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Gnostic claims to Paul of Tarsus for PMCV

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  • Tsharpmin7@aol.com
    hi PMCV... sorry for the late response, but here goes nothin . ... it comes to such foundings other than simple claimsmanship: i.e., to my knowledge
    Message 1 of 12 , Mar 3 3:37 PM
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      hi PMCV...  sorry for the late response, but here goes nothin'.
       
      PMCV wrote:
       
      >>>"unfortunately, as far as i know, we have little to go on where
      it comes to such "foundings" other than simple claimsmanship: i.e.,
      to my knowledge there's no real evidence to support such Gnostic
      claims to Paul. yet i don't find it surprising such claims were
      made: after all, Paul, according to some scholars, practically (if
      not literally) invented the Jesus myth (as opposed to a
      faithful "gospel" representation of an apparently failed Jewish
      Messiah who was probably executed for political reasons"<<<
       
      Very true that there is little evidence directly linking Paul, or
      any other of the Apostles, to Gnosticism. It is also true that the
      same evidence is lacking for all of the Christian texts and sects.
      Critical academic outlines today don't present Paul's teachings as
      reflective of some "original Christianity", but the same is true of
      Mark, John, etc.. Since this group does attempt to maintain a
      critical position concerning the historical half of the focus here,
      we cannot give much serious attention to the Eusebian paradigm.
       
      It has been suggested that Paul not only created the myths about
      Jesus, but even created Jesus himself (I point this out since you
      mention the Jesus Mysteries later in the post). While I don't think
      that this extreme theory is well thought, I mean to point out that
      there is no real way to reconstruct an "historical" Jesus.... and,
      for that matter, there is no real way to reconstruct an historical
      Paul. May I then caution you, Crispin, that perhaps a bit of an
      objective detachment could be helpful for this subject. Lets take a
      look at the various theories of Paul, and measure them against each
      other.
       
      crispin replies:
       
      i too think it unlikely Paul created Jesus out of whole cloth.  i don't
      think Freke and Gandy do either, despite the position they take in
      their books.  to entertain an historical Jesus would have been
      antithetical to their relatively simplistic New Age agenda: it
      obfuscates their message.  imo, employing Occam's razor, i think an
      historical Jesus is more likely than not. The nature, not to mention
      history, of this historical Jesus is another problem all together.   why
      mess with it if you're trying to develop a quasi Gnostic/Sufic
      paradigm that simply doesn't require an historical Jesus, and you
      haven't the time or inclination to tackle the complexities involved with
      the mythologizing of said historic figure.   that's just my gut feeling
      and i probably shouldn't even have gone there...  oh well.
       
      PMCV wrote:
       
      But first, a couple more things...
       
      >>>"Paul is shown to be a fraud at most, a liar at the very least:
      his desire to be perceived as coming from a Pharisaic family
      background (Romans 11:2) (which is further exacerbated in Acts 22:3,
      which ridiculously claims Saul/Paul was a student in the Pharisee
      academy of Gamaliel) is patently absurd."<<<
       
      It is true that it is unlikely that Paul studied under Gamaliel...
      just as it is unlikely that he claimed to have. Just as Jesus and
      Paul only became well known names later than their actual lives,
      Gamaliel too is a person built more out of legend than fact. His
      important position on the Sanhedrin is debated, whether he every
      publically taught is debated, and the attempt made in Acts to
      connect Paul with Gamaliel speaks more to the late date of Acts that
      coincides with the growing tradition surrounding both names.
      http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=51&letter=G
       
      crispin replies:
      here's this, from the Jewish Encyclopedia (JE) site you referred to:

      "Son of Simon and grandson of Hillel: according to a tannaitic tradition
      (Shab.15a), he was their successor as nasi and first president of the
      Great Sanhedrin of Jerusalem. Although the reliability of this tradition,
      especially as regards the title of 'nasi,' has been justly disputed, it is
      nevertheless a fact beyond all doubt that in the second third of the first
      century Gamaliel (of whose father, Simon, nothing beyond his name is
      nown) occupied a leading position in the highest court, the great
      council of Jerusalem, and that, as a member of that court, he received
      the cognomen 'Ha-Zaken.' Like his grandfather, Hillel, he was the
      originator of many legal ordinances with a view to the 'tikkun ha-'olam'
      (= 'improvement of the world': Git. iv. 1-3; comp. also Yeb. xvi. 7; R. H.
      ii. 5). Gamaliel appears as the head of the legal-religious body in the
      three epistles which he at one time dictated to the secretary Johanan
      (account of Judah b. 'Illai: Tosef., Sanh. ii. 6; Sanh. 11b; Yer. Sanh.
      18d; Yer. Ma'as. Sh. 56c)."

      it further states:

      "Gamaliel dictated... letters [at] the place where he once ordered the
      removal of a Targum to Job—the oldest written Targum of which
      anything is known.  'When [Gamaliel] died the honor [outward respect]
      of the Torah ceased, and purity and piety became extinct' (Sotah xv:
      18)."

      when you state "Gamaliel too is a person built more out of legend than
      fact," the only reference i found was to later CHRISTIAN legends that
      exacerbate and/or distort his importance, not JEWISH legends. And
      this goes back to my ideas about "claimsmanship," i.e., creating false
      or dubious associations in order to lend credence or authority to one's
      stature and importance.
       
