The Kingdom of Heaven

Introduction

In my last blog (See: Is the Law Dead for Christians) I wrote about how the old testament law has not been done away with by Jesus or the Apostle Paul. Moreover I showed how Jesus even expected his followers to practice the law at a higher level than the Pharisees. To practice the law at a higher level than the Pharisees one must spiritualize the law of Moses and fulfill it within their very being. For example instead of sacrificing an animal in a temple what we’re really suppose to do is sacrifice our inner animal in the temple which are our bodies. This is why the Apostle Paul continually said things like,

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. – Colossians 3:5

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. -Galatians 5:24

“…I beat my body and make it my slave…” – 1st Cor 9:27

This leads us to the topic of the kingdom of heaven. On this issue Christians are no different than the Pharisees because they fail to heed the very words of Jesus on the nature of the kingdom.

The Nature of the Kingdom

The kingdom is inside you

If you ask modern Christians when the kingdom of heaven is going to come they will tell you that first the anti-Christ needs appear on the world scene to deceive the whole world create a one world government and lead the armies of the world to attack Jerusalem. When Jerusalem is surrounded by all the armies of the world then Jesus is going to appear with his angels, destroy the anti-Christ and set up the kingdom in Jerusalem which will last for a thousand years. This is the view most Christians will spew when asked when the kingdom of heaven will come, now contrast this with what Jesus said in the Gospel of Luke when he was asked when the kingdom of heaven would appear.

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” – Luke 17:20-21

Christians believe Jesus is going to set up a physical kingdom in Jerusalem, Jesus in his own words basically said, the coming of the kingdom isn’t going to be a physical here or there that can be seen with the naked eye because the kingdom of heaven is within you.

Thus the modern Christian and the Pharisees of Jesus’ time are similar, the Pharisees looked to practiced the law of Moses physically instead of spiritually while Christians look for a physical manifestation of the kingdom when the coming of the kingdom is a spiritual event which happens within the physical body of the follower of Christ. Luke 11:52 makes a lot more sense when you realize the kingdom is inside of you. Jesus said,

Woe to you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye have not entered in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. – Luke 11:52

Therefore we can rightly conclude that once the disciple of Christ has sacrificed their inner animal, hormones, and lust within the altar of their body-temple then and only then can the believer enter the kingdom within.

‘Within’ or ‘Among?’

The favorite rendering of Luke 17:21 by Christian translators is “the kingdom of heaven is among you.’ They reason that Jesus could not have possibly been saying that the kingdom of heaven was in the hearts of the Pharisees, but is this true? The word translated as ‘within’ in Luke 17:21 is the Greek word Entos. This word is only used twice in the New Testament, the only other time it was used was in the Gospel of Matthew chapter twenty-three. Jesus says,

“You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. – Matthew 23:27

Here we see entos again being translated as inside. Jesus condemned the Pharisees for not focusing on first cleansing themselves on the inside instead of the outside. Furthermore on the issue on whether the correct translation is within or among the Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament says,

 This ‘within you’ is the obvious, and, as I think, the necessary meaning of |entos|. The examples cited of the use of |entos| in Xenophon and Plato where |entos| means “among” do not bear that out when investigated. Field (_Ot. Norv_.) “contends that there is no clear instance of |entos| in the sense of among” (Bruce), and rightly so. What Jesus says to the Pharisees is that they, as others, are to look for the kingdom of God within themselves, not in outward displays and supernatural manifestations. It is not a localized display “Here” or “There.” (Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament on Luke 17:21)

Since there are no Greek writers who used entos to mean among we can rightly conclude that within is the correct translation.

Lost saying of Jesus on the Kingdom of Heaven

In the Gospel of Thomas saying 22 a rather strange concept is put forth by Jesus, it says,

Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to his disciples, ‘These infants being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom.’ They said to him, ‘Shall we then, as children, enter the kingdom?’ Jesus said to them, ‘When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the kingdom.’” – Gospel of Thomas, saying 22

This same saying is found in the writings of the disciple of the Apostle Peter, St. Clement, in his 2nd Epistle of Clement. Also this saying is found in the recently discovered Oxyrhynchus papyri.

While this saying no doubt has many correct interpretations one interpretation is that both men and women are made up of male and female polarities and it is these polarities that must be transcended so that, “the male not be male nor the female female.” The fulfillment of such a merging of our positive polarity with our negative one is seen in the symbol of the ying and yang. Therefore when the opposite polarities within us are brought into unity then we can enter the kingdom of heaven.

Summary

We have seen that the nature of the kingdom is a spiritual one not a physical one. The kingdom will not be a localized here or there where it can be seen with the human eye because as Jesus said, “the kingdom is within you.”

I have also demonstrated that the correct translation of Luke 17:21 is within not among. Entos is never used to mean among in any Greek writing and in the new Testament it is only used twice and in both occasions it clearly means inside. Christians arbitrarily choose to translate entos as among because the kingdom being inside the Pharisees goes against Christian dogma.

In the Gospel of Thomas and other biblical documents and artifacts it was shown that a lost saying of Jesus clearly shows that to enter the kingdom you must overcome duality within yourself. The fact that the kingdom of heaven is spiritual in nature and not a physical kingdom which will be set up in Jerusalem goes against Christian doctrines but it was Jesus himself who said the kingdom is inside us and not in a specific location. Therefore Christians who continue to cling to the left behind theology call Jesus Christ a liar, not with their mouths but with their beliefs.

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Is the Law Dead for Christians?

Introduction

Christians claim that with the death of Jesus they are no longer under the law of the Old Testament, because the law is dead to those who put their faith in Jesus, his death and resurrection. But if you actually read the gospels which supposedly are a historical narrative of the life of Jesus, you’ll quickly see that Jesus did not once condemn the law in fact he expected his followers to follow the law. Not only did Jesus expect his followers to do the law he expected them to perform it at as higher level than the Pharisee’s.

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:20)

The Pharisee’s were highly religious men and were held in high esteem in the time of Jesus as men who faithfully kept the law of God. Jesus told his followers that they had to exceed the righteousness of the Pharisee’s or they would by no means enter the kingdom of God. This statement alone should scare the Christian who believes that Jesus put the law to death with his sacrificial death on the cross.

A question Christians need to ask themselves is this, if Jesus wanted us to not only keep the law but perform it at a higher level than the Pharisee’s then why are their no accounts of Jesus or his followers in the gospels where they go to the Jewish temple to sacrifice animals and why was this similar to the Essene’s who also did not go to Jerusalem to perform sacrifices or worship God at the temple in Jerusalem. (See: Jesus was an Essene and Nazareth did not exist).

Another question Christians need to answer is this, if Jesus in the Gospels made it clear that we must observe the law of Moses then why in the Epistles of Paul does he seem to be against keeping the law of Moses? Is Paul therefore contradicting Jesus?

Jesus told the religious leaders in this day,

“Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.” (Luke 11:52)

Question, how could it be said that the Jewish experts in the Law who Jesus condemned, possessed the Key of Knowledge? What does it mean that they failed to enter? And what was it they were supposed to enter?

Paul and the Law

That Jesus expected us to fulfill the law is seen in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus says,

“For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called greate in the Kingdom of heaven.  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:18-20)

In his Epistle to the Galatians Paul says,

“…if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:21)

Is Paul contradicting Jesus? I don’t think he is, there are other places where Paul affirms that the law is good, holy, spiritual and righteous.

So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good… We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin…And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good…For in my inner being I delight in God’s law.” (Romans 7:12,14,16,22)

Theologian C.E.B. Cronfield pointed out in his commentary on the book of Romans that Paul seems to be negative of the law because in the Greek language there is no word for “legalism” or “legalist” so Paul’s negative attitude towards the law most likely has to do with the misuse of the Law and not the law itself.

