Answering The Gnostic Gospels








Gospel of Thomas

Most gnostic literature is a dreary, unreadable catalog of botched gods. These gods are not brimming with personality like the Greek pagan gods, nor are the stories told about them half so entertaining. The gnostic gods are many, like the gods of the pagan Greeks. They are stuck with peculiar names like 'church' (ecclesia), because their creators labored under the discipline of having to think up names for their gods which could be pointed to in scripture. Like a pet turtle, you have to feed and take care of them, but unlike a dog or cat, they have no personality. This theology lacks the credibility of monotheism, and also lacks the entertainment value of paganism. Which is no doubt why its merchandisers in the modern era have to cast about in all directions to make it palatable, pretending it is something like psychoanalysis or who knows what.

There is one noteworthy exception, a book worth reading though with caution: the Gospel of Thomas. This book has the air of genuine antiquity. Who wrote it, and why?


Entertainment Value Who, What, When
Accursed Genealogy
Resurrection in the Flesh Destroy This House
James the Just Child of a Whore
Two Advents Punch-Line
The Vineyard





The Gospel of Thomas is by no means as bad as most gnostic literature, along with the bad, it incorporates some good stuff, like the parable of the vineyard:



  • "He said, A [...] person owned a vineyard and rented it to some farmers, so they could work it and he could collect its crop from them. He sent his slave so the farmers would give him the vineyard's crop. They grabbed him, beat him, and almost killed him, and the slave returned and told his master. His master said, 'Perhaps he didn't know them.' He sent another slave, and the farmers beat that one as well. Then the master sent his son and said, 'Perhaps they'll show my son some respect.' Because the farmers knew that he was the heir to the vineyard, they grabbed him and killed him. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!"
  • (Gospel of Thomas, 65).


It is surprising that 'Jesus Seminar' authors like Marcus Borg want to claim that the theme of Jesus' Sonship is late and inauthentic, yet here it is, in their preferred 'gospel.' Ideas have consequences:

"Our Lord's Sonship is not a result of the incarnation. The relationships of Father and Son are intrinsic to the Godhead, and are the basis of revelation. . . .It is noteworthy that the first mention of love in Scripture is found in the words to Abraham in Genesis 22: 'Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest.' Here is the signpost to the study of love in the Word, the love of a father for his only begotten son. Later, in the Song of the Beloved in Isaiah 5, we find that the Lord of Hosts speaks of One whom He calls His well beloved, and to whom He attributes the bringing of Israel into their land. In the light of the parable of the vineyard—'having yet therefore one son, his well beloved ' (Mk. 12:6)—the meaning is clear. Before the incarnation, our Lord was the well--beloved of God. This was His joy." (The Glories of Our Lord, H. C. Hewlett, p. 13).



The Gospel of Judas


Thriceholy Radio

The Gospel of Judas

The National Geographic Society has released, with great fanfare, the gnostic 'Gospel of Judas.' There is a sucker born every minute, it is said; perhaps they imagine there is someone out there so naive as to believe this text records an actual conversation between Jesus and Judas. Along with the high praise the gnostic gospels receive in Dan Brown's novel 'The Da Vinci Code,' long ensconced on the best-seller list, it looks like boom times for gnosticism. But this once popular alternative spirituality has been misunderstood. (Critics may object, the problem with this movement is that it cannot be understood!) But whatever the gnostic writers were getting at, it wasn't Dan Brown's ideal of Jesus as a moral philosopher: “'My dear,' Teabing declared, until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet...a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal.'” (The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown, Chapter 55).

The gnostic writers did not understand Jesus to be "a mortal." In the Gospel of Judas, Judas, not Peter, first confesses Jesus' descent from above: “Judas [said] to him, 'I know who you are and where you have come from. You are from the immortal realm of Barbelo. And I am not worthy to utter the name of the one who has sent you.'” (Gospel of Judas, National Geographic Society).


Barbelo
The Apostolic Church
Saved by Nature
Polytheism
Exclusivity
Utilitarianism
Antisemitism

Nikolai Ge, The Last Supper


Barbelo

Who, or what, is 'Barbelo'? The gnostic organizational chart of the heavenlies is subject to great variation, not to mention gender confusion. Here is one theory: "Great is the first aeon, male virginal Barbelo, the first glory of the invisible Father, she who is called 'perfect.'" (The Three Steles of Seth, p. 399, The Nag Hammadi Library.) This is a pagan gnostic treatise without any Christian trappings. Irenaeus was aware of Barbelo: "Some of them, then, set forth a certain Aeon who never grows old, and exists in a virgin spirit: him they style Barbelos. They declare that somewhere or other there exists a certain father who cannot be named, and that he was desirous to reveal himself to this Barbelos...Barbelos, glorying in these, and contemplating their greatness, and in conception [thus formed], rejoicing in this greatness, generated light similar to it. They declare that this was the beginning both of light and of the generation of all things; and that the Father, beholding this light, anointed it with his own benignity, that it might be rendered perfect. Moreover, they maintain that this was Christ..." (Irenaeus, Against All Heresies, Book I, Chapter 29:1). It is difficult to get a fix on the gender of this party: "And Its Thought became operative and revealed herself. She stood before It out of the splendor of the light...She is the perfect power, the Barbelo, the perfect Aeon of glory." (The Secret Book of John, The Other Bible, edited by Willis Barnstone, p. 54). Since the gnostic pantheon is filled with fictitious gods, every gnostic author makes up 'Barbelo's' gender and attributes to suit himself. This is fiction-writing, and the authors enjoy all the freedom that goes along with that genre.

There is another Barbelo, a mother goddess like the pagan goddess Isis: "The first power, the glory of Barbelo, the perfect glory in the aeons, the glory of the revelation, she glorified the virginal Spirit and it was she who praised him, because thanks to him she had come forth. This is the first thought, his image; she became the womb of everything for it is she who is prior to them all..." (The Apocryphon of John, p. 107, The Nag Hammadi Library).

"Three powers came forth from him; they are the Father, the Mother, (and) the Son, from the living silence...The second ogdoad-power, the Mother, the virginal Barbelon...who presides over the heaven...the uninterpretable power, the ineffable Mother. She originated from herself; she came forth; she agreed with the Father of the silent silence." (The Gospel of the Egyptians, p. 209, The Nag Hammadi Library).

There is a text in the Nag Hammadi Library called 'Thunder, Perfect Mind,' which is a hymn to the pagan goddess Isis:

"For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am the mother and the daughter...
I am the mother of my father
   and the sister of my husband,
   and he is my offspring...
I am the voice whose sound is manifold
   and the word whose appearance is multiple.
I am the utterance of my name.
...I am the one whose image is great in Egypt..." (The Thunder: Perfect Mind, The Nag Hammadi Library, pp. 297-299).

This is outright denied by some of the gnostic boosters, but she "whose image is great in Egypt" is Isis. Elaine Pagels denies it: "One might expect that these texts would show the influence of archaic pagan traditions of the Mother Goddess, but for the most part, their language is specifically Christian, unmistakably related to a Jewish heritage." (Elaine Pagels, 'The Gnostic Gospels,' p. 49). The Judeo-Christian heritage for the mother goddess who married her brother (Osiris),-- she is "the sister of my husband,"-- is nil; the party referenced is Isis.

All that, and 'Isis' counts four letters besides! Despite their half-hearted denials, the gnostic boosters are after all wonderfully impressed with Isis-worship: "In Greece and Asia Minor, women participated with men in religious cults, especially the cults of the Great Mother and of the Egyptian goddess Isis." (Elaine Pagels, 'The Gnostic Gospels,' p. 62).

Isis and Osiris
Plutarch

Where does gnosticism come from? Gnosticism is what happens when Isis-worshippers hear the gospel of Jesus Christ...and keep on being Isis-worshippers.




