THEOSOPHY, Vol. 52, No. 12, October, 1964
(Pages 364-372; Size: 36K)
(Number 7 of a 9-part series)

MISUNDERSTOOD BIBLICAL TRADITIONS

MIRACLES--III
[Conclusion]

IT is far easier to brand as "devils" those with whom one happens to disagree than to seek out and correct the errors of one's own mind. On September 7, 1960, The New York Times reported discovery in the Leningrad Library of an apparently uncensored fragment of the old Hebraic Talmud. This volume, along with other copies of the same book, has been found to contain references to a certain "magician" who lived around the beginning of our era, and which some authorities believe to refer to none other than Jesus himself. This account was summarized in FACT (July-August, 1964):

Jeshu Hanotzri [Jesus of Nazareth] goeth forth to be stoned because he practiced magic and deceived and led astray Israel.

His mother was called Miriam [Mary] ... He called himself God, also the Son of Man, and said he would go up to heaven.

Jeshu, called Hanotzri, Ben Stada, or Ben Pandira ... sinned and caused the multitude to sin. He was tainted with heresy ... He was a revolutionary ... brought magic from Egypt ... was a magician.

On the eve of Passover they hanged Jeshu Hanotzri ... at the time of his death 33 years old.

Whether these statements actually refer to Jesus or not, we shall probably never know. Nor does the question seem to be of great importance, for in neither case do they alter in any degree the value of the Sermon on the Mount. The statements do serve, however, to remind us of the fact that the brands we place upon our great of Soul -- whether they are labeled "heretic," "magician," "sorcerer," or "Son of God and Righteousness" -- almost always depend upon who it is that does the labeling. Have not great men in all ages been slandered and abused simply because the views they espoused were not at the time in popular esteem? Is it not a fact that outspoken individuals even in our own day are oftentimes looked upon by opposing parties as veritable "devils in the flesh?" Was there ever a time, for that matter, when the news of the day, or the words of public figures, have not been "slanted," as we say, to fit prejudices?

The Simonians, according to the Bible, were a large and influential group with extensive writings on both religion and philosophy. Why is it that none of this literature is extant? How does it happen that all we know of this ancient tradition is the little that is recorded in the prejudiced, half-fantastic Writings of the Church Fathers -- Ante and Post Nicene? Early Christian bias and brutality seem evident from the fact that, almost without exception, every devoted individual or group determined to preserve its own spiritual integrity -- that refused, in other words, to accept the dicta of the growing Church -- was forthwith labeled "heretic." Impartial observers are forced to the conclusion that, from Clement to Epiphanius and Justinian, the Fathers of ecclesiastical Christianity have presented to the Western world an overwhelmingly one-sided view of history. It is for this reason, no doubt, that the only estimation our age possesses of even the greatest of Pagan philosophers is that of "infidel" or "atheist."

The Theosophist's plea for re-evaluation of the life and character of Simon Magus is based upon the belief that neither the Bible nor any historical account justifies the total condemnation to which he has been subjected. Even if Simon was a "sorcerer" before the arrival of Philip, Peter, and John in the land of Samaria, is there any evidence that he continued the practice after baptism? Assuming that he did offer money for the purchase of spiritual gifts, was his motive for doing so an evil one? "Give me also this power," he said, "that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost." Of course Peter said that Simon's heart was bitter and that he was caught up in bonds of "iniquity." And for some, Peter's uncontested word would be sufficient. But Jesus warned against trying to judge the heart of another. And for those who have become acquainted with the historical Peter, as portrayed by Clement, who know something of his avowed enmity toward Simon, and of the heated disputes between the two, it becomes exceedingly difficult to determine whose was the bitter heart, Simon's or Peter's!

In Recognitions and Homilies, Peter constantly refers to Simon as his "enemy" or "adversary." Employing what he calls the "rule of combination," by which process good, he said, must be preceded by evil, light by darkness, and health by disease, Simon, in this sense, he contends, preceded himself, and is therefore "a fellow-worker of error and deceit":

Since, then, as I said, some men do not know the rule of combination, thence they do not know who is my precursor Simon. For if he were known, he would not be believed; but now, not being known, he is improperly believed; and though his deeds are those of a hater, he is loved; and though an enemy, he is received as a friend; and though he be death, he is desired as a saviour; and though fire, he is esteemed light; and though a deceiver, he is believed as a speaker of truth.

Then I Clement, when I heard this, said, "Who then, I pray you, is this who is such a deceiver? I should like to be informed." Then said Peter; "If you wish to learn, it is in your power to know it from those from whom I also got accurate information on all points respecting him." (Homilies II, xviii.)

Peter's "accurate information," it should be noted, came to him from Aquila and Nicetas, two youthful defectors from Simon's School, who had been "educated from their boyhood with Simon Magus, and learned all things concerning him. For such was their friendship, that they were associated with him in all things in which he wished to unite with them" (Homilies II, xx). The accuracy of "information" of this kind has always been held in doubt, is it not true, by men of honor and good sense? For who would trust the reliability of "news" spread abroad by former friends who have turned enemy?

Interesting character side-lights on the apostle are furnished, apparently unwittingly, in the Clementines, where Peter, with his wife and disciples, is shown pursuing Simon from city to city for the purpose of exposing the latter and undoing his work. In Homilies (Book II, ch. xxxvii), which is entitled "Spies in the enemy's Camp," Clement said it was Peter's practice, on the eve of debate with Simon, to send secret agents into the latter's quarters to learn what his adversary planned to say on the following day -- the purpose being, he says, that he may be able to cope with this man of wickedness. A robust faith this, that the Vicar of Christ, first Pope of Rome, should feel it necessary to spy on his enemy in order to be able to hold his ground in debate! But in Peter's own words:

Some of our people attend feignedly upon Simon as companions, as if they were persuaded by his most atheistic error, in order that they may learn his purpose and disclose it to us, so that we may be able to encounter this terrible man on favourable terms. And now I have learned from them what arguments he is going to employ in the discussion.... I wish you to know that those who, according to our arrangement, associate with Simon that they may learn his intentions, and submit them to us, so that we may be able to cope with his variety of wickedness, these men have sent to me, and informed me that Simon today is, as he arranged, prepared to come before all, and show from the Scriptures that He who made heaven and the earth, and all things in them, is not the Supreme God, but that there is another, unknown and supreme, as being in an unspeakable manner God of gods ... (Homilies II, xxx; III, ii.)
The controversies between Peter and Simon comprise several hundred pages -- ninety percent of which are devoted to the words of Peter, ten percent to Simon. Through it all, the chief bone of contention is the question posed above, whether there be One God or many, whether the "framer of heaven and earth" is the most High God, or not. Simon, with the Buddhists, Brahmans, Gnostics and Theosophists, held that the vengeful, jealous God of the Old Testament is not the Most High God -- nor is he the "Father in Heaven," spoken of and worshipped by Jesus. To accept such an idea, according to Theosophy, would be equivalent to believing that the personal Manas, or the lower Mind -- the creating, "framing," part of man's nature -- is his Highest Self, or Atma, the Spirit, which it is not. According to Genesis, Man is "the image of God," or as the Gnostics and mediaeval Kabalists would put it: He is the Microcosm of the Macrocosm. Since, by looking within, Man is seen to be a Unity, although exhibiting outwardly a diversity of spiritual, intellectual and physical constituents -- why should it be difficult to understand that, correspondentially, it is probably the same with the Macrocosm, or God -- an underlying, basic UNITY, unknown and unknowable to finite minds, yet showing forth in manifestation an infinite series of Hierarchies of intelligent Beings, or Gods, each with its respective duty and function?

Peter realized, it seems, that Simon would experience little difficulty proving his point by the Bible. So, to meet the challenge, he took the position that the Scriptures have certain "falsehoods" in them, that these falsehoods were placed there as tests, and that in order to understand the meaning, one must know what is true and what false. How is this discrimination to be achieved, do we ask? The only way ordinary men can descry the true from the false, said Peter, is to have it revealed to them by a true prophet, among whom, evidently, he considered himself.

And with us, indeed, who have had handed down from our forefathers the worship of the God who made all things, and also the mystery of the books which are able to deceive, he [Simon] will not prevail; but with those from amongst the Gentiles who have the polytheistic fancy bred in them, and who know not the falsehoods of the Scriptures, he will prevail much.... the falsehoods of the Scriptures are with good reason presented for a test.

Then I Clement, hearing this, said: "How say you, my lord, that even the falsehoods of the Scriptures are set forth happily for the proof of men?" And he [Peter] answered: "The falsehoods of the Scriptures have been permitted to be written for a certain righteous reason, at the demand of evil." (Homilies III, iv, v.)

