Christianity Uncovered - Part 1
Although originally written as a stand alone essay, Christianity Uncovered was slightly reformated for a book. The essay won first place in the SWW 2007 International Christian Writing Competition.
In response to the sentence: "Lilith, on the other hand (for those who recall chapter one of this book), was a cunt, a freethought goddess without original sin, a feminine parallel to nature."
Chapter 1 reference for the above:
"If I were to suggest a single empowering word loaded with expressive power, it would be a word that currently sits atop society's list of negatively charged taboos, a word that females since the Christian Inquisition have been indoctrinated to despise and vilify: that word would be cunt. The English word cunt, which history implies originally had positive connotations and which was even used as a term of endearment during Chaucer's time, appears to have derived from the Germanic kunton. The German prefix ku- simply suggests an unfilled or nonsolid place, whereas the Greek kyklos or ku klux means circle.
Ku, by the way, was also the name for the famous nightclub in Ibiza. To me, dancing is an ecstatic meditation that encourages the centering of one's Ki or Danjun, about 9 cm below the navel. In ancient cultures, before written languages, Ku was used to express gnowledge through femininity and wisdom. Mayan cosmology, for example, suggests that the Ku were the nine interconnected and interacting aspects of creation. In the pre-Aryan cultures of Central Asia, such as that of the Naga, ku- was the prefix of such terms as Kundalini, the "serpentine power of life"; Kunti, who was Arjuna's mother; Kuntis, a people of ancient India; and later, Kuan-Yin, the female logos and unperceived side of the manifested universe.
How did the prefix ku get to Gernany? Like the biblical Abraham, who traveled west from south-central Asia's Pakistan region (Jos 24:2-3), many groups journeyed west. One of these is said to be the Goddess-oriented Tuatha de Danann, the pre-Celtic Light-Bringers, who were known as the fifth group of inhabitants of Ireland. The Tuatha de Danann honored the goddess Danu and appear to have settled for a while in Greece before going north through Germania and then across the English Channel to the Emerald Isle. With them traveled many words and the roots for new ones.
In the Asian homeland of the Tuatha de Danann, there was Kunti Devi, the feminine essence of earth; the mother Kunti; and other personalities, such as Kundah, Cunti, Cunda, etc., suggesting that the root of the term cunt was a title of respect.
Many understand that people's greatest fear is the fear of their own power or light. Without the recognition of the feminine, centrifugal aspect of nature as a unique natural quality of its own, not merely a byproduct of the centripetal male, an enlightened, ontosophical society is impossible. Letting go of indoctrinated taboos and accepting the empowering vibration of words such as cunt, currently regarded as taboo or derogatory, would bring us closer to a birthing of human beingness on this Earth."
In the first century of the Common Era (CE), a traveling sage taught among the people in the Middle East. He performed numerous works and miracles. He healed the lame and the paralyzed, raised the dead, and cast away evil spirits. This prophet taught a way of salvation and the laws of the only true god. This prophet was said to have been born of a virgin, and it was said that he had walked on the Sea of Erythra (the Red Sea). He was esteemed by many as the Son of God, although he claimed to be only a son of man. He was arrested for inciting the people, and after his death, it was alleged that he had risen from the dead, walked with his followers, and then ascended to heaven.
We all know who this was, right? Of course we do. His name was Apollonius, and his story is found in Apollonius of Tyana, by Philostratus. However, some who are predisposed to a particular religion and its theo-beliefs may have thought the person referred to in the above narrative was someone else.
Religion and its theo-beliefs, for those caught up in that groupthink, are difficult to recognize as something discordant in our lives, let alone as a barrier that obscures the truth of who we are from ourselves and prevents the uncovering of our light. Those of religious faith typically cling unquestioningly and tightly to their beliefs, which are usually reinforced through repetition of selected Bible stories, which they come to believe as if they had actually observed them firsthand. These believers have bought into a view that humanity is inherently inferior, yet through religion, their sinful nature can be redeemed if they follow its continually reinterpreted myths. The reward for supporting their legally protected superstition is a promise of eternal life. However, is that really the truth?
If one's roots or foundations are permeated in falsity, then even common sense suggests that one's life will be equally as false. For truth is not an invention, and truth is not a consensus reality born from a fixation with self-authenticating holy books devised by our flat-earth ancestors. Truth is not a thing to be discovered, but a reality to be uncovered. There is no liberation until false beliefs are confronted forthrightly and dissolved.
For me, the undoing of religious barriers and subsequent indubitable spiritual breakthrough came by way of a continuum of the transformational events that are being presented throughout this discourse. The first to occur consciously happened when I was eight years of age, a few days after an irascible cousin announced to the neighborhood that my dad was not my biological father, which I had not known until this paradigm-shifting announcement. This was a traumatic revelation, but it was nothing compared with the words uttered by my third-grade parochial school teacher, Sister Rose Kathleen, later that week. She said, reading from Deuteronomy 23:2 during daily Bible study, "No bastard shall enter the assembly of the Lord, not even to the tenth generation." ("Non ingredietur mamzer hoc est de scorto natus in ecclesiam Domini usque ad decimam generationem."). The newer translated versions of this law, which penalizes children for their parents' indiscretions, smooth out the wording; for example, the New American Bible now says: "No child of an incestuous union," an expedient shift in meaning, considering that finding a nonbastard child today is somewhat like seeing someone who doesn't have a tattoo.
