Is the Jesus story an astrological allegory?

The study of religious or heroic legends and tales. One constant rule of mythology is that whatever happens amongst the gods or other mythical beings was in one sense or another a reflection of events on earth. Recorded myths and legends, perhaps preserved in literature or folklore, have an immediate interest to archaeology in trying to unravel the nature and meaning of ancient events and traditions.

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Postby Minimalist » Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:16 am

You'd probably love Earl Doherty's "The Jesus Puzzle", Ish. In his view, "Mark" the oldest "gospel" began as a Jewish Midrash.

Dr. Jacob Neusner explains that the word 'Midrash' is based on a
Hebrew word meaning 'interpretation' or 'exegesis'. He shows that the
term 'Midrash' has three main usages:
1. The term 'Midrash' can refer to a particular way of reading and
interpreting a biblical verse. Thus we may say that the ancient
rabbis provided Midrash to Scripture. This does not mean that any
interpretation of scripture is automatically true rabbinical
Midrash. In fact, most of what people call 'Modern Midrash' has
nothing to do with the classical modes of literary exegesis that
guided the rabbis. Commentary and Midrash are two different
things! In order to get a good idea of what classical rabbinic
Midrash really is, one has to actually study it; No two or three
sentence definition can accurately define the structure of
Midrash.
2. The term 'Midrash' can refer to a book - a compilation of
Midrashic teachings. Thus one can say that "Genesis Rabbah" is a
book that is a compilation of Midrash readings on the book of
Genesis.
3. The term 'Midrash' can refer to a particular verse and its
interpretation. Thus one can say that "The Midrash on the verse
Genesis 1:1 says that...[and some Midrashic interpretation of the
verse would go here].


"Mark" (name attached much later) was written to tell a story using scripture. Jews would have understood this. Gentiles took it literally.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Postby Ishtar » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:57 pm

Minimalist wrote:
"Mark" (name attached much later) was written to tell a story using scripture. Jews would have understood this. Gentiles took it literally.


Couldn't agree more.
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Postby Ishtar » Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:16 am

This is Acharya S's conclusion to the question: who invented Jesus? It's from her book The Christ Conspiracy:

...the early contributors to the Christian version of the ubiquitous celestial mythos [astrotheitical allegory] were the Syrian Gnostics, who were attempting to create a syncretistic religion that would encompass the wide variety of cultures from around the known world. By the end of the first century CE, at Antioch, for one, the Gnostics were already involved in committing to writing the various sayings and deeds of the characters of the celestial mythos and saviour cult that been transmitted orally within the brotherhood for millennia. Eventually, as Doresse says, “in the time of Hadrian (AD 100 – 38), Gnosticism passes over Syria into Egypt ....”

Meanwhile, in Palestine, possibly emanating out of Galilee and/or the ancient monastery on Mount Carmel, with an outpost at Qumran, the Jewish/Samaritan priesthood of Masons and astrologers, the Zadokites/ Sadducees, had been anticipating the Great Year’s end and agitating that they were the Elect, the inheritors’ of the ‘Lord’s kingdom’ on earth, which would be brought about by a ‘wondrous child’ and ‘restorer’. After the destruction of Palestine, this group and others dispersed into various other brotherhood branches, including those at Antioch and Alexandria. The new influx reignited the centuries-old internecine struggle for supremacy with each other and the Gentiles. Thus began the conspiracy to set the ubiquitous solar hero sayings and narratives in Judea, with Jews as both protagonists and antagonists.

In the middle of the 2nd century, the original Gnostic schools began to dissent from Judaizing and historicising activity, objecting that their original work was not meant to be taken literally. At the end of the 2nd century, the historicising push increased with the success of the Roman play for domination, and the canonical gospels were completed somewhat, although they were continuously reworked to agree at least superficially with other reworked manuscripts. This tinkering went on for centuries until relative uniformity was achieved with dozens of councils....

The aim of this priest craft, or course, was to create a new godman that would not only roll into one all others but also unite the lunar-stellar and solar cult priesthoods, as well as usher in the new age. As the mythical Moses had been utilised to inaugurate the new age of Aries, Jesus was created to do likewise with the age of Pisces. Thus, to the Krishna/Christos myth were added fish motifs from the Osiris/Horus myth, as well as numerous other elements of the Egyptian and other religions, such as the December 25 birthdate, which was established in the 4th century to usurp the cult of Mithra. And so it went on ....

In this effort, the largely astrological and mythological works of the eclectic Gnostics/Therepeuts were latched on to by historicisers of the second, third and fourth centuries, including Iranaeus, Justin, Tertullian, Origen, Clement Alexandrinus, Tatian and Eusebius. To the conspirators’ list can be added Ambrose, Augustine, Gregory and Jerome....Other villains in this myth making included Lactanius, Constantine, Justinian as well as all the popes including Sylvester who was pope during the Council of Nicea. Pope Innocent II created the Council of Basle (1431 – 1449) in large part of call for a book burning...
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Postby Ishtar » Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:30 am

Minimalist wrote:You'd probably love Earl Doherty's "The Jesus Puzzle", Ish. In his view, "Mark" the oldest "gospel" began as a Jewish Midrash.


