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Fri Aug 24, 2012, 04:51 PM

Does the book of Isaiah say anything about Jesus of Nazareth?

Last edited Sun Mar 31, 2013, 03:14 PM - Edit history (2)

Christianity was built upon the idea that Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled the prophecies of the Hebrew Bible (Torah and Tanakh), or will when he "comes again."

Christianity was also built on the theology of Christian Apologetics, which was established by the evangelist Paul and submits that Christianity supersedes Judaism and "overrules" it. And that, of course, rankles Rabbinical Jews, Talmudic Jews, Kabbalistic Jews and liberal and progressive Christians, among others who know differently.

Part of the problem is that Paul and the apostles of Jesus whose work made it into the official church canon got their ideas of how and why Jesus fulfilled prophecy from the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. The King James English translation was later influenced by that even though it was translated from both the Hebrew the Greek translation. And the problem is that the Septuagint contains certain words that are different from the original Hebrew texts.

For example, the original book of Isaiah in Hebrew does not used the word "virgin" in Isaiah 7:14, as the Septuagint does. Instead, it uses the term "young woman" (almah). And, as an article on The Virgin Birth Story reveals, while some Christians rationalize that the word almah could also mean virgin, they ignore the fact that there is a Hebrew word that actually does mean "virgin." It is "bethulah," and it is used in Isaiah 23:12, 37:22, 47:1, and 62:5. Therefore, the author of the original book of Isaiah was well aware of the word for virgin and yet purposely did not use it in Isaiah 7:14.

Another example is in Isaiah 53, which Christians depends on heavily to "prove" that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah. After all, it does mention of the Mashiach "anointed one" that "with his stripes we are healed." (assuming that the "stripes" were from the whipping Jesus endured on the last day of his life.)

However, as an article on Isaiah Chapter 53 reveals, the original Hebrew reveals a different story. And to give you an idea, here is Isaiah 53:3-6 in a modern English translation of the original Hebrew as preserved and reflected in the Masoretic text:

"He was despised, and forsaken of men, a man of pains, and acquainted with disease, and as one from whom men hide their face. He was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely our diseases he did bear, and our pains he carried; whereas we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded because of our transgressions, he was crushed because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his stripes we were healed. All we like sheep did go astray, we turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light on him the iniquity of us all."

The article also points out that Isaiah 53:5 does not say, “He was wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities,” which is what Christians have written to ascribe the prophecy to Jesus. Rather, the proper translation is: “He was wounded because of our transgressions, and crushed because of our iniquities.

That means that the servant of God suffered as a result of the sinfulness and iniquity of others, not that he suffered to atone for the sins and iniquity of others. In fact, the Messiah is sent as a counselor who delivers judgment and guidance, and the misguided theology of Christian Apologetics directly contradicts the basic Jewish teaching that forgiveness is promised to all who sincerely return to God. Therefore, there is no need for the Messiah to atone for others (Isaiah 55:6-7, Jeremiah 36:3, Ezekiel chapters 18 and 33, Hoseah 14:1-3, Jonah 3:6-10, Proverbs 16:6, Daniel 4:27, 2-Chronicles 7:14).

The article points out that: His "silence" goes with his being “hidden” and merely delivering the message before him, without bringing attention to himself, without exalting himself, without rising up and seeking the limelight as a famous politician or preacher (as Isaiah prophesied). And it goes with his willingness to "offer his soul in restitution."

The leaders of today's "Christian Right," of course, do everything they can to fight and discredit that, because it proves that the book of Isaiah is not about Jesus of Nazareth but about the modern son of man. But the truth about Isaiah's prophecies is just part of a huge amount of growing evidence that show how and why the actual prophecies of Isaiah and Jesus are about the same modern son of man.
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Reply Does the book of Isaiah say anything about Jesus of Nazareth? (Original post)
SarahM32 Aug 2012 OP
MineralMan Aug 2012 #1
Ezlivin Aug 2012 #2
dballance Aug 2012 #3
Ezlivin Aug 2012 #11
LiberalFighter Aug 2012 #16
Ezlivin Aug 2012 #17
LiberalFighter Aug 2012 #18
Ezlivin Aug 2012 #19
LiberalFighter Aug 2012 #20
Ezlivin Aug 2012 #24
alfredo Aug 2012 #26
SarahM32 Aug 2012 #12
dballance Aug 2012 #14
SarahM32 Aug 2012 #23
SarahM32 Aug 2012 #7
northoftheborder Aug 2012 #4
dimbear Aug 2012 #28
Thats my opinion Aug 2012 #5
SarahM32 Aug 2012 #10
intaglio Aug 2012 #22
cbayer Aug 2012 #6
Thats my opinion Aug 2012 #8
SarahM32 Aug 2012 #9
pinto Aug 2012 #13
SarahM32 Aug 2012 #15
intaglio Aug 2012 #21
SarahM32 Aug 2012 #25
intaglio Aug 2012 #27
SarahM32 Aug 2012 #29
intaglio Aug 2012 #30
SarahM32 Aug 2012 #32
intaglio Aug 2012 #35
SarahM32 Aug 2012 #36
intaglio Aug 2012 #38
SarahM32 Sep 2012 #48
intaglio Sep 2012 #49
SarahM32 Sep 2012 #50
intaglio Sep 2012 #51
SarahM32 Sep 2012 #54
intaglio Sep 2012 #55
SarahM32 Sep 2012 #57
intaglio Sep 2012 #59
SarahM32 Sep 2012 #60
intaglio Sep 2012 #61
SarahM32 Sep 2012 #62
intaglio Sep 2012 #63
Thats my opinion Aug 2012 #31
SarahM32 Aug 2012 #33
intaglio Aug 2012 #34
SarahM32 Aug 2012 #37
intaglio Aug 2012 #39
Thats my opinion Aug 2012 #41
SarahM32 Aug 2012 #43
SarahM32 Sep 2012 #65
SarahM32 Sep 2012 #66
Petrushka Aug 2012 #40
Thats my opinion Aug 2012 #42
SarahM32 Aug 2012 #45
SarahM32 Aug 2012 #44
Petrushka Aug 2012 #46
SarahM32 Aug 2012 #47
Petrushka Sep 2012 #52
SarahM32 Sep 2012 #53
Petrushka Sep 2012 #56
SarahM32 Sep 2012 #58
SarahM32 Sep 2012 #64

Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 05:02 PM

1. Interesting.

I'll be interested to hear more of your explication of those prophecies. Understand, though, the time and language gap and the second and third-hand nature of the Gospels and other books of the New Testament and their many translations. There are shifts of meaning that are not necessarily contradictory.

Oh, and I'll visit the website you link to. A new Messiah, eh? Fascinating.

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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 05:06 PM

2. As a seminary graduate I'd say:

No.

Of course, you can interpret the Hebrew anyway you wish. Which the Southern Baptists tend to do....

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Response to Ezlivin (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 05:20 PM

3. As a scholar help me out here please - Nazareth wasn't in the Bible?

I saw a documentary on the History Channel about Jesus. In it they said Nazareth wasn't on any map from the Bible. Is this consistent with what you know/were taught? Jesus is referred to as "the Nazarene" which leads people to say he's from Nazareth when, in fact, Nazareth didn't even exist yet at the time of Jesus????

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Response to dballance (Reply #3)

Sat Aug 25, 2012, 01:12 PM

11. I don't recall discussing that in seminary

I graduated in '93 so I may simply have forgotten.

My focus was on apologetics ("defending of the faith") and there we did not discus Isaiah's text. At the time it wasn't something that anyone "outside the faith" ever brought up.

When studying Hebrew and doing transliterations, however, we did discuss briefly the word "alma" and the various ways it is translated. Needless to say, my conservative seminary did not think it necessary to dwell on this discussion. Their stance was that Matthew's choice of the Isaiah passage was prophetic and did not need defending.

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Response to Ezlivin (Reply #11)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 11:48 AM

16. So the seminary does not cover the whole Bible in their classes?

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #16)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 12:14 PM

17. No, not at all

In fact we spent most of the time smoking cigarettes and drinking booze.



Seriously, we didn't focus on the mention (or lack of a mention) of "Nazareth" in Isaiah. The purpose of seminary was to "equip pastors to share the Gospel", not to react to every claim made by nonbelievers.

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Response to Ezlivin (Reply #17)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 12:50 PM

18. I wasn't referring to Nazareth or anything like that.

Rather whether they covered all of the text in the Bible and/or whether they dealt with how scripture is to be interpreted?

Also, is there any requirement to learn Greek and Hebrew so that students read it in the original language?

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #18)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 02:37 PM

19. We covered it all

Exhaustively. History was a big part because context was important. As you know, a number of portions of the bible are long, boring passages concerning genealogy and some books in the O.T. are so full of symbolism and bizarre events (Ezekiel comes to mind) that we didn't focus on them as much.

There were two career tracks; one required Hebrew and Greek, the other didn't. Many seminary students opted to take the non-language track (typically because they already "knew" what the bible said). Well, that and the fact that it was a hell of a lot harder!

I took the language track and that required one year of Hebrew and two years of Greek. We were required to diagram sentences and do translations, so it wasn't just a simple introduction to the language(s). Yet by no means did this make one a language scholar, obviously. It did serve to awaken one to the difficulties in transliterating between Hebrew/Greek and English.

I suspect that the seminary students that took the language track were the ones who could more easily question many of the positions held by conservatives.

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Response to Ezlivin (Reply #19)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 03:03 PM

20. Thank you for the insight.

Do you believe this is for all religions that rely on the Bible? Meaning that there are two tracks they can follow vs only the language track being available which I assume is not the case?

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #20)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 04:29 PM

24. I hope not

I think that biblical languages should be required of everyone who wants to stand in the pulpit and pontificate upon the bible. Although a mastery of the language can't be obtained in such a short time, a person can become very well informed about the problems in transliterating ancient languages and teach accordingly. But too much studying can eventually lead to disbelief; that's the "fear" in conservative circles.

Honestly I don't know how other denominations run their seminaries. I can tell you that every single one of them are cranking out godless enemies of Christ. Well, at least that's what everyone around me said.

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Response to Ezlivin (Reply #24)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 05:21 PM

26. Madelyn Murray O'Hare and Jim Morrison were seminary students

Marilyn Manson was schooled in a Christian school.

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Response to dballance (Reply #3)

Sat Aug 25, 2012, 03:47 PM

12. Jesus being "from Nazareth" or being a "Nazarene" is mentioned 28 times in the NT.

I just checked.

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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #12)

Sun Aug 26, 2012, 12:35 AM

14. Thanks for the info. Which Bible Version?

I'm under the impression Nazareth was not on any Old Testament maps and that it would have been more likely for Jesus to have been referred to as Jesus of Galilee since that was the more recognizable region at the time.

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Response to dballance (Reply #14)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 04:22 PM

23. Here are the numbers from KJV and NIV

Nazareth or Nazarene is mentioned 28 time in the King James version. In the New International Version (NIV) Nazareth is mentioned 29 times, and Jesus as Nazarene 4 times.

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Response to Ezlivin (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 06:26 PM

7. Most seminary graduates would not say no. They're taught the answer is yes.

Last edited Fri Aug 31, 2012, 03:59 PM - Edit history (1)

Some, however, like most of the members of The Jesus Seminar and many other liberal progressive Christians would say "no" as you do. In fact, growing numbers of Christians are realizing the the errors in the theology of Christian Apologetics and the need for a real Reformation.

I would agree that people can interpret the Hebrew Bible any way they wish. But it's another matter when the Hebrew Bible is mistranslated, as it was in the Septuagint Greek translation that Paul and others used in the first century to develop the idea that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies in the book of Isaiah.

Granted, it was probably true what was written in Luke 4:17-22: "And they handed him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.' And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he said to them, 'This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.'"

That, however, could be said by any actual servant of God who has been "anointed" and advocates for the poor, the brokenhearted, the captives, the spiritually blind, etc. That prophecy is fulfilled by anyone whose good works indicate that they understand the will of God. And it is fulfill by many today, especially he who wrote Poverty: America's Greatest Shame.
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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 05:55 PM

4. K&R - I want to hear from someone who knows the answers to the poster and the commenters.

I've not researched topics like this but I am interested.

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Response to northoftheborder (Reply #4)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 03:12 AM

28. You're asking for a bit too much. An area of a great deal of disagreement.

Lots of support on both sides, and axes to grind. Practically speaking conservatives will say yes and liberals will say no.

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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 06:19 PM

5. The three Isaiah and Jesus

I think it was Mark Twain who commented that he heard Isaiah was not written by Isaiah, but by someone with the same name. There are three different writers who shared what we now call Isaiah, and they came from different time periods.

These writings may point to a time ahead in which the Jews in Babylonian captivity were offered hope. But Jesus doesn't appear until centuries later. You cannot say from the first century AD that someone five centuries earlier is talking about any specific historic event or person. All you can say is somebody promised hope and hope came.

