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James ‘the Just’ as Zaddik (Tsaddiq ‘Righteous One’)

James the Just - Zaddik - Son of Alphaeus

In the introductory “Epistle of Clement to James” in the “Pseudo-Clementine” Homilies, James the Righteous (AKA James the Just) is addressed as “the Bishop of bishops, who rules Jerusalem, the Holy Assembly of the Hebrews and the Assemblies everywhere.”

From the perspective of first-century Judaism, James (Hebrew Yaʿakov or ‘Jacob’) was also the Opposition High Priest[1] (in contradistinction to the Herodian-installed ‘Sadducee’ High Priest) and he was the revered Tsaddiq ‘Righteous One’ of his time—hence the name James the Righteous (Yaʿakov ha Tsaddiq). According to Proverbs 10:25 and the Zohar (1.59b), the Tsaddiq is “the Perfect copy of the heavenly Ideal,” “the Foundation of the World” and “the Pillar that upholds the World”.

The Pre-Existent James as Heavenly Ideal, First Man and Pillar of the World

Before continuing, it should be noted that this heavenly Ideal as ‘Ideal’ is essentially pre-existent, meta-historical, supra-sensory and—inasmuch as it is ontologically homologous to the Jewish Adam Qadmon as Protanthropos ‘Principial Man’—it is considered to be the first self-determination of the otherwise ineffable divine Essence as Atsmut עצמות or Ayn-Sof אין סוף. Homologues can be seen respectively in the Ismāʿīli Mubdaʿ al-Awwal ‘the First Originated’ (also known as ʿAql al-Awwal ‘the First Intellect’) and al-Mubdiʿ ‘the Originator’ (also known as Ghayb al-Muṭlaq ‘the Absolute Mystery’). In the Mystery traditions this has alternatively been phrased as the “first-born Son” (compare Deus revelatus or Deus determinatus) of the “Father” as ineffable Godhead (compare Deus absconditus or Theos agnostos). In Colossians 1:15-19, Paul writes that “the beloved Son is the Image of the invisible [i.e. absolutely unmanifest] God, the first-born over all creation: For through him [the Son] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created through him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist … For it pleased the Father that in him [the Son] all fullness [plērōma] should dwell.”

The heavenly Ideal/Pattern or Image of God—which Philo Judaeus calls “the archetypal model, the Idea of ideas, the Logos of God” (On Creation VI.25)—is homologous to the Primordial Logos as the “Word of Truth” (logos alētheias) by which “the Father … brought us forth … so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.” (Letter of James 1:18). Philo in his work On the Confusion of Tongues (XXVIII.146-147) refers to this as “the first-born Word” and reiterates that “the Image of God is his most ancient Word.” Prefiguring Colossians 1:15-19, Philo writes in The Special Laws (1.XVI.81) that “the Image of God is the Word, by which all the world was made.”

It should also be noted that the Foundation or Pillar associated with the Tsaddiq is often alluded to in the ‘throne’ references. According to Epiphanius (Panarion 78.7.7), “[James] was the first to whom the Lord entrusted his throne upon earth.” The Syriac Apostolic Constitutions (8.35) likewise informs us that James was “appointed Bishop of Jerusalem by the Lord himself.”

But a more direct reference to James-the-Tsaddiq as vicegerent of God (khalīfah Allāh, compare the Shīʿī “Imam of the time”), principal ‘Pillar’ or ‘Pole’ (compare the Sufi Quṭb) and ‘Foundation’ or ‘Throne’ (compare the Islamic al-ʿArsh) can be found in the Gospel of Thomas (Logion 12):

In the place you [the disciples] are to go, go to James the Righteous, for whose sake Heaven and Earth came into being.

According to Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History II.23.19):

So remarkable a person must James have been, so universally esteemed for Righteousness, that even the most intelligent of Jews felt this was why his martyrdom was immediately followed by the siege of Jerusalem.

