Philo's guide to decoding the Hebrew Bible

The study of religious or heroic legends and tales. One constant rule of mythology is that whatever happens amongst the gods or other mythical beings was in one sense or another a reflection of events on earth. Recorded myths and legends, perhaps preserved in literature or folklore, have an immediate interest to archaeology in trying to unravel the nature and meaning of ancient events and traditions.

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Postby Minimalist » Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:55 pm

The funny part, when you think about it, is that the various kingdoms (Israel, Judah, Judea and the modern State of Israel) were only independent for a combined 150 years at the most and that's counting 60 years for the modern state. so much for the whole covenant business.



:D


You know, if they actually HAD a glorious history they wouldn't have needed to invent one.

To quote Celsus:

"You are fond of saying that in the old days this same most high god made these and greater promises to those who gave heed to his commandments and worshipped him. But at the risk of appearing unkind, I ask how much good has been done by those promises have done either the Jews before you or you in your present circumstances. And would you have us put our faith in such a god? Instead of being masters of the whole world, the jews today have no home of any kind."
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Postby seeker » Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:30 pm

Ishtar wrote:
seeker wrote:
Even the Serpent Cult is the product of seeding though, possibly by the Egyptians or its origins could be Vedic. there is a lot of reason to believe that the early Sumerian beliefs were influenced by earlier Vedic beliefs.


Absolutely agree. The Sumerian tablets are older than the official date for the Vedas - but I can make a very good case for the Vedas being the same age as the tablets ... so I reckon they were more or less contemporaries, given a few hundred years or so. But the rishis that are referred to in the Vedic hymns are older than even that ...

Then there's China, of course ... the dragon is in their very oldest mythologies.

But from our perspective, all we can see are these huge waves of similar philosophies and belief systems washing across the world and roughly at the same time ... and so it's virtually impossible to see who seeded what for whom.

Same with shamanism ...

You actually could make a better case with shamanism if you can tie shamanist practices in say South America or Australia with those in India. they weren't in touch with each other the way Greeks, Persians, Sumerians, etc were.
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Postby seeker » Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:32 pm

Minimalist wrote:
The funny part, when you think about it, is that the various kingdoms (Israel, Judah, Judea and the modern State of Israel) were only independent for a combined 150 years at the most and that's counting 60 years for the modern state. so much for the whole covenant business.



:D


You know, if they actually HAD a glorious history they wouldn't have needed to invent one.

To quote Celsus:

"You are fond of saying that in the old days this same most high god made these and greater promises to those who gave heed to his commandments and worshipped him. But at the risk of appearing unkind, I ask how much good has been done by those promises have done either the Jews before you or you in your present circumstances. And would you have us put our faith in such a god? Instead of being masters of the whole world, the jews today have no home of any kind."


What good is real history if no one was paying attention?
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Postby Ishtar » Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:00 pm


Same with shamanism ...


seeker wrote:You actually could make a better case with shamanism if you can tie shamanist practices in say South America or Australia with those in India. they weren't in touch with each other the way Greeks, Persians, Sumerians, etc were.


You can ... and Mircea Eliade does exactly this. But I don't think shamanism was spread, because it's not a belief system. In the same way that being taught how to breathe air didn't spread ... 8)
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Postby Ishtar » Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:33 am

To understand how those in a certain religion thought is not the same thing as believing in that religion. And sometimes, and especially in this case where the victors have written the history (and destroyed the writings of the other side) how a religion thinks is the only clue we have to understanding why they did what they did.

Political history often ignores this aspect, and it's where it falls down. It's a limited tool, to say the least. It's great for recording the decisions of kings and the tracking of movements of armies. But this means that it can only give us broad brushstrokes.

On the "shop window" to this section of the board, it says this:

The study of religious or heroic legends and tales. One constant rule of mythology is that whatever happens amongst the gods or other mythical beings was in one sense or another a reflection of events on earth. Recorded myths and legends, perhaps preserved in literature or folklore, have an immediate interest to archaeology in trying to unravel the nature and meaning of ancient events and traditions.


So that's what we do in this section of the board.

It isn't about whether certain peoples were right or wrong to think as they do. It's about being a little more scientific than that, and just examining it as closely (almost forensically) as we can, without passing value judgements based on our views.

