Simon the Magician
"But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the Apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the Apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money."--Acts 8:9-20
"For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:"--1Corinthians 12:8-10. Here Paul mentions the very same spiritual gifts that Simon was seeking to obtain from the Apostle Philip.
What we know about Simon Magus comes from the book of Acts, the pseudo Clementines and the patristic writings of Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Hippolytus of Rome, Epiphanius of Salamis, apocryphal Acts of Peter, early Clementine literature, and the Epistle of the Apostles. Except for a few fragments of works either penned by him or his followers called the 'Apophasis Megale', or 'Great Declaration.' He is also believed to have written several treatises called 'The Four Quarters of the World' and 'The Sermons of the Refuter,' but are lost to us today. It is here that we find out that Simon is a latter day pagan competitor of Jesus, preaching in Samaria, who seeks to purchase from Peter the powers of the Holy Spirit.
The claim made in Acts, that Simon tried to purchase the power of the Holy Ghost from the Apostles represents the competing claims made during the formative years of the Christian Church by various factions. It was strongly refuted in the Clementines, 'Acts of Peter,' a late second century composition of the Jewish Christians. According to them: "He can make himself visible or invisible at will, can pass through rocks as if they were clay, throw himself down from a mountain unhurt, loose himself when bound; he can animate statues, make trees spring up; he can throw himself into the fire without harm, can appear with two faces: "I shall change myself into a sheep or a goat. I shall make a beard to grow upon little boys. I shall ascend by flight into the air, I shall exhibit abundance of gold. I shall make and unmake kings. I shall be worshipped as God, I shall have divine honors publicly assigned to me, so that an image of me shall be set up, and I shall be adored as God."--Recognitions 2.9. 'Recognitions' and the 'Homilies' are 2 different editions of similar content. "When I was about twenty years of age I knew Apollonius of Tyana. I met him at Smyrna, where I listened to his teaching, and became a proselyte to some of his ideas, but not to all of them. "While he delivered his discourses he underwent that wondrous phenomenon of modern times, transfiguration of face and form, as it is described to have occurred with the so-called Jesus Christ. Rays went out from his garments, and his face. It became so bright that the eye could not endure it."----J.M. Roberts, "Antiquity Unveiled", Testimony of Rabbi Akiba, late first, early second century rabbi.
According to 'Recognitions, Book II, Chapter VII, Simon was born in the Samaritan town of Gettones (Gitta) to parents Antonius and Rachel, this passage is symbolic as the Antonius in question was the real son of Mark Antony and Rachel stands for the mother of Joseph of the 12 tribes. This is very interesting since Joseph was the son of Jacob and Rachel and the lineage of Jesus is Jacob begat Joseph who begat Jesus. To the Samaritans, Jacob was to them what Abraham was to the Jews. In other words we are talking about an individual who had lineage akin to that of Jesus and had dual citizenship like Saul the Jew and Paul the Roman. He grew up in the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria and was educated in Greek literature. Indeed, everything that we know about Simon Magus comes not from the first, but the second century, including the verses from Acts. He believed himself to be an exalted power above God the Creator. "And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John."--Acts 18:24,25. In the words of nineteenth century German theologian, philosopher, Bruno Bauer, the author of Mark's gospel was "an Italian, at home both in Rome and Alexandria."
"Only from Alexandrian Gnosticism, or, as Reizenstein (l.c. pp. 25-26; comp. pp. 278, 285) convincingly shows, only from pagan pantheism, could he have derived the idea of the "pleroma," "the fulness" of the Godhead dwelling in Christ as the head of all principality and power, as him who is before all things and in whom all things consist (Col. i. 15-19, ii. 9)."--Jewish Encyclopedia. "Even before he arrived Alexandria was in love with him, and its inhabitants longed to see Apollonius with the unique devotion of one friend for another; and as the people of Upper Egypt are intensely religious they too prayed him to visit their several societies."--"The Life of Apollonius, Book 5, Chapter XXIV" Flavius Philostratus. In the autumn of 69 CE, after it had dawned on him that he could actually become the emperor of Rome, Vespasian left the ongoing seige of Jerusalem in the hands of his son Titus and personally went to consult with Apollonius who was staying in Alexandria, Egypt. "Is the man of Tyana living here?" "Yes," they replied, "and he has much improved us thereby." "Can he then be induced to give us an interview?" said the emperor. "For I am very much in want of him." "He will meet you," said Dion, "at the temple, for he admitted as much to me when I was on my way here." "Let us go on," said the king, "at once to offer our prayers to the gods, and to meet so noble a man." "Do thou make me king." And he (Apollonius) answered: "I have done so already, for I have already offered a prayer for a king who should be just and noble and temperate, endowed with the wisdom of grey hairs, and the father of legitimate sons; and surely in my prayer I was asking from the gods for none other but thyself." The emperor was delighted with this answer, for the crowd too in the temple shouted their agreement with it."--"The Life of Apollonius," Flavius Philostratus.
Now, there exists this strange encounter which is documented in the "Histories" of Tacitus: "This deepened Vespasian's desire to visit the holy house of Serapis, for he wished to consult the god on matters of state. He had everyone else excluded from the temple, and went in alone, fixing his mind on the deity. Happening to glance round, he caught sight of a leading Egyptian named Basilides standing behind him. Now he knew that this man was detained by illness far from Alexandria at a place several days' journey distant. He inquired of the priests whether Basilides had entered the temple that day. He also inquired of those he met whether he had been seen in the city. Finally he sent off a party on horse, and ascertained that at the relevant time he had been eighty miles away. Thereupon he guessed that it was the god whom he had seen and that the reply to his query lay in the meaning of the name Basilides. [Greek - Basilides = King's son]"--"Histories 4:82," Cornelius Tacitus. The earliest extant version of the writings of Tacitus date only from the eleventh century and were under the control of the Catholic Church. What is so odd about this paragraph is the fact that this is precisely the type of occurrence you would expect from Apollonius, and besides the Gnostic Basilides probably had not even been born at the time that this incident was purported to have occurred. It seems that the source of this information were the writings of Basilides and the character involved was not Basilides. The reason that this information has to have been forged is the fact that Tacitus died c 117 CE or the approximate time when Basildes first rose to prominence. So, it would have been impossible for Tacitus himself to have garnered this information from the works of Basilides. Hence, this has to be a latter day Christian forgery.
Could this be a latter day Christian interpolation of the event covered by Philostratus with the name Apollonius, who had fallen into disrespect by the Church, expunged and replaced by that of the somewhat less objectionalbe Basilides. Suetoius also makes mention of this incident. This event must have happened as it is also mentioned by Suetonius."So Vespasian began a new civil war; having sent troops ahead to Italy, he crossed into Africa and occupied Alexandria, the key to Egypt. There he dismissed his servants and entered the Temple of Serapis, alone, to consult the auspices and discover how long he would last as emperor. After many propitiatory sacrifices he turned to go, but was granted a vision of his freedman Basilides handing him the customary branches, garlands and bread - although Basilides had for a long time been nearly crippled by rheumatism and was moreover far away. Almost at once dispatches from Italy brought him news of Vitellus's defeat at Cremona, and his assassination at Rome."--"Life of Vespasian 7", Suetonius. This is precisely what Apollonius' vision in Philostratus said is going to happen. Apollonius was known as the oracle of Vespasian, nowhere does it say that Basildes possessed any special powers. Could it be that Philostratus got his information either from the biography of Damis or even the witings of Tacitus and Suetonius before they had been altered.
"On quitting Egypt, after settling and rejuvenating the country, he invited Apollonius to share his voyage; but the latter declined, on the ground that he had not yet visited or conversed with the naked sages of that land, whose wisdom he was very anxious to compare with that of India. "Nor," he added, "have I drunk of the sources of the Nile." The emperor understood that he was about to set out for Ethiopia and said: "Will you not bear me in mind?" "I will indeed," replied the sage, "if you continue to be a good sovereign and mindful of yourself."--"Life of Apollonius", Chap. XXXVII, Philostratus
The idea here is that the people of Ethiopia were really akin to the people of India and not to the other natives of Africa. They therefore had the same Eastern religious scriptures and beliefs as did the people of India. "...the original or first writings or tablets of man's history, were found in Ethiopia and not in India or Tibet."--J.M. Roberts, "Antiquity Unveiled", Testimony of Herennius
Now, let's piece together what we have just read. The people of Upper Egypt also wanted to see Apollonius. According to Tacitus, when Vespasian arrives at the Temple of Serapis in Alexandria we are told that Apollonius was on a trip several days removed from Alexandria and at that relevant time he was still eighty miles away. The only way that the wishes of the people of Upper Egypt could be known is if Apollonius actually visited them. This would mean that Apollonius had sailed up the Nile, and what is located eighty miles up the Nile? Giza, or the location where the Egyptian pyramids start and the home of the Great Pyramid. Since he had been several days removed from Alexandria then it is likely that he was returning from a journey to further Upper Egypt seeing the historical sites along the way. The following video link highlights just some of the things that Apollonius would have just seen before his meeting with Vespasian. Temple of Aset (Isis)
Why is this so important? In ancient times it was well known that Apollonius had authored several religious documents. Since these events occurred in 69 CE this would place Apollonius in Upper Egypt near Giza the year before the Gospel of Mark was written, and would have given him access to the story of Horus which parallels the story of Jesus. So, this would mean that the Christian gospels were indeed plagiarized from Egyptian writings.