That this assessment is indeed correct is found in Paul’s letter to the Hebrews where he writes,

Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being. Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer.  If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain. (Hebrews 8:1-5)

Notice in verse 5 Paul says that the priest here on Earth serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. On this verse the Barnes’ Notes Commentary writes,

“The reference is to the tabernacle, which was a mere example or copy of heaven. The word here rendered example upodeigma means a copy, likeness, or imitation. The tabernacle was made after a pattern which was shown to Moses; it was made so as to have some faint resemblance to the reality in heaven, and in that “copy,” or “example,” they were appointed to officiate. Their service, therefore, had some resemblance to that in heaven.” (Barnes’ Notes Commentary

On the word shadow in verse 5 the Barnes’ Notes Commentary says,

“That is, in the tabernacle where they served there was a mere shadow of that which was real and substantial. Compared with what is in heaven, it was what the shadow is compared with the substance. A shadow—as of a man, a house, a tree—will indicate the form, the outline, the size of the object; but it has no substance or reality. So it was with the rites of the Jewish religion. They were designed merely as a shadow of the substantial realities of the true religion, or to present the dim outlines of what is true and real in heaven.” (Barnes’ Notes Commentary)

On the phrase ‘of heavenly things’ found in verse 5 the Barnes’ Notes Commentary says,

Of the heavenly sanctuary; of what is real and substantial in heaven. That is, there exists in heaven a reality of which the service in the Jewish sanctuary was but the outline. The reference is, undoubtedly, to the service which the Lord Jesus performs there as the great High Priest of his people. (Barnes’ Notes Commentary)

So Paul did not have a negative view of the law he just realized the law, the Jewish temple and all the rituals that come along with the earthly Jewish religion were just symbols that are an imitation of the true spiritual temple.

Your Body is the Temple

You’ll never be able to fulfill Jesus’ demand to be more righteous than the Pharisee’s if you don’t come to grips with the fact that all the rituals that took place at the Jewish temple in Jerusalem are nothing but an imitation of the true spiritual temple that is not of this world. Jesus and his disciples knew this, so did the Essene’s and the Apostle Paul which is why none of these holy men went to Jerusalem to take part in the ritualistic religion of the carnal Jews. This is why Paul can say the works of the law are death, it’s not that the law is bad it’s just the outward expression of the law lead to spiritual death. Let me put it another way, it is because the law as practiced by the Pharisee’s is nothing but an imitation of the spiritual, this is why the law cannot save you, not because the law in and of itself is bad. You must make the law spiritual and personal to your very being, not practice it outwardly and literally like the Pharisee’s in Jesus’ time did.

In the Epistle to the Corinthians the Apostle Paul puts forth an important concept, Paul says,

 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? (1st Cor 6:19)

Question, if the temple in Jerusalem was a shadow temple and it is our bodies which are the true temples of God then does this not make the outward expression of the Jewish religion obsolete? Now you can hopefully perceive why Jesus condemned the Pharisee’s.

How to do the Law

Ironically the true practice of the law is found on a Jewish website. Under the heading: “What is the holy temple?” the website askmoses had this to say about the holy temple.

“With the destruction, G-d destroyed the physical Temple and made it a spiritual place. He took that window and placed it within us. Instead of traveling to Jerusalem, G-d wanted us to find Him in our inner Jerusalem. Now, our bodies are our Temples, our souls are our windows, our minds are our Kohanim and our animal instincts are our sacrifices. We cannot offer physical sacrifices three times a day, but we can pray three times a day. We cannot attend Temple services three times a day, but we can tap into our souls three times a day. We cannot atone for our shortcomings by sacrificing animals, but we can sacrifice our inner animals—our hormones, our lusts, our desires, our beastly compulsions. We cannot find G-d in Jerusalem; we must find Him in us.” (Askmoses.com, What is the Holy Temple?)

How is what is said here any different from what Paul said in his letter to the Colossians?

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5)

In the book of Romans Paul says,

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Romans 8:12-13)

Christians believe that because they have asked Jesus into their hearts that they have overcome spiritual death but that is not what Paul says here. He makes it clear that if you do not put to death your sinful urges you will die but if you put to death your sinful urges you will live.

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. (Galatians 5:24)

Paul never taught that once you come to Jesus you can live any way you want and still enter the kingdom of heaven. Coming to Jesus is the first step towards becoming spiritual, you still must fulfill the law. In the words of Jesus,

For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. (Matthew 5:18)

Therefore we can rightly conclude from the Bible itself that it is our bodies that is the temple not the temple which once stood in Jerusalem which was merely a shadow and imitation of the true temple. Our sinful carnal nature is actually the animal we must slain within the temple of our bodies, not in a temple in Jerusalem.

“For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself” (Heb 9:24)

Sacrificing animals in a temple made with human hands can never save you because in practicing the law this way your sinful nature never gets crucified. Sacrificing your animal instincts within your temple-body is how the law should be fulfilled, it should not be fulfilled literally as the Pharisee’s did.

This also answers another question I asked earlier pertaining to Luke 11:52.

“Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.” (Luke 11:52)

I asked, “how could it be said that the Jewish experts in the Law who Jesus condemned, possessed the Key of Knowledge?  What does it mean that they failed to enter?  What was it they were supposed to enter?

The key to knowledge that Jesus condemned the Pharisee’s of throwing away, is the knowledge that the law must not be practiced literally. What they were suppose to enter was their very own bodies which is the real temple and fulfill the law there but they failed to do so and thus never entered the kingdom of heaven.

Summary

We have learned that there is nothing wrong with the law it’s the outward physical expression of the law that is frowned upon by Jesus and the Apostle Paul. The reason it is frowned upon is because the temple in Jerusalem is nothing but an imitation of the real genuine temple which is the body.

 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? (1st Cor 6:19)

Jesus commanded his followers to exceed the righteousness of the Pharisee’s if they ever wanted to enter the kingdom of heaven. The problem with the Pharisee’s is that they practiced the law literally instead of spiritually, they sacrificed physical offerings, physical animals, in a physical temple in order to atone for their spiritual shortcomings. But as the askmoses website says,

“we cannot offer physical sacrifices three times a day, but we can pray three times a day. We cannot attend Temple services three times a day, but we can tap into our souls three times a day. We cannot atone for our shortcomings by sacrificing animals, but we can sacrifice our inner animals—our hormones, our lusts, our desires, our beastly compulsions. We cannot find G-d in Jerusalem; we must find Him in us.” (Askmoses.com, What is the Holy Temple?)

This is no different than what the New Testament says when it tells us,

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature…” (Col 3:5)

And it is our carnal sinful nature that we must sacrifice in the temple of our bodies, this is why the physical ritualistic expression of the law as practiced by the Pharisee’s lead to sin and spiritual death. It is fulfilling the law spiritually how one exceed the righteousness of the Pharisee’s, crucify their sinful nature and enter the kingdom of heaven. This is why the Essene’s, Jesus, and the Apostle Paul did not take part in temple activities, they knew that the law of Moses had to be fulfilled within their very own bodies.

The Secret Gospel

Early Opponent of Christianity

Introduction

 In the year of 178 A.D., Celsus, the Epicurean philosopher and opponent of Christianity, published a work in opposition to Christianity known as The True Word or Discourse. Seventy years after its publication The True Word was still so widely circulated, that the Church Father Origen was commissioned by St. Ambrosius to refute this attack by Celsus in a work called Contra Celsum (Against Celsus). Both of these works are crucial to our understanding of early Christianity because in the True Word we see the allegations of this Epicurean philosopher against the church and in Contra Celsum we see the official response of the church to the allegations of Celsus. It’s like a window to the past opens up and we get to sneak peak at the beliefs and doctrines of the early church.

True Word

The True Word was written to oppose the “false word” which was Christianity, sadly The True Word has been lost to history but some of the arguments Celsus made against the church are preserved in Contra Celsum. Celsus as an Epicurean philosopher sought to understand nature by looking to nature itself, so it’s no surprise that in this work Celsus uses the same logic and arguments you hear out of modern day critics of the bible, for example he attacks the Christians for having blind faith:

Some do not even want to give or receive a reason for what they believe, and use such expressions as, “Inquire nothing. Believe and your faith will save you.” (Celsus, The True Word)

he attacks Christians for believing that God came down from heaven in the form of a man:

“God, my friends, is all-perfect and all-blessed. If He leaves His present state, and comes down as a man among men. He must pass from blessedness to unblessedness and from perfection to imperfection, from good to bad, and no such change is possible with Him. Change is the condition of mortality. The immortal remains the same for ever. (Celsus, The True Word)

and he even attacks Jesus Christ questioning his virgin birth and resurrection. While writing from the perspective of a hypothetical Jew, he writes:

“You, sir, have invented your birth from a virgin! You  Jesus were born in a small Jewish village. Your mother was a poor woman who earned her bread by spinning. Her husband divorced her for adultery. You were born in secret and were afterwards carried to Egypt, and were brought up among the Egyptian conjurers. The arts which you there learnt, you practised when you returned to your own people, and you then persuaded them you were God. It was given out that you were born of a virgin. Your real father was a soldier named Panther. The story of your divine parentage is like the story of Danaë. (Celsus, The True Word)

“Who saw your prophet after he rose—an hysterical woman or some of his own companions who dreamt of him or were deluded by their enthusiasm—an experience that has happened to thousands? More likely they wanted to impress others with this fantastic tale and so provide a chance for other beggars with this cock-and-bull story. All the world were witnesses of his death. Why were none but his friends witnesses of his resurrection? Had he desired to prove that he was God, he would have appeared to his accusers and his judge, or he would have vanished from the cross.” (Celsus, The True Word)

But this blog will focus on one particular claim made by Celsus. Celsus claimed that:

Of associations some are public, and these are in accordance with the laws; others, again, secret, and maintained in violation of the laws; of this latter sort is Christianity. The Christians teach and practice their favorite doctrines in secret. (Celsus, The True Word)

Celsus accused the church of teaching and practicing their favorite doctrines in secret. This alone means nothing but it is the response of Origen that should shock believers and unbelievers.

Origen responds to this charge by saying:

“to speak of the Christian doctrine as a secret system is altogether absurd. But that there should be certain doctrines, not made known to the multitude, which are after the exoteric ones having been taught, is not a peculiarity of Christianity alone, but also of philosophic systems, in which certain truths are exoteric and others are esoteric. Some of the heroes of Pythagoras were content with his ipse dixit; while others were taught in secret those doctrines which were not deemed fit to be communicated to the profane and insufficiently prepared ears.  Moreover, all the mysteries that are celebrated everywhere throughout Greece and the barbarous countries, although held in secret, have no discredit thrown upon them, so that it is in vain he endeavors to calumniate the secret doctrines of Christianity, seeing that he does not correctly understand its nature”. (Origen, Contra Celsum)

Origen does not deny that Christianity has secret teachings,  Origen responds by saying yeah we teach secret doctrines but we’re not the only ones who do that, the philosophers and barbarians do the same thing so that doesn’t discredit Christianity. Before we get into the evidence that Christianity has secret teachings the question needs to be asked, who today would claim Christianity is a secret system? No one would. In the minds of believers and unbelievers alike if there is a religious group who isn’t scared to share what they believe it is the Christians so to accuse them of having secret teachings would seem absurd in our modern culture. It seems that this type of argument should be leveled against the Masons who do practice their doctrines in secret, the Masons are so secretive that many think they are planning on creating a one world government.

Evidence Christianity is a Mystery Religion

A mystery religion is defined as, “ religious cults of the Greco-Roman world, participation in which was reserved to initiates. The main characterization of this religion is the secrecy associated with the particulars of the initiation and the cult practice, which may not be revealed to outsiders. That Christianity is a mystery religion can easily be seen when one actually reads the Bible without their doctrinal biases. To begin to grasp the concept that Christianity once had secret teachings I am going to begin with the Apostle Paul and the letter he wrote to the Christians who lived in Corinth hence why it’s called the Epistle to the Corinthians.

In chapter one in the Epistle 1st Corinthians Paul tells the believers at Corinth that:

“in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ” – 1st Cor 1:5-8

Paul clearly tells the believers at Corinth that they possessed all knowledge of the testimony of Christ. The testimony of Christ is the knowledge of Jesus’ life, words, crucifixion and resurrection. It is important to remember that Paul letters were written before the gospels ever existed so he simply couldn’t give them a copy of the gospels which tell the story of Jesus. The believers had the testimony of Christ and were now just simply waiting for the revelation of Jesus. Yet in chapter two the mood changes and Paul begins to tell these believers that they have just begun in their walk with the Lord he tells them that they are nothing but babes in Christ and they don’t know the true essence of the gospel.

 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony (mystery) of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. – 1st Cor 2:1-2

In some versions of the Bible like the NAS for example there is a footnote that explains that in the most ancient manuscripts the word testimony in this verse is wrong and the correct word is mystery. The fact that in chapter one Paul already said they received the testimony of Christ should make it easier to accept that the correct word in this verse should be mystery and not testimony.

This leads to the first piece of evidence that Christianity is a mystery religion. The gospels were written in Greek and in the Greek language mystery (Musterion in Greek) means:

Musterion – hidden thing, secret,  religious secrets, confided only to the initiated and not to ordinary mortals a hidden or secret thing (New Testament Greek Lexicon)

In chapter one the believers at Corinth we were told had received the testimony of Christ (i.e. Christ and him crucified) but in chapter two Paul tells them he did not tell them the mystery of God. By chapter three Paul is outright telling these believers that they aren’t even spiritual.

Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? – 1 Corinthians 3:1-3

What should be troubling to modern Christians is that Paul told these believers who were told the testimony of Christ and didn’t lack any spiritual gifts that they were still worldly – mere babes in Christ – who he could only feed milk and not solid food. This is a common theme you find in early church writings, babes in Christ are often told they can’t handle solid food (deeper knowledge) because they aren’t yet mature in their faith. Instead they are given milk since they are still babes in Christ. In other words in the same way you that you cannot feed a baby solid food before it is ready (because it will choke) a baby christian cannot be fed deeper knowledge because he/she will “choke” on  it. The secret teachings of Christianity is found all throughout the early church.

Testimony of the Early Church Fathers

 The early Church Father Ignatius (A.D. 35-117) in his Epistle to the Trallaus writes to fellow Christians and tells them:

“Might I not write to you things more full of mystery?  But I fear to do so, lest I should inflict injury on you who are babes.  Pardon me in this respect, lest, as not being able to receive their weighty import, ye should be strangled by them” (Ignatius, Epistle to the Ephesians)

Again we see that food is being represented as a degree in knowledge. Babes in Christ get milk, while the mature get solid food. Ignatius couldn’t write things more full of Mystery because the Trallus believers would have chocked on it.

Christianity started out as a mystery religion, and remember the definition of a mystery religion, a mystery reliigon is a religion in which, participation in the religion is reserved only for initiates. In his Epistle to the Ephesians Ignatius wrote that he had been;

initiated into the mysteries of the Gospel with Paul, the holy, the martyred.” (Ignatius – Epistle to the Ephesians)

This might seen strange to a modern Christian, why would Ignatius have to be initiated into the mysteries of the gospel? Maybe because Christianity was a mystery religion.

The disciple of the Apostle Peter Clement of Rome (A.D. ???-101) wrote about Jesus and the mysteries, he said;

We remember that our Lord and teacher, as commanding, said to us, guard the mysteries for me, and the sons of my house.  Wherefore also he explained to his disciples, privately, the mysteries of the kingdoms of the heavens.” (Clementine Homilies)

Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 150-215) stated that:

“The Lord… allowed us to communicate to those Divine Mysteries, and of that holy light, to those who are able to receive them.   He did not certainly disclose to the many what did not belong to the many; but to the few to whom He knew that they belonged, who were capable of receiving and being molded according to them.  But Secret things are entrusted to speech, not to writing as in the case with God… And to him who is able secretly to observe what is delivered to him, that which is veiled shall be disclosed as truth; and what is hidden to the many shall appear manifest to the few” (Clement of Alexandria, Stromata)

Clement said, Secret things are entrusted to speech, not to writing” which means the deeper mysteries of God are not written down in a book somewhere.

Those Christians that were spiritually mature were taught the secret doctrines Celsus accused the church of practicing in private. This is why the Apostle Paul said:

We do use wisdom when speaking to people who are mature in their faith. But it isn’t the wisdom of this world or of its rulers, who will soon disappear. We speak of God’s hidden and mysterious wisdom that God decided to use for our glory long before the world began. – 1st Corinthians 2:6-7

Paul clearly states that the mystery of God is only revealed to those who are mature in their faith. What Christians fail to realize is that studying about Jesus’ life, words, deeds, death and resurrection are for babes in Christ (new converts to the faith) but there comes a time when a believer must graduate past such elementary teachings. This is confirmed in the epistle to the Hebrews when the Apostle Paul says;

“Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment” Heb 6:1-2

Can you imagine a preacher in a church telling his congregation that it’s time to leave the elementary teachings about Christ and move onto maturity, he would be labeled a false teacher and will most likely lose his followers. Yet this is exactly what the Bible tells us. Christians deny that there is any higher teaching, to them Christianity begins and ends with Jesus Christ but Paul said, “let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity.” Christians ignore these words of Paul, they also ignore Paul when he says:

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. – 2nd Cor 5:16

This is exactly why the Biblical scholar Rudolf Bultmann rightly concluded that:

Christian faith is, and should be, comparatively uninterested in the historical Jesus and centered instead on the transcendent Christ” (Encyclopedia Britannica)

This information is shocking to modern Christians. The Christian may ask, “do you mean to tell me i am actually suppose to move past teachings about Jesus Christ. My reply is: Yes you are, the elementary teachings about Jesus are for new converts but Christianity is deeper than Jesus so do as Paul says and leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity if you want to begin to comprehend the mysteries of God.

Et tu Jesus?

To further understand Christianity’s secret teachings we must go back to the great master teacher himself, Yeshua ben Yosef.  When his disciples asked why he taught the people in parables but when they were in private he spoke to them openly, Jesus responded and said;

“The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding…’ – Mark 4:11-12

Let’s go back once again to the definition of a mystery religion. We’re told that the main, “characterization of this religion is the secrecy associated with the particulars of the initiation and the cult practice, which may not be revealed to outsiders.” Here we not only see Jesus saying the secrets of the kingdom of heaven was given to his disciples but to those on the outside they only received parables. Moreover the word translated as secret is the Greek word Musterion (mystery) this is the same word Paul used in his letter to the Corinthians.

We see this again in the latter part of Mark chapter four. We’re told that:

Jesus used many similar stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand. In fact, in his public ministry he never taught without using parables; but afterward, when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them. – Mark 4:33-34

The word translated explained in this verse is the Greek word Epiluo. This word in Greek means:

Epiluo – (1) to unloose, untie (2) to clear (a controversy), decide, settle (3) to explain what is obscure and hard to understand. (Thayers New Testament Greek Lexicon)

Why would Jesus have to unloose and untie and explain what is obscure and hard to understand to his disciples when they were in private? Believers and unbelievers alike believe that a parable was meant to clarify a teaching, nothing could be further from the truth, they were meant to hide teachings from those who were on the outside. In explanation of the above words of Jesus the Wycliffe Bible Commentary correctly states that the purpose of parables when they state:

“The purpose of parables was to instruct the initiates without revealing the items of instruction to the ones who were without. This is in keeping with the Biblical principle that spiritual understanding is restricted to those who have become spiritual…” (Wycliffe Bible Commentary)

This is exactly what we find in the writings of Paul, spiritual things are only for those who have matured past the milk and were ready for solid food. What this also means is that those on the outside who try to interpret the true meaning of the parables of Jesus are liable to abuse them, meaning try will come to the wrong conclusion because they are trying to understand the parable from their limited knowledge, not knowing that the parable is not revealing the items of instruction to the ones who were without. 

Can you see a re-occurring theme happening here?

Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. – Matthew 13:36

When Jesus taught in public he veiled the true meaning of his teachings by way of a parable, but with his closest disciples he explained everything to them. Paul told the Corinthians that when he visited them he couldn’t openly speak about the mystery of God the only thing he could tell them was Christ and him crucified but he also explained he does speak about the mysteries of God to those who have become mature. We also see from the early church fathers that there are divine things which could not be spoken to those who are still babes. As we’ve just seen, even Jesus himself claimed that he told those on the outside of his inner circle parables so that,they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding.”

Enter the Gnostics

Any one who has studied early Christian “heretical” groups will know everything I am saying fits perfectly with what the Gnostic Christians believed. Gnostic Christians claimed that they had a hidden secret knowledge that was passed down from Jesus Christ himself and that one was saved by this secret knowledge which they called Gnosis. The Encyclopedia Britannica does a good job in trying to convey the meaning of Gnosis, they describe it as thus;

“Among the majority of the followers of the movement, ‘Gnosis’ was understood not as meaning ‘knowledge’ or ‘understanding’, in our sense of the word, but ‘revelation’.  These little Gnostic sects and groups all lived in the conviction that they possessed a secret and mysterious knowledge, in no way accessible to those outside, which was not to be proved or propagated, but believed in by the initiated, and anxiously guarded as a secret.  This knowledge of theirs was not based on reflection, on scientific inquiry and proof, but on revelation. It was derived directly from the times of primitive Christianity, from the Savior himself and from his disciples and friends, with whom they claimed to be connected by a secret tradition, or else from later prophets, of whom many sects boasted. It was laid down in wonderful mystic writings, which were in the possession of the various circles”. (The Encyclopedia Britannica)

Now hopefully you can see why the Encyclopedia Britannica describes Gnosis as NOT being based on reflection, on scientific inquiry and proof, but on revelation. Also you are beginning to see how this secret Gnostic tradition started with Jesus and was passed to his disciples and the apostle Paul and later to the early church fathers, therefore we see evidence that the Encyclopedia Britannica is correct when it states that this secret gnostic tradition; “was derived directly from the times of primitive Christianity, from the Savior himself and from his disciples and friends, with whom they claimed to be connected by a secret tradition.”

The Resurrection Has a Deeper Mysterious Meaning

What Christians literally believe is the milk of the gospel. The milk of the gospel was explained by Origen in his reply to Celsus. Origen writes:

For who is ignorant of the statement that Jesus was born of a virgin, and that He was crucified, and that His Resurrection is an article of faith among many, and that a general judgment is announced to come, in which the wicked are to be punished according to their desserts, and the righteous to be duly rewarded?” (Origen, Contra Celsum)

Some of the same doctrines Origen mentions here are the same doctrines the Apostle Paul called the elementary teachings about Christ and that the believer must graduate past.

“Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity,not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment” Heb 6:1-2

Let’s bereak this verse down, the Apostle Paul told the Hebraic followers of Jesus, let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity,” but what were the elementary teachings about Christ Paul said they had to move past? He mentions them in the rest of the verse, Paul said they had to mature past – laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death – This means the believer must mature past existing in a state of perpetual repentance from sin – and of faith in God – The believer must stop having blind faith in God and mature so he/she can know God directly through Gnosis – instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands – The believer must mature past ritual baptism and the laying on of hands – the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment – The believer must mature past the belief in a literal bodily resurrection and the concept of eternal judgement.

Origen does NOT disagree with Paul because after listing the doctrines of elementary Christianity Origen says:

“And yet the mystery of the Resurrection, not being understood, is made a subject of ridicule among the unbelievers.to speak of the Christian doctrine as a secret system is altogether absurd. But that there should be certain doctrines, not made known to the multitude, which are after the exoteric ones having been taught, is not a peculiarity of Christianity alone. (Origen, Contra Celsum)

Origen says that the multitude were not taught certain doctrines until the exoteric ones had been taught. In his response to Celsus Origen even goes so far as to say that exoteric christian doctrines like the literal resurrection of the physical body was:

“preached in the Churches… for the simpleminded and for the ears of the common crowd who are led on to live better lives by their belief”. (Origen, Contra Celsum)

This is exactly why it is important to understand that the Bible is an allegory (See: The Key to Understanding the Scriptures). In his treaties on The Soul and the Resurrection, St Gregory writes that:

“… the resurrection is no other thing than ‘the re-constitution of our nature in it’s original form.” (St. Gregory, The Soul and the Resurrection)

Thus what Christian believe to be a literal physical event is actually a spiritual one. In other words this exoteric doctrine of a literal resurrection was taught to babes in Christ, but the true meaning of the resurrection was taught in secret to those who had matured in their faith, those who matured received the esoteric meaning of the resurrection. This is why the Gnostic Gospel of Phillip says:

Those who say they will die first and then rise are in error. If they do not first receive the resurrection while they live, when they die they will receive nothing. (Gospel of Phillip)

Those who say that the Lord died first and (then) rose up are in error, for he rose up first and (then) died. If one does not first attain the resurrection, he will not die. (Gospel of Phillip)

The true resurrection is an event that must take place while one is still alive in the body, not in physical death. The literal resurrection though was taught to those who were immature in their faith or in the words of Origen, “preached in the Churches… for the simpleminded and for the ears of the common crowd who are led on to live better lives by their belief”.

