Re: [Death To Religion] Re: There is no science vs religion battle / "Hail Constantine!"
----- Original Message -----
From: "bestonnet_00" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Saturday, January 21, 2006 5:01 PM
Subject: [Death To Religion] Re: There is no science vs religion battle / "Hail Constantine!"
> --- In email@example.com, "Mark" <parashakti108@y...> wrote:
>> --bestonnet_00 wrote:
>> >B: If Jesus didn't exist in the form described in the bible then he
>> > may as well have not existed...
The Jesus who was called Christos,"Anointed," took his title from Middle-Eastern savior-gods like Adonis and Tammuz, born of the Virgin Sea-goddess Aphrodite-Maria (Myrrha), or Ishhtar-Mari (Hebrew Mariamne0. Earlier biblical versions of the same hero were Joshua son of Nun (Exodus 33:11), Jehu son of Nimshi, who Elijahanointed as a sacred king (1 Kings 19:16 and Yeshua son of Marah. The book of Enoch said in the 2nd century B.C. that Yeshua or Jesus was the secret name given by God to the Son of Man (a Persian title). And that it meant "Yahweh saves."1
In northern Israel the name was written Ieu.2 It was the same as Leud or Jeud, the "only-begotten son" dressed in royal robes and sacrificed by the god-king Isra-El.3 Greek versions of the name were Iasion, Jason, or Iasus-the name of one of Demeter's sacrificed consorts, killed by father Zeus after the fertility rite that coupled him with his Mother.4 Iasus signified a healer or Therapeuta, as the Greeks called the Essenes, whose cult groups always included a man with the title of Christos.5 The literal meaning of the name was "healing moon-man," fitting the Hebrew version of Jesus as the son of Mary, the almah or moon-maiden.(see Virgin Birth)
It seems Jesus was not one person but a composite of many. He played the role of the sacred king of the Jews who periodically died in an atonement ceremony as a surrogate for the real king. "The Semitic religions practiced human immolations longer than any other religion, sacrificing children and grown men in order to please sanguinary gods. In spite of Hadrian's prohibition of those murderous offerings, they were maintained in certain clandestine rites."9 The priesthood of the Jewish God insisted that "one man should die for the people.that the whole nation perish not" (John 11:22)
Middle-Eastern traditions presented a long line of slain and cannibalized Saviors extending back to prehistory. At first kings, they became king-surrogates or "sacred" kings as the power of the real monarchies developed. The Gospels' Jesus was certainly not the first of them, though he may have been one of the last. One passage hints at a holy man's understandable fear of such brief, doomed eminence:" When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him king, he departed again into the mountain himself alone") John 6:15)
This Jesus seems to have made little or no impression on his contemporaries. No literate person of his own time mentioned him in any known writing. The Gospels were not were not written in his own time, nor were they written by anyone who ever saw him in the flesh. The names of the apostles attached to these books were fraudulent. The books were composed after the establishment of the church, some as late as the 2nd century A.D. or later, according to the church's requirements for the manufactured tradition.10 Most scholars believe the earliest book of the new Testament was 1 Thessalonians, written perhaps 51 A.D. by Paul, who never saw Jesus and knew no details of his life story.11
The details were accumulated through the later adoption of the myths attached to every savior-god throughout the Roman Empire. Like Adonis, Jesus was born of a consecrated temple maiden in the sacred cave of Bethlehem. " The House of Bread."12 He was eaten in the form of bread, as were Adonis, Osiris, Dionysus, and others: he called himself the bread of the God (John 6:330). Like worshipers of Osiris, those of Jesus made him part of themselves by eating him, so as to participate in his resurrection: "he that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him' (John 6;56).
Like Attis, Jesus was sacrificed at the spring equinox and rose again from the dead on the third day, when he became God and ascended to heaven. Like Orpheus and Heracles, he Harrowed hell" and brought a secret of eternal life, promising to draw all men with him up to glory (John12:32). Like Mithra and all the other gods, he celebrated a birthday nine months later at the winter solstice, because the day of his death was also the day of his cyclic re-conception. See Attis
From the elder gods, Jesus acquired not only his title Christos but all his other title as well. Osiris and Tammuz were called Good Shepard. Sarapis was Lord of Death and King of Glory, Mithra and Heracles were Light of the World, Sun of Righteousness, Helios the Rising Sun. Dionysus was Kings, God of Gods. Hermes was the Enlightened One and the Logos. Vishnu and Mithra were Son of man and Messiah. Adonis was the Lord and Bridegroom. Mot-Aleyin was the Lamb of God. "Savior" (Soter) was applied to all of them.
