How Many Religions Are In The Bible?
Two Religions Fused Together As One
©2005 VVeasey Publishing
One reason you’ll see so many contradictions in the Bible is because there are at least seven different religions in it fused together as if they were one.
Originally there was no Christian Bible there was only, the Hebrew Bible, which was translated into Greek (called the Septuagint) around the third and second centuries BCE for Greek speaking Jews living in Alexandria, Egypt who could no longer read Hebrew.
The Septuagint was adopted by Greek speaking Jewish Christians living in Egypt and was later translated into Latin between 382 and 405 CE.. Pope Damasus commissioned Jerome (Eusebius Hieronymus) to translate the New Testament and the Septuagint from Greek into Latin. Jerome used these translations to create the first official Christian Bible, the Roman Catholic, Latin Vulgate.
In the fourth century AD, the Jewish religion was well established when orthodox Roman Catholic Christianity was created, and subsequently merged the Hebrew Bible (called the Old Testament by Christians) with the New Testament writings to provide a historical foundation for their fledgling religious cult.
The Jews don't accept the Christian Bible because the Roman Catholic Christians reinterpreted their Hebrew Bible, to make it support their view that, Jesus was the prophesized Messiah to come or God in the flesh.
That’s how we get the first two religions fused together in the bible, as if they were always one.
But even in the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible) there are two different Gods of two different religions. One of the Gods was called El or Elohim and the other was called Yah or Yahweh.
El was the God of Israel and you see El as a part of the names of all the significant characters who worshipped El as their God: Michael, Gabriel, Daniel, Samuel and even in the name of the nation, Israel.
Yah or Yahweh was the God of Judah and you see that in the names of His worshippers, like Elijah, Elisha, Nehemiah, Jeremiah and in the name of the original Jewish State, Judah. You don’t believe there were two different Gods in the Old Testament and that the “Children of Israel” had two different Gods or don’t want to believe it?
Well let’s look at Kings 12:21 where it's stated, “And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon”.
The “Children of Israel” split into two separate kingdoms: the Northern Kingdom of the ten tribes of Israel, named after their God El and the Southern kingdom of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, who united to form the Kingdom of Judah, named after their God Yah or Yahweh. Do you believe it now?
When we Add these Gods and religions together with the previous two, that makes four religions in the Bible!
The writer of Exodus tries to hide the fact that the “Children of Israel” had two different Gods with this little bit of rationalizing;
“And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: 6: 3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty (in Hebrew El Shaddai), but by my name YAHWEH was I not known to them”. Exodus 6:2 (You see…here God says is Name is El (God) almighty)
God changed his name?
Well it’s obvious that the “Children of Israel” had no knowledge of this God, that's why the writer is trying to make it seem as though it's the same God as the “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” but that doesn’t appear to be the case. But here's the kicker, “God Almighty” in Hebrew is El Shaddai. El means God. The patriarch Jacob's name was changed to “Israel” because his God was El. As I mentioned earlier, the characters in the Old Testament have the names of their Gods incorporated into their personal names.
The writer of Exodus says God’ name is Yahweh but he's trying to make it seem as if El and Yahweh are one and the same, in an attempt to make it appear as if the “Children of Israel” were always one nation who believed in the same God!
As if the ‘Children of Israel” had a long historical relationship with Yahweh dating back to Abraham which they obviously didn't. The Exodus writer tries to hide this, making it seem that this is the same God with a different name. Remember, he’s writing years after the fact (if it is a fact) when the “Children of Israel” were divided against each other and in their choice of Gods; but let’s move on.
The Monotheistic Religion Of Moses
And let’s not forget the fifh religion in the Bible, the monotheistic religion of Moses, who led the “Children of Israel” out of Egypt.
The reason that Moses had to wander around the desert for forty years disciplining the “Children of Israel” was because after living in Egypt for four hundred years, they were more Egyptian then the were “ Israelite” and kept reverting back to their old Egyptian religious practices. (They were just as much Egyptian as African-Americans are Americans after living in America for four hundred years.)
Moses was attempting to create a new people with a new identity and a new religion. The poor guy had to make numerous laws and prohibitions against any behavior, ritual or God, that was like their former religion. If you read the story, you’ll see he had a hell of a time trying make that happen!
Not to mention that Moses, himself was, an Egyptian; He was raised and educated in the Egyptian royal household from infancy to adulthood (if you believe the text).
In fact, the text shows that the daughters of the priest of Midian couldn’t tell the difference between Moses and an Egyptian.
“And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.2:18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that you are come so soon to day? 2:19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock”. Exodus 2:17
I think that pretty much stamps him as an Egyptian don’t you?
