the gospel of me

Friday, April 07, 2006

THE

GOSPEL

OF

ME

BY: MARK AGRIPPA


PART ONE

CHRIST IN THE FLESH


INTRODUCTION

After writing the gospel and transforming the religious history of the world I thought I could retire into obscurity. I never for a moment believed that in the twilight of my years I would need to explain myself all over again. Isn’t it amazing that I am writing what amounts to a commentary on my original endeavor and I am not even sure anyone is going to ever read?

For it isn’t as if the world suddenly lost interest in my work. No, that’s far from being the problem. If anything the issue is that it being too influential especially in a crucial part of the Roman Empire of great strategic importance. I am amazed that my work still finds as large a readership as it does. Yet on the other I am very disappointed by the degree to which people believe without understanding a word of what I am saying.

The truth is that it is because my book has become so popular that I languish now in

a prison cell. I became a danger to Caesar when he found out that there was a secret subtext to my gospel, a hidden doctrine which essentially said that I was greater than him, the ruler of the world.

After a great civil war which pit the entire Near East against the occupying armies of Rome I was arrested and have been in detention ever since. Most of the original members of my traditions who did not recant their beliefs suffering the same fate as me or worse, and my gospel – well my holy text has been overcome with deliberate editorial ammendations.

Now the world seems to be in a little bit of confusion about my identity and what my gospel is all about I have come set matters aright. However I am sure that this is not going to be an easy task at all. The fact is that unfortunately nothing convinces people more than obscurity.

I think cultivating a necessary pathos of distance is important to cultivate any sense of awe among the ignorant. I had established this from the beginning. I thought that once my gospel was put down into words and I had to disappear from public view in order to develop what I call “the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.”

I instructed a body of authorities to slowly reveal its meaning to an initiated few as part of this process and hoped it would continue over the course of time until I could return as the ruler of an independent messianic kingdom. Of course, as we all know, all the best laid plans often come to something other than we might have originally expected.

After an initial triumphant victory march my ambition only grew stronger. I plotted for ever increasing power and influence until finally I went for broke and took on the very powers of Rome who helped establish me to begin with. It was a war I would lose and the price I would pay is permanent historical obscurity.

Yet now in the twilight of my years I reach out for one last chance to explain myself and my message is clear - my name is Mark, I wrote the gospel and I am tired of people messing around with my written words. If you ever want to know the truth about what it really means you will have to become familiar with me, for it is author.


CHAPTER ONE

It’s not easy being the messiah. I tell you, that I lived out the fantasy of every Jewish boy only to discover that being the anointed one of Israel is a lot harder than it is cracked up to be. I know you might have read about Moses, David or Hezekiah but most of this is little more than official propaganda. What they don’t really emphasize as much as they should is that being Christ is above all else a bloody business.

The truth is that my plan for being triumphant messianic ruler of Israel did not go as well as I or my mother had planned. It had a lot of ups and downs, multiple rewrites of history until in the end – ironically enough – I was eventually written out of my own story. The very fact that many of you don’t know me or don’t know my story in some ways leads me to believe that on some level I must have failed.

So you may ask, where did all my followers go? And for that matter where did I disappear to? These are all questions. But a far better one is readily available to me now – why don’t any of you know me?

Of course I know the answer to all these questions because it is my life and my gospel which is being considered here. It seems everyone has been so well trained now not to wonder even for a moment about such matters that I will never be heard. It is as if most people think that the gospel just fell from heaven.

I am simply baffled that no one asks about me any more; no one seems to care about who I am, what I am like or what set me about on this otherwise absurd quest to start a new religion. The truth is that I really have a fascinating story to tell. Maybe it is because my story is so interesting that your political masters effectively banned it from public view, made me disappear.

I was a great man; indeed I was held to be the greatest, most perfect man that ever lived only to vanish from human history. Doesn’t it make you all a little suspicious? Indeed it should raise your curiosity when I tell you that this complete disappearance was not entirely voluntarily.

I tell you now that I was forced into “early retirement” as it were by the European rulers of the world. One Caesar in particular only recently changed my religion, corrupted my beloved gospel and pushed me to into obscurity. To think that if I left this prison cell and stumbled onto the street I wouldn’t even recognize my own religion. It is almost too much for me to bear!


CHAPTER TWO

Of course once you have a taste for the spotlight it is hard to slink to eternal anonymity without a fight. I have been thinking about making a comeback for all these years. I have debated the pros and cons of making my return and finally in these last few days decided to do something about it.

I started put down my thoughts and recollections into words regarding my own story which is the gospel before it is too late. Of course I had some help. I am getting on in years and can’t walk or talk as well as I used to. I need assistance now to even get out of bed. However my faculties are all still working. I still know who I am and what I am all about and this self-knowledge extends to my gospel which begins and ends with me.

The truth is that I don’t care what you think you have been told about my text before now. It is all completely wrong. Someone didn’t want you to know about me so it stands to reason I think that they didn’t want what I am about to say make its way to your hearing. It’s time to unplug your ears and listen to the account I give you. For you know I am the only authority on my gospel. After all I am its original author.

Indeed I am sick and tired of all these people who have come out as “experts” on my book. Have you ever looked at these people for the most part? They are all Europeans for God sake! I didn’t write my gospel for them – I wrote it for those who partake in my kingdom.

If some European wanted to make his way to Syria and join our movement I certainly wouldn’t have refused the assistance. However these people now act as if God himself made a call to them – like they are somehow the greatest prize because of the color of the skin and the “superior” clarity of mind!

I can’t even begin to imagine what these fools think the gospel is when they don’t even speak our language. I mean don’t they realize the double meaning of the very word “gospel” for God’s sake! These Europeans now speak of the “gospel of this” or the “gospel of that” without comprehending that I was slipping a most seditious doctrine right under their noses.

I think I am going to have to go step by step here as I re-introduce myself to the world. I will have to explain why it was that I was called messiah, how it was I wrote the gospel and most significantly the story of how I ended up being imprisoned until the date of my execution before Caesar.

My brothers knew the true account of my gospel because they knew me. Yet I ask if it is possible if the same knowledge is possible for those who are by their very generation the sworn enemy of all that the kingdom of heaven stands for. I wonder if the occupier can understand the occupied, the oppressor the oppressed, the European the Semite?


CHAPTER THREE

To know the hidden secrets of the gospel you have to know the shadowy character who is me. My name is Mark, I wrote the gospel and I have decided to emerge from the historical darkness assigned to me in order to guide you to the truth. I am surprised that no one came looking for me of course given the fact that my name is still assigned to the text. However I see that many of you lack even the most basic critical abilities to make sense of any literary text, let alone one which passes now for the very word of God.

As a boy I received a Greek education so let me speak to my European listeners in a way they can understand for a moment. No book is above the prejudices of its author. No truth can escape the perspective of the one laying down the words on its pages.

One can’t help but notice for instance that two almost completely different pictures of Socrates if you read Plato or Xenophon. There is of course an historical truth which lies in between the two accounts but we will never know it directly. We have to use critical reasoning to make up the difference. The point is here that you have to discover a little more about the person writing any report in order to filter out his underlying biases as much as possible.

I tell you that every literary composition is necessarily the work of a particular man at a particular time with a particular motivation in mind. To ignore this angle when understanding a book is often the same as missing the whole point of the work.

Of course I am not saying that my gospel wasn’t divine. I have already told you that it most certainly was in the same way as Moses’ book was a revelation from a divine source. Nevertheless I tell you one can’t entirely subtract the humanity from final product if you want to know the truth.

In the case of my own authorship of the gospel I have always held that it certainly was God effectively working through me which completed the final work. Nevertheless I tell you all quite certainly that if you want to know the underlying truth you will have to possess a capacity for critical reasoning. Indeed I am one of the few writers in history who encouraged his readers to pay close attention to his hidden hand which put the pen to paper to complete the text!

For my gospel is a special kind of work. It is not meant to arouse blind belief but probative inquiry. Above all else I wanted to initiate people into an inquiry about me, its author, without arousing the suspicions of the rulers of the world.

I tell you again you can’t minimize me and all the experiences which made up my life from understanding what the gospel was all about. Indeed this knowledge is so subversive it was entirely repressed from public dissemination in recent years. Why do you think the Romans went to such lengths to cover up my very existence?


CHAPTER FOUR

Of course the gospel has an author and I tell you now and he is me, Marcus Julius Agrippa! There aren’t too many Jews named “Mark” my friends. Go to the libraries or conduct a census of Jews living anywhere at any time and you will find nary an individual with this name. Why so? It is not because it is a Latin appellation - as you all know by now, Jews take on Greek and Roman names quite readily. The reason comes down to something rooted in the superstitions of these most superstitious people.

The name “Mark” as it is rendered in the Hebrew language has the hidden meaning of the name “Moses.” My mother chose this name for me for this very reason. You see anyone who is to come forward from among this people to claim that he is the messiah must in a sense also claim to be Moses resurrected. Now you stand on the threshold of understanding a little bit more about me and my gospel.

This way of functioning in two different ways to two different people with two different meanings is the hallmark of members of my family. When she announced to members of the Claudian family that she would name me “Marcus Julius Agrippa” few could have suspected this ulterior motive. After all it seemed to represent the epitome of loyalty to the regime! Of course if anyone had ever understood the Law of Moses he would realize that the one who is to come is identified by Moses as “one who has his name in him.”

So it was then that from my very birth I was essentially developed as a kind of double entendre. I meant one thing to one people and another secret thing to another. The same thing is true with my gospel. Gentiles have been misled to believe as if it was only written by God, with no human hand even though they openly identify it by my name.

Now I ask you, can you imagine anything which does not pick up any influence from its environment? I mean even wine develops the taste of the wooden barrels it is stored in. I tell you again that if you want to make sense of any book, you have to get to know its author. The same thing is of course necessarily true about the gospel because in fact that it is the way I designed it!

To know the truth you have to actively get into my head and indeed my life to see things from a special perspective where all its stories suddenly come together to acquaint you with a special – and indeed hidden – kind of knowledge.

I truly am sick and tired of being in the shadows; I am now totally frustrated with being totally ignored and overlooked. I can’t believe that you don’t know who I am but when I think about it I guess I have to concede that I am a little to blame for the whole situation. For when it suited me, I was all too happy to put the authorship of the gospel on God and then when I was ripped away from my text I languished in this prison cell.

Before this I relished the obscurity I cultivated. This as long as I could “pop out” from time to time over the years to make sure my community maintained thing I set down in the right way. I deliberately cultivated a fog of darkness to surrounded me as a means of protecting my ultimate designs.

Instead I deliberately instructed a group of religious overseers, chosen individuals, to pass on the secret way to read my book. I did it to hide from the ruling powers all the while maintaining that future generations would all know a secret truth. Of course now that my ecclesiastical authorities have been mostly wiped out or coerced into accepting a new doctrine from Rome I have been left brutally victimized and alone.

My community has all but disappeared to the four corners of the world my original decision to cultivate obscurity has come back to haunt me. Everyone sees Jesus and no one recognizes me. As I come out now to shake things up and tell you truths that have been long suppressed above all else I am going to teach you how to read the book that I authored. The question now is of course – does anyone want to listen to what I have to say?


CHAPTER FIVE

Now that I have “come out of the closet” so to speak and I smell the freshness of moving air the urge to say everything at once overwhelms me. I want to immediately get into the story of my life and all that happened to me over my long life. I really had quite a special existence before recent events overtook me. Even to this day I wouldn’t exchange my life with anyone else’s, despite where I ultimately end up.

For no matter what happens to me few people can claim to have accomplished what I did. Few can say that they ranked at one time higher than Moses or to have completed the new covenant of Israel. The truth is that once I wrote the gospel and established its “kingdom of heaven” events overtook me which were beyond my control. It wasn’t me who apparently failed but God. Somehow, for some reason I don’t fully understand the dream of an independent kingdom for the Semites was finally put on hold.

As my authority expanded and plans were drawn for a final rebellion from Rome, the world should be aware that all of these things were established through the power of my gospel. To truly become acquainted with its truth you have to come to terms with its goals and its objectives – and that is its “kingdom of heaven” accompanied by its “Second Coming.”

I am the very resurrection of Jesus. I can’t for the life of me understand how this understanding escapes you. If you are familiar with my book you have to see that Jesus comes along and announces not only the destruction of Jerusalem but the one who is accomplish this great deed. How is it then that the author of the gospel is himself the very man who fulfilled this prophesy?

I tell you time and time again that to know the truth you have to begin to see that the gospel isn’t just about Jesus - Jesus was merely its inspiration. The gospel necessarily was about Jesus pointing to someone else as his Christ and that someone else is me.

I have already said one too many times by now that I don’t speak of “inspiration” entirely figuratively here. I use the word quite literally. Jesus came to me in the spirit and became one with me through the gospel. He got “into my flesh,” he became me and inspired me write the book. This is the meaning of the “Second Coming.”

At first Jesus came as an angel in the spirit in the end he returned in the flesh as the royal messiah of Israel. Only when you start to understand all of this you can begin to come to terms with why I called the book the gospel. It comes second nature to we Hebrews but because most of you now don’t speak my language as I have already said so you remain in darkness. Nevertheless I am about to make things plain for you – if only some of you are willing to take a language lesson from an old man like me.


CHAPTER SIX

I am afraid to tell you my friends that the remainder of this introductory section is going to be a language lesson. You are going to have to come to terms with the knowledge of man who wrote the gospel. Jesus, Simon and all the rest of the cast of characters who make up this stirring book all originally were rendered in words from the Hebrew tongue. Not surprisingly then if you are going to understand this message you are going to have to come to terms with some of its necessary double entendres.

The title of my gospel wasn’t “the gospel of Mark.” This would have been entirely self-defeating for a man who originally craved obscurity. I actually called it - besora d’Yeshu – the “gospel of Jesus” for this very reason; a move which ultimately led to my being completely pushed out of its interpretation.

It is in my mind very important that you the reader keep in mind that the first word besora in the title means both the “flesh” and the “glad tiding” of Jesus. Jesus was God the Son. He was bringing the power of becoming a Son of the Highest Father to humanity as the rest of the introduction says but it is important to recognize that this authority was coming through the power of what we call “the flesh.”

The significance of all of this will certainly come to those who are the most discerning or who have participated in our rituals. Just as you consume the flesh of an animal to acquire material sustenance the gospel of Jesus gives those who absorb its meaning spiritual nourishment and immortality. Indeed this same besora is the bread of life is established in the central rituals of our community.

So now you begin to appreciate the double entendre I have been telling you about from the beginning I hope. When I tell you that I was the first to consume and absorb the flesh of Jesus and became one with God you shouldn’t be surprised because it is all there in the pages of my gospel. In other words, the narrative of the gospel is a kind of living instruction for the initiation which every member of our community is taking step by step along his way.

I hope you can begin to see now that this is why I am called the architect of my community, why it was that my experiences became the cornerstone of the very new covenant I was establishing. I already wrote in my new testament when speaking of this flesh of Jesus that “what I received from the Lord I also passed on to you.” Doesn’t this tell you everything you need to know?

My friends, I am saying that I was at the so-called “Last Supper” where I received the flesh of the Eucharist from Jesus’ hand because I am the beloved disciple who is called Mark. I absorbed this flesh of Jesus into my soul as you all will and I not only became one with the Holy Spirit, I became the very “Second Coming” of Jesus. Then I then passed on that knowledge to you.

Isn’t this everything you need to know? Aren’t all questions now finally answered for you? If only it were that easy – we could just connect the dots in this way. Yet there is another even more important question which rises to the surface now - why don’t you know any of this?


CHAPTER SEVEN

Of course by the very fact that I am sitting in this prison cell I have learned that the way I did things before weren’t as “perfect” as I had hoped. Above all else I need now to repent from the errors of my original effort. There is a certain irony in this again given the role of repentance in my secret doctrine but these issues which I can tackle later. For penitence or “changing one’s mind” as it is literally rendered is something which is required from all of us, including those who are presently reading my book.

In order to come over to the truth of my gospel I am afraid that you need to unlearn all the silly things your European masters have inserted to my original religion. You are going to have to accept one thing at the outset which might be difficult for some. You will have to believe or take at face value the claim that all the power which was contained in Jesus came over or into me.

For my part it seems that I must confess that I employed a level of allegory which was simply too advanced for western minds. You people seem incapable of following a text operating on two levels at the same time. Your want everything to be so explicit – even when you are dealing with God, a power who is by his very nature elusive to the point of being unknowable!

Had I known that my text would be so misunderstood by people outside of my kingdom I would never have translated my work into Greek in the first place. Nevertheless I must put forward that many of the problems which have emerged with my gospel were in fact completely out of my control. I couldn’t have planned for my defeat on the battlefields of Betar any less than my victory sixty years earlier at Jerusalem.

All I can attempt to do now before I disappear completely from this world is to instruct you into the truth of my original work. I will at the very least try to explain how my gospel illustrates how I was the embodiment of Jesus’ “second coming” in the flesh – and then you know one of the reasons why I called my book the gospel.

Indeed if you look carefully this is the very story which appears at its conclusion you will have to recognize that the gospel didn’t end with Jesus crucifixion but that another step which comes after is hidden in its pages. Let us go back to this narrative even for a brief moment to understand its meaning.

We have just followed an account of an angel named Jesus who takes the form of man who comes to Galilee only to end up seemingly get nailed to a cross in Jerusalem. If you take another look at that last scene just described you will see me, his self-described beloved disciple staring at the image of his crucifixion along with his mother.

Now you are beginning to see things from the intended perspective – that is, my perspective. God is on the cross, a symbol of repentance and if you are properly instructed – also that of a new creation about to unfold. You will have to take careful notice of the words which come from Jesus’ mouth – his final words – “it is perfect” and begin to wonder - what is the thing or person being made “perfect” here?

Of course you can’t possibly have hoped to figure out this mystery on your own. I had ministers and guides to help you with the answer as you proceeded through your initiation. Yet I am now telling you the solution for the first time without intermediary because in the end I have changed my mind about the value of obscurity and mystery.

I ask you again to answer how does Jesus appearing nailed on a cross represent the “completion” of anything? The resolution is obvious if you had a copy of my one original gospel without the corruptions by the hand of Imperial agents. I deliberately put myself at that scene of the crucifixion because it was me that was being completed by this act of repentance on the part of God.

By crucifying the image of man – or “Adam” if you will, his first creation – Jesus was preparing for that which was better. I also tell you that I put these words in Jesus’ mouth for specific effect because it follows through to what happens next. We have the empty tomb (which emphasizes that Jesus wasn’t really a physical man) and then the disciples gather at my house “not recognizing” that this “someone else” sitting among them was all this time “Jesus” resurrected.


CHAPTER EIGHT

We have spoken a great deal right now about repentance. The manner in which God himself repented of his creation, the manner in which you must turn aside from the lies told you by the ruler of the world and indeed my own “second guessing” of my reliance on allegory in my gospel in the first place. This is a great deal for us all to contend with. Nevertheless I tell you true that if we are to make headway here we all must do our part in changing not only our minds but those around us to.

You have to start thinking about me – the author of the gospel – as arranging the stories in the particular way that I did in order to make sense of the narrative. I tell you again, it isn’t just a story about Jesus it is about something more. It is really all about all me and it is the only way that the gospel will ever make sense to you.

There is a secret wisdom here, one that was kept from the rulers of the world, and which would have prevented them from crucifying Jesus. For if they knew that what they were doing was about to strengthen the one called messiah by the Jews, the hope of all Semites, they would not have allowed God to be put up on the cross.

Indeed, my friends, we are called “gnostics” for a reason. It is the very path toward enlightenment. You have to be “brought into acquaintance” with secret knowledge which suddenly allows a flash of illumination to come into your mind. It is the very reason I am speaking to you now.

Only the naivest of people even thinks that literal history telling is possible. The truth is that I have never met a historian who didn’t have a hidden agenda. It is my belief that those who claim to “stick to the facts” are likely only limited by the inability to write stirring prose.

The fact is of course that I was a most gifted writer and my original gospel was among the greatest works of literature. Indeed how else could it be when you are claiming that God inspired you to compose your book? How else could it finally appear? Could it be something dull, drab and one dimensional? Is this how you imagine God Almighty? No certainly God speaks in many ways at once every day. So too did he speak through my gospel.

The gospels which now circulate among you completely shame God and make it look as if he were an incapable writer. The reason of course is that someone else came along and counterfeit my original text at the behest of Caesar. The two conspired to neuter its significance through cutting up and rearranging the order and shape of the narrative. I can accept all of this now; at first it disturbed me greatly. I am at peace with all things because I have an opportunity now to set the record straight.


CHAPTER NINE

So it is when you are trying to put together the gospel the first thing which you must realize of course is come to terms with what I was trying to create here – and what I wasn’t. I will tell you one and all and to the dismay of many that I was certainly not striving for literal truth here. Above all else, I was hoping for something loftier and full of allegorical beauty. I hope that many of you will agree that in the end I succeeded.

In fact I ask you one and all, and especially those who want to cling to the gospel as “history,” what literal facts could I offer you when I speaking of a story of a little boy encountering an angel? Does this sound like a historical occurrence to any of you? I have told you time and time again that when I was writing this gospel God was speaking through me and that the divine spirit does not announce things with plain meaning.

God himself speaks through wonder and mysteries exactly as I did. It would be unthinkable to suppose otherwise. So it is with my gospel. If this answer is not enough for the few diehards who refuse to let go of a story which features an angel passing through crowds and walking on water I ask you to consider the following.

Who among you believes even for a moment that the Law which came before me is anything other than an allegorical text? I mean do you really suppose that Moses should be taken literally?

If you claim that Moses wasn’t setting truth to allegories I tell you that you certainly have not received proper instruction from your guides. For I studied under the leading authorities of my day, high priests and scholars whose tradition dated back to the time of Israel. They preserved what the pages of the Law clearly tell us themselves – namely that it is simply impossible to read Moses as instructing us into literal historical truths.

The point is here that even the most zealous of you who now doubt my authority over my own book will have to concede that that which came before me didn’t have an affect on my gospel. Whatever Moses did the one who followed him must also have undertaken in order to complete his legacy. So it is that I ask you again - who can believe this tradition which began with Genesis is based on anything other than allegories.

Who among you is capable of believe that men can hold conversations with snakes and asses? Who believes that sons slept with their mother to establish humanity, endless stories of brothers plotting against one another or that the idea that our nation was really established through magic contests? To this end once you see that this first book wasn’t to be taken literally but strove for a figurative meaning you will begin to understand what came later by hand to perfect it.

My book was intended as a better Law than Moses so I necessarily was establishing an even deeper allegory. This means that you have to open your eyes and see that things are constructed in such a way as to point you to symbolic meaning rather than literal ones. Jesus for instance was an angel developed specifically as a spokesperson for what I already knew was to come.

Look carefully my friends and see the psychic architecture throughout. How Jesus is nothing more than the return of the angel called glory among the Jews, the column which led Israel to the brink of the Promised Land. Only now, unlike Moses’ original narrative he speaks directly to the audience preparing them for the day that they would finally cross the threshold and establish the long awaited kingdom of heaven.

I tell you again, know the truth and be saved; learn the real genesis behind my little book and look deeper than the surface of things. You’ll be surprised at what you find.


CHAPTER TEN

I wrote a beautiful book with a secret narrative woven throughout its pages but of course many of you don’t see much of this anymore. Someone came along again and reworked original the text. If you want to begin to understand the methodology in my gospel, you should begin with Jesus and end with me. The story can be summed up as Jesus, the Lord of glory, comes to earth to announce me as the long awaited messiah of Israel. It is a continuation of Moses’ narrative only now set at what we might call the beginning of a new common era for all humanity.

Again, if you want to understand my methodology, put yourself in my place as I put my self in Jesus. Focus on the little boy, the beloved disciple in my gospel who is portrayed as being secretly instructed by Jesus. That is me, that is you, that is all of us striving for perfection through God.

When I stand under the cross you should see that it is the equivalent again of Moses going up to the mountain. What I witness there is the future – a messiah dressed in Herod’s robes raised through the Cross. All the contemporary world had to do was to wait for my appearance and then it came with the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem under my command.

In the same way with Moses who predicted me all those years ago and the world held its breath until I finally appeared. All the prophets too, knew of my coming. However the problem of course is that those people who can’t make sense of the Law and the prophets can hardly be expected to figure out mine as they follow one from another. I had at one time completely eclipsed the significance of that “old testament” and left it as useless on the side of the road – however it is ironic again that I require its services.

Let me try now to set the record straight once and for all. Everything you think you know about the Law, the prophets and the gospel is wrong. For they are all about the same thing – the messiah – and that’s all they are about. They are about the Semitic man’s hope that one of his own to become ruler of the world.

I tell you now that Moses and I were one and the same – we did what we did for the sake of bringing our people into acquaintance with this knowledge. I like Moses act as a great magician when I wrote my gospel, using sleight of hand and hidden meanings to allude to a deeper political meaning within my narrative.

The purpose of my gospel is to tell the story of how my messianic authority came from God and not men. The narrative makes clear that God himself thought it important enough to come down to earth to establish me as the messiah in front of my very opponents, though they understood owing to their depravity.

Of course the most discerning among you may start to wonder – why did I even need to go to such lengths to develop if I truly was divinely inspired? Why develop the idea of an authority from a higher God when a true messiah could simply prove clearly and without smoke and mirrors that he was the predicted “one who was to come”? All of these are good questions – indeed they make me blush because of their directness. However I truly welcome them as they go right to the core of who I am as a person, evangelist and ultimately as the messiah.

Of course if I was standing right in front of you revealing my nakedness to your unprepared eyes you would immediately understand why the smoke and mirrors were so necessary. I am the furthest thing from being a messianic hero at first blush. I am neither physically impressive, nor amazingly virile and yes, even my physical body has secrets to reveal too.

The irony of course is that “hero” is exactly what my family name means. My grandfather took the name “Herod” to cement his heroic story of climbing from the lowest rungs of society to the highest, from outsider to sovereign monarch.

It was always expected that every generation of subsequent would demonstrate a similar virility to him especially when he went out of his way to marry the last daughter of the messianic line of David, Mary the granddaughter of Hyrcanus.

This hope for a superhuman bloodline might have proven true for the first generation but it seems we that followed were a disappointment to our family. The only one who turned out alright of our generation was my sister Berenice. She too was perfect, a most excellent female specimen. I even think my mother was jealous of her beauty.

Well, as you might have guessed, I wasn’t a particular impressive looking guy when I was young. Small, weak and sickly I was the furthest thing from what everyone might imagine a messiah might look like. Even my first years in office had little to do with my political abilities as much as they did my mother’s determination. My contemporaries called me “mother’s little boy” and the “little boy” moniker stuck for the rest of my adult life.

The only thing worse it seemed was the accusation from my Jewish rivals that my authority on earth as king had little to do with me or God but the Imperial powers which supported me. In the eyes of my enemies my kingship was “on loan” from Rome or attained to my mother and sister’s skills in seducing powerful men.

As a result I hope you begin to see that I had little choice but to develop the idea that I was sanctioned by a divine authority. They say the pen is indeed mightier than the sword and I am living proof of it. Yet, it wasn’t only as simple as simply going out and writing a convincing but of prose. I had to be clever beyond normal human cleverness.

I used everyone in my immediately family to further my ambition (or perhaps you might say that they used me for theirs I can never be too sure). In the end I turned my physical weakness into my greatest strength. For no one could have imagined a little sickly man as the messiah I escaped most of the contemporary bloodletting which marked the age.

I also developed a religious understanding of the revelation of the messiah which avoided fire and brimstone and argued instead for a gradual revelation of the “kingdom of heaven” through a collective struggle of my most loyal subjects. In the end, the argument was that because I was such a weak and pathetic messiah I needed the totality of their combined effort to pull it off – and it almost worked!

The most amazing things of course was that I did it all right under the nose of the Caesars of the day without arousing any of their suspicions!


CHAPTER ELEVEN

So if you are having difficulty now putting it all together, my friends, I am here to help you. I have told you that I was weak child and at least on the surface a puppet monarch whose masters in Rome seemed to pull all the strings. I seemed hopelessly incompetent being seen as hopelessly depended on my mother and sister until I was forty. Of course I would counter that I just happened to be a late developer that my time hadn’t yet come so I allowed others to take the reigns.

Because of my impotence I couldn’t claim my messianic nature openly so my gospel was based on the idea of a incremental revelation of the kingdom of heaven. “Today Jerusalem tomorrow the world,” was the hidden point within the text – if only you could find the clues.

In order to connect the manner in which the original book written by me is somehow connected to this underground rebellion on behalf of the nation of Israel you need only go back to what I already told you about its title. In my native tongue “gospel” means “flesh” as well as “glad tidings.” The idea being here that at the heart of my religion was a special kind of bread which represented the very living spirit-flesh of God which was not only consumed in our rituals but read as holy writ in our gathering places.

Until you have participated in one of my Eucharist celebrations you will likely always remain in the dark about the underlying connection here. Yet I really want you to understand what this all means for once so I will spend a little extra time on matters here. Bread is the food of life in Syria just as it is in other provinces of the Empire. The significance of its ability to “save” those who lack hardly requires a mastery of allegory and mysticism.

However when I tell you now that Jesus is really the glorious pillar which guided the Israelites to the promised land and who dispensed the manna from heaven you can start to make the connection I think. What was manifest only for a time in the books of Moses was finally fulfilled at the end of times. The flesh from heaven which made the weak strong and which empowered the hope for the establishment of the kingdom of heaven was finally given to me by Jesus.

This can be made a little clearer by continually going back to the idea that Jesus was little more than the reappearance of the heavenly glory column. I already made mention of the allegorical symbolism here. So now you should see at once that my reception of the “gospel” then is really only the beginning of a process which would continue until the new age.

Just as I was given the besora, I passed it on to all of my people in order to strengthen them to the point of invulnerability. The process would end on that great day when all my people would achieve liberation from the powers of the world. This bread of life nourished me no less than the soldiers who fought under me. It made us strong and directed us to fulfill God’s will.

To this end we held that those who become part of my community and believe in my gospel and partake in my rituals were really members of an unfolding drama of Jesus’ crucifixion and rebirth. The Lord of glory died on the cross so that he could rise up in our bodies. He gave us his flesh and blood in order that we all move forward with his will to accomplish the establishment of his long awaited kingdom of heaven.

