A Woman’s Lot

As the title of this post suggests, a woman’s lot in life has not been a happy one but one of disadvantage and inequality. Why is this so?

There are three possible explanations for the discrimination that women have endured for such a very long time.

The first is of course the story of Adam and Eve. Are women considered lesser beings than men because God created Adam first? Or is it because God created Eve using one of Adam’s ribs? Is it because Eve was the first ever sinner and led Adam into sin? Are women being punished for the sins of Eve?

The second possible explanation is also written in the Bible which states, in part, that a woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submission and are not allowed to teach or exercise authority over a man.

Here, we need to remember that the reasons briefly outlined above were written my men which, in my view, casts a dark shadow of doubt about man’s interpretation of God’s intentions for the role of women.  

The third possibility appears to have nothing to do with God or creation as described to us in the Bible.

About 150 years ago genetics was discovered. Since then, our knowledge of genetics (DNA) has increased, and we now know that about 98% of human DNA are the same as those of Chimpanzees. This means Chimpanzees are our closest relative on Planet Earth. How this came to pass is a mystery. The origins of the other 2% of our DNA also remains a mystery.  

Also, when we look at how we humans exploit each other, exploit the flora, fauna and marine life on Planet Earth, I sometimes wonder if the 2% difference in our genes made us human or turned us from Chimps into chumps? But that’s a different story.

What we need to do is try to understand why women have been disadvantaged for such a very long time.

When we examine how humans and Chimpanzees live, we can see similar social and anti-social behavior patterns.

Chimpanzees are social animals who live together in groups. Groups of Chimpanzees are led by a dominant (Alpha) male. The dominant (Alpha) male is the strongest of the group and must fight and beat all would be rivals to retain his dominant position.

Humans also live together in Groups led by a dominant male, Chief, King etc. The difference here is the position of the dominant male became hereditary and handed down from father to son. In society today, the dominant male (President, Prime Minister etc.) is usually chosen (elected) by a group of their peers.

Unfortunately, Chimpanzees and humans are also very territorial and will fight to the death to defend their own territory. And yet, will persistently invade the territory of other groups to increase their own territory and food supply.

This has always been a major problem for human beings and we appear to be no closer to finding a solution for our territorial aggression.   

What this indicates is the dominant (Alpha) male gene that is embedded in male Chimpanzees is also embedded in all male humans. Perhaps this dominance is reflected in the way a man will protect his female partner while, at the same time, subjugate her. Is this where the problem lies?  If this is so, we need to find a way to remedy this without appearing to attack the fragile ego of the human male and his built-in desire to be ‘dominant.’ A difficult task indeed.  

Looking back on those early human groups, it is clear the main roles of males were hunter and protector while women had multiple domestic roles.

But the most important role of women has always been childbirth and child rearing upon which the growth and survival of the group depended. Giving birth in such a primitive and hostile environment would have been a very daunting and dangerous undertaking and I suspect the mortality rate among pregnant women would have been high.

Here, we need to remind ourselves that men only plant the seed. It is women who create new life inside their wombs and bring that new life into the world. Even God decided to use a human (mortal) woman to bring his son Jesus into the world. Also, Jesus may have been able to perform miracles and resurrect Lazarus from the dead, but he could not create the miracle of new life. Only a woman can do this.

The way I see it, this makes women superior to men. But women do not wish to be superior, all they have ever asked for is equality and respect.

By the early Middle Ages, discrimination against women had become institutionalized by Church and State. This was a time when women were subjugated and deemed to be personal property similar to goods and chattels and had no say in the running of their own lives. How demeaning that must have been.

This subjugation of women reached unspeakable levels in the late Middle Ages, when women became the victims of witch hunts. Hundreds of women were arrested tortured and then burnt at the stake for being witches and heretics. Their only crime was being a woman. How un-Christian, cruel and demeaning that was.

Also, from the beginning, it was always a woman’s lot to stand by and watch as their husbands and sons marched off to fight man’s incessant territorial armed conflicts not knowing if they would ever see their loved ones alive again. How utterly distressing that must have been.

But the two major armed territorial conflicts of the 20th century changed that completely. As millions of men marched off to fight those territorial armed conflicts, it was women who worked the farms. It was women who worked the factories. It was women who kept their country’s economy afloat and kept the war machine supplied. 

So, the victories won belonged to those courageous and resilient women just as much as they belonged to the courageous fighting men on the front line.

Yet, when the guns fell silent, women were expected to walk meekly back into their domestic cages. How utterly demeaning that must have been.

Now let us look at the last bastion of male domination – politics.

Here we need to remember, the current electoral system and party politics were well established long before women fought for and won the right to vote and the right to become members of parliament. It has now been more than a century since women won these rights, but politics are still dominated by men. Currently, in Western Democracies, about 80% of sitting MPs are men.

How can we claim to be democratic when half the population is so under-represented in our parliaments?

How can we continue to justify any form of discrimination against women in a modern society where the roles of women are just as flexible, important and as valuable as those of men?

In 1981, an international bill of rights for women was instituted by the United Nations for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. Once again, the UN proved itself to be a ‘paper tiger.’

So, from our early beginnings to today’s modern society, discrimination against women is still with us. How sad is that. The question I ask is this, throughout human history, have the roles of women been of any less value than those of the men? I do not believe so.

Women may not have the stature or physical strength of men, but what they do have is an incredible inner strength that has given them the resilience and courage to cope with the lot in life a male dominated society has imposed upon them. And yet, they still love us and have our children. What more do women need to do to gain equality and respect?  

Is it not time to recognize that equality and respect are so much more than basic human rights? Equality and respect give us our dignity, self-respect and our worthiness as a human being.

As a man, I cannot imagine what life on Planet Earth would be like without these delightful, loving, caring, affectionate and oft precocious beings we call women.

Try to imagine the utter chaos that would prevail if women, in their fight to win equality and respect, withdrew their labour, withdrew their purchasing power and withdrew their favour and affection.

It will be a sad day indeed if half the population need to resort to such actions to receive what the other half take for granted.

Think about it.

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The Temptation of Eve and the Downfall of Adam

In my last post I mentioned Eve’s temptation by Satan and of Adam’s temptation by Eve in the Garden of Eden. So, I decided to have another read of this story to try and determine if it is based on fact. I thought it would be a simple exercise but the lack of detail regarding the history and substance of the story made it quite difficult to interpret.

I have been unable to discover where the story of Adam and Eve originated, but It is believed it was written hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Some think the writer was Moses who was born in 1400 BC. If this is true, then the story of Adam and Eve may have been handed down orally over many generations prior to the development of written language and before Moses was born.

However, the first complete translation of the Bible into the English language by medieval scribes was not completed until the 14th Century. This means that the English Bible version of the story of Adam and Eve may vary considerably to that of the original or, alternatively, may be a complete fabrication.

The first thing I did to try and understand this story, was imagine what the ‘mind set’ of the people who translated the story may have been.

As indicated above, the story of Adam and Eve was probably translated into the English language by medieval scribes. At the time they translated and recorded the story into English, I have to assume they believed the World was flat. I also have to assume they believed that the Sun rose at one end of the World in the morning, moved across the sky during daylight hours and set on the other end of the World in the evening.

It is also probable they believed God was in His Heaven above the World and Satan was in His Hell under the World.

I have read several versions of the story of Adam and Eve and what follows are my thoughts about this strange Bible story.

It is written that God created the World in six days. On the sixth day God also created the first man from the dust of the Earth and called him Adam. It is written that after God created Adam, He realized Adam would be lonely and in need of a helper and companion. So, God created Eve using one of Adam’s ribs and the dust of the Earth. It does not state if this was on the same day God created Adam.

I do not believe the creation of Eve was a result of a realization or an afterthought by God but part of His plan to populate the World. Indeed, it is written, God instructed Adam and Eve to ‘go forth, be fruitful and multiply.’ So, it is reasonable to state that Eve was created to bear Adam’s children.

But why did God use one of Adam’s ribs to create Eve? Why didn’t God create Eve as an independent being in the same way he created Adam? By using one of Adam’s ribs, Eve became part of Adam and would have exactly the same genetic makeup. This raises the possibility that Eve may have been Adam’s twin?

Could this then be the origin of ‘What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.’ But I am just speculating.   

After God rested, He gave Adam and Eve dominion over the garden of Eden and everything in it to enjoy for all time. This ‘Heaven on Earth’ God created must have been a wonderful place. Then God pointed out one small tree to Adam and Eve and commanded them not to eat the fruit of this tree.

What this indicates, is, when God created Adam and Eve, He gave them the power of speech and language so they could communicate with God and with each other?   

But why would God plant a tree in the garden if he did not want Adam and Eve to eat the fruit? According to the story, this tree was the tree of knowledge of good and evil and if Adam and Eve ate the fruit, the knowledge gained would take away their innocence and naivety.

It appears God did not tell Adam and Eve this was why they were not allowed to eat the fruit of the tree but it is believed God planted it (if such a tree ever existed) to test Adam and Eve’s faith, trust and obedience to Him.

What this indicates, is, when God created Adam and Eve, He gave them the power of speech and language so they could communicate with God and with each other?   

But why would God plant a tree in the garden if he did not want Adam and Eve to eat the fruit? According to the story, this tree was the tree of knowledge of good and evil and if Adam and Eve ate the fruit, the knowledge gained would take away their innocence and naivety.

It appears God did not tell Adam and Eve this was why they were not allowed to eat the fruit of the tree but it is believed God planted it (if such a tree ever existed) to test Adam and Eve’s faith, trust and obedience to Him.

What surprises me, is the lack of detail in the story in relation to the climate, plant and animal life and fresh water supply of the garden. The story mentions birds and fish generally but all other forms of life are simply referred to as ‘every living thing on the planet.’

Noting that Adam and Eve had no clothing or any implements or tools to change or modify their environment, such as make clothing or build a shelter, I have to assume the garden had a warm, year-round, sub-tropical climate. Therefore, the plant and animal life in the garden would have also been sub-tropical in nature. And, because Adam and Eve had no knowledge of fire, I also assume they lived on a diet of fruits and berries.

The problem with these assumptions is, religious paintings of Adam and Eve portray them as European. Perhaps this is because the artists and models were European? But it is reasonable to state that no one would have any knowledge what Adam and Eve would have actually looked like anyway, so why not portray them as European?

It is written that one day, when Eve was alone near this forbidden tree, along came Satan in the guise of a serpent. Satan spoke to Eve and tempted her to taste the fruit telling her, not only is the fruit delicious, but would also open her eyes to all the knowledge that God has kept secret from her and Adam.  

The reason why Eve was alone is not explained. Nor do we know how Satan, in the form of a great big snake with a forked tongue, was able to communicate with Eve. So, I have to assume Satan communicated with Eve telepathically.

Why did Satan target Eve not Adam? Noting that the story was written such a long time after the creation event, did the author think Eve (being a woman) would be more easily tempted by Satan than Adam? Or did Satan target Eve because he knew Adam would be unable to resist the temptation of Eve?

Whatever the reason, Eve succumbed to the temptation of Satan and became the first human being to sin against God. Eve also became the first woman to tempt a man into sin.

It is also written that once Eve, then Adam ate the fruit, they became aware of their nakedness and felt so ashamed they ‘sewed together some fig leaves to cover their nakedness.’ What this really means is they decided to cover their genitals.

Why, after being naked from the beginning, did they suddenly feel ashamed is not really explained. Nor is it explained how they managed to ‘sew’ or ‘weave’ the leaves together.  

So, what happened? Did the forbidden fruit trigger Adam and Eve’s sexual libidos? Did the fruit give them knowledge of sexual copulation? Did Adam and Eve copulate and feel embarrassed and ashamed afterwards? 

Here we need to remember that God did tell Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. To do this they had to copulate so, what was the problem, why the shame?

Was it the onset of their sexual maturity that made Adam and Eve realize the need for modesty and privacy between them? But, because it was common practice in many early primitive tribes for men and women to cover their genitals when they reached maturity, I don’t see any real significance in Adam and Eve doing the same.

It is written, when God saw Adam and Eve had covered their genitals and tried to hide from Him, He realized they had disobeyed His Command and ate the forbidden fruit. This made God so very angry He banished them from the garden of Eden and took away their eternal life so they would suffer, grow old and die.

I don’t think God would have just banished Adam and Eve from the garden but would have destroyed it as well. By doing this, Adam and Eve were left to fend for themselves and would not be able to sneak back into the garden for food. Perhaps this is the reason why, from that day forward Adam and his male descendants would, sweat and toil for bread. Eve did not get away unpunished either. Eve and all her female descendants were made to suffer the pains of childbirth forever.

I felt the message the story tries to convey is, because of the sins of Eve, all human beings who are born of a woman (is there any other way) are born into sin, have but a short time to live and will suffer until death.  

Harsh punishment indeed.

The punishments God inflicted upon Adam and Eve, would have given Satan the opportunity to completely corrupt them and when they died take their immortal souls into the Fires of Hell. But for some reason, Satan missed His chance to do this.

It is at this point I formed the opinion the story of Adam and Eve may be based on ‘folklore’ rather than fact. This means it is not possible to state the story is a complete work of fiction either.

I also realized the author of the story created a powerful invisible God who represented all things good. The story also created an invisible Satan who represented all things evil.

But the God created is a hard taskmaster. God expects his servants to be completely obedient to His will, be completely sinless and live a life of piety. If they do this, when they die, they will go to their reward of eternal life in Heaven.

But those who disobey God’s commands are severely punished and denied their eternal life in Heaven and sent to the fires of Hell for all eternity.

The story also created Satan with his tempting silver tongue who just wants people to enjoy all the pleasures that life has to offer including the pleasures of the flesh. Even the threat of eternal damnation in the fires of Hell has not prevented people from being tempted into sin by Satan. 

The outcome of this is a Heaven populated with God, Jesus, Angels, a handful of Saints and a few really pious souls. Whereas, Hell must be full to overflowing with people who enjoyed all the pleasures that life had to offer including the pleasures of the flesh. How pleased Satan must be.

Perhaps this is why God is sending Jesus back to Earth to have another try at saving us all from sin and making us all His obedient servants?

The question I ask is this: does the huge increase in UFO activities around the world have something to do with the second coming of Jesus?

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The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

There are some Christian Church groups who believe that the time is right for the second coming of Jesus Christ. How they are aware of this, is known only to them. But, before I speculate on how the second coming of Jesus will come to pass, I thought I would have another look at the first coming of Jesus, which appears to have triggered a rather complex chain of events.

For some reason, God decided he needed to have a son on Earth who could help save the human race from sin. To achieve this, God had to find a suitable woman who was still a virgin. God chose a Jewish woman named Mary to be the mother of his child and made her pregnant. How God did this is still a mystery. Also, Mary was betrothed to a man named Joseph who accepted Mary’s pregnancy as the will of God and kept his promise to marry her so the child would not be born out of wedlock.

During Mary’s late pregnancy, the Romans decided to conduct a population census so Joseph and Mary had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, a distance of over 60 miles. It seems that Bethlehem was Joseph’s ancestral home town so he needed to be there to register for the census. This would have been quite a journey for Mary during her late pregnancy and she would have needed to travel slow and easy to avoid the possibility of a miscarriage.

On their arrival in Bethlehem, Joseph discovered that all available accommodation had been booked out because of the census.  Because Mary’s child was due any day, someone offered to let them stay in his stable where they would be under cover and have privacy for the birth.

The minute Jesus was born, an angel came down from Heaven and appeared before some shepherd boys minding sheep in a field and told them the good news that a Savior and Messiah had been born in Bethlehem. Then suddenly, a group of angels appeared chanting Glory be to God In the Highest and peace on Earth to all men. The shepherd boys then left their flock and went to visit Jesus in Bethlehem. I hope they left one boy behind to tend the sheep while they were gone.

In the meantime, three wise men from the East had been following a bright star which heralded the birth of a new king. It is not written from where these three men came. If they were travelling due West, they may have come from Saudi Arabia. If they were travelling in a South Westerly direction, they may have come from Jordan or Iraq. This is more probable because they reached Jerusalem before Bethlehem, which is about eight miles South of Jerusalem.

As these wise men passed though Jerusalem on their journey, they came to the notice of King Herod of Judea who asked them where they were travelling to and why. When the wise men told Herod the reason for their journey was to pay homage to a new king who has been born in his (Herod’s) Kingdom, Herod must have gasped in disbelief.

After Herod recovered himself, he would have realized that he must locate the birth place of this king and kill him to prevent the possibility of a future uprising in his Kingdom.

Herod’s best option would have been to ask the wise men if he could accompany them on the last leg or their journey so he too could pay homage to this new king. Alternatively, because the wise men were carrying gold, frankincense and myrrh, as gifts for the new king, Herod could have offered to send an escort with the wise men to ensure they arrived at their destination safely. Another option would have been to have the wise men discreetly followed to their destination so Herod would be able to find where this new king was born and have him killed.

Why didn’t Herod consider any of these options? Was Herod stupid as well as insecure and cruel? What Herod did was ask the wise men to call in and visit him on their return journey in the hope they would disclose the location of the new King. However, being suspicious of Herod’s motives, the wise men skirted around Jerusalem on their return journey.

If the wise men did not tell Herod where Jesus was born, who did? Someone must have told Herod because he sent his soldiers to Bethlehem with orders to kill all children under two years of age hoping Jesus would be one of the children killed.

However, before Herod’s soldiers arrived in Bethlehem God came to Joseph in a dream and told him to flee to Egypt with his family. It is not written how or where Joseph was able to find enough provisions for the journey or where in Egypt they settled. But once they crossed the border into Egypt, they were safe.

But the big question here is why would God allow the slaughter of innocent children and the grief the parents would suffer?  Why didn’t God prevent Herod’s men from committing such a horrendous crime when God knew Jesus was already safe? It just does not make sense.

It is written that Joseph and Mary did not return to Nazareth until after the death of King Herod which is reported to be about two(?) years later.   

This then is a brief description of the first coming of Jesus.

So, what will the second coming of Jesus look like?

Will God send a 2,020+ years old Jesus back down to Earth to finish his mission to free the world from sin? What will Jesus look like? Will Jesus look like he is still in his mid-thirties? Will Jesus still bear the scars of his crucifixion?  

If God does this, where will Jesus appear? Will it be at or near the spot on the Mount of Olives from where he ascended into Heaven? Where will Jesus go from there? Will he walk to what is left of the Temple of Jerusalem and declare that he is Jesus of Nazareth and has returned to complete the mission his Father (God) sent him to do all those years ago? But, because of the continuing conflicts in the Middle East, this would not be a good idea. So where should Jesus go?

Perhaps Jesus will choose to appear in the Vatican. After all, this is the church that was founded by his Apostle Peter. Will God appear to the Pope in a dream and tell him to gather the Cardinals and go to the Sistine Chapel where Jesus will appear before them. As they wait, will two Angles descend from Heaven and hover over the Altar singing Glory be to God in the Highest. As they do so, will a misty cloud form in front of the Altar from which Jesus will appear before them. 

If this comes to pass, how will the Pope and Cardinals react? Will the Pope and Cardinals accept the person standing before them is the son of God and drop to their knees and worship him? Will the Pope then order the bells in the Vatican to ring out in joyful celebration.

Will the Pope take Jesus to the balcony overlooking St Peter’s Square as the crowd gathers to see why all the Vatican bells are ringing? 

Can you imagine how Christians will celebrate when the Pope introduces Jesus to the crowd and proclaims that, as prophesied, Jesus has returned to Earth to save us all from sin? How will the many other Christian Church denominations react to this news?

How will Jesus go about the task God the Father has imposed upon him to save the human race from sin? In a world where Satan and sin have ruled ever since Eve tempted Adam to eat the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, it will be no easy task.

But, according to some Christian Church groups, the second coming of Jesus is imminent so we will not have long to wait to find out where and when Jesus will arrive.

We will just have to wait and see.    

aquarianmist

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Homosexuals are Getting Away With Murder …Again

Yes, Gays Are Bullies

One homosexual murders another – the press reports the victim as a “woman” and the killer avoids jail. This is the level of depravity society is now expected to applaud as the “gay lifestyle”…

A man in a blue suit walks down steps in front of a red brick building

Rian Ross Toyer, a former corporal in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has escaped jail time after being convicted for the manslaughter of Filipino transgender “Mhelody” Bruno in 2019.

Bruno passed as a woman but was a male prostitute. He sought partners on Grindr and allowed Toyer, one of his customers, to choke him during sex. After a few sessions of this lethal practice, Bruno not surprisingly died of asphyxiation.

Toyer told the Australian court that it was all consensual. “He conceded that Bruno had never requested to be choked, but he told police he had never asked for the practice to stop.” Justice Gordon Lerve decided this was not murder and “The matter is…

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The Resurrection of Jesus

In one version of the resurrection story, it is written that, on the Sunday following the crucifixion of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna and Salome went to the tomb at dawn to anoint the body of Jesus. How they expected to do this is a mystery because the tomb had been sealed and was guarded.

But as the women approached the tomb, an earthquake shook the area and an Angel, dressed in white, came down from Heaven and rolled back the stone that sealed the tomb. The Angel spoke to the women and told them Jesus has risen from the dead and was no longer inside the tomb. Take a look inside and see for yourselves said the angel and the women saw the tomb was empty. 

When the guards realized what had happened, they ran to the Temple and informed the Chief Priest that Jesus was no longer in the tomb. The guards had no idea how this could have happened because the tomb was sealed and Jesus had somehow left the tomb with the stone still in place. Each guard was then given a sum of money and told to lie about what they had seen and tell people that the disciples of Jesus had opened the tomb during the night and taken away the body of Jesus.

Back at the tomb, the Angel told the women to go and inform the disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead. The women hurried away from the tomb to obey the Angel’s command when suddenly, Jesus appeared before them and they dropped to their knees to worship him. Jesus spoke to them and said “do not be afraid, go and find my brothers and tell them to go to Galilee where I shall meet them.”

After speaking to the women, the next thing Jesus should have done is go to the Temple and use his power to calm and placate Chief Priest Caiaphas so he could apologize to him.

Why should Jesus apologize to Caiaphas? Because Jesus used the Temple as the means to fulfil his destiny.

Jesus knew he would be arrested after is his rampage in the Temple grounds. He also knew what the consequences of claiming to be the son of God would be. Also, following his arrest, Jesus made no real effort to defend himself when he was charged and sentenced to death. So, it is reasonable to state that Jesus gave Caiaphas (and Pilate) no other choice but to condemn and crucify him. It appears this is what Jesus wanted to happen?

Therefore, it is also reasonable to state that Jesus owed Caiaphas an apology and should have asked for his forgiveness. Had he done so, Jesus could then have used his power to restore the Temple’s Inner Sanctuary curtain to its original condition and repair any other damage to the Temple caused by the earthquake. Jesus could then fill the Temple’s coffers until they overflowed with coins to make up for the loss of revenue his actions had caused.

This would have proved Jesus’ claim to be the son of God and also validate his resurrection from the dead. 

Why didn’t Jesus do this? Surely, it would have been right and proper for Jesus to do this for the Temple (his Father’s House) and for the Jewish people.

Once he had made amends for his actions, Jesus could then have gone to meet the disciples in Galilee.

It is written that Jesus wanted to meet his disciples in Galilee because it was not safe for them to meet as a group in Jerusalem and Galilee is where his ministry began.

This means the disciples walked from Jerusalem to Galilee, a distance of about 75 miles. A long and tiring journey on foot which would have taken several days to complete. The disciples would have needed to carry enough food and water for each leg of their journey and maybe carry a bedroll for overnight rests.   

Why didn’t Jesus accompany the disciples on their journey to Galilee? How did Jesus travel to Galilee?

Once Jesus arrived in Galilee, he took the opportunity to perform a miracle involving the disciples who had been fishing but had no luck. Jesus asked his disciples to cast their net on the other side of the boat. When they did so, the net was immediately filled with fish. Jesus also asked the disciples to gather 500 people together to witness his presence in Galilee.

By doing these two things, Jesus removed any doubt about who he was and proved he had risen from the dead to all those present.  

Jesus then asked his disciples to return to Jerusalem and go to the Mount of Olives and wait there for him until he arrived.

The disciples then began their long walk back to Jerusalem. Whichever way one looks at this, traveling from Jerusalem to Galilee and then back to Jerusalem, a round trip of about 150 miles, was an arduous task for the disciples to undertake. Was this really necessary? After all, Jesus was going to meet his disciples on the mount of Olives just outside Jerusalem when they returned from Galilee.

Surely, Jesus did not ask his disciples to walk all the way to Galilee just so he could validate his resurrection miles away from Jerusalem? Why didn’t he validate his resurrection in Jerusalem? As stated above, the Temple would have been the most appropriate place to do this.

How did Jesus return to Jerusalem from Galilee?

When Jesus arrived on the Mount of Olives to meet with his disciples, he prayed. He then asked the disciples to wait on the mount until the Holy Spirit came upon them and then go forth and spread the Gospel to the ends of the Earth. 

Then on the fortieth day of his resurrection, Jesus ascended into Heaven.

There’s that forty-day period again! What is it with the Bible and forty-day periods? What Biblical significance (if any) is there attached to this period of time?

It is written that the disciples watched as Jesus entered a cloud that was at ground level and then disappear from sight. The disciples then watched as the cloud ascended into the sky above. Suddenly, Two Angels, dressed in white, stood beside the disciples and asked why they were looking up into the sky. The Angels then said “Jesus has been taken from you and into heaven and will return to you in the same way.”

What the Angels said to the disciples indicates that Jesus may not have been in the cloud as it ascended into the air. I think this this is a reasonable statement to make because the disciples did not see any sign of Jesus as the cloud rose upwards into the air. So, where was Jesus, where did he go?

Is it possible that the cloud was actually a temporary portal to another dimension? So, when Jesus walked into the cloud, he entered into this other dimension and the cloud then drifted up into the sky without him? Could this be the dimension that spiritualists, psychics and mediums refer to as ‘the other side’ or the ‘spirit world.’  Does such a dimension actually exist?

Spiritualists, psychics and mediums believe such a dimension to the spirit world does exist and is used (some people believe successfully) to contact the spirits of those who have ‘passed over.’

Have preachers who claim that Jesus appears to them in ‘visions’ and provides them with spiritual guidance, validated the existence of this portal into the spirit world?

Have members of Church congregations who testify that Jesus healed their ailments and infirmities validated the existence of this portal into the spirit world?

I am sure these spiritual encounters are very real to the people who have experienced them and this is why I do not scoff at these claims.

Also, ghost stories have been around almost as long as human beings have. How many of us know someone who claims to have seen a ghost or experienced some sort of paranormal activity?

Will we ever really know the truth about spirituality, ghostly apparitions or paranormal events?

Today, there are Christian groups who believe the time for the second coming of Jesus is upon us and exhort all sinners to seek salvation before it is too late. These Christian groups promise sinners who repent and accept Jesus into their lives will receive the ‘Holy Spirit’ and be born-again Christians.

This will ensure, when they die, they shall enjoy eternal life in Heaven instead of facing eternal damnation in the fires of Hell. All the Church asks for in return is they pay the Church a Tithe, usually 10% of their gross income. So, it appears that salvation comes with a price.

The question I ask is this; are redeemed sinners paying for their salvation or are they funding the extravagant lifestyles of some of their preachers?

Does Heaven really exist? Does eternal damnation in the fires of Hell really await the souls of those who, like me, do not believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the light and only through him shall we enter into the Kingdom of Heaven?

What I try to do is keep an ‘open mind’ on all things spiritual and do not adhere to any one religious dogma or point of view. Nor do I disparage others for whatever their belief or faith is based upon.

But, looking at this subject objectively, the only thing we can really be certain of is the ‘moment of truth’ we all face when we take our final breath. 

What happens to us after that, has been a mystery from the very beginning and perhaps it will, or should, always remain so.  

aquarianmist

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The Crucifixion of Jesus

Before we examine the story about the crucifixion of Jesus, we need to recognize and acknowledge the Romans did not conquer most of the known world and build their empire by being kind or benevolent. They did so by being ruthless and cruel. No quarter given, none asked. So, I decided to examine this story from an historical perspective rather than a biblical one.

The head of the Roman Empire was an Emperor who wielded absolute power. It was the Emperor who appointed people to administrative (Prefect/Governor) positions throughout the provinces of the Roman Empire. Those selected were Romans with proven loyalty and service to the Emperor and were expected to govern their areas of responsibility with ruthless efficiency.  

This policy was meant to discourage local inhabitants from engaging in rebellious activities against Roman rule. Let’s face it, Roman Law in the provinces of their empire was not about justice, it was about subjugation and control.

The usual term of office for a Prefect was about three years. But if an incumbent did not perform to the standard expected by the Emperor, he would be removed from office, exiled from Rome and probably assassinated. This policy ensured that yesterday’s ally did not become tomorrow’s enemy.

One form of capital punishment favored by the Romans was crucifixion. This practice was the most cruel, sadistic and gruesome means of putting a human being to death slowly, while at the same time, inflicting as much pain as possible.  

It is against this background, that I examined the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. This crucifixion has been a source of controversy for nearly 2000 years and, because it occurred so long ago (AD 36?) we may never know what actually took place.

There are so many variations to the story of Jesus’ crucifixion, it is difficult to separate truth from myth and religious embellishments. I state this because it seems the only disciple present at the crucifixion appears to be John. This means some versions of the crucifixion may be based on hearsay.

What follows is my view of how this historic event may have unfolded and is based on how the Romans dealt with offenders who were considered a threat to public order in the provinces and a threat to Roman rule. However, I have to acknowledge that my view of what may have took place has been formed from information obtained from many different written sources. So, it may be no more accurate than the versions written in the New Testament Gospels.

At the time of Jesus’ arrest, Pontius Pilate was Prefect of the Roman Provinces of Judea, Samaria and Idumaea. Pilate held this post from AD 26 to AD 36, which was much longer than the normal tenure for such a position. Why Pilate was retained in this position for so long is not known.

Was it because Pilate did such a good job of governing those troublesome provinces? Or was it because the Emperor Tiberius (AD 14 to AD 37) was an absentee emperor who left affairs of state to his Delegate in Rome and it was he who decided to retain Pilate in that position for so long? Or perhaps the Emperor or his Delegate had political reasons to keep Pilate away from Rome?  

Whatever the reason may have been, I believe if Pilate did not perform his job effectively, he would have been removed from his position, exiled from Rome and probably would have died from an ‘assisted suicide.’ So, whichever way one looks at this, Pilate was obviously a very experienced and capable Prefect and nothing in his biography suggests otherwise.

For this reason, I do not understand why the Gospels portray Pilate as being indecisive when dealing with the arrest and death sentence of Jesus.

At that time, Pilate’s main concern was maintaining public order during the Passover period when crowds of people were coming into Jerusalem. Pilate would have been aware of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and of his popularity with the people. So, it is reasonable to state that Pilate would have sent his intelligence gatherers to find out as much information as possible about Jesus. Pilate would also have ordered his soldiers to keep a close eye on the activities of Jesus and report back directly to him.

Pilate would have been informed that Jesus had come to Jerusalem from Galilee where people believed Jesus had unearthly (supernatural) powers. These powers enabled Jesus to perform acts (miracles) that were impossible for a mortal man to perform.

So, when Jesus was brought before him, Pilate would have a good knowledge of the activities of this man called Jesus.

Pilate was advised that Jesus had been arrested on the orders of the Temple of Jerusalem’s High Priest (Caiaphas), tried and found guilty of offences against the Temple. Under Jewish Law, one of these offences was punishable by death. Because only the Roman Prefect had the authority to confirm and order a death sentence to be carried out, Caiaphas had sent Jesus to Pilate.

The offences Jesus had been convicted of were that he (Jesus) rampaged through the grounds of the Temple of Jerusalem with a whip disrupting the traders and dealers who were engaged in their lawful business activities. The Passover period was the most lucrative time of the year for the Temple, for Jerusalem and for the Roman tax collectors. This disruptive action of Jesus caused the Temple and Rome to lose a lot of this revenue.

Jesus also threatened to destroy the Temple. In today’s language this would be seen as a terrorist threat which would be a crime against Roman rule as well as the Temple authorities.

Pilate would have also been informed that Jesus claimed he was the son of God and those who did not believe in him would not go to his Father’s Kingdom of Heaven. In other words, those who did not believe in Jesus, would not have a life hereafter (eternal life) following death. The Temple authorities saw this claim as sacrilege which, under Jewish Law, was punishable by death.

Although Jesus never claimed he had been sent by God to free Judea from Roman rule and would become King when this had been achieved, some of his followers believed he was the ‘Messiah.’ While the Roman Emperor was a God like figure, he was not a God nor was he the son of a God. This means that Jesus had been placed in a more exalted position than the Roman Emperor. Pilate would not have been impressed with that.

For these reasons Pilate would have enough evidence to deem Jesus to be an enemy of Rome and justify confirming the death sentence. Also, let us not forget, that Jesus actually wanted to die so he could fulfill his destiny to save the world from sin. This raises the possibility that Jesus deliberately behaved in such an anti-social and destructive manner to ensure he would be arrested and crucified.   

Pilate would have known Caiaphas in an official capacity and socially as well so he would have no reason to doubt Caiaphas’ judgement and integrity. Therefore, it is reasonable to suggest that Pilate would have co-operated with the Jewish Temple authorities to ensure public order was maintained. So, the most logical thing for Pilate to have done was to confirm the death sentence and order the crucifixion of Jesus to be carried out. End of story.

Why did this not happen? Why was Pilate reluctant to confirm the death sentence of Jesus?

The palaver that embroiled the story from that point onward is simply beyond belief.

First of all, why would Pilate risk his own position and life to save the life of a Jewish preacher who may be a threat to Roman rule in Judea? It was also quite clear that the presence of Jesus in Jerusalem was a threat to public order so the sooner he was dealt with the better. So, what was Pilate’s problem?

It is written that, because Jesus was from Galilee, Pilate sent him to be dealt with by Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea (4 BC to AD 39) who was in Jerusalem for the Passover period. This does not make any sense. Herod’s jurisdiction of Galilee was over a hundred miles north of Jerusalem so he would have no authority in Jerusalem where Jesus committed the offences.  

There are at least two versions of this part of the story. In one version it is written that Herod and his men mocked Jesus and sent him back to Pilate. In another version, it is written that Herod was pleased to meet Jesus because he hoped he would perform a sign or a miracle of some sort. It is also written that after his meeting with Jesus, Herod and Pilate became friends.

Therefore, one or both of these incidents must be a fabrication or an embellishment of some sort and may not reflect the truth. This means we may never know if Pilate really did send Jesus to Herod. But if he did so, Pilate would have compromised his authority as representative of the Roman Emperor. 

In the next part of the story, it is written that after Herod returned Jesus to Pilate, Caiaphas turned up at Pilate’s residence early next morning with a ‘rent a crowd’ baying for the blood of Jesus.

As the representative of the Roman Emperor and an experienced Prefect, Pilate would not have accepted such a demonstration against his administration. Nor would he have allowed himself to be bullied.

Therefore, I believe it is reasonable to state that the first thing Pilate would have done is to order armed soldiers to surround the crowd and arrest Caiaphas. He would then have informed the crowd that they are an illegal assembly which is contrary to public order. Pilate would then have ordered the crowd to disperse or face the full force of Roman Law. This would have brought the confrontation to an end: that is, if there ever was such a confrontation.

It is difficult to believe that Pilate would allow such a situation to develop. Nor would he have compromised his authority by offering the crowd a choice between Jesus and Barabbas. For these reasons I doubt if such a demonstration/confrontation ever took place.