Following the death of James in 62 CE, Simeon bar Cleophas was appointed as successor (Syriac khalīpha) and thus adopted the role and mantle of “Bishop” of the Nazarene Assemblies (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History III.11). In patristic sources, Simeon is known as “the cousin of the Lord” and is therefore also the cousin of James “the brother of the Lord” (Galatians 1:19) who was also known as “the son of Alphaeus” (Mark 3:18).

The name Alphaeus (the putative father of James) is Latin from the Greek transliteration (H)alphaios of the Aramaic Khalphai and as such is considered to be cognate to Cleophas. Despite the fact that James and this Simeon were cousins, they were nonetheless both reportedly the sons of “Khalphai”.

The present writer proposes that the name “son of Cleophas” refers to an Adoptionist-type tradition (i.e. as “friends of God and sons of adoption[2]) of the ‘True Prophet’, or alternatively and perhaps simultaneously is in reference to what has been identified as the Elijah-redivivus tradition[3]—i.e. Elijah come-back-to-life—but in the lineage of Ḥoni the Righteous (AKA Onias the Just) who was earlier compared to Elijah (e.g. in B’reshith Rabba 13.7) and additionally referred to as the “beloved of God” (Josephus, Antiquities XIV.2.1) and “son” of his heavenly “Father” (M. Taʿanit 3:8, B. Taʿanit 23a). There are clear indications that James-the-Tsaddiq was considered to be the redivivus of Ḥoni-the-Tsaddiq; for example both were revered Tsaddiqim, both rendered adjuration or petitionary prayer in God’s name or according to some sort of invocation, both were so-called ‘rain makers’, both were the go-to arbitrators for religious disputes and rightful course of action, and both were subject to a wrongful death by stoning (the killing of “the Just One”). According to the rabbinical B. Taʿanit (23a), Ḥoni “fell asleep” (i.e. died, in 63 BCE) and was “hidden” for seventy years before reawakening (a redivivus) in a later era. This reawakening or revival was precisely at the time when Judas of Galilee and his associate “Saddok” inaugurated a revolutionary movement in 6 CE (Josephus, Antiquities XVIII.1.1 and Wars II.8.1). According to Epiphanius (Panarion 78.14.5), James died at the age of ninety-six, which means that James—the Tsaddiq and Opposition High Priest—would have been about forty years old in 6 CE.

The name “Saddok”—arguably a composite of tsadoq צָדַק ‘to be just or righteous’ and Tsaddiq צַדִּיק ‘Righteous One’ (and both related to tsedeq צֶ֫דֶק ‘righteousness’)—likely derives from the spiritual station of the Tsaddiq, and is arguably referring to James-the-Tsaddiq who was said to be “holy from his mother’s womb” (Ecclesiastical History II.23.5). In other words, James was recognised and revered as a Tsaddiq ‘Righteous One’ not merely from a very early age, but this description of him as being “holy from his mothers womb” alludes (in part) to the embryonic implanting of the aforementioned “heavenly Ideal”—thus the supposed pre-existence of James “for whose sake Heaven and Earth came into being”—upon which his station ha-Tsaddiq ‘the Righteous One’ is founded. Refer also to the Qumran Hymns (1QH 15.8-18.29[4]):

You alone created the Righteous One, establishing him from the womb … to Stand before You in Everlasting abode, illumined with Perfect Light forever with no more Darkness in unending Eras of Joy.

Eusebius adds: “Because of his [James’] unsurpassable Righteousness he was called the ‘Righteous’ and ‘Oblias’, which signifies in Greek, ‘Protection of the people’ and ‘Righteousness,’ in accordance with what the prophets declare concerning him.” (Ecclesiastical History II.23.7). When Eusebius says “in accordance with what the prophets declare concerning him,” this suggests that it was James and not the normative “John the Baptizer” who was the prophesied one as an Elijah redivivus (notwithstanding Matthew 11:13-14). Moreover, it was presumably as High Priest that James was able to access the Holy of Holies, and as Tsaddiq and ‘Oblias’ (=Pillar/Fortress/Wall) “Protection of the people” that James was able to perform a Yom Kippur-style atonement. Professor Robert Eisenman remarks:

Not only does Epiphanius present these things even more forcefully than Eusebius—in this he is supported by Jerome—actually citing Clement of Alexandria and Eusebius as his sources, insisting that James actually wore the diadem or head-plate of the High Priest with the inscription ‘Holy to God’ on it; but also that he went into the Holy of Holies or Inner Sanctum of the Temple, if not regularly, at least once—there to render a ‘Yom Kippur’-style atonement, on behalf of the whole People.[5]

Let that sink in for a moment… James performed a Yom Kippur atonement on behalf of the whole People. And after, or while, rendering one such atonement in 62 CE, he was stoned to death by the Herodian-installed priests and their supporters (Hegesippus, Memoirs, via Eusebius, Ecclesiastial History II.23.7-18):

. . . And they began to stone him… but [James] turned and knelt down and said, ‘I entreat thee, Lord God our Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do’. And while they were thus stoning him, one of the priests of the sons of Rechab, the son of the Rechabites, … cried out, saying, ‘Cease! What you are doing?! The Just One is praying for you!’

There is also a possibility that James was an actual descendant of Ḥoni.[6] For key thematic reasons,[7] this should not be understated and it may have some bearing on James as a “son of Khalphai”—especially in the context of Ḥoni and his progeny regularly “hiding” themselves, which Eisenman suspects may be a garbled account or lampooning of Ḥoni’s and his descendants’ connection to the mystical ‘Hidden Adam’ (Adam Kasia / Adam Qadmon) who later reappears in the Shīʿī concept of the ‘Hidden Imām’ and al-Qāʾim ‘the Standing One’.[8]

Consider now the following passage in The (First) Apocalypse of James, which is part allegory and a Mystery teaching alluding to the ineffable Godhead (the Originator as pre-existent “Father”) and the divine Principial or First Intellect (the Originated as pre-existent “Son”):

The Lord said to him, “James, behold, I shall reveal to you your redemption. When you are seized, and you undergo these sufferings, a multitude will arm themselves against you that they may seize you. And in particular three of them will seize you – they who sit (there) as toll collectors. Not only do they demand toll, but they also take away souls by theft. When you come into their power, one of them who is their guard will say to you, ‘Who are you or where are you from?’ You are to say to him, ‘I am a son, and I am from the Father.’ He will say to you, ‘What sort of son are you, and to what father do you belong?’ You are to say to him, ‘I am from the Pre-existent Father, and a son in the Pre-existent One’.” [All emphasis added]

Some of the doctrinal tenets of James and his community of Nazarenes (notsrim) and Ebionites (ebionim) were adopted by the later Elkasaites, Naassenes and various other ‘Primal Man’, ‘Perfect Man’ or ‘Hidden/Secret Adam’ traditions in Northern Syria and Mesopotamia—some of which refer back to James as a means of legitimising their lineage or chain of doctrinal transmission.

The Pre-Existent ‘Hidden Adam’, ‘Perfect Man’ and ‘Word of Truth’

This Primal/Perfect Man (compare the Hermetic ‘Perfect Nature’ tibā al-tāmm) or Hidden/Secret Adam is elsewhere referred to or described variously as an Archangel of Humanity, heavenly Being, everlasting Priest or divine Mediator. According to Philo (On the Confusion of Tongues XXVIII.146) this is “His first-born word, the eldest of His angels, as the great archangel of many names; for he is called, the Authority, and the Name of God, and the Word, and Man according to God’s Image, and He who sees Israel.”

