We will be seeing a lot of Paul this week as we have a very special story written for you which is being posted on Friday and Saturday.. The Three Sisters and not to be missed.
Paul’s own post on his blog is a fascinating look at one of the most fundamental elements of the Christian Christmas.. the birth of Jesus.
There has always been a mystery surrounding Jesus the man.. the belief in his existence has always caused conflict and is infused with myth, legend and ‘truths’ written centuries after his birth. Paul however, can always be relied on to deconstruct myths and legends and get to the crux of the matter.. this post does carry a warning however…. about strangers whispering sweet nothings in your ear… you have been warned.
Miss, a Word in your Ear by Paul Andruss
Caravaggio: The Annunciation ( Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy: Public Domain) Caravaggio was a master of the chiaroscuro technique: using darkness to illuminate
The divinity of Christ divided Christians from the earliest days. The fallout lasted over 500 years. Christians wondered if Jesus was God or merely similar to God? Was he both God and Man?
It seems trivial to us, but to them it was paramount. If Jesus was God, he did not suffer on the cross and his sacrifice to redeem our sins meant nothing. To suffer he had to be a man. Eventually they decided he had two separate natures; making him both God and man. Unfortunately this solution caused more problems than it solved.
An early gospel ascribed to St Peter only survived in quotes until a fragment about the crucifixion and resurrection was dug up in Egypt in the last century. It may be the earliest written account of the crucifixion: the one all others are based on.
In it Jesus feels no pain and does not die on the cross because he is God. His mortal body is only an illusion. Other gnostic gospels say much the same. Some even claim someone was substituted for Jesus on the cross. Although it might seem like heresy, such traditions are very early.
The idea Jesus did not suffer on the cross is echoed in the gospels of John and Luke. Some scholars refer to his ‘passionless passion’, and claim the passage in Luke where Jesus sweated tears of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, was put in by a later scribe to make him seem more human.
To discover how these beliefs originated, we need to look at the first century after the crucifixion, when a theological framework was being put in place around the recollected words, deeds, death and resurrection of Jesus.
The gospels call Jesus ‘the Son of God’. The term was understood in two very different ways by the Jews and the gentile Christians. It is not the only example in the gospels of how things got confused as Christianity took root in a pagan Roman world ignorant of Jewish tradition.
The Jews believed just or pious men, and the Kings of Israel, were ‘Sons of God’. In the gospels, Jesus is referred to the King of the Jews. The radical theologian Barbara Theiring believes he was exactly that: the legitimate heir to the Jewish throne. Unfortunately, going into details of her claims would only bog us down.
The pagans believed Zeus physically sired sons on mortal women. They were the Greek heroes, Heracles, Perseus, the twins Castor and Pollux, and Dionysus, the god of wine. It was nothing for them to believe God had physical sons, but it was blasphemy to the Jews.
In the gospels, Jesus’ Virgin Birth is described almost word for word from a prophecy by Isiah. The word Isiah uses for virgin only means ‘unwed woman’. This led critics like Celsus (in 177AD) to claim Jesus was the illegitimate son of a Roman soldier named Pantera, which infuriated early Christians. The doctrine of Mary’s perpetual virginity also comes from the gnostic gospels; despite the official gospels mentioning Jesus’ four brothers and two of his sisters.
Neither was Jesus’ father, Joseph, a carpenter. A. N. Wilson’s biography of Jesus says the word meant scholar as well as craftsman. It makes more sense for Jesus ‘the carpenter’ to have originally been ‘the Scholar’, especially as he is called Rabbi (teacher).
The Jewish historian Joesphus writing shortly after Jesus does not mention Nazareth in his list of Galilean towns. It is first mentioned in 200AD. Neither does he mention the Slaughter of the Innocents by King Herod.
The term translated as ‘Nazarene’ might be confused with the Jewish word Nazarite which was someone consecrated to God from birth, such as John the Baptist. No one but Jesus is called ‘Nazarene’ in the gospels. Early Christians said Jesus’ brother James the Just was a Nazarite, and some modern scholars claim St Paul took Nazarite vows.
Epiphanius (360AD) said the Nazareans were a group existing before Christ, who did not know Christ. They were one of many Jewish groups believing God would send a King (Messiah) to free Israel from Roman occupation.
