OUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS FACT, FICTION or FANTISY By John A.

Chapin – 2009 CE

The religious beliefs of western society are planted firmly in Hebrew teachings dating back several millennia. There are also signs that the religions of the Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims also share many of these common roots making it hard to accept that any one religion is more correct than any other. Yet, the thousands of sects throughout all of these religions all proclaim the opposite. Today there are dozens of different religions in the world and many times that number of sects. Having studied many of these religious writings I have concluded that there is a common basis for all religions and philosophies, and that is; Man’s desire for oneness with Creation. Even though there appears to be a common basis to all religions, Man, down through the ages has secularized his religious beliefs and has come to accept the fact that his personal sect and beliefs are the only true means to happiness and salvation. Some believe that happiness is a state of mind and can be found in everyday life. Others believe that happiness can only be found through salvation in some afterlife while others believe there is no salvation for those who do not live a just life on this earth. Each philosophy has its own distinctive teachings. On the surface these religions appear to be different, yet under close scrutiny they teach the same basics, and that is, to provide mankind with a path which will lead to a oneness with Creation. While the religions teach the same basics, understanding is lost in practice. In order to understand how we arrived at the religious beliefs we express today and ascertain if we are even close to comprehending their meaning, I have looked at the pre-Christian era through the teachings found in the Bible and several of the translations associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls; Gnostic literature found in the Nag Hammadi Library; the Quran of Islam; and ancient Vedic/Hindu/Buddhist literature. I have also used historical dates known to be accurate in order to construct the timeline shown in Table 1. It should be understood that scholars have long known that, as an example, the life story of Jesus and the story of Christian origins are not supported by history. The dates and sequence of events shown in the Table 1 are believed to be generally correct, however, it is also recognized that the list of events are not complete. The sequence of events described in Table 1 confirm what scholars have known, and that is, Christianity was not founded by Jesus and spread abroad by his disciples. How much of the New Testament gospels were copied by the original writers from pre-existing sources and then edited during The Council of Nicea in 325 CE in order to make a consistent yet false story of the history of Christianity? Rather than going back to the beginning of creation, and trying to establish a date that is impossible to defend, I have selected, as starting points, the dates of 721 BCE when the 10 Tribes of Israel were defeated by the Assyrians, and 586 BCE which is the date of the destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar II and the subsequent exile of the tribes of Judea (Jews) to Babylon. Upon return to Jerusalem by some of the exiled Jews the Temple was rebuilt. The Jewish population was organized and controlled by a group called the Pharisees consisting of priests and aristocrats who had a stronger religious ethic than a political ethic. The Pharisees, along with two other sects called the Sadducees

and the sect we today call the Essenes ruled and led the Jews throughout the preChristian era, periods of conflict between the Egyptians and Persians as they overran Judea, Roman rule, and the post-Christian era. It wasn’t long before the Pharisees and the Sadducees lost their interest in their covenant with God while ignoring the Laws of Moses, and enjoyed the power they derived in concert with the Persian Seleucid Kings. The Seleucids attempted to Hellenize the Jews by force which turned out to be a disaster. The actions of a series of Seleucid Kings and corrupt Jewish Priests ultimately resulted in their ordering a great massacre of the Jewish people, plundering of the Temple and converting the Temple to the Hellenistic religion which worshiped the God Zeus, c. 164 BCE. Hellenism was brought to Judea by Alexander the Great c. 333 BCE, and by 164 BCE Jerusalem was essentially a Greek city. This became the signal for revolt. The three sons (Judas, Jonathan, and Simon) of Mattathias, called the Maccabees, successfully took the lead in the struggle against the Seleucids. It is believed that the early Essenes left Jerusalem and migrated to Damascus around the time period between 161 & 153 BCE where they established a New Covenant. Evidence of this was found with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls as described in the work initially called the ‘Fragments of Zadock’ and later termed the ‘Damascus Document’. During 153 BCE Jonathan was appointed the Jewish High Priest ensuring the Macabee’s rule over Jerusalem. The Macabee’s influence as both Ruler and High Priest lasted for the greater part of a century. Following the Maccabean Wars, the Essene community was believed to have been established at Qumran. As a result of the perceived evil actions, carried out principally by the Seleucid Antiochus Epiphanes and the wicked priest Alcimus/Joachim the Essene sect became a prominent power in opposition to the Pharisees and Sadducees. It should be noted that at this time in history the names ‘Essene and Christian’ were not used or even known. The Essenes believed: 1. They belonged to a chosen people which consisted of the people of the first covenant and followers of the Law of Moses. 2. Jehovah had consolidated his promise in the reign of David, his “Anointed One.” 3. A prophet would come during the End Times, either as Elijah or patterned upon Elijah. 4. The Qumran community was deeply imbued with the spirit of the prophets. 5. The Essene movement belonged to a “New Covenant” which had been developed by the Teacher of Righteousness while in Damascus, c. 153 BCE. Following their return to Jerusalem the Essenes continued to be persecuted by the Seleucids and the corrupt Jewish priests. As a result many Essenes moved to Damascus, Syria; Egypt; and Iraq. Other Essenes left Jerusalem and established a community at Qumran where in 1947 CE the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered changing the whole concept of Judeo-Christian evolution. During the occupation of Jerusalem by the Romans an earthquake occurred c. 31 BCE at Qumran causing many Essenes to return to Jerusalem. Shortly after this, John the Baptist and Jesus were born. There has been a lot of speculation as to the ties of these two to the Essene community. There is no concrete evidence to support this, however, their teachings are similar to those of the Essenes and do not reflect the teachings of the other Jewish sects. It has also been speculated that Essenic Judaism & Palestinian Christianity were at least similar in their beliefs and organization, or up until the time of Gentile