      PMCV wrote:
       
      However, as to Paul being a Pharisee... the vast majority of Jews in
      this era were Pharisees, and the sect constituted a pretty wide
      range of subsects. If Paul was a Jew at all, this is likely his
      affiliation.
       
      crispin replies:

      okay, i didn't interpret the JE as positing that "the vast majority of Jews
      in this era were Pharisees," but rather the Pharisees were a "Party
      representing the religious views, practices, and hopes of the kernel of
      the Jewish people in the time of the Second Temple and in opposition
      to the priestly Sadducees. They were accordingly scrupulous
      observers of the Law as interpreted by the Soferim, or Scribes, in
      accordance with tradition. No true estimate of the character of the
      Pharisees can be obtained from the New Testament writings, which
      take a polemical attitude toward them (see New Testament), nor from
      Josephus, who, writing for Roman readers and in view of the Messianic
      expectations of the Pharisees, represents the latter as a philosophical
      sect."  this sounds to me more likely they were the champions of the
      common man as opposed to actually being comprised of the majority of
      the common men, just as UNICEF purports to champion the cause of
      children (their rights and plights), yet it is not comprised of the world's
      children.  further, the JE site states: "The Pharisees formed a league or
      brotherhood of their own ('haburah'), admitting only those who, in the
      presence of three members, pledged themselves to the strict
      observance of Levitical purity, to the avoidance of closer association
      with the 'Am ha-Arez (the ignorant and careless boor), to the scrupulous
      payment of tithes and other imposts due to the priest, the Levite, and the
      poor, and to a conscientious regard for vows and for other people's
      property (Dem. ii. 3; Tosef., Dem. ii. 1). They called their members
      'haberim' (brothers), while they passed under the name of 'Perishaya,' or
      'Perushim.'"  i don't think this sounds like something the majority of Jews
      would be engaged in as the requirements and dedication implied here are
      probably more than the majority of Jews struggling to feed their families
      and eke out a living would have either the time, inclination or the capacity
      to fully engage in it, which is not to say they wouldn't or didn't identify
      strongly with the Pharisaic sects.  they certainly wouldn't identify with the
      Sadducees. 
       
       
      PMCV wrote:

      I would not take your wife's NIV Bible table overly seriously where
      it says "They were champions of human equality" and "The emphasis of
      their teaching was ethical rather than theological." concerning the
      Pharisees. Already the statement is rendered false simply by giving
      a particular stance to the vast majority of Jews... what I mean is,
      the very statement itself is a prive example of the logical flaw of
      Converse Accident.
       
      crispin replies:

      i don't take the table too seriously -- i have a pretty skeptical nature -- but
      the table does appear to be in agreement with modern Jewish
      commentary as well as, to a good degree, the Jewish Encycopedia
      articles i've read so far (more on this below).   but i have to admit you've
      lost me here, beginning with "already the statement is rendered false,"
      etc., and concluding with "Converse Accident."  would you mind terribly
      simplifying this for me.  i need some help.
       
      PMCV wrote:
       
      >>"Paul even bungles the Torah and appears to be familiar only with
      the Greek Septuagint: a Pharisaic student who can't read Hebrew?"<<<
       
      Of course, not a student of the famous Gamaliel *lol*. However, let
      me point out that the Septuagint was made by Pharisees for
      Pharisees.
       
      crispin replies:

      i don't disagree with this, but i didn't find anything to support it.  the JE
      site states: "The Septuagint" ('Interpretatio septuaginta virorum' or
      'seniorum'). It is a monument of the Greek spoken by the large and
      important Jewish community of Alexandria; not of classic Greek, nor
      even of the Hellenistic style affected by Alexandrian writers... it evidently
      satisfied a pressing need felt by the [Alexandrian] Jewish community,
      among whom a knowledge of Hebrew was rapidly waning before the
      demands of every-day life."
       
      PMCV wrote:

      Hebrew was almost a dead language in the time of Jesus
      and Paul, and very few Jews spoke or read it. Since the vast
      majority of Jews were Pharisees, it pretty much follows that a good
      number of those Pharisees could not read Hebrew.
       
      crispin replies:

      as stated above, i think you may be mistaken about the majority of
      Jews being actual Pharisees as opposed to identifying with, and
      being influenced by, the Pharisees.  i think there's a significant
      difference. 
       
      PMCV wrote:
       
      Aramaic may have been the language of Palestinian Jews, but
      elsewhere it was Greek (dont' forget, there were more Jews in
      Alexandria than in any city in Israel). Part of the Dead Sea texts
      were the Septuagint, and we know that even in the city of Jerusalem
      itself there were a good number of Greek speaking Jews. Hebrew
      was primarily championed by the Sadducees, and only reintroduced
      as important for in Pharisaic Judism after the Sadducees no longer
      existed.
       
      crispin replies:

      it appears you're probably correct that most Jews outside of
      Palestine primarily spoke Greek and likely couldn't read in Hebrew.

      more from the JE:

      "It is therefore more than probable that the whole of the Bible was
      translated into Greek before the beginning of the Christian era
      (Swete, 'An Introduction to the O. T. in Greek,' ch. i.). The large
      number of Greek-speaking Jewish communities in Palestine, Syria,
      Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and northern Africa must have facilitated
      its spread in all these regions. The quotations from the Old
      Testament found in the New are in the main taken from the Septuagint;
      and even where the citation is indirect the influence of this version is
      clearly seen.

      "Being a composite work, the translation varies in the different books.
      In the Pentateuch, naturally, it adheres most closely to the original; in
      Job it varies therefrom most widely. In some books (e.g., Daniel) the
      influence of the Jewish Midrash is more apparent than in others.
      Where it is literal it is 'intolerable as a literary work' (Swete, ib. p. 22).
      The translation, which shows at times a peculiar ignorance of Hebrew
      usage, was evidently made from a codex which differed widely in
      places from the text crystallized by the Masorah. Its influence upon the
      Greek-speaking Jews must have been great. 

