Gnostic Doctrine

Tuesday, 4 May 2021


 Salome and The Gospel of the Egyptians

Salome is named as one of the female followers of Jesus (Yeshua) in the canonical Gospels, who was present at his crucifixion and more importantly as one of the three female disciples along with Mary Magdalene (Mariam of Magdala) and Joanna, who found his tomb empty. Salome (not to be confused with Salome the daughter of Herod) is identified as the wife of Zebedee, the mother of the Apostles James (the Great) and John. (And in some traditions the older sister of Jesus, or in medieval tradition as the sister of Mary the mother of Jesus). 

Her Importance as a disciple is further stressed in the Apocryphal and Gnostic Gospels were she features often among the 12 Apostles in conversations with Jesus. Including in the now lost 'Gospel according to the Egyptians' known by Apostolic literature to have been one of the earliest Gospels written in Greek in Egypt during the late 1st or early 2nd century CE and used by the Christian Gnostic sects the Naasenes and Sabellians. The Gospel survives today only in quotations by Egyptian Apostolic church father Clement of Alexandria (150 - 215 CE) followed by his own allegorizing interpretions. Salome is also mentioned by Clement as one of the disciples in Jericho in 'The Secret Gospel of Mark,' (another early lost Gospel quoted by Clement), and asks a question to Jesus in 'The Gospel of Thomas,' and in 'Pistis Sophia' along with Mary Magdalene who answers Salomes question with the approval of Jesus.

Salome appers as one of the Hebrew midwives present at the birth of Jesus in various Infancy Gospels including 'The Protoevangelium of James,' 'The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew' and 'The Latin Infancy Gospel.' Similar to the canonical account of doubting Thomas, she at first does not believe Mary being a virgin has given birth and refuses to believe until she inspects Mary herself. When she inspects Mary her hand immediately becomes disfigured from her lack of faith and she falls to her knees praying to God for forgiveness, when a angel appears and tells her to worship and touch the baby Jesus, which she does and her hand is instantly healed. Later on her journey back home a voice tells her not to talk about the miracles she witnessed until the child enters Jerusalem. 

~the words addressed to Salome which I mentioned earlier. They are handed down, as I believe, in the Gospel of the Egyptians. For they say the Saviour said,

"I have come to undo the works of the female."

by the female meaning lust, and by the works birth and decay.

~Salome asked correctly when the Logos spoke of the end, 

" How long will death prevail?"

 Wherefore the Lord very aptly answered,

"So long as women bear children."

~And why do not they who walk by anything rather than the true rule of the Gospel go on to quote the rest of that which was said to Salome for when she had said, 

"I have done well, then, in not bearing children?,' imagining that it is not permitted to bear children." 

the Lord answers and says,

"Eat of every herb, but the bitter one eat not."

~When Salome inquired when the things concerning which she asked should be known, the Lord said,

"When ye have trampled on the garment of shame, and when the two become one and the male with the female, neither male nor female." 

In the first place, then, we have not this saying in the four Gospels that have been delivered to us, but in that according to the Egyptians.

~For the Lord himself, being asked by someone (Salome) when his Kingdom would come, replied, 

"When two shall be one, that which is without as that which is within, and the male with the female, neither male nor female."

Now, two are one when we speak the truth one to another, and there is unfeignedly one soul in two bodies. And 'that which is without as that which is within,' means this. He calls the soul 'that which is within,' and the body 'that which is without.' As, then, your body is visible to sight, so also let your soul be manifest by good works. And 'the male with the female, neither male or female,' this he said, that brother seeing sister may have no thought concerning her as female, and that she have no thought concerning him as male. 'If you do these things,' he says, 'the Kingdom of my Father shall come.'

-Clement of Alexandria

-The Stromata

~Jesus said, 

"Two will recline on a couch, one will die, one will live."

Salome said, 

"Who are you mister? You have climbed onto my couch and eaten from my table as if you are from someone."

Jesus said to her, 

"I am the one who comes from what is whole. I was granted from the things of my Father."

"I am your disciple."

"For this reason I say, if one is whole, one will be filled with light, but if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness."

-The Gospel of Thomas

~"And he comes into Jericho," the secret Gospel adds only, "And the sister of the youth whom Jesus loved and his mother and Salome were there, and Jesus did not receive them." But many other things about which you wrote both seem to be and are falsifications. Now the true explanation and that which accords with the true philosophy...

-Clement of Alexandria

-The Secret Gospel of Mark

~And when the Saviour had said this, Salome started forward and said, 

"My Lord, if our parents are the rulers, how standeth it written in the Law of Moses, 'He who shall abandon his father and his mother, let him die the death'? Hath not thus the Law made statement thereon?"

