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.
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.