Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘jesus

An unpublished coherent biography? Jesus The Nazarene

Note: Re-edit of “The Nazarene: An unpublished coherent biography (December 16, 2008)”

Preamble: Over a hundred of different manuscripts (Bibles) have been written on Jesus and his message in the early days of Christianity and before the four New Testaments (that were written by Matthew, Luc, Mark and John) that the Council of Nicea (Turkey) in 325 decided to select as the official representatives of the story of Jesus.

(Ironically, the selected Bibles were written in Greek; maybe the language was one of the main factors for retaining them. the other factor was to show Jesus a serious person who didn’t travel wide and large during his younger years. So far, no early manuscripts were made available or even recognized as valid).

There are evidences that the Bible of Mathew was originally written in Aramaic, the language of the Land, before being translated into Greek. Many of these early manuscripts were written by the disciples of Jesus and close companions like Barnaby (the spiritual guide of Paul and who accompanied Paul in his first apostolic trip in the interior of Turkey), Thomas (not necessarily the twin brother of Jesus who established the first Christian community in the port of Deb on the Indus River), Philip, Bartholomew, and others.

There are many folk tales that are to be considered as more valid than the canonical “truths or facts”.

What we know is that Jesus had his Bar Mitzvah in Jerusalem and he sat among the priests and had a discussed with them.  Actually, this event was done in the Carmel at the Eseens Grand Temple in Galilee.

In between this event and his preaching adventure (over 25 years) the Church has nothing to offer but that Jesus obeyed his parents.  Even the story of his birth until his Bar Mitzvah is not reliable and could be considered as one of the acceptable version.

It is said that Jesus was 33-year old when he was crucified; that is the minimum age because Jesus was older and probably close to be forty. Marie got wed very young at 15 or 16 as tradition required and she died at age 56 and Jesus was her eldest son. Do the calculus.

How Jesus spent the time in between (a span of at least 20 years) and where did he live and grew to maturity?

As is the custom in Judaism, boys were married at 13 and Jesus was not to be an exception but he had an outlet to tradition:  Nazareth, which didn’t even exist before Jesus lived there for a while until Joseph passed away and removed to Qana to live with his mother town. That is why the Jews of Jerusalem mocked Jesus as The Nazarene. 

The Essenes sect main location was in Qumran (not far from the western side of the Dead Sea).

The Essene sect (cabala) lived in a closed community; women were not included, and the members vowed celibacy;. They were vegetarians, ate together, distributed their wealth to the community, and each member worked according to his skills.

The members wore a unique white dress code in summer and another outfit in winter. The members of this community were known to be excellent healers. This sect was also labeled the “Baptist”, the “Nazoreen” and “Ossene” (the Strong).

The teachings of Buddhism had reached this community two centuries ago because King Ashoka of India had dispatched Buddhist monks to this region.

It is very plausible that Jesus opted to join the Qumran community to avoid being wed. The Essenien caste had branches in Alexandria (Egypt) called Therapeutic or healers and also in Syria.

John the Baptist cousin of Jesus, was Essenien.

The fact that the canonic testaments reveal that John the Baptist didn’t recognize Jesus at the first sight might suggests that the two men didn’t meet in the community of Qumran at the same periods or that Jesus had left the community long time ago: Jesus was a traveler and not a community dweller.

There are evidences that Jesus was a wide traveler, knew many languages and was highly versed in religions and other legal aspects of the land.

It is very plausible that Jesus visited Alexandria, Syria, and even reached India; he lingered in India and Persia before returning to Syria and Galilee.

A manuscript named “Himis” was discovered in Kashmir, close to the city of Leh, which described the “Lost years of Jesus”.

In that manuscript it is referred to Jesus as Issa (an Aramaic name that the Arabs adopted) who traveled to most of the Holy Cities in India such as Juggernaut, Rajagriha, and Benares, and was frequently chased out by the clergies (sacerdotal officers).

The manuscript relates multitudes of pronouncements and teachings by Issa that are compatible to the canonic Bibles.

Issa fled to Kashmir, Afghanistan, and Persia.  It is plausible that a Christian sect in the vicinities of Kashmir wrote that narrative. It is also plausible that Jesus survived his wounds during crucifixion and headed eastward: the shroud of Milan have marks of a body still hot and not of a cadaver.

I frankly cannot see why this story should be thrown out; countless adolescents tour the world nowadays; it was even more common in those times for young people trekking to learn and attend renowned schools.

Jesus knew more than three language; Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek (the language of the educated of the time) and Latin since he spoke to Roman centurions and Pontius Pilate.

It is also narrated that Jesus lived for a time in Sidon (a Lebanese port) teaching in its famous law school.  His mother Mary and part of her extended family were original of the town of Qana in the district of Tyre, and moved to a town nearby when Jesus was a lecturer in the law school.

It is no fluke incident that Jesus and Mary attended a wedding in Qana (a town close to Sidon); it is also very rational that Jesus decided to start his message after Qana when his mother removed the cover of secrecy and exposed his supernatural gifts of turning water to wine.

Jesus was a high priest in the Essene sect and preached a message based on symbolism and fables and was highly spiritual and staunchly anti-Pharisee.  The Jewish cabala sect is a branch of the Essene sect and is founded on the Sumerian theology and myths. 

Albert Schweitzer, a theologian, physician, thinker, organ player and Nobel Peace laureate offered his version on Jesus.

Schweitzer said, based on the first two Bibles of Matthew and Marc, that Jesus preached his message to the general public in the last year before his crucifixion.  Six months, all in all, was the period that Jesus was accompanied by the public; the remaining months he spent them among his close disciple around Caesarea of Philippi.

In the beginning, Jesus accepted the label of a prophet among the prophets but then he reached the belief that he is the Messiah of the Jews.

