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Roman Catholic Church History: 9th Century

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.

History of Christianity: The Ninth Century

The Devil, always able to detect human weakness, attacked the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church with ferocity in the 10th Century.

In 897, Pope Formosus was charged with perjury and covetousness—nine months after his death. His corpse was dug up, dressed in his papal uniform and seated on a throne by his successor, to face the charges. Found guilty, after exercising his right to silence, he was stripped and thrown into the Tiber River.

His inquisitor, Pope Stephen VI, was soon strangled. The next pope was in power four months; and the next only twenty days. Soon there was Pope Sergius III, who murdered the other two popes to ascend to the papacy; and who fathered, by a 15-year-old girl, an illegitimate son—who later became Pope John XI.



Roman Catholic Church

In 924, Pope John X was suffocated with a pillow. In 954, the illegitimate son of Pope Alberic was made Pope John XII—and he was the worst of the lot. He opened a whorehouse in the papal palace; habitually hosted drunken orgies; committed incest; was an adulterer; and was known to sexually assault his visitors. It was he who started the practice of assuming a pseudonym once elected to the papacy.

Otto the Great (912-973) inherited the kingship of Germany in 936 and ascended to the throne of Holy Roman Empire in 962. Every subsequent king of Germany descended from Otto. When the illegitimate Pope Philagathos took the papacy in 997, Otto III descended on Rome to unseat him. For good measure, Otto III cut off his hands, ears, nose, and tongue; and gouged out his eyes.





Cluny Monastery

The 10th Century was not all bad news for the Roman Catholic Church. Duke William of Aquitaine founded the venerable monastery at Cluny in 910, widely acknowledged as the exemplar of western monasticism.

Cluny Abbot barred politics and elected as their leaders the most holy men they could find. They returned to a strict adherence to the Benedictine rulebook, which had been relaxed over the years. Cluny sparked a religious revival inside and outside its walls, as well as building the most important library in France. It created a network of 314 monasteries from Spain to Poland.

The Cluny archives were burned and its buildings destroyed by the Atheists at the heart of the French Revolution in 1790.




A great Archbishop arose in England named Dunstan (909-980). Dunstan reformed the church and monasteries in England. Besides being an extraordinary Christian and theologian—who worked tirelessly for widows and orphans, restored churches and established schools—he was a marvelous craftsman of church bells and organs; an accomplished musician and painter; and a sought after jeweler. He is the patron saint of goldsmiths.




The feudal system was to leave a profound stamp on Western Civilization regarding speech; manners, property rights; the rule of law; emphasis on contracts; the balance between rights and responsibilities; the importance of mutual trust and keeping one's word; and the relationship between those who govern and those who are governed.



Vladimir the Great

Meanwhile, Christianity continued to spread its message of Faith, Hope and Love to Central and Eastern Europe.  Vladimir of Kiev converted in 988; dismissed 4 of his 5 wives and all 800 of his concubines; had his people baptized en masse; sent missionaries into the countryside to teach the new faith and demolish heathen shrines; and filled Ukraine and Russia with churches and monasteries.  Henceforth, Ukraine and Russia would be powerful members of Christendom.



Symeon the New Theologian

Over in Constantinople, an exceptionally brilliant theologian arose, later named Symeon the New Theologian (one qualified to talk about God). He did not consider it possible to rationally understand God but he had powerful mystical experiences of God that led to his writings espousing the view that human beings should experience God directly and personally. He criticized the prevalent view that simply being baptized would provide salvation if one was still living a sinful life. He insisted a person must be baptized in the Holy Spirit and transformed into the likeness of Christ.

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Symeon said, "Among tens of thousands you will hardly find one who is a Christian in both word and deed."



A.d. 1000

Thankfully, a century had come to an end that had been filled with bizarre deeds of amorality, greed, brutality, and murder among the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church. There were other problems extant including simony (paying money for church offices or worse—to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit); and the veneration of relics had made the market for the bones of saints so lucrative that there were more bones than saints.

The Church would reform in the 11th Century, ushering in 300 years of good popes; but serious division was brewing between East and West regarding the use of leavened bread, celibacy among the clergy, and whether the Holy Spirit also proceeds from Jesus.

New Years Eve 999, many Europeans assumed the world would end that night. It didn't.



Roman Catholic Church Scholarship

There was no flourishing of Christian scholarship in the 10th Century. But 900 to 1100 is considered the "monastic period" and in the monasteries Christianity was very strong and focused on Christ as the source of all good.

The penitential system of the Church was developing at this time, with penance as a way to make satisfaction to the Lord, required as a consequence of human sin.

Critics of the Church, especially the Jews, accused Christians of idolatry for adoring the cross. The defenders of the faith responded that they were not adoring the cross itself or the material of the cross, but the Lord's body that was placed on the cross.

The sign of the cross was an essential part of the liturgy of the Mass and at baptism. Demons and lusts were driven away by the sign of the cross. The cross was the instrument of victory by Christ over the devil.

God sent his Son to conquer Satan. This requires taking seriously the role of the devil as a third party to the transaction that took place between God and man in the redemption of humankind. Together with the cross, it was the name of Jesus that became the object of mystical contemplation.

Christian thought continued to be refined in consideration of the paradox of free will and predestination; the nature of God; the redemptive work on the cross; and examination of how the relation of mankind to God and to the devil was changed by the death of Christ.




"The Gospels are the most important of all the things that are said in the Mass. The Mass began with songs and prayers, whose sweetness and pleasantness would first soften the hearts of the hearers, so that the people, after hearing the melody of a pleasant song and having had their attention focused on spiritual things through the repentance of their minds, will take up the saving words of the Gospel with ardent interest." (Remigius 841-908)



Odo of Cluny

"The judgments and mercies of God are too profound for the human mind to plumb. His goodness cannot be exhausted, His mercy not consumed, His knowledge not incomplete, His power cannot fail.

"Christ was the lover of humanity. Man did not need only to be redeemed but also to be instructed about how he ought to live after redemption. Acceptance of such instruction is the hallmark of true discipleship.

"The one resource that could preserve the equanimity of the wise man amid all the troubles of this world was meditation on the Scripture, which contains everything that there was to know about God and about the self. Since it is the purpose of all Scripture to act as a restraint against the evils of the present life, it addressed itself to the human condition in two ways; either by consoling us or by warning us.

"We are truly worthy of Christ if we, like Him, had grounds for pride and attained the height of power, but nevertheless remained humble. He was the model of how to bear the contempt of men. He had become a man so that human beings could not dismiss His virtues as something beyond the realm of possibility. The eyes of the faithful are to be intent on Him.

"The three monastic vows—poverty, chastity, and obedience—were clearly present in the specific ways in which Christ served as example. The ideal of chastity is part of following the example of Christ, who taught that one who takes up His cross has never made provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

"Those who refuse to acknowledge Christ on Earth will suffer an endless hell. The Lord of history will establish a new Earth on which the resurrected saints will dwell." (Odo of Cluny 878-942)




"What is better news than the things that are said in the Gospel about the incarnation of the Son of God, about His miracles, His preaching, His resurrection, and His ascension?

"To be truly a disciple of Jesus and one to whom Jesus speaks, one must truly love the discipline of Jesus. The discipline of Jesus included the total span of human experience as this was to be brought into conformity with the divine will that had been revealed through the incarnation of the Son of God in a fully human life, all of which was pertinent to the human lives that it was intended to redeem and renew.

"The fundamental definition of a Christian is one who obeys the will of Christ; reads the Bible; wishes to be with God always; prays frequently. Although the crucifixion was sometimes viewed as the victory of Christ over the devil and other enemies—and the descent into hell and the resurrection even more—the ascension was especially suited to this theme." (Ratherius 890-974)




"Jesus was the high priest of humanity who was free from sin and therefore an acceptable sacrifice to atone for the sins of humankind. "

God is a being which can subsist without any other; but nothing can exist at any time or in any place without the presence of God. God transcends the law of nature and nature is the very will of God. "

All who are saved are saved by the kindness of His grace alone, which transcends human comprehension. Christ should be imitated in all respects. If we claim to abide in Him, we must walk as He walked." (Othlo 1010-1072)


"People should be in awe of the presence of their infinite Creator. There is no escape from His justice and His will. Humanity had dishonored God when it denied Him the honor that was due Him. In requiring restoration of that honor, God was not acting in a bloodthirsty manner, as some have charged, but in a manner appropriate to His nature and consistent with His justice.

