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Re: Taxonomy of Gnostic, Proto-Gnostic, Semi-Gnostic, Pseodo-Gnostic etc..

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  • thalprin
    PMCV, I ll tell you what I ve been thinking or I am kicking around, I m thinking that it might be interesting perhaps to see/consider making two graphs; one to
    Message 1 of 24 , Feb 16, 2008
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      PMCV, I'll tell you what I've been thinking or I am kicking around,
      I'm thinking that it might be interesting perhaps to see/consider
      making two graphs; one to strickly encompass as you say the family
      tree, and another for something akin to depicting its cousins a/o
      relatives.

      I think that there are perhaps several groups, communities, a/o
      affiliations that are or have been greatly influenced by, partly
      adopted by (so on) Gnosticism - for example, Hermeticism might be
      most akin to a cousin a/o that which heh married-in in a
      philosophical sense.

      Dunno, still thinking it through. Your thoughts?

      Also as you can see from those links that I've sent, there are a
      great many ways to construct a timeline - if it interests you to do
      so, I thought you might enjoy first seeing a few good examples.


      Thalprin
    • George
      PMCV: What a great idea ! To develop a taxonomy... naturally this is subject to exactly how gnosticism is defined. But let s say we get a definition that
      Message 2 of 24 , Mar 16, 2008
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        PMCV:

        What a great idea ! To develop a taxonomy... naturally
        this is subject to exactly how gnosticism is defined.

        But let's say we get a definition that everyone (or most
        everyone) finds adequate.

        What I have seen is that an inspirational idea like gnosticism
        leap-frogs from one community to another.

        Whether a gnostic system is raw or fully matured, there is leader
        or community that becomes influenced by just reading about it, and
        maybe even puts a new spin on it.

        And there you have yet another gnostic group.

        It's very much like Protestantism. Once you had a vigorous
        tradition of religion not controlled by the pope, ideas just
        lept from one part of the world to another... based on readings
        or personal meetings.

        If Billy Graham sells 50,000 tapes of his ideas and his preachings,
        there are 50,000 possibilities that the person who receives the
        tape will be inspired to do something ALMOST LIKE Billy Graham.

        If he's on the East coast, and the new community is on the
        West coast, who would know there was a connection, especially
        if the new community has added an important (or not so important)
        element to its theology or practice.

        Conclusion?

        While it may be difficult to build a FULL taxonomy, it should
        be quite possible to build a CHRONOLOGY of gnostic communities!

        I would be delighted if we could just tell what the predecessor
        is to the one existing Gnostic community we have left: the Mandaens.
        What was the immediate ancestor or cousin of the Mandaeans?

        Regards,


        George
      • pmcvflag
        Hey George ... this is subject to exactly how gnosticism is defined. But let s say we get a definition that everyone (or most everyone) finds adequate.
        Message 3 of 24 , Mar 16, 2008
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          Hey George

          >>>What a great idea ! To develop a taxonomy... naturally
          this is subject to exactly how gnosticism is defined.

          But let's say we get a definition that everyone (or most
          everyone) finds adequate.<<<

          Thanks, I'm glad you like it. I am still trying to work on the other
          taxonomy that Thalprin suggests, as well as the timeline.

          As for the definition of Gnosticism (and in this forum we are
          talking about Gnosticism with a capital "G", not gnosticism with the
          small "g"), we are open to some tweeking and discussion.... but...
          the fact that we will attempt to maintain the more
          academic/historical definition as the base is frankly not open to
          debate.

          Think of it another way; if "everyone" (in other forums)
          believed "existentialism" was about any beliefs
          concerning "existance", but there was one last forum dealing only
          with "Existentialism" (the philosophical school)... why should that
          Existentialist forum bow to "everybody" and try to redefine itself
          to talk about the "existentialism" of common understanding? Doesn't
          the Existentialist forum have a right to maintain its study of
          Existentialism with a capitol "E"?

          Public opinion has a place, but this forum is the final refuge for
          those who prefer disambiguation in their study of classical
          Gnosticism.

          PMCV
        • Br Benjamin Assisi
          ... dositheans , simon, ..with some islam, yes? .
          Message 4 of 24 , Mar 17, 2008
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            While it may be difficult to build a FULL taxonomy, it should
            be quite possible to build a CHRONOLOGY of gnostic communities!

