Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Wonder Years: did Jesus spend His Youth in India?

There are many theories about Jesus. Some even say He didn't exist. But as Chris White says, if that were true, His detractors wouldn't have downplayed His miracles or Messiah-ship, or said that the disciples had stolen His body. Rather, they would have just said that He didnt exist. For many others they think He existed, but was merely just a great teacher. But if that were true, why don't those people actually read and follow His teachings?

Of those who see Jesus as a great teacher only, try to make a lot out of His years between age 12 and 30.


Here are a few theories i found.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_years_of_Jesus

I, for one, side with the Bible, that He is born of a virgin and is Son of the Most High God, ie God the Son. That God loved you and i so much, that He sent Jesus, His Son, to die ofr our sins so that we might be redeemed. Thats it. God loves you and wants to give us all a chance to repent.

But sadly, some people still stick to Him as merely a moral teacher and some make up wild myths about His youth. A number of these have Him traveling to India to learn from gurus, etc. Those theories were fringe for a while, but are becoming more mainstream.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-davids/jesus-lost-years-may-fina_b_179513.html

There are also older books on the subject, and even newer books and a DVD. Even the idea of it started me thinking and was one link in the chain that Satan used to drag me from the faith. While it is certainly not impossible that Jesus travelled to India, there is no proof of such in the Bible, and the extra-Biblical "truth" is from dubious sources.

Nicolas Notovitch was one researcher in the late 19th century who raise the theory. But his claims were controversial, even at that time.

"Edgar Goodspeed describes the debunking of Notovitch's claims as a hoax.

Notovitch's writings were immediately controversial. The German orientalist Max Mueller, professor of indian philosophy in Oxford who'd never been to India himself, published a letter he'd received from a British colonial officer J.Archibald Douglas, which stated that the presence of Notovich in Ladakh was "not documented".
The head of the Hemis community signed a document that denounced Notovitch as an outright liar.[10] The story of his visit to Hemis seems to be taken from H.P. Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled.[11]

In the original, the traveler with the broken leg was taken in at Mount Athos in Greece and found the text of Celsus' True Doctrine in the monastery library.

The idea that Jesus was in India was also inspired by a statement in Isis that he went to the foothills of the Himalayas.[12]"

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Notovitch

It seems that Notovitch merely took the ideas of Helena Blavatsky (precursor to alice bailey) and used them for his own ends. For those not familiar with Blavatsky, she was essentially a spirit medium who was in contact with demonic entities who posed as "evolved spirit beings" and gave her secret knowledge. I recommend looking into Chris White's, Frank Lordi's or Russ Dizdar's information on her and theosophy.

This is hardly a deep look, but Notovitch's plagiarizing of Blavatsky cements its own case as questionable evidence.

Another take on Jesus in India from wiki, is known as the Aquarian Gospel. Little needs to be said about it. The author basically gleaned content from the Akashic Records which i sort of covered in the Edgar Cayce article. Basically, the Akashic Records are only reachable through an altered state of conciousness. Information can be gathered there, usually from an entity, which of course is most likely Satan or his demons. How do i know? because the predictions resulting from the Akashic records are never 100% accurate. Revelation from the Most High God is 100% correct, 100% of the time.

To support the claims of inaccuracy, even wikipedia has pointed out obvious flaws in the aquarian gospel. If it were truly a divine document, it would have been accurate.

Holes in the aquarian gospel

"Eric Pement has pointed out difficulties in Dowling's text:

Dowling misidentified the ancient ruler known as Herod, identifying Herod Antipas as the ruler of Jerusalem, during a period when Herod the Great actually ruled.[2]

The book depicts Jesus as visiting the cities of Lahore, India (pre-Partition in India, now in Pakistan); Shri Jagannath in temple at Puri in Orissa, India; and Persepolis in Persia. Only the temple at Puri existed at that period, but, Lahore did not exist during the period in question, and Persepolis had already been destroyed by Alexander the Great.[2]

The book asserts Jesus Christ had remained in the Jagannātha Temple of Puri for 4 years for preaching the downtrodden and low caste people.

Dowling and Edgar Cayce both claimed to have produced an account of the life of Jesus through the transcription of the Akashic records, but there are significant differences between their accounts.[2]

Dowling claimed that Jesus knew Meng-tse of Lhasa, Tibet but Meng-tse lived 300 years before Jesus’ time.[2]"

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki_The_Aquarian_Gospel_of_Jesus_the_Christ

There are no doubt other stories and evidence. The other accounts come from channelled information ( i believe urantia is one) or from people saying they were Christ). The Christ Krishna link involves made up sanskrit words.

