– FREEDOM FIGHTER – YESHUA THE NAZARENE a.k.a. JESUS CHRIST
Over two and a half-billion Christians worldwide believe that Jesus Christ is the son of god, the messiah, and that Jesus offers the promise of salvation and eternal life. Billions more, of other religions including Islam, the Druze and Baháʼí Faith, view Jesus as a prophet but a mortal man, who was divinely chosen to spread god’s message. The question is: what is the truth and more pointedly, can the truth of those days even be known?
For about two-thousand years the words attributed to Jesus have influenced and affected people for the good, and the bad, and the ugly across the globe. Why is the belief in supernatural deities so strong in the Human psyche?
The date of 25 December is celebrated worldwide as the birth of Jesus. That day is an invention, “asserted officially by Pope Julius I in 350 AD.” That day originally was a pagan holiday known as the Roman festival of Natalis Solis Invicti, a celebration for Helios, the sun god of Roman mythology. That also happens to have been a pagan celebration for the winter solstice. Indeed, even the beginning of calendar dating as we know it is based on the invention of ante Christum natum and Anno Domini by Dionysius Exiguus, a Christian monk in the year 525 AD, centuries after the supposed event.
Jesus and his people’s ancestry is generally unclear. The New Testament includes references to the Pharisees and Sadducees but the Essenes and Habiru, which are noted in the historical record, are absent.
There are many similarities between the beliefs and practices of the Jewish Essenes and the early Christian faith, most notably the rite of baptism; the Essenes considered the ritual of daily bodily cleansing to be spiritual in nature. Perhaps yourself may recall exclaiming, after a morning shower, “God, that felt fantastic! I feel like a new person!” 
"Some scholars maintain that John [the Baptist] belonged to the Essenes, a semi-ascetic Jewish sect who expected a messiah and practiced ritual baptism." According to the Gospel of Luke, John the Baptist and Jesus were relatives and if so, was Jesus also an Essene? Is that where Jesus’ deeply held beliefs may have come from? Could Qumran have been his home during the approximately thirty years missing from the biblical record?
According to the historical and archeological record the Essenes retreated from Jerusalem to Qumran on the shore of the Dead Sea. The Essenes encouraged a revolutionary fervor. A man who disrupts the Temple proceedings and violently scatters the money-lenders most certainly seems to have a militant attitude. Could Jesus’ actions be a result of the rebel Essene’s influence? Were certain members of the Essenes also the “sicarioi”, the deadly assassins known as “dagger men” for their choice of weapon?
The Habiru are mentioned in hundreds of 2nd-millennium BCE texts throughout the Fertile Crescent “for people variously described as rebels, outlaws, raiders, mercenaries, bowmen, servants, slaves, and laborers.” Was the Israelites early origin, their predecessors, the Habiru? Scholars assert the word “Habiru” is the origin of the word Hebrew.
Boys and men of that time were generally referred to as the son of (father’s name). To be called the son of the mother was an indication of a dishonorable birth. Illegitimate children and those of questionable birth were deprived of certain civil rights and were without question denied entry to the Temple, "A bastard shall not enter into the assembly of Jehovah; even to the tenth generation shall none of his enter into the assembly of Jehovah."
Writings from the 1st century, attributed to Celcus, Origen, and noted in the Talmud, name the Roman soldier, Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera as the father of Jesus. Without adhering to “blind faith”, which is more likely: that a young woman living in Roman controlled Judaea may have become impregnated by a Roman soldier or, incredibly, conceived through the miraculous intervention of a God / Holy Spirit?
Greek myths predate the time of Jesus by at least a millennium and in the Greek stories, for one example, Heracles was born of Zeus and the mortal woman Alcmene. Another millennium before the Greek myths was the Epic of Gilgamesh, whose mother was Ninsun, a goddess, and his father, Lugalbanda, the half-mortal half-god king of Uruk. So the notion that a mortal human could have god-like qualities was well-known and accepted amongst early primitive peoples, as was the belief that gods themselves had human qualities.
Many of the Old Testament stories have their origins in previous myths, for example, the Epic of Gilgamesh has a flood story, a garden of exquisite beauty, and a serpent. In Genesis 6:4 is related the story of the Nephilim. According to the biblical text these were giants, sons of fallen angels.
