5 comments on “Horus – The REAL Story Behind Jesus Christ (31 min)

  1. “The story of a personality being born on December 25th, being crucified, resurrected and the rest, has been told countless times before and is an astrotheistic myth.”

    You’re looking at the contradictory legends surrounding Jesus (the resurrection, genealogies, the virgin birth, etc.) rather than looking at the secular historical evidence indicating Jesus was a genuine historical personality, like Pythagoras, the Buddha, or Mahavira, around whom many contradictory legends have emerged.

    First century Pythagoreanism is described in detail in The Life of Apollonius of Tiana. The ancient texts records this neoplatonic philosopher and miracle worker having a divine birth, absorbing the wisdom of Pythagoras, practicing celibacy, vegetarianism, as well as voluntary poverty; healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, exorcising demons, foretelling the future, and teaching the innermost secrets of religion. Finally, the text says he never died, but went directly to heaven in a physical assumption.

    Sound familiar?

    But Apollonius of Tiana *was* a genuine historical personality, who lived from 40 – 120 AD!

    Similarly, Jesus *was* a genuine historical personality, around whom many contradictory legends (the resurrection, genealogies, the virgin birth, etc.) have emerged.

    Secular historian Dr. Martin A. Larson, an atheist, would have no personal interest in proving Jesus to be a genuine historical personality. But he debunks the argument that Jesus was a “myth.” He writes:

    “…Bruno Bauer, around 1840 became the first to maintain the non-historicity of Jesus… In time he declared that Jesus himself was only a myth. When his opponents marshaled evidence to the contrary, he was eventually forced into the position that the Christian religion originated during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, 175 AD; that all of its primary documents were forged by a group of unknown conspirators; that Peter, Paul, Clement, Ignatius, Papias, Justin Martyr, Marcion, etc. were invented by them; that all documents attributed to these writers were likewise forgeries concocted late in the second century; that all references to Christianity in Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, and Pliny, and all mention of early Christian authors in Tertullian, Clemens Alexandrnus, Irenaeus, etc. were interpolations.

    “The historicity of Paul, of course, if accepted, establishes that of Peter and Jesus also; for Paul teems with historical detail and refers often to them; and in Galatians 1:18 he states categorically that he dwelt fifteen days with Peter in Jerusalem. Certainly, no Christian would have invented the bitter feud between Peter and Paul. Bauer might almost as logically have denied the historicity of the Roman Empire.”

    Dr. Larson writes:

    “In Josephus we have three passages, one about Jesus, a second about John the Baptist, and a third concerning the stoning of James the Just, ‘the brother of Jesus,’ at Jerusalem.”

    According to Dr. Larson, scholars accept the third passage as genuine, and NOT a later forgery or interpolation by Christians:

    “It implies no belief in Christianity; it belongs in the context; the references to James and Jesus are written in as minor details; and the important element to the author is the unprincipled seizure of power by the High Priest, Ananus. It bears every mark of authenticity and constitutes conclusive evidence that by 62 AD there were in Jerusalem organized Christians…”

    According to Dr. Larson, “Once the authenticity of the passage in Josephus is admitted, there is no difficulty in accepting as genuine the celebrated passage in Tacitus, written soon after 100 AD:

    “‘Nero fastened the guilt’ for the burning of Rome ‘on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontus Pilate; and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea… but even in Rome… and became popular.’

    “This is not the kind of forgery that a Christian, or, for that matter, any one else would have composed,” writes Dr. Larson. “We must, therefore, believe that Christians were numerous both in Jerusalem and in Rome between 60 and 65 AD; that it was common knowledge that a certain Jesus, also known as the Christ or Christos (Messiah), executed by Pilate, was their founder; and that they were generally regarded as abominable and contemptible wretches…

    “Nor is the passage in Tacitus our only early classical reference to Jesus to Christianity. Pliny the Younger, in a letter to Trajan dated about 111 AD, concerning the Christians of Bithynia, calls their religion ‘an absurd and extravagant superstition,’ which was already flourishing for over twenty years in that province. Suetonius, after detailing the enormities of which Nero was guilty, lists among his good works that he ‘inflicted punishment on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition.’

    “For all practical purposes, these meager texts exhaust our authentic independent testimony; yet they prove that there were organized Christian movements in Jerusalem and in Rome before 65 AD, and that, according to common knowledge, their founder was a certain Jesus, who was called the Christ (Messiah), and who suffered at the hands of the Roman procurator Pilate. The authenticity of all this cannot be successfully assailed.

    “Whoever comprehends the nature of evidence will know that Gautama the Buddha, Mahavira, Zoroaster, John the Baptist, Simon Magus, and Manes were actual individuals, just as certainly as were Julius Caesar or George Washington; for we know certain definite facts about them in their historical setting which would never have been created mythologically.

    “By the same token, we know also that Athena, Aphrodite, Mithra, Dionysus, Attis, Bromius, Demeter, Persephone, and Priapus were myths only, that is, purely ideological creations.

    “Concerning Jesus, the evidence is much stronger than with older prophets or saviors, for when he came written records were well kept and his life is definitely fixed in the framework of current history. If we deny his historicity, we must also deny that of Peter, of Paul, of Clement of Rome, of Ignatius, of Papias, and of many others, which few indeed have ventured to do; and we must devise a sound theory to explain their writings, which bear every earmark of authenticity.

