Ten steps to the birth of Christianity: My view

1. A PREACHER (“Teacher”) is born in Palestine towards the beginning of the common era. He claims to have found answers to the ultimate questions facing mankind and attempts to teach others the “Way” to understanding and fulfillment. His teachings conform to the Gnostic type and are fundamentally secular—the exercise of human reason and the application of effort towards the “understanding of life” (Mandaic: manda d’hayye).   2. THE REBELLION: The Teacher challenges the religious institutions of his time and place (as did the Buddha and Zoroaster before him). He considers Jewish teachings useless and misleading: cant, rite, sacrifice, and obedience. Though born a Hebrew, he rebels against Judaism. 3. THE BEGINNING OF A NEW RELIGION: Some followers listen to … Continue reading

Torrey Part One: The Slain Messiah

The Messiah Son of Ephraim by Charles C. Torrey, PhD. Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 66, No. 3 (Sep., 1947), pp. 253-277 HIGHLIGHTS This important article provides astonishing—and unexpected—insight into the Jewish background of the Christian conception of the slain messiah. I have arbitrarily divided Torrey’s article into five parts. The major points (highlighted in red in the pertinent posts) are as follows: Part 1: – Contrary to general belief, there were two expected messiahs (“anointed ones”) in Second Temple Judaism: the Messiah Son of Ephraim, and the Messiah Son of David. The latter is well known, while the former has languished in obscurity since ancient times, suppressed in both Judaism and Christianity. However, Torrey argues that the Christian messianic … Continue reading

The Christ and Jesus (Ory)

Georges Ory The Christ and Jesus (pages 29–38) Éditions du Cercle d’Éducation Populaire Brussels, 1968 Translated from the French, with notes in green, by R. Salm Priority of “Chrestos” The most ancient inscription that we have from a church dates to 318 CE. It is from Lebaba, next to Damascus, and the church was Marcionite. The inscription addresses Chrestos (“the Good”) and not Christus (“the Anointed” or “the Messiah”). The Marcionites equally employed the word Agathos to designate the “Good God.” Innumerable Christian epitaphs carry the name Chrestos. These are often found in Phrygia and everywhere in catacombs. In Rome, some inscriptions translate the Greek word by its Latin equivalent Bonus, thus: Eugenii spiritus in Bono (“May the spirit of … Continue reading

John was Jesus (Ory) Pt. 3

Hypothesis regarding John the Baptist by Georges Ory Cahiers du Cercle Ernest Renan, no. 10 (1956) Translated by R. Salm (Note: Editorial additions are in brackets and/or are signed “RS”) Part Three The Word, the light of life The prologue of the Gospel of John mixes two distinct notions: the Word and Light. Pursuant to the demonstration of Delafosse,30 one cannot convincingly claim that the prologue was not retouched to the advantage of the Word. Originally, the Light alone was causative, but an interpolator wished to subordinate it to the Word. At the same time, he made the latter the creator of the world and the divine element desirous of incarnating in the flesh. The Word is of Catholic origin, … Continue reading