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OT: Virus and virus protection [Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: Incoming Message]

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  • David Gallardo
    The attachment was a virus (actually, technically, it s a worm that spreads as a trojan horse). Furthermore, the email wasn t necessarily from Josh. The email
    Message 1 of 21 , Mar 14, 2004
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      The attachment was a virus (actually, technically, it's a worm that
      spreads as a trojan horse). Furthermore, the email wasn't necessarily
      from Josh. The email propogates by forging email addresses from the
      machine it infects, so it likely means that someone else on this list is
      infected.

      I'm not sure how the attachment got through Yahoo, but I notice that my
      ISP stripped it and added a message notifying me that it had done so.

      The purpose of these viruses is to turn your machine into a "zombie": it
      will listen for further commands from whoever wrote the virus or wait to
      automatically take some kind of action in the future (or both). This can
      be to launch a denial-of-service attack on a website (like Microsoft),
      or to distribute spam or other undesirable (and potentially illegal)
      material. It appears that criminal groups are involved in some cases,
      possibly selling the distributed computer power that they capture in
      this way.

      This serves as an unfortunate warning that you shouldn't be opening any
      attachments, even if it appears to be from someone you know, unless you
      are expecting it, and know exactly what it is. Sometimes these messages
      also appear to be official-sounding and direct you to open the
      attachment for further information.

      Obtaining and running antivirus software is a really good idea. There's
      a free antivirus package available here: http://www.free-av.com/.

      Sorry to respond at such length on such an off-topic. I'll go back to
      listening now...

      @D

      --
      David Gallardo | Software consultant | Author
      Java, C/C++, database development |Internationalization
      Author: Java Oracle Database Development
      Lead author: Eclipse in Action: A guide for the Java developer
    • lady_caritas
      ... [...] ... to ... David,... oh please, no apologies necessary. Thank you so much for the information! I always enjoy your posts, so feel free to comment
      Message 2 of 21 , Mar 14, 2004
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        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, David Gallardo <david@g...> wrote:
        > The attachment was a virus (actually, technically, it's a worm that
        > spreads as a trojan horse).

        [...]

        > Sorry to respond at such length on such an off-topic. I'll go back
        to
        > listening now...
        >
        > @D
        >
        > --
        > David Gallardo | Software consultant | Author
        > Java, C/C++, database development |Internationalization
        > Author: Java Oracle Database Development
        > Lead author: Eclipse in Action: A guide for the Java developer


        David,... oh please, no apologies necessary. Thank you so much for
        the information!

        I always enjoy your posts, so feel free to comment *after* all that
        listening, y'hear? :-)


        Cari
      • Gerry
        ... necessarily ... list is ... that my ... so. ... a zombie : it ... wait to ... This can ... Microsoft), ... illegal) ... cases, ... in ... any ... you ...
        Message 3 of 21 , Mar 14, 2004
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          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, David Gallardo <david@g...> wrote:
          > The attachment was a virus (actually, technically, it's a worm that
          > spreads as a trojan horse). Furthermore, the email wasn't
          necessarily
          > from Josh. The email propogates by forging email addresses from the
          > machine it infects, so it likely means that someone else on this
          list is
          > infected.
          >
          > I'm not sure how the attachment got through Yahoo, but I notice
          that my
          > ISP stripped it and added a message notifying me that it had done
          so.
          >
          > The purpose of these viruses is to turn your machine into
          a "zombie": it
          > will listen for further commands from whoever wrote the virus or
          wait to
          > automatically take some kind of action in the future (or both).
          This can
          > be to launch a denial-of-service attack on a website (like
          Microsoft),
          > or to distribute spam or other undesirable (and potentially
          illegal)
          > material. It appears that criminal groups are involved in some
          cases,
          > possibly selling the distributed computer power that they capture
          in
          > this way.
          >
          > This serves as an unfortunate warning that you shouldn't be opening
          any
          > attachments, even if it appears to be from someone you know, unless
          you
          > are expecting it, and know exactly what it is. Sometimes these
          messages
          > also appear to be official-sounding and direct you to open the
          > attachment for further information.
          >
          > Obtaining and running antivirus software is a really good idea.
          There's
          > a free antivirus package available here: http://www.free-av.com/.
          >
          > Sorry to respond at such length on such an off-topic. I'll go back
          to
          > listening now...
          >
          > @D
          >
          > --
          > David Gallardo | Software consultant | Author
          > Java, C/C++, database development |Internationalization
          > Author: Java Oracle Database Development
          > Lead author: Eclipse in Action: A guide for the Java developer



          Thanks, David.

          Your lengthy warning is much appreciated. I wasn't sure if this
          might be the situation or not, but the message was certainly not like
          Josh's usual, thoughtful, self-explanatory posts. Given that it
          contained both his address and ours, it seemed like his address book
          was the most likely source, but as you point out, everyone would do
          well to check their systems.

          Gerry
        • Mike Leavitt
          Hello David ... My ISP stopped the entire message. No encripted Zip files are allowed due to this trojan. Regards -- Mike Leavitt ac998@lafn.org
          Message 4 of 21 , Mar 14, 2004
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            Hello David

            On 14-Mar-04, you wrote:

            > The attachment was a virus (actually, technically, it's a worm that
            > spreads as a trojan horse). Furthermore, the email wasn't
            > necessarily from Josh. The email propogates by forging email
            > addresses from the machine it infects, so it likely means that
            > someone else on this list is infected.
            >
            > I'm not sure how the attachment got through Yahoo, but I notice that
            > my ISP stripped it and added a message notifying me that it had done
            > so.

            My ISP stopped the entire message. No encripted Zip files are allowed
            due to this trojan.

            Regards
            --
            Mike Leavitt ac998@...
          • alexandria_4us
            Thanks for the site, it detected a trojan horse on my machine. GREAT! just friggin great! very, very sorry if this has caused anyone any grief :( take care
            Message 5 of 21 , Mar 14, 2004
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              Thanks for the site, it detected a trojan horse on my machine.
              GREAT! just friggin great! very, very sorry if this has caused
              anyone any grief :(

              take care all

              Marina


              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, David Gallardo <david@g...> wrote:
              > The attachment was a virus (actually, technically, it's a worm that
              > spreads as a trojan horse). Furthermore, the email wasn't
              necessarily
              > from Josh. The email propogates by forging email addresses from the
              > machine it infects, so it likely means that someone else on this
              list is
              > infected.
              >
              > I'm not sure how the attachment got through Yahoo, but I notice
              that my
              > ISP stripped it and added a message notifying me that it had done
              so.
              >
              > The purpose of these viruses is to turn your machine into
              a "zombie": it
              > will listen for further commands from whoever wrote the virus or
              wait to
              > automatically take some kind of action in the future (or both).
              This can
              > be to launch a denial-of-service attack on a website (like
              Microsoft),
              > or to distribute spam or other undesirable (and potentially
              illegal)
              > material. It appears that criminal groups are involved in some
              cases,
              > possibly selling the distributed computer power that they capture
              in
              > this way.
              >
              > This serves as an unfortunate warning that you shouldn't be opening
              any
              > attachments, even if it appears to be from someone you know, unless
              you
              > are expecting it, and know exactly what it is. Sometimes these
              messages
              > also appear to be official-sounding and direct you to open the
              > attachment for further information.
              >
              > Obtaining and running antivirus software is a really good idea.
              There's
              > a free antivirus package available here: http://www.free-av.com/.
              >
              > Sorry to respond at such length on such an off-topic. I'll go back
              to
              > listening now...
              >
              > @D
              >
              > --
              > David Gallardo | Software consultant | Author
              > Java, C/C++, database development |Internationalization
              > Author: Java Oracle Database Development
              > Lead author: Eclipse in Action: A guide for the Java developer
            • apx0n
              Hi Group, Well what an unusual way to get called back to a message board I thoroughly enjoy! I take it from the posts on the OT: virus topic that the
              Message 6 of 21 , Apr 7, 2004
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                Hi Group,

                Well what an unusual way to get called back to a message board I
                thoroughly enjoy! I take it from the posts on the "OT: virus" topic
                that the attachment was not sent from my computer, though please let
                me know if you start seeing other odd emails claiming to be from me.

                While I'm here, I'm looking for materials on the Gospel of Thomas -
                ok, that's way to vague. What I'm interested in is the text's
                history. In the Robinson Nag Hammadi the introductory notes say that
                the greek fragments of the Gospel likely predate the coptic copies
                found at Nag Hammadi. Moreover, the notes seem to indicate that
                Thomas had been "valentinized" or at least more
                generally "gnosticized" (sorry for the invented verbs) at some point
                in the second and early third century.

                Here's what I'm interested in - Thomas and John share a stunning
                number of passages, particularly sayings of Jesus. Many orthodox
                scholars hold that John was composed as an answer to the nacsent
                Christian gnostic movement. I suspect that's an over-simplification
                that simply can't account for the extent of their shared textual
                ground.

                Personally, I like to think of the Gospels less as the (near)
                finished product that circulated after 110-120 AD, and more as the
                works in progress of teaching traditions that had roots in the time
                of Christ and continued to evolve as they produced Gospels in the
                late first century. With that perspective, the Orthodox view of John
                and Thomas as competing gospels (which may have been true of the
                texts post-120) seems less certain.

                To my knowledge, relatively little work has been done to show which
                parts of the Gospel of John could PRE-DATE 90 AD. However, if the
                passages Thomas shares with John were found to date to the lowest
                strata of the Thomas text, you can see how that might be read: a
                shared tradition in the mid-first century that developed a schism
                towards the century's close, yielding on the one hand, a precurser of
                Valentinian Chrisitan gnosticism, and on the other, the schools of
                Christological and Cosmological mysticism that would ultimately
                triumph over Jewish-Christian Christology/Cosmology and be integrated
                by (among others) Iraneaus into orthodox doctrine.

                What I'm looking for is a robust analysis of the Gospel of Thomas'
                evolution, which places a heavy emphasis on explaining the passages
                it shares with John. I'm less interested in hearing about the
                passages from "Q" it shares with the Synoptics - Q's old news as far
                as I'm concerned. I guess I'm more interested in whether Thomas is
                evidence of a "J"!

                Thanks,
                Josh


                >
                > Thanks, David.
                >
                > Your lengthy warning is much appreciated. I wasn't sure if this
                > might be the situation or not, but the message was certainly not
                like
                > Josh's usual, thoughtful, self-explanatory posts. Given that it
                > contained both his address and ours, it seemed like his address
                book
                > was the most likely source, but as you point out, everyone would do
                > well to check their systems.
                >
                > Gerry
              • Rodney Cecil
                On Wed, 07 Apr 2004 12:55:25 -0000 ... Hello Josh, Sorry for not addressing the primary concern of your post, but if your interested in a scholarly work that
                Message 7 of 21 , Apr 7, 2004
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                  On Wed, 07 Apr 2004 12:55:25 -0000
                  "apx0n" <apx0n@...> wrote:

                  > To my knowledge, relatively little work has been done to
                  > show which
                  > parts of the Gospel of John could PRE-DATE 90 AD. 

                  Hello Josh,

                  Sorry for not addressing the primary concern of your post,
                  but if your interested in a scholarly work that argues for
                  a pre-90 A.D. (pre-70, for many parts of the gospel) dating
                  for John's gospel you might want to take a look at the
                  following book by Bishop Robinson (of 'Honest to God'
                  fame):

                  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0940989018/qid=1081385166/sr=8-3/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i3_xgl14/002-7937053-7355216?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

                  The title of the book is, "The Priority of John".

                  Peace,

                  Rodney
                • lady_caritas
                  ... that ... point ... simplification ... Hi, Josh. LOL. I find it interesting then that in spite of this claim that John was composed as the orthodox answer
                  Message 8 of 21 , Apr 8, 2004
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                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "apx0n" <apx0n@y...> wrote:
                    > Hi Group,
                    >
                    > While I'm here, I'm looking for materials on the Gospel of Thomas -
                    > ok, that's way to vague. What I'm interested in is the text's
                    > history. In the Robinson Nag Hammadi the introductory notes say
                    that
                    > the greek fragments of the Gospel likely predate the coptic copies
                    > found at Nag Hammadi. Moreover, the notes seem to indicate that
                    > Thomas had been "valentinized" or at least more
                    > generally "gnosticized" (sorry for the invented verbs) at some
                    point
                    > in the second and early third century.
                    >
                    > Here's what I'm interested in - Thomas and John share a stunning
                    > number of passages, particularly sayings of Jesus. Many orthodox
                    > scholars hold that John was composed as an answer to the nacsent
                    > Christian gnostic movement. I suspect that's an over-
                    simplification
                    > that simply can't account for the extent of their shared textual
                    > ground.


                    Hi, Josh. LOL. I find it interesting then that in spite of this
                    claim that John was composed as the orthodox answer to the "nascent
                    Christian Gnostic movement," there is still evidence that some
                    version of John was used by the Valentinians (using different
                    interpretation, of course). The burgeoning proto-orthodoxy, of
                    course, wanted to lay claim to the work, dispelling any Gnostic
                    interpretation, and it eventually showed up in the Bible canon with
                    all kinds of support against "antichrists" and false teachers, etc.
                    in "letters" of John.

                    We had discussion during the last few months about John and also
                    Elaine Pagels' scholarly book, _The Johannine Gospel in Gnostic
                    Exegesis: Heracleon's Commentary on John_. If you're interested, you
                    might want to use our "search archives" function to root out past
                    messages.




                    > Personally, I like to think of the Gospels less as the (near)
                    > finished product that circulated after 110-120 AD, and more as the
                    > works in progress of teaching traditions that had roots in the time
                    > of Christ and continued to evolve as they produced Gospels in the
                    > late first century. With that perspective, the Orthodox view of
                    John
                    > and Thomas as competing gospels (which may have been true of the
                    > texts post-120) seems less certain.


                    Well, yes, they would be competing gospels per an orthodox view, as
                    discussed in Pagels' recent book, _Beyond Belief_, but then she also
                    talks briefly about varying Valentinian exegesis and Heracleon's
                    Commentary on John (and, of course, she went into more depth in her
                    earlier book mentioned above).




                    > To my knowledge, relatively little work has been done to show which
                    > parts of the Gospel of John could PRE-DATE 90 AD. However, if the
                    > passages Thomas shares with John were found to date to the lowest
                    > strata of the Thomas text, you can see how that might be read: a
                    > shared tradition in the mid-first century that developed a schism
                    > towards the century's close, yielding on the one hand, a precurser
                    of
                    > Valentinian Chrisitan gnosticism, and on the other, the schools of
                    > Christological and Cosmological mysticism that would ultimately
                    > triumph over Jewish-Christian Christology/Cosmology and be
                    integrated
                    > by (among others) Iraneaus into orthodox doctrine.
                    >
                    > What I'm looking for is a robust analysis of the Gospel of Thomas'
                    > evolution, which places a heavy emphasis on explaining the passages
                    > it shares with John. I'm less interested in hearing about the
                    > passages from "Q" it shares with the Synoptics - Q's old news as
                    far
                    > as I'm concerned. I guess I'm more interested in whether Thomas is
                    > evidence of a "J"!
                    >
                    > Thanks,
                    > Josh
                    >


                    Okay, let's skip "Q." Maybe someone else is familiar with a
                    scholarly, "robust analysis of the Gospel of Thomas' evolution, which
                    places a heavy emphasis on explaining the passages it shares with
                    John."