So what does a little child do when they has been denied something, especially being included in the congregation of the Lord? Some pursue it! At least, I did. Therefore, for the next two dozen years, I was a major consumer of religious material, looking for a backdoor into heaven. After all, I felt that I had no choice, for no one, not even God, was going to save a bastard child. I had to find a way to save myself, which is fundamentally contrary to Christian beliefs. The New-Age idea advanced by moderates is that God the Father changed, and now we can be saved through Jesus, the Son. This idea merely fortified my quest for something more changeless, a more enduring truth.
Along that way towards something true and unchanging, I have collected and read fifty-three different translations and versions of the Bible while looking for my loophole to heaven. How amazing it is that so many people believe that there is only one version of the Bible, especially considering the tenets, for example in Matthew 5:18, which suggests that "not one letter shall be changed." Each Abrahamic sect (Christian, Muslim, and Jew) claims that its version is the correct version, just as each says that its god and only its god created the universe, thus insinuating that all other religions are both wrong and incomplete.
There are more than a hundred New Testament versions in English alone, all of which were translated from one of two sources. This first source is called the Textus Receptus, manuscripts from a Byzantine text base. Most of the seventeenth-century King James Version uses this source, with a sprinkling of the Latin Vulgate. The other source is known as the Alexandrian text base, which includes the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus, which were compiled in the fourth century. All original versions have been lost or destroyed. Can you imagine? The literature about the most valuable thing in your life consists of thousands of copies transcribed by thousands of scribes without one original or close-to-original copy left. This is even more suspicious considering what was once conveyed to me by the Religious Studies Department at Montana State University, that of the over 200,000 early manuscripts after the fourth century, no two are identical in content.
Over the years, the persistence of that little eight-year-old paid off, and I uncovered a door, not so much through a study of the texts, but moreso through what remained after I thoroughly reviewed the contents of the texts. Like the Eastern philosophy of neti-neti, that is, understanding what is, through uncovering what is not, what the texts did not say put a different perspective on what they did say. The philosophical nature of neti-neti served as my constant companion.
A religion's set of beliefs stands between you and your direct experience of the source of who we are, a source that is not a personal deity or deita (female gender) outside us. Theism is not even a proper theory. Theism (or a belief in a god) is not a theory in any sense of the term. God is a belief based on faith. Neither faith nor belief rests on logical proof, material evidence, or common sense.
Being a good person of faith in a theo-belief system does not bring one closer to the source. Source is not a patriarch or matriarch who only loves those faithfully obedient to its authority, as proselytized by various self-appointed religious agents who claim to have an exclusive on the moral path to a heaven. Source does not need our love or attention. Only that which sees itself as lacking has needs. Theism, as will be shown clearly, is a human construct, an invented belief system that keeps its faithful followers separated from the reality of source.
Theo-beliefs disengage us from a conscious connection with source reality, a connection that comes through the letting go of theo-beliefs, not the clinging to them. Theo-beliefs do not liberate us from suffering; they contribute to suffering. The realization of our eternal self happens when we realize the illusion of our perceived external self. That which is external, each manifestation of our perceptions, is a simulation or holographic projection. By releasing our bondage to beliefs, our sapiential mind is uncovered and assumes its position as sovereign master of soulestial expression, instead of being always almost satisfied in an existence of diversions to which the ego-and its sciential mind-gives meaning.
Many consider Thomas Paine to be the most eminent of America's founding fathers. He once said,
It has often been said that anything may be proved from the Bible; but before anything can be admitted as proved by the Bible, the Bible itself must be proved to be true; for if the Bible be not true, or the truth of it be doubtful, it ceases to have authority and cannot be admitted as proof of anything.
However, only in recent centuries have we begun to discern the holy books of our theo-belief systems critically, rather than deliberating on them solely for display and devotion. Devotional reading is not Bible study. Bible study is engaging in the activity of asking the same questions that we normally ask of other books. We commonly inquire: Who wrote this? When was it written? Why was it written? Where was it written? For what purpose was it written? Many of us ask ourselves these questions every time we pick up a secular book. However, such questioning, especially in an environment of hope, fear, and faith-driven moderatism or conservatism, is viewed as a threat.
Muslims, for example, unquestioningly accept the Shahada, that is, that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger. To understand the dynamics of that, simply ask a Muslim why he believes in the Qur'an, and he will say, "Because the Qur'an is the infallible words of Allah written by his prophet Muhammad." If you continue the inquiry and request that he divulge how he knows that Muhammad is Allah's prophet, the Muslim will, without the slightest pondering, respond that he knows that Muhammad is Allah's prophet because it says so right in the Qur'an. This is a faith-driven circular reasoning common to all three Abrahamic religions and their hundreds of denominations.
