The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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MrMacSon
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by MrMacSon » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:45 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:37 am
It's great that my OP has found such traction. ... My question is however that 'Jewish Christianity' - i.e. the tradition developed around 'James the brother of Jesus' has very little going for it. Yes various documents suggest the existence of a 'church' with James at its head. But are all these fabulous stories or history?

... In James's case, with a death that supposedly happened two generations or so later, we have no firm account of what happened with several conflicting accounts of the details of his death.
Do we have any accounts of James form ~ 30 AD/CE until the pre-War period?

Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:37 am
His 'other brother' John might have died relatively early or might have lived on to die on Mount Patmos. We have a single corrupt source for the outlandish claim that it wasn't just James at the head of the Church but a kind of family mafia' that ran the church into the second century.

Again, I don't doubt there is Jewish influence in Christianity. I just don't see why we shouldn't suppose that this was in the Pauline writings already.
'this'? a Jewish influence in the Pauline writings?

Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:37 am
Don't see the need to build theories on what amounts to spurious romances. What is the evidence for 'Jewish Christianity' as an actual historical phenomenon - i.e. the Ebionites; a group of 'Jesus believers' which also practiced the Jewish Law in some form, and could these Ebionites simply have been a branch or form of Marcionism? Why not? What reliable evidence helps us know the truth about the earliest period of the Church.
The inter-testamentary texts? the early Rabbinic texts? the Tosefta? the early tannaitic midrashim? Enoch? 4 Ezra? the DSSs? some of the Nag Hammadi texts (eg. their Gospel of the Lord, the Gospel of truth; the Gospel of Thomas)?

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MrMacSon
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by MrMacSon » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:06 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:58 am
Michael BG wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:13 am
I thought it was used in Judaism with the definitive article 'the in Enoch and 4 Ezra.
All I know about that is [th]is
While Daniel 7:13 "like a son of man" probably did not stand for the Messiah, where the phrase appears in extant versions of later apocryphal and deuterocanonical works such as the Similitudes of Enoch and 4 Ezra gave it this interpretation.[3] Whether these messianic "Son of Man" references are genuinely Jewish or the result of Christian interpolation is disputed.[4] An example of a disputed section is that of The Similitudes (1 Enoch 37-71) which uses Daniel 7 to produce an unparalleled messianic Son of Man, pre-existent and hidden yet ultimately revealed, functioning as judge, vindicator of righteousness, and universal ruler.[5] The Enochic messianic figure is an individual representing a group, (the Righteous One who represents the righteous, the Elect One representing the elect), but in 4 Ezra 13 (also called 2 Esdras) he becomes an individual man.[6][7][8]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Son_of_ma ... depigrapha
Michael BG wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:58 pm
Hopefully we can agree that the term Son of Man is used in a similar way in the Similitudes of Enoch and 4 Ezra and therefore we need to discuss if these are Christian or Jewish.
or the possibility or probability they are intermediate?

Michael BG wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:58 pm
John J Collins in The Apocalyptic Imagination writes, “The present form of the Similitudes, which explicitly identifies Enoch as the ‘Son of Man,’ must be Jewish” (p 178). I assume this is because it is inconceivable that a Christian would give a title of Jesus to Enoch. He dates them to earlier than the gospels and especially earlier than Matthews gospel as he write, “(Matt 19:28 and 25:31), which refer to the ‘glorious throne,’ seem to depend on the Similitudes” (p 178).

I couldn’t find Collins stating that 4 Ezra was Jewish but it seems implied when he writes “No extant Jewish apocalypse can be associated with the Jewish revolt … (of) 66 C.E. … In contrast, we have several major apocalypse from the period after the revolt: 4 Ezra; … There is general agreement that the original language was Hebrew” and he gives as references – Stone, Bergren, VanderKam & Adler. He continues, “There is also a consensus that the book was written in Palestine about the end of the first century C.E. ... In the period after the fall of Jerusalem” (p 194-96).
See what I put together 2 yrs ago http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/view ... 552#p52552

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:53 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:47 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:47 am
But my point here was that Christianity is rooted in Judaism.
Sure, I agree it is. But, of course, we are discussing the nitty-gritty.

