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The Timing is Off
(Nov. 2008; edited Mar. 2013)

Some notes toward a critical review of Robert Powell's *Chronicle of the Living Christ*

History: The Anthroposophic Press publishes many books by Robert Powell, including his *Chronicle of the Living Christ*. I haven't read his other books, but apparently this one is somewhat of his *magnum opus*. From the fact that these books are published by the Anthroposophical Press, one might get the impression that Powell's work is Anthroposophical and is in harmony with Steiner's teachings. But there is good reason to believe that this would be an erroneous impression, as I will try to show here by a partial review of this *magnum opus*.

Powell professes to be making a further development of "astrosophy" -- the new astrological wisdom inaugurated by Rudolf Steiner and expanded by Elisabeth Vreede and Willi Sucher. I don't claim to be much of an astrosopher, but I will rely mainly on common sense and simple arithmetic rather than astrological calculations, with some references to the work of Willi Sucher and, of course, Rudolf Steiner.

Some months ago I got into a cyber-discussion with someone who knows Powell and passed along some of my critical comments to him. Powell answered back with his rejoinders, sticking to his position, and his comments were passed along to me. In the text below I will indicate Powell's comments and my replies to them.

I don't have *Chronicle* in hand, and my own notes are very disorganized, but I'll try to hit the main points. Hopefully, these notes here will make some sense even for those who haven't read Powell's book or studied astrosophy.

-- Powell acknowledges Steiner and Willi Sucher as his teachers, but Powell's chronology is impossible to reconcile with either Steiner's or Sucher's. Powell agrees on the dates of the Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension, and Pentecost -- but not much else in the life of Jesus. He relies mostly on AC Emmerich, and apparently that's how he gets into trouble. He makes much of the fact that ACE got right the weekdays of the Hebrew dates, but naming the weekdays correctly does not prove at all that what one says happened on those days really happened. If I said that November 22, 1963 fell on Friday, this would not prove that I would be correct in saying that Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone killed JFK. Powell also makes it seem that Steiner endorsed the accuracy of ACE's visions, but if one reads Steiner's words exactly (as Powell quotes them), one can see that he stopped far short of endorsing everything that she said.

Willi Sucher (in *Cosmic Christianity*) follows the Gospels closely and comes up with a chronology that accords with Steiner's statements, and with which he also makes some far-reaching astrosophical calculations. Emil Bock (*The Three Years*) and Ormond Edwards (*The Time of Christ*) also follow the Gospels and come up with chronologies that essentially agree (with some small discrepancies). On the one side we have the Gospels, tradition, Steiner, Bock, Sucher, and Edwards -- and on the other we have Powell and Emmerich. But Powell tries to skate around his differences with Steiner, and I don't recall that he even acknowledges his differences with the Gospels.

(Powell dates the birth of the Solomon [Matthew] Jesus at March 5, 6 BC; the birth of the Nathan [Luke] Jesus at December 6/7, 2 BC; and the Baptism at September 23, 29 AD -- making the life of the Luke Jesus very nearly 33 1/3 years and the Incarnation nearly 3 1/2 years. Edwards and others put the Matthew Nativity at January 6, 1 BC; the Luke Nativity at December 25, 1 BC; and the Baptism at January 6, 31 AD -- making the life of the Luke Jesus to be about 32 1/4 years and the Incarnation approximately 2 1/4 years.)

-- For one of the specifics: Powell dates the Feeding of the 5000 at January 29, 31 AD. But *John* 6;4 rather clearly indicates that this Feeding happened when the Passover "was nigh". We know that Passover comes only in the early Spring. Obviously, for Powell to be right *John* must be very wrong.

Powell's rejoinder: The Passover took place either on March 27 or March 28 in the year 31 AD, so the Feeding of the 5000 took place two months prior to this. Thus, the Feast of the Passover "was nigh" at the time of the Feeding of the 5000.

But: Two months doesn't seem very "nigh" to me. We need to compare what John meant by "at hand" in 6;4 with what he meant by that term elsewhere, and with the standard New Testament Greek meaning.

I searched around a little, and came to the "Blue Letter Bible" website; it's very handy for this kind of research. The Greek word translated as *at hand* is *eggys*. (The "Strong's Number" is *1451*.) It has a spatial, a religious, and a temporal meaning:

*** 1) near, of place and position a) near) those who are near access to God [1) Jews, as opposed to those who are alien from God and his blessings 2) The Rabbis used the term "to make nigh" as equivalent to "to make a proselyte"]

2) of time a) of times imminent and soon to come pass ***

The question is: How "imminent and soon"? John uses this word in the temporal sense in several other places:

*** Jhn 2:13 And 2532 the Jews 2453' passover 3957 was 2258 at hand 1451, and 2532 Jesus 2424 went up 305 to 1519 Jerusalem 2414,

Jhn 6:4 And 1161 the passover 3957, a feast 1859 of the Jews 2453, was 2258 nigh 1451.

Jhn 7:2 Now 1161 the Jews 2453' feast 1859 of tabernacles 4634 was 2258 at hand 1451.

Jhn 11:55 And 1161 the Jews 2453' passover 3957 was 2258 nigh at hand 1451: and 2532 many 4183 went 305 out of 1537 the country 5561 up 1519 to Jerusalem 2414 before 4253 the passover 3957, to 2443 purify 48 themselves 1438. ***

In Chpt. 2, as the quote shows, Jesus went *when* the Passover was "eggys". In Chpt. 6 the Feeding of the 5000 was about to take place. In Chpt. 7 Jesus' brothers were trying to get him to go to the feast *when* it was "eggys". In Chpt. 11 the Jews were going to the Passover feast *when* it was "eggys".

It does seem that John used *eggys* to mean *It's time to get on the road and go, if you want to get there*. In this meaning, two months is obviously more than "eggys", even when considering travelling from Galilee to Jerusalem on foot. -- No; Powell is stretching *nigh* much too far, just to make it fit his chronology.

(And Sucher gives some astroposophical considerations about the movement of Mercury, consistent with the dating of the Feeding of the 5000 around Passover of 32 AD.)

-- For another example: RS (*The Fifth Gospel*) says that at the time of the Baptism the Solomon Mary was "between her 45th and 46th year". If, as Powell indicates, the Luke Jesus was around 29.8 years old and the Solomon Jesus was born about 4.5 years earlier (34.3 years before the Baptism), then the Solomon Mary would have had to have been around 10.2 (9.7 to 10.7) years old at the birth of the Solomon Jesus -- not very likely, but demanded by Powell's chronology if RS was right. Powell's rejoinder refers to the discussion of this in the *Chronicle*, p. 87. The reasoning here, leading to the conclusion that the Solomon Mary was 9 or 10 years old at the birth of the Solomon Jesus is faulty. As shown in the Chronicle, she was 14 1/2 years old when the Solomon Jesus was born.

But: I don't have the book in hand. And I don't see what is supposed to be this unspecified "faulty" reasoning. Powell dates the birth of the Solomon Jesus at March 5, 6 BC. He dates the Baptism at September 23, 29 AD. 28.72 (appx) plus 5.83 (appx) equals 34.55 (putative years from the birth of the Solomon Jesus until the Baptism). 45 minus 34.55 equals 10.45 (years of the approximate age of the Solomon Mary at that birth, give or take half a year, assuming Steiner's statement of her age). But taking January 6, 1 BC as the birth of the Solomon Jesus (Three Kings Day) and January 6, 31 AD as the Baptism (Sucher, Edwards, etc.) as the Baptism, that gives a difference of exactly 31 years, making the Solomon Mary around 14 years old at that birth; a far more plausible age.

-- And another: Following the Gospel, Bock allows three Springtimes between the Baptism and the Crucifixion, inclusive. But according to Powell's dating, there must have been four.

Powell counters that Biblical scholars are divided as to whether there were three or four Passovers during Christ's Ministry. Bock opted for three. However, his is only one perspective. Other Biblical scholars argue that there must have been four Passovers (including a "silent Passover" not mentioned in the Gospels). The Chronicle shows that these scholars are right.