      "The large number of Greek-speaking Jewish communities in Palestine,
      Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and northern Africa must have
      facilitated its spread in all these regions. The quotations from the Old
      Testament found in the New are in the main taken from the Septuagint;
      and even where the citation is indirect the influence of this version is
      clearly seen. This will also explain in a measure the undoubted influence
      of the Septuagint upon the Syriac translation called the 'Peshita.'"

      so i concede that Paul's use of the Septuagint would not be inconsistent
      for someone claiming to be from a Pharisaical family in Asia Minor.  but
      i stick to my guns for now as regards the idea that Paul's understanding
      of OT scripture, whether derived from the Septuagint or not, is quite
      inconsistent with the Pharisaical thinking of his time (see post 10700 for
      more detail on this).
       
      PMCV wrote:
       
      >>>"but let me point out that there's a current Gnostic school of
      thought that believes...."<<<
       
      I need to point out, Crispin, that technically speaking there is no
      current Gnostic school of thought... period. Yes, I do understand
      that there are many people today who feel a connection to
      Gnosticism, and may even call themselves "Gnostic", but in the
      academic usage of the term "Gnosticism" there is no such thing today.
       
      crispin replies:

      a little tongue-in-cheek abuse of language on my part, though i was
      under the impression there were still some Manicheans around, and i
      don't know if they are part of any contiguous "school" of Gnosticism
      that has somehow managed to survive the Christian purges. 
       
      PMCV wrote:
       
      Ok... so now to the point. What is the relationship between Paul and
      Gnosticism? In his letters to Corinth he seems to be specifically
      speaking against Gnostics. On the other hand it is long been
      observed that he doesn't really give attention to a physical Jesus,
      and he uses many Gnostic terms and concepts. As both of you, Mike
      and Crispin, point out, it is possible that Paul could have borrowed
      from Gnosticism. However, some of these terms were also common in
      the Hellenized Jewish (primarily Pharisee) practice of Merkabah as
      well. To assume that it was Paul who borrowed from Gnostics we have
      to assume that Gnostics existed prior to Paul. While I think it is
      likely they did, I don't think we should assume it.
       
      crispin replies:

      i don't think we should assume that either, in the strictest sense, though
      i thought there were proto-Gnostic philosophies around at the time: they
      just weren't attached to Jesus or Judaism, but i'm certainly not married
      to the idea.
       
      PMCV wrote:
       
      Valentinus' claim is unproven, but I also think we need to be
      careful before thinking it was for nothing but prestige. There has
      been actual academic debate about this, and we are only talking
      about two generations within a literate range of history (as opposed
      to the generations prior to Paul). We must pay attention to both
      sides of the debate, and not assume a cause and effect relationship
      for the history that came later... since the evils of the Church
      that Crispin mentions are based on faulty hermeneutics that could
      have been applied to any material.
       
      I'll be honest, I could frankly give a fig if Paul turns out to be
      Gnostic or not (though I doubt the debate will be solved any time
      soon). Some have pointed out Paul's literary achievements, while
      others have blamed him for the fall of Christianity.
       
      crispin replies:

      thanks again, PMCV, for a very challenging post, and i'll close by
      saying that i'm probably more so in the camp that "blames" Paul
      for the RISE --  not the fall -- of Christianity (i tend to imagine the
      original Jesus movement was part of a larger, yet benign, kingdom
      movement -- as Burton Mack and others have theorized -- if not
      simply one of a number of recurring messianic movements that
      would have eventually run out of steam in the absence Paul's
      mythologizing and missionary zeal), the abrogation of the torah as
      a uniquely Jewish property and inheritance, and fostering the idea
      that the original apostles (whether they existed or not, the historical
      perception among the great majority of Christians is that they
      absolutely did) were inept and incapable of receiving Jesus' REAL
      meaning; that Paul was, ultimately, the only true apostle.  i could go
      on (who woulda thunk it!) but i think this is more than enough for
      now.

      your friend,

      Crispin Sainte III
    • pmcvflag
      Hey Crispin.... ... legend than fact, the only reference i found was to later CHRISTIAN legends that exacerbate and/or distort his importance, not JEWISH
      Message 2 of 12 , Mar 3 8:05 PM
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        Hey Crispin....

        >>>"when you state "Gamaliel too is a person built more out of
        legend than fact," the only reference i found was to later
        CHRISTIAN legends that exacerbate and/or distort his importance, not
        JEWISH legends. And this goes back to my ideas
        about "claimsmanship," i.e., creating false or dubious associations
        in order to lend credence or authority to one's stature and
        importance."<<<

        Exactly. Of course, even though a Jewish page is unlikely to
        emphasize the legendary nature of the Jewish sources as much as it
        would the Christian sources, even this site admits that the Jewish
        tradition has at least elements that are open to some
        question.... "Although the reliability of this tradition,
        especially as regards the title of 'nasi,' has been justly
        disputed". I think we are saying the same thing here
        about "claimsmanship", then.

        >>"okay, i didn't interpret the JE as positing that "the vast
        majority of Jews in this era were Pharisees," <<<<

        Oh, I wasn't talking about anything I read in the JE when I stated
        this. To be fair, I should state that there is a kind of Pharisee
        and pharisee. What I mean is perhaps I should be more clear to draw
        a line between the essential school and the sympathizer/lukewarm
        practitioners. Consider this another way. There has been a general
        assumption that the "Pharisees" were the early Chasidim, but this is
        an assumption not a proven fact. This would obviously be talking
        about the sects leaders and more aredent practitioners. The modern
        day sect known as the "Chasidim" (not to be confused with the
        earlier group), as well as Reform Jews, etc.... are all offshoots of
        the Pharisees (in spite of a couple derisive passages in the
        Talmud). In spite of this connection, how many modern Jews are
        ardent orthodox believers?