    “We cannot deny that there were many Christians in Rome and Jerusalem by 62 AD, nor can we doubt that the leaders of the cult at that time proclaimed their personal acquaintance with Jesus. It is simply inconceivable that such a gospel could have developed in thirty years without some historical basis.

    “The internal evidence favoring the historicity of Jesus is even more decisive; it is far more conclusive… Not only is the synoptic (Matthew, Mark, Luke) story between the baptism and the empty tomb forthright and consistent: it is also filled with details and elements which never would have been found in a myth… he traveled clandestinely by night so that he might not be apprehended; he died in utter despair, believing that God had forsaken him, he announced his coming and Day of Judgment at the middle of his career and so proved himself a false prophet We must accept Matthew 10:23 as genuine, since no believer would, at a later date, have invented a prophecy which proved false almost with its utterance.

    “Nor would writers of many years later have made Jesus promise a Second Coming during his own generation. The fact that all this and more, which is so very human, appears in the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, Luke) establishes the historicity of Jesus. All such material is deleted from the gospel as revised in John, where the authentic (historical) Jesus disappears entirely.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Contradictory Legends: The Resurrection of Jesus

    Among those beliefs crucial to Christianity, few are of greater importance than that of the Resurrection. The apostle Paul went so far as to allege the very foundation of Christianity rests upon its occurrence.

    “But if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching amounts to nothing and your faith is futile…you are still in your sins. (I Corinthians 15:14,17)

    Yet why should the Resurrection be of such significance?

    Elijah raised a child from the dead (I Kings 17:17,21-22); Samuel said to Saul, “Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up” (I Samuel 28:7,11,15); Elisha raised the dead son of a Shunamite (II Kings 4:32,34-35); a dead man being lowered into a grave revived when he touched the bones of Elisha (II Kings 13:21); Moses and Elijah revived at the time of Jesus’ Transfiguration (Luke 9:28,30); Jairus’ daughter rose from the dead (Matthew 9:18,23-25); the widow at Nain’s son rose from the dead (Luke 7:11-15); Lazarus rose from the dead (John 11:43-44); and the saints arose at the time of Jesus’ death on the cross (Matthew 27:52-53).

    People not only rose before Jesus, but after him as well. Peter raised Tabitha and Paul raised Eutychus.

    The four canonical gospels, moreover, give us contradictory accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection:

    Matthew 27:28 says they stripped him and put on a scarlet robe, while Mark 15:17 and John 19:2 say it was a purple robe. John 19:1-2,15 says the robe was put on Jesus during his trial. According to Matthew 27:26-28 and Mark 15:15-17, however, the robe was put on after Pilate delivered Jesus to be crucified.

    According to Matthew, Jesus was given wine mixed with gall, when they reached the site of crucifixion. Jesus refused the drink after tasting it.

    According to Mark, however, Jesus was offered a drink of wine flavored with myrrh, which he refused to accept. (Mark 15:23) According to Luke and the Fourth Gospel, Jesus was given only vinegar to drink. (Luke 23:36; John 19:29-30)

    Matthew 27:35, Mark 15:24 and Luke 23:34 record Roman soldiers casting lots for Jesus’ garments, while John 19:23-24 says they cast lots only for his coat.

    The accounts given in Matthew and Mark place Jesus’ crucifixion at the third hour. (Matthew 27:45-50; Mark 15:25) Luke, however, places Jesus’ crucifixion just before the sixth hour (Luke 23:44), while the Fourth Gospel places the crucifixion after the sixth hour. (John 19:14-16)

    Luke 23:39-40 states that only one of the two criminals being crucified alongside Jesus reviled him, while Matthew 27:44 and Mark 15:32 say they both reviled him.

    Matthew 27:55-56 names Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children as the women observing Jesus’ crucifixion. Mark 15:40 mentions Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the less and Joses and Salome, and John 19:25 mentions Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

    The first three gospels (Matthew 27:55-56; Mark 15:40; Luke 23:49) all record the women observing Jesus’ crucifixion from afar, whereas the Fourth Gospel places them at the foot of the cross. (John 19:25)

    After the close of the Sabbath came the night and the dawning of the first day of the new week (Sunday). Matthew 28:1 says Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to visit Jesus’ tomb. According to Mark 16:1, it was Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome, while Luke records Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and other women. John 20:1 says Mary Magdalene came alone. Matthew 28:1 and Mark 16:2 say they visited the tomb during sunrise. Luke 24:1 mentions early dawn, while the Fourth Gospel says it was still dark (John 20:1).

    Matthew 28:1-2 states that the tomb was closed upon their arrival. The other gospels, however, record the tomb as already opened. (Mark 16:3-4; Luke 24:2; John 20:1) Matthew 28:2 says the women encountered an angel at the tomb; according to Mark 16:5, it was a young man. The Gospel of Luke records two men (Luke 24:4), while the Fourth Gospel mentions two angels (John 20:11-12).

    According to Matthew 28:2, these personalities were outside the tomb, but the other gospels say they were inside the tomb. (Mark 16:5; Luke 24:3–4; John 20:11-12) The Gospel of Luke says they were Standing (Luke 24:4), but the other three gospels say they were sitting. (Matthew 28:2; Mark 16:5; John 20:12) Matthew 28:9 says Mary Magdalene recognized the resurrected Jesus when he first appeared to her; John 20:14 says she did not recognize him.

    According to Matthew, the women ran at once to inform the disciples. (Matthew 28:8) According to Mark, they told no one. (Mark 16:8) In the Gospel of Luke, they told everyone (Luke 24:8), while the Fourth Gospel differs completely from all the others.

    In Matthew, the resurrected Jesus meets the women on their way to tell the disciples the good news. He tells them to proceed to Galilee, where the disciples meet him upon a mountain. (Matthew 28:9,16) In Mark, they presumably remained in Jerusalem. In the Gospel of Luke, the resurrected Jesus tells his disciples to remain in Jerusalem until “clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)

    In the Fourth Gospel, Jesus tells Mary Magdalene, “I am going to ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” He meets with his disciples in Jerusalem, tells them to “receive the Holy Spirit,” and empowers them to forgive sins. (John 20:17, 21-23) Jesus later appears before other disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, calling them back to spiritual life. (John 21) According to Luke 24:50, the resurrected Jesus ascended to heaven at Bethany. Mark, however, places the assumption in a room, presumably in Jerusalem.

    In his monumental book, The Story of Christian Origins, Dr. Martin A. Larson writes, “The Assumption itself is dismissed with half a dozen words. Such cursory treatment and fantastic contradictions prove that the whole story was a garbled invention.”

    The only threads of consistency running through all four canonical gospels are Jesus’ own words foretelling his death and resurrection, and the empty tomb where his body was lain to rest.

    “…and going inside they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus… Then they recalled his sayings and, returning from the tomb, they told everything… they and the rest of the women told these things to the apostles.

    “But these reports seemed nonsense to them; they did not believe the women. Peter got up, though, and ran to the tomb and, stooping down, saw the linen clothes lying by themselves; then he went away wondering what had happened.”

    –Luke 24:3-12

    Contradictory Legends: The Virgin Birth of Jesus

    There are several verses in the New Testament stating that Mary was a virgin at the time of Jesus’ birth and that Joseph did not have contact with her until afterwards. (Matthew 1:18,20,24-25; Luke 1:34 35).

    However, other verses say Jesus was Joseph’s son. (Matthew 13:55; Luke 2:27,33,41,43, 3:23, 4:22; John 1.45, 6:42) Even Mary said Joseph was Jesus’ father (Luke 2:48).

    It’s hard to imagine Paul, who emphasized the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection ignoring an equally miraculous birth. Paul makes no mention of a divine conception and birth, but does say Jesus had a natural birth according to the flesh (Romans 1:3, 9:5).

    According to the genealogies in Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38, Jesus was a descendant of David through his father, Joseph. This was required of one claiming messiahship. (Jeremiah 23:5; II Samuel 7:12-13; Psalms 89:3-4, 132:11) But Joseph couldn’t be the father of Jesus and Jesus couldn’t be of David’s seed (Acts 13:22-23; II Timothy 2:8; Revelations 22:16) “according to the flesh” (Romans 1:3, 9:5) if he was miraculously conceived and born of a virgin.

    The genealogies are themselves contradictory! According to Matthew 1:16, Joseph was the son of Jacob. According to Luke 3:23, Joseph was the son of Heli. There are 28 generations between David and Jesus in Matthew’s gospel, but 42 generations in Luke.

    According to Matthew, Joseph was a permanent resident of Bethlehem, and Jesus was born and remained in a house there, where the wise men came to see him. According to Luke, Joseph was a resident of Nazareth (a city which did not exist during Jesus’ lifetime). In response to a decree by Augustus that “all the world should be taxed”– a decree unknown in Roman history — Joseph went to Bethlehem to register. Jesus was born in a stable, where shepherds came to pay him homage.

    Matthew further states that Jesus was born before the death of Herod, which occurred in 4 BC. Luke contradicts him by stating he was born during the registration under Cyrenius in 7 AD. Moreover, the gospels depict both John the Baptist and Jesus as contemporaries of Herod during their adult lives.

    Matthew 2:14-15 says Joseph fled to Egypt with Mary and Jesus to escape Herod’s persecution. Upon Herod’s death, Joseph returned to the Galilean region, settling in Nazareth, so that an Old Testament prophecy which no one can find (Matthew 2:23) might be fulfilled.

    According to the 2nd chapter of Luke, Joseph and Mary had no knowledge of the destiny of Jesus. When the shepherds tell them of their vision, “they wondered… But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:18-19) Similarly, when Simeon calls Jesus “a light for revelation to the gentiles and a glory to Your people, Israel,” Jesus’ mother and father “were wondering about the things spoken…” (Luke 2:32-33)

    And at the age of 12, when Jesus is admonished for causing his parents worry, he responds, “Did you not know that I ought to be in my Father’s house?” His parents don’t understand, but “his mother treasured all these matters in her heart.” (Luke 2:49,51)

    Had Mary truly received angelic tidings and a miraculous conception, as described in the 1st chapter of Luke, neither she nor Joseph would have had cause to wonder.

    If Joseph was the natural father of Jesus, then Jesus was born illegitimately, as a bastard. Joseph and Mary were engaged, but not married. (Luke 2:5) From the apocryphal Acts of Pilate 2:4-5 we learn that in early Christianity, the theological debate was not whether Jesus was fathered by Joseph or the Holy Spirit, but whether he was born in wedlock or of fornication.

    However, even if Joseph were Jesus’ natural father, and Jesus were of the seed of David, he still would have had no claim to the throne of David. According to Jeremiah 22:28-30, there could be no king in Israel who was a descendant of King Jeconiah. Matthew 1:12 states that Joseph was from the line of Jeconiah. If Jesus had been fathered by Joseph, he could not inherit the throne of David.

