~ Plutarch's Parable ~
Lux Gospel and the Axe of the Apostle
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"Pythagoras, it seems, was greatly admired, and he also greatly admired the Egyptian priests, and, copying their symbolism and secret teachings, incorporated his doctrines in enigmas. As a matter of fact most of the Pythagorean precepts do not at all fall short of the writings that are called hieroglyphs . . . " ~ Plutarch; Introduction to Of Isis and Osiris
I wrote this book because of something I discovered just as I was wrapping up Gabriel's Gift, my previous book. I realized that what I'd found might be even more newsworthy than the secret story that I'd discovered in Luke's Gospel. The hidden message that Jesus and Mary Magdalene married and had children, after all, has been circulating for centuries. And other authors had offered various forms of proof that it was true, although none had used the Holy Bible, alone, as I did, to do so.
But uncovering Luke's real identity has never, to my knowledge, been successfully accomplished, and to do so, I thought, would truly be "a first."
When I started work on Plutarch's Parable, I knew I could prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Plutarch was the author of Luke-Acts. I had no idea -- absolutely no idea -- what other mysteries would be solved -- again inadvertently -- as a result of the research to prove Plutarch was Luke.
It is my sincere desire that everyone who reads Plutarch's Parable will experience the Love and Compassion the heroes and heroines felt for us as they did their work. For some readers there might be a moment of fear -- fear of losing any hope of retaining deeply held convictions. But if that begins to happen, if fear of losing something dear creeps into your mind, take a moment of silence to permit the amazing experience of Their reassurance to enter your heart.
Although it may at first seem disturbing, what you're about to learn is freeing: "You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free." That was his promise.
The Truth frees all of us to finally admit that somehow, some way, we just knew there was something wrong with what we'd been told to believe without question. The Creator gave us brains -- and minds with which to explore the wondrous Universe. Blind faith stifles curiosity, and without curiosity, there can be no great discoveries. Blind unquestioning faith is the prison door that Jesus came to throw open. It was the superstitions keeping people oppressed that he sought to destroy. He had discovered the Truth, and the Source of the Truth. He had found Moses' secret doctrine and the glorious knowledge it contained. He wanted to share that knowledge with the world, even if it might cost him his life to do so. He knew that knowledge is Power.
Let your curiosity lead you as you explore this exciting and renewing discovery of our Hero and Heroine as they really were.
May you read this true story in the Peace, the Love and the Light with which they sent it to you. And may it bring into your life the Freedom from oppression and falsehood He promised to deliver to all people.
Pax Amo Lux
THE MAGIC NUMBER FOR LIGHT
About three years ago I was rereading Luke's gospel and came upon the story of Anna the prophetess (Luke 2:36). I was struck by the strangeness of that story and began to wonder what in the world a woman was permitted to do in a Jewish temple ceremony in Jerusalem at the time Jesus was born. I decided to do some research and write a short article about what I found.
But I immediately ran into a problem: I couldn't get past Anna's age: 84. Why in the world did Luke find it necessary to report her age? It just wasn't critical to the story.
I had been studying "Sacred Numbers" and the various manipulations permitted by Plato and Pythagoras to solve their puzzles. And that may have been the reason I had an urge to multiply Anna's age by pi (22/7). The answer was 264. And by a sheer coincidence I had just finished reading a book by Bruce Cathie, The Energy Grid, in which he quoted Buckminister Fuller's work on DNA/RNA behaviors pertaining to the "birth process," and what is known as "the birth unzipping angle."1
"The Birth Unzipping Angle of the DNA/RNA behaviors" is 26,400 seconds of arc, a "harmonic" of 264.2
So what I discovered in Anna's age was a "harmonic" of the "birth unzipping angle," described by Buckminister Fuller (which corresponds with the Watson-Crick model) and quoted by Bruce Cathie. (Evidence of knowledge of DNA in ancient times is discussed in the Notes section following this chapter.) 4
Notice the "coincidence" here: Fuller's birth unzipping angle, and Luke's story of the ceremony surrounding the birth of Jesus are "harmonics": 264; 26,400.
Coincidence? Maybe. There was only one way to find out, and that was to see if any of the other numbers scattered throughout Luke's gospel also revealed similar "coincidences."
That was the beginning of a research project into the numbers to see if this "birth harmonics coincidence" was just a fluke, or if there was something everyone had missed for over two thousand years. What happened next changed my life forever.
I went to chapter one to look for more numbers. There are only five scattered throughout the eighty verses in chapter one: 5, 6, 6, 3, 8. (These numbers can be found in the context of the biblical verses at the end of this chapter. 3 )
I had an urge to multiply the numbers in chapter one:
5 x 6 x 6 x 3 x 8 = 4320. I immediately recognized that number from my study of "Sacred Numbers." I knew it was considered "sacred" for this reason:
Divide 4320 by 2 to get the diameter of the moon (2,160 miles);
multiply 432,000 by 2 to get the diameter of the sun (864,000 miles);
square 432 to get the speed of light (186,624 miles per second).
One number, 432, with and/or without one or more zeros, and applying just one mathematical function, reveals the light that shines at night, the light that shines by day, and light itself. I learned from research for writing this book that there are other equally significant meanings applied to 432. Those come later.
Luke means light; Lux was the goddess of Light in ancient mythology, and there is evidence that a group associated with the sect of the Nazarenes referred to themselves as The Children of Light. There is also evidence that the Nazarenes were one of the groups that later became better known as the "Church-denigrated" gnostics. Gnostic simply means knowledge, and the knowledge these Nazarene Gnostics possessed was scientific and astronomical. And it was about the role light plays in creating matter (E=mc2).
These numbers that Luke threw out right off the bat in chapter one led to, and supports, the foundation of this work: Luke hid the Truth in coded numbers and words -- parables -- and anyone who seeks to know the truth must be willing to look for it by decoding Luke's puzzle clues. Luke wrote a great mystery novel, based on historical events, but a mystery nevertheless. And the 432 code is just one example of the evidence presented in my previous book, Gabriel's Gift: The Message and Mysteries in Luke and Acts, and this book, that suggests there is more to the stories than meets the eye. "Those with ears to hear and eyes to see" will quickly recognize there is indeed much, much more.
Studied in light of this realization, Luke's opening paragraphs in both his works, Luke and Acts, provide far more information than appears on the surface:
Luke 1:1-4: "Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed." (Emphasis added.)
Acts 1:1-2: "In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.
Many have wondered who Theophilus might have been. Once I prove that Luke-Acts contain coded messages, it will become clear that Theophilus is a code word that addresses you and me and anyone else who loves the study of religion. Theo is Greek for things religious (theology), and philus is Greek for love.
By the time you finish this book, and I do hope you'll finish it even if the biblical quotes seem tedious at times, it will be clear that Luke-Acts was written during a time of great persecution, that those being persecuted were the Nazarenes, and that Luke believed that the only way the truth was going to be preserved was if he could sneak it past those who were determined to destroy it. He succeeded so well that it's taken two thousand years for the code to be discovered. Perhaps his ploy was too good! But perhaps the timing is by design, too.
One of the most important things I found as I followed the trail of bread crumbs laid out by Luke was his true identity. He made it impossible for anyone who found the coded messages not to also discover his real name -- or at least the name by which he became famous. When I started, that was the primary focus of this work because Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus wanted the world to know not only the Truth, but he also wanted the world to know the truth about who wrote Luke-Acts. So he left his fingerprints all over both texts and provided matching prints in virtually all of his other works, as well. And then he built a library!
This is a story of constant surprises and new discoveries about Jesus, his life, his work, and his family. The hidden stories confirm many ancient Christian traditions, while it dispels others. What it reveals about the Apostle Paul may come as a shock, considering that two thousand years of religious history has said that Luke was one of Paul's faithful traveling companions. That turns out to be false, and the proof is in Luke's Acts of the Apostles.
Church leaders may be able to oppose Dan Brown's, The DaVinci Code, by repeating over and over, "It's fiction." They may be able to belittle Laurence Gardner's claims in, Bloodline of the Holy Grail, as the imaginations of a madman. But how can they dispute Luke-Acts as "fiction" or "the work of a madman"? They've already invested too many years and too many lives proving that the scriptures are "The Word of God."
What Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus has done, using the pseudonym, Luke (also a shortened version of his adopted first name), is to confirm both Gardner's and Brown's underlying theme: Jesus married, fathered children, and offered The Nazarene Way of Life to all the oppressed people of his time and of subsequent times. And modern Christianity, based almost entirely on the letters of Paul, has very little in common with The Nazarene Way of Life that Jesus and his disciples disseminated.
But Luke's real identity and proof of the marriage and children wasn't the big news I thought it would be when I set out to report it. By the time I finished the research, all that had been eclipsed by the biggest news of all time. However, it is absolutely necessary that the preliminary steps laid out in the early chapters be taken first, for without following the path of evidence, the conclusion is too unbelievable to accept.
CHAPTER ONE FOOTNOTES
1 Bruce Cathie's quotation and explanation from Buckminister Fuller's work on DNA/RNA Behaviors and the "Birth Unzipping Angle":
" . . . five tetrahedra, triple bonded to one another around a common edge axis fall short of 360 degrees by 7 degrees, 20 minutes. This gap is called the birth unzipping angle of the DNA/RNA behaviors. The unzipping occurring as the birth dichotomy, the new life breaking off from the old pattern with the perfect imprint and repeating the other's growth pattern." (Bruce Cathie, The Energy Grid, Adventures Unlimited Press, 1997, (ISBN 0-932813-44-5) p. 163.)
Cathie then explains that 7 degrees, 20 minutes equal 26,400 seconds of arc. For the non-mathematical, such as myself, that determination comes from the measurement of circles by dividing them into "degrees," "minutes," and "seconds" of arc. To convert "degrees" and "minutes" to "seconds" in this case:
7 degrees x 60 minutes x 60 seconds = 25,200 seconds of arc in 7 degrees.
20 minutes x 60 seconds = 1,200 seconds of arc in 20 minutes.
Adding the two together reveals the number of seconds of arc in 7 degrees, 20 minutes: 25,200 + 1,200 = 26,400 seconds of arc.
2 Cathie and others have described and explained "sacred numbers" and "harmonics" of numbers. Other examples of numbers that are "harmonics" of 264 and 26,400 are: 26.4, .00264, 264,000,000, etc. In other words, harmonics are numbers that have, as a foundation, a sequence of numbers that match. Zeros can be added to the left or right, and the decimal point can be moved to the left or right. Ancient philosophers and sages, such as Pythagoras, Plato, and other founders and teachers of mystery schools, taught and played with certain numbers that they declared to be "sacred," and "harmonics" were important in the puzzles and exercises they gave to their students.
3 Luke 1:24: "After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion."
3 Luke 1:27: "In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth . . ."
3 Luke 1:36: "And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren."
3 Luke 1:56: "And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home."
3 Luke 1:59: "On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father."
4 Zechariah Sitchin, The Cosmic Code, suggests that knowledge of DNA existed in ancient times:
Page 101: "The withheld knowledge, Marduk pointed out, was the secret of resurrecting the dead; that secret knowledge was imparted by Enki to Maraduk's brother, Ningishzidda/Thoth, but not to Marduk/Ra.
"That secret knowledge, those powers granted to Thoth/Ningishzidda, found expression in Mesopotamian art and worship by depicting him by or with the symbol of the Entwined Serpents . . . A symbol that we have identified as a representation of the double helix DNA . . . A symbol that has survived to our time as the emblem of medicine and healing."
Sitchen reviews the ancient myth of Isis and Osiris to introduce more of the history of DNA knowledge, p. 106:
"Isis appealed to Thoth, the Keeper of the Divine Secrets, to help her. Extracting the 'essence' of Osiris from the dead god's available parts, Thoth helped Isis impregnate herself and give birth to a son, Horus.
"The 'essence' (not 'seed'!), we now know, was what we nowadays call DNA -- the genetic nucleic acids that form chains on the chromosomes, chains that are arranged in base pairs in a double helix . . . At conception, when the male sperm enters the female egg, the entwined double helixes separate, and one strand from the male combines with one strand from the female to form a new double-helixed DNA for their offspring. It is thus essential not only to bring together the two double-helixed DNAs, but also to attain a separation -- an unwinding -- of the double strands, and then a recombining of only one strand from each source into the new entwined double-helixed DNA.
"Pictorial depictions from ancient Egypt indicate that Thoth -- the son of Ptah/Enki -- was well aware of these biological-genetic processes and employed them in his genetic feats."
That may seem like a bit of stretch, even with depictions that show entwined serpents that are, in appearance, similar to the double helix DNA strand. But another section either supports this conclusion or makes it even more bizarre. The following is a description of Gilgamesh, the Sumerian hero:
Page 114: "He was . . . 'two-thirds divine because it was not his father but his mother who was a goddess, one of the female Anunnaki.
"Here, we believe, is the key to the puzzle of the succession rules and other emphasis on the mother. It is through her that an extra 'qualifying dose' was given to the hero or the heir (be it Anunnaki or patriarchal).
"This seemed to make no sense even after the discovery, in 1953, of the double-helix structure of DNA and the understanding how the two strands unwind and separate so that only one strand from the female egg and one strand from the male sperm recombine, making the offspring a fifty-fifty image of its parents. Indeed, this understanding . . . defied the inexplicable claim of Gilgamesh to be two-thirds divine.
"It was not until the 1980s that the ancient claims began to make sense. This came with the discovery that in addition to the DNA stored in the cells of both males and females in the double-helix structures on the chromosome stems, forming the cell's nucleus, there was another kind of DNA that floats in the cell outside the nucleus. Given the designation Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), it was found to be transmitted only from the mother as is, i.e. without splitting and recombining with any DNA from the male.
"In other words, if the mother of Gilgamesh was a goddess, then he had indeed inherited both her half of the regular DNA plus her mtDNA, making him, as he had claimed, two-thirds divine.
"It was this discovery of the existence and transmittal as is of mtDNA that has enabled scientists, from 1986 on, to trace the mtDNA in modern humans to an 'Eve' who had lived in Africa some 250,000 years ago."
Sitchin provides much more, far more complex explanations of DNA, but this provides enough information to at least suggest that some of the hidden knowledge (gnosis), passed down through thousands of years in underground mystery schools, was quite advanced.
I realized that Luke was a pseudonym for Plutarch just as I was wrapping up Gabriel's Gift. Since the discovery was inadvertent and not the purpose for writing that book, it received only nominal mention in it. I did realize, when I discovered that virtually all the characters who appeared in Acts were historical or mythological characters who had appeared in Plutarch's Parallel Lives, that I had been assigned another research and writing project. You're now reading the results of that assignment.
Another clue that Plutarch was Luke was that his collection of works known as the Moralia contains teachings similar to those of Pythagoras and the Nazarenes and Essenes. The question was, could I support this deeply held "opinion" with data from other sources? And what about the two thousand year tradition that Luke was Paul's beloved physician? Before I could even begin to present convincingproof that Plutarch was Luke, I first had to determine if there was any real proof that he was a physician who traveled with Paul.
All sources agree that the Church's position has long been that Luke's gospel was written by the person Paul named as the beloved physician at Colossians 4:14. Most people who have attempted to write a biographical history about Luke work under that assumption, and it is a deeply held conviction for most. But because Luke's gospel all but screams in protest to that tradition, I kept looking for something that might suggest the tradition was not based on any supportable facts.
A most helpful web site, titled From Jesus to Christ: The Story of the Storytellers, can be found at www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/luke. It's a collection of essays by various biblical and religious scholars.
The first essay is by Harold W. Attridge: The Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament Yale Divinity School. It begins with the following:
"Traditions report that Luke was a companion of Paul, a physician and therefore someone learned in Hellenistic literary and scientific culture. All of those are secondary traditions and most scholars view them as somewhat unreliable. What we can infer from the evidence of the Book of Acts and the third gospel is that the author was someone who was steeped in scripture, in the Septuagint, and who was aware of Hellenistic literary patterns, historiographical and novelistic. And these kinds of patterns certainly have an impact on his literary products."
Attridge also reports that: "Luke was probably writing in the latter decades of the first century, probably in a thoroughly Hellenistic environment. Scholars speculate on whether the gospel was written in Antioch, which would have been a significant Hellenistic city, or in Asia Minor, in places like Ephesus or Smyrna. In either case, Luke would have been in touch with, and very heavily in dialogue with, Hellenistic culture broadly conceived."
The same web site posted the following from an essay written by L. Michael White: Professor of Classics and Director of the Religious Studies Program University of Texas at Austin:
"Luke's audience seems to be a much more cultured literary kind of audience. Luke's Greek is the highest quality in style of anything in the new testament. It reads more like a novel in the Greek tradition, rather than Mark's gospel, which has a kind of crude quality at times to the Greek grammar. So anyone on the street of a Greek city picking up Luke's gospel would have felt at home with it if they were able to read good Greek."
White also notes: "Jesus in Luke's gospel comes across differently, he's much more like a philosophic teacher, kind of like Socrates: he's reasoned, he's dispassionate, he's a critic sometimes of society but he's certainly concerned about the way his teachings bear on society. And in the end he dies very much like Socrates. The death of Jesus in Luke's gospel is more like a martyr's death, it's much calmer, he goes inexorably to the cross, knowing that it is what must happen. Pilate isn't at fault at all. Pilate tries to get rid of the case by sending Jesus away to Herod ... Pilate isn't the enemy of Jesus, he isn't the bad guy. And once again this may reflect the kind of political concerns of Luke's gospel. Jesus also isn't a source of concern because he's not a kind of rebel figure now, rather he's a teacher, a philosopher, a social critic, a social reformer. He's a good member of the Greco-Roman world."
According to Kenneth S. Wuest, Quotes About the Bible and History, www.bible-history.com/quotes/kenneth_s_wuest_1, taken from his book, Word studies in the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans 1979) pp..52-54:
"Luke was a Greek, educated in the Greek schools, prepared for the medical practice which was held in high regard as a profession, and among the Greeks had attained to a place of eminence among the nations of the world. Greek doctors of medicine were in attendance upon many of the royal families of other nations. The Greeks were by nature and training, a race of creative thinkers who pursued their studies in a scientific manner. Their sense of what really constituted scientific accuracy and method in the recording of history was well developed."
"The writings of Luke . . . demonstrates Luke's training as an historian."
" . . . Luke arranges the facts of our Lord's life in historical order as they occurred. The other Gospels do not claim to do that."
" . . . Luke had the historian's mind, a thing native to the educated Greek. Herodotus, the father of Greek history, exhibited the Greek determination to get at the truth no matter how much work it required . . . Sir William Ramsey said, 'I regard Luke as the greatest historian who has ever lived, save only Thucydides.' Thus we have no doubt but that Luke made a personal investigation of all the facts he had recorded. He interviewed every witness, visited every locality. If Mary was still alive, he, a doctor of medicine, investigated the story of the virgin birth by hearing from Mary's own lips. And as Professor John A. Scott, a great Greek scholar has said, 'You could not fool Doctor Luke.'"
So, even investigators who are clearly fundamentalist Christians, and who also believe the tradition that Luke was a physician, are forced to focus more on his "historian's mind" and Greek heritage than on his practice of medicine. There is simply no evidence that he practiced medicine except for Paul's reference to his beloved physician, and the fact that he was clearly quite well educated. The evidence is overwhelming, however, that he was a skilled writer, a historian, and a Greek, all of which describe Plutarch.
Another web site has posted An Introduction to the New Testament by Richard Heard, (Harper & Brothers, New York, 1950), prepared for Religion-Online by Ted and Winnie Brock. (www.religion-online.org/showchapter.asp?title=531&C=553)
"The tradition of Luke's authorship of the gospel remained undisputed till modern times, and can be traced back to the second half of the second century AD An early prologue to the gospel survives, which was perhaps written to stress the genuineness of the full gospel against a garbled version which Marcion, a second century heretic, edited to propagate his own views. In this prologue are given a number of details about Luke which may well preserve much genuine tradition.
'Luke is a Syrian of Antioch, a doctor by profession, who was a disciple of apostles, and later followed Paul until his martyrdom. He served the Lord without distraction, unmarried, childless, and fell asleep at the age of 84 in Boeotia, full of the Holy Spirit.'"
As stated in the article, it is known that this supplemental information about Luke was furnished almost a century after Luke wrote his gospel, and only after Marcion, described as a "second century heretic," became a significant competitor of the official Church. Marcion rejected the Old Testament and all gospels except Luke's, but he altered Luke's to exclude any reference to Old Testament texts. This prologue, then, was created by the official church to counter Marcion's competing religion. This hardly qualifies as proof that Luke was a physician, and it is pure conjecture that the tradition " . . . may well preserve much genuine tradition."
This tradition has been adopted by many who repeat it without explanation of where and how it came to exist: "The reports of Luke's life after Paul's death are conflicting. Some early writers claim he was martyred, others say he lived a long life. Some say he preached in Greece, others in Gaul. The earliest tradition we have says that he died at Boeotia in 84 CE after settling in Greece to write his Gospel." (www.user.senet.com.au/~gwilym/Saint%20Luke)
But buried in this tradition is a piece of information that is of immense importance to my hypothesis that Plutarch was Luke. Whoever created this description of Luke in the second half of the second century must have known that he wrote his gospel while residing in the province of Boeotia. And coincidentally, Plutarch's history includes the same province:
" . . . Plutarch was probably born in 46 in the Boeotian town Chaeronea.
"In the 90's, Plutarch, who had seen much of the world, settled in his home town. When asked to explain his return to the province, he said that Chaeronea was in decline and that it would be even smaller if he did not settle there." (www.livius.org/pi-pm/plutarch/plutarch)
Of course the province referred to here, Boeotia, is the very province in which church tradition says Luke settled to write his gospel! And the year of Luke's traditional death, 84 ACE (although contradicted by other sources), reminded me of Anna's age. My guess is that the church father who recognized what Plutarch had done, and realized that it was he who had written Luke-Acts, thought it might be clever to use Plutarch's "birth code number," 84, to allege his death in that year.
After Plutarch settled back in Boeotia to live out his life where he was born, a library was built near the sanctuary in the holy city of Delphi, where he served as one of the two permanent priests:
"In these years, a library was built near the sanctuary, and it is tempting to assume that Plutarch was behind this initiative." (www.livius.org/pi-pm/plutarch/plutarch.)
I believe that would be a safe assumption; Plutarch accumulated all the ancient myths, plays, and stories, including his own, in one place so that people could read Luke-Acts and figure out exactly what the truth was, and also figure out who wrote them.
The question, "Is there any real proof that Luke was a physician who traveled with Paul?" has, I think, been answered. All the church has to support the claim that Luke was Paul's physician comes from Paul's letter to the Colossians (4:14) and "church tradition," created decades, if not centuries, later. And the "traditions" surrounding Luke do not always agree. No real proof exists.
Now I can set about to prove that Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus was Luke.
"Plutarch traveled widely, visiting central Greece, Sparta, Corinth, Patrae, Sardis, and Alexandria, but he made his normal residence at Chaeronea, where he held the chief magistracy and other municipal posts and directed a school with a wide curriculum in which philosophy, especially ethics, occupied the central place.
"He maintained close links with the Academy at Athens (he possessed Athenian citizenship) and with Delphi, where, from about 95, he held a priesthood for life; he may have won Trajan's interest and support for the then-renewed vogue of the oracle . . .
