New member Mike, seeking the light.

Hi, my name is Mike and I am a new member.
Move to the isolation of the desert eight years ago to study and learn about religion.
Feel that I have a grasp on the subject now.
Not good or into quoting names and places. I look to follow the thought or ideas of the subject matter.
For example, I have never read the bible. Have read parts and studied Genesis somewhat.
But, buy the time my studying of religion got to the bible, I could see no new ideas or concepts or much that the holy bible could offer to base ideas of religion.
I thought the subject would be boring, but it turned out to be quite fascinating and enjoyable. Data was made possible by the internet and authors who wrote books about different subjects of religion and religion related subject matter such as for example to name a few, burial, olives, horses, cowry shells. pomegranates, adoption, loans and financing, schooling, education, writing systems, names, plagues, etc. Just to name a few subjects of the many that have very much to to with religion and are part of religion. And if you don’t understand the relationships, you will never fully understand religion which is your heritage.
Now that I have my thoughts, I will attempt to vocalize and adjust my findings by discussion with others.

Hi Mike, I don’t mean to be disrespectful when I say that your statement re: understanding religion, through understanding its relation to such an extraordinarily diverse set of topics, seems “crazy”. You may be having difficulty in organizing and presenting your thoughts in a coherent way.

Hi TimB,
Yes, when I started my research to understand religion and I thought I would just be reading the bible. I had heard bits and pieces of stuff that happened outside of the bible like in Egypt and India and such, but I thought it was all garbage.
But that turn out not to be the case.
The truth of the facts are that items like the olive had as much to do with the way we see religion today as angels did.
To understand a historical subject, you should build a timeline. The timeline will show how religions evolved. And major changes happened in the time line because of the items we are talking about.
I saw a quote the other day that made me smile. I had to agree with the quote. My research has shown the same to be true in history too. “If God made it, it came out of China".
As far as presenting my thoughts, you are right; I could use your advice.
This is my first day on the website. Probably should get a better feel for the level of the members.
A. Believers or faith – a waist of time for me.
B. People who analyze words and miss the thought of subject – also a waist of time.
C. People who can not stay on topic – can work with.
D. People who are interested in a topic and facts. – What I will be hoping for.
I’ll move forward and hope for the best.
Mike

OK, For advice I would say
Choose a particular line of thinking from what you are hoping to convey, and don’t get sidetracked from that until you think that you have expressed your point as clearly AND CONCISELY as you can.
Conciseness is important on this forum, as readers tend not to want to wade through a lot of superfluous wording, especially if they can’t make sense of it.
If you wish to assert something as true, be sure that you can back up your assertions with facts, or links, or logical thinking, and be prepared to do so.
Otherwise, any assertions that you make should be qualified with phrases such as “In my opinion” (IMO), or “I think”, or “I believe”, or “It may be…”, etc.

So Mike, (if you are ready) how is it that an item like the olive has historically had an impact on how we see religion today?

