Resurrection - In Body Or Retold Myth?
1 Corinthians 15:12-17 "Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; … "
Preparing The Sacrifice
- John 12:3-7 "Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. … Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this."
- John 19:25-27 "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene."
- John 20:11 "But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, … "
- Luke 7:37-50 " … a woman in the city, which was a sinner, … brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. … And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? … but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. … this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. … this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. … Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: … And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. … And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace." (cf Marcion 4:37-50)
- Luke 8:2 "And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils," (cf Marcion 5:2-3)
- Luke 23:55-56 "And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment."
- Luke 24:1 "Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them."
- Marcion 4:37-50 " … And behold, a woman of the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that he was reclining in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wet his feet with the tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. … Seest thou this woman? … she hath wetted my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. … since the time I came hath not ceased kissing my feet. … but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. … Her sins which are many are forgiven; for she loved much … Thy sins are forgiven. … Thy faith has saved thee, go in peace." (cf Luke 7:37-50)
- Marcion 5:2-3 " … And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joannah the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their possessions." (cf Luke 8:2)
- Mark 14:3-9 " … there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. … And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. … She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her."
- Mark 15:1-47 "And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. … There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; … And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.
- Matthew 26:7-13 "There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, … When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. … For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her."
- Matthew 27:55-61 "And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children. … And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre."
- Peter 12 "And at dawn upon the Lord's day Mary Magdalene, a disciple of the Lord, … "
Jesus As Bacchus(cf Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony section of Fantasia !)
- John 12:12-15 "On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, … And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written (cf Zechariah 9:9), And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt."
- Luke 19:35-36 "And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way."
- Mark 11:7-8 "And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way."
- Matthew 21:5-8 " … Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. … And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way."
- Nicodemus 1:3 " … I saw Jesus sitting upon an ass, and the children of the Hebrews held branches in their hands and cried out, and others spread their garments beneath him, saying: Save now, thou that art in the highest: blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."
- Zechariah 9:9 "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."
However, his own disciples didn't know the significance of this ritual (which seems to have been pre-arranged as the colt was ready for him), and was he deliberately following Zechariah's prophecy to place himself in the role of a dying & resurrected god?
- John 12:16 "These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him."
- Luke 19:30-34 " … he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him."
- Mark 11:1-6 " … he sendeth forth two of his disciples, And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither. And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him. And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go."
- Matthew 21:1-5 " … then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass."
Mary As Senior Disciple / Co-Teacher & Companion
- John 19:25-27 "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. "
- Mary Magdalene 10 "Peter said to Mary, 'Sister, I we know that the Saviour loved you more than the rest of women. Tell us the words of the Saviour which you remember - which you know (but) we do not, nor have we heard them.' … "
- Mary Magdalene 18 "[Levi to Peter:] Now I see you contending against the woman like the adversaries. But if the Saviour made her worthy, who are you indeed to reject her? Surely the Saviour knows her very well. That is why he loved her more than us. … "
- Phillip " … There were three who always walked with the Lord; Mary, his mother, and his sister and Magdalene, the one who was his companion. His sister and his mother and his companion were each a Mary. … And the companion of the Saviour is Mary Magdalene. But Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on the mouth. … "
- Pistis Sophia 17 " … And Jesus, the compassionate, answered and said unto Mary: 'Mary, thou blessed one, whom I will perfect in all mysteries of those of the height, discourse in openness, thou, whose heart is raised to the kingdom of heaven more than all thy brethren.'"
- Pistis Sophia 19 "It came to pass then, when Mary had finished saying these words, that he said: 'Well said, Mary, for thou art blessed before all women on the earth, because thou shalt be the fulness of all fulnesses and the perfection of all perfections.' … "
- Pistis Sophia 25 "And Jesus answered and said unto Mary: 'Well said, Mary; thou questionest finely with thy excellent question, and thou throwest light on all things with surety and precision. … "
- Pistis Sophia 34 " … when Jesus had heard Mary speak these words, that he said unto her: 'Well said, Mary, blessed one, the fulness, or all-blessed fulness, thou who shalt be sung of as blessed in all generations.'"
- John 13:23 "Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved."
- John 18:15-16 "And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter."
- John 21:7-20 "Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. … Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, … "
- Ignatius To The Philadelphians 4 " … May I have pleasure in your purity, … as of the beloved disciple, … "
Mary Cleansed & Enlightened
- Luke 8:2 " … Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, … "
- Marcion 5:2-3 " … Mary called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, … "
- Mark 16:9 " … he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils."
- Mary Magdalene 16 " … took seven forms. The first form is darkness, the second desire, the third ignorance, the fourth is the excitement of death, the fifth is the kingdom of the flesh, the sixth is the foolish wisdom of flesh, the seventh is the wrathful wisdom. These are the seven [powers] of wrath. … What binds me has been slain, and what surrounds me has been overcome, and my desire has been ended, and ignorance has died."
How Many Approached The Tomb And What State Was It In?
- 1 & Open
- John 20:1-2 "The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, … "
- 2 & Closed
- Matthew 28:1 " … came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. … and came and rolled back the stone from the door, … "
- 2+ & Open
- Apostles 9 " … And thither went three women, Mary, she that was kin to Martha, and Mary Magdalene, and took ointments to pour upon the body, weeping and mourning over that which was come to pass. … "
- Bartholomew " … They were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James whom Jesus delivered out of the hand of Satan, Salome who tempted him, Mary who ministered to him and Martha her sister, Joanna (Susanna) the wife of Chuza who had renounced the marriage bed, Berenice who was healed of an issue of blood in Capernaum, Lia (Leah) the widow whose son he raised at Nain, and the woman to whom he said, 'Thy sins which are many are forgiven thee'. These were all in the garden of Philogenes, … "
- Luke 23:55-24:10 "And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, … very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, … And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. … It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, … "
- Mark 16:1-4 "And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, … And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great."
- Peter 12-13 "And at dawn upon the Lord's day Mary Magdalene, … she took her friends with her and came to the sepulchre where he was laid. … they went and found the tomb opened, … "
What Did They Find There?
- An angel
- Matthew 28:2-3 " … for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, … His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:"
- A man (or angel)
- Mark 16:5 " … they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; … "
- Peter 12-13 " … and they see there a certain young man sitting in the midst of the tomb, beautiful and clothed in a robe exceeding bright; … "
- Two men (or angels)
- Luke 24:4-23 " … as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: … and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, … "
- No one, then some angels
- John 20:5-12 "And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, … two angels in white sitting, … "
- No one and nothing
- Apostles 9 " … they looked in and found not the body."
What Did They Do Afterwards?
- Mary tells two disciples, then meets Jesus, and tells more disciples
- John 20:2-18 "Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, … But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: … Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. … Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her."
- The women tell the disciples and meet Jesus on the way
- Matthew 28:8-9 "And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, … "
- They aren't believed by the disciples
- Apostles 10-11 " … Martha came and told us. We said unto her: What have we to do with thee, woman? He that is dead and buried, is it possible that he should live? And we believed her not that the Saviour was risen from the dead. … Mary came and told us again, and we believed her not; … Then said the Lord unto Mary and her sisters: Let us go unto them. … "
- Luke 24:10-11 "It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not."
- Mark 16:8-11 "And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; … he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, … And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not."
- They just run
- Peter 13 " … Then the women feared and fled."
How Did Jesus Appear Upon His Return?
- He is a blinding light
- Acts 9:3-7 "And as he Saul journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? … And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man."
- John (Acts Of) 90 "And at another time he taketh with him me and James and Peter unto the mountain where he was wont to pray, and we saw in him a light such as it is not possible for a man that useth corruptible (mortal) speech to describe what it was like. … "
- John (Apocryphon Of) " … I saw in the light a youth who stood by me. While I looked at him, he became like an old man. And he changed his likeness (again), becoming like a servant. There was not a plurality before me, but there was a likeness with multiple forms in the light, and the likenesses appeared through each other, and the likeness had three forms. … "
- Sophia Of Jesus Christ " … the Saviour appeared - not in his previous form, but in the invisible spirit. And his likeness resembles a great angel of light. … "
- He Is Not Recognised
- John 20:14-21:4 "And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. … But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus."
- John (Acts Of) 88-93 " … John, what would this child have that is upon the sea-shore and called us? And I said: What child? And he said to me again: That which beckoneth to us. … thou seest not aright, my brother James; but seest thou not the man that standeth there, comely and fair and of a cheerful countenance? … again he was seen of me as having [a head] rather bald, but the beard thick and flowing, but of James as a youth whose beard was newly come. … And oft-times he would appear to me as a small man and uncomely, and then again as one reaching unto heaven. … and I saw that he was not in any wise clad with garments, but was seen of us naked, and not in any wise as a man, and that his feet were whiter than any snow, so that the earth there was lighted up by his feet, and that his head touched the heaven: … and he, turning about, appeared as a man of small stature, … Sometimes when I would lay hold on him, I met with a material and solid body, and at other times, again, when I felt him, the substance was immaterial and as if it existed not at all. … "
- Luke 24:16 "But their eyes were holden that they should not know him."
Then What Did He Do?
- 1 Corinthians 15:5-8 "And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time."
- John 20:19-21:25" … came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. … Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: … But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. … then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. … Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, … After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; … Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. … Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. … Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. … Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead. So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, … This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. … 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 (Acts Of) 90 " … Again in like manner he bringeth us three up into the mountain, saying: Come ye with me. And we went again: and we saw him at a distance praying. … "
- Luke 24:28-37 " … and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. … Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit."
- Mark 16:12-14 "After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen."
- Matthew 28:9-18" … Jesus met them, saying, All hail. … Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. … Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."
- Phillip " … Jesus took them all by stealth, for he did not reveal himself in the manner in which he was, but it was in the manner in which they would be able to see him that he revealed himself. He revealed himself to them all. He revealed himself as great to the great. He revealed himself as small to the small. He revealed himself to the angels as an angel. Because of this his word hid itself from everyone. … "
- Second Treatise Of The Great Seth" … For as I came downward, no one saw me. For I was altering my shapes, changing from form to form. And therefore, when I was at their gates, I assumed their likeness. For I passed them by quietly, and I was viewing the places, and I was not afraid nor ashamed, for I was undefiled. And I was speaking with them, mingling with them through those who are mine, and trampling on those who are harsh to them with zeal, and quenching the flame. And I was doing all these things because of my desire to accomplish what I desired by the will of the Father above. … "
Was He Drugged?
- John 19:29-38 "Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. The Jews … besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away…. when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. … Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. … "
- Luke 23:46-52 "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. … there was a man named Joseph, … he was of Arimathaea, … went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus."
- Mark 15:36-45 "And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, … And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. … And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, … Joseph of Arimathaea … craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph."
- Matthew 27:48-58 " … one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. … Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. … there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered."
- Peter 5 " … Give him to drink gall with vinegar. And they mixed and gave him to drink, and fulfilled all things, … "
- John 20:27 "Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing."
- 2 John 1:7 "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh."
- Luke 24:30-43 " … as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. … handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. … And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them."
- 2 Peter 1:16 "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty."
Who's Your Daddy?
Although most of the bible as we know it today clearly mentions Joseph as Mary's husband, he isn't named in Mark, the earliest gospel, and rather than being given his father's family name as was usual for both Roman and Jewish peoples, Jesus is merely named after a place (Nazareth), as was typical for illegitimate children.
The Dead Sea Scrolls mention someone known as the Teacher of Righteousness, whilst never giving his name, but these books were great influences on the Essenes who appeared in the second century BCE, whose motive was to 'repair' a Judaism they saw as corrupt and politically driven by the conquering Romans. One of these was Jesus ben (son of) Pantera, who was eventually stoned to death and then hung on a tree during the Passover eve of 88 BCE, but although he died, the strength of his story did not (he must have been at least some irritation to have been targeted and caught), and there soon grew a series of myths regarding his resurrection that were still being copied in the first century CE by the Christians.
Just to confuse matters still further, or perhaps to demonstrate that the biblical Jesus was based on this other one, Rabbinical sources from that period refer to the Christian Jesus as Jesus ben Pantera, from Nazareth, sometime towards the beginning of the first century BCE, though such links were dismissed by the early Christians as propaganda. Celsus himself mixed various stories when he said he'd heard that Jesus was born from Mary after she had been raped by a Roman soldier named Pantera.
It's A Mystery… (Still Searching For A Clue)
Most of this section is taken from on the works of Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy.
- Barnabas 6 " … Blessed be our Lord, who has placed in us wisdom and understanding of secret things. … "
- Bartholomew 1:1 " … Lord, reveal unto me the mysteries of the heavens."
- Bartholomew 2:5-22 "But Mary said unto them: Ask me not concerning this mystery. … said unto Mary: Utter not this mystery, or this day my whole creation will come to an end … "
- Bartholomew 4:66 " … Lord, is it lawful for me to reveal these mysteries unto every man? Jesus saith unto him: Bartholomew, my beloved, as many as are faithful and are able to keep them unto themselves, to them mayest thou entrust these things. For some there are that be worthy of them, but there are also other some unto whom it is not fit to entrust them: …
- Clement To Stromateis " … he [Mark] left his composition to the church in Alexandria, where it even yet is most carefully guarded, being read only to those who are being initiated into the great mysteries. … "
- Colossians 1:26-28 "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:" (cf Hebrews 6:4-6 & John (Acts Of) 100)
- Colossians 2:2-9 " … being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. … Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: … But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, … " (cf Thomas 17)
- Colossians 3:8-11 "But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. "
- 1 Corinthians 3:16 "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
- 1 Corinthians 4:1 " … as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God."
- 1 Corinthians 12:7-8 "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;"
- 1 Corinthians 13:2 "And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; … "
- 1 Corinthians 15:49-51 "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. … Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,"
- 2 Corinthians 3:6 "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." (cf Romans 7:6)
- 2 Corinthians 12:1-4 "I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, … such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, … How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."
- Ephesians 3:3-9 "How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; … And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:"
- Ephesians 4:20-25 "But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another"
- Galations 1:12-16 " … the revelation of Jesus Christ. … To reveal his Son in me, … "
- Hebrews 6:4-6 "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh," (cf Colossians 1:26-28 & John (Acts Of) 100)
- John 1:32 " … I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him." (cf Luke 3:22 & Mark 1:10)
- John 10:34-35 "Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, … " (cf Psalms 82:6)
- John 16:12-25 "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. … These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father."
- John (Acts Of) 95 "I would be saved, and I would save.Amen. I would be loosed, and I would loose. Amen. I would be wounded, and I would wound. Amen. I would be born, and I would bear. Amen. I would eat, and I would be eaten. Amen. I would hear, and I would be heard. Amen. I would be thought, being wholly thought. Amen. I would be washed, and I would wash. Amen. Grace danceth, I would pipe; dance ye all. Amen. I would mourn: lament ye all. Amen. The number Eight singeth praise with us. Amen. The number Twelve danceth on high. Amen. The Whole on high hath part in our dancing. Amen. Whoso danceth not, knoweth not what cometh to pass. Amen. I would flee, and I would stay. Amen. I would adorn, and I would be adorned. Amen. I would be united, and I would unite. Amen. A house I have not, and I have houses. Amen. A place I have not, and I have places. Amen. A temple I have not, and I have temples. Amen. A lamp am I to thee that beholdest me. Amen. A mirror am I to thee that perceivest me. Amen. A door am I to thee that knockest at me. Amen. A way am I to thee a wayfarer. Amen."
