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Help A Young Secular Historian Shed Light on the Origins of Christianity

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Rook hard at workThis article appeared in the SSA eMpirical No. 18 - It's Spring, We Think.

Who were the Gnostics and what happened to them? Where did their ideas stem from? Were the first Christians a branch of Gnostics? How did they influence the early Christian world and later Orthodoxy? These are just some of the questions Rook Hawkins addresses in his upcoming book, "Discovering the Gnostics: A Look at the Evolution of Mystery Cults in the Early Christian World."

Rook Hawkins argues that a sect of Hellenized Jews formed around a movement bent on establishing a new temple - with a savior that could not be killed. This group of Jews sought to destroy the idea of the temple by using a spiritual savior who fulfilled all the purposes of the Temple, and allowed for others to experience it without the corruption of the Priests.

There is also strong internal evidence that Paul converted to this sect of Gnostics - although Paul fashioned a new sect of Gnostic Christians in which he felt the Jewish laws were inferior to the new laws of the higher God - the father of Christ Jesus - who was more powerful then that of the Jewish God Yahweh. In fact he disagrees heavily with Peter and James on various doctrines, in which he criticizes all those who are part of the psyche and encourages those who are part of the pneumatic.

Of the psyche, are those who follow that of the demiurgically laws, those of the corruptible flesh. Those of the pneuma follow that of the revelations of the spirit, the revealer is Christ Jesus who sends word of his father, the monad - or Logos - which is attainable by the chosen through the Gnosis (knowledge). Through allegory by which those who are 'mature' in the initiation are these mysteries and esoteric teachings explained, and only via this method does one attain higher levels of gnosis and understanding of this God.

For more information on this thought-provoking book, please be sure to keep an eye out for future articles about it here on SSA! You can also access additional information on Rook Hawkins' position here and at Rook's website. If you're feeling generous, there are still some resources Rook will need to complete his citations and beef up his book. If you wish to see about ways to support him, please click the link below which will take you to Rook Hawkins' wishlist on Amazon.com.

Rook's wishlist

This article appeared in the SSA eMpirical No. 18 - It's Spring, We Think.

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