Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Yeshu (ישו Hebrew spelling) in the Talmud

Yeshu (ישו in the Hebrew alphabet) is the name of an individual or individuals mentioned in Rabbinic literature.

Modern scholarship generally considers the name Yeshu in the Talmud to be a reference to Jesus the Nazarene in the Talmud.

The name Yeshu is also used in other sources before and after the completion of the Babylonian Talmud.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Did Jesus exist ? Latest Research and Proof.

Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed historically. In a 2011 review of the state of modern scholarship,

Bart D Ehrman writes, "He certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees".

Richard A. Burridge states: "There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church's imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more".

James D.G. Dunn calls the theories of Jesus' non-existence "a thoroughly dead thesis". Michael Grant (a classicist) wrote in 1977, "In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary".

Robert E. Van Voorst states that biblical scholars and classical historians regard theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted. - Johnson Watts

[ Ehrman, Bart (2011).  Forged: writing in the name of God – Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are. HarperCollins. p. 285. ISBN 978-0-06-207863-6. ]

[ Burridge, Richard A.; Gould, Graham (2004).  Jesus Now and Then. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-8028-0977-3.]

[ Price, Robert M. (2009).  The Historical Jesus: Five Views. InterVarsity. pp. 55, 61. ISBN 978-0-8308-7853-6. ] "Jesus at the Vanishing Point". In Beilby, James K.; Eddy, Paul R.

[ Sykes, Stephen W. (2007).
"Paul's understanding of the death of Jesus". Sacrifice and Redemption. Cambridge University Press. pp. 35–36. ISBN 978-0-521-04460-8. ]

[ Grant, Michael (1977).
Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels. Scribner's. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-684-14889-2. Van Voorst 2000, p. 16. ]

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Was Jesus a Magician ? A Sorcerer ? Able to change his Appearance ?

On the Life and the Passion of Christ: A Coptic Apocryphon’:

The ancient text explains why Judas used a kiss, specifically, to betray Jesus. According to the canonical bible, the apostle Judas betrays Jesus in exchange for money by using a kiss to identify him leading to Jesus' arrest.

This apocryphal tale explains that the reason Judas used a kiss, specifically, is because Jesus had the ability to change appearance.

"Then the Jews said to Judas: How shall we arrest him [Jesus], for he does not have a single form but his appearance changes. Sometimes he is ruddy, sometimes he is white, sometimes he is red, sometimes he is wheat coloured, sometimes he is pallid like ascetics, sometimes he is a youth, sometimes an old man ... "

This leads Judas to suggest using a kiss as a means to identify him. If Judas had given the arresters a description of Jesus he could have changed shape. By kissing Jesus Judas tells the people exactly who he is.

This understanding of Judas' kiss goes back to the first century . This explanation of Judas’ kiss is found in Origen, a theologian who lived 185-254 AD. In his work, Contra Celsum, the ancient writer, stated that "to those who saw him [Jesus] he did not appear alike to all."

The text is one of fifty-five Coptic manuscripts that were found in 1910 by villagers digging for fertilizer at the site of the destroyed Monastery of Archangel Michael of the Desert near Al Hamuli in Egypt. Apparently, during the tenth century, monks had buried the monastery's manuscripts in a stone vat for safekeeping.  The monastery ceased operations around the early 10th century, and the text was rediscovered in the spring of 1910. In December 1911, it was purchased, along with other texts, by American financier J.P. Morgan. His collections, and the text described, are now housed in the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City.

Essay :

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Was Jesus a Therapeutae from Egypt ? A Magical Healer ?

Much of the Gospel Narrative tells the story of how Jesus was able to heal the sick and raise the dead. 

What kind of strange Magic is this ?

No wonder they called him a Magician. A Sorcerer.... 

Was he a Shaman ? A medicine Man ? A Witch Doctor ? A Physician ? or in fact the One True God  ?

An exciting new discovery has been made of a very early image of Jesus in Egypt,

The depiction of Christ was found in a tomb wearing what appears to be the crown of thorns.
"Painted on the walls of a mysterious underground stone structure in the ancient Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus, about 100 miles south of Cairo, the image shows a young man with curly hair and dressed in a short tunic.
“He raises his hand as if making a blessing,” said Egyptologist Josep Padró, who has spent over 20 years excavating sites in the area."   This is a very ancient image that has been painted over for thousands of years and could be the Earliest image of Jesus as a Theraputae (Physician) in Egypt . 

The Therapeutae were a Jewish sect which flourished in Alexandria and other parts of the Diaspora of Hellenistic Judaism in the final years of the Second Temple period. The primary source concerning the Therapeutae is the account De vita contemplativa ("The Contemplative Life"), by the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria (c. 20 BCE – 50 CE)

Philo records that they were "philosophers" (cf. I.2) and speaks specifically about a group that lived on a low hill by the Lake Mareotis close to Alexandria in circumstances resembling lavrite life (cf. III.22), and were "the best" of a kind given to "perfect goodness" that "exists in many places in the inhabited world" (cf. III.21). Philo was unsure of the origin of the name and derives the name Therapeutae/Therapeutides from Greek θεραπεύω in the sense of "cure" or "worship" (cf. I.2).
The term Therapeutae (plural) is Latin, from Philo's Greek plural Therapeutai (Θεραπευταί). The term therapeutes means one who is attendant to the gods although the term, and the related adjective therapeutikos carry in later texts the meaning of attending to heal, or treating in a spiritual or medical sense. The Greek feminine plural Therapeutrides (Θεραπευτρίδες) is sometimes encountered for their female members. The term therapeutae may occur in relation to followers of Asclepius at Pergamon, and therapeutai may also occur in relation to worshippers of Sarapis in inscriptions, such as on Delos. (See Therapeutae of Asclepius)

The author described the Therapeutae in De vita contemplativa ("On the contemplative life"), written in the first century A.D. (C.E.) The origins of the Therapeutae were unclear, and Philo was even unsure about the etymology of their name, which he explained as meaning either physicians of souls or servants of God. The opening phrases of his essay establish that it followed one that has been lost, on the active life. Philo was employing the familiar polarity in Hellenic philosophy between the active and the contemplative life, exemplifying the active life by the Essenes, another severely ascetic sect, and the contemplative life by the desert-dwelling Therapeutae.

They lived chastely with utter simplicity; they "first of all laid down temperance as a sort of foundation for the soul to rest upon, proceed to build up other virtues on this foundation" (Philo). They were dedicated to the contemplative life, and their activities for six days of the week consisted of ascetic practices, fasting, solitary prayers and the study of the scriptures in their isolated cells, each with its separate holy sanctuary, and enclosed courtyard:

....the entire interval from dawn to evening is given up by them to spiritual exercises. For they read the holy scriptures and draw out in thought and allegory their ancestral philosophy, since they regard the literal meanings as symbols of an inner and hidden nature revealing itself in covert ideas. — De Vita Contemplativa, para. 28

The 3rd-century Christian writer Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 263–339), in his Ecclesiastical History, identified Philo's Therapeutae as the first Christian monks, identifying their renunciation of property, chastity, fasting, and solitary lives with the cenobitic ideal of the Christian monks.

The 4th-century Christian heresiologist Epiphanius of Salamis (c. 315–403), bishop of Salamis in Cyprus, author of the Panarion, or Medicine Chest against Heresies, misidentified Philo's Therapeuate as "Jessaens" and considered them a Christian group.

The 5th-century Christian writer Pseudo-Dionysius, following Philo, interprets that "Some people gave to the ascetics the name 'Therapeutae' or servants while some others gave them the name monks". Pseudo-Dionysius interprets Philo's group as a highly organized Christian ascetic order, and the meaning of the name "Therapeutae" as "servants".

Among the Christian texts found at Oxyrhynchus, were fragments of early non-canonical Gospels, Oxyrhynchus 840 and Oxyrhynchus 1224 (1st Century). Other Oxyrhynchus texts preserve parts of Matthew 1 (3rd century: P2 and P401), 11–12 and 19 (3rd to 4th century: P2384, 2385); Mark 10–11 (5th to 6th century: P3); John 1, and 20 (3rd century: P208); Romans 1 (4th century: P209); the First Epistle of John (4th-5th century: P402); the Apocalypse of Baruch (chapters 12–14; 4th or 5th century: P403); the Gospel according to the Hebrews (3rd century AD: P655); The Shepherd of Hermas (3rd or 4th century: P404), and a work of Irenaeus, (3rd century: P405). There are many parts of other canonical books as well as many early Christian hymns, prayers, and letters also found among them.

The earliest Gospel Fragment from 30-40AD: Oxyrhynchus 1224 (P. Oxy. X 1224), now at the Bodleian Library, MS. Gr. th. e. 8 (P), consists of two small papyrus fragments. It contains six passages, each about a sentence. Two of the longer ones are parallel to Mark 2:17 and Luke 9:50, but the differences in phrasing show they are textually independent of the Gospels. A precise date for composition is unknown; John Dominic Crossan notes that the fragmentary text "does not seem to be dependent on the New Testament gospels.... As an independent gospel, it belongs, insofar as its fragmentary state allows us to see, not with discourse gospels involving the risen Jesus (e.g., the Secret Book of James and the Gospel of Mary), but with sayings gospels involving the earthly Jesus (e.g., Q document and the Gospel of Thomas). Crossan suggests that the document might have been written as early as the mid-first century.

Luke 9:49 “Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us. 50 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”