This fall, I was planning to hand out to my students in Early Church History photocopies of pages from some tawdry billion-selling hack novel, for them to compare with their readings in textbooks and primary sources. I have to put that off for the moment, but eventually I’ll be adding below here a series of page numbers and short quoted claims that a student in an int4ro class in church history could easily recognize for her- or himself as false or misleading.


From Margaret Mitchell’s response among other sources,

p. 231 — Jesus “inspired millions to better lives” [sc., while he was alive?]
p. 231 — “more than eighty gospels” “the Bible, as we know it today, was collected by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine the Great”
p. 232 — “Rome’s official religion was sun worship”
p. 232 — Constantine invented the divinity of Jesus and excluded all gospels but the four canonical ones; Constantine made Christianity “the official religion” of the Roman Empire
p. 233 — “Until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet”
p. 234 — Constantine coined the term “heretic”
p. 234, 245 — “the earliest Christian records” were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls (including gospels) and Nag Hammadi texts
p. 234 — the Nag Hammadi texts “speak of Christ’s ministry in very human terms”
p. 234 — “Constantine commissioned and financed a new Bible, which omitted those gospels that spoke of Christ’s human traits and embellished those gospels that made Him godlike”
p. 244 — the marriage of Mary Magdalene and Jesus is “a matter of historical record”
p. 245 — the Nag Hammadi texts represent “the earliest Christian records”
p. 245 — “Jesus was a Jew, and the social decorum during that time virtually forbid a Jewish man to be unmarried.”
p. 248 — Apocryphal texts were “unaltered gospels”

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