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Review of the world literature: Jesus did not die on the cross
01-30-2010, 06:41 AM (This post was last modified: 01-30-2010 06:43 AM by Ahmadi.)
Post: #1
Review of the world literature: Jesus did not die on the cross
The first writer I want to present is Harvey Spencer Lewis. He was the Founder of the Ancient and Mystic Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC), a modern revival Rosicrucian order headquartered at San Jose, California. Lewis was born in Frenchtown, New Jersey, November 25, 1883, of Welsh ancestry. He was educated in New York state and raised as a Methodist. He became a journalist and sat on a committee investigating Spiritualism in New York. He was closely associated with Elbert Hubbard and Ella Wheeler Wilcox. In 1903 he was president of the Publishers' Syndicate in New York and edited several scientific and research magazines.

His book The Mystical Life of Jesus was first published in 1929. He wrote in that book:

Just as the sun was casting its last rays over the horizon and the sky seemed to be darkening more rapidly and threatening a storm, which appeared highly significant to the faithful, a commotion was occurring in the palace of Pilate. A herald had arrived with a document bearing the private seal of Tiberius, and all were anxious to know its contents. This document instructed Pilate to cancel the warrant and to stay all proceedings until a complete investigation could be made by Cyrenius. In the meantime, Jesus was to be set at liberty until a full report could be made.
Pilate immediately sent a messenger to those who were in charge of the Crucifixion stating what had occurred, and he instructed that no further persecution or torture of the body was to be permitted. In fact, his instructions stated that if there was any life still in the body of Jesus, it was to be taken down from the cross and sent to a hospice to be cared for. This was the news anticipated by Nicodemus, Mathaeli, and Yousef of Arimathea, and of course it was unpleasant news to the intriguers, and especially the Covenanters.
The storm soon broke and delayed the removal of the body of Jesus for a few hours, but in that time food and drink were given him, and support was placed under his body to prevent it from pulling too greatly upon the nails which tortured his flesh. The few faithful ones noted with great anxiety that a somber stillness and a numbness was passing over the body, and that gradually Jesus lost consciousness. At the earliest possible moment, when the storm quieted, torches were brought and an examination of the body revealed that Jesus was not dead. The blood flowing from the wounds proved that the body was not lifeless, and so the cross was immediately taken down and the body removed from it.
The body was then taken to a burial vault owned by Yousef of Arimathea, which had supposedly been built for the care of his family; being a wealthy man he made it an elaborate and well-constructed burial place. The body was placed in a special part of the tomb which had been prearranged for its reception, and physicians connected with the Essenian community were at hand to render every possible assistance in caring for the wounds.
The Essenes had secured permission for the use of this tomb as a burial place for Jesus, and the authorities had granted this permission in the belief that it was to be the permanent tomb of Jesus. Therefore, shortly after the body was placed in the tomb, some outer guards belonging to the organization announced the coming of the officials who were to inspect the tomb and approve of the burial. Jesus had just attained complete consciousness, and his wounds had been dressed sufficiently for the Essenes to wrap his body in clean white clothes, in preparation for a short sleep, when the officials reached the tomb. The officials were permitted to watch the closing of the tomb and affix their seals upon the stones and the door which closed it securely. Apparently everything of an official nature to make the tomb a permanent burial place had been done according to law, and yet according to our records, much was left undone because the Essenes had made sure that the officials did not go too far in the process of sealing and closing every means of entrance and exit.
The description of the tomb in the records from which I quote is not complete enough for us to understand thor¬oughly its form and structure, and we are not sure whether there were two doorways or only one. It appears, however, from all records, that a great stone was used to close up the doorway after the doors had been shut, for the purpose of hiding the doorway so that the burial place, which was in the side of a rock, would not be too apparent or attract too much attention. It was also recorded that Nicodemus was fearful that some trick might be played, as he realized there were those who knew of the trickery on the part of Caiaphas, and that the resentment of the followers of Jesus might take the form of some plan to thwart the law. So he demanded that the sepulchre be watched for the satisfaction of Caiaphas and the law.
Late in the night the storm which had only partially ceased raged fiercely again throughout the whole valley of Judea, and thunder and lightning echoed and flashed in the mountains roundabout. According to the records, it was such an unusually severe storm that it cleared the streets of Jerusa¬lem and the roads just outside of the walls of all pilgrims, and it even forced some of the guards and soldiers to take cover.

