|Bishop Christopher Hill receives a Lambeth Degree - an academic degree - from the Archbishop of Canterbury. This type of degree is dependent on which of the two ancient universities, Oxford or Cambridge, the archbishop chooses as his model. "They are, in a sense, awarded in recognition of prior learning or experience but also serve as a form of church honours system."|
As I demonstrated - and numerous scholars now accept - none of the original, early texts described as Christian mention "Jesus Christ" explicitly, nor even "Christ" or Christianity. I have shown this across a series of essays now posted to my main website and this position is now accepted by numerous scholars specialising in these manuscripts. Specifically, neither the original New Testament (codex Sinaiticus, and the earlier manuscripts and fragments), nor the books of which it is comprised, originally contained the name and title Jesus Christ.
|Charlemagne and his minister Alcuin|
The textual tradition comprises manuscripts purporting to have been copied by monks, from earlier, when their supposed authors have no evidentiary support. Though we have the purported copies, the manuscripts which monks claimed to have copied have disappeared; we do not know the identity of most of these monks and often do not know which monastery produced them. Very many manuscripts today are rejected as either entirely fake, or altered.
These manuscripts of the textual tradition are broadly of two types: secular and Christian. The former comprises our secular history of Classical Antiquity; I do not know and cannot explain why monks should have copied them, unless it was to insert references to Christianity and so give their religious support. The latter are Christian texts of various types, from histories, anti-heresy polemics, letters and so on.
None of the purported authors of these Christian texts appear in either the historical, or archaeological records for the period in which they are supposed to have lived and worked; they exist only in the later, textual tradition produced by monks. Further, I have demonstrated how one of these major pillars of the Church, Eusebius of Caesarea, could not have existed. I reject all of them as historical characters.
I took this position having examined both the early sacred texts and the textual tradition in detail and over the last so many years, have posted my essays resulting from this. My arguments cannot be said to be hidden and the number of readers is huge. If anyone is still interested, they can visit my main site and study it all.
And yet. My work has made little impact, which would not surprise me if my readership were just the religious, the Christian. So why do so many atheists (and declared rationalists) reject my work?
Reason to believe. On what reason should we accept the Christian textual tradition? Some have told me: this is the authoritative view, the scholarly consensus. Times change, so what was believed in the 18th and 19th centuries has often changed; anyway, why should atheists care if Christian institutions produce their apologetic books and papers in support of their faith? An expert in 'unicorns farting rainbows' should not be used as a guide for rationalist belief.
These experts - some of whom I approached in order to learn their reasoning - have never considered or argued for learning the name of the purported copyists, or monastic scriptoria where the work was undertaken, to see if those named as authors actually existed, or if they can be linked to these monkish writings. This is a complete denial of the rules of evidence for historiography.
If there was no divinity named Jesus Christ walking the Earth in Judaea in the first decades of the first century of the modern era, then on what basis should an atheist believe in the Christian Church just a little later? This does not seem rational, to me, yet these atheists claim to be rational, even rationalists.
Those arguing in support of the Christian textual tradition are doing the work of the Christian Church. That's the job of Christians, so any atheists reading this and still supporting Christian faith, please wake up.