Gerald Massey's "The Historical Jesus and Mythical Christ" pt. 2
According to the Babylonian Gemara to the Mishna of Tract "Shabbath," this Jehoshua, the son of Pandira and Stada, was stoned to death as a wizard, in the city of Lud, or Lydda, and afterwards crucified by being hanged on a tree, on the eve of the Passover. This is the manner of death assigned to Jesus in the Book of Acts. The Gemara says there exists a tradition that on the rest-day before the Sabbath they crucified Jehoshua, on the rest-day of the Passah (the day before the Passover). The year of his death, however, is not given in that account; but there are reasons for thinking it could not have been much earlier nor later than B.C. 70, because this Jewish King Jannæus reigned from the year 106 to 79 B.C. He was succeeded in the government by his widow Salomè, whom the Greeks called Alexandra, and who reigned for some nine years. Now the traditions, especially of the first "Toledoth Jehoshua," relate that the Queen of Jannæus, and the mother of Hyrcanus, who must therefore be Salomè,
in spite of her being called by another name, showed favour to Jehoshua and his teaching; that she was a witness of his wonderful works and powers of healing, and tried to save him from the hands of his sacerdotal enemies, because he was related to her; but that during her reign, which ended in the year 71 B.C., he was put to death. The Jewish writers and Rabbis with whom I have talked always deny the identity of the Talmudic Jehoshua and the Jesus of the Gospels. "This," observes Rabbi Jechiels, "which has been related to Jehoshua Ben-Perachia and his pupil, contains no reference whatever to him whom the Christians honour as God!" Another Rabbi, Salman Zevi, produced ten reasons for concluding that the Jehoshua of the Talmud was not he who was afterwards called Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus of Nazareth (and of the Canonical Gospels) was unknown to Justus, to the Jew of Celsus, and to Josephus, the supposed reference to him by the latter being an undoubted forgery.
The "blasphemous writings of the Jews about Jesus," as Justin Martyr calls them, always refer to Jehoshua Ben-Pandira, and not to the Jesus of the Gospels. It is Ben-Pandira they mean when they say they have another and a truer account of the birth and life, the wonder-working and death of Jehoshua or Jesus. This repudiation is perfectly honest and soundly based. The only Jesus known to the Jews was Jehoshua Ben-Pandira, who had learnt the arts of magic in Egypt, and who was put to death by them as a sorcerer. This was likewise the only Jesus known to Celsus, the writer of the "True Logos," a work which the Christians managed to get rid of bodily, with so many other of the anti-Christian evidences.
Celsus observes that he was not a pure Word, not a true Logos, but a man who had learned the arts of sorcery in Egypt. So, in the Clementines, it is in the character of Ben-Pandira that Jesus is said to rise again as the magician. But here is the conclusive fact: The Jews know nothing of Jesus, the Christ of the Gospels, as an historical character; and when the Christians of the fourth century trace his pedigree, by the hand of Epiphanius, they are forced to derive their Jesus from Pandira! Epiphanius gives the genealogy of the Canonical Jesus in this wise:--
Jacob, called Pandira, Mary=Joseph--Cleopas, Jesus.
This proves that in the fourth century the pedigree of Jesus was traced to Pandira, the father of that Jehoshua who was the pupil of Ben-Perachia, and who becomes one of the magicians in Egypt, and who was crucified as a magician on the eve of the Passover by the Jews, in the time of Queen Alexandra, who had ceased to reign in the year 70 B.C.--the Jesus, therefore, who lived and died more than a century too soon.
