It was at the end of the 20th century that a huge influx of articles and books attacking Christianity started to emerge. The presence of the internet gave them unprecedented publicity globally. I used to wonder what is behind this push to replace Christianity with something else in the west. Then I began to hear the ‘Age of Aquarius’ is here. When I searched it out, it all began to make sense. According to the Zodiac calendar of astrology, as our entire solar system revolves around the galactic center of the Milky Way, it takes about 26000 years for the earth to go through all the twelve zodiac signs. It is said that it takes 2100 years for the earth to pass through one zodiac sign. When the earth enters a new zodiac sign, one age ends and a new age begins. Many who follow the astrological calendar saw a New Age coming in the 21st century. (Thus the name New Age movement).

Currently, March Equinox occurs when the Sun is in Pisces. But this was not always the case. 2,000 years ago, March Equinox occurred in Aries. The precession of the equinoxes is a 26,000-year cycle. The wobble of the Earth’s axis draws a counter-clockwise ‘circle’ in the heavens and literally points to different North Stars over the course of the cycle. In the Zodiac calendar, In the Zodiac calendar, Pisces is the last sign and Aquarius comes before it. But since the movement is counter-clockwise, Aquarius comes after Pisces.

According to the ancients the dawning of the final 2,100 years Zodiac Age, the Age of Aquarius, on December 21st, 2012. The New Agers consider that the Age of Pisces, which they consider as the Age of Christianity, comes to an end when the Age of Aquarius begins. So the flurry of articles and books attacking Christianity began to show up as more and more people boldly began to proclaim the New Age that is about to dawn, trying to convince Christians that their time in history is over and others are taking over.

Two narratives became popular in this effort. One group tried to present a Jesus who was more or less and Eastern mystic, who possessed Eastern wisdom and worldviews. How did a Jewish boy who lived in the Village of Nazareth possess Eastern wisdom? Well, that was possible if Jesus went to India and learned from the gurus there.

The second narrative, mainly spewed from the carnal Western outlook, tried to portray Jesus as an imposter, or a magician, or as a teacher who later married Mary Magdalene and had a family somewhere, or even as a homosexual.

Right away, one realizes that both arguments cannot be correct. Either he was an ascetic (like Eastern gurus) or a carnal man (according to the Western mindset). One cannot be both. That alone eliminates the credibility of a lot of these books.

Since most of the world agrees that Jesus was one of the highest moral teachers the world has ever seen, let us focus on the Eastern ascetic argument here. To bring credibility to the claim that Jesus was nothing more than an Eastern mystic, who learned everything he did from gurus in India, many books have come out suggesting that “the missing years of Jesus” was spent traveling to India and surrounding nations and learning about Buddhism and Hinduism. Even though such books started to show up at the dawn of the 20th century, only ow we see a flurry of them. Even the titles give away their intention. One such book is “Jesus In India” by A. J. Parr.1 The subtitle of that book is “The New Age Christian Scrolls.” Another one is “The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ” by Levi H. Dowling.3 (If you enter Jesus In India in your Google search window, you will see dozens of entries, most of which are written by either New Agers or Hindu gurus in the West). The Aquarian Gospel was originally published in 1906. Mirza Ghulam Ahmed published his book “Jesus in India” originally in 1908. Both of these have been republished and widely circulated in recent years.

My friend, Amar Robinsoon3 has written a booklet refuting the claims of The Aquarian Gospel. Do not think that all of these books have the same storyline. Some claim that Jesus came back to Palestine to do his public ministry mentioned in the Gospels, while others claim that he lived in India until old age.

When you read through all of these articles and books, you see that there is one common denominator. All of them want to prove that Jesus did not die on the cross to become the Savior of mankind (and then, of course, he did not resurrect on the third day). Negating the central theme of the New Testament is a necessity for New Age groups, Hinduism and Islam. If Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected on the third day, then he was who he claimed to be the Son of the living God, and all spiritual pilgrimage end at his feet. So, these entire articles and books claim that Jesus did not die on the cross. He either escaped or survived and went back to India to live there.

