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Don's "common sense"

Reader comment on item: Bush Declares War on Radical Islam
in response to reader comment: Comments on Iasius statements

Submitted by iasius (India), Nov 26, 2005 at 17:10

Don writes (November 22, 2005 at 13:06): "However I feel that you are the one who is not using common sense at all."

If ‘rationalism' and ‘common sense' to Don mean blind belief in so-called ‘god's word' as ‘gospel truth', he is correct in saying I am not using it. But I am the better for it. The coining of ‘Gospel Truth', btw, is perhaps the greatest semantic fraud in human history! And, it is rather too plain to miss that the "analysis" Don proffers is largely, if not wholly, faith-based.

But, before continuing with a point-by-point response to Don, I would like to state that, so like another friend Allonehhob, he misses the point completely and goes into irrelevant discussion of matters of ‘faith' that cannot strictly form a basis of objective inquiry. He even goes to the specious extent of asking others to actually believe in prophesies of the Bible! With this in view, I REITERATE that:
‘Christ' and ‘Christianity' as propagated by the Church and as we know them today are most likely to be slick fiction, plain and simple, as the Church's mortification over the Dead Sea Scrolls amply demonstrates.

It is now fairly common knowledge that the ‘early Christians' were actually Jewish Zealots also known as ‘Ebionites' (the poor), ‘Nazoreans' or ‘Essenes', led at that time by James the ‘Teacher of Righteousness', and were as much opposed to what they considered wayward Jewish religious authority in Jerusalem as they were to political occupation by Rome. The ‘Christ' that the gospels portray MAY have been a historical person, but only as generic nomenclature, for Seutonius mentions [in ‘Vita Claudii'] that Jews were ordered to be expelled from Rome around 49 CE during the reign of Claudius because they were becoming a nuisance under the instigation of a certain ‘Chrestos' [http://ww2.forwilliam.org:8004/forum/printthread.php?t=1765]. (And, we trust, Don won't further compound our unremittingly pathetic credulity and tell us another preposterous cock-and-bull story that it was the ‘resurrected' Christ once again after 16 years!).

‘Our' Christ is not likely to have been much more than a merely peripheral figure – if at all - even if he and James were brothers, because an extra-synoptic source - the Dead Sea Scrolls - mentions James in great detail, to the utter exclusion of any ‘Jesus', per se. No doubt, an oft-quoted, virtual eulogy to ‘our' Jesus Christ may be found in Josephus: "Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works,…. He was Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of many of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day…" [‘Antiquities of the Jews', VIII,III.3]. However, according to William Sanford LaSor's ‘The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus' [Michigan, Kregel, 1960, p. x]: "most modern scholars would deny the authenticity of the passage, claiming either (a) that it was wholly a Christian interpolation or (b) that it was worked over by Christian hands", laying its authenticity open to question. Origen, writing in the third century, indicates that Josephus did not regard ‘Jesus' as Christ, while Eusebius (a century or so later) even states that the Ebionites did not regard ‘Jesus' as divine! From all non-Biblical sources it would seem that ‘Jesus the Nazorean' (IESAPL) belonged to this group led NOT by him but by his brother, James – the ‘Teacher of Righteousness'. Thus, what we do know from both Biblical and other (equally reliable) sources is that history and the Church are speaking about two different ‘Jesus Christs', one (or more) who MAY have been historical and the other who is MOST LIKELY to be pure fabrication.

Don writes further: "A close look at this verse shows that this is a prophetic message. This verse is not a message for that particular time. Since you don't believe in prophecies no need to mention it here."

Messages about ‘things to come' – "prophetic" or not – cannot become the basis of objective discourse. The gospels, at best being later myth-sustaining propaganda literature to provide the flesh and skin for Paul's skeletal imagery of ‘our' Jesus, and, knowing how Paul (a shrewd ‘wheeler-dealer' by his own declaration – "…being crafty, I caught you with guile" 2 Cor. 12:16) was working for globalizing a fabricated faith, the word ‘earth' is most likely to be a later interpolation to impart to the ‘doctrine' a wider scope for subversion. (And, by the by, if any distinction ought to be made between literary and symbolical meanings of "fire", we will need, by the same rule, to also apply it as stringently to miracles, where the "dead" were brought to "life", "water" was turned to "wine", and the "blind" regained "sight"! Is Don willing to do that? Common Sense, Don?)

He also states: "Common sense tells us that your argument is fallacious. It is meant for the whole world and not the "political agenda" you are talking about of liberating Israel from Romans. Since Jesus' political agenda according to you is "political" (to overthrow the Romans and restore Mosaic rule) again this assumption is totally baseless and erroneous for the reasons:a) Jesus would get the overwhelming support of his Jewish people in every house hold. Every Jew, man and woman would support him. There would not be any division. No mother would turn against her daughter or father against the son..."
On the contrary, he would NOT get "overwhelming support of his Jewish people". Jesus' (IESAPL) activism, by his own admission as stated in the gospels [Matt. 5. 17-19], was aimed at restoring ‘the Law'. So, obviously, a significant section of Jewry, in the eyes of the Zealots at the time at least, had strayed away from ‘the Law'. (Ask people to give up their current way of life and see how welcome you are or how much "support" you get!) To say therefore that "every Jew, man and woman would support him" is rather illogical and far removed from normative behavior, don't you think?

Isn't Don splitting hairs in desperation when he asks, "Even grand mothers joining Jesus' political agenda?!"... What is of moment here is the fact that Christ (IESAPL)'s insistence on Jewry going back to ‘the Law' as the only means of political emancipation was bound to produce rifts even among family members.

On "prophesies". Despite his blind, unquestioning reliance on "prophesies", which latter are difficult to swallow anyway, Don needs to understand and appreciate that most of the Bible, New Testament included, was written long after the events it claims to describe. So, only the intellectually comatose would accept any of the ‘prophesies' unquestioningly. Even a theologian of the stature of Jaroslav Pelikan (Yale University), in commenting upon Paul's writings, was forced to admit that: "….we are dependent on the oral tradition of the early Christian communities as it was eventually deposited in the Gospels, all of which, in their present form at any rate, probably appeared later than most or all of the epistles of Paul" [‘Jesus Through the Centuries: His Place in in the History of Culture', Yale, p. 10]. This would apply in much greater measure to the Old Testament, which narrates events that were probably several thousand years old when the books were written. Moreover, it is widely accepted that much of the Septuagint was ‘doctored' in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries by pious Christian scribes. With the skill of some of the most celebrated forgers and prevaricators of the time at their disposal, shrewd myth-mongers like Paul could well begin their work of ‘retro-fixing' "prophesies" (by interpolation in or excising from Jewish scripture) after breakfast and finish the job before lunch! Evidence to be gleaned from the Habakkuk Pesher of the Scrolls gives ample reason for such suspicion. As an aside, the Greeks apparently knew Rome for several centuries as ‘the home of forgeries' (see http://www.catholicconcerns.com/Forged.html). Like the famous ‘Donation of Constantine', Gratian's ‘Decretum' too is a grand forgery. Peter de Rosa writes: "Our point was and still remains that Gratian's Decretum contained three centuries of forgeries and conclusions drawn from them with his own fictional additions. Of the 324 passages he quotes from popes of the first four centuries, only eleven are genuine" (Vicars of Christ, De Rosa, 60. See http://www.catholicintl.com/epologetics/dialogs/eucharist/fcfc-eucharist7.htm). It would be a scholastic sin to trust anything that has the motto, ‘Forgery begins at Home'.

Don's statement: "The messiah had a mission far beyond that" finds no corroboration anywhere in Jewish scripture. However, I trust John will be able to show us scriptural evidence for what he claims was "a mission far beyond that". When people in our modern times (in Islamic countries) are incapable of making a distinction between politics and religion, it might be wishful thinking indeed if messianic expectation envisaged anything "far beyond" bare self-determination to people two thousand years ago. Their convictions could hardly have exceeded implementation of ‘the Law', make Jehovah happy with ‘His chosen people' again, and all would be right on earth. That is precisely what the Zealots (one of whom JUST MIGHT have been ‘our' Jesus) preached.