                    In the meantime, there is no reason why we can't discuss your
                    interest right here in the group. In view of limited source material
                    for the Gospel of Thomas, our group dialogue might at most offer
                    possibilities and conjecture, but it could prove to be engaging.
                    Josh, would you be interested in providing some passages you refer to
                    for comparison and group member comment? :-)


                    Cari
                  • apx0n
                    Hi Cari, The burgeoning proto-orthodoxy, of ... Hmmm. Let s take a deeper dive on your comment about the letters of John. I agree with you to the extent
                    Message 9 of 21 , Apr 8, 2004
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                      Hi Cari,

                      "The burgeoning proto-orthodoxy, of
                      > course, wanted to lay claim to the work, dispelling any Gnostic
                      > interpretation, and it eventually showed up in the Bible canon with
                      > all kinds of support against "antichrists" and false teachers, etc.
                      > in "letters" of John."
                      >

                      Hmmm. Let's take a deeper dive on your comment about the letters of
                      John. I agree with you to the extent that somebody very loyal to the
                      Gospel of John saw value in writing those letters to distinguish John
                      from the gnostic movements of his day. But I've not seen those
                      letters dated any later than 130-150 AD - and that's the VERY high
                      end of the dating spectrum. So if we run with the points Pagels
                      makes about the hostility John continued to encounter from many in
                      the orthodox communities of the early and mid-Second century, those
                      dates are rather interesting, no? I think you make the orthodox a
                      bit too monolithic...

                      Why not think of it this way: in the early second century the Gospel
                      of John had its devoted followers, folks more or less on the fringe
                      of what you term "burgeoning proto-orthodoxy". Some of them (those
                      closest to that "orthodoxy") felt compelled to lobby for the Gospel's
                      acceptance by those hostile to gnosticism. Yet for all their
                      lobbying, it took decades for the Gospel to be embraced by orthodoxy
                      with anything resembling unanimity. So instead of the big bad
                      orthodox snatching up John and integrating it, a small minority had
                      to win it tolerance (and ultimatley honor) over time.

                      How to explain the vitriol that the letters express towards
                      gnosticism? Welkl, have not heated words often followed the falling
                      out of close intellectual (or spiritual) kin? My money says the guy
                      who wrote the letters, maybe even the guy who completed the gospel as
                      it has come down to us today, was only a generation or two removed
                      from intellectual forebarers who would have been on common ground
                      with the authors of Thomas. If nothing else, it would explain why a)
                      the orthodox mainstream held them in suspicion, and b) they felt
                      compelled to distinguish themselves from the gnostics with such
                      aggression.

                      > In the meantime, there is no reason why we can't discuss your
                      > interest right here in the group. In view of limited source
                      material
                      > for the Gospel of Thomas, our group dialogue might at most offer
                      > possibilities and conjecture, but it could prove to be engaging.
                      > Josh, would you be interested in providing some passages you refer
                      to
                      > for comparison and group member comment? :-)


                      Well, I'll give it a try...though I sorely wish I could propose such
                      comparisons in the context of sound dating. Give me a few days, and
                      I promise I'll cobble together a post on the matter.

                      Much Easter grace (or gnosis) to all who are observing it :)

                      Josh
                    • Mike Leavitt
                      Hello apx0n ... Good point, look at Origin and Clement, for instance. Clement apparently also used the Secret Gospel of Mark, yet virulently opposed the
                      Message 10 of 21 , Apr 9, 2004
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                        Hello apx0n

                        On 04/08/04, you wrote:

                        > How to explain the vitriol that the letters express towards
                        > gnosticism? Well, have not heated words often followed the falling
                        > out of close intellectual (or spiritual) kin? My money says the guy
                        > who wrote the letters, maybe even the guy who completed the gospel
                        > as it has come down to us today, was only a generation or two
                        > removed from intellectual forebarers who would have been on common
                        > ground with the authors of Thomas. If nothing else, it would explain
                        > why a) the orthodox mainstream held them in suspicion, and b) they
                        > felt compelled to distinguish themselves from the gnostics with such
                        > aggression.

                        Good point, look at Origin and Clement, for instance. Clement
                        apparently also used the Secret Gospel of Mark, yet virulently
                        opposed the Carpocratians. Those two were virtually gnostics within
                        the orthodox fold, and both were fairly late, though I don't remember
                        the dates.

                        Regards
                        --
                        Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                      • lady_caritas
                        ... with ... etc. ... of ... the ... John ... Gospel ... Gospel s ... orthodoxy ... falling ... guy ... as ... a) ... Sorry if I was unclear, Josh. I don t
                        Message 11 of 21 , Apr 10, 2004
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                          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "apx0n" <apx0n@y...> wrote:
                          > Hi Cari,
                          >
                          > "The burgeoning proto-orthodoxy, of
                          > > course, wanted to lay claim to the work, dispelling any Gnostic
                          > > interpretation, and it eventually showed up in the Bible canon
                          with
                          > > all kinds of support against "antichrists" and false teachers,
                          etc.
                          > > in "letters" of John."
                          > >
                          >
                          > Hmmm. Let's take a deeper dive on your comment about the letters
                          of
                          > John. I agree with you to the extent that somebody very loyal to
                          the
                          > Gospel of John saw value in writing those letters to distinguish
                          John
                          > from the gnostic movements of his day. But I've not seen those
                          > letters dated any later than 130-150 AD - and that's the VERY high
                          > end of the dating spectrum. So if we run with the points Pagels
                          > makes about the hostility John continued to encounter from many in
                          > the orthodox communities of the early and mid-Second century, those
                          > dates are rather interesting, no? I think you make the orthodox a
                          > bit too monolithic...
                          >
                          > Why not think of it this way: in the early second century the
                          Gospel
                          > of John had its devoted followers, folks more or less on the fringe
                          > of what you term "burgeoning proto-orthodoxy". Some of them (those
                          > closest to that "orthodoxy") felt compelled to lobby for the
                          Gospel's
                          > acceptance by those hostile to gnosticism. Yet for all their
                          > lobbying, it took decades for the Gospel to be embraced by
                          orthodoxy
                          > with anything resembling unanimity. So instead of the big bad
                          > orthodox snatching up John and integrating it, a small minority had
                          > to win it tolerance (and ultimatley honor) over time.
                          >
                          > How to explain the vitriol that the letters express towards
                          > gnosticism? Welkl, have not heated words often followed the
                          falling
                          > out of close intellectual (or spiritual) kin? My money says the
                          guy
                          > who wrote the letters, maybe even the guy who completed the gospel
                          as
                          > it has come down to us today, was only a generation or two removed
                          > from intellectual forebarers who would have been on common ground
                          > with the authors of Thomas. If nothing else, it would explain why
                          a)
                          > the orthodox mainstream held them in suspicion, and b) they felt
                          > compelled to distinguish themselves from the gnostics with such
                          > aggression.


                          Sorry if I was unclear, Josh. I don't use only the term "orthodoxy"
                          in reference to the first and second century C.E., especially in
                          a "big, bad" or monolithic sense. I used the term "proto-
                          orthodoxy." The early Christian milieu was quite diverse. But we do
                          see elements emerging within this early Christian fluid environment
                          that were indeed, as you say, incorporated into a later orthodoxy.
                          Irenaeus, for instance, considered the man, Jesus to be God manifest
                          in human form, fully human and fully divine, through his
                          interpretation (different from the Valentinians) of the book of John,
                          which supplied him with a way to support his claim that the other
                          gospels used by ordinary Christians didn't. Jesus in the other
                          gospels was a "son" of God, a messiah; he bore a human role, a man
                          with the power of the holy spirit to rule in God's kingdom. Later we
                          see acceptance of this gospel into the canon coloring a divine
                          interpretation of Jesus into the other gospels that most likely was
                          not there originally. Hence we see the earlier disagreement of other
                          Christians you mention who were not originally accepting of this
                          gospel with this interpretation, in addition, as you said, to
                          hostility toward heterodox sects who also used John. Irenaeus
                          therefore also viewed other portrayals of Jesus as heresy, deviating
                          from what he considered correct doctrine. 1 John emphasizes the man,
                          Jesus, as God, possibly countering docetic portrayals, which could be
                          useful in supporting later doctrine by including it as authoritative
                          scripture in the Bible.

                          This concept of correct doctrine was much easier to incorporate into
                          a political structure than an interpretation valuing instead a path
                          of self-knowledge (such as espoused by Thomas), which would be much
                          harder to control and might even be considered dangerous without need
                          for specific go-betweens to stipulate what would be considered
                          a "correct" route. Another possibility I would imagine regarding the
                          vitriol you mention might very well be due to control issues and
                          emphasis for some on theological differences.

                          The "falling out" of close intellectual or spiritual kinship is an
                          interesting theory. I would suggest that intellectual kinship can be
                          something quite different from a spiritual one. Also, shared
                          scriptures and/or motifs don't always necessarily indicate a
                          pneumatic connection. In the case of a possible spiritual kinship
                          (even as Mike proposed regarding Clement or Origen), when
                          specifically considering Gnostics, who emphasized Gnosis as salvific,
                          why would there be a falling out? My feeling is that shared
                          realization of and emphasis on Gnosis as salvific would surpass
                          weight placed on theological differences, in spite of different
                          expressions. Yet...




                          > > In the meantime, there is no reason why we can't discuss your
                          > > interest right here in the group. In view of limited source
                          > material
                          > > for the Gospel of Thomas, our group dialogue might at most offer
                          > > possibilities and conjecture, but it could prove to be engaging.
                          > > Josh, would you be interested in providing some passages you
                          refer
                          > to
                          > > for comparison and group member comment? :-)
                          >
                          >
                          > Well, I'll give it a try...though I sorely wish I could propose
                          such
                          > comparisons in the context of sound dating. Give me a few days,
                          and
                          > I promise I'll cobble together a post on the matter.
                          >
                          > Much Easter grace (or gnosis) to all who are observing it :)
                          >
                          > Josh



                          Thanks, Josh. Take your time. Look forward to hearing from you.


                          Cari
                        • apx0n
                          ... term orthodoxy ... do ... environment ... orthodoxy. ... manifest ... John, ... we ... was ... other ... deviating ... man, ... be ... authoritative ...
                          Message 12 of 21 , Apr 12, 2004
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                            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > Sorry if I was unclear, Josh. I don't use only the
                            term "orthodoxy"
                            > in reference to the first and second century C.E., especially in
                            > a "big, bad" or monolithic sense. I used the term "proto-
                            > orthodoxy." The early Christian milieu was quite diverse. But we
                            do
                            > see elements emerging within this early Christian fluid
                            environment
                            > that were indeed, as you say, incorporated into a later
                            orthodoxy.
                            > Irenaeus, for instance, considered the man, Jesus to be God
                            manifest
                            > in human form, fully human and fully divine, through his
                            > interpretation (different from the Valentinians) of the book of
                            John,
                            > which supplied him with a way to support his claim that the other
                            > gospels used by ordinary Christians didn't. Jesus in the other
                            > gospels was a "son" of God, a messiah; he bore a human role, a man
                            > with the power of the holy spirit to rule in God's kingdom. Later
                            we
                            > see acceptance of this gospel into the canon coloring a divine
                            > interpretation of Jesus into the other gospels that most likely
                            was
                            > not there originally. Hence we see the earlier disagreement of
                            other
                            > Christians you mention who were not originally accepting of this
                            > gospel with this interpretation, in addition, as you said, to
                            > hostility toward heterodox sects who also used John. Irenaeus
                            > therefore also viewed other portrayals of Jesus as heresy,
                            deviating
                            > from what he considered correct doctrine. 1 John emphasizes the
                            man,
                            > Jesus, as God, possibly countering docetic portrayals, which could
                            be
                            > useful in supporting later doctrine by including it as
                            authoritative
                            > scripture in the Bible.
                            ...
                            ...
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Cari

                            Hi Cari,

                            First let me respond to what you say above - I'll try to keep my
                            response focussed on a point raised by Pagels in Beyond Belief in
                            pages 60-62. Therein, she is discussing the Gospel of
                            John's "grudging acceptance" of Peter's primacy. She first
                            states: "Matthew's gospel, like Mark's and Luke's, apparently
                            reflects the view of the so-called Peter Christians - a group based
                            in Rome." She then points to a number of differences in the Gospel
                            of John that, she concludes, "suggest rivalry - but not necessarily
                            opposition - between the Peter Christians and those whom John
                            assumes to be his audience, the so-called Johannine Christians, who
                            regard 'the disciple whom Jesus loved' as their spiritual mentor."

                            This is the idea that I was trying (poorly) to convey in my last
                            post: that a group of Christians, distinct from the Petran group,
                            though not necessarily in conflict with it, already espoused c. 100-
                            150 AD the primacy of the Johannine view of Christ's divinity.
                            Pagels goes even further than this - she says on p. 44 that "The
                            author whom we call John probably knew that he was not the first -
                            and certainly not the only - Christian to believe that Jesus was
                            somehow divine." She goes on to site the hymn from Phillipians 2 as
                            evidence of Pauline (and general early Church) interest in Christ's
                            divinity.

                            Whether or not you extend such views to Paul, the other apostles, or
                            their followers, its hard not to accept that Irenaeus was merely
                            advocating (and perhaps a product of) an antique school of thought
                            with deep roots in the Christian movement: a school that held Christ
                            to be divine. That leaves plenty of room to speculate - as Pagels
                            does - that until Irenaeus, such views of Christ were at best
                            controversial, and quite possibly a minority teaching.


                            Now, as promised, let me try to address what I've been told is the
                            common ground between John and Thomas. In a way, our present
                            discussion about Irenaeus is a good first step towards assessing the
                            common ground of Thomas and John. Pagels is inclined to see John
                            and Thomas a gospels in conflict - that's even the name of one of
                            her chapters in Beyond Belief. Therein, she says "I have now come
                            to see that John's gospel was written in the heat of controversy, to
                            defend certain views of Jesus and to oppose others." (p. 34). Such
                            a view fits seemlessly with her understanding of Irenaeus and his
                            struggle to deliniate orthodox doctrine, excluding gnostic thought
                            and texts.

                            I just don't think it's that simple. I agree that the soteriologies
                            of John and Thomas are in conflict - John clearly favors a
                            soteriology of faith in Christ, as opposed to the Thomasine notion
                            of self-knoweldge. However, if John was truly written to confront
                            Thomas or a Thomasine school, I find it hard to understand why the
                            two Gospels share so much ground with respect to the consequences of
                            salvation. For does not John 15.15 echo Thomas 13: "I no longer
                            call you servents, because a servent does not know his master's
                            business. Instead, I call you friends, for everything that I have
                            learned from my Father I have made known to you." John very
                            purposefully introduces Jesus as the only one who has seen the
                            Father. However, as Jesus concludes his ministry and speaks
                            privately to the disciples, he tells them (14:7): "From now on, you
                            do _know_ [my Father] and have seen him."