            I would be delighted if we could just tell what the predecessor
            is to the one existing Gnostic community we have left: the Mandaens.
            What was the immediate ancestor or cousin of the Mandaeans?

            Regards,


            George


            dositheans , simon, ..with some islam, yes?
            .
          • Sean
            I agree. All definitions of Gnosticism, gnostism work and all do not work. For me it is like trying to define the wind. We know what the wind can do but does
            Message 5 of 24 , Mar 17, 2008
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              I agree.

              All definitions of Gnosticism, gnostism work and all do not work. For me it is like trying to
              define the wind. We know what the wind can do but does that define the wind.

              Pax!

              Sean


              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hey George
              >
              > >>>What a great idea ! To develop a taxonomy... naturally
              > this is subject to exactly how gnosticism is defined.
              >
              > But let's say we get a definition that everyone (or most
              > everyone) finds adequate.<<<
              >
              > Thanks, I'm glad you like it. I am still trying to work on the other
              > taxonomy that Thalprin suggests, as well as the timeline.
              >
              > As for the definition of Gnosticism (and in this forum we are
              > talking about Gnosticism with a capital "G", not gnosticism with the
              > small "g"), we are open to some tweeking and discussion.... but...
              > the fact that we will attempt to maintain the more
              > academic/historical definition as the base is frankly not open to
              > debate.
              >
              > Think of it another way; if "everyone" (in other forums)
              > believed "existentialism" was about any beliefs
              > concerning "existance", but there was one last forum dealing only
              > with "Existentialism" (the philosophical school)... why should that
              > Existentialist forum bow to "everybody" and try to redefine itself
              > to talk about the "existentialism" of common understanding? Doesn't
              > the Existentialist forum have a right to maintain its study of
              > Existentialism with a capitol "E"?
              >
              > Public opinion has a place, but this forum is the final refuge for
              > those who prefer disambiguation in their study of classical
              > Gnosticism.
              >
              > PMCV
              >
            • pmcvflag
              Hey George and Ben George states: I would be delighted if we could just tell what the predecessor is to the one existing Gnostic community we have left: the
              Message 6 of 24 , Mar 20, 2008
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                Hey George and Ben

                George states: >>>I would be delighted if we could just tell what
                the predecessor is to the one existing Gnostic community we have
                left: the Mandaens. What was the immediate ancestor or cousin of the
                Mandaeans?<<<

                Ben answeres: >>>dositheans , simon, ..with some islam, yes?<<<

                Although the question of whether Mandaeans are technically "Gnostic"
                is in debate, they certainly have some attributes in common
                (especially mythological ones) and they are of interest to those who
                study classical Gnosticism. I have not personally taken a side in
                that debate, but I do see why the pros and cons are important.

                As far as Dositheus and his movement (if it existed), we have so
                little genuine evidence of who they may have been and obviously some
                of what we hear is wrong. We have mention of him being the origin of
                the Saduccees, and mention of him being a follower of John the
                Baptist. There is no way to reconcile tidbits like thisÂ….. both
                can't be true at the same time. If we don't know who they were, we
                can't seriously speculate as to how they could have influenced any
                particular group.

                Simon? I have to assume that is Simon Magus, not Simon Peter or some
                other Simon. Some scholars believe the Mandaeans actually predate
                this era, but it is hard to say (I have some doubts). However, what
                we have about Simon's movement is that it was heavily Hellenistic...
                which the Mandaeans are not. It seems an unlikely origin.

                Islam? Obviously not an "immediate ancestor" (as per George's
                question) since the Mandaeans predate Islam. A cousin to Islam?
                Hmmmm... that may depend on how we make the analogy and how far
                removed (1st cousin, 6th cousin?). To this day, Mandaean belief
                states that Islam is "unclean". The literature also talks about
                Mohammed as the son of the demon "Bizbat" and it is forbidden to
                accept food or water from Moslems. It is true, however, that there
                appears to have been a move to appeal to Islamic leaders so as to be
                accepted as "people of the book", but that need not imply
                theological influence from Islam.

                Dr Rudolph points out a number of Ugaritic/Hebrew elements, as well
                as Persian elements. Lupieri mentions these also, as well as some
                interesting connections/disagreements with Manichaeism that could
                imply similar origins or the kind of interaction and rejection that
                could help shape both movements. Take, for instance, the opposing
                view between Mani and the Mandaeans about the "living water". It is
                as if they are both dealing with an identical idea in different
                ways. So much so that it almost looks like two diverging views
                within a single cultural venue.

                PMCV
              • George
                I have no trouble with Dositheus originating out of the Sadducees. I think Josephus was of a Sadducee family as well. This should help in harmonizing a
                Message 7 of 24 , Mar 23, 2008
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                  I have no trouble with Dositheus originating out of the
                  Sadducees. I think Josephus was of a Sadducee family
                  as well.

                  This should help in harmonizing a Sadducee origin AND of
                  later being a follower of John the Baptist.

                  Regards,

                  George
                • pmcvflag
                  George ... as well.
                  Message 8 of 24 , Mar 24, 2008
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                    George

                    >>>I think Josephus was of a Sadducee family
                    as well.<<<

                    I have heard some recent speculation about that possibility but
                    Josephus himself speaks of the Sadducees in negative terms and
                    doesn't seem to include himself amongst their number.

                    Anyway, more important to our subject....

                    >>>I have no trouble with Dositheus originating out of the
                    Sadducees.<<<

                    You don't quote me, but since your post relates to my recent post on
                    the same subject I am guessing you may be answering my response to
                    Ben.

                    The source I was pointing to (pseudo-Tertullian) does not state that
                    Dositheus originated out of the Sadducees, but that they originated
                    out of him. In other words, he created the Sadducees. I find this
                    very unlikely, but if it were true he would be long dead by the time
                    of John. Your idea that he instead came from the Sadducees is
                    obviously far more possible.

                    To some extent it simply boils down to which accounts seem more
                    reliable. Several heresiological sources state that he was a
                    Samaritan, and the Dosithean sect is referred to as a form of
                    Samaritanism in both Jewish and Arabic accounts. In these
                    descriptions of the Dositheans they do not appear to be in any way
                    related to the Simonians the way some heresiologists relate, nor do
                    they look to be very Gnostic.

                    Outside of that, I'm not really aware of any evidence linking the
                    Dositheans and the Mandaeans. Perhaps Ben had a specific source in
                    mind when he presented the possible connection? If so, maybe he can
                    shed some light on the subject.

                    PMCV
                  • pmcvflag
                    Hey Thalprin (and anyone else), I am trying to work on this chart. Any other specific groups you would like to see included? Also, I have the timeline pretty
                    Message 9 of 24 , Mar 24, 2008
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                      Hey Thalprin (and anyone else), I am trying to work on this chart.
                      Any other specific groups you would like to see included?

                      Also, I have the timeline pretty well worked out but I am still
                      having a hard time finding a program that will give me the graphic
                      tools I need (or maybe my skill with the programs I have is what is
                      lacking). Anyone want to help?

                      PMCV

                      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "thalprin" <thalprin@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > PMCV, I'll tell you what I've been thinking or I am kicking
                      around,
                      > I'm thinking that it might be interesting perhaps to see/consider
                      > making two graphs; one to strickly encompass as you say the family
                      > tree, and another for something akin to depicting its cousins a/o
                      > relatives.
                      >
                      > I think that there are perhaps several groups, communities, a/o
                      > affiliations that are or have been greatly influenced by, partly
                      > adopted by (so on) Gnosticism - for example, Hermeticism might be
                      > most akin to a cousin a/o that which heh married-in in a
                      > philosophical sense.
                      >
                      > Dunno, still thinking it through. Your thoughts?
                      >
                      > Also as you can see from those links that I've sent, there are a
                      > great many ways to construct a timeline - if it interests you to
                      do
                      > so, I thought you might enjoy first seeing a few good examples.
                      >
                      >
                      > Thalprin
                      >
                    • thalprin
                      PMCV, I d like to say that I think this is quite an admirable project you re working on. I also understand the desire to be as historically accurate and as
                      Message 10 of 24 , Mar 25, 2008
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                        PMCV, I'd like to say that I think this is quite an admirable project
                        you're working on. I also understand the desire to be as
                        historically accurate and as comprehensive as is or can be possible,
                        and yes I suspect that that's no small feat. I thought perhaps at
                        the moment we might like to peruse/review, so I'm sending a few links
                        to subjects/sites and orgs which might help or begin to help us to
                        know/assure that we're being thorough.

                        Regarding the timeline, I think I'd like to offer my assistance to
                        illustrate the timeline in Photoshop - if you send me your list and
                        tell me what, specifically, you have in mind. It's not a problem, I
                        think I'd enjoy to help.

