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The Bad Samaritan: Behind the Lies and Cover-ups about the Man Believed to be God

 
Anonymous Coward
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12/06/2008 04:05 AM
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The Bad Samaritan: Behind the Lies and Cover-ups about the Man Believed to be God
The Bad Samaritan: Behind the Lies and Cover-ups about the Man Believed to be God

© BY LYNN PICKNETT & CLIVE PRINCE

It is remarkable what happens when you abandon your preconceptions about Christianity – hard though that might be, if, like us, you were brought up as a churchgoer – and approach the subject as objectively as possible.

When we began our latest book, The Masks of Christ: Behind the Lies and Cover-ups About the Man Believed to be God, we thought we had already reached certain conclusions in our 1997 The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ (which Dan Brown acknowledges as a major inspiration for The Da Vinci Code). But as our research progressed we became enthralled – perhaps even a little shocked – by what we were faced with, but which only served to reinforce and clarify our previous conclusions.
We begin with a great mystery.

The Great Debate

Of the many puzzles surrounding Jesus, perhaps the most fundamental is the clash between the Jewish and pagan elements in his mission.

Certain New Testament passages are unequivocally hardcore Jewish nationalist, such as Jesus’ claim to the title of Messiah, a role which (despite Christians’ later redefinition) only makes sense in Jewish terms. The Messiah – ‘Anointed’, in Greek ‘Christos’ – was to be the great deliverer, who would reassemble and lead the twelve tribes of Israel in kicking out the Romans, before finally fulfilling God’s promise to extend their rule to all other nations.

Of course, Jesus conspicuously failed to fulfil that role. From the Jews’ perspective he achieved the exact opposite, spawning a religion that, in his name, subjected them to centuries of subjugation. That is why his besotted early followers changed the whole emphasis of ‘Messiah’, with Paul initiating the new spin with the notion that has underpinned Christianity ever since: instead of being a hard-nosed Jewish military leader, the new Messiah was a god-man whose redeeming death and resurrection offered eternal life to all who accepted him, regardless of their ethnic or religious background.

Yet the gospel writers still ensured Jesus was associated with the old prophecies of the Messiah, such as entering Jerusalem on a donkey, which was an unequivocal declaration of Messiahship.

Even though by the time of the gospels the Christian movement had adopted Paul’s doctrine that the message was for all mankind, clearly the internal evidence shows that Jesus himself intended to confine the ‘Good News’ to the people of Israel. We see this in the tale of Jesus and the Syro-Phoenician woman in Mark’s Gospel, where at first he refuses to heal her possessed daughter because she is not one of the chosen people – even calling her ‘dog’, the racist term used by Jews of Gentiles – only changing his mind when she implicitly acknowledges his God’s superiority. As several scholars admit, since this contradicts the gospel writer’s own position, it must be authentic.

Jesus the Pagan

On the other hand, some Biblical passages are hard to equate with Judaism, especially those about Jesus’ more private rituals, most obviously the Eucharist, the symbolic eating of his ‘body’ as bread and drinking of his ‘blood’ as wine that he supposedly established at the Last Supper. Such a rite, even symbolically, was unthinkable for a Jew, for whom ingesting human blood was an abomination. In fact, it resonates much more neatly with the mystery cults of the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians, where gods were symbolically devoured to forge a spiritual communion between the cult member and the deity. Importing such practices into Judaism would have been regarded by the mainstream as blasphemous.

Evidence has also accumulated over the last few decades that Jesus modelled his cures and exorcisms on pagan magicians’, primarily from Egypt, echoing – or perhaps confirming – early Jewish claims that he had been schooled in sorcery in Egypt. And if the suppressed ‘Gnostic Gospels’ are accepted as genuinely representing certain sides of Jesus’ beliefs and teaching – as we do – then they, too, show a thinking not obviously associated with the Judaism of his day, especially where the spirituality of the feminine is concerned, as exemplified in his relationship with Mary Magdalene.

The majority of New Testament scholars simply reject the non-Jewish parts of the gospels as inauthentic, arguing that the Eucharist was invented by the apostles of the new religion – Paul again! – to make it more Gentile-friendly, something familiar from the sects that celebrated dying-and-rising saviour gods who incarnated as a mortal man. The academics assume that this was borrowed from one of many such cults, perhaps that of Mithras or Dionysus, and was applied to the meal that Jesus’ first followers held purely in memory of him (with no mystical connotations).

But in fact, there is no reason to reject these passages except the impossibility of fitting them into a Jewish context. The logic is that, since we know that Jesus was Jewish, and no Jew could possible have entertained such practices, then he couldn’t have done so, and therefore they must be later inventions.

However, the evidence simply isn’t there. It is hard to imagine later followers inventing Jesus using pagan magic in such detail – even down to specific phrases found in earlier Greco-Egyptian magical papyri. And the internal evidence of the New Testament itself points to the Eucharist being one of the earliest Christian practices, going back to Jesus himself. It is the one element that appears virtually identically in all four gospels and Paul’s Letters. (It is generally agreed that Paul’s Letters predate the gospels, although we would argue that Mark’s Gospel might be contemporary with some of Paul’s writings.)

Even odder, as Paul clearly struggled to fit the Eucharist into his ‘revealed’ version of Jesus’ mission, evidently he would even have been happier to ignore the rite entirely, but it was already too well established. His solution was to transmute the rite into a memorial, specifically to dodge the ‘communion’ aspect. So ironically the evidence points to the exact reverse of the conventional position – instead of Paul adding the ‘mystical communion’ element, he tried to get rid of it!

Part of the Christian process of redefining the meaning of the ritual meal was linking it to the Last Supper the night before his crucifixion. However, the evidence of John’s Gospel is that Jesus actually instituted the rite earlier, when he was preaching in Galilee – which led to a mass desertion of disciples appalled by his injunction that they must drink his blood.