The doctrine was wildly successful in turning around proselytes who originally fought against me in the first Jewish War just as it became the cornerstone of the final War some sixty five years later. However what you should begin to see now is that in between these two wars we have the emergence of a religious culture which necessarily left behind all remembrance of the “old covenant” established by Moses and the prophets.

My new revelation was necessarily something better than what original came with Moses I announced to the world something much simpler and indeed clear cut than the six hundred and thirteen commandments. I declared that the Law and the prophets had come to an end and eating ritual flesh and blood of Jesus was necessary to secure a place in the kingdom.

And the events which occurred between the two great wars proceeded naturally from this understanding.


CHAPTER TWELVE

Yet before I get into all the history, before I flash back to all the memories, successes and disappointments I want to make absolutely clear to you what the gospel is. Everything about my religion was consistently monistic. Instead of the two powers of the Judaism from the previous age, I put forward the power of the one Father manifesting himself through the Son. In the place of the marriage of man and woman to make children I posited the monastic life of the eunuch.

In the very same way I want the reader to see that the gospel by its very nature replaces the six hundred and thirteen commandments of the Law of Moses. In this new covenant of mine there is only word or commandment from God – and that is to consume the flesh or gospel of Jesus. All other things were argued to follow from this principle.

This was a covenant which did require a complex system of idolatry and sacrifice as Moses had established from former times. All that was required was to consume the gospel and submit oneself to the power of the will of God.

I put forward that this flesh would strengthen the weak as it had empowered me to the rank of messiah and that it would be the foundation of the hope for building the kingdom of heaven. When our gospel was still preserved in Hebrew we still knew the meaning of the secret of the words, words which simply do not make sense in any other tongue.

Those thirteen opening words were rendered:

The flesh of Jesus was in the beginning the commandment and the commandment was the nation of God

Ah, how all the contrivances of men in Rome have attempted nothing more than to separate you from this pronouncement!

It is a most mysterious declaration which shook the rulers of the world to their core. Do any of you know how long I labored over these twelve words? Does anyone beside me know what they mean? Of course most people haven’t a clue because they have received instruction from people and traditions which weren’t really established by the man who wrote the gospel.

Yet now I tell you everything, now I tell you the truth. Now you must learn to understand how the appearance of the kingdom of heaven was to appear from these thirteen simple Hebrew words. It will take you some time to have it all make sense, but it is all there in the rest of the gospel.

Trust me, in that regard, I should know. After all I wrote the gospel …




PART TWO

GROWING UP CHRIST


CHAPTER ONE

So you see I return time and time again to the gospel, the flesh which transformed my weakness into strength, my political servitude into mastery. This return to the besora d’Yeshu is inevitable as it alone is what truly made me great. As I have already explained the concept of the gospel is more than a literary text – it is the very seed from which the kingdom of heaven would eventually emerge.

As I just finished telling you, no one was ever supposed to just sit down and read the gospel. It was used as part of a ritual ceremony where people were already chomping down the bread which was the flesh of Jesus and gulping the water which was his bloody spirit.

It was all part of a doctrine which was developed as the very salvation for the Semitic man. The real genius of this account was that I didn’t do it on my own – I too had active assistance from the Roman authorities. Yes, I tell you true, the manner in which my sister I operated was simply incredible.

To understand the miracle of the gospel you have to go beyond the appeal to superstitions and allegory. The real wonder was that we managed to fool the rulers of the world.

You see it wasn’t as if I went up to the contemporary leaders at Rome and said I have this idea to overturn the Jewish religion – they suggested the idea to me. There is some advantage to be gained then from being weak, small and unimpressive looking after all! Of course my mother and my sister and their combined beauty, charm and seduction over two generations had no small part in this too, I’m sure – but we should make one thing clear. If I looked like a messiah was supposed to look, there would have been no chance of these men allowing me to do what I did.

In the end, the rulers of the world mistook my physical meekness as a sign of incapacity. They trusted me so implicitly that they didn’t even keep watch on my growing community. They were so sure that the Jewish problem was being “controlled” through external signs of compliance and impotence that when we finally turned on them we almost defeated all the armies of the Empire.

The one thing we miscalculated was that Parthia did not come to our aid. Had this occurred we likely could have established our dream of a completely independent kingdom of heaven without interference from European interests.

Of course the reason as I have already told you the reason I now sit here in my prison cell is because I failed at that goal. Nevertheless I tell you the prize still rests with you. One day a man will emerge greater than I who will rally the sons of Shem against the foreign occupier and drive him from our land. I can’t tell you when, I can’t tell you how but it will happen over the course of history.

At this present moment as I am about to face the executioner appointed me by Caesar I think of other things. I will look back at my past and try to put the whole picture together for you in order to understand my unique place in history. How it was that I was chosen by God to both be the one who would fulfill the expectation of the messiah, the one like Moses as well as the one clever enough to outsmart the most powerful men of Rome. The place I begin not surprisingly is with the love of my mother.


CHAPTER TWO

Even though I have been erased from history and am present preparing to die I know, my friends that through the power of my gospel I will still live on through you – or at least as long as you pass forward the knowledge I establish therein. I tell you again that without knowledge of me you have less than nothing and the gospels you hold are powerless pieces of paper without the spirit of salvation.

You have learned not care about such matters but I have come to you to instruct you better in the ways of truth. I am here to stand in the way of your continued delusion at the hands of our European masters and their minions. I began as the most imperfect of beings but eventually received perfection through the flesh of Christ.

I would like to tell you my story but I must begin at the beginning and proceed to tell you about my own flesh and blood rather than that of Jesus. I must introduce you to the messianic family into which I was born, the infamously royal family of Herod.

As I have already made clear that I began life as a sickly child much to the dismay of my heroic relatives. My uncles, aunts and cousins never paid me much mind thinking I would drop off at any moment. Of course the irony now is that I have long outlived them all. One may attribute at least part to our common Idumaean ancestry and the other to my ability to avoid getting killed by other members of my family.

When I take up the issue of being a Herod I cannot go very far without taking the opportunity to thank only love in my life, my very own mom. I can truly say that without her assistance none of these blessings would have come upon me. She was an amazing woman and I will always be indebted to her endless striving for good fortune to shine upon me. May God bless her for eternity!

My mom was the only person in my life beside my sister. My grandfather may have been a great man but I never met him. My father was quite literally non-existent. There were whispers all over the place about who he was and where he went to but these were hardly happy beginnings. Each one of these candidates brought with them their own personal baggage to shame me – and I was a sensitive child.

Despite all of these setbacks and embarrassments it was my mother’s love which saw me through it all my personal misfortune and malady. No one can possibly imagine for a moment what my like must have been like without her. She represented nothing but the embodiment of loving-kindness, gentleness and mercy. I loved her so much in fact that I established her as a semi-divine figure in my religious pantheon.

Her real name of may have been Salome but her title even around the house was that of “Mary.” Even this identity had its ulterior motive. For in fact all of the Herodian women were Marys because it emphasized our connection to the messianic house of Hasmonaeus from which we derived through our grandmother of the same name.

As I already mentioned I was born into the last surviving royal line of Judea. I am what you might call “a son of David,” even a “a son of John” if any of you knew what that meant. The problem of course for you is that you don’t know what any of these titles means anything more to you than that of my mother “Mary.”

You know believe that my angel Jesus, the Son of the heavenly Father had a human mother of the same name!


CHAPTER THREE

In one way you could certainly make the case that I was the luckiest person in the world. I was born into one of the most powerful families in the world. I had it all and I was thrown into a most critical period of history, which meant an opportunity for unlimited social advancement. However as I already told you, I was handicapped by my physical liabilities so that without the encouragement of my mother I might never try to accomplish the things that I did.

As much as my mother might have taught me to believe in myself, I must admit I also always shared a belief in the inherent goodness of people. Of course in recent years this positive evaluation of humanity has been severely tested – especially with the manner in which Jews around me are behaving nowadays. I encountered a couple of them in the prison I am staying at the other day who disappointed me to no end.

I was born to put an end to their religion and I did so some seventy years ago. However these silly people want to pretend that their religion continues on despite me. What silly nonsense this all is?! You can’t “un-damage” his history? What’s done is done and the religion of Moses is over.

They started speaking about this new teaching they call “repetition” or “starting over” in our language and I just shook my head. I just asked them, “don’t you see what the very name mishnah implies? Don’t you see that something necessarily must have come to an end to be re-started?”

Of course among the leaders of the Jews there are many, if not most who continue to revere me as what I am – the messiah. However it is those who stand at the lowest rungs of their community who are now in darkness. The official commission here aims to weed out those who openly perpetuate the truth, those who adhere to my gospel and soon they will like me totally disappear.

Even now when I am less than nothing to most of them and they know me only as “John” for reasons I will get to later. However even with this situation I must alert you all that there are still some who are aware of even part of my story. Indeed, it is not as if all my original followers completely abandoned me, or forgot me. There are a handful of good people here and there all across the world who have remained true to me and my principles.

To these mistreated and abused devotees I would like to take the time to express my gratitude and my thanks. You know you will be blessed in the hereafter for your continued perseverance. Indeed it is to my followers in Egypt I am especially indebted.

I know how much you have suffered and continue to suffer on my behalf and it has not gone unnoticed in heaven.

Similarly I would like to give a shout out to my adherents in Palestine – especially among the Samaritans - you too have endured a most difficult path. Thanks for staying true to me.

And to those who were forced to flee to just outside the borders of the Roman Empire in places like Edessa, Harran, Osorhone, Armenia, Babylonia and Arabia to avoid persecution from its armies. You will also share in their blessing - perhaps even more than they. For you did not adopt alterations to my teachings, my religion or my gospel.

To these and to the rest around the world and those who continue to adhere to truth in secret within the Empire in these troubled times in varying degrees of correctness I salute you. You know the truth of recent events – how we tried and failed to throw off the yoke of the European mean and failed. And you likely wonder how things could have gone so terribly wrong so quickly for our movement.


CHAPTER FOUR

Of course what was then is now gone and what is now was then unthinkable. I subsist here in anonymity to all but the most enlightened minds. Yet as I have already told you, I began at the very top of Jewish society, even if we were outsiders because of my grandfather Herod.

I knew the heads of the greatest families. I was well acquainted with the most righteous Jews – those called the Sadducees in Greek – and they recognized my keen intellect almost from the beginning.

There is a story in my gospel about me being taken to an instructor to receive primary lessons. I don’t know if you know it. A teacher comes to instruct me on the letters of the alphabet and what not – when I suddenly burst forth “first tell me what is ‘alpha’ and what is ‘beta.’” Like most things in my gospel you have to first come to terms with allegory and secret meanings to make sense of the otherwise silly story.

The point here is of course that I had a greater knowledge of the secret traditions of our ancestors at five years old than most of them had acquired their whole lives.

I had a natural predisposition toward understanding what we call ‘kabbalah’ in our language. Indeed from as far back as I can remember I was indoctrinated into the hidden teachings of Moses Law and the prophets. From even the youngest age I felt quite qualified at a young age to develop my own understanding of what we call ‘the right way to walk’ in its instruction.

Of course when I look back while I might have thought I was quite clever I am certain that the venerable old sages who listened to me only put up with me because of who I was a child who would likely grow up to be their master.

Whatever the case may be one often requires the confidence which comes from feigned victory in order to work one’s way up to manhood. In my case of course most of my life was spent in this illusory bubble. I may have walked out naked before people but no one bothered to tell me that I wasn’t fully clothed.

It is highly ironic that a man who spent most of his life searching for truth so easily fell victim to flattery. When I look back it seems that all of those who gathered around me essentially came together to perpetrate what we call in my language – the “putting on faces.” Indeed this endless cycle of flattery only came to an end when many of my Jewish subjects finally rallied against me and deposed me.


CHAPTER FIVE

Let me tell you the beginning of my darkest hour which eventually became my guiding light. I was approaching my fortieth year. I had never had to face such a calamity on my own and you might say I over-reacted a little. I always had Caesar back them to bail me out so I shouldn’t have panicked the way I did. But the truth is I lost control.

In fact at the time I allowed my anger to get the better of me as I conspired to wreak vengeance on what I felt were my most ungrateful Jewish subjects. In retrospect now, I must say that these Jews once again did me quite a bit of good.

The events surrounding this revolt represented a sudden coming of age for me. I was for the most of my life little more than a child, being tended to by leading authorities from the Jews and the Romans. As I already said, I was almost forty but really I was in fact more like a child. Yet I say again that it was only when all this confusion started that I was forced to play a central role in my own future. It effected a remarkable transition. You might even say that because of it I took on the person of Christ.

Of course, when I tell you that a great transformation took place in my life because of these earth shattering events it isn’t as if it was the final victory which changed me. No, to be honest with you it was the doubt and uncertainty which came with being abused, rescued and staring at someone else sitting on my throne thumbing his nose at me along with most of my subjects.

The story of my humiliation in this period will develop in what follows. For the moment I want to concentrate on the positive because – well to be honest – I am for the most part I am an optimistic person. I know humanity can be improved and I spent most of my life working on just that.

So it is that I am most proud of myself for the manner in which I accomplished what I consider to be one of the greatest feats in history. I managed to transform Judaism through these very means and then in the end I was undone by a loss of confidence from my superiors in Rome. I have little grounds for complaining about fate because as they say, what goes up must come down.

I couldn’t have received the authority to author destroy the Jewish religion and re-establish something better if I, or in this case my sister Berenice, had not went to bed with Caesar. Yet at the same time my inability to secure my own independence from Rome eventually became my undoing.

There simply no other way to see contemporary historical matters even if the underlying irony makes it seems totally contrived. Indeed I this is hardly even the greatest paradox which marks this period of my life. Here is another. I humbled these haughty Jewish people in a way that few have been able to accomplish and yet I am still to be ranked as the greatest Jew in history.


CHAPTER SIX

Of course I wouldn’t identify myself as a Jew. You might say that my background takes a little bit from every people. My mother was born in Samaria, but from Edomite extraction. My father, well – that’s a whole other story! It is a story which Jews are all too willing to exploit for their nefarious purposes identifying me as a bastard or a “mamzer” as they called me – yet it was I who got the last laugh, didn’t’ I?

In light of my loss of favor with the latest Emperor Antoninus, the adopted son of Hadrian, few could hardly imagine how powerful I once was. With this incredibly silly rebirth of a Jewish interest in the Law of Moses which Antoninus has been encouraging it is difficult to remember that as recently as a decade ago Jews were still embracing my gospel and my messianic claims without hesitation.

I am now forced to live like a dog, thoroughly wretched in my withered antiquity in an attempt to wipe out the glory which accompanied my ascent for over sixty years. Yet as I have already emphasized there are still a few who know, still quite more who remember me albeit now not entirely perfectly.

So it is that the divine revelation which is the gospel which I gave the world is snidely referred to as “Edomitism” by Jews and “Christianity” this new wave of deceived converts from among the Gentiles. It is really neither. It is actually properly defined as mushlama in my native tongue which means “the perfect religion.”

Of course the Jews began by denying my own perfection by drawing attention to my foreign blood and the illegitimacy of my birth. They entirely miss the point of my revelation which is that I was made complete through Jesus despite my imperfection which are too numerous to mention.

The Jews continue to focus on their blood ties to those called perfect in their religion – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses failing to understand the reality of their own alienation from these mortal beings. Most people who call themselves Jews today are descendants of proselytes rather than the prophets of the past.