You are right. There was no prophecy that a virgin should conceived centuries later. It was a young woman and that came about two chapters later in Isaiah.

Isaiah is about what was happening during that era--and is not about Jesus.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #5)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 06:45 PM

10. Yes, many scholars say the book of Isaiah had three authors. But ...

You can say that the book of Isaiah, regardless of whether it had one or three authors, speaks of the Mashiach/Messiah that fulfills the prophecies of Isaiah. But it wasn't Jesus.

What's interesting is that today while most Christians still insist that Isaiah was about Jesus, growing numbers of Jews are saying that Isaiah was not even about a Mashiach or Messiah, but about the Jews and nation of Israel collectively.

That, however, disagrees with Jewish Sanhedrin 98, which concluded that Isaiah was definitely about the Mashiach who ultimately delivers judgment and establishes peace in the world.

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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #10)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 03:14 PM

22. 3 authors from 3 completely diferent periods of Judean History

It is only tradition that keeps the name of the putative early author attached to the whole mess of pottage.

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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 06:19 PM

6. The translated quote from Isaiah that you include has a lot of the same

language used in Handel's Messiah.

Did he take it from Isaiah or is it repeated in the New Testament?

My knowledge base on what you are discussing here is very limited, but I am interested in it.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #6)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 06:33 PM

8. Handel uses several exclusively Old Testament texts--and this is one. nt

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Response to cbayer (Reply #6)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 06:36 PM

9. Handel used Isaiah's words.

Handel quoted the King James version of Isaiah 40:2, for example, which says: "Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned .."

And I'm glad you brought that up, because as the author of the article I cited states, Israel's warfare is not yet accomplished, and her iniquity has not yet pardoned. In fact, as most people in the world can see, Israel's warfare IS iniquity (as of course is "Muslim Jihadist" terrorism).


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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Sat Aug 25, 2012, 05:22 PM

13. Interesting website. Linguistically, historically I'm interested in the course of bible translations

and the various renditions that have resulted over time. And realize that religion has become politicized to an alarming degree. Not a new event for sure, but one we see increasingly evident worldwide.

Yet some of the comments on the site about Israel are pretty alarming, as well. Not sure I get the overall gist of the site. Seems contradictory or at least a conflation of things in re: the Hebrew bible, Israel, current events, apocalyptic concepts, etc.

What's the background on the website? Thanks. ~ pinto

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Response to pinto (Reply #13)

Sun Aug 26, 2012, 08:37 PM

15. Background and purpose of the site.

The message reflected on the site (http://messenger.cjcmp.org) originated from what was originally published in January 2002 on the author's website and in two books. Between then and 2011 the author published three more books and another web site.

Around 2005, http://cjcmp.org was published to promote the message (and cjcmp stands for The Coalition of Jews, Christians and Muslims for Peace, which later became The All Faiths Coalition for Peace, Freedom and Justice).

When the author shut his site down (reformationcomingsoon.bravehost.com), the Coalition then expanded its site, and produced a second layer (messenger.cjcmp.org), and later a third and fourth layer, using and editing the source material, making updates and generally trying to improve and promote it.

The author originally wrote under a pen name and has been adamant about being anonymous, insisting that it's the message that's important and not the messenger, and that the messenger is merely like a blade of grass that will pass away while the message will live on. He said the world does not need another would-be king or "holy man." It needs the truth that will liberate and empower us all.

Your feeling that some of what the message says about Israel are "alarming" is understandable, but the words of most of the Jewish prophets in the Jewish Bible (Torah and Tanakh) were alarming to many Jews. That, for instance, is why the prophet Isaiah was martyred, because he dared to expose corruption, greed, self-indulgence, etc. Isaiah even spoke of "Israel's iniquity," as does the message, saying that it will not be pardoned until Israel stops its offenses and makes amends.

If you could give me a better idea of what you mean by contradictions, I might be able to explain them. But I can tell you that in the the bio or story about the author, he readily confesses that his mission is contradictory -- because while he preaches love, forgiveness, tolerance, compassion, etc., he must, according to prophecy, deliver the prophesied judgment, expose greed, bigotry, hypocrisy, etc.
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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 03:11 PM

21. One big problem

Many scholars now think there was no single author but at least 3. Wiki gives a good summary but the collection is very complex and, as I have heard, was heavily influenced by editing in the court of Judah, notably under Josiah.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #21)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 05:01 PM

25. It's not really a problem.

Yes, Jewish and Christian tradition had held that the entire book of Isaiah was written by an 8th century BCE prophet Isaiah, but scholars have concluded that it had to have been written by different authors at different times.

As you mentioned, Wiki cites many different scholars who have provided other reasons for this conclusion. But that's clear even if you just consider that chapters 44 and 45 mention Cyrus the King of Persia who took Babylon, freed the Jewish people who had been held captive, and let them return to their homeland and establish their religious customs and temples. And Cyrus lived in 576 BC–530 BCE.

However, the authorship and period or time of writing does not alter the fact that the prophecies in Isaiah are consistent with the prophecies of other prophets, especially concerning Israel's iniquity and the Mashiach (Messiah) who ultimately judges it – who, as the article I cited reveals, was not Jesus.

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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #25)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 02:53 AM

27. The site you so proudly promote

Is pure apologetics - if there can be such a thing given the ridiculous extents that such persons go to to justify the unjustifiable. I have looked there in the past and found it useless,

Now let's get on to Isaiah. You are quite happy to that there was not one prophet but at least 3. You also seem quite happy that these words, and much of the rest of the OT, were edited and redacted by many sources to accord with the new theology promoted by the court of Josiah. There had to be such editing of Isaiah because those first 39 chapters are about a polytheist Judea. There is further evidence of such editing during the period of the Maccabees. It is interesting that the earliest sample of Isaiah that we have date from that later period.

The point here is that editing like this will produce a unity in the overall narrative as well as self referential similarities between supposed prophecies. Such editing over time will also leave a vast number contradictions, such as those found within the text of the Bible.

A similar process can be observed in the cannon of other composite works; a perfect example is the Arthurian stories. From Gildas through Froissart and Mallory folk tales and stories of local gods and heroes were massaged to fit into coherent narratives about a dark age warlord. Then there came the massive reinvention of the late 18th and 19th century where the need for a unifying British identity produced the vast numbers of glosses upon these.

Sorry but the prophecies you trumpet are not worth the paper they were (much later) written upon

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Response to intaglio (Reply #27)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 03:29 PM

29. Not so. In fact, the site refutes the theology of Christian Apologetics.

The author of the site is a Jeffersonian both in his views concerning democracy, the common good, religious freedom. and rejection of Theocracy.

His take on Christianity, which is summarized in the article About Christianity, is like Thomas Jefferson's.

As you may know, Jefferson edited the New Testament of the official church canon and removed what he called "corruptions" and all the supernatural and superstitious stuff.

Not that Jefferson was against the actual teachings of Jesus. In fact, Jefferson wrote: " "Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus."

However, on the other hand, Jefferson wrote: ""Among the sayings and discourses imputed to by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others, again, of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being. I separate, therefore, the gold from the ; restore him to the former, and leave the latter to the stupidity of some, the roguery of others of his disciples. Of this band of dupes and imposters, Paul was the first corruptor of the doctrines of Jesus."."

"But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State." --- Thomas Jefferson

The author of the message I promote has realized what Jefferson realized, and feels much the same way about Christianity and the need for separation of church and state.

As for your belief that the book of Isaiah is worthless, you are entitled to your belief. And I agree with you that there are contradictions in both the OT and NT of the Bible. But just because the book of Isaiah was written by three different authors, it does not make the one that wrote Chapter 53 and others relevant to the actual modern Mashiach (Messiah or son of man) any less valuable. In fact, they elaborate on and clarify what other prophets wrote.

In fact, proper understanding of the book of Isaiah is crucial now since many Christians (especially fundamentalists who believe Paul's theology of Christian Apologetics is "gospel') still insist the book is about Jesus, and Orthodox Jews and right-wing Jews insist Chapter 53 is not even about a Mashiach (Messiah) but about the Jewish people collectively as a nation.

It was knowing and understanding Chapter 53 and other relevant pieces of the book of Isaiah that Jesus of Nazareth was able to say and prophesy the following:

"I tell you the truth: I must go away, but I will send the Counselor to you. He will righteously judge the world; because I am going to heaven and you will see me no more. I came not to judge the world, but the rulers of this world must be judged. I have much more to say to you, but it is more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak of himself, because of himself he will do nothing but the will of the one who sent him. He will speak only what he hears from God, and he will tell you what is to come. He will glorify me by having what is mine and making it known to you." (Paraphrasing and clarifying John 8:28, John 12:47, and John 16 verses 7 through 15)

I'm sure you won't believe it. But that's fine with me. I'm writing this mainly for those who may be interested.
.

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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #29)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 06:16 PM

30. Being Jeffersonian does not mean that you abandon apologetics

It means that you use a different apologia from those of other schools. In the same way the apologetics of the Catholic Church differs from the apologetics of the Pentecostalists but both remain apologetic - explanations and tortured reasoning for the obvious conflicts within the Bible and church teaching.

Let us look at your first quotation:
"Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus"

This is a dubious claim and probably speaks more of Jefferson's ignorance of the content of other faiths than reality. Are Christian morals and ethics truly better than those of, say, Jainism?

The next element you - select - is as follows:
"Among the sayings and discourses imputed to by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others, again, of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being. I separate, therefore, the gold from the (sic) ; restore him to the former, and leave the latter to the stupidity of some, the roguery of others of his disciples. Of this band of dupes and imposters, Paul was the first corruptor of the doctrines of Jesus."

The problem with this is that Jefferson has actually no reason to select what he saw as gold and no reason to discard the dross except personal preference. The idea that Jesus only spoke produced the ideas favoured by Jefferson renders Jefferson himself open to the charge of quote mining and ignores the cultural background from which Jesus sprang. This is not entirely the fault of Jefferson, for great resources of paleography and archaeology had yet to be uncovered. you and other modern apologists have no such excuse.

Similarly the idea that Jesus' teachings were perverted by Paul and other theocrats is pure supposition; indeed assuming that the crucifixion took place then Jesus would have been guilty of preaching and possibly taking part in insurrection, remember he was crucified alongside Siccarii. With this in mind, and remembering that other prophets gave out humane teachings along with violence ones, how can you or Jeffersons say that Jesus did not issue the words you find objectionable?

Now back to "Isaiah". Already you have admitted that there are 3 different authors of this work so this prophetic volume is not the work of a prophet but a committee. Next you are happy to admit that the most learned Jewish scholars view Chapter 53 as not a prophecy about a single man but a prayer for the future of the nation and then stand by your contentious idea that Jesus alone made a correct interpretation. How do you know it was Jesus and not one of his hagiographers shoehorning a particular interpretation into the story of a man?

You cite John's gospel - are you actually aware of the history of that very late work? You are aware that it shows signs of several authors (check Ehrmans book "Forged"), includes elements from the teachings of other Jewish teachers and has parts that were possibly produced 150 years after the putative life of your saviour? Given this you have the gall to quote mine elements from 3 separate chapters and insist it shows the prophetic wisdom and and deity of the man who was not from a city called Nazareth.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #30)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 10:47 PM

32. Intaglio, I disagree. And here's why:

Last edited Wed Aug 29, 2012, 11:57 AM - Edit history (1)

Are you saying Thomas Jefferson was an Apologist for Christianity?

If so, I disagree, and his writings make it obvious he was not. But whether or not that’s what you’re saying about Jefferson, your claim that I am an Apologist for Christianity is not correct.

I do not, as you claim, “use a different apologia from those of other schools.” Granted, different apologia in the apologetics of the Catholic Church differs from the apologetics of the Pentecostalists, as you mention for instance. However, they are just different versions of Paul’s theology of Christian Apologetics.

As is explained in About Christianity, Paul’s writings contain many errors regarding the Torah and Tanakh. But Paul was the first “Christian” to “publish” his epistles in about 50 CE (AD). And, as is explained in The Resurrection Myth, Mark was the second book distributed in about 73 CE . And Mark and all the others whose works made it into the official church canon were influenced by Paul, who claimed to be the “chosen vessel” to establish the Christian Church.

The author of the message I promote advocates an actual Reformation of Christianity – not like the “Protestant Reformation,” which merely repudiated the policies and doctrines of the medieval Roman Catholic Church but kept the false doctrines of the Nicene Creed. He sees that Christianity, as we know it, is not what Jesus intended. And Jesus even said it wouldn’t be. He said that by the end of the age he ushered in, hypocrites would be claiming to do “many wonderful works in the name of the Lord,” which they actually “work iniquity.”