Today's Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all sprang from the same germ: the story of Abraham, an Aryan migrant, who was probably from south central Asia in what is now Pakistan (see Jos. 24:2-3). Abraham (meaning multitude) appears to have fancied himself as Brahma (the root meaning of which is to expand). The similarities between Abraham and Brahma, the Hindu god born from Vishnu's navel, are striking. For example, Brahma's consort was his sister Sara, and Abraham's wife was his sister Sarah (Gen. 20:12). It was through Sarah's mendacity that Abraham's first son, Ishmael, father of the Arabs, was swindled out of his inheritance, a fraud being perpetuated today by Sarah's descendants upon the Palestinian people.
Muhammad (570-632 CE), the Abrahamic teacher who, prompted by persecutions upon Arabs, such as those continued by Pope Gregory (540-604 CE), the Father of the Dark Ages, invented the Arab version of monotheism. Interestingly, this new religion supplied the pedophile prophet with many attractive wives, the youngest of whom was a nine-year-old. However, as I don't wish to be detained by the Mutawa-the Islamic religious police-and I don't fancy having a fatwa issued regarding me as it was for Salman Rushdie, perhaps readers here can unravel for themselves the Qur'an's self-authenticating meaning, and I'll unriddle Christianity. For when Christianity falls, and it will, the other Abrahamic religions will soon follow.
Let's broach this subject with a question. Who is the most important figure in what is commonly known as Christianity? If you use the same answer that most may have thought in the beginning of this third chapter, then we have a lot of work to do on these beliefs. Also, keep in mind as this subject begins that the terms Christ and Christian, as will be shown, were used hundreds of years before the Common Era. Thus I often refer to the Christianity alluded to in the New Testament as neo-Christianity. Neo-Christianity (today's Christianity) is synonymous with Orthodox Christianity. Orthodoxy literally means "a growing belief or opinion."
The most important figure in what Westerners understand as Christianity was the mass murderer, Saul/Paul of Tarsus. According to eminent theologians, such as Robert Eisenman, the Essenes called this self-ordained apostle of the Gentiles "the Spouter of Lies." Among scholars, the Biblical Jesus/Yeshua usually appears in about the fourteenth place in importance. Was he an actual historical figure? Even Paul did not appear to believe that Jesus was an historical figure; for example, see Hebrews 8:4. That is to say, Paul never identified Jesus apart from an entirely mystical setting. Without Paul and several other Church fathers and aristocrats, Christianity, as known today, would not exist.
Today's Christianity, including Catholicism and every other religious sect that uses, in whole or in part, the so-called Christian Scripture, was woven from a hybrid of Pauline doctrines, a few historical facts, and various fabrications. Several early Christ sects, for example, the Sevrians, Encratites, Ebonites, Naassenes, Nazarenes, etc., rejected Paul's epistles. Strictly speaking, Catholics do not consider themselves Christians. In the 1970s, I raised the point of Catholics' not being Christians with Vatican officials in reference to Gentiles, specifically Matthew 10:5 and Acts 10:28: that they cannot personally know Jesus.
The Vatican replied that the Roman Catholic Church is not a Christian church, but the "One, True, Apostolic Church" and as such, can legitimately know Jesus through the apostles. In other words, technically speaking, only Jews can be Orthodox Christians.
That Orthodox Church, which formed as an offshoot of Paul's ministry, had no gospels that referenced an historical Jesus. The canonical gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) were contrived later, three of them no earlier than the second century. All tacitly supported the myths espoused by Paul. The Pauline letters or epistles presented no knowledge of the four canonical gospels. Even in the Dead Sea Scrolls, compiled when today's Christianity was allegedly taking form, an historical Jesus is literally missing, as it was from all other pre-95 CE records. What does this mean? How did this neo-Christianity crop up, apparently without a personal founder, and then claim that a personal founder existed? The answer is not very difficult; it even has some interesting twists.
There remains sufficient evidence to discern the deliberate fabrication perpetrated by the early neo-Christian movement for the idea of a Christ and a new belief system that benefited its creators' agendas. People such as Theophilus, the patron saint of arson, and various Christian mobs did their best to destroy as much of the preserved wisdom as they could. Like today's fundamentalists, the early neo-Christians had little tolerance for anything not within the narrow predetermined view of the zealous pre-Nicene Church fathers.
The prototype of a personified Christ was developed by Paul's followers and aristocratic admirers from the Talmud stories of Yeshua Ben Stada, the locally notorious Yeshua [Jesus] the Notzri [Nazarite]. This Jesus, born in 7 BCE during a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, had a stepfather known as Joseph and a mother named Mary. On the eve of Passover in 28 CE, he was convicted of sedition by Pontius Pilate and subsequently hanged. His hanging was not the planned means of death, but proceeded because those who were to stone him were late. Since the end of the day was near, which would have postponed his burial until after Passover, the soldiers allowed the alternative death by hanging. Following his death, his followers dubbed him the Passover Lamb.
