A Brief History
On September 14, 326 A.D., Helena of Constantinople made one of the greatest discoveries in Christian history when she found the Holy Sepulchre (the crypt where Jesus was entombed) and the True Cross in Jerusalem. This so called “True Cross” upon which Jesus is said to have been crucified, has been split up and sold to unsuspecting believers over the years, with enough “splinters” to build an entire forest of Redwood trees!
Many blatant, easily disputed religious scams have taken place, and we list a few for you to choose from as the Biggest Religious Scam of All Time, though you are welcome to nominate your own choice.
The True Cross, splinters for sale!
The Holy Prepuce (actually the foreskin taken from Jesus during his circumcision) Why would this object have been kept, and why are there dozens or even scores of purported bits of holy foreskin in churches all over Christendom?
The End of the World! The imminent demise of the world as we know it has been wrongly predicted a bajillion times, each time soon to be proven wrong.
Indulgences, or paying God to reduce punishment for your sins! Pope Leo X dreamed up this scheme back in the 16th Century which was officially ended in 1567, but has continued to bilk believers of their money to this day.
God needs money! The All-Powerful Creator of the entire universe and all things needs your hard earned cash now! Why exactly would the Almighty, the one with the power to create as much Gold or cash as needed, have to beg you for money? We wonder…
Question for students (and subscribers): Which religious scam do you believe is the worst? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Bonneville, Richard. The Holy Prepuce. Kindle, 2016.
Buddenbaum, Judith. Religious Scandals. Greenwood, 2009.
The featured image in this article, a portrait of the empress Helena and her Invention of the True Cross in a 9th century Byzantine manuscript, is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain for the following reason: This work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 100 years or fewer.
You can also watch video versions of this article on YouTube.