1. Pious Fraud


The statements in this chapter and the next by Church leaders and pioneer researchers speak for themselves:1

Dr. Herbert Marsh, Nineteenth--Century English Bishop:

It is a certain fact that several readings in our common printed text are nothing more than alterations made by Origen, whose authority was so great in the Christian Church (A.D. 230) that emendations which he proposed, though, as he himself acknowledged, they were supported by the evidence of no manuscript, were very generally received.2

Johann Lorenz Von Mosheim, Eighteenth--Century Ecclesiastical Historian:

Not long after Christ's ascension into heaven, several histories of his life and doctrines, full of pious frauds and fabulous wonders, were composed by persons whose intentions perhaps were not bad, but whose writings discovered the greatest superstition and ignorance. Nor was this all; productions appeared which were imposed upon the world by fraudulent men, [such] as the writings of the holy apostles."3

Johann Salomo Semler, Eighteenth--Century Theologian:

The Christian doctors never brought their sacred books before the common people; although people in general have been wont to think otherwise, during the first ages, they were in the hands of the clergy only.4

William Wake, Eighteenth--Century Archbishop of Canterbury:

It would be useless to insist on all the spurious pieces which were attributed to St. Paul alone, in the primitive ages of Christianity."5

Lucius Coelius Firmianes Lactantius, Third--Century Church Father:

Among those who seek power and gain from their religion, there will never be wanting an inclination to forge and lie for it.6

St. Gregory, Fourth--Century Bishop of Nazianzus, writing to St.Jerome:

A little jargon is all that is necessary to impose on the people. The less they comprehend, the more they admire. Our forefathers and doctors have often said not what they thought, but what circumstances and necessity dictated.7

Dr. Conyers Middleton,  Eighteenth Century:

There never was any period of time in all ecclesiastical history in which so many rank heresies were publicly professed nor in which so many spurious books were forged and published by the Christians, under the names of Christ, and the apostles, and the apostolic writers, as in those primitive ages. Several of these forged books are frequently cited, and applied [in] defense of Christianity, by the most eminent fathers of the same ages, as true and genuine pieces.8

Dr. I. Hooykaas, Nineteenth--Century Reverend:

Not one of these five books (four Gospels and Acts) [was] really written by the person whose name it bears, and they are all of more recent date than the heading would lead us to suppose.9

St. Faustus, Fifth--Century French Bishop:

Many things have been inserted by our ancestors in the speeches of our Lord which, though put forth under his name, agree not with his faith; especially since-as already it has been often proved-these things were written not by Christ, nor [by] his apostles, but a long while after their assumption, by I know not what sort of half Jews, not even agreeing with themselves, who made up their tale out of reports and opinions merely, and yet, fathering the whole upon the names of the apostles of the Lord or on those who were supposed to follow the apostles, they maliciously pretended that they had written their lies and conceits according to them.10

It is certain that the New Testament was not written by Christ himself, nor by his apostles, but a long while after them, by some unknown persons, who, lest they should not be credited when they wrote of affairs they were little acquainted with, affixed to their works the names of the apostles, or of such as were supposed to have been their companions, asserting that what they had written themselves was written according to these persons to whom they ascribed it.11

To strengthen belief in the resurrection of Jesus, St. Irenaeus invented many stories of others being raised from the dead.12 As Jeremiah Jones, an eighteenth--century reverend, comments:

Such pious frauds were very common among Christians even in the first three centuries; and a forgery of this nature, with the view above mentioned, seems natural and probable.13

The following statement illustrates the attitude of the early Church fathers towards truthful reporting and the gullibility of the masses:

St. Augustine, Fifth--Century Bishop:

I was already Bishop of Hippo when I went into Ethiopia with some servants of Christ there to preach the Gospel. In this country, we saw many men and women without heads, who had two great eyes in their breasts; and in countries still more southly, we saw people who had but one eye in their foreheads.14

The earliest Church officials saw nothing wrong with fooling the ignorant masses, reasoning that they were ultimately saving a populace steeped in unrighteousness, as the New Testament testifies:

I Peter 4:3

Let the time that is past suffice for doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry.

The authors of the New Testament had a powerful personality to emulate in Saul of Tarsus (Paul), who openly advocated "pious fraud":

Romans 3:7--8

But if through my falsehood G-d's truthfulness abounds to His glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not do evil that good may come, as some people slanderously charge us with saying? Their condemnation is just.

I Corinthians 9:20--23

To the Jews I [Paul] became a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under the law, I became as one under the law, that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law...that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

II Corinthians 12:16

But granting that I myself did not burden you, I was crafty, you say, and got the better of you by guile.

Philippians 1:18

What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

The veracity of the New Testament accounts is called all the more into question considering that Paul wrote more than one half of it!

