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Historicity of Jesus - 2
<!--emo&Confusedkull--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/aaskull.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='aaskull.gif' /><!--endemo--> Warning: Mature visual. Do not open the link that follows in the presence of children.

Yet another enduring mystery from that endearing "religion" whose end, I hope, is nearing:
Judas is from Judah/Jew, an everlasting damnation against the Jewish subjects. The trick was to say that there will be no further prophets or messiahs after the Christ Caesar. 1st century AD was brimming with doomsayers against Rome and this needed to be curtailed. 'Chosen Race' is actually a sarcastic accusation and target imprinted upon the Jew.


This is with reference to Passion Plays of Jesus Christ's crucifixion.

Thoughout the history of Christendom the passion plays have been instrumental in inciting violence against Jews and that too in the name of love of god. In India these plays are used as tools for evangelism. Hence one needs to understand the real nature of passion plays which were once Nazi tools. How much truth exists in the narrative and theology of passion plays? There is no evidence for a historical Jesus. This is the reason why Church as well as believing Christians fabricate forgeries starting from 'relics' like 'Holy umbilical chord of Jesus' to the latest in the notorious list - bonebox of his brother James. (BBC 18 June, 2003) Further there exist many legends surrounding the so-called crucifixion of Jesus. National Geographic has discovered coptic manuscripts of a Gospel by Judas 1700 years old on April 6 2006. These manuscripts say that Judas was the chosen disciple of Jesus. National Geographic comments : "Diverse beliefs circulated during Christianity's early years. Many were suppressed in the early centuries C.E. as the religion coalesced into a more structured faith based on the New Testament Gospels." Clearly Christianity today and its conceptions of Jesus like he is the
only saviour or only son of god, are results of what Bible scholar Elaine Pagels calls "Politics of Monotheism". In the light of such scholarships empty does look the passion of passion plays which peddle monotheistic aggression as love of god.*

Yours truly,

S.Aravindan Neelakandan

* The line in red was edited out<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

The Telegraph, Kolkota, 8 Aug., 2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->THE SCHOLAR AT THE GATES OF FAITH 
Editor's Choice 

The Resurrection By Geza Vermes,
Penguin, £5.60

The New Testament focuses on three events in the life of Jesus: the Nativity, the Passion and the Resurrection. Having written two books on the first two events, Geza Vermes, perhaps the finest Biblical scholar in the world today, turns his attention in this book to the Resurrection.

His starting point, as in his previous books, proceeds from his acceptance of Jesus as a real historical person. From this premise, the account of the Resurrection does seem very problematic. Vermes believes that the context of the controversy regarding the historicity of the Resurrection has to be the real world of history and law, Jewish and Roman.

He begins with the startling declaration that it is now possible with the help of known astronomical data to suggest the most likely date for the events associated with Good Friday — April 7, AD 30, corresponding to the eve of the Passover full moon. Thus the resurrection would have occurred on April 10, the third day after Jesus’s burial.

It is important in historical terms to draw a distinction between the crucifixion and the resurrection, even though in theological terms the two are seen as part of one narrative exemplifying the glory of the Lord. Crucifixion was by no means a unique event in the first century AD; but the resurrection is an unparalleled phenomenon in history.

Vermes proceeds like a textual detective, trying to find out what the authors of the New Testament actually say in their writings without getting diverted by what interpretative Church tradition attributes to them. At the end Vermes has a hypothesis to offer, but he does not apply a closure. He leaves the reader to make up his own mind.

Vermes applies his formidable learning and intellect to unravel the true meaning conveyed by the evangelists, Paul and the other authors of the Christian scriptures and then sets them beside the relevant Jewish Graeco-Roman literary and archaeological sources.

Vermes’s book is one of those where the reading of the texts is as, if not more, important than the hypothesis he presents. Vermes first looks at the early Jewish tradition that ignored the idea of the revivification of the dead. In the third and second centuries BC, the idea of life after death and bodily revival enters Judaism. But there is no evidence that this tradition had any influence in the area around Galilee.

Vermes then looks at the evidence of the Gospels and finds it thin and at times contradictory. This opens up the following possibilities: (i) the body was removed by some one unconnected with Jesus; (ii) the disciples took away the body; (iii) the empty tomb was not Jesus’s; (iv) Jesus was buried alive and later left the tomb; (v) having left the tomb Jesus became a migrant; (vi) other than that of Mark, all the Gospels mention that Jesus appeared to various people after his death: was this spiritual, and not bodily, resurrection?

At this point the scholar stops since this is where faith begins. Vermes’s masterly unravelling of the evidence allows us to think with him and for ourselves.


The rise and development of Christianity

3.0) Prologue.
3.1) Rome and Judea; Jews await a Messiah.
3.2) The sources of information.
3.3) Yehoshua ben Yosef (Jesus son of Joseph).
3.4) From a Jewish sect to a Greco-Roman religion; Early Christians.
3.5) Constantine takes Christianity to a state religion; Destruction of Pagan Rome.
3.6) Christianity splits with Judaism: roots of anti-semitism.
3.7) The Greco-Roman split.

3.0) Prologue:

We shall examine in some detail the early origin and development of Christianity. This is merited for at least two reasons. First, we shall see in a sense the cancer of prophetic monotheism actually mutate and turn malignant. Second, from the perspective of Geopolitics, it serves to trace back the modern day fights to what may well be their root. While we very strongly feel that Indians need to devote themselves to a detailed study and research of the first aspect (at least because it may provide the fundamental solution to the problem), the current book shall ignore this and will delve instead into the second aspect, since it has immediate bearing on Geopolitics.

We shall see Christianity starting off as an intra-Jewish reform movement, entirely understandable from a secular perspective. But what would be less clear, or more surprising,  is its transition to a world view, by what might have been nothing more than an accident, or by a series of them. We shall see Christ somehow becoming a central figure for the creation of myths, almost puerile in nature. We shall see the indecisive response of Rome to a serious problem that would confront them. We will see humanity taking leave of its senses and being swayed to mass violence by these myths. What would be of significant consequence is Christianity's turning against its parent Juadism as well as against the Pagans, and then again itself splitting into various groups with very violent consequences. We shall illustrate some of the initial theological aspects that led to this fight as well as provide the political backdrop relevant to the situation at the time. It is also interesting to note a fundamental transformation in the nature of Geopolitical disputes, and the rise of the notion of what we might term "nationlessess and trans-national power groups". This would be started by the Vatican which ideologically severed ties with any homeland, and the Jews would be pulled into this same type of a conflict, being deprived of theirs.

