Baruch Ben Zvi
has had an
interesting past. He was President of the Movement for Egalitarian Judaism in
He was the
editor of the Interdisciplinary Bible Scholar and Translator of (Kahan Matzehaf)
Book of the Priest – Prayer book of Beta
He was head
of the Movement Egalitarian Religion in
As the editor of IBS (International Bible Scholar) he was devoted to a revised Biblical Scholarship and also to a revised chronology/archaeology.
Baruch is a
Chemical Engineer who graduated at
This book is attempting to cover a wide range of topics in a clear understandable manner. It moves quickly from issue to issue by presenting a sequence of summaries that each could be expanded to a separate book. Going Steady, the name of God, family marriage, penal systems, the resuscitation of Jesus, circumcision, paganism, sex education, revised chronology ... are all discussed in quick succession where a full book could be required to cover each of the issues raised.
The book presents many ideals for future challenges. It does not reflect the present situation as far as the monotheistic institutions are concerned. It is in no way a critique of laypeople living according to present day religious standards.
Today all three monotheistic movements are proud of their converts and willing to convert as many people as possible. This book suggests that conversion within the monotheistic movements is not appropriate for egalitarian monotheists. This suggestion is not meant to be an affront to past converts but a proposed ideal for the future.
Most of the content of this book contains the views of other scholars and spokesmen.
Moses and Jeremiah rejected circumcision. All the Torah prophets rejected animal sacrifice.
Fida Hassnain [and others] emphasized Jesus' resuscitation and life in the East.
Peter James and Donovon Courville defined a revised chronology.
The author had some original ideas, such as the unique language of Deuteronomy and the emphasizing of ‘Going Steady’ as a moral alternative to family marriage.
I hope the reader will be moved by the combined presentation of all these ideas in one book.
I thank my family and friends who assisted me in this project together with all the pure monotheists who support the ideals expressed within this book's covers.
This book may include many “shocks” but the book is not shocking. What is shocking is the way some monotheistic leaders and transmitters have distorted and denigrated the pure message of Moses, Jesus and Mohammad.
My life has been devoted to trying to define the nature of monotheistic revelation and then compare the conclusions of my analysis with the secularism and Eastern ideologies that we find around us.
My approach is that of an ancient historian; one who focuses on Biblical criticism, paganism, Gnosticism, archaeology and ancient chronology. I believe that we need all these disciplines to cope with the enormous task before us.
The book is divided into three sections:
We are looking for the historic Moses, Jesus and Mohammad and how all three are surrounded by myth and legend. In looking at the original messages of all three we find they have been contorted and diluted by over enthusiastic and misguided followers.
The scope of this analysis is very comprehensive, covering thousands of years and different cultures. While problems and exceptions exist they are dwarfed by the overall thrust of the history presented.
The followers of the monotheistic prophets tried to deceive their generation and future generations and therefore it is a difficult and sometimes speculative task to see through their deceptions and find the historical figures. The issues include altar sacrifice, celibacy, holy marriage, circumcision, miracles, angels and the devil. Strong clues however exist in texts and traditions to sort out reality from deception. The reader can judge themselves how balanced my analysis is.
The heart of the message from the monotheistic prophets involves three major elements:
1. Pure monotheism – no angels, demons, magic, occult or revealed miracles.
2. Religious romanticism – love and devotion to the one God and rejecting all respect and worship of pagan and nature gods.
3. Social love and loyalty – love and loyalty between husbands and wives. Love and loyalty between mothers, fathers and their children.
The distortions by followers of the founding prophets to those founding ideas involve –
Moses and Judaism
Two animal sacrificial cults developed after the death of Moses and added animal sacrifice and circumcision to the Torah of Moses. The added cultic myths included angels and miracles allegedly performed by Moses with a magic rod. We find these ideas expounded in the first four books of the Hebrew Bible.
Jesus and Christianity
Within a century of the crucifixion of Jesus, he has become a highly spiritualized. He is seen as the son of God and not just the son of man. He is in contact with angels and the devil and does many miracles beyond curative achievements that he really performed. His egalitarian outlook to women was suppressed and a church of chauvinist males was established. His life of social love and loyalty was suppressed to help create a celibate church.
Mohammad and Islam
The Koran includes direct inspiration of God to Mohammad and is free of miracles with only few references to angels and the devil. These references do not link Mohammad to these demigods. Hadit, the interpretation by Islamic followers of the Koran, attribute to Mohammad many revealed miracles and the rite of circumcision. Angels and the devil play an active role on Earth and in an elaborate heaven with a vicious fiery hell.
The book will not only focus on the history of monotheism but also emphasize living issues today relevant to the original monotheistic challenges. These include:
Sexual promiscuity amongst teenagers and young adults is the major abomination in the Western society today, just as surely as adultery is for married couples. Our new generation will, I hope, understand that there is a moral alternative to mythical ‘holy marriage’ and that sexuality within the structure of “Going Steady” is moral and acceptable. By going steady as I explain in the book, I mean a structure based on love, loyalty, responsibility and equality between the two parties. The disloyalty of having sex with two partners, of one deceiving the other or of mutual consent is a deception and a total negation of loyal love.
The involvement with astrology, numerology and fortune tellers to name a few popular examples is a total negation of pure monotheism. I feel this involvement should not be taken lightly but as a personal insult to monotheistic people, by those who practice occult at the same time.
God’s involvement with human society has included two elements from ancient times to the present day:
Revelation – via the founding monotheistic prophets. This revelation focused on love – submission, loyalty and how to give practical expression to these issues.
Challenges – God did not reveal to man the facts of science, medicine, technology, penal codes and ethics.
These are all challenges for human society to take up before God. The founding prophets did begin to relate to the challenge of ethical standards in their times.
A major topic relevant today is the challenge of equality – including:
This book stresses that the three major monotheistic movements – Judaism, Christianity and Islam are equal to each other and all three have their developmental problems to be discussed in this book. Our world abounds with hate and conflict based on one movement thinking that it has the truth and is superior to the other movements. If this book can help explain the error in this way of thinking then it is a worthwhile effort in publishing it.
Men and women should have had equal religious status from day one, but the challenge was far too great for the chauvinistic Middle Eastern society. Jesus could be seen as treating women as equals, but the developing Christian institutions became bastions of male supremacy.
Today many have already accepted the challenge of the equal status of women in their organizations and can work on the base that exists to spread female equality in all monotheistic society.
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