It was not until the early seventeenth century that the first acceptable English language Bible translation was made-for the Scots King James VI (Stuart), James I of England. This was the Authorized Version, upon which the majority of subsequent English-language Bibles have been based. But even this was not a direct translation from anything; it was mostly translated from the Greek, partly from the Latin, and to some extent from the works of others who’d made other illegitimate translations before.

In their rendering of the New Testament, King James’ translators endeavored to appease both the Protestants and the Catholics. This was the only way to produce a generally acceptable text, but their attempt to appease was not entirely successful. The Catholics thought the translators were siding with the Protestants and tried to blow up King James in the Houses of Parliament, and the Protestants said the translators were in league with the Catholics.

Anyway, the Bible survived but the translators tried as well for something called "political correctness". We know about it today; it applied then. Good examples of this are found in many instances-one in particular where the direct translation referred to a group of people called "heavenly soldiers". They didn’t like this very much, so it’s actually crossed out, and underneath it says "heavenly army". But somebody else came along and said, "No, this is still not good enough; it denotes an armed unit here; this is not politically correct," and so it was crossed out again, and they resurrected an old word that had not been written in the English language for centuries. They called it "the heavenly host". Nobody knows what the heavenly host is. In fact it’s quite astounding how many obscure, old and obsolete words were brought back into use to provide political correctness for the King James Bible, but which nobody could understand. At the same time, William Shakespeare was doing likewise in his plays.

If we look at the reference books that existed prior to James and Shakespeare and at those that existed just after James and Shakespeare, we see that the English-language vocabulary was increased by more than fifty per cent as a result of words invented or brought back from obscurity by the writers of the era. The problem was that nobody, let alone the dictionary compilers, knew what most of these words meant. But they had somehow to be defined, and "heavenly host" emerged, quite ambiguously, as "a heavenly lot of people"!

So although eminently poetic, the language of the Authorized English Bible is quite unlike any language ever spoken by anyone in England or anywhere else. It bears no relation to the Greek or Latin from which it was translated. It was certainly not the language spoken by God, as some priests once told me (sic). But from this approved canonical interpretation, all other English language Bibles have emerged in their various forms. Despite that, for all of its faults, despite its beautiful verse patterns and the new words, it still remains the closest of all English language translations from the original Greek manuscripts. All other versions, the Standard versions, the New versions, the Revised versions, the Modern English versions, have been significantly corrupted and they’re quite unsuitable for serious study by anyone because they have their own specific agenda.

We can cite an extreme version of how this works in practice. We can look at a Bible currently issued today in Pacific Papua New Guinea where there are tribes who experience familiarity on a daily basis with no other animal but the pig. In the current edition of their Bible, every animal mentioned in the text, whether originally an ox, lion, ass, sheep or whatever, is now a pig! Even Jesus, the traditional "Lamb of God", in this Bible is "the Pig of God"!

So, to facilitate the best possible trust in the Gospels, we must go back to the original Greek manuscripts with their often-used Hebrew and Aramaic words and phrases. And in so doing we discover that, just as with the Nativity story, a good deal of relevant content has been misrepresented, misunderstood, mistranslated or simply just lost in the telling. Sometimes this has happened because original words have no direct counterpart in other languages.

We’ve all been taught that Jesus’ father Joseph was a carpenter. "Why not? It says so in the Gospels." But it didn’t say that in the original Gospels. By the best translation, it actually said that Joseph was a Master of the Craft. The word "carpenter" was simply a translator’s concept of a craftsman. Anyone associated with modern Freemasonry will recognize the term "the Craft". It’s got nothing whatever to do with woodwork. The text simply denoted that Joseph was a masterly, learned and scholarly man.

Another example is the concept of the Virgin Birth. Our English-language Gospels tell us that Jesus’ mother Mary was a virgin; they keep telling us that she was a virgin. Well, let’s consider the word "virgin". We understand the word; it tells us that this was a woman with no experience of sexual union. But this was translated not from the Greek initially but from the Latin. That was easy because the Latin called her virgo; Mary was a virgo. It didn’t mean the same thing at all! Virgo in Latin meant nothing more than "a young woman". To have meant the same thing as "virgin" does to us today, the Latin would have been virgo intacta, that is to say, "a young woman intact".

