• My Jewish Learning Website: Created via Jewish Mysticism to take "dead matter" (goyim) and turn it into a force to protect/avenge the Jewish people (Freemasonry, Gnosticism, Theosophy, etc): https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/golem
Philo & Gnosticism Lectures
• Lecture on Philo of Alexandria: by Bruce. W. Gore JD/MA and his allegorizing of scripture, incorporating Logos, Plato, and Jewish religion into Gnosticism and Greek philosophy: https://youtu.be/ccsHoMQWlQE
Remember that Philo is seen as one of the foundational influences of Freemasonry’s advanced degrees along with another Jewish intellectual royal of Aristobulus.
• Michael Heiser Lecture on Gnosticism: Full version: https://youtu.be/pDyl1qrpj_Q Part 4 on the "Divine Feminine" of the "enlightened" Gnostic Jesus in comparison with traditional "ignorant" Christian Jesus: https://youtu.be/UQO36HuHLQY
• Michael Heiser Lecture on Ezekiel’s Vision: https://youtu.be/a-Z--Xebv7I - in this lecture Heiser demonstrates how Ezekiel was drawing upon images of the Babylonian religion to perform "Catholic Alchemy" on their imagery and to put the God of Israel on top of the throne instead of Marduk.
Philo, Alexandrian, Judaism, & the Gnostic Gospels
• JSTOR Article on Valentinus: His crypto-Judaism in Gnosticism (create account to read 6 articles free per month on JSTOR): https://www.jstor.org/stable/1584007
• JSTOR Article on Jewish Sophia: The background to the Gnostic Sophia (create account to read 6 articles free per month on JSTOR): https://www.jstor.org/stable/1560039
• JSTOR Article on Greek Cosmic Love and the Christian God of Love: The article by Cornelia J. De Vogel who refutes the author of Gnostica, Judaica, Catholica (Brill) on its chapter "God is Love" from pages 715-732 [comments on Vogel’s article on are on page 731]: https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/1583359
• Sophia and the Johannine Jesus - Martin Scott: https://tinyurl.com/y4aou25m
Philo creates Sophia and relation to Johannite Gnostics (Templars)
• Bible Odyssey: Philo and Aristobulus, Alexandrian Jews and allegories of Old Testament: https://tinyurl.com/y4hqd3bn
• Gospel of Thomas: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/thomas/gospelthomas114.html
"Simon Peter says to them: "Let Mary go out from our midst, for women are not worthy of life!" Jesus says: "See, I will draw her so as to make her male so that she also may become a living spirit like you males. For every woman who has become male will enter the Kingdom of heaven." Read all of the many interpretations, explaining away, by purely subjective means, this passage in the Gospel of Thomas; no different than Protestants; the Protestant/Occult dialectic at work.
• Religious Researcher on Gospel of Thomas: The "misogyny" of the Thomas Gospel " is understood" by "conservatives" because their are "too simplistic" in their interpretation of the passage that "women are not worthy of life" etc. because they haven’t consulted "experts" who understand it as "allegory." https://tinyurl.com/y5c6hky4
• Philo the Pharisee?: http://archive.naplesnews.com/community/wisdom-josephus-and-philo-ep-397044576-332517622.html
- "In his theological persuasion, Philo appears to have been a Pharisee."
• Judaism 101 Online Encyclopedia: http://www.jewfaq.org/movement.htm "The Pharisees believed that G-d gave the Jews both a written Torah and an oral Torah, both of which were equally binding and both of which were open to interpretation by the rabbis, people with sufficient education to make such decisions. The Pharisees were devoted to study of the Torah and education for all. . . The Pharisaic school of thought is the only one that survived the destruction of the Temple." [that is a key point, that the Pharisees, whom Christ was most angry with, were the only ones who seemingly survived the destruction of the 2nd Temple]
• Jerusalem Post "Alexandria: Forgotten Jewry": Philo, Jewish aristocrat/royalty in "greatest Jewish community" who lived in "glory and vitality" in Alexandria before the Romans and Christians took over: https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Alexandria-Forgotten-Jewry-forgotten-revolt-497909
- "The greatest figure to emerge from the elite of the Jews of Alexandria was philosopher and political activist Philo (c. 25-c. 50 CE). The scion of a wealthy banking family with ties to the monarchy in Judea, Philo read the Torah as both law and philosophy. While he did read the Torah from a literal standpoint and was a pious Jew, Philo added a layer of philosophical allegory on to the text that understood anew the meaning of the text. He reconciled the Torah with the philosophy of Plato. Philo was first great Jewish philosopher and, although he is a harbinger of Saadia Gaon and Maimonides, his writings – in Greek – were embraced by a Church that skewed Philo by focusing solely on his use of allegory. Philo never meant for Jews to abandon the Torah and ritual; he merely took the ideas of the day and recalibrated them for Judaism."
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament Vol. VII - Gerhard Kittel
- Pg. 121-122 - Philo on sin and the woman.
- Pg. 135 - Paul on flesh not being bad when combined with spirit.
- Pg. 434 - Philo of the illumination school, Platonism, and fusing Greek and OT concepts.
- Pg. 498-514 - Sophia wisdom in Catholicism vs. Jewish-Gnostic illuminism, Gnostic thought, Philo, etc.
- Pg. 519-522 - Paul uses Gnostic language to combat it and isn’t afraid of doing so.
"Jewish Revolutionary Spirit" and its Protestant or "Judaizing" Catholic Golems
• Jews Liberated by French Revolution: http://www.museumoffamilyhistory.com/mfh-emancipation.htm
• Execution of Charles 1st: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/charlesI.htm [very unfavorable view of Charles 1st, but documents his execution words and demeanor before death] The Oliver Cromwell regime worked with the Jews to overthrow Charles 1st; remember that Cromwell had hints of Zionist Protestant prophecy interpretations of Revelation along with financial interests; so he was more of a slave to the hubris of his own theology and lust of money; despite the irony of his ignorance of their puppet strings of which he was on for those very reasons. This is explained and sourced in the proceeding article below.
• Cromwell Liberates the Jews: Oliver Cromwell allows the Jews to enter Britain several years after the overthrow and execution of Charles 1st: https://www.olivercromwell.org/jews.htm
"[The Jews] re-admission [from expulsion in 1290 by King Edward I] in 1656 under the Cromwellian Protectorate is interpreted by some as evidence of Cromwell’s toleration and compassion. This is open to challenge on several points. . .
"There was interest in Jewish matters in the leadership of the Commonwealth and Protectorate for two reasons, one pragmatic and the other doctrinal. The pragmatic reason was that based on the international trade and commercial connections of the Amsterdam Jewish community it was recognised that a strong Jewish presence in London would be advantageous. With flourishing links to the East and West Indies and to the New World Jewish traders in London could make the city to Amsterdam as a commercial centre.
