Showing posts with label Religon Research. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religon Research. Show all posts

Protection Bill? Really? I don't think it means what you think it means

The signing of this bill doesn't seem like it's a step in the direction of equality and justice and liberty for all Americans,” said Press Secretary Josh Earnest, noting that the administration’s view was shared by the Republican mayor of Indianapolis and a “whole host of nonprofit and private-sector companies who have legitimate concerns about the impact of this legislation.

The impact of this legislation? Impact -- is the perfect word. And the answer is 'Tectonic'

Only about a fifth of you are going to be able to understand and accept this -- that's how propaganda works. It is nearly impossible to remove false information completely. We aren't spreadsheets. We don't delete and replace information. I wish I was skilled enough to help further.

Patina, Forgery, Tombs, and Brothers

Today boys and girls our new word is Patina

Patina (pronounced /'pætnə/ or /pə'tinə/) is a film on the surface of bronze or similar metals (produced by oxidation over a long period); a sheen on wooden furniture produced by age, wear, and polishing; or any such acquired change of a surface through age and exposure. On metal, patina is a coating of various chemical compounds such as oxides or carbonates formed on the surface during exposure to the elements (weathering). Patina also refers to accumulated changes in surface texture and colour that result from normal use of an object such as a coin or a piece of furniture over time.

Apparently this can also be created by micro-biological buildup on stone as well.

I came across this little antiquity word jewel from reading Biblical Paths, ... That man is always presenting wonderful stuff.

YouTube - Eisenman vs. Shanks on the James Ossuary

I especially like the word right now because it is the focus of a crime dealing iwth the possible forgery of the Ossuary of James, the son of Joseph, ... brother of Jesus. The discovery of this Ossuary occurred

National Geographic - Burial Box may be that of Jesus's Brother, Expert Says

Wikipedia - James Ossuary

The Canadian Encyclopedia Historica - James Ossuary Declared a Fake

Matthew Kalam has put together a blog area, diligently recording the events of the trial, which I will admit to spending much more time devouring today than is sensible. Mr. Kalam co-authored the first published story on the James Ossuary for TIME magazine in 2002 and has since reported on the case for the Globe & Mail, BBC, CTV, the Discovery Channel, Boston Globe and San Francisco Chronicle. So, that is his interest in the story, but I would guess that none of that was really necessary for him to be just as interested with out.

Forgeries of Religious artifacts are of course, nothing new. Paul talks about it in II Thessalonians 2:2 That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. What is even more interesting is that II Thessalonians was probably a forgery itself, and not written by Paul, just like Colossians and Ephesians are very likely "pseudo-Pauline" forgeries.

Whether these books are forgeries or not, it is obvious that religious forgery is a long practiced form of self expression, since (as we have already pointed out), Paul in II Thessalonians mentions such forgeries existing at his time, and in enough of a number that he was aware of them. So, he is either a fairly good witness to these problems with forgeries or, that statement was written by the forger (which was notably common in forged documents... in fact it is the verse 2:2 which draws the eye to possible forgery as much as anything else about the document).

Lost Christianities By Bart D. Ehrman, the book I am linking at the top, is a very good resource book and a great place to start when looking into the forgeries adn alterations f the biblical material we have left, and why it is so important to really ask ourselves what is impoprtant in faith, and our spiritual relationships, and what is not.

Thoughts about Asherah – God's Girl Friend

I found a copy of Time Magazine on the train yesterday coming back into downtown. Normally I don't read such dribble, but it had a tempting article titled Decoding God's Changing Moods, by Robert Wright, who I've never heard of, but that doesn't mean anything.

Anyway, the article was fairly interesting, and then about half way through, he brings up the topic of Asherah, using the term Mistress in context to God.

Now, I do( and did) remember the Asherah pole, but never put the name with a Goddess and after all, why should I? The Hebrews don't have a Goddess... right?

Well, it looks like, after doing quite a bit of research, that this may not be the whole case. I will say at this point however, she is not a Goddess as we would first think of a Goddess, and the impression I got, from all that I read, was that she is more or less an angel, and … apparently a very powerful one.

My selfish interests aside I was also looking for a good topic to test drive my Basket Notes program, to see if it would stand up to the heavy research I do while I'm preparing to write. I found that between Basket and FreeMind, I may have found a good enough tool set to replace my MindMap (MindJet) program using Ubuntu.

Here's the page I put together without having to think much... which is a very important feature when researching, because if I have to constantly think about the program I'm using to take notes and file away references, then I'm not thinking about the subject I'm researching.

Since I'm merely approaching this subject as a fiction writer, I'm not tied down by the weight and strain of challenges to the righteousness of the biblical beliefs of others. I'm not even sure at this point how this little lady would fit into any of my current story-lines, and it is very possible that she won't. However, it is always nice to meet another of God's mystery ladies.


Something I came up with with, which I can't find any other reference to (thought I am sure someone has written something on this correlation) is the matching up of Asherah (Queen of Heaven) and the female persona of Wisdom in Proverbs.

The mention of the Pillars, the rebuke, the "door of her house", the bread, the wine... in fact most of what she says in this area, is very clearly a calling of Asherah, or at the very least, using Asherah's firm imagery to illuminate Wisdom as a persona.

I copy quite a bit in here, because there is quite a bit to see about this "woman" in Solomon's mind. Chapter 8:22-31 is absolutely amazing when we juxtapose Asherah and Wisdom.

What is clear here as well, is that Wisdom/Asherah doesn't see herself, in these lines, as anything except a tool for God to use, however, she is also very clear, regarding what happens to those who do not use her.

Prov 1:20 Wisdom cries outside; she utters her voice in the streets;


Chapter 8
1 Does not wisdom call? And does not understanding put forth her voice?
2 She stands in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the path.
3 She cries in the gates, before the entrance of the city, at the doors.
4 To you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.
5 O simple ones understand wisdom; and, fools, be of an understanding heart.
6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.
7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is hateful to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; nothing twisted or perverse is in them.
9 They are all plain to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.
10 Receive my instruction and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

12 I, wisdom, dwell with sense, and find out knowledge of discretions.
13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the wicked mouth.
14 Counsel and sound wisdom are Mine; I am understanding; I have strength.
15 By Me kings reign and princes decree justice.
16 Princes rule by Me, and nobles, all the judges of the earth.
17 I love those who love Me; and those who seek Me early shall find Me.
18 Riches and honor are with Me; enduring riches and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and what I give is better than choice silver.
20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment;
21 I may cause those who love Me to inherit riches; and I will fill their treasuries.

22 The LORD possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. 23 I was anointed from everlasting, from the beginning, before the earth ever was. 24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no springs heavy with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I travailed; 26 before He had made the earth, or the fields or the highest part of the dust of the world. 27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there; when He set a circle upon the face of the deep; 28 when He set the clouds above; when He made the strong fountains of the deep; 29 when He gave to the sea its limit that the waters should not pass His command; when He appointed the foundations of the earth; 30 and I was a workman at His side; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him; 31 rejoicing in the world, His earth; and My delight was with the sons of men.

32 And now listen to Me, O sons; for blessed are those who keep My ways.
33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and do not refuse it.
34 Blessed is the man who hears Me, watching daily at My gates, waiting at the posts of My doors.
35 For whoever finds Me finds life, and shall obtain favor from the LORD.
36 But he who sins against Me wrongs his own soul; all who hate Me love death.

Prov 9:1 Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars:
2 She has killed her beasts; she has mingled her wine; she has also furnished her table.
3 She has sent forth her maidens: she cries upon the highest places of the city,
4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in here: as for him that wants understanding, she says to him,
5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.
6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
7 He that reproves a scorner gets to himself shame: and he that rebukes a wicked man gets himself a blot.
8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate you: rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
11 For by me your days shall be multiplied, and the years of your life shall be increased.
12 If you be wise, you shall be wise for yourself: but if you scorn, you alone shall bear it.
13 A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knows nothing.
14 For she sits at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,
15 To call passengers who go right on their ways:
16 Whoso is simple, let him turn in here: and as for him that wants understanding, she says to him,
17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.
18 But he knows not that the dead are there; and that her guest are in the depths of hell.

St. Dismas in the novel Forever Jack

Saint Dismas is the Good Thief, the man crucified at the right hand of Christ.

There is quite a bit of controversy about this saint, certainly more than any other Catholic Saint, or the Eastern Orthodox Saint. For a great many of the years between the crucifixion, and today, Dismas' name has been added to and removed from the list of saints in Rome, depending on how the current Pope felt about the man.

Dismas was a thief. If we look into what we have available to us (which isn't much to be sure : Gospel of Nicodemus), we know he was a career thief, that he had a very long career as a thief. He wasn't a break-and-enter, burglary thief, he was a highway-man, a robber -- which means he probably took lives. According to St. John Chrysostom, Dismas dwelt in the desert and robbed or murdered anyone unlucky enough to cross his path. According to Pope Saint Gregory the Great he "was guilty of blood, even his brother's blood (fratricide)".

... a thief of the divine gem

A soul thief.

The name Dismas, means both sunset and death. It is very possible this was not his original name, but the source of this given name is credible enough in this particular area (meaning that he had both the means, and the ability to discover the Good Thief's name if he choose to, which he seems to have had the desire).

For me, such a controversial person, who is the first Saint, had to be explored, and that was my first intention with the novel Forever Jack.

Lectures on the Book of Genesis

I was very impressed with the Teaching Company's lectures on the Book of Genesis. These were way beyond expectation and certainly helped with my writing of Forever Jack.

Gary Rendsburg gives 24 lectures on the book, and he brought up several points I had not considered, or didn't know about -- which is a treat for me. I don't know how many times I have read Genesis as a complete book, and certainly couldn't estimate how many times I referenced the book for various interests, or how many bible studies, classes, and courses I have taken in the last 25+ years, but to have basic areas presented which shed new perspectives and understanding to my experience is worth a great deal to me.

This should not be taken as a claim of expertise in biblical study and knowledge. Certainly not, but seriously, after 25 years, having some one give you a foundation shaking insight into the first chapter of the first book of the Bible? That is something.

In fact, let's give a spoiler here, because much of the novel Forever Jack was conceived during the tremors of some of these first insights, and I don't believe it will detract from the value of getting his lectures at all, because there are plenty more where this came from.

As he puts it, the first area we have to look at is the area of translation. Hebrew, is not a dead language. That should be understood right away. Ancient Hebrew, is not a dead language either. There are plenty of people around who read, write and speak fluently in Ancient Hebrew.

Most translations are not obscured by the lack of understanding Hebrew, they are obscured by a Roman Catholic, Christian bias which is the belief that God created everything, from nothing. This is called the belief in creation ex nihilo, meaning literally 'from nothing'. Prior to these lectures -- because of my own education coming from Methodist and the Catholic College -- my understanding of creation was based on this idea as well, and this idea is rather deeply defended by the Roman Catholic church, whose specific explanationcan be found on the new advent web site.

However, apparently this is not what Genesis says, and in fact is says the complete opposite. Which blew me away.

Hearing the actual translation and then spending the time to make sure of what I was being presented (because after all, we are bucking against 25+ years of my own experience and over a 1000 years of church teaching), I find no way of arguing against the translation he presents.

The actual translation of the first few chapters of Genesis is not "creation ex nihilo".

When God began to create heaven and earth, and the earth then was welter and waste and darkness over the deep and God's breath hovering over the water, God said, "Let there be light." And there was light. And God saw the light, that is was good, and God divided the light from the darkness...

What an amazing difference! You can scan through part of a very good translation in Google books, looking up The Five Books of Moses by Robert Alter , but the translation we are suggested to use in the lectures is The Jewish Study Bible, and if we are looking for the most literal translation of the Torah currently available, he suggests Everett Fox's translation (a professor at Clark University, Worcester, MA).

