You can dismiss the support request pop up for 4 weeks (28 days) if you want to be reminded again. Or you can dismiss until our next donations drive (typically at the beginning of October). Before you dismiss, please consider making a donation. Thanks!
One Time
$5/month (US)
$10/month (US)
Support II via AmazonSmile Internet Infidels Needs Your Support!
dismiss for   28 days   1 year   info
2017 Internet Infidels Fundraising Drive / $32,582.64 of $40,000.00
Support Us! By providing information which is nearly impossible to find elsewhere, the Secular Web has sought to level the playing field by offering arguments and evidence challenging supernatural beliefs. In an ocean of religious confusion, help us maintain a drop of sanity!
81.46%
 

The Historical Library is provided for those doing research into the history of nontheism. It is not intended to be--and should not be used as--a source of modern, up-to-date information regarding atheistic issues. DO NOT CONTACT US ABOUT THESE DOCUMENTS. Please read the full Historical Library Disclaimer

Chapter 5

Joseph Wheless

            48 page printout, pages 148 to 195 of 322
                            CHAPTER V

                     THE "GOSPEL" FORGERIES

"Whether a Church which stands convicted of having forged its
Creed, would have any scruple of forging its Gospels, is a problem
that the reader will solve according to the influence of prejudice
or probability on his mind." Taylor, Diegesis, p. 10.

     LET us now take up the holy Evangels and Epistles of Christ-
propaganda. After even our cursory examination of the welter of
Gospels, Acts, Epistles and other pious frauds of Christian
missionary-work, all admittedly forged by holy hands in the early
Christian "age of apocryphal literature" in the names of Jesus
Christ himself, of the Twelve pseudo-apostles and other Worthies,
including Mother Eve, even the most credulous and uncritical
Believer must feel the intrusion of some question: How came the
four "Gospels according to" Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, to be
sometime accepted as genuine and inspired? and, Why are there only
Four out of so much greater a number, as we have seen in
circulation and acceptance? The questions are pertinent, and shall
be given fair answer.

     This entire aggregation of forged religious writings, under
the guise of genuine Gospels, Acts, Epistles, Apocalypses, falsely
attributed to apostolic writers, is know together as "Old Christian
Literature," whether now called "canonical" or apocryphal. Of it
EB. says that this present distinction "does not, in point of fact,
rest upon any real difference in the character or origin of the
writings concerned, but only upon the assumption of their differing
values as sacred or non-sacred books." (EB. iii, 3481.)
Furthermore, the common characteristic and motive of them all is
thus described, or explained: "To compose 'letters' under another
name, especially under the name of persons whose living
presentment, or real or supposed spiritual equipment, it, was
proposed to set before the reader, was then just us usual as was
the other practice of introducing the same persons into narratives
and reporting their 'words' in the manner of which we have
examples, in the case of Jesus, in the Gospels, and, in the case of
Peter, Paul, and other apostles, in the Acts." (EB. iii, 3481.)

     "The Gospel has come down to us," says Bishop Irenaeus (about
185 A.D.), which the apostles did at one time proclaim in public, 
and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in
the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith. ... For,
after our Lord rose from the dead [the apostles] departed to the
ends of the earth, preaching the glad tidings of the good things
sent from God to us, who indeed do equally and individually possess
the Gospel of God." (Iren., Adv. Haer, Bk. III, ch. i; ANF. i,
414.) Bishop Irenaeus and Bishop Papias have both averred that the
Christ lived to old age (even as late as 98-117 A.D.), flatly
denying thus as "heresy" the Gospel stories as to his crucifixion
at about thirty years of age. In any event, the Apostles, according
to the record, scattered "to the ends of the earth, preaching,"
orally, before they wrote anything at all.

     But, says CE., although "the New Testament was not written all
at once, the books that compose it appeared one after another in
the space of fifty years, i.e., in the second half of the first 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              148

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

century." (CE. xiv, 530.) That this last clause is untrue will be
fully and readily demonstrated. This statement, too, contradicts
Bishops Papias and Irenaeus, who are, positively, the only two of
the second century Fathers who up to their times at all mention
written Gospels or their supposed authors, as we have seen and
shall more particularly notice.

     And CE. says, as is true, of the earliest existing manuscripts
of any New Testament books: "We have New Testament MSS. written not
much more than 300 years after the composition of the books"; and
it admits (though with much diminution of truth, as we shall see):
"And in them we find numerous differences, though but few of them
are important." (CE. xiv, 526.) In this CE. at another place, and
speaking much more nearly the truth, contradicts itself, saying:
"The existence of numerous and, at times, considerable differences
between the four canonical Gospels is a fact which has long been
noticed and which all scholars readily admit. ... Those evangelical
records (SS. Matthew, Mark, Luke) whose mutual resemblances are
obvious and striking, and ... the narrative (that of St. John)
whose relation with the other three is that of dissimilarity rather
than that of likeness." (CE. vi, 658.)

     But the so-called "canonical" books of the New Testament, as
of the Old, are a mess of contradictions and confusions of text, to
the present estimate of 150,000 and more "variant readings," as is
well known and admitted. Thus CE.: "It is easy to understand how
numerous would be the readings of a text transcribed as often as
the Bible, and, as only one reading can represent the original, it
follows that all the others are necessarily faulty. Mill estimated
the variants of the New Testament at 30,000, and since the
discovery of so many MSS. unknown to Mill, this number has greatly
increased." (CE. iv, 498.) Who, then, is "inspired" to distinguish
true from false readings, and thus to know what Jesus Christ and
his entourage really said and did, or what some copyist's error or
priest's forgery make them say or do, falsely? Of the chaos and
juggling of sacred texts in the Great Dioceses of Africa, CE. says:
"There never existed in early Christian Africa an official Latin
text known to all the Churches, or used by the faithful to the
exclusion of all others. The African bishops willingly allowed
corrections to be made in a copy of the Sacred Scriptures, or even
a reference, when necessary, to the Greek text. With some
exceptions, it was the Septuagint text that prevailed, for the
O.T., until the fourth century. In the case of the New, the MSS.
were of the Western type. On this basis there arose a variety of
translations and interpretations. ... Apart from the discrepancies
to be found in two quotations from the same text in the works of
two different authors, and sometimes of the same author, we now
know that of several books of Scripture there were versions wholly
independent of each other." (CE. i, 193.)

     Bishop Victor of Tunnunum, who died about 569 A.D. and whose
work, says CE., "is of great historical value," says that in the
fifth century, "In the consulship of Messala, at the command of the
Emperor Anastasius, the Holy Gospels, as written Idiotis
Evangelists, are corrected and amended." (Victor of T., Chronica,
p. 89-90; cited by Dr. Mills, Prolegom. to R.V., p. 98.) This would
indicate some very substantial tinkering with Holy Writ; which 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              149

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

process was a continuing one, for, says CE., "Under Sixtus V (1585-
90) and Clement VIII (1592-1605) the Latin Vulgate after years of
revision attained its present shape." (CE., xii, 769.) And the
Vulgate, which was fiercely denounced as fearfully corrupt, was
only given sanction of divinity by the Council of Trent in 1546,
under the Curse of God against any who questioned it. Though this
amendatory tinkering of their two Holinesses was after the Council
of Trent had put the final Seal of the Holy Ghost on the Vulgate in
1546!

                     STILL TINKERING AT IT!

     The ancient clerical trick of tempering with the "Word of God"
and amending its plenary Divine Inspiration and Inerrancy, goes on
apace today, even to the extent of putting a veneer of civilization
on the barbarian Hebrew God, and warping his own barbarian words so
as to make a semblance of a "God of Mercy" out of the self-styled
"Jealous God" of Holy Writ.

     In 1902, after the sacred Council of Trent, in 1546, had put
the Curse of God on any further tinkering with the Inerrant Bible,
His Holiness Leo XIII appointed a Commission of Cardinals, known as
the Pontifical Biblical Commission, to further amend Divine
Inspiration; in 1907, "the Commission, with the approval of the
sovereign pontiff, invited the Benedictine Order to undertake a
collection of the variant readings of the Latin Vulgate as a remote
preparation for a thoroughly amended edition." (CE. ii, 557.) This
august body has recently laid before His Holiness, after all these
years of labor, the revised text of the revelations of Moses in the
Book of Genesis; and is now worrying with Exodus and the "Ten
Commandments" in chapter XX thereof.

     Associated Press dispatches published to the world today,
relate that "the Vatican's International Commission on the revision
of the Bible [is] taking steps to correct one of the most famous
Biblical passages, Exodus xx, 5, now believed to have been
mistranslated"! (N.Y. Times, May 18, 1930.) The actual text, and
"what the Vatican Commission thinks it should read," are here
quoted so that all may judge of the immense farce and fraud of this
capital falsification; -- the material tampering being indicated by
italics.

                     Exodus xx, 5 -- as is.

          "For I the Lord thy God am a Jealous God, visiting the
     iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and
     fourth generation of then that hate me"; ...

                     Ditto -- as falsified.

          "For I, the Lord thy God, am a God of loving-kindness and
     mercy, considering the errors of the fathers as mitigating
     circumstances in judging the children unto the third and
     fourth generation"!

     Even a fool knows that no set of words, humanly or divinely
devisable, could bear such enormity of contrary translation; this 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              150

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

is self-evident. The simple Hebrew words of verse 5 do not admit of
a word of tampering in translation. Even the present translations
into modern languages make apparent the correctness of the familiar
rendering. The words of verse 5 -- "visiting the iniquities ... of
them that hate me," close with a semicolon, followed immediately by
their antithesis: -- "And showing mercy [Heb. chesed] unto
thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." (v. 6;
Deut. v. 9, 10.) The "Jealous God" pursues the progeny of those
"that hate" him, and "shows mercy ... to them that love" him. The
inspired "correction" of the "mistranslation" leaves verse 6
meaningless and redundant.

     But the two simple Hebrew words chiefly involved make this
fraudulent "correction" ridiculous and impossible. In Hebrew,
Yahweh says from Sinai: "Anoki yahweh elohe-ka EL QANNA -- I Yahweh
thy God [am a] Jealous God." The only false translation in this
verse is "Lord thy God" for the 6,000-times falsified "Yahweh thy
God," as elsewhere noted. Always "qanna" means "jealous' -- and is
used of the "jealous god," husband, wife, etc. The "joker" in this
false "correction" is apparent from the word "chesed -- mercy,"
hundreds of times used in Holy Writ. There is no Hebrew word
meaning "loving-kindness"; this is a fanciful rendering given by
the pious translators to the same old word "chesed -- mercy." Even
the Infallible One knows -- or can look in a Hebrew dictionary or
concordance and see -- that "el qanna ... visiting iniquity" --
cannot be twisted into "et chesed and chesed ... showing chesed --
mercy" to only those that love him. And how many thousands of
"corrections" of words "now believed mistranslated," would be
necessary to whitewash the barbarian Yahweh of Holy Writ into a
"whited sepulchre" of civilized deity!

                     SOME TESTS FOR FORGERY

     We have seen the debauchery of forgery out of which the Four
Gospels were born. This makes pertinent the critical statement of
one of the latest authorities on the subject: "Few genuine texts
have come down to us from beyond the Middle Ages -- most documents
reaching us in the form of later copies made by scribes in
monasteries"; and he adds: "The mere fact that documents have been
accepted for centuries does not itself protect them from the tests
of historical criticism." (Shotwell, See of Peter, Gen. Introd.
xix, xxii.) It is pertinent to add here a paragraph from CE. which
states with entire accuracy the elementary principles upon which
literary criticism rests; due to the application of just these
principles by honest and fearless critics, the Bible has been
stripped of every clerical pretense of inspired inerrancy and of
even common literary and historical honesty; so that even the
inerrant Church has been driven to confess countless errors and
forgeries; even, as we have seen, to the frank repudiation of the
fables of Creation, the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, and
the divine revelation of the Hebrew religion, which is thus shown
to be a very human evolution. These critical principles have
destroyed the vast mass of Hebrew and Christian apocrypha; and may
now be applied to the New Testament booklets which yet make false
pretense to divine inspiration of truth. Says CE.:

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              151

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

          "Some broad principles [of literary criticism] are
     universally admitted by critical scholars. A fundamental one
     is that a literary work always betrays the imprint of the age
     and environment in which it was produced; another is that a
     plurality of authors is proved by well-marked differences of
     diction and style, at least when they coincide with
     distinctions of viewpoint or discrepancies in a double
     treatment of the same subject. A third received canon holds to
     a radical dissimilarity between ancient Semitic and modern
     Occidental, or Aryan, methods of composition." (CE. iv. 492.)

     The lines last above in italics point to the most fatal of all
proofs -- that of "double treatment" or forged "interpolations,"
than which nothing is clearer evidence of tampering and later
fraudulent alterations of text. The most radical dissimilarity
between the ancient Semitic methods of religious composition and
our modern Occidental notions of literary honesty -- or even of
intelligent forgery -- is, that the Hebrew and Greek religious
forgers were so ignorant or careless of the principles of
criticism, that they "interpolated" their fraudulent new matter
into old manuscripts without taking care to erase or suppress the
previous statements glaringly contradicted by the new
interpolations. Though, as the great masses of the ignorant
Faithful couldn't read, it may have suited the design of the
priests to retain both contradictory matters, either of which might
be used according to occasion to impose on their credulous Flocks.

     When, therefore, in the same document, two statements of
alleged fact or doctrine are found, one of which is in glaring
contradiction of the other, one or the other is inevitably false
and to a moral certainty the work of a later and different hand.
When, furthermore, one of the statements is consonant with the time
and conditions under which it was supposedly written, or to which
it refers, and the contradictory "betrays the imprint of the age
and environment in which it was written," later and different from
that of the original, and/or betrays "distinctions of viewpoint or
discrepancies" from the earlier version, inevitably the latter
convicts itself of being forged. With these established and
admitted principles in mind, we may now look a bit closely at these
questioned documents of the Four Gospels.

                        THE GOSPEL TITLES

     These Four are themselves forgeries and apocryphal "in. the
sinister sense of bearing names to which they have no right," as
well as by their contents being false, with many forged
"interpolations" or spurious additions. Even if the Four Gospels
were themselves genuine, as we shall see they are not, yet
admittedly their present titles are not original and given to them
by the writers. The present clerical position, seeking to save the
works, is that, like the Acts of the Apostles, "the name was
subsequently attached to the book, just as the headings of the
several Gospels were affixed to them." (CE. i, 117.) More
particularly speaking of the Gospel titles, the same authority
says: "The first four historical books of the New Testament are
supplied with titles (Gospel According to [Gr. kata] Matthew,
According to Mark, etc.) which, however ancient, do not go back to 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              152

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

the respective authors of those sacred writings. ... That, however,
they do not go back to the first century of the Christian era, or
at least that they are not original, is a position generally held
at the present day. ... It thus appears that the titles of the
Gospels are not traceable to the Evangelists themselves." (CE. vi,
655, 656.) The very fact that the late second century Gospel-titles
are of Gospels "according to" this or that alleged apostle, rather
than "The Gospel of Mark" etc., is itself confession and plenary
proof that "Mark," et als., were not -- and were not intended to be
represented as -- the real authors of those "according to" Gospels.
The form of the titles to the Epistles -- also later tagged to
them, -- as "The Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans," etc. makes
this clear and convincing, that no Apostles wrote the "according
to" Gospel-biographies of the Christ.

     It is obvious, too, from an attentive reading of the Four
Gospels, that they are not arranged in our present collection in
their order of composition; "Matthew" certainly is not first in
order, and is only put first because it begins with the "Book of
the Generation of Jesus Christ." The Gospel "according to Mark" is
now well established as the earliest of the first three, the
"Synoptics," and "John" is clearly the latest. There has been much
dispute on this point: "The ancient lists, versions, and
ecclesiastical writings are far from being at one with regard to
the order of these (4) sacred records of Christ's words and deeds.
In early Christian literature the canonical Gospels are given in no
less than eight orders, besides the one (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
with which we are familiar." (CE. vi, 657.)

     Let us pause a moment to catch the full force of these
admissions by CE. and note their consequences fatal to the pretense
of Apostolic authorship or origin of these Gospels. We shall
shortly see amplest proofs that none of the Four existed until well
into the last half of the second century after so-called Christ and
Apostles; but here we have, by clearest inference, an admission
that the Gospels were not written by Apostles or their
contemporaries. These titles "do not go back to the respective
authors of those sacred writings; ... do not go back to the first
century; ... are not original; ... are not traceable to the
Evangelists." What an anomaly, in all literature! most especially
in apostolic "sacred records of Christ's words and deeds"!

