James is "Jesus" in the early texts
Titus's troops carrying off plunder from the Temple of Jerusalem. From the Arch of Titus - Rome.
How I've not seen this clearly before dumbfounds me - I've considered it ever since Eisenman showed how the Teacher of Righteousness at Qumran is James the Just - yet somehow, the obvious eluded me. But I got there eventually, as I am wont to do.
Here it is: James as ΙΥ, IC, ΙΣ
What exactly am I saying, and as importantly, what am I not saying?
- The nomina sacra - sacred abbreviations - used exclusively in all the early texts later claimed by Christians as being Christian - use (translated to English) the letters JS for its divine man.
- Of the numerous people named Jesus in that period, none come close to being leader of a group of Jews with a radical theology and agenda; none were sentenced to death by the Sanhedrin.
- JS fits James as well as Jesus.
- I am not saying James is Jesus, but that James is the JS that others later said is Jesus.
- James is historical, leader of the Jewish Resistance, based at Qumran, appears as The Teacher of Righteousness in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and was killed by order of the Sanhedrin; he is a good match to the divine man.
The choice comes down to: a mythological and late Jesus, or a historical James. Easy, really.
I've tried for some years now to pin down exactly where "Jesus" first appears in the Christian textual tradition, and never quite succeeded. Who first said that the nomina sacra referred to a Jesus; when and why? Until these texts are dated reliably, we probably can't know.
So what stopped everyone seeing the obvious? That's easy: the glittering web of false assumptions, that the Christian textual tradition is historical. This wrong and baseless assumption keeps fooling scholars.
I went to this huge website that says Jesus never existed, and joined its forum, where I had this amazing experience of being told insistently by the site's founders how the Christian textual tradition is historical. The arguments they use are exactly the same as those used by the Christian Church to 'prove' the historicity of Jesus. The irony missed them completely.
More disappointing to me is the great man and scholar Robert Eisenman, who's intellect has produced the most amazing work over the last decades. And yet, he is as stuck within the glittering web as fast as any priest.
There is the rub and why few will take any notice of, or attach any importance to my words and thoughts. Though my arguments are evidence-based, to understand and appreciate what this evidence reveals requires a shift in perspective, and this is beyond the intellectual capacity of most. Lucky for the Church.