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Re: Gospel of Thomas not Gnostic???

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  • lady_caritas
    ... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ jjstroebel, even though you were not addressing me in your post, I would like to offer my
    Message 1 of 27 , Mar 23, 2002
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      --- In gnosticism2@y..., jjstroebel <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > Hello. I have been quietly following along for a few months now and
      > wish to join this discussion. (Message #5691)

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      jjstroebel, even though you were not addressing me in your post, I
      would like to offer my apology for in any way contributing to
      an "altercation" as described by PMCV. I realize now that Ernst is
      determined to harangue me until I fall on my knees begging for mercy
      and a "full-blown" Christology as necessary for "full-blown" Gnostic
      labeling. So, instead of continuing to be an opportunity for his
      line by line attacks, I have decided not to *directly* respond to his
      last reply to me, line by line.

      I hope Ernst realizes that I respect his right to his opinion, but
      that I do not care to perpetuate an atmosphere of hostility in the
      club. I hope you and others will feel comfortable to share your
      opinions on this topic and others without fear of reprisal from other
      members. And, I'll try to keep my unnecessary sarcastic comments
      toward Ernst to a minimum.

      Cari
    • ernststrohregenmantelrad
      Thank you for your comment. I can see that you just joined the group in Jan. which means you had no idea what transcribed in this club/group since its
      Message 2 of 27 , Mar 24, 2002
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        Thank you for your comment. I can see that you just joined the
        group in Jan. which means you had no idea what transcribed in
        this club/group since its conception. As for the huge amount of
        posts that I post it is due to the fact that some were posted 2x or
        3x due to yahoo error and some long posts before must be
        broken into several posts in order to be posted because it was
        too long. Still, I must say I am opionated and if I do post a lots
        because no one else post anything. Now, you could say that I
        intimidate people from not posting.... I don't think so because I
        purposely didn't post anything from Dec till late Feb. Within that
        time there were actually decline in posts. One time there were no
        posting for about week. If you think I post a lots now you haven't
        seen anything. Tooo bad yahoo screwed up everything that
        achives are lost now. One time I posted 25 posts in a low.

        As for argument or something like that. I am not beating anyone.
        I am just saying that is what you think and here is what I think.
        You don't have to agree with me. In fact I don't want you to agree
        with me. As to dicecting thingy, I am just pointing out what I think
        to be a flaw or unsubstantiated claim. (Etically, mind you) If what
        you believe works for you great more power to you. I don't care.
        But all too often those that cry freedom and everyone to believe
        what ever they choose all too often offended when differenig
        opinions are voiced. I am just stating thing as it is etically. Thing
        as it is and thing as one peceive is different. Of course I am also
        guity of injecting my own prejudges into things. No one is
        emmune to that.

        If you 've been reading carefully. There is not really arguement
        between any of posts between others and me. In basic we are in
        agreement. It is just that demarkation of the term "Gnostics"
        makes it seems like there is disagreement. And you know why I
        brought in this topic? Because of that very reason. I don't want
        people to take granted what "Gnostics" means. When people
        use that term I want people to know what exactly means and
        implies and not just loose New Agey definition that I often see
        being used. If you detest 'expert' opinion then this is not the place
        for you because from the day one we have been talking about
        scholars. There is really no attack; it is telling people to be more
        solid.
      • wherecar54
        Thank You for asking this............. ... time. ... isn t ... ideas, ... now. ... choose ... all ... because ... sayings. ... designations, ... antiquities.
        Message 3 of 27 , Mar 24, 2002
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          Thank You for asking this.............

          --- In gnosticism2@y..., jjstroebel <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > Hello. I have been quietly following along for a few months now and
          > wish to join this discussion. You have asked many questions and I
          > have a few of my own. Why are you bombarding this group with your
          > posts? I look back and see the number you have sent in a short
          time.
          > Maybe you can research them and take a count. It is many. That
          isn't
          > necessarily a problem, but here is the next question; why are you
          > berating and argueing with anyone who gives an opinion not inline
          > with yours?
          > This group has been a place conducive to discussion and discourse
          > since I joined. Many of the members have stated contradictory
          ideas,
          > but until now there has been no vailed attacks, disections of posts
          > with the aim of 'disproving' them, no 'expert opinions'. Look, this
          > isn't a court room, and certainly not a debate. For the sake of the
          > members here willing to offer opinion and information, back off
          > please. You have been bullying these folks for a little too long
          now.
          > If you disagree, fine. Just stop the attacks. And can you possible
          > combine some of those posts for the sake of those who actually
          choose
          > to read them?
          > (did I come on too strong? ;-) )
          > --- In gnosticism2@y..., ernststrohregenmantelrad <no_reply@y...>
          > wrote:
          > > Now, on to you, my dear.
          > >
          > > --- In gnosticism2@y..., lady_caritas <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > > > --- In gnosticism2@y..., ernststrohregenmantelrad <
          > > no_reply@y...>
          > > > wrote:
          > > > "The secret gospel of Mark is definitely used by Carpocratian
          > > so is
          > > > it also a Carpocratian document?"
          > > >
          > > > I think fragments we have of _The Secret Gospel of Mark_
          > > illustrate
          > > > that there were indeed different editions of the _Gospel of
          > > Mark_ ,
          > > > the former possibly used in an esoteric setting, which may
          > > have
          > > > included those Carpocratians. Clement stated that the
          > > Carpocratians
          > > > used a different version of _The Secret Gospel of Mark_ than
          > > did his
          > > > own church. The canonical _Gospel of Mark_ may have been
          > > an
          > > > abbreviated version of _The Secret Gospel of Mark_ and
          > > certainly went
          > > > through many revisions, including additions to the ending of
          > > the last
          > > > chapter. Originally there was no big emphasis on the
          > > resurrection.
          > > >
          > >
          > > Hmmm... "no big emphasis on the resurrection" I wonder..... And
          > > there is no Birth narative on Mark and John either.... What is
          all
          > > this mean? Is it that my position on Adaptionalism might be
          > > correct? Who knows.
          > >
          > > > All this goes to show the instability of gospel texts in the
          > first
          > > > couple centuries. For instance, should we now consider the
          > > Gospel of
          > > > John to be the "property" of orthodox Christianity, just
          because
          > > they
          > > > included it in their canon, and not of Gnostics, who were early
          > > > interpreters of this gospel?
          > > >
          > >
          > > Sure, but who originally wrote it? Some claim the GJn was
          > > written by Cerinthus.
          > >
          > > > My opinion is that there existed various editions of texts used
          > > by
          > > > different groups, . . . which fits the profile of a very fluid
          > period
          > > > of a burgeoning "Christianity" that was later stunted in its
          > > growth
          > > > by the orthodox institution. I don't believe a scripture
          > > necessarily
          > > > should be labeled as "belonging" to only one religion or
          > > > interpretation in every case.
          > >
          > > Then why are you claiming the GTh as Gnostic?
          > >
          > > >
          > > > So, in respect to _The Gospel of Thomas_, of course we see
          > > redactions
          > > > to fit whatever group might "claim" this collection of
          sayings.
          > > >
          > >
          > > So... what's the point here?
          > >
          > > > Should we also consider the gospels of Mark, John, and
          > > Thomas to be
          > > > in your "pre" or "proto"-Gnostic category, Ernst?
          > >
          > > Sure, why not?
          > >
          > > >If you want to go to all that trouble with specific
          designations,
          > > be my guest.
          > >
          > > And if you want name everything on this world as "Gnostic" go
          > > right ahead.
          > >
          > > >
          > > > Also, my point was NOT that Buddhism, etc. should be
          > > considered
          > > > Gnostic. Please note that I capitalized the "G" in Gnosis,
          > > Gnostic,
          > > > Gnosticism for our discussion (although it really shouldn't be
          > > > necessary). Please view my comments within this context.
          > > > Nonetheless, I'll take full responsibility for not being clear
          > that
          > > > my discussion was intended to be within the milieu of the
          > > > Judeo/Hellenic syncretistic phenomenon of the late
          antiquities.
          > > So,
          > > > when I said, "salvation by acquaintance," I was referring to
          > > salvific
          > > > Gnosis within this Gnostic setting.
          > >
          > > You know by now (as with my post with Hey_Market) that I don't
          > > use this capital convention. And I did in the statement mention
          > > Hermetism and Merkabah. That is Judeo/Hellenistic setting.
          > > Buddhaism, I took as the extreme case.
          > >
          > > >
          > > > "My point is the GTh is not originally written by Gnostics but
          > > > rather "adopted" (sorry the pun) from the group the earlier
          > > group."
          > > >
          > > > And my point remains, Ernst, what is this "earlier" group? Was
          > > > this "group" at least within the Judeo/Hellenic syncretistic
          > > setting
          > > > of the late antiquities?
          > >
          > > Of course they are within that. But that alone make them
          > > "Gnostic"?
          > >
          > > >
          > > > And then, how do we categorize works like _The Three Tablets
          > > of
          > > > Seth_, _Zostrianos_, and _The Foreigner_? These works
          > > show Platonic
          > > > roots, but some scholars remain in doubt as to definite ties to
          > > a
          > > > Christology, let alone a "full-blown" Christology. Even so,
          > > Bentley
          > > > Layton included these works in his Classic Gnostic Scripture
          > > section
          > > > in the book _The Gnostic Scriptures_. Huh, go figure.
          > > >
          > >
          > > Everyone has his own interpretation of Gnostcism. Why ask me
          > > what Layton did. Go ask him. But again, I think, those are not
          > > Gnostic but included and adopted because they are congeneal
          > > to Gnostics?
          > >
          > > > I suppose, Ernst, with all the various versions of text and
          > > > instability that characterized this setting in the late
          > antiquities,
          > > > I prefer to retain the mutability of this fluid period by NOT
          > overly
          > > > classifying Gnosticism, and thus not compromising its true
          > > > distinctiveness of fluidity.
          > >
          > > That is the thing isn't it. If you really mean what you wrote
          then
          > the
          > > question of whether this scripture belongs to such and such is
          > > irrelevent. If Valentinians see the GTh as their scripture, fine.
          > > Nothing wrong with that. If "orthodox" sees the GJn as their,
          fine.
          > > But I'm not talking about that. Again, is the OT Christian
          > > scripture? YES. It is it is different from Tanakh..... but it is
          > the work
          > > of same people. How is different then? Because Christian
          > > adopted to suit their own need by rearrenging the order. BUT, the
          > > text of the OT was written by whom? Christians?
          > >
          > > > HOWEVER, if specifying classifications,
          > > > such as "pre" or "proto"- Gnosticism helps YOU to relate to
          this
          > > > phenomenon, by all means go right ahead.
          > >
          > > Again, just tell me your delimitation on the term? Does it
          > > includes Clement of Alexandria as Gnostic? Does it includes
          > > Merkabah? Hermetism? How about Mainchaeism or the
          > > Cathars? I know where I draw the line. And that line is not
          arbatry
          > > like others.
          > >
          > > >
          > > > And as far as direction (ascent, descent, top, bottom), Ernst,
          a
          > > good
          > > > friend of mine recently said that considering the paradox that
          IS
          > > > Gnosticism, it was not out of line to consider that the top WAS
          > > the
          > > > bottom.
          > > >
          > > > So, Ernst, in true Gnostic fashion, per my friend's suggestion,
          I
          > > > offer you a proper toast prior to your Gnostic beverage of
          > > > choice, . . . "Bottoms up!"
          > > >
          > > > Cari
          > >
          > > Do you really understand my use of the terms or you are just
          > > mocking it due to not understanding it?
        • jjstroebel
          If you detest expert opinion then this is not the place ... more ... No, this hasn t been about free discussion. You have been berating others, using your
          Message 4 of 27 , Mar 24, 2002
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            If you detest 'expert' opinion then this is not the place
            > for you because from the day one we have been talking about
            > scholars. There is really no attack; it is telling people to be
            more
            > solid.
            No, this hasn't been about free discussion. You have been berating
            others, using your "expert" position as justifiication. This group
            belongs to all of us, and I do not appreciate you inviting me to
            leave. Please, chill out and back off. Your rudeness, guised
            as "telling people to be more solid" is simply rudeness and as such
            is unnecessary. Perhaps you are not in a position to "tell others"
            here anything.
            I have said that I have been following along quietly for some time.
            Lady_Caritas, you have acted with dignity and have nothing to
            appologize for. Just my obsetvation. Please keep writing; your posts
            are quite informative and interesting.
            That is all I have to say. I will return to my place of observation
            and just follow along quietly.
          • pmcvflag
            ... that time there were actually decline in posts. One time there were no posting for about week.
            Message 5 of 27 , Mar 24, 2002
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              >>>I purposely didn't post anything from Dec till late Feb. Within
              that time there were actually decline in posts. One time there were
              no posting for about week.<<<<

              But Ernst, there is a difference between the quality of posts, and
              the quantity. The question is whether any one is gaining anything
              from the posts. If we have a hundred posts a day, but no one is
              walking away having learned something, feeling like they wish to
              learn more, then we have a hundred useless posts. If we have one post
              a month that sparks interest, we have done more than the 3,000 posts
              we would have at the end of the month the other way. Problem is, no
              one is going to read all those 3,000 posts to find the one. It is
              better to *only* have the one. Bickering and Gnosis are not
              compatible. When the large quantity of posts is nothing more than an
              arguement, no one wins.

              PMCV
            • lady_caritas
              ... time. ... posts ... I appreciate your kind words, John. Thank you. Even though I certainly respect your decision to just follow along quietly, I would
              Message 6 of 27 , Mar 25, 2002
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                --- In gnosticism2@y..., jjstroebel <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                >> I have said that I have been following along quietly for some
                time.
                > Lady_Caritas, you have acted with dignity and have nothing to
                > appologize for. Just my obsetvation. Please keep writing; your
                posts
                > are quite informative and interesting.
                > That is all I have to say. I will return to my place of observation
                > and just follow along quietly.<<

                I appreciate your kind words, John. Thank you. Even though I
                certainly respect your decision to "just follow along
                quietly," I would also like to say that we would enjoy it if you and
                others cared to stop by with comments once in a while, if you should
                feel so inclined. Feel free to ask questions or begin a new thread
                of your choice, too. For instance, Dan left a link in Message #5696
                with some good articles on Valentinianism in case anyone should care
                to investigate them for future discussion. :-)

                Cari
              • ernststrohregenmantelrad
                There are several points I like to comment on this paper as pertains to the topic at hand and also to my point. First, pertaining to my post this paper does
                Message 7 of 27 , Mar 25, 2002
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                  There are several points I like to comment on this paper as
                  pertains to the topic at hand and also to my point. First,
                  pertaining to my post this paper does not really contradict basic
                  notion I have written. It just states that the GTh is not used by
                  "Orthodox" and probably of pre-Valentinian in origin. The only
                  disagreement with my thinking is of course whether to call pre-
                  Valentinian as "Gnostics". As one can see, I opted to call it as
                  "esoteric" Adaptionalist. I did, however, stated that this term is
                  used for the lack of better term. Unlike others, I will refine and
                  redevelop my points when newer information becomes known.

                  Now, as to the fine point of demarcation, let me take the close
                  look at the points.