     Here we have these wonderful and "only true" inspired writings
of the companions of the Christ, eye-witnesses to his mighty
career, written for the conversion and salvation of the world,
floating around loose and anonymous for a century and a half,
without the slightest indication of their divine source and
sanction! All the flood of forged and spurious gospels, epistles,
acts and revelations -- "the apocryphal and pseudo-Biblical
writings with which the East especially had been flooded" (CE. iii,
272), bore the names of the pretended writers, from the false Books
of Adam and Enoch to the forged "Gospel of Jesus Christ" and the
"Apocalypse of St. Peter." But the authentic and true Gospels of
the genuine Apostles of Christ, are nameless and dateless scraps of
papyrus! Imagine the great Fathers and Bishops of the Churches, the
inspired and all-wise "Popes" of the Church at Rome, rising in
their pulpits before the gaping Faithful; taking up an anonymous
roll of manuscript, and announcing: "Our lesson today is from, 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              153

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

(ahem!) one of the wonderful Gospels of our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ; but, (ahem!) I don't really know which one. It is by either
Matthew, or Mark, or Luke, or John, I'm sure; but the writer forgot
to sign or insert his name. We will, however, worship God by
reading it anonymously in faith. No, here is one with a name to it;
we will now read from the inspired 'Gospel of Barnabas,' or the
sacred 'Shepherd of Hermas.' Let us sing that grand and reassuring
old Hymn, 'How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord, Is laid
for your faith in His wonderful Word!' Let us pray for more faith;
and remember to believe what I have told you. Ite, missa est --
It's all over, beat it!"

     Books, evidently, do not go the rounds of readers nor of
inspired Churches for over a century without a title or name. The
first mention of the names or titles, as of the "Gospels" to which
they were "supplied" was, as we shall see, not until about 185
A.D., when the "Gospels according to" the Four first appear in
ecclesiastical literature, and thereupon began their career in the
current use of the Churches, and therefore, evidently, then first
came into existence. The Four Gospels thus, self-evidently, did not
-- could not for more than a century exist anonymous, without the
Apostolic titles certifying their origin and authenticity. To
pretend otherwise is sheer deceit and false pretense.

              THE "CANONICITY" OF THE FOUR GOSPELS

     The only possible pretext whereby generations of men should be
persuaded or cozened or compelled to accept and believe the Gospels
(as well as the other N.T. books), even under the genial threat "he
that believeth not shall be damned," is that these books were
written by immediate companions and apostles of the Christ,
faithful eye-witnesses to his work and word, commanded and inspired
by Christ, God, or the Holy Ghost (which one is not explicit), to
write and publish these wonderful biographies of the Christ. This
is explicitly the teaching and dogma of the Church: no real
Apostolic author, no true Gospel.

     Through pious Christian fraud and forgery, there were
fraudulently in vogue some couple of hundred "books current under
an Apostle's name in the Early Church, such as the Epistle of
Barnabas and the Apocalypse of St. Peter," as CE. (iii, 274) admits
of these fraudulent "sacred writings" -- with Apostolic titles. Our
Ecclesiastical authority then states the "certain indubitable
marks" whereby true Apostolic authenticity, essential to validity
and credence, must be known: "For the primitive Church, evangelical
character was the test of Scriptural sacredness. But to guarantee
this character it was necessary that a book should be known as
composed by the official witnesses and organs of the Evangel; hence
to certify the Apostolic authorship, or at least sanction, of a
work purporting to contain the Gospel of Christ." (CE. iii, 274.)
All purported "Gospels" as to which Apostolic authorship or
sanction could not be guaranteed and certified were, of course,
spurious, as is natural and proper. Yet, for centuries, false and
forged "Gospels," etc., as the two just named, bore the Apostolic
certificates of authenticity -- now confessed to be false.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              154

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

              THE "MARK" FABLE BELIES "CANONICITY"

     The impossibility of the pretense that the precious Four
Gospels circulated nondescript and anonymous in the Churches for a
century and a half, is patently belied by the specific instance of
the "Gospel according to Mark," of which Gospel we have the precise
"history" recorded three centuries after the alleged notorious
event. Bishop Eusebius is our witness, in his celebrated Church
History. He relates that Peter preached orally in Rome, Mark being
his "disciple" and companion. The people wanted a written record of
Peter's preachments, and (probably because Peter couldn't write),
they importuned Mark to write down "that history which is called
the Gospel according to Mark." Mark having done so, "the Apostle
(Peter) having ascertained what was done by revelation of the
Spirit, was delighted ... and that history obtained his authority
for the purpose of being read in the Churches." (HE. Bk. II, ch.
15.) Thus Peter was dead at the time, but his ghost got the news
and somehow communicated its delight and approval for the document
to be a "Gospel" for the Churches. But in a later section the
Bishop gives another version: the people who heard Peter "requested
Mark, who remembered well what he [Peter] had said, to reduce these
things to writing. ... Which, when Peter understood, he directly
neither hindered nor encouraged it." (HE. Bk. VI, ch. 14.) Peter,
thus, was alive, but wholly indifferent about his alleged Gospel.

     The impossibilities of these contradictory fables need not
detain us now. But both join in declaring that the "Gospel
according to Mark" was publicly given to the Churches, at Rome,
just before or after the death of Peter, 64-67 A.D. The moment,
then, that this famous manuscript fell from the inspired pen --
(but it was not inspired: Mark only "remembered well"), -- the
Great Seal of the Holy Ghost was upon it, and it bore before the
world the notorious crown of Canonicity, -- And this fact was of
course known to all the Roman Church. And so, of course, of the
other three; every papyrus containing these precious productions of
Divine Inspiration must ipso facto be "canonized" and notoriously
sacred and of Divine sanction from the very day they were written.
Every Church, Father, Bishop, and Pope must certainly have known
the fact, and have glorified in their precious possession.

     But so it was -- not. Pope Peter evidently did not and could
not know it; he was "martyred in Rome" 64-67, the Church tells us; 
and the earliest date clerically claimed for "Mark" is some years
after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. The great Pope Clement I
(died 97 A.D.?), first-to-fourth "successor" to Pope Peter, knew
nothing of his great Predecessor's "Gospel according to Mark"; for,
admits the CE.: "The New Testament he never quotes verbally.
Sayings of Christ are now and then given, but not in the words of
the Gospels. It cannot be proved, therefore, that he used any one
of the Synoptic Gospels." (CE. iv, 14.) Of course, he did not,
could not; they were not then written. And no other Pope, Bishop or
Father (except Papias and until Irenaeus), for nearly a century
after "Pope Clement," ever mentions or quotes a Gospel, or names
Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. So for a century and a half -- until
the books bobbed up in the hands of Bishop St. Irenaeus and were
tagged as "Gospels according to" this or that Apostle, there exists
not a word of them in all the tiresome tomes of the Fathers. It is 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              155

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

humanly and divinely impossible that the "Apostolic authorship" and
hence "canonicity" or divine inspiration of these Sacred Four
should have remained, for a century and a half, unknown and
unsuspected by every Church, Father, Pope and Bishop of Christendom
-- if existent. Even had they been somewhat earlier in existence,
never an inspired hint or human suspicion was there, that they were
"Divine" or "Apostolic," or any different from the scores of
"apocryphal or pseudo-Biblical writings with which the East
especially had been flooded," -- that they were indeed "Holy
Scripture." Hear this notable admission: "It was not until about
the middle of the second century that under the rubric of Scripture
the New Testament writings were assimilated to the Old"! (CE. iii,
275), -- that is, became regarded as apostolic, sacred, inspired
and canonical, -- or "Scriptures."

     To argue and prove that the Four were regarded as "Apostolic"
and hence "canonical" after the middle of the second century,
argues and proves that until that late date they were not so
regarded, -- which we have seen is impossible if they had been
written by Apostles a hundred years and more previously and
authorized by them "for the purpose of being read in the Churches,"
as the very ground and pillar of their foundation and faith.

     Follow the proofs and argument of the Church to its own
undoing: "From the testimony of St. Irenaeus (A.D. 185) alone there
can be no reasonable doubt that the Canon of the Gospel was
inalterably fixed in the Catholic Church by the last quarter of the
second century ... to the exclusion of any pretended Evangels.
[Sundry writings mentioned] presuppose the authority enjoyed by the
Fourfold Gospel towards the middle of the second century. ... Even
Rationalistic scholars like Harnack admit the canonicity of the
quadriform Gospel between the years 140-175." (CE. iii, 275.) Even
CE. does not prove or claim that it was any earlier; so here the
Church and the Rationalists are in accord on this fatal fact!
Certainly Popes Peter and Clement I, not to review the silent
others, would have "inalterably fixed" the Divine Canonicity of the
Four a century before, if they had known about these precious
productions of the Apostles; -- if, in fact, they had existed, the
known works of Holy Apostles and apostolic men! But until "towards
the middle of the second century" there was no "canon" or notion of
divinely inspired Apostolic Gospels -- simply for the reason that
until just about that period they were not in existence.

     The sudden appearance at a certain late date, of a previously
unknown document, which is then attributed to an earlier age and
long since dead writers, is one of the surest earmarks of forgery.
Thus CE. speaking of another monumental Church forgery -- (the
"False Decretals" of Isidore, hereafter noticed) -- urges this very
fact as one of the most cogent grounds of the detection of that
forgery: "These documents appeared suddenly in the ninth century
and are nowhere mentioned before that time. ... Then again there
are endless anachronisms," -- just as in the Gospels and Epistles.
(CE. vi, 773.) More ample and compelling proofs of this destroying
fact will soon be made.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              156

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

            THE GOSPELS "ACCORDING TO" GREEK PRIESTS

     According to the names "supplied" to the Four Gospels, as to
the other New Testament books, the "Apostolic" authors were all of
them Jews; the same is supposedly true of most of the now confessed
apocrypha. All these were forgeries in the names of Jewish pseudo-
apostles. But all of the Gospels, the other New Testament Books,
and the forged apocrypha, were written in Greek. Self-evidently,
these "ignorant and unlearned" peasant Apostles, speaking a vulgar
Aramaic-Jewish dialect, could neither speak nor write Greek, -- if
they could write at all. The Old Testament books were written
mostly in Hebrew, which was a "dead language," which only the
priests could read; thus in the synagogues of Palestine the rolls
were read in Hebrew, and then "expounded" to the hearers in their
Aramaic dialect. But these Hebrew "Scriptures" had been translated
into Greek, in the famous Septuagint version which we have admired.
Here is another significant admission by CE.: it speaks of "the
supposed wholesale adoption and approval, by the Apostles, of the
Greek, and therefore larger Old Testament," that is, the Greek
version containing the Jewish apocrypha; and then admits the fact:
"The New Testament undoubtedly shows a preference for the
Septuagint; out of about 350 texts from the Old Testament [in the
New], 300 favor the Greek version rather than the Hebrew." (CE.
iii, 271.) It was also the Greek Septuagint and Greek forged
Oracles, that were exclusively used by the Greek Fathers and
priests in all the Gospel-propaganda work of the first three
centuries. Obviously, the Gospels and other New Testament booklets,
written in Greek and quoting 300 times the Greek Septuagint, and
several Greek Pagan authors, as Aratus, and Cleanthes, were
written, not by illiterate Jewish peasants, but by Greek-speaking
ex-Pagan Fathers and priests far from the Holy Land of the Jews.

     There is another proof that the Gospels were not written by
Jews. Traditionally, Jesus and all the "Apostles" were Jews; all
their associates and the people of their country with whom they
came into contact, were Jews. But throughout the Gospels, scores of
times, "the Jews" are spoken of, always as a distinct and alien
people from the writers, and mostly with a sense of racial hatred
and contempt. A few instances only need be given; they all betray
that the writers were not Jews speaking of their fellow Jews. The
Greek writer of "Matthew" says: "this saying is commonly reported
among the Jews until this day" (Mt. xxviii, 15), -- showing, too,
that it was written long afterwards; a Jew must have said "among
our people," or some such. It is recorded by "Mark": "For the
Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands of it,
eat not, holding to the tradition of the elders" (Mk. vii, 3); no
Jew writing for his fellow-Jews would explain or need to explain
this Jewish custom, known to and practiced by "all the Jews." Luke
names a Jew and locates geographically his place of residence:
"Joseph, of Arimathea, a city of the Jews"; an American writer,
speaking of Hoboken, could not say "a city of the Americans" nor
did Jews need to be told by a Jew that Arimathea was a "city of the
Jews." The Greek priest who wrote "John" is the most prolific in
telling his Pagan readers about Jewish customs and personalities;
absurd in a Jew writing for Jews: "After the manner of the
purifying of the Jews" (ii, 6); "And the Jews' passover was at
hand" (ii, 13) "Then answered the Jews, and said unto Jesus" (iii, 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              157

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

1); "Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples
-- [all Jews] -- and the Jews about purifying" (iii, 25); "And
therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus" (v, 16); "Therefore the
Jews sought the more to kill him" (v, 18). More: "And the passover,
a feast of the Jews, was nigh" vi, 4); no American would say "the
Fourth of July, a holiday of the Americans," though a French writer
might properly so explain. "After these things Jesus would not walk
in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him" (vii, 1); "for they
feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already" (ix, 22); "His
disciples said unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone
thee with stones" (xi, 8); "As the manner of the Jews is to bury"
(xix, 40), which need be explained to no Jew. These and many like
passages prove that no Jews wrote the Gospels; that they were
written by foreigners for foreigners; these foreigners were Greek-
speaking aliens unfamiliar with Jewish customs; the writers were
therefore ex-Pagan Greek priests who were zealously "selling" the
"glad tidings of great joy" to the ignorant and superstitious Pagan
populace.

                  THE FOUR GOSPELS -- "CHOSEN"

     The Four Gospels are thus demonstrated as: not written by
Jews; not written by any of the "Twelve Apostles"; not written nor
in existence for over a century after the supposed Apostles. When
finally the Gospel "according to" Luke came to be written, already,
as "Luke" affirms, there were "many" other like pseudo-Apostolic
Gospel-biographies of the Christ afloat (Luke, i, 1); he added just
another. In his Commentary on Luke, Father Origen confirms this
fact as well known: "And not four Gospels, but very many, out of
which these we have chosen and delivered to the churches, we may
perceive." (Origen, In Proem. Luc., Hom. 1, vol. 2, p. 210.) How,
and why, out of half a hundred of other lying forgeries of Gospels,
were these sacred Four finally "chosen" as truly "Apostolic,"
inspired, and canonical? Nobody knows, as CE. confesses.

     It is a very strange and fatal confession, in view of the
insistent false pretense of the Church for centuries of the patent
Divinity of the Four Gospels, and of its own infallible inspiration
and Divine guidance against all doubt and error; but it confesses:

          "It is indeed impossible, at the present day, to describe
     the precise manner in which out of the numerous works ascribed
     to some Apostle, or simply bearing the name of gospel, only
     four, two of which are not ascribed to Apostles, came to be
     considered as sacred and canonical. It remains true, however,
     that all the early testimony which has a distinct bearing on
     the number of the canonical Gospels recognizes four such
     Gospels and none besides. Thus, Eusebius (d. 340) ... Clement
     of Alexandria (d. about 220), ... and Tertullian (d. 220),
     were familiar with our four Gospels, frequently quoting and
     commenting on them." (CE. vi, 657.)

     The statement as to "all the early testimony" in favor of
these Four only, is not only untrue, but it is contradicted by a
true statement on the same page as the last above; it is, too, a
further humiliating confession of blind and groping uncertainty
with respect to the very foundation stones on which the Infallible 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              158

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

Church is built, and makes a bit less confident the forged
assurance that the Gates of Hell -- to say nothing of human Reason
-- shall not yet prevail against the ill-founded structure. Here is
the destructive admission:

          "In the writings of the Apostolic Fathers one does not,
     indeed, meet with unquestionable evidence in favor of only
     four canonical gospels. ... The canonical Gospels were
     regarded as of Apostolic authority, two of them being ascribed
     to the Apostles St. Matthew and St. John, respectively, and
     two to St. Mark and St. Luke, the respective companions of St.
     Peter and St. Paul. Many other gospels indeed claimed
     Apostolic authority, but to none of them was this claim
     universally allowed in the early Church. The only apocryphal
     work which was at all generally received, and relied upon, in
     addition to our four canonical Gospels, is the 'Gospel
     according to the Hebrews.' It is a well-known fact that St.
     Jerome regards it as the Hebrew original of our Greek
     Canonical Gospel according to St. Matthew." (CE. vi, 657.)

     Thus, admittedly, "numerous works" of pretended and false
"gospels," some fifty, were forged and falsely "ascribed to some
apostle" by devout Christians; after a century and a half only four
"came to be considered" and were finally "chosen" -- selected -- as
of divine utterance and sanction. Why? one may well wonder.

                        WHY FOUR GOSPELS?

