Jesus or Yeshua is known throughout the world as a spiritual leader, messiah, divine, prophet, Jewish preacher, religious leader, son of man, son of God and even God. Jesus said in Luke 12:49-53 “I have come to set the world on fire.” Indeed he has; in all facets of our understanding and beliefs, especially today.
After Jesus’ crucifixion around 30 AD, Christianity was born but not as we know it today. Christians of the second and third centuries held a remarkably wide range of beliefs. Although some of these beliefs may sound ludicrous today, at the time they seemed not only sensible but right. Some Christians maintain there were two gods, or 12, or 30, or more. Some Christians claimed that Jesus was not really a human being, or that he was not really divine, but that he was two different beings, one human and one divine. Some Christians believe that this world was not created by the true God but a malicious deity as a place for punishment for human souls which has been trapped here in human bodies. Some Christians believe that Jesus death and resurrection had no bearing on salvation and some Christians believe that Jesus never actually died. The New Testament was canalized 367 years after Jesus crucifixion and the religion of Islam started 610 AD.
The Quran had many references of Jesus, also known as Isa. Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet who was given a special message to convey to all people. Muslims accept that Jesus was a servant, teacher, and lover of God’s Word, they do not believe that he was divine or the son of God. The Quran describes the miracles Jesus performed, such as healing the sick and raising the dead, but does not ascribe these miracles to his divinity. Instead, Jesus is a sign to all humankind of God’s endless mercy. Christianity and Islam combined, is more than half the world population and world religions . There is no doubt, the man called Jesus, Yeshua or Isa has set the world on fire and has a huge impact on the world belief systems today.
Jesus’ life was not easy. The people of that time walked everywhere, some living as nomads in small groups, keeping flocks of sheep and goats, and traveling from place to place in order to feed and protect their animals. Others lived more settled lives, growing crops or providing services to people in towns and urban areas. Communication was word of mouth, very few could read or write. Jesus traveled with his disciples teaching and healing those who requested it. Some claim he traveled to India and many other places. As a child, he was learning that he had a power within and had to learn to control it. In some stories found in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas presents Jesus an amazing divine child: He makes sparrows out of clay and then brings to life. He raises people from the dead and heals his brother James when he is bitten by a snake.
Other stories present young Jesus as something of a holy terror: When a boy uses a tree branch to ruin some pools of water that Jesus has made, Jesus tells him to wither up like a tree and he does. When another boy runs into Jesus’s shoulder, Jesus curses him and the boy dies. At one point, Joseph says, “people who make him angry die”. Scholars have tried to make sense of this text but always don’t agree on how to understand it. More information on the Infancy Gospel of Thomas can be found here and the Origins of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas Tales here.
Jesus studied and understood the Jewish Bible as well as the Rabbi’s and may have been one himself. Some of his saying and teaching were very esoteric. One time he was confronted by a group of Jews who wanted to stone him. They told Jesus “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claiming to be God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” . Jesus was referring to Psalm 82.6 I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’ That was one of many esoteric sayings Jesus presents in the new testament. Another one is in Matthew 6:22, when Jesus said “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. Did he mean the third eye, the Sixth Chakra?
He spoke in the language of his time, simple-minded people trying to spread the most important word the world has ever known, the logos. He spoke in metaphors and parables with deep hidden meanings with an esoteric message to humanity.
After his crucifixion, in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, Christianity had many different concepts and belief systems. Some Christians maintained there were 2 Gods, or 12 or thirty or more. Some Christians maintained Jesus was not really a human being, or was he divine. Others thought he was two different beings, one human, one divine. Others believed the world was not created by the true God but by a malicious deity as a place for punishment for the human souls which have become entrapped here in human bodies. Some Christians believed that Jesus death and resurrection had no bearing on salvation and some believed that Jesus had never actually died.
One of those belief systems was Gnosticism. Gnosticism is a term from the Greek word gnosis meaning “knowledge”. Christians of the 2nd and 3rd centuries did not read the New Testament because the New Testament did not yet exist. Gnostics were the early movement of Christianity and lost the early Christian struggle to define orthodoxy.The Gnostics Christians had different views from the early Christianity. Orthodox Christianity created the idea of heresy to condemn the Gnostics quest for higher knowledge because the different belief system. Heresy comes from the Greek word Hairesis, which meant school of thought and did not have negative connotations. Early Christians wanted a single harmonious and considered themselves as a single body of Christ and did not want any division. Overtime, people who followed the Gnostics were considered godless and imperious members of a school of thought and therefore heretics. Some in the Christian religion still believe that today. The destruction of their sacred texts was inevitable, so some hid them in caves and various other places so they could not be found.
In 313 AD, Emperor Constantine converted and established Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire. The motivations of the Emperor were complex. Christianity had grown too powerful to suppress, and even Roman soldiers secretly converting to Christianity. After Emperor Constantine established Christianity as the official roman religion, and as it is today. All other forms of Christian beliefs were eliminated, by destroying and burning texts, letters and manuscripts. Many early followers of Christ were condemned by other Christians as heretics. Orthodox Christianity prevailed when in 397 C.E., the Council of Carthage established the orthodox New Testament canon with the 27 books. Through the years, the New Testament Canon had scribes copy by hand, word for word, taking or adding a word or even a letter has changed the meaning today. Nearly 2000 years later our understanding of Jesus teachings is from the New Testament Canon but with nearly 2000 years of editing. There are over 40 versions of the New Testament today. The church leaders provide their teachings to an uncertain concept, until now!
Now we have an astonishing variety of early Christian writings survive outside the canon of the New Testament. In many case, these writings expand upon the New Testament writings with a new understanding of Jesus’ message. We know the church version, but now we can know another version and you can seek the truth for yourself.
For the first time we have access to an apocrypha Jesus, hidden or secret teachings. In 1945, original gnostic documents were found and is believed to be one of the most important archaeological finds in the 20th century. Thirteen ancient texts of Gnostic works called “codices” found in caves in Upper Egypt untouched by scribes, can be found in the Among the manuscripts was the discovery of a complete copy of 114 secret sayings of Jesus , known as Gospel of Thomas, thought to be constructed in the 1st or 2nd century A.D. Some of the sayings in the Gospel of Thomas can be found in the New Testament. The text has very Eastern flavor, being almost Buddhism and Tao Te Ching in some of the sayings.
The discovery in 1945 provides a new and refreshing school of thought about spirituality and Jesus message. The discovery also came at a time when it could be shared with the world and not suppressed as it was for the last twenty centuries.
The untouched scriptures, communicated a different way of life and salvation, Jesus is a teacher of wisdom and understanding, speaking in metaphors and parables of love and enlightenment. Much different from the sin and repentance as the Church teaches. Since the discovery and publications, the Gospel of Thomas has been the most celebrated of the 13 ancient texts discovered in 1945. Jesus confronts his disciples and leaders of the gospel with powerful sayings for all to contemplate the meaning. It starts:
“These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down”.
(1) And he said, he who shall find the interpretation of these words shall not taste of death.
In the Gospel of Thomas, salvation comes to those that learn from Jesus’s sayings the truth about themselves. “When you come to know yourselves,” Jesus said, “then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living father.” If people do not come to know themselves, then they remain mired by spiritual poverty.
Your true self, Thomas teaches, does not belong to this world of change and materiality. Instead, it originated in a realm of permanence and intellect. and it will return to the realm-if you know your true self. Our problem is not sin, but ignorance: We mistakenly think our material bodies are our true selves.
Join me in an esoteric journey to discover the meaning of 114 secret saying of Jesus.