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Valentinian Exegesis of Paul

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  • Steve
    Hello. Does anyone here have any opinion concerning the Valentinian exegesis of the Pauline Corpus, as related by the heresiologists? I just finished Pagel s
    Message 1 of 10 , Jul 31, 2005
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      Hello. Does anyone here have any opinion concerning the Valentinian
      exegesis of the Pauline Corpus, as related by the heresiologists? I
      just finished Pagel's The Gnostic Paul, and I am curious if anyone
      here has anything to say about this topic. Thank you.
      Yours, Steve W.
    • arlene anjum
      Hi Steve: I am in the middle of reading Pagel s Gnostic Gospels. Do you find St. Paul to be quite a misogynist or is it just me? Does the Paulis Corpus put
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 31, 2005
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        Hi Steve:
         
        I am in the  middle of reading Pagel's Gnostic Gospels. Do you find St. Paul to be quite a misogynist or is it just me?
         
        Does the Paulis Corpus put Paul in  a different light?
         
        A. Anjum

        Steve <eugnostos2000@...> wrote:
        Hello. Does anyone here have any opinion concerning the Valentinian
        exegesis of the Pauline Corpus, as related by the heresiologists? I
        just finished Pagel's The Gnostic Paul, and I am curious if anyone
        here has anything to say about this topic. Thank you.
                                                    Yours, Steve W.


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      • Steve
        ... St. Paul to be quite a misogynist or is it just me? ... Hello. It s hard to say. Of the 13 letters attributed to Paul, most scholars only accept 7 as
        Message 3 of 10 , Aug 1, 2005
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          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, arlene anjum <koalaKards@y...>
          wrote:
          > Hi Steve:
          >
          > I am in the middle of reading Pagel's Gnostic Gospels. Do you find
          St. Paul to be quite a misogynist or is it just me?
          >
          > Does the Paulis Corpus put Paul in a different light?
          >
          > A. Anjum

          Hello. It's hard to say. Of the 13 letters attributed to Paul, most
          scholars only accept 7 as having any claim to authenticity. And some
          of them are believed to have been edited and redacted in various ways.
          Also, in addition to this, at least some of the Valentinian exegetes,
          according to Pagels, believed that Paul was writing in a sort of code
          that could be read on two levels: a literal level for "psychics", and
          a non-literal level for "pneumatics". For example, the word "Jews" may
          refer to psychics while the word "Gentiles" may refer to pneumatics.
          In the same vein, Paul gives rather prosaic advice on the relationship
          between husbands and wives that was rather typical of both Jewish and
          Roman mores. Some of the Valentinians asserted that this really
          referred to the relationship between psychics and pneumatics in the
          church. Basically, what the Valentinians were asserting was that
          Paul's authentic letters were not intended to be understood by those
          not initiated into the inner Mystery of Christ. -Steve W.
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Steve
          ... but ... Hi Mike. I used to agree with you on this, but since reading Pagel s book on Paul, I m no longer sure. The Valentinians apparently didn t regard
          Message 4 of 10 , Aug 1, 2005
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            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
            > Hello arlene
            >
            > On 08/01/05, you wrote:
            >
            > > Hi Steve:
            > >
            > > I am in the middle of reading Pagel's Gnostic Gospels. Do you find
            > > St. Paul to be quite a misogynist or is it just me?
            > >
            > > Does the Paulis Corpus put Paul in a different light?
            > >
            > > A. Anjum
            >
            > St Paul is an inconsistant figure, a great proto-Gnostic teacher,
            but
            > also a misogynist of the first order. Maybe it is his Jewish
            > background, but, I'll make no excuses for him.
            >
            > Regards
            > --
            > Mike Leavitt

            Hi Mike. I used to agree with you on this, but since reading
            Pagel's book on Paul, I'm no longer sure. The Valentinians apparently
            didn't regard him as a misogynist, and they claimed to trace their
            lineage back to him. If you haven't already read The Gnostic Paul by
            Pagels, I highly recommend that you do so.
            Yours, Steve W.
          • Mike Leavitt
            Hello arlene ... St Paul is an inconsistant figure, a great proto-Gnostic teacher, but also a misogynist of the first order. Maybe it is his Jewish
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 1, 2005
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              Hello arlene

              On 08/01/05, you wrote:

              > Hi Steve:
              >
              > I am in the middle of reading Pagel's Gnostic Gospels. Do you find
              > St. Paul to be quite a misogynist or is it just me?
              >
              > Does the Paulis Corpus put Paul in a different light?
              >
              > A. Anjum

              St Paul is an inconsistant figure, a great proto-Gnostic teacher, but
              also a misogynist of the first order. Maybe it is his Jewish
              background, but, I'll make no excuses for him.

