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[gthomas] Pachomius the Enochian?

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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 1 of 11 , Apr 2, 1999
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      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 2 of 11 , Apr 3, 1999
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        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
        ------------------------------------
        The Coptic GThomas, saying-by-saying
        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 3 of 11 , Apr 4, 1999
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          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 4 of 11 , Apr 4, 1999
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            -- [ 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 5 of 11 , Apr 9, 1999
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              > 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 6 of 11 , Apr 9, 1999
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                > 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 7 of 11 , Apr 9, 1999
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                  > 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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