A couple of weeks ago, one of my professors had us read the “Mini-Apocalypse” in the biblical scriptures found in the Gospel of Matthew 24:3-8
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ, and will deceive many. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains.
Most Christians are familiar with this type of speech and usually we allude to this scripture when it comes to trying to explain natural disasters that leave wanton devastation such as the tsunamis in the south Pacific and the destruction of Hurricane Katrina or the terror of 9/11/01 in New York City or even the wars in the Middle East. Many Pentecostals and charismatic Baptists run around declaring that we are indeed living in the end times and if you’re John Hagee, you’re quite sure that Jesus is coming back in ___ amount of days, hours, minutes and seconds.
That being said, my professor went immediately into astrology.
Of course I was taken aback of course because I was wondering how he was going to tie it all together. He went back to the Hebrew Bible and just brought up the idea of the twelve tribes of Israel and how interesting it was that the twelve tribes are good correlations to the twelve zodiac signs. He went on to use the Joseph dream motif in Genesis 37 to highlight how the writer did mention moon and stars and the sun, of course astrological symbols to get the point across about Joseph’s greatness.
…was what I was saying. I had grown up hearing that one time from my youth pastor, and that was enough for me to really not get caught up in astrology like some people. How they try and peg your personalities based on your astrological symbol. I usually just chalked it all up as self fulfilling prophecies if you use to believe it. So, he went on and asked the class if they had heard of the Year of Precession.
Of course we hadn’t. Didn’t even have a clue what he was talking about.
He went on to say that we are clearly approaching the Year of Precession as we live in 2009 C.E. Approximately 2,000-2,100 years ago was another Year of Precession.
See, where I’m going with this.
For those who are still lost check this out:
I recommend the first and third clips to fully understand what I’m talking about. Especially the third clip, because it drives everything home. I just put them all up because I really got caught up in watching them and maybe you will too.
I never felt so small in my life after watching that.
But for those who skipped down and didn’t have the 50 minutes to take to watch that, in a nut shell, due to the rotation of the earth on it’s axis, the rotation of the earth around the sun and the apparent rotation of the actual sun, ergo the Solar System, at the point of our vernal equinox (the first day of Spring in March) we seem to be in a different position with reference to the zodiac signs. Approximately every 2,000-2,100 years we move into a different house, backwards in the zodiac calendar. This is commonly known, as the precession of the equinoxes. Below is a picture to further drive that point home.
Okay, Uppity, now I’m really confused, you’re asking. Don’t worry, I know where I’m going with this.
As anyone knows we are seeing a shift in culture, not this major shift that was noted by the actual ages of the Greco-Roman calendar of Silver, Bronze, Iron and this ultimate Golden Age comprising what’s known as The Great Year (a total of approximately 24,000 earth years), but still, a shift in an age of thinking. Most people will admit that we are indeed living in a post-modern society. Where modernity has dominated solidly for at least half a millennium, we clearly are seeing this shift.
Our professor had said that isn’t it interesting that often times in the Hebrew Bible that the ram was considered the premier sacrificial offering but that in the ages prior to Jesus’ here on earth it was the Age of Aries, the ram and before that the Age of Taurus which was the bull?
Ram in a bush anyone?
So of course everyone knows that Jesus went after disciples who were fisherman. And Jesus now asked them to be “fishers of men” drawing them into the concept of Jesus’ christology. And many people know that the symbol for early “followers of the Way” was the symbol of the fish. Do you honestly think that there was some cosmological coincidence that the historical Jesus entered the scene shortly after the beginning of the Age of Pisces–symbolized by the fish?
So where does this leave Jesus? The disciples in Matthew asked Jesus how would they know the end of the age and not the end of the world. The Koine Greek clearly has two separate words aionos being age and cosmos being world. The disciples ask about the end of the age and Jesus simply says in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:20 that “lo, I will be with you, even until the end of the age.”
Whoa! That’s heresy you’re talking Uppity, you say.
No, I’m just stating the obvious facts.
What I’ve said about The Great Year and the precession of the equinoxes is observed fact and observed fact for a few millennia it seems and something that pre-dates the Bible. After watching this documentary and allowing myself to be a bit more free-thinking that traditional church would probably prefer, for me the question is how does Jesus fit into all of that? I know the typical church question would ask how does all of that fit into Jesus–but just for fun let’s flip it and see what we get.
I think all that it shows is that yet again, there was this dominant thought and for the most part, thanks to Constantine and St. Augustine, the father of church doctrine as we know it, something that still not even Martin Luther and Calvin were able to undo totally, were a dominant force for the last two millennium and that indeed the promise was to get us to the end of this age.
We are indeed moving into a new era.
I think the children of today that are blessed to live to the end of this century and maybe even beyond will definitely have stories to tell that will rival the stories of centenarians today who talk about World War I, the Great Depression and World War II with stories of nuclear armaments of the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Standoff. Actually, I’m rather inclined to believe much of what I saw in the above clips–why? because it just simply all of that information told me its bigger than that.
I’ll always have questions for Jesus, particularly the Constantinian and Augustinian Jesus that has presented itself in church dogma (thanks Paul) today. Too often we approach the Bible as though all of it speaks with one voice and has one audience. How do we reconcile the fact that it wasn’t until St. Augustine that we began to “preach” from the Bible? Before that if someone had a word from the Lord, they spoke and if it came true, then so be it, otherwise they were labeled a false prophet or as the writer of I John called them simply “the antichrist”–anything that was against the messiah. But that Jesus, I’ll always have questions about, but as for a God that I fully believe is bigger than all that I saw in that documentary, I have no problem with believing that.
Perhaps because the scientists have shown us that there is some order to the cosmos beyond our own earth. Does it answer the questions about dinosaurs and what not? No, not even remotely, but again, given this age, it’s quite clear as humans we are limited in our comprehensions. Do I wish I were alive in this fabled “Golden Age” and witness the “comprehension of God”? Probably, but clearly that’s not going to happen.
I’m putting my trust in God.
I really don’t know what’s going to happen when I die. If there is a heaven, I definitely wanna go. I think most people here on earth are rolling the dice of religion and hoping that their chips have been placed on the right number when the end comes. I think that documentary showed me that our human capacity has only reached to the point of barely understanding a true faith concept; there is a gnosis–hidden knowledge–that we seek to understand, but simply can’t. That being as it is, we do the best we can, and me believing in God is doing the best that I know how.
Seriously, I’d love to hear your reactions to this post! Does it rock your world? Is it something you can live with? Does it make you uncomfortable or does it give you ease? If you’re Christian, will you have some questions come the next mid-week Bible study or in Sunday School this coming up week? Or do you just outright reject this notion and think that since none of this was mentioned in the Bible then it’s all bollocks?
Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL