May 17, 2006

The Da Vinci Code is baloney: Why the commotion?

I know why many Christians are so upset over the movie, The Da Vinci Code. It isn't that people are going to die over this, like Jews died in the past when The Passion plays were performed, or like the people who died at cartoon protests recently. No, the Christians aren't worried about people dying because of this movie. They are worried their already flimsy belief system will be further questioned, potentially losing even more of their flock.
Science is hard enough to argue against, but now a fake but plausible story about their mythological saviour....this is too much. How dare someone add to the phoney story they already live and die by? It is like telling a Fundy to add evolution and an ancient earth to their belief system. Many Christians don't like add ons. Too much thinking is required, too many new lies must be invented to keep people believing the old lies.
It is obvious that distorting the mythological Jesus by allowing for a wife and possible kids is totally taboo, causing such an uproar. Yet the release of the movie, The God Who Wasn't There, hardly made news. Maybe Brian Flemming should have got Tom Hanks to appear in a couple of scenes:)

I know as far as my belief in the historical Jesus goes, I never questioned his existence until around the time that Mel Gibson started with his movie, The Passion.

All of a sudden, I was turned on to lots of information about the FACT that Jesus most likely didn't even exist. And everything I've read since, even from Christian Apologists, has only reinforced the non existence of Jesus Christ. It is kind of like the opposite of evolution, where everything I read reinforces evolution as fact. Us Atheists, we are such a cynical bunch, always demanding proof. How dare us!

Here are a couple of clips from The God Who Wasn't There. Definitely worth watching.
The first one runs around 6 minutes and the second one is less than 2 minutes long.

This is the movie that should upset Christians much more than The Da Vinci Code. At least the Code assumes Jesus was a living breathing person.

Yes, there was a 40 year gap from when Jesus supposedly lived, and the first words were written about the greatest myth of all times (OK, he is tied with God).

Oh, and before I get nasty comments by Christians here, please look at some of these sites and try refuting them. You can't.

Was Jesus mostly based on Caesar?


  1. Apikoros baal korchoMay 17, 2006 4:16 PM

    I once encountered a woman who kept running off at the mouth to me about how she was raised Catholic and how Jesus was the Son of God and how everyone was supposed to believe that or lose Heaven. There was no room for a dialogue; she was like a recorded message that kept playing the same information over and over and over. At best, she showed the sensitivity of a voice-controlled answering system. It took me very little time to realize that if she had a brain, the Catholic Church had stolen it from her for good. Thinking is not something that these people do so well because they are told to "have faith" instead. It is as if a person were to try to approach the topic with an open mind would mean automatic damnation.

    I can't say that I've had experiences with proselytizing Christians that have been all that different. At some point, they all insist that the good and pious turn off their brains and discard them in favor of "having faith," and that's just a little too frightening for me to accept.

  2. What I have always wondered: If the Vatican hadn't made such a big deal over The DaVinci Code in the first place, would there be such a raging dispute in Christian circles? Or would the book have just faded away into well-deserved obscurity? I think the Vatican's vocal opinions on a-- frankly-- poorly-written book just generate more suspicions against an organization that really can't handle anymore scandal.

    Funny, I never even thought about doubting the existance of Jesus, just his divinity. Interesting thought, though.


  3. We live in a new time different from several centuries ago, and yet we are in this continuous jet from 3000 years ago to now, and even further back to 700,000 when 'we' not the 'homo sapiens' today, or belatedly, discovered fire. We live at a time, when spirituality previously provided is challenged while a new spirituality has yet to fully take root, which it no doubt will, in or by next millineum. The raging debates are part of the formation of the new spirituality.

    Why a new spirituality? From Plato's 'idea forms' to Judeo-Christianity, the mainstream of Western development of thoughts, from across the Atlantic to the Americas, North America, with dwindling Church attendance, and entrenchment of science in American science syallabus with US Supreme Court decision of Edwards v Aguillard about 19 years ago, and this year's Jan 2006 decision in the Dover case, where ID is removed from the Dover High School science syllabus, a new spirituality is in the formation. The atheism that has come to the fore front has not shown itself capable of taking that spot. So the herd meanders till, .... The Christianity with core spiritual values that may reinvent itself to fill that gap, or loss its hold in North America and flow to Africa Asia.

    The blind rage that atheists attack Christianity, for some of its flaws, without the professional critique, bespeaks of a psyche that has been tampered with, turning on itself as if to give vent at the anger of having believed incorrect scientific facts. We fail to recall the scientific facts of yester centuries or even every year, do change.

    Atheism instead of focussing on its own building blocks is focussed on tearing down the building blocks of Christianity without doing it in a professional way. The amicus curia brief that all the American scientists Nobel Laureates critiques creation science does it without tearing down Christianity, though admittedly the issue is whether it is constitutional to teach creation science in school.

  4. Atheism is not trying to tear down Christianity. Atheists are just people like me who see absolute no reason to believe in God and no evidence whatsoever that God exists.

    I'm sure at least half the Atheists out there believe Jesus was a living breathing person, or at least just don't care if he was or not.

    I'm sure you didn't read the links I provided. They show in a intellectual way that there is no proof Jesus existed and in fact, reasons for him to be completely made up and who the myth of Jesus personifies.

  5. We have logged horns on this on your earlier thread of penn teller bible is crapola. My view there, stands.

  6. I loved The God Who Wasn't There. I only wish it were 2+ hours rather than 70 minutes. There's so much more to cover!

    As for a historical Jesus, I also find it doubtful. To me, the most convincing evidence is this: Not a single secular historian who lived at the same time that Jesus allegedly did mentioned the miracle worker's existence. If Jesus really did exist, wouldn't at least ONE secular historian who was his contemporary choose to mention him? By the way, this time period is one of the most well documented of antiquity.

  7. That is fine. You are allowed your view. But you can't refute the links I provided. Why is it that you accept a book written by man way after the fact as proof of someones existence? Yes, ancient bibles writings do exist. That is why you believe what you believe, because you think that stories made up a couple of hundred years after Jesus supposedly lived should be declared history books.

    I was an Atheist long before I doubted Christs existence. That is a new one for me. And the reason I post about it is because I find the facts fascinating. If I was ignorant for over 40 years about what "proof" Christians have been using to justify a historical Jesus, I can imagine how many others are out there.

    Thank Mel Gibson for making this a hot topic. Without Mel, I'd probably still think Jesus was a real person.

  8. To recap my point, serious historians who take history as a discipline and who study five languages to deepen their discipline, assert there is a historical Jesus Christ. I agree there is a historical Jesus Christ. As to his divinity, I see Jesus Christ as a great man.

    My area of interest, is where the Western mind came from, about 2500 years ago, and how the Western mind developed through the past 2500 years, [ of course one can go further..] and where it will go, and how.... so that whatever progress that 'we' when we discovered fire 700,000 years ago, made, we carried forward, and to today. And what is the best way to do it. The brand atheism I see, which cannot even distinguish psychosis from erroneous scientific beliefs, is no answer to the spirituality that is part of the 'man' homo sapiens and a Christianity that cannot keep pace with science is also no answer. It has to be a spirituality that can keep pace with science.

  9. Christianity that cannot keep pace with science will lose its following, and Christianity that does keep pace with science can fulfil man's spiritual needs, issue aside such needs can be met in other ways.

    Where situations prevent Christianity from keeping pace with science, it will either render such brand of Christianity redundant or such Christianity will migrate to other places, where the challenge mounted by science is less intense.

  10. I even go further that a brand of Christianity that sees the historical Jesus Christ as a great man, a great teacher, can survive and even flourish now or in the future. History, the true discipline of history supports Jesus Christ as a historical man, a great man, a great teacher.

    The values of Christianity are good values, and a Christian who accepts Jesus even as a great man can be excellent citizen of any nation.

  11. I am a Theravada Buddhist and am impartial observer of Christianity and atheism, etc... Have a wonderful summer, folks!

  12. p/s: Christianity can survive even without miracles, virgin birth, resurrection of the flesh. That is, I contend, the true essence of Christianity. Such Christianity can keep ahead even of science or at pace with it. The Bible will then not be a history book or a science book, but a spiritual guide for homo sapien's spiritual needs so that 'we' can march forward and evolve in better ways than we can conceive now.

    Which 'we' of 700,000 years ago or even 100,000 years ago, could conceive the strides 'we' make now?

  13. Plato's ideas are closer to spiritual outlook and Aristotle's closer to science. How did each of these men pass the baton and to whom, and through whom, say a series of thinkers of past, to today.

    How has that shaped Western mind through 2500 years? We need to see this before we can assess where we are at and where we can go .... end.

  14. The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction

    1. Fiction: Mary Magdalene was married to Jesus.

    This claim is the backbone of Brown's novel. The The Da Vinci Code
    claims that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married, that they had
    children, and that their descendants included a line of kings in
    France, as well as some of the main characters in Brown's novel.

    Despite Brown's claims, however, there are no historical documents
    that claim that Jesus was married - not even the "Gnostic gospels"
    that Brown mentions in his novel. (The Gnostic texts were written a
    century or more after the New Testament. The Gnostic texts borrow
    some names and ideas from Christianity but the texts are not
    Christian and they are not used by Christians.)

    The only specific evidence that Brown cites to support this claim of
    a marriage is a passage from one of the Gnostic texts - the so-
    called "gospel of Phillip." And that lone piece of evidence actually
    undermines Brown's claim.

    The main problem with the "Phillip" passage is that it clearly shows
    that even in the context of this Gnostic text, Mary Magdalene and
    Jesus could not have been married. If you read the passage, as shown
    on page 246 of the hardcopy version of The Da Vinci Code, you'll see
    for yourself:

    "the companion of the Savior is Mary Magdalene. Christ loved her more
    than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on her mouth. The
    rest of the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval.
    They said to him, 'Why do you love her more than all of us?'"

    If, in the context of this Gnostic text, the Savior and Magdalene
    were supposedly married, then why would the disciples bother to ask
    why he loved her more than them?

    Can you imagine a scenario in which a group of men would ask a
    married man, "Why do you love your wife more than us? And, for that
    matter, why do you keep kissing your wife?" Such a question wouldn't
    make any sense. In fact, it wouldn't make any sense even if the two
    were merely engaged or simply dating.

    The only way that the question would make sense in the Gnostic text
    is if there was no reason for Mary Magdalene to be treated any
    differently than the men. And the only way that this could be true is
    if Mary Magdalene was supposed to have the exact same relationship
    with the "Savior" as did the "other disciples." In other words, only
    if she was not married, or otherwise intimately involved.

    There are other problems with Brown's marriage theory:

    • Despite Brown's "translation" of that key passage from the Gnostic
    gospel of Phillip, the word "mouth" doesn't actually appear in the
    original text. According to page 49 of The Da Vinci Deception, by
    Erwin W. Lutzer: "You should know that because of the poor quality of
    the papyrus, a word or two is missing in the original. The text
    reads, 'Jesus kissed her often on the [blank].' So scholars fill in
    the blank with the word mouth, face, or forehead, etc. Actually, for
    all we know the text might have said 'the hand' or even 'the cheek'
    since the statement implies that he also kissed his other students –
    presumably on the cheek as is still done in the Middle East."

    • Brown claims that the Aramaic word for "companion" literally
    meant "spouse." That is not true according to various Aramaic
    scholars. And, even more importantly, the Gnostic gospel of Phillip
    was not written in Aramaic. It was written in Coptic.

    • None of the Gnostic gospels ever claimed that Jesus and Mary
    Magdalene were married. Even the so-called Gnostic gospel of Mary
    Magdalene fails to makes such a claim.

    • Finally, consider this from page 41 of The Truth Behind The Da
    Vinci Code, by Richard Abanes, in regards to the Gnostic Phillip
    text: Ironically, if this text does anything, it cuts out the very
    heart of any assertion about Mary and Jesus being wed. It does so by
    adhering to one of the basic tenets of ancient Gnosticism, which
    declares that all physical matter was inherently evil. Consequently,
    sexual relations were intrinsically debasing! The Gospel of Phillip
    goes so far as to say that marital relations defile a woman.

    2. Fiction: The Gnostic gospels and the Dead Sea Scrolls are "the
    earliest Christian records."

    The The Da Vinci Code claims that the New Testament is a forgery and
    that the Gnostic gospels and the Dead Sea Scrolls are the original
    Christian texts.

    This claim, however, is flatly contradicted by an overwhelming amount
    of scholarship by Christians and non-Christians. Many scholars
    believe that the New Testament was written during the first century
    and that the Gnostic texts were written no sooner than the second
    century. And, the Dead Sea Scrolls don't contain any gospels of any
    kind. In fact, the Dead Sea Scrolls do not contain any Christian
    writings of any kind.

    There are four New Testament Gospels, which are named Matthew, Mark,
    Luke and John. Many scholars believe that these were written during
    the century in which Jesus lived. The Gnostic gospels are generally
    believed to have been written later – about 100 to 300 years later.
    These Gnostic texts borrow some elements from Christianity, including
    the names of Jesus and his apostles, but these writings are not

    There are major differences between the New Testament Gospels and the
    Gnostic gospels. The New Testament Gospels contain details about life
    in the land of Israel during the first century. They also contain
    several references to Old Testament passages, prophecies and
    theological concepts. For Christians, the New Testament is the
    continuation of the Old Testament. In contrast, the Gnostic texts
    contain very little detail to suggest that their authors had ever
    been to the land of Israel, or that they were even alive during the
    first century. And the theological concepts of the Gnostic texts
    sharply contradict those that are found in the Old Testament.

    Consider this from pages 26 and 27 of The Truth Behind the Da Vinci
    Code, by Richard Abanes:

    "But were the Gnostic gospels written prior to the books of Matthew,
    Mark, Luke and John? Most scholars, Christian and non-Christian,
    would answer no. They date the Gnostic gospels (for example, those in
    the Nag Hammadi collection) to about A.D. 150 to 250. Although many
    of these texts are Coptic translation of earlier Greek texts (that
    are no longer extant), most scholars agree that the material itself
    still does not date previous to the mid 100s to the early 200s.

    "In other words, the Gnostic texts were written after the books of
    Matthew (about 65 to 100), Mark (about 40 to 75), Luke (about 60 to
    80), and John (about 90). They [the Gnostic texts] were late
    arrivals, which is one reason why church leaders rejected them. ...
    These Gnostic gospels not only disagreed with the older [New
    Testament] Gospels, which were already accepted by Christians, but
    they lacked authority since their authors were neither a) apostles of
    Jesus nor b) persons associated with apostles of Jesus. ... No one
    really knows who wrote the [Gnostic] texts."

    As for Brown's claim about the Dead Sea Scrolls - these scrolls were
    found in 1947, not in the 1950s as Brown mistakenly claims on page
    234 of The Da Vinci Code. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain copies and
    fragments of Old Testament books and various religious and secular
    writings. But they do not contain any gospels, and they do not
    contain any references to Jesus. In fact, many of the Dead Sea
    Scrolls were written centuries before the time of Jesus.

    3. Fiction: Christianity stole its ideas and concepts from paganism.

    The Da Vinci Code, on page 232: claims: "Nothing in Christianity is
    original. The pre-Christian god Mithras - called the Son of God and
    the Light of the World - was born on December 25, died, was buried in
    a rock tomb, and then resurrected in three days. By the way, December
    25 was also the birthday of Osiris, Adonis, and Dionysus. The newborn
    Krishna was presented with gold, frankincense, and myrrh."

    This sequence of claims has puzzled many critics of Brown's book as
    to their possible origin, if indeed they have an origin outside of
    the author's imagination.

    Serious scholars who have studied the Mithraic traditions, including
    Franz Cumont, paint a very different portrayal. They don't mention
    any death of Mithra, and they certainly don't mention any type of
    resurrection for Mithra.

    Some Christians do celebrate Christmas on December 25 as a time of
    year to commemorate the birth and life of Jesus. But that doesn't
    mean that they believe that Jesus was born on that particular date.
    In fact, the Bible does not mention a specific birth date for Jesus.

    For comparison, consider the American holiday called "Presidents
    Day." The holiday occurs on a day in February, but that doesn't mean
    that Americans believe that all presidents were born on that
    particular day in February. Of course not. It is simply a day that is
    set aside to commemorate American presidents.

    As for the claim that the myths known as Osiris, Adonis and Dionysus
    were born on December 25, I have been unable to track down any
    scholarly source that actually makes that claim.

    In regards to some of the other claims involving Mithra and
    Christianity, consider the following from page 87 of de-coding Da
    Vinci: The facts behind the fiction of The Da Vinci Code by Amy

    "Mithras was a god with many forms. By the centuries after Christ,
    his cult was primarily a mystery religion, popular among men,
    especially soldiers. Mithraic studies do not find any attribution of
    the titles 'Son of God' or 'Light of the World,' as Brown claims.
    There is also no mention of a death-resurrection motif in Mithraic
    mythology. Brown seems to have picked this up from a discredited
    nineteenth-century historian, who provided no documentation for his
    assertion. The same historian is the source for the Krishna
    connection to which Brown alludes. There is not a single story in
    actual Hindu mythology of Krishna being presented with gold,
    frankincense, and myrrh at his birth (see Miesel and Olsen, Cracking
    the Anti-Catholic Code)."

    4. Fiction: The sacred name for God has a paganistic origin.

    The Da Vinci Code, on page 309, claims: "The Jewish Tetragrammaton
    YHWH - the sacred name of God - in fact derived from Jehovah, an
    androgynous physical union between the masculine Jah and the pre-
    Hebraic name for Eve, Havah"

    This is perhaps one of the most embarrassing errors within Dan
    Brown's The Da Vinci Code. The word Jehovah isn't the name for God.
    In fact, that word doesn't appear in the Bible in either the Hebrew
    text of the Old Testament or in the Greek text of the New Testament.
    The word Jehovah is a made-up English word.

