This is a text followup on the previous episode of the last podcast episode on the thesis presented in Creating Christ.
In that interview, James indicates how you can lay your finger down anywhere in the New Testament and he can explain how that indicates how the New Testament has its origin as Roman propaganda.
I find a random segment of the New Testament and take a stab at doing just that.
If you have not listened to the previous podcast episode, do so here:
Today I want to share with you an interesting experience and some of my thoughts on it. Here goes;
This morning I engaged in an interesting experiment. I found a random video from a fairly typical Christian fundamentalist, one that likes to throw quotes from the Bible up on the screen.
I then skimmed through it to see if I could find any quoted verses which indicated Roman providence to the New Testament.
The very first quoted verse did this. I kid you not, the very first verse he threw up indicated Roman providence to the New Testament.
Here is what it said:
“For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumsion: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake”.
Now, the first question we should ask is: “Is this a fair translation?”
As far as I know, it is fairly accurate in its essentials. As well as fitting in what we learned in the previous episode of the podcast. Although, other translations have replaced “lucre” with “unfair gain”. And these translations might be a little more accurate.
Other translations of this include:
” For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. ”
Let’s see what this juicy tidbit from Titus (oddly enough one of the names of the Roman emperors…) seems to be trying to tell us…
Well, first we see some naked antisemitism. It seems obvious that the “they of the circumcision” being singled out here are Jewish people. Hardly very subtle…
Apparently, they must be silenced, for they subvert whole houses, teaching what they ought not for the sake of lucre. Which, if I remember correctly, is money dishonestly acquired. Although, note that other translations says “dishonest gain”.
So, apparently, the Jewish people are spreading lies and cause upset. What are these lies and what are they upsetting?
Well, I submit that the lies are anything that casts their Roman rulers in a bad light and which agitates and justifies rebellion.
The subversion or upset would be an attempt to undermine the rule of their Roman rulers. The “whole houses” or “families” being subverted or upset, would be the Roman state.
So, apparently the Book of Titus is nakedly suggesting that the Jewish people, certainly the Jewish rebels, were lying, unruly liars. Who were doing it for the sake of dishonest or shameful gain of some kind and perhaps not out of sincere devotion to their religion!
Imagine if this was propaganda intended to undermine the revolt of Jewish rebels against Roman rule. A revolt which was religiously motivated. Then, this is the sort of thing you might write, no? Especially if you wanted to undermine the rebel’s religious motivations.
Note, that I have no doubt that this verse is one which has done much to stimulate two thousand odd years of antisemitism. And to contribute to the image of Jews as “greedy” and dishonest people.
Our presenter here, one Kent Hovind, is no doubt completely oblivious to all that this implies. He thinks it is just a generic damning of materialistic deceivers. He is totally ignorant of the fact that he is repeating the political propaganda of Roman emperors.
But, a fair reader of the New Testament (which Hovind and his ilk clearly are not) has to ask oneself: If the Word of God, why is God such an antisemitic, pro-Roman bigot?
Gods antisemitism is odd given how in the Old Testament, he apparently literally committed genocide in the name of the Jews. On multiple occasions. There they clearly his favored people.
It is hard not to see the contrast as odd. I know I always used to wonder about that and the other weird changes of mind God allegedly made between the two Testaments. Not because I thought God was real, but why the people writing the book would have him change his mind like that.
Could it be that it isn’t the Word of God? At least, not that God, but that of some Roman emperor trying to cement his place as a Roman state deity?
It would certainly be a lot more interesting and relevant to this world than the contradictory Word of some unfathomable man in the sky…