    Matthew 1:22-23 attempts to show Jesus’ miraculous conception and birth as the fulfillment of prophecy given in Isaiah 7:14: “…Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Translators continue to debate the use of the word “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14, which came from the Hebrew word “almah.”

    Hebraic scholars say “almah” means a “young woman” and not a virgin. As proof of this, they cite Genesis 24:43 and Exodus 2:8, where “almah” refers to a young woman, not a virgin. The Hebrew word for “virgin” is “besulah,” especially in classical biblical usage. A completely different word.

    Moreover, the prophecy given in Isaiah 7:14 has nothing to do with Jesus. It is directed at King Ahaz, and speaks of the birth of King Hezekiah, rather than the Messiah. Isaiah 8:4 says when the child is yet an infant, the riches of Damascus and Samaria will be carried away by the king of Assyria.

    These events actually happened in 742 and 721 BC. The child was to be called Immanuel, and Jesus is never referred to as “Immanuel” throughout the New Testament. On the other hand, the gospels specifically state he would be called “Jesus.” (Matthew 1:25; Luke 1:31)

    The doctrine of a virgin birth — God mating with a human woman to produce a god-child — is also foreign to Judaism. These beliefs were widespread, however, in the pagan world in which Christianity developed.

    The epic Hindu poem Mahabharata describes the gods mating with earthly women and producing noble and heroic children. Bacchus, the son of Jupiter in Greek mythology, was begotten by intercourse with Semele. Having been torn in pieces and having died, Bacchus rose again, and ascended to heaven. Aesculapius was a healer and the raiser of the dead. Perseus was born of a virgin.

    In Persia, both Zoroaster and his mother Dukdaub were said to have been born supernaturally, and the three expected Messiahs of Zoroastrianism were expected to come into the world through virgin births.

    Plato was the reputed son of Apollo, the sun god. The gospel tales of Jesus bear a strange resemblance to those of Dionysus, Hercules, Theseus, and countless other pagan demigods.

    Miraculous births themselves are not alien to Judaism or Christianity.

    Adam was never born to begin with; he came into the world as a full-grown adult. (Genesis 1:27)

    Isaac was born to an aged woman, Sarah, who no longer menstruated. (Genesis 18:10-11)

    Samuel was born to a woman, Hannah, whose womb had been closed by the Lord. (I Samuel 1:5, 2:21)

    John the Baptist was born of Zechariah and Elizabeth, who was barren, at a time when Elizabeth could no longer bear children. (Luke 1:5-17)

    The virgin birth of Jesus, however, creates numerous theological and scriptural difficulties.

    On the issue of whether Jesus was born out of wedlock – in fornication, Christian theologian Dr. Upton Clary Ewing writes in his 1961 book, The Essene Christ:

    “…if Jesus was born out of wedlock, of an unknown flesh and blood parent, as may have been the case of the Baptist, the child would be subject only to a stigma… In this case, the transcending of such an obstacle merely emphasizes the greatness of Jesus.

    “Certainly the extreme act of kindness, justice, mercy and forgiveness demonstrated in that memorable admonition, ‘Let he among you who is without sin among you cast the first stone’ indicates an understanding far superior to the mere tolerance of a self-righteous society.

    “Could it not have been that God purposely introduced in the birth of Jesus a lesson to mankind such as this: that the son is of the sins of the flesh, but the life thereof, which is the Spirit thereof, is of God?…

    “This might be said to have been ‘God’s way’ of denouncing not only the lack of kindness (towards illegitimate children) but also the extreme lack of understanding present in our social system.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Even the New Testament Admits the Jesus of History was a Jewish Rabbi Nailed on a Roman Cross.

    Jesus was called “Rabbi,” meaning “Master” or “Teacher,” 42 times in the gospels. Jesus’ ministry was rabbinic. Jesus related scripture and God’s laws to everyday life, teaching by personal example. Jesus engaged in healing and acts of mercy. Jesus told stories or parables — a rabbinic method of teaching.

    Jesus went to the synagogue (Matthew 12:9), taught in the synagogues (Matthew 4:23, 13:54; Mark 1:39), expressed concern for Jairus, “one of the rulers of the synagogue” (Mark 5:36) and it “was his custom” to go to the synagogue (Luke 4:16).

    Jesus called himself “Son of Man.” The prophet Ezekiel was addressed by God as “Son of Man.” (Ezekiel 2:1) In Hebrew, “son of man” (“ben adam”) was a synonym for “man.” Psalm 8:4 uses it in plural. Simon (Peter) referred to Jesus as “a man certified by God.” (Acts 2:22)

    Both John the Baptist and Jesus were considered prophets by the people. (Matthew 11:9, 21:11, 21:26, 21:46; Mark 6:15, 11:32; Luke 7:16, 7:26, 9:19, 24:19; John 4:19, 6:14, 7:40, 9:17)

    Jesus placed himself in the tradition of the prophets before him. (Matthew 13:57; Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24, 13:33; John 4:44)

    Jesus frequently compared his ministry to the ministries of Noah, Lot and Jonah. (Matthew 10:15, 11:24, 12:39-40, 16:4, 24:37-39; Luke 10:12, 11:29,32, 17:26-29,32)

    Jesus began his ministry by teaching the multitudes not to “give what is sacred to the dogs, nor cast your pearls before swine.” (Matthew 7:6) Dogs, like swine, were considered foul and unclean by the Hebrew people. (Deuteronomy 23:18; I Samuel 24:14; II Kings 8:13; Psalm 22:16,20; Matthew 7:6; Luke 16:21; Revelations 22:15) These words were used by the children of Israel to describe the neighboring heathen populations.