The author of the message sees and realizes the universality of the actual, core teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and realizes how similar they are to what is written in Hindu writings, since many parables were borrowed by Jesus from the Vedas. Jesus’ teachings are also similar to those in Buddhist writings, and he’s not the only one who has written about that. (Read Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings, by Marcus Borg et al, or Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, by Thich Nhat Hanh, or one of the many other books on the subject.)

Now back to Jefferson. He did have good reason to reject the “corruptions” and keep the “gold” of Jesus’ teachings when he created his Jefferson Bible. Proof of corruptions, exaggerations, inaccurate attributions and errors in the NT are numerous and can be seen by any enlightened individual who recognizes the inconsistencies and contradictions in the NT. (And proof is provided in About Christianity, The Virgin Birth Myth, The Resurrection Myth, The Martyrdom of Jesus, The Second Coming Myth, etc.)

Oh, and by the way, Jefferson’s insight was remarkable for his time, but he was not alone in his opinions about Christianity. If you just consider Quotes from the Founding Fathers Regarding Religion, that becomes quite clear. And there were many other Enlightenment thinkers in Europe and American who felt the same way, which is why Deism and Freemasonry were so popular at the time.

In addition, we now have modern archeological findings, research and scholarship that takes into consideration the Gnostic Gospels, the Dead Sea Scrolls and other discoveries that made the message quite appropriate, especially since it is exactly what is needed to stop the “holy wars.”

But I think the thing that I resent about what you wrote is that I am: “ ... happy to admit that the most learned Jewish scholars view Chapter 53 as not a prophecy about a single man but a prayer for the future of the nation and then stand by your contentious idea that Jesus alone made a correct interpretation.”

What I wrote was this: “Orthodox Jews and right-wing Jews insist Chapter 53 is not even about a Mashiach (Messiah) but about the Jewish people collectively as a nation.”

I did not say they were “the most learned Jewish scholars,” as you wrote. In fact, they simply ignore the findings and conclusions of the Jewish Sanhedrin 98 which concluded that Isaiah 53 is definitely about the Mashiach. But many modern Jews, in reaction to the theocratic “American Christian Right,” have been buying into the idea that it isn’t.

I do believe Jesus made a correct interpretation of Isaiah, but some of his followers like Paul, Matthew and others did not. And, as you suggest, they did “shoehorn” a lot of what’s written in the Torah and Tanakh to come up with “proof” of how Jesus fulfilled prophecies.

Finally, while you claim I regard Jesus is my “savior,” that is another erroneous assumption on your part.

In fact, the prophets, including Jesus, believed that only God is the Savior, and that God is not a man, nor a son of man, and even Moses wrote. That's why Jesus said to his followers: "You have not heard God's voice or seen God's shape at any time," and "God is greater than I."

Regarding the difference between the Savior and the Messiah, read The Messiah Is Not the Savior.
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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #32)

Wed Aug 29, 2012, 05:25 PM

35. I said he was an apologist. Many faiths have apologists

In this case he was a Deist issuing an apologia in respect of the Bible; Christianity does not hold a patent on self deception. Any insights that Jefferson may have had regarding the "true" words of Jesus were as valueless as those of any other one of the Founding Fathers because these insight are based solely upon introspection without evidence. The only evidence available to Jefferson and his ilk were the Bible and commentaries upon the Bible by intelligent (but similarly ill informed, or malicious) persons. The only justification that Jefferson can offer for his selection of the "true" teachings of Jesus is that they are nicer or prettier than those teachings he rejects. I do not say that introspection cannot be valuable but at some point that introspection must be supported by evidence or else it is nothing but vanity.

Onto your own faith. To be honest if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks I would tend to regard it as a duck; in the same way your teachers talk about reforming Christianity because everyone else has got it wrong merely means to me that he is another Christian sectary who seeks affirmation from elements of other, disparate, faiths. Additionally quote mining the Bible for words to support these ideas is as old as any schism you care to mention. The differentiation between "saviour" and "messiah" is little more than verbal froth as far as I am concerned, given that I do not regard either term as having any bearing on reality.

One thing I will apologise for, however, is my misreading of your words regarding Torah scholars. Of course the fact that Sanhedrin 98 did not regard those words a applying to any man yet has no bearing on your argument. what is more your distinction does not give you the right to ignore the continued insistence of significant scholars that the words apply only to the nation, not any man.

You mention "publication"; the correct term is written or issued. Publication did not happen, copies were made from original texts one at a time with all of the inherent problems manual copying entails. Original manuscripts were often amended by their owners, sometimes to explain difficult concepts, sometimes to emphasise a particular element favoured by the owner and sometimes to falsify the original documents. In no case has any uncorrupted document survived from the time because of these human weaknesses.

Now various books of the NT. Mark, do you mean the original 666 verse Mark or the 678 verse Mark from 3 to 4 hundred years later? Mark actually only really differs from the early Pauline epistles in that Paul did not write of Jesus as a real person but only as an ideal. The later epistles were either contemporaneous with the Mark account or somewhat later, all of the later epistles show signs of editing where it they are not forgeries constructed "from the whole cloth". The Gospel most at odds with Pauline orthodoxy is Matthew, which shows every sign that it was written for the Jewish community of Christians because of the repeated emphasis on Jesus both obeying and fulfilling Jewish Law. Luke and the author of Acts were followers of Paul and their writings reflect that.

Next, none of the writers discussed actually knew or observed Jesus. Paul, supposedly the great oppressor of Christians, never mentions meeting or seeing him. Mark might have seen the Messiah as a young man but never sees fit to mention it. Matthew, Luke and the author of Acts were probably not even born at that time. John would not even have been a glimmer in his mothers eye at the time of the Crucifixion. None of the works these authors produced even contains direct quotes from the Disciples. Given this incredibly dubious background, why place any reliance on the Bible at all?

Because the Bible has such a fragile relationship with what actually occurred in those times, relying on that book for your insights is nonsensical, this last insight was impossible for Jefferson to have because that knowledge was not available to him. Your view that multiple late works from the same community of faith assists in judging the veracity of the accepted texts is doubtful and is why I did not mention the "Gnostic" texts or other elements found at Nag Hammadi. The texts that are inportant are any early, non-Christian texts. If early copies of Josephus or Tacitus were to be found it would be worth more than all the false Gospels and Epistles put together.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #35)

Wed Aug 29, 2012, 08:04 PM

36. No. Jefferson was not an Apologist. And furthermore ...

First of all, the fact that Jefferson was a Deist proves he was not an “apologist for the Bible,” as you claim.

Deism is belief in God usually without trying to describe or identify God, and especially without any superstitious or supernatural claims. I suggest you read more of Jefferson’s writings regarding Christianity, clergy, and religion.

The term “Apologetics” is defined in the dictionary as: “The branch of theology concerned with the defense or proof of Christianity.” But Jefferson was NOT defending or trying to provide proof of Christianity. In fact, by editing out all the superstitious and supernatural elements which he called “corruptions” from the New Testament Christian canon, he was refuting the theology of Apologetics (even though he made it clear he loved the core teachings of Jesus that are clearly universal and common to most religions).

As for you utter dismissal and reject of my “faith,” you don't know what it is. And your comments about the message I promote merely reveal that you have not bothered to see how comprehensive it is. You don't even know what it's really about, because it's as much about government as it is about religion and religious freedom.

As for the differentiation between "savior" and "messiah," it is an actual distinction, even though you dismiss it as “little more than verbal froth.” Apparently you can't debate without resorting to being rude, condescending, dismissive and arrogant, not to mention ignorant of what is written in A Messiah Is Not the Savior, Why the Messiah Is Hidden, and Prophecies Re: He Who Fulfills Them.

As for the authorship of the church canon, see my response in my next comment below.

Next, I do not rely on the Bible for my insights. In fact, neither did the author of the message.

Following his cosmic consciousness experience after being “carried away in spirit” to witness the Divine Light of God in 1971, he was first guided to study Qaballah (Western Kabbalah), Hinduism, and Buddhism, and it wasn’t until 1979 that he was shown why he had to address Christianity. That’s necessary because it’s the largest religion in the world, and very problematic, as is Islam, which is the next largest religion. He realized he had to address all three Abrahamic religions because they are the most prone to theocracy and “holy war.”

His mission was not to favor any particular religion, but explain how and why they all have, or should have, one basic, universal purpose — to teach humanity The Universal Divine Imperative: Treat all others as you would want to be treated if you were them. If you go to this Main Page, you will see how and why all major religions are based on that basic principle.

I doubt I will continue this debate with you. I’m sorry, but I don’t have the time to waste trying to get through to you. I agree to disagree with you. I hope you can too (though I suspect you can't).
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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #36)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 03:12 AM

38. Well I can forgive you for misreading my sentence about Jefferson

As I misread yours about Jewish scholars

But I actually said that Jefferson was a "Deist issuing an apologia in respect of the Bible". Apologia are the words issued in rebuttal of and defense against charges brought against person or item and Jefferson was rebutting the idea that the biblical Jesus said the things that 18th century Deists found objectionable. Apologetics is a particular area of study in various Christian faiths but apologia are not exclusive to Christianity; people who issue apologia are also termed "apologetics" although they may take no part in the Christian system of Apologetics. Thus it is possible for there to be Muslim, Hindu or Mormon apologetics, indeed your dictionary's definition of apologetics ignores both Mormon and Islamic schools of Apologetics.

The idea, implied above, that Mormonism is not of Christianity is not one that I hold to, although I am contradicting to the expressed opinion of 19th century Mormon teachers and also of mainstream Christians who know Mormonism denies the unity of the Trinity. The fact that I see your faith as a Christian one, in the same way as Mormonism, should give you cause to ponder how different it is from the faith you apparently discard. The idea that quote mining other faiths for support of yours make yours somehow different from your source faith is nonsensical; you might as well invent a whole new holy book.

You do like to quote mine and you have done so to me. I view your your differentiation of Messiah and Saviour as verbal froth because I deny that either term has any connection to reality. The arguing over verbal differences that are insignificant to the outsider is a well tried apologetic technique.

Now ecstasy, the precise definition of which includes “carried away in spirit”. You do realise that countless millions of people have experienced ecstasy? Having an ecstatic experience does not render you especially blessed or especially insightful, it just makes you part of the vast commonality of human experience. Pentecostalists experience ecstasy at every service (sometimes personally), part of the core experience of t'ai chi is the ecstatic moment and the core of shamanism are similar ecstasies. Do you not find it strange that only the odd one or two find in this the inspiration to teach others how wrong they are?

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Response to intaglio (Reply #38)

Sun Sep 2, 2012, 05:01 PM

48. Well, since you put it that way ... I will say this:

Actually, in the title of your post #35, you wrote: “I said he (Jefferson) was an Apologist. Many faiths have Apologists.”

Granted, you altered that statement when you then wrote: “Jefferson was a ‘Deist issuing an apologia in respect of the Bible.’" But I find slightly problematic your argument that: “Apologia are the words issued in rebuttal of and defense against charges brought against person or item.”

You could say that, but Apologia is usually thought of as a defense or justification of a belief (usually religious) or action, not “defense against” it.

For example, Paul wrote an apologia to the Romans in defense of his theology of Christian Apologetics, because the Romans had rejected it. Perhaps you could say that the Romans had attacked it so Paul was presenting a defense against attack. But Paul wrote his epistles after not having much success as an evangelist in person, and it was largely because he was rejected that he wrote and sent his letters far and wide. Still, I guess we could write this off as an argument over semantics, because I know what you mean.

Also, I can forgive you too, not only for misreading much of what I have written, but for your obvious position against the message I promote. I don’t blame you for feeling and believing as you do about it. It’s understandable, and even expected.

I am confused, though, by this statement you made: “The fact that I see your faith as a Christian one, in the same way as Mormonism, should give you cause to ponder how different it is from the faith you apparently discard. The idea that quote mining other faiths for support of yours make yours somehow different from your source faith is nonsensical; you might as well invent a whole new holy book.”

My faith is Christian as defined by the message, which means it is mostly within the Judeo-Christian context in terms of terminology, but interpreted in a new way. And it is also Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Native American, etc, since I believe in God as Jehovah or Yahweh and also as Brahman, the Supreme Consciousness, The Absolute Tao, the Great Spirit-Parent, and so on.

I don’t know what you mean by the faith that I “apparently discard,” unless you mean the faith of Paul and other writers of the official Christian church canon. Like Thomas Jefferson and growing numbers of others since, I do not regard their erroneous attributions, exaggerations and myths as worthy of having faith in. I have faith in Divinity revealed, and also in that which is universally held as spiritual truth and is common to all religions.

I find that your concept and claim of “quote mining” misses the point entirely. Jesus of Nazareth quoted previous prophets, and his parables were gleaned from the Hindu Vedas. And most spiritual teachers quote or paraphrase prophets and other spiritual teachers from whom they have learned, and they often do so to make a point or support a thesis or premise.