Thus, the Jews do not identify Jehoshua Ben-Pandira with the Gospel Jesus, of whom they, his supposed contemporaries, know nothing, but protest against the assumption as an impossibility; whereas the Christians do identify their Jesus as the descendant of Pandira. It was he or nobody; yet he was neither the son of Joseph
nor the Virgin Mary, nor was he crucified at Jerusalem. It is not the Jews, then, but the Christians, who fuse two supposed historic characters into one! There being but one history acknowledged or known on either side, it follows that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jehoshua of the Talmud, or is not at all, as a Person. This shifts the historic basis altogether; it antedates the human history by more than a hundred years, and it at once destroys the historic character of the Gospels, together with that of any other personal Jesus than Ben-Pandira. In short, the Jewish history of the matter will be found to corroborate the mythical. As Epiphanius knew of no other historical Jesus than the descendant of Pandira, it is possible that this is the Jesus whose tradition is reported by Irenæus.
Irenæus was born in the early part of the second century, between 120 and 140 A.D. He was Bishop of Lyons, France, and a personal acquaintance of Polycarp; and he repeats a tradition testified to by the elders, which he alleges was directly derived from John, the "disciple of the Lord," to the effect that Jesus was not crucified at 33 years of age, but that he passed through every age, and lived on to be an oldish man. Now, in accordance with the dates given, Jehoshua Ben-Pandira may have been between 50 and 60 years of age when put to death, and his tradition alone furnishes a clue to the Nihilistic statement of Irenæus.
When the true tradition of Ben-Pandira is recovered, it shows that he was the sole historical Jesus who was hung on a tree by the Jews, not crucified in the Roman fashion, and authenticates the claim now to be made on behalf of the astronomical allegory to the dispensational Jesus, the Kronian Christ, the mythical Messiah of the Canonical Gospels, and the Jesus of Paul, who was not the carnalised Christ. For I hold that the Jesus of the "other Gospel," according to the Apostles Cephas and James, who was utterly repudiated by Paul, was none other than Ben-Pandira, the Nazarene, of whom James was a follower, according to a comment on him found in the Book Abodazura. Anyway, there are two Jesuses, or Jesus and the Christ, one of whom is repudiated by Paul.
But Jehoshua, the son of Pandira, can never be converted into Jesus Christ, the son of a virgin mother, as an historic character. Nor can the dates given ever be reconciled with contemporary history. The historical Herod, who sought to slay the young child Jesus, is known to have died four years before the date of the Christian era, assigned for the birth of Jesus.
So much for the historic Jesus. And now for the mythical Christ. Here we can tread on firmer ground.
The mythical Messiah was always born of a Virgin Mother--a factor unknown in natural phenomena, and one that cannot be historical, one that can only be explained by means of the Mythos, and those conditions of primitive sociology which are mirrored in mythology and preserved in theology. The virgin mother has been represented in Egypt by the maiden Queen, Mut-em-ua, the future mother of Amenhept III.
some 16 centuries B.C., who impersonated the eternal virgin that produced the eternal child.
Four consecutive scenes reproduced in my book are found pourtrayed upon the innermost walls of the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Luxor, which was built by Amenhept III., a Pharaoh of the 17th dynasty. The first scene on the left hand shows the God Taht, the Lunar Mercury, the Annunciator of the Gods, in the act of hailing the Virgin Queen, and announcing to her that she is to give birth to the coming Son. In the next scene the God Kneph (in conjunction with Hathor) gives the new life. This is the Holy Ghost or Spirit that causes the Immaculate Conception, Kneph being the spirit by name in Egyptian. The natural effects are made apparent in the virgin's swelling form.
Next the mother is seated on the mid-wife's stool, and the newborn child is supported in the hands of one of the nurses. The fourth scene is that of the Adoration. Here the child is enthroned, receiving homage from the Gods and gifts from men. Behind the deity Kneph, on the right, three spirits--the Three Magi, or Kings of the Legend, are kneeling and offering presents with their right hand, and life with their left. The child thus announced, incarnated, born, and worshipped, was the Pharaonic representative of the Aten Sun in Egypt, the God Adon of Syria, and Hebrew Adonai; the child-Christ of the Aten Cult; the miraculous conception of the ever-virgin mother, personated by Mut-em-ua, as mother of the "only one," and representative of the divine mother of the youthful Sun-God.
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