Friday, January 16, 2009
"A "Personal Jesus" takes the life of Jesus as Upton Sinclair imagines him to be. Sinclair breaks up this novel into 3 sections- youth, mission and spirit. Again, he delves into religon and leaves his usual path of politics - but are not religions - Christianity, Judism and Islam political? A good question throughout history and especially in our modern times. As Sinclair says in the preface "the story of Jesus cannot be told without controversy, for controversy is the very essence of it". As a reviewer said, "Sinclair was a giant and this novel comes close to who Jesus was as a person than any scholarly account. And this is the magic of Sinclair". Religous believers and political activist should read this novel to get a glimpse of where Sinclair is coming from." - Amazon.com
* Rechabites / Kenites / Cainites - migratory workers known as harashim - wandered and performed carpentry, masonry, dental, medical services for food - also Nazarites - "Survived as free men in a world of slaughter and enslavement" - sheltered everyone who came to them
* Modern nomads - Slubbim, or Sleb (Syria and Arabia)
* "Visionaries came - men who believed God would speak to them in lonely places, rather than in the wicked towns"
* Jesus (Yeshu) may have had kyphosis - distortion of the spine due to malnutrition and strain (basically hunchbacked) - small, dark skinned, sparse hair, black beard, frail
* Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah - The old wild prophets Mahalaleel taught Yeshu of
* "Nazareth was a poor town and never had any sort of distinction. Yeshu had been born there (the inn was crowded, that night they stayed in a stable.) Marya pointed out the manger to Yeshu. The information did not surprise or trouble him, for to him a stable was a pleasant place, with the warm smell of animals; as clean and proper a place for a babe as any he knew."
* Genesis - there's no scroll that dates back that far - no such in Jerusalem as it was burned and razed by the Babylonians
* Most of the Benjaminites and Ephraimites writings were taken away by the Assyrians. Judah elevated itself so that all glory shone upon them, and all people of Israel were called Jews instead of Israelites.
* Rechabites were rebels against the corrupted system of Jewish law and tradition. Religious life consisted of the disputes of two rival sects of priests and scribes, one the Pharisees and the other the Sadducees, which in reality were political parties striving for office, power and wealth.
* On Jesus' years of teaching - "We do not know the year of his birth ... death. All that we have is a set of records, put down long afterwards, based upon tradition. The texts are highly suspect and every statement must be critically examined, every word must be studied with care. All that an honest man can do is make an estimate of probability, and remind you of this as he goes along."
* "The statement that he was born in Bethlehem I take to be a legend, created in order to fit him into an old prophecy that the Messiah would come from there (Micah 5:2)"
* "Casting out unclean spirits" = psychiatric care of mentally ill (example of schizophrenic Sally)
* "Forgive us our debts" changed to "Forgive us our trespasses" for the sake of the business world
* Preaching in Galilee was no big deal to the Romans and Jews; Jerusalem got him killed
* "If he was in fact God, he could have thought of a thousand better ways to reform and change mankind than to come down to earth disguised as a man and be crucified. It seems to me that it was rather hard on the poor Jews and Romans, who didn't know that he was God, and thought him a disturber of the peace and a false leader of the people. It seems to me it was all the harder because both God and Jesus must have known that the scheme wasn't going to work, but on the contrary promote religious wars in which millions of human beings would be slaughtered."
* Peter - the "rock" passage probably made up and inserted later - Jesus had no intention of founding a church (Section 10, Mission)
* The forces which have destroyed every civilization - luxury among the rich and discontent among the poor
* "The disciples in those early days "had all things common". They had made the discovery that this was inevitable if you really meant to follow Jesus; it was impossible to keep love for your brethren in your soul if at the same time you were trying to sell them goods at a profit."
* "It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks" - Saul
* Peter - taken up as first of Popes by the Holy Catholic Church - given the keys to heaven due to a false text inserted in the Gospel
* Peter vs Paul - Paul's writings suppressed for more than a hundred years, he dies a prisoner in Rome
* "But Peter's Church rises and thrives and puts down all the heretics. The bigger it becomes the more firmly it relies upon priestcraft and the more corruptions it develops. Rites and ceremonies are invented and they become full of magical power. Texts are written down and become the Word of God. Churches by the thousand are raised, crucifixes by millions are carved and blessed and worshipped. It is the Holy Catholic Church, and it's motto is semper eadem which means "always the same"."
* Christian propagandists modified the Sibylline books
* Greek word for betrayer of the truth - Sophist
* "You can see from Peter's teachings which I have quoted, how he was the one best fitted to win. Submission was needed, and he had ordained it; fear was needed, and he could inspire it, because he had the power to send his opponents to hell. Converts were made among the rich, and that made the new faith respectable. It proved to be an excellent faith from their point of view, because it taught the poor obedience and submission; it concentrated their attention upon heaven, and left this world to the powerful who already had it. Much later there was a celibate clergy, which meant that the church could become really rich. There were monasteries and nunnerys as early as the fourth century."
* Josephus - Testimonium - Jesus was ugly (Lentulus's bullshit version is the "beautified" one common in today's paintings)
* From Wikipedia - "The letter of Lentulus is certainly apocryphal: there never was a Governor of Jerusalem; no Procurator of Judea is known to have been called Lentulus, a Roman governor would not have addressed the Senate in the way represented, but the emperor; a Roman writer would not have employed the expressions, "prophet of truth", "sons of men", "Jesus Christ". The former two are Hebrew idioms, the third is taken from the New Testament. The letter, therefore, shows us a description of Jesus such as Christian piety conceived him."
* Act of Pilate (report of crucifixion) destroyed - Josephus's Halosis containing a detailed account, but it has been doctored by Christian copyists; see Eisler
* "Both Easter and Christmas are the oldest dates in the world; they were celebrated in all the religions of antiquity ... Christmas is the time of winter solstice, when the sun god having almost disappeared comes back to bless mankind. As for Easter, that is the vernal equinox, Springtime, when fertility rites are called for to continue the cycle of life." (Mithras and Bacchus)
* "Yet Jesus lives ... Men read his inspiring words, they make note of his selfless life and his pitiful death. The idea of a God of love becomes real to them, and it kindles a fire in their souls. They are moved to follow his example, and all over the world the struggle against entrenched evil goes on. It goes on inside the churches, to bring them into accord with his plain and simple teachings. It goes on outside the churches, with men who have learned to do as Jesus did, to pray in secret and tell no man about it. It goes on in the hearts of those who call themselves atheists - for they battle in the name of truth, and their battle is a part of the working of the spirit. "By their fruits ye shall know them", Jesus said; and if a man has a field full of weeds he has to plough them up before he can plant the good seed. The superstitions and follies which the churches believe and teach are surely weeds, and bring the very idea of religion into disrepute among thinking people."