On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 1:00 AM, Garth Wallace <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > I'm intrigued by the Iscariotists and Dydimists. What would the > beliefs of a sect that claims to follow Judas Iscariot be like? Are > the Dydimists gnostic? There are indeed several branches of Gnostic Kristianity. I should note that in the World, the orthodox party was never able to attain or maintain superiority. So "orthodox" means less than it does *here*. It's just one of several broad streams of Kristian thought. Neither of these two groups are Gnostics, however. The Dydimists are followers of St. Thomas (evangelist and master of the sharma or heavenly way). They are what I would call a non-liturgical, non-theological, practical and primitive sect of Kristianity. They have no liturgy, no particular tradition of prayer apart from the Pater Hemon, they believe in the Heavenly Father and the Evangel (or Gospel) as taught by Ye Shue and transmitted to the sharma masters. Their emphasis is on Ye Shue's philosophy and on the practical expression of it in society. Dydimists practice a kind of "consecration", which probably involves a process of baptism, monastic education and commission to go and teach. Dydimists are most active along the Silk Road to the north and along the Shah's Highway in the south. So roughly Ehrran, Bactria, the Indish empires, the various Hellado-Indo-Parsa-Judeo-Buddhist kingdoms to the north and east of the greater powers. Some teachers have been known to have penetrated into the West and a couple have gone as far as the Eastlands. They only have two scriptures: the Simrat which is an amalgamated work of psalms and archaic Hebrew wisdom literature (roughly corresponding to Coheles / Ecclesiastes and the Pslams of David) and the Efangelet which consists of the gospels of Thomas and the Wellspring (roughly equivalent to the purported Q gospel *here*). Dydimists are as a rule itinerant teachers of the Way, wandering from place to place, teaching, healing and uplifting the downtrodden. As far as matters of Church are concerned, the early Dydimists sent a representative to the first Council of Jerusalem (in 51) but eschewed the trend of separation between Ye Shue's followers and the ancient Jewish traditions. Needless to say, they accept none of the pronouncements of any of the later Councils. While modern Dydimists don't consider themselves "Jewish" any more than they consider themselves "Kristian", they do maintain the ancient practice of attending both religions' places of worship while on their travels and accept anyone at their table. Judas Thomas was the twin (dydimus / thomas both mean twin) of Ye Shue. +++ The Iscariotians are an interesting lot. They are almost entirely confined to the Decapoleis, a small country surrounding the (former) Sea of Galillee; a quiet country that has until very recently led a quiet and unassuming existence. Since the last destruction of Jerusalem back in the 60s or 70s, the remaining Jews packed up and headed east into the various Hellado-Jewish kingdoms along the Silk Road. This left a war ravaged land that would eventually be settled by others, some of whom took up the local religion of the Decapoleis which was Iscariotism. Theologically, it is fairly well aligned with what we'd call the mainstream Kristian sects. It holds than Man is a fallen race, sinful by nature, but is salvageable by means of a divine Saviour. Iscariotism holds (incorrectly, I might add) that Judas Thomas and Judas Iscariot are one and the same. (Thus the Messiah and the Betrayer are divine twins.) This point has developed into a concept of Ye Shue and Judas as coredemptors -- both are required for the plan of Salvation to occur; and without the timely actions of both acting in accord, Man would be doomed to the clutches of the Deceiver. Iscariotian scriptures include (but are probably not limited to) the Gospel of Thomas (since they hold that the Tomases are one man) and the Gospel of Judas (*not* the recently revealed one, but one I had written a couple years previous to that) and the Wellspring. The story of Judas's birth and early life are somewhat confused in early Kristian (and thus early Iscariotian) literature and tradition. Judas is marked at birth by five curious birth marks and the astrologer that is called in is horrified by his horoscope and suggests that the mother quietly stifle the baby before it can grow up and do any great harm. She in stead places him in a small cask and sets him adrift in the sea -- he later turns up with a childless couple who raise him. (And yes, it should be obvious that Judas can not be both Jesus's twin *and* the scion of some girl who abandons him to the sea, only to be raised by some random couple!) Others hold that he and Ye Shue were born together but later parted ways. The story continues more or less as is recounted in the Gospel of the Passion (the trial and execution) where Judas betrays Jesus and hangs himself on schedule. Judas ends up in chains in hell where a triumphant and utterly diabolical Evil One is about to send his armies of demons up into the Middle World for a bit of a holiday complete with full rampage and sackage and as many soul-slaves as one can take, thinking that now that Jesus is dead and out of the way, there's no stopping the Evil Plan. But, it is of course, not to be. A bright light is seen to pierce the red skies over the Iron City and in short order Ye Shue and his armies of angels arrive to defeat the demons of hell and set free the captives. There's a noisy and grand war in which the gates of hell are destroyed and Ye Shue takes the Evil One captive (in chains) and leads him away. At the last, Ye Shue comes back to the empited City only to find poor Judas chained up in the highest tower. He reveals that the divine Plan went according to plan -- the whole betrayal, trial, execution, resurrexion and storming of the Underworld thing. Judas is regularly seen as a vile character and the worst kind of betrayer by most Kristian groups. The Iscariotists have simply turned that on its head and have taken him as the close foil to the heroic Jesus. His part could never have been played out if it were not for Judas's own sacrifice. Not much is known of Isacriotian religious practice, but it is probably roughly analagous to Kristian forms -- sacraments, liturgy, priesthood. It is known that their churches are always underground, much like the Mithraic churches, but there is no obvious connexion. Their symbol is a noose dangling from a T shaped gallows. “Thy Master is dead and buried, o Betrayer! And all thy hopes are as dust! Even now, we prepare to invade the Middle Earth; and then storm the very gates of Heaven; for behold, the plans of the Most High are shattered and in ruins; and all the victory shall be ours!” They left him, then, and he despaired of all hope. (Sut. Judas) "... Judas perceived a piercing white light in the red sky; which grew even to the brightness of the Sun. The demonic cry of triumph turned in an instant to a moan of despair and confusion as they understood who attacked them. Smoke so obscured the plain before the Gate, that none in the streets or markets of the city could fathom what passed outside the Iron City; but demons fled in every direction in terror; and the captive slaves of the city quailed in fear. Great concussions were heard; and behold, the iron gates of the City fell to earth with an alarming crash that resounded throughout the place. Then a figure could be seen approaching the palace; and Judas perceived it was the Dark One, pursued at speed by his own Master; and in the courtyard before his very eyes, the Dark One turned then, black wings spread preparing to take flight, and he faced Judas own wrathful lord; great angels and warriors approaching from behind. His Master leapt up, and caught the Dark One before he could make good his escape; and he brought him to earth, pummeling him and rending his flesh with godly vim." (Sut. Judas) Padraic -- En matinamver na, IC pirperato sarccim pros iscôm mathêtes; ett’ ica pejeito adis nesser: acco, qouem mi moulvaniccere pros vassermet, qouem, moulvaniccere vas itan pros al pouvres. One morning, Jesus prepared food for his disciples; and he said to them: look, what I do for you, that, you do it for the poor.