The Eastern Bible is our preferred Holy Scripture.
The Eastern Bible is the primary set of Holy Scripture used by Church of the East. It consists of three sections making the whole:
- Books from the Great Awakening period (500BCE)
- A collection of books from the time of Yesu's bodily ministry
- A collection produced by the earliest Church.
The Eastern Bible and Western Bible hold things in common with one another:
|Both sets of scripture were produced by early churches.|
|Both sets were cultivated in very specific cultural milieu--the West bearing a Pauline (Hebrew) and Roman flavour, the East bearing the seal of St. Thomas, upon the backdrop of the ancient Scriptures of the East.|
The differences between the two sets of Scriptures are:
|Western Bible is a selection of books made by the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches in the 4th century. The books were selected among hundreds of others, as those books that had particular appeal to the Roman and Greek language and cultural setting.|
|Except for the 2nd century additions of Acts of Yesu, Acts of Thomas, and Apocalypse of Thomas the Eastern Bible is the collection of books brought to the Church by its 1st century founders. Mystical Sayings of Yesu is probably the earliest extant Yesu-scripture, was used by the earliest Church in the East. Was used as the source document for the 2nd/3rd century Gospels of the Western Bible.|
|Western Bible reflects a Hellenized cultural milieu that understands Emperors and human heroes to be sons of God, and about gods flirting with and fertilizing human women, and a culture still in its infancy regarding understanding of the One God concept.|
|Eastern Bible reflects an Eastern background that understands the Omnipotent God concept very well. The culture is coming to terms with the various forces of nature and super-nature that humankind is challenged to either master or fall victim to.|
|Western Bible is more religious and institutional in tone.|
|Eastern Bible is more spiritual, mystical and relates an overtone of the individual's responsibility.|
|Western Bible emphasizes the events leading up to, and the 'massive' event of the sacrificial death of Yesu on the cross--a death that appeases God to (sometimes) forgive sins.|
|Eastern Bible emphasizes the Way that Yesu walked and taught as a template for our own walk ( the Yoga of Jesus our Lord and Saviour)|
|Western Bible emphasizes, 'what Jesus did for you on the cross'.|
|Eastern Bible emphasizes, 'what your response should be to Yesu's teaching'.|
Eastern Bible consists of the following books:
- Acts of Yesu the Saviour. Received from the Holy Spirit, recorded toward the end of the first century by St. Siphor, a priest ordained by St. Thomas in North India. This short book describes the Saviour's reception by eastern sages, his tuition in various schools around the world and his ministry to various groups of Nazorite, Essene, Persian and Tibetan schools. The story ends with the Palestinian ministry but states that, 'this is the beginning of the acts of Yesu...'
- Mystical Sayings of Yesu. Collection of more than a hundred sayings of Yesu--all with deep esoterical meaning steeped in mysticism. Challenging, and according to its stated purpose, often disturbing. Written in the 1st century, this collection of Sayings served as a source book for the western Gospels written in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.
- Acts of Thomas the Twin. Tells the story of St. Thomas' calling, his ministry in India and his death. Not an historical account by any means but written in beautiful narrative, filled with allegory and its mysticism never for one moment lets the reader forget about the immediate presence of the Spirit. Witty, often funny, a treasure not easily surpassed in its class.
- Book of Thomas. Thomas relates teaching that Yesu spoke to him. A massive work of allegory and mystical meaning its theme is the contrast of the 'fire of the passions that destroy and the Fire of the higher Passions that purify'.
- Apocalypse of Thomas. An enigmatic book living up to the reputation and style of its genre. Often rather scary as one reads prophesy of past and (perhaps) current events and events that seem to be in the immediate future...but read it with spiritual mind alert.
- Bhagavad Gita. This 1st century poem summarizes the Yogas, the ways, as the Christ explains in dialogue with a devotee depicted by name of Arjuna. Practical mysticism and a simple straightforward explanation of the ways of salvation--the Yoga of Christ. Church of the East holds to an early version of the Book. The current edition of The Eastern Bible has extensive footnotes extrapolating the beautiful practical mystic-lifestyle of the Book.
- Tao Teh Ching. Written c.500 BCE originating in North India/Tibet, the most beautiful Scripture ever produced by humankind explains the nature of God as nature experiences it--clearly showing the the Way for us to simply slot in and Be. Church of the East holds to an early version in popular use in the Church for almost 2 000 years. The current edition of The Eastern Bible has extensive footnotes extrapolating the beautiful practical mystic-lifestyle of the Book.
- Book of Wisdom. 1st cent BCE Greek work originating in the Alexandrian milieu where Yesu was taught as a child. The work relates early Nazorite and Essene understandings of the feminine principle of God at work in the Hebrew tradition through the ages.
- Song of Songs. Probably 3rd cent BCE this collection of similar, but not identical in theme, poems in the Wisdom tradition relates in beautiful verse the mystic's quest of the lover (human spirit) yearning for, and sometimes receiving, her Beloved (Divine Energies)...even if for a moment.
The Eastern Bible is not history in the sense that it provides for dates and places where something happened--but it is the history of Church of the East in the sense that it tells a subtle story weaving through all the books--the story of the One Truth, the universal quest for that Truth, and the underlying peace, beauty, harmony, simplicity, humility and compassion in all things real and lasting.
HUMILITY, SIMPLICITY, COMPASSION
Living in these three as watchwords--before your thoughts, your tongue and your actions, cannot otherwise but lead to Christ in God's Energies.
Make this your meditation, your daily contemplation, your lifestyle -- and soon you embody the Mother aspect of God, the Wisdom by which our Saviour was filled