     Why Four Gospels, then, -- when only one would have been
aplenty and much safer, as fewer contradictions -- out of the fifty
ascribed by pious forging hands to the Holy Twelve? The pious
Fathers are ready here, as ever, with fantastic reasons to explain
things whereof they are ignorant or are not willing to give honest
reasons for. "The saintly Bishop of Lyons," says CE. with
characteristic clerical solemnity when anyone else would laugh,
"Irenaeus (died about 202), who had known Polycarp in Asia Minor,
not only admits and quotes our four Gospels, [he is the very first
to mention them!] -- but argues that there must be just four, no
more and no less. He says: 'It is not possible that the Gospels be
either more or fewer than they are. For since there are four zones
of the world in which we live, and four principal winds, while the
Church is scattered throughout the world. ... and the pillar and
ground of the Church is the Gospel. ... it is fitting that we
should have four pillars, breathing out immortality on every side
and vivifying our flesh. ... The living creatures are quadriform,
and the Gospel is quadriform, as is also the course followed by our
Lord"! (CE. vi, 659.) Thus far CE. quoting the good Bishop; but we
may follow the Bishop a few lines further in his very innocent
ratiocinations from ancient Hebrew mythology, in proof of the
divine Four:

          "For this reason were four principal covenants given to
     the human race: One prior to the deluge, under Adam; the
     second, that after the deluge, under Noah; the third, the
     giving of the law, under Moses; the fourth, that which
     renovates man, and sums up all things by means of the Gospel,
     raising and bearing men upon its wings into the heavenly 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              159

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

     Kingdom. ... But that these Gospels alone are true and
     reliable, and admit neither an increase nor diminution of the
     aforesaid number, I have proved by so many and such arguments.
     For, since God made all things in due proportion and
     adaptation, it was fit also that the outward aspect of the
     Gospel should be well arranged and harmonized. The opinion of
     those men, therefore, who handed the Gospel down to us, having
     been investigated, from their very fountainheads, let us
     proceed also [to the remaining apostles), and inquire into
     their doctrine with regard to God." (Iren. Adv. Haer. III, xi,
     8, 9; ANF. i, 428-29.)

     The true reason, however, for four finally "chosen" and
accepted Gospels, is that stated by Reinach, after quoting Irenaeus
and other authorities: "The real reason was to satisfy each of the
four principal Churches each of which possessed its Gospel: Matthew
at Jerusalem, Mark at Rome, or Alexandria, Luke at Antioch, and
John at Ephesus." (Reinach, Orpheus, p. 217.) This reason for the
use of a different Gospel by each of the principal and independent
Churches, -- for the special uses of each of which the respective
Gospels were no doubt worked up by forging Fathers in each Fold, --
is confirmed by Bishop Irenaeus himself in this same argument. Each
of the four principal sects of heretics, he says, makes use in
their Churches of one or the other of these Four for its own uses,
for instance: Matthew by the Ebionites; Mark by "those who separate
Jesus from Christ"; Luke by the Marcionites; and John by the
Valentinians; and this heretical use of the Four, argues the
Bishop, confirms their like acceptance and use by the True
Churches: "So firm is the ground upon which these Gospels rest,
that the very heretics bear witness to them, and starting from
these documents, each of them endeavors to establish his own
peculiar doctrine [citing the use by each sect of a different
Gospel as above named]. Since, then, our opponents do bear
testimony to us, and make use of these documents, our proof derived
from them is firm and true." (Iren., op. cit. sec. 7.) The
"canonical Four," verily, as CE. confesses, were manufactured
precisely for the purpose of meeting and confuting the heretics, as
were the gradually developed and defined sacred dogmas of the
Orthodox Church, even that of the Trinity. The fabrication of the
Four can be seen working out under our very eyes, in the light of
the foregoing statement of Irenaeus, and of that of CE. to be
quoted.

     In the next section we shall see proven, that no written,
Gospels existed until shortly before 185 A.D., when Irenmus wrote;
they are first mentioned in chapter xxii of his Book II; the above
quotation is from Book III, when use of them became constant.
Evident we see it to be, from what Irenaeus has just said, that the
sects of heretics named were making use, each of them of one of the
just-published Four as well as of other "spurious gospels"; the
Orthodox claimed the Four as their own, and finally established the
claim. The "gospel" up to about this time, a century and a half
after Jesus Christ, was entirely oral and "traditional"; the
Gnostics and other heretics evidently were first to reduce some
"gospels" to writing; the Orthodox quickly followed suit, in order
to combat the heretics by "apostolic" writings. This is clear from
the following, that "the spurious gospels of the Gnostics prepared 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              160

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

the way for the canon of Scripture," -- meaning, for the now
"canonical Scripture"; for, as the "canon" was not dogmatically
established until 1546, the Four were not "canonized" when Irenaeus
wrote in 185, -- when the "way was prepared" for them by the
earlier heretical "spurious gospels." Thus CE. writes:

          "The endless controversies with heretics have been
     indirectly the cause of most important doctrinal developments
     and definitions formulated by councils to the edification of
     the body of Christ. Thus the spurious gospels of the Gnostics
     prepared the way for the canon of Scripture: the Patri-
     passian, Sabellian, Arian, and Macedonian heresies drew out a
     clearer concept of the Trinity; the Nestorian and Eutychian
     errors led to definite dogmas on the nature and Person of
     Christ. And so on down to Modernism, which has called forth a
     solemn assertion of the claims of the supernatural in
     history." (CE. vii, 261.)

     Heresy means "Choice"; heretics are those who choose what they
will believe, or whether they will believe at all. It was to
foreclose all choice on the part of believers, that the divinely-
inspired, apostolic fictions of the Four Gospels were drawn up for
the first time to combat the "spurious gospels" of the free
choosers. Heresy could not exist in the time of Jesus Christ, for
he laid down nothing for belief, except "He that believeth on me
shall be saved" against his immediate "second coming" and end of
the world. The gospels are thus anti-heretical documents of the
second century, after Gnosticism first appeared.

     In this connection it may be mentioned, as complained by
Augustine, that there were some 93 sects of heretics during the
first three centuries of the Christian Faith; all these were
Christian sects, believing in the tales of Jesus Christ and him
crucified, but each of them as rivals struggling for the profits
and power of religion and warring to suppress all others, and make
itself master in pelf and power. Hence the Fathers thundered
against the heretics. The inspired Four Gospels, contradictory at
every point, were impossible to believe in all points; they left
every one free to disbelieve all, or to believe such as he could.

     So incredible, even on their face, were one and all of these
canonical Four Gospels, that the fanatic Father Tertullian thus
stated the grounds of his holy faith in them: "Credo quia
incredibilis est -- I believe because it is unbelievable"; and St.
Augustine, greatest of the Fathers, declared himself in these
terms: "Ego vero Evangelio non crederem, nisi me Catholicae
Ecclesiae conmoveret Auctoritas. ... Ego me ad eos teneam, quibus
praecipientibus Evangelio credidi -- I would not believe the Gospel
true, unless the authority of the Catholic Church constrained me.
... I hold myself bound to those, through whose teachings I have
believed the Gospel." (Augustine, On the Foundation, sec. 5, Ed.
Vives, vol. xxv, p. 435; Orpheus, p. 223.)

     In the work often cited, Bishop Irenaeus either falsely quotes
the Gospel of Mark, or the sacred text has been seriously altered
in our present copies; he says: "Mark commences with a reference to
the prophetical spirit, saying, 'The beginning of the Gospel of 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              161

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

Jesus Christ, as it is written in Esaias the prophet"' (sec. 8, p.
428), as if Isaiah testified to the Gospel. The Bishop also quotes
two long passages, one a written letter of the Apostles "unto those
brethren from among the Gentiles who are in Antioch, and Syria, and
Silicia, greeting," -- which are not in the Acts of the Apostles or
any other New Testament book as we now have them. (Iren., Adv.
Maer. III, xi, 14; p. 436.) The good Bishop seems either to have
fabricated this alleged Epistle and passage, or other pious hands
falsified the sacred Scriptures by forging them out of its pages.
So it is evident that these inspired booklets, as we now know them,
at least differ in very many material respects from the
"traditional Gospel" and from the form in which the Four Gospels
were first reduced to writing. Many other instances exist, of which
some of the most notorious will be shown in the course of the
chapter.

                   INSPIRATION AND PLAGIARISM

     In this connection a few words may be said as to the
chronological order and manner of composition of the first three or
Synoptic Gospels. "Historically Mark is the earliest, and its study
the foundation of critical enquiry. But the ordinary Christian is
not a historical critic." (New Commentary, Pt. III, p. 126; ef. pp.
33, 45.) With the latter statement all will agree; with the first
CE. is in agreement with the leading critics, though holding to the
exploded "tradition" that one Mark wrote "Mark," or, in its words:
"If, then, a consistent and widespread early tradition is to count
for anything, St. Mark wrote a work based upon St. Peter's
Preaching." (CE. ix, 676.) The later writers of "Matthew" and
"Luke" copied bodily from "Mark," with the utmost literality in
many places, but with the greatest freedom of changes, additions
and suppressions at others, to suit their own purposes. But one
comparison, that between "Mark" and "Matthew," can here be given;
the method extends quite as notably to "Luke." Thus CE. discloses
the process: "Mark is found complete in Matthew, with the exception
of numerous slight omissions and the following periscopes. ... In
all, 31 verses are omitted"; and so with respect to the "analogies"
with the other two. "Parts peculiar to Matthew are numerous, as
Matthew has 330 verses that are distinctly his own." (CE,. x, 60,
61; cf. for thorough examination, New Comm. Pt. III, pp. 33, seq.)
"These 'Matthean additions,' as they are called. ... seem to be
authentic when they relate our Lord's words; but, when they relate
incidents, they are extremely questionable." (New Comm. Pt. III, p.
127-128.)

     We have just seen the same authority admit the want of
authenticity of one set of words imputed by Matthew to his Lord;
our next section will demonstrate another famous "Matthean
addition" to be a gross and bungling forgery. This bodily copying
from Mark, with so many "additions and suppressions," implies, as
we have seen, "a very free treatment of the text of Mark in Matthew
and Luke (a freedom which reaches a climax in the treatment of Mk.
x, 17f. in Mt. xix, 16f.). ... Just as the latter (Matthew)
tampered more with the Markan order than St. Luke did." (New Comm.
Pt. III, 36, 40.) But this textual tampering is well explained, for
clerical apologists: "Nor need such freedom surprise us. Mark, at
the time when the others used it, had not attained anything like 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              162

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

the status of Scripture, and an evangelist using it would feel
free, or might indeed feel bound, to bring its contents into line
with the traditions of the particular Church in which he lived and
worked"! (Ib. p. 36.)

     This perfectly confirms the position taken in the section "Why
Four Gospels?" that these Gospels were framed up each in a
different Church, to meet its own uses and special purposes, and in
answer to the "gospels" of the Heretics. "Mark," being first in
order, was probably in the hands of several Churches, some of whose
"traditions" did not accord with the "gospel" narratives therein
retailed; the local gospel-mongers, therefore, taking "Mark" as
good "copy" for a start, took their blue-pencil styluses in hand
and "edited" its text by profuse "tampering" until they produced,
severally, the "gospels according to" Matthew and Luke, for use in
more "orthodox" and approved form according to the local
traditions. The "John" gospel-fabrication alone of the Four quite
disregarded the "Mark" document, and is in the most complete
contradiction with it, and with all the first three. The "Big Four"
gradually won their way against and were "chosen" from all the
other fifty or more in circulation, which then became "apocrypha,"
or admitted forgeries.

                     GOSPELS LATE FORGERIES

We have seen the admissions of CE. that the earliest notice of the
Four Gospel's now known to us was towards the close of the second
century, quoting as the earliest witnesses the African Bishops,
Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian, both of whom died about 220
A.D. It presents, however, one earlier witness to Gospels going in
the name of the Four: "Irenrus, in his work Against Heresies (A.D.
182-188), testified to the existence of a Tetramorph or Quadriform
Gospel, given by the Word and unified by one Spirit," (CE. iii,
275), -- of which we have just had occasion to admire his quaint
and cogent proofs. This first mention, by Irenaeus, of Four
Gospels, with the names of their supposed writers, we shall in a
moment quote; first we will get the record in honest and correct
form by citing an even earlier partial naming of something like
Gospels, and their reputed writers.

     1. Bishop Papias, about 145 A.D., is the very first name of
something like written "Gospels" and writers; and this is what he
says, quoting his anonymous gossipy old friends, the presbyters:

          "And the presbyter said this. MARK having become the
     interpreter of PETER, wrote down accurately whatsoever he
     remembered. It was not, however, in exact order that he
     related the sayings or deeds of Christ. For he neither heard
     the Lord, nor accompanied him. ... For one thing he took
     especial care, not to omit anything he had heard, and not to
     put anything fictitious into the statements. MATTHEW put the
     Oracles (of the Lord) in the Hebrew language, and each one
     interpreted them as best he could." (Papias, quoted by
     Eusebius, Hist. Eccles. iii, 39; ANF. i, 154-5.)

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              163

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

     Here, then, over one hundred years after Christ, we have the
first mention of written gospels and of Mark, and the recital, by 
hearsay on hearsay, that he wrote down "whatsoever he remembered"
that Peter had said the Lord had said and done. This is rather a
far cry from divine inspiration of inerrant truth in this first
hearsay by memory recital of the supposed Gospel-writers. Thus
"Mark" is admittedly not "inspired," but is hearsay, haphazard
"traditions," pieced together a generation and more afterwards by
some unknown priestly scribe. But note well, even if Mark may have
written some things, alleged as retailed by Peter, yet this is not,
and is not an intimation even remotely, that this by-memory record
of Mark is the "Gospel according to Mark" which half a century
after Papias came to be known. Indeed, such an idea is expressly
excluded; Mark's notes were "not in exact order," but here and
there, as remembered; while the "Gospel according to Mark" is, or
purports to be, very orderly, proceeding from "The beginning of the
gospel of Jesus Christ" orderly and consecutively through to his
death, resurrection and ascension. It includes the scathing rebuke
administered by the Christ to Peter: "Get thee behind me, Satan:
for thou savourest not the things that be of God" (Mk. viii, 33) ;
one may be sure that Peter never related these eminently deserved
"sayings of Christ" to Mark or to anyone.

     Moreover, the present "Gospel according to Mark" relates the
crucifixion of Jesus at about thirty years of age, after one year's
ministry; which is wholly false, as Jesus died at home in bed of
old age, in effect says Bishop Papias, on the "tradition" of these
same presbyters. So, every other consideration here aside, Papias
is not a witness to "The Gospel according to Mark." As for Matthew,
Papias simply reports the elders as saying that Matthew wrote down
the "ORACLES" or words of the Lord, and in Hebrew; the "Gospel
according to Matthew" is much more than mere "words of the Lord";
it is the longest and most palpably fictitious of the "Lives" of
the Christ; it was written in Greek, and very obviously by a Greek
priest or Father, many years after the reputed time of Jesus
Christ. And Bishop Papias, more than a century after Christ, did
not have in his important church, and had never seen, these alleged
apostolic writings, and only knew of some such by the gossip of the
elders at second or third hand. So we must count Papias out as a
witness for these two of our written Gospels. None of the present
Four Gospels was thus in existence in about A.D. 145. And it is
obvious that, even by "tradition," the Gospels in the names of Luke
and John did not exist in the time of Papias.

     2. Justin Martyr (145-149) quotes sundry "sayings" of Jesus
which we find here and there in the present Four, -- just as like
alleged "sayings" identically are to be found in almost any of the
confessedly forged or apocryphal gospels; but he names no names nor
Gospels, but only says "memoirs of the apostles," or simply "it is
said." (See all instances cited, in EB. ii, 1819.) So Justin is no
witness to our present Four Gospels, which evidently did not exist
in his time about 150 years after Jesus Christ, -- though he
assiduously quotes the Sibyl and the heathen gods as proofs of
Jesus Christ, as we have seen.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              164

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

     3. Irenaeus (182-188) makes the very first mention of Four
Gospels and names the reputed authors. These are textually the 
interesting, and as we shall see, at least in part, spurious words
of Bishop Irenaeus:

          "Matthew also issued a Gospel -- [see it grow -- Papias
     said only "oracles of the Lord"] among the Hebrews in their
     own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and
     laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure,
     Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand
     down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke
     also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel
     preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord,
     who also had leaned upon his breast, did himself publish a
     Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia." (Iren. Adv.
     Haer. Bk. III, Ch. 1, i; ANF. i, 414.)

