The men known as Jesus in the New Testament
Part One, No. 1: What the Bible Actually says
What the Bible Actually says
When I was a small child with no one to play with, no family to speak with, no pets, no life of my own, I read the bible to find the “words of comfort” uttered by a man whom, I was told in Sunday School, loved little children and invited them to be with him at any time. His name was Jesus.
Sometimes he was called Jesus Christ. Rarely, but it did occur with Simon bar Jonas being the first to hail him as “the Christ”. 1
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah,2 the Son of the living God.” 3 This was a call to arms for a martial man to lead troops into battle. There was a constant thought of a spiritual battle in the middle of the first century CE as would be seen in the carnage the emerging Christians would pound on non-believers.
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2. Jesus: Portraits of Warrior and Pacifist
This warrior Messiah became substance for early Christian fanaticism, with many early apologists for genocide and holocaust against non-Christians based on a spurious reading of Jesus cleansing the Temple: “On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts (actually: courtyards) and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’ ”.4 What has been forgotten is that this tale was based not on a man expelling money changers from the Temple.
Money changers would not have been allowed inside. The action of this Jesus, was the action of a Zealot for the faith.
The scourge of the Temple can easily be compared to the Taliban in Afghanistan, to the Dominicans and Franciscans of the Inquisition, Bill Donohue’s Catholic League, prayer warriors of Sarah Palin, and even to the myopic ministers of Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas, and even those who made usurious profits, sent jobs away, and worked at acquiring power through wealth as with the Herodian family. He was an irrational fanatic who was determined that his interpretation of righteousness had to be followed.
The fanatical Jesus pushed back against the money lenders. He chased them outside of the inner courtyard and into an outer courtyard where commercial activities were permitted.
Jesus, in this story shard, was a defender of the faith.5 He alone would purify the religion of his forefathers.
In the Temple story, Jesus was not a war leader. He lead no one. He had no support: not from the people in the Temple, nor from those outside the Temple. He acted on his own, fanatically.
Far from contemporary crusaders, Jesus was not the enemy of a particular people: a Christ. He was the enemy of all people who did not follow him, and thus proclaimed: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’“6
It is on this transmogrification that the zealous End Time NAR fixates itself on a world apocalypse. 7
The Jesus to whom I was introduced as a small child was a kind, young, handsome, nonviolent man who loved children8. There is no record of the intentions of this Jesus. It merely states that he placed his hands on them and prayed9. It is a custom that dates back before the celebrated act of Jacob in Genesis when the patriarch blessed the adopted sons of Joseph10.
Surprisingly, the disciples rebuked those who brought the children. They were chastised in turn.
The text then shows a more compassionate Jesus. It is recorded that Jesus said, “Let the little children and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”11 15 When he had placed his hands on them,12 he went on from there.13
While some of the men who are called Jesus in the New Testament, and whose vitae are interwoven to create a single story, were concerned with children, other men known as Jesus wanted mountains to fall on little children. Love of mortal-kind and community was as sparse in the Bible as was love of life. Waiting for a return of a Messiah encompassed the thoughts of many, and like the Essences many were willing to die to gain a better life.
There is no record that any Jesus loved or was concerned for the safety and health of lambs or any animal or bird, contrary to Sunday school pictures. Each Jesus was a Jew. Jews eat lamb, sheep, goat, birds, and other living things as enjoined by their god.14
The passive Jesus, whom I identified with the Sermon on the Mount, did not quarrel. He obeyed his mother and father: “Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” 15
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3. Saul’s Warrior Christ
The warrior Jesus, elevated and glorified by the original persecutor of the community who followed Jesus during his travels and later banded together as a special Jewish community, Saul of Tarsus, was quite different. In fact, Saul’s Jesus had nothing in common with the rabbi who spoke the words known now as the Sermon on the Mount. He was the antithesis of Saul’s Christ.
Saul’s Jesus “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”16 Here the “Devil” is any temporal enemy, state, or religion who opposes the religion of Moses.17
The warrior Jesus has little time for any parent or sibling.18 There is a deliberate denial of Jesus having brothers that is clearly stated in the Book of Acts with the introduction of Saul as Paul of Tarsus;19 it is possible that Jesus was being groomed for a position in the Temple and with the denial of reality there would generate a psychosis of individuality over the community goodwill.
