Theater of Cruelty

- Jesus went to India

Didn't Jesus die on the cross anyway? In a new film, theories that were too radical for the Da Vinci Code are presented. Indians have for centuries believed that Jesus is buried in Kashmir.


[The Easter Mystery] For more than 2000 years, the Christian world has taken it for granted that Jesus died on the cross on Good Friday – which this year occurs on Friday 14 April. But the official church history is now being challenged from several different fronts.

Last week, as a recording for Easter, Michael Baigent published the book The Jesus Papers: Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History. His main argument now is that Jesus survived the crucifixion.

Too controversial

"It only takes a small shift in perspective, to step aside from theological dogma, to understand the crucifixion in a new light," Baigent explains to the Toronto Star.

He was one of the co-authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail (1982), the foundation of today's greatest boxing success: Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code (2003), which has sold 40 millions of copies. In May it will be starring as Tom Hanks. The novel tells that Jesus and Mary Magdalene have a son, who is then sent to France.

But even Brown never dared to touch on the most controversial topic: Could Jesus have survived the Crucifixion? And where did he become, if the body did not physically ascend to heaven?

According to The Unknown Story of Messiah, the answer is: Jesus survived the hours on the cross. He was healed by aides before he appeared alive on the third day. He appeared to the disciples for up to 40 days, before heading eastward to escape the Roman Empire. After several years of walking along the Silk Road, he ended up in Kashmir, known by the name of Yuz Asaf, where he was eventually buried. And the tomb is found today in a well-guarded house in the Indian city of Srinagar.

It is this almost unknown story for most Europeans that now appears in the movie The Unknown Story of Messiah. It is made by Subhrajit Mitra, former director of the TV channel National Geographic. Together with the Indian archaeologist Soumitra Chatterjee, he looks at the historical Jesus records in the area from Palestine via Persia to India. Among other things, they record the story of the Hindu script Bhavishya purana. Here it is told of a meeting outside Srinagar, around the year 100, between the Indian king Shalivahana and a Jesus-like sage from the west.


"There is so much support for Jesus' journey eastward, both from Hindu and Buddhist scriptures and from Indian royal annals," Subhrajit explains to The Telegraph of India.

For while writers such as Brown and Baignet seduce millions with theories of Jesus and France, there is more historical evidence on the Prophet's connections eastward. Christianity was then established earlier in India than in Europe. Jesus' Apostle Thomas is said to have founded the first Christian church in Kerala in the year 52.

Still, the first question is whether the historical Jesus survived the crucifixion? The German theologian Holger Kersten is among those who have come to the conclusion that this is the most likely explanation. In the book Jesus Lived in India (1994), he points out that there are several other accounts of people who survived being crucified, a punishment that usually lasted for several days.

According to the Gospels, Jesus hung on the cross for only six hours – due to the Sabbath observance. The two robbers who were crucified with him survived the hours on the cross, so that the soldiers had to kill them by "breaking the legs of the first and the second" (John 19:32). But on Jesus the soldiers did not break a bone. Jesus 'follower Joseph of Arimathea then asked for Jesus' body: "But Pilate wondered if he was dead" (Mark 15:44).

Helped out

John writes that a spear was stabbed in the side of Jesus before Joseph wrapped him in link leather and kilovis with herbs and healing aloe. When Mary Magdalene came to the tomb on the third day, she saw that the tombstone had been overturned and Jesus was gone. But what had happened?

The apocryphal Peter gospel (year 70-160), found in Egypt in the 1880 century, explains in the tenth chapter that the guardians of the cave believe that Jesus was helped out: “And when they declared what they had seen, they explained that they had seen three men come out of the cave, and two of them supported one. "

Speculation is underway whether the Peter gospel can match what is in the canonized four gospels. The Gospel of Luke just mentions two men who tell Mary Magdalene and Mary at the cave, "Why do you seek the living among the dead?"

The message is that Jesus lives, which he himself emphasizes when he meets the shocked disciples in Jerusalem:

“Look at my hands and my feet, and see that it is myself! Feel me and see! A spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have. "(Luke 24: 39)

Supports theory

- For us, the canonized gospels are proof that Jesus survived the crucifixion. But we do not want to provoke Christians, and we want to emphasize that we also believe in Jesus, as a great prophet, explains Faisal Suhel, information secretary at the Ahmadiyya congregation at Frogner in Oslo.

The Ahmadiyya Muslims follow the teachings of the founder Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908). In his book Jesus in India he also refers to several accounts that Jesus went east. Among others, Rauzat-us-Safa (The Clean Garden) (1417) by the Persian historian Mirkondh, who talks about Jesus at Mosul in Iraq. There are many stories of Jesus in the Kashmir area, where Jews had also settled down in the past.

"Some people think it's far from Jerusalem to India, but it's farther to heaven anyway," says Suhel.

So far no one has been able to prove anything. Spring 2006 is the battle for Jesus' aftermath at least as strong as it was two thousand years ago. n

Dag Herbjørnsrud
Dag Herbjørnsrud
Former editor of MODERN TIMES. Now head of the Center for Global and Comparative History of Ideas.

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