Given these were all misunderstandings as the faith moved into the Roman world, how did people view Jesus as God, or at least the Son of God?
Please head over and read the rest of this illuminating post: http://www.paul-andruss.com/miss-a-word-in-your-ear/
About Paul Andruss.
Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.
Paul Andruss is the author of 2 contrasting fantasy novels
When Fairy Queen Sylvie snatches his brother, schoolboy Jack is plunged into a sinister fantasy world of illusion and deception – the realm of telepathic fairies ruled by spoilt, arrogant fairy queens.
Haunted by nightmares about his brother and pursued by a mysterious tramp (only seen by Jack and his friends) Jack fears he too will be stolen away.
The tramp is Thomas the Rhymer, who only speaks in rhyme. Lost and frightened Thomas needs Jack’s help to find his way home.
The race is on for Jack and his friends to save Thomas from the wicked Agnes Day (who wants to treat Thomas like a lab rat). And save Jack’s brother from Sylvie.
To do this they need the help of Bess – the most ancient powerful fairy queen in the land.
But there is a problem…
No one knows where Bess is… or even if she is still lives.
And even if they find her… will she let them go?
When the fairy folk deliver a soldier called Finn (the first outsider in plague-stricken Ireland for a decade) Erin believes he is Finn Mac Cool – returned to kill the tyrant King Conor Mac Nessa of Ulster. and free Great Queen Maeve – Ireland’s true ruler & Erin’s dying mother.
The druids kidnap Finn – planning to turn him into the hero Finn Mac Cool – who will save the world by destroying it.
Erin goes in looking for Finn – so he can kill Conor Mac Nessa before her mother’s dream of a free Ireland dies with her.
Erin’s quest draws her ever-deeper into Ireland’s ancient mythological landscape; a place…
… Where dream and reality merge
… Where a man’s fate is written fifteen hundred years before he was born
… Where books are legends & a library a myth
… Where people hate Christians for defying the gods
… Where phony druids use real magic
Find out more and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Finn-Mac-Cool-Paul-Andruss-ebook/dp/B018OJZ9KY
Here is my review of Thomas the Rhymer
Challenge your senses with a rival to Harry Potter by Sally Cronin
After 60 odd years of reading it is easy to get into bad habits. By this I mean sticking to the tried and tested with regard to genres and authors. This is not healthy when you are a writer yourself, as I have discovered when reading Thomas the Rhymer by Paul Andruss.
I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling when it was released. Whilst I enjoyed it as a children’s story, I really did not find myself engaged or inspired to read the other seven books or watch the movies. I felt excluded from the millions who did and usually keep my silence in the face of fans.
However, Thomas the Rhymer had me hooked from page one and continued to keep me engaged the entire 319 pages.
This is an ensemble piece with a cast of characters that would be happy in starring roles in Alice in Wonderland or any Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. Jack Hughes, Ken, Catherine and the delightful Rosie, along with Thomas with his foot in this world and that of the Fairies; draw you into their inner circle and hold you fast.
Each of these wonderfully drawn characters face challenges in their past or present that make them feel isolated until they join forces to protect the most vulnerable amongst them and bring a brother home.
The story will challenge your beliefs in spectacular fashion. Is there another world or worlds running parallel with ours, are fairies sweet and delicate creatures or demons; is that tramp outside the Post Office real or an illusion? As you travel with Jack, Ken and Catherine on their quest, hurtling along ley lines and battling fantastic monsters and evil temptresses, you will find your heart beating a little bit faster. And probably checking under your bed at night!
The scenes set in London that criss cross centuries are filled with historical facts distorted with fairy dust. Next time you are in the city and walking the streets you will be looking into dark doorways and wondering if behind that old oak door with chipped paint lies a nest of elfin waiting to rob you of your senses.
The writing is superb with wit, humour and an edge that turns this from a children’s fairy story into a multi-generational adventurous fantasy that I believe knocks Harry Potter into a cocked hat!
I recommend reading Thomas the Rhymer and at £1.22 it is a steal worthy of the elfin themselves with a value of very much more in my opinion. There are more books to come in the Jack Hughes series and I would love to see the movies.
Challenge you senses and pick up a copy today.