Thus, he sent his disciples two by two to preach the message of the end of time, as was the custom of every “prophet”.

Jesus was very surprised when all his disciples returned safe and sound; he expected his disciples to suffer terribly and be put to death if the “prophecy of end of time” was to be accomplished.

Jesus then decided that God would accept his sacrifice and save his close disciples from atrocious deaths before the first coming of the Messiah.  The version of what happened in Jerusalem and Jesus crucifixion can be followed in my article “Judas Iscariot“.

Note 1:  Jesus had a large extended family; he had many brothers and sisters and his grandmother Ann married a second time and had many boys and girls.  Matthew made a valiant attempt through 42 generations to link Jesus to David. If we have no records of Jesus own family then how could we go that far back in genealogy?

The Christian Jews wanted a Jewish King very badly.  Actually, several early Christian communities unified the New Testament into one coherent book and had eliminated Matthew’s ridiculous endeavor.

Note 2: The first Christian communities emulated the monastic and ascetic life of the Essene sect. A few early Christian sects went beyond the ascetic of the Essenians. For example, the author Amine Maalouf, in his book on Mani, mentions a community called in Aramaic “Halle Haware” or white garment clad people.

This caste did not eat meat or drink wine or leavened bread; the disciples wore white garments from top to bottom, they were scared of fire (symbol of evil), and thus would eat only raw fruits and vegetables grown by the community.

Outside food was prohibited and considered “female” food because women were banished from the community and the female names in the scriptures were not mentioned unless the names represented calamities and bad augurs.  Travelers of this community carried with them the unleavened bread and produce of their home grown community because outside food was not pure.

Many monophysist Christian sects (Jesus is only divine) such as the Jacobite and Nastourian (a name originated from the name Nazareth) had reached China before Islam (around 600 AC). They translated their Bible into Chinese and were permitted to preach their brand of religion and build churches.  T

The Nestorians built churches all along the Silk Road and many of these edifices can still be found in Tibet, Mongolia, China, Afghanistan, and Persia.

It is also believed that the Prophet Muhammad learned about Christianity from these sects that were marginalized by the official Byzantine Church.

Note 3: What the disciples of Jesus retained most from all the teaching of Jesus was that “the second coming” will take place shortly after they died, so that they will be resurrected as Jesus was.

What is the story of this Walking Rabbi on Palm Sunday?

Note: A repost of my article of 2009 “From Palm Sunday to the Last Supper: what happened? (August 27, 2009)”

Jesus enters Jerusalem on a Sunday morning; he had chased out the money changers and those doing “business as usual” by the Temple the day before.

Jesus is received as a popular Rabi leader and messiah; he is mounted on a donkey (jahesh) that Jesus had already rented for the day.

For six months by now, Jesus advanced toward Jerusalem for the yearly celebration.

Thousands of pilgrims and followers were accompanying him.  Jesus was not a desk Rabi; not an urban Rabi.  Jesus was a walking Rabbi followed by thousands of long marching disciples.

On Thursday evening and after the Last Supper, Jesus is made prisoner and convicted of fomenting disruption by the Jewish Sanhedrin in Jerusalem according to 3 of the 4 formal testaments from bible authors and retained by Byzantium in 325 AC.

From Sunday till the Last Supper what happened?

This year celebration was not a run of the mill event: Jerusalem was swarmed by thousands of different brands of pilgrims and a walking Rabi entered preaching and speaking a new message.

A walking Rabi was lambasting the Pharisee and the other Jewish sects of the priesthood.

The Jewish Sanhedrin has been gathering intelligence on Jesus for over a year now and it has accumulated a thorough biography of Jesus and his messages.

More plausibly, the Roman governor Pilate and the King of Lower Galilee Herod Epiphany were tracking intensively Jesus progress toward Jerusalem: Both were very edgy of this non-violent movement:

1. Herod had decapitated John the Baptist, a very close relative of Jesus who is being followed by masses from Galilee, putting a serious dent on Herod political credibility…

2. Pilate was at ease with the current Jewish leaders and could not understand how to deal with this new unorthodox leader.

The Sanhedrin knew that Jesus of Galilee was the “son of Marie“; it was convinced and the rumors aided a lot that Joseph was not the genetic father of Jesus, and Mathew poured oil on the fire by relating a not convincing story 60 years later.

I don’t care one way or another who was the real father of Jesus, but everyone else at that period did care and must have known, especially the Sanhedrin.

The Jews named the eldest sons after the patriarch of the family.  The Sanhedrin knew that Jesus was a “gentile” who was circumcised by law during the century old Maccabees Kingdom, and that he followed the Jewish rituals. Jesus of Galilee was attached administratively and juridically to the city of Tyr in Lebanon.

The Sanhedrin was highly upset and frightened that this walking Rabi knew more on the Book and the history of the Jewish priesthood than the most learned among them.

And yet, not a historian, not a document, not an anecdote recounted what happened between Sunday and Thursday, a land of scholars.

These four days are as blank as the period of Jesus between 12 and 30 years of age.

After Jesus was crucified, all the frightened apostles huddled in a remote house.

From the testimony of the apostles, all that they retained from Jesus’ message was that there is another “coming” and pretty soon. More probably 3 days after any apostol passes away.

After news of Jesus resurrection reached the apostles, the second coming was confirmed to the apostles with a twistthe second coming will take place during their lifetime. If they die before the “coming” then they will be resurrected within 3 days to participate in the final event. 

Thomas would not be railroaded one more time: he wants to touch Jesus and check the wounds.

Jesus has been teaching his message in parabolas, the best technique for verbal retention.

These parabolas were in the Gnostic literature of the Land and the examples were extracted from the custom and tradition of the Land (Palestine, Syria and Lebanon).

