The Eastern Bible (otherwise known as Wayist Eastern Bible) is the preferred Holy Scripture of Wayist Church of the East.
Wayist Eastern Bible is the primary set of Holy Scripture used by Wayist 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:
- 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.
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.
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 (The Lord and the 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.
No Scripture is inerrant, all were written by humans, within a particulat Tradition, for a particular audience, at a particular time in the historical development of humankind. The writer's context, training, linguistic particulars, motive for writing, agenda and other factors come to play in every Scripture.
Historical 'facts' in any writing, Scripture of not, is always and will always be limited by the writer's motive, context, knowledge, access to information, his audience and his freedom to speak.
Over the ages many editors' hands reworked Scripture. Every now and again a new political ruler comes along, favours a particular Scripture (or hates another and has it edited or destroyed) and sponsors editors to 'correct' things to improve it for the readers of the time and context.
Older Scriptures almost always reflect the morals and ethics of the day, and the days of future editors. Morals and Ethics are always in flux, forever changing and particular to geographic areas, tribal ideosyncrasies and religious backgrounds of the writers, rulers and editors.
Any writing that purports to be the "Inerrant Word of God" must be seen as exactly that--the inerrant word of the God of the people who believe it. People have been creating Gods in their own image for as long as humankind has been on earth. To learn more about who this God of that people is, one can quickly glean from the conduct of the people of that God, and from the morals and ethics of the God's words, the kind of a God it is that the people like. Consider the history of the people of that book, meet with them and notice how they think and live and you will know why they cannot worship the impersonal Absolute One, or our Father in Heaven, the omnibenevolent creature of utmost compassion, humility and simplicity who gives no rules, demands nothing, expects nothing, needs nothing, rewards not and punishes not, and who loves us unconditionally, patienly waiting for karma and reincarnation and His angels to help us make our way to Heaven. Sometimes it is rather obvious that the people need for themselves a God that is just a little better than humans (of that day), yet more powerful. Do not be preturbed if you find in their Scriptures that their God is mighty cruel, jealous and a warmonger; most of those books are old and speak to, and from the hearts of people many, many years ago when humans were less developed.
The Abrahmic religions have a definite incling to have a God to themselves, who likes them above all other creatures, who hates those who don't worship Him, yes a Him, and who promises severe torture for all souls who did not pay homage to Him. The Daodejing, on the other hand speaks only of a Creator Being, a Principle that defies definition, a "type of God" whom we cannot fathom, cannot name, but we can see Its hand in the workings of creation. The Bhagavad Gita speaks of the One, Brahma, but not much because we know so little. It concentrates on the quest of humans in daily life, the metaphorical war of the human's existential quest for spiritual development, and the love that spiritual beings, the gods (Krishna in this book), has for us and how they can lead us to Heaven by any one of several yogic paths. Buddhist Scriptures do not speak of the Ultimate One more than to acknowlege that IT exists, rather, they speak of our Father in Heaven and the quest for spiritaul perfection and rebirth in the Pure Land.
So why then do we read Scriptures of old? We can, and do, learn from an ant. We gain spiritual growth and insight from watching a cloud form for a brief moment, then dissapear. Of course we can, and do, learn from the spirituality of our ancestors. Chances are, we were those ancestors who wrote and revered those books. There is much to gain from beautiful Scripture...much to lose by adhering to terrible Scripture.