Chapter Forty-Four

REVOLUTION ~ SIDE B
Notes On The Historical Record

 "Sing that sweet song of salvation
  Sing it every mornin’, every night 'n every day
  Sing that sweet song of salvation
  Don’t ever let ‘em, no, take our freedom away...

       Outside of the Biblical record, there is very little historical knowledge of Jesus available.  What does exist is speculative and questionable as to overall accuracy and authenticity. ¹   In spite of many modern scholastic attempts to discredit them, it is probable that the four gospels in the modern New Testament are as accurate as any other known history up through and beyond the first century AD.  As American historian Will Durant pointed out in Caesar and Christ, if Jesus did not exist, with similar reasoning, neither did Julius Cesar, Alexander nor indeed, entire civilizations of our recorded past. Those who would pretend otherwise are being entirely dishonest regarding the known record of our species' civilization. ²  Although a matter of intense speculation, there is no conclusive proof that Jesus ever set foot outside of his native general region of Palestine; he may or may not have traveled to other lands, as his life up to the age of "about thirty" ³  remains shrouded in almost complete mystery.

       Based on the Biblical record along with other knowledge of the people and culture of his time, Jesus was probably short, thin, non-muscular, dark, unkempt and from plain to downright homely in appearance.  Due largely to the inventive imagination of the motion picture industry mixed with that of Christian traditional dogma and superstition, modern individuals tend to assume he was tall, light-skinned, well-groomed and handsome, most probably the exact opposite of his true personage.  He appears to have been a profound orator, capable of holding thousands as captive audience without benefit of modern-day acoustic amplification.  Often overlooked is the portrait painted of him as one who was extremely busy during a typical day; teaching, traveling, healing the sick, again traveling and healing the sick and again teaching, all in the same day.  While others sought shelter to turn in for the night, he would retire to the mountains alone.

       Jesus was extremely well liked by the "common people and sinners", many of who dropped whatever it was they were doing and followed him from town to town.  These same people compare to those today who enjoy Jay Leno, David Letterman and Saturday Night Live.  This fact alone is conclusive proof that modern Christianity is very far off regarding the true historical Jesus, as modern-day common people and sinners do not like Christianity at all.  When Jesus came to town, it appears that a similar interest and commotion was caused as if Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey, Howard Stern, Bette Midler and Robin Willaims all decided to show up at the same time and perform in small town America unannounced.  Again, the distinct impression is that comparably today, one would often find Jesus down at the local bar, laughing and dancing with the ladies and drinking beer, shooting pool and playing cards with the locals.  Transported into modern-day America, news crews would follow him around wherever he went and people would line up for miles to hear him speak at Yankee or Dodger Stadium, ticket scalpers becoming wealthy over night. Major entertainment personalities and even much sought after world figures such as Nelson Mandella and Jimmy Carter would be left in the television camera dust in the mad scramble to book him on entertainment and talk shows.

       Jesus was not the mild-mannered gentle religious rabbi in a clean white robe that again, due to the influences mentioned above, many modern individuals view him as being.  Rather, he very much had a temper, was extremely radically against traditional religion (a primary reason he was eventually put to death) and spoke "as one having authority"
4  and not as the religious fundamentalists of his day.  Unlike the modern notion of preaching tolerance for all religions, Jesus appears to have had no patience whatsoever with religious tradition.  He deliberately went way out of his way to make extreme caustic and comic portrayal of conservative fundamentalists, one of the primary reasons the common people liked him (again, compare Saturday Night Live and "The Church Lady" skits).  He was not a carpenter as viewed by modern standards, but rather, it appears that in his early life he adapted the trade of his family, which was probably that of a common laborer stonecutter and mason (mistranslated "carpenter").

       He appears to have been raised by a very typical Jewish family for his period in time (four to seven siblings) and although they would be viewed as impoverished by today's standards, Joseph and Mary were probably not comparatively poor (certainly not wealthy) in their own historical setting.  There is no Biblical or other evidence that either the parents or brothers and sisters of Jesus were anything other than average, notwithstanding the crass modern Catholic (and Protestant) farce of superstition, nor is there any evidence that he was educated any differently than a typical youth of the time.  Jesus seems to have been extremely brilliant and articulate from a very early age, impressing the learned temple authorities at the age of twelve.