It must be stressed that such practices are not merely difficult to reconcile with Judaism – as a would-be Messiah had to be – but impossible. They are totally incompatible.

So, as some scholars are now beginning to argue, could the Jewish parts be the invention? But that solution doesn’t work either, since it means rejecting passages that are strongly evidential – such as the episode of the Syro-Phoenician woman and the entry into Jerusalem.

So we hit an impasse. According to accepted thinking, Jesus could never have been both a Jewish leader and a proponent of mystery school rites. Is there any possible solution?

Enter the Magus

One potential way forward, we realised – with some astonishment – lay in exploring the parallel between Jesus and that flamboyant scriptural bad boy to end bad boys, Jesus’ hugely unconventional contemporary, Simon Magus, whose very name underlines his apparently pagan credentials, ‘Magus’ meaning ‘occultist’ or ‘magician’.

The earliest reference to Simon Magus (or Simon of Gitta, after the town of his birth in Samaria) comes in the Acts of the Apostles, the continuation of Luke’s Gospel that takes the story on after Jesus’ crucifixion. After the first persecution of Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem that began with the stoning of the first Christian martyr, Stephen, some of Jesus’ disciples, led by Philip, fled to Samaria. This was within, at most, ten years of the crucifixion – probably less. Here they find that many Samaritans follow Simon Magus, regarded as the ‘Great Power’ sent by God. Philip not only successfully converts Simon’s followers to Christianity, but also the Magus himself. Some time later Peter and the disciple John go to Samaria to take the Holy Spirit to the community established by Philip, and Simon Magus reveals his true colours by offering them money for the secret of the Holy Spirit, earning a stern condemnation from Peter.

Clearly, as the Simonites found it so easy to switch their allegiance there must have been a marked similarity between the messages of Jesus and the Magus. And Simon himself was, albeit briefly, once a member of the Christian community in Samaria. Although Acts attributes his success there to sorcery, as we now know Jesus himself indulged in pagan magic, so this points up a similarity between them.

Although Acts’ story ends with Simon asking forgiveness, other early Christian sources show he went on to challenge the fledgling Jesus movement, appearing in the writings of the Church Fathers as the ‘first heretic’ who attempted to lead the early Christians astray. Again, the term suggests a basic similarity between Simon and Jesus – heresy being a variation of a religion.

A major source is the related texts known as the Clementina or the Pseudo-Clementine Literature. Written around 150 CE but drawing on earlier material, it describes the struggle between Peter and Simon Magus for the hearts, minds and souls of the Samaritans.

It is crystal clear that the Church Fathers’ big problem was that Simon Magus was far, far too similar to Jesus, performing miracles and healings – even being regarded as an incarnate god. The early Christians were anxious to point out to their flock that, although Simon appeared to be cut from the same cloth as Jesus, this was a ploy by the Devil to sow confusion. Epiphanius of Salamis wrote that Simon “worked under the cloak of Christ” and even hinted that he claimed to be Jesus resurrected. Hyppolytus of Rome said bluntly: “He was not the Christ.” But do they protest too much?

The Magus, too, promoted a seemingly peculiar blend of Jewish and pagan ideas. The Clementina makes the apparently extraordinary statement that, while he taught that there were “many gods,” he was citing the books of Moses (i.e. the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament). This seemed so weird that the Clementina was dismissed as nonsense – but in 1842 a work of Hippolytus was discovered in which he had included (in order to point out the errors) large extracts from Simon’s own treatise, the ‘Great Revelation’, whose one-time existence was known but which was believed to have been lost.

The ‘Great Revelation’ reveals an elevation of the sacred feminine and an emphasis on sexual mysticism that fit awkwardly with the patriarchal character of Judaism, and which caused much outrage among the Church Fathers, to whom Simon’s rituals were obscene and disgusting. Notoriously, he is said to have travelled with one Helen, a former prostitute from Tyre – described as a black woman who danced in chains, and who he claimed was the incarnation of God’s ‘First Thought’, the female power through whom God had created the material world. (Of course there are intriguing parallels between the relationships of Simon and Helen, and Jesus and Mary Magdalene as portrayed in the Gnostic Gospels.)

An even more extraordinary link between Simon and Jesus is that, again according to the Clementina, the two men shared the same teacher: John the Baptist. Indeed, it states that it was Simon Magus, not Jesus, who John chose as his successor.

But what does all this have to tell us about the historical Jesus?

The big clue comes from the fact that Simon Magus was a Samaritan, one of those who, despite an ethnic kinship with the Jews, were detested by them – a feeling that was decidedly mutual.

On the subject of Jesus and Samaria, the gospel writers appear to differ awkwardly. In Matthew, Mark and Luke Jesus is depicted as shunning the land and its people (with some exceptions, notably the parable of the Good Samaritan). On the other hand, John’s Gospel has him extending his mission into Samaria.

There is, in fact, strong evidence that the enigmatic Gospel of John was originally written for an early Samaritan Christian community, which would explain its positive view of the Samaritans. For example, it describes the first person to whom Jesus chooses to reveal his Messiahship as the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well in the heart of Samaria, and the first to recognise him as the Messiah are Samaritans. We suggest it was written for Samaritan converts from Simon Magus’ following – after all, some of the gospel’s unique stories, particularly those with an unexpected sexual subtext, seem to have been specifically included (or contrived) to subvert Simon’s teaching.

The key figure of John the Baptist was also active in Samaria. According to John’s Gospel, one of his centres was Aenon (modern Ainûn), in Samaria.

