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Re: [XTalk] missing mitochondrial data

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  • Zeba Crook
    Dear Shay/Thomas, I think the explanation I ve heard here is that the other ossuaries had been vacuumed out. The Jesus and Mariamne ossuaries were the only
    Message 1 of 24 , Mar 9, 2007
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      Dear Shay/Thomas,

      I think the explanation I've heard here is that the other ossuaries had
      been vacuumed out. The Jesus and Mariamne ossuaries were the only ones
      that had "stuff" in them still.

      Zeb


      shay_gaetz wrote:


      >Simcha Jacobovici's tenuous reveries do not meet the standard of
      >historical substance. But, cannot the same be said of today's "Bible
      >as history". Scholars today, confirm the lament of the earliest
      >fathers and saints of the Church: the New Testament has been
      >subjected to frequent censure, correction and forgery.
      >
      >Presuming a Jewish Jesus has some basis in history; scholars will
      >need to search for authentic narrative in extra-canonical sources.
      >One possibility would be the older and arguably more authoritative
      >Gospel of Saint Thomas (circa 50 CE) which was rejected on the
      >grounds it did not endorse ecclesiastical authority. Christians owe
      >Simcha Jacobovici a debt of gratitude, by obliging us to reconsider
      >the origins of our faith.
      >
      >I have one question: I would be grateful if someone could answer why
      >Jacobovici did not reveal the results of mitochondrial DNA analysis
      >of the other ossuaries? He and his putative brothers should share the
      >same mitochodrial DNA pattern as "Mary" but differ from "Joseph".
      >
      >Why were these results not discussed? If the putative "Jesus" has
      >identical mitochondrial DNA to "Joseph" or is different from "Mary"
      >or from any sibling; then the whole hypothesis gets thrown out!
      >
      >Thomas Mueller
      >Canada
      >
      >

      -----------------------------
      Z.A. Crook
      Assistant Professor, Religion
      Carleton University
      1125 Colonel By Drive
      Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6
      613-520-2600, ext. 2276
      www.carleton.ca/~zcrook
    • Tony Buglass
      Thomas Mueller: One possibility would be the older and arguably more authoritative Gospel of Saint Thomas (circa 50 CE) which was rejected on the grounds it
      Message 2 of 24 , Mar 9, 2007
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        Thomas Mueller:
        One possibility would be the older and arguably more authoritative
        Gospel of Saint Thomas (circa 50 CE) which was rejected on the
        grounds it did not endorse ecclesiastical authority.

        Contentious, to say the least. Crossan puts the first layer of GThomas in his first stratum of tradition (30-60 CE), but apart from one or two sayings (eg Thom.9:1-5; 65:1-7) which appear to have an earlier form than the synoptic versions, it is generally accepted that GThomas is not an earlier text than the canonical gospels. Final redaction was before Oxyrhynchus, but so much of GThomas is flavoured with Gnosticism, it is difficult to see how you can describe it as 'arguably more authoritative.'

        Cheers,
        Rev Tony Buglass
        Superintendent Minister
        Upper Calder Methodist Circuit

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • shay_gaetz
        ... had ... ones ... Zeb, Thank you for your kind response. I am somewhat confounded that the orthodox rabinnate would permit such disrespect to Jewish
        Message 3 of 24 , Mar 10, 2007
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          --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, Zeba Crook <zeba_crook@...> wrote:
          >
          > Dear Shay/Thomas,
          >
          > I think the explanation I've heard here is that the other ossuaries
          had
          > been vacuumed out. The Jesus and Mariamne ossuaries were the only
          ones
          > that had "stuff" in them still.
          >
          > Zeb

          >
          > -----------------------------
          > Z.A. Crook
          > Assistant Professor, Religion
          > Carleton University
          > 1125 Colonel By Drive
          > Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6
          > 613-520-2600, ext. 2276
          > www.carleton.ca/~zcrook
          >

          Zeb,

          Thank you for your kind response.

          I am somewhat confounded that the orthodox rabinnate would permit
          such disrespect to Jewish remains! A vacuum cleaner?! Where were
          the contents of the vacuum cleaner bag discarded?

          ... begging the question:

          The remains in the ossuaries were bagged and given a proper burial.
          What are the chances they could be exumed for further analysis? Woud
          such actions be a priori a violation of kavod hamet (showing proper
          respect to the dead)?

          Is there Halachic precedent for respectful exhumation to further
          science provided the remains are treated with respect?

          An interesting discussion of Jewish Law and exhumation addresses the
          question: "But what of the excavation of sites that may yield
          valuable archaeological information?"
          http://www.jlaw.com/Articles/heritage.html

          It would appear the short answer is NO!

          Pity... (from a scientific point of view)

          Thomas Mueller
          Canada
        • shay_gaetz
          Thank you for your kind reply. However, I am somewhat confused by your answer. It is true that many second century writers labeled as Gnostic were indeed
          Message 4 of 24 , Mar 10, 2007
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            Thank you for your kind reply.

            However, I am somewhat confused by your answer.

            It is true that many second century writers labeled as "Gnostic" were
            indeed flakes deserving opprobrium (ecclesiastical or otherwise).
            However, not all "Gnostics" were second-century flakes and not all
            early heterodox Christians were "Gnostic".

            As a matter of fact, the catch-all label is used only hesitantly by
            modern scholars today. In any case, even St. Paul's epistles
            betray "Gnostic" origins and arguably more authoritative "Gnostic"
            gospels (such as Thomas) actually pre-date some (or perhaps all) of
            today's canons.

            To press the point, Elaine Pagels has recently promoted the
            hypothesis that the Gospel of John was written as an afterthought to
            rebut the earlier Thomas Gospel.

            I humbly suggest you may be guilty of the error Jesuits identified as
            post hoc propter hoc; Just because Thomas is heretical does not ipso
            facto prove it antedated the orthodox canons.

            ps. You are aware of scholars such as Helmut Koester who have
            suggested that although the Coptic rendition of Thomas was compled in
            140 CE, it may include traditions even older than the gospels of the
            NT. "possibly as early as the second half of the first century" ie.
            as early as or even earlier than the Synoptics.

            I am eager to hear your reply,
            Thomas Mueller
            Canada



            --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Buglass" <tonybuglass@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Thomas Mueller:
            > One possibility would be the older and arguably more authoritative
            > Gospel of Saint Thomas (circa 50 CE) which was rejected on the
            > grounds it did not endorse ecclesiastical authority.
            >
            > Contentious, to say the least. Crossan puts the first layer of
            GThomas in his first stratum of tradition (30-60 CE), but apart from
            one or two sayings (eg Thom.9:1-5; 65:1-7) which appear to have an
            earlier form than the synoptic versions, it is generally accepted
            that GThomas is not an earlier text than the canonical gospels.
            Final redaction was before Oxyrhynchus, but so much of GThomas is
            flavoured with Gnosticism, it is difficult to see how you can
            describe it as 'arguably more authoritative.'
            >
            > Cheers,
            > Rev Tony Buglass
            > Superintendent Minister
            > Upper Calder Methodist Circuit
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • shay_gaetz
            Rev Tony Buglass I need to thank you for directing me to this debate: http://www.ntgateway.com/Jesus/crossan.htm It will take me a while to digest. ITMT, I
            Message 5 of 24 , Mar 10, 2007
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              Rev Tony Buglass

              I need to thank you for directing me to this debate:

              http://www.ntgateway.com/Jesus/crossan.htm

              It will take me a while to digest.

              ITMT, I would be grateful if you could follow up on recent popular
              and sensational exposés of Jesus as Pagan Myth by authors such as
              Gandy & Freke or Harpur.

              Much of the "New Testament" appears to be Israelite rewrites in the
              tradition of the pagan mystery religions of the ancient Mediterranean
              world, including the cults of Osiris, Dionysus, Attis, Isis, Serapis
              and Mithras.

              Early church fathers when confronted with prima facie charges of
              blatant plagiarism defended church orthodoxy with the counter-charge
              of "diabolical mimicry". According to the first Christians, the
              Devil attempted to confound the faithful by imitating the Gospels
              before Jesus or the Evangelists were even born. Orthodox scholars
              must concede there is a problem here.

              I stand by my contention that presuming a Jewish Jesus has some basis
              in history; scholars will need to search for authentic narrative in
              extra-canonical sources.

              The early church's embarrassment was compounded by earlier versions
              of the New Testament Gospels that no longer exist. The originals
              were written on the supposition the apocalypse was immediately at
              hand. Scholars today, confirm the lament of the earliest fathers and
              saints of the Church: the New Testament has been subjected to
              frequent censure, correction and forgery.

              Again, the pious must concede here exists a problem that needs to be
              addressed!

              Thomas Mueller
              Canada

              --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Buglass" <tonybuglass@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Thomas Mueller:
              > One possibility would be the older and arguably more authoritative
              > Gospel of Saint Thomas (circa 50 CE) which was rejected on the
              > grounds it did not endorse ecclesiastical authority.
              >
              > Contentious, to say the least. Crossan puts the first layer of
              GThomas in his first stratum of tradition (30-60 CE), but apart from
              one or two sayings (eg Thom.9:1-5; 65:1-7) which appear to have an
              earlier form than the synoptic versions, it is generally accepted
              that GThomas is not an earlier text than the canonical gospels.
              Final redaction was before Oxyrhynchus, but so much of GThomas is
              flavoured with Gnosticism, it is difficult to see how you can
              describe it as 'arguably more authoritative.'
              >
              > Cheers,
              > Rev Tony Buglass
              > Superintendent Minister
              > Upper Calder Methodist Circuit
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • dbockdts
              Thomas: You migth check out my THE MISSING GOSPELS for a close look at issues of dating and theology that impact how the extra-biblical gospels are assessed. I
              Message 6 of 24 , Mar 10, 2007
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                Thomas:

                You migth check out my THE MISSING GOSPELS for a close look at issues of dating and
                theology that impact how the extra-biblical gospels are assessed. I think it will also
                undercut some of the claims made by Freke & Co. These myths are not as close in type as
                you claim. There are key differences that Freke and Co. do not present. Wallce.
                Komozewski and Sawyer REINVENTING JESUS get into some of this. But a good read of
                these myths themsleves make it clear along witht he realization the roots of the earliest
                Christianity come out of Judaism.

                Darrell Bock

                --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "shay_gaetz" <shay_gaetz@...> wrote:
                >
                > Rev Tony Buglass
                >
                > I need to thank you for directing me to this debate:
                >
                > http://www.ntgateway.com/Jesus/crossan.htm
                >
                > It will take me a while to digest.
                >
                > ITMT, I would be grateful if you could follow up on recent popular
                > and sensational exposés of Jesus as Pagan Myth by authors such as
                > Gandy & Freke or Harpur.
                >
                > Much of the "New Testament" appears to be Israelite rewrites in the
                > tradition of the pagan mystery religions of the ancient Mediterranean
                > world, including the cults of Osiris, Dionysus, Attis, Isis, Serapis
                > and Mithras.
                >
                > Early church fathers when confronted with prima facie charges of
                > blatant plagiarism defended church orthodoxy with the counter-charge
                > of "diabolical mimicry". According to the first Christians, the
                > Devil attempted to confound the faithful by imitating the Gospels
                > before Jesus or the Evangelists were even born. Orthodox scholars
                > must concede there is a problem here.
                >
                > I stand by my contention that presuming a Jewish Jesus has some basis
                > in history; scholars will need to search for authentic narrative in
                > extra-canonical sources.
                >
                > The early church's embarrassment was compounded by earlier versions
                > of the New Testament Gospels that no longer exist. The originals
                > were written on the supposition the apocalypse was immediately at
                > hand. Scholars today, confirm the lament of the earliest fathers and
                > saints of the Church: the New Testament has been subjected to
                > frequent censure, correction and forgery.
                >
                > Again, the pious must concede here exists a problem that needs to be
                > addressed!
                >
                > Thomas Mueller
                > Canada
                >
                > --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Buglass" <tonybuglass@>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > > Thomas Mueller:
                > > One possibility would be the older and arguably more authoritative
                > > Gospel of Saint Thomas (circa 50 CE) which was rejected on the
                > > grounds it did not endorse ecclesiastical authority.
                > >
                > > Contentious, to say the least. Crossan puts the first layer of
                > GThomas in his first stratum of tradition (30-60 CE), but apart from
                > one or two sayings (eg Thom.9:1-5; 65:1-7) which appear to have an
                > earlier form than the synoptic versions, it is generally accepted
                > that GThomas is not an earlier text than the canonical gospels.
                > Final redaction was before Oxyrhynchus, but so much of GThomas is
                > flavoured with Gnosticism, it is difficult to see how you can
                > describe it as 'arguably more authoritative.'
                > >
                > > Cheers,
                > > Rev Tony Buglass
                > > Superintendent Minister
                > > Upper Calder Methodist Circuit
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > >
                >
              • Tony Buglass
                Thomas Mueller wrote: I humbly suggest you may be guilty of the error Jesuits identified as post hoc propter hoc; Just because Thomas is heretical does not
                Message 7 of 24 , Mar 11, 2007
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                  Thomas Mueller wrote:
                  I humbly suggest you may be guilty of the error Jesuits identified as
                  post hoc propter hoc; Just because Thomas is heretical does not ipso
                  facto prove it antedated the orthodox canons.

                  I've moved this comment into this thread, because it has nothing to with mitochondrial DNA, and I don't really understand that stuff.

