4 April 2010

Bible Chronicles Part 2 (Women in Church)

Happy Easter everyone!

I hope that you have enjoyed the festivities, recharged your batteries and are ready to face another one of....my blogs! This time I decided to continue with Part 2 of my examination of the Bible and my search for how true and honest its writings are. Again, I apologise for the length of the blog. This is mainly due to the fact that I have written specific paragraphs from the New Testament for those of you who do not have the actual book in hand.

In this part I will examine the role of women in Christian church in order to show that while at the time of Jesus and shortly after his crucifixion women played an equally important part in the early Christian church, all Christian orders afterward (whether Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, etc) managed to portray women as subordinate to man and kept them out of the running of the church.

Much of the information I used on this particular blog has been obtained from the following books, which offer valuable information not only on the history of the early Christian movement but also on the history of the writings of the books of the New Testament:

  • 'Misquoting Jesus' by Bart D Ehrman
  • 'Text of the New Testament' by Bruce M. Metzger and Bart D. Ehrman

  • 'The Changing Faces of Jesus' by Geza Vermes
  • 'Lost Christianities' by Bart D Ehrman

Here we go then!

Modern scholars have come to recognise that disputes over the role of women in the early church occurred precisely because women had a role, often a significant and publicly high profile role. Moreover, this was the case from the very beginning, starting with the ministry of Jesus himself. It is true that Jesus’ closest followers, the 12 disciples, were all men, as would be expected of a Jewish teacher in 1st century Palestine. But our earliest Gospels indicate that Jesus was also accompanied by women on his travels, and that some of these women provided for him and his disciples financially, serving as patrons for his itinerant preaching ministry.

15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;

15:41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.

8:1 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,

8:2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,

8:3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance. 

We are also told that women accompanied Jesus during his final trip to Jerusalem, where they were present at his crucifixion and where they alone remained faithful to him at the end, when the male disciples had fled:

27:55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:

27:56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children.

Most significant of all, each of our Gospels indicates that it was women – Mary Magdalene alone, or with several companions –who discovered Jesus' empty tomb and so were the first to know about and testify to Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

We get a clear sense that women also played a major role in the early Christian churches. We can see this from the earliest Christian writer whose works have survived, the apostle Paul. The Pauline letters of the New Testament provide ample evidence that women held a prominent place in the emerging Christian communities from the earliest of times:

16:1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant [Note: It is interesting that King James Bible has used the word 'servant' when the old texts clearly stated 'deacon'. The term 'deacon' is also used in the modern greek versions of the New Testament] of the church which is at Cenchrea:

16:2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.

16:3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:

16:4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.

16:6 Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.

16:7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

16:12 Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord.

16:13 Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.

Women in short appear to have played a significant role in the churches of Paul’s day. To some extend, this high profile was unusual in the Greco-Roman world. And it may have been rooted in Jesus’ proclamation that in the coming Kingdom there would be equality of men and women. This appears to have been Paul’s message as well:

3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Rather than being silent ‘hearers of the word’, women appear to have been actively involved in the weekly fellowship meetings, participating for example by praying and prophesying, much as the men did: 

1 Corinthians
11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

At the same time, to modern interpreters it may appear that Paul did not take his view of the relationship of men and women in Christ to what could be thought of as its logical conclusion.  He did require, for example, that when women prayed and prophesised in church they do so with their heads covered, to show they were ‘under authority’. In other words, Paul did not urge a social revolution in the relationship of men and women – just as he did not urge the abolition of slavery, even though he maintained that in Christ there “is neither slave nor free”. Instead he insisted that since “the time is short” until the coming of the Kingdom, everyone should be content with the roles they had been given, and that no one should seek to change their status: 

1 Corinthians
7:17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.

7:18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.

7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

7:20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

7:21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.

7:22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.

7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

7:24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

At best then, this can be seen as an ambivalent attitude toward the role of women: they were equal in Christ and were allowed to participate in the life of the community, but as women, not as men (they were, for example, not to remove their veils and so appear as men). This ambivalence on Paul’s part had an interesting effect on the role of women in the churches after his day. In some churches it was the equality in Christ that was emphasized; in others it was the need for women to remain subservient to men. And so in some churches women played very important, leadership roles; in others, their roles were diminished and their voices quieted. Reading later documents associated with Paul’s churches, after his death, we can see that disputes arose about the roles women should play; eventually there came an effort to suppress the role of women in the churches altogether.

