We have come a long way since the days of the Inquisition and its brutality against so-called heretics but there is still reluctance to admit to the real story, to untangle Christianity from its Constantinian re-write. What is truth and what is invention? Do scholars of Christian religion even know the truth? If so, why is it being concealed to this day? Can anyone reliably untangle the real story of Jesus and what he was really teaching? Was he, as some suspect, attempting to take the Jews back to a far more ancient form of their religion – the worship of Isis and Amun Ra?
Could it really be so that the Magdalene was a priestess of Isis and that Jesus was actually her disciple and not the other way round? What possible evidence is there for such claims? Does it all come down to myth and guesswork or is there real evidence out there to give them some substance?
It is certainly true that, had Jesus been a single man without a wife and children, there would have been considerable comment and probable condemnation from the society he was preaching to, a society that placed great emphasis on the importance of marriage and procreation. There is no surviving evidence of any. (Even the out-and-out misogynist St Peter himself was married. As was his co-woman-hater, St Paul.) It is also true that Mary Magdalene was not the only woman following Jesus and his disciples during his mission to preach religious reform. The bible quite clearly states that there were women of substance supporting them (presumably from their own means).
There is no evidence whatsoever in the gospels that Mary Magdalene or any other woman in Jesus’s train of followers was a prostitute, reformed or otherwise. A woman unnamed is said to have had seven devils cast out of her by Jesus in a healing session but that passage says nothing about her being a woman involved in immorality. The terminology used merely indicates that he helped a mad woman or, at least, one who was mentally disturbed. It was not until much later that the misogynistic Pauline bishops of the early church, believing that all women were worthless, decided to blacken the name of the woman known in the gnostic writings as the Apostle to the Apostles, Mary Magdalene. There was no way they were going to allow a woman (other than the Virgin Mary, whom they had elevated to Goddess status) to be thought of as comparable to the twelve male apostles.
Reliable carbon fourteen dating of the Dead Sea Scrolls has shown conclusively (we are assured) that all the material recovered from the Qumran caves pre-dates the period during which John The Baptist and Jesus were preaching. Scholarly conclusions drawn before this scientific evidence alleged that some of the scrolls were the work of Essenes, an ultra pious Jewish sect of the day. One researcher (Barbara Thiering) claimed that Jesus was clearly not just an Essene himself but a very high-ranking member of its priesthood.
While some now claim that this proves that Jesus was not an Essene, their logic is surely flawed. Because the scrolls are older than Jesus’s teaching is not evidence that Jesus himself was not an Essene. The sect was still thriving in Qumran during his lifetime. Indeed, BT’s research shows that the story of raising Lazarus from the dead accurately describes an Essene ritual release of a lower order Essene from a period of atonement spent in a simulated tomb as a shrouded corpse.
Whether or not Jesus was an Essene is largely irrelevant. The people Jesus associated with were not people decent, (Roman) law-abiding Jews would have wanted to associate with. They were dangerous. The Iscariot of Judas fame was a member of an anti-Roman cult, known as the Dagger-men, the Sicarii. Simon Magus (not an apostle but a childhood friend), who was crucified alongside Jesus, (and also appears to have survived) was a man well versed in occult practises, the creation of illusions, the use of drugs and poisons and the like. Simon Peter was a man with a known violent temper and lack of understanding. Matthew was a tax collector for the Romans. The list goes on.