Chapter Nine: Gnostic New Testament: “Place of the Skull”
Jesus was crucified at Golgotha, or “the place of the skull” (Mt. 27:33-37). Christ’s purpose was to purify the “conscience” (in the skull). Adam and Eve were naked before their fall and naked afterwards (nothing changed except in their minds). The believers in Christ were to “repent” or “have a change of mind” (Acts 3:19). They were to “kill the beast” or overcome the “natural man,” thus becoming a spiritual, or resurrected man.
The scheme of redemption is metaphorical. A man standing upright with his arms out is a cross. Tertullian, when declaring that others (besides Christians) worshiped a cross, wrote: “If you position a man with his arms outstretched, you shall have created the image of a cross.” Within the skull of that upright man is a natural man, Adam. That Adam (Jesus) had to be crucified or destroyed so that the new Adam, the anointed man, the Christ, could rise. (This is why anyone in the new Christ would be greater than John [Mt. 11:11, Jn. 3:30].) That was the crucifixion of the son of man (not the son of God), an “invisible, spiritual, cosmic event of the mind.” Of course, upon this crucifixion and resurrection the person became a child/son of God and a “new man” (Eph. 2:15, 4:24; Col. 3:10).
Again, resurrection in the New Testament is spiritual. That’s why a person crucified the “Son of God” afresh when he turned back to his old ways (Heb. 6:6). When a person is enlightened, all darkness is gone and his eye is single (Lk. 11:34). He rises from his grave and is alive. His spirit is renewed and he experiences a new, resurrected life. This is the resurrection that Paul described in 1 Corinthians 15. Again, Yahweh’s “Son” was his fruit, his seed, his word that was planted in the heart of man. Proverbs 15:4 says that a “wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.” A breach is a fracture, a brokenness. When Israel lived perversely like the nations about her, she partook of the forbidden fruit, which broke her connection to her only true source of wisdom. Lamentations 2:13 states: “O daughter of Jerusalem? what shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? for thy breach is great like the sea: who can heal thee?” The “house of Jacob” (Israel, the virgin daughter herself) would eventually be the “repairer of the breach” (Is. 58:12). Isaiah 30:26 says that the “light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.” Again, the bride (moon) would shine like the husband (sun). She would reflect his glory on the earth with her crown of children on her head. Adam was the old Israel, and Christ was the new Israel.
Those who walk in the light of Yahweh eat from the tree of life (Christ). Christians must, then, crucify the natural man, the man who is selfish, prideful, and ego-ridden. That’s the only way, if one wishes to follow the teachings of the New Testament, to reach a resurrected state. Joshua Tilghman wrote:
You, too, must learn to defeat the ego just as Jesus defeated Satan. You are also meant to carry your cross and be crucified (your ego) at Golgotha, the place of the skull! It’s all in your head. You must conquer the mind, meaning the ego, and then become the Christ that Paul labors to form in you!
The number of man (Adam), according to Revelation 13:18, is 666. That is also the number of the beast. The Koine Greek number for the name “Jesus,” as has been stated, is 888. When the natural, earthly Adam (man) died, the beast died with him, and the Christ arose. That is the teaching of 1 Corinthians 15. Romans 1:3-4 states that Jesus was “made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Resurrection made him the son of God with power. According to the flesh, he was of the seed of David. He was Israel. He was the natural man. He was the Christ only in the resurrection. According to the Bible, Adam was made in the image of God and Jesus was the image of God (Gen. 1:26, Col. 1:13-15), but both were men. Making a man in the belly of a woman is no different from making a man from dirt. Both were humans if they existed at all (they were human characters in the biblical story).
It might be good to take the time here to look at several translations of Paul’s view of how Jesus became the son of God.
Bible in Basic English: Romans 1:3 About his Son who, in the flesh, came from the family of David, 4 But was marked out as Son of God in power by the Holy Spirit through the coming to life again of the dead; Jesus Christ our Lord,
World English Bible: Romans 1:3 concerning his Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
Young’s Literal Translation: Romans 1::3 concerning His Son, (who is come of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 who is marked out Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of sanctification, by the rising again from the dead,) Jesus Christ our Lord;
Geneva Bible: Romans 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord (which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 And declared mightily to be the Son of God, touching the Spirit of sanctification by the resurrection from the dead),
Douay-Rheims: Romans 1:3 Concerning his Son, who was made to him of the seed of David, according to the flesh, 4 Who was predestinated the Son of God in power, according to the spirit of sanctification, by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead;
King James Version Romans 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
American Standard Version: Romans 1:3 concerning his Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead; even Jesus Christ our Lord,
Since Paul wrote before the Gospels were written, it seems logical to conclude that the author of Romans saw Jesus as a mere man who, through his work on the earth, was simply declared to be the son of God. However, as time went on a couple of writers (Matthew and Luke) decided to make the story even bigger and better by declaring Jesus to have been conceived miraculously (while John thought he was a god from all eternity). I suppose that would be like a speck from the Father (really, shouldn’t all of us be that if the god who is in all and through all really exists [Eph. 4:6]?).
Dr. Tony Nugent, ordained Presbyterian minister, former professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University, and, as mentioned previously, a scholar of world religions, wrote:
“Jewish Christians, the first Christians, didn’t believe in the virgin birth. They believed that Joseph was the biological father of Jesus. Part of their Christology was ‘adoptionism’–they thought Jesus was adopted as the unique son of God at some time later in life. There were disagreements about when – Mark suggests the baptism, Paul suggests the resurrection. . . Eventually we get the gospel of John which pushes the sonship of Jesus back to the beginning of time. . . But Matthew and Luke think that the sonship of Jesus began at birth.”
Obviously the writers disagreed with one another. While Nugent stated that Paul’s belief was that a literal Jesus became the son of God upon his resurrection (and, in the story, perhaps he did), Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 15 presents a Christ’s coming into being at the final resurrection of the dead, not the resurrection of a man named Jesus (1 Cor. 15:43-47). This is important—it’s the spiritual significance of the mythical story. In the story, when Jesus was crucified he said, “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30). But it was not finished—not until Israel was “crucified,” not until Israel was reduced to ashes (with not one stone left on another [Mt. 24:2]), not until Israel rose from the dead. Adam was Jesus was Israel (1 Cor. 15:42-58). Again, the soul that sinned (Adam) is the soul that died (Israel) and the soul that was resurrected” (Christ) (Ezek. 18:4, 20).
Paul stated that Christ appeared to Peter and then to “the twelve, afterwards he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once . . . afterwards he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. And last of all — as to the untimely birth — he appeared also to me” (1 Cor. 15: 5-8). Although Paul never saw the risen Christ, he made no distinction in the way he “saw” Christ and the way the others he mentioned saw Christ. Paul’s intent was to express support for a Christ in heaven. Hebrews 8:4 states that if Christ “were [or “had been,” BBE] on earth” he couldn’t be priest; and Paul made sure people accepted his claim of Christ’s being in heaven, from where he did have authority as priest and could offer sacrifices. Jesus said that anywhere two or three people gather in his name, he is right there with them (Mt. 18:20). Do people actually see him? No. Did Paul see him? No, he saw a blinding light; and later he had a vision (Acts 9:3, 7; 18:9; 22:6). So what might we assume about how others “saw” Jesus after his resurrection (if indeed he was historic and walked on the earth before his supposed resurrection)? (Paul considered his seeing a light to be like everybody else’s seeing Jesus, yet he strangely never mentioned that Stephen claimed to see Jesus in the heavens [Acts 7:56].)
Raphael Lataster, author and lecturer at the University of Sydney, wrote:
“The first problem we encounter when trying to discover more about the Historical Jesus is the lack of early sources. The earliest sources only reference the clearly fictional Christ of Faith. These early sources, compiled decades after the alleged events, all stem from Christian authors eager to promote Christianity – which gives us reason to question them. The authors of the Gospels fail to name themselves, describe their qualifications, or show any criticism with their foundational sources – which they also fail to identify. Filled with mythical and non-historical information, and heavily edited over time, the Gospels certainly should not convince critics to trust even the more mundane claims made therein.
“Paul’s Epistles, written earlier than the Gospels, give us no reason to dogmatically declare Jesus must have existed. Avoiding Jesus’ earthly events and teachings, even when the latter could have bolstered his own claims, Paul only describes his “Heavenly Jesus.” Even when discussing what appear to be the resurrection and the last supper, his only stated sources are his direct revelations from the Lord, and his indirect revelations from the Old Testament. In fact, Paul actually rules out human sources (see Galatians 1:11-12).
“Also important are the sources we don’t have. There are no existing eyewitness or contemporary accounts of Jesus. All we have are later descriptions of Jesus’ life events by non-eyewitnesses, most of whom are obviously biased. Little can be gleaned from the few non-Biblical and non-Christian sources, with only Roman scholar Josephus and historian Tacitus having any reasonable claim to be writing about Jesus within 100 years of his life. And even those sparse accounts are shrouded in controversy, with disagreements over what parts have obviously been changed by Christian scribes (the manuscripts were preserved by Christians), the fact that both these authors were born after Jesus died (they would thus have probably received this information from Christians), and the oddity that centuries go by before Christian apologists start referencing them.
