Map of the Dead Sea Area

early First Century CE

 Locations of importance to Gospel Pesher

...On the above map, if you look closely at the upper left-hand corner of the Dead Sea [the north-west corner], not far from where the Jordan River flows into the very saline water, you'll note 4 locations. First is Qumran [red letters].

Then Ain Feshkha, then Ras Feshkha, and the fourth, Mazin [also red letters]. Mazin is located near where the Brook Kidron enters the Dead Sea, following a long wady or gorge down from Jerusalem.

Many miles south, still on the west shore of the Dead Sea are En Gedi, a renowned oasis, and Masada, which I have again indicated in red letters.

All these locations are now, and also were in the time of Jesus and his 12 disciples, very hot most of the year, although much cooler at night time. As a consequence, most travelling was done at night, using the stars to navigate.

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  Greek Villa at Ain Feshkha

....My first visit to Ain Feskha was in 1983, when on a tour along the shore of the Dead Sea, the tour guide stopped there and allowed us tourists to get a drink of water and look around at the oasis. ..Then we went on to a hotel farther south on the shore of the Dead Sea to stay overnight and take a short swim in the concentrated water, where everyone is so bouyant that one can read a newspaper while floating on one's back.

.....I returned to Ain Feshkha in 1992, after partly reading Dr. Barbara Thiering's then hot off the press book "Jesus and the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls." ..Although the archaelogical site here described in Thiering's book was untended, and grown up to weeds, I found it, and took photos of the remains of the Essene ruins there. ..And relished my first experience of walking around and visiting an area where I now was certain Jesus Christ spent much of the time during his gospel ministry.

....Ain Feshkha had then, and still has now, an abundant supply of fresh water bubbling out of the ground as a spring of "living water". .....Cool and sweet, it makes of Ain Feskha an oasis, as is En Gedi further south on the shore line.

....Without this spring, it is doubtful that the Essene "Covenanters" could have accomplished what they did here in the late first century BC and early first century AD. ...It was only about three kilometers [two miles] to Qumran from this spring, and even less to the "Queen's House" where Jesus was born in the Spring of 7 BC.... An easy walk with a donkey loaded up with water-skins, or more likely large pottery jars slung on both sides with some type of rope harness.

....The water from the spring at Ain Feshkha not only irrigated a small garden including some grape vines, but allowed a laundry to be constructed that kept the dazzling white Essene garments clean, with the help of a little added frankincense. ...Archaeologists found the foundations of this laundry, and even a trace of the frankencense in the early 1950s.

....The foundations of a Greek-style villa were found here, with some of the stonework done in a style showing it to have been built during the reign of King Herod the Great. .....Interestingly, the foundations show a large room on the eastern side of the villa with two doorways facing outwards, a narrow door of usual size for humans. ..And a wide door south of it of a size that even an animal, like a donkey or horse could pass through. ....The archaeologists of the 1950s were puzzled, assuming one large door would be sufficient, people going through the same door, leading, perhaps animals.

...Dr. Barbara Thiering PhD, later to visit the same excavations, found in these two doors evidence that Jesus Christ was here, and used these two doors to illustrate his saying about the "narrow door" that leads to eternal life [northward to Qumran]...... And the "wide door" that leads to destruction [southward to Khirbet Mazin], where the married Essenes like Peter lived with their wives. As he proclaimed in another saying, people who live in "heaven" or "paradise" are neither married, or given in marriage. ...A reference to Essene celibacy, as practiced in the Qumran monastery.

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 Doctor Barbara Thiering's "Gospel Pesher"

....Dr. Barbara Thiering PhD, as a Dead Sea Scroll researcher and avid reader of Josephus and other contemporary literature of the first century AD, was able to find out the contempory names in such literature of various gospel characters. ...To do this she used logic, and other descriptions she found in the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as the Gospels, Acts, Paul's epistles, and Revelation.

....Particularly helpful were a number of Jesus' famous sayings that could be easily related to what was found at the excavations, and in the Dead Sea Scrolls. ...Thus, Jesus often used such terms as "the meek", and "peacemakers", and those "who hunger and thirst after righteousness". ..Indeed his famous "Beattitudes" call such people the most "Blessed" of all people...All these terms were nicknames or terms used by the Essenes for themselves. ..

....The Essenes never used the term "Essenes" for themselves, the term used by Josephus in his books. ...In using the term "Essene" Josephus is possibly interpreting a generalized term for his Roman and Greek readers that the "Covenanters" did not use, and therefore it never appears in the Bible.

....Dr. Thiering continued her comparisons until she was able to relate various happenings in the New Testament to the Essene calendars and feast days she had numerically worked out from the Dead Sea Scrolls, as compared to various seeming inconsistancies in the New Testament records of events... By the time HarpurSanFrancisco published Thiering's book "Jesus and the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls" in the summer of 1992, the life of the historical Jesus and the 12 Apostles was pretty much an "Open Book" to Dr. Thiering.

... Since then orthodox scholars have closed ranks to avoid admitting that any of her findings have relavance and value. Such an admittance would effectively nullify most previous ideas about Jesus, and put a lot of these scholars out of a job. ...But by now, most of the non-religious assume that Jesus was an Essene, and visited or stayed at Qumran much of the time. ...The same position we will continue to maintain on this web site.

....Dr. Thiering calls her way of relating gospel myths to the real historical truth "Gospel Pesher" because the Essenes used a similar type of reasoning in those Dead Sea Scrolls called "Peshers"./// The Pesher of Psalms would be truths or prophecies found in Psalms through the guidance of the Holy Spirit...... These truths or prophecies being revealed in current historical happenings, although perhaps the Psalmist did not know that when he wrote the Psalm under study.

....Current ministers, both Evangelical and Pentecostal, use the same assumption in preparing some of their current sermons. ...But many or most of them deny that Dr. Barbara Thiering has the expertise or right to use a technique that they use every week. ...With the difference that Thiering backs up her "inspired hunches" with decades of study and visits to the areas she has described!

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 Three Notorious Dwellers at Ain Feshkha

....Over the course of her studies in Josephus and other first-century AD contemporary literature, Dr. Barbara Thiering PhD kept running into the name of Simon Magus as a major player.... In the Pseudo-Clementine literature, Simon Magus and Peter are described as major proponents of conflicting theologies, often in debate with one another..... It is clear from the Pseudo-Clementine epistles, and also from other writings that survive, that Simon Magus was Gnostic, and a magician of great renown.... Peter, on the other hand, became the greatest defender, along with the more educated and vocal Paul, of what became orthodox Christianity.

.....Dr. Thiering was able to identify Simon Magus as "Simon the Sorcerer" of Acts, this identification no doubt being simplified by the adversarial relationship between Peter and Paul versus "Simon the Sorcerer." ....The same contest of power and prestige presented in the Pseudo-Clementine literature. ...Using logic and the knowledge that names are often changed in "Gospel Pesher" to disguise identities, Thiering proposed that Ananias and Sapphira of another Acts story were also Simon Magus and his known consort Helena, and the money they concealed in that story the known "simony" that Simon was known to practice. ...Indeed the term "simony" [the selling of religious office or favors for money] was derived from the name Simon Magus!

.....By the time she reached the end [or beginning] of the Simon Magus trail, Dr. Barbara Thiering was back in the gospels, finding Simon as Lazarus in John, living with his two "sisters" Martha and Mary. ....And she "descovered" they were all three living in this Greek villa at Ain Feshkha. ....Simon, as a Samaritan High Priest and Gnostic Essene, had descovered a lucrative way to make money from tourists [mostly Diaspora Jews of great wealth], by baptizing them in the Dead Sea at Kherbit Mazin, 3 Km south of Ain Feshkha. ..Simon [Lazarus] enjoyed the oasis conditions, and the convenience of being close to his Essene "Fishery" at Kherbit Mazin, where money was exchanged for "salvation". ...Again, a form of "simony".

.....The priestly Essenes at the Qumran monastery looked down on Simon Magus [Lazarus] because he was a Samaritan, and in derision renamed Ain Feshka "Samaria" while he lived there.......As a Samaritan he was a spiritual "leper" and indeed in some of the gospels is called "Simon the Leper".. He was also a Zealot [thus Simon Zelotes], and a Pharisee [thus Simon the Pharisee].

.....Bethany near Jerusalem was as near to Jerusalem that lepers were allowed to stay, so Ain Feshkha being a similar distance from Qumran [the second Jerusalem], Ain Feshkha was also "Bethany" where Lazarus [Simon the leper] and his "sisters" Martha and Mary lived. ...Finally, as if this was not enough deliberate deception, Martha and Mary were not Simon's [Lazarus's] real "sisters" at all. ..."Martha" was a prostitute [whore] that Simon Magus picked up in the seacoast cities of Tyre and Sidon on one of his "magic tours", and converted to a "better way of life".... [Devoting all her talent to him alone.] .....In the contemporary literature her name was Helena, for the fabled beauty "Helen of Troy". ...Although Jesus "loved" Martha in the gospels, he did not do so in the same manner Lazarus did. .....But as for the other "sister" of Lazarus, Mary Magdalene, that's another whole story!

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.....In John chapter 4 Jesus has a prolonged visit with "a woman of Samaria" while his disciples are off looking for food... He is pictured in this gospel as being thirsty, and sitting at Jacob's well without any means to draw water. Along comes a woman with the means to draw water and Jesus requests a drink of her water. ...Later in their dialog, Jesus lets the woman know that he knows much of her past and present life. ...That she has had five husbands and is now living "in sin" with a man who is not her husband.

....Using Thiering's "Gospel Pesher" techniques we are able to correctly surmise that this is Simon Magus' consort Helena in her gospel role as Martha, "sister" of Mary [Magdalene] and Simon [Lazarus]. ...Her checkered past as a prostitute from Tyre and Sidon is partly given away [the 5 husbands]. .....As is her present "living-together" arrangement with Simon Magus....Jesus is here not totally "letting the cat out of the bag" so to speak, but is at least giving all who read this story a glimpse of the shape of the bag, and that perhaps there is a "cat" [kitty, kitten, pussy] inside!

....A millennium and a half later, along came Martin Luther, intent on translating the Latin Bible into German, so his parishoners can read it, or at least their now-Protestant "Lutheran" ministers can read the scriptures to the people. .By then the ex-Catholic monk Luther had shed his vows of celibacy and was married to an ex-nun. ...Luther no longer believed in the celibacy of Jesus Christ.. Whenever Luther found Christ in "suggestive" situations in the Gospels, Luther assumed that Jesus was affected as any normal man would be.

....When Luther came to the "Woman of Samaria" story, he found the original Latin to be much more "suggestive" that we now are able to read in the King James Version. Particularly so John 4:27, which now reads, "And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?"

....Luther wrote in his memoirs that he believed that Jesus committed adultery with this "Woman of Samaria", and this note in Luther's memoirs is still a source of embarassment to some Lutherans. ...Now that we have Thiering's "Gospel Pesher" we can see the shape of the "whole cat" that Martin Luther could ony guess at. ...Yes, the woman [Helena] was sexually active. .But not with Jesus. .....With Jesus' friend "Lazarus", who Jesus [at least in the Gospel of John] dearly loved!.

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