The Truth About Historical Jesus

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Did a man called Jesus of Nazareth walk the earth? Discussions over whether the figure known as the “Historical Jesus” actually existed primarily reflect disagreements among atheists. Believers, who uphold the implausible and more easily-dismissed “Christ of Faith” (the divine Jesus who walked on water), ought not to get involved.

Numerous secular scholars have presented their own versions of the so-called “Historical Jesus” – and most of them are, as biblical scholar J.D. Crossan puts it, “an academic embarrassment”.

From Crossan’s view of Jesus as the wise sage, to Robert Eisenman’s Jesus the revolutionary, and Bart Ehrman’s apocalyptic prophet, about the only thing New Testament scholars seem to agree on is Jesus’ historical existence. But can even that be questioned?

The first problem we encounter when trying to discover more about the Historical Jesus is the lack of early sources. The earliest sources only reference the clearly fictional Christ of Faith.

These early sources, compiled decades after the alleged events, all stem from Christian authors eager to promote Christianity – which gives us reason to question them. The authors of the Gospels fail to name themselves, describe their qualifications, or show any criticism with their foundational sources – which they also fail to identify.

Filled with mythical and non-historical information, and heavily edited over time, the Gospels certainly should not convince critics to trust even the more mundane claims made therein.

The methods traditionally used to tease out rare nuggets of truth from the Gospels are dubious.

The criterion of embarrassment says that if a section would be embarrassing for the author, it is more likely authentic. Unfortunately, given the diverse nature of Christianity and Judaism back then (things have not changed all that much), and the anonymity of the authors, it is impossible to determine what truly would be embarrassing or counter-intuitive, let alone if that might not serve some evangelistic purpose.

The criterion of Aramaic context is similarly unhelpful. Jesus and his closest followers were surely not the only Aramaic-speakers in first-century Judea.

The criterion of multiple independent attestation can also hardly be used properly here, given that the sources clearly are not independent.

Paul’s Epistles, written earlier than the Gospels, give us no reason to dogmatically declare Jesus must have existed. Avoiding Jesus’ earthly events and teachings, even when the latter could have bolstered his own claims, Paul only describes his “Heavenly Jesus”.

Even when discussing what appear to be the resurrection and the last supper, his only stated sources are his direct revelations from the Lord, and his indirect revelations from the Old Testament. In fact, Paul actually rules out human sources (see Galatians 1:11-12).

Also important are the sources we don’t have. There are no existing eyewitness or contemporary accounts of Jesus. All we have are later descriptions of Jesus’ life events by non-eyewitnesses, most of whom are obviously biased.

Little can be gleaned from the few non-Biblical and non-Christian sources, with only Roman scholar Josephus and historian Tacitus having any reasonable claim to be writing about Jesus within 100 years of his life.

And even those sparse accounts are shrouded in controversy, with disagreements over what parts have obviously been changed by Christian scribes (the manuscripts were preserved by Christians), the fact that both these authors were born after Jesus died (they would thus have probably received this information from Christians), and the oddity that centuries go by before Christian apologists start referencing them.

Agnosticism over the matter is already seemingly appropriate, and support for this position comes from independent historian Richard Carrier’s recent defence of another theory. Namely, that the belief in Jesus started as the belief in a purely celestial being (who was killed by demons in an upper realm), who became historicised over time.

To summarise Carrier’s 800-page tome, this theory and the traditional theory – that Jesus was a historical figure who became mythicised over time – both align well with the Gospels, which are later mixtures of obvious myth and what at least “sounds” historical.

The Pauline Epistles, however, overwhelmingly support the “celestial Jesus” theory, particularly with the passage indicating that demons killed Jesus, and would not have done so if they knew who he was (see: 1 Corinthians 2:6-10).

Humans – the murderers according to the Gospels – of course would still have killed Jesus, knowing full well that his death results in their salvation, and the defeat of the evil spirits.

So what do the mainstream (and non-Christian) scholars say about all this? Surprisingly very little; of substance anyway. Only Bart Ehrman and Maurice Casey have thoroughly attempted to prove Jesus’ historical existence in recent times.

Their most decisive point? The Gospels can generally be trusted – after we ignore the many, many bits that are untrustworthy – because of the hypothetical (i.e. non-existent) sources behind them.

Who produced these hypothetical sources? When? What did they say? Were they reliable? Were they intended to be accurate historical portrayals, enlightening allegories, or entertaining fictions?

Ehrman and Casey can’t tell you – and neither can any New Testament scholar.

Given the poor state of the existing sources, and the atrocious methods used by mainstream Biblical historians, the matter will likely never be resolved. In sum, there are clearly good reasons to doubt Jesus’ historical existence – if not to think it outright improbable.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

 

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6 Ridiculous Lies About the Founding of America

For instance …

#6. The Indians Weren’t Defeated by White Settlers

The Myth:

Our history books don’t really go into a ton of detail about how the Indians became an endangered species. Some warring, some smallpox blankets and … death by broken heart?

When American Indians show up in movies made by conscientious white people like Oliver Stone, they usually lament having their land taken from them. The implication is that Native Americans died off like a species of tree-burrowing owl that couldn’t hack it once their natural habitat was paved over.
But if we had to put the whole Cowboys and Indians battle in a Hollywood log line, we’d say the Indians put up a good fight, but were no match for the white man’s superior technology. As surely as scissors cuts paper and rock smashes scissors, gun beats arrow. That’s just how it works.


This is all the American history you’ll ever need to know.

The Truth:

There’s a pretty important detail our movies and textbooks left out of the handoff from Native Americans to white European settlers: It begins in the immediate aftermath of a full-blown apocalypse. In the decades between Columbus’ discovery of America and the Mayflower landing at Plymouth Rock, the most devastating plague in human history raced up the East Coast of America. Just two years before the pilgrims started the tape recorder on New England’s written history, the plague wiped out about 96 percent of the Indians in Massachusetts.
In the years before the plague turned America into The Stand, a sailor named Giovanni da Verrazzano sailed up the East Coast and described it as “densely populated” and so “smoky with Indian bonfires” that you could smell them burning hundreds of miles out at sea. Using your history books to understand what America was like in the 100 years after Columbus landed there is like trying to understand what modern day Manhattan is like based on the post-apocalyptic scenes from I Am Legend.


“They call it ‘The city that never sleeps’ because the only guy who lives there is a notoriously sarcastic rapper.”

Historians estimate that before the plague, America’s population was anywhere between 20 and 100 million (Europe’s at the time was 70 million). The plague would eventually sweep West, killing at least 90 percent of the native population. For comparison’s sake, the Black Plague killed off between 30 and 60 percent of Europe’s population.
While this all might seem like some to lay on a bunch of second graders, your high school and college history books weren’t exactly in a hurry to tell you the full story. Which is strange, because many historians believe it is the single most important event in American history. But it’s just more fun to believe that your ancestors won the land by being the superior culture.

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Yay for apocalypse profiteering!

European settlers had a hard enough time defeating the Mad Max-style stragglers of the once huge Native American population, even with superior technology. You have to assume that the Native Americans at full strength would have made powerfully real for any pale faces trying to settle the country they had already settled. Of course, we don’t really need to assume anything about how real the American Indians kept it, thanks to the many people who came before the pilgrims. For instance, if you liked playing cowboys and Indians as a kid, you should know that you could have been playing vikings and Indians, because that actually happened. But before we get to how they kicked Viking ass, you probably need to know that …

#5. Native Culture Wasn’t Primitive

The Myth:

American Indians lived in balance with mother earth, father moon, brother coyote and sister … bear? Does that just sound right because of the Berenstain Bears? Whichever animal they thought was their sister, the point is, the Indians were leaving behind a small carbon footprint before elements were wearing shoes. If the government was taken over by hippies tomorrow, the directionless, ecologically friendly society they’d institute is about what we picture the Native Americans as having lived like.


“Our foreign policy can be summed up with one word: peyote.”

The Truth:

The Indians were so good at killing trees that a team of Stanford environmental scientists think they caused a mini ice age in Europe. When all of the tree-clearing Indians died in the plague, so many trees grew back that it had a reverse global warming effect. More carbon dioxide was sucked from the air, the Earth’s atmosphere held on to less heat, and Al Gore cried a single tear of joy.
One of the best examples of how we got Native Americans all wrong is Cahokia, a massive Native American city located in modern day East St. Louis. In 1250, it was bigger than London, and featured a sophisticated society with an urban center, satellite villages and thatched-roof houses lining the central plazas. While the city was abandoned by the time white people got to it, the evidence they left behind suggests a complex economy with trade routes from the Great Lakes all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico.

Herb Roe
Contrary to what museums told us, the loin cloth was not the most advanced Native American technology.

And that’s not even mentioning America’s version of the Great Pyramid: Monk’s Mound. You know how people treat the very existence of the Great Pyramid in Egypt as one of history’s most confounding mysteries? Well, Cahokia’s pyramid dwarfs that one, both in size and in degree of difficulty. The mound contains more than 2.16 billion pounds of soil, some of which had to be carried from hundreds of miles away, to make sure the city’s giant monument was vividly colored. To put that in perspective, all 13 million people who live in the state of Illinois today would have to carry three 50-pound baskets of soil from as far away as Indiana to construct another one.