The only event we can be sure of is, of course, the crucifixion of Jesus. But once again, I believe the story has been embellished to some extent.

What follows is my view of what could or may have took place on the day of the crucifixion of Jesus and the two other offenders who were crucified with him.

Here was an opportunity for Pilate to assert his authority as Prefect and reinforce Roman rule in Judea by crucifying all three offenders at the same time. Such a spectacle and act of resolve would show leadership. It would also show the citizens of Jerusalem and visitors to the city for the Passover period who was in charge and what happens to people who mess with Rome. Also, the Romans were efficient and experienced killers so it would be logical to deal with all three offenders at the same time and in the same way.

That is to say the three offenders would have been stripped naked in public view and scourged with whips. The cross beam of the crucifix was then placed across the back of their necks and shoulders like a yoke with arms outstretched and then tied in place. Or could they have actually been yokes of some sort, not the cross beams as written? This made sure the offenders could not cover their nakedness and would suffer the humiliation of being taunted and jeered as they walked past the crowds of onlookers on their way to meet their death.

It is also written that a crown of thorns was fashioned for Jesus and placed on his head causing him further injuries. Was such a crown really made for Jesus? Or is this just another embellishment to the story? I ask this because it seems to be ‘rather convenient’ that a Jerusalem Brier Bush would be growing in or around Pilate’s residence.

It is also written that Jesus wore his own clothes during the walk to the place of crucifixion. I really don’t believe Pilate would have allowed this or treated Jesus any differently to the other two offenders.

On arrival, all three were nailed to their crucifixes with metal spikes.

All three, already traumatized from the scourging, would then have gone into shock and be almost unconscious.

Victims of crucifixions were nailed to the cross in such a way the torso would hang down and away from the upright of the crucifix. This placed a great deal of stress on the shoulder joints, chest and diaphragm causing the victim excruciating pain. In this position, it made it almost impossible for the victims to breathe and had to gasp desperately for each breath.

The poor souls would try to use the leg muscles to push themselves upward to try and make breathing easier but doing so only prolonged the agony. So, in my view, it would have been almost impossible for them to talk or say anything coherent as they waited to die.

And yet, it is written that Jesus was engaged in conversations with the other two offenders, the people who attended his crucifixion and talking to God as well. I cannot see how this was possible!

It was also common practice for the soldiers to shatter the victims lower leg bones with a club to stop them using their leg muscles to help them breath and prolong life.

But they did not do this to Jesus, they speared him with an upward thrust into the groin. It is written that it was done to spare his mother Mary the agony of seeing Jesus legs being shattered in such a barbaric manner. But was thrusting a spear into his groin any less barbaric? Or was it because Jesus needed his legs to walk out of the tomb when he was resurrected from the dead?

Following the death of Jesus at about midday, it is written that the sun stopped shining for about three hours and darkness descended over the whole world. Obviously, it was not an eclipse and whoever wrote that obviously did not know the world was round and when it was daylight on one half of the planet, it was dark on the other. So, what happened?

There would have been widespread panic and fear as the part of the world that should have been in daylight was suddenly completely dark. Are there any written accounts of this phenomenal occurrence recorded in any of the counties West of Judea? If so, what is written?

It is also written that there was an earthquake and the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn apart, tombs opened and the bodies of saints resurrected back to life. All this would have been quite a spectacle if it is the ‘Gospel Truth.’ But, once again, we may never know what really happened that day.

Following the death of Jesus, Pilate gave permission for a man called Joseph from Arimathea to claim the body and prepare it for burial. The body of Jesus was then placed in an unoccupied tomb. Who owned the tomb? Did it belong to Joseph? I suppose it didn’t really matter because Jesus only needed it for three days.

Once Jesus was entombed, the tomb was sealed and temple guards placed outside? This was done on the orders of the Temple authorities to prevent anyone removing the body of Jesus and claiming he had been resurrected from the dead.

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Thirty Pieces of Silver

For almost 2000 years, Judas Iscariot, a disciple of Jesus, has stood convicted of betraying Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. It is written that, in the garden of Gethsemane, Judas identified Jesus to the arresting detachment of soldiers and Temple guards by kissing him on the cheek. But is what is written the ‘Gospel Truth.’

When one examines this story, there are so many inconsistencies about the betrayal and arrest of Jesus. So, it is difficult to be certain what actually occurred that evening during and after the final supper that Jesus shared with his disciples.

First of all, how much was thirty pieces of silver worth in terms of purchasing power? It has been assumed that the coins given to Judas (if indeed any coins were given to him) were Tyrian Shekels, one of the currencies in use in the Temple of Jerusalem at that time. These coins were over 90% pure silver and weighed about 14 grams. However, over time, with constant handling, some of the precious metal wore off the surface of the coins so they were weighed rather than counted to ensure the ‘correct weight’ of the precious metal was transacted.

It has been estimated that, in today’s money, thirty of those coins had a purchasing power of around $US20,000. This is a large sum of money to pay for someone to identify the most popular person in Jerusalem at that time.

But, was it really necessary for The Temple Authorities (The Sanhedrin) to pay any amount of money to someone who could identify Jesus?

The answer is definately not.

This is because, just a few days earlier, Jesus made a triumphal entry into Jerusalem riding a donkey, an event which is now known as Palm Sunday. It is so named because people threw their cloaks and palm fronds onto the road ahead of Jesus and waved them around in the air as he rode past.

This means that a large crowd of people, which may have included Roman soldiers (if any) on guard duty at the city gates, would have been able to identify Jesus if they saw him again. Even the donkey would have been able to recognize Jesus again.

Also, Jesus entered the Temple and drove out all who were buying and selling commodities in the Temple grounds, overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those who were selling doves. By doing this, Jesus made many enemies (which must have included some of the Temple guards) who, after this incident, would have no difficulty identifying Jesus if they saw him again.

All The Sanhedrin needed to do was send out armed patrols to locate and arrest Jesus. This would not have been difficult. All the patrols had to do was go to where the crowds were gathering to hear Jesus speak. Jesus would have offered no resistance to being arrested because he believed it was part of his destiny.

So, why did The Sanhedrin need Judas to identify Jesus? And why offer him such a large sum of money? It does not make any sense!

There are also inconsistencies regarding who actually went to arrest Jesus. One version stated that Judas, accompanied by a great multitude with swords and clubs from the Chief Priests and the Scribes and the Elders, came to arrest Jesus. Another version stated that Judas came to the grove guiding a detachment of Roman soldiers and officials from the Chief Priest. Yet another version stated that Judas came with a small detachment of Roman soldiers accompanied by The Temple guard.

Then there is the question regarding the disciples being armed and specifically mentioned Peter being armed with a sword which which he cut off the ear of on of the members of the detachment. Why was Peter armed? Would a pacifist like Jesus expect or allow his disciples to be armed? Also, Peter was a simple fisherman who may have been skilled in the use of a fish fileting knife, but a sword?

There is also the question of the ‘Judas kiss.’ One version of the story includes this incident but another version does not.

So, what might have occurred that evening in the garden of Gethsemane?

Let us speculate that sometime during that day, The Sanhedrin sent a messenger to find Judas to ask him to come to the Temple for a meeting. Let us suppose Judas told the messenger he would come to the Temple after supper. So when Jesus and the other disciples decided to walk to the garden of Gethsemane after supper to pray, Judas told them that The Sanhedrin wished to talk to him and he would join them in the garden after his meeting.

