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What does Jesus say about two deities

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  • sahms2
    I ve been reading the bible with two deities in mind and find it VERY interesting. Of course, my questions seem to accumulate with each reading.... there are
    Message 1 of 27 , Sep 7, 2004
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      I've been reading the bible with two deities in mind and find it VERY
      interesting. Of course, my questions seem to accumulate with each
      reading.... there are so many questions I have, but I think one
      question (might) help sum it all up (for now). I'll give it a try.

      In the NT, I find that Jesus refers to the creator more than once and
      doesn't address the fact that there are two deities.

      Could someone tell me why Jesus never claims there are two deities?
      If he does, could someone tell me where I could find this in the NT?

      Connie(newbie)
    • annie
      Hi Connie-- Well, he does, in a way. Once you know this thing, you can spot many subtle references previously overlooked. The 8th chapter of the gospel of
      Message 2 of 27 , Sep 8, 2004
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        Hi Connie--
         
        Well, he does, in a way.  Once you know this thing, you can spot many subtle references previously overlooked.  The 8th chapter of the gospel of John is very plain, after you know what he means.  The whole book of John, for many people is not a 'useful' gospel, but that's because it's subtle in some ways.
        I can't remember where other references are, but if I find any, I'll post them. 
        love from annie
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: sahms2
        Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2004 11:35 PM
        Subject: [Gnosticism2] What does Jesus say about two deities

        I've been reading the bible with two deities in mind and find it VERY
        interesting. Of course, my questions seem to accumulate with each
        reading.... there are so many questions I have, but I think one
        question (might) help sum it all up (for now). I'll give it a try.

        In the NT, I find that Jesus refers to the creator more than once and
        doesn't address the fact that there are two deities.

        Could someone tell me why Jesus never claims there are two deities?
        If he does, could someone tell me where I could find this in the NT?

        Connie(newbie)



      • Mary VanEsselstyn
        Hi Conne i don t believe Jesus speciifically refered to two dieties. Jesus came to teach of the Kingdom of God which he taught was not a worldly kingdom but
        Message 3 of 27 , Sep 8, 2004
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          Hi Conne
          i don't believe Jesus speciifically refered to two dieties. Jesus came to
          teach of the Kingdom of God which he taught was not a worldly kingdom but a
          spiitual kiindom that is within us or around us but we don't recogize it.
          However iin John 16 he refered to the one true God but as I understand the
          Demiuge
          was al lesser God. In the new testiment it also refers to Satan as the god
          of the material world.In the Gospels Jesus spoke in parables and metaphors
          for those who had ears to understand. Mary
          >From: "sahms2" <sahms2@...>
          >Reply-To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
          >To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
          >Subject: [Gnosticism2] What does Jesus say about two deities
          >Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 05:35:42 -0000
          >
        • pmcvflag
          I think there is a little bit of a logical flaw going on in this entire conversation. That is the notion that if it is in the Bible as Jesus words, then he
          Message 4 of 27 , Sep 8, 2004
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            I think there is a little bit of a logical flaw going on in this
            entire conversation. That is the notion that if it is in the Bible as
            Jesus' words, then he really said it, and if it is not in there then
            he could not have done so. Lets not forget who created the so
            called "New Testament". Was it Gnostics? Or, was it people who had a
            political interest in including only books that maintained thier
            dogma?

            Think about this very critically for a moment.... what does the
            process of choosing canon as we see it in Eusebius (which is
            essentially the process that outlined the Bible as we know it) have
            to do with finding the true teachings of Jesus? It doesn't even try
            to hide the fact that it starts with the doctrin of the church and
            works backwards with the assumption that the books that maintain that
            doctrin are true. We even know that some of the books that ARE there,
            like Mark, have been altered to fit that ideal.

            I would say, if you are looking for the teachings of early
            Christianity, don't take the Bible as a difinitive source.

            While, as Annie points out, there are bits and pieces in the so
            called "New Testement" that could theorhetically refer to a seperate
            Demiurge vs the True Father.... but IF they are there they are quite
            subtle. This has absolutely nothing to do with the question of
            whether Jesus taught such a thing or not.

            PMCV

            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Mary VanEsselstyn"
            <maryjvan@m...> wrote:
            > Hi Conne
            > i don't believe Jesus speciifically refered to two dieties. Jesus
            came to
            > teach of the Kingdom of God which he taught was not a worldly
            kingdom but a
            > spiitual kiindom that is within us or around us but we don't
            recogize it.
            > However iin John 16 he refered to the one true God but as I
            understand the
            > Demiuge
            > was al lesser God. In the new testiment it also refers to Satan as
            the god
            > of the material world.In the Gospels Jesus spoke in parables and
            metaphors
            > for those who had ears to understand. Mary
            > >From: "sahms2" <sahms2@y...>
            > >Reply-To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
            > >To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
            > >Subject: [Gnosticism2] What does Jesus say about two deities
            > >Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 05:35:42 -0000
            > >
          • Mike Leavitt
            Hello pmcvflag ... It has, in fact been asserted by some scholars, that the famous in the beginning was the word... was a broadside against the Gnostics,
            Message 5 of 27 , Sep 8, 2004
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              Hello pmcvflag

              On 09/09/04, you wrote:

              > I think there is a little bit of a logical flaw going on in this
              > entire conversation. That is the notion that if it is in the Bible
              > as Jesus' words, then he really said it, and if it is not in there
              > then he could not have done so. Lets not forget who created the so
              > called "New Testament". Was it Gnostics? Or, was it people who had a
              > political interest in including only books that maintained thier
              > dogma?
              >
              > Think about this very critically for a moment.... what does the
              > process of choosing canon as we see it in Eusebius (which is
              > essentially the process that outlined the Bible as we know it) have
              > to do with finding the true teachings of Jesus? It doesn't even try
              > to hide the fact that it starts with the doctrin of the church and
              > works backwards with the assumption that the books that maintain
              > that doctrin are true. We even know that some of the books that ARE
              > there, like Mark, have been altered to fit that ideal.
              >
              > I would say, if you are looking for the teachings of early
              > Christianity, don't take the Bible as a difinitive source.
              >
              > While, as Annie points out, there are bits and pieces in the so
              > called "New Testement" that could theorhetically refer to a seperate
              > Demiurge vs the True Father.... but IF they are there they are quite
              > subtle. This has absolutely nothing to do with the question of
              > whether Jesus taught such a thing or not.
              >
              > PMCV

              It has, in fact been asserted by some scholars, that the famous "in
              the beginning was the word..." was a broadside against the Gnostics,
              affirming the unity of God the son with the creator (demiurge). It
              certainly could be, Johannine exegesis on Hercleaon's part or not.

              Regards
              --
              Mike Leavitt ac998@...
            • sahms2
              ... PMCV, Thanks for your reply! As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I m very new to gnosticism. The Bible was simply a starting point for me in terms of
              Message 6 of 27 , Sep 9, 2004
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                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                > I think there is a little bit of a logical flaw going on in this
                > entire conversation. That is the notion that if it is in the Bible
                >as Jesus' words, then he really said it, and if it is not in there
                >then he could not have done so. Lets not forget who created the so
                >called "New Testament". Was it Gnostics? Or, was it people who had a
                > political interest in including only books that maintained thier
                > dogma?



                PMCV,

                Thanks for your reply! As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I'm very
                new to gnosticism. The Bible was simply a starting point for me in
                terms of comparison to other readings, such as Pagels book (The
                Gnostic Gospels) and The Gospel of Thomas. I have visited several
                websites that explain gnosticism, but I have to be honest....some of
                those websites are daunting.

                I, too, think the Bible was put together by a group who had their own
                interests in mind, but the Bible does exist as does the Gnostic
                scriptures. Could you tell me where in the Gnostic scriptures Jesus
                claims there are two deities?

                Since you brought up logical flaw, let me ask you....how does one
                begin to know what is logical. I mean, everyone's logical
                interpretation of scripture whether Gnostic or the NT is different
                and individual. From what I've read so far (this is the one thing I
                do understand), Gnosticism isn't based on collective/united
                (whatever) believes. Gnosticism is not a religious dogma? Or is It?
                My logical understanding/knowledge (whatever) is mine. It is not the
                same as yours or any one else, in this group.

                Someone here told me that intuition will help me find the truth. My
                intuition tells me that I DON`T know everything and that NO ONE
                does
                either. It also tells me, that no one's advise is more reliable than
                MY judgment. I am seeking the truth as is everyone here. IMO,
                questions and answers will help in this endeavor. Yes? So, if no one
                minds I'd like to continue to ask questions that make sense to *me*
                and look forward to answers from the group. Are there any objections?

                Thanks again!
                Connie(newbie)
              • lady_caritas
                ... had a ... have ... try ... ARE ... seperate ... quite ... Yes, Mike, you have brought up another salient point, which supports PMCV s contentions. We know
                Message 7 of 27 , Sep 9, 2004
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                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
                  > Hello pmcvflag
                  >
                  > On 09/09/04, you wrote:
                  >
                  > > I think there is a little bit of a logical flaw going on in this
                  > > entire conversation. That is the notion that if it is in the Bible
                  > > as Jesus' words, then he really said it, and if it is not in there
                  > > then he could not have done so. Lets not forget who created the so
                  > > called "New Testament". Was it Gnostics? Or, was it people who
                  had a
                  > > political interest in including only books that maintained thier
                  > > dogma?
                  > >
                  > > Think about this very critically for a moment.... what does the
                  > > process of choosing canon as we see it in Eusebius (which is
                  > > essentially the process that outlined the Bible as we know it)
                  have
                  > > to do with finding the true teachings of Jesus? It doesn't even
                  try
                  > > to hide the fact that it starts with the doctrin of the church and
                  > > works backwards with the assumption that the books that maintain
                  > > that doctrin are true. We even know that some of the books that
                  ARE
                  > > there, like Mark, have been altered to fit that ideal.
                  > >
                  > > I would say, if you are looking for the teachings of early
                  > > Christianity, don't take the Bible as a difinitive source.
                  > >
                  > > While, as Annie points out, there are bits and pieces in the so
                  > > called "New Testement" that could theorhetically refer to a
                  seperate
                  > > Demiurge vs the True Father.... but IF they are there they are
                  quite
                  > > subtle. This has absolutely nothing to do with the question of
                  > > whether Jesus taught such a thing or not.
                  > >
                  > > PMCV
                  >
                  > It has, in fact been asserted by some scholars, that the famous "in
                  > the beginning was the word..." was a broadside against the Gnostics,
                  > affirming the unity of God the son with the creator (demiurge). It
                  > certainly could be, Johannine exegesis on Hercleaon's part or not.
                  >
                  > Regards
                  > --
                  > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...



                  Yes, Mike, you have brought up another salient point, which supports
                  PMCV's contentions.

                  We know that at least some Valentinians such as Heracleon used what
                  we know as the Gospel of John. We have his comments regarding such,
                  but I'm not aware that we have an extant copy of the source document
                  he used. It could very well differ from the version that eventually
                  became canonized for orthodox use. Note that we do *not* have
                  Heracleon's comments regarding the first two verses of John. We do
                  have commentary beginning with the third verse:
                  http://www.gnosis.org/library/fragh.htm

                  Also important, regardless of our various personal paths and opinions
                  of the historicity of a man Jesus, the Gnostics had a view that is
                  worth reviewing. Gerry very recently kindly offered a quote from
                  Elaine Pagels book, _The Johannine Gospel in Gnostic Exegesis_, which
                  discusses the topic:
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/10066

                  For those who have said they own a copy of _The Gnostic Bible_ edited
                  by Willis Barnstone & Marvin Meyer, discussion on this subject also
                  can be found in the introduction to Herakleon's "Commentary on the
                  Gospel of John," starting on page 307, which also includes a quote
                  from Pagels's book mentioned above.


                  Cari
                • Mary VanEsselstyn
                  salms I am also knew and am still learning although sometimes have a problem with the language. My understanding of Gnosis is simiilarto your own that orthodox
                  Message 8 of 27 , Sep 9, 2004
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                    salms
                    I am also knew and am still learning although sometimes have a problem with
                    the language. My understanding of Gnosis is simiilarto your own that
                    orthodox Christianity is communitarianism while gnostisicism is an
                    individual
                    path. I also agree that the history of the early church shows there was
                    politics involved in the formation of the church and may have left out
                    important scriptures that have changed the true meaing of the NT. For this
                    reason Christianiity is no longer the religion of Jesus but a relgion aboout
                    jesus and what others believed about him. i hope this makes sense. Mary
                    >From: "sahms2" <sahms2@...>
                    >Reply-To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
                    >To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com
                    >Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: What does Jesus say about two deities
                    >Date: Thu, 09 Sep 2004 08:35:08 -0000
                    >
                  • Mike Leavitt
                    Hello Mary ... That is about as well put as I have ever seen it. Makes sense to me. Regards -- Mike Leavitt ac998@lafn.org
                    Message 9 of 27 , Sep 9, 2004
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                      Hello Mary

                      On 09/09/04, you wrote:

                      > .... Christianiity is no longer the religion of Jesus but a relgion
                      > about jesus and what others believed about him.
                      >
                      > i hope this makes sense. Mary

                      That is about as well put as I have ever seen it. Makes sense to me.

                      Regards
                      --
                      Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                    • Gerry
                      ... ...Everyone s logical interpretation ? Not everybody exercises logic in their interpretations--whatever the subject matter may be. I ve seen examples on
                      Message 10 of 27 , Sep 9, 2004
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                        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "sahms2" <sahms2@y...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > Since you brought up logical flaw, let me ask you....how does one
                        > begin to know what is logical. I mean, everyone's logical
                        > interpretation of scripture whether Gnostic or the NT is different
                        > and individual. From what I've read so far (this is the one thing I
                        > do understand), Gnosticism isn't based on collective/united
                        > (whatever) believes. Gnosticism is not a religious dogma? Or is
                        > It?



                        "...Everyone's logical interpretation"? Not everybody exercises
                        logic in their interpretations--whatever the subject matter may be.
                        I've seen examples on the Web that would scare the hair off a cat.

                        As for this collective/individual thing that keeps getting discussed,
                        let me take yet another stab at it. Traditional Gnostic groups *did*
                        function within communities. There are things that set those groups
                        apart from others of their day, however, and I think Mary touched on
                        one with her comment that the religion eventually became "about" what
                        others believed Jesus to have represented. For these other groups,
                        for instance, it was more important that congregants toed the line of
                        accepted "faith" rather than allowing them to seek a more personal
                        understanding of the divine. In this sense, yes, Gnostics can be
                        construed as being on an "individual" path, just as their lack of
                        need for vicarious atonement makes them more personally accountable
                        in their quest, but this absolutely does *not* mean that they were
                        all wandering aimlessly or simply doing their own thing.

                        Again, "Gnosticism" is a term that was designed to refer to groups
                        that most definitely tended to have certain things in common. If we
                        fail to recognize those cohesive elements, then we're probably
                        talking less about traditional Gnostic groups and more about what has
                        come to be the popular misconception of Gnosticism.

                        Gerry
                      • pmcvflag
                        Connie Since Gerry pretty much says it all in his response to your post concerning the issue of individuality and the Paths of Gnosticism , I think I will
                        Message 11 of 27 , Sep 9, 2004
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                          Connie

                          Since Gerry pretty much says it all in his response to your post
                          concerning the issue of individuality and the "Paths"
                          of "Gnosticism", I think I will leave it alone.

                          I did, however, wish to mention one thing here just to be clear. You
                          ask....

                          >>>"Since you brought up logical flaw, let me ask you....how does one
                          begin to know what is logical. I mean, everyone's logical
                          interpretation of scripture whether Gnostic or the NT is different
                          and individual."<<<

                          While the people here who have known me for awhile know this, I do
                          sometimes forget there are new people who don't know..... when I use
                          the term "logic", I always, without exception, mean formal logic.
                          That is to say, I am not talking about intellect, or personal
                          rationalization, but the formal rules and regulations of the
                          philosophical system known as "logic". Within this system there are
                          also "flaws" such as "ad hominem" and "ignoratio elenchi".

                          In this meaning, there is absolutely nothing "individual" about
                          logic. Otherwise, there could be no such thing as a "flaw" in ones
                          logic.

                          >>>"Someone here told me that intuition will help me find the truth.
                          My intuition tells me that I DON`T know everything and that NO ONE
                          does either. It also tells me, that no one's advise is more reliable
                          than MY judgment. I am seeking the truth as is everyone here. IMO,
                          questions and answers will help in this endeavor. Yes? So, if no one
                          minds I'd like to continue to ask questions that make sense to *me*
                          and look forward to answers from the group. Are there any
                          objections?"<<<

                          No objections here, Connie.... as long as your questions are not
                          about things like the Loch Ness Monster, or favorite recipes with
                          tofu ;) Seriously though, any questions about Gnosticism are
                          certainly welcome here. Understand though, this group is not here to
                          presume "Truth" and help us figure out life, the universe, and
                          everything (that is something that can't be found on the
                          internet).... it is here to gain a better understanding of
                          traditional Gnostic sects and how that may relate to modern observers.

                          So, ask away and we will all try to answer and ask as well, and
                          generally converse :)

                          PMCV
                        • pmcvflag
                          Oh, one last thing, Connie.... ... claims there are two deities?
                          Message 12 of 27 , Sep 9, 2004
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                            Oh, one last thing, Connie....

                            >>>"Could you tell me where in the Gnostic scriptures Jesus
                            claims there are two deities?"<<<

                            I didn't realize at first reading that you were saying "Gnostic"
                            scripture instead of just "scripture". In that case the situation is
                            a bit more easy.

                            In some Gnostic writings, such as the Pistis Sophia, Jesus outlines
                            the whole typical Gnostic cosmology.... including not only "two gods"
                            of the Father and the Demiurge, but also Sophia and the Archons etc..
                            Start with 30:44 of the Pistis Sophia.

                            PMCV
                          • allbimi
                            I would like to ask why you would think that Jesus would speak of two separate deities, when he doesnt deify the evil one { Satan} but only does so with the
                            Message 13 of 27 , Sep 13, 2004
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                              I would like to ask why you would think that Jesus would speak of
                              two separate deities, when he doesnt deify the evil one { Satan} but
                              only does so with the Father , the Spirit and Himself?He says" I and
                              the Father are One. If you see Me you also see the Father".
                              I do not think that you can use the Bible to validate Gnosticism.
                              I am new to this site , so forgive me if I at first seem to
                              be "unknowledgeable". Fred
                            • pneumen_borealis
                              ... but ... and ... He also deifies the Word. Or should I say John does. If you see Me you also see the Father . ... Gnosticism. It works the other way around
                              Message 14 of 27 , Sep 13, 2004
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                                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "allbimi" <fredpursley@y...>
                                wrote:
                                > I would like to ask why you would think that Jesus would speak of
                                > two separate deities, when he doesnt deify the evil one { Satan}
                                but
                                > only does so with the Father , the Spirit and Himself?He says" I
                                and
                                > the Father are One.

                                He also deifies the Word. Or should I say John does.

                                If you see Me you also see the Father".
                                > I do not think that you can use the Bible to validate
                                Gnosticism.

                                It works the other way around for me. Its Gnosticism that seems to
                                validate the Bible. Without Gnosticism, the Bible is just a bunch of
                                contradictory jibberish.
                              • annie
                                That is how it is for me, too. Reading the canon without anything else to clue a person in here and there is nothing but an exercise in confusion for almost
                                Message 15 of 27 , Sep 14, 2004
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                                  That is how it is for me, too.  Reading the canon without anything else to 'clue' a person in here and there is nothing but an exercise in confusion for almost everyone, especially when attempting interpretation in a painstaking verse by verse fashion such as is the practice anymore. 
                                  Just the idea of the snake perhaps being not so much a temptor, but a facilitator, and the role of Eve being more of a save than a curse, was enough to slant my perspective just the tiniest bit.  This happened for me after reading the texts in the Nag Hammadi, particulary the Hypostasis of the Archons and On the Origin of the World.  That small increment of fresh perspective began a sort of domino effect of understanding that made sense of the seemingly contorted rubble of man's tampering and 'authorizing' the canon.
                                  Now, I realize that once the underlying clarity is seen, any alterations by man are either easily recognizable and/or of no effect to that clearer view.  At times I wish there were a few people I know that would be a little more open minded about the Nag Hammadi, for their own benefit, because the things that give them problems I know could probably be greatly relieved, as I discovered from my own experiences.  But you can't make that horse drink when you get him to the waterhole, so I just let it be.  For the most part, I think that the rejection of the 'authorities' of the validity of these texts was a very good thing, as it kept them in a purer form and not subject to the agendas that I believe the canon has been subjected to.
                                  The discussion about the misinterpretation/misunderstanding of Paul's writings shows how things get used for other than their original purpose, with detrimental effects.   It would appear that the Dead Sea Scrolls being 'accepted' and the Nag Hammadi being rejected is not chance, but that there were intents and purposes behind the hiding of these things in different locations.  I have read about the background of both and it seems to me that they were hid by the same group.  Does anyone know any more than this?  All I've read has been online, at the Gnostic Society Library pages, and also the Library of Congress on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and a little more of the same type of sources.
                                   
