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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dead Sea Scholar Praises Scientific View of Jesus

Noted Biblical scholar and Hebrew manuscripts expert Dr. Robert H. Eisenman, who was largely responsible for securing the release of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls to the public, has come out with a statement concerning my book, Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ.

A professor of Middle East Religions and Archaeology and Director of the Institute for the Study of Judeo-Christian Origins at California State University, Long Beach, Dr. Eisenman is the controversial author of the Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, as well as James the Brother of Jesus, a behemoth of a book well known in scholarly circles that attaches a firm Jewish background to the apostle James and the early church at Jerusalem.

For decades since their discovery in 1947, secrecy and intrigue kept one of the world's most famous archaeological finds, the Dead Sea Scrolls, away from public scrutiny, until Eisenman and several others played a major role in convincing the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, to publish its microfilm images of the scrolls, unleashing a new wave of DSS scholarship that continues to this day.

Following is Dr. Eisenman's review of my book, Who Was Jesus?:
D.M. Murdock, aka "Acharya S," has written a really fine introduction to the problem of the Historical Jesus. She couches everything in the most basic terms, comprehensible to the layman, and lays out the problem and all the issues in a both really readable and digestible form.

Her charts are insightful and extremely useful and presented in such a way as to make things immediately plausible to the general reader.

I can recommend her work whole-heartedly for anyone on a world-wide basis who really wants to know what is at stake in approaching and coming to terms with the real person behind the literary image provided by those who created the story of 'Jesus.'"

Dr. Robert H. Eisenman
Author of James the Brother of Jesus and The New Testament Code
Dr. Robert Eisenman on NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw debunking the so-called "James Ossuary":

Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ Video

Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ Video, Part 2

Dr. Robert Eisenman Video Lecture Series


Anonymous said...

First of all, Eisenman is the co-author of The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered with Michael Wise, as I recall. It is a quite radical book generally ignored by other Jewish and Christian researchers because it deals at length with the *mystical* writings of Qumran. Such writings, by their connection to the later writings of the Jewish mystics, and by being associated with the understanding that the Torah taught a Doctrine of 'Rebirth' (referred to as "resurrection" in Isaiah, Daniel, the Gospels, and the Koran), are much too *dangerous* to be considered seriously by the official Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious 'authorities'.

Michael Cecil

Anonymous said...

more propaganda. the only real dead sea scroll researcher is john marco allegro.

Unknown said...

Awesome remarks from Dr. Eisenman for WWJ! Way to go!


Acharya S said...

Anonymous said...

more propaganda. the only real dead sea scroll researcher is john marco allegro.

Allegro's work is certainly interesting. But dismissing Eisenman's extensive work on the DSS - including his role in getting them released to the public - as "more propaganda" is a reflection that you do not know his work at all.

Anonymous said...

Read and study revelations. Jesus is the messiah. A 200 million army now exists. God will destroy those that destroy the earth... how prophetic that back then it was predicted that humans would be able to destroy the earth. Stars will fall to the earth like a scroll. Our earth will be impacted by planet x. We are in the end of times. The signs are ready for all countries to attack isreal. jesus is lord.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else getting a little irritated by the sickos who profess Jesus as lord while at the same time salivating over the prospect of global destruction.

Anonymous said... <-- enough said

Lame Cherry said...

So if Dr. Eisenman debunked your writings as meanderings, would he still be featured with a bogus headline where in his words he never says a thing about science, but is instead attempting to gain another author's gratitude to mentioning his work as something of value.

That is the problem with quoting ego and profit seeking academics who are deemed as kooks by the majority. One does not gain a great deal of argument to believe anything you write Ms. Murdock coming from the Dr. Eisenman source.

As for sources, where is it written that the Dead Sea Scrolls are thee base to Christ or Christianity. People of your clique draw them like a sword waved about as something absolute. As you do not base your life on them, do not expect people of faith to take them as more than writings of isolated scribes out of the mainstream of their day.

Your choosing words like behemoth of a book in Dr. Eisenman's writngs, James the brother of Jesus, in noting there was a firm Jewish background to him and the early Church is something any 3rd grade Sunday school child knows.
They were 99.999 percent all Jewish as the other 10 tribes were in exile and only a smattering of Benjamin and Levi remained.

These are all things people of the Christian faith know and pay no attention to, but yet end up in books for profit like you have discovered something.