But: If you look around enough, you can always find scholars who will disagree on almost anything. I would assume that Bock "opted" for three because only three are listed in the Gospels, and because three fits with the other correspondences that are required. And three fits very well with the other dates demanded by the Gospels, known history, Steiner, and the astrosophy of Sucher. The *Chronicle* shows, at most, that four accords with AC Emmerich and Powell's own astrosophy.

-- And there is the problem of Powell's abandonment of the traditional dates for Christmas and Epiphany in the life of Jesus. It would seem to me that the events in the life of Jesus should have been in harmony with the yearly rhythm of the Earth. If Powell is right, then what happens to the significance of the 13 Holy Nights?

Powell replies that one has to distinguish between the yearly rhythm of the Earth and the sidereal rhythm of the stars. The Chronicle is concerned with the latter " that is, with determining the cosmic stellar configurations at events in the life of Christ. This in no way undermines the celebration of the traditional Christian festivals, which have a symbolic significance in relation to the Earth's yearly cycle. All of this is discussed at length in the Chronicle.

But: And the "rhythms of the stars" according to Sucher accord well with the traditional dates for the Nativity, Epiphany, and the Three Kings Day -- without abandoning the harmony of those traditional dates with the Earthly rhythm -- and without introducing the host of other difficulties that Powell's chronology does. And plainly, Powell's dating really does undermine the traditional Christian festivals. If Jesus were not born on December 25, then the Christmas festival is misplaced. If the Baptism were not on January 6, then the Epiphany festival is misplaced. Etc.

In practically all of Steiner's discussions of Christmas and Epiphany it is implicit, and sometimes explicit, that the Baptism was on January 6 and the birth of the Luke Jesus on December 25. If Powell is correct in his dating of these events, isn't it strange that RS in all his teachings never mentioned that the traditional dates of these festivals are completely wrong?

For instance, in the lecture "The Birth of the Sun-Spirit as the Spirit of the Earth" (Hanover, 26th December, 1911) RS explains how the early Christian celebration of the Birth on Jan. 6 was correct for the Cosmic Christ, but changed through a Providential confusion to the Christmas date of the birth of the innocent soul of the Luke Jesus.

(RS also implies that the Baptism happened on January 6, for he says:

("When understanding was lost of what had streamed from cosmic worlds in the event which would rightly have been celebrated on the 6th of January . . . ."

(In other words, RS was saying that the Christ Spirit was "born" [as it were; in another sense, the right word is *begotten*, as Paul has it] during the Baptism which happened on January 6. Of course, this contradicts Powell's chronology.)

In *Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts* A CHRISTMAS STUDY: THE MYSTERY OF THE LOGOS, RS says explicitly that "the Jesus child . . . appears on Earth during the cosmic Initiation-Night . . . . of Christmas".

In *The Cycle of the Year*, Lecture I RS explains at length why Jesus had to be born at Christmas. (Incidentally, he also explains the earthly-breathing significance of St. John's Day being on June 24. He doesn't say explicitly that the Baptist was in fact born on this day, but it seems to be implicit. And that approximate date is demanded by the Gospel account. It would seem that RS should have mentioned that the Baptist wasn't born then, if in fact he had been born at some other time, as Powell's chronology says.) But just a snip about from this lecture about the timing of Christmas:

"At the end of December the Earth has fully in- breathed and is holding in herself the forces of which I just spoke. She has entirely sucked in her soul element, for the forces of which I have spoken are the soul element of the Earth. She has drawn it completely in, just as a man who has inhaled holds the air entirely in himself. This is the time at which with good reason the birth of Jesus has been set, because Jesus is thus born out of an Earth force which contains the entire soul element of the Earth within it."

-- Those are just a few citations out of I-don't- know however many possible. Powell's chronology makes nonsense of Steiner's teaching on Christmas, Epiphany, and the 13 Holy Days, as it does of so much of Steiner's teaching. There really is no way to reconcile the teachings of Powell and Steiner; at least one of them must be very wrong. -- And so on. Obviously, there are huge problems with Powell's chronology; and I've hardly scratched the surface.

I'd suggest that anyone interested might want to read at least Sucher's *Cosmic Christianity*. One could see at least how his astrosophical considerations are in harmony with the traditional dating of the life of Jesus, and also with Steiner's of the two Jesus boys. And Bock's *The Three Years* shows much about that dating that is closely aligned with the Gospels.

(And since Powell seems to have a high opinion of Tomberg [Powell apparently considers Tomberg to be the Maitreya, though he doesn't discuss this question in *Chronicle*], one might want to read Prokofieff's two books on Tomberg . . . and for that matter, Irina Gordienko's book on Prokofieff.)

-- About the 33 1/3 year rhythm:

According to Steiner, Sucher, etc., the life of (the Luke) Jesus was not 33 1/3 years exactly. But still, the physical life of Jesus was 33 years *qualitatively* in quantity, as it were. The 32.28 years took place *in* 33 years, just as the 2 1/4 years of the Incarnation took place *in* 3 years. This is how time was often meant in the Bible; as when Jesus said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The roughly 39 hours from the death on the cross until the Resurrection were spread over three consecutive days, so the Temple was rebuilt in three days, qualitatively. -- Emil Bock discusses this question; as does Sucher, I think.

Powell mentions Steiner's "Et Incarnatus Est" lecture, and tries to make it support the *Chronicle*. I have only a snip from this lecture, so I don't know exactly all that RS said about this (or more so, exactly what he meant; considering the standard *caveat* about the lecture transcripts), but he did speak loosely, approximately sometimes, as he spoke of "33 years" when he meant *one third of a century*.

In that snip RS discusses the "Christmas Year". (text found online, taken from: 23 Dec. 1917, in: "Et Incarnatus Est... The Time-cycle in Historic Events", pp.1-3, unpubl. Typescript courtesy RSL) Here RS says:

". . . . the period between Christmas and Easter is seen as a picture of the 33 years of Christ's life on Earth. . . . The time interval between Christmas and Easter is to be understood as consisting of 33 years. This is the key. What does this mean? That the Christmas festival celebrated this year belongs to the Easter festival that follows 33 years later, while the Easter festival we celebrate this year belongs to the Christmas of 1884."

Since this lecture was given in 1917, and the interval between Christmas 1884 and Easter 1917 is 32 1/4 years, the implication is that *the 33 years of Christ's life on Earth* means *33* in the qualitative sense, that the life of the Luke Jesus body was 32 1/4 years from birth. Thus, RS contradicts Powell on this point and supports Bock, Sucher, et al.

-- Another point: Abandoning Powell's chronology does not imply the abandonment of the significance of the Great Conjunction of 7-6 BC. Sucher discusses this event in connection with the "spiritual nativity" of Jesus and the healing of the man who had been sick for 38 years (*John* 5). Steiner discusses "spiritual nativity" in lecture 4 of *Human and Cosmic Thought*:

". . . . these constellations are of much greater importance in the life of the person than the constellations of the external horoscope, and do not necessarily coincide with the 'nativity' - the external horoscope. For the enhanced influence which is exerted on the soul by this standing of Mysticism in the sign of Idealism waits for the propitious moment when it can lay hold of the soul most fruitfully. Such influences need not assert themselves just at the time of birth; they can do so before birth, or after it. In short, they await the point of time when these predispositions can best be built into the human organism, according to its inner configuration. Hence the ordinary astrological 'nativity' does not come into account here."

Sucher tells how he calculates this "spiritual nativity", and he comes to 7 or 6 BC for the Luke Jesus. (His discussion isn't very precise, by Powell's standards.) He goes on to connect this with the 38 years (qualitatively) that elapsed until the healing of the man who had been sick for 38 years -- two Moon node cycles, qualitatively.

-- I noticed another specific discrepancy with the Gospel: Powell puts the raising of Lazarus at July 26, 32 AD. But according to *John* (10-11) this raising came between the Feast of the Dedication (winter; late Nov. to Dec. in different years) and the final Passover (AD 33). So the most natural reading is to date this raising in the Winter of 32-33 AD, as do Edwards et al. But Powell dates it in the preceding Summer. He would have to hold that *John* 10 refers to the preceding Winter, and this raises the host of difficulties that come with stretching the Incarnation over another year. But there is no need to conjure up all those difficulties, if one just reads *John* in the natural way.

