Thoughts on ancient gospels and the like

30 June 2007

Qlippoths and adoptions

Filed under: hypostasis,possession — markandmore @ 18:28

I am going to wander around a few interesting concepts that centre on:

Mark 1:9  And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. 
1:10  And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: 
1:11  And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
1:12  And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. 
1:13  And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him. 
1:14  Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

Now, Qlippoth are shell entities, demons if you like, that have insinuated them selves into this universe from Yahweh’s previous attempts at universe building. Maybe the concept also applies to entities that come through from universes build by other gods, but ‘qlippoth’ is jargon from the qabala, and its authors do not admit of other gods. I am mainly interested here in the concept that Yahweh and his hypostases travel between universes or realities.  Alternate realities of this sort are of course commonplace in science fiction.  And the metaphor of the heavens opening is easily taken as a portal.   

A phenomenon much observed of the world of Mark’s Gospel is the large number of demons that the protagonist will encounter within a short walking distance, and while the protagonist is not recognized as a messiah by the Earthlings, he is instantly recognized as Yahweh’s hypostasis by the demons or qlippoth.  These two ‘facts’ would jive if the qlippoth had come through the portal with him.


Next I am going to consider the proposal of adoptionism.  As usual, the concept comes in flavours.

To the entry through the portal, contrast:

Mark 15:33  And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
15:34  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

The reading here is that Jesus was adopted (possessed) by the Yahweh hypostasis when it came through the portal, and later having put the Jesus body on a cross, it left it to suffer and die.   This is in opposition to:

  1. John’s Gospel where the Christos pre-existed as the divine Logos
  2. Paul’s Gospel where Jesus was adopted at the Resurrection
  3. Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospel where Jesus is the Messiah because of Holy Blood, because of his line of descent.

The adoptionist position is one of the earliest positions in Christianity, certainly earlier than the orthodox position that grew into Catholicism.  It was declared a heresy in the second century.  The first prominent exponent of the position was Theodotus of Byzantium.  He taught:

  1. Jesus was a man born of a virgin   (not in Mark)
  2. that he lived as a man and was most pious (the second part not in Mark)
  3. at the Jordan the Christ came down on him in the form of a dove
  4. until this happened he wrought no wonders (agrees with Mark)
  5. the Spirit (which Theodotus calls Christus) was manifested in Jesus

There is no indication in Mark that Jesus was anybody special, pious or otherwise, before the baptism.   The Spirit=Christos=the Yahweh hypostasis takes any body, and then works through it.  Also, the distinction made elsewhere in Christian writings between the Holy Spirit and the Christos is not being observed here.

(The dove is/was a symbol of Aphrodite and other goddesses;   Vespasian’s son who commanded the troops who destroyed Jerusalem in +70 and who succeeded him as emperor was called ‘Titus’ which means ‘wild dove’ and was also used as a slang term for ‘penis’  [cf ‘cock’ in English];  the Italian who opened up the new world for the Spanish in 1492 was also named for the dove.    I will return to dove symbolism in a later post.)

Latin for adopted son is Filius adoptivus, which also of course is used to describe Octavian (later Augustus) in relation to Julius Caesar.   I will return to the seepage of jargon and concepts between Christianity and Emperor Worship in another later post.

The concept of possessing another’s body has also been explored in science fiction.  A popular example was the television series Quantum Leap, where the personality of a scientist jumps into the bodies (one at a time) of individuals in the past, and has to live in their life situation.   An ethics of body jumping, or possession quickly comes into view.   Without the consent of the possessed person, can the possession be ethical in any sense at all?   Some science fiction stories have presented host who consent because they gain knowledge, health and/or longevity as part of the deal.  These considerations have been considered in the Trills, humanoid host and long-lived possessing entity found in Deep Space Nine, and the Goa’uld and the Jaffa in Stargate SG-1.  If we go beyond the problem of consent, the major dictate of jumping or possession would seem to be not to embarrass the body who has to go on living after the possessor retreats, and certainly not to leave the body in a dangerous or life-threatening situation.   Any entity that uses a body and leaves it, for example, being crucified and about to die, is at best ethically challenged.


12 June 2007

Desposynoi – Part 2

Filed under: Desposynoi,Herodians — markandmore @ 22:31

I am going to bring together two quite different observations from different authors. As far as I am aware, these two have never been brought together like this.

