Jesus and Orpheus in Hades

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It is my revelation that priests who came to name John the Baptist, came in hope this eight day old child would speak to them in perfect Torah, and write in perfect Torah. When John was murdered, Salome the believer, came for John’s head so the Nazarites could consult Joh on difficult theological matters. Salome and Mary Magdalene go to Jesus’ tomb in order to sever the head of Jesus and keep it in a secret cave so he can be consulted when false teachers come to corrupt THE TEACHING as it has been corrupted in the past. This is why upon Jesus’ death, tombs are opened and Old Testament Saints and Prophets go into Jerusalem, to the temple, in order to RE-TEACH the Torah to many priests and scholars. These Nazarites were not creating a new religion to hand over to Paul and his pagans, but, cleansing the WORD OF GOD so that God will come and drive the Roman slave masters from HIS LAND. These are Nazarite Patriots.

A year ago the spirit of Rena Christiansen came to live with me. She is still here. She married a Commodore and lived on the Isle of Weight. Her husband died, leaving her with two children. Her grief at being left behind was overwhelming. She had no ties with her natal family, and may not have been accrete by her husband’s family. I believe Rena died in an automobile accident in a foreign land, and her husband’s upper class family took her children into their closed circle. When I began my portrait of Rena – she winged home. She is my Eurydice. She is Andromeda I was her Hero who rescued her by the sea. I took her to the mountain of the ‘Sleeping Maiden’ and showed her heaven, we above the blanket of fog that came in my the sea.

She was still seventeen when I came to see her, she living in a dorm at the University of Nebraska. See was wearing a green velvet cape. She took me to the art department and showed me the life-size statue her boyfriend was doing – of himself. She took my by the hand and took me into the museum. We were the only ones there. Before a statue of Diana, she knelt and drew her invisible bow, crying;

“This is how I would pose Diana!” and she let the arrow go.
When I called her and told her I was on my way to Boston, and would life to see her, Rena said;

“I love you more afar, then near.”

A string in my heart broke, I not able to accept and see what she was saying, because there was a marriage proposal in me. My wife. Her Hero. Her savior from the underworld of lost angels.

outside we sat on the step of the MUSE. She heard my unspoken proposal and she lay her lyth form on the steps and embraced my legs. She lay her head in my lap, and closed her eyes.

When I died in 1967 America was at war in Vietnam in need of a Hero. But, no Hero was found, for evil military men who failed to get recognition in World War two thirsted for another war, another chance to make a name for themself, be a Hero, and receive a Hero’s reward – executive jobs at General electric, at Lockhart, and Hughes, at munitions plants, ect. ect. – anything but a civilian job. I saw this for myself in Bill Arnold’s son, who was sacrificed to this evil end, allen the name of Jesus who went to hell, and freed the beautiful souls captured there.

Did I go to Hades when I died? Did I free the souls captured there?

She is here. We look at floor plans to our home that I altar to our specifications. When I leave out her dance studio, she admonishes me. After all did she not do the dance of the seven veils for my head that my Rougemont kindred came to own – along with the Shroud.

We love our Hero’s from afar, more then near, for they are our History. I play a huge role in the history of the Vietnam war. I won the heart of America.

In the winter of 1965 I hitchhiked across America with my guitar on my back, held there with a piece of rope. Nine months later, I hitchhiked home with my guitar. In Topeka Kansas, these young people fought to see whose house I would stay at. They understood I was an archetype, a messenger of things to come. Dark men were designing hell about to put it into Vietnam. They poured over blue prints using God’s calipers. They claimed God was on their side, but, they should have spent more time seeing if this was true.

God showed me the truth – after I emerged from hell! One thing is true – God was never on their side! This is why demons have captured my beautiful dauhgter and grandson, and worked behind my back to convince them I am a leach and coward.

I work every day to restore the Torah and the altered teaching of John and Jesus. I have made great progress.

Jon ‘The Nazarite’

Copyright 2012

What about Matthew 27:52 and 53?

