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Logic of the Sacraments

Jean Magne

This is Klaus Schilling's summary and translation of Jean Magne's Book "Logique des Sacraments", the companion of Logique des Dogmes.  Formatted, slightly copyedited, and uploaded by Michael Hoffman with Klaus' permission, September 30, 2005.

M. Williams has translated the two books from French into English and published them as one book:

From Christianity to Gnosis, and from Gnosis to Christianity

Jean Magne (M. Williams, trans.)


251 pages, 1993




Preface (M. Tardieu) 2

Section 1: Eucharist 2

I.  The Canon of the Roman Mass. 2

II. Non-Roman Liturgies. 3

III. Rite and Stories of the Multiplication of Bread. 4

IV. Multiplication of Bread and the Last Supper: Celebration of Bread-Breaking in the Frame of the Jewish meal 5

V. The Definitions of the Bread and Cup, and the Accounts of the Supper 6

VI. The Story of the Pilgrims to Emmaus and of Adam and Eve in Paradise. 7

VII. History of the Eucharist 7

The initial myth: Genesis 3:4-7. 7

The initial rite: the Didache and the Emmaus tale. 8

The applied rite: Acts 2:42-47. 8

Institutional and explanational myths. 8

Etiological accounts of the institution of the bread. 8

Etiological accounts of the institution of the cup. 9

Section 2: Baptism.. 9

I. The Initial Myth: Baptism in the Container 9

II. John Proclaiming a Baptism.. 10

III. John Preaching a Baptism of Conversion. 10

IV. Intellectual Baptism and Spiritual Baptism: Baptism, the Nous, the Intellect, and the Spirit 11

V. The Baptismal Ceremonies. 12

VI. Baptism and Illumination. 12

VII. Variants of the Pater Noster 13

VIII. History of Baptism: Magical Virtue and Divine Action. 13

I. Origins of Christian Sacramentalism.. 13

II. Conjoint Action of Minister and God in the Roman Sacraments. 14

III. Complementary Symbolism of Eucharist and Baptism.. 14


Preface (M. Tardieu)

Magne commendably uses an unspeculative and unesoteric approach to such an unconventional view of the beginnings of Christianity.  Like most of his male relatives, J. Magne was a Catholic Cleric, and he happened to discuss grammatical problems in the Latin Liturgy in the family circle. His uncle was the first to discover certain ambiguities and common misunderstandings and tried to publish the results. He was denied to do so by the competent Church authorities and abandoned research, while Jean Magne continued the work which turned out to overthrow all consensus assumptions of the origin of Christian sacraments.

Magne had to leave the clerical staff in order to be able to publish the results. Essentially Magne showed that the origins of both baptism and eucharist are not in the NT events (last supper of Jesus with disciples and Jesus at the Jordan with John), but the rites are of embarassing origin and got redressed with new myths in the process of Judaisation.

Section 1: Eucharist

I.  The Canon of the Roman Mass

The Canon Missae is the hard core of the Roman Catholic Liturgy. It consists of the prayers Te igitur, Memento Domine, Communicantes, Hanc igitur, Quam oblationem, Qui pridie, Unde et memores, Supra quae, Supplices te rogamus, Memento etiam, Ipsis domine, Nobis quoque, and Per quen haec omnia - named all after their beginnings. 'Qui pridie' is central and refers to the moment of the Eucharist proper, it has been taken over from Greek liturgy. The Canon was fixed only way after Nicea, but the earliest prayers were in some form known to the early churchfathers like Justin Martyr, as some excerpts suggest. Some variations and addenda are foreseen for special events like funerals and Easter.

[see http://www.dailycatholic.org/holymas4.htm for most of the Latin text with KJ-style English translation in parallel columns]

Magne now goes through the first half of the text, with French translation, and corrects some common misunderstandings and typoes in the Latin texts. The term 'in primis, quae' supposes, as hidden by the official translation, that two types of sacrifices were presupposed:

Those by the church who are considered first, in primis, and those by the individuals who are considered later, actually in the second half of the prayers.

The term 'infra actionem' [left out in above English version, should be before Communicantes, et memoriam venerantes] can hardly be made to make sense, and the ways of its acronymisation suggest that it should rather read 'in fractionem' , through the fraction/piece. It reminds to an old Roman custom known from some Popal epistle that the churches in Rome received a piece of fermentum each mass day consecrated by the Pope and distributed by acolytes, being thus in communication though the Pope is hardly always not personally present, which would be presupposed to make direct sense from the term 'una cum Papum nostrum N.'.

