Monday, October 8, 2007

The Gentilization of Jesus

'Christ Carrying His Cross' painted by Hieronymus Bosch in 1515 is one example of the subtle gentile-ization of Jesus by the Church. Bosch's ghastly Jewish faces are in contrast to the European-looking Jesus. This is but one example of Christian 'spin' on the ethnicity of Jesus, ever moving him further from his Jewish roots.

Each Sunday in many churches all over the world, Christians recite the words, "Crucified under Pontius Pilate" rather than "by" Pontius Pilate. The proper preposition is needed to obfuscate the truth.

Why did those calling themselves 'Christian' want to run from Jesus' heritage? As early as the year 300, Jesus had been transformed into a beardless Roman as can be seen in the mosaic discovered at Hinton St. Mary in Dorset [below, left] He appears to be shown as a Roman emperor. What made the artist choose this face for Jesus?

Jesus as a Galilean Jew apparently was not a popular concept with the early Christians.Paul probably did more to remove Jesus from his ancestry than any early writer. Interestingly, he never saw the man, but he wrote extensively about him. Paul's argument with the apostles in Jerusalem about dietary rules and circumcision are credited by many of releasing Christianity from a Jewish sect and giving it a new life outside of the temple.

In many churches today we see the blond baby Jesus in the crib next to his brown-hair mother. Only Joseph retains his Jewish look.

Filmmaker Mel Gibson received much criticism for an anti-Jewish stance in The Passion of Christ. Many worried that viewers of the film would themselves form anti-semitic opinions because of the portrayal of Jewish harshness towards Jesus. Perhaps the reason for this concern is that, going into the film, many Christians do not think of Jesus as a Jew. Of course, why should they when, for the past 2000 years, the church has been busy portraying him as a gentile?

In a recent letter to the Catholics of the Diocese of Toledo, Bishop Blair spoke of 'Jesus' church' in the line, "all the elements that we believe Christ meant the church to have." Christ did not mean to begin a new religion: he is and always was a devoted Jew who worshiped in the temple. It is truly amazing how the scam moved over 2000 years to where Jesus is today in the eyes of 'his' church.

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