Who Was the Teacher of Righteousness in the Dead Sea Scrolls?
By Kerry A. Shirts, 1992 [Excerpted]
The Dead Sea Scrolls are documents (thousands of fragments) found in caves in the deserts of Palestine around Jerusalem, during the 1940’s-50’s, written by Jewish sectaries who fled to the wilderness in opposition to the prevailing powers at Jerusalem, and specifically the Temple, approximately 200 B.C. Samuel Sandmal, notes that it is clear the community of Qumran arose because of the dissatisfaction of how the priests were running the Temple. It had divine sanction, they did not.1
The scrolls contain instructions on how to live in order to be the receivers of a new covenant the sect felt was coming. In other words the documents seem to have an apocalyptic orientation. Every book of the Bible is represented except the Book of Esther, as well as many apocryphal books, commentaries on these books with their particular application to the sect (arguably the Essenes), sectarian materials on how to join the sect, etc. Continue reading
King James Bible
1. Habakkuk’s Complaint
1 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. 2 O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! 3 Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. 4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
The Lord’s Answer
5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. 6 For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs. 7 They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. 8 Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat. 9 They shall come all for violence: Continue reading
Homunculus: The Alchemical Creation of Little People with Great Powers
By dhwty, 2015
Although science has made much progress in the last century, there are still numerous ethical issues that need to be addressed by the scientific community. One such issue is that of the creation of artificial life. For some, this is the logical progress of scientific knowledge; for others, this is a realm that should not be intruded by human beings. Concepts relating to the creation of artificial life such as genetic engineering and human cloning are relatively modern scientific ideas. In the past, however, it was in the field of alchemy that Medieval scientists sought to artificially create life. One of the beings that alchemists were purportedly able to create was the homunculus, meaning ‘little man’ in Latin.
The homunculus is first referred to in alchemical writings of the 16 th century. It is likely, however, that this concept is older than these writings. The idea that miniature fully-formed people can be created has been traced to the early Middle Ages (400 to 1000 AD), and is partly based on the Aristotelian belief that the sperm is greater than the ovum in its contribution to the production of offspring. Continue reading
From THE ORANTE AND THE GODDESS IN THE ROMAN CATACOMBS
The Orante or Orans, generally a female figure with open eyes and upraised hands, is a pervasive symbol in early Christian art, perhaps “the most important symbol in early Christian art.”1 Found frequently in the late second-century art in the Roman catacombs, as well as in sculpture, her head is almost always covered with a veil, and she wears a tunic. She exists both as a separate symbol and as the main figure in a number of Biblical scenes, but rarely in masculine form with male clothing. Instead, she frequently stands in for male figures in scenes of deliverance—she becomes Noah in the ark, Jonah in the boat and spewed out of the whale, Daniel between the lions, and the three young men in the fiery furnace. In one instance, she does represent a female figure— Susannah as she is saved by Daniel.2
It is the salvation/deliverance aspect that appears to be the most common in early Christian art. Her exact meaning and usage, however, are debated, since there is no ancient literature to tell us exactly how her image was employed. Before considering the range of meanings she might have had, it is necessary to discuss the primary context of her image – the Roman catacombs. Continue reading
What Is Mu?
From A Pocket Full of Chaos
By Discordian Evangelists of the Fnord
3) Mu (Japanese/Korean), Wú/Mou (ChineseMandarin/Cantonese)
[Mu] is a word which can be roughly translated as “without” or “have not”. While typically used as a prefix to imply the absence of something (e.g. musen for “wireless”), it is more famously used as a response to certain koans and other questions in Zen Buddhism, intending to indicate that the question itself was wrong.
The ‘Mu’ koan is as follows:
A monk asked Zen master Zhaozhou, a Chinese Zen Master (in Japanese, Joshu): “Has a dog Buddha-nature or not?”, Zhaozhou answered: “Wú”.
Heaven and Hell
by Alice Leighton-Cleather, F.T.S.
The early church Fathers seem to have held varied opinions on the intermediate post-mortem state. Chrysostom wrote: “The very apostles and patriarchs are not yet crowned”; and Ambrose: “The judgment is not at once after death”. Several of the Fathers call it Paradise; and Basil refers to “Heaven and Paradise.” The Council of Florence in 1439 even declared that the just were “received presently into heaven”.
It is of course needless to refer in detail to the current orthodox Christian teachings, either of the Roman, Greek, or Protestant Continue reading