- John (Acts Of) 96 "Now answer thou (or as thou respondest) unto my dancing. Behold thyself in me who speak, and seeing what I do, keep silence about my mysteries. … Thou that dancest, perceive what I do, for thine is this passion of the manhood, which I am about to suffer. For thou couldest not at all have understood what thou sufferest if I had not been sent unto thee, as the word of the Father. … What thou knowest not, I myself will teach thee. Thy God am I, not the God of the traitor. I would keep tune with holy souls. In me know thou the word of wisdom. … "
- John (Acts Of) 97 " … And my Lord standing in the midst of the cave and enlightening it, said: John, unto the multitude below in Jerusalem I am being crucified and pierced with lances and reeds, and gall and vinegar is given me to drink. But unto thee I speak, and what I speak hear thou. I put it into thy mind to come up into this mountain, that thou mightest hear those things which it behoveth a disciple to learn from his teacher and a man from his God."
- John (Acts Of) 98 " … it is needful that one should hear these things from me, for I have need of one that will hear. This cross of light is sometimes called the Word by me for your sakes, sometimes mind, sometimes Jesus, sometimes Christ, sometimes door, sometimes a way, sometimes bread, sometimes seed, sometimes resurrection, sometimes Son, sometimes Father, sometimes Spirit, sometimes life, sometimes truth, sometimes faith, sometimes grace. And by these names it is called as toward men: but that which it is in truth, as conceived of in itself and as spoken of unto us, it is the marking-off of all things, and the firm uplifting of things fixed out of things unstable, and the harmony of wisdom, and being wisdom in harmony."
- John (Acts Of) 100 "Now the multitude of one aspect that is about the cross is the lower nature: and they whom thou seest in the cross, if they have not one form, it is because not yet hath every member of him that came down been comprehended. But when the human nature (or the upper nature) is taken up, and the race which draweth near unto me and obeyeth my voice, he that now heareth me shall be united therewith, and shall no more be that which now he is, but above them, as I also now am. For so long as thou callest not thyself mine, I am not that which I am (or was): but if thou hear me, thou, hearing, shalt be as I am, and I shall be that which I was, when I [have] thee as I am with myself. For from me thou art that (which I am). Care not therefore for the many, and them that are outside the mystery despise; for know thou that I am wholly with the Father, and the Father with me." (cf Colossians 1:26-28 & Hebrews 6:4-6)
- John (Acts Of) 101 "Nothing, therefore, of the things which they will say of me have I suffered: nay, that suffering also which I showed unto thee and the rest in the dance, I will that it be called a mystery. For what thou art, thou seest, for I showed it thee; but what I am I alone know, and no man else. Suffer me then to keep that which is mine, and that which is thine behold thou through me, and behold me in truth, that I am, not what I said, but what thou art able to know, because thou art akin thereto. … "
- John (Acts Of) 102 " … the Lord contrived all things symbolically and by a dispensation toward men, for their conversion and salvation."
- John (Apocryphon Of) "The teaching of the saviour, and the revelation of the mysteries and the things hidden in silence, even these things which he taught John, his disciple. … "
- John The Evangelist " … And Henoch let his books down upon the earth and delivered them unto his sons, and began to teach them to perform the custom of sacrifice, and unrighteous mysteries, and so did he hide the kingdom of heaven from men. … "
- Luke 3:22 "And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, … " (cf John 1:32 & Mark 1:10)
- Luke 8:9-10 "And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand."
- Luke 17:20-21 " … when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (cf Mary Magdalene 8 & Matthew 24:23 & Thomas 113)
- Luke 24:45 "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,"
- 3 Maccabees 2:30 " … But if any of them prefer to join those who have been initiated into the mysteries, … "
- Marcion 5:9-11 "And his disciples asked him, saying, 'What might this parable be?' And he said, 'Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God: but to the rest in parables; that seeing they may not see, and hearing that they may not understand. … '"
- Mark 1:10 " … and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:" (cf John 1:32 & Luke 3:22)
- Mark 4:2-34 "And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, … the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? … And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples."
- Mark (Secret Gospel Of) " … And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God. … "
- Mary Magdalene 8 " … he greeted them all, saying, 'Peace be with you. Receive my peace to yourselves. Beware that no one lead you astray, saying, "Lo here!" or "Lo there!" For the Son of Man is within you. Follow after him! Those who seek him will find him. …'" (cf Luke 17:21 & Matthew 24:23 & Thomas 113)
- Mary Magdalene 10 " … For where the mind is, there is the treasure. … "
- Matthew 10:16 " … be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." (cf Thomas 39)
- Matthew 13:10-54 " … Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. … All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. … And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence. And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?"
- Matthew 24:23 "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not." (cf Luke 17:21 & Mary Magdalene 8 & Thomas 113)
- Peter (Apocalypse Of) " … Now then, listen to the things which they are telling you in a mystery, and guard them, Do not tell them to the sons of this age. For they shall blaspheme you in these ages since they are ignorant of you, but they will praise you in knowledge. … others shall change from evil words and misleading mysteries. Some who do not understand mystery speak of things which they do not understand, but they will boast that the mystery of the truth is theirs alone. … The Saviour said to me, 'He whom you saw on the tree, glad and laughing, this is the living Jesus. But this one into whose hands and feet they drive the nails is his fleshly part, which is the substitute being put to shame, the one who came into being in his likeness.' … And I saw someone about to approach us resembling him, even him who was laughing on the tree. … Be strong, for you are the one to whom these mysteries have been given, to know them through revelation, that he whom they crucified is the first-born, and the home of demons, and the stony vessel in which they dwell, of Elohim, of the cross, which is under the Law. But he who stands near him is the living Saviour, the first in him, whom they seized and released, who stands joyfully looking at those who did him violence, while they are divided among themselves. Therefore he laughs at their lack of perception, knowing that they are born blind. So then the one susceptible to suffering shall come, since the body is the substitute. But what they released was my incorporeal body. But I am the intellectual Spirit filled with radiant light. He whom you saw coming to me is our intellectual Pleroma, which unites the perfect light with my Holy Spirit. … "
- Phillip " … It is not possible for anyone to see anything of the things that actually exist unless he becomes like them. This is not the way with man in the world: he sees the sun without being a sun; and he sees the heaven and the earth and all other things, but he is not these things. You saw the Spirit, and you became spirit. You saw Christ and you became Christ. You saw the Father and you shall become Father. So in this place you see everything and do not see yourself; but in that place you do see yourself - and what you see you shall become. … Truth did not come into the world naked, but it came in types and images. One will receive the truth in any other way. There is a rebirth and an image of rebirth. … Our flesh is not true, but we only possess an image of that which is true. … Those who say they will die first and then rise are in error. If they do not first receive the ressurrection while they live, when they die they will receive nothing. … Is it not necessary for all those who possess everything to know themselves? Some indeed, if they do not know themselves, will not enjoy their possessions. Not only will they be unable to detain the perfect man, but they will not be able to see him, for if they see him they will detain him. There is no other way for a person to acquire this quality except by putting on the perfect light and become perfect oneself. Everyone who has put this on will enter the kingdom. This is the perfect light, and it is necessary that we, by all means, become perfect men before we leave the world. … "
- Phillipians 1:9-22 "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; … For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
- Psalms 49:1-4 "Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world: Both low and high, rich and poor, together. My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp."
- Psalms 78:1-3 "Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, … "
- Psalms 82:6 "I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High." (cf John 10:34-35)
- Romans 6:3-11 "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
- Romans 7:6 " … that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." (cf 2 Corinthians 3:6)
- Romans 8:9-11 "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."
