Aliens

Early Jewish Christian

Before the fall of the Second Temple, the Jewish people were trying to decide the nature of God. With the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah, the Romans prevented a reformation of Judaism and have left Jewish religious vision frozen in time like a fly in amber. Some of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the texts of the early followers of James the Just have preserved an early vision of God, which is virtually identical to modern Kabbalah and is the complete opposite to the Blood God of the Judeans. These lost texts reveal a people struggling to come to terms with their own stories.

Twin Towers

On 9/11 two planes flew into the Twin Towers. The attacks on the Twin Towers are an historical fact and each story told about the event says more about the people telling the story than the event itself. Depending on your religion, cultural heritage or agenda, the story you favour regarding 9/11 might be one of the following:

  • The rise of fundamentalist Islam and the reigniting of a thousand year holy war caused the attack
  • Mossad and the Jews did it in order to blame innocent Muslims
  • It was an act of God punishing a sinful people
  • Government conspiracy to create a pretext for an invasion of the Middle East
  • Aliens did it

People cling to stories as if they were a part of themselves and rarely give any thought to the implication of those beliefs. When the story inculcates a concept of God, the images of that story tend to immediately bypass any capacity for reasoned thought and immediately lodge directly in the subconscious. For some Muslims supportive of the attack, it was the ‘will of God’. If any thought is given to the innocent people who were killed, the general conclusion is that the innocent dead are now martyrs.

Sunan Abu Dawud

Sunan Abu DawudThe Jewish people have been trying to reconcile the images created within the stories of the Torah (Old Testament) for over two thousand years. Most Christians know the name of the book but assume that it has been made irrelevant by Jesus. Islam (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 38) initially embraced the Old Testament vision of God only to lose interest during the beginning of the twentieth century. The revival of a fundamentalist version of Islam by the Wahhabi movement has led many within the Ummah to enthusiastically embrace the moral ambivalence and blood thirsty horror of the Torah’s original vision.

So in the twenty-first century, we have reached a strange position. Because of these stories about God, some people ‘of conscience’ feel compelled to become atheists and reject this vision. Many people feel obliged to bring the horrors of the Torah to life and graphically re-enact the punishments described for the benefit of the world’s media.

Kabbalah

Torah

In researching early Jewish Christianity and its relationship with Kabbalah, I have found an obvious and clear philosophical link between the two, which we will shortly explore but the connection between Kabbalah and the Torah is less obvious and requires careful examination.

For most Jewish people, the Torah (Old Testament) and its stories are a tribal flag. In discussions with Goyim (Non-Jews) they tend to oscillate between two positions.

 

 

  • The Torah is the revealed word of God and everything that Jewish culture demands is sanctioned by God’. If passages involving racial genocide and animal sacrifice are mentioned, they often dig in like our Muslim supporters of the 9/11 attacks and use the same justifications for violence. The alternative argument used by many Kabbalists is to switch effortlessly to position B.

 

  • ‘The Torah doesn’t mean what it says it means: you have to speak Hebrew and learn the secret language of the Torah to understand it’. This is a clever avoiding technique and it is usually successful in shutting down any further discussion. To push beyond this point would be considered anti-Semitic. At this point, the telephone usually goes dead.

Stories

Before it is anything else, the Bible is a collection of stories. Like 9/11 many of those stories are based on real events. For example the actual Hyksos expulsion from Egypt is a dramatised account detailed within the stories of the Exodus. It is disingenuous to say that this story doesn’t mean what it says it means. You cannot have your scholars declare the historical accuracy of the text and then say it doesn’t mean what it says it means.

The Torah then is part history, part cultural repository of proverbs, poetry, and philosophy. We should not be surprised when events or characters are merged and changed to reflect the agenda and view of the writer; that doesn’t change the reality upon which the story is based. Serious problems arise, however, when the writer presumes to speak for God.

I could say that the Governments of the world caused 9/11 to bring about ‘one-world-government’. I could say that Mossad organised the attack to further its hegemony in the Middle East. I could even say Aliens did it but the moment I say that God wanted three thousand people to die I cross a line. We must be very careful of the stories we tell. Stories can change the world.

Genocide

For believers, when God orders the racial genocide of the Amalekites and the Midianites (1 Samuel 15:3/ Numbers 31) that’s considered good. When the Nazis try to do the same that’s bad. When God orders the sacrifice of every first born son (Exodus 13:2) that’s good. When a woman wants an abortion that’s bad. When God wants to have a goat thrown down a cliff, to a painful death. (Leviticus 16:10) Good! When Satanists sacrifice goats: bad. The Gospels hint at the indignation that many Galileans felt at this moral hypocrisy. We know from Epiphanius of Salamis that many Galilean movements rejected the books of Moses as forgeries and clung to an oral teaching not now available. I would posit that it is this disenchantment that led to the evolution of Jewish belief within Kabbalah.

Stories then are reflections of the inner life of the teller. Over a thousand years, the inner life of the Jewish people matured. Their vision of the blood God of the Torah evolved into the most profound transcendental teachings the world has ever known. How? As we have previously discussed, the Israeli Elohist view of God is incorporeal.

God

Sometime during the first millennium BC this view deepened and gave rise to a view of God as the ‘force that animates all life’, within which ‘we are all united’. From being a God who demanded sacrifice he became a God that treasured all life.

Exodus 13:2 ‘Sacrifice to me every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it belongs to Me’. Became: Psalm 145:9 ‘The Lord is good to all; his loving-kindness extends to all he made.’

An argument can be made that many of the statements made by the historical Jewish teacher we know as Jesus were based on the Torah. ‘Why call me good? Jesus answered ‘There is none good but God alone.’ Mark 10:18. is obviously a mirror of Psalm 145:9. But it is hard to trace the genesis of this evolution.

Modern Kabbalah

When I say modern Kabbalah, I am referring to the teachings of Rav Ashlag and his commentary on the ‘Ten Luminous Emanations’ and Rav Kook who said that ‘in a still small voice the wisdom of Israel speaks through Kabbalah’.

Today Rav Michael Berg and Rabbi David Aaron are possibly the most accessible teachers of this view of Kabbalah. I do not have the space here to go into these concepts in detail but will just touch on the parallels.

When Jesus taught the concept of ‘Repentance’ we can see this mirrored in the Kabbalistic concept of ‘Teshuvah’. When Jesus taught the ‘Kingdom of God’, we can see the concept of ‘Emunah’. So much is obvious. But what of more complex ideas?

Point of View

Kabbalah teaches us to not give in to the evil inclination to ‘receive for the self alone’. We learn to find the path of ‘receiving in order to share’. We learn how to be proactive. When Jesus says, “if you are struck on one cheek, offer them the other. If you are pressed to walk a mile, go with them two.” From a Western or Christian point of view, this approach makes no sense but in the context of Kabbalah it is the only logical course of action.

When the Nazarene movement says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.” It is reflected in the teachings of Kabbalah ‘Baat Kol’ which is the ‘still small voice’ that Rav Kook, of blessed memory explained.