The issue of “The Temple” has many possibilities, from the time a child was seen either listening to rabbis (the most common thesis) or debating rabbis (the more aggressive modern interpretation) or being silent within the self with the body being the Temple, is under debate or each has a distinct contender for the man known as Jesus.20 Much has been made over the alleged declaration that each Jesus made about being “about my Father’s business”—but with no rational or sense. In the Abrahamic world of religion God the Father was commonly known as “Father” as well as the title for a biological father.21 Distinction was neither acute nor necessary as the biological father was considered to represent the divine.22
What did not make sense to me was that this Jesus never got mad. He never feared anything—except dying but it was not such an overwhelming fear as a resignation to have to accept death, while at the same time being there to help others weather bad situations. This remained my hero—until I became older.
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4. Jesus the hedonist
As a teenager I learned about Jesus the glutton. I also pondered on the strange story in the Bible about Jesus the drunkard.25 It gave me reason to eat and I became fat. It also empowered me to steal a drink from my parents’ Mogen David wine hidden at the back of the refrigerator. This was fun. I was deceiving my parents. No one knew—I thought.
It is when parents confront the child who has committed a transgression to the rule of the family that the child sees the parents as gods. More aptly, it is when the pseudo-omniscience of the parents is raised above its level.
The New Testament presents contradictory statements by the various Jesus of the New Testament about what was the role and purpose of the family. Jesus, self-centered, about his own ministry, did not recognize his own mother and siblings. The arrogant and egotistical Jesus barks: “who is my mother … who are my brothers and sisters”.26 Elsewhere there is a portrait in words of Jesus being respectful and submissive to his parents.27 The arrogant Jesus continued to haunt me. He was macho. I was not.
After reporting for military induction I met a third Jesus. He was an unabashed warrior who would ride ahead of his troops into battle.28 He carried weapons and demanded other buy weapons.29 He demanded allegiance. He wanted war.30
Once I had passed from the short military induction after being rejected,31 it was difficult to reflect on the past Sunday school story of the mild Jesus that was illustrated with pictures of him speaking kindly to white, fair haired children. Now I only saw a dirty, sweaty, filth covered Jesus who called people names such as “snakes”. Originally the snake was seen as the source of knowledge, and also as instrumental of and for health. 32
The early writers make a direct comparison between the resurrection of the son of man and the snake as seen through Moses raising up the serpent as a sign as a symbol of salvation that was the erection of Seth and the penis of Osiris promising ancient Egyptians eternal life: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”33 Both the snake for health and the snake of intelligence were the ancient “sons of Satan”,34 breaking his injunction against judging others: “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” 35
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5. Hell and Jesus
The image of a Hell was introduced after the lifetimes of the various Jesus of the Gospels. The concept of a hell as a real or even an imaginary place did not exist when the men known as Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem or throughout Galilee.
Hell is a myth that has survived for more than 1000 years, but it was not a part of the early Israeli community. It was not fixed in time or duration and did not concern most people. Denizens of the dark feed on one another. All unspeakable atrocities occur with the indulgence and to the delight of the Father in Heaven.
Hell was a burial place for the dead in the age being written about 50 or more years after the events and facts. hell was the nether world or sheol (שְׁאוֹל Šôl: meaning a grave or a pit).
The fabrication of Hell does not appear anywhere in any non-Mesopotamian language before 725 CE. The existence or even name of Hell does not appear in any part of any original Jesus’ speech.36 Even when Hell is defined there is no mention of torture, of devils or demons, nor of imps and mischievous miscellanea of mutants or murderers, adulterers or adulteresses, fornicators or corruptions of youth, pedophile priests, bishops, or patriarchs. The gore and ghoulishness of the Netherland painter Hieronymus Bosch (born Jheronimus van Aken c. 1450 – 9 August 1516) brought the preaching of early monks and desert hermits to life that made old men and little children quake. The closest that modern artists and preachers have approached this fantasy is in the detailed works of such giants of human form as Bourgeureau whose in-depth study of the human form and its susceptibility to pain is best seen in the agony of the victim being cannibalized in his classic Dante and Virgil in Hell. It has no biblical background and outside of the tale twisted by the authors of Matthew is not a serious topic of the man Jesus.
