History of religion

Thoughts on the most momentous of all books

Preliminary remark
A German - like me - is actually forbidden to say anything critical about the origin of the Old Testament of the Bible. Because this inadvertently creates the impression that today's Jewish religion and Judaism as such are being attacked directly or indirectly.
There is general consensus that in Germany one can only praise the Hebrews [1]:

The Jews are undeniably an above-average intelligent people. You have made significant contributions to European culture, e. B. in the fields of philosophy, science, art.
The monotheistic Jewish religion, with its Hebrew Bible [2], forms the basis for today's dominant world religions, Christianity and Islam.
It is therefore not an exaggeration to claim that without Judaism, European and thus world culture would not exist in its present form.

However, I would like to make a few comments on the Jewish religious tradition, with which I do not want to attack Jews personally or modern Judaism as such; even if strictly religious Jews - who do not tolerate any criticism of their religion - may interpret it that way.
These are thoughts that today you can only whisper behind your hand. Because whoever - no matter how factual - even gives the appearance of a doubt about the Jewish tradition will quickly be defamed as an anti-Semite, racist, right-wing extremist or worse in our current, by no means always open and tolerant society.

Despite all the achievements of Jewish doctors, bankers, poets, researchers, journalists, merchants, composers, artists, painters, musicians, philosophers, politicians, directors, actors, writers, entrepreneurs, advertising strategists, scientists, Jews were and are often not seen as a natural part of the people ; not even in countries where they have lived peacefully for centuries.
What might that be?

The early history of the Jewish religion
Until relatively recently, it could be assumed that everyone in Europe and America knew the basic features of biblical history:
The creation story, the story of the Fall of Man, the Flood, the Egyptian plagues, the Exodus, Moses receiving the Ten Commandments, the conquest of the "Promised Land" by the "chosen people", as well as the most important parts of the New Testament such as the Christmas story, the Lord's Prayer, the Sermon on the Mount, the Last Supper, the crucifixion, the resurrection and the Pentecost event.

The Bible as a source is unfortunately a historically highly unreliable work.
In addition to a number of - often misunderstood - revelations, visions and timeless wisdom, most of the Old Testament consists of ancient oriental legends, ancient Jewish myths, aphorisms, theological historical nonsense, liturgy, mysticism, fantasy, poetry, pornography, propaganda, prophecy, archaic threats of punishment and theology. Some in contradiction to the laws of creation. (Cf. e.g. Jos. 10:12 and 2 Kings 1:10).
Much is probably the pure invention of power-hungry priests who need the punishing god of vengeance as a potential threat to discipline and oppress their believers.

“Neither Moses nor any national savior was able to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt because the Israelites did not stay in Egypt for historical research. Neither Moses nor any national religious founder received the revelation on Mount Sinai, because the biblical religion did not come into being until centuries after it was supposedly founded by Moses. There was also no Joshua who conquered the Promised Land as the successor of Moses, because archeology does not know of any military conquests of the Israelites. A national-religious poet thought up these stories and wrote them to the prophet Moses. " (10, p. 330).

Somewhat historical is the establishment of a Jewish kingdom under Saul (1020-1000 BC) [3] and David (1000-961 BC). David's son Solomon (961-931 BC) had the First Temple built in Jerusalem.
After the death of Solomon, who was highly praised in the Bible, his unstable state split: into the larger and richer northern kingdom of Israel, with Samaria as its capital, and the smaller southern kingdom of Judah, with Jerusalem as its capital.
Both kingdoms were too small to be able to hold their own against attacks from outside. (Cf. "Short, concise, curious" page 168, "The first temple and Solomon's palace").
The Bible names a number of names of the kings of both kingdoms and reports on wars and turmoil of this time, which are immaterial for the context considered here [4].