(Harvey Spencer Lewis. The Mystical Life of Jesus. AMORC, 2006. Pages 193-196.)
CHAPTER 16: THE SECRET FACTS OF THE RESURRECTION

Shortly before sunrise, Yousef of Arimathea and other Essenes who had been hiding nearby approached the tomb when the guards were trying to protect them¬selves from the rain by seeking shelter in some cattle houses at some distance. Using the means they had previously pro¬vided, and taking advantage of the laxity of the officials in sealing the doorway properly, they caused this great stone to be thrown over and the doorway to be opened. When they entered the tomb, they found Jesus resting easily and rapidly regaining strength and vitality. After an hour the storm ceased sufficiently for the Essenes to escort him from the tomb.
Jesus had used every one of the powers coming into his being, through the perfect attunement he had with the Cosmic, to restore strength and consciousness to every part of his body and to all of his highly developed faculties. There¬fore, it was possible for the Essenes to place his body upon a colt and cover him with some heavy garments while they led the colt with its precious burden through the mild rain and deep darkness to a secluded place belonging to the organiza¬tion, not far from the walls of the city.
In the Book of John in the Holy Bible, is revealed one of the interesting facts concerning the Crucifixion which appears in the ancient records from which I am quoting, and which incident is often overlooked by the most critical of the Bible students. It is that although it was a common practice to break the bones in the body of every crucified person and to cause their bodies to hang upon the cross for several days so there would be no possibility of the body remaining alive, neverthe¬less the body of Jesus was taken down without the bones being broken, even though the soldiers broke the bones of the two criminals that were upon the crosses close by.
This was not an oversight on the part of the soldiers by any means, for not only did they fulfill the law by breaking the bones of the two criminals, but they had been so accus¬tomed to this procedure for many years that we cannot believe that after having performed their duty with the other two, they would forget the practice, momentarily, in the case of the third body upon the cross. The ancient records to which I have been referring state that when the soldiers were noti¬fied that the body must be taken down immediately because a release had come, and that everything must be done to permit Jesus to regain his consciousness and strength if he had not passed through transition, they realized that they were not to injure, torture, or in any way affect the ease and comfort of Jesus, but to relieve him as quickly as possible from the agony in which they found him.
It may be interesting to call attention to the fact that nowhere in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is the positive statement made as an observation of one of these disciples that Jesus died on the cross or that he was dead when they removed him from the cross and placed him in the tomb. In John 19:33 there is the statement that the soldiers believed Jesus to be dead, but John does not make a positive statement of his own, and when he continues by mentioning the spear thrust, we have no reason to believe it was more than a surface wound, while, on the other hand, the fact that blood and water flowed forth would indicate that Jesus was still alive.

(Harvey Spencer Lewis. The Mystical Life of Jesus. AMORC, 2006. Pages 197-199.)

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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01-30-2010, 01:02 PM
Post: #2
RE: Review of the world literature: Jesus did not die on the cross
There is a prior companion thread with several references:

Jesus did not die on the cross

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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01-30-2010, 05:25 PM
Post: #3
RE: Review of the world literature: Jesus did not die on the cross
I see your still on this topic Ahmadi... Not sure where this guy got his information from (probably made it up)

This document from Tiberius to Pilate, are there any sources for it ??

Question: How long do you think it would have taken for word to get to Tiberius in Rome about the sentence of Jesus by Pilate, then for Tiberius to consider what to do, then for a messenger to return to Pilate to stay the execution ??.


I have an idea for a thread for you. "The founding of Mecca, the historical evidence"
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01-30-2010, 07:37 PM
Post: #4
RE: Review of the world literatuJesus did not die on the cross
Ahmadi

I repeat my prior criticism that you have still not addressed. All of these arguments are based on cherry picking details from multiple mutually contradictory accounts written 40 to 80 years after the events by people who were not there and who had their own individual agendas to present. You choose the details you want and treat them as absolute fact but ignore all details that do not fit your argument. This is a sure sign of argument based on the need to justify pre-established ideology and cannot be trusted as representing anything meaningful.
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01-31-2010, 07:16 AM (This post was last modified: 01-31-2010 07:37 AM by Ahmadi.)
Post: #5
RE: Review of the world literature: Jesus did not die on the cross
Parousia

The resuscitation story is a natural story that we see happening every day, call it resuscitation or swoon hypothesis. Some details may be lacking or inaccurate, for example Phil raises a good point in the post above. But, swoon hypothesis will be the natural survival if the converse was not proved.

