GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – Jesus The Cold Case

Eight years ago I made a documentary which allowed me to go in search of an answer a question I had first encountered at university – What can we know about the historical person known as Jesus of Nazareth ?
As I had just finished three seasons of my TV ONE cold case series The Investigator I decided to take the same approach to one of the world’s most puzzling cases whose life and death we are are given time out each year to ponder at Easter.
Although the documentary won several major awards it was also severely criticised by people who felt that by doing a critical analysis of the Gospels I had attacked their faith.
That was never my intention.
Nor was it the intention of some of the world’s leading theologians and biblical historians I interviewed for the documentary beginning with our own Rev. Sir Lloyd Geering.
As I say , if a literal interpretation of the New Testament is the cornerstone of your faith then you won’t like it.
If however you take a more liberal approach to the Gospels or you are simply curious about how my search for the historical Jesus began in Nazareth but ended (completely unexpectedly) at Auschwitz then you might like to watch it at some stage over the Easter break.
Any money from the above sales will go to help feed breakfast to kids at a primary school in East Porirua.


  1. Commendable effort, Bryan.

    Easter, like everything else in the Christian calendar, is fake.

    Easter was the pagan festival celebrating the rebirth of nature that occurred when the soil began to warm up and trees began to sprout foliage etc. (which still occurs, though humans have managed to annihilate most of nature, especially in the Northern Hemisphere. And the parts that haven’t been annihilated have been seriously messed-up).

    Needing to stamp out pagan beliefs (that actually represented something real and meaningful) in order to impose the fake religion that is based on massive inconsistencies and outright lies, the Romans of the collapsing empire chose to usurp the pagan festival, as part of the control-the-masses agenda. People in fancy hats talking gibberish helped.

    The Roman empire continued to collapse, but the fake religious festivals they established endured.

    So does the fake calendar the Romans came up with. Hence, the tenth month of the year is called the eight month, the eleventh is called the ninth, and the twelfth month of the year is called the tenth, and poor old February got robbed of a couple of days to serve the vanity of a couple of emperors.

    Which all goes to show that a large portion of the population prefers to believe in fantasies rather than reality, and most things people take as sacrosanct are actually arbitrary and phony.

    The commercial sector will undoubtedly make a killing, selling stuff that is bad for children to uninformed/misinformed parents, many of who are guilt-ridden, and are definitely highly-controlled. After all, money (and its acquisition) is the new religion, the religion of the age, worshipped on a daily basis by the government, the commercial sector and a large portion of the populace.

    And don’t forget to do your bit in destroying the environment over the holiday period, as required by the government and the commercial sector in the pursuit of money and hedonism.

    I’m not sure what Christ would have said about any of what goes on these days if he were around today (assuming he actually lived and wasn’t pure fabrication), but I suspect he would be astonished and outraged.


    • “Needing to stamp out pagan beliefs (that actually represented something real and meaningful) in order to impose the fake religion that is based on massive inconsistencies and outright lies, the Romans of the collapsing empire chose to usurp the pagan festival, as part of the control-the-masses agenda. People in fancy hats talking gibberish helped”. The fact that the roman Emperor Constantine converted to christianity, and the most powerful people around him devised what is now known as catholicism (The version that was adopted among the at least three proposals) was simply the answer to what every usurping power had done since humans started to wage war on an industrial scale.. Instead of replacing pagan gods with the ones they worshiped, it became just one, all powerful figure.. Note that this power structure was remarkably like the existing power structures throughout the human world… The advent of Catholicism in Europe was just another opportunism that set in place a whole new level of control…. To blame catholicism for this behavior is to utterly ignore the thousands of years of the same actions by every prominent civilisation that ever existed… The Romans gave us the “new and improved” model, nothing more..

  2. You’re a bit light on facts there Afewknowthetruth

    For sure Christianity co-opted a lot of facets from older religions, maybe more than you realize but it was no more fake than whatever it replaced. And certainly it was a lot more benign, avoiding as it did human sacrifice and other odious practices.

    Furthermore let’s not forget that despite all its ills, it formed the basis for western civilization and was benign enough to allow for the Renaissance, Reformation, age of Enlightenment so that we can today enjoy all the benefits of that progress.

    • Perhaps you could enlighten us with some ‘facts’ then Andrew because all you have offered so far is opinion.

      Did not the Catholic Church fight tooth and nail to prevent reformation, to the extent of persecuting and murdering reformers, buying up books and burning them etc.?

      Did the Church not persecute scientists who dared to challenge the biblical notion that the Sun went around the Earth? One of the most notable was Galileo, who, as an old man, was tormented by the Church to the point of causing premature death.

      ‘And certainly it was a lot more benign, avoiding as it did human sacrifice and other odious practices.’

      Really? So it wasn’t a pope who sanctioned the conquering of South America and the designation of nonwhites as subhuman, thereby advocating genocide and slavery?

      And it wasn’t ‘good Christians’ who ran the slave trade, whereby people were kidnapped, put in chains and transported under such appalling conditions many died on the crossing, only to be sold into hard labour for the rest of their lives?

      And its wasn’t ‘good Christians’ who stole the gold from the Caribbean islands, slaughtering the indigenous population over a period of less that one generation, and then transporting slaves from Africa to replace them when they set up sugar plantations? Abd then went on to do the same in South America?

      And its wasn’t ‘good Christians’ who fought bloody battles across the then disunited states in a war to retain the right to hold and torture slaves?

      I suppose it wasn’t ‘good Christians’ who went to Africa in the late nineteenth century to loot the gold, diamonds and anything else of value they could remove, using semi-slave labour?

      And in modern times, I suppose it wasn’t ‘good Christians’ who orchestrated the sanctions that led to the death of about half a million Iraqi children, and subsequently bombed shit out of the the place using ‘depleted uranium’ weapons that untold casualties and multiple caused birth defects afterwards, even though, at the times they declared themselves to be Christians ‘doing God’s work’.

      ‘it was no more fake than whatever it replaced’

      How can you describe worshipping the Sun, bringer of life, as fake? Are you saying the Sun is fake? Or that Stonehenge is fake?

      ‘so that we can today enjoy all the benefits of that progress.’

      I put it to you that progress was made in spite of the church, not because of it.

    • Not to mention the Spanish Inquisition, Slavery, selling Indulgences (as well as a whole truckload of commercial endeavours), buggering altar boys and wholesale fornication of everything from women to chickens, but yes, Christianity was an important force in European and Western Civilisation.

      • Yeah….and perhaps you would have preferred animist religions with child sacrifice, that is an expression of such beliefs, and not a perversion of them.

        Socialist values come from Christian belief in the spiritual equality of all people.

    • Forgive me if I’m misquoting, but was it not Gandhi who when asked what he thought of English civilisation replied “That would be a good idea.”?

    • Andrew, if you are looking for the basis of “western civilization”, you actually should be talking about the ancient Greeks, not Christianity. Depending, of course, on your own definition of “western civilization”……

    • And the crusades slaughtering and looting way across the Middle East and terminated by the protestant reformation with the Pope losing significant power..

      The looting by Rome over centuries made it the most powerful and ruthless institution mankind had ever known and that wealth base still exists today.

      Romans did a great snow job pulling together tales wrapped around existing superstitions and “celebrations” to stamp authority on their subjects using fear and exclusion to discipline those who saw through it.

      Initially a crafty PR exercise but as it gained authority the purpose and horror of it became apparent.

      There are no fairies at the bottom of the garden no matter what childhood indoctrination you are carrying.

    • I have on my shelf an excellent history that you should read, Andrew: The Closing of the Western Mind — The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason (Charles Freeman, Pimlico, 2003).

    • For insight into Christianity’s contribution to civilisation:
      The Closing of the Western Mind — The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason
      Charles Freeman (Heinemann 2002, Pimlico 2003)

  3. There may be no fairies at the bottom of gardens (now) , but I saw a leprechaun in County Wexford, one quiet autumn afternoon in 1969. Few believed me…

    • Bloody good brew of poteen begorra. Me fartha yoost to brew it too.
      Your blest me darling. The little people are with you.

    • Who said anything on this thread about Christians ‘eating babies’?

      As far as I know, the closest the bible-believers got to the eating of babies was Abraham preparing to murder his son in a blood sacrifice (God absolutely loving blood sacrifices, and wanting lots of them) and then having second thoughts about murdering his son at the last moment.

      And, of course, the biblical instruction to ‘gather your neighbours and stone to death your son, if he is disobedient’. Whether your were allowed to eat the meat after stoning your son to death is not made clear in the bible.

      By the way, bible-believers were very keen on slavery and the bible even had rules about how much of a beating you could give your slaves. But, according to biblical teachings it was not considered correct to kill another person’s slave without paying that person compensation.

      Crucifixion was a very common form of punishment-come-death-sentence in Roman times. The total number crucified is unclear but certainly ran into the thousands. it was considered a bit of a waste of a potential galley slave who could be worked to death. But sometimes it was considered necessary to have a public display of brutality, Apparently the Romans had close to zero empathy, which is what made them so successful as conquerors and administrators. Rather like the Jews who (‘on God’s instructions’) sneaked into an enemy settlement and slaughtered all the members of the tribe because ‘God had promised them that land’.

      Bible-believers are still doing it -slaughtering innocents (but not eating them as far as I know).

    • No Rob, it may be better to accept that whatever one’s belief system, choosing one of the most sacred days in the Christian calendar, Good Friday, to attack Christian origins, was very tacky, and poor taste.

      Bottom line: Sermon on the Mount – exemplary. Do unto others, Yep.

      This is not to disparage Lloyd Geering – a bona fide academic.

      • The hypocrisy and lies of Christians knows no bounds, not does it respect ‘sacred days’.

        Never forget that the British and German soldiers who declared a ceasefire on Christmas Day 1914, and shared food and even played soccer, were severely reprimanded, and the officers told that any repetition of such behaviour would result in the officers and the participants being shot.

        Also, don’t forget that the calendar is both arbitrary and inaccurate. A few cebturies ago it was so inaccurate it had to be corrected by 11 days when it got completely out of kilter.

        Interestingly, when Spanish explorers discovered indigenous people in South America had a better (more accurate) calendar than they did, they attempted to destroy all the evidence. hey also slaughtered the bulk of the population and enslaved most of those they hadn’t murdered.

        ‘Do unto others, Yep.’

        Even now, so-called Christians are denying both non-Christians and Christians medicines and food so they can live it up. And Mammon-worshipping ‘Christians’ are still responsible for most of the environmental destruction we witness, as they live their consumeristic lives.

        • Apologies for typos.

          I think it all comes down to ‘have dominion’ over the Earth’, plus the religious notion that humans are the peak of creation (they sure fought the science of evolution long and hard, and some still haven’t given up on the fairly-tale version of life on Earth, i.e. Creationists).

          Many Christians then make the assumption that the Earth is here to serve them, and that they can loot it and pollute it as much as they like. With that comes the “Bless my family, bless my pets, bless my house, bless my car, bless my business” etc.

          Some even go as far as saying none of the destruction and exploitation we witness witness matters because it’s all part of ‘God’s plan’, that the ‘second coming of Christ’ is imminent, and that either everything will be restored to a paradise-like condition, or that the ‘good Christians’ will be whisked away to heaven or some newly-created paradise and all the non-believers will perish and/or suffer torture for eternity. .

          In that respect, some ‘Christians’ are amongst the most dangerous people on Earth because their philosophy is “Bring it on!” Thus they actively seek major conflict in the Middle East and even nuclear war because a few incoherent passages in the bible allude to shockingly bad ‘end times’.

      • The calendar is an arbitrary invention and as such to denote a particular day as an anniversary is also an arbitrary decision..
        You may be aware for example of leap years where an extra day is added as there are not 365 days in a year, and very so often a leap day is dropped and then after another long period the agreed leap day that is dripped is not dropped. Hence the modification of the Julian calendar with changes to establish the Gregorian calendar.
        But the basis of the start of any calendar year focuses along Roman lines to evolve two separate calendars recognised by separate cultural and some religious sections of Euro Roman populations..
        But the most populous countries of the world have very different calendars again with the Indian year being ended about 50 days after the Gregorian calendar.
        The Chinese have settled on a common Asian calendar, akin to the Indian references being based on ancient agricultural seasons.and lunisolar references.
        A typical “Chinese” new year fall between 21 Jan and 20 Feb on the Gregorian calendar.
        There is no reference to an existence of a day 1 for Earth so those calendars based on seasons or moon phases are as pertinent as any other.
        China and India use the Gregorian calendar to integrate with the remnants of colonialism and today’s trade.
        Easter traditions go back much further than so called Christian traditions, being a celebration of season change in the Northern hemisphere and as such just don’t apply in the Southern hemisphere.
        Days of the week are similarly designated by colonial structures grown out of religious myth.
        Holidays from work or commitments are a nice idea in themselves and hardly need a specific belief attachment.

        But while we might look at the imposition of importance given to particular days on a calendar, should we also look as to why churches and religious groups get tax free status and also rates free tenure. We all pay for those indirectly and involuntarily.
        An imposition placed by demand of privileged.
        Many so called enterprises that own vast numbers of properties and businesses raking in million a year, pay no dues to the communities they extract the money from. ie Pay not taxes nor rates.

        • Thank you John.

          All of which indicates the churches are part of ‘the gang’ that orchestrates the looting-and-polluting and the control of the masses.

          George Carlin summed it up nicely many years ago:

          “He’s omnipotent, all-seeing, all-powerful but he just can’t handle money. He always needs more money.”

  4. There are more slaves today than at any time in history. Sex trafficking is rampant. Debt servitude, mortgages, medical penury, bankruptcy is everywhere. We pillage the Earth like there’s no tomorrow.

    Yet AFKTT blames “Christianity” for everything while ignoring the grim realities of 99% of human existence.

    A religion of 2 billion followers does not correspond to AFKTT’s warped view of history nor is it the same as the apocalyptic Trump cult in America

    • Rob, there were the good things too, which can be directly attributed to the inspiration of Christian mythology : glorious music- wonderful art- architecture – see bombed cathedral at Chartres and mosaics in Westminster Cathedral – nearly every poetry anthology ever published – the naming of flowers,plants, and weeds, and the genetic engineering of. These are things which raise us, and which AFKTT forgets to mention. Our resurrections.

      One thing though, is that Jesus the Galilean, did not found Christianity, let alone Roman Catholicism, and the poor young guy’s recorded wisdom is in no way negated by the horrors perpetrated by some practitioners of institutionalised religions – or by AFKTT’s assumptions.

      • Has it not occurred to you that the things you list are attributable to human talent and ingenuity, and not to religion.

        Some of the most exquisite art and carving I have ever seen is not of Christian ancestry by Chinese. So superb is it, one wonders how it could have possibly been accomplished. I have seen the mosaics of Westminster Cathedral, and in all honesty they are pretty pathetic in comparison with what the Chinese were producing 2,000 years earlier.

        Some of the products of the Ming dynasty were (are) so superb in design and use of materials, no one knows how they were produced, and the technology seems to have been lost forever.

        I have never seen them, but some of the buildings constructed by Muslims around 1,000 years ago are quite extraordinary in both their sophistication of construction and decoration.

        Never forget that by the time Christians were managing to pile rocks on top of one another to build primitive churches, the Chinses had already created a palace that had a map of the world (as they knew it, with seas of liquid mercury (we need not go into the health hazard of that), and had designed and constructed a very sophisticated earthquake detector which detected the size and direction of earthquakes. They had flamethrowers when Europeans were still throwing spears at one another. What they did not do was build large ships to loot the rest of the world. That was a cultural decision, based largely on the [correct] idea that the rest of the world was full of primitive savages. If that had not been the case we would probably all be speaking some form of Chinese, and Britain certainly would not have laid claim to New Zealand, Australia, Canada etc.

        The evidence indicates the churches of Europe were more concerned with acquisition of material wealth and suppression of the populace whilst fighting {literally} for dominance] than ‘things which raise us’.

        Sure, Handel was inspired to write glorious music, as was Beethoven. Whether that was because of Christianity is debatable. One of the greatest pieces of music ever written -The Pastoral Symphony- was the result of Beethoven communing with nature.

        ‘ Our resurrections.’

        Please explain what that means. I don’t understand.

        • This ain’t a symposium – nor an exercise in comparative culture.

          I’m talking of inspiration. You speak of the Chinese. Fine. I have a Chinese carving/ smallish sculpture, made during the Qing Dynasty(1644- 1911) depicting a man riding on an oxen – not a man crucified on a cross. The man on the oxen is not an uncommon Chinese sculpture.

