Was Julius Caesar the real Jesus Christ?

John G

The Living Force
Bear said:
There are also a lot of more references in the bible about such about Jesus being asked about and accused of being King of the Jews. Caesar was also accused of wanted to be a king and/or the title of king offered to him. So maybe this was carried over in terms of this aspect of Caesars life and symbol of crucifixion at his funeral being related in the bible.

It's certainly part of the link to Caesar.

http://www.sott.net/article/264532-As-important-as-the-scientific-discoveries-of-Darwin-and-Galileo-Linguist-Francesco-Carotta-proves-real-identity-of-Jesus-Christ-to-be-Julius-Caesar

Carotta's new evidence leads to such an overwhelming amount of similarities between the biography of Caesar and the story of Jesus that coincidence can be ruled out.

Both Caesar and Jesus start their rising careers in neighboring states in the north: Gallia and Galilee.

Both have to cross a fateful river: the Rubicon and the Jordan. Once across the rivers, they both come across a patron/rival: Pompeius and John the Baptist, and their first followers: Antonius and Curio on the one hand and Peter and Andrew on the other.

Both are continually on the move, finally arriving at the capital, Rome and Jerusalem, where they at first triumph, yet subsequently undergo their passion.

Both have good relationships with women and have a special relationship with one particular woman, Caesar with Cleopatra and Jesus with Magdalene.

Both have encounters at night, Caesar with Nicomedes of Bithynia, Jesus with Nicodemus of Bethany.

Both have an affinity to ordinary people-and both run afoul of the highest authorities: Caesar with the Senate, Jesus with the Sanhedrin.

Both are contentious characters, but show praiseworthy clemency as well: the clementia Caesaris and Jesus' Love-thy-enemy.

Both have a traitor: Brutus and Judas. And an assassin who at first gets away: the other Brutus and Barabbas. And one who washes his hands of it: Lepidus and Pilate.

Both are accused of making themselves kings: King of the Romans and King of the Jews. Both are dressed in red royal robes and wear a crown on their heads: a laurel wreath and a crown of thorns.

Both get killed: Caesar is stabbed with daggers, Jesus is crucified, but with a stab wound in his side.

Jesus as well as Caesar hang on a cross. For a reconstruction of the crucifixion of Caesar, see here.

Both die on the same respective dates of the year: Caesar on the Ides (15 th) of March, Jesus on the 15 th of Nisan.

Both are deified posthumously: as Divus Iulius and as Jesus Christ.

Caesar and Jesus also use the same words, e.g.: Caesar's famous Latin 'Veni, vidi, vici' - I came, I saw, I conquered - is in the Gospel transmitted into: 'I came, washed and saw', whereby Greek enipsa, 'I washed', replaces enikisa, 'I conquered'.

Laura said:
There was also a great ferment of Greek ideas being re-cast by Jewish thinkers and mystics including ideas about other worlds, noumenal worlds of Plato, ontology, angels, demons, and more.
The most recent session had mentioned Paul's theology being related to 4th Density and I'm wondering if Paul's 3rd Heaven is part of this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Heaven#New_Testament

An epistle of the Apostle Paul, included in the New Testament, contains an explicit reference to the Third Heaven. In a letter to the Corinthian church he writes, "I know a man in Christ" (usually interpreted as: himself) "who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell." (2 Corinthians 12:2–4) The Greek says "caught away", not "caught up" possibly reflecting Jewish beliefs that Paradise was somewhere other than the uppermost heaven.[6]

The apparent parallelism of the passage equates the Third Heaven with "Paradise"[1] the traditional destination of redeemed humans and the general connotation of the term "Heaven" in mainstream Christianity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Heavens

Seven heavens is a part of religious cosmology found in many major religions such as Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Catholicism, [1] and in some minor religions such as Hermeticism and Gnosticism. The Throne of God is said to be above the seventh heaven in some Abrahamic religions...

According to the Talmud, the universe is made of seven heavens (Shamayim):[2][3]

The Jewish Merkavah and Heichalot literature was devoted to discussing the details of these heavens, sometimes in connection with traditions relating to Enoch, such as the Third Book of Enoch...

Hinduism also has the concept of seven heavens... The seven upper worlds are Bhuh, Bhavah, Swah, Mahah, Janah. Tapah, and Satyam... The region known as Bhuh is the earth where we dwell, while Swah is the celestial world to which people repair after death to enjoy the reward of their righteous actions on earth. Bhuvah is the region between the two. Janah, Tapah, and Satyam constitute Brahmaloka, or the highest heaven, where fortunate souls repair after death and enjoy spiritual communion with the personal God, and at the end of the cycle attain liberation, though a few return to earth again...
 

SeekinTruth

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Wow, your notes are already quite fascinating, Laura. I can't wait to read what you'll be writing about all this.

A while back, it seemed we were coming to the conclusion that the fall of the Roman Empire happened much earlier - maybe around 100 to 150 years after Caesar's death - rather than several centuries later in the official timeline. I wonder how the whole Paul's creation of "Christianity" to save from destruction Jerusalem and the "Jews", etc. would have worked out, if it was successful, in also delaying and/or mitigating the collapse of Rome and the following of the Dark Ages. It seems everyone just kept doing the same things after the assassination of Caesar and then the Cosmic catastrophe just wiped most of the (at least western) European continent (and surrounding areas) clean and sunk into "darkness" for many centuries.
 

Laura

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SeekinTruth said:
Wow, your notes are already quite fascinating, Laura. I can't wait to read what you'll be writing about all this.

A while back, it seemed we were coming to the conclusion that the fall of the Roman Empire happened much earlier - maybe around 100 to 150 years after Caesar's death - rather than several centuries later in the official timeline. I wonder how the whole Paul's creation of "Christianity" to save from destruction Jerusalem and the "Jews", etc. would have worked out, if it was successful, in also delaying and/or mitigating the collapse of Rome and the following of the Dark Ages. It seems everyone just kept doing the same things after the assassination of Caesar and then the Cosmic catastrophe just wiped most of the (at least western) European continent (and surrounding areas) clean and sunk into "darkness" for many centuries.

I've toyed with that idea a bit, but it's not so simple. There were many events that occurred between the assassination of Caesar and the collapse of the empire. However, it does appear that there have been a number of "time extensions" or doublings through that period. The biggest time insertion occurred, however, AFTER the collapse.
 

happyliza

The Living Force
Thank you for the update Laura. Like finding that needle in a haystack - achieving the near impossible! Absolutely fascinating and incredible information. So looking forward to reading, learning and understanding the true facts of our 'murky' history.

Only a true Sherlock Holmes, with an incredible memory for the most miniscule of deeply camouflaged or corrupted clues, would have any chance to unravel and decipher the truth and facts from the grand deception. Alone, this is definitely the work of a lifetime, regardless of the myriads of thread/dots you have connected to date on practically every important subject for humanity.

I feel there may be a few 'corroboration' and 'collaboration' sessions coming up for the 'C' in the near future! :D
 

SeekinTruth

The Living Force
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Laura said:
SeekinTruth said:
Wow, your notes are already quite fascinating, Laura. I can't wait to read what you'll be writing about all this.

A while back, it seemed we were coming to the conclusion that the fall of the Roman Empire happened much earlier - maybe around 100 to 150 years after Caesar's death - rather than several centuries later in the official timeline. I wonder how the whole Paul's creation of "Christianity" to save from destruction Jerusalem and the "Jews", etc. would have worked out, if it was successful, in also delaying and/or mitigating the collapse of Rome and the following of the Dark Ages. It seems everyone just kept doing the same things after the assassination of Caesar and then the Cosmic catastrophe just wiped most of the (at least western) European continent (and surrounding areas) clean and sunk into "darkness" for many centuries.

I've toyed with that idea a bit, but it's not so simple. There were many events that occurred between the assassination of Caesar and the collapse of the empire. However, it does appear that there have been a number of "time extensions" or doublings through that period. The biggest time insertion occurred, however, AFTER the collapse.

That would make sense. After the fall, when the Catholic Church became the dominant power for many centuries, the surviving population being illiterate, and the monks (and Church in general) possessing all written documents, it would be much easier to do all the falsifying of the timelines and narratives....
 

Mr.Cyan

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
SeekinTruth said:
Laura said:
SeekinTruth said:
Wow, your notes are already quite fascinating, Laura. I can't wait to read what you'll be writing about all this.