-- Steiner said that the Solomon Jesus was born "a period of months" before the Nathan Jesus and died soon after his 12th year. This is reinforced by his statement about the age of the Solomon Mary. Powell puts the birth of the Solomon Jesus almost five years before the date required by Steiner's statements, and he tries to get around the discrepancies. But there is no way to get around them; he must say that Steiner was wrong, and repeatedly wrong on the same point. As Steiner must have been wrong about the dates of the first Christmas and Epiphany. Yet, he cites Steiner as his teacher and tries (strains) to enlist him to vouch for the accuracy of AC Emmerich's visions. - - No, it doesn't work; Powell and Steiner can't be reconciled. At least one of them must be very wrong.

-- For other critiques of Powell's work, I know of two online:

An *Info3* article points out difficulties in Powell's *Chronicle*: It's in German, but with or Babelfish one can make sense enough out of it.

Also, at (search for thread: "2nd Coming"; 1999-20-11) one can find a discussion of the German edition of the book in which (apparently) Powell makes his calculations of the 2nd Coming.

Again, there's Proky's first *Tomberg* book; it contains a brief critique of RP's support of Tomberg, which apparently includes the identification of Tomberg with the Maitreya Bodhisattva.

-- Speculative addendum: Considering the 33 1/3 year period more exactly --

If we abandon Powell's chronology (which has the life of Jesus fit this time period almost exactly) and stick to Jan. 6 and Dec. 25, 1 BC as the birthdays of the Solomon and Nathan boys (as Sucher et al. have it), then what happens to the 33 1/3 year period in the life of Jesus?

Ponder: Ascension was May 14, 33 AD. That's 39 days after Resurrection Day. Add 39 days to Dec. 6-7, 1 BC, and we come to Jan. 14-5, 1 BC. [31- 6=25; 39-25=14] Count back another 1 1/2 days from Ascension, and we come to Jan. 13, 1BC. That's 7 days after the birth of the Solomon Jesus, i.e. on the 8th day. That's the day of the Mosaic circumcision, isn't it? So there are (very nearly) 33 1/3 years from the circumcision of the Solomon Jesus until the Ascension.

There is undoubtedly an esoteric meaning to the Mosaic rite of circumcision. It has something to do with the curtailing of sexuality. Sexuality and death are inextricably linked together. The Resurrection redeemed the Phantom body, making it a template of a deathless physical body; hence the deathless form-body also overcomes sexuality. Might we also assume that the immortality of the form-body came about because it was joined to the life-body? RS sometimes when discussing the Resurrection Body did not clearly distinguish between the immortal etheric body and the form body of Jesus. The Ascension somehow joined the resurrection body to the etheric body of the Earth and Cosmos.

We might hypothesize that the circumcision of the Solomon Jesus was somehow transferred, in effect, to the life body and form body of the Luke Jesus. The Zarathustra Ego also brought his memories into the sheaths of the Luke Jesus, and memories are carried in the etheric body. These memories of the Solomon Jesus worked into the sheaths of the Luke Jesus for a little more that one Moon node cycle.

Somehow, the curtailment of sexuality, and hence of death-forces, in the Solomon Jesus must (?) have carried some effect into the overcoming of death in the resurrection body of Christ Jesus, and this redeemed Phantom Body achieved some kind of cosmic culmination at the Ascension, very nearly 33 1/3 years after the circumcision of the Solomon Jesus.

I get the feeling that there is a profound Mystery hidden here, and I can only grope at it in the dark. But all these considerations do indicate that the 33 1/3 year cycle does have significance when we postulate the correctness of the chronology of Bock, Sucher, etc.

Robert Mason

reconsideration of Powell's *Chronicle* in light of W. Greub's research
(March 2013; edited May 2013)

I have spent some time reconsidering my comments about Robert Powell's *Chronicle* in light of Werner Greub's research on the times in the lives of the Jesuses. I have considered what I could find online in English from Greub's writings on this theme. I consider mainly Greub's essays "De Vero Anno" and "Chronology of the Gospels -- The Jesus Mystery". There is also the essay "Zarathustra and The Three Holy Kings", but this is mostly fantasy, and I don't go into it much here. I also reconsidered Powell's *Chronicle*, Bock's *The Three Years*, and Sucher's *Cosmic Christianity*.

Assuming the reader's familiarity with the basics of Rudolf Steiner's information about the lives f the Jesuses, for the sake of simplicity and clarity, I will start these remarks by trying to nail down some data points:

1) Josephus maintains that Herod the Great died between a lunar eclipse and a following Passover. Of the lunar eclipses visible in Jerusalem, the two in contention are those of March 13 in 4 BC and January 10 in 1 BC. (See, for instance, Powell's *Chronicle* p.67 ff.)

2) The Gospel of *Luke* strongly implies that Herod was "king" when John the Baptist was conceived -- also that the Baptist was conceived about six months before the conception of the Luke-Nathan Jesus. *Luke* says (Chpt. 1):

5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. . . .

7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course . . . .

11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. . . .

18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.

19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.

20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. . . .

23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months . . . .

26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. . . .

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. . . .

36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. . . .

39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;

40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.

41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb . . . .

56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

57 Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. . . .

60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. . . .

80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel. . . .

(Luke elsewhere [3;1] refers to a "Herod" as "tetrarch", so he does know the difference between *tetrarch* and *king*, and indicates it in his writing. This "tetrarch" was almost certainly Herod Archelaus, son of "Herod the Great", who therefore must have been the "king" mentioned. Immediately following the death of Herod the Great, Herod Archelaus had been ruler of most of his father's realm, but not as "king", rather as "ethnarch". Wikipedia says: "Thus, Archelaus received the Tetrarchy of Judea by the last will of his father, though a previous will had bequeathed it to his brother Antipas. He was proclaimed king by the army, but declined to assume the title until he had submitted his claims to Caesar Augustus in Rome. In Rome he was opposed by Antipas and by many of the Jews, who feared his cruelty, based on the murder of 3000; but in 4 BCE Augustus allotted to him the greater part of the kingdom [Samaria, Judea, and Idumea] with the title of ethnarch [not king] until 6 CE when Judaea province was formed, under direct Roman rule, at the time of the Census of Quirinius.")

Luke does not say explicitly that the John-child was conceived while Herod was king, but this is strongly implied from the context. (Luke says "as soon as the days of his [Zacharias'] ministration were accomplished".)

3) The Baptist and the Luke-Nathan Jesus were both born after the death of Herod. Herod had ordered the "massacre of the innocents", and only after his death were the John and Luke-Nathan Jesus babes safe. Rudolf Steiner says this explicitly, and most commentators on this question seem to accept this fact.

STEINER SAID: "The Nathan Jesus was born after the Bethlehem massacre; so too was John. Although the interval was only a matter of months, it was long enough to make these facts possible." (from *Gospel of Luke*; Lecture Five)

With these data points in mind, I turn to consideration of Greub's contentions.

From "DE VERO ANNO - On the Nativity of Jesus Christ" by Werner Greub --

Greub says:
>>In the first volume of my research report, "How the Grail Sites Were Found - Wolfram von Eschenbach and the Reality of The Grail" it was pointed out that the great conjunction of the year 7 B.C. is a manifestation of what Matthew describes in the second chapter of his gospel as the Star of the Wise Men or Magi from the East and that the first return of this great conjunction in the year 848 A.D. [as the Star of Munsalvaesche] marks the time that Parzival became Grail king. . . . there can be no doubt that Kepler's astronomical interpretation of the date of birth of the Jesus-Matthew is correct.<<

Comment: *Matthew* says (2;9) that the "star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was". Obviously, no ordinary star in the sky, or any conjunction, could go "before them" and indicate a specific house where the child was. This "star" could have been no ordinary star; it must have been something else.

There's a great deal of doubt about Kepler's assertions. The conjunctions of 7-6 BC were likely very important, as Willi Sucher in *Cosmic Christianity* argues, but as marking the "spiritual nativity" of Jesus, not as a physical birth. "Furthermore, we have found that the Great Conjunction of 7 BC is closely related to the sky of the original Christmas. That conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Fishes in 7 BC is the 'Spiritual Nativity' belonging to the actual nativity on 25 December 1 BC. (See Steiner's Cosmic and Human Thought, concerning the Spiritual Nativity.)" (from Willi Sucher: Letter 4 - August 1952; see APPENDIX 3 below)

"Astrologer Richard Nolle's 3000-Year Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction Table" does indeed list a "Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction" for "MAY 15, 848", and "GrailGate's" "The Myth of the Phoenix" does point to a 854-year cycle of the appearance of the a starry configuration of a "Phoenix", saying: "A Phoenix Cycle is roughly 4270 years long, and every 854 years the phoenix is burned by the Sun and rises from its ashes again!"

"GrailGate" says that the conjunction circa 6 BC was repeated about 854 years later, circa 848 or 849 AD, "the year that Parzival became king of the Grail" as Greub contends. Greub says:
". . . . the great conjunction of the year 7 BC represents that event which Matthew describes in the second chapter of his Gospel as the Star of the Wise Men or Magi from the East, and that the first repetition of this great conjunction in the year marks the date that Parzival became King of the Grail."

(In "THE TWO JESUS BOYS" Greub calls these two conjunctions the "Star of Bethlehem and the Star of Munsalvaesche".)

But what does *Matthew* actually say? From Chpt. 2:

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. . . .

5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

It's very hard to see how any star in the sky, a "great conjunction" or otherwise, could have led the three wise men to Jerusalem, much less to a specific house in Bethlehem. But *Matthew* says explicitly that is was the same "star" that "they saw in the east". Much more likely, this was a supersensible "star", a sign of the spirit of Zarathustra, as Rudolf Steiner says. But no conjunction in the sky could have been the "star" to which Matthew alludes.

Probably the "wise men" of the east, the "Magi", were in possession of "star wisdom", and probably did see some significance in the "great conjunction" of 7 BC -- but, again, no conjunction in the sky could have been the "star" which Matthew talks about. Greub's "Star of Munsalvaesche" might well point back to the conjunction of 7 BC, and that conjunction was likely important as some kind of marker of the Earthly Christ events (as even Willi Sucher allows), but all this is still no proof that the conjunction of 7 BC marked the birth of either of the Jesus babes.

Greub says:
>>The critical sentence [from RS] reads: "The birthdates of the two Jesus children are a few months apart." . . . . Whoever extracts this sentence from the above-mentioned quote by Rudolf Steiner, without mentioning that its significance is diminished by the reference to the infanticide, is not acting in a professional manner. . . . The significance of this concept is focused on the actual time of the death of Herod. About the date of this death, however, Rudolf Steiner says nothing. Therefore it is beyond any doubt that the phrase "several months" does not signify a precise timeframe.<<

Comment: But RS does not mention the "few months" difference in this passage only; he implies it elsewhere also. For instance in the "Gospel of Matthew: Lecture VI" he says that the two Jesus boys were about the same age: "The individuality of Zarathustra evolved during boyhood until his twelfth year, within the physical and etheric body of that Jesus of whom the Gospel of Matthew speaks . . . . The individuality of Zarathustra did then actually forsake the physical and etheric body described in the Gospel of Matthew and passed over into the Jesus of the Gospel of Luke. [in the story of the Temple visit in *Luke* when the Luke-Nathan Jesus was about twelve years old] . . . . The two boys grew up near to each other until their twelfth year."

And elsewhere RS also implies the nearness of the age of the two Jesuses, as when he refers to the age of the Matthew Mary at the time of the Baptism: "During that talk with his mother, the I of Zarathustra withdrew [from the body of the Luke-Nathan Jesus]. He was again what he was at twelve years of age, only grown up. And the Christ-Being descended into that body at the baptism in the Jordan. And at the same moment as this baptism in the Jordan took place, the mother experienced the end of her transformation. She felt - at the time she was forty-five, forty-six years old -, she felt herself imbued with the soul of the woman who was Jesus' mother until he was twelve when he received the Zarathustra-I; and who had later died." (from *The Fifth Gospel*; Lecture 5) -- We recall that the Matthew Mary had been married to the Luke-Nathan Joseph since soon after the transformation in the Temple around the Luke-Nathan Jesus' twelfth year. Considering that the Matthew-Solomon Jesus had been born almost exactly 31 years before this conversation, RS implies that the Matthew Mary had been around 14 or 15 years old at time of the birth of her first son. If, as Greub and Powell argue, that Jesus had been born five or six years earlier, then RS would have been implying that the Matthew Mary had been 9 or 10 years old then; this is highly implausible. Again, RS is implying that the age difference between the two Jesuses was only a matter of months. -- Powell tries to get around this by dating the birth of the "Solomon" Mary at Sept. 7/8, 21 BC, following AC Emmerich (*Chronicle* pp.125ff). This would have made the Matthew Mary at least 51 years old at the time RS is talking about. So Powell once again is in conflict with Steiner. (But of course, Powell also puts the Baptism over a year earlier than does Steiner.)

And: the date of the death of Herod is not so certain. If we take Luke (1:5 ff) seriously, then Herod was still alive at least 15 months before the birth of the Luke-Nathan Jesus. If that's so, and taking Josephus and Steiner together, then Herod must have died between the eclipse and the Passover of 1 BC. It is not at all certain that the "infanticide" happened 4 BC or earlier; it might have been as late as 1 BC.

Greub says:
>>Between the birth of the older Jesus and the birth of John must have occurred the death of Herod.<<

Comment: OK, but, again, if the birth of the Nathan Jesus took place in 2 or 1 BC, then Herod could not have died soon after the lunar eclipse of 4 BC (according to the times suggested in *Luke*); he must therefore have died soon after the eclipse of 1 BC. If so, then the birth of the Luke-Nathan Jesus could have been no earlier than 1 BC. And likewise the birth of John. Greub here makes his own dating impossible.

But maybe the parents of the young John also fled with him to avoid the mass infanticide? -- But according to *Matthew* Herod "sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem and in all the coasts thereof from two years old and under." I don't know exactly what *coasts thereof* meant in the original Greek (or Aramaic), but it probably wasn't very precise. The parents of John would likely had to have fled some distance; the *Bible* mentions no such flight. Anyway, RS said explicitly that John was born after the infanticide.

Greub says:
>>. . . . Luke-Jesus-Christ was crucified on April 3, 33 . . . .<<

Comment: Everyone (in the Anthro discussions) seems to agree on this date, so I will assume it throughout.

Grueb says: >>Jesus must have been born exactly thirty-three and a third years before the original Good Friday.<<

Comment: Why? RS can be interpreted as having implied 32 1/4 (or 1/3) years. For example in "Et Incarnatus Est" (23 Dec, 1917). This is somewhat ambiguous, but it can be read that way.

And it's not really all that ambiguous. RS gives several examples which all point to 32 1/4 years. (I'm taking the years as being divided roughly into quarters by the major Christian festivals, even though Easter is moveable, and the quarters aren't precise anyway. I'm speaking roughly, conventionally.) If so, then the birth of the Nathan Jesus must have been around Christmas of 1 BC, which fits nicely with Steiner's statements, with no strained interpretations.

And Powell does strain. Powell says (p.69 of *Chronicle*, footnote about *Et Incarnatus Est* 23.12.1917 GA118: "There is some ambiguity in Rudolf Steiner's formulation." He allows that RS *seems* to point to a 32 1/4 years life of the Nathan Jesus, but then he refers to Ellen Schalk's essay (1982 p 1-6; *Beitrage zu einer Erweiterung der Heilkunst*), saying that this is a "false interpretation" -- and that the term *Christmas-Year* refers to "the year beginning at Christmas"; ie that the reference to 1884 is really to the "year" beginning at Christmas 1883, thus making 33 1/4 (or 1/3) years instead, supposedly.

