Each time she goes on TV, Laura Ingraham wears a big gold cross just above her peccaries and close enough to the cleavage she must think all men potential vampire suckers. The big cross is a Thou Shalt Not. Why didn't she become a nun. Not surprisingly, when she goes on a panel of "authorities" today on Fox News Sunday, she chided the president for not caring about the "three million Christians in Iraq." At least Obama does not lie to minorities the way the Bush Bunch lied to the Shias, to the Kurds, and to other ethnic groups when the U.S. fomented revolution with promises of support, and when support was not forthcoming, causing untold thousands to die when Saddam used chemicals on them. Ironically, the use of chemicals was one of the very things that Dallas George urged on both the American people and the U.N. as proof of a need for regime change in Baghdad. Wonder if Ingraham's big gold garlic on a chain will keep that atheist George Will from attacking her in the green room. Wonder why she considers three million Christians more important than other religious minorities in Iraq.
From what James is writing you can easily see why Gnostic books were not included in the christian bible. Theists wanted suffering and Jesus dying on the cross to draw you into christianity. Everyone suffers at some time, and you could feel sorry for Jesus dying for you, so you become a christian out of sympathy for him. Gnostic writings often had Jesus using some other form so he was not recognized. Christians just could not have that, so the Gnostic writings were not included in the New Testament. Strange then that you find in Mark 16:12 that "Jesus appeared to them in another form." What form was it and who or what did he look like? The book doesn't say.
Modern apologists try to avoid this area because it makes all of the New Testament writings look highly suspect, which they are and always have been. Politics makes strange bedfellows at this book binding that took place over 300 years after the time of Jesus.
Thanks for the great reply, Michael! I've known that the Gnostic gospels had some pretty outlandish and contradictory stories in them but I've never studied the topic. Judging from what you wrote and your apparent knowledge, I would have to assume you are familiar with Robert M. Price. I would love to spend a week with him one-on-one just learning.
Me too, Carl, the quality of Price's voice, and of his ideas holds my attention.
Guru and avatar stories are replete with visions of the master after his death. It is nothing new, a trick of the mind. Studies have shown that the mind invents things in order to cope with loss. This may explain poltergeists as well.
That is why I wept when I saw "The Last Temptation of Christ": because Kazantzakis has Jesus surviving the crucifixion just as some gnostics believed, and then there are the speculative books about the Merovingians and Mary Magdelene establishing a line of "kings" upon arrival in Marseilles -- it's all very romantic. In Scorsese's movie, he includes a scene where Jesus is passing through a village and encounters Saul/Paul. Although Jesus insists he is alive and has married and has children, Saul/Paul bids him adieu. "You're no good to us alive. You're supposed to be dead." I loved it. Harry Dean Stanton as Paul. Great casting!
The Last Temptation of Christ is a favorite movie of mine. It also has an incredible soundtrack by Peter Gabriel.
He used mideastern instruments and a wide variety of percussions and studio-created effects but I agree the soundtrack is terrific.
Actually, the published gnostic gospels are all we have, though fragments of others exist; in fact, one of the best books on gnosticism is titled "Fragments of a Faith Forgotten."
@Grinning Cat.....I never thought of it like that...I bet Jesus would freak......At least the Jewish people wear the Star of David which shouldn't offend anyone....
Gosh, it has been at least 25 years ago that I read the Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels. She described the political struggle of the Gnostics against the Pauline version of religious belief and it wasn't until many years later, if I remember correctly, maybe 200 years after Jesus' death the conflict over what should be included in the canon occurred. The Gnostics believed in a mother/father god, the magical stories were interpreted as metaphors.
Just imagine how different our lives would be today if the Gnostics had been entered into the canon ... which of course they could not be because of the patriarchal structure that grew out of the story of Jesus, which in fact is a retelling of a story of Issis and Horus.
Of course, this version is not accepted by the Roman Catholic faith nor the Protestants. I don't know about the Mormons, Jehova's Witness or other groups.
However, the older I get, the more I read about the basis of religious thought, the sillier it all gets. At one time, it was a serious matter to me ... now it is all a great big comedy/drama that seems to have no end.
Me, too, Joan Denoo, sillier and sillier, and one looks back and asks, how on earth could I have followed that?!?!