Faith is beyond rational. The same science to make profit is the same science as even Newton found he could not understand, but he could find God in it as the Light Force is in all reflected energy in this dimension and it submits to transformation to the Force of that Light, Thought of that Light or the Jesus Creator Light.
Physics proves the Christ and that great mathematical book the Bible are complete.

One wonders as Jesus believes in you if this would be discounted by you and therefore in that science you would not exist.

Anonymous said...

Eisenman's "James" book is considered the most recent definitive scholarly study of 1st century CE Palestine. At the time, he was agnostic to cautiously affirmative on the question of an historical Jesus,

If he now is more solidly in the 'mythic' camp, this is a coup for those at the forefront of the opinion that J of N was not historical, including Acharya.

Anonymous said...

Lame Cherry = Lame Hypocrisy

Judging from the "Cherry" comment, one would extrapolate that by contrast to any scholarship for profit, the advancement of Christian ideology is ALWAYS non-profit.

The commenter insults the intelligence of all other readers of this blog. I, for one have watched TBN, as an example.

In the annals of human civilization, no one has propounded more brazen arrogant hypocrisy than the advocate of Christianity. I challenge all readers to seek out examples in history more egregious. They will not be able to find any.

Anonymous said...

Yes there is twelve tribes. Judah the tribe of the jews sold there brother into slavery because they were jealous and envious of Joseph. Today you see the same from that tribe in all aspects of life.

Anonymous said...

I attempted to post a comment about the brazen and arrogant hypocrisy exhibited in the "Cherry" comment.

I would be very ashamed. Some people have none.

Anonymous said...

This it to the LAME-O Cherry:

Yeah, I've read YOUR dumb junk. SNORE. What are YOU trying to sell? Do you just go around slinging insults at people so they'll buy your crap? Jealous, much?

We've all heard the typical Bible baloney - it's OLD. Time for the dinosaurs to quit their honking and move on. A new generation of enlightenment isn't brainwashed by Jewish fairytales anymore.

About the only thing intelligent you've said here is "faith is beyond rational." Yep, it's totally IRRATIONAL. That's for sure, and your comments prove it.

Anonymous said...

Lame Cherry, You sound like another jealous Christian...

Lame Cherry said "where is it written that the Dead Sea Scrolls are thee base to Christ or Christianity."

FYI, Acharya's work isn't doesn't claim that Christianity is based on the DSS. And Dr. Eisenman's book is a 1,000 page behemoth. So, you're comment about both books, which you clearly know nothing about, is based in ignorance.

Acharya was just writing a short summary of what Eisenman's huge book was about. In fact, she disagrees that Christianity is "all Jewish," but your comments are a straw man in any event. This comment is irrelevant and makes no sense: "They were 99.999 percent all Jewish as the other 10 tribes were in exile and only a smattering of Benjamin and Levi remained." What's that got to do with anything Acharya's said here? Your hostility has caused you to become irrational, so that you're just lashing out at whatever you can, even if it's not there.

And speaking of irrational...

Lame Cherry said "Faith is beyond rational"

- "Faith" is defined as, "belief that is not based on proof"

I would wager faith is much closer to euphoria than rationality. If there were any evidence that could withstand peer review and scientific scrutiny, FAITH would not be the main requirement for Christianity.

Lame Cherry said "Physics proves the Christ and that great mathematical book the Bible are complete."

- This comment is so absurd that it doesn't deserve a response. It's akin to the flat earth, young earth and the earth centric theories.

Looks like you've blown all credibility in just one single post Lame Cherry. Thanks for dropping by to share your clown shoe wisdom.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps in another 2000 years it will be proven, that JC was a real person. Then, in anther 2000 years it might be proven that JC was merely that; a real person. Next comes the 2000 additional years it will take to prove, beyond doubt, that JC is the son of some ancient deity whose name is still unknown. We must be patient: it might take anther 6000 years before the truth is known. Maybe by that time Thor will re-emerge as top god. Meantime, lets all pretend that a good deity exists and start living the life this deity might approve of. --jws

Unknown said...

Oh dear, another Jesus has been discovered. What ever shall the devout faithful do with yet another rendering of their Savior?

Now please, don't misunderstand me. The life & times of Jesus Christ are indeed quite open to interpretation and discovery. But the question that I, personally, must ask before pouring over any random Jesus book or film, is 'why'? Why does this tome or this video exist? Is it to further human knowledge or is it solely for the displeasure of the faithful Christian community?

