Rivals of Jesus: Rivals of Jesus
In 30 AD, Jesus preaches a gospel of compassion, but other "messiahs" from the growing Christian movement are more popular.
John the Baptist was a second cousin of Jesus, and John the Baptist was a Levite, of the Tribe of Levi, the Tribe of God's Hebrew priests. His biblical job was to announce the arrival of the Messiah, and turn over his followers to Jesus. Genealogically speaking, King David out of the Tribe of Judah, was the male line of Jesus, and the Tribe of Levi was the maternal line of Jesus. In Luke we learn that Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist was a descendant of the Levites, her husband was a Levite priest, and her cousin was Mary, the mother of Jesus.
It is interesting to note that from the Israelite perspective, God was quiet for 400 years prior to Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem. All the rivals arose after Jesus, they were not concurrent with his time.
vc said: "All the rivals arose after Jesus, they were not concurrent with his time."
Actually, there were MANY failed Jewish messiah claimants, both before and after Christ (the episode mentions the most famous, Bar Kochba, but there were many others, too).
The episode mentioned the cult of Osiris/Isis, first emerging in records from the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (2,500 yrs BC). This belief system was incorporated into Judaism and then into Xianity, having later been exported into Greece/Rome via the same method: syncretism.
the Vedic religions predate even Hinduism, which were morphed into
Zoroasterianism, the official religion of the Persian Empire (deity:
Ahuru Mazda). This religion predated Christianity, too, and many of
it's distinctive elements are incorporated into it.
Zoroasterianism is known to many Christians who are familiar with the Old Testament account of the liberation of Jews held captive in Babylon in 6th Cent BC, since Zoroasterian was the first religion in the World to abolish and outlaw the practice of slavery (a belief that Jews obviously benefited from, but which they continued to practice after they returned to Judea and the Greeks conquered the Persian Empire, making it legal again).
The first part of the Book of Revelation are a report card of sorts for each of the newly established Christian churches. Jesus reminds those churches to steer clear of all the false teachers that have become popular.
Today, it is also popular for celebrities and others to mimic those who create large followings. Its easier to be like a popular figure for purposes of making money from that wide audience. They didn't have social media back then, but there were people who were copy cats for money. This is natural human behavior. Paul warns against profiting from discipleship.
Interesting history, but simply more examples of false teachers profiting inappropriately.
Its important to understand that historically it is the Catholic leaders that required parishoners to buy blessings and this is why Martin Luther taught that no one needs a priest to pray for their souls, that Jesus followers are able to have a direct relationship with Jesus without interference. This was the reason why the Catholics excommunicated the Lutherans.
Beware false teachers. The Bible tells you exactly how to identify false teachers.