- Romans 16:25-26 "Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:"
- Second Treatise Of The Great Seth " … And I did not die in reality but in appearance, lest I be put to shame by them because these are my kinsfolk. I removed the shame from me and I did not become fainthearted in the face of what happened to me at their hands. I was about to succumb to fear, and I [suffered] to their sight and thought, in order that they may never find any word to speak about them. For my death, which they think happened, (happened) to them in their error and blindness, since they nailed their man unto their death. For their Ennoias did not see me, for they were deaf and blind. But in doing these things, they condemn themselves. Yes, they saw me; they punished me. It was another, their father, who drank the gall and the vinegar; it was not I. They struck me with the reed; it was another, Simon, who bore the cross on his shoulder. I was another upon Whom they placed the crown of thorns. But I was rejoicing in the height over all the wealth of the archons and the offspring of their error, of their empty glory. And I was laughing at their ignorance. … "
- Sirach 39:1-3 "On the other hand he who devotes himself to the study of the law of the Most High will seek out the wisdom of all the ancients, and will be concerned with prophecies; he will preserve the discourse of notable men and penetrate the subtleties of parables; he will seek out the hidden meanings of proverbs and be at home with the obscurities of parables."
- Sophia Of Jesus Christ "After he rose from the dead, his twelve disciples and seven women continued to be his followers … they gathered together and were perplexed about the underlying reality of the universe and the plan, and the holy providence, and the power of the authorities, and about everything the Saviour is doing with them in the secret of the holy plan, … "
- Testimony Of Truth " … The foolish - thinking in their heart that if they confess, 'We are Christians,' in word only (but) not with power, while giving themselves over to ignorance, to a human death, not knowing where they are going nor who Christ is, thinking that they will live, when they are (really) in error - hasten towards the principalities and authorities. They fall into their clutches because of the ignorance that is in them. For (if) only words which bear testimony were effecting salvation, the whole world would endure this thing and would be saved. But it is in this way that they drew error to themselves. … And when he had received the power, he turned towards the parts of the right, and he entered into the truth, having forsaken all things pertaining to the left, having been filled with wisdom, with counsel, with understanding, and with insight and an eternal power. … And they came to know themselves, who they are, or rather, where they are now, and what is the place in which they will rest from their senselessness, arriving at knowledge. These Christ will transfer to the heights, since they have renounced foolishness (and have) advanced to knowledge. … Do not expect, therefore, the carnal resurrection, which is destruction; and they are not stripped of it (the flesh) who err in expecting a resurrection that is empty. They do not know the power of God, nor do they understand the interpretation of the scriptures, on account of their double-mindedness. … "
- Thomas 2 "Jesus said, 'Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All.'"
- Thomas 3 "Jesus said, 'If those who lead you say to you, "See, the kingdom is in the sky," then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, "It is in the sea," then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realise that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.'"
- Thomas 17 "Jesus said, 'I shall give you what no eye has seen and what no ear has heard and what no hand has touched and what has never occurred to the human mind.'" (cf 2 Colossians 2:9)
- Thomas 22 " … 'When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the kingdom.'"
- Thomas 24 "His disciples said to him, 'Show us the place where you are, since it is necessary for us to seek it.' He said to them, 'Whoever has ears, let him hear. There is light within a man of light, and he lights up the whole world. If he does not shine, he is darkness.'"
- Thomas 39 "Jesus said, 'The pharisees and the scribes have taken the keys of knowledge (gnosis) and hidden them. They themselves have not entered, nor have they allowed to enter those who wish to. You, however, be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves.'" (cf Matthew 10:16)
- Thomas 51 "His disciples said to him, 'When will the repose of the dead come about, and when will the new world come?' He said to them, 'What you look forward to has already come, but you do not recognise it.'"
- Thomas 62 "Jesus said, 'It is to those who are worthy of my mysteries that I tell my mysteries. … '"
- Thomas 77 "Jesus said, 'It is I who am the light which is above them all. It is I who am the all. From me did the all come forth, and unto me did the all extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.'"
- Thomas 113 "His disciples said to him, 'When will the kingdom come?' Jesus said, 'It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying "Here it is" or "There it is." Rather, the kingdom of the father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it.'" (cf Luke 17:21 & Mary Magdalene 8 & Matthew 24:23)
- Thomas (Acts Of) 27 " … Come, compassionate mother. Come, communion of the male. Come, she that revealeth the hidden mysteries … "
- Thomas (Acts Of) 47 " … Jesu, the hidden mystery that hath been revealed unto us, thou art he that hast shown unto us many mysteries; … "
- Thomas (Acts Of) 50 " … Come, O perfect compassion, Come O communion of the male, Come, she that knoweth the mysteries of him that is chosen, Come, she that hath part in all the combats of the noble champion (athlete), Come, the silence that revealeth the great things of the whole greatness, Come, she that manifesteth the hidden things and maketh the unspeakable things plain, the holy dove that beareth the twin young, Come, the hidden mother, … "
- Thomas (Acts Of) 133 " … we invoke upon thee the name of the mother, of the unspeakable mystery of the hidden powers and authorities … "
- Thomas (Acts Of) 136 " … Thou, then, if verily thou believest in him, shalt be made worthy of his mysteries; and he will magnify thee and enrich thee, and make thee to be an heir of his hingdom."
- Thomas The Contender " … The saviour said , 'Brother Thomas while you have time in the world, listen to me, and I will reveal to you the things you have pondered in your mind. Now since it has been said that you are my twin and true companion, examine yourself, and learn who you are, in what way you exist and how you will come to be. Since you will be called my brother, it is not fitting that you be ignorant of yourself. And I know that you have understood because you had already understood that I am the knowledge of the truth. So while you accompany me, although you are uncomprehending, you have in fact already come to know, and you will be called "the one who knows himself". For he who has not known himself has known nothing, but he who has known himself has at the same time already achieved knowledge about the depth of the all. … "
- Trimorphic Protennoia " … and to those who dwell in the hidden treasuries, he told ineffable mysteries, and he taught unrepeatable doctrines to all those who became Sons of the Light. … I will reveal myself to those who have heard my mysteries, that is, the Sons of the Light. … Now behold! I will reveal to you my mysteries, since you are my fellow brethren, and you shall know them all. […] I told all of them about my mysteries that exist in the incomprehensible, inexpressible Aeons. I taught them the mysteries through the Voice that exists within a perfect Intellect, and I became a foundation for the All, and I empowered them. … and it was granted him to partake of the mystery of knowledge, and he became a Light in Light. … "
- A Valentinian Exposition " … I will speak my mystery to those who are mine and to those who will be mine. … "
- Wisdom Of Solomon 6:20-22 " … so the desire for wisdom leads to a kingdom. Therefore if you delight in thrones and scepters, O monarchs over the peoples, honor wisdom, that you may reign for ever. I will tell you what wisdom is and how she came to be, and I will hide no secrets from you, but I will trace her course from the beginning of creation, and make knowledge of her clear, … "
- Wisdom Of Solomon 7:7-25 " … and the spirit of wisdom came to me. … and I chose to have her rather than light, because her radiance never ceases. … I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom leads them; but I did not know that she was their mother … for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me. For in her there is a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, unpolluted, distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen, irresistible, beneficent, humane, steadfast, sure, free from anxiety, all-powerful, overseeing all, and penetrating through all spirits that are intelligent and pure and most subtle. For wisdom is more mobile than any motion; because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things. For she is a breath of the power of God, … "
- Wisdom Of Solomon 8:3-4 "She glorifies her noble birth by living with God, and the Lord of all loves her. For she is an initiate in the knowledge of God, and an associate in his works."