A while back, it seemed we were coming to the conclusion that the fall of the Roman Empire happened much earlier - maybe around 100 to 150 years after Caesar's death - rather than several centuries later in the official timeline. I wonder how the whole Paul's creation of "Christianity" to save from destruction Jerusalem and the "Jews", etc. would have worked out, if it was successful, in also delaying and/or mitigating the collapse of Rome and the following of the Dark Ages. It seems everyone just kept doing the same things after the assassination of Caesar and then the Cosmic catastrophe just wiped most of the (at least western) European continent (and surrounding areas) clean and sunk into "darkness" for many centuries.

I've toyed with that idea a bit, but it's not so simple. There were many events that occurred between the assassination of Caesar and the collapse of the empire. However, it does appear that there have been a number of "time extensions" or doublings through that period. The biggest time insertion occurred, however, AFTER the collapse.

That would make sense. After the fall, when the Catholic Church became the dominant power for many centuries, the surviving population being illiterate, and the monks (and Church in general) possessing all written documents, it would be much easier to do all the falsifying of the timelines and narratives....

Thanks a million Laura for sharing you your initial research with us, and pulling all the threads, thoroughly fascinating and much, much appreciated :) ! Really looking forward to the rest , and eventually a new Secret History series book :)

On the topic of timeline adjustment after the collapse, as SeekinTruth mentioned this would indeed make sense, as the survivors of the Roman collapse would probably be in monastic type societies with the Catholic Church in the ascendacy, possessing all the crucial knowledge and events that happened prior to collapse.

This would signify that the psychopathic virus still trives/survives after a collapse, and considering the timeline adjustments, would mean that perhaps after a period of 200-300 years, they (psychopaths) still manage to contol humanity eventually again. Depressing really to see that after all the destruction, and cataclysms - psychopathy rises again after a "brief" time period. I wonder how many times a similar dynamic like Caesar, his benevolent actions and hope for humanity - and tragic death has played out...

This then leads me to the C's 30th September 1994 session (quoted below) - where other souls are mentioned besides Jesus. Could the Messiah role, be a constantly repeating theme, in order for humanity to hold onto hope and fight back psychopathy ?

Similiar to the conversation Neo had with the Architech in the the Matrix, where the architect assures Neo, that the One has always appeared, and Zion has always been destroyed by the machines.....

Further after each destruction of Zion, the legends and beliefs of the One - constantly circulate amongst the populace....

I apologise if this post is slightly off-topic here; as these were my thoughts as i was reading the post.

Q: (L) The passages attributed to Jesus in Matthew 24 and Luke 21, where Jesus predicts the end of the age and his return, is that fairly accurately rendered?

A: Close.

Q: (L) Is Jesus, in fact, in a state of suspension, voluntarily, in another plane of existence, having chosen to give up his life on this plane in order to continuously generate replications of his soul pattern for other people to call upon for assistance?

A: Yes.

Q: (L) If one calls upon him more than once, does one get a double dose?

A: Define.

Q: (L) If one repeatedly calls upon Jesus does one get repeated replications or additional strength, power or whatever?

A: No.

Q: (L) In other words, once one has truly made the connection, that's it?

A: That's all that's needed.

Q: (L) Has any other soul volunteered to perform this work?

A: Yes.

Q: (L) How many souls are doing this work at the present time?

A: 12.

Q: (L) Can you name any of the others?

A: Buddha. Moses. Shintanhilmoon.14 Nagaillikiga.15 Varying degrees; Jesus is the strongest currently.
 

Approaching Infinity

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So I finished Ellegard's "Jesus 100 Years Before Christ" recently, and it was pretty awesome. He's got a few basic ideas:

1) The only first-century sources we have are Paul's letters and some other documents, some of which are traditionally dated in the 1st century but others in the 2nd, which Ellegard argues are actually 1st century: Shepherd of Hermas, 1 Clement, Didache, Revelation, Letter to Hebrews, Letter to Barnabas. They all contain certain words only used in the 1st century texts, and don't contain words common in 2nd century texts. For example, they refer to the communities as the "church(es) of God", themselves as "the saints", a singular "gospel" (no indication that it refers to an account of Jesus' life or passion), sayings of Jesus are not cited or else are culled from the Old Testament, etc.

The implication is clear: we should look to these documents in order to understand 1st century "Christianity", not the later documents (e.g., Ignatius' letters, the Gospels and Acts). And the image of Jesus is very different: there is no hint at his earthly existence except in the broadest terms: as a guy who was betrayed and killed. ALL references are to a "risen" Jesus, seen in visions. No references to anyone actually knowing him 'in the flesh' so to speak. It's as if, if there ever were an earthly Jesus, he died long ago. And that's what Ellegard argues: that the man who "rose from the dead" and was seen in visions by several people (e.g., Paul and Cephas) around the 30s, if he ever existed, was long dead, and very few details were known about his life. That wasn't even important: what was important was what he revealed in those visions, perhaps about the End Times, Final Judgment, etc.

2) The language and beliefs of the 1st century group have a LOT in common with what we know about the Essenes from the Dead Sea Scrolls. "Church of God", "saints", positive views on poverty, idiosyncratic interpretation of scripture, etc. This leads Ellegard to argue that the Qumran "Teacher of Righteousness" is the "Jesus" that Paul and Peter saw in visions. This teacher was seen by at least some Essenes as the "True Prophet", giving the correct interpretation of the Law. He also argues that Essenism was probably a widespread phenomenon: empire-wide. These already existing churches were prime recruiting grounds for the early apostles. It would also explain mentions to already-existing churches very early in the 'evangelization'. They already existed because early Christianity was simply a branch of Essenism, which had been around for a century or two.

3) The Gospel and Acts were responses to certain problems in the early and mid-2nd century. The non-Pauline group did not see Jesus as divine; for them, he was simply a man. This is reflected in later Jewish-Christian belief (the Ebionites): Jesus was a man - if anything, Christ was a spirit that descended into Jesus just as it did into other great prophets. Christ therefore could not suffer on the cross. Another form of this was that Jesus simply wasn't a man at all. He was a spiritual being who only 'appeared' to suffer and die on the cross.' In response to this fairly widespread belief that Jesus was was a spirit, Ignatius pretty much created the gospel story out of whole cloth in order to show that he was god AND man. He's the first reference to certain people and ideas: e.g, mother Mary, Pontius Pilate, etc.

For the placing of Jesus in Pilate's time, this would make sense. It's been two generations since then. Guys like Ignatius know that Paul and Peter and the gang had visions and were 'apostling' all over the place starting at that point, around 30 AD. Well, if they 'saw' Jesus and Jesus DID have an earthly life, it would make sense for Jesus to die right before these visions. Then they can be presented as visions of Jesus "in the flesh".

There's a LOT of interesting tidbits in the book, so the above doesn't do it justice at all. But reading it, it does make sense. Chapter 8 presents 'how it may have happened', laying out the conditions of the time and how it all fits together. Really good stuff.

Earl Doherty has a review of Ellegard's book here (also includes a response from Ellegard): http://www.jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/BkrvEll.htm

He has some criticisms. Some I agree with, some I don't, and others I'm not sure about. I think he's too attached to his own theory to see how they may in fact be complementary. For example, on the dating of 1 Clement, where Clement refers to the death of Paul. If this letter is pre-70 letter, and IF that section is not an interpolation, this would suggest Paul died several years before the destruction, or at least that Clement believed this.

I think there may be enough support here to also argue that Paul 'invented' the Crucifixion as part of his new "gospel", i.e., while the other apostles may have spoken of Jesus' death and resurrection, Paul introduced the element of the cross (from his vision of Caesar on the tropaeum). Ellegard thinks Paul just "Christified" Jesus with an emphasis on the redemptive power of his suffering and death and his Wisdom-like qualities. But if Israel Knohl is right, those messianic ideas were already going around.

Also, I really liked the way Ellegard placed Ignatius as a kind of 'missing link' between the 1st century texts and the Gospels/Acts. Interestingly enough, Polycarp was a pal of Ignatius, and David Trobisch argues that Polycarp pretty much wrote the New Testament as a response to Marcion. It looks like Polycarp took some existing gospels (Marcion's early Luke, an early Matthew probably used by the Jewish Christians, and maybe an early John, plus Mark), expanded on them in ways to subsume those groups/beliefs into his version of the church (e.g., the gnostic aspects of John but focusing on Jesus' humanity as well, the domestication of Paul in Luke/Acts), and wrote the pastorals.

