Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Nestourian

The devil is NOT in the details; (October 16, 2009)

 

            Details are what bring people together to communicate, dialogue, and negotiate to reach compromises.  The main wall that separate among communities is the concrete wall mixed with myths, general concepts, and abstract notions.  Strong with draft details each organization can start to sort out the differences and comprehend the big picture; it is never the way around in social behavior. I will discuss two cases, one religious and the other of political nature.

            After the crucifixion of Jesus many Christian sects were born in the Near East in the first four centuries.  Fundamentally, these sects were almost identical in applying the Jewish daily rituals or the Jewish 650 laws of “correct” conduct. What separated these sects were abstract concepts that did not harm their peaceful coexistence in separate communities of believers: they never attacked by force one another; military persecutions started when the Church acquired central power in Constantinople; whole “heretic” sects and entire communities had to flee to safety. 

            Thus, The Mighty Wall was erected after 325 AC when Byzantium Empire decided to adopt Christianity as the main religion of the Empire.  Thus, the central power concept of the Empire dictated that church should be centralized.  Instead of focusing in negotiating on the details that split the various sects an upper abstract super-structure on concepts was imposed; concepts such as the dual nature of Christ, the deity of the threes (the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit), the virginity of the mother Mary and on.  This time around, the sects were to join the Orthodox Church by force if need be: a central Empire cannot permit disunity, even on totally nonsense abstract conjectures!

            Consequently, the labeled “heretic” sects had to flee beyond the eastern shores of the Euphrates River (to the Persia Sassanide Dynasty).  The Nestourian sect reached China and translated “their” Bible into the Chinese language. Many other “heretic” sects settled in the Arabic Peninsula; the Christian-Jewish “Ebionite” sect was firmly entrenched in Mecca; the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, Ain Warkat, was the Patriarch of this sect and Muhammad learned to read in the Aramaic Ebionite Bible; Muhammad aided his uncle in the translation of this specific Bible into the Arabic slang of Mecca.  Thus, Islam is originally a common denominator “heretic” Christian sect, one of many Christian sects in the Arabic Peninsula; the Prophet had to delete all the abstract notions to unite the sects; it was named Islam or the belief in the One and only God.

            The strong animosity of the Catholic Church of Rome against Islam was not directed at a religion such as Buddhism or Mazdean but at a new “heretic” Christian sect usurping its central power in the Near East. The Orthodox Church in Constantinople was more lenient with Islam because it understood its genesis and the causes for the need of this new “heresy”; for Constantinople Islam was the oriental counterpart of Protestantism to Rome when Islam became the dominant religion in the region. 

            It is said: “the enemy of my enemy is my ally”; this Machiavellian principle was lost to obscurantist Catholic Church. Rome was too far away and fought Islam with the ignorance of abstract concepts. For the Catholic Church in 1,000 AC, Islam was doubly “heretic” instead of just the counterpart to the central Orthodox Church of the Byzantium Empire: it failed to realize that if Islam spread so fast and so widely it is mainly because most the labeled Christian heretic sects quickly converted to Islam as representing their system of belief against the monopole of Constantinople.

 

            The other case is the concept of a Syrian Nation with well delimited natural borders including Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and part of Iraq to the west of the Tiger (Dujlat) River. This concept was highly widespread among the people of the region as the Ottoman Empire was dying during WWI.  It was still even more alive during the mandate of France and Britain to the region (Near East) after WWI. The people in the Syrian Nation speak one language and have the same customs and tradition.  This nation was as natural as ABC; the immigrants were first called Turks during the Ottoman Empire and then they were all called Syrians regardless of location or religion.

            The main problem is that the political parties spent two critical decades proving the evident (according to the newer definitions of the West for a Nation) instead of making the effort to developing draft detailed programs on the type of political administrative structure for this nation, the social representation, and election laws; (for example, is it a Federal structure like the USA where each mandated State is fully autonomous with local government and local parliament, or provinces tailored made to religious, ethnic, and sectarian majorities, or loosely united States with open borders, common money, central army, or centralized foreign affairs; is Syria to be a monarchy and what kind). 

            Instead of discussing detailed programs, political parties mushroomed with abstract concepts not based on facts or pragmatic long-term goals. The colonial “mandated powers” of France and England had field days of “dividing to rule”.  Every sect established its political party in every potential State claiming either total independence, or seeking a pan-Arabic Nation of Arabic speaking majorities in States, or Islamic Nation.  We watched the emergence of communist parties disclaiming the notion of affiliating to a nation, to sectarian parties claiming democracy, socialism, and progressive. The worst propaganda that was encouraged by the colonial powers is to incite citizens against the Syrian people with the objective of discrediting the word Syria and giving it a bad connotation.