As for the definition of ecstacy, you’re right in that it can include the sense of “mental transport” or being “taken out of one’s self,” or transcending one’s normal consciousness to enter into a heightened or higher state of consciousness. That sort of thing is discussed in the article on The Highest State of Consciousness.

However, as he explains it, the experience of the modern son of man was not merely having experienced ecstacy. Through divine revelation he was given the key to open the “Book of Life,” to go through the spiritual gate by opening the “seven seals of revelation,” also called the “seven chakras,” and being carried away in spirit to that high and holy place where God inhabits eternity.

I doubt that we will come to a meeting of the minds. But if we don't try, we're as bad as all the people who have their heels dug in in self-righteous defiance.
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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #48)

Sun Sep 2, 2012, 06:41 PM

49. There are literary apologists

there are Muslim apologists, there are Mormon apologists. The Apologia was originally a legal term for a statement of the defense case. It was adopted by Christians but it is used very widely outside Christianity.

You discard elements of Christianity and adopt the glittery parts of faiths outside the Christian tradition. You are not the first, Theosophy led by the splendidly misguided Madame Blavatski attempted the same. Saying that Jesus took items from the Vedas is speculation of the wildest sort especially as virtually all Jesus' parables were established tales in the Jewish cannon long prior to the gospel use and many can be traced to Egyptian and Babylonian or Zoroastrian roots. The ties that these earlier civilisations had with many others will have ensured that good stories would have had a wide currency. If there are similarities between the Veda, the Sutra and the Tao then these were added to the mix long before Jesus.

Travel and interchange were not as difficult as imagined; there was regular traffic along the Silk road and with the Monsoon Tradewinds If you doubt how rapid movement could be then consider that Alexander's campaigns from the Dardanelles into India (with a side journey into Egypt) was accomplished in 12 years whilst the Mongol Conquests of the 13C took less than 75 years of hard military campaigning; the ancient world was much smaller than you imagine.

There is even an additional difficulty that similar problems evoke similar responses so seeming duplication might even be accidental.

Now ecstasy, I've been there, literally. There were times during my practise of the forms when I was in one type of ecstatic state but the most extraordinary was during a game of chess. I was playing a man about 50 points better than me (BCS rating) so it should have been a walk-over. Then about move 15 I entered a state where the whole board and the pieces made a pattern stretching into the future; I was not seeing N moves ahead, I was seeing a tapestry of possible games and theory. To cut a long story short we fought to a draw over 60 moves partly because I "fell out" of ecstasy about move 50. If I had been of that bent I could easily have assumed I had been taken over by a spiritual entity because I was certainly not in myself

Now your teacher, concentrating on complex philosophical and theological problems enters such a state and begins to see such patterns. There are no guarantees the patterns are reality only that they are patterns that unite his ideas. Think on it.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #49)

Sun Sep 2, 2012, 09:30 PM

50. Oh brother.

I had hoped for something more constructive, but so be it.

About Apologetics: All I care about in our discussion is pointing out to you that Thomas Jefferson was not an Apologist for Christianity or for the Bible. That’s the fact, and I’ve explained why. Your continually going off on tangents is an avoidance tactic and rationalization.

As for Theosophy, I agree that Helena Blavatsky was misguided, as was Alice Bailey and as is Benjamin Creme, who is perhaps the biggest pusher of a misguided version of Ageless Wisdom. They all were right about some things, but got some pretty wild ideas — whereas the message I promote is not wild and does not require a suspension of belief and reason.

Another thing I agree with you about is that the concepts and insights in the Vedas, the Sutras and the Tao were well know before Jesus was born, which is obvious. That’s why Jesus was familiar with them. (Read the stories of Jesus as Saint Issa, who studied with Buddhist and Hindu scholars.)

As for your simplifying the definition of ecstacy to something you experienced playing chess, and claiming that my teacher merely saw “patterns” as you did and that there is no guarantee that his experience was real, you are entitled to think and believe as you wish. I have already stated that his experience was unique, and I’ve already said what I should say about that.
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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #50)

Mon Sep 3, 2012, 03:09 AM

51. You have stopped listening

Jefferson was issuing a defense of his imagination of Jesus - it was apologetics

Blavatski and the others were wrong but your teacher is right. No evidence just hard-core, unevidenced belief and mis-citation of beliefs from other cultures.

"Saint Issa" in India makes his first European appearance in the late 19C. The name is actually the Islamic transliteration of Jesus' name and the dominant power in northern India was the Mughal empire, a strongly Islamic entity. Not surprising therefore if some parts of the culture found reason to include tales of an Islamic saint into the canon of Buddhist literature. Buddhism has a past history on this with their frequent inclusion of Hindu deities into Buddhist tales. I suggest you investigate the demon haunted dreamscapes of both the Mahayana and the Hinayana.

The idea of a widely travelled Jesus was brought to Western attention by Notovich, who was probably a conman as his book on the subject of India and Tibet held many common, erroneous travellers tales. Abhedananda claimed to have found a supporting evidence and even a complete manuscript (that, of course, has not survived) was a leading light in the Vedanta movement which was trying to establish itself in western cultures - notably New York.

A note on Vedanta; it is interesting that the philosophies of Spinoza often paralleled Vedantic philosophies, though no-one has ever suggested Spinoza studied Indian manuscripts, Indian thought or with Indian scholars.

Back to ecstacy; I politely point out you were not there. Even decrying my experiences you always ignore the commonality of the ecstatic experience. Go to a Pentecostal church service and take part. Another Christian experience The "Toronto Blessing" is a classic ecstasy. Read Julian of Norwich about her experiences and listen to the descriptions of top athletes of being "in the zone". Even better learn long form T'ai Chi Ch'uan and complete 3 or 4 sets, try fasting or meditation or both for long periods. If you have good medical contacts to be able to perform the last ask to take part in research into drug induced (shamanistic) ecstasy or find out what transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can do. I strongly advise against you taking the route to ecstasy through extreme pain or isolation but such methods have long been practised.

I repeat ecstasy is not uncommon despite your beliefs

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Response to intaglio (Reply #51)

Mon Sep 3, 2012, 04:26 PM

54. 'Tis the other way around.

Jefferson was not "issuing a defense of his imagination of Jesus," and Jefferson was not an Apologist. In fact, in editing the New Testament, Jefferson was merely pointed out the "lovely benevolence" of the universally true words of Jesus, and he edited out and rejected and refuted all the "corruptions" and supernatural elements in the doctrines and dogma in the church canon.

As for Issa, Ancient scrolls revealed that Jesus spent seventeen years in India and Tibet. From age thirteen to age twenty-nine, he was both a student and teacher of Buddhists and Hindus. The story of his journey from Jerusalem to Benares was recorded by Brahman historians, and they know him and love him as Issa.

In 1894 Nicolas Notovitch published a book called The Unknown Life of Christ. He was a Russian doctor who journeyed extensively throughout Afghanistan, India, and Tibet. Notovitch traveled to Ladak, and into the Himalayas. While in Ladak, he was injured and stayed at the Himis Buddhist Convent. While he was there, he learned or ancient records of the life of Jesus Christ and he found a Tibetan translation of the legend. He employed translators and copied the book or scroll known as "The Life of Saint Issa," and he renamed his translation.

However, when Notovitch returned home he was met with much resistance and controversy over the authenticity of the document. He was accused of perpetrating a hoax, and he was ridiculed as a phoney. He remained steadfast, and advised scientific researchers to confirm the story.

A Hindu skeptic, Swami Abhedananda, who doubted the story, went to the Himalayas determined to either find the Himis manuscript about Issa, or to expose Notivitch as a fraud. Abhedananda’s book of travels, entitled Kashmir O Tibetti, tells that he did visit the Himis monastery and includes a Bengali translation of two hundred twenty-four verses which are essentially identical to the Notovitch translation. Abhedananda was thus convinced of the authenticity of the Issa story.

In 1925, another Russian, a philosopher and scientist named Nicholas Roerich arrived at Himis. Roerich saw the same documents as Notovitch and Abhedananda, and he also recorded the same story of Saint Issa. Speaking of Issa, Roerich quoted: “Issa stayed in several ancient cities of India such as Benares. All loved him because Issa dwelt in peace with Vaishas and Shudras whom he instructed and helped.”

However, some Hindus hated what Issa said about idols, because they did not realize that the statues of the Hindu “gods” were symbols for the many aspects of Brahman (God), so he left and went into Nepal and into the Himalayan mountains. After a time, Issa went to Ladak, Leh, and he taught in the monasteries and in the bazaars (the market places).

Unfortunately, even though many Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, progressive Christians and others acknowledge the story, here is much dispute now about it. The fundamentalist American Christian Right considers such a claim “blasphemous,” and because of the controversies, the Buddhist monastery has since also denied the story and the scrolls about Issa are missing.

The evidence provided by Notovitch, Abhedananda and Roerich speaks for itself, however. And it is confirmed by the fact that the basic, core teachings of Jesus/Issa are very similar to Siddhartha Gautama the Buddha, as is explained in books like Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings, by Marcus Borg et al, and Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, by Thich Nhat Hanh, and in other books on the subject. Furthermore, it is confirmed by the fact that Jesus spoke as a Hindu Avatar, speaking as, but for, the Ancient One and the Holy One who is within, above and around us all.

As for ecstasy, as I've already discussed, you are talking about lesser experiences. But that is not to lessen their importance or impact, or profundity. Even relatively small or short experiences of ecstasy are wonderful and awesome, and some of them can cause the person who experienced them to feel as if it was the ultimate experience -- hence the tendency for them to develop messianic complexes and other kinds of self-delusion.
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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #54)

Mon Sep 3, 2012, 06:40 PM

55. You continue in your false description of apologetics

Your position on that is indefensible - and I suspect you are aware of it.

The following is a very concise description of the practice of Apologetics as performed by a Deist:
Jefferson was merely pointed out the "lovely benevolence" of the universally true words of Jesus, and he edited out and rejected and refuted all the "corruptions" and supernatural elements in the doctrines and dogma in the church canon.


Issa
The documents you describe are those supposedly seen by Notovich, a known con man, who did not journey in Tibet. The contradictions in his account and his citation of know falsehoods about Tibet prove that. His journey could not be documented by the Russian authorities (who kept a very close eye on Tibet) or the British for whom Tibet had been a part of "The Great Game" with Russia for 50 years. The Chinese Bureaucracy who controlled Tibet - it long having been a client nation of China - had no record. His supposed peregrinations do not match the known topography of Tibet. If you continue to use him as a source then it proves only your blind, reasonless faith in a known liar.

Given the fame (infamy) that Notovich attracted with his book it is not surprising that others would seek to exploit this gap in the market. Swami Abhedananda was one such and very far from being a skeptic, he was a Swami, a religious man who was attempting expand his base of believers. Let me make the unjustified assumption that he did visit Tibet and that he did see a manuscript that mentioned an "Issa" why did he not include the supposed Ume of the Tibetan dialect with his translation? It is notable that immediately after his discovery Abhedananda made his way to New York where many gullible people were ready to swallow his nonsense and pay him good money.

Now Nickolas Roerich. Firstly he was not a "philosopher and scientist" he was an artist and theosophist, although later seduced by the Vedanta nonsense of Abhedananda. He did, by contrast with Notovich, go to Tibet, and his precise itinerary is described. In 1925 "started from Sikkim through Punjab, Kashmir, Ladakh, the Karakoram Mountains, Khotan, Kashgar, Qara Shar, Urumchi, Irtysh, the Altai Mountains, the Oryot region of Mongolia, the Central Gobi, Kansu, Tsaidam, and Tibet" This vast journey across some of the worst terrain in the world (no Silk Road for Roerich) lead him back to via Siberia to Moscow in 1926. I doubt that he got a chance to study anything in that period. The expedition commences again in 1927 and did reach Tibet - where Roerich and his party were promptly arrested following a firefight with locals, imprisoned for 5 months and expelled in March 1928 when the fiasco ends. When did Roerich get the chance to study anything at any length?

Assuming that Roerich was not another liar for god, he might have seen some manuscript that mentioned and Issa, a notable religious man who studied at the feet of local worthies. But note the name, it is the Islamic version of Jesus' name and as such would not have been used by a holy man of Jewish origin prior to the establishment of Islam in the 7th Century. At the time of Jesus (whenever that was) the dialects used as a "lingua franca" were Mesopotamian based and could easily transliterate Jesus' name. Arabic was a minority language used by a group of desert dwelling tribes and ignored by other civilisations.

There is another problem with Roerich and that is he was no more an independent open minded researcher than you. He was a dyed in the wool Theosophist with an interest in proving Blavatski's and Abhedananda's ideas about the "mysteries of the East" correct. If I am generous I imagine him as an oriental ignoramus mislead by "pseudographical" late manuscripts written for the delight of Mughal emissaries, but mostly I'm not that generous.

