Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 31, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:11



Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 31, 2018 


 New research finds that Oumuamua, the rocky 
object identified as the first confirmed interstellar 
asteroid, very likely came from a binary star 

 “It’s remarkable that we’ve now seen for the first 
time a physical object from outside our solar system,” 
says lead author Dr. Alan Jackson, a postdoc at the 
Centre for Planetary Sciences at the University of 
Toronto Scarborough in Ontario, Canada.

 A binary star system, unlike our Sun, is one with 
two stars orbiting a common centre.

 For the new study, published in the journal 
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical 
Society, Jackson and his co-authors set about 
testing how efficient binary star systems are at 
ejecting objects. They also looked at how common 
these star systems are in the galaxy.

 They found that rocky objects like Oumuamua 
are far more likely to come from binary than single 
star systems. They were also able to determine that 
rocky objects are ejected from binary systems in 
comparable numbers to icy objects.

 “It’s really odd that the first object we would see 
from outside our system would be an asteroid, 
because a comet would be a lot easier to spot and 
the solar system ejects many more comets than 
asteroids,” says Jackson, who specializes in planet 
and solar system formation.

 Once they determined that binary systems are 
very efficient at ejecting rocky objects, and that a 
sufficient number of them exist, they were satisfied 
that Oumuamua very likely came from a binary 
system. They also concluded that it probably came 
from a system with a relatively hot, high-mass star 
since such a system would have a greater number 
of rocky objects closer in.

 The team suggests that the asteroid was very 
likely to have been ejected from its binary system 
sometime during the formation of planets.

 Oumuamua, which is Hawaiian for ‘scout,’ was 
first spotted by the Haleakala Observatory in 
Hawaii on 19 October 2017. With a radius of 200 
metres and traveling at a blistering speed of 30 
kilometres per second, at its closest it was about 
33,000,000 km from Earth.

 When it was first discovered researchers initially 
assumed the object was a comet, one of countless 
icy objects that release gas when they warm up on 
approaching the Sun. But it didn’t show any comet-
like activity as it neared the Sun, and was quickly 
reclassified as an asteroid, meaning it was rocky.

 Researchers were also fairly sure it was from 
outside our solar system, based on its trajectory 
and speed. An eccentricity of 1.2—which classifies 
its path as an open-ended hyperbolic orbit—and 
such a high speed meant it was not bound by the 
gravity of the Sun.

 In fact, as Jackson points out, Oumuamua’s orbit 
has the highest eccentricity ever observed in an 
object passing through our solar system.

 Major questions about Oumuamua remain. 
For planetary scientists like Jackson, being able 
to observe objects like these may yield important 
clues about how planet formation works in other 
star systems.

 Jackson adds, “The same way we use comets to 
better understand planet formation in our own 
solar system, maybe this curious object can tell us 
more about how planets form in other systems.”

 You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@

Photo: ESO / M. Kornmesser


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder



In Search of the Real Historical Jesus


[Nyerges is an educator, and 
author of such books as “Extreme 
Simplicity,” “Enter the Forest,” and 
“Self-Sufficient Home.” You can 
learn more about his classes and 
activities at www.SchoolofSelf-] 

Jesus! What a man he was! Perhaps the most amazing thing 
about Jesus – a man who is known and worshipped by at 
least a third of all humanity, and around whom our system of 
reckoning time revolves – is that there is still so much debate 
about who he was, what he did, how he lived, and what he 
believed. Hundreds of differing sects are stark testament to 
the fact that though Jesus might have had “one message,” that 
message has been widely interpreted over the centuries.

 Let’s work through some basics. As an historical person, 
he can be placed in a specific time and location. All 
historians concede that they do not know the birthday of 
Jesus, but it’s not Christmas day. Most scholars suggest that 
Jesus was born in either April or September, in 4 B.C. or 6 

 “Jesus” was not his name, just the English rendering of 
Yeshua. Did he have a full name? Yes, of course, and it was 
not “Jesus Christ,” which is a title, meaning Jesus the Christ, 
or Jesus the Annointed. Historians say that the actual 
name was Yeshua ben Josephus, that is, Jesus son of Joseph. 
Another version says it is Yeshua ben Pandirah, Jesus son of 
the Panther. In Indian literature, he is referred to as Yuz Asaf, 
in the Koran he is Isa (or Issa). 


 Ethnically, culturally, and religiously, he was Jewish. But 
occasionally, a writer will suggest that Jesus was actually 
black, with such evidence as the preponderance of the “Black 
Madonnas” found throughout Europe. The only Biblical 
evidence on this are the two lineages of Jesus provided, which 
uncharacteristically include women.

 The key genealogies of Jesus listed in the Bible are Luke 3: 
23-31, and Matthew 1:1-17. In these lineages, we are told of 
at least four of the women in Jesus’ genealogical line. These 
are Rehab, Ruth, Tamar, and Bathsheba. Rehab (also spelled 
Rahab) was a Canaanite. Tamar was probably a Canaanite. 
Bethsheba, often referred to as a Hittite, was more likely 
Japhethic, that is, not a descendant of Ham. (However, this 
is not clear). Ruth was in the line of Ham. Now, who was 
Ham? Who were the Canaanites and Hittites? 

 According to Genesis 9:19, all mankind descended 
from Noah’s three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham’s 
descendants became the black people who settled in Africa, 
and parts of the Arabian peninsula. His sons were Cush, 
whose descendants settled in Ethiopia, Mizraim, whose 
descendants settled in Egypt, Put, whose descendants 
settled in Libya, and Canaan, whose descendants settled in 
Palestine. The descendants of Cush were the main populace 
of the Cushite Empire, which extended from western Libya 
to Ethiopia and Nubia, all of present day Egypt, and the 
Arabian peninsula into the mountains of Turkey. They 
spoke several languages and had skin pigmentation ranging 
from dark black to medium brown. 

 It takes a bit of study to ascertain who these people were 
– and there were other possible African women in Jesus’ 
lineage as well – but, in general, when we are speaking of 
Cushites, Canaanites, descendants of Ham, etc., we are 
speaking of Africans. It is entirely possible that this wasn’t 
a big deal when the scriptures were written since Jesus’ racial 
background was common knowledge.

 So, although Jesus had some African ancestry, his physical 
appearance was such that he fit right in with the Jews of that 
era, based on several passages that indicate that Jesus not 
only looked like every one else of the day, but was also very 
average and normal looking Middle-Easterner, not sticking 
out at all. 



 The Bible speak of the young Jesus talking to the Rabbis 
in the Temple, sharing his youthful wisdom with the elders 
to the surprise of his parents. Then there is no Biblical record 
of what he did as a teenager, and during his 20s. We don’t 
hear from his again in the Bible until his appearance on the 
scene at about age 30, where he turned water into wine at 
a wedding feasts, and is depicted as a healer, prophet, and 
fisher of men. 

 His religious observations would have been the regular 
observations for Jews of the day, and quite different from 
the observations of most Christian sects today. The reasons 
for this are well-known. The early Christians were known 
as Judeo-Christians (Jews who followed the Christ), and as 
the new religion became more and more encompassing, 
it eventually became Christianity by the 4th Century. In 
order to attract ever-more followers, Constantine made 
Christianity the official religion of the Kingdom, and 
Christianized all the popular Mythraic (so-called Pagan) 
observations and turned them into Christian Holy Days. 
Catholocism, after all, means Universalist.

 Growing up as a Catholic, I studied Jesus, and wanted to 
be holy like him. I wanted to be like Jesus -- but what did 
that really mean? There was so much about this person that 
was beyond my ability to research. For example, what Holy 
Days would Jesus have observed? Was he an Essene? Was 
he a Nazarene? What did these groups believe and practice? 
Did he have any Buddhist influence? Who were his closest 
followers, the apostles? What did he actually teach his close 
followers, beyond what is known from his various public 
talks? Were his miracles and public healings actual events, or 
were they symbolic stories? These and other questions have 
always swirled around this man called Jesus.

 As a student of the real and historical Jesus, here are just a 
few of the many books I have found to be useful.

 Garner Ted Armstrong of the Worldwide Church of God 
in Pasadena, wrote a book about the “Real Jesus,” and Jesus 
was described as a hard-working, athletic, health-food eating 
powerful man, a sort of health advocate Gypsy Boots of the 
past. But certainly Jesus was much more than that.

 Holger Kersten in his “Jesus Lived in India” book presents 
a very different Jesus, one who is depicted on the Shroud of 
Turin, and one who traveled to India and studied from the 
Buddhists. In fact, the way in which the holy men of the Bible 
sought and found the baby Jesus is very much of the pattern 
of the holy men of Tibet seeking and finding the next Dali 
Lama, and Kersten puts Jesus in that very same pattern. 

 Manly Hall, who founded Los Angeles’ Philosophical 
Research Society, writes that the patterns of all historical 
saviors (he cites at least 16) include more or less the same 
elements. But Hall is less concerned about historical facts 
than he is in demonstrating that there is an extant prototype 
of human spiritual evolution.

 According to Harold Percival in his “Thinking and 
Destiny” book, Jesus succeeded in re-uniting his Doer and 
Thinker and Knower, his internal trinity, which put him 
in touch with his divinity, which made him, effectively, a 
God. Though Percival’s terminology is unfamiliar to most 
Christians, he is less concerned about the historical details of 
Jesus and more concerned about what Jesus did, and became, 
that made him a focal point of most societies on earth over 
the last 2000 years. According to Percival, the virgin birth, the 
miracles, and the resurrection should all be studied to find 
the inner meanings for our own individual evolution.

 There is also a silly but interesting book that purports 
to show that Jesus was never a person but actually a 
hallucinogenic mushroom. Don’t bother reading it. Another 
book suggests that there was no Jesus, that he is just a made-
up person as a metaphor of astrological principles. Really?

 I believe it is unwise (and incorrect) to suggest that a Jesus 
never existed because of the way his followers centuries later 
chose to remember him, and continued to overlay so many 
symbols onto the historical person.

 Jesus lived, and it is not reasonable to assume that 
the stories of such a great one arose from mere myth or 
fabrication. Such a person lived, and his influence of what he 
did and said affected many people.

