Missing years

>> Wednesday, April 26, 2017

March Fianza

            I take a break from the usual focus of newspapers and allow our readers to reflect on the Holy Week. This week, I share to readers some researches of scholars about the “lost years” of Jesus. That is about 18 to 20 years or when he was 12 years old until he reappeared at the age of about 30.
            What happened within that 18-year absence which is his adolescence intrigued historians and scholars all over. This, in fact, has launched inquiries, produced books and theories that Jesus left Jerusalem to join a secret religious group somewhere in the Judean desert. Other historians wrote that he went to India, Tibet, Britain and even Japan.
Following are some of the accounts written by scholars about the missing years of Jesus.
Jesus was in Nazareth all along. He stayed in his hometown with his father Joseph the Carpenter, and studied carpentry. This is supported in the Book of Mark that recounted Jesus who taught at a local assembly, where a surprised audience asked: “Is not this the carpenter?”
A second theory is that Jesus became a disciple of John the Baptist. Some historians doubt that Jesus just stayed in his hometown. They say, he could have married which was what adolescents in the villages usually did. Instead, some scholars said, Jesus was rebellious and venturesome and became a follower of John. Jesus simply did not return home after visiting the Temple at age 12.
A third account says that prehistoric Buddhist manuscripts showed Jesus leaving Palestine then traveling to India, Nepal, Ladakh and Tibet. Jesus went to the Himalayas and studied under Shamans. Monks called him “Issa” while he trained with yogis in India, Nepal and Tibet. Although some monks do not agree, other scholars claimed to have seen manuscripts that explained Jesus’ 20-year disappearance.
Another account said Jesus went to Qumrān on the Dead Sea, where he became a member of a reclusive community. This became a popular explanation after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947. With the discovery of the ancient religious texts, one book writer concluded that Jesus and John the Baptist were Essenes who advocated nonviolence.
Then there is an account that the youthful and venturesome Jesus went to Britain. As evidence, historians noted that before the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD, the Dubunni, a tribe in Britain minted coins bearing the name “Eisu”. The mysterious person rose to prominence around 30 AD, the time Jesus was crucified.
One more account said that Jesus traveled to Japan. Many Japanese locals believe that Jesus came to Japan at age 21. Learning Japanese language and culture, he became a disciple of a Buddhist master near Mount Fuji. They also believe that Jesus escaped the crucifixion in Jerusalem and came back to Japan.
According to the story, Jesus Christ in Japan studied spirituality and went back to Judea at age 33 to preach. People in Judea, however, did not accept his teachings and instead tried to crucify him. But Isukiri, his younger brother, took his place and died on the cross.
In addition to the Japanese account, Jesus settled in Herai Village, fathered three children and died at the age of 106. He was buried in a hillside grave that has become a tourist attraction today. This story was not popular before 1930, but it became the talk of the town after ancient documents were found.
But until historians and scholars find better evidence about where Jesus went, certainly his missing years will remain an interesting suspense.

Whatever, may you all have a meaningful week by preparing for the mystery of the “death and Resurrection” of Christ. Accordingly, religions claim that one can effectively relive the mystery only with purified mind and heart. Thus, the purpose of Lent then is to purify men by weaning them from sin and selfishness.


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