    The ancient Jews began a tradition that they would not pronounce the
    name of God (YHWH), as a way of showing respect. Instead, when they
    read aloud from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), and they came
    across the name for God (YHWH), they would substitute another word –
    the Hebrew word for "Lord," which is "Adonah." This is similar to the
    practice of addressing a king as "Lord," rather than as "king."

    Over time, the vowel sounds for the Hebrew word "Adonah" were fused
    with the consonants for the name of God (YHWH), and a new word was
    created - "Yehovah." (This hybrid word, which didn't exist until
    roughly 500 years ago, was often mistakenly pronounced by English
    speakers as "Jehovah," even though there is no J sound in the Hebrew

    Therefore, any theory, however ill-intentioned or well-intentioned,
    that involves either the word "Jehovah" or the word "Yehovah" is
    completely meaningless, because there is no such word in the Hebrew
    text of the Old Testament or in the Greek text of the New Testament.

    Brown, however, isn't the first person to mistakenly think that
    Jehovah was an actual word. And given the popularity of his novel, he
    won't be the last.

    5. Fiction: The Vatican killed an "astounding 5 million women" during
    the witch hunts

    This is important to Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, because in order
    for novel's storyline to work, the Catholic Church must be portrayed
    as an evil, oppressive institution that hates, oppresses and feels
    threatened by women.

    But, despite Brown's claims that there were 5 million women burned to
    death by the Vatican, the fact is many scholars, including those who
    are not Christian, say that the witch hunts were generally done by
    local governments and individuals. Many scholarly sources estimate
    that the number of people killed by the witch hunts is between 20,000
    to 100,000. And, some sources estimate that 20 to 25 percent of the
    victims were men.

    Here are some additional details from page 36 of The Truth Behind the
    Da Vinci Code:

    It also should be noted that these persecutions were actually "a
    collaborative enterprise between men and women at the local level."
    Adam Jones, professor of international studies at the Center for
    Research and Teaching Economics (Mexico City), has cited many sources
    showing that most of the accusations of witchcraft "originated
    in 'conflicts [that] normally opposed one woman to another.'"

    For instance, Jones quotes Robin Briggs (author of Witches &
    Neighbours: The Social and Cultural Context of European Witchcraft)
    as saying that "most informal accusations were made by women against
    other women." In Malevolent Nurture, Deborah Willis of the University
    of California, Riverside, confirms that "women were actively involved
    in making witchcraft accusations against their female neighbors." She
    adds, "To a considerable extent, then, village-level witch-hunting
    was women's work."

    6. Fiction: Emperor Constantine shaped the New Testament.

    This is essential to the plot in The Da Vinci Code because it
    requires that the reader can believe that Constantine replaced the
    Gnostic writings with what we now call the New Testament. But,
    Constantine could not have had a hand in shaping the New Testament
    for two reasons: He wasn't born soon enough and he didn't live long
    enough. Based on writings from early church leaders, which date from
    the year 96 through the year 112, 24 of the 27 books that are part of
    today's New Testament were already regarded by early Christians as
    being authoritative, a full 213 years before Constantine convened the
    Council of Nicea. And, the Council of Nicea didn't canonize anything.
    The canonization process occurred a full 70 years later, on a
    different continent. In addition, there were several writings by
    early church leaders, who died long before Constantine was even born,
    that collectively quote thousands of New Testament passages.

    7. Fiction: The Vatican demonized pagan worship.

    The Da Vinci Code, page 37: "As part of the Vatican's campaign to
    eradicate pagan religions and convert the masses to Christianity, the
    church launched a smear campaign against the pagan gods and
    goddesses, recasting their divine symbols as evil.... Venus' pentacle
    became the sign of the devil."

    Many people might not realize this, but there is a great deal of
    historical evidence that shows that pagans tried to eradicate
    Christianity and that pagans copied Christian symbols and ceremonies
    in the hopes of surviving the rapid spread of Christianity,
    especially during the first three centuries after the time of Jesus.
    During that era, the pagans had tremendous resources, including the
    support of emperors, who by default, where designated as high priests
    of pagan religions. Their efforts to eradicate Christianity were
    remarkably unsuccessful, and Christianity was able to become the
    first religion to spread to followers worldwide. Even today, it can
    be argued that Christianity is still the only worldwide religion.

    As for Brown's claim about the pentacle, even that contradicts
    historical evidence. The fact is, many Christians actually embraced
    the pentacle! "The truth is, during the later medieval era (the 1100s
    to the 1500s), Christians used the pentagram and pentacle as a
    reminder of Christ's five wounds (hands, feet, side, back, head).
    They also used it as a symbol for "the five books of Moses" and "the
    five stones used by David against Goliath," according to page 32 of
    The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code.

    There is nothing about a symbol, such as the pentacle or pentagram,
    that is inherently good or evil. Its meaning depends on who is using
    it and for what purpose they are using it. Some school teachers will
    mark a student's homework assignment with a star (a pentacle) to show
    that the student did excellent work. In this context, there is
    nothing demonic about the pentacle, it simply represents "stellar"
    work. But, when the founder of the Church of Satan needed a symbol
    for his religion during the 1960s he chose to use a pentacle, which
    he turned upside down. A pentacle, then, is what one makes of it.

    So who "demonized" the pentacle? According to some scholars, and
    according to some modern pagan sources, it was a French occultist who
    lived during the 1800s. In other words, it was a pagan
    who "demonized" the symbol.

    8. Fiction: Constantine and the Vatican demonized Mary Magdalene and
    sought to degrade women as part of a "power grab."

    These claims are very important to Dan Brown's storyline. The
    historical evidence, however, strongly contradicts Brown's claim.
    Mary Magdalene is held in special regard by the Catholic Church, in
    part because she was the first person to witness the resurrection of
    Jesus Christ. If the Catholic Church wanted to tarnish the image of
    Mary Magdalene, and if it was willing to rewrite scripture to do it,
    then why would it allow Mary Magdalene to be the first person to have
    witnessed the most important event in all of Christianity, which is
    the resurrection?

    Another problem for Brown's theory is that the Vatican exalts Mary
    Magdalene – as a saint! In fact, several churches are named in honor
    of Mary Magdalene, who is also honored with an annual celebration by

    And if someone can still think that Brown's theory is somehow true,
    that the Vatican allegedly hates women, then consider its regard for
    another woman named Mary – the mother of Jesus. And when you're
    finished contemplating that, apologize to yourself if you even
    momentarily thought that Dan Brown was on to something.

    9. Fiction: "Christianity's weekly holy day was stolen from the

    Da Vinci Code, pages 232-233: "Christianity's weekly holy day was
    stolen from the pagans. Christianity honored the Jewish Sabbath of
    Saturday, but Constantine shifted it to coincide with the pagan's
    veneration day of the sun."

    Actually, long before Constantine was even born, there were Christian
    writings that made it clear that there was a Sabbath, which
    corresponds to Saturday, and a "Lord's Day," which corresponds to
    Sunday. Since the early beginnings of Christianity, Christians had an
    affection for the first day of the week (Sunday) because this is the
    day on which Jesus was resurrected. Early references to the "Lord's
    Day" include Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2, which are books in the
    New Testament. These were written during the first century and
    predate the birth of Constantine by more than 200 years! Outside of
    the New Testament, there are early Christian writings that confirm
    that Christians celebrated a "Lord's Day" (Sunday). These writings
    include those by Justin Martyr and Melito of Sardis. Both lived
    during the Second Century (during the 100s), and both had already
    died before Constantine was even born.

  15. Cool, you attempted to prove that the Da Vinci Code is crap.....but first I think you should try to prove Jesus existed.

    G, again, you have offered no proof of Christ's existence. And I have given you links that proves that all historians don't believe he existed.

    I have a hard time with you. I'm wondering why a Buddhist needs to believe in a historical Jesus. Because, evidently, you do.

  16. BEAJ is it me or have the nutjobs really come out of the woodwork recently.

    This new anon is quite a piece of work. The rambling unsubstantiated nature of it's posts is quite entertaining but pretty much a waste of time.

  17. I can barely keep my eyes opened reading some of these short stories.

    I suggest they get there own blogs or make one point at a time.

  18. Hey BEAJ- why should they make one point at a time when they can bludgeon us to death with so much mind-mush that it's impossible to sort out what to refute? I mean that would be reasonable right?

    And for my second point (Ha!)

    I'm with you on the Jesus never existing thing- too many similarities to ancient near eastern mystery religions: Dionysus, Orpheus and especially Mithraism. Early Chritians were deeply bothered by this too btw, but most contemporary Christians don't know jack about church history.

  19. Anon of 17 May time 21:12,

    I read your whole piece with interest. I have 4 points to offer you. As time is a constraint on my part, I may not be able to come back for some time.

    1] The Gnostic text was throughly examined by a Christian scholar, from Harvard, called Elaine Pagels. I gather she sees the gnostic text as of value to Christianity. It is said to be quite an authorative text on the Christian view of the Gnostic Gospels.

    2] I gather that Newton, not being content with the apple falling on his head and working out the force = mass x acceleration [??] or gravity, had time and in fact placed theology above science, and he managed to get the date of birth of Jesus Christ based on records available then. You would also know that he wrote a piece rejecting the holy trinity, while believing in the unity of God. Maybe it was the social climate then, he did not publish that work.

    3] Of these myths, many many years ago, about 30 years ago, a Bahai Faith follower suggested I read the "Golden Bough" for the global or world myths, myths around the world through the centuries in all places. I have been wanting to read but never got round it and even have two and not just one copies of it. On Mithra, maybe you might wish to check the Golden Bough.

    4] Yes, Constantine. 325AD, this Roman Emperor convened the Council of Nicea, where the theological battle between the Arians and Athanasians was settled in favor of the latter, today called the Catholics, and thus Christian theology, on the holy trinity, was settled in 325AD. I gather that Arians viewed Jesus the son of God as lesser than God the Father, because the son came AFTER the Father. The son is not the father's co-equal. The Athanasians viewed the Father, Son and Holy Spirit/Ghost as co-equals. Thus the trinity. Around that time, I gather there was a lesser school that viewed Jesus as man and not divine.

    Have a happy summer, anon of 21:12 , 17 May 2006.

  20. Beaj, why would a Buddhist believe that there is a historical Jesus Christ? Because of history. Why would a Buddhist believe in Big Bang ? because of cosmology. Why would a Buddhist believe in Special Relativity? Because of Einstein.

    As I mentioned to you before, the Buddhist canons, about eleven times the Christian canon, was reduced into writing maybe about 400 years after the death of Buddha. Not 100 years or even 200 years.

    History cannot be judged by American law on hearsay, or Canadian law on hearsay, which are matters for law courts in America.

    History is a discipline with its own criteria, and I would take the serious historians advice that Jesus Christ, the man existed.

    Further I am interested in the development of the mind, the collective mind, and the stamp of Jesus Christ shaped part of the Western mind, and this shaping will continue. One needs to study this stamp to see this shaping.

  21. "The values of Christianity are good values, and a Christian who accepts Jesus even as a great man can be excellent citizen of any nation. "

    You wouldn't happen to be a Bush Supporter, would you? He claims to be and is called a good Christian man. If that's the sort of people you think make great citizens, I hope we don't live in the same country.

  22. About who's a Jew:

    You seem to mix things up regarding Jews. There are 3 types of classifications for groups:

    1. Race (eg. arab, aborigine, jew)
    2. Nationality (eg. Swedish, Danish, Israeli, Egyptian)
    3. Religion (eg. Islam, Judaism, Christianity)

    THe mistake that people do is that they mistake someone who believes in Judaism for a Jew. I'm gonna try to highlight the difference:

    A person can convert to Islam, but he cannot convert to arab.

