|Maggid ben Yoseif / Jerusalem Torah Voice in Exile|
19 March 2007 / 29 Adar 5767
Family tomb of Jesus resurrects
need to reform Christian doctrine
A tomb located in the 1980s in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem with a view overlooking the Temple Mount, has been identified as the family tomb of Jesus of Nazareth yielding even DNA from the ossuary marked, "Y'shua ben Yoseif" (Jesus, son of Joseph)
The Discovery Channel report by Jewish documentary producer and investigative journalist Simcha Yacovitchi raises many questions about long "suspect" Christian dogma.
Odds favor this tomb as genuine
First it establishes insurmountable odds (more than 300,000 to 1) that the tomb was the final resting place -- before it was disturbed by the Department of Antiquities -- of Maria, mother of Jesus; and two of his brothers listed in the Hebrew New Testament, Hosi and Ya'acov (Jose and James).
Before they were removed to a warehouse in Beit Shemesh, the tomb contained ossuaries (small stone boxes that contain skulls and other bone remains) of these family members ... and two others. One was empty but was inscribed with the name, Yehudah ben Y'shua (Judah son of Jesus), suggesting that Y'shua may have been married and fathered a son. The other contained the bones of "Mariamne," a name associated with Mary of Magdala in a heretofore non-canonical Gospel. (This combination of unusual names found in the same tomb establishes the remarkable odds that the tomb and its ossuaries are genuine or this is the most remarkable hoax ever placed before humanity).
Yacovitchi's reputation without question
The reputation of Yacovitchi as a documentary producer and investigative journalist is without question. He has earlier done exemplary work documenting the regions where the Lost Tribes have been scattered ... except Ephraim, who he was unable to locate, possibly because Ephraim is so intermingled and grafted into the nations that it has made the task impossible except by broad classifications of DNA haplography. (His research also did not encompass the large semitic Native American population here in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. The Central Band of Cherokee has recently documented mitochondrial DNA that traces to markers in the Galilee, Northern Israel and the Eastern Mediterranean coast).
All blood ties except 'Mariamne'
The DNA taken from the ossuaries shows all to be family relations with blood ties, except the bones from the ossuary marked "Mariamne." The usual conclusion reached when a family tomb shows DNA common to family members except for one person is that this individual was married to someone in the family. However, since the "Judah, son of Jesus" ossuary was found empty there is no hard DNA evidence pointing to a marriage between Jesus and Mary of Magdala. Still, as the special pointed out, Mary of Magadala may have been the "beloved disciple of the master," described in the Gospel of John, and not John himself, ironically, the contention of Leonardo da Vinci as portrayed in the fictional "Da Vinci Code," which also emphasized the humanity of Jesus.
Resurrection of the Dead not challenged
The absence of bones in the Y'shua ben Yoseif (Jesus son of Joseph) ossurary first gives credence to the Christian doctrine taken from the New Testament of the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This was and always has been the doctrine essential to Christian belief before the Church added things like Trinity and the deity of Jesus. The DNA recovered came from fibers of a burial shroud that once lay in the ossuary, according to the documentary evidence.
But the documentary also heavily emphasizes the humanity of Jesus of Nazareth; that he was born and died a Jew, that he was married as was the custom for rabbis of that period and may have even had a son.
Atonement as a tzadik
This raises a question about whether he could have accomplished his mission of atoning for the assimilation of Israel and re-instituting covenant between Hashem and the Lost Tribes of Israel to which he stated in his own words he was sent exclusively ... as a tzadik or righteous man.
Since the Torah tells us that God is neither "a man" nor a "son of man," this question of deity always has been suspect by those followers of Y'shua who also observe the Torah of Moses. So it is not permitted to attach "Deity" to his act of reconciliation as a mediator between Hashem and the House of Israel. How can a simple man -- a tzadik -- reconcile a people who God had Scattered to the Four Winds? Stripped them of His Mercy? And declared "You are Not Mine and I am Not Yours? See The Disputations.
