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.
https://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/betrayal-of-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.
https://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/the-blasphemy-of-bibleolatry/

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.
https://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/paul-vs-jesus-and-james/

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.
https://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/bloody-human-sacrifice-atonement-mythology/

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.
https://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/special-problems-for-catholics/

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.
https://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/special-problems-for-mormons/

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.
https://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/christianity-and-culture/

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.
https://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/is-there-a-god/

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!

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

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:

Amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/Betrayal-Jesus-Davis-D-Danizier/dp/0944363075/

Barnes and Noble.com:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/betrayal-of-jesus-davis-d-danizier/1113807374

More detailed information about the book can be found on the website of my publisher, Word Wizards, at:
http://www.wordwiz72.com/danizier/

And “like” us on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Betrayal-of-Jesus-book/139490262748695

Davis D. Danizier
Oceanside, California

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About Danizier

Be wise. Be wild. Care for others. Love your neighbor as yourself. The mysteries of the universe are not beyond your grasp.

Posted on April 22, 2011, in Theology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. Late to the party by I am glad to stumble upon your blog here. Lots of interesting articles to read. As a Christian, I have been grappling with some of the subject matter you have here. Atonement, Trinity, the two different gospels (Jesus and Paul’s) are just some of what I can’t wrap my head around. Thanks for your time to deal with these subject matters that other Christians won’t touch. We are all searching for truths…

  2. I know that you did a video about the Apostle Paul and his hate of women. Here is a response by JP Holding on You Tube from his TektonTV Channel:

    • Once again you demonstrate the propensity of religious extremists to jump to conclusions, guess wrong, and then, even in responding to a false assumption, fail to even draw a rational conclusion from their invalid premise.

      My comments on Paul can be found at:
      https://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/paul-vs-jesus-and-james/
      and all responses to that article would be more appropriately directed to that page.

      1. I do not have any videos. The video that your link purports to respond to was made by someone else, not me, and I am not familiar with their work. In the future, if you post links to videos claiming to respond to something, without also posting a link to the item they respond to, your comment will not be approved for public display.

      2. The point about Paul demanding that women keep quiet in church and be prohibited from authority over men has been made by many, many others besides myself and is a valid point. The rather juvenile attempt at a rebuttal (really? that’s your big “scholar”) is long on name calling and cheap insults, but cannot address the actual context of what is actually in Paul’s many statements about women. The video you cite bases its work on the “scholars” of the period we now call the Dark Ages, when elitist, aristocratic religious elites ruled the known world, and they burned those accused of witchcraft, held inquisitions to ensure religious compliance, and invaded other nations in hopeless Crusades. They also waged a war against science, taught that the sun, moon and stars revolved around a flat earth (even though the Greeks had proved conclusively the world was spherical and correctly calculated its correct size 200 years B.C.).

      The fact is that, if you look at the full context of Paul’s teachings, there is no implied or actual reference to specific groups of women, and certainly not to the specific group that your video link refers to or any specific doctrine. In their full context, and considering who Paul is actually writing to (part of context) the passages are directed at Christian members of the early church who were allowing women to have participatory and leadership roles in the church. Period. The rest of that crap was completely made up by your “scholar” and someone would have to be pretty gullible to sucker for it.

  3. Davis,

    I have read some of your stuff. The problem with you is that you know just enough to be dangerous. That is the reason I recommended you to J.P Holding in hopes that he would review your stuff and expose you.

    Thank you, and have a blessed day!!!

    • I have cited chapter and verse, or other appropriate documentation as needed, for each claim I have made. I am satisfied with what I have presented.

      In contrast, you have offered nothing, except that you’re going to recommend me to someone else who you hope can do what you can’t. So unless and until your amazing “J.P. Holding” offers as much specific documentation for his views as I have for mine, you have merely acknowledged that you have no response at all to anything I have presented in the articles on this site, so thank you for that.

      • Dude, have you ever heard of Marshall Brain and the site called Why Won’t God Heal Amputees? Well, your entry on Bloody Human Sacrifice and Atonement seems like the garbage that he would write.

        • My article about the atonement as human sacrifice mythology, which can be found at:
          https://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/bloody-human-sacrifice-atonement-mythology/
          has full explanation and documentation for each statement made.
          I am satisfied with what I have written.

          In contrast, you dismiss the article, but do not cite a single reason for doing so. If you had any valid reason, you would have rushed to provide them, so obviously you had no actual substantive basis for disputing a single thing I wrote.
          You are not able to explain how killing an innocent human sacrifice — a mythological construct common to many primitive, tribal superstitions — makes other people’s sins magically disappear.

          So thank you for that.
          And a note, as humorous as it is to post your feeble protestations, this is intended to be a serious commentary page. Future comments that include no actual reason for your position will no longer be approved for public display.

  4. Phew! I have wondered if I was imagining things for years! My own blog, at thehedge.wordpress.com is an echo of this. Oh my! Y’shua taught the Way of Compassion, I can’t say that often enough. That you have brought that out in your own writings is absolutely the grandest thing that has ever happened to me. I am busy reading your posts, and will be buying your book as soon as I can get it on Nook. Thank you for being there, saying truth, and speaking out for The Teacher!!!

  5. In regards to no public record of Jesus, what about Josephus’ “Antiquities of the Jews”? I know that it appears to have been written around 94 AD, but there are some references to him. Granted, one would think the son of God would have received more than a few sentences.

    I have enjoyed your essays and appreciate you sharing them. Have a good day.

    • Hi Searcher —

      There is a difference between writings about Jesus (which would include the letters of Paul and all of the gospels, including those not accepted into the canon of scripture) and official records, by which I mean contemporaneous official records such as birth records, death records, baptismal or bar mitzvah records, etc.

      Again, in that time, these would be reserved for only a few in the imperial palaces of Rome or its local prelates such as Herod or Pilate and the fact that we do not have them does not prove there was no Jesus, any more than the lack of such records for millions of fishermen, builders or sheep herders would prove them not to have existed (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence). Again, we also don’t have any photos, videos or personal writings, but we don’t have those for anyone else, either. But the fact is, we don’t have them and, thus, we don’t have any contemporary official or incontrovertible evidence that a real, specific person such as Jesus lived. Again, my conclusion is that, based on the “where there’s smoke…’ theory, is that the probability is that there is an actual person at the core of the myth, and that is largely due to the amount of later writings (and here is where I would include Josephus) about him.

  6. Patricia McLaughlin

    I read everything. You are wise and. Compassionate
    Good. You are needed. And so articulate and Patient and kind. I am not so good at that. Thank you for reminding me to do better.

  7. David, I love this. Peace and love Bettejo

  8. Hi Danizier,
    Thanks for the posts, some good stuff. I too reject the dogmatic interpretations of Scripture as promulgated by the “Churches.” If you feel so inclined, please check out some of my work at my website. I’ve posted sample chapters from my book, as well as various related, short essays that I’ve written since.

    http://spontaneouscombustionbook.com

    Be well,
    Miles

  9. Hi, Friend!

    I guess I’m just fooling around. Haven’t looked you up on Facebook and read through postings before. Very interesting. Take care. Carole Shanahan

    • Hi Carole —

      Nice that you found me on WordPress!
      I like this hosting site because it allows reader interaction, though I do get to exercise editorial control.
      I’ve flagged you so you can post without waiting to get the posts approved (they’ll automatically go through when YOU post something).

  10. An amazing collection of essays and insights!

    I am proud to be a small part of bringing them to print (in book form, with additional material) as well as hosting earlier alternative versions on my website.

    Doug

  11. Dave, I just found you again by doing a rainy day search for me. What a world. We need you in the discussion group today, Sunday, May 8. Love you Bettejo

    • Hi Bettejo —

      I have kept my eye on the TGI blog as I always do. I did not see a specific point that merited a response from me.
      I value your opinion. If you feel I might have overlooked something, let me know which blog(s) you believe might benefit from a comment by me and I’ll be glad to take another look. Also, I left a response on your WordPress blog page as well, too.

  12. In just the couple of pages I’ve skimmed I see that we seem to think exactly alike. So fascinating. I’m so glad you’re here. Love you ME

    • Hi Bettejo — so glad you found me here.
      Love your delightful enthusiasm and energy and hope some of it rubs off on me.

      While no two people ever think exactly the same (except for mindless, robotic conservatives marching in goose-stepping lockstep) I do think we share many common views and you are always welcome to pop in for a visit and share your observations!

  13. This site is fancy. I love it. I’ll probably go blind reading around. EMERALD why was everybody down on you today. I think I’m gonna do some one liners. Tomorrow

    27 days and counting
    Well one does what one can. Peace and love

    These past couple of days have been so interesting. am I responding to Dave?

  14. Congratulations on the new blog page!

    Looks great!

    Love the book, too, but nice to have an easy link to provide to others…

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