1. Boiled in Hell-broth and Grave-dust [intro]
On a cold spring morning around AD30, a man was executed on a tree upon a mound of dirt known as Golgotha. This is his story, of a man made God…
As an intro goes this couldn’t be simpler. The start of a journey, the beginning of one mans collision with destiny. Like all journeys I also have been on a collision with this very album. It is a concept I had always wanted to realize, and yet in what medium I could never had imagined.
The story of Jesus Christ is familiar to most, the three wise men following a star that is set above a stable in Bethlehem, where born from a virgin is the son of God.
The subsequent gifts of frankincense, Gold and Myrrh, are all part of the wonderful nativity, the Birth narratives of Matthew and Luke’s gospels that are forever imbued in the Christmas school play, the exchanging of gifts and Christian celebration of the savoir of Man. We are also familiar with the Miracles of Jesus, the turning of water into wine, the feeding of the five thousand, walking on water and the raising of Lazarus from the dead. The Crucifixion is another event that is immortalized in the Christian symbol of the crucifix, and the apparent resurrection, so all important to the Christian Faith.
The above retrospective is what many of us know about Jesus. Christians of all denominations alike generally do not question the events written in the Gospels.
As for me, it was my father who afforded me a picture Bible when I was old enough to look upon the images with an innocent awe. [not for any religious motives, but to make me aware of what religion was] The story of Creation, of Noah and the Ark, Moses and the parting of the Red Sea, David and Goliath, Sampson, Daniel and the Lions den, Jonah and the Whale, amongst other marvellously fantastic stories . The story of Jesus was in the following volume, although less exciting to my young eyes. Perhaps the omission of giants, blood thirsty battles and Godly interference distilled the actual poignancy of the tale. I soon learned that the Old Testament stories were not just mere fairy tales; they were actually supposedly true events.
As I grew older the King James version of the Bible was made available to me, although the actual reading of the tiny text never seemed to supplement the thrill of my picture version. By the time I had reached my teens, I already had a habitual interest in History, absorbing everything my mind could take in, and it was this collision of History and Religion that opened my eyes to the two totally separate worlds. My childhood heroes became no more than mere mortals, and not the supermen I had once believed them to be. The creation story was weighed against the more plausible evolutionary theories and seemed to wane into the myth it always was. Any indoctrination towards faith I may veered towards was dismantled by my ability to reason and separate what I though was fact or fiction. Faith was not an option for taking these events as truth.
The Bible I soon learned was a History of the Jews, it was their heritage and the New Testament was just a Western add-on so to speak, and I wondered why it warranted such an exalted status in so many nations unrelated to these Semitic sand dwellers. The Old Testament became like other works I had wondered over as a child, Homers Iliad and Odyssey, no doubt based on fact, but enriched with exaggeration and the supernatural.
So then, what about the New Testament, of Jesus? Surely this was no mere mythology; there must be substance to the man, like King David, tethered to a firm anchor in History?
From those distant moments until now, there has always been a calling towards this most mysterious of men, of the Man Made God. The theory of how truth is the foundation from whence the lies are built can be applied to both the Old and New Testaments. There was never a man named Samson who had supernatural strength, and who lost this strength when his hair was shorn. But there was a Samson who was a Nazorite [a member of a sect that demanded the hair be left uncut.] There was a King David and a King Solomon. There was a Moses and a Hebrew presence in Egypt at the time of the great exodus. The Old Testament was based on actual events for the most part, the older the stories, the more supernatural infested they become [as all ancient myth is distorted historicity] Of course the Creation story, Noah and the Ark, are impossible truths in their written form, but may have a basis in an ancient tradition passed down by word of mouth.
So, surely the New Testament must be based on fact, a truth lost through the ages of Christian evolution?
I am of a mind to seek my own truth. I believe you should not mock what you do not understand, so it is my intention to understand this Jesus of Nazareth, to unlock closed doors to what he actually was, and what he eventually became. What happens when you question the Historicity of the Gospels, the challenging enigmas, confounding contradictions? I believe Jesus existed, I believe he was a Jewish healer living in first century Palestine. A Galilean who became too dangerous and was duly executed by the judicial procedures of both the Roman and Jewish courts. The fact he alienated both parties is something that we will look into later.
For those with faith or those prepared to accept the bible in all its inconsistencies and arcane trappings, then Christianity has a firm foundation on which to stand. For those who couldn’t care less, why are you reading this?
For those who wish to understand the nature of its conception and to apply logic and fact to past events then this is how Christianity was born. We must take into account that the supernatural does not exist in this cold truth, that God has no dealings with its existence.
God is a separate issue who manifests within all the worlds’ religions. To deny the existence of God would be illogical in itself. Like to deny life on other worlds. Only a fool would deny the existence of both. And yet the right to not believe is your freedom of choice.
What the following attempts explain is that Jesus was mortal. No different to you or me other than the chain of events he set in motion in a time when the world [or more to the point, a battered and enslaved nation of Jews] was crying out for something to give warmth to the never ending coldness of misery and oppression.
I believe Jesus was mortal and in no way divine, and that statement must then compel my search to eliminate any supernatural and other worldly events, acts of divine intervention and magical occurrences. The Gospels are the source of any search and being religious works are wrapped in the supernatural. I believe the real Jesus can be extracted from these works, as they were surely based on him from the offset. Christianity came after Jesus, so the formation of this religion is not an essential part of my search. The fact that the real Jesus is locked amongst the Christian writings makes Christianity very much part of my quest, yet it is the Jewishness of Jesus that will create the man I seek. The modern notion that Jesus is pure invention is deeply implausible.
Jesus must fall into one of the following categories.
That Jesus existed, was the living son of God, died and was resurrected, and all the Gospel narratives depict his actual deeds as factual events.
I do not believe Jesus was a son of God. I view the life of Jesus as a non-supernatural entity and dismiss his divinity; I believe the Gospels are semi-myth, based on a factual person.
That Jesus never existed at all, and all the early writings were pure fabrication that was the impetus for the birth of Christianity.
This is very unlikely as the Gospels are written with such a geographical accuracy and at times historical basis. That to invent such a story would be next to impossibility. There is too much factual/historical credence to the works to dismiss them totally as mere fabrication. There is no smoke with out fire so to speak.
That Jesus existed as a mortal man, lived and died in 1st century Judea as a Jewish prophet/ Rabbi, and whose life had been manipulated by Old Testament prophecy, believing himself to be the messiah.
A plausible theory.
That Jesus existed as a mortal man, lived and died in 1st century Judea as a Jewish prophet/ Rabbi, and died by Crucifixion. His life then heavily doctored and manipulated into the Christianity we know today.
To my mind the most logical assumption one could muster.
Why would a Supreme creator of the universe send its [the creator being neither female or male, as the dominant male ‘God’, is a nonsense], spirit in human form to a troublesome, primitive culture of Semitic origin and then have the story revealed in four Gospels that contradict each other, and then completely add chaos to a simple tale by confusing one and all with a doctrine based on certain books whilst omitting several others. It seems the omnipotence of divinity is poisoned by human mischief, thus making the sacred nothing more than a bemusing allegory of faith.
The above brings into question my own view on God. Do I believe in God? I do not believe in this psychotic Jewish God, adopted by Rome and now masquerading as a Christian God. I believe in this God of Jews like I believe in the Gods of Egypt, of Greece and Norway. To refute the existence of a God where all these mythical adaptations are based is not for me to question. All I know, is the Gods among us now are all vindictive lunatics and of that I can have no part of. What I am trying to say is, the primitive mind view of the ancients tries to impregnate the psyche of the modern mind, to diffuse the obvious in favour of the improbable. Religion is myth, it cannot be anything else for it cannot exist in the forms it has been portrayed. True spirituality is far beyond our reach, it is untouched by mortal comprehension.
Who was Jesus?
Is the Jesus you know from the teachings of the New Testament born from the literary fiction of the earliest evangelist or a chapter from history, documented and applied to a theological foundation? Some have called Jesus “a figure designed by Rationalism, endowed with life by liberalism, and clothed by modern theology in a historical garb”
The trouble with the Christian faith today is the inability of the credentials of the past to hold any bearing with the future. The very image of Jesus has been cemented into the minds of men by the politically correct, the Christianized and the last two thousand years of canonical Catholic evolution. The Jesus we know is of humble origin, of meek and sublime appearance, of un-sullied temperament. Even on the Cross, whilst undergoing one of the cruellest punishments known to man, his face still permeates calm and contentment. Of course, reality would paint a different picture, yet reality and religion walk a very fine line, and rarely do they meet.
We are talking of a Jewish healer and possible rabbi who became known as a Messiah, and preached the ethical word of a Jewish God. At that precise time, this man we know as Christ [the Greek word for Messiah], was totally confined to a tiny desert land that was occupied by a foreign force capable of deploying the most sadistic and treacherous of deeds. Israel, a land of little importance populated by a people of Semitic origin and serving no purpose other than to offer servitude to the might of Rome.
To be fair to the Jews, they quickly proved to be a resilient people, often rebellious and very much restrained to their religious beliefs. Here rests the pivotal point of the Jewish race, their at times fanatical obsession with Jehovah, a God of Jews confined to the Jews in a land overrun with Romans. It is also a steadfast faith that has held this culture together through the most abominable tribulations. We must look upon the religious convictions of Jesus outside the Christian shackles that bind him. His religion was based on the ‘Torah’ and Gods Law. The Jewish scriptures relate to their own history and gods intervention in its evolution. The Temple of Jerusalem is where the presence of God was said to dwell, His Shekinah. This monotheistic belief was forged in the hearts and minds of the Jews and all other gods were deemed as idols, pagan entities of little value.
To accept Jesus, we must accept the Old Testament and all its complex workings.
This is a book that is wholly Jewish and not initially designed to embrace a world view.
The Jews are very nationalistic, very proud and very set in their individuality. Their religion is set for their own culture alone, with outsiders being termed as gentiles.
It is Jesus that gives us the bridge from one book to another, and yet there is a void of theology of the Jews during the two testaments. The books that inhabit this space are called apocrypha.
So this eschalogical [the final days of man] view of prophetic literature appeared at a time of Jewish oppression. A people without a kingdom, enslaved by an alien force and condemned to servitude. The question of Faith and logic are two separate paths and they run on a parallel line across history. Like all religions, the Old Testament has its creation story, its giants and supernatural events that shape its form.
The ancient texts and subsequent translations do not encompass an exact representation of the originals, yet being Gods words one is compelled to accept irrevocably that they are representative of the truth. To the ignorant and uneducated such stories of Adam and Eve, Moses and the plagues appear as great truths. We must remember we once thought the world was flat and that is we sailed to far the edge of the world would drag us to our doom. The Aztecs also thought the Spaniards who came ashore on their horses were of one being. This is the ignorance I am talking about, and not some derogatory remark aimed at peoples in spite.
To the modern mind, to the educated mind set, we are told not to believe in the literal wordings, but to view them as allegories, mere colourful veils of the truth. This is the religion of Jesus, a religion that Christianity has adopted and merged with their own collective works conspiring to deify Jesus. To people out side of Israel, Jesus has always been viewed as a white blued eyed, blond haired male. His Jewishness all but erased.
What did Jesus look like? There are innumerable images of Jesus the Christ. He is probably the most recognizable figure in History. He is the face of Christianity and the subject of every form of art, from paintings to sculptures, poetry to music. His long hair, blue eyes and tranquil Caucasian complexion reveal the westernized image of Jesus, a far cry from the actual rugged, first century Jew he actual was. The truth is, there is no description of what he actually looked like, so it defies any rational explanation that we have this trusting portrait of how a so called Son of God looks like. No one knows what he looked like, a fact. There are some images that are closer to the truth than others. Typical images of first century Jews will be more apt than any of the orthodox Christianity portraits circulating the globe in their millions. Was he short, fat, tall or butt ugly? Was he suffering from any disfigurements, sensory impediments or bodily malfunctions? Could he have had an unsightly wart on his nose, severe halitosis and rotting teeth?
How about a constant twitch, or could be have been boss eyed? We really know nothing of his facial characteristics that can make a person look noble or devious, good or evil? The fact Jesus is deemed the Son of God, by Christians makes it an absolute necessity he come across as righteous and ethereal as possible. There is no point in having a Jesus looking like one of the Marx brothers.
