Re: Did Jesus exist?
Aug 05, 1996 08:38 AM
by Dr. A.M.Bain
In message <9608050054.AA15326@toto.csustan.edu>, Jerry Hejka-Ekins
>Therefore, I agree that the question of the historicity of Jesus
>was "too good of an opportunity to miss," and I submit that it
>indeed was not passed up. But by the fourth century, the
>political tide changed and the Church saw to it that most of
>those challenges were erased from historical memory. Of course
>we have records of refutations written from the point of view of
>the victorious Church: but concerning the records of the loosing
>factions, we have only the slightest traces of evidence that they
>ever existed at all.
I see this discussion as relating to whether the Jesus of the New
Testament was a historical person - my guess is that variant forms of
the name "Joshua" which the *Greek* name "Jesus" is derived from were
given to quite a few thousand kids in Galilee, Samaria and Judea around
the time of the period concerned.
Somewhere (a few years back, alas! I no longer have the source) some
archaeologist or another discovered that the Roman name of Mary's
reputed lover, and therefore biological dad *was* a genuine Roman name,
where it had previusly been claimed that no such name ever belonged to a
Roman citizen - it turned up on a headstone or monument to a Roman
soldier, I think.
As it is generally agreed that the first real evidence for a sect that
could be called "Christian" comes from the putative letters of Paul
(some are definitely NOT by him) which from the date(s) attributed to
the earliest know copies could have been well edited in their present
form, then the Pauline evidence suggests that the forerunners of the
Xtian church were more interested in a) the "risen" Jesus or b) the act
of spiritual "anointing" - "christening" in English. c) a+b.
This is certainly in line with the alleged "gnostic" Jesus as portrayed
in much of the Hag Hammadi texts.
Personally I am inclined to the view that there was a 1st century rabbi
of this name who taught a form of Israelite esotericism, and whose
sayings were collected, then supplemented by other sayings which people
would like him to have said. This happened with many of the Judaic
sages (such as R. Hillel, Akiba, and others).
There is, verily, a sort of "apostolic succession" for Israelite
mysticism/esotericism which passes from said Hillel to Gamaliel and thus
to Paul, who tells us himself that he "sat at the feet" of the former.
Translate this to India (metaphorically) and we can picture the chela
Paul at the feet of the guru Gamaliel :-)
[Aside to Jerry - have you read "The Teaching of Addai" - ?
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