"The justice of God had been violated by the failure of man to render to God what he owed Him. The Justice of God also made it impossible for God to forgive this sin by mere fiat, for this would have been a violation of the very order of the universe that God had to uphold to be consistent with Himself and with His justice.

"God did not need to suffer on the cross but man needed to be reconciled through such suffering. God is free of any necessity. What the justice of God demanded, the mercy of God supplied, because the sinner has nothing with which to make satisfaction.

"If Jesus had been only God and not also a man, He would not have been able to achieve salvation through satisfaction since the divine nature was incapable of suffering or humiliation, not to speak of dying. If he would not have been God but merely a man, his obedience would have availed for himself alone.

"Because Christ did not have to die unless He willed to do so and because He was free of all sin, His voluntary acceptance of death and of the punishment that men had deserved was the means by which salvation was accomplished. Christ was motivated not by any debt but by the honor of the Father and the plight of humankind. It was the intention of this Just God in the act of creation to make a just and blessed rational creature that would enjoy Him.

"The task of the Christian message is to induce in the hearer an accurate self-knowledge; for through the knowledge of self one comes to the knowledge of God. Man can be saved through the mystery of the Incarnation of Christ or not at all. The natural free will always assists the gift of divine grace in salvation. Nevertheless, grace receives the credit, for without it free will could not attain to salvation.

"The union of the divine and human natures in Christ made the atonement and satisfaction possible, in that whatever was necessary to be done for the restoration of men, the divine nature did it if the human nature could not, and the human nature did it if it was not fitting for the divine. In His association with them He was teaching them by word how they ought to live, and would provide Himself as an example for them.

"Satan was a proud spirit in relation to God—and always malevolent in relation to us—who believed it was better to reign in hell than serve in heaven. He successfully tempted man to share in his fate. Man had permitted himself to be so easily vanquished by him through sinning." (Anselm 1033-1109).



Peter Abelard

"God had been urged by His love to descend to Earth, and He who is consubstantial with the Father has through His love deigned to come to us. We are justified by His blood. The only Son of God became incarnate to liberate us from the servitude of sin and the yoke of the devil, and thus by His death to open the door for us to eternal life." (Peter Abelard 1079-1142)



Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

"On Earth, we are in the school of Christ. Christ must have used his human feelings and sense experiences as a means of access to the human condition, becoming compassionate through personal acquaintance with the misery and weakness of man. A principle cause of the incarnation was the need of man to have, in concrete historical form, the embodiment of the invisible God in the real events of a human life.

"These events collected from all the anxieties and bitter experiences of the life of Christ, were a source of instruction and of consolation to the believer, who was sustained by the example of our Savior in His sufferings and in His life. Each event had a special message: His virgin birth was a disclosure of purity; His life revealed the sinlessness of His character, His teaching conveyed the unalloyed truth.

"Christ was proof of divine love. There is no greater compassion than this, that one should lay down his life for those who had been sentenced and condemned. The effect of redemption is that men learned to love.

"Some are drawn to Christ by their desire for wisdom, some by their need for forgiveness, some by the example of His life. But for each of these groups and for all levels of men, it was the crucifixion that served as the revelation of the way and the will of God, even for those who were not able to penetrate the mysteries of that will.

"Take away free will and there is nothing that needs to be saved. Take away grace and there is no way to save it.

"The godless were giving themselves over to consumption and enjoyment; what was waiting for them was consummation and judgment. Only because Christ was both Judge and Savior, both just and merciful, could He be truly either one. Mercy without justice would make the sinner presumptuous; justice without mercy would make him despondent." (Bernard of Clairvaux 1090-1153)


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 09, 2011:

mortonking— You are quite welcome. Thank you for the kind compliment. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

mortonking from Hot Springs, AK on April 08, 2011:

Great article. Thanks for the insight.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 02, 2011:

Huntgoddess— I do suppose the official history by the Roman Catholic Church would be "authoritative." But it is not objective since it is the subject of history writing about itself.

I used many sources in my research. The three I leaned on most heavily, as I recall, were "Europe" by Norman Davies; "The One Year Book of Christian History" by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten; and "A Short History of Christianity" by Stephen Tomkins.

As to how accurate the information is, why don't you compare it with your official Catholic history. If there are any inaccuracies in my account, please let me know and I will edit my article.

This is one in a series of now 30 articles detailing the History of Christianity from the times of Jesus walking the earth up to, now, the year 1700. I intend to proceed from there soon.

Perhaps my title is misleading. It is hard to find good titles for each entry in this series, so for this one I used "Roman Catholic Church" simply because everything in it is about that subject.

Huntgoddess from Midwest U.S.A. on February 02, 2011:

Anybody who wants to know about the history of the Catholic Church can find AUTHORITATIVE information from the Vatican website at "vatican dot va", or from the American bishops website at "usccb dot org".

I don't see any citations to primary or secondary source documents on this Hub. There are no sources cited at all. There's no way to know how accurate or authoritative this information is.

By the way, Catholic school kids learn about St. Anselm in the elementary grades.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 19, 2010:

Joshua Kell— You are welcome. I have never heard any number such as 70 million! That sounds like a lot. But yea, rascals is generous. :D

Thank you, brother, for your generous compliments. I am glad you read this article. I appreciate your outstanding comments as well.

Levi Joshua Kell from Arizona on April 18, 2010:

Hi James, that was a really great article. I read a book some time ago, I think was called 'Lives of the Popes' (or something like that, sorry); and there certainly were a lot of evil, murderous and decadent Popes throughout the Church's history. Calling them rascles, is a very generous epithet indeed. As you well know, I'm sure, some of these 'men' (monsters) were the very definition of evil and wickedness. I heard that the 'church' killed about 70 million children, women, and men, in the dark ages, and most of them were innocent of what they were accussed. I won't even go into the multitude of other inquisitions and pogroms from the small minority out of the many that I have even heard of; because I'd probibly be hacking away at this keyboard for years to come. There are, it seems, still a bunch of rascles in the hiarchy and priesthood of the 'mother' church. Thanks again for the info and good read.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 04, 2010:

lisadpreston— I apologize for the delayed response. I have been away from my computer for over a week. I appreciate your strong opinion. You are always welcome to call them as you see them on my Hubs. I enjoy reading opinions. And I always appreciate your visits.

lisadpreston from Columbus, Ohio on December 29, 2009:

The true facts were very informative and interesting. In my opinion the catholic church was the most corrupt, greedy organization then and still is. I see no proof otherwise. Sorry but thats what i see.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 09, 2009:

opinion duck— I can't help but feel I have failed you in some way. I'm sorry for that. I did actually miss the emphasis you put on the God of the Bible. Somehow, I had the impression you believed in no Creator at all.

1. "The bible admits that there was a problem in Heaven that caused the Angels to split and one third of them to go with Satan. We here on Earth attribute and equate Satan with evil. Therefore, evil existed before Adam and Eve."

YES, the rebellion against God by Satan was prior to Adam and Eve being created. I thought this was well established.

2. "A product manufacturer is liable for any design defects for as long as the product is being used. A case in point were steering wheels, from the fords of the early 1950's. Sun damaged the steering wheels causing them to be fragile and break. This in some cases caused accidents and in court cases Ford was still held liable. It was the material that Ford chose that was the design defect for the conditions and use of the product.

The design defect in humans is evil, and their creator is responsible for that evil."

I simply disagree. Humans are not machines. They will never be perfect. Come to think of it, neither are machines. In this world humans have free will to do good or do bad. They get to choose. I don't see the connection with machines designed to operate certain functions upon command. You are not commanded to even get up in the morning. You can lay in bed all day. God is not forcing you—as I can force this computer or my toaster or my lawnmower to do what I want it to.

