By M. Saradj
Anan ben David, his belief and teaching in the 8tb century widely applied in the 20th century.
Anan's belief and teaching was a new approach of understanding belief and religion based on complete tolerance and personal conviction of each believer on condition that he believes in a single God, future life and recognizes Moses, Jesus Christ and Mahomet as prophets and also shares Anan's ideas concerning the clergy. All these ideas were unacceptable in his epoch, i.e. in the 8th century, but were entirely acceptable in the 20th century. Anan in his ideas was a predecessor of many people of the 20th century.
It is difficult to imagine a person belonging to the three religions, but it is quite possible and logical to believe in all the three Revelations.
Religion is stated by the people and clergy with the help of civil powers, as it was in the Roman empire and in Byzantium in the times of heresies - of Aria, Nestor and others. It consisted in stating the obligatory, outer manifestations of belief, e.g. - ceremonies, visiting the places of worship, observing feasts, fasts at a definite season of the year etc, and in additional directions and definitions concemingthe content of the Revelation itself.
The Moses' teaching is the Revelation given by the God to the Jewish people, but conceptually it may be considered as a religion, as it foresees the duties, the external forms of cult. The Koran comprises very few definitions of the belief having external nature, whereas the Gospels are based on the belief in God and on love to the nearest one obligatory to the human for deserving the soul saving.
Besides christening the Gospels do not comprise any outer manifestations in the form of ceremonies or feasts, but the church synods developed the item which is called the canon. The Christian confessions - the Catholic and the Orthodox ones - have elaborated the obligatory interpretation of the content of Jesus Christ's teaching and supplemented it with the rules of purely external nature obligatory to the believers. Naturally, following the directions of the three religions is illogical.
They are not similar, but they do not comprise any contradictions in the belief bases.
Moses believed in a single God, and neither his Ten Commandments, nor many of his directions of purely moral nature - such as the attitude to foreigners or slaves did not contradict the teaching of Jesus Christ or Mahomet, if one takes into account the fact that in Moses' epoch the people in its majority was uneducated, for a long time lived among pagans-Egyptians and was inclined to worship idols. The episode with "the golden calf" is peculiar, and in the history of Exodus we see what difficulties experienced Moses to restrain his people making them to follow the way pointed out by the God. Observing the Ten Commandments was the maximum which he could demand from them. It should be noted that Jews had to wage wars all the time in order to reach the Promised Land. Moses was a human like all the other people, but the Most High often announced him His will.
Jesus Christ lived 14 centuries, after monotheism had been established. In his epoch the people was educated, observed Moses' Commandments based on the idea of justice, believed in a single God. Already before Jesus Christ Jewish rabbis who went down into the history of Jewish people demanded much more than the Ten Commandments. These were rabbis-sages.
Prior to them the prophets of the 7th-8th centuries demanded from people mercy and virtue which is mentioned in the Gospels. Jesus Christ could demand much more from his contemporaries, as well as one may demand mach more from grown-ups than from children. Demanding more, we do not abolish the minimum, and Jesus Christ mentioned the Ten Commandments given to Moses.
Mahomet, the history of whom is well known to us, recognized the teaching of Moses and Jesus Christ. He thought that he had to draw people's attention to wrong interpretations given by Jews-rabbis, but at the swne time he criticized also the Orthodox Church - particularly for its final decision accepted in the 4th century to recognized Jesus Christ as a God's Son and stating the dogma of Trinity. Jesus Christ was for him a prophet lighted up by the Holy Spirit (Ghost). Mahomet considered himself to be a person, whom archangel Gavriil ordered to teach people, but his personal behaviour was not ordered him from the above, he did not pretend to it.
One must not forget that the Arabs' cultural level in the epoch of Mahomet was lower than that one in the epoch of Jesus Christ. They were idolaters and did not dispose moral foundations stated according to religious laws. The law of the strong one predominated among them in the epoch of Moses at the beginning of the 7th century.
As well as Moses Mahomet forcibly brought his people to monotheism and worldly morals.
Anan did not pretend to be a prophet, and nearly everything he had advocated we find not in the religions but in the Revelations of the three prophets, therefore it is logically and correctly to consider his teaching as a syncretic one.
But the main novelty introduced by him is the right of every believer to interpret the Holy Scripture according to his intellect and conscience and follow only the ways which one considers to be correct and acceptable. And, actually, not every fact mentioned in the Revelations is clear, and it cannot be clear, as one cannot foresee everything and explain everything in holy books written by people from memory. Besides sometimes we find contradictions.
Anan's Attitude to the Old Testament
The Old Testament was compiled 12 centuries later after Moses. The Old Testament is full of the orders given by the God through Moses. It is full of statements, orders having religious nature, and also it comprises purely worldly orders concerning food, meals, hygiene, farming (agriculture), as well as a number of punishments and sacrifices for redeeming sins. But not everything is completely clear and foreseen, therefore in the 4th century after Christmas the comments - the Talmud and Mishna - obligatory for all believing Jews have been written.
From the other side there is an obvious contradiction between the text of the Old Testament and the ideas of God expressed as if by the lips of prophets living in the 8th and the 7th centuries before Christmas, who did know the Moses' true teaching. Take for example Amos' words (5, 21-24):
Do hate and reject the feasts of yours,
do not smell sacrifices during ceremonial meetings of yours.
If you offer me holocausts and bread gifts,
I shall not accept it,
and shall not look upon the grateful sacrifice
from fat calves of yours.
Send awayfrom me the noise of songs of yours,
for the sounds of psaltery ofyours I shall not listen to.
Let the court proceed as the waterflows
and the truth - as a strong stream!
Or from prophet (6, 5-6):
Therefore I defeated through prophets
and beat them by the words of lips of Mine
and the trial of Mine is a rising light,
for I mercy want but not a sacrifice
and the God studies rather than holocausts.
And prophet Isaiah says (1 12-14):
When you appear before the face of mine,
Who demands you to trample the courts ofmine?
Do not bring more vain gifts;
smoking is repulsive to Me;
New months or Saturdays, ceremonial meetings
I cannot stand.. lawlessness - and celebrations!
New months of yours and feasts of yours
hates the soul of Mine;
they are burdenfor Me;
I carry it with difficulty.
It is incompatible with the ideas given by the God to Moses according to the Pentateuch, for example:
"And appealed God to Moses and told him from the meeting skiny, saying: declare the sons of Israel and say to them: when one ofyou wants to offer a sacrifice to God and if it is from the cattle, then bring your sacrifice from the big cattle and small one.
If the sacrifice is the holocaustfrom the big cattle, then let him bring it a male one without a vice; let him bring it to the door of the meeting skiny, so as he might acquire a goodwill before God And he will put the hand of his upon the head of holocaust, and he will acquire goodwill for the sake of clearing off the sins of him. And he will stab the ca@ before God,. but Aaron's sons, clergymen, will bring blood and will sprinkle with blood from all the sides upon the credence table which is at the entrance of the meeting skiny. And he will peel the skin from the holocaust sacrifice, and he will cleave it in some parts. But the sons of Aaron, clergymen, will put fire on the credence table, and in the fire they will place firewood. And the sons of A aron, clergymen, will put the parts, the head and the fat upon firewood which is in the fire upon the credence table. And the visceras of the sacrifice and its legs he will wash with water, and the clergyman will fire all these parts on the credence table: these holocaust, sacrifice, fragrance arefavourable to God" (Lion 1, 1 9).
Moses is supposed to add many facts from his part. But it is improbable, as well as improbable is the fact that in the course of 8 centuries all the ways of sacrificing with all their details could be retained. Even the Jewish encyclopedias published in Jerusalem admit that not everything within the Old Testament is the teachin conveyed by Moses, without mentioning many Jewish authors who in their turn recognize that much is incompatible. One may easily suppose that the text of the Old Testament was compiled with the account of political obstacles. Idolatry had been spread among the people before the Babylonian captivity, in Babylon the Jews lived on ffiendly tenns with local inhabitants, mixed marriages were rather often, and paganism together with sacrificing was the Persians' official religion. So as monotheism and the Moses' teaching were acceptable to people, rabbis were likely to introduce the facts known to them, that it contradicts the truth. It was widely practised in Egypt and other countries, and the Orthodox clergy was the first one to compromise with pagans, in order that Christianity be accepted by them (compare the ideas of the Great inquisitor in "Karamazovs' brothers" by F.M.Dostoevsky). Only this example shows that some interpretations arise themselves. The God could not order one thing through Moses and say through prophets the contrary, all these contradictions should be explained.
Anan believed in the Moses' teaching, in the Ten Commandments given by him, in many moral statements but far not in everything that had been written by the editors of the Pentateuch. Being a highly educated person, springing from clergy, he was likely to know what had been the Moses' true teaching and what ideas were added assuming purely political or worldly reasons. Of course he did not accept everything concerning sacrifices which by that time were not a standard practice, as rabbis themselves abolished them after the event, when in the 70ies of the I st century the temple, the place of worship, had been destroyed.
Sacrifice donors were ordained a post, and their meditation between the God and people also was considered as a sacrament. The Pentateuch is based on strict rules, religious and worldly ones, and even on still more severe punishments.
Prophets tell about mercy and virtue, about the moral duty of the propertied to help the unpropetied. And at last they tell about the evidence of the faithfulness to God not by outer manifestations, but by their behaviour and spiritual state.
The same were Anan's ideas, he was nearer to prophets than to those who compiled the text of the Old Testament, to the rabbis' teaching, who liked neither him, nor his followers. But not everything what he believed in was obligatory for his followers, as he did not consider himself to be a prophet, and recognizing the right to interpret the Revelations freely, he conceded the same right to the others.
Nakhavandy was the main follower of Anan. He recognized the teachings and all the other bases of the Anan's teaching. While the works of Anan have not reached us, so the works of his pupil Nakhavandy have reached us in full. According to the Bible the human being is created in the God's own image. According to the Bible the God himself in many respects is the human's own image. He can be angry, he forgives, makes concessions, writes commandments for Moses, and He himself in his appearance is like a human being as it is mentioned in the Book of Exodus. Nakhavandy denied all these facts, as well as Anan was believed to do the same. Nakhavandy thought that God was incomprehensible for our intellect and existed outside our passions and feelings. Thus, he denied the essence of the Old Testament where it is declared that the God himself has written the Ten Commandments for Moses.
Anan and teaching of Jesus Christ
Jewish and Arabic authors of his epoch spoke about the influence of Jesus Christ on Anan.
The Christian Orthodox church and many Russian authors who knew Anan's teaching which is tenned to-day a Karaite religion considered it to be very near, if not identical, to the belief of the so called first Christians of the first centuries of Christianity. They recognized Jesus Christ as a prophet, Messiah, they had no clergy ordaining or even the clergy in general, communities elected for themselves some kind of Chairmen who had no rights what ever. These people were more probable administrators of communities. There were no obligatory dogmas, and even then, when the local clergy appeared, the accomplishment of the Jesus Christ's teaching could be different in dependence of communities with the proviso faithfulness to his teaching.
All these facts did not contradict Jesus Christ's sayings. It is quite sufficient to read the words given by the apostle Matthew:
"Master! What is the greatest precept within the law? Jesus said to him: "Love the Lord ofyours with the whole heart ofyours and with the whole sole ofyours, and with the whole understanding ofyours "- this is the first and the greatest precept. The second one, similar to the first one " is "love the nearest one ofyours as you love yourself'. These two precepts are the bases of the whole law andprophecies " (Matthew 22, 3 6-40).
Thus, one may conclude that not everything comprised in the Pentateuch was the Moses' teaching. Christ does not go into details, he does not require the outer manifestations, it is sufficient to be spiritually a worthy person, and then the whole behaviour of a human being will correspond to him. He repeats this idea: "Either recognize the tree as a good one, and so do its fruit, or recognize the tree as a bad one, and so do itsfruit,. for the tree is known by itsfruit. The outcome of a viper! How can you express kind ideas ifyou are wicked? For out of the fullness of the heart the lips speak, A kind person extracts from a good treasure nice things; and a wicked person extractsfrom a malicious treasure malicious things" (Matthew 12, 3 3 -3 5).
And Anan had the same ideas. Was he influenced by Jesus Christ, or did he reach independently his belief? As it is not difficult to state, the facts are completely identical.
Christ advocated indifference to earth wealth and philanthropy, proceeding from the obligation to love the nearest one:
"Do not gather for yourselves the treasures on the earth, where Moth and rust exterminate, and where thieves undermine and steal" (Matthew 6, 19, see at other Evangelists).
Christ said that a person in the course of his earthly existence should deserve a corresponding reward in the other world. In the earthly life the person receives neither punishments, nor rewards. The Anan's complete teaching is based on these facts, and he recommends asceticism.
Christ did not attach much importance to ceremonies and obligatory statements of the Old Testament:
"Saturday is for a person, but not a person for Saturday, therefore the Human Son is the Lord of saturday too " (Mark 2, 27-28).
We do know'that Anan did not attach any importance to ceremonies, and the divine service at Crimean Karaites up to the last time consisted in singing psalms and religious poetry narrating about earthly life vainness or about virtue duty.
Jesus Christ did not acknowledge obligatory decisions of the clergy:
"Hypocrites!! Isaiah prophesied well about you, saying: "people are nearing Me with the lips of theirs and honour me with the tongue; the heart of theirs is far away from Me. But vainly do they esteem Me, teaching doctrines, human precepts
(Matthew 15, 7-9).
We know that the same ideas were advocated by Anan and his followers, Anan did not acknowledge the Talmud what has provoked rabbis' hostility, but at the same time he did not acknowledge the decisions of the Christian clergy too.
Christ advocated virtue:
"Then the Tsar will tell those who are on the right of Him: "Come the blessed ones of the Father ofmine, inherit the Kingdom providedfor you from the creation of the world. For hungered I, and you gave Me to eat; thirsty was I, and you gave Me to drink,. a wanderer was I, and you received Me, naked was I, and you dressed Me, ill was I, and you visited me, in the dungeon was I, and you came to Me ". Then moral persons will say to Him in answer: "Oh, Lord! When have we seen You hungering and have fed You or being thirsty and have given You to drink? When have we seen You as a wanderer and have received You? When have we seen You naked and have dressed You? When have we seen You to be ill or in the dungeon and have come to You? " And the Tsar will say to them in answer: "I truly tell you, as you had done itfor one of these brothers ofmine, for the youngest one, you had done itfor Me (Matthew 25, 34-40).
The same were the instructions given by Anan, and they have been inoculated at Crimean Karaites, all the well-to-do people considered to be their duty to help those who were in need, to make donations for building sanatoria, houses for aged people, etc.
We see that between the Jesus Christ's teaching in the I st century and the Anan's teaching in the 8th century there are no contradictions but rather a complete identity.
One cannot say the same about the belief of his followers and about official Christian religion, which recognized Jesus Christ as a God's Son in the 4th century and stated the dogma about Trinity and canons.
But as we shall see, the religion of sects of the 20-th century, which in many respects is similar to that of the first Christians has very few contradictions with the Anan's teaching.
Anan may be considered as a predecessor of many Christian reformers. All of them as well as Anan thought that clergy decisions and interpretations were not obligatory for believers, all of them attached no significance to ceremonies and did not acknowledge sacraments. It is impossible to mention all of them, but e g. some of them may be given.
In the 12th century in Lion in France Pierre Vaidece organized a Christian sect and was a predecessor of Protestants. Valdece and his supporters acknowledged only the Holy Scripture and thought that everybody was free in his own interpretations. They did not acknowledge the religious hierarchy, they attached no significance to sacraments and thought that a person had to deserve saving by his behaviour. We cannot assert that Vaidece knew the Anan's teaching, but it is not difficult to ascertain than his approach to the belief Qompletely corresponds Anan's ideas.