The apostles had nothing else to teach of the spiritual message of Jesus: they didn’t even comprehend the message.

The apostles retained what differed from the Jewish daily rituals and customs. Maybe Jesus was funny and told his stories in a funny way, but the testimonies of the apostles were not that funny.

Most probably the funny apostles with a sense of humor were not taken that seriously and their accounts forgotten, burned, and destroyed.

From Sunday to Thursday we know nothing of the activities and whereabouts of Jesus or his apostles.

Were the disciples scattered to disseminate the new message?

Was Jesus preaching and meeting with the masses?

Has Jesus discussed with a few priests in the Sanhedrin?

What is certain is that the Roman Pilates had no facts or accounts on Jesus activities that may substantiate fomenting any civil revolt.

The Sanhedrin was reduced to asking Jesus abstract and metaphysical questionsAre you the son of God?

The Sanhedrin would not be humiliated by convicting a “gentile” on Jewish religious grounds; it would not legally stick with the Romans who did not meddle in sect divergences.

The Sanhedrin would not bring troubles to its structure of interests by spreading an accusation that a popular movement was underway contesting its legitimacy.

The Sanhedrin was in a major predicament, but would not allow Jesus to freely resume his teaching: And Jesus was to die in Jerusalem before he gets out of their jurisdiction.

These events did not take place in pre-history.  The Land was highly civilized and cultured.

The elites spoke Greek, Roman, Aramaic, and Hebrew.

The Land had been disseminating all sorts of philosophical schools, sciences, and literature.

And yet, nothing to account from Sunday to Thursday!

Could you say that we have a biography of Jesus?  The Jews even created a biography for Noah! I love biographies and I am not at all satisfied with what I have gotten.

Thousands of Christian “heretics” who believed only in the human nature of Jesus were persecuted, imprisoned, and crucified for not abiding by Byzantium orthodox dogma.  Why did they have to defy a stupid orthodox dogma since there were no confirmed documents describing the entire life of Jesus?

Thousands of Christian “heretics” who believed only in the spiritual nature of Jesus were persecuted and executed for not following the orthodox dogma; why did they have to revolt against the orthodox dogma since even the apostles did not care or comprehend that much about Jesus spiritual message?

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 238

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page of backlog opinions and events is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory

Jesus enters Jerusalem on a Sunday morning; he had chased out the money changers and those doing “business as usual” by the Temple the day before.  Jesus is received as a popular Rabi leader and messiah; he is mounted on a donkey (jahesh) that Jesus had already rented for the day.

For six months, Jesus advanced toward Jerusalem for the yearly celebration, the first time ever for him in Jerusalem. He used to celebrate in his sect Temple on mount Carmel, atop Haifa. Thousands of pilgrims and followers were accompanying him.  Jesus was not a desk Rabi; not an urban Rabi.  Jesus was a walking Rabi followed by thousands of long marching disciples.

Robert Oppenheimer watched the mushroom cloud from the first atomic detonation bloom over a New Mexico test site. Hrepeated a line from the Hindu epic Bhagavad-Gita: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.

Yonatan Zunger, a former security and privacy engineer at Google, compared the power in the hands of software engineers to “kids in a toy shop full of loaded AK-47’s.

Tech companies, obsess over reliability—gaming out the “what-ifs” to prevent computer systems from crashing, need to apply the same planning to human consequences. “If you can do it without wanting to hide under a table, you’re not thinking hard enough,” he writes. “There are worse failure modes, and they’re coming for you.”Michael J. Coren

Evangelical Zionists starts their documentary on Jesus, as an excuse to expand on the Jewish fabricated mythical stories

Un pasteur Evangelique est un candidat a la Presidene du Costa Rica: c’est dingue.

32,000 workers are constructing the third airport in Istanbul. They work 24/24, 7 days a week. 400 died on the job. The 4 companies are linked to Erdogan.

La désobeissance civil ne peut prendre racine que lorseque l’individu apprend la sobriéte de vivre

Learning to lead a sober life is a pre-requisite for sustaining civil disobedience movement.

Correction: 1,500 Palestinians injured by Israel live bullets on “Homeland Day”. 17 dead (martyrs) and many handicapped in the legs. US Evangelical Zionist administration feeling Sad

America’s insatiable appetite for gigantic vehicles is essential to Detroit’s profits. That’s largely because light trucks have been protected by a 25% tariff on foreign-made competitors, compared with 2.5% for regular cars.

Robert Lawrence says Detroit’s cushy profits “bred bad habits, steering Detroit away from building high-quality automobiles,” and leaving them unable to compete against foreign car-makers and their more fuel-efficient autos. That eventually pushed the Big Three—Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler—to the brink of bankruptcy, requiring a taxpayer bailout for latter two, and heavy government assistance to keep Ford afloat.

Benis sont ceux qui, a un age avancé, ont le privilege des enfants: progresser pas a pas, re-apprendre les gestes et les joies.

In Middle Age Europe, 50,000 women were burned alive for witch craft

Naji 7ayek min Al Tayyar after allying with al Ekhwaan in this period of election:  we share Nothing. We want to open bars and they don’t want according to their shari3at. Go figure for this minimalist opinion

Sortou o2men bi Sa3d “kharzeh zar2at”: askatat ta2irat Israilliyyat mou7amalat bi 4 sawareekh

Hezbollah dakhal fi mar7alat jadidat: allaf jihaaz li moukafa7at al fassad. Metel jihaaz li ta7reer al selsilat al sharkiyyat.

 

 

 

 

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 235

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page of backlog opinions and events is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory

The Near-East region (current Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine) was the crossroad for all the ancient warrior empires. The people were more educated (had schools), more cultured, and more urban. The educated people spoke at least 3 languages, their mother tongue Aramaic, the previous occupier language and the current occupier.