       In later life, Jesus apparently did not work at all, never accepted payment for teaching as is the dishonest custom among modern priests and preachers, was homeless and remains among the very poorest of all people to have ever inhabited our planet.  It perhaps should also be noted that Jesus by example, was a very big advocate of free public education for all people, including women and the very slow of learning, something generally overlooked in the modern preacher's and educator's haste to box him into a convenient and entirely inaccurate category labeled "religion".  Free or any type of education for women, the poor and common people of his society was unheard of and entirely frowned upon by both fundamentalist religionists and Roman authorities.

       On an uplifting note, Jesus seems to have elicited a very unusual positive attraction among women, having several close friends of the opposite sex who apparently voluntarily fed and clothed him, hung all over him and took extreme loving care of him.  Again unlike modern misconstrued tradition, most references to the "disciples" (meaning simply, "followers") of Jesus appear to include a rather large group of one hundred or more 'inner-circle' men and women; the modern picture of twelve devout, womanless and saintly men following him around is completely and entirely inaccurate based both on the Biblical record and the implied reality.  On the contrary, he lifted women up as being of equal value and, also very much against the entire fabric and tradition of his society, he encouraged them to follow him around in mixed company and to travel with his entourage from town to town.

       Palestine at the time of Jesus was an extremely structured society where individuals were expected to adhere to established roles and remain in their 'place'.  Unlike the practice of Jesus, men were expected to remain close or in their own homes, raise in particular, sons and women were excluded from religious, philosophical and other such discussion.  Proper Jewish women were expected to remain at home safely away from mixed social situations unless chaperoned and for Jesus to have encouraged women to travel with him bordered on blasphemy.  Likewise, Jewish Pharisees and Sadducees considered Samaritans to be inferior and for Jesus, a rabbi (i.e., teacher), to tell the story of the "Good Samaritan" and to have stopped and talked to a Samaritan servant woman was three (perhaps four counting "servant") strikes to the extreme radical left of his society.

       Among many other rather unique and interesting concepts, unique that is, both to his society's and our own modern notions of religion, according to Jesus, there will be no marriage when, as modern science now speculates, the new heavens and earth appear.  And as hard as it is for the Christian and pious to comprehend, this statement of his in no way infers that there will be no sexual activity.  Rather, it appears in context to have most definitely implied the opposite.  According to the New Testament and not at all like what modern science speculates or modern religion promotes (one might fairly ask how modern science or religion would know), those who simply embrace God’s mercy and forgiveness in this life will be able to enjoy a life of boundless pleasure in the new heavens and earth to come.  As noted above, there were definite reasons why the "common people and sinners" liked Jesus.

       On the other hand, intellectuals often find it disturbing that one who is educated and perceived as 'smart' does not seem to impress Jesus any more (probably less) than a common laborer and the religious often find Jesus' criticism regarding the hypocrisy and uselessness of their pious ways frustrating, to say the least.  Suffice it to say, not everyone is open-minded enough to accept that the sick, poor and common masses of society are as valuable to the positive progress of the whole as they imagine their own proud selves as being.  What Jesuha actually taught is a little more radical than many educated liberal leftists are comfortable with and he is most assuredly completely misunderstood by anyone calling themselves conservative, fundamental and/or Christian.

       Because of the vast difference between the society of Jesus and that of our own modern 21st Century society, on first (and second and third) glance, one rarely grasps the extreme radical nature of the overall portrait of him painted in the New Testament.  The negative influence of Christianity and the narrowness of modern education also entirely distort and twist the truth, not providing an even remotely accurate portrayal of him.  Many liberal concepts we take for granted today were totally foreign to his historical timeframe, especially equality among cultures, sexes and societal position and likewise, much of what he taught regarding Human and Civil Rights was introduced to civilization by him.  Even the most atheistic of historians agree that for an uneducated (by any modern standard) Jewish laborer of thirty to have grasped the entire sum of what today is considered Human and Civil Rights and to have codified it into human language structure with simplicity that can be readily understood by the "common people", is beyond any and all historical explanation.