So, Jesus and John the Baptist both took their missions into Samaria – another parallel with Simon Magus. But what is it about that land that explains the Jewish/pagan paradox of both Jesus’ and Simon’s teachings?

The key lies in the reason for the animosity between Jews and Samaritans, which had its roots in the earliest days of Israel. The Samaritans were descended from the Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manesseh, and still inhabited their lands, between Judea and Galilee. Originally, Ephraim was predominant: Moses’ successor and the conqueror of the Promised Land, Joshua, was from Ephraim and the tribe was given the honour of being custodians of the Ark of the Covenant in its sanctuary at Shiloh. Some historians and archaeologists believe that Ephraim and Manesseh were two of only three tribes (the other being Benjamin) that came out of Egypt, the others being native Canaanites who were converted to the religion of Moses. And intriguingly, legend linked them with the Egyptian religion of Heliopolis, since their progenitors, Ephraim and Manesseh, were sons of Joseph and Asenath, the daughter of the high priest of Heliopolis.

After the creation of the kingdom of Israel a power struggle developed between the tribes of Ephraim and Judah. King David usurped Ephraim’s status by taking the Ark to Jerusalem, the new religious centre in Judah’s territory. After Solomon, the kingdom split in two, Ephraim heading the ten tribes of the larger Kingdom of Israel in the north, with the smaller Kingdom of Judah (which gave its name to the Jewish people and religion) in the south. A new sanctuary and temple, a rival to Jerusalem, was built in Ephraim’s land on Mount Gerizim.

Although larger and more powerful, the northern kingdom collapsed when it was invaded by the Assyrian empire in the eighth century BCE. The Jews later claimed that the Assyrian influence corrupted the religion of the north, a taunt that was returned when Judah underwent its own trauma of invasion and mass deportation in the Babylonian Captivity two centuries later. When the Jews returned to Jerusalem after their seventy-year exile, they set about codifying and reforming their religion, incorporating concepts from that of Babylon. So both the Jews and the Samaritans believed that only they practised the ‘pure’ religion of Moses, and that the other’s version was heretical. Victors’ history decided that the Jews won, but the Samaritans could have been right...

The rivalry reached a climax when, about two centuries before Jesus, the Jews conquered Samaria and destroyed their temple – yet another reason for Samaritan resentment. It was only with the advent of Roman rule that Samaria was freed from Jewish subjugation.

Not unnaturally, by Jesus’ day, the Jews and Samaritans detested each other. The hostility even affected their respective end times speculations: all the prophecies foresaw a re-gathering of the twelve tribes – one of the functions of the Messiah – and a reconciliation of Judah and Ephraim, but opinions differed over which tribe would come out on top. Naturally, the Jews thought it would be them. Moreover, their deeply-ingrained prejudice made the idea of bringing the Samaritans back into the fold deeply distasteful. Meanwhile, the Samaritans believed in a coming saviour, the Taheb (‘Restorer’ or ‘Returner’), who would reassemble the tribes under the authority of Ephraim, restoring the situation that had existed at the very beginning of Israelite history. And part of the Taheb’s function was to overthrow Judah. (The Samaritan woman would therefore have recognised Jesus as the Taheb.)

Many scholars and archaeologists have shown that the Israelites’ original religion was far from the monotheistic and patriarchal institution it was to become, and that it owed much to either, or both, the native, pagan religions of Canaan and Egypt. The classic study is Raphael Patai’s The Hebrew Goddess (1967, revised 1990), which argued that, before the split after Solomon’s reign, the Israelites had worshipped a goddess, Asherah, alongside Yahweh, revealing both polytheism and an awareness of the sacred feminine. (Images of cherubim excavated from ninth-century Israel are almost identical to Egyptian depictions of the winged Isis.) Patai also showed that early Israelite tradition incorporated a female figure which manifested God’s power of creation.

And as we know, all of these are characteristics of the teaching of the Samaritan Simon Magus – which makes sense if, as the Samaritans claimed, they really did preserve the original form of the Israelite religion.

But we believe it would also resolve the basic contradiction about how Jesus’ career could incorporate ‘Jewish’ and pagan elements. If, instead of ‘Jewish’ we think in terms of the ‘people of Israel’ – i.e. the original religion and tribes – then much about his mission falls into place.

The Samaritan connection also offers an explanation of the origin of the Eucharist. One of the texts that might include a possible Jewish precursor to the Christian Eucharist is the late BCE or early CE ‘The Book of Joseph and Asenath’. Normally described as a product of the Jewish community in Egypt, it includes a ritual involving the eating of bread and the drinking of wine – the nearest ceremony to the Eucharist in any Jewish source, and, although the key element of equating the bread and wine with body and blood is absent, some have suggested that it may have influenced either Jesus’ rite or the practices of the first Christians, who added the communion element.

However, as ‘The Book of Joseph and Asenath’ describes the Biblical tale of the union of the patriarch Joseph and the daughter of the Egyptian high priest of Heliopolis, it was clearly written by or for a community to which their marriage was particularly important. As the sons of Joseph and Asenath were Ephraim and Manesseh, the legendary ancestors of the Samaritans – and there was a large Samaritan community in Egypt – it seems the text is Samaritan and not Jewish.

So in the Samaritan connection we find clues to the apparent discrepancy between the Jewishness and paganism found in Jesus’ teachings. And it was against the background of age-old simmering tribal hatred that the extraordinary character of Simon Magus – the ‘bad’ Samaritan – arose, challenging the cult of Jesus with his miracles and claims of divinity.

It is all too easy to accept the rather garbled version of his later life as given by the early Church fathers, in which he is tamed by the apostles and dies in a magical battle with Saint Peter. Yet this is the man who it seems John the Baptist nominated as his official successor – and not Jesus… But that, as they say, is another story…

Despite often bitter opposition from many vested interests, LYNN PICKNETT and CLIVE PRINCE have fearlessly exposed cover-ups and conspiracies, from the faking of the Shroud of Turin (Turin Shroud), the Rudolf Hess mission (Double Standards), the battle among the Second World War Allies (Friendly Fire), the British royal family (War of the Windsors), the New Age movement and the hijacking of ancient Egypt (The Stargate Conspiracy), the Priory of Sion (The Sion Revelation) – and the origins and history of Christianity (The Templar Revelation) as well as their latest book The Masks of Christ. Their website is www.picknettprince.com.

[link to www.newdawnmagazine.com]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 566712
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12/06/2008 04:07 AM
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Re: The Bad Samaritan: Behind the Lies and Cover-ups about the Man Believed to be God
The Bad Samaritan: Behind the Lies and Cover-ups about the Man Believed to be God

© BY LYNN PICKNETT & CLIVE PRINCE

It is remarkable what happens when you abandon your preconceptions about Christianity – hard though that might be, if, like us, you were brought up as a churchgoer – and approach the subject as objectively as possible.

When we began our latest book, The Masks of Christ: Behind the Lies and Cover-ups About the Man Believed to be God, we thought we had already reached certain conclusions in our 1997 The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ (which Dan Brown acknowledges as a major inspiration for The Da Vinci Code). But as our research progressed we became enthralled – perhaps even a little shocked – by what we were faced with, but which only served to reinforce and clarify our previous conclusions.
We begin with a great mystery.

The Great Debate

Of the many puzzles surrounding Jesus, perhaps the most fundamental is the clash between the Jewish and pagan elements in his mission.

Certain New Testament passages are unequivocally hardcore Jewish nationalist, such as Jesus’ claim to the title of Messiah, a role which (despite Christians’ later redefinition) only makes sense in Jewish terms. The Messiah – ‘Anointed’, in Greek ‘Christos’ – was to be the great deliverer, who would reassemble and lead the twelve tribes of Israel in kicking out the Romans, before finally fulfilling God’s promise to extend their rule to all other nations.

Of course, Jesus conspicuously failed to fulfil that role. From the Jews’ perspective he achieved the exact opposite, spawning a religion that, in his name, subjected them to centuries of subjugation. That is why his besotted early followers changed the whole emphasis of ‘Messiah’, with Paul initiating the new spin with the notion that has underpinned Christianity ever since: instead of being a hard-nosed Jewish military leader, the new Messiah was a god-man whose redeeming death and resurrection offered eternal life to all who accepted him, regardless of their ethnic or religious background.

Yet the gospel writers still ensured Jesus was associated with the old prophecies of the Messiah, such as entering Jerusalem on a donkey, which was an unequivocal declaration of Messiahship.

Even though by the time of the gospels the Christian movement had adopted Paul’s doctrine that the message was for all mankind, clearly the internal evidence shows that Jesus himself intended to confine the ‘Good News’ to the people of Israel. We see this in the tale of Jesus and the Syro-Phoenician woman in Mark’s Gospel, where at first he refuses to heal her possessed daughter because she is not one of the chosen people – even calling her ‘dog’, the racist term used by Jews of Gentiles – only changing his mind when she implicitly acknowledges his God’s superiority. As several scholars admit, since this contradicts the gospel writer’s own position, it must be authentic.

Jesus the Pagan

On the other hand, some Biblical passages are hard to equate with Judaism, especially those about Jesus’ more private rituals, most obviously the Eucharist, the symbolic eating of his ‘body’ as bread and drinking of his ‘blood’ as wine that he supposedly established at the Last Supper. Such a rite, even symbolically, was unthinkable for a Jew, for whom ingesting human blood was an abomination. In fact, it resonates much more neatly with the mystery cults of the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians, where gods were symbolically devoured to forge a spiritual communion between the cult member and the deity. Importing such practices into Judaism would have been regarded by the mainstream as blasphemous.

Evidence has also accumulated over the last few decades that Jesus modelled his cures and exorcisms on pagan magicians’, primarily from Egypt, echoing – or perhaps confirming – early Jewish claims that he had been schooled in sorcery in Egypt. And if the suppressed ‘Gnostic Gospels’ are accepted as genuinely representing certain sides of Jesus’ beliefs and teaching – as we do – then they, too, show a thinking not obviously associated with the Judaism of his day, especially where the spirituality of the feminine is concerned, as exemplified in his relationship with Mary Magdalene.

The majority of New Testament scholars simply reject the non-Jewish parts of the gospels as inauthentic, arguing that the Eucharist was invented by the apostles of the new religion – Paul again! – to make it more Gentile-friendly, something familiar from the sects that celebrated dying-and-rising saviour gods who incarnated as a mortal man. The academics assume that this was borrowed from one of many such cults, perhaps that of Mithras or Dionysus, and was applied to the meal that Jesus’ first followers held purely in memory of him (with no mystical connotations).

But in fact, there is no reason to reject these passages except the impossibility of fitting them into a Jewish context. The logic is that, since we know that Jesus was Jewish, and no Jew could possible have entertained such practices, then he couldn’t have done so, and therefore they must be later inventions.

However, the evidence simply isn’t there. It is hard to imagine later followers inventing Jesus using pagan magic in such detail – even down to specific phrases found in earlier Greco-Egyptian magical papyri. And the internal evidence of the New Testament itself points to the Eucharist being one of the earliest Christian practices, going back to Jesus himself. It is the one element that appears virtually identically in all four gospels and Paul’s Letters. (It is generally agreed that Paul’s Letters predate the gospels, although we would argue that Mark’s Gospel might be contemporary with some of Paul’s writings.)

