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Another Jesus movie

Hat tip to Peter Chattaway for picking up on Variety's news that there's a new movie (The Aquarian Gospel) in the works that will focus on the "silent years" of Jesus, ages 13 to 30. Interestingly, the article notes that the source material is based on two books: The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ (1908) and The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ (1898). Curious about these books, I Wiki'd them and came up with some, uh, interesting stuff.

First, the Aquarian Gospel (according to Wikipedia) "claims to be the true story of the life of Jesus, including 'the ‘lost’' eighteen years silent in the New Testament.' The book, first published in 1908, was written by Levi H. Dowling (aka Levi) during the late nineteenth century. Dowling claimed to have transcribed it from the Akashic Records." The basic points? Again, according to Wikipedia:

Jesus was distinct from Christ, or "The Christ." By making himself, through effort and prayer, a fit vessel, Jesus enabled The Christ to dwell within him.

Jesus was conceived by a human father.

Jesus came to earth to show the way back to God via his lifestyle and teachings. He is the example we must model our own lives after, if we seek salvation.

Reincarnation exists, and is the explanation for various seeming injustices.

Reincarnation allows people to settle debts they have incurred in past lives.

Humanity has forgotten God and is currently working its way back to fully remembering God.

Time is separated into ages. These ages last approximately 2,000 years. We are now nearing the start of the Aquarian Age.

All souls will eventually mature and become perfect, like Jesus, thus ending the cycle of reincarnation.

No soul is ever abandoned by God.

Hrm.

And the next source? It's written by Nicolas Notovitch, who says he discovered the account from a lama at the monastery of Himis while he was laid up with a broken leg. He translated the account. Again, according to Wikipedia (in the account, Jesus is called Issa):
At the age of thirteen the divine youth, rather than take a wife, leaves his home to wander with a caravan of merchants to India (Sindh), to study the laws of the great Buddhas.

Issa is welcomed by the Jains, but leaves them to spend six years among the Brahmins, at Juggernaut, Benares, and other places, studying the Vedas and teaching all castes alike. The Brahmins oppose him in this, and he denounces them and their sacred books, especially condemning caste and idolatry. When they plan to put him to death, he flees to the Buddhists, and spends six years among them, learning Pali and mastering their religious texts. He goes among the pagans, warning them against idolatry and teaching a high morality. Then he visits Persia and preaches to the Zoroastrians.

At twenty-nine Issa returns to his own country and begins to preach. He visits Jerusalem, where Pilate is apprehensive about him. The Jewish leaders, however, find no fault in him; and he continues his work for three years, closely watched by Pilate's spies. He is finally arrested and put to death, not by Jewish influence, but through the hostility of Pilate. His followers are persecuted, but his disciples carry his message out over the world.

In the Notovich translation, the section regarding Pontius Pilate is of particular note; in this version of the events around the death of Jesus, the Sanhedrin go to Pilate and argue to save the life of Jesus, and they are the ones who 'wash their hands' of his death, instead of the Roman Pilate.
(Image: Mural painting from the catacomb of Commodilla; Wikipedia)

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