So maybe Polycarp saw it as a way of putting Ignatius' ideas into use? Interestingly, Ignatius wrote his letters on his way to Rome to die as a martyr. This is how 'Luke' presents Paul in Acts, on his way to Rome to die a martyr. Did Polycarp write Ignatius into "Paul" as a tribute to his 'master'?

Here's a link to the paper: http://www.trobisch.com/david/CV/Publications/20071226%20FreeInquiry%20Who%20Published%20Christian%20Bible%20BW.pdf
 

SeekinTruth

The Living Force
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Thanks for the review, Approaching Infinity. Lots of food for thought. There are so many pieces to the puzzle that every bit counts in trying to solve the overall problems....
 

Laura

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Excellent synopsis, AI. Yes, this book was, for me, sort of the missing link. The bit about Ignatius really turned on the lightbulb.

As for the letter of Clement where he speaks of the deaths of Peter and Paul, the more I think about it, the more I think it must be an interpolation. Why? Because I think Paul was still alive after the destruction of Jerusalem. Why? Because if you take Romans 9-11, you see that it is somewhat contradictory to many of Paul's general ideas about the Jews, yet, it has a very Pauline flavor in the emotion and argumentation. So, how to explain that except that it was written after what Paul feared had come to pass: the total destruction of Jerusalem and the temple and the near total annihilation of the Jews. Obviously, Paul would be deeply affected by this and it might modify his understanding.

I've already talked about the issue with Josephus' chapter that contains the Testimonium Flavianum and how it must be that WHOEVER it was whose death was being reported there (assuming that a death was being reported and it had just been edited to be "Jesus"), it occurred in 19 AD because at the very end of this chapter, Josephus mentions the death of Germanicus and the fact that "at that time the Jews were expelled from Rome". These are real historical events reported in proper context in Tacitus.

Now, I was reading Goulder's "Paul and the Competing Mission in Corinth". He went into a great deal of detail about his point which was how Paul referred to the OT and the difference between "knowledge" and "wisdom" and how those terms were understood then and how they were used, and especially how Paul used them. He says that by using those terms, Paul was referring to the ancient texts and wisdom literature which was basically midrash and/or legal rulings given from the "oral torah" by whoever happened to be sitting "on the seat of Moses" at the time; i.e. the current Jewish wise man or "Teacher of Righteousness" (my attribution). His argument is coherent and pretty convincing though I get irritated a bit with his general acceptance of standard text dates and origins and he dismisses the idea that some letters are composites, such as II Cor.. It was actually because of my close reading of the text several times while reading his arguments that I realized that, Heck!, not only is IICor. composite, so is ICor.!

So here are a couple more things that catch my eye. First of all, in Galatians, Paul is lambasting the Galatians for being taken in by the Judaizing representatives from the James Gang in Jerusalem. Keep in mind that I view this "Jerusalem church" in the sense of the early use of the term "ecclesia", as a "religious/political" organization that was plotting and fomenting rebellion. So, Paul says to them:

Gal 1:1 Paul an apostle--sent neither by human commission nor from human authorities, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead--
Gal 1:2 and all the members of God's family who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:

Compare that opening to the one from the earliest Pauline letter, I Thessalonians:

1Th 1:1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

Notice first of all Paul's declaration to the Galatians that he is NOT authorized by any human organization which MUST mean, specifically, the "apostles in Jerusalem"; that he is independent of any human authorities or commission. That lets you know right away that there is a problem.

Skipping a bit we come to:

Gal 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--
Gal 1:7 not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed!
Gal 1:9 As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed!

Apparently, the James Gang has sent out emissaries to Paul's churches to tell everyone that Paul is not authorized and that the theology he is teaching is wrong and not the real deal. They are clearly teaching a very different version of the "Jesus story" or theology though it is tricky to try to figure out what it is because we are privy to only one side of this conversation. But notice how angry Paul is! He is practically chewing nails and spitting staples! He says that the representatives of the Judaizing gang should be accursed!

Now, Paul tells us some of the very limited biographical information we have from him and makes some things very, very clear:

Gal 1:11 For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin;
Gal 1:12 for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Now, he talks about his persecution of the early Jerusalem church:

Gal 1:13 You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it.
Gal 1:14 I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors.

The book of Acts presents a total fairy tale about this "persecution of the church". But, if you understand the history of the times by a careful reading of Tacitus and Josephus, not to mention Macabbees, you realize that, as a Pharisee, Paul was against revolution and violent resistance to the Roman authorities. So here, Paul is telling us that he was against the activities of the Zealots/Essenes and their apocalyptic teaching that God was going to come and destroy the Romans and re-establish his kingdom of the Jews. This is what he was against: apocalypticism that might lead to revolution.

Gal 1:15 But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased
Gal 1:16 to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being,
Gal 1:17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.

Here Paul declares that God had set him apart before he was born. You have to keep in mind that Paul was the earliest Christian writer to make such a statement. Yes, it was said about various OT characters, but Paul was applying this to himself. Then, he says that God revealed his Son to him... and that he got this ON HIS OWN and with NO teaching or exchanges with anyone else.

Following this revelation, he went off to Arabia and then "returned to Damascus." That suggests that he was IN Damascus when he got his revelation, not that he was "on the road to Damascus". The story about the vision on the road to Damascus is actually a tale borrowed from Greek literature and never happened to Paul - or at least he never talks about any such miraculous event which he certainly would have done so here if it had actually happened.

Why he went to Arabia is an interesting question. But I don't want to get sidelined by that right now. Perhaps "Arabia" is a code name for going out into the desert to meditate or do the hermit number. He does later have an interesting encounter with the ruler of Arabia (or his representative) and has to be let down out of a window in a basked to escape, so there may be some connection. Maybe he went to evangelize there and got in trouble? That can only mean that he has now turned to SOME form of apocalypticism; and indeed, he has, though it is VERY different from that taught by the Essenes/zealots as revealed by the Dead Sea Scrolls. The hatred of the Romans that drips from those writings is pure poison.

But no, indeed, Paul's apocalypse was simply a new reality that would manifest and which all those who had declared adherence to Christ would be permitted to inhabit in new semi-physical bodies that would never perish. The "faith" he speaks of is rather more like declaring fealty to a patron in a sort of Roman patron-client system. You know, Jesus as the Godfather.

Gal 1:18 Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days;
Gal 1:19 but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord's brother.
Gal 1:20 In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!

The term "the Lord's brother" could be an interpolation, or it could be a concession to the "Jesus" that the Jerusalem peeps were preaching which Paul had co-opted for his own use. As AI points out from Ellegard,

...while the other apostles may have spoken of Jesus' death and resurrection, Paul introduced the element of the cross (from his vision of Caesar on the tropaeum). ... if Israel Knohl is right, those messianic ideas were already going around.

So, in total, Paul had 15 days hanging out with an alleged "apostle of Jesus."

He probably realized that those messianic stories of the resurrection of revolutionaries/zealots were designed to give hope and courage to the recruits. It was all about harrying the Romans until God could be induced to intervene and crush them. And Paul intended to counteract this growing messianic/revolutionary movement by putting Jesus on an altogether higher plane of being and theology.

Gal 1:21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia,
Gal 1:22 and I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea that are in Christ;
Gal 1:23 they only heard it said, "The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy."
Gal 1:24 And they glorified God because of me.

Syria and Cilicia would be Antioch and Tarsus. In any event, Paul apparently spent a LONG time in those regions before EVER AGAIN having any contact with the James Gang in Jerusalem. So forget all those fairy stories in Acts about Paul coming and going and preaching in Jerusalem and all that nonsense. Note also there was another Antioch.... I'll come back to that.

Gal 2:1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me.
Gal 2:2 I went up in response to a revelation. Then I laid before them (though only in a private meeting with the acknowledged leaders) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure that I was not running, or had not run, in vain.

I would say that the last part of this paragraph above was again, a concession to the Jerusalem peeps since Paul had co-opted their guy for his own purposes. At this point, with the James Gang working to destroy everything he has worked on for 14 years, Paul is pretty desperate.

Gal 2:3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not compelled to be circumcised, though he was a Greek.
Gal 2:4 But because of false believers secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might enslave us--
Gal 2:5 we did not submit to them even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might always remain with you.

Apparently, there had been spies in Paul's churches who showed up in Jerusalem to accuse him of preaching against the Judaic law. (Which he did.) So, the cat was out of the bag and Paul defended himself and did not succumb to their demands that if he used their Messiah, he must also teach their stricter form of Judaism. Paul had to argue for his life's work here:

Gal 2:6 And from those who were supposed to be acknowledged leaders (what they actually were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)--those leaders contributed nothing to me.
Gal 2:7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel for the circumcised

Gal 2:9 and when James and Cephas and John, who were acknowledged pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
Gal 2:10 They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor, which was actually what I was eager to do.

Here Paul is talking about James, Cephas and/or Peter, John. These are the ONLY "disciples of an earthly Jesus" that Paul EVER mentions. And there is some dispute as to whether Peter and Cephas were separate individuals. Notice how contemptuous of these "leaders of alleged early Christianity" Paul is. In short, he is saying that what THEY were preaching was not his cup of tea and he is also saying that they acknowledged that what he was preaching to the gentiles was obviously working and possibly, the idea of imposing all of Judaism on gentiles might be a bad idea. At least that is what Paul persuaded them to agree to.

So, apparently, they came to some agreement to agree and disagree. But the price Paul has to pay for being allowed to continue to use their Messiah for his purposes is that he HAS TO PAY to support their revolutionary activities. Obviously, there were a lot of expenses involved in gathering weapons, supporting widows and orphans of downed zealots, etc. So, Paul, to keep the peace, agrees. Again, he is making a concession to the James gang to borrowing their guy and Christifying him by amalgamating him with Caesar on the Tropheum. It is also possible, as suggested above, that, in the moment, Paul argued persuasively for his version of the Messiah...

So, what happens???

Gal 2:11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood self-condemned;
Gal 2:12 for until certain people came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But after they came, he drew back and kept himself separate for fear of the circumcision faction.
Gal 2:13 And the other Jews joined him in this hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.
Gal 2:14 But when I saw that they were not acting consistently with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, "If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?"
Gal 2:15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners;
Gal 2:16 yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law.
Gal 2:17 But if, in our effort to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have been found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not!
Gal 2:18 But if I build up again the very things that I once tore down, then I demonstrate that I am a transgressor.
Gal 2:19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ;
Gal 2:20 and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Gal 2:21 I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.

It looks like the James Gang went back on their agreement to leave Paul alone in exchange for funds (or their possible agreement that his gospel was valid). Peter went up to visit Paul's church in Antioch and was having a jolly good time getting involved in Paul's mission to help gentiles and Jews get along together and to give up this revolution schtick; Peter obviously thought it was a good idea until the James Gang reps came along. Apparently James and his Zealot essenes had second thoughts about the matter and decided that they had enough clout to move in and take over all of Paul's churches which may or may not have initially been Essenic in nature. (Read Ellegard for descriptions of these things.) I suspect that Peter's wishy-washiness here is the foundation of the story that he "denied Jesus three times".

So, Peter goes hypocrite on him and Paul lambasts him to his face in front of everybody. Paul gives a brief recap of the arguments he used against them, but it was all in vain. Apparently, there were a lot of Jews in the congregation and they all went back to their legal Judaism foundation and dragged the gentiles with them and Paul was apparently ejected or left of his own choice. Even Barnabas turned against him.

Galatia is a region, not a city. The Galatai were originally Caltic tribes that have settled near Ancyra in 278/277 BC. The Romans defeated them in 189 BC and from then on, the Galatians served the Romans pretty much loyally with troops, etc. So there was undoubtedly a large contingent of Roman veterans in the region which may or may not have combined with Essenic type groups into Ecclesia to which Paul preached his new revelation.

Paul mentions in Galatians that he was ill when he first came to them and that he may not have been actually planning to preach in Galatia, but was forced to stop there due to a serious collapse of his health.

Gal 4:13 You know that it was because of a physical infirmity that I first announced the gospel to you;
Gal 4:14 though my condition put you to the test, you did not scorn or despise me, but welcomed me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus.
Gal 4:15 What has become of the goodwill you felt? For I testify that, had it been possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.

Because of the reference to eyes, we suspect that part of the problem was some sort of illness of his eyes, possibly even temporary blindness. This may have been a historical element that the Lukan author then spun into his "Paul on the road to Damascus" fable.

The question is: did Paul use this other Antioch as a base and make various evangelizing journeys to his various known churches from there during that 14 year period he mentions?

As I mentioned above, there was another Antioch and it is very possible that the Antioch mentioned by Paul was NOT the Antioch of Syria, but that other one in Galatia. That would make a lot more sense out of Paul's declaration that he spent 14 years in the regions of Syria and Cilicia all the while evangelizing the gentiles, and then, when he left Antioch, he wrote a letter to all his congregations in Galatia about the bust-up there. It seems most likely that Galatians was written shortly after this event and this would give a plausible explanation. See some of the other things Paul included in the letter. It's as though he is exhorting the group that he has just been ejected from by the James Gang.

Gal 3:1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified! [This remark is very curious. Was Paul including some sort of mystery play re-enactment of the Death of Caesar as part of the initiation of his congregants?]
Gal 3:2 The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard?
Gal 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having started with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?
Gal 3:4 Did you experience so much for nothing?--if it really was for nothing. [This is actually heartbreaking to witness. Paul worked so hard to get gentiles and Jews together in a spirit of community. And apparently, it produced amazing feelings and exaltation.]
Gal 3:5 Well then, does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? [Obviously, there were miraculous results from the group activities led by Paul.]

And then Paul continues his exhortation to them to come back to the truth of Christ as he has taught it:

Gal 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Gal 5:2 Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you.
Gal 5:3 Once again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the entire law.
Gal 5:4 You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
Gal 5:5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.
Gal 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love.
Gal 5:7 You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth?
Gal 5:8 Such persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.
Gal 5:9 A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough.
Gal 5:10 I am confident about you in the Lord that you will not think otherwise. But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty.
Gal 5:11 But my friends, why am I still being persecuted if I am still preaching circumcision? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.
Gal 5:12 I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves!
Gal 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another.
Gal 5:14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

So it is clearly the Jerusalem party, the James gang, the Judaizers, that are enraging Paul. But what is clear is that he is enraged from fear for his converts being led into something that he clearly sees as a prison, i.e. legalistic Judaism. Clearly, Paul is preaching the Jewish god, creator of the universe, one god only, thing, but he sees the legalistic aspects of Judaism as something like training wheels for morality and ethics and when you have the "spirit of Christ", you no longer need to bind yourself to the rules, you will do what is right naturally. But if you do bind yourself to the rules, then you are bound by them and must pay penalties for breaking them.

Paul's master idea was a "new reality" has been created by Jesus, the "new Adam" and it corresponds in many ways to the Cs descriptions of 4th Density. Paul is certain that it is only community action, people getting over themselves and working together, that is the key to admission to this new reality. But the James Gang insisted that their Jesus or Messiah was only and strictly about the zealous following of the law, and that included having god and his angels come back to help a well-organized resistance movement to smash the Romans so that God could restore his kingdom in Judea and eventually, over all the world with the Jews in charge because they are chosen and holy because they whack their pee-pees and never touch anything unholy and so on.

Gal 6:12 It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that try to compel you to be circumcised--only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.
Gal 6:13 Even the circumcised do not themselves obey the law, but they want you to be circumcised so that they may boast about your flesh.
Gal 6:14 May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Gal 6:15 For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything!
Gal 6:16 As for those who will follow this rule--peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
Gal 6:17 From now on, let no one make trouble for me; for I carry the marks of Jesus branded on my body.
Gal 6:18 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

Okay, so much for that bit in Galatians. Now, let's move on to I Corinthians

Remember what Paul says in Galatians:

Gal 1:11 For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin;
Gal 1:12 for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. [...]

Gal 1:15 But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased
Gal 1:16 to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, (See: Isa. 49:1; Jer. 1:5.)

Okay, then moving to I Cor. where there appears to be amplification of the Galatians bit. Here, Paul talks about this "higher knowledge" and that it was formerly hidden, and HOW he gets his "revelations":

1Co 2:6 Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish.

1Co 2:7 But we speak God's wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.

1Co 2:9 But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him"--

1Co 2:10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

1Co 2:13 And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.

That is to say, Paul's "revelations" were a process of pesher/midrash. This was a very common practice at the time: to search the scriptures and to infer new insights from it. If you read Paul's authentic letters enough times, and if you know your OT and apocrypha and now, some of the Dead Sea literature, Philo, etc, you can easily see that Paul came to his "revelation" about Jesus simply by drawing new meanings and implications from the reading of texts. It was a completely internal process. So that suggests that in dealing with the Corinthians, Paul is being more up-front at the beginning about the independence of his gospel.