The writer of Exodus obviously wanted to keep Moses Egyptian identity secret, because he deleted the first part of his name and only left the title, Moses. Moses is Egyptian for son or heir, as Ben or Bar is son or heir in Hebrew.
There were many Egyptian Pharaohs with Moses as part of their names. There was Thotmose, Amonmose, Ahmose, Ptahmose, Ramose, (translated Rameses in English) and others. “The final S is an addition drawn from the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint). It's not in the Hebrew, which has ‘Mosheh’ instead of Moses”. (Moses and Monotheism, S. Freud, 1939 Vantage Books.)
Current scholarship supports the idea that Moses was actually the heretical, eighteenth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh, Akhenaton, who’s credited with establishing the first exclusively monotheistic religion on record.
The archeological evidence shows that Akhenaton was an actual historical person, his tomb, his city and other artifacts have been found, while there is no archeological evidence to support that Moses ever existed. (“Out of Egypt, the roots of Christianity revealed” Ahmed Osman 1998 Random House. “Moses The Egyptian” Jan Assman, 1997 Harvard University Press.)
And let’s not forget the sixth religion in the Bible, the Christianity of the Apostle, Paul, who never even met Jesus (real Jewish name Yeshua, in English, Joshua) but is said to have had a visionary encounter with him on the road to Damascus.
“And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man”. Act 9:3
Paul’s name was Saul before this experience after which his name was changed to Paul. Actually, the text doesn’t say his name was changed; it just starts referring to him as Paul instead of Saul.
So you see, Paul never met the historical Jesus, so he was focused on Christ, the spiritual man, while the disciples focused on, Jesus, the physical man.
Paul says the he preached his version of Christ long before he met the disciples and that his testimony of Christ wasn't received from man,
“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. 1:20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. 1:21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia” Galatians 1:15
In Galatians 2:20 he further says,
“I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Paul says that Christ lives in him, not Jesus, which would have been a physical impossibility; nowhere in the four gospels do the disciples ever say that Christ lived in them. This shows that Paul and the disciples held different religious view about Jesus. Paul's Jesus was spiritual, as was his Christianity, where as the disciples Christianity was physical (centered on the historical and physical person of Jesus).
Even Paul's view of what a Jew is, is based on a spiritual rather than physical view,
“ For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God”. Romans 2:28
Inwardly, of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter are all proof positive that Paul’s view of Christianity is spiritual not literal. His experience of Jesus was so different from the disciples that they agreed that they would preach their gospel to the Jews while Paul would preach his gospel to the Greco-Roman and non-Jewish world, collectively referred to as the Gentiles.
Just to piggyback on this difference between Paul's and the disciples’ view.
Their focus was so much on the resurrection of Jesus’ physical body. The writer of Luke takes pains to show the resurrected Jesus was flesh and bones, and even has him asking for some meat to eat, as proof that his dead body had risen from the grave like a zombie!
“But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 24:38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 24:40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. 24:41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?24:42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. Luke 24:43 And he took it, and did eat before them”. Luke 24:37
The writer of acts has Jesus ascending to heaven physically,
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight”. Act 1:9
But in Corinthians Paul’s expounds a more spiritual view of the resurrection,
The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption”. 1Corinthian 15:47
Paul says flesh and blood can’t inherit the kingdom of God but Acts has Jesus physically ascending to heaven.
This illustrates the variant beliefs Paul and the disciples had about the resurrection. The disciples believed Jesus’ physical body rose from the dead and ascended to heaven but Paul's believed the resurrection was of the spiritual body not of the physical body.
And the contradictions abound.
Paul said that the gospel he preached was the only true gospel which means all other gospels were false including Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed’. Galatians 1: 6
Paul is so emphatic that his gospel is the only true gospel he says, even if an angel preached any other gospel besides the one he preached let him be cursed!
Note, that Paul refers to the gospel singular not the Gospels plural.
So does Jesus “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel”. Mark 1:15
Paul’s writings predate the writing of the four Gospels and he said there was only one gospel, his gospel, presumably the same gospel that Jesus is referring to, so where did these later gospels come from and Who wrote them?
The State Religion Of The Roman Empire
Before Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire, it was originally a Jewish cult persecuted by Jewish and Roman clergy as being heretical. After it became the state religion of the empire, the New Testament documents were written collected and compiled into one book with the Hebrew bible. The doctrine that Old Testament writings foretold the coming of, Jesus, their newly arrived God in the flesh, was used as rationale for why this was done.
As I said previously, that’s one the of reasons the Jews don’t accept the Christian bible, even though it contains some of their writings, because neither Jesus nor the New Testament were part of their original bible.
So with Paul’s and the disciples’ variant takes on Jesus that makes seven religions in the Bible.
So there you have it folks; at least seven religions in the Bible.
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