“What if we built a middle finger large enough to flip off “fill in the blank”?”

So why does Egypt get millions of dollars of tourism and Time Life documentaries dedicated to their boring old sand pyramids, while you didn’t even know about the giant blue, red, white, black, gray, brown and orange testament to engineering and human willpower just outside of St. Louis? Well, because the Egyptians know how to treat one of the Eight Wonders of the World. America, on the other hand, appears to be trying to figure out how to turn it into a parking lot.
World Pyramids
But think of all the parking!
In the realm of personal hygiene, the Europeans out-hippied the Indians by a foul smelling mile. Europeans at the time thought baths attracted the black humors, because they never washed and were amazed by the Indians’ interest in personal cleanliness. The natives, for their part, viewed Europeans as “just plain smelly”according to first hand records.
The Native Americans didn’t hate Europeans just for the clouds of awfulness they dragged around behind them. Missionaries met Indians who thought Europeans were “physically weak, sexually untrustworthy, atrociously ugly” and “possessed little intelligence in comparison to themselves.” The Europeans didn’t do much to debunk the comparison in the physical beauty department. Verrazzano, the sailor who witnessed the densely populated East Coast, called a native who boarded his ship “as beautiful in stature and build as I can possibly describe,” before presumably adding, “you know, for a dude.” This man-crush wasn’t an isolated incident. British fisherman William Wood described the Indians in New England as “more amiable to behold, though dressed only in Adam’s finery, than … an English dandy in the newest fashion.” Or, with the removed, “Better looking than any of us, and they’re not even trying.”

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“Oh yeah, this is just my walkin’ around paint.”

OK, now that we got that out of the way, we can tell you about the historical slash-fiction your history teacher forgot to tell you actually freaking happened.

#4. Columbus Didn’t Discover America: Vikings vs. Indians

The Myth:

America was discovered in 1492 because Europeans were starting to get curious about the outside world thanks to the Renaissance and Enlightenment and Europeans of the time just generally being the first smart people ever. Columbus named the people who already lived there Indians, presumably because he was being charmingly self-deprecating.


“I don’t know what we’ll call the people from actual India. That’s the future’s problem.”

The Truth:

Here’s what we know. A bunch of vikings set up a successful colony in Greenland that lasted for 518 years (982-1500). To put that into perspective, the white European settlement currently known as the United States will need to wait until the year 2125 to match that longevity. The vikings spent a good portion of that time sending expeditions down south to try to settle what they called Vineland — which historians now believe was the East Coast of North America. Some place the vikings as far south as modern day North Carolina.


“The South will pillage again!”

After spending a couple decades sneaking ashore to raid Vineland of its ample wood pulp, the vikings made a go of settling North America in 1005. After landing there with livestock, supplies and between 100 and 300 settlers, they set up the first successful European American colony … for two years. And then the Native Americans kicked out of the country, shooting the head viking in the heart with an arrow.
So to recap, the vikings discovered America. They were camping off the coast of America, and had every reason to settle America for about 500 years. Despite being the biggest badasses in European history, one tangle with the natives was enough to convince the vikings that settling America wasn’t worth the trouble. If you think the pilgrims would have fared any better than the vikings against an East Coast chock-full of Native Americans, you either don’t know what a viking is or you’re placing entirely too much stock in the strategic importance of having belt buckles on your shoes.

If the Indians had been at full strength in 1640, white people might still be sneaking onto the East Coast to steal wood pulp. That’s as far as the vikings got in 500 years, and they were sailing from much closer than Europe and desperately needed the resources — the two competing theories for why the viking settlements on Greenland eventually died out are lack of resources and getting killed by natives — and, perhaps most importantly, they were vikings.
So why did your history teachers lie? This should have been history teachers’ version of dinosaurs: a mostly unknown period of violent awesomeness they nevertheless told you about because they knew it would hook every male between the ages of 5 and 12 forever.


Consider this one a freebie, Hollywood.

It turns out that many of the awesomest stories had to be paved over by the you memorized in order to protect your teachers and parents from awkward conversations. Like the one about how …

#3. Everything You Know About Columbus Is a Calculated Lie

The Myth:

Columbus discovered America thanks to a daring journey across the Atlantic. His crew was about to throw him overboard when land was spotted. Even after he landed in America, Columbus didn’t realize he’d discovered an entire continent because maps of America were far less reliable back then. In one of the great tragedies of history, Columbus went to his grave poor, believing he’d merely discovered India. Nobody really “got” America’s potential until the pilgrims showed up and successfully settled the country for the first time. Nearly 150 years might seem like a long time between trips, but boats were really slow back in those days, and they’d just learned that the Atlantic Ocean went that far.


“Pile into a tiny boat with dozens of filthy people for months on end” isn’t the world’s most attractive sales pitch.

The Truth:

First of all, Columbus wasn’t the first to cross the Atlantic. Nor were the vikings. Two Native Americans landed in Holland in 60 B.C. and were promptly not given a national holiday by anyone. Columbus didn’t see the enormous significance of his ability to cross the Atlantic because it wasn’t especially significant. His voyage wasn’t particularly difficult. They enjoyed smooth sailing, and nobody was threatening to throw him overboard. Despite what history books tell kids (and the Internet apparently believes), Columbus died wealthy, and with a pretty good idea of what he’d found — on his third voyage to America, he wrote in his journal, “I have come to believe that this is a mighty continent which was hitherto unknown.”


“Unknown” in this context means “inhabited by tens of millions.”

The myths surrounding him cover up the fact that Columbus was calculating, shrewd and as hungry for gold as the voice over guy in the Cash4Gold ads. When he couldn’t find enough of the yellow stuff to make his voyage profitable, he focused on enslaving Native Americans for profit. That’s how efficient Columbus was — he discovered America and invented American slavery in the same 15-year span.
There were plenty of unsuccessful, mostly horrible attempts to settle America between Columbus’ discovery and the pilgrims’ arrival. We only hear these two “settling of America” stories because history books and movies aren’t huge fans of what white people got up to between 1492 and 1620 in America — mostly digging for gold and eating each other.

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When people talk about traditional American values, this is what they mean.

They also show us white Europeans being unable to easily defeat a native population that hadn’t yet been ravaged by plague. It wasn’t coincidence that the pilgrims settled America two years after New England was emptied of 96 percent of the Indians who lived there. According to James W. Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me, that’s generally how the settling process went: The plague acted as a lead blocker for white European settlers, clearing the land of all the natives. The Europeans had superior weapons, but they also had superior guns when they tried to colonize China, India, Africa and basically every other region on the planet. When you picture Chinese or Indian or African people today, they’re not white because those lands were already inhabited when the Europeans showed up. And so was America.
American history goes to almost comical lengths to ignore that fact. For instance, if your reading comprehension was strong in middle school, you might remember the lost colony of Roanoke, where the people mysteriously disappeared, leaving behind only one cryptic clue: the word “Croatan” carved into the town post. As we’ve covered before, this is only a mystery if you are the worst detective ever. Croatan was the name of a nearby island populated by friendly Native Americans. In the years after the people of Roanoke “disappeared,” genetically impossible Native Americans with gray eyes and an “astounding” familiarity with distinctly European customs began to pop up in the tribes that moved between Croatan and Roanoke islands.


“It must be written in a cypher of some sort. Let’s just go ahead and call it alien abduction.”

#2. White Settlers Did Not Carve America Out of the Untamed Wilderness

The Myth:

The pilgrims were the first in a parade of brave settlers who pushed civilization westward along the frontier with elbow grease and sheer grizzled-old-man strength.

The Truth:

In written records from early colonial times, you constantly come across “settlers” being shocked at how convenient the American wilderness made things for them. The eastern forests, generally portrayed by great American writers as a “thick, unbroken snarl of trees” no longer existed by the time the white European settlers actually showed up. The pilgrims couldn’t believe their luck when they found that American forests just naturally contained “an ecological kaleidosocope of garden plots, blackberry rambles, pine barrens and spacious groves of chestnut, hickory and oak.”

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“We have hours of weeding ahead of us, but by the grace of God, we will persevere.”

The puzzlingly obedient wilderness didn’t stop in New England. Frontiersmen who settled what is today Ohio were psyched to find that the forest there naturally grew in a way that “resembled English parks.” You could drive carriages through the untamed frontier without burning a single calorie clearing rocks, trees and shrubbery.
Whether they honestly believed they’d lucked into the 17th century equivalent of Candyland or were being willfully ignorant about how the land got so tamed, the truth about the presettled wilderness didn’t make it into the official account. It’s the same reason every extraordinarily lucky CEO of the past 100 years has written a book about leadership. It’s always a better idea to credit hard work and intelligence than to acknowledge that you just got luckier than any group of people has ever gotten in the history of the world.


“Holy crap, it’s already wired for Wi-Fi!”

