them, accused him before
Caesar.... And when he was come [to Rome], Caesar, upon hearing what
certain accusers of his had to say, and what reply he could make,
both banished him, and appointed Vienna, a city of Gaul, to be the
place of his habitation, and took his money away from him" (Ibid,
ch. 13, sec. 2).

"Archelaus's country was laid to the province of Syria; and Cyrenius,
one that had been consul, was sent by Caesar to take account of
people's effects in Syria, and to sell the house of Archelaus"
(Ib. sec. 5).

"When Cyrenius had now disposed of Archelaus's money, and when
the taxings were come to a conclusion, which were made in the
thirty-seventh of Caesar's victory over Antony at Actium," etc. (Ib.,
B. xviii, ch. 2, sec. 1).

The battle of Actium was fought September 2, B. C. 31. The
thirty-seventh year from this battle comprehended the time elapsing
between September 2, A. D. 6, and September 2, A. D. 7, the mean
of which was March 2, A. D. 7. The mean of the tenth year preceding
this--the year in which Herod died--was September 2, B. C. 4.

It has been suggested by some unacquainted with Roman history that
Cyrenius [Quirinus] may have been twice governor of Syria. Cyrenius
was but once governor of Syria, and this not until 7 A. D. During the
last years of Herod's reign, and during all the years of Archelaus's
reign, Sentius Saturninus and Quintilius Varus held this office. Even
if Cyrenius had previously held the office the events related by Luke
could not have occurred then because Judea prior to 7 A. D. was not
a part of Syria.

The second chapter of Luke which narrates the birth and infancy of
Jesus, conflicts with the first chapter of this book. In this chapter
it is expressly stated that Zacharias, the priest, lived in the time
of Herod and, inferentially, that the conceptions of John and Jesus
occurred at this time.

Christian chronology, by which events are supposed to be reckoned
from the birth of Christ, agrees with neither Matthew nor Luke, but
dates from a point nearly intermediate between the two. According to
Matthew, Christ was born at least five years before the beginning
of the Christian era; according to Luke he was born at least six
years after the beginning of the Christian era. This is 1907: but
according to Matthew Christ was born not later than 1912 years ago;
while according to Luke he was born not earlier than 1901 years ago.

At least ten different opinions regarding the year of Christ's birth
have been advanced by Christian scholars. Dodwell places it in 6 B. C.,
Chrysostom 5 B. C., Usher, whose opinion is most commonly received,
4 B. C., Irenaeus 3 B. C., Jerome 2 B. C., Tertullian 1 B. C. Some
modern authorities place it in 1 A. D., others in 2 A. D., and still
others in 3 A. D.; while those who accept Luke as infallible authority
must place it as late as 7 A. D.


It is generally assumed that Jesus was born in the last year of
Herod's reign. How long before the close of Herod's reign was he born?

Matthew: At least two years (ii, 1-16).

Matthew says that when the wise men visited Herod he diligently
inquired of them the time when the star which announced the birth of
Jesus first appeared. When he determined to destroy Jesus and massacred
the infants of Bethlehem and the surrounding country, he slew those
"from two years old and under, according to the time which he had
diligently inquired of the wise men," clearly indicating that Jesus
was nearly or quite two years old at this time.

In attempting to reconcile Matthew's visit of the wise men to Jesus
at Bethlehem with the narrative of Luke, which makes his stay there
less than six weeks, it has been assumed that this visit occurred
immediately after his birth, whereas, according to Matthew, it did
not occur until about two years after his birth.


In what month and on what day of the month was he born?

Not one of his biographers is prepared to tell; primitive Christians
did not know; the church has never been able to determine this. A
hundred different opinions regarding it have been expressed by
Christian scholars. Wagenseil places it in February, Paulius in
March, Greswell in April, Lichtenstein in June, Strong in August,
Lightfoot in September, and Newcome in October. Clinton says that he
was born in the Spring; Larchur says that he was born in the Fall. Some
early Christians believed that it occurred on the 5th of January;
others the 19th of April; others still on the 20th of May. The Eastern
church believed that he was born on the 7th of January. The church of
Rome, in the fourth century, selected the 25th of December on which
to celebrate the anniversary of his birth; and this date has been
accepted by the greater portion of the Christian world.


What determined the selection of this date?

"There was a double reason for selecting this day. In the first place
it had been observed from a hoary antiquity as a heathen festival,
following the longest night of the winter solstice, and was called
'the Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun.' It was a fine thought
to celebrate on that day the birth of him whom the Gospel called
"the light of the world".... The second reason was, that at Rome the
days from the 17th to the 23d of December were devoted to unbridled
merrymaking. These days were called the Saturnalia.... Now the church
was always anxious to meet the heathen, whom she had converted or
was beginning to convert, half-way, by allowing them to retain the
feasts they were accustomed to, only giving them a Christian dress,
or attaching a new and Christian signification to them" (Bible for
Learners, vol. iii, pp. 66, 67).

Gibbon says: "The Roman Christians, ignorant of the real time of the
birth of Jesus, fixed the solemn festival on the 25th of December,
the winter solstice when the Pagans annually celebrated the birth of
the sun."


What precludes the acceptance of this date?

Luke: At the time of his birth "there were in the same country
shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by
night" (ii, 8).

Shepherds did not abide in the field with their flocks at night in
mid-winter. The Rev. Cunningham Geikie, D. D., a leading English
orthodox authority on Christ, says:

"One knows how wretched even Rome is in winter and Palestine is much
worse during hard weather. Nor is it likely that shepherds would
lie out through the night, except during unseasonably fine weather"
(Christmas at Bethlehem, in Deems' Holydays and Holidays, p. 405).

"The nativity of Jesus in December should be given up."--Dr. Adam

In regard to the date of Christ's birth Dr. Farrar says: "It
must be admitted that we cannot demonstrate the exact year of the
nativity.... As to the day and month of the nativity it is certain
that they can never be recovered; they were absolutely unknown to the
early fathers, and there is scarcely one month of the year which has
not been fixed upon as probable by modern critics."

The inability of Christians to determine the date of Christ's birth
is one of the strongest proofs of his non-existence as a historical
character. Were the story of his miraculous birth and marvelous life
true the date of his birth would have been preserved and would be
today, the best authenticated fact in history.


Where was Jesus born?

Matthew and Luke: In Bethlehem of Judea (Matt. ii, 1; Luke ii, 1-7).

Aside from these stories in Matthew and Luke concerning the nativity,
which are clearly of later origin than the remaining documents
composing the books and which many Christian scholars reject, there
is not a word in the Four Gospels to confirm the claim that Jesus was
born in Bethlehem. Every statement in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
as well as Acts, concerning his nativity, is to the effect that he was
born in Nazareth of Galilee. He is never called "Jesus of Bethlehem,"
but always "Jesus of Nazareth." According to modern usage "Jesus of
Nazareth" might merely signify that Nazareth was the place of his
residence and not necessarily the place of his birth. But this usage
was unknown to the Jews. Had he been born at Bethlehem, he would,
according to the Jewish custom, have been called "Jesus of Bethlehem,"
because the place of birth always determined this distinguishing
adjunct, and the fact of his having removed to another place would
not have changed it.

Peter (Acts ii, 22; iii, 6); Paul (Acts xxvi, 9), Philip (John i,
45), Cleopas and his companion (Luke xxiv, 19), Pilate (John xix,
19), Judas and the band sent to arrest Jesus (John xviii, 5, 7), the
High Priest's maid (Mark xiv, 67), blind Bartimaeus (Mark x, 47),
the unclean spirits (Mark i, 24; Luke iv, 34), the multitudes that
attended his meetings (Matt. xxi, 11; Luke xviii, 37), all declared
him to be a native of Nazareth.

To the foregoing may be added the testimony of Jesus himself. When
Paul asked him who he was he answered: "I am Jesus of Nazareth"
(Acts xxii, 8).

Many of the Jews rejected Christ because he was born in Galilee and
not in Bethlehem. "Others said, This is the Christ. But some said,
Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scriptures said,
That Christ cometh out of the seed of David, and out of the town of
Bethlehem, where David was?" (John vii, 41, 42).

Concerning this subject the "Bible for Learners" says: "The primitive
tradition declared emphatically that Nazareth was the place from
which Jesus came. We may still see this distinctly enough in our
Gospels. Jesus is constantly called the Nazarene, or Jesus of
Nazareth. This was certainly the name by which he was known in his
own time; and of course such local names were given to men from the
place of their birth, and not from the place in which they lived,
which might constantly be changing. Nazareth is called in so many
words his own, that is his native city, and he himself declares it so"
(vol. iii, pp. 39, 40).

That Jesus the man, if such a being existed, was not born at Bethlehem
is affirmed by all critics. That he could not have been born at
Nazareth is urged by many. Nazareth, it is asserted, did not exist
at this time. Christian scholars admit that there is no proof of its
existence at the beginning of the Christian era outside of the New
Testament. The Encyclopedia Biblica, a leading Christian authority,
says: "We cannot perhaps venture to assert positively that there was
a city called Nazareth in Jesus' time."


His reputed birth at Bethlehem was in fulfillment of what prophecy?

"And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among
the princes of Juda; for out of thee shall come a governor that shall
rule my people Israel" (Matthew ii, 6).

This is a misquotation of Micah v, 2. The passage as it appears in
our version of the Old Testament is itself a mistranslation. Correctly
rendered it does not mean that this ruler shall come from Bethlehem,
but simply that he shall be a descendant of David whose family belonged
to Bethlehem.

Concerning this prophecy it may be said, 1. That Jesus never became
governor or ruler of Israel; 2. That the ruler referred to was to be
a military leader who should deliver Israel from the Assyrians. "And
this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into the
land ... thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian" (Micah v, 5, 6).


Jesus is called the Son of David. Why?

Matthew and Luke: Because Joseph, who was not his father, but merely
his guardian or foster father, was descended from David.

The Jews expected a Messiah. This expectation was realized, it is
claimed, in Jesus Christ. His Messianic marks, however, were not
discernible and the Jews, for the most part, rejected him. This
Messiah must be a son of David. Before Jesus' claims could even be
considered his Davidic descent must be established. This Matthew and
Luke attempt to do. Each gives what purports to be a genealogy of
him. If these genealogies agree they may be false; if they do not
agree one must be false.


How many generations were there from David to Jesus?

Matthew: Twenty-eight (i, 6-16).

Luke: Forty-three (iii, 23-31).

Luke makes two more generations from David to Jesus in a period of
one thousand years than Matthew does from Abraham to Jesus in a period
of two thousand years.


How many generations were there from Abraham to Jesus?

Matthew: "From Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from
David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations;
and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen
generations"--in all, forty-two generations (i, 17).

Here Matthew contradicts his own record given in the preceding sixteen
verses; for, including both Abraham and Jesus, he names but forty-one
generations: 1. Abraham, 2. Isaac, 3. Jacob, 4. Judas, 5. Phares,
6. Ezrom, 7. Aram, 8. Aminadab, 9. Naason, 10. Salmon, 11. Booz,
12. Obed, 13. Jesse, 14. David, 15. Solomon, 16. Roboam, 17. Abia,
18. Asa, 19. Josaphat, 20. Joram, 21. Ozias, 22. Joatham, 23. Achaz,
24. Ezekias, 25. Manasses, 26. Amon, 27. Josias, 28. Jechonias,
29. Salathiel, 30. Zorobabel, 31. Abiud, 32. Eliakim, 33. Azor,
34. Sadoc, 35. Achim, 36. Eliud, 37. Eleazer, 38. Matthan, 39. Jacob,
40. Joseph, 41. Jesus Christ.


Does Luke's genealogy agree with the Old Testament?

It does not. Luke gives twenty generations from Adam to Abraham,
while Genesis (v, 3-32; xi, 10-26) and Chronicles (1 Ch. i, 1-4;
24-27) each gives but nineteen.


How many generations were there from Abraham to David?

Matthew: "From Abraham to David are fourteen generations" (i, 17).

From Abraham to David are not fourteen, but thirteen generations;
for David does not belong to this period. The genealogical table of
Matthew naturally and logically comprises three divisions which he
recognizes. The first division comprises the generations preceding
the establishment of the Kingdom of David, beginning with Abraham;
the second comprises the kings of Judah, beginning with David the
first and ending with Jechonias the last; the third comprises the
generations following the kings of Judah, from the Captivity to Christ.


How many generations were there from David to the Captivity?

Matthew: "From David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen
generations" (i, 17).

In order to obtain a uniformity of numbers--three periods of double
seven (seven was the sacred number of the Jews) each--Matthew
purposely falsifies the records of the Old Testament. A reference
to the Davidic genealogy (1 Chronicles iii) shows that he omits the
generations of Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah, and Jehoiakim, four Jewish
kings, lineal descendants of David, whose combined reigns amount to
over eighty years.

                       Matthew.     Chronicles.

                       David,       David,
                       Solomon,     Solomon,
                       Reboam,      Rehoboam,
                       Abia,        Abia,
                       Asa,         Asa,
                       Josaphat,    Jehoshaphat,
                       Joram,       Joram,
                       Ozias,       Azariah,
                       Joatham,     Jotham,
                       Achaz,       Ahaz,
                       Ezekias,     Hezekiah,
                       Manasses,    Manasseh,
                       Amon,        Amon,
                       Josias,      Josiah,
                       Jechonias.   Jechoniah.

The first three omissions are thus explained by Augustine: "Ochozias
[Ahaziah], Joash, and Amazias were excluded from the number, because
their wickedness was continuous and without interval."

As if the exclusion of their names from a genealogical list would
expunge their records from history and drain their blood from the veins
of their descendants. But aside from the absurdity of this explanation,
the premises are false. Those whose names are excluded from the list
were not men whose "wickedness was continuous and without interval,"
while some whose names are not excluded were. Ahaziah reigned but one
year. Joash reigned forty years and both Kings and Chronicles affirm
that "He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord" (2 Kings
xii, 2; 2 Chron. xxiv, 2). Amaziah reigned twenty-nine years, and he,
too, "did that which was right in the sight of the Lord" (2 Kings xiv,
3). On the other hand, Rehoboam, Joram and Jechonias, whose names are
retained in Matthew's table, are represented as monsters of wickedness.


Name the generations from David to the Captivity.

                         Matthew.     Luke.

                         David,       David,
                         Solomon,     Nathan,
                         Roboam,      Mattatha,
                         Abia,        Menan,
                         Asa,         Melea,
                         Josaphat,    Eliakim,
                         Joram,       Jonan,
                         Ozias,       Joseph,
                         Joatham,     Juda,
                         Achas,       Simeon,
                         Ezekias,     Levi,
                         Manasses,    Matthat,
                         Amon,        Jorim,
                         Josias,      Eliezer,
                         Jechonias.   Jose,


How many generations were there from the Captivity to Christ?

Matthew: "From the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen
generations" (i, 17).

Matthew is again guilty of deception. A reference to his table shows
that there were but thirteen generations. In order to carry out his
numerical system of fourteen generations to each period he counts the
generation of Jechonias in this period which he has already counted
in the preceding period; thus performing the mathematical feat of
dividing 27 by 2 and obtaining 14 for a quotient.

Had Matthew given a true summary of this genealogy, assuming the
generations from the close of the Old Testament record to Christ to
be correct, instead of these periods of double seven each, we would
have the following: "So all the generations from Abraham to David
are thirteen generations; and from David until the carrying away
into Babylon are nineteen generations; and from the carrying away
into Babylon unto Christ are thirteen generations."


Name the generations from the Captivity to Christ.

      Matthew.     Luke.         Chronicles.

      Salathiel,   Salathiel,    Pediah,
      Zorobabel,   Zorobabel,    Zerubabel,
      Abiud,       Rhesa,        Hananiah,
      Eliakim,     Joanna,       Schecania,
      Azor,        Juda,         Shemaiah,
      Sadoc,       Joseph,       Neariah,
      Achim,       Semei,        Elioenai,
      Eliud,       Mattathias,   Hodaiah,
      Eleazer,     Maath,        (Here the genealogy of Chronicles
      Matthan,     Nagge,
      Jacob,       Esli,
      Joseph,      Naum,
      Jesus.       Amos,


According to the accepted chronology, what was the average age of
each generation from David to Jesus?

Luke: Twenty-five years.

Matthew: Forty years.


What was the average age from David to the Captivity?

Matthew: Thirty-seven years.

According to Chronicles the average age of the same line for the same
period was but twenty-six years.


What was the average age from the Captivity to Jesus?

Luke: Twenty-eight years.

Matthew: Fifty years.

While the average age from David to the Captivity by way of Solomon
was but twenty-six years the average age from the Captivity to Jesus
by the same line, according to Matthew, was fifty years. This proves
the falsity of Matthew's genealogy from the Captivity to Jesus.


What was the average length of each generation from Abraham to David?

Matthew and Luke: Seventy years.

Seventy years is said to constitute the natural life of man. According
to these Evangelists Christ's Pre-Davidic ancestors only reached
maturity at seventy. How slow was man's development then--a babe
in his mother's arms at twenty; a playful child at forty; at sixty
an ardent youth wooing a blushing maiden of half a hundred years;
at three score years and ten a fond young father rejoicing at the
birth of his first-born!


What was the average length of each generation from Adam to Abraham?

Luke: One hundred years.


How many generations were there from Adam to Abraham?

Luke: Twenty (iii, 34-38).

Luke makes less than half as many generations from Adam to Abraham
in a period of two thousand years as he does from David to Jesus in
a period of one thousand years.


How many generations were there between Rachab, the mother of Booz,
and David?

Matthew: Three--Booz, Obed and Jesse (i, 5, 6).

Rachab lived at Jericho when it was taken by the Israelites. Jericho
was taken 1451 B. C., the year that Moses died. David was born 1085
B. C.--nearly four centuries later.


Assuming the generations following the Captivity in Matthew and
Chronicles to run parallel, how many generations were there between
the last generation named in Chronicles and Jesus?

Matthew: Four.

Yet Chronicles was written, it is claimed, from 458 to 604 years
before Christ.

"If the Chronicles were written by Ezra, the date of their
composition was not far from B. C. 458, the year of the return from
the Captivity. If by Daniel, the earlier period of from 604 to 534
must be adopted."--Rev. Dr. Hitchcock.


Name the first ten ancestors of Jesus.

Luke: Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Maleleel, Jared, Enoch, Mathusala,
Lamech, Noe (iii, 36-38).

Archeological researches have shown these to be ten Babylonian kings.


Who was Sala?

Luke: "Sala, which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of
Arphaxad" (iii, 35, 36).

"And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years and begat Salah" (Genesis
xi, 12).

According to Luke Sala was the grand-son of Arphaxad; according to
Genesis he was the son of Arphaxad.


Who begat Ozias?

Matthew: "Joram begat Ozias" (i, 8).

"Ahaziah his [Joram's] son, Joash his son, Amaziah his son, Azariah
[Ozias] his son" (1 Chronicles iii, 11, 12).

According to the New Testament Ozias was the son of Joram; according
to the Old Testament he was the great great-grandson of Joram.


Who was Josiah's successor?

Matthew: Jechonias (i, 11).

"Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz, the son of Josiah, and
made him king in his father's stead" (2 Chronicles xxxvi, 1).

"For thus saith the Lord touching Shallum, the son of Josiah, king
of Judah, which reigned instead of Josiah, his father" (Jeremiah
xxii, 11).

"And Pharaoh-nechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room
of Josiah, his father, and turned his name to Jehoiakim" (2 Kings
xxiii, 34).

According to Matthew, Josiah's successor was Jechonias; according to
Chronicles, Jehoahaz; according to Jeremiah, Shallum; according to
Kings, Jehoiakim.


Who was the father of Jechonias?

Matthew: "Josias begat Jechonias" (i, 11).

Josias was not the father but the grandfather of Jechonias. "And the
sons of Josiah were, ... the second Jehoiakim.... And the sons of
Jehoiakim: Jechoniah, his son" (1 Chron. iii, 15, 16).


When did Josias beget Jechonias?

Matthew: "And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time
they were carried away into Babylon" (i, 11).

Josiah became king 641 B. C. and died 610 B. C. Jechonias was carried
to Babylon 588 B. C., 22 years after Josiah died.


Did Jechonias have a son?

Matthew: "And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat
Salathiel" (i, 12).

"As I live, saith the Lord, though Coniah [Jechonias], the son
of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet upon my right hand,
yet would I pluck thee thence.... O earth, earth, earth, hear the
word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord, Write ye this man childless,
a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall
prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling no more in Judah"
(Jeremiah xxii, 24-30).

This curse was pronounced upon Jechonias before he was taken to
Babylon. By this divine oath Jesus is precluded from becoming an heir
to the throne of David. God swears that Jechonias shall be childless,
and that no descendant of his shall ever sit upon the throne. Yet
Matthew, in the face of this oath, declares that Jechonias did not
remain childless, that he begat a son, Salathiel, the progenitor of
Jesus. In attempting to make Jesus an heir to David's throne Matthew
makes God a liar and perjurer.


Matthew says that Salathiel was the son of Jechonias. Who does Luke
declare him to be?

"The son of Neri" (iii, 27).


Who was the father of Zorobabel?

Matthew: "And Salathiel begat Zorobabel" (i, 12).

Luke: "Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel" (iii, 27).

Here both Evangelists agree--agree to disagree with Chronicles
which says that Zorobabel was the son of Pedaiah, the brother of
Salathiel. "And the sons of Pedaiah were Zerubbabel and Shimei"
(1 Chron. iii, 19).


Who was the son of Zorobabel?

Matthew: "And Zorobabel begat Abiud" (i, 13).

Luke: "Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel" (iii, 27).

Each contradicts the other, and both contradict the Old Testament
(1 Chron. iii, 19, 20).


Who was the father of Joseph?

Matthew: "And Jacob begat Joseph" (i, 16).

Luke: "Joseph, which was the son of Heli" (iii, 23).


If Jesus was descended from David, the descent was through one of
David's sons. Which one?

Matthew: Solomon (i, 6-16).

Luke: Nathan (iii, 23-31).

Luke reaches the same person by way of one brother that Matthew does
by way of the other.


Many commentators attempt to reconcile these discordant genealogies by
assuming that Matthew gives the genealogy of Joseph, while Luke gives
the genealogy of Mary. What do the Evangelists themselves declare?

Matthew: "And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was
born Jesus, who is called Christ," etc. (i, 16).

Luke: "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being
(as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,"
etc. (iii, 23).

Dr. Geikie, in his "Life of Christ" (vol. i, p. 531, note), says:
"The genealogies given by both Matthew and Luke seem unquestionably
to refer to Joseph."

Regarding this the Rev. Dr. McNaught says: "Let the reader bear
in mind how Matthew states that 'Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of
Mary,' and how Luke's words are 'Joseph which was the son of Heli,'
and then let him say whether it is truthful to allege that these
different genealogies belong to different individuals. Is it not
plain that each of them professes to trace the lineal descent of one
and the same man, Joseph?"

William Rathbone Greg says: "The circumstance that any man could
suppose that Matthew when he said, 'Jacob begat Joseph,' or Luke, when
he said, 'Joseph was the son of Heli,' could refer to the wife of the
one, or the daughter-in-law of the other, shows to what desperate
stratagems polemical orthodoxy will resort in order to defend an
untenable position."

Smith's "Bible Dictionary" offers the following explanation:
"They are both the genealogies of Joseph, i. e., of Jesus Christ,
as the reputed and legal son of Joseph and Mary. The genealogy of
St. Matthew is Joseph's genealogy as legal successor to the throne of
David. St. Luke's is Joseph's private genealogy, exhibiting his real
birth, as David's son, and thus showing why he was heir to Solomon's
crown. The simple principle that one Evangelist exhibits that genealogy
which contained the successive heirs to David's and Solomon's throne,
while the other exhibits the paternal stem of him who was the heir,
explains all the anomalies of the two pedigrees."

This "simple principle" necessitates three disagreeable
postulates. 1. That the lineage of Nathan, who is not the recorded
possessor of even one wife, survived, while that of Solomon who had
seven hundred wives became extinct. 2. That Joseph was legal successor
to the throne of David, when Heli, his father, was not. 3. That the
first chapter of Matthew contains more than a score of errors. That
little word "begat" is fatal to the above theory. Matthew declares that
Jacob begat Joseph. If Jacob begat Joseph, then Jacob, and not Heli,
was the father of Joseph. According to Matthew, the royal line descends
from David to Joseph unbroken; each heir begetting the succeeding one,
thus precluding the possibility of a collateral branch inheriting
the throne.

The hypothesis that Jesus was merely the adopted son and legal
heir of Joseph and yet fulfilled the Messianic requirements is
untenable. Strauss says: "Adoption might indeed suffice to secure to
the adopted son the reversion of certain external family rights and
inheritances; but such a relationship could in no wise lend a claim
to the Messianic dignity, which was attached to the true blood and
lineage of David" (Leben Jesu, p. 122).

The Messiah must be a natural and lineal descendant of David, which
Peter expressly declares Jesus to be: "God had sworn with an oath to
him [David], that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh,
he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne" (Acts ii, 30).

It is assumed by some that a Levirate marriage had taken place between
the parents of Joseph, and that the one genealogy belonged to the
natural, the others to the legal father of Joseph. By a Levirate
marriage if a man died without heirs his remaining brother married his
widow and raised up heirs to him. But in this case the brothers would
have the same father, and the genealogies would differ only in the
father of Joseph. It is only by a succession of Levirate marriages
and a juggling of words, which no intelligent critic can seriously
entertain, that such a hypothesis can be considered possible, even
waiving the Old Testament writers, and the Evangelists themselves,
whose language forbids it.

Eusebius advances an explanation characteristic of this ecclesiastical
historian and of the early church whose history he professes
to record. The Jews, it is said, were divided in their opinions
regarding the descent of the Messiah. While some contended that his
descent must be through the royal line, others believed that because
of the excessive wickedness of the kings the descent would be through
another line. Eusebius says: "Matthew gives his opinion, Luke repeats
the common opinion of many, not his own.... This last view Luke takes,
though conscious that Matthew gives the real truth of the genealogy."

Matthew's genealogy is self-evidently false; while Luke's according
to the admission of the historian of the primitive church, is merely
a fabrication of early Christians, designed to influence those who
rejected Matthew's genealogy of the Messiah.


If the miraculous conception be true the Davidic descent could only
be through Mary. Was Mary descended from David?

"We are wholly ignorant of the name and occupation of St. Mary's
parents. She was, like Joseph, of the tribe of Judah, and of the
lineage of David (Ps. cxxxii, 11; Luke i, 32; Rom. i, 3)."--Smith's
Bible Dictionary.

Three passages are cited in support of this claim:

1. "The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from
it. Of the fruit of thy body will I sit upon thy throne. If thy
children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach
them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne forevermore"
(Ps. cxxxii, 11, 12).

2. "He shall be great, and shall be called the son of the Highest;
and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David"
(Luke i, 32).

3. "Concerning his son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the
seed of David according to the flesh" (Rom. i, 3).

The second and third passages do not refer to Mary; the first passage
refers neither to Jesus nor Mary. There is no evidence to prove that
Mary was descended from David. On the contrary there is evidence to
prove that she was not descended from him.

1. "The angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city in Galilee, called
Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the
house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary" (Luke i, 27). Joseph,
and not Mary is declared to be of the house of David.

2. It is stated that Joseph went to Bethlehem "to be taxed with Mary,"
not because they, but "because he was of the house and lineage of
David" (Luke ii, 4, 5).

3. Mary was the cousin of Elizabeth (Luke i, 3), and Elizabeth "was
of the daughters of Aaron" (i, 5), i. e., descended from Levi, while
the house of David was descended from Judah.

This desperate, yet ineffectual, effort to establish the Davidic
descent of Mary is virtually an abandonment of the genealogical tables
of Matthew and Luke, and a falling back upon this pitiable argumentum
in circulo: Mary was descended from David because the Messiah was to
be descended from David, and Jesus was the Messiah because Mary was
descended from David.

These genealogies do not give the lineage of Mary who is said to
have been his only earthly parent, but the lineage of Joseph who,
it is claimed, was not his father. But if Joseph was not the father
of Jesus, what is the use of giving his pedigree? If Joseph was not
the father of Jesus how does proving that he was descended from David
prove that Jesus was descended from David? If these genealogies run
through Joseph to Jesus, as stated by Matthew and Luke, then Joseph
must have been the father of Jesus; and if he was the father of Jesus
the story of the miraculous conception is false.

The Synoptics, as we have seen, are for the most part, mere
compilations, made up of preexisting documents. These documents
belonged to different ages of the primitive church. In the first ages
of the church Christians believed that Jesus was simply a man--the
son of Joseph and Mary. The genealogies of Matthew and Luke, which
trace his descent from David through Joseph, belonged to this age. The
story of the miraculous conception was the product of a later age.

If the dogma of the miraculous conception be true, if God, and not
Joseph, was the father of Jesus as taught, these genealogies, being
genealogies of Joseph, fail to prove what they are intended to prove,
the royal descent of Jesus from David. The genealogies of Matthew
and Luke and their accounts of the miraculous conception mutually
exclude each other.


Did Jesus believe himself to be descended from David?

Synoptics: He did not (Matt. xxii, 41-46; Mark xii, 35-37; Luke xx,

A principal objection to accepting Jesus as the Messiah by the Jews
was the fact that he was not descended from David. He tacitly admitted
that he was not, and the whole burden of his argument was to convince
them that it was not necessary that he should be.


The miraculous conception was in fulfillment of what prophecy?

Matthew: "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was
spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be
with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name
Emmanuel" (i, 22, 23).

This is esteemed the "Gem of the Prophecies," and may be found in the
seventh chapter of Isaiah. The facts are these: Rezin, king of Syria,
and Pekah, king of Israel, had declared war against Ahaz, king of
Judah. God assured Ahaz that they should not succeed, but that their
own kingdoms should be destroyed by the Assyrians. To convince him of
the truth of this he requested Ahaz to demand a sign. "But Ahaz said,
I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord.... Therefore the Lord
himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and
bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel.... Before the child
shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that
thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings."

In the succeeding chapter the fulfillment of this prophecy is recorded:
"And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a
son. Then said the Lord to me, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz. For
before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother,
the riches of Damascus [the capital of Rezin's kingdom] and the spoils
of Samaria [the capital of Pekah's kingdom] shall be taken away before
the king of Assyria." Rezin and Pekah were overthrown by the Assyrians
about 720 B. C.

One of the most convincing proofs of Christ's divinity, with many,
is the supposed fact that he was born of a virgin and that his
miraculous birth was foretold by a prophet seven hundred years
before the event occurred. Now, there is not a passage in the Jewish
Scriptures declaring that a child should be born of a virgin. The
word translated "virgin" does not mean a virgin in the accepted sense
of the term, but simply a young woman, either married or single. The
whole passage is a mistranslation. The words rendered "a virgin shall
conceive and bear a son" should read, "a young woman is with child and
beareth a son." In this so-called prophecy there is not the remotest
reference to a miraculous conception and a virgin-born child. The
Jews themselves did not regard this passage as a Messianic prophecy;
neither did they believe that the Messiah was to be born of a virgin.

Next to the preceding the following is most frequently cited as
a Messianic prophecy: "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah,
... until Shiloh come" (Genesis xlix, 10).

If Shiloh refers to Christ the prophecy was not fulfilled, for the
sceptre did depart from Judah 600 years before Christ came. But Shiloh
does not refer to a Messiah, nor to any man. Shiloh was the seat of the
national sanctuary before it was removed to Jerusalem. This so-called
prophecy, like the preceding, is a mistranslation. The correct reading
is as follows: "The preeminence shall not depart from Judah so long
as the people resort to Shiloh."

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the
government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be declared
Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the
Prince of Peace" (Isaiah ix, 6).

Prof. Cheyne, the highest authority on Isaiah, pronounces this a
forgery. Every honest Christian scholar must admit this. It is a
self-evident forgery. No Jewish writer could have written it. To
have declared even the Messiah to be "The mighty God, the everlasting
Father" would have been the rankest blasphemy, a crime the punishment
of which was death.

These alleged Messianic prophecies are, in their present form,
Christian rather than Jewish. Christian translators and exegetists
have altered their language and perverted their meaning to make them
appear to refer to Christ. The following is an example:

"I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign
and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In
his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this
is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS"
(Jeremiah xxiii, 5, 6).

The correct rendering of this passage is as follows:

"I will raise unto David a righteous branch, and a king shall reign
and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the land. In
his days Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely; and
this is the name whereby they shall call themselves: The Eternal is
our righteousness."

To make a Messianic prophecy of this passage and give it effect no
less than eight pieces of deception were employed by the editors of
our Authorized Version:

1. The word "branch" is made to begin with a capital letter.

2. The word "king" also begins with a capital.

3. "The name" is rendered "his name."

4. The pronoun "they," relating to the people of Judah and Israel,
is changed to "he."

5. The word "Eternal" is translated "Lord."

6. "The Lord our righteousness" is printed in capitals.

7. In the table of contents, at the head of the chapter, are the words
"Christ shall rule and save them."

8. At the top of the page are the words "Christ promised."

Another example of this Messianic prophecy making is the following:

"Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the
commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto Messiah the Prince,
shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks" (Daniel ix, 25).

The term "week," it is claimed, means a period of seven years,
and assumed that by Messiah is meant Christ. Seven weeks and three
score and two weeks are sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years, the time that
was to elapse from the command to rebuild Jerusalem to the coming
of Christ, if the prophecy was fulfilled. The decree of Cyrus to
rebuild Jerusalem and the temple was made 536 B. C. According to the
accepted chronology Christ was born 4 B. C. From the decree of Cyrus,
then, to the coming of Christ was 532 years instead of 483 years,
a period of seven weeks, or forty-nine years, longer than that named
by Daniel. Ezra, the priest, went to Jerusalem 457 B. C. This event,
however, had nothing whatever to do with the decree for rebuilding
Jerusalem and the temple. It occurred 79 years after the decree was
issued, and 58 years after the temple was finished. But a searcher
for Messianic prophecies found that from the time of Ezra to the
beginning of Christ's ministry was about 483 years, or sixty-nine
prophetic weeks; and notwithstanding there was a deficiency of 79
years at one end of the period, and an excess of 30 years at the other,
it was declared to fit exactly.

Christian theologians pretend to recognize in the Old Testament two
kinds of Messianic prophecies: 1. Specific predictions concerning
Christ which were literally fulfilled; 2. Passages in which the writer
refers to other persons or events, but which God, without the writer's
knowledge, designed as types of Christ. The fallaciousness of the
former having been exposed--it having been shown that there is not a
text in the Jewish Scriptures predicting the coming of Christ--they
now rely chiefly upon the latter to support their claims. These
"prophecies" are almost limitless; for a firm believer in prophecy
can, with a vivid imagination, take almost any passage and point out
a fancied resemblance between the thing it refers to and the thing he
wants confirmed; apparently oblivious to the fact that the passage
is equally applicable to a thousand other things. Had the Mormons
accepted Joe Smith as a Messiah instead of a prophet they would have
no lack of prophecies to support their claims; and by translating
and revising the Scriptures to suit their views, as Christians did,
these prophecies would fit him as well as they do the Christ.


What name was to be given the child mentioned in Isaiah's prophecy?

"They shall call his name Emmanuel" (Matthew i, 23).

What name was to be given Mary's son?

"Thou shalt call his name Jesus" (Matt. i, 21).

In the naming of the Christian Messiah Isaiah's prophecy was not
fulfilled. He was never called Emmanuel, but Jesus.


To whom did the angel announcing the miraculous conception appear?

Matthew: To Joseph (i, 20, 21).

Luke: To Mary (i, 26-38).

"An angel did not appear, first to Mary, and also afterwards
to Joseph; he can only have appeared either to the one or to the
other. Consequently, it is only the one or the other relation which
can be regarded as historical. And here different considerations
would conduct to opposite decisions.... Every criticism which might
determine the adoption of the one, and the rejection of the other,
disappears; and we find ourselves, in reference to both accounts,
driven back by necessity to the mythical view."--Strauss.


For what purpose was the Annunciation made?

Luke: Simply to acquaint Mary with the heavenly decree that she had
been chosen to become the mother of the coming Messiah (i, 26-33).

Matthew: To allay the suspicions of Joseph respecting Mary's chastity
and prevent him from putting her away (i, 18-20).


Did the Annunciation take place before or after Mary's conception?

Luke: Before (i, 26-31).

Matthew: After (i, 18-20).


Who was declared to be the father of Jesus?

Matthew: The Holy Ghost (i, 18, 20).

With the Jews the Holy Ghost (Spirit) was of feminine gender; with
the Greeks, of masculine gender. The belief that the Holy Ghost was
the father of Jesus originated, not with the Jewish Christians of
Palestine, as claimed, but with the Greek Christians of Alexandria.


What prediction did the angel Gabriel make to Mary concerning Jesus?

"The Lord shall give unto him the throne of his father David" (Luke
i, 32).

Respecting this prediction the Rev. Dr. Hooykaas, of Holland, says:
"If a messenger from Heaven had really come to bring a divine
revelation to Mary, the result must have confirmed his prediction;
and since Jesus never fulfilled these expectations it is obvious that
the revelation was never made."


When Mary visited Elizabeth what did she do?

Luke: She uttered a hymn of praise (i, 46-55).

Had Mary uttered such a hymn we would suppose that it would have been
original and inspired by the Almighty Father of her unborn child. Yet
the hymn which Luke puts into her mouth was borrowed from the song
of Hannah.

Hannah.                               Mary.

"My heart rejoiceth in the Lord" (1   "My spirit hath rejoiced in God"
Sam. ii, 1).                          (Luke i, 47).
"If thou wilt indeed look on the      "For he hath regarded the low
affliction of thine handmaid" (i,     estate of his handmaiden" (48).
"Talk no more so exceeding proudly"   "He hath scattered the proud"
(ii, 3).                              (51).
"The bows of the mighty men are       "He hath put down the mighty from
broken, and they that stumbled are    their seats and exalted them of
girded with strength (4).             low degree" (52).
"They that were full hath hired out   "He hath filled the hungry with
themselves for bread; and they that   good things; and the rich he hath
were hungry ceased" (5).              sent empty away" (53).


What decree is said to have been issued by Caesar Augustus immediately
preceding the birth of Christ?

Luke: "That all the world should be taxed" (ii, 1).

No such decree was issued by Augustus, nor even one that the Roman
world should be taxed. The taxation of different provinces of the
empire was made at various times, no general decree ever having
been issued and no uniform assessment ever having been attempted by
Augustus. An enrollment of Roman citizens for the purpose of taxation
was made in Syria 7 A. D.


Of what king was Joseph a subject when Jesus was born?

Matthew: Of Herod.

If Jesus was born during the reign of Herod, Joseph, whether a resident
of Judea or of Galilee, could not have been taxed by Augustus, for
neither province was then a part of Syria. Both provinces belonged
to Herod's kingdom and Herod's subjects were not taxed by the Roman


Of what province was Joseph a resident?

Matthew: Of Judea.

Luke: Of Galilee.

If he was a resident of Galilee he could not have been taxed by
Augustus, even in the time of Cyrenius, for Galilee was not a Roman
province, but an independent state, and had no political connection
with Syria.

Again, this decree could not have applied to Judea prior to the
banishment of Archelaus, ten years after the time of Herod; for Judea
did not become a Roman province until that time; and while Archelaus
had paid tribute to Rome the assessments of the people were made by
him and not by Augustus.


Why was Joseph with his wife obliged to leave Galilee and go to
Bethlehem of Judea to be enrolled?

Luke: "Because he was of the house and lineage of David," and Bethlehem
was the "city of David" (ii, 4).

Even if he had been subject to taxation there was no law or custom
requiring him to leave his own country and go to that of his ancestors
to be enrolled. The assessment, according to the Roman custom,
was made at the residence of the person taxed. Nothing surpasses in
absurdity this story of Luke, that a woman, on the eve of confinement,
and the subject of another ruler, was dragged across two provinces
to be enrolled for taxation.

In regard to this taxation Dr. Hooykaas says: "But here again we
are met by overwhelming difficulties. In itself, the Evangelist's
account of the manner in which the census was carried out is entirely
incredible. Only fancy the indescribable confusion that would have
arisen if every one, through the length and breadth of the land of
the Jews, had left his abode to go and enroll himself in the city
or village from which his family originally came, even supposing he
knew where it was. The census under David was conducted after a very
different fashion. But it is still more important to note that the
Evangelist falls into the most extraordinary mistakes throughout. In
the first place history is silent as to a census of the whole (Roman)
world ever having been made at all. In the next place, though Quirinus
[Cyrenius] certainly did make such a register in Judea and Samaria,
it did not extend to Galilee; so that Joseph's household was not
affected by it. Besides it did not take place till ten years after the
death of Herod, when his son Archelaus was deposed by the Emperor,
and the districts of Judea and Samaria were thrown into a Roman
province. Under the reign of Herod nothing of the kind took place,
nor was there any occasion for it. Finally, at the time of the birth
of Jesus the governor of Syria was not Quirinus, but Quintus Sentius
Saturninus" (Bible for Learners, vol. iii, pp. 55, 56).


Was Jesus born in a house or in a stable?

Matthew: "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young
child with Mary his mother" (ii, 11).

Luke: "And she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in
swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger" (ii, 7).

Nothing can be clearer than that the author of Matthew supposes
that Jesus was born in a house. The author of Luke, on the other
hand, expressly declares that he was born in a stable. Luke's story
concerning the place of Mary's accouchement has been received, while
that of Matthew has been ignored.

Christ's birth in a manger and death on the cross are the lodestones
that have attracted the sympathies of the world, and kept him on the
throne of Christendom; for sentiment rather than reason dominates
mankind. Referring to Luke's story, the "Bible for Learners" says:
"Such is the well-known story of the birth of Jesus, one of the
sweetest and most deeply significant of all the legends of the
Bible. That it is a legend, without even the smallest historical
foundation, we must, of course, admit" (vol. iii, p. 54).

Justin Martyr states that Jesus was born in a cave, and this statement
Farrar is disposed to accept: "Justin Martyr, the Apologist, who,
from his birth at Shechem, was familiar with Palestine, and who lived
less than a century after the time of our Lord, places the scene of
the nativity in a cave. This is, indeed, the ancient and constant
tradition both of the Eastern and the Western churches, and it is
one of the few to which, though unrecorded in the Gospel history,
we may attach a reasonable probability" (Life of Christ, p. 3).


Why did Joseph and his wife take shelter in a stable?

Luke: "Because there was no room for them in the inn" (ii, 7).

Luke states that there was an inn at Bethlehem. There was no inn in
the place. Dr. Geikie says: "We must not moreover think of Joseph
seeking an inn at Bethlehem, for inns were unknown among the Jews"
(Christmas at Bethlehem).


What celestial phenomenon attended Christ's birth?

Matthew: A new star appeared and stood in the heavens above him
(ii, 1-9).

Luke: An angelic choir appeared and sang praises to God (ii, 13, 14).

Matthew's story of the star and the Magi, even to the language itself,
was borrowed from the writings of the Persians; Luke's story of the
celestial visitants was taken from Pagan mythology.


Who visited him after his birth?

Matthew: Wise men from the East (ii, 1-11).

Luke: Shepherds from a neighboring field (ii, 8-20).

Matthew makes no mention of the shepherds' visit; Luke is evidently
ignorant of the visit of the wise men.


From where did the wise men come?

Matthew: "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of
Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem,
saying: Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen
his star in the East, and are come to worship him" (ii, 1, 2).

By the "East" was meant Persia or India, and from one of these
countries the Magi are popularly supposed to have come.

Justin Martyr says: "When a star rose in heaven at the time of his
birth, as is recorded in the 'Memoirs' of his Apostles, the Magi
from Arabia, recognizing the sign by this, came and worshiped him"
(Dialogues, cvi).

If they came from Arabia, as this Christian father declares, they
came not from the East, but from the South.


What announcement did the angel make to the shepherds?

"For behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to
all people" (Luke ii, 10).

According to Luke the visit of the angels is to proclaim to the
world the birth of the new-born Messiah. Had the celestial phenomenon
reported by this Evangelist really occurred the news of it would have
quickly spread over Palestine. Yet the people of Jerusalem, only
a few miles away, learn nothing of it; for, according to Matthew,
the first intimation that Herod has of Christ's birth is from the
wise men who visit him at a much later period. The inhabitants of
Bethlehem themselves are ignorant of it. Could they have discovered to
Herod this wonderful babe, or the place where his parents abode while
there if they had departed, it would have saved their own children
from the wrath of this monarch. But they knew nothing of him.


What effect had the announcement of Christ's birth upon Herod and
the people of Jerusalem?

Matthew: "When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him" (ii, 3).

According to Matthew the announcement filled with alarm the entire
populace, and the most diligent efforts were made to discover and
destroy the babe. In strange contrast to this statement of Matthew is
Luke's narrative (ii, 22-27), which declares that Jesus, when forty
days old, was brought to Jerusalem and publicly exhibited in Herod's
own temple, without exciting any alarm or provoking any hostility.


What did his parents do with him?

Matthew: They fled with him into Egypt (ii, 13, 15).

Luke: They remained with him in Palestine (ii, 22-52).

"All attempts to reconcile these two contradictory statements, seem
only elaborate efforts of art."--Dr. Schleiermacher.


When unable to discover Jesus what did Herod do?

Matthew: "Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men,
was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that
were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old
and under" (ii, 16).

If this statement be true hundreds of innocent babes (the Greek
Calendar says fourteen thousand) must have perished, a crime the
enormity of which is almost without a parallel in the annals of
history. It is strange that Mark, Luke, and John make no mention of
this frightful tragedy. Luke's silence is especially significant. It
is passing strange that the Roman historians and Rabbinical writers of
that age, who wrote of Herod, should be silent regarding it. Josephus
devotes nearly forty chapters to the life of Herod. He narrates with
much particularity every important event in his life. He detested
this monarch and dwells upon his crimes and errors. Yet Josephus knew
nothing of this massacre.

In this silence of Josephus Dr. Farrar recognizes a difficulty too
damaging to ignore. He says: "Why then, it has been asked, does
Josephus make no mention of so infamous an atrocity? Perhaps because
it was performed so secretly that he did not even know of it. Perhaps
because, in those terrible days, the murder of a score of children,
in consequence of a transient suspicion, would have been regarded as
an item utterly insignificant in the list of Herod's murders. Perhaps
because it was passed over in silence by Nikolaus of Damascus, who,
writing in the true spirit of those Hellenizing courtiers, who wanted
to make a political Messiah out of a corrupt and blood-stained usurper,
magnified all his patron's achievements, and concealed or palliated
all his crimes. But the more probable reason is that Josephus, whom,
in spite of all the immense literary debt which we owe to him, we
can only regard as a renegade and a sycophant, did not choose to
make any allusion to facts which were even remotely connected with
the life of Christ" (Life of Christ, pp. 22, 23).

A more absurd reason than the first advanced by Farrar it is difficult
to conceive. The second, that it was a matter of too little consequence
to record, an explanation which other Christian apologists have
assigned, is as unreasonable as it is heartless. The silence of
Nikolaus, who wrote of Herod after his death, is also significant,
and the excuse offered by Farrar that he omitted it because he was
the friend of Herod, even if admitted, cannot apply to Josephus, who
abhorred the memory of this monarch. The contention that Josephus
purposely ignored the existence of Christ because he saw in him a
menace to his faith is childish. Jesus Christ, admitting his existence,
had made no history to record. His birth was attended by no prodigies,
and there was nothing in his advent to excite the fear or envy of
a king. Josephus mentions no Herodian massacre at Bethlehem because
none occurred. Had Herod slain a single child in the manner stated
the fact would be attested by a score of authors whose writings are
extant. Herod did not slay one babe. This story is false.

Herod's massacre of the infants of Bethlehem and the escape of Jesus
was probably suggested by Kansa's massacre of the infants of Matura
and the escape of Krishna. Pharaoh's slaughter of the first born in
Egypt may also have suggested it.


What was the real cause of Herod's massacre?

Matthew: The visit of the wise men and the disclosures made by them
(ii, 1-16).

These wise men, it is claimed, were under divine guidance. In view
of this terrible slaughter their visit must be regarded as a divine


In the massacre of the innocents what prophecy was fulfilled?

Matthew: "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the
prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation,
and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children,
and would not be comforted, because they are not" (ii, 17, 18).

This so-called prophecy is in Jeremiah xxxi, 15. It was written at the
time of the Babylonian captivity and refers to the captive Jews. In
the next verse Jeremiah says: "They shall come again from the land
of the enemy."


When Herod died what did the Lord command Joseph to do?

"Arise, and take the young child and his mother and go into the land
of Israel, for they are dead which sought the young child's life"
(Matthew ii, 20).

"And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return to Egypt: for
all the men are dead which sought thy life" (Exodus iv, 19).


The sojourn of Joseph and Mary with Jesus in Egypt was in fulfillment
of what prophecy?

Matthew: That "spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of
Egypt have I called my son" (ii, 15).

This may be found in Hosea xi, 1, and clearly refers to the exodus
of the Israelites from Egypt.


Jesus was subsequently taken to Nazareth. Why?

Matthew: "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet,
He shall be called a Nazarene" (ii, 23).

The Bible contains no such prophecy. Fleetwood admits that "the words
are not to be found" in "the prophetical writings," and Farrar says,
"It is well known that no such passage occurs in any extant prophecy"
(Life of Christ, p. 33). The only passage to which the above can
refer is Judges xiii, 5. Here the child referred to was not to be
called a Nazarene, but a Nazarite, and Matthew knew that "Nazarene"
and "Nazarite" were no more synonymous than "Jew" and "priest." A
Nazarene was a native of Nazareth; a Nazarite was one consecrated
to the service of the Lord. Matthew likewise knew that this Nazarite
referred to in Judges was Samson.


Had Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth previous to the birth of Jesus?

Luke: They had.

Matthew: They had not.

"And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth,
unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, ... to be taxed
with Mary his espoused wife.... And when they had performed all
things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee,
to their own city Nazareth" (Luke ii, 4, 5, 39).

"When he [Joseph] arose, he took the young child and his mother by
night, and departed into Egypt: and was there until the death of
Herod.... But when Herod was dead, ... he arose, and took the young
child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. And when
he heard that Archelaus did reign in the room of his father Herod,
he was afraid to go thither; notwithstanding, being warned of God in
a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: and he came and
dwelt in a city called Nazareth" (Matthew ii, 14-23).

According to Luke their home was in Nazareth of Galilee; according to
Matthew their home was in Bethlehem of Judea. Luke states that they
merely visited Bethlehem to be enrolled for taxation and fulfill
a certain Messianic prophecy. Matthew states that after the flight
into Egypt and the death of Herod they were returning to Judea when
fearing Archelaus they turned aside into Galilee to avoid this ruler
and fulfill another Messianic prophecy.


How did the parents of Jesus receive the predictions of Simeon
concerning him?

Luke: "And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were
spoken of him" (ii, 33).

Why should they marvel at the predictions of Simeon when long before
they had been apprised of the same thing by the angel Gabriel?


Does the name "Joseph" belong in the text quoted above?

It does not. The correct reading is: "And his father and his mother
were marvelling at the things which were spoken concerning him." It
declares Joseph to be the father of Jesus, and as this did not
harmonize with the story of the miraculous conception the makers of
our version substituted "Joseph" for "father."


What does Luke say regarding the infancy of John and Jesus?

"And the child [John] grew and waxed strong in spirit" (i, 80).

"And the child [Jesus] grew and waxed strong in spirit" (ii, 40).

Between the growth of the man John and the growth of the God Jesus
there is, according to the Evangelist, no difference, and the growth
of each is identical with that of the demi-god Samson.


What custom did Jesus's parents observe?

Luke: "His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the
passover" (ii, 41).

The preceding verse (40) shows that Luke means every year following
the birth of Jesus. In the succeeding verse (42) it is clearly implied
that Jesus always accompanied them. It is impossible to reconcile
this statement of Luke, who evidently knows nothing of the enmity of
Herod and Archelaus, with the statements of Matthew who declares them
to have been his mortal enemies.


On one of these occasions where did they find him?

Luke: "They found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the
doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions" (ii, 46).

Not until the time of Gamaliel, who lived as late as the middle of
the first century, was a child allowed to sit in the presence of
the rabbis. He was always required to stand, and those acquainted
with the Jewish history of that age know that the rabbis were the
most rigid sticklers for ecclesiastical formalities, the slightest
breach of which was never tolerated. The author of the third Gospel
is familiar with the later, but not with the earlier custom.


What was the medium of communication through which the will of Heaven
was revealed to the participants in this drama?

Matthew: A dream (i, 20; ii, 12, 13, 19, 22).

Luke: An angel (i, 11, 26; ii, 9).

In Matthew every message respecting the child Jesus is communicated by
means of a dream; in Luke every announcement is made through the agency
of an angel. Yet, after all, these Evangelists differ only in terms;
for Luke's angels are created out of the same stuff that Matthew's
dreams are made of, and the world is fast coming to a realization of
the fact that this whole theological structure, founded on sleepers'
dreams and angels' tales, is but "The baseless fabric of a vision."




When, and at what age, did Jesus begin his ministry?

Luke: "In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar" (iii,
1). "Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age" (23).

In the fifteenth year of Tiberius, who began his reign in August,
14 A. D., Jesus, according to Matthew, was at least thirty-three
years of age; according to Luke, about twenty-two.

Regarding this subject, Dr. Geikie writes as follows: "The age of Jesus
at his entrance on his public work has been variously estimated. Ewald
supposes that he was about thirty-four, fixing his birth three years
before the death of Herod. Wieseler, on the contrary, believes him
to have been in his thirty-first year, setting his birth a few months
before Herod's death. Bunsen, Anger, Winer, Schurer, and Renan agree
with this. Lichtenstein makes him thirty-two. Hausrath and Keim, on
the other hand, think that he began his ministry in the year A. D. 34,
but they do not give any supposed date for his birth, though if that
of Ewald be taken as a medium he must have been forty years old,
while, if Wieseler's date be preferred, he would only have been
thirty-seven.... Amidst such difference, exactness is impossible"
(Life of Christ, vol. i, pp. 455, 456).


John the Baptist is said to have been the person sent to announce
the mission of Christ. Who was John the Baptist?

Jesus: "This is Elias, which was for to come" (Matthew xi, 14).

John: "And they asked him [John], what then? Art thou Elias? And he
saith, I am not" (i, 21).

A question of veracity between Jesus and John.


The advent of John was in fulfillment of what prophecy?

Mark: "As it is written in the prophets, Behold I send my messenger
before thy face, which shall prepare the way before thee" (i, 2).

This passage is quoted from Malachi (iii, 1): God threatens to
destroy the world, and says (iv, 5), "Behold I will send you Elijah
the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the
Lord." John expressly declared that he was not Elijah (Elias), and
the destruction of the world did not follow his appearance.


What was predicted concerning John?

"He shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither
wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost,
even from his mother's womb" (Luke i, 15).

For the above Luke was indebted to the biographer of Samson. "Both
[Samson and John] were to be consecrated to God from the womb, and
the same diet was prescribed for both."--Strauss.


When the conception of John was announced what punishment was inflicted
upon Zacharias for his doubt?

Luke: "And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that
stand in the presence of God; ... And behold, thou shalt be dumb,
and not able to speak, until the day that these things be performed"
(i, 19, 20).

This was evidently suggested by a passage in Daniel: "And when he
[Gabriel] had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the
ground, and I became dumb" (x, 15).


Where was John baptizing when he announced his mission to the Jews?

John (New Ver.): "In Bethany beyond Jordan" (i, 28).

Bethany was a suburb of Jerusalem and was not beyond Jordan.

The Authorized Version reads "Bethabara," conceded to be an
interpolation, regarding which Geikie says: "The most ancient MSS. read
Bethany instead of Bethabara, but no site of that name is now known
on the Jordan. Bethabara was introduced into the text by Origen"
(Life of Christ, vol. i, p. 566).


How old was Jesus when John began his ministry?

Luke: "About thirty years of age" (iii, 2, 3, 23).

Matthew: "In those days [when Jesus' parents brought him out of Egypt
and settled in Nazareth, he being then about two years of age] came
John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea" (ii, 19-23;
iii, 1).

Matthew, it is claimed, was written only ten or twenty years after
Jesus' baptism. If so, the phrase "in those days" clearly implies
that he was but a child when John began his ministry. If the phrase
was intended to comprehend a period of thirty years this gospel,
it must be admitted, was written at least one hundred years after
the event described.


Were Jesus and John related?

Luke: They were, their mothers being cousins (i, 36).

Mary had visited the mother of John, and each was acquainted with
the character of the other's child. John before his birth is declared
to have recognized and acknowledged the divinity of the unborn Jesus
(Luke i, 41-44). Yet, according to the Fourth Gospel, at the beginning
of Jesus' ministry John said, "I know him not" (i, 33).


When Jesus desired John to baptize him, what did the latter do?

Matthew: "John forbade him saying, I have need to be baptized of thee"
(iii, 14).

According to Matthew, John was not only acquainted with Jesus, but
cognizant of his divine mission, which cannot be harmonized with his
statement in the Fourth Gospel.

Dr. Geikie admits that John and Jesus were strangers to each other. He
says: "Though cousins, the Baptist and the Son of Mary had never seen
each other" (Life of Christ, vol. i, p. 389).

This is not only a rejection of Matthew's statement, but a repudiation
of the first chapter of Luke, one of the most important chapters of the
New Testament; for it is utterly impossible for reason to harmonize
these alleged revelations concerning the miraculous conceptions
and divine missions of John and Jesus to their parents and the fact
that John remained for thirty years in absolute ignorance of Jesus'


What did John say regarding Jesus?

"He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not
worthy to bear" (Matthew iii, 11).

"There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose
shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose" (Mark i, 7).


What other testimony did he bear concerning Jesus?

"And of his fulness have all we received" (John i, 16).

This was uttered prior to the beginning of Jesus' ministry, and before
he had been baptized with the Holy Ghost. At this time "his fulness"
had not been received, and the words are an anachronism.


At Jesus' baptism there came a voice from heaven. To whom were its
words addressed?

Matthew: To those who stood by. "This is my beloved Son, in whom I
am well pleased" (iii, 17).

Luke: To Jesus himself. "Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well
pleased" (iii, 22).


John heard this voice from heaven; did he believe it?

Matthew: He evidently did not; for he afterwards sent two of his
disciples to ascertain if Jesus were the Christ. "Now when John had
heard in prison the words of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
and said unto him, Art thou he that should come or do we look for
another?" (xi, 2, 3).


Do all the Evangelists record Jesus' baptism by John?

They do not. According to the Synoptics, John's baptism of Jesus was
the initial act in his ministry, and one of the most important events
in his career. But of this baptism the author of the Fourth Gospel
knows nothing. In regard to this omission the author of "Supernatural
Religion" says: "According to the Synoptics, Jesus is baptized by John,
and as he goes out of the water the Holy Ghost descends upon him like
a dove. The Fourth Gospel knows nothing of the baptism, and makes
John the Baptist narrate vaguely that he saw the Holy Ghost descend
like a dove and rest upon Jesus, as a sign previously indicated to
him by God by which to recognize the Lamb of God" (p. 681).


With what did John say Jesus would baptize?

Mark and John: "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost" (Mark i,
8; John i, 33).

Matthew and Luke: "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with
fire" (Matt. iii, 11; Luke iii, 16).


How many were baptized by John?

Matthew and Mark: "Jerusalem and all Judea" (Matt. iii, 5; Mark i, 5).

John, if the account in Josephus is to be credited, made some converts;
but all the inhabitants of Judea were not baptized by him.

Is John the Baptist a historical character? Aside from the anonymous
and apocryphal writings of the church, which appeared in the second
century, the only evidence of his existence is a passage in Josephus
(Antiquities, B. xviii, ch. v, sec. 2). The language of this passage,
while not avowedly Christian like the passage pertaining to Christ,
is yet of such a character as to excite suspicion regarding its
genuineness. Its position strongly suggests an interpolation. Josephus
gives an account of the troubles that arose between Herod Antipas,
tetrarch of Galilee, and Aretas, king of Arabia Petrea. Herod
had married the daughter of Aretas; but becoming infatuated with
Herodias, his sister-in-law, he resolved to put her away and marry
Herodias. Discovering his intentions his wife obtained permission to
visit her father, who when he had been informed of Herod's perfidy,
made war upon him and defeated him in battle. Herod appealed to the
Emperor Tiberius, who was his friend, and who ordered Vitellius,
governor of Syria, to invade the dominions of Aretas and capture
or slay him. I quote the concluding portion of section 1 and the
opening sentence of section 3 of the chapter containing this history,
separating the two with an ellipsis:

"So Herod wrote about these affairs to Tiberius, who, being very angry
at the attempt made by Aretas, wrote to Vitellius to make war upon him,
and either to take him alive, and bring him in bonds, or to kill him,
and send him his head. This was the charge that Tiberius gave to the
president of Syria.... So Vitellius prepared to make war with Aretas,
having with him two legions of armed men."

It will be readily observed that the two sections are closely
connected, the one naturally and logically following the other. Yet
between these two closely connected sections, the section containing
the account of John the Baptist is inserted.


Who held the office of high priest at the time Jesus began his

Luke: "Annas and Caiaphas" (iii, 2).

If the writer were to declare that Washington and Monroe were
presidents of the United States at the same time it would be no more
erroneous than the declaration of Luke that Annas and Caiaphas were
high priests at the same time. Two priests never held this office
jointly. Caiaphas was high priest at this time, and three others had
held the office previous to him and subsequent to Annas. Referring
to Pontius Pilate's predecessor, Gratus, who was procurator of Judea
from 15 to 26 A. D., Josephus says:

"This man deprived Ananus [Annas] of the high priesthood, and appointed
Ishmael, the son of Phabi, to be high priest. He also deprived him in
a little time, and ordained Eleazer, the son of Ananus, who had been
high priest before, to be high priest; which office, when he had held
for a year, Gratus deprived him of it, and gave the high priesthood to
Simon, the son of Camithus, and, when he had possessed the dignity
no longer than a year, Joseph Caiaphas was made his successor"
(Antiquities B. xviii, ch. ii, sec. 2).


Who was tetrarch of Abilene at this time?

Luke: Lysanias (iii, 1).

Lysanias was put to death at the instigation of Cleopatra sixty years
before Jesus began his ministry. "She [Cleopatra] hurried Antony on
perpetually to deprive others of their dominions, and give them to
her; and as she went over Syria with him, she contrived to get it
into her possession; so he slew Lysanias" (Josephus, Antiq., B. xv,
ch. iv, sec. 1).

At the time mentioned by Luke the territory of Abila, or Abilene,
was no longer a tetrarchy.


Where was Jesus three days after he began his ministry?

Synoptics: In the wilderness fasting (Matt. iv, 1; Mark i, 9-13;
Luke iv, 1).

John: At a wedding in Cana, feasting (i, ii).


Was he led, or driven by the spirit into the wilderness?

Matthew and Luke: "Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the
wilderness" (Matt. iv, 1; Luke iv, 1).

Mark: "And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness"
(i, 12).


When did the temptation take place?

Mark: During the forty days' fast. "And he was there in the wilderness
forty days tempted of Satan" (i, 13).

Matthew: After the fast. "And when he had fasted forty days and forty
nights ... the tempter came to him" (iv, 2, 3).


During the temptation the devil is said to have set him on the
temple. On what part of the temple did he set him?

Matthew and Luke: "On a pinnacle" (Matt. iv, 5; Luke iv, 9).

The indefinite article "a" clearly implies that the temple had several
pinnacles, whereas it had but one. After eighteen hundred years the
Holy Ghost discovered his mistake and moved the Oxford revisers to
substitute "the" for "a."


What did the devil next do?

Matthew: "The devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain,
and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world" (iv, 8). It must have
been "an exceedingly high mountain" to have enabled him to see the
kingdoms of the opposite hemisphere.


What did the devil propose?

"All these things will I give thee [Jesus], if thou wilt fall down
and worship me" (Matthew iv, 9).

If Jesus was the Christ, and Christ was God, as claimed, who owned
"these things," he or the devil? Think of a tramp offering you a
quit-claim deed to your home for a meal.


Where did the devil take him first, to the temple, or to the mountain?

Matthew: To the temple (iv, 5-8).

Luke: To the mountain (iv, 5-9).

Concerning this discrepancy, Farrar says: "The order of the temptation
is given differently by St. Matthew and St. Luke, St. Matthew placing
second the scene on the pinnacle of the temple, and St. Luke the
vision of the kingdoms of the world. Both orders cannot be right"
(Life of Christ, p. 70).

Some of the ablest Christian scholars have refused to accept
the Temptation as historical. Farrar says: "From Origen down to
Schleiermacher some have regarded it as a vision or allegory--the
symbolic description of a purely inward struggle; and even so literal
a commentator as Calvin has embraced this view" (Ibid, p. 65).


Had John been cast into prison when Jesus began his ministry?

Matthew: He had.

John: He had not.

Matthew says that immediately after his temptation, and before he
began his ministry, "Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison"
(iv, 12). Then "he departed into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, he
came and dwelt in Capernaum" (12, 13). "From that time Jesus began
to preach" (17). This was the beginning of his ministry.

According to the Fourth Gospel, Jesus had called his disciples;
had traveled over Galilee and Judea; had baptized (iii, 22); had
performed miracles (ii, 1-11, 23; iii, 2); had held controversies
with the Jews (ii, 18-21; iii, 1-21); had attended the Passover (ii,
13-23); had purged the temple (ii, 13-16); and after all these things
"John was not yet cast into prison" (iii, 24).


Name the Twelve Apostles.

            Matthew.         Mark.            Luke.

            Simon Peter      Simon Peter      Simon Peter
            Andrew           Andrew           Andrew
            James            James            James
            John             John             John
            Philip           Philip           Philip
            Bartholomew      Bartholomew      Bartholomew
            Thomas           Thomas           Thomas
            Matthew          Matthew          Matthew
            James Less       James Less       James Less
            LEBBEUS          THADDEUS         JUDAS
            Simon            Simon            Simon
            Judas Iscariot   Judas Iscariot   Judas Iscariot

John does not name the Twelve Apostles and this important omission
is admitted to be a grave defect in the Fourth Gospel.


Relate the circumstances attending the calling of Peter.

Matthew: "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren,
Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the
sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I
will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets,
and followed him" (iv, 18-20).

Luke: "He [Jesus] stood by the lake of Gennesaret, and saw two ships
standing by the lake; but the fishermen were gone out of them and were
washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was
Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the
land. And he sat down and taught the people out of the ship. Now when
he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep,
and let down your nets for a draught" (v, 1-4).

"And when they had this done they inclosed a great multitude of fishes"

"And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt
catch men. And when they [Peter, James and John] had brought their
ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him" (10, 11).

John: "Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of
God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus"
(i, 35-37).

"They came and saw where he [Jesus] dwelt, and abode with him that
day.... One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was
Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon,
and saith unto him, We have found the Messias.... And he brought him
to Jesus" (40-42).

Here are three accounts of the calling of Peter, each entirely at
variance with the others.


In what country were they when Peter was called?

Synoptics: In Galilee.

John (Old Ver.): In Perea (i, 28-42).

Bethabara and the territory beyond Jordan were in Perea.

John (New Ver.): In Judea.

Bethany and all the country surrounding it were in Judea.


Who did Jesus declare Peter to be?

"Thou art Simon the son of Jona" (John i, 42).

"Simon, son of Jonas" (John xxi, 15).

"Thou art Simon the son of John" (John, New Ver., i, 42; xxi, 15).

There is no relation whatever between "Jona," or "Jonas," and
"John." Jona (Jonah), or Jonas, means a dove; John means the grace
of God.


Jesus gave Simon (Peter) the name of Cephas. What meaning did he
attach to the word Cephas?

"Thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone"
(John i, 42).

"Thou shalt be called Cephas (which is by interpretation, Peter)"
(Ibid, New Ver.).

Here Jesus is represented as interpreting the meaning of an Aramaic
word, with which his hearers were familiar, by the use of a Greek
word of whose meaning they were ignorant, the incongruity of which
must be apparent to every reader.


When were James and John called?

Matthew: After Peter was called.

After giving an account of the calling of Peter and Andrew, Matthew
says: "And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the
son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their
father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately
left the ship and their father, and followed him" (iv, 21, 22).

Luke: At the time that Peter was called.

Luke states that James and John were partners of Peter, and with him
on the lake, in another boat, when the miraculous draught of fishes
was made, that both boats were filled with the fish, "And when they
[Peter, James and John] had brought their ships to land, they forsook
all, and followed him" (v, 1-11).


Where was Jesus when he called Peter, James and John?

Matthew: "Walking by the sea of Galilee" (iv, 18-21).

Luke: On the lake in a ship (v, 1-11).

In regard to Matthew's and Luke's accounts of the calling of Peter,
James and John, Strauss says: "Neither will bear the other to precede,
or to follow it--in short, they exclude each other" (Leben Jesu,
p. 337).


Was Andrew called when Peter was called?

Matthew and Mark: He was (Matt. iv, 18-20; Mark i, 16-18).

According to Luke, Andrew was not called when Peter was called,
but after he was called. According to John (i, 35-42) Andrew was the
first to follow Jesus.


Who was called from the receipt of custom?

Matthew: "A man named Matthew" (ix, 9).

Luke: "A publican named Levi" (v, 27).

Orthodox scholars claim that Matthew and Levi are the same
person. Dr. Hooykaas does not believe that they are the same, and
does not believe that any one of the Apostles was called from the
receipt of custom. He says: "It is in reality very unlikely that
Levi and Matthew are the same man, or that one of the Twelve was a
tax-gatherer" (Bible for Learners, vol. iii, p. 201).


Who was the mother of James the Less and Joses?

In the earlier parts of their narratives, Matthew (xiii, 55) and
Mark (vi, 3) declare them to be sons of the Virgin Mary and brothers
of Jesus. Paul (Gal. i, 19) affirms that James was the brother of
Jesus. Later Matthew (xxvii, 56) and Mark (xv, 40) state that James
and Joses were sons of Mary, the sister of the Virgin.


Who was their father?

If they were sons of the Virgin Mary, Joseph must have been their
father. But Matthew (x, 3) and Mark (iii, 18) state that James the
Less was "the son of Alpheus." According to John (compare John xix,
25 with Matthew xxvii, 56) Cleophas was their father.

Referring to this and the preceding discrepancy, Smith's "Bible
Dictionary" says: "This is one of the most difficult questions in
the Gospel history."


Were Matthew and James the Less brothers?

It is not admitted that they were. Yet it is claimed that Matthew
and Levi were the same; Mark (ii, 14) declares that Levi was "the
son of Alpheus"; while both Matthew and Mark (Matt. x, 3; Mark iii,
18) declare that James was "the son of Alpheus."


To what city did John belong, and where was it located?

John: "Bethsaida of Galilee" (xii, 21).

John states that Peter was a resident of Bethsaida (i, 44), and as John
and Peter were partners (Luke v, 10), they must have belonged to the
same city. But Bethsaida was not in Galilee, but in Gaulonitis. Hence
if John wrote the Gospel ascribed to him, he did not know the location
of his own city.

It is remarkable with what ease theologians harmonize the most
discordant statements. In this case the only thing required was,
in drawing the map of Palestine, to make two dots instead of one and
write the word Bethsaida twice.


Who was the tenth apostle?

Mark: Thaddeus (iii, 18).

Matthew: "Lebbeus, whose surname was Thaddeus" (x, 3).

In the earlier manuscripts of Matthew, the words, "whose surname was
Thaddeus," are not to be found. Subsequent transcribers added them
to reconcile his Gospel with Mark.


How many of the apostles bore the name of Judas?

Matthew and Mark: But one (Matt. x, 1-4; Mark iii, 14-19).

Luke: Two (vi, 16).


One of these was Judas Iscariot. Who was the other?

Luke (Old Ver.): "The brother of James" (vi, 16).

Luke (New Ver.): "The son of James."


Name the chief apostles.

Synoptics: Peter, James and John.

John: Peter and John.

In the Synoptics, Peter, James and John constitute an inner circle
or group who are with their master on every important occasion. In
John this group is limited to Peter and John.


Who was Jesus' favorite apostle?

Synoptics: Peter.

John: John.

From the Synoptics the conclusion is inevitable that if there was one
disciple whom Jesus esteemed higher than the others it was Peter whom
he is declared to have chosen for the head of his church. John, on
the other hand, assuming that he wrote the Fourth Gospel, as claimed,
takes frequent occasion to impress us with the idea that he was the
bright particular star in the Apostolic galaxy. Four times (xiii, 23;
xix, 26; xx, 2; xxi, 20) he declares himself to be "the disciple whom
Jesus loved."

If John wrote the Fourth Gospel this self-glorification proves him to
have been a despicable egotist; if he did not write it the book is a
forgery. The first assumption, if correct, impairs its credibility;
the latter destroys its authenticity.


Is the Apostle James mentioned in John?

He is not. This omission is the more remarkable when we remember that
James was not only one of the chief apostles, but the brother of John.

Respecting this omission, Strauss says: "Is it at all probable that
the real John would so unbecomingly neglect the well-founded claims
of his brother James to special notice? and is not such an omission
rather indicative of a late Hellenistic author, who scarcely had
heard the name of the brother so early martyred?" (Leben Jesu, p. 353.)


What other disciples besides the Twelve did Jesus send out?

Luke: "After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also,
and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place,
whither he himself would come" (x, 1).

In not one of the other twenty-six books of the New Testament is this
important feature of Christ's ministry mentioned. The seventy elders
of Moses doubtless suggested it. "And the Lord came down in a cloud,
and spoke unto him [Moses], and took of the spirit that was upon him,
and gave it unto the seventy elders" (Num. xi, 25).

Seventy was a sacred number with the Jews and is of frequent occurrence
in their writings. "And all the souls that came out of the loins of
Jacob were seventy souls" (Ex. i, 5). Abimelech had "seventy brethren"
(Jud. ix, 56). "Ahab had seventy sons" (2 K. x. 1). Isaiah prophesied
that "Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years" (xxiii, 15). Jeremiah
prophesied that the Jews were to "serve the king of Babylon seventy
years" (xxv, 11). In Ezekiel's vision there stood before the idols
of Israel "seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel" (viii,
11). In Daniel's vision "seventy weeks are determined upon thy people
and upon the holy city [Jerusalem]" (ix, 24).


What charge did Jesus make to his disciples?

"Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the
Samaritans enter ye not" (Matt. x, 5).

"Then cometh he [with his disciples] to a city of Samaria" (John iv,
5). "And he abode there two days" (40).


Did Jesus have a habitation of his own?

Matthew: "And leaving Nazareth he came and dwelt in Capernaum"
(iv, 13).

Mark: "Jesus sat at meat in his [Jesus'] house" (ii, 15).

Luke: "And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the
air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head"
(ix, 58).


His residence in Capernaum was in fulfillment of what prophecy?

Matthew: "The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthali, by way of
the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat
in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and
shadow of death is light sprung up" (iv, 15, 16).

The "prophecy" which Matthew pretends to quote is in Isaiah (ix, 1,
2), and reads as follows: "Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such
as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the
land of Zebulon, and the land of Naphtali, and afterwards did more
grievously afflict her by way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee
of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great
light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them
hath the light shined."

Matthew both misquotes and misapplies this passage. He eliminates
the facts and alters the language to make a Messianic prophecy. The
words were not intended as a prophecy. The events mentioned by Isaiah
had occurred when he wrote. The "great light," which they had already
seen, referred to his own work in destroying witchcraft and idolatry.


Were Zebulon and Nephthali situated "beyond Jordan," as stated?

They were not. "Beyond Jordan" means east of the Jordan, which formed
the eastern boundary of Palestine. Zebulon and Nephthali were both
situated west of the Jordan.


Were Peter, Andrew, James and John with Jesus when he taught in the
synagogue at Capernaum?

Mark: They were (i, 16-21).

Luke: They were not; for they had not yet been called (iv, 31;
v, 1-11).


Did Jesus perform many miracles in Galilee at the beginning of his

Matthew: "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their
synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all
manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And
his fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought unto him all
sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and
those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic,
and those that had the palsy; and he healed them" (iv, 23, 24).

Mark: "He healed many that were sick with divers diseases, and cast
out many devils" (i, 34).

Luke: "All they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them
unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed
them. And devils also came out of many" (iv, 40, 41).

John declares that his curing the nobleman's son (iv, 46-54), which
was not until the second mission in Galilee, was the second miracle he
performed there, his miracle at Cana being the only one he performed
during the first period of his ministry. According to this Evangelist
(iv, 45) all the notoriety he had at this time in Galilee, had been
achieved, not by any miracles he had performed in that country,
but through the reports of some Galileans who had seen his works at
Jerusalem in Judea.

In regard to these conflicting statements of the Evangelists,
Farrar says: "At this point we are again met by difficulties in the
chronology, which are not only serious, but to the certain solution
of which there appears to be no clew" (Life of Christ, p. 124).


Did he perform any miracles before he called his disciples?

Luke: He did (iv, 40, 41; v, 1-11).

John: "And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage
[at Cana, where he turned the water into wine].... This beginning of
miracles did Jesus in Cana" (ii, 1-11)

Luke declares that he had performed many miracles before the first
disciples were called; John declares that his disciples had been
called and were with him when he performed his first miracle.


When was the miraculous draught of fishes made?

Luke: At the beginning of his ministry (v, 6).

John: Not until after his death and resurrection (xxi, 11).


What accident was caused by the enormous draught of fishes?

Luke: "Their net brake" (v, 6).

John: "For all there were so many, yet was not the net broken"
(xxi, 11).

In Luke and John we have two different versions of a Pythagorian
legend. After comparing and noting the agreements and variations of
the three versions of the legend, Strauss says:

"If there be a mind that, not perceiving in the narratives we have
compared the finger-marks of tradition, and hence the legendary
character of these evangelical anecdotes, still leans to the historical
interpretation, whether natural or supernatural; that mind must be
alike ignorant of the true character both of legend and of history,
of the natural and the supernatural" (Leben Jesu, p. 339).


How long did the Jews say it took to build the temple?

"Forty and six years was this temple in building" (John ii, 20).

One year and six months was this temple in building.

Josephus (B. xv, ch. xi) gives a full account of the building of the
temple. Of its commencement, he says: "And now Herod, in the eighteenth
year of his reign, and after the acts already mentioned, undertook
a very great work--that is, to build of himself the temple of God"
(sec. 1). Concerning its completion, he says: "But the temple itself
was built by the priests in a year and six months--upon which all the
people were full of joy; and presently they returned thanks, in the
first place, to God; and in the next place, for the alacrity the king
had shown. They feasted and celebrated this rebuilding of the temple"
(sec. 6).

The building of the temple was begun in 19 B. C.; it was finished
and dedicated in 17 B. C.


Where did Jesus deliver his so-called Sermon on the Mount?

Matthew: "He went up into a mountain" (v, 1).

Luke: "He came down with them, and stood in the plain" (vi, 17).

Both Matthew and Luke represent him as being on a mountain; but while
Matthew has him go up into the mountain to deliver his sermon, Luke
has him come down out of the mountain to deliver it.

In regard to this discrepancy, the Dutch theologian, Dr. Hooykaas,
says: "The Evangelist [Matthew] had a special motive for fixing upon
a mountain for this purpose. He intended to represent Jesus laying
down the fundamental laws of the kingdom of heaven as the counterpart
of Moses who promulgated the constitution of the Old Covenant from
Mount Sinai. Luke, on the other hand, not wishing Jesus to be regarded
as a second Moses, or another lawgiver, just as deliberately makes
the Master deliver this discourse on a plain" (Bible for Learners,
Vol. III, p. 141, 142).


Did he deliver his sermon sitting or standing?

Matthew: "He was set" (v, 1).

Luke: He "stood" (vi, 17).


Repeat the Beatitudes which are common to both Evangelists.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"
(Matthew v, 3).

"Blessed be ye poor; for yours is the kingdom of God" (Luke vi, 20).

"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted" (Matthew).

"Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh" (Luke).

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled" (Matthew).

"Blessed are ye which hunger now: for ye shall be filled" (Luke).

"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you,
and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake"

"Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate
you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your
name as evil for the Son of man's sake" (Luke).

"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven:
for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you" (Matthew).

"Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward
is great in heaven: for in like manner did their fathers unto the
prophets" (Luke).

The agreements between the two versions of this sermon, of which
the foregoing are a part, are ample to prove them to be reports of
the same discourse; while the variations are certainly sufficient to
disprove the infallibility of the evangelistic reporters.

Whether it be historical or fabricated--whether Jesus delivered the
sermon or not--Matthew and Luke have given merely different versions
of the same composition. The exordiums are the same; the perorations
are the same--both end with the illustration of the men, one of
whom built his house on a frail, the other on a firm foundation;
the doctrines enunciated are substantially the same; while the words
in which they are clothed proclaim a common origin. Matthew's version
is longer than Luke's; either Matthew has added to, or Luke has taken
from the original report of the sermon.


Repeat the Golden Rule.

"All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even
so to them: for this is the law and the prophets" (Matthew vii, 12;
Luke vi, 31).

Seventy years before Christ, Hillel, the Jewish rabbi, said:

"Do not to others what you would not have them do to you. This is
the substance of the law."

Rabbi Hirsch says: "Before Jesus, the Golden Rule was one of the
household sayings of Israel."


Repeat the Lord's Prayer.

According to Matthew.

Old Version.                           New Version.

"Our Father which art in heaven,       "Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom      Hallowed be thy name. Thy
come. Thy will be done in earth, as    kingdom come. Thy will be done,
it is in heaven. Give us this day      as in heaven, so on earth. Give
our daily bread. And forgive us our    us this day our daily bread. And
debts as we forgive our debtors. And   forgive us our debts, as we also
lead us not into temptation, but       have forgiven our debtors. And
deliver us from evil: For thine is     bring us not into temptation,
the kingdom, and the power, and the    but deliver us from the evil
glory, for ever. Amen" (vi, 9-13).     one."

According to Luke.

Old Version.                            New Version.

"Our Father which art in heaven,        "Father, Hallowed be thy name.
Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom       Thy kingdom come. Give us day
come. Thy will be done, as in heaven,   by day our daily bread. And
so in earth. Give us day by day our     forgive us our sins; for we
daily bread. And forgive us our sins;   ourselves also forgive every
for we also forgive every one that is   one that is indebted to us. And
indebted to us. And lead us not into    bring us not into temptation."
temptation: but deliver us from evil"
(xi, 2-4).

The commonly accepted version of the Lord's Prayer is the Authorized
Version of Matthew. This version is admitted to be grossly
inaccurate. It contains sixty-six words. The Revised Version of
Matthew contains but fifty-five. Twenty-four words either do not
belong to the prayer, or have been misplaced; while words which do
belong to it have been omitted. If the custodians of the Christian
Scriptures have permitted the prayer of their Lord to be corrupted
to this extent, what reliance can be placed upon the genuineness of
the remainder of these writings?

The Lord's Prayer, like so many more of the precepts and discourses
ascribed to Jesus, is borrowed. Dr. Hardwicke, of England, says: "The
so-called 'Lord's Prayer' was learned by the Messiah as the 'Kadish'
from the Talmud." The Kadish, as translated by a Christian scholar,
Rev. John Gregorie, is as follows:

"Our Father which art in heaven, be gracious to us, O Lord, our God;
hallowed be thy name, and let the remembrance of thee be glorified
in heaven above and in the earth here below. Let thy kingdom reign
over us now and forever. The holy men of old said, Remit and forgive
unto all men whatsoever they have done against me. And lead us not
into temptation, but deliver us from the evil thing. For thine is
the kingdom, and thou shalt reign in glory for ever and for evermore."

The eminent Swiss theologian, Dr. Wetstein, says: "It is a curious
fact that the Lord's Prayer may be constructed almost verbatim out
of the Talmud."

The Sermon on the Mount is derived largely from the teachings of
the Essenes, a Jewish sect to which Jesus is believed by many to
have belonged.


When and where was the Lord's Prayer delivered?

Matthew: During his Sermon on the Mount, before the multitude.

Luke: At a later period, before the disciples alone (xi, 1).


Was the Sermon on the Mount delivered before Matthew (Levi in Mark
and Luke) was called from the receipt of custom?

Matthew: It was (v, 7; ix, 9).

Luke: It was not (v, 27; vi, 20).


When did Jesus cleanse the leper?

Matthew: After the Sermon on the Mount (v, 1; viii, 1-4).

Luke: Before the Sermon on the Mount (v, 12-14; vi, 20-49).


When did he cure Peter's mother-in-law?

Matthew: After he cleansed the leper (viii, 2, 3; 14, 15).

Mark and Luke: Before he cleansed the leper (Mark i, 29-31; 40-42;
Luke iv, 38, 39; v, 12, 13).


Was this before or after Peter was called to the ministry?

Luke: Before (iv, 38, 39; v, 10).

Matthew and Mark: After (Matt. iv, 18, 19; viii, 14, 15; Mark i, 16,
17; 30, 31).


Were James and John with Jesus when he performed this cure?

Mark: They were (i, 29).

Luke: They were not. They had not yet been called (iv. 38, 39; v,
10, 11).


When was the centurion's servant healed?

Matthew: Between the cleansing of the leper and the curing of Peter's
mother-in-law (viii, 2-14).

Luke: Not until after both these cures had been performed (iv, 38,
39; v, 12, 13; vii, 1-10).


Who came for Jesus?

Matthew: The centurion came himself (viii, 5).

Luke: The centurion did not come himself, but sent the Jewish elders
for him (vii, 2-4).


Where was he when he performed this miracle?

Matthew and Luke: In Capernaum (Matt. viii, 5; Luke vii, 1).

John: In Cana (iv, 46).

According to Matthew and Luke, Jesus was in Capernaum while the
patient lived elsewhere; according to John, Jesus was in Cana while
the patient lived in Capernaum. John says he was a nobleman's son,
but all critics (as well as the Archbishop of York, in his "Harmony
of the Gospels") agree that he refers to the same miracle.


When did he still the tempest?

Matthew: Before Matthew was called from the receipt of custom (viii,
23-27; ix, 9).

Mark: After Matthew (Levi) was called (ii, 14; iv, 35-41).


When did he cast out the devils that entered into the herd of swine?

Matthew: Before Matthew was called to the ministry (viii, 28, 33;
ix, 9).

Mark and Luke: Not until after he was called (Mark ii, 14; v, 1-13;
Luke v, 27; viii, 26-33).


How many were possessed with devils?

Matthew: "There met him two possessed with devils coming out of the
tombs" (viii, 28).

Mark and Luke: "There met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean
spirit" (Mark v, 2; Luke viii, 27).


When asked his name what did the demoniac answer?

"My name is Legion" (Mark v, 9).

Concerning this the Rev. Dr. Giles says: "The Four Gospels are
written in Greek, and the word 'legion' is Latin; but in Galilee
and Perea the people spoke neither Latin nor Greek, but Hebrew, or
a dialect of it. The word 'legion' would be perfectly unintelligible
to the disciples of Christ, and to almost everybody in the country"
(Christian Records, p. 197).


How many swine were there?

Mark: "They were about two thousand" (v, 13).

If each hog received a devil there must have been two thousand
devils. Legion must have been a very large man, or they were very
little devils.


Where did this occur?

Matthew: In "the country of the Gergesenes" (viii, 28).

Mark and Luke: In "the country of the Gadarenes" (Mark v, 1; Luke
viii, 26).

It is generally conceded by orthodox critics that it occurred neither
in the country of the Gergesenes nor in the country of the Gadarenes,
but in the country of the Gerasenes. It could not have occurred in
the country of the Gadarenes because it is said to have occurred on
the sea shore and Gadara was situated several miles from the sea.

Voltaire says the story is disproved by the fact that the event is
alleged to have taken place in a country where no swine were kept.


Do the Evangelists all agree in regard to the expulsion of demons
by Jesus?

The Synoptics abound with these miracles: Matthew viii, 28-34; ix,
32-34; xv, 22-28; xvii, 14-21; Mark i, 21-28; v, 1-20; vii, 24-30;
ix, 20-29; Luke iv, 31-37; viii, 26-39; ix, 37-42. John never
mentions them.


What great miracle did Jesus perform at Nain?

Luke: "Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there
was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was
a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord
saw her he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he
came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he
said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up,
and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother" (vii, 12-15).

The other Evangelists were certainly ignorant of this miracle; for if
they had known of it they could not have omitted it, as it is the most
important miracle related by a Synoptist, and, with one exception,
the most important of all Christ's miracles.

A miracle almost identical with this is related of
Apollonius. Referring to the two, Baur says: "As according to Luke,
it was a young man, the only son of a widow, who was being carried
out of the city; so, in Philostratus, it is a young maiden already
betrothed, whose bier Apollonius meets. The command to set down the
bier, the mere touch, and a few words, are sufficient here, as there,
to bring the dead to life" (Apollonius of Tyana and Christ, p. 145).


In their accounts of his curing the paralytic what parenthetical
clause is to be found in each of the Synoptics?

"(Then saith he to the sick of the palsy)" (Matthew ix, 6; Mark ii,
10; Luke v, 24).

As the clause is superfluous, this agreement, instead of furnishing
proof of divine inspiration, tends to prove what has already been
affirmed, that these books are not original, but copied, for the most
part, from older documents.


What effect had the teachings of Jesus upon the people?

Matthew: "They were astonished at his doctrine" (xxii, 33).

Mark: "They were astonished at his doctrine" (i, 22).

Luke: "They were astonished at his doctrine" (iv, 32).


What did he say to the people in regard to letting their light shine?

"No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place,
neither under a bushel, but on a candle stick" (Luke, Old Ver.,
xi, 33).

"No man, when he hath lighted a lamp, putteth it in a cellar, neither
under the bushel, but on the stand" (New Ver.).


What did he say concerning the way that leads to life?

"Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life"
(Matthew, Old Ver., vii, 14).

"Narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life"
(New Ver.).

The Old Version has a strait gate and a narrow way; the New Version
a narrow gate and a strait way.


Quote the words which relate the calling of Peter.

John: "He [Andrew] first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto
him, We have found the Messias, which is being interpreted the Christ.

"And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said,
Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which
is by interpretation, A stone" (i, 41, 42).

The last clause of each is an interpolation.


Where was John baptizing when Jesus and his disciples came into Judea?

John: "In Aenon near to Salim" (iii, 22, 23).

This is declared by nearly all critics to be a geographical error. No
place corresponding to this existed in Judea.


What city of Samaria did Jesus visit?

John: "Then cometh he to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar"
(iv, 5).

Samaria contained no city of this name. Bible commentators believe
that Shechem is intended.


What did his disciples say to him when about to leave Bethany?

"Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee" (John xi, 8).

The disciples were themselves Jews, and the above is not the language
of a Jew speaking of his own people, but of a foreigner.


Where was he when he dined with publicans and sinners?

Mark: At his own house. "As Jesus sat at meat in his house, many
publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples"
(ii. 15).

Luke: At the house of Levi. "And Levi made him a great feast in his
own house; and there was a great company of publicans and of others
that sat down with them" (v, 29).


What did the Pharisees say to his disciples, because they, with Jesus,
dined with publicans and sinners?

"Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?" (Luke v, 30.)

"Why eateth your master with publicans and sinners?" (Matthew ix, 11.)


Who inquired of Jesus the reason for his disciples not fasting?

Matthew: "Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we
and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?" (ix, 14.)

Luke: "And they [the scribes and Pharisees] said unto him, why do
the disciples of John fast often, ... and likewise the disciples of
the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink?" (v, 33.)


What did he say when reproved for plucking the ears of corn on the

"Have ye never read what David did?... How he went into the house of
God in the days of Abiathar, the high priest, and did eat the shew
bread?" (Mark ii, 25, 26.)

David did not do this "in the days of Abiathar," but in the days of
Ahimelech. "Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest.... So the
priest gave him hallowed bread; for there was no bread there but the
shew bread" (1 Sam. xxi, 1, 6).


What did he claim regarding Moses?

"He [Moses] wrote of me" (John v, 46).

The passage referred to is quoted in Acts iii, 22, and may be found
in Deuteronomy xviii, 15. It alludes to Joshua, the successor of
Moses. "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from
the midst of thee, of thy brethren like unto me; unto him ye shall

Had Jesus been omniscient he would have known that Moses did not write
this; that it was not written until nearly 800 years after the time
of Moses.


Jesus is credited with having raised the daughter of Jairus from the
dead. Was she really dead?

Matthew: Jairus said, "My daughter is even now dead" (ix, 18).

Mark: He said, "My little daughter lieth at the point of death"
(v, 23).

Luke: It was reported that "she lay a dying" (viii, 42).

According to Matthew, in this miracle he restored the dead to life;
according to Mark and Luke, he merely healed the sick.


Who of Christ's disciples witnessed the raising of Jairus' daughter?

Mark and Luke: Peter, James and John (Mark v, 37-40; Luke viii, 51).

John, who alone of his alleged biographers is said to have witnessed
this miracle, is the only one who fails to mention it.

"A proper witness is silent, while an improper witness
testifies."--Bishop Faustus.


What did Jesus say when sending out his Twelve Apostles?

"He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth
him that sent me" (Matthew x, 40; Luke x, 16).

According to John (xiii, 20) these words were uttered not at the
beginning of his ministry as stated by Matthew and Luke, but at the
Last Supper; regarding which "Supernatural Religion" says: "It is
clear that its insertion here is a mistake."


What command did he give them respecting the provision of staves?

Matthew and Luke: They were not to provide themselves with
staves. "Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor
yet staves" (Matt. x, 9, 10; Luke ix, 3).

Mark: "Commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey,
save a staff only" (vi, 8).


When the Samaritans refused to receive him what was said?

Luke: "And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said,
Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and
consume them even as Elias did?

"But he turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner
of spirit ye are of.

"For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save
them. And they went to another village" (ix, 54-56).

It is conceded by the best Christian scholars that the words "as Elias
did" and all that follow, excepting "he turned and rebuked them,"
are spurious.


What did Jesus say to the multitude concerning John the Baptist?

"From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven
suffereth violence" (Matthew xi, 12).

The words, "from the days of John the Baptist until now," signify that
a long period of time had elapsed since the days of John. Yet, on the
very day that Jesus is said to have uttered them, he received a visit
from the disciples of John, who was still living (Matthew xi, 2, 3).


Whose rejection of him provoked the declaration, "A prophet is not
without honor, save in his own country"?

Matthew: "And when he came into his own country [Galilee], he taught
them in their synagogue, ... and they were offended in him. But
Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, save in his
own country" (xiii, 54-57).

John: "He departed thence, [he had come from Judea and Samaria] and
went into Galilee. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath
no honor in his own country. Then when he was come into Galilee,
the Galileans received him" (iv, 43-45).

According to Matthew, he was without honor in Galilee; according
to John, he went to Galilee because he was without honor in
Judea. According to Matthew the Galileans rejected him; according to
John "the Galileans received him." According to Matthew, Galilee was
"his own country"; according to John, Judea was "his own country."

Regarding these contradictory statements, Scott, in his "English Life
of Jesus" (p. 114), says: "The Synoptists in every case give a special
reason for his leaving Galilee, while the fourth gospel is equally
careful in specifying the reason for his leaving Jerusalem. According
to the former, Jesus would not have left Galilee if he could have
avoided it; according to the latter, he would have remained at
Jerusalem if he could have done so with safety. The inconsistency
is glaring."


When he came into his own country and taught in the synagogue what
did the people say?

Mark: "Is not this the carpenter?" (vi, 3.)

Matthew: "Is not this the carpenter's son?" (xiii, 55.)


When Herod heard of his wonderful works, what did he say?

"This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead" (Matthew xiv, 2).

Here, early in Christ's ministry, the tetrarch of Galilee is
represented as entertaining the Christian doctrine of a bodily


When and for what reason was John beheaded?

Matthew and Mark: "But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter
of Herodias [Salome] danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon
he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And
she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John
Baptist's head in a charger. And the king was sorry: nevertheless for
the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it
to be given her. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And
his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she
brought it to her mother" (Matt. xiv, 6-11; Mark vi, 21-28).

This account of the death of John is utterly at variance with that
given in Josephus. This historian, assuming the passage relating to
John to be genuine, says:

"Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people
might put it into his power and inclination to raise rebellion
(for they seemed to do anything he should advise), thought it best
by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause,
and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might
make him repent of it when it should be too late. Accordingly he was
sent a prisoner, out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Macherus, the
castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death" (Antiquities,
B. xviii, ch. v, sec. 2).

Macherus, where Josephus states that John was executed, was a place
far removed from Herod's capital--was outside of his dominions--in
Arabia Petrea.

Referring to the Evangelistic account of John's death, Dr. Hooykaas
says: "This eminently dramatic story certainly cannot be accepted
as it stands. It betrays too much art in its striking contrasts
between the manners of the court and the person of the prophet. We
have already seen that the occasion of John's imprisonment is not
correctly given by the Gospels. That such a man as Herod 'delighted
in hearing' John is, to say the least, an exaggeration. The ghastly
scene in which the prophet's head is carried into the festive hall
may not be quite impossible in such an age and at such a court, but
it is hardly probable. It is easy to see that Herodias is drawn after
the model of Ahab's wife, who hated and persecuted the first Elijah;
and Salome is evidently copied from Esther, for she, too, visits the
prince by surprise, captivates him by her beauty, obtains a promise
of anything up to the half of his kingdom, and at the festive board
demands the death of her enemy as the royal boon" (Bible for Learners,
vol. iii, p. 272).


Who was Herodias?

Synoptics: "His [Herod's] brother Philip's wife" (Matt. xiv, 3;
Mark vi, 17; Luke iii, 19).

Herodias was a grand-daughter of Herod the Great, and married
her uncle Herod, the disinherited son of Herod the Great. She
subsequently married Antipas, the Herod who is said to have put
John to death. Herod's brother Philip (Tetrarch of Trachonitis and
Gaulonitis) was not the son of Marianne, as the first husband of
Herodias was, but the son of Cleopatra. Philip's wife was Salome,
the daughter of Herodias. The daughter of Herodias, instead of
being a damsel dancing at the court of Herod, as the Synoptics
declare, was at this time the wife of an aged ruler of a foreign
province. According to Whiston, she became a widow in the very year
in which John died. Herodias was not the wife, but the mother-in-law
of Herod's brother Philip. Whiston, in his translation of Josephus,
attempts to gloss over the Synoptics' error by inserting in brackets
after Herod the word "Philip." Scribners' "Bible Dictionary" concedes
the error and accounts for it "By supposing that there is a confusion
between the first husband and the son-in-law of Herodias, for her
daughter Salome married Philip the tetrarch."


What is said of the numbers baptized by Jesus and his disciples as
compared with those baptized by John?

John: "The Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more
disciples than John. (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his
disciples.)" (iv, 1, 2.)

Matthew (iii, 5) and Mark (i, 5) declare that John had baptized
"Jerusalem and all Judea." It is admitted, both in the New Testament
and by Christians, that Jesus made but few converts during his
lifetime, and to assert or intimate that he and his disciples baptized
more than John is preposterous.


Who furnished the loaves and fishes with which the multitude in the
desert was fed?

Synoptics: The disciples (Matt. xiv, 15-17; Mark vi, 35-38; Luke ix,
12, 13).

John: "A lad" (vi, 9).


How many were fed?

Mark: "And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand
men" (vi, 44).

Matthew: "And they that had eaten were about five thousand men,
beside women and children" (xiv, 21).


Where did this miracle occur?

Luke: "In a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida"
(ix, 10).

Mark says that after the miracle "He constrained his disciples to
get into a ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida"
(vi, 45).

If the miracle was performed in a place belonging to the city of
Bethsaida, as stated by Luke, they did not cross the sea to reach
Bethsaida, as stated by Mark.


After feeding the five thousand what did Jesus do?

Matthew and Mark: "He sent the multitudes away" (Matt. xiv, 22;
Mark vi, 45).

John: He did not send the multitude away, but withdrew himself into
a mountain (vi, 15).


For what purpose did he go to the mountain?

Matthew and Mark: "And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went
up into a mountain, apart to pray" (Matt. xiv, 23; Mark vi, 46).

John: "When Jesus therefore perceived that they [the multitude]
would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed
again into a mountain alone" (vi, 15).

Matthew and Mark say nothing about the attempt to make him king;
John says nothing about his praying.


Were his disciples with him?

Matthew and Mark: "And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to
get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he
sent the multitude away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he
went up into a mountain apart to pray; and when the evening was come,
he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea"
(Matt. xiv, 22-24; Mark vi, 45-47).

Luke: "And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples
were with him" (ix, 18).

Matthew and Mark send his disciples ahead in a ship to make room
for his miracle of walking on the sea, a miracle that Luke knows
nothing of.


To what port did he command his disciples to sail?

Mark: "Unto Bethsaida" (vi, 45).

Pursuant to this command toward what place did they steer?

John: "Toward Capernaum" (vi, 17).

Where did this bring them?

Matthew: "Into the land of Gennesaret" (xiv, 34).


Jesus himself is said to have followed them on foot. Where did he
overtake them?

Matthew and Mark: "In the midst of the sea" (Matt. xiv, 24-26; Mark
vi, 47, 48).

John: As they were nearing the land (vi, 19-21).

According to John, he walked entirely across the sea; according to
Matthew and Mark, but half way across.

Christ's walking on the sea was probably suggested by Job (ix, 8),
who says God "treadeth upon the waves of the sea," or, according to
the Septuagint, "walking upon the sea as upon a pavement."


What remarkable feat was attempted on the trip?

Matthew: "And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked
on the water, to go to Jesus. And when he saw the wind boisterous,
he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord save
me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him"
(Matt. xiv, 29-31).

Mark and John, who relate with much particularity the events of this
voyage, do not mention Peter's adventure.

"Probably they had good reason for omitting it. A profane mind might
make a jest of an apostle 'half seas over,' and ridicule an apostolic
gate-keeper who couldn't keep his head above water."--Bradlaugh.


What did the Jews say to Jesus respecting his Messianic mission?

"Search and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet" (John vii,

Search and look; for out of Galilee arose some of their greatest
prophets, Jonah, Hosea, Nahum and Elijah. It may be urged that it
is the Jews who give expression to the error; but it is plain the
Evangelist accepts the statement as true.


What notable incident occurred at Jerusalem?

John: The release by Jesus of the woman taken in adultery (vii, 53;
viii, 1-11).

This is popularly regarded as one of the most admirable acts in
Christ's ministry. In the New Version the twelve verses relating it
are declared by the Oxford revisers to be an interpolation.


In the miracle of restoring the sight of the man born blind, what
did he tell the man to do?

"Go wash in the pool of Siloam" (John ix, 7).

"The Lord sent the blind man to wash, not in, as our version has it,
but at the pool of Siloam; for it was the clay from his eyes that
was to be washed off."--Smith's Bible Dictionary.


What is the meaning of the word "Siloam"?

John: "Which is by interpretation, 'Sent'" (ix, 7).

Which is not by interpretation "sent," but "aqueduct."


Who provoked the displeasure of the Pharisees by eating with unwashed

Matthew and Mark: The disciples of Jesus (Matt. xv, 1, 2; Mark vii,
1, 2).

Luke: Jesus himself (xi, 37, 38).


Of what nationality was the woman who desired Jesus to cast the devil
out of her daughter?

Matthew: "A woman of Canaan" (xv, 22).

Mark: "The woman was a Greek" (vii, 26).


What did his disciples say when he expressed his intention of feeding
the four thousand?

Mark: "And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy
these men with bread here in the wilderness? And he asked them,
How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven" (viii, 4, 5).

Why should they be surprised at his intention of feeding four thousand
with seven loaves when but a few weeks before he had fed five thousand
with five loaves?

In regard to this miracle Rev. William Sanday, of England, author
of "Jesus Christ," the most important article in Scribners' "Bible
Dictionary," says: "Are the two Feedings of Mark to be regarded as
two events or one? Besides the general resemblance between the two
narratives, a weighty argument in favor of the latter hypothesis is,
that in the second narrative the disciples' question implies that
the emergency was something new. They could hardly have put this
question as they did if a similar event had happened only a few weeks
before." This is also the opinion of Dr. Schleiermacher.


After feeding the four thousand where did he come?

Matthew (Old Ver.): "Came into the coasts of Magdala" (xv, 39).

Matthew (New Ver.): "Came into the borders of Magadan."


Where does Mark say he came?

"Came into the parts of Dalmanutha (viii, 10).

Criticising this statement, the "Bible for Learners" says: "Mark
makes him journey still farther north, through the district of Sidon,
and then turn southeast to the lake of Galilee, pass some way down
its eastern shore apparently, and finally take ship and cross in
a southwesterly direction to Dalmanutha, where we meet him once
again. But the Evangelist's geography is open to suspicion, and we
are inclined to lay these apparently purposeless wanderings of Jesus
to the account of Mark's want of accuracy" (Vol. iii, p. 282).


What did he say to the Pharisees who asked for a sign?

"There shall no sign be given unto this generation" (Mark viii, 12).

"There shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet
Jonas" (Matthew xvi, 4).


On the way to Caesarea Philippi what remarkable discovery was made
by Peter?

Matthew: "He [Jesus] asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that
I the Son of Man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the
Baptist: some Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He
saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered
and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus
answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona; for
flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which
is in heaven" (xvi, 13-17).

According to Matthew, Jesus is astonished at the discovery of Peter
and attributes it to a revelation from Heaven. Yet previous to this,
and in the presence of Peter, according to the same writer, the other
disciples had declared him to be "the Son of God" (Matthew xiv, 33).


The Synoptics all declare that the Messiahship of Jesus was not
revealed to his disciples until late in his ministry. Is this true?

John: It is not. It was known to them at the beginning of his
ministry. Before Peter was called Andrew said, "We have found the
Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ" (i, 41). On the
following day Nathanael said to Jesus, "Thou art the Son of God;
thou art the King of Israel" (49).


When did the Transfiguration take place?

Matthew and Mark: Six days after the discourse in which he announced
his second coming (Matt. xvii, 1; Mark ix, 2).

Luke: "About an eight days after these sayings" (ix, 28).


Was the countenance of Jesus changed?

Matthew and Luke: It was. "And his face did shine as the sun, and his
raiment was white as the light" (Matt. xvii, 2). "The fashion of his
countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistening"
(Luke ix, 29).

Mark: The appearance of his raiment only was changed. "And his raiment
became shining, exceeding white as snow" (ix, 3).


When did Peter propose building the three tabernacles to Jesus,
Moses and Elias?

Matthew and Mark: While Moses and Elias were yet with them (Matt. xvii,
3, 4; Mark ix, 4-8).

Luke: After they had departed (ix, 33).


What did the voice from the clouds declare?

Mark and Luke: "This is my beloved Son; hear ye him" (Mark ix, 7;
Luke ix, 35).

Matthew: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye
him" (xvii, 5).

Luke's account of the Transfiguration differs in many respects from
that of Matthew and Mark. Luke says that Jesus went up into the
mountain to pray; Matthew and Mark make no mention of this. Luke says
the disciples were asleep when Moses and Elias appeared. According to
Matthew and Mark they were awake. Luke says that Moses and Elias "spake
of his decease." Matthew and Mark do not know what they talked about.


Who witnessed the Transfiguration?

Synoptics: Peter, James and John (Matt. xvii, 1; Mark ix, 2; Luke
ix, 28).

It is remarkable that Matthew, Mark and Luke, who did not witness
the Transfiguration, are the only ones to report it; while John, who
is declared to have witnessed it, knows nothing about it. Concerning
this and other events which John is said to have witnessed, Greg says:
"All the events said to have been witnessed by John alone are omitted
by John alone. This fact seems fatal either to the reality of the
events in question or to the genuineness of the Fourth Gospel."

Regarding this subject Scott says: "By some singular fatality the
writer of the fourth gospel seems incapable of describing any one
incident in the life of Jesus as the Synoptics have described it.... It
is hard to believe that we are reading narratives which profess to
relate the life of the same person.... If then in these particulars,
the Synoptic Gospels are correct, the Johannine version of the events
is pure fiction; and if the latter be taken as the true account, no
dependence whatever can be placed upon the former" (Life of Jesus,
pp. 259-263).


Compare the account of the Transfiguration of Jesus with the account
of Moses at Mount Sinai.

Matthew.                             Exodus.

"And after six days Jesus taketh     "Then went up Moses, and Aaron,
Peter, James, and John his           Nadab and Abihu" (xxiv, 9).
brother, and bringeth them up into
a high mountain apart,               "And Moses went up into the mount,
                                     and a cloud covered the mount.
"And was transfigured before them,
and his face did shine as the sun,   "And the glory of the Lord abode
and his raiment was white as the     upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud
light" (xvii, 1, 2).                 covered it six days; and the
                                     seventh day he called unto Moses
"While he yet spake, behold, a       out of the midst of the cloud.
bright cloud overshadowed them;
and behold a voice out of the        "And the sight of the glory of the
cloud," etc. (5).                    Lord was like devouring fire"

We have in each account a prophet and three companions; in each
the persons mentioned go up into a mountain; in each there is a
supernatural brightness; in each an overshadowing cloud; in each
a celestial voice speaking out of the cloud; in each Moses is a
prominent figure; in each a period of six days is mentioned.


What occurred immediately after the Transfiguration?

Matthew: "His disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes
that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them,
Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto
you, that Elias is come already and they know him not.... Then the
disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist"
(xvii, 10-13).

It is quite natural that the writing of one story concerning Elias
should suggest another; but reason forbids the acceptance of both as
true. If Elias was seen and recognized at the mountain, as stated,
the above conversation did not follow that appearance.


What ailed the man's son whom Jesus cured after the Transfiguration?

Matthew (Old Ver.): He was a lunatic (xvii, 15).

Matthew (New Ver.): He was an epileptic.

Mark: He had "a dumb spirit" (ix, 17).


When the authorities at Capernaum demanded tribute of Jesus what did
he command Peter to do?

"Go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that
first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt
find a piece of money; that take, and give unto them for me and thee"
(Matthew xvii, 27).

Matthew does not venture to say that Peter was successful, doubtless
recognizing the fact that there ought to be limits even to a fish

Regarding this story Archbishop Trench says: "It is remarkable, and is
a solitary instance of the kind, that the issue of this bidding is not
told us." Dr. Farrar says: "I agree with the learned and thoughtful
Olshausen in regarding this as the most difficult to comprehend of
all the gospel miracles" (Life of Christ, p. 288).


What was the nature of the tribute demanded?

It was an annual tax, known as the temple service tax, a tax from
which no Jew, rich or poor, was exempt. Regarding the time and manner
of its collection, Farrar says: "On the 1st of Adar, the demand
was made quietly and civilly; if, however, it had not been paid
by the 25th, then it seems that the collectors of the contribution
(tobhin shekalim) might take a security for it from the defaulter"
(Life of Christ, p. 285).

The tax was always collected in the early spring. Yet according to
Matthew it was collected from Jesus in the autumn, just before the
feast of tabernacles. Either Matthew was ignorant of the time of its
collection, or Jesus was a defaulter.

Nor is this the only difficulty needing explanation. It is assumed
that Peter secured the coin in the manner directed. If so, how did
it come into existence? Did Jesus miraculously create it? If so,
he was a counterfeiter. Was it a lost coin? In this case, if he was
omniscient, as claimed, he knew the owner and should have restored it.


After leaving Galilee where did Jesus go?

Matthew: "Into the coasts of Judea beyond Jordan" (xix, 1).

The Jordan being the eastern boundary of Judea, no "coasts of Judea"
existed beyond it.


In going to Jerusalem to attend his last Passover, what route did
he take?

Luke: "He passed through the midst of Samaria" (xvii, 11).

Mark: He "cometh into the coasts of Judea by the farther side of the
Jordan" (x, 1).

Two entirely different routes. As the province of Samaria lay between
those of Galilee and Judea, the direct route from Galilee to Jerusalem
was "through the midst of Samaria." The orthodox Jews, however,
in order to avoid the Samaritans, whom they thoroughly despised,
usually crossed the Jordan, which formed the boundary of the three
provinces, came down on the east side of the river through Perea,
recrossed the river, and thus entered "into the coasts of Judea from
the farther side of Jordan."


What city did he pass through on his way to Jerusalem?

Luke: "And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho" (xix, 1).

Luke here contradicts his previous statement that "he passed through
the midst of Samaria," for Jericho was not on the route from Samaria,
but on the route from Perea by way of "the farther side of Jordan,"
the route which Mark declares he took.


What miracle did he perform on the way?

Luke: "As he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that
were lepers, which stood afar off; and they lifted up their voices,
and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them,
he said unto them, Go shew yourselves to the priests. And it came to
pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed" (xvii, 12-14).

The other Evangelists do not mention this miracle. Concerning it the
"Bible for Learners" says: "It is an unsuccessful imitation of the
account we have already examined of the healing of a leper. It is
absolutely unhistorical" (Vol. iii, p. 310).


Was it one or two blind men that sat by the wayside beseeching him
to heal them?

Mark: "Blind Bartimeus, the son of Timeus, sat by the highway side
begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began
to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me"
(x, 46, 47).

Luke: "A certain blind man sat by the wayside begging: ... And he
cried, saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me" (xviii,
35, 38).

Matthew: "Two blind men sitting by the wayside, when they heard that
Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou
son of David" (xx, 30).


What inquiry did the disciples make regarding the cause of the man's

"Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born
blind?" (John ix, 2).

Regarding this, Mrs. Evans, in her "Christ Myth" (p. 55), says:
"Such a suggestion has no meaning when uttered by a Jew, but to a
believer in the transmigration of souls the query would be natural and
pertinent, and the story appears to be a modification of a well-known
Buddhistic parable."


When did this occur?

Luke: "As he was come nigh into Jericho" (xviii, 35).

Matthew: "As they separated from Jericho" (xx, 29).

Mark: "As he went out of Jericho" (x, 46).

Mark agrees with Luke and disagrees with Matthew as to the number of
men, and agrees with Matthew and disagrees with Luke as to the time
of its occurrence.


What did Jesus say regarding divorce?

Mark: "And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife
and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman
shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth
adultery" (x, 11, 12).

This was written by one acquainted with the Roman, but not with the
Jewish law. The Jewish law did not recognize the right of a wife
to put away her husband for any cause whatever. Matthew (v, 31, 32)
and Luke (xvi, 18) knew better.


According to Mark he said, "Whosoever shall put away his wife,
and marry another, committeth adultery." What did he say according
to Matthew?

"Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication,
and shall marry another, committeth adultery" (xix, 9).

This is a notable discrepancy. According to Mark if a husband
divorce his wife for any cause whatever he cannot lawfully marry
another. According to Matthew if he divorce his wife for fornication
he can lawfully marry again.


In his conversation with the rich man what commandments did he

"Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false
witness, Honor thy father and thy mother" (Luke xviii, 20).

"Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false
witness, Defraud not, Honor thy father and thy mother" (Mark x, 19).

"Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt
not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy
mother; and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matthew xix,
18, 19).

No two of the Synoptics agree. Mark and Matthew each give a commandment
not given by either of the others.


What great miracle did he perform at Bethany?

John: The raising of Lazarus from the dead. "Then said Jesus unto them
plainly, Lazarus is dead" (xi, 14). "Jesus therefore again groaning
in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon
it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that
was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh; for he hath
been dead four days" (38, 39). "Then they took away the stone from the
place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said,
Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me" (41). "And when he thus
had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he
that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes"
(43, 44).

The Synoptics make no mention of this miracle; and as it is the
greatest miracle ascribed to Jesus it was certainly unknown to them.

Commenting on the doubtful character of alleged events narrated by one
Evangelist and omitted by the others, Strauss says: "But this ground
of doubt falls with incomparably greater weight, on the narrative of
the resurrection of Lazarus in the fourth gospel. If the authors or
collectors of the three first gospels knew of this, they could not, for
more than one reason, avoid introducing it into their writings. For,
first, of all the resuscitations effected by Jesus, nay, of all his
miracles, this resurrection of Lazarus, if not the most wonderful, is
yet the one in which the marvelous presents itself the most obviously
and strikingly, and which, therefore, if its historical reality can
be established, is a preeminently strong proof of the extraordinary
endowments of Jesus as a divine messenger; whence the evangelists,
although they had related one or two other instances of the kind,
could not think it superfluous to add this also. But, secondly, the
resurrection of Lazarus had, according to the representation of John,
a direct influence in the development of the fate of Jesus; for we
learn from xi, 47 ff., that the increased resort to Jesus, and the
credit which this event procured him, led to that consultation of
the Sanhedrim in which the sanguinary counsel of Caiaphas was given
and approved. Thus the event had a double importance--pragmatical
as well as dogmatical; consequently, the synoptical writers could
not have failed to narrate it, had it been within their knowledge"
(Leben Jesu, p. 548).

Referring to this miracle and the restoration of the sight of the man
born blind, Prof. Newman says: "That the three first narrators should
have been ignorant of them is simply impossible; that they should not
have felt their preeminent value is incredible" (Religion not History,
p. 27).

There are three alleged instances in the Gospels of Christ restoring
the dead to life.

1. The raising of the daughter of Jairus from her death bed, related
by Matthew.

2. The raising of the son of the widow of Nain from his bier as they
were carrying him to the grave, related by Luke.

3. The raising of Lazarus from his grave after he had lain four days,
related by John.

Even if these miracles were possible one fact disproves them: the
silence of the other Evangelists. Of these three stories not one is
confirmed by another Evangelist. His less important miracles, such as
healing the sick, are, many of them, recorded in all of the gospels,
or at least in all of the Synoptics; yet each of these, his greatest
miracles, stands alone, unnoticed by the other writers. Mark and
Luke mention the daughter of Jairus, but only to deny the miracle
by declaring that she was not dead. Had these miracles really been
performed, all of the Evangelists would have had a knowledge of them,
and all would have recorded them. These writers do not complement
each other, as claimed: they exclude each other. There are many Lives
of Napoleon; but not one of his biographers has seen fit to omit his
greatest victories because some other biographer has narrated them.


Who was it requested that James and John might sit, one on the right
and the other on the left hand of Jesus in his kingdom?

Matthew: "She [their mother] said unto him, Grant that these my two
sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left,
in thy kingdom" (xx, 21).

Mark: "They [James and John] said unto him, Grant unto us that we may
sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left, in thy glory"
(x, 37).


Who occupies a seat at the left hand of Jesus?

Mark: God (xvi, 19).

The modesty of the foregoing request is apparent. Zebedee's family
were evidently trying to play a sharp game on Jesus, and get a first
mortgage on his Father's throne.


What did Jesus affirm in regard to the mustard seed?

"Which indeed is the least of all seeds; but when it is grown is the
greatest among the herbs" (Matthew xiii, 32).

A mustard seed is not "the least of all seeds;" neither is the plant
"the greatest among herbs."


With faith as large as a grain of mustard seed, what did he say his
disciples could do?

"If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto
this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place and it shall remove"
(Matthew xvii, 20).

"If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this
sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted
in the sea; and it should obey you" (Luke xvii, 6).


In the parable of the Great Feast what was the character of the feast?

Matthew: A wedding "dinner" (xxii, 4).

Luke: "A great supper" (xiv, 16).


Whom did the giver of the feast send to invite the guests?

Matthew: "His servants" (3).

Luke: "His servant" (17).

Such errors may be considered trivial and their notice captious;
but infallible writings do not contain even trivial errors.


What befell the servants, or servant?

Matthew: "And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them
spitefully, and slew them" (6).

Luke: The servant returned unharmed (21).


What did the giver of the feast declare respecting those who refused
to attend?

"That none of those men which were bidden shall taste my supper"
(xiv, 24).

As they had already declined to do so, the force of the interdiction
is not apparent.


Relate the circumstances connected with the attendance of the guest
who wore no wedding garment.

Matthew: "Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but
they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the
highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.... And
when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had
not on a wedding garment; and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest
thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless"
(xxii, 8-12).

The relator of this incident, which is omitted by Luke, would have
us suppose that the frequenters of the highways went clad in wedding

The parables of Jesus are declared to be perfect models of Literary
composition, and filled with lessons of divine wisdom. A few of them
possess some literary merit; but the most of them are faulty. They
contain many questionable ethical teachings; they are illogically
constructed; the imagery is unnatural, and the language crude.


In the parable of the Wicked Husbandmen did the owner of the vineyard
send one servant, or more than one, each time to collect the rent?

Mark and Luke: He sent but one (Mark xii, 2-5; Luke xx, 10-12).

Matthew: He sent more than one (xxi, 33-36).


What happened to the servants?

Matthew and Mark: Some of them were killed.

Luke: They were beaten and sent away, but none were killed.


In the parable of the Talents how did the master apportion his money?

Matthew: He gave to the first servant five talents, to the second two,
to the third, one (xxv, 15).

Luke: He gave to each one pound (xix, 13).


What was their gain?

Matthew: Each doubled his money (16, 17).

Luke: The first increased his tenfold, the second fivefold (16, 18).


What did the unprofitable servant do with the money entrusted to him?

Matthew: He "digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money" (xxv, 18).

Luke: He said, "Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept
laid up in a napkin" (xix, 20).


What are the concluding words of Jesus in this parable?

"For unto every one that hath shall be given: ... but from him that
hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the
unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and
gnashing of teeth" (Matthew xxv, 29, 30).

"That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath
not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. But those mine
enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither,
and slay them before me" (Luke xix, 26, 27).


In the lawyer's interview with Jesus, who was it, the lawyer, or Jesus,
that stated the two great commandments?

Matthew and Mark: Jesus. "Then one of them, which was a lawyer,
asked him a question, tempting him, saying, Master which is the great
commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord
thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy
mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like
unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (xxii, 35-39).

Luke: The lawyer. "And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted
him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He
said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he
[the lawyer] answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with
all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength,
and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself" (x, 25-27).


"And after that they durst not ask him any questions." After what?

Matthew: After his controversy with the Pharisees respecting David
and Christ (xxii, 41-46).

Mark: After his conversation with the scribe regarding the commandments
(xii, 28-37).

Luke: After confuting the Sadducees in regard to the resurrection
(xx, 27-40).


Did his controversy concerning David and Christ take place with the
Pharisees, as stated by Matthew?

Luke: It did not. It was with "certain of the scribes" (xx, 39).


Where was Jesus on the day preceding his triumphal entry into

John: With Lazarus at Bethany (three miles from Jerusalem) (xii, 1-15).

Luke: With Zaccheus near Jericho (twenty miles from Jerusalem)
(xix, 1-40).


Preparatory to his triumphal entry what command did he give his

"Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering
ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him,
and bring him hither" (Luke xix, 30).

"Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find
an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me"
(Matthew xxi, 2).


Did he ride both animals?

Matthew: He did. "And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded
them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes,
and they set him thereon" (6, 7).

The equestrian feat of his riding two asses, a large one and a
small one, at the same time, must have heightened the effect of this
sublime pageant.

Matthew is continually seeing double. In the demoniac of Gadara he
sees two demoniacs; in the blind man by the wayside he sees two men;
and in other instances where the other Evangelists see but one person
or thing he sees two.


The riding of two asses by Jesus was in fulfillment of what prophecy?

Matthew: "And this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was
spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold,
thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt
the foal of an ass" (xxi, 4, 5).

Matthew's rendering of this passage (Zechariah ix, 9) arises from a
misunderstanding of the meaning of its words. The prophet, or poet,
does not mean two asses, but one; the clause "a colt the foal of
an ass," is merely a poetical repetition or qualification of the
preceding clause.

This blunder of Matthew is significant. It exposes the fictitious
character of this so-called Gospel history. It proves that Christ's
triumphal entry into Jerusalem is not a historical event--that this
story is a pure fabrication, suggested by this alleged prophecy.


When did Jesus purge the temple?

Synoptics: At the close of his ministry, a few days before his death
(Matthew xxi, 12-16; Mark xi, 15-18; Luke xix, 45-48).

John: At the beginning of his ministry, three years before his death
(ii, 13-22).

Origen doubted the occurrence of this event, believing it to be a
mere allegory.


When did he curse the fig tree?

Matthew: After he purged the temple (xxi, 12-19).

Mark: Before he purged the temple (xi, 12-15).


When was the tree discovered by his disciples to be withered?

Matthew: As soon as cursed (19).

Mark: Not until the next morning (13-20).


Mark says that he visited the tree for the purpose of obtaining
figs. Why did the tree contain no fruit?

Mark: "Because the time of figs was not yet" (13).

This was before the Passover which occurred in March or April. In that
part of Palestine where the miracle is said to have been performed the
bocore, or early fig, ripened its first crop during the latter part
of June; while the kermus, or fig proper, ripened in August. What
a spectacle! An omniscient God searching for figs in March, and
disappointed at not finding them--creating a tree to bear fruit in
the summer and cursing it for not bearing in the spring!


What did Jesus accuse the Jews of doing?

Matthew: Of having slain prophets and wise men, among them "Zacharias
son of Barachias" (xxiii, 35).

The Zacharias mentioned was slain in Jerusalem, 69 A. D.; so that
Matthew makes Jesus refer to an event that occurred forty years after
his death.

Referring to this passage, the Catholic scholar, Dr. Hug, says:
"There cannot be a doubt, if we attend to the name, the fact and its
circumstances, and the object of Jesus in citing it, that it was the
same Zacharias Barouchos, who, according to Josephus, a short time
before the destruction of Jerusalem, was unjustly slain in the temple."

Commenting on this passage, Prof. Newman says: "There is no other
man known in history to whom the verse can allude. If so, it shows
how late, how ignorant, how rash, is the composer of a text passed
off on us as sacred truth" (Religion not History, p. 46).


Repeat his lamentation concerning Jerusalem's rejection of him.

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest
them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy
children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her
wings, and ye would not!" (Matthew xxiii, 37; Luke xiii, 34.)

Where was he when he uttered this lamentation?

Matthew: During his visit at Jerusalem.

Luke: In Galilee before he went to Jerusalem.

Not only are these writers at variance with each other as to the time
and place of utterance, but the lamentation itself, which declares
that he had made repeated efforts to convert Jerusalem, is at variance
with both of them. For according to Matthew he had just arrived on his
first visit to Jerusalem, while according to Luke he had never yet,
during his ministry, visited Jerusalem.


Who anointed Jesus?

Matthew and Mark: "A woman" (Matt. xxvi, 7; Mark xiv, 3).

Luke: "A sinful woman" (vii, 37).

John: Mary, the sister of Lazarus (xii, 3).

Luke's "sinful woman" is recognized as Mary Magdalene. Farrar says:
"In the popular consciousness she will till the end of time be
identified with the Magdalene." Matthew and Mark's "woman" may be
harmonized with either Mary Magdalene or Mary the sister of Lazarus;
but Luke and John are irreconcilable.


Where did she put the ointment?

Matthew and Mark: On his head (Matt. xxvi, 7; Mark xiv, 3).

Luke and John: On his feet (Luke vii, 38-46; John xii, 3).


Where did this occur?

Matthew, Mark and John: In Bethany (Matt. xxvi, 6; Mark xiv, 3;
John xii, 1).

Luke: In Nain (vii, 11-37).


At whose house did it occur?

Synoptics: At the house of Simon (Matt. xxvi, 6, 7; Mark xiv, 3;
Luke vii, 36-40).

John: At the house of Lazarus (xii, 1-3).


Who was Simon?

Matthew and Mark: A leper (Matt. xxvi, 6; Mark xiv, 3).

Luke: A Pharisee (vii, 39-40).


At what time during his ministry did this anointing occur?

Matthew, Mark and John: At the close of his ministry (Matt. xxvi,
xxvii; Mark xiv; John xii).

Luke: Early in his ministry (vii, 36-50).


Did it occur before or after his triumphal entry?

Matthew and Mark: After (Matt. xxi, 1-11, xxvi, 6-13; Mark xi, 1-11,
xiv, 3-9).

John: Before (xii, 1-15).


How many days before the Passover did it occur?

Mark: Two days (xiv, 1-3).

John: Six days (xii, 1-3).

"The prima facie view would certainly be that the anointing at
Bethany was placed by Mark two days and by John six days before the
Passover."--Scribner's Bible Dictionary.


Who objected to this apparent waste of the ointment?

Matthew: "His disciples" (xxvi, 8, 9).

John: "Judas Iscariot" (xii, 4, 5).

These different versions of the anointing of Jesus present so many
discrepancies that some have supposed that two or more anointings were
made. The Archbishop of York, the most popular of Gospel harmonists,
concedes that but one anointing was made.

After an exhaustive review of the case, Strauss says: "Without doubt,
we have here but one history under three various forms; and this
seems to have been the real conclusion of Origen, as well as recently
of Schleiermacher."


While Jesus was at Jerusalem there came a voice from heaven. For what
purpose was the voice sent?

John: For the sake of those who stood by. "Jesus answered and said,
This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes" (xii, 30).

Of what benefit was the voice when those who heard it were unable
to distinguish it from thunder? "The people therefore, that stood by
and heard it, said that it thundered" (29).

The Evangelists relate several instances of celestial voices being
heard. As there is, in nearly every instance, a disagreement in
regard to the message conveyed, it is probable that an electrical
disturbance inspired the voice, while a vivid imagination interpreted
its meaning. Regarding these voices, the Duke of Somerset says:
"A belief in these heavenly voices was a common superstition among
the Jews."


When did the Last Supper take place?

Synoptics: On the Passover (Matt. xxvi, 18-20; Mark xiv, 16-18;
Luke xxii, 13-15).

John: On the day preceding the Passover.

Luke says: "And they made ready the passover. And when the hour was
come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto
them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before
I suffer."

John, in his account of the Last Supper, says it was "before
the feast of the passover" (xiii, 1). The Evangelists all agree
that his trial and execution took place on the day following the
Last Supper. John says the Jews "went not into the judgment hall,
lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover"
(xviii, 28). After narrating the events of the trial, John says:
"And it was the preparation of the passover" (xix, 14).

According to the Synoptics, the Last Supper was eaten on the 14th
Nisan, and, by our mode of reckoning time, on Thursday evening;
according to John, it was eaten on the 13th Nisan, and, by our mode of
reckoning, on Wednesday evening. The Synoptics declare that this supper
was the regular Paschal meal; according to John, it was an ordinary
meal, the Paschal meal not being eaten until after Christ's death.

"The Synoptics represent most clearly that Jesus on the evening
of the 14th Nisan, after the custom of the Jews, ate the Passover
with his disciples, and that he was arrested in the first hours of
the 15th Nisan, the day on which he was put to death. Nothing can be
more distinct than the statement that the last supper was the Paschal
feast.... The fourth Gospel, however, in accordance with the principle
which is dominant throughout, represents the last repast which Jesus
eats with his disciples as a common supper, which takes place, not
on the 14th, but on the 13th Nisan, the day 'before the feast of the
Passover.'"--Supernatural Religion.

Thousands of pages have been written in vain attempts to reconcile
this grave discrepancy. Scribner's "Bible Dictionary," which contains
the best fruits of orthodox scholarship, both of England and America,
concedes a contradiction. It says: "The Synoptics seem to identify
the two [the Last Supper and the Paschal meal], whereas St. John
expressly places the Last Supper before the Passover."

After an exhaustive review of the subject, Strauss voices the
conclusion of German scholars in the following words: "Our only
course is to acknowledge an irreconcilable contradiction between the
respective accounts, without venturing a decision as to which is the
correct one" (Leben Jesu, p. 702).


The Synoptics state that the Last Supper was the Paschal meal. Describe
the Paschal meal.

"All leaning upon the cushions around the table, the first cup of wine
was served, and grace pronounced over the same and the feast. This
cup of wine being disposed of, vegetables and sauce were placed on
the table, and the vegetables, dipped in the sauce, were blessed and
eaten. Next the unleavened bread, the bitter herb, and a piquant
sauce called Haroseth were served, and the bitter herb, dipped in
the Haroseth, was blessed and eaten. Then the Paschal lamb was placed
on the table with portions of another sacrifice. One of the company
asked the question why all this was done, during which the second
cup of wine was served. The head of the table explaining narrated the
story of the Exodus, closed with a hymn, spoke the second time grace
over the wine, and all disposed of the same. Now came the breaking of
the bread and the eating and drinking. This finished, the third cup
of wine was served, and grace after meal was pronounced. After which
the fourth cup was served, and the ceremonies closed with hymns and
psalms, and disposing of the fourth cup of wine" (Mishna).

This was the Paschal meal as it was observed in the reputed time
of Christ and up to 70 A. D. After the fall of Jerusalem and the
destruction of the temple the great Passover feast retained but
the shadow of its former glory. The Paschal meal and the ceremonies
attending it were generally shortened. The fact that the Evangelists
were unacquainted with the regular Paschal meal, that the Synoptics
were familiar only with the ceremonies of later times, shows that
the Last Supper is a myth, and the Gospels the products of a later age.

Criticising the Synoptics' accounts of the Paschal meal, Dr. Isaac
Wise, an able Jewish scholar, says:

"If any evidence is required that neither Mark nor Matthew had ever
seen the Paschal meal, or described that of Jesus, it is furnished
here. They do not mention any one point connected with the Paschal
supper, the ceremonies of which were established. They mention only
one ceremony, viz., the breaking of the bread, and the cup of wine
after the meal, which is not only a mistake, but shows conclusively,
that either of them had seen the Paschal supper, after the destruction
of Jerusalem, in some Jewish house, and the ceremonies connected
therewith, called the Seder. Therefore, no mention whatsoever is
made of the main thing--the Paschal lamb--and the bread is broken
after the meal, which was done by the Jews after closing the Paschal
meal, outside of Jerusalem, when the altar had been destroyed; and
no Paschal lamb was eaten" (Martyrdom of Jesus, pp. 36, 37).

"Luke begins correctly, but makes a mistake in having the bread broken
right after the first cup of wine was handed round, which was done so
at every festive meal, except at the one described, and has but two
cups of wine instead of four. So we know that Luke did not describe
what actually happened that evening. He had seen the Jewish custom
of opening the festive meals with grace over the wine and bread,
and made of it an introduction to the Last Supper, without knowing
that just that evening the custom was changed" (Ibid. p. 38).


What ceremony was instituted at the Last Supper?

Synoptics: The Eucharist (Matt. xxvi, 26-28; Mark xiv, 22-24; Luke
xxii, 19, 20).

John: The washing of feet (xiii, 4-9).

John does not mention the former ceremony, and the Synoptics do not
mention the latter; yet each is said to have been performed immediately
after supper.


He told his disciples that he would no more drink of the fruit of
the vine until he drank it in his Father's kingdom. When was this?

Matthew: After instituting the Eucharist.

"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and
brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is
my body. And he took the cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them,
saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament,
which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

"But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of
the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's
kingdom" (xxvi, 26-29).

Luke: Before instituting the Eucharist.

"For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine,
until the kingdom of God shall come.

"And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them,
saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance
of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the
new testament in my blood, which is shed for you" (xxii, 18-20).


At the Last Supper did Jesus pass the cup once, or twice?

Matthew and Mark: Once (Matt. xxvi, 26-30; Mark xiv, 16-26).

Luke: Twice (xxii, 13-20).

Regarding this discrepancy, Scribners' "Bible Dictionary" says:
"The temptation to expand was much stronger than to contract; and
the double mention of the cup raises real difficulties of the kind
which suggest interpolation."


Where was Jesus when he uttered his last prayer?

Synoptics: In the garden of Gethsemane (Matt. xxvi, 36-39; Mark xiv,
32-36; Luke xxii, 39-42).

John: In Jerusalem before he retired to the garden (xvii, xviii, 1).


What is said of his agony at Gethsemane?

Luke: "His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to
the ground" (xxii, 44).

Whatever was the character of this so-called "bloody sweat," it may be
remarked that Matthew, who was an apostle; Mark, who is claimed to be
the interpreter of Peter, an apostle who was with Jesus at the time;
and John who was not only an apostle, but present also, do not refer
to it. Luke, who was not an eye-witness--who was not an apostle--is
the only one who mentions it.


How many times did Jesus visit Jerusalem during his ministry?

John: At least four times (ii, 13; v, 1; x, 22, 23; xii, 12).

The Synoptics record but one visit.


To what country was his ministry chiefly confined?

Synoptics: To Galilee.

John: To Judea.

According to the Synoptics nearly his entire ministry was confined to
Galilee. It was only at the close of his ministry, a few days before
his death, that he visited Judea to attend the Passover. According
to John his ministry was confined chiefly to Judea. It requires
but three or four of his twenty-one chapters to record his work in
Galilee. Farrar says: "The Synoptists almost confine themselves to
the Galilean, and St. John to the Judean ministry" (Life of Christ,
p. 361).


How long did his ministry last?

Synoptics: One year.

John: At least three years.

The Rev. Dr. Giles says: "According to the first three Gospels,
Christ's public life lasted only one year" (Christian Records, p. 11).

Referring to this and the preceding discrepancy, the author of
"Supernatural Religion" says: "The Synoptics clearly represent the
ministry of Jesus as having been limited to a single year, and his
preaching is confined to Galilee and Jerusalem, where his career
culminates at the fatal Passover. The fourth Gospel distributes the
teaching of Jesus between Galilee, Samaria, and Jerusalem, makes it
extend over at least three years, and refers to three Passovers spent
by Jesus at Jerusalem" (p. 681).

Irenaeus, the greatest of the early Christian Fathers, and who lived
in the century following Jesus, declares that his ministry lasted
twenty years. In his principal work, "Against Heresies," he combats
the heresy of a one-year ministry of Jesus. He says:

"They however, that they may establish their false opinion regarding
that which is written, 'To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,'
maintain that he preached for one year only, and then suffered in the
twelfth month. They are forgetful of their own disadvantage, destroying
his whole work, and robbing him of that age which is both more
necessary and more honorable than any other; that more advanced age,
I mean, during which also, as a teacher, he excelled all others. For
how could he have had disciples if he did not teach? And how could he
have taught, unless he had reached the age of a master? For when he
came to be baptized, he had not yet completed his thirtieth year,
but was beginning to be about thirty years of age.... Now, that
the first stage of early life embraces thirty years, and that this
extends onward to the fortieth year, every one will admit; but from the
fortieth and fiftieth year, a man begins to decline toward old age;
which our Lord possessed, while he still fulfilled the office of a
teacher.... He did not therefore preach for only one year, nor did
he suffer in the twelfth month of the year. For the period included
between the thirtieth and fiftieth year can never be regarded as one
year" (Book ii, ch. xxii, secs. 5, 6).


What is said regarding the extent of his works?

John: "If they should be written every one, I suppose that even the
world itself could not contain the books" (xxi, 25).

In the very next verses of the Bible (Acts i, 1, 2) Luke declares that
his brief Gospel contains a record "of all that Jesus began both to
do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up."


Can the alleged teachings of Jesus be accepted as authentic?

Three facts disprove, for the most part, their authenticity.

1. The most important teachings ascribed to him by the Synoptics
were borrowed, either by him or his biographers, from other teachers
and writers.

2. His teachings as presented by the Synoptics, and as presented by
John, exclude each other. No critic can seriously contend that the
discourses and sayings of Jesus recorded in the Synoptics and those
given in the Fourth Gospel emanated from the same mind. They are
wholly dissimilar, both in doctrine and phraseology. Dr. Westcott
says: "It is impossible to pass from the Synoptic Gospels to that
of St. John without feeling that the transition involves the passage
from one world of thought to another. No familiarity with the general
teaching of the Gospels, no wide conception of the character of the
Savior, is sufficient to destroy the contrast which exists in form
and spirit between the earlier and later narratives" (Introduction
to Study of Gospels, p. 249).

3. The discourses attributed to Jesus in the Fourth Gospel were
evidently composed by the author of that Gospel. This is apparent to
every careful reader.

The teachings ascribed to Jesus in John, then, are spurious; while
those ascribed to him in Matthew, Mark and Luke are of doubtful
authenticity. If any of the teachings of Jesus have been preserved
they exist in the first three Gospels, but the unauthentic character
of the Gospels themselves, renders it impossible to ascribe to him
with certainty a single teaching.




When did Jesus first foretell his passion?

Synoptics: Not until late in his ministry (Matt. xvi, 21; Mark viii,
31; Luke ix, 21-27).

According to John (ii, 19-22) he referred to it at the beginning of
his ministry.


When did he announce his betrayal?

Matthew and Mark: At the Last Supper, while they were eating. "Now
when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did
eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me"
(Matt. xxvi, 20, 21; Mark xiv, 18).

Luke and John: Not until after supper (Luke xxii, 20, 21; John xiii,
2-21). John says that after supper he washed his disciples' feet and
delivered a discourse to them, after which he said, "Verily, verily,
I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me."


Did Jesus say who should betray him?

Matthew and John: He did (Matt. xxvi, 25; John xiii, 26).

Mark and Luke: He did not.


How did he disclose his betrayer?

Matthew: By an implied affirmative answer to Judas' question, "Is
it I?" "Then Judas which betrayed him, answered and said, Master,
is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said" (xxvi, 25).

John: By giving Judas a sop. "Jesus answered, He it is to whom I shall
give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop,
he gave it to Judas Iscariot."


When did Satan enter into Judas?

Luke: Before the Last Supper (xxii, 3-7).

John: After the Last Supper (xiii, 1-27).


How did Judas betray Jesus?

Matthew and Mark: "Now he that betrayed him, gave them a sign, saying,
Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; hold him fast. And forthwith
he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, Master, and kissed him" (Matt. xxvi,
48, 49; Mark xiv, 44, 45).

According to John, Judas did not betray him with a kiss.


What did Jesus say to Judas when he betrayed him?

"Friend, wherefore art thou come?" (Matthew xxvi, 50.)

"Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?" (Luke xxii, 48.)


What was Judas, and what office did he hold?

John: "He was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein"
(xii, 6).

Judas was thus the first Christian treasurer. But why did Jesus,
if omniscient, as claimed, select a thief for this office? Was he
unable to conduct his ministry without the aid of one?


What did Judas receive for betraying his master?

Matthew: "And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver"
(xxvi, 15).

"It is strange that a man who kept the purse, and knew what he would
lose by the death of his chief, should abandon the profits of his
office for so small a sum."--Renan.


What did he do with the money?

Matthew: "Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he
was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces
of silver to the chief priests and elders.... And he cast down the
pieces of silver in the temple and departed" (xxvii, 3-5).

Peter: "Now this man [Judas] purchased a field with the reward of
iniquity" (Acts i, 18).


The purchase of the potter's field was in fulfillment of what prophecy?

Matthew: "That which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they
took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued,
... and gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me"
(xxvii, 9, 10).

This was not spoken by Jeremiah, but by Zechariah. "And the Lord said
unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prized
at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver and cast them to
the potter in the house of the Lord" (xi, 13).

It is evident that the account of the betrayal was inspired,
not by a historical fact, but by a desire to "fulfill" a Messianic
prophecy. Zechariah did not predict an event, but his words did suggest
a fiction. This is the more probable from the fact that Matthew is
the only Evangelist who mentions the thirty pieces of silver.

The story of Christ's last visit to Jerusalem and the story of his
betrayal exclude each other. According to the Evangelists he was
not arrested for any offense he had committed during this visit,
but for offenses he had committed prior to this. Yet during this
visit he is said to have appeared openly with his disciples, making
a triumphal entry into the city, visiting the temple and teaching in
public. In the face of this the story that the Jews were obliged to
bribe one of his disciples in order to apprehend him is absurd. One of
these stories must be false. Regarding them Lord Amberley observes:
"The representation of the Gospels, that Jesus went on teaching in
public to the very end of his career, and yet that Judas received a
bribe for his betrayal, is self-contradictory" (Life of Jesus, p. 214).

To those who believe the accounts of the betrayal of Jesus to be
historical, the ecclesiastical historian, Neander, in his "Life of
Christ," advances a suggestion that is worthy of consideration. The
betrayal of Jesus by Judas, it is suggested, was intended as a
test of his Messiahship. If Jesus was the Messiah, Judas reasoned,
he could save himself; if he was not the Messiah he was an impostor
and deserved death.


What became of Judas?

Matthew: He "went and hanged himself" (xxvii, 5).

Peter: "Falling headlong he burst asunder in the midst, and all his
bowels gushed out" (Acts i, 18).

Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, one of the chief Christian authorities
of the second century, and who wrote before the books of Matthew and
Acts were written, gives the following account of the fate of Judas:

"Judas walked about in the world a great example of impiety; for his
body having swollen so that, on an occasion, when a wagon was moving
on its way, he could not pass it, he was crushed by the chariot and
his bowels gushed out."

The German commentator, Dr. Hase, attempts to reconcile his suicide,
as related by Matthew, with his death by accident, as related by
Peter, by supposing that he attempted to hang himself, but that the
rope broke, causing him to fall with such force as to disembowel
himself. This harmonist apparently forgets to note that Peter says
he fell "headlong," which makes it necessary to suppose that he hung
himself by the feet.


To whom did Peter deliver his speech describing the fate of Judas?

"Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples" (Acts i, 15).

Is it not reasonable to suppose that the alleged information conveyed
in his speech was as familiar to the disciples whom he addressed as
to himself? Regarding this De Wette aptly says: "In the composition
of this speech the author has not considered historical decorum."


What did Peter say in regard to the name of the field?

"And it was known unto all the dwellers of Jerusalem; insomuch as
that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say,
The field of blood" (Acts i, 19).

Here Peter is represented as interpreting in Greek a Jewish word to
his Jewish brethren.


Were there more than one of Jesus' disciples concerned in his betrayal?

John: There were. "For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were [of
his disciples] that believed not, and who should betray him" (vi, 64).


When the Jewish council met to plan the arrest of Jesus, to what
conclusion did they come?

Matthew and Mark: Not to arrest him on the feast day (Matt. xxvi,
3-5; Mark xiv, 1, 2).

Yet this was the very day on which Matthew and Mark declare that he
was arrested.


Who arrested him?

Matthew and Mark: "A great multitude ... from the chief priests and
elders of the people" (Matt. xxvi, 47; Mark xiv, 43).

Luke: "The chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders"
themselves (xxii, 47-52).


Who does John say was sent to arrest him?

A "band of soldiers and officers" (xviii, 3, New Ver.).

This contradicts the Synoptics, who declare that it was a mob of


What is said regarding the multitude sent out to apprehend him?

Synoptics: They were armed "with swords and staves" (Matt. xxvi, 47;
Mark xiv, 43; Luke xxii, 52).

Were the disciples armed?

All: They were, or one of them at least (Matt. xxvi, 51; Mark xiv,
47; Luke xxii, 38, 50; John xviii, 10).

This is incredible, for Jews were never allowed to carry arms on a
holy day.


How did they go out to capture him?

John: "With lanterns and torches" (xviii, 3).

His enemies are represented as believing that his arrest could be
secured only by strategy and stealth. Under these circumstances is
it reasonable to suppose that the chief priests would send out a
torchlight procession to apprehend him? Besides, as it was at the
full of the moon, what need had they of lanterns and torches? Again,
lanterns were unknown in Palestine.


When the band sent to capture him first came up to him what did
they do?

Matthew and Mark: "They laid hands on him and took him" (Matt. xxvi,
47-50; Mark xiv, 43-46).

John: "They went backward and fell to the ground" (xviii, 3-6).


What did Peter do when Jesus was arrested?

John: "Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high
priest's servant, and cut off his right ear" (xviii, 10).

Yet no efforts were made to arrest and punish Peter, notwithstanding he
was recognized and pointed out by the kinsman of the wounded man. It
may be urged that Jesus had healed the servant's ear. This, even if
true, would not have removed the guilt of the militant disciple. Had
Peter really committed the deed, it is not probable that he would have
visited the house of the high priest and remained in the presence of
his enemies.


When was Jesus bound?

John: When he was arrested (xviii, 12).

Matthew and Mark: Not until after his trial before the Sanhedrim when
he was taken to Pilate (Matt. xxvii, 2; Mark xv, 1).

According to Luke he was not bound.


What did they do with Jesus when he was taken?

Matthew: "Led him away to Caiaphas" (xxvi, 57).

John: "Led him away to Annas first" (xviii, 13).


Did he have an examination before his trial?

John: He did (xviii, 13-23).

Our laws provide for what is known as a preliminary examination before
a magistrate. This was forbidden by the Jewish law, and his alleged
examination before a priest could not have taken place.


Before whom did his preliminary examination take place?

John: Before Annas (xviii, 13-23).

The Synoptics state that he was examined and tried before Caiaphas.


Repeat John xviii, 24.

"Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest"
(Old Ver.).

"Annas therefore sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest"
(New Ver.).

This verse follows the account of Jesus' preliminary examination
and shows clearly that this examination took place before Annas,
and that he was not sent to Caiaphas until its conclusion. The King
James translators, in order to hide the discrepancy, prefixed the word
"now" and changed the tense of the verb, substituting "had sent" for
"sent," so that it might appear that Annas had sent him to Caiaphas
before the examination commenced.

Concerning this corruption of the text, Scott says: "There is no
conjunction 'now,' and an aorist cannot mark a definite time. If
a hiatus is suspected, it may be indicated by an asterisk; but to
insert words and alter the force of a tense in order to get over
a grave historical difficulty is sheer dishonesty" (Life of Jesus,
p. 289, note).


Matthew and John state that Caiaphas was high priest at this time. Who
does the author of Acts state was high priest?

"And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander,
and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered
together at Jerusalem" (iv, 6).

Luke (iii, 2), who is declared to be the author of Acts, says that
Annas and Caiaphas were both high priests.

Criticizing John's account of the examination before Annas, the
author of "Supernatural Religion" says: "The Synoptics know nothing
of the preliminary examination before Annas, and the reason given by
the writer of the fourth Gospel why the soldiers first took Jesus to
Annas: 'for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas who was first high priest
that year,' is inadmissible. The assertion is a clear mistake, and it
probably originated in a stranger writing of facts and institutions
with which he was not well acquainted, being misled by an error
equally committed by the author of the third Gospel, and of the Acts
of the Apostles.... Such statements, erroneous in themselves and not
understood by the author of the fourth Gospel, may have led to the
confusion in the narrative. Annas had previously been high priest,
as we know from Josephus, but nothing is more certain than the fact
that the title was not continued after the office was resigned;
and Ishmael, Eleazar, and Simon, who succeeded Annas and separated
his term of office from that of Caiaphas, did not subsequently bear
the title. The narrative is a mistake, and such an error could not
have been committed by a native of Palestine, and much less by an
acquaintance of the high priest" (p. 660).


What is said regarding the tenure of Caiaphas' office?

John: He was "high priest that year" (xi, 49).

John's language implies that the high priest was appointed annually,
whereas he held his office for life, or until removed. Caiaphas had
been high priest for many years.


What had Caiaphas prophesied concerning Jesus?

John: "He prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; and not
for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one
the children of God that were scattered abroad" (xi, 51, 52).

A high priest did not assume the role of prophet, much less would
he have given utterance to the prophecy ascribed to Caiaphas. The
Roman procurator might have expressed such a sentiment, for according
to Roman law and ethics an individual could be sacrificed for the
welfare of the state. The high priest, on the other hand, could
not have uttered such a sentiment, because it was abhorrent to the
Jewish mind. If all Israel could have been saved, and could have been
saved only by the death of one of its innocent members, that member
could not have been put to death, because, according to Jewish law,
it would have made of every Jew concerned in it a murderer. It was
a fundamental principle of the Jewish code that, "No human life must
be abandoned on account of any other life."


Did Jesus have a trial before the Sanhedrim?

Synoptics: He had (Matt. xxvi, 57-75; Mark xiv, 53-72; Luke xxii,

It was about this time (30 A. D.), that the Sanhedrim ceased to have
jurisdiction over capital offenses. After its jurisdiction ceased
Jesus could not have been tried before it; and before its jurisdiction
ceased he would not have had a subsequent trial before Pilate.


Where was his trial held?

Matthew and Mark: At the palace of the high priest.

No trial was ever held at the residence of the high priest. All
meetings of the Sanhedrim were held in the hall adjoining the temple. A
trial at any other place would have been illegal.


What was the charge preferred against him?

All: Blasphemy.

Jesus, it was charged, had declared himself to be the son of
God. This, if true, would not have constituted blasphemy. It was
no offense against the law for a man to claim that he was the son
of God. All men, and especially all good men, were recognized as
the sons of God. Referring to Christ's claim, a Jewish writer says:
"No law, no precedent, and no fictitious case in the Bible or the
rabbinical literature, can be cited to make of this expression a case
of blasphemy." And even if he had been proven guilty of blasphemy,
he could not have been put to death, for blasphemy, at this time,
had ceased to be a capital offense. And is it reasonable to suppose
that the Romans would have condemned a man to death for an offense
against a religion in which they did not themselves believe, but
which they regarded as one of the vilest of superstitions? It may
be urged that in his trial before Pilate the charge was changed to
sedition. This charge was not sustained.


What is said regarding witnesses?

Matthew and Mark: "Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the
council, sought false witnesses against Jesus, to put him to death;
but found none; yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they
none" (Matt. xxvi, 59, 60; Mark xiv, 55, 56).

When every step thus far taken by the council had been illegal, why
should it have been so particular in regard to the witnesses? The
fact is the Evangelists were ignorant of Jewish laws. They believed
that while the prosecution of Jesus was unjust it was yet conducted
according to the established rules of Jewish courts. Referring to
Mark, Dr. Wise says: "In his ignorance of Jewish law, he imagined the
trial which he described was lawful among the Jews. He proves this,
in the first place, by the very statement that witnesses were sought
and produced. A court convoked and acting in rebellion to law and
custom can be considered only a band of rebels. What use have such men
of witnesses? Being lawless from the beginning, no legal restraint
makes the presence of witnesses necessary.... He certainly thought
of an honest, lawful trial, in the legal form; an honest and legal
examination of witnesses, a fair consideration of the testimony,
and after mature reflection the rejection thereof on account of
insufficiency" (Martyrdom of Jesus, pp. 69, 70).


What did the so-called false witnesses that appeared against him
testify that he had said?

"I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days"
(Matthew xxvi, 61).

"I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three
days I will build another made without hands" (Mark xiv, 58).


What had Jesus said?

"Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up" (John
ii, 19).

Passing over the discrepancies of Matthew and Mark, if they have given
the substance of these witnesses' testimony, then they were not false,
but truthful witnesses; for Jesus, it is seen, had given utterance to
such a declaration. If he referred to the temple of his body, as John
affirms, and the Jews misunderstood him, the fault was his, not theirs.

Josephus gives an account of a so-called prophet who, a few years
later, boasted of his supernatural powers in much the same manner
that Jesus is said to have done:

"There came out of Egypt about this time to Jerusalem, one that
said that he was a prophet, and advised the multitude of the common
people to go along to the Mount of Olives, as it was called, which lay
over against the city, and at the distance of five furlongs. He said
further, that he would show them from hence, how, at his command, the
walls of Jerusalem would fall down" (Antiquities, Book xx, chap. viii,
sec. 6).


Was he questioned by the Sanhedrim?

Synoptics: He was. They tried to convict him by his own testimony
(Matt. xxvi, 62-64; Mark xiv, 60-63; Luke xxii, 66-71).

A Jewish court did not question a prisoner. A prisoner could not even
plead guilty.


To the priest's question, "Art thou the Christ?" what answer did
he give?

Mark: "Jesus said, I am" (xiv, 61, 62).

Luke: "He said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe"
(xxii, 67).


When did his trial before the Sanhedrim take place?

Matthew and Mark: During the night. After his arrest, which probably
occurred not later than midnight, they at once "led him away to
Caiaphas the high priest, where ... the chief priests, and elders,
and all the council [Sanhedrim]" had assembled, when his trial
immediately began (Matt. xxvi, 57-68; Mark xiv, 58-65).

Luke: Not until the next morning. During the night he was held in
custody at the house of the high priest. "As soon as it was day,
the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came
together, and led him into the council" (xxii, 66).

This, according to Luke, was his first and only appearance before the
Sanhedrim. Matthew and Mark, in addition to the night trial mentioned
by them, also mention an adjourned session in the morning corresponding
to the meeting of Luke.


Could this trial have been held in the night as stated by Matthew
and Mark?

It could not. The Jewish law prohibited the opening of a trial at
night. The Sanhedrim could not hold a session before 6 a. m. or after
3 p. m. Luke was seemingly acquainted with this law; Matthew and Mark
were not.


During what religious festivities was his trial held?

Synoptics: During the feast of the Passover.

It could not have been held during the Passover, for no trials were
held by the Jews during this feast.


On what day of the week was it held?

Synoptics: On Friday, the day preceding the Sabbath.

No trial for a capital offense was ever allowed to begin on the day
preceding the Sabbath.


How long did this trial last?

All: But a few hours.

The Jewish law required at least two days for a capital trial--one
for prosecution, and one for the defense.


Did he have a defender or counselor in the Sanhedrim?

Synoptics: He did not.

According to the Synoptics he had no counsel, and the Sanhedrim
were unanimous in their condemnation of him. This was contrary to
Jewish law. The Sanhedrim might be unanimous in their belief that he
was guilty, but it was the duty of at least one of them to defend
him. This was the law: "If none of the judges defend the culprit,
i. e., all pronounce him guilty, having no defender in the court,
the verdict of guilty was invalid and the sentence of death could
not be executed" (Maimonides).

Dr. Geikie admits that the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrim, as
related in the Gospels, was in nearly every particular contrary to
Jewish law. He says:

"The accused was in all cases to be held innocent, till proved
guilty. It was an axiom, that 'the Sanhedrim was to save, not to
destroy life.' No one could be tried and condemned in his absence, and
when a person accused was brought before the court, it was the duty of
the president, at the outset, to admonish the witnesses to remember
the value of human life, and to take care that they forgot nothing
that would tell in the prisoner's favor. Nor was he left undefended;
a Baal-Rib, or counsel, was appointed, to see that all possible was
done for his acquittal. Whatever evidence tended to aid him was to
be freely admitted, and no member of the court who had once spoken in
favor of acquittal could afterwards vote for condemnation. The votes
of the youngest of the judges were taken first, that they might not be
influenced by their seniors. In capital charges, it required a majority
of at least two to condemn, and while the verdict of acquittal could
be given at once, that of guilty could only be pronounced the next
day. Hence, capital trials could not begin on the day preceding a
Sabbath, or public feast. No criminal trial could be carried through
in the night; the judges who condemned any one to death had to fast
all the day before, and no one could be executed on the same day on
which the sentence was pronounced." (Life of Christ, vol. ii, p. 487.)


Had Jesus been tried, convicted and executed by the Jews would he
have been crucified?

He would not. Crucifixion was a mode of punishment never employed by
the Jews. Had the Jews executed him he would have been stoned.

It is impliedly stated in the Synoptics, and expressly stated in
John, that the Sanhedrim's jurisdiction over capital crimes had
ceased. "It is not lawful for us to put any man to death" (xviii,
31). The Sanhedrim's authority ceased in 30 A. D., and it is generally
claimed by Christians that the crucifixion occurred from one to five
years after this time.


What does Peter say in regard to the mode of punishment employed in
his execution?

"The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on
a tree" (Acts v, 30).

"And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of
the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom ye slew and hanged on a tree" (x, 39).

Concerning this, Mrs. Evans says: "With regard to his death, it
was said that the Jews slew him and hanged him on a tree; and again
that he was taken down from the tree; expressions which do not imply
crucifixion, but rather the legal execution for such crimes as the
one alleged, that is, stoning to death and the exposure of the dead
body upon a stake, or a tree" (Christ Myth, p. 79).


How was he treated by the Sanhedrim?

Matthew and Mark: "They spit in his face, and buffeted him; and
others smote him with the palms of their hands" (Matt. xxvi, 67;
Mark xiv, 65).

Every Jew, and every other person acquainted with the Jewish history
of that age, knows that this is false. The Sanhedrim was composed of
the wisest and the best men of that race. Superstitious, bigoted and
fanatical some of them doubtless were, but in that august court law
and dignity and decorum reigned.

These accounts of the trial of Christ before the Sanhedrim afford
overwhelming proof that they were not written by apostles nor by
residents of Palestine. They were written by Gentile Christians,
or by Jewish converts living in foreign lands, and presumably the
former, for even foreign Jews must have possessed a better knowledge
of Jewish laws and customs than the Evangelists display.


During the trial Peter denied his master. What had Jesus predicted
concerning his denial?

Matthew, Luke and John: "Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee,
that this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice"
(Matt. xxvi, 34; Luke xxii, 34; John xiii, 38).

Mark: "And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, that this
day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny
me thrice" (xiv, 30).


Did Peter deny him three times before the cock crew?

Matthew, Luke and John: He did (Matt. xxvi, 69-75; Luke xxii, 54-62;
John xviii, 15-27).

Mark: He did not; he had denied him but once when the cock crew
(xiv, 66-68).


Where were they when Jesus foretold Peter's denial?

Matthew and Mark: At the Mount of Olives (Matt. xxvi, 30-35; Mark
xiv, 26-30).

Luke: In Jerusalem, at supper, before they went out to the Mount of
Olives (xxii, 7-39).


What did Peter do when he entered the palace?

Luke: "Peter sat down among them" (xxii, 55).

John: "Peter stood with them" (xviii, 18).


When was he first accused of being the friend of Jesus?

John: As he entered the room (xviii, 16, 17).

Mark and Luke: As he sat by the fire (Mark xiv, 66, 67; Luke xxii,


When was he accused the second time?

John: In the house as he "stood and warmed himself" (xviii, 25).

Matthew: "When he was gone out into the porch" (xxvi, 71).


By whom was he accused the second time?

Matthew and Mark: By a "maid" (Matt. xxvi, 71; Mark xiv, 69).

Luke: By a "man" (xxii, 59, 60).


Who accused him the third time?

Matthew and Mark: "They that stood by" (Matt. xxvi, 73; Mark xiv, 70).

John: "One of the servants of the high priest" (xviii, 26).


Was Jesus present when Peter denied him?

Matthew and Mark: He was not.

Luke: He was. "The Lord turned and looked upon Peter" (xxii, 60, 61).


Where was Jesus next sent for trial?

Luke: To Herod, tetrarch of Galilee, who was attending the Passover
at Jerusalem (xxiii, 6-11).

In the matter of trials the Evangelists, as in everything else,
have overdone things. Notwithstanding no trial was ever held during
the Passover they give him four trials in one day, and not finding
courts enough in Judea for the purpose, they import one from Galilee.

There is nothing more improbable than this alleged examination of
Jesus by Herod. Imagine the Governor General of Canada sitting in
judgment on a criminal at Washington, because the criminal is a
Canadian, or an Ohio court holding a session in New York because
the prisoner arraigned once lived in Ohio. The offenses with which
Jesus was charged were committed, not in Herod's province, Galilee,
but in Pilate's province, Judea.

It is strange that John, who pretends to relate every important
event connected with the trial of Jesus, should omit his trial
before Herod. Concerning this Strauss says: "The conjecture, that
it may probably have appeared to him [John] too unimportant, loses
all foundation when it is considered that John does not scorn to
mention the leading away to Annas, which nevertheless was equally
indecisive; and in general, the narrative of these events in John is,
as Schleiermacher himself confesses, so consecutive that it nowhere
presents a break in which such an episode could be inserted. Hence even
Schleiermacher at last takes refuge in the conjecture that possibly
the sending to Herod may have escaped the notice of John, because
it happened on an opposite side to that on which the disciple stood,
through a back door; and that it came to the knowledge of Luke because
his informant had an acquaintance in the household of Herod, as John
had in that of Annas; the former conjecture, however, is figuratively
as well as literally nothing more than a back door; the latter, a
fiction which is but the effort of despair" (Leben Jesu, pp. 764, 765).


What was the result of Pilate's sending Jesus to Herod?

Luke: "And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together,
for before they were at enmity between themselves" (xxiii, 12).

Pilate and Herod did not become friends. To the day of Pilate's recall
they were enemies. Herod was continually plotting and striving to
unite with his tetrarchy the province of Judea which belonged to his
father's kingdom, and which his father had promised to give him.


Did Jesus's trial before Pilate take place in the presence of his

Luke: It did (xxiii, 1-4, 13, 14).

John: It did not (xviii, 28).


Did Pilate go out of the judgment hall to consult with those who were
prosecuting Jesus?

Luke: He did not (xxiii, 1-25).

John: He did. "Pilate then went out unto them [the Jews], and said,
What accusation bring ye against this man? They answered and said unto
him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up
unto thee.... Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and
called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus
answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell
it thee of me?" (xxiii, 29, 30, 33, 34.)

The prosecution and the defense are both declared to have returned
insolent answers to the questions of Pilate. The Jewish priests
were too wise for this, and Christians will be loath to admit that
their Savior was so indiscreet and so impolite as to indulge in
such insolence.


What was the result of his trial before Pilate?

All: Pilate declared him innocent and sentenced him to death.

"And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the
rulers and the people, said unto them, Ye have brought this man
unto me, as one that perverteth the people; and, behold, I, having
examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching
those things whereof ye accuse him.... And Pilate gave sentence that
it should be as they required.... He delivered Jesus to their will"
(Luke xxiii, 13, 14, 24, 25).

"Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him; for I find no
fault in him" (John xix, 6).

It is impossible to believe that the highest court of a country would
pronounce a prisoner innocent and then condemn him to death. Judicial
murders are sometimes committed, but the murderers do not confess
their guilt.

It is declared that Pilate desired to release Jesus but could not. Who
ruled Judea, Pilate or the Sanhedrim? According to the Evangelists,
the Romans ruled Judea, while the Jews ruled the Romans.

Between the Pilate of the New Testament and the Pilate of history there
is nothing in common. The Pilate of the New Testament is subservient to
the Jews, acceding to their every wish, even to murdering an innocent
prisoner. The Pilate of history is noted for his hatred of the Jews
and his cruelties to them. It was these which provoked his recall.


When Pilate could not prevail upon the Jews to allow him to release
Jesus, what did he do?

Matthew: "He took water, and washed his hands before the multitude,
saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person" (xxvii, 24).

Matthew does not appear to realize the absurdity of supposing that
a Roman official would adopt a custom peculiar to a people whom he
held in contempt.

"And all the elders of that city, that are next unto the slain man
shall wash their hands ... and they shall answer and say, Our hands
have not shed this blood" (Deuteronomy xx, 6, 7).


What indignities were heaped upon Jesus during his trial before Pilate?

John: "Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the
soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and
they put on him a purple robe, and said, Hail, King of the Jews! and
they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again,
and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may
know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the
crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them,
Behold the man!" (xix, 1-5.)

These indignities Jesus is said to have suffered, not at the hands of
a Jewish mob, but at the hands of a Roman court, from which the Jews
had absented themselves and whose proceedings they could not witness
nor directly influence. Every lawyer knows that for more than two
thousand years the Roman court has been the world's model for dignity
and fairness. That an innocent and defenseless prisoner was subjected
to these insults and brutalities in a Roman court, presided over by
a Roman governor, none but a slave of superstition can believe.


When was he scourged?

Matthew and Mark: Before he was executed. "And when he [Pilate] had
scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified" (Matt. xxvii, 26;
Mark xv, 15).

John: Before the termination of his trial (xix, 1-16).

Scourging was frequently inflicted by the Romans before execution,
but never before the prisoner was convicted and sentenced. The
"Bible Dictionary" concedes the illegal and unusual character
of the scourging mentioned by John. "In our Lord's case, however,
this infliction seems neither to have been the legal scourging after
sentence nor yet the examination by torture" (Acts xxii, 24).


What custom is said to have been observed at the Passover?

All: The release of a prisoner by the Roman governor (Matt. xxvii,
15; Mark xv, 6; Luke xxiii, 17; John xviii, 39).

"Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people
a prisoner, whom they would."

There is no historical authority whatever for this alleged custom. It
was a custom that the Roman government in Judea could not with
safety adopt. The Jews were a subject people, waiting and hoping
for an opportunity to throw off the Roman yoke. To release to them
"whomsoever they desired" (Mark xv, 6) might be to release a political
prisoner whose liberty would endanger the government itself. This
story was probably suggested by a custom of the Roman emperors who
released a prisoner at their birthday festivals.


They demanded and obtained the release of Barrabas. Who was Barrabas?

John: A robber. "Now Barrabas was a robber" (xviii, 40).

Mark and Luke: A murderer. "Barrabas (who for a certain sedition made
in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison)" (Luke xxiii, 18,
19; Mark xv, 7).


By whom was Jesus clad in mockery?

Matthew, Mark and John: By Pilate's soldiers (Matt. xxvii, 27, 28;
Mark xv, 16, 17; John xix, 1, 2).

Luke: By Herod and his soldiers. "And Herod with his men of war set
him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe"
(xxiii, 11).


What was the color of the robe they put on him?

Matthew: "They stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe" (xxvii,

Mark and John: "They put on him a purple robe" (John xix, 2; Mark
xv, 17).


When did this occur?

John: During his trial (xix, 1, 2, 12-16).

Matthew and Mark: After Pilate had delivered him to be crucified
(Matt. xxvii, 26-28; Mark xv, 15-17).


Describe the mocking of Jesus.

Matthew: "Then released he Barrabas unto them; and when he had scourged
Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the
governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him
the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a
scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put
it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand; and they bowed the
knee before him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!" (xxvii, 26-29.)

The original of this account of the mocking of Jesus is to be found in
Philo's "Adversus Flaccum," written more than one hundred years before
the Gospels made their appearance. Herod Agrippa was on his way from
Rome to Palestine to assume the government of that country. When he
stopped at Alexandria his enemies, to annoy him, instituted a mock
coronation, which Philo relates as follows:

"There was a certain poor wretch named Carrabas, who spent all his
days and nights in the roads, the sport of idle children and wanton
youths; and the multitude, having driven him as far as the public
gymnasium, and having set him up there on high, that he might be
seen of everybody, flattening out a papyrus leaf, put it on his head
instead of a crown, and clothed the rest of his body with a common mat
in place of a robe, and in lieu of a sceptre thrust into his hand a
reed, which they found lying by the wayside. And when he had received
all the insignia of royalty, and had been dressed and adorned like a
king, young men bearing sticks on their shoulders stood on each side
of him in imitation of guards, while others came up, some as if to
salute him, and others pretending to plead their causes before him"
(Philo's Works, vol. iv, pp. 68, 69).


Who smote Jesus after his trial?

Mark: "The servants did strike him with the palms of their hands"
(xiv, 65).

John: "One of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm
of his hand" (xviii, 22).

The stories of these mockings, revilings, and brutal assaults cannot
be accepted as historical. They are self-evidently false. Were they
alleged to have been committed by an irresponsible Jewish or Roman
mob they might be credited; but when they are declared to have been
committed by, or while in the custody of the highest Jewish and Roman
officials they must be rejected.


To whom did Pilate deliver him to be crucified?

Matthew and Mark: To the Roman soldiers. "And when he had scourged
Jesus he delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the
governor took Jesus.... And when they were come unto a place called
Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, ... they crucified him"
(Matt. xxvii, 26-35; Mark xv, 15-24).

John: He delivered him to the Jews. "And he saith unto the Jews, Behold
your King! But they cried out, Away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith
unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We
have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to
be crucified. And they took Jesus and led him away. And he bearing his
cross went forth into a place called the place of the skulls, which
is called in Hebrew Golgotha; where they crucified him" (xix, 14-18).

Matthew and Mark plainly state that Jesus was delivered to the Roman
soldiers; John just as plainly states that he was delivered to the
Jews. Matthew and Mark declare that he was crucified by the soldiers;
John declares that he was crucified by the Jews. Were it not that
John elsewhere (xix, 23) contradicts himself and states that the
soldiers crucified him, the conclusion would be, after reading John,
that he was crucified by the Jews.

Peter declares that the Jews executed him. Addressing the Sanhedrim,
he says: "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and
hanged on a tree" (Acts v, 30).


Who was compelled to carry the cross?

Synoptics: "And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon
by name; him they compelled to bear his cross" (Matt. xxvii, 32;
Mark xv, 21; Luke xxiii, 26).

John: The cross was borne by Jesus himself (xix, 17).


Where was Simon when they compelled him to carry the cross?

Mark: "Coming out of the country" (xv, 21).

The correct reading of this is, "coming from the field," i. e.,
"coming from his work." This is improbable as they did not work on
the Passover.


The Synoptics agree in stating that Simon was compelled to carry the
cross. Is this probable?

It is not. In executions of this kind the criminal was always required
to carry it himself as a mark of disgrace.


It is inferred from the Synoptics that the cross was too heavy for
Jesus to bear, and Christian writings and paintings represent him
bending with fatigue beneath the burden of the entire cross. What
was the burden he was required to carry?

Simply the patibulum, or cross piece, which was not heavy. The upright
portion of the cross was a permanent fixture.


On his way to execution he made a speech to the women of Jerusalem who
bewailed his fate. Alluding, as is alleged, to the coming destruction
of Jerusalem, what did he declare they would say?

"To the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us" (Luke
xxiii, 30).

Luke attempts to put into the mouth of Jesus a quotation from Hosea,
but his memory was defective. What the prophet said was as follows:

"To the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us" (Hosea
x, 8).

Renan pronounces this speech spurious. He says: "The speech to the
women of Jerusalem could scarcely have been conceived except after
the siege of the year 70."


Where was he crucified?

Matthew and Mark: At "a place called Golgotha, that is to say,
a place of a skull" (Matt. xxvii, 33; Mark xv, 22).

Luke: At Calvary (xxiii, 33).

Calvary, like Golgotha, means a place of skulls in the vicinity of
Jerusalem. The explanation given by Christian commentators is that
"it was a spot where executions ordinarily took place, and therefore
abounded in skulls." Fleetwood says it "was called Golgotha, or
Place of Skulls, from the criminals' bones which lay scattered there"
(Life of Christ, p. 416). Where Jewish customs prevailed--and it is
admitted that they did prevail in Jerusalem and Judea at this time,
and had for hundreds of years--a human skull or bone was not allowed
to be exposed for even a moment.


What was the inscription on the cross?

Mark: "The King of the Jews" (xv, 26).

Luke: "This is the King of the Jews" (xxiii, 38).

Matthew: "This is Jesus the King of the Jews" (xxvii, 37).

John: "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews" (xix, 19).

There was placed on the cross a certain inscription. According to
Luke and John it appeared in Greek, Latin and Hebrew. Four divinely
inspired historians attempt to report in Greek the exact words of
this inscription. Yet no two of their reports agree.


Did the name of Jesus appear on the cross?

Matthew and John: It did.

Mark and Luke: It did not.


Did the word "Nazareth" appear in the inscription?

John: It did.

Synoptics: It did not.


What did they offer him to drink before crucifying him?

Matthew: "Vinegar mingled with gall" (xxvii, 34).

Mark: "Wine mingled with myrrh" (xv, 23).

Luke: "Vinegar" alone (xxiii, 36).

The draughts mentioned by Matthew and Mark refer to a Jewish mixture
intended to produce stupefaction and lessen pain. Had the Romans
crucified him it is not probable that they would have observed this
Jewish custom.


How was he fastened on the cross?

Luke and John: His hands and feet were nailed to it (Luke xxiv, 39;
John xx, 25, 27).

The Evangelists do not say that he was nailed to the cross; but it
has been inferred from the texts mentioned in Luke and John that he
was. In crucifixion the victim was usually bound to the cross. Nails
were sometimes driven through the hands, but never through the
feet. The allusions to the supposed wounds on his hands and feet were
evidently inserted in the accounts for the purpose of establishing his
identity after the resurrection. Great prominence has been given them
by Christians in order to make Christ's crucifixion appear especially
cruel and create sympathy for him.


At what hour of the day was he crucified?

Mark: "It was the third hour [nine o'clock in the morning]" (xv, 25).

Luke: "It was about the sixth hour [noon]" (xxiii, 44).

John: At the sixth hour he had not been sentenced and delivered to
the executioners; hence he was not crucified until the afternoon
(xix, 14-16).

Dr. Geikie admits that three hours may have elapsed between the
termination of his trial and his crucifixion. Hence, according to
John, the crucifixion may have occurred as late as three o'clock in
the afternoon.

It has been attempted to explain the discrepancy between Mark and
John by supposing that John used a different method of reckoning
time. Concerning this, Prof. Sanday, one of England's highest orthodox
authorities, says: "The writer of this was at one time inclined to
look with favor on these attempts. If the premise could be proved,
the data would work out satisfactorily.... But it must definitely be
said that the major premise cannot be proved, and that the attempt
to reconcile the two statements on this basis breaks down."


How did the soldiers divide the garments?

Matthew: "And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting
lots; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They
parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots"
(xxvii, 35).

John: "Then the soldiers when they had crucified Jesus, took
his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and
also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top
throughout. They said, therefore, among themselves, Let us not rend it,
but cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the scripture might be
fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for
my vesture they did cast lots" (xix, 23, 24).

According to Matthew they cast lots for all the garments; according
to John they cast lots for the coat alone. John here makes the same
error in regard to the garments that Matthew does in regard to the
ass on which Jesus made his triumphal entry. In the verse cited from
Psalms garments and vesture are the same thing--the clothing of the
writer. One of the chief characteristics of Hebrew poetry, or much
of it at least, is that each successive thought is stated twice,
but in different words.


Who were crucified with Jesus?

Mark and Matthew: "And with him they crucify two thieves" (Mark xv,
27; Matt. xxvii, 38).

Thieves were not crucified. Crucifixion, or death in any form, for
theft was contrary to both Jewish and Roman law. Theft was not a
capital offense.


His crucifixion between two thieves fulfilled what prophecy?

Mark: "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, And he shall be
numbered with the transgressors" (xv, 28).

"The same thing might be said of the thieves."--Paine.

This passage is not to be found in the earlier manuscripts of Mark,
and Westcott declares it to be an interpolation.


How long did Jesus survive after being placed upon the cross?

Luke: About three hours (xxiii, 44).

A Jamaica negro slave, crucified in 1760, lived two hundred and
ten hours.

Kitto says: "We may consider thirty-six hours to be the earliest
period at which crucifixion would occasion death in a healthy adult"
(Biblical Cyclopedia, Art. Crucifixion).


What were his last words?

Matthew: "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani, that is to say, My God, my God,
why hast thou forsaken me?" (xxvii, 46).

Mark: "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani, which is, being interpreted,
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (xv, 34.)

Luke: "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (xxiii, 46).

John: "It is finished" (xix, 30).

With the Four Gospels before them, Christians do not know what his
last words were. The two most popular English Lives of Christ are
those of Dr. Farrar and Dr. Geikie. These writers were contemporaries
and friends, and both were adherents of the same church. Both, with
these Gospels for their authorities, attempt to portray the closing
scene. I quote from each:

Dr. Farrar: "And now the end was come. Once more, in the words of the
sweet Psalmist of Israel, but adding to them that title of trustful
love which, through Him, is permitted to the use of all mankind,
'Father,' he said, 'into Thy hands I commend my spirit.' Then with one
more great effort he uttered the last cry--the one victorious word,
'It is finished.'"

Dr. Geikie: "A moment more, and all was over. The cloud had passed as
suddenly as it rose. Far and wide, over the vanquished throngs of his
enemies, with a loud voice, as if uttering his shout of eternal victory
before entering into his glory, he cried, 'It is finished!' Then, more
gently, came the words, 'Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.'"


In what language were his last words uttered?

Matthew: In Hebrew.

Mark: In Aramaic and Hebrew.

The language spoken by Jesus and by the people of Palestine at this
time was the Aramaic. Mark attempts to give the words of Jesus in
this language. But while the first two words are Aramaic, the last
two are Hebrew. The words Mark attempts to give are "Elohi, Elohi,
metul mah shabaktani?" This Gospel was written by one ignorant of
the language of Palestine.


Matthew interprets the Hebrew words quoted by him to mean, "My God,
my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Is this correct?

It is not. The words mean, "My God, my God, why hast thou sacrificed

The Gospel of Matthew, it is claimed, originally appeared in
Hebrew. But this shows that the author of Matthew did not understand
the Hebrew language.


What are the words given by Matthew and Mark?

The first words of the 22d Psalm. In the words of Farrar, "He borrowed
from David's utter agony the expression of his own."

Is it probable that a man in the agonies of a terrible death would
devote his expiring breath to a recital of Hebrew poetry? When even
the dying words of this Christ are borrowed, is it not evident that
the whole story of his life is fabulous?

The accounts of the crucifixion given by the Evangelists are to a
large extent reproductions of the 22d Psalm, even to the language
itself, the poetical allusions of the psalmist being transformed into
alleged historical facts. The devout Christian who is familiar with
this Passion Psalm sees in the Evangelists' account of the crucifixion
a wonderful fulfillment of prophecy. But the critic sees merely the
borrowed embellishments of a legend.


What expression did his words, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani," provoke?

Matthew: "Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said,
This man calleth for Elias" (xxvii, 47).

This is additional proof of Matthew's ignorance of Hebrew. He
supposes a similarity of sound between the two words, whereas they
were utterly unlike in pronunciation. Eli was pronounced Ali (long
a), while Elias was pronounced Eleeyahu. But even had they been so
much alike in sound that one might have been mistaken for the other,
as Matthew supposes, the alleged incident is disproved by the fact
that the Jews were not allowed to attend the execution, while to the
Romans the words were meaningless.


Who was it bade them see whether Elias would come to his rescue?

Mark: The one who gave him the sponge filled with vinegar. "And one
ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and
gave him to drink, saying, Let alone, let us see whether Elias will
come to take him down" (xv, 36).

Matthew: It was not this person, but those who were with him. "And
straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge and filled it with
vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said,
Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him" (xxvii,
48, 49).

In regard to these alleged last words of Jesus, Dr. Hooykaas says:
"It seems to us far more probable that these words of the Messianic
passion-psalm were put into the mouth of Jesus by tradition than
that he really uttered them. The sequel, too, throws great suspicion
on the report; for the Jews were not allowed to approach the cross,
and what did the Roman soldiers know about Elijah? Besides, if the
Jews had really heard him cry "Eli!" or "Eloi!" they would hardly
have mistaken the words of the twenty-second Psalm for a cry to the
precursor of the Messianic kingdom--a mistake upon which their raillery
is made to depend. We must, therefore, put aside these words, as in
all probability unhistorical" (Bible for Learners, vol. iii, p. 454).


Did the thieves between whom he was crucified both revile him?

Matthew and Mark: They did. "And they that were crucified with him
reviled him" (Mark xv, 32; Matt. xxvii, 44).

Luke: They did not; but one reviled him. "And one of the malefactors
which were hanged railed on him.... But the other answering rebuked
him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same
condemnation?" (xxiii, 39, 40.)

If these men were crucified with Jesus, as claimed, neither reviled
him. Reason rejects the statement that a dying man, suffering
unutterable agony, reviled a fellow sufferer.


What request did the penitent thief make of Jesus?

Luke: "And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest
into thy kingdom" (xxiii, 42).

Here the dying thief is represented as being familiar with a subject
which the disciples themselves did not at this time comprehend.


What did Jesus say to the thief?

"Today shalt thou be with me in paradise" (Luke xxiii, 43).

Instead of going to the Christian Heaven above, they went to the
Jewish-Pagan Sheol (Hell) below. Did Jesus recant on the cross? Did
he renounce the Kingdom of God when God deserted him? Concerning this
remarkable passage, Smith's "Bible Dictionary" says:

"The Rabbis in the time of our Savior taught there was a region of
the world of the dead, of Sheol, in the heart of the earth. Gehenna
was on one side, with its flames and torments; Paradise on the other,
the intermediate home of the blessed.... It is significant, indeed,
that the word 'paradise' nowhere occurs in the public teaching of
our Lord, or in his intercourse with his disciples. Connected as it
had been with the thoughts of a sensuous happiness, it was not the
fittest nor the best word for those whom he was training to rise out
of sensuous thoughts to the higher regions of the spiritual life. For
them, accordingly, the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of God, are the
words most dwelt on. With the thief dying on the cross the case was
different. We can assume nothing in the robber-outlaw but the most
rudimentary forms of the popular belief. The answer to his prayer gave
him what he needed most, the assurance of immediate rest and peace."

The explanation of the apologist is as lame as the story of the
Evangelist. Did Jesus go to Hell with the thief because the thief was
unfit to go to Heaven with him? This apologist says that Jesus used
these words--gave expression to a false doctrine--because the thief
was incapable of comprehending the true doctrine. But this conflicts
with the alleged words of the thief himself which show that he did
comprehend the nature of the kingdom of Heaven. It was this, and not
the peace of the grave, for which he prayed.


What were the centurion's words?

Luke: "Certainly this was a righteous man" (xxiii, 47).

Matthew: "Truly this was the Son of God" (xxvii, 54).

We have here the anomaly of a Roman officer--a Pagan--entertaining
a Jewish doctrine of a Messiah, and accepting the Christian claim
that Jesus was the Messiah. If this be true it is strange that he
permitted his soldiers to insult and abuse Jesus.


After Jesus expired what did one of the soldiers do?

John: "One of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side" (xix, 34).

It is remarkable that the Synoptics, who pretend to relate every
important incident connected with the crucifixion, make no mention
of the spear thrust.


What is said to have issued from the wound?

John: "And forthwith came there out blood and water" (xix, 34).

According to a well known physiological fact, if Jesus was still
alive or had but recently expired, not blood and water, but blood
alone would have flowed from the wound. If he was dead, and it is
stated that he was, then neither blood nor water would have flowed
from it. When blood is drawn from a living body it becomes separated
into two parts, a thick substance known as febrine, and a watery
fluid known as serum. John was familiar with this fact and supposed
that this also took place in a corpse, which is not the case.

Dr. Cabanes, a noted physician of Paris, writes as follows regarding
the crucifixion of Jesus:

"It appears that crucifixion alone could not have produced the death
of Jesus, and in reference to the wounds produced by the nails, these
wounds being the result of crushing, the hemorrhage was small. A
burning fever might possibly occur which would be manifested by an
intense thirst, but the flow of blood could not be sufficient to
cause death. Death in this case is preceded by a comatose condition
which would be inconsistent with the cry uttered in a loud voice by
Jesus shortly before his last breath. All the commentators of the
gospels further agree that Jesus did not remain more than three to
six hours on the cross, and death cannot be produced by an exposure
of this duration to this mode of torture.

"The generally accepted version of the lance wound received by Jesus
is that the blow was struck on the left side and that there flowed from
the wound water mingled with blood. It has been correctly remarked that
blood does not flow from a corpse, and therefore if blood followed the
lance stroke, Jesus must have been alive; further, in order that the
blow might have killed the dying man, it must have injured a vital
organ. It must be observed that a lance directed upward and from
right to left could not reach the right-hand cavities of the heart
without first opening the peritoneal cavity, traversing the liver,
the pericardium and perhaps the pleura. We must therefore ask how the
few hundred grams of blood which a right ventricle could contain, could
penetrate to the exterior of the body after such a great wound. Also
with those who die slowly there is found a distended heart in which
the blood has very rapidly coagulated, and it must follow that if a
flood of the liquid appeared on the side of Jesus it could not have
come from the heart. With regard to the vena cava, its situation is
too far back to have allowed it to be touched by the lance. If the
wound had been in the stomach a lesion of the digestive tube would
have been disclosed by an ejection of blood mingled with alimentary
matter, either from the mouth or the opening of the wound, or at
least by a discharge of blood into the abdominal cavity. Had the liver
been touched the symptoms of an internal hemorrhage would have been
observed, as in the case of President Carnot, in whose case the blow of
the poignard, directed downward, perforated the liver and the portal
vein, inducing a state of coma, whereas Jesus, we have been told,
cried out with a loud voice. We thus see that death was not due to
the lance wound or to the torture of crucifixion, as so often stated."


Was Christ's suffering foretold by the prophets?

Peter: "But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth
of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled"
(Acts iii, 18).

God had not showed by the mouth of all his prophets, nor by the
mouth of even one of his prophets, that Christ should suffer. The
prophets know nothing of a suffering Messiah. There is not a text in
the Old Testament referring to such a Messiah. The passages relating
to suffering cited by the Evangelists and applied to Christ have no
reference whatever to a Messiah. The Encyclopedia Britannica says:
"That the Jews in the time of Christ believed in a suffering and
atoning Messiah is, to say the least, unproved and highly improbable."


What marvelous events occurred at the time of the crucifixion?

Matthew: "There was darkness over all the land" (xxvii, 45). "The
veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and
the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened;
and many bodies of the saints which slept arose" (51, 52).

Mark and Luke: "There was darkness over the whole land" (Mark xv,
33). "And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to
the bottom" (38).

Mark and Luke know nothing of two of the important events related by
Matthew; John is ignorant of all of them. Had these events really
happened, the naturalists and chroniclers of that age would have
recorded them. As they make no mention of them, we know that they
did not occur.

If we accept the claims of their followers, nearly all the gods and
heroes of antiquity expired amid the convulsions of Nature. The soul
of Romulus went out amid the battling of her elements; "the sun was
darkened and the sky rained fire and ashes" when the Hindu Krishna
left his saddened followers; "the earth shook, the rocks were rent,
the graves opened, and in a storm which threatened the dissolution of
the universe," Prometheus closed his earthly career; a pall of darkness
settled over Egypt when her Osiris died; the death of Alexander was
succeeded by six hours of preternatural gloom; and--

                          "Ere the mighty Julius fell,
        The grave stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
        Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets."


How long did the darkness last?

Synoptics: From the sixth to the ninth hour (Matt. xxvii, 45; Mark xv,
33; Luke xxiii, 44).

According to Matthew and Luke this darkness lasted from the time that
he was suspended upon the cross until he died. Yet his executioners
are ignorant of it. Luke says: "His acquaintances, and the women that
followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things
[the crucifixion]" (xxiii, 49), which they could not have done had
this darkness really occurred.

If this darkness occurred, and began at the sixth hour, as stated by
the Synoptics, then, according to John, the conclusion of the trial,
the sentencing of Jesus, the preparations for his execution, and the
journey to Golgotha, all took place during the darkness, a conclusion
which the nature of the narrative utterly precludes.

Christian apologists have cited Phlegon who notices an eclipse which
occurred about this time. But there is a variance of at least six
years in regard to the time that Jesus was crucified. Besides an
eclipse could not have occurred within two weeks of a Passover, on
the occurrence of which he is declared to have been executed. Farrar
says: "It could have been no darkness of any natural eclipse, for
the Paschal moon was at the full" (Life of Christ, p. 505). Geikie
says: "It is impossible to explain the origin of this darkness. The
Passover moon was then at the full, so that it could not have been an
eclipse. The earlier fathers, relying on a notice of an eclipse that
seemed to coincide in time, though it really did not, fancied that the
darkness was caused by it, but incorrectly" (Life of Christ, Vol. ii,
p. 624, Notes). "The celebrated passage of Phlegon," says Gibbon,
"is now wisely abandoned" (Rome, Vol. i, p. 589, Note).


Was the veil of the temple rent, as our Gospel of Matthew declares?

The Gospel of Matthew, it is affirmed, originally appeared in Hebrew,
St. Jerome, who had this original version, says: "In that Gospel which
is written in Hebrew letters, we read, not that the veil of the temple
was rent, but that a lintel (or beam) of a prodigious size fell down."

Commenting on this alleged prodigy, the rending of the veil,
Strauss says: "Now the object of the divine Providence in effecting
such a miracle could only have been this: to produce in the Jewish
contemporaries of Jesus a deep impression of the importance of his
death, and to furnish the first promulgators of the gospel with a
fact to which they might appeal in support of their cause. But, as
Schleiermacher has shown, nowhere else in the New Testament, either
in the apostolic epistles or in Acts, or even in the Epistle to the
Hebrews, in connection with the subject of which it could scarcely
fail to be suggested, is this event mentioned: on the contrary,
with the exception of this bare Synoptical notice, every trace of it
is lost; which could scarcely have been the case if it had really
formed a ground of apostolical argument. Thus the divine purpose
in ordaining this miracle must have totally failed, or, since this
is inconceivable, it cannot have been ordained for this object--in
other words, since neither any other object of the miracle, nor yet
a mode in which the event might happen naturally can be discovered,
it cannot have happened at all" (Leben Jesu, p. 789).


Matthew declares that the dead arose on the day of the
crucifixion. When did they come out of their graves?

Not until after Christ's resurrection, which did not occur until the
following week. "And many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and
came out of the graves after his resurrection" (Matt. xxvii, 52, 53).

"They were polite enough to sit in their open graves and wait for
Christ to rise first."--Ingersoll.


From what source was Matthew's story regarding these marvelous
events derived?

From Zechariah: "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount
of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the East, and the Mount
of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof ... and half of the
mountain shall remove toward the North, and half of it toward the
South.... Ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake
in the days of Uzziah King of Judah; and the Lord my God shall come,
and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day,
that the light shall not be clear" (xiv, 4-6).

Concerning this Dr. Wise says: "God who comes, according to Zachariah,
to fight for Jerusalem, will stand upon Mount Olivet. Therefore,
Jesus, during his fight against Pharisees, Sadducees and priests, had
to make his principal home on Mount Olivet. But he could not split the
mountain, as Zachariah imagined God would, and move one part North and
the other South; therefore, the curtain of the temple had to be torn in
twain when Jesus died, although none has ever mentioned the fact. The
curtain was there some thirty-five years after the death of Jesus; had
it been torn, somebody must have noticed it. The earthquake mentioned
by Zachariah, of course, was borrowed to embellish Calvary.... Because
Zachariah states God coming to Jerusalem, 'And the Lord my God cometh,
all the saints with thee,' therefore the saints and not the sinners
had to resurrect and visit the city on that particular day. But in
the fertile imagination of Zachariah, the day of that terrible combat
must be dark.... This darkness was transported over to Calvary to
embellish the scene.... So these miracles were not wrought, but the
entire outer embellishment of Calvary is taken from Zachariah; not
because it was believed this prophecy referred to Jesus, but simply
because the evangelical writers were incompetent to invent original
poetry" (Martyrdom of Jesus, p. 116).


What request did the Jews make of Pilate concerning Jesus and the

John: They "besought Pilate that their legs might be broken" (xix, 31).

This punishment, known as crurifragium, was a distinct mode of
execution and was never united with crucifixion. Crucifixion, we have
seen, was not employed to punish theft. Neither was crurifragium. Yet
we are asked to believe that both modes of execution, two of
the cruelest forms of punishment, were combined to punish these
offenders. The Synoptics do not mention this punishment.


When the soldiers broke the legs of the thieves, why did they spare
those of Jesus?

John: "That the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall
not be broken" (xix, 36).

This refers to Exodus xii, 46, and relates to the disposition to be
made of the lamb used at the Passover. Nearly the entire chapter from
which John quotes is devoted to this subject. Among other things it
states that "They shall eat the flesh in that night, ... his head with
his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing
of it remain until the morning" (8-10). If a part of this prophecy
was fulfilled, may not all of it have been fulfilled? And if all of
it was fulfilled, will not this account for the empty sepulchre?

Regarding the failure of the soldiers to break the legs of Jesus,
as ordered, "Supernatural Religion" says: "An order having been given
to the Roman soldiers, in accordance with the request of the Jews, to
break the legs of the crucified, we are asked to believe that they did
not execute it in the case of Jesus. It is not reasonable to suppose,
however, that Roman soldiers either were in the habit of disregarding
their orders, or could have any motive for doing so in this case,
and subjecting themselves to the severe punishment for disobedience
inflicted by Roman military law. It is argued that they saw that Jesus
was already dead, and, therefore, that it was not necessary to break
his legs; but soldiers are not in the habit of thinking in this way;
they are disciplined to obey" (p. 993).


What demand was made by the Jews on the evening of the crucifixion?

John: That their bodies be taken down from the cross (xix, 31).

John was evidently familiar with the Mosaic law (Deut. xxi, 22, 23)
which, in cases of hanging, enjoined the burial of the body on the
day of execution, but seemingly ignorant of the Roman law under which
they were executed, which, in cases of crucifixion, prohibited burial,
requiring the body to remain upon the cross until decayed, or birds
and beasts had devoured it. The Jews esteemed it sinful to allow a
criminal to "remain all night upon the tree;" but the Jewish law was
inapplicable to the Roman mode of punishment which presupposed that
the criminal would remain on the cross several days and nights before
death ensued.


What additional reason was there for having the bodies taken down?

Mark: "Because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the
Sabbath" (xv, 42).

The Sabbath began at sunset on the day that he is declared to have
been crucified. The Jewish law would not permit his body, whether dead
or alive, to be exposed on the Sabbath. Crucifixion, as we have seen,
was a lingering death; several days usually elapsing before the victim
expired. Now, is it reasonable to suppose that the Jews would demand,
as claimed, a punishment lasting several days when they knew that he
must be taken down from the cross in a few hours?


What did Pilate do when Joseph solicited the body of Jesus?

Mark: "Pilate marveled if he were already dead" (xv, 44).

Why should Pilate marvel if he were already dead when previous to this,
according to John (xix, 31-33), he had, at the request of the Jews,
ordered his soldiers to dispatch him if alive and take his body away?


Were the disciples present at the crucifixion?

John: They were, or one, at least (xix, 26).

According to the Synoptics, all were absent; all had forsaken their
Master, all had fled. The Twelve Apostles at this time, unless Judas
had already hung himself, as Matthew declares, numbered one traitor
and eleven cowards.


What women followed Jesus and witnessed his execution?

Matthew and Mark: Women of Galilee (Matt. xxvii, 55; Mark xv, 40, 41).

Luke: "Daughters of Jerusalem," that is, women of Judea (xxiii, 28).


Where were Mary Magdalene and her companions during the crucifixion?

Matthew and Mark: "Looking on afar off" (Mark xv, 40; Matt. xxvii,
55, 56).

John: They "stood by the cross" (xix, 25).


Was Mary, the mother of Jesus, present?

John: She was (xix, 25).

Synoptics: She was not.

The Synoptics do not expressly state that she was absent, but if she
was present, as John affirms, is it possible that they would ignore
the fact when they mention "the strolling Magdalene" no less than
seven times?


Who stood by the cross with the mother of Jesus?

John: "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his
mother's sister, Mary, the wife of Cleophas" (xix, 25).

Mary must have been a very popular name to be given to two daughters
of the same family. It is not probable that these sisters were both
named Mary. John never mentions the name of Jesus' mother, and it is
evident that he did not suppose her name was Mary. Were John the only
Gospel, Christians would be ignorant of the Virgin's name. Mariolatry
did not originate in the Johannine church.


To whom was entrusted the care of Jesus' mother?

John: "When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing
by whom he loved [John], he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy
son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that
hour that disciple took her unto his own house" (xix, 26, 27).

"The teacher who had been to him as a brother leaves to him a brother's
duty. He is to be as a son to the mother who is left desolate."--Bible

Very touchingly expressed. But why was this duty imposed upon John
when the Apostle James (the Less) was a brother of Jesus and a son
of Mary? Was he a worthless ingrate, unable and unwilling to care
for her? And what of Joses, and Juda, and Simon, and her daughters
who remained at home? Had they turned their mother out of doors?


In whose sepulcher was the body of Jesus placed?

Matthew: Joseph "laid it in his own new tomb which he had hewn out
in the rock" (xxvii, 60).

John: "Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and
in the garden a new sepulcher, wherein was never man yet laid. There
laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jew's preparation day;
for the sepulcher was nigh at hand" (xix, 41, 42).

It is evident from John that the sepulcher did not belong to Joseph,
but that it was one which happened to be convenient to the place of
crucifixion; for, as Strauss justly argues: "The vicinity of the grave,
when alleged as a motive, excludes the fact of possession."


Was his body embalmed when it was laid in the sepulcher?

John: It was. "He [Joseph] came therefore, and took the body of
Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to
Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an
hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it
in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury"
(xix, 38-40).

Mark and Luke: It was not embalmed. "The women also, which came with
him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how his
body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments"
(Luke xxiii, 55, 56); intending to embalm it "when the Sabbath was
past" (Mark xvi, 1).


What is said in regard to wrapping the body of Jesus by Joseph?

Mark: "He bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in
the linen" (xv, 46).

This statement is rejected by critics. A member of the Sanhedrim
would not desecrate the Passover by making a purchase on it.


What was the amount of the material used in embalming Jesus?

John: A hundred pounds (xix, 39).

This was sufficient to embalm a dozen bodies. Yet after seeing
his body literally buried in the material, the women, we are told,
procured more.


When did the women procure materials for embalming Jesus?

Luke: "They returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested
the Sabbath Day" (xxiii, 56).

Mark (New Ver.): "And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and
Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices that they might
come and anoint him" (xvi, 1).

According to Luke they prepared the spices before the Sabbath began,
that is, before the end of the sixth day; according to Mark, they
did not procure them until "the Sabbath was past," that is, not until
the beginning of the first day.


When did they go to embalm the body?

Mark and Luke: "When the Sabbath was past, ... the first day of the
week" (Mark xvi, 1, 2; Luke xxiv, 1).

Is it reasonable to suppose that in that warm spring climate
(Dr. Geikie speaks of the fierce heat that prevailed at the time),
they would let a wounded body lie two days, until decomposition had
commenced, and then attempt to embalm it?


When was the sepulcher closed?

All: When the body was placed in it (Matt. xxvii, 60; Mark xv, 46;
Luke xxiii, 53, xxiv, 1, 2; John xix, 41, 42, xx, 1).

According to the Evangelists, the stone was rolled to the door of
the sepulcher as soon as the body was deposited, and according to
Mark and Luke, the women were troubled as to who should roll away
the stone when they went to embalm the body.

In sepulture of this kind, the tomb was not closed until the third day,
and when once closed it was not to be opened. This deviation from the
customary mode is evidently for the purpose of establishing faith in
the doctrine of the resurrection, by shutting off all means of escape
or removal without supernatural aid. The Evangelists are particular
to state that Joseph "rolled a great stone to the door."

In a single paragraph, Scribner's "Bible Dictionary" concedes no less
than seven Synoptical errors regarding the trial, crucifixion and
burial of Jesus: "The Synoptists make the Sanhedrim say beforehand that
they will not arrest Jesus 'on the feast day,' and then actually arrest
him on that day; that not only the guards, but one of the disciples
carries arms, which on the feast day was not allowed; that the trial
was also held on the feast day, which would be unlawful; that the
feast day would not be called 'Preparation'; that the phrase 'coming
from the field' (Mk. xv, 21) means properly 'coming from work'; that
Joseph of Arimathea is represented as buying a linen cloth (Mk. xv,
46), and the women as preparing spices and ointments (Lk. xxiii, 56),
all of which would be contrary to law and custom."


In what year was Jesus crucified?

Not one of the Evangelists knows. They agree that he was crucified
during the time that Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea, and Joseph
Caiaphas was high priest of the Jews. But this, so far as Matthew,
Mark and John are concerned, may have been any time from 26 to 36 A. D.

Luke, while he does not state the particular year, nor furnish data
for determining it, is more definite. He says that Jesus began his
ministry in "the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,"
and his narrative clearly implies that he was crucified at the
following Passover. Tiberius commenced his reign in August, 14
A. D. The fifteenth year of his reign, then, extended from August,
28 A. D., to August, 29 A. D. If Jesus began his ministry during the
first months of this year, he might have been crucified as early as
the spring of 29. But it is generally conceded that the time which
this would allow for his ministry was far too brief, and that he
could not have been crucified before 30 A. D.

The Christian Fathers who, for the most part, accepted the tradition
of Luke and affirmed that his ministry lasted but one year, or less,
held that the crucifixion occurred in 29 A. D.

Scribner's "Bible Dictionary" gives preference to 29 A. D. Cuthbert
Hamilton Turner, M.A., Oxford, the New Testament chronologist of
that work, after a lengthy review of the subject, says: "To sum up
briefly, the separate results of five lines of enquiry harmonize with
one another beyond expectation, so that each in turn supplies fresh
security for the rest. The nativity in B. C. 7-6; the age of our
Lord at the baptism, 30 years, more or less; the baptism in A. D. 26
(26-27); the duration of the ministry between two and three years;
the crucifixion in A. D. 29."

This authority states that his ministry lasted two or three years. It
was necessary to do this or reject John. By taking a year or more from
John's ministry of Jesus and adding it to the one year ministry of the
Synoptics--by assuming that the Synoptics omit to mention one or more
Passovers, and that one of the Passovers mentioned by John was some
other feast--it pretends to have reconciled the discrepancy regarding
the length of Christ's ministry. But if his ministry lasted two or
three years, as affirmed, he could not have been crucified in 29 A. D.

With orthodox commentators, a favorite method of reconciling Old
Testament dates, as I have noted in a previous work, is to assume that
a king, concerning the date of whose accession, or length of reign,
a discrepancy appears, reigned in consort with his predecessor for a
number of years sufficient to cover the discrepancy. This dishonest
method of explanation--for it is a dishonest trick, intended to
deceive the reader and hide from him an error--has been employed
to reconcile Luke and John. By assuming that Tiberius divided the
government with Augustus for two years preceding his accession to
the throne, an assumption for which there is no credible authority,
and that Luke accordingly reckons the fifteenth year from 12 A. D.,
instead of 14 A. D., when he really became emperor, it is possible
to give Jesus a ministry of two or three years and still have
him crucified in 29 A. D. But another irreconcilable difficulty
remains. The Synoptics state that he was crucified on the Passover
and on the day preceding the Sabbath, that is, on Friday. If so,
he could not have been crucified in 29 A. D., for the Passover did
not fall on Friday that year.

Dr. Farrar says it is "highly probable that the crucifixion took
place at the passover of March, 30 A. D."

Justice Bradley of the United States Supreme Court, who made an
exhaustive examination of all the evidence and arguments bearing on
the question, decided in favor of 30 A. D. He says: "There were only
three years from A. D. 27 to A. D. 36, inclusive, in which the 1st
of Nisan, and consequently the 15th of Nisan, happened on Friday, and
these were A. D. 27, 30 and 33, the last of which is very doubtful. But
the crucifixion could not have happened before A. D. 28, and probably
not later than A. D. 31. Therefore the year 30 is the only one which
satisfies all the conditions of the problem.... Now, since in A. D. 30,
the 1st of Nisan fell on Friday, the 24th of March, the 15th fell on
Friday, the 7th of April, which was the day of the crucifixion."

Dr. Farrar and Justice Bradley are agreed in regard to the year of
the crucifixion, but they are not agreed in regard to the calendar
month in which it occurred. Dr. Farrar says it occurred in March;
Justice Bradley says it occurred in April.

Justice Bradley says that 30 A. D. satisfies all the conditions. It
does satisfy the conditions of the Synoptics, but it does not satisfy
the conditions of John, as claimed. To satisfy the conditions of John
it is necessary to adopt the untenable hypothesis of 12 A. D. as
the date of Tiberius Caesar's accession. But whatever satisfies
the conditions of John must necessarily conflict with those of the

Some Christian scholars place the crucifixion in 31 A. D., others in 32
A. D. But neither year can be harmonized with the Synoptics' statement
that he was put to death on the Passover, or with John's that he
suffered on the day of Preparation. Neither can they be harmonized with
either the Synoptics or John in regard to the duration of his ministry.

It is probable that a majority of Christian scholars today believe
that Jesus was crucified in 33. Renan accepted this date. He says:
"According to the calculation we adopt, the death of Jesus happened in
the year 33 of our era. It could not, at all events, be either before
the year 29, the preaching of John and Jesus having commenced in the
year 28, or after 35, since in the year 36, and probably before the
Passover, Pilate and Kaiapha both lost their offices."

The adoption of 33 allows for the four years' ministry ascribed to
Jesus by John, but it cannot be reconciled with the brief ministry
ascribed to him by the Synoptics. As for Renan, who in the first
edition of his "Jesus" accepted the authenticity of John, but
subsequently rejected it and accepted only the Synoptics, he has no
Evangelistic authority for 33.

The Dutch theologians, Kuenen, Oort and Hooykaas, and many other
Rationalists, give 35 A. D. the preference. To accept this year,
however, it is necessary to reject the Passover crucifixion, and to
assign to Jesus a much longer ministry than even John assigns.

Of one hundred Christian authorities who attempt to name the year in
which Christ was crucified, twenty-three say 29, eighteen 30, nine 31,
seven 32, thirty-seven 33, and six 35 A. D.

Thus it will be seen that not a year that can be named can be
harmonized with the accounts of the crucifixion given in the four
gospels. The result is that there is as great a lack of agreement
in regard to the time of Christ's death as there is in regard to the
time of his birth. Christians do not know when he was born, they do
not know when he died, they cannot prove that he lived.


On what day of the month was he crucified?

Synoptics: On the 15th of Nisan.

John: On the 14th of Nisan.

This discrepancy is conceded by Scribner's "Bible Dictionary." It says:

"It is the Last Supper which the Synoptics appear to fix by identifying
it with the Passover. They say expressly that on the morning of the
'first day of unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the passover'
(Mk. xiv, 12), the disciples asked where the Passover was to be
eaten. This would be on the morning of Nisan 14. In the evening,
which from twilight onwards would belong to Nisan 15, would follow
the Last Supper, and on the next afternoon (still, on the Jewish
reckoning, Nisan 15) the crucifixion. St. John, on the other hand, by
a number of clear indications (John xiii, 1, xviii, 28, xix, 14, 31)
implies that the Last Supper was eaten before the time of the regular
Passover, and that the Lord suffered on the afternoon of Nisan 14,
about the time of the slaying of the Paschal lamb. We are thus left
with a conflict of testimony."


On what day of the week was he crucified?

Synoptics: On Friday.

John: On Thursday.

The Synoptics agree that he was crucified on the day following the
Preparation, that is, on the day of the Passover, and the day preceding
the Sabbath. As the Jewish Sabbath fell on Saturday, he was, therefore,
crucified on Friday.

John repeatedly declares that his trial and crucifixion occurred on
"the preparation of the passover." If the Passover occurred on Friday,
as the Synoptics state, he was crucified on the preceding day, or
Thursday. It is claimed by some, though the claim is disputed, that
the Synoptics are in error, that the Passover was never held on Friday.


On what day of the feast did the crucifixion occur?

Synoptics: On the Passover.

John: On the day of Preparation.

It is expressly stated in the Synoptics that he celebrated the
Passover before his death. "Then came the day of unleavened bread,
when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying,
Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.... And they made
ready the passover. And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the
twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have
desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer" (Luke xxii,
7-15; Matt. xxvi, 17-20; Mark xiv, 12-18).

The author of the Fourth Gospel declares that the Last Supper was not
the Paschal meal, and that Jesus was crucified on the day preceding
the Passover, that is, on the day of Preparation. He refers to the
events connected with the Last Supper as having taken place "before
the passover" (xiii, 1); after supper, when Jesus bade Judas do quickly
what he proposed to do, he states that the disciples "thought because
Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that
we have need of against the feast" (xiii, 29); at the trial, he says,
the Jews "themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they might
be defiled, but that they might eat the passover" (xviii, 28); when
Pilate is about to deliver him up to be crucified, he even goes out
of the way to repeat that "It was the preparation of the passover"
(xix, 14).

This discrepancy is not, like many other Bible discrepancies, an
unintentional error. It represents a conflict between two dogmas. The
primitive church was rent with dissensions regarding this question,
some contending that Christ suffered on the 14th Nisan, others that
it was on the 15th. During the second century--the century in which
our gospels appeared--this controversy was especially bitter.

According to John (i, 29, xix, 33, 36) Jesus was the Paschal Lamb, and
as such, must be slain on the day of Preparation. The slaying of the
lambs began at three o'clock in the afternoon, the hour at which Jesus
is said to have expired. The Synoptics, on the other hand, in order to
enable him to partake of the Paschal meal and institute the Eucharist,
which is a survival and perpetuation of the Passover, must prolong
his existence until after this meal, and consequently his crucifixion
cannot take place until the following day. It was impossible for him
to be the Paschal Lamb and at the same time partake of the Paschal
meal. This necessarily produced a schism. The Fourth Gospel was written
in support of the one side, the Synoptics in support of the other.

It is declared by the most eminent fathers of the second century
that the Apostle John, whom some of them had known, was accustomed
to observe the Paschal meal. This is another argument against the
Johannine authorship of the Fourth Gospel.

Referring to the Lord's Supper, as recorded in John, the "Bible for
Learners" says: "It was not the Paschal meal. The Passover did not
begin until the following evening; for he himself who was the true
Paschal Lamb, and as such made an end of all sacrifices, must be
put to death at the very day and hour ordained for the slaughter of
the lamb--not twenty-four hours later as the Synoptic Gospels say"
(Vol. iii, p. 684).

Admitting the discrepancy, but without determining which is correct,
Smith's "Bible Dictionary" says: "The crowning application of the
Paschal rites to the truths of which they were the shadowy promises
appears to be that which is afforded by the fact that our Lord's
death occurred during the festival. According to the Divine purpose,
the true Lamb of God was slain at nearly the same time as 'the Lord's
Passover,' in obedience to the letter of the law."

It was not "according to the Divine purpose" that Jesus was slain at
the Passover, but it was according to a human invention that he is
declared to have been slain at this time. These attempts to connect
the crucifixion with the Passover afford the strongest proof that it
is a myth.


What led to the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus?

John: His miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead. On learning of
it the Jewish council met, and "from that day forth they took counsel
together for to put him to death" (xi, 47, 53).

This is more difficult to believe than the miracle itself. It is the
most improbable statement ever penned--the one that does most violence
to human reason. The crudest savages on earth would not have slain
nor even harmed a man who had proved himself the Conqueror and King
of Death.


What did Christ say during his ministry concerning the cross?

"He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me is not worthy
of me" (Matthew x, 38; Luke xiv, 27).

"Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his
cross, and follow me" (Mark viii, 34).

"If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up
his cross daily and follow me" (Luke ix, 23).

These utterances are alleged to have been made early in his
ministry. Now, the cross as a Christian symbol is supposed to have
been adopted after, and not until after, the crucifixion. Its
introduction in the passages quoted suggests one of two things:
either that the Synoptics put into the mouth of Jesus words that he
never uttered, or that the cross, as a religious symbol, was used
before the crucifixion, in which case its adoption by the church is
no proof of the crucifixion.


The so-called historical books of the New Testament, the Four Gospels
and the Acts of the Apostles, declare that Christ was crucified. Do
the remaining books of the New Testament confirm it?

In the first four Pauline Epistles, known as the genuine Epistles
of Paul, the verb crucify--crucified appears in ten different texts,
as follows:

"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body
of sin might be destroyed" (Romans vi, 6).

"Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?" (1 Corinthians,
i, 13.)

"But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block,
and unto the Greeks foolishness" (23).

"For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ,
and him crucified" (ii, 2).

"For had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of
glory" (8).

"For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the
power of God" (2 Corinthians xiii, 4).

"I am crucified with Christ" (Galatians ii, 20).

"O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not
obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently
set forth, crucified among you?" (iii, 1.)

"And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the
affections and lusts" (v, 24).

"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord
Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the
world" (vi, 14).

Webster defines this word as follows: "1. To nail to a cross; to put to
death by nailing the hands and feet to a cross or gibbet, sometimes,
anciently, by fastening a criminal to a tree with cords. 2. In
scriptural language, to subdue; to mortify; to destroy the power or
ruling influence of. 3. To reject and despise. 4. To vex or torment."

The first, only, denotes a physical crucifixion, which, it is claimed,
Christ suffered. The word, as used by Paul, in most instances, clearly
denotes a crucifying of the passions and carnal pleasures, and the
exceptions, when taken in connection with Paul's well known teachings,
and allowing for the probable corruption of the original text, do
not confirm the Evangelistic accounts of the crucifixion. Besides
this it is admitted that Paul did not witness the crucifixion, and
that these Epistles, even if authentic, were not written until nearly
thirty years after it is said to have occurred.

In the eighteen books which follow, the word crucify appears but
twice--in Hebrews (vi, 6) and in Revelation (xi, 8). The word
crucifixion does not appear once in the Bible.

Concerning the books we have been considering in this criticism,
Paine writes as follows: "Whether the fourteen epistles ascribed to
Paul were written by him or not, is a matter of indifference; they are
either argumentative or dogmatical; and as the argument is defective
and the dogmatical part is merely presumptive, it signifies not who
wrote them. And the same may be said for the remaining parts of the
Testament. It is not upon the Epistles, but upon what is called the
Gospel, contained in the four books ascribed to Matthew, Mark, Luke,
and John, and upon the pretended prophecies, that the theory of the
church calling itself the Christian Church is founded. The Epistles
are dependent upon those, and must follow their fate; for if the
story of Jesus Christ be fabulous, all reasoning founded upon it as
a supposed truth must fall with it" (Age of Reason).


How old was Jesus at the time of his death?

Luke: He was but little more than thirty years old.

John: He was nearly fifty. In a controversy with the Jews, during
his ministry, he said: "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day:
and he saw, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art
not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?" (viii, 56,
57.) This implies that he was nearly fifty at this time.

Discussing the question of Jesus' age, St. Irenaeus, the most renowned
of the early Christian Fathers, and the founder of the New Testament
canon, who lived in the century immediately following Jesus, says:

"He [Christ] came to save all through means of himself--all I say,
who through him are born again to God--infants and children, and
boys, and youths, and old men. He therefore passed through every age;
becoming an infant for infants, thus sanctifying infants; a child
for children, thus sanctifying those who are of this age, being at
the same time made to them an example of piety, righteousness and
submission; a youth for youths, becoming an example to youths, and
thus sanctifying them for the Lord. So likewise, he was an old man
for old men, that he might be a perfect master for all; not merely
as respects the setting forth of the truth, but also as regards age;
sanctifying at the same time, the aged also, and becoming an example
to them likewise. Then, at last, he came on to death itself, that he
might be the first born from the dead, that in all things he might
have the pre-eminence; the Prince of Life, existing before all,
and going before all" (Against Heresies, Book iv, ch. xxii, sec. 4).

Commenting on the passage quoted from John, Irenaeus says: "But besides
this, those very Jews who thus disputed with the Lord Jesus Christ,
have most closely indicated the same thing. For when the Lord said
to them, 'Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it,
and was glad;' they answered him, 'Thou art not yet fifty years old;
and hast thou seen Abraham?' Now, such language is fittingly applied
to one who has already passed the age of forty, without having yet
reached his fiftieth year, yet is not far from this latter period. But
to one who is only thirty years old, it would unquestionably be said,
'Thou art not yet forty years old.' For those who wished to convict
him of falsehood, would certainly not extend the number of his years
far beyond the age which they saw he had attained.... It is altogether
unreasonable to suppose that they were mistaken by twenty years, when
they wished to prove him younger than the times of Abraham.... He
did not then want much of being fifty years old" (Ibid. sec. 6).

Nor did Irenaeus depend upon the Fourth Gospel alone for his
authority. He was the companion of the aged Polycarp, whom Christians
claim to have been the companion of the Apostle John. Concerning
the testimony of Polycarp and others, he writes: "Those who were
conversant in Asia with John, the disciple of the Lord, [testify]
that John conveyed to them that information. And he (John) remained
among them up to the times of Tragan. Some of them, moreover, saw not
only John, but the other apostles also, and heard the same account
from them, and bear testimony to the statement" (Ib., sec. 5).

In regard to this testimony of the "divine Irenaeus," as he is called,
Godfrey Higgins says: "The church has been guilty of the oversight of
letting this passage from Irenaeus escape. One of the earliest, most
respected, and most quoted of its ancient bishops, saints and martyrs,
tells us in distinct words that Jesus was not crucified under Herod
and Pontius Pilate, but that he lived to be turned fifty years of
age. This he tells us on the authority of his master, St. Polycarp,
also a martyr, who had it from St. John himself, and from all the
old people of Asia" (Anacalypsis).

Of this testimony and its consequences, Judge Waite, in his "History of
Christianity" (pp. 329, 330) says: "It must be remembered that Irenaeus
had been a companion of Polycarp and others who had seen John, and
that he was speaking of what had come to his personal knowledge from
the elders in Asia. If, then, Irenaeus tells the truth, the evidence
in favor of the fact is almost overwhelming. If, on the other hand,
he would deliberately falsify in a matter of this importance, what is
his testimony worth as to the origin of the four gospels? Against this
evidence, we have only the silence of the gospels. But if the silence
of the Synoptics is consistent with a ministry of three or four years,
why is not the further silence of all the gospels consistent with a
ministry of twenty years?

"How would such a theory affect the received chronology concerning
Christ? The date of the crucifixion at not later than A. D. 36,
or when Christ was, by the received chronology, forty years old, is
settled by the fact, that in that year, Pontius Pilate was removed
from his government.... If, then, it be accepted as a historical fact
that Christ was about fifty years old at this crucifixion, the date
of his birth would have to be set back at least ten years."

Every line of these accounts of the trial and crucifixion of Christ
bears the ineffaceable stamp of fiction. There was no Christ to
crucify, and Jesus of Nazareth, if he existed, was not crucified
as claimed.

For more than fifteen centuries an inoffensive, industrious and moral
people have been persecuted, robbed and butchered by Christians,
because their forefathers are said to have slain a mythical God.

Supposing that from the myth of Prometheus had sprung a popular
religion, which, in its day, had, like the religions of Osiris,
Bacchus, Krishna and Christ, overspread the earth. Then think of
the devotees of this religion massacring the Hellenists because Zeus
had crucified Prometheus! How long must our mythology, with all its
attendant evils, rule and curse the world? How long must an innocent
people suffer for an alleged crime that was never committed?




How long did Jesus say he would remain in the grave?

"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly;
so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart
of the earth" (Matthew xii, 40).

How long did he remain in the grave?

Synoptics: Being buried on Friday evening, and having risen on or
before Sunday morning, he was in the grave, at the most, but two
nights and one day.


What occurred on the morning of the resurrection?

Matthew: "There was a great earthquake" (xxviii, 2).

The other Evangelists know nothing of this earthquake. They not
only omit it, but their accounts of the resurrection preclude the
possibility of its occurrence.


Who were the first to visit the tomb on the morning of the

John: "Mary Magdalene" (xx, 1).

Matthew: "Mary Magdalene and the other Mary" (xxviii, 1).

Mark: "Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome"
(xvi, 1, 2).

Luke: "Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James,
and other women" (xxiv, 1-10).


Who was Salome?

"The wife of Zebedee, as appears from comparing Matt. xxvii, 56,
with Mark xv, 40."--Smith's Bible Dictionary.

Matthew says that the women who witnessed the crucifixion were "Mary
Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of
Zebedee's children." Mark says the women were "Mary Magdalene, and
Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome." This is a
discrepancy that can be reconciled only by supposing that the mother
of Zebedee's children (James and John) was Salome. But the Gospel
of the Egyptians, older than either Matthew or Mark, and accepted by
early Christians as authentic, states that Salome was a single woman.


At what time in the morning did the women visit the tomb?

Mark: "At the rising of the sun" (xvi, 2).

John: "When it was yet dark" (xx, 1).

If they came "at the rising of the sun," or "when the sun was risen"
(New Ver.), it was not yet dark.


When does Matthew say they came?

"In the end of the Sabbath as it began to dawn toward the first day
of the week" (xxviii, 1).

If they came "in the end of the Sabbath," and Jesus had already risen,
then his resurrection took place, not on the first day of the week, as
claimed, but on the seventh day. Matthew was a Jew; yet the author of
this Gospel was seemingly ignorant of the Jewish method of computing
time, according to which the Sabbath began and ended at sunset. He
evidently supposed that the night preceding their visit to the tomb
belonged to the seventh day, whereas it belonged to the first day.


Was the tomb open, or closed, when they came?

Luke: "They found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre" (xxiv, 2).

Matthew: The tomb was closed. The stone was not rolled from the door
until after they came (xxviii, 1, 2).

This, in the opinion of most critics, is the meaning of Matthew's


Whom did they meet at the tomb?

Matthew: "The angel" (xxviii, 2-5).

Mark: "A young man" (xvi, 5).

Luke: "Two men" (xxiv, 4).

John: "Two angels" (xx, 12).


Were these men or angels in the sepulchre or outside of it?

Matthew: Outside of it (xxviii, 2).

Mark, Luke and John: Inside of it (Mark xvi, 5; Luke xxiv, 3, 4;
John xx, 11, 12).


Were they sitting or standing?

Luke: Standing (xxiv, 4).

Matthew, Mark and John: Sitting (Matt. xxviii, 2; Mark xvi, 1; John
xx, 12).


What were the first words they spoke to the women?

Matthew and Mark: "Be not affrighted" (Mark xvi, 6; Matt. xxviii, 5).

Luke: "Why seek ye the living among the dead?" (xxiv, 5.)

John: "Woman, why weepest thou?" (xx, 13.)


Did Mary Magdalene observe the divine messengers when she first came
to the tomb?

Synoptics: She did (Matt. xxviii, 1-5; Mark xvi, 1-5; Luke xxiv, 1-4).

John: She did not (xx, 1, 2, 11, 12).


Who became frightened at the messengers?

Matthew: "The keepers did shake, and became as dead men" (xxviii, 4).

Mark and Luke: "They [the women] were affrighted" (Mark xvi, 5;
Luke xxiv, 5).


What did the women do when they became frightened?

Mark: "They went out quickly and fled" (xvi, 8).

Luke: "They bowed down their faces to the earth" (xxiv, 5).


Did the women see Jesus?

Matthew: They did. "As they went to tell his disciples, behold,
Jesus met them" (xxviii, 9).

Luke: They did not see him (xxiv).


Did the women tell the disciples what they had seen?

Luke: They "returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things
unto the eleven, and to all the rest" (xxiv, 9).

Mark: "Neither said they anything to any man; for they were afraid"
(xvi, 8).

With these words the Gospel of Mark ends, the words that follow being
an interpolation. In this appended passage Mary Magdalene is declared
to have seen Jesus and informed them of it, but they "believed not."


How many disciples visited the tomb?

Luke: But one, Peter (xxiv, 12).

John: Two, Peter and John (xx, 3).


Who looked into the sepulchre and beheld the linen clothes?

Luke: "Then arose Peter, and ran into the sepulchre; and stooping down,
he beheld the linen clothes" (xxiv, 12).

John: "So they ran both together; and the other disciple [John] did
outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down,
and looking in, saw the linen clothes" (xx, 4, 5).


Did Peter enter into the sepulchre?

John: He did. "Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into
the sepulchre" (xx, 6).

Luke: He did not. He looked into the sepulchre "and departed"
(xxiv, 12).


State all of the appearances of Jesus mentioned by the Evangelists.


1. To the two Marys (xxviii, 9).
2. To the eleven in Galilee (17).


1. To Mary Magdalene (xvi, 9).
2. To two of his disciples (12).
3. To the eleven at meat (14).

The appearances of Jesus mentioned in Mark are all in the apocryphal
supplement. The Gospel of Mark proper does not record a single
appearance of Jesus.


1. To Cleopas and his companion (xxiv, 13-31).
2. To Simon (Peter) (34).
3. To the eleven and others (36).


1. To Mary Magdalene (xx, 14-18).
2. To ten (?) disciples (19-24).
3. To the eleven (26-29).
4. To Peter, John and others (xxi).

The last chapter of this Gospel which contains the account of his
fourth appearance, and which ascribes the authorship of the Gospel
to the "beloved disciple" (John), is a forgery.

No two of the Evangelists agree. No two of them are fully agreed in
regard to a single appearance. Each not only omits the appearances
mentioned by the others, but his narrative in nearly every instance
excludes them. As Strauss says, "The designation of the locality in
one excludes the appearances narrated by the rest; the determination
of time in another leaves no space for the narratives of his
fellow-evangelists; the enumeration of a third is given without any
regard to the events reported by his predecessors; lastly, among
several appearances recounted by various narrators, each claims to
be the last, and yet has nothing in common with the others. Hence
nothing but wilful blindness can prevent the perception that no one
of the narrators knew and presupposed what another records."

Referring to the different accounts of the resurrection given by the
Evangelists, Dr. Westcott says: "They contain difficulties which it
is impossible to explain with certainty" (Introduction to Study of
Gospels, p. 329).

Dr. Farrar makes the following admission: "Any one who will attentively
read side by side the narratives of these appearances on the first day
of the resurrection, will see that they have only been preserved for
us in general, interblended, and scattered notices, which, in strict
exactness, render it impossible, without many arbitrary suppositions,
to produce from them a certain narrative of the order of events. The
lacunae, the compressions, the variations, the actual differences,
the subjectivity of the narrators as affected by spiritual revelations,
render all harmonies at the best uncertain" (Life of Christ, vol. ii,
p. 432, note).


State the appearances mentioned by Paul.

1. "He was seen of Cephas."
2. "Then of the twelve."
3. "After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once."
4. "After that he was seen of James."
5. "Then of all the apostles."
6. "And last of all he was seen of me also."

Paul says that his first appearance was to Peter. This contradicts
all of the Evangelists. His next appearance, Paul declares, was to
the twelve. But there were no twelve at this time; for Judas had
deserted them and his successor had not been elected. Paul evidently
knew nothing of the betrayal of Jesus by Judas. He says Jesus was seen
by five hundred brethren at once. The Evangelists are all ignorant
of this appearance, while the author of Acts states that there were
but one hundred and twenty "brethren" in all, and even this number is
considered too large by critics. He says that he appeared to James,
an appearance of which the Evangelists know nothing. After this
he states that he was seen of all the apostles. This is the only
appearance mentioned by Paul which can be reconciled with any of the
Evangelists, and this cannot be reconciled with all of them.

"Last of all he was seen of me also." Paul's belief in the resurrection
was based solely upon Jesus' supposed appearance to him; for the other
alleged appearances he had rejected. Not until he imagined that he
had seen Jesus did he believe that the disciples had seen him, and
the appearance of Jesus to him, which occurred several years after the
resurrection and ascension, is represented as an occurrence of exactly
the same character as his appearances to the disciples. Paul's vision
was clearly a delusion, and if so the other appearances, measured by
Paul's criterion, were delusions also. The Rev. John W. Chadwick truly
says: "Paul's witness to the resurrection is the ruin of the argument."


To whom did Jesus first appear?

Matthew: To Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (xxviii, 1, 9).

Mark and John: To Mary Magdalene alone (Mark xvi, 9; John xx, 14-18).

Luke: To Cleopas and his companion (xxiv, 13-31).

Paul: To Cephas (Peter) (1 Cor. xv, 5).


Where was Mary Magdalene when Jesus first appeared to her?

John: At the sepulchre (xx, 11-14).

Matthew: On her way home from the sepulchre (xxviii, 8, 9).


Did Mary know Jesus when he first appeared to her?

Matthew: She did (xxviii, 9).

John: "She ... knew not that it was Jesus" (xx, 14).


Was she permitted to touch him?

Matthew: "They [Mary Magdalene and her companion] came and held him
by the feet" (xxviii, 9).

John: "Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not" (xx, 17).


Where did he appear to his disciples?

Matthew: In Galilee.

Luke: In Jerusalem.

Matthew says that when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary visited the
tomb an angel appeared to them and said: "Go quickly, and tell his
disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before
you into Galilee; there shall ye see him" (xxviii, 7). As they ran
to convey this intelligence, Jesus himself met them and repeated the
command: "Go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there
shall they see me" (10). "Then the eleven disciples went away into
Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when
they saw him they worshiped him" (16, 17).

Luke (xxiv, 13-35) states that on the day of the resurrection Jesus
journeyed to Emmaus, a village some distance from Jerusalem, with
Cleopas and his companion. They did not recognize him until after
their arrival there, when they returned at once to Jerusalem and
informed the disciples. "As they thus spake Jesus himself stood in the
midst of them" (36). He conversed with them for a time, after which
"he led them out as far as to Bethany" where he took his final leave
of them and ascended to heaven (38-51). Instead of bidding them go
to Galilee, a three days journey from Jerusalem, as Matthew states,
his command was "Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued
with power from on high," which, according to Acts (ii, 1-13), was
not until the day of Pentecost, seven weeks later.

Matthew's narrative forbids the supposition of any meeting in Judea,
while Luke's precludes the possibility of a meeting in Galilee.

Regarding this discrepancy Dean Alford says: "We must be content to
walk by faith, and not by sight" (Greek Testament, p. 905).


How far from Jerusalem was Emmaus, where Jesus made his first

Luke: "Which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs" (xxiv, 13).

Threescore furlongs was seven and one-half Roman, or about seven
American miles. Emmaus of Judea was about twenty-five miles, or two
hundred furlongs from Jerusalem. There was an Emmaus in Galilee,
about seventy miles from Jerusalem. It is believed by some that the
legend related to the latter place and was subsequently transferred
by Luke to Judea.


How many disciples were present when he first appeared to them?

Matthew and Luke: Eleven (Matt. xxviii, 16, 17; Luke xxiv, 33-36).

John: But ten, Thomas being absent (xx, 19-24).

Paul: Twelve (1 Cor. xv, 5).


What effect had his presence when he first appeared to them?

Luke: "They were terrified and affrighted" (xxiv, 36, 37).

John: "Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord" (xx, 20).


How many of the disciples doubted the reality of his appearance?

Matthew: "Some doubted" (xxviii, 17).

John: But one doubted--Thomas (xx, 24, 25).


Were they all finally convinced of his resurrection?

John: They were.

Matthew: They were not.


When he appeared to them did they know that he must rise from the dead?

John: "For as yet they knew not that he must rise from the dead"
(xx, 9).

This cannot be reconciled with the Synoptics, who state that during his
ministry he had acquainted them with it. "From that time forth began
Jesus to shew unto his disciples how that he must go unto Jerusalem,
and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes,
and be killed, and be raised again the third day" (Matthew xvi, 21;
Mark viii, 31; Luke ix, 22).


Paul says that the last appearance of Jesus was to him. What did his
companions do when they saw the light which attended the appearance?

Acts: "The men which journeyed with him stood speechless" (ix, 7).

Paul: "We were all fallen to the earth" (Acts xxvi, 14).


Did Paul's companions see Jesus?

Acts: They did not. "The men which journeyed with him stood speechless,
hearing a voice, but seeing no man" (ix, 7).

This shows that Jesus' alleged appearance to Paul was an imaginary
and not a real appearance.


The author of Acts says that his companions heard a voice. Is this

Paul: "They that were with me ... heard not the voice" (Acts xxii, 9).


Was Jesus seen by woman after his resurrection?

Matthew, Mark and John: He was.

Luke and Paul: He was not.

According to Luke and Paul his most faithful followers were not honored
by a visit from their Lord, but were neglected and ignored. The
resurrection was not for woman. Nowhere is sex prejudice more
conspicuous than in the accounts of the resurrection written by Paul
and the Pauline Evangelist. To ignore the testimony of Mary Magdalene
is to ignore the testimony of the chief witness for the resurrection.


From where did Jesus rise?

All: From the dead. "He is risen from the dead" (Matt. xxviii, 7). "It
behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead" (Luke xxiv,
46). "He was risen from the dead" (John xxi, 14).

According to the Evangelists Jesus rose, not from the grave--not
from the place where the bodies of the dead were deposited--but from
the lower world--from the realm of the dead--where the shades of the
departed were supposed to repose. Regarding this Dr. Hooykaas says:

"Let us begin by considering what that word 'resurrection' really
meant, whether applied to Jesus or to others. Later representations,
down to our own times, have regarded it as equivalent to a rising
from the grave; but the question is, what it meant in the faith
and preaching of the Apostles, in the genuine, original, primitive
tradition that Jesus had risen. Now, 'resurrection' means elsewhere
a return from the realm of shades to the human life on earth; and
Jesus too had left the underworld, but not, in this case, to return
at once to life upon the earth, but to be taken up provisionally
into heaven. Originally the resurrection and ascension of Jesus were
one. It was only later that the conception sprang up of his having
paused upon earth, whether for a single day or for several weeks,
on his journey from the abyss to the height.

"We may, therefore, safely assert that if the friends of Jesus had
thought as we do of the lot of those that die, they would never have
so much as dreamed of their Master's resurrection or ascension. For
to the Christian belief of today it would be, so to speak, a matter
of course that Jesus, like all good and noble souls--and indeed above
all others--would go straight 'to a better world,' 'to heaven,' 'to
God,' at the instant of his death; but in the conception of the Jews,
including the Apostles, this was impossible. Heaven was the abode
of the Lord and his angels only; and if an Enoch or an Elijah had
been caught up there alive, to dwell there for a time, it was certain
that all who died, without exception, even the purest and most holy,
must go down as shades into the realms of the dead in the bowels of
the earth--and thence, of course, they would not issue excepting by
'rising again.' And this is why we are never told that Jesus rose
'from death,' far less 'from the grave,' but always 'from the dead'"
(Bible for Learners, vol. iii, p. 463).


Was he readily recognized by his friends?

Matthew, Luke and John: He was not.

Matthew says that when his disciples met him in Galilee, after having
gone there for the express purpose of meeting him, "some doubted"
(xxviii, 17). Luke says that two of his friends journeyed with
him from Jerusalem to Emmaus, conversing with him on the way, and
notwithstanding they had been informed of his resurrection, they did
not recognize him until after they had reached the village. John says
that when Mary Magdalene met him she "knew not that it was Jesus,
... supposing him to be the gardener" (xx, 14, 15); and when he met
his disciples at the Lake of Tiberius they "knew not that it was Jesus"
(xxi, 4).


Did his appearances indicate a corporeal, or merely a spiritual

The Evangelists declare that he was not only seen by his disciples and
others, but that he conversed with them. Matthew says the two Marys
held him by the feet, Luke says he invited the disciples to handle
him, and John says that Thomas examined his wounds; while both Luke
and John state that he partook of nourishment.

On the other hand, Luke says that while he sat at meat with Cleopas
and his companion at Emmaus "He vanished out of their sight" (xxiv,
31). John says that while the disciples were assembled in a room
in Jerusalem, "when the doors were shut," Jesus came "and stood in
the midst" (xx, 19). Eight days later the appearance was repeated:
"Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst"
(26). Mark says that after he appeared to Mary Magdalene "he appeared
in another form" to two of his disciples (xvi, 12).

While the first named appearances can be reconciled with so-called
spiritual manifestations, the latter cannot be reconciled with a
corporeal existence.

In the preceding chapter we have shown that the alleged crucifixion
of Jesus is unworthy of belief. If he was not crucified the story of
his resurrection is, of course, a fiction. But conceding, for the sake
of argument, that he was crucified; does this make his resurrection
probable, or even possible? The crucifixion of a man is a possible
occurrence; but the corporeal resurrection of a man who has suffered
death is impossible. These reputed appearances of Jesus, if they have
a historical foundation, were evidently mere subjective impressions
or apparitions. Although he is declared to have remained on earth
forty days, he made, at the most, but two or three brief visits to
his disciples, appearing and disappearing like a phantom. Instead of
abiding with them, teaching them the doctrines of his religion--of
which they professed to be ignorant--and preparing them for their
coming ministry he is represented as keeping in seclusion, or
roaming aimlessly along the country highways, like some demented
creature. Referring to his appearance to his disciples, Jerome says:
"The apostles supposed him to be a spirit, or according to the
Gospel which the Nazarenes receive [the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew]
an incorporeal demon."

The possibility, and even prevalency, of apparitions similar to those
related of Jesus are recognized by every student of psychology. Sir
Benjamin Brodie, in his "Psychological Inquiries" (p. 78), says:
"There are abundant proofs that impressions may be made in the brain
by other causes simulating those which are made on it by external
objects through the medium of the organs of sense, thus producing
false perceptions, which may, in the first instance, and before we
have had time to reflect on the subject, be mistaken for realities."

The appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene was not believed even by
the disciples. If the disciples believed that Mary was deluded, is it
unreasonable to believe that they were deluded also? Illusions are
contagious and may affect many minds as well as one. Dr. Carpenter,
one of the highest English authorities on mental science, says: "If not
only a single individual, but several persons should be 'possessed'
by one and the same idea or feeling, the same misinterpretation
may be made by all of them; and in such a case the concurrence of
their testimony does not add the least strength to it" (Principles
of Mental Physiology, p. 208). In confirmation of this is cited
the following from a work on "The Philosophy of Apparitions," by
Dr. Hibbert, F.R.S.E.: "A whole ship's company was thrown into the
utmost consternation by the apparition of a cook who had died a few
days before. He was distinctly seen walking ahead of the ship, with
a peculiar gait by which he was distinguished when alive, through
having one of his legs shorter than the other. On steering the ship
towards the object, it was found to be a piece of floating wreck."

These supposed appearances of Jesus were, at the most, only
apparitions, and "Apparitions," to quote Dr. Hibbert again, "are
nothing more than morbid symptoms, which are indicative of an intense
excitement of the renovated feelings of the mind" (Philosophy of
Apparitions, p. 375).

Lord Amberley advances a psychological explanation of the reputed
appearances of Jesus from which I quote the following: "Whatever other
qualities Jesus may have possessed or lacked, there can be no question
that he had one--that of inspiring in others a strong attachment to
himself. He had in his brief career surrounded himself with devoted
disciples; and he was taken from their midst in the full bloom of
his powers by a violent and early death. Now there are some who have
been taught by the bitter experience of their lives how difficult,
nay, how impossible it is to realize in imagination the fact that a
beloved companion is in truth gone from them forever.... We fondly
conceive that in some way the dead must still exist; and if so, can
one, who was so tender before, listen to our cry of pain and refuse
to come? Can one, who soothed us in the lesser troubles of our lives,
look on while we are suffering the greatest agony of all and fail to
comfort? It cannot be. Imagination declines to picture the long future
that lies before us. We cannot understand that we shall never again
listen to the tones of the familiar voice; never feel the touch of
the gentle hand; never be encouraged by the warm embrace that tells
us we are loved, or find a refuge from miserable thoughts and the
vexations of the world in the affectionate and ever-open heart. All
this is too hard for us. We long for a resurrection; we should believe
in it if we could; we do believe in it in sleep, when our feelings
are free to roam at pleasure, unrestrained by the chilling presence
of the material world. In dreams the old life is repeated again and
again. Sometimes the lost one is beside us as of old and we are quite
untroubled by the thought of parting. Sometimes there is a strange and
confusing consciousness that the great calamity has happened, or has
been thought to happen, but that now we are again together, and that
a new life has succeeded upon death.... Granting only a strong emotion
and a lively phantasy, we may comprehend at once how, in many lands, to
many mourners, the images of their dreams may also become the visions
of their waking hours" (Analysis of Religious Belief, pp. 275, 276).

Renan says: "For the historian, the life of Jesus finishes with his
last sigh. But such was the impression he had left in the heart of his
disciples, and of a few devoted women, that during some weeks more
it was as if he were living and consoling them. Had his body been
taken away, or did enthusiasm, always credulous, create afterwards
the group of narratives by which it was sought to establish faith in
the resurrection? In the absence of opposing documents this can never
be ascertained. Let us say, however, that the strong imagination of
Mary Magdalene played an important part in the circumstance. Divine
power of love! Sacred moments in which the passion of one possessed
gave to the world a resuscitated God" (Life of Jesus, p. 296).


If Jesus appeared in a material body, was he naked, or clothed?

This is not a vital, but it is a pertinent question. It is stated that
he appeared to Mary Magdalene immediately after the resurrection. Did
he appear to her naked, or was he clothed? As she mistook him for
the gardener, and as the gardener undoubtedly went clad, it may be
presumed that Jesus was clad also. If so, where did he procure his
clothes? His own garments were divided among the soldiers, and his
grave clothes were left in the sepulchre. If it be assumed that he
was taken from the tomb by his friends, as some critics believe,
the difficulty vanishes.


What is said of the saints who arose on the day of the crucifixion?

Matthew: They "came out of the graves after the resurrection, and
went into the holy city, and appeared unto many" (xxvii, 53).

Before Matthew's wholesale resurrection of the saints the
resurrection of Jesus pales into insignificance. In the opinion
of many supernaturalists Matthew has mixed too large a dose of the
miraculous for even Christian credulity to swallow, and they would
gladly omit this portion of it. Regarding this story Dr. Farrar says:
"An earthquake shook the earth and split the rocks, and as it rolled
away from their places the great stones which closed and covered the
cavern sepulchres of the Jews, so it seemed to the imaginations of
many to have disimprisoned the spirits of the dead, and to have filled
the air with ghostly visitants, who after Christ had risen appeared
to linger in the Holy City" (Life of Christ, vol. ii, p. 419). Dean
Milman dismisses it in much the same way. Referring to the earthquake,
he says: "The same convulsion would displace the stones which covered
the ancient tombs and lay open many of the innumerable rock-hewn
sepulchres which perforated the hills on every side of the city, and
expose the dead to public view. To the awe-struck and depressed minds
of the followers of Jesus, no doubt, were confined these visionary
appearances of the spirits of their deceased brethren" (History of
Christianity, vol. i, p. 336).

If the minds of the disciples were so greatly affected that they
imagined they beheld the resurrected bodies of strangers whom they
had never met and of whom they had probably never heard--for they
were nearly a hundred miles from the graves of their own kindred--is
it strange that they should imagine they saw the resurrected Master
with whom they had daily associated for months and perhaps years? To
characterize these resurrected saints as "ghostly visitants" and
"visionary appearances," and the resurrected Christ as a real being,
is a distinction without a scintilla of evidence to support it. Both
appearances, if they be historical, belong to the same class of mental
phenomena; and are, indeed, the offspring of the same minds.


When did the resurrection take place?

All: In the night.

Who witnessed it?

All: No one.

The author of "Supernatural Religion" says: "The remarkable fact is,
therefore, absolutely undeniable, that there was not, and that it is
not even pretended that there was, a single eye-witness to the actual
Resurrection. The empty grave, coupled with the supposed subsequent
appearances of Jesus, is the only evidence of the Resurrection"
(p. 1004).


It is said that a guard was stationed at the tomb. Why was this done?

Matthew: "The chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,
saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said while he was yet
alive, After three days I will rise again. Command, therefore, that
the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples
come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is
risen from the dead" (xxvii, 62-64).

Is it not strange that his enemies should be cognizant of this when
his disciples "knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from
the dead?" (John xx, 9.)

Regarding this the "Bible for Learners" says: "Was such a foolish
report really circulated among the Jews? In any case this story,
which is worked out elaborately in the Gospel of Nicodemus, is quite
absurd. Is it likely that the enemies of Jesus would have heard a
prophecy of his rising again when his very friends never dreamed of it
for a moment, and when he had never once spoken of his 'resurrection'
in public?" (Vol. iii, p. 480.)


On what day did the Sanhedrim visit Pilate for the purpose of obtaining
a guard?

Matthew: On the Sabbath (xxvii, 62).

Matthew, after describing the death and burial of Jesus, says: "Now the
next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests
and Pharisees came together unto Pilate." It is generally conceded by
Christian commentators that by "the next day" Matthew refers to the
Sabbath, for if Jesus was crucified and buried on Friday, no other
day can be meant. To avoid the disagreeable consequences of such an
admission a few have contended that by "the day of preparation" is
meant the Preparation of the Passover. But this renders the passage
unintelligible. By "preparation" Matthew means, not the Preparation of
the Passover, but the preparation of the Sabbath. This is made clear
by the other Synoptics. After relating the events of the crucifixion,
Mark begins his account of the burial with these words: "And now when
the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day
before the Sabbath" (xv, 42). Luke, after giving an account of the
crucifixion and burial, says: "And that day was the preparation and
the Sabbath drew on" (xxiii, 54).

It is claimed by the Evangelists that the Jewish priests of that
period were such rigid observers of the Sabbath that they sought to
put Jesus to death for simply healing the sick on that day. That the
Sanhedrim desecrated the Sabbath, and especially the Passover Sabbath,
by visiting and transacting business with a heathen ruler cannot be
accepted as possible.


When was the guard placed at the tomb?

Matthew: Not until the second night.

It is argued that Jesus must have risen because a guard was placed
at his tomb so that it was impossible for his disciples to "come
by night, and steal him away." But had his body really been left in
the tomb, as claimed, they would have taken it the first night had
they desired it. The passage cited from Matthew in the preceding
criticism declares that a guard was not requested of Pilate until
the day following the crucifixion, so that the tomb was without a
guard the first night. The sepulchre was not opened and examined
when the guard was placed there on the following day. "So they went
and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch"
(Matt. xxvii, 66). Had the seal been found unbroken at the end of
three days it would not have proved that Jesus' body still remained
in the tomb. It would merely have proved that the body had not been
removed after the seal was placed on it.

It may be urged that Jesus had prophesied that he would not rise until
the third day, and that an earlier disappearance of the body could
not be harmonized with a strict fulfillment of the prophecy. But of
this prophecy the disciples, we have seen, were ignorant.


What is said in regard to the opening of the tomb?

Matthew: "In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the
first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see
the sepulchre. And behold there was a great earthquake; for the angel
of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone
from the door, and sat upon it.... And the angel answered and said
unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which
was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come,
see the place where the Lord lay" (xxviii, 1-6).

Matthew's story of the guard was evidently inserted for the express
purpose of establishing a belief in the resurrection by making it
appear impossible for his friends to have removed the body from the
sepulchre. Yet this story suggests, if it does not prove, the very
thing that he attempts to prove impossible. The sepulchre was opened
in the presence of witnesses--the guards and the women. Jesus did
not emerge from it, nor did it contain his body. It was empty when
opened. This renders probable, if not certain, one of two things:
either his body was not deposited there, or it was removed before
the watch was set.

Commenting on the empty tomb L. K. Washburn says: "If Jesus got out of
the grave alive, he was put into it alive. If he was put into it dead,
he was taken out dead. A depopulated sepulchre is not proof that its
former tenant has moved to heaven. It is merely proof that somebody
has stolen a dead body."


What did the guards do when they left the tomb?

Matthew: "Some of the watch came into the city, and showed unto the
chief priests all the things that were done" (xxviii, 11).

To one acquainted with the discipline of the Roman army this story of
the soldiers leaving their post thirty-six hours before the expiration
of the watch assigned and going into the city and telling the Jews
what had transpired is incredible.


What did the chief priests do?

Matthew: "They gave large sums of money unto the soldiers, saying,
Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept"
(12, 13).

The penalty for sleeping while on duty was death, and no bribe could
have induced them to declare that they were guilty of this offense
even if the priests had promised to intercede for them. Again, had
this transaction really occurred it would have been known only by
the parties concerned in it, and when disclosure meant the direst
punishment to both the bribe-givers and the bribe-takers, neither
would have divulged the crime.

Strauss, criticising the alleged action of the Jewish priests, says:
"Their conduct, when the guards returning from the grave apprised them
of the resurrection of Jesus, is truly impossible. They believe the
assertion of the soldiers that Jesus had arisen out of his grave in
a miraculous manner. How could the council, many of whose members
were Sadducees, receive this as credible? Even the Pharisees in
the Sanhedrim, though they held in theory the possibility of a
resurrection, would not, with the mean opinion they entertained
of Jesus, be inclined to believe in his resurrection, especially
as the assertion in the mouth of the guards sounded just like a
falsehood invented to screen a failure in duty. The real Sanhedrists,
on hearing such an assertion from the soldiers, would have replied
with exasperation: You lie! you have slept and allowed him to be
stolen; but you will have to pay dearly for this, when it comes to be
investigated by the procurator. But instead of this, the Sanhedrists
in our gospel speak them fair, and entreat them thus: Tell a lie,
say that you have slept and allowed him to be stolen; moreover,
they pay them richly for the falsehood, and promise to exculpate
them to the procurator. This is evidently spoken entirely on the
Christian presupposition of the reality of the resurrection of Jesus;
a presupposition, however, which is quite incorrectly attributed to
the Sanhedrim" (Leben Jesu, pp. 806, 807).


What is said of the resurrection by Peter?

"Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly; not to all the
people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did
eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead" (Acts x, 40, 41).

If God really wished to convince all the people why did he not show
him to all the people? It is said that more than two millions of Jews
attended the Passover. Had he desired to prove to them that Jesus was
the Christ he would have assembled this multitude at midday and in
their presence raised his crucified and buried Son. Yet not a single
human being witnessed the resurrection, and not a single disinterested
witness is said to have seen him after his death. Like a thief he
escapes from his prison in the night and avoids publicity. This story
of the resurrection is clearly a priestly invention and the composer
of the speech ascribed to Peter was conscious of the fact.


What did Paul teach regarding the resurrection of Christ?

"That Christ should suffer and that he should be the first that should
rise from the dead" (Acts xxvi, 23).

If Christ was the first to rise from the dead what becomes of the
miracles of Lazarus, of the widow of Nain's son, and of the daughter
of Jairus? What becomes of Matthew's saints who rose from the dead
on the day of the crucifixion, two days before Christ rose?


What did Paul teach regarding the resurrection of the dead in general?

"If the dead rise not, then is Christ not raised" (1 Corinthians
xv, 16).

"He that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more" (Job vii, 9).


When did the disciples receive the Holy Ghost?

John: "And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto
them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost" (xx, 22).

This was on the evening of the resurrection. Forty days after this
he said to them: "Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many
days hence" (Acts i, 5).

Acts: "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come ... they were
all filled with the Holy Ghost" (ii, 1-4).

This was seven weeks after the resurrection.


On what day of the week did it occur?

John: "The first day of the week" (xx, 19).

John, like the author of the first Gospel, is evidently ignorant of the
Jewish method of reckoning time. He makes the evening (it was night)
following the first day a part of that day instead of the next day
to which it belonged.


Did Thomas receive the Holy Ghost?

John: He did not. He was absent when the disciples received it
(xx, 19-25).


Who had Jesus said would send the Holy Ghost to his disciples?

"The Comforter which is the Holy Ghost whom the Father will send"
(John xiv, 26).

"I [Jesus] will send him unto you" (xvi, 7).


What effect had the Holy Ghost upon them?

Acts: They "began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave
them utterance" (ii, 4).

Concerning this "gift" Greg says: "Ignorance and folly too often became
the arbiters of wisdom--and the ravings of delirium were listened to
as the words of inspiration, and of God. If Jesus could have returned
to earth thirty years after his death, and sat in the midst of an
assembly of his followers, who were listening in hushed and wondering
prostration of mind to a speaker in the 'unknown tongue,' how would
he have wept over the humiliating and disappointing spectacle! how
would he have grieved to think that the incoherent jargon of delirium
or hysteria should be mistaken for the promptings of his Father's
spirit!" (Creed of Christendom, p. 250.)


Who heard them speak in new tongues?

Acts: "Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in
Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia
and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene,
and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians"
(ii, 9-11).

Did representatives of all these nations really assemble to hear
the disciples, or was this merely an imaginary gathering of the
writer? Evidently the latter.


To the charge of drunkenness what reply did Peter make?

"These are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third
hour of the day" (Acts ii, 15).

A profane mind, unacquainted with Jewish customs, might infer from
this that the disciples were not in the habit of becoming intoxicated
before nine o'clock in the morning.


What inquiry did Paul make of John's disciples?

"Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?"

What did they say in reply?

"We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost"
(Acts xix, 2).

This was many years after the death of Jesus. Either this colloquy
is false, or the story of John the Baptist is false. If John was the
forerunner of Christ, as claimed, his disciples became followers of
Christ; and if they became followers of Christ they were acquainted
with the doctrine of the Holy Ghost--if it existed at this time.


When did Jesus' disciples begin to baptize?

Matthew and Mark: Not until after his resurrection (Matt. xxviii,
18, 19; Mark xvi, 15, 16).

John: At the beginning of his ministry. "After these things came Jesus
and his disciples into the land of Judea; and there he tarried with
them, and baptized" (iii, 22). "The Pharisees had heard that Jesus
made and baptized more disciples than John. (Though Jesus himself
baptized not, but his disciples.)" (iv, 1, 2).


What form of baptism is Jesus said to have prescribed for the use of
his apostles?

"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost"
(Matthew xxviii, 19).

The apostles did not baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost, but in the name of Christ alone.

"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you
in the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts ii, 38).

"They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (viii, 16).

"He commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord" (x, 48).

"They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (xix, 5).

Concerning this Greg says: "That this definite form of baptism
proceeded from Jesus, is opposed by the fact that such an allocation
of the Father, Son, and Spirit, does not elsewhere appear, except
as a form of salutation in the epistles; while as a definite form of
baptism it is nowhere met with throughout the New Testament. Moreover,
it was not the form used, and could scarcely, therefore, have been the
form commanded; for in the apostolic epistles, and even in the Acts,
the form always is 'baptizing into Christ Jesus,' or, 'into the name
of the Lord Jesus'" (Creed of Christendom, p. 191).

This ecclesiastical formula was not adopted by the church until late in
the second century, and then, not for baptism, but for admission into
the church. In regard to this the Rev. Dr. Hooykaas says: "Baptism into
the name of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son of God, and the Holy
Spirit, means baptism into the confession of or faith in these three,
and is a short epitome of Christian doctrine of which Jesus certainly
never dreamed; nay, it is obvious from all accounts that, even in
the apostolic age, it was as yet quite unknown; and the still later
age which drew up the words by no means intended them as a baptismal
formula, but rather as a statement of the conditions of admission
into the community. In making the utterance of these words, instead
of the imposition of these conditions, the first act of admission into
the community of Christ, the Church has confounded words with things"
(Bible for Learners, vol. iii, pp. 472, 473).


What was his final command to the apostles?

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature"
(Mark xvi, 15).

This is utterly irreconcilable with Acts (xi, 1-18). Eight years
after the death of Jesus, Peter is condemned for preaching to the
Gentiles. "And the apostles and brethren that were in Judea heard that
the Gentiles had also received the word of God. And when Peter was come
to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him"
(1, 2). How does he meet the accusation and justify his conduct? By
reminding them that it was the express will of their Master? No; he
tells them that while in a trance at Joppa he had a vision instructing
him to carry the gospel to the Gentiles. "When they heard these things,
they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also
to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life" (18).


How long did Jesus remain on earth?

Luke: One day (xxiv).

John: At least ten days (xx, xxi).

Acts: He was "seen of them forty days" (i, 3).

The greatest discrepancy is between Luke and Acts, two books which
it is claimed were written by the same author.


Where did the ascension take place?

Mark: In Jerusalem (xvi, 14, com. Luke xxiv, 33).

Luke: At Bethany (xxiv, 50, 51).

Acts: At Mount Olivet (i, 9-12).


Describe the ascension.

Luke: "And it came to pass while he blessed them he was parted from
them and carried up into heaven" (xxiv, 51).

The ascension of Romulus doubtless suggested the story of the ascension
of Jesus.


What occurred at the ascension?

Acts: "While they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up,
behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye
men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus,
which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner
as ye have seen him go into heaven" (i, 10, 11).

It is remarkable that the Evangelists who find space to record the
sayings of lunatics and devils, have not room to record the words of
angels, or even note their presence.


For what purpose did Jesus ascend to heaven?

"I go to prepare a place for you" (John xiv, 2).

What was the need of this when the place had already been "prepared
... from the foundation of the world" (Matthew xxv, 34)?


Did Jesus ascend bodily into heaven?

Luke: He ascended to heaven in a body of flesh and blood (xxiv, 36-43,
50, 51).

Paul: "But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with
what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not
quickened except it die; and that which thou sowest thou sowest not
that body that shall be" (1 Corinthians xv, 35-37).

"It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is
a natural body, and there is a spiritual body" (44).

"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the
Kingdom of God" (50).

The whole theology of Paul is opposed to the bodily resurrection
and ascension of Jesus. The "Bible for Learners" says: "In speaking
of the resurrection, he [Paul] does not mean the reanimation of the
body of Jesus; and indeed he expressly excludes such a thought by
ascribing to the Christ a glorified and spiritual body not made of
flesh and blood. It is equally certain that he thinks of the Christ
as having appeared from heaven; and his ranking the appearance to
himself--unquestionably the product of his own fervid imagination--as
parallel with those which preceded it [his appearances to the
disciples], seems to indicate that they were all visions alike"
(Vol. iii, p. 467).


Do all the Evangelists record the ascension?

Matthew and John, both of whom are declared to have been apostles,
and the only Evangelists who are supposed to have witnessed the
ascension, know nothing of it. The last twelve verses of Mark, it is
admitted, are spurious; while the words, "carried up into heaven,"
of Luke do not appear in the Sinaitic version, the oldest version of
the New Testament extant. With this forged appendix to Mark and this
interpolated passage in Luke eliminated, the Four Gospels contain no
mention of the ascension.


Had any man ever ascended to heaven before Jesus?

Jesus: "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from
heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven" (John iii, 13).

Then that story about Elijah is a fiction, is it?

In regard to the resurrection and ascension Thomas Paine says:
"As to the account given of his resurrection and ascension, it was
the necessary counterpart of his birth. His historians having brought
him into the world in a supernatural manner, were obliged to take him
out again in the same manner, or the first part of the story must have
fallen to the ground. The wretched contrivance with which this latter
part is told exceeds every thing that went before it. The first part,
that of the miraculous conception, was not a thing that admitted of
publicity; and therefore the tellers of this part of the story had this
advantage, that though they might not be credited, they could not be
detected.... But the resurrection of a dead person from the grave,
and his ascension through the air, is a thing very different as to
the evidence it admits of, to the invisible conception of a child in
the womb. The resurrection and ascension, supposing them to have taken
place, admitted of public and ocular demonstration, like that of the
ascension of a balloon, or the sun at noon-day, to all Jerusalem at
least. A thing which everybody is required to believe, requires that
the proof and evidence of it should be equal to all, and universal;
and as the public visibility of this last related act was the only
evidence that could give sanction to the former part, the whole of it
falls to the ground, because that evidence never was given.... It is
in vain to attempt to palliate or disguise this matter. The story,
so far as relates to the supernatural part, has every mark of fraud
and imposition stamped upon the face of it. Who were the authors of
it is as impossible for us now to know, as it is for us to be assured
that the books in which the account is related were written by the
persons whose names they bear; the best surviving evidence we now have
respecting this affair is the Jews. They are regularly descended from
the people who lived in the times this resurrection and ascension
is said to have happened, and they say, it is not true. It has long
appeared to me a strange inconsistency to cite the Jews as a proof of
the truth of the story. It is just the same as if a man were to say,
I will prove the truth of what I have told you by producing the people
who say it is false" (Age of Reason, pp. 10, 11).

"The story of Jesus Christ appearing after he was dead is the story of
an apparition, such as timid imaginations can always create in vision,
and credulity believe" (Ibid, 161).

"Supernatural Religion" says: "The whole of the evidence for the
Resurrection reduces itself to an undefined belief on the part of
a few persons, in a notoriously superstitious age, that after Jesus
had died and been buried they had seen him alive. These visions, it is
admitted, occurred at a time of the most intense religious excitement,
and under circumstances of wholly exceptional mental agitation and
distress. The wildest alternations of fear, doubt, hope and indefinite
expectation, added their effects to oriental imaginations already
excited by indignation at the fate of their Master, and sorrow or
despair at such a dissipation of their Messianic dreams. There was
present every element of intellectual and moral disturbance. Now
must we seriously ask again whether this bare and wholly unjustified
belief can be accepted as satisfactory evidence for so astounding
a miracle as the Resurrection? Can the belief of such men, in such
an age, establish the reality of a phenomenon which is contradicted
by universal experience? We have no evidence as to what actually
occurred. We do not even know the facts upon which they based their
inferences. We only know that they thought they had seen Jesus and that
they, therefore, concluded that he had risen from the dead. It comes
to us as bare belief from the Age of Miracles, unsupported by facts,
uncorroborated by evidence, unaccompanied by proof of investigation,
and unprovided with material for examination. What is such belief
worth? We have no hesitation in saying that it is absolutely worth
nothing" (pp. 1048, 1049).

The Rev. Dr. Phillip Schaff, one of the most eminent evangelical
Christian scholars of this country, in his "History of the Christian
Church," makes this candid admission regarding the resurrection and
ascension of Christ:

"Truth compels us to admit that there are serious difficulties
in harmonizing the accounts of the Evangelists, and in forming a
consistent conception of Christ's resurrection body hovering as it
were between heaven and earth, and a supernatural state, of a body
clothed with flesh and blood and bearing the wound prints, and yet
so spiritual as to appear and disappear through closed doors and to
ascend visibly to heaven."




Who was Jesus Christ?

Mark: He was the son of man.

Matthew and Luke: He was the Son of God.

John: He was God himself.

In the Four Gospels are presented three entirely different
conceptions of the Christ. In Mark he is represented as the son of
human parents--the Messiah--but simply a man. In Matthew and Luke we
have the story of the miraculous conception--he is represented as the
Son of God. In John he is declared to be God himself. "In the beginning
was the Word [Christ], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God"
(i, 1).

According to Mark Christ is a man; according to Matthew and Luke,
a demi-god; according to John, a God.

Voltaire thus harmonizes these discordant conceptions: "The son of
God is the same as the son of man; the son of man is the same as the
son of God. God, the father, is the same as Christ, the son; Christ,
the son, is the same as God, the father. This language may appear
confused to unbelievers, but Christians will readily understand it."

This is quite as intelligible as the Christian Confession of Faith,
Article II of which reads as follows: "The Son, which is the Word
of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and
eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took man's nature
in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance: so that two
whole and perfect Natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood,
were joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is
one Christ, very God, and very Man."

"The theological Christ is the impossible union of the human and
divine--man with the attributes of God, and God with the limitations
and weaknesses of man."--Ingersoll.


Is God a visible Being?

Jacob: "I have seen God face to face" (Genesis xxxii, 30).

John: "No man hath seen God at any time" (i, 18).


How many Gods are there?

Mark: One.

John: Three.

Mark teaches the doctrine of Unitarianism (Monotheism), or one
God. John teaches, not the doctrine of Unitarianism or one God,
nor yet the doctrine of Trinitarianism or three Gods in one, but the
doctrine of Tritheism or three distinct Gods, separate and independent
of each other.


Is the doctrine of the Trinity taught in the New Testament?

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word,
and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (1 John v, 7).

This is the only passage in the New Testament which clearly teaches
the doctrine of the Trinity, and this passage is admitted by all
Christian scholars to be an interpolation.

When the modern version of the New Testament was first published
by Erasmus it was criticised because it contained no text teaching
the doctrine of the Trinity. Erasmus promised his critics that if
a manuscript could be found containing such a text he would insert
it. The manuscript was "found," and the text quoted appeared in a later
edition. Concerning this interpolation Sir Isaac Newton, in a letter
to a friend, which was afterward published by Bishop Horsley, says:
"When the adversaries of Erasmus had got the Trinity into his edition,
they threw by their manuscript as an old almanac out of date."

Alluding to the doctrine of the Trinity, Thomas Jefferson says: "It is
too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the
Platonic mysticism that three are one and one is three, and yet, that
the one is not three, and the three not one.... But this constitutes
the craft, the power, and profits of the priests. Sweep away their
gossamer fabrics of fictitious religion, and they would catch no more
flies" (Jefferson's Works, vol. iv, p. 205, Randolph's ed.).

Again Jefferson says: "The hocus-pocus phantasm of a God, like another
Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in
the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs" (Ibid, p. 360).


Was Christ the only begotten Son of God?

John: He was "the only begotten Son of God" (iii, 18).

"There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that,
when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare
children unto them" (Genesis vi, 4).


By what agency and when was the Christ begotten?

Matthew and Luke: By the Holy Ghost at the time of his conception by
the Virgin Mary.

According to Justin the Holy Ghost begat the Christ, not at the
conception of Jesus, as claimed by these Evangelists, but at his
baptism. At his baptism the voice from heaven said: "Thou art my son;
this day have I begotten thee" (Dialogues 88).

The correctness of Justin's statement is corroborated by Hebrews:
"Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he
that said unto him, Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee"
(v, 5). Christ's priesthood began at his baptism.


Of what gender is the Holy Ghost?

Matthew (Greek Ver.): Masculine gender.

Matthew (Hebrew Ver.): Feminine gender.

The Holy Ghost (Spirit), as was noted in a previous chapter, was
with the Greeks of masculine gender, with the Jews of feminine
gender. The Gospel According to the Hebrews, which, it is claimed,
was the original Gospel of Matthew, represented Jesus as saying,
"Just now my mother, the Holy Ghost, laid hold on me."

If the Holy Ghost was the mother of Jesus did he have two
mothers? According to our Greek version of Matthew, as well as that
of Luke, he had one mother and three reputed fathers--God, the Holy
Ghost, and Joseph.


Christ, it is affirmed, was born of Mary. If so, what relation did
she bear to him?

1. If he was born of Mary she was his mother.

2. She "being with child by the Holy Ghost," and Father, Son and Holy
Ghost being one, she bore to him the relation of wife.

3. God being the Father of all mankind, and God and Christ being one,
she was his daughter.

4. She being the daughter of God, and Christ being the Son of God,
she was therefore his sister.

Consequently Mary bore to him the relation of mother, wife, daughter
and sister.


The greater portion of the Christian church affirms the perpetual
virginity of Mary. It is claimed that Jesus was her only child and
that the conception and birth of him did not destroy her virginity. Is
this confirmed by the Evangelists?

It is not. Matthew and Mark say: "Is not his mother called Mary? and
his brethren, James and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? and his sisters,
are they not all with us?" (Matt. xiii, 55, 56; Mark vi, 3). Luke
(viii, 19) and John (vii, 3) both declare that he had brothers.

To maintain this dogma it is affirmed that by "brethren and sisters"
is meant cousins. Dr. Farrar, who in regard to this as in regard
to most disputed points, assumes a non-committal or conciliatory
attitude, concedes that "the natural supposition that, after the
miraculous conception of our Lord, Joseph and Mary lived together in
the married state, and that James, and Joses, and Judas, and Simon,
with daughters, whose names are not recorded, were subsequently born
to them," is "in accordance certainly with the prima facie evidence
of the Gospels" (Life of Christ, p. 51).


Who did Mary say was the father of Jesus?

Luke: When he remained behind in Jerusalem, and they found him in the
temple, "his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with
us? behold, thy father [Joseph] and I have sought thee sorrowing"
(ii, 48).

To believe that a Jewish virgin was overshadowed by a spirit, and
miraculously conceived and bore a child, requires more convincing
proof than the dream of a credulous lover. We ought at least to have
the testimony of the mother. But we have it not. She testifies that
Joseph is his father.


What did Jesus' neighbors say regarding his paternity?

Matthew: They said, "Is not this the carpenter's [Joseph's]
son?" (xiii, 55.)

Luke: "They said, Is not this Joseph's son?" (iv, 22.)

John: "They said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph?" (vi, 42.)

The Rev. Dr. Crapsey, of the Episcopal church, in his work on "Religion
and Politics" (p. 289), makes this significant admission regarding
the divine origin of Jesus: "The fact of his miraculous birth was
unknown to himself, unknown to his mother, and unknown to the whole
Christian community of the first generations."

Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John Adams, wrote: "The day will come
when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his
father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of
the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter" (Jefferson Works,
vol. iv, p. 365, Randolph's ed.).


Who did Peter declare him to be?

"Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God" (Acts ii, 22).

Who did Paul declare him to be?

"There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man
Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy ii, 5).

The Christ of Peter and Paul was not a God, but a man--a man upon
whom had been bestowed divine gifts--but yet a man.


What testimony is ascribed to Paul?

"Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh"
(1 Timothy iii, 16).

This is a gross perversion of Scripture for the purpose of making
Paul a witness to Christ's divinity. Regarding this text and the
Trinitarian text inserted in 1 John, Sir Isaac Newton, in his letter
previously quoted from, says:

"What the Latins have done in this text (1 John v, 7) the Greeks
have done to Paul (1 Tim. iii, 16). They now read, 'Great is the
mystery of godliness; God manifest in the flesh'; whereas all the
churches for the first four or five hundred years, and the authors of
all the ancient versions, Jerome as well as the rest, read, 'Great
is the mystery of godliness, which was manifest in the flesh.' Our
English version makes it yet a little stronger. It reads, 'Great is
the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh.'"

In conclusion Newton says: "If the ancient churches, in debating and
deciding the greatest mysteries of religion, knew nothing of these
two texts, I understand not why we should be so fond of them now the
debate is over."


Christ is declared by the Christian creed to be "the very and eternal
God." God, it is claimed, is omnipotent. Was Christ omnipotent?

"The Son can do nothing of himself" (John v, 19).

"I can of mine own self do nothing" (30).


God is omniscient. Was Christ omniscient?

Referring to his second advent he says: "Of that day and hour knoweth
no man, ... neither the Son" (Mark xiii, 32).


God is omnipresent. Was Christ omnipresent?

"I am glad for your sakes that I was not there" (John xi, 15).

"Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye
cannot come" (vii, 36).

"And now I am no more in the world" (xvii, 11).


God is self-existent. Was Christ self-existent?

"I live by the Father" (John vi, 57).

"He liveth by the power of God" (2 Corinthians xiii, 4).


Did Christ have a preexistence?

"Before Abraham was, I am" (John viii, 58).

According to the Synoptics his existence began with his life on earth.


Was he infinite in wisdom?

Luke: He "increased in wisdom" (ii, 52).

If he increased in wisdom his knowledge was limited, and limitation
of knowledge is not an attribute of an infinite God.


Was he infinite in goodness?

"Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God"
(Mark x, 18).


Was he infinite in mercy?

"He that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark xvi, 16).

"Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire" (Matthew xxv, 41).

"Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works
were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe
unto thee, Bethsaida!... It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and
Sidon at the day of Judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum,
which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell"
(Matthew xi, 20-23).


His resurrection is adduced as the chief argument in proof of his
divinity. Did he raise himself from the dead?

Peter: He did not. God raised him. "Jesus Christ of Nazareth, ... whom
God raised from the dead" (Acts iv, 10).

If Christ, then, did not rise from the dead by his own volition,
was his resurrection any proof of his divinity? No more than the
resurrection of Lazarus was proof of Lazarus's divinity.


His miraculous conception is adduced as another proof of his
divinity. Is this the only miraculous conception claimed in the Bible?

It is not. Isaac, Samson, Samuel and John the Baptist are all claimed
to have been miraculously conceived (Genesis xviii, 10, 11; xxi, 1-3;
Judges xiii, 2, 3, 24; 1 Samuel i, 9-11, 20; Luke i, 7-13).


His miracles, it is claimed, attest his divinity. Were he and his
disciples the only ones who performed miracles?

These alleged miracles were performed before his time--the Old
Testament abounds with them--and they have been performed since his
time. They were performed by others in his own time--were performed by
those who ignored and rejected him--were performed by the disciples
of Satan himself (Matthew vii, 22; xii, 27; Mark ix, 38; xiii, 22;
Luke ix, 49).

"Supernatural Religion" says: "The supposed miraculous evidence for the
divine revelation, moreover, is without any special divine character,
being avowedly common also to Satanic agency, but it is not original
either in conception or details. Similar miracles to those which are
supposed to attest it are reported long antecedent to the promulgation
of Christianity, and continued to be performed for centuries after
it. A stream of miraculous pretension, in fact, has flowed through
all human history, deep and broad as it has passed through the
darker ages, but dwindling down to a thread as it has entered days
of enlightenment. The evidence was too hackneyed and commonplace to
make any impression upon those before whom the Christian miracles are
said to have been performed, and it altogether failed to convince the
people to whom the revelation was primarily addressed. The selection
of such evidence, for such a purpose, is much more characteristic of
human weakness than of divine power" (p. 699).

Archbishop Trench says: "Side by side with the miracles which
serve for the furthering of the kingdom of God runs another line of
wonders, the counter-workings of him who is ever the ape of the Most
High.... This fact that the kingdom of lies has its wonders no less
than the kingdom of truth, is itself sufficient evidence that miracles
cannot be appealed to absolutely and finally, in proof of the doctrine
which the worker of them proclaims" (Miracles of Our Lord, p. 22).

The miracles of Christ, like the miracles of Satan, existed only in
the minds of his credulous and deluded followers.

        "Ye shall have miracles, aye, sound ones too,
        Seen, heard, attested, everything but true."

                                            --Thomas Moore.


Prophecy is appealed to in support of his divinity. It is claimed
that the writers of the Old Testament predicted his coming. Do such
predictions exist?

In his work on "The Bible," as well as in a previous chapter of this
work, the writer has shown that there is not a single passage in
the Old Testament that, in the original text, refers in the remotest
degree to Jesus Christ.

Greg shows that much of Old Testament history, like Deuteronomy, is
presented in the form of anticipatory narrative. To the Christian
argument that the Messianic predictions, at least, were written
long anterior to the time of Christ, he replies: "This is true,
and the argument would have all the force which is attributed to it,
were the objectors able to lay their fingers on a single Old Testament
prediction clearly referring to Jesus Christ, intended by the utterers
of it to relate to him, prefiguring his character and career, and
manifestly fulfilled in his appearance on earth. This they cannot
do. Most of the passages usually adduced as complying with these
conditions, referred, and were clearly intended to refer, to eminent
individuals in Israelitish history; many are not prophecies at all;
the Messiah, the anointed deliverer, expected by the Jews, hoped
for and called for by their poets and prophets, was of a character
so different, and a career so opposite, to those of the meek, lowly,
long-suffering Jesus, that the passages describing the one never could
have been applied to the other, without a perversion of ingenuity,
and a disloyal treatment of their obvious signification, which, if
employed in any other field than that of theology, would have met with
the prompt discredit and derision they deserve" (Creed of Christendom,
pp. 135, 136).


His own prescience is cited in proof of his divinity. The destruction
of the temple by the Romans, it is claimed, was a wonderful instance
of the fulfillment of prophecy. But did his so-called prophecy have
reference to this event?

No one can read this prophecy (Matthew xxiv, 1-3) and then honestly
contend that it did. He clearly refers to his second coming and the
end of the world when the temple, in common with all sublunary things,
shall be destroyed. In the verse immediately following this prediction,
his disciples say: "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what
shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"

But even if this so-called prophecy had referred to this event it
is rendered nugatory by the fact that the book containing it was not
composed until a hundred years after the destruction of the temple.


When was Christ's second coming and the end of terrestrial things to
take place?

"There be some standing here that shall not taste of death till they
see the Son of man coming in his kingdom" (Matthew xvi, 28).

"This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled" (Luke
xxi, 32).

Seventy-five generations have passed, and still the world rolls on,
unmoved by Christ's and Mother Shipton's prophecies.


Did the Apostles believe that the second coming of Christ and the
end of the world were at hand?

Peter: "The end of all things is at hand" (1 Peter iv, 7).

James: "The coming of the Lord draweth nigh" (James v, 8).

John: "Ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there
many antichrists: whereby we know that it is the last time" (1 John
ii, 18).

Paul: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the
dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord
in the air" (1 Thessalonians iv, 16, 17).

Renan, ever ready to palliate or overlook the errors of his hero,
frankly admits that the predictions concerning his second advent and
the end of the world were a dismal failure. "It is evident, indeed," he
says, "that such a doctrine, taken by itself in a literal manner, had
no future. The world, in continuing to exist, caused it to crumble. One
generation of man at the most was the limit of its endurance. The
faith of the first Christian generation is intelligible, but the faith
of the second generation is no longer so. After the death of John,
or of the last survivor, whoever he might be, of the group which
had seen the master, the word of Jesus was convicted of falsehood"
(Life of Jesus, pp. 203, 204).


To what extent was the gospel to be preached before his second coming?

"Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of
man be come" (Matthew x, 23).

"The gospel must first be published among all nations" (Mark xiii, 10).


Did Jesus claim to be the Christ or Messiah from the first?

John: He did. Early in his ministry "The woman [of Samaria] saith
unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when
he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that
speak unto thee am he" (iv, 25, 26).

Synoptics: He did not announce his Messiahship until late in his


Who where the first to recognize his divinity?

Synoptics: Devils and unclean spirits (Matthew viii, 28, 29; Mark iii,
11, 12; Luke iv, 41).


What is said of Jesus in Hebrews?

"Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels" (ii, 9).

"Being made so much better than the angels" (i, 4).


What did he say respecting his identity with God?

"My Father and I are one" (John x, 30).

"My Father is greater than I" (xiv, 28).


How did he attempt to establish his claims?

"It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is
true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent
me beareth witness of me" (John viii, 17, 18).

But if "I and my Father are one," how does that fulfill the law?


What did he say regarding the truthfulness of his testimony concerning

"Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true" (John viii,

"If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true" (v. 31).


Did Jesus' neighbors believe in his divinity?

Matthew: "When he was come into his own country," and to his own home,
"He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief" (xiii,
54, 58).


What opinion did his friends entertain of him?

Mark: "And when his friends heard of it [his work], they went out to
lay hold on him; for they said, He is beside himself" (iii, 21).


Did even his brothers believe in him?

John: "Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren
therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judea, that thy
disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no
man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be
known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For
neither did his brethren believe in him" (vii, 2-5).

These three passages are fatal to the claim of Christ's divinity. If
he was unable to convince his neighbors, his friends, or even his
own family of his divinity he was not divine. Much less was he the
"very God," as claimed.

According to the Christian scheme, man by his disobedience fell--was
lost. God desired to save him. Christ--God manifest in the flesh--came
on earth for this purpose. What was required of man to secure
salvation? Simply to believe that Jesus was the Christ. In order for
him to believe this what was necessary? That Jesus should convince him
that he was divine. If he was all-powerful he could have done this; if
he was all-just he would have done this. Did he do this? His own race
rejected him. Disbelief in Christ's divinity disproves his divinity.


The writings of the New Testament are adduced as the evidences of
Christ's divinity and the divine character of Christianity. Do the
writers of the New Testament claim to be inspired?

With the possible exception of the author of Revelation, they do
not. Paul says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God." But
the "scripture" of Paul was the scripture of the Old Testament. His
words have no reference whatever to the writings of the New which
did not exist in his time.

If the New Testament is not inspired and infallible, what follows?

"If the New Testament is defective the church itself is in error,
and must be given up as a deception."--Dr. Tischendorf.

"It is not a word too much to say that the New Testament abounds with
errors."--Dean Alford.


What is said of the Apocryphal Gospels which appeared in the early
ages of the church?

"Several histories of his [Christ's] life and doctrines, full of
pious frauds and fabulous wonders, were composed by persons whose
intentions perhaps were not bad, but whose writings discovered the
greatest superstition and ignorance. Nor was this all; productions
appeared which were imposed upon the world by fraudulent men, as the
writings of the holy Apostles."--Mosheim.

Is the above less true of the books we are reviewing? Are not these
writings "full of pious frauds and fabulous wonders"? Do not these
writings display "the greatest superstition and ignorance"? Have
not these writings been "imposed upon the world by fraudulent men,
as the writings of the holy (?) Apostles"?

If some of these apocryphal Gospels had been accepted as canonical,
and the canonical Gospels had been rejected as apocryphal, these
canonical Gospels would appear as untruthful and foolish to Christians
as the apocryphal Gospels do.


Let us examine the religious teachings ascribed to Christ. For what
purpose was his blood shed?

"This is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many"
(Mark xiv, 24).

"This cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you"
(Luke xxii, 20).

"This is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many FOR
THE REMISSION OF SINS" (Matthew xxvi, 28).

The above is one of the most significant discrepancies in the
Bible. The Atonement is the chief doctrine connected with Christ
and orthodox Christianity. The text quoted from Matthew is the only
text in the Four Gospels which clearly teaches this doctrine. Two
other texts (Matthew xx, 28; John i, 29) are adduced in support of
it, but do not clearly teach it. Now Matthew has falsely ascribed
to Jesus the revelation of the Atonement, or Mark and Luke have
either ignorantly or intentionally omitted this greatest of Christian
doctrines. They contain no mention of the Atonement as understood by
orthodox Christians.


For whom did he say his blood was shed?

"This is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many
[interpreted by the church to mean all mankind]" (Mark xiv, 24).

"This cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you
[addressed to his disciples alone]" (Luke xxii, 20).


Was his blood really shed?

The crucifixion was not a bloody death, and aside from the
self-confuted story of John about blood and water flowing from his
corpse, the Evangelists do not state that a drop of blood was shed.


Christ, it is affirmed, was both God and man. Was it the human,
or the divine part of him that suffered death?

If only the human, this sacrifice was not an exceptional one, for
thousands have died for their fellow men. If the divine part was
sacrificed does God cease to exist?


His death is called an infinite sacrifice. If only the man died can
this be true?

The offering of a finite being, it must be admitted, would not
constitute an infinite sacrifice.


If the God was crucified does he suffer endless pain?

If not, then his suffering was not infinite, and the sacrifice in
this case was not an infinite one.


If God died, but subsequently rose from the dead, was there not an
interregnum when the universe was without a ruler?

If so, then it must be conceded that the existence of the universe
is not dependent upon the existence of God.


Are all mankind to be saved by Christ?

"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to me"
(John xii, 32).

"Many be called but few chosen" (Matthew xx, 16).


What does Paul affirm concerning the Atonement?

"Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures" (1 Corinthians
xv, 3).

By "scriptures" Paul means the Old Testament, and according to the
scriptures of the Old Testament, "Every man shall be put to death
for his own sins" (Deuteronomy xxiv, 16).

Like nearly all the doctrines ascribed to Christ, the atonement is
in the highest degree unjust and absurd. Referring to this doctrine,
Lord Byron says: "The basis of your religion is injustice. The Son of
God, the pure, the immaculate, the innocent, is sacrificed for the
guilty. This proves his heroism, but no more does away with man's
sin than a schoolboy's volunteering to be flogged for another would
exculpate a dunce from negligence."

Greg justly charges Christians with "holding the strangely
inconsistent doctrine that God is so just that he could not let sin
go unpunished, yet so unjust that he could punish it in the person
of the innocent." "It is for orthodox dialectics," he says, "to
explain how Divine Justice can be impugned by pardoning the guilty,
and yet vindicated by punishing the innocent!" (Creed of Christendom,
pp. 338, 339.)


It is claimed that the sacrifice of Jesus was necessary for our
salvation. Through whom was this sacrifice secured?

All: Judas Iscariot procured it, and Pilate and the Jews offered it.

Are not Christians, then, in condemning these men, ungrateful to their
greatest benefactors? A man is dangerously ill. The druggist provides a
remedy, the physician administers it and saves his life. When restored
does he show his gratitude by praising the drug and damning the doctor?


In permitting the crucifixion of Jesus, who committed the greater sin,
Pilate or God?

John: "Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me,
except it were given thee from above: therefore he [God] that delivered
me unto thee hath the greater sin" (xix, 11).

Hon. Allan L. McDermott, in his memorable speech in Congress, in
1906, protesting against the persecution of Jews by Christians, said:
"If an omnipotent God orders anything done, the human instruments
selected to carry out his orders cannot be charged with the acts
commanded. The doctrine of repondeat superior applies. If what
happened could have been prevented by the Romans or by the Jews,
then the New Testament is worthless. Let us assume that the Jews
crucified Christ. Could they have done otherwise? Were they greater
than God? According to the Bible, the crucifixion was arranged for by
the Father. Why blame the Jews or the Romans or any other mortals? They
did not know what they were doing. The Roman soldiers did not believe
that they were crucifying the son of God; they did not know they were
crucifying God himself. Why blame the instruments? Why persecute the
descendants? According to the Synoptic Gospels and according to John,
the arrangements for the crucifixion--every detail--were made by
Almighty God, and were known to Christ."


What was the character of his death?

Homicide. "Jesus of Nazareth, a man ... ye have taken, and by wicked
hands have crucified and slain" (Acts ii, 22, 23).

Regicide. "The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father
David" (Luke i, 32). "This is the King of the Jews" (xxiii, 38). "There
they crucified him" (33).

Deicide. "The Word [Christ] was God" (John i, 1). "I and my Father
are one" (x, 30). "They crucified him" (xix, 18).

Suicide. "I [Christ] lay down my life, that I might take it again. No
man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself" (John x, 17, 18).


What did Jesus teach respecting the resurrection of the dead and the
doctrine of immortality?

"For the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall
hear his voice, and shall come forth" (John v, 28, 29).

"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life"

"As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away, so he that goeth down
to the grave shall come up no more."--Job (vii, 9).

"His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day
his thoughts perish."--Psalms (cxlvi, 4).

"For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts.... As
one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath, so that
man hath no preeminence over a beast."--Ecclesiastes (iii, 19).


His resurrection is accepted by Christians as a proof and type of man's
resurrection and immortality. What was the nature of his resurrection?

According to all of the Evangelists it was merely a reanimation of
his undecayed body. Other bodies supposedly dead have been revived,
but neither these resuscitations nor the supposed reanimation of Jesus'
corpse affords proof that bodies which ages ago crumbled into dust and
whose particles subsequently entered into the composition of myriads
of other bodies will be reunited into the original beings. And as
Jesus almost immediately disappeared after his alleged resurrection
and has never since been seen this resurrection did not evince his
own immortality, much less that of mankind in general.


Did Christ descend into hell?

Peter: He did (Acts ii, 31; 1 Peter iii, 19).

Peter states that "his soul was not left in hell," which necessitates
the assumption of his having gone there. He also declares that after
his death he "went and preached unto the spirits in prison [hell]."

The Confession of Faith (Art. III) says: "As Christ died for us, and
was buried; so also is it to be believed that he went down into hell."

For what purpose did Christ descend into hell and preach to its
inhabitants? If it was to redeem them his mission was fruitless;
if it was not to redeem them his mission was useless.

Early Christian writers almost uniformly spelled the name of Christ,
not "Christos" (the Anointed), but "Chrestos." Chrestos was a Pagan
name given to the judge of Hades in the lower world.


What is taught regarding justification by faith and justification
by works?

Paul: "A man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the
faith of Jesus Christ, ... for by the works of the law shall no flesh
be justified" (Galatians ii, 16). "If righteousness come by the law
then Christ is dead in vain" (21). "To him that worketh not, but
believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted
for righteousness" (Romans iv, 5). "Therefore, we conclude that a
man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law" (iii, 28).

James: "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is
dead?" (ii, 20). "Ye see, then, how that by works a man is justified,
and not by faith only" (24).

The church accepts the teachings of Paul and condemns or ignores
the teachings of James. Martin Luther, in his "Table Talk," thus
defines the position of the Protestant church: "He that says the
gospel requires works for salvation, I say flat and plain he is a
liar." "Every doer of the law and every moral worker is accursed,
for he walketh in the presumption of his own righteousness." "If men
only believe enough in Christ they can commit adultery and murder
a thousand times a day without periling their salvation." Luther
rejected and denounced the book of James because it teaches the
efficacy of good works.

The English "Confession of Faith" affirms the following: "That we
are justified by Faith only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very
full of comfort" (Art. XI). "Works done before the grace of Christ,
and the inspiration of the Spirit, are not pleasant to God, forasmuch
as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ.... Yea rather, for that
they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done,
we doubt not but they have the nature of sin" (Art. XIII).

          "Morality! thou deadly bane,
        Thy tens o' thousands thou hast slain!
        Vain is his hope, whose stay and trust is
        In moral mercy, truth and justice!

          "No--stretch a point to catch a plack;
        Abuse a brother to his back;

        Be to the poor like onie whunstane,
        And haud their noses to the grunstane;
        Ply ev'ry art o' legal thieving:
        No matter, stick to sound believing.

          "Learn three-mile prayers, and half-mile graces,
        Wi weel-spread loaves, and lang wry faces,
        Grunt up a solemn, lengthen'd groan,
        And damn a' parties but your own:
        I'll warrant, then, ye're nae deceiver,
        A steady, sturdy, staunch believer."

                                                --Robert Burns.


What does Christ teach regarding salvation?

"Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die" (John xi, 26).

"He that believeth on him is not condemned; but he that believeth
not is condemned already" (iii, 18).

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that
believeth not on the Son shall not see life" (36).

A demand so preposterous could have been made only in support of claims
that were realized to be untenable. Credulity was appealed to because
convincing evidence could not be adduced. Claims which reason rejects
are manifestly false, and it is only by a renunciation of reason that
they can be accepted as true.

The absurdity of this requirement of Christ is thus exposed by
the poet Shelley: "This is the pivot upon which all religions turn;
they all assume that it is in our power to believe or not to believe:
whereas the mind can only believe that which it thinks true. A human
being can only be supposed accountable for those actions which are
influenced by his will. But belief is utterly distinct from and
unconnected with volition: it is the apprehension of the agreement
or disagreement of the ideas that compose any proposition. Belief
is a passion or involuntary operation of the mind, and, like other
passions, its intensity is precisely proportionate to the degree
of excitement. Volition is essential to merit or demerit. But the
Christian religion attaches the highest possible degree of merit
and demerit to that which is worthy of neither, and which is totally
unconnected with the peculiar faculty of the mind whose presence is
essential to their being" (Notes to Queen Mab).


Did Christ abrogate the Mosaic law?

"Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise
pass from the law" (Matthew v, 18).

"The law and the prophets were until John; since that time the Kingdom
of God is preached" (Luke xvi, 16).

Paul: "The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that
we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come we are
no longer under a schoolmaster" (Galatians iii, 24, 25). "But now we
are delivered from the law" (Romans vii, 6).

"Christ certainly did come to destroy the law and the prophets."--Henry
Ward Beecher.


What is taught regarding the forgiveness of sin?

"He [God] is faithful and just to forgive sins" (1 John i, 9).

"The Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins" (Mark ii, 10).

"Today I offer you the pardon of the gospel--full pardon, free
pardon. I do not care what your crime has been. Though you say you
have committed a crime against God, against your own soul, against
your fellow-man, against your family, against the day of judgment,
against the cross of Christ--whatever your crime has been, here
is pardon, full pardon, and the very moment you take that pardon
your heavenly Father throws his arms about you and says: 'My son,
I forgive you. It is all right. You are as much in my favor now as
if you never had sinned.'"--Dr. Talmage.

This doctrine of forgiveness of sin is a premium on crime. "Forgive
us our sins" means "Let us continue in our iniquity." It is one of the
most pernicious of doctrines, and one of the most fruitful sources of
immorality. It has been the chief cause of making Christian nations the
most immoral of nations. In teaching this doctrine Christ committed
a sin for which his death did not atone, and which can never be
forgiven. There is no forgiveness of sin. Every cause has its effect;
every sinner must suffer the consequences of his sins.


What is taught regarding future rewards and punishments?

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that
believeth not shall be damned" (Mark xvi, 16).

These words, while appearing in the unauthentic appendix to Mark, yet
express clearly the alleged teachings of Jesus. Above all they have
formed the key note of orthodox Christianity in all ages of the church.

Between the lines of this passage the eye of the unfettered mind
discerns in large capitals the word FRAUD. These words are the words
of an impostor. Had Jesus been divine he would not have been compelled
to resort to bribes and threats to secure the world's adherence. Had
he even been a sincere man he would not have desired converts on
such terms. These words are either the utterance of a false Messiah,
conscious of his impotency, or the invention of priests who intended
them to frighten the ignorant and credulous into an acceptance of
their faith.

Concerning this teaching Col. Ingersoll says: "Redden your hands
with human blood; blast by slander the fair fame of the innocent;
strangle the smiling child upon its mother's knees; deceive, ruin,
and desert the beautiful girl who loves and trusts you, and your
case is not hopeless. For all this, and for all these, you may
be forgiven. For all this, and for all these, that bankrupt court
established by the gospel will give you a discharge; but deny the
existence of these divine ghosts, of these gods, and the sweet and
tearful face of Mercy becomes livid with eternal hate. Heaven's
golden gates are shut, and you, with an infinite curse ringing in
your ears, with the brand of infamy upon your brow, commence your
endless wanderings in the lurid gloom of hell--an immortal vagrant,
an eternal outcast, a deathless convict."

"A gloomy heaven above opening its jealous gates to the
nineteen-thousandth part of the tithe of mankind! And below an
inexorable Hell expanding its leviathan jaws for the vast residue of
mortals! O doctrine comfortable and healing to the weary wounded soul
of man!"--Robert Burns.


Did he teach the doctrine of endless punishment?

"And these shall go away into everlasting punishment" (Matthew xxv,

That is the most infamous passage in all literature. It is the
language, not of an incarnate God, but of an incarnate devil. The
being who gave utterance to those words deserves not the worship,
but the execration of mankind. The priests who preach this doctrine
of eternal pain are fiends. There is misery enough in this world
without adding to it the mental anguish of this monstrous lie.

Less than a hundred years ago, when Christ was yet believed to
be divine, in nearly every pulpit, to frighten timid and confiding
mothers, dimpled babes were consigned to the red flames of this eternal
hell. Then came the preachers of humanity--the Ballous, the Channings,
the Parkers and the Beechers--preachers with hearts and brains, who
sought to humanize this heavenly demon, to make of him a decent man,
and civilize his fiendish priests. To these men is due the debt of
everlasting gratitude. With the return of every spring the emancipated
of the race should build above their sacred dust a pyramid of flowers.

Not by the sects known as Universalists and Unitarians, small in
numbers, though in the character of their adherents the greatest of
the Christian sects, must we estimate the importance of the work of
Ballou and Channing and other Liberal ministers. The influence of
their teachings has permeated every Christian sect, and quickened
every humane conscience. In the minds of all intelligent Christians,
largely as the result of their labors, this heartless demon and this
cruel dogma are dead. In their creeds they still survive. They are
ashamed of the dogma; they abhor it. They should abhor its author,
and banish both.

"What! I should call on that Infinite Love that has served us so well?
Infinite cruelty rather, that made everlasting hell,
Made us, foreknew us, foredoom'd us, and does what he will with his own;
Better our dead brute mother who never has heard us groan."



Is it possible to fall from grace?

Peter: "If after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through
the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again
entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them
than the beginning" (2 Peter ii, 20).

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and
I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither
shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John x, 27, 28).

"There is no condemnation for them that believe and are
baptized."--Confession of Faith, Art. IX.


Is baptism essential to salvation?

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark xvi, 16).

"Except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter
the Kingdom of God" (John iii, 5).

"Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them" (Matthew
xxviii, 19).

Was the penitent thief baptized?

Paul says: "I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and
Gaius.... For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel"
(1 Corinthians i, 14, 17).


What constitutes Christian baptism, immersion or sprinkling?

With millions of Bibles in circulation, the Christian does not
know. If he affirms, as many scholars affirm, that immersion is the
mode authorized by the Bible, then he must admit that the greater
portion of Christendom has rejected this mode and adopted one not
authorized by the Scriptures.

To whom is this rite to be administered, to both adults and infants,
or to adults alone?

After eighteen centuries of controversy; after employing millions of
priests to interpret the Scriptures; after Anabaptists and Pedobaptists
have baptized their swords in each others' blood, the church is not
prepared to answer.


Did Christ command his disciples to repeat and perpetuate the
observance of the Eucharist?

Luke: He did. "This do in remembrance of me."

Matthew, Mark and John: He did not.

It is admitted by Dr. Westcott and others that the earlier versions
of Luke did not contain the injunction quoted. Christ, then, according
to the Four Gospels did not institute the Eucharist as a sacrament to
be observed by his disciples and the church. Referring to the Twelve
Apostles, the Rev. Dr. Minot J. Savage says: "They knew nothing about
any sacraments; they had not been instituted" (What is Christianity?).


What did he teach in regard to the efficacy of prayer?

"All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall
receive" (Matthew xxi, 22).

This is one of the cardinal doctrines of his religion. He is
continually impressing upon the minds of his hearers the necessity
and the efficacy of prayer. Referring to this doctrine, Greg says:

"This doctrine has in all ages been a stumbling block to the
thoughtful. It is obviously irreconcilable with all that reason and
revelation teach us of the divine nature; and the inconsistency has
been felt by the ablest of the Scripture writers themselves. Various
and desperate have been the expedients and suppositions resorted to,
in order to reconcile the conception of an immutable, all-wise,
all-foreseeing God, with that of a father who is turned from his
course by the prayers of his creatures. But all such efforts are,
and are felt to be, hopeless failures. They involve the assertion and
negation of the same proposition in one breath. The problem remains
still insoluble; and we must either be content to leave it so, or we
must abandon one or other of the hostile premises.

"The religious man, who believes that all events, mental as well as
physical, are pre-ordered and arranged according to the decrees of
infinite wisdom, and the philosopher, who knows that, by the wise
and eternal laws of the universe, cause and effect are indissolubly
chained together, and that one follows the other in inevitable
succession--equally feel that this ordination--this chain--cannot be
changed at the cry of man. To suppose that it can is to place the
whole harmonious system of nature at the mercy of the weak reason
and the selfish wishes of humanity. If the purposes of God were not
wise, they would not be formed: if wise, they cannot be changed,
for then they would become unwise. To suppose that an all-wise Being
would alter his designs and modes of proceeding at the entreaty of
an unknowing creature, is to believe that compassion would change
his wisdom into foolishness.... If the universe is governed by fixed
laws, or (which is the same proposition in different language), if all
events are pre-ordained by the foreseeing wisdom of an infinite God,
then the prayers of thousands of years and generations of martyrs and
saints cannot change or modify one iota of our destiny. The proposition
is unassailable by the subtlest logic. The weak, fond affections of
humanity struggle in vain against the unwelcome conclusion" (Creed
of Christendom, pp. 322, 323).


Where are we commanded to pray?

"When thou prayest enter into thy closet" (Matthew vi, 6).

How long ought we to continue in prayer?

"Men ought always to pray" (Luke xviii, 1).


Did Christ assume for himself the power of answering petitions?

"Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name that will I do" (John xiv, 13). But
soon realizing that his capital was too small to conduct a business
of such magnitude, he was compelled to announce that, "Whatsoever ye
shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you" (xv, 16).


Does God know our wants?

"Your father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him"
(Matthew vi, 8).

Then what is the use of prayer? Is God a mischievous urchin taunting
his hungry dog with a morsel of bread, and shouting, "Beg, Tray, beg!"?


What portion of their goods did he require the rich to give the poor
to obtain salvation?

Rich Ruler, No. 1: "Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal
life?" (Luke xviii, 18.)

Jesus: "Sell all that thou hast and distribute unto the poor" (22).

Rich Ruler, No. 2: "Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor"
(Luke xix, 8).

Jesus: "This day is salvation come to this house" (9).


What did he teach respecting the publicity of good works?

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works"
(Matthew v, 16).

"Take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men to be seen
of them" (vi, 1, New Ver.).


What original rules of table observance did he teach his disciples?

Matthew: To abstain from washing their hands before eating. "They
wash not their hands when they eat bread" (xv, 2).

John: To wash their feet after eating. "He riseth from supper, and laid
aside his garments; and took a towel and girded himself. After that
he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet,
and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded" (xiii, 4, 5).

The proneness of Christ's followers to neglect his ordinances and
precepts which require some sacrifice or effort to obey, and the
readiness with which they observe those which do not, find a fitting
illustration in the reception accorded these teachings. While the
early Christians, many of them, accepted the first as a religious
obligation not to be violated, the second was ignored. Writing
of Christian monks and nuns, Lecky says: "The cleanliness of the
body was regarded as a pollution of the soul, and the saints
who were most admired had become one hideous mass of clotted
filth. St. Athanasius relates with enthusiasm how St. Antony, the
patriarch of monachism, had never, to extreme old age, been guilty of
washing his feet.... St. Abraham the hermit, however, who lived for
fifty years after his conversion, rigidly refused from that date to
wash either his face or feet.... St. Euphraxia joined a convent of one
hundred and thirty nuns, who never washed their feet, and who shuddered
at the mention of a bath" (European Morals, Vol. II, pp. 109, 110).


What religious formula is to be found in the New Testament?

"In the name of Jesus."

"In the name of Jesus" the disciples cast out devils and performed
other miracles; "In the name of Jesus" they baptized their converts;
"In the name of Jesus" salvation was secured. This formula, with
various modifications, is in general use in the church today. It
betrays the heathen origin of Christianity. Referring to its use
Prof. Meinhold of Bonn University says: "Name and person were at one
time closely combined, and elementary religious ideas were connected
with the words. He who knew the name of a divinity and could pronounce
it was in this way able to secure a blessing. It was the use of the
name of Jesus in the sacraments that made them effective, in the
spirit of sorcery. This idea came from the lowest type of religious
thought, reflected in religious mysteries in the days of Jesus,
and was embodied in the earliest Christianity."


What is taught respecting the use of oaths?

God: "Swear by my name" (Jeremiah xii, 16).

Christ: "Swear not at all" (Matthew v, 34).


What opposing rules of proselytism did Christ promulgate?

"He that is not with me is against me" (Luke xi, 23).

"He that is not against us is for us" (Luke ix, 50).


What is to befall him that hath nothing?

"Whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath"
(Matthew xiii, 12).

Ex nihilo nihil fit.


What did he say would be the fate of those who took up the sword?

"They that take the sword shall perish with the sword" (Matthew
xxvi, 52).

He evidently considered this commendable, for he immediately issued
the following command to his disciples:

"He that hath no sword let him sell his garments and buy one" (Luke
xxii, 36).


What did he say regarding the fear of death?

"Be not afraid of them that kill the body" (Luke xii, 4).

"After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk
in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him" (John vii, 1).


What is to be the earthly reward of those that follow Christ?

"There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or
father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and
the gospel's, but he shall receive a hundred fold now in this time"
(Mark x, 29, 30).

"Who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is
good?" (1 Peter iii, 13.)

"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew xi, 30).

"In the world ye shall have tribulation" (John xvi, 33).

"Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake" (Luke xxi, 17).

"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer
persecution" (2 Tim. iii, 12).

"For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom
he receiveth" (Hebrews xii, 6).


What promise did Christ make to Paul at the commencement of his

"I am with thee and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee" (Acts
xviii, 10).

"Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice
was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned" (2 Corinthians xi, 24, 25).


How are Christ's true followers to be distinguished from those of
the devil?

"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin" (1 John iii, 9).

"He that committeth sin is of the devil" (8).

Judged by this standard what is the comparative strength of these
sovereigns' subjects?

"There is no man that sinneth not" (1 Kings viii, 46).

"There is not a just man upon earth" (Ecclesiastes vii, 20).

"There is none righteous, no, not one" (Romans iii, 10).


Great stress is placed upon the moral teachings of Jesus. What did
he teach? Did he advocate industry and frugality?

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth" (Matthew vi, 19).

"Take no thought for your life what ye shall eat or what ye shall
drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on" (25).

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow" (34).


What were the early Christians?

Acts: They were Communists. "They had all things common.... For as many
as were possessors of land or houses sold them, and brought the prices
of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles' feet;
and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need"
(iv, 32-35).

Most Christians condemn Communism; but was the Communism of nineteen
hundred years ago better than the Communism of today? To condemn
Communism is to condemn primitive Christianity. Yet, Christians profess
to abhor the Communistic ideas of modern teachers, while they worship
as a God the founder of this Communistic sect of Palestine.


What did he teach respecting poverty and wealth?

"Blessed be ye poor" (Luke vi, 20).

"Woe unto you that are rich" (24).

Poverty is a curse; wealth honestly acquired and wisely used is a
blessing. "The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction
of the poor is their poverty" (Proverbs x, 15).


In the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, what befell the
representatives of vagrancy and respectability?

"The beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom"
(Luke xvi, 22).

"The rich man also died, ... and in hell he lifted up his eyes"
(22, 23).

            "See the red flames around him twine
            Who did in gold and purple shine!

            "While round the saint so poor below,
            Full rivers of salvation flow.

            "Jesus, my Lord, let me appear
            The meanest of thy creatures here."


Why was Dives' request that his brothers be informed of their impending
fate refused?

"They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them" (Luke xvi, 29).

Moses and the prophets do not teach the doctrine of endless punishment,
nor even that of a future existence, much less that the mere possession
of wealth, acquired perhaps by honest industry, is a crime which can
be expiated only by the sufferings of an endless hell.

Christ's Kingdom was a kingdom of vagrants and paupers. "A rich
man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew xix,
23). "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,
than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (24).


While at the temple with his disciples what act did he commend?

Mark and Luke: That of the poor widow who threw two mites into the
treasury (Mark xii, 43; Luke xxi, 3).

This widow's offering illustrates the characteristic generosity of the
poor and the heartless greed of the church. This text has enabled a
horde of indolent priests to prey upon widows and orphans; to filch
the scanty earnings of the poor, and live like parasites upon the
weak and sickly calves of humanity.


Did he practice the virtue of temperance?

"The Son of Man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a
gluttonous man and a winebibber" (Luke vii, 34).


What was his first miracle?

John: "There was a marriage in Cana of Galilee.... And both Jesus
was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted
wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.... And
there were set there six water pots of stone, ... containing two or
three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water pots with
water. And they filled them up to the brim" (ii, 1-7). This water he
turned into wine.

Here is Christ supplying a party already "well drunk" with more
than one hundred gallons of wine. As they were intoxicated when he
performed the miracle, would it not have been better for them and
better for the millions who have accepted him as a moral guide,
if at the beginning of the feast he had turned the wine into water?

The morality taught by Jesus suffers in comparison with that taught
by Mohammed. Mohammed prohibited the use of intoxicating drink, and
the Mohammedans are a temperate people; Jesus sanctioned the use of
intoxicating drink, and the Christian world abounds with drunkenness.

Referring to the miracle at Cana, Strauss says: "Not only, however,
has the miracle been impeached in relation to possibility, but also
in relation to utility and fitness. It has been urged both in ancient
and modern times, that it was unworthy of Jesus that he should not only
remain in the society of drunkards, but even further their intemperance
by an exercise of his miraculous power" (Leben Jesu, p. 584).


Did he oppose slavery?

All: He did not.

"Slavery was incorporated into the civil institutions of Moses; it was
recognized accordingly by Christ and his apostles."--Rev. Dr. Nathan
Lord, President of Dartmouth College.

"At the time of the advent of Jesus Christ, slavery in its worst
forms prevailed over the world. The Savior found it around him in
Judea; the apostles met with it in Asia, Greece and Italy. How did
they treat it? Not by denunciation of slave-holding as necessarily
sinful."--Prof. Hodge of Princeton.

"I have no doubt if Jesus Christ were now on earth that he would, under
certain circumstances, become a slaveholder."--Rev. Dr. Taylor of Yale.

Rousseau says: "Christ preaches only servitude and dependence.... True
Christians are made to be slaves."


What did the apostles teach?

Peter: "Servants [slaves], be subject to your masters with all fear;
not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward" (1 Peter
ii, 18).

Paul: "Let as many servants [slaves] as are under the yoke count
their own masters worthy of all honor" (1 Timothy vi, 1). "Servants,
be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh,
with fear and trembling" (Ephesians vi, 5).

The Rev. Dr. Wilbur Fisk, president of Wesleyan University, says:
"The New Testament enjoins obedience upon the slave as an obligation
due to a present rightful authority."


Did he favor marriage?

Matthew: He advocated celibacy, and even self-mutilation as preferable
to marriage (xix, 10-12).

Following this teaching of their Master, Christians, many of them,
have condemned marriage. A Christian pope, Siricius, branded it as "a
pollution of the flesh." St. Jerome taught that the duty of the saint
was to "cut down by the axe of Virginity the wood of Marriage." Pascal
says: "Marriage is the lowest and most dangerous condition of the

G. W. Foote of England says: "Jesus appears to have despised the union
of the sexes, therefore marriage, and therefore the home. He taught
that in heaven, where all is perfect, there is neither marrying nor
giving in marriage."

"Monks and nuns innumerable owe to this evil teaching their shriveled
lives and withered hearts."--Mrs. Besant.


What did he encourage women to do?

Luke: To leave their husbands and homes, and follow and associate
with him and his roving apostles--"Mary, called Magdalene, out of whom
went seven devils, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and
Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance"
(viii, 2, 3).


What did he say respecting children?

"Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not."

But it was only the children of Jews he welcomed. The afflicted child
of a Gentile he spurned as a dog. When the woman of Canaan desired
him to heal her daughter, he brutally replied: "It is not meet to
take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs" (Matthew xv,
26). The soldiers who spit on Jesus in Pilate's hall did not do a
meaner thing than Jesus did that day. And if he afterwards consented
to cure the child it was not as an act of humanity to the sufferer,
but as a reward for the mother's faith in him.

Concerning this brutal act of Jesus, Helen Gardener says: "Do you think
that was kind? Do you think it was godlike? What would you think of a
physician, if a woman came to him distressed and said, 'Doctor, come
to my daughter; she is very ill. She has lost her reason, and she is
all I have!' What would you think of the doctor who would not reply
at all at first, and then, when she fell at his feet and worshiped
him, answered that he did not spend his time doctoring dogs? Would
you like him as a family physician? Do you think that, even if he
were to cure the child then, he would have done a noble thing? Is
it evidence of a perfect character to accompany a service with an
insult? Do you think that a man who could offer such an indignity to
a sorrowing mother has a perfect character, is an ideal God?"


He enjoined the observance of the commandment, "Honor thy father and
thy mother." Did he respect it himself?

More striking examples of filial ingratitude are not to be found than
are exhibited in the Gospel history of Jesus Christ. When visiting
Jerusalem with his parents, he allows them to depart for home without
him, thinking that he is with another part of the company; and when
they return to search for him and find him, he manifests no concern
for the trouble he has caused; when during his ministry his mother and
brothers are announced, he receives them with a sneer; at the marriage
feast, when his mother kindly speaks to him, he brutally exclaims,
"Woman, what have I to do with thee?" Throughout the Four Gospels
not one respectful word to that devoted mother is recorded. Even
in his last hours, when the mental anguish of that mother must have
equaled his own physical suffering, not one word of comfort or farewell
greeting escapes from his lips; but the same studied disrespect that
has characterized him all his life is exhibited here.


Did he not promote domestic strife?

"Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay;
but rather division: for from henceforth there shall be five in one
house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father
against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against
the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law
against her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her
mother-in-law" (Luke xii, 51-53).

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send
peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his
father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law
against her mother-in-law" (Matthew x, 34, 35).


What did he require of his disciples?

"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife,
and children, and brethren and sisters, yea, and his own life also,
he cannot be my disciple" (Luke xiv, 26).

It is scarcely possible in this age of enlightenment and unbelief
to realize what sorrows and miseries these accursed teachings of
Christ once caused. The eminent historian Lecky, in his "History
of European Morals," has attempted to describe some of their awful
consequences. From his pages I quote the following:

"To break by his ingratitude the heart of the mother who had borne him,
to persuade the wife who adored him that it was her duty to separate
from him forever, to abandon his children, uncared for and beggars,
to the mercies of the world, was regarded by the true hermit as the
most acceptable offering he could make to his God. His business was
to save his own soul. The serenity of his devotion would be impaired
by the discharge of the simplest duties to his family. Evagrius,
when a hermit in the desert, received, after a long interval, letters
from his father and mother. He could not bear that the equable tenor
of his thought should be disturbed by the recollection of those who
loved him, so he cast the letters unread into the fire. A man named
Mutius, accompanied by his only child, a little boy of eight years old,
abandoned his possessions and demanded admission into a monastery. The
monks received him, but they proceeded to discipline his heart. 'He
had already forgotten that he was rich; he must next be taught to
forget that he was a father.' His little child was separated from
him, clothed in rags, subjected to every form of gross and wanton
hardship, beaten, spurned and ill-treated. Day after day the father
was compelled to look upon his boy wasting away with sorrow, his once
happy countenance forever stained with tears, distorted by sobs of
anguish. But yet, says the admiring biographer, 'though he saw this day
by day, such was his love for Christ, and for the virtue of obedience,
that the father's heart was rigid and unmoved' (Vol. ii, 125, 126).

"He [St. Simeon Stylites] had been passionately loved by his parents,
and, if we may believe his eulogist and biographer, he began his
saintly career by breaking the heart of his father, who died of grief
at his flight. His mother, however, lingered on. Twenty-seven years
after his disappearance, at a period when his austerities had made
him famous, she heard for the first time where he was and hastened
to visit him. But all her labor was in vain. No woman was admitted
within the precincts of his dwelling, and he refused to permit her
even to look upon his face. Her entreaties and tears were mingled with
words of bitter and eloquent reproach. 'My son,' she is represented
as having said, 'why have you done this? I bore you in my womb, and
you have wrung my soul with grief. I gave you milk from my breast,
you have filled my eyes with tears. For the kisses I gave you, you
have given me the anguish of a broken heart; for all that I have
done and suffered for you, you have repaid me by the most cruel
wrongs.' At last the saint sent a message to her to tell her that
she would soon see him. Three days and three nights she had wept and
entreated in vain, and now, exhausted with grief and age and privation,
she sank feebly to the ground and breathed her last sigh before that
inhospitable door. Then for the first time the saint, accompanied by
his followers, came out. He shed some pious tears over the corpse of
his murdered mother, and offered up a prayer consigning her soul to
heaven" (Ibid, 130).


Did he not indulge in vituperation and abuse?

"Ye fools and blind" (Matthew xxiii, 17).

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites" (14).

"All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers" (John x, 8).

"Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation
of hell?" (Matthew xxiii, 33.)

Regarding these abusive epithets of Christ, Prof. Newman says: "The
Jewish nation may well complain that they have been cruelly slandered
by the gospels. The invectives have been burnt into the heart of
Christendom, so that the innocent Jews, children of the dispersion,
have felt in millennial misery--yes, and to this day feel--the deadly
sting of these fierce and haughty utterances" (Jesus Christ, p. 25).


Relate his treatment of the Pharisee who invited him to dine with him.

Luke: "And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with
him; and he went in, and sat down to meat. And when the Pharisee saw
it, he marveled that he had not first washed before dinner. And the
Lord said unto him, now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of
the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening
and wickedness. Ye fools ... hypocrites!" (xi, 37-44.)

Was such insolence of manners on the part of Jesus calculated to
promote the interest of the cause he professed to hold so dear at
heart? Supposing a Freethinker were to receive an invitation to dine
with a Christian friend and were to repay the hospitality of his
host with rudeness and abuse, interrupting the ceremony of "grace"
with an oath or a sneer, and showering upon the head of his friend
such epithets as "hypocrite" and "fool." Would such insolent behavior
have a tendency to gain for him the world's esteem or aid the cause
he represents? And are we to approve in a God conduct that we regard
as detestable in a man? It may be urged that God is not subject to
the rules of human conduct. Grant it; but is it necessary for him in
order to exhibit his divine character to assume the manners of a brute?


Do the Pharisees deserve the sweeping condemnation heaped upon them
by Christ and his followers?

In marked contrast to the diatribes of Jesus is the testimony of
Josephus: "Now, for the Pharisees, they live meanly [plainly], and
despise delicacies in diet, and they follow the conduct of reason;
and what that prescribes to them as good for them, they do; and they
think they ought earnestly to strive to observe reason's dictates for
practice.... The cities give great attestations to them on account
of their entire virtuous conduct, both in the actions of their lives,
and their discourses also" (Antiquities, Book xviii, chap. i, sec. 3).

Paul, the Christian, when arraigned before Agrippa, believed that no
loftier testimonial to his character could be adduced than the fact
that he had been a Pharisee (Acts xxvi, 4, 5).


What is said in regard to his purging the temple?

John: "And the Jews' Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to
Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep
and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when he had made
a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple,
and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money,
and overthrew the tables" (ii, 13-15).

No currency but the Jewish was accepted in the temple, while doves,
lambs, and other animals were required for offerings. These persons
performed the very necessary office of supplying the Jews with
offerings and exchanging Jewish coins for the Roman money then in
general circulation. What right he had to interfere with the lawful
business of these men, and especially in the manner in which he did,
it is difficult to understand.


Describe the cursing of the fig tree.

Matthew: "Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he
hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it,
and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no
fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree
withered away" (xxi, 18, 19).

Jesus cursed a living tree and it died; Mohammed blessed a dead tree
and it lived.

The alleged conduct of Jesus on many occasions, notably his harsh
treatment of his mother, his abuse of the Pharisees, his purging the
temple and his cursing the fig tree, is not the conduct of a rational
being, but rather that of a madman. If these stories be historical
they would indicate that he was not wholly responsible for his words
and acts. Dr. Jules Soury, of the University of France, believes that
he was the victim of an incurable mental disorder. In a work on morbid
psychology, entitled "Studies on Jesus and The Gospels," Dr. Soury
cites a long array of seemingly indisputable facts in support of his
theory. From his preface to the work, I quote the following:

"Jesus the God, gone down in his glory, like a star sunk beneath the
horizon but still shedding a few faint rays on the world, threw a halo
round the brow of Jesus the Prophet. In the dull glow of that twilight,
in the melancholy but charming hour when everything seemed wrapped in
vague, ethereal tints, Jesus appeared to Strauss and Renan such as he
had shown himself to his first disciples, the Master par-excellence,
a man truly divine. Then came the night; and as darkness descended
on those flickering gospel beginnings there remained nought to be
descried through the obscurity of dubious history, but dimly looming,
the portentous outline of the gibbet and its victim.

"In the present work Jesus makes his appearance, perhaps for the
first time, as a sufferer from a grave malady, the course of which
we have attempted to trace.

"The nervous, or cerebral disorder, at first congestive and then
inflammatory, under which he labored, was not only deep-seated and
dangerous--it was incurable. Among us at the present time that
affection may be seen daily making kings, millionaires, popes,
prophets, saints, and even divinities of poor fellows who have lost
their balance; it has produced more than one Messiah.

"If we be right in the interpretation of data which has been followed
in the study of morbid psychology, Jesus, at the time of his death,
was in a somewhat advanced stage of this disorder, He was, to all
appearance, cut off opportunely; the gibbet saved him from actual

"The diagnosis which we have ventured to draw is based on three sets
of facts which are attested by the most ancient and trustworthy of
the witnesses of his career.

"1. Religious excitement, then general in Palestine, drove Jesus to
the wilderness, where he lived some time the life of a recluse, as
those who considered themselves to have the prophetic mission often
did. Carried away with the idea that he was divinely inspired to
proclaim the coming of the Messiah, he left his own people and his
native place, and, attended by a following of fishermen and others
of the same class, went about among the towns and villages of Galilee
announcing the speedy approach of the Kingdom of Heaven.

"2. After having proclaimed the coming of the Messiah, like other
contemporary Jewish prophets, Jesus gradually came to look upon himself
as the Messiah, the Christ. He allowed himself to be called the Son of
David, the Son of God, and had among his followers one, if not more,
of those fanatical Sicarii, so graphically described by Josephus,
who were waiting for the deliverance of Israel from the yoke of
Rome. Progressive obliteration of the consciousness of his personal
identity marks the interval between the somewhat vague revelation
which he made to his disciples at the foot of Mount Hermon and the
day when, before Caiaphas and before Pilate, he openly declared that
he was the Messiah, and by that token the King of the Jews.

"3. The cursing of the fig tree whereon there were no figs, because
'the time of figs was not yet,' the violent conduct toward the dealers
and changers at the temple, were manifestly foolish acts. Jesus had
come to believe that everything was permitted him, that all things
belonged to him, that nothing was too hard for him to do. For a
long time he had given evident signs of perversion of the natural
affections, especially with respect to his mother and brethren. To
the fits of anger against the priests and religious ministers of
his nation, to the ambitious extravagance of his words and acts, to
the wild dream of his Messianic grandeur, there rapidly supervened
a characteristic depression of the mental faculties and strength,
a giving way of the intellectual and muscular powers.

"Each of those periods in the career of Jesus corresponds to a certain
pathological state of his nervous system.

"By reacting on the heart, the religious excitement he labored under
and the attendant functional exacerbations had the immediate effect
of accelerating the circulation, unduly dilating the blood vessels,
and producing cerebral congestion.

"Chronic congestion of the brain, subjectively considered, is always
attended in the initial stage with great increase of the moral
consciousness, extraordinary activity of the imagination, often
leading to hallucinations, and later on with absurdly exaggerated,
frequently delirious ideas of power and greatness. That stage is also
usually characterized by irritability and fits of passion.

"Objectively considered what is observable is hypertrophy of the
cellules and nerve-tubes, excessive cerebral plethora and vascularity
due to the great efflux of blood and superabundant nutrition of
the encephalon. Inflammation of the meningeal covering, and of the
brain itself, is, sooner or later, a further result of the chronic
congestion. The vessels, turgid and loaded with blood, permit the
transudation of the blood globules; the circulation becomes impeded,
then arrested, with the result of depriving the cortical cerebral
substance of arterial blood, which is its life; the histological
elements undergo alteration, degenerate, become softened, and as the
disorganization proceeds are finally reduced to inert detritus.

"The brain may remain capable more or less well of performing its
functions when deprived to a large extent of its necessary food,
but not so when the cerebral cellules are disorganized. Dementia
consequently is the natural sequel of the congestive stage. To the
destruction of the cortical substance supervenes partial or total
loss of consciousness, according to the extent of the lesion. Such
portions of the encephalon as continue capable of performing any duty
being in a state of hyperaemia, there is often delirium more or less
intense up to the last.

"The process of the disorder is irregular; remissions occur during
which the reasoning faculties seem to be recovered. But whether
the duration extends only to a few months or to several years, the
increasing weakness of the patient, the intellectual and muscular
decay, the cachetic state into which he falls, the lesions of other
organs performing essential functions which ensue, bring life to a
close, and frequently without suffering.

"This is how Jesus would have ended had he been spared the violent
death of the cross."