The term, in German, was *Weihnachtsjahr*. This is not in the German dictionary; apparently RS coined it in this lecture. This lecture is not easily available in English, but I have found some parts. The lecture of 23 Dec 1917 does say:

"The time interval between Christmas and Easter is to be understood as consisting of 33 years. This is the key. What does this mean? That the Christmas festival celebrated this year belongs to the Easter festival that follows 33 years later, while the Easter festival we celebrate this year belongs to the Christmas of 1884. In 1884 humanity celebrated a Christmas festival which really belongs to the Easter of this year, and the Christmas festival we celebrate this year belongs, not to the Easter of next spring, but to the one 33 years hence. . . . human beings using the Christmas festival in order to realize that events happening at approximately the present time (we can only say approximately in such matters) refer back in their historical connections in such a way that we are able to perceive their birthdays or beginnings in the events of 33 years ago, and that the events of today also provide a birthday or beginning for events which will ripen to fruition in the course of the next 33 years. . . . we can neither perceive nor understand the real significance of any event that is taking place today unless we refer back to the time of its corresponding Christmas Year, that is 1884. For the year 1914 we must therefore look back to 1881. All the actions of earlier generations, all the impulses, their combined activity poured into the stream of historic evolution, have a life cycle of 33 years. Then comes its Easter time, the time of resurrection . . . ."

Christmas 1884 to Easter 1917 is about 32 1/4 years. Christmas 1917 to Easter 33 years later is again about 32 1/4 years. Christmas 1881 to Easter 1914 is around 32 1/4 years. RS said it three times. Powell does really strain to make *Weihnachtsjahr* mean *the year beginning at Christmas*. The phrase *corresponding Christmas Year* must refer to the year in which Christmas was celebrated 33 years before the "corresponding" Easter; that is, to the Christmas about 32 1/4 years earlier. -- It is evident that RS is speaking of "33 years" qualitatively", not strictly quantitatively -- and only "approximately". One can't infer from this passage that the Incarnation was literally 33 1/3 years; the implication is rather that a 32 1/4 year Incarnation is more likely (from these remarks by themselves).

{Powell (p. 17) refers to RS's statement concerning the accuracy of ACE's reports. Powell says that RS confirmed the accuracy "to some extent". And it was, as far as I can tell, only to some extent; not to the whole of her account.

{Powell wrote: "Emmerich's visions of the life of Christ were written down by Clemens Brentano during the last five years of her life. When he was asked about the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich as recorded by Clemens Brentano, Rudolf Steiner indicated: 'These contain the visions of an extraordinarily good somnambulist. Namely, these are the parts which relate to mirror vision. Without a doubt, they contain exceptionally accurate material.' (September 1908 in questions and answers during his lectures on Egyptian Myths and Mysteries (Gt. Barrington/MA: SteinerBooks, 1971); unfortunately this edition does not contain the questions and answers, which are available only in manuscript form."

{To me, Steiner's statement, even as recorded, falls far short of an endorsement of the complete accuracy of everything that Anne Catherine Emmerich ever said. If one reads the comments without prejudice, one sees that RS said only that "parts" were "accurate", not that everything was accurate. And in general, Steiner did not consider "somnambulists" to be generally reliable. For instance, STEINER SAID:

{"Now all these beings who have been mentioned are by no means unconnected with our existence. Their deeds, activities, manifestations, are definitely extended into our life and their action is particularly to be traced by clairvoyance when certain conditions appear on earth. Thus the beings who - naturally as astral beings - are at home on the moon are present on earth in the most varied circumstances, when for instance a man falls prey to illusory ideas, or where insane people are gathered. Such astral beings show special preference for the neighborhood of insane asylums. They are, moreover, almost always to be found near mediums and somnambulists; these persons have such beings swirling round them, and a large proportion of the influences that are exercised upon them is derived from the presence of these creatures. Where on the other hand love and kindliness prevail, where humanitarianism is unfolded, there you find the mild, gentle Mars beings present as astral creations, taking part in the forces which are there at work. That is nourishment for them, the atmosphere in which they can live and when they exercise their influence on man." [ 6 Jan. 1908]}

Greub says:
>>Rudolf Steiner . . . saw no reason to question the date of Christmas. He even emphasizes 24/25 December as Christmas Day.<<

Comment: OK. RS said it over and over, but Powell disputes it.

Greub says:
>>I have grappled with this issue for decades. Only when I discovered the Star Munsalvaesche, I knew for certain that Kepler is right and that Rudolf Steiner is being interpreted falsely, when it is said that the two Jesus children are about the same age.

>>[Translator's note: The author here refers to his discovery of the repetition of the Star of Bethlehem as the Star of Munsalvaesche in 848 over the sky of the Arlesheim Ermitage, in the sign of which Parzival became Grail king. See the chapter "Wolframs Astronomy" by Werner Greub form his book "How The Grail Sites Were Found"]<<

Comment: The conjunction of 7BC is important, as Sucher says in his discussion of the man with the 38 years' infirmity, but this still does not imply that this conjunction marked any birth of either of the Jesus boys.

Again: the "star" of Bethlehem mentioned in *Matt* Chpt. 2 could not have been a "star" in the ordinary sense. No ordinary star in the sky could have led the wise men to Jerusalem, much less to a specific house in Bethlehem.

Greub says:
>>For Rudolf Steiner, the death of Herod is the decisive criterion. One should therefore not overlook a recorded historical date, such as the death of Herod. If Rudolf Steiner had mentioned the exact birthdates, for example, and would have said that one boy was born 2 years before the death of Herod . . . .<<

Comment: OK, but is the death date of Herod beyond dispute? It's not at all. For instance, Ormond Edwards puts it after the eclipse of 1 BC, and if Luke and Josephus are right, and taking Steiner's statements, then Edwards must have been right. And the birth of the (Matthew-Solomon) Jesus need not have been as much as two years before Herod's death; Herod may have ordered the killing of all male children under two years old just to make sure. He may not have known exactly when the "kingly" Jesus had been born. Apparently, Herod decided upon that time frame considering what he had been told by the wise men about the first appearance of the "star". *Matthew* says: (3;16) "Then Herod . . . slew all the children . . . two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men". But the appearance of the "star" did not necessarily mark exactly the birth of that child.

Greub says:
>>The question about the twelve year old Jesus or both twelve year old Jesuses in the Tempel [sic] cannot be resolved by basing oneself on the "words" of Rudolf Steiner, because there are isolated sentences from which it can be concluded that both Jesus children were of the same age, as well as sentences which imply that they were not.<<

Comment: What are these *other* "sentences"?

Greub says:
>>. . . . just as the references made by Matthew correspond with those times when, based on the calculation made by Johannes Kepler, we presuppose the birth of Matthew's Jesus Child to have occurred at Michaelmas 7 B.C.<<

Comment: But I don't see any real reason to "presuppose" the calculation of Kepler, much less, now, Michaelmas. Why Michaelmas?

Greub says:
>>By assuming a supersensible, but physically invisible star Funk ignores the statement by Matthew in his Gospel that the Magi saw the star in the sky.<<

Elsewhere ("Zarathustra and The Three Holy Kings") Greub says: "The supersensible star must be accompanied by a physically visible stellar event, because Matthew refers to this sign visible in the sky."

Comment: Where does Matthew say *sky*; as far as I can see, he says *east*?

Greub says:
>>While contemplating whether Rudolf Steiner's words about the truth of the Gospels or the truth of the words he speaks about the two twelve-year old Jesus children carry more weight, I concluded that he may justly consider himself to have resolved a centuries-old question of the Gospels research and to have to done away with the contradictions between Matthew and Luke, something which is possible only under the assumption that the birthdates are far enough apart. Therefore I allowed myself to cover the great conjunction of the year 7 B.C. without reservation as the Star of Bethlehem.<<

Comment: But the relevance of the "great conjunction" is just a supposition; the death of Herod is more weighty. We don't need any "assumption" other than that the birthdates were separated by the death of Herod the Great. And Herod's death could not have been in 4 BC, if we take Josephus, Luke, and Steiner together.

Greub says:
>>Without astronomy, the Magi from the East cannot be judged. When Kepler in addition to a physically visible conjunction also looked for a visible new star, he was not so far off. He just did not look for it at the right level.

>>The first to recognize that this event was actually accompanied by a new star was Rudolf Steiner. He found this new star in the supernatural: the reincarnated Zarathustra.