Don also states that Jews were free to practice their Law under Roman dispensation. True, to the credit of the ‘pagan' Romans. But Don's certificate for their catholicity does not in any way alter the ultra-orthodox view held by extremist Ebionites/Qumranians that the priesthood as well as much of laity of Jerusalem was steeped in willfully flouting the ‘Law', nor does it matter in this context whether or not a Messiah was expected. What does matter is the fact that this ultra-orthodox group was convinced that the Jewish nation had strayed and could not be saved unless the ‘Law' was followed at its rigid best. It was toward that end that they conducted themselves till the end of the Second Jewish War of 135 CE, when they seem to have been finally annihilated along with their leader, Simeon Bar Kochba.

Don says: "The Gospel written by the disciple's would not lose anything if the books of Epistle letter written by Paul are there or not. There is no need to add a fantasy tale of Paul if it it was fictitious".
No one is claiming that Paul too was fiction, least of all I. On the contrary, considering some statements found in those writings, it might have been better for the Gospels if the Acts and Epistles were not extant! Paul's ‘doctrine of faith' seems to have been lifted entirely out of the Habakkuk Pesher, making some vital alterations to suit Paul's agenda. Here is how Geza Vermes translates the relevant portion of the Habakkuk Pesher: "‘But the righteous shall live by his faith'. Interpreted, this concerns all those who observe the Law in the House of Judah, whom God will deliver from the House of Judgement because of their suffering and because of their faith in the Teacher of Righteousness." (Except for the substitution of ‘Law' with ‘Torah', this is almost identical with an independent translation into German by Kurt Schubert.) Paul completely overturns ‘faith in the Law' and 'teacher of righteousness (obviously, James)' of the Zealots (to which group ‘our' Christ evidently belonged) with ‘faith in Jesus Christ' of the gentile-filled order he fabricated. So Paul's writing abrogates what "someone he is willing to die for" insisted on, if Matt. 5. 17-19 is to be believed. Some 'disciple', this Paul!

Don states: "Paul was first accepted by the disciples of the historical Jesus Christ".
Acts 9:1 says that Saul went to the High Priest for letters of authority to arrest Jews from Damascus, which is in Syria, a different province of the Roman Empire. Surely the High Priest of Jerusalem, whose authority was limited to religious matters concerning Jews in Palestine, could not have exercised secular powers in another Roman province! Obviously, the ‘Damascus' referred here was well within the territory over which the High Priest COULD exercise religious authority. From the ‘Damascus Document', it becomes evident that Qumran was also called ‘the Land of Damascus' by its authors [see http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/deadsea.scrolls.exhibit/Library/damasc.html] Our crafty friends, the Gospel writers, seem to have slipped up a bit here. Then, Ananias is asked by ‘the Lord' in a dream to go to a house on the "straight" road and heal Saul, so that he could "….see the Just One (or, in some editions, "Righteous One") and shouldst hear the voice of his mouth" [Acts 22:14] This ‘Just / Righteous one' is obviously NOT ‘our' Jesus, but James who was living in ‘Damascus' and was also known as ‘the Righteous'! Paul was NEVER accepted by the disciples at Damascus (i.e. Qumran) who went to the extent of even plotting to kill him, and Paul had to make a hasty escape to Jerusalem [Acts 9:23-25]. What does all this tell us? Only one thing: He was deeply mistrusted by the ‘disciples' as a pretender. And these ‘disciples' were obviously the Zealots at Qumran.

Prophesies, prophesies! Don just can't get over them! The average weatherman's forecast is perhaps immensely more accurate and reliable. As stated earlier on, everyone knows by now that books of the Bible were written several centuries or generations after the actual events (real or not is a separate issue), leaving sufficient leeway for wholesale interpolation and doctoring for evangelical purposes. If Don hasn't heard of circular arguments, this might be as good a time as any to begin finding out. So let's stop talking about prophesies as if they are believable. My mention of Ben Gurion was only to show that he has a greater claim to messiah-ship than Jesus of either Gospels or history (IESAPL). It does not mean that I believe either that or any other so-called "prophesy". Jews, like everyone else, are perfectly entitled to believe what they wish so long as they don't make rude incursions upon similar rights of others. And, unlike Christians, they don't.

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