And why am I not generous? Let's look at the monastery these wanderers were supposed to have visited. Is there any record or recollection of such visitors? No. Remember how isolated Tibet was, foreign visitors would have made a huge impact and Tibetan Buddhists were fine record keepers, they had to be because their Government and the masters of that Government wanted to know all about such people and punished failure with death and confiscation of goods. (Before you deny that, Tibetan Lamas were nasty, violent theocrats despite what that nice politician the Dalai Lama says). Worse still is the lack of the very manuscript that your 3 heroes are supposed to have studied, indeed there is a denial that any such manuscript ever existed.

Of course that manuscript that had been preserved for 1900 years of violent history might have fallen victim to the vindictive Communists, or Hindus or Muslims or Christians, but that is very doubtful. Equally doubtful is the failure of "Issa" to make any other mark in any record of this literate and religious society; not even a mark as a severely mislead iconoclast.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #55)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 03:50 PM

57. Please. Let's be accurate.

Intaglio,

You claim that what I wrote about Jefferson “is a very concise description of the practice of Apologetics as performed by a Deist.” But that's simply not true.

What I wrote was the following:

Jefferson was merely pointed out the "lovely benevolence" of the universally true words of Jesus, and he edited out and rejected and refuted all the "corruptions" and supernatural elements in the doctrines and dogma in the church canon.”


A Deist believes in the existence of God on the evidence of nature and reason, and rejects the supernatural and dogmatic elements and myths of certain organized religions. Deism is therefore a natural religion and is not a "revealed" religion, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. However, like Jefferson, Deists can and do respect and even honor much of the wisdom expressed by the founders of those religions, as I’ve pointed out.

Your claim that “Deists perform Apologetics” is not true. As I’ve pointed out before, Apologetics is the defense of unverifiable religious claims, dogma, doctrines, myths and beliefs based on faith, such as Paul’s theology of Christian Apologetics or other forms of religious Apologetics. But Deists are not Apologists.

Now about Issa, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Notovitch which cites its sources, there are a number of critics and accusers of Nicolas Notovitch who have indeed said what you have said about him. However, your argument is based only on the claims of critics and accusers and “debunkers” who have actually been debunked, and you ignore the evidence that supports Notovitch.

It should be acknowledged that the name "Issa" is derived from the Sanskrit "Isa" which means the Lord, and the Arabic name Isa is used in the Qur’an or Koran to refer to Jesus.

Even those who have rejected Notovitch’s account and accuse him of perpetrating a hoax have to admit the undeniable fact that Notovitch had been in Leh. One critic accusing Notovitch was a “Professor J. Archibald Douglas of Agra,” in June 1895, who had to admit that Notovitch had been to Leh, but Douglas’ accusations included a claim that the chief lama of the Hemis monestery at Leh repudiated the statements ascribed to him by Notovitch, and declared that no such work as the "Life of Issa" was known in Tibet. And some other critics and accusers claim that the story of his visit to Hemis was simply an idea borrowed from H.P. Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled, which speaks of a traveler with the broken leg was taken in at Mount Athos in Greece and found the text of Celsus' True Doctrine in the monastery library.

But in fact proof was found that Notovitch was in Leh and Hemis, and there is proof that the Tibetan document about Issa was real.

For example, according to James W. Deardorff, a Professor at Oregon State University at
http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/ecumensm.htm

The findings of the Hindu monk, Swami Abhedananda, support Notovitch's discovery in practically all respects. ... Having learned of Notovitch's find and read his book, he decided to take his own trip to Himis monastery to check it out, which he did in 1922, accompanied by some others, including an expert translator from Leh. They persuaded a lama to show them a manuscript containing the Isa verses, which he read to Abhedananda and his interpreter, who then translated them into Bengali. The Himis manuscript was in Tibetan; the original was said to have been written in Pali and to exist in the monastery of Marbour near Lhasa, all of which confirms what Notovitch had learned, and indicates that J. Archibald Douglas (a critic and accuser) had either been hoaxed into confirming the conclusions he was looking for, or had engineered such a hoax himself. We have much in writing about Abhedananda and who he was, but nothing about this ‘Professor Douglas.’ Abhedananda wrote his book containing their travelogue and a fresh version of the Isa verses in stages, with the help of an assistant and a later editor; in 1987 it was finally translated into English.”

“The Swami ordered and numbered his set of Isa verses after the manner of Notovitch's set; however, the set he presented contained far fewer verses than the 244 within Notovitch's set, which is consistent with Abhedananda mentioning that his set was derived from just one book at the monastery, while Notovitch had mentioned a second book or manuscript being involved also. In addition, however, Abhedananda omitted publication of many verses, apparently because they contain material that could be deemed offensive to different branches of Hinduism. Comparison of those verses that are common to the two sets of Isa text indicates little difference in substance but very appreciable differences in sentence structure and detail, as is to be expected from different translators and languages of translation having been involved
.”


In 1893, Notovitch's work was first presented at an international forum in Chicago by Shri Virchand Gandhi, an important delegate to the First Parliament of the World's Religions. Shri Virchand Gandhi is credited for originally translating and publishing the same work in English in 1894 from an ancient manuscript found in Tibet. This version is available online.

According to Ramakrishna Vedanta Math at http://www.ramakrishnavedantamath.org/swamij.html
One of the skeptics who personally investigated Notovich's claim was Swami Abhedananda, who journeyed to the monastery determined to either find a copy of the Himis manuscript or to expose it as a fraud. His book of travels, entitled Kashmir O Tibetti, tells of a visit to the Hemis gompa and includes a Bengali translation of two hundred twenty-four verses essentially the same as the Notovitch text,corroborating the existence of the documents.

In 1925, the Russian philosopher Nicholas Roerich also journeyed to the monastery. He apparently saw the same documents as Notovitch and Abhedananda. There is a documentary and a book on this subject, by Richard Bock, who seems to believe Notovitch's claims (book and film 1976-77, DVD released 2007).An extended publication regarding the years spent by Jesus in India, with extremely detailed historical accounts and pictures, is contained in the best selling book "Jesus lived in India" by Holger Kersten.

You can continue, if you wish. But if I were you, I would make adjustments.
.

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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #57)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 03:56 AM

59. Again, apologetics is not just Christian, Isa is not the word you used

Google "Muslim Apologetics" or "Buddhist Apologetics" or "Hindu Apologetics". Guess what? you get many results and not just from Christian sites.
Apologetics is the practise of issuing apologia
You may continue to lie about it all you please, and bolster your falsehood by use of dubious or incomplete dictionary quotations, but it does not alter the facts of the case.

"Debunkers who never debunked" - proof, or do you just accept the words of your teachers without thought or personal research. Notovich was a known liar. His fantasy journey did not match the topography of Tibet and there are numerous other falsehoods in his work. I did not get that from Wikipedia, it's something I have known since the 70's when I investigated Theosophy and talked to people in Oriental Manuscripts and Printed Books about the substance free confection. Back in the 90's, when I became involved with Forteanism, I rechecked my recollection and found it correct in all respects. Another check on the internet prior to answering your nonsense. I repeat if you believe in Notovich you are believing in a known fraud.

Did you actually read what you quoted from Deardoff? All he is doing is quoting Abhedananda and accepting that persons word as gospel truth.

And how do you get the idea that Abhedananda was a skeptic? Accepting the account you quote;
1) Via a translator he asked to see a particular text;
2) He saw a book;
3) He did not see the text in the book;
4) His translator did not see the text in the book;
5) The Abbot spoke some words that the translator said were from the book;
6) The translator then spoke a supposed translation to Abhedananda;
7) Abhedananda did not even attempt to see the text.
This is not skepticism, this is either blindly accepting the words of 2 others or plausible deniability, personally I suspect the latter.

You also seem to believe that Ume is a dialect, it isn't. It is the name of a script, commonly used across Northern India and the Himalayas, which a Swami could easily have copied even if he did not have the sense of the words. You could copy words in French without knowing their meaning.

Let's add in some other little problems. Where did Abhedananda get the money for his expedition? How was he able to get the permissions? How long did his journey take? Why is there no remembrance of him? Why was there no camera to provide visual evidence of the journey, if not the manuscript. The first of these problems is easily answered, Abhedananda was a known confederate of the Theosophists and they were eager for proof of their ridiculous ideas. Whether he used the money they provided in the way he said is moot.

Of course the same criticisms apply to the Roerich "expedition" with the added frisson that Roerich was a leader of the cult he whose teachings blatantly seeking to confirm.

You again provide a false description of Roerich:
In 1925, the Russian philosopher Nicholas Roerich ...

Roerich was an artist. He trained in art in St Petersburg. His works preserved in New York and elsewhere are paintings and some architectural drawings. He and his wife were established leaders of the Theosophical movement. I have highlighted the words to which you should pay attention - as you appear to lack comprehension.

Now Isa or Issa - do make your mind up, at first you tell me that it is the Islamic name for Jesus (Issa) now you say it is the Sanskrit for "Lord" . If there was any such person in the Himalayas and Northern India who was Jesus - why is there no other record except that in one monastery that now denies there was any such document and has no record of the visitors you claim were there? There is less evidence for your version of Jesus than there is for the Biblical one, which means there is none.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #59)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 04:13 PM

60. Again, that's not relevant and avoids the issue. And ...

Why do you persist in your irrelevant tactics to avoid admitting that Jefferson was not an Apologist, and that Deists do not perform Apologetics?

Why do you instead skirt the issue and talk about the Apologetics of other religions?

The issue I have is that you falsely claimed that “Jefferson was an Apologist.” Then when I called you on that you changed your tune and claimed that Jefferson “was a Deist issuing an apologia in respect of the Bible.”

I have shown you why you are wrong on both counts. But what do you do? You avoid the issue and go off on tangents talking about other forms of Apologetics and apologia. And now you even resort to calling me a liar. That's very telling about the weakness of your argument.

As for the Issa story, you prefer to believe critics and skeptics who claim that Notovitch perpetrated a hoax, and ignore Swami Abhedananda, Nicholas Roerich, Mrs. Caspari and Swami Prajnananda.

The problem is that your attempts to discredit the story of Issa are rather misleading and even deceptive.

For example, you claim all Professor Deardorff is doing is “quoting Abhedananda and accepting that persons word as gospel truth.” The truth, however, is that Deardorff provided commentary and analysis of Abhedananda’s book, and at http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/ecumensm.htm Deardorff added much more and provided 65 sources in footnotes to support his article.

For example, Deardorff wrote:

There have been various instances in which visitors to Himis monastery unexpectedly learned that a set of the Issa verses was located there ... One such visitor was Elizabeth Caspari, who in 1939 made the journey through that region in the company of a Mrs. Clarence Gasque. They were told by a monk in charge of the Himis library that "These books say your Jesus was here!" Madame Caspari later became noted for having established the first Montessori school in the U.S.”

“Another visitor was the late Edward F. Noack ... who with his wife visited Himis monastery in the late 1970s. A monk there told him that "There are manuscripts in our library that describe the journey of Jesus to the East.” A third visitor to the area who obtained information on this subject was Robert Ravicz, once professor of anthropology at California State University at Northridge. While at Himis in 1975 he learned of the "lost years" Jesus-in-India tradition from an eminent Ladakhi physician
.”


Deardorff also makes the following comment:

“It is reasonable to expect that any future attempts by investigators to acquire or read the manuscripts in question at Himis or Marbour monastery will fail if the relevant lama suspects that the investigator or his sponsor in any way holds a non-ecumenical or militantly Christian attitude. As explained by V. R. Gandhi, the causes of this suspicious attitude on the part of custodians of the sacred literature of the East trace back several centuries to the Muslim invaders of India once having destroyed thousands of the Indians' sacred documents, and to early Christian missionaries having acquired and belittled some of their documents. This distrustful attitude persists today, at least at Himis monastery, according to Tibetologists David L. Snellgrove and Tadeusz Skorupski..”


As for Swami Abhedananda’s initial skepticism about Notovitch’s story about Issa, according to Ramakrishna Vedanta Math at http://www.ramakrishnavedantamath.org/swamij.html
One of the skeptics who personally investigated Notovich's claim was Swami Abhedananda ...”

Robert M. Price, a member of the Jesus Seminar or Westar Institute — at http://www.westarinstitute.org/Periodicals/4R_Articles/tibet.html — has also found that Abhedananda was skeptical of Notovitch’s story and went to check it out. And Price wrote the following even though his opinion is that Notovitch’s story was not true (which is not surprising considering that Price is a Baptist Christian who teaches at a Christian Theological Seminary):

“Swami Abhedananda (a disciple of the great Vedanta sage and mystic Ramakrishna) had read Notovitch's book and determined to find the truth of the matter. He was an admirer of Jesus but skeptical of Notovitch's account. So in 1922 he, too, traveled to Hemis. In the late 1970s in an interview with Dick and Janet Bock, his disciple Swami Prajnananda declared that his master "found the scrolls and he translated all the writings, all the life incidents of the Christ. He narrated those incidents in his book 'Kashmiri O Tibetti.'" (Bock, p. 21). "Years afterwards he inquired but they said the scrolls were no longer there. I also requested to see the scrolls, but there is nothing. There are no scrolls. They have been removed, by whom we do not know." (Bock, p. 22).”