                  > The Gospel of Thomas, a Gnostic Document

                  Etic or emic? I say this because as I stated earlier, Gnostics,
                  themselves, considered the documents as their own but that
                  does not mean they originally wrote it.

                  > It is my intent with this thesis to argue that the Gospel of
                  > Thomas is in fact a Gnostic document, despite the assertions
                  by some
                  > in the academia to the contrary, as well as to outline why it may
                  not
                  > have been used by "orthodox" Christianity.

                  Some scholars think the GTh consists the sayings "pre-Gnostic"
                  due to their parallel in the synoptic gospels. These "wisdom"
                  sayings are used by "Orthodox" or rather a part of synoptic
                  Gospels which "Orthodox" came to deem as "Canonical"

                  > … It has become common amongst the laity to use the
                  arbitrary
                  > distinctions of a lowercase "g" in the word "gnostic" when
                  referring
                  > to any religious order that places it's soteriological functioning
                  in
                  > a knowledge.

                  laity? I think "laity" doesn't even know what "soteriological
                  functioning in a knowledge" is about let alone definition for
                  gnosis.

                  > Gnosticism spelled with a capital "G" on the other hand…
                  ….it refers to something >that is more central to defining a
                  religion, its soteriology, and its cultural
                  > source.

                  I have no argument here; however, in order to "tighten" up the
                  loose ends as it mentions in the next paragraph, I would also
                  add some aspect of "Demiurgic Tradition".

                  >Before it should sound as if this definition is overly loose,
                  > let me point out that while it is looser in some ways-as it would
                  > obviously come to include such groups as the Cathars,
                  Hermeticism,
                  > and Kabbalah-it is also tighter in some ways, in that it would
                  no
                  > longer include Marcion and some others that have been
                  commonly
                  > included in the category "Gnosticism".
                  The Cathars are not Gnostics under your definition. Did you
                  made over sight there? As for others Not only Hermet(ic)ism and
                  Kabbalah but also some aspect of Philo and to a certain extant
                  "schismatic Platonists" whom Plotinus was refuting which
                  Porphyry (wrongfully or rightfully) titled the work of his master as
                  "Against Gnostics". By the way, speaking of Kabbalah I would
                  NOT put it under this category due to the same reason I would
                  not put Sufism. The movement is so far removed from the
                  Hellenistic setting that you proposed. It is better to state proto-
                  Kabbalah or Merkabah as belonging to this category. ( Same
                  with Hermeticism. Hermetism is better suited here)

                  >Also, because it has a different focus as a category, it would
                  allow "biblical demiurgy" >or another definition like it to function
                  at the same time in reference
                  > to another aspect in comparative religious studies. Because
                  this
                  > definition, and arbitrary distinction, has been used by scholars
                  such
                  > as Dr Scholem, it will not be completely unknown, or specific to
                  this
                  > paper.
                  >
                  Ok, I agree, I found no trouble with this either. As for Scholem
                  many think that his use of the term "Jewish Gnosticism" for
                  "Merkabah" is pretty much unsubstantiated. But you knew that
                  from what you have written.

                  > I would like to make a distinction within Christianity as
                  > well. In order to make my distinction I will point out three
                  forms…
                  > ….They are: apocalyptic, pistic (based on faith), and gnostic.
                  … …The Christian canon has elements of all these, but the
                  traditional hermeneutic emphasis is in the apocalyptic, and the
                  pistic.

                  I would rather not make clear distinction between those three. As
                  you stated all three are within Christian canon (what ever that
                  means) and I see them as interacting on one another. Granted
                  some groups, as you stated, put the emphasis on faith
                  ("Orthodox") or apocalyptic (Montanism) but it is not right to say
                  this group has "faith" or "gnosis". Some group had combination
                  of these. In same vain, Quispel talks about the three
                  components of the Western Tradition: Faith, Reason and
                  Gnosis. In saying that traditionally the church represented faith,
                  science represented reason and esoterism as gnosis is bit
                  simplistic. Of course you are talking about what became as
                  "Orthodox" in which case isn't that self evident that their
                  orientation is faith rather then gnosis?

                  This is all for now. The rest of the paper simply states that it is
                  not "Orthodox" document, which I clearly agree. Nothing to
                  counter my notion of Esoteric Adaptionalists. In fact, if we take
                  the premises that paper gives about the GTh not having any
                  "blood sacrifice" as salvation. (frankly, I think, this notion came
                  much later in "orthodox" thinking. I think Irenaeus sees Christ as
                  more of "New" Adam – thus more of apocalyptic in nature) then it
                  fit right in because for adaptionalists, Virgin birth and death and
                  resurrection are irrelevant. In fact I didn't make myself clear and
                  thus the confusion. I don't think adaptionalists didn't have
                  elaborate cosmology like our Valentinians or Sethian period. I
                  think there were the different strains that produced the
                  cosmology and soteriology.

                  >We can say that it is most likely not Sethian,
                  > due to its lack of cosmology, and Biblical exegesis. But it is
                  > difficult to place it definitively within the ideal of
                  > Valintinianism… ….On top of this is the notion forwarded by
                  some
                  > scholars of the possible pre-Valintinus existence of this
                  gospel.
                  > Because of these considerations I would say that instead of
                  > Valintinian, the Gospel of Thomas is either proto-Valintinian,
                  semi-
                  > Valintinian (a related group).

                  So what is this proto-Valentinian or semi-Valentinian? Is there
                  existed such a group? Would it look very similar to esoteric
                  adaptionalists? And thus we are back to demarcation of
                  Gnosticism again

                  I don't think we ought to call anything Gnostic unless two strain
                  that I mentioned are properly married. Sethian (another falsely
                  labeled term, however) Valentinianism and Basilides do but I
                  think esoteric adaptionalists are not. Some may differ in opinion
                  but that is fine.
                • ernststrohregenmantelrad
                  a Few comments here. ... more ... for a ... This is the mistaken notion. I didn t call for full-blown, elaborate Christology including death and
                  Message 8 of 27 , Mar 25, 2002
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                    a Few comments here.
                    >
                    > I more readily relate to your definition of Gnosticism than the
                    more
                    > restrictive definition proposed by Ernst, which includes a need
                    for a
                    > full-blown, "elaborate" Christology including death and
                    > resurrection.
                    >

                    This is the mistaken notion. I didn't call for 'full-blown, "elaborate"
                    Christology including death and resurrection.' to be Gnosticism.
                    ALL I HINTED WAS A CERTIAN SOTERIOLGICAL SETTING.
                    Which is expressed as the certain cosmological speculation on
                    the part of Gnostics. Which some what hinted the role of Christ in
                    soteriology thus Christology BUT not neccessary. Let me make
                    clear that I won't put death and ressurrection as the prerequisite
                    for Gnostics soteriology; however, place some kind of "Christ"
                    centered soteriological speculation in cosmology. (Granted
                    death and ressurection could be subset of that cosmology and
                    ONLY that. And I am not saying that must be there.) My axion is
                    this Gnosis needs setting without it it is irreleveant. Just have
                    gnosis doesn't make Gnostics because as I stated one will ask
                    "knwledge as salvation but salvation from what?" What is where
                    the worldview comes in


                    "belonging" to various religions within a
                    > Gnostic setting.

                    Then what is of Manichaeism? Is Manichaeism Gnostics?


                    >
                    > My reservations throughout this discussion have been
                    centered on
                    > whether or not the term "Gnosticism" should be as restrictive
                    as the
                    > one proposed by Ernst.

                    It is not restictive as you might think.

