Ancient and modern Christian apocrypha: The Gospels of Judas, Mary, Thomas, Peter and Phillip etc. and The Kolbrin Bible, The Gospel of The Essenes and The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ etc.:

Summary:

In response to recent links that appeared in my FB feed regarding a modern hoax called the Kolbrin Bible, I thought it necessary to clear up the subject of alternative Gospels. Basically, everybody is trying to make Jesus out in their own image. This is true of the modern-day New Age movement, and it was also true of both orthodox and heterodox early Christians. Whilst knowledge of the diversity of early Christianity does indeed give new context to Christian origins and the earliest conception/s of Jesus, it does not achieve what so many people are trying to make out.

Whilst I am an unashamed believer in the supernatural, I believe the New Age movement can benefit from a little critical thinking, and we need to be far more cautious about accepting extraordinary claims, which are unsupported by evidence. Everybody wants to believe that Jesus taught exactly what they personally believe in. This shows that even whilst rejecting the doctrines of orthodox Christianity many, many people are still attached to this figure of Jesus.

We need to be willing to accept the overwhelming evidence as it stands regarding the figure of Jesus, and seek out cohesive spiritual worldviews that stand on their own grounds, rather than pretending that existing religions have simply been misinterpreted for all these years. Whilst I actively recommend reform of the worlds faiths, the New Age movement primarily tries to argue that each of the world religions was originally a pure vessel of the same truths. This is simply false, and whilst there is some good intent behind this approach it is ultimately misguided, and will not achieve the ends to which many aspire.

Main Article:

Every once in a while I see a story somewhere online about a revolutionary text that reveals the “true story about Jesus”, you know the one the Church fought for centuries to hide. The general common thread in these stories is that the author/s claim that the text in question reveals Jesus to have really been exactly who they wish he was. That is, some argue that Jesus was really a Gnostic, that he was married to Mary Magdalene, that he was a mere wise human and so forth. Others argue that he went to India and became enlightened from studying with yogis, after which he was able to perform miracles and teach on higher spiritual matters. Others argue that he was an ascended master, a freemason, an alien, an 8th dimensional being and on it goes.

Obviously I do agree that the true origins of Christianity were almost certainly different to what Christian tradition states. Likewise, there are many subjects on which I believe we can reject mainstream consensus views and consider alternative views. There are even some cases whereby views that are considered pretty far out or even ridiculous by many turn out to be quite reasonable and defendable once a deeper investigation is undertaken.  However, there is no end to the ridiculous claims that are made regarding these apocryphal Christian –New Age texts (note, I believe we should designate most of the modern examples as New Age texts rather than Christian texts). Hence, I would like to offer my own approach to viewing these texts.

Starting with the ancient alternate Gospels, there were obviously many, many other Gospels that circulated in the first four centuries of the Common Era other than the four that became canonized in the New Testament that we are familiar with. A great number of these were however simply alternate versions of the canonical Gospels. Basically, it seems that just about every single different Christian sect had their own version of these texts, which just so happened to support their own doctrines. It seems to have been par for the course for the leaders of early Christian sects to modify existing texts to their taste, and this applies both for heterodox and orthodox Christians.

There were also a significant number of largely unrelated Gospels, such as those bearing the names of Judas, Mary, Peter, Phillip and Thomas, as well as those known by more generic titles such as the Gospel of Truth (as circulated amongst Valentinian circles). Again, this shows that the leaders (and other members) of various Christian sects weren’t afraid to create new texts to attempt to give authority to their personal opinions. Again, I believe this applies both to the creation of apocryphal and canonical texts.

Finally, there are many other texts that are mentioned in passing in surviving literature that haven’t survived to this day (both due to being deliberately destroyed, and also through not being copied and preserved), and in likelihood many, many more that we have no record of the existence of.

