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3 magi who ended up in Germany

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    Posted: 28 Oct 2020 at 00:13
I hope you remember the biblical story about 3 magi who presented the baby Christ with gifts from the East.

The nature of the gifts (frankincense etc) indicate that the magi must have been returning after visiting Arab traders (or perhaps could have been Arabs themselves?), because Arab region had absolute monopoly in producing those goods back then.    

Some interpreters of the Bible take the story as evidence to demonstrate the supremacy of Christianity over Zoroastrians (because magi is also the collective name of a Median tribe that was among the very first to embrace Zoroastrian teaching)     

So according to official Christian story, St Helena (the mother of Roman emperor Constantine the Great) re-discovered the relics of all 3 and brought them to Byzantium, from there they were moved to Milan and ended up in Cologne in Germany.

So I wonder what are the chances that all 3 magi were travelling together till their very last day when all 3 of them  apparently died at the same place at the same time so that it'd be easier to re-discover their graves a few centuries later by St Helena? 


Edited by Novosedoff - 28 Oct 2020 at 00:15
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Oct 2020 at 19:58
It's a story. If there's any history buried in it, how could you separate it from myth without corroborative sources? it's like that tv documentary I saw the other night, with an American team trying to prove the Bible was literally correct by analysis of a rock on Mt Ararat in Turkey, believing it to somehow be the remains of Noah's Ark - Despite the fact that Noah's story was transcribed from earlier Babylonian versions, despite the geological evidence that the rock is the result of erosion from meltwater, despite the impossibility of a global flood requiring four times as much water as present on Earth today, and the obvious issues of a description of a 12' tall human being 650 years old.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Oct 2020 at 12:30
Maybe I am missing part of the story.  But the frankincense, gold and myrrh were gifts of the magi to the Jesus child.  There is a kind of beginning (frankincense), zenith (gold) and death (myrrh) in the gifts.  But it is three kings (Magi) recognizing the birth of another king (the Christ), it need not indicate a superiority of Christianity to Zoroastrianism, at least not in my reading.  in a way it recognizes that Zoroastrianism has _some_ authority, otherwise what would their endorsement mean?  But, if you look at other sacred writing from other religions, only the Judeo-Christian writings really have even the semblance of historicality.  There is a lot of history in the Bible, particularly in the places.  So, some of the stories are recycled, I think that is cool.  I don't think them as made up, I think of them as archetypal.

One reason they thought ancient heroes were so much taller (Greeks too), was they knew about things like mammoth bones.  Picturing the skull nose hole as a cyclopian eye, they thought it was a cyclops.  Of course, they did not spend much time figuring it out, but they did occasionally bring them to a temple, (where treasures were stored), usually, when archaeologists discovered the bones, they threw them out.  After all, that is not what they were looking for.

dwarf mammoths were still on an island up near Norway (Spitzbergen??) when the pyramids were being built.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Oct 2020 at 20:33
Well, surely I am aware of modern interpretations of the story of 3 magi or 3 kings, including the astronomical interpretations, such as the one shown in Zeitgeist movie (starts at 19m40s, check below link)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqjkWNsePoU&t=19m40s

However my interest to the topic was inspired by that particular remark of how the remains were re-discovered and all together brought to Constantinople. From reading the story about the ease with which the remains were re-discovered, I get impression that all 3 were buried at the same place. And if this is the case, then it may be indicative of the fact that all 3 died at the same time. Now when I start thinking about what are the chances that all 3 continued their journey together and died simultaneously in order to be buried at the same place, I become anxious about whether the cause of their death was in fact violent. Then when I start thinking about who could be the person who killed them, I become a little suspicious about Joseph, the father of baby Jesus, and his involvement in the plot.. Smile 

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Maybe I am missing part of the story.  But the frankincense, gold and myrrh were gifts of the magi to the Jesus child.  There is a kind of beginning (frankincense), zenith (gold) and death (myrrh) in the gifts.  But it is three kings (Magi) recognizing the birth of another king (the Christ), it need not indicate a superiority of Christianity to Zoroastrianism, at least not in my reading.  in a way it recognizes that Zoroastrianism has _some_ authority, otherwise what would their endorsement mean?  But, if you look at other sacred writing from other religions, only the Judeo-Christian writings really have even the semblance of historicality.  There is a lot of history in the Bible, particularly in the places.  So, some of the stories are recycled, I think that is cool.  I don't think them as made up, I think of them as archetypal.



Edited by Novosedoff - 30 Oct 2020 at 20:34
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2020 at 06:29
Quote So according to official Christian story, St Helena (the mother of Roman emperor Constantine the Great) re-discovered the relics of all 3 and brought them to Byzantium, from there they were moved to Milan and ended up in Cologne in Germany.

So I wonder what are the chances that all 3 magi were travelling together till their very last day when all 3 of them  apparently died at the same place at the same time so that it'd be easier to re-discover their graves a few centuries later by St Helena?
By what criteria did Helena decide these bones were the 3 magi? Assuming of course that 3 magi actually existed in the first place. Christians love physical reminders of their mythology. Even today, with high standards of archeological science, they still get obsessive about 'proving' the Bible to be literally true. But then, physical reminders of the Bible and Christian mythology were big business in the Middle Ages with almost no plausible link whatsoever. Bones purporting to belong to Jesus, bits of wood purporting to be from the cross he died on, relics claiming to be 'the Holy Grail', etc.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Nov 2020 at 12:06
Right, you don't know what "criteria" Helena used.  You don't know what evidence she may (or may not have had).  You may have your skepticism, but as far as evidence, I am not sure you really have a leg to stand on.  You can denounce and mock her story as "improbable."  But, I would suggest that it is a story, and in appreciating it, don't let a little truth get in the way, or rather, shall I say a suspicion of "the truth."  I mean, it is not like that could ever happen today.  (Witness Putin going diving in the Black Sea and 'finding' Greek amphora, or leading a migration of geese with an ultra-light).  So you have a story of the mother of the Emperor going to Jerusalem and finding artifacts.

"literal" truth probably started in about the 16th-17th century, probably a function of the Protestant Reformation.  For Orthodoxy, there are four levels of interpretation of the Bible, the lowest is the "literal" one.  I think it is with the Protestant Revolution, that the literal gets elevated.  
 You have Jesus being baptized, and 'then the sky opened up and a dove distended.'  Now, is that a literal interpretation, or is it 'literal' in that it is a literary trope?  But, the fact is that the Holy Bible (OT and NT) is rich in historical information, we don't really have any literature from the same time(s) and place(s).  Try to find historical information in the Buddhist Sutras or the Mahabharata.  They're deserts.
But, yes, the Bible is not a history in any modern sense of the term.  Then again, neither is the Iliad and the Odyssey.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Nov 2020 at 08:50
My view is biased - I cannot dismiss that. My mothers campaign to get me to embrace Christianity has left me disdainful of it. However, it depends what you mean by historical information. I would agree that we could find cultural information in plenty. 

Events? Now that's harder. The census that led Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem for instance has no substantiation and some scholars dismiss the idea it ever took place. Not only because of the lack of evidence, but the odd manner it was supposed to have happened. It appears to some (and although I remain open to education, I currently agree) that the 'census' was a literary means to an end. How much information was available to those who wrote the tale?

Further, and potentially more damning, the modern Bible is the descendant document(s) of what was agreed as canonical in the 4th century. Four gospels were chosen out of perhaps as many as fifty, with wide variations in content reduced to some variations. It would appear then that historical authenticity was not high on the agenda even if detailed history was actually available.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Nov 2020 at 10:10
I would venture to guess that the Romans did censuses, and that the writers knew that.  As far as whether there were an actual census, my guess is that it got the right people in Bethlehem for the right prophecy.  On the other hand, it would be a rather shallow (and ineffectual) pretense if the census would have been at the time too easily seen through.

