Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Messiah

 

 

 

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)

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, 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 Rabi 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 retained in 325.

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.

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.

After news of Jesus resurrection reached the apostles, the second coming was confirmed to the apostles with a twist: the 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.

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 questions “Are 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?

Who are the Israelites?  (March 30, 2009)

 

Note: I decided to combine several articles I had posted on that topic to form a comprehensive essay. 

I am no theologian; and frankly I don’t feel hot for any structured and formalized religion.  I am a guy who is appalled by sects abusing religion for political ends, for institutional profit, and for personal aggrandizement. 

I am mostly appalled by civil administrations using religion for political ends. The spirit of Democracy is actually designed to prohibit civil governments from using religion as a political tool .

Occasionally, a few books of historical nature in matter of religion drop into my hands and they expose a few lethal fallacies; and I have no choice but to react, to expose the confusion related to abstract concepts out of their historical, geographical, and cultural context.  I cannot withstand sects that abolish individual reflection for the benefit of the “collective” or their close knit communities.

There is huge confusion and contentions out of subject matter between abstract belief concepts in religion and the context of the belief system.  No wonder that Christianity generates as many splits as abstraction can sustain. 

Without firm comprehension of the customs and traditions in the Levant (mainly, current Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria) and its geographical, historical, and religious context, the Christians, in their entire spectrum of sects, will stay disoriented and out of touch with their identity. 

 

A Short Introduction

I will have to skip thousands of years of major civilizations in the Near East and Mesopotamia in order to focus on the subject. 

Thus, I start from the period (of the story) that Abraham and his successive clans settled in the Land of Canaan, then discuss the period that the Hebrews of Moses sneaked in Palestine over one thousand years later after the settlement of Abraham, the Kingdom of David and Solomon that lasted less than a century, the split of Solomon’s Kingdom into 12 districts or tribes, the schism between the Samaritans and the Hebrews of Judea, the deportations of the Samaritans followed by the Hebrews of Jerusalem to Babylon, the contribution of Cyrus of Persia to the reconstruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in the 6th century BC,

Followed with the Seleucid Dynasty that lasted two centuries, the revolt of the Maccabees (Hashmonides) and their Kingdom that lasted less than a century, then the conquest of the Roman General Pompeii to the Levant, the advent of Jesus Christ, the first Christian communities, the conclave of Nicee (Turkey) in 325 during Emperor Constantine and the persecution of the “heretic” Christian sects, the establishment of the Ashkenazi Hebraic Kingdom in the Caucasus till its destruction in 950 AC by the emerging Russia, the schism between Papal Rome and Constantinople around the year 1000 and the second wave of persecution of “heretic” Christian sects.

Then the Crusaders’ campaigns that lasted for a century, the schism between Papal Rome and Martin Luther and Calvin in late 15th century, the emergence of the various sects in England and transferred to the USA such as the Mormons, the Jehovah Witnesses, the Baptists, and the New Conservative sects in the south of the USA, and finally, the re-colonization of Palestine by the Central Europe Ashkenazi Zionists in the 20th century.

 

From Abraham to the Macabe Kingdom 160 BC

 

Period one: Abraham Abraham was very familiar with the customs, traditions, and culture of the Land when he decided to settle his clans in Canaan coming from the Kingdom of Ur in lower Mesopotamia. Abraham was a genuine leader of the Land.  He paid the tribute and the tithe (the tenth of income to the highest priest of the Land Melki Sadek who was the King of Jerusalem. 

Abraham recognized the high sacerdotal rank of Melki Sadek who worshiped God El (pronounce Eel) as the all unifying God of the Land.  Issac and Jacob also paid the tithe to the highest priest of the Land.

For example, Abraham had no piece of land in Canaan; his clan let their goats and sheep graze in unclaimed lands. As there was a death in the family of Abraham then he resolved to prepare for the burial ceremony.  Abraham sent a third party to ask Afroun son of Sohar of the tribe of Hath for a small piece of land to bury the dead. Abraham said: “I am a guest in your land. Could you give me a swath so that I may bury what is in front of me?” 

Every village had a burying ground facing east and guests, by the custom of hospitality, could be enjoying the same facilities. Afroun replied: “Abraham you are a reverend and I shall bury the deceased in the best of our graves” Abraham had set his mind to settle in Canaan and wanted his own burial ground, thus he asked to buy a piece of land.  Afroun replied: “A land of no more than 400 silver shekels should not be an obstacle” Abraham got the hint and sent the amount. 

