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Monday, December 25, 2017

THE TRUTH ABOUT JESUS CHRIST



Almost a decade ago I published SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity.  I quote from Chapter 5 on The Golden Evolution:

So, therefore, place yourself back to circa 50 AD. Nothing much can be found about Jesus. Conflicting descriptions can be unearthed about this individual, but absent any miracles and the connection with Son of God. Is it possible that a group, say, the Antioch Jesus Movement, sees an opportunity to spur something called Christianity? So they pick a mortal of those days who might just fit a concept called the Messiah. They borrow selectively from early Egyptian, Indian, Chinese, Mexican (nah, scratch this, Columbus came 1500 years later) and Greek writings to create the legend of Jesus Christ around a real-life martyr. He was in his prime at the age of 30, so they choose 30 AD as the founding of Christianity. Could this incredible PR ploy have started it all? Did all this lead to the Catholic Church of today!

There is an abundance of stories about how Christianity began.  I grew up believing in the Bethlehem manger birth of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Christmas Star and the Three Wise Men.  Here a painting by Botticelli.  But as I matured, obvious flaws appeared in the entire story:
  • But biblical years are strange.  Noah had children when he was 500, and Methuselah died at 969.  The Adam that ate the apple lived to the age of 930.  This is partly explained in God's way of counting, and there is that matter of before and after The Flood.  All so confusing.
  • Anyway, I can see some advantages to this odd Mary-Joseph coupling, but why so outlandish for such an important birth?
  • Son of God or God himself?  I spent some time actually reading a real Bible (don't know which one), and just could not understand much.  I found this discouragement disappointing and a further stimulus for abandoning the whole concept.
  • Resurrection and empty tomb after crucifixion?  The Washington Post indicated that if a Jew was so important as to gain Pontius Pilate's personal attention, there was no way Jesus' body would be allowed to be cleansed and placed in a tomb.  Victims of crucifixion were purposefully humiliated to frighten witnesses and deter rebellion, with the corpse almost surely left to be eaten by dogs and picked clean by birds of prey.  The bones would be thrown in a trash heap.  This article went on to say that Jesus had many (at least four brothers and an unnamed number of sisters--but they could have been children of Joseph from a prior marriage) and, in his ten years as governor of Jerusalem, sent THOUSANDS to the cross.
  • Miracles?
  • If God were omniscient and omni- everything else, why would he subject humans (and animals) to the horrors of war, famine, illnesses and worse?
My only conclusion, which today is my operative belief, is that in the beginning, Man created God.  

A further discussion about miracles:

Statistics show that most Americans believe in miracles. Elitist atheists reply that most Americans are dolts. Of people 45 years of age and over, 80% believe in miracles, 41% believe that they occur every day, and 37% claim to have witnessed at least one.

I don't think my kind of miracle qualifies in any biblical sense, but read about two of mine.  I remain critical of much of the above, and continue to wonder about the mystery of how, with our educational system, I could possibly be in the gross minority.

So, rather than delve further into Christian Myth Theories, let me report on the attempt of National Geographic to reveal the real Jesus.
  • Serious scholars believe Jesus did exist.
  • But was he:
    • God, 
    • man, 
    • or the greatest literary hoax in history.
  • There remains some doubt that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and evidence is growing to indicate that the location was 65 miles to the north in Galilee.  If that Antioch Jesus Movement myth has any validity, then an obfuscation was necessary to place Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, for the prevailing Prophecies pinpointed that specific site. 
    • Nazareth in southern Galilee, is where Jesus grew up to become an important Jewish religious leader, while working as a craftsman of some sort.
    • He had a home in Capernaum.  Note the city of Antioch to the north.
    • The Roman Empire was oppressive in Palestine and the people were ripe for some social unrest.
    • Thirty-year old Jesus was convinced by John the Baptist that he was the Son of God (right painting of both by da Vinci).
    • Fishermen, Peter, Andrew, James and John, became his followers.  Mary Magdalene from Mandala also joined, and what caught my attention was an archaeological excavation here at a lakeside resort called Hawaii Beach, now called the Israeli Pompeii.
    • Jesus' first "miracle" was curing Peter's mother-in-law of fever, leading to miracle-worker status.  Jesus giving the Keys to St, Peter, was painted by Rubens.  Certainly looks like keys 2000 years ago, but metal keys were invented almost a millennium later after the Messiah "resurrection."
    • There was a Last Supper, but the painting by da Vinci was totally inaccurate (the tale of this famous painting is as creative as the Greatest Story itself), for the reality is the second graphic.  It is reported, they probably consumed unleavened bread, aromatized wine, lamb, bean stew, olives and fish sauce.  All four Gospels mention this gathering occurring at the end of the fateful week.
    • Jesus was crucified on the order of Pontius Pilate (right), as mentioned by all the Gospels, an unusual consensus.
    • Professors Carol and Erik Meyers of Duke University have spent 33 years excavating Galilee, showing the Jewishness of the location.  I could comment, but won't.
    • The first architectural evidence of early Christianity was in the early 4th century, when Rome's first Christian emperor, Constantine, sent delegates to erect an elaborate church at the possible Nativity site.  He could well have bought-in to the Jesus Antioch Movement.
    • Was there a King Arthur? (my extension):
      • Arthur the man of the legends, was the bridge between the earthly realm and the spirit realm, just like early forms of Orpheus were believed to be a sort of shaman, who could also bridge both worlds.
      • And the twelve Apostles and the twelve knights equal the twelve signs of the zodiac and the twelve (Kabbalistic) faculties of the superior, or fully conscious, enlightened man. 

    There will be wars, though they may seem overwhelming, it is not the end. It's in the Bible, Matthew 24:6, NKJV. "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come."
    Earthquakes and famines, and all the signs are only the contractions of what's coming. It's in the Bible, Matthew 24:7-8, NKJV. "There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains."
    So is Jesus like Harry Potter or King Arthur, or real?  I think there was just such a person, but conceived a few decades after his actual crucifixion to serve as the foundation of Christendom, as embellished in the first quoted paragraph above.  He could well have been the Son of God, if there is one.  
    Jesus Christ is the most significant person ever born (although more likely, not in a stable), and we today celebrate his birthday, although the actual date remains in question.  Time magazine a few years ago rated the most important who ever lived:
    1. Jesus
    2. Napoleon
    3. Muhammad
    4. Shakespeare
    5. Abraham Lincoln
    6. George Washington
    7. Adolf Hitler
    8. Aristotle
    9. Alexander the Great
    10. Thomas Jeferson
    First female--Elizabeth I #13, first non-Westerner--Genghis Khan #38, with Justin Bieber #8633 and Harlow Curtice #224,326.  He was president of General Motors in the '50's.

    So what is the truth about Jesus Christ?  What is the truth about God?  What is the truth about Dark Energy?  History evolves with new information and so does science.  The truth is that Jesus Christ is today an accepted Messiah by his followers, but still a conundrum to some, if not many.

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