Archive for gospels

Three Crosses, Earthquakes and Darkened Skies

Posted in Atheist, belief, Christianity, faith, life, prehistory, random, religion, scriptures, theology with tags , , , , , on October 24, 2013 by chouck017894

Christian faith became symbolized by a severe cross only after the 300 CE timeframe. Before that general timeframe the cult from which a corporate-style church would be founded had represented themselves by two arced lines which resembled a fish. This was partially due to an understanding that Earth’s full entry into the Age of Pisces had occurred c. 60 BCE. It was seen as an auspicious time for a gentler faith than had been represented in the previous zodiacal ages of bull sacrifice (Age of Taurus) and ram (lamb) sacrifice (Age of Aries).

In the events that allegedly led up to the crucifixion, there is the token offering allegedly made by Pontius Pilate to the Jews in honor of their feast day (Passover) giving amnesty for a criminal: Jews were to choose between Jesus and another criminal to be pardoned from execution. The name of the pardoned man is given as Barabbas, which happens to mean “son of the father.” Something is implied here, for that name would seem to be more appropriate reference to Jesus if he was, as claimed, the “only begotten son of God.”

We should remember that two thousand years ago the sentence of crucifixion was the punishment handed out to persons of the Roman Empire who had been involved in some traitorous or violent antigovernment activity. Ordinary thieves, for example, did not merit that sadistic punishment of political crimes. So the dramatic touch of three crosses on the apex of a hill with Jesus, the personification of the Life Principle, in the center carried coded meaning to those who shared secret ancient teachings; the alleged scene did not adhere to standard procedures.

In the passion drama of the Christian crucifixion it is related that Jesus was crucified between two thieves. The book of Matthew 27:38 relates, “Then there were two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.” In the later book of Saint John 19:18 it is explained, “Where they crucified him, and two others, with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst…” Note: The two are called “thieves” here. In Greek texts, we should note, the men on each side of Jesus were described as lestai, which means “thugs” or “brigands”—or what we might think of as resistance fighters. This certainly makes it sound more politically authentic, but despite the more plot-worthy Greek version the fact remains that no official records of such a happening have ever been found. On the other hand, official record offices were often burned down in the many Jewish rebellions.

As the drama is traditionally accepted, the question of who was really responsible for the execution of Jesus hangs uncertainly between the Romans and the Jews. Crucifixion was the Roman method of disposing of political rebels, but Pontius Pilate washed his hands of the setup. The argument is put forth by some that Jesus was associated with Zealots who rejected Roman rule: the Zealots were indeed most emphatic that they did not recognize the legitimacy of Herod-appointed priests serving in the Temple of Solomon. So the blame for the death sentence is (conveniently) a toss-up. And where did the tradition of three crosses at one specific hilltop on Earth originate? Gospel accounts of Mark, Matthew and John provide differing and very few details much like a passion play formula, and, as pointed out, two common thieves (or even lestai) would not be crucified, which was primarily the punishment for political activists against the Roman government. There was in these sparse story elements an extremely important message to those who had privileged access to knowledge taught in mystery schools of that timeframe which explained the involving energy processes of Creation. Knowing the ancient teachings that were once given with constellation illustrations explains why Jesus, the Life Principle, was portrayed as telling only one of the “thieves” that he would enter Heaven with him. Luke 23:43 tells us that Jesus told the thief on his right, “This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.”

In this Christianized version refashioned from prehistory teachings, Jesus personifies the Life Principle; thus the “thief” on his left represents the involving primal elements which amass into defined energy-as-matter-form, and the “thief” on the right represents the transcendence of those creative energies into higher frequency dimensions: hence the “thief” on his right would “enter Heaven.” This is the Life Principle speaking to the evolutionary side of the Creation process. If this is not true then it means that the savior was guilty of dispensing conditional love, and that is not considered to be a divine attribute! From this manufactured holy account, however, the faith system acquired another “saint,” and the so-called “good thief” is addressed as “Saint Dismas.”

In the book of Matthew, the second Gospel to be written, in verse 27 referring to the crucifixion it is elaborated, “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent…” Then it is alleged in Luke 23 that following the crucifixion there was “…a darkness over all the earth”, which is claimed to have lasted from the sixth hour to the ninth hour. Oddly, the first written Gospel, Mark, said nothing of such traumatizing happenings. And strangely, these unusual and frightening events were never mentioned in any contemporary records or chronicles. This despite the fact that Roman officials (such as Pontius Pilate) kept some of the most detailed records of events of any era. Nor did any noted Roman historian ever report on such abnormal happenings. The reason for these claims of supernatural happenings, which are not recorded in any legitimate chronicle, is that the whole episode, as with the three crosses, is drawn upon ancient teachings of elementary energies as source of Creation which were once explained using constellations as their illustration. These lesson divisions are represented even today with the zodiac signs, a clock-like diagram, so the “hours between six and nine” refer to the lessons which covered the span of self-aware matter-life that were given with the signs Leo, Virgo and Libra. (In those ancient Creation-cosmology lessons, Aquarius, the water sign, was at the twelve o’clock position—and represent the same waters of Creation spoken of in Genesis.) These lessons, “the sixth to ninth hour,” concerned Creation’s energies at the developmental stage where defined physical matter-forms with self-awareness are made manifest. In other words, the darkening (or congealing) of energy into matter (as “all the earth” referred to in Luke.)

