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Monday, February 15, 2010

The Flood? Garden of Eden?

James sent me a copy of an email from a Muslim friend, regarding the flood and Noah. James recommends I might comment on it.

To me, such stories are mythology, just as the stories of Hercules, Zeus, and Narcissus are mythologies in Greek society. They start us off in a certain direction and seek to make us understand why a civilization believes as it does.

A study of the Masonic literature, especially Morals And Dogma, written by Albert Pike and published in 1871, reveals interesting tidbits about the development of Jewish history.

"The dominant system among the Jews after their captivity was that of the Pharoschim or Pharisees. Whether their name was derived from that of the Parsees, or followers of Zoroaster, or from some other source, it is certain that they had borrowed much of their doctrine from the Persians. Like them they claimed to have the exclusive and mysterious knowledge, unknown to the mass....They styled themselves interpreters; a name indicating their claim to the exclusive possession of the true meaning of the Holy Writings, by virtue of the oral tradition which Moses had received on Mt Sinai..."

If you put that in context with Jesus' constant condemnation of their control of the law, of their claiming themselves as representatives of the people, it begins to make sense, "teaching for commandments the doctrines of men".

The book tells of the Ormuzd, of whom Mithras is chief. Then you gradually see the development of the Thoughts of Ormuzd, the IDEAS which he conceived before proceeding to the creation of all things. The IDEAS are supposed to be superior to men. They are, wrote Pike, "the tutelary genii,", protecting all men from the fall to the regeneration.

Ahriman was the dragon, whom we recognize as Satan or the serpent-tempter. After 3000 years, Ormuzd had created the material world in six periods. According to the story, Ormuzd and Ahriman concurred in the creation of man. When the first man and woman had been created, Ahriman tempted and seduced them, bringing evil. These doctrines, writes Pike were "sparingly borrowed by the Pharisee Jews".

But Pike also points out that the people who accepted the message of Jesus were neither Pharisees or Sadducees, but the humble, common people.

If we look at the teachings of Jesus and his condemnation of the Pharisees, it would not be absurd to think he also condemned the mythology of Zoroastrianism that accompanied Pharisee thought. The "interpreters" as they styled themselves, the keepers of the secrets, or what later became known as Cabala, was condemned by Jesus, who said they were preventing the people from entering the "kingdom of God" there, at that time.

With the teachings of Paul, a former Pharisee who then completely challenged the whole concept that any human mind could be subject to God, the doctrines of "mystery religions" was challenged, only to be gradually resurrected by Constantine.

The oral traditions of the Pharisees took the form of Mishna, Gemarra, and Talmud, which is the chief work that Rabbis today study. It might surprise you to know, however, that it was the Babylonian Talmud that is highly regarded among Jews, the document beginning in Babylon after the captivity, embracing Persian religion, and further spreading from Babylon to embrace the world with its interpretations regarding money, usury, laws, banking, and legislation that "explains" the commandments given at Sinai.

Writes Pike: "The sources of...the Kabalistic doctrines, are the books of Jezirah and Sohar, the foremer drawn up in the second century, and the latter a little later; but containing materials much older than themselves. In their most characteristic elements, they go back to the time of the exile. In them, as in the teachings of Zoroaster, everything that exists emanated from a source of infinite light....With the idea so expressed is connected the pantheism of India. The King of Light, the ANCIENT, is ALL THAT IS".

And of course you can read about the blending of religions under Constantine with Krishna, Indian and Persian religions blending with mystery religions that became what we know as Christianity today.

But it is these traditions of men that both Jesus and Paul, and the disciples, challenged.

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world...(Colossians 2:8)".

"neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions..."

The mythology that found its way into the Old testament was placed there by the evolution of the Jewish culture in captivity, after the Oral tradition" of Moses, the "traditions of men" condemned by Jesus who taught that all people have the right to be heard, to know the law, and to be protected by that law.

6 comments:

Corky said...

"The redemption of the body" is what salvation in the NT is about. You are either "in Adam" and condemned by original sin or you are "born again" and "in Christ" and redeemed.

The gospel of the kingdom of God is the good news of the restoration of the kingdom to Israel and that was going to be soon - 2,000 years ago.

When Jesus' disciples asked if he was going to restore the kingdom to Israel at that time (after his resurrection) he said that he didn't know when - only God knew.

Jesus did say that everything would be fulfilled in that generation though. It wasn't. The kingdom was not restored to Israel and Jesus did not reture - QED, end of story.

The Painful Truth said...

Ralph,
If you care to, place the full letter she sent here on the blog for disection. Some may care to comment.

Ralph said...

Corky, excellernt points. However, if you look at several of Jesus' teachings, and in the context of the NT, Jesus actually was advocating the "kingdom of God" then and there, but by the decisions and acts of the people.

For example, his emphasis on the people settling matters out of court, and even in the "Lord's prayer", where he stated thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven".

We are conditioned to assuming that we must simply shut our mouths and wait for some big celestial event, when in fact, we have the power right here and now to begin exercising our rights to individual governments.

many of Jesus' statements, including him tellig the Pharisees that the kingdom of God didn;t come with signs, but was within them, suggests that he was emphasizing a revolution at that time, then and there.

Ralph said...

BTW, Corky, Paul's teachings and jesus' teaching on "born again" clearly had nothing to do woth the freewil choice of the people.

Corky said...

That's true Ralph, Jesus was telling them the truth when he said to turn the other cheek and love your enemies etc. If they had listened, the Romans would not have destroyed them in 70 AD.

All they had to do was behave and wait until Rome fell and they would have had their kingdom restored.

Rome's foot was heavy on them because of all the insurrections and rebellions.

Jesus wasn't the only one who tried to stay the hand of the zealots. The high priests also tried to tell the people that rebellion against Rome would bring about their own destruction.

But no, they wanted freedom NOW. All they had to do was be patient and Rome would have fell by the time of Constantine.

It reminds me of the insurrectionists in Afghanistan and Iraq. All they would have to do is behave and be patient and the allied troops would soon be gone from their land.

During WWII, if the zionists had done what the nazis wanted instead of arguing for returning to Israel as the only solution that Jews would accept, the holocaust could have been avoided.

Zealots, Zionists - they are all the same thing - just 2,000 years apart and that's all. Hitler and the nazis did the deed but the Zionists/Zealots were the cause.

It was offered to the Jews to go to Spain but the Zionists refused and so Hitler came up with "the final solution".

It wasn't the Jew's fault, no, as always - it's the zealots. The result is always the same for those who think they can beat the odds.

When a man is outnumbered 1,000 to one - he is going to lose, every time.

Today, we have the zealots to contend with. That's who flew airplanes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon - zealots. They didn't win but they caused the death of hundreds of thousands of Afghans and Iraqis and many thousands of other people who had nothing to do with any of it.

The west cannot rape the east without consquences but who's listening? No one - we need oil.

Ralph said...

Well said, Corky. It's not that much different from a revolution we in the US are familiar with.

Back in 1976, I was partt of the musical "1776" done locally, and I played the part of John Dickinson, who brilliantly argued that there was no reason to rebel, sinve freedom would come anyway at a later time, and it was also in violation of his Quaker sensibilities.

But we had the zealots of that age to contend with. Regardless of the content, the battle always seems to be around the same issue, whether a few people can terrorize the rest into resistance, or whether we can simply claim the freedom that should be oursin a peaceful manner.