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Historicity Of Jesus
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->domain of man:

The early Ptolemies certainly took an interest in Judaism, and this resulted in the Septuagint being produced early in that era. They did associate Jehovah with their Zeus and perhaps Jove (Jupiter/Iapeter?) as you suggest. But these associations would not have been new I think to that time.

<b>All of the former gods were not replaced in Judaism and Jerusalem so much as they had been sanitized. Their presence is embedded throughout the Old Testament writings. </b>But eventually the ability to recognize allusions in Scripture to the pagan pantheon was lost.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The first Biblical episode that we have any hope of investigating archeologically is the exodus from Egypt led by Moses, which culminated in the conquest of Canaan by his successor Joshua. This story of large-scale conquest should be apparent in the archaeological record as the point where Canaanite culture, dominant since Abraham, was replaced by the Israelite culture of Moses' followers. This is convenient, because another mystery of the Bible is intricately tied up with Moses: this is the divine name, "Yahweh", which he was the first to learn. Etymologically, it is a mystery, with no grammatically obvious meaning in Hebrew. Even the early Israelites seem to have regarded it as something of a mystery, as is apparent from the first encounter between Moses and his newly discovered deity:

<i>    But Moses said to God, 'If I come to the Israelites and say to them, "The God of your ancestors has sent me to you", and they ask me, "What is his name?" what shall I say to them?' God said to Moses, 'I am who I am.' (Exodus 3:13)</i>

As many Biblical translators have pointed out, "I am who I am" is simply an idiomatic way of saying, "Do not concern yourself with who I am." This verse seems to reflect a genuine confusion among the Israelites as to the identity of their deity named Yahweh. This would make perfect sense if the Israelites were indeed originally Canaanites, since Yahweh was not one the gods of Canaan. In that case, we are left with the conclusion that Yahweh was a new god, perhaps a foreign god. So how did Yahweh become the main name of the Israelite God? Dever has interesting answers to both these questions.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->yahoo group JM
David Newby's theory of Christianity


Is this a valid summary of your introduction to your theory:

1. Christianity is the end product of an Empire wide
activity to construct a single religion.
2. The activity began after Alexander but before the first

<b>3. The Theraputae were part of this activity.</b>

4. When the Romans took over from Alexanders generals they
adopted this approach and Julias Caesar declared himself
to be the high priest of that religion.

5. Mystery cultists around the empire were awaiting a
Messiah and when Jesus was propagandized as a real
Messiah who had already come the cultists were easily

6. More to come...

Jesus Christ was the first attempt to fashion a sage in the West; that is, a Sage on the order of a Buddha or a Lao Tzu. But because the western ethics is a dialectical process, the result was an iconoclastic anti-tradition. Apollonius' influences were too obviously Buddhistic and Eastern and thus needed to be superceded. We know that Buddhism traveled West as well and situated itself in Alexandria as the Therapeuts (Theravada) but the record had been maliciously (or necessarily) erased. The expansive ways of heathen knowledge and culture became entrapped in the ideology-laden bickering of Religion.

Just as the sword Sikhi arm of the Hindus was sabotaged by the British by imparting a veneer of Monotheism and Martial Race theory, the Phoenician sword arm was sabotaged by the Greco-Romans through the manufacture of a false monotheistic and linear history as well as a Chosen Race dialectic.

<i>    First of all, we have no religion in India and even philosophy, as the West knows it,
    is absent. But what we have is something different. We have experience. We have
    reflection on experience. We ask a different set of questions to what the Western
    philosopher asks. Experience, in occidental philosophy, is confused with sensations,
    or emotions, or feelings, or thoughts. But experience is actually all of this. It is not
    identical to any of these. It is what we call anubhava, which roughly translates
    as“having an appropriate way of being in the world”. This knowledge that Indians
    have developed over the last 3,000 years belongs to all humankind…</i>

The Upanishads give us the best examples of experience and reflection thereupon. The Bhriguvalli for example, gives us a glimpse into how a student was taught: learning by experience. The student graduates to successively higher stages of experience till he expounds the knowledge he has gained from each experience. <b>At best, Western philosophy is a series of feats in logic. </b>

Excellent post. I have ordered Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy by Chandradhar Sharma and am waiting to read it. In western universities too, the Upanishads are taught only through translations by westerners, as if Indians have no clue about it.