A surface reading of the Bible will lead one to believe that one must physically die first to be resurrected. This is exactly why it is important to understand that the Bible stories are actually allegories. (See: The Key to Understanding the Scriptures)

Conclusion 

Evidence has been shown that Celsus was right when he claimed Christians have doctrines that they practice in secret. Origen did not deny this at all and the evidence is clear is that early in it’s history Christianity had secret teachings which started with Jesus, who told his disciples the secrets of the kingdom which wasn’t for those on the outside, to Paul who told the Corinthians that he didn’t tell them the mysteries of God, to the early church fathers who said these secret teachings go back to Christ himself:

 We remember that our Lord and teacher, as commanding, said to us, guard the mysteries for me…” (Clementine Homilies)

“The Lord… allowed us to communicate to those Divine Mysteries, and of that holy light, to those who are able to receive them. He did not certainly disclose to the many what did not belong to the many; but to the few to whom He knew that they belonged (Clement of Alexandria, Stromata)

This means the Christianity we all know is incomplete. In modern times all we have left is the exoteric doctrines of Christianity because in the 4th century when the Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman empire, he proceeded to persecute the Gnostic followers of Jesus to near extinction. The simple truth is the Gnostics were correct and they faced persecution from the “orthodox” church in Rome, and when it seemed like they were about to be destroyed some of their scribes went into the desert and hid their sacred writings in the hope that a future generation will one day discover them. That day came in 1945 with the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library which contained esoteric writings such as The Gospel of Thomas. The first saying in the Gospel of Thomas has Jesus saying:

“Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death.” (Gospel of Thomas, Saying 1)

The Gospel of Thomas is a spiritual book for those Christians who had moved past the milk of the gospel and were ready for deeper knowledge. Those Christians who love the milk of the gospel and fail to move past the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity condemn any higher knowledge and claim all Christianity is about is Christ and him crucified. In not knowing that Bible stories are actually allegories Christians don’t realize that the gospel account of Jesus being crucified is also a mystery that has a deeper meaning. If the Gnostic Gospel of Phillip is correct in saying that the resurrection is an event that must take place while you’re alive, does this shed light on the fact that Jesus actually was never crucified and that the gospel narrative of the crucifixion is an allegorical symbol of a higher teaching? Maybe Origen was onto something when he claimed that the literal resurrection was “preached in the Churches… for the simpleminded and for the ears of the common crowd who are led on to live better lives by their belief”.

The only way you can interpret the sayings of the Gospel of Thomas and therefore not taste death you must become initiated into the mysteries so that you can eventually learn the truth from the Son of God himself via a revelation (i.e. Gnosis).

Jesus said: He who drinks from my mouth will become like me, and I will become like him, and the hidden things will be revealed to him. (Gospel of Thomas, Saying 108)

If what i have presented in this blog is true then this means that there is nothing a preacher, theologian, or any one else can tell you that can save your soul, the bible as understood today by modern man cannot save you. Professing with your lips and believing in your heart that Jesus Christ is your personal Lord and Saviour cannot save you, only Gnosis can save you. The Gnostics were right and modern Christianity is a mere shawdow of it’s former self thanks to the church of Rome.

The Key to Understanding the Scriptures

Introduction

So far we have tackled issues starting with the fact that the Bible has been changed over the course of it’s history – (See: Has the Bible been Changed? Part One) – and that the gospels originally portrayed the beliefs of the Ebionites. The Ebionites believed that Jesus was the son of Joseph and Mary and that he became the Christ at his baptism, I also showed that that the virgin birth story was not originally apart of the gospels. (See: Has the Bible Been Changed? Part Two) – in not recongnozing these corruptions Christians keep themselves locked in a mental prison which no one can free them from but themselves. The same is true when Christians do not come to grips with the many seeming inconsistencies, blatant contradictions and how their God is portrayed in their holy book. This blog was written to help explain some of the biggest but often ignored biblical mysteries of all time.

The Great Mystery 

If the Christian God is the supreme intelligence and creator of the universe who is all-seeing, all-knowing, omnipresent, then the question must be asked by all intelligent people everywhere: Why didn’t God author a set of scriptures where the meaning was so plain that everyone who opened the book would derive the same meaning from what they read?

The answer to this crucial mystery was addressed in the writings of the church father Clement I, who was the disciple of the Apostle Peter. This work written by Clement is one of the oldest documents in all of Christianity and is known as the Clementine Homilies, and in this document you get a more in-depth look into the beliefs of the Ebionites. In the Clementine Homily, the Apostle Peter is set to have a religious debate with a man named Simon Magus. Before the debate Peter sets forth the beliefs of Simon before his disciple Clement, Peter tells Clement that:

“Simon today is, as he arranged, prepared to come before all, and show from the Scriptures that He who made the heaven and the earth, and all things in them, is not the Supreme God, but that there is another, unknown and supreme, as being in an unspeakable manner God of gods; and that He sent two gods, one of whom is he who made the world, and the other he who gave the law. And these things he contrives to say, that he may dissipate the right faith of those who would worship the one and only God who made heaven and earth.” (Clementine Homilies, 3.2)

Peter then goes on to explain how he is grieved that Simon believes such things:

“When I heard this, how was I not disheartened! Wherefore I wished you also, my brethren, who associate with me, to know that I am beyond measure grieved in my soul…And for the sake of this attempt Simon comes to do battle with us, armed with the false chapters of the Scriptures.” (Clementine Homilies, Book, 3.3)

After this Peter drops a bomb that should shock many Christians, Peter explains to Clement that:

“And with us, indeed, who have had handed down from our forefathers the worship of the God who made all things, and also the mystery of the books which are able to deceive, he will not prevail; but with those from amongst the Gentiles who have the polytheistic fancy bred in them, and who know not the falsehoods of the Scriptures, he will prevail much. 

“And not only he; but if any other shall recount to those from among the Gentiles any vain, dreamlike, richly set out story against God, he will be believed, because from their childhood their minds are accustomed to take in things spoken against God. 

“And few there shall be of them, as a few out of a multitude, who through ingenuousness shall not be willing so much as to hear an evil word against the God who made all things. And to these alone from amongst the Gentiles it shall be vouchsafed to be saved. Let not any one of you, therefore, altogether complain of Simon, or of any one else; for nothing happens unjustly, since even the falsehoods of Scripture are with good reason presented for a test.” (Clementine Homilies, Book 3.4)

The Apostle Peter portrayed the scriptures as, books which are able to deceive” and that the only people Simon Magus will be able to convince are polytheistic Gentiles, “who know not the falsehoods of the Scriptures. Peter also goes on to say that the falsehoods of scripture are presented for a test. Why would Peter say such a thing? Does he not believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God?

That Peter might have believed in the scriptures as the inerrant word of God is erased when you see what he says to Clement next, Peter portrays the scriptures as a mish-mash of contradictory doctrines. Peter states:

“…if any one dares to hear anything against God, as trusting in the Scriptures, let him first of all consider with me that if any one, as he pleases, form a dogma agreeable to himself, and then carefully search the Scriptures, he will be able to produce many testimonies from them in favour of the dogma that he has formed. 

“How, then, can confidence be placed in them against God, when what every man wishes is found in them?”

“Therefore Simon, who is going to discuss in public with us tomorrow, is bold against the monarchy of God, wishing to produce many statements from these Scriptures, to the effect that there are many gods, and a certain one who is not He who made this world, but who is superior to Him; and, at the same time, he is going to offer many scriptural proofs.

“But we also can easily show many passages from them that He who made the world alone is God, and that there is none other besides Him But if any one shall wish to speak otherwise, he also shall be able to produce proofs from them at his pleasure. For the Scriptures say all manner of things, that no one of those who inquire ungratefully may find the truth, but simply what he wishes to find, the truth being reserved for the grateful now gratitude is to preserve our love to Him who is the cause of our being.” (Clementine Homilies, 3.9-10)

In the above quote Peter states that the scriptures were written in such a manner that each person who reads them would find what he or she was predisposed to believing in. That Peter’s warning is correct, is overwhelmingly proven by the modern church. Many very intelligent minds and astute biblical students have studied the scriptures and continue to hold conflicting opinions that oppose what the next person sees very clearly represented in the Bible.

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that Jesus is God and they can demonstrate their doctrine in the bible. Baptists, Pentecostals, and most other Evangelical Christians believe that Jesus is God, and they also have a whole host of biblical citations to prove their doctrines. The Mormons believe in the pre-existence of the soul. Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, this Orthodox, that Orthodox, this Church of God, that Church of God, the Universalists, the Reformers, the all inclusive Liberals, the Conservatives, etc., they all faithfully read the scriptures, yet these groups can’t come to any agreement on numerous important doctrines. How can we trust such a book when as the Apostle Peter stated, “what every man wishes is found in them.” 

Untruths were purposefully written into scripture

According to St. Gregory of Nyssa the early church father Origen was considered, “the prince of Christian learning in the third century.” The Encyclopedia Britannica calls him, “the most prominent of all church fathers.” St. Jerome considered him, “the greatest teacher of the church after the apostles.” When early Christianity was under attack by the pagan philosopher Celsus it was Origen who was commissioned by the church to respond to Celsus. In Origen’s most celebrated work titled De Principiis he wrote concerning the factualness of the literal narrative of the Bible, Origen said:

“Where the word found that things done according to the history could be adapted to these mystical senses, he made use of them concealing from the multitude the deeper meaning; but where in the narrative of the development of super-sensual things, there did not follow the performance of those certain events which were already indicated by the mystical meaning, the scripture interwove in the history the account of some event that did not take place, sometimes what could not have happened; sometimes what could but did not.” (De Principiis)

 How could an intelligent individual not agree with Origen that the scriptures contain things in them that “did not take place, sometimes what could not have happened; sometimes what could but did not.” Sometimes the untruths in scripture are so blatant that only a fool would believe the literal text of the scriptures. This was done intentionally by the biblical authors so that the believer is unable to read the text of the body of scripture in its literal sense, or in the words of the Apostle Peter, the falsehoods of Scripture are with good reason presented for a test.”

Such of an example can be found in the book of Joshua:

“Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, ‘O sun, stand still at Gibeon, and O moon in the valley of Aijalon.’ So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day” (Josh 10:12-13)

The untruth in this section of scripture is so obvious that only a fool would believe the sun stood still when modern man knows it is the Earth that orbits the Sun and it is the Sun that is stationary.

Another untruth is found in the creation account in the book of Genesis. According to the first book of the bible the sun, moon and starts weren’t created until the third day yet the Bible tells us there was an evening and a morning after the first two days.

And there was evening, and there was morning —the first day. – Genesis 1:3

And there was evening, and there was morning —the second day. – Genesis 1:6

With regard to reading this portion of scripture as actual events in history, Origen wrote:

“What man of sense will agree with the statement that the first, second and third days in which the evening is named and the morning, were without sun, moon and stars, and the first day without a heaven. What man is found such an idiot as to suppose that God planted trees in paradise in Eden, like a husbandman, and planted therein the tree of life, perceptible to the eyes and senses, which gave life to the eater thereof; and another tree which gave to the eater thereof a knowledge of good and evil?  I believe that every man must hold these things for images, under which the hidden sense lies concealed” (Origen – Huet., Prigeniana, 167 Franck, p. 142).

“What man of sense”, Origen asks, will blindly believe such statements? A man of reason would ask: “If there was no sun, moon and stars, how could there have been a day, night and dawn of a new day?” “What man is found such an idiot,” Origen says, who could believe that God planted trees in the Garden of Eden which gave to the eater the knowledge of good and evil, while the fruit of another tree gave eternal life? To go one step further than Origen, I would like to add, what man or woman is so mentally incompetent that they would believe the reason people grow old and die, why women go through so much pain during childbirth, and why evil exist in the world is because a talking snake tricked a man and woman into eating the fruit from a tree. Only idiots believe such things.

But remember the words of Origen, these obviously ridiculous things were written into the scriptures to conceal from the multitude the deeper meaning. Thus the Bible is actually an allegory which on the surface appears to be a historical narrative. The dictionary defines an allegory as the, “representation of abstract ideas or principles by characters, figures, or events in narrative, dramatic, or pictorial form.” Absurdities like a dead man rising from the dead, the sun standing still and there being an evening and a morning when there was no sun, moon, and stars, these ridiculous things were written into the text so that the true seeker of truth would reject the literal word of the scriptures and seek the spiritual  allegorical meaning.

This is exactly what Origen meant when he said:

“Scripture contains an unhistorical element in-woven with the history, in order that the worthlessness of the latter may drive us to seek the spiritual meaning” (The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics)

The Christian should immediately ask, “why are there events reported in the Bible that on the surface appears to be history, but in reality they never actually happened?” Origen answered this in the last part of the quote by stating, “in order that the worthlessness of the latter may drive us to seek the spiritual meaning.” Fundamentalist Christians may reject this but is this not what the Apostle Paul alluded to in his letter to the Galatians when he said:

For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise. 

This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. – Galatians 4:22-26, NASB

In view of the fact that the Apostle Paul writes that the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar are not historically true but are an allegory, how does this information impact the genealogy of Jesus? Was his lineage born from an allegory, or does the lineage of Jesus itself convey a series of profound sacred truths to the disciple? These are important questions a sincere seeker of truth should ask themselves.

Contradictions were purposefully written into the scriptures 

 Skeptics have pointed out on numerous occasions that there are so many contradictions and inconsistencies in the Bible that only a fool thinks he can harmonize all of these contradictions. Here are a few examples, in the book of Acts the story of the conversion of Paul is told numerous times in this one book yet each time the story is told the story contradicts itself, for example:

Acts 9:7 tells us that, “The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.” (KJV)

But when the story is told again in Acts 22:9 we’re told that:

“And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.” (KJV)

The book of Acts has other inconsistencies too. Acts 7:14 tells us that:

After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. (NIV)

This is in direct contradiction to what the book of Genesis tells us:

“…the members of Jacob’s family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all. – Genesis 46:27, NIV

Multiple inconsistencies can be found in the lineage of Jesus in the New Testament,  and what was recorded in the old testament. I am going to give a few example of this, for example Matthew 1:17 says:

“Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.”

When we examine this matter closely we find a number of contradictions. First of all the most obvious contradiction is that if the genealogy of Jesus is laid out in three sets of fourteen generations we should have forth-two people named yet there is only forty-one people named, someone is missing from Jesus’ genealogy. The second problem is found in Matthew 1:11.

and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon (NIV)

But 1st Chronicles contradicts this statement by saying  Josiah was the grandfather of Jeconiah.

And the sons of Josiah were, the firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. And the sons of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son. – 1st Chronicles 3:15-16

Where was Jacob buried? The book of Genesis tells us that Jacob was buried at Machpelah near Mamre.

They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre, which Abraham had bought as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite, along with the field. -Genesis 50:13

The book of Acts tells us that Jacob was buried at Shechem.

So Jacob went down to Egypt; and he died, he and our fathers. And they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. – Acts 7:15-16

Within this contradiction we find another contradiction. The book of Acts just told us that Abraham bought the tomb at Shechem, the book of Joshua tells us something differently.

And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor. – Joshua 24:32

 Who bought the tomb at Shechem Jacob or Abraham? The book of Genesis says Abraham did, the book of Joshua says Jacob did. Moreover the book of Genesis says the tomb was bought from Ephron the Hittite. The book of Joshua and Acts both agree it was bought from the sons of Hamor. So you have multiple accounts that cannot agree on who bought it, where the tomb was located and whom it was purchased from.

How did Judas die? The book of Matthew tells us that Judas died because he hung himself:

And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. – Matthew 27:5

Yet the Acts of the Apostles tells us that Judas died by falling off a cliff:

“Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was counted among us and received his share in this ministry.” Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. – Acts 1:16-18

If the objective of scripture was to convince people of the historical reliability of the narrative therein then the biblical authors failed terribly. And if the holy spirit wrote both the new and old testaments there should be uniformity between them but this is not what we find when we critically examine the scriptures. But if in the words of the Apostle Peter, the falsehoods of Scripture are with good reason presented for a test, and the objective of the falsehoods of scripture are to drive us to seek the spiritual meaning as Origen said, then this makes a great deal more sense than putting your trust in a book with so many mistakes in it. The problem is Christians either ignore or try to harmonize these contradictions are literally blinded and reject any thing that does not conform to their current belief system.

Why is God Such a Barbaric A**hole?

In the Clementine Homilies the Apostle Peter portrays the Gentiles as being easily deceived, because they are accustomed to believing bad things about God.

the Gentiles…from their childhood their minds are accustomed to take in things spoken against God. (Clementine Homilies, Book 3)

The same is true of Christians today, Christians believe in a God who tells us, “Thou shall not kill” yet he is the first one to break his own law.

• God kills a man who touched the ark of the covenant to keep it from falling (2nd Samuel 6:6-7)

• He repents that he made man and drowns everyone on the globe except Noah and his family. (Genesis 7)

• God kills 70,000 innocent people because David ordered a census of the people (1 Chronicles 21:9-14)

It doesn’t stop there.