The family of Saulus.

Robert Eisenman in his paper ‘Paul as Herodian’, which he wrote 11 years ago, and which is available in his book,The Dead Sea Scrolls and the First Christians: Essays and Translations , and also online here, proposes that Paulus aka Saulus is the same person as the Saulus found in Josephus. He supports this with a close reading of the Pauline epistles where there are a surprising number of quick references that Paul knew and was related to members of the Herodian clan, the Jewish royal family who of course were not Judeans but Edomites. Edomites had been incorporated into Judea by the expansions of the Maccabees. Therefore an Edomite clan was as legitimate a ruling dynasty in Judea as the Scottish Stuarts were as rulers of England. Were they Jews? You can argue it both ways.

Certainly Herod the so-called Great was insecure about his Jewishness, which explains his rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple, his destruction of the genealogy scrolls of the old Jerusalem families, and his marrying into the Maccabean clan which was by then a decadent dynasty and after Herod had finished marrying and executing them, there were almost none left. There have been proposals from different writers that Herodians were involved in writing the various New Testament books – I will return to these proposals in later postings. However for the purpose of this posting I am provisionally assuming that both Jesus and Paul were historical.

Of course the Herodians were client kings reigning at the will of Rome. The Jewish view of their legitimacy and the Roman view of it were quite different. In one way and another the clan managed to stay on one throne or another until the Roman-Jewish war that terminated Nero’s reign in Rome.

Robert Eisenman provides a genealogical chart of the Herodians at the end of his James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Here is the important part that shows the ancestry of Saulus. Salome was the sister of Herod called the ‘Great’. With one of her husbands, Costobarus, she had a son Antipater (there are other Antipaters in the Herodian clan so we must be careful), and the second son to this Antipator was Saulus. So Saulus is a great-nephew to Herod called the ‘Great’. The Herodians were Roman citizens, and Saulus being one of them, the mystery of his Roman citizenship as used in Acts 22:25-29 is cleared up.


The father of Jesus.

Here we turn to Robert Graves. In his King Jesus, 1946 and his Nazarene Gospel Restored, 1954, he proposes the following using the Jesus story in John’s gospel (18:29-38):

Pilate grants a private audience to Jesus, which he would have done only for a Roman citizen.

Pilate decides that Jesus is indeed king of the Jews. For a Roman like Pilate, this must mean that Jesus is king as per Roman law. Now Augustus had recognized Herod’s will nominating his son by Doris, Antipater, as his heir. If Jesus had explained that his father was Antipater secretly married to Mariam, and that his mother had remarried after Herod had changed his mind and put Antipater to death, then Pilate would indeed see Jesus as the rightful king of the Jews.

The Herod-Antipator-Jesus family was revived in Graham Phillips’ The Marian Conspiracy, 2000 (later reissued as The Virgin Mary Conspiracy, 2005). He gives no credit or even mention to Robert Graves (although Nazarene Gospel Restored is in his bibliography). Instead he gives credit for the idea of Antipater as father of Jesus to The Laws of The Jews by Joseph Schreiber, New York, 1956 (no publisher given). 1956 is later than the dates on Graves’ books and maybe Schreiber took the idea from Graves. If he came to the idea independently that is worth documenting. However there is something funny, or at least obscure, about Schreiber’s book. It is totally unknown to WorldCat, to Amazon, to the British Library and to the Library of Congress. Google finds only one reference to it: an italian site on ‘una possibile antistoria del cristianesimo‘ that as likely as not is using Phillips as a source.
Here is the genealogical chart for Herod-Antipator-Jesus.


Now let us put the two charts together:


Lo! Herod and Salome are siblings; Antipater and Antipater are cousins; Yeshua/Jesus and Saulus/Paulus are second cousins.

If we return to Luke’s Jesus Story (but not Marcion’s ), we are told that Miriamne (Mary) and Elisheba (Elizabeth) are cousins, and therefore Yohanon the Baptist and Yeshua are second cousins.

Yohanon the Baptist to Yeshua to Saulus.

John the Baptist to Jesus to Paul.

Second cousin to second cousin to second cousin.

Yohanon is not a descendant of Herod called the Great, but Yeshua and Saulus are.

Desposynoi – the family of the lord, the family of the great despot, Herod!!

These bible strands surely can be unwound in strange ways.

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