It matters a lot because despite the old saying about ‘good intentions’, it is precisely the intent of the author/producer that goes to the heart of the material within.

Having no direct knowledge of this episode, I cannot offer an opinion. But for what appears on the outside to be an earnest effort, there is always time for a look within.

Anonymous said...

I think Jesus is a composite like Betty Crocker who was put together from a variety of Jewish and Greek sources at the 2nd Council of Nicea. I have come to think less of him over the years, though I do like the fact that he hated phonies and blockheads.

Anonymous said...

It is the language which creates.
And with the word (language) the Almighty creates heavens and earth and all that is in it.

"What I can do, you can do, and more" Jesus

So with language and thoughts worlds are being created, complete with experiences.

Jesus creates with language and thoughts, as does everyone else.

It is a matter of being aware. Everything is energy, but by putting labels over energy by using words/language/thoughts and energy is camouflaged and this being camouflaged slips the mind. We are the creators and we are seeing reflections of our own thoughts.

The Taliban illusion, have all kinds of qualities, in English, in English speaking media. It is for sure, English is most uncommon, in the illusion Afganistan.


"...There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so..."

Rene Scherger said...

Anonymouse said, So with language and thoughts worlds are being created, complete with experiences.

Jesus creates with language and thoughts, as does everyone else.

So what you are saying is that we created Jesus with our thoughts...our imaginations. So we must be the Father-god who imagined all of creation into being! Someone else in some other part of the world created a 'blue' man-god called Krshna who is Vishnu reincarnated under the divine imagination of the great Brahma (bull-tweet)! Shall I carry on if you catch my drift?

Now..I am working on my own god and scripture whose name I may choose to call "NoWay Jose'" I am thinking this character into being right now and expect you to believe every word of my truth to you that s/he is the genuine real Lord of existence. Are you laughing yet at the absurdity?! Take a look in the mirror.

Jan said...

Jules: "Is anyone else getting a little irritated by the sickos who profess Jesus as lord while at the same time salivating over the prospect of global destruction."

Hallelujah and amen!

My thoughts exactly on Sunday mornings when the SUV's and BMW's pull solemnly into the church yard..

Anonymous said...

Put your old books down for half an hour.Debating old books doesnt deliver God to your internal awareness. LAY GNOSIS does.

To the calmly curious- For physical evidence of a second intelligence within yourself-Vivid Dreams onset, plus repeatable handtingles- search YouTube on LAY GNOSIS 1 BEGIN HERE site truebluehealerDOTcom-Regardless of beliefs-Even atheist testimonials, including doctors from 4 countries. 10-12 mins gets you started. A growing list of triggered 12 month gnostic veterans contactable.

Anonymous said...


Yes it is the language and thoughts.

Further it is all in the mind. It is possible to think/belief being an individual, providing there is language support Being it, is impossible.

The law of conservation of energy and momentum, prohibits this.

It is possible in the so called dream state, having the experience walking down a beach, see the water, the waves in the water, the sun reflecting etc. Thus experience is also possible in the so called awake state.

In both the awake as the dream state, everything is energy and information which creates realities. There is the sense of being an individual, the beach seems solid. Yet we know from science that there are no solid objects. From the dream state it is known that the beach, water, sun etc. can only be in one place, consciousness.

It is also known that energy moves in holographical wavelike patterns and that only a part of this holographical wavelike pattern are in use for us. The rainbow part. That which is not used,(x-ray, gamma- ultra-violet) is also not incorporated in the language. Hawks for instance use uv to create a world.

A ratio: That which with in human realities is in use in regard to the holographic electro-magnetic spectrum is, having this holographic electro-magnetic spectrum in metaphor the size of the Empire State building, is the size of a grain of sand.

In short using the senses more is filtered out than is let through and used, language wise and otherwise.

This also reflects in histories as language is in use.

It is all energy, illusions, and in the mind.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Eisenman is a sincere, brilliant, historian. He has only one agenda: truth. After reading The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception by Baigent and Leigh, I enrolled in his classes. For over ten years, I have cheered his lone battle against the biased theocracy in academic religious circles. Eisenman is a brave hero for all who seek to know truth.

An example of the snubbing Eisenman is used to is his exclusion from the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit in San Diego sponsored by Cal State San Diego, a SISTER SCHOOL to Cal State Long Beach. Not one word was mentioned about him in the entire exhibit!