Christianity were perhaps one in the same. Since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls it has become necessary to re-date the books of the Christian New Testament. It has now been shown that many of the stories in the New Testament came from a much earlier source and were written and edited to fit the Christian theme. These stories were borrowed from the Essenes as well as from other ancient sects. There are stories from India and Kashmir that Hindus and Muslims cite to claim Jesus Christ, after his crucifixion, visited the region in the persons of Yuz-Asaf and Isa Masih (the Muslim Arabic version of Jesus Christ). In particular, the Hindu work entitled Bhavishya Maha Purana which was to have been written in 115 CE relays a conversation by a prophet named Yushapat who later claims he is Isa Masih (Jesus Christ). The word ‘Christ’ is a translation of the Greek word ‘Christos’, which in turn translates to the Hebrew word ‘Messiah’ (a title). A ‘Messiah’ or ‘Anointed One’ could be any of a number of persons so Isa Masih could have been correct if he was stating he was ‘a’ Jesus Christ rather than ‘The’ Jesus Christ. This is just one way the legends of Jesus are fabricated through the misunderstanding of the meanings of ancient words. A Muslim group called the Ahmadiyya Movement, formed in 1889 CE, also claims that Jesus survived the Crucifixion and is buried in Kashmir. I suggest that they have interpreted early Essene teachings which have been passed down to more recent times and as a result of misunderstanding word meanings have drawn the wrong conclusion. Early Gnostic sects also fed the stories of survival as many believed that Christ survived the crucifixion. It is not likely that Jesus visited these Gentile regions of India and Kashmir even if he had survived his crucifixion. Jesus was quoted as instructing his disciples “Go not into any way of the Gentiles, and enter not into any city of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel”. While the Essenes may have been early Christians, not all believed in Jesus being the Savior. An Essene sect called the Ebionites, who lived in Judea and Palestine between the 1st and 5th centuries, did not believe in the divinity of Jesus. Also, they regarded James as the head of the Jerusalem Church and rejected the teachings of Paul of Tarsus. As can be seen, the beliefs of the Jews and early Christians were by no means in agreement. Over the centuries several migrations of the Jews have occurred in an easterly direction from Jerusalem for religious reasons. Many Jews from the captivity of Judea remained in Babylon. Conquests by Alexander (c. 333 BCE) and by the Romans (70 CE), and persecutions by the Byzantine Church (c. 330 CE) caused great numbers of Jews to also migrate. Migrations of the Jewish sects occurred over time to the regions including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kashmir, India and Russia. Based on the teachings of the Jews in these regions it is believed that many of these sects were derivatives of the Essenes. This is based on the differences between the other Hebrew/Jewish teachings and the teachings described in the translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls Unlike the other Jewish sects the Christians under the leadership of Peter, Paul, and John took their teachings into the Roman Province and a separate group termed the Gnostic Christians migrated to Egypt. This Gnostic group seemed to be under the influence of James, the brother of Jesus. They did not agree with the teachings being voiced by Peter. In 70 CE, the Roman Vespasian conquered Judea and destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem. This marked the end of the Sadducees and the evolution of the Pharisees into what today is the Judaic rabbinical tradition with its 3

