Bethany beyond the Jordan, the Land of Damascus, and “seeing Yeshuʿato” (His Salvation)

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The name of the biblical village “Bethany”—specifically the “Bethany beyond the Jordan (River)” associated with John the Baptizer (John 1:28)—likely originates in the Hebrew בֵּית עָנִי Beyith ʿAny ‘House of the Meek/Afflicted’. In context, the Hebrew ʿany (Aramaic ʿanya) is likely a doctrinal complement of the Hebrew ebion ‘poor’—as we will come to see in the Dead Sea Scrolls—and as such was likely referring to a proto-Ebionite community (akin to the Notsrim = “Nazarenes”). This interpretation is seemingly attested in Jerome’s Onomasticon where—by way of Syro-Palestinian sources (Judeo-Aramaic beyt ʿanya)—he translates Bethany as domus adflictionis ‘House of the Afflicted’. Read more

The Pre-existent James and his Father Alphaeus/Cleophas as Khalipha (‘Caliph’)

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James ‘the Just’ as Zaddik (Tsaddiq ‘Righteous One’)

James the Just - Zaddik - Son of Alphaeus

In the introductory “Epistle of Clement to James” in the “Pseudo-Clementine” Homilies, James the Righteous (AKA James the Just) is addressed as “the Bishop of bishops, who rules Jerusalem, the Holy Assembly of the Hebrews and the Assemblies everywhere.”

From the perspective of first-century Judaism, James (Hebrew Yaʿakov or ‘Jacob’) was also the Opposition High Priest[1] (in contradistinction to the Herodian-installed ‘Sadducee’ High Priest) and he was the revered Tsaddiq ‘Righteous One’ of his time—hence the name James the Righteous (Yaʿakov ha Tsaddiq). According to Proverbs 10:25 and the Zohar (1.59b), the Tsaddiq is “the Perfect copy of the heavenly Ideal,” “the Foundation of the World” and “the Pillar that upholds the World”. Read more