" . . . Plutarch's philosophy was eclectic, with borrowings from the Stoics, Pythagoreans, and Peripatetic (but not the Epicureans) grouped around a core of Platonism. His main interest was in ethics, though he developed a mystical side, especially in his later years; he reveals that he had been initiated into the mysteries of the cult of Dionysus, and both as a Platonist and as an initiate he believed in the immortality of the soul . . ."
From www.livius.org/pi-pm/plutarch/plutarch: " . . . Plutarch was probably born in 46 in the Boeotian town Chaeronea. His parents were wealthy people, and after 67 (ACE), their son was able to study philosophy, rhetoric, and mathematics at the Platonist Academy of Athens. However, Plutarch never became a platonist puritan, but always remained open to influences from other philosophical schools, such as the Stoa and the school of Aristotle. It is likely that the young man was present when the Emperor Nero, who visited Greece at this time, declared the Greek towns to be free and autonomous.
"Because Plutarch was a rich man, he became one of the leading citizens of Chaeronea and he is known to have represented his town on several occasions. For example, he visited the governor of Achaea, and traveled to Alexandria and Rome (several times). Again, this proves that he was a rich man.
"Among his friends was Lucius Mestrius Florus, a consul during the reign of Vespasian, and Plutarch's guide during his visit to Bedriacum, where two important battles had been fought in 69, the year of the four emperors. Mestrius also secured the Roman citizenship for Plutarch, whose official name now became Mestrius Plutarchus. At the end of his life, he was honored with the procuratorship of Achaea, an important office that he probably held only in name. His involvement in the Roman world, although from a carefully maintained distance, explains why he shows so much interest in the history of Rome.
"In the two first decades of the second century, he studied and wrote many books. According to an incomplete third-century catalogue, there were between 200 and 300 titles. These books brought him international fame, and the home of the famous author became a private school for young philosophers. He was often visited by Greeks and Romans, although not necessarily to study philosophy. The emperor Trajan may have been one of the visitors (winter 113/114?), and it may have been on this occasion that Trajan honored Plutarch with the ornaments of a consul, an important award. From now on, Plutarch was allowed to wear a golden ring and a white toga with a border made of purple.
"Plutarch died after his procuratorship, which was in 119, and before 125 . . ."
These various resources begin to paint pictures of Plutarch and Luke that contain an inordinate number of parallels: They were both city boys; both were wealthy; both were educated and had intimate knowledge about government and government positions. Both used the same unique phrases and words, and both used the same unique styles of writing. Only Luke mentions "Nazarenes" as being a "sect." And the traditions and teachings of Nazarenes, based on OT descriptions of "nazirites," describe the traditions and teachings of Pythagoras and Plato, both of whom Plutarch studied and imitated: he wore white, did not cut his hair, and was a vegetarian, among many other similarities
ELPENOR AND EUTYCHUS
The argument most often presented as "supporting documentation" that Luke traveled with Paul, and was the Luke described as a physician, is based in part on the way the Acts of the Apostles, Luke's second volume, was written. The argument for Luke as Paul's traveling companion is based on the change of voice from third person to first person that occurs at Acts 16:8-10. And it is this argument that provides a perfect segue into the first item of proof that Luke's gospel was actually written by Plutarch. An example of the typical argument that is based on the change of voice can be found at (www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=76):
"We have to go to Acts to follow the trail of Luke's Christian ministry. We know nothing about his conversion but looking at the language of Acts we can see where he joined Saint Paul. The story of the Acts is written in the third person, as an historian recording facts, up until the sixteenth chapter. In Acts 16:8-9 we hear of Paul's company 'So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.' Then suddenly in 16:10 'they' becomes 'we': 'When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.
"So Luke first joined Paul's company at Troas at about the year 51 and accompanied him into Macedonia . . . Luke then switches back to the third person which seems to indicate he was not thrown into prison with Paul and that when Paul left Philippi Luke stayed behind to encourage the Church there. In Acts 20:5, the switch to 'we' tells us that Luke has left Philippi to rejoin Paul in Troas in 58 where they first met up."
But this frequently cited "proof" that Luke was Paul's traveling companion has been questioned by some biblical scholars, specifically those who also study ancient epics and Greek mythology. Some serious theologians have noted the similarities between Luke's Eutychus (Acts 20:7-12) and Homer's Elpenor in the Odyssey.
An excellent example of this discovery can be found in an essay titled, Luke's Eutychus and Homer's Elpenor: Acts 20:7-12 and Odyssey 10-12, by Dennis R. MacDonald, published in the JHC 1 (Fall 1994), pp. 4-24, Copyright @Institute for Higher Critical Studies, 1996. I found this article during one of my searches using Luke and Plutarch as key words at www.depts.drew.edu/jhc/mcdonald:
"Homer's Odysseus speaks:
'There was one, Elpenor, the youngest of all, not over valiant in war nor sound of understanding, who had laid him down apart from his comrades in the sacred house of Circe, seeking the cool air, for he was heavy with wine. He heard the noise and the bustle of his comrades as they moved about, and suddenly sprang up, and forgot to go to the long ladder that he might come down again, but fell headlong from the roof, and his neck was broken away from the spine, and his spirit went down to the house of Hades. (Odyssey 10.552-60).'"
Note the similarities in Luke's story about Eutychus:
Acts 20:8-12 : "There were many lamps in the room upstairs where we were meeting. A young man named Eutychus, who was sitting in the window, began to sink off into a deep sleep while Paul talked still longer. Overcome by sleep, he fell to the ground three floors below and was picked up dead. But Paul went down, and bending over him took him in his arms, and said, 'Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.' Then Paul went upstairs, and after he had broken bread and eaten, he continued to converse with them until dawn; then he left. Meanwhile they had taken the boy away alive and were not a little comforted."
MacDonald notes: "Because of his strategic location immediately prior to, at the beginning of, and immediately following one of Homer's most memorable and controversial episodes, Elpenor became an ancient household word, even in Christian households. Clement of Alexandria, writing at the end of the second century cited the example of Elpenor's fall in order to discourage drunkenness and assumed that his readers would recognize the tale: 'just as Elpenor 'broke his neck' (Odyssey 10.560) when he fell down because he was drunk.'" (Emphasis added.)
In other words, Luke would have been quite aware that all educated Greeks, and most educated Christians, would see the similarities between Eutychus and Elpenor. He wasn't plagiarizing out of laziness; he plagiarized in order to attract attention and raise questions in the minds of those who read his gospel. When a writer is creating a mystery novel, the clues must be strategically placed to help the reader solve the riddle! It becomes clear later on that Luke placed numerous clues throughout Luke-Acts.
MacDonald: "L. Mestrius Plutarchus (c. 50-120CE), Luke's contemporary, wrote two stories about young men who visited the netherworld; the one most relevant to Eutychus is that of Thespesius. . . " (Emphasis added.)
Here we have a noted biblical scholar pointing to the similarities between one of Plutarch's characters and one of Luke's. MacDonald then demonstrates the similarities between Plutarch's Thespesius and Homer's Elpenor. What MacDonald has done, then, is to show how the stories of Homer's Elpenor, Plutarch's Thespesius, and Luke's Eutychus all tell the same story, using different names. Plutarch and Luke, of course, would have used Homer's Odyssey as their pattern.
MacDonald's comparison of the Odyssey, 10-12, and Acts, 20:7-12, is most intriguing:
1. Odyssey 10-12: Odysseus and crew leave Troy and sail back to Achaea.
Acts 20:7-12: Paul and crew stop at Troy, having left Achaea to sail back to Jerusalem.
2. Odyssey 10-12: First person plural (most of book 10).
Acts 20:7-12: First person plural (20:1-8). (Gott note: these were switches from third person to first person.)
3. Odyssey 10-12: After a sojourn, a meal (10.466-77).
Acts: 20:7-12: After a sojourn, a meal (20:6,7,11).
4. Odyssey 10-12: Circe's 'dark halls' (10.479.
Acts: 20:7-12: There were plenty of lamps in the upper room (20:8).
5. Odyssey 10-12: 'sweet sleep (glukon upnon, 10.548).
Acts 20:7-12: 'deep sleep' (upno bathei, 20:9).
6. Odyssey 10-12: Switch to third person (10.552).
Acts 20:7-12: Switch to third person (20:9).
7. Odyssey 10-12: There was one, Elpenor, the youngest of all lying on the roof (10.552).
Acts 20:7-12: A certain young man named Eutychus was seated at a window (20:9).
8. Odyssey 10-12: Elpenor fell from a roof (10.559-11.64).
Acts 20:7-12: Eutychus fell from the third story (20:9).
9. Odyssey 10-12: Elpenor's soul (psuche) goes to Hades (10.560-11.65).
Acts 20:7-12: Eutychus's soul (psuche) stays in him (20:10).
10. Odyssey 10-12: Delay in burying Elpenor until dawn of the next day (12.1-15).
Acts 20:7-12: Delay in raising Eutychus until dawn of the next day (20:11).
11. Odyssey 10-12: Associates fetch the body 12.10).
Acts 20:7-12: Associates revive the body (20:12).
"The parallels between these stories are more lexical, more detailed, and more sequential than the rewritings of the Elpenor story by Plato, Plutarch, Virgil, and Apuleius discussed earlier.
"The literary critic Gerard Genette would call Luke's manipulation of the Elpenor story a 'hypertextual transvaluation,' a common literary strategy for replacing the values or perspectives of an earlier, targeted text (the 'hypotext') with alternative values or perspectives. For such a strategy to succeed, the hypertext must display, even if obscurely, its relationship to the hypotext. Obviously, the strategy has not succeeded with modern readers of Acts; no previous study of the text has suggested this relationship. Furthermore, evidence of ancient readings provide little encouragement that they understood the Homeric background either." (Emphasis added.)
"On the other hand, two additional aspects of the story in Acts indicate that Luke advertised its Homeric hypertextuality, even though his readers failed to perceive it: The location of the story in Troas and the name Eutychus.
"Troas, of course, is ancient Troy. To be sure, the city of Troy during Luke's day was not precisely on the location of the ancient city, but it was nearby, and the two were repeatedly identified with each other. No educated ancient would have been numb to Troy's rich mythological and Homeric associations, including the nostos of Odysseus and Elpenor back to Achaea from the Troad. By placing the story of Eutychus in Troy, Luke seems to be hinting that one should read it in light of Troy's legacy."
This writer suggests, then, that Luke wrote this story fully intending that the readers associate it with stories of ancient Troy. And he made the change in voice from third person to first, and back again, just as Homer had done in Odyssey, and at the very same point in the clearly similar stories. And if that was Luke's purpose here, it seems obvious that he intended to do the same with the other references to historical, mythical, and fictional characters scattered throughout Acts. Luke used stories and myths that were well known to the people of the time. And although others have noted that he used this technique, the real purpose behind it has been overlooked.
Within the various stories, most of which can be easily associated with a historical event, a mythical or fictional character or a well-known location, is a coded message. It says, "The stories being told by other Christian narratives are not true. The doctrine being taught is not Jesus' doctrine. Herein lies the truth. Read Homer, Euripedes, Aratus, Tiresias, Epimenides. Read Plutarch!!!"
MacDonald adds additional support: "Because of the popularity of Odysseus's visit to the netherworld in Odysseus Book 11, the famous nekyia, Luke could assume that his more educated readers would have recognized the similarities between the stories. (Emphasis added. The addressee's name, Theophilus, makes more sense already.)
"If the hypothesis advanced here is correct -- namely, that the story in Acts 20:7-12 is a hypertextual transvaluation of Homer's Elpenor -- it bears weighty implications for our understanding of Acts as a whole. First, Luke apparently expected his primary audience (Theophilus, say) to have been sufficiently aware of The Odyssey in order to decode the Eutychus story as a clever transformation of a classical tale. Luke was writing for a sophisticated reader.