       It is entirely unlikely that the words and deeds of Jesus are a fabrication of later zealots, as the portrait of him painted in the four Gospels is far too advanced and overwhelmingly consistent and coherent to have been invented by one or a group of dishonest individuals.  No one who is able to grasp the "Logos" mentality and perfect Human Rights morality of Jesus in such a cohesive whole would lie about the inventor, as they themselves would of necessity, have to be God and likewise, God by definition, has no rational or other reason to lie.*  We in all honesty must bow to the conclusions of Jesus' own peers:  "Never a man spoke like this man"
5  and "truly, this was the son of God." 6   Being the armchair historian and scientist experience attempts to force myself into becoming, the evidence for Jesus being of true Supernatural origin is in all fairness, astronomically overwhelming.  Only the true Messiah would base his entire message on the foundation of Human and Civil Rights. 7  "Some people say a lie is just a lie, but I say:  'The cross is in the ballpark.  Why deny the obvious child?' " 8  ". . .on earth peace, goodwill toward the people." 9

 ...Sing that sweet song of salvation
    Sing it every mornin’, every night 'n every day
    Sing that sweet song of salvation
    Don’t ever let ‘em, no, take our freedom away 10


Save The Children

National Coalition For The Homeless


DEDICATED TO:  Mother Theresa of Calcutta, India, who understood more of what it means to be a follower of Jesus than all of the pontiffs and prelates of storied universal hypocrisies combined (there is no evidence whatsoever that the original Peter the fisherman viewed himself as a pope or as anything even remotely similar to a pope).


Credits:

1. Works relating to the life and words of Jesus other than the first four so-called "Gospels" (Greek, meaning simply "good news") found in most modern New Testament editions seem to be of inferior quality and lack certain authenticity.  In particular, the Gospel Of Thomas, a work sometimes praised by esoteric scholars for its overall content, contains several overt contradictions to teachings attributed to Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  In the author's opinion regarding sayings attributed directly to the founder of Human and Civil Rights, it is wise to rely on the more widely accepted traditional four works. However, there are definitely some works outside of the traditional Protestant King James Version of the Bible that are worthy of review, some of which are quoted within these same accepted Protestant sixty-six traditionally accepted works; in particular The Book of Enoch, which is quoted by Paul in a New Testament letter accepted as authentic by most conservative Biblical scholars.  There are also a few other references by the authors of the here noted sixty-six 'books' to works not contained within the traditionally accepted King James and similar fundamentalist-approved versions.  In spite of conservative fundamentalist tradition, apparently the authors of the accepted sixty-six work version who quoted other 'books' viewed these additional quoted sources are entirely lost to the modern world and therefore, cannot be compared with content in the more generally accepted familiar versions of the Bible.
       It should be noted for those not aware, that the Catholic Bible contains works not accepted by most conservative Protestant scholars as "inspired" and there remain other editions of the Bible that also contain additional works beyond the more familiar sixty-six so-called "books"; it should also be noted that these works were not originally divided into the chapters and verses contained in most modern editions and many of them were simply letters and not intended as books in the modern sense.  It most definitely helps to remember this when attempting to correctly interpret what the various works of the Bible actually say, particularly Paul in Letter To The Romans, which most certainly does not, taken in non-chapter divided context, condemn what we today incorrectly mislabel members of our species being as "homo" and "bi" sexual; Paul very much agrees with modern findings of Freud, Jung and others, but more correctly concludes that ALL members of our species fall short of sexual wholeness and therefore, are without excuse in judging another regarding his or her perceived sexual or other surface differences.  Paul, unlike many modern conservative religionists, educators and scientists, correctly concluded that he was no better than any other human being, although he was probably far more educated than most modern 'scholars' and most certainly, a whole lot wiser and more liberal than the vast majority of modern leftist thinkers. Paul was far more liberal and freedom loving than most modern 'liberals', many of whom continue to have a hard time truly understanding that both men and women have societal value far beyond sexual gratification and reproduction and that true sexual freedom is more than just communal copulation and thus, continue to equate abstinence by choice with religion and conservatism.