The fermentum was not distributed to the churches on martyr- and tomb sites. This allows for separating the conflated lines 'infra actionem communicantes et memoriam venerante' out into clear lines, one valid for Rome's churches (tituli) that did receive the piece of fermentum, the other for the churches on tomb sites. The sacrifice of the church consists in bread and wine, symbolical for the flesh and blood of Jesus the Christ.

Qui pridie and Unde et memories are postponed for their Greek origin.  The Supra Quae prays for the acceptance of the individual sacrifices, after the examples of Abel and Abraham. It naturally continues the prayers over the church's offerings.

Magne arrives after various text criticisms at deeming the following as the original text of the Liturgy (slightly modernised):

Offering of the church:

We therefore humbly pray and ask you, most merciful Father, through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, to accept and bless these gifts, these presents, these holy unspotted sacrifices, in the first place those that we offer unto you in the name of your Holy worldwide Church

Priests of the Tituli: in communion through the fraction [of fermentum] with your servant, our Pope N. ...

Priests at tomb sites: in communion with your servant, our Pope N. and venerating the tomb of St. N, your Apostle/Martyr ...

.... in communion with all those who hold the orthodox, catholic, apostolic faith.

Please , you, our God, this offering of your servants but also of your whole family,, bless, approve, ratify it, as it is the representation and the reproduction of the flesh and blood of your well-loved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

The believers' offerings:

The gifts we humbly ask you to accept and consider favourably and merrily as you did with those of your servant, righteous Abel, order that you holy angel mat deliver them up to your heavenly altar in presence of you divine majesty, in order to fulfill us with all bliss and heavenly mercy, whatever we've gathered on the altar, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Through whom [JC] you never stop creating, blessing, ... and provide for our usage all these things.

Through him [JC], with him, to him, Almighty God Father, along with the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory in the centuries of the centuries.

This is to be followed by the Memento and its version for funerals., with its complements Ipsis Domine and Nobis quoque with the long list of saints, part of which have been transferred as to the phrase 'in memoriam venerantes' listed above.

Magne adds that the steps of evolution of the changes made until the official Canon should be traced, but this goes beyond the scope of the booklet.

II. Non-Roman Liturgies

Some Western Liturgies, like the Mozarab one, is less influenced by earliest Roman conciliar politics than the Roman liturgy, and is thus more liable to have preserved the liturgy from the time of the evangelisation of the respective region more accurately than the Roman does.

The liturgical reforms of Vaticanum II led to a partial harmonisation of Roman and non-Roman liturgies.  Eastern (Greek, Syriac, ...) liturgies were traditionally not canonised and show a greater event-depending variation, yet based on a large foundation of anaphora, that is, elevations.

The Mozarab Book of Sacraments knows of a simpler version of two prayers, one (Inlatio) for the church's sacrifice, the other (Post mysterium) for those of the believers.

In average, the non Roman liturgies are much more simple than their Roman counterparts.  Comparing all the liturgies, Magne arrives at the following pattern of the consistence of the Early Christian Mass:

  1. Lecturing and commenting Scripture
  2. Eucharist prayer blessing bread and cup as symbolic for the salvific intervention of Jesus 3. sacrificial prayer for the donations made by the believers 4. general prayers for the community and deceased Christians

Barring the exact order, this tetradivision is already reflected in Apost.Acts 2:42.

III. Rite and Stories of the Multiplication of Bread

While most people believe naively into the last common meal of Jesus and the disciples as the origin of the Eucharist, it is shown here that this is not near the case. Even laymen watchers of the Catholic mass should note that it mismatches with the supper story: The priest pronounces a single blessing over bread and wine, while the supper stories prescribe separate blessings etc. A new dogm has been thus attached to an old rite.

The Gospels contain various accounts of the miraculous feeding. Mark and Matthew even report two such miracles each. Their logical interdependance is important. The extra stories Mark and Matthew have are starting with 7 breads, called the sghort recension. The long recensions start with 5 breads.

Magne holds that something like the following should be the original account of the feeding 'miracle', after hatching off all atrocities :

8:1 Those days, as there were a great many without having to eat, having called his disciples, Jesus spoke to them, saying:

8:2 I pity these many, as they have naught to eat,

8:3 and if I make them fast any longer, they will pass out on the way.

8:4 His disciples answered: From where could someone satify them?

8:5 He asked them: How many breads do you have? They said: Seven

8:6 Jesus took the seven breads, blessed , broke, and distributed them to the many through his disciples

8:8 They ate and were satiated

8:9 and he sent them again

It is now to be explained how this simple account got interpolated and split into the different versions found in the NT.

Neither the quantification of the many people nor the remaining surplus are original. The seven breads are symbolic for the perfect doctrine. 4 as in 4000 people is explained by the spreading of the gospel into all the 4 cardinal directions, i.e. universally. The surplus interpolated is for reassuring the continuity of the salvific teaching for the future generations.

In a first step of Judaisation, the feeding miracle was assimilated to the feeding miracles (manna) in the desert by Moses, turning Jesus into one more prophet of Mosaic type. Little fish were added in ordcer to comply with Numbers 11, where God provides for a substitute for the Nile fish the Israelites were missing in the desert.

The change of the number of bread is the next Judaisation. The perfect doctrine for the world (7 breads) is replaced with the Pentateuch , hence 5 breads, also 5000 people, and 12 containers (tribes) instead of 7. The 2 big fish instead of the little ones allude to Behemoth and Leviathan according to Hiob, seconded by Psalm 74. Also IV Esdras, Henoch's paraboles, and Pseudo-Jonathan's targum use this topic, which leads to an eschatological dimension: the meal is apocalyptic, hence Jesus becomes the Messiah. Jesus is robbed of divinity, he just repeats the traditional Jewish blessings in dependance from God.

At this step, it is as far from a new, universal religion as it could get. P. Rolland showed a split of the synoptic tradition into a common Mk-Mt source and a common Mk-Lk source. The short recensions have additional remarks like 'already three days' and 'some came from afar', which leads to an opening of the meal to the gentiles, who are tolerated, but seen as inferior to the Jews, as the Gabaonites were reluctantly tolerated by Jesus in the Tanakh.

The synoptics finally arrived at a total historisation of the miracle, Mt and Mk even as two distinguished miracles. Jewish and gentile Christianity moved towards equal consideration. John's version protests against the parallelism with Moses and prefers the feeding miracles by Eliah as the inferior precursor of Jesus.

The feeding stories in the more original versions exhibit several parallels to the Roman Mass procedure/understanding that lack in the Last Meal, i.e. the close connection of feeding and teaching, the preeucharistic fasting practice, the fear of people passing out on their way, the absence of the cup (also in Emmaus or after Paul's shipwreck) who has just a side role in the mass, the remission leading to the famous last words 'ite, missa est'. The dogma changes, the rite remains.

IV. Multiplication of Bread and the Last Supper: Celebration of Bread-Breaking in the Frame of the Jewish meal

If the Paschal Meal is secondary, it must be discerned how it became connected to the existing Mass rite, especially the addition of the cup and its relation to the bread.  The Didache prescribes the order wine-bread. The traditional Jewish blessing has been replaced by an action of grace involving the salvific significance of Jesus.

Also the Diataxeis of the Holy Apostles sees this order as primary. But already 1 Corinthians reverses this order. Two reasons emerge: For one, the practice of gentile Christians, not familiar with the Jewish meal, already had a priority of bread, but also, the remark of Jesus not to drink anyomore in this life hints to the end of the meal. The Jewish order will have been followed in decreasing frequency for some time before disappearing. This is also suggested by the Diataxeis. This mixing of Jewish meal and the older rite accounts aslo for analogous blessing over bread and wine.

It's also important to observe that each believer had to pronounce his own blessings individually, as inferred from Corinthians, Diataxeis, and Didache, not just the presbyter for all. This corresponds to the individual sacrifices hidden in the Canon Missae.

V. The Definitions of the Bread and Cup, and the Accounts of the Supper

The Didache amalgamates the Jewish meal with Christian action of grace. The latter praises God for giving us life and knowledge through Jesus. For grammatical and syntactial reasons, the life is interpolated. This dependance on Jesus shows that the Torah is not seen as the self-sufficient source of the divine doctrine. The blessing on the cup praises God for the holy wine of David brought through Jesus. Compared to the Jewish formula, YHWH is replaced with the father, the fruit of the vine with the Holy Vine of David (symbol for Israel). Christian eschatological hopes are here indoctrinated through traditional Jewish patterns.

This alludes to the bread symbolising the knowledge (Christian gospel) and the cup symbolising the Church, the new Israel.  The gospel story suggests the meal of Paschah's eve as Jesus' last meal, but in the foreshadows, there is one at Bethany at the house of some leper Simon, where some infamous woman smears Jesus with expensive cosmetics. This is deemed as a waste, but Jesus rebutts the objection. They will always have the poor, but he'll be gone soon, so the woman does a good work indeed. Jesus' words are eschatological.

Jesus' statement not to drink wine anymore until the day of Kingdom fits here nicely. So the whole Last Supper story after the scene in Bethany is an interpolation. Jesus, the lamb for the world, would originally die the time of the Paschal preparation.

The purpose of the nested last supper is thus the establishment of the cup in a more orthodox setting as a paschal meal. The cup is sealing the messianic alliance, in anticipation of the apocalyptic banquet.

The Ur-Synoptic version will not have included the bread. Luke then added the blessings over the paschal lamb. In the next step, in I Corinthians the bread-breaking is transferred into the last-meal scenario.  The cup did then become redefined as Jesus' blood for sealing the New Alliance.

I Cor. 8-10 deals with the problem of eating pagan sacrifices. While the hellenising author sees abstinence as essential for feable Christians (Judeochristians?), the Judaising interpolator is strictly prohibitive. Eating from those sacrifices puts you in communion with evil demons, as opposed to eating from the Jewish sacrifices which puts you in solidary communion with God. Jesus is seen as the ultimate sacrifice.

Hebrews shows that the previous sacrifices were insufficiant and need to be superseeded by that of Jesus.

I Corinthians is the cornerstone for the further, final redactions of the last meal story of the Gospels - who originally lacked the bread breaking, as said above.

There are multiple versions of Luke's report differing w.r.t. the presence of the cup of alliance and the position of the insertion of the bread, testifying for detailed redaction story. This resulted in a doubling of the cup: one for the alliance, one eschatological.

Unlike Luke's, the common source of MT and Mk puts the bread before the cup, and the bloody words before the eschatological ones. The separation of blessings on bread and cup are the result of different authors/interpolators - one Hellenising, the other Judaising. This conflict leads to various anomalies in Mk and Mt, e.g. the Judaiser who istitutionalised the cup of the covenant could not anticipate the Helleniser's insertion of the bread etc.

VI. The Story of the Pilgrims to Emmaus and of Adam and Eve in Paradise

This chapter is almost identical to that at the beginning of Logique des Dogmes.

The Luke-only story -- a short, inaccurate reminder is interpolated in Mark's -- sees two disciples encountering the recently Risen Lord. They don't recognise him at once, only at Emmaus (with us)they did when the Messiah broke bread with them. What they really failed to recognise is the nature of the Christ: It's not a deliverer from gentile oppressors in the tradition of the Maccabee brothers whose successors were all caught and killed by the Romans, breaking thus the national messianic hopes. Rather, the passion of Jesus is part of the divine plan, not an obstaculkous incident. So the feeding of the bread leads to the insight about the very nature of the Christ.

This is parallelled with Genesis 3, where a serpent sets the first human straight, giving them the fruit of the tree of knowledge. This paradise scene is thus the proper prototype of the Eucharist, whose original intention is to thank Jesus for the knowledge of good and evil brought through the fruit of the paradise tree.  The myth and dogma explaining the Eucharist has changed throughout early Christian history, but the rite essentially remained intact.

VII. History of the Eucharist

This chapter builds on the evidence found in chapter 1-6. For summarising them (especially the first) reasonably we'd need an interlinear version of the Canon Missae.  This chapter recomposes the steps that the explanations of Eucharist went through in Early Christianity: The incident at the tree of knowledge, reflected in Luke's Emmaus story, as the initial myth of Eucharist ;the doublette in Acts 2:42-47 involving Hellenic and Jewish initial rites; the four elements of the hellenic rite form the base of the Canon of the Mass; the various steps of redaction of the feeding 'miracle'.

Originally it was no miracle story at all- from the simple bread breaking account for the whole hellenic world, its Judaisation involving the fish and the change of numbers to 5 (pentateuch) and 12 (tribes), making Jesus into a prophet and then a Messiah, the opening to the gentiles as second-class Christians, finally the equivocality of both, making Jesus into the supersession of Elias.

This is the etiological account for the institution of the bread; finally, the last meal report of the Gospels serve as etiological account for the institution of the wine. Originally it started at Simon's house in Bethany with the eschatological words after the ointment, but got shifted to a Paschal meal for Judaising reasons. The bread was inserted later for unifying the blessings. I Corinthians 24-25 served for the completion of the accounts, Mk/Mt on one side, Lk on the other, separated at one point of redaction history. The cup got redefined towards a covenental symbol.

Finally, Justin Martyr laid the foundation for the transubstantiation theology.

The initial myth: Genesis 3:4-7

The fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil eaten by Adam and Eve upon the advise of the serpent despite of God's envious interdiction magically/sacramentally opens their eyes, enabling them to know good from evil, the gnosis, knowledge of their nudity, which makes them understand 'who they are, where they are coming from, and where they are going to', the knowledge without which it is obviously impossible to return to the true God, the Father, in the Fatherland from above.

The initial rite: the Didache and the Emmaus tale

The words of the Didache 'we thank you, our Father, for the knowledge that you made us know by mediation of Jesus, your servant', pronounced by everyone over an own piece of bread make a substitute for the fruit of paradise symbolising and operating the opening of the eyes and the acquisition of gnosis, the salvific knowledge preached by Jesus on the behalf of God the Father.

Jesus, in the Emmaus story, is identified both with the paradise serpent , the instructor sent forth by the Father for inciting Adam and Eve to 'eat the knowledge', and the Messiah - revised and corrected - expected by the Jews.

The applied rite: Acts 2:42-47

The rite takes two differing form, one for an observant Jewish environment, another for a gentile or heterodox Jewish environment: Gentile: Acts 2:42-45; Jewish: Acts 2:46-47.

The four elements of the non-Jewish ritual are perpetuated in all the liturgies. 'The apostles' teachings', will continue itself into the lectures and the homily. The koinonia, the putting together of goods - whose origins needs to be researched by us- will continue itself in the offering of the donations, involving by counter-sense the offering of the flesh and blood of the Christ.

[The subtitle of another book of magne that I don't have claims the following development: vow of poverty -> practiced communism -> capitalism with charity -> offerings to God -> Jesus' passion as the ultimate offering -ks]

The Jewish cup is made joining the bread-breaking. The prayers are more or less detailed intercessions, for the living and the dead ...

In a Jewish environment, the action of grace concerning the bread will involve a parallel action of grace concerning the cup opening the supper and the following ones. The order cup-bread will be perpetuated, according to the witness of the Diataxeis. This way of celebration will disappear with Judeochristianity.

Institutional and explanational myths

Etiological accounts of the institution of the bread

  1. Primitive account of the multiplication of the breads: The seven breads represent the Gnosis brought by Jesus. They're broken for the sake of the masses, and the apostles are ordered to distribute them universally. Jesus acts as the envoy of the (Gnostic) Father.
  2. In Mark 8:1-9, the seven breads, to which two little fish are joint, symbolise now the Mana of the Exodus, the 'word of God' i.e. the Mosaic Law. Jesus becomes a prophet like Moses.
  3. In the rewritten account in Mark 6:30-46 the breads are reduced to five, in analogy to the Pentateuch, accompanied by two great fish who represent Behemoth and Leviathan. The apostles distribute them to the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus is identified as The Messiah.
  4. The iteratedly interpolated tale of Mark 8:2-3 allows gentiles to the church due to condescendance. Jesus becomes a second Yehshwah (= Jesus).
  5. The tale of John 6:1-15 provides a hyperbole of a similar miracle by Elisah. The mass considers Jesus as the messianic king and the prophet to come

Etiological accounts of the institution of the cup

  1. The ointment at the supper at Simon's (Mark 14:3-9, Matt 26:6-13) is followed directly by Jesus' eschatological words on the cup. The passion takes place on preparation day when lambs were slaughtered.
  2. The last-supper story of the common source of the synoptics transfers the eschatological cup at Simon's to a Paschal meal. The apostles are made to share the destiny of the Master. The passion is moved a day ahead.
  3. Luke 22:14-18 inserts an analogous eschatological word on the paschal lamb before that on the cup
  4. The supper story in I Corinth. 11:23-26 shifts the institution of the bread from the feeding miracle to the last-supper. Thus the gentile order bread-cup is given priority over the Jewish order, and the institutions of bread and wine are reduced to a single circumstance. The eschatological words on the cup are turned into a theological statement about the new covenant and the church.
  5. Luke's supper story completed for a first time The institution of the bread is introduced here first marginally, then inserted by copyists into two different places, before or after the eschatological cup. (short recensions)
  6. Luke's supper story completed for a second time
  7. Some (long) recensions add stuff according to I Cor 24b-25, such as the body given for you and wine poured for you.
  8. the supper story in the common source of Matthew's and Mark's is influenced by the above interpolation in I Cor.
  9. Matt 26:26-29 amd Mark 14:22-25 follow the above source , Matthew's being stylistically patched.
  10. Justin Martyr reduces the words on the cup to the style of those on the bread: this is my flesh - this is my blood . This starts the transubstantiation dogms.

Section 2: Baptism

The status quo in the gospels is that Jesus is baptised by John the Baptist at the river of Jordan. Again this is only the result of a long development, giving a previous ritual a new dogmatic interpretation.

The origin is found in the ceremony of the pool known from Hermetic literature. Hermes got historified and placed into a Tanakh-based context, becoming thus John the Baptist, as much as Jesus was historified into the Messiah.