"The doctrinal reason was the belief amongst godly Protestants, including Cromwell, that the conversion of the Jews to Christianity was essential before Christ would return to reign on earth. 1656 was thought by some to be the actual year in which this would happen."
• John VI of Portugal and Rothschild Banking: https://www.rothschildarchive.org/materials/unmasking_king_john.pdf
Remember that John VI of Portugal is a hero of H.P. Blavatsky for being endowed with the "Secret Doctrine" of the Talmudic/Johannite-Gnostic "heretical" (and proud of it) version of the Templars; she also claims he was assassinated (poisoned) by "evil" Jesuits. Also remember that Pope Pius VII (whom Blavatsky and Freemasonry has disdain for) wrote John VI of Portugal and advised him to stop the slave trade [https://tinyurl.com/y4z3hyj3] and practice in South America of which he ignored; he had one of the worst indulgences in the slavery systems of South America. The United Nations who claims to be about "freedom" from oppression and promoting "social justice" is following the teachings of H.P. Blavatsky through its Lucis Trust "philanthropy" foundation.
• John VI of Portugal Grants Liberation to Jews: sources on Google books are here: https://tinyurl.com/yykbnlvm and here: https://tinyurl.com/y3lz8h8m
• Rothschilds Studying the Talmud: https://www.manfredlehmann.com/sieg442.html
• Napoleon Liberates the Jews in 1808: http://archive.jewishcurrents.org/napoleons-sanhedrin
- "My primary desire was to liberate the Jews and make them full citizens. I wanted to confer upon them all the legal rights of equality, liberty and fraternity as was enjoyed by the Catholics and Protestants. It is my wish that the Jews be treated like brothers as if we were all part of Judaism. As an added benefit, I thought that this would bring to France many riches because the Jews are numerous and they would come in large numbers to our country where they would enjoy more privileges than in any other nation. Without the events of 1814, most of the Jews of Europe would have come to France where equality, fraternity and liberty awaited them and where they can serve the country like everyone else." —Napoleon Bonaparte
- In this article (from Jewish sources): https://www.aish.com/jl/h/h/48945221.html it touches upon these key points: 1) The Russian Czar Alexander "protested violently" against the liberation of the Jews along with – to varying degrees of hostility – Catholic Austria and Italy, Protestant England and Prussia. 2) Regardless of Napoleon’s "concerns about these protests" he pursued emancipation by equal rights and recognizing it as an "the official third religion of France" in which its methods are "still in effect today." 3) Napoleon’s uncle, Cardinal Fesh told him: "Sire, so you wish the end of the world to come with your actions to give the Jews equality as Catholics?" ; others warned him along with Chateaubriand [whom if you’ll recall was a "bigoted, superstitious Roman Catholic" in the Thomas Jefferson-John Adams letters]. 4) Because of this criticism Napoleon changed his policies on March 17th, 1808 to limit the amount of freedom given to the Jews but – allegedly – to temporarily quell the dissent for a time and slowly reinstate the liberation policies. 5) "In 1811 all restrictions were removed and nothing from a political or civil activity distinguished the Jews from non-Jews in France." 6) Thanks to Napoleon many other nations opened themselves up to Jewish liberation such as Portugal, Prussia [retracted later], Holland, Sweden and Switzerland [mostly Protestant nations, but remember Portugal was under John VI around this time: Blavatsky’s favorite Templar].
Jewish Practices and Protestantism
• Catholic Sunday Mass: Mosaic Sabbath and circumcision abolished: https://www.catholic.com/tract/sabbath-or-sunday
• King James Masoretic Texts: https://tinyurl.com/yyftya9w
• Haaretz on Witch-Hunts: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" misused by King James using the Masoretic texts [which Luther used to get away from the Roman Catholic Church’s Septuagint version with help from Jews and Humanists] to justify the Middle Ages "Witch-hunts" ; while the Septuagint version indicates that it might actually have meant "poisoner by herbs" [pharmakia in Greek ; remember College Campus Caduceus video] in it’s definition of the word that became "witch" in the KJV: https://tinyurl.com/yd7hbue5
Albert Pike Morals and Dogma
On Cromwell, Elizabeth I and Napoleon
- Pg. 30 - "The world is seldom ruled by the great spirits, except after dissolution and new birth. In periods of transition and convulsion, the Long Parliaments, the Robespierres and Marats, and the semi-respectabilities of intellect, too often hold the reins of power. The Cromwells and Napoleons come later. After Marius and Sulla and Cicero the rhetorician, CÆSAR. The great intellect is often too sharp for the granite of this life. Legislators may be very ordinary men; for legislation is very ordinary work; it is but the final issue of a million minds." Summary: After "dissolution" of something like the French Revolution ["the Robespierres"] comes the "new birth" [resurrection of the Phoenix] of "great intellect" people such as Cromwell and Napoleon come: both leaders who emancipated the Jews despite some backlash on Napoleon and his temporary capitulations for it.
- Pg. 67 - "We should naturally suppose that a nation in distress would take counsel with the wisest of its sons. But, on the contrary, great men seem never so scarce as when they are most needed, and small men never so bold to insist on infesting place, as when mediocrity and incapable pretence and sophomoric greenness, and showy and sprightly incompetency are most dangerous. When France was in the extremity of revolutionary agony, she was governed by an assembly of provincial pettifoggers, and Robespierre, Marat, and Couthon ruled in the place of Mirabeau, Vergniaud, and Carnot. England was governed by the Rump Parliament, after she had beheaded her king. Cromwell extinguished one body, and Napoleon the other." Summary: After the bloody revolutions preceding, where no good leader was found, Cromwell and Napoleon finally took the reigns as the "great men." Funny how it was Freemasonry that stirred up the French Revolution via one of it’s revered members – Voltaire, whom Mackey’s Encyclopedia praises – and it "washes its hands" of any wrong-doing and blames the evils on the Robespierre’s; then installs a "great" leader out of its ashes such as Cromwell or Napoleon.
