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Monthly Archives: December 2008

Back to Chapter Eight https://wayneswordpress.wordpress.com/2008/12/04/breastplate-of-narmer-by-wss-with-hyperlinks/

The doors of the large pantec truck opened and Sir Hamish was standing above an unfolding staircase waving to them as they crossed from the villa to the idling unit; he indicated that they should quickly ascend to his level. As they entered the well equipped modern and technologically advanced mobile communication center, the unseen driver lurched forward beginning their chase. Buzz looked around the ample setting and picked out a place for him to sit, the bottom bunk in a stack of three seemed the obvious. Laurence deposited his stately frame in the swivel chair in front of a group of monitors, Sir Hamish and Natalie shared the couch and table.

“Where are we heading for?” asked Nat

“We have been advised that our pigeon has left Zurich and is heading for the Italian Boarder, we will be trying to intercept him where ever he chooses to stay tonight.” Answered Laurie

“Will we be returning to the villa?” Nat questioned further

Sir Hamish cut in and began to explain the logistics of the plan so far, “All our things will be loaded onto the jet and if we don’t have to return the plane will be flown to wherever we are, so your fathers’ things will be well looked after and you don’t have to worry your pretty head about it my dear Natalie.”

Buzz stood up from his bunk and walked over to where Laurence was now monitoring movements on his electronic equipment.

“So how does all this work? He quizzed

Laurie flipped a few switches and turned his attention to Gabriel

“This monitor here shows us where our target is moving, it’s a combination G.P.S and state of the art mapping device, we can pull up the route of a target and look at it in real time, so as to get an accurate picture of what’s going on at street level. Over here we have a similar unit that monitors our route and feeds back a constant steam of information, ensuring we get to where we want to go with a minimum of fuss. This computer here is linked with all the emergency services for the whole of Europe and scans police activity where ever we go so as can never be intercepted by surprise or wander unannounced into a police action.”

“Very impressive.” Stated Buzz “Anything else I should know about?”

“We have access to all mainstream communications channels as well as a secured network of private agents where ever we are likely to go; a small army of loyal men can be put together anytime, anywhere at very short notice.”

“That’s very handy.” Quipped Buzz

“We have a man that is following our target, at a sustainable distance, since he left Zurich an hour ago. He is travelling at a very subdued pace, almost like a legitimate tourist and he will be available to us by the time we all rendezvous. You can speak to him or the man we have waiting at the border, through this microphone any time you like.”

“It seems as though you have it all well in hand. Seeing we didn’t have time to eat before we left, is there any thing to eat on this bus?” he asked

“Open that cupboard over there and you will find a fully equipped kitchen that is well stocked with some rather excellent microwave dinners.” Recommended Laurence

“Is there any good music to be had?”

“There is a digital system loaded for most music tastes and a set of headphones for every bunk.”

“Awesome dude, do you mind if I smoke?”

“Yes,” said Laurence with no sign of amusement on his face “this is a non- smoking environment.”

Buzz waited till his meal pinged in the microwave oven, collected it, moved back to his bunk and stuck the headphones on.

Sir Hamish and Natalie had been having a pleasant conversation on the lounge about her most recent revelations.

“The last I heard you were connecting with Sarah and her descendants from the bible; how is that going?” asked Hamish

“I have been having a personal panoramic view on the importance of the spirit of Great Lady through out history and I have been trying to verbalize it through a series of conversations with Gabriel. You could ask me about many historical figures like the Queen of Sheba, Jezebel or Cleopatra and I could relate to you any number of stories from a personal perspective. I could tell you exactly how ultimate power shifted between Egypt and the Sumerians, Assyria and the Greeks or even the Greeks and the Romans. It all seemed to rely on who had the Breastplate or the Golden Fleece as Homer knew it. The Hebrews attributed it to the Ark of the Covenant and although this was partly true, until you have seen Miriam wearing the Breastplate in front of the Arc, you can’t properly understand.” Stated Nat

“Do you know why no-one knew about this?” asked Hamish

“I feel there were many reasons, survival for one, but I think that it was a very personal thing for her; sharing the actual event was only ever going to happen with an intimate partner, her Osiris.”

“What was the purpose and ramifications of her act of worship?”

“Again there were many answers to that question but I think that the most important was enabling her to participate in an eternal ongoing relationship with the creative force behind the shaping of humanity. When all the pieces were in place, when she wasn’t being manipulated by oppressive regimes and when she wasn’t being forcibly separated from the antiquities then her work before the Ark in the temple would provide all the knowledge required for an eternal ongoing Kingdom of peace and equality.” Answered Nat

“Could you tell me what would happen in the temple when she was conducting her work?” asked Hamish

“Have you ever heard of Orbitally Rearranged Monatomic Elements or Meissner fields and how research in these areas have been associated with the Ark of the Covenant?” interjected Laurence

“No.” replied Natalie

“For hundreds of years famous Masons like Isaac Newton, Christopher Wren and Robert Boyle have pondered the things you are now learning. You could say that an understanding of the workings of the Ark and the scholars that pursued it are the foundation stones of science as we know it today. Modern Freemasonry owes its existence to unlocking the secrets of Solomon and his temple at Jerusalem. Preceding its establishment in the eighteenth century an order of warlike monks known as the ‘Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon’ liberated Jerusalem from the Saracens and relocated the Ark to Paris in the eleventh century.”

“I didn’t know these things,” said Natalie “please tell me more.”

“France was the center of western civilization at the time and ‘The Children of Solomon’, who worshipped the Ark at the Paris chapter of the Knights Templar, were the only alternative to a recalcitrant Catholic Church. They eventually warred against one another and by the fourteenth century France was not safe for Templar’s and their treasures so they relocated to Scotland where Robert the Bruce presided as grand master over the “Elder Brethren of the Rosy Cross. The St Clair’s, Barons of Roslyn, became the keepers of the Treasures of the French Templar’s and laid the foundation for the Roslyn Chapel that would house the Ark. William Sinclair and Mary De Guise formalized relationships extending to the Americas along with their fleet of ships that discovered it. They formed The Orders of Garter and Thistle for the protection of women that were associated with their Lodges and that tradition continues till this very day with the Order of the Eastern Star and Modern day Freemasonry.” Declared Laurence

“So what you are telling me is that what I have been learning about the Spirit of the Great Lady and her work in front of the Ark are incorporated into the beliefs of your organization?” asked Nat

“Absolutely, although not many people outside the Order would have ever known that and not all those in the various Orders would have either, it’s been privileged information.”

Arms of the United Grand Lodge of England

Avdi- Vide- Tace is the motto it means Hear, See and be Silent

“So famous women we all know, would have been incorporated in this conspiracy?” commented Nat, continuing her line of questioning

“Worship of the feminine in connection with the Ark and the Godhead of the patriarchal system of mainstream churches have traditionally been rewarded with execution or ostracism at least.

Even heads of government and European royalty have fallen foul of that particular intricacy of an inquisition based regime. The fear of exposure has stifled the sciences as well as the facts of history. What the bulk of mankind has been fed, in the name of religion, has been superstition, propaganda and outright lies; while those that know the truth have used that truth to monopolize their power. By playing their cards close to their chests a privileged class has built a wall to the exclusion of the bulk of the peoples, now that wall has become a prison with no way out and depending on which side you are with, a dangerous game.” Concluded Laurence

“Now that I have been made aware of these things, am I destined to be bound by the same restraints, I mean what good can I do, for that mater what’s the purpose of enlightening me to it all?”

“That is the question, if I could simply click my fingers and change it then there would be no reason for involving you or Gabriel. From what I understand and have observed of you and your abilities, we will be looking towards you for answers. All that I can say is that you have my full support and with the blessing of the Great Lady herself I believe there is a solution. This journey we are on has enriched my enthusiasm and heightened expectations that a new era is dawning; meeting you and hearing you speak so clearly on things that have only been whispered about compel me to be more determined than ever to do whatever I can to help change the downward slide that the establishment has locked onto. My earnest desire to locate the Breastplate and your father has become my quest as well as yours.” Finished Laurence

Natalie stood up from the lounge where she was seated with Hamish and walked over to grasp Laurie’s hands, gave him the loving look of a faithful daughter and kissed him on his balding forehead. “Thank you” she said “now explain to me what you were talking about before on Orbital Rearranged Monatomic Elements and how that relates to the work before the Ark.”

“Oh yes, what I can tell you about is the substance that was termed the philosophers stone and what it meant to the men that sorted out an understanding of it. In the Ancient Egyptian world it was referred to as the bread of life and Sobekhotep, the crocodile headed deity, was in charge of its distribution. It was supposed to be a powder of white gold and when ingested prolonged the life of the user; as far as all the study that was done on the subject and I can assure you it was vast, this was monatomic gold. It’s created in the immense heat of a Meissner field and that’s exactly what we assume is the nature of the Ark. When it’s positioned correctly positioned and suspended so as the energy doesn’t ground then the build up of the Meissner field around it provides the environment for pure gold to be transmuted into a colloidal powder suitable for digestion and this was associated with the wearer of the breastplate and her work in front of the Ark.”

I’ve been seeing that in my visions but up till now I didn’t know what it was about.” Said Nat

“If you were keeper of that secret, would you want it to become well known?” asked Laurence

“It depends”

“The ones that have been charged with that duty have had to consider it and now it’s your turn; I only ask that you search yourself deeply and understand the implications before making your decision, it will be the most important one you’ll ever be likely to make.”

“Please tell me more about those that have been in that position.” Requested Natalie

“What you are asking me to do is explain to you secret rites of Masonry that my oaths, as a Master of the craft and its thirty three degrees, forbid me to do. What we have been discussing, as you already know, has been protected information that has only passed between initiates of the most elite fraternities. The Order of the Rosa Cruces with such distinguished Grand Masters as Sir Francis Bacon, Queen Elizabeth the first’s illegitimate son and James the first, a Stuart King of England carried the secret works of Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel. These Fourteenth century alchemists were reported to have found the secret of the Philosophers Stone and eternal life in an ancient document from Abrahams and Sarah’s time. They were said to have faked their own deaths and lived on under assumed names as was Sir Francis and his lover Elizabeth Hatton two centuries later. These founding Masons thought that the secrets were important enough to put in place a series of codes and devices that are still in place today, it is reported that there are people who are prepared to kill to keep that system in tact; do you understand what I am saying to you?”

Engravings from Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel’s empty tomb (dated 1410).

King James I Francis Bacon Elizabeth Hatton Elizabeth I

Natalie only had time for a quick “Yes” to Laurence’s question, when Gabriel cut into the serious nature of their conversation with a lighthearted comment,

“Sounds like you need a little comic relief. Did you hear about the constipated accountant? He couldn’t budget.”

That was enough to ease the tension and bring a roar of laughter from Sir Hamish.

“I told you he was a Mr. Smarty pants.” He declared to Laurence who turned and spoke directly to Buzz

“Don’t you forget to be serious when the time comes and it will come sooner or later?”

“O.K Mr. Master Mason, tell me then, if we were to reveal some of these thing you have been speaking about, would it be you that we would have to worry about?”

“No, lucky for you I am of a more liberal philosophy that would like to see things more out in the open but I wouldn’t like to be the one that pushed it. If you could come up with some solutions for the problems it would create then you’ll have my full backing.”

Buzz paused a minute to allow Laurence’s words to sink in and then came back with, “You mean if every one could extend their life expectancy then we would have a population explosion that couldn’t be sustained.”

“Yes, doesn’t that bother you?”

“No, I’ve heard all the arguments for reductionism, eugenics and I don’t subscribe to them. I think that if as much effort when into educating people than as does keeping them ignorant, then a sustainable level of population could be archived whatever the circumstance.”

“Bravo!” exclaimed Hamish “and what do you say Natalie?” he finished off with

“I don’t claim to be an expert on it, but I tend to agree with Gabriel. I think that if we could educate and assist people to live sustainable lifestyles then a lot of the world’s problems could be solved. If the people that are making fortunes out of raping the world’s resources were to invest in mass producing the technology we need then larger groups of humanity could lead responsible, productive and wealthier lifestyles, narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor.”

“Well said “interjected Buzz “but they have no intention of doing that because it suits their cause to widen the gap, it’s no use being filthy rich unless you can have a morel reason to subjugate the masses into slaving for you and then applauding you for what a good job your doing.”

“Spoken like a good communist.” Stated Laurie

“Spoken like a good cold war warrior.” Said Buzz

“You’re not going to tell me that Russia was right.”

“You know Laurie that’s what’s wrong with your generation, you only see things in black and white, good or bad, Labor or Conservative; let me tell you something about the modern world we see things in color, multi-dimensional thinking verses a bi-polar mentality; no way is totally right and no way is totally wrong, round tables instead of a Westminster system. In my world of thinking everyone has a right to their opinion and everyone should have a vote, real democracy instead of a type of democracy that gives you the choice between tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum.”

There was an uneasy pause in the conversation when Laurence finally said “Finished?”

“Yes.”

“You might be right Mr. Smarty pants but the reality that I live in is bi-polar, you are either with them or you are against them and they hold the gun. So my advice to you is to keep your head down or you just might get it shot off.”

“Well I think we can agree on that, thanks for the advice.” Finished off Buzz

Laurence swung his swivel chair around and returned to his monitors while Hamish decided it was time for him to eat. He moved over to the kitchenette and begun shuffling items. Nat looked at Buzz and shrugged her shoulders in away that satisfied him that she was significantly on his side but didn’t fully understand what it was all about.

“Could we do a bit more work on our sorties into the past while we have the chance? I thought we were on a breakthrough moment when all this interruption began and I would like to get back to where we were.”

“Sure,” said Buzz “let’s focus on Elizabeth.” As he settled himself down on the couch next to Nat

“Elizabeth resided within the fortified walls of Jerusalem since the time of Mark Antony who had been protector of the harem left over from the time of Cleopatra, after the defeat at Actium. She became the head priestess of the Temple and in charge of the Virgins who had been set aside in an isolated part of Herod’s palace. They had remained unmolested since Herod had become paranoid and removed himself to his desert fortress, near Bethlehem in the south. The Sanhedrin of elite Jews were ruling Jerusalem and Zachary had been elected to carry out the duties of Head Priest. On a day when all those involved with the operation of the Temple had gathered, it was his duty was to carry the golden tithes into the inner sanctum as an offering to their God Yahweh. He alone was responsible for the most sacred part of the ceremony that was performed in front of the Ark of the Covenant and would enter beyond the veil where no prying eyes were to gaze. If all went as planed God would receive their gold and return to them ‘Manna’ or the white powder known as ‘the bread of life’ for distribution to the faithful.

He was nervous as he received the golden tithes from the leaders of the twelve tribes, who were there ‘en mass’ to protect their investment and to tell the truth, most of them expected to receive favors for their taxes not the fabled white powder as promised but never delivered. Many had never attended an event such as this before and had only heard tell of it, Zachary too, had often wondered if the legends were true but when it became his turn to lead the others in this ceremony; Elizabeth had assured him that all would go well and he would be remembered for his participation in this momentous event.

Wearing the bejeweled Breastplate of Aaron, he moved slowly into the inner sanctum laden with the hopes of Israel and its’ Gold. The darkness of the room was varied only by the light coming from the Ark, but as his eyes adjusted he realized he wasn’t alone. Behind the Alter stood Elizabeth wearing only the Golden Bejeweled Breastplate of Narmer distinguished by its feminine shape. She spoke softly to him and he moved directly in front of the Ark, placing the offering on it and as he did it began to glow brighter.”

At this point in the telling of Natalie’s story, Gabriel had lost consciousness and was feeling as if he were there in the temple with them. He was witnessing the event firsthand and as Elizabeth began to glow along with the Ark he could see that she had shaved off all of her hair and seemed as though she was wearing the ‘Horns of Isis’. As the intensity of the moment grew her radiance became unworldly and she rose above the Ark, which was exactly where he was viewing it from. Her face, strangely now resembling Natalie’s, leveled with his and as she was looking him directly in the eyes she uttered his name. They seemed to become one but as the light was so bright it was impossible to tell.

Zachary had stepped backwards and had fallen on his bum but his eyes were riveted to the event now taking place high above him, gradually he lost consciousness. When he began to awaken in the dark and empty inner sanctum, he wasn’t sure whether he had dreamt it, although Elizabeth had instructed him what to do when this moment came. What was it he remembered? Get up, leave the temple and speak to no one; he repeated it to himself over and over till he had summoned the courage to do exactly that.

Buzz had snapped back into the moment and awoke to Natalie smiling face; she had her finger to her lips and didn’t say a thing but he knew exactly what she meant. He waited an appropriate amount of time and then said to her

“That was incredible let’s do it again.”

He quickly looked around and realized that Hamish and Laurence were totally unaware of what had just happened, they were busying themselves with their various activities. Nat leaned over and whispered into his ear and Buzz acknowledged her words with a look that could only have meant, ‘I wish that we were alone’, but as that wasn’t the case he said

“What about Mary?”

“Elizabeth’s cousin?” questioned Nat

“Yes.” Replied Buzz

“Well let’s find out shall we?”

“Yeah.”

“Concentrate” said Nat

They both settled back into their corners and began to think about Mary, the woman she was before she was the mother of Jesus. After awhile Natalie spoke in a low tone that just managed to pierce his consciousness.

“Young Mary enjoyed her time in the solitude of the convent like women’s quarters of the palace; she had not known anything else. Daily prayers and ceremonial rituals had not become mundane to her as it obviously had too many of the older Virgins. When the gaggle would begin their sniggering over maters sexual and the women that had ‘tended the well’ offered advice to the ones that had yet to attain that status, Mary would bury herself in contemplation of the sacred secrets that the reverential Elizabeth had confided to her alone.

It was this that separated her from the group and everyone had noticed; her simple dedication to the spiritual matters and her innocence to the world singled her out as ‘blessed among the women’. When the time came to select a special one the choice was obvious. Mary had never had any knowledge of men, except the neutered asexual guards that protected her and the others, so it was a shock to all the women including Elisabeth when the Sanhedrin elders ordered the eunuchs to bring young Mary to them in the temple without the chaperoning of the reverend mother.

The self appointed leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel and Judah had been having regular meetings in the temple to discuss the state of their nation. They represented a privileged class, who up until then had obtained their status by backing the various war lords from the time of Julius Caesar. Now that Herod the Greats time was coming to an end a rebellious attitude presided over their arguments over who would be the next King of the Jews. Herod and his obedience to Rome was an abomination to them, his bastard children were either dead by his hand or as insane as the man himself. They had decided that they alone would choose who their tribes would swear allegiance to in the coming Kingdom of God that they were planning. Seeing that they were never going to agree on whose descendant the honor would fall to, it was decided that they would mix their seed in the womb of a chosen one and allow God to decide.

Mary was led into the temple by the eunuchs she had trusted all her life and she only started to panic when they striped her naked in front of the heavily bearded and ornately adorned group of men. Her heart was thumping as never before when she was laid across the alter; she was sure she was about to be slaughtered and if any of the men present believed that the sacrifice of a virgin would solve their present predicament, then that’s what would have happened. As the first man approached her the fear she was experiencing accelerated into a catatonic state. The wild pumping of blood through her small body overcame her consciousness and her soul momentarily left the scene.”

Gabriel also had a similar effect in the present moment and he found himself again in a pleasant non-descript place where he found he could communicate with the now becalmed Mary. They seemed to be comfortable with one another and he felt as though he had to explain to her that she was going to be all right and that god was going to bless her with a child. He indicated that she would be very proud of him as he would become very knowledge-able and lead the people as a prince of peace.

Eventually she regained her consciousness in the temple and all the men were gone except for one, he waited till she was fully awake and assisted her to her feet whilst gently wrapping a blue cape around her. He explained to her in a very caring way that they were going on a long journey together and that it was his job to look after her.”

Both Buzz and Natalie were sound asleep on the couch and they stayed that way for many an hour dreaming of Jesus and his education while he was being raised in Egypt.

THIS IS THE NABATEAN CAPITAL OF PETRA ON THE WAY TO EGYPT.