Nobody’s role in settling America has been quite as overplayed as the pilgrims’. Despite famous sermons with titles like “Into the Wilderness,” the pilgrims cherry-picked Plymouth specifically because it was a recently abandoned town. After sailing up and down the coast of Cape Cod, they chose Plymouth Rock because of “its beautiful cleared fields, recently planted in corn, and its useful harbor.”
We’re always told that the pilgrims were helped by an Indian named Squanto who spoke English. How the hell did that happen? Had he taken AP English in high school? The answer to that question is the greatest story your history teachers didn’t bother to teach you. Squanto was from the town that would become Plymouth, but between being born there and the pilgrims’ arrival, he’d undergone an epic journey that puts Homer’s Odyssey to shame.


And at the end, instead of tending to his family, he had to teach white people how to bury dead fish with corn kernels.

Squanto had been kidnapped from Cape Cod as a child and sold into slavery in Spain. He escaped like the boy Maximus he was, and spent his better years hoofing it west until he hit the Atlantic Ocean. Deciding that swimming back to America would take too much time, he learned enough English to convince someone to let him hitch a ride to “the New World.” When he finally got back home, he found his town deserted. The plague had swept through two years before, taking everyone but him with it.
When the pilgrims showed up, instead of being pissed at the people from the Continent who had stolen his ability to grow up with his family, he decided that since nobody else was using it, he might as well show them how to make his town work.

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“And this is the sea. I’d recommend bathing in it, because you people smell like really bad.”

This is especially charitable of him when you realize that, while the pilgrims were nicer than past settlers, they weren’t exactly sensitive to Squanto’s plight. According to a pilgrim journal from the days immediately after they arrived, they raided Indian graves for “bowls, trays, dishes and things like that. We took several of the prettiest things to carry away with us, and covered the body up again.” And yet Squanto taught them how to make it through a winter without turning to cannibalism — a landmark accomplishment for the British to that point.
Compare that to Jamestown, the first successful settlement in American history. You don’t know the name of the ship that landed there because the settlers antagonized the natives, just like the vikings who came before them. The Native Americans didn’t have to actively kill them. They just sat back and laughed as the English spent the harvest seasons digging holes for gold. The first Virginians were so desperate without a Squanto that they went from taking Indian slaves to offering themselves up as slaves to the Indians in exchange for food. Enough English managed to survive there to make Jamestown the oldest successful colonial settlement in America. But it’s hard to turn it into a religious allegory in which white people are the good guys, so we get the pilgrims instead.

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If this were accurate, the settlers would be in bushes while the Indians told them which leaves were safe to wipe with.

#1. How Indians Influenced Modern America

The Myth:

After the natives helped the pilgrims get through that first winter, all playing nice disappeared until Dances with Wolves. Even the movies that do portray white people going native portray it as a shocking exception to the rule. Otherwise, the only influence the natives seem to have on the New World and the frontiersmen is giving them moving targets to shoot at, and eventually a plot outline for Avatar.

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It’s pretty much just this and Kevin Costner until Wounded Knee.

The Truth:

The fake mystery of Roanoke is a pretty good key for understanding the difference between how white settlers actually felt about American Indians and how hard your history books had to ignore that reality. Settlers defecting to join native society was so common that it became a major issue for colonial leaders — think the modern immigration debate, except with all the white people risking their lives to get out of American society. According to Loewen, “Europeans were always trying to stop the outflow. Hernando De Soto had to post guards to keep his men and women from defecting to Native societies.” Pilgrims were so scared of Indian influence that they outlawed the wearing of long hair.
Ben Franklin noted that, “No European who has tasted Savage Life can afterwards bear to live in our societies.” While “always bet on black” might have been sound financial advice by the time Wesley Snipes offered it, Ben Franklin knew that for much of American history, it was equally advisable to bet on red.

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“It’s this, or powdered wigs and sexual repression.”

Franklin wasn’t pointing this out as a critique of the settlers who defected — he believed that Indian societies provided greater opportunities for happiness than European cultures — and he wasn’t the only Founding Father who thought settlers could learn a thing or two from them. They didn’t dress up like Indians at the Boston Tea Party ironically. That was common protesting gear during the American revolutions.
For a hundred years after the American Revolution, none of this was a secret. Political cartoonists used Indians to represent the colonial side. Colonial soldiers dressed up like Indians when fighting the British. Documents from the time indicate that the design of the U.S. government was at least partially inspired by native tribal society. Historians think the Iroquois Confederacy had a direct influence on the U.S. Constitution, and the Senate even passed a resolution acknowledging that “the confederation of the original thirteen colonies into one republic was influenced … by the Iroquois Confederacy, as were many of the democratic principles which were incorporated into the constitution itself.”


If we’d incorporated their fashion sense, C-SPAN would be more interesting.

That wasn’t just Congress trying to get some Indian casino money. The colonists came from European countries that had spent most of their time as monarchies and much of their resources fighting religious wars with each other. They initially tried to set up the colonies exactly like Western Europe — a series of small, in-fighting nations stacked on top of each other. The idea of an overarching confederacy of different independent states was completely foreign to them. Or it would have been. But as Ben Franklin noted in a letter about the failure to integrate with one another:
“It would be a strange thing if six nations of ignorant savages should be capable of forming a scheme for such a union and be able to execute it in such a manner as that it has subsisted ages and appears insoluble; and yet that a like union should be impracticable for 10 or a dozen English colonies.”


Join, or die (or plagiarize from the Indians).

In 1987, Cornell University held a conference on the link between the Iroquois’ government and the U.S. Constitution. It was noted that the Iroquois Great Law of Peace “includes ‘freedom of speech, freedom of religion … separation of power in government and checks and balances.”
Wow, checks and balances, freedom of speech and religion. Sounds awfully familiar.
One of the strangest legacies of America’s founding is our national obsession with the apocalypse. There’s a new JJ Abrams show coming this fall called The Revolution about a post-apocalyptic America, and of course The Hunger Games. We go to a gift shop in Arizona and see dug-up Indian arrowheads, and never think “this is the same thing as the stuff laying around in Terminator or The Road or that part in The Road Warrior where the feral kid finds a music box and doesn’t know what it is.”
We love the apocalypse as long as nobody acknowledges the truth: It’s not a mythical event. We live on top of one.
source: cracked.com

Gnostic Chrestians

01sungodmanmyth

The Historical Jesus Christ (the presentation of “the Christ” as taught through the medium of a presumed historical person to serve as an example for all mankind to emulate and follow), is not all there is to christianity. It’s the milk for the infant spirit, to awaken it to the mythical and then the amazing mystical. Every major religion has it’s mystical counter part, Islam included (called Sufism).

The Mythical Jesus Christ is the personification of the Sun as it moves on its prescribed path through the Heavens where we find it moving through each house of the Zodiac which goes hand in hand with the changing seasons of the year [Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, Winter Solstice.

The Mystical Jesus Christ is the allegorical expression of a hidden teaching, a secret doctrine, given under strict and exacting conditions to approved candidates by the Ancient Masters of Spiritual Wisdom regarding the descent of the Logos (God) into matter, ie., mankind.

What escapes the vast majority of Christianity in today’s world is that many of the stories of these “solar gods” and “godmen” down through history which parallel the events in the life of the New Testament “Christ” as found in the New Testament and which appear at first thought to be apparently historical were really purely allegorical. This is why the stories of Osiris, Horus, Dionysus, Attis, Adonis, Mithra, and a host of others read like the New Testament “Jesus Story”. Nowhere is it more necessary to understand this than when we are studying the story of Jesus, surnamed “the Christ”, for when we fail to separate the allegory from the literal truth, and see where the symbols have been mistakenly taken and believed as “historical” events, allegories as histories, we lose most of the instructiveness of the narrative and much of its “Eternal Truth” once given to the Ancient Spiritual Masters. Men fear that Christianity will be weakened when one comes to this understanding, and that it is “dangerous” to admit that events thought to be “historical” have a deeper significance in both a “mythical” and “mystic meaning”. Those who advocate not delving into these deeper areas of understanding of “the Christ” keep others from recovering the truths concerning “the Christ” as the Ancients who gave us those concepts understood them and “him” in the first place. Let us not forget that as Egypt taught in the beginning of recorded history mankind was made in the image of God and not God in the image of man!

The “Mystical Jesus Christ” is how the earliest Christians (actually called Chrestians, not Christians; Chrestians literally means The Good Ones) and the First New Testament from Marcion, which Rome would later corrupt and destroy, understood “the Christ” as a Divine Allegory of a Divine Concept inherent within all of mankind and not exclusive to just one person. That is why this First New Testament of these earliest Gnostic “Chrestian” believers did not teach a “fleshly” or a “historical Jesus Christ”. Nor did the authentic letters of Paul in the modern New Testament teach a Jesus of flesh. His letters were edited, and even misrepresented to make it look like Paul, a Gnostic, hated Gnostics. What a cruel thing to do! An Epistle of Paul are truly now just ”a piss hole of Rome.”

The “Gnostic” understanding of “the Christ” would be lost to the world by the fifth century and forced “underground” by Roman Christianity and their military might. These earlier Gnostic Spiritual Masters were almost persecuted out of existence by Rome and the “Divine Allegory of the Christ Within” would be later “literalized” by Rome in their Second New Testament. Lost to the world will be the earliest understanding of “the Jesus Christ” as known since the beginning of recorded time. This is where most of Christianity exists today believing in a “Literalized Jesus Christ” which has been presented as a historical person when the deeper truths of the “Christ Within” are seldom heard and that goes double for the “Mythical Christ”.

Christians and followers of “the Christ” have a spiritual book given us by Rome that is “forged” in key places which hides these deeper truths from us. It is well past time we get new “keys” to understand our Creator and His true message to us.

Gnosticism flourished in Egypt and Western Asia between 250 B.C. and AD. 400. It was a Theosophic movement made up of elements of Egyptian mythology, Indian metaphysics, Judaism, and Greek philosophy. Gnosticism was overwhelmed by Orthodox Christianity in the fourth century, AD., but some of the lost Gnostic literature has been recovered. The ancient Gnostics were those who “knew”, just as the modern Agnostics are those who “do not know”. Gnostics believed in a Supreme God who was both unknown and unknowable. This unknown god was not the creator of the world; this task was delegated to lesser gods (the demiurge), who were emanations of this Supreme God. Egypt called this the “many in the One”. These subordinate gods or emanations (attributes) from the One true God, who created and governed the world, were called “Aeons”. Among the Aeons were:

 

The Logos (The Word, Christ [masculine])

 

Sophia (Wisdom [feminine])

 

Nous (Mind)

 

Phronesis (Judgment)

 

Dynamis (Power)

 

All of the above are but attributes of the One Supreme Mind, they exist separately but yet are interrelated. The Supreme God and the Aeons altogether formed the Pleroma (Fullness of the Godhead).

After the Roman Emperor Constantine made the Christian religion the State religion of the empire the remaining Gnostics were persecuted out of existence and their literature was destroyed. How and why Gnosticism was destroyed by organized Christianity is, as a rule, glossed over in history textbooks. One American scholar has penned an accurate and colorful account of these episodes. Please read the following slowly and gleam the truths from it:

“Preceding Christianity there was a school of science and philosophy which had accumulated practically all the wisdom and knowledge understandable to mankind. The object was to broadly educate the masses of the people by a unit system which would give to humanity a wisdom in common. This was the most potential period in human intellectual advancement the world has known. This school was called Gnosticism. Gnosis means to know – knowledge. Christianity means to believe – ignorance. These are the two schools; the one advocating the universal education of men, the other the universal ignorance of men. The one desired to develop the unit man, the other desired to suppress the unit and level all mankind to a common plastic mass. To accomplish this necessitated the suppressing of all extant knowledge; the closing of all the avenues through which people might acquire independent learning, education and intellectual training, and the debasement of humanity in abject ignorance The school which pitted itself against Gnosticism assumed the name Ecclesia. This name at once identified the purpose for which the organization was created to seize control of government, that it might exploit mankind for profit, and for its own glorification. Temporal power was the church goal. The name Ecclesia was derived from the Greek, and signified the legislative body which governed ancient Athens long before Christianity was invented. The first essential act of the Eccliesiasts was to suppress Gnosticism, and confiscate its vast accumulation of wisdom and knowledge, in order to control the education of future generations in a manner to adjust mankind to its purposes. Therefore the Gnostic wisdom was not wholly lost to the world but its great, universal educational system was supplanted and displaced. It is a well-established historical fact, not denied by the church that it required about 500 years to accomplish this submersion of Gnosticism, and to degrade the new generations in ignorance equal to the state of imbecility. History again points its accusing finger at the living evidence. The horrible results of such a crime against nature and mankind are pictured in the Dark Ages .. . Not even priests or prelates were permitted to learn to read or write. Even bishops could barely spell out their Latin. During this period of mental darkness, the ignorant masses were trained in intolerance, bigotry, fanaticism, and superstitious fear of an invisible power secretly controlled by the church; all of which begat a state of hysteria and imbecility. Through this terrorism popes seized control of the temporal power, retaining this control for nearly 1500 years. They appointed and deposed kings at will, hence they dictated legislation to their ends and purposes – the very essence of government . . . This process of legislating evil into mankind is to vindicate that damnable doctrine of original sin, which slanders nature and insults all mankind . . . Originally the motive was to confiscate the intellects of man, but the modern policy is much more concerned in confiscating their personal rights and property. Here is the other aspect of the suppression of Gnosticism. Its method of teaching was an understandable symbolism. It specifically recognized nature as the great teacher, and visible things as the traditional records of past events, in progressive evolution from the lowest state to the highest, with thinking, reasoning man as the highest evoluted being. Man did not fall, he was raised up by a natural promotion. Hence every man was a Gnostic to the extent of his accumulated knowledge and understanding. Thus each unit man became a teacher, and all men were given equal rights in the acquirement of knowledge. It was wholly an educational system, and a natural consequence in evolution. The Eccliesiasts, the Roman church, being thoroughly familiar with the Gnostic wisdom concerning astronomy, chemistry, and mathematics, as demonstrated by the splendid systems of Babylon, Egypt and Assyria, conceived the idea of developing a religio-political form of universal government, to control and exploit the future generations of people upon the earth through living, personified agents of the imaginary heavenly powers. . . to monopolize such a divine power as that contemplated it was necessary to personify nature, using the Gnostic system of symbolisms, and to give to these wholly imaginary beings names and functions. The Gnostic system had to be confiscated, and Gnosticism suppressed, to prevent exposure. This is why Christianity is so viciously antagonistic towards science and philosophy.” ~ (Thomas Sawyer Spivey; The Last of The Gnostic Masters, pp. 544-551.)

 

source: Craig M. Lyons Ms.D., D.D., M.Div. – Bet Emit (House of Truth)

 

Astrotheology: The Gnosis of Religion

Dalai-Lama-quote-religion

The more things change, the more they stay the same. And nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than in the history of man’s quest for “God”,  and we still keep holy the ancient religion of Astrotheolgy to this day, though certainly cloaked in an historical allegory. Belief is ignorance, it’s dogma. It is used by people to fill in the void of what they do not know. That void is filled with a belief and that belief becomes their reality, no matter if the facts prove otherwise. Understanding reality is essential to an evolving life that is growing to the Ultimate Reality, which is Love. However, for the most part I feel religion went from holy science to holy shit. I don’t think religion will get us there. You have to do right because you know it’s right, that reality is designed to evolve by your doing right, that you will come back after ‘death’ over and over till you do get it right. Doing right because of belief is different. It’s good your doing right, but you have no solid basis for doing so. It either makes you feel good, or you think it will keep you out of hell, or whatever. It is not growing. Growing comes from knowing. I agree with the Dalai Lama above, religion isn’t for me. But it has always intrigued me. I’m into Truth and how reality works. But let’s move on to the subject, you that know me know I can ramble completely off track and be talking about so many things nothing makes sense. I’m going to attempt to write a coherent piece here, wish me luck.

What we all we need to do is understand the origins of religions, and the fact that they have been mistakenly taken as literal (or worse deliberately forced literalism for mind control) for years. Those that knew the truth were driven underground or slaughtered, for God’s sake (because god is love and stuff). Knowing the Truth we could perhaps all have one religion, without war and another Golden Age on earth. Hey, Light Workers are saying this is written in the sky. I think that is the purpose of Life, I’m optimistic about that fact. Let’s trace religion, concentrating (not picking on)  on christiaanity:

First and most importantly, no people of the ancient world believed the “Sun” to be “God”. That is pure “disinformation”. All Ancient cultures and nations on Earth have all used the Sun as the most logically appropriate symbol to represent the Glory of the unseen Creator of the heavens. It’s an allegory within an allegory. That’s why I love myths, they are pregnant with deeper levels of meanings.
It was accepted by everyone that man was bound to a life on Earth, but the sky was God (the Father’s) abode – His dwelling place. (The moon represents the Divine Femine, Virgin Mother). Naturally, God’s Sun (Son) would reside with his Father “up in heaven”. (The English language is derived from the German. In the Germanic, the word ‘Sun’ is spelled ‘Sonne’. Having a son is having a tiny sun. the word youngster is derived from young star. Language was more wonderful when it was understood. May our young stars have a bright future).

Since life is energy, and energy from the Sun gave life, and our existence was sustained by taking in energy from our food (which came directly from God’s Sun), you can see that the Sun must give up its life supporting energy so that we may continue to live. “God’s Sun gives his life for us to live.”

As it was clearly true that our life came from and was sustained each day by “Our Savior… God’s Sun”, it would only be true as long as the Sun returned each morning. Our hope of salvation would be secure only in a “Risen Savior”. So even if man himself died, as long as the Sun comes up each day, life on Earth will continue forever. Therefore, it was said in the ancient texts that everlasting life was “the gift” that the Father gives through his Sun. For…”God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten SUN that we may have life everlasting”….on Earth! Not for you personally – but on Earth!

We now have before us two (2) cosmic brothers – one very good, and one very evil. One brings the “truth to light” with the “light of truth”. The other is the opposite, or in opposition to the light – “The Opposer”… Prince of this World of Darkness-The “Devil”. It is at this point that we come to Egypt. More than 3,000 years before Christianity began, the early morning “Sun/ Savior” was pictured in Egypt as the “New Born Babe”. The infant savior’s name was “Horus“.

At daybreak. this wonderful, newborn child, God’s ‘Sun’, is … ‘Born Again’ Horus is Risen. Even today, when the Sun comes up, we see it on the “Horus-Risen”, or “Horizon”. His life was also divided into 12 parts or steps across Heaven each day: 12 HORUS = 12 HOURS. This is the origin of the modern ” 12 Step Program”. Horus is the (new-born) Sun, or the Bringer of the Light. In Latin, Light Bringer is Lucis, or Lucifer, or Luke. But now, what about the evil brother of God’s Sun, that old rascally “Prince of Darkness” himself? In the Egyptian, he was called “SET”. We are told in the Bible that when God’s Sun died, He left the world in the hands of the Evil Prince of Darkness. This evil prince took over the world at “SON-SET”.

Keep in mind ‘God’s Sun’ symbolically represented the light of truth, but was condemned by His enemies who could not endure the light of truth in their life. The ancients taught that the very act of opposing or denying the light of truth to the point of killing it, happened in one’s own mind! When we are confronted with the harsh realities of life, the light of truth, which we do not wish to face, and which runs counter to our views, such truth is judged in your mind, or judged “in the temple area” of your brain, and put to death in your head!

Therefore, ‘God’s Sun – The Truth and The Light – is put to death at “Golgotha” , or “place of the skull “, located right between your ears! This putting to death of the light of truth in your mind is always accompanied by two thieves: Regret for the past and Fear of the future.
God’s ‘Sun’ brought His wonderful light to the world, and distributed it over 12 months. So it was said, God’s ‘Sun’ had 12 companions, or helpers, that assisted His life-saving work. So it was, God’s ‘Sun’ had 12 apostles (or months) that followed Him religiously through His life. Incidentally, now you know why the American jury system has 12 jurors who help bring the truth to light, with the “Light of Truth”
As far back as we can go into the ancient world, we find that all known cultures had a “Three-in-one” Triune God. The very first trinity was simply the three stages of the life of the Sun.

A) New Born Savior at dawn.
B) Mature, full-grown (The Most High) at 12 (High) noon.
C) Old and dying, at the end of day (going back to The Father).

All three were of course One Divinity – The Sun, three different phases, but one sun, or god!

Since the Earth experienced 4 different seasons, all the same and equal (in time) each year, the round Sun calendar was divided into 4 equal parts. This is also why we have, in the Bible, only 4 Gospels. Of this point, there can be no doubt.
The 4 Gospels represent the four 4 seasons which collectively tell the entire story of the life of God’s ‘Sun’. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John are Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. This is why the famous painting of “The Last Supper” pictures the 12 followers of the Sun in four groups (of three) … the seasons!

On the round surface of the yearly calendar, you can draw a straight line directly across the middle, cutting the circle in half… one end being the point of the winter solstice; the other end being the point of the summer solstice. Then you can draw another straight line (crossing the first one); one end of the new line being the spring equinox; the other end being the autumn equinox. You now have the starting points for each of the 4 seasons. This is referred to by all major encyclopedias and reference works, both ancient and modern, as “The Cross of the Zodiac”.

cross_zodiac_solstice
Thus, the life of God’s ‘Sun‘ is on “the Cross“. This is why we see the round circle of the Sun on the crosses of Christian churches. Look for the circle (God’s Sun) on the cross on many Christian churches if you haven’t noticed it before.

180px-Perelachaise-croixCeltique-p1000394This is just the basic foundation of the religions of the world. It goes much deeper, but this is the basic blue print.

 

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.” Rumi

 

Thanks to:

Tom Campbell

Jordan Maxwell

Santos Bonacci

Bill Donahue

Zeitgeist Movement

Gnostic Warrior

Acharya S

and many others

Horus

Eye_of_Horus

 

Horus was known by many names such as The Truth, The Light, God’s Anointed Son, The Good Shepherd, The Lamb of God, and many others.

“Horus was born on December 25th”

The December 25th, the winter-solstice, birth of the sun god is a common theme in many cultures around the world over the past millennia.

“Horus was born of a virgin”

The Egyptian Goddess was the Great Virgin (hwnt) the Mother of the God, and was the object of the very same praise bestowed upon her successor Mary, Virgin Mother of Jesus. – Bonn Dr. G. Johannes Botterweck

“Three Wise Men Came to Adore the New Born Savior”

Three Kings:  Three Kings are the stars in Orion‘s belt: They are anmed “Mintaka, Anilam and Alnitak.”

”At the age of 12, he was a prodigal child teacher, and at the age of 30 he was baptized by a figure known as Anup and thus began his ministry.”

The age of 12 refers to the sun at high noon, the twelfth hour of the day, when the God Sun is doing his heavenly father‘s work.

Concerning the sun god‘s nightly journey back to life, Egyptologist Dr. Jacobus Van Dijk of the University of Groningen says that ―according to the Pyramid Texts, the sun god purifies himself in the morning in the Lake of the Field of Rushes. Thus, the morning sun—or Horus—was said to pass through the purifying or baptismal waters to become reborn, revivified or resurrected.

”Horus had 12 disciples he traveled about with, performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water.”

Horus is thus firmly associated with 12 star gods, who, in conducting the sun god through his passage, can be deemed his ―protectors, assistants or helpers.

…in the tenth hour of the Amduat, Horus the Elder leaning on his staff is depicted as leading the 12 “drowned” or lost souls to their salvation in the “Fields of the Blessed.” These 12 deceased, Hornung relates, are “saved from decay and decomposition by Horus, who leads them to a blessed posthumous existence…” In this manner, Horus’s companions, like the disciples of Jesus, are meant to “become like gods,” so to speak, and to exist forever, reaping eternal life, as do those who believe in Christ.

Now, probably the most obvious of all the astrological symbolism around Jesus regards the 12 disciples. They are simply the 12 constellations of the Zodiac, which Jesus, being the Sun, travels about with. In fact, the number 12 is replete throughout the Bible.

Biblical examples:
The 12 Princes of Ishmael (Gen 17:20)
The 12 Sons of Jacob (Gen 35:22)
The 12 Tribes of Israel (Gen 49:28)
The 12 Prophets and Kings of Israel
The 12 Wells of Water (Exd 15:27)
The 12 Pillars of the Lord (Exd 24:4)
The 12 Stones of the Breastplate (Exd 39:14)
The 12 Cakes of the Tabernacle (Lev 24:5)
The 12 Princes of Israel (Num 1:44)
The 12 Oxen of the Tabernacle (Num 7:3)
The 12 Chargers of Silver, Bowls of Silver and Spoons of Gold (Num 7:84)
The 12 Bullocks, Rams, Lambs and Kids of the Offering (Num 7:87)
The 12 Rods of the Princes of Israel (Num 17:6) The 12 Stones of Joshua (Jos 4:8)
The 12 Cities (Jos 18:24, 19:25, 21:7, 21:40)
The 12 Judges of Israel (Jdg 3, 4, 6, 10, 12, 13)
The 12 Pieces of the Concubine (Jdg 19:29)
The 12 Servants of David (2 Sa 2:15)
The 12 Officers of Solomon (1 Ki 4:7) The 12 Lions of Solomon (1 Ki 10:20)
The 12 Pieces of Jeroboam‘s Garment (1 Ki 11:30)
The 12 Stones of Elijah (1 Ki 18:31)
The 12 Bronze Bulls of Solomon (Jer 52:20)
The 12 Disciples/Apostles of Jesus (Mt 10:1-2)
The 12 Baskets of Bread (Mt 14:20)
The 12 Thrones in Heaven (Mt 19:28)
The 12 Legions of Angels (Mt 26:53)
The 12 Patriarchs of Israel (Acts 7:8)
The 12 Stars of the Woman‘s Crown (Rev 12:1)
The 12 Gates, Angels and Pearls of Holy Jerusalem (Rev 21:12, 21)
The 12 Fruits of the Tree of Life (Rev 22:2)

“After being “betrayed” by Typhon, Horus was “crucified,” buried for three days, and thus, resurrected.”

This symbolic imagery of a person on a cross or in cross-shape was fairly common in the Pagan world, concerning many gods, goddesses and other figures.

These pre-Christian or non-Christian gods on a cross were what was being discussed around 150 AD/CE by Church father Justin Martyr (First Apology, 21):
”And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter.”

Catholic scholar Dr. Botterweck states:
”…In a sun myth the sun is swallowed up by the western part of the sea and then rises again. This myth is “historicized and re-neutralized in Jonah, as…Jonah replaces the sun and the ‘great fish’ plays the role of the sea.” On the other hand, the period of time Jonah stayed in the belly of the fish suggests a moon myth, and calls to mind, among other things, Inanna’s descent into the underworld…”

As Horus who manifests himself in the sun goes to rest in the evening and awakes from the sleep of death in the morning, so do death and resurrection seem to be equally inevitable and natural.

