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Did Jesus survive the crucifixion?

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#1    testudo_aubreii

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:22 PM

Hello,

First off, I would like to say that I have been lurking for a while and finally decided to try and share something that I found pretty interesting. You guys have some great ideas and conversations here and I would like to get everyone's take on this. It is about Jesus and the possibility that he survived the crucifixion and traveled to India.

I apologize if it is in the wrong forum. I know it revolves around religion, but it also goes into the realm of alternative history, so I thought I would post it here.  

Are you ready? It is a lengthy read, so I would like to thank anyone in advance for reading through the entire essay. Here is goes.

(I don't know how to put this in a spoiler tag, sorry)

All of the prior versions of the gospel of Mark state that what the Jesus’s tomb was simply empty. No talk of resurrection, just an empty cave where the body of Jesus should have been. There was no talk of the resurrection until it was added to the gospel of Mark 200 years later. The gospels are supposed to be taken as historical evidence, but they simply are not and they were written to establish the relevance of Jesus and the message that he was trying to convey. Although the gospels did this very well, the authors where not essentially concerned with what really happened. They wanted a story that could help win over potential converts.

We have some accounts from the resurrection from Luke, Matthew and John, but their stories are not on the same page with one another. The gospel of Luke states that after the resurrection, Jesus met with two disciples, names unknown, and they were not familiar with him, that is they did not recognize him. Jesus then meets with the other eleven disciples before they part ways near Jerusalem. The gospel of Matthew states that he met two women by his tomb and then proceeded to convene with each of his disciples individually on a mountain in the town of Galilee. John’s account state the Mary Magdalene visited the tomb and saw that the stone in front of the tomb had been moved and rushed over to get Paul. When they entered the tomb, they saw nothing but the things that they used to bury Jesus with. After the men went home, she stayed and saw two angels and Jesus. Jesus told her not to hold on to him because he has not yet ascended. She then exclaims to everyone that she has seen the lord. No one knows for sure what the reactions of the others were to her account.

To many, the reason why there are different points of view on how the resurrection went down is because the accounts were not penned because a holy miracle happened, but because of a totally political motive. You see, most of the assumed witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus were also the first leaders of the church. Some even suggest that the authors may have used this extraordinary account of the resurrection as a psychological machine to help reign in the potential converts.

We can read the gospels and find out that Jesus drank and ate with his followers, even going as far as allowing Thomas touch his wounds. How could that have happened if he died on the cross? There is a book, The Passover Plot, 1965, that suggests that Jesus was somehow sedated while he was on the cross and that it appeared that he was dead. It also states that because of this he was taken down from the cross earlier than expected. While on the cross, some of the disciples were actually able to give Jesus something via a sponge. "They filled the sponge with vinegar and put it upon hyssop and put it to his mouth." - John 19:29 Jesus immediately died after taking this substance. "When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said it is finished." - John 19:30.

Sedation is not the only reason to believe that Jesus may have survived the crucifixion. There is an account of a crucifixion survival story recorded by the Jewish historian Josephus. He was sent to survey land for a Roman garrison somewhere near Palestine and he came across three of his friends hanging from crosses. He immediately requested for the three men to be taken down and General Titus granted permission. They cut down and received medical attention. Two of his friends died, but the other survived the crucifixion.

According to the gospels, the story goes that the day of the Sabbath was coming up, so the Romans wanted to make sure that the three men that were being crucified, were dead before the Sabbath. The Romans saw that two of the three men were still alive, so they broke their legs to speed up the execution process. The third man, however, seemed limp and lifeless so they assumed that he was dead and did not break his legs. That man was Jesus.

The crucifixion of Jesus happened very quickly, perhaps too quickly. The Romans said that Jesus was on the cross for 6 hours, they checked the body and they assumed he was dead. He was cut down and sealed in his tomb, for he was dead. However, was he dead, clinically dead? Some concerns about whether he is dead are brought to the surface because it is said that Joseph of Arimathea brought certain herbs into the tomb that were not necessarily used for the embalming process. He brought in aloes and they were used more for their medicinal purposes. There are story all over the world, from ancient time to the present day where people who are assumed to be dead, that is they are non-responsive to what is going on around them, but then are revived or resuscitated. Let us take Lazarus for example. He arose from the dead 4 days after his presumable death. Was he resurrected or resuscitated?

