In Greek, the verb form "apesteilen" describes a man on a mission. While the West commonly knows the twelve "disciples" of Jesus, the Eastern Church knows 70 or 72 apostles, of which the numbers vary accordingly to the tradition. A disciple is a student, somebody who learns. The apostles were the men and women chosen by Jesus to spread a message. Jesus is the high priest. Whereas the high priest had disciples or apostles is a very different story and if you read my blog, you will understand that the "disciples" are more likely the "christians", who followed a new tradition while the apostles are the men and women who created the new tradition on monotheist foundations and have spread their teaching following the trade routes of the sea.
To understand my interpretation of the geography of the apostles, I invite you to read my blog:
If you can read French, I also invite you to read a book "Quelque Chose Pour Tout Le Monde - L'Eglise Apostolique Romaine et l'Esclavage - Coup d'oeil Historique au profit de l'oeuvre contre le trafic des esclaves en Afrique" written in 1894 by H.J. Biegelaar. You can translate the following passage of the book with Google Translate. This book explains the context in which Christianity was born:
" Quand était venue la plénitude des temps " pour la descente de Jesus Christ, le divin Instituteur de l'Eglise Catholique, l'état religieux et moral du monde offrait le spectacle le plus humiliant. Les dieux de bois et de pierre avaient pris toutes les formes; legumes des jardins, animaux, tout avait des autels. L'on était arrivé à n'avoir plus de divinité réelle que le vice brutal et la sensualité. Deux augures pouvaient ils encore se regarder l'un et l'autre sans rire?... Même dans le Centre de la civilisation (?) d'alors, à Rome, l'esclavage était le droit commun, et la femme de toutes les conditions était la première esclave; la famille n'existait que de nom, et les empreurs étaient obligés de faire des lois pour que le genre humain ne s'éteignit pas dans un célibat infame; tout cela avec le divorce légal, la prostitution constituée, l'exposition des enfants, le meurtre autorisé dans les jeux publics et dans la famille, l'arbitraire dans le supplice des condamnés; voilà autant de signes caractéristiques d'une dégradation si profonde qu'ell'était sans aucun remède humain. A l'entré du Prince des Apôtres dans la "ville éternelle" pour y proclamer à tous ses habitants, libres et esclaves, les Bonnes Nouvelles des Mytsères de la Croix, la proportion des uns et des autres y était de 2 010 de 20 010.
Lorsque l'Apôtre des nations avec sa culture classique qu'il a acquise dans les écoles florissantes de Tarse; avec son éloquence qui le fait ranger par le célèbre Longin à côté de Démosthène, d'Eschine et d'Isocrate, se faisait entendre à Athène, il y avaient en Attique 400,000 esclaves, sans conter les femmes et les enfants. A Sparte, on comptait 36,000 citoyens, 244,000 Hélotes et 110,000 Perioeques; à Corinthes vivaient alors 460,000 et en Aegine à peu près 470,000 esclaves. Le Messie attendu des Juifs pouvait seul régénérer un tel monde, où l'on s'ennuya si pitoyablement, si misérablement.