During Jesus period, the educated people in the Near-East (current Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine) communicated in 3 languages: Their mother tongue Aramaic, Greek/Seleucid, and Latin. The Romans started their incursions in 60 BC.

The Jews in southern Palestine, mostly Bedouins, adopted the customs and tradition of the Land (Near-East civilization). In 200 BC, a few Jewish scholars wrote a mythical history (stories) for the Jews and codified customs as religious laws. They added a few restrictive customs that corresponded to their Bedouin life-style.

Jesus was Not a Jew, as agreed upon by the sect in Jerusalem through the Sanhedrin. The charismatic Jesus is from the province of Tyre (including Galilee and Sidon). The Temple of Jesus’ sect was in mount Carmel. All Jesus life was spent in that region, before he decided to march toward Jerusalem in the last 6 months of his life

The people in the Tyre province were forced to accept more restrictive customs (religious laws) from the extremist  Bedouin Jews in South Palestine who rebelled 100 BC against the Greek/Seleucid empire with capital in Damascus

Why Jesus decided in the last 6 months of his life to march toward Jerusalem? Most probably, he wanted to disseminate his teaching to the people in South Palestine. Trying to get inducted in the Sanhedrin would facilitate his mission.  The Sanhedrin was Not ready to admit this charismatic Stranger from the Tyre province and rob them of total control over the people in their “enclave”

La religion c’est toujours la religion: Les riches peuvent s’en passer quand leurs privileges sont assures er securises. Mais elle est necessaire pour nous les pauvres: Il n’y a que la religion pour endormir nos peines et aussi l’amour.

J’ai mes crises…Ce que le monde souffre aujourd’hui

March 30, 2018: Israel injured 1,100 unarmed Palestinians during their mass demonstration for “Homeland Day”. Most of these injuries were from live bullets.  A dozen were killed (martyred), particularly on Gaza border and the nasty Hebron (al Khalil) settlers

Notre Pere qui est aux cieux “Guide nous dans nos tentations”. Les passions sont bonnes: si seulement on a quelqu’un de bien et experimente’ pour nous guider. Si seulement on est pret a entendre et prendre au serieux les plus ages

En regime “democratique et liberal” les gouvernement dependent du bon vouloir des patrons

Tfadalou. Bi 2ool: drouri intifada sha3biyya 3aarimat. Lan antakheb, wa ma intakhabt saabikan. Keslaan baddo al naass tontofed 3anno.

7osni al 7ousayni insa7ab min al intikhabaat. Wa leish Walid 3am ye rekk 3ala eksaa2 Nabih? Ma houwi shriko bi kel business al fassaad

 

 

 

Was Jesus Jewish by any long shot?

The Jews of Jerusalem never acknowledged that Jesus was a Jew.

Jesus never proclaimed that he was Jew.

The mother of Jesus was from the town of Qana, the district of Tyr then and now, as was all of her family.

The Temple they patronized was the Great Temple of the Carmel and it is there they celebrated their religious events.

The town of Bethlehem was the one in Galilee and not the one close to Jerusalem that was a tiny military garrison.

When Jesus ascended toward Jerusalem, it was his first visit to the city, where he would be persecuted and executed.

Kamal Nader shared this link on April 3, 2015
Edmond Melhem shared a photo to Kamal Nader‘s timeline.
'Jesus was Syrian</p><br /><br />
<p>By Dr. Edmond Melhem</p><br /><br />
<p>Was Jesus really a Jew as some scholars refer to him? According to Antun Sa´adeh, Jesus was not a Jew, but he was Syrian and a product of his Syrian social environment. Sa´adeh clearly states: </p><br /><br />
<p>Jesus was not Jewish and he had no Jewish fathers; as claimed by the composer of the Instigatory [Al-Qarawi], who denigrated him. Jesus was Syrian, who used to address people in Aramaic. </p><br /><br />
<p>In his book, Life of Jesus, Renan, asserts that “the real mother-tongue of Jesus was the Syrian dialect mingled with Hebrew, which was then spoken in Palestine”.  By the Syrian dialect Renan meant Aramaic, which was the spoken language in Palestine, particularly in the Galilee, during the lifetime of Jesus.  The Dutch Roman Catholic scholar Edward Schillebeeckx was certain about the Aramaic hypothesis when he wrote: “On historical grounds it is quite certain that he [Jesus] conveyed his message in Aramaic”.  Günther Bornekamm offers a similar view that “Jesus’ mother tongue is the Aramaic of Galilee.”</p><br /><br />
<p>According to Abraham Mitrie Rihbani (1870 – 1945) , Syria was the original home of Jesus. In The Syrian Christ, published in 1916 and reprinted 17 times between 1916 and 1937, Rihbani conducts us “into the inner chambers of Syrian life”, describing the social habits of Syria and the cultural milieu in which Jesus lived. At the start of his journey, however, he asserts, like many, that Jesus, as the embodiment of the Holy Spirit and as a preacher of God: the Father, and His heavenly kingdom, is a man without a country or nationality. He states: </p><br /><br />
<p>As a prophet and seer Jesus belongs to all races and ages. Wherever the minds of men respond to simple truth, wherever the hearts of men thrill with pure love, wherever a temple of religion is dedicated to the worship of God and the service of man, there is Jesus’ country and there his friends.  </p><br /><br />
<p>Before he presents a charming account of Jesus’ life and his characteristics as well as his teachings, Rihbani emphasizes that his modest purpose in publishing his book is “to remind the reader that, whatever else Jesus was, as regards his modes of thought and life and his method of teaching, he was a Syrian of the Syrians”. Rihbani adds: </p><br /><br />
<p>According to authentic history Jesus never saw any other country than Palestine. There he was born; there he grew up to manhood, taught his Gospel, and died for it.</p><br /><br />
<p>It is most natural, then, that gospel truths should have come down to the succeeding generations – and the nations of the West-cast in Oriental moulds of thought, and intimately intermingled with the simple domestic and social habits of Syria. The gold of the Gospel carries with it the sand and dust of its original home. </p><br /><br />
<p>In search of Jesus’ identity, scholars may provide rival answers and a multiplicity of dazzling images of Jesus. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the Jesus of history, the real Jesus, was born in Palestine; there he grew up, walked and taught. He never identified himself as a Jew and never designated himself the Son of David, but the Son of God. Sa´adeh asserts that Jesus himself refused to be called “Son of David” as the Jews wished. He adds:<br /><br /><br />
Jesus rejected all attempts to regard him a Jew related to David, in accordance with the Jewish tradition. It is not right to say the Messiah was Jewish. He is the son of the Syrian environment.'
Al-Zawba’ah by Edmond Melhem