- Pg. 69-70 - "Thus the cold calculations of a sordid self-interest, in nations commercially avaricious, always at last displace the sentiments and lofty impulses of Honor and Generosity by which they rose to greatness; which made Elizabeth and Cromwell alike the protectors of Protestants beyond the four seas of England, against crowned Tyranny and mitred Persecution; and, if they had lasted, would have forbidden alliances with Czars and Autocrats and Bourbons to re-enthrone the Tyrannies of Incapacity, and arm the Inquisition anew with its instruments of torture." Summary: Simply put: Cromwell and Elizabeth I = GOOD ; Russian Czars and Bourbon Kings = BAD [including Nicholas II and family murdered by Bolsheviks and Louis XVI guillotined and family imprisoned (read his Last Will and Testament too see who’s more "Christian," Pike or Louis)] ; Pike also promotes the extreme torture propaganda of the Inquisition [which according to Kamen is greatly exaggerated and no more but perhaps less ‘cruel’ than contemporary empires during those times] while he elsewhere claims [pg. 112] that heretical masons should receive similar punishments of heretical knights during times of chivalry [like the Templars whom he claims were "true" Freemasons?] and Roman censors.
- Pg. 341 - "The chief of men is he who stands in the van of men, fronting the peril which frightens back all others, and if not vanquished would devour them. Hercules was worshipped for twelve labors. The Czar of Russia became a toiling shipwright, and worked with his axe in the docks of Saardam; and something came of that. Cromwell worked, and Napoleon; and effected somewhat." Summary: After
On the Talmud, Philo, John’s Logos or "Word," etc.
- Pg. 841 - "The primary tradition of the single revelation has been preserved under the name of the "Kabalah," by the Priesthood of Israel. The Kabalistic doctrine, which was also the dogma of the Magi and of Hermes, is contained in the Sepher Yetsairah, the Sohar, and the Talmud. According to that doctrine, the Absolute is the Being, in which The Word Is, the Word that is the utterance and expression of being and life." **EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: The PRIMARY tradition of THE SINGLE REVELATION has been preserved under the KABALAH by the PRIEST HOOD OF ISRAEL and in it is contained the Sepher Yetzirah, the Zohar, AND THE TALMUD; which is THE WORD of the ABSOLUTE BEING. All things Philo intermingled his doctrines with, the "Word" or "Logos" making him the anti-John to allegorize the New Testament like he did with the Old; and Pike confirms that this Deity of the Talmud is the God – or "Absolute" – being of Freemasonry. Point blank: the Talmud is God.
Chapter 30 Morals and Dogma: Knight Kadosh pg. 814
- Remember that the context of this chapter is that Pike uses a Vatican sympathizer/clergyman (he doesn’t reveal his name) to tell the story of the Templars whom he considers to be the "true" Masons ; Pike only interjects when he wants to "straighten out" the story or add context from his vantage point. Also bear in mind that of the proceeding passages, Pike does not interject, correct or clarify anything to the contrary of what is written, indicating that it may be taken as the ‘truth’ of Freemasonry and its objectives.
- "...There existed at that period in the East a Sect of Johannite Christians, who claimed to be the only true Initiates into the real mysteries of the religion of the Saviour. They pretended to know the real history of YESUS the ANOINTED, and, adopting in part the Jewish traditions and the tales of the Talmud, they held that the facts recounted in the Evangels are but allegories, the key of which Saint John gives, in saying that the world might be filled with the books that could be written upon the words and deeds of Jesus Christ; words which, they thought, would be only a ridiculous exaggeration, if he were not speaking of an allegory and a legend, that might be varied and prolonged to infinity." Summary: The Johannite Templars adopted the "tales of the Talmud" as confirmed by H.P. Blavatsky in chapter 8 of Isis Unveiled Vol. II via the "true secret" of Christ stemming from the Jesus ben-Panther story. The Gospels taken allegorically, as Philo did with the Old Testament and reinvented in the "Word" or "Logos" of John in the New Testament, are the keys to this "gnosis" ; i.e. the Wisdom or "Sophia" of the Talmud using the Templars as a golem to attack the Catholic Church – and Philip Le Bel who had just burnt the Talmud and expelled the Jews from France – whom executed the heretical Templars.
- "Thus the Order of Knights of the Temple was at its very origin devoted to the cause of opposition to the tiara of Rome and the crowns of Kings, and the Apostolate of Kabalistic Gnosticism was vested in its chiefs. For Saint John himself was the Father of the Gnostics, and the current translation of his polemic against the heretical of his Sect and the pagans who denied that Christ was the Word, is throughout a misrepresentation, or misunderstanding at least, of the whole Spirit of that Evangel." Summary: This "Kabalistic Gnosticism" was not to "deny that Christ was the word" as some "heretical" Pagan Gnostics did, but that it was a veiled allegory for the "true" God ; which based on the previous passage is the God of the Talmud: Philo’s ‘redefined’ or alchemically ‘transmuted’ "Word" or "Logos" of the Flesh of the Talmud.
- "To acquire influence and wealth, then to intrigue, and at need to fight, to establish the Johannite or Gnostic and Kabalistic dogma, were the object and means proposed to the initiated Brethren. The Papacy and the rival monarchies, they said to them, are sold and bought in these days, become corrupt, and to-morrow, perhaps, will destroy each other. All that will become the heritage of the Temple: the World will soon come to us for its Sovereigns and Pontiffs. We shall constitute the equilibrium of the Universe, and be rulers over the Masters of the World". Summary: The "equality" of the Satanic Jews with the God of Catholicism. Remember, Pike does not correct or interject here to say something like "well, this isn’t exactly true" or "well they didn’t want to dominate the entire world" etc. ; all of that is missing from this chapter; indicating that Pike believes Freemasonry and its Talmudic doctrines should be "Masters of the World."
- "The Templars, like all other Secret Orders and Associations, had two doctrines, one concealed and reserved for the Masters, which was Johannism; the other public, which was the Roman Catholic . Thus they deceived the adversaries whom they sought to supplant. Hence Free-Masonry, vulgarly imagined to have begun with the Dionysian Architects or the German Stone-workers, adopted Saint John the Evangelist as one of its patrons, associating with him, in order not to arouse the suspicions of Rome, Saint John the Baptist, and thus covertly proclaiming itself the child of the Kabalah and Essenism together." Summary: Again, the M.O. of Freemasonry and crypto-Judaism: pretend to be Orthodox Roman Catholic in order to infiltrate – a.k.a. violate the 8th and 10th commandments freely – which means they don’t follow the Old Testament at all and violate its commandments which Christ specifically says to keep "if you love Him" ; so how could this "Secret Doctrine" of Christianity possibly be what Christ taught?
Pg. 266-275 on Philo, the Word, Alexandria, the Talmud, Kabalah, Simon Magus and Gnosticism
- "Philo speaks of the Word as being the same with God. So in several places he calls it "δεύτερος Θεἰος Λόγος" the Second Divinity; "εἰκὼν του Θεοῦ," the Image of God: the Divine Word that made all things: "the ὕπαρχος" substitute, of God; and the like." Summary: Philo’s "Word" of the Talmud to combat John’s "Word" or "Logos" of the Christ of Catholicism. Remember how the Gospel of John is extremely offensive to the Talmud and would be a primary target of "transmutation" into Philo’s allegorical system.
