I know you may be a little shocked by the title of this article, but the fact is that it is very likely to be an accurate statement. In fact, if Jesus were alive today, I believe His first order of business would be to go about burning every Bible he could get his hands on. And why would I say that? Well, frankly a number of historical facts suggest that the Christianity of today (and the Bible associated with it) is way off the map compared to Christianity of the first century. And then of course there is the small matter of Jesus’ own teachings that support the idea also.
First, let’s address the myth that Jesus may not have even existed. Now… I’m a pragmatist by practice and a skeptic at heart, so although I’m a fan of Jesus’ overall message, I do acknowledge the fact that some amount of myth has probably seeped into the Jesus legend.
For instance, I know that before the time of Jesus… about 3000 years before Jesus in fact… the story of the Sun God Horus was that he was born of a virgin on December 25th, that his birth was accompanied by a star in the East, that at the time of his birth he was adored by three kings, that he became a spiritual luminary at the age of 12, that he was baptized at the age of 30, and that he had 12 disciples with which he traveled performing miracles, to include healing the sick and walking on water. In addition, Horus was called “the Shepherd”, “the Lamb of God”, “the Truth”, “the Light”, and “God’s Anointed Son” among others… and as the Horus story goes… after he was betrayed, he was crucified, buried for three days, then resurrected.
Wow! Does that story sound familiar or what?
Well, it doesn’t stop there. Mithra of Persia (1200 BC) was born of a virgin on December 25th. He had 12 disciples and performed miracles. Upon his death, he was buried for three days, then resurrected. Sunday was the day to worship Mithra. More? Attis, a Greek God from around 1200 BC was born of a virgin on December 25, was crucified, was dead for three days, then resurrected. Krishna of India (900 BC) was born of a virgin, greeted by a star in the East, performed miracles, and after his death was resurrected. The God Dionysus (Greece 500 BC) was born of a virgin on December 25th, became a traveling teacher who performed miracles, to include turning water into wine. He was called “the King of Kings”, “God’s only begotten son”, “the Alpha and the Omega”, and after his death, was resurrected.
In addition… getting back to the stories told about Jesus himself… it’s a fact that none of the gospels when they were originally written included Jesus ascending into Heaven. It was only centuries after the gospels were penned that the little nugget of resurrection/ascension was added to those gospels and then the Bible.
So an argument could certainly be made and even proved that much of the Jesus story could have been invented by early Christians who (for marketing purposes) wanted Jesus to live up to the myths of the Gods that were worshipped before Him. I mean… who would Jesus be if he wasn’t born of a virgin on December 25th like everyone else, right? And that augmented-story-argument might even be an accurate assumption. But does that mean the man never existed?
Well, it’s certainly at this point that the militant atheists would jump on the myth bandwagon to say, “and besides the stories being exactly the same from Gods previous to Jesus… there’s not one shred of evidence or record besides the Bible that suggests Jesus actually existed in the first place”. And that’s where… as a pragmatist… and as a knower of facts… that I would need to take exception.
Because the fact is that there IS historical third party evidence of the existence of Jesus. In fact there are numerous sources independent of the Bible that mention Jesus back during his lifetime. However… umm… that said… ahem… admittedly those sources are not ones that Christians may be comfortable in pointing to as evidence of Jesus’ existence. And why would that be?
Because the historical records of Jesus’ existence that are not associated with the Bible were recorded in the immediate timeframe after Jesus’ supposed crucifixion in countries very East of Jerusalem, from Turkey, through India, all the way into Tibet. And if you just missed what happened there… what I just pointed out is that there is written evidence of a living Jesus AFTER the point he was supposedly crucified by the order of Pontius Pilot.
One of the most convincing pieces of history is inscribed near the Throne in the Solomon Temple in Kashmir, where it is written, “At this time Yuz Asaf (Jesus of Nazareth, literally translated as “leader of the healed”) proclaimed prophethood, and that He is Jesus, prophet of the children of Israel”. This inscription was made in 78 AD, well after Jesus’ supposed death and ascension.
In addition to that little note, there are many manuscripts in eastern Hindu and Buddhist temples that speak of “Eesa” having visited. Eesa is the Arabic name for Jesus (and which is used for Jesus in the Qur’an). Isa (same pronunciation) is also the Sanskrit word for “God”. Eesa is of course, also very close to Eashoa’, which is how you pronounce Jesus in Jesus’ original Aramaic tongue (how Jesus heard his own name when people spoke to him). There are over 30 manuscripts that mention Jesus living in the East after his crucifixion. In fact, one record of a visit with King Shalivahana even states that in 80 AD, Jesus told the king he was born of a virgin mother and escaped persecution in the West from his own people. And then there’s the fact that an ancient Chinese book called the Histories of Religions and Doctrines mentions Jesus living in the East.