2. Most ‘history’ prior to the 13th Century (and much after) is rife with contradiction and conjecture and thus, is highly speculative.  It is fair to say that the record found in the first four books of the New Testament (and the rest of the Bible) is more reliable than most early sources.  Many records other than those found in the both the Old and New testaments, often with far less documentation, detail and outside verification, are readily accepted as historical ‘fact’ (Ancient Greco-Roman, Carthaginian, Egyptian, Mesopotamian and South American Indian texts and inscriptions, for example) while the often more detailed, character-flawed and far less ‘stick-figured’ heroes (one of the main indicators of history as opposed to invention) and better records found in the Bible are not; primarily it would seem, due to modern intellectual irrational bias against the Bible in general.  Such modern ‘scholars’, who hasten to discredit the Bible and place it in a category of religious tradition and/or mythology, are most obvious liars regarding the truth of the known history of our civilization.  Many characters and events found in the Old Testament that were once dismissed as fiction are now considered facts or based on facts due to fairly recent discoveries outside of the Biblical record.  A few of these include Noah, the Tower of Babel, Jericho, Sodom, King David, Solomon, many of the prophets, and the three friends of Daniel.  The fact that Moses currently remains undocumented outside of the Biblical record and Hebrew tradition does not at all mean that he did not exist.  It is fundamentally flawed to pretend that the story of Moses is invented while there is outside verification and definitive evidence of Shadrach, Meshack, Abednego and the others noted above.
      Traditionally also, again in their haste to discredit the Bible, many ‘scholars’ have contended that Biblical stories, Old Testament law and similar ‘traditions’ were borrowed form earlier Mesopotamian sources; the far more likely conclusion being that, because Abraham migrated from Mesopotamia (Ur), he undoubtedly passed the same stories and traditions about the same ideas and events down around the campfires of his own extended family group. Likewise, if found anywhere other than in the New Testament, historians who habitually display unwarranted prejudice against the Biblical record would readily accept the stories of Jesus and his early followers as more-or-less authentic history, due to the many faults attributed to the central characters, as well as the reliance on the testimony of women for the initial evidence of the resurrection (entirely inconceivable to an author of the early centuries after Christ, as anyone wishing to sway the masses by the "power of myth" would have most definitely have used testimony of men for authentication purposes).  It is a sad commentary that both modern ‘scholars’ and modern conservative fundamentalists seem to be cut from the same rotten cloth of blind superstition mixed in with large doses of dubious motivation and highly questionable conclusion.  The idea in life, it would seem according to several Biblical authors, unlike what modern ‘science’ generally promotes and the complete opposite of what conservative fundamentalism entirely practices, is to open-mindedly seek for and center on the truth, letting the historical, scientific, traditional and mythological chips fall where they may as we hopefully, grow in our personal understanding based on facts and personal experience weighed in the balance of the wisdom of sound reason.  To assume that either Christianity and/or modern science are essentially or even remotely correct is a very grave historical and personal error. See Caesar and Christ and The Lessons Of History by Will and Ariel Durant for more details.

3. Luke 3:23

4. Matthew 7:29

5. John 7:45

6. Mark 15:35

7. Possibly more than any other singular reason, the fact that the teaching of Jesus fundamentally embraces all accepted modern Human and Civil Rights theory proves that he was precisely who he claimed to be.  It is beyond all historical and logical explanation how he otherwise, could have possibly been so brilliantly and precisely accurate from true historical perspective. Only Jesus out of all know historical personages, presented the axiom of treating others as we ourselves wish to be treated as the foundation and sum of what matters.  The true Messiah, by definition, would of all historical and rational necessity, center on the great and Just Cause of Human and Civil Rights.

8. From "The Obvious Child" by Paul Simon; The Rhythm of the Saints (1990).

9. Luke 2:14 (pc)

10. To the tune of "Sweet Inspiration" by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham; performed by The Sweet Inspirations (1968).


*FootNote:  A foolish man once reasoned as to whether God would ever lie; if one is God and if an inferior being should somehow figure out that God has lied, God could simply stifle or otherwise, eliminate the inferior being, thus God would then by default, continue to be viewed as one who never lies.  Some cannot grasp the simple logic of this, but then again, many foolish individuals vainly imagine that they can somehow get away with creating religions out of or otherwise, lying about God.



           


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