Jesus was Syrian

Was Jesus really a Jew as some scholars refer to him?

According to Antun Sa´adeh, Jesus was not a Jew, but he was Syrian, a product of his Syrian social environment. Sa´adeh clearly states:

Jesus was not Jewish and he had no Jewish fathers; as claimed by the composer of the Instigatory [Al-Qarawi], who denigrated him. Jesus was Syrian, who used to address people in Aramaic.

(Antun Saadeh is the founder and leader of the Syrian National Social Party, established in 1931. Saadeh was executed by firing squadby the Lebanese government in 1949 after a quick trial that didn’t last 24 hours.)

In his book, Life of Jesus, Renan, asserts that “the real mother-tongue of Jesus was the Syrian dialect mingled with Hebrew, which was then spoken in Palestine”.

By the Syrian dialect Renan meant Aramaic, which was the spoken language in Palestine, particularly in the Galilee, during the lifetime of Jesus.

The Dutch Roman Catholic scholar Edward Schillebeeckx was certain about the Aramaic hypothesis when he wrote: “On historical grounds it is quite certain that he [Jesus] conveyed his message in Aramaic”.

Günther Bornekamm offers a similar view that “Jesus’ mother tongue is the Aramaic of Galilee.” (Galilee was within Tyr district jurisdiction and Herod was denied taking Jesus to court and Jesus lived all his life in the district of Tyr)

According to Abraham Mitrie Rihbani (1870 – 1945) , Syria was the original home of Jesus.

In The Syrian Christ, published in 1916 and reprinted 17 times between 1916 and 1937, Rihbani conducts us “into the inner chambers of Syrian life”, describing the social habits of Syria and the cultural milieu in which Jesus lived.

Jesus was as the embodiment of the Holy Spirit and as a preacher of God: the Father, and His heavenly kingdom, is a man without a country or nationality. Abraham Mitrie Rihbani states:

As a prophet and seer Jesus belongs to all races and ages. Wherever the minds of men respond to simple truth, wherever the hearts of men thrill with pure love, wherever a temple of religion is dedicated to the worship of God and the service of man, there is Jesus’ country and there his friends.

Before he presents a charming account of Jesus’ life and his characteristics as well as his teachings, Rihbani emphasizes that his modest purpose in publishing his book is “to remind the reader that, whatever else Jesus was, as regards his modes of thought and life and his method of teaching, he was a Syrian of the Syrians”. Rihbani adds:

According to authentic history Jesus never saw any other country than Palestine. There he was born; there he grew up to manhood, taught his Gospel, and died for it.

It is most natural, then, that gospel truths should have come down to the succeeding generations – and the nations of the West-cast in Oriental moulds of thought, and intimately intermingled with the simple domestic and social habits of Syria.

The gold of the Gospel carries with it the sand and dust of its original home.

In search of Jesus’ identity, scholars may provide rival answers and a multiplicity of dazzling images of Jesus.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that the Jesus of history, the real Jesus, was born in Palestine; there he grew up, walked and taught.

He never identified himself as a Jew and never designated himself the Son of David, but the Son of God.

Sa´adeh asserts that Jesus himself refused to be called “Son of David” as the Jews wished. He adds:
Jesus rejected all attempts to regard him a Jew related to David, in accordance with the Jewish tradition. It is not right to say the Messiah was Jewish. He is the son of the Syrian environment.

Read: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/the-virgin-mary-is-from-the-town-of-qana-in-lebanon-book-review/#comment-1492

 

 

 

Jesus: the Muslim prophet?

Christians like to claim ownership of Christ. But the veneration of Jesus by Muslims began during the lifetime of the Prophet of Islam (and before, since there existed Christian sects in Mecca)

Perhaps most telling is the story in the classical biographies of Muhammad, who, entering the city of Mecca in triumph in 630AD, proceeded at once to the Kaaba to cleanse the holy shrine of its idols. As he walked around, ordering the destruction of the pictures and statues of the 360 or so pagan deities, he came across a fresco on the wall depicting the Virgin and Child.

He is said to have covered it reverently with his cloak and decreed that all other paintings be washed away except that one.

Mehdi Hasan Published December 10, 2009

Christianity is rooted in the belief that Jesus is the Son of God, so is Islam’s version of Christ a source of tension, or a way of building bridges between the world’s two largest faiths?

Jesus, or Isa (3issa), as he is known in Arabic, is deemed by Islam to be a Muslim prophet rather than the Son of God, or God incarnate. He is referred to by name in as many as 25 different verses of the Quran and six times with the title of “Messiah” (or “Christ”, depending on which Quranic translation is being used).

Jesus is also referred to as the “Messenger” and the “Prophet” but, perhaps above all else, as the “Word” and the “Spirit” of God.

