Yahweh Image

The Evolution of God in the Hebrew Bible

The God in the Bible is a monster is such a common criticism, it’s almost a cliche? The Bible consists of sixty-six books written between the 5th century BCE and 2nd century CE. All of the books were written by different authors for different audiences and for vastly different reasons. The sixty-six books of the Bible are made up of hundreds and hundreds of stories, parables and prayers, all of which have been aggressively edited and redacted by different scribes at different times and for vastly different reasons. All of the original authors intended for their voice to be heard on its own, in its own context, and never intended for their work to be shoehorned into an anthology. These are the facts on which most independent Biblical Scholars agree.

That the Bible was not physically written by God is therefore evident but that doesn’t mean that God is not in the Bible. If the Bible is anything, it is the record of the evolution of God within the minds of the Hebrew people through seven hundred years.

Despite what the word ‘God’ might mean to you or me, the God in the Bible is, before anything else, a literary character. Many people forget this important point and cannot understand why other people’s vision of God doesn’t agree with theirs. Jews are confounded by the fact that Christians find a trinity of gods in a book about the world’s first monotheistic religion. While Christians cannot understand how Jews could worship a God who has spent most of the last four thousand years punishing them. The inevitable contradictions in the Bible have led most people in the West to abandon God altogether. Today, in the year 2021, many of us are beginning to realise how this literary confusion has led to the fall of Western civilisation.

With that in mind, it is important to note that when the Jesus of History spoke of a God he would often use the word ‘Light’ as a metaphor. His vision of God was of a metaphysical, transcendental and yet immanent God of pure goodness. Unfortunately for the Jesus of History, for every verse in the Bible that agrees with him, there are five others that describe a god of war and genocide. I do not have space here to explain the different sources that make up the Tanakh (the Old Testament) but would refer the interested reader to Dr Steven DiMattei’s website and his work on the Priestly, Elohist, Yahwist and Deuteronomist Sources. You can also refer to my own book, “How History Created the Bible.”

This article, however, will discuss the different gods in the bible, their evolution and how science might be finally catching up with the Jesus of History.

How any of us may interpret a religious text depends largely on what already exists within us. Just as some people will hear Rap music and want to kill themselves, other people will love it. Conversely, some people listen to Jazz and enjoy its complexity while other people just hear a nonsensical jumble of sound. In the same way, how we see God (or not), says more about who we are as people than about the reality of any objective divine being.

The Hebrew people, their cultural and spiritual evolution is a litmus of how all of us have evolved over the last three thousand years.

Map of Israel

We know from the archaeology that in the 12 century BCE Israel was a large Kingdom in the north of the Southern Levant centred around the lush Jezreel Valley and the Galilee. At the same time, Judah was a sparsely populated hill country and Jerusalem was nothing more than an unfortified village covering only four hectares. Contrary to popular belief, the Hebrew people are indigenous to the Southern Levant and at some time in the Second Millennium BCE separated themselves from the larger Canaanite communities.  It is inevitable that the first God of the Hebrew people was ‘El’, a Canaanite God, who gave them the name ‘Isra’El’.

“And God said unto him, Thy name [is] Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Isra’el shall be thy name: and he called his name Isra’el.”

Genesis 35:10

The Canaanite God ‘El’ was originally part of a pantheon of Gods and was the father figure in much the same way as Zeus in the Greek Pantheon. El had a wife called Asherah, his children included Baal. He was often represented with a crown of horns and represented by a calf.

The texts of the Torah tell us that the Hebrew people were violently opposed to the use of human sacrifice, in particular child sacrifice. We know from contemporary sources that the Canaanite people, which included the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians, practiced child sacrifice and child prostitution in their temples. There are good reasons to assume that the Israeli Hebrew people separated themselves from the Canaanites over this one issue. It is very likely that the Hebrew custom of circumcision was offered to the people as an alternative to sacrificing their first-born sons.

Image of the Ugarit God ElIt would be inevitable that the Hebrew version of the Canaanite God El would evolve to reflect this growing empathy within the Hebrew people. It is clear in the texts of the Old Testament and modern archaeology that the worship of El and Asherah (his feminine aspect) was popular throughout the 1st millennium BCE.

“And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?”

Jeremiah 44:19

As you can see in the quote above and contrary to popular myth, the worship of El and Asherah did not involve child sacrifice. In fact, there is significant evidence that the Israeli Hebrews from the Galilee did not normally indulge in animal or human sacrifice but rather burnt incense and offered cakes, wine, music and olive oil to their gods.

“And he (Hezekiah) did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it…”

2 Kings 18:4

At much the same time as Kings was written, the Priestly source wrote the Book of Exodus in which God has a new name. In Exodus 3:14, when Moses asks God what his name is he replies, אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה‎, ’ehyeh ’ăšer ’ehyeh. This is generally translated as “I am being, which I shall be” but most Hebrew speakers understand the text to say “All that Was, is and Will be”. Exodus is based on a much older oral tradition and has many aspects of the Elohist source. Within this conversation Moses is referring to God as El’Shaddai (God of the Mountain) so we could speculate that the name “I-Am” is an evolution of the God “El”.

 

It is important to note at this point that the Indian sacred Vedic text, ‘The Bhagavad Gita’ also speaks of God as “I-Am” and can be internally dated to between the third and fourth millennium BCE. It is evident then that “I-Am” or Ehyeh was the name for God from at least the 1st Millennium BCE in the Southern Levant.

All of the Elohist texts describe God as communicating with humans via messengers (Malakh – called Angels by Christians). He is not anthropomorphic.

With the fall of Israel to the Assyrians, Judah becomes ascendant and Jerusalem finally becomes a city and a client Kingdom to the Assyrians. The Judeans worshiped a God called YHWH (Yahweh) from the Negev Desert.

Yahweh from the NegvThe Judean god, Yahweh, was in many ways the same as the Babylonian god called Marduk. Yahweh, like Marduk, was morally ambivalent and could be ‘Good’ one day but destroy people on a whim the next day.

“And the people spoke against God, and against Moses, ‘Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For [there is] no bread, neither [is there any] water; and our soul hates this light bread’. And Yahweh sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.”

Numbers 21:6

This Judean blood god had all the aspects of Marduk, the god of the Babylonians.

 

Babylonian: “Word of him (Marduk) shall endure, not to be forgotten.”

Enuma Elish Tablet V11:31-2

Hebrew: “The word of our God shall stand forever.”

Isaiah 40:8

 

Babylonian: “Command destruction or creation, they shall take place: each at your (Marduk) word.”

Enuma Elish Tablet IV: 20

Hebrew: “I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace and I create evil: I am the Lord and doeth all these things.”

Isaiah 45:7

***

Babylonian: “Oh Marduk, you are Lord of all Gods.”

Enuma Elish IV: 5

Hebrew: “Our God is above all gods…God of gods.”

Psalm 135:5/136:2

The God MushusuMarduk was mirrored by an avatar called Mushussu, which appeared in the form of a ‘Dragon’. Mushussu had four legs and the body of a serpent. Genesis 3 is a Yahwehist text and describes how the serpent corrupts Eve in the Garden of Eden. As a punishment, Yahweh/Marduk punishes Mushussu and his descendants to live without limbs – condemned to travel the world on his belly.

It was the Judean elite and their scribes who controlled the narrative and it was their understanding that God was all powerful and if a person or a people were suffering it must be because they have offended God. It was logical then for them to tell the Hebrew people that Israel had been destroyed for the crime of disobeying the Judean God Yahweh. For this reason, worship of El and Asherah was persecuted by the Judean elites. The Bible narrative is propaganda for the new cult of Yahweh. The worship of El and Asherah is dismissed as ‘Idolatry’ but we now know that this was a lie.