 Regardless of your religious background or belief, you are 
likely to be richly rewarded by delving deeply into the nuances 
of who Jesus was. When everyone’s mind is upon Jesus and 
the Mysteries during the Easter season, I have found great 
value in viewing the “Jesus of Nazareth” series, and I even 
find value in such depictions as “Jesus Christ Superstar.” 
Unlike so many who purport to follow in his path, I find the 
real Jesus one who was not dogmatic, but one who knew that 
only when we recognize each other’s humanity do we rise up 
into our own divinities.

 According to Holger Kersten, “Jesus did not supply 
theories to be ground in the mills of academia, about his 
path and message – he just lived his teachings! Tolerance, 
unprejudiced acceptance of others, giving and sharing, the 
capacity to take upon oneself the burdens of others, in other 
words, unlimited love in action and service for one’s fellow 
human beings – this is the path which Jesus showed to 

After any holiday the 
Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage and myself enjoy taking a day or two off 
and just relax. We like to sit around and tell stories.

My wife usually starts by saying, “Hey, remember 
the time when…” And she goes on with a story that 
I had forgotten about. When she’s done, we laugh 

 Then it’s my turn and I begin, “Hey, do you 
remember the time when…” And I go on and tell 
a story that she may have forgotten about, I really 
don’t know. When I’m finished, we laugh together 
as though it was the funniest thing we’ve heard all 

 It’s just our way of relaxing and unwinding after a 
holiday. Holidays are very busy times for us, we like 
them, but they do take a little bit out of us. It seems 
that the older we get, the more it takes out of us. I’m 
not exactly sure what that means. Just don’t tell me 
what it means!

 We usually go on with our stories until we’re too 
tired to tell a story or to laugh.

 This last holiday the Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage came up with a story I had long ago 
forgotten. In fact, I’m not sure the details of her 
story matched the truth, but who am I to contradict 

 “Remember the time,” she said rather soberly, 
“when the Easter Bunny got away?”

 I had to stop and think a little bit because it was 
not in any of my memory files.

 Then she began to unwind the story.

 As it goes, according to her recollection, I was 
going to do a little magic trick for the children 
before they were dismissed from the morning 
service. I was going to pull a little bunny out of a 
hat. I practiced for quite a bit and thought I had 
everything covered.

 I should know by now that the time you know 
you got everything covered there’s one little bit that 
defies your observation.

 I had all of the children come up front so that 
they could see the wonderful magic trick I had in 
store for them. I began by telling them the story of 
the resurrection of Jesus.

 According to my wife, I was in the middle of 
telling them the story when in the back of the 
congregation Mrs. Steward screamed, “There’s a 
rat in the church.” With that, she jumped on top of 
the pew and did her famous afraid dance. You don’t 
want to see it. All the while she was screaming, “Rat, 
rat, rat.”

 It was enough to bring the whole congregation to 
their feet yelling, “Where’s the rat?”

 Having a rat in the church is not a good thing. 
I don’t know how a rat could get into the church 
unless he is elected to the board.

 There was such a rumpus in the church 
auditorium that we really couldn’t go forward with 
the service. I didn’t quite know what to do because 
we had not taken the offering yet. Whatever 
happens after the offering is okay.

 At this point I couldn’t get the attention of the 
children because they were standing on top of the 
pew looking backward, wondering where in the 
world the rat was or where it came from.

 I got one of my elders to go back and try to take 
care of the situation. I never had a rat in the church 

 After a few minutes my elder found the “rat” 
and caught him. The “rat” turned out to be the little 
bunny I was supposed to have in the hat that I was 
going to surprise the children with.

 How that Bunny got out of the box where I put 
him is still something that puzzles me to this day.

 The elder held up the little white bunny and told 
everybody, “It’s okay, it’s not a rat, it’s a little bunny. 
A little bunny can hurt nobody.”

 All of the congregation, including Mrs. Steward, 
sat down in their pew and laughed and laughed 
while clapping their hands for the elder who saved 
the day. I was even laughing and clapping myself.

 I didn’t know what to do now that my magic trick 
was out the window, it was hard to get the attention 
of the little ones. I finally dismissed them to their 
classes and try to bring the congregation back to 
some level of sanity.

 I can’t remember what my sermon was that day, 
but I do remember there was a lot of chuckling 
throughout my sermon. I’m not sure anybody was 
even listening to my sermon. I was tempted to 
preach the sermon the next Sunday, but it wasn’t 
Easter Sunday. I could keep it until next year, which 
is probably what I did.

 Sometimes things are not always what they seem 
to be. The challenge is in the midst of turmoil to 
find what is really true.

 Perhaps this is what Solomon was thinking of 
when he said, “There is a way which seemeth right 
unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of 
death” (Proverbs 14:12).

 There’s a big difference between a bunny and 
a rat. Sometimes we confuse the two and in that 
confusion, we cause alarm. I want to be able to 
differentiate between the Bunny element and the 
rat element in my life so that I can have peace and 

 Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God 
Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife 
in Silver Springs Shores. Phone 352-687-4240 or 
e-mail The church web site 

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