Have you ever read any of these alternated Gospels?  The best stuff got into the Bible from a literary perspective, except maybe Gospel of Thomas or Gospel of Mary.  Gotta go to dinner, look up Marcion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 05:51
Best stuff? That's debatable. But please note that according to Bible mythos the famous census required everyone return to their place of origin for registering. I mean, can you imagine the chaos as thousands journey back and forth? In a province not known for sympathy toward Roman government? No Roman census ever required such a clause. And as far as I know, no evidence exists of a Roman census in that province at that presumed time.

Alternate gospels? No, I probably wouldn't bother even if they were available. Some are quite fanciful I understand (One talks about the infant Jesus calming dragons. Wow). I suspect most of these alternate gospels are now lost to history. 

What is inescapable is that the Bible is not a historical document however much some Christians would dearly love it to be. I can happily accept Jesus refers to a real person, some charismatic prophet with political pretensions that alarmed the Judaean leaders enough to have them approach the Roman governor over the matter. I cannot accept he was the son of God, performed miracles, and rose from the dead. After all, the Bible has a dubious provenance anyway.

Okay, my rant is over. But nonetheless I feel obliged as a historian (or history enthusiast if you prefer) to approach the subject in an analytical light based on surviving evidence rather than some search for substantiation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 06:07
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I would venture to guess that the Romans did censuses, and that the writers knew that.  As far as whether there were an actual census, my guess is that it got the right people in Bethlehem for the right prophecy.  On the other hand, it would be a rather shallow (and ineffectual) pretense if the census would have been at the time too easily seen through.

Have you ever read any of these alternated Gospels?  The best stuff got into the Bible from a literary perspective, except maybe Gospel of Thomas or Gospel of Mary.  Gotta go to dinner, look up Marcion.

Russian journalist Yulia Latynina, who lives in London (she had to relocate there after attacks from pro-Pooteen's locos) and writes in Russian, has published 2 books titled <Jesus. Historic investigation> and <Jesus with thousand faces>. In the later one Latynina presented a wide review of many written Gospels about Jesus and his deeds. Luckily I never read any of those and had to say that reading Latynina's interpretations is equally cumbersome, because it is twisted stuff written for twisted people. The first book was ok, however I gave up reading the 2nd one because it seemed complete rubbish. Latynina is actually known for her prior works in fiction genre, so her later works in the history of Christianity which she claims to be non-fiction are rather risible, but still interesting to follow Smile


Edited by Novosedoff - 07 Nov 2020 at 06:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 12:14
If you haven't read non-canonical works contemporary with the books of the OT or NT, then I would say it is not debatable, because you have no basis for comparison.  Of course, maybe you won't read the canonical works either??

Marcion was a bishop in Asia Minor who wanted to get rid of the OT and everything but Luke, Acts and, I seem to remember, the Pauline letters.  Marcion was rejected and in response to him, they canonized the New Testament with not one but four Gospels, the Pauline letters and other letters and writings.  You might say, they were _inclusive_ in their canonization, instead of getting rid of almost everything like Marcion wanted.

The Gnostics rejected this world, and ultimately this world rejected them.  For Christianity, the world is fallen, but it ultimately still is good.  Gnosticism considers this world evil and considers the God of this world evil as well.  If you are "of this world" then Gnosticism is not really an answer.  A gnostic would never fight against evil, real or perceived, they are too much 'in touch' with a power beyond it all.'
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 15:46
Well, surely you may cast doubt on my judgement of the magi story based on the fact that I haven't read all the Gospels  Smile After all I am from an ex-communist country and although I was secretly baptized back at the time when the religion was sorta prohibited in Russia (like many other Russians back then), my personal rather skeptical views of Christianity formed when I was at rather mature age. I've read the Bible and some other more important historical books in order to be able to catch the political rationale behind the biblical events - that's more than enough for me, I ain't gonna spend ages doing some extra research on the matter because I don't suppose that will significantly change my opinion. On the other hand, this does not mean that I quit reading any new publications related to the history of Christianity, in fact I do follow some other interesting researchers. But generally speaking Christianity is definitely beyond my common interests, and I hope it will stay this way. 