OK - mission statement over! :D
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Postby Ishtar » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:19 am

Seeker

I have just come across an interesting thought on the Serpent Cult from GRS Mead in his Introduction to the Gnostic gospel, Pistis Sophia. He is discussing the origins of Gnosticism and thus Christianity (which he believes stems from it) as a development of Ophitism, which is the polite word for the Serpent cult.

“The question of the sect or even grouping to which the Pistis Sophia literature should be assigned is still more difficult. To call it “Ophitic” is nebulous at best. Ophitism in Gnosticism is ill-defined if not chaotic, owing to the confusing indications of the Church Fathers. They called Ophitic or classed as Ophitic very different sects who never used the name for themselves. It ought to mean people either who worshipped the serpent or in whose symbolism or mythology serpent played the most characteristic or dominant role. But most of what we are told of the views and doctrines of circles directly referred to under the appropbrious designation (as it is clearly intended to be by the heresiologists) and of those brought into close connection with them, has not the slightest reference to what by hypothesis should have been their chief cult symbol.

Sed et serpens
is conspicuous by its absence. All that we can legitimately say is that along this confused line of heredity, we have to push back our researches in any endeavour to discover the earliest developments of Gnosticism in Christian circles. These took place unquestionably from a Syrian ground and doubtless had already a long heredity behind them, former phases of syncretism, blendings of Babylonian, Persian, Semitic and other elements.

The ‘Ophitic’ elements in Pistis Sophia are of Syrian origin, but developed on Egyptian soil. If there is also a slight Hellenizing tingeing, it is not of a philosophising nature.


Of course, Mead was writing in 1921, and archaeology has brought a lot to light since. In addition, much of the serpent nature of the teachings would be hidden - the hidden wisdom. So perhaps Mead didn't notice that the OPH of Ophism is hidden in her name, Sophia. Equally Sophia means wisdom in Greek, and the serpent is always a symbol of wisdom.

So that Christianity is a cleaned up version of a Sumerian/Egyptian serpent cult is a distinct probablity and I will put up some pictures to show what I mean in the next post.
Last edited by Ishtar on Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Ishtar » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:23 am

Here is some evidence in pictures in chronological order showing how the serpent cult can be traced as far back as Sumer and then weaves its way (sorry!) through the region and Judaeo-Christianity until it ends up in a church in Shropshire.

Here is the Sumerian ‘wise serpent’. EA. It's important to remember that in mythology, serpents are always deemed wise and in no way the evil Devil or Satan.

Image

This was found on the walls of the Denderah Temple in Egypt. It is an illustration to symbolise a shamanic (or tantric yogic) technique used in the Rites of Isis.

Image

This is the Greek Oracle at Delphi. She was known as a Pythoness.

Image

Stained glass window illustration of Moses and the serpent on the cross at Wadham College Chapel, Oxford.

Image

The Gnostic Cathars’ cross:

Image


From a church in Sion in Switzerland:

Image

From a church in Shropshire, England.

Image

Many churches in England were built by the Knights Templars, who were carrying on the sacred architecture traditions of the Dionysiac Architects.
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Postby seeker » Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:46 am

Maybe it would be helpful if you defined what the serpent cult is.
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Postby Ishtar » Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:20 am

Seeker

It’s even more difficult to find anything on Ophism than it is Gnosticism. Presumably it was an oral, secret teaching that had as its focus the wise serpent. But all that remains of it is the evidence it left, which has been reported on by various renown Greek and Roman historians, like Diodorus Siculus, Pliny and Thucydides.

There was a 19th century Freemason and Rosicrucian called Hargrave Jennings who pulled together the Greek and Roman historians accounts of their evidence for it worldwide in his book published in 1889: Ophiolatreia: An Account of the Rites and Mysteries Connected with the Origin, Rise, and Development of Serpent Worship.

He says that:

Sanchoniathon [pre-Christian Phoenician author] makes mention of a history which he once wrote upon the worship of the serpent. The title of this work, according to Eusebius, was Ethothion, or Ethothia. Another treatise upon the same subject was written by Pherecydes Tyrus, which was probably a copy of the former; for he is said to have composed it from some previous accounts of the Phoenicians. The title of his book was the Theology of Ophion, styled Ophioneus, and his worshippers were called Ophionidae.


Here’s an extract from Jennings book: I’m putting the whole extract rather than asking you to go to the website where I found it – otherwise you will have to wade through a load of rubbish about Nephilim taking over the earth and references to Zecharia Sitchin as an authority.

