On My Love for Sophia, Our Lady of Wisdom and Mercy

It is common to suppose that knowledge is not wisdom, but just what is the difference between them? Mapping knowledge is easy enough: mathematics, science, humanities, social studies (they should be scholarly, but they are not sciences), then dividing them into categories, subcategories, and so on, down to a subncategory small enough that one can know everything relevant to that tiny slice of reality. That is the ambition of almost every academic researcher. But as a result, said researcher … [Read more...]

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The Queen Who Is Hidden in the Gospels, Part IV

In Part III of this series, I pointed out that Mk (The Gospel According to Mark) is not a simple reporting of unadorned facts, but is instead a carefully constructed literary masterpiece. That Mark constructed his gospel carefully was actually known in antiquity. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon, in his Detection and Refutation of Knowledge Falsely So Called (still one of the most important sources of information about the “Gnostics,” since Irenaeus had the good sense not to set forth a straw-man arg … [Read more...]

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The Queen Who Is Hidden in the Gospels, Part III

 As I discussed in the previous blog, that rather humorous passage about the Queen of Heaven in Jeremiah. . . but Kate Gladstone chides me for not knowing that that passage is not in the current calendar of haftarot. Perhaps it may have been back then, but . . . Anyway, “Queen of Heaven” was a title used for many goddesses in the Hellenistic world. Could there still have been any genuine belief in a Queen of Heaven in the Judea of Jesus’ time? Any awareness of Her as still being Yahweh’s wife and … [Read more...]

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On Gnosticism, the Book of Shadows, and Sex

I received a few days ago my monthly statistical report from Patheos on how many hits I received last month, total, per day, per blog, etc. My total has been running just under 5,000. If I get up to 12,500, I start getting paid (hint, hint). It was interesting to see that the greatest number of hits were on two blogs: “On Jesus as a Gnostic” and “Some New Pages for the Book of Shadows.” I suppose I might garner some more hits if I expand upon those particular topics. I also see I’ve written somew … [Read more...]

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On Being Outside All the Boxes

Having been working (for a long time) on a novel about the same alternative universe as in my Goddess Murder, I have been looking for books on Mary Magdalene, the Gnostics, and suchlike. Recently I found Secrets of Mary Magdalene. Don’t be put off by the title. It is a well-balanced anthology of interviews with and essays by the leading scholars, largely women, of Gnosticism, early Christianity, and related fields, and by women novelists, not the hack writers whose forgettable novels clutter l … [Read more...]

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“History” — Part II

[For an overview of this poem and its complete title, please see the previous blog.]Second Theme 7. Sunlight When the whirled is all inhuman Flower, what can I say To the angel flaming Flower-spectrumed in Eden? Shall I ask this angel Who's got my mind in hock, Who burns my eyeballs green, Who strips the gears of my soul Naked, for wisdom? No, It's the always instant Of knowing nakedness That makes us men. When self Begins to speak again, the leaf Will mean again, and … [Read more...]

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The Letter to Theophilus, Part III

[This is the last installment of a hypothetical letter that could have been written by Christian Gnostics who believed in sacred sexuality. There really were some. For more explanation see  the "Preview of the Letter to Theophilus" three days back.]Of Baptism as the First InitiationFor their first initiation we lead our students to a place with living water. They descend into the water skyclad, and we baptize them, saying, "Into the name of the unknown Father of the universe, into Truth, … [Read more...]

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The Letter to Theophilus, Part I

The Letter to TheophilusMy dear Theophilus, all the brothers and sisters send you greetings in the name of the Lord and the Lady. I will endeavor to answer your questions concerning the teachings of our founders and of all who have preserved the true mysteries of our faith.The Origin of the True ProphetOur community in Alexandria was founded by our Holy Queen, Mariamme Magdala, wife and successor of the True Prophet Jesus, before she fled for safety to the land of the Gauls. Her … [Read more...]

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Preview of “The Letter to Theophilus”

In my recent review of The Gnostic Bible, edited and largely translated by Professors Willis Barnstone and Marvin Meyer, whose death at 64 has made me even more acutely aware of my own mortality, I commented that the book left me unsatisfied. It is the best study yet of the major segment of the “Gnostic” movement, those who were radically dualistic and radically ascetic, but they were not the only varieties of  “heresy” in the ancient and medieval worlds.Another was the Christians who remaine … [Read more...]

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Marvin Meyer, 1948-2012

After I posted my blog yesterday reviewing The Gnostic Bible, edited and translated by Willis Barnstone and Marvin Meyer, I thought I’d copy it to Marvin, since I was taking his name in vain, to see what he thought of it. As I was poking around, trying to figure out where I had stored his contact information, I came across his Wikipedia page, which had been updated, letting me know that he had passed over on August 16th of this year, from melanoma, the same cancer that took my brother a decade a … [Read more...]

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