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Fri, December 05, 2014

Gabriel appears to Mary

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

Christ among the Doctors by Bernardino LuiniEARTH, NOVEMBER, 8 BC

In Nazareth, a city in Palestine, one evening about sundown, before Joseph had returned home, Gabriel appeared to Mary. After she had recovered her composure, he said: “I come at the bidding of one who is my Master and whom you shall love and nurture. To you, Mary, I bring glad tidings when I announce that the conception within you is ordained by heaven, and that in due time you will become the mother of a son; you shall call him Jesus, and he shall inaugurate the kingdom of heaven on earth and among humankind. Speak not of this matter save to Joseph and to Elizabeth, your kinswoman, to whom I have also appeared, and who shall presently also bear a son, whose name shall be John, and who will prepare the way for the message of deliverance which your son shall proclaim to all with great power and deep conviction.

“And doubt not my word, Mary, for this home has been chosen as the mortal habitat of the child of destiny. My benediction rests upon you, the power of the Most Highs will strengthen you, and the Lord of all the earth shall overshadow you.”

Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce the coming of the deliverer of all humankind

Joseph was doubtful about Mary’s visitation story until he had an impressive dream in which a celestial messenger verified the miracle that was about to happen. Meanwhile, the couple await the expected August birth in their little home in the northern outskirts of Nazareth.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Fri, November 21, 2014

Is the concept of a personal God valid?

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

Jesus at the Alexandrian Library by Slawa RadziszewskaROME, AD 23

“I have always been a devout Buddhist,” declared Gonod, a traveling merchant from India. “But I must now confess that there may be something lacking in his teachings.” Gonod was interviewed here yesterday and spoke candidly about his gradual transformation toward a broader religious belief. He has been influenced by a Jewish scribe in his employ. He declared: “Buddha developed a wonderful religion. My scribe has stated that the Buddhists have a practical philosophy of living, but a concept of a personal God would be helpful. The most important feature in my scribe’s new philosophy is based upon a good and loving God to pray to, learn to trust, and aspire to be like. God is that highest ideal that exalts people and inspires them to the service of humankind.”

When asked to identify the philosophy or religion his scribe recommended, Ganid, Gonod’s young son, suggested that he could answer the question. He said: “It’s a new religion that must be lived rather than taught. One good enough for India and even great enough for Rome. It could even help his own Jewish race. This new and everlasting religion is being revealed through our scribe.” The Jewish scribe evidently left the square during Gonod’s interview and could not be reached for a more detailed description of the “new religion.”

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Fri, November 07, 2014

New teaching method wins support

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

Christ among the Doctors by Bernardino LuiniROME, AD 22

The mysterious “Scribe of Damascus” has apparently won minor acclaim here with his new ideas of religion. This remarkable teacher has managed to influence nearly thirty important religious leaders.

He has instructed the Cynic and Stoic religious groups as well as the Mithraic and other mystery cults. What perplexes leaders here is the ease with which this scribe appeared to reach the inner circles of each persuasion. Known only as “Joshua,” the scribe is praised for his teaching techniques.

One leader explained: “I believed he would be easy to convert to my own faith, he seemed so open-minded and gracious. He asked a number of questions, and then before I knew it, I was asking him questions. He never contended with our beliefs, but rather embellished those things he deemed valuable in our religion. These embellished truths eventually crowded out what I now perceive as erroneous and inconsistent ideas in my own religion.”

Some have said the scribe “taught the most when he said the least.” One Stoic priest said: “Joshua is a wonderful listener. He continues to be deeply fascinated by people.”

The scribe declined to comment on his teaching method.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Thu, October 23, 2014

Zebedee boat building innovations praised

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

Zebedee boatCAPERNAUM, AD 22

"The design and performance of my boat built by Jesus ben Joseph and John Zebedee is outstanding," said a fisherman who uses one of the new crafts created by the Zebedee boat shop. It is reported that the new design is safer and faster than any previous craft. Improved construction methods include a special technique of steaming the boards.

John Zebedee gives most of the credit to his skilled craftsman, Jesus, who arrived from Nazareth a year ago. Zebedee said that Jesus is also a remarkable philosopher and teacher. Two of Zebedee’s sons, James and John the younger, agree with their father about Jesus as a teacher. David Zebedee, the other son, is less enthusiastic. He stated: "Jesus is a great designer and craftsman, but his ideas on religion and philosophy are rather peculiar to me."

The Zebedee boats are known for their speed and stability

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Fri, October 10, 2014

Jesus Departs Nazareth

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

Jesus teaching in the synagogue as a childNAZARETH, JANUARY, AD 21

Jesus ben Joseph left Nazareth Sunday morning, apparently to make an extensive tour of several cities around the Sea of Galilee. Jesus is now twenty-six years old, and some speculate this is the beginning of his long awaited public teaching career.