- Wisdom Of Solomon 9:4-9 "give me the wisdom that sits by thy throne, … With thee is wisdom, who knows thy works and was present when thou didst make the world,"
- Wisdom Of Solomon 10:1 "Wisdom protected the first-formed father of the world, when he alone had been created; … "
- Wisdom Of Solomon 14:23 "For whether they kill children in their initiations, or celebrate secret mysteries, or hold frenzied revels with strange customs,"
Like Uri Geller And Other Self-proclaimed 'Psychics', Jesus Cannot Perform Miracles When Sceptics Are Present
He Claims That :
- Luke 17:6 " … If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you."
- Luke 18:27 " … The things which are impossible with men are possible with God."
- Mark 10:27 " … for with God all things are possible."
- Matthew 17:20 " … If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."
- Matthew 19:26 " … with God all things are possible."
- Thomas 48 " … they will say to the mountain, 'Move Away,' and it will move away."
- Thomas 106 " … and when you say 'Mountain, move away,' it will move away."
Yet When Faced With Sceptics :
- Mark 6:5-6 "And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. … "
- Matthew 13:58 "And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief."
The Time Of The Second Coming Was Long Ago
- 1 Corinthians 7:29 "But this I say, brethren, the time is short: … "
- 2 Corinthians 6:2 "… behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."
- Hebrews 1:2 "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, … "
- Hebrews 10:27 "For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry."
- James 5:8 "Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."
- John 21:22 "Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me."
- 1 John 2:18 "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time."
- Luke 9:27 "But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God."
- Luke 21:32 " … This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled."
- Mark 13:30 " … this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done."
- Matthew 16:28-34 " … There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. … This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
- Matthew 23:36 "Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation."
- Matthew 24:34 "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
- 1 Peter 1:20 "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,"
- 1 Peter 4:5 "But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer."
- 2 Peter 2:3-4 " … there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
- 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 " … that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. … Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
- 1 Thessalonians 5:23 "… and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Even In Those Days They Were Still Waiting
- 1 Clement 23 " … Of a truth, soon and suddenly shall His will be accomplished, as the Scripture also bears witness, saying, 'Speedily will He come, and will not tarry;' and, 'The Lord shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Holy One, for whom ye look.'"
Cross? What Cross?
Deuteronomy 21:22-23 "And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) … "
- Acts 5:30 "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree."
- Acts 10:39 "And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:"
- Acts 13:29 "And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre."
- Galatians 3:13 "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:"
- Peter (Apocalypse Of) " … The Saviour said to me, 'He whom you saw on the tree, glad and laughing,' … And I saw someone about to approach us resembling him, even him who was laughing on the tree. … "
- Luke 23:39 "And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him … "
- 1 Peter 2:24 "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, … "
- John 19:28-30 " … 'I thirst.' … 'It is finished:' … "
- Luke 23:46 " … 'Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit:' … "
- Mark 15:34-35 " … 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' which is, being interpreted, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias."
- Matthew 27:46-47 " … 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' that is to say, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias."
- Peter 5 "My power, my power, thou hast forsaken me."
Roman History Re-written
When was Jesus born?
- Luke 2:1-3 "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city."
- Matthew 2:1 "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, "
They only crucified those found guilty of sedition, and rebellious slaves
- John 19:18 "Where they crucified him, and two other with him, … "
- Luke 23:33 " … there they crucified him, and the malefactors, … "
- Mark 15:27 "And with him they crucify two thieves; … "
- Matthew 27:38 "Then were there two thieves crucified with him, … "
There was no rule, law, or custom, to release a prisoner during passover
- John 18:39 "But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: … "
- Luke 23:17 "(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)"
- Mark 15:6 "Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired."
- Matthew 27:15 "Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would."
Silver was minted as coins, not weighed out as pieces
- Luke 15:8 "Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, … "
- Matthew 26:15 " … And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver."
Not one historian records what must surely have been a unique event
- Matthew 27:52-53 "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."
Arguments - Pro
- If those who are called philosophers, and especially the Platonists, have said aught that is true and in harmony with the faith, we are not only not to shrink from it, but to claim it for our own use from those who have unlawful possession of it. [Confessions, City Of God, Christian Doctrine]
- It is not possible that the Gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are, for there are four zones of the world and four pricipal winds.
- Whatever things were rightly said among all teachers are the property of us Christians. [Second Apology]
- As to the objection of our Jesus's being crucified, I say, that suffering was common to all the aforementioned sons of Jove. [First Apology]
- As to his being born of a virgin, you have your Perseus to balance that. As to his curing the lame, and the paralytic, and such as were cripples from birth, this is little more than what you say of your Aesculapius. [First Apology]
- It having reached the Devil's ears that the prophets had foretold the coming of Christ, the Son of God, he set the heathen Poets to bring forward a great many who should be called the sons of Jove. The Devil laying his scheme in this, to get men to imagine that the true history of Christ was of the same characters the prodigious fables related of the sons of Jove. [First Apology]
- Having heard it proclaimed through the prophets that the Christ was to come and that the ungodly among men were to be punished by fire, the wicked spirits put forward many to be called Sons of God, under the impression that they would be able to produce in men the idea that the things that were said with regards to Christ were merely marvellous tales, like the things that were said by the poets. [First Apology]
- For myself, when I discovered the wicked disguises which the evil spirits had thrown the divine doctrines of the Christians, to turn aside others from joining them, laughed both at those who framed these falsehoods, and at the disguise itself, and at popular opinion; not because the teachings of Plato are different from those of Christ, but because they are not in all respects similar, as neither ar those of the poets, Stoics, and historians [Second Apology]
- Analogies To The History Of Christ. And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter. For you know how many sons your esteemed writers ascribed to Jupiter: Mercury, the interpreting word and teacher of all; Aesculapius, who, though he was a great physician, was struck by a thunderbolt, and so ascended to heaven; and Bacchus too, after he had been torn limb from limb; and Hercules, when he had committed himself to the flames to escape his toils; and the sons of Leda, and Dioscuri; and Perseus, son of Danae; and Bellerophon, who, though sprung from mortals, rose to heaven on the horse Pegasus. For what shall I say of Ariadne, and those who, like her, have been declared to be set among the stars? And what of the emperors who die among yourselves, whom you deem worthy of deification, and in whose behalf you produce some one who swears he has seen the burning Caesar rise to heaven from the funeral pyre? [First Apology]
- Be well assured, then, Trypho, that I am established in the knowledge of and faith in the Scriptures by those counterfeits which he who is called the devil is said to have performed among the Greeks; just as some were wrought by the Magi in Egypt, and others by the false prophets in Elijah's days. For when they tell that Bacchus, son of Jupiter, was begotten by intercourse with Semele, and that he was the discoverer of the vine; and when they relate, that being torn in pieces, and having died, he rose again, and ascended to heaven; and when they introduce wine into his mysteries, do I not perceive that [the devil] has imitated the prophecy announced by the patriarch Jacob, and recorded by Moses? And when they tell that Hercules was strong, and travelled over all the world, and was begotten by Jove of Alcmene, and ascended to heaven when he died, do I not perceive that the Scripture which speaks of Christ, "strong as a giant to run his race," has been in like manner imitated? And when he [the devil] brings forward Aesculapius as the raiser of the dead and healer of all diseases, may I not say that in this matter likewise he has imitated the prophecies about Christ? … And when I hear, Trypho, that Perseus was begotten of a virgin, I understand that the deceiving serpent counterfeited also this. [Dialogue With Trypho The Jew]
- You say we worship the sun; so do you.
- Early manifestations of the Son of God, as recorded in the Old Testament; rehearsals of His subsequent Incarnation. [Against Praxeas]
- In certain Mysteries it is by baptism that members are initiated and they imagine that the result of this baptism is regeneration and the remission of the penalties of their sins.