        I am well aware of the usual outline given in Bible dictionaries and
        the like that try very much to outline the sects in such specific
        terms that they create the impression these sects were very
        cohesive. In truth, though, as with the early Catholic church, there
        were disagreements that were not only at some academic level, but
        included the common person. We should not forget that what exactly
        would constitute the Jewish sacred text was not fully formed yet.
        Remember, the DSS actually preserves various versions of many books,
        some that agree with the Septuagint readings (and this is not only
        the Greek texts that do so), some that agree with the readings
        familiar today, and some readings that are entirely different from
        either.

        If we read Catholic history we get an impression of a cohesive early
        Christian church that didn't exist. To some extent we should think
        about this when we read modern Jewish history as well.

        So here we come into a problem. In spite of the supposed exclusive
        nature of some of the sects, how was the common Jew associated with
        the over all religion? How can Paul, and Josephus, Hillil, be from
        the same sect? Let me state that a different way. The Sadducees, as
        we all know, were connected with the Temple cult and the priesthood.
        But who was sacrificing at the temple and participating in this
        cult? Did the Samaritans (who WERE a Jewish sect in spite of the
        seperation other Jews tried to create) go to the Temple run by the
        Sadducees and sacrifice?

        I think your reaction to this is to state that Paul, for instance,
        wasn't, and that the Pharisees were quite exclusive. I, in turn,
        think the inverse is more likely.... that the sect held quite a
        range of views within its ranks.

        The second presentation on this page http://mb-
        soft.com/believe/txc/pharisee.htm is pretty typical of the general
        academic view in that even of the two theories probable, both accept
        that Pharisaic Judism was wide reaching, and not just a small group
        standing up for the common man. (BTW, the last presentation on this
        web page does not agree with most scholors view of the historical
        evidence at all).


        "The traditional view holds that the Pharisees were the creators and
        shapers of late second temple Judaism. They were not so much a sect
        as a dominant party within Judaism. According to the traditional
        view, although not all Pharisees were legal experts, Pharisaism was
        the ideology of the vast majority of the scribes and lawyers. Thus,
        as a group the Pharisees were the guardians and interpreters of the
        law. Jewish institutions associated with the law, such as the
        synagogue and the Sanhedrin, were Pharisaic institutions. While
        disagreeing over whether the Pharisees were primarily politically or
        religiously oriented, proponents of the traditional view agree that
        the Pharisees commanded the loyalty of the masses in both spheres."

        or the other view...

        "The second point of view is a relatively recent development.
        Proponents of this position argue that when the inherent limitations
        and tendencies of our sources are taken into account, the Pharisees
        come across not as the creators and shapers of Judaism but merely as
        one of its many expressions. In essence, according to this view, the
        Pharisees were a rather tightly knit sect organized around the
        observance of purity and tithing laws; on most other issues the
        Pharisees reflected the range of views present within Judaism."

        On to another subject here. Crispin, you state....

        >>""Converse Accident." would you mind terribly
        simplifying this for me. i need some help."<<

        Sorry about that. What I meant was that it is generally accepted
        that Pharisees represented a wide range of opinions, so that by
        being so specific about who exactly the Pharisees were the passage
        takes an attribute of a theorhetic few and applies it as a sweeping
        absolute. To build off your previous modern political model, what if
        I said "Republicans are the voice of the common man"? First off, the
        notion is obviously rhetoric from the start, and could be debated.
        It is true that the Gov. of Cali says this is true, but others might
        disagree. Even if some people believe this to be fact, not only is
        it debatable, it is also false on the grounds that not all
        Republicans believe the same things. Same is true of the Democrats,
        and same is true of the Pharisees. It simply is not possible, from a
        critical perspective, to take such a statement seriously.

        >>>"i don't disagree with this, but i didn't find anything to
        support it. the JE site states: "The Septuagint" ('Interpretatio
        septuaginta virorum' or 'seniorum'). It is a monument of the Greek
        spoken by the large and important Jewish community of Alexandria"<<<

        However, the DSS discovery pokes a whole in the JE here. First, we
        find Greek texts in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and second we see readings
        in agreement with the Septuagint. We can't simply religate this to
        some strange few off in Alexandria as if it is isolated.

        >>>"a little tongue-in-cheek abuse of language on my part, though i
        was under the impression there were still some Manicheans around"<<<

        There is a new movement attempting to recreate Manichaeism (probably
        a few). However, Manichaeans aren't technically Gnostic.

        Golly, that was long *lol*. I guess I should rest a bit here and let
        other people jump in.

        PMCV
      • Tsharpmin7@aol.com
        Golly, that was long *lol*. I guess I should rest a bit here and let other people jump in. PMCV hi PMCV... yes, very long, and i ve enjoyed every second.
        Message 3 of 12 , Mar 3 8:20 PM
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          Golly, that was long *lol*. I guess I should rest a bit here and let
          other people jump in.

