In our brief summary of the Old Testament , we recounted the history of mankind since the creation of the universe ( Genesis ) and we went through 4,500 years of history. We met with the people of antiquity, then followed the adventures of one of them, the people chosen by God the Creator: The Hebrews.

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The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

Brief critical summary of the New Testament

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Canaan before its conquest by the Hebrews

We obviously can not discuss the New Testament without first briefly tell the story of the Hebrew people, because Christ descended directly from the house of David.

Having created the world in seven days (13 billion years according to Stephen Hawking) God created Adam and Eve he invited the Garden of Eden. Note that, in Genesis, the woman is created by second, to avoid that man is bored… Eve bit into the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (better known under the name forbidden fruit )! The man was then driven out of the garden and forced to work. Noah escaped the flood (God organized the first mass extinction of animals with the flood), and Abraham was the first to receive the Testament : his people were the « chosen » people and Abraham was to take him to Canaan. He agreed to sacrifice his son (Isaac) at the request of God who wanted to « test his faith »; finally, the unfortunate is replaced by a sheep (Aid El Adha for Muslims).

The third generation began with Jacob, who gave birth to twelve sons, originally of the twelve tribes of Israel.

the twelve tribes

Then we found the captive Hebrews in Egypt (although we find no trace in the many wealthy Egyptian records).

Moses organized the Exodus and wandering 40 years in the wilderness (with no proven track by archeology), but he did not see the promised land; It was Joshua who entered Canaan (Palestine today). God then demanded a kind of genocide of indigenous peoples, including the Amorites.

Two iconic kings marked the climax of the Jewish people: David and Solomon (the builder of the Temple) around the first millennium before Christ.

Canaan attracted the greed of powerful neighbors including Babylonians. The Hebrews were deported by Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon (-600), and they profited to write the Torah (drawing Sumerian oldest myths, including the Epic of Gilgamesh).

At the dawn of our era, Rome was the great power. It occupied Palestine and settled on his throne a puppet king Herod.

The latter learned the birth of the King of the Jews. Worried for his throne, he ordered the massacre of all newborn babies under two years. This episode is known as the massacre of the Innocents.

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Massacre of the innocents

Jesus escaped the massacre. He was the son of Mary. The archangel Gabriel had announced the birth of a son. Joseph, husband of Mary, was a direct descendant of the house of David.

Herod died 2 years before our era. Jesus was two years old during the massacre of the innocents. It would therefore be born 4 years before Christ !

The New Testament tells the story of Jesus and describes his teaching until his death at 33

Brief summary (critical) of the new Testament

Why a new Testament ?

The Old Testament  was written by Jewish high priests then in exile in Babylon. These high priests sought to unite the Jewish nation and prevent dilution in the Empire of Nebuchadnezzar. The goal was achieved.

However, the Old Testament presents God angry, jealous, who does not hesitate to require the chosen people genocide when taking Canaan. This image is not compatible with an infinitely good God. The writing of the New Testament has corrected this inconsistency.

Who wrote the New Testament?

The teaching of Christ was in the early years exclusively oral. After his death, this oral tradition continued. But, with the persecution of the early Christian communities, in particular by the Roman emperors, the need to keep this in writing has become indispensable to avoid its disappearance. Many gospels were then written from 70. Only four were retained by the Church; they are called canonical:

  • the Gospel of Matthew (80) who was a tax collector;
  • the Gospel of John (100) written by the student of the Apostle;
  • the Gospel of Mark (60) who has known Paul (Saul) of Tarsus (St. Paul says);
  • the Gospel of Luke (80), who was a doctor and companion of Paul.

There are other gospels called « apocryphal ». They were rejected by the Church because they did not correspond entirely to the dogma. We see it: the Gospels are not first-hand. They were not written by eyewitnesses of the life of Christ.

Where are the Christians?

The hypothesis of the Essenes

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The Dead Sea Scrolls

A Jewish community lived in Judea three centuries before Christ. They had their own religious texts. They had adopted rules for living very close to Christianity. This community is known as the Essenes .

Their story is known through the famous rolls discovered in 1947 in a cave near the Dead Sea, a few kilometers from Jericho.

The Essenes lived isolated from the world. The Jewish revolt against Roman occupant in 70 AD signaled the end of the peaceful community. Priests then hid the sacred texts in jars until their discovery in 1947.

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Qumran

We know that the Essenes worshiped (three centuries) a  « Teacher of Righteousness » , an elected official who strangely resembles Christ.

Were found in handwritten passages evoking:

  • circumcision « of the heart », preferable to the carnal circumcision (an idea that is found in St. Paul);
  • chastity;
  • the blessing of bread and wine;
  • Baptism ;
  • the obligation to eat fish instead of animal meat.

Essenes, as Christians, saw God as a whole. The man is nothing. There is also the core concept of free will: Man can thus choose between good and evil (and thus be judged). This concept was very dear to the Fathers of the Christian church because it justifies the last judgment.

Has Jesus existed?

One can legitimately ask the question. Despite the miracles, mass gatherings he has caused, only the Gospels evoke its presence in Judea. Historians are strangely silent.

However, an exception should be reported: Josephus was born in Jerusalem to -37. Romanized Jew, he was the author of Jewish Wars and especially valuable historian of that time. Of the 30 volumes he left us, he devoted a few lines to Jesus

In that time seems Jesus , a wise man, if indeed it can be called « man, » as it was a wonder-worker, a teacher of people who receive with joy the truth. He drew a lot of Judah and also many Greeks; He was the Christ. And when Pilate, at the denunciation of the first of us condemned to the cross, those that loved continued to love him. The third day he appeared to them alive; the divine prophets had said these things, and ten thousand other marvels about him.

Attributed to Josephus

But historian considered that these lines were false, late additions introduced by Eusebius de Caesarea in the third century to reinforce the dogma.

Here is what Voltaire :

Christians, by one of those pious frauds, falsified roughly a passage of Flavius Josephus. They attribute this ridiculous Jewish four lines; and at the end of this passage, they add: He was the Christ. What! If Josephus had heard of so many events that amaze nature, Josephus would have said that the value of four lines in the history of his country! What! this stubborn Jew would have said Jesus was the Christ. Ah! if you had believed Christ, then have you been a Christian. How absurd to talk Josephus Christian! How is he still finds enough or stupid enough insolent theologians to try to justify this imposture of the first Christians, recognized for fabricators impostures hundred times stronger!  »

Voltaire , Philosophical Dictionary, under « Christianity »

Brief summary (critical) of the new testament

The immaculate conception

Mary gave birth to Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem. It was the nativity which gave an opportunity for artists to express themselves:

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Nativity

The birth of Christ was not tainted by the original sin (the intervention of poor Joseph would not have been necessary).

It was Augustine who introduced the fourth century the principle of original sin , which does not appear in church texts and especially the Gospels: humanity carries the sin of Adam and Eve, passed down from generation to generation .

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The immaculate conception

One would be escaped sin: Jesus, whose conception was « immaculate ». The principle of « immaculate conception » does not appear in the canonical texts of the Christian church. Not until the nineteenth century and especially the bubble Pius IX for it to be incorporated into the official dogma:

« We declare, pronounce and define us as doctrine which teaches that the Blessed Virgin Mary in the first instant of her Conception, was, by special grace and privilege of Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of mankind, preserved and free from all stain of original sin, is revealed by God, and therefore it must be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful. « 

Bubble in 1854 PIE IX

Vatican: Pope is infallible

To lock it all, the Vatican introduced in the nineteenth century the principle of the infallibility of the Pope. This principle was established at a council (Vatican I, for it was the first Council held at the VATICAN in 1870) says  » ecumenical » (because it brings together all the bishops of the Catholic world).

Another theory

Another theory is that Mary was seduced by a Roman legionnaire and she had not the courage to admit the fault of Joseph …

The Magi (Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar)

Three kings came to honor the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. They were guided by the star of the shepherd. The Magi symbolize the pagans coming to worship the King of the Jews. The idea was to attract more loyal to the new religion.

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The Magi

The massacre of the innocents

Gabriel warns Joseph of the decision of Herod, the viceroy of organizing the massacre of innocents. Joseph made the decision to flee with his family to Egypt.

This fact poses a serious historical problem: despite the magnitude of the massacre, only Matthew mentions it in his gospel. Flavius Josephus, yet very accurate when it comes to emphasize the misdeeds of Herod, does not mention it anywhere. However, he mentioned another fact:

Herod had built above the main door of the temple a golden eagle. The doctors demanded its destruction under the Act […] Forty young men appeared before Herod … Young people and the doctors were burnt alive; the other prisoners were handed over to torturers .

Josephus – Jewish War, Book I, Chapter XXXIII).

Has this event inspired Mathieu ? Or the Pharaoh’s order requiring the killing of all Jews son (Moses escaped elsewhere in the sentence as Christ) ? In any case, it is unthinkable that Josephus was not aware of this episode.