PS. Yes, I also know about Marcion and his anti-Jewish stance that re-shaped the development of Christianity. 

PPS. I don't believe in God, I don't believe in soul and some other twisted stuff invented by religious freaks, incl. sins, paradise, hell, life after death etc. I quite like George Carlin's attitude towards those things 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9CjBtv7j78

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

If you haven't read non-canonical works contemporary with the books of the OT or NT, then I would say it is not debatable, because you have no basis for comparison.  Of course, maybe you won't read the canonical works either??

Marcion was a bishop in Asia Minor who wanted to get rid of the OT and everything but Luke, Acts and, I seem to remember, the Pauline letters.  Marcion was rejected and in response to him, they canonized the New Testament with not one but four Gospels, the Pauline letters and other letters and writings.  You might say, they were _inclusive_ in their canonization, instead of getting rid of almost everything like Marcion wanted.

The Gnostics rejected this world, and ultimately this world rejected them.  For Christianity, the world is fallen, but it ultimately still is good.  Gnosticism considers this world evil and considers the God of this world evil as well.  If you are "of this world" then Gnosticism is not really an answer.  A gnostic would never fight against evil, real or perceived, they are too much 'in touch' with a power beyond it all.'


Edited by Novosedoff - 07 Nov 2020 at 15:58
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2020 at 01:22
There was a visitor to Niels Bohr, the physicist, who noticed that Bohr had a horseshoe on his barn (ends up, 'so the luck wouldn't run out.'  He said to Bohr, "ummm, you don't believe in that stuff, do you?"  To which Bohr answered, "no, of course not, but you don't need to believe in it for it to work."

Christianity is more a religion of belief, whereas Judaism is more a religion of practice, but neither is totally one way or the other.

I would say that the Bible is not a history, in the sense that history is something that started with the Greeks, but I would also say that it is an amazing historical document, or rather series of documents that relate to the belief and practices of two peoples, the Jews and the Christians.

I would have thought that Stalin would be enough to convince Russians (Soviets) that hell exists, but what do I know?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2020 at 04:09
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:


I would have thought that Stalin would be enough to convince Russians (Soviets) that hell exists, but what do I know?

Hell does not exist, but the devil does. Now Stalin has been replaced by KGB pricks...
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Personally I cannot accept the Devil is any more real than God. One can chart the development of the Devil into the modern concept from it's origins of demonisation of Roman pagan beliefs. Lucifer for instance is a modern alternative name, but originally refers to an aspect of Venus as 'The Bringer of Light', the planet as seen at dawn . Both female and illuminating. Doomed in christian revisions. Interestingly Venus as Vesper, 'The Bringer of Darkness' or the planet seen at dusk, vanishes into obscurity.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 2020 at 10:46
Astronomy goes by pagan deities and heroes, I don't think there is any danger of that being Christianized.  Although, of course, a lot of the stars have Arabic names.  I imagine most people who know anything about astronomy (or for that matter, logic), know about the Morning Star, Evening Star distinction.
One problem with not believing in Hell, is that if you don't believe in it, chances are you won't have enough sense to avoid it.  Pol Pot, North Korean testing of poison gas on dissidents (and the Japanese testing of poison gas on Koreans before that).  The atomic bomb, Hydrogen bomb.  That is just in the category of war, we still have famine, pestilence and death to think of, although death doesn't quite seem to go in that company (at least not to me).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 2020 at 02:33
Well, I shan't be all alone in Hell, I suppose Smile Buddhists don't believe in most of those things too, so if they join me in Hell we'll split in teams and play football. At least there are folks like Pol Pot and Stalin in Hell (as we know for sure since you say so) so if Buddhists escape we can play cards then.

Btw the views of hell and sin are very contradictory. If you read Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, the most dreadful sin he considers is Treachery which is where Lucifer himself is placed. But the proud, for instance, makes one go to Purgatorio, not to Inferno (Hell). Whereas in classical Catholic Christianity the pride or vanity is considered to be one of 7 deadly sins and Hell is thought to hold specific punishments for those who commit one

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv9zXUd55Sw&t=26s

In Orthodox Christianity, for instance, we don't have the concept of Purgatory at all. Because the Council of Florence that endorsed the concept of Purgatory also happened to promulgate the union between the Catholic and the Orthodox churches, which was a purely political matter back at the time when the Byzantine empire was threatened by Turks. So the decisions of that Council were not accepted by many Orthodox churches, including the Russian one. 


Edited by Novosedoff - 14 Nov 2020 at 04:43
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Quote Astronomy goes by pagan deities and heroes, I don't think there is any danger of that being Christianized.
Are there any instances of comets used in christian contexts? But do bear in mind that christianity evolves within the pagan Roman world and the very same people are adapting ideas. After all, Hell is a Graeco-roman concept to start with. The Devil is not seperate from christianity, especially considering the link to a fallen angel. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2020 at 09:02
Comets are frightening entities, if you believe that the planets are on crystalline spheres, then comets would seem to break through those spheres.  Or, I believe Aristotle believed them to be upper atmosphere phenomena.  But, throughout the Middle Ages, we are talking about a Ptolemaic context adopted by (later) Aristotelians.  Aristotelians had come to be the scientists of the Church.  Ptolemaic astronomy and Galen's medicine were part of that.  But, you could be an Aristotelian without being a Christian, or a Christian without being a Aristotelian.   In the case of astronomy, I mean Ptolemaic when I say Aristotelian.  Copernicus appealed to Pythagoreanism and, particularly, Aristarchus.  Galileo was following Copernicus, although I don't know if he ever called himself a Pythagorean.  Johannes Kepler was very much a number mystic, astrologer and Pythagorean.  When he used Tycho Brahe's data, he figured that the planets did not move in circles, they moved in ellipses.  It was not the perfect circles that he wanted, but he was intellectually honest to report the data (and make deductions from it), rather than finagle his results.  But, in any case, you could not just report the results, but you had to dress it in the authority of the ancients.  Kepler paved the way for Newton.

There is the question of what the star of Bethlehem was.  Was it a supernova that suddenly appeared in the sky?  Was it a comet?  Of course, it need not have happened at the "correct" time of Jesus' birth.  There are no promising supernova remnants, from what I understand.

a coin of Augustus, commemorating Julius Caesar, has a comet that appeared in the sky after his death, and apotheosis.  Mithradates II (the poison king), was also reportedly born under a comet, and there are coins with comets attributed to him.


Edited by franciscosan - 19 Nov 2020 at 09:35
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Galen was not a scientist of the Church. There was no unification of the early christians until the Council of Nicaea in 325 which itself was only partially succesful. Nor would christian teaching support dissection until relatively recent times (even in the Age of Learning the practice was illegal and cadavers were obtained from bodysnatchers for medical training). Indeed, the Romans themselves had banned dissection since 150BC which was why he used monkeys for the purpose. Nor for that matter can I see evidence of christian worship in Galens bio.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2020 at 11:59
Right, science in the Middle Ages was a matter of appealing to the past.  Do you think that Aristotle was a scientist of the Church?  How about Ptolemy?  No, Galen was an ancient authority which I am sure that scholars of the Church as well as the doctors of Padua studied carefully.  I am sure the church had their (medical) doctors and they were familiar with Galen, even though Galen was a pagan. 