"Second, other passages of Acts, especially other we-passages, may also play off against the Homeric epics or other Greek mythology. For example, the story of Paul and Silas dragged off to prison for exorcising a slave girl and their subsequent prison break has parallels in 'The Bacchae' of Euripides. Tiresias' prophecy to Odysseus concerning his death might compare with Agabus's prophecy to Paul about his death. One also must not overlook the famous shipwreck scene in Acts 27-28 and the story of the serpent at Malta. Odysseus too faces dreadful monsters on islands and outlives them.
"Third, if the story of Elpenor lies behind that of Eutychus, it would add support to those who suggest that Acts ought not be read as an historical record but as an historical novel. One misses the point in the Eutychus tale if one insists that Luke intended the reader to view it as an historical event." (Emphasis added.)
The third implication is where in my humble opinion everyone has gone wrong. Fundamental Christians believe Luke-Acts are accurate historical and literal records of events during the early days of Christianity. Intellectual agnostic scholars claim the works are completely fictional in content and have nothing to do with historical events.
I propose another hypothesis: The exoteric stories are parables, written as historical novels and never intended to describe historical events; the esoteric messages, however, are historical records of historical events. The events that had actually occurred contradicted the government-supported church doctrine and church history. All references to the historical events, therefore, were being suppressed.
The stories in Luke-Acts are a blend of ancient history-based tales, popular myths, and popular classical literature, and Luke used them to convey the historical truth about what had happened to Jesus and his message, called The Nazarene Way. The associations to other stories popular at the time, and the content of the associated texts, told the real story of Jesus and what had happened to him. And they also told the story of what was happening to the descendants of Jesus' and his faithful disciples at the time these two books addressed to Theophilus were written.
Additional parallels can be found in Plutarch's stories and Luke-Acts. From The Life of Numa by Plutarch: "There the chief of the augurs turned the veiled head of Numa towards the south, while he himself, standing behind him, and laying the right hand on his head, prayed aloud, and turned his eyes in all directions to observe whatever birds or other omens might be sent from the gods. Then an incredible silence fell upon the vast multitude in the forum, who watched in eager suspense for the issue, until at last auspicious birds appeared and approached the scene on the right. Then Numa put on his royal robes and went down from the citadel to the multitude, where he was received with glad cries of welcome as the most pious of men and most beloved of the gods."
Compare that scene to this one from Luke 3:21: "Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, 'You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."
The "entrance" of Jesus into his ministry is accompanied by birds and his anointing as "Beloved of God." Numa's "entrance" to serve his people is also accompanied by birds and he is described as the "most beloved of the gods."
An essay on The Baptism and Geneaolgy of Jesus, found at a web site titled, bible.org, Trustworthy Bible Study Resources, provides collaborating commentary: www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=1013:
"To Greco-Roman hearers of Luke's narrative this would evoke echoes of the Roman use of the flight of birds of omen to discern the decrees of fate. For example, Plutarch in describing how Numa was chosen king after Romulus tells how Numa insisted that before he assumed the kingship his authority must first be ratified by heaven . . . In such a thought-world the Lukan narrative would be viewed as an omen of Jesus' status."
Additional correlation can be found in Romulus by Plutarch, when he describes what occurred at Romulus' death: " . . . strange and unaccountable disorders and alterations took place in the air; the face of the sun was darkened, and the day turned into night, and that, too, no quiet, peaceable night, but with terrible thunderings, and boisterous winds from all quarters; during which the common people dispersed and fled, but the senators kept close together. The tempest being over and the light breaking out, when the people gathered again, they missed and inquired for their king; the senators suffered them not to search, or busy themselves about the matter, but commanded them to honor and worship Romulus as one taken up to the gods, and about to be to them, in the place of a good prince, now a propitious god. The multitude, hearing this, went away believing and rejoicing in hopes of good things from him; but there were some, who, canvassing the matter in a hostile temper, accused and aspersed the patricians, as men that persuaded the people to believe ridiculous tales, when they themselves were the murderers of the king."
Luke 23:44-48: "It came now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun's light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, 'Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.' Having said this, he breathed his last. When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, 'Certainly this man was innocent.' And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts."
Luke 24:51: "While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God."
Acts 1:9: "When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight."
These are "exit" scenes as Romulus and Jesus leave the earth. Plutarch and Luke write of a darkened sun, Romulus and Jesus were both "taken up" and "became . . . god." The crowds that had gathered in both scenes "went away" and "rejoiced."
And then there's this from Plutarch's Romulus: "Things being in this disorder, one, they say, of the patricians, of noble family and approved good character, and a faithful and familiar friend of Romulus himself, having come with him from Alba, Julius Proculus by name, presented himself in the forum; and, taking a most sacred oath, protested before them all, that, as he was traveling on the road, he had seen Romulus coming to meet him, looking taller and comelier than ever, dressed in shining and flaming armour; and he, being afrighted at the apparition, said, 'Why, O king, or for what purpose have you abandoned us to unjust and wicked surmises, and the whole city to bereavement and endless sorrow?' and that he made answer, 'It pleased the gods O Proculus, that we, who came from them, should remain so long a time amongst men as we did; and having built a city to be the greatest in the world for empire and glory, should again return to heaven. But farewell; and tell the Romans, that, by the exercise of temperance and fortitude, they shall attain the height of human power; we will be to you the propitious god Quirinus.'" (Emphasis added.)
Luke 24:13-16: "Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him."
Luke 24:31-49: "Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, 'Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?' That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, 'The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!' Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of bread.
"While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, 'Peace be with you.' They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, 'Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.' And when he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, 'Have you anything here to eat?' They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.
"Then he said to them, 'These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you -- that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.' Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, 'Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."
And of course Jesus, as did Romulus, then returned to heaven.
Plutarch described a resurrected Romulus, seen by a friend and former traveling companion on a road who was "afrighted"; Luke described a resurrected Jesus, first seen on a road by two disciples who had traveled with him. They were "startled and terrified," and Jesus asked, "Why are you frightened?" Both Jesus and Romulus explained that they had come from heaven and were returning to heaven. Both writers used dialogue to bring these scenes to life, providing an addition similarity between the stories.
Two web sites offer in-depth examinations of Luke's unique writing style and exclusive use of certain words. Both name Plutarch as one with which to compare the words and style found in Luke-Acts. I did not quote them here because they are difficult to read. But for the ultra-skeptic, they add more scholarly evidence. You will find them at http://users.ox.ac.uk/~sben0056/newbooklets/lukespirit.doc;
Although neither author intentionally connected the person of Luke with the person of Plutarch, their analysis of Luke's unique words and writing style, comparing it with Plutarch's, accomplished it just the same.
There are dozens of references to character and city names which can be associated with stories and poetry being circulated at the time Luke-Acts were written, and most of the names and places were also subjects Plutarch wrote about extensively at the very same time! Who but Plutarch would have had access to all the stories he was writing at the very same time Luke's gospel is said to have been penned? And the geographical location -- the province -- where "church tradition" says Luke wrote his gospel is the very same province in which Plutarch lived when he wrote the vast majority of his histories and biographies!
Luke-Acts are historical novels, and they contain clues to puzzles Theophilus was supposed to solve. Both the history and the mystery were written so that the stories with which they could be associated revealed the truth about what was happening at the time. Theophilus should be able to solve the puzzles hidden within the gospel stories.
This is no longer a small pile of evidence. A very large mound has been created, and there's still more to come!
THE LEGACY OF TROY
The verses that precede the story of Eutychus also refer to the "legacy of Troy," and one of the characters named bears careful scrutiny. But in order to find that character, it's necessary to seek out the modern Bible translations taken from the oldest available manuscripts, rather than those that are mere re-translations of the King James Version:
Acts 20:4-6: "He was accompanied by Sopater of Beroea, the son of Pyrrhus, . . . these went ahead and were waiting for us at Troas; but we sailed from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days we joined them in Troas, where we stayed for seven days."
The early translators did a strange thing with the name, Pyrrhus: They omitted it! And the King James Version did the same. The omission of this one name was crucial to subverting Luke's ploy.
Who was Pyrrhus to the Greeks? This is a most fascinating character, and his importance in solving the riddle becomes evident very quickly:
Pyrrhus, The Fool of Hope, (319-272 BCE) was a story Plutarch wrote and titled at about the same time Luke's gospel was being penned.
The text from which the following excerpts were taken can be found at www.e-classics.com/pyrrhus.
" . . . Pyrrhus joined up with Demetrius, the husband of his sister . . ."
"Pyrrhus also sent some agents, who pretended to be Macedonians. These spies spread the suggestion that now the time had come to be liberated from the harsh rule of Demetrius by joining Pyrrhus, who was a gracious friend of soldiers."
"And so without fighting, Pyrrhus became King of Macedonia (286 BC)."
The kings of Epirus were said to have been descended from Pyrrhus (who was also known as Neoptolemus) who was the son of Achilles, the famous Greek warrior of the Trojan War. Pyrrhus and Alexander were said to be worthy descendants of Achilles.
Another tidbit about Pyrrhus is of great importance, and it's probably the reason his name was expunged from early biblical texts: He was one of the soldiers who hid inside the Trojan horse. And that is the best-known legacy from the legend of Troy. It's what everyone thinks of when Troy and the Trojan War are mentioned. The name Pyrrhus was inserted here in Luke's gospel in the same sentence as Troas to direct the reader to the legend of the Trojan Horse.
Plutarch would have written Pyrrhus, The Fool of Hope after the early churches had begun using Paul's epistles as their "gospel." Plutarch wrote about this Fool of Hope to alert Theophilus to the truth about Paul, knowing that some would eventually see the parallel he had drawn between Pyrrhus and Paul. Here are some excerpts from one of Paul's letters that supports this astonishing claim:
2 Corinthians 13:11: "I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these superlative apostles, even though I am nothing."
Also notable here is the underlying purpose behind Paul's writing of this letter: he was trying to set the record straight about his status among Jesus' apostles. It seems that the Corinthians considered Paul to be inferior to the Apostles and their doctrine, and he was offended.
Paul also refers to himself as a fool at 2 Corinthians 11:16-29:
"I repeat, let no one think that I am a fool; but if you do, then accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. What I am saying in regard to this boastful confidence, I am saying not with the Lord's authority, but as a fool; since many boast according to human standards, I will also boast. For you gladly put up with fools, being wise yourselves! For you put up with it when someone makes slaves of you, or preys upon you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or gives you a slap in the face. To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!
"But whatever any dares to boast of -- I am speaking as a fool -- I also dare to boast of that. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ? I am talking like a madman -- I am a better one: with far greater labors, far more imprisonment's, with countless floggings, and often near death."
Luke has Paul say, Acts 23:6: " . . . I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead."
Paul speaks again, Acts 24:15: "I have a hope in God -- a hope that they themselves also accept . . ."
Paul again, Acts 26:6-7: " . . . I stand here on trial on account of my hope in the promise made by God to our ancestors, a promise that our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship day and night. It is for this hope, your Excellency, that I am accused by Jews!"
And again, Acts 28:20: . . . it is for the sake of the hope of Israel . . ."
Quite a lot of effort seems to have gone into connecting Paul to Pyrrhus. Paul called himself a fool in a ranting essay to the Corinthians that sounds as if it came from the mind and mouth of a mad man, and he says so himself. Luke also has Paul speak of "hope" repeatedly in a relatively small space in Acts. More than any other of the coded messages, it seems that Luke wanted to convey the message that learning about Pyrrhus will reveal the truth about Paul -- and also the truth about himself and who he really was.