The choice of Passover links covenant to Sinai
By choosing the time of the Passover to initiate a renewed covenant with assimilated Israel, Y'shua placed the elements of his covenant -- his own body and his own blood -- in parallel with the pronouncements of Moses at Sinai: "Behold the blood of the covenant" after reading the "body" or Book of the Covenant. Passover was a natural time of renewing the covenant. (See related stories in this newsletter).
This understanding of the parallels between the statements of Jesus about the "blood of the covenant" and his own body representing a broken Book of the Covenant, seen with the light of Torah, obligate the Church politic to rethink dogma such as "trans-substantiation," the perpetual virginity of Maria, mother of Jesus (mother of God), the deity of Jesus, and even the doctrine of original sin.
'son of God' as a concept of Halachah
As Luke 1-2 make clear, the prophesies about Y'shua before his birth and at his infancy relate to him reconciling the non-Jewish "My People Israel." Scattered and without mercy and with no way for God Himself to reach them because of His Own decree, one who had to be "called" the "son of God" came as a man in the flesh. If this "title" were to be examined in the light of the Halachah which Y'shua commanded his followers to observe, it would relate to the relationship between a father and a son and the prohibitions, for instance of a father and son having the same woman. Since the covenant at Sinai borrows the language of engagement and not consummation, and the House of Israel was unfaithful even at that stage, "she" was put away and therefore available as the mystical "bride" for "one who would be called the son of God," as the New Testament words this. This because of the precedent set by the consummation by the father, Judah, of his son's (Shelah) intended Tamar. The Halachah says "either but not both." Thus as decreed by the Prophet Jeremiah, God would be "Father" to the House of Israel that would recovenant with Him.
Church, your Gospel is not complete
The Gospel ABOUT Jesus "Christ" (emphasis on Deity), would appear to be a different Gospel than the Gospel preached by the anointed tzaddik Y'shua of Nazareth. Or perhaps a better way to say this is that the Gospel ABOUT Jesus Christ is incomplete.
Both Gospels include the necessity of a resurrection from the dead, but the former attaches "Deity" to this resurrection, while the more balanced position is to believe in him (as a tzadik) and in the One Who sent him, Hashem. This is because the bodily remains of a true tzadik, according to the writings of sages of the Torah will not experience "corruption." In Joseph's case, he was mummified. The ultimate proof of no corruption would be bodily resurrection and ascencion, thus the mainstay doctrine of Christianity, around which all the excesses have been built.
Y'shua's last words
In his own last words between his bodily resurrection and before his final ascension, Y'shua gave a remez (association with an earlier mention in the Torah and Tanach) of Good News. "Will you at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel," he was asked by his Jewish followers, who knew this to be a duty of the true anointed servant of Isaiah 49:6-8.
This Gospel, Y'shua answered, would be preached in God's sweet timing with the power and anointing of the Spirit "first in Jerusalem, then in Judea-Samaria and finally in the uttermost parts of the world. (Acts 1:6-8). The very use of "Judea-Samaria" implies the unresolved conflict between the long-exiled House of Joseph who was associated with the Shomron (Samaria) and the House of Judah in Judea. Unresolved, because Judah also was exiled at the time Rome destroyed the Jerusalem Temple. (The enmity and vexation between these two families of Jacob has never been reconciled, as evidenced by my personal imprisonment the morning after simply presenting a few more relevant of these insights at a meeting of the Brit-Am organization where I was invited to speak).
Y'shua's mission and Christian evangelism
Y'shua's mission and the mission of all of his followers once they understand the purpose of the Gospel in this historical and exegetical context, is to "raise up the tribes of Jacob and restore the preserved of Israel." (Isaiah 49:6-8). Ironically, because the House of Joseph through the mass assimilation of Ephraim and the hordes of M'nashe comprises much of this "preserved" of Israel, this Gospel should be preached to Gentiles. But not Jews, who represented the "well" without need of a physician, and the loyal son as opposed to the wayward prodigal in Y'shua's parables.