When we start to talk about whether or not Jesus was crucified and the resurrected, it obviously becomes very controversial. However, it is clearly stated in every gospel that the disciples viewed Jesus after his death in such a way that was very much alive. This information does not mean that the story of the resurrection was a put on show or a calculated deception. There is an idea that was brought forth by the English author Samuel Butler, and it is that if Jesus was sent into a socked induced coma while suffering on the cross and then recovered while in the tomb, then Jesus and all of the disciples would have viewed his “resurrection” as a miracle.
The disciples where just ordinary people that thought they saw an extraordinary event. People have near death experiences all over the world. Some say that they see this brilliant light and it is looked upon as some sort of miraculous sign. However, in the ancient times did not have the technology and the knowledge that we do today. They did not have the scientific equipment that we do today to revive people from what appears to be a dead state. Therefore, it does make sense for the disciples that saw the resurrection, looked upon Jesus’s revival as a miracle or an act of god.

Let us say that somehow Jesus survived the crucifixion. Now, there is a big problem for Jesus and his disciples. If Jesus were alive after the execution, he would still be a wanted man. In the Bible, Jesus is taken away through the act of ascension, where his body is lifted up into heaven. There is only one problem with the ascension story and that is that it is not stated anywhere in the early or original forms of the Bible. When we do see the first story of the ascension is also, where we also see the first mention of the resurrection, which is in the Gospel of Mark. Moreover, like the resurrection story, it was added 200 years later. There is no story of the ascension in the Gospel of Matthew. Interestingly enough, there is no mention of the ascension in the Gospel of John, but the very end states, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” - John 21:25.

So, if Jesus did not ascend into heaven, what did he do? He had to do something because he could not certainly hang around in Golgotha. He would have to flee somewhere. Where, though? It is thought that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a very special relationship, perhaps that they were married and maybe even had children. If we are to try to find out where Jesus would have and could have fled to, let us take a look of where Mary is said to have gone. The legend says that Mary, and some companions, fled to the south of France. It is also said that one of her companions was Jesus and Mary’s daughter, Sarah. Sarah was disguised and traveled as Mary’s servant. Is it possible that Jesus was also traveling in disguise to evade the Roman forces? This story does sound doubtful. Surely, if Jesus was known to be alive, there would have been some mention of this escape somewhere and his followers would be expecting his return.

In fact, they were expecting his return. His followers were expecting the “second coming”. However, nowhere does it state that this second coming of Jesus was going to be a miraculous event. There is no doubt that some of us view the resurrection story in different ways. However, whether he survived or was resurrected, Jesus does disappear. Jesus tells the disciples that he is leaving. When they ask if they can follow him, he says no, he tells them not to worry, and that he will one day return. It was only when he did not return that the second coming on judgment day was created.

If Jesus and Mary decided to leave the area, where he was known and wanted, there are better options than fleeing to France. That area of France was under Roman control. In fact, much of Europe and the Middle East were under Roman control, so it would be possible that someone could recognize him. Jesus probably knew that he could not stay in a Roman controlled territory, so I think fleeing to France is probably out of the question. Therefore, if you look at a map, there is only really one way to go and that is to head east towards India. How would Jesus get there, though?

The road to India and the east is not as harsh as one would think, even for back then. One could get there relatively easily but sea or land. There were two main routes one could have taken, the Spice Route or the Silk Route. It could not have been too hard, for the disciple Thomas actually traveled to India and founded a Christian church. It would have been easy to travel to India because there was a constant stream of vessels and caravans that would import and export goods and he could have hopped aboard on or the other. However, why would Jesus want to travel east to India, anyway? To answer that question, we have to look at the years when Jesus rather disappeared.

There is no record whatsoever of Jesus from the ages 14-29. It is said that Jesus was in India learning Buddhism during this time. In Buddhism, when the Lama dies, “wise men” would look up to the stars and other signs and begin an arduous journey to seek the new born who is indeed the reincarnation of the Lama. When the infant is found, the men wait until he is of age and then taken away where he learns Buddhism. This sounds an awful lot like the story of the three wise men who sought Jesus and may just be were the story originated. Is it possible that Jesus was taken from his homeland to India and educated as a Buddhist?

