Our answers are in the lost history
Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani meets with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the presidential palace in Irbil, the capital of northern Iraq's Kurdistan autonomous region, June 24, 2014
The best histories are made relevant to the present. The 'sectarian', tribal and religious conflicts plaguing the world are intractable not because their roots are deep, but because they are lost. The textual traditions for each of the world's major religions fail to connect with history.
Origins of Christianity describes a religion - Chrestianity - emerging from Ptolemaic Egypt into the Roman empire. Its principal enemy - Messianic Judaism - was destroyed through the destruction of the Second Temple, Jerusalem, Quman and Judea, as well as the killing of its Righteous Teachers and their followers. Even so, various other events tell us how this was not the end of the matter:
- The rise of gnostic faiths, with their own textual traditions (which contain references in various literary forms to the royalty of Adiabene in the early-first century).
- The continuation of Chrestianity, its growth across the Levant and the appearance of Saul as its own divine man, Paul of Tarsus.
- The imperial production of the New Testament, with Chrest, nomina sacra and The Shepherd of Hermas (which features Grapte, a female relative of Izates).
- And then, lastly, the appearance of Christianity, along with its own textual tradition, claiming very largely the histories of both imperial Rome and other faiths as its own.
The last stage listed supra takes place - accepting the consensus on dating - in the sixth century; this is when and how Christianity first appears; I think it could be up to two centuries later, but for the sake of argument, today, let's go with the sixth.
This is when codex Sinaiticus undergoes a massive series of alterations, one being to alter Chrest to read as Christ. This is when a monk writes a false history he attributes to one Lactantius, containing an explanation for the change of eta to iota: it is, he says, because everyone beforehand was ignorant. Scholarship has accepted this rationale ever since, so I ask you to pause a moment for reflection.
Everyone includes the authors of the canonical gospels, the purported popes and other clerics, everyone. Our leading academics support this outrageous claim, by calling the alterations corrections. I would not have thought how stupidity was a necessary qualification to enter academia, but so it seems, for our modern scholars are honourable..
As Christianty was fabricated, so the new textual tradition eradicated as best it could that for Chrest and Chrestianity; many of the references to the Adiabene royals were also erased (though not completely, as we see with the Kandake story, as an example).
Messianic Judaism and Judea under Herod Agrippa I had allied with Adiabene, whose royal family converted to Judaism; they fought heroically to defend Judea in the the First Jewish-Roman War; ca 200 Izates - said to have been born in the year 1 - was a divine man and this despite all the destruction and havoc wrought by imperial Rome.
History of the Jews in Kurdistan:
Ancient times and classic antiquity
Tradition holds that Israelites of the tribe of Benjamin first arrived in the area of modern Kurdistan after the Assyrian conquest of the Kingdom of Israel during the 8th century BC; they were subsequently relocated to the Assyrian capital. During the first century BC, the royal house of Adiabene, whose capital was Arbil (Aramaic: Arbala; Kurdish: Hewlêr), was converted to Judaism. King Monobazes, his queen Helena, and his son and successor Izates are recorded as the first proselytes.
According to the memoirs of Benjamin of Tudela and Pethahiah of Regensburg, there were about 100 Jewish settlements and substantial Jewish population in Kurdistan in 12th century. Benjamin of Tudela also gives the account of David Alroi, the messianic leader from central Kurdistan, who rebelled against the king of Persia and had plans to lead the Jews back to Jerusalem. These travellers also report of well-established and wealthy Jewish communities in Mosul, which was the commercial and spiritual center of Kurdistan. Many Jews fearful of approaching crusaders, had fled from Syria and Palestine to Babylonia and Kurdistan. The Jews of Mosul enjoyed some degree of autonomy over managing their own community.
The genetic bond claim between Kurds and Jews
A team of German, Indian and Israeli specialists published the results of their research that showed that the Jews were distant ethnic relatives of the Kurds. The Jews and Kurds according to the research team have common ancestors who resided in the area between the south eastern areas of Turkey and Northern Iraq.There had been numerous Jews in Mesopotamia since their times of captivity and many stayed after their release by Cyrus the Great. Messianic Jews moved into that region prior to the Jewish-Roman Wars and after the first, many fled there as refugees. This was the cause of the regular Roman invasions of Mesopotamia.
