When we read the Bible, we are facing two layers of false mythology.
The first is the underlying bias of the translators. In the US, our religious culture is largely the product of the Anglo-Saxon biases behind the King James Version (KJV). It’s a particular branch of Germanic tradition deeply affected by contact with the Druid religion of the Celts they conquered when invading the British Isles. In order to Christianize this odd mixture of culture, the missionaries continued a long tradition of perverting the gospel message by transplanting the image of Jesus into a mixture of heathen assumptions about morals and reality. This made it easy to reduce the shock of Christian conversion, consistent with what it really was, a mere political campaign. The church officials of that time were simply trying to convert these powerful heathens into a political asset of imperial conquest.
If you dig into the background of other European translations, you’ll find a similar dose of heathen mythology arising from slightly different flavors of Germanic tribal culture. But the one that affects America the most is the Anglo-Saxon KJV Bible.
The second and more subtle issue is the mythology of the Pharisees that shows up in the various manuscripts typically used for translation into European languages. It’s really difficult to summarize this problem because it’s horribly complicated, and the study of it forms a massive field of research all its own. Just tracking who did what with their favored collection of manuscripts is mind boggling. We have no original manuscripts from those who wrote the Bible, so we are forced to estimate between varying collections of sources, trying to recover as best we can what was likely something close to the originals. The whole effort is beset with some of the nastiest partisan wrangling and it’s dominated by church folks. But that bias shows up when you read a popular English translation and realize that what the New Testament writers were quoting from the Old Testament is often not quite like the English translation of the Old Testament source in the same translation.
The Pharisees represented a departure from the ancient Hebrew culture, as I’ve tried to outline in my book, A Course in Biblical Mysticism. Oddly, the collection of Scripture manuscripts most popular with American Christians is the one most thoroughly entrenched in Pharisaical biases (it’s call the Masoretic Text). It’s the same one used in producing the KJV. If nothing else, this serves as a warning that we cannot really trust the mainstream of American Christian belief to reflect the truth of the Bible. However, the problem is not wholesale deception, but a particular collection of errors that are consistent and easily spotted with some training. The problem is more one of a well-know agenda, not a total perversion.
And then we have all that big pile of American entertainment culture built on top of that when we are confronted with words in the Bible like “witchcraft.” It’s enough to wear you out slogging against multiple layers of culture and false bias just getting an accurate glimpse of what was indicated in the Scripture. In general, it bears not the slightest resemblance to neither our popular American imagination of witchcraft (influenced by movies and TV), nor what witchcraft actually is.
Finally, we have a vast layer of dismissive scientism when we encounter something that appears paranormal. Did you see a ghost, or hear something that had no discernible natural source? Did you encounter some other sensory experience that simply does not fit into the cultural regime of our society? The ignoramus viewpoint popular with American Christian religion is to dismiss it all as something satanic. All that does is make you feel like the Devil has a hold on your life and you are obliged to pass through a lot of baloney ritual abuse at the hands of your “Christian” brethren to escape that evil clutch on your soul.
Stop. I realize what a massive job it is rebuilding a biblical faith that forsakes the ocean of sewage promoted as mainstream Christian religion. But we aren’t designed to handle wholesale changes in one fell swoop like that. It’s a process. Genuine faith and holiness demands we rebuild whatever is in front of us right now. Some of you, dear readers, have encountered spooky stuff and we cannot claim to offer an antidote to falsehood unless we explore what those events should mean to you.
The first step is asking you to take up an awareness of the issues noted above. Immediately I need to remind you that I am hardly the ultimate expert in all of these things. I’m just someone who has found a vast landscape of sweet moral peace and I’d hate to live out here all by myself. You will have to approach it on your own path, but I’m convinced that a certain amount of my experience will overlap with yours. I’m further convinced that if you truly seek peace with God through your own heart-mind awareness, He will not fail to show you what He requires. Our virtual community of faith should not shrink from any subject that affects so many of us, and right now I’m burdened with addressing the various paranormal or supernatural phenomena we experience. I’ll tell you what I’ve discovered and we can compare notes.
Feel free to ask questions or tell your own stories. We shouldn’t fear anything in this world, because it’s our Father’s world.