Tuesday 23 July 2013

Views of Jesus

"The gods have proclaimed Christ to have been most pious, but the Christians are a confused and vicious sect."-- Melek of Tyre

Who was Jesus?  Christians believe him to be the living incarnate Logos of God the Father, and the Son of God, the Messiah, who came to save the whole world from original sin brought about by the disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

For us Canaanite polytheists, this is not our understanding.  For us, there is no concept of original sin.  The first of men, being Adam, did not sin by gaining knowledge from the tree.  In fact, such a deed, given its connection to the Tree of Knowledge, the Serpent, and Eve, is associated with Asherah and with the gaining of heavenly knowledge.  Being denied access to the Tree of Life, for me at least, is merely the illusion of separation from the gods due to our own nature as mortals.  Because of this, we perceive ourselves to be wholly separate from the gods.  But, as the poets say of Asherah: "She is a Tree of Life to them that lay hold on her: and he that shall retain her is blessed."  We are not born curse, there is no original sin for us, and therefore we need nobody to 'save' us from it.  Likewise, we don't need to accept a spiritual Messiah or else risk suffering in Hell for all eternity.  And is Jesus the Son of God?  Let us explore and examine the words of the sages and our own views.

Jesus and Mary

Melek of Tyre, the philosopher who is quoted above, had some interesting things to say about Jesus in two of his works: 'Philosophy from Oracles', and 'Against the Christians'.  In his first work, he cites an interesting oracle from the goddess Hekate about Jesus (Hekate being a Greek goddess, originally taken from the Karuwans of Anatolia, who call her Hekat, and she is found in both religions).  Hekate was asked about Jesus and who he was, to which she replied: "You know the condition of the disembodied immortal soul, and that if  it has been severed from wisdom it always errs. The soul you refer to is that of a man foremost in piety: they (Christians) worship it because they mistake the truth."

In this we see a quote from Hekate's oracle, stating that Jesus, for being a pious teacher, gained immortality after death and ascended into heaven.  However, Christians are confused and mistaken to worship this immortal soul as God.

Then he goes on to say: "Of this very pious man, then, Hekate said that the soul, like the souls of other good men, was after death dowered with immortality, and that the Christians through ignorance
worship it. And to those who ask why he was condemned to die, the oracle of the goddess replied: 'The body, indeed, is always exposed to torments, but the souls of the pious abide in heaven. And the soul you inquire about has been the fatal cause of error to other souls which were not fated to receive the gifts of the gods, and to have the knowledge of immortal Zeus. Such souls are therefore hated by the gods; for they who were fated not to receive the gifts of the gods, and not to know God, were fated to be involved in error by means of him you speak of. He himself, however, was good, and heaven has been opened to him as to other good men. You are not, then, to speak evil of him, but to pity the folly of men: and through him men's danger is imminent."

He also adds a quote from an oracle of the god Apollon, saying: "In God, the begetter and the king before all things, at whom heaven trembles, and earth and sea and the hidden depths of the underworld and the very divinities shudder in dread; their law is the Father whom the holy Hebrews greatly honour."

These quotes were also repeated by the Christian theologian Augustine of Ippone, who quotes Melek in his own works.

It is in 'Against the Christians' that Melek attacks the concepts of Christianity, and goes to criticize the concept of Jesus' divinity.  If Jesus is truly God, he asks, then why did he give predictions which were wrong?  He also said that Christians have the ability to handle venomous serpents and drink poison without suffering harm.  So why can't they?  Either there are no 'true' Christians, or Jesus spoke wrongly.  This would show that he was not born divine, nor was he El incarnate.  Likewise, Melek looks at Jesus' actions in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus had just told his disciples to sell their cloaks to buy swords and defend themselves, and had previously to this showed defiance to the authorities.  But in the garden, he appeared to have a change of heart and condemned Peter for cutting off the ear of Melek, the high priest's servant.  At his trial, he did not testify to his own innocence, and was condemned to death as a criminal.  Melek asks why Christians worship a Messiah who they believe was condemned to execution for being a criminal.  Despite all of this, however, Melek was not opposed to Jesus himself.  He made mistakes, which show him to be mortal, but then again, so do all mortals err.  Jesus himself in certain Gospels never even claimed divinity, but claimed merely to be a teacher who had come to lead the Jews (and the Jews alone) back to their god Yahweh, when they had fallen away from him.  Also, he told his followers to give to Caesar what is Caesar's.  This shows that he was perhaps not even opposed to the idea of a cult of deified Roman emperors, which had began with Julius Caesar imitating the concepts of kingship that he found in Egypt.  He also never told his followers to attack the worshipers of other gods, or to condemn them.  In fact, he tried to avoid even proselytizing to them.  When he went down to the pool of Bethesda to perform healing, he went to a healing pool associated with the god Eshmun.  Therefore, he was performing miracles at a site associated with divinity in some way.  Indeed, it was Paul who introduced the idea of Christianity as a religion wholly separate from Judaism, as a world religion, as a proselytizing religion, and a one which worshiped Jesus as God.

From all of this, we can gather that Jesus was born as a mortal, but attained immortality after death due to his moral and ethical teachings as well as his teachings on divinity, and so was blessed by the gods.  He was also perhaps sent by El and the gods into the world to offer his teachings, though he wasn't necessarily born as a god himself.

Jesus enthroned, with angels blowing trumpets, the sun and moon

Jesus himself grew up as a Jew in the Kingdom of Judah as it was under the Roman Empire.  He lived in the land of Canaan, and had Canaanite ancestors.  Though he did not know it (Canaanites were considered foreign by Jews by his day), he himself was one of them in blood and had much in common with them culturally.  He grew up in a Jewish family which worshiped El Elyon, and he and his mother Mary and father Joseph knew of the gods Milcom, Chemosh, Dagon, Baal, Eshmun, Resheph, Shapash, Yarikh, and all the rest.  These gods were worshiped in Bethlehem and Nazareth and the outlying villages.  In Canaanite religion, after death a person becomes a shade, or rapiu.  Some, especially those of kings and heroes- like Ditanu in Ugarit- become deified.  Jesus' rapiu can be considered a deified rapiu.  And it was and is worshiped by some.  I have worshiped Jesus and Mary, and even in ancient Arabia, in the city of Makkah, statues of Jesus and Mary stood alongside those of the other gods outside of the Ka'aba temple. 

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