Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with those of the Heathen Nations of Antiquity Considering also their Origin and Meaning
Page: 2535. That, "the Christian church received from it some of the most eminent of its Fathers."
6. That, the chief doctrines of the Gnostic Christians "had been held for centuries before their time in many of the cities in Asia Minor. There, it is probable, they first came into existence as 'Mystæ,' upon the establishment of a direct intercourse with India under the Seleucidæ and the Ptolemies."
7. That, "the College of Essenes at Ephesus, the Orphics of Thrace, the Curetes of Crete, are all merely branches of one antique and common religion, and that originally Asiatic."
8. That, "the introduction of Buddhism into Egypt and Palestine [Pg 442]affords the only true solution of innumerable difficulties in the history of religion."
9. That, "Buddhism had actually been planted in the dominions of the Seleucidæ and Ptolemies (Palestine belonging to the former) before the beginning of the third century B. C. and is proved to demonstration by a passage in the edicts of Asoka."
10. That, "it is very likely that the commentaries (Scriptures) which were among them (the Essenes) were the Gospels."
11. That, "the principal doctrines and rites of the Essenes can be connected with the East, with Parsism, and especially with Buddhism."
12. That, "among the doctrines which the Essenes and Buddhists had in common was that of the Angel-Messiah."
13. That, "they (the Essenes) had a flourishing university or corporate body, established at Alexandria, in Egypt, long before the period assigned for the birth of Christ."
14. That, "the very ancient and Eastern doctrine of the Angel-Messiah had been applied to Gautama Buddha, and so it was applied to Jesus Christ by the Essenes of Egypt and Palestine, who introduced this new Messianic doctrine into Essenic Judaism and Essenic Christianity."
15. That, "we hear very little of them (the Essenes) after A. D. 40; and there can hardly be any doubt that the Essenes as a body must have embraced Christianity."
Here is the solution of the problem. The sacred books of Hindoos and Buddhists were among the Essenes, and in the library at Alexandria. The Essenes, who were afterwards called Christians, applied the legend of the Angel-Messiah—"the very ancient Eastern doctrine," which we have shown throughout this work—to Christ Jesus. It was simply a transformation of names, a transformation which had previously occurred in many cases.[442:1] After this came additions to the legend from other sources. Portions of the legends related of the Persian, Greek and Roman Saviours and Redeemers of mankind, were, from time to time, added to the already legendary history of the Christian Saviour. Thus [Pg 443]history was repeating itself. Thus the virgin-born God and Saviour, worshiped by all nations of the earth, though called by different names, was but one and the same.
In a subsequent chapter we shall see who this One God was, and how the myth originated.
Albert Revillé says:
"Alexandria, the home of Philonism, and Neo-Platonism (and we might add Essenism), was naturally the centre whence spread the dogma of the deity of Jesus Christ. In that city, through the third century, flourished a school of transcendental theology, afterwards looked upon with suspicion by the conservators of ecclesiastical doctrine, but not the less the real cradle of orthodoxy. It was still the Platonic tendency which influenced the speculations of Clement, Origen and Dionysius, and the theory of the Logos was at the foundation of their theology."[443:1]
"Many things are proposed (in this Gospel of the Egyptians) in a hidden, mysterious manner, as by our Saviour, as though he had said to his disciples, that the Father was the same person, the Son the same person, and the Holy Ghost the same person."
That this was one of the "Scriptures" of the Essenes, becomes very evident when we find it admitted by the most learned of Christian theologians that it was in existence "before either of the canonical Gospels," and that it contained the doctrine of the Trinity, a doctrine not established in the Christian church until A. D. 327, but which was taught by this Buddhist sect in Alexandria, in Egypt, which has been well called, "Egypt, the land of Trinities."
The learned Dr. Grabe thought it was composed by some Christians in Egypt, and that it was published before either of the canonical Gospels. Dr. Mill also believed that it was composed before either of the canonical Gospels, and, what is more important than all, that the authors of it were Essenes.
These "Scriptures" of the Essenes were undoubtedly amalgamated with the "Gospels" of the Christians, the result being the canonical Gospels as we now have them. The "Gospel of the Hebrews," and such like, on the one hand, and the "Gospel of the Egyptians," or Essenes, and such like, on the other. That the "Gospel of the Hebrews" spoke of Jesus of Nazareth as the son of Joseph and Mary, according to the flesh, and that it taught nothing about his miracles, his resurrection from the dead, and other such [Pg 444]prodigies, is admitted on all hands. That the "Scriptures" of the Essenes contained the whole legend of the Angel-Messiah, which was afterwards added to the history of Jesus, making him a Christ, or an Anointed Angel, is a probability almost to a certainty. Do we now understand how all the traditions and legends, originally Indian, escaping from the great focus through Egypt, were able to reach Judea, Greece and Rome?
To continue with our subject, "why Christianity prospered," we must now speak of another great support to the cause, i. e.,