<b>Socrates had this method called dialectics, in which was a technique for enquiry. </b>This dialogue was meant to force people to think critically, to confront illogical, inconsistent dogmatic assertions and express their ideas clearly. This method forced the student to be an active participant in acquiring ideals and values. Through relentless cross examination, Socrates forced the students to examine their opinion rationally amd make the knowledge part of one’s being. This would be like the viva voce we have in our exams. Then as you said, this is a feat in logic and not in experience.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->> As an independent researcher into the Jesus Mysteries, I have read
>a broad spectrum of subjects and authors, both old and new. I would
>like to share with the forum, a segment from the introduction to
>Kamal Salibi's 'Who was Jesus: A Conspiracy in Jerusalem?' which I
>feel succinctly describes the process that I have used in my studies.
>I am not a certified historian, and most assuredly not a scholar in
>biblical languages, or the Bible as through seminary or priestly
>training. That said, Salibi describes the research process better
>than I have ever seen it written --
> "I am not a specialist in New Testament scholarship, but a teacher
>and historian with some experience in research. In our discipline, we
>are trained to read texts, sentence by sentence and word by word, to
>determine exactly what they say and imply. When we want to research a
>particular subject, the first thing we do is read the basic texts in
>this way. Then we begin to make preliminary assumptions, visualizing
>different possibilities and trying to relate them to one another, to
>discover which ones fit together best. Next, we form a hypothesis: a
>proposition or set of propositions which are provisional and help to
>guide us in our investigation. To discover whether or not our
>hypothesis is valid, we proceed to search for evidence that may
>support it. If we fail to find such evidence, we drop the hypothesis
>and try another.
> "If all the hypotheses we can think of fail, we give up the search
>and turn to another subject. On the other hand, if we do find enough
>evidence to support a given hypothesis, no matter how absurd it may
>seem at first glance, we go ahead and examine and cross-examine this
>evidence until we are satisfied with its accuracy. We then move
>further forward to develop our hypothesis into a theory: a coherent
>explanation for our findings which stands to reason, but whose status
>is still conjectural -- that is to say, no more than that of an
>informed and logical guess.
> "By its very nature, our discipline cannot be entirely free from
>speculation in providing interpretions of past situations and
>events. . ."
> And here is where the fight begins. In studying the events
>surrounding the Jesus story and events leading up to the revolt, I
>have read many modern scholars (Eisenman, Golb, Silverburg, Maccoby,
>etc.) I have also read the Dead Sea Scrolls translated,the Nag
>Hammadi library, numerous books on the Gnostics, ancient magic, pagan
>religions, The Twelve Caesars, Eusibius, and I have looked into the
>ancient histories of much of the Middle Eastern lands. I am of the
>firm conviction that Christianity was not a particulary unique idea
>until the assignment of the awaited messiah was placed on a dead man
>whose body supposedly disappeared. <b>This variance is, in my
>estimation, what marked the distinction between the pagan religions
>forever awaiting a messiah, and the altered belief system into the
>one that said this messiah had already come and that he would be the
>last. </b>By the accceptance of this doctrine, the forever awaiting the
>messiah syndrome was effectively quashed over the centuries, but its
>immediate effect was felt in Rome, whose leaders had its hands full
>from time to time with the appearances of presumed messiahs leading
>and sparking revolts. I agree with the scholars who suggest that the
>Last Days/End Times so corrupted by fundamentalist Christians,
>actually referred to the end of the astrological age which to many
>people in the ancient world was an era of change, usually through
>destruction, much like the five Mayan ages.
> My theory is that there was a wide conspiracy to formulate this
>new 'unified' religion and it was spearheaded under the name Yahad.
>Robert Eisenman in James the Brother of Jesus refers to the Yahad
>organization as the "Unity Group". I theorize that Yahad was in fact
>an empire-wide movement towards religious syncretism, which may have
>been started under another name as early as the 4th-3rd century BC,
>during and after the reign of Alexander the Great. It is reported by
>Josephus that the Therapeuts were in every city in the empire, and I
>suggest that its through this therapeutic network that the Yahad
>process towards syncretism was being formulated. In light of this, i
>may mean that what was happening at or near Qumran was not uniquely
>or specifically a local Jewish phenomenon. Norman Golb, in 'Who Wrote
>the Dead Sea Scrolls' reveals that there were at least 500 different
>different forms of handwriting which indicates a very large number of
>scribes from different places involved in the process of editing and
>composing the texts. I suggest that the Nag Hammadi library should
>also be considered as part of the Yahad organization if what I
>theorize is true, despite the apparent theological differences
>between the two camps. Within a syncretic movement, such doctrinal
>differences are to be expected while still in its formulative
> Within the framework of this theory lies Rome which, despite all
>appearances, was in fact a very religion oriented state. At least
>facial evidence for this can be found in the self proclaimed title of
>Julius Caesar as Pontifex Maximus, or high priest. This title was
>subsequently used by many (if not all) the subsequent Caesars. That
>the Christian movement made Rome the virtual center of its primary
>operations early on suggests that there may have been more Roman
>involvement than previously thought.
> This is my opener - let the arrows fly!
>David Newby<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Honsol+Dec 13 2007, 12:44 PM-->QUOTE(Honsol @ Dec 13 2007, 12:44 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Yes,
i also wonder why Septuagint Bible is more acurate then jewish Masoretic text or protestant text despite it was writen in greek.
If we compare for exemple ,years in the patriarh list from genesis ,betwin Septuagint and other versions,we easely observ who is more acurate.
This can show when Bible was modified for the last time,or why the jews and christians have exactly the same book canon made in the same time.