N'était ce pas pour ce conquérant pacifique que les esclaves romains traçaient de grandes voies à travers les nations? Chez Israel qui vivait au milieu des peuples comme témoin et souvenir des divines miséricordes; dont les maîtres, les docteurs furent les prophètes qui viennent retracer quelque image du Messie attendu, ajouter quelques traits à son histoire anticipée, révéler, d'une manière plus précise, la date certaine de son avènement; chez Israel, l'esclavage n'avait point du tout le caractéristique du Paganisme, du dédain de l'homme et de la cruauté épouvantable. L'esclavage chez les Juifs était unique, dans ce vieux monde. Le nom existe, mais l'Israelite travaillait avec ses esclaves, il leurs faisait participer le repos du sabbat, et c'était un de ses devoirs, de reconnaître dans ses domestiques, servants, servantes, valets, serviteurs, certains droits humains. Par ce Peuple élu fut l'image de Celui qui révélerait l'égalité vraie et vérace de tous les êtres raisonnables, delivrant non seulement de l'escalavage corporel, mais aussi de la servitude spirituelle. Mais, quand le sang humain ne coulait pas, celui des taureaux et des génisses inondait les temples, et il s'établit une libation de sang continuelle, qui prit sa source dans l'idée confuse de l'expiation et du rachat religieux. Sur deux principes s'établit la civilisation antique, qui pourtant derivaient de la même idée: le droit commun de l'esclavage (et l'infériorité de la femme). Il est impossible d'expliquer la condition d'avilissement de celle-çi sans recourir à l'histoire de la déchéance, telle que la raconte Moïse. L'escalave subsistait sans contexte pendant quarante siècles, implicant le principe de solidarité qui découlait de l'idée d'une expiation religieuse. De ces énigmes le Peuple Juif seul avait la clef, tandis qu'autour de ces enigmes s'agita toute la vie des nations païennes. Le secret de vagues espérances, de ces aspirations vers un Libérateur inconnu, vers un siècle d'or nouveau, chanté par Virgile, en agitant mystérieusement l'Orient et l'Occident; ce secret, le Peuple Juif seul l'avait, quand la Synagogue avait encore la Promesse divine."
(...) "Sa doctrine n'était pas moins merveilleuse, et elle devait produire, dans le monde religieux et moral, la même transformation que la puissance du Fils de Dieu opérait sur le monde matériel. Sa parole n'affectait ni éclat, ni recherche oratoire; sa manière d'enseigner n'avait rien qui ressemblât aux méthodes des philosophes (?) et des sages (?). Simple et familier dans ses discours, il présentait des idées sublimes sous la forme de paraboles et d'images. C'était dans le coeur qu'il voulait graver sa loi toute de charité; c'était au coeur que sa parole s'adressait, mettant une insistance particulièe à enseigner l'Unité de Dieu, Père de tous les hommes. Et ce principe fondametal, il l'étabissait non par des arguments et des dissertations, mais avec le ton simple, naturel vrai, du Fils qui parle de son Père. L'idée d'un Dieu irrité et terrible qu'on ne pouvait voir sans mourir, et qu'il fallait apaiser par le sang des victimes et des hécatombes, dominait tout le monde antique. Dans la doctrine du Sauveur, Dieu n'apparait plus que comme le Père de l'enfant prodigue; comme le bon Pasteur qui ramène sur ses épaules les brebis errantes; comme la fontaine d'eau vive pour l'âme alétrée, ainsi qu'à la Samaritaine, près du puits de Jacob; enfin comme le Dieu de la miséricorde et du pardon. Le Testament Nouveau s'appelle, pour cette raison, La Loi de Grâce, comme le caractère propre et saisissant de ce Testament."
I recommend also this playlist about the law on my channel "Grand Corps Solide":
Accordingly to the Bible, when Moses and Aaron left Egypt to guide the Jewish people into Israel, they gave the Ark of the Covenant, the staff of Moses, the rod of Aaron, the Tablets of stone, and a bowl with the secret manna food. The Ark of the Covenant is the foundation of a spirituality, a system of belief that links manhood to God. Both the Staff of Moses and Aaron are the a symbols of an authority over the Israelites. Both are linked and separate at once. Moses gave the law while Aaron gave the religion. Moses gave the books and Aaron interpreted the books with religious sacraments. Both the law and the religion are linked with an identical purpose to raise a people into humanity but before Jesus, the humanity raised on monotheism was only contained into the Jewish world and the traditional Jewish tradition.
After the campaigns of Alexander the Great, the world around the Mediterranean sea has changed and the monarchy of Egypt has changed. Egypt has been Hellenized while Greece started a spiritual revolution initiated with Egyptian knowledge, sciences and philosophy. I personally believe that Ancient Egypt was monotheist but the Egyptian scripture and language has confused the historians what made them believe that Egypt was polytheist. Historians have been confused the same way that the Israelites were confused with the first Tablets of Stone that Moses broke and replaced with the new ones, made of words rather than pictures. Pictures had led to the Golden calf while scripture was more enigmatic and would lead the new generations to believe in ideas. Printable posters can be found in the gallery.