Only by viewing the world through the prism of Kabbalah can a statement like the following make sense. ‘But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you; that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.’ Within the Father of lights we are all one and if my enemy is me, then in forgiving him I am forgiving myself.

Which Path?

In 2015 in Paris, Colorado Springs and in Duma, fundamentalists calling on the name of Allah, Jesus, and Yahweh, respectively killed too many innocent people. These fanatics killed because they believed a story about God. On 9/11 three thousand people were killed because of a story that had started three thousand years before in the Torah. In the Q-Document, the historical Jesus taught that the stories we tell are of the utmost importance. Every second of every day we are all faced with a crossroad and we must choose the path of life or the path of death.

It is only within Modern Kabbalah that we can learn to understand how to take the path of life. It is fitting that I should end with the words of the great Rav Kook,‘ The tendency of unrefined people to see the divine essence as embodied in the words and in the letters alone is a source of embarrassment to humanity, and atheism arises as a pained outcry to liberate man from this narrow and alien pit, to raise him from the darkness of focusing on letters and expressions, to the light of thought and feeling, finally to place his primary focus on the realm of morals. Atheism has a temporary legitimacy, for it is needed to purge away the aberrations that attached themselves to religious faith because of a deficiency in perception and in the divine service. This is its sole function in existence…’

Maybe the historical Jesus would see our belief in these ancient stories about God as a kind of idolatry. Maybe within our stubbornness and racial pride, he would see the ultimate blasphemy.

If you enjoyed this Blog, then you might like: What is Spirituality and can it be found in a book?

Watch: Did the Jesus of History invent Christianity?

Non-Fiction Book: The True Sayings of Jesus – The Jesus of History Vs. The Christ Myth

The True Sayings of Jesus

Steven Anderson

Why are Christians so Nasty?

Christians constantly tell us that they are ‘saved’. They tell us that Yoga is demonic and music is ‘of the devil’. They want to kill gays. They use verses they don’t understand like weapons. They seem to have their own language, which marks them out to each other. Yoga is demonic

“I’m washed in the blood of Jesus!”

“If you donate five dollars you’ll have a harvest.”

Only Christians are Saved!

They have convinced themselves that belief alone will guarantee them salvation. Assuming that they are ‘saved’, why are Christians so nasty?

Apart for some notable exceptions, Christians are as messed up as everyone else? There’s obviously a disconnect between what Christians tell themselves and what is actually happening in their lives. Why is that? Is God ignoring them or are they just kidding themselves?

Saint Paul the creator of Christianity

This argument has been going on since Saint Paul invented Christianity. I discuss this in my book – The True Sayings of Jesus: The Jesus of History Vs. The Christ Myth and in my YouTube channel (The Jesus of History) where I detail some of the arguments:

So the question is: ‘Can belief alone bring spiritual change or is life a bit more complicated than that’?

Christian RallyBelieve everything the Church says and you’ll get into heaven. On Judgement day you’ll be able to laugh at all the sinners burning in hell. The Church has been selling exactly that ticket for two thousand years.

In the middle of the first century Paul started teaching in the name of Jesus. He began teaching Greeks and Romans in southern Turkey that he could give them the spirit of God in exchange for their belief in his new Gospel. The family of the Jewish teacher whose name he had stolen were not happy with his plagiarism and several showdowns ensured. (Acts and Romans)

Paul’s letters are a wall of words that say very little. He misquoted and lied but that didn’t stop him creating a religion that changed the world.

Which Gospel came first?

A hundred years ago the scholars started to try to work out which of the Synoptic Gospels was written first, when they put the Gospels side by side.

They found that it was only the sayings of the Jesus of History that lined up – the narrative and miracle accounts were obviously fictitious and could be dismissed from serious debate.

The writers of Matthew, Mark and Luke obviously had a book of the ‘sayings’ of Jesus from which they quoted. The younger brother of Jesus, James the Just, in his Epistle taught the same message.

Luke 17:21 reported Jesus as saying, “The Kingdom of God will not come by observation. It is not here or there, for the Kingdom of God is within you.”

Just like the Q source, the Gospel of Thomas is also a ‘sayings’ document and it expands on the same theme. The Kingdom of God is within you.

Where is God?

God for Paul was out there but God for the Nazarenes is everywhere.

Some of the echoes of the historical Jewish teacher still can be found in the Gospels. They suggest that Jesus went into the quiet places to pray. (Luke 5:16 – Matthew 6:6 – Mark 1:35)

From the Zen like nature of his sayings it is obvious that Jesus practiced the deep meditation techniques so popular within Jewish Kabbalah at that time. (Sepha Yetzirah)

The mind is just like a child, without discipline it is a misery to itself and to everyone else.

The Jewish tradition has a long history of meditation that existed before the Jesus of History and exists to this day. In the Gospel of Thomas, the Jesus of History teaches us that we must “Recognise what is before your face and that which is hidden will be revealed.”

This is a reference to the clear lake of conscious, which exist beneath the surface of the conscious thought patterns.

Who will save the Christians?

Christians are blind to their own evil and cruelty because they are too busy looking up for someone else to save them. If they could learn to stop talking in their heads they would hear God’s voice within and see his hand in everything. Just as the Jesus of History said, “the Kingdom of God is like a forgotten seed or yeast in bread, it comes slowly and in unexpected ways.”

Jesus taught that anger was the same as murder and lust the same as rape. Hate must be turned into love. How do you think you could do that without learning to watch the gate of your soul?

“When you pray, go into your inner storeroom and lock the door and pray to your father in secret.” Gospel of Matthew 6:6

“The lamp of the body is in the eye. When you make the eye single your body shall be full of light.” Gospel of Matthew 6:22

“When you know yourself, you will be known and you will understand that you are children of the living father.”  Gospel of Thomas 3

“Know what is in front of your face and what is hidden from you will be revealed.” Gospel of Thomas 5

“The Kingdom of God is within you.” Gospel of Luke 17

If you enjoyed this Blog, then you might like – Why does everyone hate the Jesus of History

The True Sayings of Jesus: The Jesus of History Vs. The Christ Myth

The True Sayings of Jesus

Turkey Dinner

My God is better than Yours!

Can you explain why you believe the things you do? Many of our beliefs come with our culture or our age group as a job lot. It takes a lot of courage to analyse your own beliefs. It can be frightening. It is much easier to buy our beliefs off the shelf.

Ready Meals and Religion

Here in the mountains of Spain, the Spanish women shop every day. They buy fresh produce and cook traditional meals. Roast Turkey DinnerOn the coast there are supermarkets that cater for the holidaymakers. They sell bright expensive packets that contain entire meals. It doesn’t take much effort to prepare these packets. You put them in the microwave and in minutes you have a whole dinner for one.

I’ve noticed that people like to shop for their beliefs in the same way. “Last week I was a Christian but this week I’m a Jew.” “Last week I was a Buddhist and now I’m a Muslim.” They have to cook the whole packet and even eat the meat, even though they are not sure what the hell it is. There is no room for self-expression, only consumption. This religion is for ME! I am right and everyone else is wrong!

