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RE: [Gnosticism2] What does Jesus say about two deities

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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 18 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 19 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 20 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 21 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 22 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 23 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 24 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 25 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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