The presence of an actual Old Covenant is simply nonsensical unless the New covenant is also of the same time period. Part of western/x'ian psy-ops has always been that the Hindus broke their old covenant and "degenerated"- various prophets eg the Monotheist Buddha or Shankaracharya or Gurus arose to renew the covenant but their efforts though valiant were short-lived. The old covenant can be any distinctive practice: Placing the Tikka, Upanayanam, etc

New Covenant-Old Covenant rhetoric does not make any sense outside of a Psy-ops context.

The New Covenant, The New Jerusalem, the Final Messiah Christ Caesar, tearing of the Veil of the Temple, The Crying Jewess - these are all masterly psy-ops.
Macedonian regiment was involved in the Jerusalem sack. Atwill focuses on the other two regiments (Egypt, Syria). The psy-ops groundwork was missing after the conquest of Persia leading to long-term failure and needed to be retroactively fitted in. There are even three Magi prostrated in front the Infant Caesar, the Savior to the East. Alexander was the pupil of Aristotle himself.

Saint Stephen (Greek: Στέφανος Stephanos), known as the Protomartyr (Greek: Πρωτομάρτυρας Protomartyras) (or first martyr) of Christianity, is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as in the Orthodox Church. His name means 'laurel wreath' or 'crown' in Greek.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


A couple of interesting views especially in the last part when they mention US fed reserve bank as a private bank loaning money to the govt on interest. They also try to establish the cause of war mongering by US to this cartel of private bankers and creators of new world order. They are trying to prove that christianity is modelled on early pagan gods in the first part.
Character of Jesus is a literary and astrological HYBRID
It is an image of king HORUS of EGYPT
Christianity is Revisionist Ethics, perfectly formed to convert Asiatics into fodder classes; it masquerades as a Revisionist Monotheism, which deflects all inquiry into its dynamics.