    A person can convert to Judaism, but he cannot convert to being a Jew.

    This is because arabs are a race and jews are a race. But Islam is a religion and Judaism is also a religion. The problem arises since the same name ("jew") is used for both ethnic jews and those who believe in Judaism. That is, same name for two different things.

    This is where people get it wrong. noone can convert to being a jew, as little as someone can convert into being an arab. you are born as a Jew just as you are born as an Arab. It's not a choice.

    However, the religious belief is. That's why a Jew can convert to Islam, and an arab can convert to Judaism, but an arab cannot convert to being a Jew as little as a Jew can convert to being arab.

  23. Anon of 17 May 21:12 time,

    I have pondered over Constantine and what you said. These are my further musings....

    1] While it is true canonisation occured before 325AD, the face of Christianity and its fate changed, when Constantine became the first Christian Roman Emperor and Christianity the state religion for the Roman Empire.
    2] There would be subtle benefits and allure for embracing the state religion, to hold high office in government, no?
    3] There would also be the use of state criminal power and enforcement to root out prevailing but non official version of Christianity, like the Gnostic text, no? Why then the hiding of the Gnostic text to be discovered recently?

    So, anon of 21:12 time, while Constantine did not canonise the Gospels, could he as Emperor with the weight of the Empire behind him, have facilitated only the canonises version to prevail and dominate to the exclusion of other texts?

  24. Kent, you have it wrong. Race is the wrong word. Jews come in all types of races.

    A Jew is a Jew by birth (ethnicity) and/or by religion. If someone converts to Judaism, he/she is then considered a Jew.
    It is possible for an Arab, Arab/Muslim or Muslim to convert to Judaism and become a Jew.
    Someone born to a Jewish mother is considered to be a Jew from birth until death no matter what he/she believes in.
    Hitler didn't ask any Jew in Europe if they believed in God, Jesus, the Sun, or nothing. He murdered them for being born Jewish.

  25. Some 18 years ago, I read a book Two Masters One Message, on Jesus and Buddha and it gave a comparison of the sayings of Buddha and Jesus. Buddhist Dhammapada and Jesus parables.

    I also , some 18 years ago, read a book about gnostic text that highlighted ideas of rebirth. My interest was piqued, as to the fate of the gnostic text, and how the rebirth ideas in the gnostic text were not canonised. It was an area I did not have time or text to research till lately, when the interest was stirred by the Da Vinci Code, and many good books came up or to my attention.

    I consider Buddha a great man, too, a great teacher. He understood people's minds and had a Buddhist Charter of Free Enquiry, where he advised his followers not to follow something just because the teacher said so, the scriptures said so, but to think for oneself. Kalama Sutta.

    I consider Jesus a great man, as said before. If one looks at the website of the US National Conference of Catholic Bishops, one can find, some Christian teachings, and reading these, one grasps the lay out of their moral principles. Atheism has not reached the point where, there is a big fabric and framework of principles and ideas interwoven. Instead it is focussed on tearing others down instead of building itself up. Bertrand Russell tried I believe with scientific humanism, but I do not see atheists referring to that, but more often, knocking down Christianity for some flaws, without looking at things in totality and seeing what else it offers, and without putting forward an alternative viable 'ism' to live by and guide society by.

  26. The internet and worldwide web has offered us the cross pollination of ideas as sexual reproduction allowed different selection of genes not afforded by asexual reproduction. Somewhere along the evolutionary line, sexual production cropped up as somewhere along the line, the Swiss in CERN, came up with the web, to enable academics to share ideas more easily, and today, we are cross pollinating ideas. Such cross pollination, sometimes, there is a bee sting, when a bee hovers, [ just an irresistible pun :-)))] would enable the better amalgmated idea to come forth and enable men to think the newer amalgamated version of ideas, and as man thinketh, he becomes, and we are then more likely to hit the future target of an improvement of the homo sapiens as once the homo sapiens was an improvement of the homo erectus.

    It is the thinking that shapes the mind and that shapes the body and we have a new home xyz??? No?

    My dying declaration :-))), so excuse this spurge of posts on this thread or other threads.

  27. Lastly, why the Da Vinci Code sold so many copies?

    Someone told my spouse, with a very serious earnestness and glaze "Read the Da Vinci Code" repeat. It was as if this book answered those life issues and life questions for them, and for many it does. It affirms what they have suspected all along. They now have an easy way out of not believing, without the tedious work of independent serious time consuming asking thinking and checking. Maybe the fast food mentality we have, has also given fast life answers mentality?

    One Christian response has been to tear the book apart as anon of 21:12 time has done, and another is to impose a ban on its followers seeing the movie.

    I think atheists should network and rather than share penn teller tear the bible apart in 30 minutes, they should share frameworks of atheist ideas, principles and values. It would do less harm to their psyche [if exposed all the time to tearing down ideas, and strangely there is a deep hunger for this constant feeding which in turn causes harm to psyche unwittingly] and better philosophical development of ideas that can then be a serious contender for the new generation of ideas for the next millineum.

    Balance is needed and atheists need to rethink seriously for themselves and for the future millineum just as the Christian church needs to rethink seriously the role of science and other disciplines vis a vis the Bible, for medieval Christianity, based on the Summa Theologica by Acquinas, independently derived by reasoning, good for the Middle Ages but not good for today or the next millineum.

  28. Man, W, you should get your own blog rather than spam someone's comment section with multiple posts. For the record, Buddha was a lazy, shiftless layabout.

  29. Atheists simply do not see any evidence that God exists.
    We each have our own values and principles. These values and principles are based on what has the best outcome for individual circumstances, and/or are innate (we evolved much of what is considered morality), and/or they are based on societal laws.

    In general, we simply are only interested in reality.

  30. I can't read all these comments, so I am apologizing in advance if I am saying anything allready said, but I like to watch myself type, so I really don't care.

    Whey the hooplah with the church and The DaVinci Code? Controversy is free advertising. The church says it is blasphemy and makes all these demands, it makes news, people want to read the DaVinci Code and then they want to read the Bible.