                  I have only time for a quick response, since Sunday is a busy day for me, but this does need a reply.

                  The issue of GThomas and its origins is not primarily a matter of what the Fathers thought, as far as I'm concerned, but a matter of history and analysis. I know about Koester, I've read Kloppenborg, Gärtner, and others. Thomas does contain Gnostic views - eg a speculative cosmology, and the view that sexual differentiation is a consequence of the fall, and a perfect non-sexual state will eventually be restored. You will struggle to find those views in Paul or John.

                  There are only 5 close gospel parallels in Thomas. Luedemann thinks 8 sayings in all may be authentic. One or two paralleled sayings may represent earlier versions than the forms in the canonical gospels. The final form of the gospel is reprepsents a much later world, much more Gnostic than anything in the NT.

                  As far as paul is concerned, when you describe him as Gnostic in origin, how do you account for the apocalypticim in his earliest works? Are the two not inconsistent? Don't forget that Paul often uses the terminology of his opponents (eg pleroma in Colossians) in order to give them a 'better' meaning and turn them against those who use them. He does thereby share their meanings or beliefs.

                  Got to go!
                  Cheers,
                  Rev Tony Buglass
                  Superintendent Minister
                  Upper Calder Methodist Circuit

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • shay_gaetz
                  Rev Tony Buglass – thank you ... with mitochondrial DNA, and I don t really understand that stuff. My background is in molecular genetics. I met my wife
                  Message 8 of 24 , Mar 11, 2007
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                    Rev Tony Buglass – thank you

                    >I've moved this comment into this thread, because it has nothing to
                    with mitochondrial DNA, and I don't really understand that stuff.

                    My background is in molecular genetics. I met my wife while doing
                    population genetics research with mtDNA. I can assure that the
                    scientific analysis is suspect. While I have no reservations
                    endorsing the methods employed by Lakehead University 's Paleo-DNA
                    Laboratory, I was appalled to witness how the samples were
                    collected. If you remember the O.J. Simpson verdict based on
                    questioning whether the samples were contaminated or tampered with,
                    Jacobovici glosses all too quickly over any concerns of contamination
                    in this analysis. A solitary flake of dandruff by one hapless
                    curator could have generated the mismatch between the putative
                    Magdalene and the putative Jesus. Such concerns can be addressed, but
                    no mention was made in the program.

                    On the subject of extra canonical Gospels, oops forgive me!

                    Of course I meant to say; "I humbly suggest you may be guilty of the
                    error Jesuits identified as post hoc propter hoc; Just because Thomas
                    is heretical does not ipso facto prove it POSTdated the orthodox
                    canons.

                    >Thomas does contain Gnostic views - eg a speculative cosmology, and
                    the view that sexual differentiation is a consequence of the fall,
                    and a perfect non-sexual state will eventually be restored. You will
                    struggle to find those views in Paul or John.

                    I was under the impression that Both Jesus and Paul quoted Genesis
                    (2:24) to express the unity in sex in a very mystical fashion and
                    that Paul's writings were replete with sex-negative Gnostic teachings.

                    > how do you account for the apocalypticim in his earliest works?

                    Thank you, I have some homework to attend to!

                    > Don't forget that Paul often uses the terminology of his opponents
                    (eg pleroma in Colossians) in order to give them a 'better' meaning
                    and turn them against those who use them. He does thereby share their
                    meanings or beliefs.

                    Interesting rebuttal! You concede that Paul employs the Gnostic
                    vernacular which is not surprising given he hails from Tarsus, an
                    epicenter of Pagan "Gnostic" tradition which predated Christianity?

                    If I am not mistaken, Christian "Gnosticism" had its foundations in
                    an antecedent Pagan mystical tradition also called "Gnosticism".
                    This view is held by many, and can be found on a parallel forum
                    called the JesusMysteries. I find this group to be somewhat
                    intellectually incestuous, ergo my foray on to this board to clear up
                    some misconceptions on my part.

                    I understand how busy you are on Sunday, but you did not address
                    Pagel's thesis that the John Gospel was written as an afterthought to
                    rebut the earlier Thomas Gospel. I would appreciate your views on
                    the question.

                    Thank you I remain in your debt…

                    Thomas Mueller
                    Canada
                  • shay_gaetz
                    ... Thank you for referring me to Wallce Komozewski and Sawyer. I am still somewhat frustrated that you did not directly address my question. Of course
                    Message 9 of 24 , Mar 11, 2007
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                      --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "dbockdts" <DBockDTS@...> wrote:

                      Thank you for referring me to Wallce Komozewski and Sawyer.

                      I am still somewhat frustrated that you did not directly address my
                      question. Of course Christianity had its roots in Judaism and
                      consequently is not only different from, but contrary to Paganism.
                      Such thinking does not rule out the supposition that in the heat
                      of "competition", early Christians co-opted pagan mythology into
                      their own writings to score points.

                      I find two arguments compelling:

                      1 Early church fathers when confronted with prima facie charges of
                      blatant plagiarism defended church orthodoxy with the counter-charge
                      of "diabolical mimicry". Clearly, pagan mythical origins of the NT
                      Gospels cannot be dismissed out of hand.

                      2 Scholars today, confirm the lament of the earliest fathers and
                      saints of the Church: the New Testament has been subjected to
                      frequent censure, correction and forgery. Origen and Clement of
                      Alexandria lead this chorus lamentabili.

                      Ergo, my contention that presuming a Jewish Jesus has some basis in
                      history; scholars will need to search for authentic narrative in
                      extra-canonical sources.

                      Being less than a dilettante in this field, I would be grateful if
                      you could correct any errors on my part.

                      Thanx in advance,
                      Thomas Mueller
                      Canada


                      >
                    • shay_gaetz
                      Rev Tony Buglass – thank you ... with mitochondrial DNA, and I don t really understand that stuff. My background is in molecular genetics. I met my wife
                      Message 10 of 24 , Mar 11, 2007
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                        Rev Tony Buglass – thank you

                        >I've moved this comment into this thread, because it has nothing to
                        with mitochondrial DNA, and I don't really understand that stuff.

                        My background is in molecular genetics. I met my wife while doing
                        population genetics research with mtDNA. I can assure that the
                        scientific analysis is suspect. While I have no reservations
                        endorsing the methods employed by Lakehead University 's Paleo-DNA
                        Laboratory, I was appalled to witness how the samples were
                        collected. If you remember the O.J. Simpson verdict based on
                        questioning whether the samples were contaminated or tampered with,
                        Jacobovici glosses all too quickly over any concerns of contamination
                        in this analysis. A solitary flake of dandruff by one hapless
                        curator could have generated the mismatch between the putative
                        Magdalene and the putative Jesus. Such concerns can be addressed, but
                        no mention was made in the program.

                        On the subject of extra canonical Gospels, oops forgive me!

