13476Re: Sowing the spiritual seed
- May 6 4:53 PMHey Mark
You have a talent for asking the hard questions!
>>>Up until Sophia's use of the Demiurge to sow secretly thespiritual
seed, there were textual correspondences:
"dust" = carnal or irrational soul (2:7a)
"breath of life" = rational soul (2:7b)
Question 1) What is the textual correspondence to which the
Valentinians attach their interpretation of this secret sowing of the
spirit? What is in the Hebrew text to suggest this?<<<
I didn't get a chance to look into the situation further the way I
usually try to before answering, so I am shooting from the hip... as
it were. If I missed or forgot something then I am sure others here
will chime in and correct me.
My first inclination is that while there could be some Jewish
textual suggestion that some Valentinians had in mind, there need
not be. Since the Gnostic schools (including the Valentinians) were
syncratic, we have to also consider what Greek philosophical sources
they may have been inserting between the lines.
Having said that, the first part of Sirach (after the prologue) is a
strong possibility as a bridge between the Greek ideas and the
Genesis creation story. Just to throw something not obviously
related to your question into the mix, in the Valentinian category I
see some debate as to whether the imperfection comes from the Logos
or the Sophia.
Anyway, back to the point... I would tend to look to latter Jewish
and Greek sources for possible connections, not Genesis.
>>>Question 2) Are there two souls--the carnal and the rational, ordoes this account for the soul's free will to choose good and evil?
Again... shooting from the hip. I don't recall any Gnostic texts
that talk about a carnal "soul". In fact, the term that is usually
translated as "soul", nous, means mind and is generally connected to
the "psychic" part of the being. In most of the cases I can think of
this rational "soul" is explicitly distinct from the material part
of the tripartite individual. In other words, Brons seems to be
taking the usual body, soul, spirit division and restating it
slightly as carnal soul, rational soul, and spirit. In doing so I
believe he may be confusing the issue rather than making it more
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