Moreover, "60 Minutes" did a huge piece on the fake Jesus ossuary, which Eisenman immediately recognized as forged. They credited the revelation to "an historian" completely leaving Eisenman's name out.

The question to ask now is, "Why?".
The serious students here can guess the answer.

Much of Eisenman's work is very difficult for the average reader. His works are for the biblical scholar. Check out his lectures on YouTube. They are exceptional. Then buy his books for your reference library and read the forwards!

Here is one of my favorite essays by Dr.Eisenman. Judge him for yourself.

“Judas Iscariot” and the Hanukkah Season

Was there ever a “Judas Iscariot” or was he Simply a Product of Retrospective Theological Invective?

Two weeks ago I was at a Conference of the Society of Biblical Literature in San Diego, California, at which some Israeli academics also were in attendance and in which the main players in the new literature about the recently-surfaced “Gospel of Judas Iscariot” were together on a panel. These included James Robinson (The Secrets of Judas), Elaine Pagels (The Gnostic Gospels), Karen King (Reading Judas and the Shaping of Christianity), Gerd Ludemann (Das Judas-Evangelium), Marv Meyer (The Gospel of Judas), April DeConick (The Thirteenth Apostle), etc.

The most interesting points that emerged from the necessarily-curtailed discussion were how few “orthodox Gospels” (Matthew, Mark, Luke, etc.) had come to light from that period (the Second Century – one possible fragment from the Gospel of John was the only one cited) and how many heterodox ones had, on the other hand, appeared. Did this mean that more people at that time were reading “sectarian” Gospels rather than “orthodox” ones (i.e., those declared “orthodox” at Chuch Conferences in the Fourth Century)? The answer of the more conservative members of the Panel (the Chair, DeConick, Robinson, etc.) was, not really, but that, in any case, the newly-discovered “Gospel of Judas” was less historical than the orthodox.

At this point, since there were no other questions, I raised my hand and asked, “What makes you think any of them are historical and not just retrospective and polemical literary endeavors of a kind familiar in the Hellenistic World at that time? Why consider one superior to the other and not simply retrospective theological repartee expressed in a literary style? The Gospel of Judas was clearly a polemical philosophical text, but so too probably were all the others. Why not consider all of them a kind of quasi-Neoplatonic, Mystery Religion-oriented literature that was still developing in the Second Century and beyond, as the Gospel of Judas clearly demonstrates?”

A sort of hushed silence fell on the three hundred or so persons present in the audience and the Panel Chair, one Michael Williams of the University of Washington, tried to interrupt with a response; but determined to finish my point, I continued: “Why think any historical or even representative of anything that really happened in Palestine in the First Century? Why not consider all Greco-Hellenistic romantic fiction or novelizing with an ax to grind – in the case of the “orthodox” anyhow (and to some extent the Gospel of Judas) incorporating the Pax Romana of the earlier Great Roman Emperor Augustus, as other literature from this period had and, of course, the Anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish legal attachments which were the outcome of the suppression of the Jewish War from 66-73 CE (this, clearly, probably not in the case of the Gospel of Judas – was this the problem)?”

“The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans were masters of such man/god fiction and the creation of such characters as Osiris, Dionysus, Asclepius, Hercules, Orpheus, and the like as the works of Hesiod, Euripides, Virgil, Ovid, Petronius, Seneca, Apuleius, et. al. attest. Why not consider all of this literature simply part of this man-God/personification literature (in this instance, incorporating the new Jewish concept of “Salvation”/ “Yeshu’a”) and nothing more?” At this point the Panel Chairman managed to succeed in getting in to give an answer on behalf of what he called “all the panel” – something to the effect that “Tradition” affirmed they were, but which was probably meant as a kind of “official” brush-off to me as one of the only non-Christians or persons of Jewish background in the room who might have enough knowledge to say something meaningful or precise enough to matter.

But in this Hanukkah season, it seems to me to be particularly relevant to raise the issue of this “Judas” once again and, now that we have more tools, incumbent on us to do so. Regardless of predictable outcries from “the Left” or “the Right” of the theological spectrum or the impact on anyone’s “Faith” – as if this could matter in the face of all the unfortunate and cruel effects that have come from taking the picture of the “Judas” in Scripture seriously as ‘history’; especially in the post-Holocaust Era, one must look at the issue of whether there ever was a “Judas Iscariot” per se, except in the imagination of these Gospel artificers – to say nothing of all the insidious materials circulating under his name. Nor is this to say anything about the historicity of “Jesus” himself (another difficult question though the “Judas” riddle leads the way towards solving the “Jesus” one) or another, largely literary or fictional character very much now – in view of women's issues – in vogue, ‘Jesus’’ alleged consort “Mary Magdalene” and, according to some, the supposed mother of his only child “Sarah” (sic)!

But while this latter kind of storytelling did little specifically-identifiable harm, except to confuse one’s historical sense and sense of truth or confuse literature with history; the case of “Judas Iscariot” is quite another thing both in kind and effect. It has had a more horrific and, in fact, totally unjustifiable historical effect because his name has become a by-word for treachery and a slur on the whole Jewish people; and, even if it happened the way the Gospels and the Book of Acts describe it – which is doubtful – effects of this kind were and are wholly unjustified and reprehensible, particularly in this season of our Hanukkah hero, “Judas Maccabee.”


In the first place, there are only a few references to “Judas Iscariot” in orthodox Scripture, all of which demonstably tendentious. For example, he is made in John 12:5 to complain about “Mary”’s (another of these ubiquitous “Mary”s – this time “Mary the sister of Lazarus” not “Mary Magdalene” or “Mary the mother of Jesus”) “anointing Jesus’ feet with precious spikenard ointment” in terms of why was not this “sold for 300 dinars and given to the Poor” – a variation on the “30 pieces of silver” he supposedly took for ‘betraying’ the Master later in Matthew 27:3-7 (and pars.). In Matthew and Mark it is the other “Disciples” or ‘some” who do the “complaining,” not specifially “Judas Iscariot.”

But anyone even remotely familiar with the vocabulary of this field would immediately recognize the allusion to “the Poor” as but a thinly-veiled attack on “the Ebionites” or that group of the followers of “Jesus” or his brother “James” in Palestine who were probably “the aboriginal Christians and who, according to Eusebius in the Fourth Century, did not follow the doctrine of “the Supernatural Christ” and saw Jesus as simply a “man”/“a prophet,” engendered by natural generation and exceeding other men in the practice of Righteousness only.

In fact, the Lukan version of Judas Iscariot’s death which is found in Acts 1:16-19 and Matthew’s version do not agree with eachother at all, a normal state of affairs where Gospel reportage is concerned. In Matthew, Judas goes out and “hangs himself” (thus) after throwing the “thirty pieces of silver” – “the price of blood,” as Matthew likes to call it – into the Temple (whatever that means). This is supposed to fulfill a passage from “the Prophet Jeremiah,” when in fact the passage being quoted is a broadly-doctored version of “the Prophet Zechariah” (11:12-13) which does not really have the connotation Matthew is trying to give it.

In Acts he “falls headlong” into “a Field of Blood” (“the Alkeldama” – reason unexplained, although this is the verb used in an “Ebionite” document called the Pseudoclementine Recognitions to describe the “headlong fall” James takes down the Temple steps when the “Enemy” Paul physically attacks him, leaving him for dead) and “he burst open and his bowels gushed out” (thus)! Most conflate these materials but, as just signaled, this is really a parody of the death of James as reported in early Church literature. So is the stoning of Stephen and the other three Gospels do not mention either his death or how he died at all. This is all. Period.

The point, however, is that the entire character of “Judas Iscariot” is generated out of whole cloth and it is meant to be. Moreover it is done in a totally malevolent way. This, the recently-discovered “Gospel of Judas” was obviously trying to ameliorate, but after the first blush of excitement over its discovery, now the pendulum is beginning to swing back the other way and, despite the good it and the National Geographic Program about it did and were doing, we are supposed to downgrade it and consider the “orthodox” gospels superior to it and, in some manner, more historical.

The creators of this character and the traditions related to him knew what it was they were seeking to do and in this they have succeeded in a manner far beyond anything they might have imagined and that would have astonished even their hate-besotted brains. Judas Iscariot is meant to be both hateful and hated – a diabolical character despised by all mankind and a byword for treachery and the opposite of all-perfection (forget the fact that it is a byword for Jews too, even to this day) – the perfect, Gnosticizing Mystery figure embodied in the person of the “Salvation” figure “Jesus,” the name of whom as already remarked, even translates out as “Saviour.”

But in creating this character, the authors of these traditions and these “Gospels” (often, it is difficult to decide which came first, “the Gospels” themselves or the traditions either inspired by or giving inspiration to them) had a dual purpose in mind and in this their creation has done his job admirably well. His very name “Judas” in that time and place was meant both to parody and heap abuse on two favorite characters of the Jews of the age: “Judas Maccabee,” the hero of Hanukkah festivities today, and “Judas the Galilean,” the legendary founder (described by the First-Century Jewish historian and turncoat, Josephus) of what one might call either “the Zealot” or “the Galilean Movement” – even, as we shall see, “the Sicarii.” In fact, if the truth were out, in the mutual back-and-forth polemics of these characterizations, its ultimate thrust is to derogate the whole of the Jewish People itself, not to mention a third character described in New Testament tradition as “Judas the Zealot,” the third ‘brother’ of ‘Jesus,’ known variously as “Judas of James”/“Jude the brother of James”/or “Judas Thomas” (“Judas the Twin”).

In fact, if he is “Judas of James,” then he is also very probably “Thaddaeus” or “Theudas,” another Messianic agitator described by Josephus, who leads a reverse Messianic Exodus in the manner of the original “Joshua” and was beheaded by Roman Governors in 44 CE – if all these characters can, in fact, be separated. Moreover, the name “Jew” in all languages, as should be clear, actually comes from this biblical name “Judas” or “Judah” (“Yehudah”), a fact not missed by the people at that time and not too misunderstood even today. So therefore the pejorative on “Judas” or “Judah” and the symbolic value of all that it signified in the First Century CE was not missed either by those who created this particular ‘blood libel’ or by all other future peoples even to this day and, as just signaled, how very successful over the last two thousand years.

But there is another dimension to this particular ‘blood libel’ which has also not failed to leave its mark, historically speaking, on the peoples of the world and that is “Judas”’ cognomen “Iscariot.” No one has ever found the linguistic prototype or origin of this curious denominative, but it is not unremarkable that in the Gospel of John he is also called “Judas the son” or “brother of Simon Iscariot” and, at one point, even “the Iscariot” (John 6:71, 14:22, etc.).

Of course, the closest cognate to any of these rephrasings is the well-known term Josephus uses to designate (also pejoratively) the extreme “Zealots” or Revolutionaries of the time, “the Sicarii” – the ‘iota’ and the ‘sigma’ of the Greek simply having been reversed, a common mistake in the transliteration of Semitic orthography into unrelated languages like English and well-known in Arabic – the ‘iota’ likewise too generating out of the ‘ios’ of the singular in Greek,“Sicarios.” There is no other tenable approximation that this term could realistically allude to. Plus the attachment to it of the definite article “the,” whether mistakenly or by design, just strengthens the conclusion.

Furthermore, Judas’ association in these episodes with the concept both of “the Poor” (the name of the group led by ‘Jesus’’ brother James in First-Century Jerusalem as just remarked), as well as that of a suicide of some kind in Matthew – suicide being one of the tenets of the group Josephus identifies as carrying out just such a mass procedure at the climax of the famous last stand on Masada – to say nothing of the echo of the cognomen of the founder of this Party, the equally famous “Judas the Galilean” (also a “Judas the Zealot” as “Judas Maccabee” would have been), just strengthens this conclusion.

I have covered many of these matters in my book: James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls (Penguin, 1998) and in its sequel: The New Testament Code: The Cup of the Lord, the Damascus Covenant, and the Blood of Christ, Barnes and Noble, just out last year in December, 2006.

Equally germane is the fact that another “Apostle” of ‘Jesus’ is supposed to have been called – at least according to Lukan Apostle lists – “Simon the Zealot”/“Simon Zelotes” which, of course, also translates out in the jargon of the Gospel of John as “Simon Iscariot” or “Simon the Iscariot.” Moreover, he was more than likely a ‘brother’ of the curious Disciple in the same lists, already mentioned above and called “Judas of James,” that is, “Judas the brother of James” (the way the designation is alluded to in the New Testament Letter of Jude/Judas). In a variant manuscript of an early Syriac document, The Apostolic Constitutions, hinted at above too, this individual is also designated ‘Judas the Zealot,’ thereby completing the circle of all these inter-related terminologies which seem to have been coursing through so many of these early documents in this period.

