Jesus of Edessa

17 Apr 2017

In The Times we have a small piece on an ancient coin that depicts Jesus as a warrior king - or that is what we are told. This is entirely different to the meek and humble Jesus of the Bible - so what is the thinking behind this? British historian Ralph Ellis has written a book and the piece is a plug (I suppose) - 'Jesus, King of Edessa' (published in April 2017). Ellis claims Jesus was Izas Manu who lived 30 years after the death of Jesus (via current chronology). He is talking about time of death here - but we don't have a precise date for the time of death of Jesus (usually thought to be between 30 and 33BC). Izas Manu was the king of the kingdom of Edessa in SE Anatolia - but Ellis claims they were one and the same. The interesting point from a dating angle is that it would shift the date of the crucifixion to between 66 and 73AD and he says it would explain some New Testament inconsistencies (but you would have to read the book to know what they were as it would obviously throw a spanner in a number of New Testament chronological clues such as the dates of Pontius Pilate and King Herod). The tiara of the kings of Edessa, he says, was a plaited crown of thorns - and the inference is that the crown of thorns worn by Jesus at his crucifixion is the same.

It creates a great hole in AD chronology - or the version of chronology favoured by mainstream. How might that be explained? Are we talking about one period of Comet Halley (roughly 76 years from AD70 to 6/5BC, one of the commonly thought dates of the birth of Jesus. Was the Messiah concept a manifestation of the comet Halley - a returning redeemer? However, when we look at the 30 years difference between the death of Jesus and that of Izas Manu we may note these add up to two Roman 15 year papal periods (see Steve Mitchell for the significance of this in various SIS journals). The chronology of these 15 year periods is somewhat sketchy and it is possible that two have been added as a result of Dionysius Exiguus calculations much later in time. Of course, Trevor Palmer argues against a gap in AD chronology in SIS Reviews of 2015, 2016 and 2017 - but is that the last word? As a historian Ellis should have a lot of facts at his fingertips that we do not possess - and reading his book is a good place to start (I suppose).