Min, Acharya thinks that 'Mark' is 'Marcion' orginally - Marcion's Gospel of the Lord, before it was Judaised.

"The argument runs thus: There was in ancient India a very great sage called Deva Bodhisatoua. Among other things, he wrote a mythological account of Krishna, sometimes spelled Chrishna. About 38 or 40 AD, Apollonius while travelling in the East found this story in Singapore. He considered it so important, he translated it into his own language (Samaritan). In this, he made several changes according to his own understanding and philosophy. On his return, he brought it to Antioch, and there he died. Some 30 years later, another Samaritan, Marcion, found it. He too made a copy with still more changes. This he brought to Rome about 130AD, where he translated it into Greek or Latin."


Thus we have the apparent origins of Marcion's Gospel of the Lord, which he claimed was the Gospel of Paul.

Higgins relates:

"The learned Jesuit Baldaeus observes that very part of the life of Chrishna (Krishna) has a near resemblance to the history of Christ; ...."
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Postby Minimalist » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:31 am

Acharya lost me with a conspiracy which has one guy (Justin) in the second century and a pope in the 15th. In general, conspiracy nuts seem to think that conspiracies are a lot easier to maintain than they actually are.

In the words of Napoleon Bonaparte: "Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

In any case, Marcion is a key but, as has happened other times, effective Christian book-burning has put up a critical roadblock to understanding what Marcion was all about.

The rise of apocalyptic sects seems common among groups which are under stress and I still have not given up the idea that the earliest threads of what later became christianity are caught up in the movement of Antiochus IV and his desecration of the temple.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Postby Ishtar » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:44 am

Minimalist wrote:
The rise of apocalyptic sects seems common among groups which are under stress and I still have not given up the idea that the earliest threads of what later became christianity are caught up in the movement of Antiochus IV and his desecration of the temple.


What's that all about, Min?
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Postby Ishtar » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:39 am

Ishtar wrote:
Minimalist wrote:
The rise of apocalyptic sects seems common among groups which are under stress and I still have not given up the idea that the earliest threads of what later became christianity are caught up in the movement of Antiochus IV and his desecration of the temple.


What's that all about, Min?


Acharya believes that the Zadokites/Samaritans/Sadducees regarded Antiochus as a hero:

"While the Jews thus viewed him as a diabolical enemy, the Samaritans considered Antiochus a god and saviour. Furthermore, according to Josephus, the Alexandrian historian Apion accused the Jerusalem Jews of being cannibals, relating that when Antiochus opened the temple he found being fattened a Greek captive whose entrails were to be shared among the Jewish elders, a ritual they were alleged to have performed regularly with kidnapped foreigners."
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Postby Minimalist » Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:17 am

Antiochus IV wanted to bring the Jews, kicking and screaming, into the 2d century BC. The Hellenistic Greeks (which the Seleucids were) regarded Judaism as a primitive and barbaric cult.

In that sense, the Maccabee Revolt could be seen as a triumph of conservative religious ideals over progressive thinking...in much the same way as the Iranian revolution overthrew the Shah and asserted a deeply fundamentalist version of Islam into Iran.

So, yeah. I can see where Acharya is coming from with that one.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Postby Minimalist » Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:37 am

Ishtar wrote:
Minimalist wrote:
The rise of apocalyptic sects seems common among groups which are under stress and I still have not given up the idea that the earliest threads of what later became christianity are caught up in the movement of Antiochus IV and his desecration of the temple.


What's that all about, Min?



Books have been written on the subject but all I could find was this web site which gives some background.

http://faculty.bbc.edu/rdecker/phd/depriest/1roots.html

I'm sure there are others....I stopped looking when I found this one.

Apocalyptic was indeed called forth by the circumstances of the day. But it should not be understood in opportunistic terms, or in terms of worldly wisdom or of fanatical piety. It was 'the response of faith', responding to the times, but also reacting in its turn on the times, for it built up faith in God's people. It was scarcely possible apart from the unusual times and circumstances in which it arose. This combination of circumstances brought about a new situation in which the new type of writing could flourish. It was directed mainly to a people in trouble, a people who saw themselves as God's own, but who were puzzled by the plight in which they found themselves. The apocalyptists sought to justify God's ways to men and to give courage and confidence to God's people. They put meaning into life for confused and troubled men.5



