"O L-RD, Who are my power and my strength and my refuge in the day of trouble, to You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, 'Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail! Can a man make gods for himself, and they are no gods? 'Therefore, behold I let them know; at this time I will let them know My power and My might, and they shall know that My Name is the L-RD".
Jeremiah 16:19-21

September 13, 2012

in Uncategorized

The idea of Jesus being a 1st century terrorist is controversial to say the least, and it should perhaps be mentioned that he could equally be referred to as a freedom fighter – it is all a matter of perception. He was, most would agree, a leader of a religious movement in a time of occupation and unrest. He had come to save his people during a time of armed conflict. He was executed. He was a martyr. Does that sound a familiar story? It is an angle on the life of Jesus that deserves a great deal more historical and objective study. Are a third of the worlds population following a 2,000 year old story based on an early version of Osama Bin Laden?Where does the evidence to suggest Jesus was a terrorist lie? Well, firstly, there is actually ample evidence to be found in the Bible itself. Following the pattern from the Old Testament, full of stories of blood and glory, violent warriors and conquest. So many of the heralded leaders of the Jewish faith were indeed armed leaders, including King David himself. So you might ask yourself, come the birth of Jesus, what were the Jews expecting? A continuation of what had come before, a glorious leader, a man of action, to take them into battle in a time of occupation and oppression? Or a peace loving man of words? If you truly believe the latter, then perhaps the first question you might ask yourself – why did God, the infallible, change his mind so suddenly and so drastically? The contrast between the Old Testament and the New is simply huge.

The bible describes many stories of Jesus fulfilling the prophesies of the Old Testament. Again, if he is fulfilling the prophesies of the Old Testament, he must by definition be the warrior that has come to liberate his people. When he went to the Temple and overturned the money changers tables, did he do this armed only with his rugged good looks? Was there really no retaliation? Did everyone simply stand back and allow an unarmed group of pacifists to destroy their businesses without so much as blinking an eyelid? It doesn’t sound terribly plausible.

And they came to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves… (Mark 11:15)

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves… (Matthew 21:12)

And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought… (Luke 19:45)

And (he) found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables… (John 2:14-15)

There are further pieces of evidence within the Bible to support historical knowledge of the people of this time in Palestine. Judas Iscariot for example, whose surname means stabber and refers to the sicarii knives of the Zealots – was he the weapons maker/supplier of Jesus terrorist organisation? Other disciples were known to carry knives/swords with with them. At the time of his arrest, one disciple was armed with a weapon with which he cut off a Roman soldiers ear.

Jesus had another disciple, Simon the Zealot. That is a word I have mentioned twice now. Who are these Zealots? The word is still used today, to refer to a fanatical partisan. The Zealots were one of four Jewish sects. They rebelled in the Great Jewish Revolt of 66, and committed acts of terrorism against both the occupying Romans and other Jews. They were renowned for their aggression, violence and general appreciation of killing. After Roman intervention they scattered and became known as the Sicarii, after the Roman daggers they carried with them. They believed that Israel belonged only to a Jewish king, descended from David, which in itself adds weight to the theory of Jesus being a terrorist. Zealots became men, according to their beliefs, at the age of 30. That is when they become warriors. Is it simply a coincidence that Jesus, who had disappeared after his birth, reappears at the age of 30?

These few points do little more than scratch the surface of a plausible, if not likely, story of the real Jesus. But they certainly give cause to pause for thought. Behind the mysticism of Christianity lies the truth, a truth that is unlikely to fit into the modern perception of Jesus. But it certainly fits into the historical reality of the era in which he lived. It certainly fits in with the Old Testament. It certainly fits into the logical reality of human life.

From the moment he rode into the city on an ass, in an attempt to fulfill biblical prophesy and instigate rebellion. A prophesy from an Old Testament stuffed full of warrior kings, battles, violence – again I ask, what sort of king were the Jews expecting?

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)

“I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled!” … “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three.”… (Luke 12:49,51-53 NASB)
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

“But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.” (Luke 22:36)

“Perhaps people think that I have come to cast peace upon the world. They do not know that I have come to cast conflicts upon the earth: fire, sword, war. For there will be five in a house: there’ll be three against two and two against three, father against son and son against father, and they will stand alone.” From the non canonical Gospel of St Thomas

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