I also believe that the Jewish monotheism was inherited from Egypt but the aristocratic system of Egypt has marginalized the people into what later became a Jewish identity and this identity was reinforced with the invasions from Greece and the Roman Empire. The rise of the Empires created a Jewish singularity that existed but by itself, and the will to distanciate itself from the invading powers. The small land of Israel sits in between the lands of Asia and Africa where the civilizations have grown separately, sometimes with conflicts and sometimes with trades. On this land, the biggest challenge of Israel has always been to create itself as a united nation, strong enough to resist invaders and open enough to not break in the conflicts of civilizations.
The Jewish people is a people because every Jewish individuality belongs to the house of David. The rise of the two temples in Jerusalem has created castes and families who became High Priests and gained the authority and power of priesthood. Orthodoxy has crystallized a form of Judaism that broke the link between manhood and God. In between man and God, there was the priest and the rituals that made the same kind of elites as did the priests and the aristocracy of Egypt. The schism inside Judaism had two main schools, those who would share the message of God and those who would not. Those Jews who would grow rich and educated and those who would stay poor and followers way before they could even believe in the source of their knowledge.
Israel had 12 tribes : " The story of the twelve tribes begins when Jacob and his family went down to Egypt as "70 souls". In Egypt "the Israelites were fertile and prolific; they multiplied and increased very greatly," and there they became the "Israelite people." Following the death of Joseph - one of Jacob's sons who had become viceroy of Egypt - Pharoah oppressed the Israelites by placing upon them burdensome labor. "
The film about the life of Joseph shows that since the beginning, there are two different approaches of Judaism and the difference does not coexist from one tribe to the other, but inside a same family, Joseph with his brothers. The difference between Joseph and his brothers is the same between Moses and his people, and since the beginning of the Israelite people, there is a schism between the law of Aaron and the law given by God to Moses. This schism is the essence of Judaism, what creates the many facets of an old world in survival, what survival remains constant and an essential trait of the community. This is a world that questions itself as an éthnē, as a nation, as a culture, as a religion and as a power in between other civilizations.
The 12 tribes of Israel are among the Generations of Noah that led to the 70 tribes of the world. The Book of Genesis is probably one of the first attempt written in history to track the creation of a human being from a wild creature to a tame human society. At the beginning, God created a world fit for mankind but after man corrupted the world with sin, God decided to return the Earth to its pre-creation state of watery chaos. He only saved Noah to reestablish the relationship between man and God. Noah had "three sons Shem, Ham and Japheth, from which were derived Semites, Hamites and Japhetites, certain of Noah's grandsons including Elam, Ashur, Aram, Cush, and Canaan, from which the Elamites, Assyrians, Arameans, Cushites and Canaanites, as well as further descendants including Eber (from which "Hebrews"), the hunter-king Nimrod, the Philistines and the sons of Canaan including Heth, Jebus and Amorus, from which Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites."
The scripture of a genealogy brings the mythical man into the era of sciences with a written history and the proofs of the history that links the passed to the present and one éthnē with the others.
Jacob and his family went down to Egypt as "70 souls". One generation of Noah became fertile and prolific in Egypt and there they became the Israelite people. There in Egypt, they became a social organization with common traits and common culture but the Israelite religion came later, after they left Egypt to settle in Israel. It took 40 years to establish the laws and it took 150 years to establish the kingdom.
When the Greeks conquered Israel and Egypt in 330 BCE, they brought a new economical system. They brought money and during the Ptolemaic dynasty, the revolution that came with money brought exchange, new paths of communication and even a new kind of evolution inside the Hellenic culture. The Greeks found in the books of Egypt a level of science and philosophy they never had imagined before. A revolution emerged inside the Greek culture and this same revolution came into the Judaic culture, the Syriac culture, the Mesopotamian culture, all around the Mediterranean sea from Egypt to Greece.
