Constantine, Eusebius, and the Formulation of the New Testament Canon

by Joshua Tilghman on January 3, 2015

council of nicea 1Recently I had a conversation with a friend about the history of New Testament. Everyone here on SOS knows and understands the symbolic importance of it, but there are many differences of opinion on whether it is literal history or not. It’s always been important to me to allow readers to have open discussions and even disagreements on the blog to expand our understanding.

In this post I am going to give my opinion and discuss some of the historical background which may give you a better framework which with to make your own conclusions. I welcome all comments. Hopefully we can get some good discussion going on the topic.

I want to preface my opinions with the fact that I believe the New Testament is one of the greatest compilations of literature on the planet. The fact that it may not be literal history, and how it came to be attached to the Old Testament as such, does not in any way diminish it’s spiritual significance. For me, it will always serve as a blueprint for understanding the soul and the soul’s potential for higher consciousness.

So what do I believe about the New Testament and how it came to be?

In order to answer that, we’re going to have to start with Jesus. What proof, or lack thereof, do we have letting us know he was a historical character? Most scholars have admitted that the majority of historians (at least 46) who lived and wrote near the time of Jesus’ life are peculiarly silent. Some of these historians lived during the supposed time of Jesus and wrote voluminous works, but they didn’t mention anything about his life. Others lived within least a 100 years of Jesus’ lifetime. Below I have provided a list, just to name a few:

Philo (who lived in Jerusalem during Jesus’ life), Appian, Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch, Pliny the Younger, Pliny the Elder, Lucian, Quintilian, Valerius Maximus, Seneca, Suetonias, Justus of Tiberius (a native of Galilee), Ptolemy, Petronius, Theon of Smyran, Phlygon, Damis, etc.

The list goes on. Some scholars have estimated that there are over a 100 historians that should have mentioned something about Christ. The important thing is that there are plenty, but only two mention anything remotely related to Christ. One was Josephus, a Jewish historian who wrote a complete history of the Jews. But strangely, he dedicated entire pages to miscellaneous characters, but only one passage mentions Christ. And that passage is now agreed by almost all mainstream scholars to be a forgery since Josephus used language that wouldn’t be consistent with a devout Jew.

The other writer is Tacitus, a Roman senator and historian who wrote the Annals, in AD 116. Most scholars agree that Tacitus’ passage is authentic. I have quoted the section mentioning Christ below:

“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.”

This passage is important, because it is from an objective historian who not only mentions “Christus,” but also mentions that he was crucified by Pontius Pilate and that there was a considerable Christian population at the time of the burning of Rome, in 64 AD.

I have come to a few conclusions from all of the above info. If the story of Jesus Christ had happened as it is related in all four Gospels, then I believe it would have been mentioned by most, if not all, of the historians who lived near the time of Christ. It would have been too historically important to leave out. The fact that it is so curiously absent from almost all of them tells much: the Jesus that has been handed down to us in the Gospels in not historically accurate. However, with that being said, I believe there is a shred of truth in them. There probably was a man, or a number of men, who the life of Christ as presented in the Gospels is based on. Whether that man really had a ministry around 30 AD or hundreds of years before isn’t important to me. What is more significant is the fact that there was a large Christian population in Rome by 64 AD. This at least proves that an important religious movement was present at the time. But what does this mean?

The fact that hundreds of factions of what we term “Christianity” (as we’ll shortly see it was nothing similar to formal Christianity today) was present at this time is not disputed. There were as many differing beliefs and sects of Christianity in the Roman Empire shortly after Jesus’ supposed time period as there are today. In fact, it was much more divisive and varying in its belief system. This is understandable since everything was taught orally and there was no single book (like the Bible) that unified everyone under codified beliefs. And herein lies the single most important factor that we should keep in mind when deciding how the New Testament was attached to the Old Testament and came to be taught as linear literal history.

Enter Constantine

constantineConstantine is an interesting figure. He was the first emperor to proclaim Christianity an official religion of the Roman Empire and granted tolerance to all Christians. Many Christians today have come to learn that he was never a Christian in the traditional sense; his own belief system was a conglomeration of pagan practices and beliefs. In 321 AD, he proclaimed that all citizens of the Empire, Christians and non-Christians alike, should honor the “venerable day of the sun.” This was in support of sun-worship established by the cult of Aurelian years before. Even though Constantine finally proclaimed that Christianity was to become his own official religion by the time he was 40, he continued to practice sun-worship.