We are limited by the nature of our being. We live in boxes made of flesh and look out at the world through five small windows. We filter the world through the prism of our past, so our understanding will always be subjective and limited until we die. Surely, we can see that what we understood before is not what we understand today; therefore, it is fair to suppose that, the way we think tomorrow will not be the same as the way we do now.

How dare you!

According to a Gallup poll in 2015 the world population is now primarily atheist. When Stephen Fry, the famous actor and author, was asked what, as an atheist, he would say to God, he said, “How dare you? How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault. It’s not right, it’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world that is so full of injustice and pain. That’s what I would say to God.

Why would such an educated and kind man as Stephen Fry want to be so rude to God? To be fair to Mr Fry, if anyone of an average intelligence reads the books of Moses he could reasonably conclude that either God is a paranoid schizophrenic or there is more than one vision of God described in these documents.

Moses

The Torah (Old Testament) is either the word of God directly dictated to Moses or a collection of different stories, which were written by different people at different times for vastly different reasons. How you see these stories will depend on which packet you’ve bought off the shelf.

In the ‘Yahwist’ sources, God is described anthropomorphically (as a man). For example, physically walking in the Garden of Eden looking for Adam and Eve or, as we will see, having small boy’s foreskins thrown at his feet.

Whereas, the Elohist sources describe God as inanimate and beyond the comprehension of man. Whilst we live, he cannot be seen. Angels are often used as intermediaries between us and God. The Elohist story of Jacob’s Ladder in which a ladder begins in the clouds and has angels climbing first up and then down is a classic example of an Israeli Elohist vision of God.

Exodus chapter 3 describes a conversation between Moses and God. In Hebrew, God is described as Elohim and is experienced on a mountain within fire but is not directly seen. Later in chapter 4, God indirectly gives Moses the serpent staff that will help him defeat the Pharaoh. Moses is then ordered to go back to Egypt.

Missed Medication

MedicationHowever, on the way to Egypt, God has obviously forgotten to take his meds and, for no explicable reason, decides to kill Moses before he even gets to Egypt to do what God had just asked Moses to do. Faced with an angry homicidal God outside of an inn, Zipporah, the wife of Moses, takes a stone and cuts off her sons foreskin and throws it at the ‘feet of God’. (Which is obviously what anyone would have done in such a situation.)

The German Orientalist, Walter Beltz, suggested that the original myth behind this story was about the right of Yahweh (as an ancient fertility God) to receive the sacrifice of the first born son. It is important to note that in the Torah, ‘uncovering the feet’ is an euphemism for ‘uncovering the penis’. When Zipporah lays her sons foreskin on the penis of God and says “Surely a bridegroom of blood art thou to me,” what would otherwise not make any sense and is now easy to see as a Yahwist story inserted into the text. Thus we can surmise where the Hebrew custom of genital mutilation of all male children came from. It is a way to placate the Fertility God’s hunger for blood and avoid the death of the child.

A Sorcerer named Balaam

Balaam is another good example of an enlightening Elohist story with a Yahwist tale shoehorned into the middle, which inevitably makes a nonsense of the story. In the book of Numbers 22, the Hebrews have just wiped the Amorites off the face of the earth on the instructions of God (Yahweh seems to like racial genocide). The victorious Hebrews are now camped on the plains of Moab and Balak, the King of Moab, is getting understandably nervous. He goes to the neighbouring Kingdom of Midian and asks for a defensive alliance. The elders hit on the idea of hiring a famous sorcerer to curse the Jews and ensure their defeat in battle.

They offer the Midianite sorcerer named Balaam gold and power to curse the Jews. Balaam says that he will have to ask God. God says “No!” so Balaam tells them “Sorry but you’re going to have to leave – the boss says no.”

After much toing and froing, eventually Balaam says that the Jews are great and he can’t curse them because they are blessed by God. The Elohist story tells us that God is available to all and the righteousness of God will protect us (non-nationalistic).

The talking donkey

The palsied hand of a spittle flecked Judean scribe inserted a Yahwist addendum into the middle of this uplifting Elohist story. The talking donkeyGod wakes Balaam up in the night and tells him to go, in the morning, with the emissaries of Midian. Dutifully, Balaam gets up to go with them as ordered. He mounts his trusty Ass (why does everyone ride ASSES? There were horses all over Palestine! Have you ever ridden an Ass? It’s embarrassing!) Yahweh has obviously missed his meds again and decides to have some fun with Balaam. He sends an angel to sod Balaam around for an hour until, in total frustration and embarrassment; the poor man starts beating up his Ass. Obviously weak from laughter, the angel usefully gives the Ass the power to talk, as he hasn’t the breath to explain what is going on. (Numbers 22:30)

Ever open to reason, Balaam sees what he has done to his trusty talking Ass and feels dreadful. The result of all this arsing around is exactly the square root of nothing. They continue on their way and Balaam is now allowed to finish the Elohist story. He says (from the Hebrew) that “EL is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent; when He hath said, will He not do it? Or, when He hath spoken, will He not make it good?” Balaam won’t curse the Jews – THE END. The Yahwist source addendum obviously has a nationalistic agenda and is derogatory to a Midianite. It is extremely unlikely that this is an original part of the story as the wife of Moses was herself a Midianite. (Exodus 2:21.)

Later the Jews are ordered to kill the midianites including all the children. The little virgin girls are kept as slaves. Balaam is used as a scapegoat for all of the failings of the Jewish people. This is a fiercely nationalistic story and most scholars agree that this was added after the Babylonian Exile.

The fall of the Second Temple

In the first century, this dichotomy between the southern Yahwist nationalistic cult of animal sacrifice and the northern Elohist, non-nationalistic vision of peace came to a head. Josephus records that it was the death of the brother of Jesus, James the Just (Ya’akob), that may have triggered the uprising against the Roman appointed cabal of priests that controlled the Temple. This revolution caused the expulsion of the Romans from Judah and inevitably the fall of the Second Temple.

In my opinion, the Nazarene movement, John the Baptist, Jesus and then James represented the philosophy we now call Kabbalah, which inculcates a purely Elohist vision of God. The death of James the Just prevented, in my opinion, the reformation of the Jewish vision of God and the resolution of this Israeli/Judean debate.

Texts

Due to the exile of the Jewish people from their homeland, the Pharisees had no choice but to create a philosophy that would unite the people and prevent the dissolution of the nation. What else could they do? The Jewish people, ever resourceful, managed to deal with the paradox of their own texts by the simple expedient of saying, “The texts don’t mean what they say they mean! They mean what we say they mean.”

The problem with this approach is that the Christians, when they stole their religion from the Jews, totally misunderstood their teachings. When the Prophet Muhammad read the Torah, he must have thought all his Christmases had come at once! The Torah clearly justifies a blood soaked theocracy and lends unlimited power to the priests.

Is it not ironic that the forging of the books of Moses has justified such suffering and twisted thinking in the world and indeed eventually the holocaust itself. It’s almost like the universe seeks balance?