Curiously, when the people of that olden time discovered fossils that were unexplainable, stories and myths were made of them. Consider these primitive superstitious people uncovering giant skeletons while digging for a water well or when an earthquake caused a landslide: would the skull of a mammoth look like a giant one-eyed monster, a Cyclops? Maybe the bones were the remains of the “mighty men that were of old, the men of renown”, the Nephilim.
It has been proposed that Jesus was mentally unstable; regarding the 3rd chapter of Mark, verses 21 and 22, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and 'But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said', “He is out of His mind.” And in John 10:20, ‘And many of them said, “He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?”
Perhaps, like many other of the wondering maji of the time (and like certain individuals in the present) Jesus suffered from schizophrenia. This is not implausible. Throughout history there have been those who not only believe their own delusions of grandeur but attract flocks and followers who gather to them: the list includes not only religious fanatics but economic miracle-workers such as Ponzi scheme crooks and, even more bizarre and dangerous, politicians who can enthrall whole populations with their words.
There are two major timelines missing from the canonical gospels account of Jesus’ life. There are twelve years, from his birth to the age of twelve when he is reported to be at the Temple, then another eighteen years to the age of thirty and the start of his ministry. It is those eighteen years of his teenage and adult working life that are a puzzle. If he lived in Nazareth or somewhere else in Judaea why wasn’t that mentioned in the biblical account of his life? A more intriguing possibility is that he may have been living in Egypt.
There is no real clue as to Jesus’ whereabouts but there are theories, some odd, such as India or Japan, even Britian, which make Egypt at least practical as it is almost right next door. In the biblical account and the historical record, Egypt was where people from the Levant fled to in times of drought and famine, war, or seeking work.
Could he perhaps have become acquainted with Egyptian magic tricks during those years; was that the source, or impression, of his miracle-working powers? This is not as far-fetched as it may seem, as the Levant was crowded with magi and the people readily believed in their abilities. Magic is accepted even today, two-thousand years later, but it’s been given different names, such as luck, prayer, and belief in angels. Many humans in our supposedly advanced civilization remain just as superstitious as were those early primitive peoples.
What is the meaning of the verses: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword" (Matthew 10:34) and “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” (Luke 22:36) The contention here is that Yeshua the Nazarene, or call him Jesus Christ, was a freedom-fighter, a warrior, as is confirmed by those, his own words.
The writer challenges Jorge Mario Bergoglio, better known as Pope Francis, and the officials of the Roman Catholic Church to reveal their secrets hidden in the Vatican Apostolic Archive. Challenge them to prove, once and for all, that Jesus Christ is god-like. Or to disprove, as is stated herein, that he was a revolutionary freedom fighter, a warrior, "For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light." (Luke 8:17) Surely, somewhere in those millions of pages and countless artifacts must be some sort of evidence, proof, or at least justification for their extraordinary claim.
Perhaps Jesus, as a rabbi, and just a mortal man, was intent on transforming the nature of religious thought and practice in his homeland. The Sadducee priests of the Temple had been corrupted by the rulers, the Herod’s, who were loyal to Rome. According to Jesus’ own words he was only interested in his fellow Jews; the very “Jewishness of Jesus” is what drives his intentions. Indeed, when Jesus refers to non-believers, he is quoted as saying, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles but rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Look at the Jewish Jesus’ words carefully: if his supposed disciples (all of the Hebrew tribe) took him literally, then how did the Gentiles get converted from paganism and become devoted followers of Jesus? Some scholars claim that the “Christianity” Gentiles converted to, and which is practiced today, was actually started by Paul, and has little or no bearing on what Jesus may have said, taught or practiced.
Once the Roman Catholic Church was officially recognized by Emperor Constantine in 313 AD, it became a cash-generating machine that is worth in excess of $30 billion un-taxed bucks. It’s a nice scam, sort of a Ponzi scheme where investors contribute their hard-earned money now in the expectation of a divine payday in the after-life. 
One consequence of that beginning is the untold number of humans killed over the last two-thousand years in the pursuit of a monopoly on “believers” of the faith. In fact, whole continents of peoples’ and their civilizations were effectively destroyed by the coming of the Church. What is difficult to understand, is how the citizens of those countries today still embrace and practice the very religion that destroyed their ancestors.
Apparently “resistance is futile” and the “assimilation” is complete. The Papal Dum Diversas was issued by Pope Nicholas V on June 18, 1452. It explicitly granted Portuguese king Alfonso V the following rights:
“To invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens [Muslims] and pagans whatsoever, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed, and the kingdoms, dukedoms, principalities, dominions, possessions, and all movable and immovable goods whatsoever held and possessed by them and to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery.” 
Repeat those last words: "reduce their persons to perpetual slavery." Imagine that! That was an official order of the Pope, the "Vicar of Christ on earth" to make perpetual slaves of the indigenous people of the New World.
The stories in the New Testament, specifically the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John “were all composed within the Roman Empire between 70 and 110 CE as biographies of Jesus of Nazareth” which makes them at least a generation after the supposed life of Jesus. 
Obviously, there was not any social or mass media to record the events of that time so we must assume there was an oral tradition that passed on the “good news” (“gospel” Greek: euangelion) which, apparently, was finally set down in written words.
Curiously, many of the stories in the New Testament are repeats, sequels so to speak, from the Old Testament. However, "Scholars have observed that few of these citations are actual predictions in context..." [and] "do not regard them as messianic prophecies at all."
It’s noted that the gospels were written in Greek, not Hebrew or Aramaic, the language of Jesus himself. While there is a theory the Greek version was a transliteration from a “Q source” document, there is no record of this. Some may believe the Q source is filed away in the fifty-three miles of shelving that hold the thirty-five thousand volumes of twelve centuries worth of documents in the top-secret Vatican Apostolic Archives.
If this is so and would and/or could prove the divinity of Jesus without question, why hasn’t this Q source been released by one of the 267 popes during the history of the Roman Catholic Church? 
Also, regarding the wealth of the Roman Catholic Church, in addition to the historical value of scrolls and documents that could illuminate the past, consider the vast treasure, gold, silver and jewels, in the top-secret Vatican Apostolic Archives.
In particular, when the Second Temple was looted by Titus Caesar Vespasianus in the 70 CE conquest, the contents of the Temple treasury were carried away to Rome as spoils of war. This “triumph” is carved into the stone relief known as the Arch of Titus, located in Rome near the Forum. According to journalistic investigations, those priceless relics are hidden away behind the locked, guarded doors of the Vatican Apostolic Archives.
Why would the Pope(s) hold onto this stolen loot: could it be greed, a moral depravity, a desperate attempt to bury all evidence and hide a truth about the honesty of the Roman Catholic Church, their official doctrine, and their so-called Savior? Also in those secret archives is evidence Pope Pius XII was “Hitler’s pope” being aware of the Holocaust but remaining silent and, if not a vocal supporter of the Nazi regime, at the very least he was a collaborator.
That in itself is damning evidence of the Church’s willingness to hide and/or rewrite history. Perhaps the Pope’s of the very early Church saw an opportunity to manipulate the oral record of the man they championed as “Jesus Christ, The Son of God” in order to control the masses and advance a very profitable Ponzi scheme with an unlimited global reach and power.
The purpose of this essay is to contend that Jesus was a freedom fighter, a warrior, a mortal man, who battled the Roman occupiers to free his people and their land; that he ultimately lost the fight, that he was captured, tried, found guilty and sentenced to death for treason, and then crucified, which was the standard Roman penalty for the charge of treason.
Or maybe there was a different ending – perhaps it was not Jesus who was crucified, but someone else. This is not pure supposition; there is actually more scholarly multiple citations in the historical record for a switch in identity, than there is for the New Testament claim that it was Jesus.
Secondly, to examine what references may apply to that thesis, finally, to present this as a sort of long-winded foreword to the novel of historical fiction and accompanying screenplay, The Lost Gospels of Mariam and Judas. In that story, the likelihood of the father of Yeshua the Nazarene being the Roman soldier, Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera, and his biological son’s reaction to that, is explored. It also offers an alternative version, a secular, rational, and humanist version, of the New Testament Passion story, which according to the writer’s research of the historical record is very possible.
“At least 18,000 different gods, goddesses and various animals or objects have been worshipped by humans.” Isn’t it curious that none of those divine entities have ever actually revealed themselves or made their presence known? Surely even a small piece of proof is not outside the realm of their omnipotent and omniscient abilities. Shoot, even Thor, the Norse God of Thunder and Lightning, the Protector of Mankind, has shown himself several times in order to save humanity - at least according to stories in comic books and movies.
There are some who are known for their militant atheist point of view who think that all religion and notions of “God” should be done away with. The writer is not one of those. The writer doesn’t care what sort of non-rational and improbable spiritual mental images one may tote about in their brain, just don’t take it so seriously that violence is done to others in the name of your “God” or beliefs.
