Hello, everyone. First "real post" here.
I'm bringing in 2 positions. One is the Jesus-Archelaus idea, argued a bit later, and Atwill's _Caesar's Messiah_ material. My conclusions below are my own.
One thing to consider in analyzing the "Gnostic" elements, especially in GJohn is the identification of "The Father" that "Jesus" talks about. This figure is Vespasian and as soon as it is realized, much of GJohn becomes much more transparent. Consider:
GJohn 14: 22 - 24:
"Lord," said Judas (not Judas Iscariot), "why is it that you are to appear to us, and not to the world?" Jesus answered, "If anyone loves me he will obey my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and take up our abode with him. He who does not love me does not obey my word; and what you hear me say is not my word but the word of the Father who sent me."
Most of GJohn links up with Book 3 of _Wars of the Jews_, starting with the identification of the "Turning the Water into Wine" with the Galilean campaign at the "Mouth" ("Brim" See Aramaic trans.) of the 6 lakes (6 Jewish Purification Jars). Josephus paints a very...uhhh...suggestive picture with Titus taking over from a "Not-tonight-I'm-too-tired" Trajan and the divinity of Titus begins.
The Gnostic notions get backmapped to other material: Mark 9: 37 is Re-Valued at least twice.
"Whoever receives one of these little ones in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives not me but him who sent me."
Gnostic last, Vespasian and Titus before that and the story of a group of Priests in 8 CE first of all (If interested, I can explain that one later.).
I do not know the roots of Gnosticism but I do believe that the Gnosticism seen in many places in the Gospels has been grafted onto at least two more stories - historical stories, if you like - that effectively hid the original "true" meanings.
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.