Introduction to the Essays on Christian Mythology
This updated and revised collection of my essays reflects a substantial portion of the content in my book “Betrayal of Jesus.” This book confronts directly the mythology of Christian superstition, yet simultaneously embraces the simple message of universal compassionate joy (expressed in our daily actions) that are attributed to a person named Jesus who supposedly lived some 2,000 years ago in a remote outpost of the Roman Empire.
The historical reality of Jesus is lost to history. There is no definite evidence that any real person such as Jesus of Nazareth ever actually existed. Jesus is reported to have taught much, yet wrote nothing. All we have of his words are the writings of those who put stylus to tablet long after his death, in an age when memories were rarely supported by written documentation, and not aided at all by photographs or videos. The earliest records of Jesus’ teachings were written decades after his death and, except for Matthew, by those who had no personal acquaintance with him, and all originals of such writings are long gone.
Yet someone taught something remarkable and, whoever it was, we can call that “Jesus.” And there was a betrayal. But the real betrayal is not by Judas in exchange for 30 pieces of silver. The real betrayal was perpetrated by those who came long after Jesus and, in his name, transformed his simple, loving, joyful message into one of violence, greed, domination and conquest — a caricature of all he stood for that contradicts his message and which he would have found unrecognizable. And the betrayers have taken as their profits far more in wealth, land, kingdoms and power than a mere 30 pieces of silver.
This series of essays is adapted with substantial revision from the earlier essays hosted on another site.
My primary reason for moving to a new site here at WordPress is to allow easier, direct access for interaction with readers. Readers who wish to leave comments are welcome to do so, and comments will be posted for review after moderation. It is not necessary to register with WordPress to leave comments, although doing so does allow additional options.
Following is a summary of the essays, which examine, first, the message actually attributed to Jesus, followed by essays detailing the specific ways in which later parts of the New Testament directly contradict and undermine those teachings. Each essay is accompanied by a link to jump directly to each one:
Betrayal of Jesus — This page offers an overview of the core teachings that are actually attributed to Jesus, without all the harsh Old Testament “Law of Moses” baggage, and before being perverted and undermined by the renegade “apostle” Paul. Essentially, Jesus taught a simple ethic of universal love and compassion for all people — friends, strangers, even enemies — expressed actively through our actions, and said that salvation would be predicated solely on that. This introductory essay sets the foundation by introducing the simple, pure, enlightening gospel of compassionate joyfulness as expressed in the teachings attributed to Jesus.
The Blasphemy of Bibleolatry — With respect for the important contributions of the Bible in history, literature, and its ethical and cultural influences, this essay debunks the Christian myth of Bible inerrancy / infallibility, and demonstrates that it is a work of fallible humans, not of divine creation, citing extensive specific examples of contradictions, factual errors and failed prophecies.
Paul vs. Jesus (and James) — This essay illustrates how the “apostle” Paul contradicts and undermines the teachings of Jesus and other early Christians (most notably James, the brother of Jesus, who fought in vain to protect the integrity of his brother’s message). Paul began as a persecutor of Christians and seems to have found a more effective manner by which to undermine and oppose the teachings of Jesus. As the great missionary through whose perspective new followers of Jesus came to “Christianity,” it is the vision of Paul, not Jesus’ simple teaching of joyful compassion, which has survived.
Bloody Human Sacrifice Atonement Mythology — This essay demonstrates the logical, moral and scriptural fallacies in trying to concoct a doctrine that says that one person’s sins can be removed or “atoned for” by killing another innocent human in an act of barbaric human sacrifice.
Special Problems for Catholics — This essay demonstrates the how the history of the Roman Catholic Church is replete with barbaric cruelty, incredible depths of corruption, and crimes against humanity that are not only part of its ancient history, but continue into the present day.
Special Problems for Mormons — This essay demonstrates some of the theology and practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) that are unique and intriguing among Christian faiths. The history, beliefs, doctrines and rituals also bring some troubling dimensions that are worth exploring.
Christianity and Contemporary Issues — This essay addresses some of the miscellaneous issues of how modern Christianity tries to deal with issues of popular culture, political influence, modern moral values and social issues.
Is There a God? — This age-old question invites much speculation, and there have been many attempts to wrestle with the big issues of the cosmos throughout history — first in the realm of religious mysticism, and later incorporating issues of science. This short piece attempts to integrate the factors that need to be considered, addresses previous historical efforts, and provides a framework of factors to consider in coming up with whatever feasible answers may be possible.
I wish to express appreciation to the http://www.wordwiz72.com website that over the span of many years has previously hosted earlier versions of these articles, and also to my Kauai friend Bettejo Dux, whose own WordPress site (http://bettejo.wordpress.com/) inspired me to move my pages to a site that allowed easier access to direct interaction with readers. Thank you Bettejo!
My book “Betrayal of Jesus,” from which these WordPress pages have been exerpted, can be ordered from Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble.com, as well as other outlets:
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Davis D. Danizier