Some Christians and Jews of the present day may be surprised to know that, in the first century of our era, certain portions of the Bible were held to be the work of "impious imaginations." The following are the words of Peter:
Assuredly, with good reason, I neither believe anything against God, nor against the just men recorded in the law, taking for granted that they [that is, those writings that speak against God and against just men] are impious imaginations. For, as I am persuaded, neither was Adam a transgressor, who was fashioned by the hand of God; nor was Noah drunken, who was found righteous above all the world; nor did Abraham live with three wives at once, who, on account of his sobriety, was thought worthy of a numerous posterity; nor did Jacob associate with four -- of whom two were sisters -- who was the father of the twelve tribes, and who intimated the coming of the presence of our Master; nor was Moses a murderer, nor did he learn to judge from an idolatrous priest -- he who set forth the law of God to all the world, and for his right judgment has been testified to as a faithful servant. (Homilies II, lii.)
Adam's "transgressions," it will be remembered, are called attention to by the Lord God in several chapters of Genesis, and in Job 31: 33, we read: "If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom." As to Noah, there is the statement (Gen. 9: 21 ): "And he [Noah] drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent." Besides Sarah, Hagar and Keturah, Abraham's three wives at different periods of his long life, we learn (Gen. 25: 6) that he possessed a number of concubines: "But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts ..." Concerning Moses, it is stated in Exodus 2: 11-12: "And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens; and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand."

It is not the Gnostic, or the Theosophist, who would criticize Peter for questioning the truth of things stated in the Scriptures. The Theosophists are a little amazed at times, however, at certain twentieth century attitudes which, holding that every word in the Bible is the unadulterated "Word of God," seem to make some present-day Bible students far more "Christian" than even the Rock (Peter) upon which the Church was built! The religious climate of the whole Western world, it may be, would be much healthier if men had been taught to question everything, the Bible included, in the light of conscience and an open mind. If this were done, it would be found that the Scriptures, both occidental and oriental, contain enough of inherent truth to sustain a sound and abiding faith, without the sacrifice of reason and common sense.

It is the opinion of some Theosophists, and also of a few open-minded Christians, that Simon Magus, called by Irenaeus the originator of Gnosticism, was beyond doubt one of the great spiritual leaders of his age and, at the same time, one of the most maligned characters in history. The ugly image we have been given is without question the work of early Christian partisans. To change this image overnight, of course, is impossible. It is possible, however, when hearing or reading the term simony, coined from Simon's name, and meaning "the purchase or sale of ecclesiastical preferment," to ask whether this charge was cunningly proposed to arouse righteousness? Also, remember the sale of Indulgences, against which Luther rebelled, wherein, for a price, remission of sins by an authorized Church representative was effected? One may ask himself, also, to what extent Protestantism, with its monthly and weekly campaigns and fund-raising appeals, is free from the taint of money? For it is only in the light of the blemishes upon one's own escutcheon that the man of good conscience will feel qualified to sit in judgment upon another. That Simon possessed strange and abnormal powers over Nature all men agree. Whether these powers were black or white, infernal or divine -- who feels qualified to say, inasmuch as the men of this day are admittedly ignorant as to matters of this kind? For what, after all, is miracle?

Miracle, in one of its definitions, is "any wonderful or amazing thing." From this point of view, are we not daily and hourly surrounded by "miracles" of many kinds? Is it not a fact that some of the most profound mysteries of life seem simple to us only because they are familiar? How many people feel the need, for example, of an explanation of how it is that water "dries up"? To a person not scientifically inclined, or not given to questioning, it seems perfectly understandable that water should evaporate, that a damp towel, placed upon a clothes line, should presently become dry. Has it not always done so? And the lighting of a fire by a flame: this is a thing wholly intelligible to the average individual, something that requires no explanation. But to the physicist, it is a complicated scientific process.

Or consider the phenomenon of photography: all that is required to take a good picture, in the minds of most people, is a camera, a film, and a subject worthy to be made of record. How it is that the lively mountain scene, thousands of miles away, manages to become impressed, perfect in detail and color, upon the sensitized film in the palm of one's hand, is a "mystery" few individuals stop to question. Here is a phenomenon just as "miraculous," perhaps, as many of the wonders recorded in Scripture unless the process is comprehended. (To Madame De Guerre, wife of the inventor of modern photography, the matter of taking a picture was not so simple. She had her husband committed to prison on the charge of insanity. He was attempting, she told the authorities, "to nail his shadow to the wall.") Modern kodachrome may be a sweeping advance over the tin-types of Monsieur De Guerre, but the mystery of how the mountain gets on the film remains for the untutored.