No other prophet in the Quran, not even Muhammad, is given this particular honour. In fact, among the 124,000 prophets said to be recognised by Islam – a figure that includes all of the Jewish prophets of the Old Testament – Jesus is considered second only to Muhammad, and is believed to be the precursor to the Prophet of Islam. (A messenger for each language and each people)

In his fascinating book The Muslim Jesus, the former Cambridge professor of Arabic and Islamic studies Tarif Khalidi brings together, from a vast range of sources, 303 stories, sayings and traditions of Jesus that can be found in Muslim literature, from the earliest centuries of Islamic history.

These paint a picture of Christ not dissimilar to the Christ of the Gospels. The Muslim Jesus is the patron saint of asceticism, the lord of nature, a miracle worker, a healer, a moral, spiritual and social role model. (Many Christian sects were banned by Byzantium as Heretics based on how Jesus’s nature is believed)

“Jesus used to eat the leaves of the trees,” reads one saying, “dress in hairshirts, and sleep wherever night found him. He had no child who might die, no house which might fall into ruin; nor did he save his lunch for his dinner or his dinner for his lunch. He used to say, ‘Each day brings with it its own sustenance.‘”

According to Islamic theology, Christ did not bring a new revealed law, or reform an earlier law, but introduced a new path or way (tariqah) based on the love of God; it is perhaps for this reason that he has been adopted by the mystics, or Sufis, of Islam.

The Sufi philosopher al-Ghazali described Jesus as “the prophet of the soul” and the Sufi master Ibn Arabi called him “the seal of saints”. The Jesus of Islamic Sufism, as Khalidi notes, is a figure “not easily distinguished” from the Jesus of the Gospels.

What prompted Khalidi to write such a pro­vocative book? “We need to be reminded of a history that told a very different story: how one religion, Islam, co-opted Jesus into its own spirituality yet still maintained him as an independent hero of the struggle between the spirit and the letter of the law,” he told me. “It is in many ways a remarkable story of religious encounter, of one religion fortifying its own piety by adopting and cherishing the master spiritual narrative of another religion.”

Islam reveres both Jesus and his mother, Mary (Joseph appears nowhere in the Islamic narrative of Christ’s birth). “Unlike the canonical Gospels, the Quran tilts backward to his miraculous birth rather than forward to his Passion,” writes Khalidi. “This is why he is often referred to as ‘the son of Mary’ and why he and his mother frequently appear together.” (The Jews in Jerusalem called Jesus the son of Mary too)

In fact, the Virgin Mary, or Maryam, as she is known in the Quran, is considered by Muslims to hold the most exalted spiritual position among women. She is the only woman mentioned by name in Islam’s holy book and a chapter of the Quran is named after her. In one oft-cited tradition, the Prophet Muhammad described her as one of the four perfect women in human history.

But the real significance of Mary is that Islam considers her a virgin and endorses the Christian concept of the Virgin Birth. “She was the chosen woman, chosen to give birth to Jesus, without a husband,” says Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, an imam in Leicester and assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). This is the orthodox Islamic position and, paradoxically, as Seyyed Hossein Nasr notes in The Heart of Islam, “respect for such teachings is so strong among Muslims that today, in interreligious dialogues with Christians . . . Muslims are often left defending traditional . . . Christian doctrines such as the miraculous birth of Christ before modernist interpreters would reduce them to metaphors.

With Christianity and Islam so intricately linked, it might make sense for Muslim communities across Europe, harassed, haran­gued and often under siege, to do more to stress this common religious heritage, and especially the shared love for Jesus and Mary.

There is a renowned historical precedent for this from the life of the Prophet.

In 616AD, six years into his mission in Mecca, Muhammad decided to find a safer refuge for those of his followers who had been exposed to the worst persecution from his opponents in the pagan tribes of the Quraysh. He asked the Negus, the Christian king of Abyssinia (modern-day Ethiopia), to take them in. He agreed and more than 80 Muslims left Mecca with their families.

The friendly reception that greeted them upon arrival in Abyssinia so alarmed the Quraysh that, worried about the prospects of Muhammad’s Muslims winning more allies abroad, they sent two delegates to the court of the Negus to persuade him to extradite them back to Mecca. The Muslim refugees, claimed the Quraysh, were blasphemers and fugitives.

The Negus invited Jafar, cousin of Muhammad and leader of the Muslim group, to answer the charges. Jafar explained that Muhammad was a prophet of the same God who had confirmed his revelation to Jesus, and recited aloud the Quranic account of the virginal conception of Christ in the womb of Mary:

And make mention of Mary in the Scripture, when she had withdrawn from her people to a chamber looking East,
And had chosen seclusion from them. Then We sent unto her Our Spirit and it assumed for her the likeness of a perfect man.
She said: Lo! I seek refuge in the Beneficent One from thee, if thou art God-fearing.
He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son.
She said: How can I have a son when no mortal hath touched me, neither have I been unchaste?
He said: So (it will be). Thy Lord saith: It is easy for Me. And (it will be) that We may make of him a revelation for mankind and a mercy from Us, and it is a thing ordained.
Quran, 19:16-21

Karen Armstrong writes, in her biography of Muhammad, that “when Jafar finished, the beauty of the Quran had done its work. The Negus was weeping so hard that his beard was wet, and the tears poured down the cheeks of his bishops and advisers so copiously that their scrolls were soaked.” The Muslims remained in Abyssinia, under the protection of the Negus, and were able to practise their religion freely.

However, for Muslims, the Virgin Birth is not evidence of Jesus’s divinity, only of his unique importance as a prophet and a messiah. The Trinity is rejected by Islam, as is Jesus’s Crucifixion and Resurrection.