Mystery cults every where taught that ordinary men could be possessed by spirits of such gods, and identified with them as "sons" or alter egos, as Jesus was. It was the commonly accepted way to acquire supernatural powers, as shown by some of the charms used my magicians: "whatever I say must happen.For I have taken to myself the power of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and of the grate god-demon Iao Ablanathanalba.for I am the son of, I surpass the limit.I am he who is in the seven heavens, who standeth in the in the seven sanctuaries: for I am the son of the living God..I have been united with the sacred form. I have been empowered by the sacred name. I have received the effluence of the goodness, Lord, God of the gods, King, Demon.having attained that nature equal to the God's' 13
The skeptic Celsus noted that beggars and vagabonds throughout the Empire were pretending to work miracles and become gods, throwing fits, and prophesying the end of the world, and aspiring to the status of saviors.
Each has his convenient customary spiel, "I am god," or "a son of God," or a divine spirit," and " I have come. For the world is about is about to be destroyed, and you ,men,,because of your injustice, will go (with it). But I wish to save, and you will see me again coming back with heavenly power. Blessed is he who worships me now! On all others, both cities and countryside's, shall cast eternal fire. And men who (now) ignore their punishments shall repent in vain and groan, but those who believed in me I shall preserve immortal".14
Of course this "conspicuously false" doctrine was the central message of the Gospels too. Persian eschatology a Jewish-Essenic filter predicted "the Son of Man coming in a cloud with the power and great glory" (Luke 9:27,21;27). Jesus promised the end of the world in his own generation. The rest of the Gospel material was largely devoted to the miracles supposed to demonstrate his power, since religions generally " adduce revelations, apparitions, prophecies, miracles and sacred mysteries that they may get themselves valued and accepted."15 Even these mircles were derivative. Turning water into wine at Cana was copied from a Dionysian ritual practiced at Sidon and other places. 16
In Alexandria the same Dionysian miracle was regularly shown before crowds of the faithful, assisted by an ingenious system of vessels and siphons, invented by a clever engineer named Heron.17 Many centuries earlier, priestesses at Nineveh cured the blind with spittle, and the story was repeated of many different gods and their incanations.18 Demeter of Eleusis multiplied loaves and fishes in her role of Mistress of Earth and Sea. Healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out devils, handling poisonous serpents (Mark 16:18). etc., were so common place that Celsus scorned these "Christian"miracles as "nothing more than the common works of those enchanters who, for a few oboli, will perform greater deeds in the mist of the forum...The magicians of Egypt cast out evil spirits, cure disease by a breath, and so influence some uncultured men, that they produce in them whatever sights and sounds they please. But because they do such things shall we consider them the sons of God?19
Magicians often claimed that their prayers could bring flocks of supernatural beings to their assistance.20 Thus Jesus declared that his prayer could summon twelve legions (72,000) of guardian angels (Mathew 26:53). Magicians also communed with their followers by the standard mystery-cult sacrament of bread-flesh and wine-blood. In texts on magic," a magician-god gives his own body and blood to a recipient who, by eating it, will be united with him in love."21
The ability to walk on water was claimed by Far-Eastern holy men ever since Buddhist monks praised it as the mark of the true ascetic.22 The Magic Papyri said almost anyone could walk on water with the help of "a powerful demon."23 Impossibilities have always been the props of religious credulity, as Tertullian admitted: It is believable because it is absurd: it is certain because it is impossible."24
However, repetitive miracles were not to be believable as original ones. Therefore early Christians insisted that all older deities and their miracle-tales were invented by the devil, out of his foreknowledge of the true religion, so the faithful would be confused by past 'imitations."25 Pagan thinkers countered with the observation that" The Christian religion contains nothing but what Christians hold in common with heathens; nothing new, nor truly great." Even
St. Augustine, finding the hypothesis of the devil's invention hard to swallow, admitted that "the true religion" was known to the ancients, and had existed from the beginning of time, but it began to be called Christian after "Christ came in the flesh."26
Nevertheless, adherents of the true religion violently disagreed as to the circumstances of its foundation. In the first few centuries A.D. there were many mutually hostile Christian sects, and many mutually contradictory Gospels. As late as 450, Bishop Theodore of Cyrrhus said there were at least 200 different Gospels revered by the churches of his own diocese, until he destroyed all but the canonical four.27 The other Gospels were lost as stronger sects overwhelmed the weaker, wrecked their churches, and burned their books.28