This simple change, ... changes thousands of perspectives, once you get going. First, there was not "Nothing", according to the authors of Genesis. We have in this first passage clear reference, that, before God began to create heaven and earth... there is waste, welter, darkness and the deep. This is not nothing. This is, to any understanding of the time, (and even today) the clear description of evil and chaos.

The Hebrews, no matter what we might think or believe about their religion, came up with a completely original belief system. It is an absolutely original view of God and spiritual life. There is nothing, during their time, or even any time since, which is remotely like the conception of God the Hebrews had when writing Genesis... and the author of this book is absolute in his writing. There is nothing "primitive" about this story.

The author of Genesis is putting down on paper, the concept of a Monotheistic belief system, and he wants to be very clear on this matter. He doesn't want there to be any misunderstanding later -- that there are Two forces -- which is how most of the spiritual beliefs begin. There is Good, and there is Evil. But the Hebrews do not have this duality. In their writings, there is God. That's it, and all life comes from God, and all of creation which supports that life, is created by God.

This is really the first hurdle a monotheistic belief system has, because, clearly there is evil in the world, or what we see as evil. Kings coming along and slaughtering hundreds of people, raiders burning villages, raping women... there is clearly evil in the world ... so if there is only one God, and he created everything, then he created Evil.. right? Any prior monotheistic belief system splits right there, coming up with a god of Evil, and then most of the time, coming up with several more gods as well.

Anyone at the time of this writing of Genesis, would absolutely understand that the references to welter, waste, darkness and the deep, are references to Evil. Evil already exists. God doesn't create Evil ... evil and chaos are already pre-existing. What God does is to set order and light, where there is no order or light. He creates, from this universe of chaos, a universe which allows life to exist. He calls this... Good. At each step of his separating, and forming, he calls these separations, formations and the resulting order, Good.

The writer of this chapter is very exact in his wording. For example, he says, after God creates light, God then divides the light from the darkness... something we might believe is self evident, but to the author it is not. God isn't doing something which doesn't need to be done. God is not "simple minded", right? I don't' believe anyone could possibly argue the point that God is simple minded. So God is not doing something which doesn't need to be done here, and the author is pointing this out. God is Dividing.

God then divides water from water. He is not separating water from itself, he is Dividing again. He is putting things in Order. Since, what he creates by this Dividing is a vault between the waters, which he calls Heaven, he could be dividing the Deep, pushing it back, and away, so that he can create life. Either way, God is creating a universe in which he can bring something into being which can not be brought into being with the Deep there.

Third day, God is gathering, and again separating. Apparently, there is land. We know this because God gathers the water so that dry land can appear. So, God doesn't create "earth" or dirt, or land. Again, the author is making a statement, and in fact, is making a supporting statement to what he said before -- making it clear to the reader that he meant what he said before. It wasn't a mistake or a misunderstanding.

Let's look too at the words our author is using, because his vocabulary is exact as well. There are words in the Hebrew language for the Sun and the Moon, which we get to later, but the words our author uses are: "And God made two great lights, the great light for the dominion of the day and the small light for the dominion of the night, and the stars."

We know exactly what the author is referring to here; the sun and the moon. There are specific words in Hebrew for Sun and Moon. Common words, which would be used every day to say things like "Get up, the Sun has risen.", so why isn't he using these words? The answer shows a clear intent -- The words Sun and Moon, used by the Hebrews, commonly at the time, in everyday language, are also the names of Babylonian gods.

Our writer clearly doesn't want it to be mistaken that God, created these other gods. He doesn't want it to be understood that he is simply adding a bigger, stronger, mightier god to an existing pantheon. Our author is talking about God creating lights in the heaven, and stars. That's it.. just lights.

Yes, you know what those lights are, and you can call them what you want to, but they are just big lights in the sky, they are not gods -- Our author is telling us.

