Uncommon Sense

November 16, 2021

False Witness—Worth Reading

Filed under: Reason,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 11:27 am
Tags: , ,

This book is a cheap buy on Amazon.com and is also available as a free download on the author’s website, so this was not written to make money. What is does make instead is a lot of sense.

Have you ever considered the Holy Bible and the amazing number of contradictions in it? For example, God forbids human sacrifices over and over and yet uses one to lift the curse he simply voiced. These contradictions have a significant reason for their existence says Keith Michael, who wrote False Witness, the subtitle of which is telling: “How the Christian Church Built a Foundation of Lies.”

You might suspect that the author is an atheist. He is not. He is definitely a god-believer. However, he points out (chapter and verse) how the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible was redacted almost into oblivion by the priestly class and how the New Testament is the work of Paul’s clique, which bastardized the actual message of Jesus, and the disciples and apostles of Jesus, etc. He points out how the “lies” can be identified and also points out where the truth is to be found in the Bible.

I found this work very convincing. For one, he brought up a force that was involved in all of the scriptures that most people do not mention: marketing. Writing scripture that people didn’t want to read is bad for business, so all scripture is written for a market. He hammers this point home by pointing out the experience of pastors who don’t meet the needs of their church’s parishioners. A pastor who preaches or shares information that upsets his “customers” soon finds himself looking for another job. The real job of a pastor is to reinforce the feelings of his listeners that they are good people, better than most actually, and that their religious beliefs are indeed correct. A pastor who points out how his listener’s beliefs are wrong will soon be out of a job. The end of scripture written so is to be declared heretical and then erased from history.

For example, do you understand the concept of Original Sin? For many it is the crux of Christianity because without it, there is no need for a savior, no? Mr. Michael points out in great detail that in Ezekiel 18, Yahweh himself states unequivocally that sin can not be inherited or transferred, and also another can pay for your sins. Pastors don’t quote this passage in the Bible because in it God cuts the legs out from under Christianity in just a few chapters.

Mr. Michaels points out how Paul/Saul lied his way into prominence and then because his faction won the wars over the faction of James, Peter, all of the remaining disciples, etc. (thanks mostly to the Romans razing Jerusalem to the ground), his version of Christianity is the one we ended up with and it makes no sense whatsoever.

If you chop out the priestly edits from the OT (they are even referred to negatively by several prophets speaking for God) and Paul’s lies, what you end up is rather nice, doable, helpful religion focused upon God, not Jesus.

As an atheist, I had a third viewpoint. There were the Yahweh centric folks in the OT, and the Jesus centric folks in the NT writing for their points of view. Then there were the redactors focusing upon good business as a goal. Mr. Michaels sees the God-centric aspects of the OT and NT as being the true god of the Bible, whereas I see them as people of one delusion as opposed to the others who are peoples of other delusions.

This was a very informative book in that I learned a great deal and I recommend it highly. I warn you that the writing is not first tier and the author does more than a little chest beating, but it is not all that off-putting.

21 Comments »

  1. HA! I’m pretty sure I don’t need to read it because from your comments, it sound to me like he’s spot-on! If people would actually investigate the history and the politics of the scriptures, it’s a pretty safe bet that there would be far fewer “believers.”

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Nan — November 16, 2021 @ 4:50 pm | Reply

  2. I’m not sure there was some grand conspiracy. There’s minor acts, like Eusebius forgeries, but nothing grand. I mean, no one was even allowed to read the bible for the first 800 years.

    Liked by 3 people

    Comment by john zande — November 16, 2021 @ 4:56 pm | Reply

    • Grand isn’t necessary. Human nature makes it so each individual, each generation, will conspire just enough to suit their needs and goals. In fact I imagine often humans don’t even know they’re conspiring, they’re just following the impulse that leads to “success”.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by The Pink Agendist — November 16, 2021 @ 5:43 pm | Reply

      • Ooooh, I like that. And very true. I didn’t consider the slow creep of compounding naughtiness.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by john zande — November 16, 2021 @ 6:25 pm | Reply

        • If you’re bored one day go over the progression of Papal Bulls. Particularly the Garibaldi period which was when the then Pope set the record on the number of Bulls decreed by any Pope.

          Liked by 3 people

          Comment by The Pink Agendist — November 17, 2021 @ 5:18 am | Reply

          • Papal bulls? There’s a really, really bad joke in there and I’m not going to touch it with a ten foot pole

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by grouchyfarmer — November 17, 2021 @ 7:21 am | Reply

            • They are not a joke. The Catholic Church puts more stock in the councils, pronouncements, convocations, and decisions made by their leaders than scripture. Because they take them seriously, so should we. And, yes, there are many jokes that come to mind, those Emily Latella-esque especially.

              Liked by 2 people

              Comment by Steve Ruis — November 17, 2021 @ 8:42 am | Reply

              • Just because they take them seriously doesn’t mean we need to. I think a lot of this stuff deserves to be laughed at… Just think of how different the world would be if the first guy who came along and said “Hey, there’s this magic wizard guy living up in the sky who is this god thing and who tells me he’s going to burn you all for all eternity when you’re dead if you don’t do what I tell you to do” and they’d treated him the way they should have and laughed at him until he slunk away (slinked away?) in shame.

                Still I do understand what you mean.

                BTW I’m reading False Wittness right now and it’s certainly interesting. He certainly doesn’t pull any punches with some of this. LIke “Pastors Lie. All of them.” And he really comes down hard on Paul, deservedly so. He’s not the best writer in the world, he wanders off sometimes, repeats himself frequently but all things considered it’s been worth reading. About a third of the way through it.

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                Comment by grouchyfarmer — November 17, 2021 @ 10:48 pm | Reply

                • I am interested in your take on the book. You can reach me directly at ruis.steve@gmail.com if you don’t want to post it here.

                  Like

                  Comment by Steve Ruis — November 18, 2021 @ 9:44 am | Reply

                  • I’m pushing up to about the halfway point and at the moment things are looking like they’re starting to fall apart. He started out strong bringing up many of the more serious problems, the fact that the church is really a business, self serving pastors, forgeries, mistranslations, etc. He spends a considerable amount of time bad mouthing Paul which I rather enjoyed because I don’t like Paul, not even a tiny, tiny bit.

                    But now he’s… Well he spent most of his time pointing out the forgeries in the bible, the deliberate mistranslations, the way it has been edited, censored, etc. Basically debunking it. But now he’s just used quotes from the very same book he just finished ripping apart for being largely bogus to support his own personal point of view. Sorry, Keith, you can’t have it both ways. You spent dozens of pages claiming the Bible is largely bogus, and now you’re using the same document you claim is made of up lies and forgeries to support your beliefs? Nope, don’t work that way.

                    Hopefully he’ll drop this and get back to bad mouthing Paul.

                    I’ll get back to you after I’ve finished it and had a chance to digest it a bit.

                    Like

                    Comment by grouchyfarmer — November 18, 2021 @ 10:37 pm | Reply

                    • But he does propose a scheme for the rewriting he is criticizing. He separates what is reliable (very little) from what is not (most of it) and explains why toward the end. He would have benefited greeted from competent editing. (I am an editor, competence is a question however.)

                      Like

                      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 19, 2021 @ 8:48 am

                    • I’m looking forward to finishing it. I should get done this weekend.

                      I certainly agree with you about needing an editor.

                      I was interested in his idea that the early church was really split in two, each catering to a different community. The original Apostles working almost exclusively with the Jewish people while Paul went off on his own crafting an entirely new religion based largely on Mithras and tailored specifically for the gentiles because, well, that’s where the money was, at least partly.

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                      Comment by grouchyfarmer — November 19, 2021 @ 10:39 pm

                    • I already knew about the “two missions.” What is was struck by is that the Roman disgust with the Hebrews, stemming from their tendencies to revolt, became anti-semitism, which then affected Chrsitianity. I hadn’t put the two things together. It was mostly the leites who knew about the obstreperous Hebrews, but it was also the elites who decided which religions to support and whatnot. So, Paul takes Mithraism, dusts it off and then infuses it with Christ Jesus and voila, a religion steeped in anti-semitism. And that sells better than Judaism does as it is at the root of Jewish rebellions.

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 20, 2021 @ 1:50 pm

                    • I don’t like Paul, not even a tiny, tiny bit. My sentiments exactly!!

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by Nan — November 19, 2021 @ 12:16 pm

                    • If you look at what happened to Chrsitianity in the 3-4 centuries after Paul, well, they went to war over the nature of Jesus and the Trinity, and Mary, and I mean actual war. And none of that was necessary if you accepted Jesus as a prophet and Messiah and not God in a skin suit. We are living today with major divides in Chrsitianity over these fine points of a fiction Paul made up. (Well, he didn’t make it up. His hometown was a hotbed of Mithraism and if you look at the parallels between Mithraism and Paul’s Chrsitianity, well, apparently plagiarism isn’t a sin.)

                      Liked by 2 people

                      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 19, 2021 @ 12:32 pm

                    • if you look at the parallels between Mithraism and Paul’s Chrsitianity … That’s kind of what I did in my book. 😎

                      Like

                      Comment by Nan — November 19, 2021 @ 12:42 pm

                    • Yep and quite a few more and it seems as if there are very many parallels involved here as there is a whole category of “dying and rising gods.” The book’s author is the first one I have read that make the point that Paul/Saul was clearly well-educated, and grew up in Tarsis which was a major center of Mithraism, which supplies some logic as to where Paul got his ideas. The author also was the first in my experience to link the success of Paul’s Chrisitianity to Roman anti-semitism.

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 21, 2021 @ 11:14 am

  3. that looks interesting. I get it for free via Kindle Unlimited and I just downloaded it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by grouchyfarmer — November 16, 2021 @ 5:47 pm | Reply

  4. You mention “Jesus” and “Christianity” alot but not the Christ. The Messiah. God anointed ‘Jesus Christ to come in the flesh.’

    Does Keith Michael see Christ as the redeemer of a lost world? As the chief shepherd? Or does he undermine Jesus’ authority?

    If the scriptures vanished overnight I still have a relationship with God because Christ took responsibility for my sin.

    Like

    Comment by Arnold — November 23, 2021 @ 11:29 am | Reply

    • According to the author, he characterized Jesus as a prophet whose message was the same as John the Baptists, to repent one’s sins and then follow God’s laws. The author distinguished between what was truly God’s law(s) (basically the Golden Rule) and what were man’s law in God’s laws trappings. Basically anything that was cultural he considered to be sourced from man and not God, so any rules about what to wear, what to eat, how to worship, he considered not be be God’s laws. And, as I mentioned, he, like you, is a god-believer.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 23, 2021 @ 11:54 am | Reply

      • Thanks Steve, I appreciate your review because I probably won’t read it all.

        I am also a Jesus-is-God believer, and that he is the source of understanding, including scripture.

        I’ve wondered off and on that the Bible is indeed screwed up by the scribes etc. So always defer to Christ.

        He insisted on a new birth, a relationship with him, as the beginning of knowing God stuff (John 3, 4 and 5).

        Like

        Comment by Arnold — November 23, 2021 @ 1:20 pm | Reply


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