I believe it is quite clear that the majority of texts in the New Testament cannon were not originally composed by authors that shared the theology of orthodox Christianity. Rather, the four canonical Gospels, the primary Pauline epistles, Revelation and possibly a few of the general epistles were originally written by heterodox Christians, and the versions that we are familiar with are Catholic versions. However, this does not mean that Jesus really was a yogi, or a universalist, or an alien, or married to Mary Magdalene.

Many of the apocryphal Gospels date from approx. the mid-2nd century CE through to the 3rd century. Whilst orthodox Christians claim that this makes them all older than the orthodox versions (thus arguing that heterodox Christianity post-dates orthodox Christianity), the truth is that we do not have reliable sources for orthodox Christianity prior to the 2nd half of the 2nd century (with Justin and Irenaeus). Hence, apocryphal texts that date to the mid-2nd century are actually early enough to be contemporaneous with orthodox Christianity, and let us remember again that heterodox Christians also made use of the majority of texts from the NT canon, as well as apocryphal ones (and I should also point out that I believe that late-dating for many NT texts into the mid-2nd century CE is quite credible).

The Gospels of Judas and Mary both feature interesting narratives that are in many ways contrary and complementary to the traditional NT narratives. However, I believe many people miss the greater point of these texts. For example, whilst the Gospel of Judas may present the picture of Judas being asked by Jesus to betray him, the fundamental point of the text was to present knowledge of Jesus received through visions as superior to knowledge of Jesus as passed down by man. Likewise, the same is true of the Gospel of Mary. The idea of Mary being Jesus’s closest companion and bearer of his deepest teachings appeals to many people, but much of the content of the text itself is concerned with upholding the superiority of knowledge gained through visions.

We learn from early orthodox apologists such as Irenaeus that Gnostic Christians believed that knowledge gained through revelations was more reliable than that handed down by man. Hence, Irenaeus was so keen to argue for the authority of the proto-orthodox tradition on the basis of apostolic authority. This was a major point of contention in the 2nd century, and if we accept the authenticity of the primary Pauline epistles than the same is also true of the 1st century.

One way or another, whether or not there was a historical Jesus (those familiar with my work know that I strongly favour a no) all of the earliest Christian texts were inspired by revelations derived from both visions and allegorical readings of the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures for those unfamiliar). This is true of the canonical Gospels, the primary epistles, the Book of Revelation, and it is likewise true of various apocryphal Christian texts.

There is abundant, overwhelming evidence for this conclusion, and it does indeed overthrow the traditional Church tradition of Jesus and his disciples. However, it doesn’t mean that the visions of one or another Gnostic Christian sect taught the truth about the true historical Jesus. Rather, it simply means that none of their doctrines were based upon the teachings and actions of a historical man, regardless of whether there was a historical Jesus at the genesis of Christianity. Hence, we should not be so quick to believe that these alternate Gospels revealed some suppressed truth about Jesus. Rather, they simply preserved the doctrines of a competing early Christian sect.

Likewise, as for these modern “Gospels” claiming to be revealing hidden truths about Jesus that have been suppressed by the Church for 2,000 years, they are all either channelled or outright forgeries, or we are in no position to differentiate them from those that are. That is, no evidence has ever been produced (or probably ever will be) to show that any of these texts have any ancient foundations. No mention of these texts is made in any ancient text, no manuscript or other evidence has ever been produced, and they do not correspond with what we do know about early Christianity (and I’m not talking about Church tradition here).

The so-called Kolbrin Bible for example is a completely modern text, 10 or 20 years old at the max. Of course the publishers claim that it has a long sordid history, surviving a medieval fire, which was intended to destroy it, with Christian portions dating as early as the 1st century CE, and Egyptian portions dating to the mid 2nd millennium BCE. However, there is not a single shred of evidence to support these claims. If we were to honour such claims we would likewise accept that the Kybalion dated to the time of Hermes Trismegistos, that the Torah dated to the time of Moses, and that the Vedas preserved traditions that were millions of years old!

In regards to the Kybalion I believe it is an excellent text, though it is most certainly modern (early 20th century). It is simply par for the course for writers of modern occult works to claim that their text is ancient, as if doing so gives it authority. However, we need to leave our critical faculties in check, even when dealing with texts that strike chords within us.

Likewise, as for the Essene Gospel of Peace (also known by a number of variant titles), we have no evidence of the existence of any manuscript for the texts prior to the publication by Edmund Bordeaux Szekely in the mid 20th century. Of course Szekely claims that he copied the text from manuscripts he found in the Vatican library and another Italian library. However, no evidence has ever been produced to verify these claims.

As for the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ, that openly admits to being channelled, though it claims to have been copied from the Akashic records (an astral library, home of the history of mankind and other knowledge). I personally accept some examples of channelling as a legitimate supernatural phenomena (though the contents of such works still naturally correspond with the personality of the personal doing the channelling). However, it would be irresponsible of us to simply accept the author’s claim to have channelled the text from a sort of non-physical history book.

I am personally involved in Spiritualism and have had numerous experiences that have convinced me that many people are indeed able to obtain information from non-physical sources that can later be verified. However, I have also found it to be the case that whilst material gained through these methods may prove useful in spiritual progress (and may on many occasions prove to give useful advice pertaining to an individuals earthly circumstances), “knowledge” relating to the “true history of mankind” from these sources are pretty much always unverifiable, and contract other claims made by other channelled texts. Basically, these texts are pretty much science fiction for New Agers. They may feature some useful spiritual advice, but it would be foolish to believe that they truly revealed historical facts that have been lost to the sands of time. This is true of literarily hundreds (if not thousands) of New Age texts, such as “Abduction to the Ninth Planet”, Ramtha’s “White Book”, “Bringers of the Dawn” (all of which I have read) et al, and it is also true of the personal revelations of millions of people who have been told something about who Jesus really was (and the “true history of mankind”) in a meditation or by a spirit guide.

Final words:

The reason we are so interested in these alternative accounts of Jesus is that we have (rightfully) instinctively felt that many of the doctrines taught to us by orthodox Christianity were false, and we have naturally sought a better spiritual worldview than the one handed to us. However, the problem is that a part of us is still attached to Christianity, and hence we are inclined to attempt to squeeze a square plug into a round hole, in believe that Jesus was truly an enlightened being that taught only truth, and it is only due to some diabolical conspiracy that his true teachings have not survived to us today.

Whilst it is indeed true that the Catholic church has indeed supressed other competing forms of Christianity, and they have indeed interpolated and redacted various texts, this does not mean that the earliest form of Christianity was a pure enlightened religion. Rather, the evidence we have shows us that the author of the earliest Gospel (Mark) was a Greek educated Jew who was pretty pissed of with the Romans about the destruction of Jerusalem (as was the author of Revelation) and certainly believed in much of the traditional Jewish dogma. Likewise, it is clear that the earliest author of the Pauline epistles was not necessarily teaching an enlightened universal doctrine.

It certainly is true that there is much goodness found amongst the words ascribed to Jesus (both in canonical and apocryphal texts), and it is quite clear that Gnostic Christianity was far more mystical than orthodox Christianity. On this last point, we don’t have enough surviving evidence to know enough about every different early heterodox Christian sect to know exactly what they believed. It is likely that some of them could have been considered to be semi-Perennial in their approach to comparative religion (noting the preservation of Platonic and Hermetic texts amongst the Nag Hammadi library amongst other evidence). However, it is commonly the case that religious texts reflect a complex mixture of truth and superstition, inspired knowledge and personal dogmas. All the evidence relating to early Christianity supports this conclusion, and we should accept the evidence as it sits.

If we truly wish to follow a universal, Perennial religion, than let us go about identifying the highest-common denominators in comparative religion, in the same way that scientists and philosophers of science attempt to do in their attempts at constructing unified theories of everything. Or, if we wish to follow an enlightened ancient faith, let us choose one on the basis of its merits.