In Job, you have _the_ Shaitan, it is kind of like a job position that God gives his highest angel, what we would call devil's advocate, if you will.  His job is to take the opposite argument from God.  He is by no means absolutely evil, but an esteemed member of God's bureaucracy.
Into Christianity, and a little bit of Zoroastrian influence, (dualism of big G Good, and big E Evil), this loyal opposition becomes Satan, which is in the weird position of being very powerful, but truly nothing compared to the Omnipotence of Jehovah.  But, of course, if you don't like the NT Satan, you can always go back and retrieve the Job Shaitan.  It is not like that is not also there in the record.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2020 at 22:49
Quote  Into Christianity, and a little bit of Zoroastrian influence, (dualism of big G Good, and big E Evil), this loyal opposition becomes Satan, which is in the weird position of being very powerful, but truly nothing compared to the Omnipotence of Jehovah.

Then, of course, there is also Gnostic Manichaeism which gives a slightly different perspective on relationship between God and Satan Smile Thus, for instance, the serpent in the garden of Eden is often identified as the source of true knowledge inspiring the first man to start his intellectual quest. Thereby, Jehovah is viewed as the real Devil concealing the truth from the man. This is what Jesus talked about in Gospel of John 8:44. 
Some researchers would even say that the true political message of Jesus' preaching had been preserved within Manichaeism, which is why Manichaeism was strongly opposed and persecuted by both official Roman church and by Zoroastrian priesthood in Iran too.
Nonetheless the Manichaen teaching survived over the centuries by penetrating both Christianity (take Albigenses and Cathars heresies, for instance) and Islam ( through Isma'ilism)
I teach history to children, and I am proud that they leave my classes permeated with sh*t and hatred to meet the real world. I see my personal historic mission in bringing madness to juvenile masses.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2020 at 06:49
I doubt the actual messages of Jesus (Boy do christians love to talk about 'messages') are the point. As a charismatic preacher, especially one with political pretensions, Jesus becomes a threat to the established order, attracting crowds, followers, and so forth. It wasn't the Romans who reacted to him but the nervous leaders of his own people. They went to the governor, Pontius Pilate (In Roman politics, a provincial governor did not engage in day to day business but represented Rome as the final arbiter of both Roman and Native law) and asked him to sort the trouble, which accordingly, the Romans did with some disinterest according to some Christian interpretations. That should have been it, but since the Romans were only asked to act against a charismatic preacher and not his followers, sects based around the deification of Jesus spread.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2020 at 12:43
I agree with your understanding. Romans were pulled into this resolving the political problem for Jewish priesthood which viewed the actions of the fourth sect of zealots as direct threat to their own political high authority (zealots led by Jesus even managed to take hold of the Jerusalem temple for a while). We do know for sure that zealots were driven by messianic ideas that Judaea was to be governed only by Messiah from the Davidic line. So apparently the first question that Pilates addressed Jesus "Are you the King?" reflects the main point of Roman concern. Some would even say that the whole plan of building aqueduct in Jerusalem financed by the treasure taken from the Jerusalem temple was plotted by mutual agreement between Pilate and Sadducee priesthood as a kind of bribe for military support provided by Pilate and that a significant part of the treasure went to Rome to buy the senatorial support when Pilate's case of religious encroachments was brought up to their view. So apparently the early Christian church of Pudens in Rome could have been partially financed from those kickbacks taken from the Jerusalem temple. 

When Romans got fed up with constant political turbulence in Judaea, wide-scale banditism and hidden attacks they demolished everything they could, incl. the Masada fortification, the Jerusalem temple itself etc, thereby destroying both the fourth sect and the Sadducee priesthood at the same time.
 
Roman authorities rarely meddled in religious affairs, however the Roman emperors stayed the High priests of the whole empire. So when Constantine became an emperor 3 centuries later all he tried to do was to turn the Christianity into another state-sponsored imperial cult equidistant from the political authority like any other religious cults of his empire. That's where he failed after his death because a significant part of his own family had become converts of that f.cult, incl. the twisted granny St.Helena to start with.



Edited by Novosedoff - 21 Nov 2020 at 12:44
I teach history to children, and I am proud that they leave my classes permeated with sh*t and hatred to meet the real world. I see my personal historic mission in bringing madness to juvenile masses.
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