Nazarene Way of Essenic Studies
The fourth-century Roman Emperor Constantine believed that Jesus was the reincarnation of Apollo, the son of the Greek god Zeus.
Most scholars have assumed that Constantine was mistaken.
However, a newly revived ancient method of biblical exegesis suggests that Constantine
was closer to the truth than "traditional assumptions" when it comes to "The Real Name of Jesus."
This method of biblical interpretation comes from the teachings of Philo of Alexandria and are known as "Philo's Rules for Enigmas."
Philo's method is fully explained at: http://www.thenazareneway.com/Philo's%20Rules%20for%20Allegory.htm
This article contains recently discovered evidence that reveals "The Real Name of Jesus" was Yah-Zeus,
the merging of the Hebrew god, YHWH and the Greco-Roman god Zeus.
(The original article that offers the traditional explanation for the name "Yeshua" is presented at the end of this article in its entirety.)
No one can argue that The Story of Jesus found in the gospels fulfills several Old Testament prophecies. One of the most important was:
Micah 5:2: "But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days."
5:4: "And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of [YHWH] his God…"
5:5: "… and he shall be the one of peace."
Yah-Zeus from Bethlehem was also a dying-and-resurrected god, joining the ranks of Near Eastern and Greek deities: Baal, Melquart, Adonis, Eshmun, Attic, Tammuz, Asclepius, Orpheus, Krishna, Ra, Osiris, Dionysus, Odin, as well as goddesses, Inanna, Ishtar, Persephone, and the central figure of the Eleusian Mysteries, an unnamed goddess worshiped in Crete.
Scholar Franz Cumont classified Jesus as a syncretized example of this archetype. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn drew parallels between Jesus, Osiris, and other solar dying-and-resurrected gods to construct their system of mysticism and theosophy. New Testament scholar Robert M. Price points out the strong parallels between The Jesus Story and other Middle Eastern myths about life-death-rebirth deities.
But a question looms regarding Yah-Zeus: We know that YaHWeH was the Jewish masculine deity; therefore, Yah was his son, the Messiah. Was Zeus a dying-and resurrected god? The answer is no. However, Zeus played an important role in a Homeric Hymn (c. 650 BCE) about a dying-and-resurrected Goddess. According to Homer:
The goddess Persephone was gathering flowers when she was seized by Hades, the god of death and the Underworld. Her mother Demeter was in great distress, and in an effort to coerce Zeus into forcing Persephone's return, Demeter caused a terrible drought and the people of the land starved to death, depriving the gods of sacrifice and worship. As a result of Demeter's efforts, Zeus relented and allowed Persephone to return to her mother, and Demeter blessed the earth and cared for it once again.
However, there was a catch: It was a rule of the Fates that anyone who consumed food or drink while in the Underworld was doomed to spend eternity there. Hades had tricked Persephone into eating pomegranate seeds which forced her to return to the underworld for a portion of each year, returning to her mother on earth for the balance of the year. The months during which Persephone resided with Hades were the barren Mediterranean months when crops were threatened with drought. When seeds were planted, Persephone returned from Hades to be reunited with Demeter, initiating a new cycle of growth. Her rebirth was symbolic of the rebirth of all plant life and the symbol of eternal life that flows from the generations that spring from each other. Had it not been for Zeus, the Goddess would have remained in the Underworld and the Earth would have remained scorched, barren, and without abundant life. Therefore, we have Zeus to thank for the return of the Goddess - according to Homer.
How this Homeric Hymn is associated with The First Annual Passover Passion Pageant is explained by two other verses from Micah, and these come before the Bethlehem Prophecy:
Micah 4:8: "And you, O Magdalah of the flock, hill of daughter Zion, to you it shall come, the former dominion shall come, the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem."
4:13: "Arise and thresh, O daughter Zion, for I will make your horn iron and your hoofs bronze; you shall beat in pieces many peoples, and shall devote their gain to YHWH, their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth."
Few people today are aware that there was a time when the ancient Hebrews also honored YHWH's consort; Her name was Shabbat. One of the best articles about this goddess can be found at: http://www.pantheon.org/articles/s/shabbat_hamalka.html ("Shabbat Hamalka" by Ilil Arbel, Ph.D.)
Excerpts: "Her origin is extremely ancient, and as the centuries rolled by, Shabbat Hamalka acquired magical qualities, combining the character of Queen, Bride, and Goddess. In addition, she took on strong erotic/romantic and cosmic/spiritual significance. The usual Judaic connections to Akkadian myths exist in her image, because the word Shabbat resembles the name of the Akkadian feast of the full moon, Shabbatu. The romantic character of the two holidays also had much in common. For example, marital intercourse on Friday night was considered a sacred duty, exactly like the sacred sexual activity during Shabbatu. However, the Akkadians never had a weekly day of rest - the idea seems to start in the second chapter of Genesis."
"Among the goddesses representing either the female side of Yahweh or his consorts, such as Asherah, Shekhina, Anath, and Lilith, Shabbat Hamalka has a unique personality and origin. Her myth strongly influenced Jewish thought, and contributed to the strength of home and family that had improved the odds for physical and spiritual Jewish survival."
"The name means Queen of the Sabbath, and the entity is the personification of the Jewish day of rest, Saturday. She still possesses a prominent position in Judaic mythology. For example, Israeli children, even in completely nonreligious surroundings, still sing songs to her every Friday afternoon (in Hebrew 'Erev Shabatt' meaning the Sabbath Eve) before the Queen ‘descends’ from Heaven to grace the world for twenty-four hours." (Emphases added.)
The "Queen of Heaven" can be found in the Old Testament; she is referred to in Hebrew as Malkath haShamayim (מלכת השמים) in the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, written c. 628 BCE.Jeremiah 7:18:"The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes of bread for the Queen of Heaven."
Jeremiah 44:15-18:"Then all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, along with all the women who were present—a large assembly—and all the people living in Lower and Upper Egypt, said to Jeremiah, 'We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD! We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our fathers, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm. But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine." (Emphases added.)
There was a temple of Yahweh in Egypt at that time that was central to the Jewish community at Elephantine. There, Yahweh was worshipped along with the Goddess Ana-th, also named in the temple papyri as Anath-Bethel and Anath-Iahu (Beth-el means house of El; Iahu means exalted dove.) Other Goddesses associated with The Queen of Heaven include Asherah and Astarte.
Exodus 3:14 - 15 offers an intriguing clue about the renaming of the Queen of Heaven:
"... Moses said to Elohim (Note: Elohim is plural for eloha (feminine) and means Deities), 'If I come to the Israelites and say to them, 'Elohim (the Deities) of your ancestors sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is the name?' what shall I say to them?' Elohim (the Deities) said to Moses, 'EHYEH ASHER EHYEH.' 'Thus you shall say further to the children of Israel, 'Ehyeh has sent me to you.' Elohim (the Deities) also said to Moses, 'Thus you shall say to the Israelites, 'YHWH, the Elohe of your ancestors, the Elohe of Abraham, the Elohe of Isaac, and the Elohe of Jacob sent me to you': This is my name forever, and this is my title for all generations."
The Deities' new name given to Moses on Mount Sinai, replacing the names, El and Shabbat, was "YaH-Ahsher-YaH": Father/Mother/child; God/Goddess/Creation; Masculine Energies/Feminine Energies/Matter. Creation requires the interaction or marriage of Energy and Light, and the ancients seemed to have known this. Their way of stating Einstein's equation (E = mc2) was "Goddess/God gave birth to everything in the heavens and on Earth." The ancient and original version of The Trinity, Father/Mother/Child, provides the same formula and accomplishes the same purpose as E = mc2.
What happened to the Hebrews' Goddess?
2 Kings 18:4): "[Hezekiah] removed the high places, broke down the pillars, and cut down the sacred Asher-ah."
2 Kings 23:4 - 6: "[Josiah] commanded the high priest Hilkiah...to bring out of the temple of YHWH all the vessels made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. He deposed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to make offerings in the high places at the cities of Judah and around Jerusalem; those also who made offerings to Baal, to the Sun [Sol], the moon [Mon], the constellations, and all the host of the heavens. He brought out the Asher-ah from the house of YHWH, outside Jerusalem, to the Wadi Kidron, burned it at the Wadi Kidron, beat it to dust and threw the dust of it upon the graves of the common people."
2 Kings 23:13: "The king [Josiah] defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem, to the south of the Mount of Destruction, which King Solomon [Sol-o-Mon] of Israel had built for Astarte..."
2 Kings: 23:14 - 15: "He broke the pillars in pieces, cut down the Asher-im, and covered the sites with human bones. Moreover, the altar at Beth-el, the high place erected by Jeroboam son of Hebat... he pulled down that altar along with the high place. He burned the high place, crushing it to dust; he also burned the sacred Asher-ah."
The First Annual Passover-Passion Pageant introduced God and the nearly-forgotten Goddess and gave them new names. The Jews' YHVH and the Greco-Romans' Zeus became Yah-Zeus; Shabbat/Asherah was renamed Mari Magdalah IoAnna: Magdalah fulfilled Micah's prophecy; Io was the first goddess-queen of Egypt; Inanna was the dying-and-resurrected Sumerian goddess, daughter of the Mesopotamian god, Sin, of Mount Sin-ai and the Wilderness of Sin.
Luke 24:10: "Now it was Mary Magdalene, Io-anna..."
Revelation 22:16: "It is I, Yah-Zeus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright morning star" [Greek: Astar].
Yah-Zeus and his Bride, Astarte/Asherah/Io-Anna/the Magdalah extended an invitation to the world:
Revelation 22:27: "The Spirit [Yah-Zeus] and the Bride say, 'Come.' And let everyone who hears say, 'Come.' And let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.'"
Mark 16:1 is translated in the NRSV bible as: "When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James [Jesus' brother] and Salome brought spices, so that they might go and anoint him."
In the Myth of Serapis and Isis, three days after his death, spices were taken to the tomb of Serapis by Isis and Serapis' mother to be used to revive him.
Following Philo's rules for decoding enigmas:
the Greek word translated as Sabbath was the goddess Shabbat;
the Greek word translated as "was over" is also used to report a successful "crossing to the other side," (i.e., from the heavenly realm to the earthly realm);
the name Mary is from the Hebrew merom, which means high place;
Magdalene is from Magdalah, Micah's prophecy: "And you, O Magdalah of the flock, hill of daughter Zion, to you it shall come, the former dominion shall come, the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem."
Mark’s gospel is a reworking of the dying-and-resurrected god myths and the healing/reviving spices of his goddess. The myths of Osiris/Serapis and Isis have been worked into the story of the return of the Jewish Messiah who brought with him YHWH’s ancient bride, Shabbat, with a new name taken from Micah 4:8 “The Magdalah.”
The Romans who implemented this grand plan drew upon their knowledge of Egyptian history. The Egyptian god, Serapis, was the result of merging the dying-and-resurrected god, Osiris with the god, Apis. Osir-Apis became Serapis. He was an invented god, the brainchild of Ptolemy Soter I as a means of peacefully merging two perpetually warring religious factions. It was immensely successful. Merging the god of the Jews, YHVH, with the Greco-Roman god, Zeus, was an attempt to duplicate Ptolemy Soter's success. A dying and resurrected Jewish Messiah would satisfy the Jews, the Greeks, and the Romans. Merging YH-Zeus with the Egyptian god Serapis would encompass the rest of the Roman Empire. "One Nation under One God and Goddess" was the goal.
This second century bust housed at the London Museum is Serapis, not Jesus.
The bust was probably produced during the reign of Hadrian, 117 to 138 ACE, perhaps about the time he wrote the following:
"From Hadrian Augustus to Servianus the consul, greeting. The land of Egypt, the praises of which you have been recounting to me, my dear Servianus, I have found to be wholly light-minded, unstable, and blown about by every breath of rumor. There, those who worship Serapis are, in fact, Christians, and those who call themselves bishops of Christ are, in fact, devotees of Serapis. There is no chief of the Jewish synagogue, no Samaritan, no Christian presbyter, who is not an astrologer, a soothsayer, or an anointer. Even the Patriarch himself, when he comes to Egypt, is forced by some to worship Serapis, by others to worship Christ. They are a folk most seditious, most deceitful, most given to injury; but their city is prosperous, rich, and fruitful, and in it no one is idle."
The following is the original article that explains the long-standing claim that the real name of Jesus was Yeshua Ben Yosef. This assumption is based on the erroneous belief that "Jesus" was a historical figure who carried a traditional Jewish name, rather than a created god and the lead character in The First Annual Passover Passion Pageant. Historical people did play the roles of "Yah-Zeus" and "Mary Magdalah," and they can now be identified as members of a prominent Roman-Egyptian family. Articles supporting these discoveries can be found throughout this web site.
Please note that we at The Nazarene Way now consider the following article to be not only obsolete, but also misleading.
We retain it for those who might have utilized it as a resource.
Yeshua Ben Yosef
It is most proper to call Him Yeshua; only in Hebrew does this name have any meaning. In Hebrew Yeshua means both "Salvation," and the concatenated form of Yahoshua, is "Lord who is Salvation." The name Jesus has no intrinsic meaning in English whatsoever.
There are many Yeshuas that we read about in Biblical text and many are confused with the Yeshua who would later become the "Christ". The name Yeshua appears 29 times in the Tanach. Yehoshua (Joshua) of Nun is called Yeshua in Nechemyah (Nehemiah) 8:17. Yeshua is the name of the Cohain HaGadol (the high priest) in the time of Zerubavel in Ezra 3:2. It is the name of a Levite under King Hizkiyah (Hezekiah) in 2 Chronicles 31:15. There is even a city called Yeshua in the negev of Yehudah in Nechemyah 11:26. Yeshua is also a shortened version of the word Yehoshua much like Bill is for William.
There are 7 other Yeshuas (Jesuses) in the Brit Chadashah. There is Elymas bar Yeshua in Acts 13:6. There is an ancestor of Yeshua HaMashiach: the son of Eliezar, the father of Er in Luke 3:29. In Rav Shaul's letter to the Colossians in chapter 4, verse 11, there is a Justus called Yeshua a fellow worker of Shaul. Josephus, the famous Jewish historian mentions 20 different Yeshuas (Jesuses), 10 of which are contemporary with Yeshua HaMashiach. All together, at least 50 Yeshuas from his time plus about 9 in the Tanach have been revealed from Biblical text and other literary sources.
Mis-Translating the Mis-Translation
Yeshua is a Hebrew name which has been transliterated into Greek as Iesous (IhsouV: pronounced ee-ay-SUS or ee-ah-ZOOS). The English "Jesus" comes from the Latin transliteration of the Greek name into the Latin Iesus. Now Greek has no "y" sound, but the Latin "i" is both an "i" and a "j" (i.e., it can have a consonantal force in front of other vowels), the latter of which is properly pronounced like the English "y" (which explains the German Jesu, "YAY-su")That is why we spell Jesus as we do, taking it straight from Latin, but we pronounce the name with a soft "j" sound because that is what we do in English with the consonantal "j".
The first letter in the name Yeshua ("Jesus") is the yod. Yod represents the "Y" sound in Hebrew. Many names in the Bible that begin with yod are mispronounced by English speakers because the yod in these names was transliterated in English Bibles with the letter "J" rather than "Y". This came about because in early English the letter "J" was pronounced the way we pronounce "Y" today. All proper names in the Old Testament were transliterated into English according to their Hebrew pronunciation via the Latin, but when English pronunciation shifted to what we know today, these transliterations were not altered. Thus, such Hebrew place names as ye-ru-sha-LA-yim, ye-ri-HO, and yar-DEN have become known to us as Jerusalem, Jericho, and Jordan; and Hebrew personal names such as yo-NA, yi-SHAI, and ye-SHU-a have become known to us as Jonah, Jesse, and Jesus. To further complicate matters, there was no letter "J" in the old English alphabet and the letter "I" was often used in its place. Often in early texts of the time, Jesus or Jerusalem would be spelled Iesus or Ierusalem.
The second sound in Yeshua's name is called tse-RE, and is pronounced almost like the letter "e" in the word "net". Just as the "Y" sound of the first letter is mispronounced in today's English, so too the first vowel sound in "Jesus". Before the Hebrew name "Yeshua" was transliterated into English, it was first transliterated into Greek. There was no difficulty in transliterating the tse-RE sound since the ancient Greek language had an equivalent letter which represented this sound. And there was no real difficulty in transcribing this same first vowel into English. The translators of the earliest versions of the English Bible transliterated the tse-RE in Yeshua with an "e". Unfortunately, later English speakers guessed wrongly that this "e" should be pronounced as in "me," and thus the first syllable of the English version of Yeshua came to be pronounced "Jee" instead of "Yeh". It is this pronunciation which produced such euphemistic profanities as "Gee" and "Geez".