Despite that, Price’s biased conclusion is that Notovitch was “intimidated by Max Müller's attack, backed down and changed his story,” and that the denials of the Hemis abbot about the story of Issa are proof that Notovitch was lying. However, in order to come to that conclusion, Price (like you) has to resort to essentially dismissing the testimonies and assertions of Swami Abhedananda, Nicholas Roerich, Mrs. Caspari and Swami Prajnananda as lies.

As for Nicholas Roerich, of course he was an artist, but he was a philosopher as well, and a Theosophist (as if that were relevant). But, because I have not mentioned that before, you falsely claim I “lack comprehension.”

As for your last paragraph, you apparently forget or ignore that I wrote: “The name "Issa" is derived from the Sanskrit "Isa" which means the Lord, and the Arabic name Isa is used in the Qur’an or Koran to refer to Jesus.” (The spelling is sometimes Issa and sometimes Isa, depending on who’s writing it.) And as for the denial of the monastery that there is a document about Issa, it’s not surprising. As Deardorff says, there are many reasons for that, in addition to the fact that they don’t want the hassle, or the controversy. They just want people to go away and leave them alone.

Actually, I don’t think it’s a big deal. But I do see the importance of the story of Issa in the education of Christians because it reveals why Jesus was so inclusive and so obviously influenced by Hindu and Buddhist philosophy.

As it is stated in Saint Issa: Jesus as a Young Man:

“The evidence provided by Notovitch, Abhedananda and Roerich speaks for itself. People can agree or disagree with it, as they tend to do to support their own religious or spiritual or atheistic belief system. However, the story of Issa is reasonable and would explain why the basic, core teachings of Jesus/Issa are very similar to the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama the Buddha, as is explained in books like Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings, by Marcus Borg et al, and Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, by Thich Nhat Hanh, and in other books on the subject. Furthermore, it would explain why many of the parables of Jesus are similar to those in the Hindu Vedas, and why Jesus spoke as a Hindu Avatar, speaking as, but for, the Ancient One and the Holy One who is within, above and around us all, saying "Before Abraham was, I am."

.

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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #60)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 06:03 PM

61. I repeat only to be ignored by you again

Element 1
An Apologist is one who issues an apologia, this is called apologetics

An apologia is a defense of something or someone.

Apologetics has come to be commonly associated with defense of religious beliefs but literary apologia also exist.

Jefferson was issuing and apologia, a defense, of his view of Jesus. Thus he was an apologist. The reality of his Deist faith is irrelevant to that fact.

Claiming that Jefferson's faith denied him the ability to issue an apologia is a falsehood.

There you go, I have said clearly that Jefferson was both a deist and an apologist. You will deny my statement because you are deliberately using an inadequate and falsely limited description of apologetics. You're wrong, hard luck.

Element 2
Will you please decide what spelling, Issa or Isa you wish to use. There is a distinct difference in pronunciation if not in transliteration.

If the former you are using a word that doesn't exist but might be a variant of the Arabic usage for Jesus. In this case you are saying that a young man from Judea went to Tibet and used a variant of his name that would not be current for 600 or more years.

If the latter you are saying that someone called "The Lord" spent some time in Tibet learning at the knee of Tibetan masters. There is no evidence that "The Lord" was Jesus. Jesus, would not have been called "The Lord" at that time.The monks would not have found out about his Christian title "The Lord" until several hundred years later and would not have been able to connect that later title to the young man who visited so long before.

Element 3
Notovich, let me begin by ignoring the incongruities in his story and accept that he did get to Hemis. If he did he did not visit the monastery and he did not suffer a broken leg, if the story is true he had a toothache and left after visiting a German doctor. I will accept that the unnamed Russian of this story was Notovich. It does not explain the concurrent denial by the Abbot that the Russian ever visited him.

It matters not, for Notovich published his little bombshell about Issa in 1897 many years after his purported arrival in Hemis. It may have escaped your notice that Blavatski had formalised her nonsense about a Tibetan educated Jesus in 1875. What is more Blavatski was the much loved daughter of a well connected Tsarist family and had been coining money from the gullible for years. I would suggest that these facts might, possibly, be connected.

Element 4
Why do you persist in believing that Abhedananda and Roerich were independent? To do this you need to do the following:
a) Ignore the years Blavaski spent in India;
b) Ignore her association with, and funding of, other "Vedantic" scholars;
c) Ignore the funding the Theosophists provided to Abhedananda;
d) Ignore the leading role Roerich played in the Theosophical movement;
e) Ignore the lack of photographic or other documentary evidence about either visit to the monastery;
f) Ignore Roerich's impossible itinerary.

You and others also accept as gospel the statement by Abhedananda that he was "skeptical" in which case you must accept my statement that I have a hidden certainty that there is a God. As my statement is patently false it is equally possible that Abhedananda's statement may have embroidered the truth, perhaps "added verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing argument,"

Element 5
Hearsay evidence is not evidence. In this modern climate "Photographs (or recordings) or it did not happen". In the case of the later assertions, how many tourists asking "Do you have stories about Jesus in this monastery?" would it take for the monks to catch on and say "Yes, we do have them - but no-one is allowed to see them, they're too sacred, (all donations toward the preservation of this monastery gratefully received)"

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Response to intaglio (Reply #61)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 04:08 PM

62. Okay, for the last time ...

Last edited Sun Sep 9, 2012, 02:36 PM - Edit history (1)

Intaglio wrote:
"An Apologist is one who issues an apologia, this is called apologetics. An apologia is a defense of something or someone. Apologetics has come to be commonly associated with defense of religious beliefs but literary apologia also exist. Jefferson was issuing and apologia, a defense, of his view of Jesus. Thus he was an apologist. The reality of his Deist faith is irrelevant to that fact. Claiming that Jefferson's faith denied him the ability to issue an apologia is a falsehood.

There you go, I have said clearly that Jefferson was both a deist and an apologist. You will deny my statement because you are deliberately using an inadequate and falsely limited description of apologetics. You're wrong, hard luck."



Intaglio,

My debate with you is not over the definition of apologia or apologetics. As I’ve said numerous times, I am quite aware what they are.

My debate with you is over whether or not Jefferson was “issuing an apologia and defense of his views of Jesus,” as you now claim (regarding what Jefferson said about Jesus and editing the New Testament to remove its supernatural “corruptions,” as he called them).

I can’t help but notice that you’ve changed your tune again in saying “defense of his views of Jesus,” because in Reply #35 you claimed that Jefferson “was a Deist issuing an apologia in respect of the Bible.” That makes it very obvious that whenever I point out the real truth, you tend to be in denial and merely change your claim using avoidance tactics.

Again you repeat your claim that “Jefferson was an Apologist,” and you add that: “The reality of his Deist faith is irrelevant to that fact.” Then you go so far off base to even say that: “Claiming that Jefferson's faith denied him the ability to issue an apologia is a falsehood.”

Your statements are not true — especially since I have never said “Jefferson's faith denied him the ability to issue an apologia,” as you apparently are claiming now.

What I have said, repeatedly, is that Jefferson was not an Apologist, and that he did not issue an apologia. And I have explained very clearly why.

The writings of Jefferson make it quite clear what he thought of the core, universal teachings of Jesus, as opposed to the "corruptions" in the official church canon established by followers.

For example, Jefferson wrote: "Among the sayings and discourses imputed to Jesus by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being." – Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson thought that the New Testament contains “corruptions” because of the supernatural claims and exaggerations, untruths and contradictions. And Jefferson said that Paul was the “first corrupter” of the message of Jesus. (And by the way, that is remarkable because modern scholarship such as that of Marcus Borg and other members of the Jesus Seminar has concluded that Paul was indeed the first to produce and have his written works distributed).

The point is clearly that in saying and writing what he did, Jefferson was not “defending Jesus” or even “defending the views of Jesus,” as you claim. Furthermore, Jefferson was certainly not defending Christianity or the Bible, and he as not “issuing an apologia of the Bible" or "of the views of Jesus," as you have claimed. He was saying that Paul and the apostles got it wrong, even though Jesus himself apparently said a lot of great and true things.

Perhaps it would make it even more clear to point out the context and say that Jefferson’s critique of Christian doctrines and dogma was written to directly address the right-wing theocratic Christian clergy who were in fact Apologists for the New Testament Bible and Paul’s theology of Apologetics. And Jefferson was very much against their theocratic political grandstanding from behind their pulpits.

Anyone who understands Jefferson from having read his words can see that your argument is misleading and specious. And I will say no more about it to you.

As for your other “Elements” about Notovitch and the story of The Life of Issa, I will submit this last response and say no more to you about it to you, because this is a fringe issue and relatively unimportant compared to the overall message I promote.

The name "Issa" resembles the Sanskrit "Isa," meaning the Lord, and the Arabic name Isa, which used in the Quran to refer to Jesus in reverent ways. The reference and inference is clear, even though you refuse to see it.

Another absurdity is your claim that "the name Issa does not exist," because you ignore the rather obvious fact that it does exist. It’s online and in many books. And it was even seen in the ancient document on the life of Issa, not only by people I’ve already mentioned, but apparently also by others I have not previously mentioned who either saw it or were made aware of it.

For example, it was seen by Henrietta Merrick in 1921 (who later wrote in her book, In the World's Attic, "In the monestery in Himis in Leh is the legend of Jesus who is called Issa”).

It was seen by Swami Trigunatitananda in 1895 when he visited the monastery and then confirmed Notovitch had spent time there, which is cited in 'Swami Trigunatita: His Life and Works" by Marie L Burke.

It was seen by Elizabeth Caspari, who in 1939 along with a Mrs. Clarence Gasque visited the monastery and were told by a monk in charge of the Himis library, Lama Nawong Zangpo, that "These books say your Jesus was here!" (And Ms. Caspari later became noted for having established the first Montessori school in the U.S.)

In the 1970s a monk at the monastery told the late Edward Noack and his wife that: "There are manuscripts in our library that describe the journey of Jesus to the East."

Another who learned of its existence was Robert Ravicz, once professor of anthropology at California State University at Northridge, who reported that while at Himis in 1975 he learned of the "lost years" Jesus-in-India tradition from an eminent Ladakhi physician.

Of course, you can call all these people liars if you wish. You have the right to your opinion, and you have the right to use your “logic” to try to connect Theosophy with the story and paint a scenario that agrees with Archibald Douglas and Max Muller, who are perhaps the most cited skeptics and critics of Notovitch and the story of the life of Jesus as Issa.

Nevertheless, throughout the twentieth century, many individuals have responded positively to the work of Notovitch, including Nicholas Roerich, Levi Dowling, Janet and Richard Bock (makers of the film, "The Lost Years of Jesus"), Swami Abhedananda, and Paramahansa Yogananda (who founded the Self-Realization Fellowship in America in 1925). They all provide evidence or support showing that the story of Issa is alive and well today.

Granted, Max Muller, Archibald Douglas, and Edgar J. Goodspeed have presented refutations of the story of Issa, and their refutations should challenge believers to become as informed as possible. (In that respect, I am grateful to you, Intaglio, for challenging me, because I am now more confident in my beliefs than I was before.)

As for the reluctance or refusal of monastery officials to admit the existence of the Issa documents, in addition to what Professor Deardorff has said (which I have already posted), V. R. Gandhi has explained that the causes of this suspicious attitude on the part of custodians of the sacred literature of the East trace back several centuries to the Muslim invaders of India once having destroyed thousands of the Indians' sacred documents, and to early Christian missionaries having acquired and belittled some of their documents. This distrustful attitude persists today, and certainly at the Himis monastery, according to Tibetologists David L. Snellgrove and Tadeusz Skorupski.

In conclusion, I say I agree to disagree with you. And I hope you will too (though it is very apparent that you will not).
.

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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #62)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 05:42 PM

63. You distort and ignore, you are trapped in a web of deceit

FFS Issuing an apologia makes you an A-P-O-L-O-G-I-S-T

Jefferson had a view of Jesus. He defended that view. Such a defense of faith is an A-P-O-L-O-G-I-A.

These 2 statements are incontrovertible despite you attempting to use incomplete dictionary definitions to deny it.

Liars such as Blavatski, her aides from the various Vedantic movements and disciples muddied the waters and disseminated falsehoods about non-historical events.

Where are the manuscripts?

Where are the photographs?

Where are the copies of the original scripts?

I think you truly believe what you say and for that I am sorry for you.I hope you are able to leave your faith before too much money is removed from you.

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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #29)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 07:27 PM

31. The relationship between Old Testament materials

and New Testament history--particularly about Jesus--is complex.

Try this.