                                  love from annie
                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  Sent: Monday, September 13, 2004 11:02 PM
                                  Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: What does Jesus say about two deities

                                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "allbimi" <fredpursley@y...>
                                  wrote:
                                  > I would like to ask why you would think that Jesus would speak of 
                                  > two separate deities, when he doesnt deify the evil one { Satan}
                                  but 
                                  > only does so with the Father , the Spirit and Himself?He says" I
                                  and 
                                  > the Father are One. 

                                  He also deifies the Word. Or should I say John does.

                                  If you see Me you also see the Father". 
                                  >   I do not think that you can use the Bible to validate
                                  Gnosticism. 

                                  It works the other way around for me. Its Gnosticism that seems to
                                  validate the Bible. Without Gnosticism, the Bible is just a bunch of
                                  contradictory jibberish. 




                                • Gerry
                                  ... they were hid by the same group. Where on earth did you read that? Gerry
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Sep 14, 2004
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                                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "annie" <annielu38@z...> wrote:
                                    > I have read about the background of both and it seems to me that
                                    they were hid by the same group.



                                    Where on earth did you read that?

                                    Gerry
                                  • Mike Leavitt
                                    Hello Gerry ... Didn t you know that the monks in the monistary of Pacomius were really Essenes in disguise? Where have you been? :-) Regards -- Mike Leavitt
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Sep 14, 2004
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                                      Hello Gerry

                                      On 09/14/04, you wrote:

                                      >
                                      > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "annie" <annielu38@z...> wrote:
                                      >> I have read about the background of both and it seems to me that
                                      > they were hid by the same group.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Where on earth did you read that?
                                      >
                                      > Gerry

                                      Didn't you know that the monks in the monistary of Pacomius were
                                      really Essenes in disguise? Where have you been? :-)

                                      Regards
                                      --
                                      Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                                    • Gerry
                                      ... What can I say, Mike. I guess I ve been cloistered in my cave for too long. I suppose I either need to get out more or dig a little deeper. Then again,
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Sep 15, 2004
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                                        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Didn't you know that the monks in the monistary of Pacomius were
                                        > really Essenes in disguise? Where have you been? :-)
                                        >
                                        > Regards
                                        > --
                                        > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...




                                        What can I say, Mike. I guess I've been cloistered in my cave for
                                        too long. I suppose I either need to get out more or dig a little
                                        deeper. Then again, maybe it was the Pachomian monks who didn't dig
                                        deep enough? Could have saved us all a headache, huh. ;-)

                                        Gerry
                                      • Mike Leavitt
                                        Hello Gerry ... Yeah, we would be stuck with the Berlin Codex (ie. Pistis Sophia) and Mead s FRAGMENTS OF A FAITH FORGOTTEN (the excerpts mostly from the
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Sep 15, 2004
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                                          Hello Gerry

                                          On 09/15/04, you wrote:

                                          > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
                                          >>
                                          >>
                                          >> Didn't you know that the monks in the monistary of Pacomius were
                                          >> really Essenes in disguise? Where have you been? :-)
                                          >>
                                          >> Regards
                                          >> --
                                          >> Mike Leavitt ac998@l...
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > What can I say, Mike. I guess I've been cloistered in my cave for
                                          > too long. I suppose I either need to get out more or dig a little
                                          > deeper. Then again, maybe it was the Pachomian monks who didn't dig
                                          > deep enough? Could have saved us all a headache, huh. ;-)
                                          >
                                          > Gerry

                                          Yeah, we would be stuck with the Berlin Codex (ie. Pistis Sophia) and
                                          Mead's FRAGMENTS OF A FAITH FORGOTTEN" (the excerpts mostly from the
                                          Church Fathers and the Berlin Codex), as our main reference tools.
                                          There was more there than you would think, if you have ever seen
                                          Duncan Greenlee's THE GOSPEL OF THE GNOSTICS, writen before _The Nag_
                                          _Hamadi Library_ was in published.

                                          Regards
                                          --
                                          Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                                        • pmcvflag
                                          Hey Annie, for your question concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi codexes...... ... they were hid by the same group. Does anyone know any more
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Sep 16, 2004
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                                            Hey Annie, for your question concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls and the
                                            Nag Hammadi codexes......

                                            >>"I have read about the background of both and it seems to me that
                                            they were hid by the same group. Does anyone know any more than
                                            this? All I've read has been online, at the Gnostic Society Library
                                            pages, and also the Library of Congress on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and
                                            a little more of the same type of sources."<<

                                            I believe I may know where you got that information. There is an
                                            online group that is gaining popularity, they call themselves "The
                                            Order of the Naorean Essenes".