A Nazarite or Notzri, meaning consecrated, was a Jew who took the ascetic vow described in Numbers 6:1-21. Among famous Nazarites was James the Just, whom the Ebionites revered as the legitimate apostolic successor of the Nazarites. Jesus the Nazarite (not of Nazareth or Galilee) is probably the same Jesus whose sayings were collected by Didymos Judas Thomas in the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas. This Gnostic or cardio-centric gospel of "secret sayings that the living Jesus spoke" appears to have been compiled in response to Paul's new cerebro-centric religion. Both the Gospel of Thomas and the Epistles of Paul predate the canonical gospels by at least a generation. Neither the Gospel of Thomas nor the Q source contained a crucifixion, the concept of Jesus dying for the sins of others; a resurrection; or a personified Christ. Thus they conveyed nothing that would support the divinity of Jesus, which later became one of the core beliefs of the new Christianity.
The story of present-day Christianity is part of a larger mythology. The evidence suggests that the actual principle of Christ grew out of Memphite philosophy-literally, the Krst, the anointed ones, like the Risen Horus/Apis. Then in the fifth century BCE, the word Christos, referring to an "awakened one," crept into Greek subculture, and this word can be found in the works of classical writers, such as Aeschylus and Herodotus, the father of history. Curiously, this was the same time in which Siddhartha Buddha, the light of Asia, realized that religion is a man-made fabrication and a direct result or consequence of the desire for things to be other than what they are. According to recent research, many ideas in the New Testament were lifted from Buddhism.
In the third century BCE, through Ptolemy Soter, a lover of all things Egyptian, a bearded, long-haired Greek image was merged with Egypt's mystical Krst philosophy. This image, Sarapis, would become Christendom's representative portrait of their Jesus/Yeshua. If there was an historical Jesus/Yeshua as presented in the gospels, he would have had short hair and a close-cut beard, as was the custom of the Jews and the command of Paul. For example, 1 Cor. 11:14 suggests that long hair brings shame to a man. More similar to the Sarapis model was the link that Jesus/Yeshua was a Nazarite, like the Old Testament Samson. Members of the religious sect of Nazarites were said not to cut their hair. In addition to their unkempt hair, the Nazarites also vowed to abstain from the manufacture or consumption of intoxicating beverages and from contact with the sick or corpses. Jesus/Yeshua being a Nazarite does not harmonize well with certain fabricated gospel tales, such as the ritual consumption of wine and the raising of the sick and dead, which were woven into the canonized version of the myth. This reminds me of the fanciful story of Mason Weems, invented after the death of George Washington, about George Washington and the cherry tree. Weems fabricated this story to broaden the character of America's first president and to make him seem more appealing.
The Jesus Christ myth was interwoven from many sources, including the Egypto-Greek Sarapis, whose devotees, according to Hadrian, called themselves Christians and bishops of Christ. Sarapians had temples in most of the major cities of the time, including Alexandria, Rome, and even Bithynia, where Pliny the Younger was governor at the beginning of the second century CE. Under Trajan (who was married to Pompeia Piso), Hadrian was governor of Syria. As every Bible hobbyist should know, as per Matthew 4:24, Jesus' fame was said to reach throughout all of Syria, yet the evidence shows that no one there knew Jesus' followers as Christians until well into the second century. Why was that?
Gnosticism, the original form of Christianity, arose from a Greco-Egyptian philosophical fusion, as mentioned above. Gnosticism was an important part of the neo-Christian construct. Gnosis was not an outgrowth of neo-Christianity, as revisionists suggest. Today's Christian persuasions are a product of Gnostic Christianity, not the other way around. We could say that Christianity was built on the DNA of Gnosticism. This neo-Christian fabrication from Gnosis and Krst, from gnowledge and the Anointed One, can also be substantiated through the Book of Enoch, from which over a hundred phrases were introduced into the New Testament. Enoch was written before 170 BCE, and several Aramaic copies were purportedly found among the Dead Sea fragments of the Gnostic gospels from Qumran. These Gnostics, from the time of the Julian clan of emperors, maintained that Christ was not a man in human form, as claimed in the gospels, but an individual goal of an initiate to realize a Christ Consciousness, the Logos. The Logos represents a mystical rebirth without sexual union, an awakening to a reality beyond duality, a palingenesis from the dream of perception. Duality is inherently a sexual reality, in which consciousness is fragmented. Christ Consciousness is an unfragmented consciousness, in which there is neither hope nor fear. The Jesus as defined in the gospels could not have been a Christ.
