Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Jesus Lived in India!

Kumar (our only Book Club guy) sent me a review of a book which is bound to spark some daVinciCode-esque controversy. (How's that for a word coining?)

German author Holger Kersten asserts that we've been getting it all wrong about the life and crucifixion of Christ for a couple of millenia - actually, as the title of the book states: Jesus Lived in India. I leave you to unravel the debate and to make up your own minds about the scholarliness and veracity (or otherwise) of Kersten's claims, but will slip in this link to a dissenting voice.

Intriguing theory though and a book I'd sure like to read.


The Visitor said...

my response to all these theorists and Da Vinci Codists is simple:

"WHY? what is the reason for wanting to discredit the Church and the Bible? what is the motive, the objective of trying to discredit an entire religion? what good is it supposed to bring?"

of course, people will say organised religions are the cause of many problems in the world. but do they ever give credit where due? faith has also helped a lot of people overcome their problems. why do i never hear this from the people who so readily put down other peope's beliefs?

Sharanya said...

Read in an Indian feminist comic book yesterday:

1) He lived with his Mama and Baba till the age of 30.
2) He thought his mother was a virgin.
3) His mother thought he was God.

No insults intended!

Anna said...

Why the church is being attacked? Karma dear karma hitting back like a boomerang.. Jesus said: 'Do not do unto others what you do not want them do unto you!' Faith is fantastic but consciousness is even better: you are giving God a chance to reach further than your immediate small world. I admit, it is harder. But then God deserves than we try harder...

bibliobibuli said...

Visitor - I hated the Da Vinci Code ... bits of half-chewed fact, lashings of unsubstantiated speculation grafted onto a weak plot with cardboard characters. This book though I'd like to see and make up my own mind about. It's an academic work for a start, so let's look at the guys scholarship and see what his sources are and how he uses them.

I am not at all afraid of new possibilities ... I think i must have been born the original Doubting Thomas!

You mention "the church" - dunno if you are referring to the catholic church. I was brought up a catholic and was taught that enquiry was a necessary and valuable part of religious faith. We were taught (by nuns and priests)that Darwin was correct and that the book of genesis represented symbolic though not literal truth about how the world got to be as it is. The church has officially recognised the mechanism of evolution.

That's just one example ...

I was pretty amazed when I came to Malaysia and met members of the Syrian Christian Church who followed the teachings of St. Thomas who had written a gospel. St. Thomas was supposed to have preached in Kerela after Christ's death. Again, I'd love to know more.

There are quite a number of gnostic gospels which didn't make it into the final version of the bible which was put together by the early fathers of the church.

All of this fascinates me and I know I should read more ...

sharanya - very good!

anna - I like what you say about giving God a chance to reach further

A-A said...

You said-----
I was pretty amazed when I came to Malaysia and met members of the Syrian Christian Church who followed the teachings of St. Thomas who had written a gospel. St. Thomas was supposed to have preached in Kerela after Christ's death. Again, I'd love to know more.

St.Thomas spent his final years in Madras. The Portuguese built a church in the locality where St.Thomas rested in peace. The localities are named 'Luz' and 'San Thome'. There is also a hillock which is called 'Saint Thomas Mount'.
Marco Polo, when he returned from Kublai Khan's capital, visited the place.

bibliobibuli said...


proven fact or legend? am a doubting thomas even here ...

A-A said...

The Tamil Christians show quite a lot of evidences regarding it.
Marco Polo visited the place in the 1280's.

St.Thomas would have been around in Tamilnadu sometime after 32 AD., during the hey-days of the Golden Age.

During 288 AD and thereafter, there were a series of Tsunamis which destroyed a great part of the country. This brought about the end of the 'Golden Age'. This was followed by the invasions of the foreigners which erased all memories of the Golden Age.

The reawakening caused a lot of socio-religious and political changes starting from 600 AD.
After that there were three empires which rose and fell.
Marco Polo came during the time of the fourth empire. He mentions about a place where the remains of St.Thomas were buried.

After that the Turk invasion took place. They destroyed a great deal and caused a subtotal destruction.
Ethnocide, genocide, etc., took place.

After all these cataclysmic changes and long intervals of time, St.Thomas still had a church and there were followers.

The Portuguese came in the 1500's.
They saw the place and built a church there. They gave the names 'Luz' and 'San Thome'.

It is still there.

If it is a legend, then I must say that it is a most persistent legend:-)

bibliobibuli said...

thanks a-a, am so very grateful to you for going to all this trouble to write this ... the story fascinates me ... and i wonder why i never got to hear about it until just a few years ago ...

A-A said...

All the focus has been on St.Peter, St.Paul, Christians in Rome, Constantine, Christianisation of Europe, Ascendancy of Papacy, Charlemagne, Crusades, etc. So this got forgotten.

When the Romans persecuted Jews and started the Jewish Diaspora, one group of the Jews came to Kerala in South India.

It seems to kave been a place of preference.
Take a ship from Aqaba, travel to Aden; then travel straight towards the east. In 40 days you would be in Calicut.

bibliobibuli said...

Again thanks a-a - and especially for your long and fascinating e-mail ...