If you show me proofs of ressurection, then I will try to refute those. But, do not bring your proofs from the Bible that neither you nor me believe to be literally true. Now, even most believing Christians are also giving up their claim! I am allowed to make my case from the Bible as I am bringing out details from opposition's witness.

I go by the dictum that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs and every day claim like Parousia had food today, stands without proof, without me visiting you or even knowing, exactly who you are in real life. The only possiblity of me going wrong would be if you were on total parenteral nutrition and then I would claim that even that is food.

Phill you can see the weakness of a vulnerable argument but why cannot you see the strength of a good argument on this issue?

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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01-31-2010, 10:22 AM
Post: #6
RE: Review of the world literatuJesus did not die on the cross
(01-31-2010 07:16 AM)Ahmadi Wrote:  Parousia

The resuscitation story is a natural story that we see happening every day, call it resuscitation or swoon hypothesis. Some details may be lacking or inaccurate, for example Phil raises a good point in the post above. But, swoon hypothesis will be the natural survival if the converse was not proved.

If you show me proofs of ressurection, then I will try to refute those. But, do not bring your proofs from the Bible that neither you nor me believe to be literally true. Now, even most believing Christians are also giving up their claim! I am allowed to make my case from the Bible as I am bringing out details from opposition's witness.

I go by the dictum that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs and every day claim like Parousia had food today, stands without proof, without me visiting you or even knowing, exactly who you are in real life. The only possiblity of me going wrong would be if you were on total parenteral nutrition and then I would claim that even that is food.

You are still missing the point. My point is not to support the resurrection story. It is to question your acceptance of particular details when all of the details are questionable.

We know from Paul that there was an early belief that Jesus was crucified and was resurrected. But Paul gives no details. And Paul admits that he never met the living Jesus and got little or none of his knowledge from the Apostles. Sometime after 70 CE, Mark is telling a very minimalist story of the crucifixion and resurrection. (Remember Mark 16:9-20 is not original but is a compressed version of later tellings by others.)

But what we do see loud and clear in Mark is the Last Supper story as Paul told it and especially the identification of Jesus with the Paschal Lamb, again just like Paul said. Is it any surprise that any recounting of the crucifixion story has to be linked to Passover? And that of course means that the death of Jesus has to occur quickly to avoid defiling the Sabbath. Later Gospels tell the crucifixion and resurrection stories in more detail, but with different details. Yet they all include the Pauline theological slant and so need to include this point.

Paul's mentions of the crucifixion and resurrection are presented as if these are topics his audience is already familiar with. Paul's contribution appears to be interpreting these stories in mythic ways (and suspiciously like the Dionysian Mysteries IMO). But the details that your argument is based on are clearly later elaborations. And in particular the rapid death of Jesus is necessary in order to support the Pauline interpretation without uncomfortable details like having Jesus still suffering up there on the Sabbath.

A Christian may accept the whole story on faith alone. A non-Christian may question the whole story (as I have). But to pick and choose details that are convenient to your argument and ignore the rest is highly questionable. On what grounds are you accepting details that appear to be introduced simply to support a theological stance? Faith? Then why not the whole thing? No faith involved? Then why anything?
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01-31-2010, 10:55 AM
Post: #7
RE: Review of the world literature: Jesus did not die on the cross
(01-31-2010 10:22 AM)Parousia Wrote:  It is to question your acceptance of particular details when all of the details are questionable.
...
A Christian may accept the whole story on faith alone. A non-Christian may question the whole story (as I have). But to pick and choose details that are convenient to your argument and ignore the rest is highly questionable.

If the whole can be rejected as you do then any part of it can also be rejected by the same logic. I do not see any axioms here, that if A be true the B has to true etc., in the writings of the Gospels. Pauline slant may be whatever, each writer of the Gospels is giving a description of the crucifixion, so we can dissect the witness and try to come up with our theory. As any lawyer will dissect any witness and put part of their testimony in trying to collaborate his or her case.

If we had only Bible to go with, we did not have any basic human reason, the Quran and the history then your position against what I am doing could be well founded. I am not drawing my story of resuscitation from the Bible. I have my story about Jesus coming from common sense, what happens to humans physically, socially and politically and from the Quran and then I support it from some verses of the Bible also. I am sorry, as my logic in this area is escaping you, I am in a similar predicament.

