There are many people who have been suspicious of Christianity, but very few have been curious enough to delve into the real history of the religion that is really nothing more than a strategic buy-out that Rome used as a tool of control. Almost everyone knows that the Bible has been edited throughout the centuries, but very few know exactly what has been left out or added in.
Dr. Barbara Thiering has helped to uncover surprising history of this politically contrived religion, and I have presented a couple of articles based onher books that have generated quite a lot of interest. In this particular article, I will base all of the material on the work of Laurence Gardner. Yes, I will present a brief refresher of what occured in the time of Jesus, and then I will proceed to the later history that I have omitted from previous such articles. Hopefully this will satisfy some of your distrust of this religion. The article is very concise, so please find books by the two aforementioned scholars in order to gain moree depth and understanding. All of the following information is taken from “Bloodline of the Holy Grail”.
Following the jewish revolt in Jerusalem during the first century AD, the Roman overlords have destroyed all records concerning the Davidic legacy of Jesus' family.. The destruction was far from complete, however, and relevant documents were retained by Jesus' heirs who brought the Messianic heritage from the Near East to the West. As confirmed by the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebiu, the 4th century Bishop of Caesara, these heirs were called the Desposyni. Theirs was the legacy of the Royal House of Judah, a dynastic bloodline that lives today. Throughout the centuries, an ongoing Church and government conspiracy has prevailed against the Messianic inheritance. This heightened when Imperial Rome diverted the course of Christianity to suit an alternative ideal and has continued to the present day.
Scientific dogma changes as a matter of course - but this is rarely the case with religious dogma. The Christian church pays no heed to discoveries and revelations, and still upholds much of the incongruous dogma that dates from medieval times.
Veneration of the primary female deity was of long standing in Canaan, where she took the form of the goddess Ashtoreth. Ashtoreth was openly worshipped by the Israelites until the 6th century BC. As Lady Ashtoreth, she was the supernal wife of El, the supreme male deity, and they were together the Divine Couple. Their daughter was Anath, Queen of the Heavens, and their son, the King of the Heavens, was called He. As time progressed, the separate characters of El and he were merged to become Jehova. Ashtoreth (Ashera) and Anath were then similarly conjoined to become Jehova's female consort, known as the Shekinah or Matronit.
The name Jehova is a late and somewhat Anglicized transliteration of Yahweh, which itself is a form of the four0consonantal Hebrew stem YHWH into which two vowels have been interpolated. Originally these four consonants (which later became a sort of acronym for the one god) represented the four members of the heavenly family: Y represented El the Father, H was Asherah the Mother, W corresponded to the Son, and H was the Daugher, Anath. In accordance with the royal traditions of the time and region, God's mysterious bride, the Shekinah, was also reckoned to be his sister.
In practical terms, the cementing of the Hebrew ideal of the one god did not actually occur until after their 50 years of captivity in Babylon (586-536 BC). When the Israelites were first deported there by Nebuchadnezzar, they were effectively disparate tribes belonging to at least two major ethnic streams (Israel and Judah), but they returned to the Holy Land with a common national purpose as Jehovah's chosen people.
Much of what we now know as the Old Testament was first written down in Babylon. It is hardly surprising, therefore, the Sumerian and Mesopotamian stories were grafted into the early jewish cultural tradition, including the accounts of the Garden of Eden (The Paradise of Eridu), the Flood, and the Tower of Babel. Stories such as that of Adam and Eve were by no means restricted to Hebrew tradition. Alternatives to the Bible's version of the Adam and Eve story may be found in the writings of Greeks, Syrians, Egyptians, Sumerians, and Abyssians (ancient Ethiopians).
When the Isrelites returned from Babylon to Jerusalem, the first 5 books of Moses were collated into the Torah. The rest of the Old testament was, however, kept separate. For a number of centuries it was regarded with varying degrees of veneration and suspicion, but, in time, the Books of the Prophets became especially significant in stabilizing the jewish heritage. The main reason for hesitation was that, although the jews were understood to be god's chosen people, Jehova had not actually treated them very kindly. He was their all-powerful tribal Lord and had promised the patriarch Abraham to exalt their race above all others. And yet, for all that, they had faced only wars, famine, deportation, and captivity. To counter the nation's growing disenchantment, the Books of the Prophets reinforced Jehova's promise by announcing the coming of the messiah, an anointed king or priest who would serve the people by leading them to salvation.
The prophesy was sufficient to ensure the rebuilding of Solomon's Temple and the Wall of Jerusalem, but no messianic savior appeared. The Old Testament ends at this point in the 4th century BC. Meanwhile, the bloodline of David continued, although not actively reigning. Then, sovereign history began when the revolutionary heir of Judah stepped boldly into the public domain. He was Jesus, the King de jure of Jerusalem.
