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Re: Xtian Psychism and Aramaic treasures

Jan 24, 1995 02:49 PM
by Dr. A.M.Bain

In message <01HM8ECPJ80I8WVZ5B@SSSAK1.SSS.CO.NZ>

> Responding to Alan Bain
> > Believe me [or not] that Xtian Church writings throughought
> > history have come up with "psychic" material and "results" which
> > make the efforts of even novice theosophists look like experts!
> Do you mean that the level of understanding and interpretation of
> the material was poor? Or do you refer to exaggerated claims of
> what would be very ordinary experiences? I imagine both would be
> the case.

That's right - both would be the case, and are.

> > Among the Syriac/Aramaic literature of the early centuries there
> > is some truly _fantastic_ material - in the popular sense of the
> > term! Makes CWL and others look quite turgid .  .  .
> I'd love to hear more about it.  Can you give us a few references
> or brief examples?

> Murray Stentiford

Wow! How about Saint Pontius Pilate? Based upon a story related
in a Syriac Ms "The Martyrdom of Pilate" and "Lament of the
Virgin" [Woodbrooke Studies, Cambridge, W.Heffer & Sons Limited,
1928.  Ed.  A.  Mingana, introductions by Rendell Harris.  Hard
to find, though].  There is a lot of material in "The Apocryphal
New Testament" tr.  M.R.James (pub.  Oxford, probably in print)
and "The Apocryphal Old Testament" ed.  Sparks (also pub.
Oxford, and usually in print).  The latter contains some "seven
heaven" journeys which make theosophy's version(s) look like
simple tales for tiny tots.  Here followeth a quote from the
"Acts of Thomas" in James [op.  cit.]:

..  And he took me unto another pit, and I stooped and looked and
saw mire and worms welling up, and souls wallowing there, and a
great gnashing of teeth was heard from them.  And that man said
to me: These are the souls of women which forsook their husbands
and committed adultery with others .  .  .  Another pit he showed
me ...  I ...  saw souls hanging, some by the tongue, some by the
hair ...

Some karma, eh?

It goes on for pages.  Many early churches accepted this
material, and Pilate is still a saint in the Coptic Church I
believe, and is mentioned as such [I am told] in some Greek
Orthodox calendars.

Did you know there is an Aramaic New Testament which differs
considerably from the Greek _received text_? Two important
differences are the cry from the cross: "My God, My God, for this
I was kept!" (This was my destiny) and "It is easier for a *rope*
to go through the eye of a needle." See Lamsa, The Eastern Text
of the NT, pub.  Harper & Row.  (USA).

AB --

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