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:47 am
Are we certain they were buried before the War ended?
That is a prevailing theory. But it matters little to the dates of the scrolls, which have now been established both paleographically and by carbon dating.
Some have a radiocarbon terminus ante quem in the 2nd century https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_da ... st_results
Yes, some do. Those same scrolls have a radiocarbon terminus post quem in the first century BC.
The lack of Hebrew of Aramaic texts where? In early Christianity?
The lack of early Hebrew or Aramaic Christian texts. If any theory requires such texts, their absence is not hard to account for.
I personally think that Jewish Christianity forms at least part of the link, but I also personally go back and forth on how Christian James and the Pillars were.
James in the Pauline texts?
Yes.
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Secret Alias
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:08 pm

The ur-text for Galatians based on my deconstruction of Tertullian's Against Marcion Book 5 chapters 2 - 3:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one I preached to you, let him be anathematized! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! 10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ 11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus. 18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie. 21 Then I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me. Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2 I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain. 3 Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. 4 This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. 5 We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. 6 As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message. 7 On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised,[a] just as Peter had been to the circumcised. 8 For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. 9 James, Cephas[c] and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along. When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.


I am pretty sure all the bullshit about Peter and James and the Jerusalem Church was never in the original Galatians. The question then for me at least is why was it necessary to create it.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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MrMacSon
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by MrMacSon » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:51 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:47 am
Some [DSS texts] have a radiocarbon terminus ante quem in the 2nd century https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_da ... st_results
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:53 pm
Yes, some do. Those same scrolls have a radiocarbon terminus post quem in the first century BC.
Yes, that is significant too.

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:53 pm
If any theory requires [early Hebrew or Aramaic Christian] texts, their absence is not hard to account for.
Cheers! :cheers:

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John T
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by John T » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:46 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:49 pm
The conversation seems to revert back to old tropes. My question was - where is the actual evidence of 'Jewish Christianity' outside of the testimony of the Church Fathers?
The Haran Gawaita tells the history of the Nasoreans i.e. followers of John the Baptist who then became Gnostic Christians after they fled to modern day Iraq due to the Jewish revolt.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haran_Gawaita

Sincerely,

John T
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by Michael BG » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:14 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:06 pm
Michael BG wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:58 pm
Hopefully we can agree that the term Son of Man is used in a similar way in the Similitudes of Enoch and 4 Ezra and therefore we need to discuss if these are Christian or Jewish.
or the possibility or probability they are intermediate?
I am not sure what you mean by "intermediate".

My original post which you were engaging with was
The Son of Man title for a heavenly figure in the gospels appears to be from Judaism
To me it seems that in the first century within Judaism “the Son of Man” was being used as a title for a heavenly apocalyptic figure. It was not a title used by Romans and Greeks and so its usage within Christianity comes from first century Jewish thought.

Another point I was making was that the title “Anointed” (Christ) came from Judaism and was not used in Roman or Greek culture as a title. The first record we have of someone other than a Jew being anointed as a king was Clovis in 493.

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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by Michael BG » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:23 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:37 am
I don't think any of the subsequent posts answer my original post though. I don't doubt that Christian developed from Judaism in some way. My question is however that 'Jewish Christianity' - i.e. the tradition developed around 'James the brother of Jesus' has very little going for it.

Again, I don't doubt there is Jewish influence in Christianity. I just don't see why we shouldn't suppose that this was in the Pauline writings already. Don't see the need to build theories on what amounts to spurious romances. What is the evidence for 'Jewish Christianity' as an actual historical phenomenon - i.e. the Ebionites a group of 'Jesus believers' which also practiced the Jewish Law in some form …What reliable evidence helps us know the truth about the earliest period of the Church.
There is very little reliable evidence for anything. If the evidence for Marcionism any better than the evidence for the Ebionites?

Is the gospel of Matthew not evidence that there was a more Jewish Torah abiding form of Christianity than the community which produced the gospel of Mark?

The evidence for a “church” which sees Jesus as Christ in Jerusalem are the Pauline letters.
Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:34 am
The only mention of James in Against Marcion doesn't make it explicit that the James reference was in Marcion's version of the epistle
I don’t think Tertullian makes anything explicit. It seems one of the criteria for concluding that something is not in the Marcion text is if it is an “unattested passage that Tertullian is likely to have cited were they present in the Marcionite version”. Therefore if Tertullian uses a text it should be concluded that it was in the Marcion text.

It has been suggested by Jason BeDuhn that the Marcionite Galatians had at least:
Peter and James and John, gave to me the right hand (of fellowship), that we to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcision. 10 only us to remember the poor 11 (But when) Peter (came to Antioch), I resisted him to his face, (because) he stood condemned. 12 For he ate with the Gentiles. But, he drew back and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.
If your criteria were used to re-create the Marcionite texts there would be very little included. The evidence for what was in the Marcionite texts is very poor and I don’t think it is reliable.

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John T
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by John T » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:30 am

"It should now be abundantly clear that Jesus and the Essenes were contemporaries, and that there are numerous possibilities for Jesus to have heard about Essene doctrines, practices, interpretations of the Bible, and social habits. He could well have been influ¬enced by them without having to visit the Qumran monastery; and it is likely he had observed some practices of the non-Qumran Essenes."...J.H. Charlesworth 1988

http://cojs.org/jesus_and_the_dead_sea_ ... _ny-_1988/

Sadly, even after 30 years from when Charlesworth wrote his book titled: 'Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls', what should have been made clear is yet to be acknowledged by those who refuse to connect the dots.

Dr. J. H. Charlesworth has been trying for years to get a rich donor to sponsor the excavation of a known but yet to be opened Qumran cave that he strongly suspects will contain a treasure trove of scrolls. I have little doubt such a search will find the Similitudes of Enoch among the scrolls and confirmation of Enoch Judaism as the origin of Christianity as taught by Jesus and his brother James the Just.

Sincerely,

John T
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

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Secret Alias
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:14 am

The Haran Gawaita tells the history of the Nasoreans i.e. followers of John the Baptist who then became Gnostic Christians after they fled to modern day Iraq due to the Jewish revolt.
The Mandaean John lived to see the destruction of the temple. Have you ever read this stuff? The Haran Gawaitha is a book only preserved by Iranian Mandaeans I believe. In the stuff which is more widely spread throughout their culture you read about a woman named Mary (or some related appellation) who lived in the temple until she was wooed outside and then she fled to Iraq. Really deep stuff. Historical value like the Encyclopedia Britannica. Here, they also seem to know 'Mary the mother of Jesus' (“The Mandaean Appropriation of Jesus' Mother, Mirai.” Novum Testamentum 35 (1993): 181–96) like they know 'John the Baptist' - have fun:
Book 2 John Book

MIRYAI IS EXPELLED FROM JEWRY (§ 34).

In the Name of Great Life, may hallowed Light be glorified.

MIRYAI am I, of the Kings of Babel1 a daughter, a daughter of Jerasalem's mighty rulers. They have given me birth; the priests brought me up. In the fold of their robe they carried me up into the dark house, into the temple. Adonai laid a charge on my hands and on my two arms: I must scour and cleanse the house [that is] without firmness. There is naght therein for supporting the poor, naught to revive the tormented souls.

My father went to the house of the people, my mother went to the temple. My father went out and said to me, and my mother went out and charged me: "Miryai, close thy inner doors and bolt the bar. See that thou goest not forth into the main streets and that the suns of my Lord2 fall not upon thee."

But I, Miryai, listened not to what my mother did tell me, and hearkened not with the ear to what my father did charge me. I opened the inner doors, and the outer let I stand open. Out went I into the main streets and the suns of my Lord fell upon me. To the house of the people would I not go, but my way bore me unto the temple [sc. of the Mandæans]. I went and I found my brothers and sisters, how they stand and carry on proclamations. My brothers carry on proclamations and my sisters throw out explanations.3 With the voice of their proclamations and with the voice of their explanations I became drowsy and laid me down on the spot.4 My brothers went forth and did not wake me, and my sisters withdrew and roused me not. But thou, my sister in Truth,5 dost rouse me from sleep and dost say: "Arise, arise, Miryai, before the day breaks and the cock lets crow his morn-call, before the sun shines and his glory rises over the p. 63 worlds, before the priests and the priests' sons go forth and sit them down in the shade of the Ruins—Jerusalem, before thy father comes and brings upset upon thee such as thou never hast had."

I, Miryai, keep secret my prayers and utterly secret keep my discourses.

