- It was in the month of July when I reluctantly began
writing this paper - reluctant because it is never easy to write about
politics and religion in one paper - but writing it nevertheless because
America appears to be caught up in a slow but steady and determined push
to stir more and more strange religion into its melting pot of strange
politics at this time. If the state religion of choice claimed roots that
were benevolent and all-encompassing, then perhaps this mixture might indeed
turn out to be a true and decent balm for this country and our increasing
effects on the world - perhaps it might mean something good for us all
- but unfortunately this is not the case.
- While I wondered how to put this into words that would
not offend, the haze and mist of summer heat drifted up into the treetops
outside, and the only sounds coming through my den office windows were
those of a cardinal family and a towhee family announcing their arrivals
at the busy birdfeeder on the veranda where a young cowbird stood by himself.
For a moment I stopped writing, grateful to focus on something more calming,
something that did not require translation. I watched as my feathered neighbors
approached the seed dish, with awkward youngsters putting their best efforts
forth to follow the examples of etiquette shown to them by the adults.
All took turns at the feeder without protest or argument. I watched as
one towhee juvenile took a moment to put a seed into the open mouth of
the young cowbird who, although in the vicinity of food, was without a
family and had apparently not yet figured out how to feed himself. There
were no armed guards out there, no seed counters, and no one was lording
himself over the others or threatening to smite and smote them, along with
past and future generations.
- This was perhaps a reflection of true peace - a natural
peace inherent in all if given half a chance. This appeared to be a peace
in which anonymous lessons of etiquette, equality and compassion clearly
have rather universal benefits. It was a moment of blessing, filled with
grace because feeding the hungry can be a moment of profound blessing.
Moments of such grace validate the lives and dignity of both the giver
and receiver. I, the onlooker, also received a blessing of peace simply
from having watched the gift of grain as it was given and received. It
was an act of grace moving through nature like the reflections of the sun
in many mirrors.
- Then, I returned to the paper. While my Florida day was
filled with summer haze and songbirds, in a distant country, far from here
- in a land where I have never walked and my children have never walked
- there, it would be the smoke from the bombs and guns of yet another war
drifting through the July air. I knew that as I wrote down these words,
strangers were being pitted against strangers and urged to kill each other
by elected and non-elected leaders, all apparently worshipping the same
strange God. The lives of many, as well as the secrets of antiquity, were
being destroyed and rendered into dust.
- July, it seemed, would be a very good month to find shade
(or shelter) and reflect upon politics and religion, ideals and beliefs,
and how we arrived here at this frightening cliff from which we can now
jump, lemming-like, or from which we can back away and calmly rethink things.
Oddly, mingled in with the reluctance to write this paper was a sense of
urgency to write it as quickly as possible - before the reign of the court-appointed
"God of America" becomes further established.
- On the surface, this push for an association between
America and a God seems innocent enough - what harm could possibly come
from this, many might wonder. Who could possibly find fault in displaying
the Ten Commandments in state buildings, schools, parks, courthouses and
other places all over the United States?
- And yet, the Founding Fathers of this country - some
of them scholars fluent in multiple languages, many of them deists flatly
rejecting organized religion - wanted to keep the oil and vinegar of religion
and politics separate. One might reasonably wonder if the scholars of yesterday
knew something that we, their poorly schooled, industrialized, obedient
and unaware descendants no longer have access to - no longer realize. Perhaps
they knew of something that, over the passage of time, has become as hazy
and nebulous as rising steam on a July afternoon.
- According to the CIA's Worldfact Book, at this time approximately
33% of the world's population are Christians, 20% are Muslims, and "0.23%"
are Jewish. Christianity, Islam and Judaism are all considered to be Abrahamic
religions, or "desert monotheism," all somehow pledging belief
in the same God. This means that while less than one-half of one percent
of the earth's people are Jewish, over 50% of the earth's people have aligned
themselves with "the God of Israel."