Other theologians point out that these “holy ones” did not enter Jerusalem until after the resurrection, but that really misses the point. If someone was raised from the dead with a glorified and everlasting body before Jesus was, then that person would have been the “firstfruits from the dead,” and not Jesus. If these saints spent three days near their tombs, this in itself is a problem, because these verses seem to have a chronological inconsistency. What would be the point in raising them from the dead just to have them stay near their tombs, and then appear in Jerusalem three days later? If God got them up to be witnesses, would they not begin witnessing immediately? It seems that they would.

According to the New Testament, on the day between Jesus’ death on Friday afternoon and his resurrection on Sunday morning, he descended to the dead in Hades. Why? Well, he was dead. But he didn’t stay dead. Nor did he just play dead. He preached.

1Peter 3:19–20 says that Jesus “went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah…”

1Peter 4:6 says that the gospel (the good news) was “proclaimed even to the dead…”

In the Orthodox traditions, this is an important part of Pascha (the original name for the celebration of Christ’s defeat of death, the name “easter” is actually of pagan origins) called Harrowing Saturday. The Roman Church, and the Protestant churches that came out of it, don’t say much about this, even though the three creeds of Christianity (Apostles, Athanasian, and Nicene) all make it a primary tenet of the Faith.

Hades, being outside of time and space, is not a chronological place. It is reasonable to believe (if you can believe in reasonableness) that Jesus preached to all the dead of all time, and released from prison those who would follow. I know this to be true.

Why? Because he preached to me when I was yet a dead man… and he will yet preach to everyone. His sheep will then recognize their master’s voice.

He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. Acts 2:31

Christ as Orpheus
Posted on February 27, 2009 | 24 Comments
There are a number of people who have come to the conclusion that not only did Jesus not exist, the story we do have in the Gospels is based completely on pagan myths.  There are a number of god-men that offered as options and one of them is Orpheus.  It does not help that there seems to have been some sort of early Christian building that had a mosaic of Orpheus as a picture of Christ.  Jas Elsner in the March/April 2009 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review does a good job of disproving the theory that Orpheus is used as a type of Christ or that the myth had anything to do with the Christian story.  Elsner concludes:
For more than a century since the discovery of the Orpheus in the Jerusalem mosaic, he has been playing his music to a series of chimeras created by unproven and unprovable scholarly fantasies, and he has masqueraded for longer than he deserves under the name of Jesus.  It is simpler and more economical to assume that the figure was made to be Orpheus when he was originally laid out on a floor of elegant late-antique Hellenism, whose imagery would not have been repugnant to the probably Christian but potentially Jewish patrons and users of the room over whose floor he presided.
Elsner also does a good job of dealing with some of the parallels in art between Gospel stories and pagan myths.  There are paintings of the three magi from Matthew wearing clothes similar to Mithras because of the common Persian connection.  That does not mean the story of the magi comes from Mithras (despite what Peter Gandy says) but that the artists drew on the Persian styles they knew from Mithraism.  Elsner pokes a lot of holes in the theories of dependence by the Jesus Myth people.  You can purchase the full article by Elsner here.

Andromeda is the daughter of an Aethiopian king in Greek mythology who, as divine punishment for her mother’s bragging, the Boast of Cassiopeia, was chained to a rock as a sacrifice to a sea monster aroused by the queen’s hubris. She was saved from death by Perseus, her future husband. Her name is the Latinized form of the Greek Ἀνδρομέδη (Andromédē): “ruler of men”,[1] from ἀνήρ, ἀνδρός (anēr, andrós) “man”, and medon, “ruler”.
The subject has been popular in art since classical times; it is one of several Greek myths of a Greek hero’s rescue of the intended victim of an archaic sacred marriage, giving rise to the “princess and dragon” motif. From the Renaissance, interest revived in the original story, typically as derived from Ovid’s account.

FAQ: I am aware of the truth of God’s Word that when a Christian dies, he is actually dead, and not alive somewhere in an incorporeal form, but awaiting the coming of Jesus Christ to raise him from the dead. Along that line, Matthew 27:52 and 53 (about dead people getting up out of their graves when Jesus died) seem like very strange verses. Can you shed any light on them? [For further study on the “dead being dead,” click here.]

