13000Re: Jewish Gnostics
- Feb 21, 2007Hey Imdarkchilde
>>>I too am a student of Kabbalah, altho I am a beginner, and I amamazed at the connections I see in Kabbalah and Gnosticism as well.
But I was to understand that Merkavah Mysticism had its origins with
Elijah, being teachings he left his student Elisha with. Merkavah
means 'chariot' if I am not mistaken, hence the connection with
Elijah and the fiery chariot thing. However, Sethianism claims back
to Seth's teachings, and I guess it would be harder to get older
These are legendary origins, Darkchilde, not historical accounts. I
understand there are people who take them at face value just as
there are people who take the Genesis creation or the idea that
Freemasons date back to the building of the first temple at face
value. But, just as the quantum physicist would not see Genesis as a
literally accurate creation of the universe, the historical evidence
is against these legendary accounts as literally accurate.
Take, for instance, Kaplan's origin of the Sefer Yetzirah in the
introduction to his translation. He states that Abraham wrote it, or
at least part of it. Scholem, on the other hand, points out in
his "Origins of Kabbalah" that while historians have not agreed on a
date, they DO agree that it is somewhere between the 2nd and 6th
century C.E.. This is obviously LONG after Abraham. Kaplan's
interest and perspective is theological, Scholem's is historical.
>>>But wouldn't gnosticism be older than Plato, or the Kabbalah forthat matter? I am sure how they are catagorized, but what is the
historical data on the sources?<<<
It is very unlikely that Gnosticism would predate Plato unless we
expand the term "Gnosticism" overly far (though no doubt Doug/Dick
Richardson would likely argue otherwise if he had not left once
again). The earliest date I have ever seen any scholar date
Gnosticism is in the second century B.C.E.. More often it is dated
to about the first or second century C.E..
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