          He is believed to be Lao Tzu, author of the Tao Te Ching, leaving the Middle Kingdom, through the Han Ku Pass.

          Lao Tzu is regarded as the “founder “ of Taoism – I regard him as such, and so do enough others to find his writings an inspiration, and so therefore subject to being represented , or interpreted in various art forms.

          It is self-evident that human talent is needed to create most art -but inspiration frequently plays a huge part. Think Guernica.

          Sorry you don’t understand , “ our resurrections.” It should come. Hint: Easter.
          Hint: Saint Paul. Cheers.

          • So, the ‘our resurrection’ you referred to refers to the Jesus myth, but the Jesus myth is actually a rehash of the pagan festival of the winter solstice, with elements of Egyptian religion thrown in, and ‘Son of God who died on the cross and was resurrected’, is actually an astronomical phenomenon and means the ‘The Sun god died in the Southern Sky -which contains The Cross constellation- on or around the 21st of December, and after a period of three or days was seen to be rising earlier in the morning and to on a slightly more easterly direction; in other words the Sun died on the cross and was resurrected, which was cause for great celebration. oh great joy? Let us celebrate on the 25th December!

            Ancient people we clever enough to work out that if the Sun continued to get lower in the sky (as happens from June to December in the Northern Hemisphere), that would mean the end of life. In fact, ancient people were clever enough to work out all kinds of astronomical phenomena, even though they didn’t know the reasons for what they observed and recorded. Thus the calf and fish stuff in the bible actually refers to the constellations Taurus and Pisces, and the non-circular nature of the Earth’s orbit causing certain events to be seen in those constellations. Abandoning the Bull and embracing the Fish is astronomical, as is the coming of the Age of Aquarius.

            How the Christians managed to shift the ‘death of the Sun and its resurrection’ from midwinter to spring (the equinox) is still mystery to me, but I guess having a book that the bulk of the population could not read helped pull off the deceit. I’m sure someone somewhere knows how that was achieved

            Sun god. Son of God.

            It’s easy to see how some parts of the deception were achieved.

            I think the real con was to provide detailed accounts for events that had no witnesses, e.g. the time when Jesus was in the wilderness (alone) and was tempted by the devil, and to get people to believe that those events with no witnesses were real.

            It’s on a par with the fairytale about Noah gather up two of every species on a boat and saving them from drowning when the entire earth was covered in water (that appeared magically out of nowhere) to a depth greater than the highest mountains; let me think, we’re talking around 9 kilometres.

            The requirement to not think logically and accept fairy tales suits some people. Not me.

            But the thing about religion is that, in a lot of cases, the more the evidence there is to disprove it, the more determined believers are to hang on to it.

            • The latter part of your statement refers to what nowadays is described as confirmation bias. where when you commit yourself to a belief then you seek all the more to bolster your belief as it is an important part of the self.
              Hence the trap of not being open minded but on a good day deluding yourself that you are.

              When and if I see fairies at the bottom of the garden then I will need to explore why that has happened and look at why my mind created those images and get as much professional help as I need to address an understanding of the images experienced.

              Magic is a very primitive response.

          • Snow Whie
            I am not attempting to attack your beliefs but the attributes you give to religion do need to be examined.
            To insist religion is only responsible for beguine events just cannot be supported in the face of the atrocities associated with the actions of churches and their claim on authority to regulate what people believe and are instructed to do.

            I think the ground has been covered but those blindly committed may be best to realise that and the position the are in.
            Indoctrination and fear experienced in the younger vulnerable years can be formative for life with those who are unable to unpick that experiences. Many lies are told to children but inculcated fear is hard to shake.

            Many still believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
            While we know the USA has them but that’s seems accepted as normal.
            Over a million were killed because of that fabricated belief about Iraq, and many times that number left wounded, in grief and without support.

            How would you like that at your place.

            I would have thought that churches would be in uprising over war but apparently not.
            NZ had soldiers in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan as well as the first world war.
            Thou shalt not kill I hear quoted and we were involved in a killing spree.

            Basic human morals go back much further than any religion yet they lay claim to them and yet ignore them when it suits,

            Albert was a deeply religious man by his own words.
            “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends, which are nevertheless pretty childish”. He also said, “No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can change this”.

            Nor should the utterances of a man be constraint on expanding the knowledge of mankind with critical examining the things we take for granted or have been inculcated in as as children.

            If we are to look at Birthdays the 25th December stands out as Isaac Newton recorded day of birth.

            Isacc has affected the world of most humans across the planet.

    • There are, indeed, more slaves now than at any time in history.

      There are debt slaves, captured by banks creating money out of thin air and charging interest on that money created out of thin air. These debt slaves -caught in the web of deceit of mortgages, car loans, student loans, payday loans etc.- are the foundation of western capitalism and the consumer society, and without them the whole system would break down in a matter of days, if not hours.

      There are wage slaves, people who are trapped in the system and forced to work in unsatisfying employment, often for low wages, in order to obtain sufficient fait money to buy food and energy etc. that keeps them alive to continue going to work.

      There are factory slaves, mostly in Asia, who were forced off the land by corrupt governments working in coalition with big business, and who are forced to work long hours for poor pay, producing consumer goods to be sold at high mark-up in western nations by the exploiters of the system, the so-called ‘captains of industry and commerce’. Or born into such conditions, since much of the shifting of factories to Asia was done in the 1990s.

      There are actual slaves, often children, who do unpaid work in sweatshops in Asia (and perhaps other places) making rugs etc. that can be sold in ‘fantastic rug sales’ in NZ and other western nations. Or children collecting bits of plastic and metal from rubbish dumps, so that at the end of the day they can get 50 cents to buy a little food.

      There are sex slaves, usually adolescent or teenage girls, sold by impoverished parents to sex trader’s agents or tricked into forced prostitution by false promises of employment as waitresses or nannies etc.

      There are drug slaves, people who were encouraged to ingest or smoke a highly-addictive substance (some supplied by global corporations, with the trade condoned by governments), and once hooked find it impossible to give up the habit.

      When it comes to the crunch, there are very few people living on the planet these day who are not slaves. The neoliberal system needs slaves and cannot function without them.

      You won’t hear one word about any of that from the highly-privileged religious leaders of the western world or the politicians.

      ‘Yet AFKTT blames “Christianity” for everything while ignoring the grim realities of 99% of human existence.’

      You obviously have not been paying attention. For the past 20 years I have been blaming banks, corporations, opportunists, economists and politicians for our dismal (and worsening) circumstances, and have pointed out that the fake religious systems and exploitation of those fake religious systems by the commercial sector and politicians (‘greed is good’) have been major reasons for our collective predicament.

      ‘We pillage the Earth like there’s no tomorrow.’

      We are in agreement on that.

      And there won’t be much if a tomorrow as a consequence of that pillaging (promoted by politicians, economists and the commercial sector). Just an ever-worsening standard of living and an ever-worsening quality of life for tha vast majority of people until the system goes kaput.

      James Howard Kunstler was amongst the first to point out the unsustainable nature of the system, and he suggests it will go kaput by the Northern Hemisphere autumn, as do Charles Hugh Smith, Gail Tverberg and dozens of other analysts and commentators.

      Even , a very pro-business-as-usual website, is getting very concerned about the way things are looking

      ‘Paradigm Failure’

      ‘By the time Congress churns through it all, the financial markets will be sending florid distress signals of deepening instability and, with Covid lockdowns ending (or even if they resume), warm weather will bring out people angry about one thing or another into the streets, and a number of pending legal matters — the Derek Chauvin verdict, the Durham investigation, the Hunter Biden case at DOJ, and perhaps the burgeoning and rather sinister new Matt Gaetz melodrama — will stir the pot that the American zeitgeist is brewing in, with plumes of chaos wafting over the land. By fall, Build Back Better might transmogrify into the ominous question: build back anything?’

      ‘A religion of 2 billion followers does not correspond to AFKTT’s warped view of history’

      ‘warped’ ???!!!

      The fact that I study history and analyse it to a far greater depth than most others, and them present facts, does seems to annoy you. Hence the ad hominem attack.

      That’s your problem, not mine.

      • I hope that you are not blaming Jesus for all of this. In any case, Jesus was an Anglican. That is the word of an official visitor at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne.