One of the things that I've mulled over a lot lately is the eucharist. There are a lot of mystery religion connections, of course, and Paul no doubt was aware of that sort of thing to some extent. But his "last supper" is a sort of problem if he learned nothing from any human source, such as a handed down tradition and assuming that there was no Jesus of Nazareth as depicted by those who took their hints from Ignatius. So, if there wasn't a last supper, and no handed down tradition, where did he get it?

Right out of Sirach:

Sir 15:3 She [Wisdom] will feed him with the bread of learning, and give him the water of wisdom to drink.

Sir 24:19 "Come to me, you who desire me, and eat your fill of my fruits.

Sir 24:20 For the memory of me is sweeter than honey, and the possession of me sweeter than the honeycomb.

Sir 24:21 Those who eat of me will hunger for more, and those who drink of me will thirst for more.

Sir 24:23 All this [Wisdom] is the book of the covenant of the Most High God, the law that Moses commanded us as an inheritance for the congregations of Jacob.


That is to say, Paul did not "go beyond what is written". And this is a big point he is making in ICor. That people who have ecstatic visions, if they are not possible to be "read into or out of" the scriptural texts, then they cannot be valid.

So that seems rather sorted: the origin of the eucharist was Paul's invention based on Wisdom in Sirach.

The STORY of the last supper, of course, was based on the last supper of Caesar and his betrayal by Brutus and his remark that his preference for dying was that it be quickly. Those words reappear in the Jesus story as Jesus telling Judas to do what he is going to do quickly. So again, we have clues to some historical snippets in the gospels and Acts, though they are so buried in BS it's hard to extract them.

Coming back now to the problem of Romans and the death of Paul. As I mentioned, it recently struck me that Chapters 9 through 11 are a separate text. BUT, it may be possible that it IS Pauline (even though a certain angle of it is very NOT-Paul), IF it was written in reaction to the destruction of Jerusalem. That would mean that Paul was alive that late.

And that, of course, goes back to my Josephus/Tacitus problem with the timeline. Someone has meddled with Josephus. Tiberius came to power in 14 AD and that is probably when he sent Pilate out. If Pilate was in the East for 10 years, as the text says, then he was there from 15 at the latest, until 25. Right in the middle of this period, in 19 AD, Germanicus (a messiah-like figure that everyone hoped would be a new Julius Caesar), died in Antioch and at the end of that year, Jews were expelled from Rome though we do not know why. However, we can take a hint from Suetonius report of the funeral of Julius Caesar:

"At the height of the public grief a throng of foreigners went about lamenting each after the fashion of his country, above all the Jews, who even flocked to the place for several successive nights."

That is just to demonstrate how the Jews of Rome behaved after the death of Caesar. It is known from the history of Tacitus that ALL of Rome went into mourning at the death of Germanicus. But the LATER expulsion of the Jews may have been due to additional provocations. IF, as Unterbrink proposes, the individual whose execution underlies the Testimonium Flavianum was actually Judas the Galilean, and this occurred in 19 AD, exactly as the surrounding text suggests, then it occurred in the "fifth year of Tiberius" not the fifteenth.

Luk 3:1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene,
Luk 3:2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness....
Luk 3:23 Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his work.

Above you see the attempt to establish a firm date of the life and times of a historical man, Jesus that is clearly divorced from the revolutionary zealot, Judas the Galilean who probably really WAS executed by Pontius Pilate. Only a careful reading of Josephus, comparing "Wars" to "Antiquities", and comparing both to Tacitus, makes it clear that Pilate MUST have been in Judea earlier. Also, the reference to Pilate and the execution of Jesus by Tacitus must be an interpolation because Tacitus, a political man, would not have mistakenly referred to Pilate by the wrong title.

So, if this is true, then we have an actual historical marker of a "Christ time-line" - at least insofar as it is related to the Jewish "Jesus:", i.e. Judas the Galilean. And there may have been other martyrs to the zealot cause that were amalgamated with him as is suggested by Knohl.

I think there is another historical marker respecting the Jewish Jesus conflict: the expulsion of Jews in 49 AD noted by Suetonius. This was during the time of the emperor Claudius, who was in office AD 41-54. In his chapter on Claudius (25), Suetonius writes:

"Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [the Emperor Claudius] expelled them from Rome."

Some scholars see the reference to Chrestus as a likely reference to Jesus, while others see it as referring to an otherwise unknown person living in Rome. It is unlikely, however, that a Christian interpolator would refer to Jesus as "Chrestus" which simply means "the Good One". Most Biblical scholars assume the disturbances mentioned were due to the spread of Christianity in Rome. And that may not be wrong at all.

The expulsion event Suetonius refers to is necessarily later than AD 41, and earlier than AD 54. Precisely dating from Suetonius is difficult because Suetonius organizes his work by topics rather than dates. The dating of the "edict of Claudius" for the expulsion of Jews relies on three texts, the totally unreliable book of Acts, Cassius Dio's reference in History 60.6.6-7, and Paulus Orosius's fifth century mention in History 7.6.15-16 of a non-extant Josephus reference. The "non-extant" Josephus reference naturally makes one suspicious. I ignore anything that relies on Acts for historical reliability or date and Biblical research would make more progress if everyone would do likewise. Acts is, purely and simply, a load of fiction with a tiny inspiration from history here and there as we have seen above about Paul and his eye problem in the community of the Galatians and how the Lukan author spun this into Paul being blinded by a vision on the road to Damascus that has strong overtones of other tales borrowed from Greek and OT literature.

Tacitus says nothing about this expulsion though he DOES mention Judea in his Annales for 49 AD:

The Ituraeans and the Judaeans, on the demise of their kings Sohaemus and Agrippa, were added to the province of Syria. (12.23)

That's it.

Cassius Dio makes a comment in 60.6.6-7:

"As for the Jews, who had again increased so greatly that by reason of their multitude it would have been hard without raising a tumult to bar them from the city [Rome], he [Claudius] did not drive them out, but ordered them, while continuing their traditional mode of life, not to hold meetings."

Both Suetonius and Cassius Dio deal with Jews, tumult, Claudius, the city and expulsion, and Cassius Dio does provide a chronological context that points to the year AD 41. However, Cassius Dio does not mention Chrestus or any cause for the emperor's actions. Moreover Cassius Dio says that Claudius did not drive the Jews out of the city.

The 5th-century Christian writer Paulus Orosius:

"Josephus reports, 'In his ninth year the Jews were expelled by Claudius from the city.' But Suetonius, who speaks as follows, influences me more: 'Claudius expelled from Rome the Jews constantly rioting at the instigation of Christ.' As far as whether he had commanded that the Jews rioting against Christ be restrained and checked or also had wanted the Christians, as persons of a cognate religion, to be expelled, it is not at all to be discerned."

As mentioned, there is no such text in Josephus today but that doesn't mean it wasn't there then. If Josephus was that specific, then it is probably correct. Most of Tacitus discussion for that year in the Annales is taken up with Claudius' scandalous marriage to his niece.

So, let's go with 49 give or take a couple years if we must.

Considering the state of the relations between Paul and the James Gang and how they appear to have been making a concerted campaign to take over his churches (and I won't go into all the textual evidence for that right now), I think it is entirely likely that Paul just threw his hands up in the air and wrote to the Romans that he was coming and hit the road. I would suggest that the uproar in Rome caused by the Jews over "Chrestus", was actually caused by Paul and the opposition to his teachings by Jews who were well informed by their fellow revolutionary Jews.

We have the history from Paul of this opposition; we have evidence that the James Gang were following him around and co-opting his congregations; we have the evidence from Paul (which we should remember IS historical, first-hand account) that there was a big kerfuffle between him and the James Gang in Antioch, so there is a precedent for open conflict. And in Rome, it could have gotten much worse. That may mean that the tale of the conflict with the Jews in Jerusalem when Paul brought his "collection" never happened there but, instead, describes some of the violence that took place in Rome.

If Paul just got fed up with the James Gang and headed out for Rome and arrived in early 49 (or late 48) INSTEAD of going to Jerusalem with any "collection" (why would he continue with that business with the way the Jerusalem peeps were hounding him and his churches as the evidence suggests), then we have another historical marker.

So, how do we organize the Paul/Jesus timeline with these two historical hooks?

Best way to do it is to count this way, BACKWARD, approximately:

48-49 AD - Paul is in Rome NOT Jerusalem, and the uproar that is described in Acts as having occurred in Jerusalem really happened in Rome and the Imperial guards had to take Paul into protective custody and the result was an expulsion of Jews from the city.

47-48 AD - Paul writes Romans

46-47 AD - Paul writes II Corinthians - and this after having been imprisoned or some really unpleasant event probably thanks to the James Gang.

45-46 AD - Paul writes Galatians wherein he gives a little timeline suggesting that he had been preaching for 17 years.

44 AD - The real meeting in Jerusalem, (nothing like what was described in Acts unless Acts was describing what happened later in Rome) following which there was the face-off with Peter at Antioch. That is, the James Gang made a deal, but did not keep it. And, as I said, I think the James Gang was a messianic revolutionary group of zealots and sicarii plotting and planning guerilla attacks on the Romans. Their "poor" were really revolutionaries and the families of dead freedom fighters. They were trained, and had their HQ at Qumran.

27 AD - Counting backward 17 years from the meeting in Jerusalem and kerfuffle in Antioch, Paul's "conversion". Did he really have a vision? Possible. It happens. Or did he have an inner insight based on his constant study of texts, his pesher/midrash activities, that convinced him that something dreadful was going to happen if something wasn't changed? Did this lead to his "meeting Jesus" in the text and combining him with Caesar on the Tropheum that he had already met because of his Hellenizing tendencies?

19-27 - James Gang utilize visions of the "resurrected" Judas to keep their followers fired up against the Romans. In the last couple of years of this period, Paul declaims against this type of activity because he sees it as dangerous. He "persecutes" the "church" in an effort to quell revolutionary activities.

19 AD - Execution of Judas the Galilean, death of Germanicus, expulsion of Jews from Rome.

6 BC - Golden Eagle temple cleansing by Mattathias and Judas and their students/followers. Josephus first says they were both executed by burning, but then there is a Judas who reappears in the text numerous times so it is not exactly clear that both of them were killed. Judas was a great teacher of the law, zealot, 4th philosophy and all that and it seems that Josephus was a follower and zealot and revolutionary. Thus he would be very interested in concealing some things regarding that activity and its characters. Archelaus slaughters 3000 Jews clamoring for justice over these deaths. The Judas executed in 19 AD could have been a son of this Judas and then two additional "sons" executed by Tiberius Alexander in 46-48 could have been grandsons.

That means no Jesus of Nazareth as depicted in the gospels.

But what about the "Teacher of Righteousness" in the Essene texts? He was probably Judas the Galilean. What about the name "Jesus"? I think Jesus ben Sirach fits the bill for that since Paul surely did get a LOT of ideas from his writings and a lot of stuff from Sirach ends up in Paul and from there ends up in the mouth of Jesus or the pens of the synoptic evangelists. Several other messianic figures seem to have been combined BUT most of the theology of the gospels is inspired by Paul who got it from the OT and other writings current to his day.

Bottom line is this: I think Paul was driven to try to save the Jews from themselves because he may very well have had some sort of vision as a result of his studiously derived textual insights that an apocalypse with Rome was coming if the Jews kept on going the way they were headed. That may very well have been part of the bone of contention between Paul and the James Gang: they were going to have their revolution come hell or high water, and Paul KNEW what would happen and was equally determined to try to prevent it by evangelizing the Jewish god to the gentiles and the abandoning of the purity laws by the Jews so that people could get together and understand and love one another. That was his whole schtick: to slightly Jewishize the gentiles, and slightly gentilize the Jews. And it MIGHT have worked if the James Gang hadn't been so stubborn and had gotten with the program.

But they didn't and, for the Jews, the world might as well have ended. Certainly, the "Jerusalem Ecclesia" and all its members was destroyed in the siege. And after that, Paul's creation of a Jewish son of god who could save people via a sort of Roman patron-client system continued and was taken over by the Roman church with conscious and deliberate intent to conform it to a hierarchical model. They would have liked to get rid of Paul entirely, even if they did borrow quite a few theological and christological ideas from him.

Ignatius came along and inspired the writing (or re-writing) of Mark which probably existed pre-70 as the liturgy for the re-enactment of a Julius Caesar life play. MacDonald has demonstrated convincingly (to me) that elements of the Odyssey were used to create little stories for the "life of Jesus" and the element of betrayal inserted into the story certainly came from the Caesar tragedy. The betrayal of Julius Caesar by his beloved Brutus was the most scandalous and shocking event of the times and has echoed down through the centuries. That was just too good a plot-line to leave out.

The dates of Jesus' life were given by Ignatius who associated the emergence of the "visions of Christ" with Pontius Pilate. The dating was off and instead of the 5th year of Tiberius, ten years was added and it became the 15th year when "Jesus of Nazareth came down into Galilee", i.e. 29 AD. This was confusion of the date of the execution of Judas the whoever in 19 AD under Pontius Pilate, and the early days of Paul's evangelizing after his conversion in 27. (Or it could have been 29; the times are approximate.)

Getting back to Clement and the death of Paul. Ist Clement is said by some to have been written before the destruction of Jerusalem and not long after the deaths of Peter and Paul as martyrs. Ellegard holds to this view and he may be right. So how can I suggest that Paul was still alive after the destruction of Jerusalem?

In this letter, Clement asserts the apostolic authority of the bishops/presbyters as rulers of the church. It has been cited as the first work to establish Roman primacy; and Orthodox scholar John Meyendorff sees it as connected with the Roman church's awareness of its "priority" (rather than "primacy") among local churches.

Why would it be "prior" if Christianity began in Judea?

Next: Clement's letter does not contain his name; it is addressed by "the Church of God which sojourneth in Rome to the Church of God which sojourneth in Corinth." The traditional date for Clement's epistle, which has been elicited by the Epistle to the Hebrews's call for leadership from the church in Rome and Clement's letter is full of influences from Hebrews, is placed at the end of the reign of Domitian (c. 96). This is due to the phrase "sudden and repeated misfortunes and hindrances which have befallen us" (1:1) being a reference to persecutions under Domitian. But notice this: the church at Rome is called "ancient" and it is remarked that the presbyters installed by the apostles have died (44:2), and a second ecclesiastical generation has also passed on (44:3).

Because of the above, many have dated I Clement much later, two generations after the ALLEGED date of Jesus and his destined meeting with Pilate. But it's a certainty in my mind that this meeting took place in 19 AD and it wasn't Jesus, it was Judas the Galilean.

But even that doesn't explain Clement's remarks about the Roman Ecclesia. Two generations could not possibly have passed if he wrote before the destruction of Jerusalem... and Ellegard is certain, because of the language, that I Clement was a 1st century text... and that Clement probably knew Paul.

Now, could Clement have possibly meant that two full generations had passed since the beginning of this Ecclesia at Rome, starting with the death of Caesar? And has it not undergone some serious editing in respect of who was the "founder of the faith"? And if it underwent that sort of editing, to conform it to the "Jewish Jesus" model after Paul, it is certainly also possible that the combining of the missions of Peter and Paul were part of that editing process just as the Lukan author followed a similar procedure when writing his gospel and the book of Acts.

In other words, I don't think we can rely on the death notices of Peter and Paul in Clement because if Peter and/or Cephas/James/John were pals of the guy who was executed in 19 AD, they were pretty old dudes in 60 AD, much less later, and it is unlikely that Peter ever went to Rome. Plus there is this from Paul:

1Co 15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand,
1Co 15:2 through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you--unless you have come to believe in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures,
1Co 15:4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, [Here, Paul means what he received by his system of pesher/midrash]
1Co 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. [There is argument about this: was this Cephas NOT one of "the twelve"? In an event, "the twelve" is a later invention so this is an interpolation.]
1Co 15:6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. [This is also an interpolation. The "500 witnesses" is derived from an apocryphal "Acts of Peter" or "Paul". Don't recall which. Might even be the Clementine Recognitions. Anyway, it is from a novel and is a later insert.]
1Co 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
1Co 15:8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

So the way the passage ought to read, if you take out the fake stuff is this:
1Co 15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand,
1Co 15:2 through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you--unless you have come to believe in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures,
1Co 15:4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures,
1Co 15:5 ...and that he appeared to Cephas,
1Co 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
1Co 15:8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

What does Paul mean by "one untimely born"? I would suggest that he means that he was born TOO LATE to have known "Jesus" which is an additional argument for the 19 AD execution of somebody or other of importance to the Jews, or at least to the revolutionaries and their masses of followers among the common people. If Paul was "converted" in 27 or 29 or thereabouts, that's almost ten years later. If he was a young man at the time of his conversion, say, 25 or so, he would only have been 15 at the time of the execution of whoever.

And of course, if he was referring to Caesar, well then, it is pretty clear what he means: he was born WAY too late, by about a generation or two.

What seems clear is that Paul could very well have been alive and in Rome or Spain at the time of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem and could have written Romans 9-11 after that. It's almost a certainty, in my mind, that if Peter/Cephas, James, John, whoever, were still alive when Titus came, they died in Jerusalem with the rest of the zealots.

As to the death of Paul, it seems to me to be possible that if Paul was still around at the time, he knew Josephus. After all, if Josephus was one of the zealots/revolutionaries, and Paul had been associated with the James Gang, they undoubtedly know of each other.

Consider that Josephus dedicated his later works to one Epaphroditus, AND, there was a freedman/secretary of Nero named Epaphroditus who was executed by Domitian for "failing to prevent Nero's suicide". Epaphroditus was the owner of Epictetus of Hierapolis, a Stoic philosopher. Josephus and Epaphroditus both sort of go offstage at the same time and though the "experts" say that the Epaphroditus of Josephus was probably not the Epaphroditus of Nero I don't see any reason that they could not be. And if this Epaphroditus was into Stoicism, he might very well have been interested in Paul. And Paul DOES say:

Php 4:22 All the saints greet you, especially those of the emperor's household.

It's interesting that Paul's messenger for Philippians was also an Epaphroditus though, in this case, he could not have been the same person. It is said that the name was common enough. Though I still have some questions about that... it bears looking into more deeply.

Well, that's quite a bit for today; by now you have an idea of what this kind of research looks like.

ADDED: some re-writing for clarity. This stuff is hard under the best of circumstances!
 

Approaching Infinity

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Whoa! Thanks for the extensive post there, Laura. Great stuff.

Laura said:
Here Paul is talking about James, Cephas and/or Peter, John. These are the ONLY "disciples of an earthly Jesus" that Paul EVER mentions.

What do you think about Ellegard's idea that the letters of Jude and I Peter may be genuine? Also, what about his observation that none of the first-century writers speak about 'disciples' (i.e., students who would have known "Jesus" personally)? It's only in the 2nd century, after Ignatius' "Jesus lived died in 30 AD" schtick that we learn about Jesus having disciples who knew him personally. Ellegard uses that to argue that their 'Jesus' must have died long ago, but I think that was one weakness in his book: he never gives a good argument for why the Teacher of Righteousness should be dated back to 100 BC or thereabouts.

But what about the "Teacher of Righteousness" in the Essene texts? He was probably Judas the Galilean.

So James and his gang may have known Judas G personally, but there's no real solid evidence pointing to them knowing their "Jesus" personally, based on my reading of Ellegard -- just their visions of him. Could the Essene Teacher have been the first "Judas" (i.e., brother of Mattathias - the names are totally Maccabean, another clue to their rebel ideology), since as you said he was "a great teacher of the law"?

What about the name "Jesus"? I think Jesus ben Sirach fits the bill for that since Paul surely did get a LOT of ideas from his writings. Several other messianic figures seem to have been combined and most of the theology of the gospels is inspired by Paul who got it from the OT and other writings current to his day.

With the general fanatic "God with his angels is going to save us from the Romans by smiting them down man, woman and child" thing going around, I think Jesus/'to rescue/save/deliver" makes sense, too. It's a good name for a messiah.

1Co 2:6 Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish.

I just want to point out how awesome this passage is, especially the bolded bit. Paul was NOT a toady stooge for the Empire (like Josephus).

The zealots used Roman imperial propaganda against them: e.g., "Son of God" ('our guy', not Augustus), "Empire of God" (opposed to Roman Empire). Paul used similar language. He co-opted their own co-opted language. But he was a social radical, and his ideas were dangerous enough to the Empire. Bernard Scott makes that pretty clear in his book The Real Paul. He was preaching the Gentiles NOT to worship idols, not to sacrifice to idols, but at the same time NOT to become Jews. In other words, he was telling his Gentile peeps NOT to worship the Roman Empire or emperor. That was dangerous stuff, and may have been behind the home issue with Cephas and table fellowship. The Jews could get away with not sacrificing to the emperor. Gentiles could not.

Also, Paul deconstructed the entire imperial social hierarchy: man/woman, master/slave. Christ was his Lord, not the emperor. That's a big "up yours" to Empire. There's more, but I'll summarize it when I get around to making my notes from the book.

27 AD - Counting backward 17 years from the meeting in Jerusalem and kerfuffle in Antioch, Paul's "conversion". Did he really have a vision? Possible. It happens. Or did he have an inner insight based on his constant study of texts, his pesher/midrash activities, that convinced him that something dreadful was going to happen if something wasn't changed? Did this lead to his "meeting Jesus" in the text and combining him with Caesar on the Tropheum that he had already met because of his Hellenizing tendencies?

Scott agrees that the way Paul describes his 'call' doesn't necessarily suggest a vision. Some notes from Real Paul:

-the phrases "before I was born" (or "from my mother's womb" which sticks closer to the Greek metaphor) comes from the "prophetic call tradition" - Paul saw himself on a prophet's mission of sorts, that mission was to the Nations
-he uses the Greek root apocalyps- to describe his 'revelation' of Jesus - he doesn't associate the experience with a vision - rather it is the understanding he gets from it: a deeply held conviction about his call to the Nations
-apocalypse had the sense of "knowing something that cannot be known in a human way"

I wonder if Paul didn't have some sort of mystical/4D experience, though, where he saw Caesar's image on the tropaeum and gained a profound insight into what needed to be done. As if by seeing Caesar, the bits and pieces fit together like a puzzle piece - all those OT verses and ideas. Like the 'key' to understanding what the texts 'really meant'. The suffering servant, the messiah was Caesar, not some Jewish rebel, and his death was significant.
 

Laura

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I'm inclined to think that Paul not only did hard research - he must have carried his library of texts with him wherever he went, or he had a stable base for much of the time - but also had some sorts of ecstatic experiences. Unlike some of the so-called experts, I do think that Paul wrote I Corinthians 13 and it is one of the greatest pieces of literature of our civilization. It perfectly and totally encapsulates his "vision".

But Paul also wasn't having any nonsense by people who claimed to have visions and those visions produced material that was clearly nonsense. That's why he was talking about "not going beyond what is written". He was able to extract every bit of his theology, christology and ecclesiology, from the texts though he certainly handled them very freely at times!

I've been on a roller coaster ride with Paul these past months and finally, I think I begin to understand him, to get inside his head, because really, what he was facing then is pretty much what we are all facing now in many respects.

There are so many things he wrote that one finds in Gurdjieff, particularly Paul's desperation to get communities going and have them all become parts of a "body" and agreeing with one another on important matters. It takes awhile to get used to the style since it is ancient and translated, but after awhile, it starts to grow on you and you begin to read and really understand what Paul was trying to say with the language limitations he had to deal with. We can say "hyperdimensional reality" but Paul could only say a "new creation". We can talk about forming a permanent I, but Paul could only talk about "Christ in you" and you being "in Christ" and thereby becoming a "new man". But everything that is authentic (and you have to take care about corruption in the text) has an echo in things we have learned via Cs and/or Gurdjieff and/or Castaneda (borrowing from Gurdjieff, but expanding with other traditions).

Paul clearly combined his Jewish guy with Julius Caesar, and probably knowingly. The purpose was to bring the ONE creator god to the gentiles and to bring the freedom from the law to the Jews. It was a brilliant plan.
 

NormaRegula

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Laura said:
...Paul clearly combined his Jewish guy with Julius Caesar, and probably knowingly. The purpose was to bring the ONE creator god to the gentiles and to bring the freedom from the law to the Jews. It was a brilliant plan.

So Paul was using mythic stories that carried deep truths to get jews and gentiles to come together and focused on creating a better world. That's fascinating.

The C's mentioned in one of the sessions that Jesus was a combination of persons who actually lived. Another hit from this research.

If I was presented with this information 10 - 15 years ago, I would have dismissed it, even though deep down I knew there was a whole lot of confusion and contradictions with the bible back when I was a church-goer. My, how my perceptions have changed.

