"Chrest" in the early texts
|Early croziers were claimed to enable miracles, i.e. they were the magic wands of magi. The yew tree was regarded in the British Isles as sacred and many/most early churches were set next to a sacred yew.|
The original New Testament (codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus) do not use the terms Jesus or Christ, but abbreviations and IS, and Chrest.
Much later, a book appears dated conventionally to the 6th century and claiming (with no support) to have been copied from an earlier by one Lactantius (for whom no supporting evidence exists) that the original spellings were made in ignorance. The world has come to accept both this and the new name and title: Jesus Christ.
Of the Name of Son, and Whence He is Called Jesus and Christ.The divine institutes — LactantiusLet's summarise: a book dated to the 6th century, supposedly copied from one written by a ghost (supposedly ca. 250 – ca. 325), claims that all the earlier texts - non of which used Christ but either an abbreviation, or Chrest - are wrong, and wrong because they were ignorant, whereas this non-existent author knew better.
Some one may perhaps ask who this is who is so powerful, so beloved by God, and what name He has, who was not only begotten at first before the world, but who also arranged it by His wisdom and constructed it by His might. First of all, it is befitting that we should know that His name is not known even to the angels who dwell in heaven, but to Himself only, and to God the Father; nor will that name be published, as the sacred writings relate, before that the purpose of God shall be fulfilled. In the next place, we must know that this name cannot be uttered by the mouth of man, as Hermes teaches, saying these things: "Now the cause of this cause is the will of the divine good which produced God, whose name cannot be uttered by the mouth of man." And shortly afterwards to His Son: "There is, O Son, a secret word of wisdom, holy respecting the only Lord of all things, and the God first perceived by the mind, to speak of whom is beyond the power of man." But although His name, which the supreme Father gave Him from the beginning, is known to none but Himself, nevertheless He has one name among the angels, and another among men, since He is called Jesus among men: for Christ is not a proper name, but a title of power and dominion; for by this the Jews were accustomed to call their kings. But the meaning of this name must be set forth, on account of the error of the ignorant, who by the change of a letter are accustomed to call Him Chrestus. The Jews had before been directed to compose a sacred oil, with which those who were called to the priesthood or to the kingdom might be anointed. And as now the robe of purple is a sign of the assumption of royal dignity among the Romans, so with them the anointing with the holy oil conferred the title and power of king. But since the ancient Greeks used the word chri'esthai to express the art of anointing, which they now express by alei'phesthai, as the verse of Homer shows,"But the attendants washed, and anointed them with oil;"
on this account we call Him Christ, that is, the Anointed, who in Hebrew is called the Messias. Hence in some Greek writings, which are badly translated from the Hebrew, the word eleimmenos is found written, from the word aleiphesthai, anointing. But, however, by either name a king is signified: not that He has obtained this earthly kingdom, the time for receiving which has not yet arrived, but that He sways a heavenly and eternal kingdom, concerning which we shall speak in the last book. But now let us speak of His first nativity.
|The original New Testament makes no mention of "Christ"; the original has "Chrest" and ,much later the Greek for E was scratched to alter it to an I. This extract actually read: The disciples were called Chrestians first at Antioch.|
Which would a law court accept? In principle, none of them, because none are eye-witnesses, or even contemporaneous to the people and events they claim to describe. But the least likely in the 6th-century text claiming that everyone before him was in error.
|Healing the man born blind and raising Lazarus (sarcophagus). Vatican Museum, Rome, 4th century|
The correct question is therefore not if "early Christians" were ignorant (they were definitely pagan); rather, we should question those who accept the explanation that Chrest was written in ignorance. If the authors of the original New Testament cannot be trusted by Christians, then they have nothing.