                    > On the other hand, I have no interest in
                    > naming "everything on this world as `Gnostic'" as was
                    misconstrued by
                    > Ernst.
                    >

                    That is just extreme position not to be taken literary. But Am I
                    curious to know WHERE your demarcation lies? Which I've been
                    hinting at you to state.
                  • ernststrohregenmantelrad
                    ... berating ... I don t know I m just stating my position. Again and again I wrote you can believe anything you like. I won t come into anyone s home and beat
                    Message 9 of 27 , Mar 25, 2002
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                      --- In gnosticism2@y..., jjstroebel <no_reply@y...> wrote:

                      > No, this hasn't been about free discussion. You have been
                      berating
                      > others, using your "expert" position as justifiication.

                      I don't know I'm just stating my position. Again and again I wrote
                      you can believe anything you like. I won't come into anyone's
                      home and beat up until that person agree with me. I don't care
                      what YOU or anyone believe. I am just stating my position based
                      upon the data. I am just defending my position. From the looks of
                      it, it looks like I am being attacked for not holding similar
                      position. Why people are mad if I have the opinion that the GTh is
                      not Gnostics or be annoyed when I choose my demarcation of
                      the term Gnostics. (as too narrow-again why you should be
                      concerned as to its narrowness unless you think that YOUR
                      definition is the norm and MINE is derivation from the norm) Just
                      let it be. Why I am look upon as the attacker when I pointed out
                      the hole in other's definition of Gnosticism?(IMO) I am just
                      saying this definition FOR ME doesn't work and I am not
                      conviced. If they work for you great more power to you.

                      > This group belongs to all of us, and I do not appreciate you
                      inviting me to leave.

                      No, I didn't invite. I suggested if using of scholarship is not for
                      you then there are other groups which ignores scholarship. (By
                      the way group is not ment to be public place if it were yahoo
                      shouldn't have devised iwth moderator function where what is
                      being posted can be edited and controled.)

                      >Please, chill out and back off. Your rudeness, guised
                      > as "telling people to be more solid" is simply rudeness and as
                      such
                      > is unnecessary.

                      I think, you need to chill off and look at the content of what is
                      being discussed. Plese do you have comments or opinion the
                      subject at hand? I would like to hear it. That is why I put the topic
                      on the board.

                      > Perhaps you are not in a position to "tell others"
                      > here anything.
                      > I have said that I have been following along quietly for some
                      time.

                      Perhaps not but I'm ot telling (ie commanding) others anything.
                      Just defending my position as I stated. I think, you haven't been
                      in here long enough then you might think.
                    • ernststrohregenmantelrad
                      Since yahooie ate up everyone s post (not just in here but all the groups) I will post this again. If the missing post turn up, I apolize for the redundency.
                      Message 10 of 27 , Mar 26, 2002
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                        Since yahooie ate up everyone's post (not just in here but all the
                        groups) I will post this again. If the missing post turn up, I apolize
                        for the redundency.

                        There are several points I like to comment on this paper as
                        pertains to the topic at hand and also to my point. First,
                        pertaining to my post this paper does not really contradict basic
                        notion I have written. It just states that the GTh is not used by
                        "Orthodox" and probably of pre-Valentinian in origin. The only
                        disagreement with my thinking is of course whether to call pre-
                        Valentinian as "Gnostics". As one can see, I opted to call it as
                        "esoteric" Adaptionalist. I did, however, stated that this term is
                        used for the lack of better term. Unlike others, I will refine and
                        redevelop my points when newer information becomes known.

                        Now, as to the fine point of demarcation, let me take the close
                        look at the points.

                        > The Gospel of Thomas, a Gnostic Document

                        Etic or emic? I say this because as I stated earlier, Gnostics,
                        themselves, considered the documents as their own but that
                        does not mean they originally wrote it.

                        > It is my intent with this thesis to argue that the Gospel of
                        > Thomas is in fact a Gnostic document, despite the assertions
                        by some
                        > in the academia to the contrary, as well as to outline why it may
                        not
                        > have been used by "orthodox" Christianity.

                        Some scholars think the GTh consists the sayings "pre-Gnostic"
                        due to their parallel in the synoptic gospels. These "wisdom"
                        sayings are used by "Orthodox" or rather a part of synoptic
                        Gospels which "Orthodox" came to deem as "Canonical"

                        > … It has become common amongst the laity to use the
                        arbitrary
                        > distinctions of a lowercase "g" in the word "gnostic" when
                        referring
                        > to any religious order that places it's soteriological functioning
                        in
                        > a knowledge.

                        laity? I think "laity" doesn't even know what "soteriological
                        functioning in a knowledge" is about let alone definition for
                        gnosis.

                        > Gnosticism spelled with a capital "G" on the other hand…
                        ….it refers to something >that is more central to defining a
                        religion, its soteriology, and its cultural
                        > source.

                        I have no argument here; however, in order to "tighten" up the
                        loose ends as it mentions in the next paragraph, I would also
                        add some aspect of "Demiurgic Tradition".

                        >Before it should sound as if this definition is overly loose,
                        > let me point out that while it is looser in some ways-as it would
                        > obviously come to include such groups as the Cathars,
                        Hermeticism,
                        > and Kabbalah-it is also tighter in some ways, in that it would
                        no
                        > longer include Marcion and some others that have been
                        commonly
                        > included in the category "Gnosticism".
                        The Cathars are not Gnostics under your definition. Did you
                        made over sight there? As for others Not only Hermet(ic)ism and
                        Kabbalah but also some aspect of Philo and to a certain extant
                        "schismatic Platonists" whom Plotinus was refuting which
                        Porphyry (wrongfully or rightfully) titled the work of his master as
                        "Against Gnostics". By the way, speaking of Kabbalah I would
                        NOT put it under this category due to the same reason I would
                        not put Sufism. The movement is so far removed from the
                        Hellenistic setting that you proposed. It is better to state proto-
                        Kabbalah or Merkabah as belonging to this category. ( Same
                        with Hermeticism. Hermetism is better suited here)

                        >Also, because it has a different focus as a category, it would
                        allow "biblical demiurgy" >or another definition like it to function
                        at the same time in reference
                        > to another aspect in comparative religious studies. Because
                        this
                        > definition, and arbitrary distinction, has been used by scholars
                        such
                        > as Dr Scholem, it will not be completely unknown, or specific to
                        this
                        > paper.
                        >
                        Ok, I agree, I found no trouble with this either. As for Scholem
                        many think that his use of the term "Jewish Gnosticism" for
                        "Merkabah" is pretty much unsubstantiated. But you knew that
                        from what you have written.

                        > I would like to make a distinction within Christianity as
                        > well. In order to make my distinction I will point out three
                        forms…
                        > ….They are: apocalyptic, pistic (based on faith), and gnostic.
                        … …The Christian canon has elements of all these, but the
                        traditional hermeneutic emphasis is in the apocalyptic, and the
                        pistic.

                        I would rather not make clear distinction between those three. As
                        you stated all three are within Christian canon (what ever that
                        means) and I see them as interacting on one another. Granted
                        some groups, as you stated, put the emphasis on faith
                        ("Orthodox") or apocalyptic (Montanism) but it is not right to say
                        this group has "faith" or "gnosis". Some group had combination
                        of these. In same vain, Quispel talks about the three
                        components of the Western Tradition: Faith, Reason and
                        Gnosis. In saying that traditionally the church represented faith,
                        science represented reason and esoterism as gnosis is bit
                        simplistic. Of course you are talking about what became as
                        "Orthodox" in which case isn't that self evident that their
                        orientation is faith rather then gnosis?

                        This is all for now. The rest of the paper simply states that it is
                        not "Orthodox" document, which I clearly agree. Nothing to
                        counter my notion of Esoteric Adaptionalists. In fact, if we take
                        the premises that paper gives about the GTh not having any
                        "blood sacrifice" as salvation. (frankly, I think, this notion came
                        much later in "orthodox" thinking. I think Irenaeus sees Christ as
                        more of "New" Adam – thus more of apocalyptic in nature) then it
                        fit right in because for adaptionalists, Virgin birth and death and
                        resurrection are irrelevant. In fact I didn't make myself clear and
                        thus the confusion. I don't think adaptionalists didn't have
                        elaborate cosmology like our Valentinians or Sethian period. I
                        think there were the different strains that produced the
                        cosmology and soteriology.

                        >We can say that it is most likely not Sethian,
                        > due to its lack of cosmology, and Biblical exegesis. But it is
                        > difficult to place it definitively within the ideal of
                        > Valintinianism… ….On top of this is the notion forwarded by
                        some
                        > scholars of the possible pre-Valintinus existence of this
                        gospel.
                        > Because of these considerations I would say that instead of
                        > Valintinian, the Gospel of Thomas is either proto-Valintinian,
                        semi-
                        > Valintinian (a related group).

                        So what is this proto-Valentinian or semi-Valentinian? Is there
                        existed such a group? Would it look very similar to esoteric
                        adaptionalists? And thus we are back to demarcation of
                        Gnosticism again

                        I don't think we ought to call anything Gnostic unless two strain
                        that I mentioned are properly married. Sethian (another falsely
                        labeled term, however) Valentinianism and Basilides do but I
                        think esoteric adaptionalists are not. Some may differ in opinion
                        but that is fine.
                      • lady_caritas
                        So, that Yahoo archon is playing games again I see. LOL I ll resend the short post below that I attempted to send yesterday. Actually, a message I sent in
                        Message 11 of 27 , Mar 26, 2002
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                          So, that Yahoo archon is playing games again I see. LOL I'll resend
                          the short post below that I attempted to send yesterday. Actually, a
                          message I sent in another club did show up finally *only* over 12
                          hours later, but I've been waiting over 24 hours for this one. If
                          yesterday's message should *magically* appear at some point, feel
                          free to break with tradition, and go ahead and delete it. . . .

                          --- In gnosticism2@y..., jjstroebel <no_reply@y...> wrote (Message
                          #5698):
                          "I have said that I have been following along quietly for some time.
                          Lady_Caritas, you have acted with dignity and have nothing to
                          appologize for. Just my obsetvation. Please keep writing; your posts
                          are quite informative and interesting.
                          That is all I have to say. I will return to my place of observation
                          and just follow along quietly."

                          I appreciate your kind words, John. Even though I certainly respect
                          your decision to "just follow along quietly," I would also like to
                          say that we would enjoy it if you and others cared to stop by with
                          comments once in a while, if you should feel so inclined. Feel free
                          to ask questions or begin a new thread of your choice, too. For
                          instance, Dan left a link in Message #5696 with some good articles on
                          Valentinianism in case anyone should care to investigate them for
                          future discussion. :-)

                          Cari
                        • pmcvflag
                          Hey Ernst, up late and going to post anyways lol. You state .... First, pertaining to my post this paper does not really contradict basic notion I have
                          Message 12 of 27 , Mar 27, 2002
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                            Hey Ernst, up late and going to post anyways lol. You state ....

                            "First, pertaining to my post this paper does not really contradict
                            basic notion I have written."

                            Well, actually I wrote this paper more than a year ago. I didn't post
                            it to rebut anyones points, but simply to give an overview of my
                            opinnion on the subject. It is also interesting to see where my own
                            thoughts have changed in that time, thought I chose not to fix this
                            in the post.

                            "Etic or emic?"

                            Good point, however I have doubts that the Valintinians thimeselves
                            were emically "Gnostic". This means that it is difficult to apply
                            this standard to the subject at hand. Of course I can fairly easily
                            make the etic point, but that isn't really the gist of my paper. You
                            may notice that I concentrate on the soterological function within
                            the Gospel to make my point, and thus would say that the authors
                            believed in the function of Gnosis in a capacity that we have come to
                            think of as "Gnostic".

                            "laity? I think "laity" doesn't even know what "soteriological
                            functioning in a knowledge" is about let alone definition for gnosis."

                            But Ernst, you and I and the members of this club are the laity. It
                            is us I was refering to. I had however meant to say "some of the
                            laity" rather than make a general statement.

                            "The Cathars are not Gnostics under your definition. Did you made
                            over sight there?"

                            No, nor do I consider them to be (though they are one of the groups
                            that I know less about... so I could be wrong). I'm not sure what you
                            mean by "over sight" though, as it would have been impractical to
                            mention every group that has a relation to Gnosticism and where I
                            felt they fit in the spectrum.

                            "Some group had combination of these." (gnosis pistis etc)

                            And indeed I stated that as well.

                            "So what is this proto-Valentinian or semi-Valentinian? Is there
                            existed such a group?"

                            Not necessarily a "group" (though in likelyhood it was a group), I
                            was refering to an ideological trend. After all, Valintinus certainly
                            had his teachers from whom he deviated in some way... just as his
                            students did in turn with him. The point then being that Thomas seems
                            to be closely related to the basic Valintinian system even if it
                            predates it (which is currently in debate in the scholastic realm). I
                            tend to think it does in fact predate Valintinus, but then again I
                            also tend to speculate that Jesus, and even John the Baptist, was
                            Gnostic.

                            PMCV
                          • pmcvflag
                            Oh yes, thank you for bringing that up Lady Cari, I had intended to respond to that as well and had forgotton. John, whatever you feel about any individual in
                            Message 13 of 27 , Mar 27, 2002
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                              Oh yes, thank you for bringing that up Lady Cari, I had intended to
                              respond to that as well and had forgotton.

                              John, whatever you feel about any individual in this club... be it
                              Ernst, or me, or anyone... don't feel that you should not post. We
                              don't always get along, and it is not necessary that we do. Sure
                              there are different styles here, and I myself don't always agree with
                              how others speak (just as they have not always agreed with my
                              manners), but there are other people here to talk to as well. If you
                              don't like Ernst, talk to me instead. If you don't like me, talk to
                              Lady Cari, or Gerry. Don't be affraid to simply state that you do not
                              wish to talk to some of us, but do wish to talk to others. We have a
                              very open policy here. We do not delete posts (except spam, or on
                              accident I have deleted posts), and we only kick out members who
                              outright flame others,(and we have sometimes run off, without
                              acutally deleting, evengelists who pretend to be interested, but
                              aren't).

                              The down side is that the posts are not always completely friendly,
                              though one would hope that in a Gnostic forum we would all do our
                              best to be amicable where possible. I do wish people to feel welcome
                              here, and know that it is my intent to deal with all conversation in
                              as open an atmosephere as possible.

                              PMCV
                            • hey_market
                              Well, as you can see John, we do welcome all GNOSTIC-related posts, but as my last response to the goofy Sufi indicates, we tend not to welcome off-the-topic
                              Message 14 of 27 , Mar 28, 2002
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                                Well, as you can see John, we do welcome all GNOSTIC-related posts,
                                but as my last response to the goofy Sufi indicates, we tend not to
                                welcome off-the-topic posts with their own agendas.

                                --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                > Oh yes, thank you for bringing that up Lady Cari, I had intended to
                                > respond to that as well and had forgotton.
                                >
                                > John, whatever you feel about any individual in this club... be it
                                > Ernst, or me, or anyone... don't feel that you should not post. We
                                > don't always get along, and it is not necessary that we do. Sure
                                > there are different styles here, and I myself don't always agree
                                with
                                > how others speak (just as they have not always agreed with my
                                > manners), but there are other people here to talk to as well. If
                                you
                                > don't like Ernst, talk to me instead. If you don't like me, talk to
                                > Lady Cari, or Gerry. Don't be affraid to simply state that you do
                                not
                                > wish to talk to some of us, but do wish to talk to others. We have
                                a
                                > very open policy here. We do not delete posts (except spam, or on
                                > accident I have deleted posts), and we only kick out members who
                                > outright flame others,(and we have sometimes run off, without
                                > acutally deleting, evengelists who pretend to be interested, but
                                > aren't).
                                >
                                > The down side is that the posts are not always completely friendly,
                                > though one would hope that in a Gnostic forum we would all do our
                                > best to be amicable where possible. I do wish people to feel
                                welcome
                                > here, and know that it is my intent to deal with all conversation
                                in
                                > as open an atmosephere as possible.
                                >
                                > PMCV
                              • ernststrohregenmantelrad
                                A few comments on this before evryone forgets about the topic. ... post ... own ... this ... Wel, please tell everyone how is your thoughts changed. I, myself,
                                Message 15 of 27 , Mar 28, 2002
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                                  A few comments on this before evryone forgets about the topic.

                                  --- In gnosticism2@y..., pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:

                                  > Well, actually I wrote this paper more than a year ago. I didn't
                                  post
                                  > it to rebut anyones points, but simply to give an overview of my
                                  > opinnion on the subject. It is also interesting to see where my
                                  own
                                  > thoughts have changed in that time, thought I chose not to fix
                                  this
                                  > in the post.

                                  Wel, please tell everyone how is your thoughts changed. I,
                                  myself, keep revising my thinking. Nothing is etched in a stone.
                                  And I think that is good. Even 3 or so years ago I would asked no
                                  question and agreed completly with everyone that the Gth is a
                                  Gnostic document but we all change some aspect. Even the
                                  "Messina final document" is WORKING HYPOTHESIS. If I
                                  seemed to harsh it is because I am harsh on myself. Even now, I
                                  see many holes in what I've have written.

                                  >
                                  > "Etic or emic?"
                                  >
                                  > Good point, however I have doubts that the Valintinians
                                  thimeselves
                                  > were emically "Gnostic".

                                  Yes, I think they considered themselves as Christians. And so is
                                  the most of "Gnostics".


                                  This means that it is difficult to apply
                                  > this standard to the subject at hand. Of course I can fairly easily
                                  > make the etic point, but that isn't really the gist of my paper. You
                                  > may notice that I concentrate on the soterological function
                                  within
                                  > the Gospel to make my point, and thus would say that the
                                  authors
                                  > believed in the function of Gnosis in a capacity that we have
                                  come to
                                  > think of as "Gnostic".


                                  Underline please "in a capacity that we have come to think as
                                  "Gnostic"" Again, this seemed to me that you are working
                                  backwards from present. (thus projecting the present thought
                                  back). IMO

                                  >
                                  > "laity? I think "laity" doesn't even know what "soteriological
                                  > functioning in a knowledge" is about let alone definition for
                                  gnosis."
                                  >
                                  > But Ernst, you and I and the members of this club are the laity.
                                  It
                                  > is us I was refering to. I had however meant to say "some of
                                  the
                                  > laity" rather than make a general statement.

                                  You mean laity as in case of priests and such or laity in case of
                                  scholars? For the latter I'm not laity but rather semi-laity. I don't
                                  have just a passing interest in the subject but try to be as my job.
                                  For the formar, who knows I might become a priest some day.

                                  >
                                  > "The Cathars are not Gnostics under your definition. Did you
                                  made
                                  > over sight there?"
                                  >
                                  > No, nor do I consider them to be (though they are one of the
                                  groups
                                  > that I know less about... so I could be wrong). I'm not sure what
                                  you
                                  > mean by "over sight" though, as it would have been impractical
                                  to
                                  > mention every group that has a relation to Gnosticism and
                                  where I
                                  > felt they fit in the spectrum.

                                  Oversight are due to the fact that according to you proposed
                                  criteria the Cathars are not "Gnostics" (If the criteria is based
                                  upon the biblical Demiurgy then they are). I was wondering why
                                  then you included in the list of Gnostics in the paper.
                                  (Unless I misunderstood what you wrote.)

                                  > I tend to think it does in fact predate Valintinus, but then again I
                                  > also tend to speculate that Jesus, and even John the Baptist,
                                  was
                                  > Gnostic.
                                  >

                                  Well, that is because you are a "Gnostic", lol. Of course if we are
                                  to take a document like "Pistis Sophia" in ernest (not literary of
                                  course) then Jesus himself taught the "full-blown Sophia
                                  "Gnostic" speculation". But here is my point, though. In looking
                                  at different facts and different opinions, why we must separate
                                  between Gnostics vs. "Orthodox". US and them. If we are to look
                                  at the idealogical trends as you said then there would be no
                                  need for such and such group against each other. In one web
                                  pages discribing "Gnostics" it states that there exists a group of
                                  "Gnostic" and "Pistis" Christians like they are setting them
                                  against each other from the beginning. I am not of that opinion
                                  and I think you are not either. Why do I meet with such a violent
                                  opposion if I express that Gnosticism is varient of esoteric
                                  Christianity when it is evident from a document like the secret
                                  Gospel of Mark or even the Gth points in that direction.. We can't
                                  cut off esoteric part from exoteric and say that is Gnosticism
                                  which many are doing. We must take everything in a whole. I got
                                  criticized some time for not seeing forest for tree but isn't people
                                  who ignore the exoteric aspect doing exactly that ?(the same
                                  people who criticize me). Valentinius almost became a Pope. So
                                  we know for a fact that he, at least had the notion of exoteric and
                                  esoteric. So is Clement of Alexandria if we are to believe the
                                  Secret Mark. Well, back to the main point if we are to identify such
                                  and such as "Gnostics" I feel I am doing a disservice to the
                                  totallity of initiatory system that came to us as the Christianity. We
                                  can't box off one aspect of the whole initiatory system and call it
                                  "Gnostic" as if it is distinct entity. Of course you might say the
                                  scholars who penned "Messina working hypothesis" are doing
                                  exactly that. Well, then again they are working in etic sense but
                                  that is true in a way but so is people who thinks there were
                                  Gnostics as if there were such a difinate group as opposed to
                                  "pistis". No I think there were those who followed certain
                                  apocalyptic Jewish notion who begun to use the myth and figur
                                  of Jesus Messiah as motif in the soteriolgy and that in turn had
                                  different degree of initiation (thus exoteric and esoteric). Thus
                                  "pistis" and "gnostic" are in same group with just different level of
                                  initiatin or same ideology trends but just different point in it. That
                                  is why I choose the term "esoteric" adaptionalists because that
                                  is the part of general adaptionalists. The later "orthodox" vs.
                                  "Gnostics" happened when "orthodox" started to view exoteric as
                                  the final and the ONLY stage in the initiation and and tried to get
                                  rid of the esoteric part of the initiation. All religions have "gnosis",
                                  the esoteric core. Christianity is no different. If we identified that
                                  as a particular group or ideological trend with in a certin group
                                  then what is the difference between "Gnostics" and "gnosis"?
                                  Thus I was asking for demarcation. So you can't have both ways I
                                  guess. For me when I say Gnosticism or Gnostics, I am ONLY
                                  discribing a certain phenomenon within the esoteric Christianity
                                  in particular time and place. NOt a general discription of a certain
                                  group or certain ideological trends.
                                • lady_caritas
                                  Ernst, it looks like you still insist on conversing with me, even though sometimes sideways while addressing other members and sometimes responding to my line
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Mar 29, 2002
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                                    Ernst, it looks like you still insist on conversing with me, even
                                    though sometimes sideways while addressing other members and
                                    sometimes responding to my line by line comments that I made to other
                                    members, despite the fact that I specifically said I wasn't going to
                                    respond to your last post to me to avoid just that.