>>(Translator's note: Here is a footnote in the book that refers to a passage from Rudolf Steiner's lecture "The Confluence of the Major Spiritual Movements of Buddhism and of Zarathustra in Jesus of Nazareth. The Nathan and Solomon Jesus" of 19 September 1909 from the series of lectures in Basel on the Gospel of Luke, This passage is in the Appendix and reads as follows:

>>"Deep and fervent attachment to the Individuality (not the personality) of Zarathustra prevailed in the Mystery schools of Chaldea. These Wise Men of the East felt that they were intimately connected with their great leader. They saw in him the 'Star of Humanity', for 'Zoroaster' (Zarathustra) means 'Golden Star', or 'Star of Splendour'. They saw in him a reflection of the Sun itself. And with their profound wisdom they could not fail to know when their Master was born again in Bethlehem. Led by their 'Star', they brought as offerings to him . . . ."

>>[Greub:] Rudolf Steiner's words clearly show that the accounts of the evangelists are correct, i.e. they correspond to historical events. This presupposes that the great conjunction is recognized as the Star of the Magi and that the view . . . that both Jesus children are of the same age, is not sustainable.<<

Comment: But the passage from Steiner does not say anything at all about Kepler's conjunction; RS refers only to the "supernatural" "star", as does Matthew.

Greub says:
>>. . . . Lucas mentions Cyrenius, the governor of Syria. Nazareth in Galilee was since the year 3 B.C. under the rule of Cyrenius.<<

Comment: The dates for Cyrenius are crucial, but they are not beyond dispute. And anyway, *Luke* says that the decree went out when Cyrenius was governor of Syria, not necessarily that Joseph and Mary of Nazareth arrived in Bethlehem during that same governorship.

Luke says (Chpt. 2):

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

This "taxing" is elsewhere called an "enrollment, and "Cyenius" (Authorized Version) is elsewhere called "Quirenius". Wikipedia says:

"The Census of Quirinius refers to the enrollment of the Roman Provinces of Syria and Iudaea (Judaea) for tax purposes taken in the year 6/7. The Census was taken during the reign of Emperor Augustus (27 BC -- AD 14), when Publius Sulpicius Quirinius was appointed governor of Syria, after the banishment of Herod Archelaus from the Tetrarchy of Judea and the imposition of direct Roman rule." -- (A long discussion of conflicting scholarship follows.) There seems to be no generally accepted date for this "census", as there is none for the date of the death of Herod. But the article "The Census under Quirinius" by Paul R. Finch says:

"Luke distinguished the registration at the time of Jesus' birth as being the "first" one, while Quinirius was [provisional] governor of Syria . . . ."

And: "The early Christian apologist Tertullian living in the late second century, who was by profession a lawyer and well acquainted with Roman governmental affairs, said that the census that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem was conducted when Sentius Saturninus was governor of Syria (Answer to the Jews , 8). What's more, he said it occurred in the 41st year of Augustus, answering to 3/2 B.C.E. Indeed, the early Christian sources were nearly united in stating that Jesus was born in 3/2 B.C.E. The list includes Clement of Alexandria, Origin, Africanus, Hippolytus of Rome, Hippolytus of Thebes, and Cassiodorus Senator. This is strong testimony indeed because these sources were able to consult the vast libraries at their disposals to which modern historians no longer have access."

"With this missing piece of evidence the succession of Syrian Governors can now be restored as follows: Titius 13-7 B.C.E. Q. Varus 7-4 B.C.E. S. Saturninus 4-2 B.C.E. Q. Varus 2 B.C.E.-1 C.E. G. Caesar 1-4 C.E."

Indeed, there is a lot of scholarly disagreement about the date of this "governorship" of Quirinius. For instance ChristianAnswers.Net says:

"There is good reason to believe that Quirinius was actually twice in a position of command (the Greek expression hegemoneuo in Luke 2:2 which is often translated 'governor' really just means 'to be leading' or 'in charge of') over the province of Syria, which included Judea as a political subdivision. The first time would have been when he was leading military action against the Homonadensians during the period between 12 and 2 B.C. His title may even have been 'military governor.'

"A Latin inscription discovered in 1764 adds weight to the idea that Quirinius was in a position of authority in Syria on two separate occasions."

There's a lot of complicated, conflicting scholarship on this question. It does appear that this "Cyrenius" was Publius Sulpicius Quirinius, and the consensus seems to be that he was some kind of "governor" of the Roman province of Syria (which included Galilee) in 3-2 BC. If this supposed date of the governorship of Cyrenius is correct, then the Luke-Nathan Jesus could not have been born *during* that time. For 15 months before Christmas 3 BC is September 4 BC, and the lunar eclipse of that year was March 13, and Passover is always in the Spring -- so Herod could not have died in that year, if the Luke-Nathan Jesus was born during the governorship of Cyrenius. (Of course, the birth at Christmas of 2 BC would even more rule out Herod's death in 4 BC.)

And again, *Luke* does not say that Joseph and Mary of Nazareth arrived in Bethlehem during the rule of Cyrenius, only that the decree for "taxing" went out during that rule. And when there is so much scholarly uncertainty about the dates of the "governorship", I don't see any good reason to overrule Luke on this.


From "Chronology of the Gospels -- The Jesus Mystery":

Greub says:
>>. . . . Ormond Edwards. In his treatise "A New Chronology of the Gospels" (Floris Books, London, 1972) he made his findings known. Accordingly, the older Jesus was born on January 4 [sic] of the astronomical year zero (i.e. in the year 1 B.C. according to the Christian calendar), John the Baptist on June 28 and the younger Jesus on December 25 of that same year.

>> . . . . Ormond Edwards . . . . transposes the death of Herod to the "year zero" and burdens himself with thousands of hitherto non-existing contradictions.

>>. . . . [Edwards] studied the work Antiquities of the Jews" of the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, who was born in the year 37 A.D. In this work, an event - shortly before the death of Herod - is described as follows (Ch. 6:4): "Herod deprived this Matthias of the high priesthood, and burnt the other Matthias, who had raised the sedition, with his companions, alive. And that very night there was an eclipse of the moon."

>>. . . . This lunar eclipse has of course long ago been calculated by astronomers. Oswald Gerhardt mentions it as early as 1922 in his book "Der Stern des Messiah" (The Star of the Messiah). In chapter IV he writes: "According to calculations by, among others, Ginzel , two visible lunar eclipses took place in Jerusalem: March 12/13, 4 B.C. and January 9/10, 1 B.C. Because it is now assumed that in the first-mentioned year four weeks after the lunar eclipse the Passah celebration occurred (April 9 or 10), this time was deemed too short for the multiple political events to have occurred, which Josephus mentions in the same context. In contrast, the time span between the eclipse and Passah in 1 B.C. was a full two months longer, and that is why Sanclemente, Usser, Freret, Ginzel and others considered this date to be the year of Herod's death." >>In fact, they wrongly believed this. Gerhardt explained in a few sentences later in the following way that the year 4 B.C. is the only relevant year: >>"1. Herod ruled from the death of Antigonus for a period of 34 years, but from his appointment by the Senate for 37 years; both periods lead to the year 4 B.C. as the end of his reign. 2. Archelaus was exiled in the year 6 A.D., because this was the tenth year of his reign; he succeeded his father Herod in the years 4 B.C. 3. Antipas reigned -- according to three recovered coins -- for 43 years; in the year 39 A.D. he was dismissed, therefore his reign began in the year 4 BC. 4. Phillippus died in 33 A.D. after having ruled for 37 years, thus his reign began in 4 B.C. >>These historically fixed dates show unanimously that Herod died in 4 B.C."

>>. . . . Edwards should however have noticed that his spokesman Josephus repeatedly mentions the actions and reactions of a governor he calls Varus. This is Quinctilius Varus, better known for his role in the Germanic wars.

>>In the year 4 B.C. Varus was governor. Edwards would therefore also have to shift at the same time the governorship of Varus and all other events surrounding the death of Herod to the year zero, or else allow reason to reign and recognize that an event taking place in the year 4 B.C. cannot be fixed in the year zero.<<

Comment: The time of the death of Herod is crucial, and most historians seem to agree that it was in 4 BC. This would seem to imply that the birth of the Matthew-Solomon Jesus was around 6 BC, if one assumes that the visit of the "wise men" was two years before the "massacre of the innocents".

