Come again? Sure, but you have to wait until Easter! Badoomboom! But seriously folks, Thank God It’s Good Friday! Why? What’s so Good about Good Friday? Wellllll…as all those who’ve have read The Book of Paul know, most of the action in the story takes place between Holy Thursday (what’s for dinner? Roast rump!) and Good Friday. And for everyone who hasn’t read The Book of Paul, now it’s on sale for 50% off until roll-away-the-stone day! That’s only $1.99 — the price of a tall Starbucks coffee as opposed to the regular $3.99 grande latte price. Wow! What a deal! Yes, indeed it is. And it’s available only on Amazon http://amzn.to/LJf2nX so tell your friends, family, creditors and rival clan members that they better take advantage of this once-in-a-weekend opportunity, before Paul decides he doesn’t feel quite so generous anymore.
Okay. Now that we’ve made your weekend a whole lot darker by spreading the gospel according to Paul, let’s zero in on that gloomiest of all religious HolyDays–Friday the Good. Being a former altar boy educated by friendly nuns and way-friendlier priests, I’ve been well indoctrinated in the Party Line position of the Church regarding the significance of Good Friday, which can be summed up as: Christ HAD to die to cleanse us all from Original Sin®.
HOWEVER, since we all continue to be born with Original Sin®, and therefore have to be baptized to RE-cleanse ourselves (otherwise we will surely burn in hell for all eternity), I’m still a little cloudy on the “HAD to die” reasoning. Another thing that doesn’t quite add up for me is the whole “on the third day He shall rise again” bit. Admitedly, I’m no math whiz, but if Jesus died at 3:15 in the afternoon of Friday and was out of the tomb at sunrise on Easter, that comes to…wait a sec, let me get my calculator…um…okay, got it: about 39 hours. Hmmmm. Weird, huh?
Oh well, I guess you gotta have faith. Or alternatives. I have a few of those. In fact I created an entire mythology for The Book of Paul that goes all the way back to the dawn of creation and all the way forward to the apocalypse revealed in…yes, you guessed it…The Book of Paul. A heck of a lot of research went into TBOP because it is: A. the first volume of seven volumes in a sweeping mythological narrative tracing the mystical connections between Hermes Trismegistus in ancient Egypt, Sophia, the female counterpart of Christ, and the Celtic druids of Clan Kelly (I copied that from the Amazon blurb) and; B. because I’m a madman who swims in a sea of curiosity, wonderment and obsessiveness every day of my life.
While I was paddling around, I learned something very interesting: that the entire occult/alchemical/Hermetic tradition becomes joined at the hip with Gnosticism and then…Gnostic Christianity! BUT, all the OTHER gospels besides Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Truth and the Gospel of Mary were suppressed and largely destroyed, except for a spectacular find of codices in Egypt in 1945 called the Nag Hammadi Library. It is believed that the wholesale destruction of these Gnostic Christian scriptures and the ancient Hermetic texts that preceded them occurred when paganism was outlawed following Constantine the Great’s very convenient conversion to Christianity. It is also believed by many scholars that the mysterious burning of the Library of Alexandra was part of the same book-burning binge.
Which brings us back to Paul, who has a very vested interested in the truth behind all these legends because, well maybe he had a hand in how things turned out. Could the Library of Alexandria have been rescued by a determined group (clan?) of Hermetics/Gnostics? Might it still exist today? You bet your ass it does! Let’s listen in on Paul and William when William asks Paul how he acquired his literary collection:
“Where did you get all these?”
“Here and there, over the years. It would be more accurate to call me a conservator than a collector. We possess much more than you see here. We will never again risk the dangers of consolidation and wholesale destruction as in the Egyptian cataclysm.”
“Are you talking about the Library of Alexandria?”
“Yes, and the Temple of Serapis, also known as the Serapeum. Many of the most important texts were housed there, including the works of Apollonius. After the emperor Theodosius outlawed paganism, Pope Theophilus began destroying all the pagan temples in Alexandria as well as the Great Library. We cleared out the Serapeum first, while the pagan revolt was being crushed. Then under cover of the fire we set, the Library was rescued.”
“Are you actually claiming that our ancestors burned and looted the Library of Alexandria?”
“Rescued, not looted. You’re a funny duck, Billy. You look at me like what I’m saying is the most preposterous statement you’ve ever heard, yet you’re gawkin’ at an entire wall of scrolls and manuscripts. Where do you think they all came from? A Sotheby’s auction?”
I just stood there, unable to speak. He shook his head and marched up to the bookcase, dragging me by my wrist. He pulled out a slim volume and told me to open it. It was the Gospel of Mary. The complete Gospel of Mary. “Hhmmph!” he snorted at my dazed expression. “That couldn’t be an authentic codex, could it? No, that’s impossible! There isn’t a single complete copy of the Gospel of Mary to be found anywhere in the world! Oh, my, but what do we have right here next to it? Well, I guess you can keep that one, Billy, because I have five more copies…in this bookcase alone! Where could they all have come from?”
“I’m sorry…but this is so…incredible,” I muttered, trying to clear my head.
“So are the contents. You read Coptic, correct?” he asked, pointing to the book.
“Right,” I replied. The missing pages. Holy crap. Now I know why they cut them out. The story begins with Jesus being resurrected in the tomb. Being resurrected. Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene told the other apostles to seal them in the tomb with the body of Christ, “For they knew in Faith (Pistis) and Wisdom (Sophia) that he would soon return.”
Suddenly a great light fills the cave, the stone rolls away, an angel appears, and bada-bing,bada-boom, Jesus is back!
I guess that gives you a little taste (spoiled meat?) of why Good Friday and Christianity are such integral components of The Book of Paul. But lest you jump to any erroneous conclusions, neither I, not The Book of Paul is anti-Christian. Quite the opposite. Paul is an ardent admirer of Yeshua, although he does admit to feeling slightly competitive. On this week’s Dead End radio show we spent a couple hours gabbing with a gaggle of female book bloggers who are big supporters of The Book of Paul and we discussed some of these topics at length. Click here to listen to the archived Good Wednesday telecast.
Also be sure to visit the blogs of our guest stars:
And lest you think Good Friday is nothing but dark clouds and sadness, may I remind you:
And make sure you tune in to next Wednesday’s show when we talk about VILLAINS!