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Re: Josephus & DSS
On Fri, 20 Sep 1996 10:39:42 -0600, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> Yes. The Therapeutae were the Egyptian successors to the Asayyim in
>the Holy Land. They lived by the Mareotic Lake in Egypt and were discussed
>and admired by Philo (Contemplative Life). I believe there was a very close
>relationship between the Netzarim and the Asayyim of Jerusalem...if not a
>"merger." The same holds true, I believe, for the Therapeutae which may
>heve been the source for the gnostic sects. I do not believe it is a
>coincidence that Yaqub ben-Yosef, as the first Pakiyd of the Netzarim..was
Would you be kind enough to translate "ha-Tsedik" and "Pakiyd" for this
>Shelama `amkhon (also this phrase. "Shelama" reminds me of the Egyptian
"Sharema" and makes me look a second time at the second word using "Khenu")
I followed Philo's notice and took the men in white from the Gospels to be
be Therapeuts. I also took the notice of the projiobition of "puffer" fish
and the VIth dynasty illustration of them to suggest the possibility of the
use of tetrodotoxins at the crucifixion. Since then I have been acquainted
with Dana Beal's work on Ibogaine and take "haoma", the Zoroastrian fire
altar drug, to be another possible candidate. The evidence of Jesus'
spending time not just in Egypt but farther east begs for consideration.
A STARTLING VIEW OF HOLY WEEK
TO PENTECOST AND BEYOND IN
(Some of this data is over twenty years old now...)
Excerpted from "Behind The Bible"
Among the Jews of Alexandria existed a sect of Essenes called
Therapeuts. Members of this Sect dressed solely in white linen,
a hard-to-come-by cloth in those days. They had a formidable
reputation for healing.
Throughout the Middle East, the Egyptians had a reputation for
medical care beyond anything the Greeks practiced. Accounts from
other than the Greeks tell us that. Surviving papyri show an
expertise equal to Nineteenth Century medicine. Yet they relied
on spells. This makes us smile at their bedside manners.
The ancient physicians decided carefully if they would contend
with an illness or not. If they decided not to contend, they
turned to spells.
Our understanding of the drugs they used suggests they had a
wide range of powerful herbal, plant and natural remedies. They
seemed quite certain of the effects, although the modern names of
the substances mostly have escaped us.
We know they understood the effects of opium and the salicyl-
ates. Some magical papyri make us think they had drugs equival-
ent in effect to the poisonous Fugu or puffer fish. People in
Japan or in the Caribbean knew of this fish. That species is
pantropical and known to the Red Sea. It even appears on the
walls of an Old Kingdom tomb.
The prohibition in the Old Testament against eating fish
without scales tells us the ancients knew precisely what the
flesh of the puffer fish could do.
The poison, a tetrodotoxin, gives an uncanny similitude to
death. It would be a powerful weapon in the hands of a Nabi.
His healings would gain him a wonderful reputation. Such effects
might explain the Centurion's daughter or the raising of Lazarus.
The Therapeuts of Alexandria or of Heliopolis might well have had
such information. (Heliopolis, where they still revere "The
Virgin's Tree", is near the site of the exiled priest Onias'
Temple.) The only question this train of thinking raises is why
we do not hear more about such poison experiences from other
* * *
(Historians do not consider any activities in the past or present
as miracles or supernatural events. Such questions, as in science,
are outside their inquiries. On one hand, they take into con-
sideration people seeing events as miracles. On the other hand,
they look for natural explanations of events no matter how bizarre.
Most scholars make no decision about the nature of the Cruci-
fixion of Jesus and His time in the tomb. As discussed already,
the record does not clearly show He died on the cross. Likewise,
as we'll see, the record does not clearly show He rose from the
dead. However, the record shows He went to the cross alive. Then,
the record shows He appeared to His followers alive from an empty
tomb. What happened physically in the tomb, the Shroud of Turin
can tell us.
These speculations do not question The Resurrection. They simply
point up that History cannot prove or disprove it. Yet detailed
study can help describe The Resurrection. Believers and sceptics
alike can gain better understanding of what happened. In fact,
theological scholars might argue we now know how "The Holy Spirit"
accomplished Its work.
Neither can researchers on the Shroud make a scientific defini-
tion of "Christness". Yet again, better understanding can result
from studying the details of making the Shroud or of its history.
