DAILY THEOSOPHY QUOTES
Tuesday 24th September 2013
“Is the language of the Old Testament more pure or moral than the books of the Brahmans? Or any fables of the heathen world more blasphemous and ridiculous than Jehovah’s interview with Moses (Exodus xxxiii. 23)? Are any of the Pagan gods made to appear more fiendish than the same Jehovah in a score of passages? If the feelings of a pious Christian are shocked at the absurdities of Father Kronos eating his children and maiming Uranos; or of Jupiter throwing Vulcan down from heaven and breaking his leg; on the other hand he cannot feel hurt if a non-Christian laughs at the idea of Jacob boxing with the Creator, who “when he saw that he prevailed not against him,” dislocated Jacob’s thigh, the patriarch still holding fast to God and not allowing Him to go His way, notwithstanding His pleading.
“Why should the story of Deukalion and Pyrrha, throwing stones behind them, and thus creating the human race, be deemed more ridiculous than that of Lot’s wife being changed into a pillar of salt, or of the Almighty creating men of clay and then breathing the breath of life into them? The choice between the latter mode of creation and that of the Egyptian ram-horned god fabricating man on a potter’s wheel is hardly perceptible. The story of Minerva, goddess of wisdom, ushered into existence after a certain period of gestation in her father’s brain, is at least suggestive and poetical, as an allegory. No ancient Greek was ever burned for not accepting it literally; and, at all events, “heathen” fables in general are far less preposterous and blasphemous than those imposed upon Christians, ever since the Church accepted the Old Testament, and the Roman Catholic Church opened its register of thaumaturgical saints.
“Many of the natives of India,” continues Professor Muller, “confess that their feelings revolt against the impurities attributed to the gods by what they call their sacred writings; yet there are honest Brahmans who will maintain that these stories have a deeper meaning; that immorality being incompatible with a divine being, a mystery must be supposed to be concealed in these time-hallowed fables, a mystery which an inquiring and reverent mind may hope to fathom.”
“This is precisely what the Christian clergy maintain in attempting to explain the indecencies and incongruities of the Old Testament. Only, instead of allowing the interpretation to those who have the key to these seeming incongruities, they have assumed to themselves the office and right, by divine proxy, to interpret these in their own way. They have not only done that but have gradually deprived the Hebrew clergy of the means to interpret their Scriptures as their fathers did; so that to find among the Rabbis in the present century a well-versed kabalist, is quite rare. The Jews have themselves forgotten the key! How could they help it? Where are the original manuscripts? The oldest Hebrew manuscript in existence is said to be the Bodleian Codex, which is not older than between eight and nine hundred years. The break between Ezra and this Codex is thus fifteen centuries. In 1490 the Inquisition caused all the Hebrew Bibles to be burned; and Torquemada alone destroyed 6,000 volumes at Salamanca. Except a few manuscripts of the Tora Ketubim and Nebiim, used in the synagogues, and which are of quite a recent date, we do not think there is one old manuscript in existence which is not punctuated, hence – completely misinterpreted and altered by the Masorets. Were it not for this timely invention of the Masorah, no copy of the Old Testament could possibly be tolerated in our century. It is well known that the Masorets while transcribing the oldest manuscripts put themselves to task to take out, except in a few places which they have probably overlooked, all the immodest words and put in places sentences of their own, often changing completely the sense of the verse. “It is clear,” says Donaldson, “that the Masoretic school at Tiberias were engaged in settling or unsettling the Hebrew text until the final publication of the Masorah itself.” Therefore, had we but the original texts – judging by the present copies of the Bible in our possession – it would be really edifying to compare the Old Testament with the Vedas and even with the Brahmanical books. We verily believe that no faith, however blind, could stand before such an avalanche of crude impurities and fables. If the latter are not only accepted but enforced upon millions of civilized persons who find it respectable and edifying to believe in them as divine revelation, why should we wonder that Brahmans believe their books to be equally a Sruti, a revelation?”
— H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled Vol. 2, p.429-431
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