Jesus Christ - Superstar. In the Book of Numbers, Star means Messiah.

by DARLENE CASELLA December 23, 2012

Christians believe he is Savior and Lord.  Others know him as a man who changed the world.   Buddhist historians note the commonality of Essa and Jesus and claim the "lost years of Christ" could have been spent in India studying scriptures with Brahman priests and walking along the Ganges.  Pagans and Jews wrote about him before the Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.  Centuries later, Muhammad believed in the prophets and in Jesus. 

Herod's father helped Pompeii conquer Jerusalem.  Herod was made King.   A practicing Jew, Romans called him "King of the Jews".  Herod governed the area geographically called Palestine; today it is Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Israel.  His goal was to destroy Maccabeans, the Jewish rebel fighters who had revolted many decades before and achieved an independent state. Maccabeans ruled Palestine before Herod. 

Jesus Christ, a Jew, was born in Bethlehem, Judea.  Herod was King.    Christ's heritage is traced to the House of David.   Records indicate a possible blood relation to the Maccabeans through his mother, Mary.    When Herod heard of his birth all male children under the age of two were ordered to be killed.  Joseph fled with Mary and Jesus to Egypt.   Later they settled in Nazareth in Galilee.    Jesus spoke Aramaic, which is a mixture of Hebrew and Arabic. 

During Jesus ministry, he chose twelve apostles to continue his work.  Their mission was to travel to distant lands as special witnesses.  They were Andrew, Bartholomew, James, John, Judas, Jude, Mathew, Paul, Peter, Philip, Thomas, and Simon.  The teachings of Jesus became the world's largest and most influential spiritual beliefs.    The 2.2 billion Christians living today divide into three main denominations:  (Roman) Catholic, Protestant (which breaks into subsequent denominations), and (Greek) Eastern Orthodox. 

The Hebrew Bible contains writings of ancient Israel, instruction for a moral life, and a record of God's promise in his covenant with Abraham that the Jews as Israel are his chosen people.   The New Testament Christian Bible contains writings about the life of Christ from birth to age 12; there is a gap of 18 years called the "lost years", and from 30 to crucifixion; and God's guidance for salvation.  Most Christian bibles encompass the Hebrew Bible as the first section, where it is referred to as the Old Testament; and the second section, which is the New Testament.

Constantine became Emperor of the Roman Empire spanning territory that is today - Britain, Europe, countries along the Rhine and the Danube; and to the Bosphorus and Istanbul.   Constantine converted, freed Christian slaves, and forced Christianity.

In 325 AD Constantine held a conference of 300 bishops in Nicea, Turkey.   Compromises were reached.   Many gospels were discarded.  Some historians believe that gospels regarding reincarnation were destroyed.   The Gospels of Mark, Mathew, Luke and John remained.  Today Protestants, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox know the Nicean Creed from that Conference:  "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, and in one God, his only begotten Son Jesus Christ...etc."  Translations vary slightly. 

The Library at Alexandria, Egypt was destroyed in 389AD.   Manuscripts may have contained references about Jesus during the "lost years".  Discoveries in 1947 brought potential information regarding Jesus.  Ancient papyri of Gnostic Gospels were discovered in Nag Hammadi Egypt, written in Coptic the language of Egyptian Christians.  The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in a cave in Qumran, Israel, written in Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek. 

Jesus Christ is the center of world history.  Means of recording years center on his birth.  In the Julian and the Gregorian calendars we label years AD or BC to denote years after and before the birth of Christ.  The politically correct introduced BCE which means Before the Common Era, claiming it was an improved reference date.  2,000 BC and 2,000 BCE are exactly the same date.

In Germany Martin Luther brought a small tree into his home and placed candles on it as a tribute to the star in Bethlehem.  The tradition spread throughout Europe and was brought to America.  

Celebration of Christmas dates to third century Rome.  "Cristes Maesse" celebrated the birth of Christ.   It is not certain on what exact date Jesus was born, but December 25th was chosen, and is a powerful celebration around the world.

Darlene Casella was, before her retirement, an English teacher, a stockbroker, and president/owner of a small corporation. She lives in La Quinta, California, and can be reached at darlenecasella@msn.com


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