Part IV: New Testament Reality Check: Paul Sets the Stage for Christianity
by, 12th January 2012 at 11:50 PM (911 Views)
Author, anthropologist, Biblical scholar and master of ancient languages, Robert Eisenman writes his books, “James, the Brother of Jesus,” and “The New Testament Code,” that challenge the validity of New Testament narratives in light of Dead Sea Scroll translations.
With a small review of Parts I, II and III: Eisenman shows how:
(Part I) James’s (the “Brother” of Jesus) life-long virginity is “transliterated” to Mary (the “Mother” of Jesus), by about the middle of the 2nd century.
(Part II) the town of “Nazareth” never existed.
(Part III) in Philippians, Paul (or someone) uses the name of “Stephen,” celebrated as the First Christian Martyr,” but it is, in reality, a duplicate narrative, originating in the Dead Sea Scrolls narrative, proving that Stephen was a fraud, an avatar for James, “the Brother of Jesus,” who was the actual stoning victim.
The Community at the time of James
Once I had Eisenman’s books in my head, along with comparing Old Testament references, I began to understand how the Hebrew culture of that time operated. It became clear that the Covenants and the Law were not reserved for one or two days a week, but were in reality a plan for living, inseparable from their culture and history as a people.
So ingrained were the lessons of Moses, Abraham, Noah, David and the Prophets, along with the rules of behavior (the Law) that had developed over 2000 years, that violation meant severance from the community so that all were deeply bound together by them; death by stoning was also a harsh alternative. Rabbis would give long discussions, delineating exact meanings, for their people to avoid the slightest infraction. Trips to the Jerusalem temple were not uncommon to ensure their understanding.
Considering that the Hebrews were surrounded by cultures often devastated by disease, it occurs to me to wonder if their dietary laws protected them, the proscription from certain foods, for instance, may have preserved the one monotheistic culture in existence.
Now comes Paul in writings attributed to him (written 58 C.E., 12 years before current consensus says that the Church of Rome wrote Mark) exhibiting a disdain for the dietary laws:
Romans 14: 2, 21
“For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.”
“It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.”
“Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.”
This is a cynical remark, insulting to Judaic law and meant to criticize James, head of the Jerusalem church, calling him and those who followed him “weak,” with the snarky remark that he (Paul) would not think of offending his “brothers” by eating meat if it makes them “stumble.”
Having written some medical articles regarding this procedure, I have learned that it does prevent infections during adolescence when boys in some cultures are not very hygienic about themselves.
It seems to have been efficacious for the Hebrew culture and is a practiced orthodoxy of Judaism up to the current day.
This “rite” began with Abraham as a Covenant with God to distinguish the Hebrews with a singular status.
“9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
With 3 more verses devoted to further instructions, you can see how deeply this Law was absorbed in Judaism.
Now comes Paul in I Corinthians 7: (Written 54 C.E.—16 years before Mark—the first gospel—was written by the church at Rome.)
18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.
19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.**
**So what is Paul saying here? That the commandments of God are now superseded—by Paul? Really?
25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
25 and 26 are, again, flagrant disrespect for Judaic Law as if a Covenant is as easily manipulated as a toggle switch.
Most of these proscriptions are in Leviticus; there are many. Read it. These were serious admonitions according to Judaic Law, meticulously observed with no deviation, by the Hebrew culture.
1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
17 It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.
12 Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.
18 And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.
Paul writes in I Corinthians 10, written in 54 C.E., 16 years before the first gospel was written by the church of Rome
16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
Mark 14: (Written 16 years after Corinthians)
23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.
To quote Eisenman: “These ‘rulings’ or ‘Judgments,’ that James is pictured as making as Bishop of the Jerusalem Church, come down heavily on the issue of ‘blood,’ which has ramifications both for Qumran and the Noahic Covenant...One may assume that the proscription on the consumption of blood would—particularly if held with the same vehemence as that enunciated at Qumran—also extend to the mystery-religion phenomenon of Communion with the Cup of the blood of the Christ, which Paul proceeds to introduce into his understanding Messianism and the death of the Messianic Leader from I Corinthians 10:14-11:30.”
Reading the book of James, written by a follower, is obviously a treatise on being a "doer" of the Word, whereas Paul, in his writings places an emphasis on "faith." As head of the church in Jerusalem, it was James' duty to keep the Covenants and the Law ever before the people.
“his blood be upon our children.”
Eisenman points out that the first blood-libel accusation was made in I Thessalonians 2: 15— written 24 years before Matthew, the only gospel that records the event.
Eisenman asks, “Who could conceive of a crowd, en masse, uttering such an absurd statement; yet its presence at this point in Matthew is fraught with theological and historical significance. The answer is simple. No crowd ever did; it is based on a retrospective presentation of subsequent theology...”
[that began with “Paul’s” accusation, then correspondingly echoed in Matthew and later concretized by Eusebius] as another narrative testament to establish Jewish guilt. Judaism is a religion to which “blood” is religiously ritualistic in nature, reserved for Passover, a tradition so long observed in their history, never would they have cursed their children in this manner.
When held against the kaleidoscope of one of the world’s most complex religious and cultural history told in 36 books and covering a period of 2,000 years--the Old Testament, difficult to absorb much less analyze--- the New Testament, whose writing spans a mere 150 years with the gospel narrative repeated four times and referenced throughout is far simpler, easily grasped and understood.
To my consternation and dismay in failing to understand Judaic complexity when reading the early writings attributed to Paul, his agenda, strategically designed to discredit, distort, diminish and assign blame to the Hebrew culture, completely escaped the attention of my “Christian” upbringing as a deliberate “campaign.” A campaign meant to eliminate the competition and the threat posed by James against Paul’s determination to eliminate the Judaic Tradition and replace it with his own dogma. You do know that Paul—not Peter—is credited with establishing the Christian religion by the world’s scholars.
In discussing these three sets of Judaic Covenants, their importance to the Hebrew culture for thousands of years can’t be overstated. Eisenman makes it clear that using ridicule and distortion was a strategy in writings attributed to Paul, only a few of which are cited here. They set the stage for a new monotheistic religion to develop, one that comes down to us with questions that biblical scholars, historicists and anthropologists are still attempting to disambiguate today.0 Thanks, 0 Likes, 0 Dislikes
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