Of course, all these matters are fraught with difficulty, but once they are weighed together, there is hardly any escaping the fact that “Judas Iscariot ”/“the Iscariot”/“the brother” or “son of Simon the Iscariot” in the Gospels and the Book of Acts is a polemical pejorative for many of these other characters, meant to defame and polemically demonize a number of individuals seen as opposing the new ‘Pauline’ or more Greco-Roman esotericizing doctrine of the “Supernatural Christ.” The presentation of this “Judas,” polemicizing as it was, was probably never meant to take on the historical and theological dimensions it has, coursing through the last two thousand years and leading up to the present; but with a stubborn toughness it has endured.

Nevertheless, its success as a demonizing pejorative has been monumental, a whole people having suffered the consequences of not only of seeing its own beloved heroes (including Judas Maccabee of our Hanukkah celebrations today) turned into demonaics, but of being hunted down mercilessly – to some extent the frightening result of its efficacy. If anything were a proof of the aphorism “Poetry is truer than history,” then this is. To repeat, I believe its original artificers would have been astonished by its incredible success.

Even beyond this, not only is there no historical substance to the presentation or its after-effects, but if ‘Jesus’ were alive today – whoever he was, human or supernatural, literary or historical, real or unreal – he would be shocked at such vindictiveness and diabolically-inspired hatred and he, perhaps even more than all others, would have expected his partisans to divest themselves of this historical shibboleth, particularly in view of the harm it has done over the millennia especially to his own people.

This is what the initial appearance of the Gospel of Judas gave promise of helping to achieve, but now the rehabilitation of the character known to the world as “Judas” – so greatly in order in the light of the incredible atrocities committed over the last century, some as a consequence of this particular libel – predictably seems to be reversing itself, particularly among theologically-minded persons as scholars start to rethink these things (see, for instance April DeConick’s article: “Gospel Truth” in The New York Times editorial page, December 1st, 2007); and the process engendered by this historical polemic and reversal now seems to be receding, the downplaying of its historicity relative to alleged “orthodox Gospels” being evidence of this. It is yet another deleterious case of literature, cartoon, or lampoon being taken as history.

Still, in the light shed on these matters by the almost miraculous discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls too, it is time people really started to come to terms with the almost completely literary and ahistorical character of a large number of figures of the kind of this “Judas” in whatever the “Gospel” and in whatever manner he is portrayed – positive or negative – and, in the process, admit the historical malevolence of the original caricature and move forward onto the higher plain of the amelioration of rehabilitation. This is what Christians of good will have always said they are interested in doing. In this Hanukkah season, no healthier, happier, or higher hope could be wished for or expressed.

Robert Eisenman

Anonymous said...

i think i agree with skullboner ... i just cannot understand enough to be certain

Unknown said...

The great 21st century philosopher Homer S put it best: "I don't even believe in Jebus." I find it mind boggling with all this research, still not shred of historical fact supports the existence of Jesus, this issue is still so hotly debated. That's the effect mind control has on a population.

Unknown said...

Lame Cherry as a christian apologist summed up their argument best. "Faith is beyond rational." Why listen to reason when you can continue a comfortable delusion. Frank Zappa said it best about blind faith...
"The mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work unless it is open."


Here's an YouTube film with the awful facts AND no sale price, it's free.


Anonymous said...

Read The Trauma of Birth by Otto Rank and Rebirthing in the New Age by Leonard Orr to understand what Jesus meant when He said, "Ye must be born again in water and spirit ("spiritus" is Latin for "breath"). Deep breathing accesses the subconscious, i.e. the Kingdom of Heaven, which is within. Birth trauma causes sexism, fear of death in the birth process projected onto women and acting like a survival instinct. Surfacing repressed birth memories deactivates the fear which has violent, sometimes deadly consequences for women.

Anonymous said...

