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Christa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 03:27 PM
Original message
The First Jesus
Edited on Sat Nov-21-09 03:57 PM by Christa
I watched this documentary on Nat Geo last night.


He called himself the King of the Jews, likely considered to be a Messiah. Just around Passover, the Romans killed him and crucified many of his followers outside Jerusalem. But his name was not Jesus... it was Simon, a self-proclaimed Messiah who died four years before Christ was born. Now, new analysis of a three-foot-tall stone tablet from the first century B.C., may speak of an early Messiah and his resurrection. We'll go to Israel to assess this unique and mysterious artifact, including comprehensive review of the script and content by a Dead Sea Scroll expert. Then, from Jerusalem to Jericho, we'll investigate key archeological ruins that could help prove Simon was indeed real.

There was no real conclusion, but it is an interesting premise, to say the least. It tells of a previous man who also called himself Jesus, and how it is entirely possible that the Biblical Jesus copied him; right to the crucifixion - he knew what the consequences would be and yet he persisted.

edited for speeling :blush:

there is no god and I am his prophet
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. Very intriguing!
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
2. Have you ever heard of a book called "The Passover Plot"?
Edited on Sat Nov-21-09 03:38 PM by BrklynLiberal

Sadly, even if absolute evidence of this were found. the current religious establishment would NEVER allow it
be made public.

There have already been certain writings of the Bible that have been "lost" and/or "forgotten"...since
they do not fit into the "acceptable" sequence of the stories as told by those in power.

I am sorry I missed that show. I am going to check to see if it is repeated.
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pretzel4gore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. the murder of John Paul 1st. too..
Pope john Paul 1st would have modernised the RC church, ended the 'brute' factor in church logic (male dominion needs women submission, and homophobia, to exist, for example) JPaul the 2nd, of course, maintained all that brute stuff, and fought comminism until workers all over the world knew their place, and he was so darn saintly (though he despised ronald regan right to his face) he helped fascism regain control of society by damning priestly activism and so on...iow go junyer bush (and junyer sure went!)
It is curious to know what that greedy old goat thought after he saw 911. 'Omg', i imagine
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Christa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Thanks for the heads up!
It is definitely going on my wish list.

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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. The Jesus myth was most likely cobbled together from
Edited on Sat Nov-21-09 03:37 PM by Warpy
all sorts of heroic myths and some actual life stories from the eastern Mediterranean 2000 years ago. It's really too bad that people focus so much on the myth and so little on the teachings, also cobbled together from the same source, holding positive lessons in common with other religious traditions.

The man who popularized what should have been just another short lived Jewish sect is also responsible for having people think they can groove on the myth and dispense with the teachings: Paul. He's the character who said belief without good works was sufficient.

I think the historical character(s) would have a very different opinion, happy to be forgotten had the teaching lived on and been put into practice.

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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. That is an Excellent Summary
I prefer to start out regarding the sayings and deeds of Jesus as authentic, then looking for reasons why they might not be authentic. The more I look at it, though, many of the sayings seem to reflect the split between Paul and the more Judiazed movement in Jerusalem lead by Jesus' brother James.

For example, the parable of the talents relates that the man with one talent hid it in the ground, and was rejected for doing that. This sounds like nothing so much as the treasures hidden to escape the Romans around 70AD described in the Copper Scroll. Many of the parables, such as the ungrateful banquet guests, refer to the chosen ones as being cast out and replaced by others thought less worthy. This seems to reflect the split in the early Christian movement and the excommunication of Paul and his followers.

I am very intertested in who Jesus was and what he said, but it's damnably hard to get a good grasp of it.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. VERY well put!!
:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
4. jesus was another prophet in the long line prophets of the semite tribes....
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. That one had a bad PR firm working for him.
Edited on Sat Nov-21-09 04:35 PM by MineralMan
They needed to get a contract with Saul of Tarsus, LLC. That Saul had some serious PR chops, and was even willing to change his name to get the press coverage.

He also spotted Rome as the market of the future for Jewish messiahs. What with that demographic getting tired of dealing with a whole pantheon of deities, all they had to do was get Caesar to opt into the Jesus thing and they were golden.