- "Thus, Cerinthus of Ephesus, with most of the Gnostics, Philo, the Kabalah, the Zend-Avesta, the Puranas, and all the Orient, deemed the distance and antipathy between the Supreme Being and the material world too great, to attribute to the former the creation of the latter." Summary: Confirming the relationship of Philo to the Kabalah and Gnosticism.
- "Simon Magus , founder of the Gnostic faith, and many of the early Judaizing Christians, admitted that the manifestations of the Supreme Being, as FATHER, or JEHOVAH, SON or CHRIST, and HOLY SPIRIT, were only so many different modes of Existence, or Forces [δυναμεις] of the same God. To others they were, as were the multitude of Subordinate Intelligences, real and distinct beings." Summary: Confirming the relationship of Simon Magus and his "Judaizing Christians" to the doctrines of Freemasonry. [remember Magus' "Holy Spirit" in Gnostica, Judaica, Catholica is a harlot or prostitute, he and attempted to ‘buy’ this ‘Holy Spirit’ from the Apostle Peter and is strongly rebuked for it]
- "We have already spoken of many of the speculations on this point. To some, the world was created by the LOGOS or WORD, first manifestation of, or emanation from, the Deity. To others, the beginning of creation was by the emanation of a ray of LIGHT, creating the principle of Light and Life." Summary: More focus on the "Logos" or "Word" as he’s already related to Philo.
- "The Oriental imagination reveled in the creation of these Inferior Intelligences, Powers of Good and Evil, and Angels. We have spoken of those imagined by the Persians and the Kabalists. In the Talmud, every star, every country, every town, and almost every tongue has a Prince of Heaven as its Protector. JEHUEL is the guardian of fire, and MICHAEL, of water. Seven spirits assist each; those of fire being Seraphiel, Gabriel, Nitriel, Tammael, Tchimschiel , Hadarniel, and Sarniel. These seven are represented by the square columns of this Degree, while the columns JACHIN and BOAZ represent the angels of fire and water. But the columns are not representatives of these alone." Summary: Purely Kabalah based on the Talmud as part of these 'twin pillars’ of Freemasonry that represents a myriad of esoteric ‘secrets.’ This harkens back to John Dee’s angel magic which helped create the Elizabethan NWO empire; the same Elizabeth Pike praises as a heroine for protection from Papal Roman tyranny and monarchy.
- "The WORD appears in all these creeds. It is the Ormuzd of Zoroaster, the Ainsoph of the Kabalah, the Nous of Platonism and Philonism, and the Sophia or Demiourgos of the Gnostics." Summary: Philo, Plato, Ain-Soph of Kabalah are all part of Pike’s "Word" or "Logos" [Divine Order] of Freemasonry ; and of course these all relate to the Talmud as the allegory of the "Word in the flesh."
- "Of the practices of the former we gain but glimpses in the ancient writers; but we know that, as their doctrines were taught by John the Baptist, they greatly resembled those of greater purity and more nearly perfect, taught by Jesus; and that not only Palestine was full of John's disciples, so that the Priests and Pharisees did not dare to deny John's inspiration; but his doctrine had extended to Asia Minor, and had made converts in luxurious Ephesus, as it also had in Alexandria in Egypt; and that they readily embraced the Christian faith, of which they had before not even heard." Summary: So the Pharisees and Priests who killed Christ didn’t deny John’s "inspiration" ??? What in hell is Pike on about if he’s claiming the Talmud’s doctrines are part of Masonry, but in the Talmud they vehemently HATE Christ because of the Gospel of John. This is the contradictory babble of people like Blavatsky on Christ somehow being a Nazarene-Gnostic initiate and that the Sadducees actually killed him.
- "These old controversies have died away, and the old faiths have faded into oblivion. But Masonry still survives, vigorous and strong, as when philosophy was taught in the schools of Alexandria and under the Portico; teaching the same old truths as the Essenes taught by the shores of the Dead Sea, and as John the Baptist preached in the Desert;. truths imperishable as the Deity, and undeniable as Light." Summary: More Alexandria Mystery-School love; the "Mecca" of ancient Jewry before and during the time of Christ, which Cyril of Alexandria finally expelled them from. Remember Alexandria is Anatoloy Fomenko’s "original" Rome; Carl Sagan’s multi-cultural-cosmopolitan paradise, the origins of Freemasonry’s creation of its advanced degrees from Philo, and the original location of Blavatsky’s Talmudic wisdom or "Sophia" scrolls that ended up in Mt. Athos, the Desert of Nitria, and Tartary.
Philo, Sophia, Jewish Wisdom and Gnosticism
• Rhetorical Interaction in 1 Corinthians 8 and 10: A Formal Analysis With Preliminary Suggestions for a Chinese, Cross-Cultural Hermeneutic - Khiok-Khng Yeo book pg. 125: https://tinyurl.com/y3373bzk
Starting on page 125, it is demonstrated how Philo and Jewish Occultism was, in all likelihood, the fundamental creating force behind Gnosticism. It talks about the Jewish Sophia (Wisdom), and all of the parallels to the Gnostic Gospels – such as the Apocryphon of John and Apocalypse of Adam – as directly correlating with Philo and Hellenistic Jewish mysticism. It also expands upon the idea of Paul in Corinthians using Gnostic language to speak to people falling prey to it’s ideas, rather than being a Gnostic himself; which is a common claim about Paul being a "false" apostle. The argument made is that Paul is trying to reconcile the Corinthians back to Christianity (of Catholicism) and to turn them away from the Philo-influenced Gnosticism in which they are succumbing to. This idea is echoed in other scholarly texts on the topic which are also sourced in this article.
