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[gthomas] Re: Pachomius the Enochian?

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  • Eric Dorsett
    Enochians are Extremely differant from gnostics. Although many of the Church Father fall into this catagory. The only real difference the Enochians and the
    Message 1 of 11 , Apr 1, 1999
      Enochians are Extremely differant from gnostics. Although many of the
      "Church Father" fall into this catagory. The only real difference the
      Enochians and the "mainstream" christians, is the Enochians emphesis an the
      angels. Particularly the Fallen. It is unclear what happened to the
      movement, it seems to have vanished after the sixth century for no expressed
      reason. Later in the Fifteen hundreds the movement appeared again. It is
      still around to this day.

      Peace in the light,
      Rev. Dr. Eric Dorsett


      =======================================================
      "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
      deserve neither liberty nor safety."

      - Benjamin Franklin. 1706-1790.Historical Review of Pennsylvania

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Mike Grondin <mgrondin@...>
      To: Eric Dorsett <ERIC@...>
      Sent: Friday, April 02, 1999 12:30 AM
      Subject: Re: [gthomas] Pachomius the Enochian?


      > At 02:45 PM 04/01/99 -0500, you wrote:
      > >Actually, a more likely explanation for this is that Pachomius was, like
      > >most of the early church, familiar with the Books of Enoch. Many of the
      > >Leaders of the Early Church considered the Books of Enoch to be inspired
      > >Scripture. They also portay Enoch as a messianic figure, which would
      have
      > >also kept him more in the mind.
      >
      > I was hoping for something like this, which is why I chose the title I
      did.
      > But why not post to the list? If you don't want to, can I quote you? (I'd
      > really like to know whether "Enochians" were closer to gnostic or centrist
      > Xians.)
      >
      > Regards,
      > Mike



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    • Mike Grondin
      ... I don t buy it, rev. Doesn t seem to me that this is a more likely explanation of Theodore s mentioning Enoch but not Elijah. Problem is that your
      Message 2 of 11 , Apr 2, 1999
        At 01:09 AM 04/02/99 -0500, Eric Dorsett wrote:
        > Actually, a more likely explanation for this is that Pachomius was, like
        > most of the early church, familiar with the Books of Enoch. Many of the
        > Leaders of the Early Church considered the Books of Enoch to be inspired
        > Scripture. They also portay Enoch as a messianic figure, which would have
        > also kept him more in the mind.

        I don't buy it, rev. Doesn't seem to me that this is a "more likely
        explanation" of Theodore's mentioning Enoch but not Elijah. Problem is that
        your hypothesis explains both too much, and too little:

        1. Explains too much: It isn't necessary to assume that Pachomius and
        Theodore were familiar with the Books of Enoch, because the reference to
        Enoch in the Pentateuch is sufficient in itself to explain Theodore's
        answer, without any familiarity with the Books of Enoch:

        Gen 5.21-24: When Enoch was sixty-five years old, he became the father of
        Methuselah. ENOCH WALKED WITH GOD. After the birth of Methuselah, he lived
        for three hundred years, and became the father of sons and daughters. In
        all, Enoch lived for three hundred and sixty-five years. ENOCH WALKED WITH
        GOD. THEN HE VANISHED, BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM.
        (trans from the Jerusalem Bible)

        I've capitalized the portions of this passage that would have stuck out in
        the minds of the readers. No other patriarch is described in such terms,
        not even Adam's son Seth, or Seth's son Enosh, who is said to have been the
        first to invoke the name of Yahweh. Anyone familiar with the Pentateuch -
        and with the Pentateuch alone - would have answered as Theodore did: the
        person who was born but didn't die was Enoch.

        2. Explains too little: The real question, of course, is why Theodore
        didn't mention Elijah. As I take it, what you're saying is that anyone
        familiar with the Books of Enoch would have been so impressed by them, that
        he might simply have overlooked Elijah. This doesn't strike me as being at
        all likely. The folks of the time were more up on their religious readings
        than that. Even in the unlikely event that Theodore had overlooked Elijah,
        surely the "philosopher" who formulated the question would not have.