- The devil, whose business is to pervert the truth, mimics the exact circumstances of the Divine Sacrements. He baptises his believers and promises forgiveness of sins from the Sacred Fount, and thereby initiates them into the religion of Mithras. Thus he celebrates the oblation of bread, and brings in the symbol of resurrection. Let us therefore acknowledge the craftiness of the devil, who copies certain things of those that be Divine.
Arguments - Contra
- Many other persons would appear such as Jesus was, to those who were willing to be deceived.
- Is it not a wretched inference from the same acts, to conclude that the one is a God, and the others sorcerers?
- In all of these beliefs you have been deceived; yet you persist doggedly to seek justification for the absurdities you have made doctrines. [On The True Doctrine]
- The Christians excite their initiates to the point of frenzy with flute music like that heard among the priests of the goddess Cybele. (cf John (Acts Of) 95)
- One ought first to follow reason as a guide before accepting any belief, since anyone who believes without testing a doctrine is certain to be deceived. [On The True Doctrine]
- It is clear to me that the writings of the Christians are a lie, and that your fables are not well-enough constructed to conceal this monstrous fiction:
- They are forever repeating: 'Do not examine. Only believe, and thy faith will make thee blessed. Wisdom is a bad thing in life, foolishness is to be preferred.'
- There is nothing new or impressive about their ethical teaching; indeed, when one compares it to other philosophies, their simple-mindedness becomes apparent. [On The True Doctrine]
- Let's assume for a minute that he foretold his resurrection. Are you ignorant of the multitudes who have invented similar tales to lead simple minded hearers astray? [On The True Doctrine]
- What an absurdity! Clearly the Christians have used the myths of Danae and the Melanippe, or of the Auge and the Antiope in fabricating the story of Jesus' virgin birth. [On The True Doctrine]
- Although a thing may seem to you to be evil, it is by no means certain that it is so; for you do not know what is of advantage to yourself, or to another, or to the whole world.
- If Jesus desired to show that his power was really divine, he ought to have appeared to those who had ill-treated him, and to him who had condemned him, and to all men universally.
- The Christians babble about God day and night in their impious and sullied way; they arouse the awe of the illiterate with their false descriptions of the punishments awaiting those who have sinned.
- These things are stated much better among the Greeks (than in the Scriptures), and in a manner which is free from all exaggerations and promises on the part of God, or the Son of God.
- If only it were possible that all the inhabitants of Asia, Europe, and Libya, Greeks and Barbarians, all to the uttermost ends of the earth, were to come under one law! but any one who thinks this possible, knows nothing.
- The resurrection of the dead, and the divine judgment, and of the rewards to be bestowed upon the just, and of the fire which is to devour the wicked, are stale doctrines and there is nothing new in your teaching upon these points.
- Christians weave together erroneous opinions drawn from ancient sources, and trumpet them aloud, and sound them before men, as the priests of Cybele clash their cymbals in the ears of those who are being initiated in their mysteries.
- God does not need to amend His work afresh. But it is not as a man who has imperfectly designed some piece of workmanship, and executed it unskilfully, that God administers correction to the world, in purifying it by a flood or by a conflagration.
- The great God, after giving his spirit to the creator, demands it back again. What god gives anything with the intention of demanding it back? For it is the mark of a needy person to demand back (what he has given), whereas God stands in need of nothing.
- After all, the old myths of the Greeks that attribute a divine birth to Perseus, Amphion, Aeacus and Minos are equally good evidence of their wondrous works on behalf of mankind - and are certainly no less lacking in plausibility than the stories of your followers. [On The True Doctrine]
- If these idols are nothing, what harm will there be in taking part in the feast? On the other hand, if they are demons, it is certain that they too are God's creatures, and that we must believe in them, sacrifice to them according to the laws, and pray to them that they may be propitious.
- Moreover, their cosmogony is extremely silly. The narrative of the creation of man is exceedingly silly. Perhaps Moses wrote these words with no serious object in view, but in the spirit of the writers of the old Comedy, who have sportively related that 'Proetus slew Bellerophon,' and that 'Pegasus came from Arcadia.'
- Taking its roots in the lower classes, the religion continues to spread among the vulgar: nay, one can even say it spreads because of its vulgarity, and the illiteracy of its adherents. And while there are a few moderate, reasonable, and intelligent people who are inclined to interpret its beliefs allegorically, yet it thrives in its purer form among the ignorant.
- So too their fantastic story - which they take from the Jews - concerning the flood and the building of an enormous ark, and the business about the message being brought back to the survivors of the flood by a dove (or was it an old crow?). This is nothing more than a debased and nonsensical version of the myth of Deucalion, a fact I am sure they would not want to come light. [On The True Doctrine]
- Now it will be wondered how men so desperate in their beliefs can persuade others to join their ranks. The Christians use sundry methods of persuasion, and invent a number of terrifying incentives. Above all, they have concocted an absolutely offensive doctrine of everlasting punishment and rewards, exceeding anything the philosophers (who have never denied the punishment of the unrighteous or the reward of the blessed) could have imagined.
- God is the God of all alike; He is good, He stands in need of nothing, and He is without jealousy. What, then, is there to hinder those who are most devoted to His service from taking part in public feasts. If these idols are nothing, what harm will there be in taking part in the feast? On the other hand, if they are demons, it is certain that they too are God's creatures, and that we must believe in them, sacrifice to them according to the laws, and pray to them that they may be propitious.
- Certain Christians, having misunderstood the words of Plato, loudly boast of a 'super-celestial' God thus ascending beyond the heaven of the Jews. These things are obscurely hinted at in the accounts of the Persians, and especially in the mysteries of Mithras, which are celebrated amongst them. He who would investigate the Christian mysteries, along with the aforesaid Persian, will, on comparing the two together, and on unveiling the rites of the Christians, see in this way the difference between them.
- Plato is not guilty of boasting and falsehood, giving out that he has made some new discovery, or that he has come down from heaven to announce it, but acknowledges whence these statements are derived. Accordingly, we do not say to each of our hearers, 'Believe, first of all, that He whom I introduce to thee is the Son of God although he was shamefully bound, and disgracefully punished, and very recently was most contumeliously treated before the eyes of all men. Believe it even the more (on that account)'.
- The Christians say that God has hands, a mouth, and a voice; they are always proclaiming that 'God said this' or 'God spoke'. 'The heavens declare the work of his hands,' they say. I can only comment that such a God is no God at all, for God has neither hands, mouth nor voice, nor any characteristics of which we know. Their absurd doctrines even contains references to God walking about in the garden he created for man; and they speak of him being angry, jealous, moved to repentance, sorry, sleepy - in short as being in every respect more a man than a God.
- The more modest among the Jews and Christians endeavour somehow to give these stories an allegorical signification, although some of them do not admit of this, but on the contrary admit that they are exceedingly silly inventions. The allegorical explanations, however, which have been devised are much more shameful and absurd than the fables themselves, inasmuch as they endeavour to unite with marvellous and altogether insensate folly things which cannot at all be made to harmonize.
- It is equally silly of these Christians to suppose that when their God applies the fire (like a common cook!) all the rest of mankind will be thoroughly scorched, and that they alone will escape unscorched - not just those alive at the time, mind you, but (they say) those long since dead will rise up from the earth possessing the same bodies as they did before. I ask you: Is this not the hope of worms? For what sort of human soul is it that has any use for a rotted corpse of a body? [On The True Doctrine]
- Not only do they misunderstand the words of the philosophers; they even stoop to assigning words of the philosophers to their Jesus. For example, we are told that Jesus judged the rich with the saying 'It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of god.' Yet we know that Plato expressed this very idea in a purer form when he said, 'It is impossible for an exceptionally good man to be exceptionally rich.' Is one utterance more inspired than the other? [On The True Doctrine]
- The old mythological fables which attributed a divine origin to Perseus, and Amphion, and Aeacus, and Minos were not believed by us. Nevertheless, that they might not appear unworthy of credit, they represented the deeds of these personages as great and wonderful, and truly beyond the power of man; but what hast thou done that is noble or wonderful either in deed or in word? Thou hast made no manifestation to us, although they challenged you in the temple to exhibit some unmistakable sign that you were the Son of God.
