Last Friday I began listening to Stephan Hoeller‘s free lecture entitled The Secret Teachings of Yeshu, available from BC Recordings.
The blurb for it reads “Shortly before the year 2000 a document surfaced from out of China containing 72 alleged sayings of Jesus which show Gnostic influences. This document, translated from the original Greek was entrusted to Dr. Hoeller by his book publisher for evaluation for possible publication. Genuine or not, this beautiful material has by its Gnostic merits an authenticity of its own.”
It’s an presentation of a hitherto unknown apocryphal gospel translated from Greek. It were handed an
undisclosed Professor by two Chinese colleagues who wanted his assistance in
translating the entire manuscript into English.
Briefly stated this scripture is an edited anthology of Logia ascribed to Jesus, much alike what is imagined to be the contents of the elusive Gospel Q(for Quelle, “Source” in German), the Gospel of Thomas unearthed first with the Oxyrhynchus papyri cache in the mid 19th century and later completed in its presently known form by the find of the Nag Hammadi Library. The sayings of Yeshu (Yeshu, a Chinese variation upon the latin Jesus), in Greek and translated by a person well acquianted with the genre, contained in this unknown find – shares several characteristics with those found in the Gospel of Thomas – especially the existencial and psychological tangents: the world is drunk, human beings are addicted to the world, human beings do not possess their full faculties of perception _therefore they are unable to discern what has happened_ (i.e. the entry of Christ into the world and the coming of the Kingdom); religious men and women are conditioned to follow commandments and rules as a safeguard against minor evils and affirmation of worth – both commodities traded for their spiritual integrity being but a puff of stale air since they have no substance, either in this world nor the next. In short, the disciples showing off their ,to the Gnostics, famous ignorance (prior to their coming around to their senses) – mimic the compact ignorance and arrogance of the “Pharisees” and Scribes, while Jesus warns them against their potentionally fatal superficiality.
This may be hard to stomach, and when I heard James complaining about the presence of “effeminate men” and his worry about the contagion of their ritual impurity – being answered with a warning about judgement and neglect to seek purity and recti tude on account of own necessity rather than that of society – just a breather away from Hoeller’s comment that he thought the topicality were too up-to-date to our own time and our modern concern about understanding, tolerating and adapting to the multitude of ways in which each individual is human in all of this world…it added to my expectation that the scripture in question will remain without affirmation, either to its being a forgery or authentic, until the end of time, basically.
Be that as it may be.
I contend that as far as perspective goes – Apocrypha is Good for You.
I found this lecture absolutely fascinating. It would be great to see this collection in print one day. Hopefully…