Chapter Ten https://wayneswordpress.wordpress.com/2009/01/04/chapter-ten-breastplate-of-narmer-with-hyperlinks/

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Post a Comment On: C. Orthodoxy

Wayne said…

Dear Ken,
I hope you had fun at your conference and kept those crazy bears under control.It’s great to see your posting again, I really enjoyed your cut and paste view of Romans. It was much more concise than the last fifty I’ve browsed.
In regards to your thesis, I thought you might appreciate my latest blog for the Non-theists brigade. It might help sharpen your pro-Paulinian rhetoric for when you apply to become a card carrying member of the Clergy.
Anyway, look forward to your New Years Blogs and have a Happy Xmas.
CHRISTIANS and ATHEISTS WELCOMED.
————-
Many will come in my name, claiming I am the Christ and they will deceive many. (Matt 24:5)
————-
Now correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that if Jesus was right about what he was saying here, just before he was crucified, then Paul and his Roman based Christian religion were the most likely ones he was talking about; because nowhere in history do we have a more likely bunch of deceivers.
Just before he said that, in his address to the multitude (Matt 23) http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt23;&version=31; Jesus gives an accurate description of what the Roman Catholic Church was destined to become, a revamped version of everything he hated about the religious nutcases that surrounded him. He spoke about setting yourself above others and expecting of them what you can’t live up to yourself. He says they will swallow up the property of widows, under the cover of long prayers and traverse the seas to proselytize, creating converts who will be twice as damned as themselves; blind fools. He then accuses their forefathers of murdering the prophets and predicts they are about to make the same mistake.
I think Jesus used Saul of Tarsus (Paul, main contributor to the New Testament) to fulfil his prophesy, the way Saul used Jesus to fulfil his belief; that a Christ had to hang on a cross for the salvation of all those who would join his Human sacrifice cult. In his letter to the Romans, Saul (alias Paul), after giving himself a big rap, launches into an attack against peoples sexual preferences rather than addressing his own evil actions and doesn’t even mention the fact he had been involved in murder and torcher (oh, how history repeats it’s self).
He goes on to condemn every type of human behaviour as worthy of death and hell, from his concept of god, and then makes the statement we shouldn’t judge people; in the texts that have been used to judge more people than any other in history. He goes to great pains to point out that only those who obey the LAW can be worthy, as his gospel proclaims, and then contradicts himself by saying we can only be saved by grace. Not to be content with that great big faux pas, he ends up the third chapter by setting the law on its right footing by saying that it’s neither obedience to the law nor grace that saves, but faith; while he consigns pride to the trash can.
Paul (the self proclaimed expert on everything) then launches into a tirade of apologetics that only a man suffering from a bad case of guilt’s could possibly appreciate. Chapter after chapter of religious gobbledy gook, enough that if anyone today started raving on about in a public place, they would automatically be redeployed to the loony bin. Where is his credentials to make these outrageous statements? Who is his witness that he was commissioned by Jesus? Why does he get to speak as though he was the voice of God on earth? What possesses fundamentalists to admire this mans ravings so much, when they are very reluctant to embrace Jesus’ teaching on excessive wealth, open displays of piety, unnecessary use of the defensive sword and the non-bias view of women in positions of authority?

December 15, 2008 9:44 PM

Ken Brown said…

Oh Wayne, you do like to push my buttons! You can be grateful for one thing though: I have no plans "to become a card carrying member of the clergy." No, I’ll probably lock myself in an ivory tower somewhere–much safer! 😉
Anyway, as you might imagine, I have all manner of objections to your comments:
1. I’m not sure what you mean by "Paul and his Roman based religion," seeing as Paul only visited Rome once (and it was after this letter was written), as a prisoner. And how did he become a prisoner? Romans 15:22-33 itself points to the answer, and Acts 21-28 fills in the details: he took an offering from his Gentile churches to help "the poor of Jerusalem" (who were suffering from a famine), and was arrested for his troubles. In fact, his goal seems to have been to restore some unity between Jews and Gentiles, but political tensions in Judea being what they were (leading to outright war within a decade), gifts from Gentiles were viewed with suspicion. Paul knew this (cf. Rom 15:31), but delivered the gift anyway. According to Acts 21, he was arrested because the mob thought he was defiling the Temple by associating with Gentiles–shame on him for claiming that Gentiles can be accepted by God just like any Jew!
Now I’m curious, are you Jewish? Because if not, I would think you might appreciate that particular aspect of Paul’s theology. It is, of course, a central aspect of the argument of Romans (see my section 4 above). All that "religious gobbledy gook" and stuff about not judging you mentioned, it’s all about God’s offer of redemption being open to all people, Jew and Gentile alike.
2. I find it strange that you single out the Catholic Church for abuse, unless it’s because you think it an easy target (as you know, I’m not Catholic). No doubt your accusations would stick against various and sundry members of Catholicism (present or historical), and that is a scandal and a tragedy. But the same is true of virtually every other committed religious and atheistic group who has gained power–power corrupts, and there are always self-righteous bigots willing to abuse it; they come in all political colors. This is as true in contemporary America (on both right and left) as it was in Calvin’s Geneva, Stalin’s Russia, or 16th C. Spain, but there is far more (and much good) to the Catholic church than such abuses, and it is both unfair and untrue to paint Catholicism with such a broadly negative brush. Still, I agree that it is deeply ironic how often the Church (in all its forms) has been guilty of the very hypocrisy Jesus condemned. Indeed, how often we evangelicals apply Jesus’ condemnations to our enemies, when we ourselves fit the bill much better!
But I’m curious why you think Paul sides with the bigots on this point? As you yourself noted, the whole point of Romans 2-3 is to reject our presumptious judgment of others: since all of us are sinners (Paul included! You have read Romans 7, right? "wretched man that I am; who will save me from this body of death!"), we have no right to judge one another. God surely has the right to judge us, but what does Paul say our attitude should be towards our "enemies"? The same as Jesus said, in fact: "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse…. Never avenge yourselves… rather, ‘if you enemy is hungry, feed him, if he is thirsty, give him something to drink….’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom 12:14-21). That countless Christians have ignored both Jesus and Paul on this matter is obvious; that Paul should be blamed for that failure is silly.
3. You claim that Paul condemns all manner of sin (not "every type of human behavior"!) as worthy of "death and hell," but seem to have overlooked that: 1. Paul never once mentions hell, in Romans or any other letter (I’m sorry to say, you have to look to Jesus to hear about eternal damnation); and 2. Paul also claims that Christ has secured mercy and redemption for everyone (Rom 5:12-21; 11:25-32). According to Romans, all of us deserve death and condemnation (and hell?), but God instead offers us–all of us–life and grace.
4. As for the "contradiction" between the law and grace, then, it is hardly Paul’s invention. It is a necessary conclusion from Israel’s belief in God’s goodness and faithfulness: If God is good and requires us to be good–but we are not good!–then God can either abandon us to our sins (that would be the "death and hell" you mention) or he can love and save us despite ourselves. But if God simply ignores our sin, then he is not good after all, any more than we would call a human judge good who let every criminal go free. This is a problem, then, faced by everyone who believes in God’s goodness and love, and it is addressed in various ways throughout both the Jewish scriptures and the New Testament, including by Jesus (e.g. Matt 18:21-35). You may disagree with Paul when he claims that when Jesus, the sinless Son of God, died on our behalf, he solved that dilemma (cf. my section 5 above), but that doesn’t remove the "contradiction;" it only leaves it unsolved. Do you have a better solution to offer?
5. As for your objection that Paul, self-authoritatively, offers "chapter after chapter of religious gobbledy gook," you’re gonna have to be more specific. What in particular do you think is nonsense? Personally, while there are a number of things that I find puzzling in Romans, and at least a few that–if I understand Paul correctly–I don’t think I agree with, I don’t see anything nonsensical or worthy of a nuthouse, so I really do not know to what you are referring.
But you accusation against those who "admire this man’s ravings so much, when they are very reluctant to embrace Jesus’… non-bias view of women in positions of authority" is ironic, given that Romans 16 itself provides perhaps the most positive portrayal of women in authority in the entire New Testament. In this chapter, Paul greets 29 people, and fully a third of them are women of some authority in the Roman church: Phoebe, a "deacon" who seems to have been carrying the letter (16:1-2); Prisca; Mary; Junia, "outstanding among the apostles"! (16:7); Tryphaena; Tryphosa; Persis; Rufus’ mother; Julia; and the sister of Nereus. How this is to be reconciled with 1 Cor 14:33-35 is another question (for which I have no answer–that would be one of those passages where I disagree with Paul, as do virtually all Christians, whether they admit it or not!), but nothing in Romans itself suggests the least hesitation towards women in leadership–Paul here seems to consider them equals. It’s a tragedy so many of Paul’s followers haven’t felt the same.

December 16, 2008 11:08 PM

Wayne said…

Dear Ken,
Thanks for your comprehensive review and for the easy to answer point format.
1.Paul’s Roman based church.
As you well know Paul prided himself on being a Roman citizen and appealed to Caesar for a Roman based trial; hence why he was contained to Rome for his latter years.
As for the farce about collecting money for the poor I doubt any of it ever got to the needy,just as today most of it get taken up with administration costs. Not that any of that has anything to do with the point of my article, which is how, why, and when was he ordained to act as an agent for Jesus and why does he get the right to make such huge statements about how people should live their lives, just because he was a reformed ass-hole. I DON’T GET IT.
Now I’m curious are you gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that)because if not, I don’t know why you are interested in the state of my pecker. Whether or not I am circumcised or Jewish is an example of the gobbledy-gook I was talking about, WHO CARES?
2.Singling out the Catholics.
I mentioned the Roman Catholic Church because they were, by their own definition, the one and only church who canonized the Bible and deified Paul and they were responsible for the bulk of European atrocities for millennial plus years, while they followed and espoused Paul’s teachings.
It is interesting though, how you lumped them in together with Stalin and George Bush, you just forgot to mention Hitler; or would that be too absurd?
I’m curious on how you don’t see Paul as a bigot and staunchly defend him sometimes over Jesus, who in my opinion was a much better man and who’s teachings were far superior to Paul’s Hotch-potch.If you had to choose one over the other to blame for the mess, which one would it be?
3.1_ Yet again you miss the mark by favoring semantics. It’s not whether Paul talks about hell, sin and salvation but what makes him feel like it’s his job to do so. If you or I wrote a letter like that the recipient would at least have the right to ask, WHO ARE YOU, to say such things?
3.2_ According to Paul,
all of us humans deserve death and eternal damnation unless we believe he and his mates nailed Jesus to a cross for our benefit. That’s right up there with Santa (anagram for Satan) bouncing your kids on his knee,in his red suit, while you blow all your money on useless junk for the profit of the already wealthy.They could be two of the biggest scams in history.
4.As for the contradiction,
My better solution is that it is a manufactured problem designed to make us feel guilty so that the ones with no conscience can preside as our intercessors therefore; don’t feed the fear. Live as though you are worthy of the life that God gave you and be appreciative of it.
As for the metaphor of the judge who let the guilty go free. I think what we are talking about would be better described by picturing the god of Israel as a judge that hung the innocent and kept the guilty in bondage.
5.Paul’s letters, chapter after chapter of religious gobbledygook.
Jesus’ teaching were beautifully crafted, concise, picturesque lessons on how to live a better life free from manipulative church authorities and self inflicted dogmas.They were personally delivered under the stars and sky by a man that had the support of the people who loved him. Paul’s teachings, on the other hand, were complicated, contradictory, troublesome dogma, delivered by postmen from a man that nobody liked, who coldly dictated to a servant like Luke in absentia from the job at hand.The mean spirited nature of the documents has created controversy for as long as they have been read and if you want to defend his garble of pius words over the simplicity of the sermon on the mount then by all means, support the man who was Jesus’ number one enemy. WWW

December 19, 2008 11:29 AM

Ken Brown said…

Wayne,
As for the farce about collecting money for the poor I doubt any of it ever got to the needy,just as today most of it get taken up with administration costs.
You are free to doubt whatever you want, but there is no evidence to back up this assertion. Remember that this same Paul elsewhere refused to take money for his own use: "Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?… But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision….What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them" (1 Cor 9).
Not that any of that has anything to do with the point of my article, which is how, why, and when was he ordained to act as an agent for Jesus and why does he get the right to make such huge statements about how people should live their lives, just because he was a reformed ass-hole.
He was "ordained to act as an agent for Jesus" on the road to Damascus. Clearly you deny that such ever happened, but you cannot deny that he believed it had happened, and that this is the basis for his claim to speak as an apostle. But if you deny that Paul truly had such an experience as described in Acts, you will have a hard time explaining why he suddenly changed from persecuting the church to being its loudest advocate.
Whether or not I am circumcised or Jewish is an example of the gobbledy-gook I was talking about, WHO CARES?
In the first century, everybody cared. To Jews, anyone uncircumcised was dirty and ungodly; to Greeks, anyone circumcised was backwards and uncouth. The circumcised were excluded from the gymnasium (some Hellenized Jews even tried to undo their circumcision because of this), while Jews considered the uncircumcised cursed by God. It was Paul who insisted that the state of one’s foreskin is totally inconsequental to the state of one’s soul. Again, you seem to agree with Paul even while you denigrate him.
I mentioned the Roman Catholic Church because they were, by their own definition, the one and only church who canonized the Bible and deified Paul and they were responsible for the bulk of European atrocities for millennial plus years, while they followed and espoused Paul’s teachings.
I would think the Orthodox and Coptic churches might find it insulting to be left out, but maybe their are not as useful to your claims, since they never fought any crusades? But what any of that has to do with Paul, I don’t know. For the first three centuries after Paul, the church followed in his (and Jesus’) nonviolent footsteps, suffering and dying for their faith, not killing for it. It was only when the church gained secular power that they joined the long line of oppressors–in direct contradiction to both Paul’s and Jesus’ teachings.
I’m curious on how you don’t see Paul as a bigot and staunchly defend him sometimes over Jesus, who in my opinion was a much better man and who’s teachings were far superior to Paul’s Hotch-potch.If you had to choose one over the other to blame for the mess, which one would it be?
I would choose Jesus over Paul any day of the week (and twice on Sunday), but my whole point is that your contrast between Paul and Jesus is unfounded. You don’t get to pick and choose the most comforting parts of Jesus’ message and contrast them with the most distasteful parts of Paul’s, and think that settles things. Paul was Jesus’ advocate, not his enemy. He epxressed things differently because he was writing to urban Gentiles, while Jesus spoke to Jewish peasants, but they shared the same vision of the love of God for all people, and the need for all to reject their sin and believe the gospel: "Repent and believe the good news, for the kingdom of God is at hand" (Mark 1:15)summarizes both Jesus’ and Paul’s messages.
According to Paul, all of us humans deserve death and eternal damnation unless we believe he and his mates nailed Jesus to a cross for our benefit.
Again, there is no evidence whatsoever that Paul was involved in Jesus’ death, much less that "he and his mates" planned it "for our salvation." Quite the contrary, until his unexpected vision of the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul believed the very idea of a crucified messiah absurd (cf. 1 Cor 1-2). All of his later theology is an attempt to work out the implications of the startling revelation that the one the Jews killed was resurrected and glorifed by God as messiah, who sent Paul to preach this good news to all people, Jew and Gentile alike.
My better solution is that it is a manufactured problem designed to make us feel guilty so that the ones with no conscience can preside as our intercessors therefore; don’t feed the fear. Live as though you are worthy of the life that God gave you and be appreciative of it.
I find it ironic that you deny that we have anything to feel guilty about in the same breath that you accuse those "with no conscience" of abusing us. Well which is it: should we to have a conscience or shouldn’t we? And what is a conscience, if not the ability to feel guilt over sin?
Jesus’ teaching were beautifully crafted, concise, picturesque lessons on how to live a better life free from manipulative church authorities and self inflicted dogmas. They were personally delivered under the stars and sky by a man that had the support of the people who loved him. Paul’s teachings, on the other hand, were complicated, contradictory, troublesome dogma, delivered by postmen from a man that nobody liked, who coldly dictated to a servant like Luke in absentia from the job at hand.
Jesus’ words are profound, but they are also cryptic and occasional; Paul’s message is an attempt to sort out what Jesus’ words and deeds mean in a very different setting. It is a job that all of us have to do in our own contexts, and our answers are bound to turn out somewhat different than Paul’s, but you have yet produce any evidence that he did a bad job of it.
The mean spirited nature of the documents has created controversy for as long as they have been read and if you want to defend his garble of pius words over the simplicity of the sermon on the mount then by all means, support the man who was Jesus’ number one enemy.
I just don’t understand this, Wayne. If, as it seems you believe, Jesus was just a man like the rest of us, how is it that you have no problem with him making expansive claims in his own name (not least in the Sermon on the Mount), yet consider Paul Jesus’ enemy for preaching Jesus’ message with similar vigor? Before you contrast "mean spirited" Paul with Jesus, you might want to reread the Sermon on the Mount itself: "You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell" (Matt 5:27-29). Those are Jesus’ words, and nothing Paul says is as harsh. For both, the love of God only makes sense in light of our desperate need to be freed from sin.

December 19, 2008 2:04 PM

Wayne said…

Hey Ken,
How much fun is this? We are like the Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson of our own little blogisphere. I admire you quick comebacks and penetrating style, but I really would prefer a little chit chat before you go for it.
———–
Wayne said,
As for the farce about collecting money for the poor I doubt any of it ever got to the needy,just as today most of it get taken up with administration costs.
Ken said,
You are free to doubt whatever you want, but there is no evidence to back up this assertion.
Wayne says,
and there is no evidence to back up your assertion to the contrary either, except Paul’s own account as in (1Cor9).
Wayne said,
Not that any of that has anything to do with the point of my article, which is how, why, and when was he ordained to act as an agent for Jesus and why does he get the right to make such huge statements about how people should live their lives, just because he was a reformed ass-hole.
Ken said
He was "ordained to act as an agent for Jesus" on the road to Damascus.Clearly you deny that such ever happened, but you cannot deny that he believed it had happened, and that this is the basis for his claim to speak as an apostle. But if you deny that Paul truly had such an experience as described in Acts, you will have a hard time explaining why he suddenly changed from persecuting the church to being its loudest advocate.
Wayne says,
I do not deny that according to his account that is what happened. What I am saying is we have no way of knowing whether he was lying or deluded and that he could of changed,just as many villains do, when they are caught him out. He fits the profile of schizophrenic mass murderer who slingshots from one extreme view to another. If someone today made those claims he wouldn’t be taken seriously especially if it was just after he had been stopped from committing an act of aggression.
Wayne said,
Whether or not I am circumcised or Jewish is an example of the gobbledy-gook I was talking about, WHO CARES?
Ken said,
In the first century, everybody cared. To Jews, anyone uncircumcised was dirty and ungodly; to Greeks, anyone circumcised was backwards and uncouth. The circumcised were excluded from the gymnasium (some Hellenized Jews even tried to undo their circumcision because of this), while Jews considered the uncircumcised cursed by God. It was Paul who insisted that the state of one’s foreskin is totally inconsequential to the state of one’s soul. Again, you seem to agree with Paul even while you denigrate him.
Wayne says,
I wasn’t agreeing or disagreeing with Paul, I know they were all a bit nut’s about that back then. I was asking why you care and why is it relevant to our conversation?
Wayne said,
I mentioned the Roman Catholic Church because they were, by their own definition, the one and only church who canonized the Bible and deified Paul and they were responsible for the bulk of European atrocities for millennial plus years, while they followed and espoused Paul’s teachings.
Ken said,
I would think the Orthodox and Coptic churches might find it insulting to be left out, but maybe their are not as useful to your claims, since they never fought any crusades? But what any of that has to do with Paul, I don’t know. For the first three centuries after Paul, the church followed in his (and Jesus’) nonviolent footsteps, suffering and dying for their faith, not killing for it. It was only when the church gained secular power that they joined the long line of oppressors–in direct contradiction to both Paul’s and Jesus’ teachings.
Wayne says,
Well said, this is truly a meaty issue that I have pondered for many years. When I attended Early Church History classes for my first year of BTh I had an excellent teacher and my love of history was fermented there. My admiration for the perseverance of the martyrs was and still is very real. I can’t help but think they should have fled that type of persecution instead of confronting it, but if they had of, the only places to go were Celtic Brittan, Germania or the Pathian occupied territories all of who were at war with Rome. While some obviously took this path, the ones that didn’t stood in defiance to Caligula, Claudius and eventually Nero.
What I eventually had to ask myself was; What was Paul’s relationship to these tyrants and why was he allowed to live for such a long time under their protection if he was truly who he claimed to be, a predominant leader of the Christian sect. Surely they could have killed him any time they liked but he seemed to live reasonably well in a flat in Rome openly preaching Christ and be allowed to travel at will to various parts of the Empire.
The Family of Emperors all had connections and associations with the with Herods of Jerusalem of which Paul, when he was Saul, must have known and been favored by to have been in the privileged ranks of the Sanhedrin. The first names of all the wives and sons associated with the despotic regimes tend to coincide with the addressees of Paul letters and Caligula’s wife was named Paulina.
Now while all this may be circumstantial, the facts still remain. Paul was a privileged man of his time, which was a time famous for spying and deception when it came to dealing with enemies. I would not be surprised if Paul was one day proven to be their inside man, pretending to be someone who he was not, murdering, manipulating and conspiring behind the scenes to bring about what Rome eventually achieved rule by Clergy rather than rule by an expensive army.Don’t forget it was by following his writings mainly that gave them their platform to commit the atrocities that you acknowledge they committed in Christ’s name.
Wayne said,
I’m curious on how you don’t see Paul as a bigot and staunchly defend him sometimes over Jesus, who in my opinion was a much better man and who’s teachings were far superior to Paul’s Hotch-potch.If you had to choose one over the other to blame for the mess, which one would it be?
Ken said,
I would choose Jesus over Paul any day of the week (and twice on Sunday), but my whole point is that your contrast between Paul and Jesus is unfounded. You don’t get to pick and choose the most comforting parts of Jesus’ message and contrast them with the most distasteful parts of Paul’s, and think that settles things. Paul was Jesus’ advocate, not his enemy. He expressed things differently because he was writing to urban Gentiles, while Jesus spoke to Jewish peasants, but they shared the same vision of the love of God for all people, and the need for all to reject their sin and believe the gospel: "Repent and believe the good news, for the kingdom of God is at hand" (Mark 1:15)summarizes both Jesus’ and Paul’s messages.
Wayne says,
I can’t for the life of me see how you so blindly see it that way. It’s to simplistic to describe the complex issues of the day and Jesus and Paul’s relationship in a single Quote that scholars for centuries have fail to fully come to grips with.
Wayne said,
According to Paul, all of us humans deserve death and eternal damnation unless we believe he and his mates nailed Jesus to a cross for our benefit.
Ken said,
Again, there is no evidence whatsoever that Paul was involved in Jesus’ death, much less that "he and his mates" planned it "for our salvation." Quite the contrary, until his unexpected vision of the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul believed the very idea of a crucified messiah absurd (cf. 1 Cor 1-2). All of his later theology is an attempt to work out the implications of the startling revelation that the one the Jews killed was resurrected and glorified by God as messiah, who sent Paul to preach this good news to all people, Jew and Gentile alike.
Wayne says,
The old Bart Simpson defense, very effective.
Wayne said,
My better solution is that it is a manufactured problem designed to make us feel guilty so that the ones with no conscience can preside as our intercessors therefore; don’t feed the fear. Live as though you are worthy of the life that God gave you and be appreciative of it.
Ken said,
I find it ironic that you deny that we have anything to feel guilty about in the same breath that you accuse those "with no conscience" of abusing us. Well which is it: should we to have a conscience or shouldn’t we? And what is a conscience, if not the ability to feel guilt over sin?
Wayne says,
Semantics.
Wayne said,
Jesus’ teaching were beautifully crafted, concise, picturesque lessons on how to live a better life free from manipulative church authorities and self inflicted dogmas. They were personally delivered under the stars and sky by a man that had the support of the people who loved him. Paul’s teachings, on the other hand, were complicated, contradictory, troublesome dogma, delivered by postmen from a man that nobody liked, who coldly dictated to a servant like Luke in absentia from the job at hand.
Ken said,
Jesus’ words are profound, but they are also cryptic and occasional; Paul’s message is an attempt to sort out what Jesus’ words and deeds mean in a very different setting. It is a job that all of us have to do in our own contexts, and our answers are bound to turn out somewhat different than Paul’s, but you have yet produce any evidence that he did a bad job of it.
Wayne says,
How about that he virtually never quoted Jesus and some scholars debate whether or not he even knew Jesus’ teachings.
Wayne said,
The mean spirited nature of the documents has created controversy for as long as they have been read and if you want to defend his garble of pius words over the simplicity of the sermon on the mount then by all means, support the man who was Jesus’ number one enemy.
Ken said,
I just don’t understand this, Wayne. If, as it seems you believe, Jesus was just a man like the rest of us, how is it that you have no problem with him making expansive claims in his own name (not least in the Sermon on the Mount), yet consider Paul Jesus’ enemy for preaching Jesus’ message with similar vigor? Before you contrast "mean spirited" Paul with Jesus, you might want to reread the Sermon on the Mount itself: "You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell" (Matt 5:27-29). Those are Jesus’ words, and nothing Paul says is as harsh. For both, the love of God only makes sense in light of our desperate need to be freed from sin.
Wayne says,
Now we get down to the nity grity and It seems to me after studying Paul’s accounts of this period, that obsesses the bulk of humanity at various times in history, that the very man who was most responsible for the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy, that a messiah should be sacrificed for the salvation of the tribe, was the main one who tells us of the righteousness of such a barbaric act.
If he is a deluded liar and a conspirator to torture and murder then he’s not only robed an innocent man of his life and liberty but he was responsible for stealing from him the right to be remembered as a great teacher in his own right. Instead we have a sacrificial lamb whose image has become a breach of the ten commandments on a grand scale, because it is worshiped by billions, and the perpetrator gets to hold an honored position in it all because he says God authorised him to do it.
Dear Ken in your well studied defence of this man, you could be right or you could be wrong. It doesn’t really matter to me but whatever your reason for defending him it has nothing to do with the validity of the victim. He may well have been the son of god, the chosen one or the silliest man in history but if this happened today that man Paul would be tried and found guilty of being compliant in his torture and of his murder not to mention that of his followers.
If I am right in what I surmise then it would be better for him if he had never been born (in the words of the man billions call their lord)and I would add, maybe for the rest of us as well.


————-
Many will come in my name, claiming I am the Christ and they will deceive many. (Matt 24:5)
————-
Now correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that if Jesus was right about what he was saying here, just before he was crucified, then Paul and his Roman based Christian religion were the most likely ones he was talking about; because nowhere in history do we have a more likely bunch of deceivers.
Just before he said that, in his address to the multitude (Matt 23) http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt23;&version=31; Jesus gives an accurate description of what the Roman Catholic Church was destined to become, a revamped version of everything he hated about the religious nutcases that surrounded him. He spoke about setting yourself above others and expecting of them what you can’t live up to yourself. He says they will swallow up the property of widows, under the cover of long prayers and traverse the seas to proselytize, creating converts who will be twice as damned as themselves; blind fools. He then accuses their forefathers of murdering the prophets and predicts they are about to make the same mistake.
I think Jesus used Saul of Tarsus (Paul, main contributor to the New Testament) to fulfil his prophesy, the way Saul used Jesus to fulfil his belief; that a Christ had to hang on a cross for the salvation of all those who would join his Human sacrifice cult. In his letter to the Romans, Saul (alias Paul), after giving himself a big rap, launches into an attack against peoples sexual preferences rather than addressing his own evil actions and doesn’t even mention the fact he had been involved in murder and torcher (oh, how history repeats it’s self).
He goes on to condemn every type of human behaviour as worthy of death and hell, from his concept of god, and then makes the statement we shouldn’t judge people; in the texts that have been used to judge more people than any other in history. He goes to great pains to point out that only those who obey the LAW can be worthy, as his gospel proclaims, and then contradicts himself by saying we can only be saved by grace. Not to be content with that great big faux pas, he ends up the third chapter by setting the law on its right footing by saying that it’s neither obedience to the law nor grace that saves, but faith; while he consigns pride to the trash can.
Paul (the self proclaimed expert on everything) then launches into a tirade of apologetics that only a man suffering from a bad case of guilt’s could possibly appreciate. Chapter after chapter of religious gobbledy gook, enough that if anyone today started raving on about in a public place, they would automatically be redeployed to the loony bin. Where is his credentials to make these outrageous statements? Who is his witness that he was commissioned by Jesus? Why does he get to speak as though he was the voice of God on earth? What possesses fundamentalists to admire this mans ravings so much, when they are very reluctant to embrace Jesus’ teaching on excessive wealth, open displays of piety, unnecessary use of the defensive sword and the non-bias view of women in positions of authority?

December 15, 2008 9:44 PM

Ken Brown said…

Oh Wayne, you do like to push my buttons! You can be grateful for one thing though: I have no plans "to become a card carrying member of the clergy." No, I’ll probably lock myself in an ivory tower somewhere–much safer! 😉
Anyway, as you might imagine, I have all manner of objections to your comments:
1. I’m not sure what you mean by "Paul and his Roman based religion," seeing as Paul only visited Rome once (and it was after this letter was written), as a prisoner. And how did he become a prisoner? Romans 15:22-33 itself points to the answer, and Acts 21-28 fills in the details: he took an offering from his Gentile churches to help "the poor of Jerusalem" (who were suffering from a famine), and was arrested for his troubles. In fact, his goal seems to have been to restore some unity between Jews and Gentiles, but political tensions in Judea being what they were (leading to outright war within a decade), gifts from Gentiles were viewed with suspicion. Paul knew this (cf. Rom 15:31), but delivered the gift anyway. According to Acts 21, he was arrested because the mob thought he was defiling the Temple by associating with Gentiles–shame on him for claiming that Gentiles can be accepted by God just like any Jew!
Now I’m curious, are you Jewish? Because if not, I would think you might appreciate that particular aspect of Paul’s theology. It is, of course, a central aspect of the argument of Romans (see my section 4 above). All that "religious gobbledy gook" and stuff about not judging you mentioned, it’s all about God’s offer of redemption being open to all people, Jew and Gentile alike.
2. I find it strange that you single out the Catholic Church for abuse, unless it’s because you think it an easy target (as you know, I’m not Catholic). No doubt your accusations would stick against various and sundry members of Catholicism (present or historical), and that is a scandal and a tragedy. But the same is true of virtually every other committed religious and atheistic group who has gained power–power corrupts, and there are always self-righteous bigots willing to abuse it; they come in all political colors. This is as true in contemporary America (on both right and left) as it was in Calvin’s Geneva, Stalin’s Russia, or 16th C. Spain, but there is far more (and much good) to the Catholic church than such abuses, and it is both unfair and untrue to paint Catholicism with such a broadly negative brush. Still, I agree that it is deeply ironic how often the Church (in all its forms) has been guilty of the very hypocrisy Jesus condemned. Indeed, how often we evangelicals apply Jesus’ condemnations to our enemies, when we ourselves fit the bill much better!
But I’m curious why you think Paul sides with the bigots on this point? As you yourself noted, the whole point of Romans 2-3 is to reject our presumptious judgment of others: since all of us are sinners (Paul included! You have read Romans 7, right? "wretched man that I am; who will save me from this body of death!"), we have no right to judge one another. God surely has the right to judge us, but what does Paul say our attitude should be towards our "enemies"? The same as Jesus said, in fact: "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse…. Never avenge yourselves… rather, ‘if you enemy is hungry, feed him, if he is thirsty, give him something to drink….’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom 12:14-21). That countless Christians have ignored both Jesus and Paul on this matter is obvious; that Paul should be blamed for that failure is silly.
3. You claim that Paul condemns all manner of sin (not "every type of human behavior"!) as worthy of "death and hell," but seem to have overlooked that: 1. Paul never once mentions hell, in Romans or any other letter (I’m sorry to say, you have to look to Jesus to hear about eternal damnation); and 2. Paul also claims that Christ has secured mercy and redemption for everyone (Rom 5:12-21; 11:25-32). According to Romans, all of us deserve death and condemnation (and hell?), but God instead offers us–all of us–life and grace.
4. As for the "contradiction" between the law and grace, then, it is hardly Paul’s invention. It is a necessary conclusion from Israel’s belief in God’s goodness and faithfulness: If God is good and requires us to be good–but we are not good!–then God can either abandon us to our sins (that would be the "death and hell" you mention) or he can love and save us despite ourselves. But if God simply ignores our sin, then he is not good after all, any more than we would call a human judge good who let every criminal go free. This is a problem, then, faced by everyone who believes in God’s goodness and love, and it is addressed in various ways throughout both the Jewish scriptures and the New Testament, including by Jesus (e.g. Matt 18:21-35). You may disagree with Paul when he claims that when Jesus, the sinless Son of God, died on our behalf, he solved that dilemma (cf. my section 5 above), but that doesn’t remove the "contradiction;" it only leaves it unsolved. Do you have a better solution to offer?
5. As for your objection that Paul, self-authoritatively, offers "chapter after chapter of religious gobbledy gook," you’re gonna have to be more specific. What in particular do you think is nonsense? Personally, while there are a number of things that I find puzzling in Romans, and at least a few that–if I understand Paul correctly–I don’t think I agree with, I don’t see anything nonsensical or worthy of a nuthouse, so I really do not know to what you are referring.
But you accusation against those who "admire this man’s ravings so much, when they are very reluctant to embrace Jesus’… non-bias view of women in positions of authority" is ironic, given that Romans 16 itself provides perhaps the most positive portrayal of women in authority in the entire New Testament. In this chapter, Paul greets 29 people, and fully a third of them are women of some authority in the Roman church: Phoebe, a "deacon" who seems to have been carrying the letter (16:1-2); Prisca; Mary; Junia, "outstanding among the apostles"! (16:7); Tryphaena; Tryphosa; Persis; Rufus’ mother; Julia; and the sister of Nereus. How this is to be reconciled with 1 Cor 14:33-35 is another question (for which I have no answer–that would be one of those passages where I disagree with Paul, as do virtually all Christians, whether they admit it or not!), but nothing in Romans itself suggests the least hesitation towards women in leadership–Paul here seems to consider them equals. It’s a tragedy so many of Paul’s followers haven’t felt the same.

