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ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY and JUDAISM:

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED,

WHAT JESUS ACTUALLY TAUGHT and LATER CHANGES

by Manfred Davidmann


Copyright ... ... Manfred Davidmann ... 1994
ISBN 0 85192 051 9 ..... Second Edition 1994
All rights reserved


Summary

In ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY and JUDAISM, Manfred Davidmann proves what Jesus really taught: The social laws of the Torah have to be followed. These social laws guarantee equality, social justice and security, and a good life for all members of the community. These laws protect people from exploitation, oppression and enslavement through need. Early Christians, being mostly Jews, followed these laws.

Manfred Davidmann then proves how these essential social laws of the Torah were bypassed and ceased to be observed, in Judaism and in Christianity at the same time.

He describes and proves how Paul changed what Jesus had taught, how Paul's ideology serves the establishment instead of the people, and how this became Christianity's official doctrine. On the other hand Manfred Davidmann shows that the Talmud (especially the Mishnah) tells how Hillel changed Judaism in the same way, to what it is today.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, within the context of the findings reported here, become much more meaningful. In turn, the knowledge gained from them is part of the pattern of events recorded here for the first time.

What you find here is scientific analysis of facts established by the methods of biblical archaeology.

Outstanding are the sections on Paul and the Gospels: Manfred Davidmann shows that Paul's ideology was first opposed and that successive gospel writers then changed the record in Paul's favour, and how they did it.

 

Contents

Early Christians
Paul
Romans
Romans 13, 1-7
Romans 13, 8-10
Gospels
Jesus Taught: About The Rich Young Man
Jesus Taught: Censored!
At the Time of Jesus
Christian Canon
Jewish Talmud
Events and Struggle
Same Struggle, Same Political Ideology
Paul and Hillel
Paul, Hillel and Christianity
Hillel, Paul and Judaism
Origin of Christianity
Maccabean Rule
Historical Events
Talmudic Account
Early Church
Information from Dead Sea Scrolls
What the Dead Sea Scrolls Tell Us
Talmudic Account
This is What Actually Happened
Appendices
1. Ten Commandments
2. Maccabean Dynasty
Notes
References and Links

Early Christians

The first Christians were Jewish Christians. The Pentateuch <1> was of great importance to them and they kept its laws, keeping the sabbath and performing circumcision.

Christian beliefs were spreading largely among Jews, and Christianity was a group within Judaism.

They were called Jewish Christians because their membership consisted largely of Jews who had joined them and followed their beliefs and teachings.

They believed Jesus was a prophet who had tried to make people more aware of the intent of the Pentateuch and had tried to intensify the application of its laws.

As Jews had in any case to follow and live according to the Pentateuch's laws, so what were Jews and Jewish Christians arguing about?

At issue are the laws of behaviour and the social system which are laid down in the Pentateuch {13}:

 

The Pentateuch states that all are equal, that no person may oppress or exploit another, that all have the right to be free and be independent masters of their own fate.

Every person is entitled as a matter of right to social security. This means that people are entitled to be supported by the community not only when they fall on hard times but also to maintain their independence as independent breadwinners for their families.

For example, the community has to provide backup funds to those who need them and they have to be provided as and when required. To prevent people being exploited through their need these funds have to be provided without charging interest and such 'loans' are cancelled every seventh year if the borrower has been unable to repay them.

The country's wealth, and this applies particularly to productive capital, belongs to all equally and has to be shared out. This equal and fair distribution of the community's wealth has to be updated at regular intervals.

The role of those who are rich is seen to be that of administering their wealth and money on behalf of and for the community and not that of enriching themselves at the expense of the community.

The laws of the Pentateuch have to be followed and applied by Jews as a matter of law in their daily lives.

However, it was such laws of behaviour and such social system laws which the rich simply did not want to apply and they, the rich and powerful, had the application of the laws changed to suit themselves. {13-16}

Jesus tried to reverse this situation and to have such laws applied by people in their everyday lives.


 

Paul

Paul was Jewish and persecuted the Christians who were renewing their knowledge of the laws and the application of the laws in their daily lives. So he was acting on the side of, that is for, the oppressive establishment.

He was unsuccessful in this as Jewish Christianity spread and continued to spread.

He then said that he had had a 'vision' and called himself a Christian but he preached not for but against the social laws and against the social system of the Pentateuch. He preached against material independence, against social security, against freedom from oppression and exploitation.

What he preached was the political ideology of an oppressive establishment which wanted to be able to oppress so as to exploit without hindrance.

This brought him into conflict with Jewish Christians and with the mostly Jewish Christian communities. He then concentrated on gaining converts from gentiles (people who are not Jewish) who presumably knew nothing or little about the laws of the Pentateuch and who would thus be more likely to follow his teachings without arguing about its content.

Paul's letters (epistles) are the oldest part of the New Testament. The Gospels followed - as far as we know Matthew's was written first, then Mark's, then Luke's. Luke also wrote The Acts. It seems that Paul's letters were written about 50 AD and the gospels about 70-100 AD.

What stands out is that no one before Paul wrote such letters and that no one did so afterwards. They give his own point of view and personal ideology and he gives them an authority which they would not otherwise have had by means of a self-proclaimed vision.

The gospels as a whole relate to the life and death of Jesus but Paul's letters seem to be more a vehicle for pronouncements directed against observance of laws ensuring freedom, independence and equality.

Paul's teachings were accepted to a considerable extent and the Gentile Christians' stories about the beginning of Christianity do differ from those of the Jewish Christians. It is the versions of the Gentile Christians which were included in the Christian Canon and became official doctrine.

I suppose that what I am saying is that changes which were made as time progressed were at times 'politically' motivated towards putting across Paul's 'message', towards indoctrinating people with the political ideology of an oppressive establishment which wanted to be able to oppress so as to exploit without hindrance.

 


 

Romans

For no apparent reason, without justification and without stating a source, Paul says in his letter to the 'Romans' {5} <4> that:

 

  1. All authority comes from God,
    so that rulers (those who are in a position of authority) have been appointed by God.
    Hence let every person
    submit to those who rule.

     

  2. It follows that whoever resists the rulers
    resists whom God has appointed
    and those who resist rulers will be punished,
     
  3. for rulers do not terrorise those whose conduct is "good", but those whose conduct is "evil".

    If you want to live without fearing the person who is in authority, then do what is "good" and you will be praised,
     

  4. for he rules over you in God's place for your own good.

    But if you do that which is "evil", be afraid,
    for his is not an empty threat;
    he will in God's place punish the doer of "evil".

     

  5. Therefore one must be obedient,
    to avoid their anger (if you do not obey)
    and because to obey is the right thing to do.

     

  6. For the same reason you also pay taxes,
    for those in authority collecting taxes
    are acting on God's behalf.

     

  7. Pay all those in authority what they demand,
    taxes, revenues, respect, honour.

     

  8. Your only obligation to others is to love one another;
    Because he who loves another has fulfilled "the law".

     

  9. For this
     
    You shall not commit adultery,
    You shall not murder,
    You shall not steal,
    You shall not bear false witness,
    You shall not covet;
     

    and if there be any other commandment,
    it is summed up in this saying:
    You shall love your neighbour as yourself.

     

  10. Love does not do harm to a neighbour;
    therefore love (is) the fulfilling of the law.

Romans 13, 1-7

Astonishingly and without good reason he states that those in authority rule by 'divine right', that whatever they do is justified because in his opinion they act on God's behalf. Whatever those in authority do or want is called 'good' by Paul and those who resist or oppose them do 'evil' and will be punished. Paul wants all to obey those in authority and to be obedient, to pay taxes and revenues, to respect and honour those in authority.

He is arguing that one must fear and obey those in authority and do for them and give them all they ask, without regard to how selfish, rotten, corrupt, inhuman, vicious, murdering or evil they may be.

What Paul is saying and putting forward in this letter is neither God's word nor is it what Jesus taught. Under the disguise of a religious sermon Paul is spreading political propaganda, trying to brainwash people into willingly serving and loving those who exploit and oppress so as to exploit.