While it would be nice to imagine that one could simply be made perfect by one’s generation the reality of course that even in the original covenant of Moses it was supplication which God demanded from his people rather than boasts about ancestry.

So it is if you want to know about my gospel and why it was that I composed the text in the way that I did you will have to go back to my childhood. You will have to come to terms with the fact that I don’t actually know who I am, where I was born or who it is was that was my historical father.

The story goes that my mother was held to be a sinful woman by the standards of contemporary society. All of that is in my gospel. She was either living in palaces or running from someone. That is also in my text. Her husband seems to have caught her messing around with someone else and I for the life of me don’t know who my father actually was. I have my suspicions of course.


CHAPTER SEVEN

I can’t put my finger on what it was about the Claudians and my family but I always felt from a very young age that the Emperor Claudius and I were somehow related. I think mother had an affair with his uncle, the Emperor Tiberius Claudius Augustus. Again I can’t say anything definitively but there were various rumors which circulated around the Imperial court of the time. There also has to be a reason to explain why it was that the Julio-Claudians trusted us so completely.

Whatever the case mother never denied the story in later years. Indeed one might say she took great advantage of the claim. She was very clever that way. It was indeed about this time, with the Claudians firmly in control of Rome that she developed this whole myth of a virgin birth as a way of defusing the mamzer claim among the Jews.

Given that I have lived such a long life it is difficult to quantify the differences which exist in Rome today from that magnificent period. In the days of the Claudians, the city was absorbing a thousand different cultures at once, tasting as it were endless varieties of spices in its cooking.

As a reaction against this cosmopolitanism the Jewish people were becoming increasingly insular. One could pick the reason why it was that my family was deemed to be impure - on the one hand because I was not completely Jewish on the other because I was born of fornication. The truth is that Jews could see the writing on the wall. The Romans wanted to bring them into their cultural melting pot and they vainly tried to resist absorption.

The truth is that as a young child I was torn between these two worlds. At a young age I loved the excitement of Rome, their open-mindedness and their idealism. However there could be no doubt that an underlying antipathy towards Jews and Judaism raged in the city. There was no question that mother went along with this assimilation effort.

In later years I became quite embarrassed by the religious cult which she established in my name in Alexandria and elsewhere. It took nothing less than the destruction of the Jews to live down the overt pagan tendencies of this original effort to strike a balance between Jew and Gentile. Nevertheless, I can never doubt that mother wanted the best for me and I will always love her for that.

As I have already made clear, I cannot help but recognize that if it wasn’t for her I would never have attained what I did in later years either. She was and is Mary called Salome the mother of Christ, the ever virgin in my religion to this very day.


CHAPTER EIGHT

Of course when I speak of the beginning of my life as the messiah I can’t deny the manner in which my family caused me embarrassment from the very beginning. While my mother meant well, most of her efforts were spent proving the divine nature of my generation (and covering up the illicit nature of the union which preceded it). She cared in fact very little about the whole Jewish tradition about the mashiach. For her gaining respectability through pagan fables was more important that gaining the approval of Jews.

The truth is that if it were not for the priest Simon taking me under his wing and in effect continuing my education in matters of my religious heritage I might never have gained the authority to become a leader among the Jews. It was owing to Simon that I advanced far enough in my studies to develop a position of rank among the Sadducees, something which would later prove critical to my power base both among the Jews and Samaritans.

These respected traditions didn’t have the clout they once wielded among the general populace. As I already mention, isolationism and religious protectionism was developing among the Jewish people. They saw their hope of resisting the cosmopolitan nature of Roman culture in the Pharisees who preached armed resistance against their Imperial masters. The Sadducees were interested only in holding on to the status quo.

I for my part was divorced from a very young age from Jewish politics and controversies owing to the overzealous nature of my relatives. Yes, mother was certainly ambitious. However there were other Herods in that age with an equally strong desire to seize upon the interest among Romans to bring the Jews into the fold of nations under their rule. My uncle Antipas recognized all of this too – and saw it as an opportunity for himself and his side of the family.

Antipas and mother were actually romantically connected at one point. They were very similar in temperament (not surprising when you think of it as they were related to one another). Whether it was mother’s ambition which triggered Antipas’ paranoia or vice versa we will never likely definitively know.

I tend to think again that mother already planned her connection to the Claudians as a way of wiping out Antipas who was in the natural position to handle Jewish affairs on behalf of Rome. Whatever the case the end result was that when Antipas started getting all worried that I would take over his throne and tried to kill me and mother. We ran away to Egypt and stayed with family there before heading back to Rome.

Mother used her Claudian connections to get Antipas deposed however it wasn’t as if I could be put in his place immediately as I was only a little boy at the time. I lived in Rome up until the time I was thirteen. The most amazing thing of course was that mother had me introduced to the future Emperor Gaius while Tiberias was still Caesar. We hit it off immediately, where Caligula as he was called was amazed by my keen wit.

CHAPTER NINE

The relationship only strengthened when he ascended to the role of Emperor. In the beginning he wasn’t as mad as everyone seems to think. He was quite king and used to take me on trips to Germany where we’d talk about interesting things like philosophy and even politics. It was all quite amazing for a ten year old boy.

It was in this period that mother also started to dabble in her efforts to develop a religion for me. Caligula also made me ruler of Chalcis, a little kingdom in the north of Syria along with my sister Berenice. Again I want to state that to have not yet went through puberty and to have been best friends with the most powerful man in the world and to have received royal rank from him was something which I think is indescribable to most people.

It was if I really believed that I belonged to a different class of mortals. Indeed I was convinced that I was divine or at the very least a demigod of the ranking of Hercules or those other heroes of pagan lore. Please remember I was very young at this time and exposed to things that most young people can only dream of or hear from stories told to lull them to sleep.

It would be foolish of me to make apologies for the manner in which I lived the first decade of my life. As I have already mentioned at least once, the living reality of walking among men who declared themselves god in no small way assisted me in my own path toward becoming the messiah.

If there are Jews out there who want to accuse me of impurity because of the depth of my contact with “foreigners” I need only remind them of the manner in which Moses developed among the Egyptians. Some say he learned everything he knew about magic and astronomy from their established culture.

In my case, it was of course a little different. I can honestly say that I took nothing whatsoever from my contacts with the pagans other than the ability to better express the revelation which would later come to me. Whereas the Jewish religion shuns explain itself, the Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle have developed a rich technical language to articulate their understandings (most of which they borrowed from barbarians anyway).

My gospel is ultimately a synthesis between the two approaches. Indeed I am one of the few authors in recorded history who oversaw the transcription of his texts in two different languages for that matter.


CHAPTER TEN

So it is that I cannot help but confess that it is impossible to suggest that Caligula had anything but a profound impression upon me. Not only did we used to spend a lot of time together but as I have already mentioned my mother had worked her way into the Claudian family before I was born.

As a result I believe I felt entirely at home with the idea of being equal to the very ruler of the world. The truth is of course that as much as Caligula had a great influence on me, I too had great influence on imperial court – much more than one might suspect of a boy not having yet reached manhood.

I can’t go through all the questions that I answered for him with regards to foreign policy or even more so Roman policy towards the Jews. Perhaps the best known case is the manner in which I ended up convincing him not to destroy the temple toward the end of his reign. He wanted to put a statue of himself on the grounds of the temple which of course would most certainly have caused the Jews to revolt. I persuaded him against this course of action and saved the Jewish people – all of which is of course quite ironic as I myself would become the historic destroyer of this building.

If Caligula represented the crossing of the line between imagination and reality then his successor (and my potential relative) Claudius represented something else quite entirely. Claudius had an extraordinary interest in everything. Where Caligula directed my attention, Claudius was above all else a great listener.

One of the reasons that I likely always suspected that Claudius and I were related was the degree to which we were so similar. He was by nature a withdrawn individual who rarely made pronouncements unless he was sure he was in the right. He was also a very sickly individual and had a very similar background to my own being shunned by his family only to emerge as the ruler. He also demonstrated the value of learning to me.

It was in these years that I began to take seriously my studies of my own people more seriously. As Claudius wanted to learn about the religion of Moses, I needed in a sense to provide him with more material. I studied under the priest Eleazar who later would become one of my most trusted authorities on religious matters when I ascended the throne.

As I passed from a boy into a man, a developed a natural ability to balance the interests of staying true to my Jewish roots while at the same time flattering my Roman masters. Claudius wanted a reliable source of information about Jews and their religion and I never disappointed. Yet our relationship by nature developed into that of master and student even though I was much his junior.

I must have seemed so mature for my age that he even tried to push the burden of being king of the Jews onto me in this period. It was the first great failure of my life. Again, while I had mastered the art of developing two faces – one for pagans and another for Jews – the person who lived behind these masks was still unprepared for the reality of politics.


CHAPTER ELEVEN

Claudius withdrew me from Jerusalem but eventually expanded my kingdom in the rest of Syria. He also allowed me to keep my title of “king of the Jews.” At the time I didn’t know what to make of my failure. I didn’t understand why my fellow Jews hated me so much. As I have already mentioned, I felt the distain with which the rest of the world felt towards Jews and naturally felt that Jews were on my side even though I really had very little contact with them outside of the highest ranks of priests and religious figures.

My having to face rejection after having lived in a bubble for all these years caused me to withdraw once again. I felt like a monster more than a god at this point. Where as all my life I felt invincible and divine for the first time in my life I knew what it was like to feel exposed and vulnerable.

There was finally something I couldn’t do. Suddenly all those memories of my actual childhood came flooding back. I remembered that in fact I was quite an unhealthy baby. I recalled how doctors and priests labored over me and how my mother actually thought that I was going to die from my illness.

It seemed at once that I had been living a lie for most of my childhood – a fantasy which deliberately covered up a side of myself I didn’t want to know any longer. As I left Jerusalem to jeering crowds of Pharisaic sympathizers I really felt that I would never again re-emerge from this defeat.

For all the reassurance that my mother and sister gave me I couldn’t help notice that few if any Jews were rallying around me. Those Greeks and Romans who had been so close to me as my star was rising had all suddenly disappeared. I knew at this point that I would have to make a choice. Either I would become completely absorbed in pagan culture and hope to survive as a cosmopolitan “man of the world” or I would have to take up the more difficult task of developing some roots among my people.

You all of course know the path which I ultimately chose. I became eager to find a Jewish community which would embrace me. However I don’t believe that I ever revealed before how this all actually came about.

Everyone knows of course that I became the darling of the Sadducees in this period. Joseph makes this much clear in his rather warped history of the Jewish people. Nevertheless what he doesn’t say is how it was that a Jew who spent most of his time in Alexandria and Rome managed to get into favor with what amounts to being the most exclusive religious community in the whole world.

To be certain the fact that my family had deep roots in the Sadducean culture of both Judea and Samaria in no way opened the doors for me. Nevertheless my uncle Antipas had of course the same advantage and never succeeded in cultivating these ties in the way I did.

Indeed in the same way, whereas my mother and sister certainly assisted in developing in roads with the most powerful Roman families which ruled the world I can honestly say that they also had nothing to do with my success among the Jewish religious elite. The truth is that I had a natural gift for religious understanding, a predisposition which came to fruition with the establishment of my gospel.


CHAPTER TWELVE

As I have already mentioned before it was recognized at a young age and continued through my youth. Some of my teachers were worried of course that I would somehow get “seduced” by the temptation of the Greek world around them. Nevertheless the fact was that Hellenistic thought had long penetrated the established religious circles of the Sadducees.

While these learned sages took great pains to hide any overt signs of their interest in things Greek from their everyday Jewish contemporaries they spoke as much about Plato, chariot racing and the latest plays in private as they did anything else.

In fact when I look back at this rather melancholic period in my life I can’t help feeling if anything a profound disillusionment with Roman culture pervaded my consciousness. When I moved back to Chalcis I brought with me another of the brightest young minds of my religious culture – a man named Zadok in Hebrew but who went by his Greek equivalent “Justus” in greater society – with whom I further advanced my religious knowledge.

Justus was now almost forty years old and his method of balancing scripture and philosophy would greatly influence my final composition of the gospel. The truth is again that when I put down my gospel, I dictated the words to Justus. At this point in our lives there was no thought whatsoever of reinventing Judaism or anything of the kind.

Justus was also a Samaritan, a culture which had for the most part successfully and openly embraced Hellenistic culture in a way which would have been unthinkable in Judea. He published a series of books on the philosophers but his specialty of course was Plato. Justus went so far as to think that Plato learned what he knew from Jews living in Egypt at the time.

Of all my adherents in these early days I trusted no one more than Justus. He seemed totally devoted to me and the cause of raising my stature among the Jews. I will speak at greater length about my relationship with this man but for the moment I will only bring one example of my indebtedness to him in this period.

One of the most offensive things that Claudius did on my behalf was to ritually marry me to my sister Berenice. This ceremony happened before I received the throne in Jerusalem and as you can imagine the insults started pouring in both from pagan and Jewish circles. There was of course nothing I could do to stop Roman writers like Juvenal from having fun at my expense. However the potential problem with the Jews was far more serious.

As I have mentioned already, these people certainly didn’t need a reason to hate me more than they already did. My ancestors had long established the practice of intermarriage imitating the practice of Egyptian royalty. Yet it was Justus who miraculously developed the marriage into something of a religious mystery.

“The union of Marcus and Berenice was in fact a ritual reenactment of the union between God and Wisdom,” he said. If you don’t know who or what the Jews worship as their god and how he related to the feminine hypostasis they call Hochmah or wisdom I will not bother to explain such matters in the limited space we have here.

The point nevertheless is that what might have ranked as the prelude to my greatest failure turned out in fact to be the beginning of a religious partnership between Justus and myself which would have a far reaching effect on the knowledge of my gospel. Justus had a remarkable way of endorsing many of my most controversial ideas, giving it credence and authority among the Sadducean sect and thereby the religious establishment of Israel.


CHAPTER THIRTEEN

NURSING ME BACK TO HEALTH

As it was what should have been the beginning of my demise became in reality the paradigm of my rebirth. I was like the very phoenix rising from the ashes. Of course such resurrections occurred throughout my life, short as it was up until that point. There are the now famous stories of the gospel, my rescue from my uncle by the decree of Caligula and now the events which followed my first attempt as king of Israel.

I was effectively banished to my Syrian holdings studying and debating Jewish teaching with my small circle of Sadducean advisers when another uprising began to smolder in Alexandria. Even though my title as “king of the Jews” was largely ceremonial I was summoned by Claudius to Rome to speak on behalf of the Jews in issue that was brought before him.

Already back in the days of Caligula I had developed a special attachment to the residents of that great city. In my opinion Alexandria is the greatest city in the known world. There embodied in one metropolis is the very greatness of the Roman Empire.

The fact is that the history of Alexandria is intimately associated with the very efforts which were being developed on my behalf in recent history. In order to bring together the originally hostile cultures of the conqueror and the conquered, the cult of the god Serapis was established.

Serapis himself was a hybrid divinity whose specific purpose was to bring harmony to the people of that city. Now in a later period of history the city was being torn apart by new violence. The Jews, who had long inhabited the city expected to be treated as full citizens while the more or less unified pagan portion of the city wished to deprive them of that right.

There was no easy solution to the problem here as I found out in my first official visit to the city on behalf of Caligula as I already mentioned. I came in the dead of night, slipping into the harbor deliberately trying to avoid arousing the attention of its administrator Flaccus. I went immediately to the Jewish quarter to hear directly from my people the stories of the abuse he was heaping upon them.

When they realized at once that I had the ear of Caesar and the ability to liberate them from their plight they hailed me as a god. The called me “Adonai” and carried me around as their true savior and king. The truth is that it was my mother again who had already developed my identity as a human god born from a virgin among the populace here. She is ultimately the very reason that I am still revered throughout Egypt to this very day.

After my return from Alexandria, Flaccus was deposed and Caligula began to see value in me as a peacemaker between pagan and Jewish factions. The cult continued to build in strength in the city. I made periodic visits to sustain my influence but it seemed to grow by leaps and bounds the longer I was away.

In any event, it just so happened that after I had fallen from grace owing to my first effort at being the king of the Jews a certain Isidore, originally one of Flaccus’ attendants, was now charged with attacking members of my growing cult in the city. I attended his trial before Claudius where various attacks were thrown against me and my growing influence in the city.

Isidorus called me a two penny-halfpenny Jew, the “cast-off son of the Jewess Salome,” the descendant of a slave and a girl musician’s son. He said that my followers wanted to stir up the entire world. He recognized that my new religion didn’t only appeal to Jews but to the native Egyptians too and apparently saw that as a threat against the traditional Greek effort to spread hatred against the Jews.

Eventually at the end of the trial, Isidore was executed for his effort to stir up sedition. Nevertheless the end result that I had suddenly become relevant again in Roman circles. There is nothing like having a purpose in your life. I felt more alive than I had in years. As I already mentioned it made me feel like I had been resurrected from the dead.

The truth is of course that in hindsight this was only the beginning of a long positive cycle which would only end with the beginning of the Jewish War. Yet it would establish a pattern which would find its way into the very composition of the gospel – which was that you should never count Mark down for long.


CHAPTER FOURTEEN

So it was that the events in Alexandria made my stock rise in the eyes of my Imperial masters. Claudius was eager to present himself as a defender of the Jews after banishing them from Rome and I became a useful emblem of how it was possible to be Jewish while still maintaining loyalty to Caesar. I demonstrated my adherence to Judaism by restoring a great many buildings and edifices around Jerusalem and other cities. I showed my loyalty to Rome by taking an increasingly hard line against my Jewish critics.

Rome responded well to my taking a tougher stance. My kingdom became increased toward the end of Claudius’ reign and again and again in that of his successor Nero. Nero was a particularly strange individual. He certainly had a remarkable fondness for me. I think he even made a pass at me once when I sat in the baths with him. That of course brings up another story entirely which I will get to a little later.

For the moment I must merely relate that I did my very best to flatter Nero because I thought him completely unpredictable, much like a spoiled child. I had been practically raised by Caligula so I instinctively knew how to deal with megalomaniacs. I accepted his divinity and renamed my favorite city Panaeas after him.

It was during the rule of Nero in fact that the policy issue of what to do with the ongoing Jewish problem came to the fore. I think Nero saw me as a means to provoke the Jews into revolt. The more that I or any of his governors of the region did something excessive against them his eyes seemed to light up with mischievous delight.

This is undoubtedly why Nero went beyond Claudius’ original decree making me king of what was called Upper Galilee, that is Tiberias and the various cities around the Sea of Tiberias but indeed forced the Jewish settlers who lived in the cities to the south to swear allegiance to me as well.

The truth is that I always felt sorry for the native Galileans. They had been forced to suffer under a Jewish occupation ever since the days of King John. These powerful Jewish land barons controlled almost every aspect of the agricultural trade in the region. Most powerful among these families of course were the Gorias clan who were my family’s natural rivals.

You see if you don’t know anything about Jewish politics in my day all you have to know is the Herods and the Goriases. As you must know Herod the Great was my grandfather. He was a son of an Edomite slave who happened to reside in the royal house of the day who miraculously managed to rise up the ranks through political cunning to eventually become the king of Israel.

While the Jews hated my grandfather Herod they were powerless to stop him. Herod quickly moved to marry and sire children with one of the last and most beautiful royal princesses of the royal house. The Jewish king of that day were called Hasmonaeans because they were all descendants of this King John.

John was himself a descendant of king David who for Jews is not only the messiah in the past but the one from whom the messiah to come will descend. As such, me, my cousins and relatives were all “sons of David” and thus potential candidates for the title of messiah. That’s why we spent so much time hunting each other down and killing one another.

The same held true for our rivals the Gorias family. They had their own messianic lineage claims – only their crazy adherents from among the Pharisees ever bought into any of it. But they wanted me and my family rubbed out.

The rebellion they had been planning took shape almost immediately after Nero’s decision to make their more or less autonomous region in Galilee under my control. They began planning an insurrection which eventually took shape some five years or so later.

On that fateful morning Jewish revolutionaries started to swell out of their hiding places and began to attack the position of the forces which supported me. Owing to the surprise attack the Jews forced us to abandon our places and run to cities in surrounding regions.

“If you are divinely inspired, O Agrippa,” they taunted us as we ran away, “why have you no knowledge of this.” And with such cries, cities burned, innocent civilians were ravaged and the world seemed to come to an end.

My own story was equally horrific. As I visited Jerusalem men came out of every building to attack my company. My sister and I were separated from one another and eventually we were both temporarily overtaken.

They held me for about three hours in a small tavern while they tortured me and eventually castrated me laughing all the while, gleeful that no more heirs to the messianic lineage of Herod would spring forth.

After this most horrific period in my life I have no memory whatsoever. The trauma was so great I simply blacked out for what seemed like the rest of my natural life. I am told that I awoke to find myself in a bath with Nero who asked me to show him my missing part. This is what I have heard from whispers and innuendoes which circulated among the soldiers but I have no memory of this whatsoever.


CHAPTER FIFTEEN

It is amazing how deceptive memories can be. After the incident in Jerusalem, I was not merely figuratively but truly and completely a changed person. As I have already mentioned, I can’t tell you what was real or illusory before my coming back to consciousness in my beloved city of Panaeas.

When I awoke I was still in absolute physical agony but it was my mental health which worrying my mother and my sister. All that I have reported to you up until know are details and facts which I have relearned from historical records and things which were told to me by my inner circle after that fateful day in Jerusalem.

I know these things happened because they are universally agreed upon by those who told them to me. They are even to be found in documents and texts which I have read to refamiliarize myself with who I was before my transformation. Nevertheless the person who awoke in Panaeas without his vital member was in no way the same man who found himself trapped in Jerusalem with an angry mob.

I know I should have been embarrassed that it was Roman rescue parties which had shuttled my sister and I to safety that day. I know this because it was the source of continually derision which was directed at me by my Jewish enemies. The fact is however that in the face of the chaos and uncertainty which was enveloping me at the time I think the old me simply disappeared – the one wracked with doubt and uncertainty – and a new man emerged who entirely accepted his situation and even embraced it.

Amor fati – I believe this is what the Romans call it. I was under the protection of Roman legions under the command of the great general Vespasian and his son Titus in the northernmost city of Panaeas. I had no penis and my sister was my only lifeline.

Nevertheless the reality was that I was remarkably at peace with myself. I truly felt divine. In a strange way I felt I had always been this person only trapped inside the body of a mortal. All the important affairs of state were handled either by my Roman hosts, and my sister.

In due course I recovered from the loss of my flesh and restored myself to health. However I could not but help think that if anything my mind was better than before. I could see things and understand truths which seemed to have been repressed for the last thirty five years of my life.

Days passed into weeks. I experienced fevers, convulsions and endless visionary experiences – remembrances if you will – of something which happened so many years ago.

It is strange how life sometimes turns out. What might have led me to be some kind of freak at another point in history – i.e. my sudden castration – was suddenly all the rage in Palestine. I discovered in fact that when Justus was finally rescued from prison at Tiberias, he too had been mistreated and suffered my very same fate. It seems that the Jewish rebels had decided that anyone who had not undergone circumcision was necessarily an enemy to the laws of Moses.

Of course it was well established in my kingdom which no included all parts of Galilee, Samaria that circumcision was no longer encouraged let alone enforced. I wasn’t circumcised nor Justus let alone most of my staff and the highest officials in my government.

Justus and I had long since developed a theological justification for our policy. The Law of Moses was no longer in force ever since the days of King John. What I saw as my central messianic justification was to issue the new law which would replace that of Moses before me. Of course the Jews were opposed to this interest on my part and our policy toward freedom in no small way encouraged them to revolt.

Nevertheless I should say that neither Justus nor I ever planned on making castration the centerpiece to our new covenant. This is one of those strange twists of fate which I have already mentioned which just fell out of the sky. In the end the irony of course was that we forced the whole Jewish nation to endure the pain and suffering that we underwent only a few years earlier.


CHAPTER SIXTEEN

When the Roman soldiers managed to rescue him from Joseph and the Jewish mob at Tiberias Justus claimed that he had had a vision while he was held captive in prison. “An angel who called himself Yeshu announced his presence to me,” he declared, “This Jesus reassured me that despite our present setbacks we would eventually emerge victorious.” Of course the name “Jesus” is not based on that the patriarch Joshua as some have claimed. It simply means “he that saves” and is actually closer to Elisha the famous prophet.

Despite our physically weakened state we embraced one another and the conversation immediately moved on to the topic of who this Jesus was who seemed to have visited both of us. My first thought was that it was a sign of Joshua, the patriarch who surrounded the walls of the idolatrous city of Jericho only to bring them down with the mere presence of the Ark of the Covenant.

Justus said, “You, sir, are the very equivalent of that tabernacle now.”

Now you have to remember one thing above all else – I was completely out of it at this period in my life. On one level I guess you could say that I was coming to terms with my new physical state however the vision of Jesus seemed to change everything. With this visit by an angel Justus and I could see that we were really chosen as the first participants in a new covenant which required the complete transformation of the individual man.

We were not to be regarded as freaks or unfortunate casualties of the war but indeed the divinely chosen ones of God. Indeed as we talked matters over with my sister and then her lover Titus and his father the great general Vespasian it gradually came to don on all of us that something which entirely pregnant with possibilities had befallen us.

“Who is this Jesus,” asked Vespasian, “I for one have never heard any Jews mention him before as a figure of any significance.”

“My lord,” answered Justus, “he is the firstborn Son of the heavenly Father.” Justus paused for a moment. “The sign was obvious to me the moment he appeared to me.”

“What was that?” asked Vespasian once again.

“Well my Lord,” replied Justus, “the one who appeared to me was Jesus, who is the Son of the Father who is Lord and master of the universe. In the same way that it was Titus who rescued me from my prison cell in Tiberias, the son of the future lord and king of the world.”

Vespasian began to smile from ear to ear. “Are you saying then that this Jesus is a sign for my son Titus, or his father?”

“Actually sir, I believe that Jesus is a premonition for both of you,” answered Justus. “Just as the Son appeared to me and foretold the destruction of the Jerusalem temple, it implies that you as the Father will attend to affairs back in heaven which is Rome. Indeed just as Jesus monitors the creation for the father in heaven you can trust you’re your Son Titus will handle affairs for you in this turbulent region you are presently occupied with.”

I was aback with Justus’ boldness. He was prophesying that Vespasian would become Caesar – an event which had yet to unfold but which soon would manifest itself in only a matter of months. In due course I would be in Rome spying on behalf of this secret cabal while, just as Justus predicted Vespasian’s son Titus was engaged in the war against the Jews on his behalf.

I remember leaving the room where we had just had our meeting with Vespasian and his company and turning to Justus and asking him what else the angel Jesus told him.

Justus slyly turned to me and whispered, “What else do you want him to say?”


CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

I always had a streak of naivety about me but here in the new age where I was being groomed for my final attempt to be transformed into the messianic king of Judea I was a little bit scared. For all of my years, it seemed as if I was being carried along by some irrepressible force leading me to my final destiny. I liked to think of it as a divine force – the will of God whatever you want to call it. However, I had the distinct impression that it was by its very nature good, true and beautiful.

Now it seemed as if I were still being pushed along by the same force only now I could make out its physical features. I had many hands and many faces. The thing that was moving me was actually very well known to me – it was all the individuals who surrounded me each day. Everyone wanted a piece of me, everyone wanted me to do their bidding for them.

I went to see my mother, the one person I trusted to help tell me what to do. “Mother, they are asking me to lie. They are telling me to make up things which never happened as a way of supporting the Imperial ambitions of Vespasian,” I declared. “It’s something that I simply can’t do.”

I was expecting mother to hit me or yell at me or at the very least to tell me that I was a big fool. Instead I got the surprise of my life – she supported my decision.

“I must confess to you, my little Mark, that when I was younger I enjoyed the attention which I received from these Romans,” she declared. “I was a beautiful woman and the Europeans certainly know how to treat a lady.”

“I might have used you to get where I wanted to be but I think things worked out for the best, don’t you think?” She paused for a moment. “The one thing I learned in all my years is that men are stupid. Maybe now that you have that silly member removed you might become a little more intelligent than the rest of your sex.”

“I guess what I am trying to say to you that everything in life isn’t black and white. Many people think they are telling the truth when they are lying, and sometimes it is the one who makes up stories who is actually declaring the holiest of truths.”

“Take the example of the Law of Moses. Do you think Moses ever even wrote the book? Of course not – it was someone else long after he died. And what of all the stories which make up his book? Do you think that they are literally true? Do you think that any of the patriarchs ever actually did any of the things described of them? Of course they didn’t. You know that, and I know that and all the best priests acknowledge this as well.”

“So let me ask you – does any of this make the work they are asking you to compose a lie, if you do what they tell you to do? Of course not for they want you to be like Moses and Moses was no liar.”

I was stunned by my mother’s lucidity. “So what are you saying I should do then mother?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” she replied. “Do what Moses or the man who later wrote on Moses behalf did. He too had to face up to rulers who wanted to reshape our religion only they were Persian. Now we have these Romans. Figure out what they want you to say and say it. Only write it in such a way that it can be read in another way which you impart to your readers which opens up the real truth.”

She kissed me on my forehead, “It’s exactly what Moses did.”



PART THREE

WORKING THROUGH THE WORDS OF THE GOSPEL


CHAPTER ONE

I knew what all the rulers of the world wanted me to write however it was the instruction of my mother’s wisdom which allowed me to overcome them. The truth is that when you really want to get technical the Most High God is beyond any words or likenesses we might use to describe him. Nevertheless I felt quite comfortable in describing the Most High as the Father even though I knew that he wasn’t just a paternal being. I was in fact describing a process not an identity.

Of course I wasn’t the first person in Jewish history to identify God in this way. My ancestor John had described the Creator as the Son hundreds of years before me. The point here is that we were developing an understanding of stages in a process where God manifest himself to the world. We were identifying how we saw God as the Father as we were being adopted as his sons through this angel Jesus.

That the Father, Son and Holy Spirit had a superficial resemblance to the contemporary Palestinian triumvirate of Vespasian, Titus and my sister and I, was really of little concern to me. It was again part of the organized hypocrisy or “putting on of faces” which my family had developed into an art. If Vespasian wanted to believe that he was being revered as the paternal divinity of my reformed cult, Titus too as the Son so be it. It was all part of the gnostic way of speaking which I learned to perfect in my gospel.

