Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: the Demiurge and the Saviour

Expand Messages
  • Mike Leavitt
    Hello wvdog61 ... It may be the translation. At any rate I don t think Demiurge here refers to Saklas at all, but is being used in its generic sense of
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 26, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Hello wvdog61

      On 26-Dec-03, you wrote:

      > Would you guys take a look at this passage from Clement of
      > Alexandria's Excerpta ex Theodoto:
      >
      > 47.1. The first and universal Demiurge is the Saviour, but Sophia,
      > as the second, 'built herself a house and supported it with seven
      > pillars' (Prov.9:1). 2. And first of all things she put forth, as an
      > image of the Father, the god through whom she made 'the heaven and
      > the earth' (Gen.1:1), that is, the heavenly and the earthly, the
      > Right and the Left. 3. He, being an image of the Father, becomes a
      > father and brings forth first the psychic Christ, and image of the
      > Son, then the archangels as images of the aeons, then the angels, as
      > images of the archangels, (all) from the psychic, luminous
      > substance, of which the prophetic word says, 'And the spirit of God
      > hovered over the waters' (Gen. 1:2). Because the two substances made
      > by him were combined he declares concerning the pure that it
      > 'hovered over', and concerning what was heavy, material, muddy, and
      > dense, that it 'lay underneath'. 4. That this also, in the
      > beginning, was incorporeal he indicates by calling it 'invisible'
      > (Gen. 1:2 LXX), though it was invisible neither to man, who did not
      > then exist, nor to God, for he in fact formed it; rather, he has
      > somehow expressed in this way the fact that it was unformed,
      > unshaped, and undesigned.
      >
      > Just what the heck does that opening phrase mean ('The first and
      > universal Demiurge is the Saviour')? Does Theodotus really equate
      > the Creator and the Saviour in some way here? Is Sophia actually
      > being described as a 'second' universal Demiurge? And who is 'He,
      > being an image of the Father' that 'brings forth first the psychic
      > Christ'? Also was the 'psychic Christ' the Chirst that entered Jesus
      > in the form of a dove at his baptism? I felt that I was following
      > this account pretty well until I came to this section. Any ideas
      > will be appreciated.
      >
      > Rodney

      It may be the translation. At any rate I don't think Demiurge here
      refers to Saklas at all, but is being used in its generic sense of
      creator. Substitute creator for demiurge and the passage makes more
      sense. Clement knew Gnostic Theosophy well enough not to make such
      an error, unless, of course, he was trying to confuse things. PMVC?

      Regards
      --
      Mike Leavitt ac998@...
    • wvdog61
      Would you guys take a look at this passage from Clement of Alexandria s Excerpta ex Theodoto: 47.1. The first and universal Demiurge is the Saviour, but
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 26, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        Would you guys take a look at this passage from Clement of
        Alexandria's Excerpta ex Theodoto:

        47.1. The first and universal Demiurge is the Saviour, but Sophia,
        as the second, 'built herself a house and supported it with seven
        pillars' (Prov.9:1). 2. And first of all things she put forth, as an
        image of the Father, the god through whom she made 'the heaven and
        the earth' (Gen.1:1), that is, the heavenly and the earthly, the
        Right and the Left. 3. He, being an image of the Father, becomes a
        father and brings forth first the psychic Christ, and image of the
        Son, then the archangels as images of the aeons, then the angels, as
        images of the archangels, (all) from the psychic, luminous substance,
        of which the prophetic word says, 'And the spirit of God hovered over
        the waters' (Gen. 1:2). Because the two substances made by him were
        combined he declares concerning the pure that it 'hovered over', and
        concerning what was heavy, material, muddy, and dense, that it 'lay
        underneath'. 4. That this also, in the beginning, was incorporeal he
        indicates by calling it 'invisible' (Gen. 1:2 LXX), though it was
        invisible neither to man, who did not then exist, nor to God, for he
        in fact formed it; rather, he has somehow expressed in this way the
        fact that it was unformed, unshaped, and undesigned.

        Just what the heck does that opening phrase mean ('The first and
        universal Demiurge is the Saviour')? Does Theodotus really equate the
        Creator and the Saviour in some way here? Is Sophia actually being
        described as a 'second' universal Demiurge? And who is 'He, being an
        image of the Father' that 'brings forth first the psychic Christ'?
        Also was the 'psychic Christ' the Chirst that entered Jesus in the
        form of a dove at his baptism?
        I felt that I was following this account pretty well until I came to
        this section. Any ideas will be appreciated.