Look again at the social laws and system of the Pentateuch <2> and you will see how the laws of the Pentateuch ensure freedom and material independence and provide a good life of high quality here and now, backed by effective social security. No one may oppress or exploit another and all are equal, as a matter of law.

It is these laws of behaviour, it is these social laws and this social system which Paul opposes and he next attempts to stop people from keeping these laws.


 

 

Romans 13, 8-10

Paul lists only the last five of the Ten Commandments <3>. These five commandments protect people against anti-social behaviour of others by prohibiting the doing of that which would harm or injure other people, prohibiting adultery, murder, theft, false witness and coveting.

 

He continues by saying
(1) "Love does not do harm to a neighbour", and
(2) "all 'other' commandments are contained in
'You shall love your neighbour as yourself'".
He also says
 
(3) "Love is the fulfilling of the law" and
(4) "He who loves another has fulfilled the law"

 

and concludes
 
(5) Therefore your only obligation to others is to love one another.

The word 'love' is a label for something which is vague and abstract and quite meaningless until it is clearly, precisely and unambiguously defined in detail. 'Love does not do harm to a neighbour' and 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself' are vague and do not stand up to examination.

It would be illogical to argue that step (2) follows from step (1).

One person's idea of 'love' could be another person's 'insult' or 'hurt'.

To say that 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself' contains all the other laws, is in effect abrogating, bypassing, annulling these laws by replacing them with a person's likes and dislikes, even by a pervert's feelings.

There is simply no basis for saying that "Love is the fulfilling of the law" and that "He who loves another has fulfilled the law".

Paul himself leaves us in no doubt about his intentions when he says that "Your only obligation to others is to love one another". His intentions are to stop people from observing other laws.

The laws he does not wish people to observe include the first five commandments (of the Ten Commandments) which he pointedly left out from his list and thus include the social laws and the social system laws which together ensure freedom and material independence and social security.

When Moses brought the tables of the law he brought 'freedom upon the tables'. It is the Ten Commandments as a whole which underlie freedom, independence and strength to oppose and resist oppression.

And the first five commandments which Paul is attempting to stop people from observing are those which directly relate to freedom and independence, which give the working population strength in their struggle for a better life for themselves and their children against those who oppress and exploit.

These laws state <3> that:

 

The only way to gain and keep freedom and independence and a good life free from oppression and exploitation is to follow all these laws.

One must not respect or serve oppressing, exploiting or enslaving beliefs or ideologies.

One must not use God's name to lend authority to a statement which it would not otherwise have or to a false or misleading statement.

One must observe the sabbath day, the seventh day which is a day of rest from work for all, on which all are equal and rest, on which our servants rest just as we do, remembering that it was God who by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm freed us from most brutal service.

One must honour one's father and one's mother and willingly accept God's commands and the tradition, knowledge and life experience of one's parents so that one will progress and advance in understanding and in life and so that one will have long and secure lives of high quality in the land God gives one.

Among the social laws of the Pentateuch, for example, are the kingship laws {3} which state that those in authority must not oppress people so as to increase their own possessions and power, that they must not put themselves above the people and so enrich themselves. They are warned against oppressing people and against forming enforcing squads or organisations so as to multiply their own power, must not be promiscuous and must not amass wealth. They must know and observe the law and its intent and aim to see the law applied.

The Pentateuch states the Ten Commandments, the social laws and the social system laws and states in religious language the effects when people either follow or else reject these laws. But it also states that this is a scientific Cause-and-effect relationship, lists causes and effects and states that the effects are reversible dependent on how people behave {17}.

Paul is apparently unaware of the inevitable inescapable consequences of breaking the law, of not living according to the social laws, and so makes changes which would have and have had disastrous consequences for those who attempted to put into effect what he proposes.

We will see how writers of the gospels struggled to put the record straight, struggled to record what Jesus actually taught. Throughout the ages, Christians of goodwill chose intuitively to interpret Paul's statements about those in authority as meaning that 'the authority of those in authority only comes from God to the extent to which they themselves live according to and apply the Ten Commandments, the social laws and the social system laws' and that only those can 'love one another' who comply with all these laws.


 

Gospels

Matthew's gospel was the first to be written. It is closest to the events and so perhaps it is not surprising that it has always been the most popular and revered of the gospels.

It was later followed by Mark's and this in turn was followed by Luke's gospel. It seems the later authors were aware of and knew the earlier gospels and this appears confirmed by the successive changes which were made which changed the record of what Jesus taught and of the meaning of the stories and of the arguments.

Changes are still being made today but even when made with the best of intentions are slowly changing and distorting what was there before. An example of how editing changes both content and meaning of a statement can be found in note <4>.

What Jesus taught, and the kind of changes which were made later, becomes clear when one compares the versions recorded in the three gospels in the order in which they were written.


 

 

Jesus Taught: About The Rich Young Man

This story, of course, makes a particular point, presents an important statement.

It is also labelled by a key phrase as one of a group of connected statements or as an argument in a series of connected arguments. Here the key phrase is 'But many that are first will be last, and the last first'.

Outstanding is how the later subsequent changes made to the text fundamentally changed the intended meaning of the story.

Matthew records {8} that

Jesus said that 'good deeds' by themselves are not enough to gain eternal life. Whoever keeps the commandments enters eternal life. To be a 'good person' and enter eternal life one has to keep the commandments.

Asked to state which of the commandments should be kept, Jesus lists the laws which have to be observed. It is immediately obvious that Jesus is here recorded as listing those commandments referred to by Paul in his letter to the Romans {7} <5> which included Paul's 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself', this being where Paul said that it is these laws, and only these, which need to be kept.

Matthew's gospel was written after Paul wrote his letters and Paul wrote his letters some considerable time after the death of Jesus. Hence we suddenly find ourselves understanding this story as an important statement about whether all or only some of the laws should be kept, about whether or not some laws should be discarded, about removing from observance those laws which restrain the rich and powerful from oppressing and exploiting people.

Important is that Matthew is recording what Jesus taught and that this outweighs and overrules whatever Paul may have said to the contrary.

 

Matthew states that Jesus' list includes the fifth commandment (Honour your father and your mother ...) and leaves out the tenth (You shall not covet ...). As 'You shall not covet' applies equally well to the rich as to the poor, this makes the clear point, and emphasises it, that the laws which are left out are those which protect people against oppression and exploitation, which restrain and restrict the behaviour of the rich and powerful.

The rich young man then tells Jesus that he has kept all the laws Jesus listed and asks what else he must do, which other commandments need to be kept.

If nothing else were required Jesus would have said so. But Jesus makes the point that there are other requirements, summing them up by saying "Sell what you possess and give to the poor ... and follow me.", referring in this way to the other laws from the Ten Commandments and to the social laws and social system of the Pentateuch <2>.

Those who are rich are commanded to, and must, provide funds to those whose independence is threatened or who are in need. These funds must be provided free of interest so that the needy cannot be exploited through their need. Those who are supported are under obligation to repay the capital but every seventh year all outstanding amounts have to be cancelled, again to prevent the rich from exploiting the needy through their need. These are examples of what Jesus is referring to.

The rich and powerful ignored laws such as these and wanted the system of social organisation and social security annulled and deleted from observance. This had been happening and the people were suffering. But here Jesus is telling the rich that to be rewarded by God, that is to fulfil the law, they would need to keep the social laws.

And when Jesus adds '... and follow me' he is asking the rich young man (that is, the rich and powerful) to follow what Jesus teaches.

But the man would not do so 'because he had great possessions' and went away.

We are told that the rich and powerful would not follow Jesus when he asked them to return to God by keeping the social laws, when he asked them to stop oppressing and exploiting those in need.

And so Jesus says to his disciples that 'it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven'. The rich and powerful are not observing the social laws and as a result suffer and will suffer the inevitable consequences.

So Jesus taught that all the laws had to be kept, that belief and practice included and had to include the Ten Commandments, the social laws and the social system of the Pentateuch. Paul, however, acted on behalf of the rich and powerful when he tried to convince people that those in authority were God's representatives on earth and that the social laws did not have to be kept.

Paul's letter to the Romans was written before the gospels. Matthew's later gospel records what Jesus actually taught and clearly makes the point that Paul was trying to subvert and turn upside down that which Jesus taught. As Matthew records what Jesus taught, this outweighs and overrides what Paul said.

It would seem that those who later favoured Paul's pro-establishment ideology could not challenge Matthew's earlier record. Hence, as we shall now see, Matthew's record was subtly changed in later gospels, in an attempt to distort and hide that which Jesus had taught so as to weaken arguments against Paul's ideology.

 


 

Jesus Taught: Censored!

We can now compare how later gospel writers recorded the same story. We will see how successive changes, one by one, subtly change meaning and intent further and further away from what was there initially, namely away from the clear record and statement about what Jesus taught and towards obscure abstract matters.


 

 

The story begins:

 


 

Matt. 19, 16-30     Mark 10, 17-31     Luke 18, 18-30
             
             
Jesus is asked   Jesus is asked   Repeats Mark's version
         
"Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?"   "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"    
         
and replies   and replies    
         
"Why do you ask me about what is good?   "Why do you call me good?    
         
One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments."   No one is good but God alone    


 

Jesus said that 'good deeds' by themselves are not enough to gain eternal life. Whoever keeps the commandments enters eternal life. To be a 'good person' and enter eternal life one has to keep the commandments.

Mark subtly changes this to have a completely different meaning. He records Jesus as saying that only God is 'good'.

Luke repeats Mark's version.


 

 

The story continues as follows:


 

Matt.     Mark     Luke
         
         
Jesus is then asked which commandments should be kept and says:   Jesus continues, saying: "You know the commandments:   Repeats Mark's version
         
"You shall not kill; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness;   Repeats Matthew's list    
         
Honour your father and mother, and   Repeats Matthew's version    
         
You shall love your neighbour as yourself."   Leaves this out    
         
The young man continues his questioning by asking Jesus:   The man then says to Jesus:    
         
"All these I have observed; what do I still lack?"   "All these I have observed from my youth."    


 

Those who are rich and powerful want to have removed the restraints which prevent them from exploiting the people and from oppressing so as to exploit. They want to have deleted from observance those laws which Jesus did not list. This is what Paul is advocating and it seems that what Jesus has said is what Paul wants.

The rich young man then tells Jesus that he has kept all the laws Jesus listed and asks what else he must do, which other commandments need to be kept. This makes the point that there are other requirements, that is other laws, which have to be observed and which Jesus is asked to list.

Mark again changes the text subtly so as to obscure and so delete the statement that all the laws have to be observed.

Matthew's 'Which commandments should be kept?' becomes Mark's 'You know the commandments'. So Mark's Jesus implies that the listed commandments are the only ones, that those which are not listed and which protect people from oppression and exploitation simply do not exist, do not need to be observed.

Paul has said {6} that 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself' contains and thus replaces the laws which are not listed here. Indeed this is the only argument being put forward against laws which protect people.

So Mark simply leaves out 'love your neighbour as yourself'. By doing so he deletes what is a clear pointer to the core argument of the story, to the intent and meaning of what Jesus is saying.

Mark's modified version simply states that these are the laws and that the man has observed the laws all his life.

Luke repeats Mark's version.

The story continues as follows:

Matt.     Mark     Luke
         
         
Jesus replies:

... sell what you possess and give to the poor

... and follow me.

  Repeats Matthew's version   Repeats Mark's version


 

 

The commandments clearly state that independence and freedom from oppression are God-given rights and that one may not 'have other gods'. In other words, the laws of the Pentateuch may not be annulled or replaced.

There are strict laws regulating the behaviour of rulers, of the rich, of the powerful, of the establishment. Their role is to serve the people and they must not make the people serve them, and the role of the rich is that of administering their wealth on behalf of the community.

Here Jesus is telling the rich that if they wish to be rewarded by God they will need to follow that which Jesus teaches by keeping all the commandments and the social laws of the Pentateuch.

The story then continues as follows:

 

Matt.     Mark     Luke
         
         
 Then the man   ... his countenance fell and he   ... he became sad
         
went away   went away    
         
sorrowful   sorrowful    
         
for he had great possessions   for he had great possessions   for he was very rich


 

We are here told that those who were rich and powerful would not follow Jesus' teachings and deserted him.

Mark repeats Matthew's record.

Luke, however, leaves out the statement about what action the rich person (a 'ruler' in Luke's version) took following Jesus' call to duty.

We see that at this point Luke takes further what Mark did earlier on, making changes which weaken, hide and cover up the intended meaning of the story. He does so by relating the story to 'rulers' instead of to those who were rich and powerful, and by deleting from the story that they would not follow Jesus' teachings and that they deserted him.

The story then continues as follows:

Matt.     Mark     Luke
         
         
And Jesus said to his disciples   And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples   Jesus looking at him said
         
"... it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.   "How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!"   "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!
         
...it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."   Repeats Matthew's version   Repeats Mark's version


 

In Matthew's gospel Jesus is making a specific point which applies in general. Those who are rich and powerful and who are not observing the important social laws, suffer and will suffer the unavoidable consequences as a result.

Mark again weakens the connection between the different interconnected parts of Jesus' statement by giving the impression that what Jesus says is somehow connected with those present instead of being generally applicable. He does so by saying that Jesus 'looked around' before making his point.

Luke here also further weakens the general applicability of what he records Jesus as saying. In his version Jesus specifically looks at one person when making the point.


 

The story The Rich Young Man continues but there is one sentence at the end which is the label, tag or key phrase. A key phrase links the statement or argument in one section to other related statements or arguments elsewhere. Here the key phrase is 'But many that are first will be last, and the last first.'

Immediately following the story about The Rich Young Man is that about The Labourers in the Vineyard {9}.

Here the owner of the vineyard (rich, ruler, powerful, ruling or controlling establishment) decides to pay the same amount to his labourers regardless of the time worked by them, regardless of some having worked many hours while some worked only a few.

He decided whom to pay and how much and for what, without regard to considerations of performance, equality, fairness or social justice.

The way his labourers are paid is unequal, unfair and unjust and this story constitutes a severe criticism of how servants and labourers were being treated at that time.

This story about the Labourers not only immediately follows that of The Rich Young Man, but it is the only one in Matthew's gospel which has the same key phrase. And indeed it is making the same point about the rich and powerful not keeping the commandments and social laws and in this way we are told that we have correctly understood the lesson in 'The Rich Young Man'.

The key phrase itself is a vivid statement of an unfair system and society.

Both Mark and Luke excluded this story from their gospels, presumably because it confirmed the real meaning of what Jesus taught in a direct and powerful way and which could not easily be modified to change its obvious meaning.

But Luke attempts to muddle up the significance of the key phrase and to confuse us by leaving it out from his version of 'The Rich Young Man' and inserting it into another story, in a story of his own. Significantly, the words in Luke's key phrase {11} are transposed and given superficial meaning:

 

Matt.     Mark     Luke
         
         
But many that are first will be last, and the last first.   Repeats Matthew's version   Leaves out this key phrase from his version.
         
        Inserts the key phrase into another story

 

At the Time of Jesus

Outstanding is that the contemporaneously written, agreed and finalised Christian Canon and Jewish Talmud were shaped by and independently record the same confrontations and struggle and sequence of events we have here seen unfold.

The agreement between Christian and Jewish writings is so complete that we are now reasonably certain about the main course of events.

 

Christian Canon

We have already seen <6> that Paul's letters (epistles) are the oldest part of the New Testament, probably written about 50 AD, some considerable time after the death of Jesus. What stands out is that no one before Paul wrote such letters and that no one did so afterwards.

The gospels followed. Matthew's was apparently written first, then Mark's, then Luke's. Luke also wrote The Acts. It seems the gospels were written about 70-100 AD.

Matthew's record was subtly changed in later gospels. We saw how successive changes, one by one, changed meaning and intent further and further away from what is recorded in Matthew's gospel.

Further and further away from Matthew's clear record and statement about what Jesus taught, obscuring and confusing that which Jesus taught so as to weaken arguments against Paul's ideology.

What became the Christian Canon, meaning by this the 'agreed' version of events and teachings, took about four hundred years before it was 'agreed' {25}. It apparently took about four hundred years for written material and for people's memories to be changed, edited and modified, to conform to the establishment point of view.

If it had just been a matter of recording facts, of recording the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth (the truth, nothing left out and nothing added), it would not have taken so long. After ten or so generations people would be regarding as factual that which they were being told was factual.

So it continued to be compiled till it was approved by the Christian establishments and so presumably biased towards the point of view of the establishment, towards what the establishment wanted included or excluded, wanted said or unsaid.

It may well have taken such a long period of time before the hierarchy had argued away evidence contrary to the establishment's viewpoint or buried it out of sight or declared it to be against established doctrine, in such ways discrediting opposing viewpoints which called for social justice according to the word of God.

A similar if not identical process took place within Judaism during roughly the same period of time and here also the relevant social laws were side-tracked and bypassed.

 

Jewish Talmud

The Talmud was written contemporaneously with the gospels. Both the Talmud and the Christian Canon were completed and agreed, canonified and frozen, at about the same time. From then on the Talmud's text remained unchanged.

The Talmud was compiled separately in Jerusalem and in Babylon, starting in the first century AD. It took about four hundred years for the Talmud to be compiled in Jerusalem and about five hundred years in Babylon {19}. The Babylonian Talmud is considerably longer than the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud is regarded as far more authoritative than that produced in Jerusalem.

The Jewish establishment (secular and religious) had been and was changing the application of the laws of the Pentateuch so that 'the law was becoming like two laws'. The Talmud was then written to record what was happening so that future generations would become aware of the course of events and of who had been doing what to whom. They also wanted future generations to learn from the lessons of the past so as to be able to reverse the tragedy of the destruction of the country, of Jerusalem, of the people.

The Talmud records events, legal decisions, traditions, discussions, arguments and stories. It was written in two distinct parts {19}. First was written the Mishnah ('Repetition') which includes information about the reality of the conflict, the participants, the sides they represent, what actually happened. Then, much later, was written the Gemara ('Tradition') which contains arguments and stories intended to make points about the Mishnah and most of the Talmud consists of Gemara.

By the time the writing of the Gemara was finished the actual message in the Mishnah had been buried in a mass of stories and arguments. From that time onwards the essential core legislation of the Pentateuch had been negated and bypassed and buried under arguments about many subjects.

What we see is that Jewish attempts to argue against their establishment were by themselves unable to change the course of events {25} and that their record of what the establishment had done and was doing was being buried under a mass of abstract arguments and stories.

The Talmud is part of Jewish religious teachings and so Jews did not on the whole openly write about Christian activists, Christian beliefs and Christians. Since they were writing about the same events and issues Christians were writing about, they tended to conceal what they were doing.

 

Events and Struggle

It does seem more than a coincidence that it took roughly the same period of time for Christianity and Judaism to contemporaneously finalise the Christian Canon and the Jewish Talmud, respectively.

The Talmud, however, is far longer than the New Testament and, as said already, was in part written to record what was happening so that future generations would become aware of the course of events and of who had been doing what to whom. So that future generations could learn from the lessons of the past so as to be able to reverse the tragedy of the destruction of the country, of Jerusalem, of the people.

The processes by which the establishment changed belief and practice at the time were much the same in both religions and are still used and applied today. The Talmud clearly describes what actually happened, describes these processes of change as well as the arguments used by both sides and how the people felt about what the scholars were doing on behalf of the rulers and their establishment. {15-16}

The Jewish establishment was not following the laws of the Pentateuch, was oppressing and exploiting the people. We then see Jewish communities arguing against what the Jewish establishment was doing, see them trying to live according to the laws of the Pentateuch, being or including the Jewish Christian communities.

Both the Talmud and the Canon tell of an outsider, of an outside establishment orientated ideology, corrupting what was being taught and undermining what people believed, corrupting and undermining what Jesus had taught.

The inevitable result of the establishment's activities was that Jerusalem and the country were laid waste and the terrible suffering of the people {13}.

In both religions the establishment versions became accepted as official doctrine. But the Talmud also records what needs to be done to correct matters and describes the basic confrontation between on the one side God and people and on the other side those who wish to oppress so as to exploit. In this way it describes in clear and unambiguous terms the source of conflict and strife, defining in clear terms both good and evil. The Christian Canon succeeded in doing much the same, doing so in religious language, in religious terms.

The adherents of both religions were and are taught to follow that which is good and to struggle against that which is evil. However, the definitions of good and evil and the knowledge of the source of evil are intuitive and uncertain. They need to be clearly stated in terms of the Ten Commandments and of the social laws and system of the Pentateuch, if this planet is to remain inhabitable for human beings.

We now know {13} that the consequences of not doing so cannot be avoided, that they are inevitable, that ignorance is no excuse.

Same Struggle, Same Political Ideology

We saw already {15; 16} that Jews did not openly write about Christian activists, Christian beliefs and Christians, that they wrote about them in a roundabout way. For example, a positive statement would be expressed using negatives or else turned upside down by stating its opposite. An additional label or phrase is used to confirm that one's understanding of the real meaning of the statement is correct and not merely a figment of one's imagination.

Here is an example of how in the Talmud a negative version records the beliefs of early Christians {23}:

 


 

In the Talmud, a 'student' says that     Same statement, expressed positively
     
     
An evil eye,   Adopting the right belief,
     
the evil inclination   a corresponding right way of life
     
and hatred for creatures   and love of people
     
put a man out of this world.   fit a man for the kingdom of heaven.


 

I understand that in early Christian writings people who have evil eyes, who have eyes which offend, are people who have the wrong belief from a Christian point of view. So the negative statement on the left, when expressed positively, becomes a summary of early Christian belief.

The name of the student confirms that this is a statement of early Christian beliefs. His name is given as Joshua ben Hananiah, which is Joshua the son of Hananiah. The common Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua is Jesus, his father's name Hananiah means 'Graciously given of the Lord' and of Joshua it was said that 'Happy is she that bare him'. The talmudic text of which this is a part also confirms that it is Christians as such which are being referred to in this way.

Here is another example from the Talmud which illustrates rather beautifully how opposites are used forcefully and convincingly to make a specific point which would have been unacceptable to the religious establishment if it had been openly stated {22}. We are told that

 

Here we are told of great and famous people serving God, studying and teaching the Pentateuch and its laws, serving God and people. Or so it may appear at first glance.

We know next to nothing about Shemaiah and Avtalyon, but all the other people mentioned here are among the worst enemies of the Jewish people. Nebuzaradan, for example, was captain of the guard of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and commanded the forces which burned down Jerusalem and destroyed the first Temple.

In this way the Talmud records what would have been unacceptable to the religious establishment at that time, namely that Shemaiah and Avtalyon are among the worst and most destructive enemies of the Jewish people.

 

Paul and Hillel

The earliest of the Christian writings to be accepted as part of the Christian Canon and thus playing an important part in moulding early Christian beliefs, were Paul's letters. In the Talmud, we read about Hillel as a key and central figure who played a key part in moulding Jewish beliefs. This is what they are recorded as saying:

 

Paul {6}:
Your only obligation to others is to love one another; Because he who loves another has fulfilled the law. ... and if there be any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying: You shall love your neighbour as yourself.

 

Hillel {20}:
What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbour; that is the whole Torah (Pentateuch), while the rest is commentary thereon; go and learn it.

'What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbour' is the negative form of 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself'.

Taken with the other parts of these statements, as well as with the context in which they are made, it can be seen that the statements are in effect identical. When the Talmud contains information about and quotes Hillel, then it seems to be writing about and quoting Paul.