Even odder, as Paul clearly struggled to fit the Eucharist into his ‘revealed’ version of Jesus’ mission, evidently he would even have been happier to ignore the rite entirely, but it was already too well established. His solution was to transmute the rite into a memorial, specifically to dodge the ‘communion’ aspect. So ironically the evidence points to the exact reverse of the conventional position – instead of Paul adding the ‘mystical communion’ element, he tried to get rid of it!

Part of the Christian process of redefining the meaning of the ritual meal was linking it to the Last Supper the night before his crucifixion. However, the evidence of John’s Gospel is that Jesus actually instituted the rite earlier, when he was preaching in Galilee – which led to a mass desertion of disciples appalled by his injunction that they must drink his blood.

It must be stressed that such practices are not merely difficult to reconcile with Judaism – as a would-be Messiah had to be – but impossible. They are totally incompatible.

So, as some scholars are now beginning to argue, could the Jewish parts be the invention? But that solution doesn’t work either, since it means rejecting passages that are strongly evidential – such as the episode of the Syro-Phoenician woman and the entry into Jerusalem.

So we hit an impasse. According to accepted thinking, Jesus could never have been both a Jewish leader and a proponent of mystery school rites. Is there any possible solution?

Enter the Magus

One potential way forward, we realised – with some astonishment – lay in exploring the parallel between Jesus and that flamboyant scriptural bad boy to end bad boys, Jesus’ hugely unconventional contemporary, Simon Magus, whose very name underlines his apparently pagan credentials, ‘Magus’ meaning ‘occultist’ or ‘magician’.

The earliest reference to Simon Magus (or Simon of Gitta, after the town of his birth in Samaria) comes in the Acts of the Apostles, the continuation of Luke’s Gospel that takes the story on after Jesus’ crucifixion. After the first persecution of Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem that began with the stoning of the first Christian martyr, Stephen, some of Jesus’ disciples, led by Philip, fled to Samaria. This was within, at most, ten years of the crucifixion – probably less. Here they find that many Samaritans follow Simon Magus, regarded as the ‘Great Power’ sent by God. Philip not only successfully converts Simon’s followers to Christianity, but also the Magus himself. Some time later Peter and the disciple John go to Samaria to take the Holy Spirit to the community established by Philip, and Simon Magus reveals his true colours by offering them money for the secret of the Holy Spirit, earning a stern condemnation from Peter.

Clearly, as the Simonites found it so easy to switch their allegiance there must have been a marked similarity between the messages of Jesus and the Magus. And Simon himself was, albeit briefly, once a member of the Christian community in Samaria. Although Acts attributes his success there to sorcery, as we now know Jesus himself indulged in pagan magic, so this points up a similarity between them.

Although Acts’ story ends with Simon asking forgiveness, other early Christian sources show he went on to challenge the fledgling Jesus movement, appearing in the writings of the Church Fathers as the ‘first heretic’ who attempted to lead the early Christians astray. Again, the term suggests a basic similarity between Simon and Jesus – heresy being a variation of a religion.

A major source is the related texts known as the Clementina or the Pseudo-Clementine Literature. Written around 150 CE but drawing on earlier material, it describes the struggle between Peter and Simon Magus for the hearts, minds and souls of the Samaritans.

It is crystal clear that the Church Fathers’ big problem was that Simon Magus was far, far too similar to Jesus, performing miracles and healings – even being regarded as an incarnate god. The early Christians were anxious to point out to their flock that, although Simon appeared to be cut from the same cloth as Jesus, this was a ploy by the Devil to sow confusion. Epiphanius of Salamis wrote that Simon “worked under the cloak of Christ” and even hinted that he claimed to be Jesus resurrected. Hyppolytus of Rome said bluntly: “He was not the Christ.” But do they protest too much?

The Magus, too, promoted a seemingly peculiar blend of Jewish and pagan ideas. The Clementina makes the apparently extraordinary statement that, while he taught that there were “many gods,” he was citing the books of Moses (i.e. the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament). This seemed so weird that the Clementina was dismissed as nonsense – but in 1842 a work of Hippolytus was discovered in which he had included (in order to point out the errors) large extracts from Simon’s own treatise, the ‘Great Revelation’, whose one-time existence was known but which was believed to have been lost.

The ‘Great Revelation’ reveals an elevation of the sacred feminine and an emphasis on sexual mysticism that fit awkwardly with the patriarchal character of Judaism, and which caused much outrage among the Church Fathers, to whom Simon’s rituals were obscene and disgusting. Notoriously, he is said to have travelled with one Helen, a former prostitute from Tyre – described as a black woman who danced in chains, and who he claimed was the incarnation of God’s ‘First Thought’, the female power through whom God had created the material world. (Of course there are intriguing parallels between the relationships of Simon and Helen, and Jesus and Mary Magdalene as portrayed in the Gnostic Gospels.)

An even more extraordinary link between Simon and Jesus is that, again according to the Clementina, the two men shared the same teacher: John the Baptist. Indeed, it states that it was Simon Magus, not Jesus, who John chose as his successor.

But what does all this have to tell us about the historical Jesus?

The big clue comes from the fact that Simon Magus was a Samaritan, one of those who, despite an ethnic kinship with the Jews, were detested by them – a feeling that was decidedly mutual.

On the subject of Jesus and Samaria, the gospel writers appear to differ awkwardly. In Matthew, Mark and Luke Jesus is depicted as shunning the land and its people (with some exceptions, notably the parable of the Good Samaritan). On the other hand, John’s Gospel has him extending his mission into Samaria.

