Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


John the Baptist - the Real Messiah? 

Jesus Christ, according to the gospels, claimed to be the Messiah. The Messiah, meaning anointed one, was believed to be the true king of the Jews. The Jewish Bible finished with a prophecy saying that Elijah is to come back before the great and terrible day of the Lord. Elijah was a prophet who was called up into Heaven and who ascended on a chariot of fire. The Jews believed he was to return. Jesus said that this prophecy was fulfilled in the coming of John the Baptist. Nothing in the Bible denies that this was a second incarnation of Elijah. It would be different from reincarnation where you die and return in another body but maybe Elijah was simply put back into embryonic state and implanted in the mother of John the Baptist. The Bible does speak of the birth of John as miraculous.

 

John fits the prophecy best that somebody would be struck and the sheep scattered.  He fits Isaiah 53 with a suffering servant who is then exalted in Heaven,  Jesus had to distort a prophecy from Malachi about the supreme servant of God coming before the Lord to his Temple.  Jesus made it about the coming of the person coming to prepare for Messiah when it really refers to Messiah himself.  Unlike Jesus John fits the person with priestly blood in Zechariah who is wounded by is enemies.
 
Unlike Jesus, we do have testimony outside the Bible that John the Baptist existed. John is talked about by the first century historian Josephus.
 
Incredibly the Bible Jesus himself says that John is the true Son of God. This contradicts the Christian lie that Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah.
 
This is the evidence that John was the Messiah not Jesus who was a fake having leapt on to Johnís bandwagon.
 
Anybody who was baptised by John the Baptist became Johnís disciple.  John emphasised the rite too much for it to be anything other than an initiation rite.  Jesus was baptised by John in the Jordan. So by accepting baptism, Jesus was declaring to John that he was learning from him and not vice versa. The Gospel of Mark says John baptised Jesus. So does the Gospel of Matthew. Luke merely says Jesus was baptised but doesn't say by whom. Also it seems from Luke 3:19-21 that John was already imprisoned so he couldn't have baptised Jesus. John refuses to state that John baptised Jesus. The later gospels seek to sever Jesus and John as much as they can. They want to engage in revisionism with regard to the first two gospels.
 
They asked him what he was baptising people for in water if he was not the Christ (John 1:25). He replies that one among them will baptise not with water but with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
 
So the Messiah was expected to be a baptiser and John agreed with that. The John gospel says that Jesus didnít baptise (4:2). The spiritualising of the baptism Jesus does by the Baptist shows that the gospel is hiding something here. If John believed the Messiah baptises and the Messiah doesnít baptise in water but gives a baptism nobody can see then anybody can be the Messiah! John would not have been that naÔve.
 
When John believed in a baptising Messiah and Jesus didnít baptise then John didnít recognise him as the Messiah. John may have felt that he was the Messiah himself.
 
Despite what the lying gospel of John says, John was not that confident that Jesus was the Messiah. John sent his disciples to Jesus to ask him if he was the Messiah (Matthew 11). John knew that if Jesus wasnít telling people he was the Messiah openly it would be wrong and sinful to ask him. So there is no doubt that John did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah.
 
Jesus replied to that question that the disciples were to tell John about Jesusí powers of healing and his preaching of the gospel. Then he added, that happy was the man who took no offence at him and found no stumbling block in him. Evidently he knew that the Baptist didnít believe he was the Messiah.
 
John would have heard of the healings and the gospel. So why would Jesus send disciples to tell him things he already knew? Jesus didnít really answer Johnís question either. He was being vague. When Jesus couldnít trust John to tell him that he was the Messiah then neither Jesus or John thought Jesus was the Messiah. Telling John about the healings and the gospel hints that Jesus was being sarcastic and looking to put John down for John never did miracles. Why else tell anybody what they know?
 
We are told that Johnís disciples buried John. We must remember that if Jesus could really raise people from the dead or was thought to have this power, Johnís disciples would not have been given the body in case a resurrection hoax would be carried out - or even a real resurrection - which would start up the trouble that Herod hoped to avoid in jailing John in the first place. John back from the dead or being alleged to be would mean the kingís relationship with Herodias would be under the condescending spotlight again. The body of John would have been kept safe and produced if any rumours about a resurrection emerged. If John and his disciples had really recognised Jesus as anybody important then why didnít John arrange for his body to be brought to Jesus so that he could raise him from the dead? Why didn't a delegation of followers of John go to Jesus and ask him to do it?
 
Christians will say that John was not the Son of God or Messiah for he failed to rise again from the dead. That John didnít rise again yet, doesnít prove a thing for the Bible never predicts that the Messiah will rise from the dead at any time different to anybody else. It actually proves he was a better candidate for being the prophet than Jesus ever was. A prophet who dies and doesnít rise is more of a martyr than one that does both.
 
Matthew says that the righteous dead rose at the time Jesus rose and appeared to many. Jesus was thought to be John the Baptist raised up from the dead. Do these reflect a tradition that John rose again after his death? Was the apparition of John the Baptist mistaken for an apparition of Jesus? Did John appear to Jesusí disciples and did they lie saying it was Jesus they saw? Though I dismiss the Christian claim that the disciples must really have seen a resurrected being when they died for their faith, lets pretend for a moment it is as simple as that. They might have seen a resurrected being but might have lied that it was Jesus Christ they saw. Then they would still die for their faith in the resurrection believing that death was not the end. John appealed to Bible prophecy so his disciples when he died would have looked for evidence in it that John was to die. It is impossible to believe that some of them didnít come to think that Johnís death was somehow for our salvation. They would then have called him Saviour and the name Jesus means Saviour. Are the stories about Jesus often reminisces about John the Saviour incubated in oral tradition?
 