Paul, Hillel and Christianity

We saw <6> that Jewish Christians believed in the laws of the Pentateuch and struggled for the application of these laws in daily life, struggling against an oppressive establishment which argued against and did not keep the social laws.

Paul preached against material independence, against social security, against freedom from oppression and exploitation. What he preached was the political ideology of an oppressive establishment.

This brought him into conflict with Jewish Christians and with the mostly Jewish Christian communities and he was unsuccessful in changing their beliefs and practices. He then concentrated on gaining converts from gentiles (people who are not Jewish) who presumably knew nothing or little about the laws of the Pentateuch and who would thus be more likely to follow his teachings without arguing about its content.

Paul's teachings were accepted to a considerable extent and it is the versions of the Gentile Christians which were included in the Christian Canon and became official doctrine.

So let us see what else the Talmud tells us about Hillel, let us see what the Talmud tells us about these events.


 

 

Hillel, Paul and Judaism

We are told {20} that there were two men, each with his own followers, who in effect founded two schools of conflicting religious thought. These men were called Shammai and Hillel. Shammai was strict in the application of the laws while Hillel was lenient. A gentile asked to be converted on condition that he would be taught the whole of the Torah (Pentateuch) while he stood on one foot. Shammai, when asked, refused to do so. Hillel, on the other hand, replied saying

What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbour; that is the whole Torah (Pentateuch), while the rest is commentary thereon; go and learn it.

We saw that in this way the Talmud states what Paul stated. Jewish Christians kept the laws and expected converts to keep the laws. But when Paul converted gentiles to Christianity he told them that only some of the laws needed to be kept, that they did not need to keep the social laws.

The Talmud tells {21} how Hillel gained a following and took control. We are told that he did so

  1. because he was taught by Shemaiah and Avtalyon, and
  2. that he took over from the Bene Bathyra, having
  3. persuaded them to hand over by using abstract rules of logic and association for interpreting the law.

We saw already that the Talmud counts Shemaiah and Avtalyon among the worst and most destructive enemies of the Jewish people, representing those who wish to oppress and exploit. And Hillel told the Bene Bathyra that he ruled over them because he had served Shemaiah and Avtalyon, while they (the Bene Bathyra) had dared not to serve them.

The Bene Bathyra, the sons or children of Bathyra, of those who are doing the cutting (circumcision), who are carrying out the Brit, the sons or children of the Covenant. It would seem that this again could refer equally well to Paul and his ideology taking over from, gaining ascendancy over, the Jewish Christians as these practised circumcision.

Before these rules of logic and association were introduced, the law seems to have been decided according to the Pentateuch and in line with its intent. The use of such rules resulted in laws which were unrelated, or perhaps even outside or opposed to the meaning of the original text of the Pentateuch, and in this way controversy increased in Israel. As the pupils of Hillel increased in number, so controversy increased in Israel.

An example of such an illogical argument (including in this logical arguments based on false presuppositions or assumptions, being equally misleading) is Paul's statement {5} <5> in Romans about rulers representing God and acting for God.

One of the core social laws in the Pentateuch is that those whose independence or material security was threatened had to be provided by the community, that is by those who are rich, with the funds required to meet their needs. The money had to be provided free of interest and if those who had been given such funds had not been able to repay them then such debts were cancelled after a period of time which could not exceed seven years. Every seventh year was a Year of Release in which such debts were cancelled. This is part of a system of social security which also protects those in need from exploitation and oppression by those who control the community's wealth, by those who are rich and powerful.

It is recorded {18} in what is apparently the oldest, that is earliest, part of the Talmud that Hillel saw that those who were rich did not provide the needed funds and so broke the laws. He is then recorded as having laid down that all the rich had to do was to declare in writing before a judge that they would collect any outstanding funds whenever they desired and that they could then collect at will.

The rich and powerful break the laws and Hillel in effect cancels the application of the laws they do not want to keep! In this way Hillel by bypassing the application of a basic Pentateuch law withdrew an essential protection from the people which protected those who are in need from economic and later more direct oppression and enslavement by those who control money or who have money.

In the whole of the vast Talmud there are only two rulings recorded in the Mishnah, the oldest part of the Talmud, as having been made by Hillel. What they have in common is that in each case he ruled in favour of the rich. He favoured the rich at the expense of the poor. He exposed the people to exploitation through need.

Hillel and Paul are again saying and applying the same ideology.

Paul wrote {4} that 'For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression'. Paul held that the God-given laws of Moses (the Pentateuch) resulted in punishment for those who broke the law and that people would be freed from this when the laws were abolished, when they stopped following them.

This is what Hillel gave as his reason for saying that funds provided for the needy would have to be repaid by the needy to the rich.

Origin of Christianity

Now let us combine what we know with other available information. For the first time we can now see the whole pattern of events.

On the one hand we have the Jewish people who are protected by Jewish law from need and from being exploited because of need. On the other we have the rulers and their establishment who wish to oppress their people so as to exploit them.

Two sides do not engage in such bitter controversy without very real cause. What is at stake is on the one hand power and wealth for a few at the expense of the many; and on the other hand freedom, independence and a good life as against oppression and exploitation.


 

There are movements and so-called religions which condition and brainwash their members into working so as to enrich the founders or the establishment, or which brainwash members into obediently working for and serving the leadership in unquestioning obedience.

Also one has to realise that when it suits their purpose those who run countries will encourage and use religion. Such a 'religion' may be used as a tranquilliser to prevent the population from complaining about being downtrodden and exploited. The message the religion then spells out is 'never mind a hard life now, reward will come in the next life'.


 

The Jewish religion, however, is quite different and does not readily lend itself to such misuses.

So what happened was that those who wished to rule over, and exploit, the Jewish people, took over the religion and from within changed its pattern of observance. So that it served the rulers and establishment instead of serving God and people.


 

What we see is the struggle of the two sides within the Jewish establishment. Corrupting them, setting them against each, misusing religion to gain adherents and servile followers. Changing religious beliefs and practices to make religious teachings serve the rulers and their establishment.

And we see the struggle against these changes, see how people struggled in very cruel and tough and difficult times to return to the social teachings of the Torah, to regain spiritual freedom and material independence and a good life for all.

So now let us take up the course of events from the time of the Maccabean uprising.

 

Maccabean Rule

Historical Events

<7> Mattathias, his sons and his grandson John Hyrcanus battled together and supported one another and John Hyrcanus was able to build the country and complete the work the others had started.

To begin with all were united and struggled against the brutal oppression. They struggled for Torah <8>, freedom and the people. Against them were foreign invaders who believed in slavery and who were trying to impose their way of life through imposing their beliefs.

The uprising gained ground, the country was built and enlarged until it became strong and independent through one central unifying purpose: to build a country in which Jewish people could live as Jews and practise their faith. Single minded, the members of the Maccabean family were loyal to the brother who was in command at the time. As soon as the commanding brother died, the next one was ready to take over and was in turn supported by the rest of the family.

With Aristobulus I it seems that power had corrupted but he did not rule for long but Alexander Yannai concentrated secular and religious power in his hands and conflict deepened as a result.

Following the popular uprising for Judaism, for Jewish law and thus for freedom, the rulers formed a dynasty and a supporting establishment, had tasted power and meant to cling to it.

Two generations later the situation had changed and we see increasing internal confrontation, a struggle between people and Torah on the one hand against oppressive rulers and their oppressing establishment on the other.

Instead of serving God and people, the rulers battled for power with each other, allied themselves with foreign powers against each other. In so doing they divided the people and weakened all.

It was the military commander (younger brother) who started the civil war against his elder brother (High Priest and heir to the throne), for the succession, for personal power. In the end he lost.

His son tried the same: This resulted in the handing over of the country and its people to Herod and the subsequent introduction by Herod of 'hellenisation'. This meant the introduction and popularisation of a foreign ideology, based on, and supporting, slavery. It was indeed this which the Maccabees had struggled against.

