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Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 10.49.14 PMJerry Boykin, a so-called manly man if ever there was one, according to him, wrote the forward for Stephen Mansfield’s Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men: An Utterly Invigorating Guide to Being Your Most Masculine Self.  I guess we now know why he has referred to Jesus of Nazareth as a man’s man. In fact, the more flagrant passages from his recent speech were taken from the forward he wrote for Mansfield’s book.

“...“You think his biceps weren’t big bulging biceps, big ole veins popping out of his arms, thin waist, strong shoulders from lifting?” [Boykin] continued. “He smelled bad! Why? Because he sweated, he worked. You think I’m sacrilegious because I said Jesus smelled bad? No, he was a man! He was a man’s man.”…”

This is what he wrote in the forward of the book:

“…Sadly, most Christian churches offer little help in this cause, and it is because they fail to articulate the true nature of the greatest man in history, Jesus Christ. Many churches portray him as meek, weak, and almost effeminate. This leads to men who are much the same. It is a picture far from the true Jesus Christ. Consider for a moment. Jesus was a carpenter who worked with his hands and lifted heavy stone and large chunks of wood. His hands were calloused and scarred from the everyday wear and tear of carpentry. Yes, he was the Son of God, but he was also a man’s man. He even told his disciples to sell their cloaks and buy swords as they set off to do his work and build his church. He was establishing for their understanding that there are things worth fighting for, even things worth dying for as men. He is our highest example of manhood, particularly in the magnificence of his courage. We should never forget how he entered the temple in Jerusalem one day. Seeing conduct that showed disregard for the honor of God, he made a braided whip and drove moneychangers and merchants out of the temple courts. You can bet that those who saw him do it never forgot how he flipped over tables and fiercely prevented strong young men from carrying merchandise through God’s house. This is the true Jesus Christ. He was tough and rugged, but also the epitome of love and compassion….”

Mansfield, Lieutenant General Stephen (2013-11-19). Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men: An Utterly Invigorating Guide to Being Your Most Masculine Self (Kindle Locations 117-127). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition, location 113 of 3705.

That, explains that.

According to tough-guy Jerry Boykin, Jesus of Nazareth was a man’s man, strong like a teamster, a true warrior for God, in every sense of the word.  It doesn’t matter if his version of Christ is not Biblical.  The far right ‘religious’ leaders in today’s tea party world don’t go in for historical accuracy.  They’re more interested in getting their version of the story across.

“…During his speech, Boykin told the male audience that Jesus was not the weak, effeminate, “feminized” figure taught in church today but was really a ripped, tough, strong “man’s man” who smelled bad! As Boykin explained, Jesus was a carpenter and stone mason for most of his life, which required him to be constantly lifting heavy pieces of wood and stone. All this lifting, in turn, meant that Jesus had calluses on his hands and “big, bulging biceps, big ole veins popping out of his arms, thin waist, [and] strong shoulders.”…”

Glenn Beck seems to think that Boykin is a great warrior.  Boykin seems to think that he is a great warrior, never mind he barely made it out of the Army without being kicked out on his pontificating little tushie.  He doesn’t like anyone who is of the Islamic religion. It does make sense that he would reedit the Constitution to fit his purposes.  He’s doing the same thing with the Bible.

So many myth-conceptions and so little time.  Where do we start?  About those dirty teeth and bad breath, well, they used alum, ashes, baking soda, borax, chalk, charcoal, cinnamon, clay, cloves, fennel, laurel, licorice, myrrh, peppermint, salt, star anise, and had a miracle dental chewing gun called Gum Mastic.  Today it is used in oral hygiene products. They also chewed the branches of the Miswak – or Toothbrush Tree.  They still use it. It creates a good fragrance in the mouth and eliminated bad breath.  It was very common in the Middle East during the time of Jesus of Nazareth.

So, another Boykin stink statement bites the dust.  We’ve covered deodorant, toilets, bathing, hair removal, clean teeth, and sweat.  The next step is the size of the men of the era.  Let’s face facts, people were shorter.  Part of it was due to nutrition.  Part was due to evolution.  Jesus of Nazareth was probably about 5′ 6″ or so – not much taller than that.  If you know someone who is Jewish who is of a short, specific body type, go with it.  He was Jewish, genetically. He came from a world where men of his socio-economic, religious status were thinkers, writers, philosophers.  They were generally not he-man steroid laden macho jerks.  A man of Christ’s era had servants.  They had slaves, even the poorest.  And, trust me, he wasn’t poor.

Joseph of Arimathea, who was literally the richest man in the world, was either his maternal uncle, or his stepfather.  By claiming his body, as head of the family, Joseph of Arimathea would, most likely have been his stepfather. Or, he could have been related to Mary.  The English legends have it that Christ visited the Holy Isles (England) with Joseph, residing there for several years.   This brings us to my favorite hymn:

 And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountain green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.

