Monday, May 23, 2016

Say it ain’t so, Joe

One of Mark Twain’s best known quotes is this one:

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

The quote can be applied to a wide variety of situations. Oddly enough, it can even tie together such widely disparate items as a century old baseball game and some historical Biblical pictures that go back hundreds of years.

First of all, here’s the link to baseball.

In 1916, the Chicago White Sox finished 2nd in the American League, just two games behind the Boston Red Sox. Although the team came in 2nd to the winners, the nucleus of the 1917-1919 dynasty was in place, and the White Sox won the World Series the very next year. The 1917 season was the only time in White Sox history that the team scored 100 victories during regular season play.

The following year, another Chicago team, the Cubs, went to the World Series, but were bested by the Boston Red Sox, 4 games to 2.

In 1919, the White Sox returned t to the World Series, this time against the Cincinnati Red Sox. The series extended to a record 10 games, but the Red Sox eventually prevailed, 5 games to 3 (2 games ended in a tie).

If a lot of the White Sox players had played as well as “Shoeless Joe Jackson”, the White Sox would have prevailed. During the Series, Jackson had 12 hits overall, a World Series record at the time. His batting average during the Series was a very respectable .375.

In 1919, baseball players didn’t make a lot of money. Most of them had to get jobs during the off season to pay their bills, and a few of the White Sox fell prey to a gambling scheme that would pay them cold, hard cash, if they “threw” the series. They did.

After the final loss, one of the young White Sox fans found it impossible to believe that his beloved White Sox could resort to CHEATING, so he confronted his hero, “Shoeless Joe Jackson”.

“Say it ain’t so, Joe” was what he said, but Jackson could not deny that some of his fellow players had cheated. Although Jackson himself was innocent of any wrongdoing, new baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis barred him from participating in the sport after the 1920 season. Although he continued to play semi-pro ball for the next 20 years, the bulk of his income came from a couple of different businesses that he operated with his wife.

Which brings us to the Bible.

No one knows for sure what ANY of the characters in the Bible actually looked like. The first known human sculpture was actually created about 35,000 years ago, long before even the Old Testament was written (as part of the Torah).

Even after the creation of the New Testament, there is no record of any images related to it until about the 6th Century A.D. Since Christianity at that time was heavily influenced by the Eastern Orthodox version of Christianity, the few images that emerged were those of people who resembled the folks who lived in that part of the world, primarily Turks and Macedonians.

The image of Jesus that most of us are familiar with is the one that was painted by Michelangelo in the 16th Century. His model was a blond, blue eyed Italian named Ceaser Borgia..

A study on the 2001 BBC series Son of God attempted to determine what Jesus’ race and appearance may have been. Since Jesus was a Galilean Semite, they concluded that his skin would have been “olive colored”. In the same year, a study financed by the BBC, France 3 and the Discovery Channel used some first century Jewish skulls to better determine what Jesus might have actually looked like. The results can be found at the link below:

what did Jesus look like?

Not only is this image dramatically different from the one that we are used to seeing, it also reveals a very ugly fact about today’s America.

If a homeless Palestinian man (especially one with no identification) who looked like this tried to get into America today, he’d have no luck at all. If he’s lucky, he could avoid being sent to Guantanamo, but he would most likely be forced to remain as a refuge someplace in Europe.

All of us “know” what Jesus looked like, but never forget what Mark Twain said a long time ago:

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

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