    When sending his disciples out to preach, Jesus instructed them not to go to the gentiles, but to “go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 10:5-6) When a Canaanite woman asked Jesus to heal her daughter, he replied, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel…It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” (Matthew 15:22-28)

    Jesus regarded the gentiles as “dogs.” His gospel was intended for the Jewish people. Even the apostle Paul admitted that the gospel was first intended for the Jews, and that the Jews have every advantage over the gentiles in this regard (Romans 1:16, 3:1-2).

    When a scribe asked Jesus what is the greatest commandment in the Torah, Jesus began with “Hear O Israel, the Lord, thy God, is One Lord.” This is the Shema, which is still heard in every synagogue service to this day.

    “And you shall love the Lord with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength… And you shall love your neighbor as yourself,” Jesus concluded.

    When the scribe agreed that God is one and that to love Him completely and also love one’s neighbor as oneself is “more important than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices,” Jesus replied, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 22:36-40; Mark 12:29-34; Luke 10:25-28)

    Jesus, A Rabbi, Repeatedly Upheld Mosaic Law

    The most-repeated argument against biblical vegetarianism I’ve gotten from Christians is that they claim they are no longer under Mosaic Law, because the apostle Paul referred to his background as a former Pharisee and his previous adherence to Mosaic Law (with its dietary laws, commandments calling for the humane treatment of animals, etc.) as “so much garbage.” (Philippians 3:4-8)

    Paul contradicted Jesus! In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus himself said:

    “Do not suppose I have come to abolish the Law and the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill… till heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle pass from the Law till all is fulfilled. Whoever, therefore, breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven… unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-20)

    Jesus also upheld the Torah in Luke 16:17:

    “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for the smallest portion of the Law to become invalid.”

    Nor do these words refer merely to the Ten Commandments. Jesus meant the entire Torah: 613 commandments. When a man asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus replied, “You know the commandments.” He then quoted not just the Ten Commandments, but a commandment from Leviticus 19:13 as well: “Do not defraud.” (Mark 10:17-22)

    Jesus’ disciples were once accused by the scribes and Pharisees of violating rabbinical tradition (Matthew 15:1-2; Mark 7:5), but not biblical law. At no place in the entire New Testament does Jesus ever proclaim Torah or the Law of Moses to be abolished; this was the theology of Paul, a former Pharisee who never knew Jesus, but who used to persecute Jesus’ followers. Paul openly identified himself not as a Jew but as a Roman (Acts 22:25-26) and an apostate from Judaism (Philippians 3:4-8)

    Sometimes Christians cite Matthew 7:12, where Jesus says “Do unto others…” and this “covers” the Law and the prophets.

    But Jesus was merely repeating in the positive what Rabbi Hillel taught earlier.

    Hillel was asked, “What is Judaism?”

    He replied: “What is hateful to you, do not do unto others. That is Judaism. All the rest is commentary.”

    No one took Hillel’s words to mean the Law had been abolished — why should we assume this of Jesus?

    If Jesus really came to abolish the Law and the prophets, Simon (Peter) would not have resisted a divine command to kill and eat both “clean” and “unclean” animals (Acts 10), nor would there have been a debate in the early church as to what extent the gentiles were to observe Mosaic Law (Acts 15).

    When Paul visited the church at Jerusalem, James and the elders told him all its members were “zealous for the Law,” and that they were worried because they heard rumors that Paul was preaching against Mosaic Law (Acts 21).

    None of these events would have happened had Jesus really come to abolish the Law and the prophets!

    Jesus not only repeatedly upheld Mosaic Law, he justified his healing on the Sabbath by referring to commandments calling for the humane treatment of animals!

    While teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath, Jesus healed a woman who had been ill for eighteen years. He justified his healing work on the Sabbath by referring to biblical passages calling for the humane treatment of animals as well as their rest on the Sabbath. “So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham… be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” Jesus asked. (Luke 13:10-16)

    On another occasion, Jesus again referred to Torah teaching on “tsa’ar ba’alei chayim” or compassion for animals to justify healing on the Sabbath. “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” (Luke 14:1-5)

    Jesus compared saving sinners who had gone astray from God’s kingdom to rescuing lost sheep. He recalled a Jewish legend about Moses’ compassion as a shepherd for his flock:

    “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. What do you think? Who among you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?

    “And when he has found it,” Jesus continued, “he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home,he calls together his friends and neighbors saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

    “I say to you, likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance… there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Matthew 18:11-13; Luke 15:3-7,10)

    Paul, on the other hand, said if anyone has confidence in Mosaic Law, “I am ahead of him” (Philippians 3:4-8).

    Would that mean Paul places himself ahead of Jesus, who said he did not come to abolish the Law and the prophets?

    Would that mean Paul places himself ahead of Jesus, who said whoever sets aside even the least of the laws demands shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:17-19)?

    Would that mean Paul places himself ahead of Jesus, who taught that following the commandments of God is the only way to eternal life (Mark 10:17-22)?

    Would that mean Paul places himself ahead of Jesus, who said that it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for the smallest portion of the Law to become invalid (Luke 16:17)?

    Paul may have regarded his previous adherence to Mosaic Law as “so much garbage,” but it should be obvious by now that JESUS DIDN’T THINK THE LAW WAS “GARBAGE”!