Thank you for the incredible research you've done on the matter!
 

Approaching Infinity

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Laura said:
I'm inclined to think that Paul not only did hard research - he must have carried his library of texts with him wherever he went, or he had a stable base for much of the time - but also had some sorts of ecstatic experiences. Unlike some of the so-called experts, I do think that Paul wrote I Corinthians 13 and it is one of the greatest pieces of literature of our civilization. It perfectly and totally encapsulates his "vision".

I couldn't agree more. He was a genius AND a saint! :halo:

But Paul also wasn't having any nonsense by people who claimed to have visions and those visions produced material that was clearly nonsense. That's why he was talking about "not going beyond what is written". He was able to extract every bit of his theology, christology and ecclesiology, from the texts though he certainly handled them very freely at times!

And his attitude towards his texts wasn't that of a 'true believer'. Neither was he a con artist just cynically using the texts to convert people. He saw the wisdom and the possible interpretations, and he probably saw the limitations of the text too, but he had to speak to people in the language they understood, using the material he had available, thus his 'free' reading in a lot of cases. The IDEAL of all nations under ONE God was more important than a perfectly correct and literal reading of the story of Abraham. He never lost sight of the forest for the trees.

I've been on a roller coaster ride with Paul these past months and finally, I think I begin to understand him, to get inside his head, because really, what he was facing then is pretty much what we are all facing now in many respects.

Maybe it's time to see if he's available for a chat? ;D

There are so many things he wrote that one finds in Gurdjieff, particularly Paul's desperation to get communities going and have them all become parts of a "body" and agreeing with one another on important matters. It takes awhile to get used to the style since it is ancient and translated, but after awhile, it starts to grow on you and you begin to read and really understand what Paul was trying to say with the language limitations he had to deal with. We can say "hyperdimensional reality" but Paul could only say a "new creation". We can talk about forming a permanent I, but Paul could only talk about "Christ in you" and you being "in Christ" and thereby becoming a "new man". But everything that is authentic (and you have to take care about corruption in the text) has an echo in things we have learned via Cs and/or Gurdjieff and/or Castaneda (borrowing from Gurdjieff, but expanding with other traditions).

Exactly. Sometimes he sounds like Gurdjieff, and sometimes he sounds like a mod on this very forum. Another thing that gets my goat about modern commentators is their simplistic, black-and-white version of Paul's "faith over works". It's like you say, when a person forms a permanent I, when they have the "faith/trust/conviction of Christ", they have no need for a moral exoskeleton. Judaism and the early gnostics had an overly simplistic, psychologically naive view of 'salvation'. As if you could grow in Being by just observing some external rules or saying some magic words. So many Protestants have totally missed Paul's message.

I'd really recommend everyone read his letters. The connections just pop up off the pages. Soul groups, variable physicality, self-Work - there's a LOT hidden in those letters.

And speaking of Paul, I'm re-reading Dabrowski right now, and here are he few things he's got to say in reference to the man:

The intelligence, when acting in the service of personality [i.e., the true I], and when coupled with understanding and love, provides a basis for objectivity, broadens one’s horizons of thought, increases the capacity for knowing people, and removes obscurity caused by the instincts. This approach is in conformity with the content of the chapter on love from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians: “Love does not do anything indecent, does not look for its own gain, is not quick-tempered, does not think evil, does not enjoy seeing injustice but enjoys seeking truth.” In contradistinction to the conjugations of intelligence with instincts, where, as a rule, one does not seek the objective right but one’s “own” right, the new conjugation of intelligence consequently leads to objectivity in thinking.

On psychomotor overexcitability and its role in development:

Psychomotor tendencies are inhibited and transformed. There is a cooperation between affective, imaginational, intellectual and psychomotor components of overexcitability. It is expressed in a zeal for organization, planning and programming. There is a need for deeds which may give rise to psychomotor obsessions of existential and organizational nature; or to tendencies to create great works. This is a psychoneurotic trait of an excess of activity developed on the basis of “internal psychomotricity.” Saint Paul and Saint Theresa of Avila are good examples of this inner pressure for deeds on a large scale.

EXISTENTIAL ANXIETY. Anxiety states on a very high level of development involving the awareness of the fact of one's existence and the responsibility that follows from it. Fear for others prevails over fear for oneself. Existential anxiety arises on the basis of psychic overexcitability (q.v.) of alterocentric nature. It embraces empathic and intellectual components on a very wide range with the emphasis on the human dilemma of existential choice. It is also related to the awareness of the universality of human experience as expressed by St. Paul: “If anyone is weak, do I not share this weakness? If anyone is made to stumble, does not my heart blaze with indignation?” (II Cor. 11, 29).

The volitional act may concern external acts and internal resistances; its essence, however, is internal conflict. ... In the pursuit of personality this exertion of will is a result of a struggle between the lower and the higher dynamisms. The exertion of volition may also reflect a very high tension, even when the lower levels are indeed clearly controlled, but the endeavor for the ideal, the need for binding oneself to and for unification with the higher hierarchy of values, is so great that the tension does not abate; instead the individual is “consumed” by the need for a “full” and complete denial of the lower levels of his personality. ... Such a state is described by Kierkegaard in Fear and Trembling as obligatory for the man who would be “fearless amidst terror, passions and temptations of life, who should move forward along the path of faith, which, though steep and dangerous, will lead him to the goal. The faith must be calm, humble, ready for sacrifices, sufferings and hardships. Silence, fear and trembling -- this is how it is reflected. However, to attain such faith one must go through the wild and ghastly forest full of thistles and thorns, in which one must struggle along, after the fashion of Durer’s knight, who is self-confident and trusting in God, whom he serves and whom he loves.” Such a state was experienced by St. Paul when he said that he was no more acting himself but was an instrument of God.
 

Approaching Infinity

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Approaching Infinity said:
Also, I really liked the way Ellegard placed Ignatius as a kind of 'missing link' between the 1st century texts and the Gospels/Acts. Interestingly enough, Polycarp was a pal of Ignatius, and David Trobisch argues that Polycarp pretty much wrote the New Testament as a response to Marcion. It looks like Polycarp took some existing gospels (Marcion's early Luke, an early Matthew probably used by the Jewish Christians, and maybe an early John, plus Mark), expanded on them in ways to subsume those groups/beliefs into his version of the church (e.g., the gnostic aspects of John but focusing on Jesus' humanity as well, the domestication of Paul in Luke/Acts), and wrote the pastorals.

So maybe Polycarp saw it as a way of putting Ignatius' ideas into use? Interestingly, Ignatius wrote his letters on his way to Rome to die as a martyr. This is how 'Luke' presents Paul in Acts, on his way to Rome to die a martyr. Did Polycarp write Ignatius into "Paul" as a tribute to his 'master'?

Here's a link to the paper: http://www.trobisch.com/david/CV/Publications/20071226%20FreeInquiry%20Who%20Published%20Christian%20Bible%20BW.pdf

Here's Robert Price's review of Trobisch's book on the formation of the NT (before he made the Polycarp connection, but including all the ideas leading to it as the rational conclusion): http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/reviews/trobisch_first.htm

Price even throws a couple extra clues into the bargain:

Polycarp may even have, so to speak, signed his work. Trobisch notes how 2 Timothy 4 lists many names familiar from Acts and earlier Pauline Epistles, except for two. “When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Tro'as, also the books, and above all the parchments.” Carpus? And this man has Paul’s “cloak”? The cloak of Pauline authorship? For he also has charge of Paul’s manuscripts. Short for Polycarp? You bet! The other name is Crescens (v. 10); it appears nowhere else in the New Testament. Guess where it does pop up, though? Why, right there in the Epistle of Polycarp 14:1!

All right, then may I suggest that Polycarp has inserted himself into John 15:5, too? “He who abides in me, and I in him, the same shall bring forth much fruit (karpon polun)”? And then, as Alvin Boyd Kuhn and, more recently, Stephen Hermann Huller have suggested, mustn’t the Theophilus to whom Luke and Acts are addressed be Bishop of Theophilus of Antioch, Polycarp’s ally?

I should say that David Trobisch’s The First Edition of the New Testament together with his “Who Published the New Testament?” provide an ideal example of a theoretical, “Kuhnian” paradigm, a theoretical framework which, when laid over the evidence like a transparency, reveals a whole new way of making sense of the hitherto-disparate data. I’m sold.
 
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