He couldn't write an essay called Paul: The Spy Who Pretended to be an Apostle of Jesus Who Infiltrated the Movement and Destroyed It from Inside. That essay would have been destroyed by the early church leaders supporting Paul. So he did the next best thing. He associated Paul with Pyrrhus in such a way that the connection could not be missed. No wonder the name Pyrrhus was removed from some of the translations of the Bible. Any fool could pick up on the message because virtually everyone knew that Pyrrhus hid inside the Trojan Horse! It was fortunate that some texts were salvaged, saved, and passed on through time. Otherwise, this story could not be told even today.
Pyrrrhus' relationship to Achilles (as in, Achilles Heel) is another clever association intended to describe Paul. But someone in the very early official church removed Pyrrhus from Luke's gospel! And so that connection was more difficult to make until Pyrrhus was rediscovered and restored to his rightful place in the story.
It can be proved that the name Pyrrhus was removed from Luke's gospel. Texts more ancient than those from which the King James Version was translated confirm that at one time it was included in the text. I propose the name was removed because it was just too blatant in creating an association between the spy in the wooden horse and Paul. It might have been removed at the same time the anti-Marconian church leaders created the "history" of Luke in the "second half of the second century," reported in chapter one. Doesn't it seem reasonable to suspect that Luke's name was added to Paul's epistles at the same time, identifying him as "the beloved physician"? It was clear even then that the gospel had been written by an educated Greek, and physicians of the time represented the elite of the educated class. If it's known that Luke's history was invented long after he wrote the gospel, then isn't it probable that Paul's epistles were doctored (pun intended!) to complete the deception?
Luke is named in three of Paul's letters: Colossians, 2 Timothy, and Philemon. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha, 1994, provides the following commentary, introducing 1 Timothy:
"The two letters to Timothy and the one to Titus . . . are similar in character and in the problems they raise concerning authorship. It is difficult to ascribe them in their present form to the apostle Paul. The vocabulary and style of these letters differ widely from the acknowledged letters of Paul . . . In view of the widespread custom in antiquity of pseudonymous authorship (that is, the use of a respected name to give authority to a writing actually written by someone else), it is easier to assume that a loyal disciple of Paul composed these letters."
The same source provides the following in the introduction to Philemon:
" . . . Since most of those who are greeted at the end of the letter are also mentioned in the close of Colossians, it is probable that the two letters were written at nearly the same time, if Paul was the author of Colossians, or that the author of Colossians had Philemon at hand, if Paul was not the author (see Introduction to Colossians.)"
The Introduction to Colossians reports that some biblical scholars doubt that Paul wrote Colossians, suspecting that it was actually a "disciple of Paul shortly after his time, to give Paul's authority to the continuing tradition of his teaching." It is at Colossians 4:14 that Luke is called physician: "Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you." Not only is Luke named in the closing, just as most of Paul's "coworkers" are named in closings, but biblical scholars are divided as to whether Paul even wrote these letters. Even if he did write them, the "Correctores" under the direction of the Church bishops certainly could have added the names in the closing verses in order to agree with the characters Luke placed with Paul in Acts.
In their introduction to the New Testament, the editors of The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha, 1994, reveal the following about biblical changes made in translations:
"At other times alterations were deliberately made; for example . . . (to) harmonize differing accounts in the Synoptic Gospels. Thus, not only inadvertence but also well-intentioned efforts resulted in the creation of thousands of divergencies among the manuscripts of the New Testament.
"Among the relatively few variants that involve the essential meaning of the text, modern scholars are usually able to determine with more or less probability what the original text was. In deciding among the variant readings scholars usually give preference to those that are preserved in the older manuscripts . . ."
"Another scribal tendency was the harmonization of divergent accounts. In general, the reading is preferred that best explains the rise of the other readings." (Emphasis added.)
What this suggests is: If the scribes, under the direction of their bishops, noticed that Luke named people who were traveling with Paul, but Paul didn't mention them, especially if those names could be associated with ancient myths about gods and goddesses, they would have harmonized Paul's letters to match Luke's stories by adding those names. The early church leaders were determined to separate their religion from the pagan religions that still competed in the early years.
Luke's secret gospel was probably discovered by the early church fathers. They would have been quite familiar with Homer's Odyssey and other ancient plays and myths that Luke copied. And since other texts, Gnostic and deemed heretical, told the same story Luke had hidden in his gospel, it was much easier for them to identify what he had managed to do -- get those stories into a gospel that had already become popular among the earliest Christian converts.
Luke's gospel had already spread throughout Greece and beyond. And only Acts told the story of Paul's travels. It would have been a simple matter to just add all the names to Paul's letters that Luke had scattered throughout Acts as clues to solving the riddle. They just tacked the names on to the end of the letters as "greetings from . . ."
MacDonald's essay referenced similarities between stories in Acts and The Bacchae by Euripides, and this, of course, piqued my curiosity. (Euripides was one of Plutarch's favorite poets and dramatists.) I looked it up on the Internet: www.4literature.net/Euripides/Bacchae/.
There were a couple of other things in Bacchae that seem to apply here: The main character is Dionysus, son of Zeus. Zeus is actually named in Acts, as well as Dionysus:
Acts 13:11: "And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices saying in Lycao'nian, 'The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!' Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, because he was the chief speaker, they called Hermes."
Acts 17:34: "But some of them joined him and became believers, including Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, and others with them."
First Barnabas, Paul's companion, is called Zeus. Then Dionysius becomes another of Paul's companions. Twice Acts refers the educated reader to myths about Zeus, and specifically to the story of Dionysus in Bacchae by Euripides. What can Bacchae tell us about Paul?
Bacchae's Cadmus speaks words which are of great importance:
"Even though he is no god, as you assert, still say he is; be guilty of a splendid fraud, declaring him the son of Semele, that she may be thought the mother of a god and we and all our race gain honor."
In the very early years of Christianity, there was a great debate and a great division between two opposing factions fighting for dominance. One side, represented by those labeled gnostics: Nazarenes, Essenes, Pythagoreans, and others, said Jesus was a spiritually evolved teacher. The other side, Paul's supporters, claimed that Jesus was a god -- the God, in fact. It's clear which faction won out and which faction the church would eventually label heretics.
Later in the story Dionysus is bound and thrown into a stall; he describes the events:
Dionysus: "Meantime came the Bacchic god and made the house quake . . ."
Luke 16:26: ". . . and suddenly there was a great earthquake . . . "
Dionysus: " . . . and thinking maybe that I had escaped, rushed into the palace with his murderous sword unsheathed."
Luke 16:27: " . . . he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped . . ."
Later Dionysus speaks to Pentheus: " . . . you are so eager to see what is forbidden, and to show your zeal in an unworthy cause, come before the palace, let me see you clad as a woman . . . to spy upon your own mother and her company."
Dionysus, again to Pentheus: "You shall hide in the place that fate appoints, coming by stealth to spy upon the Bacchanals."
Another of Plutarch's characters shows up at Acts 28:11: "Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the leading man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. It so happened that the father of Publius lay sick in bed with fever and dysentery. Paul visited him and cured him by praying and putting his hands on him. After this happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. They bestowed many honors on us, and when we were about to sail, they put on board all the provisions we needed."
Who is Publius? An Internet search turned up a web site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publius_Clodius_Pulcher:
" . . . according to Plutarch (Cicero, 29), he (Publius) rendered Cicero every assistance and acted as one of his bodyguards."
Both Luke's and Plutarch's Publius was described as helpful and hospitable.
"The affair of the mysteries of the Bona Dea, however, caused a breach between Clodius and Cicero in December 62. Clodius, dressed as a woman (men were not admitted to the mysteries), entered the house of Caesar (then pontifex maximus), where the mysteries were being celebrated, in order to carry on an intrigue with Pompeia Sulla, Caesar's wife. He was detected and brought to trial, but escaped condemnation by bribing the jury."
Son of a gun! Publius, like Bacchae's Pentheus, is another spy dressed as a woman and sneaking into the religious ceremonies of women. And he appears in a gospel frequently referred to by modern biblical scholars as "The feminist gospel," and/or a gospel that is "sensitive to women." There are many web sites that present essays and arguments supporting this suggestion. Some examples:
With so many references to stories about spies infiltrating and attacking mystery religions practiced by women, Luke's secret message begins to show through the transparent stories about Paul's exploits. The Pythagoreans and Platonists considered women to be of equal value with men; so did Jesus, considering how he interacted and treated them, according to Luke. Luke names more women in his gospel than all the other gospels combined. But the real importance of these women and what Paul did to their religion, lies just below the surface.
Posing as a disciple of Jesus, Paul infiltrated this new religion that was more than just friendly toward women, it permitted them to teach it! And once accepted as an Apostle, he changed it to fit the preferences of the Roman government and the temple priests. And since it was also preferred by the masses because it permitted them to sin and still get to heaven, it became the official new religion. Jesus' proclamation when he first started his ministry was a quotation from Isaiah 61:1, described at Luke 4:18-21:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.
"And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, 'Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing'."
But what happened to the captives and the oppressed after Paul took control of the church? He instructed the slaves to obey their masters. He forbid women to speak in church. The poor and infirm were all but forgotten as the "official" church eventually became the wealthiest and most brutal organization in the history of the world. What Jesus and his disciples taught, "As you do unto others shall it be done unto you" -- in other words, "works not faith," became heresy. Those who tried to teach it were condemned, tortured, and killed. While Paul's "faith not works" religion -- "believe the scapegoat, Jesus, died for your sins" -- is proclaimed to be "the word of God." Even today, people who attempt to restore the religion Jesus taught are declared heretics and sinners, while Paul's faithful followers proclaim his epistles to be "the one true faith."
Paul was opposed by the very people whose doctrine would later be labeled heretical. They opposed him, no doubt, because what he taught was so different from what Jesus and the men and women who traveled with him taught. Paul, of course, never met Jesus!
Other texts from antiquity, those deemed heretical by the official church, also rejected Paul's claim to Apostlehood. Some scholars studying the Qumran and Nag Hammadi texts suspect it is Paul who was called The Liar by those who hid the documents in caves. And Luke's coded story supports that suspicion.
The layers of proof that Plutarch was Luke, and that Luke was no friend of Paul, have just begun to pile up. More follows -- much more!
THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH
Perhaps the most provocative piece of evidence that points to Plutarch as the author of Luke-Acts is the story of the Ethiopian eunuch. Once I became familiar with Luke's methods of communicating his hidden message, I realized that the appearance of an Angel, or a Spirit, or the Holy Spirit meant, "Pay attention!" Notice the presence of all of these in the biblical quotations that follow.
Acts 8.26: "Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, 'Get up and go toward the south (footnote: 'or go at noon') to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.' (This is a wilderness road.)"
Acts 8.27-28: "So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
Acts 8.29-31: Then the Spirit said to Philip, 'Go over to this chariot and join it.' So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, 'Do you understand what you are reading?' He replied, 'How can I, unless someone guides me?' And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him
Acts 8.32-33: "Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this: 'Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.'"
Acts 8.34-40: "The eunuch asked Philip, 'About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?' Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, 'Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?' He commanded the chariot to stop and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea."
Many biblical scholars have pointed out numerous and blatant errors in Luke's gospel. But careful examination shows that these errors are consistently juxtaposed before, after, and within information from Old Testament references or names connected with ancient stories and myths from various countries and cultures. The errors seem to be intentionally placed in order to attract attention, stop the flow of the story, and invite questions. With errors, Angels, Holy Spirits, Old Testament quotations, and references to ancient myths all appearing in this short section, the hidden information must be of extreme importance.
The most obvious error in these verses is that a eunuch would not have been permitted to worship at the temple in Jerusalem. Eunuchs were forbidden from entering the temple at all.