- According to the Old Testament and the Ten Commandments,
the foremost command from the God of Israel is that there is only one god
- Jehovah - and no other gods are to be worshipped, acknowledged, mentioned,
recognized, honored or heeded other than the God of Israel. On a scale
of one-to-ten, this command is of such importance, it is listed as Number
One, Number Two, Number Three and Number Four in the Protestant and Hebrew
Ten Commandments - Number One, Number Two, and Number Three in the Catholic
- Over the centuries, many have come to accept this as
truth: there is "only one God - the God of Israel," despite the
fact that historical texts as well as their own bibles do not support this.
Commands One, Two, Three and Four have exerted a powerful influence on
many minds, enough so that it has come to be something of an embarrassment
in the US these days to hint at anything other than the "Only One
- Nevertheless, the "Only One God" command has
raised a few daring questions here and there throughout time, primarily,
"If there is only one god, why is there reference in the Ten Commandments
and the bible to "other" gods?" And, "Who, exactly,
are the 'other gods?'" And, "Who, for that matter, is this One
And Only One God of Israel?" Other questions also beg to be asked:
"Is it possible that our understanding of the word, 'God,' has become
blurred over the slow march of centuries?" And, of course, if we are
all blindly pledging allegiance to the God of Israel - a war god - what,
then, are Christians to do with the teachings of Jesus, who attempted to
instill lessons of peace and compassion?
- Webster's defines "god," (no caps) as "the
supreme or ultimate reality.the infinite Mind.a person or thing of supreme
value." These seem to be reasonable descriptions, certainly not likely
to incite a riot. (Neither "Jehovah," nor "Yahweh"
are mentioned in Webster's definition of "god.")
- It would appear to some of us that there is an infinite
Mind underlying all of nature - an unnamed, unknowable Awareness that is
the glue between cause and effect. According to the various written accounts,
however, the numerous gods and angels who have paid numerous visits here
appear to be representatives or ambassadors - celestial dignitaries - visiting
from distant points of Light - or from darkness. Various gods appear to
have played a role in the development of this planet since day one. Some
have been loved and others have been feared, based upon their traits, their
works and by the fruits they have produced. Some have shared teachings
of Light that have helped restore peace and bring order to chaos, and others
have imparted darker teachings that have resulted in chaos, war and bloodshed.
- In order to have a more complete understanding of what
or who the gods are, it is necessary to take a look at what has been written
about them both in translated English as well as in Hebrew and Egyptian.
If we only look at the "authorized translations," then we can
only see what has been interpreted for us by others.
- Looking first at the King James English translation of
the Old Testament (OT),
- most will quickly notice that "god" is presented
to the reader in various ways. Sometimes we see the word written as "god,"
sometimes GOD, sometimes LORD God, sometimes as God Almighty, etc. "God,"
with only the first letter in caps, is first mentioned in Genesis 1.
- In then looking at the Hebrew from which the English
has been translated, something else emerges on page one of Genesis, which
is where the questions start rising.
- When you see the English word, "God," with
only the first letter in caps, this is actually a translation of the Hebrew
word, "elohim." There is no upper- and lowercase distinction
in Hebrew. The letters that we see presented in caps in the English translations,
therefore, are an English touch to underscore the translator's opinions.
In some cases, the translators have capitalized this word, and in other
cases, left it in lowercase.
- Elohim is a word referring to angels, rulers, gods, human
judges, entities, something not quite describable, Shining Ones, something
usually eliciting extreme awe when encountered. Many people have pointed
out over the years that "elohim" - due to its "im"
ending which is like the English "s" - indicates this is a plural
word. Apologists have explained this as "majestic plural" (one
God having many facets) while other scholars contend that it means just
exactly what it says: gods.
- "Elohim" is translated into English as the
plural word, "gods," approximately two hundred times in the OT,
but in over 2000 other instances it is translated into English as a singular
noun and capitalized: God.
- Genesis 1 is about the unnamed, anonymous elohim. These
are the anonymous elohim who created ["bara" in Hebrew, associated
with a divine creative power] the earth and in their eyes everything was
good. They then created [bara] humanity in their own image, male and female,
and blessed all that had been created, including the animals.