Compare the Shīʿī ‘Hidden Imām’ or the Islamic Insān al-Kāmil ‘Perfect Man’ considered as divine Authority and metaphysical Foundation for the khalīfa (‘vicegerent’ of God) who was supposedly first instated with the first man/prophet Adam. Toshihiko Izutsu writes:

[T]he Perfect Man on the cosmic level is the ‘vicegerent’ of God. The same is true also of the Perfect Man on the individual level … The term khalīfah meaning ‘vicegerent’ is a little ambiguous, because we ordinarily use it to designate the political head of the Muslim community, the Caliph. In view of this fact, Ibn ʿArabi strictly distinguishes between two kinds of khalīfah: (1) the ‘vicegerent of God’ (khalīfah Allāh, or khalīfah ʿan Allāh) and (2) the ‘vicegerent (or successor) of the Apostle’ (khalīfah al-rasūl, or khalīfah ʿan al-rasūl). The ‘vicegerent’ in the sense of the Perfect Man (1) is totally different from the Caliph, the historical and political head of the Muslim community, who assumes the name khalīfah (2).[9]

The same can be said of the meta-historical ‘True Prophet’ of the Ebionites who ontologically approximates to the “Word of Truth” (logos alētheias) that James (1:17-18) associates with the “Perfect Gift from above, coming down from the Father of Lights.” From the perspective of traditional philosophy, compare Philo’s “archangelic and most ancient Word” as “a Pre-eminent Gift” that stands as Mediator between “the Father” and “the created universe”. (Who Is the Heir of Divine Things, 205). This is then recast in the Mandaean Draša d’Yahya (Mead, pp.46-47) as the “Letter of Truth… which has come here to you [Yahya Yohana] from your Father;” and in the Mandaean Haran Gawaita (p.5) Yahia-Yohana (John) is actually called “the Prophet of Truth (Kušta), the Apostle,… who dwelt at the city of Jerusalem” (surely this is referring to James?) The Haran Gawaita immediately goes on to call John “a healer whose medicine was water of life,” which is reminiscent of James—as eschatological ‘rain-maker’ and an Elijah redivivus—asking of the people (in the vicinity of Jericho near the Jordan River, as per Recognitions I.70-71): “Confess your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (Letter of James 5:16). Epiphanius (Panarion 78.14.1) writes: “Once during a famine, he [James] lifted his hands to Heaven and prayed, and at once Heaven sent rain.” As did Ḥoni and Elijah before him, and it is not insignificant that the name Ḥoni/Onias ‘Gracious’ is an abridged form of Ḥoniyo ‘God is Gracious’ which is none other than an alternate form of Yoḥanan (John) with the same meaning.

This is to suggest that the Khalīpha as ‘vicegerent’ in divinis may be related to James’ and Simeon’s “Father” as Khalphai (thus Halphaios, Alphaeus, Cleophas, Clopas), but qualified as such by way of the Protanthropos (Adam Qadmon), ‘Hidden Adam’, ‘Perfect Man’ or ‘Son of Man’ traditions, or following the Ebionite Adoptionist position with regard to the receiving of the perennial and meta-historical ‘True Prophet’—of whom it is said in the Ebionite Acts of the Apostles (AKA the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions II.22):

. . . For the True Prophet Himself also from the beginning of the world, through the course of time, hastens to rest. For He is present with us at all times; and if at any time it is necessary, He appears and corrects us, that He may bring to eternal life those who follow Him.

With regard to “the True Prophet Himself also from the beginning of the world, through the course of time,” compare the Gospel of Thomas (19) and the Gospel of Philip: “Blessed is he who is before he came into being. For he who is, has been and shall be.” With regard to the sentence “that He [the Ebionite ‘True Prophet’] may bring to eternal life those who follow Him,” compare the Gospel of John (3:16) when speaking of Christ: “…that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

As for the perennial “appearing” of the True Prophet and the path of “correction” (the Way made Straight[10])—a divine intervention and restoration that in the Noahic or Abrahamic traditions is almost always associated with Righteousness (tsedeq, see Recognitions II.22: “And therefore I advise that His righteousness be first inquired into . . .” and Matthew 6:33: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness . . .”)—this is inherent to the redivivus tradition associated with both Elijah and Ḥoni “the Righteous”. Of these two it is said in the B’reshith Rabba (13.7): “There is no man like Elijah and Ḥoni to bring mankind to the service of God.” And as expounded at length by Eisenman, James “the Righteous” is an Elijah/Ḥoni redivivus.[11]

The ‘Way’ made ‘Straight’