I don't see a question in 3,4,or 5

6. I never said life was fair. Life is not fair. God is JUST not FAIR. Everybody knows life is not fair. If it was we would all be the same.

7. You are implying some kind of injustice because God is not a woman. I answered—I do not agree with you and I don't think it's our place to tell God how to run His universe or what kind of being we demand He be. We are to learn who He is and want He wants and to have awe and reverence toward Him.

8. Woman was made from Adam's rib which is his side—not his feet or head. To be beside him. I don't understand the beef you have here.

9. "You are born guilty, until you can prove yourself worthy to be with God."

You are not born guilty. You are born innocent. All children up to the age of accountability go to heaven automatically. What we do afterward will certainly miss the mark—unless you are the Christ—and therefore require contrition. Rebellion against God is a sin and not to acknowledge Him is rebellion.

10. "Satan didn't punish Angels that were close to God and he took one third of them to his side. It seems like a viable argument could then be made that Satan is trying to do the same thing that he did with his angels, by enticing man to take his side against God.

Again, Adam and Eve didn't create evil, but they were victims of evil. You also chose not to use my full comment on why God didn't protect or teach Adam and Eve."

Satan didn't have the power to punish God's angels. He enticed some of them which led to their punishment but he didn't do the punishing.

If God had stopped Adam and Eve from eating from the forbidden tree they would not have free will or the opportunity to display faith. This is not the world God made. He's the maker. He can make anyway He wants.

11. "Free will with consequences is not free will."

I say this is nonsense. Of course free will with blessings and cursings is still free will.

12. "Nothing has changed for the better in this world from the existence of the Old and New Testaments. There have been no updates or contact from God or Jesus in roughly two thousand years."

The good done by people of faith in this world cannot be measured. Such a statement as this defies belief. You don't know how much of the moral code of the human race derives from the two testaments? You don't see the missionary work around the globe by Christians today? You don't see the effect of the Old Testament on our legal system today? If this truly requires an explanation, it cannot be done in a comment box. It would require several thousands words. I'll be glad to do it for you but it will have to be a Hub.

Thank you for your commentaries and the visitation.

opinion duck on December 09, 2009:


I am sure that you are well read but you have not learned anything beyond your faith.

You are using the tactics found in politics to avoid addressing the questions posed to you. Asked and answered is a cute legal phrase for evidence in a court case, but you forgot the part of actually answering the questions.

I have also mentioned several times, that I am not opposed to a creator, I am just not sold on the Gods of the bibles as being the creator.

Again, you did an excellent job of presenting the history in this hub. As I fear that no answers to my questions will be forthcoming from you or your followers, I will leave this hub.

Thanks for the hospitality James.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 09, 2009:

opinion duck— I am sorry if my answers have not been convincing enough for you. I didn't answer every line of your last comment because many have been asked and answered already. I have no blind faith. I am pretty well read from thousands of books besides the Bible.

Matter and energy have no order or organization. Consider the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics as well. Nothing comes from nothing. Matter and energy have not been around forever. Something has organized this otherwise randomness and something was before matter and energy. Read the book "God and the Astronomers." What is your empirical evidence for your belief in the reliability of empirical evidence? We know that an immaterial thing created the material universe. Whatever force produces an affect must be powerful enough to account for all of the force within the effect. It requires intelligence to create order out of anything. Nothing can design itself.

opinion duck on December 08, 2009:


I think that you selectively choose which of my enumerated comments to answer. Your answers are not responsive and some just don't make any sense.

You missed or chose to miss most of my points.

For example, Who let the devil into the Garden and would Eve have disobeyed the rule if the Garden was pest free?

Man didn't create evil!

If God creates imperfect people, then God himself is imperfect.

You omitted so many of my other points, that it is futile to repeat them again.

James, I think that you are an excellent historian and your hubs are replete with very interesting history. Where we differ is that you have blind faith instead of interpreting things without the use of the bible.

If the Bibles are the truth, then independent interpretations should be identical, but they are not and that is the reason for the discord.

I enumerated both sets of the last two comments and if they were a test, you would have received a failing grade just because you didn't even try to answer enough questions.

To respond to your last paragraph, I suggest that you get the local, state, national and international news each day to justify your point of view.

again nothing personal..

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 08, 2009:

opinion duck— Product liability in the United States is limited to 18 years.

By your theory I would be responsible for whatever my 30 year old son does. I made him.

Lessons have surely been learned by billions of people and not learned by billions of people. This is the choice you face at this moment. Which group you are going to belong to.

God certainly did not consider making a dog or an elephant Adam's wife. Be for real.

God did warn Adam and Eve not to eat from that tree. You think having ONE rule to follow is unfair? You have zero rules for your children? Wow! That is lenient.

Female deity? There isn't one. Is that your beef with God? Who are you, the creature, to demand your Creator should have done things differently? Does clay say to the potter, make me into something different, and by the way, change yourself into something different, too?

I do not dis women and neither does Christianity.

You see this world as a prison? If it is in any way a prison it's not because of God it's because of people in their machinations. God does make his rules crystal clear. You just don't want to hear them. He's the boss. He says here's how things were, are, and are going to be. You have been granted free will to reject God, just as you have done. I choose to accept Him and get to know Him and to love Him.

There aren't as many women's names in the Bible as men's names. So what? There aren't nearly as many women's names at any juncture of history either. Men and women are not the same. Women are the mother's of the human race. The nurturers of humankind. You see this as some kind of insult. I see it as the most precious role of any being on earth.

Your point about free will is ridiculous. No free will if there are consequences to bad behavior? That is outright silly. You couldn't behave badly or say the things you are saying without free will. You mention smoking. If you smoke for fifty years and die of lung cancer, you are saying you never had the free will to smoke or not to smoke?

Nothing has changed for the better because of God's Word? That is utterly insane. That is beyond responding to. Jesus Christ ushered in a whole new way if living life. If you can't see it you are blind.

opinion duck on December 07, 2009:


For the first time, I see how you really miss my points by using your blind faith.

1. The bible admits that there was a problem in Heaven that caused the Angels to split and one third of them to go with Satan. We here on Earth attribute and equate Satan with evil. Therefore, evil existed before Adam and Eve.

2. A product manufacturer is liable for any design defects for as long as the product is being used. A case in point were steering wheels, from the fords of the early 1950's. Sun damaged the steering wheels causing them to be fragile and break. This in some cases caused accidents and in court cases Ford was still held liable. It was the material that Ford chose that was the design defect for the conditions and use of the product.

The design defect in humans is evil, and their creator is responsible for that evil.

3. "Ask yourself this question: If every single human being followed God's precepts, what kind of world would we have?"

The answer is that you would probably have Heaven on Earth, because that is all you will do in Heaven.

4. "The point of our lives and our world is a demonstration that when we do not follow God's way everybody suffers for it. Why the demonstration? Because people learn through experience."

Does the state of the world today look like any lessons have been learned. The answer has to be a big NO.

5. According to the interpretations in the bible, God first looked at all the lifeforms on Earth for a partner for Adam. Then and after he exhausted them, he decided on Eve.

6. "Unfairly tested them? He put them in paradise. He gave them everything any human could possibly want. They only had one rule to follow—and they couldn't do it. You are missing the great lesson in this."

James, you really missed the point here, again blinded by faith. God also gave them Satan as the tempter. This was not fair.

my comment was "Also, God didn't know that Eve was talking to the serpent or that was part of his plan. In either case, this was not fair as Adam and Eve were children and not experienced.

Children have to be taught by their parents or at least someone to understand danger. To an infant there is no fear of anything until they experience something that scares them. Putting there hand in a flame is just curiosity and their lesson begins when they get burnt. This is not their fault but their parent's fault for not training them about danger.".

You chose to ignore it.

7. "Do you really think Adam treated Eve as second class? "

Another swing and a miss, where is the female deity? Also, my point was that women were not considered by the powerful men that wrote the bibles. BTW, what was the name of the wife that was turned into a pillar of salt? Get the point.