The common theological ground seems to narrow at this point – as Jonathan Bartley, co-director of the Christian think tank Ekklesia, argues, the belief in the Resurrection is the “deal-breaker”. He adds: “There is a fundamental tension at the heart of interfaith dialogue that neither side wants to face up to, and that is that the orthodox Christian view of Jesus is blasphemous to Muslims and the orthodox Muslim view of Jesus is blasphemous to Christians.” He has a point.

The Quran singles out Christianity for formulating the concept of the Trinity:

Do not say, “Three” – Cease! That is better for you. God is one God. Glory be to Him, [high exalted is He] above having a son.
Quran 4:171

It castigates Christianity for the widespread practice among its sects of worshipping Jesus and Mary, and casts the criticism in the form of an interrogation of Jesus by God:

And when God will say: “O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as gods besides God’?” he will
say, “Glory be to You, it was not for me to say what I had no right [to say]! If I had said it, You would have known it.
Quran 5:116

Jesus, as Khalidi points out, “is a controversial prophet. He is the only prophet in the Quran who is deliberately made to distance himself from the doctrines that his community is said to hold of him.” For example, Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified but was raised bodily to heaven by God.

Yet many Muslim scholars have maintained that the Islamic conception of Jesus – shorn of divinity; outside the Trinity; a prophet – is in line with the beliefs and teachings of some of the earliest Jewish-Christian sects, such as the Ebionites and the Nazarenes, who believed Jesus to be the Messiah, but not divine.

Muslims claim the Muslim Jesus is the historical Jesus, stripped of a later, man-made “Christology”: “Jesus as he might have been without St Paul or St Augustine or the Council of Nicaea”, to quote the Cambridge academic John Casey.

Or, as A N Wilson wrote in the Daily Express a decade ago: “Islam is a moral and intellectual acknowledgement of the lordship of God without the encumbrance of Christian mythological baggage . . . That is why Christianity will decline in the next millennium, and the religious hunger of the human heart will be answered by the Crescent, not the Cross.” Despite the major doctrinal differences, there remain areas of significant overlap, such as on the second coming of Christ.

Both Muslims and Christians subscribe to the belief that before the world ends Jesus will return to defeat the Antichrist, whom Muslims refer to as Dajjal.

The idea of a Muslim Jesus, in whatever doctrinal form, may help fortify the resolve of those scholars who talk of the need to reformulate the exclusivist concept of a Judaeo-Christian civilisation and refer instead to a “Judaeo-Christian-Muslim civilisation”.

This might be anathema to evangelical Christians – especially in the US, where populist preachers such as Franklin Graham see Islam as a “very evil and wicked religion” – but, as Khalidi points out, “While the Jewish tradition by and large rejects Jesus, the Islamic tradition, especially Sufi or mystical Islam, constructs a place for him at the very centre of its devotions.”

Nonetheless, Jesus remains an esoteric part of Islamic faith and practice. Where, for example, is the Islamic equivalent of Christmas? Why do Muslims celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad but not that of the Prophet Jesus? “We, too, in our own way should celebrate the birth of Jesus . . . [because] he is so special to us,” says Mogra. “But I think each religious community has distinct celebrations, so Muslims will celebrate their own and Christians their own.”

In recent years, the right-wing press in Britain has railed against alleged attempts by “politically correct” local authorities to downplay or even suppress Christmas. Birmingham’s attempt to name its seasonal celebrations “Winterval” and Luton’s Harry Potter-themed lights, or “Luminos”, are notorious examples.

There is often a sense that such decisions are driven by the fear that outward displays of Christian faith might offend British Muslim sensibilities, but, given the importance of Jesus in Islam, such fears seem misplaced. Mogra, who leads the MCB’s interfaith relations committee, concurs: “It’s a ridiculous suggestion to change the name of Christmas.” He adds: “Britain is great when it comes to celebrating diverse religious festivals of our various faith communities. They should remain named as they are, and we should celebrate them all.”

Mogra is brave to urge Muslims to engage in an outward and public celebration of Jesus, in particular his birth, in order to match the private reverence that Muslims say they have for him. Is there a danger, however, that Muslim attempts to re-establish the importance of Jesus within Islam and as an integral part of their faith and tradition might be misinterpreted?

Might they be misconstrued as part of a campaign by a supposedly resurgent and politicised Islam to try to take “ownership” of Jesus, in a western world in which organised Christianity is in seeming decline? Might it be counterproductive for interfaith relations? Church leaders, thankfully, seem to disagree.

“I have always enjoyed spending time with Muslim friends, with whom we as Christians have so much in common, along with Jewish people, as we all trace our faith back to Abraham,” the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, tells me. “When I visit a mosque, having been welcomed in the name of ‘Allah and His Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon Him’, I respond with greetings ‘in the name of Jesus Christ, whom you Muslims revere as a prophet, and whom I know as the Saviour of the World, the Prince of Peace’.”

Amid tensions between the Christian west and the Islamic east, a common focus on Jesus – and what Khalidi calls a “salutary” reminder of when Christianity and Islam were more open to each other and willing to rely on each other’s witness – could help close the growing divide between the world’s two largest faiths. Mogra agrees: “We don’t have to fight over Jesus. He is special for Christians and Muslims. He is bigger than life. We can share him.”

Reverend David Marshall, one of the Church of England’s specialists on Islam, cites the concluding comments from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, at a recent seminar for Christian and Muslim scholars. He said he had been encouraged by “the quality of our disagreement”. “Christians and Muslims disagree on many points and will continue to do so – but how we disagree is not predetermined,” says Marshall.

“Muslims are called by the Quran to ‘argue only in the best way with the People of the Book’ [Quran 29:46], and Christians are encouraged to give reasons for the hope that is within them, ‘with gentleness and reverence’ [1 Peter 3:15]. If we can do this, we have no reason to be afraid.”