                            In John, as in Thomas, the followers of Jesus acheive a profound
                            state of knowledge of God, and come to share in God's light in a way
                            that transcends the eschatological promises of the synoptic
                            gospels. Though they differ with respect to means (faith vs.
                            gnosis) Thomas and John appear to me to share an understanding of
                            the Kingdom that is not present in the Synoptics. Koester sites
                            Thomas 13, 19, 24, 38, 49, and 92 as the passages that parrallel
                            John. 13, 19, and 24 are direcly addressing the RESULTS of
                            following Christ's teachings. (see his introduction in Nag Hammadi)

                            Interestingly, Koester suggests that the oldest version of Thomas
                            probably contained primarily eschatological and wisdom sayings of
                            Jesus. He says that "Wheras Q emphasized the eschatological
                            expectation of the future coming of the Kingdom of God, The Gospel
                            of Thomas, in its oldest form, stressed the findings of wisdom, or
                            the Kingdom of the Father, in the knowledge of oneself, guided by
                            the sayings of Jesus." He points out that John, like Thomas,
                            emphasizes the findings of truth and knowledge through the words of
                            Jesus Christ, himself being quite literally the Word.

                            Really, I'm just engaging in a glass half empty vs. half full
                            disagreement with Pagels - for each substantive agreement between
                            Thomas and John there's a substantive disagreement. But I think
                            it's unfair to see their disagreements in light of late second
                            century controversies that were undoubtedly more heated than those
                            at the time the two gospels took form.

                            Please please pretty please...if you know of anything that goes
                            further down the avenues Koester highlights, or if you want to do so
                            yourself, ___post___ :-)

                            Josh
                          • Mike Leavitt
                            Hello apx0n ... I think you have made some good points here on the similarities between John and Thomas, but as even you point out John is based on
                            Message 13 of 21 , Apr 12, 2004
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Hello apx0n

                              On 04/12/04, you wrote:

                              > First let me respond to what you say above - I'll try to keep my
                              > response focussed on a point raised by Pagels in Beyond Belief in
                              > pages 60-62. Therein, she is discussing the Gospel of
                              > John's "grudging acceptance" of Peter's primacy. She first
                              > states: "Matthew's gospel, like Mark's and Luke's, apparently
                              > reflects the view of the so-called Peter Christians - a group based
                              > in Rome." She then points to a number of differences in the Gospel
                              > of John that, she concludes, "suggest rivalry - but not necessarily
                              > opposition - between the Peter Christians and those whom John
                              > assumes to be his audience, the so-called Johannine Christians, who
                              > regard 'the disciple whom Jesus loved' as their spiritual mentor."
                              >
                              > This is the idea that I was trying (poorly) to convey in my last
                              > post: that a group of Christians, distinct from the Petran group,
                              > though not necessarily in conflict with it, already espoused c. 100-
                              > 150 AD the primacy of the Johannine view of Christ's divinity.
                              > Pagels goes even further than this - she says on p. 44 that "The
                              > author whom we call John probably knew that he was not the first -
                              > and certainly not the only - Christian to believe that Jesus was
                              > somehow divine." She goes on to site the hymn from Phillipians 2 as
                              > evidence of Pauline (and general early Church) interest in Christ's
                              > divinity.
                              >
                              > Whether or not you extend such views to Paul, the other apostles, or
                              > their followers, its hard not to accept that Irenaeus was merely
                              > advocating (and perhaps a product of) an antique school of thought
                              > with deep roots in the Christian movement: a school that held Christ
                              > to be divine. That leaves plenty of room to speculate - as Pagels
                              > does - that until Irenaeus, such views of Christ were at best
                              > controversial, and quite possibly a minority teaching.
                              >
                              >
                              > Now, as promised, let me try to address what I've been told is the
                              > common ground between John and Thomas. In a way, our present
                              > discussion about Irenaeus is a good first step towards assessing the
                              > common ground of Thomas and John. Pagels is inclined to see John and
                              > Thomas a gospels in conflict - that's even the name of one of her
                              > chapters in Beyond Belief. Therein, she says "I have now come to see
                              > that John's gospel was written in the heat of controversy, to defend
                              > certain views of Jesus and to oppose others." (p. 34). Such a view
                              > fits seemlessly with her understanding of Irenaeus and his struggle
                              > to deliniate orthodox doctrine, excluding gnostic thought and texts.
                              >
                              > I just don't think it's that simple. I agree that the soteriologies
                              > of John and Thomas are in conflict - John clearly favors a
                              > soteriology of faith in Christ, as opposed to the Thomasine notion
                              > of self-knoweldge. However, if John was truly written to confront
                              > Thomas or a Thomasine school, I find it hard to understand why the
                              > two Gospels share so much ground with respect to the consequences of
                              > salvation. For does not John 15.15 echo Thomas 13: "I no longer call
                              > you servents, because a servent does not know his master's business.
                              > Instead, I call you friends, for everything that I have learned from
                              > my Father I have made known to you." John very purposefully
                              > introduces Jesus as the only one who has seen the Father. However,
                              > as Jesus concludes his ministry and speaks privately to the
                              > disciples, he tells them (14:7): "From now on, you do _know_ [my
                              > Father] and have seen him."
                              >
                              > In John, as in Thomas, the followers of Jesus acheive a profound
                              > state of knowledge of God, and come to share in God's light in a way
                              > that transcends the eschatological promises of the synoptic gospels.
                              > Though they differ with respect to means (faith vs. gnosis) Thomas
                              > and John appear to me to share an understanding of the Kingdom that
                              > is not present in the Synoptics. Koester sites Thomas 13, 19, 24,
                              > 38, 49, and 92 as the passages that parrallel John. 13, 19, and 24
                              > are direcly addressing the RESULTS of following Christ's teachings.
                              > (see his introduction in Nag Hammadi)
                              >
                              > Interestingly, Koester suggests that the oldest version of Thomas
                              > probably contained primarily eschatological and wisdom sayings of
                              > Jesus. He says that "Wheras Q emphasized the eschatological
                              > expectation of the future coming of the Kingdom of God, The Gospel
                              > of Thomas, in its oldest form, stressed the findings of wisdom, or
                              > the Kingdom of the Father, in the knowledge of oneself, guided by
                              > the sayings of Jesus." He points out that John, like Thomas,
                              > emphasizes the findings of truth and knowledge through the words of
                              > Jesus Christ, himself being quite literally the Word.
                              >
                              > Really, I'm just engaging in a glass half empty vs. half full
                              > disagreement with Pagels - for each substantive agreement between
                              > Thomas and John there's a substantive disagreement. But I think
                              > it's unfair to see their disagreements in light of late second
                              > century controversies that were undoubtedly more heated than those
                              > at the time the two gospels took form.
                              >
                              > Please please pretty please...if you know of anything that goes
                              > further down the avenues Koester highlights, or if you want to do so
                              > yourself, ___post___ :-)

                              I think you have made some good points here on the similarities
                              between John and Thomas, but as even you point out John is based on
                              faith/pistis, while john is based on spiritual knowledge/gnosis, and
                              this is a fundamental dichotomy between the Orthodox and the Gnostic
                              position -- a fundamental difference basic to the Gnostic position.

                              Regards
                              --
                              Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                            • pmcvflag
                              Hey Josh, hope you don t mind if I jump in on this conversation. I think you make some excellent observations, ones that I agree with in essence. There ARE,
                              Message 14 of 21 , Apr 12, 2004
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                                Hey Josh, hope you don't mind if I jump in on this conversation.

                                I think you make some excellent observations, ones that I agree with
                                in essence. There ARE, important parts of John that agree with
                                Thomas, and there are a number of scholors who have pointed out some
                                Gnostic tendencies in John as well (outside the previously mentioned
                                fact that some Valentinians obviously saw Gnostic interperatations of
                                John as perfectly valid.)