          PMCV
           
           
          hi PMCV...  yes, very long, and i've enjoyed every second.  but,
          PLEASE, someone else jump in here!
           
          your friend,
           
          Crispin Sainte III
        • Marina
          ... let ... hmmm..I will add something to this converstation, but it will have to wait until tomorrow, it is late and I have to get up early for work in the
          Message 4 of 12 , Mar 3 9:16 PM
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            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Tsharpmin7@a... wrote:
            > Golly, that was long *lol*. I guess I should rest a bit here and
            let
            > other people jump in.
            >
            > PMCV
            >
            >
            > hi PMCV... yes, very long, and i've enjoyed every second. but,
            > PLEASE, someone else jump in here!
            >
            > your friend,
            >
            > Crispin Sainte III


            hmmm..I will add something to this converstation, but it will have to
            wait until tomorrow, it is late and I have to get up early for work
            in the morning.

            Marina
          • Mike Leavitt
            Hello pmcvflag ... Actually I have read somewhere that there are actual Manacheans still active in the Malabar part of India, original ones, not neos. How
            Message 5 of 12 , Mar 4 5:59 PM
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              Hello pmcvflag

              On 03/04/05, you wrote:

              > There is a new movement attempting to recreate Manichaeism (probably
              > a few). However, Manichaeans aren't technically Gnostic.
              >
              > Golly, that was long *lol*. I guess I should rest a bit here and let
              > other people jump in.
              >
              > PMCV

              Actually I have read somewhere that there are actual Manacheans still
              active in the Malabar part of India, original ones, not neos. How
              true to the original tradition they are at this point and how
              influenced by Hinduism (even the Packistani Sufis are), I don't know.

              Regards
              --
              Mike Leavitt ac998@...
            • elmoreb
              ... let ... Sure, Ill jump in ;) I was actually wrestling with the problems of Paul not long before this thread started. I think I mentioned it in my last
              Message 6 of 12 , Mar 4 9:07 PM
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                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Tsharpmin7@a... wrote:
                > Golly, that was long *lol*. I guess I should rest a bit here and
                let
                > other people jump in.
                >
                > PMCV
                >
                >
                > hi PMCV... yes, very long, and i've enjoyed every second. but,
                > PLEASE, someone else jump in here!
                >
                > your friend,
                >
                > Crispin Sainte III

                Sure, Ill jump in ;) I was actually wrestling with the problems of
                Paul not long before this thread started. I think I mentioned it in
                my last thread.

                I was just looking at a few different versions of the Bible. I
                looked at 4 different translations: NIV, KJV, Revised standard
                edition, and the Darby version. The Revised Std didnt have any
                references to Gamaliel at all. The wording in the NIV and KJV seem
                to disagree on this matter.


                from the NIV Acts 22:3
                "I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in
                Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and
                taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers,
                and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. "

                It seems to attribute the city to Gamaliel, not Pauls education.

                from the KJV Acts 22:3

                "I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in
                Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and
                taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers,
                and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day."

                Sounds alot like he was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel. Seeing
                as how the KJV is nearly useless, I dont think I would pay it too
                much attention.

                I'm more willing to go with the NIV translation. As mentioned
                before, a student of Gamaliel wouldnt be out to quell
                the "Christian" uprising. On top of that, there isnt alot of
                information saying the he specifically persecuted followers of
                Christ. Acts says he persecuted people according to the jewish laws.
                If he WAS a student of Gamaliel, this wouldnt be too odd. Gamaliel
                was a lawyer so to speak ( according to acts) and it would make
                sense his student would also be in the same business. However, most
                Christians take this to mean that he persued the "Christians" at
                Damascus to bring them to Jerusalem to be punished. Which makes no
                sense, because Im fairly sure there were many more "Christians" in
                Jerusalem than Damascus at the time.

                Acts itself is a bit odd. It's most likely written by the same
                Author who wrote Luke. And its authenticity is proven by " the voice
                of tradition." Meaning that the orthodox Church agreed that it was
                authentic because it agreed with them. It also Coincided with the
                Gospels ( same writer as luke.. it better coincide). Which is the
                exact same reason the Gospels were chosen. Sounds like circular
                reasoning to me.

                Before I draw any conclusions, is there any extra-biblical evidence
                of Paul/Sauls travels?
              • elmoreb
                As a correction to my last post, the Revised std edition does mention gamaliel and it agrees with the NIV version. I was using a bible/version search and got a
                Message 7 of 12 , Mar 4 11:02 PM
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                  As a correction to my last post, the Revised std edition does
                  mention gamaliel and it agrees with the NIV version. I was using a
                  bible/version search and got a little careless :P My apologies.
                • pmcvflag
                  Hey Mike Well, I was aware that Malabar was one of the later outposts, but last I heard it was still around the 1500s when they were last spotted there. If you
                  Message 8 of 12 , Mar 5 8:22 PM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Hey Mike

                    Well, I was aware that Malabar was one of the later outposts, but
                    last I heard it was still around the 1500s when they were last
                    spotted there. If you are talking about some new discovery that I
                    had not heard about, I am unable to find anything about it.... and
                    no one else I know seems to have heard about it either. Can you give
                    us some more info? It would certainly be extremely interesting.