Despite all this, Constantine did much to promote Christianity in the Empire. He returned all church property confiscated by Diocletian and promoted Christians to important places of office. Christianity was able to spread rapidly during his reign. But Constantine had a problem as all this happened. This new Christian religion he was beginning to embrace was not unified. It was divisive, because there were so many different beliefs, practices, and opinions associated with it.

Eventually, Constantine called the Council of Nicea to settle the controversy. As a student of a graduate study course on church history, I learned that most of the debate of Nicea most likely centered around three events: the Arian controversy, the Melitian controversy, and the date of Easter. In fact, most Christian apologists will tell you that the Council of Nicea mainly focused on whether Jesus was eternally God or a created being (Arian controversy). But that just isn’t true. It is only half the story. There were much bigger problems going on.

I am going to quote from an article written in Nexus Magazine in 2007 by Tony Bushby, which I found HERE (I recommend reading it in its entirety when you are finished with this post.)

“It was at that puerile assembly [Nicea], and with so many cults represented, that a total of 318 “bishops, priests, deacons, subdeacons, acolytes and exorcists” gathered to debate and decide upon a unified belief system that encompassed only one god (An Apology for Christianity , op. cit.). By this time, a huge assortment of “wild texts” (Catholic Encyclopedia, New Edition, “Gospel and Gospels”) circulated amongst presbyters and they supported a great variety of Eastern and Western gods and goddesses: Jove, Jupiter, Salenus, Baal, Thor, Gade, Apollo, Juno, Aries, Taurus, Minerva, Rhets, Mithra, Theo, Fragapatti, Atys, Durga, Indra, Neptune, Vulcan, Kriste, Agni, Croesus, Pelides, Huit, Hermes, Thulis, Thammus, Eguptus, Iao, Aph, Saturn, Gitchens, Minos, Maximo, Hecla and Phernes ( G o d ‘s Book of Eskra, anon., ch. xlviii, paragraph 36)…Constantine’s intention at Nicaea was to create an entirely new god for his empire who would unite all religious factions under one deity. Presbyters were asked to debate and decide who their new god would be. Delegates argued among themselves, expressing personal motives for inclusion of particular writings that promoted the finer traits of their own special deity. Throughout the meeting, howling factions were immersed in heated debates, and the names of 53 gods were tabled for discussion. “As yet, no God had been selected by the council, and so they balloted in order to determine that matter… For one year and five months the balloting lasted…” (God’s Book of Eskra, Prof. S. L. MacGuire’s translation, Salisbury, 1922, chapter xlviii, paragraphs 36, 41). At the end of that time, Constantine returned to the gathering to discover that the presbyters had not agreed on a new deity but had balloted down to a shortlist of five prospects: Caesar, Krishna, Mithra, Horus and Zeus (Historia Ecclesiastica, Eusebius, c. 325). Constantine was the ruling spirit at Nicaea and he ultimately decided upon a new god for them. To involve British factions, he ruled that the name of the great Druid god, Hesus, be joined with the Eastern Saviour-god, Krishna (Krishna is Sanskrit for Christ), and thus Hesus Krishna would be the official name of the new Roman god. A vote was taken and it was with a majority show of hands (161 votes to 157) that both divinities became one God.”

If Bushby’s research is correct, and he seems to provide legit resources, then this information is startling. The Council of Nicea was not mainly focused on the Arian controversy, but was a call to establish a new deity for a new unified religion. The information above is left out of most studies on Nicea. Perhaps because it is too tedious to review all the information available to us.

In my graduate course studies, I read several works on the early church history, frequently discussing the council of Nicea. The enterprise was daunting, and I often found myself shaking my head. One thing is clear. The complete truth of that meeting will never be discovered.

The New Testament

There has been much speculation on the origins of the New Testament. Most likely, much of letters and books presented to us today in the Christian Bible were already circulating by the time the Council of Nicea was convened, at least in part. But modern research has unveiled that those manuscripts were tampered with quite a bit. Interpolations were inserted for political reasons in almost all of them. Why? It is my personal belief that Constantine ordered such a compilation in order to verify his new religion. And Eusebius may be his main culprit in helping to establish the historical evidence for it (more on this in a moment). Consider the quote below:

“…the earliest of the extant manuscripts [of the New Testament], it is true, do not date back beyond the middle of the fourth century AD.”

(Catholic Encyclopedia, op. cit., pp. 656-7).

The Catholic Encyclopedia testifies to the fact that the fourth century was the time that many of the earliest New Testament manuscripts we have were written. If this is true, then it’s very possible that many interpolations were added to further promulgate Constantine’s vision of a unified religion during this time.

Enter Eusebius

Eusebius was an admirer of Constantine. He is known as the father of church history because he wrote the first chronologically-based history of the church, Historia Ecclesiastica, which changed at least five times. His final completed version was submitted two years after the Council of Nicea. It is well known that Eusebius was most likely a supporter of Arian until the Council of Nicea made this doctrine a heresy. For good reasons, he changed sides! After the council of Nicea, Eusebius himself tells us in His Life of Constantine (4.36.37) that the emperor ordered him to produce “fifty excellent copies” of the sacred scriptures that would become the imperial Bible. Eusebius himself is also quoted as saying,

“It will sometimes be necessary to use falsehood for the benefit of those who need such a mode of treatment.” (Chp. 31, Book 12 of Prae Paratio Evangelica).

Is this an admission of lying in order to promulgate Constantine’s vision of a unified religion? Possibly. Many scholars state this statement by Eusebius is authentic while others state it was added during the Medieval Ages. We may never know. However, I believe that what little we know about Eusebius’ life makes it possible that he would do anything to help Constantine help establish his religion. It is even possible that Eusebius wrote his history of the church in order to put a historical spin on New Testament events in order to give it credence. Consider Bushby’s further statements below:

“Constantine then instructed Eusebius to organize the compilation of a uniform collection of new writings developed from primary aspects of the religious texts submitted at the council. His instructions were: “Search ye these books, and whatever is good in them, that retain; but whatsoever is evil, that cast away. What is good in one book, unite ye with that which is good in another book. And whatsoever is thus brought together shall be called The Book of Books. And it shall be the doctrine of my people, which I will recommend unto all nations, that there shall be no more war for religions’ sake.” (God’s Book of Eskra, op. cit., chapter xlviii, paragraph 31). “Make them to astonish” said Constantine, and “the books were written accordingly” (Life of Constantine, vol. iv, pp. 36-39). Eusebius amalgamated the “legendary tales of all the religious doctrines of the world together as one”, using the standard god-myths from the presbyters’ manuscripts as his exemplars. Merging the supernatural “god” stories of Mithra and Krishna with British Culdean beliefs effectively joined the orations of Eastern and Western presbyters together “to form a new universal belief” (ibid.).”

The above does not prove that Eusebius did anything wrong, but it certainly leaves the New Testament’s veracity and origins open to much debate.

More on the New Testament

Is the New Testament itself really a historical document? Was it ever meant to be? My personal belief is no. It is also my belief that the New Testament was never meant to be compiled at all by the writers who originally forged the independent letters and Gospels. Paul himself, who is supposed to have authored over half of it, hints at the fact that it is the Old Testament only that should be revered to be the sacred scriptures when he speaks with Timothy (2 Timothy 3:15-16). He never even knew of the Gospels and his Jesus was most likely non-historical as he omits a physical birth from any of his letters. This is further evidenced by the fact that he tells Timothy that the scriptures of the Old Testament are the ones that teach of the Christ. Remember, as Timothy was a child, the Gospels had not been written yet.

I would like to add another quote here from Bushby:

“The important question then to ask is this: if the New Testament is not historical, what is it? Dr. Tischendorf provided part of the answer when he said in his 15,000 pages of critical notes on the Sinai Bible that “it seems that the personage of Jesus Christ was made narrator for many religions”. This explains how narratives from the ancient Indian epic, the M a h a b h a r a t a, appear verbatim in the Gospels today (e.g., Matt. 1:25, 2:11, 8:1-4, 9:1-8, 9:18-26), and why passages from the P h e n o m e n a of the Greek statesman Aratus of Sicyon (271–213 BC) are in the New Testament. Extracts from the Hymn to Zeus, written by Greek philosopher Cleanthes (c. 331–232 BC), are also found in the Gospels, as are 207 words from the Thais of Menander (c. 343–291), one of the “seven wise men” of Greece. Quotes from the semi-legendary Greek poet Epimenides (7th or 6th century BC) are applied to the lips of Jesus Christ, and seven passages from the curious Ode of J u p i t e r (c. 150 BC; author unknown) are reprinted in the New Testament. Tischendorf’s conclusion also supports Professor Bordeaux’s Vatican findings that reveal the allegory of Jesus Christ derived from the fable of Mithra, the divine son of God (Ahura Mazda) and messiah of the first kings of the Persian Empire around 400 BC.”

