God is love

Christians believe that God is love. Only, there may be something about this love that the church fathers found to be so troubling that they didn’t want us to know about it. If you know what it is, Christianity suddenly makes a lot more sense, and you may be able to guess what the future religion will look like. Love is such a central theme in Christianity that this religion came to be known as ‘the religion of love’. According to the Gospel, Jesus said we should love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”1

Paul is believed to be the author of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. It probably was written around 54 AD. There is little doubt that Paul wrote this letter himself, except for a passage claiming that the man is the head of the familiy, which several scholars believe to be a later addition. This letter may therefore be one of the earliest written sources of Christianity. It contains a remarkable poem:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.2

According to Paul, love is more important than faith and good works. But why? Christians believe the answer is:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.3

Christians believe in eternal life. The question is why? Jesus may have died on the cross but Christians believe he still lives because God loves the world. The author of the Gospel of John, who probably was not the Apostle John according to several scholars, may also have written the First Epistle of John, but scholars don’t agree on that either. In this epistle the author shares his views on the love of God:

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.4

If you’re not a Christian, you might wonder why this was necessary? The idea that God loves us, and the proof being that God sent his one and only son into the world as an sacrifice for our sins, doesn’t make a lot of sense. The Christian claim is that Adam sinned and that we are all cursed for that, but then came Jesus who allowed himself to be crucified, so that we can all be saved. It seems that God could easily have chosen another path. And what about the peculiar phrase ‘born of God’? Could God be a woman?

Jews and Muslims don’t believe that God has a son. They also don’t believe that Adam’s transgression requires such a sacrifice. When God allegedly ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son and Abraham was about to comply, God allegedly called it off. So what might justify this? There may be something about the relationship between God and Jesus that is removed from the scriptures. The odds are that it has something to do with love because that is what Christianity is all about. Ephesians gives a possible clue:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.5

Christians believe that Jesus was married to the church because of this verse. There is a an issue with this view. The church didn’t exist when Jesus lived. A historian might call this an anachronism. It is inconsistent in time. The verse suggests that this was a love like in a marriage. The Gospels imply that Jesus was married6 but the identity of the bride is never mentioned. And the verse claims that husbands have to love their wives just like Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, a peculiar thought.

There is a possible explanation that makes sense. God could be a woman. This universe could be a virtual reality created by an advanced civilisation to entertain someone we call God. And God could could use avatars in Her own story and appear like an ordinary human to us. The love the Gospels expound on is the love of God. Hence, the bride may have been God. God appearing in a human form may have been another issue the early church fathers had to deal with. And so they may have deified Jesus.

The most likely candidate for being the avatar of God is Mary Magdalene. She may have convinced Jesus that she was the reincarnation of Eve and that he was the reincarnation of Adam and that Eve was not made out of a rib of Adam but that Adam was a son of Eve. And so Jesus may have believed he had eternal life and would not die.

Surviving records of Jesus’ words and teachings indicate that Jesus believed women to be equal to men. The equality of the sexes is peculiar within the context of a patriarchal society. Paul saw women as equal partners in the Christian movement. The Didache, an early Christian text dating from the first century, implies equality of the sexes.

At some point patriarchy may have been re-established. The texts of the Gospels may have been edited to this aim and the letters of the early church father may have been rewritten for the same reason. For instance, 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 has been added later.7 It contains the claim that the man is the head of the family. A similar claim is made in the First Epistle to Timothy.8 Scholars believe this letter was written later on and not by Paul as the letter claims.

A woman might like to see a man sacrifice himself to prove his love for her. And you may never love God enough. Christians see Jesus as a sacrificial lamb.9 It appears that God didn’t even care about Jesus. So if someone ever finds himself in the same position as Jesus may have found himself in, he might at first not be enticed by the proposition, until he realises that he may have no choice. Perhaps he should look at the bright side of life. After all, he may just exist to entertain God.

Life’s a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true
You’ll see it’s all a show
Keep ’em laughin’ as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you
And

Always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the right side of life

– Monthy Python, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Loving God may not be all that difficult. The Stockholm Syndrome makes it possible to love someone who has taken you hostage and has total control over you. But it doesn’t have to end so badly for him. Many things can happen. For instance, in fairy tales a toad can be kissed into a prince by a princess charming and they may marry and live happily ever after. So the last laugh may be on him.

Featured image: SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon. [copyright info]

1. Mark 12:30-31 [link]
2. 1 Corinthians 13 [link]
3. John 3:16 [link]
4. 1 John 4:7-10 [link]
5. Ephesians 5:25 [link]
6. John 3:29 [link], Matthew 9:15 [link], Mark 2:19 [link], Luke 5:34 [link]
7. Forgery and Counter-forgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics. Bart D. Ehrman (2013).
8. 1 Timothy 2:12 [link]
9. 1 Peter 1:18-19 [link]

Eve in the Garden Of Eden

Mother Goddess Eve

Female figurines have been found during archaeological excavations. The most famous one is the Venus of Willendorf dating from around 23,000 BC. Some scholars believe these figurines depict mother goddesses. And indeed many ancient cultures had mother goddesses associated with fertility. Women give birth and humans in early cultures may not have known about fatherhood. And so they may have believed that women create life. The ability to create life out of nothing may have been the essence of mother goddess worship. One of the best known mother goddesses was Isis in ancient Egypt.

Venus of Willendorf
Venus of Willendorf

Women can be sure that their children are their own but for men this is different. When the fathers of children are unknown, there is matriarchy. It has been argued that the worship of mother goddesses disappeared because men desired to control women and their sexuality. That may have been a consequence of the transition from hunting-gathering to agriculture when caring for children became a family matter in which men played a greater role.

Hunter gatherers were wanderers so territorial conflicts were less likely to be intense as they could always move on.1 This changed with the advent of agriculture. Farmers had to defend their property and family. Men may be more willing to defend women and children they consider their own. Men could also walk out when they doubted their fatherhood. This may have given them a position of power so that patriarchy emerged.

The tale of Eve and Adam may have been edited. Eve may have been the mother of Adam as she was the Mother Of All The Living. This makes more sense than Eve being made out of Adam’s rib. As Adam was the only man around at the time, Eve being Mother Of All The Living makes little sense unless it refers to all living creatures. The tale may originally have reflected the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture, which was a curse that came from the knowledge of plants. The life of hunter gatherers was more agreeable than the plight of the farmers that came later on.1 The Garden Of Eden provided for everything. Adam was banished from the Garden of Eden to work the ground,2 which was a life of toil.3

The Jews invented the God Of Abraham but this universe might be a virtual reality created by an advanced civilisation to entertain someone we can call God. God could use avatars and appear like an ordinary human to us. The question is what imagined deities of humans can tell us about the possible owner of this universe. The predominance of the God Of Abraham might be a clue. Yahweh and Allah were male gods. Before monotheism took over they had a wife and children. Only, Jews and Muslims do not see God as a Father like Christians do, even though there are a few references to God as a Father4 and a Mother5 in the Torah. Christians are born of God6 so perhaps God is a Mother after all. Christians refer to God as Father but there is no Father in the Torah. Only Eve is the Mother Of All The Living.

Isis with Horus
Isis with the child Horus. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The early Christians may have believed that Eve was the mother of all the living, that Mary Magdalene was a reincarnation of Eve, and that Jesus was a reincarnation of Adam. They may have believed that Eve was not made out of the rib of Adam but that Adam was born as a son of Eve so that Adam and therefore Jesus were a Son of God. The Gospels may have been redacted, perhaps because the relationship between Eve and Adam appeared incestuous. And so the birth story of Jesus from Virgin Mary may have been introduced to replace the birth of Adam from Eve.

Eve might be the Mother Goddess of the Bible and God may have devised a scheme to disguise Her identity using Virgin Mary. The veneration of Virgin Mary or Mother Mary existed in early Christianity. It may have been a substitute for the earlier worship of the Mother Goddess Mary Magdalene. Centuries later statues and icons of Mother Mary with the child Jesus have been made similar to those of the Egyptian mother goddess Isis with her child Horus.

Saint Mary Bolnichka Icon
Mother Mary with the child Jesus. Saint Mary Bolnichka Icon.