                                            If I recall, it is the doctrin of this cult that the Essenes and the
                                            Gnostics were one and the same, and that it was Essenes who burried
                                            the DSS and a Gnostic sect who burried the NH texts. I do believe it
                                            is thier webpages that essentially started this line of thinking.

                                            If you would care, I would like to present a few problems with this
                                            theory from a more academic "historical" frong. You can of course
                                            take or leave this as you may.

                                            1) There is no proof that the people who burried the Nag Hammadi
                                            texts were themselves "Gnostic". In fact, many of the Nag Hammadi
                                            books are NOT Gnostic, while others are. Some historians have even
                                            suggested that the works may have been collected in order to refute
                                            (like Irenaeus would have done for his refutation). Or, what I think
                                            is more likely, it was a group of orthodox monks who simply had a
                                            large collection of writings in a time when there was no official
                                            church doctrin who were then ordered to remove books that didn't fit
                                            the bill. It was actually common in these days to see books a
                                            something not to be completely destroyed, so instead they were
                                            dsiposed of in a way that was respectful (or, possibly the monks were
                                            savy enough to know that "official doctrin" was changing daily... one
                                            day Arians were on top, the next day they were in exile. SO they hid
                                            the books in case doctrin didn't stick, and then when it did the
                                            books were eventually forgotton).

                                            2) While there does seem to have been an Essene outpost nearby where
                                            the DSS texts were hidden (the identity of the sect that lived in
                                            this outpost is far from conclusive), there is no proof that these
                                            texts came from them. In fact, many of the books don't seem to agree
                                            with what we know of Essene belief. Some are quite obviously NOT
                                            Essene, and more likely hidden from a temple cache (which would meen
                                            it was hidden by Sadducees) while some are Greek copies of the
                                            Septuagint (which would meen Pharisees). And, some are from sources
                                            that simply don't survive elswehere and we don't KNOW how they may
                                            have been from (though Essenes is a possibility). They do seem to
                                            have been burried over time, not all at once... and possibly by a
                                            number of different sects instead of just one.

                                            3) Lets pretend that we could prove that the DSS was hidden by
                                            Essenes, and the NH was hidden by "Gnostics". How to bring the two
                                            together? The majority of what we see in the DSS outright disagrees
                                            in theology, cosmology, and soteriology, with most of what we find in
                                            the Nag Hammadi. What we know of the Essenes does not jibe with
                                            Gnosticism.

                                            As you can see, not only does the claims that it was the same people
                                            who hid both sets of texts have no historical backing, there is even
                                            evidence against it. Perhaps I am wrong in assuming your sources, but
                                            as far as I know there is NO historian out there who makes such
                                            claims. It is only the claims of one particular group that is trying
                                            deperately to create an historical backdrop for itself in order to
                                            cook up a legitimacy beyond thier modern doctrin. I would respect
                                            them more if they simply said "we are a modern group that is trying
                                            to understand what we believe is scripture in this particular way",
                                            than by trying to meld an historical backdrop that does not exist.

                                            PMCV
                                          • annie
                                            I do think that was where I got that information. I did try to find out more the other day, but couldn t find anything. So thank you for that information, it
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Sep 16, 2004
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                                              I do think that was where I got that information.  I did try to find out more the other day, but couldn't find anything.  So thank you for that information, it helps clarify.  I'm assuming what the Gnostic Society said about how the Nag Hammadi was found and how it came to be on the black market is considered as accurate as is possible, given the circumstances?
                                               
                                              I also looked up Pacomius, but that was a quagmire.  Could anyone fill me in, generally speaking, about who he was and what significance he has (not here, but otherwise)?  Much info that I found was either unclear or conflicting, if not both.
                                               
                                              love from annie
                                              ----- Original Message -----
                                              From: pmcvflag
                                              Sent: Thursday, September 16, 2004 9:51 PM
                                              Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: What does Jesus say about two deities

                                              Hey Annie, for your question concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls and the
                                              Nag Hammadi codexes......

                                              >>"I have read about the background of both and it seems to me that
                                              they were hid by the same group.  Does anyone know any more than
                                              this?  All I've read has been online, at the Gnostic Society Library
                                              pages, and also the Library of Congress on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and
                                              a little more of the same type of sources."<<

                                              I believe I may know where you got that information. There is an
                                              online group that is gaining popularity, they call themselves "The
                                              Order of the Naorean Essenes".

                                              If I recall, it is the doctrin of this cult that the Essenes and the
                                              Gnostics were one and the same, and that it was Essenes who burried
                                              the DSS and a Gnostic sect who burried the NH texts. I do believe it
                                              is thier webpages that essentially started this line of thinking.

                                              If you would care, I would like to present a few problems with this
                                              theory from a more academic "historical" frong. You can of course
                                              take or leave this as you may.

                                              1) There is no proof that the people who burried the Nag Hammadi
                                              texts were themselves "Gnostic". In fact, many of the Nag Hammadi
                                              books are NOT Gnostic, while others are. Some historians have even
                                              suggested that the works may have been collected in order to refute
                                              (like Irenaeus would have done for his refutation). Or, what I think
                                              is more likely, it was a group of orthodox monks who simply had a
                                              large collection of writings in a time when there was no official
                                              church doctrin who were then ordered to remove books that didn't fit
                                              the bill. It was actually common in these days to see books a
                                              something not to be completely destroyed, so instead they were
                                              dsiposed of in a way that was respectful (or, possibly the monks were
                                              savy enough to know that "official doctrin" was changing daily... one
                                              day Arians were on top, the next day they were in exile. SO they hid
                                              the books in case doctrin didn't stick, and then when it did the
                                              books were eventually forgotton).