Early, day began to dawn, early the cock let crow his call, early the sun shone and his glory rose over the worlds. The priests and priests' sons went out and sat them down in the shade of the Ruins—Jerusalem. Then came my bodily father and brought on me upset such as I never have had. He spake:

"Where hast come from, thou debauched trough, whom [? locks] and bars [cannot keep in]? Where hast thou come from? Woe [unto thee], thou bitch in heat, who [? mindest] not [door-] pins and lockings! Where hast thou come from? Woe, woe [unto thee], thou bit of coarse stuff that has been patched on my robe!"

"If I am a debauched trough, I will burst thy [boltings] and bars. If I am a bitch in beat, I will draw back the pins and the lockings. If I am a bit of coarse stuff that has been patched on thy robe, then out of thy robe cut and rip me."

Thereon he cried: "Come (pl.), look on Miryai, who has left Jewry and gone to make love with her lord. Come, look on Miryai, who has left off coloured raiment and gone to make love with her lord. She forsook gold and silver and went to make love with her lord. She forsook the phylacteries1 and went to make love with the man with the head-band."2

Then Miryai makes answer unto him: "Far lies it from me to love him whom I have hated. Far lies it from me to hate him whom I have loved. Nay, far from me lies it to hate my Lord, the Life's Gnosis, who is for me in the world a support. A support is he in the world for me and a helper in the Light's region. Dust in the mouth of the Jews, ashes in the mouth of all of the priests! May the dung that is under the feet of the horses, come on the high ones and Jerusalem's mighty rulers."

Life is exalted and is victorious, and victorious is the Man who has come hither.

p. 64



A VARIANT OF THE ABOVE FROM THE OXFORD MS. (L.'s J. B., pp. 123-125).

In the name of Great Life, may hallowed Light be glorified.

AT the door of the house of the people her mother came upon Miryai. Her mother came upon Miryai and put question to her: "Whence com'st thou, my daughter, Miryai, whose face gathers roses? Roses gathers thy face and of sleep are thy eyes full. Full of sleep are thy eyes, and upon thy forehead lies slumber."

Thereon she made answer: "It is two,—three days to-day that my brothers sat down in the house of my Father. In my Father's house sat down my brothers and let wonderful proclamations be heard. Because of the voice and the ringing of the proclamation of the treasures, my brothers, there comes no sleep over my eyes. Sleep comes not over my eyes, nor slumber upon my forehead."

"Hast thou not heard, Miryai, my daughter, what the Jews are saying about thee? The Jews are saying: Thy daughter has fallen in love with a man. She has gotten hate against Jewry and love for Nazōræanity. Hate has she gotten against the house of the people and love for the door of the temple (sc. of the MM.). Hate has she gotten against the phylacteries and love for the flaunting wreaths. Work does she on Sabbath; on Sunday she keeps her hands still. Miryai has cast aside straightway the Law that the Seven have laid [upon us]."

As Miryai stands there, she puts dust on her feet, and speaks: "Dust in the mouth of the Jews and ashes in the mouth of all of the priests! May the dung that lies under the horses, come on the elders who are in Jerusalem! I cannot hate him whose love I have won, nor love him 'gainst whom I have gotten hate. Yea, I have won the love of my Lord the Life's Gnosis, [and hope] that in him a helper will for me arise, a helper and a support from the region of Darkness unto Light's region."

Thou hast won the victory, Gnosis of Life, and helped all thy friends to victory.

And Life is victorious.

p. 65



THE EXILED COMMUNITY SETTLE ON THE EUPHRATES (§ 35).

In the Name of Great Life, may hallowed Light be glorified.

MIRYAI am I, a vine, a tree, who stands at the mouth of Eu-phrates (Frash). The tree's leaves are precious stones, the tree's fruits pearls. The vine-tree's foliage is glory, its shoots precious light. Among the trees its scent it diffuses, and it spreads over all the worlds. The birds of the air scented it; a flock settled down on the tree. A flock on it down-settled, and they would build their nest there. They flutter about in it and settle not down in it firmly. Of its foliage they eat . . . from its inner part they drink wine. They eat what is not to be cast away, and drink what was not wine.1

While the birds sat on the vine, winds and tempests broke loose. They shook the good birdlets awake, they smote 'gainst the tree; on all sides they scattered the leaves of the vine-tree and scared the birds out of their place. Many a bird there was who flew not away, but held on fast with claws and with wings, till the winds and the tempests were over. Many again held not on fast and were hurried away ... . Woe unto those who did not hold fast, but were dashed from the tree and flew off. How fair is the tree of Life and fair the birds who dwell on it!