I. The Initial Myth: Baptism in the Container

[The hermetic text in question is found in KJV-English at http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/herm/hermes4.htm; also http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/herm/hermes1.htm is relevant.]

Hermes distinguishes people with divine mind from those without who are only distinguished from beasts by their reason (logos). The mind is mediated by observing the preaching of God's envoys and diving into the pool/cup of mind (nous). This is the original meaning of the baptism rite.

Baptism and Eucharist are mutually connected. The baptism prepares for the Eucharist. The former gives the intellect which is prerequisit for obtaining the salvific knowledge through the latter.

Of course this explanation differs a lot from the status quo in the Gospels, and the development has to be described and explained step by step.

  • John is originally a Hermes-like herald of a conversion baptism that the aspiring believer has to perform on himself, but turns into one who performs as a minister a ritual action on the aspirant
  • the water baptism was made insufficiant and supplemented by unction and hand laying
  • the original meaning of a conversion into a new religion of the spirit got corrupted into a mere atoning for sins
  • John , like Jesus, was put into a historical framework and based on apocalyptic prophesies of the Old Testament.

II. John Proclaiming a Baptism

The Gospels and Acts report John as someone who preached a baptism of repentance (metanoia) in the desert. Most think of John performing this rite on others, but this is not consequently straightforward, as seen from manuscript comparison of Luke 3. Bezae says that the masses come to John for being baptised in front of him. (not by him).  Naaman subjects himself to seven dunks under a prophet's instruction in IV Kings.  Paul in the canonical Acts completes his own conversion after the crossroads following the instructions of Ananias.

In the Acts of Paul and Thecla, the latter does not get baptised by Paul, but does have to baptise herself at an opportune occasion in the pool in the arena. This also elucidates that the blood-baptism was unknown at that time - Thecla thought her baptism to be in extremis.  Also the Trinitarian formula is absent. As fantastic as this romance may be, it is still based on pre-Gospel traditions and says a lot about the early Christian environment.

Old greek baptismal liturgical formulae do not have an "I [the minister] baptise you ...", but talk impersonally "is baptised ...".  Also Philip's words in Acts 8:37 make more sense when seen as accompanying a self-performed baptism under the auspices of the apostles, as opposed to one performed by the apostle.

III. John Preaching a Baptism of Conversion

The status quo is that baptism serves for the remission of sins within the Jewish framework.  But the Paulines sometimes explain that baptism and conversion are equally required for Jews and gentiles.  John and some Gnostics equate the God of the Jews with a lower deity, a demiurge or even a devil. This underlines that baptising is tied to the conversion to an actually new religion. Accoirding to John, before Jesus there was no way to access the true God.

The baptising through John comprised already the faith in jesus as the Christ. This explains the statement about Apollos in the Apostolic Acts.  The Gospels often portray Jews as blind, and only Christians as seeing. The conversion was thus to a new God and a new religion.

With the Judaisation of Christianity, this was of course untenable. Once Father and creator got identified, the conversion could not be from the latter to the former, but was changed into a repentance of sins against the Law of the unique god. The role of the anti-god shifted to Satan instead of the God of the Tanakh.

John was made into an reprentance preacher in virtue of a pending apocalypse, and repenting implies faith in Jesus as the Messiah. The faithful had to renounce Satan and accept Jesus.

Mk 16:16 orders the apostles to spread across the world and preach the gospel, those who accept it will be saved, the others damned, in analogy to some statement in CH4.  same pattern: herald - sermon - faith - baptism - hail or woe .

IV. Intellectual Baptism and Spiritual Baptism: Baptism, the Nous, the Intellect, and the Spirit

CH4 sees the Nous as a reward merited through baptism. Nous is usually understood as intellect, but in the religious context of the capacity of understanding the divvine, not in our secular sense.

Many Gnostics distinguish pneumatics from hylics and psychics, a differentiation similar to that made by CH4 between people with Nous and those without.  Semitic languages can't account for the difference between nous and pneuma, thus nous can be seen as replaceable by pneuma even though not actually synonymous. The semitic term is rwh (or similar).

'Pneuma' is used more often in the NT than 'nous', but some uses of 'nous' or its derivatives are significant in the sense of the above understanding of sacramental rewarding with 'Nous'.

Jesus calls his disciples 'fools' (anoetoi); for example, at Emmaus when they misunderstand the Scriptures and the essence of the Christ. Paul calls the Galatians foolish, as they, though starting out with the spirit (pneuma), they drop back into carnality by adopting Jewish customs. The renovation of the intellect plays a prominent role in some Pauline epistles, a renovation effected through the baptism. But 'nous' also appears in its secular meaning in the NT. In the glossalic verse I Cor 14:14 Paul distinguishes spirit and intellect.

