In my blog a couple of weeks ago, God’s Truth, (http://www.lorelletaylor.com/gods-truth/) I compared the God I had been learning about in the Bible with Tomorrow’s God, who I had learned about from Neale Donald Walsch. This week I have been studying a book which has had me questioning my beliefs about Jesus’ life and death.
The story of Jesus life is pretty well known by most people, even if they haven’t been raised a Christian. Those of us who went to Sunday School and Church know his life in fairly intimate detail, or so we thought.
In fact, there are large chunks of Jesus’ life story missing from the Bible. However, what we learned, in a nutshell, goes like this:
Jesus was born of a virgin, began ministering to his fellow Jews around Galilee and Jerusalem in his late twenties, early thirties, and died on the cross at the hands of the Romans, a victim of a friend’s betrayal, and condemnation by Jewish priests.
I was quite surprised to find that the book assigned for study in my Biblical Studies course, The Secret Ministry of Jesus: Pioneer Prophet of Interfaith Dialogue, by William M. Mountcastle, posits new theories about most aspects of Jesus’ life and death.
The author began his pondering on the subject of Jesus death, particularly, when he learned what the Qur’an had to say about it. The first problem with this is that, unless we can read and understand Arabic, we have to rely on English translations, all of which are slightly different. The version, which Mountcastle quotes, tells us:
“And for this saying: We have killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of Allah, they killed him not, nor did they cause his death on the cross, but he was made to appear to them as such.” (Ch. 4, The Women, Part VI, v. 157)
I had already learned, from my study of Islam, that the Qur’an says that Jesus did not die on the cross. My conclusions, after much reflection on this, were greatly different from Mountcastle’s.
From my study of Psychology, I knew that our minds work in such a way to fit newly-acquired facts around those beliefs we already hold. Having come to believe that the Qur’an’s version of events were true, Mountcastle set out to find an ending to the Jesus story that fit with his belief that Jesus did not die on the cross.
Along the way, he also discovered some information about the beginning of the Jesus story as well. He discovered that it is quite possible that the Gospels included talk of a virgin birth only so that they would show that Jesus fulfilled the predictions of the Messiah in Isaiah in the Old Testament. However, what he found was that the Hebrew for “young woman” in Isaiah had been incorrectly translated into “virgin” in Greek.
The other troubling evidence he found, relating to this, was found in one of the Gnostic Gospels discovered in Egypt in 1945. Mountcastle tells us that, in the beginning of the Gospel of Thomas, Judas Thomas is identified as Jesus’ twin brother. Yet we can learn from the Bible, in John 11:16, that Thomas is called The Twin. Perhaps we should have realised this sooner.
Mountcastle puts forward a couple of theories about how Jesus could have survived the crucifixion, and some evidence to support these theories. The question then became: if Jesus had survived the crucifixion, what happened to him afterwards?
He found some evidence that Jesus had travelled to India and Tibet. Whilst other scholars had concluded that Jesus travelled to these places prior to his ministry in his home country, Mountcastle used this evidence to support his theory that Jesus travelled to these areas after his crucifixion.
So what is the truth? Did Jesus die on the cross? Perhaps there are other sources which may provide some answers.
Sylvia Browne, in her book The Mystical Life of Jesus, along with information from her studies, claims to have inside information from her spirit guide. Browne tells us that Jesus was not born of a virgin, and that Joseph was her father. Jesus travelled to India and Tibet, among other places, prior to his ministry. He was aided by Pilate, whose wife had dreamed of Jesus. In a plan to keep him alive if at all possible, Jesus was given a drug to make it look as though he was dead. This could explain why, unlike the other men who were crucified that day, Jesus’ legs were not broken, which was done to hasten their death. He was taken to Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb where his wounds were treated.
According to Browne, after he recovered, Jesus travelled with Mary Magdalene and others to Ephesus in Turkey and then on to India and Kashmir, while Joseph of Arimathea went to Glastonbury in England. Joseph returned to Ephesus, and along with, Philip, James, Jesus’ mother, Mary, Mary Magdalene, and their daughter Sarah, Jesus travelled to Europe, where they settled in the south of France.
If you google Mary Magdalene in France, you will, undoubtedly, find some mention of the connection there. There is even a village named Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, at the place where Mary Magdalene, along with other Marys supposedly came ashore. There are many stories of Mary Magdalene settling in France, but none mention Jesus. Surely, someone would have found some evidence of his residence after all these years of belief that Mary lived there.
Another source, which may be of help, is the book I read recently called Jesus: My Autobiography by Tina Louise Spalding, which is a channelled book, written in the voice of Jesus, himself. In that book, Jesus tells us that his conception was as a result of normal marital relations between his parents, but his mother had learned from an archangel in a dream, about the special responsibility she would have in raising this baby.
Jesus tells us that he travelled to places in the east, to India and Kashmir in particular; that he was married to Mary Magdalene upon his return, and had two children; and that his body died on the cross. Jesus says that he was communicating with his guides and his higher self and other beings in the nonphysical, so he knew what was to happen. His spiritual helpers and his education in the east had helped him to prepare for what he had to do. He writes:
“I was told that this death experience, undone through the idea of resurrection, would be the most powerful aspect of my teaching. That was the truth. I was not contained within my body, and I did not raise up a dead body. That is not what happened. The body was merely dematerialized, and I materialized a new one.”
According to this book, Mary and the children did escape to France with the help of friends. Jesus says: “Throughout her life, I came to visit her. We continued as husband and wife in the ordinary sense. We would sleep together; we would make love, for I was there in the physical form frequently.”
As I mentioned in God’s Truth, there are many conflicting stories in The Bible, but when you add to that the many other old documents, which have since been found, and the new ones which have now been channelled, there is no end to the ways in which we can be confused.
How can we know what is the truth? Does it really matter?
I believe it does really matter, but like any beliefs, this is something that is personal to me.
When I first learned from the Qur’an that Jesus did not die on the cross, I was puzzled. Even though I was being told by my guides that this was true, my feelings told me otherwise. I still believed that Jesus did die on the cross. However, if what I read in the Qur’an was true, I had to try to fit this information into my beliefs.
The translation of the Koran, which I had studied, said:
“They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but they thought they did.”
After a long time of pondering, all that I came up with was that, although Jesus’ body died on the cross, “they did not kill him”, because he is eternal, as we all are, “nor did they crucify him”, because as a powerful being, he allowed himself to be crucified, and was not a victim.
I wondered why this story of Jesus’ life has been allowed to become so confused, but then I read something in Mountcastle’s Secret Ministry of Jesus which seemed to help me to understand everything.
It was a quote from Jeremiah 31: 31-34:
“The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors… But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel… I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts… No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the LORD,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest….”
Could this be the reason that all this has come about?
God is asking us now to find our truth, not in any sacred texts, not in The Bible, or The Qur’an, not in the Gnostic Gospels, or the newly-channelled books, but in our own hearts. All of these sources contain some truth, but God is now wishing us to have a personal relationship with Her, which doesn’t mean rejecting the truth of any of these sources, but using our own connection to God within, to find the truth. With that connection, we can KNOW the truth.
As we learned last week:
“Be still! – and KNOW – I AM – God”
I would love to hear what you believe, or what you KNOW about all this.
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