If you were the nephew of the richest man in the world, you had servants.  If you were a carpenter you had servants. It is an element of the bigotry of some individuals to think that carpenters must be humble laborers.  In his ignorance, Boykin turns Jesus of Nazareth into a mountain climber, teamster, lumber-jack, and body builder.  Aside from some archaeological problems.  Mount Tabor, near Nazareth is about 1,886 feet in elevation.  If this is the huge mountain Boykin refers to as being so difficult to climb, well, he’s a fool.  The Family Research Council is headquartered in Colorado Springs.  Now that is a mountain.

“…As a forester and ecologist traveling about the region, I see a basic fact that must have influenced resource use for the last several thousands of years. There is just not enough tree cover or forest productive potential to sustain extensive wood-based construction. The modern landscape is still considerably altered from the pervasive loss of tree cover and a general decline in land productivity caused by more than a millennium of very heavy grazing. But even allowing for the modern recovery of forest cover that has taken place, it appears that 2,000 years ago wood could only have had a relatively restricted role in meeting the needs of the population for buildings. Undoubtedly, wood played a critical role as fuel, in uses such as structural timbers and supports, and very probably for the various structures used to handle the main building material – stone. So how could Jesus have been a carpenter? It’s another language moment, because tekton is the Greek word for the occupation that Jesus held before his public ministry….”

This is where it gets really interesting.  The word used to describe what Jesus of Nazareth did for a living is the Greek Tekton.  Modern scholarship says that it refers to a craftsman.  BUT….

 “...In the Septuagint the Greek noun tektōn either stands for the generic Hebrew noun kharash (חרש), “craftsman,” (as Isaiah 41:7) or tekton xylon (τέκτων ξύλον) as a word-for-word rendering of kharash-‘etsim (חָרַשׁ עֵצִים) “craftsman of woods.” (as Isaiah 44:13). The term kharash occurs 33 times in the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible.

As an alternative to kharash, some authors have speculated that the Greek term corresponds to the Aramaic term naggara (Hebrew נגר naggar “craftsman”) and in 1983 Geza Vermes (1983) suggested that given that the use of the term in the Talmud “carpenter” can signify a very learned man, the New Testament description of Joseph as a carpenter could indicate that he was considered wise and literate in the Torah. This theory was later popularized by A. N. Wilson to suggest that Jesus had some sort of elevated status…”

The criticism of this is the fact that Jesus of Nazareth could not possibly have any elevated status in his home town.  It also ignores the term “craftsman”.  Also ignored is the fact that, if he was a carpenter or wood-worker, then his status would have been elevated. The same ‘scholars’ who say that the sacrifice of two white doves, at the birth of Jesus, was a sign of the poverty of Joseph and Mary.  They are missing the point.   The sacrifice of the doves is rich in symbolism.  They were symbolic of atonement.

“...The atoning quality of doves led to comparisons in the Talmud and the Targums with Isaac and Israel. According to these extra-Biblical sources, just as a dove stretches out its neck, so too did Isaac prepare to be sacrificed to God, and later Israel took on this stance to atone for the sins of other nations. Thus, by the time of Jesus, the dove was already rich with symbolism and many interpretations—as a representation of Israel, atoning sacrifice, suffering, a sign from God, fertility and the spirit of God. All these meanings and more were incorporated into the Christian use of dove iconography….”

The historical connotations of of the doves, the true meaning of the white dove is lost on he-men like Jerry Boykin.  This leaves us with two entirely different versions of the same story.  Boykin’s homo-erotic version is that Jesus of Nazareth was a dirty, smelly, ripped day laborer who was more comfortable with the he-man-woman haters.  He poor, unbathed, unscented, and had long, dirty hair and a beard.  In other words, Boykin’s version is neo-Duck Dynesty.

There is another version, that says that Jesus of Nazareth was the son of Joseph who was a carpenter.  Remember, this is a man who basically disappeared from sight from about the time he was 12 until he was ready to begin his ministry. Was he, as the traditional English legends suggest,  And did those feet in ancient time Walk upon England’s mountain green? And was the holy Lamb of God, On England’s pleasant pastures seen?

You can have this version of the story and also have the version where Jesus of Nazareth was a scholar, thinker, and man of letters.  I happen to think the latter two versions are correct.  I have my reasons for this, including the fascinating body of Masonic lore and legend.

I am a fan of lore and legend. I have a tendency to think, when encountering a situation such as this, that the body of evidence within lore and legend must be given additional weight.  I have another reason. He-men usually have an easier time of it than do scholars, thinkers, and philosophers.  A burly, bulging, pissing, sweating, belching and scratching he-man is not going to treat women the way Jesus of Nazareth did.

There’s something else Boykin needs to understand.  It probably also tells us something of his taste in men.  The most famous carpenter, these days is Harrison Ford. He went directly from pounding nails to rescuing Princess Leia in a galaxy far, far away.  Ripped, I don’t think so. The photo above is our favorite modern carpenter, pirate, archaeologist, etc. at his most ripped. I don’t think he would pass Jerry Boykin’s muster.  Somehow that is reassuring.

Tomorrow, we will see why Boykin is so upset.  Jesus of Nazareth just happened to be history’s first feminist.

FYI:  There are times when you just need a good, hot photo of Harrison Ford, and this is my favorite. Let’s face it, that’s how a manly man should look.


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