There was one person who thought that this is a likely story, a Russian writer by the name of Nicolas Notovitch. He traveled throughout India and on his travels found something very interesting. Notovitch found ancient Tibetan manuscripts in a monastery and set out to translate the manuscript for his book, The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ. The ancient text tells about divine youth named Isa who was born in the 1st century. They boy was born to a poor family in Israel and he traveled to India when he was 14 years old. The manuscript goes on to tell that Isa was educated in the ways of Buddhism and then returned to his homeland of Israel when he was 29 years of age. It is odd that the manuscript states this, that there are no records of Jesus in Israel or Palestine from stated ages, that the miracles and other ideas, such as the meek inheriting the earth and loving thy enemy (which is not even discussed in the Jewish tradition, but are completely congruous with the teachings of Buddhism) and that Isa is the Arabic name for Jesus. Do you know what is also consistent in the teachings of Buddhism? The Buddha was able to traverse over water and the Buddha was able to take abandoned food and feed hundreds of hungry mouths with it.

You would think that there would be some sort of record that Jesus was in India, just as I stated about him being in the south of France. However, there are customs in the Kashmir region of India. There are a tribe of people in that region that call themselves Bene Israel, or the Sons of Israel, and they say that they are the lost tribes of Israel. The have a belief that Yuz Asaf (Leader of the Healed), a minister of the 1st century also known as Isa, left the region at 29, but returned to Kashmir in his 30’s. There is a temple in this region, called the Temple of Solomon, that used bare an inscription that told of Yuz Asaf’s allegation that he was Jesus, the profit of Israel, around the 50AD.

Abdullah Assiz Kashmiri, a professor at the University of Srinagar, says that the history books in Kashmir state the Yuz Asaf came from abroad and that he was a profit and that he indeed did travel from Israel. It is said that he traveled back to advance his guidance and that he was indeed Jesus, Isa and Yuz Asaf. Kashmiri also says that another meaning of the name Yuz Asaf is the shepherd, or the one who teaches students. He goes on to say that their history books go on to authenticate that Isa was also known as Yuz Asaf.

Yuz Asaf lived and died in Kashmir. He lived until around the year 80AD. You can actually visit the tomb of Yuz Asaf at the Roza Bal in Srinagar. The first record of a tomb here was recorded around the year 112AD. Today, there are two people buried in the tomb at Roza Bal, Yuz Asaf and a Muslim by the name of Mir Sayyid Naseeruddin. I bring this up, and it is interesting to note, because Naseeruddin is buried in the Muslim tradition north and south, while Yuz Asaf is buried in the Jewish tradition of east and west. Another interesting thing to note that is next to the tomb there are a set of footprints. The thing that is interesting about these footprints is that they are of Yuz Asaf and they have a scar on each foot. It is said that these are the scars of crucifixion. The scares are not identical on each foot, but if you put on footprint over the other, the line up perfectly for a single nail to go through each one, left foot over the right. There are no tales in the traditions of the region that coincide with any of these ideas, lending father credence that Jesus is Isa, and Isa is Yuz Asaf and that this is where he is buried.

These are the reasons why I think that it is a strong possibility that Jesus did not die on the cross, that Jesus was not resurrected and that he did not ascend into heaven.


#2    DefenceMinisterMishkin

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:40 PM

I think he died

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#3    and then

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:41 PM

It's an Islamic concept that he was not killed on the cross.  It allows them to deny his deity and sonship.  No Christian will ever accept this because IF the crucifixion death is a lie then any hope of resurrection is equally false.  Kind of removes the whole basis for it, ya know?  But a huge number of people believe this fervently and that is their right.  One day we'll all know for sure.

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#4    third_eye

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:49 PM

It's hardly an 'Islamic concept'

Many Early 'Christian' Sects of the day shared that belief ... much to their misfortune ... I believe the first few Crusades wiped them out ... almost ...

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#5    LightSharer

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:29 PM

I think it makes sense that a lot of the Bible stories were conjured; especially once the Kings got their hands on it.  I think he was alive when they took him down.  After his side was pierced blood and water flowed.  As (if) he was dying, the blood would pool low; legs and feet.  When his side was pierced water would have come out, if anything at all.  He was most likely very dehydrated.

Depending on which gospel is read, he did or did not take the "gaul".

There was a documentary just yesterday about this.  Joseph of Aramethea (sp?) and a man whose name escapes me at the moment brought pounds of myrhh and aloe to prepare him.  Typically, it's sprinkled.  Myrhh and aloe are known for healing properties and antiseptics.  It also stated that he was able to put himself into a trance to appear dead, and was revived, or revived himself at will once in the cave.  They have records of a man from Israel who was a great teacher and healer.  They called him Issa.  There is a tomb with his name; and wax prints of the feet.  The prints show that this man had nails through them in the typical way Romans crucified; one foot over the other; they were cheap and used as little as possible; plus reused the ones they could straighten.  St. Issa live to a ripe old age (not mentioned).  He and Mary split and she and the child lived in France.  However, the sex of the child is controversial; I've read male, named Judah.  It is also stated she and Joseph of Arimathea were seen arriving in a boat without ors.  That is hard to swallow.

