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JESUS THE ZEALOT
 
The Zealots were the equivalent of the IRA in the first century. They were Jewish fanatics who maimed and killed in the name of liberating their country from the Romans. If Jesus existed he was a Zealot. It appears that the life-story of Jesus was made up from different life-stories and so it could happen that episodes in a Zealot leader’s life became part of the Jesus story.
 
If Jesus had been a Zealot it would imply that he was not a miracle-working Son of God at all but just a normal man with violent leanings. He did not expect to save the world by his death and resurrection but hoped to stir up a bloody revolution that would eject the Romans from his country. The faked resurrection could have been intended to create a new brand of Judaism that would be more like paganism and attract the Romans and win an easier time for the Jews.
 
If you read the Bible you will learn that real Christianity and the real Jesus, if there was one, were very far from pacifism. Very far and that could be dangerous for some of today's would be terrorists to find out if they have a Christian background.


THE EVIDENCE FOR JESUS BEING A ZEALOT
 
Jesus claimed to be the Messiah which means anointed one or king. He was secretive and then he admitted it openly later. He did not deny it when people thought he was the Christ so he would have attracted lots of Zealots. They must have been welcomed for the gospels would be happy to tell us if they were not. Even his teaching and healings made people want to make him king suggesting that all believed he had royal blood and could become the king.
 
Jesus could have called himself Messiah for hearts, just like Diana was Queen of Hearts, and avoided the word kingdom. He talked all the time about the reign or the kingdom of God which he called basileia which word means empire (page 170, Jesus). If he had not been a Zealot he would have avoided these political expressions which would only disturb the authorities and provoke them and make people misunderstand. Jesus should have waited to call himself the Messiah when the resurrection was passed. When he didn’t it shows he was trying to make inroads into politics.
 
Jesus claimed to be the Messiah to his disciples and never once told them that he was a different kind of Messiah to what everybody expected, a political warrior king who would set up a kingdom for God on earth. So he must have been claiming to be that kind of king. The word meant that kind of king.
 
Simon the Zealot was one of his apostles. And Judas Iscariot means Judas the stabber and Iscariot denotes the small knives, called the sicarii, that Zealots used to carry out assassinations. Judas’ surname implies a number of knives so Judas could have been the maker of the knives for them or the supplier or had several knives himself which he put to much use earning him the nickname. Jesus would have been in big trouble for having these men as his disciples. It would bring suspicion on him. He was willing then to be seen as a Zealot for he was one. Christians say that Jesus having Zealots as his organisers of the kingdom of God means nothing for Matthew was a tax collector and it did not mean that Jesus was into supporting the Roman revenue. But Matthew had left his job for Jesus. It is naïve to suggest that Matthew would not have joined with a Zealot, and by implication Rome, when Rome had been his employer. There is no evidence that Matthew liked the Roman rulers. And being a Zealot was not an occupation or job but about being a subversive. A modern prophet who has an IRA man as an apostle would obviously be approving of that man’s activities. He would probably be an IRA man himself. Even after Jesus rose from the dead the apostles wanted him to restore the kingdom to Israel so they had nationalistic ideas all the time meaning that the Zealot apostles were still Zealots. Obviously, they knew that the kingdom of God was to be political and save Israel from its enemies. They had never been put off this notion so Jesus must have agreed with what the Zealots were trying to do.
 
And the Jews accused Jesus of forbidding taxes and inciting the people to revolt against Rome to Pilate which they would not have done unless it were true.
 
Jesus marched into Jerusalem on a donkey in fulfilment of a prophecy that the king would come to take over and save Israel from its enemies by doing this very thing. The people hailed him as a political king for this reason. He must have wanted them to do that for he could have gone discreetly into Jerusalem that way if he wanted to be seen as a spiritual king. The Zealots would have flocked to him that day and that would have been enough to get him killed on the spot by the Romans. But we read that Jesus was still able to go about preaching after what he did. That would only have been tolerated if he were being watched to find out what the secret society of the Zealots might be planning. It seems more likely that the gospels are covering up the failure to take control of the city. for delaying was dangerous and it was easy enough for the Romans to be prepared for further attacks.
 
Jesus made sure his disciples were armed the night he was arrested and said that two swords were enough. This seems strange unless he planned to get his men together that night for an attack and was preparing his disciples beforehand. Perhaps they were expecting more men to join them. The fact that a cohort (page 76-77, The Messianic Legacy), a lot of men, was sent to arrest him proves that they knew what he was up to and expected an army to come to Jesus’ defence. Judas betrayed Jesus by telling the Jews where he was and what was going on so that they could take him quietly. They could and would have done that without Judas who they couldn’t trust unless they were looking for a time when Jesus could not call his army together which they could have researched by themselves.
 
The Gospels say the apostles ran away which is odd if the Jews wanted to keep the arrest low-key and nobody arrests the ringleader without his men as well. This may suggest that they faced Jesus’ army. Jesus was captured and the army ran off.
 
Some would say they let the apostles go in order to preserve the peace. There was no battle for Jesus for it was thought he was only going to jail or for trial. Not likely.
 
It is impossible to argue that when the Jewish leaders and priests went and told Pilate that Jesus was trying to organise a revolt and opposing taxes paid to Caesar (Luke 23:2) that they were lying. They were not going to be so obvious. Anyway it was enough that Jesus claimed to be Christ – they didn’t need to go any further than that. Would they lie when Jesus was about to be questioned by Pilate? They knew Pilate could execute the lot of them if he wanted for he was one of the worst blood-drinkers that ever graced Palestinian soil. In Luke, Pilate questions Jesus without even knowing he was a Galilean and when he finds out he sends him to Herod. This is impossible to believe. Pilate was not going to question criminals unless there was reason to believe they had done something seriously criminal and he was certainly going to know about the criminal and where he was from and how he behaved before he would question him. So why did Luke lie? Probably to give the impression that Jesus was so harmless that Pilate and the Romans had no interest in his activities. That this was a crude cover-up is made clear when Jesus processed into Jerusalem a few days before claiming to be the successor of King David.
 
The gospels never explain why the people turned against Jesus so ferociously after welcoming him to Jerusalem. It seems they bayed for his crucifixion a few days later. This proves that the gospels were hiding something. There had to be more to it than just the Romans killing Jesus to please the jealous Jews. The people could have been adherents to the Sadducee sect which collaborated with Rome and they would have hated this zealot for disturbing the peace.
 
Jesus approved of the evil Jewish Law and even tried to go back to the original understanding of it so he would have agreed that holy murder was lawful and even a duty.
 
Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that if you were well liked you were doing something wrong and were not living as you should. He was supposed to have been well-liked for a long time which would suggest that the people liked his politics and that he let them sense that he was going to do something about the Romans.
 
Jesus claimed to fulfil the Old Testament prophecies and said he would fulfil them all. Most of the prophecies about the Messiah are not about the kind of Messiah that Christians say he was but about one that would rule the land and vanquish enemies and establish righteousness on earth after a great war. They never hint that the Messiah will do this after he dies or rises from the dead or anything. The Messiah allegedly was called Prince of Peace in Isaiah but that would only mean he has to fight to make peace so that his people can enjoy peace without disturbance from their enemies. The prophecies were written to Israelites with no hint that they were written to the Church which claims to be the New Israel. See Jeremiah 23. Jesus knew he had to fulfil all the prophecies. He knew Deuteronomy 18 spelled it out that nobody had any right to be believed unless he spoke for God and predicted the future and was always right. So this would have made him see that he would have had to fulfil every prophecy before he could ask for faith. He would have to prove it for the same reason the prophet had to be always right. He had to have been a Zealot. Maybe not an orthodox one but he had to be a Zealot for prophecy demanded that he take the terrorist role if he wanted to be a Messiah.
 
