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Did Jesus Exclude Gentiles?

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judíos preguntas respuestas mashiaj hamashiaj fiestas jaguim shabat shabbat rezos plegaria Dios Peter's Denial

by Shmuel Golding

Peter was one of Jesus' disciples. He walked with Jesus, spoke with him, was
taught by him, saw all his miracles. is said to have walked on the water with
him, yet this same Peter when asked if he was one of Jesus' disciples denied
having known the man. Three times Peter denied Jesus yet we today who never
saw Jesus or heard him preach or witnessed his miracles are now expected to
believe in him. We are now going to examine the account of Peter's denial

Peter had been cautioned before hand that "whoever shall deny me before men,
him will I deny before my Father in heaven". (Matt 10.33).

Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him (Mark 4.30) thus knowing the
consequences he stated that he would rather die himself than deny his lord
(v. 31).

Jesus the man, knew as all of us do, the frail nature of mortals. Jesus,
being a mortal himself, also had his weak moments therefore he understood
human nature and recalled his own flight after hearing of the arrest and
execution of John the Baptist, Matt 4.12. 'He (Jesus) departed' is another
way of saying that he fled, into a desert place apart, it is like saying he
got himself out of the way. Prior to his crucifixion, he prayed that it
might not have to happen, that the cup of suffering should pass from him
(Mark 14.36). Jesus the man felt as all men do when faced with trial,
imprisonment and execution. These natural feelings made him understand that
his followers would also be tempted to flee from him and would cause Peter to
deny him. Thus there is nothing supernatural, nothing that would require
prophecy, to make Jesus warn Peter to be careful. The spirit is willing but
the flesh is weak (Mark 14.38). 'Before the cock crows' is very much like
saying before tomorrow morning, because it was already night when Jesus spoke
these words and he knew that the pressure would be upon Peter during that
night. Peter would break down if he didn't watch out. This is not a
prophecy stating Peter would deny Jesus but a warning. The denial could have
been averted if Peter had been strong enough but this incident proves to us
that he like his master was but a mortal. If however, the stern condemnation
given by Jesus was true, then Peter would be denied by Jesus before God (Matt
10.33). After all, if it was possible for us to believe the gospels, Peter
had been given the keys to heaven as recorded in those gospels (Matt 16.19)
he would have remembered that he was a witness to Jesus being transfigured
before God where Peter also is supposed to have seen two others namely Elijah
and Moses (Matt 17: lff). Now for any man today to be allowed to see Elijah
and Moses and to hear as did Peter a heavenly voice confirming Jesus'
messiahship, would surely be bold enough to resist any opposition. Peter is
in a special privileged position. He had looked upon resurrected prophets,
heard God speak in an audible voice, he had been presented with the keys to
heaven so why should he of all men fear what
should happen to him.

If Peter really did witness any of those things, he could always call upon
Elijah for help for is not Elijah supposed to return to usher in the Messiah?
Peter could also unlock for himself the gates of Paradise. Maybe Peter's
denial is the information we need to show to us that many of the
stories found in the gospels are forgeries, inserted by the copyists many
centuries later, about the time when the Church Fathers decided on the nature
of Christ.

Was Jesus a man or was he a god, this was the decision which had to be made
at the council of Nicea in the year 325 CE and the gospels were later copied,
edited and canonized in 397 CE. Up until that time the then known churches
did not have a New Testament but each church had its own writings.

Those writings were gathered together and re-written in order that they
should present Jesus in a different light. From that time Jesus was to be
seen as a miracle worker, a prophet, a supernatural being on par with God.
All the pagan gods were of such nature. They all had many things in common,
e.g., Buddha was born of the virgin Maya at the winter solstice 25 December,
whilst he was an infant, King Bimbassara tried to have him killed. At 12
years of age Buddha discussed learned questions with the wise men in the
temple. He was baptised in a holy river and the spirit of God rested upon
him. Buddha was transfigured on a high mountain and his disciples recalled
how that a circle of light crowned his head. He performed numerous miracles
and when he died the coverings of his body unrolled themselves.

Krishna was also an incarnation of the god Vishnu, his birth was announced by
a star and he was adored by shepherds at his birth. A tyrant king, Kansa
tried to kill Krishna whilst he was yet an infant. His father and mother took
him to Mathura to pay taxes and later carried him off to Gokula for safety.
On finding the child had escaped, Kansa ordered a massacre of infants in his
kingdom. Krishna performed many miracles, he healed the sick and raised to
life the son of a widow woman. Krishna was executed and rose from the dead.

