The Mandeans and Christian Origins (R. Stahl)

In a recent post I mentioned reading a book by Robert Stahl, “Les Mandéens et les Origines Chrétiennes” (Paris, 1930). I finished it yesterday. Actually, I only read about half the book, because when I was at GTU library in Berkeley (see last post) I photocopied only what I considered the most important chapters. Here’s my comment on this interesting work… Stahl sees the Gospel of John as dependent upon (and as a reaction against) Mandaism (pp. 10, 14). Both emphasize light/life/the word, but the main difference is that the Fourth Gospel carnalizes these in the person of Jesus. According to Stahl, GJohn was a reaction against those who considered John the Baptist to be the “Great Revealer,” and the … Continue reading

Samaria: The Messiah’s Homeland (Ory) Pt. 1

by Georges Ory Cahiers du Cercle Ernest Renan, no. 11 (1956) Edited and translated from the French by R. Salm (April, 2012) Note: Bracketed editorial additions are in green and signed “R.S.” Original page numbers are in brackets. Part One The Simonian origins of Jesus and the woman at the well (Jn 4) Several indications have suggested—as Prosper Alfaric proposed—that the messiah of Samaria had become subordinated to the Judean messiah. It appears to us, also, that the Judean messiah eventually totally replaced the Samaritan while appropriating the latter’s gospel and his various writings. Towards the year 30 of our era, the opposition between Judea and Samaria was at its height. At the same time, Jesus showed an extraordinary goodwill … 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