This normative learning configuration is progressing steadily Eastwards. Islam was the next hoax after the Titus affair. But why the Christian hoax was not sufficient to capture the Bedouin Arabs? Augustine inaugurated the middle ages with the doctrine of Divine Will. This was the key to taking out Persians, which Christianity could not do. Augustine was a Carthaginian Manichean.


Mr. Cook and Ms. Crone have revised some of their early hypotheses while sticking to others. "We were certainly wrong about quite a lot of things," Ms. Crone said. "But I stick to the basic point we made: that Islamic history did not arise as the classic tradition says it does."

Ms. Crone insists that the Koran and the Islamic tradition present a fundamental paradox. The Koran is a text soaked in monotheistic thinking, filled with stories and references to Abraham, Isaac, Joseph and Jesus, and yet the official history insists that Muhammad, an illiterate camel merchant, received the revelation in Mecca, a remote, sparsely populated part of Arabia, far from the centers of monotheistic thought, in an environment of idol-worshiping Arab Bedouins. Unless one accepts the idea of the angel Gabriel, Ms. Crone says, historians must somehow explain how all these monotheistic stories and ideas found their way into the Koran.

"There are only two possibilities," Ms. Crone said. "Either there had to be substantial numbers of Jews and Christians in Mecca or the Koran had to have been composed somewhere else."

Indeed, many scholars who are not revisionists agree that Islam must be placed back into the wider historical context of the religions of the Middle East rather than seeing it as the spontaneous product of the pristine Arabian desert. "I think there is increasing acceptance, even on the part of many Muslims, that Islam emerged out of the wider monotheistic soup of the Middle East," says Roy Mottahedeh, a professor of Islamic history at Harvard University.

Scholars like Mr. Luxenberg and Gerd- R. Puin, who teaches at Saarland University in Germany, have returned to the earliest known copies of the Koran in order to grasp what it says about the document's origins and composition. Mr. Luxenberg explains these copies are written without vowels and diacritical dots that modern Arabic uses to make it clear what letter is intended. In the eighth and ninth centuries, more than a century after the death of Muhammad, Islamic commentators added diacritical marks to clear up the ambiguities of the text, giving precise meanings to passages based on what they considered to be their proper context. Mr. Luxenberg's radical theory is that many of the text's difficulties can be clarified when it is seen as closely related to Aramaic, the language group of most Middle Eastern Jews and Christians at the time.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism (Amazon Review)

Journal of Near Eastern Studies : For early writers...Moses invented a religious tradition that was the deliberate antithesis of that of Egypt. Later, in the period treated here...they credited Moses with having instructed the Hebrews in a version of Egyptian religion...This is certainly a fascinating work...This account of the theme of Moses the Egyptian should appeal to students of the time period mostly treated here. Moreover...the volume will serve to introduce any number of students of the Near East to several thinkers who were prominent in their own time but not widely known today.
--David Lorton<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Husky wrote:

(2) Skanda in Vedam.
I don't know if anyone else came across the modern christolie that western 'scholars' have been trying to use to mislead people that Skanda is actually Alexander's deification in India blink.gif ... laugh.gif
Western pseudoscholarship really likes playing letter/word games and they just don't get that Skanda and Alexandros are not the same.... Last I recall they played that same psyops game with Kandahar where it was suddenly supposed to have been named for Alexander (:cough loony :cough) instead of Gandhara.

Just 'cause Tamizh people would sometimes pronounce Skanda as Skandar (similar to how we sometimes say Murugar or Ramar in certain grammatical situations), does not mean that it is therefore ludicrously related to Alexander/'Sikander' as they imagine. <b>(It appears that islam elevated Alexander to one of their prophets, </b>but the west apparently confuses islam and Hinduism in thinking we also did the same apotheosis as the islamis. Before christos laugh at islamis though, they need to consider that they performed apotheosis on a fictional character: jeebus).<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Jesus Christ was a Roman invention thrust upon the messianic Jews to keep them subdued. The bible and testaments are crowd-control documents. Yawn!