                                              2) While there does seem to have been an Essene outpost nearby where
                                              the DSS texts were hidden (the identity of the sect that lived in
                                              this outpost is far from conclusive), there is no proof that these
                                              texts came from them. In fact, many of the books don't seem to agree
                                              with what we know of Essene belief. Some are quite obviously NOT
                                              Essene, and more likely hidden from a temple cache (which would meen
                                              it was hidden by Sadducees) while some are Greek copies of the
                                              Septuagint (which would meen Pharisees). And, some are from sources
                                              that simply don't survive elswehere and we don't KNOW how they may
                                              have been from (though Essenes is a possibility). They do seem to
                                              have been burried over time, not all at once... and possibly by a
                                              number of different sects instead of just one.

                                              3) Lets pretend that we could prove that the DSS was hidden by
                                              Essenes, and the NH was hidden by "Gnostics". How to bring the two
                                              together? The majority of what we see in the DSS outright disagrees
                                              in theology, cosmology, and soteriology, with most of what we find in
                                              the Nag Hammadi. What we know of the Essenes does not jibe with
                                              Gnosticism.

                                              As you can see, not only does the claims that it was the same people
                                              who hid both sets of texts have no historical backing, there is even
                                              evidence against it. Perhaps I am wrong in assuming your sources, but
                                              as far as I know there is NO historian out there who makes such
                                              claims. It is only the claims of one particular group that is trying
                                              deperately to create an historical backdrop for itself in order to
                                              cook up a legitimacy beyond thier modern doctrin. I would respect
                                              them more if they simply said "we are a modern group that is trying
                                              to understand what we believe is scripture in this particular way",
                                              than by trying to meld an historical backdrop that does not exist.

                                              PMCV


                                            • pmcvflag
                                              Annie ... fill me in, generally speaking, about who he was and what significance he has (not here, but otherwise)? Much info that I found was either unclear
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Sep 17, 2004
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                                                Annie

                                                >>>"I also looked up Pacomius, but that was a quagmire. Could anyone
                                                fill me in, generally speaking, about who he was and what
                                                significance he has (not here, but otherwise)? Much info that I
                                                found was either unclear or conflicting, if not both"<<<

                                                Mike and Gerry were simply making a little joke. Pachomius was an
                                                early founder of monastic orders of Christianity.... that is
                                                Christianity of what we today would call "Orthodox". There was a
                                                Pachomonian monastary of Chenoboskion, a short distance from where
                                                the Nag Hammadi library was found. Many scholors believe it was this
                                                monastary that burried the Nag Hammadi codexes in order to comply to
                                                the churches order that Christians should no longer keep these kinds
                                                of works in thier collections (which is what I was talking about
                                                before when I mentioned that it is probable that the Nag Hammadi
                                                texts were not burried by Gnostics in order to same them, the way
                                                some people suggest).

                                                PMCV
                                              • annie
                                                Well, I did know it was a joke, just didn t know why it was a joke. Thanks for this information. Am I correct in understanding there s a good possibility the
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Sep 17, 2004
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                                                  Well, I did know it was a joke, just didn't know why it was a joke.  Thanks for this information.  Am I correct in understanding there's a good possibility the Nag Hammadi were more 'discarded' than hidden?
                                                   
                                                  love from annie
                                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                                  From: pmcvflag
                                                  Sent: Friday, September 17, 2004 10:51 PM
                                                  Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: What does Jesus say about two deities

                                                  Annie

                                                  >>>"I also looked up Pacomius, but that was a quagmire.  Could anyone
                                                  fill me in, generally speaking, about who he was and what
                                                  significance he has (not here, but otherwise)?  Much info that I
                                                  found was either unclear or conflicting, if not both"<<<

                                                  Mike and Gerry were simply making a little joke. Pachomius was an
                                                  early founder of monastic orders of Christianity.... that is
                                                  Christianity of what we today would call "Orthodox". There was a
                                                  Pachomonian monastary of Chenoboskion, a short distance from where
                                                  the Nag Hammadi library was found. Many scholors believe it was this
                                                  monastary that burried the Nag Hammadi codexes in order to comply to
                                                  the churches order that Christians should no longer keep these kinds
                                                  of works in thier collections (which is what I was talking about
                                                  before when I mentioned that it is probable that the Nag Hammadi
                                                  texts were not burried by Gnostics in order to same them, the way
                                                  some people suggest).