                        Of course I meant to say; "I humbly suggest you may be guilty of the
                        error Jesuits identified as post hoc propter hoc; Just because Thomas
                        is heretical does not ipso facto prove it POSTdated the orthodox
                        canons.

                        >Thomas does contain Gnostic views - eg a speculative cosmology, and
                        the view that sexual differentiation is a consequence of the fall,
                        and a perfect non-sexual state will eventually be restored. You will
                        struggle to find those views in Paul or John.

                        I was under the impression that Both Jesus and Paul quoted Genesis
                        (2:24) to express the unity in sex in a very mystical fashion and
                        that Paul's writings were replete with sex-negative Gnostic teachings.

                        > how do you account for the apocalypticim in his earliest works?

                        Thank you, I have some homework to attend to!

                        > Don't forget that Paul often uses the terminology of his opponents
                        (eg pleroma in Colossians) in order to give them a 'better' meaning
                        and turn them against those who use them. He does thereby share their
                        meanings or beliefs.

                        Interesting rebuttal! You concede that Paul employs the Gnostic
                        vernacular which is not surprising given he hails from Tarsus, an
                        epicenter of Pagan "Gnostic" tradition which predated Christianity?

                        If I am not mistaken, Christian "Gnosticism" had its foundations in
                        an antecedent Pagan mystical tradition also called "Gnosticism".
                        This view is held by many, and can be found on a parallel forum
                        called the JesusMysteries. I find this group to be somewhat
                        intellectually incestuous, ergo my foray on to this board to clear up
                        some misconceptions on my part.

                        I understand how busy you are on Sunday, but you did not address
                        Pagel's thesis that the John Gospel was written as an afterthought to
                        rebut the earlier Thomas Gospel. I would appreciate your views on
                        the question.

                        Thank you I remain in your debt…

                        Thomas Mueller
                        Canada
                      • shay_gaetz
                        Rev Tony Buglass – thank you ... with mitochondrial DNA, and I don t really understand that stuff. My background is in molecular genetics. I met my wife
                        Message 11 of 24 , Mar 11, 2007
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                          Rev Tony Buglass – thank you

                          >I've moved this comment into this thread, because it has nothing to
                          with mitochondrial DNA, and I don't really understand that stuff.

                          My background is in molecular genetics. I met my wife while doing
                          population genetics research with mtDNA. I can assure that the
                          scientific analysis is suspect. While I have no reservations
                          endorsing the methods employed by Lakehead University 's Paleo-DNA
                          Laboratory, I was appalled to witness how the samples were
                          collected. If you remember the O.J. Simpson verdict based on
                          questioning whether the samples were contaminated or tampered with,
                          Jacobovici glosses all too quickly over any concerns of contamination
                          in this analysis. A solitary flake of dandruff by one hapless
                          curator could have generated the mismatch between the putative
                          Magdalene and the putative Jesus. Such concerns can be addressed, but
                          no mention was made in the program.

                          On the subject of extra canonical Gospels, oops forgive me!

                          Of course I meant to say; "I humbly suggest you may be guilty of the
                          error Jesuits identified as post hoc propter hoc; Just because Thomas
                          is heretical does not ipso facto prove it POSTdated the orthodox
                          canons.

                          >Thomas does contain Gnostic views - eg a speculative cosmology, and
                          the view that sexual differentiation is a consequence of the fall,
                          and a perfect non-sexual state will eventually be restored. You will
                          struggle to find those views in Paul or John.

                          I was under the impression that Both Jesus and Paul quoted Genesis
                          (2:24) to express the unity in sex in a very mystical fashion and
                          that Paul's writings were replete with sex-negative Gnostic teachings.

                          > how do you account for the apocalypticim in his earliest works?

                          Thank you, I have some homework to attend to!

                          > Don't forget that Paul often uses the terminology of his opponents
                          (eg pleroma in Colossians) in order to give them a 'better' meaning
                          and turn them against those who use them. He does thereby share their
                          meanings or beliefs.

                          Interesting rebuttal! You concede that Paul employs the Gnostic
                          vernacular which is not surprising given he hails from Tarsus, an
                          epicenter of Pagan "Gnostic" tradition which predated Christianity?

                          If I am not mistaken, Christian "Gnosticism" had its foundations in
                          an antecedent Pagan mystical tradition also called "Gnosticism".
                          This view is held by many, and can be found on a parallel forum
                          called the JesusMysteries. I find this group to be somewhat
                          intellectually incestuous, ergo my foray on to this board to clear up
                          some misconceptions on my part.

                          I understand how busy you are on Sunday, but you did not address
                          Pagel's thesis that the John Gospel was written as an afterthought to
                          rebut the earlier Thomas Gospel. I would appreciate your views on
                          the question.

                          Thank you I remain in your debt…

                          Thomas Mueller
                          Canada
                        • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                          ... I wonder if you d be so kind as to do us the favour of presenting some evidence for your claim that Tarsus was a center of any kind, let alone an
                          Message 12 of 24 , Mar 11, 2007
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                            shay_gaetz wrote:

                            >
                            > Interesting rebuttal! You concede that Paul employs the Gnostic
                            > vernacular which is not surprising given he hails from Tarsus, an
                            > epicenter of Pagan "Gnostic" tradition which predated Christianity?

                            I wonder if you'd be so kind as to do us the favour of presenting some evidence
                            for your claim that Tarsus was a center of any kind, let alone an epicenter, of
                            any form of Gnosticism, let alone a pre Christian Pagan one. I'd also be
                            interested to see what you think supports your claim that Gnosticism itself is
                            pre-christian.

                            I take it you've never read Grant's or Edwin Yamauch's work on the issue or looked
                            at Carl B. Smith's _No Longer Jews: The Search for Gnostic Origins_?

                            >
                            > If I am not mistaken, Christian "Gnosticism" had its foundations in
                            > an antecedent Pagan mystical tradition also called "Gnosticism".

                            Could you define what you mean by "gnosticism". And - even more importantly --
                            could you provide us with some evidence that there was such a thing as
                            "Gnosticism" antecedent to Christianity?

                            >
                            > This view is held by many, and can be found on a parallel forum
                            > called the JesusMysteries.

                            You might wish to know that, so far as I can tell, virtually no one on that list
                            -- with the exception of Jack Kilmon -- has any grounding whatsoever in the
                            primary literature or in classic and contemporary studies of such things as
                            gnosticism. What "knowledge" about gnosticism that list's members have is often
                            second and third hand and grounded in woefully out of date material, if not crank
                            works like that Freke and Gandy. You do yourself a dis-service if you think that
                            you are privy there to anything resembling scholarship.

                            Jeffrey Gibson
                          • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                            ... I d be grateful if you d let us know who it was that confronted the EC fathers with such a charge and when they did this? ... Could you please name the
                            Message 13 of 24 , Mar 11, 2007
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                              shay_gaetz wrote:

                              > --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "dbockdts" <DBockDTS@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Thank you for referring me to Wallce Komozewski and Sawyer.
                              >
                              > I am still somewhat frustrated that you did not directly address my
                              > question. Of course Christianity had its roots in Judaism and
                              > consequently is not only different from, but contrary to Paganism.
                              > Such thinking does not rule out the supposition that in the heat
                              > of "competition", early Christians co-opted pagan mythology into
                              > their own writings to score points.
                              >
                              > I find two arguments compelling:
                              >
                              > 1 Early church fathers when confronted with prima facie charges of
                              > blatant plagiarism defended church orthodoxy with the counter-charge
                              > of "diabolical mimicry".

                              I'd be grateful if you'd let us know who it was that confronted the EC fathers
                              with such a charge and when they did this?


                              >
                              > 2 Scholars today, confirm the lament of the earliest fathers and
                              > saints of the Church: the New Testament has been subjected to
                              > frequent censure, correction and forgery. Origen and Clement of
                              > Alexandria lead this chorus lamentabili.

                              Could you please name the scholars who indeed do as you say they do (i.e. "confirm
                              the lament of the earliest fathers and saints of the Church" that " the New
                              Testament has been subjected to frequent censure, correction and forgery" and
                              point us to the actual works in which the "confirmation" you say they give
                              appears? That is to say, may we have some citations, please?

                              And where specifically in the writings of Origen and Clement of Alexandria (who,
                              notably, are hardly the "earliest" fathers) is this "chorus lamentabili" to be
                              found?

                              Jeffrey Gibson
                            • Tony Buglass
                              Hi, Thomas, You wrote: I was under the impression that Both Jesus and Paul quoted Genesis (2:24) to express the unity in sex in a very mystical fashion and
                              Message 14 of 24 , Mar 11, 2007
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                                Hi, Thomas,
                                You wrote:
                                I was under the impression that Both Jesus and Paul quoted Genesis
                                (2:24) to express the unity in sex in a very mystical fashion and
                                that Paul's writings were replete with sex-negative Gnostic teachings.

                                Would you care to give the references, with your reasons why you think they are mystical, and why this is Gnostic? There is a strong mystical tradition in Judaism, but without the references I'm not prepared to accept that this is the source of the interpretation.

                                You wrote:
                                Interesting rebuttal! You concede that Paul employs the Gnostic
                                vernacular which is not surprising given he hails from Tarsus, an
                                epicenter of Pagan "Gnostic" tradition which predated Christianity?

                                I suggest Paul uses language from his opponents which he then turns against them. For example, the thanksgiving in 1 Cor.1:4-9 (while I think it is a real prayer of thanks) does contain a few subtle digs at the boasts of the Corinthians about their wealth of spiritual gifts. Similarly, in Col.1:9 he uses several buzz-words like "plerothe", "sophia" - words which they appear to be using in their own case, but which he will re-interpret to give a fuller Christian meaning.

                                As far as pre-Christian Gnosticism and Tarsus is concerned, Tarsus is better known as the seat of a famous Stoic school, but I don't think we'd argue that Paul shows signs of Stoicism? When does Greek dualism and religious myth become fully Gnostic? The anti-sex attitude found in Gnosticism is also found in other forms of Greek dualism. Given Paul's Hellenistic world, we'd expect certain traits of Greek thought to be present in his thought, but I'd be very cautious at ascribing Gnosticism to him.

                                You wrote:
                                I understand how busy you are on Sunday, but you did not address
                                Pagel's thesis that the John Gospel was written as an afterthought to
                                rebut the earlier Thomas Gospel. I would appreciate your views on
                                the question.

                                I haven't read Elaine Pagel's book, so I can't really discuss her theory. There are others far more knowledgeable on this list who may wish to answer that question. However, there are a couple of points which I'd make at this stage:
                                - The relation of GThomas to the developing Gospel tradition: it does contain a handful of sayings with canonical parallels, and a few others which have been considered as genuine (so Gerd Luedemann reckons on 8 sayings as genuine). One or two may be earlier versions of sayings which have been developed later in the gospel tradition. The vast majority are not connected, show more Gnostic influence, and are presumably later. This militates against a completed GThomas predating the canonicals. It doesn't mean there wasn't something embryonic in circulation, but that is pure speculation.
                                - The ascription of the sayings-gospel to Thomas is secondary, with no basis in history. Even allowing for the fact that the disciple Thomas features more fully in GJohn than elsewhere, there is little evidence for a Thomas-gospel or Thomas-community being the target for GJohn. If there is a target, it is probably "the Jews."

                                You wrote:
                                The early church's embarrassment was compounded by earlier versions
                                of the New Testament Gospels that no longer exist.

                                Sorry, but this doesn't ring any bells with me. My understanding of textual criticism is that we have a fairly good textual history and knowledge of what was around, and a good few hypotheses as to other texts which are no longer extant (read Theissen "The Historical Jesus" for a good list of sources, and indeed as an excellent 'advanced primer' to the subject). I note Jeffrey Gibson has pressed you to back up your assertions with more specific evidence. That would be wise. I get the impression that you have absorbed a fair amount of sensationalist stuff from the JesusMysteries lot. Generally speaking, discussions on this list are more soundly based in firm scholarship.

                                Cheers,
                                Rev Tony Buglass
                                Superintendent Minister
                                Upper Calder Methodist Circuit

                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Thomas Mueller
                                Jeffrey Gibson - THANK YOU! I do hope I have not caused offence and I do thank you for your patience with me – someone perplexed needing guidance To
                                Message 15 of 24 , Mar 11, 2007
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                                  Jeffrey Gibson - THANK YOU!

                                  I do hope I have not caused offence and I do thank you for your
                                  patience with me – someone perplexed needing guidance

                                  To paraphrase Pagels, the term "Gnostic" appears hackneyed beyond
                                  recognition.

                                  I thought there was no dispute that Tarsus was a centre (and possibly
                                  the origin, as suggested by Plutarch) of the Mithras version of
                                  mystery religions. To cite one scholar I refer you to David Ulansey
                                  Scientific American, December 1989 (vol. 261, #6), pp. 130-135.
                                  http://www.well.com/~davidu/sciam.html

                                  Of course this begs the question whether Mithrathism or any other
                                  version of the Mediterranean Mystery Religions can correctly be
                                  labeled "Gnostic". Again I refer to Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels,
                                  1979, p37 where she describes the Platonic Greek term "demiurgos" as
                                  a lesser divine being who serves as the instrument of higher powers.

                                  It struck me as an impartial outsider eavesdropping on the debate,
                                  that this remarkable similarity (amoung others) not to mention a
                                  cursory examination of Mithraism unequivocally established
                                  the "Gnostic" tradition had pre-Christian pagan roots.