The same was essentially true also about the central narrative about the text. The fact is that as my mother so perfectly illustrated for me – none of the scenes described in the gospel ever happened in literal space and time in the fifteenth year of the founding of the city of Tiberias as is claimed in the work. The point is that it is entirely meant to be taken as an allegorical document where every story has a secret significance to those who have been properly instructed.


CHAPTER TWO

I have already begun the process of dissecting the introduction to my gospel. I don’t want to go too deeply into matters and focus instead on the original significance of Jesus.

Before my coming, there wasn’t even an inkling of a higher power named Jesus. My ancestor John had developed the idea of the “Son God” but not Jesus. Besides being a mouthpiece for the theological ideas I would be responsible for introducing into the world at the time of the literary composition, there are two things that the reader should keep in mind about him.

The name Jesus means “he saves” and is related to “Elisha” rather than “Joshua” as is commonly misunderstood today. Indeed if you jumble up the same four letters you get “Esau” who is the heavenly twin of Israel.

As I have already explained already once, Jesus was wholly divine – not a man but God the Son – who came to save mankind. The secret of all secrets in my religion is that he is the Creator who repents of his creation by crucifying himself for the salvation of many. We called him “the better one” or Chrestos rather than “Christos” or messiah who was me.

A little bit after the first words I just cited from my gospel introduction I identify Jesus as the “hand” of God which created all existential things and then specifically as having “come to martyr himself, that he might bear witness to the light, that every man might believe through his mediation.” This pretty well sets up the reader for what happens in the narrative of the pages which follows with regards to Jesus function.

The remainder of my introduction is specifically about me …


CHAPTER THREE

I am still speaking of Jesus when I continue from we just read that “he was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” This clearly identifies Jesus as the Word the Creator of the world who eventually ends up being crucified by his Jewish subjects. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” – this refers to the Jews while “and those who received him, to them gave he the power that they might be sons of God” refers to we of the new covenant established by me.

However once I get to the part about “and the Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us” I am of course speaking about me – which is a topic I find especially interesting of course. I have already told you that I was the new tabernacle of my community in the way Moses was when he was alive. Only here I am describing what happened after Jesus martyred himself and I became adopted through his example.

I am quietly slipping reference to myself at this point when I write on behalf of my community that “we saw his glory as the glory of the Only-begotten, which is full of grace and truth.” This is another way of saying that whereas Jesus was the Son the being who appeared in my flesh after the crucifixion was something better – i.e. that of the Father.

When we read in what follows again that “of his fullness received we all grace upon grace” we are being drawn attention to the understanding that my covenant is about the Father rather than the mere Son. The Jewish tradition which came before me was about the Son and it had grace. It was established by Moses and it lasted down through until John. However I as the true messiah brought something better as we read that “the law was given through the mediation of Moses, but truth and grace were through Christ.”

This is why you have to pay close attention to the concluding lines of the introduction “no man hath seen God at any time, save the only begotten Christ” – that’s me – “who descended from the bosom of the Father.” This last idea appears in the narrative which follows in terms of my resurrection from the dead through baptism as you shall see shortly.


CHAPTER FOUR

I don’t know what this Roman Church now teaches you but there is no mention of anyone named “John the Baptist” in my text. I do make reference to my ancestor John throughout because contemporary Jewry recognized him to be the messiah however Caesar doesn’t want you to know this.

Why? Well this is the whole crux of the matter. For John was really the last independent king of Israel. He ruled about a hundred and fifty years before the coming of Jesus and as I have mentioned a couple of times now – was one of my great ancestors and links to the messiah. Understanding who John was is key to making sense of me too because I am often identified as “Mark who was called John” or vice versa.

This is all pretty confusing so let me pass over it all for the moment. The important thing is to see that in my original gospel there is no scene where Jesus is baptized by someone named “John the Baptist” who lived in my contemporary age. Instead the next scene after the introduction we just read is the one which amounts to being my homage to my mother – i.e. the story of the sinful woman in front of the Samaritan holy mountain called Gerizim.

If you have never traveled to Palestine you likely have never even heard of this place but there is a very good reason why I began the story here – it is the place where Israel effectively began. This alone should be enough to convince you as to the reason for having a story based here. Yet there are others which are quite easy to demonstrate.

If you look at the scene once again you can’t help but see the allegorical nature of the narrative. This scene never actually “happened” in the literal sense and the symbolic nature of the discussion is entirely transparent to anyone who inquires a little deeper than the surface. I never explain why she is standing there at Peniel the very place where Jacob saw the ladder of heaven. The choice of local should be entirely obvious to anyone who knows anything about the Hebrew religion.

My mother considered herself a Samaritan, although a distinct sect of these people who were forcibly converted by the John and his ancestors. This will have a very significant effect on our story as the messiah they are waiting for is essentially a resurrection of John. I already told you that I wanted to move on beyond the topic of John however so I don’t want to deal with this whole angle of the narrative quite yet.


CHAPTER FIVE

Any Sadducee of either Jewish or Samaritan extraction knows perfectly well Mount Gerizim is the central place of the cult of Israel. The legend goes that what we see now as the top of the mountain is only the base of the original structure. The missing top as it were lifted up and went to heaven allowing for a kind of heavenly ladder to stretch from the earth to the celestial heights.

The fact that my mother is depicted as standing here is important because my angel Jesus is about to descend from heaven. My mother is a living symbol of the status of the Law. Even though her name was Salome she is Mary – that is Miriam – the very sister of Moses and the living symbol of holy Wisdom. The connection with Miriam is obvious also from the reference to her standing next to the well of Jacob.

The scene then is that the Jews are about to stone her for having married the series of brothers. The general sense of this is true – my mother was wrapped up in a controversy over leaving one Herodian brother for another. However a literal understanding of this fact misses the whole point. The historical kernel is developed into an allegorical understanding of heavenly Wisdom – that is the Law - being prostituted and abused by the rulers of the world.

It is at this very moment when the Jews are about to stone her that Jesus steps in and

says “which ever one of you is without sin throw the stone.” The idea of course is that we have our first illustration of Jesus redemption not only of a particular woman over a particular infraction in the old Law of Moses but now the symbolic act of Jesus rescuing Wisdom herself from the assault of over zealous Jews.

One should also pay close attention to what is said about Jesus’ relation to the messiah. As my sister and I deliberately encouraged Vespasian and Titus to believe that the “Son” here secret alluded to Titus himself it was important to leave the dialogue ambiguous about who Jesus was actually referring to as the messiah.

He tells my mother that the messiah that the world had been waiting forever for was about to be manifest in the world. I constructed the text in such a way that the ignorant would believe that Jesus was speaking of himself owing to the fact that the Imperial court had already believed that “Jesus” was only a foreshadowing of Titus. Of course the interior meaning of the text was that Jesus was referring to me.

Indeed why on earth would I have had Jesus speak to my mother about the messiah? It makes no sense to have Jesus announce himself as the Christ to a woman unless of course she would somehow figure in the end revelation of who Jesus came to establish as the messiah which she did. Jesus is talking to this woman who was my mother because she was the first to historically promulgate the idea that I was the one predicted by Moses.


CHAPTER SIX

So now it should be plain the way I developed the various stories in my gospel. They weren’t meant to be taken literally for God’s sake. I was trying to replicate or indeed augment the authority of the original Law of Moses by composing a similar kind of treatise. I can’t believe that anyone takes the stories in that book as historically accurate so why should they do the same with my work?

The Law of Moses told the story of the establishment of a covenant of Israel after an historical Exodus without the final entrance into the Promised Land. My gospel was all about the fulfillment of the completion of “what was missing” from Moses’ original. We are about to present the fulfillment of what was promised in the beginning and thereby establish the “perfect covenant” better than what was given to Moses.

Of course the idea is already present in Moses’ revelation if you look carefully – but nobody does any more. The important thing to see however is that the end of what was imperfect – i.e. the Law and prophets - is necessary to bring about the beginning of what is complete. In other words, I will have to destroy the temple in Jerusalem in order to allow the ushering in of perfection.

However what most people don’t realize any more today is that my ancestor John already began to set things in motion by destroying the Samaritan temple which stood on this mountain one hundred and fifty years before this very scene. In other words, my historical razing of Jerusalem and its house of God is only a repetition of something which John did before me – this is very critical for making sense of my gospel.

For the reason I am called “Mark who was called John” or vice versa is that it was John who established what a messiah would look like among the local populace of Palestine. He was a great man and most importantly he was as I have already mentioned part of a chain of “sons of David” which ends with me.

All of this emphasizes necessarily that the fact that the text begins with a scene at the scene of John’s destruction of the first house of God is absolutely significant to the conclusion which tells of “Christ” and his impending demolition of the last house of God in Jerusalem. For not only members of my mother’s Samaritan spiritual tradition but indeed also those of the Sadducees among the Jews the expectation of a resurrecting John is absolutely central – and something I was eager to fulfill in my own person.


CHAPTER SEVEN

Of course when my original text went on to introduce its baptism narrative it was done within this original context. In other words, it is immediately after a reference in the introduction to Christ “descending from the bosom of the Father” and as we have already just seen – the expectation for a resurrecting John messiah among the Samaritan community of my mother called “Dositheans” or “war captives.”

The gospel goes on to demonstrate how that reception of the soul of John through baptism took place by setting up another important allegory – the idea of me being a sickly little infant who came to the waters of the Jordan in order to be healed. Of course water immersion itself was not allegorical. I really was brought to the Jordan by my mother to undergo this ritual for conversion established among Samaritans since John’s conquest of Samaria.

This of course was the “baptism of John” which has been so misunderstood in recent times. There was no Baptist named John who baptized the population of the Jews in this period – just ask the Jews themselves! The real historical figure named John as I have already told you forcibly baptized and converted the entire populace in Palestine through baptism just as I was about to do in the course of reconquering my kingdom lost to Jewish revolutionaries.

Of course the ritual of water immersion was originally employed by John before me as a means of converting non-Jews to the new covenant of John in the immediate aftermath of his destruction of the Samaritan house of God. It was a way of confirming that one accepted his new religious authority but it also held to heal and perfect the individual adherent.

It was long established among Samaritan converts underwent the ritual became sons and daughters of this man who was the awaited prophet of Moses who was at once the reincarnated “John” figure. According to my gospel something entirely different happened when I went into the waters.

In my narrative, I as the “little one” undergoing baptism was symbolically identified as having died. My mother agrees to have me baptized and suddenly Jesus, fresh from having that discussion with my mother regarding the coming messiah, came down from the heavens again in the form of a dove and landed on my head. This story is of course the very reason why we baptize on behalf of the dead in my religion. The symbolism being of course that the waters of baptism are called “the waters of life.”

The significance of the baptism works along another line of reasoning too. In Hebrew the word for dove is “John.” As I went into the waters, light shone forth from the depths. It was as if I not only disappeared under the surface but was actually taken into the very underworld were all the dead souls were kept.

In my gospel narrative I went down through to the depths with Jesus as a little one who took on a new soul – I became the person of John, my great ancestor – who rested in the bosom of the Father. If you read my text carefully you will see that this “little one” went down and had a discussion with his descendants John and Herod about whether or not it was enough for the Jews to rely on the Law and the prophets.

In the end it was decided that Jesus would return with the soul of John. The gospel continues with Jesus declaring to all who stood around the scene of my baptism were astounded when Jesus argues that the soul who is trapped in the “little one” is that of John.

Rather than listen to Moses and the prophets they should “Hear him,” Jesus declares as my body begins to miraculous move again after being presumed dead. As I start to stir those who have gathered around the scene become believers. These first followers include my mother, my sister and many more.


CHAPTER EIGHT

Of all the characters in my book, it is the person of John which has been the most deliberately obscured in recent times. May God curse Antoninus and his children for their treachery! They tampered with my book! They corrupted my religion! But it is of no matter … you have my true word now.

Again, I don’t know who they think their character of “John the Baptist” is, this one who is a wild man in the woods who supposedly baptized Jesus. It is all nonsense to deceive the world about the real John who holds the secret for putting the pieces of the puzzle which was the Jewish messianic tradition together. One need only ask the Jews, who have no interest in plotting with us whether they have ever heard of this fool. The bottom line is that neither I nor any of my people have ever heard of him either until now.

When I was writing my gospel in a time which seems as distant now as that of Homer, the John that we all knew of course was my ancestor John Hyrcanus. The Sadducees of both Judea and Samaria were entirely reshaped by him and his policy of forcible baptism. Yet whatever you thought of him before his coming one can bet that you accepted that he or those who later came in his name as the messiah.

John was the inspiration to all messianic movements ever since his day as he was universally regarded as the one who was to come. The very name of Jewish revolutionaries in our language is baryona which can be interpreted as being “son of John.”

Our current Emperor’s “correction” of my gospel was – to obscure my claim to be this very figure – i.e. the resurrected John. In my gospel it was me who was being baptized not Jesus! For how can an angel be purified? He is by his very nature pure enough for heaven. This whole idea of Jesus being immersed in water is ridiculous and could only come from a Roman. Yet the fools who go along with these ideas are for the most part European. What do they know about us anyway?

The point is that if I can get back to my original gospel narrative we should see immediately after the baptism narrative I just described great controversy emerges over Jesus having baptized me on the Sabbath. Various people interpret the event in various ways but they are all wrong because they represent the contemporary blindness in the age – i.e. missing the point that the “little one” in this age was the messiah.


CHAPTER NINE

The Pharisees object to healing on the Sabbath but Jesus responds by saying that the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath and the like. Indeed when “disciples of John” appear – i.e. the Sadducees – they are deliberately portrayed as also being mistakenly about what is going on here. They are led to believe that Jesus is claiming that he is the messiah, a misunderstanding which continues throughout the book.

These “disciples of the old John” ask “Art thou he that cometh? or look we for another?” Look at the words carefully my friends and you will start to notice a pattern which follows throughout the rest of the book – viz. the words “the other” or “another” means me.

As such, the very words I use throughout the work are quite deliberate and must be carefully attended to. I am the “other” who is cryptically woven throughout the rest of the gospel narrative. Look at what is written here for example. I am the one who is identified as the prophet and more than the prophet of the original Mosaic messianic expectation, better than even John who came only a few generations earlier.

Jesus says that it is he who is the one of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee in the Law and the prophets but again alluding to me he says “among those that are born of women” in other words mortal man “there is no greater prophet than John” i.e. the king of the former generation but he adds “the one who is the little one of the kingdom of God is greater” than John.

The point is then that up until that time, in the era before the destruction of the temple “John” is already the equivalent of the messiah in most people’s mind. The point of the narrative here is to establish that this “soul of John” came into me through baptism.

In the same way in what immediately follows I deliberately have hostile Pharisees confront Jesus again who scream “Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority? To which Jesus answered and said unto them, “The John baptism, was it from heaven, or of men?” because of course this Sabbath healing was the real bone of contention between them.

When the Jews didn’t answer he goaded them by declaring “neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.” They were standing on a precipice thinking that Jesus was a material man and not an angel. As such when they were enraged by his response they deliberately rushed forward to attack him hoping to push him off the cliff. However Jesus knew what they were going to do before they did it. He set up the situation where their unbelief in the Christ led to their destruction. It was of course again the underlying thread in my construction of that holy book.