Righteousness and “His right hand” are of course related. In this regard, note in Part VII of the Mandaean Alf Trisar Suialia[12] that there is a heavenly being referred to as “the Son of Life … who stands at His right hand.” E. S. Drower adds: “As archetype of priesthood, he admonishes and inspires priests.” This surely parallels James the Righteous’ admonishment of the Temple priests while he was proclaiming “the Son of Man sitting in Heaven at the right hand of the Great Power [homologous to the Elkasaite ‘Hidden Power’]” (Ecclesiastical History II.23.13) and further resonates with James as Opposition High Priest, who, like Elijah and Honi before him, was “turning the hearts” (Malachi 4:5-6) of the people: “Fix firmly your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws near.” (James 5:8). Likewise, James’ Son of Man on the Right Hand who turns hearts, and the Mandaean Son of Life at His Right Hand who admonishes and inspires priests, is homologous to the True Prophet (advising Righteousness) who appears and corrects us, that He may bring to eternal Life those who follow Him.

And is this “Son of Life (hyyā)” related in some way to Yaḥyā (‘He Lives’) and the eponymous transmitter of the Zohar, Simeon “ben Yoḥai”? In this regard, compare Simeon bar Cleophas as khalīpha ‘successor’ to James the Righteous as “the Son of Khalphai”, i.e. appointed as ‘vicegerent’ of God “the Father”—“from the Pre-existent Father, … a son in the Pre-existent One”.

Honi and the Elijah-redivivus Tradition

Which brings us back to Ḥoni and his relationship to Elijah and James. In Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews (XIV.2.1) we read that Onias/Ḥoni the “Righteous man” was known for “hiding” himself, as did his putative grandson, Hanan “the Hidden”. According to the rabbinical B. Taʿanit (23a), Ḥoni “fell asleep” (i.e. died, 63 BCE) and was “hidden” in a “mountain cave” (that had a carob tree planted nearby) for seventy years before reawakening—likely as one of his own descendants. Much like Elijah (1 Kings 18:41-19:8), Ḥoni also reportedly held the “keys to rain” (Antiquities XIV.2.1) and as such is considered to be an Elijah redivivus. Epiphanius (Panarion 78.14.1) similarly reports of James the Righteous: “Once during a famine, he [James] lifted his hands to Heaven and prayed, and at once Heaven sent rain.”

Recall the B’reshith Rabba (13.7): “There is no man like Elijah and Ḥoni to bring mankind to the service of God.” Recall the prophetic declaration of Malachi (4:5-6): “Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes; he will turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the hearts of the children to their parents.” Recall in the first century CE that it is James who is turning the “hearts” of the people and proclaiming the imminent “coming of the Lord” as we read in The Letter of James (5:8-9): “Fix firmly your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws near. Behold, the judge stands before the door.” This is arguably assimilated by “John the Baptizer” in e.g. Luke (1:16): “And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah.” Hegesippus (via Eusebius, Ecclesiastial History II 23.7–18) reports on James’ previous announcement of the imminent “coming” of the Son of Man “sitting in heaven at the right hand of the Great Power, and about to come upon the clouds of heaven.” (i.e. eschatological ‘rain’). The similarities don’t end there; in much the same way that James—as eschatological ‘rain-maker’ and an Elijah redivivus—asks of the people (in the vicinity of Jericho near the Jordan River): “Confess your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (Letter of James 5:16); so too, Matthew (3:5-6) reports that people from Jerusalem, Judea and all around the Jordan were flocking to John to be baptised (immersed?) by him in the Jordan and were “confessing their sins.”