Off-the-shelf

From Richard Dawkins and his cult of Evolution, Climate Change and Black Lives Matter, Calvin and Salvation, we all try to express our internal reality and try to find vindication by ridiculing others or forcing them to agree with us.

As nice as microwave dinners look on the packet, they never taste like we hope they will. We may choose our religion off-the-shelf but they are always someone else’s vision, someone else took the photo of someone else’s dinner – not yours!

To be honest, I suspect that you are better off cooking for yourself. It’s much more fun sharing food with friends and family and at least you know what you are eating!

If you enjoyed this Blog, then you might like to read – Islam and the Jesus of History, Five Similarities

Watch the Video – What the Jews for Jesus won’t tell you

Watch the Video – Biblical Corruption and Judean Supremacy (Balaam and the talking donkey)

The True Sayings of Jesus: The Jesus of History Vs. The Christ Myth

The True Sayings of Jesus

Ishihara

Are You Spiritually Colour Blind?

There are over 33,000 denominations of Christian in the world and each one believes and asserts that they alone have the truth. One would assume that 32,999 must be wrong! Muslims are instructed to convert or kill the world and it is a sentiment many non-Muslims seem to share. Why can’t we just concentrate on our own correction? World Christian EncyclopediaThe Buddhist model is primarily aimed at saving oneself but they see the world as a punishment, a prison to be escaped from. So for Christians, salvation is an ‘invitation only’ club while Buddhists concentrate on their own escape plan!

I suspect that for many, the problem might lay in the direction in which we look. Some people want to have their opinions handed to them. Life is a complicated and messy place where we know from practical experience that nothing is what it seems to be; it must therefore be a great comfort to believe verbatim whatever you are told to believe.

Our own Idol

The Reverend Mark Driscoll put it very well when he usefully pointed out that yoga is satanic! He spoke for most Christians, I think, when he said, “We go OUT to Jesus, not IN toward God.” (I paraphrase).

The problem is that whatever you go ‘OUT’ to is ultimately a construction of your own mind. For Christians, Jesus becomes whatever they imagine him to be. If you are gay, Jesus loves gays. Conversely, if you hate gays, suddenly Jesus hates gays. ‘Jesus’ becomes an extension of the individual ego and as an extension of ones own ego; we feel that we must defend it violently. What ever you make into your own idol, it will only ever be a shadow of yourself.

Jewish teachings offer information about this life and as a fundamentally Jewish teaching, the sayings of Rav Yeshua, it is evident, are entirely focused on our own relationship with the world around us. His sayings are not easy to understand because in many ways, like an opticians colour blindness test, they depend on our ability to see clearly.

Ishihara Test

In the Ishihara colour blindness test, if you have eyes to see, what seems to be random and meaningless dots, quickly resolves into hidden brightly coloured numbers. According to Rav Yeshua, for some the ‘numbers’ hidden in his teachings resolve slowly. They may take a lifetime to become clear. Unfortunately, many lack the humility, patience, and faith to wait.

Too many people just want to be told the number. Looking in the wrong direction they are effectively incapable of seeing the numbers for themselves. For this reason, many people are spiritually colour blind. For them the world is a hell to be escaped and sadly for others it is a meaningless accident.

One Hand ClappingKoans

In the past, at many Buddhist monasteries, a postulant would have to answer a paradoxical question in order to demonstrate their intuitive ability and to reveal their spiritual awareness prior to being admitted for training. “What is the sound of one hand clapping” is one of the most famous Koan questions.

I would respectfully suggest that if you need to find validation in “scripture”, if you need to be told what to think, or worst of all, if you feel an overwhelming urge to attack other people for their understanding of the Koan, then the teachings of the Nazarene Yeshiva might not be of much use to you at this point in your journey.

 

 

To get the most out of the book, “The True Sayings of Jesus,” you will need to be brutally honest with yourself and most of all, be patient and have faith that the answer will come. Your answer might not be the same as mine but that is fine too – your view, when shared in love, adds to the prosperity of the universe. The miracle is that when you look in the right direction, we are all connected to universe.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.”

He said, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what should I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard, which a man took and sowed in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”

 

The True Sayings of Jesus: The Jesus of History Vs. The Christ Myth

The True Sayings of Jesus

 

Road Map

Map or Instruction Manual

Both the advocates for religion, people like the late Ravi Zacharias, and those against it, people like Richard Dawkins, tend to focus exclusively on the scriptures. This has always struck me as somewhat strange, as though the written words themselves actually prove anything. I’ve always wondered what people are expecting to find in the written word? Just saying ‘it is written’ is meaningless. Ancient graffiti is ample evidence that for the last three thousand years most people have had access to literacy.

What are you looking For?

TomTom

So this begs the question, ‘what are you hoping to find in scriptures? Are you looking for a map or an instruction manual?’

What do I mean by that?

Whose Journey?

Recently, I’ve noticed that long car journeys are a little like life. There are two kinds of drivers, some love the freedom and love to explore. They will take the time to look around and will be able to tell you about the journey and the things they have seen. They take a map but only use it to inform their own journey – it is their own journey that they are interested in.

GPSThe other kind of driver just wants to be told what to do; they listen to their GPS navigation system and when it says turn right, by crikey they are going to turn right – sometimes with disastrous results.

Living life from an instruction manual often means that, by the time you arrive at your destination, you have learnt very little from your journey. For this kind of traveller, only the destination is important.

For example, when I was a boy driving in cities terrified me. Finding my way and trying to make sense of a map was hard but over the years I got to know the city very well. A few years go I abdicated responsibility and started to use the GPS navigation system. Now I have no fear. I have driven through the heart of Barcelona for years. The price of this confidence and absence of fear is ignorance. If you asked me how to get to the Rambla, I would not be able to tell you. This observation has to beg the question, which is more important, the journey or the destination?

It is evident that many religious people look to their scriptures to be somewhat like a GPS system – they want to be told what to do. They want to be in the right lane, they want to be saved. If you asked them why they felt justified to kill or sacrifice an animal they just look at you blankly and quote a passage of scripture. They mistake the map for the terrain; they look to abdicate spiritual responsibility for their own life to the words of a book.

Throw Away The Bible?

Modern archaeology has proven that Jewish history is so much more complicated and beautiful than the Bible would suggest (Finkelstein). The Jesus family tomb would seem to cast doubt on the whole resurrection idea (Talpiot). Why shouldn’t we just throw the Bible away? I would posit that it depends on whether you are looking for a map or an instruction manual. If the Torah and the Tanakh are maps and clues from our past, as most Jews believe, then we are not looking for them to be a substitute for our own journey. We do not, as Dale Allen Hoffman so eloquently said, ‘mistake the map for the actual terrain’.

So what is more important to you, the journey or the destination? Judaism believes the journey is the most important thing, as did the historical Jesus (Burton Mack: Q-Source). Buddhism is thinking two destinations ahead and desperately trying to escape this world and Christianity is busy selling tickets to the tunnel. So which is the right way for you? I guess it depends on whether you are looking for a Map or an Instruction Manual. Come to that, can you tell the difference between the map and the terrain?