December 16, 2008 11:08 PM

Wayne said…

Dear Ken,
Thanks for your comprehensive review and for the easy to answer point format.
1.Paul’s Roman based church.
As you well know Paul prided himself on being a Roman citizen and appealed to Caesar for a Roman based trial; hence why he was contained to Rome for his latter years.
As for the farce about collecting money for the poor I doubt any of it ever got to the needy,just as today most of it get taken up with administration costs. Not that any of that has anything to do with the point of my article, which is how, why, and when was he ordained to act as an agent for Jesus and why does he get the right to make such huge statements about how people should live their lives, just because he was a reformed ass-hole. I DON’T GET IT.
Now I’m curious are you gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that)because if not, I don’t know why you are interested in the state of my pecker. Whether or not I am circumcised or Jewish is an example of the gobbledy-gook I was talking about, WHO CARES?
2.Singling out the Catholics.
I mentioned the Roman Catholic Church because they were, by their own definition, the one and only church who canonized the Bible and deified Paul and they were responsible for the bulk of European atrocities for millennial plus years, while they followed and espoused Paul’s teachings.
It is interesting though, how you lumped them in together with Stalin and George Bush, you just forgot to mention Hitler; or would that be too absurd?
I’m curious on how you don’t see Paul as a bigot and staunchly defend him sometimes over Jesus, who in my opinion was a much better man and who’s teachings were far superior to Paul’s Hotch-potch.If you had to choose one over the other to blame for the mess, which one would it be?
3.1_ Yet again you miss the mark by favoring semantics. It’s not whether Paul talks about hell, sin and salvation but what makes him feel like it’s his job to do so. If you or I wrote a letter like that the recipient would at least have the right to ask, WHO ARE YOU, to say such things?
3.2_ According to Paul,
all of us humans deserve death and eternal damnation unless we believe he and his mates nailed Jesus to a cross for our benefit. That’s right up there with Santa (anagram for Satan) bouncing your kids on his knee,in his red suit, while you blow all your money on useless junk for the profit of the already wealthy.They could be two of the biggest scams in history.
4.As for the contradiction,
My better solution is that it is a manufactured problem designed to make us feel guilty so that the ones with no conscience can preside as our intercessors therefore; don’t feed the fear. Live as though you are worthy of the life that God gave you and be appreciative of it.
As for the metaphor of the judge who let the guilty go free. I think what we are talking about would be better described by picturing the god of Israel as a judge that hung the innocent and kept the guilty in bondage.
5.Paul’s letters, chapter after chapter of religious gobbledygook.
Jesus’ teaching were beautifully crafted, concise, picturesque lessons on how to live a better life free from manipulative church authorities and self inflicted dogmas.They were personally delivered under the stars and sky by a man that had the support of the people who loved him. Paul’s teachings, on the other hand, were complicated, contradictory, troublesome dogma, delivered by postmen from a man that nobody liked, who coldly dictated to a servant like Luke in absentia from the job at hand.The mean spirited nature of the documents has created controversy for as long as they have been read and if you want to defend his garble of pius words over the simplicity of the sermon on the mount then by all means, support the man who was Jesus’ number one enemy. WWW

Atheism is rapidly becoming a religion and Christianity a hotbed of controversy; Islam a dirty word, Buddhism, Hindi and New Age a refuge for old hippies. I would encourage all sensible, open minded, freethinking individuals to consider the rarely used term Non-theist as the description of an alternative to the rather extreme views being put forward lately by bi-polar commentators who seem to be convinced, one way or another, that their view of everything is the only one to hold.

Now, I don’t expect anyone to drop what works for them but when speaking out on improvable theories please consider the unscientific nature of ass-u-me-ing GOD does or doesn’t exist. Neither of these views have been proven or disproved conclusively no matter how vehemently stated. When you quote words out of an old book, as proof of the validity of what you are stating, it holds no weight if your opponent doesn’t  value the text as much as you do; that goes for egg-headed Atheists as well as Bible bashing fundamentalists.

           

Non-Theism is the thinking mans / womens alternative, placing yourself central but isolated from radical views. It is an open and informed stance on issues that are yet to be resolved, striking a home run for the people who don’t want to be drawn into arguments that seem to be going nowhere. When someone asks what religion you are, confidently replying Non-Theist should not offend anyone yet allows you the room to manoeuvre as your knowledge on the issues increases or personal experiences enlightens.

Don’t get me wrong, I have my own opinions on what God and religion should be (and the origins of the Universe) but I refuse to be dictated to by entities who, by strength of numbers, portray themselves as experts on maters that can only be described as theory. I may or may not choose to accept portions of what they say as truth but I don’t have to buy it holas-bolas and I don’t have to ram it down anybodies throat. If my children are to be educated in the knowledge of religion or science, I would prefer it if their teachers were educated Non-Theists who were opening their minds to the broad spread of opinion and leaving them to make up their own minds on which particular views they aspire to hold. I don’t see any value in insisting that they be educated by creationalists or disciples of Darwin but someone who had a non-biased attitude and good working knowledge of both, would do.

So, we may have been brought to our present place in history by mono-brained, single minded achievers who caved out a place for us to exist and we may have then been enlightened by Bi-polar argumentative types who gave us Democracy as it is now but the time has come for Multi-dimensional thinkers to take the wheel and steer us wisely into the future. Give our children half a chance to rise above the petty squabbling of the last generation and sit back for the ride of a lifetime as a spirit of co-operation and acceptance of others views, catapults us to the stars and beyond.

Many will come in my name, claiming I am the Christ and they will deceive many. (Matt 24:5)

————————-

Now correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that if Jesus was right about what he was saying here, just before he was crucified, then Paul and his Roman based Christian religion were the most likely ones he was talking about; because nowhere in history do we have a more likely bunch of deceivers.

Just before he said that, in his address to the multitude (Matt 23) http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt23;&version=31; Jesus gives an accurate description of what the Roman Catholic Church was destined to become, a revamped version of everything he hated about the religious nutcases that surrounded him. He spoke about setting yourself above others and expecting of them what you can’t live up to yourself. He says they will swallow up the property of widows, under the cover of long prayers and traverse the seas to proselytize, creating converts who will be twice as damned as themselves; blind fools. He then accuses their forefathers of murdering the prophets and predicts they are about to make the same mistake.

I think Jesus used Saul of Tarsus (Paul, main contributor to the New Testament) to fulfil his prophesy, the way Saul used Jesus to fulfil his belief; that a Christ had to hang on a cross for the salvation of all those who would join his Human sacrifice cult. In his letter to the Romans, Saul (alias Paul), after giving himself a big rap, launches into an attack against peoples sexual preferences rather than addressing his own evil actions and doesn’t even mention the fact he had been involved in murder and torcher (oh, how history repeats it’s self).

He goes on to condemn every type of human behaviour as worthy of death and hell, from his concept of god, and then makes the statement we shouldn’t judge people; in the texts that have been used to judge more people than any other in history. He goes to great pains to point out that only those who obey the LAW can be worthy, as his gospel proclaims, and then contradicts himself by saying we can only be saved by grace. Not to be content with that great big faux pas, he ends up the third chapter by setting the law on its right footing by saying that it’s neither obedience to the law nor grace that saves, but faith; while he consigns pride to the trash can.

Paul (the self proclaimed expert on everything) then launches into a tirade of apologetics that only a man suffering from a bad case of guilt’s could possibly appreciate. Chapter after chapter of religious gobbledy gook, enough that if anyone today started raving on about in a public place, they would automatically be redeployed to the loony bin. Where is his credentials to make these outrageous statements? Who is his witness that he was commissioned by Jesus? Why does he get to speak as though he was the voice of God on earth? What possesses fundamentalists to admire this mans ravings so much, when they are very reluctant to embrace Jesus’ teaching on excessive wealth, open displays of piety, unnecessary use of the defensive sword and the non-bias view of women in positions of authority?

I don’t have any answers for these questions, I doubt if anybody does but please don’t misunderstand me, I have laboured over it for far to long just as I have pondered Darwinism and now Dawkinism. If Peter and Paul met Darwin and Dawk for the Bi-millennium debate on the ‘Origins of the Species’ or the ‘Did Jesus do miracles?’ follow up, I don’t think I would even bother to show up. But if Jesus and Mary Magdalene invited me around for a piss-up, I’d be there in a flash; just as I would if Einstein and Jung were putting on a soccer match. So, rather than judging people or theories on the probabilities of being right or upright, let’s just see if we can get along first.

Did you know, according to a lawyer featured on the ABC law report (9-12-08), under the Mental Health Act in Australia you can be taken away from you computer, medicated and locked up indefinitely (pending tribunal review) for writing in a manner some might consider damaging to your reputation. Now I don’t understand why they haven’t enforced it on people like Andrew Bolt, John J Ray, Peter Hollingworth or even (God Dick Dawk forbid) Phillip Adams but regardless of what I think of them, I’m glad they haven’t.

My objection, to this particular piece of National Insanity, is not that we shouldn’t  have the facility to detain people for their own good but someone, somewhere can decide these things based on their particular slant on what it is to slander your own reputation with out consulting you until after you have been detained, medicated and possibly ECT rehabilitated. Now as I understand this, if John Howodd was in charge of this process, a whole different bunch of potential consumers of Mental Heath Services are considered rather than if Kevin had the final say. If the same was to apply in America at the moment the Funny Farms would be about to rotate their stock and they should be preparing a special place for their new number one guest, who totally trashed his own reputation all around the world…!

In  Northern NSW over the How-odd years, the Richmond clinic was in charge of this process and for anyone in the know, they trashed their reputation by continuing on the practises of Chelmsford regardless of an ongoing inquiry into their controversial therapies. There is no doubt in my mind that this system was used to imprison people who had done nothing illegal by people whose behaviour was questionable at best. So under the rules as they stand, because they have ruined their credibility, they should have to detain themselves.Anyway, I have got nothing to fear because I trashed my reputation years ago (if I ever had one) and anything I have to say these days can only be an improvement. Yippy-i-o-ki-a.

