With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, new and exciting theories about the historical Jesus have arisen in the form of intriguing books such as Jesus in the House of the Pharaohs, which poses the idea that Jesus was indeed the Teacher of Righteousness referred to in the Scrolls and revered by the Essenes, a secret Jewish sect that removed itself from mainstream Jewish thought and tradition. Author Ahmed Osman also offers up a fascinating argument for a totally new concept of when Jesus actually lived and preached – almost 1400 years before the Christian New Testament places his birth.
In fact, using solid documentation with quotes and references from the Old and New Testaments, the Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi texts, Talmudic sources and the Koran, Osman states his belief that Jesus was, in fact, the same person as Joshua of the Old Testament, and a contemporary of Moses, AND that Jesus was also known as Tutankhamun, the pharaoh ruler of Egypt between 1361 and 1352 B.C.. Now, if this all sounds confusing, you have to read the book, which details the long history of the mythology of the Christ story, and shows how this story has been told again and again throughout “biblical” history with different names attached, told long before even “biblical history,” as in the story of Isis/Osiris and other pre-Christian creation and hero stories.
What is so mind-blowing about this theory is the fact that Osman supports his ideas with actual comparisons of passages in holy texts that often counter the history of Christ that we are most familiar with, yet are there in plain sight for anyone who wants to look them up and see for themselves. The Old Testament is filled with references to a Messiah figure just like Jesus, with exact parallels of the Christ saga, yet uses either no name or different names to portray what the ancient Essenes believed to have been a person who actually had suffered, died and rose from death MANY CENTURIES BEFORE JESUS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. I use capital letters hear because this is a fascinating and provocative concept backed up, again, by plenty of textual evidence, that most orthodox Christians and even Jews will pass off as pure heresy, yet Osman shows again and again how the Old Testament refers to the coming of the Messiah as an event that had already taken place. This is backed up by many other Talmudic sources, and Osman also gives good argument for the fact that some of the stories about Jesus that later appeared on the scene had obviously been doctored to do away with this shocking truth (he is not alone in this - other scholars believe this, as well). After all, what modern Christian would want to believe Jesus was an Egyptian pharaoh, or that the story of his life is not really the story of his life?
But for many scholars who study mythology, comparative religion and objective history, and are not tied to the orthodoxy of the Catholic Church’s demands for revisionism, this book offers a new way of seeing the older stories of the Bible and other religious texts that talk about a Jesus-like figure, born of a virgin, died and risen again, yet without the actual name Jesus attached. Perhaps indeed, as Osman states, Jesus was originally a different person operating his ministry in a much earlier time, but whose presence was utterly needed again 1400 years later, when Jerusalem struggled to be free from Roman rule, and a new Messiah would have come in quite handy in the historical scheme of things. Hmmmm…food for thought.
Osman also digs into the historical background of Moses, whom he believed was a contemporary of Jesus (Joshua) and also the life and importance of John the Baptist, a man whom many still believe to have been the real Messiah. In addition, there is plenty of food for thought about the Essenes themselves, who believed they were the true inheritors of the teachings of Christ, the Teacher of Righteousness mentioned in the Scrolls, as well as the identity of the true King David (there were actually TWO Davids!) of the historical bloodline that led directly to Jesus.
Several interesting photos of the Egyptian pharaohs and ancient art add to this ongoing mystery of the true identity of Christ. One thing is for sure, upon reading Jesus in the House of the Pharaohs, it is hard to think of Christian history in the same way again. Kudos to Osman for his courage and his great research abilities, which will no doubt open the floodgates to more debate, and perhaps, ultimately, to the complete release of the remaining Dead Sea Scrolls, now being kept under wraps, which may once and for all reveal the truth about a man we all seek to know more about.