The Jewish leadership, the Jewish establishment, disregarded the welfare of the people, disregarded Jewish law, disregarded the intent and purpose of Jewish law.

The religious hierarchy became subservient to the secular rulers, with the rulers presumably using the religious hierarchy to motivate and tranquillise their people.


 

 

Talmudic Account

This is also how these events are portrayed in the Talmud, but the Talmud identifies the two sides, more precisely, much clearer.

The events are portrayed as a struggle between on one side the social laws and the social system of the Torah, and on the other side oppressing exploiting authoritarian rulers and masters. The struggle takes place during the five generations which follow Simeon (that is, the Maccabean dynasty), the last of these five generations being that of Hillel and Shammai.

This is how the two sides, the two opponents, are identified and described:

On the one side Simeon the Just <9> says that the world is based on the Torah, divine service and the practice of kindness. He believes that the freedom and protection the law provides is essential, that the world is based on it. The world depends on the law, on it being observed and thus applied, and on the practice of kindness. This is a statement of the Jewish position.

The other side, that of 'Antigonus of Socoh', is that which opposes and struggles against Jewish beliefs of freedom, justice and good life for all, stands for an ideology based on oppression and slavery, stands for central authoritarian rule and establishment.

 

So us to leave us in no doubt about this, the Talmud clearly announces what this side stands for by quoting its main teaching:
Do not serve for pay, serve without expecting pay. Expect only to receive an unconditional gift to which you have no claim and fear 'heaven'.

'Be afraid and serve for the crumbs you may be thrown' is clearly the opposite of Jewish law.

Freedom, independence and justice are from then on under attack by an internal opposition which wishes to weaken or reverse the intent of the law, so as to be able to oppress so as to exploit. The struggle between the two opponents is then shown taking place pair by pair, generation by generation.

The story is told in two separate places in the Talmud. Both tell the same story, make the same point, namely that as the generations passed so religious power and control passed from Torah observance to observance which in key matters served an oppressive establishment. The Talmud not only tells us that it happened but in which generation control of the religious hierarchy moved from the Beth Din (religious authority) to the Nasi (prince; ruler and his establishment). {15}

The authority rested with the Beth Din and thus with the Av Beth Din (Head of religious authority) for three generations (pairs). In the last two generations it is the Nasi (Head of secular authority) who has the authority, who has the power, who decides, who controls the religious hierarchy and thus what it teaches.


 


 

 

Early Church


 

 

Information from Dead Sea Scrolls

Early Christians

What follows under this subheading is based on books by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh {27}, and Hugh Schonfield {28}. The authors take into account much work published by others, including particularly that of Robert Eisenman. <10>

The 'Damascus Document' speaks of a remnant of Jews who remained true to the Law. Their 'Teacher of Righteousness' took them to a place called 'Damascus' in a wilderness, where they entered into a renewed 'Covenant' with God. They obeyed the Law of Moses and referred to themselves as 'the Keepers of the Covenant'.

Eisenman considers that the word 'Essene' originated from the Hebrew 'Osei ha-Torah' ('Doers of the Law'; 'Osreem'). The Qumran community also referred to themselves as the 'Keepers of the Covenant', (Hebrew: 'Nozrey ha-Brit'). The Jewish sect which later became known as Christians were called 'Nozrim' (early Hebrew name). The 'early Christians' referred to themselves as 'Nazorean' or 'Nazarene' <11>. These all derive from the same source, refer to the keeping of the Covenant.

The Qumran community's ruling body, the Council of the Community, was actually located in Jerusalem at the time of the Early Church. The Early Church in Jerusalem, like the Qumran community, were 'zealous for the Law'. Hence it does seem that "the Early Church and the Qumran community were one and the same".

The authors also note that "The defenders of Masada used precisely the same calendar as that used by the Qumran material: a unique solar calendar, in contrast to the lunar calendar of the official 'Sadducee' establishment and of later rabbinical Judaism."


 

 

'The Liar' and Paul

The authors {27} say that the Dead Sea Scrolls tell that 'The Teacher of Righteousness' had two separate and distinct adversaries.

One of these is called the 'Liar' and apparently came from within the community.

The Habakkuk Commentary shows that he is persuading members of the community to break the New Covenant and to stop following the law.

The Damascus Document speaks of those 'who enter the New Covenant in the land of Damascus, and who again betray it and depart', speaks of those 'who deserted to the Liar'.

He 'led many astray', raised 'a congregation on deceit' and is 'pregnant with [works] of deceit'.

The authors say that 'These, of course, are precisely the transgressions of which Paul is accused in The Acts of the Apostles'. They also say that 'If 'Damascus' is understood to be Qumran, ... Saul's (of Tarsus, Paul) expedition suddenly makes perfect historical sense.'

Paul opposed the requirement that Gentile converts had to become full Jews and busied himself founding a new religion. During the next three centuries, say the authors, the movement coalesced around Paul's teachings. Thus "an entirely new religion was indeed born - a religion which came to have less and less to do with its supposed founder."


 

 

The 'The Wicked Priest'

The 'Teacher's' second adversary was from outside. This was the 'Wicked Priest', a representative of the establishment who had betrayed his function and his faith by conspiring against 'Poor', against those 'zealous for the Law'.


 

 

What the Dead Sea Scrolls Tell Us

We see that the Dead Sea Scrolls tell the same story.

A remnant of Jews remained true to the Law, would not accept establishment-orientated religious teachings.

The Qumran community and early Christians (Early Church) and probably also the defenders of Masada, obeyed the law of Moses, referred to themselves as 'Keepers of the Covenant'. The Early Church and the Qumran community were apparently parts of the same movement.

The Jewish priestly hierarchy which was in control of mainstream Judaism was establishment-orientated and this was reflected in its teachings.

But Jews were rallying around the 'Teacher of Righteousness', around Jesus, who was preaching a return to the social laws and social system of the Torah, to the keeping of the Covenant.

No wonder the followers of the Teacher of Righteousness met with opposition and enmity from the establishment's priestly hierarchy, were opposed by 'The Wicked Priest'.

So at Qumran (apparently referred to as 'Damascus') was established a communal settlement. Property was owned communally, in keeping with the social laws of the Torah as they understood them.

A convert of three years' standing left them. He is called 'The Liar' and persuades members to break their renewed Covenant and to stop following the law. He deceives and leads many astray, raising a congregation of his own by deceit.

We are also told that this is what Paul did. 'Paul opposed the requirement that Gentile converts had to become full Jews and busied himself founding a new religion' {27}.

So 'The Liar' and Paul are apparently the same person.

'During the next three centuries ... the movement coalesced around Paul's teachings.' Thus "an entirely new religion was indeed born - a religion which came to have less and less to do with its supposed founder." {27}

The establishment-orientated religious hierarchy was in control. A remnant of Jews kept alive the knowledge of the law of Moses. They gained motivation, numbers and strength by rallying round and following the teachings of Jesus (Teacher of Righteousness), in spite of opposition from the religious establishment.

So Paul (The Liar) infiltrates the movement and changes its beliefs into a new establishment-orientated religion.


 

 

Talmudic Account

{15; 16} The same events are recorded in the Talmud. The names are changed, of course. Jesus is referred to as 'Shammai', Paul is referred to by the name 'Hillel'. The names themselves confirm the identification, are based on what happened to them, on what happened to their teachings. 'Hillel' means 'Made bright by God' while 'Shammai' means 'Laid waste by God'.

The last Maccabean generation was the fifth after Simeon (not counting Simeon). That places Hillel and Shammai, listed as of the fifth generation, into the Herodian period and this would be right.

So the Talmud records the confrontation between Paul's and Jesus' teachings as a confrontation between the teachings of Hillel and Shammai, records that disputes multiplied from the time of Hillel, records disputes between their respective followers.

The Talmud describes clearly and precisely the confrontation between them, what they stand for, what happened and what could be done about it.

For example the Talmud shows that the law never did follow Hillel, that the law was not as taught by the establishment. The establishment, however, misrepresented what was there, subtly changing its meaning much as was done by successive gospel writers.