classifications of orthodox, conservative, and reformed. By 330 CE the seat of power for the Roman Empire had been moved from Rome to Istanbul by Emperor Constantine. This left the western part of the empire in disarray and had it not been for St Augustine, Bishop of Hippo (354-430 CE), Christianity in that part of the world would not likely have survived. Constantine had problems of his own in the east. The Christians were arguing amongst themselves and his political position was being weakened by the problems with Roman Emperor Licinius who took issue with Constantine’s position with the Christians. War ensued between the two Roman Emperors, with Constantine defeating Licinius in 324 CE. In 325 CE, at the time Sylvester I was Pope, Constantine convened the Church Council of Nicea where by majority vote of the attending Bishops and other clergy it was decided that Christ was the Savior God against the protests of the Christian priest Arius from Alexandria, Egypt, and his followers. Further, they removed 45 documents from what would become the Holy Bible of the Christian world. We are aware of these missing texts as a result of the discovery of Essene documents, known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, and scrolls found in Egypt known as the Nag Hammadi Library. While the Council of Nicea stabilized the Christian world and the Roman Empire, it also laid the groundwork which eventually radicalized the Christian faith. It wasn’t until 1517 CE that this radicalism was challenged by Martin Luther during the Protestant Reformation. Another Christian belief system called Gnosticism, as documented in the Nag Hammadi Library, took up about when the history of the Essenes, as documented in the Dead Sea Scrolls, breaks off. Gnostic texts were originally in Greek and then in Coptic with many texts composed by Christians. The texts were buried around 400 CE near Nag Hammadi, Egypt by Christians. Gnosticism was ultimately eradicated in Christendom, except for occasional underground movements. Gnosticism continued in Iran and Iraq in the form of the small sect called Mandeans. Christianity is not the only modern day religion to have undergone change. The Vedic writings, which form the basis of Brahmanism and later Hinduism, are perhaps the earliest writings on earth. Over time the old Vedic religion underwent several changes. These chiefly concerned the deities that were worshipped, and the forms of the religious rituals. The older Vedic gods which were considered universal were replaced by the new Puranic gods which were considered personal and individual. Like the Christians choice of church denomination, the Hindus further split into sects based on the individual’s choice of which God they wished to accept. One of the most notable changes to Hinduism was instigated by Siddhartha Gautama (563-483 BCE) who later took on the name Buddha. Brought up as a Hindu prince he became disillusioned with the religious practices and formed a following to practice his form of beliefs. After Buddha died his followers essentially disappeared for the next several hundred years. A king named Ashoka (291-232 BCE) revived Buddha’s beliefs and is considered to be the real founder of modern-day Buddhism. The only written history of Buddhism is from 3 CE. Today there are over 600 different sects where some followers believe Buddha is a god while others believe he was only a prophet. The Muslim religion, not unlike the other major religions, has also undergone a tumultuous history. The term ‘Muslim’, meaning ‘those who submit’ to God, was likely not coined until after the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632 CE. Today there are over 1 billion Muslims worldwide comprising of the mainstream Sunnis, an orthodox movement; two major sectarian movements, called Shi’ism and Sufism; and several sects. This is a major change from the time the Prophet and his followers envisioned their movement in Medina.

The beginning of Islam is generally defined as the time Muhammad moved to the area of Yathrib which is now the city of Medina, meaning “The City of the Prophet”, c. 619 CE. Muhammad preached that all people were created equal and that there was only one god who spoke through Muhammad. The Islam religion was written down in the Quran c. 650 CE to ensure it would not be corrupted and to provide ethical and social guidance. The Quran was to add scripture to support both the Old and New Testaments of the Jews and Christians. Muhammad’s message was an attempt to reform the existing religious beliefs and cultural practices of pre-Islamic Arabia by bringing the God of the Jews and Christians to the Arab people. The Muslims recognize Christ as a prophet but not as the Savior Islam grew spreading from the Saudi Arabian Peninsula in all directions. This early growth is what the Muslims call the "First" great Jihad. The "Second great Jihad" came with the Ottoman Turks who succeeded in bringing about the downfall of Constantinople as a Christian stronghold and an end to the Roman Empire. By 1683 CE the Ottomans had suffered a series of defeats and Islam shrunk into various sheikhdoms and roving tribes. This set the stage for a new revival known as Wahhabism. The Wahhabi extremists, in the name of Allah, have carried out to this day atrocities against anyone not belonging to their sect. Many individuals of the illiterate Muslim populace are being fed radical interpretations of the Quran by their extremist religious leaders. These leaders undoubtedly believe what they are preaching, however, if they are uneducated as I suspect, then they are incapable of providing correct religious guidance to their followers. The general populace may not have their own copies of the Quran to verify the teachings for themselves or they are illiterate and can't read it if they had copies. What is going on in the Muslim world is not unlike what went on in the Christian world during the period that led to the Dark Ages and Reign of Terror. During the period comprising the Dark Ages, the kings and leaders of the European countries of England, Scandinavia, Switzerland and Germany sided with the religious extremists of the Roman Church. Together they maintained power over their constituents. Because Muhammad did not specify any heir, the Ummah (followers) fell into disarray. A schism in leadership between the Quraysh Tribe and the ahl al-bayt (People of the House of the Prophet) and bickering between other tribes and their clans ensued. The main point of contention was the Prophethood and the Caliphate should not reside within the same clan. The title Caliph was settled upon to represent the sectarian leadership. The Caliphate’s primary responsibility was to maintain unity and stability of the followers of Islam. It was to be a civil institution and not a religious one. Some tribes openly rebelled and refused to pay allegiance or taxes to the tribe of Muhammad. They were brought back in line through open warfare. Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and brother-in-law, became Islam’s fourth leader taking the title Amir rather than Caliph. This was an attempt to restore leadership to the family of the Prophet. Ali’s followers who would ultimately become the Shi’ites wanted the tribal system established by Muhammad to remain in tact as a divinely inspired community. Ali was shortly assassinated by members of the Khazraj Tribe who insisted on a literal following of Muhammad and the words of the Quran. Anyone who did not subscribe to their wishes was not to be considered a Muslim. Ali was replaced by Mu’awiyah who had ambitions to expand the tribal Ummah into an empire. He moved the Caliphate from Kufa to Damascus establishing the Umayyad Dynasty. A series of dynasties followed. Persian converts to Islam greatly outnumbered the Arabs. As a result they moved the seat of power to Baghdad establishing the Abassid Dynasty and massacred all the Umayya they could find. Other rivalries followed including the Buyids of Iran, the Fatimids of Egypt, the remaining Umayya of Spain, and the Ottomans of Turkey. The Caliphate came to an

end after the First World War (WW I). While Muslim dynasties, Kings, and Parliaments have fought and failed over the 1400 year history, the Ulama (Clerics) have managed to retrain their position of power in controlling the religious, political, legal, and social foundations of the religion. The Ulama, formed from the time of Caliph Abu Bakr in 632 CE, have been responsible for some of the biggest problems leading to the misunderstanding of Islam. In their self-appointed role as the guardians of Islam they stifled independent thought and scientific progress throughout the Muslim world. The Ulama exert direct legal and political control over the populations and schools (Madrassas) in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. They are responsible for the oppressive totalitarian regimes like the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Wahhabists in Saudi Arabia, and the Faqih in Iran. Muhammad’s original concept of protecting his followers, preservation of the family, unity, and acceptance of plural religions has been perhaps fatally changed through the actions of the Ulama/Clerics. While Table 1 shows the diversity of religions resulting from the movement of people and individuals, what formed our current religious beliefs could perhaps be better understood by looking at the movement of ideas. Several observations can be made from the data in Table1, namely: 1. All religions have undergone major schisms. • Hinduism changed from worshiping Vedic Gods to worshiping Puranic Gods. • Buddhism split off from Hinduism • Buddhism died out with the death of the Buddha only to be reorganized some 200 years later by King Ashoka. • Hebrews split into Israel and Judea • Hebrews of Judea split off from the Samaritans of northern Israel • Jewish sects split into Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes • Christians split off from Jewish • Early Christians split off into numerous sects • Conflict developed between Orthodox and Catholic Christians causing a separation into east and west churches 1. Continued • • • • Protestant Christians split off from Catholic Christians Christians split of into separate churches Islam split into Shi’a and Sunni sects Islam split into civil and religious leadership factions

