Monday, 2 February 2009

The Twelve Apostles All Accounted For

Looking at the lists of the twelve apostles from the New Testament (shown under "Sources" at the bottom of this blog from Luke, Mark, Matthew, John, and Acts), we can see that most of the apostles correspond. There are just a few loose connections:

* Simon's stature is greater than he appears (discussed in the previous blog)
* Thaddaeus appears to be the same as Thaddaeus and Lebbaeus whose
surname was Thaddaeus, but "Judas son of James" and "Judas the
brother of James" need explanation (Also, he is somewhat obscure)
* James son of Alphaeus is obscure
* Nathaniel is missing from the list
* Matthew is degraded as a tax collector of Rome
* Bartholomew is somewhat obscure

When looking at the lists of the apostles it becomes apparent that the order of the apostles is significant. With the top apostle being Peter, it would be assumed that the top down order has significance to Jesus. With the exception of Acts where Thomas moves up to the position six, certainly the top six in the list are directly under Jesus. They are Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, and Bartholomew.

However, perhaps the reverse order, bottom to top, could also be of importance in the hierarchy of the current organization that Jesus belonged to. Also, considering that the top hierarchy needed to be protected from being captured by Rome, their names would be probably be in code and that may explain why some of them are so obscure.

In reverse order we have Judas Iscariot, Thaddaeus, and Simon as the top three and there they are: candidates for the three crosses! In the previous blog, I showed how important Simon was, so chances are he made it to the center cross.

Now, we have the story of a person called Barabbas getting switched with Jesus. Barabbas is a nice sounding pirate name, but wait, remember that Simon Bar-Kokhba zealot, “bar” just means “son of”, thus Barabbas is "son of Abba (Father)". Not confusing “son of” as blood-relations but instead using this to mean religious position, this name sounds like another “son of” as in James son of Alphaeus. Since Simon appears to be the “alpha guy”, and Judas Iscariot "with the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field and there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out” (Acts 1:18), was clearly not Barabbas; we now we can associate Thaddaeus with Barabbas!

The “Judas, not Iscariot” in the Gospel of John at the Last Supper must also be Thaddaeus, clearly filling the slot just left by Judas Iscariot who left the Last Supper to betray Jesus. It would appear that Judas is more of a title that may have begun with the documented historical person Judas of Galilee (see link below) who was killed in 6 AD. "Judas son of James" in the list of twelve in Luke, being at the correct position that Thaddaeus would have been in, gives us a clue that Thaddaeus took the title of Judas sometimes. As he is shown as "Judas son of James" it would appear that he was an independent and may have been under James and at other times under Simon. There is clearly no need for scholars to go after Jude (Hey, Jude), the brother of Jesus for Thaddaeus or invent a whole family tree by misusing "son of". In any case, Jude the brother of Jesus, would be about 17 years old at the time.

Looking at James son of Alphaeus again, we have this James reporting to an Alphaeus person. By the first part being the Greek letter ‘alpha’ like “alpha and omega”, it must refer to the “top guy”. His position in the list puts him after the three top leaders and he must report to the top guy. Seeing as we have a Nathanael at John 1:43-49 & John 21:2 as one of the first recruits of Jesus, it looks like he would be a good candidate for “James son of Alphaeus”. The name Nathanael means “God has given” which is similar to Jonathan “gift of God” who was the friend of King David. Given that that Jonathan was the prince, son of King Saul, and David took his title by marrying his sister, this tells us quite a bit about the relationship of “James son of Alphaeus” to Jesus who was in the lineage of David. It would also explain why he was later called “Stephanos” meaning crown making him that same martyred Stephen.

Next we will look at Matthew being maligned as a Roman tax collector. The Catholic Encyclopedia asserts that Matthew once could have been called "Levi", according to Mark 2:14 & Luke 5:27 where there is a Levi, son of Alphaeus, a tax collector and a publican who was called to follow Jesus. Incidentally, the Encyclopedia also states that "The fact of one man having two names is of frequent occurrence among the Jews." Here is the true connection with tax collector: (Hebrews 7:5): "And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers, though these also are descended from Abraham." This is again an example of an obvious explanation of tax collector overlooked by experts that makes Matthew (Levi), not a forgiven hated tax collector of the Romans, but a tax collector of the Church and in fact a priest of the priestly tribe of Levi.

Let us take Matthew a step further and say that the four Gospels and the lesser Gospels of Thomas and Philip were not based on verbal remembrances written later, but actually written by these people. After all, they, being Jewish, were not uneducated and therefore perfectly capable of writing words. (Of course, what we look at now are copies as there was no printing press in the time of Jesus.) Therefore, is it not logical that this Matthew wrote the Gospel of Matthew!

Let us now look at Bartholomew. The "bar" on front of that name makes him "son of Tholomew" which is clearly "son of Ptolemy" which places him from Alexandria, Egypt. In the Works of Philo Judaeus "On The Contemplative Life Or Suppliants" section III, Philo talks about Therapeuts (Therapeutae) from Alexandria who practiced the art of healing. So this is saying that Batholomew reports to the head of the Therapeuts. Since, clearly, he reports to Jesus as he is among the first six names, one might say that "son of Ptolemy" is just a fancy way of saying that he reports to Jesus.

Now, certainly there is a confusion in Church History about two Johns. One is clearly on Patmos writing part of Revelation and the other according to tradition is a John who looked after Mary in Ephesus where there exists a church where she lived. Clearly, the charge that Jesus gave to the "disciple who he loved", which he spoke from the cross, to look after Mary in John 19 26,27 fits the tradition. This "disciple that Jesus loved" is also shown leaning on Jesus' bosom (John 14:23). It is interesting that the "beloved" disciple is associated with "bosom" and Jesus' mother and maybe he was also a guardian of Mary Magdalene, Jesus' wife. Perhaps there is a reason for obscuring the name John under the name Bartholomew or "disciple that Jesus loved" because it is possible that he left Jesus later on perhaps with Mary Magdalene. Given that there are two Johns who are disciples, one could assume that this Bartholomew is the "beloved disciple" and that his name is John. Perhaps, also this could be the John who wrote the Gospel of John.

As the Brits say, "Sorted!"

In review, the twelve apostles are in two groups of six.

The top group report to Jesus:
1. Peter
2. Andrew (not a relation)
3. & 4. James and John (twin illegitimate sons of a Roman noble - The Clementine Homilies - see previous blog)
5. Philip (He has his own gospel - Nag Hammadi Library)
6. Bartholomew (The beloved disciple, John who wrote the Gospel of John)

The bottom group report to "Alphaeus" whoever was the top "Pope" at the time. These are the top groups superiors (sorry to have to report that Jesus reported to them):

The top leaders:
1. Simon (the leader, Alphaeus)
2. Judas Iscariot (a top wanna-be)
3. Thaddaeus (also Barabbas)
The substitute leaders:
4. James son of Alphaeus (top wanna-be: Stephanos (Stephen), the crown)
5. Matthew (a Levite who wrote the Gospel Of Matthew)
6. Thomas (the twin, a dispossessed Herod prince. He has his own gospel - Nag Hammadi Library - see previous blog)

Hope you were able to follow along. This is an example of "The Pesher of Christ" method at work.

Sources:

Luke.6 Verses 14 to 16

1. Simon, whom he named Peter
2. Andrew his brother
3. James
4. John
5. Philip
6. Bartholomew
7. Matthew
8. Thomas
9. James the son of Alphaeus
10. Simon who was called the Zealot
11. Judas the son of James
12. Judas Iscariot, traitor.

Mark.3 Verses 16 to 19

1. Simon, whom he named Peter
2. Andrew
3. James the son of Zebedee
4. John, the brother of James, both the sons of Thunder
Andrew is in this slot.
5. Philip
6. Bartholomew
7. Matthew
8. Thomas
9. James the son of Alphaeus
10. Simon the Canaanite
11. Thaddaeus
Simon is in this slot
12. Judas Iscariot, traitor

Matthew.10 Verses 2 to 4.

1. Simon, who is called Peter
2. Andrew his brother
3. James the son of Zebedee
4. John, his brother
5. Philip,
6. Bartholomew
7. Matthew, the tax collector
8. Thomas, and
Matthew is here
9. James the son of Alphaeus, and
10. Simon who was called the Zealot,
11. Lebbaeus whose suname was Thaddaeus
Simon is here
12. Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him


John 6:67,70,71

1. Simon Peter (John 6:67) also from Bethsaida (John 1:44)
2. Andrew Simon Peter’s brother (John 1:40) also from Bethsaida (John 1:44)
3. sons of Zebedee (James) (John 21:2)
4. sons of Zebedee (John) (John 21:2)
5. Philip of Bethsaida(not mentioned)
6. Bartholomew (not mentioned)
7. Matthew (not mentioned)
8. Thomas (called Didymus) (John 21:2)
9. James the son of Alphaeus (not mentioned)
10. Simon who was called the Zealot (not mentioned)
11. Lebbaeus whose suname was Thaddaeus (not mentioned)
12. Judas Iscariot, Satan (John 6:71)

John unassigned:
1. Nathanael (God has given) Jonathan (gift of God) from Cana in Galilee (John 1:43-49 & John 21:2)
2 Judas, not Iscariot (John 14:22)

Acts 1:13

Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James.
1. Peter
2. Andrew
3. James
4. John
Andrew is here
5. Philip
Thomas is here
6. Bartholomew
7. Matthew
8. Thomas
9. James the son of Alphaeus
10. Simon the Zealot,
11. Judas the brother of James
12. Judas Iscariot (not present)


References:

Judas of Galilee
Simon_bar_Kokhba
Stephanos
Twelve apostles
Philo Book 34 On The Contemplative Life Or Suppliants
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