- To bless something is to validate its existence, to declare
it special and beloved, to give it importance, and to direct conscious
energy onto it. Genesis 1 appears to be a rather nice little story, giving
dignity and a blessed, sacred meaning to all of creation - even to the
cowbird being fed by the towhee on my veranda. It seems to speak of a thread
of divine potential running through everything. Things were off to a good
- There is no mention of dust in this first story of Genesis,
no mention of forbidden trees, forbidden knowledge, forbidden fruits, curses,
or of a garden from which we were evicted in shame. Genesis 1 also says
that every fruit, seed and vegetation on earth was given to humanity by
the anonymous elohim. There was nothing of the plant or vegetable kingdom
that was in any way forbidden to humanity. By divine right, therefore,
we have been invited to partake of every sort of vegetation on this planet.
- In Genesis 2 we learn of other elohim who are not anonymous,
but who have a name that sets them apart from the other elohim. These are
the elohim known by the four-letter tetragrammaton, YHVH, which most Christians
pronounce as Yahweh or Jehovah. It is a name considered too sacred to pronounce
by many of those who are Jewish.
- After the unnamed elohim had created [bara] the earth
and humanity in Genesis 1 and then in Genesis 2 they rested, a new story
begins. The second Genesis story is about the Jehovah elohim, and how they
fashioned and formed ["asah" and "ytzr" - to fashion,
form, bind, to cause distress] things. It is in this second story that
we learn of forbidden knowledge and forbidden fruits because these elohim
did not want humanity to be in their image at all. We learn of a garden
belonging to the Jehovah elohim into which humans were placed as workers.
It is felt by some that it was in part the Hebrew word, "asah"
that led the early Gnostics to identify the Jehovah elohim not as a god,
but as a "demiurge," or "one who fashions, shapes, and models"
a material world.
- Other elohim are later mentioned, some identified by
specific names or attributes. A few of those named are the "Chemosh
elohim" who are referred to in Judges and Kings. The Ashtoreth (Ishtar)
and Milcom elohim are also mentioned in Kings. No English caps are permitted
for the god-word, and all three of these elohim are described as an "abomination"
by the Jehovah elohim in 2 Kings 23:13.
- Among the most important of the elohim were the Dagon
elohim, although they too were translated in the OT merely as "gods"
rather than "God" or "Gods." The Dagon are said to
be associated with, or a personification of, Ea and Oannes, both of which
are said to be names for the Sumerian god, Enki. These were known as the
fish gods, or the fish of heaven. These are the gods of wisdom, compassion,
civil laws, arts, sciences and agriculture, and their teachings predated
Judaism. In Hebrew, the word for fish is "dag" or "dagah,"
and the Hebrew word for grain is "dagan."
- Oannes, according to Berossus, a Babylonian priest and
historian, was a fish god of wisdom, imparting concepts of civil liberties
at a time when such concepts were badly needed. Of Oannes Berossus wrote,
"He gave them an insight into letters and sciences, and arts of every
kind. He taught them to construct cities, to found temples, to compile
laws, and explained to them the principles of geometrical knowledge. He
made them distinguish the seeds of the earth, and shewed (sic) them how
to collect the fruits; in short, he instructed them in every thing which
could tend to soften manners and humanize their lives."
- Hammurabi, (Hammurapi), King of Babylonia, (ca. 1700s
B.C.), holds a respected place in ancient history as having revised and
then committed to writing early civil laws during his reign. Mention of
him and his contributions to ancient humanity can be found in accepted
places such as The World Book Encyclopedia. In the Introduction to the
Code of Hammurabi, he mentions his own close kinship with the Dagon. According
to the translation, Hammurabi states he is their offspring.
- Worthy of note in any mention of the Dagon, and the Ea/Oannes
fish of heaven, are the people of the Dogon Tribe, who live near Timbuktu
in Africa. These people are monotheistic, that is they believe in an underlying,
universal Creator or Supreme Being. Among the parts of creation that the
Dogon honor are the fish gods who once visited them. The people of this
remotely located tribe say that generous fish gods (the leader of whom
they call, "Nommo"), came to Earth in a whirling "ark,"
bringing gifts, including domesticated grains. This is similar to some
Native American traditions stating that the gift of corn was given to them
by Shining Ones.
- The Dogon priests relayed their account of an ancient
visitation to French anthropologist, Marcel Griaule, in 1947. They explained
that the fish gods claimed to have come from Sirius (the Dog Star). Through
drawings and descriptions, the Dogon revealed that they were shown by the
visitors that Sirius is actually not one star, but three stars, and one
of them is very, very small - "the smallest thing in the sky and the
- The gatekeepers of accepted and permitted knowledge,
however, were quick to jump on Graiule's published works. They rather vehemently
dismissed any possibility of any astronomical knowledge being given to
any of the Dogon by any fish gods - perhaps underscoring once again the
command that there can be no other gods seen, noted or experienced except
for the One who has the full attention of over half of the population on
Earth at this time. Additional information found on a website of NASA indicates
Sirius is indeed a binary star system containing the first white dwarf
to be discovered. Sirius C, while still suspected to exist, has not yet
been confirmed by astronomers. (Of curious note, "nasa" can be
found in several places in the Hebrew OT. It means to "lift, bear
up, carry, take.")
- How the Dogon would otherwise know that Sirius was a
triple star system, in which one star is an extremely dense, heavy white
dwarf has not yet been adequately explained in my opinion. Neither has
the origin of corn been fully explained. According to the authors and editors
of Corn: Origin, History, Technology and Production, a 968-page scholarly
agricultural book by Wiley Publishers, corn is "one of the most studied
plants on this planet, yet we cannot account with certainty for its complete
- In addition, no complete and certain explanation has
been given to the origins of the domestic dog, domestic cat, domestic sheep,
and numerous other domesticated plants and animals that seemed to have
simply "appeared" along with an extraordinarily advanced civilization
approximately 10,000 years ago. The likelihood of this all suddenly happening
without a little "help from above" seems implausible. We are
also told our ancestors were just emerging - dimwitted and hirsute - from
the Stone Age at that time.
- It would appear that throughout the planet's history
there have been and continue to be ongoing encounters that cannot be fully
explained, some seemingly with "gods" for lack of a better word,
despite commands One, Two, Three and Four of the God of Israel. The encounters
continue at the present time.
- In Hebrew, "Jehovah" (YHVH) occurs over 6,000
times in the OT, but for some reason it is kept out of the English translations
in the King James Version (and most other English versions), except for
about 8 times, which includes a few name variations. When you see "LORD
God" written in English in the King James OT, with LORD all in caps,
this is how "Jehovah elohim" has been translated into English.
Again, as stated, there is no mention of the Jehovah elohim until Genesis
2. When you see "GOD" - all in caps in the English OT - it is
simply another translation for the Jehovah elohim.
- "LORD God of hosts," and "LORD of hosts"
which appears almost 400 times, is the English translation for "Jehovah
elohim tzba," or just the Jehovah tzba, meaning the Jehovah elohim
that are assembled to go forth in an army for war. Host simply means an
organized army, prepared for warfare. The name "Jehovah" is described
by a song in Exodus 15:3 in King James as, "Yahweh is a man of war."
The Catholic translation has omitted the word, "man" and has
used, instead, the word, "warrior."
- "Almighty God," which has only the first letters
of both words capitalized in English, is the translation we are given for
"Al Shadai," which is pronounced "El Shadday." This
is a most important name, and it is this encounter that might be a pivotal
and frightening turning point. The name does not appear in many English
translations. It is, specifically, Al Shadai of the Jehovah elohim who
established the covenant of circumcision with Abram, changing his name
to Abraham, and stating that Al Shadai of the Jehovah elohim would be the
everlasting elohim to Abraham and Abraham's descendents.
- Al Shadai is given a Latin translation in the Vulgate
suggesting omnipotence, while the Hebrew suggests "almighty; most
powerful." According to Strong's Concordance, Shadai comes from the
root word, "shadad" meaning "to deal violently with, despoil,
devastate, ruin, destroy, spoil."