        No, I still think the most probable explanation of the absence of a mention
        of Elijah is that all three of "the philosopher's" questions were based
        solely on the Pentateuch. But that gets back to my earlier question: why
        are post-Pentateuch writings ignored in the little interchange between
        Theodore and "the philosopher"? One possibility I raised earlier is that
        the Egyptian Christians of Pachomius' circle (as opposed, perhaps, by the
        centrists in Alexandria) didn't accept these later writings. Post-Pentatech
        is, after all, post-Moses. Perhaps the Egyptian Christian monks of the
        Upper Nile accepted only the works ascribed (incorrectly, of course) to the
        Egyptian Moses. Other writings, being centered in Judea, may have been
        considered irrelevant to their religious beliefs. (I present this simply as
        a hypothesis - citations to the contrary are invited.)

        Mike


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        http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068/sayings.htm

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      • Paul Miller
        Mike wrote: Enoch? Why not Elijah? (Or Enoch AND Elijah.) It s hard to see any plausible explanation for this omission other than that Pachomius and his
        Message 3 of 11 , Apr 2, 1999
          Mike wrote:
          Enoch? Why not Elijah? (Or Enoch AND Elijah.) It's hard to see any plausible
          explanation for this omission other than that Pachomius and his cohorts were
          familiar with (or accepted) just the Pentateuch, not the entire
          Tanakh. -------------------------

          The flow of the riddle would be disturbed if he gave more than one answer
          per question.

          'Who was not born but died? = answer
          Who was born but did not die? = answer
          Who died with no stench of decomposition? = answer

          If Elijah had been added:

          Question = answer
          Question = answer answer
          Question = answer

          When Oedipus answered the Sphinx's riddle he didn't list all possible
          answers, just one that answered, so Sophocles could maintain literary
          integrity.

          Enoch? Why not Elijah? Elijah? Why not Enoch? It's really impossible to
          infer anything from this.

          Paul Miller


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        • Mike Grondin
          ... Yeah, but it s so much fun to try! And it has been a slow week ... Seriously, though, there is this historical question of whether the folks who gave us
          Message 4 of 11 , Apr 3, 1999
            At 05:11 PM 04/02/99 -0600, Paul Miller wrote:
            >Enoch? Why not Elijah? Elijah? Why not Enoch? It's really impossible to
            >infer anything from this.

            Yeah, but it's so much fun to try! And it has been a slow week ...

            Seriously, though, there is this historical question of whether the folks
            who gave us the NH "library" inhabited the Pachomian monasteries or not. I
            think that they did, but if they did, the question arises as to their
            relationship with other monks who also inhabited these monasteries. Were
            the other monks aware of the unorthodox beliefs of their fellows or not?
            Putting it the other way round, did the gnostic monks have to hide their
            beliefs from their fellow monks, or were they known and tolerated from the
            outset? The latter would seem to be plausible only if Pachomius, the
            founder of the monasteries, harbored some unorthodox views of his own. So
            you can see that any little piece of evidence that might be relevant to
            Pachomius's views is certainly of historical interest with respect to the
            provenance of the Coptic GThom. Nevertheless, I'm willing to take your
            advice and stop trying to wring something significant out of this little
            vignette from "The Life of St. Pachomius". It's served its purpose - which
            was to draw attention to the historical questions mentioned above.

            With respect to Elijah, I have to keep reminding myself (and perhaps
            others) that he wasn't just another prophet - he was THE prophet par
            excellence. Among other things, he was a symbol of the long struggle
            between Yahwists and Baalists in Jewish history, demonstrated by his
            reported actions against the queen Jezebel. He had a "school", which was no
            doubt responsible for the fantastic story of his life. It's no accident
            that he was chosen to be with Moses and Jesus at the transfiguration scene.
            To this day, it's the Jewish belief that he must return before the Messiah
            can arrive. A place at the table is reserved for him. Christians, of
            course, took John the Baptist to be the returning Elijah, and, so it seems
            likely that the thinking among Christians was that Elijah (in the person of
            J-the-B) had indeed (finally) died. This would be one plausible explanation
            (in addition to yours) of why he wasn't mentioned in Theodore's answer to
            "the philosopher's" second question. (Indeed, the second question might be
            considered a test of Christian belief - if one answered that Elijah hadn't
            died, it might be taken as a sign of lack of belief that J was the Messiah!)

