Re: [John_Lit] Re: (Re)dating the gospel! of John
- Bill had written:
> > May be he [Jesus] had links with an 'alternative academy' of learningnear
> > Alexandria,educational
> > on the shores of a lake???! Just an idea.
> Frank wrote:
> You appear to be referring to the headquarters of the Therapeutae sect,
> which was located near Alexandria on a low hill by the Mareotic Lake. At
> least some of those who joined this sect did undergo a rigorous
> program at this headquarters, apparently conducted in Greek. Whatevergives
> you the idea that Jesus might have spent some time there getting a formalperiod
> education? Do you think that Jesus joined the Therapeutae sect for a
> of time?Bill replies:
I'm sorry to have delayed replying. I suppose my linking of the Therapeuta
and Jesus (just an idea),
was operating on several levels:
*First level*: In terms of history we really do not know enough to be
Theoretically speaking the 'Jesus of history' might have been fluent in
Greek and received a training amongst the
Therapeuta. Personally I don't think so but neither do I think that Jesus'
was untaught or that his insights were
simply 'downloaded from above' at his birth or baptism, which would be
unatural rather than supernatural.
*Second Level* Although wealthy, reasonably intelligent, and a prodigious
writer, I do not think Philo had a firm grasp of many of the insights he had
collected from others and had himself reflected on. He was certainly trying
to forge a philosophy of Platonic Judaism. I do not think he had much notion
of a Jewish LOGOS concept rooted in LOGOTECHNICS and Jewish Higher Wisdom.
He was passing on ideas second hand. I think the Therapeuta may have been
the more genuine Enochian roots of Higher Wisdom teaching, with their
measured hymns and possible. With probable angelic liturgies, perhaps their
hymns were rather like the 'Odes of Solomon'. Its seems that this sort of
socio-spiritual context paved the way for Johannine Christianity, mediated
through the 'John the Baptist' and 'Jesus of Nazareth' of history. Philo
makes a better historian than theologian.
*Third Level*: I believe Jesus learnt as he grew up and that he had
'spiritual / mystical / spooky experiences'
in consequences of prayer and contemplation; broadly speaking these might be
equated with those of Isaiah and Ezekiel.
My serious proposal is therfore that he was brought up an Enochian Essene
rather than a Qumran Essene
and that the Therapeuta of Alexandria were also Enochian Essenes.
My distinction between Qumran and Enochian is based on Gabriele Boccaccini,
*Beyond the Essene Hypothesis* (1998).
Here he presents an evidenced based sociological argument that the former
were a breakaway group from the latter
based on what literature they appeared to have and not have. I think the
latter were the norm, that they were fairly wide spread and that they formed
a kind of informal network of pious, simple-communal lifestyle believers in
a renewed Temple and priesthood, holding a non-violent faith with
expectations of a visitation from the Great Angel of the Covenant; YHWH
personified the Refiner.
Jesus like others had been revering YHWH and thinking, meditating, counting,
performing logotechnics on his name (Malachi 3:16). I think that Jesus
believed and practiced non-violence because he believed that *fallen angels*
had been responsible for teaching the working of metal into weapons as
described in the Enochian creation myth.
I think he rejected the Jerusalem Temple and quite possibly its calendar.
That's why he would, later during his ministry, seek to restore the Jubilee
and announce the Kingdom as the ultimate Jubilee of Jubilees and why he
would look for figs out of season ~ an acted parable, it was a protest that
the seasons had been 'messed with' through calindrical changes, but that
would be later. Now came John the Baptist who turned the nation upside down.
John had taught his disciples: "Father, may your Name be honoured not
shamed, may your Holy Spirit, the Great Messenger of the Covenant come upon
us, even on this our generation'. At some point, probably at his baptism by
John, Jesus came to the christological self-realisation that he himself was
the 'messenger of the covenant', the great Angel, Wisdom incarnate. He lived
as a true Son of the Father (Malachi 1:6) and taught that others should do
so by honouring the Name (Luke 15:11ff). He adapted the prayer John had
taught his disciples: May your Name be honoured, May your Kingdom come, may
you be worshipped and obeyed on earth as in heaven..." The 'Mantle of
Elijah' fell on his shoulders. He performed the signs of Elisha. As Wisdom
incarnate he taught in parables, aphorisms, wisdom sayings and performed
signs. Presumably he did not teach entirely in aphorisms, he would have used
these to summarise his lengthier discourses. His mission was to come
suddenly to his Temple and cleanse it with the refiner's fire. This temple
was symbolically the earthly temple but actually the people of the Covenant.
He was rejected as the Davidic Messiah but fullfilled the role of the High
Priestly Messiah after the order of Melchizedek when he himself became the
ultimate atoning sacrifice. He was crucified for blasphemy and sedition
whatever the legal authority and pretext.
Early Easter morning something happened. If we knew more about angeology and
Jewish mysticism we might understand more. The time of what happened, in
some respects an incidental matter, is well attested. The Easter mystery
meant that he was raised up by YHWH and given the Name which is above every
Name, the name of YHWH. As Wisdom he had been with YHWH in the beginning;
and since, in Jewish Monotheism and Jewish marriage, YHWH and his Consort
were not two but one, his exhaltation was complete. Jesus' aphorisms and
parables could easily be remembered and circulated. His lengthy discourses
would have been reflected upon communally and summarised in memorable,
possibly 'numerically sealed form' for oral circulation by catachists,
along with key doctrinal statements as they were formulated: I Cor. 8:6.
Where history (and indeed 'phenomenological historical-sociological
imagination') ends, and New Testament christology begins remains the mute
point. Back to my first point, we require humble imaginations open to pre-
and post Newtonian world views and or a great deal of humility, faith and
I hope something of this proves valuable ot at least interesting to you.
Angels, messengers and messages, the number and secret names of angels,
ascents and descents, communal liturgies and rituals shared between the
'above' and 'below', Merkavah meditations; Latin ROTAS SATOR squares,
perhaps as prayer wheels within wheels, where to or three are gathered in my
Name; there is certainly much to think about and meditate on.
Bill Bullin (Student, East Sussex, England).