              Natural borders of chain of mountains, desert, or large rivers do not necessarily protect from invasions; natural borders certainly encourage people to trade and interact inside the borders.  It is the internal rough geography and terrain that protects from outside military incursions.  Once a force crosses the border then Syria is an open land all the way to Egypt. Syria, or the Near East, was continuously occupied by foreign armies: these foreign invaders had to retreat quickly or get absorbed culturally. Whatever monuments, constructions, temples, sport arena, or scholarly works that were attributed to invading nations (Persia, Egypt, Greek, Rome, or Arab) are basically the work of the Near Eastern civilization, their scholars, their craftsmen, and their adventurous business acumen.

            The City-States in the Near East (Tyr, Sidon, Byblos, Ugharit, Mary …) competed in commerce and trade but never attacked one another militarily.  In Greece, City-States frequently waged military wars against one another.  The Near Eastern people adopted defensive strategy; even Carthage in its apogee refrained to antagonize Rome militarily.

            Egypt and Persia frequent invasions in the Near East did not last long.  The Greek were absorbed: what Europe claim as Greek civilization is nothing less than the civilization of the Greek writing Syrians who spoke Aramaic.  Rome was finally absorbed: the Roman Laws are of the legal minds from the school of Beirut and the latest Emperors were born, raised, and educated in Syria. The Byzantium Empire was fundamentally a Near Eastern Empire.  The Arabs from the Arabic Peninsula were absorbed when Damascus was selected as Capital during the Umayyad Dynasty; the Arabs were absorbed by the Persian civilization when the capital shifted to Baghdad.  The Mogul retreated quickly but established long lasting Empires in India and Afghanistan. The Ottoman conquered this land and could not be absorbed: the Syrian people were already exhausted from many years of successive invasions, religious obscurantism, and immigration by scholars to greener pastures.  France and England retreated within two decades.  Israel failed to retreat on time and is now being absorbed as Near Eastern regardless of Israel attempts to seeking European image.

            Consequently, failing to writing a draft on a possible administrative program for the Syrian Nation opened the door to abstract concept instead of working out negotiation and dialogue on pragmatic matters that concerned the people.

Jesus Christ: A reconstructed biography (December 16, 2008)

 

Dozens of testaments and biographies on Jesus of Nazareth have been written in the first century of Christianity and many unified Bibles have been adopted by several Christian sects in the first three centuries before the Council of Nicee (Turkey) in 325 decided to select four official representatives Testaments (Canonic).  Many manuscripts are being excavated, discovered and translated but not yet fully published.

 

What we know is that Jesus had his Bar Mitzvah in Jerusalem and he sat among the priests and had a discussed with them.  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.  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 was a hotbed for the Essenien Jewish sect located in Qumran (not far from the western side of the Dead Sea).

The Essenien 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 whole 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 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 and has acquired vast universal knowledge (Gnostic wisdom). 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 since many Christian sects preached eastward and even reached China. 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 of religious knowledge.

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 Pontus 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 family 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 Essen sect and preached a message based in symbolism and fables and was highly spiritual and staunchly anti-Pharisee.  The Jewish cabala sect is a branch of the Essen 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 Mathew 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.  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 “prophesy 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.  Mathew 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 Mathew’s ridiculous endeavor.

 

Note 2: The first Christian communities emulated the monastic and ascetic life of the Essenien sect. A few early Christian sects went beyond the ascetic of the Essenians; for example, the author Amine Maaluf, 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, 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 mono physist Christian sects (Jesus is only divine) like the Jacobite and Nestourian (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.  The Nestourians 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 Mohammad learned about Christianity from these sects that were marginalized by the official Byzantine Church.

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).  There are evidences that the Bible of Mathew was originally written in Aramaic 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.  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.  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 was a hotbed for the Essenien Jewish sect located 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 whole 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 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 Djagguernat, 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 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 Pontus 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 family 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 Essen sect and preached a message based in symbolism and fables and was highly spiritual and staunchly anti-Pharisee.  The Jewish cabala sect is a branch of the Essen 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 Mathew 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.  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 “prophesy 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, 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) like 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.  The Nastourians 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.


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