Our writer is a very specific man (or men, we aren't quite sure about that part), but it is very clear that these are not primitive minds who simply wrote down things as they "saw them" or "understood them" haphazardly without making sure they were being very clear.

Okay, it is obvious that I'm harping on this very clear stuff and specific stuff, which is true, and I have reasons of my own as well... my own agendas.

My own agendas, are to counter the Roman Catholic and modern Christian arguments for their mistranslations, and misdealing of this first book of the bible, which has not been "lost" or "mistranslated" or written in a dead language, and is very clear in what it is saying. Yet, we are taught creation ex nihilo.

And it kinda pisses me off, because we have people out there warring against science and discovery, based on the assumption that creation ex nihilo is what the Bible says, and the Bible says no such thing, and the Roman Catholic church knows it... so, why the ruse, because we can't call it anything else except for a ruse.

Why does the church of God promote an idea which causes conflict, contention, persecution, and, on the church's will, execution, on the grounds of creation ex nihilo, which they know is false?

That appears to be because --

"The early Christian writers, learning from Revelation that the world was produced from nothing, and seeing the necessity of having a term to designate such an act chose the word creare, which theretofore had been used to express any form of production, e.g. creare consulem (Cicero). The theological usage afterwards passed into modern language. Probably the idea of creation never entered the human mind apart from Revelation."

Wow...That is an absolutely astounding piece of botched reasoning. Let's walk through this...

Because Revelation says the world was produced from nothing...

Revelation is an Apocalypse literature, which is not written by John, the disciple of Jesus (which was clearly known to the "early Christian writers", because it was heavily contested in the beginning to even have it in the book Revelation in the New Testament -- because of that exact reason).

Also we know it wasn't John the disciple of Jesus, because Acts clearly says John was illiterate. The author of Revelation in the New Testament is called John of Patomos. Since John the disciple of Jesus was illiterate, and the author of Revelation is clearly educated (highly educated, and in fact uses words which didn't exist for many years) we are very sure that this John was not a disciple.

Revelation is a work of Apocalypse literature (says so in the title), which is not meant to be specific in word, only in message, and which we have no clear history or authority to, -- which the Roman Catholic church uses the logic of -- uses the word creare, "which thertofore had been used to express any form of production".

Then we are going to say -- "Probably the idea of creation never entered the human mind apart from Revelation."

Are you kidding me? Clearly, the author of Genesis not only thought about creation, he thought about it in very specific and clear terms (unlike the church's argument for their purposeful mistranslation).

This is the reasoning for centuries of hate and persecution based on an idea you clearly knew was wrong from the start? Because you needed Revelation to be right, where it conflicted with Genesis.

Well... I have a strong faith in God, and very little in men, and the church is simply a group of men trying to get by in life, just like I am. I'm just as much to blame for my astounded state (and far more responsible), because, as I've clearly stated, I've been studying these books for years, and I never bothered to look this stuff up or question its accuracy.

Let's get off all of that, because the revelation of this actual translation and meaning of Genesis is way to exciting to be brought down by hate and ignorance.

What we have now, with this understanding, is ... no primary source of evil. We also have no reason that the Big Bang theory, and Creationism, can not both be correct. We also have no reason Darwin and Creationism can not both be correct, and to top all of this off, we have a very interesting new perspective regarding the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

This last is the catalyst for huge sections of Forever Jack. Searching for the answers of what really happened to us when we ate the fruit; what it meant to the generations to come, and what it meant to Paul. More than all of these, the question most of us have had since childhood, which we have all pushed to the back of our minds, because we were given stern looks if we pressed the issue past the inane and silly logic given to us in answer : Why was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the garden, in the first place. Why did God put it there, if he knew it was dangerous?

I'm not going to get into the silly argument that "God Knew We Would Eat.." because that is another, well known misunderstanding of the church which I don't care to get into, but God clearly knew it was dangerous to us, because he says so. And I'm not willing to argue against what God says. The church? oh yeah.. in a heartbeat if they are using faulty reasoning to kill people, but God? no.

Not in this life time.

Timelines and events

It is amazingly difficult to bring to bear anything solid for accounts happening in Jerusalem in the first fifty years of the first century. For the most part, we are stuck with Biblical accounts, which are vague and rather inaccurate as well. But it is what we have...

Upon the death of Herod, his kingdom is divided among his three surviving sons, Philip, Antipas, and Archelaus.

These three traveled to Rome to apply for legal ratification of their father's will (cf. parable in Luke 19:12,14).

Caesar Augustus and the disposition of power was as follows:

1. Antipas (4 B.C. to AD 39) ruled Galilee and Perea (east of the Jordan in the north). The Jews were offended by the illicit union of Antipas with his niece and sister-in-law Herodias. This formed the occasion on which John the Baptist was imprisoned and martyred (Mark 6:14-29; see also Jospehus Ant. XVIII, 116-119).

In A.D. 39, Antipas was banished from his rule.

2. Philip (4 B.C. to AD 6) had the region east of the Jordan in the northern part of the kingdom. He built a new residence, Caesarea Phillipi (Mark 8:27). Upon his death, the region he ruled passed under the control of the legate of Syria.

3. (4 B.C. to AD 6) ruled over Judea, Samaria, and Idumea. Archelaus was most despised by the people (cf. Matt 2:22) and was removed from office.

Archelaus' territory is then placed under a Roman governor or procurator, answerable to the emperor.

During the times of Jesus Pontius Pilate (the fifth procurator) held the office as Roman governor (26-36). (Philo, Legatio ad Gaium, 302, said his conduct was marked by "corruption, violence, depredations, ill treatment, offenses, numerous illegal executions, and incessant, unbearable cruelty.")

This is a typical time line, with a heavy bias. What we don't really get from this is an account of "who" is leading the corruption, violence, depredations, ill treatment, offences, and numerous illegal executions.

We are lead to believe, by the context, that it is the Romans who are the instigators fo all of this, but the more I read, the more I really wonder about this assumption. For example, one of the bits of information I came across is that the Temple would purchase the sacrificial animals from the herdsmen at a set price, which of course was not what we would call "market value". It is also clear that the herdsmen were obligated to sell the best of their stock to the Temple as well.

What is also clear, is the left over stock would then be brought into the city to be sold. Of course, the Romans, and Arabs are telling these herdsman that since the best of this stock sells for the set price purchased by the temple, the rest of his flawed stock should sell for less than that price.

Then of course, there is the tax for the sales to the Temple, which the herdsman is obligated to pay, and these taxes go up over the years, and so does his rent in the fields (very few herdsmen would be land owners, and this is a major conflict amoungs the eliete of the Jews, and the poorer classes). So this guys cost of living is going up, while his available income is staying the same.

He's caught. Can't move, and there is little in a way out. So, what does he do? Many of the books and research I've gone over, suggest he becomes a robber, so he can afford to feed his family. Of course, he gets caught, or kills several of his own people.

So, while the Romans are certainly accountable for many hardships and deprived actions, we can not simply ignore the violence and hardship instigated by the Temple, or rather the Priests of the Temple during this time period.

What also comes to mind is that the Hebrew law, certainly did not have a clause or accomidation for the Temple existing, and active, in a city where the Jewish people are being ruled by another country; and certainly not another religon. So, I'm starting to get the idea, that these conflicts and wars which happen during this time, all of them, are given birth by the Roman ideal of allowing a conquered culture to maintain its heritage and beliefs, and by building the second temple for the Jewish people (Herod built the temple with Roman money, hiring 1000 priests for the work).

Little trouble with Days of the Week

In the honest hope of someone having an insight on this recent problem I've stepped into, I posted several cries for help in a few groups and forums.

It appears there is a small problem with trying to figure out what day of the week Christ was crucified on... awk! The Last Supper is suppose to be the Passover meal.

The way the days work in Hebrew tradition is: the day starts at sunset. So, Friday, actually starts on Thursday at sunset. Just like the Sabbath begins at sunset on Friday.

