Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘John the Baptist

Minorities in the Process of Disappearing: Iraq Case (April 29, 2009)


            Germany has selected over 2,500 minority refugees of Iraq from the concentration camps in Jordan and Syria to be given political asylum. These selected refugees are mostly minority Christians and some Kurds of the Yazidy denomination.  The first batch is of 120 refugees. The first phase is the transit camp of Friedland, close to Gottingen, where the refugees undergo medical examination, learn the German Language, and dwell in austere furnished rooms, well heated with showers and toilet along the corridors. There is nothing to do within the transit camps and the best meeting period is at meal time.  The next phase is assigning the refugees to districts and temporary residences until they find jobs.  A refugee may apply to his preferred location but it up to the German government to assign him.

            Beside formal refugees there are many adolescents (less than 18 of age) not accompanied by adults (about 5,000) who were whisked away by their parents outside Iraq, Afghanistan, and Eritrea “for better life opportunities”. These non accompanied adolescents land in one of eight camps reserved for minors. They are aided to depositing asylum applications, learning the German Language, and offered medical assistance.   Half the minor refugees obtain residency permit and the other half are tolerated to stay 6 months and renewable. Then they are directed to youth foyers. At the age of 18 the adolescents can rejoin families who accept them in their homes.

            There are over a dozen minorities of ethnic and religious sects in Iraq.  The Christian minority sects were expulsed from the Byzantium Empire after the conclave of Necee (in current coastal Turkey) in 325 on grounds of “heresies”.  Emperor Constantine had supposedly converted to Christianity in an empire that was “pagan” prevalently.  Many of these Christian sects seek refuge on inaccessible mountains in Mount Lebanon and in regions outside the Byzantium Empire such as in Armenia, Iraq, and Iran.  These sects managed to survive for two thousand years; the first 600 years they survived because the successive Persian Empires were lenient with religious beliefs; when Islam conquered Persia and the major part of the Byzantium Empire in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and the eastern part of Turkey starting in the year of 640 these sects enjoyed the formal recognition and protection in verses of the Koran. The Prophet Muhammad named the Christian, Jewish, and Yazidy sects are believers in the One and Unique God Allah.  The other main factor for their survival was avoiding daily mingling with the Moslems and deciding to be secluded in isolated communities: They had their particular traditions and religious laws and they preferred to keep low profiles.

            Many of these sects have their own verbal and written languages and have their literature. For example, the Sabi2a sect writes in “mandaic”, a language mingling Aramaic and ancient Sumerian.  The Sabe2a (baptismal) revere John the Baptist and had communities by the Tigre River south of current Baghdad and wore white robes and had Spartans daily customs of avoiding meat and fire for cooking. They were around 30,000 and are now reduced to around 6,000. Among these minorities we have the Assyro-Chaldean sect and the Kurdish Yazidy sect who are remnants of the Zoroaster religion.

            The regime of Saddam Hussein protected and even favored many of the Christian sects.  As the US invaded Iraq, al hell broke loose; the extremist Sunni Moslems (Arabs and Kurds) waged campaigns of terrorism and extermination against these minorities. Finally, Sweden permitted many minorities who mainly fled to Syria to apply for asylum.

The Virgin Mary is from the town of Qana in Lebanon; Book Review; (March 17, 2009)

The reverend Father Youssef Yamine has recently published a book in Arabic “Jesus Christ was born in Lebanon”. 

The manuscript is of 730 pages and divided into four big chapters:

1. The other Bethlehem in the district of Phoenicia,

2. Who is Christ historically?

3. The Bethlehem of Canaan in the New Testaments, and

4.  Christ was born in the district of Phoenicia, and the Virgin Mary is from and was born in Qana (Lebanon). 

This voluminous book is packed with documentation, references, maps, and archeological facts.  I will reserve details in a series of notes at the end in order to recount smoothly the biography of the extended family of Jesus.


The story of the birth of Jesus goes as follows.

Joachim Omram and Hanna, the parents of the Virgin Mary, were from the village of Qana (ten kilometers south-east of the city of Tyr and at an altitude of 85 meters).  This town of Qana was called Qana of Upper Galilee and was within the district of Phoenicia during the Seleucid and early Roman Empires).  Joachim was one of the eminent personalities in the town of Qana and the region.  He was a priest and had been frustrated because he could not secure any descendents.

Joachim (Yuwakeem) took his sheep to a remote area and fasted and prayed for 40 days. Hanna was also frustrated with this extended absence and decided to take off her black cloth and washed her hair and went out in the garden. 

Hanna received an apparition that she will soon get pregnant and that Joachim is on his way home.