Jesus being a Zealot would be one explanation for why Paul just cared about the risen Jesus and not the one that tried to save Israel and ended up on a cross.
 
Jesus being a Zealot would also explain why the Romans hated Christianity so much. They were supposed to have been hated for immorality and for atheism for they did not use idols. But still the Romans were determined not to hear their side which suggests their phobia had something to do with who founded the sect. The phobia was too deep-set and prevalent to be mere religious prejudice. Though Jesus claimed to be Christ and they hated that it still would not have made them hate Jesus that much.
 
RIOT IN THE TEMPLE
 
Jesus organised a riot in the Temple soon after his political statement that he was rightful ruler by entering Jerusalem in Messiah fashion. He overthrew baskets and wouldn’t let people carry things through the Temple. He must have had people helping him for the Temple Guards would have taken care of him as soon as he turned the first table and he could not do all those things on his own. The attack took place near a festival time and uprisings of some sort were always happening at such times so the number of guards would have been increased considerably. The Temple area was well over the size of thirty football fields. For Jesus to drive the workers out of the Temple would have demanded a huge amount of assistance. He must have had over a thousand supporters to help him. Mark 11:11 says that Jesus went into the Temple to examine everything and used a professional word to describe what Jesus did periblepsamenos inferring that Jesus was on what he considered an official legal mission which would have necessitated a very thorough examination and had the manpower to help him assess the goings on in the Temple. Jesus was obviously a self-appointed king for only that could have let to him imagining that he had the right to stick his nose into the affairs of the Temple and it indicates that he and his followers who helped him did not respect the law of the land at all though Christianity says they did. Jesus was defying the law of the land and going his own way and even decreeing his own laws. This was the one that supposedly said, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth”. He risked death for himself and his followers and was obviously prepared to command the bloody slaughter of any Temple Guards that tried to stop his outrageous intrusion. To pick a festival time was very very provocative. Innocent men and women and children could have been killed.
 
Many thousands came to the Temple at festival time. Mark tells us that Jesus kept the visitors out and managed to keep people from coming in with their containers and other things (11:15-16). Mark tells us that the priests could not kill him though they wanted to there and then that day for they were afraid of the crowd. This would not have been the case had Jesus only had a few men with him – then a Temple Guard could have slain him and blamed a sniper afterwards to hide the priests’ role in the matter. The fact that Jesus and his army got into the Temple suggests one undeniable fact: Jesus had some of the Roman leaders in his pocket. Christians take note of that when you argue that the Romans could not have stolen the body of Jesus or helped him survive the cross or fake his death.
 
The Christians say Jesus just threw over a few tables in the Temple. That amount of violence would not have made any difference or any impact but it would have got Jesus into trouble. Jesus had to have done more than thrash up a few stalls. John 2 says he did a lot of damage and even got the animals out of their pens. These pens were strong. He didn’t do that with a whip. He must have had an axe with him as well. The John gospel is not telling us everything – but we will not be taken for fools by it.
 
It would have been more respectful and sensible if Jesus had protested outside the Temple. He defiled the Temple if he did what the Christian gospels say. It seems Jesus would have earned no friends by doing that and so it was very unlikely for him to wilfully defile the Temple. This view would have it that Jesus and his army caused what they believed to be a justifiable riot in the Temple to purge it of the abuses that were taking place in it. The gospels say as much when they said his point was that the Temple was not to be a den of thieves but the house of God. But the fact that Jesus chose such a strange time for it was so busy and the Temple had extra protection and when he knew the Jews could have rallied together the male visitors to the holy city to oust him from the Temple if they needed to shows that Jesus couldn’t care less about defiling the Temple. Spilling human blood in the Temple and tarring all the workers with the same brush and attacking them and their property and throwing their money to the ground for thieves to grab it shows absolutely no respect for the Temple and no belief in its status as the House of God. The gospels are lying.
 
