Freethought Nation

presented by Acharya S and TruthBeKnown.com, online since 1995

It is currently Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:07 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


hello

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:35 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:41 pm
Posts: 804
Comment at yahoo group Jesus Mysteries

James Barlow wrote: "See my essay The Star, and tell me what you think of it Robert.."
Link

Dear James
Thanks again for encouraging me to read your essay The Star. It contains a number of intriguing and valuable pointers to how, methodologically, we might understand the emergence of the Christ Myth. Your key point of method, in my view, is your statement “the only solution taking into account all of the evidence is that the Star was on the one hand more than mere legend created by the early church, and on the other not miraculous at all.”

Some mythicist tendencies err by regarding Christian stories as what you call ‘mere legend’ – invented fantasies with no ground in reality. Such critics position their arguments against the Christian supernatural tradition. Holding to an anti-religious agenda, they argue that refutation of conventional piety leaves pure invention as the only alternative to explain the emergence of Christianity. But your principle of method opens the way to a deeper interpretation – that Christian symbols are not miraculous but emerged out of natural observation, with the historized enfleshment of the Gospels a later allegorical popularisation.

As it happens, I have in the last week been researching precisely the topic you raise in your paper of lunar eclipses – the blood moon – as the decisive natural event that gave rise to the timing and some of the symbolism of the Christ Myth. So I was very pleased to find your analysis of this topic in your paper. I will come back in a later comment to the star of Bethlehem.

NASA provides diagrams of all eclipses, and the eclipse of April 33 AD is at http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/5MCLEmap/0 ... 04-03P.gif All lunar eclipses are linked at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_1s ... r_eclipses
Your source claims this event was a ‘blood moon’. Unfortunately, the lunar eclipse in 33 AD was partial, not total, so cannot be classed as a blood moon. However, there is an extremely interesting candidate event for the blood moon on March 23 in the year 4 BC. Viewed from Israel, this total eclipse of the moon began shortly after moon rise on the night of Passover. The moon was located at the feet of the virgin, Virgo. I have discussed this at viewtopic.php?f=21&t=4222

Your mention of the Bible phrases “born of a woman” and the virgin “with the moon at her feet” and the citation by Peter in Acts of Joel’s text “the moon will be turned to blood” as relating to a lunar eclipse may well make more sense against the total eclipse of 4 BC than the partial eclipse of 33 AD.

To understand why this event may have been decisive for Christian origins, consider Philo’s comment in On the Creation “The spring equinox in the constellation of Aries, and the autumnal one in Libra, gives the most evident demonstration possible of the divine dignity … at which time men are expressly commanded by law to celebrate the greatest and most popular and comprehensive festivals.”

Now, the epochal significance of this 4 BC lunar eclipse at Passover was that contrary to the old festival tradition cited by Philo, the blood moon evidently and obviously occurred for all to see at the feet of the virgin, showing that the sun, at the precise opposite point, was no longer in Aries but was in Pisces. The equinoxes had precessed into a new age. Instead of the Passover moon occurring in the sign of the law (Libra the scales) as had always happened since Moses, it happened in the sign of grace (Virgo the blessed virgin full of grace). A new covenant of grace was in order, replacing the covenant of law, as attested by Paul and John. A new cosmic age was beginning, as the spring equinox moved from the first sign (Aries) to the last sign (Pisces), marking the alpha and omega moment of the grand cycle of natural time. The new axis of the year was henceforth marked at the equinoxes by the loaves (Virgo) and fishes (Pisces).

I welcome James Barlow’s analysis in his paper The Star because it opens the big question of how early Christianity used observation of the sky as its template for its myths. While disagreeing on his specific arguments regarding the Star of Bethlehem (I believe it is Sirius) and the eclipse of the New Age (I think it is in 4 BC, not 33 AD), these are matters that we ought to be able to assess through patient and courteous discussion of the evidence.

Robert Tulip


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:18 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:41 pm
Posts: 804
Perhaps the clearest eclipse imagery in the Bible, apart from Peter’s quotation of Joel in Acts 2, is Revelation 6:12, the opening of the sixth seal, when “the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became as blood, and the stars of the sky fell to earth.”

This image of the blood moon refers to a total lunar eclipse, when the moon naturally looks red as blood, due to atmospheric dust, as seen in these photos.
Image
The ‘sackcloth made of hair’ is apparently black goat hair, and means a total eclipse of the sun. A solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse have to be separated by at least two weeks, between new moon and full moon, so these two events can’t be the same day. So when verse 6:16-17 describes these total eclipses as ‘the day of the wrath of the Lamb’ it is not speaking about a single day. Rather, the link to a time when ‘the stars of the sky fell to earth’ indicates that the eclipses point to us a visible shift of the heavens.

Eclipses were key events in the ancient world for showing the exact position of the stars, revealing the invisible that had only been calculated by astronomers. The greatest Greek astronomer, Hipparchus of Rhodes, used observation of a total lunar eclipse on 21 March 134 BC to see that Virgo's brightest star Spica had precessed against the equinox.