Neither Paul nor his followers could grasp gnosis, that is, to gnow themselves through the heart of essence. Like many today, frozen in their conceptual experiences, Paul needed a more physical, hope-driven, fear-based path. The ignorant respond to hope and fear. Thus, from the expectations infused through the Pauline church, the concept of a personified Christ grew and entered the groupthink of the anti-Gnostic Paulines and those, like the Roman aristocrats, who wished to exploit it.
Before 95 CE, when history suggests that Apollonius died and rose from the dead, there is no mention of a personified Christ or the four gospels. There is no known contemporary scriptural record of the life and times of Jesus/Yeshua. For neo-Christians, so fond of quoting Bible babble, what wasn't said in the first century that which is curiously missing, is as interesting as the fabrications and contradictions of what was said then. For example, in the writings of Clement Romanus, the Pauline bishop of Rome circa 95 CE, there is not even a tinge of gospel references. Yet Luke 1:1-2 specifically implies that many eyewitness followers had already been writing. Adding to the intrigue, Clement, whom Tertullian and Jerome suggest was the direct successor of Peter, was also said to be a Flavian, that is, a relative of the men who were then the emperors of the Rome.
Sciolistic Christians vaunt that the historian Josephus, in two remarks that have been taken out of context, verifies that Jesus/Yeshua existed. Today, however, even conservative scholars agree that those quotations from chapters 18 and 20 of the Jewish Antiquities, a history of the Jews, were later Christian interpolations. Such conclusions are consistent with Origen, an ante-Nicene father, who in the third century CE indicated that such a declaration from Josephus of a Jesus Christ did not exist in his copy of the Jewish Antiquities. Furthermore, no one else before the fourth century CE ever mentioned such an important reference from this often-cited source. Another claim by neo-Christians as to Jesus Christ's historicity comes fromTacitus' Annals 15.44, the comment of how Emperor Nero persecuted Christians after Rome's fire of 64 CE was actually about Gnostic Christians, worshipers of Sarapis, not followers of Jesus or Paul. It was these Christians, the original Christians, whom the author of the second-century Gospel of Matthew called false Christians. Neo-Christians appropriated the name Christianity, as they lifted terms from most of the cultures that they absorbed.
Considering a set of all knowledge for that period, not a single Jewish, Roman, or Greek historian, scribe, or writer mentions before 95 CE the Jesus Christ depicted in the gospels. There are no artifacts, no works of carpentry, and no physical evidence that a Jesus Christ ever existed. For such a famous person, professed to have been known far and wide, it is notable that there is not a single word of him from Pliny the Elder, Seneca, Gaius Petronius, the Syrian Mara, Philo Judaeus, Pausanias (who traveled throughout Syria), Theon of Smyrna, Thallus of Samaria, Silius (Consul of Asia Minor), or the Syrian-born Lucianus.
However, the word scribe(s) is mentioned at least sixty-six times in the New Testament. Thus, repeatedly, what was not mentioned says much regarding the history of the invention of present-day Christianity. For instance, why was the capital of Galilee, Sepphoris, known as the ornament of Galilee, just four miles down the hill from the archeological site of Nazareth, not alluded to in the Gospels, although they all mention Nazareth? Could it be that the authors of the gospels were unaware that the city existed because Rome leveled it during the Jewish Revolt of 66-71 CE, some forty years after the Talmud's Jesus was hanged for sedition? It is unlikely that Nazarites lived in Galilee, but were instead Jerusalemites.
So far, I have presented an abridged review of what was not said. Now comes a summary of what was disclosed: the refashioning of Gnostic mythology into a religion that advocated slavery, dependency, ignorance, and submissive obedience. This new religion was never a threat to Rome, but rather, it was one through which its adherents, servants of Rome's ruling class, were morally obligated to suffer meekly what Caesar wished or, as Titus 2:9 says, to please their masters in all things. Christianity is a pro-Roman religion. Did not Paul say that Roman magistrates were only a threat to evildoers or that the man who rebels against his master is opposing God's will? What Roman would want to persecute the philosophy that said that tax collectors are God's ministers (Romans 13:6)? It was the Jewish zealots and Gnostic Christians who threatened Rome, not the anti-Gnostic Paulines and neo-Christians.
The first canonical gospel, the Gospel According to Mark, began to appear in Rome after 95 CE; however, it was probably drafted following the First Jewish Revolt (70 CE). Contrary to allegations of Papias, as reported by Eusebius in the fourth century, this gospel is clearly Roman in origin and intention. Besides the use of Latin-rooted words not found in other canonical texts, it also does not refer to Jewish law. Authorship points to members of the aristocratic Piso family, who according to genealogists were descendants of Herod the Great and intermarried with the Flavians. These members of the Piso family were the forefathers of Marcus Aurelius, Constantine, and Charlemagne. The Pisos had strong ties to Syria in the first and second centuries, when anti-slavery sentiments began to grow from the First Jewish Revolt. They had firm reasons to introduce a new theo-ideology that encouraged passive servility, thereby suppressing another costly servile war similar to the Spartacus slave insurrection. The womb of the birth of Christianity was Rome, not Judea. The Gospel According to Mark was unknown before 95 CE apparently because of a contention between the Pisos and the Emperor Domitian, who ruled between 81 and 96 CE.
Following Mark came the Gospel According to Matthew, which was probably compiled by Ignatius, a Pauline bishop of Antioch, a town in Syria, about 102 CE. Ignatius appears to have harmonized his gospel using some six hundred of Mark's 661 verses. Considering the numerous references to money, he may have also used the Ebionites' Hebrew Gospel of Matthew as a source, the writer of which was said to have been a tax collector. Other players in Ignatius' story include the Gospel of Thomas, the Gnostic text of sayings, which may have been a source for the Hebrew Matthew. Like the Gospel of Thomas, the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew is purported not to have contained a virgin birth or resurrection story. Then, along with oral traditions, the copyist of the canonized Matthew comported his story with the Old Covenant, contriving citations that verified scriptural prophecy to address various questions of the times. To me, his genealogy is more amusing than reconciling. For instance, of the four women mentioned, Ruth was repurchased, Tamar was a prostitute, Rahab was a harlot, and Bath-Sheba was an adulteress. I recall pondering whether the Biblical Jesus/Yeshua was a bastard like me. Matthew's encouragement of sexlessness is also amusing; for example Mt. 19:12 suggests that blessed is the man who has been castrated, but even more blessed is he who cuts it off himself.
In the 1980s, a biennial gathering of Biblical scholars called the Jesus Seminar concluded that only the word father could be traced to Matthew's so-called Sermon on the Mount. The greater part of the sermon consisted of words placed in Jesus' mouth by others long after he was dead. During that same period in the 1980s, over a hundred Bible scholars at another seminar agreed that Jesus never promised to return and that he never had any intention of starting a religion. Commenting on these scholars' conclusions, the Jesuit Rev. Edward Beutner said, "These are not maverick scholars; they take a very careful approach to how sayings were transmitted and evolved in the Bible texts."
Unlike the Epistles of Paul or the Gospel According to Mark, which say nothing about Jesus/Yeshua's birth, the Gospel According to Matthew and the Gospel According to Luke, which followed Matthew, constructed the virgin birth in their attempt to corroborate that their Jesus/Yeshua fulfilled Jewish prophecies about a messiah, for example Isaiah 7:14, Hosea 11:1, Micah 5:2, and Luke 24:24.
The third of the synoptic gospels is my favorite. The Lucan discourses, that is, Luke and Acts, were probably authored by a well-educated, effeminate physician from Greece during the second century. These books, having the most extensive vocabulary of any in the New Testament, were obviously written through a healer's eyes, but also from the point of view of an effeminate or homosexual life. Luke is a girl's gospel; Luke is the only Biblical author to describe women's inner life. There are women everywhere in Luke-Elizabeth, Herodias, Anna, Mary, Joanna, Susanna, Jairus' daughter, the Queen of the South, the Widow of Nain, Simon's mother-in-law, the crippled woman, a hemorrhaging woman, the widow of Zarephath, women who prepare spices, women in parables, a wailing woman, women grinding grain, and at least five women at the tomb.
Although Luke and Matthew both use Mark as a source, and the author of Luke probably read Matthew's compilation while in Antioch, these two evangelists' accounts contradict each other in many ways. To name an example:
Matthew 1:16 Joseph's father was Jacob.
Luke 3:23 Joseph's father was Heli.
According to the theory of the virgin birth, Joseph was not the father of Jesus, so who cares whether Joseph was a descendant of King David? Some Christian priests would have their faithful believe that the Luke genealogy was of Mary, that Heli was Mary's father; however, Luke 3:23-24 actually negates such a claim.
Matthew 1:20 An angel appears to Joseph.
Luke 1:38 An angel appears to Mary.
Matthew 2:11 Jesus was born in a house.
Luke 2:7 Jesus was born in a manger.
Matthew 2:14 Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Egypt.
Luke 2:22 Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem.
Most Christmas season reenactments use Luke's manger, but Matthew's escape to Egypt.
Matthew 28:2 An angel
Luke 24:4 Two men in dazzling garments
John was the last of the canonical gospels. Theophilus of Antioch appears to be the first person to mention its existence as a gospel (during the later half of the second century). However, the Rylands Papyrus, which could be part of a copy of John, has been paleographically dated to 150 CE, fifteen years after the Bar Cochba revolt. John's gospel resonates more with the Jesus of the Talmud than the Jesus in the synoptic gospels. For example, John has his Jesus dying on the eve of Passover, as the slaughtered lamb, not following the Passover meal as the Jesus of Matthew and Luke. Actually the documentation of the time points to the so-called crucifixion as actually a fabricated cruci-fiction, invented along with the resurrection story after 95 CE. Rabbinic law called for criminals to be stoned, not to undergo a Roman-style crucifixion, although hanging was acceptable for lesser offenses. Jesus was killed "by hanging him on a tree" (Acts 5:30 & 10:39); Jesus was "hung on a tree" Galatians 3:13; his "body [was] on the tree" 1 Peter 2:24.
