A Reply To Moe On The Gnostic God

Does Gnosticism explain Jesus? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

A friend messaged me Wednesday about a game he was playing with a final boss named Yaldabaoth and how he looked him up and found some material on Gnosticism. This isn’t a shock. Many video games have gone to mythological references a number of times. (I remember my shock to find out that Gen-Bu, Sei-Ryu, Byak-ko, and Su-Zaku from Final Fantasy Legend were actually mythological figures.) He wanted my thoughts on a site that had information about Yaldabaoth.

This site is The Gnostic Warrior and I have seen him before. That was when he wrote a post asking if Jesus was the son of Julius Caesar. Of course, that tells a little bit about what we’re getting into, but at any rate let’s see what we have. The article can be found here.

We have a reference to Diodorus saying the Hebrews call their God IAO. I did some searching for this. The first major thing I found was several Gnostic web sites all saying the same things. No source was given. Fortunately, the Christian-thinktank has something on it.

“Having analysed the varied reception which Moses received from pagan Greek authors, I shall now focus on the question of whether these sources show any awareness of the name of Moses’ God. We have already come across three relevant instances. (1) First, in first-century bc Rome Alexander Polyhistor included information from Artapanus in his encyclopaedic ethnography, regarded Moses as iden­tical with Musaeus, and narrated at some length the story of God’s revelation to Moses. The account describes the powerful impact of the name of the Lord of the universe on the Egyptian king and his entourage as soon as this name was uttered or read from a tablet. (2) Secondly, Diodorus Siculus, a near-contemporary of Alexander Polyhistor, designates the name of Moses’ God as Iao, and consid­ers Moses to have ascribed his self-made laws to his God, in accor­dance with the general custom among ancient peoples. (3) Thirdly, Strabo interprets the Jewish God as ‘the nature of all that exists’, thereby probably alluding to the ontological meaning of his name. (4) Fourthly, like Diodorus Siculus, Philo of Byblos also mentions the name ‘lao’, this time in the form of Ieuo, whose priest Hierombolus is named as the source of Sanchuniathon’s history of the Jews, allegedly written before the Trojan War. (5) And fifthly, Numenius shows himself aware of the ontological meaning of Yahweh’s name.

Apparently, IAO was somehow a transliteration of the name YHWH. How that works, I do not know. Perhaps a Hebrew and/or Greek scholar could answer that question. Still, this part could be not totally off base.

From there, we get to the passage about the fiery serpent and here we take a leap. It is said that if this is the name of the serpent, then we see the name show up all over the world, then we can say Moses is the source. There are claims made here that are unsubstantiated, such as that the Phoenicians adopted this imagery and it became the Phoenix. It also became the harp and the lion of the tribe of Judah, though it’s not explained how this happened or even what is meant by the harp. I would take it to mean a musical instrument since it’s not capitalized, but I’m not certain.

We also have an attempt to tie this to Bacchus based on the names sounding similar. Of course, if this is all he has, then he needs a lot more to make his case. That “a lot more” would include some scholars of the ancient world who would back this.

Much of what is said next we have no need to argue against. Whether it is true or false does not matter. It could be a true account of the story. Yet he has a real howler later on. He speaks of this god as the archon and says

The word archon is composed of the words Ark and On. Ark meaning a conduit of energy that is the Hu-Man sacred ark, or ark of the testimony, represents the original spark of divinity and knowledge that gave us Sophia or wisdom. Yaldabaoth would be akin to an arc welder that is the power supply to create an electric arc between an electrode and the base material to melt the metals.

Or it could be this comes from the Greek word arche which refers to a ruler or first or a source. Moe is taking the term and going to English and then saying that is our reference for it. It’s statements like this that just make me roll my eyes.