8. James, daring to be a Christian that dis'es women. I guess it must be true, :All Men Are Created Equal", this doesn't apparently include women.

As TV's Archie Bunker said, "Women were made from the rib of Adam, A cheaper cut".

9. "We do not have to prove ourselves worthy to God." Apparently you chose not to read or understand my point number 6 in my previous comment.

10. Your final comment on Satan is wrong. If it were true about God and Satan and that they parted, then it would follow that Satan hates God. Satan didn't punish Angels that were close to God and he took one third of them to his side. It seems like a viable argument could then be made that Satan is trying to do the same thing that he did with his angels, by enticing man to take his side against God.

Again, Adam and Eve didn't create evil, but they were victims of evil. You also chose not to use my full comment on why God didn't protect or teach Adam and Eve.

11. Finally, this free will assertion is as meaningless as smoker's rights. Smokers invented these rights, like you have invented free will. Free will with consequences is not free will. It is smacking the dog on the nose with a newspaper, when they do something you don't like.

12. Nothing has changed for the better in this world from the existence of the Old and New Testaments. There have been no updates or contact from God or Jesus in roughly two thousand years.


James, nothing personal even though I made some personal observations.

I do wonder why the faith believers haven't made comments on my views here?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 06, 2009:

opinion duck— I apologize for the delay in responding. I have been buried in research the last few days for the Hub I published last night about the Crusades.

I simply do not agree that if there is evil on Earth—which there unquestionably is—that there must be evil in heaven. We can no more imagine heaven than a baby in the womb can imagine this world.

A builder of any product is only responsible for it when it is new. After that, it is on its own—new car warranties notwithstanding (which are only as long as they are to provide work for the repair shops of car dealers who get paid by the factory for it).

Believe me, it is not the case that God is impotent in any way. You must come to grips with the fact that God instituted Free Will. He did not create a robotic world—what would be the point? The world he created is a demonstration of His goodness (the word "good" being a derivative of the word "God"). Ask yourself this question: If every single human being followed God's precepts, what kind of world would we have? Let's see: there would be no murder, no stealing, no adultery, no lying, no cheating, no broken homes, no assault, no child abuse, no domestic violence. That's a pretty damn good world. The point of our lives and our world is a demonstration that when we do not follow God's way everybody suffers for it. Why the demonstration? Because people learn through experience.

Creating Eve means no such thing as you say. God knew all along he would create a woman. He stated why he did: It is not good for man to be alone. Man is a social animal built for relationship—primarily a relationship between creature and Creator.

Unfairly tested them? He put them in paradise. He gave them everything any human could possibly want. They only had one rule to follow—and they couldn't do it. You are missing the great lesson in this.

Do you really think Adam treated Eve as second class? Name a Biblical figure who treated his wife as second class. Get your head out of the feminist clouds for a minute. Woman was placed on a pedestal and worshiped by men from time immemorial.

It is not surprising that God is represented as male. Males are the chief creators throughout time. Are you aware of a female Mozart, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Rembrandt, Beethoven, Plato, Aristotle, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mark Twain, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison? And don't parrot the feminist claptrap: women could have done these things but men wouldn't let them. As if. As if a woman wrote the Constitution or invented the wheel men would have said, Nah! We don't like that!

We do not have to prove ourselves worthy to God. Because demonstrably—we cannot do it. All He asks is that we believe in Him, do our best to follow His rules for life—which are for our benefit, not His. He asks for faith is all. For repentance when we do miss the mark. To recognize ourselves as we truly are and to recognize Him as He truly is. Doesn't sound like that much to ask. But many cannot bring themselves to do even this.

Satan hates people because they were created as the image of God, whom he hates. He is the destroyer and deceiver of humankind. Just look around.

opinion duck on December 04, 2009:


Again I don't refute your knowledge and your experience in your beliefs, but the bible is not self authenticating. The truth is not in them, unless you can show evidence that God created them.

You glossed over my comment on evil, "God has to be to blame for bringing Evil from Heaven to the Earth. If there was no evil in Heaven, then Earth would not have known evil. We will never know what Adam and Eve would have done in a serpent-less Garden of Eden."

If a car or a product has a design defect and it causes damage you sue the manufacturer if it causes damages or death. God created Adam and Eve, he also allowed the serpent in the Garden. As their creator, why is he not responsible for the acts of his creation?

God supposedly created the Universe and everything in it. He therefore either created evil or he was impotent to control evil. In addition, Adam and Eve were children of God and you don't punish children for their mistakes.

The Adam and Eve story in the bible is pivotal to your faith and belief in the bible. It has to be, because that is why we exist according to the bible. Therefore, many weaknesses appear in God in this story.

1. He created Adam but he had to experiment with the other life forms to find a partner for Adam. Not finding a suitable partner there, he created Eve differently than he created Adam. This means that he didn't have a plan when he created Adam.

God didn't have a partner, why would Adam need a partner? Man could have been made asexual eliminating the need for a spouse.

The world at the time the bible was written was run by men and women were second class. God had no female deity, so it is more probable that man created the bible with the male supremacy of Earth at the time.

2. God never mentioned that there was a serpent in the Garden to Adam and Eve.

That means that either God didn't know that the serpent was there or that he planned to unfairly test Adam and Eve.

Also, God didn't know that Eve was talking to the serpent or that was part of his plan. In either case, this was not fair as Adam and Eve were children and not experienced.

Children have to be taught by their parents or at least someone to understand danger. To an infant there is no fear of anything until they experience something that scares them. Putting there hand in a flame is just curiosity and their lesson begins when they get burnt. This is not their fault but their parent's fault for not training them about danger.

4. The Garden was not that big for the omnipresent God, so why didn't he protect Adam and Eve, or at least warn them of the serpent.

If God couldn't keep track of a serpent and Adam and Eve in the Garden, then how can he keep track of billions of people and millions or billions of souls that have passed on?

5. Based on banishing Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, it makes no sense that billions of people should be born to find a very low percentage of them, that are worthy in the eyes of God. If you had to manufacture billions of cars just so that you could have thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands,then your have a design defective product.

6. You are born guilty, until you can prove yourself worthy to be with God. That just doesn't sound right. Put it in perspective, if you were born guilty and went to a prison and had to stay they most of your life until you got pardoned, wouldn't that be cruel?

During your prison life there is no one that can tell you why you are in prison, or even specifically how to get out of prison. Many people have an idea but no one has ever seen somebody after they had left prison. Most people assume that they made it out of prison but they are only guessing.

There are rules of the prison and breaking them can put you in confinement outside of the prison population. But, even when you get out of confinement, you are still in prison.

No one has verified, what those prisoners that left the prison did do go free. So it is still a mystery as to how you get be set free. The truth of this question is never verified by anyone.

Wouldn't it make more sense to have the rules and requirements for freedom made known up front?

How many points does it take for a passing grade to Heaven?

Why would Hell be different or worse than Heaven? Satan is a formidable adversary for God, and maybe he will reward those that follow him. To punish his followers, Satan would be doing the work of God. Why would he do that?

There is no need for answers to these questions to be lengthy or complex.

Faith in belief in the God of the Bible is a good thing, even if it is fictional. There are lots of positive things that come out of this faith. But, I believe that these benefits would be there even if God didn't exist.

I cannot share your view of the world, people today versus people of the Old Testament, I wouldn't want to live on the difference. Evil is trump.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 04, 2009:

opinion duck— well, surely there are large congregations, even today with the Mega-churches. But there are also tiny churches with 20 people in them. I seem to recall the average is 150.

Well, you use the word "changes" as in changing Scripture. That's not what this is. All churches use the same Bible. They may differ on interpretation of some points. they are after all just people, doing the best the can with their finite minds. You seem to feel this is a failing of God somehow but this ignores a key aspect of God: He grants people Free Will. Seventh Day Adventists worship on Saturday, Orthodox on Sunday. The Apostle Paul addressed this question and said "Let each person be persuaded in their own mind." In other words, it doesn't make any difference. Worship. Any day. Every day. The SDA and Orthodox still recognize each other as their Christian brothers and sisters.