This is not the only forged entry in these writings. "Between Judea and Syria lies a mountain called Carmel, which is the name of the local god. Yet traditionally this god boasts neither image nor temple, only an altar and the reverence of its worshippers. Here Vespasian had offered sacrifice when he was turning over in his mind his secret ambitions. The priest Basilides time and again examined the entrails of the victims. Finally he declared; --What ever you are planning, Vespasian - this is granted to you. You shall have a great mansion, far-flung boundaries and a host of people-- This ambiguous statement was immediately pounced upon by gossip, and was now given great publicity. Indeed ordinary people talked of little else. Still more lively was the discussion in Vespasian's immediate circle, for hope is eloquent."--"Histories 2.78," Cornelius Tacitus. Here we have yet another person named Basilides, a different one than in the previous passage, acting as an oracle. Apollonius was the founder of the Nazarene sect and Mt. Carmel, to them, was a holy shrine. According to both Apollonius and Vespasian in "Antiquity Unvelied" it was this very prophesy that caused Vespasian to spare the life of Josephus. Why are these meeting so important? These meetings took place at precisely the time that the Gospel of Mark was supposedly written. From these passages it becomes quite apparent that the Romans not only polluted the scriptures, but they also altered their very own texts to deceive future generations into believing their lies.
Just as Jesus is associated with the purported prostitute Mary Magdalene, Simon had his own consort Helena who he redeemed from a brothel in the Phoenician city of Tyre. He recognized her immediately as the incarnation of Ennoia, His First Thought, the Holy Spirit, the Mother of All. He purchased her from her master and she became his constant companion during his travels and teachings. "To Simon the holy God." And almost all the Samaritans, and a few even of other nations, worship him, and acknowledge him as the first god; and a woman, Helena, who went about with him at that time, and had formerly been a prostitute, they say is the first idea generated by him." Much like Apollonius, Simon was worshipped like a god.
In the pseudo-Clementine stories of Clement's journey to Judea and conversion there is a dispute between Peter and his enemy Simon Magus who clearly serves as a cipher for the 'lawless' Paul. "The most elaborate legendary story is told of him, especially with reference to his contest with Peter, in the Clementine writings, where there is an occasional blending of the character and utterances of Simon Magus with those of Paul."--JE
Simon is also mentioned by Josephus in 'Antiquities' where he helps Bernice convince her sister Drusilla to dump her husband King Azizus of Emesa, who had gotten circumcised to marry her. Here he refers to Simon as a Cypriot, but "Gitta" was often confused with the "Kittim," or Sea Peoples of Cyprus. From the Pauline side of Christianity we have the counterpart of the Peter, Simon Magus confrontation in the Clementines. Here we find in Acts 13:8 Paul confronting the sorcerer Elymas who uses the paternal name bar Jesus which reflects Simon's recent appearance in Judea as Jesus. It seems strange that the author had to choose another name for the sorcerer other than Simon Magus. Could it be that he was all too aware that Paul could not confront himself?
Now, you may be wondering, how could Simon have been Paul, after all Paul was not known to have performed miracles. "Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them."-Acts 15:12, "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:"-Acts 19:11 "He (Apollonius) is mentioned in connection with magical writings, and is called by the Arabs Sahib al-Talismat ("The Author of Talismans"). They attribute to Apollonius "Risalah fi Tat'hir al-RuHaniyyat fi al-Markabat," a work that treats of the influence of pneumatic agencies in the world of sense, and which also deals with talismans."--JE
"Simon Magus first spoke of a putative passion of Christ and blasphemously asserted that it was really he, Simon himself, who underwent these apparent sufferings. 'As the angels governed this world badly because each angel coveted the principality for himself he [Simon] came to improve matters, and was transfigured and rendered like unto the Virtues and Powers and Angels, so that he appeared amongst men as man though he was no man and was believed to have suffered in Judea though he had not suffered' --Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. I, xxiii sqq.
This claim by Simon, in the quote by Irenaeus, is really not so far fetched as we have already shown that according to Barbara Thiering's 'Pesher of Christ,' indeed it was he, Simon, who was at the center of the crucifixion story. She also claimed that both individuals in question were indeed friends for some time. Therefore, it is not so strange that Simon actually considered that it was he, Simon, and not Jesus who had been the expiator of sins.
We find the following written about Apollonius in the Jewish Encyclopedia. "Pythagorean philosopher and necromancer; born about the year 3 B.C.; died, according to some sources, in the thirtyeighth year of his age. In Arabic literature his name is cited in the form 'Balinas' (from the Emerald Table we get the following: 'Truth! Certainty! That in which there is no doubt! That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above, working the miracles of one. As all things were from one. Its father is the Sun and its mother the Moon. The Earth carried it in her belly, and the Wind nourished it in her belly, as Earth which shall become Fire. Feed the Earth from that which is subtle, with the greatest power. It ascends from the Earth to the heaven and becomes ruler over that which is above and that which is below.') or 'Belenus,' (the Celtic sun god and had shrines from Aquileia on the Adriatic to Kirkby Lonsdale in England) which has often been mistaken for 'Pliny.'"--Jewish Encyclopedia. However, according to Apollonius' testimony in "Antiquity Unveiled," he was actually born in 2 CE. If we used his assumed birth year as 3 BCE, we find that he supposedly died at 38 which would be 38 years from the year 1 BCE, there was no year '0'. Since he was supposedly born 3 BCE, this would mean that he was about 38 in 36 CE. This corresponds with the actual year of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as revealed by interpreting the Gnostic texts. If we use his real birth date, 2 CE, we come up with 34 as Apollonius' age at the time of the crucifixion.
"Necromancy; is a form of magic in which the practitioner seeks to summon the spirit of a deceased person, either as an apparition or ghost, or to raise them bodily, for the purpose of divination."--Wikipedia
"Aquila relates Simon's parentage and his Samaritan origin, and declares that he claims to be greater than the God who created the world----'Homilies' 2.22; 'Recognitions' 2.7. The Roman Emperor Domitian charged Apollonius "With wearing garments which differ from those of other men, thereby attracting crowds of boisterous people to the detriment of the good order of the city. Of wearing the hair long and of living not in accord with good society. ...With allowing and encouraging men to call him a god."--Philostratus, 'Life of Apollonius.' According to the Clementina, both Jesus and Simon shared the same teacher, John the Baptist, and it was Simon and not Jesus whom John chose as his successor. "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:"--Matthew 3:11
According to the Simonians, the second century Gnostic adherents of Simon Magus, in the 'pseudo-Cyprian De Rebaptismate' says that on the strength of the words of John, that "we were to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire," the Simonians maintained that the orthodox baptism was a mere form, and that they had the real baptism, for, as soon as their neophytes went down into the water, a fire appeared on it. This idea was taken from the Zorastrians.
According to radical critic Hermann Detering, Simon Magus may be a proxy for Paul of Tarsus, with Paul originally being detested by the church, and the name changed when Paul was rehabilitated by virtue of forged Epistles correcting the genuine ones.
Notably, Simon Magus is sometimes described in apocryphal legends in terms that would fit Paul, most significantly in the previously mentioned Clementine Recognitions and Homilies. It is contended that the common source of these documents may be as early as the 1st century, and must have consisted in a polemic against Paul, emanating from the Jewish side of Christianity. Paul being thus identified with Simon, it was argued that Simon's visit to Rome had no other basis than Paul's presence there, and, further, that the tradition of Peter's residence in Rome rests on the assumed necessity of his resisting the arch-enemy of Judaism there as elsewhere. Thus, the idea of Peter at Rome really originated with the Ebionites, but it was afterwards taken up by the Catholic Church, and then Paul was associated with Peter in opposition to Simon, who had originally been himself.
Although there is little remaining of the teachings of Simon Magus, the little that we do have is nowhere consistent with the writings or the Gnosticism of Paul. While Paul was a mere babe when it came to the subject, Simon was a full blown second century Gnostic living a century before his time. However, according to Beyschlag, the Simon presented in Acts was not a Gnostic, but was turned into a Gnostic, by his disciples the Simonians, by the time of Justin Martyr. According to Justin, Simon arrived on the scene during the reign of Claudius, c 41-54 CE., but most have him arriving on the scene c 35 CE. Quite strangely these dates correspond nicely with both the death of Apollonius in the Jewish Excyclopedia and Apollonius' trips to India, as well as Apollonius' dramatic entry into Jerusalem. "With respect to the Magi, Apollonius has said all there is to be said, how he associated with them and learned some things from them, and taught them others before he went away."--Philostratus, "Life of Apollonius" chap. 26. Could it be that there was no Paul and no Simon Magus, but that Apollonius, who also had acquired all the siddhis attributed to Simon was actually all 3 individuals? Remember, nothing was known of the life of Simon until the mid second century which was almost a full century later. Could it be that Christian apologists intentionally sought to separate Simon from Paul much in the manner that Marcion conflated the lives of Apollonius and Rabbi Elisha to create Paul and later Philostratus wrote his biography to distance Apollonius from Paul.
One common method of hiding people's real identities in the gospel stories was to give a person several different names. This has been noted by Biblical scholars Robert Eisenman and Barbara Thiering from who's pesher the following is derived. It is then up to the reader to put the clues together revealing this person's true identity. In this manner Simon the Cyrene was also Simon the Canaanite, one of the 12 Apostles, and Simon Zelotes or Simon the Zealot is also that same person, as is Simon the Leper, a Samaritan from Canaan. Samaritans were considered 'lepers' by the Orthodox Jews. According to some of the gospel accounts Simon, who is really Simon Magus, is Jesus' close friend Lazarus. According to Luke's 'Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus', Lazarus after living a life of poverty (and leprosy) gains 'Paradise' in 'Abraham's Bosom', while the 'Rich man' is tormented.... 'Abraham's Bosom' was the nickname of cave 4 at Qumran and 'Paradise' was the nickname of cave 7 and or 8. So, Jesus says to the 'Good Thief' (Simon the Cyrene, Simon Magus, Lazarus) "verily I say unto thee, to day shalt thou be with me in paradise."--Luke 23:43. When reading the gospels, we have to keep in mind that these accounts were written decades later, not by some itinerrant Apostles, but by the perpetrator in chief Apollonius (Simon Magus) himself.
It is always difficult to discern what actually happened from what was written. Did Apollonius actually use the names Simon and Apollos or were those identities created by latter day redactors? Was there actually a person named Paul, or did Marcion create Paulus out of the Persian word Paulis used by the Nazoreans which means deceiver? It is quite likely that the authors of the gospels rearranged and edited events to fit their means.
Even though the Clementine's apparently speak admirably about the wonderous powers of Simon/Paul, it is clear from the varying concocted demises that they envisioned for him, in the various renditions, that they abhorred him. Most of the material pertaining to Simon seems to have occurred during the reigns of Agrippa I, Tiberius Alexander and Agrippa II which covered quite a substantial period of time. "Tiberius Julius Alexander was probably born early in the reign of the Emperor Tiberius (14 - 37). His father was Alexander, an Alexandrian Jew who held the office of Alabarch; ... The older Alexander enjoyed Roman citizenship, a rare privilege among the Jews of Alexandria, and therefore passed it to his sons. He also had business connections both with Agrippa, grandson of Herod the Great, and with Antonia, mother of the emperor Claudius. Another prominent member of Tiberius Alexander's family was his uncle, the philosopher Philo."--Wikipedia. When the Church incorporated the writings of Paul into their scriptures, they simply used the name Simon in all those negative Judaeo-Christian references, and Paul for all of their scriptural attributions.
"He was worshipped by many as a god, and seemed to himself to be one; for among the Jews he appeared as the Son [thus identifying himself with Jesus], in Samaria as the Father, and among other peoples as the Holy Ghost"--comp. "Philosophumena," vi. 19; Tertullian, "De Anima," xxxiv.; Epiphanius, "Panarion." xxi. 1; "Acta Petri et Pauli," in Lipsius, "Apocryphische Apostelgeschichten und Apostellegenden," ii., part 1, pp. 30, 301. "According to Basilides, Christ seemed to men to be a man and to have performed miracles. It was not, however, Christ, who suffered but Simon of Cyrenes who was constrained to carry the cross and was mistakenly crucified in Christ's stead. Simon having received Jesus' form, Jesus returned Simon's and thus stood by and laughed. Simon was crucified and Jesus returned to his father"--Irenaeus, Adv. Char., 1, xxiv.