                    PMCV

                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
                    > Hello pmcvflag
                    >
                    > On 03/04/05, you wrote:
                    >
                    > > There is a new movement attempting to recreate Manichaeism
                    (probably
                    > > a few). However, Manichaeans aren't technically Gnostic.
                    > >
                    > > Golly, that was long *lol*. I guess I should rest a bit here and
                    let
                    > > other people jump in.
                    > >
                    > > PMCV
                    >
                    > Actually I have read somewhere that there are actual Manacheans
                    still
                    > active in the Malabar part of India, original ones, not neos. How
                    > true to the original tradition they are at this point and how
                    > influenced by Hinduism (even the Packistani Sufis are), I don't
                    know.
                    >
                    > Regards
                    > --
                    > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...
                  • Mike Leavitt
                    Hello pmcvflag ... I wish I could, but some guy at church was talking about a journal article he had read, and I was not part of the conversation. My older
                    Message 9 of 12 , Mar 5 10:12 PM
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Hello pmcvflag

                      On 03/06/05, you wrote:

                      >
                      >
                      > Hey Mike
                      >
                      > Well, I was aware that Malabar was one of the later outposts, but
                      > last I heard it was still around the 1500s when they were last
                      > spotted there. If you are talking about some new discovery that I
                      > had not heard about, I am unable to find anything about it.... and
                      > no one else I know seems to have heard about it either. Can you give
                      > us some more info? It would certainly be extremely interesting.

                      I wish I could, but some guy at church was talking about a journal
                      article he had read, and I was not part of the conversation. My
                      older son Tom may know something too. I'll cc: him in on this, just
                      in case. Not being into Manacheanism that much, I did not retain
                      much of what I heard or read about it.

                      Regards
                      --
                      Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                    • Thomas Leavitt
                      Hmm... the Gnosis Archive has a page on Manicheanism that references it surviving up to the present century in the Orient .
                      Message 10 of 12 , Mar 6 2:16 AM
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Hmm... the Gnosis Archive has a page on Manicheanism that references it
                        surviving up to the present century in the "Orient".

                        http://www.gnosis.org/library/manis.htmv

                        Unfortunately, I can't recall, at this point, exactly where I heard that
                        either.

                        It may not be correct... the Catholic Encyclopedia, which unfortunately
                        seems to be the primary source for most site's information about
                        Manicheanism, says that:

                        Within a generation after Mani's death his followers had settled on the
                        Malabar Coast and gave the name to Minigrama, ie "Settlement of Mani".

                        ... someone may have assumed that they continue to survive there.

                        This article,

                        Mani: Gnostic Prophet of Dualism
                        http://www.ldsmag.com/ideas/040712mani.html

                        on a Mormon site of all things, says:

                        says: "Manicheism was most successful among the nomads of Central Asia,
                        where it was declared the official religion by the king of the Uigur Turks
                        in 762, and survived until the sixteenth century."

                        Unfortunately, without citing a source. However, the authors seem to be
                        reasonably authoritative.

                        According to this essay, "During the Yuan (Mongol) period Manichaeism
                        experienced something of a revival in China, only to be outlawed as a
                        heretical Buddhist sect under the Ming legal code of the fourteenth
                        century."

                        http://depts.washington.edu/uwch/silkroad/exhibit/religion/manichaeism/essay.html

                        the source cited here is (1) Richard Foltz, Religions of the Silk Road
                        (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999).

                        Another essay states:

                        "It survived in Southern China as the "Religion of the Venerable Light"
                        until the 17th century e.v."

                        http://www2.ida.net/graphics/shirtail/religion.htm

                        again, without footnoting a specific source (though a list is appended at
                        the bottom)

                        I dug farther, and found this item on Manicheanism in China (the Iranians
                        seem, logically enough, given the tradition's origin there, very eager to
                        claim Manicheanism as theirs, and to document its history).

                        It ends with this item (lots of good/interesting stuff before it):

                        http://www.iranica.com/articles/sup/Manicheism_in_China.html

                        The religion probably finally died out in the first decades of the
                        Twentieth Century. The temple on Hua-paio Hill, termed by the local
                        worshippers as a chao-an (ca'ao-an) i.e. a "thatched nunnery", is still
                        used as a Buddhist temple where Mani is worshipped as a Buddha with
                        special powers. UNESCO made the site of the Manichean chao-an a World
                        Heritage Site in 1991 as a unique relic of an extinct world religion.

                        There is a Manichean temple in Quanzhou, China, and this guy

                        http://www.amoymagic.com/Quanzhoupage.htm

                        claims that "the Persian Manichean religion survives today only in
                        Quanzhou", although it is not clear from other entries whether actually
                        means there are practicing Manicheans there... on the other hand, as a
                        resident foriegner, he appears as likely as any non-native to know that.

                        Other data:

                        Mani and Manichean seems to be a common word in India, without any direct
                        relation to the religious tradition of that name.

                        ... on balance, I can't find any evidence to support the conclusion that
                        there are Manicheans practicing today that have a direct line of
                        historical descent. On the other hand, the religion was very widespread,
                        Central Asia is still very much "off the grid", so who knows what may
                        survive in pocketes as a local traditionnnn that no Westerner has ever
                        become aware enough of to investigate?

                        Regards,
                        Thomas Leavitt

                        P.S. On a political note, here's an interesting rebuttal to claims that
                        Bush's worldview is "Manichean".

                        http://hnn.us/articles/7202.htm

                        This is kind of amusing... apparently, an author has listed Mani as the
                        world's 83rd most influental person in history (right ahead of Lenin).

                        > Hello pmcvflag
                        >
                        > On 03/06/05, you wrote:
                        >
                        >>
                        >>
                        >> Hey Mike
                        >>
                        >> Well, I was aware that Malabar was one of the later outposts, but last
                        >> I heard it was still around the 1500s when they were last
                        >> spotted there. If you are talking about some new discovery that I had
                        >> not heard about, I am unable to find anything about it.... and no one
                        >> else I know seems to have heard about it either. Can you give us some
                        >> more info? It would certainly be extremely interesting.
                        >
                        > I wish I could, but some guy at church was talking about a journal
                        > article he had read, and I was not part of the conversation. My
                        > older son Tom may know something too. I'll cc: him in on this, just in
                        > case. Not being into Manacheanism that much, I did not retain
                        > much of what I heard or read about it.
                        >
                        > Regards
                        > --
                        > Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                      • lady_caritas
                        Thomas, thank you for all your research. I look forward to reading your information. Also, I ll correct and repost the first and last links from your reply
                        Message 11 of 12 , Mar 6 7:55 AM
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Thomas, thank you for all your research. I look forward to reading
                          your information.