Peace.

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Ancient and modern Christian apocrypha: The Gospels of Judas, Mary, Thomas, Peter and Phillip etc. and The Kolbrin Bible, The Gospel of The Essenes and The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ etc.:

  1. What are your thoughts about the Book of Urantia? Crazy stuff.

    Speaking of crazy, you may call me crazy, (indeed I wouldn’t argue against it), but I think most of the “apocryphal” texts are earlier than our canonical texts. A lot of the arguments in favor of an early dating relies on Papias, but we don’t know when he lived, and what he says regarding his texts differs from ours. (The account of Judas’s death and calling Matthew a logia, for example). It’s my opinion (and I could be lightyears wrong) that what he was using was G-Peter, G-Hebrews, G-Lord. When he states that Mark had written the words of Peter down, there is a possibility that this could be G-Peter, as when it reads “But I, Simon Peter, and my brother Andrew, having taken our nets, went off to the sea.” Our Mark doesn’t indicate or imply that he was writing down the words of someone else.

    Indeed, as Xoroaster has stated (and I think J.B. Tyson and Markus Vinzent have said something similar), Mark could just as well be post bar Kochba and not necessarily the Temple destruction of 70ce.

    So far I think G-Thomas was written circa 90-100ce, and that this was integrated into G-Hebrews, which possibly dates before the Kitos war, and became G-Lord afterwards. Again I could have missed the dart board entirely and if so just disregard me. Anyway, take care.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Daniel, those are some interesting ideas there. The Urantia book is typical of New Age channeled material. As I said, science-fiction for New Agers, making Jesus out to be an enlightened universalist teacher. Perhaps there may be some spiritual truths represented in that work (I haven’t read it), but the overall “true history of mankind” thing is just bunk. I’m open to alternative history and I believe in the supernatural, but I now know better to believe the history narratives of channelled works.

    I’m interested in your idea about the dating of the apocryphal Gospels. I have encountered the idea before that G-Peter pre-dates G-Mark, but I have never investigated the argument for that case. Aside from the passage you cited above, could you summarise the case for that conclusion for me (as well as for your other conclusions about G-Thomas and G-Hebrews)? As for the whole Bar Kochba thing and Mark’s mini-apocalypse, I feel that the simplest explanation is that Mark is still 70-100CE, but that chapter 13 has some post-kocha revolt interpolations. I may be wrong, but whilst I am big fans of Deterring and Price, I find their uber-late dating of Mark to be pushing it.

    Regarding the alternate death of Judas as cited by Papias, we should remember that it was said that Papias favoured oral traditions, and there would certainly have been numerous traditions circulating in the mid-2nd century that have not been preserved to our day.

    Anyways, thanks again for commenting Daniel. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In light of the overwhelming evidence showing the abundance of sources that G-Mark used (the Septuagint, Homer, The Bacchae, the Hellenistic Mystery cults and/or Paul), I find it really hard to imagine how G-Mark could have been expanding upon a previous Gospel. Rather, it just makes sense (to me) for G-Mark to have been written ex-nihilo as far as an earthly narrative for Jesus goes. Likewise, it does seem clear to me that the destruction of the temple in 70CE is a central theme of Mark (and I think the Homeric parallels really make that clear).

    Furthermore, whilst I obviously reject the chronology given by the church fathers for orthodox Christianity, and whilst there is certainly some diversity and contradiction between the fathers relating to the chronology of the heretics, I see a certain logic in the general chronology of heterodox Christianity as given by the fathers. In the 1st century they don’t (usually) cite any of the major Gnostic Christian heretics (though occasionally they place Cerinthus or Marcion in the 1st century). Rather, we see early proto-Gnostics such as Simon, Menander and such, who seem more pagan than Christian, and whose philosophy seems to very little in common with either orthodox or Gnostic Christianity (except for the parallels between Simon’s philosophy and that of Paul). They generally place Cerinthus around 100CE with doctrines clearly dependent upon Mark, and his successors Basilides, Carpocrates and such all likewise seem to have been using Mark (Irenaeus also pretty much states as much). This shows the very first evidence of a written Gospel in Alexandria around 100CE.