So, if you're a messiah, take it from me. Saul of Tarsus, LLC is where you need to be.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. LOL.
:rofl: :rofl:
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Liberation Angel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
11. Interesting Book "The Passover Plot" written by a Jewish Theologian
says basically that whether or not you believe that Jesus was the Messiah that HE certainly believed he was and did everything he could to be in conformity with the scriptures predicting his work and life and death.

I will say that the idea that he actually faked his death and escaped to continue his work "underground" with Mary the Magdalene is an attractive scenario to me: he did what he did to make a point and then went into exile and hiding...

A man, not a G-d, (any more than any of us are manifestations of the Creator(s)) but who was, or believed he was, a prophet or "chosen" spiritual boddhisattva who came to believe he was in fact predicted and did all he could to make sure his message of peace and goodness and loving one's neighbor and willingness to sacrifice one's life for others would be ingrained for all time in human history.

He did say" I am one in God and you are one in me" (meaning we are all one in god) which is essentially saying we are all from a divine source and our lives are sacred reflections of the divine.

That is not a bad concept to me.

Not at all.
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onager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
12. Another possible candidate...the Mystery Messiah...
...who came along a few years after the alleged Jesus of Nazareth, according to the historian Flavius Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, 18.85-89).

This Messiah is described as a Samaritan (but not named). It may be helpful to note that Flavius Josephus (a Pharasaic Jew) probably disliked Samaritans about as much as he disliked Herod or Pontius Pilate. And he hated those two.

Though living in the same neighborhood as the Judeans, the Samaritans had their own special god. This caused a lot of grief between the Samaritans and the Jews.

The Samaritans also had their own Sinai-like Holy Mountain, Mt. Gerizim.

The Samaritan Mystery Messiah appeared sometime around 36/37 CE. Unlike that bleeding-heart waffler who went around Jerusalem preaching a few years before, this Messiah was ready to kick Roman ass and take names - he told his followers they should bring weapons to the revolution.

He also used a Joseph Smith/L. Ron Hubbard kind of miracle on the faithful- he promised to show them the "sacred vessels" that Moses had hidden on the mountain. (The good ideas just keep coming back, don't they?)

According to Josephus:

So they came thither armed, and thought the discourse of the man probable; and as they abode at a certain village, which was called Tirathaba, they got the rest together to them, and desired to go up the mountain in a great multitude together.

Unlike his depiction in that bad work of fiction The New Testament, Pontius Pilate didn't waffle, consult with a mob, or get obsessed with washing his hands:

But Pilate prevented their going up, by seizing upon the roads with a great band of horsemen and footmen, who fell upon those that were gotten together in the village; and when they came to an action, some of them they slew, and others of them they put to flight, and took a great many alive, the principal of whom, and also the most potent of those that fled away, Pilate ordered to be slain.

Even Josephus sort-of concedes that in this case Pilate behaved fairly. He executed the Messiah and his ringleaders while letting most of the innocent dupes run away and go home.

The Samaritans actually lodged a complaint about this incident with Vitellius, the Roman legate in Syria. But it's hard to see what else Pilate could have done. This was a full-blown armed religious insurrection against the state.

In fact, reading actual history instead of Xian/Buy-bull history, the Romans often seemed to go out of their way to keep the peace in this fractious, religion-obsessed backwater of their Empire.

(Josephus himself once described Jerusalem as "a golden bowl full of scorpions.")

After the death of Herod The Great, the Jews and Samaritans amazingly managed to put aside their differences and send a delegation to the Romans. They complained about the bad behavior of their new ruler, Herod Archelaus, and wanted him removed from office. The Romans complied and sent Archelaus about as far away from Jerusalem as possible - he was banished to the Roman outpost in "a city of Gaul, Vienna."

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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-21-09 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
13. I thought this was going to be a post about Mithra
Now I'm disappointed. I'll get over it though :P
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 03:55 AM
Response to Original message
14. ... The tablet, probably found near the Dead Sea in Jordan according to some scholars who have
studied it, is a rare example of a stone with ink writings from that era in essence, a Dead Sea Scroll on stone. It is written, not engraved, across two neat columns, similar to columns in a Torah. But the stone is broken, and some of the text is faded, meaning that much of what it says is open to debate ... Oddly, the stone is not really a new discovery. It was found about a decade ago and bought from a Jordanian antiquities dealer by an Israeli-Swiss collector who kept it in his Zurich home ...
Ancient Tablet Ignites Debate on Messiah and Resurrection
Published: July 6, 2008

The first observation: we have no context for this object. Assuming, arguendo, that the object is an actual antiquity, it is a looted object: one knows not whence it came and hence has fewer points of reference for dating and interpretation
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 04:32 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. ... The tablet was not discovered in an organized archaeological excavation, therefore the location
of its discovery is not clear. Some believe it was found in Jordan on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea ...