Soon after the Theosophical Movement was launched in 1875, and the existence of living Adepts with phenomenal powers over space, time, mind, and matter, was made known, a prominent English Theosophist living in India suggested a scheme for furthering the work of the Society. He wrote to one of the Mahatmas that if they would precipitate in London a copy of the Allahabad Pioneer on the day of publication, half of London would be converted to Theosophy. Needless to say, the Adepts rejected the offer. A portion of the Master's reply is here presented for the light it may shed upon the nature of human credulity:

You say -- half London would be converted if you could deliver them a Pioneer on its day of publication ... Precisely because the test of the London newspaper would close the mouths of skeptics -- it is unthinkable. See it in what light you will -- the world is yet in its first stage of disenthralment if not development, hence -- unprepared. Very true, we work by natural not supernatural means and laws. But, as on the one hand Science would find itself unable (in its present state) to account for the wonders given in its name, and on the other the ignorant masses would still be left to view the phenomenon in the light of a miracle; everyone who would thus be made a witness to the occurrence would be thrown off his balance and the results would be deplorable ... The success of an attempt of such a kind as the one you propose, must be calculated and based upon a thorough knowledge of the people around you. It depends entirely upon the social and moral conditions of the people in their bearing on these deepest and most mysterious questions which can stir the human mind -- the deific powers in man and the possibilities contained in nature. How many, even of your best friends, of those who surround you, who are more than superficially interested in these abstruse problems? You could count them upon the fingers of your right hand.
The "miracles" of every age and nation were possible through a knowledge of the universally diffused Magnetism, or Soul of the World -- ignorantly called Ether by modern Science. Pythagoras taught his disciples that God is the universal Mind diffused through all things, and that this mind, by the sole virtue of its sameness, could be communicated from one object to another and be made to create all things by the will-power of man. Is it not evident that many of Jesus' miracles were accomplished through employment of this mysterious magnetic Force or Mind? Did he not feel loss of magnetism in the production of his cures, as when the woman who had "an issue of blood twelve years" touched his clothes?
And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in body [magnetically] that she was healed of that plague.

And Jesus immediately knowing in himself that virtue [magnetism] had gone out of him ... said, Who touched my clothes? (Mark 5: 29-30.)

It was through Jesus' ability to direct the universal Magnetic Fluid, beyond doubt, that he could heal through "the laying on of hands" (Mark 5: 23) -- even to raising those apparently dead, such as Jairus' daughter (Mark 5: 39-42). But among those of "unbelief," "he could do no mighty work" (Mark 6: 4-6) -- that is to say, his magnetism could not be transmitted to negative, or unbelieving, minds. Why, except for aiding the flow of magnetism, did the Master offer the following advice to "the twelve:"
And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;

And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:

But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.

And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. (Mark 6: 7-10.)

What can this mean but that, for the most successful control of the occult Magnetic Force, one should have no objects on his person -- save a "staff," which, connecting the body with the earth serves as a conductor? Why should there be "no scrip," except for the well-known fact that the handwriting of each individual carries with it the magnetism of the writer? Why "no money," except that metals of all kinds either attract or repel; why "sandals" and only one coat, except for the need that the body be free of excess clothing, which, according to the nature of the materials worn, has its own magnetic affinities? And why, finally, should the disciples be commanded to "abide" in one place, and not move about, during their stay in each city, except that the room in which one lives becomes magnetically individualized, and is an aid to concentration, thought and proficiency in magic? "The corner-stone of MAGIC," said H. P. Blavatsky, "is an intimate practical knowledge of magnetism and electricity, their qualities, correlations, and potencies." (Isis Unveiled II, 589.)

