There’s still time!

Follow the incremental clues, play detective–and solve the greatest crime in the history of Western religion: Jesus Crucifixion!

Are you a super sleuth who will win one of five, signed, free, soft-cover copies of my just-released book, “The Matthias Scroll–Select Second Edition”?

The clues are provided on my FB page, “Abram’s Historical Writing”  There you have the full array of fourteen clues presented incrementally.

Winners are those who follow the clues to solve the mystery which all agree has tantalized scholars for the better part of two millennia. The crime? Jesus’ crucifixion. The mystery: Whodunnit, and why. Your “solutions” are to be sent to my email address, by January 30th, 2018.

The Great Jesus Whodunnit Mystery Contest is now drawing to a close.

If, after contemplating today’s Clue #14, you are prepared to “solve” the case:

1. You may argue that Jesus intended to be crucified and there was no “crime.” (He died, but only as a human sacrifice for the sins of mankind, and his body and soul ascended to heaven, as the Christ of those who have faith he never truly died.)

Still, based on the clues, you shall have had ample evidence from Matthias scroll to ascertain who was–and who was not–responsible for his arrest and crucifixion. Your elocution of the facts requires evidence showing Simon/Peter “knew” Jesus was King of the Jews before the eulogy for John. Avoid citing supernatural miracles such as healing the blind, or raising the dead, which are omitted from Matthias’ scroll as dramatizations, and attempt to produce only such evidence which Matthias does not refute.

2. Conversely, you may point to clues supporting a viewpoint that Jesus was altogether aware of his mortality, especially following his coronation as “King of the Jews” at the conclusion of the eulogy for John. It was then he became a fugitive attempting to evade danger, which originated from two sources, should you argue this position. If you choose to make this case you should be prepared to assert Simon/Peter knew he had mistaken Jesus, his revered teacher, for God’s emissary on earth, and gotten him killed. You will have to show that Simon/Peter will do whatever he can to persuade others he is still alive thereby avoiding blame for Jesus’ death.

In reviewing the fourteen clues  (including today’s) we may see they fall into three general categories:

1. The first several indicate the false accusation the Jews were responsible for Jesus’ being sentenced to die is proved false. Matthias’ scroll has been preserved to reveal there were no Jews at the Caiaphas’ hearing who acquiesced when the High Priest demanded eyewitnesses come forth from among them and testify they heard him claim he was “King of the Jews.” They refused. Nor were the Jews “satan’s spawn” as the Gospel story of Barabbas would have had them portrayed. (Matthias enabled you to observe that Jesus never spoke of his Jewish People as “satanic.” And, he always taught his disciples how to pray in the synagogues, as well as keep Torah law. Those Pietist Jews of the Galilee who became suspicious of him were adversaries, not satanic, nor were they representative of all Jews of Judea.

2. An alternate suspect who could have sought Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion, an individual of primary interest, you observed to be the tetrarch of the Galilee, Herod Antipas. His known motive for executing John the Baptist was to avenge the honor of his wife Herodias, whom he had called an adulteress. Jesus also accused Herodias of adultery at John’s memorial gathering.

3. Jesus appeared to be distressed when, upon departing and making his way to the disciples’ offshore boat, he was hailed “King of the Jews,” by John’s followers who grasped his garment, forcing  him to free himself, wading hard against the choppy water. He seemed aware their “coronation” of him opened him up to a charge of sedition, and like John he might therefore be subject to arrest and a death sentence. If true, you have become aware he possibly saw himself as mortal–not as the Son of God.


Here you began a review of the “case history” as known from the Gospel record. Had somebody changed the description of events to spare themselves any implied responsibility for promulgating belief in his immortality as “King of the Jews”?

According to the traditional text put down under Simon/Peter’s supervision Jesus was never at risk of losing his life, and never did. Even the crucifixion did not make him mortal.

Struck as you are by Jesus’ apparent anxiety as he listens to Joanna warn that Antipas intends to kill him, and by his rapid retreat with the Disciples to safe refuge in Philip’s neighboring tetrarchy, you are seeking other possible evidence that he saw himself as mortal…

The next clue #14 is a significant step toward the conclusion of the investigation.

CLUE #14

Once again,  more traditional Christian investigators, those accustomed to Gospel liturgy placing Jesus’ baptism at the outset of his ministry, may well be inclined to resist Matthias’ forthcoming  testimony.

Unearthed from #13’s textual maze (all but incomprehensible as recorded), Jesus, stands beleaguered atop the Temple Mount despairing over the unknown voice within him, a spirit of his adulterous paternity, about to atone for giving the impression of sovereignty as God’s emissary on earth. Whatever he had done to possibly mislead followers to exalt him as God’s chosen King (according to Matthias) was a sin he would bring to an end by an act of utter mortality. Suicide.