Passover, in the Hebrew tradition, therefore begins at Sunset, the lambs are slaughtered, and the diner prepared that evening. So, Passover on Friday, means the Passover Meal is eaten on Thursday (the way we see things), at sunset. Which would mean, the last supper is eaten on Thursday, Christ is crusified on Friday (because he is at the Last Supper... right?) ok.. got that much clear.

However, John, bless his heart, talks about Christ being crucified while the lambs are being slaughtered...

John:13-18 -- Pilate, therefore, having heard this word, brought Jesus without--and he sat down upon the tribunal--to a place called, `Pavement,' and in Hebrew, Gabbatha; 14 and it was the preparation of the passover, and as it were the sixth hour, and he saith to the Jews, `Lo, your king!' 15 and they cried out, `Take away, take away, crucify him;' Pilate saith to them, `Your king shall I crucify?' the chief priests answered, `We have no king except Caesar.'
16 Then, therefore, he delivered him up to them, that he may be crucified, and they took Jesus and led him away, 17 and bearing his cross, he went forth to the place called Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha; 18 where they crucified him, and with him two others, on this side, and on that side, and Jesus in the midst.

The "preparation of Passover" at the 6th hour, would be 6 AM on Thursday morning(or earlier, not really sure about how hours are counted, but it would definitely be Thursday) ... which makes no sense, because no mater what day Passover would have been, Jesus could not be eating the Last Super, while dead in a tome. But it also makes the day of Christ's crucifixion on Thursday, not Friday.

What troubles this even more, is the tradition of "rose again on the Third day"... which should mean he died on Thursday, in order to rise and be gone Sunday morning. Dying on Friday evening, and rising before the women show up Sunday morning (they couldn't come on Saturday because that was the Sabbath, so they are there as soon as they can on Sunday morning)... isn't even a full 48 hours, let alone 3 days. Of course, this "rose on the Third Day" is a "traditional" saying, and not biblical per se... but if the traditional saying is right, then it is agreeing with the Gospel of John.

I've been looking all over for an answer for this, and I'm fairly sure I'm just going to whimp out on it and not use a Weekday name, just say Passover and the day after, or maybe I'll end the chapter long before that part.

Trouble is, there are already so many vague areas in the chapter, I feel like I'm writing a political speach on the budget, rather than a fiction novel.

Writing about Ancient Days

The bane of historical sections in fictional novels, is the writer of the fictional novel. Ideas and settings are hard enough to come up with, and when you get a good story line running in your head, the last thing you want is some archeologist coming up with a fact that makes your great idea impossible, or at the very least highly unlikely.

For example, I had a great mental image of Dismas coming down into the Valley of the Shadow, on the east side of Jerusalem. There is a necropolis on the Mount of Olives, just to the south of where he is riding down from the summit. To bring the description inline with the mood of the character, I wanted to darken the atmosphere up a bit, which is rather difficult considering you are looking at Jerusalem from the summit of the Mount of Olives at sunrise.

One of the descriptions I came up with, is to put some fog down in the bottom of the vale, and to put some small lamps on the tome stones in the fog covered area of the necropolis. Small lights in fog are spooky to me. There are names like death watches and dead lights that come to mind when I see these scenes. The trouble was I didn't know if the Jewish people put lamps on tome stones.

After doing some research on the Internet, I came across an article on Stephen Smuts' blog called Ancient Jewish Oil Lamps . In the article Stephen says:

Lamps are common finds in archaeological excavations of private dwellings, villages, as well as in tombs, and are helpful tools for dating.
I really like the word "tombs" in that sentence, because it offered the suggestion that having lamps around the dead would (at least), not be offensive to a Jewish reader. So I wrote Stephen and asked him if there was any Jewish custom he knew about which would put lamps on tome stones. He was very kind in taking time from his day in writing me back.