The uprising in 168 BC in which the priestly caste of Hasmonaean Maccabees came to prominence was prompted largely by the action of King Antiochus IV Epiphanes of Syria who had foisted a system of Greek worship upon the jewish community. The Maccabees later reconsecrated the Temple but, successful as the jews were against Antiochus, internal social damage had been done because the campaign has necessitated fighting on the Sabbath. A core of ultra-strict jewish devotees known as the Hasidim (Pious Ones) strongly objected to this and, when the triumphant House of Maccabees took control and set up their own King and High Priest in Jerusalem, the Hasidim not only voiced their opposition but marched en masse out of the city in order to establish their own pure community in the nearby Wilderness of Qumran. Building work started around 130 BC.
In order that the Gospels should be beyond Roman understanding, they were constructed with dual layers of meaning - evangelical scripture on the surface and political information beneath - and the carefully directed messages were generally based on the substitution codes laid down by the Scribes. A working knowledge of the code was not available until some of the Dead Sea Scrolls were recently published. Only since then has an appreciation of the cryptic technique facilitated a much greater awareness of the political intelligence that was veiled in the Gospel texts.
The Roman Emperor was called "the lion". Being "rescued from the lion's mouth" therefore meant escaping the clutches of the Emperor or his officers. The "poor" were not poverty-stricken, underprivileged citizens; they were those who had been initiated into the higher echelons of the community and who, on that account had been obliged to give up their property and worldly possessions. The "many" was a style used for the head of the celibate community, whereas the "Crowd" was a designation of the regional Tetrarch (Governor), and a "multitude" was a governing council. Novices within the religious establishment were called "children". The doctrinal theme of the community was known as the "Way" and those who followed the principle of the "Way" were known as "Children of Light".
The term "lepers" was often used to denote those who had not been initiated into the higher community, or who had been denounced by it. The "blind" were those who were not party to the "Way". In these respects "healing the blind" or "healing a leper" refer more specifically to the process of conversion to the "Way". Release from excommunication was described as being "raised from the dead". The definition "unclean" related mostly to uncircumcised Gentiles, while the description "sick" denoted those in public or clerical disgrace.
The doctrine which the community regarded as its guiding message was the "Light' and this was represented by a high-ranking triarchy (corresponding respectively to Priest, King, and Prophet) who held the symbolic titles of Power, Kingdom, and Glory. In the clerical patriarchy the father was supreme and his two immediate deputies were designated his son and his spirit.
Josephus explains that the Essenes were very practiced in the art of healing. A fundamental belief of the Essenes was that the universe contained the two cardinal spirits of Light and Darkness. Light represented truth and righteousness, whereas Darkness depicted perversion and evil. The balance of one against the other in the cosmos was settled by celestial movement, and people were individually apportioned with degrees of each spirit, as defined by their planetary circumstances of birth. The cosmic battle between light and darkness was thus perpetuated within humankind and between one person and another.
God was held to be the supreme ruler over the two cardinal spirits, but to find the Way to the Light required following a long and arduous path of conflict. Such a path culminated in a final weighing of one force against the other at a Time of Justification, later called the Day of Judgment. It was thought that, as the time drew near, that the forces of Darkness would gather in strength during a Period of Temptation.
By tradition, the Spirit of Darkness was identified as Belial (Worthless) whose children worshipped gods other than Jehova. The Spirit of Light was upheld by the hierarchyand was symbolized by the Menorah. In the time of the Davidic kings the Zadikite priest was considered the foremost proponent of the Light.
But just as the Spirit of Light had its representative on Earth, so did the Spirit of Darkness. It was an appointment held by the Chief of the Scribes whose purpose it was to provide a formal opposition within the hierarchical structure. A primary responsibility of the designated Prince of Darkness was to test female initiates within the celibacy in which capacity he held the Hebrew title of "Satan" (Accuser).
In the book of Revelation the great final war between Light and Darkness is forecast to take place at Armageddon, a historically important Palestinian battlefield where a military fortress guarded the plains of Jezreel, south of the Galilean hills. The War Scroll describes in detail the forthcoming struggle between the Children of Light and the Sons of Darkness. The tribes of Israel were to be on one side, with the Kittim (Romans) and various factions on the other. In the context of this climactic war, however, there is no mention of an omnipotent Satan - such mythical imagery played no part in the community's perception of the Final Judgment. The conflict was to be a purely mortal affair.