Am I making better sense now, I hope it is not an impasse!

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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01-31-2010, 02:45 PM
Post: #8
RE: Review of the world literatuJesus did not die on the cross
(01-31-2010 10:55 AM)Ahmadi Wrote:  
(01-31-2010 10:22 AM)Parousia Wrote:  It is to question your acceptance of particular details when all of the details are questionable.
...
A Christian may accept the whole story on faith alone. A non-Christian may question the whole story (as I have). But to pick and choose details that are convenient to your argument and ignore the rest is highly questionable.

If the whole can be rejected as you do then any part of it can also be rejected by the same logic. I do not see any axioms here, that if A be true the B has to true etc., in the writings of the Gospels. Pauline slant may be whatever, each writer of the Gospels is giving a description of the crucifixion, so we can dissect the witness and try to come up with our theory. As any lawyer will dissect any witness and put part of their testimony in trying to collaborate his or her case.

If we had only Bible to go with, we did not have any basic human reason, the Quran and the history then your position against what I am doing could be well founded. I am not drawing my story of resuscitation from the Bible. I have my story about Jesus coming from common sense, what happens to humans physically, socially and politically and from the Quran and then I support it from some verses of the Bible also. I am sorry, as my logic in this area is escaping you, I am in a similar predicament.

Am I making better sense now, I hope it is not an impasse!

If the whole can be rejected, then no part can be accepted.

And you still miss the point. NO ONE who describes or refers to the crucifixion in any way was a witness.
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01-31-2010, 06:27 PM
Post: #9
RE: Review of the world literature: Jesus did not die on the cross
Sahih International
[Mention] when Allah said, "O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve and make those who follow you [in submission to Allah alone] superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me is your return, and I will judge between you concerning that in which you used to differ.
Tafsir al-Jalalayn
And mention, when God said, ‘O Jesus, I am gathering you, seizing you, and raising you to Me, away from the world without death, and I am cleansing you of, removing you far away from, those who disbelieved, and I am setting those who follow you, those Christians and Muslims who believed in your prophethood, above those who disbelieved, in you, namely, the Jews, becoming above them through [definitive] argument and the sword, until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me shall be your return, and I will decide between you, as to what you were at variance about, as regards religion.

Does the Qur'an actually contend that Jesus was not crucified?
Is it possible that this is really a case of misguided tradition? Surah 4:157-158 states: "That they said (in boast), 'We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah'—but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not—nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself." Now if “they” refers to the Jews (and that seems clear), then the Qur'an might be considered technically correct in contending that the Jews themselves did not crucify Jesus (see also John 18:31)—that it was actually the Romans who did the deed. Is it possible that the heart of the conflict here really lies in a faulty interpretation of the Qur'an.

The way I interpret this is that the Quran is stating that they thought they had killed him because he was dead. What the Quran is saying is that the Jews and Romans were sure they killed him, but they killed him not, because God raised him up three days later and wasnt left in permanent death like other like other humans do when they die. So in effect he didnt die because God raised him.
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01-31-2010, 06:36 PM (This post was last modified: 01-31-2010 06:54 PM by Ahmadi.)
Post: #10
RE: Review of the world literature: Jesus did not die on the cross
Phill

There are two different interpretations of these verse of the Holy Quran. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community's interpretation is that Jesus was put on the cross but did not die on the cross. This interpretation they make with a joint study of 30 different verses in the Quran and then reconcile all the details. This is how I would translate those verses:

"And their saying, ‘We did kill the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah;’ whereas they slew him not, nor crucified him, but he was made to appear to them like one crucified; and those who differ therein are certainly in a state of doubt about it; they have no definite knowledge thereof, but only follow a conjecture; and they did not convert this conjecture into a certainty; On the contrary, Allah exalted him to Himself. And Allah is Mighty, Wise." (Al Quran 4:158-159)

We count the first verse that is 'In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful,' this gives rise to the difference in numbering by one.

Romans were involved in the process of putting Jesus Christ on the cross, but recall those references of the Gospels, where Pilate did not actually want to put him on the cross, but on insistence of some of the Jews of that time, he yielded to social pressure. Now, personally I do not believe that a crime done 2000 years ago has any bearing on the present day Jews. I do not believe in guilt by association, or I would be carrying the guilt of billions of Muslims and you will be carrying the guilt of billions of Christians.

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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