The Birth Date of Jesus
The gospel of Mark, often considered the first written, is moot as to when Jesus was born. The gospel of John asserts that Jesus is the word and existed since the beginning of creation. Both of these gospels seem to represent the Hellenized Pauline Gnostic interpretation of Jesus Christ. This is the same position taken by Paul in the epistles. Neither of these gospels necessarily infer that Jesus was a real flesh and blood person, although John does state, probably an Orthodox addition, that the faithful must believe in a real living flesh and blood Jesus. Therefore, it is likely that both Matthew and Luke represent a later Orthodox interpretation of the Christ story. So, we will analyze the true meaning of the birthdates in both Matthew and Luke.
In the preamble of, the mid second century manuscript, "The Book of Thomas the Contender" it states: "The obscure sayings that the savior uttered to Jude Thomas and which I, Mathaias, also wrote down. I used to travel and listen to them as they were talking to one another." This statement clearly ties Jesus, Judas and Mathaias together. It is my belief that the Gospel of Thomas, written 50-125 CE, was the book reconstructed by the disgruntled Nazoreans mentioned in the 'Tathbit Dala'il Nubuwwat Sayyidina Mahammad'.
According to “Gabriel’s Vision,” found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Essene community at Khirbet-Qumran, were expecting not 1 but 2 Messianic figures. The first being the traditional Jewish 'Son of David' warrior king Messiah who would lead them to victory on the battlefield, and the other being the 'Son of Joseph (Ephraim)' who would offer a flesh atonement. So, it is possible that Yeshai (Jesus) and Judas were twins in this sense. Here are a few other verses from the Dead Sea Scrolls concerning the coming of not one, but two Messiahs: "My children, be obedient to Levi and to Judah. Do not exalt yourselves about these two tribes because from them will arise the Savior from God. For the Lord will raise up from Levi someone as a high-priest and from Judah someone as king. He will save all the gentiles and the tribe of Israel."—Testament of Simeon 7.1-2; " To me [=Judah], God has given the kingship, and to him [=Levi], the priesthood. And He has subjected the kingship to the priesthood. To me He gave earthly matters and to Levi heavenly matters. As heaven is superior to the earth, so is God's priesthood superior to the kingdom on earth."—Testament of Judah 21.2-4a; "And the star is the seeker of the law, who came to Damascus; as it is written A star has journeyed out of Jacob and a scepter is risen out of Israel. The scepter is the Prince of the whole congregation, and at his coming he will break down all the sons of Seth."—Damascus document 7.18-21; "And they shall not depart from any counsel of the law to walk in all the stubbornness of their heart, but they shall be governed by the first ordinances in which the members of the community began their instruction, until the coming of the prophet and the anointed ones of Aaron and Israel"—Manual of discipline 9.9b-11. So, the twins Judas and Yeshai could have been just what the Essene community had been waiting for. Both were born 30-40 years after the death of the Teacher, or well within the range of the prophecy. However, something seems to have gone wrong.
In "Thomas the Contender" we find: "Now since it is said that you are my double and my true companion," There you have it the Savior (not called Jesus) and Thomas are twins. "Then Thomas said to the lord. 'So, I beg you, then, before your ascension to tell me [about the] things I am asking you about.'" Now, most people assume that Jesus is a Christian. He is not! So, when they read this they assume that it is Jesus who is going to die, but to the Nazoreans much like in yoga or Buddhism one ascends in life and not in death. Since Jesus says to Judas "while you have time in this world" indicates that it is Judas whose days are numbered. In the scriptures, Thomas is also referred to as Judas and Didymus. All three of these names mean twin. Most scholars are confused by this gospel since they assume that Jesus was born c 4 BCE, during the reign of Herod the Great. It was at this time that Herod was dealing with distemper and his adversaries thought it a good time to strike. "There were two men of learning in the city [Jerusalem,] who were thought the most skillful in the laws of their country, and were on that account had in very great esteem all over the nation; they were, the one Judas, the son of Sepphoris, and the other Mattbias, the son of Margalus....he king had put up a golden eagle over the great gate of the temple, which these learned men exhorted them to cut down; and told them, that if there should any danger arise, it was a glorious thing to die for the laws of their country;...a rumor was spread abroad that the king was dying, which made the young men set about the work with greater boldness; they therefore let themselves down from the top of the temple with thick cords, and this at midday, and while a great number of people were in the temple, and cut down that golden eagle with axes."—Josephus, "War of the Jews" Book 1, Chapter 33. All of these men were put to death.
However, 4 BCE is not the year of Jesus' birth. It is the year of his 'so-called' rebirth. "Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?"—John 3:4 This is why the nativity scene in Matthew, with the gifts of the Magi, is not repeated in Luke or in any other gospel. Matthew is also a possible translation for Mathaias, who quite obviously was not its author.