Some important extracts from this book:
- Pg. 128 in footnote 38: "a connection between Gnosticism and Jewish heterodoxy: "The most important Jewish contribution, however, both to Gnosticism and to early Christianity, seems to have come from esoteric circles in the heart of Palestinian Christianity. Gershom Scholem has shown that there existed within Judaism esoteric traditions which had very old roots and were back to Pharisaic circles of the first century A.D. [the SAME Pharisees who killed Christ in the Gospels of the NT ; meaning the Pharisees created Gnosticism – as a golem – for the Pagan-Gentiles to combat Christ and His Apostles]
- Pg. 129 in footnote 40: "To understand anti-Jewish [anti-Jewish meaning against the Pentateuch-only Judaism and the similar interpretation of the OT by the Catholic Church, Christ and the Apostles] and anti-cosmic nature of the Jewish Gnostic religion, one needs insights from the sociological approach. In 1970 Kippenberg did a sociological study of Gnosticism and came to the conclusion that Gnosticism arose out o the Hellenized intellectual elite of eastern fringes of Roman Empire, and that these intellectuals felt repressed and alienated; thus they had the need of freedom through gnosis [sounds like modern-day Gnostics] [sources provided in book] . . . Rudolph, who refines Kippenberg’s sociological studies, sees Gnosticism as a reaction of Jews to the Hellenized Orient. The Jews felt demoralized and estranged by Roman conquest [perhaps because Talmudic Jews would feel themselves superior and thus being under Roman rule might bring out added hubris?]. They interpreted the cosmos as a miscarriage [!!! the "abortion" of Sophia [Jewish-Wisdom in "On the Origin of Creation" in the Nag Hammadi texts] and saw themselves as elite in possessing exclusive knowledge as a way to escape Roman domination [sources provided in book]. . . Recently, Henry Green [sources provided in book] . . . has helped us to understand the revolt of Hellenistic Jews against their own tradition [passage cited in book] … Relating social class and reaction with the result of texts, one notices that the upper class traditionalists would accommodate (e.g. Philo and Aristeas) [the SAME people Freemasonry (Mackey’s Encyclopedia) claims it’s Alexandrian Gnosis comes directly from!!!], the upper class innovators would rebel (Gnostics), the lower class traditionalists would insulate (e.g. "normative Judaism"), and the lower class innovators would reform [source given in book]. The Gnostic revolt and protest reflect a symbolic devaluation of the existing social order [the Jewish "multi-cultural" paradise ruined by the Christians and Romans].
Gnostica, Judaica, Catholica
Gnostica, Judaica, Catholica: Collected Essasys of Gilles Quispel (Brill) - Gilles Quispel, Johannes van Oort book: https://brill.com/view/title/8636 or Google Books: https://tinyurl.com/y55v2gkz
Starting on Pg. 39
- In fact, Alexandrian Jews reveled in speculations about Sophia, whose relationship with wanton Astarte is but thinly veiled. Moreover, the fragments of the Alexandrian Jewish poet Ezekiel Tragicus reveal that, already in the second century B.C.E., there were certain circles in Alexandria which were prone to meditating on the "likeness like the appearance of a Man" of Ezekiel 1:26, until this day the main theme of Jewish mysticism. Some identified this "glory of God" with the idea of Man.
- Gnostic Anthropos and Gnostic Sophia are of Jewish origin. There were of course also Egyptians, Copts, in Alexandria at the time. They, too, contributed to the rise of Gnosticism.
- So Valentinus could say that the world came into being from the tears and the smile of creative Wisdom, Sophia. The Egyptians spoke with incredible freedom about the sexual life of their gods. So did the Gnostics.
- In the same way the Orphics of Alexandria taught that their demiurge, Phanes, was born from the cosmic egg formed in chaos, and Basilides taught that the great Archon, Abraxas, came forth from the chaotic world seed. According to the Egyptians, the Godhead was androgynous, Father and Mother at the same time. The Gnostics, Valentinians and Mani- chaeans did not think differently.
- Very much the same is to be found in the seventeen Hermetic writings, the products of a mystery community in Alexandria, a sort of Masonic Lodge, which numbered Greeks, Jews and Copts amongst its members.
- Much of the Egyptian influence on Gnosticism seems to have been exercised through the intermediate channel of the Hermetic Lodge. This encourages us to seek the origin of Gnosticism in this Alexandrian congregation at the beginning of the Christian era.
- This Anthropos, of course, is at the same time a personal figure, the likeness as the appearance of Adam of Ezekiel 1:26, and the idea of Man. According to the Poimandres, the first treatise of the Corpus Hermeticum, this Anthropos is brought forth by God in a process of parturition. This god Man desired to act as a demiurge, but fell in love with lower Nature, and took his dwelling in a body which nature had brought forth after the beautiful form of Man. We must suppose that some Jews of Alexandria had formed a Lodge of their own, a sort of B’nai Brith. For in Nag Hammadi, purely Jewish and completely non-Christian texts like the Letter of Eugnostos the Blessed (NH III, 3 and V, 1) have been found which amplify the concept that the eternal Son of God is Man. In the Three Steles of Seth (NH VII, 4) this divine Son of Father and Mother is called Geradamus (Geraios Adamas or Primordial Man), who is none other than the Adam Qadmon of medieval Kabbalism.
- Catholicism, characterized by the Confession of Faith, the Canon and Monarchic Episcopacy, was a latecomer in Alexandria. Until it took over, Gnostic teachers like Basilides, Carpocrates and Valentinus could easily remain members of the Church. The first two taught reincarnation (like the "Gnostics" of the Pistis Sophia), all three were very free about sex (the influence of Egyptian religion and the local Hermetists). Carpocrates and Valentinus also taught that Christ had come to make man, spiritual man, conscious of his deepest Self. This is most impressively described in the Gospel of Truth (NH I, 3), a sermon given by Valentinus in Rome (ca. 140), and developed in a complicated, very "heretical" myth about Sophia who tries to penetrate into the Depth of the Godhead, falls and brings forth the world, yet is brought back to her origin by Christ, the divine Saviour. The implication was that only spiritual men could be saved.
Starting on pg. 196
- There is no doubt that some Sayings in the Gospel of Thomas have much in common with fragments of the Judaic Christian Gospels of the Hebrews, the Nazoraeans, the Ebionites and the Gospel quotations in the Pseudo-Clementine writings. But some Logia demonstrate not only a literary connection with Judaic Christianity (as we have demonstrated above); some also reflect a theological connection: they reflect the special tendencies of the Jewish Christians as opposed to the views of the Gentile Church. Hence James, not Peter, is appointed by Jesus as the primate of the whole church (12). Whereas Gentiles gathered on Sundays, Jesus allegedly orders them to keep the Sabbath (27). And whereas Gentile Christians disparaged the Pharisees, Thomas tells us, very much in the trend of Jewish Christianity, that the Pharisees have received the keys of Gnosis, i.e. are the legitimate heirs of the oral tradition on the Law (Mischna) entrusted by Moses to the seventy elders (39). | Comment | The idea of Thomas having Jesus preach the Sabbath are not directly implied in the text, but it appears to be a somewhat common interpretation amongst pro-Gnostic scholars such as Quispel does here, along with April D. DeConick Recovering the Original Gospel of Thomas pg. 91 for more about the "Thomasine community" not abandoning Mosaic Sabbath, and here another pro-Gnostic (blog writer) can be found relating Christ’s Sabbath comments as relating to Saturday as well. Read the relevant passages from DeConick’s book: https://tinyurl.com/y47p86w3 Similarly, one could debate about the Pharisees "keys of gnosis" in Thomas paralleling Christ in Matthew 23:13 as being two-fold: 1) In Catholic teaching the Pharisees do have ‘legit’ doctrines that should be listened to, but of course the Pharisees themselves don’t follow them, so the former can be seen as consistent with this part of Thomas 2) In Thomas, Quispel mentions how the Pharisees are never specifically called "hypocrites" and there’s some ambiguity on certain issues related to these "gnostic keys" that portray them in a much more favorable or at the least neutral light. You will find the word "hypocrite" when describing the Pharisees used over and over again, but this is not present in the Gospel of Thomas, though there is a "woe" to them in one in Logion 102 ; so Quispel illustrates this as being a "alternative" narrative for another branch of Judaism that lends towards Gnosticism and should be taken as legitimate or valid. Remember Quispel is pro-Gnostic. It's interesting that Quispel is attempting – in perhaps a more moderate fashion – to exonerate the Pharisees a bit here. Upon further review into the Gospel of Thomas on my own time, it appears there’s calumnies against the Pharisees from Christ, but they are not nearly as strong as in the New Testament Gospels; and, as Quispel points out, the word hypocrite is missing from any polemicized passages.