Context of Clue #14

The Baptism of Atonement:

According to Matthias, when, looking down the precipice, Jesus saw John in the distance, purifying pilgrims in the waters flowing toward the Temple precincts. The Feast of Booths (Sukkot) would begin five days after the Day of Atonement. With prayers in the hearts of so many Judeans that this seventh year of the tithing cycle, 31CE–the Shemitah–would witness the prophesied return of God’s Presence to the midst of the People (the prophet Zechariah said would occur on a great Sukkot) and riddance of the occupying Romans, all wanted to be included in the coming Kingdom.

God’s Covenantal promise to the prophets was forgiveness even to individuals whose ancestral Hebrew lineage had been defiled by sin. Those who asked God, the prophet Isaiah had assured them (in words called out by John as they came to him), “I will level the bumps in your family’s past, and the crooked shall be made straight…for God can raise up descendants of Abraham (Matthew 3:9) even from these rocks sticking up from these river waters” (selectively worded, Isaiah 40:3-4).

And so Jesus’ beloved cousin John, whom he would call greater than any man who had ever lived (Matthew 11:11), immersed Jesus and blessed him with the purifying waters of that Sukkot-Shemitah mikveh. Upon surfacing, Matthias believes, he was touched by Ruach ha-kodesh, God’s holy spirit, and knew he was loved by God, and that whatever sin had been within him was atoned.

Why, according to the Gospel text, did Jesus seek the immersion? In the Gospel of John, the Baptist offers in rather scripted kerygmatic wording,  “so he might be revealed to Israel.” In the other Gospels, no reason is given. Only the result is described, with Jesus rising from the immersion feeling loved by God as a son. To be a “son” of God, according to Torah (as Jesus himself explains to those accusing him of self-exaltation (John 10:35 ref. to Psalm 82) was to be decreed righteous by God, meaning he would be fully acquitted of sin. This accords with Jesus words in Luke 3:15 speaking of his immersion: “It is proper for us, in this way, to fulfil righteousness.”

The explanation is so absent any viable doctrinal meaning, that the earliest apostles must wrestle the truth of Jesus’ atonement out of history’s grip. Paul, who has spent his time working on a postmortem, paradigmatic meld of Jesus the savior to Dionysus/Mithras as mystery religion soter devises an answer. The so-called pagans have a belief they enter their god’s cave of death, are entombed, and through faith and chanting join the true God, transcending entrapment of this world to achieve immortality.

This is found in the New Testament Romans 6:4 which describes the immortality of Jesus as having baptism as its model. One dies in the water and emerges, reborn to an eternal life.

But your Clue #14 must take the following into consideration:

From the time of his Baptism–atonement on (fall of 31CE through the late winter, 32CE) when John was arrested, until early spring when he was put to death, Jesus’ manner of relating to his Disciples and the style of his teaching changed. Almost immediately he gave a stern and impassioned instruction that Torah was eternal, and not even the smallest letter was to be changed. If anybody did so, they would be least in God’s coming Kingdom. Never again did he perform a healing, aware any crippling affliction could be suspected punishment by God, and his healing had meant to some he could forgive all sin. (The paralytic who manages to be brought to him only by breaking into Matthias’ house through his smashed-open roof, is a modified healing, the exception which proves the rule; Mark 2:4-2:2:12.)

To Matthias, the parables stood out. Jesus no longer instructed his disciples in the actual words of the Torah commandments. Lessons about their own equality as Hebrews and treating others with compassion were told in symbolic form. (Before his atonement with John, he had heard the disciples twist his Torah teaching into adulation, bringing criticism from Pietists that he was making himself out to be the messiah.) Among his circle, whether it was Andrew or Thomas, or the Zebedees, they exaggerated his words to show he was master of the Shabbat, even the actual Son of God.

CLUE #14

Based on the evidence you have accumulated, if Jesus was deeply aggrieved toward an individual for exalting everything he did and said, misconstruing his symbolic (post baptism-atonement) parables, and mistaking his recent reticence as a message to the worthy that he was “King of the Jews” would you expect him to try and stop the individual from his whispered gossip about his divine origin?  If so, Jesus could have challenged that individual to say to his face, “Who do you say I am?”

According to the Matthias’ scroll, Jesus interrogates a disciple who confesses he reveres him as King of the Jews, to which Jesus responds (selective wording): “I am a man, not a god. If you say I am, you are speaking as satan. And when the Kingdom is here, if you keep calling me a king, I will say I do not know you. If you keep saying such things about me, I will be arrested and put to death.”

[Note:The Simon/Peter Gospel text significantly fragments and alters the Matthias scroll. Pages 100-104 of “A Documented Biography of Jesus Before Christianity” reassembles the original confrontation.]

Based on what Matthias’ scroll has recorded of these episodes and which is now recovered, we are repeatedly struck by a thematic element central to Simon/Peter’s Gospel canon: Jesus is forced into the textual mold of an eternal existence. (As we have seen in multiple clues, especially those relating to his becoming a fugitive from Antipas following the eulogy to John, Simon/Peter has embellished the doctrinal text with miraculous signs of Jesus’ powers over nature which Jesus himself deprecated as unreal, saying “there will be no signs.”)

But from Matthias we now know Jesus was in no danger of a death sentence until he too was guilty of sedition, being hailed “King of the Jews” at John’s memorial ceremony. Even as he and the Disciples made their getaway from Antipas’ domain, the one responsible for promulgating adulation of Jesus as “King of the Jews,” may have believed Jesus could never die–or after the crucifixion, he may have been terrified that he was wrong and changed the story of his life so it seemed like his death never happened.

If  Jesus was postmortem made a god to conceal the guilt of the one who had made him King of the Jews, even in an exalted belief unintentionally causing his pursuit as seditious, your investigation must venture toward a controversial assertion that Jesus was a fugitive and never saw himself as the Son of God, but was, in his own esteem, as finite to this existence as any other human kind.

Upon your conclusion, whatever it may be, you shall judge whether it is for Jesus to save you, or you to save Jesus.


DECEMBER 27th, 2017



in the historical life of Jesus: THE ADULTEROUS WOMAN

(from a sampling of seven coming your way by the New Year;

based on just published “The Matthias Scroll–Select Second Edition”)

The fourth never-before-known biographical “fact” relates to the famed scene (John 8:1-8:11) which depicts Pietists bringing a woman before Jesus to see whether he would condemn her to death, since she was caught in the act of committing adultery. Of  textual interest is Jesus taking inordinate time to make a decision. His formulation, “Let anyone among you be the first to throw a stone…” is not a rule he applies to the situation. Instead, he is perplexed. Time passes. Finally, he looks up. And, only with apparent effort does he manage to say he doesn’t condemn her.

Why? The “Adulterous Woman” brought before Jesus for judgment occurs in an apparent vision. It was his mother.

This altogether startling recovery,  emerging from the Matthias scroll is the only one inferred from circumstance. All the others are supported by multiple-sourced textual evidence. To those traditional Christians offended by the very suggestion the famed scene was about Jesus and his own mother, I admit came also to me as a shock. My reaction, initially was probably no different: Where’s the evidence!

The timeline is unambiguous:

Several days before the Wedding at Cana, during the Rosh ha-shannah New Year service, Jesus had become angry with his mother when she and several of Joseph’s sons tried to extricate him from a small crowd outside the synagogue seeking his healing.

Still, he and the disciples went to Cana. There, he again drew attention to himself by mixing wine with water (see #3), and Mary warned him his antics would prevent his getting married. This much is supported directly by critical analysis of the Matthias text. The abrupt change in his demeanor toward those he had his whole life thought to be his brothers (textually supported), and the departure of his disciples as well as the sarcasm of his family that he should “go to Jerusalem and show (everybody) his ‘miracles’ so as not to keep them a secret” paint the picture of Jesus faced with the truth for the first time: His mother’s warning he would not be able to get married had a devastating implication: If an individual had been raised (as Jesus was from the age of twelve) by a single mother, and then acted “crazy” it meant he was born without a known father (see #3, above).

Thus Jesus learned during the wedding at Cana he had no known father (meaning his mother had committed adultery.) If the surmise is correct and he was truly devastated, his emotional turbulence, reflected in John 8:1-8:11 where he must judge a woman actually caught in the act of adultery would not have subsided after that vision. In fact, he would have wondered about his very spiritual core, whether the inner voice guiding him had been from the holy spirit or from a paternal defilement, perhaps foreign, even satanic and certainly adulterous…

Without advancing to the fifth never-before-known biographical episode in Jesus’ life until tomorrow (December 28th 2017), let it be understood his preoccupation with his defiled lineage and his mother’s adultery become a critical turning point in his remaining months. (The fifth episode is referenced here because it is highly supportive of “the Adulterous woman” emotional turbulence. Matthias’ text bears witness to a near cataclysm as Jesus made the Day of Atonement/Feast of Booths pilgrimage  to Jerusalem alone.

(Further details: “A Documented Biography of Jesus Before Christianity”


Another Matthias scroll “First”

never-before-known episode in the historical life of Jesus

The Day After XMAS  2017

December 26th

As I indicated, for the next week or so, I shall present another historical sampling of an episode from the life of Jesus, NEVER-BEFORE-KNOWN, one of the many recovered from the “excavated” Matthias scroll, culled from beneath the Gospels’ doctrinal text. As my works present in rigorous detail, they comprise biographical events he left for us to re-assemble from separated and disjunctive fragments after his ouster from the group of twelve disciples. Please understand I shall not be analyzing the Gospel text in these entries. Those interested in the detailed argument supporting the fully reconstructed version of what actually occurred, including Jesus’ arrest, hearing and crucifixion, should find my work readily available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and retail booksellers: “A Documented Biography of Jesus Before Christianity” (reviewed in Goodreads, Amazon) and the just–released portrait in story form, “The Matthias Scroll–Select Second Edition” subtitled: Jesus’ life as he would have remembered it.

The third of seven

3. The Wedding at Cana


Traditional Christians, and those familiar with the Gospels are sure to recognize the famed miracle-setting of Jesus turning water to wine. One may still visit Cana in northern Israel and buy a bottle of wine which boasts on its label being the site of the revelatory event.

Indeed, as we arrive with Jesus and his disciples (Gospel of John 2:1-2:11, its only canonization), Mary apparently “greets” Jesus with a complaint that the party has no more wine, to which Jesus replies, “Woman, what’s that to you or me?”

Before we enter the wedding, and acquaint ourselves with his version of events, seeing what was to transpire next, an exceedingly important textual fragment from Matthias scroll has already emerged. “Woman” is not what Simon/Peter’s Gospel text would have had Jesus say if Matthias did not assert his witnessed testimony to the group that he was standing right there to hear it. Scholars have pondered the chill it reflected in Jesus’ relationship with his mother, bending over backwards to suggest it expressed a higher spiritual value attached to the universal family saved through faith in his kingship. Matthias has opened the door to what Jesus was feeling. His own family, having heard about the errant Kfar Nahum “exorcism” (see #2 of these entries), had tried to pull him away from conspicuous healings during the Rosh ha-shannah service three days earlier. He resented his mother’s acting toward him like he was crazy! Therefore, he addresses her as “woman,” instead of  more affectionately, as “mother.”

With  Jesus, as well as the twelve disciples, we are now inside. Jesus, according to Matthias, had brought a gift of wine, the very wine which led to his mother’s complaint–because his late arrival had diminished its value to the party. (Jesus’ late arrival is critically supported in “A Documented Biography of Jesus Before Christianity.”)

The reader should be advised that in Jesus’ era, common practice was to mix wine and water, so that by the end of a celebration, with the dilution making the taste less potable, guests would have been pleasantly surprised to have a refreshed supply again enriching their beverage.

When Jesus mixed his gift of wine into the hand-washing purification vessels (which Matthias describes), some guests were delighted to again fill their glasses. Others thought he was mimicking the High Priest, play-acting one who believed himself the messiah sent by God to save the People.

Matthias knew Jesus would never have had  such a thought. But to the Pietist guests who were there, a  revelation of his divine identity could have been his intention. Based on Torah, only a few days hence, the High Priest, during the Feast of Booths would conduct a ceremony of  praying God would turn water to wine! Now, at the wedding celebration, sarcastic onlookers mocked his “antics” as if he could do what the High Priest could only pray for.

Again, Matthias testimony informs us of the unfolding drama:

Matthias text states that Mary tells Jesus, “If you continue acting like this, nobody will marry you.”

Jesus tries to dismiss what she says. “I am not ready to get married,” he answers. (Wording may vary.)


Abruptly, his disciples leave. (Inferred: Jesus planned to stay with his family, and the squabbling had become disagreeable.)

Joseph’s sons, who are there, tell him “You should go to Jerusalem and show everybody your magic tricks so the disciples can enjoy them. You don’t want to keep them a secret!”

Jesus knows that Jews who have been raised only by their mother because they have an unknown father and act crazy are called “silent ones.” A popular idiom in Hebrew goes: “Shetufi is shetuki”  The crazy one is silent; meaning he would be silent about naming his father, because his mother gave birth out of wedlock.

Jesus likely sees how Mary is looking at him, pleading he stop drawing attention to himself. The ones he used to call his brothers are now sons of a father who was never his; while his mother is the daughter of their aunt…they are cousins. Jesus responds to their sarcasm:

“The world cannot hate you (inferred: because you are a Hebrew of undefiled lineage), but the whole world hates me…” (John 7:7-7:8)

He will spend the night with them nonetheless, in a lakeside house (it is conjectured), and remain behind when they leave for Jerusalem on their pilgrimage for the Day of Atonement and five days later the Feast of Booths.

Undecided whether to make the pilgrimage by himself, now totally alone, he is devastated. What is he to feel toward his mother whose infidelity occurred during her betrothal when she was only sixteen? And what was he to think about the inner voice he had felt was his spiritual guide…but was possibly a foreigner and certainly an adulterer if not satan himself?

That night he has a famous vision. It will be number 4. of the never-before-known biographical events in the life of Jesus.

CLUE # 13


CLUE # 13


We are now entering the phase of this investigation which requires you face a controversial question. From your perspective, you must decide whether Jesus, after being hailed “King of the Jews” and being warned “Antipas intends to kill you” felt threatened or not.

First, if you abide by the “case history” as presented in the traditional Gospel texts, Jesus’ only concern as he made his way from Caesaria Philipi to Jerusalem and toward the eventual crucifixion was that he should not die before reaching the holy city. (“It is not possible for a prophet to die outside of Jerusalem. Luke 13:33) Indeed, such a view denies there ever was a Jesus who truly died, and asserts that there was no crucifixion  “crime.”

But Matthias, the one who left us fragments of his description of that  momentous scene of John’s eulogy to piece together, as we have now observed, told how distraught Jesus became when they coronated him with their cries “King of the Jews!” pulling away from their grasp as he entered the water, making his way to the disciples’ fishing boat. If you accept Jesus’ own proclamation there “will be no signs” for this generation, what are we to make of  his contradictory fugitive anxiety and his portrayed immortality?

Time for a flashback. We are returning to a less ominous period, about six months earlier. John (the baptist) was still alive and had not yet been imprisoned for his harangues against Antipas. It was shortly after Rosh ha-shannah (September) of 31 CE. Jesus and his disciples have made their way to the wedding at Cana.

During the wedding, famed for the reported miracle of Jesus turning water to wine (not our subject in this investigation) Matthias records the occurrence of a devastating event in Jesus’ young life. Jewish tradition and local cultural norms cast a net around individuals who they perceived to be acting “crazy” and who had no known fathers active in the community. Jesus had just mixed wine (Matthias suggests was brought as a wedding gift) in the hand-purification water vessels at the door. His doing so went over well and was popular with the guests because the wine was almost gone. But to the observant Jews present at the party it seemed to imitate the high priest pouring water and wine on the altar during the Feast of Booths–so, claiming to be the one engendering a coming year of prosperous harvests of fruit and grain. (According to Matthias) Mary, already upset he had caused a disturbance a few days earlier during a Rosh ha-shannah service, warned him if he kept on with his antics nobody would marry him. That was when he grasped her implication she had committed adultery during her betrothal, and that Joseph, gone from his life more than a dozen years earlier, was not his father.

Everything in his world was reeling. Suddenly his brothers, the sons of Joseph were not really his brothers, but cousins. His unknown father, the voice within him who had been his guide inspiring his healings, his teachings, who was he? He could have been a foreigner! Or, satan…and certainly, he was an adulterer.

Indeed, Matthias tells us, just that night, the famed vision of the so-called Pharisees challenging Jesus to judge a woman caught in the actual act of committing adultery was none other than his own mother. And what a personal struggle of conscience it was for him to find his way to tell her visage, “I do not condemn you.”

To Jerusalem, for that year of 31 CE Day of Atonement, Jesus made the pilgrimage alone.

Atop the Temple Mount he looked down the steep precipice.

Your investigation, as uncomfortable and disquieting as it may be for some, must take into account the witnessed testimony of Matthias as he recorded those specific events, never-before-understood which precipitated the Gospels’ famed scene known as the “Temptation on the Temple Mount.” (For those who are unfamiliar with Matthias, please avail yourself of any of my several works on his scroll, recovered from beneath the doctrinal Gospel text. Most recently, I have offered his testimony in story form, “The Matthias Scroll-Select Second Edition.”)

If Jesus was immortal, he was born of God’s spirit to his mother while she was a virgin. If true, Matthias scroll and his testimony are simply false. You may close the case, blaming Antipas for the cruelty of the crucifixion, if that is your verdict.

But Matthias’ portrait of Jesus atop the mountain tells us he reflected on and intended to atone for sins. He decided he had heeded an unknown, satanic voice within him, leading followers to falsely believe he was especially loved by God, even as a son would be, that in some sense he was holier than others, and allowed them to believe his healing had forgiven sin…that he understood Torah because God’s spirit was upon him…

….none of which has any slight echo in the Gospel text. Of odd discord, Satan tells Jesus to jump and prove he is worthy to rule all the kingdoms of earth. Jesus refuses. He will only obey God. From this Christian perspective, we are left with no indication of why he climbed a pinnacle of mortal peril.

Matthias is clear: Unable to see a way to atone for what he had done, Jesus was about to end his life; the Day of Atonement in the Year 31 CE, the seventh year of the tithing cycle, he would have committed suicide…

If your investigation is inclining you to accept the Matthias scroll’s testimony that Jesus knew he was mortal, and that he had given the impression he was “messianic/the “King of the Jews,”  as he now despaired, you must find evidence of how he atoned, other than by jumping. (Keep in mind we are still four months before John’s imprisonment–and six months before the eulogy when Antipas will hear of John’s followers heralding him “King of the Jews.”)

Hint (well-deserved, if you’ve made it this far): He saw something from where he stood far below. A person. There was water. People were coming to him. Jesus would too. He had reason to hope he could be purified of his paternal defilement and lineage sin. You may have always wondered what the real reason is that Jesus did this. Matthias is about to tell you.