The answer of course is no, they didn't and don't do that. So in my "writers" mind, these lamps are being left by Roman or Greek friends of the dead, and since there are only a few lamps in the scene, and it isn't and offensive act (wouldn't be considered a desecration), I left the scene in the chapter, but I don't explain it or elude to it after.

Stephen also suggests in his article that the lamps are very useful for dating a discovery, and I take this to mean there are different types of lamps being created over time; different styles and possibly different materials being used as well.

The great temple lamp, the one inside the temple which burns before the door of the Holy center, can only be filled with olive oil. And... this olive oil is made from gathering the first drop of oil from each olive.

The towering lamps in the court yard in front of the temple are also filled with olive oil, and the wicks are said to be made from the old robes of the priests. How true this is, I don't know. There are many basic information areas that we have lost regarding the temple, which is the second bane when writing about ancient days. Some times the information you are looking for, simply doesn't exist.
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Messiah Ideas and View Points in Forever Jack

I believe at this point, I'm going to drop most of the Apocalyptic and Messiah ideas in this Forever Jack novel, and revisit them in the course of the other two. There is simply too much to really digest, and they weren't part of my original ideas for the novel.

In my Google Book List there are a number of book titles that I have put in under the tag of Messianic Study which I'm currently reading and learning from. There is one more, which for some reason would not allow itself to be put on my book list.

One is The Messiah idea in Jewish History

I'm sure there will be others. What I am finding so far, however, is that my original concept of the Messiah ben Joseph may not be practical. It appears, from my reading (thus far), that the Messiah is a war monger and devastates the nations of the world, no matter how you translate the idea. Not really a new idea, nor an interesting one to me for that matter.

I was originally attracted to the Messiah ben Joseph because I thought that the meaning could be something like "Of Joesph" or "Like Joseph", and Joseph is a very interesting man. From my admittedly limited understand, this could mean that the first Messiah would come as a man like Joesph who could raise the Jewish nation and produce a world of peace. While this is normally idealized as being -- he will kick every one's ass and raise Jerusalem to the top of the heap -- this ideal is not what the words are saying. What it Says is, he will raise Jerusalem, and bring a world of peace.

Peace doesn't require war to create, and Joseph was not a warrior, by any stretch of the imagination.

Much of the trouble I believe comes from the fact that the expected accounts and deeds I have read are being acquired through reference to Apocalyptic Literature, which is hardly a good source for historical or even prophetic study. For example, we have very large books like The Jewish Messiah By James Drummond which rely almost completely on the Apocalyptic sets, which seems to completely ignore the reality of Apocalyptic Literature, even while putting in his first chapter a very good description and history of the genre. Apocalyptic writings are not prophetic, nor historic, .. they are ... amusement.

So, in my mind, trying to grasp the purpose and nature of the Joseph Messiah, is nearly impossible to do with just the Apocalyptic writings of any religion. We don't even know who wrote these stories. They are anonymous.

There are, I am sure, plenty of good sources out there to discover and digest, so I will be able to find my answers, but it is going to take more time than I have... and again, this interest really wasn't part of the first book to explore anyway.

I am probably going to introduce the idea in some minor way in the book, so I can touch back on it later, but that is all really.

What has been interesting, in the study work I've done so far, is how often a prophetic statement is observed in the Bible, and translated to mean War, or Destruction. If the Nation is going to rise, it seems that most writers just assume this means that the Nation is going to rise through War. Not only that, I have yet to come across a single commentary which suggests that this means it is going to simply become equal. Equal, would mean, peace. Right?


It is always War, Devestation, Subjegation and strife, strife, strife.

To clarify, I don't find this in the Bible itself... just in the interpretations I have read thus far, and this has no slight meant to the Jewish people. Again, its just the writings I've gone through thus far... and Christians have Jerry Farwell; what a horrible perspective an outsider would have if all he had to read about Christianity was Jerry Farwell.

Dance of the Dead, by Goethe

The poem  Dance of the Dead, by Goethe  is a chilling and vivid depiction of a supernatural dance of the dead, an eerie scene where the dead...