Your question is a common one among those interested in spiritual matters and the integrity of the Word of God. Matthew 27:52 & 53 has caught the attention of readers for centuries because of the notable miracle that those verses describe. Most Bible students recognize that verses 52 and 53 are “strange,” and that there is no other verse of Scripture that mentions this amazing occurrence nor anything else like it. To begin with, let us look at the immediate context surrounding the verses in question:

Matthew 27:50-54 (NIV)
(50) And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
(51) At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.
(52) The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
(53) They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
(54) When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

The first thing to notice is that (in any version of Scripture) if we delete verses 52 and 53, the biblical text flows smoothly, as the earthquake recorded in verse 51 is referred to by those in verse 54. For the record, the veil being rent from top to bottom was a very significant phenomenon, especially to those of Israel familiar at all with Old Testament typology of the coming Messiah. Via a striking and forceful metaphor, God Almighty earthshakingly emphasized that the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, would open the way into His heart of hearts for all who would choose to believe on him after his resurrection. Hebrews 9:1-14 and 10:1-14 make this clear.

This record of the earthquake, the rocks being split, the graves being opened, and the dead being raised occurs only in Matthew, and it contains some apparent inconsistencies. This short work will examine these verses in three ways: the textual and Patristic evidence, the content and context, and how they can be properly understood.

Texts and Patristics

There are no manuscripts of Matthew in Greek, Latin or Aramaic that omit these verses. All the textual families have the verse. This means that if these verses are an addition or contain added material, it would have had to have been done very early, no later than the first part of the second century. Although it is very unusual to have an addition to the text present in every extant manuscript, it has been known to happen, and interestingly enough, in Matthew. [1]

The patristic literature also contains these verses, indicating that they are either original or an early addition to the biblical text. “Patristic” comes from the Latin word for “father,” which is “pater,” so the word “patristic” is used by scholars for the writings of the early theologians, who are known as “the Church Fathers.” The list of the Church Fathers who referred to these verses in Matthew or to what they cover, graves being opened and dead getting up, begins very early, with Ignatius (c. 35-107) and includes a number of well known men. [2]

The list is long and varied, and in the patristic literature most events in Scripture are not represented and preserved as well as Matthew 27:52 and 53 is, however, these events occurred at the time of Jesus’ death, which is a subject all theologians dwell on, so they get quite a bit of attention. That brings up an interesting point: there are times when it would seem natural for those early theologians to have referred to these events, when in fact they did not. This fact is contributing evidence to the belief that when Matthew wrote his Gospel, it did not contain these verses. However, it is always dangerous to argue from silence.

Content and Context

In spite of the textual evidence for Matthew 27:52 and 53, there are some very disturbing things about these verses. First and foremost is that if “many” of the Old Testament saints arose and went to Jerusalem, why are they not mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament? In fact, the entire event is not mentioned anywhere else in the Bible. This seems quite incredible if it actually occurred. Are we to believe that “many” Old Testament saints such as Joshua, Josiah or Jeremiah got up from the dead and entered Jerusalem, but never joined the apostles? When Lazarus was raised from the dead, he rejoined Jesus and the apostles.

The traditional answer to why these saints did not join the apostles or are mentioned elsewhere is that when the saints got up from the dead they were in their glorified bodies and at some point, perhaps very shortly after witnessing in Jerusalem, they ascended up into heaven, and thus would not have been around for the events in Acts. However, that cannot be, because Scripture is very clear that Jesus is the “firstfruits from the dead,” in other words, Jesus was the first person raised to everlasting life.

1 Corinthians 15:20-23 (KJV)
(20) But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
(21) For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.
(22) For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
(23) But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

The Old Testament and Gospels have records of people being raised from the dead, but all those people were raised in their normal bodies and died again. They were not raised to everlasting life because Christ had not yet been raised from the dead. The “many holy people” Matthew refers to as being raised were raised when Jesus died, and not after his resurrection, so they could not have been raised to everlasting life. Some Bible teachers try to avoid that conclusion by saying that the phrase, “after his resurrection,” in verse 53 refers to the entire event, and that the dead were not raised until after Jesus’ resurrection. However, that is not how the Greek text reads. The raising from the dead is clearly set at the time of the death of Christ. Thus if they were raised, they could not have been raised with everlasting bodies.