My God is better!

Some people follow a religion all their lives, or one after another, and tell themselves and everyone else who will listen that they are ‘saved’. Often the people who know them best will tell you that they have not grown spiritually or emotionally one millimetre in their entire lifetime. People insist that ‘their God is better than yours’ – they are convinced that they are in the right lane because their sacred text, or more accurately, their interpretation of it, tells them so. They use this certainty of their destination as an excuse to pay absolutely no attention to how they live their lives.

Oh! By the way, if it’s of any use to you, a rule of thumb that I’ve learnt to apply to any scripture is simply this; do these texts increase the division between me and the world or is it the opposite? My own feeling is that if God is the life and animator of all things then if I am going in the right direction the divisions between (me) and (other) should be dissolving. If on the other hand my sense of self is hardening, I know that I’m going in the wrong direction.

A litmus test you can have fun with is a simple question that is common to most religions. Ask yourself, ‘is it now and has it ever been spiritually legitimate to sacrifice an innocent living being’? If you have to refer to the instruction manual to answer that question then you may be more lost than you think – turn off the GPS and look where you’re bloody going!

Read the Research Paper – The Jesus of History: Did He Really Exist – The Jesus Family Tomb

Read the Book – The True Sayings of Jesus: The Jesus of History Vs. The Christ Myth Paperback

The True Sayings of Jesus

Elvis

The Jesus of History

If we exhume the Jesus of History from the grave of the Christ myth, the evidence for an historical person on whom Christianity was based is overwhelming.

Josephus

The famous Jewish/Roman historian, Josephus, (writing around 90 CE) mentions ‘the death of James the Just, brother of Jesus’. Origen, the early Christian theologian (writing at the end of the second century), was angry that Josephus accounted the fall of Jerusalem to the death of James rather than to his brother Jesus. He was also angry that Josephus did not credit Jesus as Christ. This negative reference therefore strongly suggests that the original comment was genuine.

Second TempleJosephus was making an aside comment regarding James the Just (Ya’akob) and needed a way to clarify exactly which Ya’akob he was talking about. The fact that he uses Jesus (the Jesus of History) to define his younger brother demonstrates that Josephus assumed that his Roman reader would understand to which ‘Jesus’ he was referring.

James the Just

It is therefore obvious that such an assumption could not be made for James the Just, despite the fact that he had taught in the temple for twenty-nine years.

It is also unlikely that a later Christian propagandist would have mentioned James the Just at all. It would have been much easier to have just inserted a passage about Christ.

Christianity could only thrive once Nazarene Judaism had, with the death of James the Just, lost its central authority; it is therefore hardly likely that a Christian forger would have reminded the world that it was James the Just who inherited control of the Nazarene School from his older brother Jesus and not Peter (the shadowy Jewish figure that Paul turned to for cultural credibility).

Josephus goes on to say, “About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man for he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks.”

This statement has since been shamelessly doctored by Christian forgers who added words to support their evolving Christology. In the earliest texts, as quoted above, the statement is accurate, which I repeat with thanks to Professor Dominic Crossan.

Elvis

There is no point in salting a gold mine with lead. When Paul creates his Greek cult he salted the mine with the words and legend of a famous Hebrew mystic for Roman consumption. Rome was in love with all things Jewish mysticism. Paul’s authority depended on the validity of his vision, as he had never actually met the Jesus of History. If he had told his audience that he had a vision of the ‘risen’ Elvis, they would have said, “Who the hell is Elvis?” The con would only work because most people had heard of the Jesus of History.

As dangerous as the new cult of the Cosmic Christ was to the Jewish people, not once did any Jewish commentator think to deny the historicity of the Jew on whom the Church built their theology.

Tacitus in his ‘Annals’ mentions the founder of a pernicious group originating in Judah. In fact, for the first nineteen hundred years of history, nobody thought to deny the historicity of Jesus. Today, if you even suggest in public that the Jesus of History was a real person, people will move away and look at you funny. They will assume that you are insane.

Israeli PassportPassport

The assumption is that any mention of the Jesus of History is a forgery and Christianity is entirely based on myth. But, using the standard of evidence demanded of Jesus, even if we had a copy of the Jesus of History’s passport, it would be dismissed as a fake. Obviously, this is just childish self-indulgence. We have to be smarter than that! We have to understand how history actually works.

 

Evidence

For instance, my Ceylonese Jewish grandfather died just after the First World War. I have no photographs or documents to prove he existed but, thanks to him, I live! My family found themselves living in England and all the events of all our lives were forever changed by my grandfather’s decision to fight in the First World War. Often the only evidence of our existence is the effect we have on the lives of others. The truth is that we have more evidence for the life of the Jesus of History than I do for my own grandfather.

 

Taken from the book – ‘The True Sayings of Jesus: The Jesus of History vs. The Christ Myth

The True Sayings of Jesus

Holy Frauds

Holy Frauds

Written Word

Christianity has been a major part of Western culture for the last two thousand years and as a textual based religion it has programmed people to think of the written word as their spiritual datum. For two thousand years, people have been discouraged from filtering their beliefs through the lens of their own life experiences and common sense.

The very popularity of Christianity, until very recently, demonstrates that most people were quite comfortable believing two statements at the same time, both of which were mutually contradictory. For instance, Jesus said he was the son of god but also said that he was not.

Experiential Divinity

The result of these limitations, imposed on literary comprehension, is that people find it very hard to tell the difference between fact or fiction. Neither is it generally possible for people to comprehend statements that express Experiential Divinity, certainly as spoken by the Jesus of History.

Holy Frauds

Inevitably therefore, when Christians found that they couldn’t understand the teachings of Christ, they felt far more comfortable making up their own words and putting them in the mouth of Jesus. To be fair, these 19th century fraudsters were not the first people to presume to speak for Christ! All of the gospels are examples of pseudepigrapha (falsely attributed work – AKA: Fraudulent). These ‘holy’ frauds became very popular as soon as ordinary people were allowed to read the Bible in their own language.

Urantia Papers

From the point of view of the Jesus of History project, the ‘Unholy’ Fraud that we are most asked to comment on is the ubiquitous ‘Urantia Papers’. Having waded through the book twenty years ago, we had largely dismissed it as not being worthy of a mention but due to popular demand we will try to give the curious reader enough information to form a reasoned opinion.

For those of you who don’t know, William S. Sadler was an American doctor in the late 19th and early 20th century. He was a avid member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, which famously had a frightening habit of repeatedly predicting the end of the world. That in itself brings into question Sadler’s common sense if not his sanity. He was the man behind the book but claimed it was dictated to him by a sleeping man. If you can brace yourself enough to read the book and have ever writen anything more substantial than a shopping list, you will know that he is a liar.

Cereals

Sadler married the niece of John Harvey Kellogg (obviously not that stupid). You may remember Kellogg as the guy who made your breakfast cereal. Both Kellogg and Sadler were committed to the Eugenics movement and to the purity of the white race. The wealth of the Kellogg fortune may have something to do with the fact that this ridiculous book just won’t die.