“Agnosticism over the matter is already seemingly appropriate, and support for this position comes from independent historian Richard Carrier’s recent defense of another theory — namely, that the belief in Jesus started as the belief in a purely celestial being (who was killed by demons [like Inanna] in an upper realm), who became historicized over time. To summarize Carrier’s 800-page tome, this theory and the traditional theory – that Jesus was a historical figure who became mythicized over time – both align well with the Gospels, which are later mixtures of obvious myth and what at least sounds historical.
“The Pauline Epistles, however, overwhelmingly support the ‘celestial Jesus’ theory, particularly with the passage indicating that demons killed Jesus, and would not have done so if they knew who he was (see: 1 Corinthians 2:6-10). Humans – the murderers according to the Gospels – of course would still have killed Jesus, knowing full well that his death results in their salvation, and the defeat of the evil spirits.”
We read in Ascension of Isaiah:
“The Lord will indeed descend into the world in the last days (he) who is to be called Christ after he has descended and become like you in form, and they will think that he is flesh and a man. And the god of that world will stretch out his hand against the Son, and they will lay their hands upon him and hang him upon a tree, not knowing who he is. And thus his descent, as you will see, will be concealed even from the heavens so that it will not be known who he is. And when he has plundered the angel of death, he will rise on the third day.”
“And all the angels of the firmament, and Satan, saw him and worshiped. And there was much sorrow there as they said, ‘How did our Lord descend upon us, and we did not notice the glory which was upon him, which we (now) see was upon him from the sixth heaven?’ And he ascended into the second heaven, and he was not transformed, but all the angels who (were) on the right and on the left, and the throne in the middle, worshiped him, and praised him, and said, ‘How did our Lord, remain hidden from us as he descended, and we did not notice?'”
This fits well with the biblical declaration that it was the princes of this world who killed Jesus, not knowing who he was (1 Cor. 2:8).
“Jesus’ life as it is related to the sun’s travels through the zodiac is a depiction of the soul’s birth and death on the physical plane as it relates to attaining Christ consciousness. It is the plan of salvation for every human being should they choose to undertake the journey of crucifying their ego.
“We must also remember that the Gospel stories depict Jesus’ ministry as taking place in one year. The sun travels through the 12 houses of the Zodiac in one year. Coincidence? I think not. Remember, even Enoch, another Christ figure and type, was taken by God at 365 years old. 365 days represents the completion of the solar year.
“With all the Zodiacal signs complete we can see a rebirth of the physical man into a spiritual man. This is the goal for anyone undertaking the advanced spiritual journey.”
While stories depicting a dying and rising god appear in the New Testament, that doesn’t necessarily mean the authors of the accounts believed them to be true, except perhaps in a metaphorical sense. Paul’s writings reveal this truth. And the idea, when taken allegorically, is not a bad concept: Heaven and earth are one. We can agree on that.
Tina Rae Collins
My goal is to share my book The Judaeo-Christian Myth one article at a time. If you find these articles interesting or you don’t think I’ll reach my goal (always a possibility, I suppose), and/or you just can’t wait, you can purchase the book by clicking on the picture above or the title in this paragraph. Thanks for reading!
 Tertullian, Ad Nationes, I, XII.  Bill Donahue, “What is the Crucifixion?” hiddenmeanings.com, n.d., web, 26 June 2014. Joshua Tilghman, “Jesus, the Zodiac, and Higher Consciousness,” The Spirit of the Scripture.com: Uncovering the Hidden Meanings of the Bible! spiritofthescripture.com, 8 Sept. 2012, web, 27 June 2014.  John Henry, ThD, “Jesus = 888,” reason.landmarkbiblebaptist.net, n.d., web, 10 June 2014.  Tony Nugent, PhD, “Jewish angels and Roman gods: The ancient mythological origins of Christmas,” interview with Valerie Tarico, salon.com, 12 Dec. 2014, web, 26 Dec. 2014.  Raphael Lataster, “Did historical Jesus really exist? The evidence just doesn’t add up,” washingtonpost.com, 13 Dec. 2014, web, 19 Dec. 2014.  James H. Charlesworth, ed. “Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Vol. 2 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, LLC, 1983), 170.  Charlesworth, “Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah.”  Joshua Tilghman, “The Conclusion of Jesus, the Sun, and the Zodiac,” The Spirit of the Scripture.com: Uncovering the Hidden Meanings of the Bible! spiritofthescripture.com, 12 Sept. 2012, web, 27 June 2014.