One scripture, later thrown out of the canon, said that Jesus was not crucified. Simon of Cyrene suffered on the cross in his place, while Jesus stood by laughing at the executioners, saying, "it was another.who drank the gall and the vinegar; it was not I ..it was another, Simon who bore the cross on his shoulder. It was another upon whom they placed the crown of thorns. But I was rejoicing in the height.And I was laughing at their ignorance"29 Believers in this scripture were persecuted and forced to sign an abjuration reading: "I anathematize those that say Our Lord suffered only in appearance, and that there was a man on the cross and another at a distance who laughed. "30
Some Christians interpreted Jesus noli me tangere ("Touch me not') to mean he came back from death as an incorporeal spirit, after the manner of other apotheosized heroes, such as the Irish hero Laegaire, who also told his people not to touch him.31 Later, an unknown Gospel writer inserted the story of doubting Thomas, who insisted on touching Jesus. This was to combat the heretical idea that there was no resurrection of the flesh, and also to subordinate Jerusalem's god Tammuz (Thomas) to the new savior. Actually, the most likely source of primary Christian mythology was the Tammuz cult in Jerusalem. Like Tammuz, Jesus was the bridegroom of the daughter of Zion (John 12:150. Therefore his bride was Anath, "Virgin Wisdom Dwelling in Zion, "who was also the Mother of God. 32 Her dove descended on him at his baptism, signifying (in the old religion) that she chose him for the love-death. Anath broke her bridegrooms read scepter, scourged him and pierced him for fructifying blood. She pronounced his death curse, Mara-natha (1 Corinthians 16;22. As the Gospel said of Jesus, Anath's bridegroom was "forsaken" by El, his heavenly father.33 Jesus's cry to El, "my God , why hast thou forsaken me?" seems to have been a line written for the second act of the sacred drama, the pathos or Passion(Mark 15:34).
Of course this passion was originally a sexually one. Jesus's last words 'It is consummated" (consummatum est) were interpreted as a sign that his work was finished, but could equally apply to his marriage (John 19;30). As a cross or pillar represented the divine phallus, so a temple represented the body of the Goddess, whose"viel" (hymen) was "rent in the mist" as Jesus was passed onto death (Luke 23:45). As usual when the god disappeared into the underworld, the sun eclipsed(Luke 23:440. In their ignorance of the astronomical phenomena, Christians claimed that the moon was full at the same time-Easter is still a full moon festival-though an eclipse of the sun can only occur at the dark of the moon.34 The full moon really meant impregnation of the Goddess.
The parting of Jesus's garment recalls the unwrapping of Osiris when he emerged from the tomb as the ithyphallic Min, "Husband of his Mother." If Jesus was one with the heavenly father, then he also married his mother and begot himself. A 4th- century scripture said in the underworld he confronted his mother as Death, Mu.35 She was also the Bride disguised as Venus, the evening star, presiding over the death of the sun. Jews still recall her in the ritual greeting to the evening star, "Come, O friend, let us welcome the Bride."36
Like pagans, early Christians identified the Bride with the Mother. They said Jesus" consummated on the cross" his union with Mary-Ecclesia, his bride the church. Augustine wrote: Like a bridegroom Christ went forth from his chamber, he went out with a presage of his nuptials..He came to the marriage bed of the cross, and there, in mounting it, he consummated his marriage..he lovingly gave himself up to the torment in place of his bride, and he joined himself to the women for ever. 37 John 19:14 says, "In the place where he was crucified there was a garden: and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man laid." A garden was the conventional symbol for the body of the mother/bride: and a new tomb was the was the virgin womb, whence the god would be born again. On the third day, Jesus rose from the tomb/womb like Attis, whose resurrection was the Hilaria, or day of Joy.38 Jesus's resurrection day was named after Eostre, the same Goddess as Astarte, whom the Syrians called Mother Mari.39
Three incarnations of Mari, or Mary, stood at the foot of Jesus's cross, like the Moerea of Greece. One was his virgin mother. The second was his "dearly beloved" (see Mary Magdalene) The third Mary must represent the Crone (the fatal Moera), so the tableau resembled that of the three Norms at the foot of Odin's sacrificial tree. The Fates were present at the sacrifices decreed by Heavenly Fathers, whose victims hung on a tree or pillars "between heaven and earth." Up to Hadrian's time, victims offered to Zeus at Salamis were anointed with sacred ointments-thus becoming "Anointed Ones" or "Christ's"-then hung up and stabbed through the side with a spear. 40 Nothing in Jesus's myth occurred at random: every detail was part of a formal sacrificial tradition, even to the 'procession of the palms" which glorified sacred kings in ancient Babylon.41
Far-Eastern traditions were utilized too. The Roman empire was well aware of the teachings and myths of Buddhism, Buddha images in classic Greek style were made in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the first century A.D.42 Buddhist ideas like the 'footprints of Buddha" appeared among Christians. Bishop Sulpicius of Jerusalem reported that, as in India, "In the dust where Christ trod the marks of His step can still be seen, and the earth still bears the print of His feet."43 Buddhist metaphors and phrasing also appeared in the Gospels. Jesus's formula, "Dearly Beloved," was the conventional way for Tantic deities to address their teaching to Devi, their Goddess.44
Scholars' efforts to eliminate paganism from the Gospels in order to find the historical Jesus have proved as hopeless as searching for a core of an onion.45 Like a mirage, the Jesus figure looks clear at a distance but laks approachable solidity. "His" sayings and parables came from elsewhere; "His" miracles were old twice-told tales. Even the Lord's Prayer was a collections of sayings from the Talmud, many derived from earlier Egyptian prayers to Osiris.46 The Sermon on the Mount, sometimes said to contain the essence of Christianity, had no original material; it was made up of fragments from Psalms, Ecclesiastes ,Isaiah, Secrets of Enoch, and the Shemone Esreh. 47 Morover, it was unknown to the author of the oldest Gospel, pseudo-mark.48
The discovery that the Gospel were forged, centuries later than the events they described, is still not widely known even though the Catholic Encyclopedia admits, "The idea of a complete and clear-cut foundation of history." No extant manuscript can be dated earlier than the 4th century A.D.; most were written even later.49 The oldest manuscript contradicts one another, as also do even the present cannon of the synoptic Gospels
The church owed its canon to the Gnostic teacher Marcion, who first collected Pauline epistles about the middle of the 2nd century. Later he was excommunicated as a heretic because he denied that the scriptures were mystical allegories full of magic words of power. The epistles he collected were already over a century old, if indeed they were written by Paul; much of their material was made up of forged interpretations.50
The most "historical" figure in the Gospels was Pontius Pilate, to whom Jesus was presented as 'king" of the Jews and simultaneously as a criminal deserving the death penalty for "blasphemy" because he called himself Christ, Son of the Blessed (Luke 23:3; mark 14:61-64) This alleged crime was no real crime. Eastern provinces swarmed with self-styled Christ's and Messiahs, calling themselves Sons of God and announcing the end of the world. None of them was executed for "blasphemy."51 The beginning of the story probably lay in the tradition of sacred-king sacrifice in Jerusalem long before Pilate's administration when Rome was trying to discourage such barbarisms
From 103 70 76 B.C., Jerusalem was governed by Alexander Janneaus, called the Aeon, who defended his throne by fighting challengers. One year, on the day of atonement, his people attacked him at the altar, waving palm branches to signify that he should die for the earth's fertility. Alexander declined him the honor and instituted a persecution of his own subjects. Another king of Jerusalem took the name of Menelaus, "moon-king." And practiced the rite of sacred marriage in the temple.52 Herod also made a sacred marriage, and had John the Baptist slain as a surrogate for himself.
If there was a Jesus cult in Jerusalem after 30 A.D., it completely disappeared forty years later when Titus conquered the city and outlawed many local customs, including human sacrifice. Jerusalem was wholly Romanized under Hadrian. It was newly named Aelia Capitolina and rededicated to the Goddess. The temple became a shrine of Venus.53 Tacitus described the siege of Jerusalem, but his writings is abruptly cut off at the moment when the Roman forces entered the city-as if the final chapters were deliberately destroyed-so no one knows what the Romans found there. However, Romans did express disapproval of the Jews' or Christians 'cannibalistic sacraments. Porphyry called it "absurd beyond all absurdity, and bestial beyond every sort of bestiality, that a man should taste human flesh and drink the blood of men of his own genus and species, and by doing should have eternal life.'54
From the Christian's viewpoint, a real historical Jesus was essential to the basic premise of the faith; the possibility of immortality through identification with his own death and resurrection. Wellhausen rightly said Jesus would have no place in history unless he died and returned exactly as the Gospels said.55 "If Christ hath not been raised, your faith is in vain" (Corinthians) 15:170. Still, despite centuries of research, nom historical Jesus has come to light. It seems his story was not merely overlaid with myth; it was mythic to the core.
Like all myths, it revealed much about the collective psychology that created it. In earlier pagan religions, the mother and son periodically ousted the Father from his heavenly throne. The divine son of Christianity no longer challenged the heavenly king, but tamely submitted to his fatal command: "Not my will, but thine, be done"(Luke 22;42). Some early sects said the Father who demanded his son's blood was cruel, even demonic.56 Those were suppressed, but scholars have discerned in Christianity " an original attitude of hostility toward the father figure, which was changed in the first two Christian centuries into an attitude of passive masochistic docility.'57
If orthodox Christianity demanded subordination of the Son, it was even more determined to subordinate the Mother. The Gospels' Jesus showed little respect for his mother, which troubled the church in its Renaissance efforts to attract women to the cult of Mary. "Any hero who speaks to his mother only twice, and on both occasions address her as 'woman,' is a difficult figure for the sentimental biographers."58 Together with Jesus's avowed opposition to marriage and the family ( Mathew 22;30; Luke 14;56), women's primary concerns, New Testament sexism tended to disgust educated women of the pagan world.
But the Jesus who emulates Buddha in advocating poverty and humility eventually became the mythic figurehead for on of the world's pre-eminent money-making originations. The cynical Pope Leo X exclaimed, "What profit has not that the fable of Christ brought us!" 59
Modern theologians tend to sidestep the question of whether Jesus was in fact a fable or a real person. In view of the complete dearth of hard evidence, and the dubious nature of the soft evidence, it seems Christianity is based on the ubiquitous social phenomena of credulity.
An idea is able to gain and retain the aura of essential truth through telling and retelling. This process endows a cherished notion with more veracity than a library of facts.documentation plays only a small role in contrast to the act of re-confirmation by each generation of scholars. In addition, the further removed one gets from the period in question, the greater is the strength of the conviction. Initial incredulousness is soon converted into belief in a probability and eventually smug assurance.
1. H. Smith,193. 2. Albright, 262. 3. Frazer, G.B.,341 . 4. Graves, G.M..1, 89.
5. Rose, 111. 6. Graves, G.M. 2, 396 7. Albright, 262 8. Knight, D.W.P.,113
9. Cumont, O.R.R.P., 119 10. H. Smith, 179-80 11. Enslin, L.C.M., 233-38.
12. Frazer, C.B., 402; Briffault 3, 97. 13. H. Smith, 102-4 14. M.Smith, 117.
18. Gifford, 63. 19. Doane, 409-11. 27. M Smith, 2 28. H. Smith, 189
22. Bardo Thodol, 158; Tatz & Kent, 167. 23.M.Smith, 2. 28 H.Smith,189
25. Robertson, 112. 26 Doane, 409-11. 27 M.Smith, 2 28 H.Smith 189
29. Pagels, 72-73 30. Reinach, 245. 31 Joyce1. 298. 32 Ashe, 31
33. Larouse, 77-73. 30 Agrippa,71. 35 Brandon, 45. 36. WEilkins, 143.
37. Cavendish, P.E., 54; T., 75. 38 Frazer, G.B., 407. 39 H.Smith 201
40. H. Smith, 135. 41 Pritchard, A.N.E., 204 42. Ross, 100
43. de Voragine, 287. 44 Mahanirvanatantra, 173. 45. M. Smith, 4
46. Budge, E.M. 116. 44 Mahanirvanatana, 173. 45. M.Smith, 4
50. Reinach, 256,277. 51. Bradon, 248. 52. Pfeifer, 72-74, 120
53. Encye. Brit., " Jerusalem." 54. M. Smith,66. 55. Guignebert, 47.
56. Legge 2, 239. 57.Augstein, 309. 58. M.Smith,25. 59. de Camp. A.E.,399
60 Arens, 89.
From The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker
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