From the ancient hieroglyphics in Egypt, we know much about this solar messiah. For instance, Horus, being the sun, or the light, had an enemy known as Set, and Set was the personification of the darkness or night (sunSet). And, metaphorically speaking, every morning Horus would win the battle against Set—while in the evening, Set would conquer Horus and send him into the underworld. It is important to note that “dark vs. light” or “good vs. evil” is one of the most ubiquitous mythological dualities ever known and is still expressed on many levels to this day. Egyptologist Dr. Jan Assman

The sun, with its life-giving and saving qualities was personified as a representative of the unseen creator or god — “God’s Sun”

The sun was NEVER worshipped as a material ball of fire in the sky by any Pagan, ever. It was seen as symbolically having the attributes of the unknowable God/Creator/Us or whatever you want to call the un-namable. Ha! Wow. Well, it cannot be named! The story of the sun has always been personified, and there are numerous sun-gods in history. Jesus is just one of many, and the others came BEFORE him. Jesus is the greatest story ever sold, and without Roman influenced dogma everyone would see how beautiful and meaningful the jesus myth was meant to be.

Horus lives on even today. We’re always aware of the time, but not that ‘hours’ comes directly from the name Horus. Horizon is also from the name Horus. How did all these over 20 early man-god sun figures become known as mythical but the last myth,  created from the others,  is literally true? God is in everything, and everything is in God. It’s an energy without substance and it’s in me/you. I am that I am. We are.

Mithra – Plagiarized Christ

mithras_small

In my long quest to find the origins of Christianity, I believe I now know that the myth was a composite of other man-gods, (of which there were many, though we’ll focus on Mithras today), and created from Old Testament “prophecies” of a coming Messiah, the name Christ coming from Krishna. Emperor Constantine worked 10 years to invent this new religion, his aim was to squash Jewish rebellion while at the same time “taking the Jewishness” out of the religion. He hired Eusebius,  who was himself practically a Flavian and a paid Roman political propagandist (also known as the first thoroughly corrupt historian). As I state later in this post, mythical doesn’t mean lie. Jesus represents all of us, and Gnostics believed we were all potential Christs. Neither does it mean “no Jesus, no God.” Tried as they did to alter texts, there’s still much gnosis scattered through the orthodox scriptures. They did take away the Goddess and reincarnation, but these are recoverable thanks to the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Library, Dead Sea Scrolls, other findings and hard work by dedicated scholars. We can stay in the matrix fiction and serve Roman politics,  or soar as Christ Conscious Divine and Sovereign human Beings, which is our birth right. Granted religious debate can be a futile exercise in mental masturbation. Everyone is right, and bad logic is used to prove it.  Well, everyone does indeed possess their own truth, but not everyone has the facts right. The Jesus Puzzle is a great book to start a search for some fabulous hidden facts, and truthbeknown.com with Acharya S is excellent too. This is the matrix, the system. They keep the truth hidden, it’s what they do best.

God is so far removed from words or description, the only possible way to convey anything about it is the use of myths, allegories, alchemy, parables, kabbalah, and symbolism. Mankind has always been attracted to these man-god stories that are based on Astrotheology. It is the story of ourselves. As above, so below.

 

Mithra has the following in common with the Jesus character:

Mithra was born on December 25th of the virgin Anahita


The babe was wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed in a manger and attended by shepherds


He was considered a great traveling teacher and master


He had 12 companions or “disciples”


He performed miracles


As the “great bull of the Sun,” Mithra sacrificed himself for world peace


He ascended to heaven


Mithra was viewed as the Good Shepherd, the “Way, the Truth and the Light,” the Redeemer, the Savior, the Messiah


Mithra is omniscient, as he “hears all, sees all, knows all: none can deceive him”


He was identified with both the Lion and the Lamb


His sacred day was Sunday, “the Lord’s Day,” hundreds of years before the appearance of Christ


His religion had a eucharist or “Lord’s Supper”


Mithra “sets his marks on the foreheads of his soldiers”


Mithraism emphasized baptism.


The similarities between Mithraism and christianity have included their chapels, the term “father” for priest, celibacy and, it is notoriously claimed, the December 25th birthdate. Regarding the birth in caves likewise common to pre-Christian gods, and present in the early legends of Jesus, Weigall relates:


”…the cave shown at Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus was actually a rock shrine in which the god Tammuz or Adonis was worshipped, as the early Christian father Jerome tells us; and its adoption as the scene of the birth of our Lord was one of those frequent instances of the taking over by Christians of a pagan sacred site.


”The propriety of this appropriation was increased by the fact that the worship of a god in a cave was commonplace in paganism:
Apollo, Cybele, Demeter, Herakles, Hermes, Mithra and Poseidon were all adored in caves.”


Hermes, the Greek Logos, being actually born of Maia in a cave, and Mithra being “rock-born”


As the “rock-born,” Mithras was called “Theos ek Petras,” or the “God from the Rock.”

As Weigall also relates:
Indeed, it may be that the reason of the Vatican hill at Rome being regarded as sacred to Peter, the Christian “Rock,” was that it was already sacred to Mithra, for Mithraic remains have been found there.

Santos Bonacci, Astrotheologist, has claimed ‘the Jew Peter’ is symbolic of ‘Jupiter.’ There is little doubt the characters in the bible represent the planets and stars in the sky. It takes very little OPEN MINDED research to understand the biblical allegories. Saying Jesus was a mythical character is in no way the same as saying there is no God. All main religions are based on Astrotheology, and the myths are  ever pregnant with deeper, amazing and beautiful meanings. The Gnostics considered all of us potential Christs. To give one man this Divine attribute that we all have is cheating ourselves of our Divine Sovereign  birth right. It’s perverted Roman nonsense to control the masses. Religious debate is mental masturbation without a climax. Everyone wants to be right, especially the inventors and churches of the religion of Constantine. That my friend is Ego based bullshit, not spirituality.


“Mithraic remains on Vatican Hill are found underneath the later Christian edifices, which proves the Mithra cult was there first.”

“The worship of Mithra and Anahita, the virgin mother of Mithra, was well-known in the Achaemenian period.”

”For reasons which they doubtless considered sufficient, those who chronicled the life and acts of Jesus found it advisable to metamorphose him into a solar deity. The historical Jesus was forgotten; nearly all the salient incidents recorded in the four Gospels have their correlations in the movements, phases, or functions of the heavenly bodies. Among other allegories borrowed by Christianity from pagan antiquity is the story of the beautiful, blue-eyed Sun God, with His golden hair falling upon His shoulders, robed from head to foot in spotless white and carrying in His arms the Lamb of God, symbolic of the vernal equinox. This handsome youth is a composite of Apollo, Osiris, Orpheus, Mithras, and Bacchus, for He has certain characteristics in common with each of these pagan deities.


”Not only is Jesus often referred to as the Fisher of Men, but as John P. Lundy writes: “The word Fish is an abbreviation of this whole title, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, and Cross; or as St. Augustine expresses it, ‘If you join together the initial letters of the five Greek words, Ἰησοῦς Χριστος Θεου Υιὸσ Σωτήρ, which mean Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, they will make ΙΧΘΥΣ, Fish, in which word Christ is mystically understood, because He was able to live in the abyss of this mortality as in the depth of waters, that is, without sin.'” (Monumental Christianity.) Many Christians observe Friday, which is sacred to the Virgin (Venus), upon which day they shall eat fish and not meat. The sign of the fish was one of the earliest symbols of Christianity; and when drawn upon the sand, it informed one Christian that another of the same faith was near. Aquarius is called the Sign of the Water Bearer, or the man with a jug of water on his shoulder mentioned in the New Testament”. ~ Hall, Manly P.

”Christianity and the other Abrahamic religions have become increasingly hostile and destructive. They cling to outdated belief systems, constantly stricken by such pathological concepts as information bias and cognitive dissonance. Civilization is at the brink. However, through more allegorical and psychological lenses, one can still distill the great teachings of their past masters, as Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and even the Gnostics illustrated. We throw the dirty bathwater of literalism out and keep the baby that is the inner Savior residing inside each one of us” – Migual Conner.

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PONDER THIS:

If you’re a Christian who does believe the Genesis account of original sin, then you also believe that mankind is tainted as a direct result of Adam’s fall from grace. We’re contaminated by sin regardless of our consent or our belief. Enter Jesus. He supposedly was crucified to save us. If our contamination via Adam was passive — it happened regardless of our consent or our belief — then to set the scales of eternal justice in balance again, musn’t Jesus’ redemption also be passive? Shouldn’t his sacrifice cancel out all sin — whether we consent to it or not and whether we believe it or not? To argue otherwise is to say that God has condemned us unconditionally but has made redemption conditional. The implication of the Christian argument is that Adam’s original sin was superior to Jesus’ sacrifice, because Adam’s fall condemned us all whereas Jesus’ redemption can only save some of us. Wasn’t Jesus’ death greater than (or at least equal to) Adam’s mistake? If the crucifixion and resurrection trumped original sin, then the debt for all sin is paid for all time, regardless of our consent, regardless of our belief, regardless of our faith. There is no need to be a Christian to benefit from forgiveness of sin, just as there is no need to be a Christian to inherit Adam’s sinful nature. Either Jesus paid all sin-debt for all time, or he didn’t. So which is it?