There is, in fact, strong evidence that the enigmatic Gospel of John was originally written for an early Samaritan Christian community, which would explain its positive view of the Samaritans. For example, it describes the first person to whom Jesus chooses to reveal his Messiahship as the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well in the heart of Samaria, and the first to recognise him as the Messiah are Samaritans. We suggest it was written for Samaritan converts from Simon Magus’ following – after all, some of the gospel’s unique stories, particularly those with an unexpected sexual subtext, seem to have been specifically included (or contrived) to subvert Simon’s teaching.

The key figure of John the Baptist was also active in Samaria. According to John’s Gospel, one of his centres was Aenon (modern Ainûn), in Samaria.

So, Jesus and John the Baptist both took their missions into Samaria – another parallel with Simon Magus. But what is it about that land that explains the Jewish/pagan paradox of both Jesus’ and Simon’s teachings?

The key lies in the reason for the animosity between Jews and Samaritans, which had its roots in the earliest days of Israel. The Samaritans were descended from the Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manesseh, and still inhabited their lands, between Judea and Galilee. Originally, Ephraim was predominant: Moses’ successor and the conqueror of the Promised Land, Joshua, was from Ephraim and the tribe was given the honour of being custodians of the Ark of the Covenant in its sanctuary at Shiloh. Some historians and archaeologists believe that Ephraim and Manesseh were two of only three tribes (the other being Benjamin) that came out of Egypt, the others being native Canaanites who were converted to the religion of Moses. And intriguingly, legend linked them with the Egyptian religion of Heliopolis, since their progenitors, Ephraim and Manesseh, were sons of Joseph and Asenath, the daughter of the high priest of Heliopolis.

After the creation of the kingdom of Israel a power struggle developed between the tribes of Ephraim and Judah. King David usurped Ephraim’s status by taking the Ark to Jerusalem, the new religious centre in Judah’s territory. After Solomon, the kingdom split in two, Ephraim heading the ten tribes of the larger Kingdom of Israel in the north, with the smaller Kingdom of Judah (which gave its name to the Jewish people and religion) in the south. A new sanctuary and temple, a rival to Jerusalem, was built in Ephraim’s land on Mount Gerizim.

Although larger and more powerful, the northern kingdom collapsed when it was invaded by the Assyrian empire in the eighth century BCE. The Jews later claimed that the Assyrian influence corrupted the religion of the north, a taunt that was returned when Judah underwent its own trauma of invasion and mass deportation in the Babylonian Captivity two centuries later. When the Jews returned to Jerusalem after their seventy-year exile, they set about codifying and reforming their religion, incorporating concepts from that of Babylon. So both the Jews and the Samaritans believed that only they practised the ‘pure’ religion of Moses, and that the other’s version was heretical. Victors’ history decided that the Jews won, but the Samaritans could have been right...

The rivalry reached a climax when, about two centuries before Jesus, the Jews conquered Samaria and destroyed their temple – yet another reason for Samaritan resentment. It was only with the advent of Roman rule that Samaria was freed from Jewish subjugation.

Not unnaturally, by Jesus’ day, the Jews and Samaritans detested each other. The hostility even affected their respective end times speculations: all the prophecies foresaw a re-gathering of the twelve tribes – one of the functions of the Messiah – and a reconciliation of Judah and Ephraim, but opinions differed over which tribe would come out on top. Naturally, the Jews thought it would be them. Moreover, their deeply-ingrained prejudice made the idea of bringing the Samaritans back into the fold deeply distasteful. Meanwhile, the Samaritans believed in a coming saviour, the Taheb (‘Restorer’ or ‘Returner’), who would reassemble the tribes under the authority of Ephraim, restoring the situation that had existed at the very beginning of Israelite history. And part of the Taheb’s function was to overthrow Judah. (The Samaritan woman would therefore have recognised Jesus as the Taheb.)

Many scholars and archaeologists have shown that the Israelites’ original religion was far from the monotheistic and patriarchal institution it was to become, and that it owed much to either, or both, the native, pagan religions of Canaan and Egypt. The classic study is Raphael Patai’s The Hebrew Goddess (1967, revised 1990), which argued that, before the split after Solomon’s reign, the Israelites had worshipped a goddess, Asherah, alongside Yahweh, revealing both polytheism and an awareness of the sacred feminine. (Images of cherubim excavated from ninth-century Israel are almost identical to Egyptian depictions of the winged Isis.) Patai also showed that early Israelite tradition incorporated a female figure which manifested God’s power of creation.

And as we know, all of these are characteristics of the teaching of the Samaritan Simon Magus – which makes sense if, as the Samaritans claimed, they really did preserve the original form of the Israelite religion.

But we believe it would also resolve the basic contradiction about how Jesus’ career could incorporate ‘Jewish’ and pagan elements. If, instead of ‘Jewish’ we think in terms of the ‘people of Israel’ – i.e. the original religion and tribes – then much about his mission falls into place.

The Samaritan connection also offers an explanation of the origin of the Eucharist. One of the texts that might include a possible Jewish precursor to the Christian Eucharist is the late BCE or early CE ‘The Book of Joseph and Asenath’. Normally described as a product of the Jewish community in Egypt, it includes a ritual involving the eating of bread and the drinking of wine – the nearest ceremony to the Eucharist in any Jewish source, and, although the key element of equating the bread and wine with body and blood is absent, some have suggested that it may have influenced either Jesus’ rite or the practices of the first Christians, who added the communion element.

However, as ‘The Book of Joseph and Asenath’ describes the Biblical tale of the union of the patriarch Joseph and the daughter of the Egyptian high priest of Heliopolis, it was clearly written by or for a community to which their marriage was particularly important. As the sons of Joseph and Asenath were Ephraim and Manesseh, the legendary ancestors of the Samaritans – and there was a large Samaritan community in Egypt – it seems the text is Samaritan and not Jewish.