How the Olive Changed Religion
Scientist & researchers using DNA revealed apples, pomegranates, oranges, fruit, vegetables, cereal grains, and many other farming produce originated in Asia and China.
Some Asia cereal grains are unable to be DNA tested as to which one of wild grasses they evolved from, once a grain has been professionally selectively farmed for over 20K years, the DNA is altered forever, like the grains of the Harappan people from the Indus Valley Civilization in India.
Governed by a Rule of Law system to some extent like the U.S. and Europe. They built multiple story houses with running water, bathrooms and sewer systems. Swimming pools were common. Their building methods were not matched until the Roman Empire thousands of years latter.
Cowry shells and glass beads were the Harappan money. This type of Cowry shell can only be found in India and it was widely use in Asia, Middle East, China and Africa. These shells have been found in the pyramids of Egypt and were the main currency of many countries and favored over gold in many areas until the seventeenth century. 1960 was the last record use of the shells in Africa.
The Harappan Empire was older, larger and more advanced that the Egyptian Empire but suffered devastating decline that theorist say may have been caused by the Burckle Impact. The land of Indus Valley raised and the main river dried up. If this was the reason then all life in coastal cities & small ocean islands would have been lost.
The Harappan language is identified as an Asia-African language or Afro-asiatic which was the root language for the lands from the Black Sea, Middle East and parts of Africa and the Mesopotamia Semitic language.
A migration started out of India. The Harappan farmers found Euphrates & Tigris Rivers did not flood and fertilize the land each year and the soil got depleted. The only other area of size that was like the Indus Valley was the Nile Valley.
Harappan’s had close ties in culture with Mesopotamia which reached from Babylon to Turkey and south to Canaan. Many Mesopotamia religious ideas were mixed Asian customs. The Sky Burial for example is out of India and used in Mesopotamia and Canaan. The Land of Goshen in Egypt may that been the port of call for trading with India.
Asians were called Hyksos (Asian) by the Egyptians. The Hyksos expanded into the Land of Goshen in Egypt and built the king’s winter fort “Avaris" next to the old trading city of Avaris. They built a canal system to the Mediterranean. And the great port of Perunefer to facilitate trade from India to Europe.
The Hyksos brought new fruits, vegetables, animals and skills. Egypt archaeologists use the finding of seeds from the Asian fruits and vegetables as a timeline in their digging.
People from the Canaan area would seasonally migrate as field workers to Egypt to help with the flaxseed harvest and trade at Avaris for goods from Europe, Persia, India and Africa. . Hyksos rulers were in need of their services. The Hyksos had a relationship with the Canaan people in language and religions of Baal, Astarte and Seth. In time there were more Canaan’s living in Egypt that in Canaan.
Under the Hyksos control of the cowry shells and the commodity trading they brought great wealth to the Egyptian farmers and temples. In return the Hyksos were made Pharaohs of all of Egypt. But all was not going as planed for the Hyksos. The Asians had no immunity from leprosy and they were leaving Egypt for fear of the disease.
Canaan people like Joseph were able to rise to management’s second highest position. The Hyksos disappeared from history leaving the Egyptian Empire in the control of the Canaans who were now pharaohs.
Pharaoh Akhenaten & Queen Nefertiti built the new capital city of Memphis & did some changes to the religious system at the dismay of many temples and General Ramesses led a rebellion that took control of sections of Egypt. Ramesses became a Pharaoh.
The Hyksos Pharaoh’s name is not known other than by the title Moses. Egyptian, pharaohs had four names or titles. All pharaohs use the word Moses, which means to “bring forth". Example would be, to bring forth happiness, bring forth life, bring forth love, and so on.
Hyksos vegetables & fruits had changed life in Egypt. The horses they brought were bigger and had one more set of ribs than the Egyptians horses. There were not large chicken farms until the Hyksos. There were goats and other animals. Egypt could now provide for a much larger population. New and higher yielding field grains brought wealth to Egypt.
The item that had the most effect on Egypt was the olive because of its oil. This freed up vast amounts of farm land that was growing flax to produce flaxseed oil. Oil was use in cooking, lighting and preserving food. Fish was stored in big jars of oil.
The olive bush had been growing in the Mediterranean for a long time and most gardens had olive bushes. But these olive bushes would only bear fruit every other year and a very low yield of small fruit. That why flaxseed oil was used. Flaxseed was very labor consuming requiring Egypt to import seasonal workers to help with the harvest.
Harappan farmers in Mesopotamia grew orchards of fruits & nuts around Babylon. From Aleppo to Damascus they grew olives. Not just regular olives but olives they brought with them from India. These were hybrid olives and could not be grown from seeds. They had to be grafted, which the Harappan farmers were experts at.
In the time of Pharaoh Moses, Egypt had built trading ports up the coast as far as Byblos Lebanon. And the olive orchards had moved down the coast as far as Samaria. Olive trees could not grow in the hot dry climate of Egypt. Egypt now had a large population and consumed vast amounts of olive oil. Egypt was wealthy and could afford to buy the oil.
The powerful empire at that time was Egypt. With the arrival of the Asians in Mesopotamia two powerful empires emerged, Babylonian in the east & Hittite in the west. 1100 years had now passed since the Great Flood and the Asians intermix with the local tribes. In time cultural differences developed between the Empires.
The Olive Wars Pharaoh Ramesses vs. Pharaoh Mosses
Mosses lost most of Egypt to Ramesses in the rebellion. The system for thousands of years was the temples governed the people and lands in their area. The temples competed against each other for the people and the favors of the Pharaoh.
The temples would grow vastly rich. This was cause by the greed. It was the Pharaoh’s job to keep the earth in balance. Pharaohs would rebalance the earth every 25 to 30 years by redistributing the wealth of the temples.
Temples that sided with Mosses in the rebellion left Egypt for the safety of islands in the Mediterranean. Mosses left Memphis for the safety of Avaris.
For Ramesses to have total control of Egypt’s trade and secure olive oil supply he needed to remove Mosses completely. Ramesses knew he could never conquer Moses at Avaris.
Ramesses expropriate all lands & wealth of none Egyptians and for their lives & freedom required Moses to build the City of Ramesses from the building stones of Avaris. Mosses needed these none Egyptians if he was to ever to rule Egypt again.
Pharaoh Ramesses destroyed Memphis to make Mosses return harder.
Ramesses knew if he battled with Mosses he would win. But he would be giving the empire to the Hittites. The Hittites were pilfering the olive orchards in Syria and Lebanon, oil which Ramesses desperately needed for Egypt.
Ramesses had to buy the oil at higher prices. The grains he paid for the oil would be use to feed the troops and horses of the Hittites.
Egypt had a large population to feed. Expelling the non-Egyptians and maintaining a large army created a labor problem in trying to raise flaxseed. Ramesses needed the olive oil to satisfy the people.
Moses’ plan was to have his people in the Mediterranean islands build a great navy. The only way to move the vast amounts of oil was by ship. If Moses could control the ocean he could control the oil. Controlling the oil was to control the trade of Egypt. If the people had no oil for lighting, canning and eating, the temples and rich farmers would remove Ramesses and put Moses back in charge.
Moses’ navy, the Boat People, attacked the northern cities along the Mediterranean inducting people into it navy. And then went after the oil in Syria.
Ramesses had to send a vast army to protect the Syrian olive field. Plus he had to keep armies along the Mediterranean for fear of attack by the Boat People. Moses had forced Ramesses to split his army in two.
Ramesses wanted to induct Moses’ army. Moses had no Avaris fort anymore and exited quickly out of Egypt.
Ramesses won the war against the Boat People in Syria & the Nile Delta of Egypt. Two major blows to Moses.
Moses was a ruler without a country except a few islands. Moses had spent vast amounts of money building the navy.
For Moses’ followers, they were with the Pharaoh and in the land that Egypt claimed as old ancestral land. Moses knew it was too dangerous to stop and build a city. So he stayed on the move away from Ramesses.
Ramesses’ coffers were empty and had the Hittites stealing his oil.
Moses lost 2 major battles.
The two great pharaohs were both broke from fighting.
The only area that Moses and his army had enough power to take over the olive orchards was Samaria which was at a disadvantage because of the olive wars.
Moses told his people that Canaan was “a land of oil olive" (Deuteronomy 8:8). He also told them that they would acquire olive trees which they had not planted (Deuteronomy 6:11). Moses would have no idea how long the Olive Wars with the Hittites would take and Moses would have to wait until the Olive Wars were over before he could make a move.
Moses, a god, would sometimes give vast amounts of land away showing his power. Moses knew he’d lost the war and he needed to enforce control of the religious practices as quickly as possible. And get Babylon and the Hittite Empires to move against Ramesses.
The Olive Wars consisted of 13 campaigns over a 20 year period. Ending in the Battle of Kadesh, still studied at the military academy West Point today. The Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II had to sue Hittite King Hattusili III for peace.
The Hittites not only got the Damascus olive orchards but also won the land of the God Ra. Is= land, Ra= Egypt’s god, el= the. “The God’s land" or “Is-ra-el". Samaria greatest wealth was its olive orchards.
Moses still could not take over the Israel lands because the Hittites controlled the land.
We may never know what brought down the Hittite empire. But the king lived in a fort that was impossible to conquer. The king died and the fort fell from within.
Ramesses & Moses died from old age. Moses had been in the desert for forty years. Ramesses’ son was now ruling Egypt. Egypt had given up Israel to the Hittites. The Hittites Empire had fallen apart. Abraham was the new leader, not as a Pharaoh, but as a spiritual leader.
Abraham was able to move into the olive lands of Israel with no war from the Hittites or the Egyptians. Abraham told the Pharaoh Ramesses II that he would protect the gates of Egypt from it’s enemies.
When Abraham moved into Israel the olives growing areas had expanded. Even with the olive oil selling for a fraction of its old price, it was still the highest cash crop you could grow at the time.
Olive oil was the great sources of wealth in the days of King Solomon (cf. I Kings 5:11; II Chronicles 2:10). Solomon gave to Hiram each year in return for services rendered by his men, among other things, twenty thousand baths of oil, one bath being about seven and one-half gallons.
Olive oil burns bright, slowly, smokeless and by far the best oil for lighting. Olive oil was the butter of that time. Still used today around the world.

OK, Very good. Your response is a long, but is perhaps as concise as could be expected, considering the idea you wanted to get across. It is coherent. (Though I can’t vouch for or disclaim its accuracy.) It is interesting.
Wars over oil in the Middle East… hmmm…

Thank you for your review and kindness TimB.
Do you think that it would be good enough for a post in the Religion & Secularism forum?
If so, what would be a good title?
When I look to shorten the post, I just want to add more stuff.
Of course I would have to start with a one liner.
then introduce the story.

I dunno, man. I think you’re good to go. You decide. If you experience some bumps along the way, that’s just part of it. Enjoy!
Oh, wait! There might be a rule against copying and pasting an entire post to a new thread. Occam likely won’t appreciate your post #5 simply because it is so long. But I think he can be trusted to tell you whether it is against the rules to post the bulk of it as a new topic.

Yeah, we really don’t let people put up duplicate posts. Tim’s right that I don’t like long posts, but that’s my personal feeling, not a forum rule. However, while it’s a fair amount of work, you can lift a copy of your post into your word processor. Then open a new thread in the religion section and put it there. Next go back to your original post and delete it or edit it to remove all the text, and maybe jyst leave a note referencing it’s new location. That way, you won’t have broken the duplicate post rule, and you will have put your post where you want it.
Occam

Occam
Great, thanks.
I was not going to ask for a week or so, mainly because I have made a couple mistakes and I wanted to get better at using the Forum. TimB has been helping me adjust.
Thank you.
Mike

Occam,
I bet that will be the first fruit topic of CFI.

