Hi Bill, Andrew, and All,
As to pre-70's and post-70's material, Bill says:
"I mean, come on! Let's not get so caught up in the standard rhetorics of our discourse that we abandon all
sense of the actual data!"
Some of the breaking down of the GThom into layers as suggested by Andrew, and others has gnosticism as a late addition. Andrew wrote:
"Thomas and that the last stage in the redaction of Thomas was the addition of gnosticizing material.
It seems likely IMO that the last 10 sayings of our Thomas has had gnosticizing material added at a very late stage,...."
I recall hearing the idea that gnosticism was an add-on to the original Jesus material from several people. However, gnosticism was known and practiced by more than one pre-Christian group, and some of those may have became the first Christians. For instance, Mandaeans, and possibly some Essenes, with others we know little about. I'm not forgetting Platonic and Hellenistic pre-Christian thought, and how it may have effected folks.
Some of what the data suggests to me is that perhaps Jesus had a philosophy of gnosticism that appealed to those who knew something about Plato's theories and Eastern beliefs that made sense to them. Otherwise, what would be the economy of becoming Christian, or at the time secular Jewish? How hard would it be to convince an intelligent Pagan with multiple Gods in chaotic unison in the kenoma to embrace "wisdom" as a God?
In light of this fact, that there was gnosticism which could and would have entered into the thinking of first century Christians, should we really be trying to make gnosticism an add-on? ( I think "Pistis Sophia" tells more than we have considered, and it was adapted by some, altered, by Carpocrations possibly, and that is the copy in the Nag Hammadi. Reincarnation here points to Carpocratesl. It may just be a wild goose chase to try and prove. Maybe?)
Platter Flats, OK
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