                          Also, I'll correct and repost the first and last links from your
                          reply that I couldn't initially access:

                          http://www.gnosis.org/library/manis.htm

                          http://hnn.us/articles/7202.html

                          Thanks again!


                          Cari


                          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Leavitt" <thomas@t...>
                          wrote:
                          > Hmm... the Gnosis Archive has a page on Manicheanism that
                          references it
                          > surviving up to the present century in the "Orient".
                          >
                          > http://www.gnosis.org/library/manis.htmv
                          >
                          > Unfortunately, I can't recall, at this point, exactly where I heard
                          that
                          > either.
                          >
                          > It may not be correct... the Catholic Encyclopedia, which
                          unfortunately
                          > seems to be the primary source for most site's information about
                          > Manicheanism, says that:
                          >
                          > Within a generation after Mani's death his followers had settled on
                          the
                          > Malabar Coast and gave the name to Minigrama, ie "Settlement of
                          Mani".
                          >
                          > ... someone may have assumed that they continue to survive there.
                          >
                          > This article,
                          >
                          > Mani: Gnostic Prophet of Dualism
                          > http://www.ldsmag.com/ideas/040712mani.html
                          >
                          > on a Mormon site of all things, says:
                          >
                          > says: "Manicheism was most successful among the nomads of Central
                          Asia,
                          > where it was declared the official religion by the king of the
                          Uigur Turks
                          > in 762, and survived until the sixteenth century."
                          >
                          > Unfortunately, without citing a source. However, the authors seem
                          to be
                          > reasonably authoritative.
                          >
                          > According to this essay, "During the Yuan (Mongol) period
                          Manichaeism
                          > experienced something of a revival in China, only to be outlawed as
                          a
                          > heretical Buddhist sect under the Ming legal code of the fourteenth
                          > century."
                          >
                          >
                          http://depts.washington.edu/uwch/silkroad/exhibit/religion/manichaeism
                          /essay.html
                          >
                          > the source cited here is (1) Richard Foltz, Religions of the Silk
                          Road
                          > (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999).
                          >
                          > Another essay states:
                          >
                          > "It survived in Southern China as the "Religion of the Venerable
                          Light"
                          > until the 17th century e.v."
                          >
                          > http://www2.ida.net/graphics/shirtail/religion.htm
                          >
                          > again, without footnoting a specific source (though a list is
                          appended at
                          > the bottom)
                          >
                          > I dug farther, and found this item on Manicheanism in China (the
                          Iranians
                          > seem, logically enough, given the tradition's origin there, very
                          eager to
                          > claim Manicheanism as theirs, and to document its history).
                          >
                          > It ends with this item (lots of good/interesting stuff before it):
                          >
                          > http://www.iranica.com/articles/sup/Manicheism_in_China.html
                          >
                          > The religion probably finally died out in the first decades of the
                          > Twentieth Century. The temple on Hua-paio Hill, termed by the local
                          > worshippers as a chao-an (ca'ao-an) i.e. a "thatched nunnery", is
                          still
                          > used as a Buddhist temple where Mani is worshipped as a Buddha with
                          > special powers. UNESCO made the site of the Manichean chao-an a
                          World
                          > Heritage Site in 1991 as a unique relic of an extinct world
                          religion.
                          >
                          > There is a Manichean temple in Quanzhou, China, and this guy
                          >
                          > http://www.amoymagic.com/Quanzhoupage.htm
                          >
                          > claims that "the Persian Manichean religion survives today only in
                          > Quanzhou", although it is not clear from other entries whether
                          actually
                          > means there are practicing Manicheans there... on the other hand,
                          as a
                          > resident foriegner, he appears as likely as any non-native to know
                          that.
                          >
                          > Other data:
                          >
                          > Mani and Manichean seems to be a common word in India, without any
                          direct
                          > relation to the religious tradition of that name.
                          >
                          > ... on balance, I can't find any evidence to support the conclusion
                          that
                          > there are Manicheans practicing today that have a direct line of
                          > historical descent. On the other hand, the religion was very
                          widespread,
                          > Central Asia is still very much "off the grid", so who knows what
                          may
                          > survive in pocketes as a local traditionnnn that no Westerner has
                          ever
                          > become aware enough of to investigate?
                          >
                          > Regards,
                          > Thomas Leavitt
                          >
                          > P.S. On a political note, here's an interesting rebuttal to claims
                          that
                          > Bush's worldview is "Manichean".
                          >
                          > http://hnn.us/articles/7202.htm
                          >
                          > This is kind of amusing... apparently, an author has listed Mani as
                          the
                          > world's 83rd most influental person in history (right ahead of
                          Lenin).
                          >
                        • pmcvflag
                          Hey Thomas, thanks for all the info. I am looking in to the Quanzhou angle to see whether this looks like perhaps a wide liguistic sweep (like the page
                          Message 12 of 12 , Mar 7 8:00 PM
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Hey Thomas, thanks for all the info. I am looking in to the Quanzhou
                            angle to see whether this looks like perhaps a wide liguistic sweep
                            (like the page concerning Bush's "Manichaeism" *lol*), or if there
                            is something more there. It would certainly be an important link,
                            and an interesting study.