The next key eclipse reference in Revelation is in Chapter 12. "A great sign was seen in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child. She cried out in pain, laboring to give birth.”

On the night of Passover on 23 March 4BC, conventionally understood as the last year of the reign of Herod the Great and so a plausible birth date of Jesus Christ, a blood moon was visible in the sky at the feet of the sign of the virgin, with a total eclipse of the moon. This event is a plausible candidate for the origin of the mysterious symbolic language of Rev 12 about the woman and the moon and stars, and for the myth of Christ.

The Passover Blood Moon most certainly was ‘a great sign seen in heaven’. Jewish tradition had closely associated their primary national festival, Passover, with the month when the sun was in Aries and the moon was in Libra, as discussed by Philo. But, due to precession of the equinox, in this year a Passover blood moon was observable near the eclipse point, exactly opposite the sun, just a day or two after the equinox, but startlingly observable in the wrong constellation, at the feet of Virgo, and not in Libra. By the time of the Passover Blood Moon at the reputed birth date of Jesus Christ in 4 BC, Spica had precessed nearly a further two degrees from its position when Hipparchus noted the anomaly with old Babylonian star charts.

The age of the Lamb and the Scales of Justice had manifestly been replaced by the age of the fishes and the virgin, clearly visible for all to see in Jerusalem at a time when observation of the Passover moon was of broad public interest. As the crowd gathered in Jerusalem, they saw the moon rise at 6pm in the shadow of the earth, the penumbra, and then for two hours from 7pm, the moon went blood red as it passed through the core of the shadow, the umbra.

On this Passover night in 4BC, a 'great sign in heaven' occurred which could well have achieved wide notice as marking a turning point of time, a shift of ages – an event that could be the origin of the mysterious description in the Revelation of this event as ‘the stars falling from heaven.’ This total lunar eclipse matches precisely to the ‘woman with the moon at her feet’, since that is what everyone could see with the blood moon at Passover. The sense in which she was ‘clothed with the sun’ is more obscure. On this night Virgo was directly opposite the sun, and the moon at her feet was at its fullest – before it went blood red during the eclipse. Virgo bears a surprising similarity in shape to the framework of the icon of the Christian Blessed Virgin Mary, with four central stars forming a diamond with Spica at the foot in the same iconic diamond shape of the conventional Catholic statue of the virgin with hands held open at her sides. As has happened with other such religiously charged star maps, common depictions are distorted. Even so, Catholicism routinely depicts Mary with a crown of twelve stars, readily understood as the twelve signs of the zodiac.

Next we hear “She was with child. She cried out in pain, laboring to give birth.” My reading here, with the blood moon at the feet of the virgin at the equinox point in the last year of the reign of Herod the Great, is that the shift of the equinox axis into Virgo and Pisces as a result of precession was thought to symbolise a messianic transformation of the earth, the emergence of a new consciousness for a new age. However, the degraded fallen culture of the ancient world was incapable of comprehending this cosmic vision, so it was suppressed, denied, ignored and forgotten. Even so, the virgin did give birth to the avatar, in terms of the visible cosmic symbols, and this event gave rise to our Christian myths of the Nativity as known in the Gospels, and Paul’s discussion in Galatians of Christ as ‘born of a woman’, not literally but celestially.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:24 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:41 pm
Posts: 804
The woman with the moon at her feet described at Revelation 12:1 is a key precessional image in the Bible.

Earlier in this thread, I provided a diagram of the Passover blood moon at the feet of Virgo in 4 BC. Why I consider this such an interesting event is that the Passover moon at the spring equinox had traditionally occurred in Libra, but due to precession, it now occurred in Virgo. This 4BC eclipse event is a key to understanding the likely popular perception of a shift of ages. (Note the astronomy softward puts it in 5BC because it adds a year zero)

Passover was the main annual Jewish festival, and was a lunar event, timed for the full moon, with large numbers of people coming to Jerusalem. The full moon is usually difficult to place precisely against the stars except for astronomers. It appears full over about ten degrees of arc, about a third of a zodiac sign. It is so bright that most nearby stars become invisible. Without an eclipse, it is difficult for naked eye observation to tell the exact stellar position of opposition to the sun. But with the Passover blood moon, the eclipse dimmed the brightness of the moon making the background stars visible. It also showed the exact point of opposition, which would not otherwise be clear. Without an eclipse occurring very soon after the equinox, it would normally have appeared in classical times that the Passover moon would be in Libra. In most years, when Passover happened in April rather than March, it would still have appeared in Libra in ancient times. So this event 'the moon at the feet of the woman', describing a specific Passover event in 4BC, could truly have been widely perceived as what the Bible calls it, 'a great sign seen in heaven'.

Our knowledge of the cosmic framework of ancient culture has been corrupted by two millennia of Christian disinformation. So it is valuable to consider ancient sources on just how important the cosmic framework of the moon and other celestial objects was for Judaism.

