BOOK XIII - The Chosen People of the Demiurge - Part IV - The Christians

The Demiurge Archon 
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
   

THE CHOSEN PEOPLE OF THE DEMIURGE - IV
   'The Christians'

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The first Christians, as described in the first chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, were all Jewish, either by birth, or conversion for which the biblical term proselyte was used.
The early Gospel message was spread orally; in Aramaic - a Semitic language.

The split of early Christianity and Judaism took place during the first centuries of the Common Era. It is commonly attributed to a number of events, including the rejection of claims that Jesus was the Messiah, and rejection of the resurrection of Jesus, the Council of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Second Temple and institution of the Jewish tax in 70, the postulated Council of Jamnia c. 90, and the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132–135. It is also commonly believed that Paul the Apostle established a primarily Gentile church within his lifetime, although it took centuries for a complete break with Judaism to manifest.

Jewish followers of  Yeshua Ben Yosef
The New Testament's Book of the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistle to the Galatians record that the first Christian community was centred in Jerusalem, and its leaders included Peter, James, and John.

Paul of Tarsus
Paul of Tarsus, after his conversion to Christianity, claimed the  spurious title of  "the Apostle to the Gentiles".
Paul's influence on Christian thinking is far more significant than any other New Testament writer.
By the end of the 1st century, Christianity began to be recognized internally and externally as a separate religion from Rabbinic Judaism, which itself was developed further in the centuries after the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple.


As shown by the numerous quotations in the New Testament books and other Christian writings of the 1st centuries, early Christians generally used and revered the Jewish Bible as Scripture, mostly in the Greek (Septuagint) or Aramaic (Targum) translations, much of which is written in narrative form where in the biblical story God is the protagonist, Satan (or evil people/powers) are the antagonists, and God's people are the agonists.


The Septuagint, from the Latin word septuaginta (meaning seventy), is a translation of the Hebrew Bible and some related texts into Koine Greek. The title and its Roman numeral acronym LXX refer to the legendary seventy Jewish scholars who completed the translation as early as the late 2nd century BCE.



As the primary Greek translation of the Old Testament, it is also called the Greek Old Testament (Ἡ μετάφρασις τῶν Ἑβδομήκοντα). This translation is quoted in the New Testament, particularly in the Pauline epistles, and also by the Apostolic Fathers and later Greek Church Fathers.



As the New Testament canon developed, the Letters of Paul, the 'so called' Canonical Gospels, and various other works were also recognized by the early Chrisyians as scripture.



Paul's 'Cosmic Christ'
Paul's letters, especially the Letter to the Romans, established a theology based on Yeshua Ben Yosef - (who was transformed by Paul into the mashiach - annointed one - subsequently translated into the Greek - Χριστός - Christ) rather than on the Mosaic Law, but most Christian denominations today still consider the "moral prescriptions" of the Mosaic Law, such as the Ten Commandments, Great Commandment, and Golden Rule, to be relevant.

Early Christians demonstrated a wide range of beliefs and practices, many of which were later rejected as heretical.
The earliest followers of Yeshua Ben Yosef composed an apocalyptic, 'Second Temple Jewish Sect'.
In line with the 'Great Commission', falsely attributed to the 'resurrected' Yeshua, the Apostles dispersed from Jerusalem, and the missionary activity spread Christianity to cities throughout the Hellenistic world, and even beyond the Roman Empire.
Early Christians suffered sporadic persecution because they refused to pay homage to the emperor as 'divine'.
Persecution was on the rise in Asia Minor towards the end of the 1st century, as well as in Rome in the aftermath of the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64.
During the Ante-Nicene period following the Apostolic Age, a great diversity of views emerged simultaneously with some unifying characteristics that were lacking in the apostolic period.
Part of the unifying trend was an increasingly harsh rejection of Judaism and Jewish practices. Early Christianity gradually grew apart from Judaism during the first two centuries and established itself as a predominantly gentile religion (but with distinctly Jewish origins) in the Roman Empire.
Christianity prevailed over Roman and Hellenistic religions and Gnosticism because it offered a more superficially attractive doctrine.
Many Christians identified Yeshua Ben Yosef as 'divine' from a very early period, although holding a variety of competing views as to what exactly this implied.
Early Christian views tended to see Yeshua Ben Yosef as a unique agent of 'god'.
The Christians, of course, had been trapped in the Jewish delusion that the Demiurge Archon was in fact 'god'.

Council of Nicaea
By the Council of Nicaea, however, in 325 Yeshua Ben Yosef (by then referred to as 'Jesus') was identified as 'god' in the fullest sense, being 'of the same substance, essence or being'.
Some of the 1st and 2nd-century texts that would later be canonized as the so called 'New Testament' several times imply or indirectly refer to the divine character of Yeshua Ben Yosef, although, significantly, they do not actually call him 'god'.