- It is the Jehovah elohim who, after the flood, gave new
dietary guidelines to their Chosen People, first stating that instead of
the fruits, nuts and vegetarian diet suggested by the anonymous elohim
in Genesis 1, the Chosen may eat everything moving. Later, this was amended
so that unclean food would be excluded from their diet.
- According to the instructions in Deuteronomy 14:21, the
Chosen People were told that they must not eat any animal that has "died
of itself" (as in what we might refer to as "downer cattle").
Instead, they received instructions that they should give this meat to
strangers, or sell it to foreigners.
- This is an important statement because it makes abundantly
clear the fact that the Jehovah elohim not only have a distinctly Chosen
People, but that the Jehovah elohim also consider other humans to be strangers
- The question that must then be asked, is, "How could
anything be seen as a stranger in the mind of the true, universal Creator
of the universe?" A universal Creator, (which the Founding Fathers
specifically referred to as "God of Nature") - a Zero Point Field
of light running through everything - would presumably be familiar with
every particle of all created matter, because each particle would be residing
within its Awareness. Therefore, while there might be strangers seen in
the mind of a visiting god, there could not be a single particle seen to
be a stranger or a foreigner in the Mind of a Universal Awareness.
- There does appear to be something that is truly universal,
something that does not have a name and sees nothing as a stranger. It
makes its presence known through the acts of grace that it imparts. It
was clearly evident the moment when the towhee gave to another bird the
food from his own mouth.
- All cultures have a word for the gods. All people know
of them and that the gods come from a distant place - above. The Egyptian
word for god is pronounced, "netjer," with the plural being "netjeru."
It is actually spelled in Egyptian with no vowels: "ntr," with
the "t" pronounced as "tj." It means shining ones,
- There seems to be a specific reference to the netjeru
in the OT at least once. The reference to them appears as a warning in
Jeremiah 4:16. The words are, "Watchers (or guardians) come from a
distant earth to speak out against the cities of Judah."
- "Watchers" is a plural word, and therefore
in Hebrew "The Watchers" are referred to as, "Natzarim."
- Natzarim is a word that sounds mysteriously familiar.
The similarity between this word and a word used to describe Jesus, the
"Nazorean," is rather profound. Spelling variations are to be
expected as this word travels from one language into another, and then
is spelled in a way that attempts to recreate the sound of the original
- A search reveals there was no town ever mentioned in
the OT called "Nazareth." Additionally, no one else is spoken
of as coming from Nazareth.
- Perhaps "Jesus of Nazareth" does not, in fact,
refer to an important teacher of unknown past coming from a nonexistent
city. Perhaps it refers, instead, to him. His origin, as stated in Jeremiah,
would have been a distant place. Perhaps he was Jesus the Netjeru - a Shining
One, a guardian paying us yet another of his many, and much-needed visits.
- Strangely enough, he is also identified with the symbol
of a fish, with grain, and with lessons of compassion, love and civility.
On more than one occasion, he fed the strangers following him, validating
their existence with fish and grain (loaves), perhaps as though to stir
an ancient, sleeping memory waiting to be reawakened.
- It remains unanswered why or how the Early Church Fathers
chain-linked the teachings of Jesus to the teachings of the Jehovah elohim
as revealed in the Old Testament. There is no mention of "Jehovah,"
or "Yahweh," in the New Testament. We might rightly ask, therefore,
how and why Christians continue to pledge themselves to a God of war, instead
of to the God of love, peace and illumination that was taught by Jesus,
one he refers to merely as, "father."
- As he reestablished ancient teachings of peace, Jesus
openly violated and/or abrogated the laws and covenants of the Jehovah
elohim. In the Gospel of Thomas, which was uncovered when the hidden scrolls
were discovered in Nag Hammadi in 1945, Jesus is quoted as saying that
if circumcision were important to the true God, males would be born already
circumcised. When asked in Mark 10:19 (Mark is thought by scholars to be
the earliest of the four gospels), about the commandments, he gave only
six, specifically omitting the commands to worship the Jehovah elohim.
- Through his acts of compassion, he openly violated the
Sabbath laws, the dietary laws and ritual laws of the Jehovah elohim, explaining
that laws are meant to assist humanity, not to be worshipped by them. In
Matthew 15:11, he reminded people that what comes out of one's mouth is
more important than what goes into it.
- His strongest indictment against the God of Israel, however,
remains standing in stark clarity in the book of John. It is there, in
John, that this strange entity known as "Jesus" says several
notable things. He says that when you learn the truth, the truth will set
you free. He states that he is not of this world - but from another. And,
he says much more. (It is curious that John, in Greek is "Ioannes,"
sounding distinctly similar to Ea/Oannes.)
- The indictment is in John 8. Jesus was speaking about
his father to a gathering of the descendants of Abraham. The descendants
then spoke of their father - God. Jesus replied that he was speaking of
true God, and "Abraham did not do this." According to the New
American Bible, Catholic translation, he further stated, "You belong
to your father the devil ['diabolos,' Greek, meaning slanderer] and you
willingly carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning
and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him."
- These are perhaps the harshest of all recorded words
that he spoke, and he spoke them not against the people - not against the
Jews through whom the thread of true grace also runs, exactly as it runs
through all of us, through all of creation. He clearly demonstrated that
he loved the Jews - that he loved everyone. This indictment was against
their God, or against a great misunderstanding that had somehow taken place
in which a god of war had asserted himself to be the god of all.
- Early scholars as well as the early Gnostics wrote that
the crucifixion was an allegory, a story written for the unschooled masses
so they might understand the bitter loss of good teachings. The early writings
state that he was never physically crucified for the simple reason that
he was not a physical human being. He was something else. He was, as he
stated, not from this earth. Attempts to try and "prove" his
human origin have always been met with utter failure, for good reason.
From what has been written, he is Jesus the Natzarim, the Shining One.
He is a guardian - a watcher - from a distant earth.
- His followers called his teachings "The Way."
Unfortunately, many of his teachings were banned by vote of the Early Church
Fathers while they fashioned [asah] The Way into Christianity, giving it
three heads and joining it at the hip to a god of war.
- In 1948, a proposal was made to insert the words, "under
God" into the "Pledge of Allegiance" to the US flag. In
1954, those words were added in, and the new and improved phrase became,
"One nation, under God." Many people, including children, continue
to be required to recite this. The problem is, no one has asked, "Which
God?" According to what has been written, and unless a clear distinction
is soon made, this pledge means, "One nation under the God of Israel."
- At this time, at least 4,000 courthouses and parks in
the United State are now displaying the Ten Commandments - including the
four commandments pertaining to the God of Israel that were omitted by
Jesus in the book of Mark. The Ten Commandments and the Old Testament command
us to listen to no one's words and to no teachings other than those of
the God of Israel. We are accepting and displaying, therefore, commands
to ignore the words of peace and civility taught by the Christ, and to
embrace, instead, the teachings of Jehovah, the "man of war."
- I am not among those born as a Chosen One of the God
of Israel. I am among the 99.77% of humanity apparently recognized only
as a "stranger or a foreigner" in the eyes of the Jehovah elohim.
I am, like most of creation, more like the cowbird who finds herself standing
just outside the inner circle at the birdfeeder, waiting for an anonymous
gift of grace to validate my existence.
- It is August now as I finish this paper, August, the
month when we remember that in 1945 Christians from the United States were
dispatched by a Christian president to drop weapons of mass destruction
on Japan. With arrogance and lies, our current Christian leaders have turned
the earth red with the blood of strangers and foreigners, and mingled into
it the blood of our own children, our relatives and our friends, because
yet another American war is being waged in a distant land where most Americans
have never walked. This time, as the ways of war have become apparently
routine and expected in the eyes of the few elite, neither the lives nor
the deaths of the sacrificed ones have received appropriate acknowledgment
or validation. So distant from God and respect is this picture, it is barren
of any grace.
