Dean R. Dowling
2 History Preserved Anonymous
DESTROYED, CREATED AND REWRITTEN
Dean R. Dowling
(Investigator 111, 2006 November)
The present day Da Vinci Code film might be inaccurate on some points but it does raise the basic question was Jesus married and to Mary Magdalene?
John 2:1–11 writes there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee (near Nazareth?) when Jesus converted 6 jars of water each holding on average 25 gallons into 60 extra dozen bottles of claret. Some wedding.
Bishop Shelby Spong in his "Born of a Woman" pages 190ff shows there are clues left in the tampered texts which indicate it was Jesus’ marriage to Mary Magdalene.
Roman Emperor Constantine in 325 A.D. ordered the Council of Nicaea of about 300 bishops to stop the warring factions of Christians fighting over the nature and divinity of Jesus. ("The Jesus Scroll" Donovan Joyce, Ferret Books. page 23 ff)
One faction the logos, regarded Jesus as Divine, but subordinate to the Father. Another faction, Adoptionism, regarded Jesus born of a man, but was adopted and raised to divine God level at Baptism (Mark 1:9) and this was the principal feast of the early Church. Another tolerant faction, the Gnostics, even had women as priests.
The Gnostics’ writings were destroyed in 367 A.D. under the orders of the Bishop of Alexandria, Athanasius, but were rediscovered in 1945, stored in ancient jars at Nag Hammadi in Egypt. This faction were known to exist before their rediscovery because the second century heresy hunter the Bishop of Lyons, Iranaeus, attacked them in his own writings. The Gnostics are a story in themselves. Read Dr. Robert Crotty "Beyond the Jesus Question" (Post Pressed Flaxton 2003).
They have also discovered the ancient papyrus remnants of the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, The Gospel of Mary (Magdelene), the Gospel of Judas. Other factions were Arianism, Anpollinarianism, Monophysitism, Nestorian, Sabellian, Paulicians, Modalists." (Pears Cyclopaedia)
But the winning faction at Nicaea was Modalism where Jesus was a mode of appearance of God, leading to the present trinity and Jesus being divine at conception (Matt 1: 18, Luke 1:26) made the Nativity the major feast.
The Bishops’ vote at Nicaea was not unanimous, but the presence of Constantine ensured a sufficient majority. Six years after Nicaea, Constantine’s historian Bishop Eusebius ordered 50 new copies of the bible "to be prepared". No Gospel text could be traced back before 331 A.D. until Nag Hammadi et al. Strange, but easily explained as the new authorised versions were written to incorporate the theology of the authoritarian winning faction of what were haggard sexual neurotics. Followed later by their clones Tertullian, St Jerome, St Augustine, St Aquinas et al.
Since political power was now absolute, the losing factions were later declared heretical and were given the usual loving Christian treatment for heretics. (Lv 24:16; Mark 16:16; Dt. 13:13) — burning alive at the wheel or stake, unless they gave other heretics names (dobbing in) and hence were "shown the mercy of God" by first being killed before burning, "Deus Caritas Est" "God is Love" Pope Benedict XVI, 2006???
The 15th – 18th century
woodcuts and engravings of the torture methods are shown in Arthur Frederick
Ide’s book "Unzipped—the Popes Bare All" pages 140 ff. Page
The deep psychological need to believe in
religious fairy tales, spirits, Gods or a God is historically universal,
contrary to reason and evidence, and is so utterly depressing and
is not helped by Professor Richard Dawkins saying that all religious belief
is a form of insanity.
Response to Dean Dowling (#111)
(Investigator 117, 2007 November)
JESUS NOT MARRIED
There is no statement in the Bible that Jesus married Mary Magdalene at the Cana marriage feast (John 2:1-11) or anywhere else.
Mr Dowling claims that the marriage of Jesus and Mary is not mentioned because of "tampered text". This can’t be taken seriously, however, without consulting the pre-tampered text, but Mr Dowling cannot refer us to it.
To uncover "tampered text" is the work of the "textual critics". Their job is to compare thousands of ancient biblical manuscripts and, where variations occur, work out the original. This topic — how reliably modern Bibles reflect the 1st century writings — was debated in Investigator 96-99 and summarized in #107.
Consulting the textual critics is the scientific approach. We cannot reasonably ignore them in the Cana marriage story merely because someone subjectively sees "clues" of tampering.
By consulting the "Various Readings" of textual critics in the Englishman’s Greek Concordance of the New Testament I checked for variations in the Cana story but found nothing significant. I also checked comments about John 2 in several Bible commentaries and no commentator presented evidence of "tampering".
According to John 2, Jesus was "invited" (2:2) to the marriage feast which wouldn’t be the case if he was the groom because then he’d do the inviting! Nor was Mary Magdalene present since she joined Jesus’ ministry some time later. Jesus converting of water to wine at the feast was "the first of his signs" (2:11) whereas Mary M was healed of "seven devils" (Luke 8:1-2), itself a noteworthy sign, after the "first …sign".
Note also that after the party Jesus left
with his mother, not with his wife! (2:12)
WINNING FACTION TAMPERING?
Dowling also claimed that after the Council of Nicaea "new authorised versions were written to incorporate the theology of the authoritarian winning faction". This too needs to be tested against the findings of the textual critics.
Consider the doctrine of the Trinity, which became orthodox doctrine at Nicaea.
When arguing against that doctrine, Unitarians often use standard Bible translations including the King James Bible. For Unitarians to be able to do this means that any "tampering" was minimal.
1 John 5:7 in the King James Bible, however, is an actual case of tampering. It’s a pro-Trinity text someone mischievously added to the Scriptures. This particular tampering, however, is not known from subjective "clues" but from the textual critics. Therefore modern Bible translations leave it out.
The original Bible writers for the Old Testament were all Israelites. (Romans 3:2) The New Testament writers were Apostles (all of whom were Israelites) and their companions in ministry. Luke 1:2 speaks of "those who from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the word". Since Apostles and other eyewitnesses had ordinary life-spans this implied a limited period to complete the New Testament. Jude seems the final official document since Jude suggests, by using the past tense, that the Apostles were deceased. (Verse 17)
Subsequent writings — Gnostics in the 2nd century and all the way to the 20th century — are therefore not part of the Bible.
Dowling’s article moved on to "loving Christians" who tortured and burned people at the stake.
The Apostle Peter wrote:
The New Testament repeatedly warns that "false prophets" would come and distort the Christian message. Jesus even predicted that his genuine followers and the false would be indistinguishable and finally require the "angels" to sort them out. (Matthew 13:24ff)
People can, however, make approximate identification: Followers of Christ avoid the sins listed in Revelation 21:8 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Also Jesus said: "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35)
Clearly any "loving Christians" who "tortured and burned" others over religious disagreement were not "loving Christians".
Finally Dowling mentioned the "deep psychological
need to believe". However, there is also a deep psychological need to rebel:
Whether or not the Bible is accurate is determined
by testing it point by point, anything testable, by consulting scientific
research. In my c.100 articles in Investigator I’ve done this and
proved the Bible incredibly reliable.
Wigram, G. W. Englisman’s Greek Concordance of the New Testament, Ninth Edition, Samuel Bagster & Sons, London