As with most Christian mythologies, Hell comes from the ancient Coptic and Egyptian theologies. 37 It was not a part of the culture or climate of Palestine or its various people.
From ancient Egyptian theology, later redactors, from the late first through the tenth centuries CE, were kept busy not only inventing Jesus using old Egyptian fantasies, especially crafting the man Constantine I so desperately needed to buttress his new imperial church, gleaning the imaginary savior from a taut tale of a rich man in Hell. This was found in The Tale of Khaemwese, patented on the Setne Papyrus.
The Tale of Khaemwese is the Egyptian concept of Hell. With the overriding territorial grabs of the Romans, it was later buttressed by the Coptic communities and later Coptic Christianity. It is burnished with the contemporary image of a Jesus who is not found in original papyrus or other documents.
The Tale of Khaemwese describes the torment of a rich man, who lacked charity, when he dies and is condemned to eternal punishment. The Tale of Khaemwese compares the rich man’s agony to the blessed state of a poor man who has also died.38
The Egyptian account was plagiarized and incorporated into the Gospel of Luke (Luke 16:19-31: 19): “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. (Abraham was substituted for the Great God Osiris. The rich man also died and was buried. Only in the Biblical version does the account ignore the most mundane aspects of the passing of the rich man. It begins with the rich man in hell, but in all representations from the most primitive to the most current, the rich man is depicted as very young and Abraham as quite old who protects the youth in his arms embrace.)
23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father (a common moniker for god) Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ”
In all artistic representations, Abraham (or God) is represented as an old man, and Lazarus a youth who is naked and resting in the arms of the god. Lazarus has been, at rare times, considered to be Jesus’ friend who died before Jesus could get to his tomb–an allegory for death. It was a remake of the god Osiris in ancient Egypt where the “sons of snakes” were the gods Seth who became a son of Adam and Eve.39
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6. Sex as a religious rite
Raw sensual sexuality throughout the redactions on Moses spilled as fast as Onan’s seed. Both Osiris (the foundation for God the Father) and Seth became heroes in ancient Christianity.40
Such patronizing of pagan theology was most clearly seen in the writing of St. Hippolytus, who confessed: “…No one can be saved and rise up again without the Son, who is the serpent. For it was he who brought the paternal models down from aloft, and it is he who carries back up again those, who have been awakened from sleep and have reassumed the features of the Father.”41
The healing prowess of the snake were also heralded in the Bible as given mystic content: “And Moses made a snake of copper, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a snake had bitten a man, when he beheld the snake of brass, he lived.” 42
The snake became more than the symbol of death. The snake became the ultimate symbol of initiation and rebirth because it was a symbol of death, and thus was fashioned into the script of salvation.43
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7. Jesus birth and heritage
Old Testament prophesy claimed Jesus would come out of a royal house. Royal heirs had definite records as to lineage and descent. No Jesus had such records.
By Old Testament laws and standards, Jesus was a bastard. Based on law current when the gospel gang known as Jesus exist, Jesus could not be anything but illegitimate: Jesus was born to an unmarried woman.
No one born out of wedlock (the KJV uses the term bastard) or any descendant of such a person . . . may be included among the Lord’s people.44. In the New Testament a person is a bastard “If you are not punished . . . it means you are not real children, but bastards.”45
A person was also a bastard if he or she was of “A mixed race” (the KJV has ‘bastard’: miscegenation)”.46 It was convenient for them to forget that my mother also had dark eyes, and when she was young she, too, had brown hair.
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8. Was Jesus homosexual?
The Bible kept me in a state of suffocating confusion. Sometimes it was so stifling that I threw the Bible under my bed. At the same time the erotic aspects forced me to bend over the mattress and retrieve it. It was fun to read about the cavorting of kings with whores and adulteresses, but it terrified me when King David loved Jonathan with a “love surpassing the love for a woman.”47
Far more troubling was the Jesus who came out of The Garden late the night of his betrayal with a naked man following him—a young naked man.48 That terrified me. I was not terrified because he followed Jesus, but because he was naked! I had been taught by my pastors and parents that any nudity was a ticket straight to hell.
