The Gnostic attitude towards the Old Testament is ambivalent to say the least. The major issue is that it was written during the Babylonian captivity and edited to fit the prevailing Pharisaic form of Judaism that existed at that time. The fact is the Old Testament was written at the same time as the Babylonian Talmud and other questionable Edomite/Judaic texts. In this context it becomes clear that the Old Testament as we have it is not a Gnostic or Israelite text, but a text distorted to fit the Talmudic Jewish tradition. Accordingly, it mixes together accounts from a wide variety of sources and contexts with little thought to their integrity and original meaning. We can deduce that there are at least four Old Testament strands and these are in addition to the original Israelite Gnosis. This original gnosis was sustained by secrecy and taught mouth to ear (Kabbalah) by a small Pneumatic class, little of this tradition has been recorded in the Biblical accounts. Accordingly, the Old Testament is of extremely limited value. Most of the terms, words and concepts used are based on the original Israelite mystery language (Hebrew) and hence some of the esoteri-cism may be coaxed out of the text ,but this is not simple and is extremely time consuming. The simple reality is that the language itself obviously works regardless of ethics, so the same terms which can be used to refer to the Lord of Wisdom can be used, and are used, to praise the Archon Yahweh. Regardless of the Esotericism, we must be clear about the nature of the Old Testament in its current form. The Gnostic view is that if you followed the traditions in the Old Testament as they presently are, you would be enslaving yourself under Archons rather than liberating yourself through the Aeons. The Laws, Covenants and other agreements are sure signs of the enslavement of mans spirit by the Archon Yahweh, they illustrate how distorted the Old Testament really is. From a historical perspective there is little of the original Israelite teachings in the Old Testament. When we contemplate that Israel and environs had various religious traditions including Gnostic (Esotericism), the EL tradition (Canaanite Paganism), various strands of EL and Yahweh Worship and then later, the Priestclass of the Pharisees, one can start to get the picture of how distorted and confused the Old Testament really is. It is a sign of extreme credulity if not stupidity for Christians to try and interpret the whole Old Testament as a coherent early revelation and it does little for their intellectual integrity.
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