How could such simplicity leave a history pockmarked with deities and atrocities, greed and generosity, devotion and animosity, megalomania and humility? And the embellishments upon his story that grew from generation to generation have often served only to cloud the message of Yeshua HaNazarei (Yeshua became Iesous in Greece and Jesus at the Council of Nicea in AD 325).

We know the following as historical fact:

  • Maryām was a Nazarene who fled her native town with Yossef to Bethlehem, pregnant at the age of thirteen: a necessary flight, as the conception took place before the marriage, she feared being stoned to death.
  • They named their boy Yeshua—Aramaic for “rescuer” or “deliverer.”
  • Around the age of thirty, Yeshua began to speak publicly.
  • Three years later he was crucified for being a vagrant, rabble-rouser, who criticized the greed & hypocrisy of the Romans and Jews in authority.
  • Saul, a Jew and a citizen of Rome, set out in AD 35 to destroy any who spoke of Yeshua. Then something changed: logging in 10,000 miles over thirty years, he spread Yeshua’s teachings under the name of “Paul” before being beheaded by Nero in AD 68.
  • Soon after the death of Paul, the first written accounts of the words of Jesus appeared, now known as The Gospel of Mark.


As the followers of Jesus multiplied and flourished so also arose the need to contain, organize and develop a fixed doctrine out of the far-reaching wildfire. And this is when dogma began to seize the day.

In AD 180 Irenaeus, a Greek-Christian, took it upon himself to organize the written words attributed to the prophet from Israel and stamp out the sects of Gnosticism that threatened the centralized control of a burgeoning religious organization. And as the earth was considered to be flat and had four corners, he reasoned that there could only be four gospels. “There are four winds, four directions on the compass, four elements and four pillars of the church, therefore must be only four gospels.” He chose Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Yet by his very account we know that many others existed and he mentions Thomas, Philip, Judas and Mary Magdalene by name.


Who were the Gnostics and what did Irenaeus fear?

They were mystic followers of Jesus who understood who sought an inner “knowing” of self and the divine through transcendence—a direct relationship with God rather than the need for an authoritarian church. Furthermore, the Gnostic writings portrayed Mary Magdalene’s position in the life of Jesus as that of intimate consort, unacceptable at a time when a woman’s place was that of subservient silence. As the Gnostics did not possess an effective system of organization, the scattered sects were powerless against the forces that considered them heretics, relentlessly persecuting them to annihilation.

In 1945, in Nag Hammadi, Northern Egypt, twelve leather-bound papyrus codices containing fifty-two Gnostic treatises were found, buried and sealed in earthenware jars by two brothers as they were digging for fertilizer. This discovery altered established precepts of Christian doctrine for all time and sent a tremor throughout a world that had any doubt of the existence of Jesus or the truth of his words for, unearthed some 1,800 years after Irenaeus’ edict, the Gnostic Gospels corroborate and compliment the known gospels, yet contribute a fresh perspective.


The Gospel of Thomas adds, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you…There is a perfect light in our heart…Blessed are you who are solitary, for you will find the realm…You search heaven and earth, but do not know to understand the present…If circumcision were useful, children would already be born circumcised…

The Gospel of Mary Magdalene says, “I tell you the child is within you all…One perceives through neither soul nor spirit buy by mind, which mediates between both; visions are mental… Sister, we know that the savior loved you more than the rest and often kissed you on the mouth…”

The Gospel of Philip: “The worldly understand all, but fail to know themselves…Light and dark, life and death, right and left, are inseparable twins…If you do not receive the light while here, you will not be able to receive it in the other place.” And he recognizes Magdalene as Jesus’ companion by saying, “His sister, his mother and his companion were each Mary.”

The Gospel of Judas: “…There is a great and boundless realm, whose extent no generation of angels has seen, in which there is a great invisible Spirit…the star that leads the way is your star.”

bWhat, then, may we surmise as the truth pertaining to the Isrealite? Did he, in his own words, claim that he came into this world in any way other than the universal miracle of creation as did we, his brothers and sisters? Did he say he was God, or the son of God and that we were all children of the same God and of the same source? Did he speak in parables so that we could understand a deeper intention? Did he mean his physical body would rise or was he referring to his astral body?

In AD 180 there was a 90% illiteracy rate. Today that number stands on its head with close to 99% literacy in North & South America, Europe and the Middle East Basin.

We can now read with an open mind.

Beth Wallace