This becomes evident in a letter that was written in Paul’s name. Scholars today are by and large convinced that 1 Timothy was not written by Paul but by one of his later, second generation followers. Here, in one of the famous passages dealing with women in the New Testament, we are told that women must not be allowed to teach men because they were created inferior, as indicated by God himself in the Law:

1 Timothy
2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

This seems a long way from Paul’s view that in Christ there is not male and female. The scribes who were copying the texts that later became scriptures obviously were involved in the debates of the Christian communities, regarding the role of women in the church. And on occasion the debates made an impact on the text being copied, as passages were changed to reflect the views of the scribes who were reproducing them. In almost every instance in which a change of this sort occurs, the text is changed in order to limit the role of women and to minimise their importance to the Christian movement. 

If this sounds a bit far fetched, let's see a few examples of textual alterations regarding the role of women in church. 

One of the most important passages in the contemporary discussion of the role of women in the church is found in 1 Corinthians:

1 Corinthians
14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.

14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

14:36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

The passage appears to be a clear and straightforward injunction for women not to speak, let alone teach, in the church. Although most scholars are convinced that Paul did not write 1 Timothy, no one doubts that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians. But there are doubts about this passage. As it turns out, the verses in question (34-35) are shuffled around in some of our important textual witnesses. In 3 Greek manuscripts and a couple of Latin ones, they are found not here, after verse 33, but later, after verse 40. This has led some scholars to surmise that the verses were not written by Paul but originated as a kind of marginal note added by a scribe, possibly under the influence of 1 Timothy. The note was then inserted in different places of the text by various scribes.

There are good reasons for thinking that Paul did not originally write these verses. For one thing, they do not fit well into their immediate context. In this part of 1 Corinthians 14, Paul is addressing the issue of prophecy in the church and giving instructions to Christian prophets concerning how they are to behave during the Christian services of worship. This is the theme of verses 26-33 and it is the theme again of verses 36-40. If one removes verses 34-35 from their context, the passage seems to flow seamlessly as a discussion of the role of Christian prophets. The discussion of women appears as intrusive in its immediate context, breaking into instructions that Paul is giving about a different matter.

Another textual alteration seems to occur in a passage in Romans 16, in which Paul speaks of a woman, Junia, and a man who was presumably her husband, Andronicus, both of whom he calls “foremost among the apostles”: 

16:7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

This is a significant verse, because it is the only place in the New Testament in which a woman is referred to as an apostle. Interpreters have been so impressed by the passage that a large number of them have insisted that it cannot mean what is says, and so have translated the verse as referring not to a woman but to a man named Junias. The problem with this translation is that whereas Junia was a common name for a woman, there is no evidence in the ancient world for Junias as a man’s name. Paul is referring to a woman named Junia, even though in some modern English Bibles translators continue to refer to this female apostle as if she was a man named Junias.

In some of our manuscripts, rather than saying “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and fellow prisoners, who are foremost among the apostles”, the text now changed so as to be more readily translated “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives; and also greet my fellow prisoners who are foremost among the apostles”. With this textual change, no longer does one need to worry about a woman being cited among the apostolic band of men.

A similar change was made by some scribes who copied the book of Acts . In chapter 17 we learn that Paul and his missionary companion Silas spent time in Thessalonica preaching the gospel of Christ to the Jews of the local synagogue:

17:4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

The idea of women being prominent, let alone prominent converts, was too much for some scribes and so the text came to be changed in some manuscripts so that now we are told  “…along with a large number of wives of prominent men”

Finally, I will present to you the most misrepresented figure in all of Christian faith, that of Mary Magdalene. For some reason, until a few years ago,  the Christian Church and especially the Catholic Church portrayed Mary Magdalene as a prostitute which Jesus forgave and from then on she followed him. In fact, many paintings throughout the centuries depicted Mary as a weeping sinner washing Jesus' feet with her hair, as the one below.


However, when we examine the New Testament we see clearly that not only Mary was not the prostitute in one of the stories, but in fact was considered one of Jesus' most trusted friends and followers. 