Last update - 00:00 07/07/2008
Dead Sea tablet suggests Jewish resurrection imagery pre-dates Jesus
By Ofri Ilani, Haaretz Correspondent
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 04:19 AM
Response to Original message
15. ... But without further ado, the full text of the translated tablet.
Edited on Sun Nov-22-09 04:19 AM by struggle4progress
Translation (Semitic sounds in caps)
Column A
(Lines 1-6 are unintelligible)
7. {...} the sons of Israel ...{...}...
8. {...}... {...}...
9. {... }the word of YHW{H ...}...{...}
10. {...}... I\you asked ...
11. YHWH, you ask me. Thus said the Lord of Hosts:
12. {...}... from my(?) house, Israel, and I will tell the greatness(es?) of Jerusalem.
13. {Thus} said YHWH, the Lord of Israel: Behold, all the nations are
14. ... against(?)\to(?) Jerusalem and ...,
15. {o}ne, two, three, fourty(?) prophets(?) and the returners(?),
16. {and} the Hasidin(?). My servant, David, asked from before Ephraim(?)
17. {to?} put the sign(?) I ask from you. Because He said, (namely,)
18. {Y}HWH of Hosts, the Lord of Israel: ...
19. sanctity(?)\sanctify(?) Israel! In three days you shall know, that(?)\for(?) He said,
20. (namely,) YHWH the Lord of Hosts, the Lord of Israel: The evil broke (down)
21. before justice. Ask me and I will tell you what 22this bad 21plant is,
22. lwbnsd/r/k (=? {To me? in libation?}) you are standing, the messenger\angel. He
23. ... (= will ordain you?) to Torah(?). Blessed be the Glory of YHWH the Lord, from
24. his seat. "In a little while", qyTuT (=a brawl?\ tiny?) it is, "and I will shake the
25. ... of? heaven and the earth". Here is the Glory of YHWH the Lord of
26. Hosts, the Lord of Israel. These are the chariots, seven,
27. {un}to(?) the gate(?) of Jerusalem, and the gates of Judah, and ... for the
sake of
28. ... His(?) angel, Michael, and to all the others(?) ask\asked
29. .... Thus He said, YHWH the Lord of Hosts, the Lord of
30. Israel: One, two, three, four, five, six,
31. {se}ven, these(?) are(?) His(?) angel .... 'What is it', said the blossom(?)\diadem(?)
32. ...{...}... and (the?) ... (= leader?/ruler?), the second,
33. ... Jerusalem.... three, in\of the greatness(es?) of
34. {...}...{...}...
35. {...}..., who saw a man ... working(?) and {...}...
36. that he ... {...}... from(?) Jerusalem(?)
37. ... on(?) ... the exile(?) of ...,
38. the exile(?) of ..., Lord ..., and I will see
39. ...{...} Jerusalem, He will say, YHWH of
40. Hosts, ...
41. {...}... that will lift(?) ...
42. {...}... in all the
43. {...}...
44. {...}...