We shall see the Jews, in a sense, succeed where the Pagans failed. Given the fact that Judaism was not as "global a worldview" as Paganism, it speaks rather poorly of the Pagans that it is today the Jews who are able to exert influence over the world, and the Pagans are merely surviving, and that too in small corners.  In fact, our story of Geopolitics would be based to a large part on the struggle of the Jews to keep themselves alive. We wish we had more to say about the Pagans who have failed at least so far. There are tell-tale signs of the Pagans of Rome (and Europe) attempting to rise again, and it remains to be seen whether they will be able to hold against the powerful establishment of the Church.

The phenomena  involved in the evolution of Christianity are very intricate and several critical changes took place simultaneously, for example: Constantine's rule resulted in the complete Christianization of Pagan Rome. It also led to the formalization of the split between the Eastern and Western Churches. Both of these are issues that would have major ramification, but are not obviously related to one another. We have attempted to separate phenomenon to enable smooth reading, but this requires us to jump across timelines and sometimes revisit earlier sections. For the most part, this chapter will focus on the details of the nascent phase of Christianity. Our primary aim here is to point our reader to critical seeds that would later germinate into aspects relevant to modern day geopolitics, as well as the backdrop of the ferment in which the seeds could take root. Each section will end with a paragraph or two providing an outline of the consequences in the longer term.

3.1) Rome and Judea:

Great empires flourished, and many were in a state of decay, when Christianity started to take root. The Asante empire in West Africa, the Gupta empire at its peak in India, the Shin dynasty in China, Mayan and Inca kings ruled South America, Mexico was ruled by Aztecs, the Kusha and Mobil dynasties ruled North America with the Greater North  America being under the  Iroquis and Seneca Indians. England was ruled by the by Vikings, Germany and Russia were under the rule of Aryan Kings. We shall focus in more detail on the Roman empire and on Judea, because that is where our story begins.

The Early Roman Empire spanned perhaps all of today's Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Britain, Asia Minor and North Africa Its backbone was perhaps a collection of 5000 towns with a population of about 50 million. The governance was orderly, stable and pragmatic. Impressive engineering feats were achieved and a vast infrastructure built. Every major town and city  had paved streets, efficient water supply, waste disposal systems, administrative centers, temples, commercial areas, and recreational and cultural centers. Roman engineers built a road network of 50,000 miles extending from Britain to Iraq, so durable that in World War II, they were still used for the invasion of France. They had excellent hydraulics with large reservoirs, aqueducts and an extensive underground drainage system. A vibrant commerce sustained by currency, safety, roads and general infrastructure.  Trade flourished with the rest of the world, including India, China and Arabia.  It boasted an elite intellectual culture, literature and intricate legal systems. It incorporated several aspects of the Greek civilization, with Greece spoken in the eastern half of the empire (the western half speaking Latin). Most of the Roman soldiers worshipped Mitra, the Sun God. The initial decline of this great empire would approximately coincide with the time of the Christ. It was during the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius Caesar. We take a brief interlude to glimpse at some events around this interval.

In 62 BC, Pompey had made Syria and Palestine parts of Rome, thus bringing major parts of Judea under its control. In the following year Julius Caesar had extended the bounds of the Roman Empire all the way west  to the Atlantic coast on Spain. Allying with Pompey and financier Crassus (who defeated the slave rebel Spartacus) to form "The First Triumvirate" in the Roman senate, Caesar was elected Consul in the senate of Rome in 58 BC. Thereafter he conquered the remaining areas of Gaul (modern day France), and then fought the Germanic people to push the Roman empire upto the river Rhine in Germany. Neither Pompey, nor Crassus, nor many in the senate, however welcomed the rise of Julius Caesar. Caesar thus marched into Rome and Pompey fled Caesar's army through Greece and into Egypt, where he was killed by Ptolemy XII. Caesar then began to exercise authority in Egypt, causing resentment in Egyptians and a battle ensued in Alexandria, in which Ptolemy XII was killed. Caesar married Ptolemy's daughter Cleopatra to her brother (as was the custom) and set them on the throne. Delirious crowds welcomed him back to Rome in 47 BC.

Now as the head of the Roman empire, Julius Caesar did much to improve the degenerating conditions, and had also to keep in check the many enemies that stemmed from political intrigue in the various regions of the empire. On 15 March 44 BC, as he went to Senate with bodyguard Marcus Antonius, he was stabbed by a group of conspirators, led by Gaius Cassius, at the feet of Pompey's statue. Gaius Cassius had been Pompey's first commander, whom Caesar had pardoned and made a member of senate along with Marcus Brutus, also a Pompeyite. Caesar's grand-nephew, Gaius Octavianus allied with Marcus Antonius to destroy the assasins (they did not repeat Caesar's mistake of pardoning them) and they them formed the next Triumvirate to rule with Octavian ruling Italy and Cisalpine Gaul, Antonius ruling most of Gaul and all Eastern territory (Judea, Syria, Iraq etc), Lepidus ruling Egypt and North Africa. Infighting however was rampant and Antonius' public affair with Cleopatra in Egypt, was not liked in Rome. By 33 BC, Octavius Caesar had obtained from the Senate a declaration of war against Cleopatra, with Antonius being accused of treason. Antony was defeated in a sea battle by Agrippa, Octavian's trusted general. He, and subsequently Cleopatra, committed suicide. The triumphant Octavian Caesar returned to Rome and was, in 29 BC, conferred the title of "Commander Imperitor" -- which is the origin of the English word emperor. He did much for the welfare of Rome, and was eventually given the title "Augustus Caesar" with Rome as a republic with him under control. He encouraged simplicty, morality and the worship of the gods
(he himself was a devotee of Apollo), and poets described the Romans as being in the lineage of the gods.