Let’s look back beyond the Latin text; let’s see why they called her virgo, a young woman. Maybe they actually got something right which we’ve got wrong later on. We discover that the word translated to mean virgo, a young woman, was the old Hebrew word almah which meant "a young woman". It had no sexual connotation whatever. Had Mary actually been physically virgo intacta, the Hebrew word used would have been bethula, not almah.

So, have we been completely misguided by the Gospels? No; we’ve been misguided by the English language translations of the Gospels. We’ve also been misguided by a Church establishment that has done everything in its power to deny women any normal lifestyle in the Gospel story. The New Testament’s key women are virgins or whores or sometimes widows-never everyday girlfriends, wives or mothers, and certainly not ever priestesses or holy sisters.

Notwithstanding that, the Gospels tell us time and time again that Jesus was descended from King David through his father Joseph. Even St Paul tells us this in his Epistle to the Hebrews. But we are taught that Jesus’ father was a lowly carpenter and his mother was a virgin-neither of which descriptions can be found in any original text. So it follows that to get the best out of the Gospels we’ve really got to read them as they were written, not as we decide to interpret them according to modern language.

Precisely when the four main Gospels were written is uncertain. What we do know is that they were first published at various stages in the second half of the first century. They were unanimous initially in telling us that Jesus was a Nazarene. This is actually upheld in the Roman annals; and the first-century chronicles of the Jews and the Bible’s Acts of the Apostles confirm that Jesus’ brother James and St Paul were leaders of the sect of the Nazarenes.

This definition of "Nazarene" is very important to the Grail story because it has been so often misrepresented to suggest that Jesus came from the town of Nazareth. For the past 400 years, English language Gospels have perpetuated the error by wrongly translating "Jesus the Nazarene" as "Jesus of Nazareth". There was no connection between Nazareth and the Nazarenes. In fact, the settlement at Nazareth was established in the AD 60s, thirty years or so after the Crucifixion. Nobody in Jesus’ early life came from Nazareth - it was not there!

The Nazarenes were a liberal, Jewish sect opposed to the strict Hebrew regime of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The Nazarene culture and language were heavily influenced by the philosophers of ancient Greece, and their community supported the concept of equal opportunity for men and women. Documents of the time referred not to Nazareth but to the Nazarene society. Priestesses existed in equal opportunity with priests, but this was so different from what the male-dominated Hebrew society wanted and what the later, male-dominated Roman Church required.

It has to be remembered that Jesus was not a Christian: he was a Nazarene - a radical, westernized Jew. The Christian movement was founded by others in the wake of his own mission. The word "Christian" was first recorded and used in AD 44 in Antioch, Syria.

In the Arab world, the word used today, as then, to describe Jesus and his followers is Nazara. This is confirmed in the Muslim Koran: Jesus is Nazara; his followers are Nazara. The word means "Keepers" or "Guardians". The full definition is Nazrie ha-Brit, "Keepers of the Covenant". In fact, the Brit aspect of that is the very root of the country name of Britain. Brit-ain means "Covenant-land".

In the time of Jesus the Nazarenes lived in Galilee, and in that mystical place which the Bible calls "the Wilderness". The Wilderness was actually a very defined place. It was essentially the land around the main settlement at Qumran which spread out to Mird and other places. It was where the Dead Sea Scrolls were produced-discovered at Qumran in 1948.

Somewhere after the Crucifixion, Peter and his friend Paul went off to Antioch, then on to Rome, and they began the movement that became Christianity. But as recorded in the other annals, Jesus, his brother James and the majority of the other apostles continued the Nazarene movement and progressed it into Europe. It became the Celtic Church. The Nazarene movement as a Church is documented within the Celtic Church records as being formally implemented as the Church of Jesus in AD 37, four years after the Crucifixion. The Roman Church was formed 300 years later, after Paul and Peter’s Christians had been persecuted for three centuries.

