More Free Online Resources for Ancient Research

As is my custom, every once in a while I have to post something that veers away from exposing paleobabble toward real research. I’ve posted in the past about the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute and its posting of various volumes related to Assyriology. Here are some other goodies (courtesy of the Ancient World Online blog):

The Claremont Colleges Digital Library offers several open access resources relating to antiquity:

The Bulletin of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity is published periodically under the auspices of the Society for Antiquity and Christianity for the general information of persons interested in the research programs of the Institute.
The Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia (CCE) will initially include approximately 2800 articles published in The Coptic Encyclopedia (Aziz S. Atiya, ed. NY: Macmillan, 1991).
The Nag Hammadi codices, thirteen ancient manuscripts containing over fifty religious and philosophical texts written in Coptic and hidden in an earthenware jar for 1,600 years, were accidentally discovered in upper Egypt in the year 1945.

Attalus

This site contains over 25,000 links to Greek and Latin authors online. The links include detailed lists of events and sources for the history of the Hellenistic world and the Roman republic. It includes links to online translations of many of the sources, as well as new translations of some works which have not previously been easily available in English.

The Gospel of Thomas: Is it Really Earlier than the Canonical Gospels?

Many scholars think so, especially those trotted out by the Discovery Channel, PBS, etc.  A lot of scholars disagree, and for good reasons, but that isn’t as media-sexy.

Here’s a good article on recent re-consideration of the “earliness” of Thomas. It’s by Nick Perrin of Wheaton College, whom I know. Nick spoke as part of a lecture series I coordinated in Bellingham, WA a couple years ago on this topic. The article is a bit technical, but I think non-specialists in biblical studies will follow it.  I post it since there is so much paleobabble surrounding the Gospel of Thomas. You all ought to know that it’s not so neat a picture as the popular media would have it.

New Craptastic Jesus Bloodline Movie

Another fresh piece of cinematic claptrap has recently emerged (no, it’s not Indiana Jones V). Here’s a review of Bloodline, whose title cleverly disguises its message that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and produced a bloodline. Whoa! Didn’t see that coming!

Once again the public is treated to the myth that the Gnostic gospels (any any other source) has Jesus married (to anyone). Granted, my movies aren’t as visually compelling – you remember, the ones that show me searching my computer edition of the Nag Hammadi texts for any evidence Jesus was married – but they are factual. Probably why mine are free. Here they are for anyone who has an ounce of objectivity:

Was Jesus Married in the Gnostic texts (Video 1)

Was Jesus Married in the Gnostic texts (Videos 2, 3, 4)

Gnostic Archons = Aliens?

Ah, our first foray into the weird, wonderful world of John Lamb Lash. For those of you unfamiliar with Lash, he is a modern Gnostic. No, I’m not going to pick on Gnosticism. I am going to pick on Lash’s Gnostic nonsense at a specific point.
In his quest to argue the superiority of Gnosticism as a worldview, Lash has written that the Gnostic texts from Nag Hammadi (alone, since they are so wonderful) correctly tell us the story of an ancient alien intrusion into earth’s history. They do nothing of the sort. Now, don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t deny that there are striking similarities between Gnostic cosmology and teachings and the messages that you’d read about (ad nauseum) from people who believe they have been contacted by aliens.  That’s true–but not for the reason Lash argues.  Lash wants you to believe that the similarities are due to the faithful recording in the Gnostic texts of real aliens who came to earth and kickstarted human civilization (and helped create humanity to boot). I’d say the opposite:  that the similarities are what they are because the ideas and worldview spoonfed to contactees and abductees is nothing more than Gnosticism rehashed for a 20th-21st century technological audience (with a dash of theosophy and a few other occult spices).  That’s the kind of thing I’m discussing on another blog, so I won’t park on that here.  On PaleoBabble, I have another issue in view.
Lash makes the following claim in his online article, “Alien Instrusion”:
Physical descriptions of Archons occur in several Gnostic codices. Two types are clearly identified: a neonate or embryonic type, and a draconic or reptilian type. Obviously, these descriptions fit the Greys and Reptilians of contemporary reports to a T. Or I should say, to an ET.

Delving into the Gnostic materials, it is quite a shock to discover that ancient seers detected and investigated the problem of alien intrusion during the first century CE, and certainly well before. (The Mysteries date from many centuries before the Christian Era.) What is amazing about the Gnostic theory of the Archons is not only the cosmological background (explaining the origin of these entities and the reason for their enmeshment with humanity), but the specificity of information on the alien m.o., describing how they operate and what they want from us. For one thing, Gnostics taught that these entities envy us and feed on our fear. Above all, they attempt to keep us from claiming and evolving our “inner light,” the gift of divine intelligence within. While I would not claim that Gnostic teachings on the Archons, or what remains of such teachings, have all the answers to the ET/UFO enigma, one thing is clear: they present a coherent and comprehensive analysis of alien intrusion, as well as specific practices for resisting it. They are far more complete and sophisticated than any theory in discussion today.
How can we test this claim? Easy–in future posts I’ll revisit my electronic corpus of the Nag Hammadi texts and search for such descriptions.  You don’t have to take Lash’s word for it (or mine)–I’ll show you.  Stay tuned.

Was Jesus Married According to the Gnostic Texts from Nag Hammadi? (Videos 2, 3, and 4)

The format for these videos is the same as the first one, where I searched the Nag Hammadi Gnostic gospels for any occurrence of the word “marry” (including married, marries, marrying, etc.) connected to Jesus. In these videos I search for other terms:

  • Wife” and its other forms – are there any instances where the search term is connected to a marriage of Jesus? (12 MB)
  • Husband” – ditto (12 MB)
  • Bride” – ditto (11 MB)

Was Jesus Married According to the Gnostic Texts from Nag Hammadi? (Video 1)

Most people who read The Da Vinci Code never bothered to actually read the Gnostic Gospels themselves to see what they say about Jesus being married. That was unfortunate, and is a textbook example of why you should always go right to the source material for your information. The video below (and the several that will follow) are my attempt to get people to actually read the Gnostic material from Nag Hammadi in regard to the question of whether Jesus was married according to those texts, not the “filtered” New Testament. Do these Gnostic texts that were allegedly suppressed and expunged from the “original” New Testament (so the bogus claim goes) say anything about Jesus being married? As always, I don’t want readers to take my word–I want them to see for themselves. To that end, I’ve made a video of me doing a database search of the Nag Hammadi Gnostic Gospels for all occurrences of any form of the word “marry” (e.g., “marry”; “married”; “marries”; etc.). Don’t be frightened–you just see my computer screen. It ain’t exciting, but it’s as close as English readers will ever get to the kind of research scholars do in these texts. The video is 6:47 and you’ll need a high speed connection (10 MB file). Turn your volume up, too.