A clash between the Greeks and the Jews emerged in Jerusalem what deeply changed the definition of Judaism, creating schisms and conflicts. In one hand, it reinforced the Jewish singularity and the other hand, it separated the Jews in different traditions.
The Gospel of Luke tells the story of Jesus. Jesus the High Priest who is not a Rabbi, who is not in the Temple, who is not in the Sanhedrin, but a High Priest who is born poor and develops his own singularity among the poor of Israel.
This is among the poor that a new system of laws has emerged, with a new system of belief. If we would imagine who were the firsts Christians, I tend to believe that they were no priests, no poor nor uneducated. They were probably the men and women who created a new system of justice to educate the people and convert them to the law of Moses, rewritten and extended to the Gentiles. They were overwhelmed by the immensity of their empires and overwhelmed by the conflicts inside the Roman empire that won over the Greeks, the Jews and the Mesopotamians. The first Christians were probably like Robert Reed on the next video, a man of law who had to create his own "system" to find humanity in the law.
On my blog, I compare Hagia Irene to the Greek theater and to the Roman court house to explain how the early Christian architecture became the house of God. The architecture of Hagia Irene became the source that inspired the architecture of the synagogues and the churches, two directions that emulated from each other and even after, with the birth of Islam.
When we look deep inside the history of Israel, we find the complexity of a land and the history of this land written through its myths, its archeology and its invention. If Christianity may have been an invention or at least if the myth of Jesus may have been an invention, this is the myth that both made the Christians, the Jews and the Muslims. Before Jesus, there was Canaan, then Ptolemy, then the Roman Empire. The emergence of a Jewish culture coincides with many epochs that brought to the construction of the second temple of Jerusalem, then its destruction by the same invaders who had built it. The Roman Empire destroyed the old city of Jerusalem to rebuild monotheism on the ashes of an ancient culture, but the capital of the Empire moved to Constantinople, between Greece and Mesopotamia.
Canaan was a former province of Egypt that became a geopolitical territory of the Armana period. If there is little archaeological evidence of the existence of Moses, of the exodus, the partition of the Red Sea and 40 years crossing the desert, modern science bring more information about the birth of monotheism in Egypt.
During the 14th century BC, Akhenaten created a revolution in art, spirituality, language, scripture and politics. The representation of the Pharaoh became natural with the family portrayed as an ordinary man and wife playing with their children. The pantheon of hieroglyphs to express the complexity of God was literally simplified to the sun only, and the politics was united from Egypt up to Mesopotamia and Ancient Greece. The representation of God as the only figure of a Sun giving life became a political instrument that survived in the establishment of Israel.
Akhenaton has done what Moses has done in the Bible. He destroyed the ancient representations of the Gods to establish a new system of laws written in a code of 10 commandments. This system of laws became the 613 laws of the Torah. It became the religions of the books all around the Mediterranean sea.
Some historians portray Akhenaten as a sick man, someone who would probably have been rejected as a child and would avenge himself with creating monotheism. He himself would have been rejected later as an adult, his portrait would be later destroyed and his reign almost erased from the Egyptian genealogy but I don't believe in this version of the story. I rather believe that monotheism had existed since ever in Egypt but between God and manhood, Ancient Egypt had created a pantheon of language to express the different states of life and the sense of the afterlife that makes the human different from any other species. The high priest was the interpreter of this pantheon. Historians want to portray the ideal state of Egypt before Akhenaten despite the geography, the politics around of Egypt and the violent representations in the arts.
