A belief that Jesus survived the crucifixion and spent his remaining years in Kashmir has led to a run-down shrine in Srinagar making it firmly onto the must-visit-in India tourist trail. …
The shrine, on a street corner, is a modest stone building with a traditional Kashmiri multi-tiered sloping roof.
A watchman led me in and encouraged me to inspect the smaller wooden chamber within, with its trellis-like, perforated screen.
Through the gaps I could see a gravestone covered with a green cloth.
When I returned to the shrine recently though, it was shut – its gate padlocked because it had attracted too many visitors.
The reason? Well, according to an eclectic combination of New Age Christians, unorthodox Muslims and fans of the Da Vinci Code, the grave contains the mortal remains of a candidate for the most important visitor of all time to India.
… Officially, the tomb is the burial site of Youza Asaph, a medieval Muslim preacher – but a growing number of people believe that it is in fact the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth. …
“It’s a story spread by local shopkeepers, just because some crazy professor said it was Jesus’s tomb. They thought it would be good for business. Tourists would come, after all these years of violence.
“And then it got into the Lonely Planet, and too many people started coming.
“And one foreigner…” he gave me an apologetic look, “broke off a bit from the tomb to take home with him. So that’s why it’s closed now.” ….
The US-based Christian sect, known as the Church Universal and Triumphant, is the best-known modern supporter of the belief that Jesus lived in Kashmir, though they don’t believe he died there.
And in Islam, in which Jesus is the penultimate prophet, there is also a minority tradition adopted by the controversial Ahmeddiya sect, that Rozabal does contain the grave of Jesus.
Professional historians tend to laugh out loud when you mention the notion that Jesus might have lived in Kashmir – but his tomb is now firmly on the tourist trail – and a growing number of credulous visitors believe that he was buried in the Rozabal shrine. ….
I don’t think he ever died because I currently don’t think he ever lived. I’ve found no historically valid archeological evidence of Jesus or the 12 disciples / apostles. Plenty of stories, but no evidence. I’m currently working with the theory that most of the history we were taught is balloney, and that the Roman military wrote the gospels as a war tactic against the Jews. This is why the Jews were made in the story to have their own king crucified. There is archaeological evidence for some of the other characters in the bible, but weaving real characters–particularly a Roman military man, Pilate, who washed his hands of the blood of Jesus–into the story would have been part of the Roman deception. There is archaeological evidence that Pilate existed. Pilate was made to seem in the story as if the Jewish leaders used him and compelled him to sentence Jesus to death contrary to his own will. Here he wins a double victory. He kills the king of the Jews and it is their fault. The only thing is, none of this happened. The whole story was a war weapon, a military strength deception by Josephus after the Jewish/Roman war to keep the Jews from rising again, to tame and shame them.
Lucius Flavius Silva replaced him, and moved against the last Jewish stronghold, Masada, in the autumn of 72. He used Legio X, auxiliary troops, and thousands of Jewish prisoners, for a total of 10,000 soldiers. After his orders for surrender were rejected, Silva established several base camps and circumvallated the fortress. According to Josephus, when the Romans finally broke through the walls of this citadel in 73, they discovered that the 967 defenders had all committed suicide, preferring death over defeat. … The defeat of the Jewish revolt altered the Jewish diaspora, as many of the Jewish rebels were scattered or sold into slavery. Josephus claims that 1,100,000 people were killed during the siege, a sizeable portion of these to illnesses brought about by hunger. “A pestilential destruction upon them, and soon afterward such a famine, as destroyed them more suddenly.” 97,000 were captured and enslaved and many others fled to areas around the Mediterranean.
The main account of the revolt comes from Josephus, the former Jewish commander of Galilee, who after capture by the Romans, attempted to end the rebellion by negotiating with the Judeans on Titus’s behalf. Josephus and Titus became quite close friends and later Josephus was granted Roman citizenship and a pension. He never returned to his homeland after the fall of Jerusalem, living in Rome as an historian under the patronage of Flavius and Titus.
He wrote two works, The Jewish War (c. 79) and Jewish Antiquities (c. 94) on occasions contradictory. These are the only surviving source materials containing information on specific events occurring during the fighting. But the material has been questioned because of claims that cannot be verified by secondary sources. Only since the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls has some solid confirmation been given to the events he describes.
There is archeological evidence for Josephus. The bust above is a Roman portrait (quite an honor) said to be of Josephus. As a Jew himself, Josephus would have has a special insight if he did indeed write the gospels as disinformation, or more likely, he wrote some truth and some lies to please those in authority, to gain favor and make peace for his people. Josephus was:
“… a first-century Jewish historian of priestly and royal ancestry … Josephus was a law-observant Jew who believed in the compatibility of Judaism and Graeco-Roman thought. … Josephus’ credibility as a historian has been questioned — his works are usually dismissed as Roman propaganda.”
My theory that Josephus wrote all the gospels doesn’t hold up, but his work may have been used by others as a starting point. According to jesuspolice.com:
The Gospel of Luke borrows heavily from material in Josephus’ (37–100 A.D.) later works , especially Life and Against Apion, implying that the Gospel of Luke was not composed (much less published) until after 100 A.D., since Josephus’ later works weren’t published before 95 A.D.
(More on infidels about the similarities between Luke and Josephus.) Jesus police continues:
… our survey of the early Christian art indicates that prior to the Third Century there are almost no portraits of Jesus in any medium. Had Jesus’ life been celebrated by the gospels as early as the First Century, one would have expected any explosion of artwork in the Second Century. Instead, it is only in the Third Century that we find such an explosion, suggesting that the gospels and the celebration of Jesus’ life is a Second Century phenomenon.
To summarize – Evidence from carbon dating, language analysis (e.g., use of Pilate, rabid anti-Semitism, the allusion to rumors about Mary, etc.) and citation as well as First Century non-Christian sources, show that the Gospels were written in the Second Century. Moreover, inferences from the artwork confirm this conclusion. By 160 A.D. we know, without question, that all four gospels were in circulation, and by 180 A.D. they were considered authoritative. Yet this is more than 100 years after Jesus’ [supposed] death.