As mentioned earlier, Eisenman views the “hidden” and “hiding” notices as either a garbled account or lampooning of Ḥoni’s and his descendants’ connection to the mystical ‘Hidden Adam’ (Adam Kasia / Adam Qadmon) tradition. Similarly we read in the rabbinical B. Shabbat (33b) that Simeon ben Yoḥai in the second century CE also “hid” himself in a “cave”, at the entrance of which grew a “carob tree”. And while there is no rain-making in this account, it is notable that a spring of fresh water gushes forth at the entrance to the cave—perhaps in a similar way that a spring of fresh water appeared beneath the pregnant Mary who had withdrawn to a place in the east (i.e. likewise was ‘hidden’) and was sheltering under a date-palm tree (as homologue of the carob tree) according to the Qurʾān 19:16-26. While in the cave, Simeon is also visited by Elijah (compare the Annunciation of Mary in the Quran where she is visited by a Perfect Man, as well the appearance of the Angel of Humanity, Gabriel, to Muhammad in the Cave of Hira). The typology is clear, and this must surely link Simeon ben Yoḥai to the Elijah/Ḥoni-redivivus tradition of which James the Righteous was clearly an earlier heir.[see also note 8]


[1] According to Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History 2.23.5-6), “[James] alone was allowed to enter into the Holy of Holies, for he did not wear wool, but linen, and he used to enter the Temple alone [presumably as Opposition High Priest], and was often found upon his bended knees, interceding for the forgiveness of the people.” According to Jerome (Lives of Illustrious Men 2), James “alone enjoyed the privilege of entering the Holy of Holies, since, indeed, he did not wear woolen, but only linen clothes, and went into the Temple alone and prayed on behalf of the people, so that his knees were reputed to have acquired the callousness of a camel’s knees.” In Jerome’s Commentary on Galatians 1:19 (396), he writes “So holy was James that the people zealously tried to touch the fringes of his garment.” According to Epiphanius (Panarion 29.4.2-4), “[James] functioned as High Priest according to the ancient priesthood. For this reason he was permitted to enter the Holy of Holies once a year, as Scripture says the Law directed the High Priests to do.” And when Epiphanius says “[James] functioned as High Priest according to the ancient priesthood,” is he referencing that priesthood spoken of about Christ in Hebrews 5:6, 6:20 and 7:21 (following Psalm 110:4): “You are a priest for all eternity in accordance with the order of Melchizedek“? In this regard, compare the archangelic Mediator that Stands between “the Father” and all of creation (Philo, Who Is the Heir of Divine Things, 205). Later, Epiphanius reiterates: “To James alone it was permitted to enter the Holy of Holies once a year, because he was a Nazirite and connected to the priesthood… James was a distinguished member of the priesthood… James also wore a diadem [sacerdotal plate] upon his head.” (Panarion 78.13.5-8). See also Robert Eisenman, ‘James in the Temple as Opposition High Priest’, in The New Testament Code: The Cup of the Lord, the Damascus Covenant, and the Blood of Christ, London: Watkins Publishing, 2006, pp.123-127.
[2] Ebionite Acts of the Apostles, AKA “Pseudo-Clementine” Recognitions IV.9: “When God had made man after His own image and likeness, He grafted into His work a certain breathing and odour of His divinity, that so men, being made partakers of His Only-begotten, might through Him be also friends of God and sons of adoption.”
[3] Robert Eisenman, ‘Revolutionary Messianism and the Elijah Redivivus Tradition’, in The New Testament Code: The Cup of the Lord, the Damascus Covenant, and the Blood of Christ, London: Watkins Publishing, 2006, pp.173-198.
[4] Cited in Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus: Recovering the True History of Early Christianity, London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1997, p.360.
[5] Eisenman, The New Testament Code, p.123.
[6] See Eisenman’s commentary (‘Abba Hilkiah Makes Rain’ in The New Testament Code, pp.157-161) on the James-like “Abba Ḥilkiyah” who was reportedly “the son of the son of Ḥoni” (B. Taʿanit 23a).