Since Yeshua is spelled "Jeshua" and not "Jesus" in most English versions of the Old Testament (for example in Ezra 2:2 and 2 Chronicles 31:15), one easily gets the impression that the name is never mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures. Yet 'Yeshua' appears there twenty-nine times, and is the name of at least five different persons and one village in the southern part of Yehudah ("Judah").
In contrast to the early biblical period, there were relatively few different names in use among the Jewish population of the Land of Israel at the time of the Second Temple. The name Yeshua was one of the most common male names in that period, tied with Eleazer for fifth place behind Simon, Joseph, Judah, and John. Nearly one out of ten persons known from the period was named Yeshua.
The first sound of the second syllable of Yeshua is the "sh" sound. It is represented by the Hebrew letter shin. However Greek, like many other languages, has no "sh" sound. Instead, the closest approximation, the Greek sigma, was used when transcribing "Yeshua" as "Iesus". Translators of English versions of the New Testament transliterated the Greek transcription of a Hebrew name, instead of returning to the original Hebrew. This was doubly unfortunate, first because the "sh" sound exists in English, and second because in English the "s" sound can shift to the "z" sound, which is what happened in the case of the pronunciation of "Jesus".
The fourth sound one hears in the name Yeshua is the "u" sound, as in the word "true". Like the first three sounds, this also has come to be mispronounced but in this case it is not the fault of the translators. They transcribed this sound accurately, but English is not a phonetic language and "u" can be pronounced in more than one way. At some point the "u" in "Jesus" came to be pronounced as in "cut," and so we say "Jee-zuhs."
The "a" sound, as in the word "father," is the fifth sound in Jesus' name. It is followed by a guttural produced by contracting the lower throat muscles and retracting the tongue root- an unfamiliar task for English speakers. In an exception to the rule, the vowel sound "a" associated with the last letter "ayin" (the guttural) is pronounced before it, not after. While there is no equivalent in English or any other Indo-European language, it is somewhat similar to the last sound in the name of the composer, "Bach." In this position it is almost inaudible to the western ear. Some Israelis pronounce this last sound and some don't, depending on what part of the dispersion their families returned from. The Hebrew Language Academy, guardian of the purity of the language, has ruled that it should be sounded, and Israeli radio and television announcers are required to pronounce it correctly. There was no letter to represent them, and so these fifth and sixth sounds were dropped from the Greek transcription of "Yeshua," -the transcription from which the English "Jesus" is derived.
So where did the final "s" of "Jesus" come from? Masculine names in Greek ordinarily end with a consonant, usually with an "s" sound, and less frequently with an "n" or "r" sound. In the case of "Iesus," the Greeks added a sigma, the "s" sound, to close the word. The same is true for the names Nicodemus, Judas, Lazarus, and others.
English speakers make one final change from the original pronunciation of Jesus' name. English places the accent on "Je," rather than on "sus." For this reason, the "u" has been shortened in its English pronunciation to "uh."
Portions borrowed from http://jesusisajew.org/YESHUA.php
In Jesus' Name
Today's tradition of pronouncing His completely Hellenized name as "Jesus" has indeed obscured His true name, "Yeshua," and has shifted its perceived meaning much like most of His original teachings.
As with all things Essene however, there is always the exoteric and the esoteric philosophies and functions. That is, those ideas and teachings suitable to be imparted to the public, and those designed for or understood by the specially initiated alone.
Even His name, it would seem, became a part of this understanding. The name Jesus or Jesus Christ is often used in everything from idle conversation, to bumper stickers and jewelry, to enforcing false teachings, to justifying wars and political agendas, and is even used as a profanity. The name Yeshua however, has remained pure and holy, known and used only by those who would uphold His name and teachings in the highest regard and thus reserving His holy name for use only in spiritual matters and the most humbled and sincere of prayer and obeisances.
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