(The headings are mine, in order to break it up a bit)

Egypt

In Egypt was a serpent named Thermuthis, which was looked upon as very sacred; and the natives are said to have made use of it as a royal tiara, with which they ornamented the statues of Isis.

We learn from Diodorus Siculus (Greek historian, 1st century) that the kings of Egypt wore high bonnets, which terminated in a round ball, and the whole was surrounded by figures of asps. The priests, likewise, upon their bonnets had the representation of serpents.

The ancients had a notion that when Saturn devoured his own children, his wife Ops deceived him by substituting a large stone in lieu of one of his sons, which stone was called Abadir. But Ops and Opis, represented here as a feminine, was the serpent deity, and Abadir is the same personage under a different denomination. Abadir seems to be a variation of Ob-Adur, and signifies the serpent god Orus.

One of these stones, which Saturn was supposed to have swallowed instead of a child, stood, according to Pausanias, at Delphi. It was esteemed very sacred, and used to have libations of wine poured upon it daily; and upon festivals was otherwise honoured. The purport of the above was probably this: it was for a long time a custom to offer children at the altar of Saturn; but in process of time they removed it, and in its room erected a stone pillar, before which they made their vows, and offered sacrifices of another nature.

This stone which they thus substituted was called Ab-Adar, from the deity represented by it. The term Ab generally signifies a father, but in this instance it certainly relates to a serpent, which was indifferently styled Ab, Aub, and Ob. Some regard Abadon, or, as it is mentioned in the Book of the Revelation, Abaddon, to have been the name of the same Ophite god, with whose worship the world had been so long infected. He is termed Abaddon, the angel of the bottomless pit - the prince of darkness. In another place he is described as the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan.

Hence the learned Heinsius is supposed to be right in the opinion which he has given upon this passage, when he makes Abaddon the same as the serpent Pytho.

Persia

It is said that in the ritual of Zoroaster the great expanse of the heavens, and even nature itself, was described under the symbol of a serpent. [Note: Eusebius.] The like was mentioned in the Octateuch of Ostanes; and moreover, in Persia and in other parts of the East they erected temples to the serpent tribe, and held festivals to their honour, esteeming them the supreme of all Gods, and the superintendants of the whole world.

Chaldeans


The worship began among the people of Chaldea. They built the city Opis upon the Tigris, and were greatly addicted to divination and to the worship of the serpent. From Chaldea the worship passed into Egypt, where the serpent deity was called Canoph, Caneph, and C'neph. It had also the name of Ob, or Oub, and was the same as the Basilicus, or Royal Serpent; the same also as the Thermuthis, and in like manner was made use of by way of ornament to the statues of their Gods.

Obelisks

The chief Deity of Egypt is said to have been Vulcan, who was also styled Opas, as we learn from Cicero. He was the same as Osiris, the Sun; and hence was often called Ob-El, or Pytho-Sol; and there were pillars sacred to him, with curious hieroglyphically inscriptions, which had the same name. They were very lofty, and narrow in comparison of their length; hence among the Greeks, who copied from the Egyptians, everything gradually tapering to a point was styled Obelos, and Obeliscus. Ophel (Oph-El) was a name of the same purport, and many sacred mounds, or Tapha, were thus denominated from the serpent Deity, to whom they were sacred.

Ethiopians

Thoth and Athoth were certainly titles of the Deity in the Gentile world; and the book of Sanchoniathon might very possibly have been from hence named Ethothion, or more truly, Athothion. But, from the subject upon which it was written, as well as from the treatise of Pherecydes, we have reason to think that Athothion, or Ethothion, was a mistake for Ath-Ophion, a title which more immediately related to that worship of which the writer treated. Ath was a sacred title, as we have shewn, and we imagine that this dissertation did not barely relate to the serpentine Deity, but contained accounts of his votaries, the Ophites, the principal of which were the sons of Chus. The worship of the serpent began among them, and they were from thence denominated Ethiopians, and Aithopians, which the Greeks rendered Aithiopes. They did not receive this name from their complexion, as has sometimes been surmised, for the branch of Phut and the Luhim, were probably of a deeper dye; but they were most likely so called from Ath-Ope, and Ath-Opis, the God which they worshipped.

This may be shewn from Pliny. He says that the country Ethiopia (and consequently the people), had the name of Aethiop, from a personage who was a Deity - ob Aethiope Vulcani filio.