David Ulansey, scholar of Mithraic precessional symbolism, has drawn attention to the description of the veil of the temple given by Josephus.
David Ulansey wrote:
...a passage in Josephus's Jewish War in which he describes the outer veil of the Jerusalem temple as it had appeared since the time of Herod. According to Josephus, this outer veil was a gigantic curtain 80 feet high. It was, he says, a "Babylonian tapestry, with embroidery of blue and fine linen, of scarlet also and purple, wrought with marvelous skill. ... its mystic meaning ... typified the universe....Portrayed on this tapestry was a panorama of the entire heavens.... "In other words, the outer veil of the Jerusalem temple was actually one huge image of the starry sky!

Josephus continues to describe the temple: "the seven lamps signified the seven planets.... The twelve loaves that were upon the table signified the circle of the zodiac and the year." Josephus goes on to describe the garments of the High Priest, including the zodiac breastplate which he only wore "once in a year, on that day [Yom Kippur] when our custom is for all of us to keep a fast to God." Yom Kippur falls near the autumn equinox, as the sun moves tropically into Libra, but with precession, sidereally into Virgo. These festival dates of Passover and Yom Kippur are based on the lunar calendar, showing how central observation of the moon was to ancient timekeeping.

The centrality of the moon to the ancient calendar illustrates how the moon at the feet of the woman can plausibly be read as a precessional symbol, with both main equinox festivals marking the slow shift of the stars from their traditional locations. At Passover, the shift into the Age of Pisces saw the full moon at the feet of Virgo, a position also occupied by the sun at Yom Kippur.

And by the way, in looking at this material, I found the following intriguing fact about ancient Jewish timekeeping: the day is divided into 24 hours of equal duration. Each hour is divided into 1,080 helek, derived from Babylonian measure. So that means there are 25920 helek in each day, the same number of years in the traditional estimate of the Great Year of precession of the equinox.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:10 am 
Offline
Moderator

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 8:17 pm
Posts: 2273
Location: Everywhere
Mighty interesting Robert!!!

8)

_________________
The Jesus Mythicist Creed:
The "Jesus Christ" of the New Testament is a fictional composite of characters, real and mythical. A composite of multiple "people" is no one.

The celestial Origins of Religious Belief
ZG Part 1
Jesus: Hebrew Human or Mythical Messiah?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:06 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:41 pm
Posts: 804
Further information on ancient Jewish use of the moon is at http://individual.utoronto.ca/kalendis/ ... chelek.htm

This site presents some remarkable facts. This page on the chekek (or Helek) is titled Why Divide Hours into 1080 Parts? by Dr. Irv Bromberg, University of Toronto, Canada. My commentary is in square brackets, and the unbracketed text is from Dr Bromberg. His full article is worth reading at the link above.

The time units of traditional Hebrew calendar arithmetic are years, months, days, hours, and parts (chalakim). One part (chelek) equals 10/3 seconds = 3+1/3 seconds = 1/18 of a minute = 1/1080 of an hour = 1/25920 of a day.

This web page examines where this strange time unit comes from, and highlights some of its noteworthy properties. Maimonides wrote that the number 1080 parts per hour was chosen because it is divisible without remainder by 2, 4, 8 and 3, 6, 9 as well as 5 and 10.

The duration of a part or chelek equals the earlier Babylonian barleycorn (pronounced she), the smallest Babylonian time unit, which was 1/72 of a time degree. The time degree was the principal Babylonian unit of time, corresponding to the time required for one degree of motion of Sun across the meridian = 1/360 of a solar day = 1440 minutes per day/360 time degrees per day = 4 minutes per time degree. Thus 4 minutes divided by 72 = 1/18 of a minute = 1 chelek. [ie the sun precesses by one barleycorn fraction of a degree every year, and in a chelek the sun moves against the stars as far as it precesses in a year.]

The traditional Jewish moon cycle known as the molad completes a full cycle of all possible molad moment times in as many months as there are parts in a day = 25920 months [equal to a zodiac age or one twelfth of a great year].

The concluding section discusses The Paschal Lamb Sacrifice (Korban Pesach) and the Paschal Moon, [showing the central importance of the lunar eclipse moment as the time to kill the lamb].

The slaughter and sacrifice of the Paschal lamb (Korban Pesach) was to take place in the afternoon of the 14th of Nisan, starting 1/2 hour after noon, exactly 1/2 way through the lunar month. This is based on the idea that it occurs at the moment of fullest moon, [when the moon is eclipsed if it is at the node, and is directly opposite the sun]. That moment ought to have been very close to the actual full moon moment (which of course can occur at any time of day).

The actual Full Moon moment is observationally best defined as the maximum of a lunar eclipse, regardless of where in the sky the observer sees it. The moment of the true astronomic maximum is observationally difficult to determine without instrumentation, however, because that is the moment of minimum distance between the center of Earth's umbral shadow and the center of Moon.

[But during a passover eclipse, as occurred in 4 BC, the moment of fullest moon is easily seen as the central moment of the full eclipse.]


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group