He later says

Yaldabaoth and his creations are referred to as the serpent which I have discussed before was once written as worm before the Latin Church Doctors had doctored the original Greek texts that simply read worm. Therefore we know Yaldabaoth is a type of human parasite or worm who seeks to rule and or be the Chief Archon over humankind which is further discussed in the The Apocryphon of John where he is called ignorant darkness;

We would very much like to know how something like this happened. Were all the Greek texts changed? Are there any scholars of Latin or Greek that can verify this? If there are, Moe gives none. Moe goes on to say that.

Yaldabaoth now forbade the man to eat of the tree of knowledge, which could enable him to understand the Gnostic mysteries and receive the graces from above. But man had to be eventually be redeemed from the wrath of Yaldabaoth . Accordingly Christ descended from above on the one perfect man Jesus, who had been prepared by Sophia. Ialdabaoth seeing in Jesus Christ a power superior to himself, stirred up the Jews to crucify Jesus. Of course Christ could not suffer; and he withdrew himself from Jesus in whom he had worked on earth. Christ did not, however, forget Jesus utterly, but raised from the dead the spiritual body of Jesus, which remained on earth eighteen months. At first Jesus did not fully understand the truth, but Christ enlightened him and he taught his disciples the true doctrine.”

His source on this is Frederick John-Foakes Jackson. Why he goes with a source that’s early 20th century is a good question to ask. Is he just looking for anyone that will agree with him? Did he go to a library and research this, or did he just do a web search and pick the first thing that went with him? We can all be sure what the answer to that is.

The Christian Scritpre would equate the Goddess Sophia, with the consort of Adam in the Garden of Eden whose name is Eve. The word Eve is derived from the Hebrew Hevia of Evia which is interpreted as “female serpent” in Latin translations of the Bible. In earlier Greek versions, the word serpent would have simply read “worm.” This is where the Church Doctors come in at doctoring these ancient texts in order to hide the truth of man’s creation.

However, we don’t have to search far and or in difficulty to see that this worm God who is both the creator and destroyer had given birth to several God men over the course of human history. In the Scripture it is said, “And from these worms God made angels. We find this passage more correctly rendered in the Hebrew Bible: “Man that is a worm (rimmah), and the son of man which is a maggot” (tole’ah). “But I am a worm and no man. How much more is man rottenness, and the son of man a worm ? “First he said, ” Man is rottenness;” and afterwards, “The son of man a worm:” because a worm springs from rottenness, therefore “man is rottenness,” and ”the son of man a worm.”

It’s a wonder that someone should be taken seriously on literature who reads it like this. The language of Job is obviously metaphorical language and not meant to give an account of origins. It would be like saying because Jesus said the Pharisees were a brood of vipers that he thought their parents were actual snakes. As for the first part, we eagerly await some backing on this claim. Until we see it, there is no reason to accept it.

Madam Blavatsky had written in Isis Unveiled: “In this plurality of heavens the Christians believed from the first, for we find Paul teaching of their existence, and speaking of a man “caught up to the third heaven” {2 Cor., xii, 2). “From these seven angels Ilda-Baoth shut up all that was above him, lest they should know of anything superior to himself.

We wonder why Blavatsky should be someone we can rely on here. Her claims have not been backed by scholars of our day or her own day. The Jews did hold to a plurality of Heavens, but it would hardly match the Gnostic idea. The third one was after all the highest one where God dwelt. The first would be the sky you see every day and the second would be the regions of what we call outer space beyond.

Moe goes on to say about the Sabbath that

The Roman emperor Constantine, a sun-worshiper, professed his conversion to Christianity, although his subsequent actions suggest that the “conversion” was more of a political move than a genuine change of heart. Constantine proclaimed himself Bishop of the Catholic Church and then enacted the first civil law regarding Sunday observance in A.D. 321.The Catholics state; “The Church substituted Sunday for Saturday by the plenitude of that divine power which Jesus Christ bestowed upon her!”

This is interesting since Justin Martyr spoke of gathering on the first day of the week and 1 Cor. 16 has a gathering on the first day of the week. Moe could also look at the Canons of the Council of Nicea and see if he can find anything about the Sabbath. As for Constantine’s conversion, he could do what I did and talk to a scholar like Peter Leithart on this.