2. All religions have had major disagreements within religions and between religions from their inception, including: • Resurrection • Reincarnation • Immaculate conception • Power (Political vs. Religious) • Who was the ‘Savior’, ‘Anointed One’, ‘Prophet’ 3. All religions were influenced or changed as a result of major wars: • Hinduism – Destruction of Indus Valley, Hindu vs Muslim • Buddhism – Ashoka wars • Christian – Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Egyptian, Roman, Jewish vs. Jewish • Islam – Shi’a vs. Sunni, Wahhabism vs. Gentile, Crusades (Muslim vs. Christian) 4. Survival of major religions were dependant upon the power of a political

ruler • • • • 5. • • • • • • 6. • • • •

Hebrew – Solomon Buddhism – Ashoka Islam – Muhammad, Amir Ali Christianity – Emperor Constantine, King James All major religions used ‘transference’ of ideas and dogma Hebrew to Christianity by the Essenes Hebrew to Islam by Muhammad Hinduism to Buddhism by Siddhartha Gautama Hinduism to Christianity Christianity to Buddhism by Ashoka Christianity to Islam by Muhammad All religions have common quests Conform to God Immortality Good over evil Expansion of Love and Brotherhood

These observations show that no matter which religion one prefers they all have undergone numerous changes because their founders and successors could not agree on the original purpose either because of 1) misinformation/falsehoods, 2) the desire by different factions for power/leadership, or 3) a desire for control over the masses. The use of the concepts of ‘God’ and ‘Holy Scripture’ were used to instill fear with the masses in order to ease control by the political and church leaders. While death never words Jesus may not have succeeded in bringing on the Messianic kingdom at his his influence on mankind through his words is remembered. While we will know for sure his true history, his theology has molded history. Similar can be said about Buddha, and Muhammad.

Individuals may conclude, from the preceding review of the evolution of religious beliefs, that this presentation only addresses the weaknesses of religions and is excessively negative; and, to some degree it is. This, however, is metaphorically only one side of the coin – that being tails! Anyone can criticize another’s beliefs, whether they are religious, political, involve personal relationships, or whatever. That is the easy part. The hard part is to offer solutions based on reason rather than on emotion. Again, metaphorically, this is the other side of the coin – that being heads! The negativism we observe stems from the political and religious turmoil present at the times the religions were being formulated. As can be seen, the beliefs of the Jews and early Christians were by no means in agreement. Similar observations can be made of the Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim religions. Further, the founders of each religion were somewhat nebulous about their intent regarding their teachings and their expectations of their followers. This caused the need for interpretations of their teachings, by later followers, resulting in disagreements and the formation of different sects. To complicate matters further, the injection of falsehoods; corruption; greed; power; and fear by the leaderships of these religions has added to the negativism we experience today. While this suggests that present day religious beliefs are responsible for all the troubles we experience in the world today there are many positive strengths from the past which can be used in the future. These past strengths include:

1. Providing individuals with a reason for being resulting in their psychological stability, 2. Providing the groundwork for moral behavior, 3. Providing reasons and actions for the care of the less fortunate by the more fortunate, 4. Establishment of a sound well functioning infrastructure which provides an efficient means to get a message out to the masses. Our future can be made much more positive by making use of these strengths, and not by relying on the falsehoods and perceived truths expressed by modern day religious leaders. While these leaders all teach that one should live one’s life with high moral values, love God, love and respect our fellow man, give of oneself rather than take from others, and in general live life to the best of our ability. These ideals seem to be lost in practice. Religions may initially have been established to fulfill mankind’s need for philosophical self preservation. This seems to be lost today or at least confounded by all of the changes in religious beliefs over time. What seems to be important today is the defense of the beliefs of individual sects and not the achievement of universal goals. Religion can be a powerful tool in achieving a synergistic society when used properly or it can be used to bring about an apocalypse as many sects believe if improperly understood and unwittingly implemented. We seem to be headed towards the later scenario. If one can get past the secularism of religion a common basis emerges, and that is “Man’s desire for a oneness with Creation”. This does not mean for ‘my’ sect or for ‘your’ sect but for all sects. As long as individuals and individual sects insist on believing that their savior, whether it be Christ, Allah, Buddha, Confucius, Shiva, Vishnu, Indra, etc., the world will be in a state of disarray that we experience today. If you consider the origins and evolution of the different religions you can come to the conclusion, as I have, that it doesn’t matter which Savior you believe in. What does matter is that you accept the fact that there is a conceptual something greater than the individual. Whether you consider this something to be God, power, energy, consciousness or something else is up to the individual’s ability to comprehend concepts and the individual’s comfort level. To quote A. Powell Davies1, “What we need is not the victory of one religion over other religions but the recognition of the noble and the good in all religions. It is this and not exclusive claims that will draw the world together and bring mankind towards its needed unity.” What Davies approach requires is a conscious decision by the leadership of the major religions to work towards a common goal and then to convince their memberships to embrace these views. The likelihood of this happening without other help is slim. This other help must come from the collective consciousness or spiritual side of many individuals. This is commonly referred to as prayer. In order for prayer to work it must be offered in a form which envisions unity actually happening rather than just wishing for it to happen or begging for it to happen. We will always have those among us who advocate war; commit murder, rape, robbery, spousal abuse; and use drugs to alter their thinking. These individuals cannot be stopped or controlled as long as the various religions continue to find each others beliefs unacceptable. In a way this religious disharmony sets the stage for those who commit the atrocities we find all too common in today’s world.

Most people believe in a “God” based on their faith, and, for them that is all they need. The point I am trying to make is while most people believe in a higher power many base their beliefs on what they are taught to be facts as preached by their religious leaders. If the facts are studied, as I have tried to present in this paper, it can be seen that many are really fictional. People who accept ‘Fiction’ as ‘Fact’ are living a ‘Fantasy’. TABLE 1 BEGINNING OF MAJOR RELIGIONS DATE SECT/TRIBE SPIRITUAL LEADER JEWISH KINGS OTHER LEADERS LOCATION HISTORICAL EVENT 721 BCE Israel (Lost 10 Tribes) Samaritans Elijah Ahab Sargon II (Assyrian) Samaria Northern Kingdom to captavity 586 BCE Zedekiah Nebuchadnezzar II (Babylonian) Jerusalem Destruction of Temple, Exile of Jews to Babylon 580-500 BCE Ezekiel the prophet Jerusalem, Babylon 563-483 BCE Buddhism Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) India Split from Hindu to Buddhist 559-530 BCE Cyrus Persia Decrees Jews to rebuild Temple 551-419 BCE Confucianism Kung Fu Tzu (Confucius) China 538-536 BCE Pharisees Some Jews return to Jerusalem & to Egypt 445 BCE Jewish Great Assembly, Bible Canonized 422 BCE Esdras Darius II 2nd Temple completed TABLE 1 BEGINNING OF MAJOR RELIGIONS DATE SECT/TRIBE SPIRITUAL LEADER JEWISH KINGS OTHER LEADERS LOCATION HISTORICAL EVENT 333 BCE Alexander the Great Alexander enters Jerusalem 301-198 BCE Ptolemy I Egypt Takes Palestine 291-232 BCE Buddhism :Ashoka India Buddhism revised 200 BCE Sadducees Priests, aristocrats. Promoted Hellenism Seleucid Antiocus III Takes Palestine from Egypt 175-164 BCE Puritanical Hebraism vs Hedonistic Hellenism Seleucid Antiochus IV Epiphanes Jerusalem Time of Wrath 170-165 BCE Jews-Levi Asaph Jews move east to Syria & on to Kashmir - 171 BCE Onais III Seleucid Antiochus Epiphanes TABLE 1 BEGINNING OF MAJOR RELIGIONS DATE SECT/TRIBE SPIRITUAL LEADER JEWISH KINGS/RULERS OTHER LEADERS LOCATION HISTORICAL EVENT 164 BCE Jason/Jesus Seleucid Antiochus IV Epiphanes Wicked Priest Converts Israel to Hellenism 164-162 BCE Antiochus V Eupator 161 BCE Menalaus/Onias Seleucid Demetrius I (Sorter) -160BCE Hasmoneans Mattathias Maccabee Jerusalem & Modein -161BCE Jews-Hasidaens (Pious) Judas Maccabee Seluecids

-Epiphanes -Eupator -Demetrius Jerusalem Contemporary with Teacher Of Righteousness 160-153 BCE TEACHER of Righteousness -sons of Zadok - Levite Alcimus/Joachim Jonathan Macabee Seleucid Demetrius I (Sorter) Jerusalem, Damascus Wicked Priest, True Teacher to Damascus establishes New Covenant TABLE 1 BEGINNING OF MAJOR RELIGIONS DATE SECT/TRIBE SPIRITUAL LEADER LOCATION HISTORICAL EVENT Christianoi (Essenes): -Therapeuts - Ossaens -Nazoreans Simon (Macabee) JEWISH KINGS/RULERS OTHER LEADERS

Prophet Elxai Essenes to: -Egypt -Damascus -Mt Carmel -Iraq 140 BCE Christianoi (Essenes) Qumran 135-106 BCE Christianoi (Essenes), Sadducees John Hyrcanus (Macabee) Book of Jubilees 69 BCE Sadducees Aristobulus I 65 BCE Onias the Righteous Stoned to death 67-63 BCE Hasmoneans Astobulus II Hyrcanas II Astobulus II Hyrcanas II Pompey Pompey Enters Jerusalem 37-4 BCE Christianoi (Essenes), Roman Province Herod the Great Jerusalem Some Return to Jerusalem from Damascus 31 BCE Christianoi (Essenes) Qumran earthquake, Essenes return to Jerusalem 8 BCE John the Baptist born 7 BCE Jesus born TABLE 1 BEGINNING OF MAJOR RELIGIONS DATE SECT/TRIBE LOCATION 4 BCE – 6 CE 31 CE 26-36 CE SPIRITUAL LEADER HISTORICAL EVENT Archelaus JEWISH KINGS/RULERS Judea OTHER LEADERS

Agustus Antipas

Christianoi

Pontius Pilatus Augustus Galilee Galilee Crucifixion

Judea John the Baptist executed 33 CE Aretas

44 CE Nazarenes (Christianoi) Peter Herod Agrippa Emperor Caligula Moves church from Antioch to Rome Term ‘Christian’ first used in Antioch Gentile Church Paul Rome 54 CE Bani Israil Yus Asaph Rajah Gopadatta Kashmir Prophet of Israel 62 CE Nazareans (Christian-Nazirite) James/Jacob Peter, John Brother of Jesus Viewed by Paul as “the pillars” 62 CE Jewish Priest Ananus King Agrippa II James/Jacob stoned to death 66 CE Jewish-Pharisee Gessius Florus Josephus Romans 70 CE Vespasian Takes Judea 70 CE Jews-Pharisees & Sadducees 70 CE Judaic Christian Disciples of Jesus Jordan TABLE 1 BEGINNING OF MAJOR RELIGIONS DATE SECT/TRIBE SPIRITUAL LEADER JEWISH KINGS OTHER LEADERS LOCATION HISTORICAL EVENT 115 CE Hindu Yusashaphat, Isa Masih (Jesus Christ) Rajah Shalewahin India 150 CE Christian Gospel of Peter 367 CE Gnostic Condemnation of Gnostics 325 CE Christian Emperor Constantine Istanbul/ Constantinople Council of Nicea declares Christ as “Savior God” 424 CE Christian - Orthodox Break from Rome 570 CE Muslim Muhammad Medina Muhammad born 650 CE Muslim Quran written & Canonized 656-661 CE Muslim-Shi’sm Caliph Ali Medina 661-680 CE Muslim Shiatu Mu’awiyah Damascus, Syria 682 CE Muslim-Kharijites Iran & Arabian Peninsula Extremists 732 CE Muslim Take NW India & N Africa TABLE 1 BEGINNING OF MAJOR RELIGIONS DATE SECT/TRIBE SPIRITUAL LEADER JEWISH KINGS/RULERS OTHER LEADERS LOCATION HISTORICAL EVENT 756 CE Muslim Caliph Abd as-Rahman III Take Spain & S France 1054 CE Christian Bysantine Empire, Istanbul/ Constantinople Conflict between Catholicism & Orthodoxy 1099 CE Christian Jerusalem Crusades 1455 CE Christian Gutenberg Bible printed 1517 CE Christian Martin Luther Protestant Reformation 1889 CE Muslim Ahmadiyya Movement Believe Jesus survived the Crucifixion & is buried in Kashmir

Ananus has Commander against Sadducees disappear Jerusalem to Trans

BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. A. Powell Davies, The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls, (A Mentor Book, New American Library, New York, NY, 1956). 2. Hugh Schonfield, The Essene Odyssey, (Element Books, Ltd., Longmead, Saftesbury, Dorset, 1984). 3. Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels, (Vintage Books, New York, NY, 1981). 4. Edmund Wilson, Israel and the Dead Sea Scrolls, (Farrar Straus Giroux, New York, NY, 1978). 5. Swami Prabhavananda & Frederick Manchester, The Upanishads - Breath of the Eternal, (A Mentor Book, New American Library, New York, NY, 1963) 6. John A. Chapin, 2012 AD-The Beginning of a New Age, (www.scribd) key words Genesis & Mayan, 2009