Category Archives: Spirituality

Christologies of the New Testament

In lieu of my frustration in finding an accurate breakdown of the views that various early Jewish Christians held on Jesus of Nazareth, I am posting this graphic that I constructed based on my readings of several New Testament scholars. If you are familiar with much of my work, you will know that one enduring interest of mine is the history of religious ideas and/or the evolution of god concepts over time. As such, it is very interesting to me to see how the current Christian doctrines evolved and came into existence.

What is also very interesting to me is that in the publication of bibles, older christological views have not been edited out, but left in plain sight for all to read. I actually don’t have much of a problem with the earliest views – that Jesus of Nazareth held to the “spirit of the Jewish law” so much so that he could be considered a “son of God” in their midst. Insofar as the God metaphor holds, I would also call Buddha, Confucius, and Muhammad “sons of God”… I don’t think this most basic christology would be at odds with many Jews or Muslims. christologies

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The Gospel of Mark through a Gnostic Lens (1:1-3)

As one who constantly surrounds himself with intellectual Christians, Pagans, and Atheists alike, and as one who is fascinated by the poetic/mystic strains in every religion and age, I have been at work exploring some of the early Gnostic Christian writers. The teachings of these writers parallel wisdom traditions from around the world. Some scholars claim that the Gnostics were mainly fringe groups that took an allegorical stance on the historical existence of New Testament Joshua (Jesus). Others see Gnostics as heretics to the “True Faith”. Still other scholars see Gnostics as being chiefly responsible for rewriting Jewish and Pagan myths and allegories of the dying and resurrecting godman into more modern, intercultural language (for their time). Scholars which take the last stance argue that the Church of Rome essentially literalized these poetic compositions and corrupted their allegorical & spiritual truths.

Due to my background in both Literature and Cultural Studies, I tend to take the third stance. Because I take this stance, I felt that it might be an interesting experiment to provide “Neo-Gnostic” commentary on the oldest of the Gospel (Good News) Books of the Bible – Mark. By doing so, I hope to show how even these books (the books that remained after the biblical canon was gutted of Gnostic Literature), like all solid poetic literature, can operate on several levels at once.

On the one hand, the character of Jesus Christ (Joshua the Annointed) makes definite statements about moral law. On the other hand, the character of Jesus Christ (Joshua the Enlightened) is meant to be a model or symbol which directs us toward God-consciousness. On still another level, the character of Jesus Christ (Joshua the Awakened) is set forth as the archetypal human, who shows us that the purpose of suffering is to crack open the shell of our egos so that the godman/woman inside us all may rise/begin to grow. This is what Nietzsche called the overman – the man or woman that unlocks the potential inside to transcend time and space, to bridge to temporal and eternal realms, to share in God-consciousness. This is the “virgin birth” and “resurrection of the dead”. As we will see, the Gnostics demonstrated literary and spiritual genius (they were “guided by the spirit”) in their complex compositions.

I will place the quoted text in italics and my commentary/alterations in bold:

The beginning of the good news about  the Way in which you may awaken the Son/Daughter of God which is trapped inside each one of your egos,as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

1“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way”

  • It is understood by those who have chosen to become a Christ (annointed/enlightened/awakened as a Son or Daughter of God) and start down the path toward God-consciousness, that the Holy Spirit will act as a messenger, preparing the Way for you…that your prayers will enact miracles that transcend time and space, that give you knowledge you could not otherwise gain.
  • If one starts with such a destination in mind, thus having one foot in the spirit world and one foot in the material world, the Holy Spirit will speak to that ear which is also in the spirit world. The listener will know that he or she is on the right path, that he or she has found the Way.

3“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.’”

  • The Holy Spirit will be a voice calling out in the wilderness: 1.)We must go out into the wilderness in order to interact with one-on-one with God and 2.)The Holy Spirit will be the thing that guides you through the seeming chaos of the material/ego world.

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