I hope you reread that last quote more than once. It shows us that the Gospels are an amalgamation of wisdom sayings hundreds of years before the New Testament became the official cannon. I had a professor from my Foundations of Ancient History course at Longwood University admit to me all his research concluded that Nicea really was a council that determined largely what books would become the cannon. I never forgot that statement although I didn’t understand the implications at the time. In spite of this, I have read countless theologians that state, from all the historical evidence, that Nicea had nothing to do with the forging of the New Testament. As you can guess, I have become skeptical. The truth is that much of the Nicea records are lost to us. Why? Should we even think for a second that Constantine would allow evidence of divisive arguments based upon his new religion to surface? Probably not.

In all fairness to Constantine, he wouldn’t have thought he was covering up true history in order to form a new religion. From all the historical sources we have, he was simply helping strengthen the cohesiveness of his empire. To him, it was necessary for the good of the people. If we look at all the praise Eusebius gives to Constantine, he was probably thinking along the same lines. Today, for the mainstream Christian, such an act would be maddening. But to them, it was good in the sight of heaven.

Conclusion

Based on the information above, I choose to believe that the New Testament has pagan origins, and therefore, so does Christianity. Mainstream Christians often see this as a threat to the truth. But I believe quite the contrary. Many pagan beliefs of the ancient world were very sophisticated in explaining the evolution of the soul as it relates to the zodiac, of which the story of the sun-god savior of the world is certainly one of them. Of course many of them were ridiculous as well.

I also believe that Constantine, with the aid of Eusebius, helped establish the formal Christianity that we have today, reformed over and over again by later clergy and finally by Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. However, the traditional Christianity that we have today came from a formalized version of many pagan traditions, and has usurped many separate pagan traditions and become a doctrine and dogmatism that has revolutionized religious practices and beliefs to form the basis of modern Christianity. To find true, original Christianity, one has to delve into its pagan roots to discover the beautiful myth that was meant to explain the soul. In the words of Gaskell,

“In popular religions, we find an inconsistent mixture of two different modes of scriptural interpretation, one spiritual and the other material (historical), with the inevitable result of interminable disputations over opinions, and the formulation of incoherent pronouncements which are the laughing-stock of skeptics…The Scriptures, as proceeding from the Omniscient Wisdom, are therefore in their [proper symbolic interpretation] undermeanings quite consistent treaties, never contradicting each other, and teaching universally the great truths of the nature of man, of soul-process, and of the cosmos.”

Gaskell is stating something very important. He unlocks the key to sacred scriptures. When people take up the scriptural cause as being historical, it produces all kind of inconsistencies and contradictions which make their original intent null and void. Rather, when we see them as spiritual, symbolic representations of the soul of every man, they impart life. Only then do they become coherent, sensible, and truly spiritual.

As always feel free to comment any way you feel. Please include any important details that you feel I may have left out. I fully realize that good researchers might bring relevant evidence which I have failed to include. I only ask that you be respectful to everyone else’s comments. This can be a touchy subject for some on both sides of the fence.

Blessings!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul January 4, 2015 at 8:28 am

Wow! What an article!!

Of course, I’m not certain how veracious the history is (can any of us be truly certain), but it does reveal much to me, and makes some sense, especially when you consider the more difficult passages of scripture in the NT (1 Cor. 7, for example).

Your last two pertinent paragraphs (beginning with “In popular religions…”) at the bottom of the article actually say it all for me. In my studies and writings, as you know, I have been able to reconcile much of the NT to the OT when looking at the spiritual implications of both. For me it explains the intent of the spiritual writers, which, as you also conclude, speaks to our spiritual evolvement — who we are, why we are, where we are going, and how to get there.

When we come to understand that WE are the creation of the Bible, and not the material universe, it changes the entire foundation upon which it rests. This is not a small thing. So whether the Bible (and the NT in particular) is historical or spiritual is of the utmost importance — not for our intellect, but for our spiritual development.