                                  How does Grant's or Edwin Yamauch's or Carl B. Smith's works
                                  contradict this contention? Am I missing something here?

                                  You ask me what I mean by "Gnosticism"? I had to laugh out loud;
                                  frankly, I am not sure what the term means any more. Allow me to
                                  direct you to a link on this very crosstalk2 site
                                  http://www.misericordia.edu/users/davies/thomas/faq.htm :

                                  Is the Gospel of Thomas Gnostic?

                                  It all depends on what you mean by Gnostic. If you mean by Gnostic
                                  the belief that people have a divine capacity within themselves and
                                  that they can come to understand that the Kingdom of God is already
                                  upon the earth if they can come to perceive the world that way then
                                  Thomas is Gnostic. But if you mean by Gnostic the religion upon which
                                  the Nag Hammadi texts are based, a religion that differentiates the
                                  god of this world (who is the Jewish god) from a higher more abstract
                                  God, a religion that regards this world as the creation of a series
                                  of evil archons/powers who wish to keep the human soul trapped in an
                                  evil physical body then no, Thomas is not Gnostic. This
                                  differentiation is very important, because some scholars reason that
                                  if Thomas is Gnostic (in the first sense) then it is Gnostic (in the
                                  second sense) and, as they believe, Gnosticism (in the second sense)
                                  is a second or third century heresy, they conclude that the Gospel of
                                  Thomas is heretical, late in date, and without very much historical
                                  value in regard to Jesus of Nazareth.

                                  Do you now understand my frustration as an outsider looking in.

                                  Regarding your ad hominem directed against the JesusMystery crowd – I
                                  suspect you may be correct. As I mentioned earlier, I have the
                                  distinct impression they suffer from the ill effects of intellectual
                                  incest – but, I really shouldn't comment - given my lack of expertise.

                                  I am eager to hear your response.

                                  Thomas Mueller
                                  Canada

                                  --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Jeffrey B. Gibson"
                                  <jgibson000@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > shay_gaetz wrote:
                                  >
                                  > >
                                  > > Interesting rebuttal! You concede that Paul employs the Gnostic
                                  > > vernacular which is not surprising given he hails from Tarsus, an
                                  > > epicenter of Pagan "Gnostic" tradition which predated
                                  Christianity?
                                  >
                                  > I wonder if you'd be so kind as to do us the favour of presenting
                                  some evidence
                                  > for your claim that Tarsus was a center of any kind, let alone an
                                  epicenter, of
                                  > any form of Gnosticism, let alone a pre Christian Pagan one. I'd
                                  also be
                                  > interested to see what you think supports your claim that
                                  Gnosticism itself is
                                  > pre-christian.
                                  >
                                  > I take it you've never read Grant's or Edwin Yamauch's work on the
                                  issue or looked
                                  > at Carl B. Smith's _No Longer Jews: The Search for Gnostic
                                  Origins_?
                                  >
                                  > >
                                  > > If I am not mistaken, Christian "Gnosticism" had its foundations
                                  in
                                  > > an antecedent Pagan mystical tradition also called "Gnosticism".
                                  >
                                  > Could you define what you mean by "gnosticism". And - even more
                                  importantly --
                                  > could you provide us with some evidence that there was such a thing
                                  as
                                  > "Gnosticism" antecedent to Christianity?
                                  >
                                  > >
                                  > > This view is held by many, and can be found on a parallel forum
                                  > > called the JesusMysteries.
                                  >
                                  > You might wish to know that, so far as I can tell, virtually no
                                  one on that list
                                  > -- with the exception of Jack Kilmon -- has any grounding
                                  whatsoever in the
                                  > primary literature or in classic and contemporary studies of such
                                  things as
                                  > gnosticism. What "knowledge" about gnosticism that list's members
                                  have is often
                                  > second and third hand and grounded in woefully out of date
                                  material, if not crank
                                  > works like that Freke and Gandy. You do yourself a dis-service if
                                  you think that
                                  > you are privy there to anything resembling scholarship.
                                  >
                                  > Jeffrey Gibson
                                  >
                                • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                  ... I thought there was no dispute that Tarsus was a centre (and possibly the origin, as suggested by Plutarch) of the Mithras version of mystery religions.
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Mar 11, 2007
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                                    Thomas Mueller wrote:

                                    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    I thought there was no dispute that Tarsus was a centre (and possibly the origin, as suggested by Plutarch) of the Mithras version of mystery religions. To cite one scholar I refer you to David Ulansey Scientific American, December 1989 (vol. 261, #6), pp. 130-135.
                                    http://www.well.com/~davidu/sciam.html

                                    Of course this begs the question whether Mithrathism or any other version of the Mediterranean Mystery Religions can correctly be labeled "Gnostic". Again I refer to Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels, 1979, p37 where she describes the Platonic Greek term "demiurgos" as a lesser divine being who serves as the instrument of higher powers.

                                    It struck me as an impartial outsider eavesdropping on the debate, that this remarkable similarity (amoung others) not to mention a cursory examination of Mithraism unequivocally established the "Gnostic" tradition had pre-Christian pagan roots.
                                    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                    David is an old friend of mine, and I've read his book on Mithraism. I don't recall that he calls it a Gnostic religion, but I'm open to correction.

                                    Whether Mithraism as expounded by David was itself pre-Christian is an open question, but I don't believe that we have any clear textual evidence -- though, again, I'm open to correction.

                                    As for Gnosticism generally, I haven't stayed in the field, but the view that it was pre-Christian was one proposed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and this view has not been sustained. No clearly pre-Christian Gnostic texts have been found -- so far as I am aware.

                                    Jeffery Hodges


                                    University Degrees:

                                    Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
                                    (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
                                    M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
                                    B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

                                    Email Address:

                                    jefferyhodges@...

                                    Blog:

                                    http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/

                                    Office Address:

                                    Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                    School of English, Kyung Hee University
                                    1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu
                                    Seoul, 130-701
                                    South Korea

                                    Home Address:

                                    Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                    Sehan Apt. 102-2302
                                    Sinnae-dong 795
                                    Jungrang-gu
                                    Seoul 131-770
                                    South Korea

                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Bob Schacht
                                    ... Those are my recollections, as well. ... Doesn t Jim Davila discuss something called Jewish gnosticism that was pre-Christian, in part? IIRC, it was
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Mar 11, 2007
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                                      At 03:49 PM 3/11/2007, Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:
                                      >Thomas Mueller wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      > I thought there was no dispute that Tarsus was a centre (and possibly
                                      > the origin, as suggested by Plutarch) of the Mithras version of mystery
                                      > religions. To cite one scholar I refer you to David Ulansey Scientific
                                      > American, December 1989 (vol. 261, #6), pp. 130-135.
                                      >http://www.well.com/~davidu/sciam.html
                                      >
                                      >Of course this begs the question whether Mithrathism or any other version
                                      >of the Mediterranean Mystery Religions can correctly be labeled
                                      >"Gnostic". Again I refer to Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels, 1979, p37 where
                                      >she describes the Platonic Greek term "demiurgos" as a lesser divine being
                                      >who serves as the instrument of higher powers.
                                      >
                                      >It struck me as an impartial outsider eavesdropping on the debate, that
                                      >this remarkable similarity (amoung others) not to mention a cursory
                                      >examination of Mithraism unequivocally established the "Gnostic" tradition
                                      >had pre-Christian pagan roots.
                                      >-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      >
                                      > David is an old friend of mine, and I've read his book on Mithraism. I
                                      > don't recall that he calls it a Gnostic religion, but I'm open to correction.
                                      >
                                      > Whether Mithraism as expounded by David was itself pre-Christian is an
                                      > open question, but I don't believe that we have any clear textual
                                      > evidence -- though, again, I'm open to correction.