The next prehistory lesson that followed the matter signs was presented with constellation Scorpio, which concerned transfiguration. The “veil of the temple” which Matthew said was rent apart refers to the further division of Creation energies—the primal energies of undefined prototypal matter formation (spoken of as Involution) being transformed with aware-consciousness which is to be tempered and refined in limited matter form from which it is to transcend. Essentially this energy dimension continues the same process which was allegorically depicted with God parting the waters in Genesis when Creation was activated.

This point also clarifies a curious story element found in Luke 23:34 where Jesus allegedly said from the cross, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” Even as divine as Jesus is declared to be, the physical agony endured in crucifixion makes it unlikely that he could have spoken lucidly. Furthermore, the distance from the noisy milling crowd would have made such a speech virtually inaudible. But the alleged words do adhere to the ancient teachings, for here is depicted the Life Principle suspended upon a symbol of matter forgiving the primal circumstances that delivers aware-consciousness into its evolutionary potential. The forgiveness expressed in this incident is therefore from the perspective of divine indifference, which is to say there is nothing in these evolving energy processes that is to be condemned.

But that non-condemning aspect of those ancient teachings provided no faith system career opportunities.

More details on prehistory teachings are available in the books The Shiny Herd (Ancient Secrets Hidden in the Sky), and in The Celestial Scriptures (Keys to the Suppressed Wisdom of the Ancient), both by this author.

Development of Church Franchising

Posted in belief, Christianity, faith, Hebrew scripture, history, random, religion with tags , , , , , on November 1, 2012 by chouck017894

In the timeframe in which Jesus is alleged to have brought god’s means of redemption to the Roman world, there was no word for the institutional type gathering places which we today speak of as churches.  There were gathering places, of course, where people could share esoteric mysteries and spiritual tutoring, but these places generally were not used exclusively for a rigidly controlled “faith” purpose.  The closest thing known to what we today call a church would have been in the Greek word ecclesia, a term which referred to a group of citizens “called out” and assembled for political purposes.  Loosely the word ecclesia may be interpreted as meaning “assembly” or “gathering.”

The translations of the Hebrew Bible into Greek in Alexandria, Egypt during the reign of Ptolemy II (285-246 BCE) were commissioned to accommodate Greek speaking Jews in Alexandria.  That translation, known as the Septuagint, consequently became the version consulted by most early Christians.  Therefore, when quotes are made from the Hebrew Bible in the New Testament, they were commonly taken from the Septuagint version.  This tended to serve as the status measure for early Christian theologians.  In the Septuagint translation the word synagogue, denoting a place of assembly, was translated with the Greek word ecclesia.

Thus we have received through third century BCE translations of that Greek word the nuance that now implies an explicit holy association in words such as ecclesiastic, used to identify a clergyman or  priest; ecclesiastical, which pertains to a church, especially an organized institution; and ecclesiasticism, which implies principles, practices and activities of an institutionalized faith system.  From this usage there even evolved a body of contentions called Ecclesiasticus, a book of the Apocrypha, which is also called “Wisdom of Jesus, Son of Sirach.

And then there is also ecclesiology, which refers to the study of the Christian Church as an institution, and the same word can also be used to identify ecclesiastical art, especially in relation to the architecture and/or decorations of churches.  Without question the most negative use of is the word ecclesiolatry, which refers to the worship of the church itself—the excessive devotion to principles and traditions mandated by man-formulated, self-serving faith systems—i.e. the customary indulgence of fundamentalists.

It was noted in a previous post, Puzzles of Faith (March 2009), that it is curious that the hierarchical setups and franchising organization for religious instruction such as are in fashion today were not proposed anywhere in Gospels.  At that time there were temples–buildings that were built by man, but they were regarded as housing facilities for some divine presence, with the structure used as a purified accommodation for a particular god or goddess.  Such structures were not designed with seating arrangements for seeker to sit and listen to priests pontificate, although priests supervised such places.

Curiously, in the first written “Gospel,” the book of Mark (which is now placed second in the NT lineup), Jesus was not portrayed as instructing Peter to establish his “church.”  Nor was the institution of a “church” ever mentioned until the later rewrites of Matthew, and then term “church” is used only two times.  In fact, it was not until Paul (a name Romanized from Saul) burst upon the scene (he is traditionally accepted as having lived c. 3-68 CE) that the term church developed, and even then there was no implication that a church was to serve in the role of a hierarchical institution.  Paul’s use of the term “church” was generalized, for he commonly spoke only of local gatherings of supporters that congregated independently in various regions, so it was not exactly a framework for a franchised faith system business.

