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 Post subject: Acts of John
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:17 am 
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In reading some recent comments which assert that the Christ Myth Theory is solely modern, I was prompted to examine some of the Docetist writings from the early church, notably the Acts of John, from which the following extracts are taken.

This short extract contains a number of explicitly mythicist arguments, grounded in an astrotheological understanding of the Last Supper, as the dancing of the Whole on high in the number twelve, an idea that suggests the mystery symbolism of the zodiac. The Gnostic elect are defined as those who keep tune with holy souls and thereby know the word of wisdom, with dancing presented as allegory for understanding of the cosmos. We find the distinction between the upper and the lower, best understood as the eternal changeless stars and the mundane world of change and corruption. The Platonic image of enlightening the cave signifies those who know, as distinct from the mass who merely believe. The cross of light, from Plato’s Timaeus, is the intersection of the Milky Way galaxy and the zodiac, as visible in the night sky, defined as ‘wisdom in harmony’.

We can see why this text was condemned as heretical and censored and burnt. It argues ‘neither am I he that is on the cross’, ‘the Lord contrived all things symbolically’, ‘despise them that are outside the mystery’ and ‘it is not a man whom I preach unto you to worship’.

The true Christ is presented here as pure spirit, and not a physical man. The Gnostic call to despise the masses illustrates the sharp social conflict surrounding early Christianity. Enlightened separation is seen as putting the knowledgeable elect above the ignorant mere believers. We may see in this arrogance why Gnosticism became the object of hostility, such that it could be isolated and destroyed.

Quote:
Source: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... sjohn.html
The Acts of John
From "The Apocryphal New Testament"
M.R. James-Translation and Notes ()
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924

[extracts from paragraph 94ff, updated to contemporary English]

… before he was taken … he gathered all of us together and said: Before I am delivered up unto them let us sing a hymn to the Father, and so go forth to that which lies before us. He bade us therefore make as it were a ring, holding one another's hands, and himself standing in the midst he said: Answer Amen to me. He began, then, to sing a hymn and to say:

Glory be to thee, Father. And we, going about in a ring, answered him: Amen. Glory be to thee, Word: Glory be to thee, Grace. Amen. Glory be to thee, Spirit: Glory be to thee, Holy One: Glory be to thy glory. Amen. …
Grace dances. I would pipe; dance you all. Amen. …

The number Twelve dances on high. Amen. The Whole on high has part in our dancing. Amen. Who does not dance, does not know what comes to pass. Amen. … Now answer you to my dancing. See yourself in me who speak, and seeing what I do, keep silence about my mysteries. You who dance, perceive what I do...

What I am seen to be, that I am not… I would keep tune with holy souls. In me you know the word of wisdom. …with a word did I deceive all things and I was no whit deceived. I have leaped: but do you understand the whole, and having understood it, say: Glory be to thee, Father. Amen. Thus, my beloved, having danced with us the Lord went forth.

And we as men gone astray or dazed with sleep fled this way and that. I, then, when I saw him suffer, did not even abide by his suffering, but fled unto the Mount of Olives, weeping at that which had befallen. And when he was crucified on the Friday, at the sixth hour of the day, darkness came upon all the earth.

And my Lord standing in the midst of the cave and enlightening it, said: John, unto the multitude below in Jerusalem I am being crucified and pierced with lances and reeds, and gall and vinegar is given me to drink. But to you I speak, and what I speak you hear. I put it into your mind to come up into this mountain, that you might hear those things which a disciple should learn from his teacher and a man from his God.

And having thus spoken, he showed me a cross of light, and about the cross a great multitude, not having one form: and in the cross was one form and one likeness. And the Lord himself I beheld above the cross, not having any shape, but only a voice: and a voice not such as was familiar to us, but one sweet and kind and truly of God, saying to me: John, … I need one that will hear.

This cross of light is sometimes called the word…, sometimes mind, sometimes Jesus, sometimes Christ, sometimes door, sometimes a way, sometimes bread, sometimes seed, sometimes resurrection, sometimes Son, sometimes Father, sometimes Spirit, sometimes life, sometimes truth, sometimes faith, sometimes grace. And by these names it is called as toward men: but that which it is in truth, … is the marking-off of all things, and the firm uplifting of things fixed out of things unstable, and the harmony of wisdom, and indeed wisdom in harmony …

This cross, then, is that which joined all things unto itself by the word, and separate off the things that are from those that are below and then also, being one, streamed forth into all things. But this is not the cross of wood …

neither am I he that is on the cross ... I was reckoned to be that which I am not… they will say of me something else which is vile and not worthy of me. … Now the multitude … about the cross is the lower nature… every part of him that came down has not yet been comprehended.

But when the upper nature is taken up… whoever hears me shall be united with it, and shall no more be that which now he is, but above them, as I also now am. … if you hear me, you will be as I am… For from me thou art that (which I am). Care not therefore for the many, and despise them that are outside the mystery; for you know that I am wholly with the Father, and the Father with me.

Nothing, therefore, of the things which they will say of me have I suffered: nay, that suffering also which I showed you and the rest in the dance, I want it to be called a mystery. For what you are, you see, for I showed it to you; but what I am I alone know, and no one else…

You hear that I suffered, yet did I not suffer; that I suffered not, yet did I suffer; that I was pierced, yet I was not smitten; hanged, and I was not hanged; that blood flowed from me, and it flowed not; and, in a word, what they say of me, that befell me not, but what they say not, that did I suffer. Now what those things are I signify to you, for I know that you will understand.

See in me the praising of the Logos, the piercing of the Word, the blood of the Word, the wound of the Word, the hanging up of the Word, the suffering of the Word, the nailing of the Word, the death of the Word. First see the Word; then you will see the Lord, and in the third place the man, and what he hath suffered.

When he had spoken these things to me, and others which I know not how to say as he would have me, he was taken up, no one of the multitudes having beheld him. And when I went down I laughed them all to scorn, inasmuch as he had told me the things which they have said concerning him; holding fast this one thing in myself, that the Lord contrived all things symbolically and by a dispensation toward men, for their conversion and salvation.

Having therefore beheld, brethren, the grace of the Lord and his kindly affection toward us, let us worship him as those to whom he has shown mercy, not with our fingers, nor our mouth, nor our tongue, nor with any part whatsoever of our body, but with the disposition of our soul -even him who became a man apart from this body: and let us watch… he is with all of us, and himself suffers with us when we suffer…

Be persuaded it is not a man whom I preach unto you to worship, but God unchangeable, God invincible, God higher than all authority and all power, and elder and mightier than all angels and creatures that are named, and all aeons. If then you abide in him, and are built up in him, you shall possess your soul indestructible.


Image
The Last Supper, Buoninsegna (c. 1255 - c. 1319)


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 Post subject: Re: Acts of John
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:48 am 
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Dionysus

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:56 pm
Posts: 280
I can give you guy's some of the pdf translations of he gospel of john if you would like.


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