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Re: Valentinian Exegesis of Paul

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  • 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 1 of 10 , Aug 1 4:34 PM
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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 2 of 10 , Aug 2 7:50 PM
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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 3 of 10 , Aug 2 8:38 PM
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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 4 of 10 , Aug 4 9:58 PM
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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 5 of 10 , Aug 10 8:47 PM
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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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