Starting on pg 342
- Asceticism has become protologic as soon as it became Hellenic. The Gospel of the Egyptians is very impressive when it teaches that Thanatos is the consequence of Eros and that Jesus came to redeem mankind from its thirst of life and to realize "Nirvana" here and now. Whenever the believer has overcome the split within himself—"the two have become one and the male with the female neither male nor female"—, the original androgyny of Adam, before Eve was taken from his side, has been restored; man has "trampled on the garment of shame", that is, he has annihilated the body which was a punishment for his original sin. Death does not exist anymore, because women do not bear children anymore: Jesus has undone the works of the female. No doubt this Gospel also taught that Jesus was androgynous, and that he revealed the insight that desire created an illusion. Early in the history of Alexandrian Christianity thoughts were uttered that remind us of Indian Buddhism (and Schopenhauer).
- The antecedents of these views are to be found in the Hellenic tradition. Heraclitus had observed: "Once born, they desire to live and that also means to be destined to die, or rather to be absorbed into the eternal cycle of the cosmos. And they leave behind children born to die" (fragment 120). Stobaeus VI, 35: "Birth of a human is the beginning of death." Manilius Astronomica: nascentes morimur finisque ab origine pendet: "as soon as we are born, we start to die and so our end is implied in our beginning".
- Ever since, the dialectics of genesis and phthora, of Eros and Thanatos, and the awareness that these categories indicated an inferior level of reality, have dominated the Greek scene. Moreover Plato in the Symposion found that man longs to find his counterpart, with whom he once was united and that this striving for wholeness was love. And in the Timaeus he opined that males who had lived cowardly and unjustly, in a following reincarnation had to become females (gynaikes metephuonto, 90 e), which implies that the female might become male again, an anticipation of Freud’s view that woman is a deficient man with penis envy. This is the origin of the Encratite view that a woman must make herself male to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Gospel of Thomas 114). It was accepted by Origen. For this reason female saints of the Greek Church like Pelagia and Matrona wore male clothes after their conversion: women should become travestites in order to be saved.
- Alexandrian Judaism had integrated these insights already before Philo. This transpires from the fact that he sometimes polemicises against the view, also preserved in the Talmud, that Adam was androgynous ("male and female He made him"),25 and he elsewhere says that Adam was "bodiless, neither male nor female" (Opif. 134) and also remarks that the female should be changed into the male (Quaest. Ex. I, 8). It was from these hellenized Jews of Alexandria that the author of the Poimandres derived his view that the essential Anthropos (Adam), who fell into the body, was androgynous (15) and that the cause of his death is Eros (18).
Starting on pg. 462
- These Jewish theologians identify the Power issuing from God with the Glory and with the Anthropos; it is clear that they have the vision of Ezekiel in mind. The true inheritors of Apocalyptics also in this respect were the Jewish mystics of the first centuries of our era.
- A striking parallel to this body of the Shekhinah in Jewish mysticism is the Mandaean concept of the Adam Qadmaia, the primordial Man, masterfully described by Lady E.S. Drower in her book: The Secret Adam (Oxford 1960). This metaphysical Adam is God’s first-born Son and should be distinguished from the bodily physical Adam whom he preceded by many myriads of years. He is also called Adakas, a contraction of Adam Kasia, Secret Adam, or Adakas Ziwa, Adam the Kabod. The fact that this first emanation is both celestial Man and Glory shows that this Mandaean speculation has Israelitic roots and ultimately goes back to the first chapter of Ezekiel.
- Geradamas, Geron Adam or "Geradamas Adam" seems to be the Greek translation of Adam Qadmaia, or Adam Kadmon, just as Ophites is a translation of Naassenes. In medieval Jewish mysticism the term Adam Kadmon is first found in an early 13th century cabbalistic treatise. But Jews from the beginning of our era have anticipated it. This confirms the hypothesis that the views of the Mandaeans on the heavenly Adam or Adam the Glory are old and of Jewish origin.
- Not only the Jewish mystics, but also Philo mentions a heavenly Man, whom he identifies with the Logos and sometimes calls "Man after his (God’s) image" (Conf. 146) or "Man of God" (Conf. 41). This divine Adam is an idea, incorporeal, neither male nor female, by nature incorruptible (Op. 134). Here an important development has taken place. The notion of the kabod, in the Greek of the Septuagint homoiōma hōs eidos anthrōpou, has integrated the Greek and Platonic idea of man.
- Plato, the founding father of idealism, never uses this concept. It seems to occur for the first time in Seneca, Epistulae Morales 65, 7, according to whom: "homines quidem pereunt, ipsa autem humanitas, ad quam homo effingitur, permanet". According to the Middle Platonic thinker who was the source of Seneca, the idea of man is contained in the mind of God.
- The same concept is found in Ps. Justin, Cohortatio ad Graecos 30, where it is said that Plato misunderstood Moses, when he stated that there are ideas of heaven, earth and man: Moses mentioned the word "man" first (in Genesis 1: 27), and then after the many creatures he mentions the formation of man with the words: "And God made man by taking dust from the earth" (2: 7). Therefore he (Plato) thought that the first mentioned man preexisted before the other man that came into being, and that the man fashioned from earth had come into being later after the preexistent idea.
