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Gnostic Origins and the Torah
In Response To: Re: Da Vinci Hysteria ()

I was really just thinking out loud. Obviously there is much more to be sorted out on this subject.

The "ruling elite" that composed the Torah would have been the family of the High Priests in Jerusalem during the Persian period, who were in fact immediate descendants of the pharaonic family in Egypt. These aristocratics would have resented the fact that they had been pushed aside by their more powerful cousins based in Persia, who were also the new overlords of Egypt and Israel. However, it still made sense for the subordinate rulers of Jerusalem to cultivate a powerful and centralized divine cult in Israel with themselves as exclusive administrators. The Torah was a brilliantly designed tool that served that purpose.

The conquest of Alexander and the forced takeover of that cult by the Ptolemies could not have been foreseen, and it had unforseen consequences. One of those consequences was the unregulated use of the Torah by diverse groups (and for their own purposes), not only in Israel but in Egypt and many other places.