New Page -- 2 February 2004
Updated -- 30 April 2004
The Gospel of Mary, the Acts of John, the Gospel of Peter, the Homilies of Clement, the Gospel of Thomas, the Origin of the World, and the Gospel of Truth are all early Scriptures which in A.D. 350 were declared heresy by the Roman Catholic Church. Given the opportunity, it is clear that the Catholic Church would also declare the Gospel according to Daniel heresy as well – which would place the latter in excellent company. It is also clear that the issues of atonement and sacrifice played a significant part as well.
One can perhaps appreciate why the early church fathers had been horrified by these early manuscripts inasmuch as several said that Jesus did not die on the cross, others that Jesus did die but that his death did not bring about the world's salvation, or that Jesus was a practicing Jew! The fact that all of the lost Christian stories shared the conviction that Jesus Christ's presence, activity, and fate on earth were of transcendent importance was not sufficient for the Catholic Church to allow their stories to be told.
These gospels -- many of which were not unearthed until A.D. 1945 in the Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi -- took on the task of questioning the essentials of sin, death and the nature of Jesus Christ. Even more astounding was one text which told of the Garden of Eden from the serpent's viewpoint, while another spoke in the voice of a female divinity. Small wonder that the early church fathers went slightly ballistic when confronted by such alternative viewpoints!
But the early church's opposition to such trains of thought should not be construed as evidence of their lack of popularity by those originally acquainted with them. “The scarcity of lost texts... did not reflect unpopularity in their day so much as a later campaign by the church to eliminate what it deemed misguided teaching.”  *
A rather astounding realization, however, is the degree to which many of these lost gospels tell a story which is more in accordance with the realities of the time as depicted in other histories (Sumerian, Egyptian, et al). The idea of a text written from the viewpoint of the serpent in the Garden of Eden would likely be a restatement of Enki and Enlil‘s running battle, while a female divinity voice is likely that of Sophia (i.e. the Goddess of Wisdom in the Biblical Book of Proverbs ), or could be that of Inanna or another Great Goddess.
The recent popularity of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code , the Matrix movies, and author Philip K. Dick's regular treks into Gnostic ideas -- in the form of Blade Runner , Minority Report and Paycheck -- has done much to intellectually unearth a great deal of our world's history to the world at large. Brown, for example, “accuses the Roman Catholic Church of concealing the ‘true' sexual relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalen by suppressing early alternative Scriptures.”  Meanwhile, the Matrix 's disturbing message that our waking world is an illusion and thus requiring our using esoteric (“for the few”) knowledge to break out of it is based on the “1,800-year-old noncanonical classics such as the Gospel of Truth and the Origin of the World .” 
There are even the beginnings of a various movements into gospel-based variations-on-a-theme religions. And there is nothing New Age about them, as they are often taken from isms with almost two thousand years of history. These variations -- which so beautifully dovetail with our increasing understanding of Sumerian, Anunnaki, and History 009 details -- include; Ebionites, Marcionites, Gnostics, and Thomasines.
The Ebionites were early Christians eagerly and enthusiastically attempting to keep the Jewish faith. Inasmuch as Jesus was a Jew, the Ebionites determined that in order to be his follower, one needed to be a Jew. Jesus Christ, in their view, was the Jewish Messiah sent from the Jewish God for the benefit of the Jewish people in fulfillment of Jewish Scripture. Furthermore, Jesus was not a member of an eternal Trinity, but simply an ordinary Jew exceedingly successful at keeping Jewish law -- successful enough in fact to justify God recognizing his extraordinary righteousness and rewarding him by adopting him as his son.
[This has a corollary in Kurt Vonnegut's story – The Fifth Gospel -- of an extraterrestrial visiting earth and becoming enamored about the story of Jesus Christ to the extent that the alien wrote his own gospel. In the ET gospel, however, Jesus was not born the son of God, but the son of a carpenter, someone with absolutely no connections or family heritage. In this gospel, Jesus did all the things of the other gospels -- preaching, raising from the dead, healing -- and eventually ended up on the cross. It was then that God came down and adopted Jesus as his son. The moral was that the world had taken someone with no connections, treated him very badly, and then discovered to its horror that suddenly, this nobody, this itinerant preacher, suddenly had connections!]
Meanwhile, back at the Ebionite ranch, these very Jewish, very exclusive sectarians were viewing their good books as the Old Testament and the Gospel of Matthew. They specifically excluded the Gospel of John's claim of Jesus' divinity form the dawn of time -- and in fact disliked John to the point of calling him an “enemy”. The Ebionites, therefore, were the Jews attempting to see Christ's extraordinary contribution, while at the same time maintaining their much loved, traditional beliefs.
In the Sumerian version, one can see the Ebionites as being the avid fans of Enlil and simultaneously seeing the phenomenal importance of Jesus Christ and his message. It was as if the wrathful Jehovah had turned over a new leaf and decided that Jesus' life was perhaps a better model for his chosen people. The suspicion that Enlil had nothing to do with Jesus is probably amply justified, but one can appreciate why Enlil's fan club could see a vast improvement in the otherwise harsh law code occasioned by the Christian theme of compassion.