The Urantia book contains exactly what you would expect a well educated, but none too bright American of the 1920s, to say in order to sound intelligent.

Evolution from a common ancestor via natural selection is assumed to be a fact.

Astronomic scientific theories of the time are presented as reality.

The superiority of the Northern European race is assumed to be self evident.

Its account of early human history is beyond ridicule.

Pseudo Science

Putting aside the ridiculous pseudo science we can turn our attention to the theology. In actual fact the Urantia papers, like all of the other ‘Unholy’ frauds, regurgitates a version of Calvinist Christianity and can be dismissed with the same datum by which we dismiss Christianity.

Chapter 53 tells us all about Lucifer’s rebellion despite the fact that the whole idea of ‘Lucifer’ is based on a mistranslation of Isaiah 14:12

Howl, son of the dawn! You have been hacked down to the earth, defeater over all nations”

The line ben Shchar is Hebrew poetry and is a reference to the son of the Babylonian King as morning star to his father (being the dawn). Christian Bibles helpfully maintain the fraud by keeping the Latin term Lucifer and insert their own theology into the text.

Chapters 40, 44 – 47 inculcate a Trinitarian polytheistic theology, which is entirely Greco-Roman in view and has nothing to do with the Jesus of History.

The entire part IV – entitled ‘The Life and Teaching of Jesus’ can be dismissed as a seemingly endless wall of words that adds nothing to the actual four gospels. Obviously, the book was written by someone who knew nothing of Hebrew or Greek. He also knew nothing of the forgery at the end of the Gospel of Mark.

Urantia Summary

As a summary, the book of Urantia is no more ridiculous than the narrative stories in the gospels. It’s view of God would have been no more or less offensive to the Jesus of History than other Christian documents. It certainly offers the reader nothing of any real use.

Reverend OuseleyTalking of fraud, the Reverend G. J. R. Ouseley, who created the Gospel of the Holy Twelve, solved the problem of trying to understand the teachings of the Jesus of History by simply writing his own gospel.

Reverend Ouseley published his gospel in 1898, over a period of three years. He said that he’d translated it from the original Aramaic, which is a language that the old rogue couldn’t speak. He said that the ‘document’ was taken to Tibet and saved by the Buddhist monks, which would have been a miracle as Tibet wasn’t a Buddhist country until the 7th century. So that would have been quite a wait for the Essenes.

Eventually he admitted, in private, that he had ‘received’ (in a dream) the text from Anna Kingsford and Emanuel Swedenborg. The problem was that neither of them, while they lived, spoke Aramaic. The truth is that Reverend Ouseley was greatly influenced by the Theosophical Society (a creation of another great fraudster: Madame Helena Blavatsky) and Dr Anna Kingsford who had published her own secret Jesus tradition in her tedious lectures entitled ‘The Perfect Way’.

Levi H DowlingA few years later, in 1908, Levi H. Dowling gave us his Aquarian Gospel of Jesus, the Christ. Dowling continued with the Victorian fascination with all things ‘Tibet’ and in his ‘gospel’ has the young Mr Christ travelling to Tibet and then through the Middle-East to Egypt. All to ‘prove’ that he is God.

Living God

Obviously, this begs the question, what was the point? If not even Christ’s own students (except Paul) thought that he was a living God, why did Jesus go backpacking around the world to prove the fact to the wisest men of his day, and why didn’t any of them think to record the meeting with a living god in their own writings?

Again, like Rev Ouseley, these narcissists can’t help but reveal the impressive profundity of their ignorance. Dowling opens his gospel with the quote:

“Augustus Caesar reigned and Herod Antipas was ruler in Jerusalem.”

Gap Year

Unfortunately, most people, who are vaguely aware of history, know that Herod Antipas never ruled in Jerusalem. Not exactly a confidence building opening statement! On Jesus’ gap year in India, Dowling had him visit the city of Lahore. Unfortunately, that city didn’t exist in the 1st century CE.

Like most of the spiritual nonsense published today, Dowling claimed that he ‘downloaded’ (in a dream) the Aquarian Gospel from the ‘Akashic Records’. (A made-up term coined by the master fraudster herself, Helena Blavatsky, to refer to information only available to her when she was in contact with her ‘spirit’ guides.)

Both Ouseley and Dowling were successors to Emanuel Swedenborg, the famous Christian Mystic.

Emanuel Swedenborg

Calvinist

Emanuel Swedenborg impressed the ruling elite during the seventeenth and eighteenth century with his esoteric version of Calvinist Christianity.

Swedenborg was a fascinating man but like Blavatsky, he claimed to download all his information from the ‘spirit world’. Despite being able to plug into the world of angels directly he never managed to get free of Calvinist dogma of original sin and vicarious sacrifice.

All of these people have one thing in common, they felt entitled to put their own words and their own philosophical agenda into the mouth of the Jesus of History. They are not alone in this conceit; the lies of Saint Paul robbed the Jesus of History of his teaching, his family and his humanity.

Another, very recent, intellectual confection is an attempt to make the Jesus of History into a failed version of the Prophet Muhammad. Portraying Jesus as a Mujahidi does, at least, return him to his Jewish roots but it ignores everything that the Jesus of History ever said and everything he ever taught. It also fails to account for the fact that it was not the Romans that the Jesus of History attacked but the Judeans.

I’m Old

To be honest, Rev Ouseley’s work is no crazier than much of the rubbish published today as ‘Conversations with God’. Here’s an example of a modern fraud:

“The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation. You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek therefore, not to find out Who You Are, but seek to determine Who You Want to Be.” Neale Donald Walsch

Neale WalschMr Neale Donald Walsch is a failed actor who tells everyone, who will pay to hear, that he hears the voice of god. Strangely enough, according to Mr Walsch, god sounds very much like Mr Walsch. As you can see from the random quote, Mr Walsch has created his gospel for the church of the ‘Latter-day Narcissists’ by regurgitating ‘Beat Zen’ for libertarian Christians of a certain age.

Apparently god is not entirely happy with his direct connection to Mr Walsch and, in response to a question from Mr Walsch, retorts: “What do you want? I’m old!

The good news is that Walsch contends that “God” told him that “there’s no distinction between right and wrong.” Rather, “good and evil are mere illusions.”

Only someone who has never seen evil could pretend to believe that it doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, not believing in the truck that hits you doesn’t save your life.

This blog is taken from the book – ‘The True Sayings of Jesus: The Jesus of History vs The Christ Myth

The True Sayings of Jesus

Why does everyone hate Jesus

Why does everyone hate the Jesus of History

Does everyone hate the Jesus of History?

The Christian Church is entirely responsible for the fact that everyone, in the modern world, hates the Jesus of History. Popular ‘artists’ exhibit statues of him crucified in urine! Other ‘artists’ portray Jesus as a menstruating god. Not long ago, he was even turned into a successful cartoon character of himself.