The Jews and Jesus are a complicated subject that cannot be given justice here. On my recent trip to the Holy Land, my tour leader was in fact a Messianic Jew—a Jewish Rabbi who follows Jesus as his savior (A Levite). Jesus was not the kind of Messiah the Jews expected. Naturally. God does think with the mind of men. He has his own ways.

I do see the presence God throughout history and in the world today.

I do communicate with God every day. Jesus did not dispense of personal relationships with God. God is real and He will speak to you if approached correctly.

I don't think people are "atoning" for Adam and Eve. Only Jesus atones. My understanding, which is limited, is that the rebellion of angels with Satan (now referred to as demons) was a one time deal. I can't say the world is more evil. It's always been full of evil—and good. The proportions do not appear to have changed much to me.

You ask all the great questions. And there are answers for all of them but they are not short answers. I cannot blame God for evil. If my neighbor steals my car, God is not to blame. The neighbor is.

opinion duck on December 04, 2009:


Apparently things have changed since I went to a Roman Catholic Church. I remembered possibly in excess of five hundred people per service and at least 6 services on Sunday. But then, Catholic Churches are not the average church that you reference.

My point on the different religions and their denominations is that there is no divine intervention from the biblical God to make such changes. Religion in my view is man made and man altered without any connection to God.

As for the Jews, doesn't it seem to you, that if you really met Jesus, the God, that most humans would submit to him, rather than continuing on with their own agenda?

It has been two thousand years since God, Jesus, Holy Spirit have made their presence known as they did in the bibles. There are no artifacts from their existence, no Tablet with the Ten Commandments. Even if they find an ark, it wouldn't be evidence of God influencing Noah, it would just be a big boat.

Doesn't it make more sense, that if God existed and we have souls, that we would be communicating directly and succinctly with him. There should be no need for human interpretation of what God wants from us. The God of the Old Testament made his presence and communication directly with Adam, Eve, Moses etc. The Jesus of the New Testament dispenses with direct communication to the God of the Old Testament. Good cop bad cop type of relationship.

It makes no sense for billions of people to atone for the act of Adam and Eve. BTW, that plan isn't really working out, as people haven't changed for the better since the beginning recorded history.

If you believe that one third of the Angels went with the Devil, then you have no idea how many other Angels may have followed the Devil in the last two thousand years. Good seems to be waning against Evil in that time frame.

God has to be to blame for bringing Evil from Heaven to the Earth. If there was no evil in Heaven, then Earth would not have known evil. We will never know what Adam and Eve would have done in a serpent-less Garden of Eden.

my opinion....

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 02, 2009:

Maita— Your comments are great. Everything you wrote is true. You are welcome and I thank you for visiting me. You have a blessed day!


prettydarkhorse from US on December 02, 2009:

Hi James, I really need to understand and read your past articles too, all I know before I read this, is that the Roman Catholic church is the most well documented church,,the oldest one.I have challenges but I still believe in my heart that there is GOD, I have faith in HIM.

thanks for the clarification about the history.

have a good day always! Maita

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 01, 2009:

opinion duck— I don't think all denominations claim God told them to worship differently. The average church has 150 people in it on Sunday and this is a ideal mathematical size because it represents the maximum number of people any person can have a true relationship with at one time. All denominations worship the same God through the same Jesus. They just have their own peculiarities about the worship service itself and their earthly mission. All are needed for different functions. In any company you have people who have their own roles and functions. It is the same with these denominations. Nobody can do it all. Some evangelize, some heal the sick, some are missionaries, so feed the poor, some heal broken families, some write great books, some are great preachers, some are great teachers, some counsel . . . it is a good thing that should not be interpreted as a bad thing.

The Jews in power over Judaism viewed Jesus as a threat to their hegemony. A lot could be said about this subject. That may spark a new hub all its own. Thanks for the idea.

opinion duck on December 01, 2009:


Thanks for the comments and the insight.

I was looking forward to some direct answers on my comment about 1 God, 1 Religion, 1 Language which was the bulk of my comment.

BTW, on your question about the difference between Methodist and a Presbyterian? The difference is not important but the fact that humans made the difference without input from the God they worship is important.

All these denominations claim to have divine inspiration guiding them, but like the Church of England there is a human reason that caused the difference from the Catholic Church.

Finally, one would have to ask why the Jews never recognized Jesus or the New Testament. After all, the Jews were there when Jesus walked their country. The Romans were also there but they were not followers of God. Yet, Rome eventually became the center of the religion to follow Jesus.

You would think that all the people that saw Jesus would be followers? 1 God, 1 Religion.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 01, 2009:

Abe Normal— Thank you. I can touch type but not proficiently. I am faster with the old two-finger. Middle finger right hand; index finger left hand. I'm pretty quick. Looks a bit funny though. I like your signoff. Thanks for coming.

Abe Normal from Gigantic Ocean Seaboard on December 01, 2009:


Great impetus to pen and crank out the words, Watkins. Hats off to you. I bet you touch type. I hack away; Freeware Bruce's Typing Tutor and a bottle of Rolaids may help that noise.


Ars longa, vita brevis

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 30, 2009:

Maraiya Storm— Hello. You are surely welcome. A lot of people don't comment. Many just like to read. If they're reading, it can't be all bad. And if they didn't like what you wrote, quite a number of them would let you know about it. The Hub of yours I read tonight is excellent. As you say, you are new. I'd get around and find more writers who you like and introduce yourself.

Maraiya Storm from Prescott, Arizona on November 30, 2009:

Hello again, James. Thanks for the compliments! I haven't been getting very many comments on my hubs lately, even though my stats show over a hundred visits to my articles. Can't figure it out! That's okay, though, I'm sure this will change. I'm still so new here. It's nice to find a few friends to help get me going in the beginning!

Keep up your good work.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 29, 2009:

opinion duck— I appreciate your commentary. You have obviously contemplated and searched these matters intently. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here.

No, I am plenty interested in the Old Testament. It is true that the Canon of the New Testament varied a bit from place to place in regard to a few books. But the Gospels and Paul's letters where universal by 100. And more importantly, the message has not changed. Read the words of the Apostolic Fathers from 100 AD and it could be a Christian from today talking.

Nothing written in the Bible has ever been proven not to be true.

I think you make too much of these denominations. Can you tell me the difference between a Methodist and a Presbyterian? Many denominations trace their roots back to a particular country in Europe. I will be fully addressing this when my series gets up to the Reformation. Each country in Europe had their own language, customs, traditions, concerns; they developed different styles of worshiping the same God through the same Savior.

If you enjoy a serious solemn style of worship, there is a church for you. If you like a old-style choir in robes and a bit of pomp and circumstance, you can find that. If you prefer a loud Christian Rock band and a modern preacher who is witty and learned, you can find that. If you want to get ecstatic in your worship and let loose, you can find that. If you prefer to worship on Saturday and be a vegetarian, you can find that. There is nothing wrong with any of these. People are different. From Harvard to Appalachia, people have their own styles and dialects. The basic tenets are the same, though. The Body of Christ is like a real body: you have eyes, ears, feet, arms, guts—all vastly different but all in the same body—serving different functions toward the same purpose.

Some preachers live lavish lifestyles, true. But most decidedly do not. Rick Warren gives away 90% of his income.

I don't see churches as dictating to much of an extent, anyway. It is more like this: if you have a plumbing problem, you call an expert plumber; if you want to know about history, you might consult or read books by eminent historians; if you want to learn to scuba dive of fly a plane, you find an expert teacher. If you want to know about Christianity, you might want to seek the counsel of someone who has spent their entire life studying that.

God is the God of faith. By faith Abraham did as he was told; by faith Noah built the boat; by faith David faced Goliath; by faith Gideon faced an army with 300 men; by faith hundreds of thousands of Christians calmly faced martyrdom—including 11 of the Apostles of Jesus.

opinion duck on November 29, 2009:


You are evidently only interested in the New Testament, but even that took centuries to be a bible instead of a stand alone documents containing a Gospels.

My issue on the bibles was that they were not a creation of God, but of people scribing words after the event, way after the event.

To have faith or belief, there must be strong evidence that something is true. The bible is held as a self authenticating document but to authenticate a document there must be proof outside the document. With the bibles there simply isn't any.

If there was one God, then there is no need to have more than one religion and one denomination. In fact, there should only be need for one language on Earth. That language should be the original language used by God to communicate with Adam and Even and the rest of the humans.

Man created religion and other men created other religions and denominations. The God of the Old Testament appeared and had conversations, including commands to those that he communicated with. The Jesus of the New Testament never appeared as a God, only as a human. After his death or disappearance, we never heard from either God or Jesus again.

People claim all the time that they to talk to God, but nothing that can be verified. Religion is a profitable business for many people, especially the TV variety. Take the Trinity Broadcasting System for example, new multi-million dollar Jet Aircraft, expensive homes, cars and wardrobes for the elite of that ministries executive office.

God is not AA, you don't need a sponsor or a program to communicate with him. You don't need someone to tell you right from wrong. You don't need church councils to dictate to you what God wants from you.

If God was present and available, there would be no need for faith because you would have the REAL THING. I disagree therefore that faith is what God is about. Faith is what religion is about and my contention is that there is no bridge between human run religion and God.

Even the Doubting Thomas of the bible didn't rely on faith, and he was given physical verification, before he became a believer. Why the lack of verification and the cloak of secrecy today?

my opinion....

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 28, 2009:

opinion duck— I am sorry if I did make my thoughts clear. I didn't mean to imply that interpretations hadn't changed. I meant to say that the Bible itself hasn't changed.

I wouldn't call them "many religions" but many denominations of the same religion. Many of these only differ in minor ways. Hardly any differ on what is important: the message of the Gospel.

No, the gospels were not written centuries afterward. Jesus dies about 30 AD and the Gospels were written within 20 to 50 years. They are similar to biographies in that one regard. They are written after the dust settles a bit.

Is there material proof of God? No. If God had an office somewhere where you could go see Him in person, what would be the point of faith? And faith is what God is all about. But He does leave clues. Such as the fact that you have ever heard of Jesus at all. That is a miracle. Think about it.

opinion duck on November 28, 2009:


While I respect your knowledge in this area, I disagree with your statement that the bible interpretations have not changed.

The fact that many religions and off shoots of the Roman Catholic Church have been created while using the same bible as their source.

These religions were created by men not happy with the traditional established religion. This was not an act of a deity but of man.

Belief is not truth and if God inspired or created the bibles, then there should be only one religion needed to follow his word. Religions by their creation and separation from other religions have their own interpretation of the bibles to support their belief in God.

There are no artifacts from the God in the bibles to clearly establish that a God even exits much less that he did the acts contained in the bible. The bibles were not written contemporaneously with the events mentioned in the bible. These written accounts were made centuries after them by men not God,and in the case of Genesis, we have no idea of the time.

Not following a belief is not being misinformed, it is as valid as the belief itself. It is clear, that because of the existence of the many different religions that are based on the bibles, that the meaning in the bibles are not interpreted with the same meaning.

Finally, is there anything outside of the bible that can substantiate even the existence of the God of the bibles?

The people and lifeforms on earth and in the universe can be attributed to a creator or evolution with either explanation not involving the God of the bibles.

my opinion, the opinion duck

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 28, 2009:

TheAllSeeingEye— Thank you for your insights. I appreciate your visit and comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 28, 2009:

Maraiya Storm— Thank you very much for the laudations! And you are most welcome, too.

I like Symeon, too. Your commentary is outstanding! My, you are a fine, expressive writer. I just now bookmarked your profile page so I can come over and read your work later. You have an intriguing mind.

I am a big church visitor. I have attended services in all of the main Christian denominations and I enjoy all of them—from Catholic Mass to Holy Rollers—in different ways. I love to see how people worship and to worship with them.

The problems with child molestation in the Catholic Church in America was the direct result of Social Liberals recruiting gay priests. 99% of the molestations were of little boys but this fact has been obfuscated by the media in their gay-friendly political correctness.

I have a lot of different translations of the Bible and I do not agree that the message is changed in any of them. The message is the same whether expressed in modern English, Russian or Japanese. The thing about the King James Version is the art of the beautiful language of Shakespeare's times.

TheAllSeeingEye from England. on November 28, 2009:

The corruption in the Catholic church has always been there. Remember the Roman Empire built up this religious institute and they were the most ruthless rulers of all time. I could add so much more to this hub but I wouldn't want to spoil James work here which is commendable and very well presented.


If you want to find out more, especially recent and earlier events in the Catholic church I can send you more information if you like via email. Let me know if you are interested!!!!

Maraiya Storm from Prescott, Arizona on November 28, 2009:

This is a really great hub! Thanks for providing this important information! It's such a well-written, well-organized, polished hub with great photos, too. Wow.

I learned a lot more about the history of the Catholic Church from this hub. Thank you so much!

I like Symeon! I'm for direct mystical experiences with Jesus, being filled with a powerful love, and communing with God via Holy Spirit. It is not enough to just know factual truth, we must experience God and feel God. I'm most closely aligned with the Evangelicals through the TBN ministries because they believe in experiencing the anointing and in things like being given special gifts and powers from God to help ourselves and other people (like laying on of hands, receiving visions and prophecies from God, and the like). I like TBN because they provide so many fantastic interviews and amazing testimonials of miracles people are experiencing through Christianity. I get so inspired by testimonies and personal stories! They have only one Catholic minister, but he is such a sweet, loving spirit, and I absolutely love to watch him. Even if he wasn't saying anything interesting (although he always does say something interesting), I would watch him anyway just to be able to bask in his loving, sweet presence. He exemplifies what Jesus taught us to be like. (I'm referring to Father Michael Manning. He's in northern California, I believe).

Even though I am not a Catholic, I seem to be very interested in and drawn to the Catholic Church, as well. I get a deep feeling of love and peace when I go to a mass or just sit in a Catholic church and pray. This does not mean, however that I won't listen to ministers of other faiths, too. I can listen to various Christian denominational ministers and get something good out of all of their sermons (although there are some I don't like very much due to personal preferences).

I realize that there are problems within the Catholic Church, such as priests molesting children (which means the dark ones are posing as priests, pretending to believe in church doctrine but are really following the Devil and trying to pull down the church); but we cannot just stop believing in the Catholic Church because of this (this is what the Devil wants!). I liked the fact that the one commenter said she is still a Christian, in spite of the fact that she was abused in the Catholic Church. This is good, that she stuck with her faith in spite of the Devil's attempts to get her to toss it out the window!

I think that there are good people and bad people everywhere, even in organized churches of any kind. There are also many people who are growing in their faith and in their walk and they are really trying to be good people. The Catholic Church went through a lot of spiritual growth and still does.

I was particularly interested when you talked about the pope who suddenly got rid of his concubines and became a lot more spiritual (I forget which pope that was at the moment).

Those early evil times in the Catholic church were just the Devil trying to get people to not believe in Christ's teachings by putting his evil henchmen in positions of power in the Church. We can see through this history that eventually God turned a lot of it around and placed some spiritual popes in power. God always turns things around, but before he does, he allows a lot of people to go through their growth via dealing with the dark forces.

Regarding the various Bible versions, I have mixed feelings about this. I tend to want to stick to the King James version, even though it is a lot harder to read and understand because of the language -- because it is the original version of what was said, and I think that's important. On the other hand, the newer Bible versions are designed to make the Bible easier to read and to understand; however, I remember recently reading someone's hub wherein it was pointed out that in rewriting the Bible passages in newer versions, even slightly, that the meaning of those verses became subtly changed to where someone might be misled into some false beliefs. This scares me, truthfully. God can cause us to see the true meanings within the Bible passages, even if we are having trouble with the original language used.

I found it interesting what one commenter said about not having learned any of this history in catechisms. Hmmm. I guess the church doesn't want people to know their history. Perhaps they are too embarrassed about the earlier popes' serious flaws and evils!

