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Re: [Gnosticism2] Evryone loves conspirecy

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  • harold adams jackson
    I don believe creation is flawed....seems people like us are flawing it
    Message 1 of 79 , Dec 5, 2003
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      I don believe creation is flawed....seems people like us are flawing it
    • lady_caritas
      ... Gospel of Thomas. And to be honest, I am not sure why the Church would choose to catagorize this as a heresy. ... Thomas, as Gerry pointed out, it becomes
      Message 79 of 79 , Dec 28, 2003
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        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Thomas Norush II <tjnii@y...>
        > Hello Cari;

        > To this point the only thing that I have read at any length is the
        Gospel of Thomas. And to be honest, I am not sure why the Church
        would choose to catagorize this as a heresy.

        Thomas, as Gerry pointed out, it becomes a matter of view, doesn't
        it? Does heresy constitute merely opinions that are different,
        freely chosen,... or are they something false, even evil?

        > Maybe as I read more of what is available I will be able to
        discover such, but to this point, the Gospel of Thomas seems pretty
        inline with Church teaching. Mind you there are some things that
        would cause quite the conversation, but on the whole nothing that
        struck me as "heresy" in the evil terms that I have heard it.

        It may appear to be "inline" in some respects. In fact, in _The
        Gnostic Scriptures_ (which I highly recommend), Bentley Layton has
        cross-references for many, but not all, sayings to similar verses in
        Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And, whether or not _The Gospel of Thomas_
        was originally "Gnostic" or proto-Gnostic has been debated.

        Nonetheless, upon further inspection there are some major differences
        when compared to orthodox doctrine. How *any* of the sayings might
        be construed could vary from an orthodox interpretation when one
        considers heterodox elements. As Bentley Layton comments in the
        introduction to GTh (page 376):

        "Historical framework is irrelevant to the message of GTh, for the
        salvation that it proclaims is not the future reign of god on earth,
        to be ushered in by a messiah, but rather the recognition of one's
        true nature and acquaintance with oneself, leading to immediate
        repose and rendering `death' (i.e. the realm of human affairs)
        trivial. `The kingdom is inside of you. . . . When you become
        acquainted with yourselves . . . you will understand that it is you
        who are children of the living father.' Jesus' suffering, death, and
        resurrection are not discussed in GTh; his role here is purely that
        of a teacher of wisdom. GTh is thus a Christian gospel in which the
        crucifixion of Jesus has no importance."

        Self-acquaintance is definitely a Gnostic theme. Consider, Thomas,
        how dangerous, how threatening that approach would be to *any*
        political mechanism. How does one maintain hierarchical control when
        people are relying on their own experience, rather than on outside,
        dogmatic intermediaries? In the past, the governmental decisions
        were inextricably entrenched with religious considerations.

        > The Council of Trent I believe put it together in its current form
        and in theory there was a great deal of work for them to choose from
        before they Canonized the current Bible. What was left out and more
        importantly Why? If Thomas was around and available at that point,
        why wasn't it included in the Bible?

        You might be interested in a recent book by Elaine Pagels, _Beyond
        Belief_, that recounts this process, bringing in her ideas about _The
        Gospel of Thomas_ specifically.

        > Gnostic texts, the Dead Sea Scrolls, all offer me a chance to read
        what was available at the time. The chance to answer big questions
        for myself and maybe pass this on to others. Maybe Gnosticism is
        another step in the process for me. Not sure yet. Need to read and
        study more on the subjects.

        Thomas, I would recommend some suggestions in our "links" section:

        You might find the collection of introductory articles helpful. The
        Gnosis Archive at
        http://gnosis.org/ provides lots of information – articles, book
        suggestions, lectures, in addition to online source material, such as
        The Nag Hammadi Library. I would also recommend the book, _The Nag
        Hammadi Library_, by James M Robinson.

        > Thank you for your response. I look forward to any insight you may
        offer or conversation that it brought about.
        > Thomas

        Feel free to come back with comments and questions, Thomas, as you
        pursue your own queries.

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