Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Legend of the Zadok Priesthood and the Scribes of Solomon

The Legend of the Zadok Priesthood and the Scribes of Solomon
The Zadok priesthood is free of association with any specific religion. One might say the Zadok Priesthood are priests without portfolio, or priests at large. They receive no formal, specific, doctrinal training from the Zadok priestly order, but are recruited into the order because of their reputation for knowledge and wisdom.
The Zadok priests have been fundamentally instrumental in creating literature and theological guidance which is incorporated into many faith-based cultures. For instance, the Zadok priests wrote much of the early Old Testament, specifically those sections which biblical scholars refer to as penned by the J Writer (or Yahwist) as the Zadoks contributions are named.
Due to the lack of vowels in many ancient languages, the Zadok Priests were also called: Zedek, Zadek, Tsdak, Sedec, etc, depending on which ancient culture is telling their story. Ancient transcripts frequently use the simple consonants ZDK.
The Zadok Priesthood does not actually have one specific God, but rather speak of a universal, cosmic principle which governs all Reality. They shared the word that describes that cosmic principle with the Jews, which over the years Christians have come to interpret as the God Jehovah. To this day Jews are forbidden from using YHWH, the Zadok word for universal principle. The Jews remain true to the teachings of the Zadoks by writing the word God thusly: G_d.
The Zadoks never intended that the word Yahweh would be seen as the name of a God.  In Hebrew Yahweh is not a noun, the name of a person, but rather a verb, translated as ‘act of being.’ So the Zadoks see the cosmic principle that governs all Reality as a verb. God is not a divine being, but actually divine activity. So it is understandable that the Zadoks had no theology. It was more like they asked themselves the question, “Knowing what we know, what then must we DO?” So the Zadok religion, if you can call it that, or more accurately the Zadok practice, implies sacred behavior, rather than sacred theology. The word Zadok is often interpreted as righteous or justice.
Logos (translated into English as the Word) was an important concept in Greek philosophy, and was probably introduced by Zadok thinkers. The Greek/Jewish philosopher Philo, of Alexandria (25 BCE – 50 CE) was a contemporary of Jesus, Paul, and the early writers of the New Testament. Philo was well known in the ancient world as a philosopher. He believed that “literal interpretations of the Hebrew Bible would stifle humanity's view and perception of a God too complex and marvelous to be understood in literal, human terms.”
Philo wrote a Greek translation of the Bible, and incorporated the Zadok ideas into his version. Some scholars hold that Philo’s concept of the Logos as God's creative principle influenced early Christology.  In Philo’s philosophy, God is absolutely transcendent.
Philo’s work probably influenced the Gospel of John to include the word Logos in the opening sentence. In the telling of the New Testament’s version of the creation story, the gospel writer John says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
The Biblical New Testament Book of Hebrews affirms that Jesus was a Zadok Priest. “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchi-sedec.” Hebrews 7:11.
The first Judeo-Christian introduction to the Zadoks came when the city of Salem, which was presided over by the Zadok priests, was visited by the biblical patriarch Abram (Abraham) long before Judaism became a formal religion.
 More than a thousand years later we find the Zadok priests in the Kingdom of David. The city of Salem became named Jeru-salem. There are more than 100 Biblical references to Zadok involvement in the overall history of Israel. There are many other examples, spread out over many languages and cultural traditions, illustrating the wisdom and the religious contributions of the Zadok priesthood.
 As King David became elderly and soon faced his own death, he called for a Zadok priest to coronate his 11 year old son Solomon as the next king. Then King David said: “Call to me Zadok, the priest, and Nathan the prophet. Anoint Solomon as king over Israel, and blow the trumpet, saying LONG LIVE KING SOLOMON!”  I Kings 1:32-4.  The Zadok priests mentored the young monarch and stewarded the kingdom until Solomon had gained the maturity and wisdom to rule Israel. Those Zadok priests who mentored Solomon became known as the Scribes of Solomon.  The reason Solomon is noted for his wisdom is because he was trained by the Zadok scribes in his youth.
 In the decades following Solomon’s death there was widespread corruption of Judaism. The most significant blow to the influence of the Zadok priests in Israel came about 400 years later, in the aftermath of the forced Babylonian exile of the Zadok king of Israel, Zedekiah and the Jewish leadership, in c. 586 BCE.

Thereafter the Scribes of Solomon decided to no longer serve kings or existing religious groups, and dedicated themselves to the goal of sharing their repository of wisdom as chaplains to all humanity.  Because of the continued, historical guidance of the Scribes of Solomon, we are able to tap into their wisdom to assist us in spiritually inspired behavior of ‘Being’ as a divine verb (YHWH.) The Scribes of Solomon continue this mission to this very day!  Amen!

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