Monday, November 24, 2008

Green Apocalypse

I speak perhaps of a personal epiphany and it has to do with the Book of Revelation/Apocalypse. If you have read this blog in bits and pieces you will no doubt know how I do not like or understand why the Book of Revelation got tacked onto the Greek Testament. It seems more like hateful propaganda than anything that would have come out of the mouth of Jesus.

There is an entertainment show on Cable TV called the “Naked Archeologist” hosted by one Simca Jacobovicki who is not an archeologist. Mr. Jacobovicki is no doubt well read and self taught which I hold in higher esteem than all the diplomas that rich people can afford to buy their children these days.

A quote from the show’s website:

“My goal,” says Jacobovici, “is to demystify the Bible in general, and archaeology in particular, to brush away the cobwebs and burst academic bubbles.”

I have disagreed with many of his quaint and or crackpot theories. One is that the Jewish Exodus coincided with the volcanic destruction of Thera/Santorini about 3500 BPT (before present time). Thera is or was a good candidate for the basis of the Plato fable about a place called Atlantis.

Never the less, looking at something from a fresh or unprejudiced and not prejudiced academic point of view is something I look for in this present stifling infant global world with its lack of creativity and growing non-open economic, religious and cultural points of view.

My personal epiphany came last night on a show about the Jewish community in ancient Rome. Simca is standing in a Jewish catacomb and sees what he thinks is a Christian symbol amidst the seemingly exclusive Jewish burial place. His guide and professional academic refuses to acknowledge the possibility of the symbol being Christian. Simca has to make a living and is looking for sellable tangents to add to and in accordance with the flavor of his show.

I know that feeling. You don’t have a Doctor of Divinity from Yale or Harvard. What makes unimportant you think you have any interesting theological question to ask me on my divine academic pedestal?

Enough with background and with some thanks to Simca helping me break through a wall regarding the book of Revelation and my opinion that it is originally a Jewish document or fragments of many Jewish end of the world themed documents not unlike the bulk of documents found and labeled as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Book of Revelation, as Protestants call it, or the Book of the Apocalypse as the R.C. and Orthodox Christians label it, seems to me to be a green or recycled text co-opted for Constantine’s official Christian Church. That maybe the true break between Christian and Jew was not a religious break among brothers. Maybe the split between Christian and Jew was an official political decision for the greater glory of the Roman General/Emperor Constantine.

Not being a professional academic, I base my logic more on timelines and critical symbols in the book of so called revelation.

The biggest symbol in the book is the “666” figure of the anti-Christ with most scholars these days agreeing that the numerology is about Nero.

You have this story that the Christians tell about how an incredibly small unknown cult of Jews called Christians got singled out as the scapegoat for the fire in Rome 64 C.E.. The Christians are so important in Roman propaganda and in a state that eventually elevates the Christian Messiah to the level of a Roman god under Constantine.

Before Simca, I had already thought that maybe it was the Jews, with a few Christians mixed in, that Nero went after in 64 C.E. That maybe those tensions and aftermath and backlash worked its way back to the holy land and was the basis of the start of the great Jewish Revolt starting in 66 C.E.. That revolt led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the second Temple in 70 C.E.. Look at the timelines.

I think that until the time of Constantine, Jews and Christians are inseparable in terms of shared traditions and living in the same part of town, towns.

There is a great deal of recycled Old Testament prophetic symbolism in the Book of Revelation and the thought occurs to me that when there is a warning to seven churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, that before it was a warning to Christian basilicas, maybe it was first a warning to the Jewish communities in these cities just as or right after the destruction of Jerusalem occurs. Like there were no Jews in the biggest cities of Asia Minor – yeah right – and that only the Christian communities existed there alone - sure.

And of course the end of the book has the supreme Jewish symbol of a New Jerusalem topped off with the second coming of Christ as Messiah at the end of this very long, tedious, nasty, symbolic pile of possibly green recycled words currently known as the Book of Revelation.

Oh well. Just a thought. Thank you Simca for part of the inspiration.