Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Golden Bough

In, " The Golden Bough " chapter 5 " The crucifixion of Christ / the scapegoat " James George Frazer looks at the possibility that there was a real raving rabbi Jesus who got caught up in the Jewish festival of Purim. Oxford university press edition
 p 666 - " We have seen reason to think that the Jewish festival of Purim is a continuation, under a changed name, of the Babylonian Sacaea, [ p642-652 ]and that in celebrating it by the destruction of an effigy of Haman the modern Jews have kept up a reminiscence of the ancient custom of crucifying or hanging a man in the character of a god at the festival. Is it not possible that at an earlier time they may, like the Babylonians themselves, have regularly compelled a criminal to play the tragic part, and that Christ thus perished in the character of Haman ? The resemblance between the hanged Haman and the crucified Christ struck the early Christians themselves; and whenever the Jews destroyed an effigy of Haman they were accused by their Christian neighbours of deriding the most sacred mystery of the new faith."
  p670 " The hypothesis that the crucifixion with all its cruel mockery was not a punishment specially devised for Christ, but was merely the fate that annually befell the malefactor who played Haman, appears to go some way towards relieving the Gospel narrative of certain difficulties which otherwise beset it. If,as we read in the gospels, Pilate was really anxious to save the innocent man whose fine bearing seams to have struck him, what was to hinder him from doing so? He had the power of life and death; why should he not have exercised it on the side of mercy, if his own judgement inclined that way? His reluctant acquiescence in the importunate demand of the rabble becomes easier to understand if we assume that custom obliged him annually at this season to give up to them a prisoner on whom they might play their cruel pranks. On this assumption Pilate had no power to prevent the sacrifice; the most he could do was to choose the victim.
   Again, consider the remarkable statement of the Evangelists that Pilate set up over the cross a superscription stating that the man who hung on it was king of the Jews. Is it likely that in the reign of Tiberius a Roman governor, with the fear of the jealous and suspicious old emperor before his eyes, would have ventured, even in mockery, to blazon forth a seditious claim of this sort unless it were the regular formula employed on such occasions, recognized by custom, and therefore not liable to be misconstrued into treason by the malignity of informers and the fears of a tyrant ? "....
  "The part of Mordecai was played by Barabbas "
   p 674 ~ "the theme of such dying & rising gods was common over Western Asia and may help to explain the spread of the Christ story."
  My opinion - what if someone hung a new story on the tradition of Purim. It was any old person who was hung as Haman but gospel authors made the event mean something else, rewriting the O.T. supermen Elijah & Elisha into the new adventures of superman Jesus. Several threads converged in the gospels ? But for Jesus to be a hero he needed to cancel Hades otherwise to only save a select few is to behave barbarically

On WEIT article,” Rabbi Sacks goes after atheists ” 29th September 2014. At comment 16. Simon Hayward posted the hilarious Youtube video of “Not the Nine O’clock news,Monty Python Worshipers”, kanizu00 channel, which reversed the idea of who was doing a parody – with a film, ” The life of Jesus Christ ” being a parody on the real life of John Cleese (ref to life of Brian }
So the link is with the life of Jesus Christ being a parody on the Esther, Mordecai, Haman story which itself is a parody on the Babylonian festival of Sacaea or Zakmuk in the spring month of Nisan in March/April held in honour of the god Marduk during which the person playing the part of Zoganes dies. Zoganes during his five days in office personated not merely a king but a god, whether that god was the Babylonian Marduk or some other deity is not yet identified.

Before the cotton cloth canvas was woven there were threads and a structure – loom & gin, before the threads there was cotton on a bush, before the bush there were seeds.
There were religious customs & structures & temples before the Jesus story got going, there was also a lot of scripture material, plenty of other myths and legends.
Is the Jesus story a cotton twill textile like Denim or plain woven fabric ?

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