But: if Luke, Josephus, and Steiner are right, then most historians must be wrong. The death of Herod the Great must have been in 1 BC.

Greub says:
>>Varus was succeeded by Cyrenius, who reigned in the years 3 and 2 B.C. Luke mentions him as governor during the birth of the younger Jesus (L. 2:3). Therefore, the birth of the younger Jesus must have occurred in his tenure: 3 or 2 B.C. >>Cyrenius is that P. Sulpicius Quirinius . . . . Quirinius was in the year zero (i.e. 1 B.C.) no longer governor of Syria, but military adviser and chief of staff at the headquarters of the man tipped to be the successor to Augustus on the Upper Euphrates. >>Because Luke is right in his reference to Cyrenius, the birth of Jesus cannot simply be shifted to the year zero.<<

Comment: But, again, even if these dates are correct, they do not imply that the Luke-Nathan Jesus was born during the governorship of Cyrenius. The decree went out then, but did the parents reach Bethlehem then or later, or a year later? And again, taking Luke, Josephus, and Steiner together, both 3 BC and 2 BC are impossible.

Greub says:
>>. . . . Rudolf Steiner unequivocal results of research according to which the age of the crucified Jesus Christ was not 32..." but clearly 33..." years.<<

Comment: But are these results really "unequivocal"? -- Not at all; again, reading the "Et Incarnatus Est" lecture, RS seems to point to 32 1/4 years.

Greub says:
>>Particularly surprising is that on the authority of Rudolf Steiner it is claimed that he usually refers to a life of Christ lasting thirty three year and also of a "33 year rhythm", which has left its mark on the course of history, but that his examples showed that this rhythm would have completed itself in 32 1/4 years. Here the only answer is: No! Such examples do not exist. And neither is this example to be found in the above-mentioned lecture. Rudolf Steiner was never mistaken about the thirty-three years . . . .<<

Comment: The ("above-mentioned") lecture of September 19, 1909 says nothing about a 33-year rhythm. The mention of a 33-year rhythm comes from the lecture of 23 Dec, 1917, which points to a 32 1/4-year Incarnation.

Greub says:
>>In the first two centuries, the year of this taxation was still generally known. In all early Christian documents, the year 752 of the Roman era, converted to 2 B.C., was known as the birth of Jesus. Eusebius still knew the dates in the sense of Luke in the third century. He mentions the taxation and the birth in the year 2 B.C. . . . . Eusebius is therefore the last person who knew the real date of the birth of the Luke-Jesus . . . .

>> Dionysius the Scythian, abbot in Rome in the sixth century, who fixed our Christian calendar and the method for determining the dates of Easter, only knew the birth of Jesus approximately. Instead of the year 752 AUC, he moved the birth of Jesus to 753. This is the reason why our calendar begins one year after the birth of the Luke-Jesus.<<

Comment: Yet again, the date of 2 BC is impossible.

Greub says:
>>. . . . the reference to the thirtieth year in Luke 3:23. ["And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age . . . ."] A Jewish teacher of the law had to have reached the age of thirty before he was allowed to teach in public. We may assume that John - and six months later Jesus as well - met this requirement. Deviant behavior would become known. The Sadducees were out to trap Jesus . . . . it can be concluded that both John and afterwards Jesus had reached the age of thirty at the beginning of their public activities.<<

Comment: The first questions here are whether such a requirement would have applied to John and Jesus -- and how unequivocal the requirement for the age of teaching was. Greub gives no reference for his assertions. Does it mean that a teacher had to have passed his 30th birthday, or does it mean only that he had to be in his 30th year? Did either John or Jesus really present himself as a "teacher of the Law"? -- "The term 'lawyer' was used synonymously with teacher of the law and scribe (Matt. 22:35; Mark 12:28). His duties would include the study, interpretation, expounding of the law, teaching the law in the schools and synagogues, and deciding questions of the law." -- I don't know of any indication that either John or Jesus presented himself as a "teacher of the law".

Greub says:
>>. . . . Luke mentions the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar [when John the Baptist began to preach]. After the death of Emperor Augustus, on August 19 in the year 14, started the first year of the reign of Tiberius, which lasted until August 19, 15. The fifteenth year of his reign lies therefore between August 20, 28 and August 19, 29.

>>When did John the Baptist begin to preach? According to Luke 3:1, this occurred in the fifteenth year of reign of Tiberius Caesar, i.e. between Augustus 20, 28 and Augustus 19, 29. Since he had to be at least 30 years old in that year in order to teach in public, he could only appear in public after his birthday, around the time of Saint John [June 24].

Comment: Toward the end of the fifteenth year of Tiberius John was *in* his thirtieth year. It isn't clear to me that he had to be "at least 30 years old", because I don't know exactly the age rule for "teachers", nor do I know that John ever put himself forward as "a teacher of the law".

Greub says:
>>In the sixteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Luke-Jesus was thirty years old. He had been allowed to teach since Christmas of year 29. Yet did not do so, first he let himself be baptized in the Jordan.

>> . . . . Now that we know that Jesus on his birthday on December 25 in the year 29 became exactly thirty years old, because eleven days later at the baptism his age was indicated to be "about" thirty years of age, the seemingly uncertain age indicated by Luke proves to be amazingly reliable. If the younger one of the two Jesus children was exactly thirty years old on December 25 of the year 29, then he was born around Christmas of the year 2 B.C.<<

Comment: How long did the Baptist preach before Jesus presented Himself for baptism? The Gospels don't say. It might well have been over a year; indeed, it probably was. -- The indications from Steiner as interpreted by Bock, Edwards, and Sucher put the Baptism at January 6, 31 AD. STEINER SAID: "Thus it is correct to name the 6th of January as the day of Christ's birth . . . ." (from "The Birth of the Sun-Spirit as the Spirit of the Earth"; THE THIRTEEN HOLY NIGHTS; Hanover; 26th December, 1911) Greub says:
>> Concerning the issue whether Christ from the baptism in the Jordan to the crucifixion has lived two or three years, the scholars are still at odds. The duration of His activity is not fixed by conscious time references in the Gospels. . . .

>> It is possible that the Passover, which occurs during the period of the pair-wise sending out of the apostles, is not mentioned in the Bible. This interpretation is supported by the spiritual research result of Rudolf Steiner on the date of the original Good Friday.

>>. . . . the period from the baptism in the Jordan, which according to Luke took place at the beginning of the year 30 - the tradition cites 6 January - to the original Good Friday on April 3, 33 covers in any case three years and three months . . . .

Comment: Does Luke really say "the year 30" or imply it? -- Neither. Together with Steiner and Josephus, he implies the year 31 AD. All of Steiner's statements, taken together, point to a 2 1/4 year Incarnation, and Willi Sucher's astrosophical calculations support this. (So does Emil Bock, who reckons three Passovers during the Incarnation, including the one during the Crucifixion/Resurrection.)

Greub says:
>> . . . . the day of {Jesus Christ's] death may of course not become dependent on whether "a feast of the Jews" (Jn. 5:1) means Passah or Tabernacles.<<

Comment: But the Synoptic Gospels clearly point to the Passover.

Greub says:
>> According to Rudolf Steiner Jesus Christ was crucified on April 3, 33 at the age of thirty three. In both cases, one reaches the same date of birth, during Christmas of the year 2 B.C.<<

Comment: Where exactly does RS say "the age of thirty three"? Greub gives no citation. Again, everything I've seen from Steiner points to an age of 32 1/4.

Greub says:
>> The dates of the life of Christ were known by Rudolf Steiner, who also precisely defined the age of the Crucified One: between the birth and death of Jesus Christ are 33 whole years plus as many days as Christ - after completing His three and thirty years around Christmas of the year 32 - lived until April 3, 33.<<

Comment: Again: where exactly does RS say this? Greub keeps repeating himself, wrongly.

Greub says:
>>From Mt. 14:12-13, it may be concluded that between the beheading of John and the feeding of the 5000 barely one week passed.<<

Comment: Matthew does say: "and when the people heard, they followed". To me, the Gospels are not clear on this timing.