I DO feel he could have survived, especially if during his "lost years" he learned from the monks and masters how to slow his breathing, go into a trance and appear dead.

At this point, I don't know what to believe.  I WAS a Catholic; got tired of the rules changing almost every year.  Tried various denominations.  Each interpreted the Bible differently.  I believe in God, and that Jesus tried to state that we are as related to God as he is, we are all "sons of God" because God's the creator.

It doesn't make sense either, that if Jesus taught for 3 years, he said very little. In my opinion, anything is possible, but not always probable.

Those that saw him after he resurrected.  You heard of Thomas the Twin?  Supposedly he resembled Jesus so much he was mistaken for him.

It's all stories; even the documents aren't proven.  If you believe in a Higher Being, I think when you shed your body, you will continue to live.  Heaven isn't a place, it's a state of mind.  That's why Jesus said, "if you believe me, you will know the kingdom of heaven".  I think "in" was added.

But what do I know?  It's my opinion.


#6    and then

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:32 PM

View Postthird_eye, on 15 July 2014 - 08:49 PM, said:

It's hardly an 'Islamic concept'

Many Early 'Christian' Sects of the day shared that belief ... much to their misfortune ... I believe the first few Crusades wiped them out ... almost ...

~
I was unaware of this.  The only exposure to it that I've ever had was what Islam teaches through tradition.  Is it not true that Islam teaches that Judas was substituted for Jesus and that Jesus was sent to heaven alive to return and follow behind (assist) the Mahdi?

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#7    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:36 PM

The one big problem I have with the idea is that the Romans understood the mechanics of crucifixion and of death.
If he was sedated to "appear dead" the Romans would be like "can we be sure he's dead? Lets STAB HIM IN THE SIDE and see" (which, incidentally they did and they took the results as sign of death). That's a might fine sedative if it can make you body appear dead when stabbed in the liver or kidneys.
They've been executing people via crucifixion for decades by that point. They'd know all the "cons" to get someone off the cross.

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When the fear is gone, there will be nothing.
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#8    StarMountainKid

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 10:21 PM

In my opinion, the NT stories of Jesus' crucifixion and afterwards are better evidence that Jesus did not die on the cross than that he did.

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#9    rakovsky

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:40 PM

It's a very interesting topic. However, to believe that it was a real resurrection, you basically in terms of logic must accept that very much of the gospels are made up even in the time of the apostles. The Gospels are filled with all kinds of miracles, like angels appearing in clothes and Jesus walking on water. I suppose they would have known the difference between walking on water and swimming, but what do I know? The letters of Peter and Paul were defending themselves against the idea that their stories were made up, so whatever they were telling people would have sounded miraculous and it goes beyond just a resuscitation or survival.

I do know forr certain that the ancient prophets like Isaiah (chpt 53) predicted the Messiah would be killed and resurrect, despite the claim of skeptics and modern rabbis that this only refers to an allegorical experience by the Israelite people. However, whether it happened or not is more mysterious, unfortunately, to me. Yes, there is evidence, like modern miraculous Christian experiences, that Christianity is real.


#10    testudo_aubreii

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 11:43 PM

Thanks for the replies.

True or not true, I found it pretty interesting. So much so that when I heard about it, I I did a some research on it and this is what I came up with. As far fetched as it may seem, we con't know what happened, so really anything could have happened. I guess you can say that about pretty much anything in ancient history, though.


I really appreciate you all reading it and commenting on it.


#11    jaylemurph

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 12:26 AM

View Postthird_eye, on 15 July 2014 - 08:49 PM, said:

It's hardly an 'Islamic concept'

Many Early 'Christian' Sects of the day shared that belief ... much to their misfortune ... I believe the first few Crusades wiped them out ... almost ...

~

Well, no. The First Crusade was almost 1,000 years later than the early church. The Latin Catholic and the Orthodox church and their doctrines pretty much held supremacy in the Western World by the fifth or sixth century CE. The early church fathers didn't need a crusade to lead pogroms against each other. They did just fine fighting and killing each other over the correct brand of christianity on their own. The reason the Crusades could even happen was the fact that for the christian church was reasonably united by that time and could focus on killing non-christians instead.

