Apollonius of Tyana Equated with Both Paul and Jesus
We must always keep in mind that the scriptural accounts are the works of the authors and do not necessarily reperesent true events. Hence it would be possible for the author, especially if that person were Paul himself, to have twisted the truth. Hence, the story of the savior's youth is taken from accounts from either the life of Yeshai and his sibling John, or the Essene Teacher, but all the events starting with the baptism of Jesus represent events from the life of Paul or Apollonius. While Paul makes claims of a miraculous baptism on the road to Damascus, those events are strongly contradicted by the Gnostic Mandaeans: "The Jordan in which Messiah Paulis was baptized, have I made into a 'trough.' The bread which Messiah Paulis receives, have I made into a 'sacrament.' The drink which Messiah Paulis receives, have I made into a 'supper.' The head-band which Messiah Paulis receives, have I made into a 'priest-hood.' The staff which Messiah Paulis receives, have I made into a 'dung [-stick]."--"Gnostic John the Baptizer." While Paulis, the Latin form of Apollos, probably refers to Paul, Lorsback informs us that it is the equivalent of a Persian word Paulus meaning 'Deceiver.' Hence it may simply mean Messiah Deceiver. While most readers may think that Messiah Deceiver refers to Jesus, it may actually refer to Paul. Therefore, it is also possible that there was no Paul and that the name Paul derived from similar epithets made by the Nazoreans towards Jesus. Although the Judean Pharisee would not have considered these people to have been Jewish, it is clear that the Romans considered everyone living in that region, including Arabs, to have been Jewish.
"But in the time of our own ancestors, during the reign of Nero, there flourished Apollonius of Tyana, who from mere boyhood when he became the priest in Aegae of Cilicia of Asclepius, the lover of mankind, worked any number of miracles, of which I will omit the greater number, and only mention a few." Then he begins at the beginning and enumerates the" wonders worked by Apollonius, after which he continues in the following words: " What then is my reason for mentioning these facts? It was in order that you may be able to contrast our own accurate and well-established judgment on each point, with the easy credulity of the Christians. For whereas we reckon him who wrought such feats not a god, but only a man pleasing to the gods, they on the strength of a few miracles proclaim
their Jesus a god." To this he adds after a little more the following remark: "And this point is also worth noticing, that whereas the tales of Jesus have been vamped up by Peter and Paul and a few others of the kind,--men who were liars and devoid of education and wizards, --the history of Apollonius was written by Maximus of Aegae, and by Damis the philosopher who lived constantly with him. and by Philostratus of Athens, men of the highest education, who out of respect for the truth and their love of mankind determined to give the publicity they deserved to the actions of a man at once noble and a friend of the gods." These are the very words used by Hierocles in his treatise against us which he has entitled " Lover of Truth."--Eusebius "Against the Life of Apollonius" You can find the full treatise at "Against the Life of Apollonius". At the very time that Eusebius was writing this treatise, his Christian cohorts were busy burning any reference to Apollonius that they could find. What was it about Apollonius that they the Church were so afraid of?
In the Arab world, there were numerous reports of Jesus having been seen in Damascus and other Middle Eastern locations after the crucifixion. In Islam, Jesus is considered a prophet, it is mentioned that someone else was crucified in his place. Persian historian Mir Kawand, states that a site close to Damascus is called Maqam-Isa or Mayuam-i-isa, which means "the place where Jesus lived." The Talmud of Jmmanuel (Jesus) concurs, stating that Jesus went there following his final meeting with his Apostles and stayed there for two years, which includes the time that Paul had his conversion on the road to Damascus. Other historians record that Jesus, Mary and Thomas (Judas-Thomas, presumably) having traveled to Nisibis (Nasibain) near Edessa, now Urfa in southeast Turkey just north of Syria, where Jesus preached to the king. In 1417 Mir Muhammad bin Khawand Shah Ibn-i-Muhammad, also known as Mir Khawand bin Badshah, wrote of the journey of Jesus away from the Jerusalem area to Nisibis. In the former, Jesus and Mary first go to Syria; in the latter, they and Thomas have some confrontations with the king of Nisibis.
In some Muslim writings Jesus is referred to as Yuz Asaf. The meaning and derivation of the name is uncertain. "Yuz" is thought by some to mean either "Jesus" or "leader," and "Asaf" to refer to those he cured of leprosy. Thus one interpretation is that Yuz Asaf means "leader of those he cured of leprosy." It is obvious that after the crucifixion Jesus would have remained incognito.
In Iranian traditions recounted by Agha Mustafai, it is said that Yuz Asaf came there from the west and preached, causing many to believe in him. His teachings are said to have been similar to those of Jesus. However, if he had taught reincarnation, one would not expect that his surmised teachings on that subject would have been carried along by Muslim writers anymore than by Christian writers, since Islam also does not embrace the concept of reincarnation. Among the Nazoreans ressurection did not mean coming back from the dead, but reincarnation.
Now, according to the Christian scriptures Jesus died was resurrected and ascended. There is no mention of his having visited any of these places. However, it is noted that Paul was in Damascus shortly after the crucifixion. It is also noted that Apollonius revisited Jerusalem c 35 CE before embarking on his first trip to Taxila, c 36-38 CE, which is located in Punjab to the west of present day Islamabad. "And while he thus spake and thought, it chanced that there was there a certain merchant come from India whose name was Abbanes, sent from the King Gundaphorus and having commandment from him to buy a carpenter and bring him unto him."--Acts of Thomas 2. This person origianlly associated with Gondophares I, who lived at the end of the first century BCE, is now believed to have been Gondophares-Sases. There is a similar reference to a visit to this region by Apollonius of Tyana where, at about the same time, he meets with King Phraotes which was the Parthian name for Gondophares.
"...it is a remarkable, if not a suspicious circumstance that should not be passed unnoticed, that several Christian writers, while they recount a long list of miracles and remarkable incidents in the life of this Cappadocian Savior (Apollonius), extending through his whole life, and forming a parallel to similar incidents of the Christian Savior, not a word is said about his crucifixion."--Kersey Graves, "The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors"
While Christians have long claimed that Jesus was the one and only true resurrected crucified savior, antiquity reveals that there were a whole host of such savior figures. Christians believe that Jesus' miracles were performed through God, and that the miracles of the others were the work of the devil. However, to followers of Mithras or Osiris it would be their deeds that were the act of God and Jesus' the act of the devil. The only difference in all of these religions is belief.
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