Mithra was born in human form from a rock in a cave on December 25th.
Shepherds are Mithra's first adorers. Mithra ascended to heaven after a
violent death. The first day of the week, Sunday, the day of the sun, was
the Mithraic holy day.

Osiris was called "King of Kings" and "Lord of Lords". He was born on
December 25th as was his son Horus. Osiris was put to death by treachery but
he rose again from the dead.

Tammuz-Adonis was born on December 25th in Bethlehem. After his violent
death, he descended to the underworld and through the intervention of
Aphrodite, he was resurrected to the upper world, and his resurrection was
celebrated during the spring solstice. (Sidney Kaye, 'Jews, Jesus and the
New Testament')

For the pagans of the Roman Empire to accept Jesus as the new deity, the
Emperor Constantine ordered the Church Fathers to put together a book
containing the sayings of Jesus and his life story. But what had been
decided at Nicea concerning the nature of Christ had to be woven into these
writings if the pagans were to accept the new religion and be baptised. Jesus
had to become less human and more divine. Thus many miracles were accredited
to him. He had to come in on the miracle of a virgin birth and go out on the
miracle of the resurrection after he had been killed. This, the pagan mind
could accept, whereas the Jews whom Jesus descended from and who knew him,
never could accept either then or now. To them, he was a man, a Jew like
themselves. If he had been anything more than that, e.g., a god in the
flesh, how would Peter have dared to deny him? He would be denying the God
of the Universe. Did Peter ever witness the reported virgin birth of Jesus?
Did he really see Jarius' daughter being brought back to life? What Peter may
have seen was not a miracle but a natural cause. In fact, Jesus plainly
said, "the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth" (Mark 5.39) and that was no
doubt the truth of the matter until a copyist made it into a miracle of
raising the dead. It was not the intention of Jesus to give signs. The
Pharisees began to question him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting
him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit saying, "Why doth this generation
seek after a sign? Verily I say unto you, there shall no sign be given unto
this generation," (Mark 8.10,11). And again Jesus pointed in one of his
parables that signs will not help, but only the Torah can save for "if they
hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one
rose from the dead" (Luke 16.31).

Elsewhere in the gospels it is stated that Jesus did perform miracles and
gave signs which contradict these passages where he states he would not do
so. But maybe the miracles were natural happenings only becoming miracles at
some later date made to appear so by the writers of the gospels who needed
the miraculous to persuade the superstitious pagans into believing in Jesus.

As mentioned earlier the pagans followed many 'saviours', 'divine beings' and
miracle workers. The Greeks had their Aesculapius who is depicted on a piece
of sculpture which has come down to us from ancient Greece healing a woman
who touched the hem of his garment. The author of Matthew's gospel may well
have known this popular story regarding an healer's garment and placed it
into his account of a woman touching the hem of Jesus' garment (Matt 9.20)

The following words are taken from Justin Martyr's famous Apology addressed
to the Roman Emperor Hadrian, "As to our Jesus curing the lame and the
paralytic and such as were crippled from birth, this is exactly what you
(pagans) say that your own Aesculapius did..." Justin Martyr in this passage
clearly acknowledges Aesculapius' miraculous powers. Eusebius, the famous
ecclesiastical historian of early days attacks Aesculapius' healings, he does
not deny them. He tells us that the ones performed by Jesus were achieved by
divine assistance, whilst those of Aesculapius were accomplished by the aid
of the devil. Such an argument is still used by fundamentalist evangelical
Christians today when it is pointed out to them that men of other faiths can
also perform miracles. To say such men receive their power from the devil is
to contradict what Jesus said when he himself was accused of healing with the
aid of the devil (Mark 3.22-26)

The Latin poet Ovid born 43 BCE wrote in an apostrophe to the infant

"Hail great physician of the world,
Hail mighty infant, who in years to come
shall heal the nations and defraud the tomb
He shall die, but from the dark abode shall rise."

The parallels in the lives of Aesculapius and Jesus are so many and of such
similar nature that there are scholars who believe the gospel writers
borrowed stories about Aesculapius' miracles and accredited them to Jesus.

