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Re: Gospel of Thomas not Gnostic???

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  • TerjeDB
    1: I meant this present form of the GTh, which is to say - the Coptic manuscript bearing the title, in the Nag Hammadi find. Add to that the Greek fragment
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 9, 2002
      1: I meant this present form of the GTh, which is
      to say - the Coptic manuscript bearing the title, in
      the Nag Hammadi find. Add to that the Greek fragment
      from Oxyrynchus which may or may not be directly
      associateable with the text.<br>We do not possess the original
      in any form whatsoever.<br><br>2: I was thinking
      especially about the milieu which must have been confronted
      with the contents of GTh as something "new" - the
      first Monastics,<br>it was their lot to live in the
      centre of Hermeneutic turmoil, to receive and process
      "data" from East and West, new and old, "true" and
      "counterfeit". These earliest, "civilized" hermits and
      cenobites, who entered civil society an began to function
      and practice in the cities - became literate, because
      this new situation demanded them of being "men of
      spirit" and guardians of the "meaning" and "life" of
      Christianity as an universalia. It was these men who began
      compiling anthologies of the sayings of sacred men - among
      them, Jesus himself (Papias Logia Jesu is an example) -
      they made traditions not readily available to the
      people/laity - or even the religious authorities: priests and
      deacons, accessible - they simplified languages to make
      their learning and use easier..and so forth.<br><br>If
      the most optimistic estimate, by "symphatizers" - is
      correct in relation to the antiquity of The Gospel of
      Thomas (early 2nd century), I would still be tempted to
      think of the contents or components of GTh as
      originating from Oral transmission - and compiled - even at
      first, by persons very much like the first Monastic
      Logiae compilers.<br><br>2: <br>The Ideal of the first
      Monastics is "Theosis" (or a unia mystica - a new creation
      - which is the product of the "experiment"
      presented to us by GTh) which is achieved through the
      progression through several stages - one of which is The
      Corporeal or Practical, another which is the Psychic or
      Intellectual, the third being the Spiritual, a transcendental
      "rationality" which is a direct "knowing" through the organ of
      thinking which is Divinity itself - this knowing is called
      Gnosis as early as the 2nd century, and the knowers are
      called "Gnostics" as early as the middle of the same
      century. But if you ask about mythology or the "clarion
      signs" of the modern construct of "Gnosticism"(!) - it
      is agreeably not there.<br><br>GTh has a feature of
      "recognizing the Messiah" - and thus"gaining salvation" -
      which is, I agree, earlier present in Christian
      religious history than the incorporation of the dying God..
      however, you will find that the primitive gnostics
      described by the churchfathers - speculate about attaing
      such redemption and salvation through *the recognition
      of the redeemer*, rather than any action performed
      by the redeemer in the flesh..I don�t think this is
      atypical of "primitive christianity" - and even am tempted
      to bring in the pre-apostolic witnesses described in
      the Gospels, who were sent out over the lands and
      nations, before Jesus were "crowned" and long before he
      was crucified.. Their "Message" would be just this
      kind of thing.
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