What is history but a fable agreed upon?
Napoleon got that right. Which is why I don’t trust any of the primary documents from the period, and I’ll tell you why.
After the destruction of the Second Temple, the Romans expelled Jews and Christians and destroyed all the primary documents. The ones we use today are mostly from Jewish scribes writing in Greek, living in Alexandria, home of the world’s largest library thanks to Alexander the Great. But even that library was eventually destroyed. The only reliable documents on the early Christians are the Dead Sea Scrolls, and they tell a different story from Peter and Paul, and are open to interpretation beyond the official story given out so far.
Something heavy went down in old Jerusalem. Christianity is a hybrid culture forged at a crossroads, similar to what happened in Congo Square, New Orleans. From the East came the Zoroastrian tradition (soma :hot milk and cannabis), and later, Buddhism. From the South came the Egyptian tradition (burning of kifi-cannabis incense). From the North came the Scythian tradition (burning of cannabis flowers inside tipis).
But the incredibly important and most overlooked influence came from Pythagoras, who created the tradition of secret societies monopolizing ceremonial magic and mathematics, the bedrock upon which Masonry was built.
But it’s essential to realize Jerusalem was the place where these traditions converged and it was the appearance and spread of Buddhism that was transforming ideas about spirituality. The Christian movement was largely an attempt to incorporate Buddhism into Judaism, a mission Mani was successful in around 250 AD.
The movement started by John the Baptist involved bringing back the holy anointing oil of Moses with a 5-part ritual. Jerusalem was ruled by an oligarchy installed by Roman force and there were 7,000 priests, which included temple guards and intelligence agents. Intrigue and brutality were everywhere.
The temple made considerable profits by charging to slaughter animals and birds for the wealthy, something that had to be done by priests by law. The movement towards non-violence wanted to put an end to these rituals, and that’s what the scene in the temple overturning the tables was really all about.