- The Valentinians were also familiar with the view that there were ideas of heaven, earth and man (Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. 1, 5, 3). This suggests that there already existed in his time in Alexandria a Jewish tradition, to which Philo is indebted and which tried to combine the idea of Man with the Bible. In the quoted passage Philo says that this ideal Man was neither male nor female. He even polemicizes against the view that Man was androgynous: "God made man", he says, "made him after the image of God. Male and female He made—not now ‘him’ but ‘them’. He concludes with the plural, thus connecting with the genus mankind the species which had been divided, as I said, by equality" (Heres 164).
- Philo’s polemic against the androgyny of heavenly Man seems to show that there existed in Alexandria a Jewish circle which proclaimed that the heavenly Adam was both male and female.
- What was the nature of Philo’s teaching? Harry Wolfson devoted a great part of his long life to proving more geometrico that Philo was a systematic and consistent philosopher. Erwin Goodenough, on the other hand, was of the opinion that Philo was a mystic. And Arthur Darby Nock, the editor of the Hermetica, considered Philo as a mine of petrified philosophical common places. It is amusing to visualize the three, every day silently disagreeing with each other, at the Scholars Table in the Faculty Club of Harvard University.
- Things do appear in a different light, however, when we discover that Philo is indebted to and reacting against an already existing Jewish mythology and that his alleged philosophy appears as a rationalization of powerful symbols thinly veiled. According to him, Wisdom received the seed of God when she had union with him (Ebr. 30). This should be compared with a passage in the Hermetic Prayer of thanksgiving, already known in Greek from the Louvre Papyrus 2391 and from the Latin Asclepius, but now better preserved in a Coptic version (Nag Hammadi Codex VI, 63, 33 ff.). According to it, the divine Mother is a uterus conceiving through the phallus of the Father. The imagery is so crude that it was passed over in silence up till now. But what seemed to be a clumsy and innocent allegory of an absent-minded philosopher turns out to be the survival of a shocking mythological symbol.
- Philo also called the Logos a second God (In Genes. II 62). This proves that he reflects the traditions of the heretics (minim), who, basing them- selves upon ambiguous passages of the Old Testament, concluded that there were "two powers in heaven", God and the Angel of the Lord, who created the world.
Starting on pg. 473
- The Jewish Gnostics who were the ancestors of the Mandaeans applied this to their Primordial Adam. According to the Mandaeans the bodies of the earthly Adam and Eve (of Genesis) were fashioned first and later on the soul (nišimta, the same word as the Hebrew nešamah in Genesis 2:7), which originates in the heavenly Adam, fell into these bodies. The aim of the Mandaean death mass is that this soul be incorporated into the body of the Primordial Adam again and receive a spiritual body. This concept must be older than the Pharisaic mysticism of Palestine. The orthodox have adapted it to their categories of thought.
Starting on pg. 501
- The name Jahu, an abbreviation of the tetragrammaton, lies behind the Greek name Iao, under which so many Greek and Roman authors, not only writers of magical papyri, knew the Jewish God.19 The same name Iao is now even found in a papyrus manuscript of the Septuagint, thus showing that it was current among the Jews of Egypt. And compound names like Io rabba (= Great Iao) in Mandaean suggest that it was known among the ancestors or forerunners of these Mesopotamian gnostics. In the same way the West-Semitic love goddess, integrated into the religion of Israel as Anat Jahu and still familiar to the Mandaeans as Anath Haijē, can have persisted among the Egyptian Jews as Sophia, the spouse of God.20
- To confirm this view, I refer to a Jew of the first centuries of our era, namely Justinus the gnostic, who most probably lived in Egypt and was in fact a Christian Jew.
- He quotes the words of Hosea 1, 2 in the wording of the Septuagint and understands this as alluding to a mythical figure called Edem, who "whored away from behind the Lord": And, he says, when the prophet is said "to take to himself a wife of harlotry, because the land will go a-whoring from the following of the Lord" (Hos. 1, 2), in these words, he says, the prophet clearly speaks the whole mystery, and is not heard because of the wickedness of Naas. (Hippolytus, Ref. V, 27, 4)
- For Edem, the consort of Elohim, is also called Israel. (Ibid. V, 26, 36)
- It has become clear only recently, who this Edem really is. She is depicted as having the same outward appearance as the Egyptian goddess Thermouthis, who at that time had been identified with Isis: a virgin above her groin, a viper below.21 So it was established for the first time that such Jewish speculations on a gnostic goddess were somehow inspired by the concept of Isis.
- But already in the Wisdom of Solomon this equation seems to have taken place. So it is a pre-Christian and Jewish view that Wisdom and the Holy Spirit are the same. The presuppositions of Simon or the Simonians are Jewish. Because they had preserved the older view that the female deity was a harlot, they came to the paradoxical conclusion that the Holy Spirit was a prostitute.
- This proves that in this case the speculations about Sophia were influenced by views on Isis and the Phoenician deity, which had clearly penetrated Samaritan Judaism. But then thinkers like Philo, or the author of the Wisdom of Solomon, or the author of Brontè could very well be in the same position. If we hesitate to admit that Brontè is a Jewish writing of the first century B.C., we should remember that the same concept of the holy prostitute occurs in the Jewish Gnosis of Simon the Samaritan. With this difference that the Simonian Gnosis knew about the fall of Sophia, the tragic split within the deity, whereas nothing of the kind can be found in Brontè.
- A later phase has been reached in the Apocryphon of John, which in its original form can be dated about 100 A.D. There we find a very lofty description of the Unknown God, who generates his "first Idea", Barbelo. She has the features of Sophia, being virginal and mother, and Holy Spirit and androgynous. But the more negative aspects have been removed from this saintly figure and attributed to the last aeon of the Pleroma, Sophia. She, in fact, though her name is Wisdom, brings forth a being called Saklas (Aram.: the Fool) owing to her "prounikon", her wantonness. She is even called Prounikos, the whore (Iren., I, 29, 4: quem et Sophiam et Prunicum vocant).
- It has been said very often and becomes ever more clear that the essential myth of the Apocryphon of John has nothing to do with Christianity, but could easily be Jewish. Should that turn out to be true, then Mandaeanism is primarily and mainly the continuation of this Jewish Gnosticism.
- Ruha is perfectly aware that she is cut off from the realm of light and in exile in this world, like the gnostic Sophia and the Shechina of later Cabbalism.
- It is only in the perspective of Jewish Wisdom speculations that this ambivalence can be understood. Ruha is called at the same time the Holy Spirit and the prostitute, just as Sophia in Brontè is the saint and the whore, just as in Simonian Gnosis Sophia is called the Holy Spirit and the harlot. It would even seem that her dialectical nature goes back much further than Brontè or Simon the Magician or the Apocryphon of John, to the syncretism of Israel before, during and after the prophets. In any case we have in Mandaeanism a parallel development as in later Cabbalism, where the Shechina is the divine Mother and yet shows demonic features.