The Death of Yeshua Ben Yosef
Within 15–20 years of the death of Yeshua Ben Yosef, Saul (Paul of Tarsus), who authored the largest early expositions of Christian theology, refers to Jesus as the resurrected "Son of God", the 'saviour' who would return from heaven and save his faithful, dead and living, from the imminent destruction of the world.
This, of course is taken from Greco-Roman 'mystery religions' and certain aspects of Gnosticism.

Following the example of Alexander
(who sought divine honours for his beloved general,
Hephaestion, when he died) Hadrian had Antinous
his lover proclaimed a god.
Temples were built for his worship in Bithynia,
Mantineia in Arcadia, and Athens,
festivals celebrated in his honour and oracles delivered in his name.
The city of Antinopolis or Antinoe was founded
on the site of Hir-wer where he died. 
'Mystery religions', 'sacred mysteries' or simply 'mysteries', were religious cults of the Greco-Roman world for which participation was reserved to initiates (mystai). The main characterization of this religion is the secrecy associated with the particulars of the initiation and the cult practice, which may not be revealed to outsiders. The most famous mysteries of Greco-Roman antiquity were the 'Eleusinian Mysteries', which were of considerable antiquity and pre-dated the Greek Dark Ages. The popularity of mystery cults flourished on Late Antiquity; Julian the Apostate in the mid 4th century is known to have been initiated into three distinct mystery cults - most notably the Mithraic Mysteries. Due to the secret nature of the cult, and because the mystery religions of Late Antiquity were persecuted by the Christian Roman Empire from the 4th century, the details of these religious practices are unknown to scholarship, although there are educated guesses as to their general content.

Isaiah - the 'Son of Man'
The Synoptic Gospels describe him as the "Son of God", though the phrase "Son of Man", taken from Isaiah, and significantly always placed in the mouth of Jesus himself, is more frequently used in the Gospel of Mark.
The Gospel of John, which derives much of its teaching from Gnostic sources, identifies Jesus as the human incarnation of the divine Word or "Logos".
Alpha and the Omega
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014

The Book of Revelation depicts Jesus as "the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end" (22:13), and applies similar terms to "the Lord God": "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty'" (1:8).

Hellenistic Logos
The term "Logos" was used in Greek philosophy (see Heraclitus), in Hellenistic Jewish religious writing (see Philo Judaeus of Alexandria) and in Gnosticism to mean the ultimate ordering principle of the universe - in Gnosticism an emanation of the ONE.
Those who rejected the identification of Jesus with the Logos, rejecting also the Gospel of John, were called Alogi (see also Monarchianism).
Adoptionists, such as the Jewish Ebionites, considered him as at first an ordinary man, born to Joseph and Mary, who later became the 'Son of God' at his baptism, his transfiguration, or his resurrection.
The number of Christians grew by approximately forty percent each decade during the first and second centuries.
This growth rate forced Christian communities to evolve in order to adapt to their changes in the nature of their communities, as well as their relationship with their political and socio-economic environment.
As the number of Christians grew, the Christian communities became larger, more numerous and farther apart geographically.
The passage of time also moved some Christians farther from the original teachings of the apostles, giving rise to teachings that were considered heterodox, and sowing controversy and divisiveness within groups and between Christian groups.
The proto-orthodox Christians had a dichotomy for teachings; they were either orthodox or heterodox.
Orthodox teachings were those that supposedly had the authentic lineage of tradition.
All other teachings were viewed as deviant streams of thought and were possibly heretical.

THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY

Early Christianity spread from city to city throughout the Hellenized Roman Empire and beyond into East Africa and South Asia.
The Christian Apostles dispersed from Jerusalem, travelled extensively, and established communities in major cities and regions throughout the Empire.


The original church communities were founded in northern Africa, Asia Minor, Armenia, Arabia, Greece, and other places by apostles and other Christian soldiers, merchants, and preachers.
Over forty were established by the year 100, many in Asia Minor, such as the seven churches of Asia.
By the end of the 1st century, Christianity had spread to Greece and Italy, even India.
In 301 AD, the Kingdom of Armenia became the first state to declare Christianity as its official religion, following the conversion of the Royal House of the Arsacids in Armenia.
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest national church.
Despite persecutions, the Christian religion continued its spread throughout the Mediterranean Basin.
One of the reasons for this rapid spread was the way in which Christianity combined its promise of a general resurrection of the dead with the traditional Greek belief that true immortality depended on the survival of the body, with Christianity adding practical explanations of how this was going to actually happen at the end of the world.

CONCLUSIONS

And so the Demiurge Archon was able to spread belief in his divinity beyond the Jewish community, and began to effect the morality and civilisation of the Romano-Hellenistic world.
Christianity initially appealed to the lower orders in society - the slaves, the unemployed and the poor.
Many of these groups were Negroid or mixed race.
In addition, Christian teaching, as expressed by Pauline theology, made it acceptable for miscegenation to be practised - and this enabled the spreading of Neanderthal genes throughout western Europe.
And so a great civilisation began to be controlled by the Demiurge and his Archons, blinding the true humanity to its noble origins.

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014

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