CHAPTER TEN

Since I just want to settle the understanding that all the John references literally mean – “the messiah who came a hundred years before you and who is believed to be resurrected in every generation” I will gloss over several other references which assist in that understanding. They include the very beginning of the text we see the idea of “John” foretelling my coming. All Jews still believe that “John” comes in every generation. It was at the heart of the revolutionary movement. They always will believe this, I think, because it is at the heart of their spirituality.

I wrote the gospel in an age where messianic expectation was both very high and where I was a blood relative of “John” – the last that ever lived. So it is that when I say for instance that “John bare witness of him, and cried, and said, This is he that I said cometh after me and was before me, because he was before me” you have to understand that I am saying that where as John was only the “Son” god I will manifest the Father. This is probably beyond most people right now but I will explain it in due course.

Similarly as I have already explained that according to the structure of my gospel my ancestor John was in the underworld watching everything that was going on in the world here along with all the other dead. The purpose is simple - I am trying to establish that not only was I the completion of the John-messiah tradition but indeed that I was something better than him.

Once I get baptized and Jesus takes me into the underworld to take John’s soul and put it into my body my messianic status would be confirmed among the Jewry forever. Indeed they still call me “John” to this day.

This is why for instance I write that Herod the tetrarch “was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead” the key thing is to notice the word “perplexed.” The idea here of course is that Herod like the Jews throughout the story mistakenly think that Jesus is claiming that he is the messiah rather than what is true – namely that he was secretly heralding “another.”

The same thing is present when I wrote that Jesus is asked “Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, but thine eat and drink?” The “disciples of John” are all those sects influenced by the king John who proceeded me (i.e. the Sadducees and most importantly those Samaritans who converted by John and others to a belief in the John messiah).

That is why when Jesus replies “Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?” of course it means that Jesus was identifying me as the resurrected John already alluded to in Herod’s statement. Those who were present already believed that I was not only the messiah but the reincarnation of John, the one who established their particular religious sects.

The same is true in the passage that it came to pass that one of his disciples said unto Jesus “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” As I have already mentioned John was the head of all the various sects in Israel of that time because he and his sons had conquered all the territories in the region in his name. Everyone of that time had been shaped by the idea of the “John messiah.”

All that I was trying to do now was to demonstrate myself as the heir to this tradition. If I could get the various communities to accept me as yet another “John figure” as his sons had before me, it would be easy to consolidate my messianic claims over a large segment of the Israelite population. It wouldn’t help me with the Pharisees to be sure. But then again we had the holocaust in Jerusalem to take of that matter …


CHAPTER TWELVE

I AM “THE LITTLE ONE” IN THE GOSPEL

Ah, the topic of me again! I wonder - is there any subject in the world so fascinating yet so elusive? Once you discover me hiding in my gospel as Mark, “the little one,” “the other, “John” or through my many other code names, I am certain that you can’t ever get enough of me. Yet here is a few clues as to where to find me referred to in the gospel.

1

It was me who was the little boy through whom Jesus turned the water to wine at the wedding. The symbol here of course is that I am representing the union between the flesh and spirit which is about to manifest itself on the cross.

2.

I was the little boy who brought the baskets at Tiberias where the multiplied loaves were discovered. Read the passage carefully and notice that Jesus stands away as the source of the miracle but that I am actually holding the basket. The passage was deliberately written in such a way to subtly demonstrate the relationship which existed between Moses and the column of glory in the old Law. This angel helps Moses in the same way Jesus helps me because after all – it is the same angel.

3

I am the “little one” that appears throughout the text such as the various “seed” parables such that of the mustard sea which though it is smallest of all things “grew and became a branch.” A branch is a traditional Jewish messianic metaphor.

8.

I am the little one ran before Jesus and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him wherefore Jesus declared “this day is salvation come to this house, for the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” I was also the lost sheep whose redemption symbolically restored the wholeness of the totality of the world.

10.

I am the “little gate” which men should strive through in order to receive salvation.

11.

I am the one alluded to in the passage which begins with the disciples trying to prevent me from coming to Jesus. He called out to let the little child to come unto me and not to hinder him for I was “of the kingdom” or indeed more strongly yet “whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God from this little child shall in no wise enter into it.

Indeed I go a little further when I say “Jesus took a child, and set it before him and said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me and whosoever shall receive me must receiveth him for the little one is the greatest among you.

12.

I have Jesus declare “I thank thee, Lord of heaven that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto children” speaking specifically again of the divine plan which was to unfold by the end of the work. Jesus says “all things have been delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knoweth the Father but the Son” because it demonstrates that Jesus is on a mission on behalf of a higher power but I add that the plot extends to “he to whom the Son will reveal the Father” specifically in the context of the “child” – i.e. me – to whom God preferred over all the wise priests and rabbis.

13.

I have Jesus say that “truly, there be some of those that stand here, which shall by no means taste death, till they see the kingdom of God” because he is referring to me.

14.

It was me who was the one who carried the pitcher of water to follow into the house to celebrate the first new Passover” and my house where all the events in Jerusalem took place – a palace that was eventually burned down during the siege of the city just afterwards.

15.

I am the beloved disciple who was sitting on Jesus lap during the last supper and the one whom Jesus revealed his secrets. I was arrested with Jesus and brought to his trial.

16.

The symbolism of dressing Jesus up in the robes of Herod and crowned as I looked on seemed pretty over the head to me. It should have been obvious I thought that what is being said here is that I am seeing my Higher Self crucified – but what do I know? I am just the author of the text.

17.

I even had Jesus transform into someone else on the mount of Transfiguration after the crucifixion for God’s sake! How much clearer do I have to make things to allow it to be understand that Jesus is about to turn himself into me and vice versa I will never know?

18.

My mother sees the empty tomb and realizes that Jesus was a bodiless phantom. When we return to my house the narrative is quite clear. The disciples are all sitting around talking to me when we read “and their eyes were opened, and they recognised him [i.e. Jesus] and he became visible to them and they said one to another, was not our heart burning within us, while he talked with us in the way?” In other words, the book gospel closes with the idea that assembly realizes that Jesus is in me.

19.

As proof that I am the messiah I demonstrate my flesh – hence the title of the book again – as we read “they rehearsed the things which happened on the way and how he became known to them in the breaking of the bread” and I display the marks of Christ on my body. How much more obvious can it be? They are looking at someone other than Jesus and seeing at once that Jesus has resurrected in his being. I hope you can finally come to that understanding.


CHAPTER THIRTEEN

I AM “THE OTHER” IN THE GOSPEL

1

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another messiah (Menachem) to be with you forever … The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives among you

2

I will not leave you bereaved, in another little one, I will come to you and the world will not see me, and you will see me and because I live you also will be saved in that day you will know that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you, and he who has with him my commandment and keeps them is the one who loves me.

3

Now glorified is the Son of Man and God is glorified in him … My sons, I am with you in another little one … a new commandment I give to you – love the other one just as I have loved you by this will know all men that my disciples you are if love there will be among you to the other one.

4

I will not leave you bereaved; I will come to you in another little one.

5

when the messiah (Menachem) comes, he whom I send from the presence of my Father, he will testify concerning me.

6

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other

7

Everyone who separates from his woman [i.e., the Law] and takes another is proselytized

8

One sows, and the other reaps.

9

Jesus told them an another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like … ”

10

another seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred time.

11

If someone strikes you on one cheek, bring him in the presence of the other.

12

Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is another a long time,' and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

13

The bridegroom was another a long time and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

14

Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor."

15

We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple made by hands and in three days will build another”

16

In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves: ‘He saved another’ they said, ‘but he can't save himself!’”

17

Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you on that night two will be one … one will be taken and the another left.”

18

Mary Magdalene and the other were sitting there opposite the tomb.

19

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other went to look at the tomb.”

20

Simon and the other disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest's courtyard, but Simon had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the girl on duty there, and brought Peter in.

21

So she came running to Simon and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!’ So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.”


CHAPTER THIRTEEN

I AM “THE OTHER” IN MY ORIGINAL COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL

1.

The inner man I speak of, is not your own, but his who told you … If I by another partake, why am I reproached for that, for which I give thanks? If therefore ye eat, or if ye drink, or if ye do any thing, do all things for the glory of God … and even me too, please the All man … and what is profitable to many; that they may live.”

2

another law is at work in the members of my body

3

I laid a foundation as an expert builder … other which can no man lay other than the Messiah.

4

And therefore, if Titus he is my shopata and helper among you: or if our other brethren, they are the legates of the churches of the Messiah's glory.

5

I shall remain with you … that ye may accompany me whither I go. For I am … disposed to see you now as I am another

6

I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to teach another.

7

cleave to what is good, be devoted to the other one in love, glorify the other one above yourselves.

8

All of us who are perfect have these views; and if ye see other all God will reveal that also to you … Be like me, my brethren; and contemplate them, who walk after the pattern ye have seen in us. For there are many who walk according to another.

9

the glory of the heavenly bodies is one, and the glory of the earthly bodies is another.

10

So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another to him who was stood from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.


CHAPTER FOURTEEN

I AM GRACE IN MY GOSPEL AND MY ORIGINAL GOSPEL COMMENTARY

There are many passages in the Greek text which read now kharis (“grace”), but which must be Catholicizing transpositions of the ultra-heretical gospel akheri(s), including:

1

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the only-begotten who came from the Father, full of anothergrace… from this fullness we have all received anothergrace. For the law was given through Moses; another came through Christ.

2

And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the othergrace of God was upon him.

3

For if ye love them which love you, what other have ye? For sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what other have ye? For sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what othergrace have ye? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

4

Through the messiah and for his name's sake … we have received anothergrace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name.

5

The othergrace to you and perfection from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus.

6

For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you anothergrace spirit, to the end ye may be established.

7

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known which comes through faith in Jesus … being justified freely by his othergrace through the redemption that is in the messiah.

8

If those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, because law brings wrath … therefore it is of faith, that it might be by another; he is the father of us all

9

Since we have been justified through faith, we have wholeness with God through our Lord Jesus, through whom we have gained access by faith into this othergrace in whom we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God

10

But where sin abounded, anothergrace did abound much more that sin hath reigned unto death, even so another might reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus our Lord.

11

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under anothergrace.

12

For the wages of sin is death; but anothergrace of God is eternal life through Jesus our Lord.

13

Even so, then, at this present time also there is a remnant according to the choice of grace/another and if by anothergrace, then is it no more of works

14

For I say, through anothergrace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think

15

Having then gifts differing according to anothergrace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith,” etc.

16

I have written the more boldly … because of the anothergrace that is given to me of God

17

Anothergrace of our Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen.

18

Anothergrace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace/other of God which is given you by Jesus.

19

According to anothergrace of God which is given unto me

20

I wish that all men were as I am [and that] each man has anothergrace from God.

21

For if I by anothergrace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?

22

But by anothergrace of God, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh and his othergrace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the other of God which was with me.

23

Anothergrace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus

24

Ye also helping together by supplicating for us, that for the other bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf. For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our inner man … anothergrace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly toward you.

25

And in this confidence, I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have anothergrace

26

For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant anothergrace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory-God [i.e. Jesus]

27

We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the othergrace of God in vain.

28

Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of anothergrace of God bestowed on the churches

29

Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same othergrace also.

30

as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this othergrace also. … For ye know anothergrace of our Lord Jesus that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

31

And not that only, but [Titus] who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this othergrace, which is administered by us to the same glory-Lord

32

And he said unto me, ‘my othergrace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Jesus may rest upon me.

33

Anothergrace of the Lord Jesus and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

34

Anothergrace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus

35

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the gospel of anothergrace

36

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his othergrace

37

[Those] who seemed to be pillars, perceived the othergrace that was given unto me

38

I do not frustrate the othergrace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Jesus died in vain

39

Jesus is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from othergrace

40

Brethren, the othergrace of our Lord Jesus be with your spirit. Amen

41

Anothergrace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus

42

To the praise of the glory of his othergrace wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his othergrace

43

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his othergrace expressed in his kindness to us in the messiah. For by the othergrace are ye saved through faith for we are God's work created in Christ to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

44

If ye have heard of the dispensation of anothergrace of God which is given me for you that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation

45

I was made a slave according to the gift of anothergrace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am little one of all saints, is this othergrace given, that I should preach among the proselytes the unsearchable riches of Christ

46

But unto every one of us is given anothergrace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

47

Anothergrace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus in sincerity. Amen.

48

Anothergrace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

49

Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my othergrace

50

Anothergrace of our Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen.

51

Anothergrace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus

52

Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew anothergrace of God in truth

53

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with anothergrace in your hearts to the Lord.

54

Let your speech be always with anothergospel, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

55

Anothergrace be with you. Amen.

56

Anothergrace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus

57

Anothergrace of our Lord Jesus with you. Amen.

58

Another unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus.

59

That the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to anothergrace of our God and the Lord Jesus.

60

who hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through anothergrace

61

Anothergrace of our Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen.

62

Anothergrace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus.”

63

Anothergrace of our Lord Jesus be with your spirit. Amen.


CHAPTER FIFTEEN

I AM “THE LAST” IN MY GOSPEL AND MY ORIGINAL COMMENTARY

1

I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last.

2

When he was in the house, he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ … they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus [said] … ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must be the last and the servant of all.’ He took [the] little one and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one of these little ones in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.’

3

Those who are first will be last, the last will be first.

4

So it is written: ‘The first Adam became a living being,’ the last Lord a life-giving spirit.

5

I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up in the day of the last. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up in the day of the last …”

6

There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him in the day of the last …”


CHAPTER SIXTEEN

MY HISTORICAL MOTHER SALOME WAS “MARY, THE MOTHER OF CHRIST”

My mother Mary also called Salome who was the Samaritan woman who is visited by Jesus at the well of Jacob before he appears with me at the Jordan. The Samaritan mountain is understood to be Jacob’s Ladder, the gate which connects earth to the heavens, hence the idea of Jesus appearing – i.e. he is coming down to earth at that moment.

1

It was me and my mother who were at the wedding of Cana where I turn the water into wine with Jesus’ help. The symbolism of the marriage ritual is obvious – I am about to become one with the Father through Jesus.

2

It was my mother Mary who was the woman who anointed Jesus feet with her tears.

3

It was my mother Mary and my sister who were identified as the women traveling in the party of Jesus (notice the Herodian reference here too). The text also mention my mother as the “Mary called Magdalene, from whom went seven demons had gone out” and I – viz. “John, Herod's steward” as companions of Jesus.

4

I am represented as “John” throughout the gospel narrative as a means of disguising my presence. This I believe was kept intact even in the corrupted tradition albeit I am changed to “Joanna” in order to disguise the running thread throughout the account.



5

It was my mother who was mentioned when the Jews bade Jesus saying that the mother of the messiah was standing outside. Jesus responded with a surprised “My mother and my brethren? My mother and my brethren are these which hear My words, and do.” In other words, I was trying to stress that Jesus was an angel and therefore had no parents.

6

The same point is made early in the text when mother cried out "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you” and Jesus replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it” as a means of underscoring that Jesus had no material mother because he was an angel.

7

It was my mother who was the woman who had an issue of blood twelve years, and who came behind him and touched the border of his garment where immediately her issue of blood stanched. The narrative is intended to demonstrate that perfection only comes to women when they stop having the ability to produce children.

8

This point also made in the references to my mother elsewhere in the text such as when Jesus was talking about the end and my mother asked “Until when shall men continue to die?” To which Jesus responded “so long as women bear children.”

