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jesus, the heretic
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jesus, the heretic

Of all places found on the website of an atheist:

Up to the time of the historical Jesus, communication with the gods was exclusively the province of the priests. The common folk were not allowed to look on the gods, or even to speak their names. Only the priests were empowered to intercede with the gods, for which service they extorted (as they do to this very day) a heavy toll.

The historical Jesus introduced a daring new idea; that everyone could talk to their god directly, without a priest. Even in the canonical Bible, in Luke, the Lord's Prayer is introduced when one of Jesus' followers asks him how to pray. This is an important clue, since it reveals that the people of the historical Jesus' time did not know how to pray. It was a skill they had been told was forbidden to them. Likewise, in the Gospel of Saint Thomas (admitted even by the church to be the only surviving contemporaneous record of the words of the historical Jesus but still declared a heresy) the historical Jesus speaks of God as being not in the sky, not hidden in mansions of wood or stone, but being everywhere, available to all people at all times.

This one idea, that ordinary people could communicate to their gods directly without priests or temples, although quite acceptable today, was radical in the extreme in Jesus' time! The idea that common people could pray directly to the gods was a heresy and a dangerous threat to the power and wealth not only of the Jewish Sanhedron, but to the Roman temples as well. The historical Jesus broke the toll gate to heaven; giving to the people for free what the priests of the temples had always charged for, access to the gods!

The historical Jesus himself lived in relative poverty. There is no indication that he ever passed a collection plate, or solicited money for his teachings. The incident with the money changers at the temple showed the disdain that the historical Jesus had for churches as financial operations.

Jesus himself came from a moneyed family. While the church portrays Jesus and his father as poor carpenters as part of the program to persuade church followers to live poor lives (thereby donating the excess to the church), there is nothing in the original Biblical texts that refers to Joseph's actual occupation. He is described merely as a "Master of the craft" (meaning simply, "A scholarly person"), which early translators mistranslated into "Craftsman", then in English to "Carpenter".

Following the departure of the historical Jesus, virtually everyone in the religion "business" would have immediately set about moving the gods back into a remote heaven, behind locked doors to which the priests alone held the keys. A vital clue to this agenda lies in the Lord's Prayer itself. The commonly accepted English translation of the first line goes, "Our Father, who art in Heaven...", yet an examination of the original Aramaic reveals that this is a deliberate mistranslation of, "Our Father, which art everywhere..."

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