Each time she goes on TV, Laura Ingraham wears a big gold cross just above her peccaries and close enough to the cleavage she must think all men potential vampire suckers. The big cross is a Thou Shalt Not. Why didn't she become a nun. Not surprisingly, when she goes on a panel of "authorities" today on Fox News Sunday, she chided the president for not caring about the "three million Christians in Iraq." At least Obama does not lie to minorities the way the Bush Bunch lied to the Shias, to the Kurds, and to other ethnic groups when the U.S. fomented revolution with promises of support, and when support was not forthcoming, causing untold thousands to die when Saddam used chemicals on them. Ironically, the use of chemicals was one of the very things that Dallas George urged on both the American people and the U.N. as proof of a need for regime change in Baghdad. Wonder if Ingraham's big gold garlic on a chain will keep that atheist George Will from attacking her in the green room. Wonder why she considers three million Christians more important than other religious minorities in Iraq.
Thanks for the great reply, Michael! I've known that the Gnostic gospels had some pretty outlandish and contradictory stories in them but I've never studied the topic. Judging from what you wrote and your apparent knowledge, I would have to assume you are familiar with Robert M. Price. I would love to spend a week with him one-on-one just learning.
Me too, Carl, the quality of Price's voice, and of his ideas holds my attention.
Guru and avatar stories are replete with visions of the master after his death. It is nothing new, a trick of the mind. Studies have shown that the mind invents things in order to cope with loss. This may explain poltergeists as well.
That is why I wept when I saw "The Last Temptation of Christ": because Kazantzakis has Jesus surviving the crucifixion just as some gnostics believed, and then there are the speculative books about the Merovingians and Mary Magdelene establishing a line of "kings" upon arrival in Marseilles -- it's all very romantic. In Scorsese's movie, he includes a scene where Jesus is passing through a village and encounters Saul/Paul. Although Jesus insists he is alive and has married and has children, Saul/Paul bids him adieu. "You're no good to us alive. You're supposed to be dead." I loved it. Harry Dean Stanton as Paul. Great casting!
The Last Temptation of Christ is a favorite movie of mine. It also has an incredible soundtrack by Peter Gabriel.
He used mideastern instruments and a wide variety of percussions and studio-created effects but I agree the soundtrack is terrific.
Actually, the published gnostic gospels are all we have, though fragments of others exist; in fact, one of the best books on gnosticism is titled "Fragments of a Faith Forgotten."
Gosh, it has been at least 25 years ago that I read the Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels. She described the political struggle of the Gnostics against the Pauline version of religious belief and it wasn't until many years later, if I remember correctly, maybe 200 years after Jesus' death the conflict over what should be included in the canon occurred. The Gnostics believed in a mother/father god, the magical stories were interpreted as metaphors.
Just imagine how different our lives would be today if the Gnostics had been entered into the canon ... which of course they could not be because of the patriarchal structure that grew out of the story of Jesus, which in fact is a retelling of a story of Issis and Horus.
Of course, this version is not accepted by the Roman Catholic faith nor the Protestants. I don't know about the Mormons, Jehova's Witness or other groups.
However, the older I get, the more I read about the basis of religious thought, the sillier it all gets. At one time, it was a serious matter to me ... now it is all a great big comedy/drama that seems to have no end.
Me, too, Joan Denoo, sillier and sillier, and one looks back and asks, how on earth could I have followed that?!?!
Also, read the Gnostic Christian texts at Nag Hammadi in Egypt. When the disputes occurred, all writings written by Gnostics were destroyed. Remnants were discovered in Egypt in 1945.
"The Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of thirteen ancient codices containing over fifty texts, was discovered in upper Egypt in 1945. This immensely important discovery includes a large number of primary "Gnostic Gospels" -- texts once thought to have been entirely destroyed during the early Christian struggle to define "orthodoxy" -- scriptures such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Truth."
Elaine Pagels' introduction to the Nag Hammadi texts, The Gnostic Gospels.
In addition, there is An Introduction to Gnosticism and The Nag Hammadi Library
"Believed to have been written between AD 200 and 400, the Gnostic Gospels focus on the sayings and teachings of Jesus. Their are numerous writings that are sometimes included in the list of Gnostic Gospels, but the most prominent include:
Gospel of Peter (recovered in 1886 in Egypt, in the grave of a monk who had died in the 700's AD, he was reportedly still clutching the gospel in his hands.)
Gospel of Mary (recovered in 1896)
Gospel of Thomas versions were found in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt in 1898, and again in the Nag Hammadi Library, some scholars think it is older than the canonized gospels. It includes sayings of Jesus but no narrative.
- "The Kingdom of God is inside/within you (and all about you), not in buildings/mansions of wood and stone. (When I am gone) Split a piece of wood and I am there, lift the/a stone and you will find me."
(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."
(114) Simon Peter said to him, "Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life." Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven."
Gospel of Truth (discovered in 1945 as part of the Nag Hammadi Library)
Gospel of Philip (Nag Hammadi Library)
Gospel of Judas (recovered via the antiquities black market in 1983, and then reconstructed in 2006)
Gospel of Mary (Apparently discovered in the late 1800s near Akhmim in upper Egypt then it was purchased by a German scholar, Dr. Carl Reinhart, in Cairo and taken to Berlin and is now part of the Berlin Gnostic Godex.
The Gnostic Gospels are not included in the Biblical canon of the major Christian churches and are instead part of what is known as the New Testament apocrypha.
In 325 AD, the emperor Constantine in conjunction with the bishops at the council of Nicea accepted the Gospels of; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as the only true gospels. In 382 AD the emperor Theodosius banned all gospels that had not been canonized. Christians were not permitted to read them and they were allegedly gathered up and destroyed as much as possible.
In 180 AD Bishop Irenaeus of Lugdunum (now called Lyon, France) published Adversus Haereses which means "Against Heresies." In it he listed various books that he considered heretical including the gospel of Thomas. Irenaeus later was made a saint by the eastern orthodox church."
The Gospel of Thomas is very Jungian. It speaks of only getting into the Kingdom "when you make the male into female and the female male." (I'm paraphrasing.) The idea, I think is the Divine Androgyne of alchemical fame. The author could not have known that we are not differentiated sexually until relatively late in gestation, or he might seem to have been advocating a return to the womb. I once published a put-on "Gospel of Judas" and within about a decade a real one came out. I wondered why queries from gnostic scholars seemed to think I was onto something. I sent a copy to Robert Anton Wilson and he praised it in a review.