It would be in order here to mention that Judaism had a good foothold in the Roman Empire. The Romans had a strict policy of not interfering in the religious lives of their subjects. This enabled the Jews to continue following their religion in Judea and in the rest of the Empire. It is estimated that probably about 5-7 million Jews lived in the Roman Empire, with roughly a million in Egypt, another million in Syria, and close to one million in Palestine. At least 10,000 Jews lived in Rome; Jewish colonies also existed in the large trading centers of Asia Minor. About sixty percent of the five-seven million Jews of the Roman empire lived outside of Judea. Judaism had long been viewed favorably by pagan writers who viewed Jews as philosophers, like the Brahmins of India. Throughout the Roman Empire various practices of Judaism were adopted by significant segments of the populace. Many Gentiles (non-Jews) observed the Sabbath, the fasts, the food restrictions and the Jewish holidays and many attended synagogue. Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar had  granted them special privileges. Amongst other things, Julius Caesar granted them exemption from military service, and the freedom to follow their own laws. While Judaism had no formal missionary apparatus, individual Jews actively sought converts. This is the context of Jesus Christ's anger against them:  "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte..." (Matthew 23:15).  Judaism continued to gain converts and remained a viable religious movement within the Roman empire until the end of the fourth century. There were of course tensions between Jews and Gentiles, but these were relatively minor, when compared with what was to come.

Let us now turn our attention to Judea.  After their return from Babylon in 538 BC the Jews had created a theocratic community in Palestine. It was based on the Torah, the law as God revealed to Moses. Religious life centered on the Temple at Jerusalem, which they had rebuilt, following its earlier destruction, with the high priest being the most exalted figure. The legal system, called the "Great Sanhedrin", was centered at this temple as a religious assembly of elders and wise men. This existed along with other smaller Sanhedrins.  It was the final authority on Jewish law and any scholar who went against its decisions was put to death. During the period when Judea was under Roman rule, the  members of the Sanhedrin played a pragmatic role in keeping relations with both the Roman rulers and the local Jews. The Jews were a tightly knit community and even Jewish groups outside Palestine were linked to the Temple for informal worship and instruction in the scriptures. (The synagogue first arose during the Babylonian exile and would act as the nerve center of Judaism, outliving the main Temple. It would  influence the forms of worship in the Christian church as well as the muslim mosque.  The Jews were perhaps unique in the Roman world in insisting that their God was the only true one.)

Around 333 BC, Palestine came under the rule of Alexander the Great after his conquest of Persia, and there followed a rule by the Ptolemies and then by the Seleucids. Most Jews outside Palestine spoke Greek and a Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures became a necessity. Greek influence contributed to factionalism among the Jews in Judea and eventually this led to an internal struggle between the Maccabaens and the pro-Greek Sadducees who were favored by the King of the Seleucid empire. In 168 BC the Seleucid king intervened and ordered the Temple be dedicated to Zeus. The Jews saw this as blasphemy and defilement of their temple and rebelled. Led by Judas Maccabaeus they re-dedicated their Temple to Yahweh and in 142 BC won their independence from the Seleucids. Judas and his next successor were high priests, but later members of the family had themselves enthroned as kings, who became corrupt. Factionalism then increased and civil conflict erupted and it was in the midst of a civil war that the Romans intervened in Palestine. Actually one Jewish state had appealed to Rome for aid. Pompey then intervened and ended the civil war in 63 BC, by making Judea a Roman protectorate.  The Romans had installed an Arab chieftain, Antipater, to rule Jerusalem and in 43 BC, his son Herod succeeded him with the approval of the Roman Marc Antony. Herod made good of his close friendship with the Roman Agrippa (also a Jew), and many Jews began to detest him as a foreigner and as an extravagant ruler. Nevertheless, as is the case with many degenerate and corrupt societies, there were always several groups of Jews who supported Herod and the Romans. We mention two such groups in particular: the Pharisees and Sadduccees. The former were orthodox Jews from various social classes, while the latter were aristocratic elite of the Jewish society. There were other groups such as the Scribes (responsible for transmission of tradition and law) and the Essenes (ascetics who opted out of the political world) and the Zealots, who were revolutionaries.

In this environment of despair, various reactions developed in the Jewish society centered around Judea. While some groups such as the Zealots organized guerilla attacks on the Romans, other groups that took the path of introversion and perhaps despair. Many Jews had become increasingly disenchanted. They  began to denounce fellow Jews as apostates and collaborators with the Romans. They saw Jerusalem as being polluted. The Jews were divided into  a majority "sons of darkness", and a minorty "sons of light". There was an increase in ascetic practices. One such group that practiced ascetism was the Essenes, who spent much time on the banks of the Dead Sea. Two predominant lines of expectation were "messianic" and "apocalyptic". In the former, God was expected to intervene through a human to set right the injustice and in the latter, the injustice was to result in a vast or complete destruction of the world. Christ combined both these views. The coming of a messiah was prophecied in the sacred books of the Jews, with some description of the exact details. Amongst other things, the Messiah was expected to rebuild Israel and restore the Davidic Kingdom. One of the reasons today's Jews do not accept Christ as this Messiah, is his failure to do this.

An important figure in Christianity who appears at this juncture is John "the baptist". In the years 27-28 AD he preached reform in Judea. He was against the upper class Jews and called the Sadduccees and Pharisees a "brood of vipers". He however, perhaps a la Gandhi, preached reconciliation, rather than rebellion, with the Romans. He accquired a following, but was not liked by the Sadduccees, Pharisees and by Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great. He was executed when he criticized Herod's marriage as illegal under Judaic law. Herod the Great had died in 4 BC, and from 26 AD Judea was governed by Pontius Pilate, a Roman governor deputed by Tiberius Ceasar (who followed Augustus Caesar).

3.2) Sources of information:

Who actually was this person referred to as "Jesus Christ"? What exactly did he teach? And in what context? Did he intend to change the world? As we lay out the elementary facts in this regard, it will be clear that the link between Chrisitanity as we know it, and the person called Jesus Christ is in fact a very tenuous one. Before we outline the life of the person referred to as Jesus Christ, we examine the sources of information that cast light on this man who changed the course of humanity.

The core of modern Chrisitan theology are four Gospels --Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These make up a major part of the New Testament. The set of books comprising the New Testament itself has evolved over time and has been determined by "Canons", starting with the Muratorian Canon (200 AD) and finally in the Council of Carthage in 397 AD, which determined the twenty seven books that make it up (mostly as we know it today). The exact origin of these Gospels is unknown. Perhaps the earliest claims for their origin are around 135 AD and no conclusive evidence exists to-date that suggests that these Gospels were written earlier than 150 AD. The first reference to these Gospels was made in 180 AD, by Theopholis of Antioch. Nor is anything known for certain about these four "apostles" other than what was hinted at in the New Testament itself.

It is fairly well established that the Gospel of Mark is the oldest of the four.  The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke ("Synoptic Gospels") often provide a picture strongly at variance with the Gospel of John. Subsequent to the appearance of these four Gospels, several forged versions of different Gospels have been in circulation: the Gospel of Paul, the Gospel of Bartholomew, the Gospel of Judas Iscariot, the Gospel of the Egyptians, the Gospel or Recollections of Peter, the Oracles or Sayings of Christ, and several others, which can be read from "The Apocryphal New Testament". Several of these are accepted as nothing but pious fraud both by priests and scholars alike.

Although the four Gospels are today a standard reference point for Christianity, this was not true during the initial centuries of Christianity. Christianity in its initial phase was a combination of the Old Testament (the Torah, a sacred book of the Jews) and several teachings attributed to Jesus Christ that were then in verbal circulation in the society at large. A formal decree to this effect had in-fact been passed in 96 AD by Clement, the Bishop of Rome. In was only in 185 AD that Bishop Irenaeus prompted the  Muratorian Canon that formulated the New Testament as being comprised of the Four Gospels, and regarded them as being authoritative. This was perhaps a first fundamental change in the basics of Christianity occurring two hundred years after Christ.

For the next two centuries, the four gospels would be coupled with a myriad of different letters, epistles, stories and apocalypses, each invention depending on the particular group's view of Jesus. Catholicism was only one of the many of denominations within the early church, some other were: Gnosticism in Egypt, Montanism in Asia Minor, Marcionism in Syria etc. Each of these were based on pre-existing philosophies and attempted their own interpretation of Christianity and quarrels were frequent. As an example we mention that the Gnostics claimed that Mary Magdelene was the wife of Jesus, not just his disciple. Of course, this is strongly rejected by the Catholics. In fact, claimants to descendancy from Jesus and Mary Magdelene would form a critical dynasty in later geopolitical fights. A Catholic theologian Irenaeus, in 180 AD, wrote "Against Heresies", an attempt to fight the spread of Gnosticism. He claimed that every church must agree with the church of Rome because of its apostolic authority. Eventually, the Catholic church was adopted as the state religion of the Roman Empire, and all other systems of belief were branded as heresies. Following the Epistle of Athanasius in 367 AD, the Church finally reached an agreement deciding which writings were truly authentic and representative of apostolic tradition, thus forming what we know today as the canonical New Testament.

Now the Gospels were all initially written in Greek, not in Hebrew, although according to all the sources, Jesus was a Jew and his life was primarily with the Jews, the synoptics telling us that his teaching, lasting about a year, was confined to Gallilee and only once did he go to Jerusalem. The differing Gospel of John tells us that the public life of Christ, lasting about three years, was spread over Judea, with Christ being in Jerusalem several times. In either event, it was primarily within the Jews.  The preachings of Jesus combined both traditional, Pharisaical Judaism with popular messianic and apocalyptic Judaism. There is abundant evidence in the Gospels that Jesus considered his teachings to be applicable to the Jews alone, they being the chosen people of God. Note however that despite the Jewish origin of both Jesus himself and of Christianity, the name "Jesus Christ" is not a Hebrew name at all, but a Latin one.

We should also mention examples of some other sources of information on the early phase of Chirstianity and the life of Jesus. The earliest reference, that may have information about Jesus, is that of the Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus  (37-100 AD). In "Antiquities of the Jews" he twice refers to a Yehoshua. However, these two passages appear in a disconnected manner, further the name Yehoshua was a rather common one, so this is not really a certain input. Then, there was Celsus, a pagan philosopher of the second century AD. In what may be the earliest literary attack on Christ, he wrote "True Discourse" ( about 178 AD). It was a scathing attack and Celsus argued that Jesus was born in low circumstances, being the illegitimate son of a soldier named Panthera. As he grew, he announced himself to be God, deceiving many. Celsus charged that Christ’s own people killed him, and that his resurrection was a deception. But he did not challenge the historicity of Jesus. There was Lucian of Samosata (about 115-200 AD), called "the Voltaire of Grecian literature". He wrote against Christianity more with contempt than with hostility. He said Christians worshipped the well-known sophist who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced new mysteries. He too never denied the existence of Jesus. Porphyry of Tyre (about 233 AD), studied philosophy in Greece, and lived in Sicily where he wrote fifteen books against the Christian faith. In his "Life of Pythagoras", he stated that magicians of the pagan world exhibited greater powers than Christ did.

3.3) Yehoshua Ben Yosef:

"Jesus" is derived from the Latin Iesus, which in turn comes from the Greek Iesous. The Greek form is a transliteration of the Aramaic name Yeshua, a short form of ancient Hebrew Yehoshua,  translates to "Jehovah saves". The modern form of Yehoshua is Joshua. The title Christ comes, via Latin, from the Greek Christos (annointed).

The Gospels do say a lot about the life of Jesus Christ, although the accounts they provide vary widely. In order to project Jesus as a Messiah, it would be necessary to see that the place and circumstance of birth, as well as his genealogy were consistent with the earlier prophecies of the Jews. Of course with so many versions, it was hard to maintain this consistency.

The Jewish scripture (eg Jeremiah 23:5)  said that the messiah would be a descendant of David. The writers of the Gospels thus had to create a genealogy that would be consistent with this. Unfortunately, however, the Gospels contain at least two different genealogies of Jesus with several inconsistencies, with Matthew and Luke differing by ten generations, as well as in actual account of antecedents (names). The accounts of Matthew 1 and Luke 3 simply cannot be reconciled.

Two places are commonly associated with Jesus, Bethlehem and Nazareth. The Jews had long believed that their new Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, and if Jesus were to be this messiah, he had better be born in Bethlehem. And this is what the Christians would have us believe. However, their own books indicate serious contradictions of this version of events. References can be seen in the book of John (1:45, 6:42, 7:3-5, 7:41-43, 7:27-28, 7:52) indicating that he had several brothers and was born in the province of Galilee (Nazareth is a small town on its outskirts), and was the son of Joseph and Mary, rather than of the Holy Spirit and Mary.  Jesus was known throughout the Galilee as "Jesus of Nazareth" (Matthew 21:1 1, Mark 14:67). Both the Gospels of Matthew and Luke state that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in Judea, south of Jerusalem. Conservative Christians accept this version. However, liberal theologians believe that he was born and raised in Nazareth. Some theologians suggest Bethlehem in Galilee, a small town less than ten miles from Nazareth. Note also that the Gospels of Matthew and Luke differ on the residencies of Joseph and Mary, the former claiming it as Bethlehem of Judea, the latter as Nazareth in Galillee. Pontius Pilate decorated the cross with the sign "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" (John 19:19). The early name "Nazarenes" given to the Christians might have been a derogatory nickname that the people of Judea gave to the followers of Jesus (Matthew 26:71, Acts 6:38). Furthermore, during the trial of Jesus, the Sanhedrin did not doubt that he was born in Galilee. In the course of its convention, there was no indication of Bethlehem at all. Since Bethlehem was a small place, his birth there would not have escaped the Sanhedrin. Further, even the disciples of Jesus do not seem to question this ("Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph"  John 1:45-46).

Due to a presumption by the Roman Catholic Church, it had been widely presumed in the Christian world that Jesus was born on 25 December 1 AD. Unfortunately, the Gospels of Matthew says he was born during the reign of Herod the Great, while the Gospel of Luke says that he was born when Quirinius, the governor of Syria conducted a census. Thus the accounts of Matthew and Luke have a discrepancy of at least 10 years. We quote the Encyclopaedia Britannica: "Christians count one hundred and thirty-three contrary opinions of different authorities concerning the year the Messiah appeared on earth."  We mention in particular that the Orthodox Church and the Catholic church differ on the date by twenty-five years and a month. About half the world's Christians use the date of the Orthodox Church (25 January 25 BC). Both Churches try to track down the date from the bright star appearing in the East (seen by three wise men of the East, who were the first visitors to the manger in Bethlehem), astronomers see this as Halley's comet, which appeared in 32 BC. This occurence of this bright star was recorded by Chinese, Akadian (Iraq), Indians, Sumerians, Egyptians. According to a section of scholars, dating 25 December as the birthday of Jesus became popular by the fourth century and provided the Christians an alternative to a popular pagan festival at this time of year. December 25 was the winter solstice according to the old Julian calendar, and it was the day of Mitra, the Sun God.

A Jewish scripture, the Book of Isaiah 7:14, prophecied that a "virgin" would conceive a child called Immanuel (meaning "God with us").  The Gospel of Matthew 1:22-23 explicitly links this Jewish prophecy to the birth of Jesus. The Hebrew word "almah", used in the book of Isiah, occurs seven times in the Old Testament and usually means a young woman of marriageable age, normally a virgin (Genesis 24:43). The Greek Septuagint, which was a translation of the Jewish scriptures to Greek, used by the authors of the Gospels, translates "almah" as "parthenos", which can have connotations of virginity. Accordingly, many Christians take the opportunity of interpreting the Isaiah prophecy as referring to Mary at the birth of Jesus. However, this requires a lot of convoluted logic. Further, the exact prophecy used the name Immanuel, not Yehoshua or Jesus (The Roman Catholic church explained this away by saying that Immanuel is an epitaph for Jesus). The gospels attributed to  Matthew and Luke describe Mary as being a virgin when she conceived Jesus. The authors of the gospels of John and Paul make no such mention and have indications to the contrary. According to several authors, the notion of virgin birth was introduced by the writers of the Gospels, but influenced by the Greek ideas on this issue. Pope Benedict XIV used "papal infallibility" to make it a dogma that belief in the virginity of Mary was necessary for salvation. Roman Catholics believe that Mary was a life-long virgin and that Jesus was the only child that she gave birth to; he was her first-born and last-born child. However, there are several contradictory versions on this count as well. For good example Matthew 13:55 identifies four brothers of Jesus: James, Joseph, Judas and Simon. Matthew 13:56 also tells us that he had sisters. However, their exact number and names were never recorded. Some Catholics believe that Jesus' brothers and sisters were in fact half-siblings; they were children of Joseph by a previous marriage. The other churches differ from each other in their interpretation of Mary's virginity.

We also mention several indications of an illegitimate birth of Jesus. This was in fact, the opinion held by the Jews and other non-Chirsitians of the day. For good example, we cite the famous pagan philosopher Celsus (whom we have mentioned above), claimed in 178 AD indicating that Jesus's mother, Mary, had been divorced by her husband, a carpenter, after it had been proved that she was an adultress. She wandered about in shame and bore Jesus in secret. His real father was a soldier named Pantheras. (Celsus' direct critique has been lost--probably destroyed by the Church, with a secret copy still  in some archive?--, but it can be reconstructed through the response penned by his Christian respondent, Origen. We also mention that Origen's response to this issue of Jesus' father is not consistent at all.) Celsus accuses Jesus of making up the story of the immaculate conception to cover the secret shame of his mother's adultery. There is an old Jewish tradition in the Talmud that Yeshu, or Jesus, was the son of a Roman legionary called Panthera, Pantera or Pandera. This name however was common at that time and we are not certain that the Talmud was mentioning the Jesus of the New Testament. This tradition is in fact so strong, that the Christian historian Epiphanus is compelled to give Pantheras a place in the holy family as Jesus' paternal grandfather. The Book of James (assumed to be Jesus' brother) says that Mary was one of seven Temple Virgins kept by the high priest in Jerusalem. Moreover James states, as does Matthew's Gospel, that it is Mary who was from David's line, and not Joseph. She was already six months pregnant when Joseph met her and he was held responsible of this fact by the high priest. James adds that Joseph had been married before, that he was going to Bethlehem to register his first children in the census, and that he did not know what to do about Mary's child.

We shall perhaps mention the version of a recent German scholar. Yehoshua  ben Yosef (Jesus the son of Joseph in Greek) was an Aramaic Jew, probably born to a carpenter named Yosef ben Ya’aqob through an illicit relation with his sister-in-law, Miryam. This illegitimate relation was not taken to kindly in Jewish society and Yosef had to leave Nazareth and move to Bethlehem. The story of immaculate conception was invented to enable them to face society.

This version of Jesus' genealogy makes him more human and helps to explain his inner turmoil. When he attacks Roman domination of the Jews while denying his own Roman blood, his internal struggle becomes a life's mission. It is hypothesized that this stressful scheme of things created turmoil in the mind of Yeshoshua and later created the fixation of being the "Son of God". Several other authors have taken a psychoanalytic view of Jesus's personality.