It is the hope of the Theosophists that when the next cycle of occult phenomena begins to manifest in man some knowledge of the laws governing such manifestations will be present to help avoid the dangers of such practices as hypnotism, glossolalia and the "speaking in tongues," recently reported as arising among some of the Protestant sects (see Saturday Evening Post, May 16). The present cycle, according to Theosophy -- 2000 years from Jesus, 2500 from Buddha, and 5000 from Krishna -- is pregnant with both danger and undreamed-of spiritual possibilities, one leading to mediumship and sorcery, the other to mental and moral balance and control. True Theurgy, or Magic, as practiced by many sects at the time of Jesus, belongs only to the wise, and to the "pure in heart." As a guide for the intuitive student, the last of the Three Objects of the present Theosophical Movement, was framed: "The investigation of the unexplained laws of Nature and the psychical powers latent in man."


COMPILER'S NOTE: Before going on to the next article in this series, here is the second and final part of the related article on the subject of "MAGIC"; the first part followed the article in the series just before this one, as it did in the magazine itself; and as with that one, this one also immediately followed the above article in this issue of THEOSOPHY magazine.

THEOSOPHY, Vol. 52, No. 12, October, 1964
(Pages 373-376)

PHILOSOPHOMENA

II
[Conclusion]

AND so, according to Simon, that blessed and imperishable (principle) concealed in everything, is in potentiality, but not in actuality, which indeed is He who has stood, stands and will stand; who has stood above in the ingenerable Power, who stands below in the stream of the waters, generated in an image, who shall stand above, by the side of the blessed and Boundless Power, if the imaging be perfected. For three, he says, are they that stand, and without there being three standing Æons, there would be no setting in order(1) of the generable which, according to them, moves on the water, and which is fashioned according to the similitude into a perfect celestial, becoming in no whit inferior to the ingenerable Power, and this is the meaning of their saying: "Thou and I, the one thing; before me, thou; that after thee, I."

This, he says, is the one Power, separated into the above and below, generating itself, increasing itself, seeking itself, finding itself, its own mother, its own father, its sister, its spouse; the daughter, son, mother, and father of itself; One, the Universal Root.

And that, as he says, the beginning of the generation of things which are generated is from Fire, he understands somewhat in this fashion. Of all things of which there is generation, the beginning of the desire for their generation is from Fire. For, indeed, the desire of mutable generation is called "being on fire." And though Fire is one, yet has it two modes of mutation. For in the man, he says, the blood, being hot and yellow -- like fire when it takes form -- is turned into seed, whereas in the woman the same blood (is changed) into milk. And this change in the male becomes the faculty of generating, while that in the female (becomes) nourishment for the child. This, he says, is "the flaming sword that is turned about to keep the way of the tree of life."(2) For the blood is turned into seed and milk; and this Power becomes mother and father, father of those that are born, and mother of those that are nourished, standing in want of nothing, sufficient unto itself. And the tree of life, he says, is guarded by the fiery sword which is turned about, (which tree), as we have said (is) the seventh Power which proceeds from itself, contains all (in itself), and is stored in the six Powers. For were the flaming sword not turned about, that fair tree would be destroyed and perish; but if it is turned into seed and milk, that which is stored in them in potentiality, having obtained a fitting utterance,(3) and an appointed place in which the utterance may be developed, starting as it were from the smallest spark, it will increase to all perfection, and expand, and be an infinite power, unchangeable, equal and similar to the unchangeable Æon, which is no more generated for the boundless eternity.

Conformably, therefore, to this reasoning, for the foolish, Simon was a god, like that Libyan Apsethus; (a god) subject to generation and suffering, so long as he remained in potentiality, but freed from the bonds of suffering and birth, as soon as his imaging forth was accomplished, and attaining perfection he passed forth from the first two Powers, to wit heaven and earth. For Simon speaks distinctly concerning this in his Revelation as follows:

To you, therefore, I say what I say, and write what I write. And the writing is this.

Of the universal Æons there are two shoots, without beginning or end, springing from one Root, which is the Power invisible, inapprehensible Silence. Of these shoots one is manifested from above, which is the Great Power, the Universal Mind ordering all things, male, and the other, (is manifested) from below, the Great Thought, female, producing all things.

Hence pairing with each other,(4) they unite and manifest the Middle Distance, incomprehensible Air, without beginning or end. In this is the Father who sustains all things, and nourishes those things which have a beginning and end.

This is He who has stood, stands and will stand, a male-female power like the preëxisting Boundless Power, which has neither beginning nor end, existing in oneness. For it is from this that the Thought in the oneness proceeded and became two.

So He(5) was one; for having her(6) in himself, he was alone, not however first, although preëxisting, but being manifested from himself to himself, he became second. Nor was he called Father before (Thought) called him Father.

As therefore, producing himself by himself, he manifested to himself his own Thought, so also the Thought that was manifested did not make the Father, but contemplating him hid him -- that is to say the Power -- in herself, and is male-female, Power and Thought.

Hence they pair with each other being one, for there is no difference between Power and Thought. From the things above is discovered Power, and from those below Thought.

In the same manner also that which was manifested from them,(7) although being one is yet found as two, the male-female having the female in itself. Thus Mind is in Thought -- things inseparable from one another -- which although being one are yet found as two.

So then Simon by such inventions got what interpretation he pleased, not only out of the writings of Moses, but also out of those of the (pagan) poets, by falsifying them. For he gives an allegorical interpretation of the wooden horse, and Helen with the torch, and a number of other things, which he metamorphoses and weaves into fictions concerning himself and his Thought.

And he said that the latter was the "lost sheep," who again and again abiding in women throws the Powers in the world into confusion, on account of her unsurpassable beauty: on account of which the Trojan War came to pass through her. For this Thought took up its abode in the Helen that was born just at that time, and thus when all the Powers laid claim to her, there arose faction and war among those nations to whom she was manifested.

It was thus, forsooth, that Stesichorus was deprived of sight when he abused her in his verses; and afterwards when he repented and wrote the recantation in which he sung her praises he recovered his sight.

And subsequently, when her body was changed by the Angels and lower Powers -- which also, he says, made the world -- she lived in a brothel in Tyre, a city of Phoenicia, where he found her on his arrival. For he professes that he had come there for the purpose of finding her for the first time, that he might deliver her from bondage. And after he had purchased her freedom he took her about with him, pretending that she was the "lost sheep," and that he himself was the Power which is over all. Whereas the impostor having fallen in love with this strumpet, called Helen, purchased and kept her, and being ashamed to have it known by his disciples, invented this story.

And those who copy the vagabond magician Simon do like acts, and pretend that intercourse should be promiscuous, saying: "All soil is soil, and it matters not where a man sows, so long as he does sow." Nay, they pride themselves on promiscuous intercourse, saying that this is the "perfect love," citing the text "the holy shall be sanctified by the ... of the holy."(8) And profess that they are not in the power of that which is usually considered evil, for they are redeemed. For by purchasing the freedom of Helen, he (Simon) thus offered salvation to men by knowledge peculiar to himself.

For, he says, the Angels who made the world, instituted what they wished, thinking by such words to enslave all who listened to them. Whereas the dissolution of the world, they (the Simonians) say, is for the reasoning of their own people.

And (Simon's) disciples perform magical ceremonies and (use) incarnation, and philtres and spells, and they also send what are called "dream-sending" dæmons for disturbing whom they will. They also train what are called "familiars,"(9) and have a statue of Simon in the form of Zeus, and one of Helen in the form of Athena, which they worship, calling the former Lord and the latter Lady. And if any among them on seeing the images, calls them by the name of Simon or Helen, he is cast out as one ignorant of the mysteries.

While this Simon was leading many astray by his magic rites in Samaria, he was confuted by the apostles. And being cursed, as it is written in the Acts, in dissatisfaction took to these schemes. And at last he travelled to Rome and again fell in with the apostles, and Peter had many encounters with him for he continued leading numbers astray by his magic. And towards the end of his career going ... he settled under a plane tree and continued his teachings. And finally running the risk of exposure through the length of his stay, he said, that if he were buried alive, he would rise again on the third day. And he did actually order a grave to be dug by his disciples and told them to bury him. So they carried out his orders, but he has stopped away until the present day, for he was not the Christ.


Next article:
MISUNDERSTOOD BIBLICAL TRADITIONS
MERCY
(Part I of II)
(Part 8 of a 9-part series)

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NINE (9) FOOTNOTES LISTED BELOW:

(1) Or adorning.
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(2) Genesis, iii. 24.
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(3) Also reason.
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(4) Used in Xenophon (Ana. v. 4, 12) of two bands of dancers facing each other in rows or pairs.
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(5) He who has stood, stands and will stand.
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(6) Thought.
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(7) The Middle Distance.
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(8) There is a lacuna in the text here.
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(9) C. W. King calls these "Assessors." (The Gnostics and their Remains, p. 70.)
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