For example, it could be said that Rabbinical Jews worship the Torah as a God or that the items of their worship are a form of idolatry or perhaps that Muslims worship the Kaaba but of course this is not true. In the same way, there is no evidence that the figurines of El and Asherah or Moses’ Serpent staff were anything more than merely religious metaphors designed to help focus the mind of the people. Contemporary scholars of Hebrew history are coming to see that the worship of El and  Asherah was the preferred religion of the Hebrew people for most of their history and had nothing to do with idolatry. It was the Judean cult of animal sacrifice and their war God Yahweh that was historically abnormal.

Over the last two thousand years, Yahweh has subsumed all of the aspects of El and Asherah. Today, Rabbinical Jews refer to the Shekinah as the feminine aspect of God and understand their God much as the Israelis understood El.

From the texts, it is obvious that the Jesus of History, when he said the word ‘God’, was referring to the Israeli (Galilean) understanding of El as the one transcendent and yet immanent God of all.

“Why call me good? There is none good but one, God!”

Luke 18:19

“The most important precept you will hear is ‘Listen Israel, the Lord, our God, is one’.”

Mark 12:29

From the Q-Source sayings (earliest sayings) it is obvious that the Jesus of History does not see himself as God or in any way divine. However, there is a strange saying in the Gospel of Thomas that doesn’t make any sense unless you realise that the saying is a Greek misunderstanding of the Hebrew concept of the Ain-Sof and reference to the Ayer Asher Ayer divine name. When you transliterate the saying in terms of Exodus 3:14 (I-Am) the words of the Jesus of History makes perfect sense.

“Jesus said, ‘(I-Am) is the light above them all. (I-Am) is the All. All come forth from (I-Am) and all is attained through (I-Am). Split wood, and he is there. Lift up a stone and there you will find (I-Am)’.”

Gospel of Thomas 77

It is interesting to note that, in many ways, Thomas 77, and its reference to split wood and stone, is a narrative description of a sub-atomic reality that science is only recently beginning to confirm.

In summary, it is evident that the Jesus of History represented a uniquely Galilean vision of a transcendent deity, which was based on the original God of Israel ‘El’. With the death of James the Just, the brother of the Jesus of History, Galilean spirituality lost its central authority. The Nazarene school disappeared by the 6th century CE. Judaism had lost its mystical root.

We can see that Rabbinical Judaism is fundamentally based on an anthropomorphic God of storms and war. Originally interaction with the deity, for ordinary people, was via the priesthood and the medium of animal sacrifice. Today, many Jewish people (particularly secular Jews) leave Rabbinical Judaism due to a lack, in their words, of an internal connection to God.

However, there was rebirth of Hebrew mysticism in the 13th century CE called the Kabbalah. With the publication of the Sepher Bahir and Sepher Zohar a transcendental view of God was again possible.  However, it is almost impossible to justify that view in the context of the Old Testament.

Islam on the other hand, agrees with the Jesus of History in its view of one transcendental God. These quotes from the Holy Quran demonstrates the similarities between the Nazarene school of Judaism and Islam.

“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer”  (42:11).

“No vision can grasp Him, but His Grasp is over all vision”  (6:103).

 “Praise be to Allah. He is such that senses cannot perceive Him, place cannot contain Him, eyes cannot see Him”  (Nahjul Balagha: Sermon 185)

The Arabic name for God is Allah and is based on the Aramaic version of the God ‘El’.

We can see that a great injustice has been done to the Jesus of History and his legacy. It is ironic that Rabbinical Judaism and Christians dismiss the original religion of the Hebrew people as somehow pagan for burning incense while sacrificing animals is somehow to be considered ‘civilised’.

If you would like to know more about the evolution of God in the Bible you can get a copy of my book ‘The True Sayings of Jesus: The Jesus of History Versus the Christ Myth‘.

Jewish man praying

Islam and the Jesus of History: five similarities

Muslims are often more interested in the Jesus of History than Christians. If the Jesus of History returned tomorrow, if he was forced to make a choice, he would probably be a Muslim and why shouldn’t he be? Christianity tends to assume that Christianity owns the copyright on Jesus but it does not.

Forensic analysis of the historical texts based on philosophical coherence reveals a truth that Christians would prefer to ignore. That’s why that in any debate Christians try to determine which historical documents are kosher and which are not but that is not how history is done. Facts are facts! You ignore them at your peril.

Biblical Scholars have known for the last two hundred years that, hidden within the words of Christ, there are a collection of sayings that can be reliably attributed to the Jesus of History and have obviously been copied from a common source.

Incredibly, that knowledge has been kept from the paying public. When considered as a whole, those sayings reveal a spiritually unique and entirely complete philosophical paradigm. The teachings of the Jesus of History are entirely Hebrew but, at the same time, distinctly not Judean. In five important ways the teachings of the Jesus of History are more Islamic than Christian.

Number One: God

Unlike the Pharisees, the Jesus of History didn’t see God as a man in the sky. For him (and much later for Kabbalah), God was the soul of souls. For the Jesus of History there is nothing that is not God. He often used the word ‘Light’ as a metaphor for the proximity of God.

“There is a light within a person of light and he will be a light to the world but if he does not find that light, there will be darkness and he is that darkness.”

Luke 11:33 and Thomas 24

The Jesus of History taught that God must first be found within and then He will be seen everywhere.

“The Kingdom of God will not come through observation; neither will they say, ‘It is here’ or ‘It is there’ for understand, the Kingdom of God is within you!”

Luke 17:21 and Thomas 70

On the other hand, both the majority of Judeans and all Greeks thought of divinity in the form of a man. The Greeks had many Gods and after 300 years turned Christ into one of three Gods but that is not what the Jesus of History taught.

“Why call me good? There is none good but one, God!”

Luke 18:19

“The most important precept you will hear is ‘Listen Israel, the Lord, our God, is one’.”

Mark 12:29

Both of these sayings are from the oldest common source document. That core of sayings use Hebrew syntax, transliteration and humour. They were used by the Gospel writers to give a Hebrew flavour to their Greek cult.

When the Jesus of History said the word ‘God’ he used the Hebrew word ‘El’. The Hebrew El in Aramaic is Elah. When Elah is pronounced out loud it sounds like Allah. When the Prophet Muhammad said the word ‘Allah’ he saw God in the same way as the Jesus of History. God is one (not three) and he is everything.

“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer”

Quran 42:11

“No vision can grasp Him, but His Grasp is over all vision”

Quran 6:103

 “Praise be to Allah. He is such that senses cannot perceive Him, place cannot contain Him, eyes cannot see Him”

Nahjul Balagha: Sermon 185

 

Number Two: Ritual Purity

Archaeology in the Southern Levant reveals how important ritual purity was to the Hebrew people. Like many religions based on the mystical experience, Hebrew spirituality understood evil to be something that contaminates us like a virus. Most homes in Israel and Judah had access to a pool of water called a Mikveh in which a person could totally immerse themselves in order to wash away spiritual contamination.

We know from The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, an extra biblical source, that in the 4th century, the Nazarenes were still using the Mikveh daily as part of the tradition handed down from the Jesus of History.

Rabbinical Judaism, on the other hand, abandoned daily full immersion but still wash hands before prayer.

Unfortunately for Christians, Saint Paul turned ritual purity into a once in a lifetime Greek initiation ceremony they call Baptism, in which the magical power of the Holy Ghost is given to the initiate. It was Paul who came up with the idea of Baptism in water in the name Christ:

“One Lord, one faith, one baptism”

Paul Ephesians 4:5

“Or are you ignorant that whoever are baptized into Christ Jesus, are baptized into His death?”