Jesus was never anointed with oil to become the anointed one or Messiah. John may have been anointed as priestís son. There is a cave, the Suba cave, that seems to be linked with him at which anointings as well as baptisms took place.
 
Finally, we are more sure John existed than Jesus so Jesus even on that score alone must not be considered to be the subject of these Bible prophecies. The epistles of the New Testament give clear proof that the Jesus story as reported by the gospels never happened.
 
The followers of Christ were the ones that murdered John. Somehow they got to him and cut off his head. Herod of course was thought by everyone to have sent his executioner. Why else would the gospels tell a far fetched story to explain how Herod came to be forced to kill John? They said that Herod promised the daughter of Herodias half his kingdom if she would dance for him and when she went for her prize she asked for the head of the Baptist because her mother urged her to. The girl would not have done that. She would have taken half the kingdom despite her mother. Or she would have taken the part of the kingdom where John was imprisoned. The mother would have had the commonsense to urge her to do the latter. Then John could be destroyed as she pleased.  The gospels lied absurdly and outrageously about the circumstances of Johnís death. They knew their Jesus wanted rid of him. That they made up the story shows that they were under suspicion. I believe that it was apparitions of the ďrisenĒ Jesus that started the Christian faith off. There is no reason to believe these visions only started when the gospels say. If Jesus was unknown as a man and rose after being three days dead centuries before he could appear whenever he wanted.
 
John had to be destroyed for being a rival Messiah to Jesus. Since the Jesus of the apparitions and the gospels agree that the prophecy of Daniel that the Messiah was here had fulfilled itself they must have thought this Messiah was John.
 
Josephus has John the Baptist dying about 36 AD. The huge problem with this is that it flatly and completely contradicts the gospels. The gospels have Jesus being crucified about 33 AD. And they say John died before 33 AD. Herod Antipas married the wife of his brother Herod Philip after the death of this brother in 34 AD. The gospels say that John the Baptist condemned Herod Antipas for this marriage so this detail from the gospels backs up the year of Johnís death given by Josephus. John did not die before Jesus.
 
Christians however prefer to say Josephus was the one that was wrong and the gospels were right. They have no evidence for this but they just assume it for they donít want to admit their religion can be wrong. Josephus should be regarded as more reliable firstly because he was a professional historian and the gospellers didnít claim to be professional historians. Josephus used records and we know he knew Jewish history well. We canít say these things about the gospellers.
 
When the gospels lied that Jesus was alive when John died perhaps they lied about his entire connection to John. John may never have heard of him. They lied either because Jesus never existed and they wanted it to look like he did or because they wanted to take the crown of Messiah ship from the Baptist and give it to Jesus instead. They wanted to fake evidence that John looked up to Jesus and approved his mission. So a reason for the lie could have been the need to make it look like Jesus lived. ďThis man never lived but we have to make sure it looks as if he did for its over for us if people realise he was a fiction. So we will pin a murder on him for nobody would believe that we would do that to somebody we were making up. We wonít pin it on him too blatantly for we can Ďt make it too obvious.Ē
 
Have we lost Johnís teaching? If you study the gospels, you will see that Johnís teaching was in similar tone to the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus. At that time Jesus was not long baptised and at the early stage in the public teaching was teaching what John taught and was a follower of John.
 
In Luke 11 we get Jesus teaching a version of the Lordís Prayer that is shorter than the accepted version. The disciples get Jesus to show them how to pray as Johnís disciples do. Then he teaches them the prayer. John the Baptist made the Lordís Prayer. Jesus then teaches the Sermon on the Mount. Lukeís version must then be considered to be closer to the original teaching of the Baptist. That the disciples of Jesus had to be taught to pray like Johnís disciples shows that there wasnít a lot of interaction between John and Jesusí disciples but still that the disciples regarded John as a reliable teacher and prophet.
 
It is my belief that the teachings of Jesus in the gospels were stolen from the Baptist. A lot of the events described in the gospels were about the Baptist and reedited to make them into stories about Jesus.
 
The faith of the Baptist can be restored today. Based on the Sermon on the Mount and emphasising forgiveness above all things as expressed by baptisms it is a lot better than anything Christianity had to offer. The ideal of giving up worldly delights for peace of heart and so that the poor may have the blessings instead of yourself is a noble one. Where Christianity has done this, it has failed to merit praise because those who live this way still accepted those who didnít. The Baptist avoided hypocrisy by being consistent.
 
A sect to this day called the Mandeans, honours John the Baptist as the true Messiah. They may have taken much rubbish into their theology but they reflect and came from the belief of Johnís disciples that the murdered prophet really was the true Messiah.
 
It is possible that John was not the Messiah but the saviour. This idea does not contradict the Old Testament.

 

HEROD PHILIP?

 

The gospel errs in saying Herodias was married to Herod Philip. It was just Philip. The evidence that Herod Philip was a title like the way Johnny becomes Pius is if he elected pope and that is why he is called Herod is non-existent. Christians assume that just because they donít want to admit a major gospel error. However his brothers Antipas and Archelaus did calls themselves Herod for they wanted to honour how they were part of the dynasty of Herod the Great. There is no evidence then that Philip used the name Herod.
 
Read:
 
The Jesus Dynasty, James D Tabor, Harper-Element, London, 2006