            Mike
            ------------------------------------
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            http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068/sayings.htm

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          • Mike Grondin
            ... Thanks, Sam. This is really a first-rate argument against the initial inferences I attempted to draw from Theodore s answer to the philosopher s riddle.
            Message 5 of 11 , Apr 4, 1999
              At 01:30 AM 04/05/99 -0500, Sam Thrope wrote:
              >If St. Pachomius and his followers were Christians (as I believed they were),
              >would not acceptance of the entire TN''Ch be a prerequisite to the
              >acceptance of Jesus' preaching? Even if the NT had not been canonized by
              >350-400 (the date I believe you cited in your email), with its many
              >references to both prophets and writings, it was my impression that the
              >message of Jesus' death as fulfilling prophetic vision was a central part of
              >Christian doctrine.

              Thanks, Sam. This is really a first-rate argument against the initial
              inferences I attempted to draw from Theodore's answer to the philosopher's
              riddle. Sorry I didn't think of it myself. How glad I am that I gave up on
              that line of thought in my response to Paul Miller!

              (BTW, this is the first time I've seen <TN''Ch> for 'Tanakh'. I assume this
              is a Hebraic representation. This may be a stupid question, since I'm not
              familiar with Hebrew, but shouldn't it be <T'N'Ch>?)

              Mike
              ------------------------------------
              The Coptic GThomas, saying-by-saying
              http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068/sayings.htm

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            • Sam Thrope
              -- [ From: Sam Thrope * EMC.Ver #3.1a ] -- Mike- If St. Pachomius and his followers were Christians (as I believed they were ), would not acceptance of the
              Message 6 of 11 , Apr 4, 1999
                -- [ From: Sam Thrope * EMC.Ver #3.1a ] --

                Mike-
                If St. Pachomius and his followers were Christians (as I believed they were
                ), would not acceptance of the entire TN''Ch be a prerequisite to the
                acceptance of Jesus' preaching? Even if the NT had not been canonized by
                350-400 (the date I believe you cited in your email), with its many
                references to both prophets and writings, it was my impression that the
                message of Jesus' death as fulfilling prophetic vision was a central part of
                Christian doctrine. Perhaps there is something in the word Enochian of the
                title that I do not grasp the meaning of, and I am unable to come up with a
                better explanation of the reference.
                Samuel Thrope

                Having Nothing Leads to Profit
                Not Having Leads to Use
                Wu chic i wei yung

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              • Eric Dorsett
                ... that ... It is not a mere assumption that they were familiar with the Book of Enoch. The Book was used almost continually until 625 AD, and was still
                Message 7 of 11 , Apr 9, 1999
                  > I don't buy it, rev. Doesn't seem to me that this is a "more likely
                  > explanation" of Theodore's mentioning Enoch but not Elijah. Problem is
                  that
                  > your hypothesis explains both too much, and too little:
                  >
                  > 1. Explains too much: It isn't necessary to assume that Pachomius and
                  > Theodore were familiar with the Books of Enoch, because the reference to
                  > Enoch in the Pentateuch is sufficient in itself to explain Theodore's
                  > answer, without any familiarity with the Books of Enoch:

                  It is not a mere assumption that they were familiar with the Book of Enoch.
                  The Book was used almost continually until 625 AD, and was still alluded to
                  until the eleventh century AD. It would be a greater assumption to say that
                  they were not familliar with the works than to say they were.