A Christian sect of Catarrhs originating at the beginning of the 13th century in the south of France was much more nearer to the Anan's teaching. Catarrhs as well as Anan believed in the soul migration, advocated asceticism. For them the Jesus Christ's teaching was more important than his personality or his fate.
Later in the 14th century, in Czechia Jan Guss, the rector of the university finished his life on a bonfire according to the inquisition sentence.
The Protestant teaching originating in the 16th century is also near to the Anan's teaching. They did not acknowledge all the facts which were added to revelations:
- freedom of interpreting according to their conscience the content of the Holy Scripture,
- absence of dogmas, etc.
As we see, they as well as other Christian sects (Baptists, Evangelists and Quakers) share Anan's ideas. As well as Anan they are supporters of liberalism and freedom of thinking outside of the spiritual hierarchy as it was advocated by Anan 12 centuries ago.
The future will show if this way is correct or it brings some dangers, but it is doubtless that strict traditional ideas are not accepted by believers nowadays.
Anan and the Mahomet's Koran
If one compares the Anan's teaching with the Koran, then one may ascertain that there is no great contradiction between them.
But Mahomet did not consider asceticism to be an ideal phenomenon, and Moslems considered their prophet to be the last one, and one who came to draw attention of believers onto the incorrect application Moses' directions, as well as of Jesus Christ's ones in life. All these facts contradicted Anan's ideas.
Originality of the Anan's teaching
In spite of the great identity of the Anan's teaching with the Mahomet's and Jesus Christ's teachings, it is original in many respects. Its originality consists in the following:
1. The possibility to interpret allegorically the Old Testament and to agree not with all its points. Now many people admit it, even Jewish theologians, e.g. Maimonid in the 12th century, but in the 8th century all these facts were not mentioned.
2. To consider to be obligatory for himself only those ideas which the believer acknowledges as right (correct) ones. The swne thought was well expressed by Nakhavandy, who had been already mentioned.
3. The possibility for everyone due to the freedom of opinion, and following his own mind and conscience, to live according to the instructions of Moses, Christ and Mahomet, as all of them had been recognized as prophets.
All it explains the fact that, as some Arabian Historians of the 12th-14th centuries wrote, in some communities of Ananites in Asia Minor Jesus Christ was considered to be a Messiah, and in other communities he was recognized only as a moral person - a prophet.
Not without reason the Jewish writer, a well known Khalevy (the 12th century) in his book "Khazars" writes, that Karaites cannot have any religion, as everybody is free to interpret the Holy Scripture according to his wish.
4. Denying the obligatory liturgy. Actually, all Crimean Karaites limited themselves by singing psalms and composing religious poetry.
5. Anan and his pupils believed in the believers' intellect as well as Mutuzulites-Moslems, they thought, that a human being had not to follow everything which he had been taught, but he had to try to reach the truth personally. The Ananites-Nakhavandy, Kirkisany and al-Bazir were considered to be great authorities in the Mothlem world of Mutuzulites.
The Anan's teaching is a syncretic one, but at the same time being original and new one in the 8th century, it is more clear and understandable in the 20 th century.
We know very little about the communities of Ananites outside the Crimea. Some of them were in Jerusalem, the others were in Mesopotamia, Syria, Persia. The religion without the support of civil powers can neither develop, nor exist. Christianity was firmly established due to the Roman emperor Constantin. Islam was firmly established due to Arabian conquests, the Mahomet's teaching became the people's religion, Orthodoxy has been firmly established due to the Byzantine emperors and Protestantism - due to the support of some German princes.
No civil powers supported Ananites only the powers of the Khazar caganate did it, and it was for a very short period of time.
To judge about the Anan's belief we are able only referring to the works of his followers, Arabian writers and Jews-rabbis, who were their main opponents. His teaching was given above, but as he had said each of his followers could add or might not agree with the ideas expressed by other people on condition that he does not follow the bases of the Anan's belief mentioned above. Thus, Nakhavandy mentioned above wrote, that it had not been the God, who had created the earth and people, but it had been an Angel, he, in particular, as we have seen, was against anthropomorphism, which we find in the Old Testament. As we know Anan in its turn believed in the migration of souls, and his other follower thought, that Proselytes were not obliged to celebrate any feasts mentioned in the Old Testament. But these purely personal ideas were not obligatory for believers, what did not prevent them to be Anan's followers.
After Anan there was al-Bazyr - a philosopher and a theologian, the Anan's pupil. As a philosopher al-Bazyr was greatly influenced by Mutuzulites like all the other Anan's followers. Arabian writes called them "ahl al-adl w'attawhid", i.e. "righteous people or impartial ones by God's consent" (Poznansky. Karaites).
Al-Bazyr believed in good will and only partly assumed the soul migration. In his main work ("Kitab al-Muhtawi", one of the surviving copies of the work about the Mutuzulite Kalarn which could have been written by a Moslem as well) it is asserted that the Revelation of prophets is to be added by the theoretical cognition. He wrote Arabian. He died at the beginning of the
11th century and without doubt he was a.great theologian and philosopher, and at the same time he was the last one among Anan's pupils.
In 1099 crusaders, having occupied Jerusalem, killed all its inhabitants: Jews, Arabians and Anan's followers.
It should be mentioned that according to all the data in the 12th century there were no organized Communities of Ananites anywhere, but in Russia and the Crimea. There were only small groups described in the texts of various authors, but who could be considered neither philosophers or theologians, nor thinkers as were Anan himself, Nakhavandy and al-Bazyr. The authors wrote without touching the belief bases about the laws of incest, woman's rights, divorce, etc. (In this respect Anan was nearer to Christians): All these authors were Jews by blood and education and often attacked and mocked at the Talmud. Much has been written, but all these works did not oblige people to make personal interpretations. Afterwards in Lithuania some Karaites wrote some works, which were neither philosophical, nor theological ones and none from Karaites took any interest in them. The fact that in 1099 Ananites were victims of crusaders fanaticism was reflected upon Jews-Ananites, who without denying Christ as a prophet wrote seldom about his ideas.
Belief and teaching at Crimean Karaites
Crimean Karaites took the Anan's teaching from Khazars. Khazars themselves are supposed to understand it superficially. And the fact that Karaites have studied it badly will be seen from the document given below. Turkis-Karaites, the former nomadic tribe, were as well as Khazars shamanists, and partly they remained the same ones up to the beginning of the 19th century, when they continued to go to the roots of holy oaks to implore for rains during droughts. It is difficult to say in what forms their belief was expressed and in what way did they understand the Anan's religion before annexing the Crimea to Russia at the end of the 18th century.
In this respect rather interesting is the postscript in the Karaite language on the prayer-book published in Venice at the beginning of the 16th century, where the character and belief of Karaites is described in an indirect way. The Crimean Khan wanted to trust Karaites a hostage the Timosh Cossack (Teiman, Tikhon), the Bogdan Khmelnitsky's son. This is a literal translation of the end of this text:
"... When we with a bow have informed that we shall not keep him, then Suius-aga being flushed and irritated said.. "You are not afraid of the High Khan order - trample him out, throwing him upon the earth. You go against His Majesty. So you must know, that the axe will touch "Balta tiymez " (ie. holy oaks, which are not to be touched by an axe on the Kyrk-Era cemetry) ". Having become angry, he went away. The Jamat was greatly sad with the fact. Afterwards the old man Erby-age (the clergy), Khodgy-aga and Tachtamysh-aga, having saddled the horses, caught up with him and said to him: "Oh, Suiun-aga, you know, that we are with this Russian "kanly " (i. e. there is blood between us which is not revenged), if our Dzigits findfault with Timosh, the giaour's son, the blood may shed After this apprehension had been explained, the Suiun-aga's heart calmed down, his malice disappeared and he said.. "Wait, I shall convey to the Khan Baby ". We waitedfor three days and three nights, after it His Majesty conveyed by the. chaush (offlcial) of the Divan from the Kachin palace a good news: "If the inhabitants of Kale are "Kanlys ", then let the Cossack stay in the Armenian sloboda
The Djamat was very much pleased, the old man-erby read a prayer to Tengry (to the Lord), that thanks to God, they became free from a great care and trouble. The enemy's son, damned Timosh, remained in the Avetik's house. Tengry gives help to the people of his (the year of 5408from the world creation/] 6461) ".