Mike Yohe wrote:
The Olive - If God made it, it came out of Asia.
It came out of Asia whether a god made it or not.

How I work.
The key to getting up early is to get to bed early, it was late and I still on the computer knowing I needed to be up at 4 AM to help a buddy of mine. But for the last several hours I had been working a piece of the puzzle concerning the Exodus out of Egypt according to the OT.
Two days ago I was made aware that the Egyptian Authorities were going to allow the archaeologists to search for the Port of Perunefer near Avaris. Avaris being an ancient town of trading and home for non-Egyptians for thousands of years. Was Goshen a small nation of trading made up of people from many nations but controlled by the Asians? With canals to the Mediterranean Ocean and the Nile River they held the key port for trade from East to West. The main money supply was also controlled by the Asians, the Cowry Shells.
Some modern thinkers are saying after the Asians (Hyksos) built a fort at Avaris and that they became the Pharaoh’s of Egypt. But left after an epidemic of leprosy, now only 5% of the human race is without the gene that stops leprosy. Today there are over 1,000 leprosy colonies in India.
If Moses, a Canaan, was a Pharaoh, what would one expect on the Exodus out of Egypt?
We know that he would have left Memphis for the safety of Fort Avaris.
With him he would have taken the foreigner living there. We know that there were four main religions used by the foreigners. So now we got Pharaoh Moses in route out of Egypt with a group of his followers and foreigners. To get the foreigner home to their mother lands he needed to go north where the Baal worshipers could go home to Turkey (Hittite Empire) and the rest that were not his followers could go to Babylon.
Now look at the Ten Commandments.
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery".
No problem, if Moses was the Pharaoh, he was considered a god and Ramesses expropriate all lands & wealth of none Egyptians and put them in bondage.
Moses had to retain law in order in his group. He needed them to listen to him and not create other leaders that he would have to deal with.
A god from heaven would have had the power destroyed Ramesses armies and given them their homes back.

  1. You shall have no other gods before me.
    In other words Moses was the number one god and his word had to be recognized over the other gods. Remember Moses in Memphis allowed these other gods and temples so it would be farfetched to think that he would try and abolished the other beliefs when he was in the task of taking them to their homelands and need them to help him receive backing for his battle against Ramesses from these Empires.
  2. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
    Now according to the Jewish Rabbis I have talked to told me that not all the commandments applied to the foreigners. Moses would have had a lot of his people with him and this law would have applied to them only. And Moses wanted his followers to stay with him and not go with the foreigners. “But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations" this was something the Pharaohs were known for. The Pharaohs had several names; one was “Moses" to bring forth. Pharaohs were known for bring forth different items like, one would bring Love to the people, one would bring Happiness to the people and so on.
  3. You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
    This is easy; you can’t get any more Egyptian than this. Right out of Egyptian 101 class.
  4. Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
    The forth law is a little muddy on a couple of issues, one being days of the week. Egypt was using 10 day weeks. So the question is did the Hyksos try and change that to 7 days, or use 7 days for the rulers and foreigners, as the rulers were foreigners.
    The rest of the laws are basic Egyptian laws. And one has got to count on the fact that all this was verbal until written down sometime latter.
    Conclusion is that Pharaoh Moses would have just as easily of written the Ten Commandments for himself.
    Finally I can get to bed. I normally wake up on my own at 5 AM, but I need to get up an hour earlier so I grabbed an old radio alarm clock. Living out away from the cities I receive few radio stations. The clearest station was a religious AM radio station, so I set the alarm and went to bed.
    Religious radio messages are entertaining and make me laugh at first then I start feeling sad because I realize that people really believe the messages as fact and not as entertainment.
    The alarm came on and the guy was talking about Paul preaching the Holy Spirit. He was explaining how Paul said the Holy Spirit was one body and everybody’s Spirit was part of the one Holy Spirit.
    Now that interested me. See Jesus, Mary and Thomas were Gnostic in teaching and that why you hear the claims that Christianity was hijacked by Peter and Paul. But here we have Paul preaching the Holy Spirit in a Gnostic form. I know that Paul when he said “First there was the Word", that that was Egyptian thinking all the way.
    Now I got to figure out if Paul was teaching Gnostic or part Gnostic thoughts. Probably would help if I would read the bible. Not that I don’t use the bible. I look at it and use it like one would view an auto junk yard. A bunch of junk, but in that junk there are some good and usable parts.