This polite and diplomatic negotiation is part of the Levant customs thousand of years before Abraham came to Canaan.

Jacob started his trip from the southern confine of Canaan at Beer Sheba (Bir El Sabeh or the well of the Lion) toward Haran (a city situated 280 miles north-east of Damascus and located between the Euphrates and Tiger Rivers by the Bleekh River).  He stopped for the night at the village of Ola Loz (which Jacob named Beit El or the House of God El). Jacob had a dream of a ladder reaching heaven and angels coming down and up this ladder. Jacob marked this place with a stone and poured oil on it.

Then, Jacob resumed his travel toward the “Easter Land”. Jacob’s wife Rachel (Raheel) died of child birth at Efrateh of Bethlehem (in Galilee) and was buried there.  Rachel named the new born Ben Oni which Jacob transformed to Ben Yamine (Benjamin).

The ancient Old Bibles mentioned only the ancient and prosperous town of Bethlehem Efrateh in Galilee (because members of the tribe Efrat lived in the vicinity), on the east side of Mount Carmel.  Bethlehem of Judea was a fortified garrison and not a town during David.  In the Book of Mikha it is said “And you, Bethlehem Efrateh, is the smallest of the Jewish tribes (Zebulon) but from you will come out the one who will rule Israel (The Tribes of God EL)”.

 

Period two:  Moses

Moses led all the strangers in Egypt who were ordered to leave because they supported the previous monarch Akhenaton.  Akhnaton instituted the worship of the One God Sun (Aton) for over 20 years before he died and his religion replaced by the older religion of Amon and his followers persecuted. The tribes of Moses were swelled by other foreigners who left in a hurry with “unleavened bread”, meaning at night.

Those Egyptian Hebrew tribes were not familiar with the culture and traditions of the Land in the Levant.  They occupied land by the sword and committed genocide in every town they entered. For example, “Joshua (Yashou) son of Noun entered the town of Makid, and exterminated its inhabitants as he did with the king of Hebron (Ariha), then progressed to Lebna, then Lakish, then Horam, the Ajloun, then Habroun, then to Dabeer and killed the kings, destroyed the towns, slaughtered the handicapped, the babies and even the animals; any breathing inhabitant was massacred in these towns and villages”

The God of the Hebrew was called Jehovah (Yahwa), sort of a totem to discriminate themselves from the tribes of the Land in Canaan. Thus, the name Jew (yahoud) was given to Moses’ tribes.  Before Moses arrival there was no such religion as Jew or Hebrew.  The God of the Land was El and all the other minor Gods were sorts of patron saints to syndicates and towns that felt the need for an identity.  The Hebrew wanted Jehovah to establish a Kingdom on earth in any way available because their culture was different from the culture of the Levant. 

The nomadic tribes of Moses were mercenaries to the Canaanite king of Jerusalem fighting the newly settled maritime power called Philistine in Gaza; thus, a small temple for the warrior God Jehova was build for these mercenaries in Jerusalem.  The temple was mostly discarded until another war required the mercenaries to join the army; then the temple was re-opened and dusted off.

Joshua son of Noun (Yashou Bin Noun) distributed lands for the 12 tribes that he planned to conquer up north but failed to conquer; he barely ruled over Judea and the southern part of Palestine. Thus, the tribe of Asher was allocated Upper Galilee extending from Tyr to Mount Carmel, the tribe Zebulon the east side of Mount Carmel or Lower Galilee, and the tribe of Nephtali extending to Lake Howla and up to Mount Harmon (Haramoun).

  

Solomon

Solomon succeeded his son David and built a Kingdom that lasted less than 50 years.  Solomon got to appreciate the culture and civilization of the Land.  He cooperated and negotiated with the King of Tyr Ahiram to build the temple in Jerusalem and also to build a sea fleet.  The fleet was wrecked at its first attempt to take to the sea; they say “Les Hebraiques n’avaient pas the pied marin” (they had not the mariners’ feet). In fact, no Kingdom in Judea ever controlled the sea coast.

The Hebrews in Judea sank into abject materialism and their sacerdotal caste developed 640 Laws to regulate their daily life.  Thus, the Hebrews of Moses viewed the inhabitants of the Land as their enemies to be subjugated and cowed into submission for the loot. The detailed gory tales in the Bible are mostly from that bloody period

Period three:Samaria

The tribes of the Land where chased out of Judea by the new settlers of the Hebrews of Moses.  They regrouped in Samaria and Galilee “of Nations” and formed their own fiefdoms which were called Israel or the “Tribes of El” in Aramaic.  The “tribes” of Asher, Zebulon, and Naphtali settled in Galilee and merged with the culture of the land. 

The Hebrews of Judea considered the districts of upper and lower Galilee as “Goyim” or gentile of many “Nations” but they viewed the Samaritans as Jews hostile to the strict Hebraic Laws and who worshipped El instead of Jehovah. The King of Tyr married his daughter Isabelle to a Samaritan tribe leader.  Atalia, the daughter of Isabelle, married the King of Jerusalem and rule after his death.  Then the Kingdom of Ashur in upper Mesopotamia conquered Samaria and deported the population.  A century later, it was the lot of Judea to be conquered by the Kingdom of Babylon and deported.

For a palpable political appreciation you may consider the split between the Sephardim and the Ashkenazi in current Israel. The Ashkenazi of Central Europe dominate the economic and policy making; a fresh immigrant from Europe can contemplate to rise quickly in the political and economic landscape while the Jews of the Arab and Moslem World have to fight the good fight for the crumbs. It is of no wonder that the Ashkenazi decided for Hebrew to be the national language that in no way compared to the versatile and rich Yiddish German/Slavic language they used to write and communicate with.  Hebrew was simply selected for its political connotation.  Galilee generated four prophets though the Pharisee caste mocked Jesus saying that “no prophets can come from Galilee”.

Period four:

In 167 BC, the Seleucid King Antiochus IV Epiphanus banned the worshiping of Jehovah, forbid circumcision, and ordered burning the Hebrew Bible; those decrees were executed efficiently and occasionally by harsh measures. Only the Hebrews of Judea revolted against these decrees; they were led by the priest Matatia of the Hashmonid tribe.  Matatia’s son Judah, nicknamed Macabe (the handler of ax), resumed the revolt until he vanquished the Seleucid King.  From 166 to 63 BC the zealot Macabe Kingdom ruled the Land. In 103 BC, Aristopoulos, son of Simon Macabe, ordered every citizen to be circumcised and to abide by Moses’ Law.  The ancestors of Judas Iscariot were from the Macabe town.

Consequently, the non-Jews of Galilee were subjected to these rules, including the ancestors of Jesus Christ who lived in upper Galilee (current south Lebanon).  It is worth mentioning that much later, in 132 AC, Emperor Hadrian banned circumcision and the Hebrews in Judea revolted again; the revolt of Barcoba (son of the star) was squashed and the remaining Jews experienced the greatest dispersion.

During the Hellenistic period, God El was called Helios (the Greek added an H before an E at the beginning of a word; for example Heliopolis means the city of El).

 

On the Origins of the Virgin Mary

Joachim (Youwakeem) Omram and Hanna, the parents of the Virgin Mary, were from the village of Qana (ten kilometers south of the city of Tyr and at an altitude of 85 meters. This Qana was called Qana of Tyr of Upper Galilee and was within the district of Phoenicia during the Seleucid and early Roman Empires. The administrative district of Upper Galilee extended from Tyr to Dora and included Acre, Haifa and Mount Carmel.

Joachim was one of the eminent personalities in the town of Qana and was an Essenean high priest. He had been frustrated because he could not secure any descendents. Joachim 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 (pledge) her to the Great Temple on Mount Carmel to be one of the 12 virgin nuns of the elite families in the region in the monastery. When Mary was three years of age she was interned in the monastery to serve and worship in the temple and she was named “The Pigeon of God El”. (The Hebrews in Judea never allowed girls to serve in temples). Joseph 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 received the “Good Tiding” from the Archangel while serving in Mount Carmel.

Mary and Joseph got married and Jesus was born in one of the many caves on the north-eastern side of Mount Carmel where the Essenean sect had instituted many dispensaries and hospitals for the sick and pregnant women. The Virgin Mary was allocated a comfortable dispensary because she was the favorite among the 12 virgin nuns.  Jesus was also a “nazeer” because the Virgin Mary had an apparition and vowed her born kid to the monastery. Thus, Jesus spent his early youth as an intern in the monastery from age 6 till he was able to aid his parents earning a living.

Mary visited her aunt Elizabeth (Elisabat) in Galilee who was 6 months pregnant and who gave birth to John the Baptist, also a “nazeer” since Elizabeth received a revelation. Joseph and Mary lived in Bethlehem of Tyr or Efratat east of Mount Carmel. The town of Nazareth did not exist yet and the area was called “nazereen” because of the many monasteries in that region.

Joseph, the husband of Mary was also from Qana of Tyr and a relative.  They settled in the very ancient and prosperous town of Bethlehem of Tyr, also called Bethlehem Efrata, less than 6 miles east of Mount Carmel.  Bethlehem Efrata is situated on the south edge of the fertile plain of El Netouf where wheat and grain were harvested; thus the name of Bethlehem (House of Bread) because wheat grain was stored there to be redistributed to the region. The River Keeshond (Kishoun) passes between Bethlehem and Mount Carmel and ends in the bay of Haifa.

After Joseph died the Virgin Mary and her sons Jesus, Jacob, Joseph, Simon, and Judah returned to her hometown of Qana of Tyr. The Virgin Mary had two residences: Qana was the winter residence because close to the seashore at altitude of 85 meters, and the summer residence (the dry season extending 7 months) in Magdoushi (East of the city of Sidon).

Jesus was called “Jesus of Mary” after the death of Joseph to distinguish him from the other Jesus. (The Hebrews of Judea never referred a son to his mother). Mary was also called “the sister of Jacob” because her mother Hanna had remarried after the death of Joachim and gave birth of many offspring; the eldest son of Hanna was apparently named Jacob.  Jesus was also called Emanuel (Amanoueel) which means (The God El is among us).  All the names that start with El or finish with El refer to the God El, the all encompassing God of the Land.

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

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 keep bestow the title of nun and priest even for those who later relinquished their sacerdotal duties.

The first church was built on Mount Carmel and dedicated to the Virgin Mary while still alive.  A church was built in Qana by the disciples and excavations showed a church from the first century.  The Moslems had veneration for the tomb of Joachim called “The tomb of the prophet Omran”.  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 1: Qana is famous today because Israel massacred over 100 civilians and gravely injured 120 when her bombs targeted a UN compound in Qana and then hit that same town in 2006 and killed 50 more civilians.  Qana was an important town for many centuries before Christ and the main resting place of the disciples before venturing any further. Qana of Upper Galilee (The Galilee of Nations or the Gentiles for the Hebrews) was the location where the disciples gathered for a while after the lapidating of the first martyr Etienne (Estefanos).

 

Note 2: The astrophysist Reznicoff confirms that the Comet Halley that showed the way to the mages crossed Galilee and not Judea.

 

On the Life of Christ the Messiah

 

For two decades the Essenean sect was in a frantic state of expectation; they were waiting for the coming of a Messiah any time soon.  This state has all the signs of a turn of millennium.  The question is: the millennium of which religion and of which temple? Is it one of the millennium of the construction of The Great Temple on Mount Carmel or in Jerusalem? Is it the millennia of the highest priest Melki Sadek who was the King of Jerusalem and to whom Abraham paid the tithe? Or was it one of the millennium of Ahura Mazda, the Persian Sun God that was preponderant in the region at this turn of the century?

 

Jesus was born in the years 9 to 7 BC if we have to take account of the Comet Haley appearance in Galilee that showed the way to the Mages. Caesar’s census started in the year 10 BC. Jesus was a “nazeer” because the Virgin Mary had an apparition and vowed her born kid to the monastery. Thus, Jesus spent his early youth as an intern in the monastery from age 6 till he was able to aid his parents earning a living.

After the death of his father Joseph, Mary returned to her hometown of Qana with her children.  Jesus attended The Law University in Sidon and taught for a few years after graduation.  On Fridays, Mary would wait on a hill for Jesus to ascend and spend the weekend.  A church was built in Magdoushi named the “Lady of Mantara” or the waiting lady close to the Darb El Seem (the path of the moon, in honor of Goddess Ashtarut). Being the eldest son, Jesus had many administrative and accounting duties to attend to during the weekends.  Probably the family owned a flock of sheep and cows and they didn’t need temporary stockades in Magdoushi to dismantle at the end of the grazing season; the flock would move out to Qana for the winter season.