- It seems a given that as long as people continue to blindly
- albeit innocently - align themselves with a God of war rather than a
still-awaiting God of love, the teachings of peace and compassion from
good teachers will continue to be ignored. Their teachings will be crucified
and exchanged for the unending quick fix of material greed and blood lust.
In doing so, humanity will forget yet again that in the end, all that we
can truly take with us as we move forward on our Way
is our love.
- Perhaps the United States human judges might consider
these observations before they approve, appoint or select for us all any
further rules, rulers, commands, commandos or commanders seeking to do
the bidding of a "man of war."
- * * * * * * * * *
- Mary Sparrowdancer is the author of The Love Song of
the Universe, published by Hampton Roads in 2001. It is a book about peace.
Mary was raised a Catholic, left Christianity and converted to Judaism
in the 1970s, where she was sent to Hebrew school. She later left Judaism
and became an atheist. In 1988, she was awakened by a bright light shining
on her. She was subsequently ordained.
- * * * * * * * * *
- References -
- Central Intelligence Agency: World Factbook, 07/2005
- Sirius - binary system, white dwarf - 07/2005
- Fragments of Chaldaean History, Berossus, 07/2005
- Demiurge: The Catholic Encyclopedia - 07/2005
- CNN: Law Center. Supreme Court Weighs Ten Commandment
- New American Bible, New Catholic Translation. 1987, Thomas
- Temple, Robert, 1998, The Sirius Mystery, Destiny Books,
- Blue Letter Bible - King James Version. (For those who
do not know how to read Hebrew, Latin or Greek, this is a good place to
start learning some basics.) 07/2005 http://www.blueletterbible.org/
- Gospel of Thomas - at www.gnosis.org - 07/2005
- Nag Hammadi discovery 07/2005
- One can stray a little too far from the original context,
and through extremes of conjecture, arrive at an improper conclusion. Mary
- "... it makes abundantly clear the fact that the
Jehovah elohim not only have a distinctly Chosen People, but that the Jehovah
elohim also consider other humans to be strangers or foreigners.
- The question that must then be asked, is, "How could
anything be seen as a stranger in the mind of the true, universal Creator
of the universe?"
- The reason those outside the 'camp of Israel' were called
'strangers' and 'foreigners' had strictly to do being outside the Covenant
God made with these certain people. God did not make this Covenant with
all mankind, but only with a select people which he brought up and delivered
out of slavery in Egypt -- the chief purpose of which was to set the stage
for a future reunification of all people under the second, new covenant,
through the blood of Christ, untainted by the law of sin and death. Had
God imposed upon all mankind the first covenant, there would have been
no hope, for it was the very law of sin and death, "added for (because
of) transgressions" -- whereas God, in his mercy, left the rest of
mankind outside of the Covenant, so that when the New Covenant came in,
Paul might be able to declare the mercy of God on man, saying "And
the times of this ignorance God winked at..." (Acts 17:30). Few people
realize the power and ramifications of the First Covenant God struck with
Israel, and why he limited it to a 'chosen people.' Men had already seen
fit to establish themselves in tribal fashion, seeing one another as stranger/foreigner,
possessing land and establishing kingdoms, territories, religions and sects,
etc. The New Covenant would seek to spiritually unite all men and women
through love, "there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave or free, male
or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." It wasn't merely
a matter of creating contrast, but a matter of engraving in a people an
understanding of sin and death that would last through the ages.
To suggest that Jesus rejected any of the Decalogue (the 10 commandments)
is simply preposterous. He laid claim to being the very author of those
Commandments, and further, expanded on them at the Sermon on the Mount.