The Talmud leaves no doubt about how ordinary people felt about what the establishment scholars had been and were doing to Jewish Law, to the Torah of Moses.

The confrontation between Hillel and Shammai and the subsequent confrontation between their followers (Beth Hillel and Beth Shammai), and their fascinating and relevant political arguments (voting, majority, mud-slinging, censorship, discrediting the opposition, etc) are described in detail by Davidmann {15; 16}.


 

 

This is What Actually Happened

  1. The Jewish people are taught to observe, and observe, the laws of the Torah (Pentateuch, the five books of Moses).

    The Torah's social laws and its social system provide the only known basis for a fair and equitable society: for the existence of communities in which people trust one another, co-operate with each other for the common good, have freedom from oppression, have spiritual and material independence, have a good life.

     

  2. Subjection of the people by foreign (Hellenistic, Seleucid) dictatorship which believes in and supports slavery, oppression through need, exploitation of the working population by their masters (rulers).

    It aims to wipe out belief in and application of the social laws of the Torah. Brutal persecution of the people.

    The Maccabean uprising frees the people and re-establishes observance of the social laws of the Torah.

    One of the Maccabean brothers leads the uprising. On his death the next brother assumes command. Simeon, the third brother to command, is appointed Ethnarch (Ruler), High Priest, Commander. All power thus centred in one person.

     

  3. During the five generations after that of Simeon, that is during the Maccabean dynasty, the secular rulers gained control of the religious hierarchy and of what was being taught. There was discontent and opposition, but what was taught became increasingly establishment-orientated, serving an oppressing and exploiting establishment. The social laws ceased to be applied as a comprehensive system, as a way of life.

     

  4. A remnant of Jews kept alive the knowledge of the law of Moses. They gained motivation, numbers and strength by rallying round and following the teachings of Jesus (Teacher of Righteousness) - Qumran community, Early Church - in spite of opposition from the religious establishment.

     

  5. Paul (The Liar) infiltrates the movement and changes its teachings into a new religion, into a new establishment-orientated religion "which came to have less and less to do with its supposed founder (Jesus)." {27}

     

  6. The Talmud records the confrontation between Paul's and Jesus' teachings as a confrontation between the teachings of Hillel (Paul) and Shammai (Jesus).

     

  7. The establishment later misrepresented what is there, subtly changing its meaning much as was done by subsequent gospel writers.

    For example the Talmud shows that the law never did follow Hillel, that the law was not as taught by the establishment. Yet the establishment today still presents Hillel as one of the wisest of the sages and maintains that the law follows his teachings.

     


 


 

 

Appendix 1

TEN COMMANDMENTS


 

 

RELIGIOUS LANGUAGE   PLAIN ENGLISH
     
   1   
I am the Lord your God, who brought you ... out of the house of bondage.   This is the voice of freedom. I proved this by freeing you from enslavement.
     
And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, freedom upon the tables {1}.   What is being given to you is the pattern of behaviour which underlies all freedom.
     
You shall have no other gods before Me.   If you want freedom and a good life then there is no other way.
     
   2   
You shall not make for yourself a graven image, even any manner of likeness, of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters under the earth.

You shall not bow down to them, nor serve them.

  You shall not bow down to or serve any other kind of god or image or likeness of anything whatsoever.
     
For I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate Me, but showing mercy to the thousandth generation of those who love Me and keep My commandments.   Those who respect and serve other gods, respect or serve oppressing, exploiting or enslaving beliefs or ideologies, they hate me and they and their children will suffer the consequences even on the fourth generations.

But those who love Me and keep My commandments are shown mercy to the thousandth generation.

     
   3   
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.   You shall not use God's name to lend authority to a statement which it would not otherwise have or to a false or misleading statement.
     
   4   
Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days shall you labour, and do all your work;   Observe the sabbath day, the seventh day which is a day of rest from work for all,
     
but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God: in it you shall not do any manner of work - you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your man-servant, nor your maid-servant, nor your ox, nor your ass, nor any of your cattle, nor the stranger who is within your gates;   on which all are equal and rest,
     
that your man-servant and your maid-servant may rest as well as you.   on which your servants rest just as you do.
     
And you shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.   You shall remember that it was God who freed you from most brutal service by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm.

Therefore God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.

     
   5   
Honour your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you; that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you, on the land which the Lord your God gives you.   Honour your father and your mother and willingly accept God's commands and the tradition, knowledge and life experience of your parents so that you will progress and advance in understanding and in life and so that you will have long and secure lives of high quality in the land God will give you.
     
   6   
You shall not murder.    
     
   7   
You shall not commit adultery.    
     
   8   
You shall not steal.    
     
   9   
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.    
     
   10   
You shall not covet your neighbour's wife; neither shall you desire your neighbour's house, his field, or his man-servant, or his maid-servant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is your neighbour's.    


 


 

 

Appendix 2

Maccabean Dynasty (The Hasmoneans) {14}


 

 

Oppression and Uprising

We know little about life in Israel during the period of about 300 years between the time of the return from Babylon and the time of the taking over of the country by the Seleucids. We do know that religious observance was so important that people would not even defend themselves when attacked on the Sabbath (the weekly day of rest) so as not to desecrate it.

Following the conquest of the country by Alexander the Great, the Greek (Macedonian, Seleucid) rulers started a process of hellenisation.

Among the Jewish leadership were those who served the rulers by offering greater annual taxes for the sake of obtaining personal power. They collected them from the people.

The country was ruled by Hellenistic dynasties. At the same time the rulers opposed and weakened the influence of the Jewish religion. The people suffered and became more and more discontented.

Mattathias Maccabeus (a country priest) rebelled against pagan worship. The people could stand no more and led first by Mattathias and then by his son Judah Maccabee they rebelled against the imposed vicious rule of the Seleucids.


 

 

Liberating the Country, Centralising Power
(The Hasmonean brothers)

Mattathias had five sons. The first to lead the uprising was Judah Maccabee.

When Judah Maccabee fell in battle, his brother Jonathan took over the leadership. Jonathan was appointed high priest about eight years later.

Jonathan in turn was followed by another brother, Simeon. A few years after he had assumed the leadership, Simeon was confirmed by the 'Great Assembly' as high priest, ethnarch (ruler) and commander of the Jewish people. Simeon's positions were to be hereditary.

Appointing Jonathan as high priest transferred religious authority and power to a secular leader. When the Great Assembly confirmed Simeon's position, they confirmed that religious and secular as well as military authority and power had been vested in one person and were to be hereditary.

What had happened was that able military and secular leadership absorbed religious authority and power. That this concentration of all authority and power in the hands of one person was to be permanent and later to be transferred to his descendants is an indication that the establishment of the day was already consolidating its own position.

Combining all power in the hands of a single ruler is against the spirit and intent of Jewish law. Religious authority should serve God and people.

What is at stake are the social laws and social system of the Torah <8>, which protect people from oppression and exploitation. The Torah's laws and system provide and ensure a fair division of the country's wealth as well as spiritual and material freedom and independence. All backed by full social security, all implemented by benevolent administration which in this way serves God and people. {13}

If religious authority is combined with secular rule, then religious authority will be misused to serve its own hierarchy, to serve the ruler and the establishment of the day, instead of serving God and the people. {14}


 

 

Power Centred on Ruler, Start of Discontent
(First generation after Simeon)

Simeon was succeeded by John Hyrcanus I who ruled 30 years. He successfully in consolidated gains which had been made and expanded the area under his control.

But the struggle was not just between the Jewish people and the Seleucid rule but also between the Jewish people and their own ruler. What we know is that during his reign opposition against the combination of religious and secular power, against the dominating role of the hereditary ruler and his establishment in all aspects of life, began to be felt.

It was a struggle against those rich and 'high born' who were in sympathy with and actively supported Hellenistic ideas of authoritarian exploitation, it being the mass of the population who would not readily relinquish their beliefs, their rights under the Torah.


 

 

Conflict Between Royal Brothers, Increased Conflict Between Opposing Factions
(Second generation after Simeon)

John Hyrcanus I was succeeded for about a year by his eldest son Judah Aristobulus I. When Judah Aristobulus died his brother Alexander Yannai ruled Judea for just under thirty years.

During Alexander Yannai's reign the conflict between opposing factions deepened. It seems that he was ruthless and that secular and religious power were concentrated in his hands to a previously unknown extent.

When Alexander Yannai died the leadership passed to his wife, Salome Alexandra.

Queen Salome Alexandra ruled for about nine years. She had two sons. The older son was Hyrcanus II, the younger son was Aristobulus II.

The elder son, namely Hyrcanus II, was high priest and considered the heir to the throne. The younger brother, namely Aristobulus II, was the military commander.

Queen Salome Alexandra seems to have attempted to emphasise the role of religion in government, perhaps hoping to reverse the trend which had been away from the social laws and social system of the Torah and towards centralised power and exploitation of the people.


 

 

Civil War by Aristobulus Against Hyrcanus
(Third generation after Simeon)

It seems that civil war broke out while the Queen was still alive and that the younger brother who was the military commander (Aristobulus II) was able to defeat his elder brother who was high priest and heir to the throne (Hyrcanus II).

When Queen Salome Alexandra died the younger brother (Aristobulus II) proclaimed himself king and high priest. The elder brother (Hyrcanus II) surrendered his power to the younger brother as he had been defeated in battle. The younger brother (Aristobulus II) ruled for about four years.

Hyrcanus then obtained the support of the Nabateans by promising to hand over to them some parts of Judea. He defeated Aristobulus and besieged him in Jerusalem.

But by this time the Romans had arrived in Syria which had become a Roman province. The Roman commander (Scaurus), apparently favouring Aristobulus in return for a large sum of money, told the Nabateans to withdraw from Jerusalem and this they did.

Shortly afterwards a new Roman commander, namely Pompey, took over the command. The dispute between the brothers was taken to him and it seems that he favoured Hyrcanus. Aristobulus surrendered to Pompey but managed to get away. The Roman army advanced on Jerusalem and while Hyrcanus' followers opened the gate of the city to the Romans, it took the Romans three months to take the Temple Mount. It seems that thousands of its defenders were killed.

This was virtually the end of independence for the country as they were now subservient to the Roman governor of Syria. Judea was very much reduced in size and its rulers were not allowed to call themselves kings. Once again the Jews were obliged to pay taxes to a foreign government.

What had happened was that the two brothers, struggling against each other for the sake of personal power, had involved foreign powers. The brothers were seemingly more concerned with struggling against each other than with the future existence, welfare and strength of the people and the country as a whole.


 

 

Civil War by Aristobulus' Son Antigonus Against Hyrcanus.
(Fourth generation after Simeon)

It was Aristobulus II who started the civil war which in the end resulted in the country being overrun, the country and its people losing their independence to the Romans. His youngest son was called Antigonus.

When the Parthians invaded Rome's eastern provinces, Antigonus allied himself with them so as to replace his uncle Hyrcanus, so as to rule himself.

Aided by the Parthians, Antigonus was thus able to make himself king of Judea. But Herod was given the title 'king' by the Romans. This was in 40 BCE. Herod returned to Israel with some Roman legions and started to take the country from Antigonus. After the Romans defeated the Parthian armies they were able to considerably reinforce the Roman legions which were fighting Antigonus.

Jerusalem was taken by Herod and the Romans after a siege lasting five months and Antigonus was defeated. Antigonus was put to death by Herod and so Herod ruled Judea for Rome, an Edomite king over the Jewish people.


 

 

End of Dynasty: Herod
(Fifth generation after Simeon)

During the course of his campaign against Antigonus, Herod had also married Mariamne (Fifth generation after Simeon), a granddaughter of Hyrcanus II.

Once again the Jewish people had been divided against each other by behaviour contrary to basic Jewish law. In this case the result was the ending of the rule of the Maccabean dynasty, of the revolt for the application of Jewish law in everyday life.

The people were ruled by an Edomite king who may have been regarded as Jewish by some but whose whole actions showed that Judaism and behaviour according to Jewish law were very far from his thoughts.

By this time the social laws and social system of the Torah were apparently not being applied and kept as a comprehensive whole. What remained was a shell of warm religious observance of ceremonial procedures which establishment orientated scholars argued about and concentrated attention on to while sidestepping the core of the belief.


 

 

Notes

<1>     Pentateuch. The five books of Moses, namely Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Also called Torah. Part of Old Testament.
     
<2>   See section on 'Early Christians'.
     
<3>   See Appendix 1, 'Ten Commandments'.
     
<4>   The text used is both that of the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of 1952 and of 1971, as well as King James' Version (KJV). There are important differences between different texts and editions. For example (Romans 13, 9):
     
RSV 1971     KJV
     
The commandments,   For this,
     
"You shall not   Thou shalt not
    commit adultery,       commit adultery,
  kill,     kill,
  steal,     steal,
        bear false witness,
  covet,"     covet;
     
and any other commandment,   and if (there be) any other commandment
     
are summed up in this sentence,   it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely
     
"You shall love your neighbour as yourself"   Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
       
<5>   See section on 'Romans'
     
<6>   See section on 'Paul'
     
<7>   For a more detailed, generation by generation, account of events see Appendix 2 'Maccabean Dynasty (The Hasmoneans)'.
     
<8>   When I refer to the 'Torah', then I am always referring to the five books of Moses, that is, to the Pentateuch.
     
<9>   Simeon was the third of the Maccabean brothers to head the uprising against the Seleucids and was appointed both high priest, ethnarch (ruler) and commander of the Jewish people by the 'Great Assembly'. These were hereditary appointments.
     
<10>   Much more information is given by the authors, with detailed references to the work of others which is quoted or taken into account.
     
<11>   'Contrary to the assumptions of later tradition, it ('Nazorean' or 'Nazarene') has nothing whatever to do with Jesus' alleged upbringing in Nazareth, which, the evidence (or lack of it) suggests, did not even exist at the time.' {27}


 

 

References and Links

Pentateuch
{1} Exod 32, 16
{2} Deut 5, 6-18; Exod 20, 2-14
{3} Deut 17, 14-20
New Testament
{4} Romans 4, 15
{5} Romans 13, 1-10
{6} Romans 13, 8-9
{7} Romans 13, 9
{8} Matt 19, 16-30
{9} Matt 20, 1-16
{10} Mark 10, 17-31
{11} Luke 13, 30
{12} Luke 18, 18-30
Freedom Now, Freedom for Ever
{13} Vol 1
Struggle for Freedom: The Social Cause-and-Effect Relationship
http://www.solbaram.org/
Manfred Davidmann
{14} Vol 2
History Speaks: Monarchy, Exile and Maccabees
http://www.solbaram.org/
Manfred Davidmann
{15} Vol 3
At the Time of Jesus, This is What Actually Happened in Israel:
The Truth About Hillel and His Times
http://www.solbaram.org/
Manfred Davidmann
{16} Vol 4
One Law for All: Freedom Now, Freedom for Ever
http://www.solbaram.org/
Manfred Davidmann
{17} See {13}, Appendix 4, p34
{18} See {15}, pp 6, 13, 25
{19} See {15}, p16
{20} See {15}, p32 (Talmud, Shab 31a)
{21} See {15}, p34
{22} See {15}, p35 (Talmud, San 96b)
{23} See {16}, p32 (Talmud, Aboth 2, 8-14)
Liberation Theology
{24} Liberation Theology
http://www.solbaram.org/
Manfred Davidmann
{25} See {24}, p7
{26} See {24}, p9
Dead Sea Scrolls
{27} The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception <10>
 
Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh
Jonathan Cape, London, 1991
ISBN 0-224-02761-1
{28} The Essene Odyssey
 
Hugh Schonfield
Element Books, 1984

ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY and JUDAISM/
Manfred Davidmann/
mdavidmann@solbaram.org

http://www.justgivemethetruth.com