Re: Gospel of Thomas not Gnostic???
- First, I would like to thank those who responded.
My reason for posting the post was two fold. First
to try to point out that stating "GTh = Gnostics"
without any consideration is premature. Many will not
hesitate calling the GTh as Gnostic document without any
hesitation. This is understandable since a beginner�s book
such as Pagels' "Gnostic Gospels" quotes extensively
from it. However, I must apologize for not making my
post very clear. I should have stated that the GTh is
not Gnostic in origin. I am very sure many Gnostics
such as Valentinus considered the GTh as their
scripture. Which brings my second reason: the ever so
demarcation the term "Gnostics" "Gnosticism". As I stated the
GTh may had its origin in "esoteric" adaptionalists.
Now, are we to extend the demarcation of "Gnostics" to
include these groups? If we did, then without hesitation
we could call the GTh as Gnostic in origin. But, I
am of the opinion that it is better to call then as
"pre-" or "proto-Gnostics" (again for the lack of better
term as of yet) My feeling is that we ought to reserve
the term "Gnostics" to those of full blown
cosmological speculation in the 2nd century. I am not saying
that "Gnosis" that these "Gnostics" professed did not
manifested till that time. I am sure that Gnosis was there
long before the 2nd century. That is why I choose the
term "esoteric" adaptionalists. If we ought to take
the position that the GTh is Gnostic then we also
must see the possibility, that Jesus is a Gnostic
(well, you might say "that is the whole point") because
the GTh ultimately could be traced back to Jesus� own
words. But if we keep calling any documents (e.g. the
Odes of Solomon) with sort of "Gnosis" undertone as
Gnostic where shall we draw the line? <br>Now, Let me
explain the term "esoteric" adaptionalists. I designated
this term to a group of Christians (They could be
Jewish-Christians but necessary) who adhere to "adaptionalist"
speculation on Christology and used Gnosis as soteriology.
They did not see Jesus as Logos or had any elaborate
speculation of later "Gnostics" such as Valentinus. IMO, this
group thought that Jesus was a man who was adopted by
God to be the Son of God though Gnosis. There is no
crucifixion or Jesus as the redeemer because it was not
needed. (This beg the question that elaborate cosmology
was added later) This means these "esoteric'
adaptionalists were not docetists like Basilides who saw Jesus
as Logos who come to redeem man and installed on man
"Gnosis" but rather Jesus, the man, who himself had Gnosis
and got adopted into the Kingdom of God. This
"esoteric" adaptionalist notion fits right in, IMO, with the
writing on the GTh. Of course, the GTh fits right in with
the later Gnostic thought because I believe that
later Gnostics like Valentinus are the synthesis of
this "esoteric" adaptionalists with (non-Judaic)
Hellenistic mystery religion (thus the death and resurrection
motif and other cosmological speculations were