THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY: by A.B. Traina
It is generally believed and taught that Christianity was founded by the Savior from Nazareth, when He was on earth. But a question immediately arises, which particular sect was the one He originated ? This is very important, for any thinking person knows that of the thousands of sects making up Christendom, no two agree entirely.
Naturally, the Savior did not inaugurate so many conflicting divisions. The Roman Catholic Church claims to be the one and only church of God, the true bride of Christ, and that all Protestant sects are heretics. On the other hand, the Protestants deride the Catholic Church as the harlot mother of Revelation 17; 5, not knowing that the same text condemns them likewise.
Those that are acquainted with the facts know Christendom is made up of Christian nations, whose faith was founded not by the Savior of Nazareth, but by pagan philosophers a generation after the death of Messiah's immediate followers. Christianity is an apostate, as we can readily prove.
The denominations, sects, churches or factions, which make up Christianity, are not followers of the Savior of the world. The doctrine He taught, the life He lived, the worship He practiced, are not those of modern Christianity.
Christianity is Hellenic paganism, nationalized by Roman emperors for national solidarity. It was molded from the doctrines of Plato, Socrates and the Gnostic Grecian philosophers. Christianity is but a newer name of the old religion of the philosophers. It is molded after them in doctrine, in practice, in worship and in name !
The Encyclopedia Britannica has this to say relative to this appeasement policy of the ( apostate ) church:
" Nothing perhaps has tended more thoroughly to corrupt Christianity than the introduction into it of superstitions which are really pagan themselves, or have been suggested by pagan practices. Paganism, unable to oppose Christianity successfully, had done much to corrupt it, and in numberless ways had made inroads into its purity."
Christianity, as such, was not firmly established as a religion until the time of Constantine the Great, who needed a national religion to solidify his empire. ( Same as Jeroboam 1 Kings 12; 26-33 ) He, therefore, adopted the new religion then going into apostasy, and made it into a national sect. He not only caused its acceptance as the one and only religion of the empire, but he formulated its policies, and caused to be accepted its doctrines, and stigmatized as heretics those who would not accept the new religion, banishing them from his kingdom, or putting them to death.
Anyone may verify the above by referring to any religious encyclopedia on the life of Constantine. Thus began the Roman Catholic Church, from whence sprang the church daughters making up the sects of Christianity.
When the Messiah was born into the world, His mother was a maid of Israel, of the tribe of Judah. He was born into a holy household, one which worshiped the Almighty according to the doctrine and ritual given by the Most High through the Holy Spirit to the prophets. There is not one iota of evidence in New Testament records that the Savior ever departed from the religion of his people, which was the Scriptural worship of the prophets ( that is the Holy Scripture ), but, rather to obey them, fulfilling them in every yod and title. " Think not I am come to destroy, but to fulfill." - Matt. 5; 17.
He taught the same precepts of holiness, practiced the same life of righteousness, observed the same sacred feasts, hallowed the same weekly Sabbath day, as did the patriarchs and the prophets before Him. But, for the apostate church of His day, he emphasized the power of a life of holiness so lived that its influence would change the vilest sinner, making him whole in body and spirit again. It was the message of the prophets placed into practice of His life, and in the lives of His immediate followers. This life of holiness not only influenced individuals, but through them affected the course of nations, and remodeled the world, in a fashion. But the Savior died, then ascended, and His disciples carried on after Him, until they, too, died.
As long as the immediate followers of the Messiah lived, they patterned their doctrine and manner of life after that of their Savior, for they were mainly of the Jewish ( Judean is the correct word, and hereafter used as such ) nation, and from the Israelite faith. They continued to live, to teach, to worship, as true Israelites, following the example of their Master.
Concerning Philo, Eusebius says,
" Moreover, from His very accurate description of the life of our ascetics it will be plain that he not only knew but welcomed, reverenced, and recognized the divine mission of the apostolic men of his day, who were, it appears, of Hebrew origin, and thus still preserved most of the ancient customs in a strictly Israelite manner."
Eusebiud is speaking of Philo's treatise, " On the Contemplative life of Suppliants." Book 11, Chap. xvii - Eusebius, " Ecclesiastical History." After the destruction of Jerusalem, in the year 70, the Judeans were dispersed ( as prophesied by Messiah in Matt. 12; 30) into all parts of the Roman Empire; and the disciples of the Messiah, being of the tribe of Benjamin, were scattered with the others. With them, these disciples took pristine faith, which they had received from the Savoir. They formed assemblies wherever they went, and so the true faith was sown throughout the world.
" Until then ( 106 or 107 A.D. at the martyrdom of Symenon ) the church remained a pure and uncorrupted virgin, for those who attempted to corrupt the healthful rule of the Savior's preaching if they existed at all, lurked in obscure darkness. But when the sacred band of the Apostles and the generation of those to whom it had been vouchsafe to hear with their own ears the divine wisdom had reached the several ends of their lives, then the federation of godless error took its beginning through the deceit of false teachers, who, seeing that none of the Apostles still remained, barefacedly tried against the preaching of the trust the counter -proclamation of knowledge, falsely so-called." Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book 111, Chap. xxxii.
From among the nations where they were scattered, the true believers gathered proselytes to their true faith, and so the assemblies grew in members made up from the various nationalities mixed with believers from the nation of Judah. These new numbers, however, had been connected with other religions then, just as it is now. And then, as now, there was no salvation in them ! When these converts came into the fold from the pagan religions they neglected to leave all their former beliefs behind, but often brought their paganistic doctrines and practices into the true fold.
"The propensity of the rude and uneducated converts from paganism to cling to the festival rites of their forefathers proved to be invincible, so that it was seen to be necessary to seek to adopt the old usage's to the new worship rather than to abolish them altogether; moreover, although the Empire hand became Christian, it was manifestly expedient that the old ( pagan ) holidays should be recognized as much as possible in the new arrangement of the calendar." Encyclopedia Britannica.
In time, as the true believers from Judea died off and the ones who held to the true faith decreased in numbers, the other element which had been proselytes from the pagan religions became the dominant force in the new faith, and soon, except for isolated instances, the new religion became a mongrel, a half-breed, part pagan and part true faith. It was not the faith of the Messiah, nor was it the old time paginate, nor was it known by any of the former names, but became known, in time, as Christianity. This change was gradual, beginning even in the time of St. Paul, and culminating in the Roman Catholic State Church during the reign of Constantine.
Of this change of true faith into that of the mongrel religion, Dr. Jesse Lyman Hurlbut, the noted church historian, says,
"For fifty years after St. Paul's life a curtain hangs over the church, through which we vainly strive to look; and when it at last rises, about 120 years A.D. with the writings of the earliest chuchfathers we find a church in many aspects very different from that in the days of St. Paul and St. Peter."
Unto this time ( the fall of Jerusalem, A.D.70 ) the church had been regarded by the Roman government and by the people at large as a branch of the Judean religion; but henceforth Judeans and Christians were apart. A small section of the Judean Christians endured for two centuries, but with ever decreasing numbers, ( Messiah said as in Luke 18; 8, " .......when the Son of Man cometh, will He find faith on earth ?") the Ebionites, a people by themselves, scarcely recognized by the general church and despised as apostates by their own race. "
Hurlbut's story of the Christian church, p 43.
" There is a strong support of the theory that the earliest Christianity was Judaistic in every way; that it was, in essence, a Judaistic Reformation with the addition of Messianic principles which had been already current among the Judeans for about two centuries. Judaistic Christianity, however, practically disappeared after the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70." Funk & Wagnall's New Std. Encl. - Article Bible.
In the wars with the Judeans, the Romans considered them as enemies, as indeed they were. This feeling influenced the people of the Roman Empire in their attitude towards the true disciples , who were mainly from Judea. Many of the citizens of the empire refused to have anything to do with the new sect, because they consider it Judean. Even the members of the assemblies from the nations were influenced by this spirit, and said, " Let us have nothing in common with the rabble of the Judeans," and so everything in the new faith which had a taint of Judaism was discarded, and a new religion formed which had nothing Judean about it.
The new creation was Christianity, but not the faith of the Messiah. Christianity is not the faith of the Messiah, but an amalgamation of paganism and Judaism, sprinkled with a tincture of the true faith as taught by the Messiah.
"As long as the church was mainly Judean, the Hebrew Sabbath was kept; but as it became increasingly Gentile, the first day ( Sunday ) gradually took the place of the seventh."
Not only was the Sabbath dropped from the new religion, and Sunday ( a holiday of the pagans ) adopted; but they likewise rejected the Passover, and the Feast of Unleavened bread, and adopted Lent and Easter Sunday ( Astartè's Sun-day ).
The Feast of Tabernacles and the Day of Atonement were forgotten, and the birthday of the Sun-god took their place as Christmas;
Sprinkling took the place of immersion;
immortality of the soul, adopted from paginate, replaced the doctrine of conditional eternal life;
the resurrection and day of judgment was taught through which the dead entered heaven, or hell, no resurrection being necessary in this program.
The kingdom of heaven, as an actual earthwide government under whole heavens was ignored, as the members of the new religion sought to please "the powers that be."
Truly, Hurlbut said, " We find a church in many aspects different" from that of St. Paul and St. Peter and the Messiah. This new church, different, was Christianity; and for its deities it adopted various ones from the heathen, discarding the Most High of the Israelite Scriptures, and His blessed Son, Jahshuwah.