Besides deliberately deceiving the people, the authors of the New Testament, being unfamiliar with the Hebrew Bible, also distorted many facts:

II Chronicles 24:20--21

Then the spirit of G-d took possession of Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest;...and they conspired against him, and by the command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the House of the L-rd.

New Testament Distortion

Matthew 23:35

...that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the Sanctuary and the altar.

Zechariah was the son of Jehoiada, not Barachiah.

I Samuel 21:2

Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest, and Ahimelech came to meet David trembling, and said to him: "Why are you alone, and no man with you?"

New Testament Distortion

Mark 2:25--26

And he [Jesus] said to them: "Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him; how he entered the House of G-d, when Abiathar was high priest,..."

Ahimelech was high priest at that time. Only after his death (I Samuel 22:18) did his son, Abiathar, succeed him:

I Samuel 30:7

And David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech....

II Samuel 5:6--7

And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites....David took the stronghold of Zion, the same is the city of David.

New Testament Distortion

Luke 2:4--5

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed wife who was with child.

Jerusalem, not Bethlehem, is called the "city of David."

Genesis 11:26

When Terah had lived seventy years he became the father of Abram....

Genesis 12:4

...Abram was seventy--five years old when he departed from Haran.

Genesis 11:32

The days of Terah were 205 years and Terah died in Haran.

New Testament Distortion

Acts 7:4

Then he [Abraham] departed from the land of the Chaldeans, and lived in Haran. And after his father died, G-d removed him from there into the land [in which] you are now living.

Abraham left Haran when Terah was 145 (70+75), which was sixty years before Terah died (205 - 145).

Genesis 46:27

And the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt, were two souls; all the souls of the house of Jacob that came into Egypt were seventy.

New Testament Distortion

Acts 7:14

And Joseph sent and called to him Jacob his father and his kindred; seventy--five souls.

Joshua 24:32

The bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up from Egypt, were buried in Shechem, in the portion of ground that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for one hundred pieces of money; and they became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.

New Testament Distortion

Acts 7:15--16

And Jacob went down into Egypt, and he died, he and our fathers, and they were carried over to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for the sum of money from the sons of Hamor of Shechem.

Only Joseph was buried in Shechem, and Jacob bought the plot, not Abraham.

Exodus 14:22

And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry land; the waters were a wall to them on their right side and on their left.

New Testament Distortion

I Corinthians 10:1

I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized to Moses in the cloud and in the sea....

One is baptized in water, not under a cloud, and the Jews stood on dry land, not in the sea itself.

Numbers 25:9

And those that died by the plague were 24,000.

New Testament Distortion

I Corinthians 10:8

We must not indulge in fornication as some of them did, and 23,000 fell in a single day.

Galatians 3:16

Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his seed. It does not say, "and to his seeds," referring to many, but, referring to one, "and to your seed," which is Christ.

The Hebrew word zera (seed) is invariably used in the singular when referring to progeny, whether one person or many are meant. For example, wherever G-d promised to bless Abraham's "seed," his descendants were intended:

Genesis 13:16

I will make your seed as the dust of the earth; so that if one could count the dust of the earth, then your seed would also be counted.

Genesis 15:13

Then the L-rd said to Abram: "Know for sure that your seed will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, and they will be slaves there, and they will be oppressed for four hundred years."

Genesis 26:4

...and I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and will give to your seed all these lands...

Genesis 22:17

...I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand upon the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies; and through your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have hearkened to My voice.


Exodus 24:6--8

And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins; and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people; and they said: "All that the L-rd has spoken we will do and obey." And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it upon the people, and said: "Behold, the blood of the covenant that the L-rd has made with you in accordance with all these words."

New Testament Distortion

Hebrews 9:19--20

For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled on both the book itself and all the people, saying: "This is the blood of the covenant which G-d commanded you."

The Book of the Covenant was not sprinkled with blood.

Genesis 47:31

And he [Jacob] said: "Swear to me." And he [Joseph] swore to him. Then Israel [Jacob] bowed himself upon the head of his bed.

New Testament Distortion

Hebrews 11:21

By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff.

Joseph bowed upon the head of his bed, not his staff.

Some attempt to explain these discrepancies by claiming that the Hebrew Bible was altered after the New Testament was written. But a supplement15 to The Revised Standard Version, a Protestant Bible, states otherwise:

The Hebrew Old Testament was translated into Greek at Alexandria (285--246 B.C.) in order to provide a copy for the library there, and as a service to the many Greek--speaking Jews. It is known as the Septuagint, a word that suggests the seventy--two scholars whom it is thought were engaged to make the translation.

The Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible was known to the world 246 years before the birth of Jesus. Therefore, it could not have been altered after the emergence of Christianity. Rather, the New Testament stands alone in its errors.

       Interesting? Share!