- Much has been written about the Iranian or Babylonian sources of Mandaeanism. Only recently it has become clear that it preserved the elements of a Jewish Gnosticism. In the future, scholars must reckon with the fact that this Gnosticism in its turn originated in an Israelitic Gnosis and a Jewish Wisdom tradition which has left only a few traces in the Hebrew Bible.
Starting on pg. 540
- Wilson concluded that perhaps we may speak of an element of genuine early tradition, possibly embodying a few authentic sayings, and of an element parallel to but perhaps independent of our Gospels.1 Some twenty years later Antoine Guillaumont, carefully studying the Semitisms in the Gospel of Thomas, definitively proved that these views were correct.2
- Wilson also stressed the importance of Judaism for Gnostic studies. He was not the first to derive Gnosticism from Judaism. That was the particular merit of the great Berlin Church historian August Neander (David Mendel, 1789–1850).3 But the man from St Andrews was probably the first Anglo-Saxon, if not the first of all New Testament scholars, to reconsider this hypothesis after a long eclipse. In 1958 he expressed the opinion that certain elements of Gnosticism were purely Jewish, and that other, pagan elements were also derived from Diaspora Judaism, even though it was not the ultimate source. Thus Diaspora Judaism was established as a contributory source for the development of Gnosticism.4 Already at the time he stressed the importance of Philo for Gnostic studies, not because one of the richest men of Alexandria was himself a Gnostic, but because he was developing, modifying, and generally carrying to a conclusion the work of those who had gone before. Philo did not simply concoct his theories and allegories for himself, but drew upon an existing tradition.5 This is an excellent vantage-point for considering the special relationship between Gnosis and early Christianity.
- These general considerations may serve as a background for a special case, viz. the concept of deification through vision in Philo of Alexandria and John the Evangelist. Philo never and nowhere cites Ezekiel 1:26; "and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of man (adam, Anthrōpos) above upon it".
- However, he must have been familiar with the exegesis of this verse, already to be found in the Old Testament (Isaiah 40:5), apocalyptic (Ethiopic Enoch 46:1) and the New Testament (Revelation 1:13: "one like unto the son of man"). This transpires from the fact that he calls the Logos: "Man after his [God’s] image (Conf. Ling. 146) or ‘Man of God’ " (Conf. Ling. 41). This divine Adam is an idea, incorporeal, neither male nor female, by nature incorruptible (De Opificio Mundi 134).11 It is possible that the last concept is already to be found in the Septuagint translation of Ezekiel: "homoiōma hōs eidos anthrōpou". In that case, as so often, Philo would have used, developed and modified an already existing tradition. Philo cannot be original, when he speaks about the idea of man: though not present in Plato, it was current in Middle Platonism (cf. the summary of Middle Platonism in the (eclectic) Stoic Seneca, Epistola 65:7).
- Philo seems also to be polemicizing against an already existing interpretation, when he stresses that God made male and female—"them, not him"—after his image (Rer. Div. Her. 164). There is a variant of Genesis 1:27, attested both by the pseudo-Clementines and some rabbis: "male and female created he him".12 Moreover, we find this same concept in the Alexandrinian Poimandres, according to which the heavenly Man, Phōs, is androgynous, both Adam and Zoē. Here the ideal Man of Ezekiel 1:26 is held to contain in him the two sexes.
Starting on pg. 562
- When this Anthropos model was combined with the Sophia model (attested by Simon Magus), the conveying of the Spirit in the way described by On the Origin of the World was added by someone who associated the creation of man as described by Genesis 2 with the vision contained in Ezekiel 37. This seems to prove that this Gnostic myth not only originated, but was also transmitted and changed in a Jewish milieu.
- It should be noted, moreover, that the Sophia-Helena of Simon Magus does not fall, but lives in exile, together with the people of Israel (Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses I,23:2). Already in apocalyptic, Chokma was said to have descended on earth but to have found there no place to dwell and therefore to have returned to heaven (Ethiopic Enoch 42). She is a stranger down here on earth. The Simonian Sophia was patterned after this apocalyptic Wisdom.
- It would seem that this notion is not Hellenistic. On the other hand Philo seems to polemicize against earlier Gnostics when he paints a favourable image of Hagar, according to him the symbol of paroikēsis.57 In the Prologue of Sirach (34: tois en tē(i) paroikia(i)), paroikia means Diaspora. The Gnostics of Plotinus (Enn. II, 9:6) and the Gnostic text Zostrianos also use this term.58 It is also found in the Unknown Gnostic Treatise of the Codex Brucianus, chap. 20.59 Could it be that Jewish Gnostics before Philo considered their existence abroad, and perhaps the situation of Sophia, as a life in exile? In that case the historical Diaspora was the basic presupposition for the philosophical tenet that nature is Spirit in exile, God is being in movement, and that matter and history are the result of dialectics. The latter in fact is an oriental myth. It would seem that only the Jewish Diaspora is the historical presupposition for this view. Only in this specific milieu could the awareness arise that the Spirit is in exile in this world.
- All this becomes perfectly clear, if only we keep in mind that Philo was not a Gnostic, but a reactionary opportunist, who used and at the same time opposed Gnostic traditions already existing before this time.
- Nils Dahl has argued that the target of the Gnostic revolt is the creator of the world rather than the world itself. In fact the world is better than God (I add that in the same way their target was not the Jewish people, but the deficient Law of a tribal god). Dahl shows convincingly that the vain claim of the arrogant demiurge (a Hebrew angel, the Angel of the Lord!) is only understandable as a protest within Judaism.60 We must remember that the Gnostics were passionately interested in the real and true God, more so than some existentialist philosophers and liberal theologians of our days.
- Where do these bright ideas come from? In Alexandria and elsewhere in the Diaspora there lived people even before Philo who taught that the heavenly Adam was androgynous, that Sophia was a passionate female, that the pneuma blown into the nostrils of the earthy Adam was divine and that the Angel of the Lord was a deuteros theos.61 We may say, then, that almost all the elements which made Gnosticism, but not a consistent system, were there already in the Diaspora before Philo and the rise of early Christianity. This, however, has nothing to do with the Christian Saviour, a historical person to whom already existing Hebrew, Israelite notions like Name, Man (Son of Man), kabod, Wisdom Angel were applied, because he was considered to be the Messiah who came in the end of time to save his people.
Starting on pg. 731
- This same view is also to be found in Philo. According to him the Cosmos is the unique and beloved sensible Son of God.