- Are these distinctive happenings unique to the Christians, and if so, how are they unique? Or are ours to be accounted myths and theirs believed? What reasons do the Christians give for the distinctiveness of their beliefs? In truth there is nothing at all unusual about what the Christians believe, except that they believe it to the exclusion of more comprehensive truths about God. They believe in eternal punishment; well, so do the priests and initiates of the various religions. The Christian threaten others with this punishment, just as they are themselves threatened. [On The True Doctrine]
- Again, if God, like Jupiter in the comedy, should, on awaking from a lengthened slumber, desire to rescue the human race from evil, why did He send this Spirit of which you speak into one corner (of the earth)? He ought to have breathed it alike into many bodies, and have sent them out into all the world. Now the comic poet, to cause laughter in the theatre, wrote that Jupiter, after awakening, despatched Mercury to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians; but do not you think that you have made the Son of God more ridiculous in sending Him to the Jews?
- And again, let us resume the subject from the beginning, with a larger array of proofs. And I make no new statement, but say what has been long settled. God is good, and beautiful, and blessed, and that in the best and most beautiful degree. But if he come down among men, he must undergo a change, and a change from good to evil, from virtue to vice, from happiness to misery, and from best to worst. Who, then, would make choice of such a change? It is the nature of a mortal, indeed, to undergo change and remoulding, but of an immortal to remain the same and unaltered. God, then, could not admit of such a change.
- God either really changes himself, as these assert, into a mortal body, and the impossibility of that has been already declared; Or else he does not undergo a change, but only causes the beholders to imagine so, and thus deceives them, and is guilty of falsehood. Now deceit and falsehood are nothing but evils, and would only be employed as a medicine, either in the case of sick and lunatic friends, with a view to their cure, or in that of enemies when one is taking measures to escape danger. But no sick man or lunatic is a friend of God, nor does God fear any one to such a degree as to shun danger by leading him into error.
- You surely do not say that if the Romans were, in compliance with your wish, to neglect their customary duties to gods and men, and were to worship the Most High, or whatever you please to call him, that he will come down and fight for them, so that they shall need no other help than his. For this same God, as yourselves say, promised of old this and much more to those who served him, and see in what way he has helped them and you! They, in place of being masters of the whole world, are left with not so much as a patch of ground or a home; and as for you, if any of you transgresses even in secret, he is sought out and punished with death.
- All things, accordingly, were not made for man, any more than they were made for lions, or eagles, or dolphins, but that this world, as being God's work, might be perfect and entire in all respects. For this reason all things have been adjusted, not with reference to each other, but with regard to their bearing upon the whole. And God takes care of the whole, and (His) providence will never forsake it; and it does not become worse; nor does God after a time bring it back to himself; nor is He angry on account of men any more than on account of apes or flies; nor does He threaten these beings, each one of which has received its appointed lot in its proper place.
- By far the most silly thing is the distribution of the creation of the world over certain days, before days existed: for, as the heaven was not yet created, nor the foundation of the earth yet laid, nor the sun yet revolving, how could there be days? Moreover, taking and looking at these things from the beginning, would it not be absurd in the first and greatest God to issue the command, Let this (first thing) come into existence, and this second thing, and this (third); and after accomplishing so much on the first day, to do so much more again on the second, and third, and fourth, and fifth, and sixth? After this, indeed, he is weary, like a very bad workman, who stands in need of rest to refresh himself! It is not in keeping with the fitness of things that the first God should feel fatigue, or work with His hands, or give forth commands.
- He has neither mouth nor voice. God possesses nothing else of which we have any knowledge. Neither did He make man His image; for God is not such an one, nor like any other species of (visible) being. God partakes of form or colour nor does He even partake of 'motion'. He is not to be reached by word. He cannot be expressed by name. He has undergone no suffering that can be conveyed by words. Deity is beyond all suffering. How, then, shall I know God? and how shall I learn the way that leads to Him? And how will you show Him to me? Because now, indeed, you throw darkness before my eyes, and I see nothing distinctly. Those whom one would lead forth out of darkness into the brightness of light, being unable to withstand its splendours, have their power of vision affected and injured, and so imagine that they are smitten with blindness.
- That I bring no heavier charge than what the truth compels me, any one may see from the following remarks. Those who invite to participation in other mysteries, make proclamation as follows: 'Every one who has clean hands, and a prudent tongue;' others again thus: 'He who is pure from all pollution, and whose soul is conscious of no evil, and who has lived well and justly.' Such is the proclamation made by those who promise purification from sins. But let us hear what kind of persons these Christians invite. Every one, they say, who is a sinner, who is devoid of understanding, who is a child, and, to speak generally, whoever is unfortunate, him will the kingdom of God receive. Do you not call him a sinner, then, who is unjust, and a thief, and a housebreaker, and a poisoner, and a committer of sacrilege, and a robber of the dead? What others would a man invite if he were issuing a proclamation for an assembly of robbers?
- And I think that it makes no difference whether you call the highest being Zeus, or Zen, or Adonai, or Sabaoth, or Ammoun like the Egyptians, or Pappaeus like the Scythians. Nor would they be deemed at all holier than others in this respect, that they observe the rite of circumcision, for this was done by the Egyptians and Colchians before them; nor because they abstain from swine's flesh, for the Egyptians practised abstinence not only from it, but from the flesh of goats, and sheep, and oxen, and fishes as well; while Pythagoras and his disciples do not eat beans, nor anything that contains life. It is not probable, however, that they enjoy God's favour, or are loved by Him differently from others, or that angels were sent from heaven to them alone, as if they had had allotted to them 'some region of the blessed,' for we see both themselves and the country of which they were deemed worthy.
- Well, let us believe that these cures, or the resurrection, or the feeding of a multitude with a few loaves, from which many fragments remained over, or those other stories of a marvellous nature were actually wrought by you. These are nothing more than the tricks of jugglers, who profess to do more wonderful things, and to the feats performed by those who have been taught by Egyptians, who in the middle of the market-place, in return for a few obols, will impart the knowledge of their most venerated arts, and will expel demons from men, and dispel diseases, and invoke the souls of heroes, and exhibit expensive banquets, and tables, and dishes, and dainties having no real existence, and who will put in motion, as if alive, what are not really living animals, but which have only the appearance of life. Since, then, these persons can perform such feats, shall we of necessity conclude that they are 'sons of God,' or must we admit that they are the proceedings of wicked men under the influence of an evil spirit?
- Come now, let us grant to you that the prediction was actually uttered. Yet how many others are there who practise such juggling tricks, in order to deceive their simple hearers, and who make gain by their deception? - as was the case, they say, with Zamolxis in Scythia, the slave of Pythagoras; and with Pythagoras himself in Italy; and with Rhampsinitus in Egypt (the latter of whom, they say, played at dice with Demeter in Hades, and returned to the upper world with a golden napkin which he had received from her as a gift); and also with Orpheus among the Odrysians, and Protesilaus in Thessaly, and Hercules at Cape Taenarus, and Theseus. But the question is, whether any one who was really dead ever rose with a veritable body. Or do you imagine the statements of others not only to be myths, but to have the appearance of such, while you have discovered a becoming and credible termination to your drama in the voice from the cross, when he breathed his last, and in the earthquake and the darkness?