Much later, the fundamental notion behind this ancient concept was purloined and adapted by the emergent Church of Rome. The symbolic battle of Har Megiddo was removed from its specific location and reapplied on a world scale, with Rome (the hitherto "Darkness") usurping the "Light" in its favor. In order that the rule of the Catholic bishops should prevail, it was strategically decreed that the Day of Judgment had not yet come. Those who, thereafter, obeyed the revised principle of the Roman Catholic Church were promised the right of entry to the Kingdom of heaven, as sanctified by the bishops. The one-time hill-fort of Har Megiddo was thereby invested with supernatural overtones so that the very word "Armageddon" took on a hideous ring of apocalyptic terror. It implied the fearsome ending of all things from which the only sure route was absolute compliance with the rule of Rome. In this regard, it has proved to be one of the most ingenious political maneuvers of all time.
The original Gospel of mark was written in Rome around AD 66. Clement of Alexandria, the 2nd century churchman, confirmed that it was issued at a time when the jews of Judea were in revolt against the Roman occupiers and were being crucified in their thousands. The Gospel writer, therefore, had his own safety to consider and could hardly present a document that was overtly anti-Roman. Mark's Gospel was a message of brotherly support, a promise of independent salvation for those subject to the overwhelming domination of Rome. Such a forecast of deliverance eased the people's minds and took some pressure off the governors whose subjugation was felt throughout the growing Empire.
The Gospel of Mark subsequently became a reference source for those of Matthew and Luke, whose authors severally expanded upon the theme. For this reason, the three are known together as the "Synoptic Gospels" even though they do not concur in many respects.
The Gospel of John differs from the others in content, style, and concept, being influenced by the traditions of a particular community sect. It is, nevertheless, far from naïve in its account of Jesus' story. John also includes countless small details which do not appear elsewhere. The first published Gospel, that of Mark, makes no mention of the Virgin Birth. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke bring it into play with varying degrees of emphasis, but it is totally ignored by John. Students are simply told that "the Bible says this" or "the Bible says that". When being taught about the Virgin Birth they are directed to Matthew and Luke. When being taught about other aspects they are directed to the Gospel or Gospels concerned, as if they were all intended to be constituent chapters of the same overall work which, of course, they are not.
Over the centuries, various speculations about Biblical content have become interpretations, and these have been established by the Church as dogma. The emergent doctrines have been integrated into society as if they were positive facts. Pupils in schools and churches are rarely told that Matthew says Mary was a virgin but that Mark does not. Selective teaching of this kind applies not only to the Bethlehem Nativity, but to any number of incidents. Christian children are taught a tale that has been altogether smoothed over; a tale that extracts the most entertaining features fro each Gospel and merges them into a single embellished story that was never written by anyone.
The Semitic word translated as "virgin" was almah which meant no more than a "young woman". The Hebrew word denoting a physical virgin was bethulah.
The physical virginity attributed to Mary becomes even less credible in relation to the dogmatic Catholic assertion that she was a "virgin forever". It is no secret that mary had other offspring.
The portrayal of Jesus as a carpenter's son is yet another example of how a later language misinterpreted an original meaning. It is not necessarily a deliberate mistranslation, but it does show how some old Hebrew and Aramic root words enveloped within Greek texts have no direct counterparts in other tongues. The Greek ho tekton is a rendition of the Semitic word naggar, which would likely define a scholar or teacher. Ho tekton relates to "master of craft".
Jesus was of the tribe of Judah, of the family line of King David. The scriptures also say that he was a Nazarene, but this does not mean that he came from the Nazareth. The term "Nazarene"(or "Nazarite") was strictly sectarian and had nothing to do with the settlement. The Arabic term for Christian is Nasrani and the Islamic Koran refers to Christians as Nasara. These variants ultimately derive from the Hebrew Nozrim, a plural noun stemming from the description Nazrie ha-Brit (Keepers of the Covenant), a designation of the Essene community at Qumran. It is actually a point of contention whether the settlement Nazareth existed at all during Jesus' lifetime.
Nazarites were ascetic individuals bound by strict vows through predetermined periods, observing some highly regulated disciplines in relation to dynastic betrothal and matrimony.
Mary was serving a statutory probationary period as a married woman of the dynastic hierarchy - a period of espousal during which sexual relations were forbidden - and Joseph would have just cause for embarrassment when Mary discovered she was pregnant. The situation was resolved when a high-ranking Abiather priest granted approval for the confinement.
From the time of King David, the dynasty of Abiathar was established in the hierarchy of senior priests. The line of Zadok as the primary priestly heritage and the line of Abiathor was second in seniority. The Annunciation was not so much a matter of announcing as it was of sanctioning.
Dynastic rules were no ordinary matter. Three months after a betrothal ceremony, a First marriage was formalized to begin the espousal in the month of September. Physical relations were allowed after that, but only in the first half of December. This was to ensure that any resultant Messianic birth occurred in the Atonement month of September. If the bride did not conceive, intimate relations were suspended until the next December, and so on.
Once a probationary wife had conceived, a Second marriage was performed to legalize the wedlock. However, the bride was still regarded as almah (young woman) until completion of the Second Marriage which was never celebrated until she was three months pregnant. The purpose of this delay was to allow for the possibility of a miscarriage. This accommodated the dynastic husband's legal change of wife if the first should prove barren.
