isis unveiled, vol 2: chapter iv (gnostic ophites)

“Later, when all these extraordinary blunders, contradictions, dissensions, and inventions were forcibly crammed into a frame elaborately executed by the episcopal caste of the new religion, and called Christianity; and the chaotic picture itself cunningly preserved from too close scrutiny by a whole array of formidable Church penances and anathemas, which kept the curious back under the false pretense of sacrilege and profanation of divine mysteries’ and millions of people had been butchered in the name of the God of mercy – then came the Reformation.

It certainly deserves its name in the fullest paradoxical sense. It abandoned Peter and alleges to have chosen Paul for its only leader. And the apostle who thundered against the old law of bondage; who left full liberty to Christians to either observe the Sabbath or set it aside; who rejects everything anterior to John the Baptist, is now the professed standard-bearer of Protestantism, which holds to the old law more than the Jews, imprisons those who view the Sabbath as Jesus and Paul did, and outvies the synagogue of the first century in dogmatic intolerance!

But who then were the first Christians, may still be asked. Doubtless the Ebionites; and in this we follow the authority of the best critics. “There can be little doubt the author of Clementine Homilies was a representative of Ebionitic Gnosticism, which had once been the purest form of primitive Christianity.” And who were the Ebionites? The pupils and followers of the early Nazarenes, the kabalistic Gnostics. In the preface to the Codex Nazaraeus, the translator says: “That also the Nazarenes did not reject…the Aeons is natural. For the Ebionites who acknowledged them, (the Aeons), there were the instructors.”

We find, moreover, Epiphanius, the Christian Homer of the Heresies, telling us that “Ebion had the opinion of the Nazarenes, the form of the Cerinthians, (who fable that the world was put together by angels), and the appellation of Christians.” An appellation certainly more correctly applied to them than to the orthodox, (so-called), Christians of the school of Irenaeus and the later Vatican.

Renan shows the Ebionites numbering among their sect all the surviving relatives of Jesus. John the Baptist, his cousin and precursor, was the accepted Saviour of the Nazarenes, and their prophet. His disciples dwelt on the other side of the Jordan, and the scene of the baptism of the Jordan is clearly and beyond any question proved by the author of Sod, the Son of the Man, to have been the site of the Adonis-worship.

“Over the Jordan and beyond the lake dwelt the Nazarenes, a sect said to have existed already at the birth of Jesus, and to have counted him among its number. They must have extended along the east of the Jordan, and southeasterly among the Arabians, (Galatians 1:17, 21; 2:11), and Sabaeans in the direction of Bosra; and again, they must have gone far north over the Lebanon to Antioch, also to the northeast to the Nazarian settlement in Beroea, where St. Jerome found them. In the desert the Mysteries of Adonis may have still prevailed; in the mountains Aiai Adonai was still a cry.””

H. P. Blavatsky

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