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35

 

At all costs it was important to avoid any Eastern interpretation that all men could become God-Incarnate. Thus the famous Alexandrian library had to be totally destroyed by fire and in this catastrophe most of the priceless manuscripts containing the kabalistic lore of Israel, the secret teachings of Egypt and India, perished along with the Gnostic traditions, and in this manner the Church destroyed her own roots and beginnings.

 

It is known that some of the Early Christian Saints and Sages were opposed to the doctrine of the Virgin Birth. Conybeare mentions that as late as the beginning of the Ninth Century, Elipandus of Toledo was condemned for his refusal to accept this idea. Also the Early Christian writers of Africa and Italy also persisted in entertaining disbelief, and at a much later epoch the Fratricelli attributed the same disbelief to their founder St. Francis of Assisi, who was undoubtedly a Perfect Man. So we can well appreciate that the early history of the Church was rent with dissensions, differences and exacerbations, before the Church finally managed to discipline her flock by means of craft, cruelty and credulity, which was styled orthodoxy.

 

Volumes have been written on the Baptism of Jesus and his rebirth as God-Incarnate, and various interpretations have been attached to it as time passed, showing that there was much disagreement, but the hearsay teachings of Jesus became distorted and perverted or deliberately mangled. In this book by Conybeare various birth legends are included and it is very interesting to researchers along these lines, for he avers that the idea of the baptismal regeneration of Jesus in the Jordan and His adoption as the Son of God lived on for ages. Incidentally, Mr. Conybeare, was an agnostic with no belief in the divinity of man or of Jesus. He spent most of his life translating ancient Armenian documents relating to Early Church history, hence his authority on Christian origins.

 

We hope that the Dead Sea Scrolls may bring fresh evidence of the original Christian ideas, but we understand that nothing so far has been found which approaches the Christology of Paul or of Gnosis. To our mind one of the most important discoveries is the famous Coptic bundle of papyri; one of them, the "C. G. Jung Codes," which has been translated by Professor Puech; he found that it was derived from the Valentinian Gnostic school. Dr. Puech wrote a most illuminating article in the Times Literary Supplement, (April 30, 1954) in which he gave a short summary of  “The

 

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