Thus, we see, that shamanism was not exterminated, and the God was Tengry, the Turkic one, but there still was the clergy in the person of erby (the title taken from Moslems).
More information about the spiritual life of Karaites we obtained after 1800. As the last Gakhan had written, the last tracks of shamanism remained for a long time among the people, whereas together with the education there came russification and assimilation with Russian and Christian inhabitants. These russified Karaites knew very well, that Christ had been for them a prophet and not the god's Son, but this problem they evaded to provoke, as the members of the Orthodox Church were the support of the tsarist regime, and the Karaites were always faithful to tsars.
Anan believed in the three revelations. The first one consisted in the Old Testament, written in the 4th century before Christmas by the rabbis in Babylon. To live according to the Old Testament was inconceivable and impossible, none can pretend to it. Without mentioning sacrifices, which were refused even by rabbis, nobody could demand them from the others and was not ready to kill those people who did not observe Saturday as it foreseen in the Book of Numbers (1 5,32). Nobody demanded to beat to death by stones unfaithful wives or to observe the rules concerning agriculture, etc.
Anan was likely to know that not the whole content of the Pentateuch corresponds to Moses' words, and therefore he gave the right to everybody to have his own judgement as to what was acceptable to him. It is impossible to live according to the Bible, but some orders may be executed, and the others may be refused. Crimean Karaites acted in this way, though the clergy tried to do everything to make all the people to accept some of the orders.
Saturday was considered to be a holiday, but this fact did not affect in any way the life of the majority of Karaites, and nobody forced his ideas upon the other. Many people celebrated Christmas, some people visited Christian churches remaining faithful to their religion, and nobody ever blamed other persons. Intolerance and phanatism among Karaites were unknown.
Crimean Karaites believed first of all in a Single God, they recognized the Moses' Ten Commandments, which are recognized by all religions and became the basis of any civil legislation. Karaites believed in the soul immortality, which everybody could understand in his own way, in the obligation of well-to-do people to help the poor one, and in this respect they utterly agreed with the teaching of Christ and Mahomet. The belief of Karaites in Christ as a prophet comes from Anan and does not contradict the words said by the God to Moses:
"I shall erect them a Prophet_from the company of the brothers of theirs, the same as you, and I shall put the words of Mine into the lips of His, and He will tell them everything which I shall order Him; and the person who will not obey the words of Mine, will be made by Me to answerfor it" (Vtor 18, 18-19).
The belief of Crimean Karaites corresponded to the Anan's teaching as well as to the Christ's, Mahomet's teaching and did not contradict the Ten Commandments of Moses which demanded from a person much less, taking into account the cultural level of the Jews of that epoch.
The Gakhan Painpulov, a very kind person, loving his people did not pretend to be an expert of theological knowledge, he did not force his religious ideas upon anybody. He was first of all a representative of his people, rather than his spiritual head. S.M.Shapshal also did not belong to the clergy estate. Being a scientist and a diplomat, he acknowledged that he could not pretend to have the rank of a theologian. He was far from phanatism or intolerance. His friendship with the Catholicos, the head of the Armenian clergy, saved him in 1918. The commissar who carried him to the ship, where "the bourgeois" were burnt, found in his pocket the photos of the Catholicos. Having learned, that Shapshal was his friend, he made him free. As well as Pampulov he was first of all the leader and the defender of his people. Afterwards he had proved it, and in all cases he was at the height of his position.
As well as Pampulov, being faithful to the Anan's teaching whom he highly respected and often mentioned, S.M.Shapshal established no doginas. He was the first Gakhan who in written from explained the bases of the Anan's teaching and reminded that Crimean Karaites are the people and not the religion which is confessed by the other peoples too. Prior to him Crimean Karaites were interested very little in the content of their belief, though they knew its bases. They began to be interested in the Anan's teaching due to Shapshal, but the Great October Socialist Revolution had prohibited every item concerning religion.
Anan's ideas and evolution in understanding the belief and religious obligations of people
We see that the Anan's belief is based on the three Revelations. The novelty of his teaching consists in freedom given to believers. In this respect he had predecessors whom he surely did know.
The first one was Platon, who in his work "The Republic" says that the people needs the religion which may correspond to the truth not in full scope, but people who are cultural and capable to abstract thinking will be able to find their way to God.
The second one was Pelagy, a monk and a theologian, who lived in the 5th century. Holy Augustin, who may be considered the founder of the church, stated that there was no saving outside the church, i.e. the saving requires a complete obedience of a believer to every item concerning ceremonies and the way of life. Vice versa Pelagy, his spiritual rival, thought that the saving depended upon the person without regard to the church. His teaching which is called Pelagyism had comparatively great success, but the opinion of Holy Augustin had been preferred, but not without ardent arguments.
It is not difficult to prove that Anan was a predecessor of the belief and convictions of many people of the 20th century, Jews, Christians and Moslems.
The application of the Old Testament presently
Jews work on Saturdays, eat the food forbidden by religious laws, not all of them observe feasts and fasts, they do not beat unfaithful wives with stones, as it is prescribed by the Moses' law. But nevertheless all these people consider themselves to be Jews, believers and act according to their intellect and their conscience, as Anan had advocated it.
Christians and religious canon
Traditional Christian churches forbid the divorce, but people divorce, thinking that divorcing they make no harm to his or her spouse, as nowadays women became independent,
and often they want to divorce. The minority observes feasts and fasts, but nevertheless these believers consider themselves to be Christians, as they recognize Christ as the God's Son, and they make no evil to anybody. This freedom, which they allow for themselves, was advocated by Anan in due time.
Moslems and the Koran.
The Koran strictly forbids to drink - but many Moslems drink. Not all of them observe the prescribed fasts, pray according to the prescriptions, and nevertheless they consider themselves to be good Moslems, applying the Koran laws according to their judgement.
But this way is taken not only by individual people, many Christian sects, beginning with Protestants and finishing by Baptists for the most part agree with the Anan's teaching: they do not recognize sacrwnents, the spiritual authority of clergy who is not able to speak on behalf of the Most High, they neither recognize ceremonies. Their divine service consists in a free singing of psalms and reading the Holy Scripture, as it was practised up to the very last time at Crimean Ananites, Turkis-Karaites.
As we have seen, Anan thought that revelations required interpretations and might be understood in different ways. It is easy to prove, that he was right, and the belief is not mathematics, and there are no strict laws and indisputable decisions.
The first revelation became known as the Pentateuch. The contradiction between the prophesy of prophets living prior to compiling the Old Testament and the content of the latter one is apparent. We cannot deny non-coordination and even contradictoriness. Moses and Aaron were married to non-Jews, and Ezdra, the founder of Israel in the 5th century before Christmas, exiled all the wives-non Jews and the Children from mixed marriages, etc. It is possible to give many explanations, but none can pretend to the fact, that his opinion is indisputable.
Christ said about non-resistance to evil, but he drove away with a knout the people trading within the Temple and told the apostles to arm themselves with swords, and the apostles had been armed, when people came to arrest Christ.
Christ spoke about the soul immortality, but he gave no strict direction about its fate.
On the one hand he spoke about the resurrection of dead ones, from the other hand he said, that people deserving eternal life would not die.
At last he said, that there were many cloisters in the Father's Kingdom, and he also said:
"I have other sheep too, which do not belong to this court; and those ones are to be brought by Me " (In 10, 16).
Who can pretend on the faultlessness of his personal interpretation?