    I have a link in my blog to celestino's blog - check out what his post had to say - it was quite interesting.

  31. This is dangerous to Christians though because it might get them onto real history.

    Real history has no proof of Jesus' existence.

    The advertising for Mel's film caused a lot of action in cyberspace, and actually got me to investigate the historical Jesus. Now I don't believe such a person existed, when before, I always assumed it.

  32. Yeah, but...

    not everyone is an atheist and looking for ways to disprove it. Too many Christians are just Christian in name, they neither visit the church, acknowledge it or deny it. They are just sitting ducks. I'm reading the DaVinci Code right now, half way through, so I don't know exactly what the big hooplah is yet - not there yet. I'm sure I'll pick up a bible one more time to read it. Next I'm going to be reading the book of Judas.

    See, for me, I'm a spiritualist, I believe that there is something and you can't prove to me that there is no god beyond a shadow of a doubt when all I have to have is faith. So for people like me, and there is a lot of people like me that believe in the whole evolution thing, all that good ole science stuff that STILL believe that there is something out there. That's who will become interested. If the vatican and church ever gets wise enough to remove some of the man made rules and regulations Christianity may draw in some more followers.

    It would be quite a thing to prove Christ didn't exist, though - you immediately wipe out 2 of the worlds major religions with that. How about emailing me some links to that stuff?

  33. Bacon: Thanks for the links!

    To all who state that jesus was not divine, but was a great man/ teacher:

    jesus was by no means a great man or teacher. According to the gospels he was often arbitrary, petty, cruel, and hypocritical.

  34. The best way to understand the nature of atheism is to understand
    its author. satan is its author.

    It's important to remain conscious of the fact that satan had his
    origin in heaven, and is thoroughly familiar with the fact of the
    existence of God, heaven, the angels, hell and etc. Thus despite
    what you have been previously deceptively taught and despite the
    deceptive dictionary's meaning of atheism, atheism is properly
    defined as a denial of the existence of God in the midst of full
    knowledge that the true God does indeed exist. Atheism knows God
    exists; it is quite familiar with that fact, but it says "under no
    circumstance or situation will I admit to God's existence."

    Atheism clearly perceives the fingerprints of God on all of
    creation, but refuses to admit He is the Creator. Atheism perceives
    the divine authorship of the TEN COMMANDMENTS, but refuses to admit
    that God is their Author. Atheism perceives the decorousness and
    perfection of the TEN COMMANDMENTS, but refuses to admit they are
    superior to all other laws. Atheism clearly perceives the divinity
    of the Lord Jesus Christ, but refuses to admit His divinity. If an
    atheist could see the wounds in the body of Christ and actually feel
    them with his hands, he would deny that the wounds are there.
    Atheism is deliberate effort to never admit the existence of God.

    Atheism is the ultimate of satanism. Ask satan does God exist and he
    will deny it. Ask him does satan exist and he will deny his own
    existence even while in your presence. Atheism holds the Bible in
    one hand, but deny its existence by denying its truth with the

    In order to properly understand the nature of atheism, one must
    understand the natures of righteousness and sin. The two principles
    are antithetical to one another. Since sin is antithetical to
    righteousness, its very antithetical nature seeks to nullify
    righteousness. Since it is an antithetical principle to
    righteousness, it must remain true to its nature even in the most
    insane instances. Therefore it must hate God even though God is
    righteous and has given it no just cause for its hatred. It is this
    antithetical principle, called "the law of sin" which is at work in
    the hearts of atheists causing them to reject God. The law of sin is
    none other than the law that governs satan's kingdom.

    by Robert T Lee

  35. Pimpette, I posted links on this post. Atheists aren't necessarily the ones who would seek whether there was a historical Jesus or not. Those looking to find out if Jesus could have been married, may go down the path I went down.

    Anon, Robert T. Lee is an idiot. No idea what an Atheist is. Just a bunch of crapola. Atheists do not hate God, Atheists claim there is no evidence of God nor any need for a God. You can't hate something that isn't real.
    Oh yes, find me the devil so we can ask him is God exists or not. LMAO

  36. Apikoros baal korchoMay 18, 2006 2:41 PM

    Fortunately, I know the difference between atheism and Satanism and do not read comments on this blog or any other as a means of fact finding. The anonymous poster has gone through great lengths to draw many false conclusions in which he/she seems to believe.

  37. anon Robert T Lee, Christianity needs more cross fertlisation of ideas. One of the three branches of Christianity, the Roman Catholics, aorund 1965 had revised their view of other believers, of othe major religions.
    1] The Holy Father, the Pope then called for a meeting of ALL bishops able to attend a big meeting in Rome, to confer on Church doctrines. It was called Vatican II. Vatican I was held pretty long ago.
    2] By Vatican II, Catholic priests had gone to the four corners of the world, and got acquainted with other religions and also studied them. I kinda respect an order of the Catholic priesthood as they often have multiple degrees / post grad degrees in secular studies, and it could be there and other scholastic priests input that the doctrine was revised, something along the line, if you live a moral life, and live by the principles of your faith, [ not just Christianity, and hey why don't I sneak in atheists with principles as well? I mean if we are going to fight, might as well board the same bus to ??? and then squabble and fight there as well :-))) ] you are saved.
    3] Look up Vatican II documents on the net, and one of them deals with [2] above.
    4] This Vatican II took some years as really a lot of bishops all over the world came.
    5] Around 2000, I heard murmurings amongst European Catholics that, if others can be saved, why do they have to be Catholics? In response to ground reaction, there is a lesser highlighting of this doctrine.

    I think it would be great if other branches of Christianity investigated independently and came to the same view as Catholics did at Vatican II in 1960-65 I think.

    What works against the Protestants, would I submit be hierarchy organisation and funding. The Catholics being the old order has the financial means to let their intellectual priests pursue secular studies to the hilt, even with double Ph.D or more. They do not have to serve as pastors and tender to the pastoral needs of the flock. They are just priests wholly dedicated to intellectual pursuit of secular knowledge in service to God. Thank God we had [St.] Ignatius Loyola who founded the Jesuits! [ p/s I am a Buddhist] He was a soldier before turning priest.

