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13000Re: Jewish Gnostics

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  • pmcvflag
    Feb 21, 2007
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      Hey Imdarkchilde

      >>>I too am a student of Kabbalah, altho I am a beginner, and I am
      amazed 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
      than that.<<<

      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 for
      that 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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