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Re: [XTalk] Pagels on the Gospel of Judas

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  • Rikk Watts
    one also notes that much in the canonical gospels is also secret, if by that one means not public. Indeed all of Jesus resurrection appearances fit this
    Message 1 of 33 , Apr 8, 2006
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      one also notes that much in the canonical gospels is also secret, if by that
      one means not public. Indeed all of Jesus' resurrection appearances fit this
      category.

      Rikk


      On 8/4/06 9:31 AM, "Christian M. M. Brady" <cbrady@...> wrote:

      > And RE Pagels¹ comments in NYT she seems to be implying that the only reason
      > Iranaeus and others labeled such texts as ³heretical² is because they
      > related ³secret teachings² rather than public teachings. Of course that
      > ignores the fact (and presumably why Iranaeus labeled them heretical) that
      > many of the actual teachings in these gospels are in fact contrary to the
      > canonical gospels. I.e., it was presumably the substance not the mode of
      > teaching that they found heretical.
      >
      > Cb
      >
      > On 4/8/06 11:14 AM, "Zeba Crook" <zeba_crook@...> wrote:
      >
      >> I agree with Rikk. I suspect this is a case of scholars getting
      >> excited so that the public will get excited, or to attract some media
      >> attention to the find (which I don't think is a bad thing at all). But
      >> really, this text does not tell us anything we didn't already know:
      >> that there was variety among Christian beliefs, and that different
      >> communities of Christians held different writings sacred. It's another
      >> gnostic Coptic Gospel to add to our already large collection, but I
      >> don't see how we learn anything new or significant from it.
      >>
      >> Zeb
      >>
      >>
      >> Rikk Watts wrote:
      >>
      >>
      >>>> Bob,
      >>>>
      >>>> I must be missing something, but I'm having a hard time seeing why the
      >> fuss.
      >>>> This seems to be a relatively late, gnostic, and idiosyncratic attempt
      >> by
      >>>> someone to wrestle with Judas' status. Interesting, perhaps, but what
      >>>> exactly does it change in terms of the historical Jesus?
      >>>>
      >>>> Rikk
      >
    • Daniel Grolin
      Dear Bob, ...
      Message 33 of 33 , Apr 11, 2006
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        Dear Bob,

        >. . . from one book review I have read of the book, Smith does not claim
        >that there is direct evidence between the origin of Gnosticism and the
        >Second Jewish War. Is there anything in particular about the cosmology
        >that places it in connection with the Second Jewish War?

        <Isn't Gnosticism the result of the influence of Middle Platonism on "early Christian" efforts to figure out the relationships among the "Father," the "Son," and the Holy Spirit?>

        Hm. I have yet to find I a theory that thoroughly convincing. I would agree that Gnosticism has Middle Platonism as a framework, but I am not sure that it accounts for the formation of Gnostics as a groups. I would look to an impulse to create a distinctive identity and persecution (per Carl Smith), or general social pressures have to figure into the creation of an "us" and a "them".

        >I don't know what to think except that if Gnosticism suddenly emerged in
        >132 and the Gospel of Judas was composed some time around mid-second
        >century (giving it time enough to be circulated and important enough for
        >Ireneaus to take note of it in book 1, shall we say 170-180 CE). Is it
        >conceivable that "defection" from Judaism to a form of Gnosticism was
        >earlier, say starting in 70 CE?

        <At least. There were plenty of puzzles for them to work on, and meanwhile
        Paul is talking about the "mystery", and about wanting to wean baby
        Christians from "Milk" to more solid stuff (I Cor 3:2), and then Mark talks
        about "secrets" and things the dumb disciples couldn't figure out (Mark
        4:11, etc)-- not yet Gnostic, but providing grist for the future gnostic
        mill.>

        I would say that it is not just that a formed Gnosticism could look back at them a draw on canonical text for support, but that there is a continuity of phenomenology between them. Differing views and the attitude that the "them" have those views because the lack knowledge or an insight.

        <My point is not that Paul was a gnostic, but rather that gnosticism did
        not emerge ex nihilo. As has been pointed out:

        > > But severe critique of the twelve is not limited to the second century.
        > We find it
        > > with Paul and the Gospel of Mark.
        Severe criticism about "not knowing" implies a kind of gnosticism (lower
        case "g"!)>

        Particularly if we tie gnosis to authority, authority to determine truth. Truth about Gentiles, truth about the Law, truth about the nature of the crucifixion, etc..

        Regards,

        Daniel

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