This is in violation of the command not to make images for worship.7 Nevertheless, the transgression could be part of the scheme. The Mother Goddess Mary, who may have been eliminated from the Gospels, re-entered the Church via a back door. As many prayers were directed to Mother Mary, she became a proxy for God. The protestant reformation aimed at returning to the roots of Christianity. But their reform was based entirely on the scriptures and ignorant of the possibility of church traditions like Mother Mary veneration being reflections of the original message of Christianity.
starcrescent
The star and crescent became the symbol for Islam. This symbol has a long history predating Islam and it was formally associated with a Moon goddess. In the Biblical context it has different meaning. In the Biblical story of Joseph the Moon symbolises the woman while the star symbolises the child.8 Hence, the Islamic symbol may represent the Mother Goddess with the child, just like the Madonna with the child Jesus. It could reflect the relationship between Khadijah bint Khuwaylid and her husband Muhammad because she was his boss and so much older that she could have been his mother.

The St. Mary of Zion Church in Ethiopia is said to contain the Ark of the Covenant. It is claimed that the Ark came to Ethiopia with King Menelik after he visited his father King Solomon. Mary of Zion is symbolised by the Ark of the Covenant.9 That is a remarkable coincidence. The ark allegedly was the residence of Yahweh, the God of Israel. This coincidence may indicate that God is a woman, also for the Rastafarians.

The creation story in Genesis may have been redacted. The designation Mother Of All The Living suggests that Eve may have been a Mother Goddess.10 Genesis 1 already contains a creation story explaining how men and women were created.11 Hence, the creation of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2 is at odds with Genesis 1. It is also peculiar that the woman was made from a rib of the man12 as women usually give birth to men. Adam is simply referred to as ‘the man’13 while Eve is referred to as Mother Of All The Living.14 Adam calling Eve Mother Of All The Living before they had any children suggests tampering. It is also hard to believe that Eve and Adam were the only people as their children married.

Eve being the Mother Goddess makes all these contradictions disappear. And that is remarkable as scholars believe that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 were based on two different traditions. Perhaps the original creation myth was that the Mother Goddess Eve felt lonely and wanted a husband for Herself. And so She created one by giving birth. It seems unlikely that Jesus figured this out all by himself so Mary Magdalene may have told him this. The Quran mentions the creation of Adam extensively but says little about the creation of Eve, hence Eve may not have been created. The Quran primarily blames Adam for the Fall and leaves Eve mostly out of the picture. The Quran claims that Adam listened to the voice of Satan without implicating Eve.15

Snake goddess from the palace of Knossos. Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Snake goddess from the palace of Knossos. Heraklion Archaeological Museum.

The origins of the myth of the Garden Of Eden support this perspective. Serpents have been associated with some of the oldest rituals known to humankind. The serpent is a universal symbol of death, healing, and rebirth, and it could represent wisdom, good as well as evil. Mother Goddesses sometimes had serpents as their sidekicks helping them in doing their magic.16 Snake goddesses were worshiped in ancient Egypt and Crete. In some ancient mythologies of the tree with a serpent represents the Tree of Life of the Mother Goddess. In these mythologies the Mother Goddess could take the form of a serpent ever dying and renewing like the Moon. In these mythologies Her husband dies too and is reborn her son.17 Only, the Garden Of Eden may be the myth on which this world has been created and Eve may have been the primal avatar of God.

If you like this post, then you might also like:

God is love

There is an explanation why Christians believe that God is love. Only, there may be something very troubling this love.

Read More

The identity of God

The Gospels state that Jesus had a personal and intimate relationship with God. Scholars agree that the Gospels have been edited.

Read More

Featured image: Eve in the Garden Of Eden. Henri Rousseau (1906-1910). Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Other images: Venus of Willendorf. Don Hitchcock (2008). Wikimedia Commons; Isis with Horus. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain; Saint Mary Bolnichka Icon. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain; The younger ‘snake goddess’ from the palace of Knossos. Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

1. A Brief History Of Humankind. Yuval Noah Harari (2014). Harvil Secker.
2. Genesis 3:23 [link]
3. Genesis 3:17-19 [link]
4. Isaiah 63:16 [link]
5. Isaiah 66:13 [link]
6. John 1:13 [link]
7. Exodus 20:4-5 [link]
8. Genesis 37:9 [link]
9. Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion – Wikipedia [link]
10. Asherah – Wikipedia [link]: Some scholars have found an early link between Asherah and Eve, based upon the coincidence of their common title as “the mother of all living” in Genesis 3:20 through the identification with the Hurrian mother goddess Hebat. Asherah was also given the title Chawat from which the name Hawwah in Aramaic and the biblical name Eve are derived.
11. Genesis 1:27 [link]
12. Genesis 2:22 [link]
13. Genesis 2:20 [link]
14. Genesis 3:20 [link]
15. Quran 20:115-121 [link]
16. Serpent (Symbolism) – Wikipedia [link]
17. Eve: the Mother of All Living. Anne Baring and Jules Cashford (1991). Penguin Books. [link]