    If Christians revere Paul’s words over those of Jesus, then “Christianity” really is “Paulianity”.

    Bertrand Russell referred to Paul as the “inventor” of Christianity.

    I’m not saying Christians should all be circumcised and following Mosaic Law. The Reverend Andrew Linzey, the foremost theologian in the field of animal-human relations and author of Christianity and the Rights of Animals (1987), rejected such an approach in a 1989 interview with the Animals’ Agenda.

    I’m merely saying that Christianity for the past 2000 years has been based on a misunderstanding. Christians aren’t really following Jesus. They’re following Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s Possible the Historical Jesus was an Essene

    Aside from the Pharisees, the gospels and Book of Acts mention the Sadducees as the only other major school of Judaic thought. The Sadducees tended to be rich, nationalist and secularist.

    The Jewish historian Josephus, who lived during the time of Jesus, wrote that the “Pharisees have delivered to the people a great many observances…which are not written into the laws of Moses and” which “the Sadducees reject,” but they “are able to persuade none but the rich,” whereas “the Pharisees have the multitude on their side.”

    Thus Jesus never rejected Mosaic Law (Matthew 5:17-19; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 16:17); only its Pharisaic excesses.

    Obviously, Jesus was neither Pharisee nor Sadducee. No analysis of the history of Christianity and the teachings of Jesus can ignore the Essenes. The Jewish historian Josephus, who lived during the time of Jesus, wrote that there were but three Jewish sects in his day: the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Essenes. Josephus actually spent time in an Essene monastery and compiled a detailed account of their doctrines and way of life–similar to primitive Christianity.

    New Testament scholars such as Bahrdt (1784-1792), Venturini (1800), Gfoerer (1831-38), Hennel (1840) and von der Alm (1863), have all suggested that Jesus may have been an Essene. The Pharisees and Sadducees appear in the gospels and book of Acts as parties inimical to the new church, but no mention is made of the Essenes.

    It is quite possible Christianity grew out of Essenism. Essenism began around 180 BC as a reaction to Hellenistic influence among the Jewish people. They called themselves the Zadokites or the Hasidim (pious). In addition to the canonical books of the Old Testament, they composed and studied their own scriptures, commentaries and prophecies, written between 170 and 60 BC. These scriptures were uncovered by modern archaeology in the Essene monastery at Khirbet-Qumran, west of the Dead Sea. The Essenes flourished until 69 AD, when they were killed by the Romans.

    The Essene community called itself by the same name (“Edah”) used by the early Christians to denote the church. The same term used to designate its legislative assembly was also used to denote the council of the early Christian church. There were twelve “men of holiness” serving as general guides for the community — strikingly similar to the twelve apostles. These men had three superiors, designated as pillars of the community — exactly the positions held by John, Peter and James in the early Christian church. (Galatians 2:9)

    Both the Essenes and the earliest Christians referred to themselves as “the poor in the world,” “the sons of light” and “the chosen of God who shall judge the nations at the end of time.” The earliest Christians called themselves “the saints,” “the brethren,” “the elect,” “the believers,” “those in Messiah,” “those of the Lord,” “the sons of peace,” “the disciples” and “the poor.” The word most used to refer to Christians in the New Testament is “brethren.” The Manual of Discipline and other Essene texts, found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, indicate that they spoke of each other as “brethren.”

    During the Last Supper, Peter motioned to one of the disciples “to ask who it was of whom he (Jesus) spoke.” (John 13:24) This was consistent with the practice of the Essenes when they met together in sessions: “Nor shall a man speak in the midst of the words of his neighbor, before his brother finishes speaking. Neither shall he speak before his proper order.” It appears the disciple next to Jesus held a higher rank in the group than Peter, and was the one posing the question to Jesus.

    The Essene monastery communal meal resembles the Last Supper of the New Testament. In both meals, only men participated in a large upper room. (Mark 14:15) In both groups the recognized leader presided over the meal. Lastly, the leader blessed both the bread and the drink. Because of these close parallels, the depiction of the Last Supper more closely resembles the communal meals of the Essenes than it does the Passover meal, which is traditionally a patriarchal family rite in which the father of a family presides.

    The epistle of James is regarded as one of the earliest epistles in the New Testament. It is addressed to the twelve Jewish tribes of the Dispersion. Its writer, James the Just, the brother of Jesus (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; Galatians 1:19), held a leading position at the Church in Jerusalem. (Acts 12:17, 15:13, 21:13) James (4:5) appears to quote directly from Essene scripture.

    He asks, “Do you think that scripture says in vain, ‘The spirit which God made to dwell in us lusteth to envy?'” The scripture he refers to are not the canonical books of the Old Testament, because such a statement cannot be found in them. However, a similar statement can be found in the Manual of Discipline: “God has made two spirits to dwell in us, each rivaling the other; the evil one lusteth and envies the good.”

    Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 18:15-17 concern disputes among the brethren. He mentions evidence, witnesses and an already existing church hierarchy. Jesus was quoting a set of Essene rules which can be found in the Manual of Discipline.

    John the Baptist is said to have been raised in the desert from childhood. The Essene monastery was not far from where John supposedly lived. The Essenes were the only Jewish sect with a celibate priesthood, practicing baptism. The Manual of Discipline says they followed Isaiah 40:3, “go to the wilderness to prepare there the way… make level in the desert a path for the Lord.”

