The book by Pierre Krijbolder should be considered at the same time as
– the end of all religion, but also
– the beginning of true empirical knowledge based spiritual thought.
In this regard the title ‘Jezus de Nazoreeër’ is sort of misleading, to most people. While Jesus is historically rescued by this study, it is not as a biological person: only in an abstract sense Jesus has been historically rescued, as a model of spiritual thought and its complementary mental behavior attitude. Now this purely abstract Jesus, has never been disproven by any scientist or historian.
The only issue is, what thought model best fitted to the known contemporary thought models, like
– the strict Essenism or
– what comes to the surface from the Dead Sea scrolls,
or as Krijbolder has demonstrated a mixture of both!!
Krijbolder explains then how the gospels narrate the origins of two spiritual Jesus figures. For one the metaphor of a birth story is used, the mainstream Essenism. And for the later developed mixture, the metaphor of the baptism is used: the baptism by another symbolical personification of a spiritual doctrine or thought model, John the Baptist. Neither this John the Baptist, existed as a bological person, but is meantto refer to a spiritual thought model. But if it were not of the known Essenism, from what other movement. In this Krijbolder was way ahead of his time, back when he developed his historical reconstruction. Then he considered the hidden scrolls of the caves adjacent to the Dead Sea, not as Essenean by character, but of an entirely different spiritual movement.
What according to Krijbolder became narrated afterwards as the origins of the new mixture movement within Essenism, was done by (1) first letting the birth story of Jesus be preluded by the birth story of John the Baptist and
(2) years after te birth story of Jesus, the baptism of Jesus BETH-LECHEM by John the Baptist, resulting in a new movement within the mainstream Essenism, the socalled Jesus the Nasorean.
In other words: some eminent leading scholarly priests from the DSS Qumran sect wandered over to the Essenes, since they must have felt, the Qumran sect did no longer offer the environment for further elaborations of their spiritual ideas, concerning the ideal interpretation or explanation of the written laws.
Nowadays it is an accepted position to distinguish Essenism as described in contemporary histriographies from the writings found in the caves near the Dead Sea. Krijbolder was one of the first ever to make this distinction, that only decades later has become the common view among todays historical bible researchers.
For the details I refer to the book by Krijbolder itself, although it has to be admitted, many is put in a fashion, not easy to penetrate, unless one really desires to understand all at detail levels.
So the general picture presented by Krijbolder is this: within the mainstream Essenism (Jesus of Bethlechem or young Jesus), a new sub-movement led by former Qumran sect chief priests, was gradually developed; the baptized Jesus. These former Qumran chief priests taught the spiritual law interpretation that required the sadducean law orientation, whereas the main stream Essenism followed the pharisaic law orientation. The reason was, that those former Qumran priests, must have recognized in the imortality of the soul doctrine illustrative for the mainstream Essenism, a motivation that was lacking in the Qumran-movment. Only the pharisaic law orientation seemed to provide the window, for such motivation. So they walked over, leaving then the Qumran-movement or symbolically John the Baptist, as beheaded allegorically.
So the Jesus-movement that eventually wrote the gospels, was not the mainstream Essenism, or movement portrayed as Jesus of Bethechem, but the Jesus the Nasorean, or John section of Essenism. It was only this particular section, that was in the early 30’s subjected to investigations by the high priest Caiaphas and the legal tribunals of the Sanhedrin. Not subjected was the mainsream Essenism.
Now Pierre Krijbolder would not put it as follows, but based on Acts 4 and 5, there is little room for any doubt, how the preaching of the hung Jesus came into being initially, borrowing from Deuteronomy 22/23, regarding pagan/gentile practices in dealing with criminals, by hanging. This was considered as something that distinguished gentiles from the practice of punishment among the people of the promised land, who considered such as an unlawful way of punishing criminals or enemies.
Based on their spiritual law interpretation, this new sub-movement within Essenism, could perfectly adopt such scriptural doctrine of dealing with criminals, in a different way than among gentiles, as the ideal metaphor, to express the outcome of an official verdict by the Sanhedrin against their movement, that they considered the only proper law interpretation doctrine, while considered by the Sanhedrin as a form of gentile law interpretation. How better then to use especially this scriptural distinction in Deuteronomy to build a new doctrine of faith on?
For Krijbolder, this is way too mch theology to be applied for his reconstruction, but it provides the most logical explanation from ethnomethodological view point, that is illustrative for the whole scientific approach demonstrated by Krijbolder.
Once this new section of Nasorean Essenism became officially prohibited, as a legal jewish interpretation methodology, in the way it is described in Acts 5, it then had to go underground from then, in Jerusalem. Outside Jerusalem, there was no problem. By the legal council of the Sanhedrin led by Gamaliel, the movement was considered as a heathen or gentile or pagan form of explaining the Mosaic heritage, the Torah or Law and the Prophets.
From that moment though, the very same could no longer be taught in any straight forward ways, and had to be captured in a far-fetched metaphor or allegory. So far-fetched only insiders, knew the proper contemplations of such metaphor, just for the sake of surviving in Judea. And before applying it in practice, they even got out to test it first. It worked like a miracle, then even more then their jewish fellowmen, it were especially gentiles who were considered rather barbaric, that proved an easier prey, for this metaphor, of the impaled Saviour for the world.