“The Muslim Jesus” by Tarif Khalidi is published by Harvard University Press (£14.95)

Mehdi Hasan is the NS’s senior editor (politics)

Note 1: If based on the Quran, The two religions may reach a consensus. The whole problems in Islam is that they give more importance to the Hadith or stories told about the life and behaviour of Muhammad. The Moslems may memorize the Quran, but they like much better the side stories that have no relationship to the Quran fundamentals.

Note 2: Marie was called The Virgin because she served as a virgin girl in the Great Temple of Carmel with other girls from the elite families in the district of Tyr (Lebanon)

Breakdown of the senses (Panne de sens) by Mouss Benia; (Nov. 27, 2009)

Note:  I will insert in parenthesis the French/Algerian slang for the corresponding word.

Jilali Benhadji was born and raised in France and going to public school in Paris; his Algerian father (daron) immigrated to France at the age of 17 and has been working in construction as crane operator.   The daron has been sending money for 30 years to his brother in Algeria in order to finish building his house in the city of Oran but everything takes time to finish there. Four years in France, the father tore up his ID and military card because they mentioned his religion. The mother (daronne or yema) barely can speak French and misses her relatives in Algeria.

Jilali is 15 years old and has silky blond (18 carat) hair, milky skin, and blue eyes like the pictures of Jesus in Europe. At the start of each school year teachers would get upset thinking that Jilali is answering “present!” for another student. Jilali is Jilou for his intimate friends and Jil short for students. Girls (meuf or gadji) never suspect his origin until he mentions his name; then the castle of cards collapses as if mistaken by the merchandise.

Jilou can enter supermarket without attracting the attention of the private guard: he could rob the shop dry without being suspected. Thus, when he enters a place then Jilou splits with his darker complexion friends. Jilou is a Troy Horse who can penetrate the hearts and minds if he would change just his name.  Jilou has the pale face with the heart of an Algerian native. Jilou two elder brothers are not the pride of his father: Nourdine prefers to celebrate Christmas with his parents-in-laws and never shows up for the Moslem’ Eids such as Ramadan or al Adha.  Youcef teaches France history, a job that his father commented on “It is not an Arab (rebeu or bicot) who will teach France history to the francaoui”

Immigrants are relegated to quarters in the suburbs with names taking to birds, animals, fruits, or vegetables.  “I am a man not ashamed of looking ridiculous” expressed  for the occasion of accompanying his father to purchasing a live sheep for the Adha Eid to be slaughtered in the afternoon.  It happened that, on the way back, the sheep was licking the rear window and his French girl friend was mimicking the sheep as she was driving with her father. Jilou had to avoid the girl for three days.

Life is boring in these prison-like quarters and Jilou goes on a three-week vacation to the Ocean shores with his friend Stephan. Obviously, he has to lie and says that he is staying at Stephan’s folks. The second week both friends are penniless; Jilou for the first time decides to attempt stealing hard liquor to sell at half price; he is caught and put in jail. The police (keuf or kepi) would not let Jilou out until a close relative personally takes responsibility of his discharge. Nourdine has to drive from Paris to the Vandee to let him out but refuses to intercede with his father on Jilou’s behalf.

When Jilou finally arrives home the family members are ordered to ignore him as an invisible ghost (djinn): he was the shame of the family (hrchouma).  For punishment the father banished Jilou to Algeria to continue his education there; Jilou is to live with his uncle’s family in the city of Oran by the sea-shore. Jilou has seen Algeria at the age of 7; he had to be circumcised and the ceremony celebrated among relatives; at the Paris airport, Jilou took out his sore penis (quequette) and said to his uncle “See what they have done to it?”

In Algeria of the 90’s water is rationed and tap water is received once every three days; families have to go to main water sources and fill Jeri cans. Jilou had to learn to clean his ass with water instead of toilet paper; he had never to forget to bring an empty bottle for that purpose when he goes to a private school that teaches in French and reserved just for “Algerian immigrants” coming from France, the mixed bread or the “noss noss”. The Algerian “nationaux” want to acquire the “flow” of the immigrants: their accents, their slangs, their expressions, their style in dressing and music.  In France, the location of these same immigrants, whether in the Old Port of Marseille or in Paris, is irrelevant: they are all considered living in the “suburbs” and potential trouble makers or “racailles”.

Jilou learned that terrorist acts are mostly perpetrated by the military in order to maintain the public illusion that the Moslem fundamentalists are the culprit.  Private entrepreneurs instituted collective taxis because public buses are rare and not schedule reliable.  He experienced the “hammam”, sort of sauna and public bath, and all his “fancied French” cloths and sneaker (basket or Adidas) were stolen; “you don’t wear fancy attires if you have to remove them in public places”.

The sons of the bourgeois (tchitchi) and high-ranking military officers throw luxury private parties in their homes.  From the outside, things are normal and blend with the environment; all windows are closed.  Inside, it is a different world and all is permitted; booze of all kinds “a volonte” and lovers find private rooms to do mostly the “brushing” of mutual sex parts; Jilou was lucky in one of these parties and discovered that he is a master painters. Jilou cannot get into dancing unless “sex machine” of James Brown is on.

Jilou came to realize that the Algerian/French immigrants are creating their own problems in France as seen by foreign media.  As long as we, the kids, witness our parents feeling as if in inferior status, then the kids will develop a displaced sense of pride that keep us prisoners in the wider society. Our cultural resistance model is lacking foundations: we all dream of financial success but shun away serious education and the hard work to exist as serious consumers.  Finding decent jobs (taf) to secure financial independence is the way out to integration and not State social aids.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

May 2020
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