Saturday, June 10, 2006

Jesus: The unauthorised version

Miracles happen almost every now and then. Its just that we are too busy and surrounded by illusion for which we fail to realize them.

Couple of days back i went to visit the British Museum at London. While coming out i went to its bookshop where i came across a book very unexpectedly that validates a lot of the events in the holy life of Jesus Christ, which i was posting for last few weeks. And the validation comes from Secret Gospels and from the own speech of Jesus Christ. The name of this wonderful book is, “Jesus: The Unauthorised version”.

The miracle about finding this book is that it contains a lot of very valuable ancient accounts from Jesus’s life. It quotes from the gnostic teachings of Jesus from some very valuable gospels like: The Gospels of Thomas and Philip, The Gospel of Truth, The Secret Book of James and John and many other books found in the Nag Hammadi Library.

Nag Hammadi library were discovered about 1945 (studied, translated about 1970s) in upper Egypt, the land of early christians. 13 books of them contained ancient sheets of papyrus, dated to 350 AD.

Scholars identified the books as lost gospels from the earliest years of the Christianity. No less than the evangelists of the New Testament, the writers of the texts found near Nag Hammadi claimed to be inspired by Jesus and to tell the truth.

Yet the message or rather the messages offered by these books was very different from the teachings of Jesus that had never been heard before – some them bewilderingly enigmatic. God was described in unfamiliar female terms … salvation is taught to be found by knowledge only (remember the saying, you shall know the truth and truth shall make you free), and salvation needs no divine intercession between man and God.

Then there were the portrayals of Mary Magdalene … more than once, she is described outsmarting Peter, whom the Roman Catholic Church regards as the spiritual forebear to its popes. And she is described as ‘the companion of the Saviour’.

Perhaps the most remarkably, in some of the new-found texts the death and resurrection of Jesus are not mentioned at all, while in others these most fundamental of Christian doctrines are roundly dismissed as untrue, naïve and simplistic.

The Nag Hammadi Library contained books that called themselves gospels and claimed to transmit the sayings and the teachings of Jesus. When, then, were their contents so dramatically different from the familiar four gospels of the Bible?

Did these books hold truths that had been lost – or – concealed – from Christians for hundreds of years?

The books shed light and provide in great strength a lot of evidences about the facts from the life and teachings of Jesus which i was posting in last few weeks.

For example the Gospels records:
1. Jesus himself saying all have the capability to be son of ‘sons of the living Father’ and God is ‘Unbegotten Father’ (in The Sophia of Jesus Christ), disclaiming the theory that ‘Jesus is the only begotten son’.

2. Christ himself has warns of heretics and bishops who teach that Jesus died on cross. This is very interesting and you have to understand it carefully. Previously i posted that there are compelling evidences even in New Testament that Jesus didn’t die on the cross. And here in Apocalypse of Peter, a Gnostic Text found in Nag Hammadi Jesus warns against those who expound the belief that Jesus died on the cross. This teaching is also echoed in The Gospel of Philip, which claims that those without true knowledge misunderstand the meaning of terms like ‘resurrection’, taking them too literally.

3. The persons of Jesus kept changing his appearances giving very good evidences that he was spreading his mission in disguise to keep himself free from the Roman agents. In Apocryphon of John (also known as The secret book of John), in the Gospel of Philip, Acts of John, Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles time and time again it is clear that Jesus appearing disguised in different characters. Sometime he take the disguise as a gardener, sometime an old man, sometime a pearl seller, a doctor and keep wandering different places of holy lands to inspire peoples.

4. I also gave evidences that Jesus survived his crucifixion and went on living. Now from the secret gospels it is again clear. From the book i quote, ‘And several gnostic texts specifically magnify the time Jesus remained on earth after his resurrection. In the biblical Act of Apostles, Jesus continues appearing to people for 40 days… In the secret book of James, the disciples are still having conversations with Jesus 550 days after he has risen … The Pistic Sophia, meanwhile, says he spent eleven years with his followers after his resurrection.” They all indicate the clear fact that Jesus didn’t die on cross but continued living and at times met with his followers. The Second Treaties of the Great Seth is even scornful of those who preach ‘the doctrine of dead man’ (that Jesus died on cross). The Gospel of Nicodemus, this book condemns the Jews for Jesus’s death, though it strikes a docetic note in suggesting that Jesus did not suffer on the cross (signifying he didn’t die)!

5. The tension over the role of women in Christian church can be traced back from the Gospel of Mary Magdalene where its very clear that Peter was jealous of Jesus’s favour and love for Mary Magdalene. The secret gospels indicate that Jesus was particularly fond of her as she understood his mystic teachings better than others. In the Gospel of Thomas we can read that Peter saying to Jesus, ‘Make Mary leave us, for females are not worthy of life’. Mary also accuses Peter of sexism saying ‘he hateth our sex’. Theologians have wondered to what degree this fractious relationship between Mary Magdalene and Peter reflects tension over the role of women in early Christian church (until today).


I would highly recommend to get a copy of the book to understand the very real nature of mystic Jesus and his blessed teachings, and yes offcourse if you are interested. For me personally its not just a study of a personality from the dead, ancient past; but an attempt to walk the same path of realization with one of the best enlightened teacher of humanity.
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