Christ in PissUnlike the Prophet Mohammed, who is treated with great respect by Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Jesus is considered a fair target for the world’s casual contempt.

Jesus and palsIt has become fashionable, in the West, to deny that the Jesus of History ever even existed. In Europe or America, it is easier to admit to a history of insanity than an interest in the Jesus of History.

Christians, themselves, are only interested in the death of the Jesus of History. They have, for millennia, obsessed over their concept of the ‘Christ’ as the perfect human sacrifice. In so doing, they have successfully buried the humanity of the Jesus of History, and his spiritual legacy, within a work of literary fiction.

Somewhat unbelievably, the Jewish people have accepted, without question, the Christ myth. Never once in two thousand years did they think to question the truth of the Roman narrative; with the result that they have for centuries enthusiastically cursed the Jesus of History to burn in hell in a pool of his own excrement.

The book ‘The True Sayings of Jesus: the Jesus of History versus the Christ Myth’ , before anything else, is an attempt to right these wrongs – to vindicate the Jesus of History, and his spiritual legacy.

In my book, ‘The True Sayings of Jesus’, I  conclusively demonstrate that the teachings of the Jesus of History, when liberated from the literary fiction in which they are commonly entombed, express the most profound spiritual vision the world has ever seen.

As most of you are aware, two thousand years ago in Judea, as a Hebrew mystic from the Galilee, the Jesus of History was executed by the Romans. The truth is that the Jesus of History was the inheritor of a uniquely Israeli spiritual tradition, which scholars today call ‘Nazarene Judaism’.

The ‘Nazarene’ tradition rejected the Judean cult of animal sacrifice and maintained that the Torah had been forged and subverted by Judean priests. Despite that fact, in every way that you would recognise today as ‘Jewish’, the Nazarenes meticulously maintained the Israeli Hebrew traditions as they understood them at the time.

Shortly after the terrible tragedy of his crucifixion, the identity of the Jesus of History was stolen by Greco-Roman criminals in order to create a money making cult that today we loosely call ‘Christianity’. That theft has resulted in the worst case of literary fraud in the history of written communication.

At the same time, due to the geopolitical realities existing in the 1st century Levant, the entire Hebrew peoples were violently divested of their regional cultural identities by the fundamentalists of the Judean Pharisaic movement.

Rabbinical Judaism, as it came to be called, wiped out a thousand years of religious, cultural and spiritual Israeli history in order to promote the myth of Judean supremacy over an historically homogeneous Hebrew peoples.

Christianity, the fast growing Greco-Roman cult, contributed to the lie perpetuated by Rabbinical Judaism by convincing the world that there really was only one kind of Jew.  Unfortunately, Christian anti-Semitism makes no distinction between Israeli (north) and Judean (south).

We know from contemporary sources that the Nazarene Jewish tradition survived the Jesus of History, and existed as an identifiable ‘Jewish’ sect for several hundred years. Eventually, it was submerged within Rabbinical Judaism and, what was left of the movement, was swallowed up by the rapid growth of Islam. By the 7th century, Nazarene Judaism had disappeared from the eyes of world.

Until, by an accident of history in 12th century Europe, the core Nazarene philosophical paradigms resurfaced in France and Spain. Strangely enough, it was within the Rabbinical Jewish communities of France, and then of Christian held Spain, that the Hebrew mystical tradition was secretly reborn. Much later it came to be known as Kabbalah, which in turn gave birth to the Hasidic movement.

In order to make sense of this confused history,  The Jesus of History project uses modern archaeology  in order to shed new light on the evolution of the Hebrew peoples of the Levant. I will follow the archaeological and textual evidence to demonstrate that the Old Testament was inspired by crucial events in history and reflects the evolving socio-political needs of the Hebrew peoples indigenous to Canaan. I will demonstrate that the Bible  should not be read as ‘history’ but, rather, as a symptom of it.

Contrary to popular belief, the terrible crucifixion of the Jesus of History was not, for the Hebrew peoples, a single defining moment. Rather it was a single tragic event within a long history of tragic events that, together, made up what was a religious and cultural civil war between Judean supremacists and cosmopolitan Israelis of the Galilee.

Since the fall of Israel to Assyrian forces starting in 738 BCE, the Israeli refugees had been subject to religious persecution and cultural repression at the hands of a fast growing Judean theocracy. For the cosmopolitan and deeply spiritual Galileans, having to live with the blind fanaticism of the Judean elites must have felt like being handcuffed to a rabid dog.

Inevitably then, the Jesus of History’s  actions and his teachings were a protest against religious and cultural oppression and a statement against religious fundamentalism.

As much as our work is a defence of the Jesus of History it is also an opportunity, through textual archaeology, to allow the man to speak for himself. His sayings reveal the outline of Nazarene Judaism and will offer insights into the profundity of his vision.

The Evidence  suggests that Nazarene Judaism is the Fifth Way! It offers people an escape from the self-indulgent banality of atheism. It presents a viable alternative to the abomination of Rabbinical Judaism or the masochism of Christianity. Perhaps more importantly, Nazarene Judaism suggests a version of Islam without the violence.

It is my hope that today, in these troubled times, people will be able to find fresh inspiration and guidance from the true sayings of the Jesus of History.

If you enjoyed this blog, you might like to read our blog on Islam and the Jesus of History – five similarities.

Get a copy of the book HERE.

Humpty Dumpty

Was the Jesus of History a God?

Was Jesus a God?

In fact, more importantly, did the Jesus of History believe he was God?

If you don’t understand Greek and Hebrew culture and history it is very hard to make sense of the Gospels. Terms like ‘The Son of Man’ and ‘Son of God’ are tossed around like confetti. Most people are just beaten into submission by the beauty of the language. In many ways, the Gospel writers would have agreed with Humpty Dumpty in the book Alice in Wonderland:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean- neither more nor less.”

Saint Paul:

Saint Paul, like Humpty Dumpty took a Hebrew word ‘Mashiach’ and made it mean what he wanted it to mean. He took the military idea of the ‘Messiah’ (Mashiach) and turned it into another name for the ‘Son of God’.

To understand the term ‘Messiah’, as it was used in the first century CE, let me give you an example:

Winston Churchill:

Winston Churchill could be called the Mashiach of the British people in the Second World War or perhaps the Spanish might have called Lord Wellington their Mashiach when he helped save them from the French occupation.

The term ‘Messiah’, prior to Saint Paul, did not mean ‘God’ or ‘saviour’ in the spiritual sense.

The term ‘Ben Elohim’  (Son of God) was originally an ‘Elohist’ term to describe the angels. However, like most things ‘Biblical’ the term evolved. It later came to be used to describe the prophets and those directly touched by God but never as ‘gods’ in their own right.

The fundamental principle of the Hebrew religion was, and is, that God is one. It is therefore impossible to think of God, in the first century CE, having a son in the binary sense.

Paul took the Hebrew term ‘Ben Elohim’ and turned it into a literal reference to the ‘Son’ of God in the Greek sense of two independent gods.

Christian texts originally portrayed Christ as a prophet, then as an adopted god and then at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 CE he was declared fully god and equal to Yahweh.