Romans 6:3

Islam has successfully preserved the tradition of ritual purity and it still forms a big part of every Muslims daily prayer life.

“O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful.”

Al-Ma’ida, Sura 5, Ayah 6 [10]

“For God loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.”

Quran Sura 2 Verse 222

  

Number Three: Fasting

Ritual fasting had been a part of the religious experience for many Mediterranean cultures in the early first century. The Tanakh (Old Testament) has many references to the Hebrew people using fasting as a normal part of their spirituality.

“Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, “Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months these seventy years, was it actually for Me that you fasted? When you eat and drink, do you not eat for yourselves and do you not drink for yourselves”

Zechariah 7:4-7

Many of the sayings and narrative stories in the New Testament presuppose that fasting was a part of Pharisee and Nazarene Practice.

“And the disciples of John and the Pharisees were fasting, and they are coming and saying to Him (Jesus), “Wherefore are the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fasting, yet your disciples are not fasting?”

Mark 2:18

Having set the stage, the gospel writers are keen to explain that their Christ disregarded the Sabbath. Unfortunately for Christian propaganda, their main point is refuted by the earliest sayings of the Jesus of History contained within the common source (Q-Source).

“Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you; for what reward is there for you if you only love those who love you? Do not even Gentiles the same? But love those who hate you, and you shall not have an enemy.”

Didache 1:3, Matthew 5:44 and Luke 6:28

“Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

Matthew 6:16-18

It makes no sense for someone to give detailed practical advice on fasting but not practice it himself. Perhaps because of this confusion Christians eventually abandoned the practice of fasting and so has Rabbinical Judaism.

However, in Islam fasting is still a major part of their religion.

“O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may develop God-consciousness.”

Quran 2:183

“Fasting is a shield from the Hellfire just like the shield of any of you in battle.”

Sunan Ibn Mājah 1639, Grade: Sahih

“When one of you awakes in the morning for fasting, then he should not use obscene language or behave ignorantly. If anyone slanders him or tries to argue with him, he should say: Indeed, I am fasting. Indeed, I am fasting.”

Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1151, Grade: Sahih

Non-Biblical historical texts like the Didache and the Panarion suggest that the Jesus of History fasted for two days each week and used it as a way to ‘Enter the Narrow Gate’ – self-control.

 

Number Four: Prayer

Prayer was of central importance to the Jesus of History. He prayed in solitude, ideally at a high place and often. When he did pray, it is clear from the text that he knelt and put his forehead to the floor.

“And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed”

Matthew 26:39

“After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.”

Matthew 14:23

This form of prayer was common to the Hebrew people until well into the middle of the first millennium. Coptic Christians in Egypt still pray in the original Nazarene way.

“Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying…”

Genesis 17:3

When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God.”

1 Kings 18:39

Unfortunately, with the rise of Islam and Christianity, Rabbinical Judaism was in a difficult position. The Rabbis largely abandoned kneeling and prostration in order to differentiate themselves from Muslims. Movement from the waist replaced quiet bowing.

In the Talmud, Berakhot 34b, it explains that the term ‘Kidda’ means to bow upon one’s face with the face toward the ground from 1 Kings 1:31. The term ‘Keria’ means to bow upon one’s knees.

Formal Nazarene Prayer, like Judean prayer, is understood to have taken place three times a day, although the Jesus of History may have prayed more often. It was said that Yacob (James) the brother of the Jesus of History prayed so much his knees were like those of a camel.

Islam has kept to five daily prayer times and it is interesting to note that the names of the ritual prayers are related to the times of the day: Fajr or Subuh (dawn), Zuhr (afternoon), Asr (late afternoon), Maghrib (just after sunset) and Isha (night).

“Indeed, the hypocrites [think to] deceive Allah, but He is deceiving them. And when they stand for prayer, they stand lazily, showing [themselves to] the people and not remembering Allah except a little, Wavering between them, [belonging] neither to the believers nor to the disbelievers. And whoever Allah leaves astray – never will you find for him a way.”

Quran 4:142-143

 

Number Five: Sabbath

The Hebrew word ‘Shabbat’ comes from the root Shin-Bet-Tav, meaning to cease, to end, or to rest. Many Rabbis have likened the practice of Shabbat to a mountain suspended from a string. Very little guidance exists in the Tanakh (the Old Testament) although volumes have been written about it.

The Israeli Elohist source understood the keeping of Shabbat as a way of ‘Cleaving’ to God through imitation:

“And Elohim blessed the seventh day and |hallowed it, for in it He ceased from all His work that Elohim had created by making it.”

Genesis 2:3

The Gospel writers suggest that the Jesus of History rejected the Sabbath (Shabbat) but most of their narrative text assumes that he actually kept it.

“And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.”

Luke 13:10-17

“It happened that when He went into the house of one of the leaders of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread, they were watching Him closely.”

Luke 14:1-6

“And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.”

Luke 4:16

The Gospel writers make their Christ make a big show of healing on the Sabbath in apparent contradiction of Pharisee law. In other sayings where the Shabbat is mentioned only in passing, the Gospel writers don’t seem to notice the contradiction and admit that the Jesus of History kept Shabbat strictly.

It is somewhat suspicious, given how the Gospel writers were so fond of cut and paste history, that many of the arguments they put in the mouth of their Christ are derived from arguments used by Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Ishmael who used the term ‘Pikuach nefesh’ to describe any action that saved life at the expense of Jewish law later in the first century.

It may be that the Jesus of History did not apply literalism to his understanding of Shabbat as the Judeans obviously did. It may be that Muslims, on the instructions of the Prophet Muhammad, keep the Shabbat much, as did the Jesus of History.

“The best day that the sun has risen upon is Friday. On it Adam was created, on it he entered Paradise, and on it he was expelled from it. And the Hour will not be established except on Friday.”

Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 854

“He asked us to stop and take time for Jummah prayer and then afterward, go back to work, home, or whatever we were doing better. And when the prayer has been concluded, disperse within the land and seek from the bounty of Allah, and remember Allah often that you may succeed.”

Quran 62:10, Sahih International Translation

Islamic law suggests that you must turn your mind to God but if you have to work, you may leave it for prayer and then return to what you had to do. It seems the Prophet Muhammad had a more internal understanding of Shabbat as did the Jesus of History may have done.

 

Summary

It is a little ironic that over the last ten years several notable Christian apologists have abandoned actually debating Christianity and, instead, devote most of their time to pointing out problems with Islam (both real and imagined). Due to the rise of YouTube, their cognitive dissonance in reading the Hebrew texts have become apparent to all.

In their determination to score points against their perceived enemy they fail to notice that they are making their very lives a contradiction of the words and teachings of the Jesus of History.

Of course there are fundamental differences between Nazarene Judaism and the Islamic faith but not so many that we cannot regard each other as children of the same God, under the same sky.

 

Cult of Experts

The Cult of ‘Experts’: failed

If COVID-19 has taught us anything in 2020 it is that there really is no such thing as an expert. The government controlled media have rolled out ‘Expert’ after ‘Expert’ and all of them have been consistently wrong.  Mathematicians have shown themselves incapable of mathematical modelling. Computer experts have presented governments with software to track the location of their citizens only to waste billions of tax payer dollars.  Medical doctors seem to be incapable of telling the truth as, week after week they contradict themselves and mislead the gullible public.

One of the reasons for the rise of a worldwide ‘idiotcracy’ is the fact that only five companies control all of the world’s peer review journals. Once upon a time, science was something that gentlemen of character did as a past time. Today scientists regurgitate opinions of which they know their masters will approve as the price of descent is loss of tenure and your professional qualifications.

The same is true in the world of Biblical Scholarship where divinity colleges award impressive doctorates to unimaginative students for the sole achievement of not asking difficult questions.