The so-called Evangelist John and the John who authored of the Book of Revelation were surely two different persons. Unlike the Gospel According to John, written in traditional Greek style, the Apocalypse (Revelation) is characteristically Semitic. The Apocalypse is said to have been written while John was in exile on Patmos, one of the Dodecanese Islands about a hundred kilometers southwest of the city of Ephesus.
Although evidence shows that the New Testament is a subterfuge of zealously crafted myths, letters, and sayings, the last entry is somewhat different. The Apocalypse or Revelation of John reportedly was admitted into the canon of the New Testament in the late fourth century by one vote. That one vote margin of acceptance is said to have been attained only after the addition of the first three verses, which is quite humorous, considering that the last verses of Revelation say, "No man shall add unto these pages."
The Apocalypse might be considered a quite informative, multilayered prophetic disclosure. That is not to say that the Apocalypse predicts future calamities for humanity, but rather appears to reveal intrahuman animating principles written through subconscious symbolism, woven together with the messianic events associated with the forty-two-month Bar Cochba revolt. The Bar Cochba revolt occurred circa 135 CE, when Jewish towns and temples became Gentile, as per Rev. 11:2 & 13:5.
Coming to terms with the Apocalypse or the Book of Revelation was one of my tremendums or direct transformational experiences that dissolved another layer of beliefs into which I had been indoctrinated during childhood. I came to terms with that book in Bozeman, Montana, in 1983 after a discussion on anti-Christs and the predictions of apocalyptic catastrophes with a friend, who had been traumatized by a group of Russellites. Russellites are followers of Charles Taze Russell, who like to be called Jehovah's Witnesses. I was saddened by being unable to answer her questions, so in my empathy, I withdrew to a windowless bathroom and cried. Then, as my supplication diminished into surrender, I realized that the story of John's Revelation was dreamlike in composition.
Normally, to decipher one's own dreams is formidable enough, yet interpreting the vision of this eighteen-hundred-year-ago dead guy was not that difficult. I simply put myself in his sandals, that is, into the first half of the second century CE, when Ephesus was the capital of the Roman province of Asia Minor, which historians say was founded by Ionian settlers in the eleventh century BCE.
As a center of mysticism, Ephesus was famous for its great metaphysical colleges, where Gnostic and Platonic philosophies like the Logos were expounded and where priests at the Temple of Diana were said to recite the mystic words Aki Kataki Haix Tetrax Damnameneus Aision. Even Apollonius of Tyana, the ardent Pythagorean, had an esoteric school in cosmopolitan Ephesus. One could imagine this city as something like present-day New-Age towns of Sedona, Santa Fe, or Tepoztlan, where a variety of philosophies converge, but in Ephesus, perhaps this occurred on a grander scale.
Serpent or Kundalini worship is prevalent in the records of the era. There were Naasenians, a serpent-worshipping Gnostic sect, the Ophis-Christos, the Serpent Christ, the Nabians and Nabatheans, a sect almost identical with the Sabeans, whose secret rite of baptism, according to the 1918 Theosophical Glossary, was taught by the Buddhist Boodhasp. In fact, Buddhists and Nagas, or Tibeto-Burmese wise men, had already been traveling into the area for a few hundred years along the Egypt-India trade route.
Naga, meaning wise serpent, is one of the few words that span both centuries and continents. For instance, Nargals were Chaldean chiefs of the Magi, and Naguals were and are brujos of some tribes of Mexican Indians, dating back at least to Quetzlcoatl, the Plumed Serpent. The Nagualist community, at least until a few years ago, had an annual gathering at Lake Catemaca, where intimate discussions of duality's multifaceted reality were held.
Ephesus was indeed a happening place. John must have had a grand time there. At least he probably did before the ante-Nicene Fathers may have instigated his arrest and exile. Polycarp of Smyrna and perhaps Irenaeus were irritated by any dialogues with Gnostic sages or spiritual travelers, like the Buddhists or Tantrics. Just imagine the likes of today's faith-driven evangelists hearing of John learning how to raise Kundalini, unsealing the chakras, and discussing the old-style spiritual vortices count. The Kundalini vortices were described as petaled flowers. In the old-style, the first six chakra flowers, or energy wheels, had petals that added up to one hundred and forty-four. When those were combined with the thousand-petal lotus of the crown chakra, it was endearingly called the 144,000, a number known to readers of the Bible as the number of the elect (those who shall be saved because their names are written in the Book of Life).
Once the circumstances of John's life before the Revelation narrative can be seen, the Apocalypse is no longer viewed as a scripture of eschatology (end times). When viewed as a dream-inspired discourse, the clarity of the symbolism, interlaced with the ominous Bar Cochba period, the Book of Revelation is a guide for personal awakening through the Tantric practice of Kundalini.