Only Plutarch tells this story of the Ethiopian queen, named Aso, who helped the eunuch trick Osiris.) The name Aso is similar to another name, Assos, which can be found in Acts 20.13-14: "We went ahead to the ship and set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul on board there; for he had made this arrangement, intending to go by land himself. When he met us in Assos, we took him on board and went to Mitylene."
According to the annotation for this verse provided in The New Oxford Annotated Bible, "Mitylene (was) the capital city of the island of Lesbos." Of course the term lesbian comes from ancient mythological tales about women who lived on the island of Lesbos. Plutarch wrote several stories about this island and some of the mythological characters who lived there and the events in their lives.
An essay titled, Missing Phallus by morphvs, posted on the web site of aiwaz.net institute, at www.aiwaz.net/giza/missingphallus, provides additional information about Plutarch's version of the story of Isis and Osiris:
"The most famous Egyptian myth was recorded by Plutarch under the title Of Isis and Osiris. It preserves a version of the myth about Isis and Osiris that stands in the center of Egyptian magick. It describes the most fundamental formula of the Eon called the Dying God, simply put, a formula representing death and resurrection. The same magickal formula is repeated many times in different disguises, from the worship of Phoenician Adonis, Hellenic Attis, Dionysus, Mithras, and finally to the worship of Christian Jesus. They all repeated and elaborated the same source, the ancient cult of the dying God Osiris, modifying it according to their needs . . . "
And in the subsequent paragraph: " . . . Plutarch's version of the myth says that Osiris' body was torn into 14 pieces, or 13 + the missing Phallus."
Additional information about this famous myth is presented in an essay titled, Osiris, posted at www.sobek.colorado.edu/LAB/GODS/osiris:
"Isis gave birth to Horus after his (Osiris') death, having impregnated herself with semen from his corpse . . ."
"One of the so-called 'dying gods,' he was the focus of a famous legend in which he was killed by the rival god Seth. At a banquet of the gods, Seth fooled Osiris into stepping into a coffin, which he promptly slammed shut and cast into the Nile. The coffin was born by the Nile to the delta town of Byblos, where it became enclosed in a tamarisk tree. Isis, the wife of Osiris, discovered the coffin and brought it back. (The story to this point is attested only by the Greek writer Plutarch, although Seth was identified as his murderer as early as the Pyramid era of the Old Kingdom.") (Emphasis added.)
"Seth took advantage of Isis's temporary absence on one occasion, cut the body into pieces, and cast them into the Nile. (In the Egyptian texts this incident alone accounts for the murder of Osiris.) Isis searched the land for the body parts of Osiris, and was eventually able to piece together his body, whole save for the penis, which had been swallowed by a crocodile (according to Plutarch) or a fish (according to Egyptian texts). In some Egyptian texts, the penis is buried at Memphis. Isis replaced the penis with a reasonable facsimile, and she was often portrayed in the form of a kite being impregnated by the ithyphallic corpse of Osiris." (Emphasis added.)
Plutarch changed the story from a fish swallowing Osiris to a crocodile swallowing him. Why he would do so may be explained by the word messiah. That word comes from a Hebrew verb mashiah, which means to anoint. But that word came from the Egyptian word messeh, which refers to the fat from the crocodile which was used to anoint the Pharoahs. So Plutarch's crocodile that ate Osiris must be intended as another means of association between the god Osiris and Jesus, known as the Messiah.
Another essay, titled Isis, adds to the evidence of an association between Plutarch's works and information the author of Luke-Acts seems determined to share. The following quotes come from web site, www.themystica.org/mythical-folk/articles/isis:
"When Osiris' treacherous brother, Seth (or Set), murdered and dismembered him, Isis scoured the land finding the body parts. When finding them, Isis used her magic to assemble them and breathed life into the body so she and Osiris could be together for one last time before he went to the underworld. A son, Horus, was born posthumously and in a virgin birth. Isis protected the child Horus from Set until he was old enough to defend himself by fighting. In art, she is often pictured as holding Horus in her arms. After the child's birth, Set returned once more to cut Osiris' body into fourteen pieces, which he scattered in the Nile. Again Isis searched for the body parts, but this time when finding them, she buried each piece where she found it so it would fertilize the land." (Emphasis added.)
"Isis has been connected to Hermetic wisdom. Plutarch said that numerous ancient writers believed Isis to be the daughter of Hermes, others said she was the daughter of Prometheus . . . ." (Gott note: Recall Acts 14:12: "Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes . . .") " . . . Plutarch claimed Isis meant wisdom. She was known as the goddess of 10,000 applications. In the Egyptian mysteries, Isis represented the female aspect of the Deity to mankind; she was the Universal Mother to all that lives; wisdom, truth, and power . . ."
"It is thought in Hermetic wisdom that Hermes schooled Isis, the Goddess of Women. She, with the knowledge that he taught her, invented the writings of all nations, caused men to love women, invented sailing, gave mankind its laws, ended cannibalism, made justice more powerful than silver or gold, instructed mankind in the mysteries, and caused truth to be considered beautiful. An inscription in her temple at Sais read: "I am that which is, which hath been, and which shall be; and no man has ever lifted the veil that hides my Divinity from mortal eyes . . ."
" . . . In Christianity, some hold that the Virgin Mary partially absorbed Isis." (It is more likely that Mary Magdalene completely absorbed Isis, according to Luke's coded gospel.)
The evidence supporting Plutarch as the author of Luke-Acts becomes overwhelming when the story of the Ethiopian eunuch is added to the other names of characters and locations scattered throughout.
Plutarch was a Greek philosopher and teacher and has never been associated with Christianity and Paul. What he believed and taught can be found throughout the two volumes of his works, Parallel Lives and Moralia. In Of Isis and Osiris, he revealed his philosophy when he named those he considered to be "the wisest of the Greeks," and he revealed some aspects of his style of writing as he introduced the myth.
Plutarch's opening paragraphs introducing the story of Isis and Osiris address a priestess named Clea, just as Luke addressed Theophilus. Both addressees are told that the purpose of the stories is to transmit "truth":
Plutarch: "All good things, my dear Clea, sensible men must ask . . . For we believe that there is nothing more important . . . or more ennobling for God of His grace to grant, than the truth." (Emphasis added.)
Luke 1.1-4: "Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have . . . (occurred), just as they were handed on to us by those who . . . were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed." (Emphasis added.)
Acts 1.1-2: "In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught . . . until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen."
The words, style, and tempo of the introductions of all three works are similar.
Plutarch's personal philosophy is revealed as he proceeds with his introduction to Clea:
"Moreover, most people believe that Amoun is the name given to Zeus in the land of the Egyptians, a name which we, with a slight alteration, pronounce Ammon. But Manetho of Sebennytus thinks that the meaning 'concealed' or 'concealment' lies in this word. Hecataeus of Abdera, however, says that the Egyptians use this expression one to another whenever they call to anyone, for the word is a form of address. When they, therefore, address the supreme god, whom they believe to be the same as the Universe, as if he were invisible and concealed, and implore him to make himself visible and manifest to them, they use the word 'Amoun'; so great, then, was the circumspection of the Egyptians in their wisdom touching all that had to do with the gods.
"Witness to this also are the wisest of the Greeks: Solon, Thales, Plato, Eudoxus, Pythagoras, who came to Egypt and consorted with the priests . . . Pythagoras, it seems, was greatly admired, and he also greatly admired the Egyptian priests, and, copying their symbolism and secret teachings, incorporated his doctrines in enigmas. As a matter of fact most of the Pythagorean precepts do not at all fall short of the writings that are called hieroglyphs; such, for example, as these: 'Do not eat upon a stool'; 'Do not sit upon a peck measure'; 'Do not lop off the shoots of a palm-tree'' 'Do not poke a fire with a sword within the house.'
"For my part, I think also that their naming unity 'Apollo,' duality 'Artemis,' the hebdomad 'Athena,' and the first cube 'Poseidon,' bears a resemblance to the statues and even to the sculptures and painting with which their shrines are embellished. For their King and Lord Osiris they portray by means of an eye and a sceptre; there are even some who explain the meaning of the name as 'many-eyed' on the theory that os in the Egyptian language means 'many' and iri 'eye'; and the heavens, since they are ageless because of their eternity, they portray by a heart with a censer beneath . . .
"Therefore, Clea, whenever you hear the traditional tales which the Egyptians tell about the gods, their wanderings, dismemberments, and many experiences of this sort, you must remember what has been already said, and you must not think that any of these tales actually happened in the manner in which they are related. The facts are that they do not call a dog by the name Hermes as his proper name, but they bring into association with the most astute of their gods that animal's watchfulness and wakefulness and wisdom, since he distinguishes between what is friendly and what is hostile by his knowledge of the one and his ignorance of the other, as Plato remarks. Nor, again, do they believe that the sun rises as a newborn babe from the louts, but they portray the rising of the sun in this manner to indicate allegorically the enkindling of the sun from the waters . . ."
" . . . If, then, you listen to the stories about the gods in this way, accepting them from those who interpret the story reverently and philosophically, and if you always perform and observe the established rites of worship, and believe that no sacrifice that you can offer, no deed that you may do, will be more likely to find favour with the gods than your brief in their true nature, you may avoid superstition which is no less an evil than atheism.
"Here follows the story related in the briefest possible words with the omission of everything that is merely unprofitable or superfluous: . . ." (Emphasis added.)
After the lengthy introduction from which these quotations were taken, Plutarch begins the story of Isis and Osiris.
Compare the similarities in style between Plutarch's phrase, " . . . Pythagorean precepts do not at all fall short," with the following phrases from Acts:
Acts 12:18: " . . . there was no small commotion among the soldiers."
Acts 17.4: " . . . devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women."
Acts 17.12: " . . . including not a few Greek women and men of high standing."
The writing style and word order are similar, just as the introductions show similarities in style and tempo. Plutarch's fingerprints are all over Luke-Acts when examined carefully and with an open mind.
As I worked to finalize this section, highlighting Plutarch's words in his introduction to Clea that seemed applicable to my hypothesis that he wrote Luke-Acts, I suddenly understood! Plutarch wrote this introduction to Clea for a very specific purpose -- and it wasn't simply to help Clea understand the myth Of Isis and Osiris. "Bringing into association" (his words, not mine) the eunuchs in Luke-Acts and Isis and Osiris, Theophilus would be able to understand that Luke-Acts transmitted doctrine by "copying . . . symbolism and secret teachings . . ." and that "Luke" " . . . incorporated his doctrines in enigmas." Once the association was made, Theophilus would recognize that Luke's gospel was in the style of Pythagoras: "As a matter of fact most of the Pythagorean precepts do not at all fall short of the writings that are called hieroglyphs . . ."
Still skeptical? A quotation from Plutarch's Pyrrhus: Fool of Hope, may provide the final straw for those still in doubt and needing more proof that Luke-Acts were written by Plutarch.
"That night, the Spartans dug a trench six feet deep, nine feet wide, and eight hundred feet long." Doesn't that seem like a lot of unnecessary information? Not if you're trying to leave clues as to your true identity and your participation in the Nazarean/Essene movement. Multiply those three numbers: 6 x 9 x 800. (Hint: it's a harmonic of the number first discovered in Luke's Chapter One.)
6 x 9 x 800 is 43,200!!
Plutarch's biographers reported that he had been initiated into " . . . the mysteries of the cult of Dionysus, and both as a Platonist and as an initiate he believed in the immortality of the soul." But what hadn't been known before is that the "mystery school" into which he was initiated was the same mystery school that initiated Enoch, Moses, Isaiah, Zechariah, and Jesus. The association which proves they were all trained in the same school and taught how to use the same teaching techniques, described as enigmas by Plutarch but also known as parables, is the number 432.
And that number, which connects Plutarch with Luke beyond any shadow of a doubt, requires a brief side journey. But it is a journey full of surprises!
"They shall make an ark of acacia wood; it shall be two and a half cubits long . . ."
