Another early Christian writing found- the, 'Gospel of the Lots of Mary'

by fulltimestudent 5 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • fulltimestudent

    This document is fascinating.It reveals the important role that magic played in the lives of early Christians.

    Ancient Gospel Opening

    Dated to the sixth century CE, the opening lines, written in Coptic, read (as translated):

    "The Gospel of the lots of Mary, the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, she to whom Gabriel the Archangel brought the good news. He who will go forward with his whole heart will obtain what he seeks. Only do not be of two minds."

    This is an interesting document, it demonstrates how early Christianity had developed.

    Anne Marie Luijendijk, a professor of religion at Princeton University, discovered that this newfound gospel is like no other. "When I began deciphering the manuscript and encountered the word 'gospel' in the opening line, I expected to read a narrative about the life and death of Jesus as the canonical gospels present, or a collection of sayings similar to the Gospel of Thomas (a non-canonical text)," she wrote in her book "Forbidden Oracles? The Gospel of the Lots of Mary" (Mohr Siebeck, 2014). 
    What she found instead was a series of 37 oracles, written vaguely, and with only a few that mention Jesus.
    The text would have been used for divination, Luijendijk said. A person seeking an answer to a question could have sought out the owner of this book, asked a question, and gone through a process that would randomly select one of the 37 oracles to help find a solution to the person's problem. The owner of the book could have acted as a diviner, helping to interpret the written oracles, she said.
    Alternatively, the text could have been owned by someone who, when confronted with a question, simply opened an oracle at random to seek an answer.

    quoted from the Livescience report on this document.

  • fulltimestudent

    Here's another example:

    Oracle 25

    An image of the gospel's 25th oracle. This oracle translates as "Go, make your vows. And what you promised, fulfill it immediately. Do not be of two minds, because God is merciful. It is he who will bring about your request for you and do away with the affliction in your heart."Credit: Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Mrs. Beatrice Kelekian in memory of her husband, Charles Dikran Kelekian, 1984.669
  • fulltimestudent

    My own suggestion is that these Egyptian Christians used documents like these to search for solutions to some of the life-problems that are common to most humans.

    Pagans of that era did much the same and this document shows that Christians of that era were doing.

    It's possible that, in ancient times, the book was used by a diviner at the Shrine of Saint Colluthus in Egypt, a "Christian site of pilgrimage and healing," Luijendijk wrote. At this shrine, archaeologists have found texts with written questions, indicating that the site was used for various forms of divination.
    "Among the services offered to visitors of the shrine were dream incubation, ritual bathing, and both book and ticket divination," Luijendijk wrote. 
  • Earnest

    AnneMarie Luijendijk has published the codex with a translation here.

    The practice of casting lots to obtain an answer was widespread in antiquity; it was a method applied in decision-making on all levels of ancient society.

    As a religious practice, lot divination was also highly contested, as access to these practices and thus to the divine meant control of powers, religiously and socially.

  • Crazyguy
    Good stuff, there's so many writings that never made it into the Bible that show a lot of light on the reality of Christianity. 
  • davidmitchell

    Christianity would be so different it it had not accepted what became the canonical writings but followed the Gnostic writings/teachings instead. Unlike the stock answer of Christianity to awkward questions - 'It's a mystery! 'or some disjointed ramblings  - at least the Gnostics attempted to find coherent answers to the problems.of life and suffering.

Share this