So in the Samaritan connection we find clues to the apparent discrepancy between the Jewishness and paganism found in Jesus’ teachings. And it was against the background of age-old simmering tribal hatred that the extraordinary character of Simon Magus – the ‘bad’ Samaritan – arose, challenging the cult of Jesus with his miracles and claims of divinity.

It is all too easy to accept the rather garbled version of his later life as given by the early Church fathers, in which he is tamed by the apostles and dies in a magical battle with Saint Peter. Yet this is the man who it seems John the Baptist nominated as his official successor – and not Jesus… But that, as they say, is another story…

Despite often bitter opposition from many vested interests, LYNN PICKNETT and CLIVE PRINCE have fearlessly exposed cover-ups and conspiracies, from the faking of the Shroud of Turin (Turin Shroud), the Rudolf Hess mission (Double Standards), the battle among the Second World War Allies (Friendly Fire), the British royal family (War of the Windsors), the New Age movement and the hijacking of ancient Egypt (The Stargate Conspiracy), the Priory of Sion (The Sion Revelation) – and the origins and history of Christianity (The Templar Revelation) as well as their latest book The Masks of Christ. Their website is www.picknettprince.com.

[link to www.newdawnmagazine.com]
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 566352





Where do you slime-sucking scum come from?

It's REALLY getting old.
Anonymous Coward
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12/06/2008 04:24 AM
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Re: The Bad Samaritan: Behind the Lies and Cover-ups about the Man Believed to be God
gets a five star vote from me.

The old testement is nothing but an alien visitation story from peoples too primitive to know better - the new testement is a tool to keep the poor and down trodden further oppressed by a fat patriarcal elite who want domination not deliverence.

Jesus didn't die, he had a family, its blood line lived on and spread wide across the world. MM was his wife and he had children and then he and Mm went their seperate ways for the childrens safe keeping.

This is the bloodline of Christ that the elite want hidden from the masses because their scare story house of cards will collapse.

Christian, judism and islam are lies based on a twin set of books filled with lies designed soley to oppress the masses for the gains of the elite.

The truth however will truely set them free.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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12/06/2008 04:27 AM
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gets a five star vote from me.

The old testement is nothing but an alien visitation story from peoples too primitive to know better - the new testement is a tool to keep the poor and down trodden further oppressed by a fat patriarcal elite who want domination not deliverence.

Jesus didn't die, he had a family, its blood line lived on and spread wide across the world. MM was his wife and he had children and then he and Mm went their seperate ways for the childrens safe keeping.

This is the bloodline of Christ that the elite want hidden from the masses because their scare story house of cards will collapse.

Christian, judism and islam are lies based on a twin set of books filled with lies designed soley to oppress the masses for the gains of the elite.

The truth however will truely set them free.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 566750


hf
Lady Wolf

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12/06/2008 04:33 AM

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this is really interesting...thank you for posting this!
Real truth is self evident...
Anonymous Coward
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12/06/2008 04:35 AM
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hf

Indeed.

If only these 'devout' people would look at what keeps them bonded in chains.


Do not get me wrong. I want to live in a world where people are kind, thoughtful, do good deeds, love and care for one another and there is not this manical destructive force pushing us closer and closer to the abyss in its quest for power and greed.

The Church, The Jewish state, and islam are all pushing us towards the darkness faster and faster.

Take for instance the papal state.... love and tolerance? The jewish state, love and tolerance? the muslims, love and tolerance?

No.

Bigotry, visciousness, murder and despotism at its very worst.
Anonymous Coward
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12/06/2008 05:52 AM
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bump

because organised religion is about deception of the masses, lulling them into a false sense of security and making sure they see their impoverished prison as a paradise.

Its all deception from the word go.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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12/06/2008 05:54 AM
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making sure they see their impoverished prison as a paradise.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 566750


This is good, the only way out of your prison, spiritually speaking hf
Anonymous Coward
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12/06/2008 06:20 AM
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You look at all religion that wants power over the masses and they ALL have the same message.

You may live in the gutter, have lives of misery and neglect, watch as the powerful above you eat their fill and pass you by as you lay dying... but don't worry, you'll get a reward for breaking your back in labouring their fields of plenty.


Just not in this life; your reward will be in the next one.



I say 'fuck that shit'. We need to make THIS LIFE and THIS WORLD a beautiful place, a kind place, a calm nourishing place.

Not the planet of war and destruction organised religion has turned it into.
Weathered Eye
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12/06/2008 07:39 AM
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Great stuff OP! Unfortunately, a lot of good hearted and well meaning religious and "pious" people are still blinded by dogma.

If I tried to share this article with some of them, it would be scandalous and I would be no better than Simon Magus himself!
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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12/06/2008 07:41 AM
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You look at all religion that wants power over the masses and they ALL have the same message.

You may live in the gutter, have lives of misery and neglect, watch as the powerful above you eat their fill and pass you by as you lay dying... but don't worry, you'll get a reward for breaking your back in labouring their fields of plenty.


Just not in this life; your reward will be in the next one.



I say 'fuck that shit'. We need to make THIS LIFE and THIS WORLD a beautiful place, a kind place, a calm nourishing place.

Not the planet of war and destruction organised religion has turned it into.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 566750


Yep, its us, each of us, which is creating Hell or Heaven, if we behave with Love, Wisdom and Truth, that means, respecting our neighbours, family, friends, enemys, learn, work and improve in every day life.

Love, Wisdom and Truth rule hf
Anonymous Coward
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12/06/2008 08:31 AM
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Where do you slime-sucking scum come from?

It's REALLY getting old.


the above a quote from a moron....and what really is old is how the first person to post, quotes the whole thing, pixel bleed, just to make a stupid remark.

good post OP.
Lotus Feet

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12/06/2008 08:54 AM
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As Jesus says "If you have not experienced what you write it is not more than hypothesis." Experience counts.