    Following that they generally produce Ebion as one of Cerinthus’s students, which then gives us Ur-Matthew (whether as G-Hebrews, G-Ebionites, G-Nazarenes or whatever) around 110CE (ish), and then Marcion around 110-140CE with Ur-Luke, and then Valentinus around 140-150CE with Ur-John. To me this chronology matches perfectly with the late-dating chronology of critical scholarship.

    Anyways, I am very interested in hearing your the reasoning for your views.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Think you for the response. It gives me a lot to consider, especially with the first-early second century heretics.

    With the G-Peter and Mark it is, admittedly, just a pet theory of mine, but one I think that is worth consideration. Justin makes to mention of Mark, safe for a brief allusion in Dialogue With Trypho, in which he says is from Peter’s memoirs, while Papias says that Mark wrote down the teachings of Peter as he had heard them without regard for order. This doesn’t resemble our Mark (at least to me). That, along with the apparent first person narrative which only shows itself close to the end of the manuscript, makes me suspicious. Of course I could be misguided, and our Mark could have gone through in-numerous revisions to it’s current form. I just don’t know. There’s something about it that I can’t put my finger on it.

    Another deal-sealer for me is it’s seemingly reliance on Pauline Christianity, which I am convinced didn’t come about until Marcion. (I must count myself among the Radicals in this instance). Thus pushing Mark closer to the time of bar Kochba.

    I should mention that, at this moment, I’m not convinced of the Homeric influence on Mark, and think that whatever similarities exists between it and The Odyssey could be coincidental. (I should state, also, that beyond TruthSurge’s videos I haven’t really studied it, or read McDonald’s book on the subject.)

    On Papias: while he could have known of other versions of Judas’s death, he treats his account in the Exposition as the de facto version, and apparently disregards the account in Matthew.

    Regarding G-Thomas and G-Hebrews: I think both texts are Ebionite in essence and that the latter incorporated the former (for one reason or another; maybe convenience) and that this is why Papias referred to the text of Matthew/G-Hebrerws as a logia, with it’s emphasis on the sayings of Jesus.

    A lot of my thinking has been inspired by Xoroaster’s study, but I see a very primitive version of Revelation coming out of the Qumran Community after the Temple Destruction. The original Christians didn’t follow an Apocalyptic messiah — rather, Jesus was the revelation. Ur-Revelation passed into Alexandria and a primitive version of John was written, with the Revelation of Jesus coming down to Earth. A distinction between these two ideals is the light/logos concept. They’re essentially the same, but have different theological implications and this causes a rift between the Johannine sect (logos) and Ebionites (light). I haven’t straightened out the details, but I think G-Thomas and G-Hebrews could have been a response to the Johannine sect. Marcion came after the Kitos war and attempted to sever the ties between Gentiles and Jews. Now I don’t know when he developed his canon, and I have read that 2 Thessalonians’ ‘Man of Lawlessness’ is referring to bar Kochba himself, so I can go either way on this. I’ve also read that Polycarp could have written the Pastoral epistles, and that this bridges the gap between Marcion/Paul and A-Apostles.

    A lot of this seems to be attempts to sew up ruptures within early Christianity and this is why the NT today looks like a Frankenstein’s monster of different ideals. I know a lot of this is just speculation, but I’d like to think it is justifiable speculation. Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. Later.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I also am amongst the radicals that have long suspected that the Pauline epistles emerged from the hand of Marcion himself. I am however reading Carriers “On the historicity of Jesus” now, and I must confess that Carrier may be able to convince me otherwise. One way or another, the whole Simon Magus – Paul thing is a whole conundrum, and I don’t think that Carrier has faced it. My biggest problem with Marcion being the author of the Pauline epistles is chronology. I must say that I think wherever you try and place Marcion in the historical record (and his texts by comparison to other major texts) there are major problems. Likewise, the same is true as to whether or not you consider Paul to be a real person independent of Simon. I’ve been working on an article on the subject for quite some time but haven’t finished and published it. I’m actually glad though, because if I had published it a while ago I would now be really unhappy with what I had previously written. The solution of which I am favouring at the moment is that presented by Roger Parvus at Vridar, where he suggests that Simon wrote core portions of the epistles, but that Marcion really collected and expanded upon them, creating something much closer to what we have now (which are obviously Catholic redactions of Marcion’s letters).

    Regarding Revelation and John, there is a tradition that the true author of Revelation was Cerinthus. I believe that this tradition is correct, though I believe that the version Cerinthus wrote was very primitive and Jewish by comparison to the one we possess today. I suspect that Revelation was later redacted by the same community that authored the Johannine epistles, hence the attribution of the text to John, and the introduction with a similar style to those letters. There is also another tradition that cites Cerinthus as the author of John’s Gospel (which I believe you are referring to above), though I believe this is incorrect. There are more common traditions that the Gospels of John and Luke were written to counter Cerinthus, and it is these traditions that I believe are correct. I believe the confusion regarding Cerinthus and John arose because Revelations (which was originally written by Cerinthus) was later redacted to bring it into line with the Johannine epistles; hence the idea that Cerinthus also wrote the Gospel bearing the name of John arose.

    The heresiologists almost uniformly name Cerinthus as the founder of the doctrine of adoptionism. As adoptionism is clearly supported by G-Mark (and the heresiologists note as much in a back-handed way) I believe that simple logic suggests that Cerinthus therefore wrote Mark (hence why Luke and John were written against Cerinthus – Mark).

    Have you read the summaries of the Homeric thesis by Richard Carrier and the one on the Vridar website? I find the case overwhelming myself.

    Like

  6. Again, thank you for your response.

    On the Homeric influence, besides TruthSurge’s video series (Excavating the Empty Tomb) I haven’t looked into it (I’ve only heard Carrier touch upon in a few lectures, and I haven’t read McDonald’s book, though I have read a bit of his Two-Ship Wrecked Gospel, which I don’t know if I agree with or if I need to reconsider a few things). That’s not to say that the author of Mark didn’t use it as a source. I can’t make that call. My only concern is, if he did use it then why wasn’t the resurrection account more explicit in Mark, rather than just inferred? In The Odyssey, Odysseus and his men travel to the underworld, converse with the dead, and return to the living. I just feel that this (a parallel to the resurrection account that Origen draws) would have been apart of Mark had he used Homer.

    Now, Mark was living in a Hellenistic climate where such Homeric patterns were prevalent and could have picked up on them. So, perhaps indirectly influenced, if that makes sense?

    On Richard Parvus, he has a book up on Amazon about the letter’s of Ignatius being written by a follower of Apelles (Apollos?) that’s been in my cart now for sometime. Maybe now’s the time to check it out? I don’t frequent his, Neil’s, or Huller’s cites that much.

    Dating Marcion’s “turn” is a problem. I think it was Tertullian who made him contemporaneous with Peter, while placing his break with the church at 144. According to Justin Martyr, he was still alive when he was writing his First Apology, and, if Irenaeus is to be believed, when Polycarp was in Rome. It’s just I’m very suspicious about relying on these men — whose aim is to bridge the gap between Jesus, the Apostles, and Orthodoxy — when it comes to historical accuracy. None of them were above fudging the facts to fit their agenda. For example, to explain the Ebionites Tertullian just makes up the character of Ebion on the spot, or Epiphanius having Marcion’s father as a bishop of an Orthodox church. Heck, I don’t think I believe Cerinthus or Basilides were even historical, or were so different as to what was later said about them.