The Apostolic Church

The gnostics, contra 'The Da Vinci Code,' did believe in the deity of Jesus Christ: "Therefore would it be agreeable to you, our brother, to come according to the orders of our God Jesus?" (The Letter of Peter to Philip, p. 434, The Nag Hammadi Library, James M. Robinson, editor). Unfortunately in their system divinity is not as exclusive an honor as it is in Christian theology. In the Gospel of Judas, Jesus reports the officiants at the Jerusalem temple offer sacrifices in His name: “Jesus said to them, 'Why are you troubled? Truly I say to you, all the priests who stand before that altar invoke my name. Again I say to you, my name has been written on this […] of the generations of the stars through the human generations. [And they] have planted trees without fruit, in my name, in a shameful manner.'” (Gospel of Judas, National Geographic Society). The Bible confirms the Messiah's name is the name invoked in the temple: "In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called: Jehovah our righteousness." (Jeremiah 23:6). But as is clear throughout, and normal in a gnostic text, this name is not the name of the only God, though He is the God the disciples other than Judas ignorantly serve. There are many gods in gnostic theology, and the God of Israel is a bit player, a minor leaguer, not the one True and Living God as in the Bible.

This new gospel confirms the church's claim to follow the doctrine of the apostles, making it clear the apostles' doctrine was not gnosticism. The church serves the God the apostles served: the God of Israel, the Creator. It is quite typical of the gnostic boosterism of the 'Jesus' publishing industry that they promote the claims of the gnostics beyond what these folks said. The boosters say, the gnostic claimed to be heirs of Jesus and His disciples:

"There was an enormous range of opinion in the early church: lots of different groups represented lots of different perspectives, they all had sacred books supporting their views, they all saw their views as stemming from Jesus and his closest followers, and they all insisted that since they were right, the other groups were wrong." (Bart D. Ehrman, 'The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot,' p. 178)

...this in a book about a gospel which explicitly denies the twelve disciples were gnostics, and admits only one follower (singular), Judas, to life. The gnostic polemic admits that the public teaching of Jesus and His twelve disiciples was not gnostic. 'James' says that Jesus "did not wish to tell" the gnostic teaching "to all of us, his twelve disciples":



  • "Since you asked that I send you a secret book which was revealed to me and Peter by the Lord, I could not turn you away or gainsay you; but I have written it in the Hebrew alphabet and sent it to you, and you alone. But since you are a minister of the salvation of the saints, endeavor earnestly and take care not to rehearse this text to many - this that the Savior did not wish to tell to all of us, his twelve disciples."
  • (The Apocryphon of James, p. 30, The Nag Hammadi Library in English, edited by James M. Robinson).



What is agreed by both gnostic and orthodox is that the church, following its methodology: querying the witnesses, asking them to remember what the Lord said,-- was never going to come up with gnosticism, a 'secret' known only to a few. If any apostles had fallen off the radar, they were claimed by the gnostics, because they couldn't be queried. The weakness of this claim is apparent. Or perhaps instead of 'weakness' one should say power, because by use of this methodology, one can claim that anyone at all believes anything at all:

'Barack Obama is a Satanist.'
'But he doesn't sound like a Satanist.
'Of course not, it's a secret.'

'Ben Bernanke is a Marxist-Leninist.'
'But he doesn't say the things a Marxist-Leninist would say.'
'Of course not, do you think he'd say such things publicly?'

'Hillary Clinton is a flat-earther.'
'But she says nothing that would make you think she's a flat-earther.'
'Of course not, crafty, isn't she?'

And so on and so forth. But the modest claims the gnostics actually make are then upgraded and taken to the next level by their modern-day promoters. Instead of the chosen few, who reveal their 'secrets' only reluctantly, they are imagined to be the majority; instead of a 'secret' known only to Judas and Jesus, this teaching is supposed to stem from "Jesus and his closest followers."

Saved by Nature

The author of 'Judas' sees different destinies for different folks. The apostolic Bible calls out to all: "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:17). The gnostic gospel is not good news for 'whosoever will,' but only for "these people":

“Jesus said, 'The souls of every human generation will die. When these people, however, have completed the time of the kingdom and the spirit leaves them, their bodies will die but their souls will be alive, and they will be taken up.” Where you end up does not depend on what you have decided, but on where you're from: “When Jesus heard this, he laughed and said to them, 'Why are you thinking in your hearts about the strong and holy generation? Truly [I] say to you, no one born [of] this aeon [world] will see that [generation], and no host of angels of the stars will rule over that generation, and no person of mortal birth can associate with it...'” (Gospel of Judas)

'Gnosis' means 'knowledge,' and it is to teach the elect who they really are that Jesus came into the world: “[Jesus] answered and said, 'Judas, your star has led you astray.' He continued, 'No person of mortal birth is worthy to enter the house you have seen, for that place is reserved for the holy.'” (Gospel of Judas, National Geographic Society).

This is a common theme in gnostic literature. You either got it or you ain't. Irenaeus pointed out: "...they declare that some men are wicked by nature, and some, on the other hand, naturally good..." (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 2, Chapter 7.3). If you've got it, no one can take it away:

"The psychic men have been instructed in psychic matters; they are strengthened by works and mere faith and do not have the perfect knowledge; they belong to the earthly church. Good conduct is necessary for them, for otherwise they cannot be saved; but we spirituals shall certainly be saved not by conduct but simply because we are by nature spiritual. Just as the earthly cannot participate in salvation, for it is not capable of receiving it, so in turn the spiritual cannot accept decay, no matter what actions it undertakes. [...] Those of the church receive grace as a loan, and therefore will be deprived of it, but we have it as our own possession after it has come down from above from the ineffable and unnameable Pair." (The Valentinian System of Ptolemaeus, p. 617, The Other Bible, edited by Willis Barnstone.)

This is not a religion of altar calls. In mainstream Christianity, the Lord commands His disciples to preach the good news to "every creature:" And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15). But the gnostic gospel is not good news for every creature, only for some:



  • "There was a householder who had every conceivable thing, be it son or slave or cattle or dog or pig. . .There are many animals in the world which are in human form. When he identifies them, to the swine he will throw acorns, to the cattle he will throw barley and chaff and grass, to the dogs he will throw bones. To the slaves he will give only the elementary lessons, to the children he will give the complete instruction."
  • (Gospel of Philip, p. 157, The Nag Hammadi Library in English, edited by James M. Robinson).



The fans of this literature are well aware of this exclusivity:

"I should stress that not everyone has the means to escape. That is because not everyone has a spark of the divine within them: Only some of us do. The other people are the creations of the inferior god of this world. They, like other creatures here (dogs, turtles, mosquitos, and so on), will die and that will be the end of their story. But some of us are trapped divinities. And we need to learn how to return to our heavenly home." (Bart Ehrman, 'Christianity Turned on its Head,' pp. 86-87, The Gospel of Judas, National Geographic Society).

The three types of human beings, who have such very different destinies, are the spirituial, the psychic, and the material:



  • "Mankind came to be in three essential types, the spiritual, the psychic, and the material, conforming to the triple disposition of the Logos, from which were brought forth the material ones and the psychic ones and the spiritual ones. Each of the three essential types is known by its fruit...The spiritual race will receive complete salvation in every way. The material will receive destruction in every way, just as one who resists him. The psychic race, since it is in the middle when it is brought forth and also when it is created, is double according to its determination for both good and evil."
  • (The Tripartite Tractate, pp. 94-96, The Nag Hammadi Library in English, edited by James M. Robinson).



These people don't think they are even the same kind of thing as you or I.

Polytheism

Irenaeus was acquainted with this gospel, and reports its contents:

"Others again declare that Cain derived his being from the Power above, and acknowledge that Esau, Korah, the Sodomites, and all such persons, are related to themselves. On this account, they add, they have been assailed by the Creator, yet no one of them has suffered injury. For Sophia was in the habit of carrying off that which belonged to her from them to herself. They declare that Judas the traitor was thoroughly acquainted with these things, and that he alone, knowing the truth as no others did, accomplished the mystery of the betrayal; by him all things, both earthly and heavenly, were thus thrown into confusion. They produce a fictitious history of this kind, which they style the Gospel of Judas." (Irenaeus, Against All Heresies, Book I, Chapter 31:1).