A number of factors contributed to the gradual development of such an institutionalized method for promoting the business of faith. The nearest to any divine interpretations of the word “Christ” seems to have developed from the 300 BCE Greek Gnostics who recognized and honored the universal “Logos” or “Word,” which they revered and spoke of as the Chrestos.  The “Logos” or “Word” referred to the underlying cosmic principle, regarded in ancient Greek philosophy as the source of universal orderliness and intelligibility.  From the reverence of the Chrestos this esoteric group referred to themselves as Chrestianoi.   It was in a later timeframe that the term “Christians” was first used in the Greek-built city of Antioch, a Gnostic center, to distinguish the disciples of Jesus (Acts 11:25:26).  As a consequence, Antioch became recognized as the “mother-city of Gentile Christianity” (Acts 11:19-30; 12:1-3; 14:26; 15:30).

This makes for some confusion.  In Christian tradition Peter is the declared “rock” of the Christian institutionalized structure which arose in Rome, although the earliest Jesus cult members in that city referred to themselves simply as “brethren.”  Curiously, this “rock” of the Christian faith system was first known as Simon (or as Simeon, in Acts 15:12) in the first Gospels of Mark and Matthew.  Interestingly, prior to and in this same early first century timeframe there was in Rome a highly revered interpreter of Pagan  esoteric wisdom who was widely identified by the letters PTR, which may be loosely translated as signifying “grand interpreter.”  This was a title of reverence which was widely known within Rome and therefore the title was much too valuable to discard in laying down the foundation for a hierarchical faith system in the second century CE.  Thus by around the late second century CE, when copies of copies of the earlier Gospels were being produced (revised), the assertion was then “documented” that Jesus had renamed Simon as Peter, which use the PTR letters signifying the Pagan interpreter of esoteric wisdom to play upon the Latin word for “rock.”  (More on PTR in Christianity and the PTR Factor, March 2012.)

Simon may be correctly designated from the books of Mark and Matthew as having been “the apostle of the circumcision,” for he is portrayed in these two Gospels as adamant in following strict Jewish customs.  This makes it more than just awkward to place that staunch Jewish personality in the “impure” city of Rome and having apostatized from his Jewish obligations to serve Jesus as first bishop of a gentile church.

Oddly, Paul never actually spoke of Simon-Peter as though he was the “rock” upon which all seekers should look to as the  keystone of faith.  Indeed, Paul spoke several times of the heresy being preached, which was a rather disrespectful accusation since some of the twelve apostles who allegedly had known Jesus personally would still have been alive and preaching in that same timeframe.

Nonetheless, it was the self-appointed cult activist Paul who took possession of the reins of the ill-defined Jesus movement by formulating the language and systematizing the doctrines that would later be utilized as the foundation of Christian theology.  But the full application of his theological methodology did not immediately gain endorsement.  That approval developed gradually (evolved) and was made to pivot upon the four revised Gospels and the Pauline correspondence.  It was in that adapted form of Gospels, which was compiled near the middle of the second century, that was consulted by the expanding Jesus-cult affiliates.  (The cultists were not yet called “Christians” even then, despite what is taught as church history.)  Only then, around 140 CE, did the idea of formulating a canonical authority of Gospel become a serious concern, an idea which may have been inspired by a man named Marcion, a Gnostic from Sinope (in Turkey), who arrived in Rome around 140 CE.

Four years after arriving in Rome, Marcion grew frustrated with the direction of the developing Christian doctrine which would become defined as Catholic.  His Gnostic view of things was not favorably received by the “church” fathers, although they had eagerly received his generous monetary contributions.  Thus Marcion founded his own sect, which grew rapidly.  Marcion rejected the Old Testament, assessing the Creator-god of the Hebrew Scriptures as the Demiurge, the author of suffering.  This, he theorized, meant that Jesus could not have been the Messiah promised by that god, for the Christ (the Gnostic Chrestos) expressed light and love, which Marcion did not perceive as expressed in nature or in the Hebrew scriptures.  Marcion also rejected the concept of resurrection of the physical body.  He rejected as well the concept of marriage, theorizing that it was less than loving to increase the race of man to be subjected to the ruthless whims of the creator of matter.

The Marcionite sect flourished, becoming second only to the developing Catholic theological form, and for that reason the  process of canonizing basic texts as the New Testament was undertaken.  There was as well in this timeframe an economic decline within the Roman Empire, and the edgy Christian faction sought to lure converts with the promise of the “bread of life.”  The Marcionites continued to thrive until around the fourth century, when they became absorbed into the Manichaeans (named after the Persian sage Manes).  The chief opponent of the Manichaeans was Augustine (353-430), who just happened to have been a Manichaean disciple for nine years before converting to Christian ideology.  This undoubtedly explains some of “saint” Augustine’s hang-ups regarding sex.

