'Who is this Messiah [Christ]? Who is Jesus?', and how has two millenia's been influenced by the legend's of one mythic-figure?
I wouldn't expect a laugh or two to this perhaps childish or elementary question for some, but I would like to hear others thoughts on this figure in the middle of the confusion I've had about this legend since a child, concerning the man, and the myth; for some reason I just can't accept the mainstream idea of Jesus Christ, I've asked myself many times, "who is this guy?"
I always wondered why Jesus supposedly said all those exalting statements of Himself; to identify himself with the 'Father in Heaven? 'his Father in secret, was the inner God or some external God? or is that all blasphemous jargon and Jesus is the only Son of God literally sitting next to His Fathers chair in Heaven?' The legend of the virgin-birth? anything about Him; discuss from what you understand or think about Him here.
This is an intricate matter and one that deserves a lot of searching but this is from the Theosophical Glossary.. there's a lot more wrapped up in the symbolism of Elohim than can be stated here...
"Elohîm (Heb.). Also Alhim, the word being variously spelled. Godfrey Higgins, who has written much upon its meaning, always spells it Aleim. The Hebrew letters are aleph, lamed, hé, yod, mem, and are numerically 1, 30, 5, 10, 40=86. It seems to he the plural of the feminine noun Eloah, ALH, formed by adding the common plural form IM, a masculine ending; and hence the whole seems to imply the emitted active and passive essences. As a title it is referred to “Binah” the Supernal Mother, as is also the fuller title IHVH ALHIM, Jehovah Elohim. As Binah leads on to seven succeedent Emanations, so "Elohim " has been said to represent a sevenfold power of godhead. [w. w. w.]"
Why has nothing come up about James, the brother of Jesus, who was apparently the real rabble rouser in the family. He was the one who really wanted to get out from under Roman rule. He was really the dangerous one if you take the view point of the Romans.
Uh.. I always thought of James as the head of the church in Jerusalem and probably representing the Jewish Christian branch.. He recognized Jesus it seems later after awhile..
You can learn more from wikipedia and there's this
After the Passion, Jerome wrote, the Apostles selected James as Bishop of Jerusalem. In describing James' ascetic lifestyle, De Viris Illustribus, quotes Hegesippus' account of James from the fifth book of Hegesippus' lost Commentaries:
After the apostles, James the brother of the Lord surnamed the Just was made head of the Church at Jerusalem. Many indeed are called James. This one was holy from his mother's womb. He drank neither wine nor strong drink, ate no flesh, never shaved or anointed himself with ointment or bathed. He alone had the privilege of entering the Holy of Holies, since indeed he did not use woolen vestments but linen and went alone into the temple and prayed in behalf of the people, insomuch that his knees were reputed to have acquired the hardness of camels' knees.
He was martyred and thrown from the temple of Jerusalem.
I was going to suggest that the description of James above "He drank neither wine nor strong drink, ate no flesh," may suggest an association with an Essene community or a later Ebionite community which were vegetarian.
From Epiphanius on the Nazoreans:
"... but they would not offer sacrifice or eat meat. They considered it unlawful to eat meat or make sacrifices with it."
I came across this site recently and it calls to mind that the eminent scholar and Theosophist GRS Mead had written about many years ago and it does have to do with the topic!
Jesus ben Pandera:
The Jewish record of Jesus ben Pandera, hostile to him as are all Jewish accounts of christs who failed, is preserved in a book commonly called Sepher Toledoth Yeshu ("Book of the Lineage of Jesus"), extant in several recensions, which differ in various details. The best summary of the story known to me is by Dr. Martin A. Larson, in his The Essene-Christian Faith (New York, Philosophical Library, 1980), pp. 151 ff. All versions of the story affirm that this Jesus really performed miracles, having learned the secret name of Yahweh, which enabled him to raise the dead, etc., and lost his power when he was in some way deprived of either his recollection of the name or of the parchment on which he had laboriously copied the four letters of the name and which he then inserted in an incision in his thigh. It is a reasonable inference that a story so precisely dated and, in its essentials, circumstantial is based on an actual occurrence, despite the supernatural garnish added to it.
Here is Mead's introduction to his "Did Jesus Live 100 B.C."?
As we have seen already from the evidence of the early Church Fathers, one of the most persistent charges of the Jews against Jesus was that he had learned magic in Egypt. In the Toldoth Jeschu, while we still hear of Jeschu's learning magic in Egypt, the main feature in the story of his acquirement of miraculous power is the robbing of the Shem (the Tetragrammaton or Ineffable Name) from the Temple at Jerusalem by a strange device. The Talmud, however, knows nothing of this robbing of the Shem from the Temple; but in recording the tradition of the bringing of magic out of Egypt it adds details of the means whereby this magic is fabled to have been conveyed out of the country, and in the variants of the story we can trace the evolution of the strange device whereby Jeschu is said in the Toldoth to have outwitted the magic guardians of the Shem.
Thus in the Palestinian Gemara we read: "He who scratches on the skin in the fashion of writing is guilty, but he who makes marks on the skin in the fashion of writing, is exempt from punishment. Rabbi Eliezer said to them: But has not Ben Stada brought (magic) spells out of Egypt just in this way?
Personally I've been interested or shall I say a little intrigued about the hypothesis that Jesus was a "magician" even though that hasn't been a core belief of mine but I did find the following:
A professor Morton Smith suggests:
(1) Almost all current accounts of Jesus are based on the canonical gospels written by his followers.
(2) A historian should ask what those who were not his followers thought about him.
(3) Evidence from the gospels and other sources shows they thought him a magician.
(4) What they meant by “magician” must be determined by comparison of Jesus with other men of his time who were so called.
(5) This comparison reveals a social type which Jesus resembled; it also yields a plausible account of his career.
(6) This account of his career is confirmed by comparison of the gospels with magical texts found mainly in papyri contemporary with the gospel manuscripts; in point after point the gospels’ accounts agree with the magicians’ claims and prescriptions.
Also a bowl was discovered a few years ago from a marine archeological exploration of what was a palace of Cleopatra in Alexandria that bears an inscription they believe could be the earliest reference to Christ:
A team of scientists led by renowned French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio recently announced that they have found a bowl, dating to between the late 2nd century B.C. and the early 1st century A.D., that is engraved with what they believe could be the world's first known reference to Christ.
This is similar to the impact of what is now known as the Paris Magical Papyrus, dated to about 300 CE. It describes an elaborate exorcism ritual, which begins, “I adjure you by the god of the Hebrews,” and then lists a number of mystical names, of which Jesu is the first. The adjuration continues with numerous references to biblical events and persons, some of which are garbled. The point for New Testament studies is the confirmation that in Egypt about 150 years after the resurrection, Jesus was known as a successful exorcist and called “the god of the Hebrews.”