And when Salome had said this, the light-power in Mary Magdalene bubbled up in her and she said to the Saviour, 

"My Lord, give commandment unto me that I discourse with my sister Salome to tell her the solution of the word which she hath spoken."

It came to pass then, when the Saviour had heard Mary say these words, that he called her most exceedingly blessed. The Saviour answered and said unto Mary, 

"I give commandment unto thee, Mary, that thou speak the solution of the word which Salome hath spoken."

Mary removeth the doubt of Salome. And when the Saviour had said this, Mary started forward to Salome, embraced her and said unto her, 

"My sister Salome, concerning the word which thou hast spoken, It standeth written in the Law of Moses, 'He who shall abandon his father and his mother, let him die the death,' now, therefore, my sister Salome, the Law hath not said this concerning the soul nor concerning the body nor concerning the counterfeiting spirit, for all these are sons of the rulers and are out of them. But the Law hath said this concerning the power which hath came forth out of the Saviour, and which is the light-man within us today. The Law hath moreover said, Every one who shall remain without the Saviour and all his mysteries, his parents, will not only die the death but go to ruin in destruction."

When then Mary had said this, Salome started forward to Mary and embraced her anew. Salome said, 

"The Saviour hath power to make me understanding like thyself."

-Pistis Sophia

~And the midwife cried out, and said,

"This is a great day to me, because I have seen this strange sight. And the midwife went forth out of the cave, and Salome met her. And she said to her,

"Salome, Salome, I have a strange sight to relate to you, a virgin has brought forth a thing which her nature admits not of."

Then said Salome,

"As the Lord my God lives, unless I thrust in my finger, and search the parts, I will not believe that a virgin has brought forth."

And the midwife went in, and said to Mary, "Show yourself for no small controversy has arisen about you."

And Salome put in her finger, and cried out, and said,

" Woe is me for mine iniquity and mine unbelief, because I have tempted the living God, and, behold, my hand is dropping off as if burned with fire."

And she bent her knees before the Lord, saying, "O God of my fathers, remember that I am the seed of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, do not make a show of me to the sons of Israel, but restore me to the poor, for You know, O Lord, that in Your name I have performed my services, and that I have received my reward at Your hand." 

And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood by her, saying to her,

"Salome, Salome, the Lord has heard you. Put your hand to the infant, and carry it, and you will have safety and joy." 

And Salome went and carried it, saying,

"I will worship Him, because a great King has been born to Israel." 

And, behold, Salome was immediately cured, and she went forth out of the cave justified. And behold a voice saying,

"Salome, Salome, tell not the strange things you have seen, until the child has come into Jerusalem."

-The Protoevangelium of James

~And Joseph said to the blessed Mary,

"I have brought thee two midwives, Zelomi and Salome and they are standing outside before the entrance to the cave, not daring to come in hither, because of the exceeding brightness. And when the blessed Mary heard this, she smiled and Joseph said to her,

"Do not smile but prudently allow them to visit thee, in case thou shouldst require them for thy cure."

Then she ordered them to enter. And when Zelomi had come in, Salome having stayed without, Zelomi said to Mary,

"Allow me to touch thee."

And when she had permitted her to make an examination, the midwife cried out with a loud voice, and said,

"Lord, Lord Almighty, mercy on us! It has never been heard or thought of, that any one should have her breasts full of milk, and that the birth of a son should show his mother to be a virgin. But there has been no spilling of blood in his birth, no pain in bringing him forth. A virgin has conceived, a virgin has brought forth, and a virgin she remains."

And hearing these words, Salome said,

"Allow me to handle thee, and prove whether Zelomi have spoken the truth."

And the blessed Mary allowed her to handle her. And when she had withdrawn her hand from handling her, it dried up, and through excess of pain she began to weep bitterly, and to be in great distress, crying out, and saying,

"O Lord God, Thou knowest that I have always feared Thee, and that without recompense I have cared for all the poor, I have taken nothing from the widow and the orphan, and the needy have I not sent empty away. And, behold, I am made wretched because of mine unbelief, since without a cause I wished to try Thy virgin."

And while she was thus speaking, there stood by her a young man in shining garments, saying, 

"Go to the child, and adore Him, and touch Him with thy hand, and He will heal thee, because He is the Saviour of the world, and of all that hope in Him."

And she went to the child with haste, and adored Him, and touched the fringe of the cloths in which He was wrapped, and instantly her hand was cured. And going forth, she began to cry aloud, and to tell the wonderful things which she had seen, and which she had suffered, and how she had been cured, so that many through her statements believed.

-The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew

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