Common Themes in new Age and Biblical Archaeology

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New Age or Traditional Archeology?
What are the common platforms? Where does the divergence lie? What stands up against fact or fiction? Does an Indiana Jones type character enhance or detract from a serious and precise science?

These questions of romanticism or reliability are never more prominent than in the arena of Religious Studies. New Age movements in religion, science and the occult had emerged to confront the religious history of the West, which was dominated by the force of its cultural contribution to the civilized world from late BCE to the present. Both Orthodox Judaism and Christianity have been questioned by these New Age perspectives. Generational and archaeological traditions were put to considerable challenge, none more relevant than the question of the historical Jesus.

Much has been made of the complete lack of commentary in the Bible regarding the life of Jesus Christ as a child. The Gospel of Luke mentioned the story of the twelve year old Jesus in the temple. Nothing further was written until He made preparations for His Judean ministry at age thirty. Various legends arose; the young boy was returned to Egypt to learn ancient mysteries of magic and science, a trip to Britain with his "uncle" Joseph of Arimathea and visits to what are now modern Turkey, Iran, India and Tibet.

From these stories, more myths abound. The Three Magi, mentioned in the birth story, really came from the East to arrange the education of Jesus when he reached puberty. Joseph and Mary were not Jewish but Aryan, from the Kashmir region of India. Current DNA testing of residents in Galilee, mainly Nazareth, reveals a high incidence of Aryan ancestry. Could Jesus the Messiah of Christian belief have learned mystical acts from yogis and swamis in India?

Theories abound about the life of Jesus, His affiliation with the Essene Sect, marriage and fatherhood, non-death on the Cross and appearances (travels) both regionally and abroad. The Apostle Thomas, who was given the task of evangelizing Near East and Oriental areas, is said to have composed the Apocryphal "Acts of Thomas", known as "Gnostic Scriptures" detailing the appearance of Christ as guest of a Turkish King. In the Lord's subsequent travels, he became known as Yuz Asaf (leader of the healed). There is a house in Ephesus, Turkey known as the "Home of Mary", purported to be the home and final resting place of the Virgin Mary, who had accompanied Jesus on His travels after the crucifixion. Several high ranking prelates in the Roman Catholic Church celebrated Mass at this site.

All this conjecture has spawned popular books, films and worldwide discussion of the accuracy of the Bible. Modern archeology has begun to address specific sites to obtain clues that might prove or disprove the validity of these familiar stories in both the Old and New Testaments. New technology is determined to explore the historical and religious significance of legends, myths and traditions that we have come to accept as truths.

That Jesus Christ lived is indisputable. Muslims, Buddhists and Christians alike reference His life and times. Most of the fashionable theorists who invoke histories of the Knights Templar and Rosicrucians do so to promulgate new age movements. Let the scientists use their considerable skills to give the world an accurate portrayal of those times, those places and those giant figures of history.

More about this author: Ralph Lawrence

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