Through many centuries the Nazarene-based Celtic Church movement was directly opposed therefore to the Church of Rome. The difference was a simple one: the Nazarene faith was based on the teachings of Jesus himself. The guts of the religion, the moral codes, the behavioral patterns, the social practices, the laws and justices related to Old Testament teaching but with a liberal message of equality in mind - this was the religion of Jesus. Roman Christianity is "Churchianity". It was not the message of Jesus that was important: this Church turned Jesus into the religion. In short, the Nazarene Church was the true social Church. The Roman Church was the Church of the Emperors and the Popes; this was the Imperial hybrid movement.

Apart from straightforward misunderstandings, misinterpretations and mistranslations, the canonical Gospels suffer from numerous purposeful amendments. Some original entries have been changed or deleted; other entries have been added to suit the Church’s vested interest. Back in the fourth century when the texts were translated into Latin from their original Greek and Semitic tongues, the majority of these edits and amendments were made.

Even earlier, about AD 195 - one thousand, eight hundred years ago - Bishop Clement of Alexandria made the first known amendment from the Gospel texts. He deleted a substantial section from the Gospel of Mark, written more than a hundred years before that time, and he justified his action in a letter. "For even if they should say something true, one who loves the Truth should not...agree with them... For not all true things are to be said to all men." Interesting. What he meant was that even at that very early stage there was already a discrepancy between what the Gospel writers had written and what the bishops wanted to teach.

Today, this section deleted by St Clement is still missing from the Gospel of Mark. But when Mark is compared with the Gospel that we know today, even without that section we find that today’s Gospel is a good deal longer than the original! One of these additional sections comprises the whole of the Resurrection sequence; this amounts to twelve full verses at the end of Mark, chapter 16.

It’s now known that everything told about the events after the Crucifixion was added by Church bishops or their scribes some time in the late fourth century. Although this is confirmed in the Vatican archives, it is difficult for most people to gain access, and even if they do, old Greek is very difficult to understand.

But what exactly was in this section of Mark that Clement saw fit to remove? It was the section that dealt with the raising of Lazarus. In the context of the original Mark text, however, Lazarus was portrayed in a state of excommunication: spiritual death by decree, not physical death. The account even had Lazarus and Jesus calling to each other before the tomb was opened. This defeated the bishops’ desire to portray the raising of Lazarus as a spiritual miracle, not as a simple release from excommunication. More importantly, it set the scene for the story of the Crucifixion of Jesus himself, whose own subsequent raising from spiritual death was determined by the same three-day rule that applied to Lazarus.

Jesus was raised (released or resurrected) from death by decree on the statutory third day. In the case of Lazarus, however, Jesus flouted the rules by raising his friend after the three-day period of symbolic sickness. At that point, civil death would have become absolute in the eyes of the legal elders. Lazarus would have been wrapped in sacking and buried alive. His crime was that he had led a violent people’s-revolt to safeguard the public water supply which had been diverted through a new Roman aqueduct in Jerusalem. But Jesus performed this release while not holding any priestly entitlement to do so. What happened was that Herod-Antipas of Galilee compelled the High Priest of Jerusalem to relent in favor of Jesus, and this was regarded as an unprecedented miracle!

But there was more to the removed section of Mark, because in telling the story of Lazarus the Mark account made it perfectly clear that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were actually man and wife. The Lazarus story in John contains a rather strange sequence that has Martha coming from the Lazarus house to greet Jesus, whereas her sister, Mary Magdalene, remains inside until summoned by Jesus. But in contrast to this, the original Mark account said that Mary Magdalene actually came out of the house with Martha and was then chastised by the disciples and sent back indoors to await Jesus’ instruction. This was a specific procedure of Judaic law, whereby a wife in ritual mourning was not allowed to emerge from the property until instructed by her husband.