Return from Egypt

There was more danger in Jerusalem, where Simeon was waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Before dying, as God had promised, he had to take Jesus in his arms, saying:

 He is the light that will make you know toues nations and the glory of Israel. He is there to trouble and the salvation of his people. All men are for or against him … This division will make you suffer a lot but she thought of each will appear. « 

Every year Joseph and his family went to Jerusalem. We do not know much about adolescence and young adult life of Christ.

The New Testament essentially retraces his teaching : he was then 33 years. Tiberius was the emperor of Rome. He was appointed Pontius Pilate as governor for Palestine.

John the Baptist

The birth of John the Baptist was announced to his mother by the archangel Gabriel, in the same terms as for Christ. He baptized in the Jordan, in the water (as the Essenes before him). He announced the coming of another « more powerful. » Jesus passed nearby, and asked John to baptize him!

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John the Baptist

It is amazing and to see the son of God to be baptized by a man.

Retreat in the desert

Jesus then disappeared into the desert. He stayed 40 days. It was tested by the Evil but Jesus recognized and pushed him away.

The disciples

Jesus had met André and his brother Simon. He decided to call Peter, « because it is on this rock he will build his church. »

The wedding at Cana

The New Testament tells the Wedding at Cana. Jesus turned water into wine for the guests.

In the text, we do not know very well who are the spouses:

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The wedding at Cana by Veronese

Jesus is called « the husband ». The wedding at Cana are the marriage of Jesus. The lucky lady would be Mary Magdalene ?

Samaria

Jesus left for Samaria. There he met « a Samaritan » by a well. She gave him water. This passage sounds like a passage from the Old Testament: Jacob met Rebecca in the same conditions.

After a meal with tax collectors, he offered his sermon on the mountain known as the « Beatitudes » .

The Beatitudes (Matthew 5: 3-12)

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Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall be comforted.
Happy those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the son of God.
Blessed are the persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Blessed are you when they insult you, if you and persecute you and they slander you anyway because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.

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the Beatitudes

Found in the manuscripts of the Dead Sea, an eerily similar roll: The roll 4Q525.

Blessed is he who tells the truth, with a pure heart and does not slander with his tongue. Blessed are those who cling to its decrees and are not out of perversity routes.

Blessed are those who rejoice with her and do not spread in crazy ways.

Blessed are those who seek 3 with clean hands and do not look with a deceitful heart [..]

This text written before the birth of Jesus betray it filiation with the Essenes?

Miracles and return to Jerusalem

Jesus continued to perform all kinds of miracles. He rose a little girl, multiplied the loaves, walked on water. He flashed before his apostles (Transfiguration). He raised Lazarus. His popularity began to worry the Jewish authority.

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The Resurrection of Lazarus

Jesus knew he would be betrayed; he would be sentenced to death. But decided, nevertheless, to go to Jerusalem.

On the way, he accepted the hospitality of Simon the Leper. Mary Magdalene was there. She fetched a perfume bottle and washed the feet of Jesus. Clearly, there was something between those two!

The branches and the Supper

Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, witholive branches. He denounced the attitude of the Pharisees, hypocritical, dishonest, who pretended to pray.

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Palm Sunday

Jesus was called « the man’s son. » Why do we call as the son of God?Was het really the son of Joseph?

It was the last meal: the Last Supper.

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The Lord’s Supper

In an enlargement of the table Vinci, we note that one of the apostles is a woman! Is it still and always the wife of Jesus: Mary Magdalene?

The treason

Judas ends up betraying Jesus by designating, to the Roman authorities, with a kiss.

John denied him three times.

Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate. The latter « washed his hands. » Judas, strangled by remorse, hanged himself. Jesus was tortured. Jesus carried his cross to the summit of Golgotha. He fell and Simon of Cyrene helped him to carry his cross. He was finally crucified.

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the crucifixion

Just before dying, Christ said a surprising sentence:

« Father, why hast thou forsaken me? « 

If he was the son of God, how has he been able to be abandoned?

Mary Magdalene was still there when romans brought him down from the cross. His body was taken away by another Joseph in a cave sealed with a stone, guarded by two Roman soldiers.

It was still Mary Magdalene who saw the risen Christ in the cave. he made himself known to his apostles before ascending to heaven.

Go into all the world. Make of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, the son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Everywhere I will be with you until the end of the world.

He had saved humanity.

The savior of humanity

In the fifteenth century, Abbot MESLIER wondered: to save humanity, Christ brought about his own death in terrible condition. By organizing the murder of an innocent, humanity has been saved! Crime does pay !

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