The history referenced here is just another indication of how man is able to manipulate our minds and hearts to make us do what he wants us to do. It is another reason why we MUST learn to think for ourselves. When we fail to do this, we leave our lives in the hands of man, and “cursed be the man that trusts in man” (Jer. 17:5). Of course, I am quoting scripture here, but it is a very valid concept, and one to which we must give lots of thought, because it, too, is part of our evolutionary process.

This is an absolutely awesome article, Josh. Thanks a ton for it!

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Robert January 4, 2015 at 7:48 pm

Paul,

Your statement is very interesting “When we come to understand that WE are the creation of the Bible, and not the material universe, it changes the entire foundation upon which it rests.”. This is an entirely new concept for me. Not sure about it one way or the other. Care to elaborate?

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Joshua Tilghman January 5, 2015 at 8:41 pm

Paul, I agree with Robert. I love that quote. I would think that Paul means every symbol in the Bible is speaking about aspects of the soul.

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Paul January 6, 2015 at 5:31 am

Joshua is absolutely correct, Robert. If you are in Christ, you are a new creature, or a new creation. This is the point and the entire emphasis of the scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation.

The book of Romans says this regarding the creation (I will annotate with bold and double parens):

For the earnest expectation of the creature ((the creation)) waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God ((the “sons of God” are the fruit of the spirit)). For the creature (the creation)) was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope, because the creature ((the creation)) itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption ((deliverance from Egypt, which spiritually is bondage)) into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation((!!!!)) ((this is the subject of this entire passage of scripture)) groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. (Rom 8:19-22)

Cross-reference this with Gal. 4:19: My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you (Gal 4:19). ((This is the new creation, as you will see below.))

Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Cor. 5:17)

And then you have this:

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (Rev. 21:1). ((Man formed in the image and likeness of God is the “new earth”))

In Genesis, man (Adam, the first Christ, the “living soul”) is formed of “dust” (earth) (Gen. 1:10-11; Gen. 2:7), and that is what he is (Gen. 3:14).

The “earth” of the Bible is land (see, also, the parable of the sower in Matthew 13, where the seed is planted in the “earth” (Matt. 13:5)).

The word “earth” is the Hebrew etets (H776) It’s Greek counterpart is ge (G1093). In the OT it is translated “land” (1,543x) in the KJV more than twice as often as it is translated “earth” (712x). How much of the Bible deals with vineyards, seeds, grapes, fruit, wine, branches, etc.? All of this has to do with “earth” (soil, dust). ALL of this is meant to be spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14), and it ALL pertains to you and me. It has NOTHING — zip, zilch, nada — to do with the literal creation of the material universe.

Please see my Video #5 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHfSM9fMcQA) for ore information. I will be writing an article on this subject in the near future.

Hope this makes sense to you.

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Raymond Phelan January 6, 2015 at 6:31 pm

Hi Paul,

I love this wrap-up in your comment:
“How much of the Bible deals with vineyards, seeds, grapes, fruit, wine, branches, etc.? All of this has to do with “earth” (soil, dust). ALL of this is meant to be spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14), and it ALL pertains to you and me. It has NOTHING — zip, zilch, nada — to do with the literal creation of the material universe”.

As man/woman is : “made in the image and likeness of God”, can I say, Paul, it’s my understanding that the word “earth” and “land”, as mentioned in the Gospels, are referring to “consciousness” as in: “Heaven and Earth (Divine Consciousness) are full of thy Glory…”, or, : “Thy will be done IN earth (human consciousness) as it is in Heaven” — finite consciousness transforming to Infinite Status.

As always, Paul, kindest Regards, and a happy new year!

Blessings,

Raymond

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Paul January 9, 2015 at 4:31 am

Hi Raymond and Robert:

Happy New Year (to both of you AND to everyone)!

From my perspective, THE most common misperception in all of religion is that man is made in the image and likeness of God. From my studies I have ascertained that this is THE most egregious error among Bible students and obscures the entire biblical message.

Man being made in the image and likeness of God IS biblical creation. It is the entire meaning, purpose and intent of the scriptures. Once you are made in the image and likeness of God, then God rests. Creation is complete. Until that happens, the labor of God (the process of creating you in God’s image – John 6:29) continues (and of course God and Christ are in you).