In John's gospel, Jesus confronts Hebrew elder Nicodemus. The subject is being born again, or from above. Nicodemus does not understand Jesus, for as a loyal servant of the God of Tanakh he's deprived of the Nous.

Those not born of water and spirit , not of flesh, are seen as unable to enter the kingdom. Some manuscripts read 'Holy Spirit' instead, alluding to the third part of the Trinity. This personalisation and precisation became popular since Tertullian. But consequently one would have to capitalise flesh as well, as the discrepance between the natural birth and the supernatural one is fully intended.

In Jewish understanding, spirit is not in contrast with flesh, but refers to the charismatic faculty of the prophets. In orthodox Christian tradition, the charismatic and the trinitarian interpretation get joint.

In the Gnostic system, Jesus does not need a baptism in the sense of purification, and also doesn't need to acquire the pneuma as humans do, but in Judaising context, Jesus as the chosen prophet needed to acquire the charismatic spirit for his mission, as e.g. expressed by Isaiah. The conversation of Peter and Cornelius in Acts 10 points to this understanding of Jesus being baptised. This is particularly tied to the unction (chrisma, also messiah is derived from the aramaic equivalent) which is seen as parting the prophetic spirit. The unction serves as a seal and anticipation of the eschatological citizenship in heaven. The seal is important in some ascension myths for getting past barring archons.

I John shows that the unction in the spirit also was seen as infusing knowledge.  Originally the pool of Nous may have been metaphorical for religious studies and meditation into which one has to profound oneself.

After Jesus' first Synoptic parable, he has to explain why he teaches in this manner. The Synoptics differ, but in all cases a distinction is made between two types of audience, a privileged one with the apostles as opposed to outsiders. The former do understand the mysteries, while the latter fail to.

While usually parables are meant for explaining stuff that is difficult to understand plainly, the gospels try to see parables as a tool to prevent the broad Jewish masses from accessing the mysteries, in virtue of Isaiah6. But Mark's identifies the outsiders as non-Christians of all origins, the insiders as the members of the church that received the faculty of understanding through the baptismal sacrament.

John's Gospels mention some paraclete, usually conflated by church tradition with the Holy Spirit. But it probably a self-assignment of some heresiarch who claimed to devulge the mysteries Jesus could not yet part etc.

Certainly there is a connection between the gift of spirit and the pentecostal report. John baptised with water, but the apostles get baptised with the spirit by Jesus from above. It also follows Joel 2.

V. The Baptismal Ceremonies

The term 'baptism' suggests diving, dunking. Often sprinkling is practiced instead. This makes no difference for baptism when seen as washing away sins, but the sense of merging in the spirit is lost. The infusion of spirit must thus be deferred to a different ceremonial, such as laying or unction.

Laying hands has a long Jewish tradition, e.g. in Mumbers, Moses charges his successor Jesus this way with the faculty as a leader/prophet. It appears several times in the apostolic acts, for example John and Peter need to confirm the converts that have been baptised previously by Philip in Samaria. Also Paul is involved serveral times.

In other traditions, unction was applied in order to supplement the purification baptism with impartition of charismatic spirit. The gospel according to Philip sees this as proper point of becoming Christian. Unction had a prominent role already in the Old Testament.

Christianity and chrism, unction, are coetymological. Syriac tradition even has unction before water baptism. The Acts of Thomas originally seem only to know the unction which gives the seal, and water baptism appears interpolated. Tertullian reports the coexistence of laying and unction in the Roman community around 200. So do the Diataxeis.

Pre-baptismal rites serve usually as exorcisms - driving out Satan and his angels, originally including the Jewish God along with the heathen idols. Exorcism is closely related to purification.  Post-Baptismal unction and laying, serve as confirmation of faith.

VI. Baptism and Illumination

There are also early Christian writings considering baptism as an illumination.  The Epistle to the Hebrews distinguishes various degrees of illumination. Some are to be fed with milk, others with hard food. The fundamental teachings include knowledge about the sacraments.

It gives a clear warning: Many have been illuminated in the way of the new mysteries. But if they drop back from this state into their old (Jewish or heathen) behaviour, especially the Law of righteous works, there is no chance that they will find mercy again.

Justin Martyr explicitly mentions a bath of illumination in his First Apology. Against Trypho, he claims Jesus as the illuminator of mankind akin to Isaiah, and the illumination being exclusive for Christianity.  Gregory of Nazianze calls the baptism a transfiguration and an illumination par excellence. John Chrysostom called Paul's conversion the prototype of the process of illumination.

