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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Are Freemasons Really Noahides

Are Freemasons Really Noahides Cover No.

Noahides, or those who refer to themselves as such, follow the Noahide laws, generally within the Judaic tradition. These laws comprise prohibitions of idolatry, blasphemy, forbidden sexual relations, murder, theft, consuming the limb of a living animal (an expression of cruelty to animals) and lawlessness (that is to say, requiring the setting up of courts and processes of justice).

There are rival philosophies concerning the Noahide laws. The classical orthodox Jewish tradition, as found in Maimonides, the Maharal of Prague and the writings of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, views the source of the authority of the Noahide laws as being the giving of the Torah at Sinai to Moses and therefore of concern only to the Jews.

Elijah Benamozegh (1823-1900), author of Israel and Humanity, and Aime Palliere, author of The Unknown Sanctuary, promoted the idea of an "independent" tradition which goes back to Adam and Noah, and thereby to be transmitted to the Gentiles. The growth of late twentieth century Noahide movements has been a source of concern to some Christians who view the ramifications of this philosophy as an anti-Christian attack.

These are religious discussions and therefore not of concern to Freemasonry. Freemasonry is not a religion.
Masonic author, Albert G. Mackey, defined Noachidae as the descendents of Noah; and Noachite as a reference to the legend "that Noah was the father and founder of the masonic system of theology." Mackey neglected to define or detail that theology. Regular Freemasonry has never had a theology and Mackey was simply expressing his own opinion.

Mackey also wrote that the seven Precepts of Noah are preserved "as the Constitutions of our ancient Brethren"3 but neither the oldest extant manuscript, the Regius Poem, nor the Cooke manuscript mention any such precepts. He can only have been referring to Anderson’s second edition of his Constitutions, published in 1738.

Non-masons, especially those hostile to Freemasonry, have been known to confuse references in masonic ritual to "the Moral Law," or "that religion in which all men agree" with the Precepts of Noah. Albert G. Mackey, in his History of Freemasonry, presented an historical background to the legends of Freemasonry but, in context, is clearly not ascribing the beliefs or practices of Judaism to those of Freemasonry.

A legend of two pillars that survive the Deluge, containing the knowledge of the seven liberal arts and sciences, is contained in the "traditional history" of Freemasonry. The legend that Noah received seven commandments when God made His Covenant after the Flood is not a part of any extant pre-1717 manuscript. The sentiment that "all masons are true Noachidae" was part of "Brother Euclid’s Letter to the Author" included, with no historical authority, with the Rev. John Anderson’s 1738 Constitutions. The 1723 Constitutions contained the passage: "A Mason is obliged by his tenure to obey the moral law." In the 1736 edition Anderson completed the sentence with "as a true Noachida. 5 These references were dropped in the 1756 and subsequent editions, and have never played a role in the ritual or teachings of regular Freemasonry. Dermott’s unauthorized Ahiman Rezon copied Anderson’s 1736 edition and also used the term "Noachida."

Anderson may have taken this idea from the Stonehouse MS., also titled the Krause MS., reproduced in Dr. Krause’s Three Oldest Documents. Probably written by a contemporary of Anderson and now accepted as spurious, it was first alleged to be a copy of the 926 York Constitutions.

Freemasons were called Noachidae by some authors, generally in reference to the Scottish Rite degrees, in a poetical allusion to the preservation and transmission of great truths. But these truths are not defined as the Precepts of Noah.

There is no connection between Noahides and Noachidae. One is a philosophy within Judaism, while the other is a poetical reference to Freemasonry and an eighteenth century attempt to create an older lineage.

The question only has meaning if one assumes that Freemasonry is a religion. Freemasonry is not a religion and has no doctrine.

Downloadable books (free):

Captain William Morgan - The Mysteries Of Freemasonry
Aleister Crowley - Freemason Letter On Crowley Status