    This was John’s description of himself, as found in the canonical gospels (John 1:23). “Repent,” he preached, “for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2) The Essenes believed they belonged to a “covenant of repentance.” (Zadokite Document)

    John the Baptist said that one greater than he would baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit. The Manual of Discipline declares that the time would come when God would cleanse man through the Holy Spirit and through His Messiah, God would make His chosen know the Holy Spirit.

    Josephus writes that the Essenes adopted children and brought them up in God’s service. According to the gospels, John the Baptist was in the desert from boyhood until the day of his showing in Israel. The gospels are also silent about Jesus’ life from the age of twelve to thirty. Both Jesus and his relative John were about the same age. According to Jewish tradition, a student must reach his thirtieth birthday before he can qualify as a priest or rabbi. Both Jesus and John met this requirement. John, a few months older than Jesus, was the first to preach. Jesus followed shortly thereafter.

    The title of “Rabbi” was conferred by the priests of the synagogue or temple. Neither Jesus nor John received this honor from either the Pharisees or the Sadducees. Joesphus mentions only three sects: the Pharisees, Sadducees and the Essenes. (Antiquities G.13,1,2; Antiquities B.13,5,9; Wars of the Jews B.2,8,2)

    “Both Mark and Matthew describe the Baptist as eating ‘locusts and wild honey’ (Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6),” writes Joseph A. Grassi in his 1975 work, Underground Christians in the Earliest Church. “This is the typical diet of a vegetarian who took seriously the injunction in Genesis that God had originally created the plants of the earth as man’s food, and had only reluctantly permitted him later to kill animals for meat. (Genesis 1:29, 9:3) Jesus’ first disciples came from John the Baptist (John 1:35-51; Acts 1:21-22). Jesus was influenced enough by John to be baptized by him.”

    The Essenes were vegetarian. One of their earliest scriptural texts, the Zadokite Document proclaims: “Let not a man make himself abominable with any living creature or creeping thing by eating them.”

    “Thou hast created plants
    for the service of man
    and all things that spring from the earth
    that he may be fed in abundance
    and to them that acknowledge Thy truth
    Thou has also given insight
    to divine Thy wondrous works.”

    —Hymns of the Initiates
    X,14 – XI,2

    These verses appear to be based on Genesis 1:26-31 and Daniel 1:9-21.

    Epiphanius, a Christian bishop during the fourth century, wrote that “the Essenes eschewed the flesh of animals.” According to Josephus, “they all sit down together to one sort of food… live the same kind of life as those whom the Greeks call Pythagoreans.”

    The French philosopher Voltaire observed, “It is well known that Pythagoras embraced the humane doctrine of anti-flesh-eating. There was a rivalry as to who could be the most virtuous — the Essenes or the Pythagoreans.”

    Philo of Alexandria wrote, “They live the longest lives… about a hundred years, owing to the simplicity of their diet.” The Roman teacher Porphyry, a vegetarian, also spoke of the Essene meals as a “single simple dish of pure, clean food.” St. Jerome admired the Essenes: “those men who perpetually abstained from meat and wine and had acquired the habit of everyday fasting.”

    According to Philo, “Not a single slave is to be found among them, but all are free, exchanging services with each other, and they denounce the owners of slaves… they have shown themselves especially devout in the service to God, not by offering sacrifices of animals, but by resolving to sanctify their minds.” Josephus writes, “they do not offer sacrifices because they have more pure lustrations of their own; on which account they are excluded from the common court of the temple.”

    The Essenes were pacifists. “As for darts, javelins, daggers, or the helmet, breastplate or shield,” Philo explained, “you could not find a single manufacturer of them nor, in general, any person making weapons or engines or plying any industry concerned with war; nor, indeed, any of the peaceful kind which easily lapse into vice.”

    These descriptions parallel Jesus’ teachings (Matthew 5:9,39,43-44, 26:52) where he blesses the peacemakers, tells his followers to “turn the other cheek” if attacked, to bless and pray for their enemies and to refrain from taking up arms.

    “They do not hoard gold and silver,” continues Philo, “but provide what is needed for the necessary requirements of life…they have become moneyless and landless by deliberate action…” Jesus also told his followers to seek the treasures in heaven, calling for the renunciation of earthly possessions and family ties. (Matthew 6:19-21, 6:25-34, 10:34-39, 19:20-21,29; Luke 9:57-62, 14:25-26,33)

    The Essenes observed the Sabbath in synagogues and shared their homes and possessions. These were the practices of the apostles and the earliest Christian communities. (Acts 1:13, 2:44,46, 4:32-37) According to Philo, “They are trained in piety, holiness, justice, domestic and civil conduct, knowledge of what is good through the love of God, love of virtue, and love of men. Their love of God they show by a multitude of proofs: by religious purity constant and unbroken throughout their lives, by abstinence from oaths, by veracity…by their freedom from the love of either money or reputation or pleasure; by self-mastery and endurance; again by frugality, simple living, contentment, humility, respect for the law; steadiness and all similar qualities.”