Greub says:
>>Bock is right, the quote by Edwards is incorrect!

>>The facts of the matter are: Bock, as can clearly be deduced from his quotation, is convinced that after the terrible news, the pair wise sending out of the disciples takes place. However, Edwards wants us to believe that Christ has boarded a ship to sail to a lonely place.<<

>>. . . . The question to be answered is: Does the pairwise sending out of the Disciples of Christ, thus the apostles, or the feeding of the 5000 take place immediately after the death of John?<<

>>. . . . These two theologians also took the supersensible realm into account, but they also have known the supersensible fact that the pairwise sending out of the disciples only became possible after the spiritual ego or I of John (through the beheading) had become free and, as it were, as a group-I enabled each individual disciple to preach powerful as John.

>>This is also a secret of the three years.<<

>>Bock was of the opinion that the Bethany period - which of course is identical to the pairwise sending out of the Twelve - lasted eight months. This is a more realistic indication than the view that three weeks would be enough. Nevertheless, Bock's statement is only a presumption. The Gospels remain silent about this period. We hear that the disciples, after being called back, reported to their Master. M. 6:30: "Now the apostles gathered to meet Jesus and reported to him all that they had done and taught." Or again L. 9:10: "Then the apostles came back and described all they had done. He took them and retired in private to a town called Bethsaida."<<

>>. . . . the Gospels cannot be used to compile a chronology: the Gospels are records of mystery traditions, not chronicles or biographies of Jesus Christ. The sending out period may have lasted eight months. It is just as possible that Christ retired for a whole year to Bethany.<<

Comment: But the Incarnation did take place on Earth, in Earthly time. The Gospels seem to be ambiguous about the sending of the Twelve, but these events have to be squared with a coherent sequence of events. Bock puts the Sending at late Summer of 31 AD, after the beheading of John, and puts the return of the Twelve around Passover of the next year. -- Sucher, by the movements of Mercury, puts the Walking on the Water about five or six months after the Feeding of the Five Thousand, the Feeding of the Five Thousand shortly before Passover of 32 AD, and the Beheading in August of 31 AD. -- Thus Bock and Sucher together come up with a coherent chronology based on the written Gospels. And this allows for the spirit of the beheaded John to have been working with the Apostles during the pairwise sending.


-- To sum up:

I don't see any compelling reasons brought forth by Werner Greub to abandon the basics of my previously accepted chronology, as brought forth by Edwards, Bock, and Sucher. These basics are:

January 6, 1 BC -- the birth of the Matthew-Solomon Jesus in a house in Bethlehem

Probably then, or about then, the visit of the three "wise men", the "Magi" -- in consonance with the traditional "Three Kings Day"

Then follows the "flight into Egypt"

And then: the "massacre of the innocents" and "Herod's eclipse", not necessarily in that order

Then the death of "Herod the Great"

Then the Passover of 1 BC

June 24, 1 BC -- the birth of John the Baptist, the traditional "St. John's Tide"

December 24/5, 1 BC -- the birth of the Luke-Nathan Jesus in the stable in Bethlehem

Around Passover of 12 or 13 AD -- the migration of the Zarathustra ego from the body of the Matthew-Solomon Jesus to the body of the Luke-Nathan Jesus, and the merger of the families

Just before January 6, 31 AD -- the fateful conversation of the Zarathustra-Jesus with his mother, the departure of the Zarathustra ego

January 6, 31 AD -- the Baptism of Jesus of Nazareth, the entry of the Cosmic Christ Ego -- the traditional Epiphany -- around the same time, the entry of the Luke Mary ego into the body of the Matthew Mary

April 3, 33 AD -- the Crucifixion, the "Mystery of Golgotha" -- followed by the Resurrection, the Ascension, and the Pentecost, at the usually accepted times

-- These dates are in consonance with the remarks of Steiner, with the researches of Bock and Edwards, as well as the astrosophical calculations of Willi Sucher. As far as I can see, these all fit together nicely, with no stretching or straining. Greub and Powell must stretch and strain, in somewhat different ways (and Powell in great detail), but the staining is unnecessary and deleterious. Powell contradicts both Sucher and Steiner, and his dedications to them are very misleading.

Apparently, Sucher's successors in astrosophy felt it necessary to distance themselves publicly from Powell's work. See:
"Robert Powell claims . . . [that his] work is a 'continuation' of and in the 'line of succession' to Willi Sucher's work. This is not the case . . . ." [etc.]

May Jesus Christ help us all to think clearly and truthfully,

Robert Mason


(from Gospel of John: Lecture X: What Occurred at the Baptism? [3rd July, 1909; Kassel; GA112])

"In about the thirtieth year of Jesus of Nazareth's life there entered into His three sheaths that divine Being Whom we call the Christ."

"At the birth of the Christ, the Mother of Jesus of Nazareth became a virgin."

". . . . the healing of him who had lain sick for thirty-eight years by the Pool of Bethesda. . . . Now, however, the effect was intended not alone for the body, but for the very depths of the soul; for only in that way could Christ influence the nobleman's son through the mediation of his father, and only thus could He penetrate the sinful soul of him who had lain sick for thirty-eight years. To send His forces into the etheric body alone would not have sufficed: the astral body had to be acted upon, for it is the astral body that sins. . . .

"Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. . . .

"When at the Baptism the Christ was born in the body of Jesus of Nazareth, the Mother of Jesus of Nazareth became a virgin."



(from Gospel of John: Lecture XIII: The Cosmic Significance of the Mystery of Golgotha. [Lecture: 6th July, 1909; Kassel; GA112])

". . . . He Who, in the thirtieth year of His Life, received the Christ into Himself . . . ."

". . . . [in *Matthew*] the physical line of heredity of that body into which Jesus of Nazareth, as an individual, had been born. Leave out Joseph, and the whole table becomes meaningless."



(from Willi Sucher: Letter 4 - August 1952)

"The Great Conjunction . . . .At the time of Christ, it had arrived in Fishes, and in 7 BC, a conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter took place in that part of the Zodiac.

"Many of you will recall what we have worked out in the past, in lectures, etc., about this Great Conjunction in 7 BC. We have discovered that it was connected with the Birth of Jesus, though we cannot share the view of many that the birth actually took place in 7 BC. The date of the birth of Jesus has become the subject of great controversies on account of difficulties with regard to the chronology of the events in Palestine at the beginning of the Christian Era. This chronology is based on the year of the foundation of Rome, whose date, itself, is not absolutely certain. According to the available historic sources, the information ranges from 753 BC to 747 BC. Therefore, also the date of the death of Herod, which for instance plays a certain part in the accounts of the Gospels, is uncertain. This led to difficulties with regard to the actual date of the birth of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of St. Luke, and a belief has gradually come about that the celebration of Christmas on 25 December, referring to the year 1 BC, is based on fiction. However, as there is no agreement on the foundation year of Rome, it is rather futile to take the modern views too seriously. We take the year 747 BC as the year of the foundation of Rome against 753 BC of orthodox science of history. The former date, given by the Roman historian Fabius Pictor, has been confirmed by Rudolf Steiner.

"You will remember that in our researches we simply took the traditional date of 25 December 1 BC. Thereby we have achieved very illuminating results. For instance, the aspect of the sky at midnight of the traditional first Christmas reveals a very clear connection with the 6th century BC, even with that year 543 BC, which we mentioned above. Furthermore, we have found that the Great Conjunction of 7 BC is closely related to the sky of the original Christmas. That conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Fishes in 7 BC is the "Spiritual Nativity" belonging to the actual nativity on 25 December 1 BC. (See Steiner's Cosmic and Human Thought, concerning the Spiritual Nativity.)

" . . . . We know that during the 9th century the historic Parsifal events took place. Facts and conclusions derived from the asterograms of Julian the Apostate and of Tycho Brahe suggest that the year 828 AD was most decisive with regard to the movement of the Holy Grail and Parsifal. (I presume that you know Rudolf Steiner's indications about Julian-Herzeleide-Tycho Brahe and, also of Herzeleide's connection with Parsifal.)"