Dark matter (and dark energy) is missing.  At least, scientists haven’t been able to find it yet.  It’s the elephant in the room (space), but we don’t even know where the room is, or even if it is a room for that matter.

Dark matter supposedly makes up some 90% of creation.  We, on the other hand, exist in the other 10% (the known physical universe). From that perspective, you could say that we are the tail wagging the dog.  Of course when I say that 90% of creation is missing, it’s probably much worse than that.  The 90% figure is calculated by scientists based on known matter in this universe.  However, we don’t know how big the universe is and on top of that there are no doubt other universes and other dimensions.  It’s very probable, therefore, that we exist in an extremely miniscule part of creation.

I know.  You’re probably asking what does any of this have to do with Jesus.  Well, according to the Bible, there were times when Jesus could not even be recognized by his closest associates, the disciples and Mary Magdalene. Further, Jesus apparently had the ability to disappear through walls.  It’s fair to say, then, that whoever, or whatever, Jesus was defies all logic.  He’s beyond our ability to comprehend, just like the universe.  To wit, an understanding of the real Jesus is “missing,” just like dark matter.

The Bible says that Joseph was the father of Jesus. However, Joseph is not even mentioned in the Gospel of Mark, which is the oldest of the gospels. In Mark 6:3, Jesus is referred to simply as the “son of Mary.” Besides, why would a 12 year-old marry an old man?

I’ll tell you why, although you might not like it. The Gospel of Matthew (1:18) says that, “His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.” So, Jesus was an illegitimate child. The Talmud says as much (see also John 8:39).  Further, Matthew 1:25 says that Joseph “…did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. And he named him Jesus.” In any event, then, Joseph was not the biological father.

Therefore, we don’t know who the real father of Jesus was.  However, I can tell you this about the ”virgin birth.”  It was accomplished by artificial insemination. Just ask the “angel” Gabriel. Gabriel was no angel yet he somehow predicted that Mary would give birth to Jesus.

What’s missing from the story of Jesus is just about his entire life; for example, his biological father, the “missing years” from Jesus’ life which were approximately from age 12 to age 29, his marriage to Mary Magdalene (although their marriage ceremony is in the Bible disguised as the Wedding at Cana), his children, in effect the Holy Grail, and most importantly his body after the crucifixion. Much of his life is like dark matter. It’s simply missing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I was recently asked about a theory from ten years ago, or so. That is, the theory about the holographic Shroud of Turin. All I have to say is: Holy holograms, Batman.

The theory is the brainchild of one Isabel Piczek, a Hungarian theoretical physicist, who is now deceased. Piczek believed that the image of Jesus on the Shroud of Turin (assuming that it is even Jesus) was a quantum holographic projection as Jesus was undergoing the process of the Resurrection. As Piczek put it, “The entire Resurrection process is akin to the Big Bang creation of the universe when something was created from nothing.” Ergo, there was no gravity, no time, no space. In other words, the laws of physics did not apply.

So, can this theory possibly be true?  Well, one can’t completely rule it out because there isn’t any scientific way to disprove it, or prove it either for that matter. Yes, if one believes that Jesus was a real person, and yes, if you believe that the Shroud of Turin was the actual burial cloth that Jesus was wrapped in and, yes, if you believe that Jesus was resurrected and, yes, if you buy into Piczek’s science…then, maybe.

The problem is that Piczek tries to support her theory with science that, while interesting,  is far from proven and her explanation is incomplete, at best.  The larger truth is that we may exist in a holographic universe. As Michael Talbot explained in his book, The Holographic Universe,  “Our brains mathematically construct objective reality by interpreting frequencies that are ultimately projections from another dimension, a deeper order of existence that is beyond both space and time:  The brain is a hologram folded in a holographic universe!”

Piczek’s conclusion is a real leap of faith; that is, the holographic Shroud proves that Jesus rose from the dead! Piczek really needs to incorporate the fact that the Shroud, if it’s holographic, is folded in a holographic universe.  That is, everything is holographic, including us!  And holograms are not real, at least not in the way that we perceive the universe around us.  That’s because holographic theory suggests that we exist in a simulated reality.

What’s more, death does not exist in a holographic universe.  As Einstein famously said, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.” So, death is simply the process of energy changing from a physical form to a non-physical form.  You still exist; just not in this three-dimensional universe.

So, there you have it: the good, the bad and the holographic.  Under these circumstances, does it really matter if Jesus was resurrected or not? Perhaps he was rather a time traveler from the future or perhaps someone just beamed him up (like Scotty).  Only God knows for sure and I haven’t seen any tweets from him in over three thousand years.

 

“Man experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.”  – Albert Einstein

 

 

The Tardy Messiah

03/18/2018

So if Jesus was the messiah, there are some people who might ask how come he hasn’t returned yet. For me, the better question is why would anyone expect him to return after some 2,000 years.

Actually, the Bible tells us what should have happened, but it’s never discussed from the pulpit. Why not? Let’s try and break it down.

Christian theologian Albert Schweitzer, whose book The Quest For the Historical Jesus is considered a seminal work of biblical scholarship, said that the Christian interpretation of the Second Coming is wrong! The reason is that, according to Schweitzer, the Bible actually states that the End Times would occur in the lifetime of the disciples, and not some 2,000 years later. He cited Matthew 24:34, among other biblical passages, in which Jesus says that the end of the world will occur in the lifetime of the disciples. C.S. Lewis, a Christian apologist himself, said of this passage, “It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.”

Note: For further corroboration, you can look at any of the following:

 

  • Mark 13:30
  • Luke 21:32
  • Mark 8:38
  • Matthew 23:36
  • Matthew 10:23
  • Revelation 1:3
  • 1 Corinthians 10:11
  • Revelation 22: 6,7
  • Revelation 22:10,12
  • 1 Peter 1:20
  • 1 Peter 4:7
  • Revelation 22:20
  • Hebrews 10:24-25
  • 1 John 2:18
  • 1 Corinthians 7:29,31
  • James 5:8,9
  • Matthew 16:28
  • Luke 9:27
  • Mark 9:1
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

The Bible is very clear that the Second Coming/ End Times are to take place in the lifetime of the disciples. So, the messiah is tardy, some 2,000 years late. As the Bible asks about his failed promise to return, “They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’” (2 Peter 3:4)

Tell me again, why are we still waiting?

 

 

“Jesus of Nazareth was an apocalyptic prophet who anticipated the imminent end of the age and who warned his Jewish compatriots to repent in view of the cosmic crisis that was soon to come. God, Jesus proclaimed, would intervene in the course of history to overthrow the forces of evil, sending from heaven a divine-like figure called the Son of Man in a cataclysmic act of judgment.  This Son of Man would bring a new order to this world, a utopian kingdom to replace the evil empire that oppresses God’s people.   And this was to occur within Jesus’ generation.”

– Bart Ehrman, biblical scholar and theologian

 

P.S. Thank you Bart, but remind me why this is rarely preached from the pulpit?

 

 

 

The world’s oldest cold case is now almost two thousand years old and counting.  What makes this case peculiar is a lack of information, the lack of a victim and possibly the lack of a crime being committed. I’m talking about the missing body of Jesus, of course.

 

The crucifixion

After the crucifixion, the body of Jesus was presumably placed in a tomb near the crucifixion site. A couple of days later, the tomb was found open and the body was gone. I refer to it as “The Case of the Missing Body.” Not long after the body went missing, Jesus was seen by some of his friends (and others) but from there the trail went cold and Jesus was never seen or heard from again. From a forensic standpoint, the missing body makes it impossible to determine the cause of death (assuming that there was one). It’s circumstantial evidence only. So, let’s see if that evidence might lead somewhere.

For starters, we should consider some strange facts in the case, as follows:

  • On the cross, Jesus was given a sponge soaked in vinegar because he was thirsty.
  • Jesus died after just a few hours on the cross.

Observations: The point of a crucifixion was for the person to die a slow, painful death.  It’s, therefore, inconsistent that the person would be given something to quench his thirst; and Pontius Pilate couldn’t understand how Jesus could have died so soon when people take days to die on the cross.  Even the other two men crucified with Jesus were still alive when Jesus supposedly died.

The crucifixion, itself, doesn’t make sense on several levels. First of all, the crucifixion took place in a private garden that was at a distance from any onlookers (Luke 23:49). The reason that doesn’t make sense is because a crucifixion was always done in public to dissuade others from also being troublemakers.

Aside: The fact that the crucifixion was not public meant the it would have been possible for someone to manipulate the events. Certainly, the fact that onlookers were kept at a distance means that any testimony concerning the crucifixion is suspect.

Secondly, after Jesus was given the sponge, he lost consciousness.  So, whatever was on the sponge probably caused him to lose consciousness if not, in fact, kill him. There are probably only two possibilities for what was on the sponge – a drug or a poison. So, we should be asking who had access to the spear that was used to give Jesus the vinegar. Who was at the foot of the cross when the crucifixion was taking place in a private garden when onlookers were only able to watch from a distance?

Aside: According to the gospels of both Matthew and Mark, it wasn’t Mary or Mary Magdalene as they watched from afar.

Finally, according to Mark 15:42, Jesus was crucified “the day before the Sabbath.” The crucifixion began just hours before sundown, at which time no Jew could then handle a dead body.  Since it was highly unlikely that anyone would expire on the cross in just a few hours, there was no point in starting a crucifixion at that time…unless you expected that you would be able to take that person down early from the cross because of the approaching Sabbath.

 

The mystery

A mysterious figure surrounding the crucifixion was someone referred to in the Bible only as Joseph of Arimathea. The Bible says that he was a wealthy and influential man, a member of the Sanhedrin, and that the crucifixion took place in a garden on his private property (as was the tomb). Strangely enough, though, the crucifixion is the only time that the Bible mentions such an important figure. Here’s what little the Bible does tell us about the man. It was Joseph of Arimathea who brought a very large amount of myrrh and aloe (75 pounds by one account and 100 pounds by another), which also have medicinal uses, to the tomb wherein the body of Jesus was laid. It was Joseph of Arimathea who was referred to as a secret disciple of Jesus (John 19:38).  Lastly, it was Joseph of Arimathea who asked Pilate for the body of Jesus, which was contrary to Roman law.