                                While I think that Dr Pagels does us no favors by failing to deal
                                with these similarities, I also think that in a way your point
                                actually makes a good case for her arguement.

                                Consider this for a moment... what would be the use of a dialogue
                                attempting to discredit a movement that was too alien to present a
                                danger? Augustine dedicates time to polemics against the Manichaeans
                                because he knows there is a value to the movement that attracts a
                                certain crowd... because he agrees with some of the ideas of the
                                movement and uses them in his own beliefs.... because he WAS a
                                Manichaean. John uses Gnostic terms, that has long been understood
                                even prior to Pagels' recent work, and it is this that has led to the
                                debate over whether it is a Gnostic work, or one that was
                                specifically written to fight the Gnostic threat.

                                I would suggest that the reality of the situation is not so black and
                                white. The Testemony of Truth also attempts to discredit some Gnostic
                                ideas and movements, but it is also heavily influenced by those very
                                same movements, so I don't think it is an all or nothing proposition.
                                Instead of seeing dispute between a right and left, I think what we
                                actually see is a rainbow of beliefs disagreeing on specifics, which
                                makes it easier for us to concentrate on the opposite ends of the
                                spectrum while ignoring the shades in between. This was not simply
                                some war of ideas between Gnostics and "Orthodoxy" (which didn't even
                                exist).

                                The difference of soteriological emphasis would seem the most prime
                                amongst people who otherwised agreed with each other, and they would
                                be right in that disagreement. It would not matter if two people had
                                the same goal if thier means of attaining that goal was
                                irreconcilable.

                                PMCV
                                ___________________________
                                >>First let me respond to what you say above - I'll try to keep my
                                response focussed on a point raised by Pagels in Beyond Belief in
                                pages 60-62. Therein, she is discussing the Gospel of
                                John's "grudging acceptance" of Peter's primacy. She first
                                states: "Matthew's gospel, like Mark's and Luke's, apparently
                                reflects the view of the so-called Peter Christians - a group based
                                in Rome." She then points to a number of differences in the Gospel
                                of John that, she concludes, "suggest rivalry - but not necessarily
                                opposition - between the Peter Christians and those whom John
                                assumes to be his audience, the so-called Johannine Christians, who
                                regard 'the disciple whom Jesus loved' as their spiritual mentor."

                                This is the idea that I was trying (poorly) to convey in my last
                                post: that a group of Christians, distinct from the Petran group,
                                though not necessarily in conflict with it, already espoused c. 100-
                                150 AD the primacy of the Johannine view of Christ's divinity.
                                Pagels goes even further than this - she says on p. 44 that "The
                                author whom we call John probably knew that he was not the first -
                                and certainly not the only - Christian to believe that Jesus was
                                somehow divine." She goes on to site the hymn from Phillipians 2 as
                                evidence of Pauline (and general early Church) interest in Christ's
                                divinity.

                                Whether or not you extend such views to Paul, the other apostles, or
                                their followers, its hard not to accept that Irenaeus was merely
                                advocating (and perhaps a product of) an antique school of thought
                                with deep roots in the Christian movement: a school that held Christ
                                to be divine. That leaves plenty of room to speculate - as Pagels
                                does - that until Irenaeus, such views of Christ were at best
                                controversial, and quite possibly a minority teaching.


                                Now, as promised, let me try to address what I've been told is the
                                common ground between John and Thomas. In a way, our present
                                discussion about Irenaeus is a good first step towards assessing the
                                common ground of Thomas and John. Pagels is inclined to see John
                                and Thomas a gospels in conflict - that's even the name of one of
                                her chapters in Beyond Belief. Therein, she says "I have now come
                                to see that John's gospel was written in the heat of controversy, to
                                defend certain views of Jesus and to oppose others." (p. 34). Such
                                a view fits seemlessly with her understanding of Irenaeus and his
                                struggle to deliniate orthodox doctrine, excluding gnostic thought
                                and texts.

                                I just don't think it's that simple. I agree that the soteriologies
                                of John and Thomas are in conflict - John clearly favors a
                                soteriology of faith in Christ, as opposed to the Thomasine notion
                                of self-knoweldge. However, if John was truly written to confront
                                Thomas or a Thomasine school, I find it hard to understand why the
                                two Gospels share so much ground with respect to the consequences of
                                salvation. For does not John 15.15 echo Thomas 13: "I no longer
                                call you servents, because a servent does not know his master's
                                business. Instead, I call you friends, for everything that I have
                                learned from my Father I have made known to you." John very
                                purposefully introduces Jesus as the only one who has seen the
                                Father. However, as Jesus concludes his ministry and speaks
                                privately to the disciples, he tells them (14:7): "From now on, you
                                do _know_ [my Father] and have seen him."

                                In John, as in Thomas, the followers of Jesus acheive a profound
                                state of knowledge of God, and come to share in God's light in a way
                                that transcends the eschatological promises of the synoptic
                                gospels. Though they differ with respect to means (faith vs.
                                gnosis) Thomas and John appear to me to share an understanding of
                                the Kingdom that is not present in the Synoptics. Koester sites
                                Thomas 13, 19, 24, 38, 49, and 92 as the passages that parrallel
                                John. 13, 19, and 24 are direcly addressing the RESULTS of
                                following Christ's teachings. (see his introduction in Nag Hammadi)

                                Interestingly, Koester suggests that the oldest version of Thomas
                                probably contained primarily eschatological and wisdom sayings of
                                Jesus. He says that "Wheras Q emphasized the eschatological
                                expectation of the future coming of the Kingdom of God, The Gospel
                                of Thomas, in its oldest form, stressed the findings of wisdom, or
                                the Kingdom of the Father, in the knowledge of oneself, guided by
                                the sayings of Jesus." He points out that John, like Thomas,
                                emphasizes the findings of truth and knowledge through the words of
                                Jesus Christ, himself being quite literally the Word.

                                Really, I'm just engaging in a glass half empty vs. half full
                                disagreement with Pagels - for each substantive agreement between
                                Thomas and John there's a substantive disagreement. But I think
                                it's unfair to see their disagreements in light of late second
                                century controversies that were undoubtedly more heated than those
                                at the time the two gospels took form.

                                Please please pretty please...if you know of anything that goes
                                further down the avenues Koester highlights, or if you want to do so
                                yourself, ___post___ :-)<<<

                                Josh
                              • lady_caritas
                                ... would ... had ... PMCV, in light of our discussion, as an example, would you say that Irenaeus and Valentinus would have had the same goal? In another
                                Message 15 of 21 , Apr 13, 2004
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > The difference of soteriological emphasis would seem the most prime
                                  > amongst people who otherwised agreed with each other, and they
                                  would
                                  > be right in that disagreement. It would not matter if two people
                                  had
                                  > the same goal if thier means of attaining that goal was
                                  > irreconcilable.
                                  >


                                  PMCV, in light of our discussion, as an example, would you say that
                                  Irenaeus and Valentinus would have had the same goal? In another
                                  example you give, Augustine was once a Manichaean, but he was an
                                  Auditor, not one of the Elect. Would his eventual goal have been the
                                  same as the Manichaean Elect? IOW, would the people in these
                                  examples be envisioning the same goal, with the difference mainly
                                  being soteriological emphasis? (I won't include the Testimony of
                                  Truth illustration because I believe the soteriological emphasis was
                                  probably still Gnosis.) Or could the difference in soteriological
                                  emphasis indicate different goals?

                                  Basically, how would you describe their goal(s)?

                                  Thanks.

                                  Cari
                                • apx0n
                                  ... Absolutely - the soteriologies of the two texts are at odds...as we have the texts today. But that s what started me down this thread - the possibility
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Apr 13, 2004
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
                                    > Hello apx0n
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I think you have made some good points here on the similarities
                                    > between John and Thomas, but as even you point out John is based on
                                    > faith/pistis, while john is based on spiritual knowledge/gnosis, and
                                    > this is a fundamental dichotomy between the Orthodox and the Gnostic
                                    > position -- a fundamental difference basic to the Gnostic position.
                                    >
                                    > Regards
                                    > --
                                    > Mike Leavitt ac998@l...


                                    Absolutely - the soteriologies of the two texts are at odds...as we
                                    have the texts today. But that's what started me down this thread -
                                    the possibility that Thomas, as we have it, is substantively
                                    different from the text (and by extension its tradition) as it would
                                    have been pre-100 AD.

                                    My speculation is that, given the two gospels' striking reliance on a
                                    shared 1st century sayings source other than Q, and given their
                                    similarities in eschatology, the two could stem from a common circle
                                    of first century Christian teachers and disciples. This, of course,
                                    requires that we assign the conflicting soteriologies to a later
                                    period - say, the early second century, the time in which the
                                    Johannine group more or less goes on the anti-gnostic attack via the
                                    Johannine epistles.

                                    Just speculating...I have not a lick of argument beyond what
                                    Koester's introduction to Thomas supplies me. Still - quite a
                                    striking idea if it could be backed up.

                                    Josh
                                  • Mike Leavitt
                                    Hello apx0n ... And then it may well have been the other way round, and that John, not Thomas was modified. Regards -- Mike Leavitt ac998@lafn.org
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Apr 13, 2004
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                                      Hello apx0n

                                      On 04/13/04, you wrote:

                                      > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, Mike Leavitt <ac998@l...> wrote:
                                      >> Hello apx0n
                                      >>
                                      >>
                                      >> I think you have made some good points here on the similarities
                                      >> between John and Thomas, but as even you point out John is based on
                                      >> faith/pistis, while john is based on spiritual knowledge/gnosis,
                                      >> and this is a fundamental dichotomy between the Orthodox and the
                                      >> Gnostic position -- a fundamental difference basic to the Gnostic
                                      >> position.
                                      >>
                                      >> Regards
                                      >> --
                                      >> Mike Leavitt ac998@l...
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Absolutely - the soteriologies of the two texts are at odds...as we
                                      > have the texts today. But that's what started me down this thread -
                                      > the possibility that Thomas, as we have it, is substantively
                                      > different from the text (and by extension its tradition) as it would
                                      > have been pre-100 AD.
                                      >
                                      > My speculation is that, given the two gospels' striking reliance on
                                      > a shared 1st century sayings source other than Q, and given their
                                      > similarities in eschatology, the two could stem from a common circle
                                      > of first century Christian teachers and disciples. This, of course,
                                      > requires that we assign the conflicting soteriologies to a later
                                      > period - say, the early second century, the time in which the
                                      > Johannine group more or less goes on the anti-gnostic attack via the
                                      > Johannine epistles.
                                      >
                                      > Just speculating...I have not a lick of argument beyond what
                                      > Koester's introduction to Thomas supplies me. Still - quite a
                                      > striking idea if it could be backed up.
                                      >
                                      > Josh

                                      And then it may well have been the other way round, and that John, not
                                      Thomas was modified.

                                      Regards
                                      --
                                      Mike Leavitt ac998@...
                                    • lady_caritas
                                      ... Well again, that depends on the interpretation. I would imagine that today there are neo-Valentinians who, as their predecessors, would use Gnostic
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Apr 13, 2004
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "apx0n" <apx0n@y...> wrote:

                                        > Absolutely - the soteriologies of the two texts are at odds...as we
                                        > have the texts today.


                                        Well again, that depends on the interpretation. I would imagine that
                                        today there are neo-Valentinians who, as their predecessors, would
                                        use Gnostic interpretations of Thomas, John and some of Paul's
                                        letters. As has been mentioned, Pagels' has written books discussing
                                        Valentinian exegesis of Paul and John. And the particular passages
                                        she talks about coincide directly to those found in the modern
                                        versions of these works. These scriptures can be read on various
                                        levels; Pagels provides both psychic and pneumatic exegesis, based on
                                        writings of Valentinian teachers.




                                        > But that's what started me down this thread -
                                        > the possibility that Thomas, as we have it, is substantively
                                        > different from the text (and by extension its tradition) as it
                                        would
                                        > have been pre-100 AD.
                                        >
                                        > My speculation is that, given the two gospels' striking reliance on
                                        a
                                        > shared 1st century sayings source other than Q, and given their
                                        > similarities in eschatology, the two could stem from a common
                                        circle
                                        > of first century Christian teachers and disciples. This, of
                                        course,
                                        > requires that we assign the conflicting soteriologies to a later
                                        > period - say, the early second century, the time in which the
                                        > Johannine group more or less goes on the anti-gnostic attack via
                                        the
                                        > Johannine epistles.
                                        >
                                        > Just speculating...I have not a lick of argument beyond what
                                        > Koester's introduction to Thomas supplies me. Still - quite a
                                        > striking idea if it could be backed up.


                                        I was wondering, Josh, how you might envision this first century
                                        common circle. Would that be "a school that held Christ to be
                                        divine," as you mention in your post #9384? Christ as divine can
                                        take on different meanings. For a Gnostic, a docetic or adoptionist
                                        portrayal of Christ is not at all the same as Jesus Christ being
                                        God. And, how would Thomas be "substantively different" if a pre-100
                                        C.E. version indeed existed? (Bentley Layton's introduction places
                                        the date of composition before A.D. ca. 200. He says that one
                                        qualified expert estimated that GTh was composed in the first century
                                        A.D., but many others assign it to around the middle of the second
                                        century.)

                                        From Helmut Koester's introduction to _The Gospel of Thomas_ in
                                        Robinson's _The Nag Hammadi Library_ (pages 125-6) ~
                                        "Neither the Coptic translation nor the Greek fragments seem to have
                                        preserved this gospel in its oldest form. Even the comparison of the
                                        extant Coptic and Greek texts demonstrates that the text was subject
                                        to change in the process of transmission. The oldest form most
                                        likely contained wisdom sayings and eschatological sayings of Jesus,
                                        including a number of parables. The sayings of this type, even those
                                        which have no parallels in the gospels of the New Testament
                                        (especially the parable 97 and 98), may belong to the oldest strata
                                        of the tradition. Whereas `Q' emphasized the eschatological
                                        expectation of the future coming of the `Kingdom of God,' _The Gospel
                                        of Thomas_ in its oldest form, stressed the finding of wisdom, or of
                                        the `Kingdom of the Father,' in the knowledge (_gnosis_) of oneself
                                        (cf. saying 3), guided by the sayings of Jesus. This understanding
                                        of salvation is similar to that expressed in many passages of the
                                        Gospel of John in which the finding of truth and life is bound to the
                                        words of Jesus (Jn 6:63; 8:51). The first saying of the _The Gospel
                                        of Thomas_ states this programmatically: the interpretation of the
                                        sayings is identical with the finding of eternal life.

                                        "In the further history and growth of the _The Gospel of Thomas_,
                                        this wisdom interpretation of the sayings of Jesus is more clearly
                                        developed under the influence of Gnostic theology, though it is not
                                        possible to ascribe the work to any particular Gnostic school or
                                        sect."

                                        Koester might be inferring at least a proto-Gnostic reading of this
                                        potential older version of Thomas (not really substantively
                                        different), which could easily relate to a Gnostic exegesis of John.


                                        Cari
                                      • pmcvflag
                                        Lady Cari.... ... Irenaeus and Valentinus would have had the same goal? In another example you give, Augustine was once a Manichaean, but he was an Auditor,
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Apr 13, 2004
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                                          Lady Cari....