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Rescuing the Bible from Literalism

As you can probably tell, saving Christianity and Christ Consciousness from religion is very important to me. Sometimes it feels like it was my mission before being born. Maybe I was burned as a heretic in a past life…

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By RICHARD SMOLEY

“The world,” wrote the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, “is the totality of facts, not of things.” So it is, but facts take many forms. The hard-edged events of ordinary reality are only one form, and not always the most important.

This insight can be hard to accept in the positivist world of mainstream Western thought. In these terms, either an event took place or it did not. Truth and falsehood are judged by this criterion alone. And yet such a stance has only a limited value. It is indispensable in history and journalism and perhaps in science (although the anomalous discoveries of twentieth-century physics have blurred the picture somewhat). But in the spiritual dimension, even though there are facts here as well, they are not of this kind. To overlook this truth is to mistake one reality for another.

Conventional Christianity has often made this mistake. Practically from the start, it has presented its case in literalistic terms: the Bible is true; moreover it is literally true. Its facts must be historical facts, and its record of the past must be a true one. At first these claims fostered Christianity’s rapid success in the ancient world. By the early centuries of the Common Era, Greco-Roman civilisation could no longer take its own myths seriously, so it was persuaded to adopt the Scriptures of the Jews and Christians on the grounds that these presented not only sacred truths but an accurate record of the past.

Since the Enlightenment, such claims have been more of an embarrassment than an advertisement for the faith. Over the last 250 years, scholars in many fields have taken Christianity at its word and investigated in great depth just how much the Bible jibes with science and history. The findings have not exactly vindicated the Good Book. Indeed the trend over time has been to call more and more of the Bible into question as a historical record.

From a scientific point of view, the tide began to turn in the early nineteenth century. In 1830–32, the British scientist Charles Lyell published his classic Principles of Geology, arguing that geological changes that are recorded in rocks could not possibly have taken place in the mere 6,000 years that Genesis assigned to the earth’s lifetime, but had occurred over a much longer period. A generation later, another, even more famous scientist, Charles Darwin, suggested that animal species had not been created by the Almighty on a single day of creation in 4004 BCE, but had evolved over much longer periods by what he called “natural selection.” (In fact, when Darwin had finished his magnum opus, The Origin of Species, he sent it to Lyell for comments.)

Historicity of the Bible Questioned

In recent decades, archaeology has cast doubt even on parts of the Bible that had seemed more or less factual, such as the history of Israel in the Old Testament. To take one example, a generation ago most scholars accepted the historicity of the Exodus from Egypt, believing at least that some migration of this kind happened, even if the narrative had to be stripped of its miraculous festoonings. Since then, the picture has changed considerably. Summarising recent findings in their 2001 book The Bible Unearthed, Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman contend that the Exodus did not happen in any form that is recognisable from the archaeological record. The first mention of Israel in any known inscription, they note, dates from the reign of the Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah in 1207 BCE. While this is around the time traditionally assigned to the Exodus, the inscription speaks not of a flight of Israelites (or even an expulsion), but of Merneptah’s successful incursion into Canaan, where Israel is reckoned among the peoples subdued. In any case, the Israelites could not have escaped to Canaan out of the hands of the Egyptians, because Canaan was part of Egyptian territory at the time; Merneptah’s invasion would have been to quiet a troublesome province.

Instead, Finkelstein and Silberman suggest that the biblical account of the Exodus is a composite of folk memories of the Hyksos – a Semitic people who ruled Egypt from c.1670 to c.1570 BCE before being expelled by the Egyptians. The Exodus story as we know it was framed in the seventh century BCE, when the national ideology of Jerusalem and the nation of Judah was beginning to crystallise – and Egypt was a powerful and aggressive neighbour.

Other scholars have come up with equally revolutionary insights. In her work The Great Angel, the British biblical scholar Margaret Barker points out that originally the Israelites worshipped a female goddess, known as Asherah (or sometimes as Hokhmah or “Wisdom”), as the consort of Yahweh, alongside El, the Most High God, and Yahweh himself, who was essentially a national deity allocated to Israel alone. Barker suggests that the famous Deuteronomic reform under the Judahite King Josiah – in which Josiah purges the Temple of these other gods and restores the worship of Yahweh alone (2 Kings 22-23) – was not a reform but an innovation, a purge of time-honoured traditions in an attempt to create a “Yahweh-alone movement.” This movement eventually took over Judaism after the Babylonian Exile and imposed its own agenda on the past.

One could make similar points about much of the rest of the Bible. The “quest of the historical Jesus,” as Albert Schweitzer so famously dubbed it, has gone on for over two centuries now without any really conclusive results. Most scholars are convinced that there is some admixture of myth and legend in the life of Christ as portrayed in the New Testament, but they differ enormously about just what was legend and what was not. The panel of liberal New Testament scholars known as the Jesus Seminar has won some notoriety for contending that Jesus neither said nor did most of the things attributed to him in the Gospels. As shocking as some may find this claim, it is hardly new: an array of German New Testament scholars reached much the same conclusions in the nineteenth century. A still more radical view holds that Jesus never existed at all: his story was merely a Jewish equivalent of the numerous death-and-resurrection myths circulating in the ancient world. Since there is no archaeological evidence for Christ’s life, and the textual evidence is elusive (none of the Gospels, canonical or apocryphal, even claims to be an eyewitness account), this position, as extreme as it is, is hard to definitively refute.

Biblical Stories as Allegory, Not History

What, then, are we to do with the Bible as history? Some will no doubt cling to it. The literary critic Harold Bloom has noted that in evangelical Christianity, the “limp leather Bible,” waved at the audience by the preacher, has itself become a totem. But others are unlikely to find refuge in a simplistic bibliolatry. They may be drawn to another approach – one that is equally ancient, and possibly more profound. It is that the Bible is not, and never was, meant to be taken literally, but has deeper meanings that are to be unearthed by those are capable of doing so.

This idea goes back to the very beginnings of Christianity and has always existed side by side with narrow literalism. Ironically, it was a major impetus for the creation of Christianity as a separate religion from Judaism. The nascent Christian movement often had to allegorise the Hebrew Scriptures to make use of them for its own purposes. The Apostle Paul writes about one biblical passage:

It is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all (Gal. 4:22–26).

Paul is saying that the real meaning of the story of Abraham and his two sons lies in the relationship of the Jews and the Christians. Ishmael, the older son, born to Hagar (or Agar), “the bondwoman,” is the Jews, who are in “bondage” to the Law of Moses. Isaac, the younger, born to Sarah, the “freewoman,” represents the Christians, who are freed from having to follow the Law. The story is an “allegory.”

The first authority to use the word “allegory” in this sense (the Greek is allegoria) – and the first to expound the Hebrew Bible in this way – was a philosopher who lived at the same time as both Jesus and Paul: Philo of Alexandria (c.20 BCE–c.50 CE). Although there is no reference to Jesus or Paul in his works or to Philo in the New Testament, it would be hard to overstate Philo’s influence on Christianity. To take one example, it was he who first used the Greek word logos (often translated as “word”) to mean the creative, structuring element in consciousness and to contend that this principle had engendered the world. Philo’s view was prevalent in the Judaism of the first century CE, in which the logos was often seen as a kind of deuteros theos or “second god.” The Christians appropriated this theology, especially in the Gospel of John, whose prologue “In the beginning was the Word” etc. is almost a programmatic statement of Philo’s thought. Philo, of course, never equated this logos with Jesus, as the Christians did, and once the Christian view had spread throughout the ancient world, the Jews dropped the concept of the logos entirely.

In any event, Philo viewed the Hebrew Bible through the lens of allegory. Here is Philo on Genesis:

“And on the sixth day God finished his work which he made.” It would be a sign of great simplicity to think that the world was created in six days, or indeed all in time…. But… it would be correctly said that the world was not created in time, but that time had its existence as a consequence of the world….. When, therefore, Moses says, “God completed his works on the sixth day,” we must understand that he is speaking not of a number of days, but that he takes six as a perfect number.

Philo goes on to explain what he means by a perfect number. Obviously this is a far richer and more sophisticated understanding of a sacred text than the simplistic idea that the world was made in six literal days.

The Christian theologian who is most indebted to Philo was the third-century Church Father Origen. Origen went further than Philo, however, in being much more eager to discard the literal truth of passages that seemed contrary to reason. Here is Origen on Genesis:

Who is so silly as to believe that God, after the manner of a farmer, “planted a paradise eastward in Eden,” and set in it a visible and palpable “tree of life,” of such a sort that anyone who tasted its fruit with his bodily teeth would gain life: and again that one could partake of “good and evil” by masticating the fruit taken from the tree of that name? And when God is said to “walk in the paradise in the cool of the day” and Adam to hide himself behind a tree, I do not think anyone will doubt that these are figurative expressions which indicate certain mysteries through a semblance of history and not through actual events.

Origen does not spare the Gospels or the writings of the Apostles, “for,” he writes, “the history even of these is not everywhere pure, events being woven together in the bodily sense without having actually happened; nor do the law and the commandments contained therein entirely declare what is reasonable.”