But let’s not leave out the most interesting piece of evidence. Because there’s this little place called Roza Bal in Srinigar, Kashmir that begs mention. Why? Roza Bal is a shrine where a man named Yuz Asaf (Jesus) is laid to rest under a tapestry with designs and colors of Jewish tradition (in the middle of an Islamic and Hindu piece fo real estate). (Recall the inscription about Yuz Asaf at Solomon’s Temple.) And if that weren’t enough, next to the casket are the footprints of a man that are marked with wounds consistent with someone who had the scars of nails being driven through the feet, such as if that person had been crucified.
So… wait a minute… hold on a sec… didn’t we start with why Jesus would burn the Bible? How and why did we need to go all this way down this rather long path of Jesus being recorded alive in multiple places by multiple third parties after his crucifixion to discuss why Jesus might possibly burn the Bible, the very literary centerpiece of his own flock?
Because the fact is that Christians have been handed a load of crap when it comes to Jesus and his message. To be completely candid, Christian leadership is by default actually LYING (although inadvertently) to Christians about their own Lord and Savior every time they open their mouths to preach. And that bag of untruths and inaccuracies includes the writings that have become the Holy Bible, around which the whole contemporary Christian religion is based.
See, only a very small portion of Jesus’ actual message can be found in the Bible, and what is indeed accurate from Jesus’ teaching is being misinterpreted and mistaught by Bible referencing clergy. And the simple fact is that it doesn’t really matter if Jesus actually died after he was crucified. It doesn’t matter if He was born of a virgin on December 25th. It doesn’t matter if He actually turned water into wine. What does matter is His message. Because His message… in its original form… is true, and accurate, and can indeed lead someone… everyone, in fact… to salvation.
But the problem is… that you can’t get very much of that message from the contemporary Christian Bible. It’s lost as far as the Bible is concerned. It’s been watered down and altered and changed to fit the minds and beliefs of men… men who were the first leaders of the Roman Catholic Church.
Today’s Christianity is based on the work and guidance of Paul. And the fact is that Paul never met Jesus. Paul only converted to Christianity 14 years after the disappearance of Jesus from the Middle East. And if you didn’t know the history of Christianity, here’s what happened after that:
Paulism was only ONE of the many forms of Christianity of the first century. There were a few, to include Jewish Christianity, Apostolic Christianity, and Gnosticism, which was considered by some to be a heresy, but in reality was one of the closest religions to the actual teachings of Jesus, as that it was connected with attaining gnosis, a direct knowledge of God. (Reference Jesus’ many sayings about finding the Kingdom within.)
Paulism was (and is) in fact the most far removed form of Christianity from Christ’s actual teachings. But unfortunately it was the form that Rome adopted, and Rome had all the spears and axes, and Paulism was the form of Christianity that stamped out the other (and more accurate) forms of Christianity through persecution and violence.
And so with the spread of Paulism, the truth of Jesus was lost. And the Bible was then formed without a great deal of that lost truth in it. And thanks to men like Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, an Arian who lobbied during the Council of Nicea to leave many of the gospels (other than Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) on the editing room floor, the truth of Jesus’ teachings that did make it into the Bible was limited even further.
There is a glorious truth within the original teachings of Jesus Christ. And they are that the Kingdom of Heaven can be found within… without the need of a Bible… without the need for religious leadership. All you need is you and God, and some time to connect by finding the portion of God within you. And so that’s why if Jesus were alive today, he would be first in line to torch the sacred tome that so many hold dear. Because the fact is that the Bible is leading more people away from God than it’s leading people to God. And Jesus would of course be the first person to recognize that. And that’s why He would strike that match.
And if you would be one who would be standing in flabbergasted disbelief after he did so… please trust that the next thing He would do would to be to turn to you… to hug you… to tell you that He loved you unconditionally… and then to look you straight in the eye to say, “Good. Now you are free. Forget what you learned in that book. And go find our Father for yourself. He’s excited and waiting to meet you.”
Stay tuned for a new series on The Gospel of Thomas, which will reveal more of the hidden message of Jesus not found in the Bible.
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