Please bear with me on this one because I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and that  only a few million poor souls bought into the Ophra Winfrey backed extravaganza but ‘The Secret” really bites if you are one of the unfortunates who don’t ever get to partake of the promised benefits because it couldn’t possibly work for every one, only the privileged few.

If there’s any reality to Rhonda Byrnes’ marketing fiasco don’t you think that somewhere along the line some big and powerful organization would have picked up on it before it was released to the general public. Oh dear, I hear the reply; so ergo, a quick glance around and we seem to be surrounded by monoliths that have mastered the secret, Google, Microsoft, The Pope, The Rothschild’s, The Masons, The Mormons, The Dali-Lama? The list seems to be endless, so my enquiry is; how could an individual practitioner of ‘The Secret’ compete with the consolidated will of the organized practitioners, when they seem to be intent on profiteering from the masses? Would not the bigger positive law of attraction override the individuals desires.

The Catholic Church is an interesting case study; over the thousands of years it has practiced the secret to monopolizing money and power, it has a track record of keeping the pew warmers in their place while revelling in their own success. Same thing with the Rothschild’s even though their Ashkenazi power base can only be traced back hundreds of years or so. The Masons really had the bit between their teeth by the time they signed the American Declaration of Independence and Cecil Rhodes engineered his own Empirical ambitions. Adolf Hitler seemed to  have a particularly good handle on the application until an even bigger positive thinker came along to put an end his run. McCarthyites pitted their strength of unity against the Stalinists and now it’s Christians against Muslims.

I think you get the gist of what I’m saying, the power of attraction works until a bigger magnet comes along, this is why big companies like Gunns in Tasmania, send trouble makers into the greenies, so their magnet doesn’t get to powerful. The real secret to power and wealth is UNITY and while we have individual power brokers plying their trade, with the intent of their own interests above others, chaos in the ranks will prevail and solo seekers doomed to failure.

We, the manipulated, need to get organized if we want to compete in our future. We the masses have the potential for having the biggest magnet on the playing field. We, the poor and meek pins in the fabric of society, have the ability to inherit the Earth if we could galvanize ourselves into a solid body and WE could ensure that all our collective children could have an equal portion with out having to slave for the privileged minority till eternity.

The concept of a central data bank with equal access no matter of race, creed, colour or socio- economic class is the right of every child of the future and could provide the basis for sustainable, peaceful government by the people for the people, into the immediate future and beyond. Don’t align yourselves with the Party Poopers use ‘the secret’ to get out from under tyrannical rule, forever.

I’d like to comment on the insanity of Richard Dawkins when he calls Christians insane, not because I am a Christian anymore than I am an Atheist but don’t you think it is a bit Bi-polar when "supposedly" intelligent thinkers can only perceive one of two perspectives. They carry on like there is no shades of gray, only black and white, only good guys and bad guys, only their way of explaining things or the crazy guys. I don’t have any trouble accepting the theists point of view when it comes to an unseen, powerful, creative force anymore than I do accepting scientific theories about Quantum Physics and why can’t both be true? The long and boring debate about Evolution V’s Creation can be simply understood if you can accept the possibility Evolution was the way God chose to create, end of story.

If I had to define my concept of our state of being, (rather than relying on Jewish traditions, Paulinian rhetoric, Islamic dogma, Buddhistic detachment, Hindu hocus pocus or any of the various native mumbo jumbo’s) then I chose to sit centrally positioned in the sphere of debate, drawing from all the great thinkers but beholding to none. My beliefs are easier to quantify by stating what they are not, rather than passing off assumptions as something solid. The secret to the power of the big religions is in the grouping of consciousness rather than the reality of their beliefs and therein lies their weakness as well. Minimalists have a strength superior to overblown, all encompassing, egocentric know it alls, no matter how many people they rope into their theories, therefore; what I know about creation and what I can pass onto others, is no better than the size of their ability to comprehend. Just as a computer has access to the internet, we can access the bigger picture if we are not afraid to cross cultural barriers but we cannot exceed our capacity to store truth; although we can always junk the spam.

So truth is what the group consciousness decides it is and while our world will always be made up of individual points of view, the real test of whether we will evolve into a permanent universal force will be whether or not we can establish a group consciousness that all can access and relate to, a central databank of beliefs that we can all believe in.

Back to Chapter Seven

CHAPTER EIGHT

“To start at the beginning, I would pose a few questions and try to answer them in the process; firstly, why did God destroy the earth with a flood and secondly, how did God communicate the desire for Noah and family to build an ark and survive the impending deluge with a cache of twinned species?

When I first thought of this, I looked up that big Bible you had me carting around and in Genesis chapter 4 verses 19-23, it states that Lamech, a descendant of Cain, had a daughter named Naamah but by chapter 5 verses 28-29 it is referring to Noah as his son. If we could think of this as our first references to our Narmer, then a clue to answering my first question could be in chapter 6 verse 4 ‘when the sons of God mated with the daughters of men’ this is when God saved Noah’s lot and destroyed the rest of the worlds inhabitants. So who were the ones God was pissed off with, the sons, the daughters or their children? I would suggest that God was upset with the sons because not only were they knocking up the daughters of Cain’s descendants but they were oppressing them as well; in 6 verse 13 God says to Noah ‘the time has come for me to destroy all men because they have filled the earth with oppression and violence. So why would God save Lamech’s son Noah and not Lamech’s daughter Naamah and what about Lamech’s other son Tubal-Cain who was making all kinds of things out brass and iron, for example swords, why didn’t he get saved? For that matter, why didn’t God save Lamech and why doesn’t the Bible mention the name of Noah’s wife wasn’t she important enough. I would tend to suggest that the Bible was written by men who could not perceive that Noah was a woman, who survived the flood with the help of her sons Shem, Ham and Japheth. The wives bit was just added later and they couldn’t even bother making up names for them.

Anyway after they survive the flood and God gives Noah those instructions not to go about killing one another, as the only commandment, in 9:20-23 Ham is found in the tent of a naked Noah and is expelled from the camp for it; in the meantime his brothers walk backwards into the tent to cover up there ‘fathers’ nakedness. This story makes absolutely no sense, but if Noah was a woman and these boys mother, then this story makes perfect sense.

If Noah, Narmer, Ninmar or what ever you want to call her was a man, then I bet you London to a brick that we would be searching for a sword, not a breast covering. Just the same as if her God was a warring god and not a peaceful god then a sword would be the symbol of authority. Noah found favor with her God because she was interested in the preservation of life not the destruction of life, which is why in the ancient languages of the Sumerians; Ninmar was known as the Lady of Life and was associated with genetic science and agriculture rather than war and pillage.

Similarly in Egypt, the stories that encompass their culture are of a woman named Isis who strives for the peaceful running of her kingdom and the resurrection of her Osiris in the form of Horus, while they battle the murdering Set who represents war and destruction. We have followed her spirit through history as we have seen time and time again, her being involved in the bringing down of corrupt oppressive regimes and the replacement with ones that look after the women and the children as well as the down and out.

The Breastplate represents God’s protection and order, worn by a peace loving monarch that honors that concept. She speaks for the safety and prosperity for those that would bow before it and not force their will on others nor take control at the point of a sword or the barrel of a gun; as for those who would they will have no protection from the breastplate and it shall be taken from them.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of a collapsed civilization, the spirit of Mereneith will continue to awaken and seek the end of oppressive regimes and the establishment of God’s peaceful kingdom on earth. She will eventually win out and protect us without the need of a shield and her chosen man will be at her side choosing the potters wheel over the trade of war.”

“Whoa, whoa!” exclaimed Buzz “I’m still trying to come to grips with the Noah is a woman bit.”

“Well, what do you think does it make sense to you?” asked Nat

“Yeah it does but it is just a little hard to digest; I mean my entire life I have thought as Noah as a man with a big white beard, a bit like Santa Clause. Can you imagine how many people you could offend running around espousing that Noah was a woman; I could imagine the Pope himself coming after me personally wanting to nail my ass to a cross.”

“It is a bit radical I will admit, but now after all we’ve seen and understood, I can’t go back to thinking of Noah or Narmer as anything else other than a woman regardless of how much trouble it might cause, can you?” asked Nat

“Now that you mention it all I get when I think of it is a mental picture of a naked old lady dancing around in her tent with a few to many wines in her; I hope you’re happy.”

“Very.” She smiled

“Is there anything else you want to shock me with now that you’re at it?”

“Well seeing that you brought it up I’m not quite sure why Shem and Japheth are shacked up together in the one tent, but I will let it go for now, if you like.” Said Nat

“Oh thanks a lot.”

Natalie was starting to pace around the room a bit too nervously for Gabriel’s liking, but he didn’t say anything he just kept his eyes on her till she spoke again.

“I had another really vivid dream again last night and I don’t know quite how to go about explaining it to you, it’s a bit shocking as well.”

“Just start from the top and let me have it.” Said Buzz

Julius Caesar – Cleopatra VII – Pompey

“O.K, I was seeing through the eyes of Cleopatra and she was organizing to have herself to be delivered to Julius Caesar who was living in the old family home in Alexandra on the Nile delta. She had been living in exile in Syria near the Sea of Galilee and had just received the news that her father and husband in co-regency rule, Ptolemy X11 was dead; along with his puppet master Pompey the Roman Consul. It was 48 B.C.E and Julius ruled the known world from Alexandra with no serious opposition. She knew she could win the affection of the ageing general as youth and beauty were on her side. As she was leaving the security of her fortress home at Magdala with a caravan of Persian rug salesmen, success was foremost on her mind and her confidence was high as she possessed the one thing that the Emperor would buy, Immortality. By the time she was rolled out before Julius in his private chambers, wearing nothing but the bejeweled Breastplate and carrying nothing but a treasure of stories from the past, Cleo V11 would rule Egypt once again.

The Emperor swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker; before long they were honeymooning on the royal barge and heading for the secret ancient temples of Hawara where she would reveal to him the ceremonies of long forgotten rituals, which held within their legionary form, promises of life everlasting. Caesar’s confidence was growing with every mile he traveled with his seductress and as she caressed his ego daily, he was sure he would leave his mere manhood behind and eventually become a living god. They ended up touring all the old temples and monuments; Julius particularly liked wearing any of the old regalia that could be obtained and insisted that Cleo wore her Isis outfit even when they weren’t performing the ways of the past. He didn’t want to return to Rome but after many conversations about their future together he eventually agreed; Cleo was growing large with his child when Julius left for Rome to display his new status and it wasn’t till she had birthed his son that Cleo left Egypt to join him. The final chapter was set to play out on the big stage before all his admiring audience.