The mana purana reference is someone claiming that he was Jesus. Something Christ clearly warned us would happen.

On a tangent, The Ahmadiyya movement mentioned, believes Christ didnt die on the cross-a common Muslim belief- when the Bible is clear on the matter. Afterall, a roman soldier pierced His side, and proved He was dead. A roman soldier should be able to know when a man was dead.

Those were all from the wikipedia entry, but what caught my interest initially years ago was the Paul Davids movie "Jesus in India." The website for the movie tells the story of how Davids a supposed Christian, heard that Mary had been buried in Pakistan, he later found Notovitch's book which we've already discussed was based on faulty and channelled evidence.

Davids' site mentions that Christ lived on in India, and i have also seen such claims about Japan and the Americas (post resurrection). It can't all be true! My thought, false Christs and/or evil spirits posing as Him, as Jesus warned about.

Moving on. We've seen that the only people who can solidly put Jesus in India during His youth are channelers, or those referencing channelled material.

Why not see if the Bible really says anything about the missing years. I can't claim to answer for everything, but i think we can get some answers just by seeing the hints. Not to mention that a few missing years are hardly a huge issue. Many in the Bible have much of their whole life missing from the Scripture, some of them were hundreds of years old.

First,

http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-India.html

Next, we have some good evidence in the actual Bible.

Chuck Missler indicates that this is a fair indicator of Jesus Christ's childhood, another matter the scriptures are supposedly silent on.

Psalm 69  8: - 17

I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children.

For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.

When I wept, [and chastened] my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.

I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them.

They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I [was] the song of the drunkards.

But as for me, my prayer [is] unto thee, O LORD, [in] an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.

Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.

Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.

Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness [is] good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Psa&c=69&v=1&t=KJV#top


In short, Joseph and Mary's other children, His half brothers and sisters, likely scorned Him as did those in His town. They likely often considered Him illegitamate, though His Father was THE Father.

We also get the sense elsewhere that Jesus had spent much of His time in and around galilee/nazareth. When He preached there people knew who He was. We don't get the sense of someone who's been missing, but rather someone who's been living amongst them.

The people knew who His vocation, and named His brothers and sisters. They mentioned all of these things, they knew He hadn't been officially trained. If He had just returned from parts unknown, woulnd't the text say so? Wouldn't they say something like, "and He just returned with great wisdom from afar."? They don't mention any such thing.


Mark 6:3 - 5

And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing [him] were astonished, saying, From whence hath this [man] these things? and what wisdom [is] this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Mar&c=6&v=3&t=KJV#top


John 7:15
And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?

http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Jhn&c=7&v=1&t=KJV#top

This intimate knowledge is pretty insightful that Jesus well known in the are. Had it been otherwise, had He spent 18 years abroad, how would they know this?

Additionally, here are ome other things that are possible indicators that Christ wouldn't have made such a journey. This is my speculation, but i think its based on some good interpretation of the available evidence.

His parents were poor. They offered a turtledoves when He was born rather than a lamb. Turtledoves were the alternative for those with financial limitations.

Luke 2:22-24

"And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present [him] to the Lord;

(As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)

And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."


Also, He was teaching people and asking deep questions at 12, why would He travel afar for more wisdom?

Luke 2:42, 46-48

"And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast."

"And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing."

http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Luk&c=2&t=KJV#24

Joseph was more than likely dead, or at least not around/mentioned. The text isn't 100% clear, but we can guess this. In the event that Joseph was dead, Jesus, as the eldest Son likely would need to help support His mother and brethren until at least one was old enough to support themselves. We saw that He had at least 4 brothers mentioned, plus sisters. Who knows how long He would have had to help support the family.

The family would have been too poor to go normally, especially with that many kids. And Jesus would have had little opportunity to go, as He was tied down learning the Torah (presumably, though we see that His detractors remarked He wasn't formally trained) and being a carpenter. How would He have learned Torah and carpenter skills while on the road and while learning "wisdom" from gurus?

So where did He get His wisdom, if He was living life and too busy/poor to get gain wisdom through school and travel?

First, He is the Son of God. He is fully God, thus His intelligence and wisdom surpass human ability. Second, His wisdom came from the Holy Spirit upon baptism. How much did He know on Earth? We're not told, but being God in human flesh would presumably eliminate the need for formal education and learning from gurus.

This was merely a quick look at debunking Jesus' trip(s) to India. It should be plain to see that the evidence that exists is biased (its from demons) and is proven to be inaccurate. On the other hand, the Bible has enough hints for those willing to look. a little basic Bible study, and research into other sources turned up enough information to cast some light onto Jesus' missing years. Imagine what an extensive study might yield.

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