There’s a good deal of information outside the Bible to confirm that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were man and wife. But is there anything relevant in the Gospels today, anything that the editors missed that tells us the story? Well, there are some specific things and there are some ancillary things.

There are seven lists given in the Gospels of the women who permanently seemed to follow Jesus around, and these include Jesus’ mother; but in six of these seven lists the first name, even ahead of his mother, is Mary Magdalene. When one studies other lists of the period which relate to any form of hierarchical society, one notices that the "first lady" was always the first name listed. The term "First Lady" is used in America today. The first lady was the most senior; she was always named first, and as the Messianic Queen, Mary Magdalene would have been named first, as indeed she was.

But is the marriage defined in the Gospels? Well, it is. Many have suggested that the wedding at Cana was the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. This was not the wedding ceremony as such, although the marriage is detailed in the Gospels. The marriage is the quite separate anointings at Bethany. In Luke we have a first anointing by Mary of Jesus, two-and-a-half years before the second anointing. It doesn’t occur to many people that they are different stories, but they are two-and-a-half years apart.

Readers of the first century would have been fully conversant with the two-part ritual of the sacred marriage of a dynastic heir. Jesus, as we know, was a "Messiah", which means quite simply an "Anointed One". In fact, all anointed senior priests and Davidic kings were Messiahs. Jesus was not unique. Although not an ordained priest, he gained his right to Messiah status by way of descent from King David and the kingly line, but he did not achieve that Messiah status until he was actually physically anointed by Mary Magdalene, in her capacity as a high priestess, shortly before the Crucifixion.

The word "Messiah" comes from the Hebrew verb "to anoint", which itself is derived from the Egyptian word messeh, "the holy crocodile". It was with the fat of the messeh that the Pharaoh’s sister-brides anointed their husbands on marriage. The Egyptian custom sprang from kingly practice in old Mesopotamia.

In the Old Testament’s Song of Solomon we hear again of the bridal anointing of the king. It is defined that the oil used in Judah was the fragrant ointment spikenard, an expensive root oil from the Himalayas, and we learn that this anointing ritual was performed always while the husband/king sat at the table. In the New Testament, the anointing of Jesus by Mary Magdalene was indeed performed while he sat at the table, and with the bridal anointment of spikenard. Afterwards, Mary wiped his feet with her hair, and on the first occasion of the two-part marriage she wept. All of these things signify the marital anointing of a dynastic heir.

Other anointings of Messiahs, whether on coronation or admission to the senior priesthood, were always conducted by men, by the High Zadok or the High Priest. The oil used was olive oil, mixed with cinnamon and other spices; never, ever spikenard.

Spikenard was the express prerogative of a Messianic bride who had to be a Mary, a sister of a sacred order. Jesus’ mother was a Mary; so, too, would his wife have been a Mary, by title at least if not by baptismal name. Some conventual orders still maintain the tradition by adding the title "Mary" to the baptismal names of their nuns: Sister Mary Theresa, Sister Mary Louise.

Messianic marriages were always conducted in two stages. The first stage, the anointing in Luke, was the legal commitment to wedlock. The second stage, the anointing in Matthew, Mark and John, was the cementing of the contract. And in Jesus and Mary’s case, the second anointing at Bethany was of express significance. Here the Grail story begins, because, as explained in books of Jewish law at the time and by Flavius Josephus in The Antiquities of the Jews, the second part of this marriage ceremony was never conducted until the wife was three months pregnant.

Dynastic heirs such as Jesus were expressly required to perpetuate their lines. Marriage was essential, but the law had to protect them against marriage to women who proved barren or kept miscarrying, and this protection was provided by the three-month-pregnancy rule. Miscarriages would not often happen after that term, and once they got through that period it was considered safe enough to complete the marriage contract. When anointing her husband at this stage, the Messianic bride, in accordance with custom, was said to be anointing him for burial. This is confirmed in the Gospels. The bride would from that day carry a vial of spikenard around her neck, for the rest of her husband’s life; she would use it again on his entombment.

It was for this very purpose that Mary Magdalene would have gone to the tomb, as she did on the Sabbath after the Crucifixion. Subsequent to the second Bethany anointing, the Gospels relate that Jesus said:

"Wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her."

In his famous rendering of the event, the Renaissance artist Fra Angelico actually depicted Jesus placing a crown on the head of Mary Magdalene. But despite the fact that Fra Angelico was a learned 15th-century Dominican friar, did the Christian Church authorities honor Mary Magdalene and speak of this act as a memorial of her? No; they did not. They completely ignored Jesus’ own directive and denounced Mary as a whore.

To the esoteric Church and the Knights Templars, however, Mary Magdalene was always regarded as a saint. She is still revered as such by many today, but the interesting part about this sainthood, when we think about Grail lore, is that Mary is listed as the patron saint of winegrowers, the guardian of the vine, the guardian of the Holy Grail, the guardian of the sacred bloodline.

There is much in the Gospels that we don’t presume to be there because we are never encouraged to look beyond the superficial level. We’ve been aided greatly in this regard in recent years by the Dead Sea Scrolls and by the extraordinary research of Australian theologian Dr Barbara Thiering.

The Dead Sea Scrolls have opened up a whole new awareness of jargon; we have a whole new enlightenment here. They set down the community offices of the Messiah of Israel. They tell us about the council of twelve delegate apostles who were permanently appointed to preside over specific aspects of government and ritual. This leads to a greater awareness of the apostles themselves. We now know not only what their names were - we always knew that - but we can understand who they were, who their families were, what their duties and positions were.

We now understand from studying the Gospels that there is an allegory within them: the use of words that we don’t understand today. We now know that baptismal priests were called "fishers"; we know that those who aided them by hauling the baptismal candidates into the boats in large nets were called "fishermen"; and we know that the baptismal candidates themselves were called "fishes". The apostles James and John were both ordained "fishers". The brothers Peter and Andrew were lay "fishermen", and Jesus promised them priesthood within the new ministry, saying "I will make you to become fishers of men".

We now know there was a particular jargon of the Gospel era, a jargon that would have been readily understood by anybody reading the Gospels in the first century and beyond. These jargonistic words have been lost to later interpretation. Today, for example, we call our theatre investors "angels" and our top entertainers "stars", but what would a reader from some distant culture in two thousand years’ time make of "The angel went to talk to the stars"? The Gospels are full of these jargonistic words. "The poor", "the lepers", "the multitude", "the blind"-none of these was what we presume it to mean today. Definitions such as "clouds", "sheep", "fishes", "loaves" and a variety of others were all related, just like "stars", to people.

When the Gospels were written in the first century they were issued into a Roman-controlled environment. Their content had to be disguised against Roman scrutiny. The information was often political; it was coded, veiled. Where important sections appeared they were often heralded by the words, "This is for those with ears to hear"-for those who understand the code. It was no different to the coded information passed between members of oppressed groups throughout history. There was a code found in documentation passed between the later Jews in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s.

Through our knowledge of this scribal cryptology we can now determine dates and locations with very great accuracy. We can uncover many of the hidden meanings in the Gospels to the extent that the miracles themselves take on a whole new context. In doing so, this does not in any way decry the fact that a man like Jesus, and, in fact, specifically Jesus, was obviously a very special person with enormously special powers, but the Gospels laid down certain stories which have since become described as "miracles". These were not put down because they were really miraculous supernatural events; they were put down because in the then-current political arena they were actually quite unprecedented actions which successfully flouted the law.

We now know other things. We now know why the Gospels are often not in agreement with each other. For example, Mark says that Jesus was crucified at the third hour, whereas John says he was crucified at the sixth hour. This does not, on the face of it, look too important, but, as we shall see, this three-hour time difference was crucial to the events that followed.

Let’s look at the water and wine at Cana, following the story through what the Bible actually tells us, as against what we think we know. What was a very straightforward event is now dubbed with supernatural overtones. The Cana wedding, out of four Gospels, is described only in John. If it was so important to the Church as a miracle, why is it not in the other three Gospels? It does not say (as is so often said from pulpits): "They ran out of wine." It doesn’t say that. It says: "When they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus said, ’They have no wine.’"

The Gospel tells us that the person in charge was the ruler of the feast. This specifically defines it not as a wedding ceremony as such, but a pre-wedding betrothal feast. The wine taken at betrothal feasts was only available to priests and celibate Jews, not to married men, novices or any others who were regarded as being unsanctified. They were allowed only water-a purification ritual, as stated in John.

When the time came for this ritual, Mary, clearly not happy about the discrimination and directing Jesus’ attention to the unsanctified guests, said: "They have no wine." Having not yet been anointed to Messiah status, Jesus responded: "Mine hour is not yet come." At this, Mary forced the issue and Jesus then flouted convention, abandoning water altogether. Wine for everyone! The ruler of the feast made no comment whatsoever about any miracle; he simply expressed his amazement that the wine had turned up at that stage of the proceedings.

It’s been suggested often that the wedding at Cana was Jesus’ own wedding ceremony because he and his mother displayed a right of command that would not be associated with ordinary guests. However, this feast can be dated to the summer of AD 30, in the month equivalent to June. First weddings were always held in the month of Atonement (September), and betrothal feasts were held three months before that. In this instance, we find that the first marital anointing of Jesus by Mary Magdalene was at the Atonement of AD 30, three months after the Cana ceremony which appears to have been their own betrothal feast.

The Gospels tell a story that although not always in agreement from Gospel to Gospel is actually followable outside the Bible. The accounts of Jesus’ activities right up to the time of the Crucifixion can be found in various records of the era. In the official annals of Imperial Rome, the trial by Pilate and the Crucifixion are mentioned. We can determine precisely from this chronological diary of the Roman governors that the Crucifixion took place at the March Passover of AD 33. The Bethany second marriage anointing was in the week prior to that. We know that at that stage Mary Magdalene had to have been three months pregnant, by law, which means she should have given birth in September of AD 33. That, we’ll come back to.

If the Gospels are read as they are written, Jesus appears as a liberating dynast, endeavoring to unite the people of the era against the oppression of the Roman Empire. Judaea at the time was just like France under German occupation in World War II. The authorities were controlled by the military occupational force; resistance movements were common.

Jesus was awaited, expected, and by the end of the story had become an anointed Messiah. In the first century Antiquities of the Jews, Jesus is called "a wise man", "a teacher" and "the King". There is nothing there about divinity.

While the Dead Sea Scrolls identify the Messiah of Israel as the Supreme Military Commander of Israel, it is no secret the apostles were armed. From the time of recruitment, Jesus checked that they all had swords. At the very end of the story, Peter drew his sword against Malchus. Jesus said, "I come not to send peace but a sword."

Many of the high-ranking Jews in Jerusalem were quite content to hold positions of power backed by a foreign military regime. Apart from that, the Hebrew groups themselves were sectarian; they did not want to share their God Jehovah with anybody else, specifically unclean Gentiles. To the Pharisees and Sadducees, the Jews were God’s chosen people: He belonged to them, they belonged to Him. But there were other Jews, there were the Nazarenes, there were the Essenes, who were influenced by a more liberal, western doctrine. In the event, Jesus’ mission failed; the rift was insurmountable. Gentiles, in modern-day language, are simply the non-Jewish Arab races, and the rift is still there today.

The sentencing of Jesus was by the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate, but Jesus was actually condemned and excommunicated prior to that by the Sanhedrin Council. It was decided to contrive a punishment, whereby Jesus would be sentenced by the Roman Governor who was already trying other prisoners for leading insurrections against himself.

As confirmed by the Supreme Judge and Attorney-General of Israel even today, it was quite illegal for the Sanhedrin Council to sit at night or to sit and operate during the Passover, so the timing was perfect. They had an ideal opportunity, and a reason to say: "Sorry, we can’t do this ourselves. You, the Roman Governor, have to do this."