We shall devote ourselves only briefly to the life of Jesus Christ, because its details have very little to do with Christianity as a Geopolitical factor. Yehoshua, in this configuration of things accquired an anger at society, particularly the Jewish society, and became a follower of John the Baptist. He was also a Rabbi at Nazareth, with the House of Hillel (a more liberal version of Judaism, as opposed to the House of Shammai that was more rigid). Around 23 AD he began re-interpreting the Jewish scriptures (Thora and Talmud), and preached a higher sacrifice and spiritualism. This was not liked by the more orthodox Jews (House of Shammai), which he accused of being too dogmatic and lacking in compassion. He was very pro-women in a society that was pariarchical and to a good extent suppressed women. He spoke openly with them and the Gnostic gospels insist the Mary Magdelene was his wife, not a mere disciple. Serious ideological differences thus surfaced between his teachings and those of orthodox Judaism. Jesus called for a simple spiritual life of inner meditation to solve the personal and social problems, an approach ridiculed by many upper class Jews. The initial followers of Jesus were the weaker and downtrodden sections of Jewish society. The upper class Jews intrigued with the Roman authorities, in this regard, when they felt that Yehoshua and his disciples had gone too far, particularly by claiming that he was the Messiah. The Jews might have wanted a powerful king to save them, but certainly not a soft philosopher, called Yehoshua, to reconcile. A group making Yehoshua as a central figure and creating another sect within Judaism would be disastrous for the cause of liberating the kingdom of Israel from Roman occupation. But Jesus interpreted kingdom as a "kingdom of God in heaven", a spiritual sort of a Kongdom, certainly not the political Kingdom the Jews wanted in Israel. He taught that every one can ascend to this spiritual kingdom if they follow the original simple Jewish teachings of Moses and John. This annoyed many Jewish scholars who were awaiting a messiah who could confer on them a powerful political kingdom and freedom from Roman slavery. So Yehoshua and his disciples as they preached became suspect in the eyes of the Jews.  And probably for this reason the disciples in their initial years withdrew from public life, keeping their meetings secret.  Thus Jesus was on the wrong side of the political equations: he served neither the cause of the Jews in power, nor that of the Romans. Instead, he only appealed to the downtrodden sections of society who were too weak to save him from the terrible fate that was to befall him.

Yehoshua was also greatly angered upon the execution of John the Baptist. The timing of events coincided with the annual pilgrimage to the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem for the Passover, which Yehoshua also attended. Here he caused a revolt and accused the merchants and money changers of having turned the temple from a house of prayer into a robber's den, and drove them from the temple grounds (Matthew 21:13). His disciples saw this as a heroic act  and a sign of divine defiance and of the messianic quality. This Temple, particularly during Passover, always kindled a spirit of nationalism, and was fraught with increased tension. He was taken before Joseph Caiaphas, the high priest of the Sanhedrin and convicted of blasphemy. The matter was referred to the Roman administration, under the governor Pontius Pilate, for dispensation of justice. Yehoshua however, did not respond to the summons issued by Pilate and troops were sent to arrest him. One of his own disciples,  Judas (probably a Zealot), who turned approver to the Roman authorities, identified Yehoshua during the congregation of the last supper.  This incident was later to become a major bone of contention between Christians and Jews, the former accusing the Jew Judas of betraying their lord. Yehoshua was first tried by the high priest and then brought before Pilate. Yehoshua, true to his beliefs, refused to recognize Roman authority over spiritual matters and remained silent to Pilate's questions, which was interepreted as treason. (In a subsequent section, we have provided more details of the trial.) Although Pontius Pilate was not convinced of his guilt, he was under pressure from a howling mob and Yehoshua was sentenced to death by crucifixion, at the age of 32. He was also declared an enemy of the state, and his disciples went underground fearing further persecutions.

It would be very bad if we, the authors, did not devote a paragraph to the suffering of this unfortunate man. Already having faced the torments of a form of insanity and, by all accounts having preached love and forgiveness, he would face what would be the root of the word "excruciating" pain. For while most Indians are aware that Christ died on the cross, it is not many who pause to ponder the implications of this. Indeed the word "excruciating" originates in "comming from crux, the cross".  Crucifixion was an extremely bad way to die. The nails (about 12 inches long) were driven into the wrists of the victim (not into the palms as is commonly depicted), and the heels would be attached to the post with another nail. When the victim was suspended, the nails would exert a pressure on the median nerve, causing wave after wave of explosive pain. Further, in this suspended position, it is difficult to exhale the breath. The only way the victim can do this is to raise himself on the heels, putting pressure again on the nail driven through here. If the victim survived this torture for too long, the Romans usually smashed their legs, making it impossible to raise themselves and exhale. (This happened to the two thieves who were crucified along with Christ. Mercifully for Yehoshua, he had probably died of cardiac arrest a few hours earlier.) Crucifixion perhaps originated in Persia from where it was adopted by the Romans. We mention that amongst the Jews, the high priest Alexander Janneus had crucified about 800 Pharisees before their wives and children, who were then slaughtered while the men were on the cross. It is likely that tens of thousands of people are likely to have faced this torture. (Spartacus and his 6000 strong captured slave army were put to the cross, Alexander the Great had crucified 2000 survivors in the siege of Tyre etc.).  Jesus was nailed to the cross at about 9:00 am, after being flogged, he died the same day at about 3:00 pm.(Mark 15:25; 34-37).  It would not surprise the reader that he cried in desperation:  "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" (appears in Psalm of David 22:1 ).

Yeshoshua himself did not preach "Christianity", and there is no written material regarding Christianity in his time. The phenomenon called "Christianity" took root in subsequent centuries, although it did somehow make him the central figure of it. Immediately after his death, his followers who had deserted him, continued to worship at the same temple in Jerusalem, and continued to refer to the Torah (Old Testament) as their sacred book. Nevertheless, they saw themselves as a group within Judaism that was favored by Yahweh. They looked forward to a second coming of Jesus. These "saints" slowly grew in number (due to the increasing disenchantment with the prevalent political situation) and  many non-Jews were drawn in from outside Judea (initially from Damascus and Greece).  Of course, the Pharisees and Sadduccees were suspicious of this new-found group and its growth, and started sending spies to Damascus and Greece to report on its growth.  The Romans too were alarmed, partly because these early "Christians" were very secretive about their activities. One of these spies subsequently became the Apostle Paul, who was one of the major founders of Christianity as we know it. In these early days Christians were called "non-traditional Jews ". The first use of the term "Christian" was in 47 AD.