Such an attitude seems strikingly modern – and yet these are the words of a third-century Church Father. Origen spoke of three levels of meaning to Scripture (body, soul, and spirit, in accordance with the tripartite division of human nature accepted by early Christianity). This view would be tremendously influential. The scholar Beryl Smalley has written that “to write a history of Origenist influence on the West would be tantamount to writing a history of Western [biblical] exegesis.”

By the Middle Ages, Origen’s three levels of meaning for Scripture would be expanded to four. They were called the literal, allegorical, moral, and “anagogical” or mystical senses. Dante, writing in the early fourteenth century, refers to them in his Letter to Can Grande, where he says of the Exodus:

If we look at it from the letter alone it means to us the exit of the Children of Israel from Egypt at the time of Moses; if from allegory, it means for us our redemption done by Christ; if from the moral sense, it means to us the conversion of the soul from the struggle and misery of sin to the status of grace; if from the anagogical, it means the leavetaking of the blessed soul from the slavery of this corruption to the freedom of eternal glory. And though these mystical senses are called by various names, in general all can be called allegorical, because they are different from the literal or the historical.

Origen, who is evasive about actually setting out the hidden meaning of Scripture (“it was the method of the Holy Spirit rather to conceal these truths and to hide them deeply,” he writes), makes reference to Egypt as well. He speaks of “the descent of the holy fathers into Egypt, that is, into this world.” For Origen as for Dante, then, the Exodus ultimately presents an allegory of spiritual liberation.

Origen died around 253 CE, crippled by torture during the persecution of the Christians by the Roman Emperor Decius. Since then, Origen has had an ambiguous destiny in the mainstream church. Revered in his own day, in later centuries he fell into disrepute among the orthodox. This happened for a number of reasons, but it was largely because his views on the relationship between the Father and the Son did not jibe with the doctrine of the Trinity as it would evolve in the fourth and fifth centuries. Furthermore, later theologians did not feel entirely comfortable with Origen’s assertion that much of Scripture was not meant to be taken as literally true. Although the churchmen were generally content to accept his idea that there were other meanings in addition to the literal one, they did not like to think the literal sense was wrong or even (as we’ve seen Origen say about the myth of Eden) ridiculous.

Protestantism and Literalism

If the Catholic and Orthodox churches were always comfortable with a symbolic meaning to the Bible, where did today’s excruciating biblical literalism come from? Partly from Protestantism. Catholicism and Orthodoxy always regarded the Bible as an authority, but never as the authority: the teachings and practices of the Church itself were held to be of at least equal weight. The Catholic Church always insisted that the Bible could be easily misunderstood by those who lacked the proper training; this was why the Church discouraged Bible reading by laypeople until comparatively recently.

By the early modern era, however, the Catholic Church had become so corrupt that some Christian leaders (and many of the ordinary faithful) realised that the church was keeping an exclusive monopoly on spiritual power largely to suit its own worldly ends. In breaking with the church, these leaders – the Protestant Reformers – decided to return to the Bible as the only proper authority: sola scriptura, “Scripture only,” as the formula had it.

This in itself might not have been so problematic, but the Protestantism that reached the American frontier in the nineteenth century was dominated by men who had little education and little idea of any other literature than the Bible. Such people have always existed: Thomas Aquinas, the medieval Catholic theologian, was alluding to them when he said, “Timeo hominem unius libri”: “I fear a man of one book.” In the United States, and, I suspect, in much of the rest of the English-speaking world, evangelical Christianity has become co-opted by these “men of one book.” Today in many parts of the US, it is possible to go into people’s houses and see no other book than the Bible. It is this element in Christianity that has made its presence felt in the rise of fundamentalism.

As a result, the Bible’s inner meaning has increasingly become the province of esotericism. Regarding the story of Christ, in her book Esoteric Christianity the Theosophist Annie Besant speaks of “the Christ of the human Spirit, the Christ who is in every one of us, is born and lives, is crucified, rises from the dead, and ascends into heaven, in every suffering and triumphant ‘Son of Man.’” The story of Christ is thus the story of each of us; the Incarnation symbolises our own descent into the world of materiality, where we pass across the stage for a short while before being crucified on the cross of time and space. But this suffering and death is only transitory or even illusory, since the Logos – the principle of consciousness – in ourselves cannot die. It will be resurrected again in other forms, recognisable or otherwise. (In the Gospels the risen Christ is sometimes recognised by his disciples, sometimes not.)

Some may find themselves impatient with these ideas, insisting that they are nothing more than a way of skirting the issue of historical factuality that must supposedly serve as the bedrock of faith. But what, might one ask, is being dismissed as mere allegory? Viewed in the way sketched out above, the stories of the Exodus and the passion of Christ are not mere edifying tales of the past. Nor are they creeds for blind belief or flags around which to rally the faithful. Rather they are deep expressions of what is going on inside us now. To know from inner experience what it is to be spiritually in “the land of Egypt, the house of bondage,” to see the Logos in ourselves crucified on the cross of time and space, is not evasion but among the most profound insights a human being can have.

I would even take the argument a step further. An allegorical reading of the Bible can actually be more demanding than merely dwelling on the meaning of the letter. Acknowledging “Pharaoh,” “Moses,” the “scribes and Pharisees,” even Christ as parts of ourselves can be unsettling. Few are eager to come to grips with their inner tyrants and hypocrites, and there are possibly even fewer who can bear to see their own higher natures. After all, to know that Moses the lawgiver exists in oneself is already a step out of the house of bondage. To see the Christ within is already to experience a resurrection. Such realisations confer a responsibility upon us that we are not always delighted to face.

As a result, it is often easier to keep these things at the safe remove of antiquity – to follow the disputes about who was the Pharaoh of Exodus; to pore over accounts of recent excavations in Biblical Archaeology Review; to thrill over the latest news feature that breathlessly proffers some allegedly new fact about the historical Jesus. In such a way we can keep these issues alive, but at a comfortable distance: they remain ineluctably “other,” about people who lived long ago. I suspect that this dynamic helps explain the unshakable thirst for biblical archaeology among the American public.

All this said, there is admittedly a problem with leaning too heavily on allegorical readings of Scripture. To be no longer able to take one’s own myths literally – even while accepting them in a figurative sense – does strip them of their power. This is due to the limits of our own understanding; we as a civilisation seem unable to hear the message “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet believed” (John 20:29). This is not a call to blind, stupid faith; it is an appeal to recognise realities that do not present themselves to our physical eyes and hands – the “evidence of things unseen.” But, trusting as we do in the Gradgrindian world of cold, hard facts, we put more trust in texts than in our own inner experience. We discover that the texts are not telling the exact truth about history, and we lose our faith.

Despite the noise (much of it overstated) about rising fundamentalism in the Western world, this loss of faith is likely to accelerate. What will happen when the news sinks in and we collectively understand that much, perhaps most, of the Bible is not literally true? We may continue to see their beauty and power as myths, just as we do with the tales of the Olympian gods, but they will have lost their numinous force for us. We will see the old gods mocked and derided, as they were in antiquity in the satyr plays of the classical Athenian stage and the satires of Lucian, and as we see today in films like Dogma and Jesus Christ Superstar.

In such instances, new myths, new versions of eternal truths arise. What these will be in the future remains to be seen; it is hard to imagine that they will come from any religion now existing. Of the models of reality now available, it is above all the one provided by science that has most captured the imagination of the thinking public. Like Christianity in ancient times, it seems to offer truth in place of myth, actualities in place of legend. And then we are left with a question that, I suspect, will not be answered in the lifetime of anyone reading these pages now: what will happen when the facts of science, implacably hard and substantial as they now seem, are proved to be myths in turn?

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Bibliography

Dante Alighieri, Letter to Can Grande della Scala, Translated by James Marchand, http://medieval.ucdavis.edu/20B/Can.Grande.html

Margaret Barker, The Great Angel: A Study of Israel’s Second God, Louisville, Ky.: Westminster/John Knox, 1992.

Annie Besant, Esoteric Christianity, or the Lesser Mysteries, Reprint, Wheaton, Ill.: Quest, 2006.

Harold Bloom, The American Religion, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.

Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, New York: Touchstone, 2001.

Susan A. Handelman, The Slayers of Moses: The Emergence of Rabbinic Interpretation in Modern Literary Theory, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1982.

Origen, On First Principles, Translated by G.W. Butterworth, Reprint, New York: Harper & Row, 1966.

Philo, The Works of Philo, Translated by C.D. Yonge, Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1993.

Albert Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus: A Critical Study of Its Progress from Reimarus to Wrede, Translated by W. Montgomery, Reprint, New York: Macmillan, 1961.

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Translated by D.F. Pears and B.F. McGuinness, 2nd edition, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1971.

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RICHARD SMOLEY is author of Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition; Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions (with Jay Kinney); and The Essential Nostradamus. His latest book is Conscious Love: Insights from Mystical Christianity. He is editor of Quest Books and is executive editor of Quest magazine. His web site is www.innerchristianity.com.

The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 110 (September-October 2008).

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