        Rodney
      • wvdog61
        ... Sophia, ... an ... as ... God ... made ... and ... not ... Jesus ... Mike the source I m using for the quotation is Werner Foerster s Gnosis: A Selection
        Message 3 of 6 , Dec 28, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
          > Hello wvdog61
          >
          > On 26-Dec-03, you wrote:
          >
          > > Would you guys take a look at this passage from Clement of
          > > Alexandria's Excerpta ex Theodoto:
          > >
          > > 47.1. The first and universal Demiurge is the Saviour, but
          Sophia,
          > > as the second, 'built herself a house and supported it with seven
          > > pillars' (Prov.9:1). 2. And first of all things she put forth, as
          an
          > > image of the Father, the god through whom she made 'the heaven and
          > > the earth' (Gen.1:1), that is, the heavenly and the earthly, the
          > > Right and the Left. 3. He, being an image of the Father, becomes a
          > > father and brings forth first the psychic Christ, and image of the
          > > Son, then the archangels as images of the aeons, then the angels,
          as
          > > images of the archangels, (all) from the psychic, luminous
          > > substance, of which the prophetic word says, 'And the spirit of
          God
          > > hovered over the waters' (Gen. 1:2). Because the two substances
          made
          > > by him were combined he declares concerning the pure that it
          > > 'hovered over', and concerning what was heavy, material, muddy,
          and
          > > dense, that it 'lay underneath'. 4. That this also, in the
          > > beginning, was incorporeal he indicates by calling it 'invisible'
          > > (Gen. 1:2 LXX), though it was invisible neither to man, who did
          not
          > > then exist, nor to God, for he in fact formed it; rather, he has
          > > somehow expressed in this way the fact that it was unformed,
          > > unshaped, and undesigned.
          > >
          > > Just what the heck does that opening phrase mean ('The first and
          > > universal Demiurge is the Saviour')? Does Theodotus really equate
          > > the Creator and the Saviour in some way here? Is Sophia actually
          > > being described as a 'second' universal Demiurge? And who is 'He,
          > > being an image of the Father' that 'brings forth first the psychic
          > > Christ'? Also was the 'psychic Christ' the Chirst that entered
          Jesus
          > > in the form of a dove at his baptism? I felt that I was following
          > > this account pretty well until I came to this section. Any ideas
          > > will be appreciated.
          > >
          > > Rodney
          >
          > It may be the translation. At any rate I don't think Demiurge here
          > refers to Saklas at all, but is being used in its generic sense of
          > creator. Substitute creator for demiurge and the passage makes more
          > sense. Clement knew Gnostic Theosophy well enough not to make such
          > an error, unless, of course, he was trying to confuse things. PMVC?
          >
          > Regards
          > --
          > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...

          Mike the source I'm using for the quotation is Werner Foerster's
          Gnosis: A Selection of Gnostic Texts, Vol. 1 Patristic Evidence. The
          translator, R. McL. Wilson makes the following statement in a note
          appended to the introduction, 'The actual texts, however, have been
          tranlated with the original at hand, and revised to ensure that they
          are really *English* tranlations and not merely at third hand through
          the German.' Also Foerster, in regard to what he calls 'technical
          expressions' declares the he deceided,

          "…to leave untranslated expressions which offered too much free play,
          such as logos or nous, but also Demiurge, the latter, for example,
          because the translation `creator' is inexact but, on the other hand,
          the rendering `maker of the world' does not allow it to be clearly
          recognized who is meant."


          I followed your suggestion, and you were right, the substitution of
          creator for Demiurge 'worked' but given the above I'm not sure that
          it's in keeping with the meaning of the original. Also I don't feel
          inclined to accept the idea that Clement was being misleading in his
          quotation here. Though he vehemently disagreed with the Valentinians
          I've always gotten the feeling from his writings that he was more
          inclined to deal honestly with statements his opponents made, being
          intelligent enough to try to dispute them outright without resorting
          to nasty tricks.

          However, 'technical expressions' aside, in this accounting of the
          Valetinian Theogony, *is* the Saviour viewed as a creator, followed
          by Sophia (the 'lower one', I'm assuming) '...as the second...'? Was
          it common for this group of Gnostics to think of Sophia as a 'creator'
          (as opposed to mother) of the Demiurge and did she make him, '...an
          image of the Father...', meaning the image of the Ineffable One?

          Also, I have to ask again, is the 'psychic Christ' referred to here
          to be understood as the Christ that descended on Jesus of Nazareth at
          his baptism, or is there a 'Christ' as well as a 'psychic Christ' too?
          And, if so, what is their relationship to one another?