Google cache on Geza Vermes
Vermes's latest book is essentially a commentary on every word ascribed to Jesus by Matthew, Mark and Luke. It reaffirms the conclusion of his earlier New Testament works - <b>that Christianity rests on a colossal mistake.</b> The carpenter's son from Nazareth performed exorcisms, healed the sick and preached the coming of the Kingdom of God. <b>But he had no message for the Gentiles, still less any urge to found a universal church. </b>He belonged solidly within his Jewish milieu, and his downfall resulted only from an act of prophetic zeal. "He caused a fracas in the merchants' quarter in the Temple a few days before Passover," Vermes writes.

"The nervous priestly authorities ... sensed danger, and feared that the disorder might start a rebellion ... Pilate, notorious for his cruelty, did not hesitate to put to death the 'king of the Jews', whom he believed to be an insurgent ... Jesus expired on a Roman cross and was buried. But his disciples saw him in repeated visions, which persuaded them that he had been raised from the dead before ascending to heaven."

It follows from this that historic Christianity must have come from elsewhere. Vermes sees the true source of doctrinal development in the writings of St Paul. When the Jewish roots of the gospel were transplanted into foreign soil through Paul's mission, a human prophet addressing a local audience was recast as a divine redeemer for all humanity.


The more the nails in the missionary's coffin, the merrier the Christmas we celebrate.
my comment on xtian site: "awaiting moderation"

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Vedaprakashji and others,

As you have argued, Christianity is indeed cultural terrorism and warfare against native traditions across the globe. This ideology has sponsored the destruction of 90% of the world’s cultures and committed continental scale genocides- continuing into the present with rampant missionary subterfuge in India and lending itself as a front operation for western colonialism. But please be advised that Christianity is an elaborate hoax according to the latest research by Joseph Atwill. Christianity is Roman war propaganda against the Jews and nonwhites. New testament was written by Romans to demean and destroy Judaism. Titus Flavius who destroyed the Jewish Temple commissioned the Christian hoax as a replacement for Judaism. Titus’ Flavius military campaign against Jerusalem was transformed into Jesus’ ministry against Judaism

Search “Joseph Atwill” -author of Caesar’s Messiah

See youtube video- watch?v=dCNJf83bqjs (Atwill’s interview)

also please see the summary essay at caesarsmessiah.com<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
The easiest way to learn about Christianity is to locate Christians trying to convert Jews (eg Jew for Jesus) and seriously consider their arguments about Christ as fulfillment of OT, instead of dismissing offhand.

[deleted. already posted]
An inverted upanishad narrative

The story of Adam and Eve: a Vedic origin
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Religious and philosophical truths are often explained through parables, stories, so that ignorant people can understand them easily. Since metaphysical concepts are difficult to grasp, either they have to be told in the form of a story or they have to be given the form of a ritual, that is they must find expression as religious acts.
It is likely, though, that, with the passage of time, some stories or rites will become far removed from their inner meaning. Or, it may be, the inner meaning will be altogether forgotten. So it must be that, when new religions took shape abroad, after the lapse of thousands of years-religions not connected with the Vedic faith that is the root-the original Vedic concepts become transformed or distorted.

You must be familiar with the story of Adam and Eve which belongs to the Hebrew tradition. It occurs in the Genesis of the Old Testament and speaks of the tree of knowledge and God's commandment that its fruit shall not be eaten. Adam at first did not eat it but Eve did. After that Adam too ate the forbidden fruit.
Here an Upanisadic concept has taken the form of a biblical story. But because of the change in the time and place the original idea has become distorted-or even obliterated.

The Upanisadic story speaks of two birds perched on the branch of a pippala tree. One eats the fruit of tree while the order merely watches its companion without eating. The pippala tree stands for the body. The first bird represents a being that regards himself as the jivatman or individual self and the fruit it eats signifies sensual pleasure. In the same body (symbolized by the tree) the second bird is to be understood as the Paramatman. He is the support of all beings but he does not know sensual pleasure. Since he does not eat the fruit he naturally does not have the same experience as the jivatman (the first). The Upanisad speaks with poetic beauty of the two birds. He who eats the fruit is the individual self, jiva, and he who does not eat is the Supreme Reality, the one who knows himself to be the Atman.

It is this jiva that has come to be called Eve in the Hebrew religious tradition. "Ji" changes to "i" according to a rule of grammar and "ja" to "ya". We have the example of "Yamuna" becoming "Jamuna" or of "Yogindra" being changed to "Joginder ". In the biblical story "jiva" is "Eve" and "Atma" (or "Atman") is "Adam". "Pippala" has in the same way changed to "apple". The Tree of Knowledge is our "bodhi-vrksa" . "Bodha" means "knowledge". It is well known that the Budhha attained enlightenment under the bodhi tree. But the pipal (pippala) was known as the bodhi tree even before his time.

The Upanisadic ideas transplanted into a distant land underwent a change after the lapse of centuries. Thus we see in the biblical story that the Atman (Adam) that can never be subject to sensual pleasure also eats the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. While our bodhi tree stands for enlightenment, the enlightenment that banishes all sensual pleasure, the biblical tree affords worldly pleasure.

<i>(From the book Hindu Dharma by the Sage of Kanchi)</i><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
"Do not believe such silly things as there was a race of mankind in South India called Dravidians differing widely from another race in northern India called the Aryans. This is entirely unfounded". This is not from a saffron scholar of the 21st century. But Swami Vivekananda said it before an audience in the then Madras city as the 19th century was drawing to a close.

Hope the world will say the same thing about jeebus in a century.

Hope all christian proselytization loses 80% of $$$$ to run on by 2050..
What is the Old Testament name of the fruit tree? It really couldnt be an apple as that is a cold climate tree.
It is supposed to be the pomegrante (which originated in Persia). btw, Oppenheimer swears that the <i>Tree of Life/knowledge</i> originates in SE Asia and radiates outward with Sunda inundation.

The point is that we can clearly see the inner correspondence in the Upanishad version of 'two eating from the fruit' while the same is much decayed or inverted in the OT. Talageri argues same for IE narratives radiating out of India.
So how does Atwill account for St Andrew and St Peter and their mission to Greece and Rome respectively? What was the difference in their message for we see the Orthodox Church is quite different than the Roman Catholic church and its derivatives.

