An article originally published
Jul/Aug 1977 Vol.18 No. 4
In a letter to the Editor accompanying these studies of the Bible, Mr. Farthing writes: 'The more one studies what H.P. Blavatsky had to say about the Bible, the more one is struck by two facts. Firstly, that she is unique in interpreting the meanings of otherwise obscure sayings and what are seemingly mere stories, because of her enormous knowledge of other religious systems. Secondly, that she is certainly iconoclastic, but as the truth from her point of view is so different from customary thinking about religious matters, this is hardly surprising. I would ask you not to minimize this aspect in my article by leaving out, for example, that there never were 12 tribes of Israel or that the Christ is not a man'.[Ed. The Theosophical Journal 1977; Ianthe Hoskins.]
1. Further passages from the Old Testament:
(a) Regarding the Jews ' ... the whole twelve names of the so-called twelve tribes are names of the signs of the Zodiac ... " (The Secret Doctrine Vol.II p200 note (Vol.II p210 note, Vol.III p205 note 1)
(b) ' ... The Jews had de facto but two tribes - those of Judah and of Levi ...", (The Secret Doctrine Vol.II p130 (Vol.II p138,Vol.III p138)
(c) The Jews 'are a tribe descended from the Chandâlas of India, the outcasts, many of them ex-Brahmans, who sought refuge in Chaldea ... and were truly born from their father A-Bram (No-Brâhman) some 8000 years B.C.'. (The Secret Doctrine Vol.II p200 (Vol.II p210,Vol.III p205)
(d) ‘Moses, an Initiate into the Egyptian Mystagogy, based the religious mysteries of the new nation which he created, upon the same abstract formulae derived from this Sidereal Cycle (note: the cycle of Initiation was a reproduction in miniature of this Sidereal year of 25,868 years), symbolized by the form and measurements of the Tabernacle, which he is supposed to have constructed in the Wilderness. On these data, the later Jewish High Priests constructed the allegory of Solomon's Temple - a building which never had a real existence any more than had King Solomon himself, who is as much a solar myth as is the still later Hiram Abif of the Masons ...’. (The Secret Doctrine Vol.I p314 (Vol.I p334, Vol.II p26)
2. Further passages from the New Testament:
There are some essays and passages by H.P. Blavatsky which again are very informative and put a point of view we should be exceedingly unlikely to arrive at unaided.
Two articles are especially note-worthy. One is 'The Esoteric character of the Gospels' link, from Lucifer of November 1887 (Collected Writings of H.P. Blavatsky Vol. VIII p172 et seq.) and the other is 'Notes on the Gospel according to John' link, from Lucifer of February 1893. They were taken down and reproduced by G.R.S. Mead from what he heard H.P. Blavatsky say during the proceedings of the Blavatsky Lodge which H.P. Blavatsky attended for two years or so before she died. These Notes are scholarly and the early passages require some knowledge of Greek, but it is worth persevering with them. They are particularly illuminating later.
These two articles are too long to reproduce here and contain so much that a few extracts from them would be unrepresentative of all that they contain. They offer explanations, for example - and amongst much else - of the title 'Christ' that was given to Jesus, and something of the symbolism of the sepulchre incident. The reader should not omit the footnotes to most of the pages of the Gospels article.
From the Notes on John's Gospel (Collected Writings of H.P. Blavatsky Vol.XI p493) link we have: 'The whole of the New Testament is an allegorical representation of the Cycle of Initiation, i.e. the natural birth of man in sin or flesh, and his second or spiritual birth as an Initiate, followed by his resurrection after three days of trance - a mode of purification - during which time his human body or Astral was in Hades or Hell, which is the earth, and his divine Ego in Heaven or the realm of truth. The New Testament describes unselfish white or divine magic; the Old Testament gives the description of black or selfish magic. The latter is psychism, the former all spirituality'.
Among many other interesting explanations is the following: 'The 12 "disciples" are the 3 aspects of the 4 lower principles, the Triad reflected in the Quaternary'. (Note: The three aspects are explained on p502).
The Notes contain an explanation of the Initiation processes symbolized in the marriage at Cana (Collected Writings of H.P. Blavatsky Vol. XI pp499-501) - see also next study paper from The Theosophical Journal link.
In 'The Esoteric character of the Gospels' are the following: ' ... (a) "the coming of Christ" means the presence of CHRISTOS in a regenerated world, and not at all the actual coming in body of "Christ" Jesus; (b) this Christ is to be sought neither in the wilderness nor "in the inner chambers", nor in the sanctuary of any temple or church built by man; for Christ - the true esoteric SAVIOUR - is no man, but the DIVINE PRINCIPLE in every human being. He who strives to resurrect the Spirit crucified in him by his own terrestrial passions, and buried deep in the "sepulchre" of his sinful flesh; he who has the strength to roll back the stone of matter from the door of his own inner sanctuary, he has the risen Christ in him. The "Son of Man" is no child of the bond-woman-flesh, but verily of the free-woman-Spirit, the child of man's own deeds, and the fruit of his own spiritual labour' (Collected Writings of H.P. Blavatsky Vol.VIII p173).
This passage epitomizes the theosophical teaching on the New Testament.
Coats of skin (Adam and Eve) - Isis Vol.I p149.
Solomon's wives - CW Vol.X p162 note.
Adam: further explanation - SD II 46 note (Vol.II p49 2nd note, Vol.III p57 note 2).
Genesis: Days of Creation (Brahma) - Isis Vol.II p421.
Bible can be understood only by the light of the Kabala - SD Vol.II p624 ( Vol.II p660 & p661 , Vol.IV p195).
Tower of Babel: astrological, built by adepts - Isis Vol.II p217.
Noah's Ark: Animals, human passions - Isis Vol.II p447.
Samson: significance of his hair-cutting - CW Vol.VII p275 note.
Genesis to Revelation: great struggle between white and black magic - SD Vol.II p211 (Vol.II p221, Vol.III p215).
Matthew: the only original gospel - CW Vol.IV p238.
Revelation: allegorical, narrative of mysteries and initiation - lsis Vol.II p351.
Jesus and the swine: vampires - CW Vol.VI p210 & p211.
Paul: referred to as an Initiate (many times) - Isis Vol.II p90; SD Vol.1 p240 (Vol.I p261, Vol.1 p285; SD Vol.II p504 (Vol.II p530, Vol.IV p72 & p73).
Paul: the real Founder of Christianity - Isis Vol.II p575.
Isis Unveiled H.P. Blavatsky.
The Secret Doctrine: References to the three editions in general use are given in the order of publication, viz: 1888 (Original) 1893-7
The Key to Theosophy H.P. Blavatsky.
Collected Writings of H. P. Blavatsky. link
The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett: the page numbers in brackets refer to the 3rd (1972) Edition.
There is no substitute for doing one's own reading!
Geoffrey Farthing (1909-2004), author and international lecturer made the study of Theosophy, and in particular the esoteric writings of H.P. Blavatsky, his abiding interest for over 60 years. Geoffrey held most positions in the Theosophical Society in England including General Secretary (1969-72). He served a term as a member of the Society's General Council at Adyar, India, and was a member of the Executive Committee of the European Federation for a number of years. He founded The Blavatsky Trust, an educational charity, in England in 1974. In the same year he gave the prestigious Blavatsky Lecture at the Annual Convention of the English Theosophical Society on Life, Death and Dreams, and in 1996, was awarded the Subba Row Medal for his significant contribution to theosophical literature.