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10447Re: [GTh] Xmas Season Greetings

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  • Jordan Stratford
    Dec 30, 2012
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      On 2012-12-30, at 4:37 PM, Tom wrote:

      I have yet to see evidence of 1st century gnostics before AD 90 at the earliest. The evidence is, as you say, a reading back of 2nd century gnostics as pagels with the Gospel of Mary. Have you seen evidence that I haven't? Solid evidence would make a difference.

      According to Pearson we have Sethian Gnostic texts dating from the second century BCE.  

      Pagels puts Gospel of Mary in the first century CE, before Gospel of Thomas (seeing some Thomas elements as rebuttals of GoM).   

      Again this is not to say that the community of GT authorship belongs to first-century Sethian Gnostics, but rather to point out that there WERE first-century (and earlier) Gnostics.  

      We have to remember that we have no first century archaeology on any of this, and all the dating is conjecture.  We don't have a first century copy of anything, canonical or otherwise.  We have mentions of Markan material (but not the material itself) from around 110 CE.  We have a scrap of John from 140ish.  We have Irenaeus around 190 trying to sort it all out, so that gives us about 80 years to get all these texts in writing, get them translated, circulate them, and argue about them.  While we have Paul before all of that, we don't have him in any kind of circulation even 100 years after he wrote them. I don't think we'll ever have a coherent chronology of who had which texts when unless or until some decent archaeology surfaces.  The best we can say is Thomas _as a written work_ is somewhere in this 110-190 CE textual frenzy.

      Jordan
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