The name Jesus
How would you like to be remembered by a name that sounds nothing like the name you were called all of your life? During the life of Jesus [as we know him] he was called by his Hebrew name which was Yeshua. [Yahoshua ben Joseph, meaning Jesus son of Joseph] Arguing this point one could have the name of William in English and end up being called Guillermo in Spanish. Jesus/ Yeshua was a common name in Palestine. The Historian Josephus has two Jesus’ listed in the last twenty eight high priests of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Whatever your views about Jesus one thing is certain. Jesus the Man did exist. There can be no smoke without fire. There are too many references to his surroundings that give as a foundation for accepting that he was a real historic figure. Sure, there is no concrete proof but taken in the context that he was during his life a man as undocumented as many aspiring holy-men of his age, then why dismiss him as pure fiction? I can understand an establishment creating a religion, but not from thin air.
Yeshua is the original Aramaic proper name for Jesus the Nazarene, who lived from about 6 B.C.E. to 27 C.E. (A.D.) The word "Jesus" is actually a mis-transliteration of a Greek mis-transliteration. The Emperor Constantine even mistook Jesus for Apollo, the son of the Greek god Zeus. In Hebrew Yeshua means Salvation while the name Jesus has no intrinsic meaning in English whatsoever? Yeshua bar Yosef (Yeshua, son of Joseph) is the original Aramaic name for Jesus the Nazarene. His parents, siblings, disciples, and followers called him by that name. The name "Jesus" is a misspelling and mispronunciation that resulted from the translation of Yeshua's name after his death, first into the Greek Iesous (pronounced "ee-ay-SUS"), and then from the Greek Iesous into the Latin Jesus. No one during Yeshua's life (prior to 30 CE) ever uttered the name, "Jesus." The letter "j" wasn't in the English language until the seventeenth century, so even in English, no one spoke the name "Jesus" until after that time.
If we take him to be a mortal prophet and not a demi-God then his existence becomes more believable. Contrary to what the church would have you believe it is more than likely Jesus was a Pharisee. The age to which Jesus is attributed [one must rely on mostly biblical sources for this as no concrete historical evidence exists to confirm he existed at all] is predominantly one ravaged by the Roman Empire. At his Birth, Julius Caesar had been dead around 54 years, Tiberius was Emperor of Rome and the years is generally dated at around 5BC. It was an era of total Roman supremacy, the Golden age of Roman oppression and power.
This was the age of Jesus, a perilous age, a ruthless age and an age where he, by all accounts purposefully planned his life to end in agony. Whether divine or mortal, Jesus emerged into a society of conflicting ideals and strict religious law. To detract from the path of either prominent governing body was paramount to punishment, even death.
The Romans utilized the Jewish ruling classes to help govern the unruly Jews, and through political and religious machinations managed to keep the peace for the most part.
Here, in this context must we observe Jesus the Man, or as he was known, Yeshua.
To our age he has become an enigma, his story vilified by Christianity and its many sub-sects. His humanity shrouded in divinity, his mortality lost in the ashes of persecution.
Within the confines of ecclesiastical doctrine Jesus is a steadfast rock, his origins unclaimed, unknown and through the corridors of faith discarded amongst the debris of time. Outside these ecclesiastical perimeters the human Jesus has been suppressed, erased and wiped from the pages of History. His significance when alive related to those who knew him. To Roman and Jewish Law he may have been deemed an undesirable, a trouble maker, but so were numerous other Jews of the time. His subsequent arrest, trial and death would have caused little controversy, little uproar and therefore in a historical pretext would have not ingrained any immediate need for documentation.
The Jesus of the evangelists on the other hand had a free and generous entry to the world of the rational via the gospels and other canonical/non canonical works. His life became significant many years after he had died. Suddenly the need for an accurate, decisive account of his earthly life became paramount to bolster the new faith and such foundations were at best laid upon the tracts of hearsay, distortion and fabrication.
So from memory, the spoken word and of testimonies of those who supposedly knew Jesus, the gospels were born and each gospel conflicts with the other, each evangelist seems to have forgotten the Human Jesus and fashioned the Jesus of the new faith.
