The beginnings of Christian history were almost nothing like the picture propagated by the priesthood. Christianity actually began as an amalgamation of many ancient beliefs and originally branched off from Gnosticism. Gnosticism was and is a school of religious existentialism that seeks intuitive understanding of God through attaining Gnosis, or “knowledge of the Divine within.”
Constantine publicly outlawed Gnosticism in 325AD and since then the Brotherhood has privately kept its secrets only for the initiated few. In Freemasonry, Gnosticism is the third “G” after God and Geometry represented by their symbolic “G” within the compass/square.
The Gnostics claimed to be the original Christians and they were fervently anti-material, believing in “Christ Consciousness” and the Kingdom of God within. The Gnostics focused on attaining “gnosis” or spiritual knowledge. They refuted claims of blasphemy from the orthodoxy, stating they were the blasphemers. They said the orthodoxy did “not know who Christ is” and read the Bible, especially Genesis too literally, missing the deeper meaning. Orthodox Christians insisted that Jesus Christ was an historical personage who came in the flesh, had 12 apostles, performed miracles, died on the cross, and was resurrected. The Gnostics insisted that their Christ could never take human form.
“Christianity began as Gnosticism, refaced with falsehoods concerning a series of facts alleged to have been historical, but which are demonstrably mythical. By which I do not mean mythical as exaggerations or perversions of historic truth, but belonging to the pre-existant Mythos … It is obvious that the Roman Church remained Gnostic at the beginning of the second century, and for some time afterwards. Marcion, the great Gnostic, did not separate from it until about the year 136 A.D. Tatian did not break with it until long after that. In each case the cause of quarrel was the same. They left the Church that was setting up the fraud of Historic Christianity.” -Gerald Massey, “Gnostic and Historic Christianity”
“So Gnosticism was around long before so-called Orthodox Christianity. The conspirators used the word ‘Docetism’ to refer to those who refused to believe in the incarnation of Jesus. The earliest Gnostic-Christians were not even aware of claims that the Christ incarnated in Jesus.” -Acharya S., “The Christ Conspiracy” (48)
Unbeknownst to the Gnostics, so-called Orthodox Christians like Pliny, the Roman Piso family and others began to propagate the idea that Jesus Christ was a real person. Soon under Roman law the greatest heresy became the unacceptance of Jesus as being a historical figure. Bishop and patriarch of Alexandria, St. Athanasius wrote, “should we understand sacred writ according to the letter, we should fall into the most enormous blasphemies.” In other words, it is a most enormous sin to read the Bible literally!