Over the next few months we, here at the Jesus of History, will present you, our readers, with evidence concerning some of the most contentious subjects concerning the Jesus of History.

 

“We are survival machines – robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. This is a truth which still fills me with astonishment.”

Professor Richard Dawkins, ‘The Selfish Gene’

Cult of Self

The Cult of Self: Failed

How many times have you found yourself, in an airport, scanning rows of brightly coloured ‘self-help’ books, all of which promise to give you the life of the man with a twenty-thousand dollar suit and a smile like a white picket fence? You know the books, they start with lines like, ‘Imagine that you’re as rich as me!’ or ‘I was flying my Jet helicopter to one of my talks’. Perhaps it’s because each of these books appear more banal and incoherent than the last, the writers now compete for your attention by using the word ‘F##K’ as many times as possible.

Waiting for a delayed flight, looking for some kind of hope, you scan the contents of these books and feel something, deep down inside of your soul, shrivel up and die. You know that you’re looking for something but you’re just not sure what; so you move on to the section marked ‘New Age & Spirituality’ in the faint hope that there might be something new. You sigh and quickly put the book down when you realise that yet another impossibly named author has rehashed the same Dr Feelgood BS we’ve been reading since 1968.

The subtext of these books is always the same, ‘you are not good enough’! ‘You need to be more like me’! ‘Buy my secret’! 

The formula is always: YOU + SOMETHING ELSE = HAPPINESS

 

MORE ‘SELF’ = GOOD!

They tell you that if only you had more ‘self ’, if only you had more ‘belief ’ then finally you would be ‘happy’. If only you could learn to NOT give a F##K about anyone but yourself, then you would be as free as they claim to be. If this were true then the people with all the ‘self’ should be the happiest people on the planet! Sadly, we only have to watch the TV or read the news to know that this proposition is just not true. We see the rich and the famous, we see the sexual abuse, the addictions, the smug hypocrisy, the divorces, the suicides and we can see that they are even more miserable than we are. So just having more ‘self ’ can’t be the answer we’re looking for!

 

A CORROSIVE WORLDVIEW

‘Materialism’ is the doctrine that only ‘matter’ is real. Towards the end of the twentieth century it became a religion and is now enforced with all the power of the state. For the last hundred years, in the name of progress, life has been systematically stripped of all its beauty.

Today, children are indoctrinated to believe that their life is an accident and has no purpose. According to the ‘experts’ the universe doesn’t give a F##K about us (to quote a recent guru’s words). This is the reason why one in five Americans are on some kind of prescribed psychotropic drug.

Anti-depressants are the reason that mass murder has become our latest spectator sport and materialism is the reason why suicide is the second biggest killer of young people; it has robbed them of all hope. There is nothing more damaging to the human psyche than the belief that their life is meaningless. The materialist worldview subliminally convinces us of three things:

  • We are alone
  • We are helpless 
  • We live in an indifferent universe.

If we feel unhappy we go shopping or change our job, car, house, partner, or children.

The materialist answer to suffering is always ME + Something else = Happiness. But that prescription is a little like taking a laxative to cure food poisoning. It kinda makes things worse!

So how did we come to believe something so obviously not true?” I can hear you ask.

The only way that the materialist worldview can be supported is if we all agree to ignore the world we see and feel around us. We have to ignore so much of human experience that it is literally driving our civilisation insane. “Why would we do such a thing!”

The answer is we were running from something even worse, or so we thought!

 

“IT’S RELIGION JIM BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT!”

All religions are based, more or less, on the same premise that only the spirit is real. Since the dawn of time, there has always been a man in a twenty-thousand dollar suit waiting to take advantage of your need to find meaning in your life. He might be a prophet or a priest. He might look like a millionaire or a tramp but whatever shape these shysters take, they all have the same answer: “There’s something wrong with you and only I have the cure!”

Self-improvement systems and all religions demand that you add whatever it is they’re selling to your ‘idea’ of you. Just like materialism, religions offer us the same formula with a different twist:

You – something else = salvation.

Inevitably, the guru or prophet has the secret, the power or the keys to the kingdom and they will give it to you in return for your faith and your money. None of these paradigms present a coherent model of reality that can be verified by you, through observation of the world around you; that’s why religions tend to kill people who ask questions. But just because they are not totally right, that doesn’t mean that they’re totally wrong.

 

UNIVERSAL AWARENESS OF INNER REALITY

At this point, you may sniff and say that spirituality is just for the weak minded and, indeed, that is the dogma of the materialist. You may argue, the opposite view, and insist that ‘god’ can only be found in a book and that is the position of most religions. The strange truth is that both of these, often argued, positions entirely ignore the possibility that we are already subconsciously plugged into a universal sub-atomic reality. Maybe that sub-atomic reality is something like gravity, easy to ignore until you fall over.

Maybe truth is already written on our very essence and books are only a distraction. It would seem that independent scientific evidence is pointing, very strongly, in that direction. As an example, you may have noticed that over the last twenty years a strange urban phenomenon has sprung up on our roads. Today, in most Western countries, you can’t seem to drive more than a few miles without seeing a sad and orphaned shrine of dying flowers and rotting cuddly toys left by the side of the road. These shrines seem to appear overnight, at the site of each car crash, as if by magic.

It is obvious that these bereaved and tormented people are expressing a connection to an inner reality that our strictly material society gives them no way to express or explore. It’s almost as though they are ashamed of their own inner reality.

Maybe we are like the three blind men cleaning an elephant. Asked to describe the elephant, the man who cleaned the tail would say that an elephant was something like a snake. The man who cleaned the leg would say that an elephant was like a tree and the man who cleaned the sides would say an elephant was like a wall.

None of them would be entirely wrong but neither would they be entirely right.

From Islam to Communism, Christianity to Atheism, underneath it all, what is it that we’re looking for? What inner vision is it that each of us seeks to validate?

For the first time in two thousand years, it might be time to talk about what connects us instead of what divides us. We’ve all been so busy fighting over our particular piece of the elephant that we refuse to talk about the elephant in the room: an inner reality that connects us all.

Maybe we are all connected to the same thing but we’ve just not cleaned enough parts to have an accurate picture yet?

This is the truth that the Jesus of History was trying to give us, that reality exists between the cracks and joints of the world that has been pulled over eyes to keep us from the truth: that we are eternal beings of light living within a sea of light.

To read more get a copy of my book “Quantum Mechanics for Your Soul”.

 

Gay attack

Morality is relative until it’s not!

Forbury Gardens in Reading, England, is a park known as a place for ‘gay’ men to meet. Last Saturday several gay men were enjoying the evening sunshine drinking beer and chatting. Khairi Saadallah, a Libyan immigrant to Britain, entered the park but not for sex. He took a knife and killed three men and injured three others. According to Islam, homosexuality is a crime punishable by death.

Crime SceneKhairi Saadallah is a 25 year old Libyan who was known to the British security services but, like all the other Islamic soldiers who later went on to kill, the British Government had decided that Khairi was not a risk!! (Just how that is still supposed to make people feel better is unclear).

Western culture has declared that God is dead and in his absence everything is permissible! Today, morality is relative to the individual. If an Englishman went into London and killed three Muslims and critically wounded three others in the name of Christianity the news would be all over the world in minutes but nobody cares when a Muslim does it to the English.

The British Establishment hold the racist notion that ‘Mass Murder is an Islamic pastime!’ The Pakistani London Mayor explained to the English Infidels, who he is supposed to serve, that Islamic Terrorism is all part of living in a multicultural country. For our ruling elites, ‘indiscriminate murder is in the blood of brown people – they just can’t help it!’ So they try to ignore it – in the hope that it will just go away!