I agree that Imperial Romans co-opted Christianity but who were the early Christians? The role of St. Paul is very important in that he took the Jewishness out of Christianity by allowing the Gentiles to convert and not be circumcised. Muhammad on the other hand didn't allow that. Next comes Marx to allow a new Godless Evangelization.
Peter is a pun upon Greek 'Petrus' which means rock (eg petroleum, petrosal). Peter will build his Church upon the Rock. Christians usually attribute the 'Peter as Petrus' line to the Christ's supposed sense of humor and gaiety. Peter is also the first Pope, whcih according to Atwill is a personage intimate within Titus Flavius' retinue/family, who would have also been an official of the Titus's Imperial cult. I will have to look up the exact detail he gives.

About the Orthodox Church, I would assume it is a variant of the first Christian Church in Armenia. Pliny the younger was sent as an official to this Pontus/Armienia region where he registered the Christian troublemakers in Roamn annals. I am assuming that this was a 'false flag operation' by Pliny Younger. This region was a stronghold of the Persian Mithridates (the anti-Roman) which needed to be integrated into the Roman sphere. The thing that we have to realize is that 'false flag' is the standard operating procedure for this entire ilk and the source of their psy ops ascendancy.

btw, Atwill's forum was hacked. I am waiting for someone from that forum to dig up the forum from google cache, but other than Atwill and a few others, they don't seem to have any urgency. It shows how Church could completely dominate these guys for centuries on end.
The missions to Greece and Rome would be false flag missions since the Imperial Cult/Church emantaed from these locations. Domitilla's Christian catacombs (which every art history student learns as basic) were in the heart of Rome with full imperial consent.

Luke is the Gospel version for the Romans. Matthew (?) for the Greeks. Husky gave this particular detail earlier.

<!--QuoteBegin-Ashok Kumar+Jun 20 2008, 09:44 PM-->QUOTE(Ashok Kumar @ Jun 20 2008, 09:44 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->From the link provided by Husky above:
How Jesus got a life
<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->When Hipparchus discovered that the vernal equinox had been displaced from Taurus into Aries, he or some of his disciples felt that they had detected the labor of a hitherto unknown god. (Many Greeks felt that each natural phenomenon or physical force was actually the working of a particular god.) For astrological reasons, this new god was identified with the ancient Persian god Mithra. The mystery religion known as Mithraism thus was born. [12] Mithra was installed as a Time-Lord or chronocrat, the god who would rule over the Age or Aeon of Aries.

By the time Hipparchus and his Stoic colleagues understood that the vernal equinox had moved from Taurus into Aries, the equinox was almost out of Aries as well. Very soon it would move into Pisces, and a new Time-Lord would be needed. Just as movement of the equinox out of Taurus had been symbolized as the sacrifice of a bull [13], so too, the movement out of Aries would come to be symbolized by the sacrifice of a lamb. The first symbol of the new-age religion, the religion reigning in the age of Pisces, significantly, would be the fish. [14] (The cross, apparently, was originally the Greek letter chi ©, which reminds us of the intersection of the celestial equator with the ecliptic at an acute angle.) It is not surprising that in the oldest epitaphs and inscriptions it is actually two fish that were used to symbolize the New-Age cult - making the symbol of Christianity identical to the astrological symbol for Pisces, in obedience to the fact that Pisces is plural: the fishes. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Mitra is one of the Aditya-s in Vedic pantheon. There are 12 Aditya-s. It is easy to make the connection with the 12 zodiacal signs through which the Sun moves during the year. Aditya-s are also called the solar deities.

Mithra's iconography shows him slaying a bull. It also shows a close connection with the Orion constellation of stars. The Taurus constellation is next to the Orion and Orion the hunter is supposed to be slaying Taurus the bull. Many depictions of Mithra have been identified as representing the Orion-Taurus constellation.

Prominence of Mitra as an Aditya could possibly be traced to a period when, the equinox occurred in Taurus. Shifting of the equinoxes is also attested to in Indian texts using the name of the nakshatra denoting the occurrence of the equinox.

This is quite a provocative argument that a search for a new Aditya for the age of the Pisces, culminated in an interesting confluence of Greek astronomy, Mithraic religion, Jewish expectation of a Messiah and Roman imperial drive to use the forces released for the purposes of empire building, which finally led to the creation Christianity. (intraforum link)
<!--QuoteBegin-dhu+Aug 24 2008, 11:31 AM-->QUOTE(dhu @ Aug 24 2008, 11:31 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Peter is a pun upon Greek 'Petrus' which means rock (eg petroleum, petrosal).

Is Greek 'petrus' somehow relating with Skt 'prastar' (meaning the same thing)?
I suppose it would depend on whether you believe in IE. There is also the Lindtner and Thundy theory which poses a Buddhist transmission of Gospel narratives out of India and subsequent purposeful mangling of the buddhist terminology. Hindi patthar seems to related as well.

It is possible to construct Atwill's insights via certain inconsistencies in Balagangadhara's account; Indians had tentatively started upon this path and would eventually have been able to piece it all together. Balagangadhara gave the essential clues when he traced normative ethics to Greece. Interestingly, Atwill himself spent his formative years in Japan where he must have encountered non-normative ethics. He is also a computer engineer, like Rajaram and the others hated by western establishment. The other decoder Shakespeare had African Jewish connections. I keep on wondering why this account surfaced at this time. Is there a relation to 2012?
<!--QuoteBegin-dhu+Aug 28 2008, 08:32 PM-->QUOTE(dhu @ Aug 28 2008, 08:32 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->I suppose it would depend on whether you believe in IE.  There is also the Lindtner and Thundy theory which poses a Buddhist transmission of Gospel narratives out of India and subsequent purposeful mangling of the buddhist terminology.  Hindi patthar seems to related as well.

Not mean to be facetious but what is Pali for stone? If there was Buddhist transmission then it could be a homonym from there. To imply 'steady as a rock'.
Also "Peter" has a toilet humor connection in colloquial Euro. This aspect would fit in well with flavian fratboy mindset.

In (our) <i>Traditions</i>, the seeker ascends to higher levels of understanding. In <i>Religion</i>, however, the believer is patterned to attempt decoding of higher levels while the real meanings are at toilet humor level. It is a 'double bind'-like control mechanism.

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