Aside: There is no proof that the body of Jesus was ever inside the tomb.  Remember it was Joseph of Arimathea and another disciple, Nicodemus, who supposedly put the body there and rolled a stone in front of the entrance to the tomb, with no witnesses to that event. Furthermore, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were arguably the last persons to see the body of Jesus when they brought the myrrh and aloe to the tomb.

The post-resurrection appearances of Jesus adds another layer of mystery to the investigation. You wonder if anyone truly recognized Jesus; certainly not Mary Magdalene who thought he was a gardener, not the disciples who spent two days with Jesus and yet thought he was a total stranger, and not Paul who only heard a voice which he could not recognize.

 

Beyond the Bible

Given that the New Testament accounts were written by anonymous authors years after-the-fact and given that the gospels contradict each other on key “facts”, it was necessary to look at other religious scriptures of the day, which were excluded from the Bible, for possible clues.

Gnostic writings indicate that Joseph of Arimathea was, perhaps, James, the brother of Jesus. In that case, the name Joseph would have actually been an Essenes title given to the second born of a dynastic succession.  That would make some sense, then, that Pontius Pilate might have released the body of Jesus if it was to an important member of Jesus’ family.  With respect to the crucifixion being held on private property, that also makes sense only if (1) Joseph of Arimathea was the brother of Jesus and (2) that Joseph and Pilate were friends, as it states in the Gospel of Peter.  As for Joseph of Arimathea being Jesus’ brother, Joseph of Arimathea was said to have been a secret disciple of Jesus and James, the brother of Jesus, did become the leader of the Nazarene movement post-crucifixion.  It all sort of ties together.

However, the biggest find might just have come from the Gospel of Peter, a work that was held in high regard during early Christianity but was left out of the Bible. In the Gospel of Peter 37-38, we find that the soldiers guarding the tomb reported back to Pilate that, “…and the sepulchre was opened and both of the young men entered in. When therefore those soldiers saw… again three men come out of the sepulchre, and two of them sustaining the other….” So, perhaps we have the smoking gun. Someone took the body of Jesus, seemingly alive, out of the tomb.  It was shortly thereafter that Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and found that the body, and the guards, were missing.  The guards were missing because they presumably had gone back to report to Pilate that the body was taken out of the tomb.  Soon thereafter, Jesus, or someone pretending to be Jesus, made an appearance to Mary Magdalene outside the tomb. So, that sequence seems to fit together nicely.

Aside: Lending credibility to the report in the Gospel of Peter is the fact that in early Christianity some Christians believed that the body of Jesus was stolen out of the tomb. Therefore, the author of the Gospel of Matthew felt it was important to try to deflect that story (see Matthew 28:11-15).

 

Solving the case

There is no proof in the Bible of a resurrection. The only account in the Bible of the resurrection is in the Gospel of Mark which even the Catholic Church admits is a very late addition.  Validating that admission is the fact that there is no account of a resurrection in the oldest versions of the Gospel of Mark (e.g. the Sinai Bible). If there was no resurrection, then Jesus did not rise up to Heaven and as Paul rightly concluded, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile….” (1 Corinthians 15:17).

So, where’s the body? Well, there are only two possibilities as to what happened to the body of Jesus – either he died on the cross and someone stole the corpse or he survived the crucifixion and died, and was buried, sometime thereafter.  Both are plausible possibilities.

Of course, it is possible that Joseph of Arimathea took the corpse since he had access to it (and presumably put it in the tomb), although we have no way of knowing whether he did put the body in the tomb or not.  So, it’s possible that the guards might have been guarding an empty tomb the whole time.  Then again, maybe the rumors of someone stealing the corpse from the tomb is true.  I have to presume, however, that there would have been some account somewhere of someone stealing a corpse – and there isn’t.  In addition, the body of Jesus has never been recovered.

It was Sherlock Holmes who once said that, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” So, the only possibility that we are left with is that Jesus survived the crucifixion. The question is whether or not there is enough evidence to convince us that he did survive the crucifixion.  So, let’s recap.

  • There is no proof that Jesus died on the cross.  In fact, even Pilate doubted the report of Jesus’ death.
  • There is no proof of a resurrection.
  • Jesus could have been helped from the tomb, as it was reported in the Gospel of Peter (or, perhaps, his body was never in the tomb in the first place).
  • Jesus was seen by a number of people after the crucifixion.

So, how did the events unfold, then? Although it cannot be conclusively proven, the logical choice for the person who gave Jesus the drug while he was on the cross is none other than Joseph of Arimathea, especially given that he was possibly the brother of Jesus. It was his garden so it would only be natural that he might be there, and since he was friends with Pilate he would undoubtedly have had access to the proceedings. He’s also the one that asked Pilate for the body, he’s the one that buried (or disposed of) the body and he’s the one who brought the myrrh and aloe to the tomb (or wherever the body was laid). If two men did help Jesus to get out of the tomb, what better candidates do you have than the two disciples, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. After all, these events took place on the private property of Joseph of Arimathea.

However, the clincher appears to come from none other than early church father Irenaeus. In his famous work “Against Heresies,” Irenaeus wrote that Jesus went to India after the crucifixion and lived to an advanced age. Jesus’ return to India, after the crucifixion, is confirmed in the Acts of Thomas which is based on the evangelistic mission to India of the disciple Thomas.  Further, the 15th century Persian historian Mir Khwand wrote that after the crucifixion Jesus lived for a while near Damascus, Syria at a place referred to as Mayuam-i-isa, which literally means “The place where Jesus lived.”