In this system, the creator of the world is not the highest God, but a being from a lower realm, a blunderer named Saklas: “Then Saklas said to his angels, ‘Let us create a human being after the likeness and after the image.’ They fashioned Adam and his wife Eve, who is called, in the cloud, Zoe.” (Gospel of Judas, National Geographic Society). Jesus purportedly prophesies the downfall of this party: "When Saklas completes the span of time assigned for him..." (Gospel of Judas, National Geographic Society). But some, not all, of the inhabitants of this world owe nothing to this creator; their spirits are from above: “Jesus said, 'This is why God ordered Michael to give the spirits of people to them as a loan, so that they might offer service, but the Great One ordered Gabriel to grant spirits to the great generation with no ruler over it—that is, the spirit and the soul.'” (Gospel of Judas, National Geographic Society). Jesus comes as liberator to give these people, not the others, the freeing 'knowledge' of who they really are.

As should be apparent by now, there is a rift here that cannot be bridged. The Bible does not, in either testament, in any way confirm that the Creator of this world is any other than the true and living God:




The gnostic writers do not hesitate to describe Jesus as 'God'...or rather 'a god.' The problem is, being a god is not such a distinction in this system, because there's such a profusion of gods, archons, aeons, stars, firmaments, and what not: "“Adamas was in the first luminous cloud that no angel has ever seen among all those called ‘God.’” (Gospel of Judas, National Geographic Society). The system is polytheistic.

Some of the contemporary authors calling attention to gnosticism do not themselves believe the system at all. Author Dan Brown does not want it known that Christianity is in error because Christians fail to perceive that Jesus came from the immortal realm of Barbelo, far above the archons, rather than from the Creator of this world as Christians hold. Rather he wants it believed that Jesus was a mere mortal man. But the gnostics did not so believe.




Exclusivity

Some of those celebrating the release of this new 'gospel' like it because it upsets mainstream Christianity's apple-cart, a religion they dislike for its exclusivist claims: "The Rev. Jayne Oasin, a social justice officer for the Episcopal Church, USA., says that 'to consider there to be only one truth is to me a form of oppression.'" (The Christian Science Monitor, 'Christian mavericks find affirmation in ancient heresies,' By G. Jeffrey MacDonald.) But the Gospel of Judas itself makes exclusivist claims, mocking the twelve disciples for ignorantly serving the Creator, a doomed god:

"For to the human generations it has been said, ‘Look, God has received your sacrifice from the hands of a priest’—that is, a minister of error. But it is the Lord, the Lord of the universe, who commands, 'On the last day they will be put to shame.'" (Gospel of Judas, National Geographic Society).

The gnostics found in true belief, not a precondition for salvation, but salvation itself. Most people, according to their belief system, have no hope of salvation, being material rather than spiritual in nature.

Utilitarianism

Like the song says, Jesus came for to die:

"I wonder as I wander, out under the sky,
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die
For poor. ornery people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander, out under the sky.
                        (I Wonder As I Wander, John Jacob Niles)

Therefore, according to 'The Gospel of Judas' and Bart Ehrman, Judas was the hero of the story, right?:



  • "If Jesus had to die on the cross for the salvation of the world, then wasn't Judas doing a good deed in handing him over?
  • (Bart Ehrman, 'Christianity Turned on Its Head,' p. 93, The Gospel of Judas).




Biblical ethics is not utilitarian. It does not look to the projected outcome of the deed to evaluate its moral fitness. Paul expressed horror at the concept:

"And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just." (Romans 3:8).



Antisemitism

One theme repeatedly struck in the marketing of the Gospel of Judas is that this rediscovered gnostic gospel brings the cure for Christian antisemitism. There is an oft-heard theme, for instance from Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, that Judas Iscariot alone, of all the parties whose activities are chronicled in the gospels, is believed by Christians to be Jewish. This is what Bishop Spong himself believed in his youth, so he claims. He also admits, however, that his mother was functionally illiterate, which explains a lot.

It is pointed out by others that gnostic literature, far from providing a counter-weight to the supposedly anti-semitic orthodox gospels, is itself far from friendly to the Jewish community into which Jesus was born. The basic theme of this literature is hostility to the God of Israel. Is it unreasonable to proclaim, 'Love me, love my God?' In the modern world, there are Jewish atheists who hate the God of Israel, but love their fellow Jews. This highly visible group, of prominent atheists of Jewish ethnic background, includes culture-making figures like Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. But there is an element of anachronism in viewing the early Christian centuries through that lens. Under Moses' theocracy, those unwilling to live under the first commandment were cut of from the congregation of Israel. Still in the early centuries of the Christian epoch, Judaism remained an actively proselytizing religion whose membership was defined by loyalty to the God of Israel, not by ethnicity. Thus literature which relentlessly mocks the living God and severs Jesus from His people cannot be the remedy for anti-semitism, but rather a contribution to that already extensive body of literature:



  • "Herb Krosney follows the same tack, commenting that 'The Gospel of Judas offers no blood libel that will course through history, causing villification of Jews, pogroms, and even the Holocaust.' No, the Gospel of Judas does not, but it does say that the god of Jews is a fool (as per his name 'Saklas'), a god falsely worshipped, and whose influence in the world is only temporary. . .The paradox here, however, is that it is the earlier, New Testament Gospels which root Jesus properly in the Jewish world in which he lived. . .The difficulty for those who champion Gnostic accounts of Jesus is that these Gnostic Gospels consistently make this move, reinventing Christianity as a religion which need not be rooted in the Hebrew scriptures. But to imagine that Christians could somehow get on better with Jews by downgrading the Old Testament is slightly peculiar. The fact is that no Christiainity worthy of the name can abandon the Old Testament and its God, and yet this is precisely what the Gospel of Judas does."
  • (Simon Gathercole, The Gospel of Judas, p. 159.)





The assertion is often heard from 'Jesus Seminar' types that Judas is a fictional character. He must be so, because History has ascertained that no Jewish person could every betray another. Or has History in fact determined this? Sabbatai Sevi, a seventeenth century Messianic claimant, had his 'Judas:' a Polish Rabbi named Nehemiah Kohen:

"According to Nehemiah's account (as given to Leyb), the altercation culminated in a furious outburst in the course of which Nehemiah accused Sabbatai of plunging Israel into deadly peril by his lies and deceitful pretension. He even called him an 'enticer and renegade' who deserved the death penalty according to Jewish law. The situation having come to a head, Nehemiah suddenly ran away, shouting to the Turkish guards that he wanted to become a Muslim. . .Nehemiah was immediately taken to Adrianople where he denounced Sabbatai for fomenting sedition." (Sabbatai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah, by Gershom Scholem, p. 666).

Presumably Nehemiah apostatized because he wanted his testimony to be given full weight in the court of the Turk; he later returned to Poland and reverted to Judaism:




Thunder: Perfect Mind


'Thunder: Perfect Mind' is a paean to Isis, taken into this purportedly 'Christian' collection with little or no editorial revision:



  • "My image is great in Egypt, and I have no image among the barbarians.
  • "I am hated everywhere and loved everywhere.
  • "I am called life and you have called me death.
  • "I am called law and you have called me lawlessness.
  • "I am one you pursued and seized.
  • "I am one you scattered and gathered together.
  • "I am one before whom you are ashamed, and to me you are shameless.
  • "I am the woman who attends no festival and whose festivals are many.
  • "I am godless and one whose god is great."
  • (Thunder: Perfect Mind, The Gnostic Bible, pp. 228-229.).


When Isis says, "I am the mother of my father and sister of my husband, and he is my offspring," (Thunder: Perfect Mind, The Gnostic Bible, p. 227), what sounds like meaningless self-contradiction is actually this party's life story. The rulers of Egypt were in the distressing habit of marrying their own sisters, so their genealogies become twisted and complex in a similar manner. Isis has many names:

"Mighty One, I shall not cease to sing of Your great Power,
Deathless Saviour, many-named, mightiest Isis,
Saving from war, cities and all their citizens:
Men, their wives, possessions, and children." (Hymn to Isis, Isidorus, Hymn 1).

. . .whoever included this hymn in the collection doubtless thought she would serve just fine as Zoe, Eve or Sophia or whomever. And sure enough, Isis fits right in; she is in no way out of place at this party. But it is unclear what we are learning about early Christianity by reading hymns to Isis. Simon the Samaritan, however, travelled about in the company of a prostitute he had purchased, known as 'The Moon.' Queen Cleopatra was a more high-rent version of the same thing, a living Isis.

Some people find it possible simultaneously to believe that a.) it is very important to realize that Jesus is Jewish, and b.) His followers did not make up their minds until the fourth century whether to worship Jehovah or Isis:




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