This subject is so critically important that I have decided to write an article (entitled “What is Biblical Creation”) on it. I want to give both of you guys credit for inspiring the article. I have no doubt it will make plenty of sense to you after it is completed. I hope to complete it over the weekend.

The short answer, however, is that man’s image is corrupt:

“And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”

Well if man’s image is corrupt, then he cannot possibly be made in the image of the incorruptible God. No, we, individually, must be created in the image of God. Man is formed of (and therefore IS) the earth. Once this “earthly man” is formed, then the process of creating him in the image and likeness of God begins in earnest, and God does not rest until this creation has been completion. This completion is when the corruptible puts on incorruption. This completion is when mortal puts on immortality. This completion is when death (the last enemy to be defeated) is put to death. This completion is when Christ comes in YOUR flesh (the “second coming of Christ”). THIS creation is the perfection.

So what about Gen. 1:26? The answer (which is also the answer to the Genesis 1/2 controversy, which is the subject of mass religious confusion) is that the entire 1st chapter of Genesis, through chapter 2, verse 3, is a summary of the entire creation process, from Genesis to Revelation. In other words, the entire Bible is summarized in Chapter 1. Then beginning in chapter 2, verse 4, the story actually begins. It is “God calling the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 46:10). It is God “calling those things that be not as though they were” (Rom. 4:17). It is God assuring you that if you endure to the end, your salvation is assured because God will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.

Genesis 1:26 is the “new heaven and the new earth.” It is Revelation 21/22, when the marriage of you and God is consummated; when Christ finally comes in YOUR flesh. He was WITH you, but now is IN you (John 14:17). This completed creation is the end of the Biblical story.

This creation is what the Bible calls “salvation.”

THEN God rests. Creation is complete. Scripture fulfilled. End of the biblical story.

To reiterate, biblical creation is all about YOU, and has NOTHING to do with the literal creation of a material universe.

Again, I hope this all makes sense. I will apprise when I have completed the article.

Blessings, guys. I cannot thank you enough.

Tommy January 4, 2015 at 4:04 pm

Josh,

Enjoyed your article. A subject near and dear to my heart, so I can’t resist adding my own thoughts to support your thesis. To your point, the opening in Luke’s Gospel might as well have been written by Eusebius. Let the dogma trip begin…

Luke 1 (King James Version)
1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

The point is, this author’s purpose was in his mind to set the record straight about conflicting stories and perhaps different teachings circulating at the time. This is also evident in the same author’s Acts of the Apostles where he tries to smooth over differences between Paul and Peter and their two very different versions of what later became known as Christianity.

Christianity from its earliest beginnings was never a monolithic set of beliefs, whether it be its history or its meaning. The extent of such diversity can no longer be denied with the discovery and publishing of the Gnostic Gospels. Archeological evidence lends even more testimony.

Luke’s Gospel, for one, shows Christian apologetics with its attempt at harmonizing widespread disparity preceded Eusebius well before his time and the time of Constantine. No doubt Eusebius stood on the shoulders of his apologetic predecessors, and as some critical historians have argued, further rewrote history in order to garner favor from his beloved Constantine and his like-minded contemporaries.

In plain terms, no disrespect to the Pope intended, we might say he was kissing Constantine’s, well, let’s say ring to keep it classy and in keeping with Roman tradition. Proof of bias ironically finds support in Eusebius’ own solicitous work, “Life of Constantine,” where Constantine’s continued paganism he never disavowed was oddly omitted.

The evidence of Constantine’s ongoing paganism and continued cruelty are captured in stone in Constantinople and elsewhere, and no amount of revisionist history can erase it. In fact, Eusebius’ hero murdered his own wife and son after his so-called “conversion.” Eusebius omits these inconvenient facts, so how can the celebrated church historian be taken seriously? He convicts himself more than once as a liar whose writings cannot be trusted. If Eusebius is anything, he is the anti-christ’s biggest promoter.

The good news is that the ancient wisdom survived in spite of the persecution and genocide at the hands of the orthodox religionists. Whether or not the canonical Gospel accounts of a man named Yeshua are real or legend, the outer teachings of the canonical Gospels only scratched the surface of the inner teachings reserved for a select few of the teacher’s inner circle.