Others insist that Jesus is not yet ready. One local said: “Just before he left, Jesus commented: ‘My hour has not yet come.’ This is his usual statement when asked about a public career. I like Jesus, but I don’t think he has the personality to be a revolutionary leader.”

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Fri, September 26, 2014

Youth conducts synagogue service

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

Jesus teaching in the synagogue as a childNAZARETH, AUGUST, AD 9

A somber and noble synagogue service was conducted by fifteen-year-old Jesus ben Joseph yesterday. Jesus selected several passages and read them with dignity. The struggles of his family after the death of his father are well-known throughout the community.

The local gathering seemed particularly touched when Jesus read these words: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness, for I am the Lord your God. And I will hold your right hand, saying to you, fear not, for I will help you.” Chances for the youth to continue his education are not favorable, but the local chazan insists he will be a great teacher one day, perhaps even the successor to the famous Gamaliel of Jerusalem.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Fri, September 12, 2014

Local contractor killed

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

JosephSEPPHORIS, SEPTEMBER 25, AD 8

It was announced today that Joseph, a well-known local contractor and carpenter, died from injuries received from a falling derrick while working on the palace of Herod Antipas in Sepphoris. Mary, the wife of the victim, was on her way from Nazareth to the accident site and could not be reached for comment. The family has been noted for their son, Jesus, who has been acclaimed by some as a “child of destiny.” The mantle of responsibility for the family will evidently fall upon fourteen-year-old Jesus. In addition to Jesus, there are seven brothers and sisters. To compound the family’s problems, Mary is expecting her ninth child.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Fri, August 29, 2014

Mystery youth returns home

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

Mystery youth returns home

Jesus and his parentsJERUSALEM, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, AD 7

Some rabbis here expressed relief when the parents of Jesus ben Joseph arrived at the temple and took him back to their Nazareth home. The leader of the temple discussions had just invited Jesus to sit beside him and give his own ideas on worship and prayer when the concerned parents interrupted the proceedings. The mother admonished him, saying: “My child, why have you treated us like this? It is now more than three days that your father and I have searched for you sorrowing.”

The youth surprised everyone with his strange answer: “Why is it that you have so long sought me? Would you not expect to find me in my Father’s house since the time has come when I should be about my Father’s business?” The crowd broke up at that juncture, and the family left the temple. Rabbis are divided as to the exact meaning of the youth’s remarks to his parents. One commented: “Jesus is insistent upon referring to God as a ‘Father.’ It came up over and over again in the temple debates. Of course, I believe he meant that God is the Father of all Israel.” Another rabbi disagreed. “He implied several times that God is the Father of all humankind, even including gentiles and women. This is too liberal a viewpoint for me to embrace.”

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Mon, August 18, 2014

Nazareth youth perplexes rabbis

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

Boy Jesus in templeJERUSALEM, TUESDAY, APRIL 19, AD 7

Temple teachers were challenged for the second time in as many days by the questions of a youth from Nazareth. Jesus ben Joseph delighted the crowds and confused some of the rabbis for four hours. The discussions were lively and less aggressive than yesterday’s debates, possibly because some rabbis boycotted the session in protest of the age of the youth. He will not be thirteen until August 21. The leader of the discussions permitted Jesus to participate since he had been consecrated during Passover and was a graduate of the proper schools in Nazareth. “The lad asked some of the things we have all wondered about,” said one bystander.

A few of the discussion topics prompted by the inquiries of the young Nazarene were: Why can’t the men and women sit together in the temple? Why do authorities permit gross commerce in a temple dedicated to honoring God? Why can’t people be told what is behind the veil of the Holy of Holies? Will the Messiah restore the Throne of David or establish a spiritual kingdom on earth? How could a loving God be pleased with the slaughter of helpless animals in sacrifice?

“I was surprised this boy got away with these questions,” commented a merchant from Alexandria. “But he has such charm and is so poised and gracious. Never once did he become offensive. He seems to convey his unusual ideas in the way he asks his questions. I was astonished at his deep insight. I hope he returns tomorrow; things are getting interesting.” None of the rabbis who boycotted the discussions could be reached for comment.

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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Fri, August 01, 2014

Parents seek missing youth

By Larry Mullins and Joan Batson Mullins

Jesus graduatesJERICHO, MONDAY, APRIL 18, AD 7

Jesus ben Joseph, a Nazareth youth, has been reported missing by his parents. The twelve-year-old was last seen in Jerusalem. He was part of a caravan of 103 Nazarenes who came to the city for Passover. As is the custom, men and women travel separately. Each parent believed Jesus was with the other when the caravan left Sunday to return to Nazareth. Mary and Joseph are retracing their steps to Jerusalem in an attempt to locate their son. “I was concerned about his behavior at Passover,” Joseph said. “He seemed very disturbed about certain things he saw. He sometimes tends to be overly sensitive.” Information about the whereabouts of Jesus would be appreciated by his parents.

Have you seen this boy?

(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)

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