This is all of later date. Until then, there had never been a Jesus the Saviour, but for reasons of metaphor, due to some brainwave, it just fell into place to become selfprophetic in momentum and leverage. Once a prosecutor himself, Paul, prior to that Saul, got this particular brainwave. Not on the road to Damascus. But when confronted during his missions to the south and east, with the there prevailing beliefs in a Saviour called Mithra, he simply must have made the equation, for imitating the success of the Mithra-faith system. He only had to wrap the same in a Hebrew scriptural base, letting eventually pop-up the hanging of the prohibited doctrine as the hanging of the Saviour, name ‘THE essene’. As this was considered not as an abstract reference to a doctrine, but seemingly a biological character, it all become a overnight selfprophetic invention of what was actually just a fictitious artificial imitation.
Krijbolder did not put this in such detailed way. Then this goes to far to prove. He only brings up the resemblance between the sound of the word “Essene” in Aramaic language, essaya, and he name Isaiah. One can even go as far as putting it that during te initial testing phase outside Judea, by Simon Cephas himself for reasons of security, this was substituted by another name, Immanuel.
Again, this is way too far-fetched for Krijbolder, and not needed for his general reconstruction. It is just to show the immense window of opportunities his reconstruction leaves, for all kinds of deeper elaborations to show the depths of what this new movement within Essenism, must have been going through to eventually give permissions to Paul for his request, for start preaching this new metaphor to the gentiles. No use for paul to ever drea about teaching the same in Judea, as he was perceived as the greatest traitor to the nation by all priests attached to the Temple of Jerusalem, that used to be his collegues.
Borrowing from Deuternomy texts concerning hanging of criminals among gentiles, no better metaphor to substitute the mistake made by the Sanhedrin (prohibition of preaching), than to suggest they had accepted the outlawed form of hanging, making themselves like the barbaric gentiles or pagan peoples.
A stoning would not be possible, based on Acts 5 and the real events that had taken place. Then a stoning would not have caqrried the load of the prohibited doctrine as heathen/gentile, but of jewish nature. For the same reasons, Gmaliel had considered not the Sanhedrin but only YHWH the only competent to judge in this matter. Compare Acts 5. Also, one has to be aware of the following, when using stoning as not suitable as a metaphor. You can not use stoning in a symbolical way other than saying: stoning has to be understood purely symbolically. So not for real. Like in the way of: he who is without sin, shall throw the first rock. In other words: only YHWH has this right. Metaphorically, a stoning then can only be refering to throwing out knowledge or testing a person for the consistencies of his beliefs, by confronting that person with smart questions.
So such a metaphor, would immediately have caused serious problems, saying then: this practice is unlawful, period. No better then Paul would have known this immediately. Leaving thus the only proper option open: hanging, as it consisted of a principle distinction between gentiles and the people of the Law. So here we have things arranged suddenly in such fashion that eventually long afterwards, in te final form more than 40 years later and 35 years after the invention, and some time after the loss of the capital Jerusalm to the Roman army in AD 70, it also provided a perfect window, not thought of prior, to have some Roman involvement in the hanging of Jesus, given the strange event described by Josephus in Vita 75-76, when one of three crucified friends of Josephus was rescued in time by Josephus, to remain alive and survive. Then actually in AD 70, in a physical way, indeed it was the Roman presence that was involved in this strange surviva of a crucified person, forty years later, than the prohibition of preaching that had originated the invention of the metaphor of the hung Jesus. All sort of had fallen in one single place together as is meant to fit. It would have been stupid not to use this peculiar incident, while nobody except a friend – Josephus – could know, where this final form of conversion of the hun Jesus in the crucified Jesus, came from in biological sense.
Everybody happy, win-win, whereas the underlying spiritual reasoning is quite way too subtle, to be historically reconstructed properly by most if any, without this mention by Josephus in his memoirs (Vita par. 75-76) and the confirmation explained by Krijbolder by name analysis of his birth name, Joseph ben Mathattias, the mysterious eyewitness mentioned in the gospels as Joseph from Arimatea!!
As mentioned before, this survey of the work of Krijbolder involves way too much theology for Pierre Kijbolder to get involved with for his work. This is why it can not be found explicitly expressed in his book. But once his book is thoroughly analyzed, one simply can not deny, there is much more to his reconstrutions, than at first sight seem to be the whole picture.
It is one of the reasons, why at some stage, there was so much more to his revolutionary discoveries to be included, but has no parallels in contemporary historiographical sources, that things got too complicated for me personally, to finish the promised 3rd edition of his book in Dutch. Then for Krijbolder, only marginal use may be made of theologically charged texts, and all has to have contemporary historiographical sources as a starting point.
Likewise, there is much more that can be uncovered once the wantnaam-hypothesis is also stretched to all those texts without any direct parallel in contemporary historiographical sources.
This means there is lots of gain in spiritual sense, than can be generated, from the end to all religion that follows from the historical reconstruction by Pierre Krijbolder. The hallmark to be attributed to the work of Krijbolder should nonetheless be: Jesus lived in abstract form as the thought models developed by Simon-Cephas, James Zebedee and Paul, yet the biological Jesus never existed. What remains is only state-of-art spiritual thought that is inline with all findings of modern science. So long live the texts as they are, since their meanings that had been dead for over 19 centuries have been made conceivable again and provided a revitalizing rebirth for their purest meanings again, finally, thanks to modern science and its consequent application by Pierre Krijbolder.