This could take a while.
In the first century, the Roman Empire had annexed Israel as a so-called client state. This meant that they enjoyed Rome's military protection so long as they acknowledged Caesar as absolute ruler. While this was not a bad arrangement, there were those who wanted better.
Yeshua bar-Yosef was such a man.
Raised by members of a feminist sect of Judaism, he resented the patriarchal structure of Rome. So he began to preach, and drew a modest following. Once he was known locally, he and his treasurer, Judas Iscariot, plotted an escape act that would have made Harry Houdini jealous. He would cheat death, and appear to rise from the grave.
The first thing, of course, was to get him sentenced to crucifixion. That was simple enough. Once he was on the cross, he had a disciple bring him a drug to render him unconscious. The soldier guarding him stabbed him to see if he would react, and likely pierced his kidney. Satisfied, they removed him, and Nicodemus packed his wound with healing herbs before Joseph of Aramithea placed him in a cool, dry place to recover.
Early Sunday morning, someone knocked the guards unconscious and moved the stone from the front of the tomb. Peter certainly seems to have been capable of such a deed, and he likely felt guilty for denying his friend. From there, we know he visited his other disciples. The illusion was complete, and his revolutionary movement began to take root.
Enter Saul of Tarsus. A Roman citizen, he had orders from Caesar to either destroy or derail the Yeshua movement. And so, drawing on his knowledge of pagan myth, Saul exaggerated the story of Yeshua, and told and retold it until everyone was talking of him. Then, he faked his own conversion and took his place as the head of the new religion.
· 3 weeks ago