Imperial Roman concern with Messianic Judaism in Mesopotamia is confirmed, not just by Caracalla ransacking the royal tombs at Irbil, but also with the subject of baptism, which was the hallmark of Chrestianity, compared to the ritual cleansing of Jews, as seen in their Righteous Teachers being Rain Makers, the many miqveh and their frequent use, use of the term 'Banus' and, of course, the accounts of 'John the Baptist'. The two traditions, one from the Ptolemaic syncretism with the Osiris resurrection myth (which is how the Ankh became the Chi-Rho) and the other from Leviticus and detailed in the“Purification Texts” from Qumran.
The early New Testament codices - which are explicitly Chrestian - are dated to the 4th century, which tells us that imperial concern with both Messianic Judaism and Jewish royalty of Adiabene extended to this time. What we lack is the history of this family and its kingdom.
We know very little about the Parthians, other than the existence of their empire. In my opinion, it was taken over by Scythians, though I think many would struggle to define the difference. As I also regard Izates as Scythian, this raises his importance and probably explains the confidence this gave Messianc Jews in the early first century and how Rome was reluctant to confront him directly. As importantly, my supposition changes the politics of the region for the next few centuries.
The chronology of Chrestianity and Christianity (as outlined supra) changes the relationship between the Roman Empire and Arabia, in particular as regards the Arab Conquests and the appearance of Islam. Of potential significance to me is how the first Arab attempt to take Iran failed and later succeeded only with the support of a mysterious party in Mesopotamia; I would suppose that this was the kingdom known earlier as Adiabene.
It is often not realised how most of the Arabian peninsula prior to Islam was Jewish; the south was a Jewish kingdom and a number of important tribes to the north had converted. An important part of the authority held by Izates and his descendants was control over the sites of the Jewish Patriarchs, especially Noah. My feeling is that the lost history of this period contains the people and events which led to the Arab Conquests, Islam and the Sunni/Shia divide.
The Messianic Jews who fled to Mesopotamia were not all hunted down and killed by troops carrying the imperial eagle.
Mandaeans (Modern Mandaic: מנדעניא Mandaʻnāye, Arabic: الصابئة المندائيون aṣ-Ṣabi'a al-Mandā'iyūn) are an ethnoreligious group indigenous to the alluvial plain of southern Mesopotamia and are followers of Mandaeism, a Gnostic religion. The Mandaeans were originally native speakers of Mandaic, a Semitic language that evolved from Eastern Middle Aramaic...
There are several indications of the ultimate origin of the Mandaeans. Early religious concepts and terminologies recur in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and"Jordan" has been the name of every baptismal water in Mandaeism. This connection with early baptismal sects in the eastern Jordan region and the elements of Western Syrian in the Mandaean language attests to their levantine origin. The ultimate Jewish origin of the Mandaeans can still be found despite the vehement polemics against the Jews in Mandaean literature, in which Moses is a false prophet and Adonai (one of the names used in the Jewish bible) is an evil god.
There are also the Sabians, particularly of Harran.
The Mandaeans consider John the Baptiser as one of their members, one of their greatest teachers. They regard "Jesus" as a false messiah.
There are a number of other, small and similar groups in the region. 'Baptising' seems to be important to them and the location of their saints' memorials tend to be at river sources.
A lot has changed over the centuries and the defence tactic of such groups is usually to hide their faith whilst seeming to adopt that of the conquerors. This and their lost history makes determination difficult. Even so, I think we may be confident that the faith of Qumran has survived in some forms across the mountains of the Middle East.
When we superimpose Kurdistan today with what I interpret as the life and activities of Izates, I am impressed, for example, with the strategic importance of Irbil, capital of Izates, then and now.
My advice to the USA is not to play the role of the Roman Empire: it does not end well.