The Aethiopes brought these rites into Greece, and called the island where they first established them Ellopia, Solis Serpentis insula. It was the same as Euboea, a name of the like purport, in which island was a region named Ethiopium. Euboea is properly Oub-Aia, and signifies, the Serpent Island. The same worship prevailed among the Hyperboreans, as we may judge from the names of the sacred women who used to come annually to Delos; they were priestesses of the Tauric Goddess. Hercules was esteemed the chief God, the same as Chronus, and was said to have produced the Mundane egg. He was represented in the Orphic theology under the mixed symbol of a lion and a serpent, and sometimes of a serpent only.

Cuthites

The Cuthites, under the title of Heliadae, having settled at Rhodes, as they were Hivites, or Ophites, the island was in consequence named Ophiusa. There was likewise a tradition that it had once swarmed with serpents. (Bochart says the island is said to have been named Rhodus from Rhad, a Syriac word for a serpent). The like notion prevailed almost in every place where they settled. They came under the more general titles of Leleges and Pelasgi; but more particularly of Elopians, Europians, Oropians, Asopians, Inopians, Ophionians, and Aethiopes, as appears from the names which they bequeathed; and in most places where they resided there were handed down traditions which alluded to their original title of Ophites.

Mediterranean countries

In Phrygia, and upon the Hellespont, whither they sent out colonies very early, was a people styled the Ophiogeneis, or the serpent breed, who were said to retain an affinity and correspondence with serpents; and a notion prevailed that some hero, who had conducted them, was changed from a serpent to a man. In Colchis was a river Ophis, and there was another of the same name in Arcadia. It was so named from a body of people who settled upon its banks, and were said to have been conducted by a serpent.

It is said these reptiles are seldom found in islands, but that Tenos, one of the Cyclades, was supposed to have once swarmed with them. [Note: Aristoph.]

Thucydides mentions a people of Aetotia, called Ophionians; and the temple of Apollo at Petara, in Lycia, seems to have had its first institution from a priestess of the same name. The island of Cyprus was called Ophiusa, and Ophiodes, from the serpents with which it was supposed to have abounded. Of what species they were is nowhere mentioned, excepting only that about Paphos there was said to have been a kind of serpent with two legs. By this is meant the Ophite race, who came from Egypt, and from Syria, and got footing in this island.

They settled also in Crete, where they increased greatly in numbers; so that Minos was said by an unseemly allegory, opheis ouresai, serpentes, minxisse. The island Seriphus was one vast rock, by the Romans called saxum seriphium, and made use of as a large kind of prison for banished persons. It is represented as having once abounded with serpents, and it is styled by Virgil, serpentifera, as the passage is corrected by Scaliger.

It is said by the Greeks that Medusa's head was brought by Perseus; by this is meant the serpent Deity, whose worship was here introduced by people called Peresians. Medusa's head denoted divine wisdom, and the island was sacred to the serpent, as is apparent from its name. The Athenians were esteemed Serpentiginae, and they had a tradition that the chief guardian of their Acropolis was a serpent.

It is reported of the goddess Ceres that she placed a dragon for a guardian to her temple at Eleusis, and appointed another to attend upon Erectheus. Aegeus of Athens, according to Androtion, was of the serpent breed, and the first king of the country is said to have been a dragon. Others make Cecrops the first who reigned. He is said to have been of a two-fold nature, being formed with the body of a man blended with that of a serpent.

Diodorus says that this was a circumstance deemed by the Athenians inexplicable; yet he labours to explain it by representing Cecrops as half a man and half a brute, because he had been of two different communities. Eustathius likewise tries to solve it nearly upon the same principles, and with the like success. Some have said of Cecrops that he underwent a metamorphosis, being changed from a serpent to a man. By this was meant, according to Eustathius, that Cecrops by coming into Hellas divested himself of all the rudeness and barbarity of his country, and became more civilised and human. This is declared by some to be too high a compliment to be paid to Greece in its infant state, and detracts greatly from the character of the Egyptians. The learned Marsham therefore animadverts with great justice, "it is more probable that he introduced into Greece the urbanity of his own country, than that he was beholden to Greece for anything from thence."

In respect to the mixed character of this personage, we may easily account for it. Cecrops was certainly a title of the Deity, who was worshipped under this emblem. Something of the like nature was mentioned of Triptolemus and Erichtonius, and the like has been said of Hercules. The natives of Thebes in Boeotia, like the Athenians, esteemed themselves of the serpent race. The Lacedaemonians likewise referred themselves to the same original. Their city is said of old to have swarmed with serpents.

The same is said of the city Amyelae in Italy, which was of Spartan origin. They came hither in such abundance that it was abandoned by the inhabitants. Argos was infested in the same manner till Apis came from Egypt and settled in that city. He was a prophet, the reputed son of Apollo, and a person of great skill and sagacity, and to him they attributed the blessing of having their country freed from this evil. Thus the Argives gave the credit to this imaginary personage of clearing their land of this grievance, but the brood came from the very quarter from whence Apis was supposed to have arrived. They were certainly Hivites from Egypt, and the same story is told of that country. It is represented as having been of old over-run with serpents, and almost depopulated through their numbers.

Diodorus Siculus seems to understand this literally, but a region that was annually overflowed, and that too for so long a season, could not well be liable to such a calamity. They were serpents of another nature with which it was thus infested, and the history relates to the Cuthites, the original Ophitae, who for a long time possessed that country. They passed from Egypt to Syria, and to the Euphrates, and mention is made of a particular breed of serpents upon that river, which were harmless to the natives but fatal to anybody else. This can hardly be taken literally; for whatever may be the wisdom of the serpent it cannot be sufficient to make these distinctions. These serpents were of the same nature as the birds of Diomedes, and the dogs in the temple of Vulcan; and the histories relate to Ophite priests, who used to spare their own people and sacrifice strangers, a custom which prevailed at one time in most parts of the world. The Cuthite priests are said to have been very learned; and, as they were Ophites, whoever had the advantage of their information was said to have been instructed by serpents.

As the worship of the serpent was of old so prevalent, many places, as well as people, from thence received their names. Those who settled in Campania were called Opici, which some would have changed to Ophici, because they were denominated from serpents. They are in reality both names of the same purport, and denote the origin of the people.
We meet with places called Opis, Ophis, Ophitaea, Ophionia, Ophioessa, Ophiodes, and Ophiusa. This last was an ancient name by which, according to Stephanus, the islands Rhodes, Cynthus, Besbicus, Tenos, and the whole continent of Africa, were distinguished. There were also cities so-called. Add to these places denominated Oboth, Obona, and reversed, Onoba, from Ob, which was of the same purport.

There’s more ... but I’ll leave it for now ...!!

Image
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Postby seeker » Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:40 am

The big question I have is are these unrelated cults that shared the serpent as a symbol or was there some commonality in the way the worshiped the serpent
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Postby Ishtar » Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:49 am

That's not known, Seeker. I haven't been able to find anything on that in the public domain.

I think it's relevance here, though, is to see how maintained keep a sort of underground presence right through Judaeo-Chrstianity. How the Jewish and Christians stories were possibly based on it ... certainly they used the imagery and post-Christian Ophites practised the Eucharist, which I think is the story of Melchizedek and Abraham or Ab-ram (king of serpents).
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Postby seeker » Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:31 pm

That's cool. I just wonder if that doesn't more likely mean that a lot of people in ancient cultures hated snakes.
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Postby john » Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:34 pm

seeker wrote:The big question I have is are these unrelated cults that shared the serpent as a symbol or was there some commonality in the way the worshiped the serpent



All -

Once again, I will present the fallacy of the argument of

Multiple Simultaneous Independent Invention

By peoples widely geographically separated,

Vs. ancient and ongoing communication, travel, and trade among said peoples.

"Boats, hematite"

What is interesting to me

Is that nobody seems willing to pick up the gauntlet.


hoka hey


john


ps

I will repeat a post/reference I made a while back re: Hopi snake Ceremonies, by none other than Theodore Roosevelt.

http://www.worldspirituality.org/hopi-snake-dance.html

So where are the Gnostics, or Christians, in this arena?


j
"Man is a marvellous curiosity. When he is at his very, very best he is sort of a low-grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm."

Mark Twain
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Postby Ishtar » Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:49 am

john wrote:
I will repeat a post/reference I made a while back re: Hopi snake Ceremonies, by none other than Theodore Roosevelt.

http://www.worldspirituality.org/hopi-snake-dance.html

So where are the Gnostics, or Christians, in this arena?


Well, John, I think I can answer your question, and show you the join between serpent worship (as in your Hopi snake ceremony) and Gnosticism.

In Palestine, serpent worship later became Ophism, and this Gnostic sect appears to have its serpent imagery well hidden under layers of prudish petticoats - aka allegory. Iranaeus thunders against the Ophites in his Against Heresies.

