An Alternate Theory of
Web Publication by Mountain Man Graphics, Australia
In this alternate theory of antiquity, the history of the invention
of the new Roman christian religious order does not appear until
the fourth century, as follows:
Mainstream opinion since these times of Constantine is that all
theories concerning the Jesus of christianity were based upon
solid historical grounds, assembled from scanty records of the
preceeding 300 years in the fourth century, by the shrewd and
worldy advisor to the Emperor Constantine, his sponsored minister
for historio-religious information, Eusebius Pamphili of Caesarea.
Perhaps the ground-breaking work may be attributed to one Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) who published the monumental work entitled "The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". Here Gibbon writes:
With the rise of the internet, access to ancient texts became easier, and many of the more fundamental texts relating to the history of Christianity became available for the first time, to casual students of history rather than graduating students of theology.
Perhaps the most fundamental text acting as the cornerstone to the historical aspect of Christianity is a series of ancient books known as the "Ecclesiastical History", written by the "father of church history", Eusebius of Caesarea (c 260-340) sometime around the year 324 CE.
From an objective perspective it may be summarised that the above Ecclesiastical History (and other literature generated by Eusebius) together represent a theory of history of christianity. While it may not be traditional to examine these records as depicting a theory of history, in fact, all histories written are but theories of history, which attempt to get closer and closer to the historical truth:
--- Lord Acton
Essentially, at the time Eusebius of Caesarea was in the process of researching material for the preparation of his work, Ecclesiastical History, he was looking at the events across a time span in excess of 300 years. As he was not personally there, he was forced to use existing evidence that was available to him in the 12 years, shall we say from 312 CE to 324 CE.
Therefore, his work Ecclesiastical History is here treated as a theory of history. It is this theory of history which has to the present day, and for the last almost 1700 years, been traditionally used to explain the events of antiquity for the period from the zero date to a time in history immediately prior to the Council of Nicea, in 325 CE.
Having covered the history of the this period of antiquity, the writer Eusebius puts his pen down, as the recognised church historian. Other writers, to be mentioned later, then take up the pen to cover the Council of Nicea, and beyond. As Lightfoot has pointed out (below), no other writer covers the foundational ground of history (for the period 0 to 325 CE) established by the theory of Eusebius.
Eusebius of Caesarea
For almost one and a half millenia his account has been presumed correct - or rather, unquestionably correct - as a theory of history. In fact, it is because that it was once unquestionable, that it was never presumed in fact to be a theory of history. Rather, the Eusebian account of history until recent times has been presumed immutable fact.
In the recent period of a few hundred years, it has been questioned, and it has been found wanting in various issues related to the historical integrity of its claims. These will be examined in some detail later.
About Eusebius of Caesarea Gibbon writes:
The Christian scholar Lightfoot attempts to defend the integrity of Eusebius, and points out that the testaments attributed to Eusebius are all that there is available:
The most bitter of his theological adversaries
were forced to confess their obligations to him,
and to speak of his work with respect.
It is only necessary to reflect for a moment
what a blank would be left in our knowledge
of this most important chapter in all human history,
if the narrative of Eusebius were blotted out,
and we shall appreciate the enormous debt
of gratitude which we owe to him.
The little light which glimmered over the earliest
history of Christianity in medieval times
came ultimately from Eusebius alone,
coloured and distorted in its passage
through various media.
-- J.B. Lightfoot, Eusebius of Caesarea, (article. pp. 324-5),
Dictionary of Christian Biography: Literature, Sects and Doctrines,
ed. by William Smith and Henry Wace, Vol II.
Evidence clearly exists of a number of scholars and writers who have concluded that the integrity of the historical account presented by Eusebius is entirely questionable. A summaries of their opinions is collated.
Historical integrity and the fiction postulate
However, this work represents a sketch of an alternate theory of the history of christianity. The logic of the situation is simply this: the Eusebian history has integrity problems (to be detailed), and is rightfully questioned.