I don't think we really need any intercessors when we pray, as praying to God and calling on Jesus should be enough, why wouldn't it be enough? Although intellectually I don't really see any harm in praying to intercessors like Mother Mary and passed over saints, my gut feelings tell me not to do this and to pray directly to God.

I will be reading more of your hubs soon. I need the history lessons!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 26, 2009:

opinion duck— Technically, you are correct. The church, as in buildings, hierarchies, etc., is human. A human attempt at properly worshiping and reverencing God. The Church, however, is properly viewed as the Body of Christ, meaning, the entire group of true believers. Some in the church building may not actually be in that group; and some who do not attend services in a building may be in that group.

I do not agree with your assertion—a very common one among the misinformed—that the meaning of the Bible has been changed by men. On the contrary, the oldest documents extant mean exactly the same thing as modern Bibles do. This is a confusion that can be traced to Christians themselves, unfortunately. As new translations come out, there are always Christians who want to stick with the old ones, and criticize the new ones—people being resistant to change—and just as we are warned in the New Testament: arguing amongst ourselves provides fodder for unbelievers.

The Bible has been translated into 2,000 languages. The King James Version is, of course, Elizabethan or Shakespearean English. I had an old man tell me one day he will read no other because "I want to read the words just like Jesus said them." Well, this is simply a misunderstanding. I have maybe ten different translations here and I can find no substantial differences in meaning.

Furthermore, reading the writings of the oldest Apostolic Fathers (100-200) or Church Fathers (200-430) shows that these words could easily be written by a Christian today. I provided many quotes from them in other Hubs. The message has not changed. God's message is timeless.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 26, 2009:

GRivers— I appreciate your recognition. Thanks for coming by to visit and you are welcome.

opinion duck on November 25, 2009:


Great job on presenting history, but unfortunately for me I came away with the feeling that it proves the church is human. While centuries came and went the appearance from God has waned to a complete standstill today.

Your history lesson enforces my idea that the church has no viable connection to God, at least any more so than any single person.

There is a similarity between the bibles and the US Constitution in relation to faith and belief. These documents were created by man for man. None of these documents has remained intact as they have been interpreted differently by different people to conform to their ideas and not those of the author.

After the passage of time and many interpretations the original documents are no longer valid. What is valid is how they are currently interpreted.

The US Constitution we know was created by man but it has changed over time by other men. This was forseen in its creation but the bible has been changed in a similar way, but it was to have been the work of God. The work of God shouldn't be allowed to be changed by man. The fact that the bibles have been changed through human interpretation and these changes have been accepted by people indicates that the bibles were not the work of God.

GRivers on November 24, 2009:

Very interesting reading. You put a lot of research in that article. Thanks much.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 22, 2009:

H P Roychoudhury— As soon as I publish my 100th Hub later tonight, I am taking a break to catch up on my reading. I have three of your Hubs bookmarked. Thank you for your comments and you are most welcome, my friend.

H P Roychoudhury from Guwahati, India on November 22, 2009:

Very informative & historic. Thank you for sharing.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 20, 2009:

christalluna1124— Thank you. That was one witty pope, alright. :-)

I look forward to reading much of your work. I have bookmarked your home page to remind me to do so. I write and I read other Hubs in spurts. I am on a writing phase right now, which will end Sunday night after I publish my 100th Hub.

I have been studying Theology since I was a boy simply out of an intense interest in the metaphysical.

I appreciate this visit and your insights.

Faithfully yours,


christalluna1124 from Dallas Texas on November 20, 2009:

James ,

How very interesting. I never learned all this history in catechisim. The article is very informative and precise. I did find it abit funny that the dead pope who was dug up was dumped after taking his right to remain silent...LOL. Thanks for joining my fan club. I appreciate it. I know the articles are somewhat controversial but I believe thats what makes them good, the different opinions and views. By the way how did you decide to study Theology??

Regards, Christal

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 20, 2009:

MrsMoe— It is an honor to receive you here on this Page. Thank you for the compliment. I agree wholeheartedly with your ideas about a Christian life. I am sorry you had such a terrible experience with the Church.

MrsMoe on November 20, 2009:

Wow! What a great history lesson. For me, my religion is the way I live and treat other people. Grew up "Katholikos", but was one of the unfortunate abuse victims. Several years ago my husband and I stepped up our sharing of our good lives with those less fortunate. This to me is living a Christian life.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 17, 2009:

DeBorrah K. Ogans— You said it: God does not live in a building of brick and mortar. The Holy Spirit lives in our bodies. Amen.

That said, I agree that worship, praise and fellowship are good. Transformation is the key. Yes.

I have never minded rocking the boat a bit. :)

"an ongoing personal and intimate relationship with the LORD" Absolutely!

"Discernment is a precious gift from God" Surely this is so and YOU have it in spades, I might add.

"We are living in a time when “'evil is called good and good evil'” I think one or both of us should write an entire HUB on that line right there, because you are spot on and it is of paramount importance that people understand this.

I see a bit of doxology there. I love to sing that around the house.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom with my readers. And you are welcome. :-)

Elder DeBorrah K Ogans on November 17, 2009:

James A. Watkins, This has been an interesting informative hub, Professor! You have an excellent collection of history that one needs to ponder…

There is much much conflict and rivalry within the organized Church that on many occassions divided God’s People. This is actually why we have so many denominations! This is also why it is important to know that God’s Church is not the brick and mortar building no matter now large or small. There are many Wonderful and beautiful places of worship throughout the world where His Church can congregate, come together to WORSHIP, PRAISE and fellowship! But a lot of time this time has been used to instead divide and reinforce man made doctrines… The Spirit of the Lord encompasses diversity and unity. Not conformity. As a matter of fact we are not to conform but to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Jeusu Christ truly is able to Save and transform one's life!

There is a multiplicity of political dynamics to discredit one if you do not go along simply for the sake of not “rocking the boat” It is evident throughout the history of God’s Church. This is not because of God it is because of man’s insatiable desire to dominate and control. To suppress TRUTH and embrace the ways of the world! Rather than allow the Spirit of God to have its way! One must really build an ongoing personal and intimate relationship with the LORD. It is to the Lord I pledge my life as His minister of the on TRUE GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST! To know Him and know that your body is the Temple of the living God! Discernment is a precious gift from God.

We are living in a time when “evil is called good and good evil” Lord help us! It is good to know that those who are truly a part of His CHURCH!; when Jesus Christ returns we will be “Caught up to meet Him in the air” !!!

The wonderful thing about God’s Word is its ALL TRUE. "Jesus is the WAY the TRUTH and the life..." The way to heaven is through Him! “The gates of hades shall not prevail against it” PRAISE GOD from whom ALL BLESSINGS flow….. Thank you for sharing In HIS Love & service Blessings!!!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 16, 2009:

Allan McGregor— Thank you, Brother.

'non-denominational believer in the Lord Jesus Christ'

That is a perfect statement about how I would define myself, also.

Thank you ever much for your always intelligent insights into my articles. I look forward to your comments. And I look forward to the Hub you mentioned above.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 16, 2009:

RevLady— You are so right. And I may have gotten caught up in the history while neglecting the fact that billions of people have been changed for the better and found salvation in the Christian Church; and millions have in every generation, regardless of the problems in the institution. Thank you for making that excellent point here. That needed to be said.

I'm not out to bash the Church or any part of it. We have enough outsiders to do that for us. I am explicating how we got from there to here by trying to make the story understandable.

Harvest time is a comin'. Do our work assignments. You have a great attitude. I sure enjoy reading your comments and your Hubs.

Allan McGregor from South Lanarkshire on November 16, 2009:

Another great hub, James, full of insightful gems.

Like several contributors I have serious misgivings on several aspects of RC doctrine, but like you I admire a lot that has been said and done by the last two popes.

As I once remarked to another hubber, when I was at school we were taught 'vulgar fractions' which are expressed as 'numerator over denominator'. In other words, 'denominators' are the 'dividing factor', and so it is in Christianity with denominations.

