Re: A serpentine Christ?
- Thank you Terje and midnight,
Your information has been most enlightening. Terje, you are always
so complete in your answers. Again,
Thank you for taking the time.
--- In email@example.com, Terje Dahl Bergersen <terje@b...>
> >In some Gnostic Genesis stories, such as "The Hypostasis of thereport,
> >Archons" found in _The Nag Hammadi Library_, the serpent in the
> >garden is depicted as a benevolent spirit of instruction, but not
> >specificly Christ, though possibly related. Kurt Rudolph's _Gnosis_
> >shows some ancient depictions of apparent serpent worship, possibly
> >of a Gnostic or Orphic character. Also, the image of the serpent
> >biting its own tale, Ouroboros, also depicted in _Gnosis_, is
> >sometimes associated with the Gnostics. Hope this is usefull.
> I sent a large compilation of sources and references to the list,
> however, I think I need to emphasize one thing in particular:
> Whereas the agent in Eden, undercover or just outmaneuvred - could
> have some great symbolic worth for Gnostics, there are on no
> occasion, not even - as you could see from the _churchfather_
> any _Serpent worship_ among the early Gnostic groups.advocating
> Whereas the churchfathers may accuse some of the Gnostics for
> a lenient, non-militant and seemingly "subservient" attitude towardswent
> the antics and peccadilloes of the state religion and its object of
> worship.. the emperor himself (Witness the coming of Constantine..
> *Nothing changed*, so one might ask why thousands of christians
> to their grave because of their virtuous "rejection" of non-christian
> - "worship", cult, is something entirely different.
> Rudolph´s or his editors choice of illustration is entirely
> in time and geography to the group, the Ophites, which the image isAsia
> loosely associated with.. it is evident that it isn`t "Orphic" in
> origin either.. so the text should say "Late Hellenic Bowl from
> Minor, notice neat motif of people congregated with asnake..reminds
> me of.." rather than the obscure and misleading footer it received,of
> at least in the english translation.
> Anyways, the Brazen Serpent of Moses mentioned as "supreme symbol"
> divine intervention and healing - can be encountered today, insymbol,
> Kurdistan, where the serpent, now blackened, greets the visitors to
> the Yezidi sanctuary/temple.
> The tail-biter is curious, indeed it is a so-called "gnostic"
> but it is misunderstood in most occasions it is "held up"... yousee,
> Ouroboros is the image of the self-polluting and self-destroyingof
> Kosmos; it is symbolic of mankind when she has not received
> assistance and received the mysteries; closed in on herself, her
> senses detoriate and eventually becomes useless to her.. but also
> the earth, of Gaia, of the big white cloud of gas and debris whichis
> the physical universe, of which so many are awed..and so forth. Infinitude
> It is omnious and generally a mental mark/signpost about the
> of this place and the apparent order of things....published
> Oh, I employed the Ouroboros motif, really meaning to depict the
> Middle-Earth-Worm in Norse mythology - in the emblem/logo for the
> Gnostic Society in Norway - firstly in 1994...with an ankh in the
> middle as contrast..
> A few years later someone employed this symbol as some kind of icon
> for "Gnosticism" just as you have the David Star for Judaism,
> Crescent for Islam, Cross for Christianity, Aum symbol for Hinduism
> &c.... well in 2001 when a load of gnostic scriptures were
> together in norwegian translation for the first time... wouldnt youto
> know it, they used that motif.
> Now a lot of people get the impression that the old Wyrm is sacred
> us gnostics... whereas the snake on the cross and on the tree could
> have some important symbolical message to us, the self-devouring
> crowned serpent, I feel.. falls short of it...
> Pax Pleromae
> Terje Dahl Bergersen
- Just thought I would add to what you and Terje have stated on the
subject by pointing out that there is surprisingly little agreement
on the positive or negative value of the serpent in various Gnostic
texts. Here is a table that Dr Willimas created outlining this
observation.... ("/" means ambivalence)
Testim. truth +?
Orig. world +
Hyp. Archons /
Ap. John -
Justin Baruch -
Tri. Trac -
Gos Phil -
Obviously we cannot say "Gnostics believe _______ about the serpent
in the garden."
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "blackfire_al
<blackfire_al@y...>" <blackfire_al@y...> wrote:
> Thank you Terje and midnight,
> Your information has been most enlightening. Terje, you are always
> so complete in your answers. Again,
> Thank you for taking the time.