          Peace,

          Rodney
        • Mike Leavitt
          Hello wvdog61 ... Two Christs is not necessarily wrong, I have run across this idea before. So I guess the question is whether Demiurge as in Saklas was meant
          Message 4 of 6 , Dec 28, 2003
          • 0 Attachment
            Hello wvdog61

            On 28-Dec-03, you wrote:
            >> It may be the translation. At any rate I don't think Demiurge here
            >> refers to Saklas at all, but is being used in its generic sense of
            >> creator. Substitute creator for demiurge and the passage makes more
            >> sense. Clement knew Gnostic Theosophy well enough not to make such
            >> an error, unless, of course, he was trying to confuse things. PMVC?
            >>
            >> Regards
            >> --
            >> Mike Leavitt ac998@l...
            >
            > Mike the source I'm using for the quotation is Werner Foerster's
            > Gnosis: A Selection of Gnostic Texts, Vol. 1 Patristic Evidence. The
            > translator, R. McL. Wilson makes the following statement in a note
            > appended to the introduction, 'The actual texts, however, have been
            > tranlated with the original at hand, and revised to ensure that they
            > are really *English* tranlations and not merely at third hand
            > through the German.' Also Foerster, in regard to what he calls
            > 'technical expressions' declares the he deceided,
            >
            > " to leave untranslated expressions which offered too much free
            > play, such as logos or nous, but also Demiurge, the latter, for
            > example, because the translation `creator' is inexact but, on the
            > other hand, the rendering `maker of the world' does not allow it to
            > be clearly recognized who is meant."
            >
            >
            > I followed your suggestion, and you were right, the substitution of
            > creator for Demiurge 'worked' but given the above I'm not sure that
            > it's in keeping with the meaning of the original. Also I don't feel
            > inclined to accept the idea that Clement was being misleading in his
            > quotation here. Though he vehemently disagreed with the Valentinians
            > I've always gotten the feeling from his writings that he was more
            > inclined to deal honestly with statements his opponents made, being
            > intelligent enough to try to dispute them outright without resorting
            > to nasty tricks.
            >
            > However, 'technical expressions' aside, in this accounting of the
            > Valetinian Theogony, *is* the Saviour viewed as a creator, followed
            > by Sophia (the 'lower one', I'm assuming) '...as the second...'? Was
            > it common for this group of Gnostics to think of Sophia as a
            > 'creator' (as opposed to mother) of the Demiurge and did she make
            > him, '...an image of the Father...', meaning the image of the
            > Ineffable One?
            >
            > Also, I have to ask again, is the 'psychic Christ' referred to here
            > to be understood as the Christ that descended on Jesus of Nazareth
            > at his baptism, or is there a 'Christ' as well as a 'psychic Christ'
            > too? And, if so, what is their relationship to one another?
            >
            > Peace,
            >
            > Rodney

            Two Christs is not necessarily wrong, I have run across this idea
            before. So I guess the question is whether Demiurge as in Saklas was
            meant or demiurge as in creator (generic) was meant. And I agree, it
            is unlikely Clement was prevaricating.

            Regards
            --
            Mike Leavitt ac998@...
          • Paul Kieniewicz
            ... here ... of ... more ... such ... PMVC? ... Does anyone know the derivation of demiurge ---Demi-urgos --- sounds like it comes from Greek. If so, what
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 1, 2004
            • 0 Attachment
              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
              > Hello wvdog61
              >
              > On 28-Dec-03, you wrote:
              > >> It may be the translation. At any rate I don't think Demiurge
              here
              > >> refers to Saklas at all, but is being used in its generic sense
              of
              > >> creator. Substitute creator for demiurge and the passage makes
              more
              > >> sense. Clement knew Gnostic Theosophy well enough not to make
              such
              > >> an error, unless, of course, he was trying to confuse things.
              PMVC?
              > >>
              >

              Does anyone know the derivation of "demiurge" ---Demi-urgos ---
              sounds like it comes from Greek. If so, what might be its root
              meaning ?

              Paul Kieniewicz
            • lady_caritas
              ... Hi, Paul. Happy New Year, everyone. Interesting you should bring this up because, although I have seen demiurge [Gnostic (and Platonic) maker of
              Message 6 of 6 , Jan 2, 2004
              • 0 Attachment
                --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Kieniewicz" <paulmmk@y...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Does anyone know the derivation of "demiurge" ---Demi-urgos ---
                > sounds like it comes from Greek. If so, what might be its root
                > meaning ?
                >
                > Paul Kieniewicz



                Hi, Paul. Happy New Year, everyone.

                Interesting you should bring this up because, although I have
                seen "demiurge" [Gnostic (and Platonic) maker of material world]
                sometimes explained as a "half" or "lesser" god (based on a
                prefix "demi-" or "half"),... according to various
                dictionaries, "demiurge" is indeed Greek in origin.

                The Late Latin _demiurgus_ comes from the Greek _demiourgos_, which
                literally means "artisan." And, yes, we do see the Gnostic demiurge
                referred to as a craftsman. [_demios_ of the people (from _demos_
                people) + _-ourgos_ worker (from _ergon_ work)]


                Cari
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.