At that meeting, let us suppose Judas was advised that Jesus had made many enemies because of his rampage in the Temple and they were now plotting to kill Jesus. But if Judas would agree to take members of the Temple guard along with a small detachment of Roman soldiers to Jesus, they will protect Jesus and see no harm comes to him.

Judas would not have had reason to believe they were not telling the truth and agreed to The Sanhedrin’s proposal and took the detachment to the garden of Gethsemane. Why else would Judas accompany the detachment to Gethsemane? Would he have gone to face Jesus and the other disciples if he was going to betray Jesus? A betrayer would have taken the money and gone into hiding.

When Judas and the detachment arrived in the garden, Judas quickly went to Jesus and, what has been assumed a kiss, may have been Judas quietly informing Jesus the reason for him bringing the detachment to him. But when Jesus was arrested, Judas realized he had been tricked. How terrible Judas must have felt at that moment.

It is written that after Jesus was arrested, Judas returned to the Temple and gave back the thirty pieces of silver and went away to take his own life. But I do not believe that Judas received any money in the first place.

Would The Sanhedrin pay so much money in advance? I don’t think so. Would they pay Judas after Jesus almost immediately identified himself? Why would they? Was bringing the detachment to the garden worth any money in the first place? After all, at least some members of the detachment would have been selected because they knew what Jesus looked like and would recognize him on sight.

Also, Judas left the last supper immediately after Jesus accused him of betrayal so how did he know that Jesus and the disciples would be in the garden? And what would have happened to Judas if they were not in the garden when the detachment arrived?

And, what really happened to Judas after Jesus was arrested? Could it be that Judas was quietly taken away by a couple of the Temple guards before he had a chance to defend himself? Was Judas then murdered by strangulation then ‘strung up’ and his death reported as suicide?

This would have been relatively easy to do because there were no homicide detectives or forensics to prove otherwise. The Sanhedrin then spread the story that a remorseful Judas gave back the thirty pieces of silver he had (supposedly) received to betray Jesus and then taken his own life.

Now let us briefly examine what may have occurred during the final meal Jesus shared with his disciples.

As Jesus was preparing for his last meal with the disciples, he may have felt very sad and melancholy because he knew he was about to leave his disciples to go to fulfill his destiny. Did Jesus also have doubts about having the courage to face the ordeal that was to come?

Did Satan sense Jesus’ vulnerability and seize the opportunity to enter into Jesus not Judas? After all, for a long time, Satan had been trying to corrupt Jesus.

Could this be the reason for such a dramatic change in how Jesus behaved during the supper? What other possible reason would prompt Jesus to expose Judas as a betrayer and Peter as a denying coward in front of everyone present? This was completely out of character for Jesus.

We need to remember that Jesus was a very kind and forgiving ‘turn the other cheek kind of person so why would he name and shame Judas and Peter in such a manner? What did Jesus hope to gain by exposing Judas and Peter? Why would Jesus risk causing discord among the disciples just before he leaves to fulfill his destiny?

Could it be that Satan was influencing Jesus’ behavior to try and forestall Jesus from fulfilling his destiny?

Whichever way one views the story of the arrest of Jesus, it just does not make any sense. I also believe there is sufficient ‘reasonable doubt’ for Judas to be Exonerated by a modern court of law,

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Did Jesus Really Walk on Water???

The story goes that, after Jesus fed the five thousand, he sent his disciples to where their boat was moored somewhere near old Bethsaida (not Bethsaida Julias) while he walked up a mountain for solitude and prayer. The crowd that had been miraculously fed by Jesus’ disciples then broke up and started walking towards Capernaum, a distance of about five or six miles using the Ford across the River Jordan.

Because it was already dark, the most logical thing for the exhausted disciples to do would have been to eat some food (if they had not already done so) and get some much needed rest while they waited for Jesus to meet them after he finished his prayers.

But Jesus did not want the disciples to wait for him and asked them to row their boat across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, a distance of about four and a half miles in a North Westerly direction from where they were. When the disciples were about half way across, they found themselves facing strong winds and rough seas which prevented them from making any further headway towards Capernaum.

In the meantime, shortly before sunrise, Jesus arrived at the shore of the Sea of Galilee (it is not known exactly where) and saw his disciples were in trouble so, without hesitation, he walked on the surface of the sea towards the boat which may have been up to two miles from where he was standing on the shore. As Jesus approached the boat, the disciples saw him and were terrified because they thought it was a ghost coming towards them.

But Jesus spoke to them and said “take courage, it is I. Don’t be afraid.” Peter then said to Jesus “if it is really you, command me to walk on the water.” So Peter climbed out of the boat and walked towards Jesus. But Peter became afraid and when he took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink into the sea and called out to Jesus for help.

Jesus caught Peter, reproached him for his lack of faith and led him back to the boat. As soon as Jesus and Peter were on board, the wind dropped and the sea became calm. At this point, according to John, Jesus instantly moved the boat (by telekinesis?) and everyone on board to Capernaum, a distance of about two miles.

When the people who had walked overnight to Capernaum saw Jesus on board the boat they were amazed because they knew that, after Jesus’ disciples fed them, he did not accompany them to the boat but walked up a mountain for solitude and prayer.

Basically, this is the Gospel version of the event. But there could be be a much simpler explanation for this miraculous event.

Let us suppose that, when the disciples arrived on the shore of the sea of Galilee where the boat was moored, they noticed a storm was gathering over the sea so they decided not to put to sea but wait for Jesus to return from his prayers.

In the meantime, during his prayers, Jesus also noticed a storm was gathering over the sea. This worried Jesus so he cut short his prayers and walked to where his disciples were and was relieved to see his disciples had not put to sea in the boat.

After welcoming Jesus, they waited for the storm to abate and then put to sea and rowed to Capernaum. This would not take long on calm waters and when they arrived the crowd who had walked overnight to Capernaum saw Jesus on the boat and were amazed.

From this moment on, speculation and hearsay may have taken hold of the story and a mundane trip across the Northern part of the Sea of Galilee became a miraculous event.

The walking on water miracle is one of the most difficult to rationalize. Also, the distances I have quoted are my ‘best estimates’ based on the information available so I hope they are not too far off the mark.

First of all, human feet do not displace enough water to create buoyancy. Put simply, buoyancy is created when the upward force of displaced water is equal to the downward force of gravity. This cannot be achieved by a person standing upright on water and therefore, the person sinks or swims.

Also, the Sea of Galilee is prone to sudden wind storms so I do not understand why Jesus wanted his disciples to row to Capernaum without him whilst it was still dark.

Did Jesus realize that a storm was due to hit the Sea of Galilee? And, when the storm hit the boat, why didn’t Jesus calm the storm from where he stood on the shore so the disciples could continue their journey to Capernaum? Did Jesus deliberately delay calming the storm so he could ‘grandstand’ and show off his power by walking on the surface of the sea?

Would God allow Jesus to delay helping the disciples when their lives were in danger just so he could walk on water? Such an act could be interpreted as a ‘showy stunt’ that one would not expect the son of God to engage in.

Because the boat was about half way to Capernaum when the storm hit, Jesus may have had to walk up to two miles on the surface of the sea during gale force winds and heavy seas to reach the boat. But the weather did not appear to have any effect on Jesus’ ability to stay on the surface and reach the boat.

How was this achieved under such conditions? If Jesus walked on the surface of the sea, it would have been ‘now you see him, now you don’t’ as Jesus moved up and down with the surface swells and troughs of the waves. But according to the disciples, Jesus appeared ‘like a ghost’ coming towards them.

So, did Jesus really walk on water? Or did he glide ‘like a ghost’ above the surface of the sea? Either way, it is not a feat a human being could perform and adds strength to the legend that Jesus was the son of God.

I seems convenient that the only witnesses to this miracle were his own disciples. The crowd that Jesus’ disciples had fed the day before and walked overnight to Capernaum, only observed that Jesus was on board the boat when it arrived. Because this event occurred about two thousand years ago, it is impossible to separate truth from hearsay and determine what really happened.

However, 1,969 years after the birth of Jesus, technology was developed that allowed men, wearing space suits, to walk upon the surface of the moon.

But, 2,020 years after the birth of Jesus, we still have not developed the technology that allows a man, wearing a robe and sandals, to walk unaided on the surface of the sea.

So it all comes down to faith. The faithful followers of Jesus have the right to believe in the power and the miracles ascribed to Jesus in the Gospels. And, the not so faithful have the right to express doubts about these miraculous events because, even miracles need some form of technology to change the natural into the supernatural.

aquarianmist

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Jesus Feeds 5000 People

This miracle is difficult to summarize because it is not clear at what time of the year the event took place. This information is important because of the hours of available daylight and the day/night temperatures at the time of the event. It is also strange that no mention is made of the Romans. There would have been a garrison and several outposts in the area which may have been patrolled by by Roman soldiers. I am sure the Romans would have kept an eye on the movement of people and would have been interested to know why so many people were leaving the towns and villages and where they were going.

So, it appears likely that this event took place in the Spring around the time of the Passover celebrations in March-April when people were on the move. Hours of daylight in the area of the Sea of Galilee in the Spring average 11 to 13 hours between 6.00 am and 7.00 pm and the average temperature varies from 11 to 30 degrees Celsius. Also, mention is made of how much grass was growing in the area at that time, which is a strong indication of early to mid Spring growth.

The location of the event is not clear either but general opinion is it took place near Bethsaida. There is also doubt about the number of people who where at the event. Some interpretations of the story claim there was 5000 people, not including (or beside) women and children. Does this mean there was only men in the multitude? If not, then the number of people present may have been greater than 5000.

The reason this information is important is because, it is written that, as evening approached, the disciples advised Jesus that they were in a remote place and it was already getting late (perhaps around 3.00 to 5.00 pm) so he should send the crowd away to allow them to go to the villages in the area to buy something to eat and to find lodgings for the night.  Jesus replied “they do not have to go away. You give them something to eat.”

In at least one version of the story Jesus then asked his disciples to separate the crowd into groups of about 50 people. But this would have taken quite some time to organize and as evening was rapidly approaching, any delay could entail feeding the people in the dark. So, I shall go with the version where Jesus did not ask the disciples to separate the multitude into groups, did not refer to women and children but simply asked his disciples to “have the men sit down on the grass.

Miraculously, a boy was standing nearby with a basket containing five loaves of unleavened bread and two fishes. Where did this boy come from? Where were his parents? Jesus asked for the basket to be brought to him. Jesus took the the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, Jesus gave thanks and broke the loaves and gave them with the two fish to his disciples to distribute to the people who were now seated.

This is where the story begins to lack detail. Because the men were now seated, it would have been easier and quicker for Jesus to have the food dropped into the laps of the people in a similar way that ‘manna’ was dropped from heaven. But for some reason, Jesus wanted the disciples to distribute the food. This meant that each disciple had to feed over 400 people.

Also, nothing is written about what species of fish were distributed. The Sea of Galilee is a fresh water lake which supports several species of fish. Did God provide 5000 fish of the same species? Was the fish cleaned, filleted or baked? Or did the people eat raw fish ‘sushi style’? Nor is there any mention of the need for drinking water. Did the crowd carry their own water bags?

So how did the disciples feed the people? Perhaps Jesus took the basket from the boy and miraculously duplicated it so there was 12 baskets full of a never-ending supply of bread and fish. Jesus then passed the baskets to the disciples who walked among the people distributing the contents until the crowd were all fed and satisfied. I state this because, it is written, that there was 12 baskets of left-overs after the crowd had finished eating. So I have to assume this is how the people were fed.

Try to imagine how long it would take each of the 12 disciples to serve over 400 people who were sitting on the ground spread over a large area.

While the disciples were feeding the people, perhaps Jesus was preaching his message to the people.  How Jesus could make his voice heard by 5000 people at the same time from the same spot is a mystery. Some interpretations of the story state that perhaps a wind blowing off the Sea of Galilee would have carried his voice to all the people. Maybe this is possible but the wind may well have distorted his voice instead. So, it may be that, as the disciples walked among the people distributing the food, Jesus was also walking among the people repeating his message as he moved through the the seated crowd.

Because of the lack of detail, this ‘miracle’ story lacks substance and leaves too many unanswered questions. But who am I to raise doubts about a miraculous event that took place 2000 years ago?

aquarianmist

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Water Into Wine – Jesus Style

Continuing with my quest to determine if the Holy Bible really is ‘The Gospel Truth,’ I have read the story of  the first miracle attributed to Jesus at a wedding at Cana in Galilee where, it is written, he changed water into wine.

Jesus, his mother and the disciples were invited to a wedding in Cana. During the wedding feast, the host ran out of wine so Jesus’ mother came to Jesus and told him there was no more wine to drink. Jesus replied ” woman, what has this to do with me? my hour has not yet come.”

However, Jesus’ mother told the servants of the household to do whatever Jesus asked of them. Jesus then asked the servants to fill six twenty to thirty gallon stone water jars with water. After this was done, Jesus asked a servant to draw some water from one of the jars and take it to the host in charge of the festivities.

The servant did as he was asked and offered the water to the host who tasted it and found it to be fine wine. The host then called the bridegroom and said “everybody sets out the fine wine first and then, when the guests are intoxicated, serve the cheap wine but you are serving the fine wine last.”

It is not known how many guests were at the wedding celebration but there was now an extra 120 to 180 gallons of wine available for the guests to drink. Whichever way one looks at it, this was a lot of booze to get through in one day.

We all know that alcohol abuse has been a curse for mankind from the very beginning and has been responsible for ruining may lives, causing many deaths and is a big factor in domestic violence against women.

Because of this, it is difficult to understand why God would allow Jesus to turn water into wine so that people can become intoxicated, misbehave and make fools of themselves.

We also know that fresh water is the life blood of the plants and animals (including Human beings) that live on land and without it, life on Earth would not be be as we know it today. Therefore, fresh water has to be the greatest gift God gave to Planet Earth. So why would God allow the water of life to be turned into the ‘demon drink?’

But Jesus’ use of wine did not end there. It is written that, during his last supper with the disciples, Jesus likened and compered his own blood to wine and encouraged his disciples to drink it in his memory. Why would anyone (let alone the Son of God) compare their blood to an alcoholic beverage.

It doesn’t make any sense.

aquarianmist

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