Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, April 20, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 8



Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 9, 2019 




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]

Jesus! What a man he was! He is a man who is known and worshipped by 
at least a third of all humanity, and around whom our system of reckoning 
time revolves. Amazing! Perhaps the most amazing thing about Jesus is 
that there is still so much debate about who he was, whathe 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 of the most basic facts. 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 is widely acknowledged that the birth date is not December 25. Most scholars suggest that 
Jesus was born in either April or September, in 4 B.C. or 6 B.C. of our current reckoning.

“Jesus” was not his name! Really? Then why do we call him that? “Jesus” is the English rendering 
of Yeshua. Did he have a full name? Yes, of course, and it was not “Jesus Christ,” either, 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, and when mentioned 
in the Koran, he is Isa (or Issa). Diletante “historians” have suggested that “Jesus” didn’t actually 
exist because they were unable to find “Jesus Christ” in other contemporary historical records.


Ethnically, culturally, and religiously, he was Jewish, by and large. 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. Look them up yourself.

The key genealogies of Jesus listed 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. 

Though politely referred to as “rabbi,” his ideas about life, family, death, and relationships did 
not always mesh well with the religious elite, who viewed Jesus as innocent, but nevertheless a 
trouble-maker to the establishment.


It is worth noting that the Persian Kings (the so-called 3 kings) who sought out the infant Jesus 
were engaged in very much the same search that the Tibetan priests employed when seeking the 
embodiment of the next Dali Lama. 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 almost 
entirely different from the observations of most Christian sects today. (The reasons for this 
are well-known and found in any encyclopedia on the history of the Church.)

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 who also spoke about the Kingdom within.

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.

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.

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 in such depictions as “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Unlike so many who purport to follow in his 
path, I find a real Jesus emerging 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 salvation.”

Alverno Heights Academy

200 N. Michillinda Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-3463 Head of School: Julia V. Fanara

E-mail address:

Arcadia High School

180 Campus Drive Arcadia, CA 91007

Phone: (626) 821-8370, Principal: Brent Forsee

Arroyo Pacific Academy

41 W. Santa Clara St. Arcadia, Ca, 

(626) 294-0661 Principal: Phil Clarke

E-mail address:

Barnhart School

240 W. Colorado Blvd Arcadia, Ca. 91007

(626) 446-5588 

Head of School: Ethan Williamson

Kindergarten - 8th grade


Bethany Christian School

93 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-3527 

Preschool-TK-8th Grade

Principal: Dr. William Walner

website: www.

Clairbourn School

8400 Huntington Drive

San Gabriel, CA 91775

Phone: 626-286-3108 ext. 172

FAX: 626-286-1528


Foothill Oaks Academy

822 E. Bradbourne Ave., Duarte, CA 91010

(626) 301-9809

Principal: Nancy Lopez

Frostig School

971 N. Altadena Drive Pasadena, CA 91107

(626) 791-1255

Head of School: Jenny Janetzke


The Gooden School

192 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-2410 

Head of School, Carl Parke 


High Point Academy

1720 Kinneloa Canyon Road 

Pasadena, Ca. 91107 

Head of School: Gary Stern 626-798-8989


La Salle High School

3880 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Pasadena, Ca. 

(626) 351-8951 website:

Principal Mrs. Courtney Kassakhian

Monrovia High School

325 East Huntington Drive, Monrovia, CA 91016 

(626) 471-2800 Principal Darvin Jackson


Odyssey Charter School

725 W. Altadena Dr. Altadena, Ca. 91001

(626) 229-0993 Head of School: Lauren O’Neill


Pasadena High School

2925 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Pasadena, Ca. 

(626) 396-5880 Principal: Roberto Hernandez


St. Rita Catholic School

322 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

Principal Joan Harabedian (626) 355-9028 


Sierra Madre Elementary School

141 W. Highland Ave, Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-1428 Principal: Lindsay Lewis

E-mail address:

Sierra Madre Middle School 

160 N. Canon Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 836-2947 Principal: Garrett Newsom

E-mail address:

Walden School

74 S San Gabriel Blvd

Pasadena, CA 91107 (626) 792-6166

Weizmann Day School

1434 N. Altadena Dr. Pasadena, Ca. 91107

(626) 797-0204

Lisa Feldman: Head of School

Wilson Middle School

300 S. Madre St. Pasadena, Ca. 91107

(626) 449-7390 Principal: Ruth Esseln

E-mail address:

Pasadena Unified School District

351 S. Hudson Ave., Pasadena, Ca. 91109

(626) 396-3600 Website:

Arcadia Unified School District

234 Campus Dr., Arcadia, Ca. 91007

(626) 821-8300 Website:

Monrovia Unified School District

325 E. Huntington Dr., Monrovia, Ca. 91016

(626) 471-2000 


Duarte Unified School District

1620 Huntington Dr., Duarte, Ca. 91010



Arcadia Christian School

1900 S. Santa Anita Avenue Arcadia, CA 91006

Preschool - and TK - 8th Grade



Principal: Cindy Harmon



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


The Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage and I enjoy one glorious 
connection; she loves to bake and I love to eat 
what she bakes. I did not marry her because of her 
baking skills because I did not know she had them 
at the time. I did know her mother was a wonderful 
cook and I assumed there might be some gene 
transferred to her daughter.

If the truth were known, she loves to bake as much 
as I love to eat. Whenever there is a function in 
the church, she is always baking, especially cookies. 
Her cookies are the best I have ever eaten, and 
believe me, I have eaten a lot. So many that I have 
gotten into trouble several times.

My only response to her inquiries along this line is, 
“If you didn’t make such delicious cookies I would 
not be tempted to eat them. So, it’s all your fault.”

I have yet to sell that line to her, but I still try. Of 
course, if I could sell her this I could sell her anything. 
So much for trying.

I am not sure which cookie she bakes that I like the 
most. I usually say, “The cookie I like the most is the 
one I’m eating at the time.”

To which, she usually responds, “The trouble with 
that is, you never eat just one at a time.”

Okay. She's got me on that one. She usually does, so 
it’s no big deal for me.

An incident happened recently that caught me by 
surprise. It was leading up to a special fellowship 
function in our church. These are great times of fellowship, 
especially around the dessert table. Don't 
get me wrong here. I do like fellowshipping with 
other people, but I like it best when we fellowship 
around some dessert. It does not matter the dessert.

I was working on a difficult project and was not 
thinking about anything outside of my work zone. 
I spent a day at home trying to catch up on some 
of the things I was doing and I happened to notice 
on top of the refrigerator was some freshly baked 

Right here I would like to say that I did my very best 
to resist temptation. I am not a fan of Oscar Wilde, 
but I do like one quote of his. “I can resist anything 
except temptation.” When it comes to the Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage’s freshly baked cookies, 
that describes me to an afternoon tea.

Several times as I walked by the refrigerator, I could 
smell those wonderful cookies. To my credit, I resisted 
as much as I could, which according to my 
wife is not quite enough. I walked by the cookies 
and took one. After all, I thought to myself, who’s 
going to miss one cookie?

However, after eating that first cookie, I could not 
think of my work anymore and all I could think 
of was how delicious that cookie was. I thought to 
myself, “Isn’t my wife one wonderful baker.” Then 
I smiled and tried to go back to my work at hand.

It worked for maybe three minutes, but then my 
thoughts wandered back to those freshly baked 
cookies on top of the refrigerator. “What’s it going 
to hurt,” I said to myself, “if I get one more cookie?”

So, walking by the refrigerator I took one more 
cookie. After all, I thought to myself, if they were 
not so delicious, I would not want to eat them. That 
has to stand for something! Soon I was engulfed in 
my work at hand and not paying attention to anything 
outside that realm. I got my work done. The 
only thing I remember is going out into the kitchen 
and sneaking just one more cookie.

It was then that the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
came home. How fast time goes. Then I 
heard it. “You did not eat these cookies on top of 
the refrigerator did you?” By the tone of her voice, 
I knew I was in trouble. It is not that I have not been 
in trouble before. This one caught me completely 
off guard. “Those cookies were for our fellowship 
this coming Sunday. What happened to them?” h 

“I couldn’t resist those cookies and so I had just 
one.” “If you had just one, where did the rest go?”

At this point, to come up with an explanation that 
would satisfy her inquiry was well beyond my pay 
grade. I did not recall eating all those delicious 
cookies. Each cookie tasted better than the one before. 
I tried to explain, “Those were the best cookies 
in the whole wide world. The best cookies you have 
ever baked.” She just gave me one of “those stares.”

After apologizing for my misdeed, I thought of 
a Scripture verse along this line. “There hath no 
temptation taken you but such as is common to 
man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to 
be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the 
temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may 
be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

The worst temptation is the one you think is not a 
temptation and one you can handle on your own. If 
it were not for temptations, I would not know how 
gracious God is in his forgiving power.

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: