The Reality of Easter (Passover)

In the Hebrew Bible, it was the Israelite priests that had themselves chosen by an ancient god of polytheism called Yahweh and set themselves up as his mouth piece leaving their final legacy in the editing of the Hebrew Bible known as “P“ for the Priestly School (This is confirmed by the fact that, with the passing of W.F. Albright (1891–1971) and the Albright School, the historicity of both the Patriarchs and Moses are now understood as pure religious myth.)

As a result of this edited legacy, the Israelite priests severed the Temple and whose control was nothing short of divine dynasty (After the reform of Josiah ended local shrines that posed competition for the Jerusalem Temple 2 Kings 22 - 23).

Here the grain, meat and drink offerings where served to the national god Yahweh only by this limited and tightly controlled priesthood. While whole offering sacrifices are discussed in the Hebrew text, the late and general procedure for offering a sacrifice, was (as in the case of meat) by taking only the best unblemished animals (“without blemish” is the requirement for sacrifice that runs throughout the entire book of Leviticus or a text constituting a major document of the Priestly school). Moreover, slaughtering it in the proper kosher method by bleeding it and then burning the fat, guts and bones to Yahweh while keeping the eatable portions for the priests themselves. What was not eaten by the priests was sold to the general Israelite population living in Jerusalem or the neighboring towns for money to maintain the Temple and spending money for these priests to support their families.

The Priestly Code is a complex religious document that demands sacrifice for sin offerings from everything from childbirth to a national Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) of an animal sacrifice by the High Priest to a yearly massive slaughter house event require of all Israelites called Passover. It is at such time as Passover that the strong stench of animal urine, dung and blood along with the bellowing cries of animals waiting for slaughter could be totally over powering when the streets around the Temple ran red with animal blood diluted with both urine and fecal matter. This, to such over lords as the Greeks (Seleucids such as Antiochus IV) and the Romans, Jewish sacrifice was totally repulsive.

Should this lunar event fall further into the heat of spring, the stench was multiplied along with pollution and disease. (We might note here that, just like a slaughtered Temple animal, the dying Jesus’ blood, as well as that of the other two criminals crucified on either side of him would have also been mixed with his own urine and fecal matter along with vomit which would most likely would have covered his chest due to a slow suffocating death.)

{In this respect, the Catholic crucifix (which depicts a loin cloth over the Jesus‘ private parts) is nothing but a pious depiction of the horrible reality of Roman crucifixion created not to offend its use in public churches above the altar. (The fact that medieval religious art depicts only Jesus nailed to the cross while the other two criminals are tied to their crosses is simply to help the pious religious mind think that ONLY Jesus alone shed his blood and clearly to teach a major Christian dogma in the doctrine of atonement and salvation.)}

With the Temple rededicated under the Hasmonaeans and the Jews now under Roman control, Judea was now given to Herod the Great to rule. To keep things civil, Herod's religious choices made sure the Temple affairs were run by secular priests or, what the New Testament calls Sadducees. (Josephus Antiques XV, XVI, XVII 1-8)

For the average religious Jew, secular life and religious law were meshed into one. Other than satisfying the tax burden of Rome, the life of a pious Jew as to satisfy the Torah requirements of their national religious life and heritage.

With no separation between religion and state, Temple corruption was rampart as noted by both Josephus and the Gospels. In short, what we find in the selling of animals in the Temple was none other than one of the first examples of a Capitalistic economy where profit is a motivating factor. Or better put, why travel to Jerusalem with an animal which one must feed and water on the journey and which may get blemished on the way; when one could simply take advantage of the “Buy Here; Sacrifice Here” convenient store Temple offerings. After all, money was a lot easier to carry up to Jerusalem for Passover than an animal.

Since the secular Sadducees control the Temple and the selling of sacrificial animals near the altar; for a price, one was guaranteed an animal without blemish would be guaranteed pass the test of the priest and leave everyone happy (whether it was in fact spotless could be certainly over looked for a good selling price).

The fact that Jesus is depicted in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 21: 12 - 14; Mark 11: 15 -18; Luke 19: 45 - 47) as objecting to the buying and selling in the Temple places his theology more in line with the Pharisees who were highly conservative in their theology, but who lack any control over the Temple.

This mixture of religion, state and Capitalism ended abruptly in 70 CE when the Romans burnt the last Temple ending both the secular sect of the Sadducees and over 2,000 years of sacrificial of offerings to Yahweh.

20 comments:

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Harry,

This must be part one of two articles as I didn't see an ending to this one.

It seems that you'r at least admitting that what is celebrated now as easter was actually originally passover? Is that right? Most of you guys chose the alternate route. Anyway, I'll move on to things I actually either disagreed with or want to know more about:

You said: "What was not eaten by the priests was sold to the general Israelite population living in Jerusalem or the neighboring towns for money to maintain the Temple and spending money for these priests to support their families."

Not to say that's it's not there but where are the refrences in support of this statement. Once again, I think the point of the article was that this whole thing was complicated and drawn out (I agree) but I may have missed this one.

You also said: "It is at such time as Passover that the strong stench of animal urine, dung and blood along with the bellowing cries of animals waiting for slaughter could be totally over powering when the streets around the Temple ran red with animal blood diluted with both urine and fecal matter."

Once again where is the support for this sort of observation, either secular or biblical. I'd like to evaluate either.

You said: (concerning Jesus death)"would have also been mixed with his own urine and fecal matter along with vomit which would most likely would have covered his chest due to a slow suffocating death."

This would have been less likely as the Passover meal was generally a light one as demonstrated in all 4 gospels and as a religious leader or teacher Jesus probably would have fasted up until a certain point (that meal) and obviously went to Gathsemene to pray where there was no food. In any manner he wasn't cricified on a full stomach such as yours.

Later.

Harry McCall said...

Harvey,

From a critical perspective, we know that Moses did not write the Pentateuch, nor did he give Rabbinic Judaism the Oral Talmud
(Pharisaic vs. Sadduasic claims). We deduce this from modern scholarship such as the studies done by Jacob Neusner (one among many).

Nowhere in the Bible will be find a text edited by the Priestly School. Nowhere in the Biblical text will one find what is now known as the Dueteronomistic School which changed the requirement of Exodus 12 where every house hold was to sacrifice a lamb and sprinkle its blood on the lintel and door-post to, where with the reform of Josiah, this sacrificial act was to be performed only at the Jerusalem Temple Duet. 16 by its priests.

The very fact that the Temple and its priests were corrupt Antiquities 20 and that even Josephus himself was victimized by bribes accepted by High Priest Ananus (Life 38-39).

As to the corrupt selling of the sacrificed animals, again see Josephus: Antiquities 20: 181, 206; 101f.; 179ff; 205ff; 213.

I know of no archeological digs around Jerusalem where any type of underground sewer system was used (if I’ve missed something here about any Jerusalem sewers, let me know).

Thus, it only follows logic that, as in the cases of modern slaughter houses, there is a large amount of bowel waste involved not only in the killing of animals where at death the bladder and bowels are released, but as they are cut up in the secondary process of slaughter where more organ matter is released.

Moreover, as even today, kosher foods have to be prepared under Rabbinic guide lines and the Temple was a center point for this kosher action in the first century CE.

Shalom,
Harry

Harry McCall said...

Harvey,

When I was a seminary student, I took a course on the Lord’s Supper. We were given two approaches to this last meal Jesus had at Passover:

A. The first was it was a small Passover meal which you claim he had.

B. The second view was a book called Eating and Drinking with Jesus where one scholar put forth a view that it was a huge meal like a wedding feast. (This might be why the disciples kept falling asleep while Jesus prayed…too much wine and food.)

Unlike many who comment here, I do think Jesus existed (Josephus mentions 21 different people named Jesus himself. It was a popular name just like we fine the name Jesus in Mexico given a lot to men).

John W. Loftus said...

Unlike many who comment here, I do think Jesus existed (Josephus mentions 21 different people named Jesus himself. It was a popular name just like we fine the name Jesus in Mexico given a lot to men).

;-)

Codswallop said...

Re: Harvey McCall's last comment:

The disciples' falling asleep is perfectly consistent with a Passover seder. In the course of the meal one must drink four cups of wine. That is, at least four cups. And traditionally, the seder goes on and on, often until nearly dawn. An account of such a seder can be found in the Talmud, and the practice continues among ultra-orthodox Jews to this day.
No wonder the apostles fell asleep.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Codswallop,

PLEASE don't place my first name in front of Harry's last...That's NOT a good thing...HE might have to become a Christian again and start preachin' he's already waiting to be ordained...mannnn!

Harry,

So far as your comments, you're making a deductive argument then? I mean that doens't make it a bad argument in my book, but it is deductive based on a lack of sanitation necessary to make the ceremony a clean one in your view? That's an interesting thought and one I will take into greater consideration. This should be more of an archaeological and ceremonial type solution because I didn't think it was addressed biblically.

So far as the Moses writing, I would agree that he probably didn't write it in his own hand, but that his scribes or a number of scribes actually helped him compile the narrative. The problem I have with your types of arguments regarding this are that there are discovered evidences that individuals who were not in the settings would not have readily known in the day...and archaeological finds can't be redacted even if a narrative can.

Now, what you suggest is that the whole story was embellished or made up after certain events. Now what gives account for the massive amount of information that was carried and placed into the story? Who were the grand archetects of keeping this info straight? Then how was it preserved and matched by time period to later archaeological finds?

You know as well as I that there was no mail or system of information transfer in place...It would take years sometimes for pieces of information to either follow or go ahead of individuals, and much of that information was insignificant during the time but is highly beneficial to historical study only. What you suggest is that these "redactors' would actually have the ability to weigh in their time, what would be important or significant findings in later years. So they would have to be clairvoinent(excuse the spelling) if nothing else.

I think it is upon you to lay out what evidences that negate Moses's and HISTORIC Israel's existence and the OT narrative. I know DC has done articles on aspects of that before but do another one with specific evidences and let's examine your claims to see if they hold water...I think that would be a beneficial post to the readers and commenters here.

Later.

feeno said...

Harry and Cod

G'day Mates

I know Christians (from some perspectives) like to cherrypick from scripture.

Let's look at Antiquities 18:3 (which speaks of Jesus' resurrection)

And Cod, the Talmud also speaks of of a crucified Jesus. (claims he encouraged Jewish apostasy.

Why is it so easy for us to accept the words of ancient writings and not the Bible, which at least parallel in many aspects?

Peace Out fellow cherry pickers, feeno

John W. Loftus said...

District Super, you sure are correct about a lot of things, aren't you? In fact, you seem to be right about everything, especially about events that supposedly took place precisely as reported in the past. Surely you must be right about too many things to allow your faith to stand the test of reason and solid evidence.

Are you sure you aren't merely doing what people call "wishful thinking? You need to take the outsider test, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

John,

How much knowledge of the natural universe do you have? What is the percentage? Give me an estimate. I would like to know.

Thanks.

Brad Haggard said...

Harry, this is interesting, but I'm not sure what your point is. The only point I would disagree with is the mythical patriarchs and a little of your Documentary Hypo. at the first. So....do we agree on something then? Surely this must be one of the signs.

Harry McCall said...

Harvey,

Why would Moses or his scribes write Exodus 12 requiring individual Israelites to sacrifice a lamb at their houses (putting the blood on the doorpost) then turn right around and write Deuteronomy 16 requiring all sacrifices to be done by Jerusalem priest at the Temple?

If Exodus 12 is not based on an early sanctuary view of an unorthodox theology of Yahweh (where many local temples and households shrines functioned) than Josiah’s reform and the Dueteronomistic School of editors created by his reform are left meaningless.

So, in the final analysis, you have to explain Exodus 12 and why 2 Kings 22 - 23 was written, thus creating one only Temple in Jerusalem by the final Pentateuch Book of Deuteronomy with it’s pro- Josiahian refroms verses the pro-Mosaic demands of Exodus 12.

As for has having sources for everything I discussed, can you prove that Jesus, or for that matter, anyone in the New Testament EVER had a bowel movement or urinated?

Would not that be a logical deduction of the physical facts just as I claim a Passover Temple in a Jerusalem packed with pious Jews sacrificing animals would have created a slaughter house effect of blood, dung and urine?


If you disagree still, then you must likewise come up with your own non-sourced views as to how sanitation was accomplished on the Temple mount.

Harry McCall said...

Brad,

I have a doctors appointment in an hour, but I’m glad you agree so for (other than my Historical Critical viewS on the Hebrew Bible).

I’ll catch up on the comments tonight.

Harry

Lvka said...

over 2,000 years of sacrificial of offerings to Yahweh.

Did You have Abraham in mind when You wrote this?

P.S.: word-verif. = "bilion"

John W. Loftus said...

District Super, asked me...How much knowledge of the natural universe do you have? What is the percentage? Give me an estimate. I would like to know.

I know enough to know I don't know that much, kinda like Socrates who said that the wise person is the one who claims not to know much at all.

But, what I do know tells me there is no creator God, no Holy Spirit, no Trinity, no fall into sin in the Garden of Eden, no universal flood, no exodus or Canaanite conquest, no prophecy about Jesus that specifically points to him as the messiah, no virgin birth, no incarnation, no atonement, no resurrection, no ascension, no future coming of the Son of Man, no great white throne judgment, no satan, no heaven or hell, and no inspired writings from God.

I could be wrong about these things though, as you'll be quick to say since I've just admitted I don't know much about the universe. Yes, I could be wrong. I admit this. But I consider what I do know to virtually eliminate that possibility. You cannot drive a truckload of silly hypotheses and ignorant conjectures based upon non-veridical religious experiences through that small hole of a possibility.

Now I have a question to ask you. How much do YOU know about the universe? ;-)

guitarstrummr said...

I never understood how Moses wrote that he himself was the most humble man on earth at that time. Damn, that's humble.

Lvka said...

(We might note here that, just like a slaughtered Temple animal, the dying Jesus’ blood, as well as that of the other two criminals crucified on either side of him would have also been mixed with his own urine and fecal matter along with vomit which would most likely would have covered his chest due to a slow suffocating death.)

{In this respect, the Catholic crucifix (which depicts a loin cloth over the Jesus‘ private parts) is nothing but a pious depiction of the horrible reality of Roman crucifixion created not to offend its use in public churches above the altar. (The fact that medieval religious art depicts only Jesus nailed to the cross while the other two criminals are tied to their crosses is simply to help the pious religious mind think that ONLY Jesus alone shed his blood and clearly to teach a major Christian dogma in the doctrine of atonement and salvation.)}


That's pretty much the same thing that this guy says here.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

John,

You said: "I know enough to know I don't know that much," and then said: "But, what I do know tells me there is no creator God..."

OK, John. So you mean that out of all the knowledge of the universe or in the world, you don't know much.

2 Questions: 1- If that's the case HOW and on what rational basis do you conclude that there is NO God?
2- How do you account for all the knowledge that you don't know?

I'll await a response.

John W. Loftus said...

Harvey, you made it to the front page with this line of reasoning.

Congrats to you!

socraticmammal said...

Years back, upon discovering what we read as "Lord God" in English came from a hybrid tradition of using Adonai for YHWH and Elohim for "God" as the Greek "Kyrios Theos" for the original Hebrew, I took up an interest in the Hebrew text. Taking a parallel Hebrew/English text, I used macros to highlight occurrences of YHWH, Elohim, El, El Shadday, Elim, Adonai, and other nouns, phrases, titles, etc... and replaced many English translations with the Hebrew term instead. It was an interesting to see how the impression of the text changes when instead of reading how the world was not created by a transcendent uber-being mysteriously referred to as "THE LORD GOD", but by YHWH, the greatest Elohim of all the Elohims who consistently bested them in feats of amazement.

That however, isn't the interesting part. With the highlighting in place, I immediately noticed how large portions of text would consistently use either YHWH or Elohim, with the only real exceptions being Gen 2 and 6. For a while I thought I had found something unique, then I learned of the Documentary Hypothesis. Still, I had stumbled across it on my own, so I at least gave myself kudos for that.

Starting of course with Friedman’s “Who Wrote the Bible”, I read everything I could find on the DH. It’s incredible to see how far various portions can be singled out and how many lines of evidence from analysis of the text itself support a multisource origin of the extant text. Dating the sources may be a point of debate, but that the sources are there isn’t. In fact, it’s interesting to see how many so called “contradictions” are resolved when understood as competing traditions.

The point of the matter is, I’ve seen many cases where the DH is outright dismissed by those uncomfortable with its implications, but, I have never seen a better explanation for the data itself.

Harry McCall said...

socraticmammal, thanks for your comments.

The Hebrew term Elohim (Gods) is actually masculine plural of El (God).

It is now known, especially from the Canaanite Ugaritic texts, that El is an aging senior god who is in the process of being over thrown by the younger god Ba’al.

That Yahweh is a fierce warrior god who marches with Israel into Holy War (Book of Joshua) and who demands human sacrifice is clear as I've stated here.