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Jesus the Pharisee

RESPONSE TO PAULINE CHRISTIANITY: - The whole of Christendom is not Popery or Romanized but the Pauline influence is arguably the strongest doctrine in the whole of philosophy and theology. 'The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity' by Hyam Maccoby say these things on the back cover:

"Defying the accepted view of Jesus as creator of Christianity, Hyam Maccoby, a leading Talmudic scholar, offers a brilliantly argued, boldly provocative challenge to traditional theories about the origin of the Christian religion and leads us to a startling unorthodox conclusion. Maccoby claims that Paul rather than Jesus was the theoretician and architect of that amazing hybrid of Hellenism and Judaism we know today as Christianity, and that it was Paul alone who created a new religion through his vision of Jesus as a divine Savior who died to save humanity. This concept went far beyond the messianic claims of Jesus and, in fact, was an amalgamation of ideas derived from Hellenic religion, especially from Gnosticism and the mystery cults? Bold and scholastically scrupulous. (pg. xi) In my earlier book on Jesus, Revolution in Judaea, I showed how, in the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus speaks and acts a Pharisee, though the Gospel editors have attempted to conceal this by representing him as opposing Pharisaism... In the present book I have used rabbinical evidence to establish an opposite contention: that Paul, whom the New Testament wishes to portray as having been a trained Pharisee, never was one (pgs.4&5).

This explains the puzzling and ambiguous role given in the Gospels to the companions of Jesus, the twelve disciples. They are shadowy figures, who are allowed little personality, except of a schematic kind. They are portrayed as stupid; they never quite understand what Jesus is up to. Their importance in the origins of Christianity is played down in a remarkable way. For example, we find immediately after Jesus' death that the leader of the Jerusalem Church is Jesus' brother James. Yet in the Gospels, this James does not appear at all as having anything to do with Jesus' mission and story. Instead, he is given a brief mention as one of the brothers of Jesus who allegedly 'opposed' Jesus during his lifetime and regarded him as mad. How it came about that a brother who had been hostile to Jesus in his lifetime suddenly became the revered leader of the Church immediately after Jesus' death is not explained, though one would have thought that some explanation was called for. Later Church legends, of course, filled the gap with stories of the miraculous conversion of James after the death of Jesus and his development into a saint. But the most likely explanation is, as will be argued later, that the erasure of Jesus' brother James (and his other brothers) from any significant role in the Gospel story is part of the denigration of the early leaders who had been in close contact with Jesus and regarded with great suspicion and dismay the Christological theories of the upstart Paul, flaunting his new visions in interpretation of the Jesus whom he had never met in the flesh." (1)

So Paul and his Temple inbred idiots who inherited or sold out in order to get their positions are the creators of a history that is entirely opposite to what Jesus wanted for humanity. The Pharisaic and Mishnah saying that covers this perspective is a little less delicate:

... "A learned bastard takes precedence over an ignorant High Priest." (2)

Paul's own words tell us in Romans 11:2: 'I am an Israelite myself, of the stock of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin,',' circumcised on my eighth day, Israelite by race, of the tribe of Benjamin, A Hebrew, born and bred; in my attitude to the law, A Pharisee (Philippians 3:5).'

Nothing in his early life actions would tell us that he was a Pharisee who supported the underprivileged (Or even in later life if one reads his thoughts about women) in laws and all societal structures throughout the Roman and Parthian Empire. A detailed and honest investigation can easily see the Pharisees have been ridiculed and given all kinds of negative publicity in the Gospels and from the evangelical pulpits of this very day. What better way to destroy someone, than to have your 'front man' write their dogma? This is classic espionage and 'black ops' intrigue! Mr. Maccoby gives us these further comments on the matter and we could have chosen many other scholars to say these things.

"Instead of the priests, the Pharisees looked for guidance to their own leaders, the 'hakhamin' (sages), who were not a hereditary class but came from every level of society including the poorest... The other verse quoted by Jesus from Leviticus, 'Love your neighbor as yourself' was also regarded by the Pharisees as of central importance, and was treated by the two greatest figures of Pharisaism, Hillel and Rabbi Akiba...

Jesus' threat to the Temple was not subversive of the High Priest... rather it was the Jews who were framed by the Gospels, whose concern was to shift the blame for the crucifixion from the Romans to the Jews and their religion." (3)

"When in the name of God {Nations or academia}, people hold black and white beliefs that cut them off from other human beings; when in the name of God, they give up their own sense of right and wrong; when in the name of God, they suffer financial deprivation; then they are suffering from religious addiction. When, in the name of God, people are made to feel unhealthy fear, false guilt, toxic shame, and destructive anger; when in the name of God, they have been emotionally, physically, or sexually abused; when in the name of God, they have judged themselves and others as inherently worth- less; then they have been subject to religious abuse? At that point, Father Leo Booth says, 'God has become a drug. My name is Leo. I'm an alcoholic and religious abuser. I'm a recovering priest.' {He was a Catholic who taught that non-Catholics receiving no catechism went to Hell.}

...Moses was told by God that his name was 'I am who I am.' Every child is born with a sense of 'I am who I am'. The job of the family and the church is to orchestrate life so that the sense of 'I AM' can grow and expand. Chapter 5 painfully outlines how children raised by religious addicts have their 'I AM'-ness ripped apart - how their sense of wholeness is split. This is a far cry from religion's promise of at-one-ment." (4)

PEACE: - Let us give credit to John Lennon and the 'hippies' who were strong enough to say NO! Their collective energy and thought or prayer has been useful in ending organized war among superpowers, now we need to extend a hand to those who are suffering within nations under the strong arm and insanity of national despots protected by international sovereign rights.

Author of Diverse Druids
Columnist for The ES Press Magazine guest 'expert'

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