Column B
(Lines 45-50 are unintelligible)
51. Your people(?)\with you(?) ...{...}
52. ... the {me}ssengers(?)\{a}ngels(?){ ...}...
53. on\against His/My people. And ...{...}...
54. {... }three days(?). This is (that) which(?) ...{... }He(?)
55. the Lord(?)\these(?){ ...}...{...}
56. see(?) ...{...}
57. closed(?). The blood of the slaughters(?)\sacrifices(?) of Jerusalem. For He said,
YHWH of Hos{ts},
58. the Lord of Israel: For He said, YHWH of Hosts, the Lord of
59. Israel: ...
60. {...}... me(?) the spirit?\wind of(?) ...
61. ...{...}...
62. in it(?) ...{...}...{...}
63. ...{...}...{...}
64. ...{...}... loved(?)/... ...{...}
65. The three saints of the world\eternity from\of ...{...}
66. {...}... peace he? said, to\in you we trust(?) ...
67. Inform him of the blood of this chariot of them(?) ...{...}
68. Many lovers He has, YHWH of Hosts, the Lord of Israel ...
69. Thus He said, (namely,) YHWH of Hosts, the Lord of Israel ...:
70. Prophets have I sent to my people, three. And I say
71. that I have seen ...{...}...
72. the place for the sake of(?) David the servant of YHWH{ ...}...{...}
73. the heaven and the earth. Blessed be ...{...}
74. men(?). "Showing mercy unto thousands", ... mercy {...}.
75. Three shepherds went out to?/of? Israel ...{...}.
76. If there is a priest, if there are sons of saints ...{...}
77. Who am I(?), I (am?) Gabri'el the ...(=angel?)... {...}
78. You(?) will save them, ...{...}...
79. from before You, the three si{gn}s(?), three ...{....}
80. In three days ..., I, Gabri'el ...{?},
81. the Prince of Princes, ..., narrow holes(?) ...{...}...
82. to/for ... {...}... and the ...
83. to me(?), out of three - the small one, whom(?) I took, I, Gabri'el.
84. YHWH of Hosts, the Lord of(?){ Israel ...}...{....}
85. Then you will stand ...{...}...
86. ...\
87. in(?) ... eternity(?)/... \

Gabriel's Vision of Revelations

FYI only: I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this. However, a pdf describing Israel Knohl's further efforts to fill lacunae is available:

By Three Days, Live: Messiahs, Resurrection, and Ascent to Heaven in Hazon Gabriel*
Israel Knohl
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Ada Yardeni and Binyamin Elitzur have recently published a fascinating text of an apocalypse transmitted by the angel Gabriel, which they suggest calling Hazon Gabriel (the Vision of Gabriel). Based on its linguistic features, they date the text, written in Hebrew on stone, to the late first century BCE. This suggestion is corroborated by the paleographic evidence, which points to the late first century BCE or the early first century CE ... Line 80 of the text begins with the words ... (by three days), after which the editors read the letter het followed by three undecipherable letters and then the words ... (I Gabriel). In my opinion, the word that the editors read only partially is completely legible ... The context implies that the angel Gabriel addresses someone and tells him: by three days, ... live/ be resurrected! (cf. Ezek. 16:6: In your blood, Live < >.) ... Since the text is not preserved in its entirety, we cannot definitively identity the person whom the angel Gabriel orders to come to life by three days ... As we saw above, the text mentions Ephraim, the Messiah son of Joseph who, according to the Jewish tradition, was killed in battle and is resurrected by the Messiah son of David ...
<pdf via ftp> ftp://tichonadmin:tichonadmin@

The second observation: the text is dated by paleography. But one expects writing styles to pass through scribal lineages, and lacking the context of the object, the expert should be at some disadvantage in attempting paleographic dating

The third observation: the text is highly fragmentary, and various scholars disagree on how much reconstruction is actually possible. In particular, Knohl claims to see a resurrection reference in line 80 that other examiners do not see, but he fails to see definite evidence about who is resurrected

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 04:34 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. ... Yardeni and .. Elitzur published a long analysis of the text ... Professor Knohl interpreted one
of the words in the text differently, changing the meaning of the text ...
Last update - 00:00 07/07/2008
Dead Sea tablet suggests Jewish resurrection imagery pre-dates Jesus
By Ofri Ilani, Haaretz Correspondent
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 04:42 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. ... Although Yardeni and Elitzur offer a fine reading of the text, in my opinion one of the most
words has not been properly deciphered. Line 80 begins with the phrase "Leshloshet yamin" ("In three days"), followed by another word that the editors could not read. Then comes the phrase "Ani Gavriel" ("I, Gabriel"). I believe that this "illegible" word is actually legible. It is the word "hayeh" (live), and that Gabriel the Archangel is giving orders to someone: "Leshloshet yamin hayeh" ("In three days, you shall live"). In other words, in three days, you shall return to life (compare "bedamaiyikh ha'ee" - translated as "in thy blood live" - in Ezekiel 16:6). The word "haye" (live) is written here with alef. Similar orthography appears in the Dead Sea Scrolls, for example in the Isaiah scroll, where the word "yakeh" (30:31) is written with an alef after the yod. This is followed by traces of two more words. The letters are not easy to make out, but the first word seems to begin with a gimmel and vav. The next word is not clear either. The letter lamed is quite legible, and the letter before it seems to be an ayin. I believe the sentence can be reconstructed as follows: "Leshloshet yamin hayeh, ani Gavriel, gozer alekha" ("In three days, live, I, Gabriel, command you"). The archangel is ordering someone to rise from the dead within three days ...
Thu., April 19, 2007 Iyyar 1, 5767
'In three days, you shall live'
By Israel Knohl