                                      Those are my recollections, as well.

                                      > As for Gnosticism generally, I haven't stayed in the field, but the
                                      > view that it was pre-Christian was one proposed in the late 19th and
                                      > early 20th centuries, and this view has not been sustained. No clearly
                                      > pre-Christian Gnostic texts have been found -- so far as I am aware.

                                      Doesn't Jim Davila discuss something called Jewish gnosticism that was
                                      pre-Christian, in part? IIRC, it was connected in general with Middle
                                      Platonism. If so, I would guess Alexandria would have been a center of
                                      interest.

                                      Bob Schacht
                                      University of Hawaii


                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Steve Dingeldein
                                      Ulansey makes a decent case that Tarsus is where the Roman Mithraic Mysteries got started and that it was, essentially, a new religion crafted around a recent
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Mar 11, 2007
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                                        Ulansey makes a decent case that Tarsus is where the Roman Mithraic Mysteries got started and that it was, essentially, a new religion crafted around a recent discovery: the procession of the equinox. His view is that the only connection to the ancient Persian cult of any real significance was the name. It predated Christianity, but not by much.

                                        I found Carl Smith's book, No Longer Jews: The Search for Gnostic Origins persuasive, though not proof positive. His argument is that Gnosticism arose in Egypt about 115 CE after suppression of a Jewish revolt there.

                                        Steven A. Dingeldein, MD

                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        From: Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                        To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
                                        Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2007 9:49 PM
                                        Subject: Re: [XTalk] extra canonical Gospels & mtDNA


                                        Thomas Mueller wrote:

                                        ----------------------------------------------------------
                                        I thought there was no dispute that Tarsus was a centre (and possibly the origin, as suggested by Plutarch) of the Mithras version of mystery religions. To cite one scholar I refer you to David Ulansey Scientific American, December 1989 (vol. 261, #6), pp. 130-135.
                                        http://www.well.com/~davidu/sciam.html

                                        Of course this begs the question whether Mithrathism or any other version of the Mediterranean Mystery Religions can correctly be labeled "Gnostic". Again I refer to Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels, 1979, p37 where she describes the Platonic Greek term "demiurgos" as a lesser divine being who serves as the instrument of higher powers.

                                        It struck me as an impartial outsider eavesdropping on the debate, that this remarkable similarity (amoung others) not to mention a cursory examination of Mithraism unequivocally established the "Gnostic" tradition had pre-Christian pagan roots.
                                        ----------------------------------------------------------

                                        David is an old friend of mine, and I've read his book on Mithraism. I don't recall that he calls it a Gnostic religion, but I'm open to correction.

                                        Whether Mithraism as expounded by David was itself pre-Christian is an open question, but I don't believe that we have any clear textual evidence -- though, again, I'm open to correction.

                                        As for Gnosticism generally, I haven't stayed in the field, but the view that it was pre-Christian was one proposed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and this view has not been sustained. No clearly pre-Christian Gnostic texts have been found -- so far as I am aware.

                                        Jeffery Hodges

                                        University Degrees:

                                        Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
                                        (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
                                        M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
                                        B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

                                        Email Address:

                                        jefferyhodges@...

                                        Blog:

                                        http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/

                                        Office Address:

                                        Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                        School of English, Kyung Hee University
                                        1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu
                                        Seoul, 130-701
                                        South Korea

                                        Home Address:

                                        Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                        Sehan Apt. 102-2302
                                        Sinnae-dong 795
                                        Jungrang-gu
                                        Seoul 131-770
                                        South Korea

                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Bob MacDonald
                                        ... I was under the impression that Both Jesus and Paul quoted Genesis (2:24) to express the unity in sex in a very mystical fashion and that Paul s writings
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Mar 11, 2007
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                                          --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "shay_gaetz" <shay_gaetz@...> wrote:
                                          I was under the impression that Both Jesus and Paul quoted Genesis
                                          (2:24) to express the unity in sex in a very mystical fashion and
                                          that Paul's writings were replete with sex-negative Gnostic teachings.

                                          Thomas

                                          Paul is not negative on sex. I will just give you two citations to
                                          consider:
                                          1 the equal power relationship between a man and a woman in 1
                                          Corinthians 7. and
                                          2. the statement in 1 Corinthians 6: the body is for the Lord and the
                                          Lord for the body.

                                          Whether the Gnostics are negative on sex, I do not know; given recent
                                          blog discussions, I am not sure anyone quite knows how to define the
                                          group. If they 'know' anything, they would not be negative on sex; if
                                          they were 'known', they would definitely know otherwise and so might
                                          deserve the name Gnostic. The church has given the impression it is
                                          negative on sex and many people read Paul this way, but I think this
                                          is just misinterpretation.

                                          BTW - I have just spent the alst 3 weeks translating the Song of
                                          Songs - I am sure Paul knew it. It is difficult to be negative on sex
                                          after considering this central poem in the Bible.

                                          Bob

                                          Bob MacDonald
                                          http://bmd.gx.ca
                                          http://drmacdonald.blogspot.com (on the Psalms)
                                        • Tom Hickcox
                                          ... Jeffrey, as one of the original moderators of the Jesus Mysteries list, I think your assessment is right on. I have been long gone from that list. Tom
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Mar 11, 2007
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                                            At 12:32 3/11/2007 , Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:

                                            > >
                                            > > This view is held by many, and can be found on a parallel forum
                                            > > called the JesusMysteries.
                                            >
                                            >You might wish to know that, so far as I can tell, virtually no one on
                                            >that list
                                            >-- with the exception of Jack Kilmon -- has any grounding whatsoever in the
                                            >primary literature or in classic and contemporary studies of such things as
                                            >gnosticism. What "knowledge" about gnosticism that list's members have is
                                            >often
                                            >second and third hand and grounded in woefully out of date material, if
                                            >not crank
                                            >works like that Freke and Gandy. You do yourself a dis-service if you
                                            >think that
                                            >you are privy there to anything resembling scholarship.

