From: Dan Moonhawk Alford
3 June 2000
For what it's worth, the writer below being Jewish or not is irrelevant to me. I got a big laugh out of it, the way I do when anything is exaggerated to extremes with tongue planted firmly in cheek, and perceived no mockery or disrespect. Sometimes we have to step back from our chershed beliefs for a reality check.
When faced with the sayings of a tribal deity (ever notice the incredible similarity of sounds between Jahweh [yawe] and the vocative form of Jupiter, Jove [yowe]?) who, as Mark Twain so aptly noted, orders his followers to wipe out an entire village (females included) because someone pissed on a wall (even tho females physically can't do that) and prohibits worship of other tribal gods -- intending to be perceived by adherents as the Creator of All That Is -- a little tongue in cheek about the whole thing isn't out of line at all for me.
Especially when this tribal deity's son, JeSuS [yesus], has the exact same phonetic similarity to JaSoS [yasos] (follow the consonants J/YSS instead of the more variable vowels in Semitic languages) as JahVeh (J/YhVh) has to JoVe: in Greek teachings, Zeus the Sky God conceived a child, named JaSoS, by impregnating a virgin named Electra (of whom Sophocles wrote that "Mourning Becomes...").
Linguistically, we obviously have lots of languages-in-contact phenomena going on here. Latin Jupiter [yu-piter] is equivalent to Greek Zeus-Pater [zus-pater], or "God the Father", whatever language you wish to pronounce it in. But that's only in talking about Him in 3rd person; when calling on Him, the form was Jove.
But there's more: Yhis Greek JaSoS was born of a virgin, was a spiritual teacher (perhaps 60-80% of Jesus' 'red letter' words go back to the earlier tradition) and a healer, and was executed and raised from the dead three days later. Kinda the entire Jesus/Jasos story in a nutshell, even though not a single element of the story was expected by the Jews of their linguistically unrelated Messiah, prophesied to be called Emmanuel rather than JeSuS.
So what are we to make of all this linguistic/spiritual chumminess between Greek and Hebrew names and stories for God and "His" begotten Son -- especially since all the evidence mentioned above comes from authenticated documents attested to all be from before 25 BC? [From a presentation entitled "PreChristian Legends of Jesus in Greek and Roman Mythology" by a person who has not yet published anything about it and may still prefer to be anonymous, at a Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness conference a few years ago].
Like JSS, Christ(os) is also a Greek title, not a name -- more like the "mantle" given to Elisha by Elija, authorizing one to continue a tradition. And let's not forget that it was given to the Greeks -- far away from the supposed place where JeSuS walked -- to "translate" and write the authorized JsSoS (oops! JeSuS!) story for the New Testament. Why not the Jews? Maybe because the Greeks clearly historically owned the JSS story?
In fact, could it be that the JeSuS story was was actually the "Second Coming" of the Greek JaSoS, a theme so revered by Christians, somehow culturally injected by the Greeks into the Hebrew language/culture dynamic and manifested again as JeSHua, son of a carpenter, who contributed the other 20-40% of the red-letter words 2000 years ago?
Weirder yet, the whole JSS concept may go back linguistically and archetypally in both cases to Egyptian sources, notably back to the twins (so astrologically the Age of Gemini, roughly 4-6000 BC) Isis (ISS) and Osiris (OS-iR-iS) -- executed, cut in pieces, scattered, and reunited and made whole by ISiS (with the killer/sacrifice reversal that Joseph Campbell talks about). The Greeks could have acquired it during their conquest and rule of Egypt, while it could have resonated in Jews with the unwritten oral traditions still surviving underground from their 400-year "sojourn" in Egypt in slavery conditions.
Perhaps, under political Roman pressure (inheritors of Greek knowlege) similar to a chemical pressure where two H's combine with an O, a "living water" came about, when with the Jewish Old was combined the Greek New Testament of JeSuS, profoundly changing the world.
If this is true, however, we have a lot of reinterpreting of ancient history to do. Especially since the Egyptians were inheritors of far more ancient knowledge than the Greeks were ("You Greeks are such children; you only remember one Flood!" -- Plato reporting Greek priest's conversation with Egyptian priest). And especially because we now know that Egyptian mummies have been found to contain traces of cocaine and tobacco -- known to grow only in the Americas in those times! So who knows how old the J/Y/ISS story really is, and from whence the story of this healing spirit ultimately originated?!
Just a thought. ;-) Sometimes focusing on history with a linguistic rather than religious lens can bring surprising results!
warm regards, moonhawk
"I don't need a compass to tell me which way the wind shines!" -- Roy, Mystery Men