                            PMCV

                            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Leavitt" <thomas@t...>
                            wrote:
                            > Hmm... the Gnosis Archive has a page on Manicheanism that
                            references it
                            > surviving up to the present century in the "Orient".
                            >
                            > http://www.gnosis.org/library/manis.htmv
                            >
                            > Unfortunately, I can't recall, at this point, exactly where I
                            heard that
                            > either.
                            >
                            > It may not be correct... the Catholic Encyclopedia, which
                            unfortunately
                            > seems to be the primary source for most site's information about
                            > Manicheanism, says that:
                            >
                            > Within a generation after Mani's death his followers had settled
                            on the
                            > Malabar Coast and gave the name to Minigrama, ie "Settlement of
                            Mani".
                            >
                            > ... someone may have assumed that they continue to survive there.
                            >
                            > This article,
                            >
                            > Mani: Gnostic Prophet of Dualism
                            > http://www.ldsmag.com/ideas/040712mani.html
                            >
                            > on a Mormon site of all things, says:
                            >
                            > says: "Manicheism was most successful among the nomads of Central
                            Asia,
                            > where it was declared the official religion by the king of the
                            Uigur Turks
                            > in 762, and survived until the sixteenth century."
                            >
                            > Unfortunately, without citing a source. However, the authors seem
                            to be
                            > reasonably authoritative.
                            >
                            > According to this essay, "During the Yuan (Mongol) period
                            Manichaeism
                            > experienced something of a revival in China, only to be outlawed
                            as a
                            > heretical Buddhist sect under the Ming legal code of the fourteenth
                            > century."
                            >
                            >
                            http://depts.washington.edu/uwch/silkroad/exhibit/religion/manichaeis
                            m/essay.html
                            >
                            > the source cited here is (1) Richard Foltz, Religions of the Silk
                            Road
                            > (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999).
                            >
                            > Another essay states:
                            >
                            > "It survived in Southern China as the "Religion of the Venerable
                            Light"
                            > until the 17th century e.v."
                            >
                            > http://www2.ida.net/graphics/shirtail/religion.htm
                            >
                            > again, without footnoting a specific source (though a list is
                            appended at
                            > the bottom)
                            >
                            > I dug farther, and found this item on Manicheanism in China (the
                            Iranians
                            > seem, logically enough, given the tradition's origin there, very
                            eager to
                            > claim Manicheanism as theirs, and to document its history).
                            >
                            > It ends with this item (lots of good/interesting stuff before it):
                            >
                            > http://www.iranica.com/articles/sup/Manicheism_in_China.html
                            >
                            > The religion probably finally died out in the first decades of the
                            > Twentieth Century. The temple on Hua-paio Hill, termed by the local
                            > worshippers as a chao-an (ca'ao-an) i.e. a "thatched nunnery", is
                            still
                            > used as a Buddhist temple where Mani is worshipped as a Buddha with
                            > special powers. UNESCO made the site of the Manichean chao-an a
                            World
                            > Heritage Site in 1991 as a unique relic of an extinct world
                            religion.
                            >
                            > There is a Manichean temple in Quanzhou, China, and this guy
                            >
                            > http://www.amoymagic.com/Quanzhoupage.htm
                            >
                            > claims that "the Persian Manichean religion survives today only in
                            > Quanzhou", although it is not clear from other entries whether
                            actually
                            > means there are practicing Manicheans there... on the other hand,
                            as a
                            > resident foriegner, he appears as likely as any non-native to know
                            that.
                            >
                            > Other data:
                            >
                            > Mani and Manichean seems to be a common word in India, without any
                            direct
                            > relation to the religious tradition of that name.
                            >
                            > ... on balance, I can't find any evidence to support the
                            conclusion that
                            > there are Manicheans practicing today that have a direct line of
                            > historical descent. On the other hand, the religion was very
                            widespread,
                            > Central Asia is still very much "off the grid", so who knows what
                            may
                            > survive in pocketes as a local traditionnnn that no Westerner has
                            ever
                            > become aware enough of to investigate?
                            >
                            > Regards,
                            > Thomas Leavitt
                            >
                            > P.S. On a political note, here's an interesting rebuttal to claims
                            that
                            > Bush's worldview is "Manichean".
                            >
                            > http://hnn.us/articles/7202.htm
                            >
                            > This is kind of amusing... apparently, an author has listed Mani
                            as the
                            > world's 83rd most influental person in history (right ahead of
                            Lenin).
                            >
                            > > Hello pmcvflag
                            > >
                            > > On 03/06/05, you wrote:
                            > >
                            > >>
                            > >>
                            > >> Hey Mike
                            > >>
                            > >> Well, I was aware that Malabar was one of the later outposts,
                            but last
                            > >> I heard it was still around the 1500s when they were last
                            > >> spotted there. If you are talking about some new discovery that
                            I had
                            > >> not heard about, I am unable to find anything about it.... and
                            no one
                            > >> else I know seems to have heard about it either. Can you give
                            us some
                            > >> more info? It would certainly be extremely interesting.
                            > >
                            > > I wish I could, but some guy at church was talking about a
                            journal
                            > > article he had read, and I was not part of the conversation. My
                            > > older son Tom may know something too. I'll cc: him in on this,
                            just in
                            > > case. Not being into Manacheanism that much, I did not retain
                            > > much of what I heard or read about it.
                            > >
                            > > Regards
                            > > --
                            > > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...
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