Did Jesus participate in a mission to Rome?

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FJVermeiren
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Did Jesus participate in a mission to Rome?

Post by FJVermeiren » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:24 pm

The temptation of Jesus, which Mark related in its most condensed form (1:12-13), is traditionally explained as a period of fasting and purification in the Judean desert prior to Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. It is possible, however, that these verses are telling a different story.

Nestle-Aland translates these verses as follows: (12) The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. (13) And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him.

My translation, which I will discuss below, goes as follows: (12) Immediately the spirit sent him out to the devastated place. (13) And he stayed in the devastated place for forty days, tested by Satan; and he was among the wild beasts; and the envoys took care of him.

I believe we should not turn to supernatural explanations if an earthly explanation is possible.
Let me start with the ἄγγελοι (aggeloi) of verse 13, a noun that can refer to both heavenly creatures and human messengers, for example delegation members, representatives or envoys. If Jesus is treated well by this kind of people, maybe he is on a mission, and it is his fellow envoys who take good care of him. Then maybe the ἔρημον (erēmon) is the destination of this mission. In the New Testament ἔρημον is traditionally translated as ‘desert’ or ‘wilderness’, but the word can describe any desolate, abandoned or devastated place, also through human intervention and/or in an urban context. Josephus uses this word and the related ἔρημία (erēmia) several times with this ‘abandoned or devastated by human intervention’ meaning (for example War 2:504, 4:452, 5:573). In War V:25 ἔρημία is used to describe the part of Jerusalem that had been laid to waste by fire during the civil war. Similarly the ἔρημον qualification can apply to Rome, certainly after the devastating fire of 64 CE. (Maybe there is also a play on words between ἔρημον and Ρώμη (Rōmē) – the gospel of Luke has ἐν τῇ ἐρημῳ.) Then ἔρημον can be seen as a cryptic derogatory term for Rome. This devastated place is the home of Satan, an encoded name for the Roman emperor. In this context the θηρία (thēria - ‘wild beasts’, also in a human context for ‘monstrous, bestial men’) can be interpreted as a cryptic reference to the Roman military, and they probably are, since they are mentioned along with the emperor, members of the Praetorian Guard.

This explanation may be less far-fetched then it looks at first sight when we turn to the longer version in Luke (4:1-13). Is there anything in these additional verses that could point to the Roman emperor, the Roman empire or Roman imperial ideology? I believe there is, and most convincingly in verses 5 to 8. In verse 5 the devil (not Satan, but ὁ διάβολος – ho diabolos) shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the οἰκουμένη (oikoumenē), the Roman empire, and makes a very cynical proposal. He will hand over his empire to his opponent if the latter worships him. This of course is the very last thing any Essene or Zealot would do, because the core of their ideology was that they had only God as their master. Jesus answers with this Zealot creed in verse 8. Roman imperial ideology versus Jewish/Essene messianism struggling for world domination is at the core of these verses.
Verses 3 and 4 about the stone and the bread can also be seen in the light of the Roman/Essene antagonism. Maybe the (building) stone is a symbol for the eye-catching Roman construction projects, while the bread represents the basic needs of the Jewish people. The ‘stone and bread’ remark of the Roman emperor can also be interpreted as cynical: if the Jewish God is so powerful, let him shift the funds for these wasteful projects to the alleviation of the needs of his starving people. From a Jewish perspective, verse 3 has the undertone of criticism of Roman imperial policy.
This extension in the gospel of Luke does not have to be historical, but it shows that its author interpreted Mark’s temptation fragment for what it was: the account of a mission to the centre of Roman power in which Jesus participated.
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The practical modes of concealment are limited only by the imaginative capacity of subordinates.
James C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance p. 139

Charles Wilson
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Re: Did Jesus participate in a mission to Rome?

Post by Charles Wilson » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:36 pm

FJVermeiren wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:24 pm
I believe we should not turn to supernatural explanations if an earthly explanation is possible.
Amen, brother, and pass the plate.

The question then becomes, "What Historical Explanations fit most properly?"

I wish we could agree on the Events and Time Lines, FJV. Life would be a lot easier. FWIW, I believe the Temptation Drama comes from Herod Stories. I Post this not to be argumentative. It simply took a large amount of invested time to figure this one out. In a more compressed form than I usually write:

Luke 4: 2 - 3 (RSV):

[2] for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry.
[3] The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread."

Matthew 4: 3 (RSV):

[3] And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread."

Matthew has several places where "Stones" and "bread" mentioned together:

Matthew 7: 7 - 12 (RSV):

[7] "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
[8] For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
[9] Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
[10] Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
[11] If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
[12] So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
[13] "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

The Authors of the NT also wrote Clues that let the reader know that there is a Historical Marker being satirized:
"[11] If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" Why hide meaning when the believer will create obfuscation for himself,the more to see himself as not worthy enough? Rather, see this "clue" as Historical for Herod.

A famine occurred in Judea and Herod hocked everything he had to buy grain from the Egyptian Procurator Petronius. He built a Safe Harbor at Caesarea, dropping giant stones ("Millstones of a donkey..." - Aramaic) to form a breakwater (Lengthy quotations from Josephus available on demand, if necessary). Herod gives the bread away and Josephus records that the believers worried that the others would be swayed by the evil Herod's "generosity". Hence:

[9] Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
[10] Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?

"Jokes" everywhere, ending with verse 13.

Luke 4: 5 - 7 (RSV):

[5] And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time,
[6] and said to him, "To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.
[7] If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours."

Matthew 4: 8 - 9 (RSV):

[8] Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them;
[9] and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me."

Matthew hides where Luke illuminates, but only in a very narrow sense. Herod, as representative of Rome, HAS had power delivered to him,by Caesar. From another Story, "Whose picture is on the coin?" Caesar is Lord of the Earth. If you "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's" you merely are merely giving back to Caesar that which he already owns. The believers worry that free bread will corrupt those loyal to the Priesthood. The Stories here are consistent.

Further, the Priesthood already gives everything to those who Believe.The promises are for Rulers and Priests (Revelation 5: 10). The Promises give answers to the Herodians and Romans, if only the believers are not led astray.

Matthew 4: 5 - 6 (RSV):

[5] Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple,
[6] and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, `He will give his angels charge of you,'
and `On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.'"

Luke 4: 9-11 (RSV):

[9] And he took him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here;
[10] for it is written, `He will give his angels charge of you, to guard you,'
[11] and `On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.'"

A subtle difference between Matthew and Luke but differences coming from the language of "hiding" meaning, I surmise. The "Angels" are given "Charge" in Matthew and are "to guard you" in Luke. Do I need to mention Mishmarot here? The children, of which Peter is the main Character at the Atrocity of 4 BCE at the Temple?

The main point of this Section, however, is that this is a savage attack on the "Golden Eagle Episode", where Herod mounted a golden eagle "...at the pinnacle" of the Temple. The students hack it to bits and are burned alive for it. Here, the savior/god would not be hurt in the least.

I believe that these are Herod Stories, Rewritten and Transvalued for the New Religion.

Best to you, FJV,

CW

FJVermeiren
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Re: Did Jesus participate in a mission to Rome?

Post by FJVermeiren » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:24 am

In Life 13-16 Josephus describes an embassy to Nero's court in Rome to plea for the liberation of Jewish priests. The involvement of Felix and the year (64 CE) point in the direction of Paul. Mark 1:12-13 seems to be the encoded account of Jesus’ participation in this embassy.

The temptation pericope appears at the very beginning of the gospel of Mark. This may not be a coincidence, as Jesus’ journey to Rome may have aroused his revolutionary inclination. I see at least two contributing factors for Jesus’ radicalisation: his personal introduction to the anti-Roman rhetoric of the agitator Paul, and his exposure to the grandeur, wealth and power of the centre of the empire that was thriving through the harsh exploitation of the conquered territories including Palestine.

I’m sorry, CW.
www.waroriginsofchristianity.com

The practical modes of concealment are limited only by the imaginative capacity of subordinates.
James C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance p. 139

Charles Wilson
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Re: Did Jesus participate in a mission to Rome?

Post by Charles Wilson » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:02 am

No apologies needed!

If there is a consistent History given then - Giuseppe's material excepted, of course ;) - we have to accept it as a possibility for describing what we see. The thesis is very sound. We would expect that the very smart members of the Roman court writing (Rewriting!) the found Judean material that would Back Map a Convenient History to accomplish their task: Make the Flavians appear acceptable as being chosen by the gods to replace the Julio-Claudians, who had fucked-up big time. No fruit from this tree ever again! They accomplished that task and much,much more.

For me, the biggest example I could give is the Lunatic possessed by Legion. Atwill sees "Legion" as the Insurrectionists against Rome. I see the possession by Legion as being exactly what it states: Judea is possessed by the Herodians and the Romans and every attempt to rid Judea of the Romans only harms this once proud country.

Fatal Contradiction? No. It's why I use Nietzsche's word "Transvaluation" frequently. If an understanding of a word or phrase can be changed, even to its opposite meaning, the previous Culture may be seen as Retrograde, minimized.

We are left with trying to determine if the Stories are created out of whole cloth or are rewritten to serve and illustrate the advantage of theft over honest toil. The evidence to me overwhelmingly comes from the latter. The Romans found Judean material written in a very Noir form and rewrote it for the Glory of the Flavians. The Original may not have been originally Judean. It may from the hand of someone such as Nicholas of Damascus or Mucianus, at least in part. There may have been Judaen hands from a select few after the Fall from Zakkai or others.

We are left with looking at "Loan Words' or phrases, such as "Fourth Watch" or "Soudarian". The authors of Daniel, f'rinstance, use "Satrap", a loan word from a later time, and that tells us something about the Majestic Future Prophecies. So it may be here. I see the Priesthood everywhere in the NT but it is extremely well hidden. Others think I'm barking up the wrong tree. Oh, well...

What I see is often a minority report of one. It doesn't get any traction here on this Site (Notable exception: The Empty Tomb thread seemed to be an advance). Giuseppe at least does have the Gnostic crowd in his corner. You, FJV, believe that there was a Jesus-savior-god, seen by the populace as such. I don't. We'll never get around that, I suppose.

The Thesis, to state again, is sound. We'll simply have to build our Consistent Histories and let others judge which is more Complete.

No Apologies Needed.

CW

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Re: Did Jesus participate in a mission to Rome?

Post by FransJVermeiren » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:55 pm

Charles Wilson wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:02 am

You, FJV, believe that there was a Jesus-savior-god, seen by the populace as such.

CW
I do not believe there was a Jesus-savior-god.
There was a man called Jesus son of Saphat, quite extensively mentioned by Josephus, who is staged as a godlike figure in the antedated, encoded gospels. With his charisma, social inclination and ethnic profile he gathered a revolutionary army around him and a lot of Jewish refugees expelled from regions with a non-Jewish majority. They saw him as a σωτήρ, a benevolent leader, but not as a God.
www.waroriginsofchristianity.com

The practical modes of concealment are limited only by the imaginative capacity of subordinates. James C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance.

Charles Wilson
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Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:13 am

Re: Did Jesus participate in a mission to Rome?

Post by Charles Wilson » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:08 am

Thank you.

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