Lucretia Garfield. Library Of Congres

The identity of God

Jesus was one of the end time prophets travelling around in Israel and Palestine at a time when the Jews began to resist Roman occupation. He stood at the cradle of Christianity, a global religion with more than two billion followers. It is an enigma that baffles historians. Six centuries later, in an equally astounding turn of history, a small band of Arab warriors created an empire that stretched from the Atlantic to India. They spread a religion called Islam. These historic turns made the God of Abraham the dominant deity on the planet, which may help to fulfil a promise allegedly made to Abraham.1

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Jews invented their deity Yahweh. It was one of the thousands of gods humans imagined. Nevertheless, this particular Jewish deity became the dominant god on this planet and this doesn’t appear to be an accident. This universe might be a virtual reality created by an advanced civilisation for the purpose of entertaining someone we call God. And God might use avatars and appear as an ordinary human to us. So what was so special about Jesus compared to all the other end-time prophets? Perhaps he knew the avatar of God.

The Gospels state that Jesus had a personal and intimate relationship with God. Scholars agree that the Gospels have been edited.2 Apparently God the ‘Father’ can give birth.3 Jesus is referred to as the Bridegroom and Son of God. Jesus felt that he was so special that he believed that no one comes to God except through him.4

Mary Magdalene may have been the Bride and the Gospels could originally have stated that Jesus was a reincarnation of Adam and that Mary Magdalene was a reincarnation of Eve. Eve may not have been made out of the rib of Adam but Eve may have given birth to Adam. Eve is called Mother of All the Living,5 Adam is named Son of God6 while Jesus is the firstborn of all creation,7 hence Adam may have been born and Jesus was his reincarnation.

Initially Christianity might have been about the marriage between Mary Magdalene and Jesus representing the Kingdom of God. The love of God Jesus was speaking of8 may have been the love of a Goddess for her husband. This could explain why Christians believe that God is love.9 It sheds some new light on Jesus’ assertion that he is one with God10 as marriage is the way to become one with another person.11

It makes no sense that a woman was created from the rib of a man. It makes more sense that the woman gave birth to the man. Mary Magdalene may have convinced Jesus that Eve was the mother of Adam. The Quran mentions the creation of Adam extensively but tells little about the creation of Eve. The Quran states that Jesus’ creation is like that of Adam and that they were both created from dust.12 It may indicate that Adam was born as the first son of the virgin Eve and that God can perform such miracles as the Quran also contends that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a virgin.13

The Jewish scriptures allow for the idea that Abraham was a husband of God like Joseph, Moses and David. Muhammad might have been God’s husband too. At the age of twenty-five he married his boss, the merchant Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid. She was a widow and she was much older than Muhammad. Khadijah was the first to convert to Islam after he had his first vision and her support was invaluable to his mission. Avatars of God may have played a significant role in history. And God could still be dwelling amongst us and appear like an ordinary human to us.

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home?
Just trying to make his way home
Like back up to heaven all alone
Nobody calling on the phone
Except for the Pope maybe in Rome
And yeah, yeah, God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
And yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah

– Joan Osborne, What If God Was One Of Us

Featured image: Lucretia Garfield. Library Of Congres.

1. Genesis 12:3 [link]
2. Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Saviour. Bart Ehrman (2016). Harper Collins Publishers.
3. John 1:12-13 [link]
4. John 14:6 [link]
5. Genesis 3:20 [link]
6. Luke 3:38 [link]
7. Colossians 1:15 [link]
8. John 17:23-26 [link]
9. John 10:30 [link]
10. Mark 10:8 [link], Matthew 19:5 [link]
11. 1 John 4:16  [link]
12. Quran 3:59 [link]
13. Quran 3:47 [link]

Christ with Mary Magdalene

Who was Mary Magdalene?

Who was Mary Magdalene? This question has been asked many times before. A Pope in the Middle Ages proclaimed she was a prostitute.1 This slur still lingers around after more than 1,000 years. More recently she has become a bit of a cult figure as there is a lot of mystery surrounding her. She probably was the most important person in Jesus’ life. According to the Gospel she witnessed the crucifixion from the foot of the cross after the male disciples have fled. She was also the first to see the resurrected Jesus.

There has been some speculation as to whether or not she was Jesus’ wife. The official position of the Church is that Jesus was, and still is, married to the Church. Jesus is referred to as the Bridegroom.2 He is also called Rabbi3 and Rabbis were always married. Jesus not being married might have caused controversy, of which there is no evidence, so he probably was married. After the Crucifixion, Mary Magdalene went out to wash and anoint Jesus’ body.4 This was the duty of the family, most notably the wife.

A few Gospels that are not recognised by the Church suggest that Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ wife. The Gospel of Philip names her as Jesus’ companion5 and mentions that Jesus loved her more than the other disciples and kissed her often.6 The Gospel of Mary notes that Jesus loved her more than the other women.7

The Gospels state that Jesus had an intimate and loving relationship with God. It seems that he knew God personally. There is an explanation for this. Mary Magdalene could have been an avatar of God. Jesus may have thought that she was a reincarnation of Eve and that he was a reincarnation of Adam. She may have married Jesus after convincing him that he was her eternal husband. Jesus may have believed that Eve was not made out of the rib of Adam but that Adam was born as a son of Eve so that Adam and therefore Jesus were a son of God. This can explain why Jesus thought that he had an eternal life and that he would return.

If this is true, a lot has been done to obfuscate the truth. In that case the evidence of the physical presence of God on Earth and Her marriage to Jesus have been erased. The Gospels mention that no-one has even seen God and suggest that God exists outside this world in a different realm. It may have taken decades to commit such an extensive fraud. It may explain why the Gospels in their current form are written long after Jesus allegedly was ‘taken to the heavens’.

This gives rise to new questions. Still, the evidence, also in the official Gospels, is substantial. Perhaps God can have avatars and appear as an ordinary person to us. It can explain the facts better by providing answers that existing religions do not give. So let’s start out with a joke to get you in the mood. Nothing happens by accident as the licence plate on Franz Ferdinand’s car suggests. Consider the following lyric from Queen:

Here I am, I’m the master of your destiny,
I am the one the only one, I am the god of kingdom come

– Queen, Gimme The Prize

These lines come from the song Gimme The Prize sung by Queen. Freddy Mercury had a good time but he probably didn’t realise that he was becoming part of a queer joke. “I am the God of kingdom come,” became a line sung by Queen. Some Christians believe there are Satanic messages hidden in pop music. The joke may be on them too. That shouldn’t surprise us as this universe might exist for entertainment.

Possible avatars of God can be identified in the Torah, the Jewish part of the Bible. The idea can also shed some new light on the origin of Islam. Muhammad married his boss Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid. Only after she died he married other women. Khadijah may have been an avatar of God too. Avatars of God may have played a significant role in history. This universe could be a simulation based on a real world.

Featured image: Christ with Mary Magdalene, West Nave, Kilmore Church, Isle of Mull made by Stephen Adam. B. Galbraith. Victorian Web.

1. Who was Mary Magdalene? James Carrol (2006). Smithsonian. [link]
2. Matthew 9:15 [link], Luke 5:34 [link], Mark 2:19-20 [link]
3. Mark 10:51 [link], Matthew 26:49 [link], John 20:16 [link]
4. Mark 16:1 [link]
5. Gospel of Philip: There were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary, his mother, and her sister, and Magdalene, who was called his companion. His sister, his mother and his companion were each a Mary.
6. Gospel of Philip: And the companion of the saviour was Mary Magdalene. Christ loved Mary more than all the disciples, and used to kiss her often. The rest of the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval. They said to him, “Why do you love her more than all of us?” The Saviour answered and said to them, “Why do I not love you like her?”
7. Gospel of Mary: Peter said to Mary, “Sister we know that the Saviour loved you more than the rest of woman. Tell us the words of the Saviour which you remember which you know, but we do not, nor have we heard them”. Mary answered and said, “What is hidden from you I will proclaim to you”. And she began to speak to them these words: “I”, she said, “I saw the Lord in a vision and I said to Him, Lord I saw you today in a vision”.