CLUE #13

“How did Jesus atone for unintentionally giving his followers the impression he was the “King of the Jews” instead of committing suicide by jumping from the Temple Mount?


Would it surprise you to find out that Jesus’ closest friend, an older man named Matthias, managed to write and conceal the true account of Jesus’ last year beneath the theologically dramatized text we know as the “Gospels”? Start with the fact he was chosen as the twelfth disciple, by none other than Simon/Peter (Acts I:20-I:26) to bear witness to the group’s postmortem recollections, playing the role of “episkopos” or overseer of their recollections, and was expected to record them, owing to his skills as a scribe. Not surprising is the rift which developed between him and those who called the crucifixion “God’s plan.” Justifying Jesus’ grim demise, was hardly his idea of a memorial to his friend’s remarkable life. By leaving scattered fragments of the truth in deconstructed text to be one day reassembled, Matthias has preserved Jesus’ life as he would have remembered it.

What follows:

During the next week, I shall present, each day, one historical fact, a sampling of the many recovered from the “excavated” Matthias scroll, never before known until the publication of “A Documented Biography of Jesus Before Christianity” (reviewed in Goodreads, Amazon) and the just–released portrait in story form, “The Matthias Scroll–Select Second Edition” subtitled: Jesus’ life as he would have remembered it. Please understand I shall not be analyzing the Gospel text in these entries. Those interested in the detailed argument supporting the fully reconstructed version of what actually occurred, including Jesus’ arrest, hearing and crucifixion, should find my work readily available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and retail booksellers.

DECEMBER 22, 2017

I. Never before understood: How Jesus’ image as the messiah got its start…and gossip it stirred

Suspicion that Jesus had claimed divine powers, while not having equated himself with the prophesied messiah, was increasingly drawn toward him as he offered healings on Shabbat (Sabbath), contrary to tradition (but NOT Torah law) and especially allowed the touch of a leper who solicited his cure, a man who very likely kneeled against his shawl fringes (worn ritually on the corners of garments by observant Jews still today) saying “you are able to cleanse me.”

Jesus, according to the texts of Matthew and Mark chose to touch and heal the leper and, as the excavated Matthias scroll preserves, warned him: Go immediately (to the Temple) and the Priests and be healed according to the Torah (Laws of Moses), and offer a sacrifice and don’t tell people I healed you!”

Matthias has given us to understand:

Jesus did not want to touch the leper because leprosy was a disease considered possible punishment for sin by God. Therefore, its attempted cure was left to the Temple priests, and the outcome of ritual lustrations was regarded as God’s judgment. In full awareness people might think his words of kindness to the leper were meant as a statement forgiving his possible sin, Jesus said, “Don’t say I cured you! Go to the priests.” As Matthias has us understand, Jesus was hardly omniscient: The leper told people Jesus had cured him. Rumors he was sent by God had begun to spread. Others wondered whether he was sent by satan. (As they turned up in the small lakeside village synagogues, congregants noticed his disciples and small group of followers didn’t even know how to pray. They babbled like pagans saying magic incantations. Their Hebrew lineage was a question mark…

December 23rd, 2017

II. Never before understood:

It was late summer of 31 CE. Tiberius was emperor and Northern Israel, including the region of the Galilee, was ruled by Herod Antipas as tetrarch, one of the (deceased) Herod the Great’s sons. His tetrarchy, as it was called, had a large, strictly observant Jewish population of “pietists” (in Hebrew: “Hasidim”) who were a splinter group of Pharisees but much more ritualistic and judgmental toward those they suspected of being questionable Hebrews. Not long after the “leper incident” and weeks of pernicious gossip, Jesus and his disciples attended a service at the synagogue of Kfar Nahum (Capernaum) near the Sea of Galilee. Here, for the first time, we learn what actually occurred on that fateful Shabbat, according to the scroll of Matthias.

Based on the traditional text and the Christian reading (Mark 4:31-36//Luke) a congregant (apparently sure the rumors about him were true) screamed at Jesus that he knew he had “come to destroy them.” Now garnered from the Matthias scroll, the man was so irate and apparently out of his mind, Jesus thought him possessed by a demon and uttered the words of an exorcism: “come out of him…” a standard formulation of the day. Simon/Peter’s Gospel text has enhanced the episode, dramatizing the power of Jesus’ words as the demon indeed departs, uttering “You are the holy one of God…”

Here, then is the truth of what happened, according to Matthias: There was no demon. Jesus had mistaken the terrified man’s loud protest that Jesus, whom he believed to be evil, had come among them. Jesus, thinking the shrill cry and screaming were the voice of a demonic possession, had actually touched the man in healing fashion and the congregant, known to be an otherwise normal upstanding member of the observant community had collapsed on the floor in a paroxysm of fear. No, he never  had a demon, and no words, such as “You are the holy one of God,” were ever uttered by him. But in the nexus of small villages of the Galilee, where gossip was the day’s news, word spread that Jesus had silenced a Pietist who recognized him to be the “False Teacher” prophesied to distort Torah and mislead those who followed him. People referred by name to the “Kfar Nahum” episode (Luke 4:23), even in Nazareth. Rosh ha-shannah was approaching. The New Year celebrating the seventh of the tithing cycle was to be different from any other: It was the Shemitah, when all grudges were forgiven, earthly debts between fellow Jews cancelled, the land permitted to lie fallow without harvest…and God’s Presence anticipated to be again amidst the People.