Mary was born in Qana and her parents dedicated her to the Great Temple on Mount Carmel (Mount Carmel was also in the district of Phoenicia). 

When Mary was 3 years of age, she was interned in the monastery of the Great Temple in Carmel.  Mary was one of the 12 virgins of the elite families in the region to be dedicated to serve in the temple and she was named “The Pigeon of Eel (God)“. (The Jews in Judea never allowed girls to serve in temples).

Joseph (future husband of Mary) was also from Qana and one of Mary’s relatives; he was one of the superintendents at the temple and he cleaned, painted and did the various tasks of maintenance.

Mary and Joseph got married and Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem Tifone by the Carmel, close to the famous city of Dora by the seaside and north of current city of Haifa, within the district of Phoenicia (not in the Bethlehem of Judea). 

Mary visited her aunt Elizabeth in Galilee who was 6 months pregnant.  Jesus was presented to the Great Temple of Mount Carmel for sanctification. Jesus was lost in the same temple discussing with the priests when he was 12 of years. Jesus studied in the schools of Mount Carmel.

Joseph and Mary lived in Bethlehem by the Carmel. The town of Nazareth did not exist yet and the area was called Nazareth. When Joseph died Mary returned to her hometown of Qana where her father and grandparents were buried.

Jesus spent his youth in Qana. 

Jesus was called “Jesus of Mary” to distinguish him from the other Jesus.  Mary was also called “the sister of Jacob“:  Hanna had remarried after the death of Joachim and gave birth to 4 offspring; the eldest son of Hanna was apparently Jacob.


In the wedding of Qana, where Jesus showed his miraculous power of transforming water into wine, Mary was in her own town and it is Jesus who was invited and came up from Lake Tiberias to join the wedding. 

After the wedding, Mary and the brothers of Jesus (Jacob, Joseph, Simon, and Judah) followed him down to Cafarnaom (Capernaum) by the Lake and stayed there for a few days and then joined Jesus’ party from then on. 

            Qana of Upper Galilee (The Galilee of Nations) was the location where the disciples gathered for a while after the dilapidation of the first martyr Etienne. 

 Note 1: Mary received the “Good Tiding” from the Archangel while serving in Mount Carmel. Jesus was elevated to Heaven on Mount Carmel. The first church was built on Mount Carmel. 

A church was constructedt in the town of Qana by the disciples and the Moslems venerate the tomb of Joachim called “The tomb of the prophet Omran“. 

Qana was an important town for many centuries before Christ, and it became the main resting place of the disciples before venturing any further.

When Israel bombarded south Lebanon in 1996 for 15 days, one of the missiles made a large crater, 4 meters off the tomb of the prophet Omran.  The excavations uncovered a buried church and the tombs of the family of Omran.

Note 2: Qana is famous today because Israel massacred over 100 civilians and gravely injured 120 when her bombs targeted a UN compound in Qana in 1996.  Israel hit that same town again in 2006 and killed 50 more civilians.  


Note 3: I may conjecture that Mary retained the title of Virgin because she earned it serving as one of the virgins in the Great Temple.  There is this tradition in the Levant to bestow the title of nun and priest for even those who later relinquished their sacerdotal duties.


Note 4:  I may be bold to offer another conjecture.  Joachim was sterile and Hanna was impregnated by her relative who later became her second husband.


Note 5:  Jesus was not Jewish. His family and ancestors were forced by the Jewish King Arestopoulos to abide by Moses’ Law and be circumcised since the year 103 BC.

The Jewish historian of the Jews Josephus never mentioned Jesus or the crucifixion: Jesus was not considered a Jew!


Note 6: Jesus was highly educated.  He could speak Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek and Latin. He studied Law and taught Law at the university in Sidon (Lebanon)


Note 7:  The name Jesus is also called Emanuel (Amanueel) which mean “Eel (God) is among us”. Thus, “God was made human“.


Note 8: The astrophysicist Reznicoff confirms that the Comet Halley that showed the way to the sages crossed Galilee and not Judea.


Note 9:  Jesus was born in the year 7 BC and Caesar’s census was done in the year 10 BC, 3 years before Jesus birth.


Note 10: Herod the Great learned about the birth of the “King of the Jews” from the magies as he was boarding a ship in Akka (Acre) to Rome. 

No historian ever confirmed the mass killing of males of two years and less during the reign of Herod.


Note 11:  There are indications that Jesus entered Jerusalem for the first time when he was crucified. 

No wonder that Jesus experienced a cultural chock when he witnessed business and usury transactions within the temple.

Jesus got hold of a whip and chased out the merchants and turned their tables over and declared: “It is said that the temple is the house of God and not a cavern for thieves”.


Note 12:  Jesus was also called Rabbi (Rabuny) which means teacher in Aramaic.  Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let anyone call you Rabbi since you have only one teacher in Christ and you are all brethren”


Note 13:  Jesus wore the same long white robe that the Essenes sect of Mount Carmel wore; the consecrated members were called “The White Brethren” and they were famous as healers. 

The Essenes had many branches in Galilee and a prosperous one in Alexandria (Egypt) and had places for welcoming travelers and the sick. 

John the Baptist, who never left the region of Galilee, baptized with water as of the Essenes traditions and baptized Jesus.

Note 14:  Israel bombed Qana twice: Once on April 18, 1996 on a UN refugee compound and a second time in July 2006.

Syrian Social Nationalist Party's photo.
Syrian Social Nationalist Party's photo.

‫#‏قانا‬ | 18 نيسان 1996

Judas Iscariot (Written on December 11, 2008)

I am not hot for religions or religiosity, but I like good, interesting, and coherent stories. 

Judas Iscariot (Yehuada) is the son of Simon Iscariot (the leprosy, the Pharisee) whom Jesus cured from leprosy.  

Judas is also the brother of Lazarus whom Jesus resurrected from the death. 

Judas is the brother of Martha and Marie Magdalena (Magdala) who poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet when he visited the family in Bethany, near Jerusalem.

The father Simon the Pharisee was a very rich man and living in the best house; he was a highly respected and visible personality in Bethany and the Judea region. 

Simon came from a village called “Kerioth”; (it is from this region that Judas Maccabeus launched his successful assault on Jerusalem and conquered it from the Syrian monarch Antiochus 4 Epiphany, over a century before Jesus birth).  

Thus, this family’s sympathy to the zealot movement (those Jews who were intent on kicking the Romans out of Judea).

Simon didn’t have to join any colony of leprosy as was the custom.  Instead, as an impure by the Pharisee laws, Simon decided to move to Galilee, away from Bethany, in order not to pressure the inhabitants and to save face; he lived there comfortably.

Jesus cured Simon in Galilee and became very attached to his family; Marie Magdalena visited Jesus in her father’s house in Galilee and had cried over his feet and rubbed her hair on Jesus’ feet in repentance.  Simon was curious whether Jesus would realize that Marie was “a sinner” who lived freely from society’s prejudices.

Actually, Marie Magdalena, who had left her husband, a scribe in Jerusalem, and joined a Roman officer to the city of Magdala, was saved from being lapidated to death by stones, simply because she was from a very rich family.

Judas was the purse keeper of the apostles, one of the rare literate in the group, and he was rich and didn’t need any lousy 30 pieces of silver to sell his “Master”. 

Judas was a fervent “zealot” Pharisee; he was a vehement and irascible man and he stated his mind.  Judas surely had Jesus’ ears and they discussed at length.  Did Jesus’ plan coincide with Judas’? Not necessarily for the long-term and not for the same reasons.

Judas was not happy with the Sanhedrin state of affairs: those priests were very cozy with Pontus Pilate. Judas the zealot wanted something to be done. 

Jesus, a high priest of the Essenes sect, a celibate, secluded, white-clad and closed community caste of Qumran, was not happy with the Sanhedrin either: Jesus had the harshest words and diatribes against the Pharisee and the Sadducee sects.

In fact, Jesus chased the merchants out of the temple; Jesus was on a war path when he ascended toward Jerusalem, for the first time in his adult life.

Jesus, the knowledgeable in the Jewish law teaching, planned his entry to Jerusalem to coincide with the prophesies of the coming Messiah. He was welcomed as such by the common people in the City.

Nicodemus of the Sanhedrin met with Jesus secretly and they talked; something was being prepared. 

During the “Cène” or Last Supper (commemorated according to the Essenes sect) Jesus dipped a piece of bread in milk and offered it to Judas (symbol of his closest friendship) saying: “Tonight, one of you will hand me over”. That was the code name for Judas to execute the plan.

The negotiations with the Sanhedrin to accept Jesus as member, and done by Judas in the name of Jesus, had  failed.

It was expected that humiliating Jesus bu the Sanhedrin would offer an excellent excuse for the Jews to put the squeeze on the Sanhedrin .

Jesus knew that the Sanhedrin had no rights to put anyone to death,:  Only the Roman governor Pilate had this right.

Was the plan to incite the Sanhedrin to imprison Jesus? That’s what 3 of the accepted Testaments lead to believe.

Only the narrative of Lucas, the earliest of the Testaments, 35 years later and before the Roman revenge on the rebellious Jews, was sober and down to the facts.

The other 3 testaments tried their best to “wash Pilatus’ hands” from the crucifixion of Jesus.

Mind you that after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus and exiling the Jews, the Christians had no benefit of officially incriminating the Roman Empire.

Judas was the catalyst to convince the Sanhedrin that Jesus has been claiming to be the coming Messiah, and if they fail to get hold of him now and then, it would be impossible to stop him once out of Jerusalem. Judas negotiated 30 pieces of silver to give credence to his maneuver and to the seriousness of his claims.

The Sanhedrin didn’t need Judas to lead them to where Jesus was located: the entire city knew where Jesus stayed. 

Judas’ job was to make sure that Jesus was apprehended and then to spread the news for mass revolt. 

The Jews in Jerusalem had welcomed Jesus as a messiah and a legislature leader and had no patience with another prophet martyr: they sided with the “power to be” and let go of their “Messiah”.

Jesus had to fall back on plan B. 

Jesus kept total silence with his Jewish captors in order not to be lead into any further mistakes or divulging names.  He spoke to Pilate of a Kingdom not of this world; thus Jesus has no plans to revolt against the Romans.

Pilate knew that Jesus plan was not against the Romans dominion as he has discovered that the Sanhedrin angst is real and serious: the Sanhedrin knew that Jesus revolt was to curb their hegemony over the Jews, to review the over 650 rules and regulations shackling the daily behavior of the Jews and thus, to weaken and destroy their businesses.

When faced between liberating the murderer Barabas the zealot or Jesus, the Sanhedrin didn’t blink.

Pilate also was not happy with a purist Jewish movement: Pilat felt very comfortable doing business with this rotten Sanhedrin and Herod Epiphany (King of Lower Galilee), the one who had decapitated John the Baptist, a close relative of Jesus.. 

Pilate washed his hands on account of a person called Jesus, King of the Jews, but not on a Jewish purist internal movement, a revolt that would have given him huge headaches.

Pilate divulged the entire scheme in one sentence: he ordered to write on top of the crucifix “Jesus of Nazareth. King of the Jews”

It was known that Nazareth was a hot bed for the Essenes sect that planned to become the dominant sect among the Jews.

Judas did an excellent job, but the task of disseminating news to arise the wrath of the common Jews task failed miserably: the Jews turned against Jesus.

Judas felt let down by a meek Jesus who didn’t stand up as a legislature leader such as Moses.  Judas’ earthly dreams vanished; the arrogant and proud Judas returned the 30 lousy silver pieces.  The Sanhedrin used that money to purchase a field, since it could not recover impure and tainted money.

Judas, the fervent zealot, hanged himself to avoid further investigation, retributions, and for not believing in redemption.

The Jew Joseph of Arimathea, a rich friend of Pilate, was permitted to handle Jesus’ body.  Pilate expressed surprise for a strong young man to die so quickly, but he refused to dwell on any further investigation or discussions.

The smart and brutal Pontus Pilate, in complete coordination with Herod Epiphany (King of Lower Galilee), were tracking the progress of Jesus toward Jerusalem and setting up the trap.

Even the Pharisee warned Jesus on several instances to desist from the project of attending the ceremonies in Jerusalem.

Jesus knew that he had no alternative but to be welcomed as a member in the Sanhedrin: A position that would give him a breathing period in the face of the tightening plot against his movement.

The strong following of Jesus in Galilee had sharply dented the credibility of Herod as the King, and Herod feared that Jesus was after revenge for killing his close relative John.

Pilate could not react swiftly and brutally against a mass non-violent movement, and he needed the cooperation of Herod and the Sanhedrin to provide him the necessary indicting facts to execute Jesus.

Consequently, Herod did a fine job donning Jesus with the King Purple attire and mocking him as the King of the Jews and disseminating this innuendo, as admitted by Jesus.

This was an excellent excuse for Pilate to crucify Jesus.

For Pilate “Jesus is dead; go home everybody“.  That is another follow-up interesting story.

Note 1: Obviously, Jesus was not considered officially a Jew, since the Jewish historian Joseph of the period didn’t mention the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus and most of the disciples were from Upper Galilee, under the jurisdiction of Tyre.

Note 2: The selection of only 4 testaments in the year 325 was highly political. Among the hundred of testaments that each Christian sect adopted, these four didn’t incriminate the Roman Empire.  The Christians at that time were about to be recognized officially by the Roman Empire, and it was not a good idea to be perceived as another vast Jewish insurrection throughout the Roman Empire, organizing in total secrecy and ready to start disturbances.

Note 3: Origin of jesus




March 2023

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