The reference to Judas as the son of Sepphoris by Josephus is strange. He clearly states that Judas of Galilee is the son of Hezekias, but when it comes to Judas Zipporai (Jewish pronunciation) he gives the reader a puzzle. Is he hiding something or is there something different about this Judas' relation to Judas of Galilee? This brings us to the Safed scroll (there is also an almost identical copy known as the Alexandrian scroll) where it is stated that Mary had 2 illegitimate sons who were adopted by the Essene. They are referred to as Judas and Yeshai beth Halachmee, a later husband of Mary and not the father. We are told that one became the leader of the Essene while the other studied philosophy with Hillel. This is why Josephus stops short of calling Judas Zipporai the son of Judas of Galilee. It also places Yeshai in the city of Gamala as that is where Hillel's academy was located.
"Nasorćans are pagan Gnostics who shortly before the rise of Christianity, formed a sect which flourished in Mesopotamia and Babylonia, and which was one of the foremost religions in Western Asia in the early years of Mohammedanism."—CE
After the 4 BCE episode with his twin Judas, Jesus continued to travel around, but now with his father figure Judas of Galilee. So, when Josephus says: "Yet was there one Judas, a Gaulonite, of a city whose name was Gamala, who, taking with him Sadduc, a Pharisee, became zealous to draw them to a revolt, who both said that this taxation was no better than an introduction to slavery,...Judas and Sadduc, who excited a fourth philosophic sect among us, and had a great many followers therein, filled our civil government with tumults at present, and laid the foundations of our future miseries, by this system of philosophy..."–Josephus, "Antiquities" 18:1:1, he is referring to Jesus Christ. Remember, the spelling translations vary. So, Zadok which means righteousness, Sadoc and Sadduc are all the same. Although Jesus was raised by the Essene it is likely that his studies with the former Pharisaic sage Hillel made it possible for him to become a member of the Pharisee. Why else would a member of the Pharisee, who were diametrically opposed to the Zealots, accompany the Zealot leader Judas of Galilee?
So, what we have here is the pacifistic Jesus being born in Matthew the same year as the demise of the younger Judas of Galilee, and in Luke Jesus being born the same year as the demise of the elder Judas of Galilee. In other words these birth dates are not physical, but allegorical.
Now, in the testimony of Pilate it is stated that he only crucified one person named Jesus, that being Jesus ben Onanias, which is probably Onias. The Onias name goes back to the Zadokite priesthood just prior to the defiling of the Temple by Epiphanius, the Greek ruler of Syria. It is stated that Onias had two sons Chelkias ben Onias and Ananias ben Onias. As many have noted, it was common for Hasmonean families to use only a small group of names i.e. Simon, Judas and so on. Josephus goes on to state that during the Jewish war with Rome, two of the leaders named were: Joazar the son of Nomicus, and Ananias the son of Sadduk. So, Pilate's confusion with the name Onias is quite understandable. It is also notable that Ananias is the person Paul claims to have helped him see the light. This would also indicate that either Jesus was no longer alive or that he was no longer living in that region, or else he would have written that it was Jesus, in flesh, who showed him the light. Now, unless Josephus is pulling a Raymond Chandler on us then this Sadduk is the same Sadduc, the Pharisee, who accompanied Judas of Galilee.
In 6 CE Judas of Galilee is captured after the raid on Sepphoris and disappears from the narrative. In all probability, he was nailed to the cross at some point in time. This marks yet another traumatic year in the life of Jesus, but it also, in a sense, is his birthday. For it marks his ascension to the position of the Jewish Messiah. Strangely, both birth dates of Jesus in Matthew and Luke correspond nicely with the demise of both Judases of Galilee. In the Lineage of Yeshai I explain why his father's real name may not have been Joseph nor was his grandfather Jacob. Remember, only with a birth date as early as we indicate would it be possible for Jesus to be the Jewish Messiah, for at no time during his life as created in the gospels is he older than either his brother James or his uncle Symeon ben Cleopas. He then flees the Middle East and travels with his uncle Joseph of Arimathea to Cornwall on the southwest coast of England. It is here that he erects the Church at Glastonbury.
According to the Protoevangelium, Joseph was an old man who already had a family by a previous wife. The real Jesus, the brother of James the Just and Judas, were a part of that family. It was John of Gamala, brother of James the Great, Joses, Simon, and Thaddeus/Judas (Theudas) who was the subject of the birth narrative, c 4 BCE, in the gospels and not Jesus."Thou hast been chosen by lot to take into thy keeping the virgin of the Lord. But Joseph refused, saying: I have children, and I am an old man, and she is a young girl. I am afraid lest I become a laughing-stock to the sons of Israel.—"The Protoevangelium of James chap 9"
Continued Table of Contents