Other promises in the Prophets relate that God never removed his mercy from the House of Judah. This means Christian evangelism targeted at Jews (who have a direct pipeline of Mercy to Hashem because of His promise to King David) also must be rethought. Unless and until the message includes the return to Torah, the Church robs the spirituality of the Jewish people, which is to be based solely on their observance of the Torah. At the same time, we do not deny the spiritual benefits and giftings of the Spirit made available to anyone who covenants with God through belief in his (Y'shua's) resurrection and ascension. We note especially the "indwelling Spirit" exclusive to the followers of Y'shua -- in whom there is neither Jew nor Greek -- and Joseph in the Torah.
How deep is the rabbit hole?
As a mokhiah, we have a responsibility to approach every controversy with strict exegesis or expounding of the content of a text within its context. The advice of Dr. Howard Erwin, considered to be the dean of "Old Testament" theologians among Charismatic Christians, drove home one point repeatedly during our seminary years at the ORU Graduate School of Theology: "Your theology is no better than your exegesis and it had better be prayed."
The Church politic has much greater concerns and issues with which to deal than these petty and divisive disagreements over doctrine. Yet, with the simple paradigm that the Torah of Moses (which preceded Christian and Moslem religious texts), should be the foundation by which to understand and validate other religious writings, many textual issues are resolved. However, if they are intellectually honest, theologians will admit that the rabbit hole goes much deeper than most theologians, much less Christian laity, appear willing to descend.
The Sumerian texts and Zechariah Sitchin
Over the past six years since returning from Israel, Hashem has directed us to read every word of the writings of Zechariah Sitchin and his six volumes of Earth Chronicles. He is the world's sole authority on the ancient Sumerian texts, which include earlier accounts of the flood of Noah and records of genetic improvement of the existing primate population on planet Earth by extra-terrestrials. Archaeological evidence which he presents supports the records of this early Earth population to mine gold and silver and copper for the ET's who Sitchin claims the Sumerian texts identify as "elohim" (Hebrew "gods" or more accurately, "lords" over humans).
The wealth of understanding about our universe and especially our solar system, which later became a Babylonian preoccupation, originated with the Sumerians. Sitchin's translations relate 12 planets and explain the asteroid belt and the huge gaping hole in the Pacific and many other Earth mysteries. But he also raises questions. Is it possible that the agents of the Creator to bring Adam and Chavah (Eve) to life were genetic engineers from another planet? Who would this then define as "God?"
From whence come the 'gods'?
Such mysteries and ponderings need not be stumbling blocks to one's faith in a single Creator or Creative force. Every act of a "creator" (note lowercase) recorded in the Sumerian texts involves DNA manipulation and other natural resources created by The Creator. Even if we -- earthlings -- were created by the ETs, "En and Enlil," as Sitchin contends, En and Enlil are beholding to the Creator who created them and were simply the Creator's means to accomplish His will, re: the people from whom Abraham would hail. But the pre-Adamic existence of some of these "alien civilizations" seem to indicate that Creator wanted to abolish their memory, since they had earlier been worshipped as "gods."
Dogmatic defense or letting go
The Church can choose to dig in and defend its dogma and miss its opportunity to rejoin the mainstream of Hashem's covenant from which the assimilation of Israel was severed before its exile. Or it can let go of these divisive and self-serving doctrines, which are stumbling blocks to its ultimate purpose ... to spread the Gospel Jesus said would be preached in the Last Days; that of the Restoration of the Kingdom to Israel, mandating the reunion and reconciliation of the houses of Joseph and Judah.
If it chooses to defend, the call will soon be heard for all of the assimilation of Israel yet remaining in the Church and whom Hashem is awakening by His Spirit to "Come out of her, My People."
Maggid ben Yoseif