I had vision last night first Arafat came, then Jewish priests dressed as they were in biblical times, then some more Arabs, then behind them came a group of Popes.

I asked them why they had come and they said 'we are ashamed'. I responded so you should be, what are you going to do about your shame?".

Then a child of about ten years old stood with his back to them and he had a bow and arrow in his hand. He was dressed like a young Robin Hood and he was about to fire his arrow.

They responded "we are going to support the child." Then I asked what does the arrow represent and they responded "Truth".

Lotus
i love satan
Anonymous Coward
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12/06/2008 09:52 AM
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Well, when i was sick and underwent an operation I met Jesus.

he took a bible, tossed it over his shoulder, told me to ignore it and make the world, this world full of love and light, and from that love truth would come.

So...........


I sat and pondered it and then thought about the tower of Bable.

Now, it doesn't matter what it was, its enough to know that a spiteful, jealous angry 'god' destroyed it and destroyed those building it.

From that we can see that Religion and this 'god' is nothing but an attempt to keep us dispersed and working with each other in love and tolerance / truth and understanding to strive to get off earth and out into our inheritance... the stars.

In short, what ever came to earth has spent 2800 years fucking us over to keep us tied to this planet and not reaching for the stars.

2800 years of stopping us from another 'tower of babel'.
Anonymous Coward
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12/06/2008 10:15 AM
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Gets a five star vote from me because 'god' is a spiteful fucker who killed millions of women and children because they wouldn't do as he wanted in a couple of towns.

A real God would of sent a good guy to lead by example, not flatten the whole fucking town.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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12/06/2008 12:41 PM
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hf
FHL(C)

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12/06/2008 06:22 PM
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Ah the last days of rampant self absorbed, self interested greed and selfishness and claims of independence from reality.

Attacks on YHVH/YAHshua aka God aka Jesus et al, are going to increase amongst the fearful and godless , especially in the west, as basic institutions like the family are demolished by godless and god hating government and other self absorbed and self interested individuals groups and organization, but all to no avail.

Ownership it is said is 9/tenths of the law, and the owner(God) of everything, certainly has the right to do as Right deems fit and proper, so to accuse God of evil is actually an attempt at self justification of ones own righteous position and innate holiness(and sheer power too as an aside), which is patently and laughably and obviously not the case, for any of us mortals in this existence.

Get used to it God haters, Scripture has always been correct prophetically and will continue to be so as we accelerate into the conclusion of this current ages prophetic highlights, so keep your eyes on Jerusalem in particular, buckle up your seat belts and hang on till the birth pains/pangs are over, and a genuinely great and holy new age is entered into, the 1000 year reign of God on and over earth, not the false new age that will attempt to and deceive countless millions of selfish and god hating individuals and organizations.
Anonymous Coward
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12/21/2008 03:55 PM
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hf
Anonymous Coward
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12/21/2008 09:19 PM
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Of the many puzzles surrounding Jesus, perhaps the most fundamental is the clash between the Jewish and pagan elements in his mission.

 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 566352


More evidence that Jesus is a composite or combination of several prophets/holy men, Jewish and pagan.
Anonymous Coward
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02/05/2009 04:29 PM
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bump
HardTruth

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02/05/2009 04:54 PM
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Of the many puzzles surrounding Jesus, perhaps the most fundamental is the clash between the Jewish and pagan elements in his mission.



More evidence that Jesus is a composite or combination of several prophets/holy men, Jewish and pagan.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 497155



Absolutely!!


teeeehee


___________
If it expects, or demands worship, it is not divine!!

"Most Jews do not like to admit it, but our god is Lucifer." - (Harold Wallace Rosenthal)

"There is no religion higher than TRUTH"

"The opposite of bravery is not cowardice but conformity"

Nothing is more dangerous, than trying to give truth to people, who are stuck in their ways...

"Whoever shall find out the true sense of the Book of Genesis ought to take care not to divulge it…If a person should discover the true meaning of it by himself, or by the aid of another, then he ought to be silent, or if he speaks he ought to speak of it obscurely, in an enigmatical manner, as I do myself" - (Rabbi Moses Maimonides)
DSmith
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02/05/2009 06:04 PM
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Re: The Bad Samaritan: Behind the Lies and Cover-ups about the Man Believed to be God
agenda after agenda after agenda,

the many gods gave way to the one god so that we could find commonality but instead we only found more ways to divide ourselves, more ways to kill ourselves

and no matter how many come, or how many times they come, we twist the message, we twist the signs, we twist it all until it no longer holds merit, no longer remains truth.



history nolonger matters, because the truth can not be found there it is to diluted, to manipulated, to fragmented. All that is produced is partail truths surrounded by conjecture and agenda. You can argue as you wish but you will not find 'truth' argueing in this manor.

So

Leave the faith of others be, it is awful to try to destroy the faith of another being, you can not replace it, you cause suffering when you do these things. You are not doing this for 'truth'. Truth does not require this. God does not require this. A person must grow their faith until it is tall enough to see, you can not bring them to fruit by destroying their plant, by detroying there roots. They can only see once they have grown tall enough to see over the obstacles 'all spiritual faiths' will eventually produce this growth in the 'true' seeker. Do not enterfere with anothers path to god, have compassion, have forgiveness in you, there is no need to cause others to loose there faith this is an awful thing to do to another.

all of us, have deep within us, a knowing that can not be denied, the true seeker always finds this, when we can seperate ourselves from a history given to us by others, we see our hearts desire, our returning to the alpha omega, the first cause, and truth is born a new,

compassion grows great spiritual gardens.

be strong in love

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