Deep historical slumps followed that could not be repaired:

The Assyrians conquered in 722 BC. After a long siege and destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel (2. Kings 17), whose people were deported. Since then, these "Ten Tribes" of Israel have disappeared from history. Apparently they have integrated into other races.
The form of the ancient Jewish religion lived by the Israelite “ten tribes” evidently did not have the strength to hold their believers together even in the dispersed; unlike the strict religion of the Judeans, which emerged later and was adapted to the times [5].
The descendants of the lost "Ten Tribes" have been searched in vain on various continents, including America [6].
Why today's Jewish state calls itself "Israel" and not "Judah" or "Judea" - which would be more historically correct - is a mystery to modern Zionists[7].

The southern kingdom of Judah existed for another 136 years until it was 586 BC. BC with the conquest of Jerusalem - now by the Babylonians - went under. The Jewish elite were deported to Babylon. (Exile in Babylon, 586-538 BC; 2 Chronicles 36, 17-23).
In Babylon, the Jews split into a more tolerant, adaptable part and the devout “Zionists” with their longing for the homecoming and the rebuilding of the temple. (5, p. 564).

Then an unexpected stroke of luck unites the scattered Jewish people:
The Babylonian Empire becomes 538 BC. Conquered by the Persians under Cyrus II (559-529 BC). Judah becomes a province of the Persian Empire.
The Persians, followers of the monotheistic religion Zoroaster [8], are more generous and tolerant than the Babylonians. The Jews are allowed to return to their homeland and to practice their religion; they are even asked to put their religious rules in writing.

The return of the exiles
The Hebrews who have been deported to Babylon or scattered to other regions return due to an edict of Cyrus from 538 BC. BC for the most part back to Jerusalem or Judah.
Not all with enthusiasm; for Babylon was then the greatest city in the world. The Persians had conquered Babylon in a tricky way, left the city undestroyed, and its inhabitants could go on living pretty unmolested. Many of the deported Jews had found good shelter in Babylon or elsewhere; the return to the destroyed Jerusalem did not seem tempting - except for Zionists.
The Jewish temple could - much more modestly - under the Persian governor Zerubbabel around 525 BC. To be rebuilt.

Two important personalities will then appear in Jerusalem, whose achievements are still having an impact today: 

The Jewish scribe and priest obtained the post of a kind of "State Secretary" for religious affairs of the Jews at the Persian court.
In 458 B.C. he comes to Jerusalem with other exiles to take care of the religious order on behalf of the Persian king Artaxerxes I (465-423 B.C.). (5, S. 566).

Ezra ordered the priesthood and temple service, promulgated the religious laws (Ezra 7:11-26), and organized the return of more Jews.
Esra was an extreme fanatic who, for example, forbids marriages between Jews and pagan women and enforces divorce for such marriages [9]. (Ezra 10: 1-3).
One can see in Ezra - unlike many Old Testament heroes a historical personality - an important co-founder of the Jewish religion who is more oriented towards this world, almost as influential as the visionary Moses.
Ezra played a major role in the compilation and editing of the Pentateuch - the five books of Moses [10] - and he was probably co-author of Deuteronomy (5th book of Moses). Through and after Ezra, “the law and the prophets” were given, by and large, the form in which they still exist today. (5, p. 567).

Seen in this way, began in 458 BC. The most momentous changes in the Judean religion, perhaps even the actual birth of Orthodox Judaism (4) with its authoritarian priesthood, whose claim to power was later taken over by clergy of other Abrahamic religions.

“... the priests did not want to be teachers and helpers at all, but only rulers.
As true helpers, they should have educated people to inner independence, spiritual dignity and spiritual greatness, so that these people adjust to the will of God out of free conviction and act accordingly with joy.
The priests did the opposite and bound the spirit so that it would remain submissive to them for their earthly purposes. "
(2, Volume 3, Lecture 44, Paragraph 72 f.).

Nehemiah had attained a position of trust at the Persian court; he was even cupbearer to King Artaxerxes I. Nehemiah came to Jerusalem in 445 B.C. with far-reaching powers as governor of Judah. The fundamental salvation and reorganization of Jerusalem goes back to him (5, p. 566).
He had the demolished city walls rebuilt, presumably with Persian money, organized the immigration of more Judeans to Jerusalem (5, p. 566), and promoted the time-honored Jewish religion. 

