Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Mandeans, Gnosticism, Mary and Jesus

The Mandeans are considered a form of Gnosticism.  But they also claim to be the sect John The Baptist lead.

Unlike many well known Gnostics, they did not revere Jesus.

Core Mandean texts do not seem to mention Jesus by name, which is why some question whether or not Jesus is who is meant, some want to say it's Paul.

"MIRYAI am I, of the Kings of Babel a daughter, a daughter of Jerusalem's mighty rulers. They have given me birth; the priests brought me up. In the fold of their robe they carried me up into the dark house, into the temple. Adonai laid a charge on my hands and on my two arms: I must scour and cleanse the house [that is] without firmness. There is naught therein for supporting the poor, naught to revive the tormented souls."—Ancient Scroll of Miryai

"She ran away from the priests, fell in love with a man, and they took hold of each other’s hands. Hold of each other’s hands they took, went forth and settled at the mouth of Frash."—Ancient Scroll of Miryai

"We will slay them and make Miryai scorned in Jerusalem. A stake (Cross) will we set up for the man who has ruined Miryai and led her away. There shall be no day in the world when a stranger enters Jerusalem."—Sidra d’Yahya, Book of John the Baptist from Mandaic Doctrines of Kings.

And below comes from the Haran Gawaita.

"... and Haran Gawaita receiveth him and that city in which there were Nasoraeans, because there was no road for the Jewish rulers. Over them was King Ardban. And sixty thousand Nasoraeans abandoned the Sign of the Seven and entered the Median hills, a place where we were free from domination by all other races. And they built cult-huts (bimandia) and abode in the Call of the Life and in the strength of the high King of Light until they came to their end. And they loved the Lord, that is, Adonai, until in the House of Israel there was created something which was not placed in the womb of Mary, a daughter of Moses. It was hidden in her womb for nine months and bewitched her until the nine months were fulfilled and she was in labour and brought forth a messiah."

".. and he called the people to himself and spoke of his death and took away some of mysteries of the (Sacred?) Meal and abstained from the Food. And he took to himself a people and was called by the name of the False Messiah. And he perverted them all and made them like himself who perverted words of life and changed them into darkness and even perverted those accounted Mine. And he overturned all the rites. And he and his brother dwell on Mount Sinai, and he joineth all races to him, and perverteth and joineth to himself a people, and they are called Christians."  "... and from Nisrat, a city of the Jews, which is called the city of Qum ..."—Haran Gawaita.

I have mostly copied these from a Website wanting to say they refer to Paul not Jesus.  It simply doesn't work though.  This villain is specifically depicted as being Hung on a Stake or Crucified.  And he has a Brother who was also a leader of his sect, that fits Jesus brother James, but Paul is not known to have had any siblings.

The main thing that takes people by surprise is the Maria of this narrative being his lover rather then Mother.  Well I suspect that The Virgin Mary is not who was meant, but that it's an early example of people wanting to depict Mary Magdalene or Mary of Bethany as a lover of Jesus.

Why am I making a blog post on this?  I don't know, I just find it interesting.  I'm certainly not endorsing what the Mandeans believe.  As the only Ancient Gnostic sect to have survived to the modern day, they are an interesting anomaly.

They also depict The Holy Spirit (which is called Ruha d-Qudsha) as evil.