There's some difference between the claim that line 80 reads

In three days ..., I, Gabri'el ...

(with the rest too fragmentary/illegible to reconstruct) and the claim that line 80 can (with some confidence) be reconstructed as

In three days, live, I, Gabriel, command you

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
19. "Shimon" seems to be a common name for the era. Here is an account of Shimon of Peraea:
Simon of Peraea (4 BCE)
Sources: Flavius Josephus, Jewish War 2.57-59 and Jewish Antiquities 17.273-277; Tacitus, Histories, 5.9.

... There was also Simon, who had been a slave of king Herod, but in other respects a comely person, of a tall and robust body; he was one that was much superior to others of his order, and had had great things committed to his care. This man was elevated at the disorderly state of things, and was so bold as to put a diadem on his head, while a certain number of the people stood by him, and by them he was declared to be a king, and he thought himself more worthy of that dignity than any one else.

He burnt down the royal palace at Jericho, and plundered what was left in it. He also set fire to many other of the king's houses in several places of the country, utterly destroyed them, and permitted those that were with him to take what was left in them for a prey. He would have done greater things, but care was taken to repress him immediately. Gratus joined himself to some Roman soldiers, took the forces he had with him, and met Simon. And after a great and a long fight, no small part of those that had come from Peraea (a disordered body of men, fighting rather in a bold than in a skillful manner) were destroyed. Although Simon had saved himself by flying away through a certain valley, Gratus overtook him, and cut off his head ...

The fourth observation: It is not clear that Shimon of Peraea ever claimed to be a messiah according to any of the then-current Jewish understandings of the term: he seems to have attempted to insert himself into the royal succession
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. The situation in 4 BCE is not entirely clear; Josephus reports another usurper, Athronges:
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
20. "Shimon" seems to be a common name (Part II). Shimon ben Kosiba was sometimes treated as a messiah:

The Bar-Kokhba Revolt
(132-135 C.E.)
by Shira Schoenberg

... As long as Hadrian remained near Judea, the Jews stayed relatively quiet. When he left in 132, the Jews began their rebellion on a large scale. They seized towns and fortified them with walls and subterranean passages. Under the strong leadership of Shimon Bar-Kokhba, the Jews captured approximately 50 strongholds in Judea and 985 undefended towns and villages, including Jerusalem. Jews from other countries, and even some gentiles, volunteered to join their crusade. The Jews minted coins with slogans such as The freedom of Israel written in Hebrew. Hadrian dispatched General Publus Marcellus, governor of Syria, to help Rufus, but the Jews defeated both Roman leaders. The Jews then invaded the coastal region and the Romans began sea battles against them.

The turning point of the war came when Hadrian sent into Judea one of his best generals from Britain, Julius Severus, along with former governor of Germania, Hadrianus Quintus Lollius Urbicus. By that time, there were 12 army legions from Egypt, Britain, Syria and other areas in Judea. Due to the large number of Jewish rebels, instead of waging open war, Severus besieged Jewish fortresses and held back food until the Jews grew weak. Only then did his attack escalate into outright war. The Romans demolished all 50 Jewish fortresses and 985 villages. The main conflicts took place in Judea, the Shephela, the mountains and the Judean desert, though fighting also spread to Northern Israel. The Romans suffered heavy casualties as well and Hadrian did not send his usual message to the Senate that I and my army are well.