Thus, through Nehemiah and Ezra, the returning Hebrews had a largely free hand to rebuild their city and their religion.

The Jewish religion is enshrined
Even in the Babylonian exile, the old religious writings were collected, edited, copied and adapted to the requirements of the time.
Collected texts, especially probably from the time between 700 and 400 BC. Chr. (5, p. 201), were summarized in the "Deuteronomy" - the 5th book of Moses. Moses can hardly have seen any of these texts.
Since then, the Pentateuch (the 5 books of Moses) as Torah (= instruction, law) has formed the core of the Jewish religion. A Torah scroll, written in Hebrew, lies in every synagogue.

In the remote, small city of Jerusalem, a strict, authoritarian religion emerged in the 5th century BC, which was tribal, i.e. racist and therefore retrograde.
The universal god of antiquity [11] became a tribal god; from the “chosen people”, that of the other peoples mentally was supposed to go ahead, became a tribe concentrated on itself, which strictly separated itself racially and ideologically and believed that it was above all other peoples; because be God had promised him world domination.
And this ruling people of the promised future, who should raise their God above all other peoples, were a small group of subjects in a large empire.
The Judeans - apart from a century of unstable independence under the Maccabees (Hasmoneans) - were not to achieve their state independence until the twentieth century.

In the Old Testament of the Bible, especially in Deuteronomy, the priests' claim to power (Deut. Mos. 18) and the absolute priority of the "chosen people" over all other peoples are preached. (Deut. 2, 32-35; Deut. 7, 1-5, 21-24).
Archaic fantasies of violence represented there (4. Mos. 31, 2; 5. Mos. 20, 10-18; Jos. 6, 21; Jos. 8, 24-28; Jos. 11, 12-14 etc.) [12] were also handed down by Christian churches and z. B. practiced in crusades, in the Inquisition, in the persecution of heretics and witch hunts, or in colonialism. 
Some of the punishments threatened in the 3rd book of Moses can only have sprung from a deviant, dark brain. (Deut. 20, 16 - 18; Deut. 20, 27; Deut. 21, 9 etc.).   
Saul (1020 - 1000 B.C.), the first Jewish king, even fell into disfavor (1 Samuel 15:11) because he had not consistently implemented the butchery (supposedly ordered by the Lord) of "men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys" (1 Samuel, 15:2).
Slavery and racism can also be justified biblically: (Gen 9:18-2, [13]; Ex 21:2-11; Lev 25:44)[14].

Old Testament prophets opposed the hateful teachings of the scribes (e.g. Amos 9: 7; Hosea 6: 6). Mostly unsuccessful.

"The story that is in the Bible - from Abraham's encounter with God and his wandering to Canaan, through Moses' liberation of the Israelites from slavery to the rise and fall of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah - is not a wonderful revelation, but an outstanding result of the human imagination. As the most recent archaeological finds suggest, it was designed in a period of two or three generations almost 2,600 years ago. The place of origin was the Kingdom of Judah, an area sparsely populated mainly by shepherds and farmers, ruled from a remote royal city, which in the middle of the mountainous country was enthroned on a narrow ridge amidst steep, rocky abysses. " (7, p. 12).

The heresies invented by priests also undermined the basis for the coming of Jesus. Because the deeper spiritual knowledge of Judaism, which was to be prepared for the sending of the Son of God, could only be passed on in small circles - past the synagogue:

"The Virgin Mary, already equipped with all the gifts to be able to fulfill her high task, came together at a certain time through spiritual guidance with persons who had penetrated deeply into the revelations and prophecies about the coming Messiah."
(2, Volume 2, Lecture 44, Paragraph 4).

The effectiveness to this day
The strict ideological isolation, the sharp ethnic separation, and the threat of a "jealous God" who brutally punishes any deviation from the strict, complicated, worldly doctrine, enforced a unique cohesion among believing Jews, which lasted for millennia despite the greatest adversity and brutal persecution Has.

