Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Real and Fairytale "Jesus" (video)

Wisdom Quarterly; Mitch Jeserich ("Letters & Politics," Dec. 24, 2013, KPFA.org, Berkeley), Dr. Reza Aslan (rezaaslan.com, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth)
Fox News' Lauren Green attacks historian Prof. Reza Aslan, Ph.D., why a former Christian and current Muslim would write about Jesus. It's reactionary, Islamophobic FOX "News" at its best.

BESTSELLER: Zealot (amazon.com)
Religious scholar Dr. Reza Aslan has discusses his fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography about the historical Jesus [Yah'shua].

It calls into question everything Westerners in Judeo-Christian societies thought we knew about Jesus of Nazareth.
Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher (rabbi) and miracle worker [siddha] walked across the Galilee, gathering followers [as an anti-imperial rebel like many modern Palestinians] to establish what he called the “Kingdom of God.” 

Good St. Issa as a bodhisattva
The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to the established order that he was captured, tortured, and executed as a state criminal.
Two decades after his shameful death, his followers would call him God. 
Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Dr. Aslan sheds new light on one of history’s most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor. 
Jesus became a Pagan Roman god
Scores of Jewish prophets, preachers, and would-be messiahs [which always simply meant someone aiming to save Jews from Roman rule] traipsed through the Holy Land, bearing messages from God. 
This is the age of zealotry -- a fervent nationalism that made resistance to the Roman occupation a sacred duty incumbent on all Jews. And few figures better exemplified this principle than the charismatic Galilean who defied both the imperial authorities and their allies in the Jewish religious hierarchy.
Fairytale: white savior like Thor
Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against the historical sources, Dr. Aslan explores this diverse and turbulent age and, in doing so, challenges the conventional portraits of Jesus of Nazareth. He describes a man full of conviction and passion, yet rife with contradiction:
  • a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves with swords;
  • an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity a secret;
  • and ultimately, the seditious “King of the Jews” whose promise of liberation from Rome went unfulfilled in his brief lifetime.
Aslan explores the reasons why the early Christian church preferred to promulgate an image of Jesus as a peaceful spiritual teacher rather than a politically conscious revolutionary.
  • [Biblical scholar Allegro points out that the Jesus cover-story came from an entheogen-using Jewish cult, possibly the Essenes, whose sacrament and "cross" was the magic mushroom. It provided them direct mystical experiences. The BBC documents that Jesus was a Buddhist monk. He returned from 18 lost years in India with long hair to continue his rebel and messianic activities to free the Jews.]
Vishnu, I'm going back to Palestine. - Good luck.
And he grapples with the riddle of how Jesus understood himself (as a Jew, a "messiah," a "god," and a man), the mystery that is at the heart of all subsequent claims about his divinity.

Zealot questions what we thought we knew about Jesus of Nazareth -- even as it affirms the radical and transformative nature of his life and mission. The result is a thought-provoking, elegantly written biography with the pulse of a fast-paced novel: a singularly brilliant portrait of a man, a time, and the birth of a religion.
“Riveting...Aslan synthesizes Scripture and scholarship to create an original account.”
—The  New Yorker
“A lucid, intelligent page-turner.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Fascinatingly and convincingly drawn.”
—The Seattle Times
“[Aslan’s] literary talent is as essential to the effect of Zealot as are his scholarly and journalistic chops. . . . A vivid, persuasive portrait.”
“This tough-minded, deeply political book does full justice to the real Jesus, and honors him in the process.”
—San Francisco Chronicle

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