    Stuart Waugh’s blog, Origins, the 2nd Century, has a good article which places Marcion’s/Paul’s “revelation” after the eclipse of 118 (just after the Kitos war, and which was relatively unknown to the rest of the Empire.) I’ll link to the page:

    http://sgwau2cbeginnings.blogspot.com/2013/07/marcions-revelation-ecslipse-of-118-ce.html

    The whole cite is worth checking out.

    There’s a fun bit of speculation here as well. Paul claimed to have been struck blind by his revelation, and eclipses can cause temporary blindness, with after images for months there after. Not that this means anything; it’s just fun to ponder over.

    Like

  7. As a (very later) addendum to my last post on this page, I want to retract my statement about Cerinthus. I think, not only did he indeed exist, but that he was also the historical basis for Peter/Cephas.

    My thinking about Paul being Marcion left a few questions open. For one, who are the people Paul/Marcion is talking about, like Cephas and James? For two, why is Paul/Marcion hostile to James but only hostile to Cephas in regards to him being influenced by the “men from James”? And finally, what are the theological differences between Paul/Marcion and James that he would be so opposed to, yet try to engage Cephas to follow him?

    With these questions in mind, I then did a few mental experiments to try to resolve these issues. One such thought was the possibility that Cephas was Cerinthus, who had a theology not too dissimilar from Marcion’s, while still having reverence for Judaism and the Torah, and who was possibly still alive when Marcion was active.

    I latter expressed this ideal to Tim C. who has pretty much cemented this as not just a theory, but a very real possibility. He went through Irenaeus’s comments about Cerinthus, and how he was somewhat of an offshoot of the Ebionites (“men from James”), while Marcion was diametrically oppsed to the Ebionites. That explains the hostility of Paul towards the men from James and the sense of disappointment in Cephas of being influenced by them.

    There was also the issue of the tradition of Mark taking from Peter first expressed by Papias, but to me this became rather easy. I believe the text Papias is referring to as being transcribed by Mark from Peter was the Gospel of Peter, and that this was the text the Cerinthians (and Marcion) used, and not Mark as believed by Irenaeus. The reason for this is simply that the Gospel of Peter has a Simon Peter’s signature, while Mark does not, thus someone reading it would automatically assume that a Peter had some involvement in composing this text. Not only do I now think Mark was written no earlier than 160ce., but there is no such indication in this text that would lead one to assume he was transcribing someone else’s dictation. At best, one could assume he was translating, or lifting, from another written source.

    There are also important historic theological implications of this model, and I have also connected other Apostolic authorities with heretics, and a clear line can be seen from Cerinthus up to Irenaeus. The issue is Irenaeus, in attempting to draw a genealogical chart of orthodoxy, is duplicating individual men so as to create a proxy to attack as heretical. You can see this in regards to his own teacher, Polycarp, whom he indirectly calls a Gnsotic. (And I have my own thoughts about Polycarp as well. Let’s just say Irenaeus gave the show away with that one). All of this is to show that Christianity up until the time of Irenaeus is one hundred percent heretical, and the later orthodox clearly used lies and falsehoods to obfuscate this fact.

    Like

      • I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this. So far here’s what I’ve got worked out (no sense keeping it to myself):

        Cerinthus/Cephas/Peter… 90-130ce
        |
        Marcion/Simon Magus… 120-150ce
        |
        Apelles/Apollos/Polycarp/Valentinus/Paul… 135-160ce
        |
        Papias/Hegesippus… 135-160ce
        |
        Peregrinus/Ignatius/Justin 150-170ce
        |
        Tatian/Theophilus of Antioch… 170-190ce
        |
        Irenaeus… 180-200ce

        That’s the rough of it at least. My belief is that the “Pillars of the Church” were actually late first and early second century Jewish Gnostics and were not believed to be of the original Twelve. I suspect that who ever wrote the Acts Romances (chiefly that of Peter) had to antedate Cerinthus and Marcion (under the names Peter and Simon Magus) so as to give his church better authority over the church of Marcion.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s