We start first with Mark and the episode of the woman washing Jesus' feet:


14:3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

14:4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?

14:5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.

14:6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.

14:7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.

14:8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.

14:9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

You will note that Mark does not state that the woman was a prostitute or that her name was Mary Magdalene. Matthew also tells a similar story:


26:6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,

26:7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.

26:8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?

26:9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

26:10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.

26:11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.

26:12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.

26:13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.


Again no mention of Mary or a prostitute. John, on the other hand, identifies the woman as Mary, the sister of Lazarus (and therefore not Magdalene) but again no sign of a prostitute:


12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.

12:2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.

12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

12:4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, 


The only Gospel which identifies the woman as being a prostitute (but again no Mary Magdalene or any other Mary) was that of Luke:


7:36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.

7:37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,

7:38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

So, if Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute or the woman that washed Jesus' feet with her hair, who was she? What does the New Testament say about her? We are first introduced to Mary Magdalene in Luke's Gospel where we learn that she was cured of evil spirits by Jesus, meaning that she was cured from some kind of illness:


8:1 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,

8:2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,


It seems that what happened was this. Luke stated that the woman washing the feet of Jesus was a prostitute ( a sinner). He has also stated that Mary Magdalene had been cured by Jesus. John in his Gospel said that the woman's name was Mary. So, the church, amalgamated everything together to come to this soup of pure fabrication.

I also know that some of you would say that Maria Magdalene is referred to as a prostitute in another story in the Bible, where the Jews wanted to stone a sinner to death. As you can see from the story below, no name is given to that woman:

8:1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

8:2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

8:4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

8:5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

8:6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8:8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.



From then on all the Gospels agree that Mary Magdalene was present to all of Jesus' final moments and was one of the women that learned about his resurrection first, before even any of the disciples.

At least, when it comes to Mary Magdalene, the church has aknowleddged its error and, in fact, Mary Magdalene is now considered a saint in the Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Anglican orders. 

It is evident that all these years the church fathers have manipulated the scriptures in order to limit the role of women in church. In fact, the Greek Orthodox church still does not allow women to become priests. This, as I showed, is against what Jesus did when alive and what the apostles taught. So much for the church fathers following the word of God to the letter, eh? It makes you think how many other teachings have been changed or manipulated to suit the big business called 'church'.



  1. Hello Stam,
    Another great blog!

    However, I have a bone to pick with you... :-)

    In your earlier blog you say:
    "Those who know me well know that I’m not a religious person at all. To me, religion is the marketing part of a corporate body called ‘church’, which makes a grand profit from satisfying people’s need for ‘faith’ by selling them a product named ‘god’. Substitute ‘hunger’ for ‘faith’, ‘food’ for ‘god’, ‘advertising’ for ‘religion’ and you’ve got yourself the greatest McDonald’s of all in the name of ‘church’."

    So,from this and other paragraphs I gather you are not religious....like myself.

    So I don't understand why you use parts of bible as if they contained true facts?

    For example, you say:
    "It is true that Jesus’ closest followers, the 12 disciples, were all men...".

    Now, you, as a non-religious person, are simply accepting a religious claim that Jesus existed, and was followed by 12 men, even though the ONLY source claiming that is the religious writing.

    I understand that you are doing this so that you can discuss some other points in bible.

    But, surely, as a non-religious person you should question even these basic assumptions?

    By referring to parts of bible as if they were facts (even if it is to refute some other religious claims) you give it some credibility, which it does NOT deserve.

    There is NO historical evidence of Jesus' existance OUTSIDE bible, even as an ordinary "human" and not son of god.
    Surely , if such a person really existed,and was a great teacher and left such a mark on the world, there would be other documents, not contained in the bible, to witness that. Like in the case of other great teachers: Socrates, Aristotle...whose lives are documented in numerous ways.

    I have seen it often, non religious people going only "half way", and saying that they do not believe that bible comes from god, but that they do accept that some of its writings are real events.

    In fact, the writings are fables,which means invented stories,with invented characters, used to illustrate some point or moral or message. This is often done with animals in the fables of La Fontaine,where they take on human characteristics, such as speech. But nobody, even for a second, tries to claim they really existed.