Any number of people were reported to have seen Jesus after the crucifixion. If there was no resurrection, he therefore must have survived the crucifixion. This is confirmed by the Bible, itself. It says that Jesus told Mary Magdalene at the tomb that he had not yet risen. Maybe, Sherlock Holmes was right. As improbable as it may have seemed originally, Jesus apparently did survive the crucifixion.

 

Epilogue

I do believe, however, that there is a deeper mystery that is disguised by the gospel stories. It’s a story about an apocalyptic prophet whose own religious mission had failed. The claim that Jesus was the messiah fell on deaf ears among the Jews since clearly Jesus did not fulfill Old Testament prophecy, prophecies which were written by Jewish holy men.

Therefore, he tried to become relevant by faking his death and then directing some of his supporters to claim that he was resurrected, and therefore divine. Jesus turned his attention to the West and convinced Paul to preach, what was essentially a blend of Judaism and paganism, to the gentiles. That’s the backstory about the appearance of Jesus to Paul on the road to Damascus. Paul actually met with and then became an apostle of a flesh-and-blood Jesus who had survived the crucifixion. Paul needed to have a cover story as to why he started to preach Christianity when he was previously persecuting Christians. He couldn’t just say that Jesus was alive because people would then come looking for him. So, he concocted the story of a vision with a Jesus.

Through Paul’s efforts, the divinity of Jesus would eventually become an accepted fact within the Christian community. Thereafter, Paul went on to martyrdom, Christianity went on to conquer Western Civilization and Jesus… went on to India.

 

“The real Jesus would not have died for a cause, but he might have faked his death to promote such a cause.” – The Ethical Warrior, The Real Jesus

The Jesus Secret

11/13/2017

The enduring question is this: How can a religion be built around someone who does not figure prominently in that religion’s holy book? I’m talking about Christianity and Jesus, of course.

In order to better understand this question, one has to first go back to the beginning – to Qumran and the origins of Christianity. In biblical times, a small, monastic group of Jews (usually referred to as Essenes) lived in isolation, in the wilderness near the Dead Sea in a place called Qumran. The Dead Sea Scrolls, which were found there some 60 years ago, make quite clear that the origins of Christianity lie in Qumran.

The Essenes were very religious and lived their lives strictly according to the Torah, the first five books of the Jewish Bible (Old Testament). It was out of this community that Jesus and most of the disciples would come. Jesus is commonly referred to as Jesus of Nazareth, but Nazareth is a corruption of the term Nazarene as the Qumran people were sometimes called Nazarenes.

 

Fast forward to immediately after the crucifixion

At that time, the Nazarenes carried on the teachings of Jesus through what was called the Jerusalem Church, which was under the direction of James, the brother of Jesus. It was called the Jerusalem Church because Qumran was considered by the Nazarenes to be the “New Jerusalem.”

After the crucifixion, there were competing versions of the story of Jesus (see Luke 1:1-4). For example, the Jerusalem Church was highly critical of Paul for his false teachings (see the Book of Acts).  In 325 AD, some three hundred years later, a vote of sorts was taken at the Council of Nicaea to finally settle the debate between the competing factions as to which version of Jesus would make it into the Bible. The losers in the vote got branded as heretics.

 

The resurrection

Central to church theology is the story of the resurrection. The mystery of the resurrection is a riddle wrapped inside of an enigma. The only meaningful resurrection account in the Bible is found in the Gospel of Mark and that account does not include any details with respect to the actual resurrection itself. This is where the mystery deepens as almost no one during the time of Jesus believed in a physical resurrection. Yet, there it is anyway in the Gospel of Mark. So, let’s look at what the beliefs of the time about the resurrection actually were:

The disciples

The disciples, themselves, were Jewish and they lived their lives by the Torah. According to prophecy, the messiah that the disciples were expecting was a flesh-and-blood man (like King David), rather than a divine messiah who could resurrect himself after he had died.

Paul

Paul did not believe in the resurrection of the physical body, but rather the spiritual body alone (e.g. he never mentions Jesus having been resurrected in the flesh). Given Paul’s concept of a Christ risen into a new, spiritual body, the resurrection becomes simply an article of faith – a path to inner spiritual knowledge. For example, Paul stated that the body that rises is a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 44) and that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 50).

Origen

Early Christian theologian Origen of Alexandria (in On First Principles) said that the resurrection related to the spirit, not the mortal body. He considered the concept of a physical resurrection to be for those that did not have eyes to see and ears to hear. The eyes to see and ears to hear, of course, is a famous parable attributable to Jesus. In other words, the resurrection of a physical body was strictly a surface story for the unenlightened.  The real story of a spiritual resurrection could only be understood by those that were very enlightened (and had been initiated into the Mysteries).

Other biblical writers

The gospels of Luke, Matthew and John do not have a resurrection story nor do the epistles of James and Jude, both brothers of Jesus. Of course, there are stories of appearances of Jesus in the gospels but there is no way of knowing if he had died and had been resurrected or if he had simply survived the crucifixion.

Jesus

According to Christian theology, Jesus was crucified, dead and buried (in a tomb).  Later, the tomb was mysteriously opened and Mary Magdalene was told that Jesus had risen. However, immediately thereafter, Mary Magdalene saw Jesus outside of the tomb and Jesus said that he had not yet risen (John 20:17). Obviously, then, he was still alive.

 

Even the one account of the resurrection in the Gospel of Mark has been called into question. The oldest bibles, the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus, do not include a resurrection story in the Gospel of Mark (the resurrection story in Mark can only be traced back to the Vulgate which is a late 4thcentury text). Further, the authors of the gospels of Luke and John do not contain a resurrection story even though they used copies of Mark (an earlier work) as a source. Therefore, the original Gospel of Mark could not have had a resurrection story in it. It had to be added very late in the game (after the Council of Nicaea in AD 325). Therefore, a central tenet of Christian faith is essentially missing from the Gospels.

Aside: The additional verses added to Mark say that Jesus ascended into heaven and sat at the right hand of the Father. One has to ask the question: Who observed this? Exactly who was in heaven to know that Jesus sat next to God and that he specifically sat on the right side of God? Furthermore, how could you possibly give such a commentary without covering the real story – describing God himself?

So, why does any of this matter? Well, without a resurrection, there is no proof that Jesus was divine. The secret concerning Jesus and Christianity is that the church didn’t need the spiritual teachings of Jesus. They simply wanted a messiah in order to sell their religion to the masses.  Accordingly, Christianity would become the new pagan religion of the gentiles.  To gain new converts, they offered up the idea of a universal messiah who they said had come to save the entire world.  In stark contrast, the prophets wrote about the coming of a Jewish messiah who would come specifically to reestablish the Kingdom of Israel. It’s a dirty little secret that you’re not supposed to know…but, of course, now you know.

 

Epilogue

Incidentally, an empty tomb (see above) proves nothing other than Jesus’ body was not there. There is nothing mysterious about his body being “missing” since when Mary Magdalene arrived at the tomb, the tomb was open and immediately thereafter she found Jesus standing outside of the tomb. So, his body was not inside the cave/tomb as he was already outside of it. Obviously, he could have been risen at that time only if he had already died first. However, as the Gospel of Philip says, “Those who say that the Lord died first and then rose up are in error, for he rose up first and then died.”  To understand that passage from the Gospel of Philip, you need to know that the author was concerned with the spirit rather than the body. The physical world was simply something that had to be overcome by resurrecting one’s spirit while they were in the physical world.

So, too, the message of early Christian luminaries like Paul and Origen were hidden under a veil of allegory and symbolism. Only the highly enlightened who were initiated into the Mysteries might be able to comprehend the underlying message.  Similarly, Jesus’ teachings were disguised as parables.  The bible clearly shows that even the disciples could not understand his message. So, why do Christians today believe that they understand his teachings when the disciples didn’t. After all, for the last two thousand years, all that Christians have ever gotten is a bible.

 

 

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:”

    – Paul (1 Corinthians 2:7)

 

“He replied, ‘Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them (the masses)…This is why I speak to them in parables: Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.'”

    – Jesus (Matthew 13:11,13)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The End Times

11/02/2017

Most people, whether religious or not, probably have heard about what is referred to as the End Times.  What few realize, however, is that it should be more aptly called the End of Time.

The reason for this is that when the earth and its inhabitants transition through the End Times, the new reality will not include time. Also, many of the laws of physics will no longer apply. This is a natural occurrence which has been written about in the ancient Mayan and Hindu texts. Life will not end.  It just won’t be the same as it was before. That’s a good thing – believe me.

Everything is energy which is constantly vibrating. The earth, and everything in it and on it, is electro-magnetic energy, including air, water and all life forms.  The rate that this electro-magnetic field vibrates is generally referred to as the Schumann resonance, named after German physicist Winfried Otto Schumann.  In the future, we will simply vibrate faster.

However, what is one to make of Bible prophecy, then, with respect to the End Times?  Well, if  one were able to ask Christian theologian Albert Schweitzer, he would say that the Christian interpretation of the Bible is wrong! The reason is that, according to Schweitzer, the Bible actually states that the End Times would occur in the lifetime of the disciples, and not some 2,000 years later. He would also say that Jesus said that God would send someone who he (Jesus) referred to as the Son of Man to save mankind (rather than himself).

Of course, this may sound like blasphemy to some, but, if you like, you can read it in the Bible for yourself.

 

“Jesus of Nazareth was an apocalyptic prophet who anticipated the imminent end of the age and who warned his Jewish compatriots to repent in view of the cosmic crisis that was soon to come. God, Jesus proclaimed, would intervene in the course of history to overthrow the forces of evil, sending from heaven a divine-like figure called the Son of Man in a cataclysmic act of judgment.  This Son of Man would bring a new order to this world, a utopian kingdom to replace the evil empire that oppresses God’s people.   And this was to occur within Jesus’ generation.”

  – Bart Ehrman, biblical scholar and theologian

 

So, Christians believe that they are living in sin. Naturally, since, it’s part of Christian theology, which is supposedly based on the story of Adam and Eve. Too bad that the Bible is in disagreement.