    The Protestant lack the financial means to support the pastors on pure secular studies without requiring them to attend to pastoral needs of the church. Thus the limited exposure, and focus on pastoral care, makes them lose out to Catholic priests freed of the burden of pastoral care and 100% dedicated to intellectual pursuits in secular fields in service of God.

    It is unlikely, but it will be swell, if Protestant Christians got together and said, we can beat our Catholic brothers and we will each contribute x% to the secular studies field of science and other secular fields, and select the most intellectually inclined after running some tests and predisposition of service to God through acquistion of secular knowledge, [ and Beaj is not to tell them it is Mensa test or that they must meet his personal score or higher level :-))) ] and then we will have a new generation of Protestant pastors and ministers who are the forefront of science and other major secular disciplines. That will change the contour, of the Protestant grappling with the Bible, and secular studies. Well one can dream, right? That's my dream for the Protestant.

    Then Robert T Lee aka anon of 21:12 time and day 17 May 2006, will be able to tune in to the new channel of the Church, brought through new acquisition of knowledge by its worthy ministers and pastors.

  38. Purple Pimpernel, aka...

    1] check out spiritualist, as it may convey another meaning. Long ago, i used to mark myself as spiritual, as I had this feel that there are spiritual values but did not quite align with any of the gear wheels. On gear wheels, I like to share a joke. ...

    2] Joke:

    Serious: Aristotle taught that there was some system of gears beyond planet earth and maybe that held earth together in place.

    Serious: Some pigeon shit on the astronomical equipment that made the cosmologists think they should clear the pigeon shit and shoo the pigeons away. Year 1965. Done and yet still the crackling sound, not the pigeons? Then what? The cosmic background radiation, that was the best give away of BBT.

    Joke: Oh! Its Aristotle's gears that is making the crackling sound and these cosmologists think it is BBT? No the gear system that Aristotle talked about :-)))

    Hey have a great summer :-)))

  39. Hah - Hey w - I just looked up the word spiritualist and while I have actually messed around with that and the stories that I tell in regards to it would send chills down your back - um, no I am not that, even though I can still tell a mean fortune ;-). Every once in a while I'll have a girlfriend call up to come over for a scary story.

    Haha with the jokes!

    You know what I meant.

    Hey - bacon - I thought I was a little devil ;-)

  40. Man, you sure attract your share of fundy whackos. 'Anonymous'is a freaking hoot. He hasn't got the faintest notion of what atheism is. (But I love that he believes we're in cahoots with Beelzebub.)

    Back to the Da Vinci business... amazing to watch Christians performing contortions OVER A WORK OF FICTION. This is hilarious. I get the feeling that fundies will be picketing theatres and flagellating themselves -- or wearing that thigh-digging crown of thorns thingy in an attempt to ward off the evil vapours. Too precious.

  41. Back to the Da Vinci business... amazing to watch Christians performing contortions OVER A WORK OF FICTION. This is hilarious.

    I guess they're afraid Ron Howard's work of fiction will undermine all the in-roads they made with Mel Gibson's work of fiction. I saw "The Passion" in theatres, and reviewed it for my college newspaper. I gave it a generous B-. I also got a piece of hate mail because of my irreverence and skepticism to the whole affair.

  42. 3. "Fiction: Christianity stole its ideas and concepts from paganism.

    The Da Vinci Code, on page 232: claims: "Nothing in Christianity is
    original. The pre-Christian god Mithras - called the Son of God and
    the Light of the World - was born on December 25, died, was buried in
    a rock tomb, and then resurrected in three days. By the way, December
    25 was also the birthday of Osiris, Adonis, and Dionysus. The newborn
    Krishna was presented with gold, frankincense, and myrrh."

    Anon, I've seen this December 25th birthday used before. What is really being refered to as December 25th is the Winter Solstice. Obviously Osiris and Adonis wouldn't have an official birthday in the Julian calendar, but December 25 is a fairly good approximation of this. Its makes quite a bit of sense for sun gods to be born on this day, wouldn't you agree?

    4. Whether Yahweh is the proper name of god is actually irrelevent here. Did the tetragrammaton, however way its pronounced exist before 1 AD? Well, YHVH is in the dead sea scrolls so the answer is yes. So the assertion that the tetrarammaton is of recent origin is incorrect. The only thing in question is what the vowels are. There is suggestions that he was worshipped as Yah or Yaw where he was one of the Elohim, or sons of El. There are other theories as to its Cannaanite origin.

    I don't have the energy to go down the complete list,

    I don't know if you cut and pasted this or actually thought to spend this much time as a comment post but I suggest you do a bit more research on all of your assertions.

  43. BEAJ, I know that you consider me to be anti-semitic slime. But I was just wondering if you have ever read real atheist Jews like Stephen Zweig and Arthur Schniztler?

    You might be surprized, but these two are two of my favorite authors, like Freud and Spinoza as well.

    I suggest you read them, particulary "The World of Yesterday" by Zweig and "Der Wegs en Frei"(Road to the Open" by Schnitzler. The latter no longer in print I am afraid.

    You could use a little education.

  44. Just as I thought, you don't know any of these real atheist jews. You have the general culture of a sea slug.

  45. I'm very familiar with Freud. I'm not interested in the others. I really don't want any part of what you consider culture.

    The opera bores me as does classical music, and I stopped reading books after university.

  46. An atheist jew who doesn't know Spinoza.

    That's a good one.

    Spinoza was one of the greatest thinkers of his time. He was expelled from the jewish community and ostracized by jewish religious and community leaders for atheism and various other affronts to jewish superstition.

    That is what jewish culture and tradition gets you.

    But Spinoza is still recognized and respected around the world, except by people like you, while the names of his persecuters have passed into oblivion.

    Spinoza was persecuted by his fellow jews, people exactly like you, not by xtians or muslims.

  47. Atheists were persecuted by all religious groups back then. It wasn't a Jewish thingy.