The final battle of the war took place in Bethar, Bar-Kokhbas headquarters, which housed both the Sanhedrin (Jewish High Court) and the home of the Nasi (leader). Bethar was a vital military stronghold because of its strategic location on a mountain ridge overlooking both the Valley of Sorek and the important Jerusalem-Bet Guvrin Road. Thousands of Jewish refugees fled to Bethar during the war. In 135 C.E., Hadrians army besieged Bethar and on the 9th of Av, the Jewish fast day commemorating the destruction of the first and second Holy Temples, the walls of Bethar fell. After a fierce battle, every Jew in Bethar was killed. Six days passed before the Romans allowed the Jews to bury their dead ...

Wars between the Jews and Romans: Simon ben Kosiba (130-136 CE)
... His loyal followers liked to make a pun on his name: his real name was Simon ben Kosiba, but he was usually called Bar Kochba (son of the star), which again is a messianic claim. Some miracles were attributed to him: there were reports that he had been seen spewing out flames ...

The fifth observation: The Bar-Kokhba rebellion occurs after the Pauline letters and early gospels so any messianic traditions unique to Shimon ben Kosiba cannot have influenced the earliest Christian traditions
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #20
Never know what's going to spin you into an uncontrollable tizzy of denial and spin, but this one sure was a doozy! LMAO
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. If you like Knohl's hypothesis, feel free to defend it: I've provided a link to his paper in my #15
Should you need Josephus, for example, you can access his Wars here:

Josephus mentions several rebels/rulers named Shimon: there is, for example, Shimon, brother of Jonathon and successor of Judas, "slain at a feast by his son-in-law Ptolemy" (in I:2); in Perea, Shimon, "one of the servants to the king," killed when Gratus struck him in the neck (in II:4); the tyrant Shimon ben Giora (and with him Shimon ben Josas) who was captured by Terentius Rufus (in VII:2) and slain in the forum (in VII:5); and various minor figures like Idumean Shimon ben Cathlas and the zealot Shimon ben Jairus -- none of them (as far as I can tell) identified as claimants to the title messiah
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #27
No, I just enjoy seeing you having a fit with spam posts trying to shout out everyone else.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Deleted message
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 07:48 AM
Response to Reply #28
30. Try to cultivate enough intellectual courage to make your case rationally
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darkstar3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. Intellectual courage??
Edited on Mon Nov-23-09 09:22 AM by darkstar3
You have gone far out of your way, and spent much time and effort, in an attempt to discredit something that was simply put forward as a hypothesis. I find the sheer number of your posts on this topic suspect, as it seems you are highly biased and have something to prove. Further, your research and translation skills are no better or worse than those of us on this board, and certainly no better than the scholars who put forth the hypothesis to begin with, so come down off your high horse and stop condescending to the rest of us. Finally, there isn't a single thing among what you've posted that serves to discredit the hypothesis mentioned in the OP.

Before you go challenging the intellectual courage of others, I suggest that you inspect your own, along with your intellectual honesty.
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Meshuga Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. I would not think Bar-Kokhba would influence Christianity at all
Quite the opposite, I would see Bar-Kokhba as the prototype Jewish Messiah in the Jewish idea of messianism. And Bar-Kokhba is a good example to explain the difference between the idea of a messiah in both traditions.

Bar-Kokhba (a figure who fit the bill in Jewish teachings) did not seem to be anything like Jesus who didn't really fit the characteristics of a Jewish messiah. Instead, Jesus fit the characteristics of a messiah in the Christian sense.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. In #19 and #20 I attempted to find the messianic Shimon referenced by the OP:
Edited on Sun Nov-22-09 04:16 PM by struggle4progress
I had difficulty doing so, because it is unclear whether the former slave Shimon of Herod (who attempted to usurp the throne after Herod's death) was ever identified as a messianic figure (and was reportedly beheaded rather than crucified) whereas the Shimon Bar-Kokhba (who was identified as a messianic figure) occurs too late in history to fit the purposes of the OP (and the manner of his death is unknown, though old Jewish mystical tradition reports that he was miraculously saved). If you know of any evidence about a credible candidate for such a Shimon, tell us about it

The enterprise of distinguishing various "messiah" concepts in antiquity, based on modern cultural concepts, seems to me fraught with peril. It's natural to regard primitive Christianity as a sect within ancient Judaism, and under such a view the "Christian" notion of messiah may have had a "Jewish" counterpart at the time. In this context, it is interesting to note that Tractate Sukkah 52, for example, distinguishes "Messiah ben Joseph" and "Messiah ben David":

... Said Rab: They found another passage and lectured about it, <52a> namely <Zech. 12:12>: And the land shall mourn, every family apart by itself, the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart. And they said: Is this not an a fortiori conclusion? At the time of mourning, when the passions are so powerless, it is said the women and the men should be separate; so much more in the Temple, where they were occupied in rejoicing, and the passions can have power over them. What was the mourning for? R. Dosa and the rabbis differ. One holds that it was for the Messiah the son of Joseph, who was killed; and one holds that it was for the evil inclination, which was killed ... The rabbis taught: The Messiah ben David who (as we hope) will appear in the near future, the Holy One, blessed be He, will say to him: Ask something of Me and I will give it to you, as it is written <Psalm 2: 7>: I will announce the decree. . . Ask it of Me, and I will give, etc. But as the Messiah ben David will have seen that the Messiah ben Joseph was killed, he will say before the Lord: Lord of the Universe, I will ask nothing of You but life. And the Lord will answer: This was prophesied already for you by your father David <Psalm 21:5> ...

As far as I can discover (as a googling amateur), this distinction between two messiahs in Jewish literature is not unambiguously known (in surviving documents) until around 200 CE, so it is difficult to known whether distinction is pre-Christian. If the distinction occurred in pre-Christian Jewish apocrypha, that could explain the interest of some early Christians in identifying Jesus of Nazareth as a descendent of David, born in Bethlehem, and of identifying the apparent father as Joseph, since such identifications re-combine the messiah defeated and the messiah triumphant; on the other hand, it also seems possible that the "two messiahs interpretation" could be an early Jewish reaction to Christian exegesis insisting on a messiah who was simultaneously a son of David and a son of Joseph; and of course, the "two messiahs" in Tractate Sukkah could also be neither precursor nor derivative of any Christian tradition

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golddigger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. Was there a Jesus? Of course there was a Jesus--many!
Edited on Sun Nov-22-09 02:34 PM by golddigger
Josephus, the first century Jewish historian mentions no fewer than 19 different Yeshuas/Jesii/Jesus's, about half of them of the supposed Christ.

Jesus ben Sirach.
This Jesus was reputedly the author of the 'Book of Sirach'(aka 'Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach'), writing in Greek about 180 BC.

Jesus ben Pandira.
A wonder worker during the reign of Alexander Jannaeus (106-79 BC), one of the most ruthless of the Maccabean kings. He met his own end-time by being hung on a tree - and on the eve of Passover. Scholars have said this Jesus founded the Essene sect.

Jesus ben Ananias.
Beginning in 62 AD, this Jesus had caused disquiet in Jerusalem with a non-stop doom-laden mantra of 'woe to the city'. He prophesied rather vaguely:
"A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice four winds, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against the whole people."--Josephus Wars 6.3
Arrested and flogged by the Romans he was released as nothing more dangerous than a madman. He died during the siege of Jerusalem (70 AD) from a rock hurled by a Roman catapult. He was still yelling "Woe, woe to the city again, and to the people, and to the holy house!" And just when he added his last, "Woe, woe to myself also!" there came a stone out of the catapult, and smote him.--Josephus, War of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem, book 6, chapter 5, section 3.

Jesus ben Saphat-(68 AD)
Jesus ben Gamala-(68/69 AD)
Jesus ben Thebuth-(69 AD)

But no Jesus of Nazareth!
But, something too strange to be a coincidence!
According to Biblical account, Pilate offered the Jews the release of just one prisoner and the people chose 'Barabbas rather than gentle Jesus.

But hold on a minute:In the original text studied by Origen (and in some recent ones) the chosen criminal was Jesus Barabbas--and Bar Abba in Hebrew means 'Son of the Father'!
Are we to believe that Pilate had a Jesus, Son of a God, and a Jesus, Son of the Father in his prison at the same time???!!!
Perhaps the truth is a single executed criminal helped flesh out the whole fantastic fable.
Gospel writers, in scrambling details, used the Aramaic Barabbas knowing that few Latin or Greek speakers would know its meaning.

Information used from the author Kenneth Humphreys.

Edited for a typo
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. I'm not sure how your post sheds any light on the issues raised in the OP, which concerns
the claim that the Gabriel tablet provides evidence that the gospels reflect the older story of a messiah Shimon, killed in 4 AD. In my #14 & 16, I note that the Gabriel tablet, if authentic, must be regarded as looted and hence without usable provenance; in my #15, 17, & 18, I provide the text of the tablet and note the problems of interpretation for illegible lacunae; in my #19 and 20, I note that Shimon of Peraea may never have been regarded as a messiah and that Shimon ben Kosiba occurs too late to fit the bill required by the OP. So the interpretation of the Gabriel tablet, as reflecting a pre-Christian resurrection narrative (based on some Shimon), seems problematic to me

Of course, it is very likely that "Jesus" was a rather common name, since otherwise there would have been no need for the gospel writers to carefully insist they were writing discussing "Jesus of Nazareth"

With respect to "Jesus ben Pandira":

Studia Judaica 11: 2008 nr 2(22), s. 205-213
Edward Lipiński Bruxelles

... Origen (A.D. 185/6-254/5) reports that Celsus, an eclectic Platonist of the 2nd century A.D., heard .. that Mary had been divorced by her husband who suspected her of adultery, and that Jesus was born as the result of her secret affair with a Roman soldier, called Πανθηρα. Celsus is the author of the first comprehensive philosophical polemic against Christianity, the ... The True Word. On internal evidence the work seems to be of Alexandrian origin and to date from ca. A.D. 178-180. Its greater part is quoted in Origens Contra Celsum, that gave it new life by replying to Celsus arguments point by point. Origens work, composed ca. A.D. 249, survives and thus preserves an opinion of the mid-2nd century A.D., as well as the earliest Greek spelling of the name Pandera ...


In other words, "Jesus ben Pandira" does not date from the second century BCE but from the second century CE, and it is another name for "Jesus of Nazareth," but one that dismisses the virgin birth claim by insisting that Mary did not conceive immaculate but in the ordinary way by a Roman soldier

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golddigger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #26
32. What does it matter? It's all a grand fable.
" It was pope Leo X who made the most infamous and damaging statement about Christianity in the history of the Church. His declaration revealed to the world papal knowledge of the Vatican's false presentation of Jesus Christ and unashamedly 'EXPOSED' the puerile nature of the Christian religion. At a lavish 'Good Friday' banquet in the Vatican in 1514, and in the company of "seven intimates" (Annales Ecclesiastici, Ceasar Baronius, Folio Antwerp, 1514, tome 14), Leo made an amazing announcement that the Church has since tried hard to invalidate. Raising a chalice of wine into the air, Pope Leo X toasted,"HOW WELL WE KNOW WHAT A PROFITABLE SUPERSTITION THIS FABLE OF CHRIST HAS BEEN FOR US AND OUR PREDECESSORS!"

He was succeeded by his son Pope Clement VII.

Name: Govanni de' Medici
Born: 1475
Bloodline: de' Medici
Married: Yes
Children: Father of Pope Clement VII and Pope Pius IV
Position: Pope (1513-1521)
Died: December 1, 1521 (age 46)
Was donated the title of one of the 25 most evil people of the 16th century CE.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. It seems unlikely that sixteenth century anecdotes could shed much light on the Gabriel tablet
One might be interested in ancient texts and artifacts, as shedding light on times otherwise lost to us -- so, for example, the effort to locate first century CE Christianity or Judaism in its proper political and social context, and to understand the evolution of current "sayings" from earlier ones, can contribute to human knowledge, independent of one's theological (or anti-theological) predispositions

My posts in this thread have assumed no theology whatsoever

I suppose you imagine you are shocking me by reporting an alleged comment by a Pope in 1514 -- but, being Lutheran, I'm rather used to the idea that the various humans who comprise the Church (like all other humans) are always imperfect (and sometimes even very unattractive). There was, by the way, substantial and widespread unhappiness with the universal Church in the early sixteenth century, which led to a schism called the Reformation (beginning in 1517); you have perhaps heard of it. That said, your charming tale about Leo X may be lifted from John Bale's 1574 Acta Pontificum Romanorum (Pageant of the Popes): you can get it in Renaissance English here,

if it interests you, but since the book is subtitled "contayninge the lyues of all the bishops of Rome, from the beginninge of them ..." there might be some question about its complete objectivity
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