If some Maniac wants to climb a mountain, and start ranting, this would not be a problem, if it were not for the practice of occasionally canonizing Maniacs. Most Maniacs on Mounts are long forgotten, but periodically some Maniac gets lucky and starts a religion and then the trouble starts. It turns out that once some Maniac gets lucky it takes forever and a day to ditch the insanity that came spewing out of the mouth of that deluded psycho when that psycho climbed some mountain and then cut loose with some filthy, ruinous rant that then somehow became divine and then widely celebrated and praised for one hell of long, long time.
Now the problem we have with Maniacs climbing Mounts is obviously a problem of forgery and fraudulent claims, and this would be true no matter which way a person looked at the problem. An atheist would claim that the deranged rant of a maniac was obviously not ‘the word of some god’ but by definition must be a fraudulent forgery, for no god exists. I am not an atheist myself, having spent a little time up a few of those mountains myself, but I draw the same conclusion as the atheist, that these are obviously forgeries, and I am encouraged that God agrees with me on this one, for as we all know so very well, there is no God to be found in religion, and there has been no God here for as long as religion has existed. I can understand how YAHWEH God feels about this matter, because I also want to stay as far away from that disgusting pile of monstrous maniac muttering as I can get, and like God, I refuse to have anything to do with such disgraceful blasphemous slander and filth, which would also go a long way to explaining why I have had luck up on the mountains while religion never had any luck at all.
But I digress and wander off the topic…
The gospel known as Matthew has pride of place as the first of those gospels in the Bible. This is a complex and complicated document, in that it is the product of what can only be explained and understood as being the result of multiple redactions. Redaction is a form of editing whereby a secondary source is weaved into a primary source, with the final redacted document becoming a product of the synthesis of these separate sources. In the Bible such redaction can usually be recognized by the contradictions and inconsistencies introduced into the document, for the main purpose of so much Biblical redaction is that it is done for ideological reasons. Someone did not like what someone else said and decided to put words into their mouth, and since the ideology of the redactor was in disagreement with the ideology of the original author the result is curious contradictions.
There are multiple contradictions found in Matthew, and then to make the document even more complex, there are contradictions found embedded within contradictions, which are indications of successive redactions. I made my first attempt to make some sense out of this document several years ago and the result of my literary analysis led me to draw the conclusion that the virgin birth story was a forgery appended to the document at a later date for ideological reasons. (See The Origins of the Virgin Birth Story). Later I discovered that the archaeological evidence backs up this conclusion, for as late as the middle of the second century copies of Matthew were in circulation that did not include the virgin birth story. Joseph, we are told, was the father of ‘Jesus’. (See Forgery in the Bible for scans of these variant versions of the Matthew document).
The method I employed in my literary analysis was to take a pair of tweezers and then pluck out each embedded contradiction in Matthew. These contradictory passages were then tossed into a pile for later analysis. What is then revealed is that there was a linked chain of contradictory insertions in the manuscript. The passages were related by ideology, and they all reflected the point of view and the ideological concerns of a fundamentalist Jewish sect. We have the appended virgin birth story, which denies that Joseph was the father of ‘Jesus’. We have the fundamentalist declaration of Biblical inerrancy and the perfection of the Torah laws found embedded in the Sermon on the Mount, where it is out of place. One of the themes of the Sermon on the Mount is an attack on the Torah Laws, following the formula, ‘you have heard it said in the Torah that you must do this, but what I say to you is ‘don’t do that.’ As one example of this sort of thing, ‘you have heard it said, ‘an eye for an eye’, but what I say to you is this. Turn the other cheek.’ Throughout the document of Matthew ‘Jesus’ is referred to by the title, ‘the Son of David’. Then in another anomalous passage there is found the explicit denial that ‘Jesus’ was ‘the son of David’, for he was not the ‘Son of David’. This is the only denial of David found in all the Christian documents, and it is equally contradictory and out of place in Matthew, where ‘Jesus’ is referred to as ‘the son of David’ countless times before this bizarre denial is found inserted into the manuscript.
The denial of David is related to the Virgin Birth story, for the purpose of the Virgin Birth story is to deny Joseph, and since Joseph is a descendant of David, to deny Joseph is to deny David. This denial of David is related to the inserted declaration of Biblical infallibility found in the Sermon on the Mount, for David was not Jewish. David was ‘a Samaritan’. Further David was a Moabite Samaritan, and Moabite Samaritans were banned from joining the Jewish religion forever and ever in the laws found in the Torah. (Actually the Torah is contradictory, for in one passage the people are forbidden to despise Moabites, for ‘Moabites are your blood brothers’ and in a contradictory passage the people are commanded to remain separate from Moabites forever and have nothing to do with a Moabite. It is this latter admonition that was the ideological impetus for the redactions found in Matthew).
To call someone a ‘Samaritan’ was similar to calling someone a ‘nigger’ or a ‘gook’. It was a racist slander in the context of the society that produced the Matthew document. Therefore, if Joseph was the father of Jesus, and if the Torah law was infallible right down to the lost dot over the last letter ‘i’, then this meant that ‘Jesus’ was the Son of David, which meant that the Messiah was a ‘Samaritan nigger’. Therefore there was no way that Joseph could be the father of ‘Jesus’, and since it would be dreadful to suggest that Mary slept around and got pregnant from another man, the only solution was to cook up that fictional story of the virgin birth, and then declare this ‘Jesus’ to be not the Son of David at all but rather ‘the Son of God.’ This was the solution of the Jewish fundamentalist redactor.
It was also true that ‘Jesus’ came from Nazareth, which was the same as saying today that he came from ‘Harlem’ or ‘Chinatown’, and since this was offensive to racists fundamentalists who believed in biblical infallibility, it was required that the redactor also cook up the fictional story of Herod’s massacre of the infants to explain how it was that Joseph and Mary fled from the pure racial town of Bethlehem to go live in Harlem with the ‘Samaritan niggers’ in order to escape from that maniac Herod. History has not record of such a massacre. Josephus, who covers all of Herod’s depravities, does not mention this event. The Jewish people have no historical memory of this event, while they still remember Massada, which happened at about the same time. The massacre of the infants was an invented forgery, inserted for the same ideological reasons that the virgin birth story was invented out of thin air and appended to the manuscript. The same mind that cooked up that virgin birth story out of thin air also cooked up that fiction concerning the massacre, and both fictions serve the same ideological function. Our redactor was a racist.
There are other curious contradictions in Matthew. Starting from chapter six, the Gospel of Matthew consists of an edited revision of the Gospel of Mark. Line by line Matthew follows the gospel of Mark, and the author, who was apparently a fundamentalist who was offended by criticism of certain Torah laws found in Mark, edits Mark to remove the offensive passages and restore the doctrine of biblical infallibility. In this context, and given the original motive for the redaction of the Gospel of Mark, it would appear that the Sermon on the Mount is out of place, and that this sermon which is inserted before the redaction begins on the gospel of Mark at chapter six, was appended later to the beginning of the manuscript by a critic of the Torah. This was then followed by another redaction when a fundamentalist inserted the contradictory declaration of biblical infallibility into the Sermon on the Mount, as well as the denial of David and the Virgin Birth Story and the Nazareth Narrative. This seems to have then been followed by another redaction by a Torah critic, in that the family tree in the book contradicts the virgin birth narrative, in that we are told that ‘Jesus’ was descended from a ‘hooker’ from Jericho and a ‘nigger’ from Moab, and since both these women were ‘niggers’ and ‘Samaritan gooks’ the suggestion is being made that this Jesus was somehow related to ‘chinks’ and ‘wops’, rather than being a member of the pure race.
This controversy over the ‘nigger’ issue as it concerned this ‘Jesus’ was not found only in Matthew’s gospel. In the gospel of John, the Jewish people attack this ‘Jesus’ on racist grounds, insisting that ‘you are nothing but a Samaritan while we are part of the pure race descended from Abraham, and you have the gall to lecture us?’ It was also said of him that he was from Nazareth, the Harlem of that time, and so people were saying, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth.’
The solution found to this racist controversy was for the religious right to attempt to placate the racists by elevating this ‘Jesus’ to the status of a divine human hybrid, a kind of god baby, with no father, and thus no racist controversy. This tactic was unsuccessful, since the Jewish racists of the time rejected this ‘Jesus’, and it was only later when the Romans and the Greeks came along that they made the mistake of not being critical and brutally honest about those manuscripts they were about to declare the holy word of God, and thus they build a fraudulent theology upon an edifice of forgery. One of the tragic consequences of this process was the creation of one Maniac on the Mount after another, since such Maniacs when found on mountains are the product of the redaction of the fundamentalists of the religious right of the time.