                                    I find it very difficult to communicate with you, Ernst. You
                                    occasionally tend to patronize me by assuming I don't understand you
                                    or that I'm confused, when I might just be disagreeing with you. You
                                    also tend to retract comments you've made by saying that you were
                                    exaggerating or didn't really mean them and shouldn't be taken
                                    literally. Sounds mighty slippery to me, Ernst. I certainly don't
                                    mind you changing your mind after careful thought by any means. But
                                    how is one to effectively communicate with someone who capriciously
                                    changes his tune for convenience?

                                    Case in point:

                                    "I didn't call for 'full-blown, "elaborate" Christology including
                                    death and resurrection.' to be Gnosticism." (Message #5714)

                                    vs.

                                    "In addition, the writing mentions no passion or resurrection of
                                    Christ thus they played no significance. In comparing with other
                                    writing founded in Hag Hammadi (excluding Plato and Hermetic text, of
                                    course) and other Gnostic writings such as Pistis Sophia the GTh has
                                    no elaborate Christological speculation as soteriology." (#5624)

                                    and

                                    "My feeling is that we ought to reserve the term "Gnostics" to those
                                    of full blown
                                    cosmological speculation in the 2nd century. […]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 added)." (#5628)

                                    So, Ernst, in any case ~ in previous posts I referred to your
                                    term "elaborate" Christology with death and resurrection several
                                    times, and you never chose to correct my understanding of your
                                    position. Now, certainly you can change your mind during the course
                                    of discussion, but was there a change in your position or was I just
                                    confused ~ yet again? You were only "hinting"? ;-)

                                    As far as my position regarding a definition of Gnosticism, I prefer
                                    to keep it loose, Ernst. A definition regarding this modern term has
                                    always been up for debate by scholars and laity alike. I have
                                    previously stated in our discussion that elements involve salvation
                                    through Gnosis, plus a setting of this Judeo/Hellenic syncretistic
                                    phenomenon in the late antiquities. It's been posited that Gnostic
                                    writers drew from Iranian, Egyptian, and Babylonian, as well as
                                    Jewish and Greek sources. You ask "salvation from what"? Well, as
                                    in most religions, Ernst, salvation is deemed necessary due to a
                                    worldview recognizing that we live in an imperfect world. Depending
                                    on the religion, one can blame humans or not. Salvation through
                                    Gnosis implies salvation from ignorance. And, as you know, Gnostic
                                    mythology is full of references to "error" and a "demiurge,"
                                    symbolically representing this ignorance, lack of "acquaintance."

                                    You ask, what of Manichaeism, for instance? Well, whether or not one
                                    considers Mani to be Gnostic (a different question), the offshoot
                                    religion was one heavily reliant on praxis. Manicheans sought to
                                    release light from repugnant matter and were even very careful not
                                    to "damage" the light in other animals, plants, etc. Was Gnosis
                                    indeed at the basis of this austere practice? One might wonder if
                                    this was salvation through Gnosis or salvation through Praxis. If
                                    anyone should be interested in discussing this subject, I would
                                    suggest starting a new thread.

                                    You see, Ernst, I would rather discuss these various religions
                                    stemming from this fluid setting of the late antiquities described
                                    above in a context of Gnosis, . . . not only whether or not they had
                                    a specific Christology.

                                    But then, that is just my opinion. And I respect your right to have
                                    your opinion, . . as I've stated before.

                                    To conclude, Ernst, I wonder why you are even interested in feedback
                                    from other members, if you are here only to state your position and
                                    you "don't care" what "anyone believes." Why do you and others
                                    continue getting their undies in a bundle during discussions in which
                                    you participate? Perhaps we should all reflect on what we need to do
                                    to promote open discussion, allowing differences of opinion without
                                    disagreeable, unproductive arguing. What's wrong with sharing ideas
                                    instead of portraying defensive or offensive postures?

                                    Cari
                                  • jjstroebel
                                    That was so very informative AND beautifully worded, Cari. I stick around for posts like this. You have answered many questions I, as novice, have about Gnosis
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Mar 29, 2002
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                                      That was so very informative AND beautifully worded, Cari. I stick
                                      around for posts like this. You have answered many questions I, as
                                      novice, have about Gnosis and Gnosticism here. Your efforts to bring
                                      these discussions from a point of arguement/attack/debate to open
                                      sharing of ideas without the need for judgement is intrepid. Thank
                                      you.
                                      John
                                      --- In gnosticism2@y..., lady_caritas <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                      > Ernst, it looks like you still insist on conversing with me, even
                                      > though sometimes sideways while addressing other members and
                                      > sometimes responding to my line by line comments that I made to
                                      other
                                      > members, despite the fact that I specifically said I wasn't going
                                      to
                                      > respond to your last post to me to avoid just that.
                                      >
                                      > I find it very difficult to communicate with you, Ernst. You
                                      > occasionally tend to patronize me by assuming I don't understand
                                      you
                                      > or that I'm confused, when I might just be disagreeing with you.
                                      You
                                      > also tend to retract comments you've made by saying that you were
                                      > exaggerating or didn't really mean them and shouldn't be taken
                                      > literally. Sounds mighty slippery to me, Ernst. I certainly don't
                                      > mind you changing your mind after careful thought by any means.
                                      But
                                      > how is one to effectively communicate with someone who capriciously
                                      > changes his tune for convenience?
                                      >
                                      > Case in point:
                                      >
                                      > "I didn't call for 'full-blown, "elaborate" Christology including
                                      > death and resurrection.' to be Gnosticism." (Message #5714)
                                      >
                                      > vs.
                                      >
                                      > "In addition, the writing mentions no passion or resurrection of
                                      > Christ thus they played no significance. In comparing with other
                                      > writing founded in Hag Hammadi (excluding Plato and Hermetic text,
                                      of
                                      > course) and other Gnostic writings such as Pistis Sophia the GTh
                                      has
                                      > no elaborate Christological speculation as soteriology." (#5624)
                                      >
                                      > and
                                      >
                                      > "My feeling is that we ought to reserve the term "Gnostics" to
                                      those
                                      > of full blown
                                      > cosmological speculation in the 2nd century. […]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 added)." (#5628)
                                      >
                                      > So, Ernst, in any case ~ in previous posts I referred to your
                                      > term "elaborate" Christology with death and resurrection several
                                      > times, and you never chose to correct my understanding of your
                                      > position. Now, certainly you can change your mind during the
                                      course
                                      > of discussion, but was there a change in your position or was I
                                      just
                                      > confused ~ yet again? You were only "hinting"? ;-)
                                      >
                                      > As far as my position regarding a definition of Gnosticism, I
                                      prefer
                                      > to keep it loose, Ernst. A definition regarding this modern term
                                      has
                                      > always been up for debate by scholars and laity alike. I have
                                      > previously stated in our discussion that elements involve salvation
                                      > through Gnosis, plus a setting of this Judeo/Hellenic syncretistic
                                      > phenomenon in the late antiquities. It's been posited that Gnostic
                                      > writers drew from Iranian, Egyptian, and Babylonian, as well as
                                      > Jewish and Greek sources. You ask "salvation from what"? Well, as
                                      > in most religions, Ernst, salvation is deemed necessary due to a
                                      > worldview recognizing that we live in an imperfect world.
                                      Depending
                                      > on the religion, one can blame humans or not. Salvation through
                                      > Gnosis implies salvation from ignorance. And, as you know, Gnostic
                                      > mythology is full of references to "error" and a "demiurge,"
                                      > symbolically representing this ignorance, lack of "acquaintance."
                                      >
                                      > You ask, what of Manichaeism, for instance? Well, whether or not
                                      one
                                      > considers Mani to be Gnostic (a different question), the offshoot
                                      > religion was one heavily reliant on praxis. Manicheans sought to
                                      > release light from repugnant matter and were even very careful not
                                      > to "damage" the light in other animals, plants, etc. Was Gnosis
                                      > indeed at the basis of this austere practice? One might wonder if
                                      > this was salvation through Gnosis or salvation through Praxis. If
                                      > anyone should be interested in discussing this subject, I would
                                      > suggest starting a new thread.
                                      >
                                      > You see, Ernst, I would rather discuss these various religions
                                      > stemming from this fluid setting of the late antiquities described
                                      > above in a context of Gnosis, . . . not only whether or not they
                                      had
                                      > a specific Christology.
                                      >
                                      > But then, that is just my opinion. And I respect your right to
                                      have
                                      > your opinion, . . as I've stated before.
                                      >
                                      > To conclude, Ernst, I wonder why you are even interested in
                                      feedback
                                      > from other members, if you are here only to state your position and
                                      > you "don't care" what "anyone believes." Why do you and others
                                      > continue getting their undies in a bundle during discussions in
                                      which
                                      > you participate? Perhaps we should all reflect on what we need to
                                      do
                                      > to promote open discussion, allowing differences of opinion without
                                      > disagreeable, unproductive arguing. What's wrong with sharing
                                      ideas
                                      > instead of portraying defensive or offensive postures?
                                      >
                                      > Cari
                                    • jjstroebel
                                      Whatever you say, Ernst. I bow to your superior intellect and wisdome. There must not be a need to converse with dignity or consideration of others when a
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Mar 29, 2002
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                                        Whatever you say, Ernst. I bow to your superior intellect and
                                        wisdome. There must not be a need to converse with dignity or
                                        consideration of others when a higher level of knowledge has been
                                        achieved, as you so clearly display. Forgive my lesser nature, I
                                        understand the need to keep my voice silent after you have gifted me
                                        with your 'opinion'. I will, from this point, accept your dissonant
                                        remarks as gems from on high, pearls of wisdome. Forgive my audacity
                                        also; I am rightfully awed by your chastisement.
                                        Here in New Jersey, we have many ways to honor such reason as yours.
                                        We might honor you with the title of 'Horses derriere' or 'blowhard',
                                        but I will know you only by your screen name. I am thrilled to be so
                                        graced, because I can, from this point, simply identify and delete
                                        your posts and move on to those lesses ones I may be capable of
                                        contemplating.
                                        One last question; do you really BELIEVE that nonsence you write?
                                        (was that too sarcastic? ;-) )
                                        --- In gnosticism2@y..., ernststrohregenmantelrad <no_reply@y...>
                                        wrote:
                                        > --- In gnosticism2@y..., jjstroebel <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > > No, this hasn't been about free discussion. You have been
                                        > berating
                                        > > others, using your "expert" position as justifiication.
                                        >
                                        > I don't know I'm just stating my position. Again and again I wrote
                                        > you can believe anything you like. I won't come into anyone's
                                        > home and beat up until that person agree with me. I don't care
                                        > what YOU or anyone believe. I am just stating my position based
                                        > upon the data. I am just defending my position. From the looks of
                                        > it, it looks like I am being attacked for not holding similar
                                        > position. Why people are mad if I have the opinion that the GTh is
                                        > not Gnostics or be annoyed when I choose my demarcation of
                                        > the term Gnostics. (as too narrow-again why you should be
                                        > concerned as to its narrowness unless you think that YOUR
                                        > definition is the norm and MINE is derivation from the norm) Just
                                        > let it be. Why I am look upon as the attacker when I pointed out
                                        > the hole in other's definition of Gnosticism?(IMO) I am just
                                        > saying this definition FOR ME doesn't work and I am not
                                        > conviced. If they work for you great more power to you.
                                        >
                                        > > This group belongs to all of us, and I do not appreciate you
                                        > inviting me to leave.
                                        >
                                        > No, I didn't invite. I suggested if using of scholarship is not for
                                        > you then there are other groups which ignores scholarship. (By
                                        > the way group is not ment to be public place if it were yahoo
                                        > shouldn't have devised iwth moderator function where what is
                                        > being posted can be edited and controled.)
                                        >
                                        > >Please, chill out and back off. Your rudeness, guised
                                        > > as "telling people to be more solid" is simply rudeness and as
                                        > such
                                        > > is unnecessary.
                                        >
                                        > I think, you need to chill off and look at the content of what is
                                        > being discussed. Plese do you have comments or opinion the
                                        > subject at hand? I would like to hear it. That is why I put the
                                        topic
                                        > on the board.
                                        >
                                        > > Perhaps you are not in a position to "tell others"
                                        > > here anything.
                                        > > I have said that I have been following along quietly for some
                                        > time.
                                        >
                                        > Perhaps not but I'm ot telling (ie commanding) others anything.
                                        > Just defending my position as I stated. I think, you haven't been
                                        > in here long enough then you might think.
                                      • lady_caritas
                                        ... bring ... Thank you again, John. Say, I ll bet you also have many questions that haven t been answered, . . am I right? Feel free to bring them to the
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Mar 30, 2002
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                                          ---(Message 5718) In gnosticism2@y..., jjstroebel <no_reply@y...>
                                          wrote:
                                          > That was so very informative AND beautifully worded, Cari. I stick
                                          > around for posts like this. You have answered many questions I, as
                                          > novice, have about Gnosis and Gnosticism here. Your efforts to
                                          bring
                                          > these discussions from a point of arguement/attack/debate to open
                                          > sharing of ideas without the need for judgement is intrepid. Thank
                                          > you.
                                          > John


                                          Thank you again, John. Say, I'll bet you also have many questions
                                          that haven't been answered, . . am I right? Feel free to bring them
                                          to the forum. Many of us might want to explore them, too. :-)

                                          Cari
                                        • pmcvflag
                                          ... Well Ernst, there are things concerning my own leanings that I said for the sake of controversy (more or less) when I first joined this club, that around
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Mar 31, 2002
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                                            >>Wel, please tell everyone how is your thoughts changed.<<<

                                            Well Ernst, there are things concerning my own leanings that I said
                                            for the sake of controversy (more or less) when I first joined this
                                            club, that around the time of writing this paper I said more for the
                                            sake of categorization, and I now say _almost_ completely seriously.
                                            I have become more convinced of a genuine traditional Gnostic
                                            relation exhibited by some later groups, and far less convinced of
                                            the same in other groups that I once assumed to be Gnostic (like the
                                            Cathars, which I assume answers you other question as well). The list
                                            goes on, but it seems too much to outline in a single post.

                                            >>>Underline please "in a capacity that we have come to think as
                                            > "Gnostic"" Again, this seemed to me that you are working
                                            > backwards from present. (thus projecting the present thought
                                            > back). IMO<<<

                                            Oh, you are correct there. That is what all study of historical
                                            Gnosticism is, so I'm not sure why the statement would surprise you.
                                            IF we were talking about the past _from_ the past, we would be
                                            talking about the present. It is you who have insisted on the
                                            importance of the historical perspective, so when I talk to you I
                                            aknowledge that view.

                                            >>>You mean laity as in case of priests and such or laity in case of
                                            > scholars? For the latter I'm not laity but rather semi-laity. I
                                            don't
                                            > have just a passing interest in the subject but try to be as my job.
                                            > For the formar, who knows I might become a priest some day.<<<

                                            Niether do you have a degree specifically dealing with the subject,
                                            and work on it as a profession. You and I are still laity. There is
                                            also lay clergy, so holding that position does not guarentee
                                            expertise in ones profession. However, while it could happen Ernst, I
                                            have a hard time seeing you as a priest ;)

                                            The rest of your post deals with the relation between exoteric and
                                            esoteric. You already know my view on all that, so it seems
                                            unnecessary to repeat.

                                            PMCV
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