The Marcionites were the mirror opposite of the Ebionites, and made a point of removing all vestiges of Judaism from their belief system. The only hitch was that it was necessary to abandon monotheism and embrace at least two Gods. This is clearly the stuff of Enki and Enlil -- particularly when one realizes the distinction between the two Gods.
Marcion was a shipping magnate in the Black Sea who traveled to Rome in about A.D. 139 to impress himself upon the Roman Christian Church with a massive donation. He then proceeded to write two books of theology -- which having been read by the church leaders resulted in his being excommunicated and his donation returned! What in the world had so horrified the venerable fathers to make them return the gold?
Marcion had come to the conclusion that the world and its injustices had been created by a bad God, a harsh Jewish deity (likely known as Enlil), who had imposed a death sentence on humanity when it could not meet his law's impossibly high standards. Thus it was not Adam and Eve's original sin that had corrupted God's good creation, but a flaw in the bad God's creation. Subsequently, in a gesture by the Good God (aka Enki), a son was sent to sacrifice himself in order to free humanity from Enlil's bad vibes. The new choice, therefore, was to skip the sin gig and triumph over death, OR remain in the Jewish God's (Enlil's) angry clutches and eventually go to hell.
Marcion had found the key to understanding the imposition of the law, guilt, judgment, and eternal punishment in the first act, and the resolution into love, grace, salvation, and release in the second act (aka the gospels). This is the separation of the “God of Wrath” and the “God of Love” -- as opposed to a God with a serious split personality. Marcion had thus recognized the Enki and Enlil saga for what it was, and attributed to Enki the unexpected arrival of Jesus to reframe the world's philosophical venue.
In this respect, the Marcionite Creed has the distinct advantage over other concepts in that it appears to be based on the reality of history, herstory, and whatever actually happened in the past to get us to the place we now find ourselves. The possibly minor flaw in requiring at least two Gods is only a slight diversion, in that even Genesis talks of more than one God. Monotheism, after all, is a myth -- except for the first 20 some odd verses of Genesis where God creates the universe, and thereafter the Lord God comes down to take credit for the work and lord it over all the newly created humans.
Gnostics are not unlike Marcion in believing the troubles of the world and the dismal condition of our physical bodies (as opposed to Cats, Dogs and Other Deities) were created by an inferior, bad God. The good news was that the Good God (aka Enki) had added the spark of divinity to his human creations. Gnosticism -- possibly an adaptation of Greek philosophy -- assumed that by attaining enough knowledge (gnosis in Greek), one could release oneself from a delusional attachment to the material world and thereby free one's spiritual self in order to join the Good God in his far better place.
If as James Joyce phrased it, the world was a nightmare from which the Gnostics were trying to awake, Jesus Christ was the alarm clock. This implies that dying on the cross was a minor detail to tossing aside a fleshy body. The real point in Jesus' tenure on earth was to the transmission of wisdom and enlightenment.
The difficulty with Gnosticism is that the specifics of the wisdom to be acquired are not always spelled out in sufficient detail to be of real use. Its appeal can be that of the hero in the Matrix, that by taking the red pill, one is loosed from the illusionary wretched state. The problem is finding someone to give you your red pill! Gnostics, however, tend to be elitists, assuming that only a fraction of humans are going to have the brain power, will, or other means to attain release from the illusion.
On a more positive note, Gnostics are the epitome of democratic groups, allowing women to participate equally with men, and abandoning bishops, deacons, and other forms of hierarchy. The Gnostic way is one of individual inspiration with all attendees having equal access. The latter was a bit of a thorn in the side of early church fathers who thought of Gnostics as arrogant heretics, preferring personal knowledge and experience in matters of faith, instead of the church's controlling communal truths.
The Gospel of Thomas is the basis for the Thomasines who take the leaf from the Gnostics and extol knowledge, particularly self-knowledge, and encourages one not to believe in Jesus so much as to know God through one's own, divinely given capacity. The Gnostic version of the dualistic good and evil world tends to fade into the background with the Thomasines, but both avoid the exclusivity of the Gospel of John wherein “no one comes to the Father except through me.”
Thomasines instead think in terms of “Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds” (akin to the more traditional “Seek and ye shall find”). But they go further and note that “When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the all.” This very much like Halexandria 's creed of: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set ye free. But when ye first learn the truth, ye are likely to be really ticked. Get ye over it. See ye the humor in it.”
Orthodoxy still insists that Ebionites, Marcionites, Gnostics, Thomasines, and others on an old (but new tact) are just part of an accelerating spiritual narcissism. They prefer the goods news which does not required a “Ph.D. to understand it.”  But they are also the ones who require a Ph.D. to tell the others what to think. Inasmuch as most of what the orthodoxy has been teaching for millennia is so full of contradictions and fabrications, one can easily appreciate that perhaps, just perhaps, the only true way to salvation, enlightenment, or any other spiritual goal must be one of individual striving -- and not someone else's contrived truth.
 David Van Biema, “The Lost Gospels”, Time Magazine , December 22, 2003 .
*The Catholic Church is in fact notorious for actively censoring and eagerly destroying almost anything outside of its rather narrow, control-oriented belief system.
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