The winds and the tempests passed and rest came over the world.

As the birds sit there and chirp and would be a-building their nest, as the birds sit on the vine, an eagle wheeled and flew hither. A white eagle-bird2 came, looked down and caught sight of the birds. Round wheeled he, sped down on them with his wings, and came and sat on the tree. In converse with him joined the birds, and said to him:

"By thy Life, Eagle! On this tree were we birds without number.—But there broke loose against them the winds, and on the tree came raging tempests. They shook them off from the tree, so that they tore their wings from them [nearly]. Many a one held fast, whom the winds and tempests could not tear away; but many a one flew off at top speed.—We speak to thee, therefore, p. 66 O Eagle, we ask thee respecting the birds, because thou art sharp of sight and dost see all in this world: What have the winds and the tempests done with those birds, our brothers? What spyest thou out (?) over them?"

Then made he answer unto them: "You had better not to have known, my brothers, what has become of those birds. Slingshots drove them far from me; their wings broke; torn off were they, broken off; they went hence and relied on the bird-catchers.1 The harrier and hawk wheeled round them, tore pieces out of their flesh and fed on those who were fat. Woe to those who fell prey to the water,2 if there was no portion for them at the crossing. Well for you, ye birds, who hold fast to this vine [here]; you became a companionship of Miryai, the vine, who stands at the mouth of Euphrates. See and satisfy yourselves, ye birds, that I have come to you. I have come to my brothers to be a support for them in this world. I have come to heal Miryai, [come] to bring water to the good, beloved plants, to the vines, who stand at the mouth of Euphrates. In a white3 pail I draw water and bring it to my plants. I bear and I hold [it] on the arms of glory which are my own. I bear and I hold [it] and give [them] to drink. Well for him who has drunk of my water. He drinks, finds healing and confirmation, and grows to double [his stature]. The vines who drank water, brought forth good fruit. Their leaves turned on high and made a brave show. The branches which drank no water, brought forth bitter herbs and worm-wood (?). Woe to those who have not gone forward upon the Way; woe to those who have not passed on by the way-stone! They hated Life's Treasure-House,4 Miryai, the dear Truth.

"My brothers, hold fast, be a companionship of Miryai. I will look round in the world, let Life's call sound forth and rouse the sleeping and wake [them]."

The eagle flew off from the tree; he wheeled round and instructed his friends. He speaks to them: "Give ear to me, my p. 67 brothers! Stay fast and endure persecution. Be a companionship to Miryai. Woe to the Jews, who were a persecution for Miryai! Woe to Elizar, the great house, the pillar that props the temple! Woe to Zatan, the pillar,1 who has witnessed lies against Miryai!"



THE JEWS PERSECUTE THE MANDÆANS (§ 35 CONTD.).

ALL the Jews gathered together, the teachers, the great and the little; they came [together] and spake of Miryai: "She ran away from the priests, fell in love with a man, and they took hold of each other's hands. Hold of each other's hands they took, went forth and settled at the mouth of Euphrates. We will slay them and make Miryai scorned in Jerusalem. A stake2 will we set up for the man who has ruined Miryai and led her away. There shall be no day in the world when a stranger3 enters Jerusalem."

They split open their fellings and catch the doves in Jerusalem.4



THEY BEG THEM TO RETURN (§ 35 CONTD.).

ALL the Jews gathered together and followed after Miryai. They went and found that a throne was set up for Miryai on the bank of Euphrates. A white stnndard was for her unfurled and a book stood upright on her lap. She reads in the Books of Truth and rouses all worlds from their sleep. She holds in her hand the staff of Life's water; the girdle is bound round her loins. Miryai in humbleness prays and proclaims with wondrous voice. The fishes gather out of the sea, the birds5 from the mouth of Euphrates. They come to hear Miryai's voice, and no more long to lie down to sleep. They breathe in the sweet scent around her and forget the world. p. 68 When the Jews saw this, they stood up before her. They felt shamed, doubled their fists, smote on the fore-court of their breast and lamented. The mother of Miryai spoke, and tears streamed into her bosom.

