Philip disappears, again

[print-me]

New Damascus Scroll

Dateline: Jerusalem, Israel  —  August 5, 29 AD

by Dimosiográfos, reporter

{Archeologist’s note: Found among the dead sea scrolls and only recently translated for republication in ‘Archeology Yesterday’.}

This article is from an interview with Philip, the evangelist, former disciple of Jesus the Nazarene.

Philip: I was walking to Gaza and discussing a passage in Isaiah with an Ethiopian, a eunuch and court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. He immediately understood the significance of Jesus and his sacrifice and asked to be baptized in a mud puddle. The next thing I new, I was in Ashdod.

Dimosiográfos: What was the significance of Jesus?

Philip: We Jews have gotten it all wrong from the very start. Our ancestors did not understand the nature of God Almighty and we repeatedly tried to be like the other nations around us with visible gods and kings and standing armies. Jesus himself referred to Jerusalem as the apple of God’s eye yet most of its kings and officials were idolaters and would not repent. His message was that God Almighty is his father and our God and he is a loving and forgiving God ready to take back anybody who repents.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.

Dimosiográfos: Can you give some examples of prophets that were sent?

Philip: From Samuel (1100 BC) who anointed Saul and then king David to Isaiah (725 BC), Elijah (855 BC), and Elisha (841 BC), Ezekiel (585 BC),  to Jeremiah (580 BC) and finally to Zechariah (520 BC). These all proclaimed the need for repentance. This is how Zechariah put it:

 In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev. The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melek, together with their men, to entreat the Lord by asking the priests of the house of the Lord Almighty and the prophets, “Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”

Then the word of the Lord Almighty came to me: “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves? Are these not the words the Lord proclaimed through the earlier prophets when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were at rest and prosperous, and the Negev and the western foothills were settled?’”

And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah: “This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’

“But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord Almighty was very angry.

“‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land they left behind them was so desolate that no one traveled through it. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.’”

Dimosiográfos: But where does Jesus come in?

Philip: Many of the prophets predicted the coming of Jesus in cryptic and hidden language. Isaiah says:

Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

After Jesus was crucified and died during last Passover, he arose on the third day and I saw him myself and was able to confirm he was really alive because I touched the nail scars on his hands. This is the great significance of Jesus. He became the sacrifice that would suffice to cleanse everyone in the world of their sins and provide forgiveness for us as well as punishment for the sin. This is what the Ethiopian eunuch understood. Anyone who believes can take part in this great forgiveness.

Dimosiográfos:The interview was over. Philip suddenly disappeared again and this reporter has since been unable to ascertain his whereabouts.