Keep these points in mind as you read on.)
The Shroud's image happened because a hot, sweat, blood and
serum drenched body was in contact with the cloth for about thirty-
We can duplicate the effect. Sister Damian of the Carmelite
Monastery of Salt Lake City, Utah, (Dr. Eugenia Nitowski) and her
co-workers have done so. Just recently they did it in a duplicate
ambience in Jerusalem.
Pollen traces on the cloth match the reported travels of the
Shroud: Jerusalem, Asia Minor, Byzantium, France and Italy. Even
the limestone on it is uniquely from Jerusalem. Identifiable
traces suggest that Jerusalem dirt fell off the victim's feet.
The bloodstains are blood, real blood, human blood type AB. The
serum is human.
We have many samples of funerary linen preserved from antiquity.
None showed any image of the body they contained.
Yet an image, a mercerization of the linen, appears on the Turin
cloth. This might be either from a living body or from an
equivalent model. The living body image shows up any time workers
stow hospital or household bed linens unwashed in warm closets or
hampers. For a photo like effect the body has to be still.
Recent Carbon 14 dating of the Shroud of Turin shows someone made
the cloth between A.D. 1260 and 1390. The representatives of the
Archbishop of Turin announced the results of independent testing
late in 1988.
However, the announcement followed several leaks of supposedly
private information. Scholars in advance expressed some scepticism
of whatever results the experts announced. Since then, several
knowledgeable scholars have expressed doubt, included Sister Damian
The doubts come from the chance many substances containing carbon
contaminated the cloth in the thousand years of its certain
existence. No published protocols came forth to show how the
testers took the contaminations into account. Until the investi-
gators set forth the full details of their study, the verdict is
An alternative exists.
Someone had very special and unique knowledge in the Middle East
during the Crusades. No one else knew then the special informa-
tion. None would learn it until the Nineteenth Century. These
special people knew that images from living bodies could transfer
to linen. These people organized that transfer. That prescient
person or persons gave or sold the cloth of Turin to a crusader,
a Templar, who took it back to France. There it surfaced.
The alternative is simple and elegant. Usually the simplest
explanation is best. In this case, simplest presumes a great deal.
Someone knew the images transferred? Until Sister Damian's work,
no one knew images would appear. Someone knew the Crusaders wanted
holy relics? That's for sure, but did the natives expect the
Crusaders to win? Did they expect the Crusaders to know about
grave cloths and such? Could the sellers make the artifact on
short notice? Perhaps? Perhaps not. The alternative is no longer
simple nor elegant. Strip off the foreknowledge. Leave the simple
The pre-testing dating supports this simple explanation. The
dating test methodology as used has enough holes in it that another
and better test will have to be done. Until then, the cloth can
only continue to remind us of what may really have happened in the
spring of 36 A.D.
Let us return to the suppositions: Perhaps Jesus hobbled out or
managed stiffly to walk. The presence of the men in white at the
tomb suggests it. They helped Him out. Except to those defending
a theological position, the inference is compelling.
Then He appeared to James His brother and then to the rest over
forty days. The appearances are few and arranged. They make the
least of His disabilities. Then He leaves. If healers in white
helped Him up a slope. did not appear farther on, and He dropped
out of sight, His followers saw the ascent. Perhaps He went to
Qumran and recovered. Perhaps the same drug used on Lazarus, for
the other distant healings, and on Jesus, astonished Paul on the
way to `Damascus'. Many think `Damascus' was another name for
Qumran. He had made His promises to return.
The strange book, The Jesus Scroll, alleges excavators at Masada
found a scroll containing the name of Jesus. They smuggled it out
of the country. The book suggests He may have stayed there.
More Arabic or Islamic records are becoming known in the West.
A conference in London in the late seventies laid out the latest
work. We find evidence from these new sources of a wise teacher
who travelled to Afghanistan and to Pakistan. There He died and
there His tomb still exists.
The idea is fanciful yet some Afghan tribes have a Hebrew tradi-
tion. The Royal Road of the Persian Empire could have carried many
Jews beyond Babylon at the Exile. We may amuse ourselves at the
idea of the Lost Tribes of Israel ending up there, but we should
not laugh too much. Nor should we make light of Jesus in Pakistan.
Tom Simms <email@example.com>