book review:
Jesus and yahweh: Names Divine

A lot of new books are coming up that question the historicuty of Jesus. I would like dhu and others to summarize the inof on this thread as IF contribution to the genre.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->But so it was; and <b>Philo Byblus,</b> who gives us the so-called fragment of <b>Sanchoniathon</b>, spelt it in Greek letters [[<b>IEUO</b>]], Javo or <b>Jevo</b>. Theodoret says that the Samaritans pronounced Yahva, and the Jews Yaho.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

This is a frank admission of the equivalence of YHWH and (Greek) IAO.
<b>Profiles in Deception: The Dead Sea Scrolls</b>

An Eastern View of a Western Crisis
N. S. Rajaram

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Since the Jews (and Christians) do not recognize their God as man, he wanted to be recognized as their messiah. Eusebius and the assembled priests dutifully complied. <b>Eusebius is said to have ingratiated himself with his emperor by proclaiming: "It is as if the religion of Abrabam is at last fulfilled - not in Jesus, but in Constantine!"</b>

So Constantine, Pontifex Maximus, the Divine Pagan Emperor became the Messiah of the Chosen People; <b>he was willing to grant a small portion of his divineness to Jesus the Messiah. And this is what Eusebius and the assembled priests conferred upon Jesus through their vote: </b>this at least is my reading of the events leading to Constantine assuming the position of the Head of the Church. He was in a sense an earlier-day Henry VIII. Eusebius was Constantine's Cardinal Wolsey, except there was no entrenched religious authority to challenge him. But he retained his position as the head of Rome's pagan religions - as Pontifex Maximus.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Classical sources also suggest that Alexander's march on India was less than successful. <b>According to Plutarch, Alexander left behind "many deceptive memorials of his expedition to exaggerate the glory of his expedition and conquests in India." </b>Plutarch also tells us that Alexander suffered a heavy defeat at Mallianas - the modern Multan - and barely escaped with his life. He was saved by the bravery and loyalty of his Macedonian companion Pucestes who sacrificed his own life to protect his leader.

His Indian expedition had cost him fully three quarters of his army, and he also had a mutiny on his hands - hardly the record of a victorious campaign. Upon returning from India, Alexander, now a spent force, died in Babylon in 323 BC. His 'empire' in the east collapsed like a house of cards. The Indian garrisons he had left behind were annihilated, and the hastily appointed Greek Satrap Philip was also killed. When Alexander's successor Seleucus Nicator tried to establish himself in the east, he suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Sandracottus[3] to whom he was forced to cede a large part of the eastern domains conquered by Alexander; a good part of these territories lay beyond the Indus in Central and West Asia. All this is clear evidence of the ephemeral nature of Alexander's exploits in the east. It is necessary to recognize this fact to follow the course of the history of West Asia in the succeeding three centuries leading to the birth of Christianity.<b> Where Alexander's interest lay mainly in Persia, the field of action of the Seleucids, including their Hellenising efforts were confined to Egypt and the Levant. </b>This was a major contributor to the Jewish rebellions that were a constant feature in Palestine.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>The elimination by Paul - of the Law - from the Qumranian version of the Doctrine of the Faith essentially freed the Christian clergy from any accountability. </b>Where in Judaism, even the highest authority was subject to the Law, in Christianity, Popes and other high priests have been a law unto themselves in the name of God. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->To get some idea of the high stakes in the drama now being played in Third World countries, we must first get a picture of the current state of the Church - a secular empire that is crumbling in Europe that now sees expansion in Asia, India in particular with its teeming millions, as its main hope for survival. The so-called 'Thailand Report on the Hindus' - or the Report of the Consultation on World Evangelization: Mini-Consultation on Reaching the Hindus - has chapters like 'Biblical Framework for Hindu Evangelization', 'Hindrances to the Evangelization of Hindus', 'Strategic Planning for Evangelization of Hindus' and others in a similar vein that give a clear idea of its scope and intentions. The report goes on to observe: [10]

We rejoice in the fact that the saving Word of God preached faithfully by God's servants has brought about a Christian population of 19 million people in India alone. However we are conscious that God longs for the whole Hindu people to know Jesus Christ and live under his Lordship... (p 5; emphasis added.)

We regret that, after so many years of sincere effort by so many faithful people, the number of Christians in India is still less than 3% of the population. Further, the dispersed Hindus in other parts of the world have been largely neglected by the Christian communities. (ibid.)

No further comment is needed to recognize that the Church is greatly interested in evangelizing the Hindus of India. What is not widely known is that without expansion in countries like India, Christianity may be doomed. This is the concern of Church officials at all levels, including the Pope. Missionaries find India particularly attractive because of the freedom they enjoy in an open society and the Hindus' history of tolerance. This is obviously not an option in Islamic countries like Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, patrolled by 'religious police'. For this reason, religious entrepreneurs, like Pat Robertson, also see countries like India and Sri Lanka as fertile grounds for their activities as we shall have occasion to see in due course.

To grasp the complexities of the drama being played we need to recognize that the crisis confronting the Church today is only partly doctrinal. The real problem facing organized Christianity today is the increasing irrelevance of its message. It helps to bear in mind that for all its religious trappings, the Church has always been a secular institution, more concerned with its economic and political viability than the saving of souls. This has been the case throughout its two thousand year history: all of its so-called 'reforms' have been power shifts brought on by political circumstances. This is how it appears to the present author, who, thanks to the accident of his birth, is in a position to bring a pluralistic, non-Christian perspective to the study of the Church and its present crisis. At the same time, having spent most of his adult life in the 'Christian' West, he has some understanding of Christianity as well.

Seen from the vantage position of one who was born into a non-theocratic Eastern tradition, the Church does not seem much like a religious entity. The 'Christian' West today is in a deep spiritual crisis. But leaders acting in the name of God and Christ - like Pat Robertson, Patrick Buchanan, and even Pope John Paul II - are interested mainly in political and economic expansion. Robertson and Buchanan seek the presidency of the United States in the name of 'Judaeo-Christian values', while the Pope is concerned mainly with expansion in Asia - especially India - to compensate for massive losses in the West. These losses, as we shall see in the next chapter, are much greater than the general public is aware.

Throughout history, whenever confronted with a problem the Church has invariably reacted like a political or a commercial organization rather than a spiritual one. It is no different today. It does not look into the soul for the source of the problem and its solution, but seeks to use its formidable economic and political resources to try and smother it.[11] Money and power - both secular, and both destroyers of the soul - are the prime concern of the Church today as they have been throughout its eventful history. And this - a total lack of spirituality - is what really lies at the heart of the problems facing the Church today as we shall discover in the next chapter.


5) The Gospel of Thomas ends with Jesus
defending Mary against attacks by the
male disciples that she is a woman and
not worthy of [eternal] life.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Pure Orientalist psy-ops. The conquered woman is saved from her abusive kinsmen.
Chapter V - Chronology and Summary of Events
1. A Chronological Table for the Rise and Fall of Early Christianity

It is to be noted that early Christians were also known as the Ebionites.

333 BC Fall of the Persian Empire; the Jews of Palestine
come under the Ptolemies of Egypt, and later under
the Syriac Seleucids of Antioch.

171 BC Death of Onias III of Antioch.

171-165 BC Persecution of the Jews of Palestine by Antiochus
IV, successor to Onias III.

168 BC Desecration of the Temple of Jerusalem and its
dedication to Jupiter.

165 BC End of Jewish persecution; Temple cleansed and
rededicated by the Jews.

163 BC Death of Antiochus IV.

152 BC Overthrow of the Seleucid rule by Mattathias
Maccabaeus the Zealot. Maccabaeus establishes the
theocratic Jewish state in the Holy Land ruled by men with 'Zeal for the Law'.

c. 150 BC - The Qumran settlement, the seat of Zealot resistance
to Rome, and birthplace of Christianity is built
during Maccabean rule. Most of the Dead Sea Scrolls composed during this period.