As they accused him of silencing a devout Jew, saying we heard what you did in Kfar Nahum, Jesus could only say (selectively worded) “I know you are thinking ‘Physician, heal yourself. It is you who needs an exorcism…’ but if satan casts out satan, as you say I did, how will his kingdom stand?”  (Luke 11:18 //’s)

As Jesus teaches his disciples about forgiveness and charity, about ending grudges and paying debt to prepare them for Rosh ha-shannah and the possible advent of God’s returning Presence to the midst of His People, his own mother and Joseph’s sons are also concerned that he is acting crazy, drawing attention to himself. We will find out why tomorrow when we learn what Matthias tells us is the truth about the Wedding at Cana.



CLUES #11 and 12 of The Great Jesus Whodunnit Mystery Contest

AND NOW, CLUES #’s 11  AND 12

of  The Great Jesus Whodunnit Mystery Contest


The formidable sleuths among you have undoubtedly followed my suggested lead, hastening  to your nearest bookseller for a copy of  my just released, “The Matthias Scroll–Select Second Edition” and a favorite on every Caribbean beach, “A Documented Biography of Jesus Before Christianity” to learn from Jesus’ close confidant, his beloved friend, the witness Matthias, of subsequent developments following his eulogy to John the Baptist. This much you have garnered: Jesus deplored being anointed by John’s gathering of mourners, “King of the Jews,” and fled their adoring grasp, wading hard against choppy water to reach Simon/Peter’s boat. Thereupon he and the disciples all set off rowing for Magdala, not too far up the coast, and were feted by Mary, who brought the hungry group food. There, Joanna who had just arrived, apprised Jesus of what she had learned from her husband Chuza, Antipas’ servant, in an apparent exchange with the spies who had come from the lakeside eulogy.  Accordingly: Jesus was “another John,” and Antipas intended to do to him what he had done to John (Luke 13:31).

“Joanna,” Jesus says, “Go and tell that fox, I am leaving his region. It is not my intention to die at his hands.” And, that is exactly what he does. The next beachfront where they make a stop is Caesaria Philipi, or more anciently the Greek city of Panias, outside the administrative rule of Herod Antipas, and as significantly, under the jurisdiction of his half-brother Philip, whose erstwhile wife Herodias, is the so-called adulteress never divorced according to Jewish law. Very little chance, one may be confident, Herod Philip, would assist in capturing Jesus for having labelled his unfaithful wife Herodias an adulteress.

But you, the investigator, may well find yourself oddly confused–especially if you come to the crucifixion scene not so much viewing it as a crime, but as the manifest expression of God’s intention to end all suffering through Jesus’ resurrection. Of course, the ten previous clues have done much to illuminate your awareness of the path Jesus traveled toward his grim demise on the cross. Early on, false accusations painted a picture of satanic Jews rescuing one of their own progenitors (Barabbas) as if it were the Jews’ testimony which supported the capital charge over the cross. Advantaged by the knowledge it was not, you have discovered how Jesus became “another John” to Antipas when he castigated the tetrarch and Herodias as unmarried adulterers. Of course, believing in Jesus as the Christ, you are seeing a possible conclusion to the Whodunnit (Crucifixion) Mystery. In your heart, it does not matter that Antipas caught up with him in Jerusalem and persuaded Pilate to agree to his crucifixion. (Isn’t that the likely conclusion of your investigation? After all, Antipas, who you have singled out for motive, was indeed at the scene of judgment when Pilate ordered Jesus crucified. And just before he did so, he gave legal jurisdiction over the case to Antipas since Jesus was a resident of his tetrarchy.)

Understandably, then, Jesus’ own deeply disconcerted reaction to Antipas’ threat as conveyed by Joanna should (with mild discomfort, I suspect) further spark your investigation into what otherwise might have been “case closed” (To wit: “Antipas Dunnit!”). In other words, you, like Jesus, must have a hunch Antipas could only seek his arrest on a capital charge if somebody spread the word he was King of the Jews. Only then would he be “another John” wanted on a charge of sedition against the empire.