        • Appwood.
          “jesus” is portrait to be a jew but if he is an Anglican then his time must have been well after the reformation.
          To blame the “jesus” talked about then his actual existence would be a starting point.
          Religion is a lot older than the Roman version of Judao christian stories.

          Horus was a popular guy, born in late December from a virgin mum, was killed then rose from the dead like several others before him so its a well worn story but brings in the flock when well organised.

          A pretty popular theme

  5. By the way, the ‘virgin birth’ was almost certainly an astronomical event that took place in the constellation Virgo.

    I cannot remember the details right now and am too busy to research it, but I think it was a supernova -an exploding star, that was very bright for a few months and then disappeared.

    • The virgin birth is just one of many such births accorded to the mothers of prominent mythological/historical persons. The birth of Lao Tzu, is similar, but more delightful, as a woman of great age (also quite common) who saw something spectacular in the heavens, and simultaneously she felt her innards stirring as she conceived her gifted child. I think hers was actually the sighting a falling star- I no longer have the reference (Binned the wrong book). It may perhaps be similar to the big ( as opposed to ‘the little flower’) St Teresa’s ecstasies on contemplating God. Women being impregnated by Gods was not uncommon – Leda and the swan. At a different level, barren Hindu women could conceive after overnight stays at certain temples.

      It was the intellectual giant Saint Augustine who brought about the synthesis between ancient pagan beliefs and the new Christianity, but a lot of damage had already been done – Aristotle‘s biology defined women as misbegotten males, and this was subsequently adopted wholesale by Thomas Aquinas et al.

      The interesting historical thread is not just the denigration of women, but the need to have them impregnated by something better than men – by gods. This, of course, may be a human need to feel oneself part of something bigger than ourselves – or politics – or both.

      Stephen Hawking was quoted in the DomPost (20/6/06) stating in Beijing that Pope JP11, at a 1981 international conference on cosmology, told scientists that they shouldn’t study the beginnings of the universe, because it was the work of God. The Pope said no such thing.

      L’Osservatore Romano (12/10/81) published a transcript of the Pope’s speech – it says nothing at all like that. I wrote to the DomPoost at the time, with quotes and references, but the letter was not published.
      I nearly wrote to Hawking, but I was busy, and I didn’t anticipate getting a decent reply. I think Hawking’s misquote is also somewhere in ‘ A Brief History of Time’.

  6. As soon as you mention Sir Lloyd Geering as part of your information source I had a reasonable idea about what your documentary would contain. While the majority of people have abandoned any resemblance to the early NT church or even a belief in a loving creator God the prophecies are clear that Earth’s final conflict is between true & false worship. Knowing the history of the reformation when the Protestant churches exposed the false practice of the Roman Catholic church should be enough reason to ask why those groups are now joining together? It will be easy when events get significantly worse for those groups along with a population motivated by fear who do not know any better to unite in persecution against those teaching that we need God to save us. I fully support protecting our environment but sin has been the cause of destruction all over the Earth which is why it will be replaced sometime in the future. Governments & religious powers will combine to force worship in an attempt to save themself but will fail.

    • Bonnie I am interested in your use of “sin”
      Can you explain what it is in the context please

  7. Richard Dawkins explained long ago (1970s) how human bodies are ‘just’ carriers of genes, and those genes are terribly ‘selfish’ and will do whatever is necessary to maximise their survival and reproduction; if they weren’t ‘selfish’, the organism/species would not be extant.

    Advanced forms of life i.e. anything at the level of fish or above, are the product of hundreds of millions of years of genetic selection and are programmed to cooperate when that is genetically advantageous, to flee from danger when that is genetically advantageous, to compete when that is genetically advantageous and to take food away from babies or even kill them when that is genetically advantageous.

    Actually, when I think about it, many organisms BELOW the level of fish cooperate and compete, and flee from danger and cannibalise other members of their species if that means their OWN particular set of genes survives and replicates.

    The predicaments we now face are a product of humans regarding themselves above nature, rather than part of it, of humans regarding other species as inferior, and the greatest of all, humans believing they can control nature.

    Those ridiculous notions have clearly emanated from the biblical teachings I alluded to previously -‘have dominion over.

    Whilst separating from nature by establishing grain farming (as opposed to remaining hunter-gatherers) was ultimately a fatal step in our ‘development’ in the long run, in the short run it facilitated a population explosion that more than compensated for the decline in health that eating grains caused: the selfish genes maximised their reproduction!

    Initially, the stripping of the lands and oceans of readily accessible resources e.g fishing, whaling, digging up guano etc., and converting forests and jungles into arable land, allowed the population overshoot to continue. And when those organic resources began to show signs of severe depletion the shift was made to fossil fuels, which could be used to extract more from the land and oceans via industrial deforestation, industrial mineral extraction, industrial agriculture and diesel-powered fishing etc.

    All of this has always been a one-way ticket to disaster. We happen to be living in the age when the natural resources are stretched to beyond the limit and the synthetic systems can no longer deliver increasing amounts [of fertiliser, of energy, of water pumped out of the ground etc.]

    There is ZERO RECOGNITION of any of that in the current political-economic system, which is predicated on there always being more; the absurd notion promoted by mainstream economists of infinite growth on a finite planet.

    The only things we are likely to see more of in t4h future are disease, starvation, pollution, overheating of the Earth, conflict between nations for resources, suffering and chaos.

    We have known all this stuff about resources and pollution and overpopulation for many decades (arguably since the 1950s but certainly since the 1970s -Limits to Growth and all that.

    The great crime of the past 50 years has been that politicians and economists have continued to serve the short-term agendas of banks, corporations and opportunists, and in doing so have guaranteed collapse and suffering via all the that I have mentioned.

    Rather than attempting to minimise the suffering to come, politicians are still absolutely totally committed to increasing it.

    Where that fits in other people’s religious/ethics systems is up to them to decide.

    For me, the real criminals are the politicians, bankers, corporations and opportunists, who continue to make everything that matters INFINITELY WORSE, not the poor sods who languish in prison cells for losing control of their emotions.

    Of course, in this dumbed-down, anti-scientific society, in which entitlement has become the norm, to point to the reality of our predicament and its causes is considered outrageous and worthy of condemnation.

    • The genes evolved have that mission to replicate so humans have evolved to breed but once birth has been achieved during the fertile phase of adulthood then evolution plays but a very minor part in survival of the body after that point.
      So as we experience aging beyond the fertility of females then decline within the organism is not so important in evolutionary terms ecept for the role of parents and grand parents in supporting the growth to sexual fertility of the off spring..
      Life expectancy generally looks to have been around 40 years in our ancestral lines with quite wide variation in some regions and societies.
      But genetically die off after 40 is not a biggie for the genetics of off spring.

      The wealthy power brokers generally are well past their used by date.
      When things start to collapse the the medical services that keep most survivors beyond 40-50 alive, will not be there and with food supply also changing then oldies may well be left out on the proverbial ice for the polar bear.
      Conservation of resources are so important to the older age group yet we see few from that group actively taking part in protest or showing demand for a stop to the continued growth and fossil fuel based destruction if the life bearing biosphere.
      The following generations will be heavily penalised by the incredible waste and consumption of life supporting systems os the older generation move on laying waste to their pro-genies chances.
      Evolution will cause a change in human genes as a small group of survivors battle the selection processes over tens of thousands of years if survival is at all possible. Evolution as a process is very slow and interim adaptions are all we can hope for.
      The psychopaths and sociopaths that drive the suicidal system we are trapped within will be with us for a long time so society has to adapt in taking their power to control away and secure a system that cannot allow them to return to leadership.

      • ‘The psychopaths and sociopaths that drive the suicidal system we are trapped within will be with us for a long time so society has to adapt in taking their power to control away and secure a system that cannot allow them to return to leadership.’

        I don’t see any prospect of taking power away from the psychopaths and sociopaths when they have more-or-less complete control of the minds of most of the populace.

        It will be AFTER THE SYSTEM HAS FAILED SPECTACULARLY, i.e. no food on the super market shelves, that the general populace will wake up from the stupor they have been encouraged to remain in.

        • AFKTT
          Humans can guess the manner in which that may happen whether war and/or military rule by those with power but distorted personalities and mindsets , or if they get over thrown by starving and desperate communities that pull together using cooperation for intelligent survival. Weathering the die off in a controlled manner aimed at the best preservation of resources and human knowledge will be an intelligent outcome amid chaos caused by the present BAU domination of direction..

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