To grossly oversimplify, Apocalyptic cults are the ultimate expression of a child who gets beaten up in the playground and has his lunch money stolen, everyday. He creates a scenario in which some avenging force ( his father or a big brother) shows up to smite his enemies and create a much better world. Obviously, recourse to such thinking is necessarily done by those getting the short end of the stick. The Jews who were being harassed by Antiochus definitely qualify!
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Postby Ishtar » Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:55 am

The other thing that makes sense (from Acharya) is her saying that the Zadokites/Sadducees/Samaritans were the main authors of the Jesus story. If you think about it, the Pharisees in Jerusalem (and especially the Sanhedrin) come out of it all pretty badly, while the Good Samaritans are the nice guys.
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Postby Minimalist » Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:29 pm

The civil war in the early first century BC was between Pharisees and Sadducees/Hasmonean dynasty. As the Sadducees ultimately lost we have none of their writings and are left with only the descriptions of their enemies. Thus, the phrase cum grano salis should probably be applied to whatever we think we know about them.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Postby Ishtar » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:10 pm

Acharya thinks that the Zadokites (sons of Zadok the Priest), the Sadducees and the Samaritans are all linked, and she quotes from the “Zadokite Document”, (also known as the “Damascus Rule” or “Damascus Covenant") from the Dead Sea Scrolls, which she says was theirs:

The rivalry between the priesthoods of Israel and Judah continued for centuries, extending into Galilee. At the end of the second century, Galilee was subjugated by the Judeans: “Conquered by Aristobolus 1 in 104-103 BCE, Galilee was forcibly converted to Judaism, even to the extent of its population’s having to undergo compulsory circumcision. Needless to say, like their Samaritan neighbours, the Galileans were not fond of the Judeans. In fact, Galilee was apparently a symbol of Judean oppression, which is evidently why Jesus was made to ‘come down’ at Capernaum. After this invasion and forcible conversion, the ranks at the Herodian outpost Qumran supposedly swelled, evidently with Samaritans and Galileans, or Zealots “from Damascus” who were also Sadducees, or “sons of Zadok”, i.e. “the priests who kept the covenant,” as the Zealots of the scrolls identified themselves. Indeed, Simon Schechter, the discoverer of the Cairo edition of one important scroll also found at the Dead Sea – ” – considered the Dead Sea Zadokites and “offshoot” of the Sadducean sect, “possibly the Dosithean schism” thereby equating this Sadducean offshoot with the Samaritans.

According to Josephus, the Sadducees/ Zadokites rejected the Pharasaic traditions not contained in “the law”, which ostensibly meant that that they spurned everything not in the Pentateuch, again identifying the Sadducees with the Samaritan priesthood. However, the Sadducees/Zadokites were not only Samaritans but also Levites, such that they did at least interpret the teachings of the prophets, in their favour, of course. In this manner, the Zadokites of the scrolls appear to interpret the prophets to favour Israel/Ephraim/Samaria over the “wicked priests in Jerusalem,” as in the commentary on Nahum: “ ...when (eventually) the glory of Judah suffers dishonour, those in Ephraim who have hitherto been duped will flee from the midst of men’s congregations and, renouncing them that led them astray, attach themselves (once more) to the (the true) Israel.”

In addition, one Zadokite commentator virtually identifies his Syrian/ Samaritan affiliation when he interprets Habakkuk 2:17, which refers to “violence done to Lebanon” as “Lebanon” here stands for the Communal Council. Concerning this statement, the author of the Dead Sea Scriptures, Theodore Gaster, notes: “The name Lebanon means “white”. ..the members of the Brotherhood wore white – as do the modern Samaritans and Mandeans.”

The author of the Zadokite Document reveals his own Samaritan affiliation when he says: “Nevertheless, in all of their generations He has ever raised up for Himself duly designated men ...And to these has He ever revealed the Holy Spirit at the hands of the anointed [Christ] and has ever disclosed the truth....” Of these designated men, Gaster notes: “i.e. the anointed priests, custodians and teachers of the Law, which is here called “the Truth”, as regularly among the Samaritans and Mandaeans. In fact, the Mandaeans were a Syrian pre-Christian brotherhood, one of the originators of Gnosticism whose high priests were called “Nasoreans”, i.e. Nazerenes/Nazarites. This passage also sounds Christian and represents a seed of the Gnostic Christianity that would emanate out of Samaria/Galilee/Syria.
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Postby Ishtar » Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:12 am

Happy Spring Equinox everyone!

:lol:
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Postby Minimalist » Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:37 am

I want some warm weather!
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Postby Ishtar » Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:49 am

Yeah..it's friggin' freezin' here and guess what we've got forecast for Easter Sunday. Snow! Even in London, where it practically never snows!

Meanwhile, the front of today's Independent boasts the enormous headline: SPRUNG, with pictures of primroses and frogs spawn and all the other proofs of spring having sprung. But it just doesn't feel like it!
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