Ancient Jewish Merkavah Mysticism sought to ascend into the palaces of the divine realm, bypass fearsome angels of destruction to gain a vision of the very Chariot-Throne of God. By beholding the divine glory (kavod) one could gain magical powers and even be transformed into an eternal Angel. And it was this form of esoteric mysticism that it appears profoundly transformed none-less than St Paul. From his ascent into the Third Heaven to even his 'mission to the gentiles,' historical evidence now strongly indicates that Paul was a secret practitioner of this form of mystical ascent. And, recent studies are now revealing that his very Theology, Christology and Theory of Salvation likely drew upon this ancient esoteric Jewish ascent mysticism.
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Synopse zur Hekhalot-Literatur - Schafer - 978-3161445125
James Davila - Hekhalot Literature in Translation: Major Texts of Merkavah Mysticism - 978-9004252158
James Davila - Descenders to the Chariot: The People Behind the Hekhalot Literature - 978-9004115415
Vita Daphna Arbel - Beholders of Divine Secrets: Mysticism and Myth in the Hekhalot and Merkavah Literature - 978-0791457245
Michael D. Swartz - Scholastic Magic: Ritual and Revelation in Early Jewish Mysticism - 978-0691010984 (Great text mostly dealing with Sar Torah Mysticism)
Tabor - Paul's Ascent to Paradise - 979-8676875725
" - Things Unutterable - 978-0819156440
Morray-Jones - The Jewish Mystical Background of Paul's Apostolate Part 1 & 2
Segal - Two Powers in Heaven - 978-1602585492
" - Paul the Convert - 978-0300052275