• The God of the Bible also allows slavery, including selling your own daughter as a sex slave. (Exodus 21:7-11)

The God of the bible condones murder, rape, pillaging, plundering, slavery, genocide and child abuse. He’s loves physical circumcision, animal sacrifices and blood sprinklings. Christians not only overlook these atrocities they even defend it when any intelligent and moral person would reject such a God. But in worshiping the God they read about in the literal text of the scriptures and not realizing that scripture contain things that did not take place, sometimes what could not have happened; sometimes what could but did not’ Christians not only fail the test Peter speaks of they also fall victim to the falsehoods of scripture. What the Apostle Peter and Origen are stating is no different than what the great Jewish theologian Moses Maimonides said:

“Every time that you find in our books a tale the reality of which seems impossible, a story which is repugnant to both reason and common sense, then be sure that the tale contains a profound allegory veiling a deeply mysterious truth; and the greater the absurdity of the letter, the deeper the wisdom of the spirit”

The Jewish Zohar puts it like this:

“The narratives of the Doctrine are its cloak. The simple look only at the garment — that is, upon the narrative of the Doctrine; more they know not. The instructed, however, see not merely the cloak, but what the cloak covers.” (The Zohar, iii., 152; Franck, 119.)

So to answer the question, why is god such a barbaric a**hole? As you should have anticipated, God is not really like what he is portrayed as in the Bible. The stories of God doing god-awful things are allegories. In the words of Origen:

“But all the narrative portion, relating either to the marriages, or to the begetting of the children, or to battles of different kinds, or to any other histories whatever, what else can they be supposed to be, save the forms and figures of hidden and sacred things? As men, however, make little effort to exercise their intellect, or imagine that they possess knowledge before they really learn, the con­sequence is that they never begin to have knowledge” (Origen, De Principiis, Book IV)

Conclusion

I asked a very important question in the beginning of this blog, I asked: Why didn’t God author a set of scriptures where the meaning was so plain that everyone who opened the book would derive the same meaning from what they read?

The answer is this: It was by design. 

It was by design that the Jehovah Witness sees his doctrine in the scriptures. Regardless of how many pamphlets the born again Christian publishes in an attempt to prove the doctrine of the Trinity, the Jehovah’s Witness will continue to see their favorite passages of scripture that affirm their position that Jesus was not God. The scriptures say all manner of things and this was done on purpose so that the sincere seeker of truth would reject the obvious absurdities and seek the deeper spiritual meaning of the scriptures.

Only idiots argue over things like did Noah take dinosaurs on the ark or did they perish in the great flood. Only idiots ignore or try to harmonize, explain away or defend the numerous bible contradictions and absurdities. Only idiots worship a God who’s morality is lower than the creatures he created. But as we have learned these things we read in the literal text hide spiritual messages and it is this knowledge that is the key to understanding the scriptures.

 

Jesus was an Essene and Nazareth did not Exist.

Introduction

 At the time of Jesus there were three major Jewish religious sects, they are known as the Pharisees, Sadducees and the Essenes. This latter group, the Essenes have relatively recently rose from obscurity with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Essenes were different from the other religious groups because they rejected animal sacrifices and practiced vegetarianismThey had two well known locations in Israel. One location was at Qumran in Judea in Southern Israel where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and the other was in the north at Mount Carmel in Galilee near modern day Nazareth. In the bible Jesus spent most of his time in the north, he rarely travel to the south and when he did it was usually to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It makes sense that Jesus is oftentimes called Jesus of Nazareth because the city of Nazareth is where young Jesus grew up and became a man according to the Bible. But as of today there is no evidence that a 1st century town named Nazareth ever existed, not literary, not archaeologically and not historically.

Is there Evidence of a 1st century town called Nazareth?

 Going back to the Old Testament book of Joshua (19:10-16), Nazareth is not mentioned in the list of settlements of the tribes of Zebulon although Bethlahem is mentioned and also Hannathon which is in the heart of Galilee yet no mention of Nazareth. The 1st century Jewish historian Josephus names the forty-five cities of Galilee and Nazareth is not one of them. Did he simply forget to mention it? This is unlikely since he rarely missed anything and goes into great detail when he describes the cities of Galliee. Plus Josephus is widely recognized for the most part as being a very accurate historian. Moreover, Josephus mentions the town of Japha which is one mile from the city of modern day Nazareth, it is simply a stretch to say Josephus simply forgot to mention Nazareth especially since he lived in Japha for a while. He also lead many military campaigns across Galilee, to think he missed a whole city one mile from where he used to live is a stretch. The Encyclopaedia Biblica, a work written by theologians, and perhaps the greatest biblical reference work in the English language, says:

We cannot venture to assert positively that there was a city of Nazareth in Jesus’ time.” (The Encyclopaedia Biblica)

There is no historical or literary evidence a city named Nazareth existed, the old testament and the apocrypha never mention a city named Nazareth, there is no mention of Nazareth from Josephus or any other historian of the time. When it comes to archaeology all artifacts found in the Nazareth region dates to well after the time of Jesus. The first literary mention of a city named Nazareth occurs in one of the most problematic passages of Christian scripture, the Gospel of Matthew tells us that:

“And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.” – Matthew 2.23

This passage is problematic because when you search the old testament no such prophetic utterance can be identified. No prophet from the old testament predicted the coming of a Nazarene. How Jesus could fulfill a prophecy that doesn’t even exist in the old testament or apocrypha is beyond me.

Putting the Pieces Together 

One little known fact that most Christians don’t know is that the earliest followers of Jesus weren’t called Christians they were called Nazarenes. Nazarenes were the name of the Northern Essenes at Mount Carmel. In his book ‘The Armageddon Script’ Peter Lemesurier writes that;

“… historical evidence that it (Nazareth) existed at the time is entirely lacking. The tradition almost certainly goes back to the fact that the family were members of the Nazarene sect of the Essenes. This group seems to have become the dominant one on Carmel, to the point where the word ‘Nazarene‘ came to be applied to the Northern Essenes in general. It is possible, of course, that the Essenes had a camp in the vicinity of the modern Nazareth.”

The Bible even confirms that the earliest followers of Jesus were called Nazarenes, after his conversion the Apostle Paul was accused by the Jewish religious leaders of being the ringleader of the Nazarene sect.

“For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes” (Acts 24:5)

An early catholic bishop and church historian named Epiphanius of Salamis (AD 320-403) , who is best known for putting together a compilation of heresies from the days of early Christianity up until his own time. Epiphanius describes these “heretics” the Nazarene Essenes as:

“jews by nationality – originally from Gileaditis, Bashanitis and the Transjordon . . .They acknowledged Moses and believed that he had received laws – not this law, however, but some other. And so, they were jews who kept all the Jewish observances, but they would not offer sacrifice or eat meat. They considered it unlawful to eat meat or make sacrifices with it. They claim that these Books are fictions, and that none of these customs were instituted by the fathers. This was the difference between the Nazarean and the others” (Epiphanius, Panarion 1:18)

Epiphanius elsewhere in his writing known as Panarion admits that the Nazarene sect existed before the time of Jesus:

“…The Nazarene sect was before Christ” (Epiphanius, Panarion 29)

He also admits that before they were called Christians the earliest followers of Jesus were called Nazarenes:

“For this group did not name themselves after Christ or with Jesus’ own name, but “Nazarene.” All Christians were called Nazarenes once, before the disciples began to be called “Christians” at Antioch…They were so-called followers of the apostles…they dedicate themselves to the law…However, everyone called the Christians Nazarenes as I said before.” (Epiphanius, Panarion 29)

How Epiphanius could admit this and not come to the conclusion that maybe the Nazarenes are the original and true followers of Jesus is mind boggling, yet he called them heretics because their beliefs were different from Roman Catholic beliefs.

My contention is that there wasn’t a city named Nazareth but in the vinicnity of Mount Carmel and modern day Nazareth there lived a sect of Essenes called Nazarenes and that Jesus was a member of this sect which is why his early followers were also called Nazarenes. This is contrary to the book of Matthew which says Jesus was called a Nazarene because he lived in a town called Nazareth. In the book the passover plot scholar Hugh Schonfield writes;

“There has been emerging ever clearer evidence that in the Galilean region an ancient Israelitish type of religion persisted in the time of Jesus, defying Judean efforts to obliterate it…. The name he bears, Jesus the Nazorean, has northern sectarian implications…. The name borne by the earliest followers of Jesus was not Christians: they were called Nazoreans (Nazarenes)…. They were vegetarians and rejected animal sacrifices.” (The Passover Plot)

This is no different than the account Epiphanius gave to us and he lived over17 centuries ago.  It is important to note that the term Judean refers to Southern Israel especially the orthodox temple in Jerusalem. This orthodox form of Judaism was headed by the Scribes, Pharisee’s and Sadducee’s and any true student of the scriptures will know that it was this same group of people who tried and eventually succeeded in having Jesus killed.

 Jesus vs the Southerners  

The gospels are filled with stories of Jesus and his arguments with the scribes and Pharisee’s. Jesus was a thorn in their side he opposed them at every turn and once in a while they would pester him while he was preaching. In the New Testament it is obvious that Jesus had legitimate reasons for his accusations against the Pharisee’s. These accusations center on the areas of teaching and practice.

Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? – Matthew 15:1-3

The reply of Jesus is similar to what Schonfield said elsewhere in the Passover Plot about the Nazarene Essenes:

“The old Nazarenes, like the Samaritans, were opposed to the Judean traditions, holding that the southerners had falsified the Law of Moses. (The Passover Plot, Pg. 207)

This is strikingly similar to what Epiphanius wrote about the Nazarene Essenes when he said they claimed, that these Books (books of Moses) are fictions, and that none of these customs were instituted by the fathers.” We have Jesus in the Bible questioning the traditions of the religious leaders in his time and we now know there there was a different form of Judaism being practiced by northerners in the land of Israel which opposed those in the South because they claimed, in the words of Shonfield, “the southerners had falsified the Law of Moses.”

Maybe the reason Jesus opposed the Pharisee’s so much was because Jesus belonged to the Nazarene Essenes in the north and believed like them that the Jews in the south had corrupted Judaism.

The Christian Dilemma

In the above quotes from both Schonfield and Epiphanius we get another solid bit of information, they both confirm that the Nazarenes rejected animal sacrifices and eating meat. Yet anybody who reads the Bible, especially the book of Leviticus, knows on many occasions God asks for animals to be sacrificed and he even says it’s okay to eat meat after the flood of Noah. Were the Nazarene Essenes picking and choosing what to believe or is the Bible itself contradictory on what God wants from his people. This presents an interesting Christian dilemma.

This will come as a surprise to most Christians but there are contradictions in the Bible and i am about to show you one of them. God on a number of occasions commands animal sacrifices. As the Israelites left Egypt and wandered in the desert for 40 years, God clearly commands animal sacrifices on more than one occasion but in the book of Jeremiah God says something that most Christians gloss over or don’t read at all, God himself says;

Thus says Yahweh of Hosts, the God of Israel: Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat the flesh yourselves. For I didn’t speak to your fathers, nor command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices but this thing I commanded them, saying, Listen to my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk you in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you. But they didn’t listen nor turn their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. (Jeremiah 7:21-24)

But if you take a glance at the books of Moses you can see that God did command sacrifices from the Israelites after they left the land of Egypt.

When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat, is abrought forth, then it shall be seven days under the dam; and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire unto the Lord. (Leviticus 22:27)

 Offer the other lamb in the evening, along with the same offerings of flour and wine as in the morning. It will be a pleasing aroma, a special gift presented to the LORD.(Exodus 29:41)

 ‘”and an ox and a ram for a fellowship offering to sacrifice before the LORD, together with a grain offering mixed with oil. For today the LORD will appear to you.'” (Leviticus 9:4)

These pro-sacrifice verses can be easily countered by these anti-sacrifice verses.

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. (Psalms 51:6).

“With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? ”He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:6-8)

“He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck; he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers pig’s blood; he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol. These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations; I also will choose harsh treatment for them and bring their fears upon them, because when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they did not listen; but they did what was evil in my eyes and chose that in which I did not delight.” – Isaiah 66:3-4

We can see in the anti-sacrifice verses that God only requires that we listen to his voice and walk humbly with him and killing  animals for sacrifice is an abomination in the book of Isaiah chapter 66. When the Nazarenes claimed that the books of Moses were fiction and that’s why they rejected animal sacrifices, and the eating of meat their claim has to be taken seriously in light of the fact that the bible gives contradictory accounts of whether God is for or against animal sacrifices. This is the Christian dilemma, what is it that God wants from us, obedience or sacrifice? I’ll leave it to the reader to decide that.

Vegetarianism in the Early Church

The Nazarenes also opposed the eating of meat. In the oldest complete copy of the bible ever found, the Evangelion Da-Mepharresh, we find Jesus saying at Luke 21:34:

“See that you do not make your minds heavy, to do this, never eat meat or drink wine.” – Luke 21:34, Evangelion Da-Mepharresh

Why is this saying of Jesus no longer found in our modern day gospel of Luke? Was this rejection of eating meat from Jesus an anomaly? Maybe a missing bible verse like this can help explain why all the early leaders of the church were recorded as being strict vegetarians.

For example the early church historian Eusibius (AD 263 – 339) wrote that James the brother of Jesus, who also wrote the epistle of James found in the bible was a vegetarian. Eusibius writes:

he drank no wine or strong drink, nor did he eat meat” (Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica)

Of the disciple Matthew it was recorded by Clement of Alexandria that:

 “the apostle Matthew partook of seeds, nuts and vegetables, without flesh” (Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor)

In one of the oldest documents in Christianity the ‘Clementine Homilies’ we see the apostle Peter quoted as saying he:

“drank no wine or strong drink, nor did he eat meat.” (Clementine Homilies)

These things are foreign to modern Christians who believe they have the right to eat and drink anything they want and while they are right they do have a right to eat or drink anything they want but in calling themselves Christians they have alienated themselves from the very founders of their faith.

We find the same information when it comes to the early church fathers. In the writings of the church father Irenaeus when the followers of Jesus were accused of cannibalism with respect to the eating of the Lord’s body and drinking his blood, the martyr Blandina replied:

How should those persons endure such accusation, who, for the sake of the practice of piety, did not avail themselves even of the flesh that was permitted them to eat? (Irenaeus, Fragment 13)

St. Basil (A.D. 329-379) wrote:

The steam of Meat meals darkens the Spirit. One can hardly have virtue if one enjoys Meat meals and feasts. In the Earthly Paradise, no one Sacrificed Animals, and no one ate the Flesh of Animal Meat.

Hieronymus (A.D. 331-420) tied it all together when he wrote:

“The consumption of animal flesh was unknown up until the Great Flood. But since the Great Flood, we have had the fibers and the stinking fluids of animal flesh stuffed into our mouths…Jesus, the Christ, who appeared when the time was fulfilled, again joined the end to the beginning, so that we are now no longer allowed to eat animal flesh.”

In the book of Acts if a Gentile wanted to become a follower of Jesus he had to abstain from:

“…food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.” – Acts 15:20

All of these things seem to fit nicely with what the Nazarene Essenes practiced.

 Conclusion

I have shown that that there is no literary, archaeological or historical evidence that a city named Nazareth ever existed, including before the birth of Jesus or even during his life on Earth. I have provided evidence that Jesus was a Nazarene which was a sect of the Essenes. They opposed commands to sacrifice animals as found in the law of Moses saying it was a book of fiction. We have also seen biblical evidence that God never commanded the people to sacrifice animals, this confirms what the Nazarenes believed. The Nazarenes also opposed eating meat, and we saw from the writings of the early church father that the pillars of the faith were strict vegetarians.

I think the evidence strongly suggest that Jesus was a Nazarene Essene and even if you don’t agree with me that Jesus was an Essene or that Nazareth did not exist i just hope this blog made you question the story you have been told your whole life. But it doesn’t look good for the traditional christianity when they realize that experts who have worked on the dead sea scrolls know that Christianity stems from ancient Essenes. Edmund Wilson who worked on the scrolls asked what difference does it make if Jesus:

“…had been trained in the discipline and imbued with the thought of a certain Jewish sect, and that he had learned from it the role that he afterwards lived. (The Scrolls From The Dead Sea)

John Allegro warned the world that the information found in the dead sea scrolls may:

“…upset a great many basic teachings of the Christian Church.   This in turn would greatly upset many Christian Theologians and believers.   The heart of the matter is, in fact, the source and originality of Christian doctrine.” (August 1966 issue of Harpers Magazine)

The truth is Christians have to come to grips that Christianity didn’t fall out the sky, it was already here before the birth of Jesus in the form of the Nazarene Essenes.

 

 

Map of ancient Israel

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