He took exception with several elements of the law of Moses, the more than
264 additional laws, edicts and statutes outside of the 10, in some cases
clarifying what has been misunderstood and in other cases rejecting them
entirely noting that some statutes were permitted because man was so sinful;
but Jesus' rounding off the 10 into 2, "love the Lord your God with
all your heart, mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourself,"
was not a denial of the full 10. He simply pointed out that the 10 are
summed up in 2, which existed OUTSIDE the Decalogue, revealing that if
any man disputed the 10 Commandments, God's law was still evident outside
of the wrote element of the Decalogue itself (for the law of God has always
- Jesus did not always recite all ten when speaking, but
by no means can one deduce from this that he rejected those he did not
mention, anymore so than to imagine that when he said to look upon a woman
with lust was the same as committing adultery, that the same did not obviously
apply to a woman looking upon a man. Lust is lust. Adultery is adultery.
Those listening understood without Jesus needing to be verbose. Besides,
he blatantly stated "Not one dot or stroke shall pass from the law
until all things be fulfilled," and that is yet forthcoming (Hebrews
This supposed division between the 'desert god' of war and violence and
retribution and the God of Jesus Christ -- even Jesus Christ himself being
that very same God, is a groundless position staked in poor conjecture
at best (and usually a revisionistic desire to gut the character and majesty
of the Godhead by eliminating the attributes which condemn sin and for
which there will be retribution -- the justice of God). Jesus laid claim
to being the author of all inspired scripture, to being mystically the
alpha and omega, our very Creator and authorized the Torah and the Prophets
in terms which sincere believers to this day cherish, study and comprehend
according to simple rules of reasonable hermeneutics (not to mention cohesive
guidance by the Spirit of Truth itself).
In another example, Mary quickly seems to decide that the city of Nazareth
must not have actually existed since it's never mentioned in the Old Testament.
That's like looking at a highway map from 1921 and not finding route 66
and deciding that more contemporary maps must be lying or in error when
they show a route 66. Nazareth did not exist then, but did come into existence
-- even on two dramatic levels; Its coming into being was prophetic.
- The prophet Isaiah said the Messiah would come up a tender
shoot, and lo and behold, 'Nazaret' means "new shoot." And how
fitting -- a new thing has come forth, new fruit, from a new vine, established
in the will of God to unite all men and women in faith through the righteous,
faithful obedience of one man, Jesus the Christ.. The Old Covenant, which
was broken and made void by the people from day one, was done away with,
literally put to death once and for all at the cross -- as Jesus was the
final sacrifice for sins, acceptable to God the Father. The New Covenant
would mark a new creation entirely, and "the favorable year of the
Lord," where his grace and mercy and longsuffering would be poured
out "upon all flesh." It wasn't that there was a mean, nasty
warrior god of the desert for a time and then Jesus appears in conflict
with that God --rather, it was that same Christ-Spirit, the pre-existent
Lord of Lords, which orchestrated all the events found in the Old Testament
record, the very same Lord God.
- Under the first Covenant, mediated by angels, that same
Spirit incarnated as the person of Jesus to announce the New Covenant;
that first Covenant called "the ministry of death" (2 Cor 3:7),
by the law which could never save and could never give life -- but established
the foundation for the second, the ministry of Life, whereby salvation
was made manifest in the living -- even ever-living and resurrected --
person of Jesus Christ, that all men might enter through the door of perfect
human righteousness before a perfect and holy Godhead, by grace through
But, that said, I must concur with Mary wholeheartedly, that we presently
live in times where evil men have wrestled to themselves that which they
do not understand, and are using in the corruption of their power; it is
Christ and Christ alone, judge of the living and the dead, who will tread
the winepress of the wrath of God (Isaiah 63:3) -- no human agency has
any right or place in that judgment and will not have any. As it is written,
"The violence of men cannot achieve the righteousness of God,"
and all who let themselves be fooled into believing otherwise will suffer
the consequences; "he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword."
- The NeoCon agenda appears to be poised for some kind
of twisted Armageddon campaign, and they just may get it... but the prophets
tell us God will send a deluding influence, that they might all believe
a great lie, who took pleasure in unrighteousness and received not the
love of the truth (2 Thess), and that the war machine of earth and men,
of EVERY nation, will be brought into the valley of Jehosephat, and then
the Almighty will destroy them there, forever. By the word of his mouth,
he will obliterate the war-mongers and mighty men, and we will trample
them beneath our feet as ash. And there shall be war no more.