Nearly all the religious founders have been affected, to a greater
or less extent, with insanity. Genius itself is closely allied to
insanity--is indeed, in many cases, a form of insanity. Moreau de
Tours in his "La Psychologie Morbide" (p. 234) says: "The mental
disposition which causes a man to be distinguished from his fellows
by the originality of his mind and conceptions, by his eccentricity,
and the energy of his affective faculties, or by the transcendence of
his intelligence, take their rise in the very same organic conditions
which are the source of the various mental perturbations whereof
insanity and idiocy are the most complete expressions." Buddha,
Mohammed, and probably Jesus, united with certain strong mental and
moral characteristics, a form of insanity which manifested itself in
a sort of religious madness--a madness that was contagious and which
has attacked and afflicted the greater portion of the human race.


Did he not teach the doctrine of demoniacal possession and exorcism?

Synoptics: He did.

After alluding to the prevalency of superstition among the Jews of
this period, Renan says: "Jesus on this point differed in no respect
from his companions. He believed in the devil, whom he regarded as
a kind of evil genius, and he imagined, like all the world, that
nervous maladies were produced by demons who possessed the patient
and agitated him" (Life of Jesus, p. 59). Dr. Geikie says: "The New
Testament leaves us in no doubt of the belief, on the part of Jesus
and the Evangelists, in the reality of these demoniacal possessions"
(Life of Christ, vol. ii, p. 573).

Demonology was born of ignorance and superstition. In this debasing
superstition Jesus believed. It was a part of his religion, and has
remained a part of Christianity; for while the more intelligent of
his professed disciples have outgrown this superstition they have to
the same extent outgrown Christianity. The more ignorant, the more
depraved, and, at the same time, the more devout of his followers,
still accept it.

Regarding this superstition, the author of "Supernatural Religion"
says: "The diseases referred to by the gospels, and by the Jews of
that time, to the action of devils, exist now, but they are known to
proceed from purely physical causes. The same superstition and medical
ignorance would enunciate the same diagnosis at the present day. The
superstition and ignorance, however, have passed away, and, with them,
the demoniacal theory. In that day the theory was as baseless as in
this. It is obvious that, with the necessary abandonment of the theory
of 'possession' and demoniacal origin of disease, the largest class
of miracles recorded in the gospels is at once exploded. The asserted
cause of the diseases of this class, said to have been miraculously
healed, must be recognized to be a mere vulgar superstition" (p. 159).

Prof. Huxley, in one of his essays, discussing the Gadarene miracle,
says: "When such a story as that about the Gadarene swine is placed
before us, the importance of the decision, whether it be accepted or
rejected, cannot be overestimated. If the demonological part of it
is to be accepted, the authority of Jesus is unmistakably pledged to
the demonological system current in Judea in the first century. The
belief in devils who possess men and can be transferred from men
to pigs becomes as much a part of Christian dogma as any article of
the creeds."


What became of the swine into which Jesus ordered the devils to go?

Matthew: "And behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a
steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters" (viii, 32).

It may be pertinent to inquire what these inoffensive animals had
done that they should merit such cruelty, or what their owner had
done that his property should be thus wantonly destroyed.

In his narrative of this miracle Fleetwood says: "The spectators
beheld, at a distance, the torments these poor creatures suffered;
with what amazing rapidity they ran to the confines of the lake,
leaped from the precipices into the sea, and perished in the waters"
(Life of Christ, p. 121).

In striking contrast to the religion of Buddha, the religion of Christ
has made its adherents cruel and unmerciful. To this Christian writer
the torture and destruction of these domestic animals is no more than
the burning of a field of stubble. In this miracle he sees only a
manifestation of love and kindness on the part of his Savior. Referring
to the request of the inhabitants that he depart from their country,
he says: "The stupid request of the Gadarenes was complied with by
the blessed Jesus, who, entering the ship, returned to the country
from whence he came, leaving them a valuable pledge of his love,
and us a noble pattern of perseverance in well-doing, even when our
kindnesses are condemned or requited with injuries" (Ibid, p. 122).


What did Jesus say to the strange Samaritan woman whom he met at
the well?

"Thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy
husband" (John iv, 18).

"Christ here makes himself a wandering gypsy, or Bohemian fortune
teller, and I much wonder that our gypsies do not account themselves
the genuine disciples of Jesus, being endowed with like gifts, and
exercising no worse arts than he himself practiced."--Woolston.


Was he not an egotist and given to vulgar boasting?

Speaking of himself, he said: "Behold, a greater than Solomon is here"
(Matthew xii, 41, 42).


Did he not practice dissimulation?

John: "And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee
that thou hast heard me. And I know that thou hearest me always,
but because of the people which stand by I said it" (xi, 41, 42).

Luke: After his resurrection when he intended to stop at Emmaus
with his companions, "He made as though he would have gone further"
(xxiv, 28).


After performing one of his miraculous cures, what charge did he make
to those who witnessed it?

Mark: "He charged them that they should tell no man: but the more
he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it"
(vii, 36).

Did he desire them to disregard his commands? If he did he was a
hypocrite; if he did not he was an impotent--in either case a fallible
man instead of an omnipotent God.


On the approach of the Passover what did he say to his brethren?

"Go ye up unto this feast; I go not up yet unto this feast" (John
vii, 8).

The correct reading of the last clause is, "I go not up unto the
feast." The American revisers, to their credit, urged the adoption of
this reading; but the Oxford revisers retained the error. In uttering
these words, Jesus, if omniscient, uttered an untruth; for John says:
"But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the
feast, not openly, but as it were in secret" (10).


Why did he teach in parables?

"That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may
hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted,
and their sins should be forgiven them" (Mark iv, 12).

He deceived the people that he might have the pleasure of seeing
them damned.


What immoral lesson is inculcated in the parable of the Steward?

He commends as wise and prudent the action of the steward, who,
to provide for his future welfare, causes his master's creditors
to defraud him. "There was a certain rich man, which had a steward;
and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And
he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of
thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer
steward. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for
my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg
I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of
the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. So he called
every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first,
How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, An hundred measures of
oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and
write fifty. Then said he unto another, And how much owest thou? And
he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy
bill and write fourscore. And the lord commended the unjust steward,
because he had done wisely; for the children of this world are in
their generation wiser than the children of light. And I say unto you,
Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that,
when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations"
(Luke xvi, 1-9).


In the parable of the Laborers what unjust doctrine is taught?

The assignment of equal rewards for unequal burdens. He justifies
the dishonest bargaining of the householder who received twelve hours
of labor for a penny, when he paid the same amount for one (Matthew
xx, 1-16).

Regarding the parables of Jesus, W. P. Ball, an English writer, says:

"With one single exception, the parables attributed to Jesus are
thoroughly religious and decidedly inferior in their moral tone,
besides possessing minor faults. The God who is to be the object of our
adoration and imitation is depicted to us as a judge who will grant
vengeance in answer to incessant prayer, as a father who loves and
honors the favorite prodigal and neglects the faithful and obedient
worker, as an employer who pays no more for a life-time than for the
nominal service of a death-bed repentance, as an unreasonable master
who reaps where he has not sown and punishes men because he made them
defective and gave them no instructions, as a harsh despot who delivers
disobedient servants to tormentors and massacres those who object to
his rule, as a judge who is merciful to harlots and relentless towards
unbelievers, as a petulant king who drives beggars and outcasts into
the heaven which is ignored by the wise and worthy, as a ruler of
the universe who freely permits his enemy the devil to sow evil and
then punishes his victims, as a God who plunges men in the flames of
hell and calmly philosophizes over the reward of the blest who from
Abraham's bosom behold the sight and are not permitted to bestow even
so much as a drop of cold water to cool the parched tongues of their
fellow-creatures amidst hopeless and unending agonies, in comparison
with which all earthly sufferings are but momentary dreams."


What did he teach regarding submission to theft and robbery?

"Of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again" (Luke vi, 30).


Why was the woman taken in adultery released without punishment?

John: Because those having her in custody were not without sin
themselves (viii, 3-11).

The adoption of this principle would require the liberation of every
criminal, because all men are fallible.

If man cannot punish crime because not free from sin himself, is it
just in God, the author of all sin, to punish man for his sins?


Whom did he pronounce blessed?

"Blessed are the poor in spirit" (Matthew v, 3).

"Is poverty of spirit a blessing? Surely not. Manliness of spirit,
honesty of spirit, fulness of rightful purpose, these are virtues;
but poverty of spirit is a crime."--Bradlaugh.


Did he teach resistance to wrong?

"Unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other"
(Luke vi, 29).

"He who courts oppression shares the crime."

Lord Amberley, referring to this teaching of Jesus, says: "A doctrine
more convenient for the purposes of tyrants and malefactors of every
description it would be difficult to invent" (Analysis of Religious
Belief, p. 355).


He taught his hearers to return good for evil. Did he do this himself?

"I pray for them [his followers], I pray not for the world" (John
xvii, 9).

"Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my
Father" (Matthew x, 33).


The Golden Rule has been ascribed to Christ. Was he its author?

Five hundred years before the time of Christ Confucius taught: "What
you do not like when done to yourself do not to others." Centuries
before the Christian era Pittacus, Thales, Sextus, Isocrates and
Aristotle taught the same.


What maxim does Paul attribute to Jesus?

"Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed
to give than to receive" (Acts xx, 35).

These are not "the words of the Lord Jesus," but of the Pagan Epicurus,
a man whose character Christians have for centuries defamed.

Concerning the teachings of Jesus, Col. Thomas W. Higginson says:
"When they tell me that Jesus taught a gospel of love, I say I
believe it. Plato taught a gospel of love before him, and you deny
it. If they say, Jesus taught that it is better to bear an injury
than to retaliate, I say, yes, but so did Aristotle before Jesus was
born. I will accept it as the statement of Jesus if you will admit
that Aristotle said it too. I am willing that any man should come
before us and say, Jesus taught that you must love your enemies, it
is written in the Bible; but, if he will open the old manuscript of
Diogenes Laertus, he may there read in texts that have never been
disputed, that the Greek philosophers, half a dozen of them, said
the same before Jesus was born."

Buckle says: "That the system of morals propounded in the New Testament
contained no maxim which had not been previously enunciated, and that
some of the most beautiful passages in the apostolic writings are
quotations from Pagan authors, is well known to every scholar.... To
assert that Christianity communicated to man moral truths previously
unknown, argues on the part of the asserter either gross ignorance
or wilful fraud" (History of Civilization, vol. i, p. 129).

John Stuart Mill says: "It can do truth no service to blind the fact,
known to all who have the most ordinary acquaintance with literary
history, that a large portion of the noblest and most valuable moral
teaching has been the work not only of men who did not know, but of
men who knew and rejected the Christian faith" (Liberty).


We are told that Christ manifested "a strong and enduring courage
which never shrank or quailed before any danger however formidable." Is
this true?

It is not. When he heard that John was imprisoned, he retreated to
the Sea of Galilee (Matthew iv, 12, 13); when John was beheaded, he
took a ship and retired to a desert (xiv, 13); in going from Galilee
to Judea, he went beyond the Jordan to avoid the Samaritans; when his
brethren went up to Jerusalem he refused to accompany them for fear of
the Jews (John vii, 8, 9); when the Jews took up stones to stone him he
"hid himself" (viii, 59); when the Pharisees took council against him
he fled (Matthew xii, 14, 16): at Gethsemane, in the agonies of fear,
he prayed that the cup might pass from him; at Calvary, he frantically
exclaimed, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!"

Commenting on this dying exclamation of Christ, Dr. Conway says:
"That cry could never be wrung from the lips of a man who saw in his
own death a prearranged plan for the world's salvation, and his own
return to divine glory temporarily renounced for transient misery on
earth. The fictitious theology of a thousand years shrivels beneath
the awful anguish of that cry."


What was the character of Christ's male ancestors?

Assuming Matthew's genealogy to be correct, nearly all of those whose
histories are recorded in the Old Testament were guilty of infamous
crimes or gross immoralities. Abraham married his sister and seduced
her handmaid; Jacob, after committing bigamy, seduced two of his
housemaids; Judah committed incest with his daughter-in-law; David
was a polygamist, an adulterer, a robber and a murderer; Solomon had
a thousand wives and concubines; Rehoboam, Abijam, Joram, Ahaziah,
Jotham, Ahaz, Manasseh, Amon and Jehoiachin, are all represented as
monsters of iniquity; while others are declared to have been too vile
to even name in his genealogy.


What female ancestors are named in his genealogy?

Matthew: Thamar, Rachab, Ruth and Bathsheba.

Regarding these women the Rev. Dr. Alexander Walker says: "It is
remarkable that in the genealogy of Christ, only four women have been
named: Thamar, who seduced the father of her late husband; Rachab, a
common prostitute; Ruth, who, instead of marrying one of her cousins,
went to bed with another of them; and Bathsheba, an adulteress,
who espoused David, the murderer of her first husband" (Woman, p. 330).

Matthew Henry, a noted Christian commentator, says: "There are
four women, and but four, named in this genealogy, ... Rachab, a
Canaanitess, and a harlot besides, and Ruth, the Moabitess.... The
other two were adulteresses, Tamar and Bathsheba" (Commentary, Vol. v).


Who was his favorite female attendant?

Luke: "Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils" (viii, 2).

Referring to this woman, Dr. Farrar says: "This exorcism is not
elsewhere alluded to, and it would be perfectly in accordance with
the genius of Hebrew phraseology if the expression had been applied to
her in consequence of a passionate nature and an abandoned life. The
Talmudists have much to say respecting her--her wealth, her extreme
beauty, her braided locks, her shameless profligacy, her husband
Pappus, and her paramour, Pandera" (Life of Christ, p. 162).

In a chapter on "Sanctified Prostitution," Dr. Soury writes:
"The Jewess is full of naive immodesty, her lip red with desire,
her eye moist and singularly luminous in the shade. Yearning with
voluptuousness, superb in her triumphs, or merely feline and caressing,
she is ever the 'insatiable,' the woman 'with seven devils' of whom
the scripture speaks, a kind of burning furnace in which the blond
Teuton melts like wax. So far as in her lay, the Syrian woman, with
her supple and nervous arms, drew into the tomb the last exhausted
sons of Greece and Rome. But who can describe the grace and the
soft languor of these daughters of Syria, their large black eyes,
the warm bistre tints of their skin? All the poets of the decadence,
Catullus, Tibullus, Propercius, have sung this wondrous being. With
soft and humble voice, languid and as though crushed by some hidden
ill, dragging her limbs over the tiles of a gynaecium, she might have
been regarded as a stupid slave. Often, her gaze lost in long reveries,
she seemed dead, save that her bosom began to swell, her eye lighted
up, her breath quickened, her cheeks became covered with crimson. The
reverie becoming a reality by a matchless power of invovation and
desire, such is the sacred disease which, thanks to Mary Magdalene,
gave birth to Christianity" (Religion of Israel, pp. 70, 71).


Who were his apostles?

"A dozen knaves, as ignorant as owls and as poor as church

"Palestine was one of the most backward of countries; the
Galileans were the most ignorant of the inhabitants of Palestine;
and the disciples might be counted among the most simple people of

"His followers were 'unlearned and ignorant men,' chosen from the
humblest of the people."--Farrar.


What power is Christ said to have bestowed on Peter?

"And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven:
and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven:
and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven"
(Matthew xvi, 19).

On this remarkable bestowal of power, which has exerted such a
mighty influence in the government of the church, but of which Mark,
Luke and John know nothing, Greg comments as follows: "Not only
do we know Peter's utter unfitness to be the depositary of such a
fearful power, from his impetuosity and instability of character,
and Christ's thorough perception of this unfitness, but we find
immediately after it is said to have been conferred upon him, his
Lord addresses him indignantly by the epithet of Satan, and rebukes
him for his presumption and unspirituality; and shortly afterwards
this very man thrice denied his master. Can any one maintain it
to be conceivable that Jesus should have conferred the awful power
of deciding the salvation or damnation of his fellow-men upon one
so frail, so faulty, and so fallible? Does any one believe that he
did?" (Creed of Christendom, p. 189).


When Peter discovered that Jesus was the Christ what did he do?

Mark: "And Peter took him [Christ] and began to rebuke him" (viii, 32).

What did Jesus do in turn?

Mark: "He rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me Satan" (33).

What a spectacle! The incarnate God of the universe and his vicegerent
on earth indulging in a petty quarrel!


Give an account of Peter's denial of his Master.

Matthew: "Now when Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came
unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied
before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And when he was
gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them
that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. And
again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. And after a
while came up to him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely
thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. Then began
he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man" (xxvi, 69-74).


What did Peter say to Jesus in regard to compensation for his services?

"Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have
therefore?" (Matthew xix, 27).

What request was made by James and John?

Mark: "They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy
right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory" (x, 37).

This shows that self-aggrandizement inspired the actions of his
followers then as it does today.


What is said of John in the Gospel of John?

"There was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples whom he loved"
(xiii, 23).

"The disciple standing by whom he [Jesus] loved" (xix, 26).

"The other disciple whom Jesus loved" (xx, 2).

"Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved
following; which also leaned on his breast at supper.... This is the
disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things"
(xxi, 20, 24).

If the Apostle John wrote this Gospel, as claimed by Christians and
as declared in the Gospel, he was a vulgar egotist.


What is said regarding the conduct of his Apostles on the evening
preceding the crucifixion?

Luke: "And there was also a strife among them, which of them should
be accounted the greatest" (xxii, 24).

This was immediately after he had announced his speedy betrayal
and death and when his disciples, if sincere, must have manifested
the deepest sadness and humility. If the Evangelist is not a base
calumniator the Apostles were a set of heartless knaves.


When the Jews came to arrest Jesus what did the disciples do?

Matthew: "Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled" (xxvi, 56).

Mark: "And they all forsook him, and fled" (xiv, 50).

Justin says: "All his friends [the Apostles] stood aloof from him,
having denied him" (Apology i, 50).

One scarcely knows which to detest the more, the treachery of Judas
in betraying his Master, or the imbecility and cowardice of the other
apostles who took no measures to prevent it and who forsook him in
the hour of danger.


What became of the Twelve Apostles?

The New Testament, a portion of which is admitted to have been written
as late as the latter part of the first century and nearly all of
which was really written in the second century, is silent regarding
them. Christian martyrology records their fates as follows:

St. Peter was crucified, at his own request head downward, and buried
in the Vatican at Rome.

St. Andrew, after having been scourged seven times upon his naked body,
was crucified by the proconsul of Achaia.

St. James was beheaded by Herod Antipas in Palestine.

St. John was "thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil" by Domitian,
but God "delivered him."

St. Philip was scourged and crucified or hanged by the magistrates
of Hierapolis.

St. Bartholomew was put to death by a Roman governor in Armenia.

St. Matthew suffered martyrdom at Naddabar in Ethiopia.

St. Thomas was shot to death with arrows by the Brahmans in India.

St. James the Less was thrown from the pinnacle of the temple at
Jerusalem and dispatched with a club where he fell.

St. Simon was "crucified and buried" in Britain.

St. Jude was "cruelly put to death" by the Magi of Persia.

St. Matthias, the successor of Judas Iscariot, if Christian tradition
is to be credited, was put to death three times, crucified, stoned,
and beheaded.

Nothing can be more incredible than these so-called traditions
regarding the martyrdom of the Twelve Apostles, the most of them
occurring in an empire where all religious sects enjoyed as perfect
religious freedom as the different sects do in America today. Whatever
opinion may be entertained respecting the existence of Jesus, the
Twelve Apostles belong to the realm of mythology, and their alleged
martyrdoms are pure inventions. Had these men really existed Christian
history at least would contain some reliable notice of them, yet all
the stories relating to them, like the story of Peter at Rome, and
John at Ephesus, are self-evident fictions. In the significant words of
the eminent Dutch theologians, Dr. Kuenen, Dr. Oort and Dr. Hooykaas,
"All the Apostles disappear without a trace."


What are Paul's teachings regarding woman and marriage?

"It is good for a man not to touch a woman" (1 Corinthians vii, 1).

"I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them
if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry;
for it is better to marry than to burn" (8, 9).

"Art thou loose from a wife? seek not a wife" (27).

"He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord,
how he may please the Lord; but he that is married careth for the
things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is
difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman
careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy in body and
spirit; but she that is married careth for the things of the world,
how she may please her husband" (32-34).

"So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth
not in marriage doeth better" (38).

"This coarse and insulting way of regarding women, as though they
existed merely to be the safety-valves of men's passions, and that
the best men were above the temptation of loving them, has been the
source of unnumbered evils."--Annie Besant.

"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands" (Colossians iii, 18).

"As the church is subject unto Christ so let the wives be to their
own husbands in everything" (Ephesians v, 24).

"Let your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted
unto them to speak, but they are commanded to be under obedience,
as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask
their husbands at home; for it is a shame for a woman to speak in
the church" (1 Corinthians xiv, 34, 35).

"Let women learn in silence with all subjection" (1 Timothy ii, 11).

"That she [woman] does not crouch today where St. Paul tried to bind
her, she owes to the men who are grand and brave enough to ignore
St. Paul, and rise superior to his God."--Helen Gardener.


Did Paul encourage learning?

"The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God" (1 Corinthians
iii, 19).

"Knowledge puffeth up" (viii, 1).

"If any man be ignorant let him be ignorant" (xiv, 38).

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy" (Colossians ii, 8).

"The clergy, with a few honorable exceptions, have in all modern
countries been the avowed enemies of the diffusion of knowledge, the
danger of which to their own profession they, by a certain instinct,
seem always to have perceived."--Buckle.

"We know the clerical party; it is an old party. This it is which
has found for the truth those two marvelous supporters, ignorance and
error. This it is which forbids to science and genius the going beyond
the Missal and which wishes to cloister thought in dogmas. Every step
which the intelligence of Europe has taken has been in spite of it. Its
history is written in the history of human progress, but it is written
on the back of the leaf. It is opposed to it all. This it is which
caused Prinelli to be scourged for having said that the stars would
not fall. This it is which put Campanella seven times to torture for
saying that the number of worlds was infinite and for having caught a
glimpse of the secret of creation. This it is which persecuted Harvey
for having proved the circulation of the blood. In the name of Jesus
it shut up Galileo. In the name of St. Paul it imprisoned Christopher
Columbus. To discover a law of the heavens was an impiety, to find a
world was a heresy. This it is which anathematized Pascal in the name
of religion, Montaigne in the name of morality, Moliere in the name
of both morality and religion. There is not a poet, not an author,
not a thinker, not a philosopher, that you accept. All that has been
written, found, dreamed, deduced, inspired, imagined, invented by
genius, the treasures of civilization, the venerable inheritance of
generations, you reject."--Victor Hugo.

"There is in every village a lighted torch, the schoolmaster; and a
mouth to blow it out, the parson."--Ibid.


What admissions are made by Paul regarding his want of candor and

"Being crafty, I caught you with guile" (2 Corinthians xii, 16).

"Unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews"
(1 Corinthians ix, 20).

"I am made all things to all men" (22).

"For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his
glory, why yet am I also judged as a sinner?" (Romans iii, 7.)

"I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service"
(2 Corinthians xi, 8).


What is said of the persecutions of Paul?

"And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the
disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him
letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this
way, whether they were men or women he might bring them bound unto
Jerusalem" (Acts ix, 1, 2).

This was Saul the Jew.

"But there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel
of Christ.... If any man preach any other gospel than that ye have
received, let him be accursed" (Galatians i, 7, 9).

"I would they were even cut off which trouble you" (v, 12).

This was Paul the Christian.

The leopard changed his name but did not change his spots.

The alleged cause of Paul's sudden conversion and the transference of
his hatred from Christianity to Judaism may well be questioned. The
story of the apparition will not account for it. A genuine change
of belief is not usually effected suddenly. Men sometimes change
their religion for gain or revenge. It has been charged that Paul
twice changed his, the first time for the hope of gain, the second
from a desire for revenge. The Ebionites, one of the earliest of the
Christian sects, claimed that Paul was originally a Gentile, that
becoming infatuated with the daughter of the high priest he became
a convert to Judaism for the purpose of winning her for a wife, but
being rejected, he renounced the Jewish faith and became a vehement
opponent of the law, the Sabbath, and circumcision (Epiphanius Against
Heresies, chapter xxx, sec. 16).


What was Christ's final command to his disciples?

"Love one another" (John xiii, 34).

Christian writers prate about brotherly love, and yet from the very
beginning the church of Christ has been filled with dissensions. Christ
himself quarreled with his apostles. Paul opposed the teachings of
James (Galatians ii, 16-21); James condemned the teachings of Paul
(ii, 20). Paul proclaimed himself the divinely appointed apostle to
the Gentiles: "The gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me"
(Galatians ii, 7). Peter contended that the mission had been assigned
to him: "And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and
said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago
God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear
the word of the gospel" (Acts xv, 7).

Paul declared Peter to be a dissembler. "But when Peter was come to
Antioch, I withstood him face to face, because he was to be blamed. For
before that certain came from James, he did eat with Gentiles; but
when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them
which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise
with him" (Galatians ii, 11-13).

John denounced Paul as a liar. "Thou hast tried them which say they are
apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars" (Revelation ii, 2).

From these seeds of dissension death has reaped a bloody
harvest. Dr. Talmage says: "A red line runs through church history
for nearly nineteen hundred years--a line of blood; not by hundreds,
but by millions we count the slain."

Lord Byron says: "I am no Platonist; I am nothing at all. But I would
sooner be a Paulician, Manichean, Spinozist, Gentile, Pyrrhonian,
Zoroastrian, than one of the seventy-two villainous sects who are
tearing each other to pieces for the love of the Lord and hatred of
each other."


Quote Paul's characterization of Christians.

"Not many wise ... not many noble are called" (1 Corinthians i, 26).

"Base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God
chosen" (28).

"We are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of
all things" (iv, 13).

"We are fools for Christ's sake" (10).


What did Christ say respecting the intellectual character of his

"I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast
hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them
unto babes" (Matthew xi, 25; Luke x, 21).

Commenting on this expression of thanks, Celsus, who lived at the
time the Four Gospels made their appearance, says: "This is one of
their [the Christians'] rules: Let no man that is learned, wise,
or prudent come among us; but if they be unlearned, or a child,
or an idiot, let him freely come. So they openly declare that none
but the ignorant, and those devoid of understanding, slaves, women,
and children, are fit disciples for the God they worship."

Concerning the Christian teachers of that age Celsus writes as follows:
"You may see weavers, tailors, fullers, and the most illiterate of
rustic fellows, who dare not speak a word before wise men, when they
can get a company of children and silly women together, set up to
teach strange paradoxes among them."


Whom did Christ declare to be among the first to enter the Kingdom
of Heaven?

Harlots and thieves.

"The harlots go into the Kingdom of God before you" (Matthew xxi, 31).

"Today shalt thou [the thief] be with me in paradise" (Luke xxiii, 43).


What promise did he make to his followers?

"In my Father's house are many mansions.... I go to prepare a place
for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again,
and receive you unto myself" (John xiv, 2, 3).

"Christians believe themselves to be the aristocracy of heaven upon
earth, they are admitted to the spiritual court, while millions of
men in foreign lands have never been presented. They bow their knees
and say they are 'miserable sinners,' and their hearts rankle with
abominable pride. Poor infatuated fools! Their servility is real and
their insolence is real but their king is a phantom and their palace
is a dream."--Winwood Reade.

The Christ is a myth. The Holy Ghost Priestcraft overshadowed the
harlot Superstition; this Christ was born; and the Joseph of humanity,
beguiled by the Gabriel of credulity, was induced to support the
family. But the soldiers of Reason have crucified the illegitimate
impostor; he is dead; and the ignorant disciples and hysterical women
who still linger about the cross should take his body down and bury it.



The conceptions regarding the nature and character of Christ, and the
value of the Christian Scriptures as historical evidence, are many,
chief of which are the following:

1. Orthodox Christians believe that Christ is a historical character,
supernatural and divine; and that the New Testament narratives,
which purport to give a record of his life and teachings, contain
nothing but infallible truth.

2. Conservative Rationalists, like Renan, and the Unitarians,
believe that Jesus of Nazareth is a historical character and that
these narratives, eliminating the supernatural elements, which they
regard as myths, give a fairly authentic account of his life.

3. Many radical Freethinkers believe that Christ is a myth, of which
Jesus of Nazareth is the basis, but that these narratives are so
legendary and contradictory as to be almost, if not wholly, unworthy
of credit.

4. Other Freethinkers believe that Jesus Christ is a pure myth--that
he never had an existence, except as a Messianic idea, or an imaginary
solar deity.

The first of these conceptions must be rejected because the existence
of such a being is impossible, and because the Bible narratives which
support it are incredible. The second cannot be accepted because,
outside of these incredible narratives, there is no evidence to confirm
it. One of the two last is the only true and rational conception of
the Christ.

Jesus Christ is a myth. But what do we understand by the term
myth? Falsehood, fable, and myth, are usually considered synonymous
terms. But a falsehood, a fable, and a myth, while they may all be
fictions and equally untrue, are not the same. A falsehood is the
expression of an untruth intended to deceive. A fable is an avowed
or implied fiction usually intended to instruct or entertain. A myth
is a falsehood, a fable, or an erroneous opinion, which eventually
becomes an established belief. While a falsehood and a fable are
intentional and immediate expressions of fiction, a myth is, in most
cases, an unconscious and gradual development of one.

Myths are of three kinds: Historical, Philosophical, and Poetical.

A Historical myth according to Strauss, and to some extent I follow
his language, is a real event colored by the light of antiquity, which
confounded the human and divine, the natural and the supernatural. The
event may be but slightly colored and the narrative essentially true,
or it may be distorted and numberless legends attached until but
a small residuum of truth remains and the narrative is essentially
false. A large portion of ancient history, including the Biblical
narratives, are historical myths. The earliest records of all nations
and of all religions are more or less mythical. "Nothing great has been
established," says Renan, "which does not rest on a legend. The only
culprit in such cases is the humanity which is willing to be deceived."

A Philosophical myth is an idea clothed in the dress of historical
narrative. When a mere idea is personified and presented in the form
of a man or a god it is called a pure myth. Many of the gods and
heroes of antiquity are pure myths. John Fiske refers to a myth as
"a piece of unscientific philosophizing," and this is a fairly good
definition of the philosophical myth.

A Poetical myth is a blending of the historical and philosophical,
embellished by the creations of the imagination. The poems of Homer
and Hesiod, which were the religious text books of the ancient Greeks,
and the poetical writings of the Bible, which helped to form and
foster the Semitic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Mohammedanism,
belong to this class.

It is often difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish a historical
from a philosophical myth. Hence the non-agreement of Freethinkers in
regard to the nature of the Christ myth. Is Christ a historical or a
philosophical myth? Does an analysis of his alleged history disclose
the deification of a man, or merely the personification of an idea?

The following hypothesis, written by Mrs. Besant, of England, is,
to a considerable extent, an epitome of the views of Strauss, who,
in his masterly "Leben Jesu," adopts the historical myth:

"The mythic theory accepts an historical groundwork for many
of the stories about Jesus, but it does not seek to explain the
miraculous by attenuating it into the natural.... It attributes
the incredible portions of the history to the Messianic theories
current among the Jews. The Messiah would do this and that; Jesus
was the Messiah; therefore, Jesus did this and that--such, argue the
supporters of the mythical theory, was the method in which the mythus
was developed.... Thus, Jesus is descended from David, because the
Messiah was to come of David's lineage; his birth is announced by an
angelic visitant, because the birth of the Messiah must not be less
honored than that of Isaac or of Samson; he is born of a virgin,
because God says of the Messiah, 'this day have I begotten thee,'
implying the direct paternity of God, and because the prophecy in
Is. vii, 14, was applied to the Messiah by the later Jews; born at
Bethlehem, because there the Messiah was to be born (Micah v, 2);
announced to shepherds, because Moses was visited among the flocks,
and David taken from the sheepfolds at Bethlehem; heralded by a star,
because a star should arise out of Jacob (Num. xxiv, 17), and 'the
Gentiles shall come to thy light' (Is. lx, 3); worshiped by Magi,
because the star was seen by Balaam, the magus, and astrologers would
be those who would most notice a star; presented with gifts by these
Eastern sages, because kings of Arabia and Saba shall offer gifts
(Ps. lxxii, 10); saved from the destruction of the infants by a
jealous king, because Moses, one of the great types of the Messiah,
was so saved; flying into Egypt and thence returning, because Israel,
again a type of the Messiah, so fled and returned, and 'out of Egypt
have I called my son' (Hos. xi, 1); at twelve years of age found
in the temple, because the duties of the law devolved on the Jewish
boy at that age, and where should the Messiah then be found save in
his Father's temple? recognized at his baptism by a divine voice,
to fulfil Is. xlii, 1; hovered over by a dove, because the brooding
spirit (Gen. i, 2) was regarded as dove-like, and the spirit was to be
especially poured on the Messiah (Is. xlii, 1); tempted by the devil to
test him, because God tested his greatest servants, and would surely
test the Messiah; fasting forty days in the wilderness, because the
types of the Messiah--Moses and Elijah--thus fasted in the desert;
healing all manner of disease, because Messiah was to heal (Is. xxxv,
5-6); preaching, because Messiah was to preach (Is. lxi, 1-2);
crucified, because the hands and feet of Messiah were to be pierced
(Ps. xxii, 16); mocked, because Messiah was to be mocked (Ib. 6-8);
his garments divided, because thus it was spoken of Messiah (Ib. 18);
silent before his judges, because Messiah was not to open his mouth
(Is. liii, 7); buried by the rich, because Messiah was thus to find
his grave (Ib. 9); rising again, because Messiah could not be left
in hell (Ps. xvi, 10); sitting at God's right hand, because there
Messiah was to sit as king (Ps. cx, 1). Thus the form of the Messiah
was cast, and all that had to be done was to pour in the human metal;
those who alleged that the Messiah had come in the person of Jesus
of Nazareth, adapted his story to the story of the Messiah, pouring
the history of Jesus into the mould already made for the Messiah,
and thus the mythus was transformed into a history."

The foregoing theory, with various modifications, is accepted by a
majority of Freethinkers at the present time.

The hypothesis that Christ is a philosophical myth, based, like
the preceding one, upon the Messianic idea, is thus presented by
T. B. Wakeman:

"Never was there an example of a word becoming a believed person,
under this law of materialization, more plainly and evolutionally
than the 'Messiah' and 'Son of Man' of the Hebrew prophecies.... The
Christ, 'Jesus,' was no man, for the reason that he was prophesied
and visionated into this world and life to do a work that it would
be utterly absurd to suppose a man could ever do. The Romans had
killed, and could easily kill, every man who had tried to resist
their oppression. Now the God Yahweh by his 'eternally begotten son,'
spiritized as the 'Son of Man,' that is the 'Soul of the State,' as
Shakespeare makes Ulysses say it, must, in order to be of any avail
appear with supernatural powers. He was the personified people, Israel;
he had been crucified alive, in their subjection and massacre even to
the death and Hades. But by supernatural power he, the Israel, would
rise again and bring the final judgment backed by the infinite power
of the nation's Father, Yahweh. It was only a Spirit-God who could do
this--nothing less could be originated, or thought of, or provided,
for such a superhuman purpose. A person, a man, a reformer, a weak
edition of Socrates, or Savonarola or Bruno! How absurd! The human
heart in its despair by its imagination, brought a God into the world
to do a God's work. 'No man,' said Napoleon; 'nor a God,' says Science,
except the idea. Such it was that finally united the millions of Asia,
Africa, Europe, and America, in a dream so intoxicating that it dares
not to be awakened though the dawn of Science is here."

Mr. Wakeman argues that the silence of history for one hundred years
after the alleged appearance of Christ can be explained only upon this
hypothesis of an ideal Christ. To this the advocate of the historical
mythus may, I think, very properly reply: History, for the most part,
takes cognizance only of noted men and important events; and while
this silence precludes the existence of the supernatural Christ of
Christians, and even that of the human Jesus of Renan, it does not
necessarily preclude the existence of an obscure religious teacher
and an insignificant sect which subsequently, by a chain of fortuitous
circumstances, became the mightiest among the religions of the world.

Again, this hypothesis presupposes a considerable degree of
intellectuality on the part of those who evolved this ideal Christ,
while tradition represents the founders of the Christian religion
as grossly ignorant. Had this Christ originally sprung from the
Hellenistic Jews of intellectual Alexandria instead of from the Jewish
dregs of illiterate Galilee, Mr. Wakeman's theory would appeal with
surprising force. Still it must be admitted that some of the earliest
Christian sects denied the material existence of Christ.

Another philosophical hypothesis, the astronomical, which regards
Christ as a solar myth, is advanced by Volney.

"These mythological traditions recounted that, 'in the beginning,
a woman and a man had, by their fall, introduced into the world sin
and misery.'

"By this was denoted the astronomical fact that the celestial virgin
and the herdsman (Bootes), by setting heliacally at the autumnal
equinox, delivered the world to the wintry constellations, and seemed,
on falling below the horizon, to introduce into the world the genius
of evil (Ahrimanes), represented by the constellation of the serpent.

"These traditions related that the woman had decoyed and seduced
the man.

"And, in fact, the virgin setting first seems to draw the herdsman
after her.

"That the woman tempted him by offering him fruit fair to the sight,
and good to eat, which gave the knowledge of good and evil.

"And, in fact, the virgin holds in her hand a branch of fruit which
she seems to offer to the herdsman; and the branch, emblem of autumn,
placed in the picture of Mithra between winter and summer seems to
open the door and give knowledge, the key to good and evil.

"That this couple had been driven from the celestial garden, and that
a cherub with a flaming sword had been placed at the gate to guard it.

"And, in fact, when the virgin and the herdsman fall beneath the
western horizon, Perseus rises on the other side; and this genius,
with a sword in his hand, seems to drive them from the summer heaven,
the garden and dominion of fruits and flowers.

"That of the virgin should be born, spring up, an offspring, a child,
who should bruise the head of the serpent, and deliver the world
from sin.

"This denotes the sun, which, at the moment of the winter solstice,
precisely when the Persian magi drew the horoscope of the new year,
was placed on the bosom of the virgin, rising heliacally in the eastern
horizon. On this account he was figured in their astrological pictures
under the form of a child suckled by a chaste virgin, and became
afterward, at the vernal equinox, the ram, or lamb, triumphant over
the constellation of the serpent, which disappeared from the skies.

"That, in his infancy, the restorer of divine and celestial nature
would live abased, humble, obscure and indigent.

"And this, because the winter sun is abased below the horizon and that
this first period of his four ages or seasons is a time of obscurity,
scarcity, fasting and want.

"That being put to death by the wicked, he had risen gloriously; that
he had reascended from hell to heaven, where he would reign forever.

"This is a sketch of the life of the sun, who, finishing his career
at the winter solstice, when Typhon and the rebel angels gain the
dominion, seems to be put to death by them; but who soon after is
born again, and rises into the vault of heaven, where he reigns."

Count Volney's portraiture of the second member of the Christian
godhead is, for the most part, accurate. Numerous other analogies
between him and the ancient sun gods might be named.

It is the belief of many, however, that these solar attributes of
Christ are later accretions borrowed by the Roman Catholic church
from the Pagan religions which it supplanted.

While all Freethinkers are agreed that the Christ of the New
Testament is a myth they are not, as we have seen, and perhaps never
will be, fully agreed as to the nature of this myth. Some believe
that he is a historical myth; others that he is a pure myth. Some
believe that Jesus, a real person, was the germ of this Christ whom
subsequent generations gradually evolved; others contend that the
man Jesus, as well as the Christ, is wholly a creation of the human
imagination. After carefully weighing the evidence and arguments in
support of each hypothesis the writer, while refraining from expressing
a dogmatic affirmation regarding either, is compelled to accept the
former as the more probable.



Christ and the religion he is said to have founded are composite
products, made up, to a great extent, of the attributes, the doctrines,
and the customs of the gods and the religions which preceded them and
existed around them. The Christian believes that Christ is coexistent
with his father, Jehovah--that he has existed from the foundations
of the world. This is in a measure true. The years that have elapsed
since his alleged incarnation are few compared with the years of his
gestation in the intellectual womb of humanity.

To understand the origin and nature of Christ and Christianity it is
necessary to know something of the religious systems and doctrines
from which they were evolved. The following, some in a large and
others in but a small degree, contributed to mold this supposed
divine incarnation and inspire this supposed revelation: 1. Nature
or Sex Worship. 2. Solar Worship. 3. Astral Worship. 4. Worship
of the Elements and Forces of Nature. 5. Worship of Animals and
Plants. 6. Fetichism. 7. Polytheism. 8. Monotheism. 9. The Mediatorial
Idea. 10. The Messianic Idea. 11. The Logos. 12. The Perfect Man.

1. Nature or Sex Worship.

The deification and worship of the procreative organs and the
generative principles of life is one of the oldest and one of the
most universal of religions. It has been called the foundation
of all religions. In some nations the worship of the male energy,
Phallic worship, predominated; in others the worship of the female
energy, Yoni worship, prevailed. But in all both elements were
recognized. Mrs. Besant says: "Womanhood has been worshiped in all
ages of the world, and maternity has been deified by all creeds:
from the savage who bowed before the female symbol of motherhood, to
the philosophic Comtist who adores woman 'in the past, the present,
and the future,' as mother, wife, and daughter, the worship of the
female element in nature has run side by side with that of the male;
the worship is one and the same in all religions, and runs in an
unbroken thread from the barbarous ages to the present time."

Among the life generating gods may be named Vishnu, Osiris,
Zeus, Priapus, Adonis, Bacchus, Saturn, Apollo, Baal, Moloch, and
Jehovah. Among the receptive life producing goddesses were Isis, Rhea,
Ceres, Venus, Istar, Astarte, Aschera, Devaki, Eve, and Mary. Where
the worship of the female element largely prevailed the Virgin
and Child was a favorite deity. Isis and Horus, Rhea and Quirinus,
Leto and Apollo, Devaki and Krishna, Mary and Christ, all had their
inception in the sex worship of primitive man.

The symbol of Phallic worship, the cross, has become the emblem of
Christianity. I quote again from our English authoress: "We find
the cross in India, Egypt, Thibet, Japan, always as the sign of
life-giving power; it was worn as an amulet by girls and women, and
seems to have been specially worn by the women attached to the temples
[sacred prostitutes], as a symbol of what was, to them, a religious
calling. The cross is, in fact, nothing but the refined phallus,
and in the Christian religion is a significant emblem of its Pagan
origin; it was adored, carved in temples, and worn as a sacred emblem
by sun and nature worshipers, long before there were any Christians
to adore, carve, and wear it. The crowd kneeling before the cross in
Roman Catholic and in High Anglican churches is a simple reproduction
of the crowd who knelt before it in the temples of ancient days,
and the girls who wear it amongst ourselves are--in the most innocent
unconsciousness of its real significance--exactly copying the Indian
and Egyptian women of an elder time."

The "American Cyclopedia" says: "The crux ansata, so common on Egyptian
monuments, symbolizes the union of the active and passive principles of
nature. In the Etruscan tombs have been found crosses of four phalli."

Regarding this subject, McClintock and Strong's "Cyclopedia of
Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature," a standard
orthodox Christian authority, says: "The sign of the cross is found
as a holy symbol among several ancient nations.... Sometimes it is
the phallus" (Art. Cross). The same authority says that the Tau or
sign of life (one form of the Phallic cross) "was adopted by some of
the early Christians in lieu of the cross.... Christian inscriptions
at the great oasis are headed by this symbol; it has been found on
Christian monuments at Rome" (Art. Egypt).

Dr. Thomas Inman, of England, one of the foremost authorities on
ancient symbolism, says: "It has been reserved for Christian art to
crowd our churches with the emblems of Bel and Astarte, Baalim and
Ashtoreth, linga and yoni, and to elevate the phallus to the position
of the supreme deity" (Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism,
p. 16).

Describing the chasuble, worn by Christian priests, Dr. Inman says:
"Its form is that of the vesica piscis, one of the most common emblems
of the yoni. It is adorned by the Triad. When worn by the priest,
he forms the male element, and with the chasuble completes the sacred
four. When worshiping the ancient goddesses, whom Mary has displaced,
the officiating ministers clothed themselves in feminine attire. Hence
the use of the chemise, etc. Even the tonsured head, adopted from
the priests of the Egyptian Isis, represents 'l'anneau'; so that on
head, shoulders, breast and body, we may see on Christian priests
the relics of the worship of Venus, and the adoration of woman! How
horrible all this would sound if, instead of using veiled language,
we had employed vulgar words. The idea of a man adorning himself,
when ministering before God and the people, with the effigies of those
parts which nature as well as civilization teaches us to conceal,
would be simply disgusting, but when all is said to be mysterious
and connected with hidden signification, almost everybody tolerates
and many eulogize or admire it!" (Ibid, p. 104).

Westropp and Wake, in their "Ancient Symbol Worship," state that
Judaism and Christianity have been largely derived from Phallic
worship. Westropp says: "Circumcision was in its inception a purely
Phallic ordinance." Our Christian marriage ceremonies, he says, are
relics of this worship. Wake says: "In the recognition of God as the
universal father, the great Parent of mankind, there is a development
of the fundamental idea of Phallism. In the position assigned to Mary
as the mother of God the paramount principle of the primitive belief
is again predominant. The nimbus, the aureole, the cross, the fish,
and even the spires of churches, are symbols retained from the old
Phallic worship."

Dr. Alexander Wilder says: "There is not a fast or festival, procession
or sacrament, social custom or religious symbol, existing at the
present day which has not been taken bodily from Phallism, or from
some successive system of Paganism."

Aschera, the voluptuous goddess of fertility, was a Hebrew goddess
and was worshiped, along with Jehovah, in the temple itself at
Jerusalem. Jules Soury, of France, in his "Religion of Israel"
(p. 68), says: "Under the kings of Judah and Israel, the symbol of
Aschera [the phallus] became an object of general piety which was
found in every house. Thus in the provinces of France, we still find
gigantic crosses on the high roads, on the crossways of the woods which
serve as resting places at the Fete Dieu, while, under the porches
of churches, vendors of religious toys still sell little Christs
in wood or metal for a few half-pence. The rich women of Israel,
the bourgeoises of Jerusalem, wore the symbols of Aschera in gold
and silver, a sort of medals of the Virgin of the time, which were at
once jewels and objects of devotion." Dulaure, another French author,
tells us that the worship of Priapus, the god of procreation, under
the name of St. Fontin, with rites of the most indelicate character,
prevailed in the Catholic church in several provinces of France and
Italy up to the middle of the eighteenth century, or later.

The sex worship of the Semitic tribes of Western Asia had its origin,
it is believed, in India, where, under the name of Sakti worship, it
prevails today, three-fourth of the Hindoos, it is claimed, belonging
to this sect. The worship is thus described by the "Encyclopedia
Britannica's" chief authority on the subject, Prof. H. H. Wilson:
"The ceremonies are mostly gone through in a mixed society, the
Sakti being personified by a naked female, to whom meat and wine are
offered and then distributed amongst the company. These eat and drink
alternately with gesticulations and mantras--and when the religious
part of the business is over, the males and females rush together
and indulge in a wild orgy."

The foregoing is almost an exact description of the Agapae, or Love
Feasts, as they were observed for a time in the early Christian church.

Associated with the worship of Aschera and other goddesses of this
character was what is known as sacred prostitution. Thousands of women,
the fairest and best bred of their race, and also men (sodomites),
prostituted themselves for the support of their religion. John
Clark Ridpath, in his "History of the World," dwells upon this
institution. It was practiced for centuries among the Hebrews,
constituting a part of the temple worship, the Jewish kings, with
the exception of a few, like Hezekiah and Josiah, sanctioning
it. Solomon's temple was largely a Pagan temple. Before it stood
two Phallic pillars, while its doors were ornamented with symbols of
Phallic and Solar worship. Solomon worshiped, in addition to other
Pagan deities, Astarte (Ashtoreth), the Sidonian Aschera (1 Kings xi,
5, 7). The pietistic writers of the Bible condemn it, but in spite
of a few spasmodic efforts to suppress the worship, it continued to
flourish until long after the Captivity. From Soury's account of the
sanctified prostitution of Israel I quote the following: "The tents of
the sacred prostitutes were generally erected on the 'high places,'
where sacrifices were offered, beside the tablet of Baal or Iahveh
[Jehovah] and the symbol of Aschera (Isaiah lvii, 7, et seq.; Ezekiel
xxiii, 14; Hosea iv, 17). These tents were woven and ornamented with
figures by the priestesses of Aschera. Robed in splendid garments,
their tresses dripping with perfumes, their cheeks painted with
vermilion, their eyes black-circled with antimony, their eyelashes
lengthened with a compound of gums, musk and ebony, the priestesses
awaited the worshipers of the goddess within these tents (Numbers xxv,
8) on spacious beds (Isaiah lvii, 8); they fixed their own price and
conditions, and poured the money into the treasury of the temple"
(Religion of Israel, p. 71). After describing the temple of Zarpanit,
which was furnished with cells for the use of the Babylonian women,
Dr. Soury says: "Cells of the same kind, serving the same purpose,
existed at Jerusalem in the very temple of Jehovah, wherein Aschera
had her symbol and was adored" (Ibid 72). "Prostitutes," says this
writer, "were of both sexes. The men were called kedeschim, the women
kedeschoth--that is 'holy, vowed, consecrated.' Deuteronomy bears
witness that both the one and the other brought the hire of their
prostitution into the treasury of the temple of Jehovah. This paid
in part the expenses of worship at Jerusalem" (Ib. 73).

"If then, in Hebrew law and practice," says Dr. Inman, "we find such
a strong infusion of the sexual element, we cannot be surprised if
it should be found elsewhere, and gradually influence Christianity"
(Ancient Symbolism). "The worship of God the Father has repeatedly
clashed with that of God the Mother, and the votaries of each
respectively have worn badges characteristic of the sex of their
deity.... Our sexual sections are as well marked as those in ancient
Jerusalem, which swore by Jehovah and Ashtoreth respectively" (Ibid).

It is well known that religious prostitution has been practiced
in some form by Christ's devotees from the earliest ages of the
church down to the present time. Writing of the middle ages, Lecky,
the historian of European morals, says: "We may not lay much stress
on such isolated instances of depravity as that of Pope John XXIII.,
who was condemned, among many other crimes, for incest and adultery;
or the abbot-elect of St. Augustine, at Canterbury, who in 1171 was
found, on investigation, to have seventeen illegitimate children in
a single village; or an abbot of St. Pelayo, in Spain, who in 1130
was proved to have kept no less than seventy concubines; or Henry
III., Bishop of Liege, who was deposed in 1274 for having sixty-five
illegitimate children; but it is impossible to resist the evidence of
a long chain of Councils and ecclesiastical writers, who conspire in
depicting far greater evils than simple concubinage.... The writers
of the middle ages are full of accounts of nunneries that were like
brothels, of the vast multitude of infanticides within their walls,
and of that inveterate prevalence of incest among the clergy, which
rendered it necessary again and again to issue the most stringent
enactments that priests should not be permitted to live with their
mothers or sisters" (History of European Morals, Vol. II, P. 331).

For centuries the worship of the Virgin Mary, the Christian goddess
of reproduction and motherhood, was supreme; the worship of God and
Christ being subordinated to it. During these centuries, Hallam tells
us, chastity was almost unknown. In every land, every class ignored
the seventh commandment, because it was taught and believed that all
offenses of this character were condoned by the Virgin. Hallam cites
numerous instances of her alleged interventions in behalf of those who
indulged in illegitimate practices. The following is one: "In one tale
the Virgin takes the shape of a nun, who had eloped from the convent,
and performs her duties ten years, till, tired of a libertine life,
she returns unsuspected. This was in consideration of her having never
omitted to say an Ave as she passed the Virgin's image" (Middle Ages,
p. 604).

Christian chivalry, so much lauded in our day, was simply a form of
sex worship. Hallam characterizes it as unbridled libertinism. The
writings of that age, like those of Boccaccio, he says, indicate
"a general dissoluteness in the intercourse of the sexes.... The
violation of marriage vows passes in them for an incontestable
privilege of the brave and the fair" (Ibid, p. 666).

Holy pilgrimages to the shrines of saints were usually pilgrimages to
the shrine of Venus. "Some of the modes of atonement which the church
most approved, were particularly hostile to public morals. None was
so usual as pilgrimage; whether to Jerusalem or Rome, which were the
great objects of devotion, or to the shrine of some national saint,
a James of Compostella, a David, or a Thomas Becket. This licensed
vagrancy was naturally productive of dissoluteness, especially among
the women. Our English ladies, in their zeal to obtain the spiritual
treasures of Rome, are said to have relaxed the necessary caution
about one that was in their own custody" (Ib., p. 607).

The prelates of the church, being equally culpable, winked at the
licentiousness of the lower orders of the clergy. "In every country,"
says Hallam, "the secular and parochial clergy kept women in their
houses, upon more or less acknowledged terms of intercourse, by
a connivance of their ecclesiastical superiors" (Ib., p. 353). "A
writer of respectable authority asserts that the clergy frequently
obtained a bishop's license to cohabit with a mate" (Ib., p. 354).

Another form of "sanctified" sexual indulgence, and which received the
sanction of the church, was what is known as Marquette. Concerning
this custom Mrs. Matilda Joslyn Gage, in her "Woman, Church and
State," says: "The law known as Marchetta, or Marquette, compelled
newly-married women to a most dishonorable servitude. They were
regarded as the rightful prey of the Feudal Lord from one to three days
after their marriage, and from this custom the eldest son of the serf
was held as the son of the Lord.... Marquette was claimed by the Lord's
Spiritual, as well as by the Lord's Temporal. The Church, indeed,
was the bulwark of this base feudal claim." This is affirmed by the
French historian, Michelet. He says: "The lords spiritual (clergy) had
this right no less than the lords temporal. The parson, being a lord,
expressly claimed the first fruits of the bride" (La Sorcerie, p. 62).

The brazen lewdness of medieval Christianity has been driven into
privacy. But it still exists, and it is still religious. The Italian
patriot, Garibaldi, bears this testimony: "In Rome, in 1849, I myself
visited every convent. I was present at all the investigations. Without
a single exception we found instruments of torture, and a cellar with
the bodies of infant children." Referring to the priests connected
with certain convents, Dr. Inman says: "Their practice was to instruct
their victims that whatever was said or done must be accompanied by a
pious sentence. Thus, 'I love you dearly' was a profane expression;
but 'I desire your company in the name of Jesus,' and 'I embrace in
you the Holy Virgin,' was orthodox."

Protestant readers, generally, will accept this testimony as
true of Catholic countries. But have Protestant countries a purer
record? Lecky, classed as a Protestant historian, says: "The two
countries which are most thoroughly pervaded by Protestant theology
are probably Scotland and Sweden; and if we measure their morality
by the common though somewhat defective test that is furnished by
the number of illegitimate births, the first is well known to be
considerably below the average morality of European nations, while
the second, in this as in general criminality, has been pronounced by
a very able and impartial Protestant witness, who has had the fullest
means of judging, to be very far below every other Christian nation"
(European Morals, Vol. I, p. 391).

The religion of Christ as it exists today is not only in its external
forms, but in its very essence, largely a survival of the nature
worship of old. That it is closely allied to it is admitted by
Christian ministers themselves. The Rev. Frederick Robertson says:
"The devotional feelings are often singularly allied to the animal
nature. They conduct the unconscious victim of feelings that appear
divine, into a state of life at which the world stands aghast;
fanaticism is always united with either excessive lewdness or
desperate asceticism" (Essays). The Rev. S. Baring-Gould, in "Freaks
of Fanaticism," says: "The religious passion verges so closely on
the sexual passion that a slight additional pressure given to it
bursts the partition, and both are confused in a frenzy of religious
debauch." The Rev. J. H. Noyes says: "Religious love is a very near
neighbor to sex love, and they always get mixed in the intimacies
and social excitement of [religious] revivals."

2. Solar Worship.

Scarcely less prevalent than sex worship was the worship of the
sun. While sex worship was confined chiefly to the generation of human
life, sun worship comprehended the generation of all life. The sun
was recognized as the generative power of the universe. He overshadows
the receptive earth from whom all life is born. I quote from M. Soury:
"Amid all these forces, the mightiest is, without contradiction, the
sun, the fire of heaven, father of earthly fire, unique and supreme
cause of motion and life on our planet. There is no need or reason
to understand that the very life, and as it were the blood of our
celestial father flows in the veins of the Earth, our mother. In
the time of love, when the luminous heaven embraces her, from her
fertilized womb springs forth a world. It is she who quivers on
the plains where the soft moist air waves gently on the grasses;
it is she who climbs in the bush, who soars in the oak, who fills
the solitude with the joyous twitter of birds beneath the cloudlet,
or from the leaf-lined nests; it is she who in seas and in running
waters, or mountains and in woods, couples the gorgeous male with
the ardent female, throbs in every bosom, loves in every life. But
all this terrestrial life, all this warmth and all this light are
but effluents from the sun." (Religion of Israel, pp. 3, 4.)

Prof. Tyndall says: "We are no longer in a poetical but in a purely
mechanical sense, the children of the sun." "The sun," said Napoleon
Bonaparte, "gives all things life and fertility. It is the true God
of the earth."

John Newton, M.R.C.S., of England, says: "The glorious sun, that 'god
of this world,' the source of life and light to our earth, was early
adored, and an effigy thereof used as a symbol. Mankind watched with
rapture its rays gain strength daily in the Spring, until the golden
glories of Midsummer had arrived, when the earth was bathed during
the longest days in his beams, which ripened the fruits that his
returning course had started into life. When the sun once more began
its course downwards to the winter solstice, his votaries sorrowed,
for he seemed to sicken and grow paler at the advent of December,
when his rays scarcely reached the earth, and all nature, benumbed
and cold, sunk into a death-like sleep. Hence feasts and fasts were
instituted to mark the commencement of the various phases of the
solar year, which have continued from the earliest known period,
under various names, to our own times" (The Assyrian Grove).

The most prominent deities in the pantheons of the gods were solar
deities. Among these were Osiris, Vishnu, Mithra, Apollo, Hercules,
Adonis, Bacchus, and Baal. In the worship of some of these gods sex
and solar worship were united.

The early Israelites were mostly sun worshipers. And even in later
times, the sun god, Baal, divided with Jehovah the worship of the
Jews. Saul, Jonathan, and David named their children in honor of this
god. "Saul begat Jonathan, ... and Esh-baal. And the son of Jonathan
was Merib-baal" (1 Chron. viii, 33, 34). David named his last son,
save one, Beeliada, "Baal Knows," (1 Chron. xiv, 7). Solomon's worship
included not merely the worship of Jehovah, but that of Baal and other
gods. His temple was filled with Pagan ornaments and emblems pertaining
to solar worship. Regarding this the Rev. Dr. Oort of Holland says:
"Solomon's temple had much in common with heathen edifices, and slight
modifications might have made it a suitable temple for Baal. This need
not surprise us, for the ancient religion of the Israelitish tribes
was itself a form of Nature-worship just as much as the religions
of the Canaanites, Phenicians, Philistines, and other surrounding
peoples were. Most of the Israelites certainly saw no harm in these
ornaments, since they were not aware of any very great difference
between the character of Yahweh [Jehovah] and that of Baal, Astarte,
or Moloch" (Bible for Learners, vol. ii, p. 88). Long after the time
of Solomon the horses and chariots of the Sun were kept in the temple
(2 Kings xxiii, 11). Many of the stories concerning Moses, Joshua,
Jonah, and other Bible characters are solar myths. Samson was a sun
god. Dr. Oort says: "Sun-worship was by no means unknown to the
Israelites.... The myths that were circulated among these people
show that they were zealous worshipers of the sun. These myths
are still preserved, but, as in all other cases, they are so much
altered as to be hardly recognizable. The writer who has preserved
them for us lived at a time when the worship of the sun had long ago
died out. He transforms the sun god into an Israelite hero [Samson]"
(Ibid i, p. 414). St. Augustine believed that Samson and the sun god
Hercules were one.

Charles Francois Dupuis, in his "Origin of Worship," one of the most
elaborate and remarkable works on mythology ever penned, shows that
nearly all the religions of the world, including Christianity, were
derived largely from solar worship. All the solar deities, he says,
have a common history. This history, summarized, is substantially
as follows: "The god is born about December 25th, without sexual
intercourse, for the sun, entering the winter solstice, emerges in the
sign of Virgo, the heavenly Virgin. His mother remains ever-virgin,
since the rays of the sun, passing through the zodiacal sign,
leave it intact. His infancy is begirt with dangers, because the
new-born Sun is feeble in the midst of the winter's fogs and mists,
which threaten to devour him; his life is one of toil and peril,
culminating at the spring equinox in a final struggle with the
powers of darkness. At that period the day and night are equal,
and both fight for the mastery. Though the night veil the Sun and he
seems dead; though he has descended out of sight, below the earth,
yet he rises again triumphant, and he rises in the sign of the Lamb,
and is thus the Lamb of God, carrying away the darkness and death of
the winter months. Henceforth he triumphs, growing ever stronger and
more brilliant. He ascends into the zenith, and there he glows, on
the right hand of God, himself God, the very substance of the Father,
the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person,
upholding all things by his life-giving power."

Dr. G. W. Brown, author of "Researches in Oriental History," says:
"Strange as it may seem, whilst Mithras and Osiris, Dionysos and
Bacchus, Apollo and Serapis, with many others [including Christ] in
name, all masculine sun gods, and all interblended, a knowledge of one
is generally a knowledge of the whole, wherever located or worshiped."

If Christ was not originally a solar god he wears today the livery
of one. His mother, the Virgin, was the mother of the solar gods;
his birthday, Christmas, is the birthday of all the gods of the sun;
his Twelve Apostles correspond to the twelve signs of the Zodiac;
according to the Gospels, at his crucifixion the sun was eclipsed, he
expired toward sunset, and rose again with the sun; the day appointed
for his worship, the Lord's day, is the die solis, Sunday, of the sun
worshipers; while the principal feasts observed in memory of him were
once observed in honor of their gods. "Every detail of the Sun myth,"
says the noted astronomer, Richard A. Proctor, "is worked into the
record of the Galilean teacher."

The cross we have seen was a symbol of Phallic worship. The cross, and
especially the crucifix, was also an emblem of solar worship. It was
carved or painted on, or within, a circle representing the horizon,
the head and feet and the outstretched arms of the sacrificial
offering or crucified Redeemer pointing toward the four quarters
of the horizon. The Lord's Supper, observed in memory of Christ,
was observed in memory of Mithra, Bacchus, and other solar gods. The
nimbus, or aureola, surrounding the head of Jesus in his portraits
represents the rays of the sun. It was thus that the ancient adorers
of the sun adorned the effigies of their god. There still exists a
pillar erected by the sun worshipers of Carthage. On this pillar is
carved the sun god, Baal, with a nimbus encircling his head.

The Christian doctrine of the resurrection had its origin in sun
worship. As the sun, the Father, rose from the dead, so it was believed
that his earthly children would also rise from the dead. "The daily
disappearance and the subsequent rise of the sun," says Newton,
"appeared to many of the ancients as a true resurrection; thus,
while the east came to be regarded as the source of light and warmth,
happiness and glory, the west was associated with darkness and chill,
decay and death. This led to the custom of burying the dead so as
to face the east when they rose again, and of building temples and
shrines with an opening toward the east. To effect this, Vitruvius,
two thousand years ago, gave precise rules, which are still followed
by Christian architects."

Max Mueller, in his "Origin of Religion," (pp. 200, 201), says:
"People wonder why so much of the old mythology, the daily talk,
of the Aryans was solar: what else could it have been? The names of
the sun are endless and so are his stories; but who he was, whence
he came and whither he went, remained a mystery from beginning to
end.... Man looked up to the sun, yearning for the response of a soul,
and though that response never came, though his senses recoiled,
dazzled and blinded by an effulgence which he could not support,
yet he never doubted that the invisible was there, and that, where
his senses failed him, where he could neither grasp nor comprehend,
he might still shut his eyes and trust, fall down and worship."

This worship of old survives in the worship of today. A knowledge
of the location, the limits and the nature of the sun has gradually
convinced the world that this is not God's dwelling place; but
somewhere in the infinite expanse of the blue beyond they fancy
he has his throne. To this imaginary being is rendered the same
adoration that was rendered to him by primitive man--the adoration
of childish ignorance.

3. Astral Worship.

The worship of the planets and stars was probably a later development
than sex and solar worship. It flourished for a time in nearly
every part of the world, and left its impress on the religions that
succeeded it.

In Chaldea, one of the principal sources of Judaism and Christianity,
the worship of the stars prevailed. I quote from Dr. Ridpath: "In their
aspirations for communion with the higher powers, the yearning of the
ancient Chaldeans turned upwards to the planets and the stars. The
horizon of the Babylonian plain was uniform and boundless. It was the
heaven above rather than the earth beneath, which exhibited variety and
life. The Zodiac was ever new with its brilliant evolutions. Through
the clear atmosphere the tracks of the shining orbs could be traced
in every phase and transposition. With each dawn of morning light,
with each recurrence of the evening twilight, a new panorama spread
before the reverent imagination of the dreamer, and he saw in the
moving spheres not only the abode but the manifested glory of his gods"
(History of the World, vol. 1, p. 138).