VII. Variants of the Pater Noster

While the standard version wishes 'may your kingdom come over us", various manuscripts from Tertullian through the middle ages say "May your Holy Spirit come over us and purify us".  After the above, this already establishes a close early relation between the Lord's Prayer and the sacrament of baptism.

The Acts of 27 Thomas contain an interpolated baptismal epiclesis which starts with "come, holy name of the Christ" ending with 'come, holy Spirit, and purify their kidneys and their heart" . I Corinth.

6:11 blows the same instrument. The seven wishes inbetween relate to the spirit and the Nous. The five members are intellect, idea, thought, comprehension, reasoning. They are known from manichean theology, but nowadays also from NHC III texts Eugnostos and Wisdom of Jesus Christ. Their tradition may be the same as the related tractates of the CH.

Luke 11 knows a prayer substituting an analogous one assigned to John's circle. It involves also a wish for the Holy Spirit to come. John's prayer will have been : Father, may your name be sanctified, and may your Holy Spirit come over us and purify us.

While John preached metanoia, Jesus preached the coming kingdom. While John instituted the baptism, Jesus instituted the Eucharist. This explains some differences between the prayers. The wish of not tempting is strange, as the NT Father is thought as not able to tempt -- there must be a confusion with the OT God.  Matthew's version is later. The Jews did not call their God Father, and "in heavens" distinguishes God from the Jewish patriarch, Abraham.

VIII. History of Baptism: Magical Virtue and Divine Action

I. Origins of Christian Sacramentalism

Many are the poetic examples of plants with metanatural effects.  Besides the trees in paradise, there's Gilgamesch's rejuveniser root, Homer's herb Moly undoing Circe's curse, and so on.

These mythical stories got later transformed into sacred history, and afterwards reproduced in sacraments. Sacraments are rituals thought of as of divine institution imagined to produce supernatural effects related to the metanatural effect in the explanatory myth it builds upon. A minister is performing the sacraments on the believers, while originally the sacraments were self-performed under instruction of a religious teacher/herald.

The two principal Christian sacraments are of this kind: The Eucharist, starting with the paradise tree myth, and the Baptism, along with its confirmational supplement, starting with the noetic pool of Hermes.

Problems are caused by the fact that the effects like divine grace are supernatural, and thus invisible, as opposed to the netanatural effects of e.g. the herb undoing Circe's curse.

II. Conjoint Action of Minister and God in the Roman Sacraments

The other sacraments come from the social needs of the community and are modelled in analogy with the major sacraments, involving a particular divine grace.  Paul calls the ministers servants of God and dispensors of divine mysteries.  The ministers solemnly had to prepare their performance, with prayers like the Supra Quae in the Canon Missae. The Minister begs for the mercy of God and humbly justifies his requests for not invoking God in vain, and then for the power of God necessary for performing the particular sacrament in question.

Those pre-sacramental prayers can't be dated precisely, but may range from somewhere before the baptism of Tertullian through mid 5th century.  Magne goes through the liturgical formulae of Extreme Unction, Marriage, Atonement, and Ordination.

III. Complementary Symbolism of Eucharist and Baptism

Nowadays, Eucharist's bread and wine denote the flesh and blood of the self-sacrificed Christ, while the baptismal water stands for the washing away of sin. But this has been reveiled to be far from the original symbolism.

By researching the Eucharist liturgy and its anomalies when compared with the last supper, the redaction history of the 'miraculous' feeding stories in the gospels, the Emmaus report and its connection with Genesis 3 Magne arrived at the fruit of the tree of knowledge and the Gnosis starting with its delivery as the original symbolism of the Eucharist. Jesus in serpentine shape brings the salvific knowledge to the first man as he does in human shape at the era turn to the JudeoRoman world, against the interdiction of the Jewish god. Man's eyes open, before that moment they were fools (anoetoi). The Nous is also subject of the original role of the baptism, as inferred straight from CH4. Johgn is introduced as the herald of a conversion baptism from the (Jewish or heathen) gods of the world to the God of Truth.

By Judaisation, the Jewish God is later identified with the supreme one, and John can't be any more than a herald of repentance, the baptism becoming a cleaning. The spirit, rather than the original Nous, becomes the charismatic gift of the Jewish prophets and the third person of the Trinity. Jesus who started out as the reveiler against the Jewish god has turned in the meantime into a prophet and Messiah of that unique deity. The significance of baptism as imparting spiritual gifts is translated to other rites like laying and unction.

Both sacraments thus went a long way with tendentiously varying explanatory myths.

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