Archaelogical Evidence
The catacomb research of Eisler has shown that early Christians were unaware of the existence of a man named Jesus. In his work "Orpheus the Fisher," Eisler shows that there are no depictions of either Jesus, the cross or the crucifixion. The leader of the sect is depicted as a vegetarian favoring the abolition of animal sacrifice and a friend of animals, either under a fig tree, or playing his lyre surrounded by animals, or as the Good Shepherd carrying a lamb around his neck. These depictions are consistent with the vegetarian non alcohol drinking Apollonius and not the wine drinking meat eating Jesus of the gospels. I have seen Roman copies of these images which depict a beardless young man with a lamb on his shoulders. The beard is important since Pharisaic Jews, like Jesus, all had beards.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, found in 1945, reveal that there were groups of sectarian Jews, who did not believe in the Temple worship of the Pharisee, who practiced Christian like rituals as much as 200 years prior to the time of Jesus and John the Baptist. There are 3 scrolls that describe the sacred meal, baptism and the belief in a messiah long before the coming of Jesus and John the Baptist. This has led some scholars to believe that both Jesus and John were connected or influenced by a group dwelling in the area of the Dead Sea.

"Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."—Matthew 23:1-4 This passage makes it perfectly clear that the teachings of Jesus are representative of those opposed to Temple worship. "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."—Matthew 23:13

"In certain representations of the images of the saints, a lamb is portrayed, etc. We, therefore accepting the old forms and shadows as signs of the truth and a traditional symbols of the church, prefer Grace and Truth, which we accept as the fulfillment of the law. So, that which is perfect, let us place in pictures, even before the eyes of all. We have decreed that that Lamb, which taketh away the sins of the world, Christ our God, ought to be portrayed henceforth in human form in place of the Lamb."—In the Roma Sotteranea of Antonio Bosio Dell, concerning the image of Christ under the figure of a lamb. Sixth Ecumenical Council, Constantinople, 680 CE. This statement is interesting for what it doesn't say as well as what it does say. Nowhere does it mention that Jesus of Nazareth was the crucified savior. It is common for Christians to claim that Jesus was not depicted because crucifixion was degrading, but the Church has always claimed that Jesus was sinless.

This very same lamb had been depicted upon the tombs of Egypt, Phoenicia, Greece and Rome, and it was to conceal the purely astro-theological character of the Christian religion that the Council was convened. It was agreed that the figure of a man bearing the likeness of Apollonius would henceforth replace the lamb.

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