As for Jesus’ death on the Cross, it is perfectly plain this was spiritual death, not physical death, as determined by the three-day rule that everybody in the first century reading this would have understood. In civil and legal terms, Jesus was already dead when he was placed on the Cross. He was denounced, scourged, prepared for death by decree. Today, we call this "excommunication". For three days Jesus would have been nominally sick, with absolute death coming on the fourth day. On that day he would be entombed, buried alive; but during the first three days he could be raised or resurrected. In fact, he predicted that he would.

Raisings and resurrections (apart from the fact that Jesus once flouted the rule, and that was a miracle!) could only be performed by the High Priest or by the Father of the Community. The High Priest at that time was Joseph Caiaphas, the very man who condemned Jesus; therefore the raising had to be performed by the patriarchal Father. There are Gospel accounts of Jesus talking to the Father from the Cross, culminating in "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit", and at that time we know from the listings that the appointed Father was the Magian apostle Simon Zelotes.

We have been taught that Jesus’ physical death was proved by the blood and water that flowed when he was pierced by the spear, but this has been very badly translated. The original word does not translate to "pierced"; it translates to "pricked" or to "scratched". This in turn was mistranslated into the Latin verb "to open", and into the English word "pierced".

They were not primitive times. They were times when there were doctors, medical men; there were even forms of hospital. And we can see that, just like today, the test for reflex action was scratching, prodding or pricking the skin with a sharp instrument.

I have in my possession a letter from a surgeon of the British Medical Council. It says:

"Medically, the outflow of water is impossible to explain. Blood flowing from a stab wound is evidence of life, not death. It would take a large, gaping laceration for any drop of blood to flow from a dead body because there is no vascular action."

So let’s look further; let’s look at what the Gospels actually said. Joseph of Arimathea took down Jesus’ body from the Cross. In fact, the word that was translated to the English word "body" was the Greek word soma, meaning "live body". The alternative word denoting "dead body" or "corpse" would have been ptoma.

Jesus very apparently survived, and this is explicitly maintained in other books. Even the Koran says that Jesus survived the Crucifixion.

During that Friday afternoon when Jesus was on the Cross, there was a three-hour-forward time change. Time was recorded then by sundials and by priests who marked the hours by a sequence of measured prayer sessions. In essence, there were daytime hours and there were night-time hours. Today we have a twenty-four-hour day. In John, Jesus said: "Are there not twelve hours in a day?" Yes, there were twelve hours in a day and there were twelve hours in the night, and daytime started at sunrise. From time to time the beginning of daytime changed; thus the beginning of night-time changed. In March, the beginning of daytime would have been somewhere round about six o’clock in the morning, as we know it.

We know that Joseph of Arimathea negotiated with Pontius Pilate to have Jesus removed from the Cross after a few hours of hanging. The Gospels don’t actually agree on the sequence of events here: some use the time before the time change; some use the time after the time change. But three hours disappeared from the day, to be replaced with three night-time hours. Daylight hours were substituted by hours of darkness. The land fell into darkness for three hours, we are told in the Gospels. Today we would simply, in a split second, add three night-time hours to the day.

But these three hours were the crux of every single event that followed, because the Hebrew lunarists made their change during the daytime. The solarists, of which the Essenes and the Magi were factions, did not make their change until midnight-which actually means that according to the Gospel that relates to Hebrew time, Jesus was crucified at the third hour; but in the other, solar time he was crucified at the sixth hour.

On that evening the Hebrews began their Sabbath at the old nine o’clock, but the Essenes and Magians still had three hours to go before the Sabbath. It was those three hours that enabled them to work with, on and for Jesus, during a period of time in which nobody else was allowed to undertake any physical work whatsoever.

And so we come to probably one of the most misunderstood events of the Bible, and from there we’ll move on, beyond the Bible period through history, to tell what happened concerning the birth of Jesus and Mary’s child in September AD 33. One of the most misunderstood events in the Bible is the Ascension, and in discussing it we will consider the births of Jesus’ three children and their descendants.

(Go to Part 1; Go to Part 3)