              Regards
              --
              Mike Leavitt ac998_@_lafn._org remove -'s
            • Mike Leavitt
              Hello Steve ... If I can find it out the the ash-heap of my library, I will. Long story, bad back, bad roof. Regards -- Mike Leavitt ac998_@_lafn._org
              Message 6 of 10 , Aug 1, 2005
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                Hello Steve

                On 08/01/05, you wrote:

                > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
                >> Hello arlene
                >>
                >> On 08/01/05, you wrote:
                >>
                >> Hi Steve:
                >>
                >> I am in the middle of reading Pagel's Gnostic Gospels. Do you find
                >> St. Paul to be quite a misogynist or is it just me?
                >>
                >> Does the Paulis Corpus put Paul in a different light?
                >>
                >> A. Anjum
                >>
                >> St Paul is an inconsistant figure, a great proto-Gnostic teacher,
                > but
                >> also a misogynist of the first order. Maybe it is his Jewish
                >> background, but, I'll make no excuses for him.
                >>
                >> Regards
                >> --
                >> Mike Leavitt
                >
                > Hi Mike. I used to agree with you on this, but since reading
                > Pagel's book on Paul, I'm no longer sure. The Valentinians
                > apparently didn't regard him as a misogynist, and they claimed to
                > trace their lineage back to him. If you haven't already read The
                > Gnostic Paul by Pagels, I highly recommend that you do so.
                > Yours, Steve W.

                If I can find it out the the ash-heap of my library, I will. Long
                story, bad back, bad roof.

                Regards
                --
                Mike Leavitt ac998_@_lafn._org remove -'s
              • pmcvflag
                Hey Steve ... word Gentiles may refer to pneumatics.
                Message 7 of 10 , Aug 2, 2005
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                  Hey Steve

                  >>>"For example, the word "Jews" may refer to psychics while the
                  word "Gentiles" may refer to pneumatics."<<<

                  I find this version counterintuitive, in contrast to the version we
                  see in Philip where it is....

                  Hylic = Gentile
                  Psychic = Jew
                  Pneumatic = Christian

                  I need to check out this pook sometime since it comes up so much.

                  In any event, I tend to side with the arguement that outside the
                  obvious convention of the time, most of what Paul gets blamed for is
                  largely the invention (and insertions) of other authors.

                  PMCV
                • Steve
                  ... Hi Karl. I m still not quite sure what to make of the Valentinian interpretations of Paul. Some of the interpretations that Pagels reports do strike me as
                  Message 8 of 10 , Aug 2, 2005
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                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                    > Hey Steve
                    >
                    > >>>"For example, the word "Jews" may refer to psychics while the
                    > word "Gentiles" may refer to pneumatics."<<<
                    >
                    > I find this version counterintuitive, in contrast to the version we
                    > see in Philip where it is....
                    >
                    > Hylic = Gentile
                    > Psychic = Jew
                    > Pneumatic = Christian
                    >
                    > I need to check out this pook sometime since it comes up so much.
                    >
                    > In any event, I tend to side with the arguement that outside the
                    > obvious convention of the time, most of what Paul gets blamed for is
                    > largely the invention (and insertions) of other authors.
                    >
                    > PMCV

                    Hi Karl. I'm still not quite sure what to make of the Valentinian
                    interpretations of Paul. Some of the interpretations that Pagels
                    reports do strike me as being somewhat forced. However, some of them
                    are quite intriguing. And yes, I agree that the interpolations in the
                    authentic letters, along with the outright forgeries of the pastorals
                    and the disputed status of Ephesians, Colossians and Hebrews, does
                    give a very distorted view of Paul. But even just by reading a variety
                    of English translations of Paul's epistles, I have come to the
                    conclusion that he refers to the Demiurge myth, the Sophia myth, the
                    triple division of hylic, psychic and pneumatic, and the docetic
                    conception of Christ. He also hints that he had both an exoteric and
                    an esoteric teaching. Scholars often refer to Paul as proto-gnostic
                    because they hesitate to allow that the full-blown gnostic myth
                    existed in the 50s of the first century, but I suspect that, in fact,
                    it did. -Steve W.
                  • pmcvflag
                    Hey Steve... ... interpretations of Paul. Some of the interpretations that Pagels reports do strike me as being somewhat forced.
                    Message 9 of 10 , Aug 4, 2005
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                      Hey Steve...

                      >>>"I'm still not quite sure what to make of the Valentinian
                      interpretations of Paul. Some of the interpretations that Pagels
                      reports do strike me as being somewhat forced."<<<

                      I can't say off the top of my head whether I personally think this
                      is simply from Pagels' understanding, or if what you are talking
                      about is from specific Valentinian attempts to deal with the
                      subject. I do find some of the Valentinain attempts at John to be a
                      little forced, and in fact I believe that John was a reaction
                      against Gnosticism to some extent. To me, though (as with you), Paul
                      is a differet story. (I do personally tend towards Sethian thought,
                      though I can admit that 8 times out of 10 I am likely to point to
                      Valentinian sources when making a point about "Gnosticism")

                      >>>"But even just by reading a variety of English translations of
                      Paul's epistles, I have come to the conclusion that he refers to the
                      Demiurge myth, the Sophia myth, the triple division of hylic,
                      psychic and pneumatic, and the docetic conception of Christ. He also
                      hints that he had both an exoteric and an esoteric teaching."<<<

                      Not only do I think you are right, I think your thinking is actually
                      in the mainstream of objective scholasticism right now. The
                      term "Biblical Scholors" is such a wide category for most people, so
                      I am not talking about most theologians... but I think most
                      HISTORIANS would agree with you.

                      >>>"Scholars often refer to Paul as proto-gnostic because they
                      hesitate to allow that the full-blown gnostic myth existed in the
                      50s of the first century, but I suspect that, in fact, it did."<<<

                      At the same time, many scholors like Dr Turner, Rudolph, Pearson,
                      Scholem, all are unafraid to talk about very early expressions of a
                      full blown Gnostic myth (and this is not even talking about VERY
                      closely related movements). Even Dr Erhman, whom I know Gerry has
                      had a personal run in with and we should be careful about because he
                      has some traditional Christian misgivings, postulates an early date
                      for Thomas, and believes it is dependant on a full Gnostic system.
                      Scholors who support the Petrement dating have really fallen to the
                      side as evidence has mounted against them. My own prof on the
                      subject was conservative with dating, but still believed the
                      likelyhood that the original "Gnostics" was quite early in Christian
                      history.

                      Platonizing influence certainly existed in Jewish sources even
                      before the 50s of the first century b.c.. When we cut away certain
                      groups, like the Manichaeans (for instance) and deal with Gnosticism
                      in the more specific realm of Hellenized Judism... we actually set
                      the date back a bit further. At this point Paul becomes not a "proto-
                      Gnostic", but simply a part of a larger movement that predates him.

                      PMCV
                    • Gerry
                      ... Speaking of Dr. Ehrman, I picked up another of his books today. What can I say . . . it was my third full day off in over two months, so when I was
                      Message 10 of 10 , Aug 10, 2005
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                        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                        >
                        > [...]
                        > At the same time, many scholors like Dr Turner, Rudolph, Pearson,
                        > Scholem, all are unafraid to talk about very early expressions of a
                        > full blown Gnostic myth (and this is not even talking about VERY
                        > closely related movements). Even Dr Erhman, whom I know Gerry has
                        > had a personal run in with and we should be careful about because
                        > he has some traditional Christian misgivings, postulates an early
                        > date for Thomas, and believes it is dependant on a full Gnostic
                        > system. Scholors who support the Petrement dating have really
                        > fallen to the side as evidence has mounted against them. My own
                        > prof on the subject was conservative with dating, but still
                        > believed the likelyhood that the original "Gnostics" was quite
                        > early in Christian history.
                        > [....]


                        Speaking of Dr. Ehrman, I picked up another of his books today. What
                        can I say . . . it was my third full day off in over two months, so
                        when I was finally able to make a trip to "civilization," I went crazy
                        by the time I hit Barnes & Noble. BTW, I was pleased (somewhat) to see
                        that they now feature a "Gnosis" section; it consisted of two shelves
                        at the particular location I visited, but I couldn't resist rolling my
                        eyes at some of the titles there.

                        Anyway, I grabbed Ehrman's _Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code_.
                        Since I lent my copy of DVC to a friend, and recently heard reports of
                        the controversy surrounding the movie production, I wanted to refresh
                        my memory on some of the content, just to be prepared when the subject
                        inevitably makes its way to water-cooler discussions at work. Of
                        course, I'll also be interested to discover if I agree with the
                        professor's critical analysis for the same reasons he puts forward, or
                        if we would both tend to argue against the book's "factual" claims from
                        different perspectives. It may prove to be a challenging exercise in
                        historical objectivity.

                        Gerry
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