We can all be one in the Spirit yet differ in doctrine unless these depart from the absolute essentials which, as you say, some denominations now have. I consider and describe myself as a 'non-denominational believer in the Lord Jesus Christ', because I actually regard those who call themselves 'Protestants' per se as 'Reformed Catholics'. If you attend any presbyterian Church of Scotland christening today you will hear the minister say something like: 'I baptize thee, [child's name] into the holy apostolic and catholic church'.

What makes Roman Catholicism distinctive is not how catholic it is (which, as you rightly say, simply means 'universal') but how Roman; something I mean to tackle soon in an upcoming hub on that most misrepresented subject: the Separation of Church and State.

RevLady from Lantana, Florida on November 16, 2009:

I agree with other commentators that the institutional church leaves a lot to be desired that is troubling to the spirit to say the least.

Nevertheless, I believe that even in the midst of the church's imperfections, God does His redemptive work. Jesus reminds us that wheat and weeds will grow together until the harvest. We understand though, that God is not mocked; weeds, even in the church, do not go unnoticed. God knows where they all are. At harvest time, the wheat will be separated from the weeds. Until then, we trust in God, perform our divine work assignments as best we can and wait for the Great Harvest.

Another great hub James and thank you.

Love and hugs,

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 15, 2009:

drcrischasse— Thank you. I am pleased that you enjoyed it so. I appreciate the visit.

Cristopher Chasse from Boston on November 15, 2009:

Great read. I studied Italian History in College as something fun and interesting. I enjoyed your piece immensely.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 14, 2009:

Kebennett1— Thank you so much! That Symeon was onto something way back then. Yes. Thank you God for Jesus. Our Lord and Saviour. Amen!

Kebennett1 from San Bernardino County, California on November 14, 2009:

James, wonderful, fact filled hub as always! Symeon speaks the truth, "Among tens of thousands you will hardly find one who is a Christian in both word and deed." Thank God for giving us the Lamb of God, Jesus! We are such imperfect people!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 14, 2009:

Tammy Lochmann— Thank you. I enjoy imparting knowledge, one of my favorite things. You're welcome! :)

Tammy Lochmann on November 14, 2009:

Very interesting read. A lot of stuff I didn't know about the R/C church. Thanks James!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 14, 2009:

The Huguenots were French Protestants I believe who were famous for withstanding much persecution. I have a feeling I'll be writing about them soon. But next up is the Great Schism between the East and West branches of the Church; then its on to the Crusades!

JimLow on November 14, 2009:

Sorry - correct spelling is "huguenots".

JimLow on November 14, 2009:

You're very welcome!

You'll likely find a lot more than I've ever known about him and hopefully it will all be good. I will look for anything you have on that you might publish in the future.

I also have ancestors who were the "hugonauts" but also know little about them.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 14, 2009:

JimLow— Wow! That's a fine lineage, too! I think I'm descended from southern sharecroppers. :)

That is a fascinating story. I know the name but didn't know anything about him. I going to read up on him a bit now that I know one of his relatives. Thanks for that info.

JimLow on November 14, 2009:

Just for interest, I wanted to add that I'm a direct decendent of St. Lawrence (sometimes cited: Laurent & Laurencia - later changed to "Lowrance" by the branch that migrated to America). He was one of the deacons of the Roman Church, martyred along with Pope Sixtus II during the persecution of Valerian in 258 (he's one of the most honoured martyrs of the Roman Church). The feast day of St. Lawrence is 10 August.

He was recognized as a Saint to the poor according to my family history/geneology and is my understanding that he was French.

I should probably have done more research. I'm "protestant" so have done little background on it but is fascinating to me from a historical perspective.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 14, 2009:

itakins— Thank you and you are welcome. :)

itakins from Irl on November 14, 2009:

No offence taken -James-Thank you.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 14, 2009:

JimLow— Thank you! :)

You are correct there was no such thing as a Catholic Church in the beginning. In the 2nd Century, the word "katholikos" started to be used to describe the Body of Christ, simply meaning it was to be universal, according to the Great Commission—for everybody. The word "orthodoxos" began to be used a lot in the 3rd Century to describe generally accepted doctrines. The first mention I can find in history of the term "Roman Catholic Church" is in the 5th Century, the same time when the word Pope began to be used to describe the Bishop of Rome in particular, as it is today. That word was used here and there by various bishops of the Holy Sees in 5 or even 7 cities with a small "p", which has carried on today with calling priests father, which is what pope means.

I appreciate your thoughtful and insghtful commentary. Thanks for coming!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 14, 2009:

ethel smith— Thank you very much for your visit and comments. Always a pleasure to hear from you. I'll be getting to Becket before long.

JimLow on November 14, 2009:

Extremely intersesting historical compilation James!

A couple of things I have always disagreed-with (respectfull) in regard to Roman Catholic views of history (not literal history as you have written but "their view") is that Jesus Christ founded catholicism and that he appointed Peter as the first Pope.

The scriptures do nor bear-out that any denominations whatsoever existed in the early years of Christianity. Peter referred to himself as an "apostle" in his epistles and history says he was crufified upside down for his testimony as a follower of Jesus Christ. He not only made the mistakes before Jesus resurrection of denying Christ three times before men (and directly forgiven by Christ for it) but was also rebuked by the apostle Paul for incorrectly compelling gentile men to be circumcised as they received salvation through Christ (Gal 2:14).

Despite-this, he was a greater man than I will ever aspire to being but the point is, that he and all men that followed him are simply men (at times inspired by the Holy Ghost to pen the scriptures) and our only mediator is Jesus Christ.

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;" I-Tim 2:5

While I know many popes have been appointed and the Roman Catholic Church has a rich history, I personally do not believe God has ever appointed mediators because we have the one and only - Jesus Christ. Men are appointed to be witnesses for Christ and ministers/teachers of his Word.

Whoops! - I rattled a bit (sorry about that).

Regardless, I believe it is a very interesting study to look at the history of Christian offshoots and events (including the inquistion) because many things can be learned retrospectively.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 14, 2009:

itakins— I surely mean no offense. I should have taken more time and worded that better. It came off a bit crude. I understand the concept. I meant to say that the Protestants would probably rejoin the Catholic Church if these things were not part of it. They only pray to the Father, based on Jesus example in the Lord's Prayer. And they won't go for purgatory, either. But I think these hurdles will be overcome, someday. And I thank you for the clarification. I have several books by both of the last two popes so I am not anti-Catholic by any means.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 14, 2009:

dusanotes— Thank you, Don. I don't think so. I am largely Welsh and they haven't had any Welsh popes! :)

I know you guys have got genealogy down pat. I should do a background search on my ancestors. I am fairly well familiar with deBruce. That's a nice lineage. Big hero. Braveheart is one of my all time top five films. I have seen that statue. I should do a Hub about my visit to Scotland, if I can find my photos around here someplace.

I love you loving my writing. Thanks for coming.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on November 14, 2009:

I'm afraid I agree with Heloo Hello's comments but I cannot fault the work you have put into this Hub James

itakins from Irl on November 14, 2009:


Alive in Christ-it's the souls we ask to intercede for us -not dead bodies.

I'm a bit like a broken record-but this is how we see it.We are all a part of the Communion of saints-even baptised non-Catholics(as we see it)

dusanotes from Windermere, FL on November 14, 2009:

Great Historical Hub, James. I learn a lot from reading you. Do you know if your family is related at all to any of these Popes? I'm related to the great Scottish emancipator, Donald De Bruce, who defeated King Edward II at Bannocburn in 1320. He's my 20th grandfather. He was a knight of the English court, but secretly supported Robert Wallace and in the end after Wallace was tortured to death, his body parts separated from each other and hung on a pole. At one time Bruce was the largest landowner in England and Scotland and risked his life, his health, and his fortune in leading the Scots to victory and independence. Some day I'll go to Edinburgh, Scotland where stands a large statue King Bruce riding his horse in full armor. Love your writing. Don White

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 14, 2009:

DiamondRN— Thank you for your appreciation. It's nice to hear from you and know you were here.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on Nov