In the Kundalini model of Revelation, the seven churches denote the seven chakras that are associated with the seven human endocrine glands. The seven seals, angels, candlesticks, head and crown, lamps, mountains, spirits, etc., have to do with the various levels in our continuum of awakening. In Tantric philosophy, the chakras are commonly discussed as being sealed or unopened. The mark of the beast represents the ego expressing itself through the physicalness of the hands or the mental activity of the forehead. This is to say, 666 on the hands symbolizes a physical self-centeredness, whereas the 666 on the forehead symbolizes a mental self-absorption. These are common Buddhist/Gnostic ideas, filtered through dream metaphor. If the ante-Nicene or subsequent church fathers had any idea of the Gnostic nature of John's vatical writing, it would have been consigned to the flames, like the other compositions that they felt threatened their neo-Christian viewpoints.
Any relationship of the Book of Revelation with an anti-Christ is in regards to those like Bar Cochba, the Jews' messiah and "prince of Israel," whom the new Christian leadership rejected as the their "messiah returned." To the neo-Christian leadership at the time, Bar Cochba was an anti-Christ. As for the false Christ of Matthew 24:24, that, as noted above, seems to be in connection with the Gnostic Christ, whose followers Hadrian (71-138 CE) called "bishops of Christ" in his letter to the Consul Servianus. A false Christ or anti-Christ was anyone at that time not chained to the new orthodoxy. Where and when the author of the Gospel According to John has his Jesus say, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except by me" is in response to the Bar Cochba period.
The Gospel According to John commences with, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He [Jesus] was with God in the beginning." Although some argue that this was a later, fourth century interpolation, the idea of the Word or Logos is not a Christian conception. The Western idea of Logos can be found among the fifth century BCE writings of Heraclitus of Ephesus. At the time of the Jewish Messiah's revolt (132 -135 CE), Buddhists were known to be traveling the region, and those visitors would surely have been queried about the Logos or inherent order in the universe. In response, they would have presented the principle of Sabda, the Unmanifested Logos. Pinda Kacha, Sabda Sacha - the Body is Perishable, the Word is Eternal. From a different perspective, the Hindu, in accordance with Sabda Brahman, would say, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Brahman, and the Word was Brahman." Or the Tibetans of the time may have said, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Padmapani (the first divine ancestor of the Tibetans), and the Word (the Unmanifested) was with Padmapani (the manifested). The author of John however, wanted his Jesus, his messiah, to be the first manifested from the Unmanifested, so that his fellow faithful would not follow the followers of Simon Bar Cochba, the Prince of Israel.
In addition to the influences of Eastern and the Greco-Egyptian Sarapic philosophies, neo-Christianity integrated other cults into its new myth as well, just as Romans meshed the beliefs of those they subjugated. The Christmas story, for instance, is closely related to Mithraism, which Plutarch said was practiced in Asia Minor during the first century BCE. Mithras, who was also called Chrestos, was born of a virgin in a cave at the winter solstice, and his birth was celebrated during the festival of Dies Natalis Solis Invictos. The tradition of giving Christmas gifts appears to have been partially adapted from the Pasque Epiphany, the goddess cult of Bari. On the other hand, Easter and the resurrection story are another neo-Christian modification, in this case an appropriation of the spring Eostar celebration of the death of Attis, who, three days following Black Friday, was resurrected. Attis, the savior, was often represented with a shepherd's staff. One traditional theme of the Attis cult is said to have been "as our Lord was saved, so we shall be saved." Salvation is, ironically, a belief that leads to disempowerment because it places the idea of redemption outside the self.
The cult of Attis, whose priests were called Gallaens, strongly influenced the invention of modern Christianity. In fact, the Vatican, named for mons vaticanus or Vatican Hill, which antedates Christianity, was the place of worship of Cybele, and her fertility rites with her youthful lover Attis were performed on Vatican Hill. In other words, Vatican City sits atop the most sacred place of the Phrygian religion.
Today's Christianity, the Christianity founded in the second century CE, did not arise from the teachings of an historic Jesus/Yeshua. In fact, many contemporary scholars suggest that the majority of the words attributed to Jesus/Yeshua in the gospels could not possibly have been said by him, even if he did exist. Neo-Christianity was formed through the schemes of Roman aristocrats, along with the ante-Nicene and latter Church fathers, who rejected gnowledge, Gnothi Seauton, that is, to "gnow thyself." Instead, they opted for a conditional cerebral process dependent upon, and serving, the human ego, that is, to "know thyself". The salvation cults that make up neo-Christianity, whose hideous cross became their symbol in the third century CE, was designed to perpetuate control of the masses. Christianity is a religion that separates us from our direct experience with the source of who we are. Christianity is a religion contrary to gnosis and understanding through sapience, in that it neither contains, nor points to authentic love, through which our true mystery is understood.Filed under: Religion
Login / Join