Who controls the past controls the future.
Who controls the present controls the past.
I have a lot of books and magazines about history. I enjoy reading them because an historical event looked at from different perspectives gives a many dimensional understanding of that event, of course. A single point of view about a time in history may have the strength of authority behind it, but it is never the whole story.
When I was in elementary school the text book on history gave the distinct impression that the Middle Ages, the so-called Dark Ages, was a long period of hundreds of years in which there were kings and illiterate serfs and, except for the Crusades, nothing much happened and nobody did anything. What a surprise to find out, when I finally got to do some reading on my own, how vibrant and active that time was.
One of the things people like to do and keep on doing is to rewrite history. There are two ways of doing that. One is the open minded manner of gathering together the confusing bunch of recently discovered facts, trying to organize them into a coherent whole, examining the possibilities, formulating theories about what actually happened and comparing them with the previous rounds of historical literature, present and past. Some statements by ancient writers are confusing to us because we don't know what they were referring to. When at last we do know a different interpretation of some event emerges.
The other way of rewriting history is the pernicious and closed minded method now being employed by the Texas Board of Education. That method involves rearranging the established facts, changing some of them and eliminating others. There is nothing new about this method. It has been going on for centuries. As a result it has kept historians busy trying to reconstruct what actually happened.
The most shameful part of this second method is that it influences the way people think and causes them to form incorrect opinions and beliefs, such as I did about the Middle Ages.
I've been doing a lot of fascinating research into the origins of western religions. And I've found out some interesting facts and probabilities.
The first book of the Bible ever written was probably Job, possibly written by him or one of his friends, or possibly dictated to a scribe by one of his friends. It predated Moses.
Abraham was not just a herder of livestock, but a powerful man who traveled throughout Mesopotamia and into Egypt as far as Heliopolis teaching as he went. What did he teach? (I will write someday about Heliopolis if I haven't already I may also write about the Templars the Merovingians and the Cathars, all of whom still exist on one form or another.)
There were, no doubt, several "Messiahs" crucified by the Romans. Some of the remarks Jesus made are right out of the Old Testament. Even the famous "My God My Go. Why hast thou forsaken me?" is taken verbatim from the book of Psalms. Was Jesus quoting David, or was it put in afterward by some historian or was the Psalm subsequently adjusted to accommodate? The possibilities are fascinating. And "The Da Vinci Code" aside, there is evidence that Jesus may have had children. There may be his blood line existing today in southern France.
There were many different versions of Christianity at the time and they didn't all agree with each other. The first Christian church ever built was probably the one in Cornwall, England. When the power struggle was over and Rome took control, the church fathers expunged from the literature everything that didn't agree with their version Sort of like what's going on now in Texas.
I continue my research. More bits of information are unearthed all the time. Facts lead to possibilities which lead to theories which lead to more facts. Uncovering the truth about one's religion should not diminish one's faith but should increase and strengthen it. for it removes one's worship from the realm of mythology and plants it firmly in the practical world of real knowledge and real life.
DB - The Vagabond