SEARCH FOR THE STREAM
"When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: 'A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.' As he said this, he called out, 'Let anyone with ears to hear listen!'"
"Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, 'To you it has been given to know the secrets (or mysteries) of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that 'looking they may not perceive, and listening they may not understand.'" Luke 8:4-10.
The importance of this parable is that it sets the groundwork and supports the proposal that the gospels contain hidden, or coded, messages. Jesus says it clearly in paragraph two above: "To you it has been given to know the secrets/mysteries of the kingdom of God . . ." It's clear the gospel writers wanted to convey the message that Jesus was not able to teach "the word of God" openly (paragraph 3: "The seed is the word of God."). If Jesus found it necessary to speak in parables, which are nothing more or less than coded messages, it stands to reason that the gospel writers were also forced to write in code.
Only the four gospels, Revelation, and the epistles of Paul were canonized by the council of Nicea in 325 AD. The Church supported by Constantine and later government and church leaders declared all other texts to be heretical, and their proponents and supporters were tortured and killed. Merely possessing one of the heretical texts was grounds for execution. But what if there were ulterior motives behind the rejection of certain texts? There were major controversies in the early years and centuries of the Christian movement. As in all histories, the victor created the "history," whether or not the accounts were true. Jesus, his disciples, and the gospel writers went to great pains to preserve the truth. But in order for this truth to be known, someone has to be willing to search through the Bible for the stream that leads to it!
Once I realized that the gospels contained hidden messages, it seemed reasonable to suspect that this practice didn't just begin in the first century. I went to the Old Testament to see if I could discover exactly when the "secret numbers" first appeared.
What I discovered was that hidden messages appeared at the earliest recording of biblical scripture. Some of the clues to the hidden messages in the Bible come from The Dead Sea Scrolls, found hidden in caves near Qumran in Israel, and texts discovered near Nag Hammadi in Egypt. Most modern scholars are now supporting the theory that the people who hid these texts were the Essenes, a group mentioned by Josephus Flavius, Philo of Alexandria, and Pliny the Elder. (For articles and books go to www.thenazareneway.com)
In order to break the codes used by the gospel writers, it's imperative that the Essenes be better understood. Where did they come from? What did they teach? How were they related to Jesus? And were they involved in writing the gospels?
Josephus wrote that the Essenes " . . . have existed from time immemorial," and " . . . for countless generations . . . "
Philo called the Essenes " . . . the most ancient of all the initiates . . ." and described their teachings as " . . . perpetuated through an immense space of ages . . ."
Some sources trace the Essenes to Enoch, a name which means founder or initiator. In the Book of Genesis, chapter five, Enoch is described as being the seventh generation from Adam. Seven in Esoteric numerology, represents completion, so Enoch as the seventh generation of humanity represented perfected humanity.
According to Genesis 5:23, Enoch lived on earth 365 years (the number of days in the solar year). And rather than dying, "Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him." (Genesis 5:24). There are two things that are significant here: This is the first suggestion of a "numeric code" in biblical texts, and the writer was aware of the 365-day year.
Also significant is that Enoch was the only man listed in Genesis who did not die. In other words, Enoch's exit from earth was similar to Jesus': ". . . a cloud took him out of their sight." (Acts 1:8). This is just one of dozens of associations between Luke-Acts and Old Testament texts. The challenge is to connect the hidden dots as they traverse the stream of knowledge from Enoch, through Moses, and finally to Jesus and beyond.
As previously shown, hidden among the stories in Luke's chapter one is a number (4320) that coincides with the light that shines in the day, the light that shines at night, and the speed of light. The "hidden message" was that there is a hidden message, and Luke used numbers that would demonstrate his knowledge of astronomy and physics to clue us in to that information. What we're looking for, then, are similar numbers in the Old Testament that would indicate that Luke's gospel contained knowledge that came from a "stream of knowledge" that goes back to the Old Testament.
Shortly following Genesis 5:23, Enoch's age, Genesis 6:15 offers another clue when God gives Noah the dimensions for the ark:
"This is how you are to make it, the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits."
The key to decoding this riddle lies in the length of the cubit. If you go to virtually any resource, the cubit is given as eighteen inches, or one and one-half feet. But there was/is another cubit known as "the Egyptian Royal Cubit," and it is the "Rosetta Stone" of the Old Testament.
Remember, Moses was raised in the Pharoah's palace. He would have been taught about the Egyptian Royal Cubit. Perhaps this cubit's actual length was part of the method of keeping the "secrets" of the mystery school of the Old Testament. Whatever the reason, it is this measurement that opens the flood gates and releases the stream of knowledge that can connect the Essenes at Qumran and Nag Hammadi with the Nazarenes at Mount Carmel and also connect them all with Moses and Enoch.
The Egyptian Royal Cubit is 1.728 feet. That information can be found at several web sites using any search engine. John Michell, The Dimensions of Paradise, The Proportions and Symbolic Numbers of Ancient Cosmology, p. 96, writes:
"The corresponding cubit is of 1.728 ft., and is known as the Egyptian royal cubit. There are 1750 of these cubits in the Pyramid's base perimeter."
Michell refers, of course, to the Great Pyramid at Giza. Michell has done an amazing job of documenting and explaining symbolic numbers in ancient cosmology, and his book is a must-read for anyone interested in an in-depth study of biblical and ancient Greek and Roman numbers and their mystery meanings.
Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval, The Message of the Sphinx, report (pp.. 37-8):
"Equally 'impossible' . . . for a people like the ancient Egyptians who are supposed to have known nothing about the true shape and size of our planet -- is the relationship in a scale of 1:43,200, that exists between the dimensions of the Pyramid and the dimensions of the earth."
Here's what this means: if you multiply the original height of the pyramid, 481.3949 feet, by 43,200 and convert it to miles (481.3949 x 43,200 divided by 5,280 ft/mi), the result is 3938.685 miles, very close to 3,960 miles, the most frequently used number for the radius of the earth.
Multiply the perimeter of the pyramid at its base, 3,023.16 feet by 43,200 (3,023.16 x 43,200 divided by 5,280 ft/mi), and the result is 24,734.94 miles. The most frequently quoted equatorial circumference of the earth is 24,902, but the ancients used 24,883.2 miles (7920 x pi (864/275). There are quite different opinions about exactly when the Great pyramid was built, but the estimates range from around 3,500 BCE all the way to 10,500 BCE. Either estimate is long before Moses entered the scene. So this "mystery number," 432, was being passed through time many centuries before the Old Testament was written. The Stream, it seems, goes well beyond recorded history.
When I discovered the "Egyptian Royal Cubit," I wondered where it had come from. I had a hunch: I divided 12 by 10 to convert the 12-inch foot to a foot divided into tenths:
12 divided by 10 = 1.2. Seeing that I "cubed it."
1.2 times 1.2 times 1.2 = 1.728! The Egyptian Royal Cubit, or "cube it" is nothing more than the standard 12 inch foot, converted to tenths, and then cubed. Now maybe the masses in the world at the time of Moses, or before, had never heard of the 12 inch foot. But it certainly appears as if the "mystery schools" or the schools attended by the Egyptian Royal family members had.
Now, what happens when the measurements of Noah's ark are converted using this cubit?
Length: 300 cubits times 1.728 = 518.40 ft.
Width: 50 cubits times 1.728 = 86.40 ft.
Height: 30 cubits times 1.728 = 51.84 ft.
Are these numbers similar in any way to Luke's 4,320 in his Chapter 1? The width is quickly identifiable as 43.20 x 2. But there is greater significance in these three numbers. Precession of the equinoxes, the "great cycle" caused by the tilt of the earth's axis, is calculated to complete one 360 degree circle in 25,920 years. Two of those cycles is 51,840 years. Two of the measurements of the ark, the length and the height, contain the same numbers -- a "harmonic" of the number. Not only that, but the diameter of the sun is 864,000 miles, the same numbers that are found in the width of the ark. Genesis, indeed, contains the knowledge hidden within the New Testament, and it's just behind the thin veil of the measurements of Noah's ark.
Genesis 7:17-20 provides additional support:
"The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters. The waters swelled so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered; the waters swelled above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep.
Genesis 7:24: "And the waters swelled on the earth for one hundred fifty days."
15 cubits times 1.728 ft. = 259.2 ft.
Once again, Genesis reports the precession of the equinoxes (25,920 years).
I was curious about what numbers I might find if I multiplied the "one hundred fifty days" by 24 hours to see how many hours the earth was covered. Seeing that number I was curious about how many minutes and seconds it was covered:
150 days times 24 hours = 3600 hours;
3600 hours times 60 minutes per hour = 216,000 minutes;
216,000 minutes times 60 seconds per minute = 12,960,000 seconds.
But what did all these numbers mean to the person writing about the flood? A little more research turned up the answers, because other researchers have also looked into ancient texts, including the Bible, for signs of the meanings of these same numbers. From www.greatdreams.com/432:
"In Joseph Campbell's, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space, he writes about the similarity between the Babylonian and Genesis flood stories. As I remember it, he said something like this -- In the Babylonian story, there were ten kings who lived very long lives from creation to the time of the flood. This is given as a total of 432,000 years. In the Biblical account, there were ten patriarchs between Adam and Noah, who also lived long lives. Noah was 600 years old at the time of the landing of the Ark . . . The total years add up to 1,656. In that number of years, there are 86,400 weeks, and half that number is 43,200. There are myths about cycles in time, and out of time, so this doubling/halving is not uncommon. He believed that someone carefully gave the age of Noah to secretly hide the time cycle number."
(To calculate this claim, multiply 1,656 yrs. x 365.2174 days/yr., then divide by 7 days/week = 86,400 weeks. With this insight, the number 864, which is two times 432, appears in the story of Noah and the Flood two times: the width of the boat and the lives of the patriarchs.)
Zechariah Sitchin has written a series of controversial and fascinating books called The Earth Chronicles; Volume VI is The Cosmic Code. Sitchin has studied and deciphered ancient clay cylinders that contain a Flood Story that predates the Old Testament and on which many biblical scholars now believe the Genesis story was based. (There are other scholars who disagree with Sitchin's translation of many of the texts.) I quote him here because of a number that he found on one of the cylinders.
Sitchin writes (p.54): "The story of the Great Flood is one of the longest in the Bible . . . but it is a short version of much longer and more detailed Sumerian and Akkadian texts that deal with this watershed event."
"On the eve of the Deluge, the Anunnaki took to their craft to escape the calamity, watching the havoc and total destruction from Earth's skies. Not only Mankind perished: All that the Anunnaki had built in the past 432,000 years was wiped off the face of the Earth or buried under miles-thick layers of mud; and that included the spaceport they had in the E.DIN."
I make no judgment on Sitchin's translation of the texts; what's important is the discovery of the number, 432,000. This earliest civilization, which Sitchin's interpretation shows came to Earth from another planet, was using the 432 number in their stories. And their use of this number could indicate some sort of cycle of which they were aware.
Sitchin has more to say about this number on page 176:
"The Sumerian King List asserts that 432,000 years (120 orbits of Nibiru) had passed from the arrival of the Anunnaki on Earth until the Deluge. The number 432,000 is also key in the Hindu and other concepts of Ages and the periodic catastrophes that befall the Earth.
"The number 432,000 also embraces 72 precisely 6,000 times. And it is perhaps worth keeping in mind that according to Jewish sages the count of years in the Jewish calendar -- 5,758 in AD 1998 -- will come to a completion, a terminus, when it reaches 6,000; it is then that it will all come full cycle."