From the New Testament time one could cite a current event and say, "This is that which was spoken of by the prophet." If the prophet said, "hope will come" and hope came, that is a legitimate conclusion.

But one cannot say from that later perspective "that is this which was spoken of by the prophet." The later event is not what the prophet was talking about, since the prophet knew nothing about that happening.

When Isaiah held that hope was on the way in the form of an anointed one, and Jesus came bringing hope, that was not what Isaiah had in mind. His hope was rather a change in the government of Babylon and the rise of a new anointed leader who would free the people of Israel. And that is what happened!

I can say "rain will come." Six months later when it rains you can say, "rain is what that guy was talking about." But you cannot say "that guy was talking exclusively about this rainy day."

Prophets in any age--including the author of "Revelation"-- were addressing issues right in their own time. --not centuries later.

This may be complex but "for every difficult problem there is a simple answer--which is usually wrong."

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #31)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 11:02 PM

33. Well, I wouldn't say that.

For one thing, the book of Isaiah mentions Cyrus, the King of Persia, and an "anointed one," but Cyrus is mentioned in chapters 44 and 45. Cyrus did free the Jews from Babylon and allowed them to return to their homeland and establish their religion.

However, in following chapters Isaiah is speaking of a time way in the future, when all the nations of the world will recognize the judgment of the Mashiach who sends his work before him but is first rejected for so long that he fears all his work has been in vain.

Also, I agree that some prophets addressed issues of their own time. I agree that John, the author of his book of Revelation, addressed things of his own time. However, John, like many of others, addressed events and issues at "the end of the age," which is coming to pass.

It is, ultimately, a matter of belief, and faith. But I believe the prophets were right about a person who comes at the end of the age -- whether you call it the Christian Dispensation or the Kali Yuga or Mayan age or something else -- and I believe he is here and has delivered the promised judgment.

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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #33)

Wed Aug 29, 2012, 03:14 AM

34. Again you are speaking of "The Book of Isaiah" as if it is a singular production

It is not. (I will deal with your previous post to me on return from work)

It is not even the production of several people alive at the same time. It was also edited by various groups to fit their preconceptions.

Some of "Isaiah" deals with the tribes of Israel and the threats they faced from the local military "super powers". Some of it deals with the Babylonian captivity and some deals with the return from Babylon. The whole was "corrected" by various editors to fit the idea of a single dominant deity and to subvert the polytheism of Judea that Josiah and his successors were attempting to hide. It is not hard to draw parallels between the events that the Isaiahs were describing and events from similar periods of Judean history when the tiny nation was similarly under threat and then conquered. Given the later Diaspora imposed by the Romans on the Jewish peoples, the works called Isaiah could be seen again as prophetic, although written about a different exile and a different set of sects opposed by the editors.

Next "John", which one? St John of the Gospel? St John the Divine of Revelation? They are almost certainly not the same person. Although both were written after the Roman destruction of the Temple, it is even possible that the core of "Revelation" was written prior to the Gospel: but the same contorted reasoning as applied to Isaiah is required to produce elements from them relevant to modern life.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #34)

Wed Aug 29, 2012, 08:16 PM

37. No, I am not.

I refer to the book of Isaiah because that’s what is in the Christian Bible, and that's how the world's largest religion sees it.

I have already said several times that I am aware that many scholars conclude that its authorship is three different people, writing at three different times. I personally don’t know if that’s true or not, but I accept that it’s probable because it’s reasonable.

I suppose I should have titled this thread “Does Isaiah Chapter 53 Say Anything About Jesus of Nazareth?” because the article I cited in my OP is titled Isaiah Chapter 53. That’s because it was the erroneous Septuagint Greek translation of that chapter that the Christian gospel writers leaned on so heavily to claim Jesus was born of a “virgin,” etc., and that Chapter 53 is about Jesus even though it is not. That's why the article is important.

As for the dates that the epistles and books of the church canon were written, there are many conflicting opinions by different scholars. You can believe in whichever ones you want. I prefer to believe the more progressive scholars such as those on The Jesus Seminar, and those at religioustolerance.org. For example, http://www.religioustolerance.org/resurrec.htm is largely in agreement with http://messenger2.cjcmp.org/resurrectionstory.html in saying that Paul was the first to have his writings accepted as “gospel” in 50 CE, Mark in 73 CE, Matthew in 83 CE, Luke and Acts in 90 CE, John in 100 CE, and John’s book of Revelation the last, when he was a very old man in exile on the Isle of Patmos. (And yes, I realize there are different opinions about how many "Johns" there were, but it doesn't matter to me.)

I don’t see much point in further debate between you and me. The points you raise are not relevant to me. And again, I agree to disagree, though I suspect you won’t.
.

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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #37)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 03:16 AM

39. A fiat that you are right and others are wrong

business as usual in the profession of faith.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #39)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 02:46 PM

41. I think both of you have made some serious points.

As a member of the Westar Institute, formerly the Jesus Seminar, I tend to take the scholarship produced there seriously. But there is plenty of room for a variety of opinions.

Certainly here were those in the late part of the first Christian century who believed they could cite Isaiah 53 as a prophecy related to Jesus--and even Isaiah 7:14. But the argument I made earlier says, even so, you cannot say from the point of history of Isaiah that he was talking about Jesus.

Also perhaps one of the Isaiahs, as well as other non-Biblical prophets, believed that God would bring about a peaceful rule sometime in the future. That is not optimism. It is hope, and there is a considerable difference. But neither is it making a specific prediction about a specific event.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #41)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 08:32 PM

43. Thanks. And ...

I’m impressed. I have great respect for the Jesus Seminar, though I am really only familiar with the works of Karen Armstrong, Marcus Borg, and John Dominic Crossan. I believe their work will not only continue, but grow more and more important in the coming Reformation.

I take take their work seriously, and also know that even among them there are a variety of opinions.

But I also take the book of Isaiah seriously and I believe it does indeed speak of a time when God's chosen servant delivers judgment by sending his work before him. But as "Isaiah" and Jesus both knew, that servant or son of man would be rejected by his generation --- rejected so long that he fears all his work has been in vain and for naught. And both Isaiah and Jesus were making a specific prediction about a specific event.

Also, that event is not just predicted in Judeo-Christian prophecies about the end of this passing age. It's also about what happens at the end of the Hindu Kali Yuga, the end of the Mayan age, and the end of the tribulation that the Native American prophet Black Elk spoke of. All the greatest prophets "foresaw" and foretold it.
.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #41)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 02:54 PM

65. Why it's more than mere hope.

As I said in my Reply # 42, Isaiah and Jesus were making specific prophecies about a specific event.

The problem is that the theology of Christian Apologetics has caused Christians to misunderstand and misinterpret Isaiah.

Here is a relevant quoted excerpt from an article titled Prophecies Re: He Who Fulfills Them:

"The full truth has not been understood because there are certain symbolic phrases in the Judaic scriptures that some of the original Christians focused upon – those that speak of the coming of a son of man who 'will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.' (Isaiah 9:6) But, that is not what the original Hebrew scripture says. And while the work of the modern son of man does indeed bring peace, he, like Jesus, serves the eternal God.

As the article on Isaiah Chapter 53 explains, the original text of Isaiah 9:6 does not contradict itself by saying the son of man is Counselor and Prince of Peace as well as 'God the Everlasting Father.' Rather, it uses words applicable to a son of man whose counsel enables people to get the message of divine intent.

That literal reality is clarified in many other instances in the book of Isaiah (including Isaiah 40:18, 40:25, 42:1-2, 42:8, and 46:5) which state that God is not a person, and that the person who fulfills prophecy is not God but a son of man and a 'servant who God has chosen.'

For example, it is clarified by Isaiah 42:1-4: 'Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him, he shall make the right to go forth to the nations. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the dimly burning wick shall he not quench. He shall make the right to go forth according to the truth. He shall not fail nor be crushed, till he have set the right in the earth; and the isles shall wait for his teaching.'

Many Christians believe that too speaks of Jesus because Matthew 12:19 claims it does. But it clearly does not. That is one of many blatant errors in the Christian gospels. It speaks of the modern son of man, because Jesus did rise up as a teacher-orator. He did cry out to make his voice heard on many occasions, and he certainly did cause his voice to be heard in the street."

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Response to intaglio (Reply #39)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 10:40 PM

66. It has nothing to do with "profession" or money.

In your Reply #39 and Reply #63 you reveal your assumption that the message and the Coalition that promotes it has something to do with money, and someone profiting -- which is an erroneous assumption.

The message is provided freely, and members of The All Faiths Coalition for Peace, Freedom and Justice pay nothing to anyone. We donate our time, as did the messenger.

In fact, the Coalition members don't even know each other because there is no organization, no leader that we can see or know. There are no "meetings" or meeting places, no headquarters, and we all follow the example of the messenger, to work from behind the scenes.

I have not had to buy his books or MP3 song files. They are for sale because that's the only way he could produce and publish them, but you can read the message and hear the songs for free without having to buy anything.

You should remember the old saying that advises against assuming things.

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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 08:06 AM

40. There's an introduction to the 1611 King James Bible by its translators indicating

Last edited Thu Aug 30, 2012, 10:55 AM - Edit history (2)

they tranlated the Old Testament from the Hebrew and the New Testament from the Greek. See: http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1611-Bible/1611-King-James-Bible-Introduction.php

When reading/studying the KJV, The Strong's Concordance is an indispensable tool inasmuch as you can use it to trace the words that were translated into English back to the original Hebrew or Greek: http://www.eliyah.com/lexicon.html

For instance: If you're looking for the word "virgin", you'll find every verse where it's used in both the Old and New Testaments, thus: http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=virgin&t=KJV

Then, if you'd like to see what it says about the word "virgin" as used in, say, Isaiah 7:14, you'll find it here: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5959&t=KJV

You'll notice that the Strong's number for the word "virgin" as used in Isa. 7:14 is H5959; and, if you trace it back further---to its primitive root---it might shed more light on how the word was understood by the translators.

Also: An invaluable KJV is Dr. Bullinger's COMPANION BIBLE with its many appendices. There's a "condensed version" online which provides some of the COMPANION's features but lacks the appendices: http://www.companionbiblecondensed.com/

You can find the appendices here---where you might find Appendix 30 and Appendix 80 of particular interest . . . also Appendix 103. http://levendwater.org/companion/index_companion.html

Hopefully, you'll find your own answer to the question you asked in your OP.

All best!



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Response to Petrushka (Reply #40)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 02:55 PM

42. However, Strong in particular,

does his work from a very conservative point of view which makes a significant impact on how he handles many texts--including Isaiah 7:14. There are many scholars since Strong who see it in other ways. Any reliance on the KJV brings a score of difficulties. This why the science of literary criticism is important in Biblical interpretation.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #42)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 08:48 PM

45. Yes. Thank you again.

KJV does create "difficulties," and so do all other versions. And that certainly is why the science of literary criticism is important in Biblical interpretation.

What the world really needs is an interpretation of the Bible that is compatible with science and with other religions. And that is why the message I promote is so very crucial right now.

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Response to Petrushka (Reply #40)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 08:42 PM

44. Petrushka, that's just more Apologetics, and ...

As for the links you provided, I have to say that Christian Apologists trying to defend and prove the legitimacy of the theology and doctrines (like the virgin birth story) summarized in the Nicene Creed are not correct according to the modern son of man.

Perhaps rather than try to explain myself, I should quote a relevant excerpt from his article on The Virgin Birth Story:

“ ... consider the writings of those who knew. As has been mentioned, James the brother of Jesus didn't say anything about a virgin birth, and later John didn’t even mention it. In fact, in John 1:45 he refers to Jesus specifically as "the son of Joseph."

But of course, the biggest reason that most Christians regard the virgin birth story as reality is because of what was written in the later book of Matthew - that it was to fulfill Isaiah's prophecy that "a virgin shall conceive and bear a son called Immanuel." There is even a corroborating phrase tacked on in the book of Matthew that says an angel had come to the "virgin" Mary and said she would miraculously bear the son of God, to be called Jesus.

However, the reference in the book of Matthew to Isaiah 7:14 about Immanuel is not accurate or appropriate, so the author or later revisionist of those words we now see in the book of Matthew was simply in error about that prophecy in Isaiah. The seventh chapter of Isaiah is actually about a dispute over land, leadership and domain, and it took place during the lifetime of those involved, and during the time Isaiah wrote about it.

Before the child Immanuel in the book of Isaiah was old enough to discern for himself what was good and what was not (Isaiah 7:16), the Assyrians would conquer the lands of Aram and Israel, which they did in 733-732 B.C., led by Assyrian King Tiglath-Pileser II, only a year or two after the prophecy was given and 733 years before Jesus was even born. So, that would mean that the actual child named Immanuel lived and died hundreds of years before the time of Jesus.

