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How on earth did such a large section on an admittedly "fringe" theory by Barbara Thiering make it onto this page. I suspect that there is no evidence for this theory outside of Thiering's idiosyncratic readings of certain ancient Jewish writings. If I find that this is the case I will so note on the page. I am not sure that the theory is really worth the space on the page, but such is the uneven nature of Wikipedia. --Iacobus 01:46, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
- I think this whole passage is rather fishy - if the expression is permitted. I think it should be removed. greetings Uwaga budowa 21:27, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Removed part of the article
I consider the theories of Dr. Thiering highly speculative and removed the section about jewish forerunners of christianity. As I do not want to destroy the work of others, I dumped the section here. Greetings Uwaga budowa 21:54, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
Use by Jewish ascetics who were the forerunners of Christianity
It is of some interest to point out that the detail of the use and structure of Tiber Island is compatible with the case made by fringe theorist Dr Barbara Thiering for its occupation by Jewish ascetics as a missionary center from the 1st century BC. It was from these ascetics that Christianity developed, very much earlier than has been supposed.
The Tiber Island was used for quarantine purposes, appropriately to its position. Medical practices were developed there. The Jewish ascetics included the Therapeutae, “healers”. Like their related Essenes, they studied the properties of plants and minerals for medical application. It is known that there were Jews well established in Rome, at least since Herod the Great had been favored by Augustus (Antiquities of the Jews 15, 194-201 written by Josephus). Herod had his sons educated in Rome (Antiquities 17, 20). He himself had been educated by an Essene and had come to favor them (Antiquities 15, 373; 378). At the time of Herod’s death Roman Jews were socially divided over the succession, some supporting Herod Archelaus, others supporting his brother Herod Antipas (Antiquities 17, 227). It is far from impossible, then, that the Therapeutae in sympathy with one of the Herodian parties conducted medical work on the Tiber Island.
The island had been shaped into a boat form. That is entirely consistent with evidence Dr Thiering has pointed to that the ascetics initiated Gentiles into their kind of Judaism by a drama of “Noah's Ark”. They had a boat moored at a shore, bringing “animals” (Gentiles) into the “ark”, then sailing up a channel to deposit them on the dry land of “salvation.” They were saved from the “Flood” of coming world destruction as in the Noah story, alluded to in the Second Epistle of Peter 2:5. Lower grade Gentiles were likened to “fish” caught from the ark. This accounted for the fish symbol of Christians, arising from the drama that proceeded the word play later devised.
The initiation drama of Gentiles was enacted in many places, including at the Dead Sea in the gospel period. See link below.
(Note. The Josephus references are to the modern Loeb Classical Library edition of the Antiquities, translated by R.Marcus (vol VIII) . The 19th century translation of William Whiston which is in the public domain is more difficult to use and contains errors.}