    Like the Essenes, Jesus taught his followers not to use oaths (Matthew 5:33-37), to serve God rather than Mammon (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13), and to respect both civil and religious authorities. (Matthew 22:21, 23:1-3) Jesus also emphasized humility and servitude over glory, honor and exaltation. (Matthew 20:24-28; Mark 10:41-45; Luke 9:46-48, 14:7-11, 17:7-10; John 13:3-17)

    Josephus wrote that the Essenes faced death calmly and joyfully at the hands of the Romans, knowing “their bodies shall decay and become dust…the souls are immortal, and shall live eternally.” The Essenes, said Josephus, taught that in worldly existence, the soul is chained to the body like a prisoner to his cell, but when set free from the flesh, then “already tasting heavenly bliss, it soars up to the bright kingdom of joy and peace.” (Compare Matthew 13:43)

    Around 1830, Thomas de Quincey wrote an essay claiming the Essenes never existed; that Josephus merely mistook early Christians for these godly people. It would be sacreligious, he argued, to accept the existence of such large communities of worshippers, with doctrines and practices identical to those found in Christianity, prior to Jesus’ life and ministry!

    No historical evidence proving a relationship between the Essenes and early Christianity has ever been found. The striking similarities between the two faiths, however, strongly suggests that the earliest Christians were influenced by the Essenes. No serious student of Christian thought can ignore the direct influence of Judaism and the possible influence of the Essenes (and the Dead Sea Scrolls) upon the theological development of early Christianity.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Secular History Supports the Theological Position that Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi Nailed to a Roman Cross.

    During 1989-1990, in a series of theological discussions with my friend Rankin Fisher, a former Missionary Baptist minister, I told him I’d read an interview with a Catholic priest in the Los Angeles Times. The priest was saying the Romans, not the Jews, were responsible for the crucifixion. I told Rankin statements like these could help end anti-semitism.

    One of the first books I ever read on the subject of biblical vegetarianism in 1986 was The Essene Christ by Dr. Upton Clary Ewing. (1961) According to Josephus, the Jewish historian who lived during the time of Jesus, there were only three Jewish sects: the Pharisees, the Sadduccees, and the Essenes. Dr. Ewing makes the case that Jesus was an Essene, the Essenes were vegetarian, therefore, Jesus was a vegetarian.

    Dr. Ewing then proceeds to document vegetarianism in Christianity: the earliest Christians, the writings of the early church fathers (who wrote extensively on the subject), the lives of the saints (Catholicism) and religious reformers (Protestantism) …including Schweitzer, whom he quotes at length. In drawing an analogy to the way 19th century Southern churches upheld human slavery on biblical grounds with the way we treat animals today, Dr. Ewing foreshadowed the contemporary animal rights movement.

    According to Dr. Ewing, the Romans were responsible for the crucifixion, and not the Jews.

    Christian theologian Dr. Upton Clary Ewing writes:

    “The wrongful blaming of the Jews for the death of Jesus has been one of the most effective roadblocks ever placed in the highway leading to the brotherhood of man. It is not only shameful, but completely illogical, for one to continue to hold that the Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus. As all the evidences of comparative beliefs seem to verify, Jesus and the Pharisees were more in agreement on religious issues than they were in disagreement.

    “As for Jesus’ declaring himself to be the Messiah, the Jewish hierarchy would have been more amused than hostile at the audacity of anyone from Galilee making such a claim. The Jews, with very few exceptions, were far from being averse to the principles of Jesus. Even those who were annoyed by his jibes and his admonitions would not have felt justified in taking severe measures against him. There were great multitudes of Jews who, although they dared not protest to the Romans, wept deeply as they followed Jesus to crucifixion. Even the gospel of Luke openly admits the sincere affection the Jews had for Jesus. ‘And there followed him a great company of people and of women who also bewailed and lamented him.’ (Luke 23:27)

    “The trial and execution of Jesus was strictly a Roman responsibility. It was prompted by and carried out in accord with strict Roman ordinances which extended little leniency to a Jew. The Jews under Roman authority were tolerated only when they conformed to all the articles of strict obedience. To be involved in the slightest misdemeanor, even among themselves, could mean the lash or other harsh, humiliating punishment.

    “During the Roman occupation of Judea, it was the custom of the time to mete out severe punishment for a Jew for an offense that would hardly warrant the arrest of a Roman citizen. One does not need other historical evidence to confirm this; verification is found where Paul is charged with disturbing the peace: ‘Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman?’ (Acts 22:24-29)

    “The crucifixion of Jesus is explicable on one ground only: that he was sentenced to death and executed by Roman authority as a sower of sedition against Roman rule. A sentence by the Sanhedrin was imagined, and condemnation pronounced on the grounds that Jesus laid claim to be the Son of God. Jesus, as all four evangelists are compelled to admit, was condemned to death by Pilate on political grounds as ‘King of the Jews,’ that is, as a Messianic agitator who laid claim to some kind of royalty in Israel, which automatically made him subversive of the imperial government. Historically, the case of Jesus is intelligible only if we admit from the outset that he was sentenced to death by Pilate alone, acting as a representative of Roman authority.

    “Crucifixion was strictly a Roman means of execution. Death by stoning was the method used by the Jews, and this was ordered by the Sanhedrin only upon conviction of blasphemy; i.e., for cursing or denying the existence of God, which Jesus did not do. Up to the time of Jesus the Sanhedrin had not imposed a death sentence in over 200 years. In fact even if they had desired to do so they could not, for capital punishment was administered solely by Roman authority for crimes against imperial law…they nailed a sign on the cross to show their contempt for the Messianic claims of Jesus: ‘Behold Him the king of the Jews.’ These words which appear in all four gospels spell out examples of Roman vituperation, not Jewish judgment.”

    The New Testament says Pilate unwillingly sentenced Jesus to death, but Josephus says Pontius Pilate was so brutal he was recalled to Rome because of too many executions! Luke 13:1-5 reveals the real Pilate of history: “…the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices…”

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.