Aerden (aerden) wrote,

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Back at Home

I went to visit my parents for a few days--returned home Saturday night. Yesterday, I pretty much lazed around the house.

This morning, I saw a show on The History Channel talking about apocryphal Biblical texts. I missed the bit about Lilith, but I did see the parts about the Book of Thekla, the Secret Book of Mark, and the Gospel of Judas.

I found the Gospel of Judas quite interesting because it closely parallels Severus Snape's story in some respects. It is a Gnostic Gospel and thus written from their point of view, so it ought to be looked at with that in mind, with regard to its veracity. The Gnostics believed, essentially, that salvation was possible, not only through Jesus Christ, but also through the soul attaining freedom from the body. You can probably see where this is going.

Vaguely similar to Dumbledore and Snape, the Gospel of Judas purports that Judas was receiving (Gnostic) teachings from Jesus that he didn't give to the other disciples because they were not ready for them. During the course of these teachings, according to the Book of Judas, Jesus arranges with Judas for Judas to hand him over to the Jews and subsequently the Romans, so that he could die and so his soul could be freed from his body. Judas is later stoned to death (according to this Gospel) by the other disciples for his seeming betrayal.

I can well imagine that, if Harry had not been around to explain things, Snape would have suffered a similar fate at the Wizengamot's hands, had he lived. (Not stoning, of course, but sentencing to Azkaban, certainly.)

Amusingly enough, I came across a sect of Gnosticism called Sethianism. Wikipedia does not explain much about why Seth is considered so exemplary; it mainly talks about the creation of the Demiurge, which the Sethians believed was what Christians call God. The Demiurge is inferior to a higher god that the Sethians believed in. As you can guess, this did not make the Sethian Gnostics popular with folks like the Council of Nicea.

I tend to discount all of the Sethian cosmology because it gets needlessly complex, and I believe in keeping my concept of the nature of God as minimalist as possible.

Anyway, it's been an interesting morning. I like reading about the apocryphal Christian texts because, knowing that the Bible is actually just a compilation of a few selected early Christian and Jewish texts, I want to know the broader view. I want to know everything that was out there, regardless of its validity--or, at least, everything that we can still find. It's all a part of what formed early Christianity.

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