"Look on me, Miryai, my daughter," says she unto her; "look on me who am thy mother! My daughter art thou and the daughter of all of the priests. Thy head is the great chief of the temple. Rememberest thou not, Miryai, that the Torah lay on thy lap? Thou didst open it, read therein and knewest what stands in it. The outer keys lay in thy hands, and the inner thou didst put in chains.1 All the priests and priests' sons came and kissed thy hand. For whom thou wouldst, thou didst open the door; whom thou wouldst not, must turn and go back to his seat. A thousand stand there and two thousand sit there. They submit themselves to thee, as a eunuch-made slave, and they give ear to thy word in Jerusalem. Why didst thou forget thy brothers and thy heart abandon the priests? Lo, the brides weep in Judæa, the women and men in Jerusalem. Their beloved gold have they cast from them, and they give themselves up to wailing and mourning for thee. They say: 'We will make away with our goods, until Miryai returns. Gold forge we [? no longer], and cast away fair raiments of silk and bracelets (?).' They stand on the roofs and look out, that they may see thee again in Jerusalem. For thee they make vows, if thou comest to me and we go hence. My daughter, arise, come back to thy dwelling-place, the city Jerusalem. Come, light up thy lamps, which have been put out from the day when thou withdrewest thyself.2 Have no longing after this man, who has prisoned thee and taken thee off. Leave p. 69 the man, who is not of thy dwelling-place,1 alone by himself in the world. Let him not say: I have gone and carried off Miryai from her place. Come, teach the children, so that they may learn. Lay the Torah in thy lap and let us hear thy voice as it used to be. From the moment and the day when thou didst detach the dough2 has it been covered up ... ...."

When Miryai heard this from her mother, she laughed and rejoiced in her mind. "It surely could not be the Jews," says she unto her, "the infamous, worthless priests! It surely would not be the Jews who stand there and bow down to a brick-grave!3 They shall be buried in the Darkness.

"Go, go," says she unto them, "ye fools, ye abortions,4 ye who were not of the world.5 I am no woman who is stripped for wantoning; and it is not that I have fallen in love with a man. Stripped am I not for returning to you and for again seeing you, doming of blasphemy. Go, go hence from me, ye who have witnessed falsehood and lying against me. Against me ye witnessed p. 70 wantonness and thieving, and held me up as ye are yourselves. Blessed be the Man who freed me from my fetters and planted my feet here. No wantonness have I committed with him and attempted no theft in the world. Instead of the witness ye have witnessed against me, there come to me prayer and praise-giving."

As the priests stand there and speak with Miryai at the mouth of Euphrates, there came a pure eagle-bird, whose wings are the fulness of worlds.1 He flew down on the Jews, dashed at them with his wings, bound them and sank them down unto the water's bottom, deeper [down] than the foul-smelling mud. He sank them deeper down than the blazing [water], that is inside the dark water. He sank their ships down to the blazing water's bottom. He destroyed the temple and laid fire to Jerusalem.2

He brought down all upon them and in Jerusalem slew the disciples.

He descended unto her (Miryai), folded before her his wings, settled down by her, narrated and proclaimed to her; and they held out the loved hand of Truth to each other. He embraced her in potent embracing, forced her down and set her on the throne.

"Miryai," he speaks to her, "with favour look upon me, remember me in the Life's presence. I am thy Good Messenger, the Man, who gives ear to thy discourse. I beseech thee for the high Truth, the Truth which the Jordans have chosen."

"O Good Treasure," she makes answer unto him, "Treasure whom Life has sent! Thy glory and thy light has risen upon us, and thy honour is approved in Light's region. Everyone who gives ear to thy voice, will be in the pure region included. In Life's Treasury will he be included and thy rays will rise [over him] twofold. For everyone who gives not ear to thy voice, waking and sleep will be wiped out. Let him belong to the Jews, to the slaves and all of the priests, the sons of the Harlot. I and thou will circle aloft and victorious mount to Light's region."

May Life be our pledge, and Life is victorious.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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