Sunday, February 10, 2008

Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera - A Father Of The Ages? Deconstruction; Archeology

I. Fatherhood of Jesus.  Heresy?
Is heresy only something that disagrees with dogma,
 but could well be true?
Take an interest in the writings rejected from the canon. Are there parts that are reliable, even though the ideological reason they were rejected, would not acknowledge that?  See the Gospel of Philip, at The paragraphs, or sayings, are not numbered, but scroll down to this one, fair use:

'Some said, "Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit." They are in error. They do not know what they are saying. When did a woman ever conceive by a woman? Mary is the virgin whom no power defiled. She is a great anathema to the Hebrews, who are the apostles and the apostolic men. This virgin whom no power defiled [...] the powers defile themselves. And the Lord would not have said "My Father who is in Heaven" (Mt 16:17), unless he had had another father, but he would have said simply "My father".'   [emphasis supplied]
Fatherhood of Jesus is a matter of dogma and belief for many; for others of us, we remain interested in what reason says before asking something called faith to kick in.
Fatherhood of Jesus. This is not to be taken for granted. I have a copy of the prominent Victorian wall chart time-line in the British Museum that traces history as understood in the 19th Century back as far as they could go.  Jesus is tracked back through the men, including Joseph.  But we know that is not so.  Joseph was not the father. It was Mary's line, the Mother, who goes back into the Old Testament.  People have been uncomfortable with fatherhood of Jesus since earliest times:  father-real, father-dogmatic, father-taboo.
Unsettled Topic:  Church Father Iranaeus of Lyon, Argues Against Heresy
Elaborating on the parentage of Jesus, this was not at all a settled issue at the time. Iranaeus of Lyon cites gnostic "heresies" that Mary and Joseph were the natural parents, but retained special powers, see, e.g.,  Chapter 25, Doctrines of Carpocrates, Gnosis,, Iranaeus, Heretics; and Proofs in Continuation, cites what "some say" Gnosis, Iranaeus, Chapter XI,; see
*** ... [T]he Gnostic teacher Cerinthus (as well as other Gnostics) taught: "Jesus was not born of the virgin, but rather he was the son of Joseph and Mary, just like all other men, but more powerful in righteousness, intelligence and wisdom. After the baptism Christ descended upon him from the authority which is above all in the form of a dove and thereafter proclaimed the unknown Father and accomplished wonders. But at the end Christ again departed from Jesus and (only) Jesus suffered, and rose again; Christ however remained impassable, since he has a spiritual being." (Gnosis, pg. 165)
Christmas Story White-Child Tableau
The paternity of Jesus.
Nobody knew. Opinions flew.
Meet Pantera. The surname Pantera. Why not look into possibilities other than the Taught. Here is a Christmas tableau. What piece of this puzzle are missing? Was there somebody part of this tableau who remains unsung. Anyone?
Angels! Yes, but they are over there in the pew, so who else.
Who might Archeologists and Deconstruction Scholars and Historians suggest is missing., as interesting sources for all sorts of religious information, possibilities.  What are other sides to religious roots.

A. Archeologists.  

These form a group that constantly adds bits to our understanding, and what is possible, about earliest beginnings: in thought, religion, civics, arts, the rest. Archeologists and others indeed have provided a name to an alternative and very natural explanation for the paternity of Jesus.

B. Deconstruction Scholars; Historians

Deconstruction (look that up as well) in traditions is a process, with the goal of dross-reduction. 
Take out the excess, the clutter, the spin. Trace back each translation, change, error in scriptoria, margin doodle in the monastery that later became incorporated, what was said, what not, who added what later and why. Do we really worship Paul here because he wrote down a lot and had the Roman organizational thing going, and added his own glosses and interpretations,? And the Brother who was actually the "heir" there didn't, or situationally couldn't, and so the Brother's first-hand accounts lost out to the later institutionalists?

This means no disrespect for people's efforts historically to make sense of the unknowable, by filling in blanks on their own. Deconstruction scholars and historians that we have read have also shown a reverence for this taking time to explore roots, whatever is ultimately substantiated or not. Legend or truth-kernels.

II.  Archeologists and Deconstrution Scholars, and Historians, Introduce Us To:
Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera
the Roman Archer. 
These two groups, and maybe others, have introduced us to Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera.. His name comes up with historians, and other and sincere thinkers. I cannot tell one from another, so we continue our exploration. Always with us. All input permitted.
Here are some of the deconstruction / history sources we have enjoyed.

Pantera had been in Israel, as the story goes; and later died in what is now Germany, near the city of Bingen where a headstone remains. This is not a new idea, see  Spellings vary:  Bingerbruck we think is the older version. 
Origen:  Is this so?
 "Even Origen writes that his opponent, Celsus, in circa A.D. 178, said that he heard from a Jew that 'Miriam' had become pregnant by 'Pantheras,' a Roman soldier; was divorced by her husband, and bore Jesus in secret."
Scroll down - at for pros and cons of any of this.   See also the Gospel of James, the Protoevangelium with its great insistence on Mary's virginity,!/2008/12/james-christmas-prequel-infancy-gospel.html; and!/2008/12/transformative-use-of-translation.html

Roman military was in much of Europe, although not ever taking over all of Germany.
Roman ruins, Augsburg, Germany
Roman culture and armies - throughout much of Europe. Here are Roman ruins from Augsburg, Germany showing everyday life in their time. A wagon, pulled by an ox.
There is nothing we found when we were there about this specific Roman citizen, the Archer who came from the territory of Israel.  We came across the story later. For others, preserving the possible here may lead to others researching it specifically there. Paternity of Jesus.  Why should not we ask.
Mary and Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera.  The Tiberius, referring to the River Tiber in Rome, does that mean Roman Citizen.

Germany was then a Roman province,  not all of it as we know it now, but to the (generally) Frankish and Saxon lands. 
Can a faith thrive independent of dogma. Bingen Germany. Another trip.  Names to keep in mind:  scroll down - at None of this has been vetted here, but we are interested in the list and the ideas.
  • Yeshu ben Pantera, 
  • Jesus of Pantera, 
  • Miriam ben Stada, 
  • Miriam Megaddela, or a dresser of hair
  • Mary of Stada (of the husband, Stada or Joseph?so that her relationship with Pantera was adulterous?).  Try a different spelling, 
  • Pandira. 
  • Panthera as a corrupt version of the Greek word parthenos, that meant virgin. So virgin came to be attached to Miriam, not Panthera, or Jesus as Ben ha-Panthera to Jews who mocked the idea of son of a virgin, son of a Panther, leopard, Pantera
  • Ben Pandira. See references to the Talmud, below. Then, 
  • Teacher of Righteousness (see Dead Sea Scrolls), 
  • Yeishu ha Notzri (Nazareth?), all these referenced in the discussion of anomalies in early writings, and Talmudic references  - scroll down - at  Was the Talmud in general use "heavily edited" by Christians in 1631? 
  • The Soncino Edition of the Babylonian Talmud.  How did that happen, if it did. Need to find out. We see a note there that the "pristine" version is still available, and one is at Oxford University.  And that much was retained in footnotes.
Other references put "Panther" in the ancestry of Jesus in various ways. Here is the name as that of his grandfather, from that same discussion site at

"It is noteworthy that Origin himself is credited with the tradition that Panther was the appellation of James (Jacob), the father of Jospeh, the father of Jesus... So, too, Andrew of Crete, John of Damascus, Epiphanius the Monk, and the author of Andronicus of Constantinople's Dialogue Against the Jews, name Panther as an ancestor of Jesus...

'Jesus being called by his grandfather's name would also have agreed with a statement in the Talmud permitting this practice. Whereas Christian tradition identified Jesus by his home town, Jewish tradition, having a greater concern for genealogical identification, seems to have preferred this method of identifying Jesus ....***' "

So, on we go.  Interested in all that appears. Fair use quotes to direct us later on.

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