The crucifixion controversy
"Peter three times denied the Lord (Matthew 26) saying he did not know him, because he recognised that person was not Christ."
Seth Speaks: The Eternal
Validity of the Soul.
When our belief and faith are strongly challenged by credible revelations, we are thrown into a psychological limbo. We become dishevelled, defensive, and even combative.
Pulling the rug from under us is traumatic and many Christians are now facing this unnerving feeling as they wrestle with a growing chorus among scholars that Jesus' crucifixion was nothing short of a ruse.
This controversial pronouncement isn't new. In sura (chapter) Al Nisa in the Koran, we read: "And for their saying, 'indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary' ... and they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but another was made to resemble him to them.
"And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain"
Interestingly, this Koranic verse is supported by a slew of recent findings, starting with 52 scripts discovered in Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945 that offers a different account of early Christianity as presented in the Synoptic Gospels.
One codex: The Gospel of Thomas makes no mention of Jesus' crucifixion, divinity, or resurrection, focusing more on logia (sayings) attributed to him.
In the Gospel of Seth (the third son of Adam) - another scroll in the Egyptian discovery - and used by the Gnostics who challenged the early Church, the crucifixion is flatly rejected.
In 56.6-19, Simon listens to the alarming, polemical words of Jesus: "It was another who drank the gall. It was another Simon who bore the cross on his shoulder. It was another upon whom they placed the crown of thorns. I was rejoicing in the hills over their error. And I was laughing over their ignorance for thinking it was I who they were crucifying."
The Gospel of Barnabas, a 1,500-year-old manuscript found in Cyprus in 2000 and viewed with deep concern by the Vatican, clearly states that Jesus was not crucified, was not a deity, and that he himself warned others against this falsehood.
Of the many references that Jesus was only a messenger of God, the following stand out: "Jesus said again: 'I confess before heaven, and call to witness everything that dwells upon the earth, that I am a stranger to all that men have said of me, to wit, that I am more than man. For I am a man, born of a woman, subject to the judgment of God; that live here like as other men, subject to common miseries'." 94:1 (7).
And in 53:6 (4), Jesus is said to have predicted his deification. "He smote his face with both hands and smote the ground with his head. And having raised his head, he said, 'Cursed be everyone who shall insert into my sayings that I am the son of God'."
Atonement and sacrifice
In Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity if the Soul, Jane Roberts channelled that the Jewish psyche obsessed with the notion of atonement and sacrifice (as repeatedly seen in the Old Testament), needed the crucifixion; and that only the deluded are in danger of, or capable of such self-sacrifice or find it necessary.
Gnostics advance that it was Simon of Cyrene, who wittingly or unwittingly assumed the role of the sacrificial lamb, while Jesus, no stranger to going against the grain, resisted the culture of sacrifice and was protected throughout this conspiratorial drama.
That the Nag Hammadi codex (library) predated the cherry-picked, if not doctored canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; that the early Church unleashed a torrent of violence upon the Gnostics, rendering them near extinct while burning their books with abandon, should make us ponder.
As the 4th century Church inched towards the deification of Jesus, all opposition needed to be suppressed. Such actions may well indicate that there was some truth that needed to be suppressed at all cost.
Enculturation or the transference of religious practices from one faith to another, intentionally or not, has always occurred throughout history.
It is safe to argue that Jesus' life was mythologised as the many 'saviours' who predated him.
Kelsey Graves' 'The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviours: Christianity Before Christ," elaborates on this theme. Odysseus, Romulus, Dionysus (born on December 25) Heracles, Glycon, Zoroaster and Horus, all share parallel traits of virgin births, miraculous ability to heal and raise the dead, persecution, and tragic, sacrificial deaths.
They were called Sons of God and their earthly presence assured salvation.
Expectedly, this controversy has caught the attention of scholars in the field of quantum physics.
Professor Courtney Brown of the Farsight Institute in California recently employed Scientific Remote Viewing, a technique long explored by the United States military for espionage purposes.
The Institute defines the practise as a controlled and trainable mental process involving psi (psychic ability). Although derided as pseudoscience in some circles, it is garnering support among physicists as a reliable method to observe historical events - the complex premise being that time does not exist in linear terms - that the past and the future are very much present.
Brown's extensive work, "The Crucifixion Ruse," also concludes that Jesus was not crucified.
On this subject, Brown appears apologetic and assures the Christian community that his findings do not marginalise Jesus but adds to his legitimacy as it removes the fantastical, mythological elements from the greatest personage to have walked the earth.
It is premature to believe that the very foundation of Christianity is threatened with these findings, for the crucifixion story is overly integral to the Christian archetype, and is the very crux of Christian existentialism.
However, we must not allow insularity and blind faith to prevent us from further research into this intriguing development.
- Dr Glenville Ashby is the author of Anam Cara: Your Soul Friend and Bridge to Enlightenment and Creativity, now available at Amazon.