The last two week has been productive on the understanding of religion project.
Having a good understanding of what went on in religion and when it happened and where it happened I grabbed a couple of missing pieces of the puzzles to work on and was very surprised by the answers. Understanding that I will never have all the pieces of the puzzle or all the correct dates on the timelines; life is too short to not try and work without all the information.
Besides, it is rewarding to some day be checking out the days news and have new academic published finding that verifies the data by researchers and theorist that backs up what one could call the guesses of what we think must have happened by the use of reason and common sense of the information we have today. Thus rewriting history just a little bit, and bring mankind closer to understanding his past.
Rewriting of the passed history and timelines has happen so many times in just the last year alone that it takes the reading and understanding from being boring to fun.
One piece of the puzzle is the evolving tree diagram of religion. We have The Religion of Abraham and then we have The Religions of The Children of Abraham (COA). And a lot of the thinking is that Christianity developed from the Judah and Samaritan branches of The Children of Abraham (COA) religions.
But what I am seeing is that Christianity developed from Gnostic and a combination of thoughts and ideas out of (COA) religions but mostly Gnostic. It turns out the Hyksos were not just the Asians foreign leaders but as many as eight groups of foreign leaders over a longer period of time.
Gnostic already had developed its own versions of Adam and Noah and other stories out of Mesopotamia. Guessing that the Canaan seasonal workers visited Avaris and some stayed in Egypt and Goshen and the stories got mixed together.
Then you had the Greek, Roman and other Mediterranean beliefs mixing the pot of ideas.
Then sometime latter a Gnostic movement gets started in Canaan, a couple generations latter Jesus and his group comes out of Egypt and organizes one of the many branches of Gnostic thinking’s for Israel.
Puzzle Question. Did the name “Christians" refer to the Jesus of Nazareth, another Jesus, or the Egyptian god Christos?
We know just by the structure and belief system that Gnostic would not have been and was never designed to be a big or organized religion.
We know that Gnostic was older and known long before the development of the Gentiles and Christians beliefs. So the question comes to mind. Why did Alexandria develop such a great library and university? That is such a Gnostic thing to do and in a way might have been the Gnostic temples.
I have read many times by writers and researchers that the religion of Jesus was hijacked by the church. Looking at the fact that Rome itself just about went Gnostic and there were literally hundreds of small groups of religion teaching a mixture of bits and pieces of religious ideas from Europe, Africa, Middle East, Persia, and Asia. I see it as more as the church taking what it needed to survive and giving a little of what the people wanted and needed in a belief system.
History tells us that the religions were merged and organized religious groups involved in government were the survivors.
Another surprising fact that came out was that Peter and Paul had Gnostic teachings which now just about makes the whole Jesus group into Gnostic teachings.
So this brings up the fact; that for this to have happened, the Universal Church would have needed a certain amount of control over the thinking of the members. And it would need to control the archaeologist finding and educational growth of the facts plus remove any facts to the contrary.
I know for a fact when I was young the church did control the message of religion. And there are many, many books stating the facts that the church has been controlling the archaeologist finding for years and also has big influence in the educational systems.
This next generation of thinkers will be the first generation that will not be working in the shadows of the Dark Ages of the Church.
Found website Academia.edu
There are researchers and educators sharing their workings on Gnosticism on this website. No doubt it will be an up and coming part of religious and historical thinking.
Right now, I’m working on the word “Avaris". It seems the name has evolved and the further back in time the name changes. So far some are claiming it goes back past 3,000 BC. I would be willing to bet you that they will find in the area of the Red Sea close to Avaris that it has been occupied going back to 10,000 BC. My reasoning is that if they have found evidence that Jericho Israel had people going back to 10K BC, so should Avaris.
During the Little Ice Age the Mediterranean Sea level was lower and the reasons to have Avaris would not have been for trade so I do not think it existed until a couple thousand years after the rise in sea level. And the people were always near water which there would have not been any water until after the rise of the ocean which would have created the large Nile Delta.
Still working on the landscape, the elevation is at the Mediterranean Delta flood level which forced the building of Avaris to be built on many islands above the yearly Nile River flooding. And I was very surprised that Avaris was built next to one of the main flow channels of the Nile which changed drastically in flow and direction only about 1,000 years ago turning the land around Avaris into desert and filling in the channels to the Red Sea.

I just finished reading “Early Christianity” by Geza Vermes who was an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geza_Vermes
What I got from his book was that Christianity went through several phases:

  • First Christianity was somewhat like the Ebionite Jewish sect emphasizing virtuous behaviour in preparation for the end of the world. Jesus was considered a prophet/servant as described in the Didache.
  • Second Paul evangelized non-Jews and introduced some ideas about passover symbolism and Jesus became the Son of God (first of many sons of God, but still human).
  • Third the Gospel of John redefined Jesus as the Logos/Demiurge according to the Hellenistic philosophies and emphasized salvation through faith in Jesus.
  • … (more and more ridiculous theologies after that)
    So what you say seems very close to Geza Vermes.

