Re: Books--Early Christianity
- --- In gnosticism2@y..., proteus_08859 <no_reply@y...> wrote:
> Pardon me, but could you tell me why you are discussing Jewish-
> Christian relations, when a more timely topic would be Jewish-
> relations? I'm getting really tired of hearing Jews cry abouttheir
> mistreatment at the hands of Christians ... How about JewishFrankly, Edward, I feel that the topic I raised had little to do with
> mistreatment of Palestinians? Now of course this has nothing to do
> with Gnosticism, but neither did the previous post ...
current events. If you care to recommend a book by a Palestinian
author that gives a decent explanation of the origins of
Christianity, I would most certainly appreciate your making me aware
of it, and likewise of the author's background if you should find it
My initial concern had to do with some folks I've talked to at other
sites recently. For whatever reasons in their backgrounds, they have
chosen to have NO religious affiliations. They believe
that "religions are evil" and "believers are nuts." For many of
them, these don't merely take the form of "general" beliefs,
but "absolute," e.g., ALL religion is bad. I found many of these
people fascinating, as they exhibited some very enlightened thought
in other regards. I found it difficult, however, to grasp how such
individuals could justify that sort of hatred but then, how does one
make "sense" of prejudice?
During those discussions, I had hoped for a book or two I could
recommend that would have helped them to understand the distorted
nature of their "understanding" of some of these religions
Christianity specifically. I hesitated to throw out certain
explicitly Gnostic concepts since I figured it represented such a
contradiction to what they "knew" about Christianity that they would
think I had made it all up, even though many of their own ideas
seemed to me quite gnostic. In short, I felt that their views more
accurately represented merely counter-arguments against
fundamentalist interpretation and fanatical practice, which they have
mistaken for the actual religions. The points they kept repeating in
their arguments make it clear that they viewed religion in exactly
the same (perhaps worse), distorted manner as did those extremists.
They correctly realized that the fundies had missed the point, but
didn't bother to dig deep enough to see what they, also, had missed.
Let's face it. After hundreds of years of bad PR and the systematic
dissemination of misinformation, the task of breaking down these
misconceptions doesn't come easily. I simply wondered if anyone here
might recommend something that would prove helpful in that regard,
and a conversation between members ensued.
I don't believe I can explain the purpose of my query any better than
that, and hope that you find it satisfactory.
--- In gnosticism2@y..., wherecar54 <no_reply@y...> wrote:
I wish that I lived as close to the ARE as you.
> Other circomstances and priorities, keep me from moving to Virgina.
"Be careful what you wish for!"
Don't envy my living near the A.R.E. too much, Dan. To get to that
area, I need to pass by Pat Robertson's stomping grounds. Also,
hidden somewhere in the woods along the way lies the headquarters of
the radical, anti-choice group, the Army of God.
It just goes to show you, wherever you find good neighbors, you'll
likely find bad ones as well. ;-)
--- In gnosticism2@y..., gerryhsp <no_reply@y...> wrote:
"I ran across another title in a catalog tonight that appears to
address the rise of fundamentalism among several religions _The
Battle for God_, by Karen Armstrong (have you read that one, too,
Cari? Don't know how it compares to the other one). Looks
interesting." (Message #5654)
Gosh, no, Ger, I haven't read _The Battle for God_ yet, but a couple
friends of mine do highly recommend it. I did read an excerpt
offered at an online bookstore, and the book looks quite
I'm definitely not in the business of selling the book (lol), but
I'll go ahead and post the bookstore link that presents an excerpt
from the introduction for those who would like to get a feel for the
I certainly did enjoy reading Armstrong's _A History of God_, and,
Gerry, whereas _The Battle for God_ offers a commentary on
fundamentalism, the former book helps to provide a wonderful
background for the roots and development of the three religions she
addresses also in her second book, ~ Judaism, Christianity, and
Islam. The historical information would be especially valuable for
anyone who needs to see a broader background of these religions
besides the highly publicized fundamentalism depicted in the media.
And, hey, Armstrong even talks about Gnostics for a few pages in _A
History of God_. Very cool. ;-)
- Well, sorry, gee, looks like I messed up posting the link. I'll try
again, and if it doesn't work this time, you might want to copy
and paste it on your own or just head on over to http://www.bn.com .
It is a long one. :-)
- --- In gnosticism2@y..., lady_caritas <no_reply@y...> wrote:
> --- In gnosticism2@y..., gerryhsp <no_reply@y...> wrote:The historical information would be especially valuable for
> anyone who needs to see a broader background of these religionsmedia.
> besides the highly publicized fundamentalism depicted in the
> And, hey, Armstrong even talks about Gnostics for a few pages in _AThat DEFINITELY sounds like an appropriate choice for my needs. I
> History of God_. Very cool. ;-)
see the fact that she covers several religions as a bonus in that
those other people may not offhandedly dismiss Armstrong as merely
propagandizing for one religion in particular. That she also
introduces Gnostics into the mix... hey, even better.
- --- In gnosticism2@y..., ernststrohregenmantelrad <no_reply@y...>
>I still wonder that same thing. I long since gave up on that
> From the other side Rabbinical source talks about "Minim"
> usually reffered to as "heretic". Now, are these "Minim"
> Christians or (Jewish) Gnostics? (or both?) That is the isssue
question I asked you some time ago, about differences between the
modern version of the Amidah and an older one found in the fragments
of the Cairo Genizah. I clearly see which is which in that book I
had (My People's Prayer Book, Traditional Prayers, Modern
Commentaries: vol. 2, The AmidahRabbi Lawrence A Hoffman, ed.), but
I felt that the editor had written one line that virtually confounded
That question aside, I remain curious about the contextual meaning of
not simply "minim," but more specifically of "notzrim." Just how far
back do scholars find usage of this word? The aforementioned book
presents somewhat vague references as to the dating of those
fragments, such as 2,000 years old, or from the 1st century. Can one
find instances of the term, however, occurring prior to the advent of
Christianity, indicating that it also referred to those Jewish
groups, Gnostic or not, which sought to set themselves apart from
other Jews in an effort to "preserve" their religion?
(Please forgive the following transliterationmy Hebrew often more
closely resembles Yiddish!)
" vmalkut zadon mhayrah t`aqir byamaynu vhanotzrim vhaminim brega`
" and may You quickly uproot the insolent reign in our day, and may
the Christians and heretics instantly perish."
from "Blessing" No. 12, The Amidah
Given the milieu of that fragment's writing, and the occurrence of
both sectarian names, I imagine that the scribe intended to weed out
ALL detractors from Jewish orthodoxy. It would interest me, though,
to find that "notzrim" had broader implications than
- --- In gnosticism2@y..., gerryhsp <no_reply@y...> wrote
> --- In gnosticism2@y..., wherecar54 <no_reply@y...> wrote:Virgina.
> I wish that I lived as close to the ARE as you.
> > Other circomstances and priorities, keep me from moving to
> > Dan
> "Be careful what you wish for!"
> Don't envy my living near the A.R.E. too much, Dan. To get to that
> area, I need to pass by Pat Robertson's stomping grounds. Also,
> hidden somewhere in the woods along the way lies the headquarters
> the radical, anti-choice group, the Army of God.Ah! I had forgotten about Pat Roberson and I didn't realize that the
> It just goes to show you, wherever you find good neighbors, you'll
> likely find bad ones as well. ;-)
Army of God was based near there.:o) Oh well! I still wouldn't mind
being closer to there than I am now.