The Gospel Writers:

The gospel writers, through their ‘Christ’, use the term ‘Son of Man’ (Ben A’dam) eighty times as a kind of ‘codeword’ for himself as a ‘Son of God’ – in fact, he uses the term, ‘Son of Man’, almost interchangeably with ‘Son of God’ and ‘Messiah’ – which is linguistically, culturally and historically absurd.

Until Paul, the Hebrew term ‘Ben A’dam’ (Son of Man) had always meant ‘Human being’. Then as now, ‘human’ was not a term for ‘God’.

To be honest, I could have written a complete chapter, if not a book, on how the Jesus of History became God but it would have been a distraction. I feel that it will be more useful to the reader to find out what the Jesus of History was, rather than what he wasn’t.

For the interested reader, I would recommend Professor Bart D. Ehrman and his book

How Jesus became God

Trumps spiritual advisor

Trump’s Spiritual Advisor Versus the Jesus of History

It would be easy to laugh at President Trump’s Spiritual Advisor, Paula White, but it would be a mistake to dismiss her as insane. The truth is that Paula White represents two thousand years of Christian scriptural tradition. It is that tradition that unites Christians in their belief that the closer to God you are the more insane your behaviour becomes. This is where we get the word ‘touched‘ as a euphemism for someone who is obviously insane. It comes from the phrase touched by God‘.

The Jesus of History, on the other hand, taught that the proximity of God brings clarity and light. For him the proximity of God came slowly and in silence. So how could Paula White and the Evangelical Christians be so fatally wrong? How can Christians attribute their own insanity to the Jesus of History?

Greek Spirituality:

Christian snake charmerUnlike Hebrews, the Greco-Romans responsible for the creation of the New Testament lived within a time and a culture that believed that human life was ruled over by many Gods and each of those Gods had his or her own temple and a dedicated Oracle.

The Oracles were individuals who were directly touched by the hand of their God and people would travel thousands of miles to consult the Oracle of their favourite Deity.

In the Greco-Roman tradition, Gods were external to the human experience and therefore any evidence of God must be, by its very nature, supernatural. The proximity of God – to be touched by God – as is implicit in the act of prophecy, was always accompanied by symptoms of psychotic dislocation.

The Oracle of Delphi was one of the most sacred Oracles in all of ancient Greece from about 1400 BCE to 400 CE. Her often manic ravings were highly regarded and her advice affected everything from the outcome of wars to when farmers planted their crops.

The Oracle entered her trance by inhaling sweet-smelling noxious fumes coming from deep fissures underneath the temple, according to the ancient historian Plutarch.

The role of hallucinogenics, of one form or another, in ancient Greek prophecy is well documented.

The fact is that the people of the Greco-Roman world expected their prophets to be stoned out of their minds.

Christian Spirituality:

In the Synoptic Gospels the concept of the proximity of God is an unholy mix of Greco-Roman misunderstanding of Hebrew spirituality seen through the distorted lens of the writer’s Greek expectations.

The term ‘Spirit‘ in the Gospel of Mark was mainly a reference to a concept very similar to the Middle-Eastern idea of the Jinn: a spirit creature who could possess humans.

There was a man in the synagogue with an unclean spirit and he cries out, ‘Ha! What is it to us and you Jesus the Nazarean!…”   Mark 1:23

Mark also mentions that Christ was to be ‘Baptised in the Holy Spirit’ as a kind of magical transfer of God’s power so we can see the concept evolving.

In the Gospel of Luke, we see the word ‘Spirit’ used as a metaphor for ‘God’ and is used in the same way that Saint Paul uses the term ‘Pneuma‘ as something extraneous to the person that has been added like a magical power.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me” Luke 4:18

With almost the same words, the poet Virgil, in Book VI of the Aeneid describes the Oracle as prophesying in a frenzied state as the power of her god possesses her.

By the time we get to Acts of the Apostles nearly every other verse talks of the Holy Spirit.

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:4

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;” Acts 2:17

In the New Testament, we can see the imposition of a uniquely Greek interpretation of the proximity of God. It’s inevitable then that, for Christians of today, manic behaviour is taken as evidence of the power of their God.

Hebrew Spirituality:

Hebrew culture, on the other hand, rejects the Christian vision of the proximity of God.

In Genesis, God breathes into a human made of clay and gives him the breath of life.

God formed the human out of soil from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life; and the human became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7

The name of God in Exodus 3:14, “Aeie Ashr Aeie” means, “All that was, is and will be.”

For the Hebrew people, God is seen as the soul of all souls and is not extraneous to the person.

According to the Jesus of History the proximity of God can be experienced directly by everyone.

“When the Pharisees demanded of him When will the Kingdom of God come! He replied The Kingdom of God will not come through observation. Neither shall people say: Look! It is here or there! For you will see that the Kingdom of God is within you. ” Luke 17:20-21

The ‘you’ the Jesus of History was referring to was a Pharisee, so he really is saying that God is within all of us – not just Christian believers (as Evangelical Christians would have you believe). When the Jesus of history spoke about the proximity of God he used the word ‘Light’ as a metaphor:

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16

“But if thine eye be wicked, then all thy body shall be dark. Wherefore if the light that is in thee, be darkness, how great is that darkness?” Matthew 6:23

Matthew 6:23 is a misquote of the Gospel of Thomas 24, which was a first century collection of the sayings.

“There is a light within, the children of light, and that light shines on the whole world. If we don’t become that light there is darkness and we are that darkness.” Gospel of Thomas 24

Summary:

So why does it matter what the ancient Greeks thought about God and what has that got to do with the Jesus of History. I’ll tell you!

Beliefs have consequences and Christian beliefs have shaped history for two thousand years. It was Evangelical Protestant Christians who created the Ku Klux Clan and forced prohibition on the American people.  Christianity made America in its own image.

Paula White like most Christians is stuck in her head. Christianity gives its adherents no way out. The God they hear is just the sound of their own thoughts. The God they see is just a reflection of their own idea of themselves and has nothing to do with the Jesus of History.

As an example just try this experiment. Find a place where you can be quiet and undisturbed and just take a few breaths. Close your eyes and listen to what’s going on in your head. As the novelty wears off, you will begin to notice your thoughts arising and those thoughts are arising from your feelings and all of those feelings are reactions.

Paula is stuck inside her idea of herself. The sum of her past, how she feels about her past and her expectations for the future forms a distorted window through which she sees her world. This is why her God likes all the things she likes and hates all the things she hates. Paula has her very own personal Jesus.

That’s why Christians find it so hard to understand the nature of evil. That’s how Paula could enthusiastically pray for a child to die in its mother’s womb and that’s why Christians send her millions of dollars to do so. Like most Christians, the God that Paula prays to is the Christ of Myth.

The Jesus of History, on the other hand, taught that God must first be found within, within the silence beneath your idea of yourself. From this silence comes clarity and light. That clarity and light is available to everyone – It’s even available to Paula if she could just stop thinking long enough to listen.