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Old 07-15-2014, 07:29 PM   #56
Shade of Carn Dm
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Toronto
Posts: 479
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The unnamed priest who is responsible for the tirade at had much to say about miracles, but in fact, there is not much done by Moses, Elijah, Elisha, or Jesus in the Bible that could not just as well be called magical or miraculous, if one chose.

Good magicians were commonplace in medieval legends: Menw son of Teirgwaedd in medieval Welsh Arthurian tales, Merlin and Gansguoter in continental Arthurian tales, Maugis of Aigremont in tales of Charlemagne, Arrow-Odd in Norse saga, and numerous others who appear occasionally.

Nor do modern times appear more dangerous than former days when teachers like Eliphas Levi, Madame Blavatsky, Rudolf Steiner, Samuel Liddell MacGregor, and Aleister Crowley were at their height. Wolfgang Smith and Louis de Wohl are indeed odd modern people to be searching for truth. Perhaps the priest wanted to believe what these people wrote just because he wanted to believe it, until he caught them obviously claiming to be dabbling in the occult, which should not have taken much searching. Then he starts his fear-mongering.

The apocryphal book Judith is commonly thought to be unhistorical by Protestants and Roman Catholics alike. See . More importantly most critics believe the Book of Daniel is also unhistorical and was written during the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, not during the last days of Babylon and the beginning of the Persian period as it claims. See . These Biblical books have long been believed to be not history. Information agreeing with this was included in the Roman Cathlic Jerusalem Bible translation, for which J. R. R. Tolkien aided in translating the Book of Jonah. This information can also be found on the web in the conservative Catholic Encyclopedia, originally published in print in 1917. See .

The anonymous priest who wrote the Tolkien article either did not know this, which I think unlikely, or is simply neglecting to include anything that disagrees with his claim that the Bible contains no myths. Or perhaps this priest means something odd by myths.

Why this priest goes on and on about Gnosticism I do not know. See which contains almost everything known about Gnosticism until the Nag Hammadi Library was discovered 1945. The most coherent account is in chapter XXX. The high God gives birth to a number of beings, and the last of these is named Sophia (Wisdom). She gives birth to Ialdabaoth, the name apparently derived from Aramaic yalᵊd- (‘begetter of’) [s]abaʼōt (‘hosts’). In this heresy Ialdabaoth becomes the Hebrew God, but is rather an evil being. Ialdabaoth subcreates the physical universe and 365 angels. He also creates the human race. In them some of the divine sparks from the original heavenly Father are to be found. Jesus Christ is then sent by the ultimate Father and Sophia to obtain this heavenly matter and return it to heaven.

This does not resemble Tolkien’s imaginings very closely. The Zoroastrian story of the creation of the universe is closer. See . The anonymous priest probably is not aware to this story. He wouldn’t like it either, even modified.

Last edited by jallanite; 07-15-2014 at 08:08 PM.
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