My sister was the first to tell me that the naked youth was queer. I thought she meant “strange.” Impatient, she barked an article to her noun: a queer. She intoned as any Lutheran pastor would remonstrate, that the naked youth was not only queer but the incarnation of the Devil.
The queer Devil was to entrap Jesus. Those who became queer (it was not called homosexual for several years to come), would also be minions of the King David and the Devil.
The only thing that kept creeping back into my solitary existence was the stories of Jesus and how he put up with each person—but resented each person at the same time and would eventually winnow the chaff from the wheat: “His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”49 It is bad science as fire quenches itself when all combustibles are used up: hydrogen, oxygen, and so forth.
My sister always called me The Chaff.
My sister chose to ignore science in favor of the stories in the Bible. She preached that Jesus would use his winnowing fork to cut me in half and leave me to die alone.
Jesus was the Great and Unforgiving Judge, rejecting the commandment given by one of the many Jesus (most likely the passive Jesus of Matthew 7:1) who forbade aspersions and name calling: “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister 50 will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’51 is answerable to the court.52 And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”53
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9. The non-forgiving Jesus
Jesus is not forgiving? I was surprised, too! But the least strict and the most commonly known is Jesus statement: “…whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness and is guilty of an eternal sin.”54
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10. Jesus and the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is not unique to the Bible. It is a shadow that comes from ancient Egypt, with the god Osiris, represented as an erect phallus symbolism rebirth and resurrection, being the original Holy Spirit in the Middle East: “The holy book of the Egyptians about the great invisible Spirit, the Father whose name cannot be uttered, he who came forth from the heights of the perfection, the light of the light of the aeons of light, the light of the silence of the providence (and) the Father of the silence, the light of the word and the truth, the light of the incorruptions, the infinite light, the radiance from the aeons of light of the unrevealable, unmarked, ageless, unproclaimable Father, the aeon of the aeons, Autogenes, self-begotten, self-producing, alien, the really true aeon.”55 It is another shadow that covers a multitude of rabbi known as Jesus that peppers the New Testament as is the thesis of those who are psychopathic schizophrenic.
Tale of Khaemwese (Setne Papyrus).
Epiphanius (St.). Adversus Haereses.
Flavius Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews.
Hippolytus (St.). Elenchos.
Anderson, Paul N. (2006). The Fourth Gospel And the Quest for Jesus: Modern Foundations Reconsidered. London, UK & New York, NY, USA: T & T Clark.
Becquet, Gerard (1990-?2000). Mithra, rival de Jesus: conference. Lyon, France: Bibliothèque du Cercle des Officiers de Lyon.
Bernstein, Alan E. (1996). The Formation of Hell: Death and Retribution in the Ancient and Early Christian Worlds. Ithaca, NY, USA: Cornell University Press.
Doresse, Jean; Mairet, Philip & Johnston, Leonard (1960). The Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics: an introduction to the Gnostic Coptic Manuscripts discovered at Chenoboskion, with an English translation and critical evaluation of the Gospel of Thomas. New York, NY, USA: Viking Press.
Goshen-Gottstein, Alon (2001). “God the Father in Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity: Transformed Background or Common Ground?” for The Elijah Interfaith Institute, first published in Journal of Ecumenical Studies.
Henderson, Joseph L. & Oakes, Maud (1963). The Wisdom of the Serpent: the myths of death, rebirth and resurrection. New York, NY, USA: G. Braziller.
Ide, Arthur Frederick (1992; intro. Decherd Turner). Moses: the Making of Myth and Law. Las Colinas, TX, USA: Monument Press.
Ide, Arthur Frederick (1982). Woman in ancient Israel under the Torah andTalmud: with a translation and critical commentary on Genesis 1-3. Mesquite, TX: IHP.
Johnson, Paul (1978). The Civilization of Ancient Egypt. London, UK: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, p. 170.
Lichtheim, Miriam & von Grunebaum, Gustave E. Center for Near Eastern Studies (1980). Ancient Egyptian Literature, the Late Period: A Book of Readings. Berkeley & Los Angeles, CA, and London, UK: University of California Press vol. 3.
Miller, John W. (1999). Calling God “Father”: Essays on the Bible, fatherhood, and culture. New York, NY, USA: Paulist Press.
Mastrocinque, Attilio (2009). Des mystères de Mithra aux mystères de Jésus. Stuttgart, France: Franz Steiner Verlag.
Moss, Candida R. (2013). The Myth of Persecution: how early Christians invented a Story of Martyrdom. New York, NY,USA: HarperOne.
Najovits, Simson R. (2003-2004). Egypt, Trunk of the Tree, New York, NY, USA: Algora. Vol. 2, 2004.
Patella, Michael (2006). Lord of the cosmos: Mithras, Paul, and the gospel of Mark. New York, NY, USA: T&T Clark International.
Robert Louis (1984). The Christians as the Romans saw them. New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press.
Robertson, J. M. (1967). Pagan Christs. New Hyde Park, NY, USA: University Books.
Robinson, James (1999). Gospel of the Egyptians. Nag Hammadi Library. San Francisco, CA, USA: HarperCollins.
Schaberg, Jane (1987). The illegitimacy of Jesus: a feminist theological interpretation of the infancy narratives. San Francisco, CA, USA: Harper & Row.
Schmidt, James, Lieutenant Colonel. (2012). Victory rests with the Lord: God in the Vietnam War. Bloomington, IN, USA: West Bow Press. Wilken.
Slattery, W. Michael (2007). Jesus the warrior? Historical Christian perspectives & problems on the morality of war & the waging of peace. Milwaukee, WI, USA: Marquette University Press.
Tabor, James, D. (2012). Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle transformed Christianity. New York, NY, USA: Simon & Schuster.
Thompson, Thomas L. (2005). The Messiah Myth: the Near Eastern roots of Jesus and David. New York, NY, USA: Basic Books.
Van Buren, E. Douglas (1934). The god Ningizzida. Oxford, England: s.n.
Waizenhofer, Robyn N.; Buchanan, Christy M.; Jackson-Newsom, Julia (2004). “Mothers’ and Fathers’ Knowledge of Adolescents’ Daily Activities: Its Sources and Its Links With Adolescent Adjustment.” Journal of Family Psychology, Vol. 18(2), June: 348-360.
Parker, Sharon K. & Griffin, Mark A. (2002). “What is so bad about a little name-calling? Negative consequences of gender harassment for overperformance demands and distress.” Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Vol. 7(3), July: 195-210.
Roback, A. A. (1944). A Dictionary of International Slurs. Oxford, England: Sci-Art Publishers.
Steele, Claude M. (1975). “Name-calling and compliance.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 31(2), February: 361-369.
Wile, Ira S. (1940). “Review of Anthropology and religion.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 10(1)
Barnhart, Robert K. (1995) The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology. New York, NY, USA: Harper Collins.
Redford, Donald B.Van (Ed.) The Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology: The Oxford Guide. New York, NY, USA: Berkley Books (article by: Dijk, Jacobus (2003). “Hell” in , pp. 161-162.).
Jackson, David (1986). “Jesus warrior in the temple? A study investigating differing interpretations of Jesus (with special focus on the Temple cleansing) and his relationship with the Zealots and violence.” Unpublished thesis (MA) Catholic Theological Union; Portland, OR, USA: Theological Research Exchange Network.
Robinson, Clayton David (2008). “The laying on of hands, with special reference to the reception of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament”. Unpublished PhD dissertation: Fuller theological Seminary, School of Theology.