                                            Jeffrey, as one of the original moderators of the Jesus Mysteries list, I
                                            think your assessment is right on.

                                            I have been long gone from that list.

                                            Tom Hickcox, Baton Rouge
                                          • Thomas Mueller
                                            Bob MacDonald – thank you I must apologize for an inaccurate turn of phrase. I meant by sex- negative there is no male and no female in the mystical
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Mar 11, 2007
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                                              Bob MacDonald – thank you

                                              I must apologize for an inaccurate turn of phrase. I meant by "sex-
                                              negative" there is no male and no female in the mystical sense. Gal.
                                              3:28

                                              Maybe I am mixing up mystical traditions and reading too much into
                                              Paul.

                                              Thomas Mueller
                                              Canada



                                              --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Bob MacDonald" <bobmacdonald@...>
                                              wrote:
                                              >
                                              > --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "shay_gaetz" <shay_gaetz@> wrote:
                                              > I was under the impression that Both Jesus and Paul quoted Genesis
                                              > (2:24) to express the unity in sex in a very mystical fashion and
                                              > that Paul's writings were replete with sex-negative Gnostic
                                              teachings.
                                              >
                                              > Thomas
                                              >
                                              > Paul is not negative on sex. I will just give you two citations to
                                              > consider:
                                              > 1 the equal power relationship between a man and a woman in 1
                                              > Corinthians 7. and
                                              > 2. the statement in 1 Corinthians 6: the body is for the Lord and
                                              the
                                              > Lord for the body.
                                              >
                                              > Whether the Gnostics are negative on sex, I do not know; given
                                              recent
                                              > blog discussions, I am not sure anyone quite knows how to define
                                              the
                                              > group. If they 'know' anything, they would not be negative on sex;
                                              if
                                              > they were 'known', they would definitely know otherwise and so
                                              might
                                              > deserve the name Gnostic. The church has given the impression it is
                                              > negative on sex and many people read Paul this way, but I think
                                              this
                                              > is just misinterpretation.
                                              >
                                              > BTW - I have just spent the alst 3 weeks translating the Song of
                                              > Songs - I am sure Paul knew it. It is difficult to be negative on
                                              sex
                                              > after considering this central poem in the Bible.
                                              >
                                              > Bob
                                              >
                                              > Bob MacDonald
                                              > http://bmd.gx.ca
                                              > http://drmacdonald.blogspot.com (on the Psalms)
                                            • Thomas Mueller
                                              Steven A. Dingeldein - yes, I also found Ulansey very interesting. Following the second link to a summary of his book; I was struck by his description of
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Mar 12, 2007
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                                                Steven A. Dingeldein - yes, I also found Ulansey very interesting.

                                                Following the second link to a summary of his book; I was struck by
                                                his description of Mithraic symbols.

                                                If you will indulge me for an instant, it occurred to me that some of
                                                Jacobovici's "clues" could just as easily be shoe-horned into a
                                                mithraic explanation;

                                                the prsence of Greek inscriptions,

                                                the unusual X on the putative Jesus ossuary could be the cross-shaped
                                                symbol often depicted to indicate the cosmic sphere

                                                and the unusual symbol marking the cave's entrance could be a
                                                stylized Jewish tauroctony given graven images would be taboo.

                                                I blush to utter non sequitors in public like this – I am not being
                                                deliberately silly - my only defense being Jacobovici's tenuous
                                                suppositions are just as hyper-speculative, if not more so!

                                                But to rescue relevancy from supposition, has anybody examined the
                                                penetration of Mithraism into ancient Israel and a possible cross-
                                                pollination leading to "Gnosticism", however one wants to define the
                                                term?

                                                Apologies in advance for any ignoratio elenchi

                                                Thomas Mueller
                                                Canada
                                              • Thomas Mueller
                                                I have changed the header to reflect the content of the discussion. Please insure that this is done when the subject of a thread changes. JG *** Jeffery Hodges
                                                Message 23 of 24 , Mar 13, 2007
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                                                  I have changed the header to reflect the content of the discussion.

                                                  Please insure that this is done when the subject of a thread changes.

                                                  JG

                                                  ***

                                                  Jeffery Hodges wrote: David is an old friend of mine, and I've read his
                                                  book on Mithraism. I don't recall that he calls it a Gnostic religion,
                                                  but I'm open to correction.



                                                  If one understands Gnostic to mean "Mediteranean Mystery Religion"
                                                  wherein one can achieve salvation by initiation into secret rites, then
                                                  the followers of Mithras appear to be Gnostic. I refer you this
                                                  interesting link which outlines literary references to Mithras in the
                                                  ancient world including apologetics of Church fathers who make reference
                                                  to the mystic rites of Mithraism:
                                                  http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/mithras/index.htm
                                                  <http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/mithras/index.htm> .



                                                  Jeffery Hodges wrote: Whether Mithraism as expounded by David was
                                                  itself pre-Christian is an open question,



                                                  Again there appears to be some confusion on the matter. David Ulansey
                                                  establishes clearly that Mithraism has pre-Christian origins. What is
                                                  not clear is whether Mithraism evolved in response to Christian
                                                  competition as suggested in the link above. The best apologetic along
                                                  this line I could find was
                                                  http://www.frontline-apologetics.com/mithras.htm
                                                  <http://www.frontline-apologetics.com/mithras.htm> .



                                                  It would appear that Mithraism may not have been as prevalent as
                                                  JesusMystery propagandists would have us believe.



                                                  Jeffery Hodges wrote: No clearly pre-Christian Gnostic texts have been
                                                  found -- so far as I am aware.



                                                  Again, from my reading; it appears that Gnosticism is often employed as
                                                  generic term for Pagan mystery religions contemporary with the
                                                  beginnings of Christianity what Michael Allen Williams would call the
                                                  platonic `demiurgical tradition'. IMHO, Christian heresiographical
                                                  references to varied groups as "Gnostics" only muddies the water;
                                                  akin to McCarthyists calling political opponents un-American.



                                                  Thomas Mueller

                                                  Canada



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                                                • Thomas Mueller
                                                  Bob Schacht wrote: Doesn t Jim Davila discuss something called Jewish gnosticism that was pre-Christian, in part? IIRC, it was connected in general with
                                                  Message 24 of 24 , Mar 13, 2007
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                                                    Bob Schacht wrote: Doesn't Jim Davila discuss something called Jewish
                                                    gnosticism that was pre-Christian, in part? IIRC, it was connected in
                                                    general with Middle Platonism. If so, I would guess Alexandria would
                                                    have been a center of interest.


                                                    Thank you for the reference. If listers are interested Jim Davila's
                                                    blog, here it is:
                                                    http://paleojudaica.blogspot.com/ <http://paleojudaica.blogspot.com/>


                                                    Thomas Mueller

                                                    Canada



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