A devout Christian, would quite naturally, at this point, expect Jesus to be outwardly calm. After all, what is happening (in Christian terms) is fully known to him and is God’s plan. But, in truth, we become aware he appears quite the opposite, plainly not leading his disciples from the scene of the eulogy in a “fore-ordained” manner. As noted above, not only does he shake off the adoring grasp of John’s followers who are hailing him “King of the Jews,” but warns his disciples about the “yeast”–that is the falsehoods, which his accusers are likely to bring against him. And does he ever become angry when all they think about is food, taking “yeast” as a reference to bread they’ll soon have (Mark 6:52/ 8:16/ John 6:60). Without much time passing, they’re off again, hauling the boat onto that safe beach-haven of Philip’s Caesaria tetrarchial city. But most telling: Jesus is aware somebody has handed Antipas a possible legal basis for charging him with sedition, creating a popular groundswell anointing him their prophesied king. You, as unbiased investigator, should be wary of any individual who would provide Antipas the legal basis to crucify Jesus contrary to his own will (which may, when the facts are known, prove a favorable outcome for Christian theology, or not).

CLUE # 11: At the eulogy for John, among those present to spy on him for Antipas, are adversaries who call out “Give us a sign!” intending to expose Jesus as a pretender falsely claiming divine powers. Jesus replies, “There will be no sign.” (Selectively, and paraphrased:) “The Kingdom of God is not something you see coming like good or bad weather with red skies. It will be in your midst.”

In your investigation, as you read the Gospel text, you realize somebody defied Jesus after his death, changing the story of his departure from the shores of the lake, saying he gave three great signs proving he was  “King of the Jews.” What were they? (Hint: the last one may well have been a dramatized description of his jumping out of the boat to lighten it as the craft approached Caesari Philipi where the shore waves in shallower water threatened to rise above the gunwales.)

CLUE #12

If we take Jesus at his word, and there were no such three signs, the one you may suspect of falsifying the post-eulogy Gospel account, making it look like he was all-powerful, could be the same individual who solicited the popular coronation of Jesus as king, loudly heralded upon his entry into the Kinneret, wading to the boat. Based on Jesus’ own suspicion, who do you suspect had put him in grave danger of being arrested and put to death as King of the Jews?

Please find the CLUES and other wonderful mental meanderings, such as info about my new book, “The Matthias Scroll-Select Second Edition” on Facebook (Abram’s Historical Writing)




Biblical scholar makes startling assertions about life of Jesus
in controversial book
New work promises historically accurate first-ever “excavation”
of lost scroll beneath Gospels’ doctrinal text

NEW YORK–December 2017 Just-released “The Matthias Scroll–Select Second Edition”” (a Tarcher Books Selection, published by IUniverse). In his new historical novel, author Abram Epstein employs critical analysis to reach the New Testament’s elusive core providing a “three-dimensional” biographical portrait of Jesus, a feat most New Testament scholars have long-considered impossible.

Lauded as “fascinating” and “provocative” by such prominent historians as Michael Berenbaum and Shaul Magid, Epstein’s linguistic excavations have now accomplished what is increasingly recognized as a major breakthrough in New Testament studies, recovering an altogether different, long-lost scroll from beneath the Gospels doctrinal text.

“If he were reading today’s typical Gospel commentaries,” Epstein suggests, “Jesus would see them as patchwork caricatures.” According to Epstein, the ongoing debate should come as no surprise. “Much of the scriptural account,” the author points out, “has dramatized the supernatural Jesus, adding an aura of divine authority to his every word and deed, covering up history beneath layers of theological enhancement. Many have wondered what happened to the one feeling so betrayed by Judas, who, sensing danger, retreated to the Garden of Gethsemane, praying not to die, and was crucified for saying he was, ‘King of the Jews’ though no witnesses ever claimed he said such a thing about himself.”

According to the author, “With the unearthed testimony of his friend and companion, Matthias (Acts I:21), we now have…

Jesus’ life as he would have remembered it.”

“A Documented Biography of Jesus Before Christianity,” the author’s nonfiction companion work, presents the scroll in academic format, and is also available from IUniverse, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and retail booksellers. International distribution:

“The Matthias Scroll–Select Second Edition”
By Abram Epstein
Hardcover |6x9in| 268 pages| ISBN978-1532027123
Softcover | 6×9 | 268 pages| ISBN 978-1532027116
E-Book | 268 pages| 9781532027130
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and retail booksellers
International distribution:

About the author
Abram Epstein, a New Yorker, has served as Director of Education for several synagogues and actively participated in the Manhattan Educators’ Council. His graduate studies at New York University’s Hagop Kevorkian Center focused on ancient Near Eastern religion and Biblical Judaism. He is a recipient of the university’s prestigious Founders’ Award for Academic Accomplishment and has a screen credit as Historical Consultant for The Seventh Sign starring Demi Moore. His other books include, The Historical Haggadah, The Matthias Scroll, and A Documented Biography of Jesus Before Christianity. Abram’s blog: (Please like his Facebook page: Abram’s Historical Writing)