After Jesus graduated in Law at the University of Sidon he went on an extended trip, far and long, to further his education and knowledge in the famous schools of Alexandria, Damascus, Babylon, and Persia.  Either he ventured on his own volition or the Essenean high priest sent him on a mission to gather more sightings or signs on the imminent second coming at the turn of the millennia.  This tour of knowledge acquisition and spiritual maturation abroad must have been one of the main criterions for being elevated to the rank of priest. 

Before spreading the message, Jesus was anointed (Messiah) to the order of Melki Sadek. Jesus was about 35 of age and he was not preaching a different message than that of the Esseneans but he got the arduous job of teaching a spiritual message that was opposed by the rigid Hebrew Laws.  The Essenean sect was sending Jesus among the wolves out of necessity: they were sincerely expecting the second coming of the Messiah. John the Baptist was already preparing the spiritual climate for the coming of the Messiah. 

Jesus later received the revelation that he was indeed the Messiah and his plans changed.  Jesus’ new mission was to save or win over the “lost sheep” of the tribes of Judea, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Simeon.  Those tribes were the remnants that Moses led to Canaan and worshipped Jehovah (Yahwa) instead of the all encompassing God El of the land; thus the name Jews (Yahoud).and had to visit Jerusalem.

For two years Jesus was testing and evaluating on his disciples the proper means for spreading the spiritual message; it was a hard task and it was not that intuitive to the disciples even with stories, miracles, and parables. At least four of the disciples were from Qana of Tyr (Simon the Zealot was one of them and a close relative of Joseph) and the rest from Galilee; with an exception, Judas Iscariot. 

Judas Iscariot was from the town of Magdala in Lower Galilee. It was the summer residence of his father Simon the leper, his brother Lazarus, and his sisters Martha, and Mary Magdalena.  The ancestors of this family were from the tribe of Simeon south of Judea and from the same town of the Macabe Dynasty (Iscariot) that ruled Palestine and all Galilee for over a century (166-60 BC) and imposed the Hebrew Laws and circumcision to the people of the Land.  The highly educated and rich Judas was a zealot who wanted to defeat the Romans and had no sympathy for the sacerdotal caste in Judea that obliged the Roman rulers.

For two years Jesus carried his disciples through Tyr, Sidon, Damascus, the Decapolis (ten cities) in north east the Jordan River and performed miracles and had followers. As he was in Capharnaoum, he received an invitation to a wedding in Qana of Tyr; his mother was there and Jesus transformed water to wine.  Then, Jesus, his mother and four brothers descended to Capharnaoum and stayed there for a while.  The third year witnessed mass followers on the steps of Jesus heading toward Jerusalem.  Jesus was not permitted to cross through Samaria and thus had to opt for the longer but easier route along the Jordan River, to Jericho and then ascending to Jerusalem.

On his way to Jerusalem Jesus felt the danger and he appreciated the sapping techniques of the sacerdotal caste in Judea; questions with political undertones and innuendos increased; questions on his qualifications, on his practices of the Mosaic Laws, on his legitimacy for chasing demons out and absolving sins.  Jesus felt that he is being watched and dragged into the trap.  As he approached Jerusalem Jesus was on a war path and acted accordingly and vehemently as he entered the city.  It was this fighting behavior that the Pharisees and Sadducee wished Jesus to express.

Jesus experienced a cultural shock as he witnessed business transactions going on in full swing in the Temple; he made a whip and chased out the merchants and usurers and overturned their tables.  Jesus told them: “It is said that the Temple is the House of God and not a cavern for thieves.”  The first martyr Stephen said to the Pharisees before being stoned to death “Ye stiff necked; ye the uncircumcised in heart and ear”.  Jesus was welcomed on Palm Sunday as a fresh leader with high moral values that could re-establish justice and fairness.

The Jews in Judea wanted a revolt against the Romans and not an in-fighting with the priesthood and thus, Jesus lost his initial momentum for not putting forward explicit political or social reforms.  By Thursday Jesus understood that the good fight for verbal challenges with the sacerdotal caste were over. Jesus was to be put to death before he leaves Jerusalem when it would be too late to stopping his message and be protected by the other Israeli tribes outside of Judea. 

The Pharisees and Sadducees knew the origins of Jesus and Jesus confirmed their knowledge; the Pharisees strongly suspected that Jesus was the Messiah and he replied “You said it” but they would not relinquish centuries of earthly dreams of domination; the Pharisees knew full well that Jesus was as good a leader as any but he was from the “nazareen” region (Galilee) where monasteries for the “nazeers” abound, where girls and women served in the Temples, and Jesus was as good as a “gentile”. (The town of Nazareth would be built two centuries later but it did not exist at the time of Jesus). The sacerdotal caste in Judea could never allow a leader outside of its tribes. (Read the piece of The Last Supper). Jesus was elevated to Heaven on Mount Carmel.

Jesus was highly educated.  He could speak Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek and Latin. The name Jesus is also called Emanuel (Amanueel) which mean “Eel (God) is among us”; thus, God was made human. 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”

Jesus wore the same long white robe that the Essenean sect of Mount Carmel wore; the consecrated members were called “The White Brethren” and they were famous as healers.  The Esseneans had many branches in Galilee and a prosperous one in Alexandria (Egypt) and had places for welcoming travelers and the sick.  John the Baptist, close relative of Jesus and just 6 months older, never left the region of Galilee; he baptized with water as of the Esseneans traditions and baptized Jesus and recognized him as the Messiah.

Judas Iscariot must have decided on a drastic plan to challenge Jesus into serious reaction.  Either Jesus successfully challenges the sacerdotal caste and wins politically or if he fails then Judas will have nothing to do with further excursions outside of Judea.  Judas mainly betrayed the members of his family who worshiped Jesus. Judas Iscariot’s was in heart a zealot and his ancestors were from the southern region where the Macabe revolt started in 166 BC.

 

On the Early Christian Communities:

 

After Jesus crucifixion, a few disciples and the new converts of Christian-Jews, particularly the community of the Church of the Circumcised, headed by Jack (brother of Jesus) and Peter (as the moral icon) in Jerusalem, knew intuitively that in order to “save” the Hebrew Jews, “those lost sheep” of Israel, then Jesus had to be re-created to be a genuine and full blooded descendent of King David, because the Jews of Judea would never believe in a Messiah outside their tribes of Benjamin and Judea.  They steadfastly practiced the Hebrew Laws in order to maintain excellent relationship with the sacerdotal caste and survive as a community of “brethren”.  They ate all together and administered their community of Jerusalem as they learned to do within the Essenean communities.

This community in Jerusalem effectively contributed to the disinformation that Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea and went to the ludicrous extent of attributing Jesus’ ancestors to King David; though they knew well as the Pharisees knew that Jesus was a “gentile”.  All the falsifications by the late writers of the New Testament, written in Greek and a few translated in Greek, especially the four legally and officially accepted by the Christian Church were tampered with on purpose.  The much earlier testimonies and manuscripts that recounted the origins of Jesus and his family were obscured and shelved one way or another.

 Saint Paul spent most of his energy fighting against these Christian Jews communities who did their best to visit each of the communities that Paul established in Turkey and Greece and forced the application of the Hebrew Laws.  The comprehension of the message of Jesus was so weak and blurred in the main community of Jerusalem that Saint Paul had to proclaim “We are Christians because we believe in the resurrection of Christ the Messiah” It was an implicit message that the Hebrew Laws were thus redundant since the Messiah had already come. Customs and traditions are enduring and they survived for centuries.  It would be advisable for further information to refer to my book review “Saint Paul: The Runt of God”.

In the first 3 centuries, many Christian sects organized their communities according to self-autonomous dogmas and laws.  Most of them had already adopted their own Bible before the conclave of Necee in 325 formalized the four Testaments.  There were hundreds of “apocryphal” Bibles; many Bibles have effectively dropped any mention of Jesus’ ancestry to David or even any physical existence because they could not admit that Jesus was human.  Other sects refused to admit that Jesus was God.  There were contentions on the status of the Virgin Mary.  All these differences had foundations on the traditions and customs of the Land and for political autonomy as dictated by the spirit of the Land and the level of education of the communities for assimilating abstract concepts.