The story of Pistis Sophia, one of the Nag Hammadi gospels, is basically set 11 days after the crucifixion and is about Jesus giving the hidden wisdom mystery teachings to Mary, Peter and Thomas.

Here is an extract from the introduction to Pistis Sophia from Mead:

"In this tradition, there must have been a supreme personage possessing characteristics that could be brought into close connection with their ideal of the Saviour, for they equate a certain Aberamentho with him.”

[as discussed earlier, AB means serpent, and with RAM means ‘king of serpents’ – Ish]

“The name occurs once or twice elsewhere; but who or what it suggested, we do not know. In any case, as they utilised and attempted to sublimate so much else which was considered by many in those days to be most venerable, in order that they might extend and exalt the glory of the Saviour and take up into it what they considered the best of everything, so did they with what was presumably the highest they could find in the hoary tradition of magical power, which had enjoyed empery for so long in the antique world and still continued to maintain itself even in religio-philosophical circles, where we should, from the modern standpoint, least expect to find it.”

Mead, writing at the end of the 19th century, has interpreted the Gnostics' Pistis Sophia as incorporating the symbols of previous spiritual/magical beliefs in order to make their own new one more acceptable.

I don’t necessarily interpret it that way. I think that this brand of Gnosticism could actually be the serpent cult with clothes on. I read somewhere of Ophites performing a Eucharist with bread and wine and a snake. This would be in keeping with the Eleusinian Mystery Rites where the initiates would file in procession past actors impersonating Demeter and Persephone and take cakes from a basket which also contained a snake.

Basically, the serpent is synonymous with 'wisdom', as was Sophia. The Wisdom books of the OT are probably also the serpent dressed up in his Sunday best to look respectable.

John, in a nutshell, I'm coming to the following broad brush stroke view, or at least, impression of what happened in the Middle East:

1. Palaeolithic shamanism led to

2. Neolithic serpent wisdom rituals, which led to

3. Mystery serpent wisdom teachings of Bacchus/Orpheus, which led to

4. Gnostic serpent wisdom teachings of Moses and Joshua/Jesus, which led to

5. Literalism.


All of those in the above list require two, three and sometimes more initiations - apart from Literalism which only requires one. The one that Literalism requires is the first one of a stepped process. Literalists, in other words, miss out the rest of the process, which is what Valentinus tried to point out to them and was probably why he got fired.

The Sumerians had EA, the serpent of wisdom. The Egyptians had the mundane egg and two serpents. The Zoroastrians/ Magi are also in there somewhere with their two serpents circling the mundane egg, and would have had an influence during the Hasmonean period. And they, in turn, I believe, would have been influenced by the Indians with their king of the serpents, Nagabushana Vyalakalpa, aka Siva.

Image

Appollonius of Tyana (b. 40 BCE), the Greek philosopher, visited the Naga (serpent) kings of India and Kashmir, but the Greeks already had Sophia from Pythagorus's times (c 500 BCE). The name of Delphi was originally Pytho - where the Oracle or Pythoness was asked for prophecies. Pythagorus's father asked the Pythoness at Pytho about the upcoming birth of his son - and then he named his son Pythagorus after that Pythoness. So this means that the Greeks had the serpent before Pythagorus, and in fact Pytho gets its name from the mythological python slain by Apollo. (The same story is told in the Rig Veda, where it was Indra who slayed Vritra, the water serpent and, of course, we can now see where George and the Dragon comes from).

I think the two roads from Jewish and Christian Gnosticism to Jewish and Christian Literalism may have been more or less parallel, and devolve from Alexandria and Antioch.

On your gauntlet throwing, I won’t be taking it up because there is only one way that that discussion can go - Stone Age boats. I know most threads on this board usually default to Stone Age boats in the end, but we are not yet ready here to go the way of all flesh.

(I'm just waiting for someone to ask: Which came first, the serpent or the mundane egg? :D )



.
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Postby kbs2244 » Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:53 am

There are many so called “mounds” across NA in the shape of snakes.
The most famous in Ohio.
They often show an open mouth with an egg in front of it.
It has been long said that the snake was about to eat the egg, bit lately there has been some discussion of the ides that the snake was vomiting up the egg.
In effect, giving birth.


http://greatserpentmound.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpent_Mound

http://www.mysteriousworld.com/Journal/ ... pentMound/
kbs2244
 
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