Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Osiris/Abrakas/Abraxas Connection with Abraham

I wanted to make note here that I believe that the Egyptian Priest-Syncretists of the Greek Magical Papyri tradition are the people responsible for the iconotropy in the Sensen Papyrus.  I believe they transformed the already-existing symbols of the Sensen Papyrus into a pictographic Book of Abraham.  So, they may have chosen the figure of Osiris to represent Abraham because of the coincidence of the name Abraxas in the Gnostic/Syncretist traditions of the Greco-Roman time period (the same time period of the Greek Magical Papyri and the Sensen Papyrus).  A variant of this name/word was Abrasax, which is kind of an anagram of the name.  Here is the Wikipedia article on the god Abraxas (and of course, the word was also used as a magical or key word in the Syncretist religion of these priests):

One source exists called Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis (edited by Charles Vallencey), a book with speculations on old Irish Astrology and other mysterious odds and ends.  Interestingly, as is pointed out in it, that the Aramaic version of the name is Abrakas.  This is how it has to be spelled in Hebrew/Aramaic letters in order to equal 365 through the numerological principle of Isopsephy (using the numerical equivalents of letters and adding them up) in that Alphabet.  This is because of the differences in letters and values between the Greek alphabet and the Hebrew/Aramaic alphebet.  The book makes the claim that the "Chaldeans" (i.e. Aramaeans) spelled it this way.

And in fact, in other sources such as the book Aramaic Incantation Texts from Nippur by James Alan Montgomery, on page 148, it backs up this claim, that the name Abraxas in Aramaic is indeed Abrakas.  In an incantation on that page it is translated as:
. . . in the name of Yahu-in-Yahu and the great Abbahu and the great Abrakas (Abraxas), the guardian of good spirits and destroyer of evil spirits.
 It is interesting to note that on page 151 of that same book, Montgomery notes that the name is also associated with the name Abbahu.  And it quotes another scholar saying that the deity's "proper name is IAO [i.e a form of the Tetragrammation or YHWH/Yahweh/Jehovah], but his epithets are Abraxas and Sabaoth . . ."  Sabaoth in Hebrew means "Hosts," which is why Yahweh Sabaoth is translated in our scriptures as "Lord of Hosts."  And it notes that the deity is usually accompanied by invocations saying "thou art our Father."  Certainly, that fact would be true for God, as well as for Abraham (both being "father" figures).  But it is natural that Abraham should be linked to a deity because, as the Wikipedia page says above that in the Greek Magical Papyri . . .
The patriarchs are sometimes addressed as deities; for which fact many instances may be adduced. In the group "Iakoubia, Iaosabaoth Adonai Abrasax," the first name seems to be composed of Jacob and Ya.
So, it is unsurprising that Osiris is a symbol for Abraham because of this fact, or that Abraxas would be as well.  I believe that these people equated the Gnostic Abraxas (the name which also appears in the Greek Magical Papyri) with the Egyptian Osiris.  For example, as noted in one Greek Magical Papyri, the identification with Osiris is clear:
In text PGM V. 96-172, Abrasax is identified as part of the "true name which has been transmitted to the prophets of Israel" of the "Headless One, who created heaven and earth, who created night and day... Osoronnophris whom none has ever seen... awesome and invisible god with an empty spirit"; the name also includes Iaō and Adōnai. "Osoronnophris" represents Egyptian Wsir Wn-nfr, "Osiris the Perfect Being". Another identification with Osiris is made in PGM VII. 643-51: "you are not wine, but the guts of Osiris, the guts of... Ablanathanalba Akrammachamarei Eee, who has been stationed over necessity, Iakoub Ia Iaō Sabaōth Adōnai Abrasax." (, emphasis added.)
And so, it was only natural that they would look to Abraham as the Hebrew figure that answered to that name (Abrakas) as well.  Remember that in the Sensen Papyrus, a symbol for Abraham is a rope coil (hieratic), or Egyptian letter W.  A reading for this character in Hebrew that derives from Egyptian, is the Hebrew word "Abrek."  This word is without a doubt connected to the name that John Gee pointed out that is found in the Greek Magical Papyri for Abraham:  Abracam or Abrakam, however you would like to spell it.  So, as you can see, some priests of this tradition spelled Abraham's name with a K sound.  See my article on this:

Now, if you remember, the Greek nominative ending is S.  For example, in Greek, Joseph is Josephus, Jacob (James) is Jacobus (Iacobus), and so forth and so on.  So now, if we have this name of "Abrek" and add a Greek nominative ending to it, it would be Abrekus, virtually identical to  Abrakas.  So it is very clear in my mind why they would have associated Abrakas/Abraxas with Abraham.  And then since Abraxas is a name applied to the high God in Gnosticism and in the Greek Magical Papyri, it is natural that this god would also be associated with Osiris.  So, it isn't very difficult to see the equation for the iconotropy/substitution:

Abraham = Abrek(us)/Abrakam = Abrakas or Abraxas = Osiris

As I pointed out above, like Osiris is linked with Jehovah, in that he is the dying god, Abraxas is also linked with Iao (Jehovah).  In the so-called "Abraxas Gems" or "Abraxas Stones," which are stone talismans with the figure of Abraxas engraved in them, he is depicted as having a rooster head with snakes coming out from below as his feet.  The same exact images were used for Iao in the same types of gemstones/talismans: