Tag Archives: christianity

The Book of Enoch the Prophet, translated by R. H. Charles

By Gesigewigu's | May 20, 2009 | Leave a comment

The Book of Enoch the Prophet, translated by R. H. CharlesThe Book of Enoch the Prophet, translated by R. H. Charles
Weiser Books, 1578632595, 140 pp., 2003

The Book of Enoch is a book that was removed from the Bible and the Torah for many reasons. Once it was held as an important book by the founding fathers of the Christian Church, for it detailed events of the Messiah before his coming, as well as expanded upon parts of the Old Testament. The text was lost (or more properly destroyed) in the fourth century when it was deemed heretical, it wasn’t until the eighteenth century that the book resurfaced from an Ethiopian source, and a very interesting part of Judeo-Christian scripture was brought back to life. Continue reading

The Great Shift, edited by Martine Vallée

By Gesigewigu's | February 12, 2009 | Leave a comment

The Great Shift: Co-Creating a New World for 2012 and Beyond, edited by Martine Vallée
Weiser Books, 9781578634576, 255 pp., 2009

“No doubt, there is a shift going on, not only in ourselves but in every country and in every culture. It’s huge and it is everywhere.”

With this shift occurring Vallée collected the works in this book “To help you better understand and face these changes that every human being is feeling.”

Collected in this work are several well known channels in the New Age community, and some well known entities as well. The book features Lee Carroll channelling Kryon, Tom Kenyon channelling Mary Magdalen and The Hathors (13 members of the species known as Hathors whom were invited into our universe ten and a half million years ago in order to help keep balance, and whom the Egyptian Goddess is based upon) and lastly Patricia Cori channelling The High Council of Sirius. A veritable collection of the who’s who in the New Age community and those entities that are influencing humanity’s development, but only for the better, as they work against Continue reading

Jesus the Wicked Priest, by Marvin Vining

By Gesigewigu's | January 3, 2009 | Leave a comment

Jesus the Wicked Priest, by Marvin Vining Jesus the Wicked Priest: How Christianity Was Born of an Essene Schism, by Marvin Vining
Bear & Company, 9781591430810, 243 pp (with indexes), 2008

The Dead Sea Scrolls, a collection of writings from the Jewish scribal sect known as the Essenes, are often dated by experts as being produced between 350 BCE and 70 CE, and are generally read as having no connection to or mention of Jesus or early Christianity. Continue reading

Review: Beyond the Burning Times, by Gus diZerega and Philip Johnson

By Mike Gleason | August 22, 2008 | Leave a comment

Beyond the Burning Times: A Pagan and Christian in Dialogue, by Gus diZerega and Philip Johnson
Lion Hudson, 0745952720, 208 pp., 2008

This book is going to make everyone uncomfortable, and that is a good thing. It will force both Pagans and Christians to confront what they think they “know” about the other side of the debate. Neither side is composed entirely of “virtuous” or “nasty” individuals.

Gus diZerega (a Third Degree Gardnerian, with a Ph.D. in Political Theory) and Philip Johnson (a liberal Christian) engage in a give-and-take dialogue on topics ranging from the nature of spirituality to nature, and on to Paganism, Christianity and the Culture Wars. There is an abundance of courtesy evident throughout this book. The dialogue shows that it is possible to be on opposite sides of this divide and still remain civil while considering the other side’s position. Continue reading

Review: Lost Scriptures, by Bart D Erhman

By Mike Gleason | April 20, 2004 | Leave a comment

Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament, by Bart D Erhman
Oxford University Press, 0-19-514182-2, 342 pp., 2003

In my opinion, it is beneficial for those of us who are not Christian to read writings related to the early days of Christianity. Many of these writings are considered “Gnostic,” some are merely “heretical,” and some have simply fallen out of favor with the orthodox authorities. The stories told in many of these writings reveal how Christianity responded to their pagan neighbours during the days of the early development of the religion. In some cases, they show how many of their beliefs were influenced by pagan thought.

If you think that pagans have no need to know about these writings, I feel you are mistaken. Many non-Biblical stories have found their way in “common knowledge” about Jesus and his family and followers, and have their origins within these works. They have inspired medieval artworks, commentaries of accepted stories from the Bible, and other beliefs. When speaking with Christians, it may be beneficial to be able to point out the source of some of their beliefs

This book is aimed at the non-scholar, unlike many of the collections of such writings which have been published in the past 150 years. The author has also taken great pains to make the translations easy to read and understand. Many of the earlier translations were incomplete, or couched in language which appears, at the least, stilted. This publication offers a very readable translation, and has the benefit of the continuing investigations into the history of Christianity and the ancient world in general.

I remember seeing mention of many of these works in an older book in my library (Lost Books of the Bible and The Forgotten Books of Eden), which was published prior to the discovery of the Nag Hammadi texts. They were still among the “missing” at that time and there really wasn’t much hope of finding them.

Although these “books” are not an acknowledged part of the modern Christian Bible, they are part and parcel of the early period of growth of the Christian religion. They were, in many cases, accepted by vast numbers of Christians; in many instances for hundreds of years, before they were put aside in favor of the currently accepted composition of the bible.

Professor Ehrman provides general backgrounds on the various “classes” of the books contained within this volume (Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Epistles, and Apocalypses) as well as the canonical lists which are included at the end of the book. Each individual “book” is also put into historical perspective (where possible), and the reader is given a sense of its major differences from the accepted texts. Some of the works are not citied in their entirety due to their length, but significant excerpts are given, and some of them have not been found in their entirety. Where differences of opinion exist regarding the translation of a particular word or phrase, it is noted.

Some of the images which these works convey may seem unfamiliar (or even downright frightening) to the average non-scholar. On the other hand, many of the stories will remind the reader of stories which have often been the subject of medieval artists and which have, therefore become part of the “accepted facts,” even if they are unofficial, of Christian beliefs.

Bearing in mind that some of these works were once considered to be authentic, but judged unworthy of inclusion among the accepted canon of scripture, one is led into speculation about the validity of the current canon. While it is unlikely that reading these books will convert anyone (one way or the other), they may serve as a useful tool in exploring the development of Christian thought through the early centuries of its development.

Professor Ehrman provides a valuable reference tool by assembling this mass of data in an easily understood format. By keeping his comments brief and predominantly free of obscure references, he makes a welcome addition to the library of the layperson interested in religious history.

While it is not a necessity for a Pagan library, it could be a valuable resource for those wishing to learn more about early Christianity. The author has also produced Lost Christianities, if you are interested in further information on this topic.

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