What Evidence or What Suggestions Are There that Jesus Was a Shapeshifter?

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Secret Alias
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Re: What Evidence or What Suggestions Are There that Jesus Was a Shapeshifter?

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:22 pm

The beginning of the ‘docetic portion’ of the Acts of John (chapters 87-90) go thus:

… Now those who were present inquired about the cause, and were especially perplexed because Drusiana has said, “The Lord appeared to me in the tomb in the form of John and in that of a young man.” So since they were perplexed and in some ways not yet established in the faith, John took it patiently and said,

“Men and brethren, you have experienced nothing strange or incredible in your perception of the , since even we whom he chose to be his apostles have suffered many temptations; and I cannot speak or write to you the things which I have seen and heard. Yet now I must adapt myself to your hearing and according to each man’s capacity I will communicate to you those things whereof you are able to become hearers, that you may see the glory that surrounds him that was and is both now and evermore.

“For when he had chosen Peter and Andrew, who were brothers, he came to me and to my brother James, saying, ‘I need you, come with me!’ And my brother said this to me, ‘John, what does he want, this child on the shore who called us?’ And I said, ‘Which child?’ And he answered me, ‘The one who is beckoning to us.’ And I said, “This is because of the long watch we kept at sea. You are not seeing straight, brother James. Do you not see the man standing there who is handsome, fair, and cheerful-looking?’ But he said to me, ‘I do not see that man, my brother. But let us go, and we will see what this means.’

“And when we had brought the boat to land we saw how he also helped us to beach the boat. And as we left the place, wishing to follow him, he appeared to me again as rather bald- but with a thick flowing beard, but to James as a young man whose beard was just beginning. So we wondered both of us about the meaning of the vision we had seen. Then as we both followed him we became gradually perplexed about this matter.

“But then there appeared to me a yet more amazing sight; I tried to see him as he was, and I never saw his eyes closing, but always open. But he sometimes appeared to me as a small man with no good looks, and then again as looking up to heaven. And he had another strange (property); when I reclined at table he would take me to his own breast, and I held him (fast); and sometimes his breast felt to me smooth and soft, but sometimes hard like rock, so that I was perplexed in my (mind) and said, ‘Why do I find it so?’ And as I thought about it, he…”

“Another time he took me and James and Peter to the mountain where he used to pray, and we saw him a light such that a man, who uses mortal speech, cannot describe what it was like. Again he took us three likewise up the mountain, saying, ‘Come with me.’ And again we went; and we saw him at a distance praying. Then I, since he loved me, went quietly up to him, as if he could not see, and stood looking at his hinder parts; and I saw him not dressed in clothes at all, but stripped of those we (usually) saw (upon him), and not like a man at all. (And I saw that) his feet were whiter than snow, so that the ground there was lit up by his feet; and that his head stretched up to heaven, so that I was afraid and cried out; and he, turning about, appeared as a small man and caught hold of my beard and pulled it and said to me, ‘John, do not be faithless, but believing, and not inquisitive.’ And I said to him, ‘Why, Lord, what have I done?’ But I tell you, my brethren, that I suffered such pain for thirty days in the place where he touched my beard, that I said to him, ‘Lord, if your playful tug has caused such pain, what (would it be) if you had dealt me a blow?’ And he said to me, ‘Let it be your concern from now on not to tempt him that cannot be tempted.’”

The docetic tone of this part of the Act of John becomes much more overt (chapters 97-99, 101-102):

After the Lord had so danced with us, my beloved, he went out. And we were like men amazed or fast asleep, and we fled this way and that. And so I saw him suffer, and did not wait by his suffering, but fled to the Mount of Olives and wept at what had come to pass. And when he was hung (upon the Cross) on Friday, at the sixth hour of the day there came a darkness over the whole earth. And my Lord stood in the middle of the cave and gave light to it and said, “John, for the people below in Jerusalem I am being crucified and pierced with lances and reeds, and given vinegar and gall to drink. But to you I am speaking, and listen to what I speak. I put into your mind to come up to this mountain so that you may hear what a disciple should learn from his teacher and a man from God.”

And when he had said this he showed me a Cross of Light firmly fixed, and around the Cross a great crowd, which had no single form; and in it (the Cross) was one form and the same likeness. And I saw the Lord himself above the Cross, having no shape but only a kind of voice; yet not that voice which we knew, but one that was sweet and gentle and truly (the voice) of God, which said to me, “John, there must (be) one man (to) hear these things from me; for I need one who is ready to bear. This Cross of Light is sometimes called Logos by me for your sakes, sometimes mind, sometimes Jesus, sometimes Christ, sometimes a door, sometimes a way, sometimes bread, sometimes seed, sometimes resurrection, sometimes Son, sometimes Father, sometimes Spirit, sometimes life, sometimes truth, sometimes faith, sometimes grace; and so (it is called) for men’s sake.