                                          >>>PMCV, in light of our discussion, as an example, would you say that
                                          Irenaeus and Valentinus would have had the same goal? In another
                                          example you give, Augustine was once a Manichaean, but he was an
                                          Auditor, not one of the Elect. Would his eventual goal have been the
                                          same as the Manichaean Elect? IOW, would the people in these
                                          examples be envisioning the same goal, with the difference mainly
                                          being soteriological emphasis? (I won't include the Testimony of
                                          Truth illustration because I believe the soteriological emphasis was
                                          probably still Gnosis.) Or could the difference in soteriological
                                          emphasis indicate different goals?<<<

                                          Good call, I was too vague with the term "goals". The term "goal"
                                          here is contextually variable. For instance, we could compare
                                          Basilides notion of the Source with that of the Manichaeans. If we
                                          assume that Basilides seeks to rejoin that source (something that he
                                          doesn't explicitely state) then we could say that the Manichaeans and
                                          the Basilidians have the same goal, disolution into the source. On
                                          the other hand, for Basilides the beginning is found in an absolute
                                          infinite singualrity, where as in Manicaeism the source is an
                                          absolute duality... so we can say that they don't have the same goal
                                          at all.

                                          Irenaeus and Valentinus obviously have goals that would be difficult
                                          to compare in such a way. In plain language I guess we could say that
                                          they both have the same goal of "salvation", but they are not the
                                          same in either the means NOR the form... at least not so far as I can
                                          see.

                                          I think this difference is more difficult to outline in the John vs
                                          Thomas debate, especially when we are talking about John as it is
                                          most often translated in our English Bibles. I have seen translation
                                          of passages that drop convention to striking effect. To me, the exact
                                          effect of salvation seems less explicit in John, but the hints given
                                          for the cosmology (the existance of the Logos as a being) and some of
                                          the lingo used seems to imply that the effect of salvation could be
                                          reconciled with Gnostic beliefs (or at least interperated that way as
                                          opposed to the more literal heaven with pearly gates
                                          of "orthodoxy")... this is what I mean by the "goal" in this case.
                                          John does not seem to fight the Gnostics on this concept the way he
                                          does on the concept of soteriology. Still, we can't be sure and I am
                                          only giving theorhetic speculations here. In fact, I would also
                                          caution against taking such similarities to mean TOO much (as I would
                                          when examining people like Clement as compared to Gnosticism)

                                          PMCV
                                        • lady_caritas
                                          ... he ... and ... goal ... difficult ... that ... can ... translation ... exact ... given ... of ... as ... am ... would ... Thanks for the clarification,
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Apr 14, 2004
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                                            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > Good call, I was too vague with the term "goals". The term "goal"
                                            > here is contextually variable. For instance, we could compare
                                            > Basilides notion of the Source with that of the Manichaeans. If we
                                            > assume that Basilides seeks to rejoin that source (something that
                                            he
                                            > doesn't explicitely state) then we could say that the Manichaeans
                                            and
                                            > the Basilidians have the same goal, disolution into the source. On
                                            > the other hand, for Basilides the beginning is found in an absolute
                                            > infinite singualrity, where as in Manicaeism the source is an
                                            > absolute duality... so we can say that they don't have the same
                                            goal
                                            > at all.
                                            >
                                            > Irenaeus and Valentinus obviously have goals that would be
                                            difficult
                                            > to compare in such a way. In plain language I guess we could say
                                            that
                                            > they both have the same goal of "salvation", but they are not the
                                            > same in either the means NOR the form... at least not so far as I
                                            can
                                            > see.
                                            >
                                            > I think this difference is more difficult to outline in the John vs
                                            > Thomas debate, especially when we are talking about John as it is
                                            > most often translated in our English Bibles. I have seen
                                            translation
                                            > of passages that drop convention to striking effect. To me, the
                                            exact
                                            > effect of salvation seems less explicit in John, but the hints
                                            given
                                            > for the cosmology (the existance of the Logos as a being) and some
                                            of
                                            > the lingo used seems to imply that the effect of salvation could be
                                            > reconciled with Gnostic beliefs (or at least interperated that way
                                            as
                                            > opposed to the more literal heaven with pearly gates
                                            > of "orthodoxy")... this is what I mean by the "goal" in this case.
                                            > John does not seem to fight the Gnostics on this concept the way he
                                            > does on the concept of soteriology. Still, we can't be sure and I
                                            am
                                            > only giving theorhetic speculations here. In fact, I would also
                                            > caution against taking such similarities to mean TOO much (as I
                                            would
                                            > when examining people like Clement as compared to Gnosticism)
                                            >
                                            > PMCV


                                            Thanks for the clarification, PMCV. You bring up an interesting
                                            point. This discussion seems to be focusing on a possible early
                                            version of Thomas in comparison to John. However, as Mike has
                                            suggested, we also could speculate on possible different ancient
                                            versions of John that didn't survive intact.

                                            In any case, the Valentinians did not see just one possible
                                            interpretation of John. They were aware of hylic, psychic, and
                                            pneumatic readings of the same text. Regarding soteriology you
                                            mention, PMCV, I'll share a section Pagels wrote about "Psychic
                                            salvation and gospel history" in _The Johannine Gospel in Gnostic
                                            Exegesis_, since I'm aware some members have had difficulty finding
                                            copies of this book for purchase. Here we see Pagels describing a
                                            different emphasis from that in her most recent book.
                                            ____________

                                            "The psychics' error, however, is not only that they reify
                                            the 'image' of the creator. In the same way they also reify the
                                            figure of Jesus Christ and the events narrated of him in, for
                                            example, the fourth gospel. The Valentinians see the same error
                                            involved in psychic exegesis. The Valentinians, of course, in common
                                            with all Christians, agree that the gospel cannot be read _as
                                            revelation_ so long as it is read only literally. Literal (or in
                                            their terms, "hylic") exegesis, would read it simply as the
                                            historical account of the words and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth. But,
                                            the Valentinians add, in distinction from `the majority,' neither is
                                            the gospel to be interpreted only `psychically,' that is, as
                                            revelation actually given _in_ and _through_ historical events. Such
                                            a reading, in their view, reifies and absolutizes the _events
                                            themselves_ as being the actual revelation of the demiurge given `in
                                            history.' What the psychics fail to apprehend is that the events of
                                            the oikonomia, such as Jesus' birth and death, are
                                            themselves `images.' Psychic Christians, reifying these, insist that
                                            salvation comes to them only _because_ these events actually
                                            occurred, only because the son of the demiurge actually entered into
                                            human history. They fail to realize that these events can only be
                                            understood `spiritually' as signs and symbols of a spiritual process
                                            that is not bound to specific time and place.

                                            "This does not mean that the Valentinians deny the historical
                                            actuality of the events narrated in John. On the contrary, Heracleon
                                            apparently assumes that the events _did_ happen historically. Yet
                                            their historical actuality remains irrelevant and meaningless apart
                                            from the higher levels of exegesis. Indeed, the `hylic level' of
                                            historical narration can be worse than irrelevant. Improperly
                                            understood, it can serve as an obstacle to understanding, since its
                                            historical form allows the possibility of reading the account on the
                                            historical level alone, and thus reading it in `error and ignorance.'

                                            "The psychics, although they are not literalists, nevertheless
                                            consider the historical actuality of the events to be the criterion
                                            of the validity of their preaching. So Justin, for example, warns
                                            against reading the gospels except as witnesses to the events
                                            themselves. The Valentinians insist, on the contrary, that only when
                                            all the objects, events, and persons described in John are
                                            interpreted as `images of things in the pleroma,' that is, symbols of
                                            a reality that transcends space, time, and nomos, is the gospel
                                            read `in spirit and in truth.' Only by such an exegetical process
                                            does the written _become_ revelation for the reader."
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