"In the beginning was the Word." Words, thoughts, and emotions have mass and energy that travel through time and space to the subject of discussion and subliminally influence people. Deep breathing accesses the subconscious where the Words, thoughts, and emotions are stored. Consciously identifying the content deactivates the influence. Negative Words, thoughts, and emotions of others, not just one's own, cause illness, bad actions, negative beliefs and the like, and aches and pain. "Thought creates reality." (Source forgotten.)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"In the beginning was the Word." The Word is the Queen of Heaven. "When we worshiped the Queen of Heaven we saw no evil. But since we have stopped burning incense and pouring out drink offerings to Her, we have been consumed by famine and the sword (war)." Jeremiah 44. Yahweh is a war/genocide/death/misogyny god, like Mars is god of war and Hades is a god of death. God had a fight with His Wife and cast Her out of Heaven only to discover that He cannot live without Her (Right Use of Will channeled by Ceanne DeRohan).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting Dr. Eisenman's essay on Judas Iscariot

His etymological/literate understanding for the name of 'Judas Iscariot' is roughly in accord with my understanding, although he has a better historiographic grasp of the topic.

Marshall R. said...

It is good to see Ms Murdock's work intelligently reviewed by other scholars in the field.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is: keep up the good work Acharya S!!! :)

Unknown said...

Michael Cecil said...
First of all, Eisenman is the co-author of The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered with Michael Wise, as I recall.

It was my please to read that book recently, and it is my please to read Eisnman's comment on Acharya's books.

Robert Corfield said...

I have not read 'Who was Jesus?' although I have read 'The Christ Conspiracy' which was v interesting. I have also read Doherty's 'The Jesus Puzzle' and watchd Brian Fleming's 'The God Who Wasn't There.' The historian Michael Grant has said that the Jesus Myth position has been refuted again and again by scholars but I have not come across such refutations. I am not sure whether to believe there was a historical Jesus or not although I don't believe in miracles.

Acharya S said...

Robert said...

I have not read 'Who was Jesus?' although I have read 'The Christ Conspiracy' which was v interesting. I have also read Doherty's 'The Jesus Puzzle' and watchd Brian Fleming's 'The God Who Wasn't There.' The historian Michael Grant has said that the Jesus Myth position has been refuted again and again by scholars but I have not come across such refutations. I am not sure whether to believe there was a historical Jesus or not although I don't believe in miracles.

Actually, it's the bogus Jewish fairytale called "the Gospel Story" that has been refuted again and again by scholars.

There's no need to "believe" either way. Study the evidence, weigh it and use common sense.

Anonymous said...

I am happy to see some scholars finally admitting in public what they know (or suspect) in private re the basis of Christianity. It is good that you (Acharya) are getting some recognition from them. Being that most people use their mind most of the time at a very low level (and, yes, I include myself in that group) they need the stamp of authority before they will even read books like yours.

As to those posting comments re their faith, they may wish to read this quote:

"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything."

Friedrich Nietzsche

Unknown said...

Great job on WWJFOTC Acharya. Thanks. You Rock.

quinoa said...

I feel compelled to ask the currant Biblical and DSS researchers why Dr. Barbara Thiering is never mentioned.
I read her book, Jesus And The Riddle Of The Dead Sea Scrolls 20+ years ago.
It seems Acharyas work and hers parallel each other to some extent.
Please check out her work and give her some much deserved credit.

Thanks for your consideration,
James brother of John

Anonymous said...

May I ask a question, please? How many of you "critics" and "skeptics" have looked deeply into the eyes of D. Murdock, aka Acharya? I have. Her pure soul is unfortunately encased in a beautiful human body, but one must look beyond that to see her as she really is. Obviouslt, she is intelligent, but beyond that she is on a mission to shake the cradle to say "baby humans, wake up. You are being lied to; you are misled." She dares to scrape away the eons of psychological nonsense and wishful thinking to ask you to face the truth nof who we are what we are, and why we are.

After all, in the final analysis, truth is all we have and no manner of wishful thinking or hope will prevail.

Please tune into our fresh new Internet Blog Radio show accessed through (the AARF Show)each Thursday evening. I will be co-hosting a one-to-two hours show with Acharya, my friend of a thousand years, and we will welcome your quesions and comments.

After all, don't we all seek but one thing - that the "truth shall be known."

I am Robert W. Morgan.

Anonymous said...

I thank GOD for Rober Eisenman. I have read all his books on James and I find his knowledge of Biblical History, simply amazing. He joins Faith with fact and proves beyond a doubt that Christianity as we know it today is not the Christianity of the Early Church. When we understand the History of the Jews as it translates into Christianity we have a better understanding of what CHRIST intended for his followers. Eisenmans books on James are brilliant works. Bravo to Eisenman for seeking further than most can even comprehend.


Kevin said...

Christ Crucifixion site and the Ark of the Covenant found burred under a trash pile in Jerusalem.