“But what it truly is, as known in itself and spoken to us, (is this): it is the distinction of all things, and the strong uplifting of what is firmly fixed out of what is unstable, and the harmony of wisdom, being wisdom in harmony (?). there are on the right and on the left, powers, authorities, principalities and the demons, activities, threatening, passions, devils, Satan and the inferior root from which the nature of transient things proceeded.


“This Cross then (is that) which has united all things by the word and which has separated off what is transitory and inferior, which has also compacted all things into . But this is not that wooden Cross which you shall see when you go down from here; nor am I the (man) who is on the Cross, (I) whom you now do not see but only hear (my) voice. I was taken to be what I am not, I who am not what for many others I was; but what they will say of me is mean and unworthy of me. Since then the place of (my?) rest is neither (to be) seen nor told, much more shall I, the Lord of this (place), be neither seen .

…] “So then I suffered none of those things which they will say of me; even that suffering which I showed to you and to the rest in my dance, I will that it be called a mystery. For what you are, that I have shown you, (as) you see; but what I am is known to me alone, and no one else. Let me have what is mine; what is yours you must see through me; but me you must see truly—not I am, (as) I said, but that which you, as (my) kinsman, are able to know. You hear that I suffered, yet I suffered not; and that I suffered not, yet I did suffer; and that I was pierced, yet I was not wounded; that I was hanged, yet I was not hanged; that blood flowed from me, yet it did not flow; and, in a word, that what they say of me, I did not endure, but what they do not say, those things I did suffer. Now what these are, I secretly show you; for I know that you will understand. You must know me, then, as the torment of the Logos, the piercing of the Logos, the blood of the Logos, the wounding of the Logos, the fastening of the Logos, the death of the Logos. And so I speak, discarding the man(hood). The first then (that) you must know (is) the Logos; then you shall know the Lord, and thirdly the man, and what he has suffered.”

When he had said these things to me, and others which I know not how to say as he wills, he was taken up, without any of the multitude seeing him. And going I laughed at them all, since he had told me what they had said about him; and I held this one thing fast in my (mind), that the Lord had performed everything as a symbol and a dispensation for the conversion and salvation of man.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Secret Alias
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Re: What Evidence or What Suggestions Are There that Jesus Was a Shapeshifter?

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:23 pm

Gospel of Philip

Jesus took them all by stealth, for he did not appear as he was, but in the manner in which they would be able to see him. He appeared to them all. He appeared to the great as great. He appeared to the small as small. He appeared to the angels as an angel, and to men as a man. Because of this, his word hid itself from everyone. Some indeed saw him, thinking that they were seeing themselves, but when he appeared to his disciples in glory on the mount, he was not small. He became great, but he made the disciples great, that they might be able to see him in his greatness.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Secret Alias
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Re: What Evidence or What Suggestions Are There that Jesus Was a Shapeshifter?

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:24 pm

Acts of Peter:

And Peter went into the dining-room and saw that the gospel was being read. So he rolled up (the book) and said, ‘You men who believe and hope in Christ, you must know how the holy scriptures of our Lord should be declared. What we have written by his grace, so far as we were able, although it seems weak to you as yet, yet (we have written) according to our powers, so far as it is endurable to be implanted in human flesh. We should therefore first learn to know the will of God, or (his) goodness; for when error was in full flood and many thousands of men were plunging to destruction, the Lord in his mercy was moved to show himself in another shape and to be seen in the form of a man, on whom neither the Jews nor we were worthy to be enlightened. For each one of us saw (him) as he was able, as he had power to see.

‘And now will I explain to you what has just been read to you. Our Lord, wished me to see his majesty in the holy mountain; but when I with the sons of Zebedee saw the brilliance of his light, I fell as one dead, and closed my eyes and heard his voice, such as I cannot describe, and thought that I had been blinded by his radiance. And recovering my breath a little I said to myself, “Perhaps my Lord willed to bring me here to deprieve me of my sight.” And I said, “If this be you will, Lord, I do not gainsay it.” And he gave me his hand and lifted me up. And when I stood up I saw him in such a form as I was able to take in.

‘So, my dearest brethren, as God as merciful, he has borne our weaknesses and carried our sins, as the prophet says, “He beareth our sins and is afflicted for us; yet we thought him to be afflicted and stricken with wounds.” For “he is in the Father and the Father in him”; he also is himself the fullness of all majesty, who has shown us all his goodness. He ate and drank for our sakes, though himself without hunger or thirst; he bore and suffered reproaches for our sakes; he died and rose again because of us. He who defended me also when I sinned and strengthened me with his greatness, will also comfort you that you may love him, this (God) who is both great and little, beautiful and ugly, young and old, appearing in time and yet in eternity wholly invisible; whom no human hand has grasped, yet is held by his servants, whom no flesh has seen, yet now he is seen; who no hearing has found yet now he is known as the word that is heard; whom no suffering can reach, yet now is (chastened) as we are; who was never chastened, yet now is chastened; who is before the world, yet now is comprehended in time; the beginning greater than all princedom, yet now delivered to the princes; beauteous, yet appearing among us as poor and ugly, yet foreseeing; this Jesus you have, brethren, the door, the light, the way, the bread, the water, the life, the resurrection, the refreshment, the pearl, the treasure, the seed, the abundance, the mustard-seed, the vine, the plough, the grace, the faith, the word: He is all things, and there is no other greater than he. To him be praise for ever and ever. Amen.’
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Secret Alias
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Re: What Evidence or What Suggestions Are There that Jesus Was a Shapeshifter?

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:45 pm

Cyril of Jerusalem on the Resurrection:

He had given them a sign, saying: ‘The one whom I shall embrace and kiss is your man.’ He, then, said this because they did not know him. For sometimes he is white, but another time he has the colour of wheat, sometimes he is a young man, another time he is a man of advanced age, sometimes his hair is curly, another time it is long, sometimes he speaks, another time he is silent, in short, he never permitted them to know him.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: What Evidence or What Suggestions Are There that Jesus Was a Shapeshifter?

Post by DCHindley » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:06 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:04 am
8. Irenaeus thinking that Jesus was 49 not in his 30s when crucified?
Heck,

We all know folks in their 30's (even their 20s!) who look like life has been hard on them. Grey hair, missing teef, bad complexion. I wonder if they had "meth" in those them days ...

FWIW, magicians who claimed to be "magi" (able to manipulate daimons) could walk around without being seen.
PGM I. 96-110 wrote:This is the sacred rite for acquiring [Helios as] an assistant. It is acknowledged that he [Helios] is a god ... . If you give him a command, straightway he performs the task: he sends dreams ... without the use of magical material, ... And he frees from bonds a person chained in prison, he opens doors, he causes invisibility so that no one can see you at all, he is a bringer of fire, he brings water, wine, bread ... And when you want to give a [dinner], tell him so. Conjure up in your mind any suitable room and order him to prepare it for a banquet quickly and without delay. ... and you consider these things partly real and partly just illusionary - and costly wine, as is meet to cap a dinner splendidly ... Share this great mystery with no one [else], but conceal it, by Helios, since you have been deemed worthy by the lord [god [Helios]]. (Greek Magical Papyri in Translation, Betz, 1986)
The invisibility feature is bolded, and other features that show up in the Canonical Gospels and Acts of the Apostles are underlined. There are a significant number. To a Roman subject of the retainer or peasant/slave classes, the Jesus described in the gospels would seem just like a Magus who can call on his friend, a small-time yet still powerful-enough god, for favors. This assumes that popular magic fascination went back to the earlier half of the 1st century CE, but IIRC late Republican and early Imperial Roman rulers were keen to thwart the use of magic to steer events.*

DCH

*There is a connection to the Morton Smith/Secret Mark thread(s). Didn't Morton Smith (if that's his real name) publish Jesus the Magician, covering just this kind of thing, in 1978?

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Re: What Evidence or What Suggestions Are There that Jesus Was a Shapeshifter?

Post by andrewcriddle » Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:26 am

Possibly relevant (though maybe a rather different idea):
Clement of Alexandria according to Cassiodorus
But by the expression, we have seen with our eyes, he signifies the Lord's presence in the flesh, and our hands have handled, he says, of the Word of life. He means not only His flesh, but the virtues of the Son, like the sunbeam which penetrates to the lowest places — this sunbeam coming in the flesh became palpable to the disciples. It is accordingly related in traditions, that John, touching the outward body itself, sent his hand deep down into it, and that the solidity of the flesh offered no obstacle, but gave way to the hand of the disciple.
Andrew Criddle

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Re: What Evidence or What Suggestions Are There . . .

Post by arnoldo » Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:21 am



Romans 12:2 King James Version (KJV)
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed

Also see comparison to Moses's transformation.