                  > I've capitalized the portions of this passage that would have stuck out in
                  > the minds of the readers. No other patriarch is described in such terms,
                  > not even Adam's son Seth, or Seth's son Enosh, who is said to have been
                  the
                  > first to invoke the name of Yahweh. Anyone familiar with the Pentateuch -
                  > and with the Pentateuch alone - would have answered as Theodore did: the
                  > person who was born but didn't die was Enoch.

                  Is it not a great assumption that they had no exposure to the other books of
                  the Tanakh?

                  > 2. Explains too little: The real question, of course, is why Theodore
                  > didn't mention Elijah. As I take it, what you're saying is that anyone
                  > familiar with the Books of Enoch would have been so impressed by them,
                  that
                  > he might simply have overlooked Elijah. This doesn't strike me as being at
                  > all likely. The folks of the time were more up on their religious readings
                  > than that. Even in the unlikely event that Theodore had overlooked Elijah,
                  > surely the "philosopher" who formulated the question would not have.

                  I did not mean to imply that Elijah was over looked. It was a deeply held
                  belief that Elijah had died in the person of John the Baptist. So, frankly,
                  for a member of the church to say that Elijah did not die would not have
                  been accurate.

                  Peace in the light,
                  Eric Dorsett


                  =======================================================
                  "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
                  deserve neither liberty nor safety."

                  - Benjamin Franklin. 1706-1790.Historical Review of Pennsylvania




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                • Eric Dorsett
                  ... First of all I hope that you read the ethiopian version of the Book of Enoch, it is, in my opinion the most reliable. Actually, todays interest in Angels
                  Message 8 of 11 , Apr 9, 1999
                    > Would you say the heightened interest in angels today is a reflection of
                    > Enochian influence or are you speaking of another group? I downloaded and
                    > read 1 Enoch some time ago. Fascinating in parts, long and boring (most
                    > likely due to my ignorance) in other parts.

                    First of all I hope that you read the ethiopian version of the Book of
                    Enoch, it is, in my opinion the most reliable.

                    Actually, todays interest in Angels is partially as a result of the triving
                    Enochian Movement that is alive and doing well to this day.

                    Unfortunately, the majority of the people in the enochian movement today are
                    lost and miss guided.

                    Peace in the light,
                    Eric Dorsett


                    =======================================================
                    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
                    deserve neither liberty nor safety."

                    - Benjamin Franklin. 1706-1790.Historical Review of Pennsylvania



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                  • Eric Dorsett
                    ... There has been a long tradition of a second Christian Church that co-existed along side the orthodox church. This second church was not implicently
                    Message 9 of 11 , Apr 9, 1999
                      > Seriously, though, there is this historical question of whether the folks
                      > who gave us the NH "library" inhabited the Pachomian monasteries or not. I
                      > think that they did, but if they did, the question arises as to their
                      > relationship with other monks who also inhabited these monasteries. Were
                      > the other monks aware of the unorthodox beliefs of their fellows or not?

                      There has been a long tradition of a second Christian Church that co-existed
                      along side the orthodox church. This second church was not implicently
                      heterodoxical, but was atleast more investigative in nature. I believe,
                      from my own research on this subject, that the other monastraries were
                      probably aware of the beliefs of this group of people and more than likely
                      they were not shocked.

                      > Putting it the other way round, did the gnostic monks have to hide their
                      > beliefs from their fellow monks, or were they known and tolerated from the
                      > outset?

                      I think a better question is, Were the Nag Hamedi papers truly from a
                      gnostic school. The Gospel of Thomas itself was considered Heterodoxical,
                      but so was the Gospel of John, and the Book of Hebrews. Although many of
                      the documents have a gnostic origin, the works of Paul were also widely used
                      by the gnostics. With the diversity of texts that exist in the collection,
                      It might have been a school that was investigating the liturature of the
                      day.

                      Peace in the light,
                      Eric Dorsett


                      =======================================================
                      "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
                      deserve neither liberty nor safety."

                      - Benjamin Franklin. 1706-1790.Historical Review of Pennsylvania



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