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Sunday, December 25, 2016

The TRUTH about THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD

The Greatest Story Ever Told is an American epic released in 1965 (the year The Sound of Music won the Oscar for Best Picture) about the life of Jesus, played by Max Von Sydow, and involved Charlton Heston, Sidney Poitier, John Wayne, Jose Ferrer, Angela Lansbury, Pat Boone, Sal Mineo, Shelley Winters, Jamie Farr (yes, that guy from MASH) and a bunch of other luminaries.  The trailer said this was one of the greatest films ever made.  It has hit with a 37% rating by Rotten Tomatoes reviewers.

But this posting is a lot more about the reality of Jesus Christ, using that film as just another evidence of how truth can evolve.  Forgetting about the Son of God part for now, was there, definitively, a person in history who was, in fact, the so-called Messiah?

On one hand, we have the detractors.  One such example is Acharya Murdock, purported to have written the Most Important Book of Our Time, The Christ Conspiracy:  The Greatest Story Ever Sold:
  • Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it.  (C.Dennis McKinsey, The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy--thought it was interesting that this two decade old book sells used for $66, with new copies going for $126)
  • The gospel story is an artificial, non-historical work. It has been fabricated from source materials that can be identified and traced to their incorporation into the gospels. There is not a particle of hard evidence that 'Jesus of Nazareth' ever existed.  (Harold Lender, The Fabrication of the Christ Myth)


The case for Jesus as many characters rolled into one gains credence when you learn that the Hindus had Krishna, early Egyptians Horus and the ancient Greeks celebrated the birthdays of Hercules and Dionysus on December 25.  Horus (right), who came a couple of millennia before Jesus, in particular, just showed too many similarities to be a mere coincidence:
  • Born of a virgin.
  • Had a foster father.
  • Was of royal descent.
  • Birth was announced by angels and inspired a visit by three Wise Men bearing gifts.
  • Baptized at age 30 by Anup the Baptizer at a river.  (Jesus was baptized at 30 by John the Baptist at a river.)
  • Had twelve followers.
  • Performed miracles like healing the sick and walking on water.
  • Was killed by crucifixion.
  • Was buried in a tomb and resurrected after 3 days by his father Osiris.
  • Was given the title KRST, which means the anointed one.
I can go on, but let me just move tangentially and end with the Three Wise Men, who most probably were astrologers being intrigued by the Star of Bethlehem, said more recently to perhaps have been a supernova from the Andromeda Galaxy.  It is generally accepted that the gifts were gold, myrrh and frankincense.  Well, gold has always been gold, effectively money.  Myrrh is a puzzlement, for it has mostly historically been used as an embalming oil at death.    Perhaps this is foretelling the crucifixion.

There was an article this morning in the local paper reporting that the world's last wild frankincense forests in Somalia are under threat.  They grow on sheer cliffs reaching 8000 feet, and the price just over the past six years has skyrocketed from $2/pound to $12/pound.  It is said to be the King of Essential Oils  (the sap from the trunk) and is mostly used in perfumes.  Myrrh is also sap or resin from a thorny Commiphora tree.

From a five-year old article, the cost of frankincense resin was said to be around $1920/pound (which is a lot more expensive than stated above), myrrh is twice as expensive, and gold today sells for $1133/ounce.  On the other hand, 10 ml of 100% pure, best therapeutic grade essential oil, or frankincense, can be purchased from Walmart for $8.49 today (regular price $36.99).  So when you read these newspaper articles, do some research.

In any case, what is the TRUTH?  Or does it matter?  Everything associated with God and the Afterlife cannot be verified anyway.  People believe what they want, and if that makes them a better human being, and provide comfort, terrific.  Merry Christmas.

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Super Typhoon Nock-ten (Nina), made landfall in the Philippines today:


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