The big question asked here is: "What if the history is fiction?" The answer to this question is explored by means of making a simple postulate, namely suppose the history is in fact fiction. Logically, if the Eusebian history is false, there are at least five very specific implications. These are the following:
Who Partied with Power
at the Council of Nicea?
We consider the stronger implication that there were in fact no christians on the planet until Constantine arrived. That there were no Christian persecutions, that there were no Christian churches – until Constantine took Rome. We consider the implication that, if indeed Eusebius perverted, forged, deleted, interpolated and otherwise distorted the process of hand-written preservation of ancient authors, christianity was an invention of Constantine, and first appeared in Rome in 312.
Why would Eusebius deliberately lie?
We ask whether the entire phenomenom of christianity started as the initiative of the Roman emperor Constantine as a substitute new religion by which Roman rule, Roman revenue and Roman will could be served upon his newly acquired western empire.
Did anyone object against the lie?
Therefore one would expect real history to have commenced with Book 11. Also, one would expect a rather turbulent period at such a nexus point, and a process of adjustment to new ideas (ie: the Eusebian church ahistory) never previously known to the world.
We find that there appears to be an Imperial formal revelation at Nicaea. Moreover we find that the purpose of the council was to obtain signatures on the creed of Nicea.
What were these objections?
It should be noted by students of history that to the Nicean creed against which Constantine wanted signatories, there were in the fine print an additional 22 creeds, involving a Rome centralised administration of the new church, about the administration of slaves, and other matters.
An Alternate theory of the History of christianity
In the period between 312 and 324 , at the polite request of his local Emperor, the supposed historian Eusebius of Caesarea, had sufficient time and resources to undertake the production of a new body of scriptural scripture, and bundled it with an appropriately ancient history for his supreme emperor. Eusebius takes the Judaic traditional works already translated and available and uses these to create a new testament, along with extant words of wisdom being exchanged at that time in history.
Constantine in 324 has supreme command of the west and the east of the Roman Empire, and in 325 decides to hold a council of all the churches in the new East-to-West empire, by the sending of an imperial summons to “his churches”.
According to the traditional (Eusebius) history of christianity, we expect that the churches are in a state of euphoric bliss now that the persecutions of centuries has finally been brought to an end by this patron saint of Christians, Constantine. At that time for the first time in history, Christianity had supposedly been adopted by the emperor, and had enjoyed 10 years of patronage under Constantine in the west of his empire.
Consequently, if the Eusebian account is true we would expect that the council would be a tremendously joyous and celebratory affair, such that any learned discussion concerning the subject matter of Christian theology might, at least for the first few days.
On the other hand, according to the theory being discussed here, Christianity (as such) is only first revealed [to a continuity of pagan religions] in the year 325 at the council of Nicaea by, and under the prime initiative of the supreme Emperor Constantine I, who primarily wanted nothing more than to acquire rapid establishment of existing networks of control and power, for nothing was more pragmatically important that the security of imperial revenue.
Thus we expect a great controversy to arise as a result of Constantine trying to force upon the previously scattered pagan churches a “new” religion.
We find the history of the Arian controversy to be present and accorded with far greater historicity that the Eusebian account. We gather up scholarly opinion concerning the issue of the Arian controversy, and especially note the personal notes of Isaac Newton on this very matter.
We find detailed in the articles indexed below sufficient evidence to consider the hypothesis that the history of christianity commenced in Nicea, and at no earlier date. This has been termed The Nice Historical Origen of Constantinian-Eusebian christianity because of its origin in 325 CE in Nicea, and because the writings of many ancient authors (such as Origen) were perverted by Eusebius, under supreme imperial sponsorship.
We examine the historicity of Apollonius of Tyana and try and understand why Constantine-Eusebius wanted the memory of the sage deleted from history, to be substituted with a fable promulgated by Constantine as the New Testament.
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