Other theologians point out that these “holy ones” did not enter Jerusalem until after the resurrection, but that really misses the point. If someone was raised from the dead with a glorified and everlasting body before Jesus was, then that person would have been the “firstfruits from the dead,” and not Jesus. If these saints spent three days near their tombs, this in itself is a problem, because these verses seem to have a chronological inconsistency. What would be the point in raising them from the dead just to have them stay near their tombs, and then appear in Jerusalem three days later? If God got them up to be witnesses, would they not begin witnessing immediately? It seems that they would.

Another verse that contradicts any theory that Old Testament believers got up from the dead in their new and everlasting bodies and then shortly ascended to heaven, is that John 3:13 affirms that when the book of John was written (perhaps 80-90 AD), no one was in heaven but Jesus.

John 3:13 (KJV)
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Although most modern versions of John 3:13 have the shorter version, omitting the last phase about Jesus being in heaven, it is our belief that it is original, and part of the narration of John, not part of Jesus’ speech to Nicodemus. [3] If no one was in heaven except Jesus by the time the Gospel of John was written, then there is no way that those Old Testament believers could have gotten up unto everlasting life, because there is no way they could have (or would have) been alive throughout the entire period covered by the book of Acts and not been mentioned or had a noticeable impact.

Even assuming that these Old Testament believers got up from the dead in their fleshly bodies, only to die again shortly afterwards, presents some serious problems. The question as to why they stayed by their tombs for three days still exists. Also, the lack of biblical evidence that they were up and around is a major problem. Did no one notice them for three full days? That is hardly likely. Also, since they obviously got up as a witness that Jesus was the Christ and would get up, why did they not get word to the apostles who were living in fear during those same three days (John 20:19)?

Furthermore, where were they when the apostles were first hearing about the resurrection? Evidence for the resurrection was coming to the Apostles from many places. Peter and John went to the empty tomb, but were not convinced (John 20:3-10). Mary Magdalene told them she had seen Jesus, but they still did not believe (Mark 16:9-11). Later Mary and all the women told the disciples about the angel at the tomb who said Christ was raised, but they still did not believe (Luke 24:1-11).

As Jesus’ tomb was outside the city, and there were many tombs all over that whole area, it seems logical that some of the disciples would have encountered a few of these risen saints. Then Jesus appeared to two disciples as they walked to Emmaus, and those two traveled back to Jerusalem and told the disciples about it (Luke 24:13-35), and it was while they were all talking that Jesus appeared in the room with them. By that time it was Sunday evening (John 20:19). It seems impossible that “many” Old Testament saints had been raised for three days and had begun to enter the city of Jerusalem and this would not have been reported.

Another question to be asked is where were these “many saints” on the Day of Pentecost? The number of disciples was specifically given at about 120. That is not a large number considering the many lives that Jesus touched. Are we to believe that those saints who were raised from the dead were included in that number? There is just no evidence for that, yet it is difficult to believe that the “many” saints who rose from the dead would not join the disciples. What else would they do? Where would they go? All of their families were long dead and they would not have had any jobs or places to stay. Certainly they would have joined the disciples for support, yet they are missing on the Day of Pentecost.

Furthermore, on the Day of Pentecost, Peter assured the crowds that David died and was buried, and his tomb was still known (David’s body, 1000 years old, would have been decayed and gone). Had David just been resurrected and walking around Jerusalem witnessing, it seems certain that Peter would have mentioned that fact, and not said that he was dead. Of course, David might have been one saint that God did not raise, but then that weakens Peter’s argument, which was to show that Jesus is the firstborn from the dead. That could have been disputed if there were other Old Testament people now walking the streets of Jerusalem.