"...for he claims that not Jesus, but Simon of Cyrene was compelled to carry the cross of Christ; for he claims that not Jesus, but Simon of Cyrene has suffered. When the Lord was taken from Jerusalem, as we must conclude from the Gospel, one Simon of Cyrene was compelled to bear the cross. Here he found (an occasion) for his trickery, a way to compose his drama, and he says as follows. As he bore the cross Jesus changed Simon into his own form and himself into Simon, and delivered Simon to crucifixion in his place....It was Simon himself who was crucified, not Jesus."--Epiphanius 'Against Basilides' section 2, 3,2-5. From this passage, it is clear that Basilides, a student of Menander, equates Simon of Cyrene with Simon Magus. Who do you think would know better, the person who was crucified or someone who wrote about the crucifixion a few hundred years later? Keep in mind that all we have about Simon comes from Christian refutations and not the original texts written by Simon which can only be found among the ashes of Christian history.
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." Is Jesus telling everyone in the world to be crucified? The Catholic Church has always maintained that, although there were other gospels written, the four gospels in the New Testament were the most authentic because they were the originals. Once considered the ugly duckling amongst the gospels, Mark moved into the role of the first gospel written during the 18th century. So, following the Church's logic then it would only be natural that the first written of these four gospels would give the most reliable account of the events from the life of Jesus of Nazareth. This being the case, then how can any Christian explain the following: "Now they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear his cross. And they brought him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. Then they gave him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but he did not take it. And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take."--Mark 15:21-24. This pericope clearly states that Jesus did not bear his own cross and that it was Simon and not Jesus who took up the cross and was crucified.
The reference to Alexander and Rufus point to the total inauthenticity and the latter day non Jewish composition of the gospels. Alexander is Tiberius Alexander who was responsible for the crucifixion of James and Simon c 47 CE, while Rufus refers to Terentius Rufus who was responsible for the capture and crucifixion of the Idumean Simon bar Giora at the end of the siege of Jerusalem c 70 CE. Someone recording an on site account of the life and crucifixion of Jesus Christ would never have heard of Alexander and Rufus. This passage also strongly contradicts Acts of the Apostles where it states that James and Simon were crucified in 44 CE by Agrippa I rather than Tiberius Alexander in 47 CE. Both Tertullian and Irenaeus believed that the crucifixion of Jesus took place 22 1/2 years prior to the destruction of the Temple, or c 47 CE. While it is true that others later saw him and mocked him as king of the Jews, it is clear that none of these people would have known Jesus from Simon.
Much of the crucifixion narative in Mark is lifted from the Book of Psalms in particular Psalm 22. "And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take."--Mark 15:24. "They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture."--Psalm 22:18. "And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save."--Mark 15:29-31. " All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him."--Psalm 22:7, 8. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"--Mark 15:34. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"--Psalm 22:1. Christians would call it prophesy, I call it copying. Add to this Jesus' total unfamiliarity with the geography of the land of his birth, and you have reason to believe that this gospel was written by someone outside of Palestine who was not familiar with that country.
This brings us to Jesus ben Ananias or Jesus of Jerusalem who shares quite a number of similarities with Jesus of Nazareth. Both quote the same chapter of Jeremiah 7:11 as related by Josephus and the Gospel of Mark 7:34. Both are arrested by the Jews Mark 14:43, Jewish Wars 6.302. Both are beated by the Jews Mark 14:63, JW 6.302. Both are taken to the Roman governor Pilate in Mark, Albinus in JW. Neither says anything in his defense Mark 15:3-5, JW 6.305. The Roman governor decides to release Jesus in JW 6.30, but not in Mark 15:6-15. Both are killed; by crucifixion by Romans in Mark 15:34, by artillery in JW 6.308, 09. Both utter a lament before they die Mark 15:34, JW 6.309. Both die with a loud cry Mark 15:37, JW 6.309. While it may seem to you that Josephus borrowed from Mark since Jesus of Nazareth died almost 40 years earlier, it must be noted that the Gospel of Mark wasn't written till the time of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Since this would have been recent history for the author of Mark it seems far more likely that Mark borrowed from Josephus rather than the other way around. Since Mark could not have copied from 'War of the Jews' which had at that date still not been written, Josephus must have been involved in its authorship. If Jesus was a real person then he would have had a life of his own. There would be no need to copy elements from other sources to create his life, but alas that is the case.
The references to the crucifixion of Simon may simply be metaphors for the Roman conspirators usurping the gospel of the Essene crucified savior the 'Teacher of Righteousness,' Yeshu (Jesus), and replacing him with their very own crucified savior Simon of Cyrene or Apollonius of Tyana, the necromancer, or whatever name he used. The very nature of these verses indicate that they were not written by a Jew. For further information on the Gospel of Mark you can read Robert G. Price at rationalrevolution.net.
Now, Matthew changes the wording somewhat, but nowhere does he claim that it was Jesus who was crucified. "And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots."--Matthew 27:28-35. Notice that Matthew actually says the same thing as Mark. No matter how you read it, it says that they crucified Simon! Now, the use of the first person pronoun 'my' further indicates that the author of Matthew was indeed the person crucified.
The Gospel of Luke repeats the story of Simon of Cyrene, but makes it more difficult to discern exactly who was crucified. "And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus. And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry? And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots."--Luke 23:26-34
Much in the manner that Mark relied heavily on the Book of Psalms so does Luke have an Old Testament foundation. Luke borrows repeatedly from Mark, and relies heavily on the Books of Kings, so much so that it would be much too time consuming to outline each instance.
This little soliloquy, on the way to the cross, in Luke is extremely odd as neither Mark nor Matthew, both of which were written at least a half century earlier, make no mention of it. A literary comparison of Luke and Marcion's 'Gospel of the Lord' clearly show that, although both are mostly the same, the more elaborate Luke was written after Marcion's gospel which was penned c 140 CE. While Luke's Jesus is a real live person, Marcion's Jesus is an ephemeral character who literally comes down to Capernaum out of heaven. Most Christians are led to believe that Jesus loved the little children of the world which would definitely make him pro life, this passage from Luke, the most Essene of all the gospels, clearly defines Jesus' true renunciant nature. While we know the circumstance of this admonition, we really do not know the context or what drove him to say this. Is this a good circumstance or a bad one? It seems that Jesus is saying that if conditions in Israel continue to deteriorate that it would be better not to be born than to live under those conditions. It may reveal that Jesus was not pro life, since he favored celibacy and was opposed to the carnal world.
Today, most Christian scholars believe that the source for the gospel parables came from a book of Jesus sayings often referred to as the Book of 'Q' or 'Quelle,' which would be similar to the Gospel of Thomas which was written sometime during the mid first century. Therefore, the placement of the parables was at the discretion of the gospel authors and does not reflect a true historical context. The author of Mark, which is void of most of these sayings, seems not to have been in possession of this resource. The Gospel of John offers the reader a somewhat different set of parables and only repeats 4 of those in the Synoptics.
"No stronger proof could be had that Jesus Christ was Apollonius of Tyana, and also St. Paul and St. John, than is set forth in this manuscript."--Testimony of Sigebert Havercamp, "Antiquity Unveiled", J.M. Roberts. Mr. Havercamp was probably one of the last people to have seen the original writings of Damis, which were in the possession of the Societe Biographique, during the 18th century.
The Gospel of John omits the encounter with Simon entirely, leaving little doubt as to who was crucified. This can be a little confusing, which the compilers of the New Testament are quite on board with. Since the John Gospel was written about John and not by John, there was no need for this switch of cross bearers to occur. As I have just demonstrated John was actually Paul or Simon himself. John also offers us these very damning verses, "And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight."--John 19:39. Both aloe (a purgative) and myrrh (antiseptic) are medicinal herbs. Why would anyone bring them to a crypt? The dead do not need medical attention, or could it be as I have suggested some sort of staged magic trick gone awry. "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."--Matthew 12:40 Here in Matthew you have Jesus describing, to his disciples, what was about to happen prior to the crucifixion."Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."--John 20:17. What we have here is Jesus who is still sore from the scourging, but still very much alive telling Mary Magdalene to go and lie to his brethren telling them that he has ascended.
To gain a better understanding of what happened we have to go back to the Pauline Epistles which were written 20 years prior to the gospels. " For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God."--1Corinthians 1:21-24 Now, neither the Jews nor the Greeks believed in the crucifixion/resurrection story, and it was they who were the most likely witnesses of the events that are related in the New Testament. This is an admission that the crucifixion is just a story concocted to acquaint the people, who had no other way of knowing of the existence of G-d, with G-d who is unknowable through wisdom alone. "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."--Romans 8:6,7. This is the crux of Paul's whole argument of salvation through faith. The question remains, however, is it really salvation, or just a means of allaying a person's fear of death? All of the little tidbits that I have set forth here are aspects of the Bible that preachers like to avoid. Paul even goes so far as to tell you that he is deceiving you. "But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile."