Christianity at that moment was no more than a tiny extension of a Jewish sect who had embraced Jesus as a prophet. Jesus the Jew was now taken from the roots of his existence and planted firmly in the Rome, the very source of the civilized worlds canker.
The fact the gospels conflict and contradict each other can also silence the doubters of their authenticity. If these works were to conspire wholly to deceive they would all flow in the same direction and not be so different. It does seem that four separate sources have reached back in time and documented their own versions of past events.
It was Rome, the Empire of all evils that was to be transformed into the Holy Roman Empire where Popes would rule unchallenged and Europe would succumb to the Christian revolution in all its subhuman stained corruption. To examine the New Testament with the above in mind, one can see clearly the age in which it was written. Rome plays heavily in the construction of these works and the very people to whom Jesus is accredited are themselves plunged into a nightmare that still wreaks turmoil today. That is the nightmare of Anti Semitism.
A Religion built on a fragile truth.
Jesus is one of the most famous men in history. But unlike other noted men, who have changed the course of history, men like Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, who have left a legacy of coins, buildings and archeological evidence, Jesus is somewhat of a mystery. There is no historical evidence other than the writings of men who preceded him to confirm his existence. These written records are themselves open to scrutiny being that the earliest writings are placed more than 50 years after his death.
Similarities arise with King Arthur and Camelot. The only reality is that there was an Arthur, but he was a Celtic chieftain managing a futile guerrilla war with the migrating Saxons around 500 AD. There are still many people who believe Arthur was an actual king around the fourteenth century. Legends are born from a whisper in time. Like the epics of Homer and the great siege of Troy or Robin Hood and Gilgamesh, all are rooted to some distant fabric of truth. We know there was a Troy, and yet the affixation with the Gods takes the reality into legend where truth is hacked away and replaced by fantastic fiction.
Jesus must be looked upon in this way. There is no reason to suppose a God who manufactured a universe of such magnitude and complexity would place his son amongst a decimated culture to preach a futile message and endure the most terrible of deaths.
The same cane be applied to the same God who supposedly sent a flood to destroy mankind at a time when the human capability to commit atrocities and inflict suffering were nothing compared with today.
But contrived exaggerations of Jesus by the early church fathers made him into what he is now. Would not a God of such infinite power be beyond the trappings of mortal frailty?
Why would a God produce only a single son whose message has since become lost in church corruption and human error? Surly a God would foresee the futility of what has become the Christian Church in all its crumbling out of date teachings. Why send a Son to save the sins of man and leave his doctrine to a few disciples who themselves could not ensure his words would be preserved until at least 30-50 years after his death?
For what reason would the world have to suffer even more unspeakable cruelty two thousand years on to this day? Why would all this mystery be locked in a maze of religious jargon that is so at odds with itself the very church has splintered into various denominations each proclaiming to be the purest doctrine of Christ?
What ever the unfathomable reason for the seemingly absurd motive for a God creating life on Earth, the fact is the modern mind should not be condemned to eternal suffering for its inability to comprehend a message that has proven to be as fragile as the church that covets it. If anything, Christianity has given nations the tool to amass vast armies and reek destruction on lesser cultures throughout its bloodthirsty history. To create Man with freedom of choice and then curse him for choosing the wrong path does seem a pretty harsh way to establish a perfect world don’t you think?
To establish the probable facts of Jesus we must first cut our way through the exaggeration, the contradiction and the hearsay. We must separate the God-Son relationship and look upon Jesus as a human being devoid of any divine power. God [Jehovah] we must remember was before Christ an exclusively Jewish entity who had little bearing upon the other cultures of the world. The Jewish God was indeed a ruthless and jealous being with little tolerance and would settle for nothing less than total obedience from his chosen race. This very same God had already sent a flood to destroy his erroneous creation, blown up five villages of one being Sodom. Obliterated the tower of Babel, manipulated the Egyptian oppression of the Jews by sending all manor of heinous plagues culminating in the opening of the Red Sea to finalize their escape. Add to this a history of burning bushes, angelic visitations, whales devouring and spitting out a man, and numerous other incredible acts, we now find his son wandering in the desert with a following that amounted to twelve disciples, wealthy and less privileged people and a beleaguered rabble.