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#12    jaylemurph

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 12:54 AM

View Posttestudo_aubreii, on 15 July 2014 - 08:22 PM, said:

Hello,

First off, I would like to say that I have been lurking for a while and finally decided to try and share something that I found pretty interesting. You guys have some great ideas and conversations here and I would like to get everyone's take on this. It is about Jesus and the possibility that he survived the crucifixion and traveled to India.

You seem to be taking an odd take on this that is both historical and ahistorical. Either the Bible is a historical document or it isn't (hint: it isn't; it's piece of propaganda of questionable historical accuracy, because it never occurred to anyone for it to be history for several centuries after it was compiled), so you either need to treat as representing truth or not.

If you're treating as truth, then your argument about a post-Cruxifiction Jesus is hamstrung from the get-go. The whole context of the Bible in its current form is that Jesus did survive and that his death and resurrection were part of a much larger mytho-poetical divine plan for the universe. If you're not referring to the Bible in its current form, you leave huge tracks of assumptions about what you're choosing discuss and what not to discuss that makes a hypothesis unuseful.

If the Bible is not representing truth, then you don't need it to further your historical argument.

What you wind up doing is treating the Bible piece-meal, which makes it look like you have a theory and are only cherry-picking the useful bits out of it that suit your theory and conveniently ignoring anything that doesn't help. That's not persuasive historically or religiously.

Historically speaking, you'd do better to pick up on non-Biblical historical documents (like the Josephus passage you quote) and go from there. Frankly, however, you're unlikely to be the one who finds the missing document that proves your theory (and it's hardly even your theory at that; the idea has been kicked around for decades, if not centuries) or to come up with an actually persuasive historical argument. Like every other part of the historical Jesus' life (if, indeed, there even was a historical Jesus -- the actual evidence is hardly solid as it is) there's simply not enough extant material for a conclusive statement.

I guess I'm confused as to what you're asking for. If all you're interested in is creating a possibility made up of "maybes" and "could bes" and cobbling together several fringe theories to come up with your own fringe theory (that already exists), well, you've done that. What do you want? Comments to tell you how well you did that? Or are you actually looking to make a historically persuasive argument that relies on facts? Then you're setting out on a Sisyphean task and I'm not sure you have all the tools for and which is unlikely to ever be successful.

--Jaylemurph

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#13    third_eye

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 05:02 PM

View Postand then, on 15 July 2014 - 09:32 PM, said:

I was unaware of this.  The only exposure to it that I've ever had was what Islam teaches through tradition.  Is it not true that Islam teaches that Judas was substituted for Jesus and that Jesus was sent to heaven alive to return and follow behind (assist) the Mahdi?

'True' ? That's not for me to say ... and its not a 'Islamic' teaching ... it was the prevailing traditions that made its way into Islam ~
The Mahdi legends is a much later tradition and its practiced by only certain Sects of the Muslim Faith ~ as far as I understand it ~

View Postjaylemurph, on 16 July 2014 - 12:26 AM, said:

Well, no. The First Crusade was almost 1,000 years later than the early church. The Latin Catholic and the Orthodox church and their doctrines pretty much held supremacy in the Western World by the fifth or sixth century CE. The early church fathers didn't need a crusade to lead pogroms against each other. They did just fine fighting and killing each other over the correct brand of christianity on their own. The reason the Crusades could even happen was the fact that for the christian church was reasonably united by that time and could focus on killing non-christians instead.

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Historically ~ Yes ~ but in a less Euro centric sense the early formation or maybe more accurately the origin 'crusades' started well before that and much nearer to home ~ Arianism then the Cathars / Albigensian ... its just a matter of catergorising from one's own side of the fence I guess ~

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#14    Rlyeh

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 05:31 PM

I thought he flew away?


#15    jaylemurph

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 07:36 PM

View Postthird_eye, on 16 July 2014 - 05:02 PM, said:

Historically ~ Yes ~ but in a less Euro centric sense the early formation or maybe more accurately the origin 'crusades' started well before that and much nearer to home ~ Arianism then the Cathars / Albigensian ... its just a matter of catergorising from one's own side of the fence I guess ~

~

That's certainly true. The Cathars were certainly based on surviving Gnostic traditions from the early centuries of the church -- they were prominent in the 12th and early 13th Centuries, after the First Crusade, but they had ties with pre-Crusade movements like the Bogomils.

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