     Irenaeus, therefore, about the year 185 of our Lord, to use a
medium date, or some one hundred and fifty years after his death,
is the first of all the zealous Christ-bearers to record the fact
that, at the time he wrote, there were in existence four wonderful
biographies or histories of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, two
under the names of holy Apostles, and, he "implies that the Gospels
of Mark and Luke were, in effect, apostolic, as being written by
companions of Peter and Paul." (EB. i, 1830.) If any such apostolic
and authentic works had been in existence before the years, we will
say, 150-180 A.D., it is beyond comprehension and possibility that
the zealous Fathers, who so eagerly quoted, and misquoted, the Old
Testament and its apocrypha, the forged New Testament apocrypha,
and the heathen Oracles, in proof of their Christ, should have been
silent as clams about the apostolic Jesus-histories "according to"
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Even all the later Fathers, and
ecclesiastical writers, and the CE., admittedly are unable to trace
their genealogy further back into "the age of apocryphal
literature" than about 150 A.D. or later. It is impossible,
therefore, to believe or to pretend, that these Four Gospels were
written by apostles and their personal disciples, some hundred
years and more before they were ever heard of by the zealous and
myth-mongering Fathers. A confused medley of alleged words and
wonderful deeds of the Christ, handed down by ancient tradition or
new-invented for any occasion, existed in oral "tradition," and
were worn threadbare by rote repetition; but never a written word
of the Four for a century and a half after the apostles had their
say, and had handed down that wonderful and inexhaustible "Deposit
of Faith," which, oral and unedited, is yet drawn upon until this
day by the inspired Successors of Peter for their every new Dogma.

     One may turn the thousands of pages of the Ante-Nicene Fathers
before Irenaeus in vain to find a direct word of quotation from 
written Gospels, nor (except as above, recorded) even bare mention
of the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, as writers of Gospels.
The above words of Irenaeus are registered in his Book III, chapter
i; in the first two Books, while, like Justin, he quotes "sayings"
which are to be found in our present texts, as in the apocryphas,
he does not mention "Gospel" or any of the four reputed
evangelists, until chapter xxii of Book II, where he mentions the
word "Gospels" and those of John and Luke, and assails their record

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              165

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

of the early death of Jesus as "heresy." But beginning with chapter
x of Book III, he bristles with the names of and direct quotations
from all Four; and so with all the following Fathers. It seems,
therefore, a fair inference that Irenaeus had just heard of these
Four Gospels at the time the last chapters of the second of the two
Books were composed; and that they came into existence, or to his
knowledge, just before the time be began to compose Book III. And
certainly these Four Gospels could not have been in existence and
circulation very long before they would come to the eager hands of
the active and prolific Bishop of Lyons, who had recently come from
the tutelage of his friend Polycarp, -- "disciple of the Apostle
John" -- venerable Bishop of Smyrna, who sent him to Lyons, and
who, for his part, shows not a suspicion of knowledge of them. And
these Gospels, just now come into existence, were immediately and
fiercely attacked by Bishop Irenaeus as false and "heresy" in the
vital points of the crucifixion and early death of Jesus, who, says
the Bishop, lived to very old age, even maybe till the times of
Trajan, 98-117, as vouched for by the Apostle John and other
apostles and by the [oral] "Gospel." This, too, casts discredit on
these Gospels as containing authentic record of the apostolic
"traditions," condemned in this vital particular by the only two
Bishops, Papias and Irenaeus, who -- for a century and a half --
mention any Gospel-writings at all.

                 "LURE" DISCREDITS APOSTOLICITY

     Moreover, at the time that the Gospel bearing the name of Luke
was published, already many Gospels or purported histories and
sayings of Jesus Christ were in active circulation: "Forasmuch as
many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of
those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they
delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eye-witnesses
and ministers of the word; it has seemed to me good also, having
had a perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to
write unto thee, in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou
mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been
instructed." (Luke, i, 1-4). Now, these "many" Gospels were clearly
not by any of the apostles, else Luke would certainly have so
stated; they were not "inspired" writings, but they were by sundry
anonymous "eye-witnesses and ministers of the word"; they are
either totally lost to posterity, or are among the fifty admittedly
forged and apocryphal Gospels which we have previously noticed.
Thus we see two of the "Four," i.e., "Mark," and "Luke" are, on
their face, uninspired, hear-say, and long ex post facto.

     That neither apostle nor contemporary of Jesus wrote a line of
"gospel" is thus perfectly evidenced by Luke: "According to the
prologue of Luke, no eye-witness of the life of Jesus took pen in
hand -- none at least appear to have produced any writings which
Luke would have called a 'narrative.'" (EB. ii, 1892.) These
conclusions are confirmed by the learned clerical translators and
editors of the ANF, respectively, as follows:

          "Though a few of the Apocryphal Gospels are of
     comparatively early origin, there is no evidence that any
     Gospels purporting to be what our Four Gospels are, existed in
     the first century, or that any other than fragmentary 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              166

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

     literature of this character existed even in the second
     century." (Ed. note to Apocrypha of the New Testament, ANF.
     viii, 349.) -- "There is abundant evidence of the existence of
     many of these traditions in the second century, though it
     cannot be made out that any of the books were then in
     existence in their present form." (Translator's Introductory
     Notice to Apocryphal Gospels. ANF. viii, 351.)

     Such apocryphal gospels would naturally contain -- as they do
-- many of the same reputed words and deeds of the Christ as those
now reported by Luke and the others; many are indeed in large
sections in the very same words. Luke does not say or imply that
these "many" were false, but, on the contrary, being by alleged
"eye-witnesses" they were necessarily more or less the same things
which Luke undertook, not to belie or correct, but simply to repeat
in good order for the edification of his friend Theophilus. It is
very significant, for the date of the authorship of "Luke," to note
the fact that the only Theophilus known to early Church history is
a certain ex-Pagan by that name, who, after becoming Christian, and
very probably before being instructed in the certainty of the faith
by "Luke," himself turned Christian instructor and Father, and
wrote the Tract, in three Books, under the title Epistle to
Antolychus, preserved in the Collection of Ante-Niacin Fathers,
vol. ii, pp. 89-121. This Theophilus became Bishop of Antioch about
169-177 A.D. (CE. xiv, 625); and thus illuminates the date of
"Luke."

     That these Four Gospels, then, are forgeries, falsely ascribed
to Apostles and their companions, a century and a half after Christ
and the apostles, and were compounded of very conflicting
"traditions" and out of the existing 50 or more forgeries
circulating in apostolic names -- is proven as positively as
negative proofs permit, and "beyond a reasonable doubt" -- which is
proof ample for conviction of capital crime.

     Most people, says Bishop Papias, took pleasure in "voluminous
falsehoods" in reporting or writing of Jesus Christ and his life
and deeds, for which reason, says the Bishop, he was driven to "the
living voice of tradition" for his own accounts, -- samples of
which we have seen. These fanciful and distorted oral traditions,
finally reduced into some fifty fantastic written records of
"voluminous falsehoods," were later, about the time of Book III of
Bishop Irenaeus, crystallized into four documents, one each of
which was held by one of the principal churches as its
authoritative biography of the Christ, or "gospel"; to which, the
titles "According to" Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, were tacked for
pretended apostolic sanction.

     The truth of the late second century origin of the Gospels and
Epistles may be garnered from the guarded words of a standard
theological textbook on Christian Evidences: "The Christian
literature which has survived from the latter part of the first
century and the beginning of the second is scanty and fragmentary
-- [which could not be true if the Gospels and Epistles had then
existed]. But when we come into the light of the last quarter of
the second century, we find the Gospels of the canon in undisputed
possession of the field.". (The Grounds of Theistic and Christian 
Belief, by George Parker Fisher, D.D., LL.D.; 1902.)

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              167

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

     Summarizing the results of critical study of the four Gospels,
upon all the evidences, internal and external, which are there
fully reviewed, the conclusions of modern Biblical scholarship are
thus recorded by the Encyclopedia Biblica:

          As to Matthew: "The employment of various sources, the
     characteristic difference of the quotations from the LXX
     (Septuagint) and the original (Hebrew), the indefiniteness of
     the determinations of time and place, the incredibleness of
     the contents, the introduction of later conditions, as also
     the artificial arrangement, and so forth, have long since led
     to the conclusion that for the authorship of the first Gospel
     the apostle Matthew must be given up." (EB. ii, 1891.)

          As to Mark: "According to Papias, the second gospel was
     written by Mark. ... In what Papias says the important point
     is not so much the statement that Mark wrote the gospel as the
     further statement that Peter supplied the contents orally. ...
     The supposition that the gospel is essentially a repetition of
     oral communications by Peter, will at once fall to the ground.
     ... Should Mark have written in Aramaic then he cannot be held
     to have been the author of canonical Mark, which is certainly
     not a translation, nor yet, in view of the LXX quotations
     which have passed over into all three gospels, can he be held
     to have been the author of the original Mark." (EB. ii, 1891.)

          As to Luke: "This tradition [that Luke was the author of
     the third gospel and of Acts] cannot be traced farther back
     than towards the end of the second century (Irenaeus,
     Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and the Muratorian
     fragment). ... It has been shown that it is impossible to
     regard Luke with any certainty as the writer even of the 'we'
     sections of Acts, not to speak of the whole book of Acts, or
     of the Third Gospel. ... If Luke cannot have been the author
     of Acts, neither can he have been the author of the Third
     Gospel." (EB. ii, 1893, 2831.)

          As to John: "No mention of the Fourth Gospel which we can
     recognize as such carries us further than to 140 A.D. As late
     as 152, Justin, who nevertheless lays so great value upon the
     'Memorabilia of the Apostles, regards John -- if indeed he
     knows it at all -- with distrust, and appropriates from it a
     very few sayings. ... If on independent grounds some period
     shortly before 140 A.D. can be set down as the approximate
     date of the production of the gospel [a certain statement in
     it is explained]. ... The Apostolic authorship of the gospel
     remains impossible, and that not merely from the consideration
     that it cannot be the son of Zebedee who has introduced
     himself as writer in so remarkable a fashion, but also from
     the consideration that it cannot be an eye-witness of the
     facts of the life of Jesus who has presented, as against the
     synoptists, an account so much less credible, nor an original
     apostle who has shown himself so readily accessible to
     Alexandrian and Gnostic ideas, nor a contemporary of Jesus who
     survived so late into the second century and yet was capable
     of composing so profound a work." (EB. ii, 2550, 2553.)

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              168

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

     None of these Four Gospels, then, being of apostolic
authorship or even of the apostolic age, but anonymous productions
of over a century after the apostles, all are exactly of like
origin and composition as all the other fifty apocryphal Jesus-
writings: the Four "do not, in point of fact, rest upon any real
difference in the character or origin of the writings concerned,"
from all the other fifty admittedly apocryphal and forged gospels
dating about the middle of the second century, at the height of the
Christian age of apocryphal literature. They are therefore late
Christian forgeries of the Catholic Church.

                 FORGERIES IN THE FORGED GOSPELS

     That the Four Gospels, as we have them, are very late
productions, issued in the names of apostles a century and more
dead, and are therefore forgeries, is now proven beyond
peradventure. That they are not, even in the form that Bishop
Irenaeus first knew them, each the work of one inspired mind and
pen, is as readily and conclusively provable. They are, each and
all Four, clumsy compilations framed by different persons and at
very different times, as is patent on their face; they are thus
concatenations of forgeries within forgeries. This we shall now
demonstrate.

     The Church claims these Four Gospels to be apostolic and
divine works, and together with all the other books of the Trentine
Bible, to be throughout divinely inspired, having God himself for
their Author. This 1546 Dogma of the Infallible Church has been
thus reaffirmed by the Sacred Vatican Council (A.D. 1870):

          "These books are sacred and canonical because they
     contain revelation without error, and because, written by the
     inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their
     Author." (CE. fi, 543.)

     More recently, Pope Leo XIII, in his Encyclical Prov. Deus.
(1893), thus reaffirms the plenary inspiration and inerrancy of
Holy Writ:

          "It will never be lawful to restrict inspiration merely
     to certain portions of the Holy Scriptures, or to grant that
     the sacred writers could have made a mistake. ... They render
     in exact language, with infallible truth, all that God
     commanded, and nothing else"! (Ib.)

     For the Protestant sects the notion of divine inspiration and
inerrant truth of Scripture -- excepting always the dozen and more
of Old Testament "apocryphap' Books and parts, as Tobias and the
history of the Assyrian great god Bel and the Dragon, -- a typical
profession is that of the first Article of the Baptist Declaration
of Faith: "The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and
is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction. ... It has God for
its Author, and truth without any admixture of error for its
matter."

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              169

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

     All this priestly "confidence stuff" must remind one of what
Cicero said of the Roman augurs. Even CE., valiant but often 
perplexed defender of the orthodox Faith, can not give full credit
to that inspired canard, which even the infallible authors of it
could not have themselves believed. Timorously "reasoning in
chains" and minimizing the truth, the orthodox apologist, forced by
scholarly criticism, confesses -- utterly belying Council and
Holiness:

          "In all the Bible, where the same event is several times
     narrated by the same writer, or narrated by several writers,
     there is some slight [sic] divergency, as it is natural there
     should be with those who spoke or wrote from memory. Divine
     inspiration covers the substance of the narration." (CE. i,
     122.)

     Those sacred writers, putting on papyrus rolls from errant and
therefore necessarily uninspired "memory," their intimate
familiarities with the thoughts and desires, purposes and
providence of God, make not "some slight divergences" from accurate
recording of the promptings of the Spirit to them; they committed
incessant contradictions of so gross a nature as to impeach and
destroy the possibility of truth and credibility of Virtually every
word they said or wrote "in all the Bible," Old and New Testaments
alike. I have so fully exposed some thousands of these glaring and
self-destroying contradictions in my previous work, that here I
simply notice only those most vital ones which are pertinent and
incidental to our present subject of apostolic forgeries.

     In a work accompanying the Revised Version of the Bible, in
which the Revisers pointed out some 30,000 (now over 150,000)
variant readings in the New Testament, the reverend author makes
this naive explanation: "In regard to the New Testament, no miracle
has been wrought to preserve the text as it came from the pens of
the inspired writers. That would have been a thing altogether out
of harmony with God's method of governing the world"! (Dr. Alex.
Roberts, Companion to the Revised Version, p. 4.) One may wonder at
the writer's intimacy with God's governmental methods, as well as
at God's indifference to the preservation of his miraculously-
revealed Holy Word, so awfully necessary to save us from eternal
damnation; when, as we shall see, by special miraculous
intervention and providence he has, the Church vouches, preserved
wholly "incorrupt" through the Ages of Faith countless whole
cadavers and ghastly scraps and miraculous relics galore of the
unwashed Saints of Holy Church.

                    CONTRADICTIONS AND TRUTH

     No more compelling proofs of forgery in a document can well be
than the glaring contradictions between two parts of the text.
Remember that in the "age of apocryphal literature" there were no
printed books, thus fixing the text, and no "copyright" existed.
All books, sacred and profane, were manuscripts, tediously written
by hand on rolls of papyrus or sheets of parchment-skin; like the
manuscripts of the Gospels, Epistles, etc., they were usually
unsigned and undated, and frequently gave no clue to the anonymous
writers. When one man came into possession of a manuscript which he

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              170

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

desired, he sat down and copied it by hand, or employed slaves or
professional copyists to do the labor. There was absolutely no
check against errors of copying, or intentional omissions,
alterations or insertions into the text, to suit the taste or
purpose of the copyist. Religious books were written, and copied,
by priests, monks or Fathers; religious notions and doctrines were
very diversely held, and developed or were modified incessantly.
Traditions of what was said or done by Jesus Christ and the
apostles were, as we have seen, very variant and conflicting. Very
often, as we shall see, conflicting traditions or accounts are
found in the same book. As no honest writer of intelligence and
care would put into one short work which he is writing, two totally
contradictory statements regarding the same fact, the only way in
which such contradictions can occur in what purports to be an
original or genuine manuscript, is by the intentional insertion by
a later copyist of the new and contradictory material, euphoniously
called "interpolations" (CE. iv, 498, post), -- without the
critical sense to perceive the contradiction, and omit the original
statement with which his addition conflicts.

     Father Tertullian, in his work Against Heresies, denying that
'Christians do such things -- do not need to, he says, because the
Scriptures are favorable to the Orthodox -- accuses the Heretics of
such practices, and naively explains how such interpolations or
forgeries of text are done, and why they needs must be:

     "All interpolation must be believed to be a later process. ...
One man perverts the Scriptures with his hand, another their
meaning by his exposition. ... Unquestionably, the Divine
Scriptures are more fruitful in resources of all kinds for this
sort of facility [of introducing interpolations]. Nor do I risk
contradiction in saying that the very Scriptures were even arranged
by the will of God in such a manner as to furnish materials for
heretics, inasmuch as I read that 'there must be heresies' (I Cor.
xi, 19), which there cannot be without Scriptures"! (Praes.
xxxviii-xxxix; ANF. iii, 262.) Speaking of instances related to the
birth of Jesus Christ, EB. makes a remark, which it extends to
others, and is generally applicable to the conflicting Gospel
narratives:

          "From the nature of the case both canonical narratives
     were accepted by faith and incorporated with each other. The
     gospels themselves supply ample justification of a criticism
     of the gospel narratives. In spite of all the revisions which
     the gospels received before they became canonically fixed,
     they still not infrequently preserve references to conditions
     which are irreconcilable with the later additions." (EB. iii,
     3343, 3344.)