In John they change the color of the robe that adorned Jesus from scarlet to purple which is the spiritual color and the color of the Papacy. This choice of color can also be found in the once lost Gospel of Peter. Strange as it might seem this gospel mentions neither Simon of Cyrene nor Jesus Christ. It does mention Mary Magdalene and Pilate. This gospel is like a movie script which has yet to cast its leading man. Not so strangely, also missing is the mysterious 'Son of Man.' The crucified savior is referred to as the 'Son of God.' This seems to indicate an earlier Jewish rendition of the gospel passion narrative. It is the Church's claim that the gospels were written as accounts of the life and crucifixion of Jesus, yet in this gospel we have a crucifixion with no mention of Jesus Christ. It only refers to the crucified figure as our Lord. This is similar to Thomas the Contender where the term Savior is used rather than Jesus. The Peter Gospel could represent the true form of the original gospels, with the crucified savior being only identified as Lord.
Now, there is a reason why the term Lord was used rather than that of Jesus Christ in the Peter Gospel "Rev. D. H. Stanton, in The Journal of Theological Studies said: --The conclusion with which we are confronted is that the Gospel of Peter once held a place of honour comparable to that assigned to the four Gospels, perhaps even higher than some of them. This conclusion is supported by a reference of Justin Martyr (circa 160) to the Gospel then called Petra (Peter, today) but there is evidence in the Secret Vatican Archives that the writings attributed to Justin Martyr were written in the Fifth Century and retrospectively applied to him.-- Serapion of Antioch (c. 205) records that an odd writing called Petra-- was in presbyterial use during his time but later, according to Eusebius (d. 339) it was 'withheld' because --it contained some heresy--. That 'heresy' was the fact that Apollo was the god mentioned in that Gospel, not Jesus Christ, and the latter's name was written over Apollo's name in more modern times."
So, why do the New Testament gospels tell a story which contradicts the Church doctrine that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was resurrected? It seems that these gospels were not originally intended for the Orthodox Church which was not in existence at the time that they were written. This fact is clearly attested to by the honorable Irenaeus. --So firm is the ground upon which these Gospels rest, that the very heretics bear witness to them, and starting from these documents, each of them endeavors to establish his own peculiar doctrine." In other words they were originally intended for use by the various Gnostic sects, the heretics.
The following description of Paul although not identical is consistent with an aged version of the individual described as Yeshai in the Safed scroll. "A man of moderate stature, with crisp [scanty] hair, crooked legs, blue eyes, large knit brows, and long nose, at times looking like a man, at times like an angel,..."--Acta Pauli et Thecla. This is the only known description of Paul whose crooked legs could well have been the result of having had his legs broken during his crucifixion. Remember, it was Paul who as Simon had his legs broken.
Ferdinand Christian Baur, the founder of the "Tubingen School" of New Testament criticism, believed that Simon Magus was simply a sobriquet for the Apostle Paul used by the Jewish Christians who believed that Paulinism was a heresy and represented a schism from the original Jewish Christianity of James and Peter. The harsh treatment directed at Simon in the Clementines was meant to be directed at Paul. Simon Magus never existed. The name, Simon, which appears in Acts, which was compiled during the middle of the second century and was not the work of the original author. It was copied from the earliest references of the Clementines. The work is referred to as the Clementines as it was originally believed to have been written by or about Clement of Rome, who was a Flavian, but this was later shown not to be the case.
Simon, much like Paul, was rebuked by Peter for his theology. Could this rebuke have happened, as we have stated in our article about Paul, when Paul visited Jerusalem and met with Peter c 30 CE. Why was Paul/Apollonius referred to as Simon? Could this have been his Jewish name? Remember, according to the Ebionites Paul converted to Judaism in order to win the hand of the daughter of the Jewish high priest. As we have already demonstrated, all of this occurred not after, but prior to the crucifixion. According to Christian scholar Barbara Thiering the pesher in the gospels was written by Jesus, but who better to write a pesher than a true student of the father of all peshers, Pythagoras. In order to hide their conspiracy, the Roman Christians burned all references to the life of the true crucified savior, Apollonius, including the Library at Alexandria. "Every trace of the old philosophy and literature of the ancient world has vanished from the face of the earth."--John Chrystostom
If you have already read the article on Paul you probably realize that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ took place not before, but after Paul had visited Jerusalem for the first time. This may seem inexplicable to you since you have been brain washed for centuries into believing that it was a man named Jesus who created the Christian religion, but back then those who were referred to as Christians were actually Nazoreans, not Christians. This Jewish sect had existed for some time before Jesus or Paul were even born. It was Paul (Apollonius) who offered himself up as a human sacrifice to fulfill the requirement of having a Soter for the new religion that he Paul was creating. The lack of a Soter is the reason that Mithraism had never taken root in Greece, and it was the Greeks and not the Jews that Paul was most interested in converting.
Continued Table of Contents