    Biblical characters are symbols of natural events and bodies,like Sun, Moon, Sky("heaven")or even Vulcanos(god spitting fire in anger,the "roar" of an angry god... and all that)...intermingled with some real living persons(some kings and so on),to add a touch of reality.

    Jesus is the same character that gets repeated in many other legends:
    in Egypt (The Trinity of Horus, Osiris, Isis),
    Summerian mangod,
    Babylon (Nimrod,Baal...and so on(my memory is failing me at this hour)
    ...so it is obvious, he never existed, NOT even as a mere mortal.

    The "son" of god is the "Sun" of God, (the sun has always been considered as godlike by ALL cultures on earth).
    The 12 disciples are the 12 constellations that
    "follow" the "Sun" of god on his "journey" "around earth".
    The "virgin Mary" is the constellation Virgo, which was at a certain prominent position at a given moment in history.
    In fact the name "Mary" comes from the germanic root of word "maagd"(this is pronounced very similarly to "maard" and the "d" at the end was transformed over time. So we get the word "maare" = "mary". By the way this word means simply "virgin". (The English word "maiden" has the same root, by the way))

    (continued in the next message, due to length limits)

  2. So "virgin Mary" simply means "Virgin" twice,in latin and germanic roots. It is a simbol of a constellation and it should NEVER be treated as a living person, even without any "godlike" characteristics.

    The "holy trinity" comes from "wholy" or the root of the word "whole" meaning "complete", "everything" or "the universe".

    Again the germanic (Dutch) word "heelal" is in the root of the word "wholy"("holy")and means "the universe". The arabic word "halal" shares the same root to describe for example "halal food" or "holy food" or "whole food"...and so on...

    The three parts of the trinity "existed" already in ancient Egypt and were known as:
    1)The God (The Sun) AmonRa
    2)The Faraon("the Son of god")
    3)The Spirit("High priest")
    Even the prayers in bible end with "Amen",
    which comes from egyptian god "Amon Ra",the Sun God.

    The ten commandments were taken from the egyptian law books written thousands of years before suposed biblical delivery on a mountain, and were the rules to follow in order to hold an important position in the "goverment" , maybe even become a "Faraon"....

    And so on...

    So it is obvious that the stories in bible are a mix of either fiction, fables, legends, or taken from other religions (much older), which means that NONE of its "characters" should be given real life interpretation.
    Even if we say that some stories were real, but taken from ancient egypt, the time gap is so huge that it would place those events long time before any theoretical "birth" of a person called Jesus.

    I do love your blogs, and I know that you are only using the texts in bible to show how contradictory some parts of religion are, but I think you should go ALL THE WAY and expose the texts for what they really are,
    a collection of FAIRY TALES, admittidly with some interesting messages or morals but nevertheless, still FAIRY TALES.....

    The stories in "The tales of 1001 nights", for example, contain some real persons or places, in order to give it some credibility and stronger impact on the reader, but we still treat them as what they really are, just the tales...

    Sorry for the long "rant" but organised religion insults my intelligence...

    Keep up the good work

  3. Hello Andrej

    Your comments are very interesting and believe me, I will cover all the points you mention in future blogs on the subject. The Bible Chronicles consists of loads of parts :)

    The reason I assume that what the writings say is true (even though personally I do not believe so) is to show to those who are religious all these discrepancies.

    In other words it is as if I say to religious people 'Ok, let's accept that what the Bible says is factually correct. Then explain to me why there is this and that discrepancy'. That way they cannot argue that I am using my own views to prove them wrong, because I'm using exactly what it is written in the Bible.

    PS: To clarify a point, I believe that Jesus did exist, but that he was a political/philosophical leader, rather than the human form of God.

  4. Like I mentioned in several places in my comments, I do realise why you are quoting the bible, to refute it using its own logic...
    Still I prefer showing to the religious how many of its characters are simply astronomical bodies and natural phenomena.
    Can't wait for the rest of the Bible series!