The rules of dynastic wedlock were infringed, since Mary gave birth to jesus at the wrong time of year (Sunday, March 1, 7 BC). So Mary not only conceived as an almah, but she also gave birth as an almah.
Jesus was Joseph's firstborn descendant into the Davidic succession. Jesus was a significant prospect and demanded special treatment as an exception to the general rule. This was wrapped up in a blanket of enigma.
One of Jesus' foremost problems was that he was born into an environment of controversy over whether or not he was legitimate. Six years later his brother James was born within all the rules of the dynastic wedlock.
The Hellenists (westernized jews) claimed that Jesus was the rightful Christ (Greek: Christos - King). The orthodox hebrews contended that the kingly entitlement lay with James. In AD 23 Joseph died and it became imperative to resolve the dispute.
The Davidic kings were allied to the dynastic Zadokite priests, and the prevailing Zadok was Jesus' own kinsman, John the Baptist. John was very much of the Hebrew persuasion, but jesus was a Hellenist. John therefore supported James, even though he acknowledged Jesus as legitimate. Jesus knew he must make a stand because, if the prospect of a revived jewish kingdom were to gain momentum, he would definitely lose out to his brother. In view of this, he decided to create his own organized party of supporters: a party that would not follow any conventional social policy. His policy was strraightforward, based on the logic that a split jewish nation would never defeat the might of Rome. He perceived that the jews could not accomplish their mission if they continued to hold themselves separate from the Gentiles (native non-jews). He was frustrated by the unbending jews of rigid hebrew principle.
Gentiles who sought affiliation with the jewish tribes could take part in baptism, but could not be baptized in the water. Although they joined the jewish baptismal candidates in the sea, they were permitted only to receive priestly blessings after they had been hauled aboard ships in large nets. The priests who performed these baptisms weree called "fishers". It was an allusion to his own moree liberal ministry that Jesus promised Gentiles canonical promotion, saying, " I will make you to become fishers of men."
Simon Magus (or Zebedee) was head of the West Manasseh Magi, a priestly caste of Samaritan philosophers who supported the legitimacy of Jesus. Simon was a confirmed advocate of war with Rome. As an Apostle of Jesus, he was the most prominent in terms of social status. He was also a keen Zealot commander and was often called Simon Zelotes. The Zealots were militant freedom fighters set on vengeance against the Romans. To the Roman authorities however, the Zealots were simply lestai (bandits).
Another well-born nationalist leader of renown was Judas, chief of the Scribes. The Dead Sea Scrolls were produced under his tutelage and that of his predecessor, Judas of Galilee, founder of the Zealot movement. Judas the Apostle was the tribal head of the East Manasseh and a warlord of Qumran. The Romans had a nickname for him: Judas Sicarius (a sica was a deadly curved dagger). The Greek form of the nickname was Sicariote, which further corrupted to become "Iscariot". He was second in seniority to Simon.
There is nothing spiritual or ethereal about the word "angel". In the original Greek, aggelos meant nothing moree than "messenger". Modern English derives the word angel from Church Latin, but the Anglo-Saxon word engel came originally from the French angele. An "angel of the Lord" was thus a messenger, or more correctly, an ambassador. An "Archangel" was a priestly ambassador of the highest rank. The angels in the New Testament were, without exception, all men, and their appointments were strictly dynastic.
The archangel Michael's battle with the dragon corresponds to the conflict between the Zadokite succession and Imperial Rome (The beast of blasphemy). The "second beast" was that of the rigidly strict regime of the Pharisees who thwarted the ambitions of the Hellenist jews by segregating jews from Gentiles. This was the beast to which was attributed the number of 666.
Jesus recognized that Rome could never be defeated while extremes of competitive doctrine existed within the jewish community itself. There was no such thing as Christianity in those days. The religion of jesus was judaism and the jews all worshipped one god, but even they were split into various factions, each with different sets of community rules. Jesus aspired to share Jehova with the Gentiles in a way that did not require them to take on all the trappings of orthodox judaism. His people could not be freed from oppression until they had forsaken their own uncompromising sectarianism.
What Jesus did not have was any designated social authority - he was neither a reigning King nor a High Priest. However, he paid little heed to such technicalities and proceeded to implement ritualistic changes regardless of his titular deficiency.
In AD 32, Simon Zelotes fell foul of the authorities, having led an unsuccessful revolt against Pontius Pilate. Pilate had been using public funds to have his personal water supply improved. A formal complaint was lodged against him in court, whereupon Pilate's soldiers murdered known complainants. Armed insurrection immediately insued, led by the prominent Zealots, Simon Zelotes, Judas Sicariote, and Thaddaeus. The revot failed and Simon was excommunicated by edict of King Herod-Agrippa. Simon's political opponent, Jonathan Annas, was thus enabled to proceed to the supreme office of the Father. It happened, however, that Herod-Agrippa fell into an argument with the Roman governors, losing his jurisdiction to the short-term benefit of his uncle, Herod-Antipas, who had supported the Zealot action against Pilate. Seizing his opportunity, Antipas countermanded the order of excommunication and instructed that Simon should be "raised from the dead'. Jesus was, therefore, in something of a quandary. He was heir to the kingly line, yet with no formal entitlement, but he wished to come to the aid of his friend and supporter - and so he did. Jesus decided to preesumne a priestly function and perform the release, confirming the spiritually dead Simon's rank as that of Abraham's Steward, Eliezer (corrupted in the Gospels to Lazarus). And so it was that Lazarus was e\raised from the dead (rescinded the excommunication) without any official sanction from the Father, neither from the High Priest, nor from the Sanhedrin Council. He had flouted the rules, but Herod-Antipas then obliged Jonathan Annas to acquiesce in the fait accompli. Following the failed revolt, Judas had become a fugitive. Jesus was of little political use to him, so he threw in his lot with Jesus' uncontroversial brother, James.
Mary Magdeline was the first wife of Jesus. Only as the wife of Jesus and as a priestess in her own right could Mary have anointed both his head and his feet. Mary's full title was Sister Miriam Magdalene. One of the reasons why there is no obvious mention of Jesus' marital status in the New Testament is that the evidence was deliberately removed by Church decree. This was revealed as recently as 1958 when a manuscript of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople was discovered in a monastery at mar Saba, east of Jerusalem. Also, Bishop Clement of Alexandria (AD 150-215) wrote a letter to a coleague, Theodore, containing generally unknown content from the Gospel of Mark that was suppressed because it did not conform with Church requirement. In the removed section of the Gospel is an account of the raising of Lazarus - but an account that has Lazarus calling to Jesus from within the tomb, making it quite clear that the man was not dead in the physical sense, which of course defeated the Church's insistence that it should be accepted as a supernatural miracle. Moreover, the original Gospel of Mark did not include any details of the events of the Resurrection and its aftermath: the concluding verses published today were spuriously attached at a later date.
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, Mary Magdalene was three months pregnant with his child. All things considered. The visit to Jerusalem was an unfortunate non-event. Jesus did not receive the acclaim he expected. His plan to create an idyllic Judaea, free from Roman oppression, had failed because his dream of unifying the people was not shared by his sectarian countrymne, namely the Paharisees and Sadducees. Also at that time, a serious rift occurred within the Apostolic group. Simon Zelotes had long been at odds with Jonathan Annas (James of Alphaeus), and their political rivalry came to a head. They were both contenders for the supreme position of Father.
The Last Supper did not take place in Jerusalem at all, but at Qumran. The Essenes did not observe the traditional jewish festivals in Jerusalem and did not, therefore, uphold the ritual of the Paschal Lamb at Passover. Qumran was often referred to as Jerusalem. The famous Last Supper corresponds, in fact, to the Messianic Banquet (the Lord's Supper). That it occurred at the same time as Passover was entirely coincidental. The primary hosts of the Banquet were the High Priest and Messiah of Israel. The people of the community were represented by appointed officers who together formed the Council of Delegate Apostles. Judas left to make the final arrangements for the betrayal. There was still time left for the Baptist's prophesy concerning the restoration of the true Christ to be fulfilled, but the final deadline was that very night, the vernal equinox of March 20 AD 33. Jesus knew that if no proclamation was made in his favor then there would be no hope of satisfying the Messianic prediction and he would be denounced as a fraud.
The ultimate success of Judas' plan relied on retaining favor with Jonathan Annas. Jonathan's daughter was married to the Pharisee High Priest, Joseph Caiaphas.
Jesus' trial was hardly a trial at all. It was quite outside the law for the jewish council to sit at night. The Sanhedrin did not meet until it was day. But the meeting would still have been illegal because the Sanhedrin Council was not allowed to sit during the Passover.
The Gospels claim that Pilate offered to reprieve Jesus because "it was customary for the Governor to release a prisoner at the feast of Passover". This is simply not true. There never was such a custom.
Thaddaeus was a deputy of the Succession ("of Alphaeus")a devotional "son of the Father" (incorporating the elements bar (son) and abba (father) - so Thaddaeus was described as Barabba.
When the three prisoners Simon, Thaddaeus, and Jesus were brought before Pilate, the cases against Simon and Thaddaeus were clearcu; they were known Zealot leaders and had been condemned men since the uprising. Jesus was only there because the jewish contingent had passed him over for sentencing.
Herod-Antipas arrived on the scene. He was no friend of the Annas priests and it suited his purpose for Jesus to be released in order to provoke his nephew King Herod-Agrippa. Antipas therefore struck a deal with Pilate to secure the release of Jesus. The pact between Judas Sicariote and Jonathan Annas was thus superseded, without involving either of them, by way of an agreement between the Herodian Tetrarch and the Roman Governor. From that point on, Judas lost any chance of pardon for his Zealot activities and his days were numbered.
Had the members of the Sanhedrin waited until after Passover, they could have conducted their own trial of jesus in perfect legality. But they had strategically passed the responsibility over to Pilate because they knew there was no true charge to substantiate. They had not bargained on Pilate's sense of justice, not the intervention of Herod-Antipas.
The aging Thaddaeus was released, but both Simon and Jesus were in custody along with Judas Sicariote. Ultimately, the greatest betrayer of all was the prevailing Father, Jonathan Annas, the one-time Apostle known as James of Alphaeus or Nathanael.
An early Coptic tractate called The Second Treatise of the Great Seth, discovered among the books of Nag Hammadi, explains that there was a substitution for at least one of the victims of the Crucifixion, and mentions a Cyrene in this connection. The substitution apparently succeeded, for the tractate declares that Jesus did not die on the cross as presumed. Jesus himself was quoted after the event, "As for my death, which was real enough for them, was real to them because of their own incomprehension and blindness".
The Islamic Koran specifies that Jesus did not die on the cross, stating, "Yet they slew him not, neither crucified him, but he was represented by one in his likeness. Theey did not really kill him." Also, the second-century historian, Basilides of Alexandria, wrote that the crucifixion was stage-managed. The gnostic leader, Mani (born near Bagdad in AD 214) made precisely the same assertion. Clearly, the execution of two such men as Jesus and Simon could not go unchallenged, and so a strategy was implemented to outwit the jewish authorities, hinging on the use of comatosing poison and the performance of a physical deception.
Three centuries later, various sites in and around Jerusalem were dubbed with supposed New Testament significance. On many occasions it was simply a case of finding a suitable place to hang a name - such were the demands of pilgrims and the tourist market. The Crucifixion was no hilltop spectacle with enormous crosses against a skyline and an epic cast of spectators. It was a small-scale affair on controlled land - in Qumran.
Arimathea was, in fact, a descriptive title like so many others in the New Testament. It represented a particularly high stauts. The Hebrew ha ram or ha rama (of the height, or top) and the Greek theo (relating to god) together mean "Divine Highness". Joseph of Arimathea emerges as none other than Jesus' own brother, James.
It was Paul (a leter Hebrew convert to Hellenist ways) who established the blood and bones Resurrection doctrine. Paul was regarded as a fanatic by Jesus' brother James, whose Nazarenes never preached the Resurrection. It is essential to remember that Jesus was neither a Gentile nor a Christian. He was a Hellenist jew whose religion was radical judaism. In time, however, his original mission was usurped and taken over by a religious movement that was named after him in order to obscure his true heirs. The movement centered on Rome and based its self-proclaimed authority on the mistranslation of Peter being the rock upon which the church will be built. Jesus actually affirmed that the mission was to be founded on the Rock of Israel, not upon Peter (Greek: petra "rock"). The new movement decreed that only those who received authority handed down directly from Peter could be leaders of the Christian Church. It was an ingenious concept which, as was intended, restricted overall control to a select, self-promoting fraternity. The Gnostic disciples of Simon (Magus) Zelotes called it "the faith of fools".
Peter and Andrew were lesser educated villagers who, despite their length of time with Jesus and the more learned Apostles, still retained old establishment views of womanhood. Peter's sexist attitude was to achieve a position of prominence in the Romanized doctrine that was to be founded on his teaching.
In AD 53, the son of Jesus and Mary Magdalene was officially proclaimed the Crown Prince. He thereby formally succeeded his Uncle, James. His father, Jesus the Christ, went to Rome in AD 60. Paul returned to Jerusalem and was accused of conspiracy against Jonathan Annas who had been murdered by Governor Felix. He was sent to Nero. James and Jesus Justus' younger brother, Joseph, settled in Gaul with Mary Magdeline. They were later joined by James, having been hounded out of Jerusalem. His Nazarenes had been subjected to brutal harassment by the Romans, and the Sanhedrin Council had charged him with illegal teaching. He fell from the very pinnacle of social grace. Back in Rome. Peter had arrived to assume responsibility for the Pauline sect, who were by then known as "Christians". Nero had developed a passionate hatred for them and had instituted a fanatical regime of persecution. This led to a major revolt in AD 64 during the course of which Rome was engulfed by fire. The unbalanced Emperor was the suspected instigator, but he blamed the Christians and had both Peter and Paul put to death.
It had been suggested that Jesus is reckoned to have died at Srinagar, Kashmir, where a tomb is attributed to him. Once james had settled permanently in the West, Simon Zelotes led most of the Nazarenes out of Jerusalem in AD 65, taking them east of the Jordan, and they spread into the region of old Mesopatamia (modern Iraq).
The Roman army laid waste to Jerusalem in AD 70. The troops were ordered to destroy any relevant documentary evidence. But certain papers remained successfully hidden. The bloodline of David, the Desposyni branches, were hounded first by the Roman Empire and later by the Roman Church. The Church dismissed the Messianic succession in favor of a self-styled clerical alternative.
Mary Magdalene died in AD 63 in southern France. The Roman Church elected to discredit Mary Magdalene in an attempt to exalt her mother-in-law, Mary. When she was descibed as a "sinner" it actually meant that she was a celibate almah undergoing assessment in betrothal. The duplicitous bishops decided that a sinful woman must be a whore and Mary was branded as such. Her fellow migrant, Helena-Salome, was regarded by Peter as a witch. She was a High Priestess of the Order of Ephesus and was entitled to wear the red robe of the hierodulai (sacred women). The Roman Church, however, did not recognize such cardinal status in women, and they too were classified as whores, disparagingly referred to as "scarlet women". Mary Magdalene was a Head Sister of the Nazarite Order, the equivalent of senior bishop.
Jesus' heirs were eclipsed and the bishops were enabled to reinforce their claim to holy authority by means of s self-devised male succession. This was not a Messianic descent from Jesus, as should have been the case. It was a contrived succession from Peter, the headstrong rustic Essene who despised women.
The New Testament as we know it began to take shape in AD 367 when an initial selection of writings was collated by Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria, to be later ratified at the Council of Carthage in AD 397. There were various criteria which governed the selection - the first being that the Gospels must be written in the names of Jesus' own Apostles. But this ruling was disregarded because Mark and Luke were not Apostles. They were later colleagues of Paul. On the other hand, Thomas and Phillip were among the original twelve, but their names were excluded. Not only that, but their Gospels were ordered to be destroyed. These and other books were hidden as a result. Subsequently, the New Testament was subjected to any number of edits and amendments, until the version with which we are now familiar was approved by the extended Council of Trento in Northern Italy as late as 1545-63.
Only in recent times have some of the early manuscripts been unearthed, but the existence of these books have been no secret to historians. Some of them are mentioned in the second-century writings of Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus of Lyon, and Origen of Alexandria.
The New Testament is simply alive with women disciples, but the Roman Church bishops elected to ignore them all. Indeed, the Church was so frightened of women that a rule of celibacy was instituted for its priests, a rule that became a law in 1138. Even though bishops elected to uphold the teachings of Paul, they completely disregarded his directive in his Second Epistle to Timothy (3:2-5) that a bishop should be the husband of one wife and that he should have children, for a man with his own household is better qualified to take care of the Church.
By the time of Bishop Hyginus (from AD 136) there was little or no connection between the Pauline Christians and the Nazarene followers of Jesus' own judaic doctrine. The latter had settled mainly in Mesopotamia, Syria, southern Turkey, and Egypt, apart from the established movements in Britain and Gaul. In the meantime, the Christians of Rome had been constantly suppressed because their beliefs were thought to challenge the traditional divinity of the Caesars.
By the middle of the second century, the original Nazarenes (the followers of Jesus and James) were unpopular not only with the Romans, but were severely harassed by the pauline Christians - particularly by Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon (born in AD 120). He condemned them as heretics for claiming that Jesus was a man and not of divine origin as was ruled by the new faith. In fact, he even declared that Jesus had himself been practicing the wrong religion and that he was personally mistaken in his beliefs! He wrote, "They, like jesus himself, as well as the Essenes and Zadokites of two centuries before, expound upon the prophetic books of the Old Testament. They reject the Pauline epistles, and they reject the Apostle paul, calling him an apostate of the law."
In retaliation, the Nazarenes of the Desposynic Church denounced Paul as a "renegade" and a "false apostle", claiming that his "idolatrous writings" should be "rejected altogether".
In AD 135 Jerusalem was again crushed by Roman armies, this time under Emperor Hadrian, and the surviving jews were scattered. Those who remained in Palestine were content to concern themselves solely with rabbinical law and religion. Meanwhile, the Pauline sect (now quite divorced from judaic origins) was becoming ever more troublesome to the authorities. By the time of Emperor Decius (AD 249) the Christians had become so rebellious that they were proclaimed criminals and their mass persecution began on an official basis.
From AD 312, Constantine became Emperor in the West, ruling jointly with Licinius in the East. By then Christianity had increased its following considerably and was flourishing. It took little imagination for Constantine to realize that, while his Empire was falling apart at the seams, there could be some merit in harnessing Christianity. He perceived it as unifying force that could be used to his advantage.
