The Mandaean Gnostic Texts
The Mandaeans are probably the only remaining original Gnostics left in existence today. While it is notable that there exist many references to a 'False Messiah' in the early Gnostic texts of the Mandaeans (Nazoreans), none of these ever refer to him as Jesus or Jesus Christ. It is also quite possible that this 'False Messiah' is a fictitious person created by an individual whose name seems to have been eradicated from the text.
In the ancient Book of Miryai, we are told that Miryai was the daughter of the Jewish High Priest who ran away with the leader of the Nazorean sect. We would suppose that this was Jesus, but according to Epiphanius, this might just have been Paul. According to David Asia Israel, author of 'Yeshu' the high priest referred to was Elizer (Eleazar). Since there were only 2 Eleazars who were high priests during that time frame this means that her father was either Eleazar Boethus (4-3 BCE) or Eleazar Ananus (16-17 CE). This does not necessarily mean that this romance had to have taken place while this individual was in office. Once this person had been high priest, the title would stay with him for the rest of his life.
"MIRYAI am I, of the Kings of Babel a daughter, a daughter of Jerusalem's mighty rulers. They have given me birth; the priests brought me up. In the fold of their robe they carried me up into the dark house, into the temple. Adonai laid a charge on my hands and on my two arms: I must scour and cleanse the house [that is] without firmness. There is naught therein for supporting the poor, naught to revive the tormented souls."—Ancient Scroll of Miryai
"She ran away from the priests, fell in love with a man, and they took hold of each other’s hands. Hold of each other’s hands they took, went forth and settled at the mouth of Frash. (Euphrates)" (this could also mean Ein Feshkha a stream about 3 miles south of Qumran)—Ancient Scroll of Miryai
"We will slay them and make Miryai scorned in Jerusalem. A stake (Cross) will we set up for the man who has ruined Miryai and led her away. There shall be no day in the world when a stranger enters Jerusalem."—Sidra d’Yahya, Book of John the Baptist from Mandaic Doctrines of Kings. From the testimony of Ananias in 'Antiquity Unveiled' we find, 'I was one of the accusers of Apollonius before Felix. The name ought to have been Apollos instead of Paul....He had violated and profaned the temple and I accused him of it....The Jews had sworn to destroy him, but he had proselyted a great number to his faith.'
It is assumed that these verses refer to Jesus. But, that makes absolutely no sense. Regardless of what sect Jesus would have been born into, he was a Pharisaic Jew and also a son of David. In other words Jesus would have been a prime catch for any young Jewish maiden, event a daughter of the high priest.
"The Ebionites, one of the earliest of the Christian sects, claimed that Paul was originally a Gentile, that becoming infatuated with the daughter of the high priest he became a convert to Judaism for the purpose of winning her for a wife, but being rejected, he renounced the Jewish faith and became a vehement opponent of the law, the Sabbath, and circumcision"—Epiphanius Against Heresies, chapter xxx, sec. 16. The only high priest, during that period of Paul's life, that Paul could have worked for persecuting Christians would have been Joseph Caiaphas (18-36 CE) who was married to the sister of high priest Eleazar ben Ananus. This would mean that the woman in question was the daughter of Eleazar ben Ananus. Remember, it was Caiaphas who was the high priest responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. Note the use of 'we' in the following passage from the Pauline Epistles which indicates that he considered himself to be a Gentile: "...that in Christ the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, that we might receive the promise of the spirit through faith."--Galatians 3:14, or try this one: "To the Jews, I became like a Jew, to win the Jews." 1Corinthians 9:20. This certainly doesn't sound much like a Jew.
Perhaps the most revealing text we have from the Mandaeans is the Haran Gawaita. Here we find reference to the 'False Messiah,' but we are never told who that person was. It could just as well have been Paul as Jesus. "... and Haran Gawaita receiveth him and that city in which there were Nasoraeans, because there was no road for the Jewish rulers. Over them was King Ardban. And sixty thousand Nasoraeans abandoned the Sign of the Seven and entered the Median hills, a place where we were free from domination by all other races. And they built cult-huts (bimandia) and abode in the Call of the Life and in the strength of the high King of Light until they came to their end. And they loved the Lord, that is, Adonai, until in the House of Israel there was created something which was not placed in the womb of Mary, a daughter of Moses. It was hidden in her womb for nine months and bewitched her until the nine months were fulfilled and she was in labour and brought forth a messiah."
".. and he called the people to himself and spoke of his death and took away some of mysteries of the (Sacred?) Meal and abstained from the Food. And he took to himself a people and was called by the name of the False Messiah. And he perverted them all and made them like himself who perverted words of life and changed them into darkness and even perverted those accounted Mine. And he overturned all the rites. And he and his brother dwell on Mount Sinai, and he joineth all races to him, and perverteth and joineth to himself a people, and they are called Christians." All of these perversions could just as well have applied to Paul as to Jesus (Yeshai).
"... and from Nisrat (Nazareth), a city of the Jews, which is called the city of Qum ..."—Haran Gawaita. The only version in existence on the web comes from the Vatican Press, so you can be assured that any references that would contradict Church doctrine would have been removed. For this reason, we never find out what actually happened to the 'False Messiah.' It is also notable that the name of the person being received at the outset has been eradicated. It could not have been Jesus for the text goes on to describe the pregnancy of Mary. However, the manner in which it is described indicates that this person who was supposeldy born, the 'False Messiah' may not have been a real person. It is also possible that the person that is received is actually Paul, who is the real 'father' of the 'False Messiah.' Notice that they refer to Nazareth as a city of the Jews much in the manner of the gospels which indicates that this text was written, by non Jews, in response to the gospels. It also seems to equate this city with Qum or possibly Qumran as part of the name is missing. It is notable that Apollonius created his order of Nazarites at Nazarita in Southern Israel, but was earlier in his life affiliated with the Essene at Khirbet-Qumran. The Haran Gawaita includes references to Mohammad which means that it must have been written after the 7th century. However, the Mandaeans were in the habit of updating their texts rather than creating new texts, so the parts about the 'False Messiah' may have been originally written as early as the second century or close to the time of the publication of the original gospels.
According to author Ralph Ellis, "King Jesus: From Egypt, Kam to Camelot," the person responsible for re-establishing the religious site at Qumran at the turn of the first century was known as Zadok, the deputy leader of the Galilean sect. "Unite with respect to the Law and possessions, under the authority of the Sons of Zadok."—Dead Sea Scrolls. In similar fashion the hero of the Essene was called the 'Teacher of Righteousness,' where righteousness in Hebrew is Zadok. This could have been the same Sadduc who accompanied Judas of Galilee.
Justus is the Hellenized version of Zadok. The name may have been used by individuals aligned with the Galilean (Nazorean) and Essene sects or it may have been used to refer to members of Jesus' immediate family. Therefore, 'James the Just' would simply mean James Zadok. If Justus is derived from Zadok and was used to describe members of the family of 'Jesus', then it makes sense that Zadok was 'Jesus'.
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