Consider also that the unbelievers and the critics of the apostles never mentioned them. The religious leaders of Jerusalem, for example, accused the apostles, saying, “…you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching…(Acts 5:28). Surely, if even a few Old Testament believers were also in Jerusalem and had appeared “to many,” the religious leaders would have been concerned about that also, yet there is no mention that they even knew that anyone else was spreading the teaching of Christ’s resurrection. The problems mentioned above are not the only difficulty with these verses in Matthew. The vocabulary in the verses is problematic. We will look at two words in the order they appear in the verses: “bodies,” and “resurrection.”

Verse 52 says that many “bodies” of the holy people arose. At first this seems unusual because the vast majority of the time it is the “people” who arise, not just the body. It was Lazarus who came out of the tomb, not Lazarus’ body. Thus this vocabulary of the “body” usually hearkens to later debates when Gnostics and Neoplatonists were bringing into Christianity their ideas about the soul living on after death, and saying that only the body would need to get up because the soul would return to it from heaven, where it had been since the death of the body. It is true that Isaiah 26:19 says that in the future dead bodies will arise, and Romans 8:11 mentions life being given to our “mortal bodies.” However, the fact that “bodies” is used in Matthew 27:52 makes it suspect.

The most unusual word in Matthew 27:53 is “resurrection.” The Greek word is egerais, and this is the only time it is used in the New Testament. Indeed, it is used only once in the Greek Old Testament, in Psalm 139:2, “You know when I sit and when I rise.” The word means “a waking up as from sleep, a rousing or rising up.” Although the word was used in reference to the raising of the dead, it was not used that way in Christian literature until the Church Father, Irenaeus. [4]

Several scenarios are possible: by the time Matthew wrote, Christians were using egerais to refer to the resurrection because it can mean a waking from sleep, and Matthew used it that way. Or Matthew may have been the first to use it that way and the concept spread in Christianity. What we believe, however, is that this verse was written a little later than the Gospel of Matthew and then imported into it. Although there is no “absolute proof” that Matthew would not have used the word, it is very unusual that its only occurrence in the entire New Testament is in this one difficult section.

From the evidence given thus far, there is really no honest way to absolutely exclude these verses from the text, even though they cause some serious difficulties in the biblical record. They are not missing in any of the Greek texts of this section of Matthew. They are referred to by many Church Fathers and, lastly, although the vocabulary is not common, it does not demand that the section be considered a later addition to the text. We can conclude that if Old Testament believers were raised, they were not raised to everlasting life. It is possible, but as we have seen, unlikely due to lack of supporting evidence, that they were raised and then died again in a few weeks or months.

It is interesting that some have used the record in Matthew to try to prove that there is life after death, but nothing of the kind can be proven from this record. The “saints” were dead, not alive. There is nothing in the record that says that they were alive in any way, or that their “souls” were returned to them from heaven. It simply says that their bodies were raised. If anything, this record shows that dead people are quite dead until they are raised to life by the Lord Jesus. Even if there were people who did get up from the dead at that time, they (like Lazarus and others who were raised) later died again and are still dead, awaiting the Lord Jesus to give them everlasting life. For a thorough exposition of this vital subject, see our book, Is There Death After Life?.

In closing, it is important to note that a study of textual corruption shows that many additions or deletions to the original biblical text were due to an agenda being promoted by the particular translator. In regard to Matthew 27:52 and 53, it is our opinion that whoever added them there was trying to promote the error now all too common in Christianity, which is that there is life after death independent of being given new life in a new body by the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ at his appearing.

No one could, or will, rise from the dead and remain alive prior to the glorious moment when the Lord Jesus appears and gives new life to all those who believed in him. Amen.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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One Response to Jesus and Orpheus in Hades

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    In her letter Rena ask me to forgive her fr being abusive. “I came from a dark place.” In my past last I believe I was a pianist, perhaps a famous composer. I improvise on my guitar – while in a trance. When I looked into the sea, and asked “Where are you?” I now realize who I sought. I made an agreement with my beautiful wife in my past life, that we would find each other………..again! “Here I am! You beloved Muse!”

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