“These things are fairly well known, except the bit about the breastplate,” interjected Buzz “but I’m sure there is something that you’re not telling me.”

“It was the content of their conversation at Hawara that has really taken me by surprise; when they were alone at the heart of the old temple complex and the power of the Breastplate was no longer an issue. Julius was hanging on her every word and she was explaining to him how the building of an appropriate temple with the absent Ark of the Covenant at its center, was crucial in the obtaining of the immortality he was interested in. Many years of study with the most learned Jewish scholars of the library of Alexandra and a good understanding of the Greek translations of their Old Testament scriptures had given her the knowledge needed to make that goal a reality. With his assistance and resources she was confident that they could fulfill the ancient plan of building, establishing and ruling Gods kingdom on earth at Jerusalem. They went over and over everything that she was suggesting until Julius finally agreed and said with single minded determination that he would devote himself to that end.”

The second temple at Jerusalem (24 B.C—66 A.D)

“That makes a lot of sense,” commented Buzz “I’ve always wondered why a strategic genius who had just so spectacularly won all his battles with such military precision, would fall prey to schemes of an exiled princess.

The explanations of a sexual nature seem so inadequate when you consider he could have any number of women with the click of his fingers. She must have had something he desired more than anyone else; for a man that had everything, immortality would certainly do the trick but in the end it didn’t do him much good.”

“Or did it?” cut in Nat

“What do you mean?”

“Well the really stunning part of the discussions at Hawara was about the faking of his death. Cleo convinced him that if he was to go down the path she was suggesting that the best way to do it would be with anonymity. You think about it, if he remained ‘alive’ his commitments to Rome would have knobbled his remaining years. The plan to ‘die’ on stage was strategically perfect and just what you would expect from this pair.”

“If he didn’t die what did he do then?” asked Buzz

“What all conquerors do after they conquer, build on a scale that would do him honor and justice. Together they designed and built Caesarea on the Sea, and a brand new fleet of ships to service it.”

Herod the Great Herod II Mark Antony Octavian

“But Herod the Great built Caesarea.” Stated Buzz

“Well, why didn’t he call it Herodea then?”

“I suppose you could be right, Herod just means king in Hebrew and in 46 B.C.E he was just a nobody, a backwater Arabic style Jew who had no real claim to fame other than his association with Julius Caesar and then Mark Antony . The peoples he claimed to represent were Maccabean Jews who had family connections to the Ptolemy’s, Cleopatra’s family all with a Macedonian connection. They spoke Greek and their scriptures were studied in Greek. The previous Kings; Phillip, Antiochious and Judas Maccabeus all had connections with the Greek governors of Egypt. When Herod supposedly built the temple at Jerusalem it was with the assistance and blessings of the Ptolemy’s, of whom Cleopatra the seventh was the ruling regent at the time.”

“Whether or not Julius was alive to see the completed temple project is irrelevant to our story but I know this Cleopatra was because Mark Anthony had a residence built into the complex walls and she was supposed to have three children to him.”

“What you are saying is that by the time Octavian destroyed their fleet of Lebanese built boats at the battle of Actium in 31 B.C.E, Cleo was ruling out of Jerusalem and if reports of her death by suicide were exaggerated then she could be associated with Herodias,” commented Buzz.

“Well Herodias was supposed to be married to Philip, a Ptolemy and the brother to Herod II, as well as Herod II; they were living and ruling from Jerusalem not long after the death of Herod the Great and they were from the same family, so as with Julius it doesn’t really affect the continuity of our story. For all intents and purposes, she represented the authority of the Breastplate and she was in a position to use it as it had been intended; at the alter in front of the Ark of the Covenant in the brand new purpose built temple, the greatest one ever built. If Herod and Herodias weren’t Julius and Cleo they certainly were the inheritors of there grand plan.

Anyway things quieted down after that, Octavian the Roman General became Caesar Augustus the Roman Emperor; then he ushered in the Pax Romana or the Roman Peace and Jerusalem was allowed to flourish until the time of Jesus Christ, relatively free.”

“But as always there are two sides to a coin and while on one side, by the time of Augustus, Egypt and the Carthaginians had been defeated, the Spanish and Gaels subdued and the war with Germanic tribes stabilized. Yet on the other, the Parthians, warlike peoples with Persian backers were presenting an ongoing problem.”

“The religious implications, the breastplate and the authority it represents keep turning up between clashes of cultures. Its presence seems to fluctuate between opposing sides; in the battle over control of Egypt, Isis was trying to rebirth Osiris so he could reunite the two kingdoms, in the battle over who runs Mesopotamia, Esther turns up to bring into balance the powers that contested it. If Jerusalem was being run as a center for world peace and the temple was intact and operating as it should, then the Breastplate’s authority resides there. But as is the case, when Jerusalem is being run by unwise despots then that authority is removed and the temple is torn down. If Rome was prepared to rule honorably and peacefully over our city of the new peace we would find our antiquities there, but trouble was brewing and a war that would last hundreds of years was about to break out and the Jews of Jesus’ day were smack in the middle of it.”

“If we were to look for our item of interest in this period, would we be likely to find it in the hands of the Roman rulers, the Maccabean Jews or the Parthians?” asked Buzz

“With the benefit of hindsight I would say the Parthians because the Romans went on to display the worst of human behavior and the Greek speaking Jewish leaders conspired to crucify the one most likely to bring about peace.

The Parthians were in charge of the Aramaic speaking tribes and ruled their areas out of places like Damascus and Palmyra. They too, were interested in the smooth running of Egypt and Jerusalem as the Romans had just kicked them out of there after hundreds of year’s involvement.”

“That is likely” said Buzz “as in 20 B.C.E Herod II was displaying the same madness that had plagued his father and was reported to have murdered his first wife and her children, preferring to take up with Herodias, who was his brothers wife. Philip had been expelled from Herod II kingdom into Parthian territory and was establishing himself at Caesarea Philippi, a town on the river running out of Mt. Hermon, a tributary that supplied the Sea of Galilee. From that day on Herod II’s kingdom started to fall apart, as all his potential Heirs and inheritors began arguing over who would be the next King after Herod II’s assassination. Earthquakes destroyed some of the building works and the Esseanes theraputate of Old Testament studying scholars, healers and vocal opponents of Herod moved into the Qumran led by John the Baptist. They taught of a new age of peace being ushered in by a Messiah, who turned out to be Jesus; and as we know Herod II and his loyal band of Jerusalem based Sadducees, beheaded John and crucified Jesus.”

Natalie continued her musings about who would have been in possession of the Breastplate around the time of Jesus. Old habits die hard and although the blessing of the Breastplate had resided with the old guard of Julius Caesar’s war machine while they concentrated on building the second temple at Jerusalem, their corrupt nature became an embarrassment to those who knew the truth of temple authority. The wise men of the time, the Magi, resided in the east where the Parthians ruled and while Herod was intent on exterminating any potential inheritors of his kingdom, they were equally intent on the preservation of the line of Aaron.

Elizabeth was a direct descendant of Aaron and the wife of Zacharias, the head Levite in the temple at the time of the death of Herod the Great and the birth Of Jesus. Whilst they were in charge of the temple items, Elizabeth fell pregnant with John the Baptist and was visited by Mary the mother of Jesus, who was also pregnant at the time. Zacharias took a vow of silence, removed himself from the service of the temple and relocated himself out of Jerusalem and closer to the Parthian occupied territories. Besides being in a position to influence the education of the young Jesus they became his number one supporters; at the time they were the only ones that were convinced of His divinity and claim to the title of King of the Jews.”

The tomb of Zacharias, (the father of John the Baptist).

“Strangely enough at the same time the Parthians had a new Queen, Musa; she had been given to their King Phraates IV by decree of the Roman Emperor Augustus over something that had happened during the incursions into Parthian territory during the reign of Mark Anthony. In return for the gift from Caesar, Pharaates IV handed over his four sons from a previous marriages and on his death bed granted Musa‘s young son the right to inherit his throne and title as King of kings. There were coins minted to confirm this as a fact of historical record.” Said Buzz

“The Parthians rejected her after she married her son to consolidate

her status as their Goddess Musa (feminine form of Moses).

This would have been acceptable in Egyptian tradition and seen as Isis joining with Horus but to the peoples who occupied the Syrian-Israelis border region of 6 A.D, it was not. So around the time that Jesus was 12 and he and his mother were returning to a quiet life a near the Sea of Galilee, this important woman found herself stateless and between cultures. Musa and her son were forced into a political wilderness where the Aramaic speaking Hebrews’ of the old ways were residing at places like the Nabataean Stronghold’s of Petra, Bethany east of the river Jordan, the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee.

By the time John was baptizing hordes of people in the Jordan and Jesus was preaching to the multitudes from the mountain tops about the approaching Kingdom of God; Eli-Sabbath, the Syro-Phoenician Goddess of the Sabbath and Queen Musa, the ex-Parthian Goddess, were nowhere to be found. Martha, Mary mother of Jesus and the younger Mary of Magdala were the main female players in the new religious movement that was eventually going to be known as Christianity.

Herod II, Herod Antipas, Herod Agrippa and Herodias, who seemed to be married to all of them at various times, became the main enemies of the new religion; but backed by Rome and led by Saul, the Pharisees and Sadducees of the defiled Temple of Jerusalem; they beheaded, crucified, stoned, imprisoned, tortured and generally hacked their way through John, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Steven and eventually every disciple they could lay their hands on. After Jesus miraculously survived his crucifixion, the movement relocated itself into the friendlier realms of their Parthian neighbors which extended as far as India and China.

After a ten year rampage of murder and persecutions of the peaceful followers of Jesus and Mary Magdalene; Saul, became Paul, the main authority of the Christian New Testament;

Saul — Saul at the stoning of Stephen — Paul

He was eventually stopped when he was captured whilst on a raid into Parthian Damascus.”

Buzz jumped up and out of his chair with a loud unprintable exclamation and started to pace the floor, encircling a bemused Natalie. After he began to settle down and stopped waving his arms around he looked straight at Nat with a piecing stare.

“Do you realize that if that version of those well studied events had of even been uttered in the past that you and I could have been burnt at the stake?”

“Yes” replied Natalie” but that has nothing to do with the truth of the matter, does it?”

“No” replied Gabriel “but you must realize how many people would be offended by the mere suggestion that Jesus and his entourage were anything other than your standard Hebrew – Christian view.”

Before she had a chance to answer the doors of the library burst open and Laurence demanded their attention.

“The bait has been taken and is running; we have the opportunity to intercept now, if we leave immediately.”

“Do we have time to pack any thing before we get back on the plane?” asked Natalie

“We aren’t going on the jet this time, we have a mobile communication van complete with bunks ready to roll. I can explain anything you need to know when we are on the road but for now we must move.”

Buzz gave Nat a humorous look as he saluted Laurence and said “Aye, Aye Sir, lead on.”

On to Chapter Nine