About the life of Jesus, that is. It's a wonderful tale, carefully constructed and plastered with hyperbole. That he existed is beyond doubt. That he was born of a virgin is the start of a succession of myths and fables which eventually become an insult to anyone's intelligence. He had an older brother records show.By the name of James. Some virginity that. At that particular time in the unhappy history of Israel there was a giant if a man preaching the word of God and goodwill to all men who was highly respected and admired - John the Baptist. Jesus became one of his congregation and listened avidly to the words of a charismatic man. John baptized those who were willing to repent and become 'pure'. He baptized Jesus, who theoretically wouldn't need to be - as 'the son of God' he would be faultless and pure by nature. So this is where the distortion of truth started. We know of John's ugly death at the hands if king Herod - at the request of Herod's wife, who was seething because of John's ability to look straight in her eyes and refuse to accept her ego.
Jesus never forgot John's power of speech, and how the fear of God could sway men's minds. At the time of the birth of Jesus, an old myth had forecast the coming of a Messiah directly from God, an entity who would show the way to salvation., The coincidence was accepted by desperate Jews who were sick of the Roman occupation, and desperately in need of leadership coupled with a strong cause. Jesus took up the challenge and tried to live up to it. By words alone - the 'miracles' of healing, loaves and fishes came a hundred years after his death when there was nobody around to disprove the impossible. All went well for a long time. He even managed to include a mistress into his itinerary, and disappear for long stretches to enjoy the delights of sexual coupling. normal guy that he was.
All went reasonably well around his home town at first. Meals provided by villagers who hoped for a Godly rub-off. Fishermen who would throw the odd fish or two. Wine from vinyard owners. Then, by now having a dozen followers, or disciples as they are known, Jesus decided to drift down to the big city. Jerusalem . The bright lights and sophistication called - as it does to us all. Mostly, rather. If he had kept a low profile and acted as a tourist all would have ended peacefully, and no Bible would have been carefully constructed hundreds of years later. He was incensed by the blatant actions of money-lenders. These guys were businessmen protected by the system - bribes in proportion to the amount of business transacted. In the market, where they operated, Jesus clashed with one. He was told in no uncertain terms where to go to. The money lender's table was upended, coins scattered, and voices raised. The disciples noticed a bodyguard scurrying away - to bring a centurion no doubt, and managed to drag Jesus away and out of the market place. They headed for the woods like most injuns, known then as the Garden of Gethsemane. Here they camped out for the night, gourds of wine and cheese sandwiches to sustain them. The Roman were by now searching for this band of Northerners who were upsetting the peace - the atmosphere was already a bit tense as this period was a Jewish celebration of a famous victory over the Romans - their only one- and so Pilate, the Roman in charge of civilian matters, was sensitive to Jewish attitudes. The disciples were by now a wee bit in the peed-off mode with their leader, Jesus, for being so crass.
One centurion got the word about the group in the woods. He got a team together and came across them. Basically it was "take me to your leader" And this is where Jesus became the son of woman, not God. He tried to pretend there was no 'leader'. But the description was out and he matched it only too well. When Pilate interviewed the entire bunch he realized quickly that the followers were just that, a group of simple men who had a belief that Jesus was the son of God. They were, he believed, manipulated by a clever man. During his interview with Jesus, Pilate found him to be a sly man. He prevaricated too much, and never once admitted to being that 'son of God'. We must remember that the Romans were the most accurate record keepers in the world at that time. The upkeep of an empire was terribly costly, and so even the cost of shoe-nails for any horse was recorded. The most minute details were written down. This was the case with the investigation of Jesus. Pilate was not impressed. He freed the disciples and sent them home. Filled with disillusionment they returned home with their tails between their legs and let the whole fiasco drop...
We all know about the 'people's choice'. Christ was nailed to a cross and died a very ugly and inhumane death. He didn't deserve such ugliness from his fellow man, but that was the human being and his laws in those unenlightened days. Well over a hundreds years later, scholars of the Faith decided that within this almost obscure piece of history from the Holy Land there lay a kernel of something wonderful, even powerful. Something to stir hearts and minds, and to bring to the fore a Jewish man as a hero beyond all others - and the Lord knows how few there were. And so the Bible was constructed and formed into one that encapsulated all hope, all Godliness, all the wonders and beauty of God and nature - and even the basis for a religion above all others - because these writers were not naive, they saw a new purpose for the Jews. It's a great story . Hollywood would have beaten it in modern times, but for its day it was the model T Ford, the first atom bomb, the most subtle creation of men's minds and aspirations. I salute it as a wonderful work of fiction - and its beauty of expression - even though it has had many updates and variations over the centuries.