- Seeing you are so eager for some novelty, how much better it would have been if you had chosen as the object of your zealous homage some one of those who died a glorious death, and whose divinity might have received the support of some myth to perpetuate his memory! Why, if you were not satisfied with Hercules or Aesculapius, and other heroes of antiquity, you had Orpheus, who was confessedly a divinely inspired man, who died a violent death. But perhaps some others have taken him up before you. You may then take Anaxarchus, who, when cast into a mortar, and beaten most barbarously, showed a noble contempt for his suffering, and said, 'Beat, beat the shell of Anaxarchus, for himself you do not beat,' - a speech surely of a spirit truly divine. But others were before you in following his interpretation of the laws of nature. Might you not, then, take Epictetus, who, when his master was twisting his leg, said, smiling and unmoved, 'You will break my leg;' and when it was broken, he added, 'Did I not tell you that you would break it?'
- The Dioscuri, and Hercules, and Aesculapius, and Dionysus, who are believed by the Greeks to have become gods after being men, but Christians cannot bear to call such beings gods, because they were at first men, and yet they manifested many noble qualifies, which were displayed for the benefit of mankind, while they assert that Jesus was seen after His death by His own followers, as if they said that 'He was seen indeed, but was only a shadow!' A great multitude both of Greeks and Barbarians acknowledge that they have frequently seen, and still see, no mere phantom, but Aesculapius himself, healing and doing good, and foretelling the future. They will not endure his being compared with Apollo or Zeus. Faith, having taken possession of our minds of Christians, makes them yield the assent which they give to the doctrine of Jesus. Well, after he has laid aside these qualities, he will be a God: (and if so), why not rather Aesculapius, and Dionysus, and Hercules? Christians ridicule those who worship Jupiter, because his tomb is pointed out in the island of Crete; and yet they worship him who rose from the tomb, although ignorant of the grounds on which the Cretans observe such a custom.
- They have also a precept to this effect, that we ought not to avenge ourselves on one who injures us, or, as he expresses it, 'Whosoever shall strike thee on the one cheek, turn to him the other also.' This is an ancient saying, which had been admirably expressed long before, and which they have only reported in a coarser way. For Plato introduces Socrates conversing with Crito as follows: 'Must we never do injustice to any?' 'Certainly not.' 'And since we must never do injustice, must we not return injustice for an injustice that has been done to us, as most people think?' 'It seems to me that we should not.' 'But tell me, Crito, may we do evil to any one or not?' 'Certainly not, O Socrates.' 'Well, is it just, as is commonly said, for one who has suffered wrong to do wrong in return, or is it unjust?' 'It is unjust. Yes; for to do harm to a man is the same as to do him injustice.' 'You speak truly. We must then not do injustice in return for injustice, nor must we do evil to any one, whatever evil we may have suffered from him.' Thus Plato speaks; and he adds, 'Consider, then, whether you are at one with me, and whether, starting from this principle, we may not come to the conclusion .that it is never right to do injustice, even in return for an injustice which has been received; or whether, on the other hand, you differ from me, and do not admit the principle from which we started. That has always been my opinion, and is so still. Such are the sentiments of Plato, and indeed they were held by divine men before his time. But let this suffice as one example of the way in which this and other truths have been borrowed and corrupted. Any one who wishes can easily by searching find more of them.
- They cannot tolerate temples, altars, or images. In this they are like the Scythians, the nomadic tribes of Libya, the Seres who worship no god, and some other of the most barbarous and impious nations in the world. That the Persians hold the same notions is shown by Herodotus in these words: 'I know that among the Persians it is considered unlawful to erect images, altars, or temples; but they charge those with folly who do so, because, as I conjecture, they do not, like the Greeks, suppose the gods to be of the nature of men.' Heraclitus also says in one place: 'Persons who address prayers to these images act like those who speak to the walls, without knowing who the gods or the heroes are.' And what wiser lesson have they to teach us than Heraclitus? He certainly plainly enough implies that it is a foolish thing for a man to offer prayers to images, whilst he knows not who the gods and heroes are. This is the opinion of Heraclitus; but as for them, they go further, and despise without exception all images. If they merely mean that the stone, wood, brass, or gold which has been wrought by this or that workman cannot be a god, they are ridiculous with their wisdom. For who, unless he be utterly childish in his simplicity, can take these for gods, and not for offerings consecrated to the service of the gods, or images representing them? But if we are not to regard these as representing the Divine Being, seeing that God has a different form, as the Persians concur with them in saying, then let them take care that they do not contradict themselves; for they say that God made man His own image, and that He gave him a form like to Himself. However, they will admit that these images, whether they are like or not, are made and dedicated to the honour of certain beings. But they will hold that the beings to whom they are dedicated are not gods, but demons, and that a worshipper of God ought not to worship demons.
- All things came into existence not more for the sake of man than of the irrational animals. Thunders, and lightnings, and rains are not the works of God. Even if one were to grant that these were the works of God, they are brought into existence not more for the support of us who are human beings, than for that of plants, and trees, and herbs, and thorns. Although you may say that these things, namely plants, and trees, and herbs, and thorns, grow for the use of men, why will you maintain that they grow for the use of men rather than for that of the most savage of irrational animals? We indeed by labour and suffering earn a scanty and toilsome subsistence, while all things are produced for them without their sowing and ploughing. But if you will quote the saying of Euripides, that 'The Sun and Night are to mortals slaves,' why should they be so in a greater degree to us than to ants and flies? For the night is created for them in order that they may rest, and the day that they may see and resume their work. If one were to call us the lords of the animal creation because we hunt the other animals and live upon their flesh, we would say, Why were not we rather created on their account, since they hunt and devour us? Nay, we require nets and weapons, and the assistance of many persons, along with dogs, when engaged in the chase; while they are immediately and spontaneously provided by nature with weapons which easily bring us under their power. With respect to your assertion, that God gave you the power to capture wild beasts, and to make your own use of them, we would say that, in all probability, before cities were built, and arts invented, and societies such as now exist were formed, and weapons and nets employed, men were generally caught and devoured by wild beasts, while wild beasts were very seldom captured by men. The world was uncreated and incorruptible, and that it was only the things on earth which underwent deluges and conflagrations, and that all these things did not happen at the same time. In this way God rather subjected men to wild beasts. If men appear to be superior to irrational animals on this account, that they have built cities, and make use of a political constitution, and forms of government, and sovereignties, this is to say nothing to the purpose, for ants and bees do the same. Bees, indeed, have a sovereign, who has followers and attendants; and there occur among them wars and victories, and slaughterings of the vanquished, and cities and suburbs, and a succession of labours, and judgments passed upon the idle and the wicked; for the drones are driven away and punished. The ants set apart in a place by themselves those grains which sprout forth, that they may not swell into bud, but may continue throughout the year as their food, When ants die, the survivors set apart a special place (for their interment), and that their ancestral sepulchres such a place is. And when they [the ants] meet one another they enter into conversation, for which reason they never mistake their way; consequently they possess a full endowment of reason, and some common ideas on certain general subjects, and a voice by which they express themselves regarding accidental things. Come now, if one were to look down from heaven upon earth, in what respect would our actions appear to differ from those of ants and bees?
Marcus Tullius Cicero
- Know then that thou art a god. [The Republic]
- When we call corn Ceres or wine Bacchus, we use a common figure of speech, but do you imagine that anyone is so mad as to believe the thing he feeds upon is a god?
- The story of Attis represents an eternal cosmic process, not an isolated event in the past. As the story is intimately related to the ordered universe, we reproduce it ritually to gain order in ourselves. We, like Attis, have fallen from Heaven. We mystically die with him and are reborn.