     "For Christian orthodoxy," says the same authority,
"reconcilability of the two canonical accounts was always a
necessary dogma"; and on this point, the orthodox CE. makes a
quaint but typically clerical argument, in effect that the
confessed contradictions of Holy Writ make it all the more
credible: "As can readily be seen, variations are naturally to be
expected in four distinct, and in many ways independent, accounts
of Christ's words and deeds, so that their presence, instead of 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              171

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

going against, rather makes for the substantial value of the
evangelical narratives"! (CE. vi, 659.) Fanciful and disingenuous
as this is, and derogatory of the Papal theory that it is not
possible that "the sacred writers could have made a mistake," the
argument loses even its rhetorical force when we find the most
monumental contradictions in the inspired words of the same writer
in the same inspired little book. We will notice some of the most
obvious and fatal forgeries by "interpolations" into the Gospel
Christ-tales.

                      JESUS -- MAN OR GOD?

     The Jews, in their "canonical," more definitely in their
apocryphal or admittedly forged Scriptures, expected a "Messiah,"
or anointed King of the race and lineage of David, who should
deliver them from the rule of their enemies, -- at the time of the
Gospel tales, the Romans; previously, the Assyrians, Persians, and
Greeks, successively. This King, says Isaiah, shall sit and reign
"upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it"
(Isa. ix, 7); and that this prophecy was in order of fulfillment,
Gabriel the Angel announced to Mary the Ever-Virgin Mother of eight
sons and daughters: "Thou shalt bring forth a son, and shalt call
his name Jesus; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of
his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob
forever." (Lk. i, 32, 33.) There is not a word of "prophecy"
anywhere that this King should be divine, a Son of the God of
Israel; he was to be a human king of the house of Jacob, of David.
There were many false pretenders to the still vacant Messiahship,
and even Jesus was not the last to proclaim himself the Messiah or
Christ: "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and
shall deceive many." (Mt. xxiv, 4, 23, 24; Mk. xiii, 6, 21, 22.)

     That this Messiah Jesus who was come was mere man, but
instinct with the spirit of God, is positively avowed by both Peter
and Paul. Says Peter in his first sermon at Pentecost: "Ye men of
Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God
among you [etc.]. The patriarch David ... therefore being a
prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that
of the fruit of his loam according to the flesh, he would raise up
Christ to sit upon his throne." (Acts, ii, 22, 29, 30.) And Paul:
"There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man
Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. ii, 5); and again: "Jesus Christ of the seed
of David" (2 Tim. ii, 8); Therefore, in the times when the two
cited sacred books were, by whomever, written, Jesus was at that
time regarded simply as a man, a "son" or descendant of David. So,
when, many years later, the Gospels "according to" Matthew and Luke
came to be by whomever written, in their original form Jesus Christ
was mere man.

     Matthew's first chapter begins very humanly and explicitly:
"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the
son of Abraham"; and Matthew gives an unbroken line of human
begettings, father of son, until "And Jacob begat Joseph the
husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ"!
(Matt. i, 1-16.) And Matthew names and catalogues twenty-eight
generations between David and Jesus, to-wit: David, Solomon ...
Jacob, Joseph, -- Jesus, -- a purely human ancestry. Also Luke 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              172

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

still reflected the belief, held at the time he wrote, that Jesus
was of human ancestry; he gives his human genealogy all the way
back to Adam, and through many mythical patriarchs who assuredly
never existed. This human genealogy by Luke vastly differs,
however, from that of Matthew; instead of twenty-eight generations
from David, through Solomon ... Jacob and Joseph, our Luke
genealogist makes out in detail forty-two generations, to wit:
David, Nathan. ... Heli, Joseph, Jesus; and only three of the
intermediate names are the same in the two lists. So one or the
other of the two inspired genealogies is fictitious, false and
forged, necessarily: both are, of course, if Jesus was not the son
of David, but the immediate "Son of God." The truth is thus stated:
"The genealogy could not have been drawn up after Joseph ceased to
be regarded as the real father of Jesus." (EB. iii, 2960.)

     And CE. thus 'Scraps the inspired genealogy of Luke: "The
artificial character of Luke's genealogy may be seen in the
following table [copying Luke's list] ... The artificial character"
is shown by details cited. (CE. vi, 411.) It also explodes the
seventeenth century clerical pretense, -- heard often today -- in
attempted explanation of these glaring contradictions, that one or
the other of these sacred genealogies, preferably that of Luke, was
the genealogy, not of Joseph, but of Mary: "It may be safely said
that patristic tradition does not regard St. Luke's list as
representing the genealogy of the Blessed Virgin." (CE. vi, 411.)
And, as CE. itself points out, Mary is not mentioned as in the line
of descent from David in either list. To bring her into the
genealogy, in one list or the other, it must have been written:
"And Jacob begat Mary the wife of Joseph," instead of "And, Jacob
begat Joseph the husband of Mary": or "And Jesus ... being the son
of Mary, which was the daughter of Heli," instead of the recorded
"the son of Joseph (as was supposed), which was the son of Heli"
(Luke iii, 22-31). Both the genealogies are false and forged lists
of mostly fictitious names, in the original Gospel-forgeries,
fabricated to prove Jesus a direct son or descendant of David, and
thus to fulfill the terms of the pretended prophecies that the
human Messiah should be of the race and lineage of David the king.

     Moreover, Joseph and Mary both knew nothing of the Holy-
Ghostly paternity of their child Jesus. The celebrated Angelic
"Annunciation" of this Fable to the "prolific yet ever-virgin
Mother of God," recorded by Dr. Luke (i, 28), is itself a forgery,
admits CE.: "The words: 'Blessed art thou among women' (v. 28) are
spurious and taken from verse 42, the account of the Visitation ...
[Adding] The opinion that Joseph at the time of the Annunciation
was an aged widower and Mary 12 or 15 years of age, is founded only
upon apocryphal documents" -- like all the rest of these Fables of
Christ. (CE. i, 542.) Simon came into the temple when Joseph and
Mary had brought the child there "to do for him after the custom of
the law," and indulged in some ecstasies which would have been
quite intelligible if Gabriel had made the revelations attributed
to him; but, hearing them, "Joseph and his mother marvelled at
those things which were spoken of him" (Lk. ii, 33). It is false,
the original says: "His father and his mother marvelled." etc. Here
is another holy forgery stuck into Luke ii, as is the later verse,
"and Joseph and his mother knew not of it" (v. 43). The true
original reads "and his parents knew not of it," -- just as in 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              173

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

verse 41; "Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the
feast of the passover"; and as in verse 48, "thy father and I have
sought thee sorrowing." In "John," Jesus is twice: expressly called
the son of Joseph; Philip say's to Nathaniel, "We have found him of
whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of
Nazareth, the son of Joseph" (i, 45); and again: "Is not this
Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know'?" (vi,
42) all which "convincingly proves that in the mind of the narrator
Joseph and Mary were and knew themselves to be, in the natural
sense of the words, the parents of Jesus." (EB. iii, 3344.) The
same authority thus sums up the whole of the New Testament evidence
prior to the "interpolations" of miraculous birth: "The remark has
long ago and often been made that, like Paul, even the Gospels
themselves know nothing of the miraculous birth of our Savior. On
the contrary, their knowledge of his natural filial relationship to
Joseph the carpenter, and to Mary, his wife, is still explicit."
(Ibid.) And if Jesus had been a God he could hardly have been
crazy; yet his own family thought him so and sent to arrest him as
a madman, as above noticed. It is therefore self-evident, that the
original Jesus "tradition," down as late as Papias and Irenaeus,
regarded Jesus simply as a man, and as a very old man when he died
a peaceful and natural death. But the zeal to Combat and win the
Pagans, when, after the failure with the Jews, the Gospel "turned
to the Gentiles," and to exalt the man Jesus into a God, as was
Perseus or Apollo, grew with the Fathers; by the same token Jesus
was now made to be the son of the Hebrew God Yahveh: we have heard
the Fathers so argue. So later pious tampering grafted the "Virgin-
birth" and "son of God" Pagan myths onto the simple original
"traditions" of merely human origin as the "son of David,"
carelessly letting the primitively forged Davidic genealogies
remain to contradict and refute them. These "interpolations" are
self-apparent forgeries for Christ's sake, in two of the Gospels.

     But if Tertullian spoke truly (if the passage is genuine with
him), the other Gospels have been yet further tampered with; for
Tertullian explicitly says: "Of the apostles, John and Matthew, and
apostolic men, Luke and Mark, these all start with the same
principles of the faith ... how that He was born of the Virgin, and
came to fulfill the law and the prophets." (Adv. Marcion, IV, ii;
ANF. iii, 347.) As these Gospels now stand, Mark and John say not
a word of the Virgin-birth, but throughout assume Jesus to have
been of human birth, and only "son of God" in a popular religious
sense; for "son of God" was in current usage to mean any person
near and dear to God. Indeed, the Greek text of the Gospels makes
this plain, that no supernatural progeneration and actual God-
sonship was intended. In most instances the Greek texts read simply
"son of God -- huios Theou," not "the Son -- o huious": the
definite article is a clerical falsification.

             "UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH"

     Of transcendent importance as the sole basis of the Church's
most presumptuous False Pretense -- its Divine founding by Jesus
Christ -- this Peter-Rock imposture, the most notorious, and in its
evil consequences the most far-reaching and fatal of them all, will
now be exposed to its deserved infamy and destruction.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              174

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

     Upon a forged, and forced, Greek Pun put into the mouth of the
Jewish Aramaic-speaking Jesus, speaking to Aramaic peasants, the
Church of Christ is falsely founded. "The proof that Christ
constituted St. Peter the head of His Church is found in the two
famous Petrine texts, Matt. xvi, 17-19, and John xxi, 15-19." (CE.
xii, 261.) The text in John is that about "Feed my Lambs"; but this
forgery is not of present interest. The more notorious "proof" is
Matthew's forged punning passage: "Thou art Peter, and upon this
rock I will build my church," etc.

     It may first be noticed, that "Matthew" is the only one of the
three "Synoptic" gospelers to record this "famous Petrine text."
And he records this pun as made in Greek, by Jesus -- just before
his crucifixion, under very exceptional circumstances, and upon the
inspiration of a "special divine revelation" then and there first
made by God to Peter, as below to be noted. But in this, "Matthew"
is flatly contradicted by "John," who ascribes this as an Aramaic
pun by Jesus in the very first remark that he made to Peter, upon
his being introduced by his brother Andrew, on the self-same day of
the baptism of Jesus; when "Andrew first findeth his brother Simon
... and brought him to Jesus"; whereupon, "when Jesus beheld him,
he said, Thou art Simon son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas,
which is by interpretation, A stone." (John i, 42.) Thus was Simon
Barjona nick-named "Cephas -- Rock" by Jesus on the very first day
of the public appearance and mission both of Jesus and of Peter,
and not a year or more later, towards the close of the career of
Jesus! So the famous Petrine Pun, if ever made by Jesus -- as it
was not -- was made in the Aramaic speech spoken by these Galilean
peasants; the Greek Father who forged the "Gospel according to
John" had to attach the translation into Greek of the Aramaic
"Cephas," into "Petros, a stone," for the benefit of his Greek
readers.

     After this first explosion of the famous Greek "Rock" pun on
which the Church is founded, and as the matter is of highest
consequence, let us expose the "Matthew" forgery of the whole
"Petrine text" by arraying the three Synoptics in sequence in the
order of their composition and evolution from simple to complex
fabrication:

                       Mark (viii, 27-38).

          "And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of
     Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples,
     saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?

          "And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say,
     Elias; and others, One of the prophets.
          "And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And
     Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
          "And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
          "And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must
     suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the
     chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three
     days rise again.
          "And he spak that saying openly. And Peter took him, and
     began to rebuke him.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              175

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

          "But when he had turned about and looked on his
     disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me,
     Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but
     the things that be of men."

                        Luke (ix, 18-22).

          "And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his
     disciples were with him; and he asked them, saying, Whom say
     the people that I am?
          "They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say,
     Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen
     again.
          "He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter
     answering said, The Christ of God.
          "And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell
     no man that thing.
          "Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be
     rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be
     slain, and be raised the third day."

                      Matthew (xvi, 13-22).

          "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he
     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 are the Christ, the Son of the
     living God.
          "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou,
     Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto
     thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
          "And I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this
     rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not
     prevail against it. [Here about the Keys, and "binding and
     loosing"].
          "Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no
     man that he was Jesus the Christ.
          "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.
          "Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be
     it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
          "But he turned and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me.
     Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the
     things that be of God, but those that be of men."

     Let it be noted, in passing, that all three of the Synoptists
expressly aver in the above narration, as elsewhere in their texts,
that Jesus positively declared and predicted, that he should be put
to death, and after three days rise again: distinctly, his
Resurrection from the dead. All three on this important point are
liars, if John be believed; for after the crucifixion and burial of
Jesus, and the discovery on the third day of his empty grave by the

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              176

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

Magdalene, which she immediately reported to Peter and John, they
ran doubting to the grave, looked in, and "saw, and believed"; and
John positively avers: "For as yet they knew not the scripture,
that he must rise again from the dead." (John xx, 9.) But this
inspired assertion contains a grave anachronism: for "as yet" there
was, of course, no "scripture" about the death and resurrection at
all, nor for well over a century afterwards, as in this chapter is
proven.

     Let us examine for a moment into the context of this "famous
Petrine text" and into its antecedents, in order to get the "stage
setting of this dramatic climacteric Pun of such vast and serious
consequences unto this day.

     The original simple narrative is told in the earlier writer,
"Mark," and copied almost verbatim into "Luke." There Jesus is
reported to have put a sort of conundrum to the Twelve, "saying
unto them, Whom do men say that I am?" The answer showed a very
superstitious belief in reincarnations or "second comings" of dead
persons to earth; for "they answered, John the Baptist: but some
say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets, or Jeremias," to fuse
the somewhat disparate replies. Jesus himself shared this
reincarnation superstition, for he had positively asserted that
John the Baptist was Elijah redivivus: "This is Elias, which was
for to come," (Matt. xi, 14; xvii, 11-13); though John, being
questioned about it, "Art thou Elias?" contradicted the Christ,
"and he saith, I am not." (John i, 20, 21.)

     After hearing the disciples report what others said about him,
who he was, Jesus then "saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ. And he
charged them that they should tell no man of him" (Mk. viii, 27-30;
Lk. ix, 18-22). There was certainly nothing novel or unexpected in
this alleged reply of Peter; it was exactly the proclaimed mission
of Jesus as the "promised Messiah," as the precedent texts of
"Mark" verify. On the day of his baptism by John, before all the
people, "the heavens opened ... And there came a voice from heaven,
saying, Thou art my beloved Son" (i, 2); what the devils cried out
in the synagogue, "I know thee who thou art, the Holy one of God"
(i, 24) just what all the devils unanimously proclaimed before the
disciples and all hearers, "And unclean spirits, when they saw him.
... cried, saying, Thou art the son of God" (iii, 2); just what the
possessed man with the legion of devils cried out before all the
disciples, "What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the
most high God" (v, 7); -- all as recorded by "Mark" prior to the
above reply by Peter. So, naturally, Peter's "confession" caused no
surprise; it was the expected thing: so Jesus made no remark on
hearing it, except the peculiar injunction that "they should tell
no man" -- what all men and devils already knew by much-repeated
hearsay. So Jesus at once proceeded to speak of his coming
persecution, death, and resurrection; "And Peter took him, and
began to rebuke him. But when he had turned about and looked on his
disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for
thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that
be of men" (Mk. viii, 31-33). The identical story in its same
simple form, minus the Satan colloquy, is told also in Luke (ix,
18-22). This is the round, unvarnished tale of the first Greek 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              177

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

Father "gospel" writers, a century after the reputed conversation,
and long before the "primacy of Peter" idea dawned as a "good
thing" upon the Fathers of the Church. There is not a word about
"church" in the passage, nor in the entire "gospel according to
Mark," nor in Luke, nor in even the much later "John."

     The later Church Father who wrote up the original of the
"gospel according to Matthew," copied Mark's story substantially
verbatim, Mark's verses 27-33, being nearly word for word
reproduced in Matthew's 13-16, 20-24 of chapter xvi; the only
material verbal difference being in Peter's answer, in verse 16,
where Peter's words are expanded: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of
the Living God," -- obviously padded in by the "interpolator" of
verses 17-19, which we now examine.

     As the years since "Mark" rolled by, the zeal of the Fathers
to exalt Peter increased; we have seen many admitted forgeries of
documents having that purpose in view. So it was, obviously, a new
forging Father who took a manuscript of "Matthew," and turning to
the above verses copied from "Mark," added in, or made a new
manuscript copy containing, the notable forgery of verses 17-19.
There, onto the commonplace and unnoticed reply of Peter, "Thou art
the Christ," the pious interpolator tacked on:

          "the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said
     unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood
     hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in
     heaven. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and
     upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell
     shall not prevail against it. 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." (Matt. xvi,
     16b-19.)

     It is impossible that the original writer of "Matthew" should
have written those remarkable and preposterous verses, in which
Jesus is made to take Peter's commonplace announcement, "Thou art
the Christ," as a "special revelation from heaven" to Peter and a
great secret mystery here first "revealed"; -- this matter of
common notoriety and even devil-gossip throughout Israel, as we
have seen from "Mark's" numerous Christ-texts; the same is true in
Luke. These avowals that Jesus was the Christ are even more
numerous and explicit in "Matthew" up to the interpolation. That
Jesus was "Christ" is the identical disclosure and announcement,
which had been declared by Gabriel to Mary; by a dream to the
suspicious Joseph; by wicked Herod, who "demanded of them where
Christ should be born" (ii, 4); by the voice from heaven
proclaiming to the world, "This is my beloved Son" (iii, 17); that
was declared by the Devil in the wilderness, "If thou be the Son of
God" (iv, 6); that the Legion of Devils cried aloud, "What have we
to do with thee, Jesus, thou son of God" (viii, 29); that Jesus
himself avowed of himself time and again, "All things are delivered
unto me by my Father, Lord of heaven and earth" (xi, 25-27) that
all the crew of Peter's fishing-boat acclaimed when they
"worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God" (xiv,
33). 'Just two chapters earlier in Matthew, is the fable of Jesus 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              178

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

and Peter "walking on the water," as "foretold" by the Sibyls; when
Peter began to sink, he was rescued and dragged aboard the little
fishing boat by Jesus; -- "and they that were in the ship came and
worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the son of God." (Mt.
xiv, 29-33.) So that Peter's wonderful information was no novelty
and special divine revelation, to himself, but was the common
credulity and gossip of the whole crew of fishermen, devils and
Palestinian peasantry. And long before, on the very next day after
his baptism by John, and before Peter was "called" or even found,
and when his brother Andrew went and found him to bring him to
Jesus, Andrew declared to Peter. "We have found the Messiah, which
is, being interpreted, the Christ"! (John i, 41.) And, on the next
day Nathaniel said to Jesus: "Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou
art the King of Israel"! (John i, 49.) Peter's wonderful "special
revelation" and confession thus lose an originality and are without
merit of the great "reward" which CE. (xii, 261) says Jesus
bestowed upon him for this pretended original and inspired
discovery, as we shall in due order notice.

     That Jesus Christ never spoke the words of those forged
verses, that they are a late Church forgery, is beyond any
intelligent or honest denial. The first mention of them in
"patristic literature," and that only a reference to the "keys," is
this scant line of Father Tertullian, in a little tract called
Scorpiace or "The Scorpion's Sting," written about 211 A.D., in
which he says: "For, though you think heaven is still shut,
remember that the Lord left to Peter and through him to the Church,
the keys of it." (Scorpiace, x; ANF. iii, 643.) That Jesus did not
use the words of those verses, interpolated into a paragraph of
Matthew copied bodily and verbatim by the original "Matthew" writer
from "Mark," and repeated in their original form by "Luke,"' is
thus conclusive from "internal" evidences; the later and
embroidered form is a visible interpolation and forgery. That this
is true, is demonstrated, moreover, by the inherent impossibility
of the thing itself.

               THE "CHURCH" FOUNDED ON THE "ROCK"

     First of all, in proof that Jesus Christ never made this Pun,
did not establish any Christian Church -- nor even a Jewish
reformed synagoguel, -- are his own alleged positive statements to
be quoted in refutation of the other forged "missionary" passage in
Matthew: "Go ye into all the world, and teach all nations." The
avowed mission of Jesus, as we have seen from his reputed words,
was exclusively to his fellow Jews: "I am not sent but to the lost
sheep of the house of Israel"; and he expressly commanded his
disciples not to preach to the Gentiles, nor even to the near-
Jewish Samaritans. He proclaimed the immediate end of the world,
and his quick second coming to establish the exclusively Jewish
Kingdom of Heaven, even before all the Jews of little Palestine
could be warned of the event -- that "the Kingdom of Heaven is at
hand." It is impossible, therefore, that Jesus could have so
flagrantly contradicted the basic principles of his exclusive
mission as the Jewish promised Messiah, and could have commanded
the institution of a permanent and perpetual religious organization
an ecclesia" or "Church," to preach his exclusively Jewish 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              179

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

Messianic doctrines to all nations of the earth, which was to
perish within that generation. This is a conclusive proof of the 
later "interpolation" or forgery of this punning passage.

     On this point says EB.:

          "It would be a great mistake to suppose that Jesus
     himself founded a new religious community" (c. 3103). -- "A
     further consideration which tells against the genuineness of
     Mt. xvi, 18b, is the occurrence in it of the word ecclesia. It
     has been seen to be impossible to maintain that Jesus founded
     any distinct religious community. ...

          "As for the word itself, it occurs elsewhere in the
     Gospels only in Mt. xviii, 17. There, however, it denotes
     simply the Jewish local community to which every one belongs;
     for what is said relates not to the future but to the present,
     in which a Christian ecclesia cannot, of course, be thought
     of." (c. 3105) ... "It is impossible to regard as historical
     the employment of the word ecclesia by Jesus as the
     designation of the Christian community." (EB. iii, 3103, 3105,
     3117.)

     Indeed, as said by a contemporary wit, the truth is that
"Jesus Christ did not found the Church -- he is its Foundling. His
parent, the Jewish church, abandoned the child; the Roman church
took it in, adopted it, and gave his mother a certificate of good
character." (The Truth Seeker, 10/23/26.)

     Jesus spoke Aramaic, a dialect of the ancient and "dead"
Hebrew. The true name of the fisherman "Prince of the Apostles,"
just repudiated by Jesus as "Satan," was Shimeon, or in its Greek
form, Simon, who was later "surnamed Peter." He attained somehow
the Aramaic nickname Kepha, or in its Greek form, Cephas, meaning
a rock; this evidently furnished to the Greek punster the cue for
his play on words: "Thou art Petro, [Greek, petros, a rock; cf.
Eng. petrify, petroleum, etc.), and upon this petros [rock] I will
build my ecclesia [church]." Jesus could not have made this Greek
play on words; neither Peter nor any of the other "ignorant and
unlearned" Jewish peasant disciples could have understood it. Much
less could Jesus have said, or the apostles have understood, this
other Greek word "ecclesia," even had it been possible for Jesus,
facing the immediate end of the world -- proclaimed by himself --
to have dreamed of founding any permanent religious sect. There was
nothing like ecclesia known to the Jews; it was a technical Greek
term designating the free political assemblies of the Greek
republics. This is illustrated by one sentence from the Greek
Father Origen, about 245 A.D., when the Church had taken over the
Greek political term ecclesia to denote its own religious
organization. Says Origen, using the word in both its old meaning
and in its new Christian adaptation: "For the Church [ecclesia] of
God, e.q., which is at Athens; ... Whereas the assembly [ecclesia]
of the Athenians," etc. (Origen, Contra Celsum, iii, 20; ANF. iv,
476.) The Greek Fathers who, a century later, founded the Church
among the Pagan Greek-speaking Gentiles, adopted the Greek word
ecclesia for their organizations because the word was familiar for
popular assemblies, and because the translators of the Septuagint 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              180

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

had used ecclesia as the nearest Greek term for the translation of
the two Hebrew words qahal and edah used in the Old Testament for
the "congregation" or "assembly" of all Israel at the tent of
meeting.

     These Hebrew words (qahal, edah) had also a more general use,
as signifying any sort of gathering or crowd, religious or secular.
Thus "sinners shall not stand in the congregation [Heb. edah] of
the righteous" (Ps. i, 5); or of a mob of wicked ones: "I have
hated the congregation [Heb. qahal] of evil doers" (Ps. xxvi, 5);
and even of the great assemblage of the dead: "The man that --
[etc.], shall remain in the congregation [Heb. qahal] of the dead"
(Prov. xxi, 16); all these various senses being rendered "ecclesia"
in the Greek Septuagint translation.

     Thus no established and permanent organization of disciples of
the Christ is implied by the term ecclesia, even if Jesus could
have used the Aramaic equivalent of that Greek term; at most it
would have only meant the small group of Jews which might adopt the
"Kingdom of Heaven" watchword and watchfully wait until the speedy
end of the world and the expected quick consummation of the
proclaimed Kingdom, -- not yet come to be, these 2000 years.

     This only possible meaning is made indisputable by the one
other instance of the use of the Greek word ecclesia attributed to
Jesus, -- and that also by the myth-mongering "Matthew." Here Jesus
is made to lay down some rules for settling the incessant discords
among his peasant believers in the Kingdom: "Moreover, if thy
brother shall trespass against thee ... tell it to the church
[ecclesia] but if he neglect to hear the ecclesial let him be unto
thee as an heathen man and a publican" (Matt. xviii, 15-17); --
that is, kick him like a dog out of your holy company and exclude
him from share in the coming Kingdom. There was, of course, no
organized Christian "Church" in the lifetime of Jesus; he could
only have meant -- (if he said it), that disputes were to be
referred to the others of the little band of Kingdom-watchers, who
should drop the "trespasser" out of their holy group if he proved
recalcitrant and insisted upon the right of his opinion or action.
But Jesus never said even this; it is a forged later companion-
piece to the "Rock and Keys" forgery, as is proven by the following
verse 18 -- (a repetition of xvi, 19) -- regarding the "binding and
loosing" powers given to itself by the later forging Church when it
assumed this preposterous prerogative of domination.

     The "On this Rock" forgery of Matt. xvi, says Reinach, "is
obviously an interpolation, made at a period when a church,
separated from the synagogue, already existed. In the parallel
passages in Mark (vii, 27, 32) and in Luke (ix, 18-22), there is
not a word of the primacy of Peter, a detail which Mark, the
disciple of Peter, could hardly have omitted if he had known of it.
The interpolation is posterior to the compilation of Luke's
gospel." (Orpheus, pp. 224-225.)

     As aptly said by Dr. McCabe; "It [the word ecclesia] had no
meaning whatever as a religious institution until decades after the
death of Jesus Christ. In the year 30 A.D. no one on earth would
have known what Jesus meant if he had said that he was going to 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              181

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

'found' an ecclesia or church, and that the powers of darkness
would not prevail against it, and so on. It would sound like the
talk of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland." (The Story of
Religious Controversy, p. 294.) Indeed, it may be remarked, it is
the "powers of darkness" of mind which have so far prevailed to
perpetuate this fraud; the powers of the light of reason are
hastening to its final overthrow.

             PETER-ROCK-CHURCH" DENIED AB SILIENCIO

     "Luke" was not present when this monumental pronouncement of
the "Rock and Keys" was allegedly made; Peter may have forgotten to
tell him of it, or "Luke" may have forgotten that Peter told him.
And Peter may have forgotten to tell of it and of his peerless
"primacy" to his own "companion" and "interpreter" Mark, or Mark
may have forgotten that Peter told him, and thus have failed to
record so momentous an event. But John, the "Beloved Disciple" was
right there, with Matthew, himself, one of the speakers and hearers
in the historic colloquy, -- and John totally ignores it. The
silence of all three discredits and repudiates it. Moreover, and
most significantly, Peter himself, in his two alleged Epistles, has
not a word of his tremendous dignity and importance conferred on
him by his Master; never once does he describe himself in the pride
of priestly humility, "Peter, Servant of the servants of God," or
"Prince of Apostles: or even "Bishop of the Church which sojourns
at Rome," or any such to distinguish himself from the common herd
of peasant apostles. Peter must have been very modest, even more so
than his "Successors."

     Furthermore, the official "Acts of the Apostles" never once
notes this divinely commissioned "primacy" of Peter; and every
other book of the New Testament utterly ignores it. Paul is said to
have written a sententious "Epistle to the Romans," and to have
written two or three Epistles from Rome, where Peter is supposed to
have been, enthroned as divine Vicar of God and Head of the Church
Universal; and yet never a word of this tremendous fact; Paul did
not know it, or ignores it. The "Epistles of Paul," fourteen of
them, and the "Acts," are replete with defiances of Paul to Peter,
-- "I withstood him to his face"; and in all the disputes between
them, over matters of the faith and the fortunes of the new
"Church," not a single one of the Apostles rises in his place and
suggests that Peter is Prince and Primate, and that Peter's view of
the matters was ex-cathedra the voice of God, and he, having
spoken, the matter was settled. Paul, in all his Epistles, never
gives a suspicion that he had ever heard, even from Peter, of the
latter's superior authority.

     Thus the admitted principal, if not only "proof" which the
Church urges for its Divine and "Petrine" foundation is found to be
-- like every other Church muniment and credential, a clerical
forgery, a priestly imposture. We shall glance at some other like
examples of the Christian art of "Scripture" falsification.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              182

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

                 "GO, TEACH ALL NATIONS" FORGERY

     Applying Tertullian's test of authenticity, that contradictory
passages betray a later "interpolation," the closing verses, 16-20,
of the last chapter of Matthew -- as of Mark 9-20, -- are
themselves late interpolations or forged passages.

     Matthew previously quotes Jesus as declaring: "I am not sent
but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (xv, 24; x, 6); and
his command to the Twelve: "Go not into the way of the Gentiles.
... but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (x, 5,
6). Also Matthew (as Mark) has reiterated the assurance of the
immediacy of the end of the world and the "second coming" in glory:
"Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of
Man be come." (Mt. x, 23; cf. x, 7; xxvi, 28, 34, passim.) So that
neither in reason nor in truthful statement could it be possible
for Jesus to have met the Eleven a few days after his resurrection,
in Galilee, and commanded them in this wonderful language: "Go ye
therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: ... and, lo, I am
with you always, even unto the end of the world" -- which he had
just, and repeatedly, averred should happen in the life-time of his
hearers and before they could preach even to the Jews of little
Palestine. (Mt. xxviii, 18, 20; cf. Mk. xvi, 15-16.) This "command"
could only have been "interpolated" into the forged ending of
Matthew and Mark long after the original form of the tradition of
Jesus had been first written, and when the "second coming" in the
"Kingdom of God" and the immediate "end of the world" had become
impossible of further credit by lapse of long years of time and
disappointed expectation. It could also only have been written
after the gospel of the "Kingdom" for the Jews had failed, and the
apostles had "turned to the Gentiles," which was not, even on the
face of Scripture, until after the so-called "Council of
Jerusalem," when the Jewish apostles, after bitter quarrel with the
interloper Paul, had recognized Paul's pretended "revelation" of
mission to the Gentiles and had parcelled out the propaganda work,
Paul to the uncircumcised Gentiles, all the others, Peter included,
to "the circumcision" only; though the entire story of the Council
is itself a contradictory fabrication, as demonstrated by EB. (i,
916, et seq.)

         ACTS BELIES THE "GO, TEACH ALL NATIONS" FORGERY

     Culminating proof that Jesus Christ never uttered this
command, to "Go, teach all nations," of Matthew and Mark, and that
it is a forgery long after interpolated into the original forged
texts, is found in the positive "history" of the inspiredly forged
Acts of the Apostles, in Holy Writ itself. If Jesus Christ, just
arisen from the dead, had given that ringing and positive command
to Peter and the Eleven, utterly impossible would it have been for
the remarkable "history" recorded in Acts to have occurred. Acts,
too, disproves the assertion of Mark that, straightway, after the
command was given to the Eleven, "they went forth, and preached
everywhere" (Mk. xvi, 20), -- that is, to all nations thereabouts,
the Pagan Gentiles. A further contradiction may he noted: Matthew
says that the command was given to the Eleven in Galilee, on "a
mountain where Jesus had appointed them" (Mt. xxviii, 16-19), -- 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              183

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

and some days after the resurrection; whereas Mark records that the
command was given to the Eleven "as they sat at meat," evidently in
a house in Jerusalem, through the roof of which Jesus immediately
afterwards ascended into heaven (Mk. xvi, 14-19); after which they
immediately "went forth, and preached everywhere" (verse 20). But
they did not, as the silence of the other two Gospels, and the
positive evidence of Acts and several of the Epistles, proves;
together with the promised disproof of the "Go, teach all nations"
command, for preaching the Kingdom to the Gentile Pagans, now to be
produced.

     Cornelius, the leader of the Italian Band at Coesarea, a Roman
Gentile Pagan, had a "revelation" that he should go to Joppa to
find Peter, evidently with a view to "conversion" and admission
into the new all-Jewish sect. A companion vision in a trance was
awarded to Peter, seemingly to prepare him for the novel notion of
community with Gentiles; though "Peter doubted in himself what this
vision which he had seen should mean"; but at this juncture the
messengers came from Cornelius, and related to Peter the vision of
Cornelius, and his request that Peter come to see him. Evidently,
Peter had never heard of the Master's command alleged to have been
given by Jesus to Peter himself, and the others: "Go, teach all
nations" of the uncircumcised, for he said to the messengers: "Ye
know how it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep
company, or come unto one of another nation"; but recalling the
vision from which he had just awaked, be added: "but God hath
showed me" that it was permissible now to deal with "one of another
nation." So, Peter went along to Cornelius, and he asked "For what
intent ye have sent for me?" Cornelius repeated the vision, and
said, "Now we are all here present before God, to hear all things
that are commanded thee by God." At this, Peter was evidently
greatly surprised, and "opened his mouth, and replied; Of a truth
I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But that in every
nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted
with him." Thus clearly Peter had never heard his Jesus command:
"Go, teach all nations"; it required this new "revelation" -- some
years later -- for him to tardily and finally "perceive" that God
accepted even "one of another nation." Clearer yet is this, that up
to this time salvation is of the Jews" only, by Peter's next words:
"The word which God sent unto the children of Israel ... which was
published throughout Judaea -- [not to "all nations"], and began in
Galilee, after the baptism which John preached -- [not baptism "in
the name" of the Trinity]. ... And be [Jesus] commanded us to
preach unto all the people" -- of the children of Israel. And now
for proof positive: Peter was now "showed" the new dispensation: a
visitation of the Holy Ghost came upon the Pagans present, who
thereupon all "spake with tongues," to the great amazement of Peter
and his Jewish companions: "They of the circumcision which believed
were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the
Gentiles was also poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost," which had
been promised only to all believing Jews. Ignorant thus of the
Christ's preascension command to him and the Eleven, to teach all
men, but now convinced that "one of another nation" was acceptable
with God, and should be baptized, Peter yielded, and argued for his
companions to consent: "Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid
water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the
Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              184

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

the name of the Lord" (Acts x), -- not in the name of the Trinity,
as Matthew alleges that Jesus himself had commanded Peter himself
to do. So this bit of Scripture "history" is positive refutation of
the "Go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" forgery.

     And none of the others of the Twelve had ever heard the
command. For immediately that they learned of this flagrant
"heresy" of Peter, "that the Gentiles have also received the word
of God," they were piously outraged and furious against Peter: "And
when Peter had come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the
circumcision contended with him, Saying, Thou wentest in to men
uncircumcised, and didst eat with them." Peter put up a long
argument in defense, urging the "revelation" to Cornelius and his
own trance vision, quoted the gospels of Matthew and John -- (not
yet in existence!), -- and wound up: "Forasmuch then as God gave
them the like gift as he did unto us, ... what am I, that I could
withstand God?" This line of argument pacified the other apostles;
"When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified
God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance
unto life." (Acts xi.) Perfect proof is this, that the alleged "Go,
teach all nations" command of the Christ to Peter and the other
apostles, is a falsification, a late forgery into Matthew and Mark:
for if Jesus had so commanded these same apostles, the special
revelations would not have been necessary; Peter's doubt and
hesitation, and the row of the others with Peter for baptizing
Cornelius and his Band could not have occurred, would have been
impossible and absurd; as would have been the apostolic rows of the
"Council of Jerusalem," recorded in Acts xv and belied by Paul in
Galatians ii, as is made evident in EB. (i, 916.)

     This incontrovertible fact, that Jesus Christ never uttered
that command, "Go, teach all nations," and that the texts so
reciting are later forgeries to serve the Gentilic propaganda of
the Faith after the Jews had rejected it, -- is confessed by CE. in
these destructive words: "The Kingdom of God had special reference
to Jewish beliefs. ... A still further expansion resulted from the
revelation directing St. Peter to admit to baptism Cornelius, a
devout Gentile." (CE. iii, 747.) If Jesus Christ, preaching the
exclusive Jewish Kingdom, had revised and reversed his God-ordained
program, and had commanded "Go, teach all nations, baptizing them,"
the "expansion" would have resulted then and there from the command
itself, -- not from the "revelation" and apostolic row some years
later, which would have been unnecessary and supererogatory -- as
it was unseemly. Thus another pious lie and forgery is exposed and
confessed.

     Even more plain and comprehensive are the words of this same
divine forged command of the Christ, as recorded by Mark: "Go ye
into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. And he
that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that
believeth not shall be damned." (Mk. xvi, 15-16.) It should be a
relief to many pious Hell-fearing Christians to know that their
Christ did not utter these damning words, and that they may
disbelieve with entire impunity; that they are priestly forgeries
to frighten credulous persons into belief and submission to
priestcraft. The proofs of this from the Bible itself we see 
confirmed by clerical admissions under compulsion from exposure of
the fraud.
                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              185

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

     Thus this whole section, says Reinach, is a "late addition" to
Mark, ."and is not found in the best manuscripts." (Orpheus, p.
221.) We have seen that CE. includes this section among those
rejected as spurious up to the time that the Holy Ghost belatedly
vouched for it at the Council of Trent in 1546, putting the seal of
divine truth upon this lie. Both these parallel but exceedingly
contradictory closing sections of Matthew and Mark, are spurious
additions made after the "end of the world" and "second coming"
predictions had notoriously failed, in order to give pretended
divine sanction to the "turning to the Gentiles," after the Jews,
to whom alone the Christ was sent and had expressly and repeatedly
limited his mission, had rejected his claim to be Messiah.

     The Gentile Church of Christ has therefore no divine sanction;
was never contemplated nor created by Jesus Christ. The Christian
Church is thus founded on a forgery of pretended words of the
pretended Christ. This proposition is of such immense significance
and importance, that I array here the admissions of the forgery, in
addition to the demonstration of its falsity above given. The
virtual admissions of CE. totally destroy the authenticity of the
entire spurious section, Mark xvi, 9-20, together with the
correlated passages of the equally spurious "Matthean addition,"
copied from Mark, with embellishments into Matthew.

                    THE FORGED GOSPEL ENDINGS

     "The conclusion of Mark (xvi, 9-20) is admittedly not genuine.
Still less can the shorter conclusion lay claim to genuineness. ...
Almost the entire section is a compilation, partly even from the
fourth gospel and Acts." (EB. ii, 1880; 1767, n. 3; 1781, and n. 1,
on "the evidence of its spuriousness.") "The longer form ... has
against it the testimony of the two oldest Uncial MSS. (Siniatic
and Vatican) and one of the two earliest of the Syriac Versions
(Siniatic Syriac), all of which close the chapter at verse 8. In
addition to this, is the very significant silence of Patristic
literature as to anything following verse 8." (New Standard Bible
Dictionary, p. 551.) The acute and careful critical reasonings and
evidences upon which the foregoing conclusions are based, I have
omitted from these extracts, to present them in full in the
following ample review from CE., which, "reasoning in chains"
fettered upon it by the Trentine Decree, yet fully establishes the
impeaching facts and substantially confesses the forgery into
"Mark," while "saving its face" for the "inspiration" of the
forgery by clerical assumption of "some other inspired pen" as the
source of the text, which makes it "just as good" as any other,
when invested with the sanctity of the sanction of the Council of
Trent. Says CE.:

          "But the great textual problem of the Gospel (Mark)
     concerns the genuineness of the last twelve verses. Three
     conclusions of the Gospel are known: the long: conclusion, as
     in our Bibles, containing verses 9-20, the short one ending
     with verse 8, and an intermediate form [described]. ... Now
     this third form way be dismissed at once -- [as an admitted
     Bible forgery]. No scholar regards this intermediate
     conclusion as having any title to acceptance.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              186

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

          "We may pass on, then, to consider how the case stands
     between the long conclusion and the short, i.e. between
     accepting xvi, 9-20, as a genuine portion of the original
     Gospel, or making the original end with xvi, 8. Eusebius ...
     pointing out that the passage in Mark beginning with verse 9
     is not contained in all the MSS. of the Gospel. The historian
     then goes on himself to say that in nearly all the MSS. of
     Mark, at least in the accurate ones, the Gospel ends with xvi,
     8. ... St. Jerome also says in one place that the passage was
     wanting in nearly all Greek MSS. ... As we know, he
     incorporated it in the Vulgate. ... If we add to this that the
     Gospel ends with xvi, 8, in the two oldest Greek MSS. -- [
     Siniatic and Vatican] -- [also in the Siniatic Syriac, some
     Ethiopic, Armenian, and other MSS.] indicate doubt as to
     whether the true ending is at verse 8 or verse 20. (p. 678.)
     . . .

          "Much has been made of the silence of some of the third
     and fourth century Fathers, their silence being interpreted to
     mean that they either did not know the passage or rejected it.
     Thus Tertullian, SS. Cyprian, Athanasius, Basil the Great,
     Gregory of Nazianzus, and Cyril of Alexandria.

          "When we turn to the internal evidence, the number, and
     still more the character, of the peculiarities is certainly
     striking [citing many instances from the Greek text]. ... But,
     even when this is said, the cumulative force of the evidence
     against the Marcan origin of the passage is considerable. (p.
     678.) ... The combination of so many peculiar features, not
     only of vocabulary, but of matter and construction, leaves
     room for doubt as to the Marcan authorship of the verses. (p.
     679.) ...

     "Whatever the fact be, it is not at all certain that Mark did
not write the disputed verses. It may be that he did not; that they
are from the pen of some other inspired writer [!], and were
appended to the Gospel in the first century or the beginning of the
second. ... Catholics are not bound to hold that the verses were
written by St. Mark. But they are canonical Scripture, for the
Council of Trent (Sess. IV), in defining that all parts of the
Sacred Books are to be received as sacred and canonical, had
especially in view the disputed parts of the Gospels, of which this
conclusion of Mark is one. Hence, whoever wrote the verses, they
are inspired, and must be received as such by every Catholic." (CE.
ix, 677, 678, 679.)

     The New Commentary on the Holy Scripture has a special section
entitled "The Ending of St. Mark's Gospel," in which it reviews the
evidences in much the same manner as CE., with additional new and
able criticism; it thus concludes, -- not being fettered by the
dogmatic decision of the Council of Trent, which CE. so clerically
yields to in the letter but evades in the spirit:

          "It is practically certain that neither Matthew nor Luke
     found it in their copies of Mark [from which they copied in
     making up the gospels under those names: see pp. 33, 45). ...
     The Last Twelve Verses are constructed as an independent 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              187

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

     summary with total neglect of the contents of xvi, 1-8. ... It
     is as certain as anything can be in the domain of criticism
     that the Longer Ending did not come from the pen of the
     evangelist Mark. ... We conclude that it is certain that the
     Longer Ending is no part of the Gospel." (New Commentary, Pt.
     III, pp. 122, 123.)

     More shaming proofs and confessions of forgery of pretended
words of the Christ there could not be, than of this falsified
command to preach a forged Gospel to the credulous dupes of
Paganism. Gentile Christianity collapses upon its forged
foundations.

                      THE BAPTISMAL FORGERY

     The contradictory "baptismal formulas," the simple "in the
name of the Lord" of Peter in Acts, and the elaborated forgery of
Matthew, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Ghost," are sufficiently branded with falsity in the preceding
paragraphs, and may be dismissed without further notice. This
"Trinitarian Formula" is most palpably a late forgery, never
uttered by Jesus Christ; for the Holy "Trinity" was not itself
officially invented until the Council of Constantinople, in 381
A.D. Admittedly, "of all revealed truths this is the most
impenetrable to reason"; it is therefore called a "mystery." (CE.
xv, 52.) Of this Baptism-formula of Matthew, the ex-priest scholar,
McCabe, says: "It was fraudulently added to the gospel when the
priesthood was created." (LBB. 1121, p. 4.) Bishop Gore's English
Divines thus cautiously confess the fraud: "Matthew's witness to
the teaching of the risen Lord in these verses is widely rejected
on two grounds. The witness of Acts makes it almost certain that
baptism at first was into the name of Jesus Christ, and not
formally into the name of the Blessed Trinity. ... It is quite
likely that Matthew here expresses our Lord's teaching in language
which the Lord Himself did not actually use." (New Comm., Pt. III,
p. 204; ef. EB. i, 474.) Another blasting priestly fraud of
"Scripture" forgery is thus exposed and confessed!

                      A MEDLEY OF FORGERIES

     After the foregoing colossal forgeries within the originally
forged Gospels of Jesus Christ, there yet remain many other
viciously dishonest falsifications of text. A little trinity of
them only will be noted.

                 THE "WOMAN IN ADULTERY" FORGERY

     The CE. has admitted that the so-called pericope adulterae,
was regarded as spurious until the Council of Trent, in 1546,
declared it divine truth; but Reinach says: "The episode of Jesus
and the woman taken in adultery, which was inserted in John's
gospel in the fourth century, was originally in the [apocryphal]
'Gospel according to the Hebrews.'" (Orpheus, p. 235.)

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              188

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

                      THE JOHN XXI FORGERY

     The entire chapter xxi of John is likewise a surcharge of 
forgery in that gospel; it may be disposed of with this terse
comment of EB.: "As xx, 30-31 constitutes a formal and solemn
conclusion, xxi is beyond question a later appendix. We may go on
to add that it does not come from the same author with the rest of
the book." (EB. ii, 2543.)

                   THE "LORD'S PRAYER" FORGERY

     As may be seen by mere comparison, the "Doxology" at the end
of the Lord's Prayer in Matthew (vi, 13): "For thine is the
kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen," is an
interpolation into the original text, and is omitted as spurious by
the Revised Version; it is not in the Catholic "True" Version. But,
it may be remarked, the whole of the so-called Lord's Prayer is not
the Lord's at all; it is a late patch-work of pieces out of the Old
Testament, as readily shown by the marginal cross-references, --
just as we have seen that the "Apostles Creed" was said to have
been patched up by inspired lines from each apostle. The Sermon on
the Mount, in which its most used form is found, is a concatenation
of supposed logia or "sayings" of Jesus, drawn out through three
chapters of "Matthew"; it was delivered before "the multitudes"
which surrounded the Master and his disciples, and in the middle of
the fictitious discourse. This is not true, according to "Luke,"
who makes it out a private talk in reply to a question by one of
the Twelve: "And it came to pass, that, as (Jesus) was praying in
a certain place, when he ceased one of his disciples said to him,
Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And be
said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father," etc. (Luke xi, 1-
228 2.) Indeed, the entire "Lord's Prayer" in Matthew, copied from
Luke and expanded with considerable new material, is as to such new
matter a forgery, confesses CE.: "Thus it is that the shorter form
of the Lord's Prayer in Luke, xi, 2-4, is in almost all Greek
manuscripts lengthened out in accordance with Matthew, vi, 9-13.
Most errors of this kind proceed," etc. (CE. iv, 498.) I shall
quote now the whole of CE.'s paragraph, admitting this and other
"deliberate corruptions" of the New Testament texts, with clerical
apologetic reasons therefor:

          "(b) Errors Wholly or Partly Intentional. -- Deliberate
     corruption of the Sacred Text has always been rather rare,
     Marcion's case being exceptional. Hort (Introduction (1896),
     p. 282) is of the opinion that 'even among the unquestionably
     spurious readings of the New Testament there are no signs of
     deliberate falsification of the text for dogmatic purposes.'
     Nevertheless it is true that the scribe often selects from
     various readings that which favors either his own individual
     opinion or the doctrine that is just then more generally
     accepted. It also happens that, in perfectly good faith, he
     changes passages which seem to him corrupt because he fails to
     understand them, that he adds a word which he deems necessary
     for the elucidation of the meaning, that he substitutes a more
     correct grammatical expression, and that he harmonizes
     parallel passages. Thus it is that the shorter form of the
     Lord's Prayer in Luke, xi, 2-4, is in almost all Greek 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              189

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

     manuscripts lengthened out in accordance with Matthew, vi,
     9-13. Most errors of this kind proceed from inserting in the
     text marginal notes which, in the copy to be transcribed, were
     but variants, explanations, parallel passages, simple remarks,
     or perhaps the conjectures of some studious reader. All
     readers have observed the predilection of copyists for the
     most verbose texts and their tendency to complete citations
     that are too brief; hence it is that an interpolation stands
     a far better chance of being perpetuated than an omission."
     (CE. iv, 498.)