    And by the way, what you believe about Jesus is exactly what I was referring to when I said that many people go "half way" when they disagree that he was the son of god but still believe he existed, as a mere mortal. There is sooooo much evidence to the contrary,ie. that he is just a symbol for the Sun(Son). The reason the stories about him are sooo elaborate and realistic, in comparison to other fables, is simply the fact that the stories about the Son (Sun) of God have been around for over 5000 years "Before Christ" (so to speak :-)) So people have been adding stuff as it suited them.
    7000 years is a long enough time to create a few hundred pages of realistic sounding stories. Some contemporary writers do it in a few months of intensive writing! :-)
    Maybe you haven't come across all the relevant evidence yet, but you are bound to,as you continue your research.
    I've given already given you some examples, and here are some more,to whet your appetite:

    Catholic church leaders, for example, KNOW the real story,they just use it to rule the masses. They know why the symbol of the Sun(Son) on every altar.

    They know why the Pope has the hat in the shape of the fish (in the profile). If you search the net for "Baal" you will find drawings of a ancient "god" Baal who looks just like the pope!!! With the hat, the robe and the stick.
    The fish symbol has nothing to do with Jesus feeding people,or drawing its shape in the sand; It is related to the constellation of the fish or "Pisces" which was the astrological age the Sun(Son) was entering, roughly about 2000 years ago.
    How many fish did Jesus use to feed the people?? Two! How many fish do we see on the symbol of Pisces in Horoscope? Two!
    It's just beautiful, how it all adds up!
    (You may have heard about the age of Aquarius, that is coming soon, its the same sort of thing.)

    The holy grail does not exist,never has! Because there was never a person called Jesus who drank from it!
    It is the missinterpretation of the french "sang réel" which is pronounced the same as "saint grail"!
    The first means "real blood" and the second means "holy grail".They were talking about the "real blood" or the "royal blood".
    Blood was very important in ancient pagan rituals and sacrifices and was either spilled on the ground to apease the gods of harvest ,or was drank to give people "godly powers"... hence the drinking of wine(blood of the Son(Sun)) at communions.....

  5. The last supper never happened either!
    Leonardo da Vinci was one of the few who knew the real story behinf Jesus, but he was not allowed to openly spread the word.
    If you look at the painting of the Last Supper, the "12 disciples" are grouped in four groups of three, just like the four seasons of the year with three months in each!!!
    He knew what he was doing!!!! :-)
    He was trying to tell the people the real story behind "Jesus and 12 disciples", that they are symbols for the Sun(Son) and twelve astronomical phases that "follow" the movement of the Sun(Son).

    Christmass, "the birthday of Jesus", was pagan celebration of the "Birth" of the Sun(Son), which was exiting the darkest day of the year's cycle!

    Easter, "the resurrection" is the pagan celebration of "Rebirth of the Sun(Son)" because it was the beginning of the "fertile period" of agriculture".
    The Easter egg and the bunny were pagan symbols of fertility thousands of years "Before Christ" :-).

    The pagans used to draw a circle to symbolise the cycles of the sun, and on that circle they would draw a CROSS to divide it into 4 sections, one for each season. So when the sun(son) reached its shortest (darkest)day, in december, they would mark it on the drawing and say:
    "the God Sun(The Son of God?) has "died" on the cross!!! Referring to the cross on which the sun was drawn.

    From there we get the story of Jesus(the Sun(Son) of God) dying on the "Cross".

    And the cherry on the top is the example of the wreath of thorns that was alegedly put on Jesus' head. It resembles a crown or "corona" in Latin, and another situation where the ancient people would say that the Sun has "died" was the solar eclipse. And with solar eclipse we get the Corona which resembles a "crown on a dieing Sun (Son)". Hence the story of the crown of thorns, amalgamated with all the other stories of the death of the Sun(Son) to give us the "modern" story of the crucifiction "Son of God".
    The KEY to understanding all this is the fact that all the stories invented over the MILLENIA have been AMALGAMATED into one. The truth is that the story of Jesus has borrowed all of its constituent parts from hundreds of different stories, legends and customs produced over 7000 years, and maybe even much longer.

    I am gladly giving you the copyright permission to use all of the above material in the final "exposé" of the religion! :-)

  6. A correction: try searching the web for "Oannes" or "Nimrod" to see the original "pope" 5000 years Before Christ (irony intended..:-)). Originally I had said "Baal",which is also part of the same mythology, but its photos do not depict the pope as clearly as these two do.