In 70 AD Jerusalem, and with it the "Temple of Herod"[15] was destroyed. The inhabitants of the Roman province or kingdom of Judea, as well as the adjacent small Jewish principalities, were scattered in many countries. They had to survive for almost two millennia, without their own state, in the "Diaspora" and remain faithful to their religion. At the same time, they steadfastly believed in the promised return to their homeland. (Deut. 30, 1-10).

In foreign lands, the Jewish communities led by authoritarian rabbis, with their strange religion, its many strict rules[16], the associated exotic rituals and peculiar festivals, as well as the ritual language Hebrew, formed uncanny, non-missionary groups that refused to integrate and aroused the suspicion of their host peoples.
The first historically documented violent attack took place in Alexandria in 38 AD. Here, the Jews were blamed for the fact that "Egypt was conquered first by the Persians, then by the Greeks and finally by the Romans"(11).

Later, hate-filled Christian preachers in particular used this widespread mistrust, often coupled with envy of economically successful Jews, to incite their ignorant believers to pogroms against the alleged "Jesus murderers" - very much in the style of the Old Testament.
Thus, from antiquity until far into modern times, in every century there were discriminations, expulsions, even bestial murders of the mostly defenseless Jews, who, for example, were forbidden to carry weapons.

In anti-Judaism [17] Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants all agreed.

In the Islamic sphere, too, Jews who refused to convert to Islam were discriminated against. There have also been pogroms and mass murders since the time of Muhammad. (1, p. 87).

For two and a half millennia, believing Jews were oppressed by authoritarian rabbis, tormented with fear of a vengeful God, and every setback, every misfortune declared with a punishment from God for the wrongdoing of the believers.
Again and again, the apocalyptic promises for the “chosen people” were invoked, which must now finally be fulfilled. (Compare Dan. 7, 27).
But the hate sermons in the Old Testament were also continuously repeated.
It was only in the course of the Enlightenment that a certain willingness to integrate arose in both camps - among Jews and non-Jews - which was unfortunately disrupted by anti-Semitic racism in the 19th century[18].

A difficult to endure dichotomy between allegedly being chosen and the actual earthly or political situation has burdened every devout Jew for millennia.
The establishment of the State of Israel on the basis of the Old Testament only brought some relief [19]. Unfortunately, this founding of the state in an overpopulated region with too little water led to new political and religious tensions, the balance of which has yet to be found.

The emotional strain caused by their religion and the discrimination against Jews by society in the Diaspora made believing Jews victims of internal oppression and external violence.
These persistent, double burdens cannot have remained without effects in the transcendental space. Is it here - in the invisible realm of forms of thought and feeling - also the deeper root of anti-Semitism[20] or better anti-Zionism? [21]. 

These tensions, which have been accumulating for centuries, can only be resolved if both sides - Jews and non-Jews - recognize their causation in the pent-up faults.
Mutual insight into the highly ideological contexts can then lead to the recognition of the causes and to the dissolution of tensions.
This would finally get rid of the tiresome subject of "anti-Semitism", which has so far outlasted all humanistic and political appeals, no matter how well meant; because with arguments you cannot fight emotions!
It will be a tough, lengthy process; but a start has to be made! -

Christianity, which emerged from Judaism, took over the Old Testament with its brutal threat, its terrible cruelty, its materialistic promises - and its many contradictions without hesitation.
Now Christians saw themselves as the “chosen ones” of their God and derived from the Old Testament the right to subjugate the earth by force. (1. Mos. 1, 28-29).

Gnostics and Cathars who rejected the Old Testament were persecuted as heretics.

Old Testament ideas have also penetrated the Koran. B. Commit Muslims to conquer the world for Islam - with fire and sword if necessary. (Cf. Koran, e.g. 2nd Sura, 186-189).

Implications for the present
Today we have to - quite contrary to the majority opinion - grapple with the fact that in the fifth century BC in Jerusalem a religion with a "Holy Scripture" was conceived that brought unspeakable calamity into the world.