This will blog will limit the arguments to general observations in defense of Christianity to prove the fallacies of this wishful thinking.

A.J. Parr quotes several authors in his book who wanted to claim that the Christian teachings are borrowed from other religions. (Please read my previous blog about it here). He also mentions an ancient Tibetan manuscript at the Himis Buddhist monastery that mentions Jesus being in Tibet. According to it, Jesus (Issa) left the parental home in secret, departed from Jerusalem, and with merchants set out to Sind, with the object of perfecting himself in the Divine Word and of studying the laws of the great Buddhas. But once his story had been re-examined by historians, it is claimed that Notovitch confessed to having fabricated the evidence. Bible scholar Bart D. Ehrman states, "Today there is not a single recognized scholar on the planet who has any doubts about the matter. The entire story was invented by Notovitch, who earned a good deal of money and a substantial amount of notoriety for his hoax."4. Yet, many of the New Age books repeat this lie as proof that Jesus went to India.
On closer examination, it can be shown that all of these claims were made by self-serving authors who want to peddle their version of the truth.

We can preset several logical arguments against these spurious claims:
1. At the time of Jesus, a boy was considered to become a man at the age of twelve. That is why we Jesus in the temple at age twelve. The father would redeem the son from the curse of the law by paying five Shekels to the temple. Thereafter, he would start his studies in the Torah. By the age of fifteen, he would be an apprentice in a trade. The Bible says, his contemporaries called him a ‘carpenter from Nazareth’ (Matthew 13:55).

2. Ignorance of the Jewish way of life at the time of Jesus is behind most of these claims. Had Jesus Gone to India and returned with a foreign religion, they would have disowned him. They had a special ceremony for it called kezazah.

3. None of his contemporaries ever questioned his Jewishness. They were willing to accept him as a Jewish prophet and a Jewish rabbi.

4. Everything that Jesus ever quoted was from the Old Testament. People like Parr have tried to show that what Jesus said is from Buddha or Krishna. For example, he says that what Jesus said in Mark 7:15, “Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them,’ is the same as what is mentioned in Buddhist Sutta Nipata, “Stealing, deceiving, adultery; this is defilement. Not eating of meat.”5 This argument completely neglects the fact that Jesus was teaching against valuing traditions over scriptures.

5. None of the early writers like Josephus, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, Suetonius, and Celsus, who mentioned Jesus ever mention that Jesus had gone outside of his nation. (Celsus’ goal was to attack and discredit Christianity).

Then how do we account for the ‘missing years’ of Jesus?
First of all, they were not missing years. He was living the normal life of any other Jewish young man at that time by learning and helping out his family. When the time came for him to start his ministry, he started it. By custom, rabbis were not regarded as mature enough to begin their public ministry until age 30.6.

Robinson in his book gives a good explanation.7 For him, Luke 2:52 is the answer. “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” It shows that Jesus was growing mentally, intellectually, spiritually, and socially during those eighteen years. Jesus was ready in every respect to fulfilling his mission when he started it. That is why God the Father declared, ““This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:15).

One cannot escape the Jesus question by introducing a false narrative. It does not matter how popular it becomes in the West that is direly seeking for an escape from the moral teachings of Christianity and the personal accountability it demands. Many who have started the search without any hidden agendas have come to the same conclusion: Jesus is indeed who the Bible portrays him to be.

1Parr, A.J. (2020). Jesus In India. Grapevine Books. (looks like a publisher in India).
2Howling, Levi H. (2019). The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ. Rolled Scroll Publishing (looks like self-published).
3Contact the author at PastorAmar@aol.com to get a copy of this book.
4 Ehrman, Bart D. (2011). "8. Forgeries, Lies, Deceptions, and the Writings of the New Testament. Modern Forgeries, Lies, and Deceptions." New York: HarperCollins e-books. pp. 282–283.
5Parr. p.59
6 https://www.evangelmagazine.com/2019/06/why-jesus-waited/
7Robinson, p.22.