(based mainly on Peter Cresswell’s The Invention of Jesus: How the Church rewrote the New Testament, ISBN 9781780285467)
That the Bible has been altered throughout history isn’t news. Muslims and secular historians, and even many Christians, have long since arrived at that conclusion.
However, the extent and types of change is much more far-reaching than generally known. Going by this book, pretty much the entirety of Jesus’s life & teachings have been altered by self-appointed scribes at many many many different periods in history – and for many reasons.
Though the book doesn’t go into the topic of ethnic appearance, Jesus definitely didn’t look like any of the below:
These images are all inspired by Renaissance/ Enlightenment-era European painters, and part of the zeitgeist of the era was for Europeans to gain (or regain) a sense of pride in their identity. Though it’s true Jesus can be and has been made to look all number of ways according to people’s tastes, the evidence indicates that his most likely appearance was that of the average native Aramaic-speaking Israelite of 2000 years ago. Since Aramaic is a Semitic language, and Semitic languages are part of the Afro-Asiatic language family, native Israelites would’ve looked like their linguistic cousins – ancient Egyptians and other (original) north Africans, Ethiopians & Eritreans, original Arabs and others. See below for modern examples:
Most people don’t realise his name wasn’t Jesus at all. Jesus is anglicised from Iesus, which is Latin for Iesous, which is Greek for the Aramaic Yeshua. It’s now generally agreed that Aramaic was the language he and his people spoke so this is most likely his real name. Oh, and Christ wasn’t a name of any kind let alone his name. It’s a title, anglicised from Christos, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Māshiah. It means anointed, as in smeared with substances (in this case holy anointing oil) to mark someone out as holy and/or royal.
The basic points from the book in summary are:
- The Bible(s) we know nowadays is drastically altered from its original state, a process that started with Paul (who never actually met Jesus but did meet his disciples – and they didn’t like him) and continued centuries after him,
- The alterations include deletions, additions, rewrites, rewrites of rewrites, corrections, corrections of corrections and more. Though there were undeniably many MANY MANY deliberate changes, there were also many accidental ones, ie. mistakes caused by plain old human error,
- Not just the words of the Bible have been changed but so has the spirit, the message it was meant to convey. Jesus has been given a totally different character to what historical evidence shows, and important parts of his life are hidden/ denied,
- This therefore means Christianity as we know it is not the “pure word of God”.
(to be continued in other posts)
For more detailed information on the topic, read the book at the top of the page. Also see Cresswell’s other works, including Jesus the Terrorist and Censored Messiah – both available on Amazon.