LOSING ENOCH

The scriptures attributed to the Biblical figure of Enoch commanded immense respect in the early Christian church, but by the ninth century or so, these had largely vanished from use, in Europe at least. Not only were they treated with less respect, but they effectively disappeared. Why and how did this happen? What does this [Read More...]

WHY MARY?

polyptych-annunziata-assumption-of-mary

I recently posted about the historic devotion to the Virgin Mary, and the range of alternative writings and even pseudo-gospels that it inspired. These texts made Mary a close facsimile of Christ, with a comparably miraculous story of conception, birth, death and (in a sense) resurrection. Mary’s birth-story is described in the Protevangelium, and the [Read More...]

THE MYSTERY OF ENOCH

Idris_the_prophet

And Enoch walked with God and then he was gone, for God took him. I am investigating a mysterious disappearance. As I am a mere academic, there’s no actual blood involved, but it’s still a puzzling case. Briefly, I am trying to explain why the Book of Enoch vanished as thoroughly as it did, and [Read More...]

PAPIAS AND THE MIRACULOUS VINES

Jesus the true vine

Based on my study of Christian history, I offer a couple of strictly non-scientific impressions. The first is that the religion is more consistently weird in its expressions than we usually assume. Also, we can find a remarkable number of long-term continuities and connections, if we remain open to noticing them. And finally, any long-term [Read More...]

THE PASSING OF MARY

assumption icon

And, behold, the archangel Michael rolled back the stone from the door of the tomb; and the Lord said: Arise, my beloved and my nearest relation; thou who hast not put on corruption by intercourse with man, suffer not destruction of the body in the sepulchre. And immediately Mary rose from the tomb, and blessed [Read More...]

PETER’S APOCALYPSE

delightc

At some point in the ninth century, a Christian monk was buried at Akhmim, in Egypt, ancient Panopolis. Portions of several books were laid alongside him, perhaps because they were his particular favorites in life, or else because their visions of the heavenly realms were so appropriate to his passing from this world. This was [Read More...]

THE CHILD MARY

Star_Child___from___2001___by_Lukasx

If I were to choose the single film that influenced me most, ever, it would be 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The astronaut, Dave Bowman, encounters the alien species that originally, millions of years ago, elevated humanity to its dominant species on the planet. They then use him as the basis for another and still [Read More...]

TWO GODS, TWO BIBLES?

Battle of Joshua with Amalekites Nicolas Poussin

I have posted recently about the Dualist sects who were such a persistent force through the Middle Ages, and who drew a sharp contrast between the inferior God of the Old Testament, and the pure deity of the New. In this, they were following on neatly from the old Gnostics, who so alarmed and disgusted [Read More...]

THE HOLY FAMILY IN EGYPT

holy-family-in-egypt

As will be obvious from my recent posts, I am very interested in Egypt’s role in Christian history. For years though, when I read material about this or talked to people, I always glided over one topic that had little appeal for me, and I now think I was wrong to do so. It really [Read More...]

IDLE TALES AND EMPTY SLANDERS

BloodLibel

I am rethinking my attitude to paranoia. For many years, I have written on the demonization of out-groups, the way in which similar charges are deployed against marginal minorities. Seemingly, the same sort of bogus allegations surface in widely different cultures around the world. Some such groups actually existed, even if they never committed the [Read More...]


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