According to the Bible, no less than Jesus and God made statements that they disagreed with the concept of Original Sin (see John 9:2-3 and Genesis 8:21, respectively). Of course, the whole issue is probably moot anyway because Judaism doesn’t believe in Original Sin and they wrote the Old Testament – it’s their bible. Enough said.

Heaven and hell is another misconstrued part of Christian theology. It’s somewhat true, although woefully incomplete. At the risk of oversimplifying, heaven is our natural state of existence (where we originally came from if you will) and hell…well hell is right here on Earth. The story of the Fall is loosely based on how man stepped down from a higher plane of existence into this material world.

Keep in mind, the “natural state” of existence is non-physical. That is, life is energy and energy is life and, of course, energy is non-physical. As Einstein put it, energy can neither be created or destroyed. However, it can change form. Thus, if you reduce the vibration rate of energy it will condense, eventually into matter. That’s how man went from Heaven to Hell.

So, if there was no Original Sin and we are already in Hell, why did Jesus come? The better question, however, is this, “If Jesus didn’t preach the concept of Original Sin, why does the Church believe in it?” The answer to that question is that it has to do with the basis of all religions. I call it the selling of salvation. In effect, religion is a barter. You put money into the church coffers and in return you are given the so-called keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. The bottom line is essentially this: If there is no Original Sin, there is no need for salvation and, therefore, no need for a messiah.

All religions are based on a common source of abstract beliefs in the Divine.  Jesus, like other prophets before and after him, taught these “truths” under a veil of allegory and symbolism (and parables in Jesus’ case). The disciples believed that Jesus was the messiah who was prophesied by Old Testament prophets who were expecting a real flesh-and-blood messiah (like King David) who would deliver them from their enemies and reestablish the Kingdom of Israel. Of course, it never happened.

Some two thousand years later, we’re still waiting for the Old Testament prophecies to come true. According to prophecy, all we need is a messiah named Immanuel; for the entire world to accept the Jewish god; and for all the Jews to return to their homeland. That last one is a bit problematic as the Jewish homeland, according to the Bible, is Judea and Samaria while the present day state of Israel for the most part does not encompass those territories.

If you believe in the Old Testament prophecies, it looks increasingly unlikely that a messiah will ever return. If one could ask twentieth century Christian theologian Albert Schweitzer, he’d no doubt say that Jesus should have returned in the lifetime of the disciples (if he was the messiah). At least, that was what he said in his book The Quest for the Historical Jesus. 

…and that was not just his opinion, but rather what the Bible, itself, said.

 

 

“One of the problems is that the average Christian in the average church who listens to the average Christian broadcasting has such an oversimplified understanding of both the Bible and of church history – it would be deeply disturbing for them to really learn church history.” – Christian theologian Brian McLaren

It never ceases to amaze me how people can read the Bible and come up with a different explanation from what the printed words say in plain language. I guess that’s what George Bernard Shaw meant when he said that, “No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says – he is always convinced that it says what he means.” Here’s a case in point.

The question has to do with God telling Adam that he would die if he ate from the Tree of Knowledge. If you recall, here’s how the conversation went:

  • In Genesis 2:17, God tells Adam: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
  • In Genesis 3:17, God doles out his punishment for disobeying him with regard to eating of the Tree of Knowledge: “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.”

The plain words of these passages tell a pretty simple story. God told man not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge (and Adam disobeyed him). The punishment was to live “a life of sorrow.” However, Adam did not die as God had warned him but rather lived to be 930 years old.

Actually, the serpent knew the truth all along and told Eve as much. Here’s the pertinent Bible verses:

  • In Genesis 3:3, Eve tells the serpent, “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”
  • In Genesis 3:4-5, the serpent responds to Eve as follows: “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

What follows in Genesis 3:6-7 is also telling: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened….”

So, it was just like the serpent said. One doesn’t drop dead if they eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Further, what the serpent said would happen did, in fact, happen. That is, if you eat from the Tree of Knowledge “then your eyes shall be opened”…and they were indeed opened as the Bible states. The serpent also told the truth about what happens when your eyes are opened. He says in Genesis 3:4-5 that you will become gods, knowing good and evil. In Genesis 3:22, God actually confirms the truth about what the serpent said when he says, …“Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil….”

The fruit (apple) of the Tree of Knowledge is a universal symbol of temptation and the giving in to that temptation resulting in Paradise Lost, as Milton would have it. However, the use of the apple as this kind of symbol predates the writing of Genesis. For example, Greek mythology used the symbol of a serpent-like dragon that was coiled around a tree in the garden of the Hesperides protecting the divine golden apples. In fact, both Shakespeare and Milton later included the divine Garden of Hesperides in their works.

Today, most people would say that the world is not a safe place. Certainly, God, if he were here, would not look out over his creation and say that it is good. So, even religious people have to question how an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God created such an imperfect world. That’s why the Church came up with their theology of Creation Out of Nothing to explain how God was not the cause of evil. However, if God didn’t create evil, pray tell who did?  Further, if Eve could be tempted by an evil being, then the temptation had to be the end-result of something that God both created (i.e. the serpent) and expected. After all, God was omnipotent and omniscient, wasn’t he?

 

Epilogue

As simple a story as Genesis is, some people still feel the need to reinterpret it. Thank you, George Bernard Shaw. After all, every story has to have a good guy and every story has to have a bad guy. Therefore, in the orthodox church, the snake has been forever known as the villain of this story. Yet, it was God that lied while the serpent told the truth. Of course, this wasn’t the first time that God deceived man. In the very beginning (Genesis 1), God originally gave the Tree of Knowledge to man, as the Bible says, to have dominion over. Who would have ever believed that Paradise could have been lost over a Tree that had been originally promised by God to man?

 

…”If you get mad at your Mac laptop and wonder who designed this demonic device, notice the manufacturer’s icon on top: an apple with a bite out of it.”

– Peter Kreeft

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Was Jesus God?

01/04/2016

I keep seeing spam, or whatever it is, on my internet sports page about the topic “Is Jesus God?” It got me to think that I should ask those presumably in the know – Christians. So, here’s a little multiple choice questionnaire, just for Christians:

Question: Which of the following, if any, are correct?

  • Jesus is God
  • Jesus is the son of God
  • Jesus is Yahweh
  • Jesus is the messiah
  • Jesus is the archangel Michael
  • Jesus is a manifestation of God

According to varying Christian beliefs, it actually might be any one of them. That is, different Christian denominations have different beliefs with respect to Jesus. So, there basically isn’t any one right answer that reflects all Christian thinking. Every Christian denomination seemingly wants the right to define the Word of God their way, and their way only.

Aside: Islam holds that Jesus was a prophet and according to atheists… well, God doesn’t exist so it really doesn’t matter to them, now does it?

To confuse matters further, Judaism believes that Jesus wasn’t the long-awaited messiah prophesied by the Old Testament. The reason is that the Old Testament prophecies are actually prophecies from the Jewish Bible. You see, the Old Testament is, in reality, the Jewish Bible (the Tanakh). Jewish prophets wrote the prophecies and Jewish holy men said that Jesus did not fulfill their prophecies. So, these were not Christian prophecies but rather Jewish prophecies and the only messiah that anyone could have been expecting was a Jewish messiah. Actually, it would be hundreds of years before Christianity even became a religion.

The Jewish messiah was actually supposed to be both a messiah and a king, like King David who was considered to have been a messiah in his own right. In order to fulfill the messianic prophecies of the Tanakh (according to the Book of Isaiah), the following would have to occur:

  • All the Jews in the world would have to return to the Holy Land.
  • All the people in the world would have to worship the Jewish god.
  • The messiah would have to restore the Kingdom of Israel (then ruled by foreign powers).
  • The messiah would have to be named Immanuel.

With respect to the disciples, they were Jewish and they lived their lives strictly in accordance with the Torah. Therefore, they could only have been expecting a Jewish messiah. That’s why the disciples asked Jesus (see Acts 1:6), “…Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” They understood that this was potentially the fulfillment of one of the Jewish prophecies relating to the long-awaited Jewish messiah.

Of course, it never happened. Jesus did not restore the kingdom of Israel or fulfill any of the other prophecies for that matter. Even today, arguably three out of the four prophecies remain unfulfilled.

 

Epilogue

World-famous theologian Albert Schweitzer, in his seminal work The Quest for the Historical Jesus, pointed out that Jesus was supposed to return during the lifetime of the disciples (see Mark 13 and Matthew 24). For that reason, noted Christian apologist C.S.Lewis stated that Matthew 24:34 is the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.

The thing is…Jesus certainly would have returned as he promised the disciples…if he could have.  Even in the Bible, they asked why Jesus did not return as promised.

“They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’”

 – 2 Peter 3:4

I was reading a blog recently entitled Refuting 5 False Theories About Jesus. It was Christian apologetics at its finest. I couldn’t have disagreed with it more. The part that quickly caught my attention was one of the so-called false theories called “Jesus The Failed Prophet.” I’ll try and break it down for you.

The author traces the “failed prophet” theory to German scholar Albert Schweitzer, and correctly so. However, Schweitzer wasn’t just any run-of-the-mill scholar. First of all it’s important to note that Schweitzer was a Christian theologian. He was the author of The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle and his book The Quest for the Historical Jesus is considered a seminal work of biblical scholarship. Schweitzer was also a world-famous missionary in Africa and he was awarded the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of Reverence for Life.”

Aside: Schweitzer’s background is extremely relevant in that a reader, especially a young reader, of Refuting 5 False Theories About Jesus might otherwise think that Schweitzer was just another scholar who might easily be dismissed. Keep in mind, the blogger apparently taught theology at the high school level.

The author then accuses Schweitzer of cherry-picking the evidence. Well, the term cherry-picking, as it applies to biblical scholarship, was coined because it applies specifically to Christian apologetics. If you are defending the Bible as the unerring Word of God, you obviously can’t cherry-pick. The Bible has to be spot on, every time. However, if one is simply pointing out inconsistencies in the Bible, then cherry-picking does not apply since the only question is whether or not the Bible can be considered the unerring Word of God.

Aside: Christian apologists never seem to understand the point that it’s okay to believe in something and have faith in that belief system, but it is intellectually dishonest to say that the Bible is the infallible Word of God when it contains so many inconsistencies.

Next, the author tries to refute certain biblical passages that Schweitzer cites, passages which clearly state that Jesus was returning in the lifetime of the disciples.  He focuses on Matthew 24:36 to try to prove that Jesus confessed ignorance as to the timing of his return. That’s somewhat true, although woefully incomplete. Just prior to Matthew 24:36, in Matthew 24:34, Jesus actually says that the end of the world will occur in the lifetime of the disciples. C.S. Lewis, a Christian apologist himself, said of this passage, “It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.” Actually, it’s more than embarrassing for Christianity because Schweitzer, a Christian theologian himself, felt compelled to take the skeleton out of the closet, so to speak.

So, Jesus didn’t profess complete ignorance as the author said. Rather, Jesus gave a timeline for the end of the world (“this generation”), just not the exact day and hour. Jesus goes on to say that, since the exact hour is not known, everyone should be alert for his coming (Matthew 24:42) and to be ready for his coming (Matthew 24:44). In other words, the final hour is at hand.

Then, the author makes what is, to me, an astonishing admission. He says that certain critics “mistakenly suppose that first-century Jewish apocalyptic language…must have been intended literally.” This was in reference to the aforementioned passage in Matthew 24. So, according to the author, this Bible passage is not intended to be taken literally! He admits that the Bible can’t be completely read in a literal fashion. I’m still speechless, although Christian apologist Paul Copan pretty much admitted the very same thing (see my recent post Was it Genocide? Was it God?).

To a get a more complete picture, though, let’s more fully review what the Bible reveals about Jesus’ return. Here’s some of the more pertinent Bible passages:

  •  “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” (Mark 13:30)
  •  “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place.” (Luke 21:32)
  • “ For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38)
  • “Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” (Matthew 23:36)
  •  “When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”(Matthew 10:23) Note: This was spoken by Jesus to his disciples.

Comment: So Mark and Luke confirm the passage in Matthew 24:34, whereby the End of Days will occur during the lifetime of the current generation. The other passages also confirm that Jesus wlll return in the lifetime of the disciples (the current generation).

  • “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3)
  • “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11)
  •  “And he said to me, ‘These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place. And behold, I am coming soon.'” (Revelation 22: 6,7)
  • “And he said to me, ‘Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near…Behold, I am coming soon….'” (Revelation 22:10,12)
  • “He (Christ) was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you.” (1 Peter 1:20)
  • “The end of all things is at hand.…” (1 Peter 4:7)
  • ” He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)
  • “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18)
  • “This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none… For the present form of this world is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:29,31)
  • “You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.  Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.” (James 5:8,9)

Comment: So, it’s plainly obvious to most anyone other than a Christian apologist that these passages refer to something that will occur very soon, as opposed to two thousand years later.

  • ” Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” (Matthew 16:28)
  • Luke 9:27 and Mark 9:1 confirm the passage in Matthew 16:28, whereby some of those standing before Jesus will not taste death until they have seen the arrival of the kingdom.
  • “ For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)

Comment: The above passages indicate that some of the people of that generation will yet be alive when Jesus returns. In other words, the End of Days will occur during the current generation.

  •   “They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.'” (2 Peter 3:4)

Comment: Obviously, in early Christianity, there was a lot of questions about the fact that Jesus did not return as promised.

The apocalyptic vision of Jesus and his followers is replete throughout the New Testament – from the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to Peter to Revelation to Paul.  The focal point of their apocalyptic vision was that this would all occur in their lifetime, as it clearly says in the Bible itself. They were preaching the End of Days and they expected it to happen very soon.  Albert Schweitzer, in The Quest for the Historical Jesus, states that Jesus was preparing his followers for the imminent end of the world.  As Jesus, himself, says in Mark 1:15, “The time has come…The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Their message was that the faithful would be saved from the coming apocalypse. Without this promise of salvation, the message would have mostly fallen on deaf ears. People want to know that they are going to be saved – in their lifetime. Who would ever follow a messiah if they knew that he would leave and not return for at least two thousand years to finally make good on his promise. No one, of course.

 

Epilogue

In early Christianity, there was no Bible and few people, if any, ever read the scriptures (since the masses were illiterate). Further, there was disagreement even within the Christian community as to what was acceptable dogma; for example, see Luke 1:1-4 and Paul’s writings (2 Corinthians 11:4 and Galatians 1:6-9).  It was the 4th century church that finally decided the fate and direction of Christianity and as a result early Christianity luminaries like Origen, one of the first Christian theologians, and church father Clement of Alexandria were declared heretics by the Church. So, interestingly enough, if Origen and Clement were alive today, Christian apologists would have to be arguing these issues with them as well. Now that would be downright embarrassing, wouldn’t it?

 

 

“Jesus of Nazareth was an apocalyptic prophet who anticipated the imminent end of the age and who warned his Jewish compatriots to repent in view of the cosmic crisis that was soon to come. God, Jesus proclaimed, would intervene in the course of history to overthrow the forces of evil, sending from heaven a divine-like figure called the Son of Man in a cataclysmic act of judgment.  This Son of Man would bring a new order to this world, a utopian kingdom to replace the evil empire that oppresses God’s people.   And this was to occur within Jesus’ generation.”

  – Bart Ehrman, biblical scholar and theologian