The other numbers hidden in the story of Noah are also explained by Sitchen, p. 173-4:
"In our book When Time Began we have suggested that the Anunnaki, coming from a planet whose orbital period (one year on Nibiru) equaled 3,600 orbits of the planet Earth, needed some kind of a common denominator for such diverse periods -- and have found one in the phenomenon of Precession (which only they, not men with the shorter life spans dictated by Earth's cycles, could have discovered). When they divided the celestial circle into twelve parts, the precessional retardation -- that could be easily observed by them -- was 2,160 years per 'house.' That, we have suggested, led to the ratio of 3,600:2,160 or 10:6 (the eventual Golden Ratio of the Greeks), and to the sexagesimal system that ran 6 x 10 x 6 x 10 and so on (resulting in 60, 360, 3,600 . . ." (21,600, 216,000) " . . . to the immense number 12,960,000." (Emphasis added.)
It bears noting again that Noah's 150 days of flooding provided these same results:
150 x 24 hr/day = 3,600 hours of flooding
3,600 x 60 min/hr = 216,000 minutes of flooding
216,000 x 60 min/sec = 12,960,000 seconds of flooding.
There can be no doubt that the story of Noah's Flood contains numbers that connect it to ancient hidden knowledge about cyclical events in Earth's history.
The story of Noah, it seems, is a description of a "cycle of destruction" of some duration: 2,160 years (one twelfth of precession), 12,960 years (one half precession) or 25,920 years (one complete cycle of precession). Taking into account current geological data that tells the story of earth's four billion year history, the evidence seems to indicate that the most recent ice age ended approximately 13,000 years ago. That's darn close to 12,960 years, one-half precession.
Scientists are now suggesting that we've moved into a cycle of "global warming," during which time the north and south polar ice caps will continue to melt away, causing the oceans to reclaim vast portions of land. That means major coastal flooding events reminiscent of Noah's time.
Could it be that, as the earth's axis wobbles around it's 360 degree, 25,920 year journey, season-like changes occur, lasting for a predictable length of time? Just as the tilt of the earth's axis creates summer and winter, each lasting approximately five months with a month or so of transition weather, could the wobble of that tilt create "Great Summer and Winter" cycles of alternating ice ages and flood ages? (For a scientific explanation of these great cycles and where the earth is at this point in time, check out www.ascension2000.com -- The Divine Cosmos, by David Wilcock.)
The story of Noah's ark demonstrates that the writer was a member of a mystery school and had access to knowledge the masses could not understand and the powerful feared. If he wanted to leave that knowledge for mankind to find, but feared it would be destroyed by either the ignorant or the powerful, isn't is reasonable that he would write stories using a code that other people trained in the mystery schools could find and interpret? I think there's ample evidence that Luke was just another of a long line of "guardians of the knowledge." Noah's ark is the vessel that was set afloat in the OT on this river of knowledge. It contains in its measurements part of the message, the clue that the knowledge is hidden in the stories.
Once the "cubit code" is discovered, all of the items constructed as described in the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) can be associated with one or more astronomical or scientific numbers. There are thirty-seven verses from Genesis through Deuteronomy that contain the words cubit or cubits at least one time. If I counted correctly, there are a total of 70 times one of these words is used in the Torah.
Of course there's more to the stories than just the astronomical measurements. Just as Noah's ark tells the story of the Great Cycles of Earth Changes, and how they affect life on earth, the other stories contain important messages, as well. Interpreting those stories is a project I'll leave for someone else. The scope of this book is to simply show where the river of knowledge was picked up in the OT, and how it can be traced through the generations from Moses to Luke and the other gospel writers, and beyond.
The first five books of the Old Testament, the Torah, are also known as The Five Books of Moses. Surely Moses left more associations with 432 in the other books.
Moses was born of a Levite man and woman. But Pharoah commanded (Exodus 1:22): " . . . "'Every boy that is born to the Hebrews, you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every girl live.'" So in order to save his life, we're told that Moses' mother placed him in a basket which she floated down the Nile. Pharoah's daughter discovered the baby and took him as her son.
Eventually, God paid a visit to Moses and gave him instructions on how he was to spend his life. Moses offered some resistance, but eventually he agreed to do God's work. In time, God instructed Moses to " . . . make an ark of acacia wood . . ." (Exodus 25:10). The measurement were given as: " . . . two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high." The question is, do these numbers continue the stream of knowledge first discovered in the dimensions of Noah's ark?
2.5 cubits times 1.728 = 4.32 ft.
1.5 cubits times 1.728 = 2.592
1.5 cubits times 1.728 = 2.592
Precession of the equinoxes is represented twice -- it must be a very important cycle. But the other number is the one we 're looking for: Luke's "magic number for "Light," 4,320 and Moses' 4.32 prove they were working with the same stream of knowledge.
The numbers in Genesis and Exodus and the numbers in Luke's gospel are harmonics and identical, but is there any indication in the Bible that the doctrine of the Nazarene/Essenes was taught in Moses' generations? There is; Numbers 6:1-26:
"The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 'Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When either men or women make a special vow, the vow of a nazirite to separate themselves to the Lord, they shall separate themselves from wine and strong drink; they shall drink no wine vinegar or other vinegar, and shall not drink any grape juice or eat grapes, fresh or dried. All their days as nazirites they shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins.
"'All the days of their nazirite vow no razor shall come upon the head; until the time is completed for which they separate themselves to the Lord, they shall be holy; they shall let the locks of the head grow long . . ."
" . . . The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 'Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.'"
This OT text may provide the most important clues to reaching an understanding of the Nazarenes who raised Jesus and the presence of their ancestors in Moses' life and time. And if the Nazarenes can be connected to the Essenes, then this Chapter in the OT will take us a long way toward determining who the Essenes were and from where their knowledge came. This connection may be as simple as combining "nazirite" and "Essene" to become "Nazarene."
The first thing of immense importance in Numbers 6 is verse 2:
" . . . When either men or women make a special vow . . . of a nazirite . . ."
It's clear from this statement that "nazirites" could be either male or female. Remember this was a patriarchal society in which women were seen as chattel and valued only for their ability to produce children. To find a suggestion that a "special group" of Israelites, "separated" or "consecrated" (the Hebrew meaning of the word nazirite) "to God," included women on equal terms with men, is most unusual. Perhaps this discovery adds credibility to some of the Nicean rejected texts, such as The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, The Gospel of Thomas, and The Gospel of Philip, all of which show that Jesus treated women far differently than traditional Jewish custom would have permitted. In fact, several of the ancient texts insist that Mary Magdalene was equal with the other apostles, even superior to them in some ways.
Numbers 6 suggests that the vow of the nazirite was a temporary agreement. But during the time of the vow, the nazirites could not drink wine or strong drink, could not cut their hair, and could not go near a dead body. Many will be quick to point out that according to the gospel writers Jesus drank wine and touched dead bodies. That, one might argue, proves Jesus was not a nazirite. But remember, several centuries had passed between this first description of nazirites and Jesus' ministry.
Traditions change, even those passed on by religious leaders. In my humble opinion, Jesus had every right to modify any rule or regulation that tradition had demanded of his ancestors. Moses had no more direct line to the Lord than did Jesus. If Jesus was given permission to drink wine and raise the dead, I have no problem with it.
Perhaps the combining of "nazirite" with "Essene" to become "Nazarene" was a joining of certain traditions and the elimination of others. It's clear from the text that "Nazarene-ness" was not a temporary condition as "nazirite-ness" was. By the time Jesus became known as "The Nazarene," it was not due to any vow but was rather due to a way of life. According to Acts, the Nazarenes were a sect of Judaism. It seems reasonable that some of the original vows would have been retained and some of them discarded when the term "nazirite" was adapted and converted to "Nazarene."
Numbers 6 ends with what is known as "The Aaronic benediction." That benediction ends with the words " . . . and give you peace." Ancient texts, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, report that the greeting used by Essenes, both before and after any interaction with anyone, was always the same: "Peace be with you." And it's the same greeting Jesus used at Luke 24:36:
"While they were talking about his, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, 'Peace be with you.'"
It seems the Essenes adopted certain traditions from the nazirites of Moses' time. In addition to this farewell phrase, the Essenes drank nothing that came from grapes, neither wine nor juice, did not cut their hair, and were vegetarians, perhaps a broad interpretation of the vow that "they shall not go near a corpse."
According to some ancient texts, the Essenes were called The Children of Light. The OT makes this claim in a roundabout way for the nazirites at Judges 13:1-7:
"The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.
"There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren, having borne no children. And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, 'Although you are barren, having borne no children, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, or to eat anything unclean, for you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor is to come on his head, for the boy shall be a nazirite to God from birth. It is he who shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines.' Then the woman came and told her husband, 'A man of God came to me, and his appearance was like that of an angel of God, most awe-inspiring; I did not ask him where he came from, and he did not tell me his name; but he said to me, 'You shall conceive and bear a son. So then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the boy shall be a nazirite to God from birth to the day of his death." (Notice that Luke's description of John the Baptist's pre-birth story was taken from this Old Testament story. The message was, Baby John is a nazirite.)
Judges 13:24: "The woman bore a son, and named him Samson."
A footnote provides the pertinent information: "The name Samson is related to the Hebrew word for sun." Perhaps it is from this OT text that the Nazarene/Essenes came to call themselves, "Children of Light." Samson in Hebrew indicated that he was a "Child of the Sun," or a "Child of Light." It must be noted that Samson was anything but a poster child for nazirites or Nazarenes if the stories about him were intended as biographical (which I doubt), but that's another story for another researcher.
The similarities between nazirites and Essenes are many, enough to show, I think, a common origin. It appears that the Essenes of Jesus' time retained all the vows of a nazirite, whereas the Nazarenes, including Jesus, modified some of the vows, probably for practical reasons. (A bountiful amount of information supporting this claim can be found at www.thenazareneway.com) This could be compared to modern differences within certain religious denominations: Some Catholics, for instance, marry and raise large families while others vow a lifetime of celibacy. Both are practicing the same religion but following their own conscience as to how they can best serve their God and mankind. In fact, geological evidence seems to suggest that the Qumran Essenes were celibate men, whereas the Nazarenes of Mount Carmel raised large families. This would be the precursor to modern communities of a predominant religion and nearby monasteries of celibate monks.
The Essenes separated themselves from the cities and from other people. They lived in isolation, practicing their religion in a most strict and private way. Jesus the Nazarene and his disciples made an effort to share "The Way" with the masses who were suffering under the strong hand of the Romans and their puppets, the temple priests. His acts demonstrated the unselfishness and the love that he had for mankind. He could have joined the Essenes at Qumran, or he could have remained at Mount Carmel or gone to Alexandria and lived out his life in peace and relative safety. That was not his calling. He was called to carry the knowledge to everyone who was being oppressed and who had "ears to hear." He placed himself in mortal danger to share that knowledge with the ignorant under the noses of the powerful. Just as it was when the ark was placed on the river of knowledge in Moses' time, the ignorant and superstitious, and the men in power, feared what knowledge might mean in the hands of others.
It's really not much different today. There's a large group of people who want to discard scientific evidence in favor of their faith in their preacher's interpretation of biblical texts. They want the theory of evolution removed and their faith in the fact of a "Creator Being" taught as history. Our government leaders, whether Democrat or Republican, have reduced funding for education to the point where teachers are buying supplies with their own money and students are graduating from high school unable to read or write with any degree of competency. Tax dollars are being channeled to religious organizations and these organizations are then teaching students their understanding of "biblical science." Of course they don't have the "cubit key" to the real knowledge our Bible contains. Like their ancestors, they read the stories at the surface level, never realizing that there is a veil between the "myths" and the hidden meanings. Here we are with the scientific knowledge acquired by using the "scientific method" that can prove the river of knowledge has continued to flow over eons of time. But the old fears of losing power, power held by religious and government leaders, leads them to keep the masses in ignorance. And the masses, in their ignorance, choose to keep their masters in power.
"The more things seem to change, the more things stay the same."
Continue to part 2
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