None of this is true!

Should gay men turn a public park into a brothel? Probably not. Should we kill them for doing so? Definitely not! But, if we are going to find a way forward together, at some point, we are all going to have to take responsibility for our actions.

Muslim immigrants find it impossible to integrate into British culture simply because the British have none! Beyond booze, football and the NHS what is Britain. Maybe Islam is not the disease on the body of Britain – just maybe it’s a symptom of its cultural death!

If people are the sum of the stories they believe, Britain died at the end of the Second World War. Abandoned by its German monarchy, its effeminate Church and its incompetent Governments, Britain regressed into barbarity and indolence. Unless the British start believing in themselves, more of them will be killed like cattle while grazing in a field.

The Jesus of History said ‘And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand’. Unless the Europeans reclaim their love of their own countries, those countries will cease to exist!

 

Police Brutality

Police Brutality is American Culture

Police Brutality is rarely a symptom of racism. Not anymore  – It hasn’t been for a long time. Neither do the American police have a monopoly on ‘Brutality’. The truth is there is a problem with the police all over the Western, First World, nations! In fact, in every country that has been exposed to popular American culture there is a problem with pointless police violence.

It’s obvious that Western Civilisation is dying from a cancer but anti-black racism has nothing to do with it! Police brutality is a symptom of a, much deeper and more malignant, form of cultural cancer and it’s a cancer that will kill us all! ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter are just distractions. They offer no real solutions. They have never – and will never- put an end to violence and brutality. Why? Because ANTIFA and BLACK LIVES MATTER love violence! As long as they are the ones doing it. American popular culture isn’t addicted to racism – it’s addicted to brutality.

Culture:

So how did American culture become so depraved? To understand that we need to look at these two examples:

  1. After the First World War, the German people embraced the concept of their inherent racial superiority. Based on Darwinian theory, the Germans believed that the Aryan race was at the pinnacle of evolution. They felt that it was their duty to subjugate the inferior races around the world. That was the story they believed and so they acted as they did – millions of people died.

 

  1. Flash forward sixty years and the German people, both East and West, are finally reunited. They no longer believe that they are ‘racially’ superior. The vast majority of ordinary Germans now believe that they are ‘Morally’ superior. Rather than spend all of their time and resources subjugating inferior races, they now are determined to destroy their own country by ‘Saving’ all of the inferior races. Through the power of their new Empire, now called the EU, they compete with other western nations to be the most moral country in the world.

Ultimately, the new German story will prove to be much more dangerous than the first – both to Germany and to the rest of the world – but no matter what evidence is presented to the German people, they continue to vote for politicians who spend all of their time and resources destroying their own country and, in the process, European civilisation.

We can see from this example that people, both individually and collectively, are the sum of the stories they believe and the prejudice of their beliefs make it almost impossible for them to look at any fact that contradicts their internal narrative.

It is obvious then that in order to understand how Brutality got to be a fundamental part of American culture we need to go back to the beginning of America and look at the stories the early Americans believed.

TULIP:

The original European settlers of the American continent were followers of a Frenchman named Jean Calvin. Some were called ‘Separatist’,  later they were called ‘Puritans’ but all of them were Calvinists. For those of you who are not aware, Calvinists believe in the Five Points of Calvinism:

T: Total Depravity

U: Unconditional Election

L: Limited Atonement

I: Irresistible Grace

P: Preservation of the Saints

Jean CalvinThey believed, among other things, that they alone had been chosen by god to be saved. They believed that Christ had only died for them and not for all human beings. They also believed that no matter what evil they did, they would always go to heaven. Calvinism is a kind of spiritual supremacy that was the background colour over which the American dream was painted. Genocide and slavery were an inevitable product of this corrosive belief.

It is also true that the when the American colonies divorced themselves from the aristocracy of their European homelands, they lost any sense of chivalry. The vast majority of settlers were from working class backgrounds. Finding themselves alone within a hostile country they naturally reinvented themselves. What they lost was the flower of European civilisation – the art of self-restraint – known to Europeans as ‘Chivalry‘.

Over thousands of years, European aristocracy had turned violence into an art and Chivalry was a code, like the Japanese code of Bushido, that existed to restrain and channel that violence into something positive. Chivalry was based on the belief in the idea of self-restraint and self sacrifice. During the 19th and early 20th century Chivalry became enshrined and promulgated through sport.

Winning:

In England, prior to the turn of the 20th century, young men were taught that a gentleman competed for the love of the sport. To a gentleman winning and losing were all the same. Anyone who has actually competed in sport – particularly the martial arts – will confirm that someone else being ‘less’ than you on a particular day doesn’t necessarily imply that you are ‘more’. The code of Chivalry teaches that your abilities are between you and God. To make someone else feel inferior just so you can feel good would be unthinkable.

Crap FencingToday – the only thing that matters is winning. Nobody cares about the ‘loser’ – nobody cares about the art. Young Americans are taught that only ‘winning’ matters. The greatest insult to an American is to be called a ‘loser’ and this obsession with ‘winning’ has destroyed sport and in the process civilisation.

Take as an example sword fencing. Originally this was a deadly art whose beauty was remarkable. Now Olympic fencing, in all disciplines, is just an athletic game of flick, stab and poke. The electric scoring system awards a hit split seconds apart, the faster person becomes an Olympic gold medalist. But, in reality this obsession with winning has turned suicide into a sport.

The great warrior Winston Churchill put it best when he said:

In War: Resolution

In Defeat: defiance

In Victory: Magnanimity

In Peace: Good Will

Bully:

You only have to watch the Olympics on television to see that in competition we cheat. In defeat we are petulant. In victory we are insufferable and in peace we are self aggrandize. Without class or restraint – it was inevitable that America developed into a ‘Bully’ culture. If we make a god out of the ‘self’ there really is no room in the world for anyone else but one’s self.

A bully is defined as

  1. A person who is cruel to others, especially those who are weaker or have less power. [from late 17th c.]
  2. A noisy, blustering fellow, more insolent than courageous; one who is threatening and quarrelsome; an insolent, tyrannical fellow.

Does that sound familiar to anyone? It should! With the advent of mass media – American culture has spread bully culture  around the world like a Virus.

The TV Series 24 with Kiefer Sutherland is a perfect example of Bully culture. If you’ve not watched the series – I would recommend it –  the story revolves around Jack Bauer,  a Counter Terrorist Agent – working in Los Angeles. He is a weak man who sucks up to his superiors but bullies anyone he has power over. His wife and daughter are narcissistic morons but Jack lacks the moral  character to restrain their selfishness. And this is where we see a similarity to ANTIFA and BLM – Jack Bauer justifies his psychopathic violence because of his belief in ‘the president’ (a fantasy not justified in the story as fool is invariably sold out by a list of weak and ineffectual presidents).  In the same way ANTIFA and BLM justify their violence by creating the myth of white supremacy.

Living in a ‘Bully’ culture – Americans mistake pointless aggression for masculinity. Whoever shouts the loudest is the boss. Perhaps because of their hatred of the English, any form of politeness is seen as somehow effeminate and a sign of weakness. Have you noticed that nearly all the ‘Badies’ in American films have an English accent?

When George Floyd was murdered by Derek Chauvin he wasn’t a victim of racism. American cops kill twice as many whites as Blacks – Americans are equal opportunity bullies. They’ll happily bully anyone – they don’t care what colour you are. The Truth is that George Floyd was also a victim of Black Culture because Black Culture is the essence of ‘bully’ culture.

African culture, like American culture, was and obviously is based on the violent subjugation of the weak. We only have to look at the BLM riots today to see how true this is.

The Zulu empire enslaved the Nguni and Khoisan tribes. The Europeans didn’t catch slaves in Africa – they bought them from African kings. Those Kings had already enslaved other Africans.

Why is it that young black men are fed a diet of black role models whose greatest dream in life is to be a pimp with street ‘cred’ and get paid for doing nothing . George Floyd died because Black people have been encouraged to be a part of Bully culture. To believe in the story of violence.

They could have been shown role models like Lieutenant Colonel Alan West or Professor Tomas Sowell. They could have been so much more!

This begs the question – Why is the mass media feeding the world such a corrosive world view that will inevitably result in either genocide or civil war?

The Jesus of History taught us that: ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’

Calvinism gave America a story that made them treasure the ‘Self’ above all things. Lacking restraint and self-discipline the American obsession with the ‘self’ led to coarsening of Western civilisation.

In other words – you  will become  – the story you believe. So you better make sure the story you believe is based on reality.

We can’t build a sustainable future based on lies. European and White Americans left racism behind a long time ago. They fought wars to end racism and slavery – that is the truth.

Even if all the white people in the world committed suicide tomorrow – that would not stop brutality and violence.

Police Brutality will not go away until we grow out of this ‘Winner’ Culture. We have to Teach our children to play the game for its own sake. To be magnanimous in victory and noble in defeat. We have to teach our children how to compete without becoming a bully. We have to teach young men to be strong and to use that strength to protect the weak.

Unless we give young men heroes to look up to they will spend their lives looking down!

It’s time American Bully Culture grew up!

 

 

Welby

BLM and the Chocalate Jesus

Theological and moral confusion is nothing new to the Archbishops of the English Church. The latest lamb of god, Justin Welby, confessed to the Guardian Newspaper in 2014 that he doubts that god exists. Now that the barbarians of BLM are at the gate and demanding that all statues of Christ be destroyed Welby has broken like a KitKat and is happily offering to sacrifice his Christ a second time.

Personal Jesus:

Chocalate jesusIn a recent interview he enthused, ‘You see a black Jesus, a Chinese Jesus, a Middle Eastern Jesus – which is of course the most accurate – you see a Fijian Jesus’. Apparently, according to the Archbishop of the English Church, everyone should have their own personal Jesus – who looks and sounds exactly like them – everyone except the English that is! For some reason not mentioned the English have to have a Chocolate Jesus. A more cynical writer might speculate that moral and physical cowardice might have more to do with Welby’s enthusiasm for vandalism than any real theological insight.

So was the Jesus of History black? In actual fact, the Canaanites and the Persians were Caucasian. The Prophet Muhammad himself was white skinned with a ginger beard.

In the Hadith Sahih Bukhari 63 we are told that when a man arrived looking for the Prophet he was pointed to the ‘White Man leaning on his arm’. The Middle East did not become homogeneously brown skinned until after the explosion the Berber tribes of Islam out of North Africa.

 

Bath Water:

Not that the English Church has ever been interested in historical reality. Perhaps it’s because Welby knows that Christ is a myth created by Greco-Romans that he feels so ready to throw him under the bus! But if the statues of Christ are the bath water what of the baby? Today the barbarians are destroying statues but Welby will be helping them flush two thousand years of cultural heritage down the toilet – the fruit of our civilisation and then what will be left?

The Church:

It was Western civilisation that forced most of the civilised world to end slavery. And it is that civilisation that gives descendants of Africans a right to speak freely in England.

Maybe it’s time the Church admitted their fraud and re-examined that true sayings of the Jesus of History. In them we might all find a way to heal our fractured society.

“If a kingdom is divided against itself, it cannot stand.” Mark 3:24

Cognitive Dissonance

Does Reality Matter: Cognitive Dissonance in the Religious Mind

A forensic textual analysis of Luke 17:20

 

For the last two thousand years and until very recently, Western civilisation found its version of reality within the Bible. Unfortunately for history, nobody has been able to agree on what that reality is. According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, in 2001, there were 33,000 different denominations of Christianity – all of which assume that they have a monopoly on truth. Islam, Judaism and Christianity are all based on Hebrew Scriptures but violently disagree on what those scriptures mean.

For the last fifty years, our intellectual elite have told us that reality and truth are indeed subjective and have no inherent meaning; but today, in 2020, as our civilisation implodes, truth is being effortlessly manipulated by the Government-Controlled-Media, never have we had such a need to learn how to determine what is real from what is false!

As an example of this confusion, consider Luke 17:20 – a two thousand year old conversation recorded in the New Testament. It is one of the most misunderstood logia attributed to Christ, which may have been spoken by the actual Jesus of History. Understanding the reasons for this textual confusion, sheds light on the dangers of cognitive dissonance and the importance of an appreciation of objective reality in our everyday lives.

The human mind finds comfort in conformity. All of us believe some things ‘Religiously’!

We all know someone who believes in something that makes no sense and won’t listen to reason. No matter how much evidence you show them to the contrary they just can’t see the reality that seems so obvious to you and me.

For some it might be a belief in Donald Trump, for others it might be a belief in man-made climate change; it doesn’t really matter what it is. It is a fact that the ‘Religious Mind’ finds comfort in abdicating its responsibility to navigate reality for itself, and – to a certain extent – it is a blindness we all share; which begs the question, ‘Does Reality Matter’? Is there such a thing as objective truth anyway? Most people would say ‘Yes!’

We instinctively know that a connection to reality is a prerequisite of being sane; but what do we actually mean when we say that someone is ‘insane’?

 

Cognitive Dissonance:

Most of us expect the people around us to express a view of the world that reflects our own lived experience. We expect people’s actions to be based on reason and logic.

In 1957, Dr Leon Fastinger demonstrated that the human mind cannot live with two ideas that are self-contradictory – to do so causes us physical discomfort and long-term psychological stress. The level of emotional and physical discomfort we experience, when faced with a paradox in our beliefs, is in direct proportion to the depth of our emotional commitment to that belief. When a sane person is faced with a reality that undermines a deeply held belief they will do almost anything to make the pain go away. Typically they will try to avoid (Avoidance) the information. If that doesn’t work they will try to rationalise (Rationalisation) it away. Their last option will be increasing levels of aggression (Violence).

The theory of Cognitive Dissonance and its associated ‘confirmation bias‘ is now used against us by the media. International media sources are owned by only five multinational companies. They all show the same information all day every day. People naturally self-censor their information sources in order to avoid the discomfort of Cognitive Dissonance.

 

Objective Reality:

Unfortunately, for our long-term mental stability and health, our beliefs are dependant on our ability to comprehend reality. The problem is that if we base our fundamental beliefs on a false reality it is inherently unsustainable. Often human beings are subconsciously aware of the vulnerability of their belief and may not be consciously aware of the fact that they are employing avoidance, rationalisation and violence in order to protect themselves. Only by learning to notice our responses to information and forcing our mind to listen to disagreeable information will we be able to free ourselves from our slavish reactions.

 

Reported Speech:

In order to understand the objective reality of someone’s words, we must first understand the matrix of belief implicit in the exchange. The matrix of belief can be summarised as the sum of your past, how you feel about that past and your expectations for the future. In order to forensically analyse a text you will need to consider the following points:

  1. What did the speaker actually say? The translation closest to the original.
  2. What was the matrix of belief of the speaker?
  3. To whom was the speaker addressing his words and what was their matrix of belief.

 

Reading Comprehension:

To further complicate this intellectual minefield, the next problem we have is that different people have different levels of reading comprehension. Traditionally, reading abilities have been divided into three levels:

  1. Literal comprehension: absorbing information in the text
  2. Interpretive comprehension: seeing relationships between ideas contained within the text
  3. Applied critical comprehension: extrapolate existing ideas and opinions

Over the last fifty years reading comprehension has fallen all over the Western world. In 15th century England, 40% of the population were illiterate. Today, in 2020, 83% of the British population can read but just don’t bother. There is no effective difference between someone who can’t read and someone who chooses not to.