                        Now I'll have a look back at the list and see what we've gathered
                        thus far, and give some thought to what I might like to suggest we
                        add (if anything).

                        Thalprin


                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyril_of_Alexandria

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestorius

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenouda_the_Archimandrite

                        http://www.stshenouda.com/stshenda/shenvita.htm
                        (Check out that 3rd category,)

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theopaschite_controversy

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coptic_Christianity

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthodox_Church_of_Jerusalem

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriental_Orthodox_Churches


                        Some Codex:
                        (I saw a Codex exhibit just awhile back - I was so impressed, these
                        are really such exceptional works,)

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Alexandrinus

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Amiatinus

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Bezae

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Calixtinus

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Ephraemi_Rescriptus

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Manesse

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Sinaiticus

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Vaticanus

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleppo_Codex

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leningrad_Codex

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novgorod_Codex

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rossano_Gospels

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinope_Gospels

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_Genesis



                        http://www.vetuslatina.org/

                        http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/

                        http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook2.html#conc2

                        http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/sacredtexts/index.html



                        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hey Thalprin (and anyone else), I am trying to work on this chart.
                        > Any other specific groups you would like to see included?
                        >
                        > Also, I have the timeline pretty well worked out but I am still
                        > having a hard time finding a program that will give me the graphic
                        > tools I need (or maybe my skill with the programs I have is what is
                        > lacking). Anyone want to help?
                        >
                        > PMCV
                        >
                        > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "thalprin" <thalprin@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > PMCV, I'll tell you what I've been thinking or I am kicking
                        > around,
                        > > I'm thinking that it might be interesting perhaps to see/consider
                        > > making two graphs; one to strickly encompass as you say the
                        family
                        > > tree, and another for something akin to depicting its cousins a/o
                        > > relatives.
                        > >
                        > > I think that there are perhaps several groups, communities, a/o
                        > > affiliations that are or have been greatly influenced by, partly
                        > > adopted by (so on) Gnosticism - for example, Hermeticism might be
                        > > most akin to a cousin a/o that which heh married-in in a
                        > > philosophical sense.
                        > >
                        > > Dunno, still thinking it through. Your thoughts?
                        > >
                        > > Also as you can see from those links that I've sent, there are a
                        > > great many ways to construct a timeline - if it interests you to
                        > do
                        > > so, I thought you might enjoy first seeing a few good examples.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Thalprin
                        > >
                        >
                      • thalprin
                        ... project ... possible, ... links ... I ... Just a little note to add; it s amazing how some of these Codex we have we have a/o survived because of the
                        Message 11 of 24 , Mar 25, 2008
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                          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "thalprin" <thalprin@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > PMCV, I'd like to say that I think this is quite an admirable
                          project
                          > you're working on. I also understand the desire to be as
                          > historically accurate and as comprehensive as is or can be
                          possible,
                          > and yes I suspect that that's no small feat. I thought perhaps at
                          > the moment we might like to peruse/review, so I'm sending a few
                          links
                          > to subjects/sites and orgs which might help or begin to help us to
                          > know/assure that we're being thorough.
                          >
                          > Regarding the timeline, I think I'd like to offer my assistance to
                          > illustrate the timeline in Photoshop - if you send me your list and
                          > tell me what, specifically, you have in mind. It's not a problem,
                          I
                          > think I'd enjoy to help.
                          >
                          > Now I'll have a look back at the list and see what we've gathered
                          > thus far, and give some thought to what I might like to suggest we
                          > add (if anything).
                          >
                          > Thalprin
                          >
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyril_of_Alexandria
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestorius
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenouda_the_Archimandrite
                          >
                          > http://www.stshenouda.com/stshenda/shenvita.htm
                          > (Check out that 3rd category,)
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theopaschite_controversy
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coptic_Christianity
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthodox_Church_of_Jerusalem
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriental_Orthodox_Churches
                          >
                          >
                          > Some Codex:
                          > (I saw a Codex exhibit just awhile back - I was so impressed, these
                          > are really such exceptional works,)
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Alexandrinus
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Amiatinus
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Bezae
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Calixtinus
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Ephraemi_Rescriptus
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Manesse
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Sinaiticus
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Vaticanus
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleppo_Codex
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leningrad_Codex
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novgorod_Codex
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rossano_Gospels
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinope_Gospels
                          >
                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_Genesis
                          >


                          Just a little note to add; it's amazing how some of these Codex we
                          have we have a/o survived because of the Cotton Library:

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotton_library


                          >
                          >
                          > http://www.vetuslatina.org/
                          >
                          > http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/
                          >
                          > http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook2.html#conc2
                          >
                          > http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/sacredtexts/index.html
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Hey Thalprin (and anyone else), I am trying to work on this
                          chart.
                          > > Any other specific groups you would like to see included?
                          > >
                          > > Also, I have the timeline pretty well worked out but I am still
                          > > having a hard time finding a program that will give me the
                          graphic
                          > > tools I need (or maybe my skill with the programs I have is what
                          is
                          > > lacking). Anyone want to help?
                          > >
                          > > PMCV
                          > >
                          > > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "thalprin" <thalprin@> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > > PMCV, I'll tell you what I've been thinking or I am kicking
                          > > around,
                          > > > I'm thinking that it might be interesting perhaps to
                          see/consider
                          > > > making two graphs; one to strickly encompass as you say the
                          > family
                          > > > tree, and another for something akin to depicting its cousins
                          a/o
                          > > > relatives.
                          > > >
                          > > > I think that there are perhaps several groups, communities, a/o
                          > > > affiliations that are or have been greatly influenced by,
                          partly
                          > > > adopted by (so on) Gnosticism - for example, Hermeticism might
                          be
                          > > > most akin to a cousin a/o that which heh married-in in a
                          > > > philosophical sense.
                          > > >
                          > > > Dunno, still thinking it through. Your thoughts?
                          > > >
                          > > > Also as you can see from those links that I've sent, there are
                          a
                          > > > great many ways to construct a timeline - if it interests you
                          to
                          > > do
                          > > > so, I thought you might enjoy first seeing a few good
                          examples.
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > > Thalprin
                          > > >
                          > >
                          >
                        • George
                          Since no one has furthered this thread, I thought I would make minor comments about things that could be very important later. I mentioned my thoughts
                          Message 12 of 24 , Apr 6, 2008
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                            Since no one has furthered this thread, I thought I would
                            make minor comments about things that could be very important
                            later.

                            I mentioned my thoughts favorable to Josephus originating out
                            of a Sadducee family.

                            PMCV's response was "I have heard some recent speculation about that
                            possibility but Josephus himself speaks of the Sadducees in negative
                            terms and doesn't seem to include himself amongst their number."

                            This is much like someone who went to parochial (Catholic) school
                            and then grew up to join a Protestant denomination. Negative
                            comments would be expected. As to "speculation", it is almost
                            certain that Josephus was Sadducee, since it is not a CHOICE
                            to become a Sadducee, and he was quite specific about trying
                            the three main Jewish "schools". In his work LIFE (books 10-12),
                            he discusses the Pharisees and the Essenes in detail. But
                            there is no comment about him being a Sadducee.

                            This leaves us with the simple conclusion that he didn't need
                            to: he was RAISED a Sadduccee (there really wasn't any other
                            way to become one - - other than by marriage one supposes).

                            In reference to Dositheus, PMCV writes:
                            "Several heresiological sources state that he was a Samaritan, and
                            the Dosithean sect is referred to as a form of Samaritanism in both
                            Jewish and Arabic accounts."

                            Regards,

                            George
                          • pmcvflag
                            George ... make minor comments about things that could be very important later. This leaves us with the simple conclusion that he didn t
                            Message 13 of 24 , Apr 14, 2008
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                              George

                              >>>Since no one has furthered this thread, I thought I would
                              make minor comments about things that could be very important
                              later.

                              <snipped for brevity>

                              This leaves us with the simple conclusion that he didn't need
                              to: he was RAISED a Sadduccee (there really wasn't any other
                              way to become one - - other than by marriage one supposes).<<<

                              Certianly one of a number of possibilities that scholars debate.
                              Obviously neither the Sadducees nor Josephus were Gnostics, but since
                              we are dealing with that time period perhaps they will come up now and
                              again.

                              >>>In reference to Dositheus, PMCV writes:
                              "Several heresiological sources state that he was a Samaritan, and
                              the Dosithean sect is referred to as a form of Samaritanism in both
                              Jewish and Arabic accounts."<<<

                              I was a little confused by your quoting me above. It doesn't seem to
                              relate to your point above, so I am wondering if you intended to add a
                              response and maybe forgot?

                              PMCV
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