Moreover, Isaiah 7:14, which the author or editors of the book of Matthew as we know it used to claim Jesus was born of a "virgin" to fulfill Isaiah's prophecy, does not even speak of a virgin.

The Hebrew word "almah" in Isaiah 7:14 actually means “young woman,” but it was erroneously translated as "virgin" in the Greek (Septuagint) translation of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, which is why Christians writers, translators and later editors focused on that. And, while some Christians rationalize that the word almah could also mean virgin, they ignore the fact that there is a Hebrew word that actually does mean "virgin." It is "bethulah," and it is used in Isaiah 23:12, 37:22, 47:1, and 62:5). Therefore, the author of the book of Isaiah was well aware of the word for virgin and yet purposely did not use it in Isaiah 7:14.

Even so, because the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Tanakh (Old Testament), does use a word meaning virgin, Paul, Matthew and the others used it in their search for "evidence" that Jesus fulfilled prophecies. In fact, the Greek translation has always been the preferred text in the theology of Christian Apologetics that attempts to prove Jesus was born by “immaculate conception” and is therefore "God Himself," or "God Incarnate."

However, with modern scholarship and understanding, we can acknowledge that the idea of virgin births are the stuff of myths, such as the virgin birth myths about Mithra, Gautama the Buddha, Hercules, Osiris, Bacchus, Hermes, Prometheus, Perseus and Horus."

.

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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #44)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 02:15 AM

46. Thanks for the link. Just discovered what the "messenger for the Spirit of truth" believes . . .

. . . concerning not only biblical prophecy but, also, his own pseudonymous "Joseph J. Adamson" self:

http://books.google.com/books?id=hljkIEl6rPQC&pg=PA383&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false

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Response to Petrushka (Reply #46)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 12:54 PM

47. That story was published in February 2002. There's a more recent one online.

At http://messenger2.cjcmp.org/modernsonofman.html you can read a summary of his life. It was published at the Coalition site sometime in late 2010 or early 2011 when the author took down the site he had published under the pen name.

It's kind of an amazing story, really. If you read it you can see exactly how and why he fulfills the prophecies of Isaiah and Jesus (about being stricken and afflicted, delivering his work and judgment before him but first being rejected by his generation and suffering many things --- and as the article states at the end, he may die before the world recognizes the message for what it is).

At the same time (if you read the article on Native American Prophecies too) you can see that he could also be the person Native prophecies speak of. The article mentions the person "the Hopi called Pahana, the True White Brother who will unite the world after this great tribulation. The Mayans await the return of Kukulcan, the bearded white man ... The Aztecs and Toltecs await the white man Quetzalcoatl, who will bring peace and harmony after a very long era of terrible trouble. And, while they don’t know it, they all speak of the same person."

(Those who have kept up with the advancement of the message know that several times, though briefly, he has posted photos of himself on the link above, as well as at http://www.soundclick.com/ttap. And he is a white man of 71, and his hair and beard are white.)

If you think about it, it makes sense that he is not at all what people expected, mainly because of the nature of prophecies, but also because people interpret them according to their own frame of reference, culture, and beliefs.

He is the opposite of men who seek personal power by speaking from behind podiums and pulpits. Instead, his mission is to liberate and empower us all, from behind the scenes.

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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #47)

Mon Sep 3, 2012, 05:12 AM

52. FWIW: The writer of those articles, refers to himself in the thrid person, saying . . .

Last edited Mon Sep 3, 2012, 06:35 AM - Edit history (1)

. . . "The modern son of man, the Messiah, is hidden while he has sent his work before him, which has been rejected so long that he thinks his work has been in vain. (And that’s why Jesus of Nazareth said the next son of man would 'first be rejected by his generation, and suffer many things.'”)

Taking into consideration the fact that the writer misquotes Jesus of Nazareth---not only in the quotation above, but in numerous other instances, repeatedly saying, "rejected by his generation" (referring to himself and this present generation) as though Jesus hadn't said, "this generation." (referring to that past generation when He walked this earth)---the writer has, IMHO, shown himself to be what the Good Book calls a "false prophet" and/or a "false teacher."

Yet, throughout his writings, while also claiming to be "messenger of the Spirit of truth," not only does he question, contradict, and discard certain passages from the Old and New Testaments that don't agree with his digestion, he doesn't hesitate to pick and choose other passages which he interprets and uses to suit his fancy. For instance: The old gentleman compares his years and years and years of long-suffering to the short-lived agony of Jesus' last hours; and continues to believe he's, therefore, the "modern son of man, the Messiah," etc., etc., etc., the fulfillment of a prophecy he found in Isaiah 53.

Anyway . . . . . . Although I won't be wasting any more time perusing any further links by SarahM, here's a message from an eye-witness to the Truth:

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation."

(II Peter:1-19-20)

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Response to Petrushka (Reply #52)

Mon Sep 3, 2012, 03:58 PM

53. Ah, but you miss some very crucial facts.

Petrushka,

There are instances were the webmaster at that site uses the word “we” indicating that he speaks for the Coalition, and it is explained that the message on the Coalition site was preserved from the original web site of the original author. But I can see why you would assume that he writes in the third person and that he is the messenger himself.

It's possible. But to me that's immaterial. To me, I think you are trying to shoot the messenger down, and ignore the message. And to me, it’s the message that’s important, and crucial.

As for your concern about “misquoting” Jesus, I too had noticed that he changed a word to say “his generation” rather than “this generation,” which we see in the official church canon. I too wondered about that. But, having read About Christianity, Prophecies Re: He Who Fulfills Them, The Second Coming Story, and other relevant articles, I understand why.

I will try to explain by pointing out that the quote about “this generation” (or “his generation”) comes from this larger context:

Jesus said: "The days will come when people will want to see one of the days of the son of man, and they shall not see it. So they will look here and there, but do not follow them. For as the lightning lightens all parts under heaven, so shall also the (work of the) son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected by his (or this) generation." (Luke 17:20-25)

In the first place, there were instances where the writers of the New Testament reported that Jesus spoke of “this generation” or “you” when he was not speaking of their generation or them, but of the generation that would exist when prophecy was fulfilled at the end of the age. Remember, Jesus said: “I come not to bring peace, but division,” knowing that he ushered in an age of division and conflict.

For example, it is written that “you shall hear rumors of war, and nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, and these will be the beginning of sorrows,” etc. And in such instances Jesus was talking about what would be happening now, at the end of the age (aeon) that he ushered in.

In the second place, there were also instances when they spoke of “this generation” meaning their generation, erroneously believing that prophecies would be fulfilled during their lifetimes.

For example, Matthew 23:36 says “All these things shall come upon this generation.” Matthew 24:34 says: “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Mark 13:30 says: “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.” Luke 21:32 says: “This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” Revelation 1:1 says: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.” And Paul wrote as if the “end” was near and even immanent, and he was trying to prepare his generation for it.

Additionally, there is further proof that Jesus was not speaking of himself in Luke 17:20-25 and other instances where he said the son of man to come would “first be rejected by this generation.”

For example, Jesus was accepted by multitudes of people in his generation. That is made clear throughout the book of Matthew and in the book of Luke. Even Matthew 4:25 states: "Great multitudes followed Him, from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan." Matthew 13:14 states: "Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns." Luke 14:25 states that: "Great multitudes went with him, and he turned to them and said..."

Those are but a few parts of the story of Jesus that make it very clear that he spoke to the multitudes who followed him during his travels on foot, on the roads and streets. And that was also confirmed by an impartial Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, who wrote at the time that Jesus "won over many Jews and many of the Greeks" in his generation.

Additionally, Jesus suffered only on the last day of his life, not first or beforehand, but only after he had completed his mission. Therefore, Jesus was not speaking of himself but the next son of man who would “first be rejected by his generation” — whose message (work) is sent before him according the Isaiah’s prophecy, and can be seen in a flash, like lightning, all over the world (over the Internet) according to Jesus’ prophecy.

Jesus spoke of the end of the age when he warned us of the great conflict and tribulation caused by the hypocrites, deceptive leaders, false christs, false shepherds and false prophets. And he was speaking of the end of the age when he spoke of the coming of the son of man, saying that all the conflict and war and tribulation would be signs prior to his coming.

Jesus essentially said: "I tell you the truth: I must go away, but I will send the Counselor to you. He will righteously judge the world; because I am going to heaven and you will see me no more. I came not to judge the world, but the rulers of this world must be judged. I have much more to say to you, but it is more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak of himself, because of himself he will do nothing but the will of the one who sent him. He will speak only what he hears from God, and he will tell you what is to come. He will glorify me by having what is mine and making it known to you." (Paraphrasing and clarifying John 8:28, John 12:47, and John 16 verses 7-15)

Jesus clearly revealed that because he had to go away and would be seen no more on earth, he would send someone delivering a needed message, who will issue the judgment, guide humanity unto the truth, show you things to come, and declare the testimony of the Christ-Avatar who is in heaven with God.

(This information was quoted or paraphrased from Prophecies Re: He Who Fulfills Them.)
.

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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #53)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 03:56 AM

56. "...when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth." ??

All truth delivered under a false name?

As the archangel Michael might say: It's for the Lord to do the rebuking, not I.

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Response to Petrushka (Reply #56)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 03:56 PM

58. So, in other words, you will not address the facts, and simply ignore the truth?

Come on. Surely you're not going to just ignore everything and simply make a general rejection by claiming it's "false."

Rebuke false shepherds, false prophets and hypocrites is precisely what the son of man does, just as the prophets including Jesus prophesied -- whether you want to admit it or not.

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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 05:23 PM

64. Why it's important that the book of Isaiah is not about Jesus

Last edited Sat Sep 8, 2012, 08:30 PM - Edit history (1)

For one thing, it would help reconcile Christians with Jews and Muslims, and help all three of the Abrahamic religions understand each other. And a first step toward that reconciliation could be knowing that the messianic prophecies in the books of Isaiah and other Jewish prophets is not about Jesus.

That would open the door to understanding how and why much of the doctrines and dogma in the “New Testament” of the Christian Bible (as we know it) are the stuff of legend and myth, despite the fact that the actual words of Jesus of Nazareth were basically the truth.

It would also open the door to understanding who today is telling the real truth that the world needs to hear, and why this message is so crucial to the survival of humanity and the planet.

The message is so important because in order for the humble, gentle, kind, peaceful and “meek” majority of people to inherit the earth and enjoy our birthright, an authentic, truly righteous Judgment is needed to correct the political and religious leaders of the world who have brought us to this terrible state of inequity, conflict, division, and tribulation.

Fortunately, since there is as much conflict over religion as there is about government, a divine intervention and judgment was prophesied by the prophets who foresaw and foretold it. But, it is not as many religious people expected — mainly because the fulfillment of real prophecies has nothing to do with magic, and there is nothing supernatural about it.

The messenger who fulfills prophecies does not claim divinity nor royalty. He does not try to play God or conquering hero, but is merely a fellow servant and Messenger of God, and only human. And by prophetic mandate, he is prohibited from exalting himself as an orator from behind and podium or pulpit.

Consequently, because he is not what people expected, or what they think they need, the messenger is rejected. So, while he and his message are rejected, he and most people in the world suffer many terrible things, the wealthiest few who hold all the wealth and power live luxuriously and palatially, believing that is the natural order of things — even believing that they are blessed by God, and that the poor masses deserve their lot.

That’s the way it is in America and most other places in the world where money rules, and consequently aristocracy, oligarchy and the various forms of monarchy continue to grow stronger, and the wealthiest few continue to rule and get even richer at the expense of everyone else.

Nevertheless, truth will prevail, and when the judgment is recognized and acted upon it will put an end to the rule of money. It will render Theocracy, Oligarchy, Aristocracy and Monarchy obsolete (including the presidential form of monarchy), and instead it will establish actual Liberty, Democracy, Justice, and Freedom of Religion for all Humanity.

Unlike the governments we have now, governments of the future will be of, by, and for the people. They will use the common wealth for the common good, promote the general welfare, and ensure domestic tranquility, pluralism and freedom of religions, equal rights and opportunities, and justice for all the people.

That is what the comprehensive message and judgment is all about, and it is designed not to condemn, but to educate; not to punish, but to correct; and not to destroy, but to save.

It says that the greatest refuge of a scoundrel is patriotism, and the greatest refuge of a hypocrite is religiosity. And the proud and militant who have claimed that their religion or nation or race or culture is superior to all others, or that their wealth entitles them to rule, are spiritually blind, and wrong.

However, even though the message reflects the truth, it is not perfect or written in stone, and it is tinged with the author’s personal opinions, as are the writings of all authors. No human being has ever been or ever will be God, and even God’s chosen servants are only human. At the core of the message, however, is the divinely inspired truth, which is deep in the heart and soul of all of us.

The messenger, the modern son of man, is only human and very aware that as he judges so he is judged. But who he has been and who he is has little to do with the message, and he was sent not to rule over you, but to provide true counsel and liberate and empower us all.
.

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