                                                  PMCV


                                                • pmcvflag
                                                  Annie ... Hammadi were more discarded than hidden?
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Sep 18, 2004
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                                                    Annie

                                                    >>>"Am I correct in understanding there's a good possibility the Nag
                                                    Hammadi were more 'discarded' than hidden?"<<<

                                                    That is exactly the point. You got it perfectly. Thank Logos for
                                                    trash-heaps, eh? ;)

                                                    PMCV
                                                  • Mike Leavitt
                                                    Hello pmcvflag ... Actually I have to disagree a bit here, I think you were closer when you said the monks had seen doctrine change so much, they put them away
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Sep 18, 2004
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                                                      Hello pmcvflag

                                                      On 09/18/04, you wrote:

                                                      > Annie
                                                      >
                                                      >>>> "Am I correct in understanding there's a good possibility the Nag
                                                      > Hammadi were more 'discarded' than hidden?"<<<
                                                      >
                                                      > That is exactly the point. You got it perfectly. Thank Logos for
                                                      > trash-heaps, eh? ;)
                                                      >
                                                      > PMCV

                                                      Actually I have to disagree a bit here, I think you were closer when
                                                      you said the monks had seen doctrine change so much, they put them
                                                      away for possible future use. They were rolled up carefully and put
                                                      into jars to preserve them, so it was not just casting them away.

                                                      Regards
                                                      --
                                                      Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                                                    • annie
                                                      Well, that makes more sense to me, because I thought I was remembering correctly that they were in found in clay jars, which would more than likely be for
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Sep 18, 2004
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                                                        Well, that makes more sense to me, because I thought I was remembering correctly that they were in found in clay jars, which would more than likely be for protection from the elements.  That's not something people do, provide for the preservation of their discarded trash.  That is, unless they think the trash status is temporary.
                                                         
                                                        It seems very likely that at least one of the monks was of the opinion that these were valuable and would some day be the source of some obscure sought-after information, and if so, there was some kind of understanding of these texts present even in that orthodox community.  Which is a rather interesting idea as far as loyalties and theologies in those times.
                                                         
                                                        love from annie
                                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                                        Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2004 2:01 PM
                                                        Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: What does Jesus say about two deities

                                                        Hello pmcvflag

                                                        On 09/18/04, you wrote:

                                                        > Annie
                                                        >
                                                        >>>> "Am I correct in understanding there's a good possibility the Nag
                                                        > Hammadi were more 'discarded' than hidden?"<<<
                                                        >
                                                        > That is exactly the point. You got it perfectly. Thank Logos for
                                                        > trash-heaps, eh? ;)
                                                        >
                                                        > PMCV

                                                        Actually I have to disagree a bit here, I think you were closer when
                                                        you said the monks had seen doctrine change so much, they put them
                                                        away for possible future use.  They were rolled up carefully and put
                                                        into jars to preserve them, so it was not just casting them away.

                                                        Regards
                                                        --
                                                        Mike Leavitt  ac998@...




                                                      • pmcvflag
                                                        Hey Mike.... ... when you said the monks had seen doctrine change so much, they put them away for possible future use. They were rolled up carefully and put
                                                        Message 27 of 27 , Sep 19, 2004
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                                                          Hey Mike....

                                                          >>>"Actually I have to disagree a bit here, I think you were closer
                                                          when you said the monks had seen doctrine change so much, they put
                                                          them away for possible future use. They were rolled up carefully and
                                                          put into jars to preserve them, so it was not just casting them
                                                          away."<<<

                                                          Very true, and of the multiple theories I presented, I also prefer
                                                          the one in which the monks were simply unsure what would stick
                                                          doctrinally (my point to Annie was not to be sure that these books
                                                          were created and hidden by Gnostics).

                                                          However, I do think that the fact they were disposed of in such a way
                                                          doesn't necessarily mean they were being preserved for future use.
                                                          Books and scrolls, in and of themselves held a sort of sacred place
                                                          for many groups. Books were disposed of this way sometimes, almost as
                                                          if it was a human burial. This may even have been true for a
                                                          substantial portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls (which is part of the
                                                          theory that they were actually the works of more than one sect and
                                                          that this had been a traditional site for book burial).

                                                          Also, there is one thing that works against the theory that I prefer.
                                                          Even though it is true that there was a certain amount of changing of
                                                          official doctrin... one day Eusebius is in exile, and the next day it
                                                          is his enemy..... the basic doctrins of the Pachomonian monks was
                                                          pretty well established, and these books don't fit those doctrins.
                                                          While there were many changes happening, the Nag Hammadi texts were
                                                          heretical to this particular group already (from what we know of them)

                                                          Here is a theory that I made up all by myself ;) (perhaps there are
                                                          others who have offered as well, I don't know) Monks were often in
                                                          need of a trade to support thier community, and it is possible that
                                                          these particular monks may have found a lucrative trade in the
                                                          manufacture of books. Since the evidence does seem to help make the
                                                          case for this community, perhaps the monks did not get paid by thier
                                                          patron, or perhaps they even rethought thier consciences concerning
                                                          whether it was ok to reproduce these kinds of liturature (perhaps
                                                          helped along by the letter sent out to the churches outlining the
                                                          importance of not doing so). It is generally accepted that many of
                                                          the translations were done by people who probably did not fully
                                                          understand what they were translating.

                                                          So, the monks fail to get thier money, they don't want the books
                                                          hanging around thier library, they bury them unsure if they could
                                                          find another buyer, or while they think about which is more
                                                          important... the financial needs of the community or the souls of the
                                                          people who would be reading these books.

                                                          OR... what if the monks simply had a business manufacturing blank
                                                          books, and it was an entirely different group that actually put the
                                                          words on the pages.... or another group altogether that did the whole
                                                          thing. We just don't know.

                                                          Of course, that is part of my point. This is entirely conjecture.

                                                          PMCV
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