Pythagoras and Ezekiel

The Book of Ezekiel opens near the Kebar River in Syria and Turkey, when the narrator sees the heavens open and has revelations of God.

If this setting sounds like the Book of Revelation, it is because it is; Revelation makes several clear and obvious references to Ezekiel, to the point where the two books might very well have been used in conjunction by certain groups.  Of course, Ezekiel preceded Revelation by (at least) several hundred years.

One of my speculations is that Revelation was an important text for early Christians, notably those that were considered “Paulinists”.  The links between the Paulinist-Marcionites and Revelation are clear, specifically when reading 2 Corin 12-13, along with indications about (Marcionite) Apelles’ relationship to Philumene, and her book of revelations.  Further, I suspect Revelation was derivative of the Elcesite “book from heaven” which Eusebius described (alternatively, the Elcesite book was simply the Book of Nahum).

If one interprets Galatians 3:1 as a clue into the Christian mystery (“in front of your own eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified”), then what this implies is that Paul’s “Gospel”, often referenced in his epistles, included dramatic depictions for would-be Christians who lived many hundreds of miles away from the geographic location in which Jesus lived.

Therefore, items for consumption in Pauline Christianity were the spoken word (which would taste sweet but make the stomach bitter), parameter-defining epistles, and Revelation (2 Corin 12:2-4).

One dissonance that becomes evident when one investigates early Christianity is how remarkably Christianity was adopted by Greek-thinking philosophers – why on Earth would a barely-literate Judean preacher have appealed to forward-thinking, sophisticated Greek philosophers?  Christian Gnosticism, for example, has remarkable Platonic and Pythagorean elements.  Indeed, some of the earliest examples where Christianity met the secular world (notably Justin Martyr) indicate clear Greek influence.

cm_earliestAs I have mentioned in earlier posts, the Elcesites, Hemerobaptists, and Essenes (and by extension, the Nasoreans) seem to be at the root of groups that gave rise to Christianity, Mandaeanism, and Manicheanism; like the Ebionites, the Elcesites hated Paul.  This is an intriguing detail, given Paul’s likely claim to be the Paraclete.  Mani, a 3rd century son of an Elcesite, similarly claimed to be the Paraclete.

The reason I reference these groups is because a curious feature of many of these Christian implementations: they often presumed a high God other than Yahweh.  For instance, the Marcionites and Valentinians presumed an unknown God above Yahweh.  Manichean literature makes clear reference to the Zoroastrian God.

In this sense, Christianity was an interchangeable module that fit into any number of religions, most effectively in religions that recognized some notion of a middle-layer creator/Demiurge.

It is quite interesting then that Ezekiel, the supposed author of the Book of Ezekiel was considered by several early commenters as Nazaratus Assyrius, a teacher to Pythagoras.

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Author: Tim...Stepping Out

Tim Stepping Out

3 thoughts on “Pythagoras and Ezekiel”

    1. Maybe he’s a Gnostic or a Marcionite. I’ve heard a few people try to claim that the Christian God and the Jewish God weren’t the same God…I just chalked it up to people being dimwits. Maybe there’s some kind of current like that out there.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. @john zande
    I’ve heard something similar to that. Right now there are about 40,000 different Christian denominations all claiming to offer the only path to forgiveness and salvation. Here in the Philippines there’s a notorious Christian cult named “Church of Christ”. One of their doctrines is that Jesus is not equal to God the Father nor he is a God but rather a human in his highest form like he’s Captain America only Jewish. The basis of this doctrine comes from John 4:24 that says God is a spirit. And of course, a spirit like god doesn’t have flesh and bones like Jesus who is a man (Luke 24:39). Little do every Christian knew, that Lukan passage is a polemic against Gnosticism especially Marcion who preaches that Ιησους χρηστο (Iesous Chresto) is a phantom from the divine light or pleroma who was crucified by the archons in the heavens. It gets more interesting since Tacitus allegedly have written that Nero persecuted Christians but called them Chrestians (Annals, 15.44) [1] and in Suetonius’ Life of Claudius, he said that “[Those] Jews impelled by Chrestos to assiduously cause tumult, [Claudius] expelled out of Rome.” None of these two writings are legit evidences for the existence of Jesus of NT. I’m thinking that the Tacitus passage had been forged especially it only became cited in the 14th century and the earliest extant copy dates to around 11th century, but I have little doubt that the Suetonius passage is genuine. He may not refer to Jesus of Nazareth but that short sentence could may well refer to Gnostics as the followers of “Isu Chresto/Jesus the Good”.

    [1] In the Latin manuscript that is the basis of this particular translation, Tacitus refers to a “Christus,” with an “i,” but he claims the “class hated for their abominations” were called “Chrestians,” with an “e,” meaning “the good” or “the useful,” etc., rather than “followers of Christ.” However, the manuscript tradition of the Annals also reveals that the word “Christus” has been interchanged with “Chrestus,” presenting yet another difficulty in discerning an original, and reflecting that the text has been altered.
    -Murdock, DM, Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of the Christ, Stellar House Publishing, LLC, Seattle, WA: 2007, p. 94

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