63 BC Pompey the Great ends Maccabean rule. Palestine
becomes a Roman province governed by a
procurator appointed by Rome.

37 BC Herod the Great installed as king by the Romans.

4 BC Death of Herod. Birth of Jesus? (Assuming Jesus
to be historical)

AD 33 Execution of 'Christ' by Pontius Pilate, procurator
of Judaea.

AD 49 Edict expelling the Jews from Rome by Claudius
due to the troubles instigated by their leader' Chrestus' .

c. AD 50-64 Struggles between James and Paul.

c. AD 64 Death of James.

AD 66-74 First Jewish War; destruction of Qumran and its
inhabitants by Titus (later Emperor Vespasian).

AD 70 Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.

AD 132-5 Second Jewish War; end of 'Early Christianity'.
Paul's heresy becomes official Christianity.

We may now summarise the possible sequence of key events leading to Christian dominance of Western Civilisation.

Early Christianity - a Qumranian institution - was an extremist Jewish movement that arose in reaction to the secularizing influences of the Graeco-Roman world. Its leader in the first century was James the Righteous, an ultra-orthodox Jew. What we now call Christianity grew out of Pauline Christianity, a heresy opposed to the teachings of James. It was the result of a power struggle between Paul and James that culminated in the death of James and the destruction of the early Church of Jerusalem in the First Jewish War of AD 66-74. It is likely that Paul - a wealthy and influential Roman citizen - was himself instrumental in the overthrow of the early Church led by James, with Roman support.

So what gave impetus to Christianity - the Pauline version - was not any crucifixion of Jesus but the destruction of the early Christians of Palestine in the First Jewish War. This was strengthened by the recognition extended to it by Constantine in AD 325. Here is a plausible sequence of events.

1. Origins (Second-first century BC): The settlement of Qumran is built on the coast of the Dead Sea. Most of the practices of Christianity came into existence at this time - a century before the birth of Jesus. Qumranians and the early Christians were one and the same. They formed an ultra-orthodox Jewish sect that was in existence at least a century before the birth of Jesus. The sect was part of the Zealot movement founded in the time of Mattathias Maccabaeus if not earlier. It would therefore be reasonable to hold Mattathias Maccabaeus to be one of the founders of - or at least a precursor to early Christianity.

2. Early Christianity (First century AD): The leader of the sect was James the Just known as the 'Righteous'. He may have had a brother named Jesus, but there is no reliable record of him outside the Bible. James on the other hand is mentioned in several important early sources.

3. Enter Paul (c. AD 54-64): Paul the Roman wanted to subvert and break the early Church with his heretical doctrine. This was resisted by James and his followers. This led to a power struggle between Paul and James. Paul was probably acting as an agent of Rome.

4. Death of James (c. AD 64): James was killed by a band of rebels led possibly by Paul. This was the culmination of the power struggle between Paul and James. The death of James hardened the attitude of the Zealots (early Christians) to the point of no return, leading to the First Jewish War of AD 66-74.

5. First Jewish War (AD 66-74): James was replaced by a political favourite unacceptable to the followers of James and the early Christians. This led to the First Jewish War of AD 66-74 in which Qumran and most of the early Christians were destroyed. Paul and his followers were left without serious opposition allowing them to consolidate their hold by spreading their movement to include the Gentiles (pagans) also. Remnants of early Christianity were destroyed in the Second Jewish War that broke out sixty years later.

6. Divinity of Jesus (AD 325): Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, succeeded in getting Constantine's support for Christianity at the Council of Nicea in AD 325. Eusebius persuaded the assembled bishops to recognize Constantine also as a Messiah of the chosen people (Christians) in exchange for royal recognition of Christianity. Jesus was declared divine based on the vote of the bishops. Constantine, the Divine Pagan Emperor, assumed leadership of the Christians along with his title of Pontifex Maximus as the head of the solar religion of Rome. (See Chapter VIII for a brief description.)

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