Once again we find the churchmen giving way to these heathen in order to win them to Christianity. Quoting from Frazer's Golden Bough, we find;
"Taken altogether, the coincidences of the Christian and the heathen festivals are too close and too numerous to be accidental. They mark the compromise which the church in the hour of it's triumph was compelled to make with its vanquished still dangerous rivals. The inflexible Protestantism of the primitive missionaries, with fiery denunciations of heathendom, had been exchanged for the supple policy, the easy tolerance, the comprehensive charity of shrewd ecclesiastics, who clearly perceived that if Christianity was to conquer the world it could do so only by relaxing the too rigid principles of its Founder, by widening a little the too narrow gate which leads to salvation."
The new religion was not the old paganism, but really a new creation. It was a general amalgamation, made up of various beliefs of the new members of the old cults. They took something from one and another and formed the whole into Christianity;
Sunday from pagan Romans,
Easter from the pagan Egyptians,
Christmas from the pagan Babylonians,
the truingod from the Gnostics; immortality from the pagan Greeks,
and some from the teaching of the Messiah,
and with many other doctrines were combined,
and thus the religion of Christianity was formed, which, eventually, became the state religion of the Roman Empire.
In many places the pagan temples were turned into Christian churches. The services of worship increased in splendor but were less spiritual and hearty than those of former times. "The forms and ceremonies of paganism gradually crept into the worship. Some of the old heathen feasts became church festivals with change of name and worship."
Brothingham says, speaking of St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome:
"Into what depth of antiquity the ceremonies carried me back ! To the mysteries of Eleusis, to the sacrificial rites of Phoenicia. The boys swung the censors as censors had been swung in the adoration of Bacchus.
The girdle and cassock of the priests came from Persia; the veil and tonsure were from Egypt;
the alb and chasube were prescribed by Numa Popilius;
the stole was borrowed from the official who used to throw it on the back of the victim that was to be sacrificed;
the white surplice was the same as described by Juvenal and Ovid." -Atlantis, pp. 210,211.
The pagan temples not only became churches, the heathen festivals became church feasts,
the Sabbath was replaced by Sunday,
but even the heathen worship was transferred, as they substituted the adoration of the Virgin Mary for the worship of Venus and Diana.
What did the pagan care about the name of the idol, or the name of the religion, just so that he could understand that it was the same. So the new religion adopted the statues of Venus and Diana, Jupiter, or Zeus, Apollos, etc., and chiseled off the pagan names, and engraved thereon the new names adopted for the new religion, called Christianity.
The heathen had been worshipping Diana, or Venus, so they were now adoring the Virgin Mary.
They had worshipped Zeus, or Jupiter, as the supreme deity, so now they were told the new name was Theos, or Dios, or God. There savior was Zeus, so now they were to accept Jesus ( Iesous, or Zeus ).
Pagan temples became Christian churches,
pagan idols became holy-days,
pagan rites and ceremonies became Christianized - and so was born Christianity.
The Hebrew prophets worshipped the Creator of the world, and to them He had revealed that His name was Jahwah ( Isa. 42; 8 ). The prophet declares this was the only name ( Psa. 83; 18 ) of the Almighty.
Just as Scripture reveals that there is only one Supreme Almighty, so it also declares that He has but one name, and that name is Jahwah. Over 7 000 times the the sacred Scriptures reveal that sacred name to man.
The patriarchs, the prophets, the Savior and His disciples worshipped the only true Creator and called upon Him by His only revealed name of Jahwah, or the shorter form Jah.
When the Savior was with man, He worshipped the Mighty One of Israel, and knew and taught the sacred name. He prayed, " I have manifested Thy name unto the men Thou gavest Me out of the world." John 17; 6. " I have kept them in Thy name." John 17; 12. " I have declared upon them Thy name." John 17; 26.
After the death of the disciples, Jahwah was no longer the one worshipped in the Assemblies, and the gods of the nations ( Jahshuwah warned the Judeans that another one would come in his own name, and that man will listen to him, John 5; 43, another Jesus, 2 Cor. 11; 4 ), took His place in the Bible, and the new religion.
The prophet said, " All nations walk, every man in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of Jahwah, our Mighty One, to times aged-abiding and beyond. " Micha 4; 5.
When the Sacred Writings were translated into the tongues of nations, the translators ignored the sacred names revealed in the Scriptures, and inserted the names of the national deities in the place of Jahwah. In every case the national deity in opposition to Jahwah was placed in the honored position. Each of the nations worshipped a supreme deity, and it had a national name. Where such a name could be used, it was placed in the translations. And thus, foreign gods received the praise, the honor, the worship, which were justly Jahwah's. No wonder the Almighty declares, " I Am Jahwah, that is My Name, and My esteem will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images." Isa. 42; 8.
" The god of nineteen-twentieth of the Christian world is only Bel, Moloch, Zeus, or at least Osiris, Mithras or Adonai, under another name, worshipped with the old pagan ceremonies and ritualistic formulas. It is the statue of Olympian Jove, worshipped as the Father, in the Christian church that was a pagan temple; it is the statue of Venus, become the Virgin Mary." - Pike, Morals and Dogma, p 296.
The word, pagan, according to Webster's International Dictionary;
1. Heathen, a follower of a polytheistic religion. ( as in ancient Rome )
2. One that has little or no religion and that is marked by a frank delight in and uninhibited seeking after sensual pleasures and material goods: an unrestrained irreligious hedonist and materialist < is a ~ of the decadence.......takes the world with exquisite nonchalance and prefers a well-ordered dinner to a dissertation on the immorality of the soul - T.L.Peacock >
3. relating to, < ~ customs > < represents the earthy, ~ acceptance of life in all its sensual vulgarity - R.M. Kain > < the concept of death and oblivion as the natural end of life - Cyril Connolly >
Jahwah is not the supreme one of Christianity, but the songs, the prayers, the praise, and the honor, ascend to the name of a foreign god, in every language under the heaven. ( Even Adonai, the Jewish form of the pagan god Adonis.)
The Greeks pray unto Kurios and Theos; Strong's exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, # 2962; Kurios; by implicating Mr. a respectful title: - God, lord master, Sir. In other words not the name of Jahwah.
The Germans unto Herr and Gott;
the Poles unto Bog and Pan ! the English unto Lord and God.
Hosea 2; 16. "............and shalt call Me no more Baali," from the Companion Bible Dr. E.W. Bullinger, Baali = Lord.
And so it is throughout Christendom. The name of Jahwah is ignored by the apostate religion.
When the Savior was born into the world his mother was a Hebrew maid of the tribe of Judah; but His Father was the Almighty whose name alone is Jahwah, or Jah.
Strong's, Hebrew # 3050; Jah; the sacred name. As He was the Son of Jahwah, it was evident that He would carry His Father's name, and He plainly states saying, " I am come in My Father's Name." John 5; 43.
Our translated scripture says that Jahwah's Son's name is Jesus, a compound word of Ie and Zeus. But remember the heavenly messenger spoke unto a Hebrew, and declared His name in the Hebrew, which the writer explained to mean, "Jah is Salvation."
This name, Jahshuwah, being Hebrew, was objectionable to the Greeks and Romans, who hated the Judeans, and so it was deleted from the records, and a new name inserted.
Jahshuwah was thus replaced by Ie-Sous, now known to us as Jesus.
The new religion was known as Christianity, because the supreme deity of it was called Christos, and so we ask, whence came Christos ?
The Hebrews called their coming Savior the Messiah. The disciples of the Savior accepted Him as such, and to them He was known as Jahshuwah the Messiah. The Greeks, however, rejected the Hebrew name, and called Him Christos, similar to Chrisna ( Krisna ), name of the deity-savior of the East.
Among the people of the East, a sun-god savior was worshipped by the name of Krisna, and so among the Greeks of the new religion the Savior was known as Kristos, or Christos. Thus the Sanskrit name was of the Indian messiah became the name of the messiah of the new religion, and it was known as the new Christian ( Krisna ) faith.
The religion revealed in the Scriptures is the worship of the Creator, whose Name alone is Jahwah.
Baal is not the Creator,
Adonis is not the Almighty,
Pan is not the Holy One, neither is Lord, Kurios or God.
Jahwah is the Supreme One. Worship Him. Psa. 91; 14,
" Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will deliver Him: I will set him on high, because he hath known My Name."
The only Savior in the Scripture is the Jahshuwah, the Son of Jahwah, who has come to restore the peace with Jahwah through RIGHTEOUSNESS alone.
He came in His Father's Name and by that we must adore Him. Away with the pagan name Christ, heathen name Jesus, and exalt the Savior, Jahshuwah, the Son of Jahwah, by His own name.
Let's forget Christianity, with its pagan worship and pagan deities, pagan festivals, pagan doctrine. Matt. 6; 33,
" But seek ye FIRST the kingdom of Jahwah, and His RIGHTEOUSNESS; and all these THINGS ( from verses 31 and 32 ) shall be added unto you."
Righteousness, get back to the old ways, Jer. 31; 21. Our entreaty today to the reader is to consider well his ways so that he can enter the rest; Hebr. 4; 11, " Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest ( be sure to read 3; 10 and 11 as well as Matt. 7; 21-23 !!!), lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. "
Reject all traditions and commandments of man, and worship Jahwah in Spirit and in Truth. May Jah bless !
Faith Bible and Tract Society
P.O. Box 222
Salem, West Virginia