Indeed, no rational-minded person should and/or could claim to be a strict “believer” or a “non-believer” because neither can offer any legitimate scientific proof to support their claim.
Perhaps it would be best if we all just called it a draw and lived and let live. "There is no darkness but ignorance."
Religious extremism is on the rise, among all the major faiths, and this could be a direct threat to the survival of humanity itself. It’s very possible for a mentally deranged person or group of people to resort to mass destruction in the advancement of their beliefs. It’s not a long stretch of the imagination to go from the use of an assault weapon to an atomic weapon. Even just one death committed in the name of “god” is a tragedy and senseless waste – multiply that times tens, hundreds, thousands, millions, even billions of people, and it is apparent the threat is real.
It’s the writer’s further contention that while it can be noted that religion does do some good, local church Food Banks for example, at the same time religion can be a cancer on society resulting in catastrophic inhumanities. Even at the local level, some religious figures engage in extreme political diatribes to influence their congregation.
To be perfectly clear, the writer is not picking on any one faith in particular, they all seem to be mentally maladjusted. Fanatics from all the branches have raged and roared and warred since the dawn of recorded history over “My god is better than your god.” Could we not, perhaps, utilize our time and energy in a more productive manner?
Final note – the Great Question: “What would Jesus do/want?” can be re-examined based on the thesis that he was indeed a Freedom Fighter. If so, perhaps he would want People to throw off the yoke of tyrants, political jesters, Capitalist 1%’ers, promoters of propaganda and brain-washing, excessive taxation, Fascism and autocratic rule, and the un-Constitutional mingling of Church and State. And then, those People could be finally, truly, free.
Hmm, oh, well, it’s just a thought.
But frankly, the writer has no expectation that these words or any words of tolerance will change Human behavior: the Human species is doomed to self-destruction; as the cyborg told us, “It's in your nature to destroy yourselves.”
 West, Stuart A. (1979). The Habiru and the Hebrews. The World Jewish Bible Society, Department of Education and Culture of the World Zionist Organization, World Jewish Congress, Cultural Department. Jerusalem. Vol. VII. No. 3.
Thomson, G.A. (2011). Habiru. The Rise of Earliest Israel. iUniverse, Inc. Bloomington
 Thomson, G. A. (2011). Habiru. The Rise of Earliest Israel. iUniverse, Inc. Bloomington. pp. 104-105.
Lockyer, et al., (1986). Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible. Thomas Nelson Publishers. P. 450
Magnusson, Magnus. (1977). Archaeology of the Bible. Simon & Schuster. Pp. 37-8, 57
Schoville, Keith. (1978). Biblical Archaeology in Focus. Baker Book House Company. Pp. 195, 227, 240, 259-60, 331, 421
McKenzie, John. (1965). Dictionary of the Bible. Macmillan Publishing Company. Pp. 329, 345-347
 Asimov, Isaac (MCMLXXXI, MCMLXVII, MCMLXIX). Asimov's Guide to the Bible. Avenel Books. p. 817
 Jeremias, J. (1962, 1967, 1969). Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus, An Investigation into Economic and Social Conditions during the New Testament Period. Fortress Press, Philadelphia. p. 317
 Matthew 1:18-25. The Holy Bible. Authorized (King James) Version. Gideons International. 2013.
 Vermes, G. (1924, 1983, 1984). Jesus and the World of Judaism. SCM Press, London. Fortress Press, Philadelphia. p. 54
 Fine, Steven. “The Temple Menorah—Where Is It?” Biblical Archaeology Review 31.4 (2005): 18, 20–25, 62–63.
Dugan, Elena. “Jerusalem’s Temple Treasures: Where Did They Go?” Biblical Archaeology Review 49.2 (2023): 46–51.
 William of Ockham. "Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate," or "Plurality must never be posited without necessity."
Aristotle "the more limited, if adequate, is always preferable"
Ptolemy. "we consider it a good principle to explain the phenomena by the simplest hypothesis possible."
Isaac Newton. "we are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances."
Carl Sagan. "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"
Shakespeare, W., Twelfth Night, Act 4, Scene 2.
Ingersoll, R. G., Shakespeare, A Lecture. (1890). C.P Farrell, Publisher.
Baten, A. M., The Philosophy of Shakespeare. (1937). Kingsport Press, Inc. Book Two, p. 223, par. 7.