It is therefore probable that Peter and the disciples of Jesus never
witnessed any such miracles, but that the miracles accredited to Jesus were
the words of copyists, who deemed it fit that a person of Jesus' character
should have performed. It would also benefit the church who was seeking to
win pagan souls to the person of Christ. Indeed as we continue our
examination of the New Testament we will meet with many forgeries which
scholars today freely admit were interpolations made by the copyists at the
time the New Testament was codified and canonized. Many forgeries or
interpolations as they are called, were made in connection with the trial,
crucifixion and resurrection story.

Returning to Peter's denial, if Peter had witnessed the transfiguration of
Jesus, met Moses and Elijah, heard the audible voice of God, been given the
keys of heaven, power to remit people's sins and to bind in hell those who
did not repent, if Peter had truly witnessed miracles, signs and wonders with
his own eyes, then he must be regarded as a man who could not believe even
the testimony of God himself. Peter must have seen Jesus' promise of reward,
for had not Jesus promised a hundred fold now in this lifetime, Mark
10.28-30, as an empty promise, or as a promise which Jesus could not fulfill.

In many places in the New Testament, the words of Jesus run counter to the
accepted Christian beliefs. On examining the gospel of Mark which is the
earliest of the four gospels and the one which the other writers later copied
from, we have here a different image of Jesus than the one taught by the
Christian church. Mark tells us nothing about a virgin birth, nothing about
Jesus being a trinity with God, nor does he tell of the resurrection of Jesus
as clearly as we would have expected and of his ascension into heaven. The
last eight verses of Mark do not appear in the modern versions of the New
Testament such as the RSV and NEB, simply because they were never found in
the original earlier manuscripts but are now seen as an obvious

Was Jesus man or God? This decision was made nearly 300 years after Jesus'
death when Athanisius claimed that Jesus was God in the flesh. But listen to
the words of Jesus and we come up with a different answer, "...there came one
running and kneeled to him and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do to
inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good?
There is none good but one, that is, God." (Mark 10.17-18). Here Jesus
declares for all to hear that he is not God.

Returning to and concluding with Peter's denial of Jesus there is more to
Peter's denial than we think. If Peter did deny Jesus, it is because he never
witnessed the miracles, the devil chasing, the signs and the wonders which
the copyists of the gospels later accredited to him. Thomas, another one of
Jesus' disciples stated "Unless I see ... I will not believe." (John 20.25).
Peter had seen, according to the gospels yet he did not believe, which makes
us doubt if he had seen anything at all. Peter's denial is repeated three
times, thrice he denied Jesus despite the fact that Jesus warned that whoever
denies him, that person would himself be denied by Jesus before God. Yet in
another place Peter is hailed by Jesus as the rock upon which he (Jesus)
intends to build his church. Some modern scholars now tell us that the entire
passage where Jesus addresses Peter as the 'rock' is an interpolation added
there to establish scriptural support for the claim made by the Church of
Rome that its authority derived from Jesus through Peter the first Pope.

Most Christians are embarrassed by Peter's denial. They tell us that until
the Day of Pentecost he was impulsive and at times weak, but something is
supposed to have happened at Pentecost to change Peter's life. He is supposed
to have received the power of the Holy Ghost. Yet according to what is
written in Acts 2, the speaking in tongues which Pentecostal Churches today
associate with the sign of having received the Holy Spirit, was seen by those
who witnessed it as being a manifestation of drunkenness. Therefore scholars
today tell us that the tongues spoken by the disciples on that day could not
have been known languages otherwise they would not have been accused of
drunkenness. The drunken accusation would only be appropriate if the tongues
were not a known language but ecstatic utterances. Speaking with tongues or
giving out ecstatic utterances are generally attributed to persons in
abnormal or emotional states of mind. Many of the native religions in black
Africa are known for this kind of ecstasy. In Turkey the whirling dervishes
fly in the air when their emotions are brought to a high crescendo. The
report in Acts of the happenings of the Day of Pentecost when Peter becomes
bold and lifts up his voice and is filled with the Spirit is another instance
where an apparent miracle never in fact happened, but was invented and
inserted later on into the original composition.

We should use extreme care before putting the stamp of God's authorship on
the books of the New Testament considering the fact that so many sayings,
miracles and teachings are now being seen by Church scholars as inventions
and forgeries.

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