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Re: Gospel of Thomas not Gnostic???

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  • lady_caritas
    Ernst, you can be most exasperating. LOL �����But what you did here is read backwards the GTh from the above-mentioned Valentinan
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 8, 2002
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      Ernst, you can be most exasperating.
      LOL<br><br>�But what you did here is read backwards the GTh from
      the above-mentioned Valentinan texts.�<br><br>Well,
      if I appeared to do so, that was not my intention.
      So, I�ll try one more time . . . <br><br>Okay, first
      I�d like to back up a bit. <br><br>Ernst, in your
      original post #5624 in this thread, you labeled _The
      Gospel of Truth_ as �definite �Gnostic� theology.� I
      agree that this work, as part of Valentinian theology,
      considers Gnosis as salvific, . . . which seems to be a
      component most of us agree with as necessary in identifying
      something as �Gnostic.�<br><br>Now, in your Message #5628
      you clarify your reasoning for reserving �the term
      'Gnostics' to those of full blown cosmological speculation
      in the 2nd century.� So, the rest of your commentary
      is based on this premise. The question remains, �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><br>Excellent question,
      Ernst. Then you proceed to identify the adoptionist
      theory regarding your �term "esoteric" adaptionalists.�
      You go on to say �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.�<br><br>Now, Ernst, .
      . may I assume that you consider _The Gospel of
      Philip_ to be a Gnostic work because it is attributed to
      Valentinian sources? If so, let me quote from this Gnostic
      anthology ~<br><br>�Some said that Mary conceived by the
      holy spirit; they are mistaken, they do not realize
      what they say. When did a female ever conceive by a
      female?� (_The Gnostic Scriptures_, Bentley Layton, pages
      331-32)<br><br>Layton�s footnote to this passage states that the Eastern
      branch of Valentinianism accepted that � �Mary conceived
      by the holy spirit� and that Jesus� body was a
      spiritual entity.� Layton believes the Italic branch of
      Valentinianism rejected this docetic theory, rather maintaining
      that �Jesus� body was of animate essence� and �that
      the holy spirit descended upon him at his baptism in
      the Jordan.� This Italic adoptionist view appears to
      be reflected in the above passage.<br><br>So, Ernst,
      should we now only accept the docetic passages from GPh
      as being truly Gnostic, since the adoptionist view
      required �no crucifixion�? I would posit though that
      Christ is still considered a redeemer with this
      adoptionist view, even without the death and resurrection
      motif. Jesus Christ came in this sense as a Messenger to
      teach about �acquaintance.� Even the _Gospel of Truth_
      refers to the savior as a teacher, ~ �He became as a
      guide, at peace and occupied with classrooms. He came
      forward and uttered the word as teacher.� Hey, just like
      in _The Gospel of Thomas_! And the main theme of the
      GTr sermon is salvation by acquaintance (Gnosis).
      Just like in _The Gospel of Thomas!!<br><br>At this
      point you might accuse me of �reading the GTh through
      Valentinian eyes.� And to be sure, I�m reading from a
      translation of the Coptic version (the only known version
      that includes the full text). But other possible
      *full* versions with less �Christological speculation�
      are indeed not extant, since only three manuscripts
      of the original Greek text survive. We can at least
      surmise that there was more than one ancient edition of
      this work.<br><br>Nonetheless, Ernst, whether or not
      one wants to consider GTh �Gnostic� or not, my main
      point was and is that to base this decision on that
      fact the GTh doesn�t have elaborate Christology
      including death and resurrection is questionable, as per my
      argument above. We see both adoptionist and docetic
      interpretations in Valentinianism.<br><br>I suppose we might
      wonder if a Christology is even endemic to a proper
      concept of Gnosticism, even though we see scriptures
      coming down to us in a Christianized (of course not
      necessarily meaning �orthodox� Christianized)
      form.<br><br>Cari
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