[7] For example, see Eisenman, “Other Rain-Making ‘Zaddik’s in the ‘Primal Adam’ Tradition,” in The New Testament Code, pp.142-151.
[8] On the subject of the Hidden Adam, Hidden Imām and Perfect Man traditions, Robert Eisenman remarks: “The ‘Hidden’ terminology is also applied to Honi’s putative heir, John the Baptizer, whose mother Elizabeth is described as ‘hiding herself’ in the infancy narrative of Luke 1:24, as it is in the Talmud to Honi’s grandson ‘Hanan the Hidden’ […] The Protevangelium of James, an infancy narrative ascribed to James—which, as we have seen, first propounds the doctrine of Mary’s perpetual virginity—rather, has Elizabeth ‘hiding John’ from Herod ‘in a mountain cave’. Herod, who wants to kill him—possibly the basis of the parallel motif in Matthew 2:13 about Jesus?—now asks John’s father, ‘Where have you hidden your son?’ The Qur’an follows up these things, in the process totally confusing John and Jesus. For it, both Elizabeth and Mary ‘withdraw’ themselves and now it is Mary who ‘hides herself’ in a far-off place (19:22)—the ‘mountain cave’ of the Protevangelium of James above. It is now Mary who is ‘consecrated’ to God while still in her mother’s ‘womb’ and she now—like Noah in Jewish mystical tradition above—needs ‘Protection’ from ‘Satan’ or ‘the Adversary’ (3:36). This is the same kind of shift we encountered regarding James’ ‘life-long virginity’ to Mary’s in this same second-century Protevangelium of James. For Muhammed, too, in a clear recapitulation of Naasene / Ebionite / Sabaean ‘Perfect Man’ ideology, the Spirit now ‘assumes for Mary the form of a Perfect Man’ (Qur’an 19:17—here is our link between ‘the Perfect Man’ and ‘Holy Spirit’ conceptualities), and, when speaking about proclaiming the ‘Hidden Things’ and how John, like Mary, is always ‘chaste’ (that is, ‘a virgin’—Qur’an 3:39-46 and 21:91), Muhammed describes this again, ‘Lo, the likeness of Jesus is the likeness of Adam’ (Qur’an 3:59). Muhammed specifically links John’s father, John, Jesus, and Elijah together and, reflecting Dead Sea Scrolls terminology, calls them ‘of the Righteous’ (6:86) and John, ‘a Prophet of the Righteous’ (3:39). Even more telling in this Quranic presentation, the Talmud’s ‘carob tree’, associated with Honi’s seventy-year sleep above, now enters Muhammed’s description of John’s relationship to Jesus as well, only it is now Mary instead of Honi, who sits down under the carob [sic. date-palm] tree and eats the ‘ripe fruit’ that falls from it. Nothing could better demonstrate the interrelatedness of all these traditions than this. In some manner they are all part of an identifiable whole and the story of Honi and his progeny is somehow connected to all these traditions about John, Jesus, and James. It should also be clear that all of these motifs then move into the Islamic Shiʿite doctrine of the ‘Hidden Imam’ or ‘Standing One’ as well.” (Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus, pp.384-385; see also: Eisenman, The New Testament Code, pp.151-153.)
[9] Toshihiko Izutsu, Sufism and Taoism: A Comparative Study of Key Philosophical Concepts, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984, p.268.
[10] Isaiah 40:3, 1QS viii:13-14, Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:3, Luke 3:4, John 1:23, Acts 9:11, Qurʾān 1:6-7.
[11] See Eisenman, “Revolutionary Messianism and the Elijah Redivivus Tradition,” in The New Testament Code, pp.173-198. See also Robert Eisenman, “Eschatological ‘Rain’ Imagery in the War Scroll from Qumran and in the Letter of James,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 49 (1990), pp.173-184; and James, M. Darlack, Pray for Reign: The Eschatological Elijah in James 5:17-18, South Hamilton, Massachusetts: Gordon-Cornwell Theological Seminary, 2007; as well as chapters: “James as ‘Rain-Maker’ and ‘Friend of God’” and “Other Rain-Making ‘Zaddik’s in the ‘Primal Adam’ Tradition” in Eisenman, The New Testament Code, pp.123-172. See also Epiphanius, Panarion 78.14.1.
[12] Translated and cited in E. S. Drower, The Secret Adam: A Study of Nasoraean Gnosis, London: Oxford University Press, 1960, p.60.


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