The relations of Egypt with it neighbors by the sea, the rivers and the lands has always been portrayed with violence and destruction. Akhenaten changed the representation of Pharaoh, he changed the representations of the God that explain his own role, his existence as a Pharaoh and his power. He made alliances and treaties with his neighbors, he unified a territory as far as Hellas in Greece and he converted those territories not to the Gods, but to his own governance. He represented himself like a father with his children. He gave a status to his daughters. He created a moral and social revolution that did not survive in Egypt, but that brought monotheism in the world with a succession of prophets to unify and rally men and women in a same belief that different tribes may have one and unique same God. He changed the arts and the architecture, introducing cupolas and technologies that survived in Constantinople. He introduced a representation of power that separate the state from the priesthood and he probably died for that, at least in the Egyptian iconography but what survived in the tribes of Shem and Japheth has deeply influenced the religion of the Empires from then to now, 3,353 years of evolution.
After the death of Akhenaten and the exodus of the Jews of Egypt to Israel, the history of Israel has been rather unstable. We know little about the first king of Israel, but we know that the king, through its clergy created the united kingdom of Israel and the representation of this kingdom, since then, has always been represented on the chest of the High Priests whose very existence is centered on the temple of Jerusalem. The temple of Jerusalem has been built by the son of David and destroyed then rebuilt several times. The destruction and the reconstruction has always been an instrument of power that expanded far away from Jerusalem. The churches of Europe are a representation of Jerusalem. The symbols of the Free Masons are a representation of Jerusalem and everywhere there is a notion of power, the architecture has centered its main stones on Jerusalem.
Jerusalem has always been the corner stone between Africa and Asia, with all the consequences that the geography involves on the politics, the religion and the economy with the trade inside and outside of the Mediterranean sea. The rivers from North to South and both Seas from West to East have centered in Jerusalem the tribes and the nations united with the monotheism of Egypt. While the generations of Egypt have continued to write their history with the Pharaohs, Israel has developed independently with a legendary king, a Sanhedrin and a temple. Israel became a state outside of the ruling state and with the many invasions, it became the house of the many Diasporas around the world.
The Roman Empire conquered Israel the same way as Egypt had conquered its territories... and Persia, and the Ptolemies, and Antioch. They built the biggest temple that Jerusalem would ever have, they throned an Hebrew King, they built cities and fortresses. They created a nation on the ashes of Egypt and they burnt it in 70 CE during the siege of Jerusalem. Since then, the legends and the myths have kept the Jewish people insubordinate to any other country of the world. Having a king in the House of David, they would never pledge any other kingship.
After the death of Herod in 4BCE, Jerusalem became the center of rebellions and a fragmentation of the 12 tribes has taken Jerusalem apart between different influences. Ptolemaic influences (Hellenistic Egypt), Antioch influences (Hellenistic Persia) and even Roman influences. The myth of Jesus arose far from Jerusalem on the roads that displaced the corner stone of the nations from Jerusalem to the house of Peter in Capernaum.
Carpernaum is remarkable by its size and the proportion of the buildings on the shore of the Galilean Sea. In one side of the road, there is "the synagogue of Jesus" and just the other side of the road, there is an octagonal building that is called the "house of Peter", bigger than a house and built with the geometry of the later churches in Constantinople and Italy.
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When I started this post, I wanted to draw on the map the location of the 70 Apostles sent by Jesus accordingly to the Gospel of Luke. This is the map of the Apostles where they became the bishops and the deacons of early Christianity.
Bostra : Timon
Byblos: John Mark
Edessa : Thaddeus
Heraclea: Barnabas, Apelles
Port of Issus on the Caspia Sea: Matthias
Samaria : Nicolaus
Tharsus: Herodion, Jason
Many of them were Hellenistic Jews. They spoke Koine and their influence in Constantinople changed the essence of monotheism into a new system of laws that would favor the trade, the politics and the independence of the Asian territories from Europe. The Roman Empire collapsed into small kingdoms and monarchies that reinvented the notion of God and of a religion.
Saint Peter became the first Bishop of Rome and the first Patriarch of Antioch. On his path and the path of the 70 bishops, the architecture, the arts, the feminity of the High Priest have continued to change the social values that enacted during the 14th century BC in Egypt. A new era started with the birth of Jesus but his death has brought the laws that created Mercy.
14TH CENTURY BCE