Over the last seventy years, reading has been taught using the ‘Look-Say‘ system, which teaches children to learn words as if they were Egyptian Hieroglyphics. It is for this reason that people can identify words in a sentence but not understand their combined meaning. Poor reading comprehension makes people dependant on authority. Lacking the ability to think for themselves they rely on authority to tell them what to think. Their reality is defined by commonly accepted authority figures.

 

Logic Vs. Inspiration:

Our ability to comprehend reality, as expressed in the written word, is further complicated by the fact that our experience of the world is not limited to just our five senses. Almost all of the major inventions, which created our modern world, did not come from a process of logic but rather through inspiration. Nikola Tesla invented the A.C. Motor, Radio and the X-Ray. Tesla’s mother, Georgina, taught him to find inspiration within the silence of his mind. However, whilst ultimate reality may not be found through logic alone, what truth you find must not, itself, contradict logic.

It is evident then that expressing our non-binary inner life through the medium of binary language is extremely difficult.

It is for this reason that religions like Zen Buddhism use a “direct pointing” form of language rather than descriptive or narrative text in order to express the profundity of their non-binary reality. For example, “What is the sound of one hand clapping.

It follows, therefore, that to understand such a statement we must first have shared the same internal esoteric experience as the speaker or make the leap of logic to directly comprehend his meaning.

 

Exegesis Vs Eisegesis

Logically speaking, when we forensically analyse a text we are trying to find out what the original speaker or writer was trying to say and why. We are trying to get inside the mind of the author. We call this kind of forensic textual analysis ‘exegesis’.

Another common approach to textual analysis, particularly popular within Hebrew culture, is a system called ‘eisegesis’. In this system, the analyst uses a principal text as a way to express their own ideas and narrative. Eisegesis is not really interested in the mind of the original author.

When analysing a text it is vital to be aware of your own objectives and sub-conscious bias. If you are using exegesis to study a text it is also vital to understand the bias of the author.

 

Forensic Textual Analysis based on Philosophical Coherence:

Philosophical coherence is based on an axiom, or series of axioms, that share a common logic, against which other texts can be compared in order to ascertain their validity.

As an example consider the following conversation attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of Luke:

“Now, being inquired of by the Pharisees as to when the Kingdom of God is coming, he answered them and said, ‘The Kingdom of God is not coming with scrutiny’. Neither shall they be declaring ‘look here’ or ‘Look there’ for the Kingdom of God inside of you is.”

Luke 17:20, Thomas 70

γαρ η βασιλεια του θεου εντοσ υμων εστιν

FOR-THE-KINGDOM-OF,THE-GOD-INSIDE-OF,YOU-IS

 

 Level 1: Literal comprehension:

Most people will read the text and say, ‘Ok! The Kingdom of God is inside of me‘, and shrug their shoulders – ‘who cares!’ ‘It doesn’t affect my life’!

This is a reading comprehension at a basic level. The person has read the text literally but cannot see the implications of the statement. They know nothing of the history of the southern Levant; they know nothing of Hebrew culture and history. They know nothing of Judeo-Christian doctrine on which their culture was based. This person has been taught their whole life that their life is an accident of evolution and entirely meaningless. They cannot see how this statement might contradict everything that they’ve been taught about themselves and the world around them.

Many Christians will read this text and grasp that the Kingdom of God is within them and that it cannot be seen. They will just shrug their shoulders. They will not be able to see that this single statement entirely undermines everything they have been taught about Christianity.

If a Jewish person reads this statement at a low level of comprehension, they will not realise that this one statement proves that the Jesus of History was not the Christ of myth.

It is very common, particularly for American Evangelical Christians, to obsess about the idea of ‘Kingship’ as they often believe they have no way to interpret the concept. The result is a rather childish view of the ‘Kingdom of God‘ as being an expression of ‘absolute and unlimited’ power, which they extrapolate on to an anthropomorphic vision of God.

History (and the Hebrew Scriptures) demonstrates exactly how limited and fallible the concept of monarchy, in real life, actually is.

At this level, it is almost impossible for the reader to extract anything useful from a written text.

 

Level 2: Interpretive comprehension:

At this level of comprehension the reader will realise the following additional points:

  1. The Pharisees expected a physical Kingdom of God to come in the future.
  2. The Kingdom, to which the Jesus of History is referring, will not be a visible military or cultural polity, nor will it be a utopian future.
  3. The Jesus of History is saying that the Kingdom of God is within the Pharisee to whom he was speaking.

Until very recently, the last line of this saying was translated correctly with the Greek ‘Entos‘ in the text rendered as ‘Within’ or ‘Inside’. Biblical scholars with certificates awarded from Divinity Colleges realised the implication of the three points above and in 1989, with the publication of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, changed the translation from the second person singular to an indefinite second person plural. The new translation accommodates the Christology of the evolving church by adding words to the statement as, “the Kingdom of God is among you” or “the Kingdom of God is among some of you.” This allows their readers to avoid cognitive dissonance and continue to believe that only they have the keys to the Kingdom of God.

As an example of the dangers of a low level of reading comprehension consider the following quote from a noted Biblical Scholar:

“Attempts to read Luke’s ἐντὸς ὑμῶν as a reference to the inward, spiritual dynamic of the kingdom of God (e.g., Caragounis, “Kingdom of God?” 423-24) find ready adherents in this age of psychology and individualism here in the West. But they falter especially on the grounds that (1) nowhere else in Luke-Acts is the dominion of God regarded as an inner, spiritual reality; and (2) the notion that the Pharisees contain within themselves the kingdom of God is inconsistent with the Lukan portrayal of persons from this Jewish group.”

Professor Joel B. Green – NICNT, e-Sword

We will return to Professor Green’s quote in our conclusion but notice how Biblical Scholars justify their forgery. You will also notice a, not very, subtle use of eisegesis. Professor Green assumes that the Kingdom of God, to which the Jesus of History was referring, was something that only certain ‘kinds’ of people could experience, if indeed the Kingdom of God was an inner reality. Professor Green is therefore assuming that Jesus excludes other Jews from the Kingdom of God but would implicitly accept Professor Green and all the Gentiles.

He also, falsely claims that the translation of the text as ‘within’ is a new-age affectation but the truth is that this is the original translation and is included in the 1611 edition of the King James Bible. Obviously, Professor Green’s statement is a perfect example of avoidance of cognitive dissonance using rationalisation.

 

Level 3: I Applied critical comprehension:

If we read Luke 17:20 at this level of comprehension we must consider the following:

  1. The Jesus of History was replying to a direct question from a Pharisee and used the Pharisee’s term, ‘The Kingdom of God’ in his reply in order to illustrate his own point.
  1. The Pharisee was asking about a principally Judean concept that had been growing in popularity since the death of King Josiah in 609 BCE. With the failure of Judean military hopes and after several foreign invasions, the Judean scribes had promoted the idea that their God (Yahweh) would establish a physical, military and cultural utopia on their behalf via a military leader.
  1. The answer given by the Jesus of History neatly sidesteps this question by effectively ignoring it. He explains that the connection to God, justice and peace, which the Pharisee is waiting for (represented by the concept of the ‘Kingdom of God’) already exist within him. The use of this metaphor in this instance is unavoidably unsatisfying, as it doesn’t really answer the Pharisee’s question. The Jesus of History appears to be uncomfortable with it but uses it to subvert the topic.
  1. To illustrate point 3 and in reference to the rest of Luke, the Jesus of History rarely refers to God directly but uses the term ‘Light‘ as his preferred metaphor for God, for instance:

 “Because of the mercy of God who sends the light of day from on high to visit us and to enlighten those sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, to direct our feet on the path of peace.”

Luke 1:78

****

“No man when he hath lighted a candle, covered it under a vessel, putteth it under the bed, but setteth it on a candlestick, that they that enter may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made apparent, nothing concealed that will not be made known.”

Luke 8:16

****

“The Light of the Body is the eye. Whenever, then, your eye may be single, your whole body is luminous…”

Luke 11:34

In Luke 17:20 and the three logia above, the Jesus of History is using metaphor as a direct pointing to an inner reality and it is understood within Hebrew culture that insight is required to interpret this style of commentary correctly. This system of insight language the Kabbalah (Hebrew mystical tradition) calls, ‘The language of Root and Branch’.

 

  1. The matrix of belief of the Jesus of History, who was born a Jew, lived as a Jew and died as a Jew, is illustrated by these sayings. These three examples of metaphors for God, all come from Luke are also echoed in the other gospels and in the extra biblical sayings. The metaphor of the ‘Breath’ of God (Ruach) as Light is common within Hebrew spiritual and mystical texts. The concept of the spirit of God as our divine essence (Yetzer ha’Tov) is very old and comes from Genesis 2:7:

 “God formed the human out of the soil of the ground and he blew into his nostrils the breath of life- and the human became a living soul.”

The concept of ‘Bene Elohim‘ – that life comes from, and is connected to, God – is uniquely Hebrew and not present in Greco-Roman cosmology. The Prophet Muhammad used a unique term for God that expresses this concept:

“By Him in Whose Hands my life is, none of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father and his children.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 14

It should be noted that it was the Jesus of History who uniquely applied the term Bene Elohim to anyone with a direct connection to God through Emunah.

In Greek thinking, and thus in Christian thinking, connection with God was extra to the self and often traumatically accompanied by frenzy. In Acts of the Apostles 19:6, the arrival of the spirit of God was accompanied by aspects of insanity like ‘Talking in Tongues‘. This is entirely unknown in Hebrew culture.

  1. Luke 17:20 appears to have been copied ‘word-for-word’ from a common source. Professor Robert W. Funk and the scholars of the Jesus Seminar identified that hypothetical common source as the document called Q-Source. All of the Q-Source sayings appear to be commentaries on existing Hebrew texts, which inculcate a recognisable Hebrew philosophical paradigm. The Q-Source shares the same foundational philosophical and cultural concepts implicit within contemporary Hebrew mystical spirituality.
  2. Those sayings in the Gospel attributed to Christ that do not appear in the Q-Source often do not conform to our Hebrew philosophical paradigm and appear to be extrapolations based on Greco-Roman philosophical paradigms.
  3. We can therefore say, from reading Luke 17:20 correctly that the following Christian doctrines cannot be based on the Jesus of History:
    • The Church: God is within all living things, all of whom have direct access to him through their own essence. The entire edifice of priests, bishops and popes is unnecessary.
    • The Second Coming of Christ (the Rapture): The Jesus of History did not believe in the apocalypse, the last day or the resurrection of the dead.
    • Messiah: The Jesus of History did not believe that he was god or the military leader expected by the Judeans.
    • Original Sin: If all living things have direct access to God within their essence, the doctrines of original sin, vicarious sacrifice must also be unsupportable based on this saying.
    • Animal or Human Sacrifice: If all living things are expressions of the spirit of God the concept of animal sacrifice cannot be justified based on this understanding.

 

Summary:

Cognitive Dissonance:

The quote I mentioned earlier from Professor Joel B. Green is a perfect example of rationalisation to avoid cognitive dissonance.  In his quote, Professor Green maintained that there were no other references in the Gospel of Luke to an internal ‘Kingdom of God’ but if we look at Luke 13:19 we can see that, according to the Jesus of History, the Kingdom of God is often born out of something that a person might discard and grows slowly unnoticed, which provides shelter for all the creatures of heaven and is an obvious reference to an inner reality.

“What is the Kingdom of God like, and to what can I liken it? Like it is to a mustard seed, which a man discards in his garden and grows and becomes a great tree and the flying creatures of heaven roost among its boughs.”

Luke 13:19

Objective Reality:

Often people fear someone else giving voice to their own secret fears. Professor Green insults anyone who would read Luke 17:20 as ‘Within’ by saying “ready adherents in this age of psychology and individualism here in the West”. For an American living in the Bible Belt it would be better to be associated with a known pedophile than a liberal. The use of this subtle insult is a good example of the use of aggression to avoid cognitive dissonance. It is obvious that Professor Green is very uncomfortable with anyone voicing his own doubts based on his subconscious awareness of objective reality.

 

Reported Speech:

In order to understand Luke 17:20 Professor Green would have to understand Hebrew culture, spirituality and history in the first century and today.

Luke 13:19 above is describing the Kingdom of God as the growth of faith (Emunah). Unfortunately for Professor Green this concept is often misunderstood by Christians who translate the Hebrew concept of Emunah as ‘faith’ but this is a fatal mistake. The Church inherited their concept of faith from the Greco-Roman Saint Paul:

“We walk by faith, not by sight.”

2 Corinthians 5:7

The word ‘faith’ in Greek texts is πιστεωσ (Pistis) and it actually means ‘belief‘ and it is by the power of belief that Christians enter the Kingdom of God. Belief is instantaneous so it is evident that it is not belief to which the Jesus of History is referring when he says ‘The Kingdom of God’ as he explains in several passages that its appearance comes slowly without notice.

Wisdom (Sophia), on the other hand, comes through direct experience and work. Through experience we come to know God. The love and trust we have, as expressed by Emunah, supports our world because it is based on reality.

Without examining the matrix of belief for the Jesus of History and his audience it is impossible to grasp the original meaning of Luke 17:20.

 

Reading Comprehension:

A misunderstanding of Luke 17:20 allowed for the Christian Church to justify morally repellent axiomatic doctrines, which has led many people to become atheists. Because of poor literary comprehension most Western people feel that they can only choose between Christianity and Atheism, the Jesus of History would disagree.

 

Logic Vs. Inspiration:

Professor Green perfectly demonstrates how difficult it is to understand non-binary reality expressed in ordinary binary language. Because institutional religions discourage their members to connect to the divine outside of the control of the group, textual scholars often lack the inner frame of reference by which to understand the profundity of logia like Luke 17:20, which is expressed in the language of ‘Root and Branch’.

 

Exegesis Vs. Eisegesis

As a consequence of the restrictions, which a scriptural approach to spirituality places on the mind, it is common for Christians, like Professor Green, to make the Kingdom of God into a mirror image of themselves. In the last hundred years, scholars have turned Christ into everything from a communist to a Jihadi. They have turned the Kingdom of God into a communist utopia, a military empire and an undisclosed astral destination.

All of these scholars are reading into the text aspects of themselves.

 

Conclusion:

Without the Christian Church, it is doubtful that the Jesus of History’s words would have survived the formation of Rabbinical Judaism, in the first half of the first millennium. However, in order to reclaim those original sayings it requires forensic textual analysis based on philosophical coherence. It also demands from us that we overcome our own cognitive dissonance to find the truth.

The failure of the Church, in the previous century, has given birth, now in 2020, to a world so lost that its governments cannot see the evil that they bring on their own people. As entire nations are placed under arrest with violence and the threat of violence. Through the manipulation of information, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing, in the words of its mastermind, Klaus Schwab, what it means to be human. If that is not evil, I don’t know what is.

It is therefore your obligation to learn how to find the truth within or behind the words that evil men will use to enslave you.

 

 

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.