As the ‘hidden’ teachings have now become known to us, we know that Christ is not revealed as a personality in history or the Gospels. Christ is an aspect of divine Cosmic intelligence, we might call ‘God’, and this truth cannot be suppressed or denied by the likes of Eusebius.

Christ lies within us, if we’ll only humble ourselves and look inward to find it. This timeless truth owes its origin to no historian, religion or holy book. It’s a cosmic tragedy that the dogma created by men like Eusebius has denied Christ to millions.

Peace,

Tommy

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Joshua Tilghman January 5, 2015 at 8:47 pm

Tommy, thanks for your in-depth comment. Great points. I love this stuff too. If I could study scripture for a living I would. In a way, I feel inadequate compared to all the new literature coming out from myth proponents. Have you read or studied anything from Richard Carrier yet? I suspect he’ll be the giant of the camp in the future because he’s very good and has unique perspectives. He’s a little cocky at times and I don’t like the way he criticized Bart Erhmand, but I think he makes excellent points. In fact, his understanding that most savoir cults believed their saviors weren’t crucified and resurrected on earth but in a spiritual realm just might revolutionize the camp and help bridge a gap between the beliefs of early church fathers like Origen, and possible even Paul since Paul’s Christ wasn’t historical.

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Robert January 4, 2015 at 8:03 pm

Tommy,

I have to agree with many of your comments, especially “Christ lies within us, if we’ll only humble ourselves and look inward to find it. This timeless truth owes its origin to no historian, religion or holy book.” It reminds me of this saying:

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” -Buddha

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Joshua Tilghman January 5, 2015 at 8:48 pm

Well said, Robert!

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Robert January 4, 2015 at 9:31 pm

Josh,

Thank you for this illuminating post. There is a time to acknowledge that the history of the institutionalized church is not as neat and clean as traditions would lead us to believe, even though we can still find tremendous spiritual direction and wisdom in the canon. Bushby, as a popular author, has helped to uncover some of the truth about the making of the canon, and a very interesting story about how the name Jesus Christ was introduced to the Roman culture in a way they could accept it.

I am wondering if any SOS readers are aware of advancements in determining dates of scriptural manuscripts and fragments after the finalized version of the Catholic Encyclopedia was published a century ago in 1912. If anyone knows anything, please feel free to share that information. Curious minds want to know.

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Joshua Tilghman January 5, 2015 at 8:53 pm

Update on this post:

Robert has brought it to my attention that the Catholic Bible is badly outdated when it comes to dating manuscripts. I should have known this, and I regret putting the quote in this article about the earliest manuscripts coming from the 4th century. I knew that many researches had proved early manuscripts, but I included the quote because I relevant that Catholic scholars would admit to this.

Robert sent me an excellent chart about the agreed upon dates from most mainstream scholars today. I meant to paste it here, but have since deleted that e-mail. Robert, if you read this comment, would you paste it in this comment section as a reply? Thanks!

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Raymond Phelan January 6, 2015 at 7:06 pm

Josh,

Thank you for yet another amazing article! It’s been my understanding that the first Gospels were written around AD68 — AD74. Regards dating, I totally agree, Josh, that the Bible seems way out on chronological sequencing. We could almost say, the Gospels are put-togethers, or crafted, convenient sentences and phrases from different centuries to appease the culture(s) of the time(s).

Blessings,

Raymond

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Joshua Tilghman January 7, 2015 at 7:42 pm

Well said, Raymond. I know that John is still supposed to be the earliest Gospel, with some scholars stating it was written around 90 AD., but as you said, the chronological sequence is all out of sorts when the New Testament is taken together.

Thanks.

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Paul January 12, 2015 at 7:01 am

Hi All:

Joshua has asked me to post the link to my creation article after I have completed it. Here it is:

http://decodingscripture.com/2015/01/biblical-creation-created-image-god/

Thanks to all, and blessings to all!

P

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Jay January 16, 2015 at 1:14 am

Joshua,

For God so loved the world. = God loves-Is Love
That he sent his only begotten Son. = God created us-Is us-sent us
That whosoever believes in him = Knows Him- Communion
should not perish = Fear illusion of death as final
but have everlasting life. = Eternal life, till becoming

God-Consciousness. Knowing in our conscience his consciousness.

Thank you Joshua. Do not censor yourself for the comfort of others ignorance,
ignoring their conscience, instead choosing Dogma, fear and death. Egoic minds.

J

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