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Re: What Evidence or What Suggestions Are There that Jesus Was a Shapeshifter?

Post by Secret Alias » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:27 am

If we were to summarize the evidence it appears to be of a two fold nature - i.e. (i) gospel passages used to support the idea that Jesus could change his shape or nature (ii) evidence that secondary figures claimed to be Jesus and finally (iii) Patristic evidence that Jesus was in the Pentateuch. I think (i) and (iii) reinforced (ii) i.e. that Jesus continued to manifest his presence into the future through various individuals (i.e. Simon, Paul, the Paraclete etc). I think this might have been supported by a gospel which resembled the text of the short ending of Mark given that it wouldn't be clear that Jesus had indeed ascended into heaven. There must have been an expectation or understanding that Jesus was still on the earth or perhaps had always been on the earth into the times of the Patriarchs.

Under this understanding - if we change things around to a more natural time line:

(a) evidence from the Pentateuch and Jacob that Jesus was present with the Patriarchs of Israel and present as a shapeshifter
(b) evidence from the gospel that Jesus was a shapeshifter under a specific 'mission' to get crucified using his shapeshifting abilities as part of his arsenal of 'tricks'
(c) evidence from Patristic reports of individuals claiming to be Jesus or Jesus-like figures continuing the abiding presence of 'Jesus' through periods (a) and (b).

It might be useful to reconsider our tradition understanding of the Marcionite epithet 'the stranger' and the 'strange' god 'Jesus.' Usually this tied up with a Patristic emphasis that the Marcionites claimed he was 'strange' to the Old Testament. I am not sure that this isn't a misunderstanding - perhaps deliberately so. Because quite clearly Marcionite communities set up a network of hostels, revered 'the stranger' as missionary perhaps with the expectation or understanding that those who preached 'in the name of' Jesus were themselves vessels or incarnations of their god.

It can't have been for instance that Peregrinus was taken to be an incarnation of Jesus, that Paul was a 'vessel' of Jesus, that Simon was a reincarnation of Jesus but that the incarnation of Jesus was limited to those individuals and those individuals alone among their followers. Clearly the aforementioned 'continuum' - i.e. that the figure from the times of the Patriarchs 'appeared' in Judea during the gospel narrative and continued to manifest his presence in ever new vessels. We get this sense from Celsus's reporting and the Imperial authorities weren't happy about this. These ever present 'nuisances' were perhaps seen as worrisome by the government.

At the very least Jesus's ability to shift his shape fed the notion that you or I could be incarnations of Jesus.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: What Evidence or What Suggestions Are There that Jesus Was a Shapeshifter?

Post by DCHindley » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:50 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:27 am
If we were to summarize the evidence it appears to be of a two fold nature - i.e. (a) gospel passages used to support the idea that Jesus could change his shape or nature (b) evidence that secondary figures claimed to be Jesus and finally (c) Patristic evidence that Jesus was in the Pentateuch. I think (a) and (c) reinforced (b) i.e. that Jesus continued to manifest his presence into the future through various individuals (i.e. Simon, Paul, the Paraclete etc). I think this might have been supported by a gospel which resembled the text of the short ending of Mark given that it wouldn't be clear that Jesus had indeed ascended into heaven. There must have been an expectation or understanding that Jesus was still on the earth or perhaps had always been on the earth into the times of the Patriarchs.
The manifestations of magi like powers after Jesus' death, assuming that he came to be deified by his disciples, could be construed as attempts by his followers to utilize Jesus himself as the friendly god who does favors for his human friends.

Naturally, no one in the Gospels or Acts says this, but to a layperson, this looks like popular magic. Just substitute Jesus for Helios in PGM 1. Jesus himself may have considered some very high angel or power within the Judean God as his familiar. In time, the power that Jesus was friendly with is subsumed into the Judean God by Jesus' followers.

This might explain why Christians came to believe that manifestations of God's powers in the pentateuch was actually actions by Jesus himself. I really don't think that Christians believed that Jesus the man had existed for eons, but that the power did manifest himself as a man at times, as did the angels who visited Lot, etc.

DCH

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Re: What Evidence or What Suggestions Are There that Jesus Was a Shapeshifter?

Post by Secret Alias » Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:05 pm

If you actually look at the passages where IS (ish) might appear in the Pentateuch (from Philo's commentary, Justin's etc) it appears that he could change his form. Look at the angelic 'man of God' of Joseph and Aseneth - he appears as Joseph. I think shapeshifting was a consistent feature of the angel.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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