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7822re: "Pure Gnosticism"

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  • Gerry
    May 22 10:20 PM

       

      Reply to James Lambert’s post #7803:

       

      >>Each of the sayings I have presented has been clearly identified as an individual unit by the structure of the text itself. No other manner of division has ever been put forward for the particular sayings under consideration. Hence your objection is baseless. If you wish to argue the point further then take the sayings I have discussed along with those bracketing them and demonstrate an alternative and more likely manner of division.<<

       

      James, you have misunderstood my point.  I’m not really interested in “putting forward” any other system of contrived divisions regarding possible “chapters” in the book, or in the ordering of the logia themselves.  As none of us wrote the gospel, none of us can vouch to what degree the ordering of the sayings has changed from the time of the original composition.  All I was pointing out was that there is enough evidence to consider that SOME degree of rearrangement took place along the way.  Stevan Davies even recognizes this in the same article to which you recently posted a link:

       

      “None of the four chapters has all of these elements in perfect sequence, and this may indicate that each has undergone alterations in sayings-order independent of alterations made in the others.”

       

      Of course, it may also indicate that the criteria used for any original grouping of the logia remains unknown to us.  While speculation as to how it MIGHT have been done could prove interesting, such ideas are by no means concrete.  Regardless, my reservations about looking for such an order within the Gospel of Thomas were hardly “baseless.”

       

      >>Earth is the lowest of the three. Matter is base. It is of lesser complexity than either Spirit and Soul. However it is inarguable that Body, Spirit, and Soul were consistently grouped together as three aspects possessed by man. Where only one or two are mentioned the missing terms become conspicuous simply due to their absence.<<

       

      While I would agree that Matter, Soul and Spirit were seen as the three parts of Man’s nature, I would strongly disagree that Matter was held by Gnostics in the high regard which you like to claim.

       

      >>Whoa! Two huge assumptions are being made here. The first is the assumption that an analogy can be made between colors and the terms body, spirit, and soul. The second assumption is really immaterial as it depends entirely on the acceptance of the first . . . What I have a hard time understanding is why, when we have three perfectly concise terms, we should choose to switch them for colors? <<

       

      Whoa there, yourself, Cowboy.  LOL  The only reason I even made the analogy was because you continue to demonstrate a confusion of the Greek terminology.  For instance, you write this:

       

      >>The mind thinks in words, words are formed from breath, breath is Spirit.<<

       

      So . . . how much of one’s breath is Pneuma, and how much is Carbon Dioxide?

       

      >>Joy to the flesh that depends on the spirit; joy to the spirit that depends on the body.

      Which is to say that the body that depends on the mind is in luck. And so is the mind which focuses upon the material.<<

       

      And that’s another problem area.  Mind is sometimes equated with the psychic middle ground—other times it seems connected with the Spirit.  Either way, I’d be curious to see which other Gnostic sources proclaimed it a “joy” for a person to focus on the “Material.”

       

      Seriously, James, such speculation is not within the realm of this group’s focus.  If I’m not mistaken, this has already been pointed out recently.

       

      Gerry

       

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