9

And when my mother asked “'I have done well, then, in not bearing children?' Jesus said “Every plant eat thou, but that which hath bitterness eat not.”

10

And when my mother inquired when the things concerning which she asked should be known, Jesus said “When ye have trampled on the garment of shame, and when the two become one and the male with the female is neither male nor female.

11

And Jesus also said to her that “I came to destroy the works of the female” as a means of summing up the

12

It was my mother and I who stood under the cross at the crucifixion with me and came to the empty tomb and I appeared to her with the marks of Jesus on my body and thus she saw that the things announced by Jesus were fulfilled.


CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

MY HISTORICAL ADVERSARY “SIMON” WAS THE ONE CALLED PETER

I have to admit it – I really hated Simon bar Gioras. If you really want to get into my mindset in this period you have to see that this man and his brother had led a revolt against me. They had taken over my kingdom and argued that Simon was the real messiah and rather than myself.

Simon really got under my skin so to speak. I mean this guy started as a freedman in my own house and ended up trying to start a rebellion against me. It is therefore no wonder then that so much of the book which I wrote in Panaeas is devoted to wiping out his memory. I mean it was my main purpose to find a way to seize Jerusalem as a means of whipping his sorry ass.

By the time we caught him cowering in the sewers I had already devised a special revenge for him. He called himself the messiah even though he completely failed at his efforts to emerge as a triumphant Jewish king. His followers went around calling him “the rock” – or kepha - as if he were the one who was predicted by Moses. So I did my best to ridicule this idea throughout my book. However I went one step further.

Vespasian and I dragged him through the streets of Rome until finally bringing him to the Tarpeian Rock at the center of the city. I announced to the crowd – this man claims that he is the messianic rock let us bash his head on this rock! And so we pushed him down and then was the end of this one called “Peter” – except for my gospel.


CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

GOSPEL PROOFS OF MY CONTEMPORARY HATRED OF SIMON

Here are some of the key references to Simon Kepha (notice the deliberate play on words with “deny” kiphar throughout):

1

Then said he unto the disciples, It is inconceivable but that occasions of stumbling will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were a gain if he had not been born, or if a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea, rather than that he should cause one of this little one [that’s me again!] to fall

2

Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. And Jesus asked Simon, “Whom say ye that you are? Simon answering said, I am the Messiah of God. And he straightly reprimanded them, and commanded them to tell none such a thing. And Simon took him and began to rebuke him. But he, turning around, and seeing his disciples, rebuked Simon, and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you have in mind not the things of God, but the things of men.

3

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever wishes to save his life shall lose it: but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world,
and lose or forfeit his own self? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words,
of him shall the Son of man be ashamed.

Only a complete fool can’t see that this rejection of Simon is a prophetic announcement again of the fact that Simon did not pick up Jesus’ cross and follow him into his trial in Jerusalem because he was ashamed and denied him (you notice the kiphar reference again).

4

The prophesy is reinforced when we read:

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded you, that he might sift you as wheat. And Simon said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow at all to-day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will."

"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."

5

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter.

6

Peter gets arrested and they tell him "You also were with Jesus of Galilee," she said but he denied it before them all. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said. Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, "This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth." He denied it again, with an oath: "I don't know the man!" After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, "Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away." Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, "I don't know the man!"

Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."

7

I too was arrested like Peter but I didn’t deny Jesus. I stayed with him right up until his trial when the crowd was given a choice between freeing me or Jesus and they chose me. Despite what the gospel first corrupted by Basilides says it was I the weak, pathetic child who was forced to endure carrying the cross of Jesus – but I was miraculously strengthened even as a young boy.

8

In the end after the miraculous coming over the soul of Jesus into my flesh and the discovery of the empty tomb and my revelation of the marks of Christ one the gospel concludes with a scene on mount Gerizim again the very place Jesus descended becomes the place where he ascends back to heaven.

Eighteen months have passed from the time of the crucifixion. Jesus, Simon and myself gather on this high mountain and again Peter fell asleep. He awoke to witness the appearance in glory of Moses, Elijah and Jesus.

The most important thing for us to see now is that we all witness Jesus transform into “another” – i.e. that is me – and Simon says to this Jesus changed into a different form, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three tabernacles—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."

This is clearly shows how stupid Simon was of “little faith” and not the “little one” prophesied by Jesus to come after him. After all I already began the text with the idea that Jesus was to tabernacle in only one person and not three like the God of Moses. Indeed in case I didn’t hit you over the head enough with my point the voice from heaven says that instead of Elijah and Moses they should listen to me.

9

If the reader can follow to number the times where I demonstrate that Simon was a complete idiot – I can only find the effort to list a few. The point is so obvious and the idea that I was trying to use Simon as the path for the stupid to find salvation is ridiculous. I just hated Simon! Consider some of the following obvious examples of how I was trying to demonstrate Simon as the antithesis of divinely chosen “little one.”

10

Jesus walks on water obviously demonstrating that he is an angel. However the disciples don’t see the person of Jesus but him coming in another form – i.e. me grown up. The symbol of a man on the waters is messianic and goes back to the Exodus where Moses similarly guided the Israelites on the Red Sea to demonstrate the fate of the fallen Egyptians. Indeed the first person who jumped into the Red Sea was again one of my ancestors (and indeed one of the forefathers of David himself Nahason).

Of course when Jesus heralding the coming new Moses signals for the apostles to follow the true messianic example of faith – it is Simon who answers the call and fails.


"Lord, if it's you," Simon replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

A sure sign that he lacks faith for when Simon got down out of the boat he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Jesus again hits us over the head with the message identifying Simon as one of “little faith” and the reader can follow my design from there.

11

Then there is the story of the man who tells Jesus to look at his son afflicted with a bad spirit and that “I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not.” Jesus identifies Simon and his followers with the words “faithless and perverse generation,
how long shall I be with you, and suffer you?”

12




CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

THE PROPHESY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF THE HOUSE OF GOD

The point here should finally be extraordinary clear to one and all – if you want to make sense of the gospel you have to understand when I wrote it. This means that you have to take into consideration that composed the material just after the Jewish revolt. My anger at Simon bar Gorias my messianic rival is clearly discernable in the text as is the very plans that the Imperial forces loyal to me had devised with regards to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish temple.

The truth is of course that no one understands prophetic literature very much any more but it is strangely filled with prophesies with regards to God wanting to “destroy the temple.” It is a very odd thing. I don’t think any other religious tradition that I know of in the world has this situation.

God is understood to have been in effect “calling out” through his “prophetic vessels” throughout the ages that he was about to destroy his own house.

Of course the thing which most people lack now is a proper understanding of the development of most of these texts like that of Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel and others. The whole point of course is that these prophetic utterances weren’t developed against the Jewish house of God at all but in fact the Samaritan temple which used to stand on Gerizim.

The texts themselves were composed for the most part in the five hundred years leading up to the appearance of my ancestor John who eventually fulfilled the expectation. Two things came out of John’s razing of the original “house of God” of the patriarchs – the first was that he was identified as the messiah and the second was that Judaism as a serious religious form was finally established.

You see before John, the entire focus of Israelite religious life was in the north among the Samaritans and away from the Jews. Just read the books of Moses and you will find almost no significant references to Jerusalem or what are now Jewish holy sites.

Not only did the appearance of John the messiah change all that it established a pattern which I could reverse for my own subsequent messianic claims in the period immediately after the Jewish revolt. All I would do my friends was to announce that John heralded the kind of person whom God would finally sanction as his messiah – i.e. a temple destroyer – and especially appeal my message to Samaritans and other northern Israelites who felt traditionally victimized by the growth of John’s Jewish religion.


CHAPTER NINETEEN

GOSPEL PROOFS FOR THE PLAN TO DESTROY JERUSALEM

Do you need proofs to demonstrate that I wrote the gospel at the very time that plans for the destruction of the Jerusalem temple were being laid? Do I have to convince you that the temple was destroyed in my name, Marcus Julius Agrippa, and I was identified as the messiah forever there after because of it? Does anyone need any further proof that my gospel was developed as a means of justifying this act of ending Judaism and replacing it with a new religion which I was to establish at the behest of my Roman allies?

So what need is there now to fill the blank or connect the dots for you? Oh I get it! You don’t want to believe that I developed my gospel in this way so you resist. Well my friends, there isn’t much to get around this truth. It simply comes at you from too many angles.

Take the connection with the prophetic utterances from the past which I have already said were originally applied to John and his destruction of the Samaritan temple at Gerizim. One of the most influential and indeed obvious was that of the book of Daniel where the prophet is made to declare that:

If you do the actual math and count the number of years from the end of the Babylonian captivity you arrive squarely at John’s razing of the Samaritan house of God. However if you ask any of the Jews or Christians to this day who do they remember as fulfilling this prophesy? Me!

Why is this so? Because over the course of seventy years of beating the Jews over the head with it they finally accepted me as the reincarnation of John – that is the messiah of the Jews. Just look at the prophetic utterance again and the bit about the messiah being cut off in the middle of the last week.

Every Jewish interpretation of the saying assumes that each one of the weeks described here accords with a year. So now we have it that we are talking about the messiah appearing four hundred and ninety years in total from the time of Daniel himself, four hundred and twenty from the time of the return from being captives in Babylon.

Now I have already said that this adds up the exact number of years before John’s destruction of the Samaritan temple – but here is where accepting allegorical interpretations of Scripture was so important. The Jews devised away quite quickly that Daniel’s prophetic utterance was understood to apply to me as “John resurrected” with the events of the destruction of the Jewish temple which occurred almost two hundred years later.

In the end the prophetic reference to the being “cut off” or if you prefer castrated a few years before this event was decisive. It made the prediction fit perfectly and convinced subsequent generations of Jews (beside the fact that they learned to ignore the Samaritan tradition entirely). At least I have something to thank my Jewish persecutors! Bless those who afflict you – as I wrote in my book.


CHAPTER TWENTY

The truth is of course that Jesus’ final prophesy from less than forty years out deliberately reads like a commentary on the aforementioned prophesy of Daniel. Go through the details line by line and you will see that my gospel deliberately invokes the vision of the prophet to make the case that the one who destroys the Jewish temple is the messiah of Israel.

I will get to this in a minute, but let me spend a brief moment reminding the reader that it isn’t as if the Jews were sitting around thinking to themselves, “I hope someone destroys our house of God.” The truth is that their idea of what a messiah was and how he was to relate to the temple and our idea were very different.

Above all else, my Jewish opponents wanted to keep up the differences between what were Jews and were “the nations.” They wanted to perpetuate circumcision, dietary laws and other things exactly as they had for centuries. I wanted to do something similar but at the same time something completely new and better than what Moses had established.

Of course I sold the idea to Vespasian and his forces as a kind of joke. We would castrate Jews as we picked them up, abuse them, baptize them and make them after my image if they learned to accept me – crucify them if they didn’t. I told them that we were going to venerate the state of being a slave by sanctifying it as being “in chains for Christ” and so on. The truth is that I was developing little by little my end game of developing a private army totally devoted to me.

However I think I am getting ahead of myself here again. I want to develop for my reader the key signs that I had woven through my gospel allusions to the contemporary Roman plan to destroy the temple. For those who can’t see them clear enough – here they are for you plain as day:

1

The story about a man building house, who digged and went deep, and laid a foundation on a rock” is of course a reference to me and my covenant which will last forever while the man who built a house without foundation upon the earth against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell” is of course a reference to the temple religion of Judaism which was ending in my reign where “the ruin of that house was great.”

Instead of counting on the

2

The story about Legion was an allegory I developed for the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem through the tenth legion. The demons attack the swine (who represent the Jews in the allegory)

3

When a strong man fully armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace. But when the stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his whole armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

4

And as some spake about the temple, that it was adorned with goodly stones and offerings, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come,
in the which there shall not be left a stone upon a stone, that shall not be thrown down.

5

And immediately before the tribulations of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

And he will send out his angels with a trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. Many shall come saying that I am the messiah do not go after them. Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and terrors and great signs shall there be from heaven. All these are the beginning of the labor pains, you will see for yourselves. They shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, and they will make you into martyrs. But first the gospel must be announced.

When they lead you away and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say. But say whatever will be given to you at that hour. For it will not be you who are speaking but the holy Spirit. And ye shall be delivered up even by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and they shall put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my messiah. Those of you who remain steadfast will possess your souls when you see the abomination of desolations standing in the holy place.

But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days!
for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath unto this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all the nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by nations.

And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they already shoot forth, ye see it, and know your own selves that summer is already near. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is near.
The heaven and the earth shall pass away: but my words shall in no wise pass away.

Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, know that he is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In (those) days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be (also) at the coming of the Son of Man.

Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left. Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.

Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so. Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.

But if that wicked servant says to himself, 'My master is long delayed,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards, the servant's master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.


CHAPTER TWENTY ONE

THE END OF JUDAISM

1.

Ye have heard that it was said, Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth: but I say unto you, Stand not in opposition to the evil; but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him who is the other.

2.

Ye have heard that it was said, Love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy: but I say unto you, Love your enemies, and pray for those that curse you, and deal well with those that hate you, and pray for those who take you with violence and persecute you; that ye may be sons of your heavenly Father.

3.

The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.

4.

And he taught them on the sabbaths. And they wondered because of his doctrine for his word was as if it had authority. And there was in the synagogue a man with an unclean devil, and he cried out with a loud voice, and said, Let me alone; what have I to do with thee, Jesus? art thou come for our destruction? I know thee who thou art, thou Holy One of God.

5.

When we hear about the parable “No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old garment; otherwise both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old wineskins;
else the new wine will burst the skins, and itself will be spilled, and the skins will perish.
But new wine must be put into new wine-skins.”
It is confirmation that my gospel necessarily means the end of the old Law of Moses.

6.

“For there is no good tree that produceth corrupt fruit; nor corrupt tree that produceth good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil” is a similar allusion to the two gods of the two covenants mine and Moses.

7.

A Jew asked “Teacher, doing what shall I obtain life? I know the commandments -
Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness,
Honour thy father and thy mother. All these have I have observed from my youth up.
But when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, “Do this and you shall live.” And someone asked him “But how shall I inherit eternal life?” And Jesus responded “Sell all things, as many as thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.”

8.

No slave can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other;
or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

9.

But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, even as the law and the prophets have passed away, than one tittle of my words to fail.

10.
18 Everyone that putteth away his wife and marrieth another,
committeth adultery: and everyone that marrieth one that is put away from a husband
committeth adultery.

hey have Moses and the prophets;
let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham:
but if one from the dead went unto them,
they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets,
not even if one from the dead arose,
will they be persuaded.

Of course I stress the idea of my “perfecting” the old covenant – not merely appropriating things associated with my predecessor. That is why I have Jesus comment on the practice of baptism which John started as a means of adopting proselytes with the words “they clean the outside of the cup” but that the “inside is full of extortion and wickedness.” He adds “Foolish ones, did not he that made the outside make the inside also?” Again this is a comment on the fact that John was still under the Law of the Creator who “made the cup” i.e. formed the man who was imperfect in the beginning.

6

The same idea is also present in the words “the law and the prophets were until John:
since that time the kingdom of God is announced as gospel.” I just said in the beginning that king John prophesized another who was to come after him. Now I am recognizing that he anticipated also the end of the old covenant and the reception of the gospel or flesh of Jesus by me is the completion of that expectation.


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