12. End Notes
- Simon (originally Shimon or Simeon, it is later referenced as an Aramaic name for rock: Sëm‘ān Kêpâ) son of John, thereafter known as Peter. Matthew 16:17. John 21:15, 17. Jesus is Latin, from the Greek Ιησούς (Iēsous), from the Hebrew ישוע (Yeshūa`), shortened from Yehōshūa` God is help; it is the diminuative of Joshua. ↩
- Cf. Thompson, Thomas L. (2005). The Messiah Myth: the Near Eastern roots of Jesus and David. New York, NY, USA: Basic Books. ↩
- Matthew 16:16. ↩
- Mark 11:15-17: 15; Verse 17a is from Isaiah 56:7, 17b and was lifted from Jeremiah 7:11; verse 19 is questionable as to authenticity and origin as some early manuscripts read: came, Jesus rather than including the “disciples”. ↩
- Jackson, David (1986). “Jesus warrior in the temple? A study investigating differing interpretations of Jesus (with special focus on the Temple cleansing) and his relationship with the Zealots and violence.” Unpublished thesis (MA) Catholic Theological Union; Portland, OR, USA: Theological Research Exchange Network. ↩
- Matthew 10:34. Verse 35b-36 is lifted out of the Old Testament as a fulfillment of prophecy from Micah 7:6: For a son dishonors his father,
a daughter rises up against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
a man’s enemies are the members of his own household. ↩
- Cf. Schmidt, James, Lieutenant Colonel. (2012). Victory rests with the Lord: God in the Vietnam War. Bloomington, IN, USA: West Bow Press. Wilken, Robert Louis (1984). The Christians as the Romans saw them. New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press. Moss, Candida R. (2013). The Myth of Persecution: how early Christians invented a Story of Martyrdom. New York, NY,USA: HarperOne. ↩
- Matthew 19:13-15: 13 “Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them.” ↩
- “Laying on of hands” is an old Mesopotamian custom. ↩
- Genesis 48:14-20. ↩
- Matthew 19:14; cp. Luke 18:16-17 says, “But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children (actually, in the original reads βρεφη, infants) come to me, (the original reads: brought to me) and do not hinder (it does not read forbid) them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly, I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” The distinction is pregnant with symbolism: between hinder and forbid. Hinder means to put obstacles in the way. Forbid means to reject forcefully. ↩
- This is an old Mesopotamian custom predating Genesis 48:14-20. It has ancient Egyptian origins. Cf. Robinson, Clayton David (2008). “The laying on of hands, with special reference to the reception of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament”. Unpublished PhD dissertation: Fuller theological Seminary, School of Theology. ↩
- NIV; the NIV is cited throughout this paper. ↩
- Genesis 1:29 for plants: “Then God (the original has the plural noun: gods/goddesses: Elohim: אֱלֹהִים) said, “I (sic: We) give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” Acts 10:12-13 for all animals: 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” ↩
- Luke 2:51-52. ↩
- Ephesians 6:1. ↩
- Ide, Arthur Frederick (1992; intro. Decherd Turner). Moses: the Making of Myth and Law. Las Colinas, TX, USA: Monument Press. ↩
- Slattery, W. Michael (2007). Jesus the warrior? Historical Christian perspectives & problems on the morality of war & the waging of peace. Milwaukee, WI, USA: Marquette University Press. ↩
- Tabor, James, D. (2012). Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle transformed Christianity. New York, NY, USA: Simon & Schuster. pp. 29-38. ↩
- Luke 2:39-52; Matthew 21:12; ref. Anderson, Paul N. (2006). The Fourth Gospel And the Quest for Jesus: Modern Foundations Reconsidered. London, UK & New York, NY, USA: T & T Clark. p. 158. ↩
- Miller, John W. (1999). Calling God “Father”: Essays on the Bible, fatherhood, and culture. New York, NY, USA: Paulist Press. pp. x-xii. ↩
- Goshen-Gottstein, Alon (2001). “God the Father in Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity: Transformed Background or Common Ground?” for The Elijah Interfaith Institute, first published in Journal of Ecumenical Studies (Spring): 38:4. ↩
- Luke 2:41-48a: “41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed actually: brought to me subconsciously denying free will and choice behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished.” ↩
- Luke 2:48b-52: “His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” 49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” ↩
- Matthew 11:19: “The son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” ↩
