Something I Noticed In The New Testament…
April 17th, 2012 § Leave a Comment
There are a lot of twins, and sometimes is plain obvious. For example, the name “Thomas” means literally “‘twin’. Thomas didn’t arrive with anyone else, so we would assume that he looked remarkably like Jesus, and got the nick-name ‘Twin’. But, he wasn’t the only Apostle referred to in such a way.
According to “The Golden Legend” (the ‘definitive’ reference book of the saints – written in the 1200’s) Judas looked much like Jesus. As did James the Less (who is also said to be a blood-brother of Jesus). Oh, and Barnabas too. All of them were said to look exactly like Jesus. Why so many ‘twins’ ?
We get some hints of twins in the gospels. Apparently Judas had to identify which person was Jesus so that the correct person was arrested.
When Jesus hung on the cross, there was a man next to him, “Barrabas”. Barabbas’ name means literally “Son of the Father”, which was a title for Jesus. More interestingly, according to Mark 15:7, he was imprisoned because he was an instigator in a recent uprising. So was Jesus. Is it coincidental that two men crucified on the same day, for the same offense, with the same title “Son of the Father” ? Later, Paul picks up a fellow pilgrim Barnabas who becomes an Apostle. Is this again a name-play (‘Barnabas’ and ‘Barrabas’ essentially are the same linguistic roots)?
Its not just Jesus and ‘twins’. We all know “Peter” is the nickname for “Simon”. According to Eusebius writing in the early 3oo’s, who recounts the tales told by Leo and Marcellus (contemporaries of Peter) we learn that soon after the New Testament events wrap up, Peter is in Jerusalem. A sorcerer is stealing the show from the Apostles – he’s whipping up storms, raising the dead and so-on, on their turf. Peter’s not be upstaged, so he confronts the sorcerer – who coincidentally is named ‘Simon’. Simon-Peter relentlessly lays into Simon-the-Sorcerer.
Simon the Sorcerer takes off for Rome, and quickly makes friends with Nero. To impress Nero, the Sorcerer requests to be beheaded. Eusebius tells us he pulled off some whimsical slight-of-hand substituting a ram for his head, and the soldiers were none the wiser. Nero is blown away. Shortly thereafter, Peter arrives in Rome, and again confronts Simon. This time its on a grand scale, in front of the emporer. It turns from wit to fisticuffs. They literally do battle in the air – a 1st century version of the Matrix. Simon on Simon. Angels and Demons, full-on Dan Brown style!
In the end, Simon-Peter gets beheaded, and doesn’t resurrect. He was buried in a small knoll that becomes the Vatican.
On a broader scale, the Koran relates that the Crucifixion was a fiction stating that it was a twin that was crucified.
…They said, “We killed the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of God.” They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but the likeness of him was put on another man (and they killed that man)… (Qur’an, 4:157)
Oddly, the “Barabbas” name comes up again in Islam which holds up the “Gospel of Barrabas” as a prophecy of Mohammed.
Alot to think about…