The pagan Emperor Constantine convened a conclave of hundreds of bishops in Nicee (Turkey) in 325 in order to formalize and set up a unified structure to Christianity.  It was the mentality of an Emperor who required a State-like belief system to be run as a State institution that would also satisfy the majority of the pagans in his Kingdom by adopting their yearly rituals and pomp and hierarchical structure. 

Those Christian communities that dissented and were in majority were persecuted as “heretics” and dispersed to the confines of the Kingdom and to remote inaccessible mountain regions.

Who are the Israelites?  Origins of Jesus Christ; Chapter two, (March 20, 2009)

Joachim (Youwakeem) Omram and Hanna, the parents of the Virgin Mary, were from the village of Qana (10 kilometers south of the city of Tyr and at an altitude of 85 meters; this Qana was called Qana of Upper Galilee and was within the district of Phoenicia during the Seleucid and early Roman Empires in the Near East (Levant). The administrative district of Upper Galilee extended from Tyr to Acre).

Joachim was one of the eminent personalities in the town of Qana and the neighboring region and was an Essenes high priest. He had been frustrated because he could not secure any descendents. Joachim 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 of the 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 God Eil“. (The Hebrews in Judea never allowed girls to serve in temples).

Joseph 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 received the “Good Tiding” from the Archangel while serving in Mount Carmel.

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 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” after the death of Joseph to distinguish him from the other people named Jesus. (The Hebrews of Judea never referred a son to his mother). Mary was also called “the sister of Jacob”.  Hanna had remarried after the death of Joachim and gave birth to many offspring; the eldest son of Hanna was apparently named Jacob

Jesus was also called Emanuel (Amanoueel) which means (The God El is among us),  thus, God was made human.  All the names that start with El or finish with El refer to the God El, the all-encompassing God of the Land.

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.  Jesus 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 Capernaum by the Lake and stayed there for a few days and then were part of Jesus’ party from then on.

Jesus was highly educated.  He could speak Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek and Latin. The folk tales and early manuscripts demonstrate that Jesus studied Law and taught Law at the university in Sidon (Lebanon).  Jesus was born in the year 7 BC and Caesar’s census started in the year 10 BC. 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”

Jesus dressed in 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, close relative of Jesus and just 6 months older, never left the region of Galilee, baptized with water as of the Essenes traditions and baptized Jesus.


 
Note 1: Jesus was elevated to Heaven on Mount Carmel. The first church was built on Mount Carmel and dedicated to the Virgin Mary while still alive.  A church was built within the town of  Qana by the disciples and excavations showed a church from the first century.  The Moslems had veneration for the tomb of Joachim called “The tomb of the prophet Omran”.  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 and then hit that same town in 2006 and killed 50 more civilians.  Qana was an important town for many centuries before Christ and the main resting place of the disciples before venturing any further. Qana of Upper Galilee (The Galilee of Nations or the Gentiles for the Hebrews) was the location where the disciples gathered for a while after the lapidation of the first martyr Etienne (Estefanos).

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

Note 5:  There are indications that Jesus entered Jerusalem for the first time when he was to be 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”.

“The Gospel according to Pilate” by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt

Written on May 9, 2007

“The Gospel according to Pilat” is a novel of three parts:

The first part is an attempt of describing the life of Jesus as a human who received his vocation and then spreading the message very reluctantly, especially for performing miracles, without joy as if against his will.  Yechou3a (Jesus) saved Pilate’s wife Claudia from bleeding and she did her utmost to save Jesus’ life.

Jesus decided that he had to die and didn’t do anything to change the process though he could have easily go free; he didn’t answer Herode’s questions or satisfied his wishes for a single miracle and looked lame and wretched and not the messenger of a God.

Pilate whipped him to diffuse the anger of the crowd who wanted blood but Jesus didn’t respond accordingly and didn’t complain or cried or shouted or showed that he didn’t deserve the punishment.

The crowd even selected the murderer Barabas to be freed instead of Jesus and Pilate realized that Jesus was indeed pretty ugly compared to Barabas.

The second part is the main one which is a series of letters that Ponce Pilate, the Roman prefect of Judea and appointed by Rome with the help of his well established wife Claudia Procula, had written to his brother Titus in Rome describing in details his investigative processes undertaken to recover the corps of Jesus (Yechou3a) that was missing from the grave.

Pilate and Caife, the head of the Jewish Sanhedrin, had interest in recovering the corps because the rumors were spreading that the Son of God had resurrected and was appearing to people in the flesh.  Caife could be in serious trouble because the Jews would harass the traditional priestly structure and stop following the Jewish strict laws. As for Pilat the reason was because the Jews might end up revolting against the Romans if united under an imaginary belief that their promised Messiah has been murdered by the Romans.

After several cuts in his investigations Pilate came to a conclusion that it was Herode, the King of Galilee, who snatched the corps in order to start a Jewish uprising and be elected King to all of Palestine. Pilat came to this idea because Herode had been in communication with Yechou3a and allowed him to spread his message in Galilee for three years hoping that Jesus’ followers might serve his political schemes to dominion.

The other indices were that Jesus appeared to people in locations belonging to Herode’s properties and the messages were identical such as: “Rejoice, Christ is alive; spread the Good News”.  Pilate’s suspicions were well founded because the first person to claim having seen Jesus alive was Salome, the 16 year-old daughter of Herodiade, wife of King Herode, and who asked for the head of Yuhanan the Plunger who baptized everyone who cared in the Jordan River and announced the arrival of the Messiah.

After Salome, Jesus appeared to two pelerines of Emmaus who had followed him for a few weeks when he was preaching the message and Miriam of Magdalena.  They all were telling their testimonials among crowds in Jerusalem

Apparently, Herode was shocked that the corps has resurrected and that the rumors were gaining force and was convinced that he killed the real Messiah and would thus suffer eternal damnation; he went unconscious, as he did when the head of Yuhanan the Plunger (John the Baptist) was brought to him on a silver platter three years ago.

Caife was always one step ahead of Pilate in the investigation after the corps was first declared missing and he was conducting his searches without informing Pilate.  Caife went to the grave and then to Yoseph d’Arimathie, the rich cultivator who undertook to carry the corps and bury it, and to Nicodemos, the doctor in Jewish laws, both of them suspects of hiding the corps.

Pilate also located where the disciples were hiding and he realized that they were too scared of being persecuted. The disciples sounded upset and humiliated of being cheated out of their works and families and following a mere mortal.

Pilate ordered the disciples out of Jerusalem and they were happy for their freedom. Only Yohanan, the 18 year-old son of Zebedee, who was from a rich family of Jerusalem and a relative of Caife was not afraid and stayed in Jerusalem and tried hard to be everywhere where Jesus might appear; he was completely convinced that the angel Gabriel has saved Jesus as many believed this explanation.

Herodiade had asked Pilat to consider the theory that a double (sosie) might be playing the role of the resurrected Jesus; Pilate thus interrogated the young Yohanan and discovered that he was not a suspect.

The rational Roman Pilate reasoned that Jesus did not actually die and they failed in their searches because they were after a corpse and not an ailing but living individual.  Pilate asked his Roman physician about this eventuality and the physician responded that five hours is not sufficient for one to die of asphyxia, especially that no bones were broken nor the ankle tendon nor any muscles were severed to accelerate the process.  The physician demonstrated that the Romans invented crucifixion because the victim is left to die slowly for several days.

Pilate set about locating a sick and most probably dying Jesus who was being cured and cared for. He investigated further on with Youssef d’Arimathie who was the prime suspect for forcing the premature descent of Jesus from the cross and the drugging of the Jewish guards on the grave on orders from Caife.

Claudia quit her palace toward Galilee and joined the masses on foot converging toward Nazareth because the rumors were that Jesus will appear to his disciples in Galilee.

The Roman physician after reviewing the facts proposed that Jesus most probably died and Pilate could not refute his wife’s confirmation that she was one of the four women who were around the dead corps of Jesus when it was lowered from the cross.

Pilate joined the masses on foot and changed his views from logic and rationality because of the faith of his beloved wife but could not bring himself to believe in the resurrection of Jesus: he was confident that once the last of the disciples died then the testimonials will end and this movement would stop to exist, especially because nothing was put on paper and the disciples could not read or write or communicate with the right people who can aid in propagating the message of peace and love among all the people on earth.

The third part is basically an explanation of the author’s reasons for describing Jesus characters differently than accepted by tradition.


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