My ideas have changed several times as to how this all came about. The nature of Gnostic thought is everyone has his own ideas and knowledge and some thought it was wrong to have preachers of the subject. A very large spectrum of teachings and methods.
We may be looking at a hundred different patterns of thought, now which ones do we connect to Jesus?
I think the teachings were getting more centralized in the university at Alexandria.
Would not surprise me if Jesus and Thomas got their training there.
Did Geza Vermaes use findings from the Nag Hammadi Library? That has been a gold mine of Gnostic information.

The Bible & God
Part 1 of 3
As a Visionary my concepts and thoughts are not what you could call mainstream thinking even though I probably have more faults that the standard American. And I have most likely made more mistakes than the average guy, which I contribute to being a Visionary. When I take on a project I know that I am going to make a bunch of mistakes, and if I am not, then I probability not doing anything. The goal is not to make that one big mistake that puts you out of business.
First time I was called a “Visionary", I got mad but couldn’t say anything because I respected the guys putting the label on me. They ran one of the biggest insurance and reinsurance companies in the country. So I looked into the title and it explained a lot of my actions and decisions.
Yep, I’m pumping myself up a little bit for the story I’m getting ready to tell you. But I do not think of myself as a genius, far from it. I went one month to sixth grade, had gone to over thirty schools in several states by then and was out of school as much as in school. The only constant was that I always worked. Went on my own at thirteen and traveled around as a farmhand, oil field roughneck and did road construction.
Found that I could make a lot of money and it did not cost me a lot for living expense. So I would work hard and save up a nest egg of money and then go chase a dream.
This is why instead of working at a career I work at projects. Thus I got an education in business and life that you can’t get at school.
I learned that sometime it only takes one mistake and you are out of business and yes it happened to me several times. It pays to research the project before you make your first step. I’ve looked at hundreds of projects that look and sounded good, but after research there is no way that I would have succeeded.
Thank god for the computer. It helped a lot, but my spelling was so bad that spell checker only worked half the time. In my mid-thirties I started slowing down enough to look at where I was at in education and I took off seven months to study at a computer college. But I still lacked in basic training. For example my spelling of “Wensday" was incorrect yet that was how I heard it and pronounced it. By my mid-forties I learn to spell the months of the year and get them in the correct order.
Maybe seven or eight books are all I had ever read by this time of my life. I tried reading books but when you can not pronounce a lot of the words it just gets boring as hell. I did read the newspapers daily and the Wall Street Journal was my favorite.
I had also spent time at the county law library researching business and employee laws.
I had a nice upper floor corner office in a building over looking the ocean that I owned and the computer signed my name on average of eighty-six hundred paychecks each week. So it wasn’t like I had a lot of problems with not being able to spell or write. I would put an idea down on paper and my secretary would translate it into proper terms for business.
Now that I could do just about anything I wanted, I started to wonder about god and religion. I was use to working seven days a week and had not gone to church at all. Working in at the office so much was hard on my health. Well not just the office, the lunches and traveling to regional branch offices around the country was a life style that I hated. I thought of my job as more of a fireman, always putting out fires. I had fought to reach this position thinking life would be better for me. That was because for years I worked at my projects while working a full time job at what ever paid the most, and a lot of years that was the aerospace industry. I worked as a contractor. That is where I go into a factory to do a project. When done I am let go. That was right up my alley as far as working projects.
My view point on work is that at work I would take on jobs. I looked at each task as a job. So did the aerospace company, that’s why they gave every task a job number. What a lot of people call jobs is the career, different views of thinking.
Now not all projects are all work and not everything was a project. The year I turned nineteen, I don’t think I got out of bed that year. And I wanted to have my own bar, which I opened on my twenty-first birthday. That was a fun project. I have had many fun projects. Yes, I worked hard at them, but when you are having fun, it not the same type of work as at the factory.
I have retired three times now. But I couldn’t resist taking on projects. Older and much slower now, the projects I have taken on deal more with lawyers and federal courts and will take eight to fifteen years to complete. Thus I found the time to take on the project of the understanding of god and religion while doing these other projects.
I should explain the dynamics of a project. Define the problem and then find a solution and do this while incorporating a little bit of the Flower Power thinking that we should all strive to make the world a better place to live physically as well as mentally and strive to expand knowledge.
In my office there is a file cabinet drawer I use just to keep track of the projects I have researched over the years. I can’t even begin to remember them all, but once I view them it all comes back like I was working on them yesterday. Some makes me sad, some makes me laugh, and there are many I wish I had completed.
Understanding Religion & God Project
Not starting from scratch, because I had done past projects to understand banking, laws and the tax systems. All of which were part of religion in ancient times. What works for me is to go to the very beginning of a subject and move forward in time.
The banking project was to be able to understand the Central Banks. I never could figure out how the ancients were able to do trade without a central bank. Yet the system of borrowing was much more stable three thousand years ago than it is today, which indicates the use of a central banking system. And the money used was much more diversified to small areas and even towns. So a central bank was of much greater need then than today.
The interest rates were the same if you were at Ireland, Babylon or Egypt. When Alexandria the Great came to power he raised the interest rates one half of a point. So it was like WWI and WWII, the countries could be fighting but the bankers were all working together and of course the banks were the religious temples back then.
When the Roman Empire took over, most merchant banking was done in Greece because Greece allowed what we call LLC’s (limited liability corporations) and Rome did not.
Some of the oldest cruciform writing found to date is bar tabs, which is a system of loaning and a contract (tab) which requires a system of laws to be able to enforce the tab.
Not being able to find the answers myself I searched for a professor who was an expert on the subject. Finding the professor I told him the problems I was encountering. He agreed that there had to have been a central banking system and he had searched for evidence and was unable to find any. But he said that there was defiantly a system but like today’s central banks everything is kept very secret. So it is very likely that nothing will ever be found of the interworking of the ancient central banks.
Now we know that the Veda laws cover the taxes of the class system. This is important because this was before metal money was used. And the same in Egypt, when metal money came into use in Egypt you got a discount on your taxes if you paid with metal.
The oldest laws were the Rig Veda which was told verbally. The laws came from god so the king himself could not rule outside or against the laws. Ancient laws covered all money maters, inheritance, all real-estate transactions, marriage, divorce, adoptions, agriculture, water rights, medical payments, and taxes. Just about everything that we use today, except they seemed to me weak in the trading and banking areas.
No supreme court, but if the king ruled unjustifiable you could contest to the priests. If ruled in your favor the king would be liable to pay you 12 times what your fine was.
Twelve is interesting to me, because they used a base 6 system. And 12 is a number use a lot in the religions.
Tax systems varied over time and overtaxing was the main downfall of most empires except Egypt which was under taxing at times.