Like any business, the goal of any faith system is to attract as many customers as possible.  The product in all faith systems is pretty much the same—the alleged special access to a higher power.  But the essential appeal for a lasting franchise faith system rests in how the product is advertised and displayed to enchant a consumer’s ego.

God So Loved the World

Posted in Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, faith, history, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2010 by chouck017894

To the author of the book of John, written c. 105-106 CE, from which the title of this blog-post was borrowed, the “world” spoken of consisted of the Roman Empire.  There was limited awareness of Asiatic peoples, but no awareness whatsoever of other peoples on the other side of the planet.  This fact should be a pertinent point to consider when assessing any messages allegedly relayed to the world through Roman-citizen mediums of that era. 

Excuse this glare of logic cast upon the recesses of faith; it is mentioned here due to the fanaticism of a Baptist group in the state of Texas who “want to bring Christ’s message of hope into every home in Texas” i.e. proselytize.  And they want to do this good deed before Easter (April 4, 2010).  The name Easter, we should remember, is borrowed from a Pagan goddess that was honored each year at the time of the vernal equinox.  The do-gooders, in their commitment to seek believers, are striving to flood every household with CDs, in both English and Spanish, of how “God so loved the world” that he would sacrifice his “only begotten son” for one little material planet that he had created out of nothing.

To quote from Time Frames and Taboo Data, pages 196-197:  The book of “Saint” John, inserted between Luke and The Acts of the Apostles (both written c. 84-90 CE), was written considerably later than the two mentioned books—almost certainly it was composed c 105-106 CE.  This “fourth” gospel has been questioned on critical grounds, and an earlier date for authorship—85-90—is generally insisted upon to make it seem as contemporary to Luke and Acts.  The John book allegedly covers the last seven years of Jesus’ life, but there is a committed dogmatic feel to it that is more in keeping with the recently established church guidelines that came into being in the early 100s.  The Jesus movement had, by the early 100s, moved away completely in an attempt to convert Jews; thus in John the character of Jesus has developed into the ethereal “Christ.”  The author was obviously intent upon eliminating the irrelevant and ambiguous incidents given in earlier gospels to focus upon and emphasize the tenets of the newly established Christology.  It is as though the gospel of John had been fashioned in the hope that it might replace the “gospels” of Mark, Matthew and Luke.  That intent seems evident in the opening line of John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word (implying Christ) was with God…”  By doing this the author virtually disqualifies the other gospels, which, as in Mark began with the baptism of Jesus and in Luke which began with the birth of John the Baptist, to set Jesus as Christ at the beginning of Creation.

According to John, Jesus called his disciples in a town called Bethany; a town that John says was along the Jordan River.  Mark and Matthew, however, say that Jesus chose fishermen from the lakeshore town of Capernaum where Jesus found them fishing.  John also relates that John the Baptist told two of his followers to follow Jesus because Jesus was the Messiah.  These two were Andrew and Simon, and for some unexplained reason Jesus is made to rename Simon Kephas, which is said to be from Greek and translate as “Peter.”  There is something contrived here: something that is meant to juggle into place a claim that Simon, alias Peter, ventured to Rome to establish his church there.  Another curiosity is that a disciple that is never mentioned in Mark, Matthew or Luke is said to have joined, along with Philip, those who were with Jesus, and this newly introduced disciple is given the name Nathanael.  There are numerous other points in John’s account that are contrary to those found in the other three “gospels,” but the point here is that the author then expended some effort to harmonize events leading up to Jesus’ last conflicts.  For example, to get Jesus into position to enter Jerusalem where he is to stir up the hostility of Jewish priests, John asserts that Jesus spent the night in an unnamed town on the Mount of Olives.  The next day in the temple, Jesus more-or-less absolves a woman caught in adultery, and later immodestly speaks of himself as “the Light of the World” that had come down to Earth to save humankind.  The Jews were then depicted as descendents of Satan (even though Jesus was himself a Jew) who wanted to stone Jesus.  There are considerably more variants from the three synoptic writings, but these brief examples are more consistent with the later date of authorship and the intent for it to supplant the first three gospels. 

It was also noted on page 198 of TFTD that the message of salvation and transfiguration did not fully solidify as Christianity’s offer until c. 105-106 with all the refinements being incorporated in to gospel of Saint John.

So the fervor of the Texas proselytizers seems to have no concern about all the inconsistencies and contradictions in the convictions that they advocate.  A message of hope gets a little fuzzy when accompanied with so much ambiguity.  For those of us who dig for answers, it will take a little more than just rephrasing it all in English and Spanish.