Constantine was victorious against his rival, Maxentius, and he announced that he had seen a vision of a cross in the sky, accompanied by the words "In this sign I conquer". The Christian leaders were most impressed that a Roman Emperor had ridden to victory under their banner. Constantine summoned the aging Bishop Miltiades. His purpose was to take over the Christian Church in its entirety. Having declared himself an Apostle, Constantine then proclaimed that the Lateran Palace was to be the Bishops' future residence.
Miltiades died in AD 314, and Constantine replaced him with his own choice, his associate Silvester, who became the first Imperial Bishop. He was crowned with great pomp and ceremony, a far cry from the shady back-room proceedings customary to previous Christian ritual. Gone were the days of fear and persecution, but the price for freedom was veneration of the Emperor, precisely what the forebears had struggled hard to avoid. Existing priests were quite simply instructed that their Church was now formally attached to the Empire. It was now the Church of Rome.
At the Council of Arles in Ad 314, Constantine retained his own divine status by introducing the omnipotent God of the Christians as his personal sponsor. He then dealt with the anomalies of doctrine by replacing certain aspects of Christian ritual with the familiar pagan traditions of sun worship, together with other teachings of Syrian and Persian origin. In short, the new religion of the Roman Church was constructed as a hybrid to appease all influential factions. By this means, Constantine looked towards a common and unified world religion (Catholic meaning "Universal") with himself at its head.
Many branches of Christianity were actually far less pagan than the politically contrived Church of Rome. They despised the idols and opulent trappings of the Roman ideal, and they were accordingly outlawed by Imperial decree. There were also those of the Nazarene tradition who upheld the original cause of Jesus rather than the eccentric and embellished teachings of Paul that were expediently misappropriated by Rome. These judaic Christians of the traditional school controlled many of the principle churches of the Near East during the reign of Constantine. Moreover, they were led by none other than the bloodline descendants of Jesus' family: the Desposyni.
In AD 318, a Desposyni delegation journeyed to Rome where the men were given audience by Bishop Silvester. Through their chief spokesman, Joses (a descendant of Jesus' brother Jude), the delegates argued that the Church should rightfuly be centered in Jerusalem, not in Rome. They claimed that the Bishop of Jerusalem should be a true hereditary Desposynos, while the bishops of other major centers should be related. Their demands were in vain because Silvester could not countermand the decrees of the Emperor. The teachings of jesus had been superseded by a doctrine more amenable to Imperial requirement, and Silvester informed the men that the power of salvation rested no longer in Jesus, but in Emperor Constantine.
There was one significant door Constantine had yet to close. After the visit of the Desposyni, he dealt with this very expediently at the council of Nicaea in AD 325. The Pauline Christians had been expecting a Second Coming of their messiah, and so Constantine had to demolish this expectation. The mission of Jesus to throw off Roman dominion had failed because of disunity among sectarian jews. Constantine took advantage of this. At the Council of Nicaea, God was formally defined as Three Persons in One: a deity comprised of Fatheer, Son, and holy Spirit. This bore an uncanny resemblance to the priestly designations used by the Essenes at Qumran.
There were some bishops who opposed this new dogma who averred that Jesus had been created in flesh, but that he himself was not God. The leading spokesman for this faction was an aged Libyan priest of Alexandria named Arius.
The Nicene Creed of the Trinity of God was established as the basis for the new, reformed, orthodox Christian belief. The followers of Arius (thereafter known as Arians) were banished.
The theory of Apostolic Succession was retained, but the candidature was a farce because the bishops of Rome were selected from the Emperor's own nominees.
The Nazarenes were entirely divorced from the fabricated Christianity of the Roman Empire. Their faith had an essentially jewish base rather than any idolatrous entanglement with sun worship or other mystery cults. Their approach to the Trinity was simple: God was God and Jesus was a man - a hereditary human Messiah of the Davidic succession.
There were others who still retained the belief in the divinity of Jesus. In Ad 390 it became known as the Apostles' Creed. A new protagonist emerged in the dispute over the Trinity. He was Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople from Ad 428. He maintained that the argument of whether Jesus was God or the Son of God was totally irrelevant, for it was plain to all that Jesus was a man, born quite naturally of a father and mother. The precept that Mary was a woman just like any other was condemned by the council of Ephesus (Ad 431) and she was venerated thereafter as an intercessor between God and the mortal world. Nestorius was declared a heretic and banished, but soon found himself among friends in Egypt and Turkey, establishing the Nestorian Church at Eedessa in AD 489. It was there that continuing private accounts of the Davidic family sect were confirmed.
The bloodline of Jesus (the Davids) continues this day in Scotland. I did not have space for mention of the Templars or the Cathars or the Inquisition... some other time, perhaps. another time.