- Matthew 12:48. Cf. Mark 3:31-35 that adds: 31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” 33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. 34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” The KJV states that his mother sent someone to call Jesus—as it was forbidden for a woman to enter the Temple where Jesus preached. We do not have the deification of parents with any Jesus in the New Testament, which is elevates the human to the superhuman as found in numerous primitive societies as with the Chiefs with mana and tapu Polynesians, and helps us understand contemporary child psychology that elevates parents above other adults. Wile, Ira S. (1940). “Review of Anthropology and religion.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 10(1), January: 192-193. ↩
- Luke 2:51a: “Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.” The fact that the writers of the canonized and accepted Gospels included the point that it was the mother “kept the sayings” in her heart shows an early understanding of parent-child relationship psychology. Mother, studies show, have a greater access to the child’s thinking as well as being a determiner of that thinking. By her remaining silent, Mary gave tacit acceptance of what Jesus would do. That was common. It also gave the child, a male, the idea that what he considered was right was sanctioned by the silence. This leads to arrogance, and is more in keeping with the arrogant and audacious Jesus. Consider: Waizenhofer, Robyn N.; Buchanan, Christy M.; Jackson-Newsom, Julia (2004). “Mothers’ and Fathers’ Knowledge of Adolescents’ Daily Activities: Its Sources and Its Links With Adolescent Adjustment.” Journal of Family Psychology, Vol. 18(2), June: 348-360. ↩
- Matthew 10:34. ↩
- Luke 22:36: “He said to them, ‘But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one”…’. ↩
- Revelation 12, focuses on the ruler god messiah in verse 5: “She gave birth to a son, a male child, who ‘will rule all the nations with an iron scepter’.” The problem with this verse is that it is plagiarized from Psalm 2:9a: “You will break them with a rod of iron” that can also be translated as: “will rule them with an iron scepter” cf. the Septuagint and Syriac versions. Verse 11 introduces the “blood of the lamb” that had its origin in primitive Mithraism. Cf. Robertson, J. M. (1967). Pagan Christs. New Hyde Park, NY, USA: University Books. Cp. Mastrocinque, Attilio (2009). Des mystères de Mithra aux mystères de Jésus. Stuttgart, France: Franz Steiner Verlag. Patella, Michael (2006). Lord of the cosmos: Mithras, Paul, and the gospel of Mark. New York, NY, USA: T&T Clark International. Becquet, Gerard (1990-?2000). Mithra, rival de Jesus: conference. Lyon, France: Bibliothèque du Cercle des Officiers de Lyon. ↩
- Flat feet. ↩
- John 3:14-15. ↩
- Numbers 21:4-9: 4 ‘They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea (this is a common translation mistake; it should read “Sea of Reeds” as the people were nowhere near the Red Sea), to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” 6 Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.’; and John 3:14-15: ‘14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up (in the original the term “lifted up” is “exalted” in keeping with the Egyptian religion where the snake / phallus was worshiped for its life-giving properties; later redactors attempted to remove the sexuality of this passage and confused the translation with the transmogrification), 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” (In various editions interpreters, not translators, end this with verse 21)’. ↩
- Cp. Job 2:1: ‘On another day the angels (the ancient Hebrew reads Sons of God) came to present themselves before the LORD, and the Satan (a word for advocate or senior adviser to the Godhead) also came with them to present himself before him.’ In many texts, the Satan and the God/Lord are co-equals. Compare the snake who was the Great Educator of First Woman: Ide, Arthur Frederick (1982). Woman in ancient Israel under the Torah andTalmud: with a translation and critical commentary on Genesis 1-3. Mesquite, TX: IHP. ↩
- Matthew 23:33. ↩
- Barnhart, Robert K. (1995) The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology. New York, NY, USA: Harper Collins, p. 348. I develop the invention of Hell in a later essay in this series and in my book on the invention of faith. ↩
- Van Dijk, Jacobus (2003). “Hell” in The Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology: The Oxford Guide (ed. Redford, Donald B.). New York, NY, USA: Berkley Books, pp. 161-162. ↩
- Khaemwese (1279-1213 BCE) was the fourth son of the Pharaoh Ramesses II, and the tale concerns the Book of Thoth. It is on the Setne Papyrus (I am using a copy I have in my private library). Cf. Johnson, Paul (1978). The Civilization of Ancient Egypt. London, UK: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, p. 170; see also Lichtheim, Miriam & von Grunebaum, Gustave E. Center for Near Eastern Studies (1980). Ancient Egyptian Literature, the Late Period: A Book of Readings. Berkeley & Los Angeles, CA, and London, UK: University of California Press vol. 3, p. 126. Bernstein, Alan E. (1996). The Formation of Hell: Death and Retribution in the Ancient and Early Christian Worlds. Ithaca, NY, USA: Cornell University Press. ↩
- Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book I, Chapter II, Sentence 3. ↩
- St. Epiphanius, Adversus Haereses. Cp. Doresse, Jean; Mairet, Philip & Johnston, Leonard (1960). The Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics: an introduction to the Gnostic Coptic Manuscripts discovered at Chenoboskion, with an English translation and critical evaluation of the Gospel of Thomas. New York, NY, USA: Viking Press. It includes all the documents as first published under the title Lives secrets des Gnostiques d’Égypt. Johnston is the translator. ↩
- St. Hippolytus, Elenchos v.17. ↩
- Numbers:21:6-9. Compare this with the Caduceus of Hermes and Asclepius. Their antecedents, like those of Moses came directly from the serpent god Ningizzida of Sumeria who was also known as Hermes. This became the source for various alliterations between divine wisdom and wisdom of the world, where faith exceeded science and knowledge was suppressed. Van Buren, E. Douglas (1934). The god Ningizzida. Oxford, England: s.n. ↩
- Numbers 21:8: And the Lord said unto Moses, “Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole. And it shall come to pass that every one who is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.” Cf. Henderson, Joseph L. & Oakes, Maud (1963). The Wisdom of the Serpent: the myths of death, rebirth and resurrection. New York, NY, USA: G. Braziller. ↩
- Deuteronomy 23:2 NIV: “No one born of a forbidden marriage (or, illegitimate) nor any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, not even in the tenth generation.” Cp. Schaberg, Jane (1987). The illegitimacy of Jesus: a feminist theological interpretation of the infancy narratives. San Francisco, CA, USA: Harper & Row. ↩
- Hebrews 12:8. ↩
- Zechariah 9:6: a part of a poem celebrating genocide: “A mongrel people will occupy Ashdod, / and I will put an end to the pride of the Philistines.” ↩
- 2 Samuel 1:26. ↩
- Mark 14:51-52: “A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, 52 he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.” ↩
- Matthew 3:12. ↩
- Here “brother or sister” is a modern translation as the original Greek uses the word αδελφοί (adelphos) referring to a fellow disciple (the gender distinction would be αδελφοί και αδελφές), whether man or woman; this is also the case in verse 23. ↩
- Raca is an Aramaic word of contempt that later translators were too embarrassed to translate as a worthless, vain and empty person without value (ריקא or ריקה) and inserted “fool”. It is only used in Matthew 5:22, and nowhere else in the Bible, making its use questionable. Fool is ανόητος: anoítos. ↩
- Court can also be translated as council or Sanhedrin. After 325 CE and the Council of Nicaea, court could also be defined as diocese: dĭœcēsĭs, from the Greek: διοίκησις, “administration”an administrative unit in the Roman Empire. Each diocese was headed by a vicarius or dioeceseos: a vicar who was to control people. The overseer was a bishop (επίσκοπος) who had no religious significance and was usually corrupt. ↩
- Matthew 5:22. Aspersions, or name calling, is a sign of mental illness and does grievous damage to the psyche as with any form of bullying. Name calling Negative names produce more compliance behavior than positive names. The name’s impugnment of a subjects general character and not its impugnment of a specific behavior that was needed to increase later compliance has been found to have differing results, and in the ancient world, bullying, as with today, lead to forced behavior and compliance that led to personal breakdowns in psychology and actions. Steele, Claude M. (1975). “Name-calling and compliance.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 31(2), February: 361-369. Sustained name-calling, on the familial, local, national and internal level (Ethnolphaulisms) leads to numerous negative reactions and hostility or personal issues leading to potential suicide. Parker, Sharon K. & Griffin, Mark A. (2002). “What is so bad about a little name-calling? Negative consequences of gender harassment for overperformance demands and distress.” Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Vol. 7(3), July: 195-210. Cp. Roback, A. A. (1944). A Dictionary of International Slurs. Oxford, England: Sci-Art Publishers. 394 pp. ↩
- Mark 3:29. ↩
- Robinson, James (1999). Gospel of the Egyptians. Nag Hammadi Library. San Francisco, CA, USA: HarperCollins. Cf. Najovits, Simson R. (2003-2004). Egypt, Trunk of the Tree, New York, NY, USA: Algora. Vol. 2, 2004, pp. 83-84. ↩