My ideas have changed several times as to how this all came about. The nature of Gnostic thought is everyone has his own ideas and knowledge and some thought it was wrong to have preachers of the subject. A very large spectrum of teachings and methods. We may be looking at a hundred different patterns of thought, now which ones do we connect to Jesus? I think the teachings were getting more centralized in the university at Alexandria. Would not surprise me if Jesus and Thomas got their training there. Did Geza Vermaes use findings from the Nag Hammadi Library? That has been a gold mine of Gnostic information.
He mentioned how important the Nag Hammadi discovery was for understanding the actual Gnostic beliefs (as opposed to the arguments of their opponents). But he didn't cover them in detail.

Egypt
Part 2 of 3
Egypt went in cycles of being strong to weak. The Pharaohs had two sources of income, the head tax and income from rental of land. When the Pharaohs went to heaven then the rental of land income went to the temple that was taking care of the Pharaoh in his after life. That meant the new Pharaoh had less income.
Egypt was isolated by desert and water and had few wars. The new Pharaohs would reduce the sizes of the armies to make up for lost income. This left the Pharaohs open to be conquered. Conquers knew which temples to partner with and which temples to conquer so that they could become the next Pharaoh. This did not happen to often but enough to create a cycle in the history of management of Egypt.
The head tax was called the “First Born Tax". Every first born male in Egypt belonged to the Pharaoh, every first born male of every animal including man. Every first born male animal at a certain age had to be taken to the temple and paid as a tax to the Pharaoh.
The young men were then trained in certain skills at the temple once trained the fathers could buy their sons back from the Pharaoh otherwise the sons would have to buy themselves back by working a number of years for the Pharaoh.
The buy back program was known as redemption, still celebrated by the Jews in Israel today. The Israeli government even mints a redemption coin to be used in the ritual of buying their first born males back from the Pharaoh.
The promise of the Tenth Plague (Ex 11.4ff):
Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: About midnight I will go out through Egypt.
Every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the female slave who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the livestock.
Then there will be a loud cry throughout the whole land of Egypt, such as has never been or will ever be again.
But not a dog shall growl at any of the Israelites—not at people, not at animals—so that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.
Then all these officials of yours shall come down to me, and bow low to me, saying, ‘Leave us, you and all the people who follow you.’ After that I will leave." And in hot anger he left Pharaoh.

The questions this brings up;
Was Moses a Pharaoh?
If he wasn’t a Pharaoh then that statement would have united all of Egypt behind General Ramesses and Moses would have turned the population against him.
If he was the Pharaoh then all the first born belonged to Pharaoh and by the rights of a god he had the ability and right to kill them.
General Ramesses leading the revolt had control of a huge number of foreigners that lived in Egypt. The Canaan’s alone occupied four large cities in Egypt at this time.
There must have been a lot of foreigners working in the temples and as household servants and intermarried with the native Egyptians. Plus Ramesses had the lower Egyptians to deal with.
Now Ramesses had him self ordained Pharaoh too. So Egypt had two gods fighting over leadership. Moses was telling Ramesses that he would even kill Ramesses heirs to the throne. That tells us that they had been at war for a while and Moses was sizing Ramesses up.
This tells us that Ramesses had taken over Memphis and was on the throne. And that Moses went to the only safe place available to him, Avaris.
This tells us that Moses is telling Ramesses that he wants all the foreign people to be able to go with him and that he wants to keep Israel for himself. Israel was the northwest wilderness of the Ancient Egyptian lands. And Israel was now highly valued because of the olive orchards.
This tells us that Moses not only wanted Israel but wanted Ramesses to recognize Israel as belonging to the Israelites, as a separate nation.
I was surprise how researching a tax system could bring up so much about religion relating to the bible.
Other information
I had read maybe ten books on religion by this time. So I could say I had a negative mind set about the Church, Christianity and the Bible.
I had also done a little research on Marijuana and Beer going back to the ancient times.
And a few popular subjects like the pony express and highway systems in Turkey and the Hittites.
An article about archeological findings in Egypt told of how a Pharaoh went on a raiding party into Africa and brought back 8,000 cows.
Now that got my attention and brought up a lot of questions. You don’t just get 8,000 cows. And say you did get 8,000 cows. How did he move the cows? That alone is a major task.
Thinking about it, I knew that the Hittites had the Pony Express system in Turkey area. Could the Egyptians have had cowboys back then?
Yep, they did. And they had cowboy poems and songs just like in the Old West. The crossing of rivers was a major risk of cattle drives, again like in the Old West.
Point - The Pharaoh did not go out and steal cows, Pharaoh’s don’t steal. He went out and collected taxes for the use of land that was considered Ancient Egyptian Lands. Just like the Ancient Lands of Israel.
The Project
Material included the bible, study bible, timeline charts and bible history charts.
Started researching the bible with Genesis and the story of creation.
Now, research is different than chatting on a website or writing a letter and I have different levels of research. If large amounts of money are involved then the research has to be complete down to the last detail. And this is how I viewed my research of the bible.
Five month had gone by and I had gotten about twenty more books to help with the research because most of the books I had were worthless. I was on the third chapter of Genesis and saw no point in continuing. That’s right, five months and two pages into the bible.
I found the bible itself is no good for research. It translates a message or thoughts only.
And those thoughts do not necessarily follow the true translations of the bible.
Spent a lot of time calling and emailing colleges and institutions for translations, mainly in Israel.
One thing that surprised me was there were several gods in the first chapter alone. And the gods all had names in the older translations. Looking up these gods I found they had wives and children too. A couple gods are still worshiped today and others aren’t but you can still find and go to their ancient churches that are still standing.
I found claims on the internet that there are eleven separate gods in the bible that are under the name of god.
In projects you find an item that isn’t working or doesn’t fit. You stop and see what it will take to fix the problem. And if it can’t be fixed you have to abandon the project at that point otherwise the project is bound to fail. And I was at that point.
Next I went to the internet to learn what the thought was about this problem. If I could find it then you know a lot of other people had found it and maybe got it fixed.
First there were denials that it was really that way. And then there were the stories that they were really all the same god. Or that wherever information I got was wrong.
Then I had to find out if this was unique to the bible or is this common in religion?
Research showed that gods started out as animals or star in the sky, then evolved to part animals and part human, then evolved to all human. But they all had names and most had wives and children.
Next I reviewed the many Genesis stories that had been written, some older and some newer and none had a god without a name. And the newer ones were written from the older ones with changes.
The project was the Bible and God. The Bible was not researchable so the next step was to look into God. I wasn’t going to discard the bible completely. I would treat it like an auto junk yard, a lot of junk but there is still some really good part to be had.
Over the next four plus years I did a lot of research on ancient people and customs and read several books.
How to explain what happened in less than one million words.
Should always work from a timetable.
In a thousand years no one has been able to make a timetable of the bible that everyone agrees upon.
DNA is helping a lot in this area.
Don’t trust or use any archeological data out of Israel by Israel.
Avaris and Alexandria are located in the center of the known world, most East to West trade pass through their ports. They are like a large mixing bowl of culture and ideas.
Take customs and religions from every direction and known country and put pieces of them in the mixing bowl. Then you bake it in the oven and you have a cake. Over time you end up baking a lot of cakes. Some were only liked by a few and others were liked by many and people took the cakes they liked back to their homeland countries to taste. Once the cake went back to the homeland the frosting of the homeland was added to the cake to make the cake more attractive to the people there.
The cakes the people liked the best seemed to have the pieces of India in them.
A story I read.
The Great Pharaoh of Egypt hears about this Great Chef at this cooking school in the area of Ancient Rome. He had the Great Chef brought to Egypt to teach his Royal Chefs how to make fruit pies. And that’s how fruit pies got to Egypt.
Point being, people liked certain things, but were always looking for new things too.
You can tell someone that the gasoline burning car is not good for the environment and nothing will happen.
Give someone the choice of using a gasoline burner or an electric car and they will pick the electric car.
Point being, mainstream religion is not going to change unless you offer something better to replace it.