"Until today, in the high light of civilization, the idea of some
kind of domination of the stars over the affairs of human life has
hardly released its hold on the minds of men; and the language of
the old Chaldean ritual of signs has still a familiar sound in the
ears of the credulous" (Ibid, p. 140).

After alluding to the ancient Vedic religion, which recognized in
the stars the souls of our departed ancestors, Prof. John Fiske says:
"The Christianized German peasant, fifty centuries later, tells his
children that the stars are angels' eyes, and the English cottager
impresses it on the youthful mind that it is wicked to point to the
stars, though why he cannot tell" (Myths and Myth Makers, p. 76).

In the Zodiac the Sun had twelve palaces. Each palace had a star
for a god, and each was subject to the Sun. Each day of the week was
governed by a planet, and each hour of the day had its controlling
star. Many scholars, including Jefferson, have held that Christ and
his Twelve Apostles relate to the Zodiac and were derived from this
stellar worship. The seven days of the week are still dedicated to the
old planetary gods, and, with a few modifications, bear their names.

"Chambers' Encyclopedia" says: "The Jews, as well as the early
Christians, had no special names for the single days, but counted
their number from the previous Sabbath, beginning with Sunday, as the
first after the Sabbath, and ending with Friday, as the sixth after the
previous, or eve (Ereb) of the next Sabbath. After a very short time,
however, young Christianity, which in the same manner had endeavored
to count from the feria secunda, or second day after Sunday, to the
Septima (or Saturday), had to fall back again upon the old heathen
names" (Art. Week).

The planetary gods Nardouk (Jupiter), Adar (Saturn), Istar (Venus),
Nergal (Mars), and Nebo (Mercury), were all worshiped by the ancient
Israelites. Istar was called "Queen of the Stars." Moloch, the rival
of Jehovah, who shared for centuries the worship of the Hebrews,
had his blazing star, the emblem of his implacable cruelty. The
worship of Astarte, daughter of the moon, and "Queen of Heaven,"
whose emblem was a star, was introduced by Solomon himself (1 Kings
xi, 5; 2 Kings xxiii, 13). For more than three hundred years she had
her temple in Jerusalem. And even today devout Jews address orizons
to the new moon, a relic of the worship of Astarte. The rosary is a
survival of astral worship. It was once a symbol of the stars.

The author of "Supernatural Religion" says: "The belief that sun,
moon and stars were living entities possessed of souls was generally
held by the Jews at the beginning of our era."

The same belief was entertained by the Christian Fathers. Origen
says: "As the stars move with so much order and method that under
no circumstances whatever do their course seem to be disturbed,
is it not the extreme of absurdity to suppose that so much order,
so much observance of discipline and method could be demanded from
or fulfilled by irrational beings?"

Out of astral worship grew the so-called science of astrology. Of this
"Chambers's Encyclopedia" says: "Astrology is one of the most ancient
forms of superstition, and is found prevailing among the nations of
the East at the very dawn of history. The Jews became much addicted
to it after the Captivity."

One of the so-called Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament reads:
"There shall come a star out of Jacob" (Num. xxiv, 17). "Now when Jesus
was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King, behold,
there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he
that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east,
... and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them,
till it came and stood over where the young child was" (Matt. ii, 1,
2, 9). This marvelous event at the advent of the Christian Messiah
was a complete "fulfillment" of what had been predicted centuries
before concerning the appearance of the expected Persian Messiah,
the original of the expected Messiah of the Jews.

Graves says that the language of Matthew clearly betrays the
astrological origin of his story: "The practice of calculating
nativities by the stars was in vogue in the era and country of
Christ's birth, and had been for a long time previously in various
countries. 'We have seen his star in the east, and have come to
worship him.' Now mark, here, it was not the star, nor a star, but
'his star'; thus disclosing its unmistakable astrological features"
(Sixteen Crucified Saviors, p. 53).

After referring to the prevalency of astrology at the beginning of,
and anterior to, the Christian era, Strauss says: "When such ideas
were afloat, it was easy to imagine that the birth of the Messiah
must be announced by a star, especially as, according to the common
interpretation of Balaam's prophecy, a star was there made the symbol
of the Messiah. It is certain that the Jewish mind effected this
combination; for it is a rabbinical idea that at the time of the
Messiah's birth a star will appear in the east and remain for a long
time visible.... In the time of Jesus it was the general belief that
stars were always the forerunners of great events."

Jesus in the Apocalypse declares himself to be "the bright and
morning star" (xxii, 16). He "had in his right hand seven stars"
(i, 16). "The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches"
(20). His second coming will be heralded by "signs in the sun, and
in the moon, and in the stars" (Luke xxi, 25).

The star of the Magi which pointed so unerringly to the cradle of
Christ points not less unerringly to one of the sources from which
Christ came.

4. Worship of the Elements and Forces of Nature.

The elements and forces of nature, Volney believes, inspired the
first ideas of God and religion:

"Man, reflecting on his condition, began to perceive that he was
subjected to forces superior to his own, and independent of his
will. The sun enlightened and warmed him, fire burned him, thunder
terrified him; the wind beat upon him, and water drowned him."

"Considering the action of the elements on him, he conceived the idea
of weakness and subjection on his part, and of power and domination
on theirs; and this idea of power was the primitive and fundamental
type of every idea of the Divinity."

"The action of these natural existences excited in him sensations of
pleasure and pain, of good or evil; and by a natural effect of his
organization he conceived for them love or aversion; he desired or
dreaded their presence; and fear or hope gave rise to the first idea
of religion."

From this elemental worship Indra, Agni, Zeus, Odin, Jehovah and other
gods were evolved. Jehovah was originally a god of the atmosphere. He
manifested himself in the tempest; he unchained the waves of the sea;
the wind was his breath; the thunder was his voice, the lightning his
messenger. He filled the air with frost; he precipitated the hail;
he blanketed the earth with snow; he deluged the land with rain;
he congealed the water of the stream, and parched the verdure of
the field.

Fire worship overspread Asia, and Jehovah, like Moloch, became a
god of fire. "There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire
out of his mouth devoured; coals were kindled by it" (2 Sam. xxii,
9). He appeared to Abram as "a smoking furnace and a burning lamp"
(Gen. xv, 17). He revealed himself to Moses in the burning bush. "The
bush burned with fire, but the bush was not consumed" (Ex. iii,
2). When David called to him "he answered him from heaven by fire"
(1 Ch. xxi, 26). To the fleeing Israelites he was a "pillar of fire"
(Ex. xiv, 24). "The Lord descended upon" Sinai "in fire" (xix,
18). When he appeared upon Horeb "the mountain burned with fire
unto the midst of heaven" (Deut. iv, 11), "and the Lord spake out
of the midst of the fire" (12). "The cloud of the Lord was upon the
tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night" (Ex. xl, 38). On the
Jewish altar for centuries the sacred fire was kept burning. When
Aaron, Gideon, Solomon and Elijah made offerings to Jehovah "there
came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed" the offerings
(Lev. ix, 24; Jud. vi, 21; 2 Ch. vii, 1; 1 K. xviii, 38). Elijah was
translated in "a chariot of fire" (2 K. ii, 11). Elisha was surrounded
by "horses and chariots of fire" (vi, 17). With fire he consumed his
enemies. "The Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire"
(Gen. xix, 24). When Nadab and Abihu "offered strange fire before
the Lord" (Lev. x, 1), "there went out fire from before the Lord and
devoured them" (2). When the Israelites displeased him at Taberah,
"the fire of the Lord burnt among them and consumed them" (Num. xi,
1). When the hosts of Satan encompassed the Christian saints, "fire
came down from God out of heaven and devoured them" (Rev. xx, 9).

"It is now a matter of demonstration," says M. Soury, "that at the
time of the Exodus from Egypt, in the desert, and even in the time
of Judges, light and fire were not to the Israelites mere symbols of
the deity, but were the deity himself."

Christ inherited the fiery nature of his Father. He baptized his
disciples with fire. "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost,
and with fire" (Matt. iii, 11). "And there appeared unto them cloven
tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them" (Acts ii, 3). He
consigned his enemies to everlasting punishment in the unquenchable
fires of hell. "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they
shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which
do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire" (Matt. xiii,
41, 42). "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire" (xxv,
41). "To be cast into hell fire: where their worm dieth not, and
the fire is not quenched. For every one shall be salted with fire"
(Mark ix, 47-49). His disciples were imbued with the same spirit and
belief. "And they (the Samaritans) did not receive him.... And when
his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that
we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" (Luke ix,
53, 54.)

Some vestiges of ancient fire worship have been transmitted to
our time. John Newton says: "A sacred fire, at first miraculously
kindled, and subsequently kept up by the sedulous care of priests
and priestesses, formed an important part of the religion of Judea,
Babylonia, Persia. Greece and Rome, and the superstition lingers
amongst us still. So late as the advent of the Reformation, a sacred
fire was kept ever burning on a shrine at Kildare, in Ireland,
and attended by virgins of high rank, called 'inghean au dagha,' or
daughters of fire. Every year is the ceremony repeated at Jerusalem
of the miraculous kindling of the Holy Fire at the reputed sepulchre,
and men and women crowd to light tapers at the sacred flame" (The
Assyrian Grove).

5. Worship of Animals and Plants.

In the infancy of the world animals were deified and adored, and
trees and plants were regarded as sentient beings and received the
homage of man.

Nearly every animal has been an object of worship. This worship
flourished for ages in Egypt and India. In Egypt the worship of the
bull (Apis) was associated with that of Osiris (Serapis). The cow is
still worshiped in India. Serpent worship has existed in every part
of the world.

Remnants of animal worship survived in Judaism and Christianity. Satan
was a serpent; Jehovah, like Osiris, was worshiped as a bull; Christ
was the lamb of God, and the Holy Ghost appeared in the form of a dove.

Closely allied to this worship, and to some extent a part of it, is
the doctrine of the transmigration of souls. Some of the Jews believed
in this. So did many of the early Christians, including Origen.

The leek, the lotus, and other plants were held as sacred or
divine. The rose was the divine flower of Greece. Its petals had been
dyed with the blood of her favorite goddess. In many nations the lily
was the sacred emblem of virginity. Christians still attach a sort
of sacredness to it.

"The groves were God's first temples," says Bryant. The groves, too,
were among man's first gods. Volumes have been written on the ancient
worship of trees. Not only the Druids of Britain, but the Greeks,
and the Semitic races of Asia were worshipers of trees. The giant
oaks and the symmetrical evergreens were gods. The rustling of the
aspen and the moaning of the pines were the audible whisperings of
Divinity which the prophets interpreted.

"The worship of trees," says Soury, "only disappeared in Syria at a
very late date.... The largest and tallest trees, and the evergreen
ones, were adored as gods. A great many Semitic myths were connected
with the vegetable world. Thus the pomegranate, famous for the richness
of its fruit, was sacred to Adonis and Aphrodite. The almond, which,
while nature seems inanimate, comes forth first from winter's sleep,
the amygdalis, the 'great mother,' gave birth to a crowd of Semitic
legends" (Religion of Israel, pp. 66, 67).

The tree, like the serpent, was an emblem of immortality. The Garden
of Eden had its Tree of Life. Newton says: "'I am come that they
might have Life, and that they might have it abundantly' (John x,
10). Life is the reward which has been promised under every system,
including that of the founder of Christianity. A Tree of Life stood in
the midst of that Paradise which is described in the book of Genesis;
... and in a second Paradise, which is promised to the blessed by the
author of the book of Revelation, a tree of life shall stand once more
'for the healing of the nations.'"

There still exist in Palestine venerable trees which receive not merely
the reverence, but the worship of Mussulmans and Christians. Some of
these trees they believe possess divine curative powers. Travelers
have observed them covered with strips of cloth or strings, which are
tied to the twigs. This is done to induce the spirit of the tree to
heal or drive away disease.

Sex worship, as we have seen, bequeathed some of its doctrines and
rites to nearly every religion that has existed since its time. It
became associated with tree worship. The Bible abounds with "sacred
groves." In Palestine hundreds of them were consecrated to Aschera,
the favorite goddess of the ancient Jews. These groves were devoted
to sacred prostitution. In some of them the worship of Baal and
Aschera were combined; in others that of Jehovah and Aschera. "These
sanctuaries of Aschera," says M. Soury, "were charming spots, shady
groves of green trees, often watered by running streams, mysterious
retreats where all was silence save the cooing of the doves sacred
to the goddess. The symbol of Aschera, a simple pillar, or the trunk
of a tree, perhaps with its leaves and branches, was the emblem of
generative power." The spots once occupied by these groves are still
deemed holy ground. Many of them are marked by Mohammedan mosques
and Christian chapels.

The sacred groves of Palestine where devout and voluptuous Jews mingled
the worship of Jehovah and Aschera live, too, in the Protestant camp
meetings of our western world, where, in shady bowers, Christians
worship fervently at the altar of Christ, and then, not infrequently,
meet clandestinely and pay their vows to Aschera.

The palm tree, and where the palm did not grow, the pine, both symbols
of the phallus, were worshiped. Newton says: "Palm-branches have
been used in all ages as emblems of life, peace, and victory. They
were strewn before Christ. Palm-Sunday, the feast of palms, is still
kept. Even within the present [19th] century, on this festival, in
many towns of France, women and children carried in procession at
the end of their palm-branches a phallus made of bread, which they
called, undisguisedly, 'la pine,' whence the festival was called
'La Fete des Pinnes.' The 'pine' having been blest by the priest, the
women carefully preserved it during the following year as an amulet"
(The Assyrian Grove).

6. Fetichism.

Closely related to the foregoing worship is fetichism, the worship
of idols and images. This is popularly supposed to be the religion
only of savages and barbarians; but it also prevails to some extent
among people who are considered civilized and enlightened.

While it was opposed by some of the kings, priests, and prophets,
idolatry flourished among the Jews from the earliest ages down
almost to the Christian era. Abraham's father, Terah, was an idolater
(Josh. xxv, 2). Jacob's wives were daughters of an idolater. Rachel
stole and hid her father's images (Gen. xxxi, 30-34). Jacob's family
were, for a time at least, idolaters. "Then Jacob said unto his
household, and all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that
are among you.... And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods that
were in their hands, ... and Jacob hid them under the oak which was
by Shechem" (Gen. xxxv, 2-4). The kingdoms of Israel and Judah were
steeped in idolatry. Israel "set them up images" and "served idols"
(2 Kings xvii, 10, 11), and "did offer sweet savor to their idols"
(Ezek. vi, 13). Judah was "full of idols" (Is. ii, 8).

The fetichism of Christ's ancestors reappeared in the image worship
of his devotees. The Christians of the middle ages, Dr. Draper says,
"were immersed in fetichism." "The worship of images, of fragments of
the cross, or bones, nails and other relics, a true fetich worship,
was cultivated" (Conflict, p. 49). "A chip of the true cross, some
iron filings from the chain of St. Peter, a tooth or bone of a martyr,
were held in adoration; the world was full of the stupendous miracles
which these relics had performed. But especially were painted or
graven images of holy personages supposed to be endowed with such
powers. They had become objects of actual worship" (Intellectual
Development of Europe, vol. i, p. 414).

Concerning the fetichism of the church, "Chambers's Encyclopedia"
says: "It was usual not only to keep lights and burn incense before
the images, to kiss them reverently; and to kneel down and pray before
them, but some went so far as to make the images serve as godfathers
and godmothers in baptism, and even to mingle the dust of the coloring
matter scraped from the images with the Eucharist elements in the
Holy Communion.... In many foreign churches, especially in Italy, in
southern Germany, and in France [at the present time], are to be found
images which are popularly reputed as especially sacred, and to which,
or to prayers offered before which, miraculous effects are ascribed."

Bishop Newton, of England, admits and deplores the existence of
Christian fetichism. He says: "The consecrating and bowing down to
images; the attributing of miraculous powers and virtues to idols;
the setting up of little oratories, altars and statues in the streets
and highways and on the tops of mountains; the carrying of images
and relics in pompous procession, ... all these are equally parts of
pagan and popish superstition."

Greek, Lutheran, and Anglican churches are not free from fetichism, and
even the Evangelical churches of this country make a fetich of a book.

7. Polytheism.

Polytheism, the doctrine of a plurality of gods, has prevailed in
every part of the world. The most interesting pantheons of the gods
were those of India, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The Hebrews, who were
polytheists, borrowed their gods from Assyria and Babylonia. The
pantheon of these nations comprised twelve principal gods and nearly
a thousand minor deities. The chief of these gods was El. His consort
was Elath. The Hebrews worshiped El under the name of El Shaddai and
various other names. Elohim of the Bible, translated God, denotes the
plural and included El and the minor gods who surrounded him. Yahweh,
Iahveh, Jehovah, etc., as he is variously called--for Jews and
Christians cannot spell and do not even know the name of their
principal deity--is a god of Assyro-Babylonian origin. In addition
to their national god, Jehovah, many of the Jews worshiped Baal,
Moloch, and Tammouz, male deities, and Astarte, Aschera, and Istar,
female deities.

That the writers of the Bible recognized a plurality of gods--were
polytheists--is proved by the following: "And the Lord God said,
Behold, the man is become as one of us" (Gen. iii, 22). "Who is like
unto thee, O Lord, among the gods?" (Ex. xv, 11.) "Among the gods,
there is none like unto thee, O Lord" (Ps. lxxxvi, 8). "The Lord is
a great God, and a great king above all gods" (Ps. xcv, 3). "Thou
shalt not revile the gods" (Ex. xxii, 28).

Monotheism, the doctrine of one god, is not merely the worship of
one god, but the belief in the existence of one god only. Many were
monotheistic in worship--worshiped one god, their national deity--while
at the same time they were polytheistic in belief--believed in the
existence of many gods. The Jews who worshiped Jehovah have been called
monotheists. And yet, for a thousand years, they believed in the
existence of Kemosh, Baal, Moloch, Tammouz, and other deities. They
believed that Jehovah was their national god and that they owed
allegiance to him; just as the subjects of an earthly king profess
their loyalty to him without denying the existence of other kings.

While Christians profess Monotheism they are really
polytheists--worship three gods--Father (Jehovah), Son (Christ),
and Holy Ghost; and recognize a god of Evil, Satan. To these must
also be added a female deity, the Virgin Mary, who is to the devout
Catholic as much of a divinity as Isis and Venus were to ancient
polytheists. The canonization and adoration of the saints, too,
are analogous to the worship of the inferior deities of ancient times.

After recounting what he believes to be the salutary influences exerted
by the medieval conception of the Virgin, Lecky says: "But the price,
and perhaps the necessary price, of this was the exaltation of the
Virgin as an omnipresent deity of infinite power as well as infinite
condescension. The legends represented her as performing every kind
of prodigy.... The painters depicted her invested with the divine
aureole, judging men on equal terms with her Son, or even retaining her
ascendancy over him in heaven. In the devotions of the people she was
addressed in terms identical with those employed to the Almighty. A
reverence similar in kind but less in degree was soon bestowed upon
the other saints, who speedily assumed the position of the minor
deities of Paganism" (History of Rationalism, Vol. I, pp. 226, 227).

Regarding the deification and worship of saints Hallam says:
"Every cathedral or monastery had its tutelar saint, and every
saint his legend, fabricated in order to enrich the churches under
his protection, by exaggerating his virtues, his miracles, and
consequently his power of serving those who paid liberally for his
patronage. Many of those saints were imaginary persons; sometimes a
blundered inscription added a name to the calendar; and sometimes,
it is said, a heathen god was surprised at the company to which he
was introduced, and the rites with which he was honored" (Middle Ages,
p. 603).

The church historian Mosheim admits and deplores the truth of this:
"It is, at the same time, as undoubtedly certain, as it is extravagant
and monstrous, that the worship of the martyrs was modeled, by degrees,
according to the religious services that were paid to the gods before
the coming of Christ" (Ecclesiastical History, p. 98).

Bishop Newton says: "The very same temples, the very same images,
which were once consecrated to Jupiter and the other demons [gods],
are now consecrated to the Virgin Mary and the other saints."

Milman says that at an early period "Christianity began to approach to
a polytheistic form, or at least to permit what it is difficult to call
by any other name than polytheistic, habits and feelings of devotion"
(History of Christianity, Vol. III, p. 424).

8. Monotheism.

Monotheism, as previously stated, is the doctrine of one god
only. It has gradually displaced, to a great extent, the fetichism
and polytheism of earlier times.

Comte's law of human development is as follows:

1. Theological, or fictitious,
2. Metaphysical, or abstract,
3. Scientific, or positive.

"In the Theological state, the human mind, seeking the essential
nature of things, the first and final causes (the origin and purpose)
of all effects--in short Absolute knowledge--supposes all phenomena
to be produced by the immediate action of supernatural beings.

"In the Metaphysical state, which is only a modification of the first,
the mind supposes, instead of supernatural beings, abstract forms,
veritable entities (that is, personified abstractions) inherent in
all things, and capable of producing all phenomena.

"In the final, the Positive state, the mind has given over the vain
search after Absolute notions, the origin and destination of the
universe, and the causes of phenomena, and applies itself to the study
of their laws--that is, their invariable relations of succession and
resemblance" (Positive Philosophy, pp. 26, 27).

The lowest state of human development is the theological. Here the
masses of mankind still repose. Only the scholars and thinkers have
advanced beyond this and many of these have only reached the second
or metaphysical state.

The highest point in the theological state is monotheism. To Judaism
Christians ascribe the glory of having been the first religion to
teach a pure monotheism. But monotheism existed long before the Jews
attained to it. Zoroaster and his earliest followers were monotheists,
dualism being a later development of the Persian theology. The adoption
of monotheism by the Jews, which occurred only at a very late period
in their history, was not, however, the result of a divine revelation,
or even of an intellectual superiority, for the Jews were immeasurably
inferior intellectually to the Greeks and Romans, to the Hindus and
Egyptians, and to the Assyrians and Babylonians, who are supposed to
have retained a belief in polytheism. This monotheism of the Jews was
chiefly the result of a religious intolerance never before equaled
and never since surpassed, except in the history of Christianity
and Mohammedanism, the daughters of Judaism. Jehovistic priests and
kings tolerated no rivals of their god and made death the penalty
for disloyalty to him. The Jewish nation became monotheistic for the
same reason that Spain, in the clutches of the Inquisition, became
entirely Christian.

Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples, if they existed, were
probably monotheists, believed that Jehovah was the only God,
and neither believed nor claimed that Jesus was other than the son
of man. As generations passed the man became obscured, his deeds
were magnified until at length he was accepted as the Son of God,
and a God himself. The deification of Jesus, then, together with the
apotheosis of other mortals, cannot be regarded as an evolution from
Jewish monotheism to a higher plane, but rather as a relapse from
monotheism to polytheism.

9. The Mediatorial Idea.

This idea had its origin chiefly in the worship of the elements and
forces of nature by primitive man. He believed that these elements and
forces were intelligent beings. He realized that in their presence he
was in a measure helpless. He therefore sought to win their favor and
appease their wrath. He made offerings to them; he prayed to them;
he worshiped them. But other men, more wise, more cunning, and more
fortunate, appeared to have greater influence with these deities. He
employed them to intercede for him; and thus the priesthood was
established. The priest was the first mediator.

More complex religious systems were in time evolved, and in some of
them mediatorial gods appeared. The mediatorial idea was prominent in
the Persian system. Mithra was the Persian mediator. The worship of
Mithra was carried to Rome and the Romans became acquainted with the
mediatorial idea. In an exposition of Philo's philosophy, Mrs. Evans
says: "The most exalted spirits are able to raise themselves to the
pure essence and find peace and joy which earthly conditions cannot
disturb; but weaker natures need a helper in a Being, who, coming from
above, can dwell below and lift their souls to God. The majority of
mankind, in their passage along the slippery path of life, are sure to
fall, and would perish if it were not for a mediator between themselves
and God.... The power of the Caesars, culminating in Augustus, enabled
them to claim divine honors from the people, already disposed to see
in them chosen agents of celestial sovereignty. Rome, according to
the expression of Valerius Maximus, recognized in the Caesars the
mediators between heaven and earth. And that was before Christianity
introduced its anointed mediator" (The Christ Myth, pp. 90, 92).

The God of the Jews, to quote the words of Jefferson, was "cruel,
vindictive, capricious and unjust." He had cursed his creation; he had
drowned a world; he had imposed the sentence of death--spiritual as
well as physical--upon his children. To placate this monster, to induce
him to remit this sentence, the priests were powerless. Millions of
animals, and even human beings, had been sacrificed to him in vain. At
length his "only begotten son," Jesus Christ, offered himself as
a sacrifice to atone for the sins of the world. The sacrifice was
accepted, and a reconciliation was effected between God and man. Thus
Christ became the great mediator of Christianity. "There is one
God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus"
(1 Tim. ii, 5). "He is the mediator of the new testament" (Heb. ix,
15). From Persia and from Rome this mediatorial God has come.

10. The Messianic Idea.

The desire for a deliverer naturally arises in the minds of a people
who are in subjection and bondage. This desire was the germ of the
Messianic idea. While there are traces of this idea in the earlier
writings of the Hebrews, it reached its highest development during and
immediately following the Captivity, and again in the Maccabean age.

The Messiah of Judaism and the Messiah, or Christ, of Christianity,
were derived from the Persian theology, the adherents of each system
modifying the doctrine to suit their respective notions. In its article
on Zoroaster, "Chambers's Encyclopedia" says: "There is an important
element to be noticed, viz., the Messiah, or Sosiosh, from whom the
Jewish and Christian notions of a Messiah are held by many to have
been derived.... Even a superficial glance at this sketch will show our
readers what very close parallels between Jewish and Christian notions
on the one hand, and the Zoroastrian on the other, are to be drawn."

Christians cite numerous passages from the writings of the Old
Testament which they claim foretold the advent of Jesus. Not one of
these passages, as originally penned, refers in the remotest degree
to him, though many of them do refer to the office he is said to have
filled. The Jews hoped for a deliverer, for a national leader who
would reestablish the kingdom of Israel, and restore to it the glory
of David's reign. They were loyal to the house of David and believed
that this deliverer would be a descendant, a son, of David. Pietists,
too, in the fervor of their religious enthusiasm dreamed of universal
conversion to the Jehovistic theocracy. In the writings of their
prophets and poets these hopes and dreams found expression. "I have
made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David, my servant,
thy seed will I establish forever, and build up thy throne to all
generations" (Ps. xxxix, 3, 4). "And the kingdom and dominion, and the
greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the
people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting
kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him" (Dan. vii, 27).

While the Messianic idea was originally a Persian idea, the materials
used in the formation of the Christian Messiah were drawn largely from
the Jewish Scriptures. There are passages in the Old Testament, as we
have seen, which predict the coming of a Messiah. These furnished a
portion of the materials out of which this Messianic deity, Christ,
was formed. There are many more which have no reference whatever to
a Messiah which have been made to serve as Messianic prophecies. The
Old Testament, as we have it, is alleged to be a Jewish work. It is,
rather, a Christian work. It is a Christian version of ancient Jewish
writings, every book of which has been more or less Christianized. Much
of it is scarcely recognizable to a Jewish scholar. This is especially
true of so-called Messianic prophecies.

The Christian Messiah was, on the one hand, modeled, to a considerable
extent, after the Jewish ideal, while the Jewish materials, on the
other hand, were freely altered to fit the new conception. Referring
to the work of the Evangelists, M. Renan says: "Sometimes they
reasoned thus: 'The Messiah ought to do such a thing; now Jesus is
the Messiah, therefore Jesus has done such a thing.' At other times,
by an inverse process, it was said: 'Such a thing has happened to
Jesus; now Jesus is the Messiah; therefore such a thing was to happen
to the Messiah.'" (Jesus, p. 27).

That the so-called Messianic prophecies of the Jewish Scriptures
were the immediate source of the Christ is apparent. That he was,
however, merely a borrowed idea and not a historical realization
of these prophecies is equally apparent. The Jews were expecting
a Messiah. Had Jesus realized these expectations they would have
accepted him. But he did not realize them. These prophecies were not
fulfilled in him. He was not a son of David; he did not deliver his
race from bondage; he did not become a king; the important events
that were to attend and follow Messiah's advent form no part even
of his alleged history. His rejection by the Jews proves him to be
either a false Messiah, or an imaginary being--a historical myth,
or a pure myth--in either case a myth.

The Jewish argument against Jesus as the Messiah is unanswerable:
"We do not find in the present comparatively imperfect stage of human
progress the realization of that blessed condition of mankind which the
prophet Isaiah associates with the era when Messiah is to appear. And
as our Hebrew Scriptures speak of one Messianic advent only, and not
of two advents; and as the inspired Book does not preach Messiah's
kingdom as a matter of faith, but distinctly identifies it with
matters of fact which are to be made evident to the senses, we cling
to the plain inference to be drawn from the text of the Bible, and we
deny that Messiah has yet appeared, and upon the following grounds:
First, because of the three distinctive facts which the inspired seer
of Judah inseparably connects with the advent of the Messiah, viz.,
(1) the cessation of war and the uninterrupted reign of peace, (2)
the prevalence of a perfect concord of opinion on all matters bearing
upon the worship of the one and only God, and (3) the ingathering of
the remnant of Judah and of the dispersed ten tribes of Israel--not one
has, up to the present time, been accomplished. Second, we dissent from
the proposition that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah announced by the
prophets, because the church which he founded, and which his successors
developed, has offered, during a succession of centuries, most singular
contrast to what is described by the Hebrew Scriptures as the immediate
consequence of Messiah's advent, and of his glorious kingdom. The
prophet Isaiah declares that when the Messiah appears, peace, love,
and union will be permanently established; and every candid man must
admit that the world has not realized the accomplishment of this
prophecy. Again, in the days of Messiah, all men, as Scripture saith,
'are to serve God with one accord'; and yet it is very certain that
since the appearance of him whom Christians believe to be Messiah,
mankind has been split into more hostile divisions on the ground of
religious belief, and more antagonistic sects have sprung up, than
in any historic age before Christianity was preached."

With orthodox Jews the belief in a Messiah is a deep rooted
conviction. For 2500 years there has been displayed in front of the
synagogue this sign: "Wanted--a Messiah." During this time many,
including Jesus, Bar-Cocheba, Moses of Candia, and Sabatai Zevi,
have applied for the place, but all applicants have been rejected,
and the Messianic predictions of the Jewish prophets are yet to be
fulfilled. So, too, are those of the Persian prophet. In the meantime
the followers of Jesus--turning from the Jews to the Gentiles--have
from this borrowed idea evolved a deity who divides with Brahma,
Buddha, and Allah, the worship of the world.

11. The Logos (Word).

The exaltation and deification of Jesus is thus described by the Dutch
theologian, Dr. Hooykaas: "When Jesus was gone, those who had known
him personally insensibly surrounded him with a glory that shone at
last with a more than human splendor. The spiritual blessings which
flowed in ever rich measure from his person and his gospel compelled
the Christians to exalt him ever more and more. The title of Son
of God, which his followers had given him as the future Messiah,
was elastic and ambiguous enough to lend itself very readily to this
process. The idea of his being the Messiah now no longer sufficed; he
was something other and something far more than the Jewish Messiah. The
philosophy and theology of the day were laid under contribution;
and nothing could so well indicate his significance for all humanity
and his unapproachable exaltation as the idea that he was the Word"
(Bible for Learners, Vol. III, pp. 670, 671).

The doctrine of the Logos, or Word, as an emanation or essence of
divine wisdom is very old. It is found in the ancient religions of
Egypt and India. It was recognized in the Persian theology, and was
incorporated into the Jewish theology by the Babylonian exiles. It
constitutes an important element in the Platonic philosophy. It
received its highest development and exposition in the writings of
the Jewish philosopher Philo, a contemporary of Jesus.

Concerning the Logos, Dean Milman, in his "History of Christianity,"
says: "This Being was more or less distinctly impersonated, according
to the more popular or more philosophic, the more material or the more
abstract, notions of the age of the people. This was the doctrine from
the Ganges, or even the shores of the Yellow Sea, to the Ilissus: it
was the fundamental principle of the Indian religion and the Indian
philosophy; it was the basis of Zoroastrianism; it was pure Platonism;
it was the Platonic Judaism of the Alexandrian school." Another
English clergyman, Mr. Lake, says: "We can trace its [the Word's]
birthplace in the philosophic speculations of the ancient world;
we can note its gradual development and growth; we can see it in its
early youth passing (through Philo and others), from Grecian philosophy
into the current of Jewish thought" (Philo, Plato, and Paul, p. 71).

The presentation of Jesus as an incarnation of the Logos belongs to
the second century and is prominent in the Fourth Gospel. The ideas
are chiefly those of Plato and Philo. Plato's trinity was Thought,
Word and Deed. The Word occupies the second place in the Platonic
trinity as it does in the Christian trinity. That the author of the
gospel of John, written more than a century after the time of Philo,
borrowed largely from that philosopher, is shown by the following
parallels drawn from their writings:

Philo.--"The Logos is the Son of God" (De Profugis).

John.--"This [the Word] is the Son of God" (i, 34).

Philo.--"The Logos is considered the same as God" (De Somniis).

John.--"The Word was God" (i, 1).

Philo.--"He [the Logos] was before all things" (De Leg. Allegor).

John.--"The same [the Word] was in the beginning with God" (i, 2).

Philo.--"The Logos is the agent by whom the world was made" (De
Leg. Allegor).

John.--"All things were made by him [the Word]" (i, 3).

Philo.--"The Logos is the light of the world" (De Somniis).

John.--"The Word was the true light" (i, 9).

Philo.--"The Logos only can see God" (De Confus. Ling.).

John.--"No man hath seen God.... He [the Word] hath declared him"
(i, 18).

12. The Perfect Man.

The New Testament contains at least five different mythical types
or conceptions of Jesus Christ: 1. The Messiah of the synoptics,
omitting the opening chapters of Matthew and Luke. 2. The Son of God,
or demi-god, introduced in these opening chapters. 3. The incarnate
Logos or God of John. 4. The Christ of Paul. 5. Eliminating these
more or less supernatural types, there remains in these writings, in
addition to the purely natural and purely human Jesus of Nazareth,
a type known as the Ideal or Perfect Alan. This type is not only
mythical, but, in the stricter sense, supernatural and superhuman;
for the perfect man must always remain an ideal rather than a real
type of man.

The last type is believed by many to represent the primal stage in
the deification of Jesus. This conception of Jesus has been held by
many Rationalistic Christians, and by some conservative Rationalists
in all ages. This, too, forms a part of the dualistic conception
of Christ entertained by orthodox Christians, a conception which
supposes him to have combined in his incarnation both a human and a
divine element which made him both man and God. The portrayal of the
vicarious suffering and death of this man has been one of the most
powerful agents in the propagation of Christianity.

The molders of primitive Christianity were greatly influenced by
various philosophical speculations--by the teachings of Pythagoras and
Plato among the earlier, and by the writings of Philo and Seneca among
the later philosophers. To Philo, we have seen, they were indebted
largely for the Logos; to Seneca they were indebted chiefly for the
Ideal or Perfect Man. The following extracts are from "The Christ Myth"
of Mrs. Evans:

"Seneca advises the cherishing of a hope that victory in the form of
a wise man will finally appear, because humanity requires that the
exemplification of perfection should be visible."

"Seneca's conception of perfect humanity was a combination of the
wise man of the Platonists and Stoics and the gentle sufferer who
endures insult and sorrow."

"The Logos of Philo was too ethereal to answer all the demands of
feeble humanity. The God-man must live and suffer and die among and
for the people in order to make the sacrifice complete."

"Philo endowed the Logos of Heraclitus with the authority of a priestly
mediator, who, floating between earth and heaven, brings God and
man together; Seneca places this mediator as a suffering man among
men. Philo, from his Jewish standpoint, made the Logos the priestly
intercessor; Seneca, from the standpoint of his Stoical society,
believed in the possibility of a perfect man as savior and guide of
weaker men."

Cognizant of the striking resemblance between some of the writings
of the New Testament and the writings of the Stoics, particularly
of Seneca, modern Christian apologists affect to believe that
this philosopher was acquainted with the history and the gospel of
Christ. But the Stoical philosophy propounded by Seneca had been
forming ever since the time of Zeno, three centuries before the time
of Christ. Seneca himself was born before the Christian era, and no
part of the New Testament was in existence when he wrote. Relative
to this contention Lecky writes: "It is admitted that the greatest
moralists of the Roman empire either never mentioned Christianity, or
mentioned it with contempt.... The Jews, with whom the Christians were
then identified, he (Seneca) emphatically describes as 'an accursed
race.'" (European Morals, vol. 1, pp. 340, 342). During the second
and third centuries Christian scholars ransacked Pagan literature for
recognitions of Christ and Christianity. Regarding this, Lecky says:
"At the time, when the passion for discovering these connections
was most extravagant, the notion of Seneca and his followers being
inspired by the Christians was unknown" (Ibid, p. 346). Gibbon says:
"The new sect [Christians] is totally unnoticed by Seneca" (Rome,
vol. i, 587, note).

Out of all these various religious systems and doctrines--out of
sex worship and sun worship--out of the worship of the stars and
the worship of the elements--out of the worship of animals and
the worship of idols--out of Polytheism and Monotheism--out of the
Mediatorial and Messianic ideas--out of the Logos and the Ideal Man
of the philosophers--this Christ has come.



In the preceding chapter I have noticed some of the typical religious
systems and beliefs from which Christ and Christianity were to a
great extent derived. I shall next notice more particularly some
of the so-called divine beings--some of the gods, and some of the
mortals endowed with supernatural gifts, belonging to these systems. I
shall show that there were many sons of gods besides Jehovah's "only
begotten Son"; that each of them possessed some attribute possessed
by him; that all of them lived or existed in the minds of men,
centuries before his time; and that many of them were prototypes
of him, and furnished in a large degree the ideas which suggested
him, or which are associated with him and his religion. My list will
comprise the following, all of whom were believed by their worshipers
or followers to be of divine descent: Krishna, Buddha, Confucius,
Laou-tsze, Zoroaster, Mithra, Sosiosh, Adonis, Osiris, Horus, Zeus,
Apollo, Perseus, Hercules, Dionysos, Prometheus, Esculapius, Plato,
Pythagoras, Bacchus, Saturn, Quirinus, Odin, Thor, and Baldur.


Krishna was the eighth Avatar or incarnation of the god Vishnu,
one of the Hindoo Trinity. In this incarnation Vishnu, it is said,
"appeared in all the fullness of his power and glory." His mother
was Devaki. He is believed to be a historical character, but his real
history, like that of Jesus, is almost entirely obscured by myths. He
lived from 900 to 1,200 years before the Christian era. The story
of his life is to be found in the "Bhagavat," one of the "Puranas,"
while his religious teachings are given in the "Bhagavad-Gita,"
a poem belonging to the "Mahabarata."

The points of resemblance between Krishna and Christ that have
been printed would fill a volume. Some of these are apocryphal,
and not confirmed by the canonical scriptures of India. The limits
of this chapter preclude an extended list even of the undoubtedly
genuine. I shall confine myself chiefly to a presentation of the
most important ones relating to their births. These, according to the
Christian translator of the "Bhagavat Purana," Rev. Thomas Maurice,
are as follows:

1. Both were miraculously conceived.

2. Both were divine incarnations.

3. Both were of royal descent.

4. Devatas or angels sang songs of praise at the birth of each.

5. Both were visited by neighboring shepherds.

6. In both cases the reigning monarch, fearing that he would be
supplanted in his kingdom by the divine child, sought to destroy him.

7. Both were saved by friends who fled with them in the night to
distant countries.

8. Foiled in their attempts to discover the babes both kings issued
decrees that all the infants should be put to death.

Writing of Krishna in the eighteenth century, Sir William Jones says:
"In the Sanscrit dictionary, compiled more than two thousand years ago,
we have the whole history of the incarnate deity, born of a virgin,
and miraculously escaping in infancy from the reigning tyrant of his
country" (Asiatic Researches, Vol. I, p. 273).

The subsequent careers of these deities are analogous in many
respects. Their missions were the same--the salvation of mankind. Both
performed miracles--healed the sick and raised the dead. Both died
for man by man. There is a tradition, though not to be found in the
Hindoo scriptures, that Krishna, like Christ, was crucified.

Various incidents recorded in the life of Christ were doubtless
suggested by similar incidents in the life of Krishna. He washed
the feet of his disciples because Krishna had washed the feet of
the Brahmins. He taught his disciples the possibility of removing a
mountain, because Krishna, to protect his worshipers from the wrath
of Indra, raised Mount Goverdhen above them. His parents in their
flight with him, as related in the Gospel of the Infancy, stopped at
a place called Maturea. Krishna was born at Mathura.

The earliest followers of each were from the lower classes of society,
those of Krishna being herdsmen and milkmaids. Christ's most ardent
worshipers have from the first been women. "Chrishna," to quote the
authority last mentioned, "continues to this hour the darling god of
the women of India."

McClintock and Strong's "Cyclopedia" notes the following events in
the history of Krishna which correspond with those related of Christ:
"That he was miraculously born at midnight of a human mother, and
saluted by a chorus of Devatas [angels]; that he was cradled among
cowherds, during which period of life he was persecuted by the giant
Kansa, and saved by his mother's flight; the miracles with which
his life abounds, among which were the raising of the dead and the
cleansing of the leprous" (Art. Krishna).

The celebrated missionary and traveler, Pere Huc, who made a journey
of several thousand miles through China and Thibet, says: "If we
addressed a Mogul or Thibetan this question, Who is Krishna? the
reply was instantly, 'The savior of men.'" "All that converting
the Hindoos to Christianity does for them," says Robert Cheyne,
"is to change the object of their worship from Krishna to Christ." Of
Krishna's gospel, the "Bhagavad-Gita," "Appleton's Cyclopedia" says:
"Its correspondence with the New Testament is indeed striking."

The parallels between Krishna and Christ to be found in the Hindoo
scriptures and the Christian Gospels are too numerous and too exact to
be accidental. The legends of the one were borrowed from the other. It
is admitted by Christian scholars that Krishna lived many centuries
before Christ. To admit the priority of the Krishna legends is to deny,
to this extent, the originality of the Gospels. To break the force of
the logical conclusion to be drawn from this some argue that while
Krishna himself antedated Christ, the legends concerning him are
of later origin and borrowed from the Evangelists. Regarding this
contention Judge Waite, in his "History of the Christian Religion,"
says: "Here then, we have the older religion and the older god. This,
in the absence of any evidence on the other side, ought to settle
the question. To assume without evidence that the older religion has
been interpolated from the later, and that the legends of the older
hero have been made to conform to the history of a later character,
is worse than illogical--it is absurd."

Sir William Jones, one of the best Christian authorities on Sanscrit
literature, and the translator of the "Bhagavad-Gita," says: "That
the name of Krishna, and the general outline of his history, were
long anterior to the birth of our Savior, and probably to the time
of Homer [950 B. C.], we know very certainly" (Asiatic Researches,
Vol. I, p. 254).


The ninth incarnation of Vishnu was Buddha. The word Buddha, like the
word Christ, is not a name, but a title. It means "the enlightened
one." The name of this religious founder was Siddhartha Gautama. He was
born about 643 B. C., and died 563 B. C. His mother, Mahamaya, was a
virgin. Dean Milman, in his "History of Christianity," says: "Budh,
according to a tradition known in the West, was born of a virgin"
(Vol. I, p. 99, note). Devaki, Mary, and Mahamaya, all gave birth to
their children among strangers. Krishna was born in a prison, Christ
in a stable, and Buddha in a garden. "Werner's Encyclopedia," in its
article on Buddha, speaks of "the marvelous stories which gathered
round the belief in his voluntary incarnation, the miracles at his
birth, the prophecies of the aged saint at his formal presentation
to his father, and how nature altered her course to keep a shadow
over his cradle, whilst the sages from afar came and worshiped him."

The "Tripitaka," the principal Bible of the Buddhists, containing
the history and teachings of Buddha, is a collection of books written
in the centuries immediately following Buddha. The canon was finally
determined at the Council of Pataliputra, held under the auspices of
the Emperor Asoka the Great, 244 B. C., more than 600 years before the
Christian canon was established. The "Lalita Vistara," the sacred book
of the Northern Buddhists, was written long before the Christian era.

Buddha was "about 30 years old" when he began his ministry. He fasted
"seven times seven nights and days." He had a "band of disciples"
who accompanied him. He traveled from place to place and "preached
to large multitudes." Bishop Bigandet calls his first sermon the
"Sermon on the Mount." At his Renunciation "he forsook father and
mother, wife and child." His mission was "to establish the kingdom of
righteousness." "Buddha," says Max Muller, "promised salvation to all;
and he commanded his disciples to preach his doctrine in all places and
to all men." "Self-conquest and universal charity" are the fundamental
principles of his religion. He enjoined humility, and commanded his
followers to conceal their charities. "Return good for evil"; "overcome
anger with love"; "love your enemies," were some of his precepts.

Buddha formulated the following commandments: "Not to kill; not
to steal; not to lie; not to commit adultery; not to use strong
drink." Christ said: "Thou knowest the commandments, do not commit
adultery; do not kill; do not steal; do not bear false witness;
honor thy father and thy mother (Luke xviii, 20). Christ ignored
the Decalogue of Moses and, like Buddha, presented a pentade which,
with the exception of one commandment, is the same as that of Buddha.

Prof. Seydel, of the University of Leipsic, points out fifty analogies
between Christianity and Buddhism. Dr. Schleiden calls attention to
over one hundred. Baron Harden-Hickey says: "Countless analogies exist
between the Buddhistic and Christian legends--analogies so striking
that they forcibly prove to an impartial mind that a common origin
must necessarily be given to the teachings of Sakay-Muni and those
of Jesus."

Concerning the biographical accounts of the two religious teachers
Harden-Hickey says: "One account must necessarily be a copy of the
other, and since the Buddhist biographer, living long before the
birth of Christ, could not have borrowed from the Christian one,
the plain inference is that the early creed-mongers of Alexandria
were guilty of an act of plagiarism." The following are some of the
parallels presented by this writer:

Both have genealogies tracing their descent from ancestral kings.

Both were born of virgin mothers.

The conception of each was announced by a divine messenger.

The hymns uttered at the two annunciations resemble each other.

Both were visited by wise men who brought them gifts.

Both were presented in the temple.

The aged Simeon of the one account corresponds to the aged Asita of
the other.

As "the child (Jesus) grew and waxed strong in spirit," so "the child
(Sakay-Muni) waxed and increased in strength."

Both in childhood discoursed before teachers.

Both fasted in the wilderness.

Both were tempted.

Angels or devatas ministered to each.

Buddha bathed in the Narajana, and Christ was baptized in the Jordan.

The mission of each was proclaimed by a voice from heaven.

Both performed miracles.

Both sent out disciples to propagate their faiths.

In calling their disciples the command of each was, "Follow me."

Buddha preached on the Holy Hill, and Christ delivered his sermon on
the Mount.

The phraseology of the sermons of Buddha and the sermon ascribed to
Christ is, in many instances, the same.

Both Buddha and Christ compare themselves to husbandmen sowing seed.

The story of the prodigal son is found in both Scriptures.

The account of the man born blind is common to both.

In both the mustard seed is used as a simile for littleness.

Christ speaks of "a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand";
Buddha says, "Perishable is the city built of sand."

Both speak of "the rain which falls on the just and on the unjust."

The story of the ruler, Nicodemus, who came to Jesus by night, has
its parallel in the story of the rich man who came to Buddha by night.

A converted courtezan, Magdalena, followed Jesus, and a converted
courtezan, Ambapali, followed Buddha.

There is a legend of a traitor connected with each.

Both made triumphal entries, Christ into Jerusalem, and Buddha into

Both proclaimed kingdoms not of this world.

The eternal life promised by Christ corresponds to the eternal peace,
Nirvana, promised by Buddha.

Both religions recognize a trinity.

"Catholic and Protestant missionaries," to quote Max Muller again,
"vie with each other in their praises of Buddha." Bishop Bigandet,
one of the leading Christian writers on Buddha, says: "In reading
the particulars of the life of Buddha it is impossible not to feel
reminded of many circumstances relating to our Savior's life as
sketched by the evangelists. It may be said in favor of Buddhism
that no philosophic-religious system has ever upheld to an equal
degree the notions of a savior and deliverer, and the necessity of
his mission for procuring the salvation of man." St. Hilaire says:
"He [Buddha] requires humility, disregard of worldly wealth, patience
and resignation in adversity, love to enemies ... non-resistance to
evil, confession of sins and conversion." The bishop of Ramatha says:
"There are many moral precepts equally commanded and enforced in
common by both creeds. It will not be rash to assert that most of
the moral truths prescribed in the gospel are to be met with in the
Buddhistic scriptures." Writing of Buddhism, Mrs. Spier, in her "Life
in Ancient India," says: "Before God planted Christianity upon earth,
he took a branch from the luxuriant tree, and threw it down to India."

The external forms of Christianity, especially of Catholic
Christianity, are modeled in a large degree after those of Buddhism. Of
Northern Buddhism (Lamaism) the "Encyclopedia Britannica" says:
"Lamaism, with its shaven priests, its bells and rosaries, its images
and holy water, its popes and bishops, its abbots and monks of many
grades, its processions and feast days, its confessional and purgatory,
and its worship of the double Virgin, so strongly resembles Romanism
that the first Catholic missionaries thought it must be an imitation
by the devil of the religion of Christ." The central object in every
Buddhist temple is an image of Buddha. The central object in every
Catholic church is an image of Christ. Holy relics and the veneration
of saints are prominent in both.

Buddha commanded his disciples to preach his gospel to all men. Christ
commanded his disciples to do the same. In obedience to these
commands the world was filled with missionaries, and largely as the
result of this the adherents of these religious systems outnumber
those of all others combined. Christian tradition says that Thomas
visited India. Some believe that it was in this way that the early
Christians became acquainted with the history and teachings of Krishna
and Buddha. This may be true, but so far as the Buddhistic element
in Christianity is concerned it is quite as reasonable to suppose
that Buddhist missionaries had previously carried their religion
to Alexandria and Rome, where the molders of the Christian creed
obtained their knowledge of it. "That remarkable missionary movement,
beginning 300 B. C.," says Max Muller, "sent forth a succession of
devoted men who spent their lives in spreading the faith of Buddha
over all parts of Asia." Harden-Hickey says: "It is not doubted at the
present day that Indian religious ideas, and indeed more particularly
those of Buddhism, reached and were even propagated as far as Egypt,
Asia Minor, and Palestine, long before the Christian era."

Connected with the triumphs of these religious faiths there is a
historical analogy deserving mention. Three centuries after the time
of Buddha, Asoka the Great, emperor of India, became a convert to the
Buddhist faith, made it the state religion of the empire, and did
more than any other man to secure its supremacy in the East. Three
centuries after Christ, Constantine the Great, emperor of Rome,
became a convert to the Christian faith, made it the state religion
of his empire, and won for it the supremacy of the West.

Remuset says: "Buddhism has been called the Christianity of the
East." It would be more appropriate to call Christianity the Buddhism
of the West. Buddha, and not Christ, was "The Light of Asia." At
this torch Christians lighted their taper and called it "The Light
of the World."


This great Chinese sage and religious founder was born 551 B. C. His
followers believed him to be divine. His birth was attended by
prodigies. Magi and angels visited him, while celestial music filled
the air. His disciples invented a genealogy for him, giving him
a princely descent from Hoang-ti, a Chinese monarch, just as the
Christian Evangelists at a later period invented genealogies for
Christ, giving him a princely pedigree from David. Concerning his
deification the "International Encyclopedia" says: "By the irony of
fate he was deified after his death, and, like Buddha, Confucius,
who had little belief in the supernatural, became a divinity."

As Boulger states, "His name and his teachings were perpetuated by a
band of devoted disciples, and the book which contained the moral and
philosophical axioms of Confucius passed into the classical literature
of the country and stood in the place of a Bible for the Chinese"
(History of China, p. 16).

Of all the great religious systems which have appeared since the dawn
of history Buddhism and Confucianism, as originally presented, from
a rational standpoint, stand pre-eminent. In both the supernatural
is almost entirely absent. Both are godless religions, and both
have been, for the most part, bloodless religions. The adherents
of both have practiced in the highest degree what the adherents of
their great rival have only professed: "On earth peace, good will
toward men." Both systems, like primitive Christianity, have been
corrupted; but the system of Confucius has suffered less than that of
Buddha. The religious, or rather ethical, system taught by Confucius,
is the religion of the intellectual aristocracy of China, and, to a
great extent, the religion of the most enlightened everywhere.

Christian scholars have been surprised to find in the writings of
Confucius some of the best teachings attributed to Christ. The Golden
Rule has been ascribed to the Christian founder. And yet this rule
is the very essence of Confucianism and was borrowed from it. In a
presentation of the teachings of the Chinese sage, Rev. James Legge
of Oxford University, the highest European authority on China and
Confucius, says: "Foremost among these we must rank his distinct
enunciation of the Golden Rule, deduced by him from his study of man's
mental condition. Several times he gave that rule in express words:
'What you do not like when done to yourself do not to others.'"

To retain for Christ a portion of the credit due Confucius, Christians
assert that the Chinese moralist merely taught the negative form of
this rule, the abstaining from doing to others what we dislike to have
them do to us, while Christ taught the positive form, the doing to
others what we desire them to do to us. Regarding this Mr. Legge says:
"It has been said that he only gave the rule in a negative form; but
he understood it also in its positive and most comprehensive form,
and deplored on one occasion at least, that he had not himself always
attained to taking the initiative in doing to others as he would have
them do to him."

Another analogy may be noticed. The religion of Confucius enjoins
absolute obedience to national rulers. This, too, is a prominent tenet
of the Christian religion. As the result of this, Confucianism became
and has remained the state religion of China, while Christianity
became and has remained the state religion of Europe.


Laou-tsze, the other great religious founder of China, was born 604
B. C. His entry into the world and his exit from it were attended by
miracles. Like Christ he was miraculously conceived; like Christ he
ascended bodily into heaven. He was believed to be an incarnation of
an astral god.

His gospel, the "Tao Teh King," was written by him. "Tao" means "the
way." Christ was called "the Way." Man, according to this gospel, is
both a material and a spiritual being. By the renunciation of riches
and worldly enjoyments the soul attains to immortality. The most divine
of mortals are, like Enoch and Elijah, translated to heaven without
suffering death. Laou-tsze taught that men to be righteous must become
"as little children." Christ said: "Except ye be converted and become
as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven"
(Matt. xviii, 3).

The more ignorant followers of Laou-tsze, like the more ignorant
followers of Christ, believe that many diseases are caused by evil
spirits, and their priests, like Christ, practice exorcism to expel
them. Like the Catholics, they have monasteries and convents.

Of Laou-tsze's writings Prof. Montuci, the Italian philologist, says:
"Many things about a triune God are so clearly expressed that no
one who has read this book can doubt that the mystery of the Holy
Trinity was revealed to the Chinese five centuries before the coming
of Christ."

There is one element in Christianity which was not borrowed from
Paganism--religious intolerance. Referring to Buddhism, Confucianism,
and Taouism, a writer on China says: "Between the followers of
the three national religions there is not only a total absence of
persecution and bitter feeling, but a very great indifference as to
which of them a man may belong.... Among the politer classes, when
strangers meet, the question is asked: 'To what sublime religion
do you belong?' and each one pronounces a eulogium, not on his own
religion, but on that professed by the others, and concludes with
the oft-repeated formula: 'Religions are many; reason is one; we are
all brothers.'"


The Persian prophet Zoroaster lived and wrote at least 1200 years
before the Christian era. From his teachings some of the most important
doctrines of Christianity, as well as of Judaism, were derived.

According to the Persian theology the universe is ruled by two great
powers, Ormuzd (God) and Ahrimanes (Satan). The one represents light,
the other darkness; the one is good, the other evil. Between these
two powers there is perpetual war. The center of battle is man, each
striving for his soul. God created man with a free will to choose
between good and evil. Those who choose the good are rewarded with
everlasting life in heaven; those who choose the evil are punished
with endless misery in hell; while those in whom the good and evil
are balanced pass into an intermediate state (purgatory), to remain
until the last judgment.

To save mankind God sent a savior in the person of Zoroaster with a
divine revelation, the "Zend Avesta." Like Christ, Zoroaster was of
supernatural origin and endowed with superhuman powers. Like Christ,
he believed that Satan would be dethroned and cast into hell; like
Christ he believed that the end of the world and the kingdom of God
were at hand; like Christ, he taught his followers to worship God;
like Christ he declared that God heard and answered prayer; like
Christ he was tempted by Satan; like Christ he performed miracles;
like Christ he was slain by those whom he had come to save.

McClintock and Strong's "Cyclopedia" gives a summary of the principal
doctrines of Zoroaster among which are the following:

"The principal duty of man in this life is to obey the word and
commandments of God.

"Those who obey the word of God will be free from all defects and

"God exercises his rule in the world through the works prompted by
the Divine Spirit, who is working in man and nature.

"Men should pray to God and worship him. He hears the prayers of
the good.

"All men live solely through the bounty of God.

"The soul of the pure will hereafter enjoy everlasting life;
that of the wicked will have to undergo everlasting punishment"
(Art. Zoroaster).

Devils and angels are of Persian origin. Dr. Kalisch, the eminent
Jewish scholar, says: "When the Jews, ever open to foreign influence in
matters of faith, lived under Persian rule, they imbibed, among many
other religious views of their masters, their doctrines of angels and
spirits, which, in the region of the Euphrates and Tigris, were most
luxuriantly developed" (Leviticus, part II, p. 287). "The belief in
spirits and demons was not a concession made by educated men to the
prejudices of the masses, but a concession which all--the educated
as well as the uneducated--made to Pagan polytheism" (Ibid).

Strauss says: "It is in the Maccabean Daniel and in the Apocryphal
Tobit that this doctrine of angels, in the most precise form, first
appears; and it is evidently a product of the influence of the Zend
religion of the Persian on the Jewish mind. We have the testimony of
the Jews themselves that they brought the names of the angels with
them from Babylon" (Leben Jesu, p. 78).

Baptism, communion, and even confirmation, are rites that
were performed in Persia a thousand years before the advent of
Christ. Dr. Hyde, in his "Religion of the Ancient Persians," says:
"They do not use circumcision for their children, but only baptism
or washing for the inward purification of the soul.... After such
washing, or baptism, the priest imposes on the child the name given
by his parents. Afterwards, in the fifteenth year of his age, when
he begins to put on the tunic, the sudra, and the girdle, that he
may enter upon religion, and is engaged in the articles of belief,
the priest bestows upon him confirmation."

The following, from the "Britannica," was written by England's leading
authority on Zoroaster, Professor Gildner: "Like John the Baptist and
the Apostles of Jesus, Zoroaster also believed that the fullness of
time was near, that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. Through the
whole of the Gathas (the Psalms of Zoroaster) runs the pious hope
that the end of the present world is not far off. He himself hopes
along with his followers to live to see the decisive turn of things,
the dawn of the new and better aeon. Ormuzd will summon together all
his powers for a final struggle and break the power of evil forever;
by his help the faithful will achieve the victory over their detested
enemies, the daeva worshipers, and render them powerless. Thereupon
Ormuzd will hold a judicium universale upon all mankind and judge
strictly according to justice, punish the wicked, and assign to the
good the hoped-for reward. Satan will be cast, along with all those
who have been delivered over to him to suffer the pains of hell,
into the abyss, where he will thenceforward lie powerless. Forthwith
begins the one undivided kingdom of God in heaven and on earth."

Substitute "Christ" for "Zoroaster," "God" for "Ormuzd," and "Gospels"
for "Gathas," in the above, and we have almost an exact exposition
of the teachings of Christ. And Zoroaster taught at least 1200 years
before Christ taught, and wrote his "Gathas" more than 1300 years
before the Gospels were written. The writings of Zoroaster were the
principal source of the most important theological doctrines ascribed
to Christ, as the Buddhistic writings were of his ethical teachings.


This god was the offspring of the Sun, and, next to Ormuzd and
Ahrimanes, held the highest rank among the gods of ancient Persia. He
was represented as a beautiful youth. He is the Mediator. From the
Rev. J. W. Lake I quote the following: "Mithras is spiritual light
contending with spiritual darkness, and through his labors the kingdom
of darkness shall be lit with heaven's own light; the Eternal will
receive all things back into his favor, the world will be redeemed to
God. The impure are to be purified, and the evil made good, through the
mediation of Mithras, the reconciler of Ormuzd and Ahriman. Mithras
is the Good, his name is Love. In relation to the Eternal he is the
source of grace, in relation to man he is the life-giver and mediator"
(Plato, Philo, and Paul, p. 15).

The "International Encyclopedia" says: "Mithras seems to have owed his
prominence to the belief that he was the source of life, and could
also redeem the souls of the dead into the better world.... The
ceremonies included a sort of baptism to remove sins, anointing,
and a sacred meal of bread and water, while a consecrated wine,
believed to possess wonderful power, played a prominent part."

Concerning Mithra "Chambers's Encyclopedia" says: "The most important
of his many festivals was his birthday, celebrated on the 25th of
December, the day subsequently fixed--against all evidence--as the
birthday of Christ. The worship of Mithras early found its way into
Rome, and the mysteries of Mithras, which fell in the spring equinox,
were famous even among the many Roman festivals. The ceremonies
observed in the initiation to these mysteries--symbolical of the
struggle between Ahriman and Ormuzd (the Good and the Evil)--were
of the most extraordinary and to a certain degree even dangerous
character. Baptism and the partaking of a mystical liquid, consisting
of flour and water, to be drunk with the utterance of sacred formulas,
were among the inauguration acts."

In the catacombs at Rome was preserved a relic of the old Mithraic
worship. It was a picture of the infant Mithra seated in the lap of
his virgin mother, while on their knees before him were Persian Magi
adoring him and offering gifts.

Prof. Franz Cumont, of the University of Ghent, writes as follows
concerning the religion of Mithra and the religion of Christ:
"The sectaries of the Persian god, like the Christians', purified
themselves by baptism, received by a species of confirmation the
power necessary to combat the spirit of evil; and expected from a
Lord's supper salvation of body and soul. Like the latter, they also
held Sunday sacred, and celebrated the birth of the Sun on the 25th
of December.... They both preached a categorical system of ethics,
regarded asceticism as meritorious and counted among their principal
virtues abstinence and continence, renunciation and self-control. Their
conceptions of the world and of the destiny of man were similar. They
both admitted the existence of a Heaven inhabited by beatified ones,
situate in the upper regions, and of a Hell, peopled by demons,
situate in the bowels of the earth. They both placed a flood at
the beginning of history; they both assigned as the source of their
condition, a primitive revelation; they both, finally, believed in the
immortality of the soul, in a last judgment, and in a resurrection
of the dead, consequent upon a final conflagration of the universe"
(The Mysteries of Mithras, pp. 190, 191).

The Rev. Charles Biggs, D.D., says: "The disciples of Mithra formed an
organized church, with a developed hierarchy. They possessed the ideas
of Mediation, Atonement, and a Savior, who is human and yet divine,
and not only the idea, but a doctrine of the future life. They had
a Eucharist, and a Baptism, and other curious analogies might be
pointed out between their system and the church of Christ" (The
Christian Platonists, p. 240).

I quote again from McClintock and Strong: "In modern times Christian
writers have been induced to look favorably upon the assertion
that some of our ecclesiastical usages (e. g., the institution of
the Christmas festival) originated in the cultus of Mithraism. Some
writers who refuse to accept the Christian religion as of supernatural
origin, have even gone so far as to institute a close comparison with
the founder of Christianity; and Dupuis and others, going even beyond
this, have not hesitated to pronounce the Gospel simply a branch of
Mithraism" (Art. Mithra).

The Christian Father Manes, founder of the heretical sect known as
Manicheans, believed that Christ and Mithra were one. His teaching,
according to Mosheim, was as follows: "Christ is that glorious
intelligence which the Persians called Mithras.... His residence is
in the sun" (Ecclesiastical History, 3rd century, Part 2, ch. 5).

The Mithraic worship at one time covered a large portion of the ancient
world. It flourished as late as the second century, but finally went
down before its young and invincible rival which appropriated, to a
great extent, its doctrines, rites and customs.


The Messianic idea, as we have seen, came from Persia. The expected
Messiah of the Jews and the Christ of Christians are of Persian
origin. Sosiosh, the Messiah of the Persians, is the son of Zoroaster,
"begotten in a supernatural way." He constitutes a part of the
Persian Trinity. He exists, as yet, only in a spiritual form. His
incarnation and advent on earth are yet to be. When he comes he will
bring with him a new revelation. He will awaken the dead and preside
at the last judgment. Zoroaster, it is claimed, predicted his coming,
declaring that he would be born of a virgin, and that a star would
indicate the place of his birth. "As soon, therefore," said Zoroaster,
"as you shall behold the star, follow it whithersoever it shall lead
you and adore that mysterious child, offering your gifts to him with
profound humility." "And, lo, the star, which they saw in the east,
went before them till it came and stood over where the young child
was.... And when they were come into the house, they saw the young
child with Mary, his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him; and
when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts"
(Matthew ii, 9, 11).


From Babylonia, including Accadia, Chaldea, and Assyria, much
of Christianity has come. Christ himself was descended from the
Babylonian pantheon; his father, Jehovah, being originally a Babylonian
god. Adonis, Tammouz, Tam-zi, or Du-zi, as he was variously called,
was a Babylonian deity whose worship gradually spread over Syria,
Phoenicia and Greece. He was one of the most ancient of the sons of
gods. His origin may be traced to that fertile, and perhaps earliest,
source of gods and religions, Accadia. His worship was a combination
of sun worship and sex worship. He was the god of light, and life,
and love. Associated with his worship in Babylonia and Syria was the
worship of Istar; and in Phoenicia and Greece the worship of Venus.

Under the name of Tammouz, Adonis was worshiped by the Jews. At the
very gates of the temple, Ezekiel tells us, "There sat women weeping
for Tammouz" ("Adonis" in Catholic ver.) (viii, 14). In the Bible
he is frequently referred to as "the only son." One of the months
of the Hebrew calendar was named in honor of him. The abstaining
from the use of pork by the Jews had its origin in the legend of the
slaying of Adonis by the wild boar. And the eating of fish on Friday
by Christians is doubtless due to the fact that Friday was consecrated
to Venus by her Asiatic worshipers and fish was eaten in her honor.

In a citation of Babylonian and Biblical analogies, the "Encyclopedia
Britannica" says: "The resemblance is still more striking when we
examine the Babylonian mythology. The sacred tree of Babylonia, with
its guardian cherubs--a word, by the way, which seems of Accadian
origin--as well as the flaming sword or thunderbolt of fifty points
and seven heads, recall Biblical analogies, while the Noachian deluge
differs but slightly from the Chaldean one. Indeed, the Jehovistic
version of the flood story in Genesis agrees not only in details, but
even in phraseology with that which forms the eleventh lay of the great
Babylonian epic. The hero of the latter is Tam-zi or Tammuz, 'the sun
of life,' the son of Ubaratutu, 'the glow of sunset,' and denotes the
revivifying luminary of day, who sails upon his 'ark' behind the clouds
of winter to reappear when the rainy season is past. He is called
Sisuthrus by Berosus, that is, Susru 'the founder,' a synonym of Na
'the sky.' The mountain on which his ark rested was placed in Nisir,
southwest of Lake Urumiyeh. Its peak, whereon the first altar was built
after the deluge, was the legendary model after which the zigurats or
towers of the Babylonian temples were erected. Besides the account of
the flood, fragments have been met with of stories resembling those
of the tower of Babel or Babylon, of the creation, of the fall, and
of the sacrifice of Isaac--the latter, by the way, forming the first
lay of the great epic. The sixth lay we possess in full. It describes
the descent of Istar into Hades in pursuit of her dead husband Du-zi,
'the off-spring,' the Babylonian Adonis. Du-zi is but another form
of Tam-zi and denotes the sun when obscured by night and winter."

Concerning the two lays of this Babylonian or Assyrian epic which
pertain to Adonis, Dr. Soury says: "The two important episodes
of this epic hitherto discovered, 'The Deluge,' and 'The Descent
of Istar into Hell,' yield the best commentary on the Biblical
stories of the deluge and hell (sheol). We have henceforth the
epigraphic proof, confirming the valuable testimony of Berosus, that
these legends--like those of the creation, of the Tower of Babel,
etc.--did not originate in Palestine, but were carried thither by
the Hebrews with the civilization and worship of the people of the
valley of the Tigris and Euphrates, amid whom they had sojourned for
centuries.... The Babylonian deluge is also a chastisement from the
deity; it is the consequence of man's corruption (Assyrian poem,
line 22). The details of the building of the Babylonian ark (line
24), into which are introduced the various pairs of male and female
animals (line 80), of the shutting of the doors of the ark (line 89),
of the duration, increase and decrease of the flood (lines 123-129),
of the sending out of a dove, a swallow and a raven (lines 140-144),
etc., leave no doubt as to the origin of the legend of Genesis"
(Religion of Israel, p. 10).

The noted Assyriologist, George Smith, of the British Museum, who
discovered the tablets containing these fragments of the Babylonian
epic, says that the original text of these legends cannot be later
than the 17th century B. C., and may be much earlier, thus antedating
the oldest books of the Bible nearly 1,000 years. From these and
other Babylonian and Persian legends the most of the Old Testament
legends were borrowed. This fact disproves the existence of the
orthodox Christ. If the accounts of the creation, the fall of man,
and the Noachian deluge, as given in the Bible, are not authentic,
but merely borrowed fables, then there remains no foundation for an
atoning Savior.

Describing the worship of Adonis, "Chambers's Encyclopedia" says: "His
festivals were partly the expressions of joy, partly of mourning. In
the latter the women gave themselves up to the most unmitigated grief
over the 'lost Adonis.'... This period was followed by a succession of
festive and joyful days, in honor of the resurrection of Adonis." These
festivals correspond to the Good Friday and Easter of Christians,
commemorating the death and resurrection of Christ.

The most ardent worshipers of Adonis were women. No other character,
real or imaginary, has so stirred the passions and the emotions
of woman as this beautiful young lover of Venus. His tragic death
bathed with immortal sadness the hearts of his devotees, and from the
remotest ages down to a very late period moved to tears the daughters
of men who adored him. Writing of Bethlehem at the close of the fourth
century, St. Jerome says: "The lover of Venus is mourned in the grotto
where Christ wailed as an infant." Along with the "Holy Sepulchre"
of Christ, there still exists the "Tomb of Adonis," where "the women
of the ancient mysteries, in the intoxication of a voluptuous grief,
came to cover with tears and kisses the cenotaph of the beautiful
youth." "Even at the present time," says Renan, "the Syrian hymns
sung in honor of the Virgin are a kind of tearful sigh, a strange sob."

Moved by the same passions and the same emotions that thrilled
the hearts of the female worshipers of Adonis, it is the women of
Christendom, who, more than any other cause, keep alive the memory
and the religion of Christ. Thus writes a Carmelite nun describing
the passionate adoration of her Christian sisters:

"One day they have raised their eyes to an adorable face. A horrible
diadem of interlaced branches binds the august forehead; rubies of
blood roll slowly upon the livid pallor of the cheeks; the mouth has
forgotten how to smile. It is a man of sorrows. They have looked upon
him and found him more beautiful, more noble, more loyal than any
spouse. They have felt a stronger heart-beat in his divine breast;
they have understood that death no more dare touch his emaciated
figure, and that his conjugal fidelity is eternal.

"Captivated, ravished, enamoured, enraptured, they have loved
him. Rendered insensible by love, they have trampled cruelly upon the
broken hearts of fathers and desolate mothers; they have listened,
tearless, to the woeful beseechings of those who desire them for
companions; they have followed to Carmel the unique lover, the
immortal husband."

The ancient adoration of Adonis survives in this modern adoration of
Jesus. We see here the same strange commingling of superstition and
fanaticism, of love and sorrow, of ecstasy and agony, of chastity
and lust. The religion is the same; the worship is the same. The
divine lovers only have been changed. The beautiful Pagan has been
supplanted by the Ideal Man.

Writing of the Protestant women of his day, Thomas Jefferson says:
"In our Richmond there is much fanaticism, but chiefly among the
women. They have their night meetings and praying parties, where,
attended by their priests, ... they pour forth their love to Jesus in
terms as amatory and carnal as their modesty would permit to a mere
earthly lover" (Jefferson's Works, Vol. IV, p. 358, Randolph's ed.).


One of the most ancient and one of the most renowned of all the gods
was Osiris, the Savior of Egypt. He was the son of Seb (earth) and Nu
(heaven). He appears in the hieroglyphics of Egypt as early as 3427
B. C. Two thousand years before Christ his worship was universal in
Egypt, and during the succeeding centuries spread over much of Asia
and Europe, including Greece and Rome. Its priests looked confidently
forward to the time when all men would be brought to Osiris, just as
Christian priests today look forward to the time when all men will
be brought to Christ.

Osiris was slain by Typhon (Satan), but rose again and became the
ruler of the dead. He presides at the judgment of the departed where
the good are rewarded with everlasting life, and the wicked are
destroyed. The Osirian Bible is called the "Book of the Dead."

Christians are indebted to this religion largely for their views
concerning immortality and a bodily resurrection. They believe that
through the death and resurrection of Christ they have inherited
eternal life, that when their earthly career is ended they will live
again in him. Regarding the Egyptians' belief, the "International
Encyclopedia" says: "Just as Osiris died and lived again, so the
spiritual personality of the deceased lived again and was merged in
Osiris." Of Osiris the Rev. Dr. Charles Gillett, of Union Theological
Seminary, says: "The belief in him and in the immortality which he
symbolized was the deepest in Egyptian religious thought." Sir John
Gardner Wilkinson, one of the most eminent Egyptologists, says: "The
peculiar character of Osiris, his coming upon earth for the benefit
of mankind, with the titles of 'Manifester of Good' and 'Revealer
of Truth'; his being put to death by the malice of the Evil One;
his burial and resurrection, and his becoming the judge of the dead,
are the most interesting features of the Egyptian religion." John
Stuart Glennie, another English writer, notes the following analogies
between the religion of Osiris and the religion of Christ: "In
ancient Osirianism, as in modern Christianism, we find the worship
of a divine mother and child. In ancient Osirianism as in modern
Christianism, there is a doctrine of atonement. In ancient Osirianism,
as in modern Christianism, we find the vision of a last judgment,
and resurrection of the body. And finally, in ancient Osirianism,
as in modern Christianism, the sanctions of morality are a lake of
fire and torturing demons on the one hand, and on the other, eternal
life in the presence of God" (Christ and Osiris, p. 14).

Referring to Osiris, McClintock and Strong's "Cyclopedia" says: "He
was regarded as the personification of moral good. He is related to
have been on earth instructing mankind in useful arts; to have been
slain by his adversary Typhon by whom he was cut in pieces; to have
been bewailed by his wife and sister Isis; to have been embalmed;
to have risen again, and to have become the judge of the dead, among
whom the righteous were called by his name and received his form--a
wonderful fore-feeling of the Gospel narrative" (Art. Egypt).

Isis, the sister and wife of Osiris, was the greatest of female
divinities. Her worship was coexistent and coextensive with that
of her divine brother and husband. We have the following picture of
her in the Apocalypse: "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven;
a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon
her head a crown of twelve stars" (Revelation xii, 1). The worship
of Isis existed in Rome and Alexandria during the formative period
of Christianity and Christians borrowed much from it.


This popular Egyptian god was the son of Osiris and Isis. Osiris and
Horus were both solar deities; Osiris was the setting sun, Horus the
rising sun. Christ, it is claimed, existed before his incarnation;
and Horus, it was claimed, existed even before the incarnation of
his father. Christ when an infant was carried into Egypt to escape
the wrath of Herod; Horus when an infant was carried out of Egypt
to escape the wrath of Typhon. To avenge the death of his father he
afterward vanquished Typhon. He was the last of the gods who reigned
in Egypt. Festivals and movable feasts similar to those celebrated
in honor of Christ were held in his honor.

In India and Egypt, ages before the appearance of Christianity,
the doctrine of the Trinity prevailed. Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva
constituted the principal trinity of India, while the most important
Trinity of Egypt was Osiris, Isis, and Horus. Even the Christian
doctrine of a Trinity in Unity, an absurdity which Christianity alone
is supposed to have taught, was an Egyptian doctrine. Samuel Sharp,
in his "Egyptian Mythology" (p. 14), says: "We have a hieroglyphical
inscription in the British Museum as early as the reign of Sevechus of
the eighth century before the Christian era, showing that the doctrine
of Trinity in Unity already formed part of their religion and that *
* * the three gods only made one person."

Dr. Draper says: "For thirty centuries the Egyptians had been familiar
with the conception of a triune God. There was hardly a city of
any note without its particular triads. Here it was Amum, Maut, and
Khonso; there Osiris, Isis, and Horus" (Intellectual Development,
Vol. I, p. 191).

Dr. Inman affirms the Egyptian origin of the Christian trinity:
"The Christian trinity is of Egyptian origin, and is as surely a
Pagan doctrine as the belief in heaven and hell, the existence of a
devil, of archangels, angels, spirits and saints, martyrs and virgins,
intercessors in heaven, gods and demigods, and other forms of faith
which deface the greater part of modern religions" (Ancient Pagan
and Modern Christian Symbolism, p. 13).

There are two myths connected with Horus analogous to stories found
in the Old Testament, and which were old when these stories were
written. The hiding of Horus in a marsh by his mother undoubtedly
suggested the myth of the hiding of Moses in a marsh by his
mother. When Horus died Isis implored Ra, the sun, to restore him to
life. Ra stopped his ship in mid-heaven and sent down Thoth, the moon,
to bring him back to life. The stopping of the sun and moon by Isis
recalls the myth of the stopping of the sun and moon by Joshua.

The deification and worship of the Virgin had its origin in the worship
of Isis, and the adoration of the Virgin and Child is but the adoration
of Isis and Horus transferred to Mary and Jesus. Describing the
Paganization of Christianity Dr. Draper says: "Views of the Trinity,
in accordance with Egyptian tradition, were established. Not only was
the adoration of Isis under a new name restored, but even her image
standing on the crescent moon reappeared. The well-known effigy of
that goddess, with the infant Horus in her arms, has descended to our
days in the beautiful artistic creations of the Madonna and Child"
(Conflict, p. 48).

That the Virgin Mary of the Roman Catholic church was borrowed
from Egypt is shown by the fact that in the earlier representations
of her, she was, like Isis, veiled. Concerning this Draper, in his
"Intellectual Development" (Vol. I, p. 361), says: "Of the Virgin Mary,
destined in later times to furnish so many beautiful types of female
loveliness, the earliest representations are veiled. The Egyptian
sculptors had thus depicted Isis; the first form of the Virgin and
Child was the counterpart of Isis and Horus."

Dr. G. W. Brown, author of "Researches in Oriental History," writes:
"Mural illustrations of this mother and child are not confined to
Egypt, but are scattered all over Asia Minor, and are numerous in
Italy, while many temples and shrines are yet found which were erected
to their memory. Matthew ii, 15, claims to be a quotation from one
of the prophets: 'Out of Egypt have I called my son.'"

Writing of the ancient Gnostics, C. W. King, a noted English author,
says: "To this period belongs a beautiful sard in my collection,
representing Serapis, * * * whilst before him stands Isis, holding
in one hand the sistrum, in the other a wheatsheaf, with the legend:
'Immaculate is our lady Isis,' the very term applied afterwards to
that personage who succeeded to her form, her symbols, rites, and
ceremonies" (Gnostics and Their Remains, p. 71).

Regarding the transference of the attributes of Isis to Mary, Newton,
in his "Assyrian Grove and Other Emblems," says: "When Mary, the
mother of Jesus, took the place in Christendom of 'the great goddess,'
the dogmas which propounded her immaculate conception and perpetual
virginity followed as a matter of course."

"The 'Black Virgins,'" says King, "so highly reverenced in certain
French cathedrals during the middle ages, proved, when critically
examined, basalt figures of Isis."

Mrs. Besant believes that Christianity was derived chiefly from Egypt:
"It grew out of Egypt; its gospels came from thence [Alexandria];
its ceremonies were learned there; its Virgin is Isis; its Christ
Osiris and Horus."

Of the antiquity of Egypt's religion, and the mutability of the
gods, that brilliant young Englishman, Winwood Reade, thus writes:
"Buried cities are beneath our feet; the ground on which we tread is
the pavement of a tomb. See the pyramids towering to the sky, with
men, like insects, crawling round their base; and the Sphinx, couched
in vast repose, with a ruined temple between its paws. Since those
great monuments were raised the very heavens have been changed. When
the architects of Egypt began their work, there was another polar
star in the northern sky, and the southern cross shone upon the
Baltic shores. How glorious are the memories of those ancient men,
whose names are forgotten, for they lived and labored in the distant
and unwritten past. Too great to be known, they sit on the height
of centuries and look down on fame. * * * The men are dead, and the
gods are dead. Naught but their memories remain. Where now is Osiris,
who came down upon earth out of love for man, who was killed by the
malice of the evil one, who rose again from the grave and became
the judge of the dead? Where now is Isis the mother, with the child
Horus in her lap? They are dead; they are gone to the land of the
shades. To-morrow, Jehovah, you and your son shall be with them."


Zeus, Jove, or Jupiter, as he is variously called, was the greatest
of the sons of gods and held the highest place in the pantheons of
Greece and Rome. He was the son of the god Kronos and the goddess Rhea.

The gods of Greece, while mostly pure myths, were yet intensely
human. In these gods human vices sank to the lowest depths and human
virtues rose to the loftiest heights. Zeus was one of the most puerile,
one of the most sublime, one of the most depraved and one of the most
beneficent of deities. In the words of Andrew Lang, "He is the sum of
the religious thought of Hellas, found in the numberless ages between
savagery and complete civilization."

Zeus, like Christ, assumed the form of man. The life of the
infant Pagan deity, like that of the infant Christian deity, was
imperiled. Kronos tried to destroy him, but he was secreted in a
cave and saved. There was a widely accepted tradition among primitive
Christians, before the myth of the shepherd's manger gained credence,
that Christ was cradled in a cave. Concerning these myths, Strauss
says: "The myths of the ancient world more generally ascribed divine
apparitions to countrymen and shepherds; the sons of the gods, and
of great men were frequently brought up among shepherds. In the same
spirit of the ancient legend is the apocryphal invention that Jesus
was born in a cave, and we are at once reminded of the cave of Jupiter
(Zeus) and the other gods" (Leben Jesu, p. 154).

This god, like Jehovah, became the ruler of heaven and earth. Like
Jehovah he became dissatisfied with the human race, and with the aid
of Pandora, who brought death into the world, tried to destroy it
that he might create a new race.

Seneca refers to Zeus as "the guardian and ruler of the universe,
the soul and spirit, the lord and master of this mundane sphere * *
* from whom all things proceed, by whose spirit we live." Lecky says:
"The language in which the first Greek dramatists asserted the supreme
authority and universal providence of Zeus was so emphatic that the
Christian fathers commonly attributed it either to direct inspiration
or to a knowledge of the Jewish writings" (European Morals, Vol. I,
p. 161).

One of the daughters of Zeus was Persephone, Life. Her mother was
Demeter, the Earth. Hades seized Persephone and carried her to his
regions in the lower world where she became his wife. Then Earth became
disconsolate and could not be consoled. To assuage the grief of the
sorrowing mother Hades agreed to give her back to Earth for half the
year. While Life dwells with her mother, Earth, we have summer, and
flowers, and fruits, and joy. When Life returns to her husband, Hades,
winter and desolation return to Earth. Of this goddess Ridpath says:
"Persephone is close to Eve. Eve means Life, and should have been so
rendered, and would have been but for the blundering of the English
translators" (History of the World, Vol. II, p. 501).

The realm of Hades was called by his name. The term was borrowed by the
writers of the New Testament but has been translated "hell." Christians
took possession of Hades' kingdom; but Hades was dethroned to make
room for the Oriental Satan, and the sad yet peaceful abode of
departed spirits was transformed into a lake of fire, the habitation
of the damned.

The inhabitants of Crete, who believed in the incarnation and death
of Zeus, guarded for centuries with zealous care what they alleged
to be the tomb of their god.


This god, one of the principal solar deities, was the son of Zeus. His
mother was Leto. Like Mary, Leto had no hospitable place for her
accouchement, and brought her child forth on the barren isle of Delos,
where female divinities ministered to them. The isle was illuminated by
a flood of light, the prototype of a later scene where "the glory of
the Lord shone round about" the shepherds in the field at Bethlehem;
while sacred swans, like the celestial visitants of Luke, made joyous
gyrations in the air above them.

Apollo was the best beloved god of Greece, and was represented as
one of the most perfect types of manly beauty. Like Christ he led
on earth a lowly life, following for a time the humble avocation of
a herdsman. Like Christ he came to reveal the will of his father. He
chose for his disciples a crew of sailors or fishermen. These, like the
disciples of Christ, were endowed with miraculous powers. Apollo was
regarded as a savior. He rescued the people from the deadly python,
which was desolating the land. Numerous festivals, similar to those
held in honor of Christ, were held in honor of Apollo.

In its article on this god McClintock and Strong's "Cyclopedia" says:
"Towards the later period of the supremacy of paganism in the Roman
Empire, Apollo, as the deity of the sun, had assumed the chief place
in heathen worship. As indicating that Christ was the true 'light of
the world,' the 'Sun of righteousness'--the most favorite figure used
in speaking of the Savior in the early centuries--this very figure
of Apollo was often introduced as indicating Christ."

Leto, the mother of Apollo, was believed to be, like Mary, the mother
of Christ, a mortal raised to divinity. Her worship, like that of Mary,
was widespread and lasted for centuries.


The Virgin myth, the Holy Ghost myth, and the Herodian myth all have
their prototypes in Perseus. Long before his birth it was prophesied
that he would be born of the virgin Danae, and that he would supplant
Acrisius in his kingdom. To prevent this Acrisius confined Danae in
a tower. Here she was overshadowed by Zeus in "a shower of gold,"
and Perseus was born. To destroy him Acrisius placed him with his
mother in a chest and cast them into the sea. They drifted to an
island and the child was saved. He grew to manhood, performed many
wonderful works, vanquished his enemy and ascended the throne.


This god was the son of Zeus and the virgin Alcmeni. His mother,
like the mother of Jesus, retained her virginity after the birth of
her child. The Greek babe, like the Jewish babe, had an enemy. Hera
attempted to destroy the former, just as Herod afterward attempted
to destroy the latter. Like Christ he died a death of agony. When
his labors were finished, he closed his earthly career by mounting
a funeral pyre from which, surrounded by a dark cloud, amid thunder
and lightning, he ascended to heaven.

The Tyrian Hercules was worshiped by the Jews, and Jason, the Jewish
high-priest, sent a religious embassy with an offering of 300 drachms
of silver to this god.

Prof. Meinhold, of the University of Bonn, says: "The transfiguration
and ascension of Christ may be compared to the heathen apotheosis of
such heroes as Hercules, while the story of the descent into Hades
is modeled after such narratives as those describing the visit of
Hercules and Theseus to the lower world."

Max Muller pronounces Hercules a solar god. His twelve labors, like
the twelve apostles of Christ, correspond to the twelve signs of
the Zodiac. Christians have admitted the resemblance of this god to
Christ. Parkhurst's "Hebrew Lexicon" says: "The labors of Hercules
seem to have had a still higher view and to have been originally
designed as emblematical memorials of what the real son of God and
savior of the world was to do and suffer for our sakes."

The Rev. Heinrich Rower says: "We are all acquainted with the fact
that in their mythological legends the Greeks and the Romans and
other nations of antiquity speak of certain persons as the sons of the
gods. An example of this is Hercules, the Greek hero, who is the son
of Jupiter, and an earthly mother. * * * All those men who performed
greater deeds than those which human beings usually do are regarded
by antiquity as of divine origin. This Greek and heathen notion has
been applied to the New Testament and churchly conception of the
person of Jesus. We must remember that at the time when Christianity
sprang into evidence, Greek culture and Greek religion spread over the
whole world. It is accordingly nothing remarkable that the Christians
took from the heathens the highest religious conceptions that they
possessed, and transferred them to Jesus. They accordingly called
him the son of God, and declared that he had been supernaturally
born of a virgin. This is the Greek and heathen influence which has
determined the character of the account given by Matthew and Luke
concerning the birth of Jesus."


Zagreus was the son of Zeus. He was slain by the Titans, buried at
the foot of Mount Parnassus, and rose from the dead as Dionysos. He
was the god of fruit and wine. Like those of Christ his most devoted
followers were women. He is the beloved son and occupies a throne at
the right hand of his father, Zeus. His empty tomb at Delphi was long
preserved by his devotees as proof of his death and resurrection.

The stories of the resurrection of Adonis in Phoenicia, of Osiris
in Egypt and of Dionysos in Greece were old when Christ was born,
and paved the way for the origin and acceptance of the story of his

Justin Martyr recognized the analogies between Christianity and
Paganism. Addressing the Pagans, he writes: "When we say that the
Word, who is the first born of God, was produced without sexual union,
and that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was crucified and died, and
rose again, and ascended into heaven; we propound nothing different
from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter
(Zeus)" (First Apology, ch. xxi).

Festivals, called Lenaea and the Greater Dionysia, corresponding in
a measure to the Christmas and Easter of Christians, were celebrated
in honor of this god. Prof. Gulick, professor of Greek in Harvard
University, describing these festivals, says: "In the winter came
various celebrations in honor of Dionysos, god of nature and the vine,
the object of which was to wake the sleeping spirit of generation
and render him propitious for the coming of spring and the sowing
of crops * * * The wine-casks were opened, and all, even slaves,
were allowed perfect holiday and liberty to drink in honor of the
god. The last day of the festival was a sort of All Souls' Day, being
devoted to the gods of the underworld and the spirits of the dead"
(Life of the Ancient Greeks, pp. 274, 275). "The Great Dionysia,"
says Prof. Gulick, "held in the spring, was the occasion of display
and magnificence" (Ibid, p. 113).

So-called Christian burial is identical with Greek burial. Ancient
Greek sepulture is thus described by Ridpath: "To the dead were due
the sacred rites of sepulture * * * When a Greek fell into his last
slumber, the friends immediately composed the body * * * The corse
was clad in white and laid upon a bier. Flowers were brought by the
mourning friends, who put on badges of sorrow * * * Cemeteries were
arranged outside the city walls * * * Over each [grave] was raised
a mound of earth, and on this were planted ivy and roses. * * * Over
the grave was erected a memorial stone or monument, and on this was
an inscription giving the name of the dead, an effigy perhaps of his
person, a word of praise for his virtues, and an epigram composed
for his memory" (History of the Word, Vol. II, p. 497).


The Titan god, Prometheus, was the son of Iapetus and Asia. He is one
of the most sublime creations of the human imagination. When Zeus,
like Jehovah, became enraged at mankind and sought to destroy it,
Prometheus, like Christ, came on earth to intercede and suffer for
the race. Hurled to Tartarus by the thunderbolts of Zeus he came
again to endure, if need be, eternal agony for man.

For centuries Greeks and Romans believed the story of this vicarious
god to be historical. Grote, the historian, says: "So long and
so firmly did this belief continue, that the Roman general Pompey,
when in command of an army in Kolchis, made with his companion, the
literary Greek Theophanes, a special march to view the spot in Caucasus
where Prometheus had been transfixed" (Greek Mythology, pp. 92, 93).

Referring to the Greeks and their great tragedy, "Prometheus Bound,"
A. L. Rawson says: "Its hero was their friend, benefactor, creator,
and savior, whose wrongs were incurred in their behalf, and whose
sorrows were endured for their salvation. He was wounded for their
transgressions, and bruised for their iniquities; the chastisement of
their peace was upon him, and by his stripes they were healed" (Isaiah
liii, 5), (Evolution of Israel's God, p. 30). Alluding to this subject,
Dr. Westbrook writes: "The New Testament description of the crucifixion
and the attending circumstances, even to the earthquake and darkness,
was thus anticipated by five centuries" (Bible: Whence and What?).

The dying Christ shares with the dying Prometheus the sympathies
of men. But how trivial the crucifixion, how light the suffering,
and how weak the courage of the Christian god appear compared with
the cruel crucifixion, the infinite suffering, and the deathless
courage of the immortal Pagan! Transfixed to the rock on Caucasus,
the Golgotha of Greek mythology, with the devouring eagle feeding
forever on his vitals, there falls from his lips no murmur of pain,
no Sabachthani of despair. What lofty heroism, what enduring patience,
what unselfish love, this tragic story has inspired!

       "To suffer woes which hope thinks infinite;
        To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
          To defy power which seems omnipotent;
        To love and bear; to hope till hope creates
        From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
          Neither to change, to falter, nor repent;
        This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be
        Good, great, and joyous, beautiful and free."



Esculapius was the illegitimate son of the nymph Coronis, by
Apollo. The mother, at the instigation of Apollo, was slain by Diana;
but the child was spared. He became noted for his wonderful curative
powers. He healed all diseases, and even restored the dead to life. He
was called "The Good Physician." He was struck by a thunderbolt and
ascended to heaven. The Greeks worshiped him.

The miraculous cures ascribed to Christ, many of them, doubtless,
had their origin in the legends of Esculapius. Justin Martyr says:
"In that we say he [Christ] made whole the lame, the paralytic, and
those born blind, we seem to say what is very similar to the deeds
said to have been done by Esculapius" (First Apology, ch. xxi).


One of the most gifted of mortals was Plato. His followers believed
him to be of divine descent. Concerning his parentage, Dr. Draper says:
"Antiquity has often delighted to cast a halo of mythical glory around
its illustrious names. The immortal works of this great philosopher
seemed to entitle him to more than mortal honors. A legend into
the authenticity of which we will abstain from inquiring, asserted
that his mother, Perictione, a pure virgin, suffered an immaculate
conception through the influence of Apollo. The god declared to
Ariston, to whom she was about to be married, the parentage of the
child" (Intellectual Development, Vol. I, p. 151).

Concerning this myth, McClintock and Strong's "Cyclopedia" says:
"Legend, which is traced back to Spensipus, the nephew of Plato,
ascribed the paternity of Plato to the god Apollo; and, in the form in
which the story is told by Olympiodorus, closely imitates the record
in regard to the nativity of Christ" (Art. Plato).

Immaculate conceptions were common in Greece. "The furtive pregnancy
of young women, often by a god," says Grote, "is one of the most
frequently recurring incidents in the legendary narratives of the
country." The Christian story of the miraculous conception has not
even the merit of originality. With the Platonic legend before him,
all that the Evangelist had to do was to substitute Jehovah for Apollo,
Joseph for Ariston, Mary for Perictione, and Jesus for Plato.

The philosophy of Plato is a strange compound of profound wisdom
concerning the known and of vague speculations respecting the
unknown. The latter form no inconsiderable portion of the religion
ascribed to Christ. The Christian religion is supposed to be of
Semitic origin; but its doctrines are, many of them, the work of
Greek theologians; its incarnate God bears a Greek name, and its
early literature was mostly Greek. Draper recognizes three primitive
modifications of Christianity: 1. Judaic Christianity; 2. Gnostic
Christianity; 3. Platonic Christianity. Platonic Christianity, he says,
endured and is essentially the Christianity of to-day.

The following are some of the principles of Plato's philosophy:

There is but one God, and we ought to love and serve him.

The Word formed the world and rendered it visible.

A knowledge of the Word will make us happy.

The soul is immortal, and the dead will rise again.

There will be a final judgment; the righteous will be rewarded,
and the wicked punished.

The design argument, the chief argument relied upon by Christians to
prove the divine origin of the universe, is a Platonic argument.

In a letter to the author twenty-five years ago, James Parton wrote:
"Read carefully over the dialogue, Phaedo. You will see what you
will see: the whole Christian system and the entire dream of the
contemplative monk."

Phaedo deals chiefly with the soul--its nature and destiny. The
following quotations are from the translation of Henry Cary, M.A.,
of Oxford:

Death is defined by Plato as "the separation of the soul from the

"Can the soul, which is invisible, and which goes to another place
like itself, excellent, pure, and invisible, and therefore truly called
the invisible world, to the presence of a good and wise God, (whither
if God will, my soul also must shortly go), can this soul of ours, I
ask, being such and of such a nature, when separated from the body, be
immediately dispersed and destroyed, as most men assert? Far from it."

"If that which is immortal is imperishable, it is impossible for the
soul to perish, when death approaches it."

"When, therefore, death approaches a man, the mortal part of him, as
it appears, dies, but the immortal part departs safe and uncorrupted,
having withdrawn itself from death."

After death, Plato says, the souls are conducted to a place where they
"receive sentence and then proceed to Hades."

If the soul "arrives at the place where the others are, impure,
... every one shuns it, and will neither be its fellow traveler
or guide, but it wanders about oppressed with every kind of
helplessness.... But the soul which has passed through life with
purity and moderation, having obtained the gods for its fellow
travelers and guides, settles each in the place suited to it."

"If the soul is immortal, it requires our care not only for the present
time, which we call life, but for all time; and the danger would now
appear to be dreadful, if one should neglect it. For if death were a
deliverance from everything, it would be a great gain for the wicked,
when they die, to be delivered at the same time from the body, and
from their vices together with the soul; but now, since it appears
to be immortal, it can have no other refuge from evils, nor safety,
except by becoming as good and wise as possible."

Christ, it is claimed, "brought immortality to light." Yet Phaedo
was written nearly four centuries before Christ came.

McClintock and Strong's "Cyclopedia" concedes Plato's "near
approximation to the doctrines of Christianity--some of
which," it says, "he announces almost in the language of the
Apostles." Continuing, this authority says: "We know no more
terrible and sublime picture than the passage in which he depicts
the dead presenting themselves for judgment in the other world,
scarred and blotched and branded with the ineradicable marks of their
earthly sins. Yet this is but one of many analogous passages. This
approximation to revealed truth is among the most insoluble problems
bequeathed to us by antiquity.... We offer no solution of the enigma,
which awaits its Oedipus. We only note the existence of the riddle"

Prof. Gunkel, of Berlin, says: "'Christianity is a syncretistic
religion. It is providential that it passed safely over from the Orient
into the Greek world. It imbibed both influences, and acquired many
features that were foreign to the original gospel.'"


This religio-philosophical teacher lived in the sixth century B. C.,
the century in which flourished Buddha, Laou-tsze, and Confucius, three
of the world's greatest religious founders. Greece was his native,
and Italy his adopted, country. His history is largely obscured by
myths. He was claimed to be, like Plato, the son of Apollo. He was
said to have performed miracles and to have been endowed with the gift
of prophecy. He traveled in Egypt and India, and his system contains
some elements of the Egyptian and Buddhist religions.

There was a small Jewish sect, known as the Essenes, which adopted
to a large extent the teachings of Pythagoras. Jesus is believed to
have belonged to this sect. There is an Essene element in the New
Testament which is especially prominent in the teachings ascribed
to Christ. Josephus, in his "Wars of the Jews," describes at length
the doctrines and customs of this sect. From Josephus and the New
Testament I cite a few of the parallels between the religion of the
Essenes and the religion of Christ.

"These men are despisers of         "A rich man shall hardly enter into
riches" (Wars, B. II, ch. viii,     the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. xix,
sec. 3).                            23).

"It is a law among them, that       "Neither said any of them that
those who come to them must let     aught of the things which he
what they have be common to the     possessed was his own; but they had
whole order" (Ibid).                all things common" (Acts iv, 32).

"They carry nothing at all with     "Provide neither gold, nor silver,
them when they travel into remote   nor brass in your purses, nor scrip
parts" (Sec. 4).                    for your journey" (Matt. x, 9, 10).

"Every one of them gives what he    "Give to him that asketh thee"
hath to him that wanteth it"        (Matt. v, 42.)
                                    "And he took bread, and gave
"A priest says grace before meat"   thanks" (Luke xxii, 19).
(Sec. 5).
                                    "Blessed are the peace-makers"
"They ... are the ministers of      (Matt. v, 9).
peace" (Sec. 6).
                                    "But I say unto you, Swear not at
"Whatsoever they say also is        all; ... but let your communication
firmer than an oath; but swearing   be, yea, yea; nay, nay" (Matt. v,
is avoided by them" (Sec. 6).       34, 37).

Closely allied to the Essenes and the primitive Christians is another
Pythagorian sect, known as the Therapeuts of Egypt. Regarding this
sect, four different theories are held: 1. That they were a Jewish
sect. 2. That they were a Jewish Christian sect. 3. That they were
Pagans, many of whose teachings were incorporated into the Christian
creed. 4. That they are a myth, that the "De Vita Contemplativa"
of Philo, which contains the only account of them, is a Christian
forgery, written for the purpose of extolling the monastic life,
the celibacy, and the asceticism of the church.


Bacchus was a Roman god, or rather a Roman modification of the
Greek god, Dionysos. He was the god of wine. He cultivated the vine,
made wine, and encouraged its use. His worship extended over nearly
the whole of the ancient world. It consisted largely of protracted
festivals, where wine flowed freely, and joyous and noisy ceremonies
were indulged in.

This god and his worship have survived in Christ and
Christianity. Christ was called a "winebibber" (Luke vii, 34); he
made wine--his first miracle was the conversion of water into wine
(John ii, 1-10); he blessed the winecup, and commanded his disciples
to drink in remembrance of him (Luke xxii, 17), just as the devotees
of Bacchus drank in remembrance of their god. Christianity, more
than all other religions combined, has contributed to keep alive the
Bacchanalian feasts and revelries.

"Bacchus," says Volney, "in the history of his whole life, and even
of his death, brings to mind the history of the god of Christians"
(Ruins, p. 169). The cabalistic names of Bacchus and Jesus, Volney
says, were the same.

United with the worship of Bacchus, and similar to it, was the
worship of the goddess Ceres (Demeter). Her rites were known as the
Eleusinian mysteries. Cakes were eaten in her honor. And thus in the
bread of Ceres and the wine of Bacchus we have the bread and wine
of the Christian Eucharist. "It is well known," says Dr. Westbrook,
"that the Athenians celebrated the allegorical giving of the flesh to
eat of Ceres, the goddess of corn, and in like manner the giving his
blood to drink by Bacchus, the god of wine." This worship, like the
Mithraic worship, which also included the communion, had its origin
in the East, and was one of the first, as well as one of the last,
of the religions of ancient Greece and Rome.

Another rite connected with the mysteries was the use of holy
water. Lempriere, in his "Classical Dictionary," describing the
Eleusinian mysteries as they existed in Greece centuries before the
Christian era, says: "As the candidates for initiation entered the
temple, they purified themselves by washing their hands in holy water."

The mysteries comprehended the origin of life, and nature worship was
included in the ceremonies. At the festivals women carried the phallus
in their processions. Regarding the worship of Bacchus and Ceres at
Rome, "Chambers' Encyclopedia" says: "These rites degenerated, and came
to be celebrated with a licentiousness that threatened the destruction
of morality and of society itself. They were made the occasion of
the most unnatural excesses. At first, only women took part in these
mysterious Bacchic rites, but latterly men also were admitted."

The Roman government suppressed the later Bacchanalian and Eleusinian
feasts, together with the Christian Agapae, because of their
debaucheries, obscenities, and supposed infant sacrifices. Meredith,
in "The Prophet of Nazareth" (pp. 225-231), institutes an examination
to ascertain "how far the Eleusinian and Bacchanalian feasts resembled
the Christian Agapae." His conclusion is that the facts "show clearly
that the Christian Agapae were of pagan origin--were identically the
same as the pagan feasts." Gibbon says: "The language of that great
historian [Tacitus, in his allusion to Christians] is almost similar
to the style employed by Livy, when he relates the introduction and
the suppression of the rites of Bacchus" (Rome, vol. 1, P. 579).

Referring to the Agapae, Dr. Cave says it was commonly charged
that Christians "exercised lust and filthiness under a pretense of
religion, promiscuously calling themselves brothers and sisters, that
by the help of so sacred a name their common adulteries might become
incestuous" (Primitive Christianity, Part II, chap. v). Describing
the Carpocratians, an early Christian sect, Dr. Cave says: "Both men
and women used to meet at supper (which was called their love-feast),
when after they had loaded themselves with a plentiful meal, to prevent
all shame, if they had any remaining, they put out the lights, and
then promiscuously mixed in filthiness with one another" (Ibid).

The "International Cyclopedia" says: "With the increase of wealth and
the decay of religious earnestness and purity in the Christian church,
the Agapae became occasions of great riotousness and debaucheries."

The Agapae, with their excesses eliminated, survive in the love-feasts
of modern Christians. Webster defines "love-feast" as "a religious
festival, held quarterly by the Methodists, in imitation of the Agapae
of the early Christians."

That these mysteries of Bacchus and Ceres were adopted by the
early Christians is largely admitted by the great church historian
himself. Writing of the second century, Mosheim says: "The profound
respect paid to the Greek and Roman mysteries, and the extraordinary
sanctity that was attributed to them, was a further circumstance
that induced the Christians to give their religion a mystic air, in
order to put it upon an equal foot, in point of dignity, with that
of the Pagans. For this purpose they gave the name of 'mysteries' to
the institutions of the gospel, and decorated particularly the holy
Sacrament with that solemn title. They used in that sacred institution,
as also in that of baptism, several of the terms employed in the
heathen mysteries and proceeded so far at length as even to adopt
some of the rites and ceremonies of which these renowned mysteries
consisted." (Ecclesiastical History, p. 56.)

England's highest authority on early Christian history, Dean Milman,
says: "Christianity disdained that its God and its Redeemer should be
less magnificently honored than the demons (gods) of Paganism. In the
service it delighted to breathe, as it were, a sublimer sense into the
common appellations of the Pagan worship, whether from the ordinary
ceremonial or the more secret mysteries. The church became a temple;
the table of the communion an altar; the celebration of the Eucharist,
the appalling, or unbloody sacrifice.... The incense, the garlands,
the lamps, all were gradually adopted by zealous rivalry, or seized
as the lawful spoils of vanquished Paganism and consecrated to the
service of Christ.

"The church rivaled the old heathen mysteries in expanding by slow
degrees its higher privileges.... Its preparatory ceremonial of
abstinence, personal purity, ablution, secrecy, closely resembled
that of the Pagan mysteries (perhaps each may have contributed to
the other)" (History of Christianity, Vol. III, pp. 312, 313).

Smith's "Dictionary of Antiquities" says: "The mysteries occupied a
place among the ancients analogous to that of the holy sacraments
in the Christian church." The "Encyclopedia Britannica" makes the
same statement.

James Anthony Froude, in a letter to Prof. Johnson, of England, says:
"I have long been convinced that the Christian Eucharist is but a
continuation of the Eleusinian mysteries. St. Paul, in using the word
teleiois, almost confirms this."


One of the oldest and most renowned of the European gods was Saturn,
whose name was given by the ancients to one of the planets and to
one of the days of the week. He was worshiped by the inhabitants of
Italy more than a thousand years before Christ came, and centuries
before Rome took her place among the nations of the earth. His temples
were located in various parts of Italy, the latest and the principal
one being at Rome. His chief festival, and the greatest of all the
Roman festivals, was the Saturnalia celebrated at the time of the
winter solstice. This festival survives in the Christian festival
of Christmas.

The following description of the Saturnalia is from the pen of
Ridpath: "The most elaborate of all the celebrations of Rome was
that of Saturn, held at the winter solstice, and afterwards extended
so as to include the twenty-fifth of December.... The festival was
called the Saturnalia. Labor ceased, public business was at an end,
the courts were closed, the schools had holiday. Tables, laden with
bounties, were spread on every hand, and at these all classes for the
nonce sat down together. The master and the slave for the day were
equals. It was a time of gift-giving and innocent abandonment. In
the public shops every variety of the present, from the simplest
to the most costly, could be found. Fathers, mothers, kinspeople,
friends, all hurried thither to purchase, according to their fancy,
what things soever seemed most tasteful and appropriate as presents"
(History of the World, Vol. III, p. 97).

Concerning this festival the "Encyclopedia Britannica" says: "All
classes exchanged gifts, the commonest being wax tapers and clay
dolls. These dolls were especially given to children, and the makers
of them held a regular fair at this time." One of the principal rites,
the "Britannica" says, was the burning of many candles. "The modern
Italian carnival," says "Chambers' Encyclopedia," "would seem to be
only the old pagan Saturnalia baptized into Christianity."


Nearly every reader is familiar with the story of the founding of
Rome. Rhea Silvia, a vestal virgin, bears twins by the god Mars. As
they are heirs to the throne which Amulius has usurped, he attempts to
destroy them by drowning. They are miraculously preserved and finally
rescued by a shepherd. One of them, Romulus, becomes the founder
and king of Rome. After a reign of 37 years he is translated by his
father, and eventually becomes the tutelary god of the Romans, under
the name of Quirinus. The following account of his translation is from
"Chambers' Encyclopedia": "While he was standing near the 'Goat's Pool'
in the Campus Martius, reviewing his militia, the sun was eclipsed,
and a dark storm swept over the plain and hills. When it had passed,
the people looked round for their king, but he was gone. His father,
Mars, had carried him up to heaven (like the prophet Elijah) in a
chariot of fire. Some time after he reappeared in a glorified form to
Proculus Julius, announced the future greatness of the Roman people,
and told him that henceforth he would watch over them as their guardian
god, under the name of Quirinus" (Art. Romulus).

Next to the Saturnalia, the most important religious festival of Pagan
Rome was the Quirinalia, which celebrated the ascension of Quirinus. It
corresponds to Ascension Day, one of the principal religious festivals
of the Christian church, which celebrates the ascension of Christ.

The supernatural darkness of the Roman myth, it is believed, suggested
the supernatural darkness of the crucifixion myth. The reappearance
of Quirinus in a glorified form is also believed by some to have
suggested the transfiguration.


Odin, the All-Father, held the highest rank in the Northern
pantheon. He was the son of Boer and Bestla. Freya was his queen. His
religion prevailed among the Scandinavians and among the Goths, the
Saxons, and other ancient German tribes. Some believe that he was
an ancient hero who with a horde of Goths or Scythians conquered the
North a thousand years or more before the Christian era. The prevailing
opinion, however, is that the Norse mythology had its birth in Asia--in
India, Persia, or Accadia--and was carried by the Aryans to northern
Europe, where it underwent many modifications.

This mythology recognized as existing in the beginning, two worlds--one
the warm South, the other the icy North. The entrance to the Southland
was guarded by a flaming sword. Between heat and cold, as between
good and evil, there was perpetual strife. From heat Ymir (Chaos),
the father of giants, was evolved. Odin and his brothers slew Ymir
and from his body created the earth, his flesh forming the land, his
blood the sea. Out of two trees Odin made man and woman, and breathed
into them the breath of life. For the abode of man a fruitful garden
was planted in the center of the earth and called Midgard. Beneath
the earth dwells Hel, the goddess of the dead.

Loki is the god of evil. He will be chained for a time and then
released. A bloody war will follow. On one side, led by Loki, will
fight the hosts of Hel; on the other Odin and his followers. Loki
will triumph for a while, mankind will be destroyed, and heaven and
earth will be consumed by fire. But Odin will be victorious in the
end. He will create a new heaven and a new earth. He will be the
ruler of all things, and will dwell in heaven, where the best and
bravest of his followers are to be received after death.

The Norse, the Persian, and the Christian doctrines, regarding the
destruction of the world by fire, all had a common origin.


Thor was the son of Odin and the virgin Earth. He was called the first
born son of God. His worship was more widespread than that of any other
Northern god. In the temple at Upsala he occupied the same place in the
Scandinavian Trinity that Christ does in the Christian Trinity. Like
Christ he died for man and was worshiped as a Savior. Midgard had a
serpent, more formidable if not more wily than that of Eden, which
threatened to destroy the human race. Thor attacked and slew the
monster, but was himself killed by the venom which was exhaled from
it. The slaying of the serpent of Midgard by Thor, the slaying of the
python by the Greek god, and the bruising of the head of the serpent
of Hebrew mythology by Christ, are analogous myths.

Thor dwells in a mansion in the clouds. The thunder we hear in the sky
is the noise of his chariot wheels, and the flashes of lightning are
from his hammer which he dashes against the mountains. The "Britannica"
says: "Some of the monks of a later period endeavored to persuade
the Northmen that in Thor their forefathers had worshiped Christ, the
strong and mighty Savior of the oppressed, and that his mallet was the
rude form of the cross." "The sign of the hammer," says "Chambers,"
"was analogous to that of the cross among Christians."


One of the purest, one of the gentlest, and one of the best beloved of
all the gods was Baldur, the beautiful son of Odin and Freya. In him
were combined all things good and noble. The envious gods, inspired
by Loki, shot their arrows at him in vain until the blind god Hoder
pierced his body with an arrow of mistletoe and he passed into the
power of Hel, the pallid goddess of death. Sometime--when the old
order of things has passed away--in another and better world, where
envy, and hatred, and war are unknown, Baldur will live again.

"The death of Baldur," says Prof. Rasmus B. Anderson, the highest
authority on Norse mythology, "forms the turning point in the great
drama.... While he lived the power of the asas (gods) was secure,
but when Baldur, at the instigation of Loki, was slain, the fall of
creation could not be prevented."

Writing of Norse mythology, Andrew Lang says: "There is, almost
undoubtedly, a touch of Christian dawn on the figure and myth of the
pure and beloved and ill-fated god Baldur, and his descent into hell."

Odin, and Thor, and Baldur, and their divine companions are
worshiped no longer; but their religion has left a deep impress on
the religion that supplanted it. The Christianity of Scandinavia, of
northern Germany, of England, and of America, the whole of Protestant
Christianity, in short, and to some extent Catholicism itself, has been
modified by this strange and fascinating faith. Regarding this subject
"Chambers' Encyclopedia" says: "So deep-rooted was the adhesion to
the faith of Odin in the North, that the early Christian teachers,
unable to eradicate the old ideas, were driven to the expedient of
trying to give them a coloring of Christianity."

The selection of December 25th as the date of the Nativity was
doubtless suggested by the Mithraic or some other solar worship of the
East, but the Protestant Christmas came from the North. The mistletoe
with which Baldur was slain reappears in this festival. The fire
wheel, a remnant of the old Norse sun worship, existed among German
Christians until the nineteenth century. The burning of the Yule log
still survives. In some provinces of Germany the festival is still
called by its Pagan name.

Rev. Samuel M. Jackson, D.D., LL.D., Professor of Church History,
New York University, says: "The Romans had, like other Pagan nations,
a nature festival, called by them Saturnalia, and the Northern peoples
had Yule; both celebrated the turn of the year from the death of
winter to the life of spring--the winter solstice. As this was an
auspicious change the festival was a very joyous one.... The giving
of presents and the burning of candles characterized it. Among the
northern people the lighting of a huge log in the houses of the great
and with appropriate ceremonies was a feature. The Roman church finding
this festival deeply intrenched in popular esteem, wisely adopted it"
(Universal Cyclopedia).

The festival of Easter belongs to this religion. It was observed in
honor of the Saxon goddess Eastre, or Ostara, the goddess of Spring. It
celebrated, not the resurrection of Christ, but the resurrection of
Spring and flowers. It still retains the name of this goddess. Nearly
every festival of the church--and the Catholic and English churches
have many--are of Pagan origin. Every day of the week bears a Pagan
name--four of them the names of Scandinavian gods--Tuesday the name
of Tiu (Tyr), Wednesday the name of Woden (Odin), Thursday the name
of Thor, and Friday that of Freya. Even the Christian "hell" was
derived from "Hel," the name of the Norse goddess of the lower world.



In each of these divinities we find some element or lineament of
Christ. And all of them existed, either as myths or mortals, long
anterior to his time. Plato, the latest of them to appear, was born
in the fifth century B. C. These Pagan divinities and deified sages,
together with the religious systems and doctrines previously noticed,
were the sources from which Christ and Christianity were, for the
most part, derived.

The following religious elements and ideas, nearly all of which
Christians believe to have been divinely revealed, and to belong
exclusively to their religion, are of Pagan origin:

    Son of God,
    The Word,
    The Ideal Man,
    Immaculate conception,
    Divine incarnation,
    Genealogies showing royal descent,
    Virgin mother,
    Angelic visitants,
    Celestial music,
    Visit of shepherds,
    Visit of Magi,
    Star of Magi,
    Slaughter of innocents,
    Crucified Redeemer,
    Supernatural darkness,
    Descent into Hell,
    Second advent,
    Unity of God,
    Trinity in Unity,
    Holy Ghost (Spirit),
    Immortality of the soul,
    Last judgment,
    Future rewards and punishments,
    Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory,
    Fatherhood of God,
    Brotherhood of man,
    Freedom of the will,
    Fall of man,
    Vicarious atonement,
    Kingdom of God,
    Binding of Satan,
    The priesthood,
    Pope and bishops,
    Monks and nuns,
    Worship of Virgin,
    Adoration of Virgin and Child,
    Worship of saints,
    Worship of relics,
    Image worship,
    Inspired Scriptures,
    The cross as a religious symbol,
    Holy water,
    Lord's Day (Sunday),
    Washing of feet,
    Masses for the dead,
    Auricular confession,
    Community of goods,
    Golden Rule and other precepts.

The Old Testament consists largely of borrowed myths. Nearly everything
in Genesis, and much of the so-called history which follows, are but a
recital of Assyrian, Babylonian, Chaldean and other legends. Dr. Draper
says: "From such Assyrian sources, the legends of the creation of the
earth and heaven, the garden of Eden, the making of man from clay,
and of woman from one of his ribs, the temptation by the serpent,
the naming of animals, the cherubim and flaming sword, the Deluge and
the ark, the drying up of the waters by the wind, the building of the
Tower of Babel, and the confusion of tongues, were obtained by Ezra"
(Conflict, p. 223).

The ten antediluvian patriarchs, Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel,
Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah, whom Luke presents as the
first ten progenitors of Christ, are now known to have been a dynasty
of Babylonian kings. Abram, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah, whom both Matthew
and Luke declare to have been ancestors of Christ, and whom Matthew
places at the head of his genealogy, were not persons at all, but
merely tribes of people. In regard to this Rev. Dr. Oort, professor
of Oriental languages at Amsterdam, says: "They do not signify men,
so much as groups of nations or single tribes. Abram, for instance,
represents a great part of the Terachites; Lot, the Moabites and
Ammonites, whose ancestor he is called; Ishmael, certain tribes
of Arabia; Isaac, Israel and Edom together; Jacob, Israel alone;
while his twelve sons stand for the twelve tribes of Israel. * * *
Here and there the writers of the old legend themselves point out,
as it were, that the patriarchs whom they bring upon the scene as
men are personifications of tribes" (Bible for Learners, Vol. I,
pp. 100-102). Moses, the reputed founder of Judaism and archetype of
Christ, doubtless existed; but nearly all the Bible stories concerning
him are myths. David and Solomon, from whose house Christ is said
to have been descended, are historical characters; but the accounts
respecting the greatness of their kingdom and the splendor of their
reigns are fabulous.

Christ and Christianity are partly creations and partly
evolutions. While the elements composing them were mostly derived
from preexisting and contemporary beliefs, they were not formed as a
novelist creates a hero and a convention frames a constitution. Their
growth was gradual. Jesus, if he existed, was a Jew, and his religion,
with a few innovations, was Judaism. With his death, probably, his
apotheosis began. During the first century the transformation was slow;
but during the succeeding centuries rapid. The Judaic elements of his
religion were, in time, nearly all eliminated, and the Pagan elements,
one by one, were incorporated into the new faith.

Regarding the establishment of this religion Lecky says: "Christianity
had become the central intellectual power of the world, but it
triumphed not so much by superseding rival faiths as by absorbing and
transforming them. Old systems, old rites, old images were grafted
into the new belief, retaining much of their ancient character but
assuming new names and a new complexion" (Rationalism, Vol. I. p. 223).

Its origin is thus traced by Mrs. Besant: "From the later Jews comes
the Unity of God; from India and Egypt the Trinity in Unity; from
India and Egypt the crucified Redeemer; from India, Egypt, Greece, and
Rome, the virgin mother and the divine son; from Egypt its priests and
its ritual; from the Essenes and the Therapeuts its asceticism; from
Persia, India, and Egypt, its sacraments; from Persia and Babylonia
its angels and devils; from Alexandria the blending into one of many
lines of thought." (Freethinkers' Text Book, p. 392.)

Concerning this, Judge Strange, another English writer, says: "The
Jewish Scriptures and the traditionary teachings of their doctors,
the Essenes and Therapeuts, the Greek philosophers, the Neo-Platonism
of Alexandria and the Buddhism of the East, gave ample supplies
for the composition of the doctrinal portion of the new faith; the
divinely procreated personages of the Grecian and Roman pantheons,
the tales of the Egyptian Osiris, and of the Indian Rama, Krishna,
and Buddha, furnished the materials for the image of the new Savior
of mankind." (Portraiture and Mission of Jesus, p. 27.)

Dr. G. W. Brown, previously quoted, says: "The Eclectics formed
the nucleus into which were merged all the various religions of
the Orient. Mithra, of the Zoroastrians; Krishna and Buddha, of the
Brahmans; Osiris, of the Egyptians, and Bacchus, of the Greeks and
Romans, all disappeared and were lost in the new God Jesus, each of
the predecessors contributing to the conglomerate religion known as
Christian, Buddha and probably Bacchus contributing the most."

Dr. John W. Draper, recognized on both sides of the Atlantic as one
of the most erudite, one of the most philosophic, and one of the most
impartial of historians, in the following paragraphs tells the story
of the rise and triumph of this ever-changing faith:

"In a political sense, Christianity is the bequest of the Roman Empire
to the world."

"Not only as a token of the conquest she had made, but also as a
gratification to her pride, the conquering republic brought the gods
of the vanquished peoples to Rome. With disdainful toleration, she
permitted the worship of them all. That paramount authority exercised
by each divinity in his original seat disappeared at once in the
crowd of gods and goddesses among whom he had been brought. Already,
as we have seen, through geographical discoveries and philosophical
criticism, faith in the religion of the old days had been profoundly
shaken. It was, by this policy of Rome, brought to an end."

"In one of the Eastern provinces, Syria, some persons in very humble
life had associated themselves together for benevolent and religious
purposes. The doctrines they held were in harmony with that sentiment
of universal brotherhood arising from the coalescence of the conquered
kingdoms. They were doctrines inculcated by Jesus."

"From this germ was developed a new, and as the events proved,
all-powerful society--the Church; new, for nothing of the kind had
existed in antiquity; powerful, for the local churches, at first
isolated, soon began to confederate for their common interest. Through
this organization Christianity achieved all her political triumphs."

"After the abdication of Diocletian (A. D., 305), Constantine, one of
the competitors for the purple, perceiving the advantages that would
accrue to him from such a policy, put himself forth as the head of
the Christian party. This gave him, in every part of the empire,
men and women ready to encounter fire and sword in his behalf; it
gave him unwavering adherents in every legion of the armies. In
a decisive battle, near the Milvian bridge, victory crowned his
schemes. The death of Maximian, and subsequently that of Licinius,
removed all obstacles. He ascended the throne of the Caesars--the
first Christian emperor."

"Place, profit, power--these were in view of whoever now joined the
conquering sect. Crowds of worldly persons, who cared nothing about
its religious ideas, became its warmest supporters. Pagans at heart,
their influence was soon manifested in the paganization of Christianity
that forthwith ensued."

"As years passed on, the faith described by Tertullian was transmuted
into one more fashionable and more debased. It was incorporated with
the old Greek mythology. Olympus was restored, but the divinities
passed under other names. The more powerful provinces insisted on
the adoption of their time-honored conceptions. Views of the Trinity,
in accordance with Egyptian traditions, were established."

"Heathen rites were adopted, a pompous and splendid ritual, gorgeous
robes, mitres, tiaras, wax-tapers, processional services, lustrations,
gold and silver vases, were introduced. The Roman lituns, the chief
ensign of the augurs, became the crozier. Churches were built over
the tombs of martyrs, and consecrated with rites borrowed from the
ancient laws of the Roman pontiffs. Festivals and commemorations
of martyrs multiplied with the numberless fictitious discoveries of
their remains. Fasting became the grand means of repelling the devil
and appeasing God; celibacy the greatest of the virtues. Pilgrimages
were made to Palestine and the tombs of the martyrs. Quantities of
dust and earth were brought from the Holy Land and sold at enormous
prices, as antidotes against devils. The virtues of consecrated water
were upheld. Images and relics were introduced into the churches,
and worshiped after the fashion of the heathen gods.... The apotheosis
of the old Roman times was replaced by canonization; tutelary saints
succeeded to local mythological divinities."

"As centuries passed, the paganization became more and more complete."

"The maxim holds good in the social as well as the mechanical world,
that, when two bodies strike, the form of both is changed. Paganism
was modified by Christianity; Christianity by Paganism" (Conflict,
pp. 34-52).

While affirming the divine origin of Christianity, the church
historian Mosheim admits its early paganization. He says: "The rites
and institutions, by which the Greeks, Romans, and other nations had
formerly testified their religious veneration for fictitious deities,
were now adopted, with some slight alterations, by Christian bishops,
and employed in the service of the true God.... Hence it happened that
in these times the religion of the Greeks and Romans differed very
little in its external appearance from that of the Christians. They
had both a most pompous and splendid ritual. Gorgeous robes, mitres,
tiaras, wax-tapers, crosiers, processions, lustrations, images,
gold and silver vases, and many such circumstances of pageantry, were
equally to be seen in the heathen temples and the Christian churches"
(Ecclesiastical History, p. 105).

The Rev. Dr. R. Heber Newton, in an article which appeared in the
North American Review, says: "There is, in fact, as we now see,
nothing in the externals of the Christian church which is not a
survival from the churches of paganism.... The sacramental use of
water and bread and wine, the very sign of the cross--all are ancient
human institutions, rites and symbols. Scratch a Christian and you come
upon a Pagan. Christianity is a rebaptized paganism." "Christendom,"
says Dr. Lyman Abbott, "is only an imperfectly Christianized paganism."

The creeds of old are dead or dying, and the celestial kings, who
seemed so real to their worshipers, are mostly crownless phantoms
now. Buddha, Laou-tsze, and Confucius, the wise men of the East,
command the reverence of nearly half the world, and the Persian
prophet has a few followers; but from these faiths the supernatural
is vanishing. Millions yet believe that Krishna, the Christ of India,
is the son of God; but this faith, too, is waning. The intellectual
offspring of Plato's brilliant brain survive, but all that remains
of his divine father is a mutilated effigy. The genial Sun still
warms and lights the earth, but centuries have flown since Mithra,
his beloved, received the adoration of mankind. The fire still glows
upon the hearth, but the great Titan who brought it down from Heaven
lives only in a poet's dream. The crimson nectar of the vine moves men
to mirth and madness now as when the swan of Teos sang its praise,
but Bacchus and the ancient mysteries are dead. Above storm-wrapped
Olympus, as of old, is heard the thunder's awful peal, but it is not
the voice of Zeus. The voice of this, the mightiest of all the gods,
is hushed forever. The populous and ever-growing empire of the dead
still flourishes, but in its solemn court Osiris no longer sits as
judge. The mother, as of yore, presses to her loving heart her dimpled
babe and fondly gazes into its azure eyes to woo its artless smile;
but Egypt's star-crowned virgin and her royal child, who once received
the homage of a world, are now but mythic dust. Manly beauty thrills
our daughters' hearts with love's strange ecstasy, and the feigned
suffering of the dying hero on the mimic stage moistens their eyes
with tears; but Adonis sleeps in his Phoenician tomb, his slumbers
undisturbed by woman's sobs. The purple flower, substance of his
dear self, which Venus carried in her bosom, withered long ago. When,
at eve, the summer shower bathes with its cooling drops the verdure
of the fields, across the sun-kissed cloud which veils the Orient
sky may still be seen the gorgeous bridge of Bifrost; but over its
majestic arch the dauntless Odin rides no more.

        "The fair humanities of old religions,
        The power, the beauty, and the majesty,
        That had their haunts in dale, or piny mountain,
        Or forest by slow stream, or pebbly spring,
        Or chasms and watery depths; all these have vanished;
        They live no longer in the faith of reason."


What has been the fate of the Pagan gods will be the fate of the
Christian deity. Christianity, which supplanted the ancient faiths,
will, in turn, be supplanted by other religions. On two continents
already the cross has gone down before the crescent. The belief
in Christ as a divine being is passing away. The creeds, as of old,
affirm his divinity, but in the minds of his more enlightened followers
the divine elements are disappearing. What was formerly believed to be
supernatural is now known to be natural. What were once living verities
are now dead formalities. Slowly and painfully, but surely and clearly,
men are becoming convinced that there are no divine beings and no
supernatural religions--that all the gods, including Christ, are myths,
and all the religions, including Christianity, human productions. In
the words of Jules Soury, "Time, which condenses nebulae, lights up
suns, brings life and thought upon planets theretofore steeped in
death, and gives back ephemeral worlds to dissolution and the fertile
chaos of the everlasting universe--time knows nought of gods nor of
the dim and fallacious hopes of ignorant mortals."

With these sublime pictures--a retrospect and a prophecy--from the
gallery of the great master, I close this long-drawn subject:

"When India is supreme, Brahma sits upon the world's throne. When
the sceptre passes to Egypt, Isis and Osiris receive the homage
of mankind. Greece, with her fierce valor, sweeps to empire, and
Zeus puts on the purple of authority. The earth trembles with the
tread of Rome's intrepid sons, and Jove grasps with mailed hand the
thunderbolts of Heaven. Rome falls, and Christians, from her territory,
with the red sword of war, carve out the ruling nations of the world,
and now Christ sits upon the old throne. Who will be his successor?"

"I look again. The popes and priests are gone. The altars and the
thrones have mingled with the dust. The aristocracy of land and
cloud have perished from the earth and air. The gods are dead. A new
religion sheds its glory on mankind.... And as I look Life lengthens,
Joy deepens, Love intensifies, Fear dies--Liberty at last is God,
and Heaven is here."

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Christ - A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidences of his Existence" ***

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