From there, we get into several claims about Abraham and such, but there is no backing for the claims and I seriously doubt any Hebrew scholar would agree with them. Unfortunately, I seriously doubt this will be considered. Moe apparently prefers to use hack resources.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Is Jesus The Son of Julius Caesar?

Is this a valid idea? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

The internet is a mixed bag. You see, I happen to hope someone like myself has good ideas and that they’re worth sharing and the internet does give a platform whereby those ideas can be shared. On the other hand, I think there are a lot of crazies out there with their own ideas. Unfortunately, from all persuasions a lot of these ideas are crazy. Yes. A lot of my Christian brothers and sisters unfortunately also get caught up in conspiracy theories. Yet this time, I am not dealing with a Christian theory. I am instead dealing with a theory by a Moe who runs a site under the name of Gnostic Warrior. The theory can be found here.

And this theory is that Jesus is the son of Julius Caesar.

Yes. You heard right.

Naturally, it’s not too long in the piece before that word “conspiracy” comes out. I’m becoming more and more convinced that you can come up with any crazy idea whatsoever and refer to it as a “conspiracy” and people will go along with it. It doesn’t help that the first several links in the body of the work all refer to Wikipedia. Yes. Wikipedia. That great abomination that causes misinformation. Will you find works of scholarship being cited? Forget it! All this means is someone sits down with Google and thinks that they’re an authority. (How amusing to be told that you’re not educated enough on the various topics later on when all that is being cited is Wiki.) Ultimately, the idea hinges on that Julius Caesar and Cleopatra had a son and that son later became Augustus and thus Jesus.

There you have it. The greatest conspiracy ever told was between Rome and Egypt. Julius Caesar, the Imperial Roman Emperor and Cleopatra, an Egyptian Pharaoh who had a mixed race son, Giaus Octavian Caesar. Octavian would later change his name to Augustus to become the official son of the Roman God, Julius Caesar. As the anointed messiah, the allegorical Jesus Christ , Augustus had formed the Universal Brotherhood and a new Empire. Later in Biblical text, Jesus is the name given him in order to conceal his identity because the Roman Imperial facts are that there was no way in Hades that the Catholic Church would be able to get the whole world to worship Caesar. Hence, the reason he would forever be known in the New Testament as Jesus Christ.

Yes. There you have it. It’s a wonder that all the Roman historians, classical historians, and NT historians missed this. Well they must all be in on the conspiracy and cover-up. There can be no doubt that Bart Ehrman then is secretly a pawn of the Catholic Church. Perhaps the Jesus Seminar is being secretly controlled by the Vatican. Who knows where it all goes? What’s the great evidence for this?

For these changes Gaius would be deemed by the priesthood as the successor to “Divus Iulius” (Latin for “Julius is God”) to become Divi Filius(Latin for the “Son of a God”) to forever be immortalized as the cornerstone to the greatest empires that the world has ever seen. Augustus is the Prince of Peace who had brought in the Age of Pax Romona with Jesus as Grand Master.

Yes. Jesus as the grand master. Of course, D.M. Murdock might have something to say about that since she thinks the Pope is the Grand Master, as she says in The Christ Conspiracy.

It is clear that scholars have known about the mythological nature of the Bible, yet they have gone to immense lengths to hide it, including using sophisticated language, like the priestly counterparts who have utilized the dead language Latin to go over the heads of the uneducated masses. It is possible that any number of these scholars are also Masons or members of some such secret brotherhood who are under the blood oath. Or they may merely be products of their occupation, in that many universities and colleges are under the dominion of the fraternities and the grand master, the Pope, i.e., the Catholic Church.

Of course, this all assumes that Son of God would mean the same thing in a polytheistic system like Roman religion as it would in a monotheistic system like Judaism. (For those playing along at home, it wouldn’t.) There is no doubt that a Caesar took upon Himself divine titles. There is also no doubt the Christians applied divine titles to Jesus. Why wouldn’t they? It would be these challenges that would in fact make them a challenge to the Roman Empire and not best friends with it. It’s simply bizarre that someone would think a conspiracy would be put afoot to turn the empire into monotheists hailing a Jesus Christ and no one would have bothered to check the claims.

These Latin names for the Father Caesar and Son were ordained first after Julius Caesar by his senatorial consecration as Divus Iulius in 42 BC, the dictator perpetuo bore the posthumous name Imperator Gaius Iulius Caesar Divus (IMP•C•IVLIVS•CAESAR•DIVVS, best translated as “Commander [and] God Gaius Julius Caesar”), which is mostly given as his official historical name. Suetonius also speaks of the additional cognomen Pater Patriae. As I have detailed in my article titled, Meaning of Peter (Petra), Ju’Piter (Ju-Peter), Pator (Pater) or simply Peter means “Father, Parent or Rock.” The Greek pronunciation is Petra which also means Father, but also refers to an allegorical religious meaning “any large stone.

Unfortunately, all of this relies on English pronounciations being the way things would have been back then, which ranks up there with the people who say Jesus is a way of saying “Hey Zeus.” Jupiter we know refers to Zeus. It does not refer to “Jew Peter.” Note also there are a number of languages at play here such as Aramaic, Latin, Hebrew, Greek, and English. Assuming a similarity across the board is stretching.

This brings us to this reference of his.

1 Corinthians 3:11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Obviously this is referring to Peter then. Right? Well the context as a whole is talking more about Paul and Apollos (Obviously for these people a reference to the god) but it gets even worse. The word Petra isn’t even used in the passage. The Greek word is Themelios and refers to a foundation. Every usage I see of this word gives it one meaning.


As we go on:

Saint Bede, the Father of English History is his Biographical Writings and Letters written in the 7th and 8th century said this about Augustus: “In the forty-second year of Augustus Caesar, in the twenty-seventh from the death of Antony and Cleopatra. when Egypt became a Roman Province, in the third year of the 193rd Olympiad, and in the 752nd from the building of the city, in the year when all the commotions of nations were stilled throughout the whole world, and by the appointment of God, Caesar had established real and durable tranquility, Jesus Christ consecrated by his advent of the 6th age of the world.”

You can read the work of Bede here. Good luck finding that quote. I couldn’t and I didn’t with a web link. I would be glad to rescind this point if it can be found, but it hasn’t been. (It’s also interesting that we would likely be told by skeptics the Gospels are too late sources, but someone from the 7th and 8th century will be just fine.)

Queen Dynamis of Phanagoria on the Bosporus dedicated an inscription to “the absolute ruler Caesar, son of god, Augustus, the ruler of all land and all sea and savior of them.”

Let’s assume this is true.

So what?

Of course this is how a Caesar saw himself. Is there supposed to be some argument here?

Unfortunately, there’s not much after that just saying that this is an allegory including references to the book of “RevelationS.” (Real scholarly work here.) Do we have any reference to credentialed scholars? Nope. Do we have any interaction with writers like Tacitus and Josephus and Lucian and others who speak about Jesus crucified? Nope. Do we have anything dealing with whether the Gospels are historical or not? Nope. Do we have anything dealing with the facts of the historical Jesus in the writings of Paul? Nope. All we have is some twisted bits here and there and a whole lot of imagination.

And yet people will believe this kind of stuff.

So why do I write this? Because I had someone contact me about a theory of Jesus as the son of Julius Caesar. I don’t look into such things because I think they’re serious threats, but because misinformation can easily mislead others who have not studied the subject well especially if they think someone writes well and has a colorful blog or web site or a good podcast or something of that sort.

Check the claims every time. Always check the claims. Look and see if all sides are being examined or just one.

This one falls drastically short.

In Christ,
Nick Peters