Helena Blavatsky (Theosophy; New Age) takes things way out of context in "Isis Unveiled"

The following paragraph is from Isis Unveiled, Vol. 2, Page 37, by Helena Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, a New Age philosophy/religion. I'm reading her more to get better specific handles on where she went wrong and to share it with you. I knew she was off, but I hadn't delved in enough to really sense the exact types of spots where she veered.

How then avoid perceiving at once, that had not the Christians purposely disfigured in their interpretation and translation the Mosaic Genesis to fit their own views, their religion, with its present dogmas, would have been impossible? The word Rasit, once taught in its new sense of the Principle and not the Beginning, and the anathematized doctrine of emanations accepted, the position of the second trinitarian personage becomes untenable. For, if the angels are the first divine emanations from the Divine Substance, and were in existence before the Second Principle, then the anthropomorphized Son is at best an emanation like themselves, and cannot be God hypostatically any more than our visible works are ourselves. That these metaphysical subtleties never entered into the head of the honest-minded, sincere Paul, is evident; as it is furthermore evident, that like all learned Jews he was well acquainted with the doctrine of emanations and never thought of corrupting it. How can any one imagine that Paul identified the Son with the Father, when he tells us that God made Jesus "a little lower than the angels" (Hebrews ii. 9), and a little higher than Moses! "For this MAN was counted worthy of more glory than Moses" (Hebrews iii. 3). Of whatever, or how many forgeries, interlined later in the Acts, the Fathers are guilty we know not; but that Paul never considered Christ more than a man "full of the Spirit of God" is but too evident: "In the arche was the Logos, and the Logos was adnate to the Theos."

Now, keep in mind that Helena Blavatsky said flatly that Paul thought that Jesus was just a man (although "full of the Spirit of God") because Paul wrote Jesus was created lower than the angels. She based her entire view of Paul's position vis-a-vis Jesus's relative position hierarchically to the angels on one small part of one verse. However, here's Paul's real position on Jesus relative to the angels.

(Romans 8:38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Notice "nor angels." If angels are higher than Jesus, then they certainly can block.

(1 Corinthians 6:3) Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

How can "we" humans judge angels if they are even higher than Jesus?

(2 Thessalonians 1:7) And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

Whose mighty angels? Jesus's mighty angels. Now, one could call Jesus "my Lord" or "my brother," etc. In that sense, one might suggest that Jesus is lower than those mighty angels. However, we all know that's not what Paul means for the reasons given above that for one, we will judge the angels for instance.

(Hebrews 1:4) Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

Now, if that one doesn't seal it for you that Helena Blavatsky takes snippets of verses way out of context, then I don't know what to say other than you are being deliberately dishonest about it.

(Hebrews 1:5) For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

That one speaks for itself; but for those for whom the meaning escapes them, let me say that Paul is pointing out how much more Jesus is to God than are the angels (who bow down to Jesus and worship him, not the other way around).

(Hebrews 1:6) And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.


(Hebrews 1:13) But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

That's the same sentiment and point as Paul made above in Hebrews 1:5.

(Hebrews 2:9) But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Now, that one is in context in and of itself but also to be understood within the full context of all the verses of Paul (and I didn't even cite them all). The point there is clear: "for the suffering of death" and to "taste death for every man."

Paul is not speaking there about a hierarchical importance in Heaven to God but only of flesh, per se, being, as Jesus said, weak. Jesus was also always also one spirit with God and always higher than the angels.

Helena Blavatsky either didn't understand the not so subtle shifts in context or didn't want to have her readers understand -- to mislead them away from the real Jesus to herself and her new anti-Jesus religion, despite her protestations at the beginning of her book to the contrary.

Who knows though. Maybe she was just stupid. I don't think so though, at least not stupid in the common usage. My sense is that she wanted to build up her own humanist ego by getting others to be wowed by her many citations/references to written works and by her long writing. The two volume of Isis Unveiled constitute 2,402 pages in pdf format.

This is just one of many places where she took things wildly out of context.

Anyway, now you know to take everything she wrote with a block of salt. Check her out before jumping on board the New Age train to Hell.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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