     Thus, as to the "Lord's Prayer" in Matthew, its "variants"
from Luke are confessed forgeries; every circumstance of the two
origins is in contradiction. Like the whole "Sermon on the Mount,"
the Prayer is a composite of ancient sayings of the Scripture
strung together to form it, as the marginal cross-references show
throughout.

                    THE "UNKNOWN GOD" FORGERY

     At this point I may call attention to a notable instance in
Acts of a fraudulent perversion of text; Paul's use of the
pretended inscription on the statue on Mars' Hill, "To the Unknown
God," on which is based his famous harangue to the Athenians: "Whom
therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." This
omits the truth, for the whole inscription would have been fatal to
his cause. The actual words of the inscription, together with some
uncomplimentary comment on "Paul's" manipulation of the truth, are
presented by the famous Catholic "Humanist" Erasmus. First he
states the chronic clerical propensity to warp even Scripture to
their deceptive schemes: "In general it is the public charter of
all divines, to mould and bend the sacred oracles till they comply
with their own fancy, spreading them (as Heaven by its Creator)
like a curtain, closing together, or drawing them back as they
please." Then he discloses the dishonest dodge of the great Apostle
of Persecution: "Indeed, St. Paul minces and mangles some citations
which he makes use of, and seems to wrest them to a different sense
from that for which they were first intended, as is confessed by
the great linguist St. Jerome. Thus when that apostle saw at Athens
the inscription of an altar, he draws from it an argument for the
proof of the Christian religion; but leaving out a great part of
the sentence, which perhaps if fully recited might have prejudiced
his cause, he mentions only the last two words, viz., 'To the
Unknown God'; and this, too, not without alteration, for the whole
inscription runs thus: 'TO THE GODS OF ASIA, EUROPE, AND AFRICA, TO
ALL FOREIGN AND UNKNOWN GODS'"! (Erasmus, The Praise of Folly, p.
292.) That the original Greek text of Acts used the plural "gods"
is shown by the marginal note to Acts xvii, 23, in the King James
Version. From this dreary, exposure of "Gospel" forgeries we pass
to the forged "Epistles of the Apostles."

                    THE FORGED EPISTLES, ETC.

     There are 21 so-called Epistles or Letters found in the New
Testament under the names of five different "apostles" of Jesus
Christ. Making a significant reservation which seems to question
the plenary inspiration of the Council of Trent, "There are," says 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              190

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

CE., "thirteen Epistles of St. Paul, and perhaps fourteen, if, with
the Council of Trent, we consider him the author of the Epistle to
the Hebrews." (CE. xiv, 530.) If Paul, the "apostle of the
Gentiles," didn't write the Letter to the Hebrews, some Church
Father must have forged it in his name. This was admitted by the
early Fathers: "Tertullian ascribed it to Barnabas, and Origen
confessed that the author was not known." (Reinach, Orpheus, p.
235; CE. xiv, 525; New Comm. Pt. III, p. 596.) "The Epistle to the
Hebrews," says EB., "had already been excluded from the group [of
then supposed Pauline Epistles] by Carlstadt (1520), and among
those who followed him in this were Luther, Calvin, Grotius, etc."
(EB. iii, 3605.) So CE.'s cautious clerical reservation is
justified, and the forgery of Hebrews in the name of Paul may be
taken as established, the inspired Council of Trent to the contrary
notwithstanding.

     But the entire "Pauline group" is in the same forged class
with Hebrews, says EB. after exhaustive consideration of the
proofs, internal and external:

          "With respect to the canonical Pauline Epistles, ...
     there are none of them by Paul; neither fourteen, nor
     thirteen, nor nine or eight, nor yet even the four so long
     'universally' regarded as unassailable. They are all, without
     distinction, pseudographia [false-writings, forgeries]; -- [it
     adds, with a typical clerical striving after saving something
     from the wreckage] this, of course, not implying the least
     depreciation of their contents. ... The group ... bears
     obvious marks of a certain unity -- of having originated in
     one circle, at one time, in one environment; but not of unity
     of authorship." (EB. iii, 3625, 3626.) They are thus all
     uninspired anonymous church forgeries for Christ's sweet sake!

     Besides the so-called Pauline Epistles, another group, i.e.
those attributed to Peter, John, Jude and James, is known as
"Catholic Epistles," so called because addressed to the Church at
large; "not one of them is authentic." (Reinach, Orpheus, p. 239;
cf. EB., under the various titles.) A third small group, Titus and
2 Timothy, are called Pastoral Epistles" because they are addressed
to pastors of churches. These, with Acts and the Book of
Revelation, complete the tale of the Old-Christian Literature
finally approved, in 1546, by the Council of Trent as divinely
inspired, along with the inspired nonsense of Tobias, Judith, Bel
and the Dragon, and like late Hebrew pious forgeries. With respect
to the Apocalypse Revelation, attributed to the Apostle John, this
has long been held to be impossible; nor is Revelation by the same
writer as the Fourth Gospel falsely attributed to John, as we have
seen. The results of ancient patristic denials and of modern
critical scholarship are thus summed up: "John ... is not the
author of the Fourth Gospel; so, in like manner, in the Apocalypse
we may have here and there a passage that may be traced to him, but
the book as a whole is not from his pen. Gospel, Epistles, and
Apocalypse all come from the same school." (EB. i, 199.) "The
author of Revelation calls himself John the Apostle. As he was not
John the Apostle, who died perhaps in Palestine about 66, he was a
forger." (Orpheus p. 240.) The same can truly be said as to all the
others.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              191

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

     It is impossible here to review the criticism of the twenty-
three booklets individually. The comment of EB. on the Epistle to
the Philippians, as not written by Paul, is, fairly applicable to
them all: "What finally puts an end to all doubt is the presence of
unmistakable traces of the conditions of a later period. ... More
particularly, everything that points to a considerably advanced
stage in the development of doctrine." (EB. iii, 3709.) This
principle of criticism will be admitted by anyone; we have read it
from CE. as "universally admitted" to wit: "A fundamental one is
that a literary work always betrays the imprint of the age and
environment in which it was produced." (CE. iv, 492.) Paul and
Peter are reputed to have died together in Rome under Nero, in 64
(67) A.D. We have shown the impossibility of the existence of "New
Testament" writings, and of a "church" during the first several
generations which daily expected the end of the world and the
sudden second coming of the Christ to set up the supernatural
Kingdom of God, among, of, and for Jews only. More especially
impassible is it, that a Catholic or "universal" Church among the
far-scattered cities and nations of the Gentiles should have
existed even in embryo within the scant, say 35 years between the
reputed death of Jesus about 30 A.D. and the deaths of Paul and
Peter in 64 (67) A.D. Most impossible would it have been for such
Gentile Church then to have had the intricate hierarchical
organization of Bishops, presbyters, deacons, priests, and
"damnable heresies," portrayed as actually existing and in active
function, by these apocryphal Epistles. They are self-evidently the
product of an elaborately organized church, -- just as they are
more elaborately laid out and their several jurisdictions and
functions defined in the admittedly forged Apostolic Constitutions
and Canons, forged in the names of the apostles in the following
centuries. Nothing from ancient times can be or is more positively
proven false and forged than every book and text of the New
Testament, attributed to apostles. Who can now deny this?

                THE "EPISTLE OF PETER" FORGERIES

     Owing to the peculiar importance attributed to them by the
Church, as among the most unquestionable of its "proofs" of
authentic divine foundation and sanction, the so-called Epistles I
and II of Peter call for a few words of special refutation. These
two Peter books were, in truth, questioned and denied from the
early days. Bishop Eusebius, the first Church Historian, (HE. III,
iii, 25), says of II Peter that it was "controverted and not
admitted into the canon"; and, says EB., "The tardy recognition of
II Peter in the early church supports the judgment of the critical
school as to its un-apostolic origin." (EB. iii, 3684.)

     The critical considerations which lead to the rejection of
both Epistles as "not Petrine" and "not of the apostolic age," may
be very briefly summarized: That I Peter is addressed to the
"Sojourners of the Dispersion" in Asia Minor, which was Paul's
reserved territory. "There is no trace of the questions mooted in
the apostolic age. ... The historical conditions and circumstances
implied in the Epistle indicate, moreover, a time far beyond the
probable duration of Peter's life. ... The history of the spread of
Christianity imperatively demands for I Peter a later date than 64
A.D.," the alleged date of Peter's death. The second Epistle, II 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              192

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

Peter, is vaguely addressed to Christians in general (i, 1), yet in
iii, 1, the writer inconsistently assumes that the First Epistle
was addressed to the same readers; and he tells them (i, 6 and iii,
15) that they had already received instructions from him
(ostensibly Peter), and also letters from Paul. "The relation of II
Peter to I Peter renders a common authorship extremely doubtful.
The name and title of the author are different. ... The style of
the two epistles is different. ... It is late and un-apostolic."
(EB. Peter, Epistles of, iii, 3678-3685; cf. New Comm. Pt. III, pp.
639, 653, 654.) "The genuineness of I Peter cannot be maintained.
Most probably it was not written before 112 A.D." (EB. 2940.) The
two letters of Peter are Graeco-Egyptian forgeries." (Reinach,
Orpheus, p. 240.) The Church pretense that I Peter was written at
Rome ("Babylon") will be judged in its more appropriate place. In
the early list of supposedly apostolic Books drawn up by Tertullian
as accepted and read in the several Churches, while he "cites the
Book of Enoch as inspired, ... also recognizes IV Esdras, and the
Sibyl, ... he does not know James and II Peter. ... He attributes
Hebrews to St. Barnabas." (CE. xiv, 525.) Bishop Dionysius
complains that his own writings "had been falsified by the apostles
of the devil; no wonder, he adds, 'that the Scriptures were
falsified by such persons.'" (CE. v, 10.) The "Peter" Books are
other instances.

                   THE "GOD MANIFEST" FORGERY

     In the King James or "Authorized" Version we read: "Great is
the mystery of Godliness: God was manifest in the flesh," etc. (1
Tim. iii, 16.) In the "Revised Version" this "God manifest" forged
interpolation is shamed out of the text, which there honestly
reads: "He who was manifested in the flesh," etc. Thus the great
"mystery of godliness," premised in the text, is no longer a
mystery; and the fraudulent insertion into the text by some over-
zealous Christian forger, seeking to bolster up an "apostolic"
pedigree for the later "tradition" of the divinity of the Christ,
is confessed. This pious "interpolation" was probably made at the
time and by the same holy hands which forged the "Virgin-birth"
interpolations into "Matthew" and "Luke." This passage is but one
of a whole series of "Spurious Passages in the New Testament,"
catalogued by Taylor, in the appendix to his Diegesis, (p. 421).
This pious fraud was first detected and exposed by Sir Isaac
Newton.

             THE "THREE HEAVENLY WITNESSES" FORGERY

     Bishop Clement of Alexandria, writing around 200 A.D., thus
quotes a comparatively trivial and innocuous passage from the
forged First Epistle of St. John (v, 7), -- which, through
fraudulent tampering later became one of the "chief stones of the
corner" of the Holy Church that the Fathers built: "John says: 'For
there are three that bear witness, the spirit, and the water, and
the blood: and these three are one.'" (Clem. Alex., Fragment from
Cassiodorus, ch. iii; ANF. iii, 576.) This is self-evidently the
original text of this now famous, or infamous, passage. Turning now
to the Word of God as found in the "Authorized" Protestant and in
the Chaloner-Douay Version of the Catholic Vulgate, we read with
wonder:

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              193

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

          "7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the
     Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
          "8. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the
     spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in
     one." (I John, v, 7, 8.)

     Let us now turn to the same text, or what is left of it, in
the Revised Version. Here we read, with more wonder (if we do not
know the story of pious fraud behind it), what seems to be a
garbled text:

          "8. For there are three who bear witness, the Spirit, and
     the water, and the blood: and the three agree in one."

     Erasmus first detected the fraud and omitted the forged verse
in his edition of the Greek Testament in 1516. (New Comm. Pt. III,
p. 718-19.) This verse 7, bluntly speaking, is a forgery: "It had
been wilfully and wickedly interpolated, to sustain the Trinitarian
doctrine; it has been entirely omitted by the Revisers of the New
Testament." (Roberts, Companion to the Revised Versions p. 72.)
"This memorable text," says Gibbon, "is condemned by the silence of
the Fathers, ancient versions, and authentic manuscripts, of all
the manuscripts now extant, above four score in number, some of
which are more than 1200 years old." (Ch. xxvii, p. 598.) Speaking
of this and another, Reinach says: "One of these forgeries (I John
v, 7) was subjected to interpolation of a later date. ... If these
two verses were Authentic, they would be an affirmation of the
doctrine of the Trinity, at a time when the gospels, and Acts and
St. Paul ignore it. It was first pointed out in 1516 that these
verses were an interpolation, for they do not appear in the best
manuscripts down to the fifteenth century. The Roman Church refused
to bow to the evidence. ... The Congregation of the Index, on
January 13, 1897, with the approbation of Leo XIII, forbade any
question of the authenticity of the text relating to the 'Three
Heavenly Witnesses.' It showed in this instance a wilful ignorance
to which St. Gregory's rebuke is specially applicable: "God does
not need our lies."' (Orpheus, p. 239.) But His Church does; for
without them it would not be; and without the forged "Three
Heavenly Witnesses," and the forged "Baptism Formula" of Matthew
(xxviii, 19), there would be not a word in the entire New Testament
hinting the existence of the Three-in-One God of Christianity. The
Holy Trinity is an unholy Forgery!

     Lest it be thought by some pious but uninformed persons that
the foregoing imputation may be either false or malicious, we shall
let CE. make the confession of shame, with the usual clerical
evasions to "save the face" of Holy Church confronted with this
proven forgery and fraud. From a lengthy and detailed review, under
separate headings, of all the ancient MSS., Greek, Syriac,
Ethiopia, Armenian, Old Latin, and of the Fathers, the following is
condensed, but in the exact words of the text:

          "The famous passage of the Three Witnesses [quoting I
     John, v, 7]. Throughout the past three hundred years, effort
     has been made to expunge from our Clementine Vulgate edition
     of the canonical Scriptures the words that are bracketed. Let
     us examine the facts of the case. [Here follows the thorough 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              194

                     FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY

     review of the MSS, closed in each instance by such words as:
     "The disputed part is found in none"; "no trace"; "no
     knowledge until the twelfth century," etc. etc.] The silence
     of the great and voluminous St. Augustine, [etc.] are admitted
     facts that militate against the canonicity of the Three
     Witnesses. St. Jerome does not seem to know the text, --
     [Jerome made the Vulgate Official Version].

          "Trent's is the first certain ecumenical decree, whereby
     the Church established the Canon of Scripture. We cannot say
     that the Decree of Trent necessarily included the Three
     Witnesses" -- [for reasons elaborately stated, and upon two
     conditions discussed, saying): "Neither condition has yet been
     verified with certainty; quite the contrary, textual criticism
     seems to indicate that the Comma Johanninum was not at all
     times and everywhere wont to be read in the Catholic Church,
     and it is not contained in the Old Latin Vulgate. However, the
     Catholic theologian must take into account more than textual
     criticism"! (CE. viii, 436.)

     A confessed forgery of Holy Writ consciously kept in the
"canonical" text as a fraudulent voucher for a false Trinity --
such is "The Three Heavenly Witnesses" -- to the shame and ignominy
of the Holy Church of Christ, which "has never deceived any one,"
and which "has never made an error, and never shall err to all
eternity"! This is not an error, however; it is but one more
deliberate clerical "lie to the glory of God."

                          ****     ****

           Abbreviations for most often used sources:

     The libraries of the Union Theological Seminary and of
Columbia University, in New York City, were the places of the finds
here recorded. Cited so often, space will be saved for more
valuable uses by citing by their initials, -- which will become
very familiar -- my chief ecclesiastical authorities, towit:

     The Ante-Nicene Fathers, cited as ANF.; A Collection of the
extant Writings of all the Founders of Christianity down to the
Council of Nicaea, or Nice, in 325 A.D. American Reprint, eight
volumes. The Christian Literature Publishing Co., Buffalo, N.Y.,
1885. [xxx]

     The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, cited as N&PNF.; First and
Second Series; many volumes; same publishers.

     The Catholic Encyclopedia, cited as CE.; fifteen volumes and
index, published under the Imprimatur of Archbishop Farley; New
York, Robert Appleton Co., 1907-9.

     The Encyclopedia Biblica, cited as EB., four volumes; Adam & 
Charles Black, London, 1899; American Reprint, The Macmillan Co.,
New York, 1914.

                          ****     ****

    Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                              195
/library/historical/disclaimer.html
The Historical Library is provided for those doing research into the history of nontheism. It is not intended to be--and should not be used as--a source of modern, up-to-date information regarding atheistic issues. DO NOT CONTACT US ABOUT THESE DOCUMENTS. Please read the full Historical Library Disclaimer
Top