The Old Testament contains influential revelations, significant visions, several grains of truth and timeless wisdom. However, it is in large parts misogynistic, violent, cruel, hateful, misanthropic, vindictive, racist and full of blasphemies. (Deut. 31:2; Deut. 28:15-21; Deut. 28:63; Josh. 10:8-11; Josh. 10:40; etc.).
Dark forces have made a decisive contribution to this and have given rise to terrible subtle structures.

No one can know how world history would have gone without the Old Testament, perhaps the most effective of all writings[22].
If so much violence, oppression, war, robbery and murder by "believing Christians" could have been justified over thousands of years of occidental history without the legitimacy of "Holy Scripture" with its archaic teachings of the Old Testament, against which the far nobler and higher ones oppose The teaching of Jesus failed to enforce often enough?
For Christians too often invoked the Old Testament instead of the Savior's eternal words[23].

Probably only out of centuries-old habit and spiritual indolence, paired with terrifying insensitivity, can be explained that the Old Testament of the Bible is still today undifferentiated by Christians all over the world called "Word of God", instead of saying large parts of it as inhuman or even blasphemous discard. (See the appendix).

Read "Short, concise, curious" page 279 "A tantrum influences world history" and page 366 "The almost forgotten genius", as well as "The temple in Jerusalem" under "History of Religion.  

(1) Abdel-Samad, “The Islamic Fascism”, Droemer, 2014.
(2) Abd-ru-shin “In the Light of Truth”, Grail Message Foundation, Stuttgart. Book Review. 
(3) Avron Negev, “Archäologisches Bibel-Lexikon”, Hänssler, Neuhausen-Stuttgart, 1991.
(4) Douglas Reed, “The Controversy Over Zion,” Request of the Rogues. Leipzig, 2017.
(5) Heinrich A. Mertens, “Handbuch der Bibelkunde”, Bechtermünz, Augsburg, 1997.
(6) JA Thompson, “Shepherds, Traders and Prophets”, Brunnen, Gießen, 1996.
(7) Israel Finkelstein, et al., “No trumpets before Jericho”, CH Beck, Munich, 2003.
(8) Nelson Beecher Keynes, “From Paradise to Golgotha” Das Beste, Stuttgart, 1964.
(9) Siegfried Hagl, "The occult Chancellor", Graefelfing, 2000.
(10) Wolf Krauss, “Das Moses-Rätsel”, Ullstein, Munich, 2000. 
(11) Four-part Arte documentary on anti-Semitism. 11.4.22. 15.00.

[1] The word "Hebrew", which comes from the Old Testament, is often used as a generalization for Hebrew speakers, that is, for people of the Jewish faith.
[2] The Old Testament is not quite correctly referred to as the "Hebrew Bible". However, some capital, such as the books Tobit and Judit, have only survived in other languages (Greek or Latin).
[3] The times and quotations from the Bible according to the “standard translation” of the Bible.
[4] This part of the biblical story is - as it is generally seen and also cited here - historically questionable. (See "Guarded by Angels: The Ark of the Covenant", ARTE documentary, broadcast on January 9, 2021, 8:15 pm).
[5] Inhabitants of the state of Judah or the Roman province of Judea.
[6] The "Book of Mormon" by the Prophet Joseph Smith from 1827 reports on biblical tribes (Amalekites) in America.
[7] According to Gen. 32,29 Israel (God's warrior) is the epithet of the progenitor Jacob. The descendants of his 12 sons by 4 different wives became the "Twelve Tribes of Israel". After the downfall of the kingdom of Israel and the disappearance of the "Ten Tribes", "Israel" became a more spiritual symbol for the once called people, who then did not recognize the Son of God. For example, even in the 20th century, denunciations for Judaism begin with the words "Hear Israel..." (Lit. "The Call", issue 10/11/12, Verlag der Gralsblätter, Tutzing, 1928).
[8] Moses (not to mention the legendary Abraham) was by no means the first monotheist. The religion of Zarathustra is probably older, and the Egyptian Book of the Dead, written between 2500 and 2000 BC, states: "You are the one, the God, from the beginning of time, the heir of immortality, self-created and self-born, you created the earth and made man." (4, page 7).
[9] This regulation kept the Jewish communities tightly together until well into modern times and largely prevented the Jews from merging with their host peoples.
[10] In the standard translation these "5 books" are called Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.
[11] Cf. endnote [8]: "You are the one, the God,..."
[12] It can be assumed that these horrific massacres did not take place in this way, but rather sprang from the brains of depraved old Jewish priests, probably at the time of the Babylonian captivity. (See 7 and 10).
[13] This biblical passage was long considered a justification for slavery and still in the 20th century as evidence of the superiority of the "white race" (the descendants of Shem and Japhet) over the "colored peoples" (the descendants of Ham). Canaan is the son of Ham.
[14] Around the same time, the Buddha (563-483 BC) in India gave rise to a more peaceful spiritual teaching.
[15] The Temple of Herod was not a new building, but a generous renovation and extension that was one of the most highly regarded buildings of the time.
[16] A devout Jew must observe 613 rules of life ("mitzvot"). These commandments are said to have been received by Moses on Mount Sinai.
[17] Anti-Judaism is the blanket rejection of Judaism, primarily for religious motives. In the Catholic Church, it was not ended until the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).
[18] A great pioneer for the integration of the Jews in Europe was the much too little known and appreciated philosopher Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786, cf. "Short, concise, curious" page 366 "The almost forgotten genius"). More known is unfortunately the "herald of biological racism" and "inventor of the Aryan master race", the French Count Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau (1816-1882).
[19] Anti-Zionists claim that the expulsion of the Palestinians was based on Old Testament models. The alleged massacre of Deir Yassin (9. 4. 1948) is then regularly cited as an example.
[20] A racially based rejection of the Jews, anti-Semitism, is nonsense; for there is no "Jewish race". On the other hand, one has very well the right to be critical of religious and political Zionism.
The murder of Jews by the National Socialists sprang from völkisch delusions that first emerged in the 19th century (cf. [18]).
[21] For further thoughts on the occult background of anti-Semitism, see (3) pp. 112 f.
In the Nazis' atrocity propaganda, even millennia-old tall tales were reused.
[22] I am well aware that esotericists see in the Bible only the facade behind which lies the real, the occult secret doctrine which strict believers study assiduously. But here I consider the Old Testament as it is generally read. It is also to be expected of a spiritually inspired religious writing that it should have been written in simple, understandable terms, without ulterior motives. Cf. "Philon of Alexandria and the search for meaning" under "History of Religion".
[23] Mass murders already existed in the Stone Age, and since then aggression and violence have been decisive factors of world history; with almost all peoples on all inhabited continents. Religion and philosophy often provided the necessary ideologies.                                                              


Biblical quotations according to PM, September 2004, page 88:

If you take the Old Testament literally today, then

  • Can you keep slaves (Leviticus = Leviticus 25:44), but only people from neighboring countries.
  • Are you allowed to sell your daughter as a slave (Exodus = Exodus 21: 7).
  • Have your son stoned to death if he curses (Leviticus 24:16).
  • Get killed if you cheated (Leviticus 20:10).
  • As a woman, are you impure during menstruation, and so is everything you touch (Leviticus 15: 19-24).
  • As a man, you are not allowed to have contact with your wife while she is on her period (Leviticus 15: 19-24).
  • Do you have to see that your gay acquaintances are killed (Leviticus 20:13 and 18:22).
  • Do you have to stone your daughter to death if she had premarital sex (Deuteronomy = Deuteronomy 22: 20-21).
  • You are allowed to kill everyone who you catch at work on Saturday (Exodus = Exodus 35: 2).
  • You must never eat scampi or mussels again (Leviticus 11: 10-12).
  • Expect to be killed if you have gone to see a fortune teller or fortune teller (Leviticus 20: 6).
  • As a man, you are not allowed to cut your head or beard from now on (Leviticus 19:27).
  • When buying a new outfit, you need to make sure that the fabric is not woven from two different threads (Leviticus 19:19).
  • And don't forget: shoes, gloves, belts and balls made of pigskin are now taboo for you (Leviticus 11.5-8).