The gospels are not saying too much in case they give away the fact that Jesus led the Zealots to war in the city. Perhaps his followers saw that he wanted to slaughter the Jewish leaders as well as the Romans and that was why they turned against him and bayed for his crucifixion later. John 2:15 says that Jesus used a whip of cords leading some to say it was an absurd whip that would do no good. They say he just made it not to use it but for symbolism. But he could have made a huge whip from cords and depending on what the cords were made of they could have left a mark on anyone struck by them. The Christians say he did not use the whip as a weapon but as a symbol. They have an excuse for everything unpleasant he did. Jesus was not going to get sheep and oxen out of the Temple area and knock over several tables with coins on them like John reported with a symbolic whip. Or did Jesus attach something to the end of the cords – a weight or something? When Jesus was not grabbed to stop him doing these things it shows how powerful the army he had with him was. The Temple workers were afraid to lay a finger on him showing it was a real ugly brutal riot.
 
Christians say that Jesus was not a Zealot when he attacked the Temple for that was a religious not a political act. But the Zealots were religious people and hated religious corruption which was why they held such racist attitudes towards Gentiles ruling over their country. They embraced the bloodthirstiness and racism commanded by the God of the Torah.
 
The riot in the Temple makes no sense. The story is so bizarre and full of inconsistencies and yet it is like something nobody would have made up about Jesus even if nearly everything else was. For example, it is impossible to believe that Jesus could have taken an army into the Temple and not been stopped. It is impossible to believe that Jesus would even have been let into the Temple. The Jews agreed that he was a heretic and in league with the Devil. Jesus said he was the Messiah which means Rome would directed that the likes of him be kept away from the Temple for it was feared that would-be Messiahs would use religion to get political power and even cause an insurrection. I take it as evidence that there is no evidence for the existence of Jesus. When even the things about him that you might think nobody would have made up about him are untrue, Jesus probably never existed either. Paul stressed a Jesus of peace indicating that Jesus led no riot in the Temple. The origin of the story seems inexplicable. The story probably began among Jewish Christians who had zealot sympathies who were getting revelations from Heaven that Jesus was on the side of the nationalists and it grew into a story about Jesus rioting in the Temple. Perhaps Jews who pretended to be Christians were saying it happened in the hope of making the Christian believe it and look silly. Josephus never mentioned this momentous riot so it never happened. It could be that Jesus Barabbas who allegedly was chosen by the people to be released instead of Jesus was confused with Jesus. Perhaps somebody thought Jesus appeared in the Temple and caused the riot while in fact it was Barabbas. The Luke Gospel says that Jesus Barabbas was an insurrectionist and who caused a riot in the city.
 
Jesus made no difference to the Temple shenanigans. It would have been business as usual the next day. The Son of God failed. No wonder a resurrection story would have been popularised to make him look better. But it does no good except to convince those who are already predisposed to believe. Has the exposures of Sai Babas’ miracles as tricks and his alleged illicit sexual activities done his religion much harm? Very little!


NO EVIDENCE AGAINST JESUS BEING A ZEALOT
 
Christians do everything they can to prove that Jesus was not a Zealot.
 
The Sermon in the Mount commanded turning the other cheek and carrying a Roman soldier’s pack two miles when asked to do one. These rules would have been necessary to avert suspicion. Jesus was interested in getting the Romans out of Palestine but not in hating them as persons. He commanded and practiced kindness to them for it was nothing personal. The public face of the IRA seems nice and reasonable but then the main organisation is not.
 
Jesus told the Jews to pay taxes to Caesar for his face was on the coins. It was too soon to have a revolt so he had to tell them to do that in the meantime. It could be said that when he gave such a stupid reason for paying taxes that he was saying, “They should not be paid for the only reason they should be paid if they should be is that Caesar’s face is on them and that is not a reason at all”.
 
Jesus ran away when the people tried by force to make him king. That may only proves that the circumstances were not right not that he was dead set against becoming a king.
 
Jesus prophesied not liberation but destruction for the nation. A Zealot prophet would seem to prophesy liberation. But Jesus could have wanted the Jews to be destroyed for most of them were not Zealots and the Jewish leaders even collaborated with the Romans. The gospels are full of his rancour against the Pharisees and the scribes or Sadduccees – the latter were the worst collaborators. He predicted that the kingdom of God would come. This would probably be made up of good Zealots and Jews with the majority destroyed. Jesus never said they would all be destroyed. And the kingdom of God had to be a political outfit. A kingdom without laws and penalties and politics is not a kingdom at all. The kingdom of God was certainly to be a Church but was to be a real kingdom. The Church says that the kingdom of God is just a non-political collection of people who serve God. Jesus would have believed that those who sincerely obey God’s laws would be already in this kind of kingdom of God but he viewed it and stressed it in such a way that it had to be more than that.
 
Jesus told Pilate his kingdom was not of this world for his servants would fight to save him if it were. Anybody who claimed to be a spiritual as well as a temporal king could say that if he had lost the temporal kingdom. Jesus had nobody at that time.

 

Caiaphas in the gospel of John accuses Jesus of sedition.  That is extremely important.  People argue that the embarrassing stuff written about Jesus means it was true but they cherry-pick the material.  The sedition accusation should be top of the list in believability.  
 
Jesus said that he was going to Jerusalem to be crucified and die and that he would rise again. It seems a Zealot leader would not be saying that for he would be expecting to win the war. But Jesus could have believed that this would happen to him and that it would be worth it if it incited the people to violence against those responsible. Maybe he wanted to die for this reason. To be a martyr.
 
Jesus did not talk much about politics - or so it seems.  The gospels could have left out his political activities in order to avoid being burnt by the Romans.  Jesus, as far as we know, did not look at the political history of the people much which seems to suggest he was not a Zealot. But when the gospels are more interested in the spiritual side of Jesus and see no relevance in the political side for Jesus was long gone this would be only natural. We only know a little about what Jesus said and the gospels have most of the same teachings in common. Jesus would have had to have been careful for he had to be sure his army was gathered properly and had to exercise discretion so too much political talk in public could have got him in trouble.
 
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
 
Having established that Jesus was a Zealot then it follows that what Josephus was supposed to have written about him was forged for it never mentioned Jesus’ political activities.
 
Perhaps that was why so few wrote about him for he was a martyr for the Zealots and they wanted the public to forget him in case the Zealots would keep his memory alive to incite the people to revolt.
 
St Justin Martyr mentioned the Samaritan Simon of Gitto who lived in the time of Claudius Caesar who reigned from 41-54 AD and worked mighty miracles in Rome itself. Many of the Samaritans believed that Simon was God or the first God. An image of Simon was set up in Rome for the Romans to worship it as an idol. This is very interesting. Samaritanism was much the same as Judaism except it had extra gods inferior to the first God and worshipped at Mount Gerazim instead of Zion. When Rome accepted this devotion and did not accept Jesus who was no worse and perhaps better in many ways it suggests that Jesus must have been a hated Zealot.


CONCLUSION

 

Jesus was a Zealot if he lived and so he was not the Son of God and unworthy of worship.  Or if you want you can think about what James Still wrote online, "We can safely conclude at this point that Jesus was indeed supportive of the Zealot movement if not in deed, then certainly in principle."


BOOKS CONSULTED
JESUS, AN Wilson, Flamingo, London, 1993
JESUS THE JEW, G Vermes, Collins, Glasgow, 1973
HE WALKED AMONG US, Josh McDowell and Bill Wilson, Alpha, Cumbria, 2000
THE MESSIANIC LEGACY, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh & Henry Lincoln, Corgi, London, 1987
 
http://www.geocities.com/nephilimnot/historical_jesus_christ.html