Codex Nazaraeus

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Codex Nazaraeus (Lat.) The “Book of Adam”—the latter name meaning anthropos, Man or Humanity. The Nazarene faith is called sometimes the Bardesanian system, though Bardesanes (B.C. 155 to 228) does not seem to have had any connection with it. True, he was born at Edessa in Syria, and was a famous astrologer and Sabian before his alleged conversion. But he was a well-educated man of noble family, and would not have used the almost incomprehensible Chaldeo dialect mixed with the mystery language of the Gnostics, in which the Codex is written. The sect of the Nazarenes was pre-Christian. Pliny and Josephus speak of the Nazarites as settled on the banks of the Jordan 150 years B.C. (Ant.Jud. xiii. p. 9); and Munk says that the “Naziareate was an institution established before the laws of Musah” or Moses. (Munk p. 169.) Their modern name is in Arabic— El Mogtasila; in European languages—the Mendæans or “Christians of St. John”. (See “Baptism”.) But if the term Baptists may well be applied to them, it is not with the Christian meaning: for while they were, and still are Sabians, or pure astrolaters, the Mendæans of Syria, called the Galileans, are pure polytheists, as every traveller in Syria and on the Euphrates can ascertain, once he acquaints himself with their mysterious rites and ceremonies. (See Isis Unv. ii. 290, et seq.) So secretly did they preserve their beliefs from the very beginning, that Epiphanius who wrote against the Heresies in the14th century confesses himself unable to say what they believed in (i. 122); he simply states that they never mention the name of Jesus, nor do they call themselves Christians (loc. cit. 190. Yet it is undeniable that some of the alleged philosophical views and doctrines of Bardesanes are found in the codex of the Nazarenes. (See Norberg’s Codex Nazaræous or the “Book of Adam”, and also “Mendæans ”.)

Source: H.P.Blavatsky - The Theosophical Glossary