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[GTh] Beyond Belief ...

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  • pessy@chez.com
    ... Jay Raskin showed recently that Irenaios is just a mouthpiece of Tertullian, who forged the New Testament. Joseph Turmel figured that John s is of
    Message 1 of 14 , Jun 6, 2003
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      Maurice Cormier writes:
      >
      > The first of these is that she relies on a suggestion by Irenaeus

      Jay Raskin showed recently that Irenaios is just a mouthpiece
      of Tertullian, who forged the New Testament.
      Joseph Turmel figured that John's is of docetic/dualist origin
      and got later catholisised, the editors claiming it to be
      written against the dualist/docetic heresies.
      Thus it had been forged in order to fight its original authors.


      Klaus Schilling
    • David C. Hindley
      ... Tertullian, who forged the New Testament. Joseph Turmel figured that John s is of docetic/dualist origin and got later catholisised, the editors claiming
      Message 2 of 14 , Jun 6, 2003
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        Klaus Schilling says:

        >>Jay Raskin showed recently that Irenaios is just a mouthpiece of
        Tertullian, who forged the New Testament. Joseph Turmel figured that John's
        is of docetic/dualist origin and got later catholisised, the editors
        claiming it to be written against the dualist/docetic heresies. Thus it had
        been forged in order to fight its original authors.<<

        If the Greek-writing Irenaeus is a pen name for the Latin-writing
        Tertullian, why does Irenaeus love the Shepherd of Hermas and Tertullian
        hate it?

        With all due respects to Jay at the JesusMysteries Yahoolist, I think he is
        waaay out on a limb with this equation.

        Respectfully,

        Dave Hindley
        Cleveland, Ohio, USA
      • BitsyCat1@aol.com
        In a message dated 06/06/2003 2:03:03AM, pessy@chez.com writes:
        Message 3 of 14 , Jun 6, 2003
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          In a message dated 06/06/2003 2:03:03AM, pessy@... writes:

          << Pessy writes

          Jay Raskin showed recently that Irenaios is just a mouthpiece
          of Tertullian, who forged the New Testament.
          Joseph Turmel figured that John's is of docetic/dualist origin
          and got later catholisised, the editors claiming it to be
          written against the dualist/docetic heresies.
          Thus it had been forged in order to fight its original authors.

          >>

          John replies

          I believe this does fall into the category of the subject of the e mail
          "Beyond Belief"
          IM not sure many people like Tertulian, but you give him too much credit.

          John appears to be contra Thomas in some sections..Especially the Choice
          of Thomas to say "My Lord and My God" A Verification of the Incarnation which
          presumably the Thomasines did not accept.

          This would not be a problem for Tertulian but would be for 1st Century
          and early 2nd Century Believers in The Incarnation of Yeshua Bar Yosef.
          In searching I can find nothing written specifically against Thomasines.
          By that time there were other problems many current problems.

          Regards John Moon
          2401 Crescent
          Springfield, Tenn. 37172
        • sarban
          ... From: Maurice Cormier To: Sent: Friday, June 06, 2003 5:08 AM Subject: [GTh] Beyond Belief ... ... It is
          Message 4 of 14 , Jun 6, 2003
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Maurice Cormier" <cobby@...>
            To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Friday, June 06, 2003 5:08 AM
            Subject: [GTh] Beyond Belief ...


            > I am not sure how many list members have read Elaine Pagels newest book,
            > "Beyond Belief", but I would have expected that a bit of discussion
            > might have surfacced on this list by now about some of her findings
            > therein, particularly as regards to the Gospel of Thomas.
            >
            > To those who have not yet read it, Beyond Belief contains a lot of very
            > valuable insight into early Church history and its reaction and posture
            > with respect to the Nag Hammadi corpus of texts (particularly the Gospel
            > of Thomas) and its underlying doctrine(s), which was/were reasonably
            > widespread (seemingly) up to the time of Irenaeus (and other early
            > Church Fathers ... certainly including that of Athanasius in the 4th
            > century) and leading up to the Nicene Council under Constantine in 325
            > CE.
            >
            > One of the author's foremost conclusions (surprisingly so, by my humble
            > grasp of reality at least) is that the Gospel of John (which promotes
            > the idea that Jesus is God in human form) would have been written so as
            > to specifically counter the Gospel of Thomas wherein the suggestion is
            > postured that oneness with God, or at least the full discovery of Him,
            > is possible not only for Jesus, but indeed for everyone who seeks to
            > know Him ... given that indeed He is "knowable" by all given that we are
            > all "created in His image".
            >
            >
            > Maurice Cormier
            >
            >
            It is interesting the very wide divergence among scholars as to the date and
            provenance
            of Thomas. Perrin recently published a book arguing that Thomas is dependent
            on the
            Diatessaron, which puts it about a century after the date Pagels is arguing
            for.
            Perrin probably overstates his case but even if Thomas is not dependent on
            the
            Diatessaron as such there is a strong case that they both shared the same
            sources in the
            Synoptic gospels. Does Pagels discuss the relation of Thomas to the Syriac
            gospel tradition?

            Andrew Criddle
          • pessy@chez.com
            ... I also sense Tatian s school behind Thomas. Klaus Schilling
            Message 5 of 14 , Jun 7, 2003
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              sarban writes:
              > It is interesting the very wide divergence among scholars as to the date and
              > provenance of Thomas. Perrin recently published a book arguing that Thomas
              > is dependent on the Diatessaron, which puts it about a century after the
              > date Pagels is arguing for.

              I also sense Tatian's school behind Thomas.

              Klaus Schilling
            • jmgcormier
              ... (snip, snip ....) ... date and ... dependent ... arguing ... ... Maurice I am not sure (I would have to reread the text) that the author is arguing for
              Message 6 of 14 , Jun 7, 2003
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                --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "sarban" <sarban@s...> wrote:
                >
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: "Maurice Cormier" <cobby@n...>
                > To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                > Sent: Friday, June 06, 2003 5:08 AM
                > Subject: [GTh] Beyond Belief ...
                >
                >
                >Andrew Criddle wrote:

                (snip, snip ....)
                > >
                > >
                > It is interesting the very wide divergence among scholars as to the
                date and
                > provenance
                > of Thomas. Perrin recently published a book arguing that Thomas is
                dependent
                > on the
                > Diatessaron, which puts it about a century after the date Pagels is
                arguing
                > for.
                ---------------------------------------------------------------------

                ... Maurice

                I am not sure (I would have to reread the text) that the author is
                arguing "for" any particular or specific date in her book ... although
                I believe she is generally moreso of an "early" dater than a "late"
                dater. The point here, however, is that in order for the Gospel of
                John to have been written explicitely to counter the Gospel of Thomas,
                would mean that the GoT would obviously have to have been written
                before the Gospel of John (c. 100 or so C.E) How many years "before",
                however, is not speculated upon by Pagels as I recall.

                ---------------------------------------------------------------------

                > Perrin probably overstates his case but even if Thomas is not
                dependent on
                > the
                > Diatessaron as such there is a strong case that they both shared the
                same
                > sources in the
                > Synoptic gospels. Does Pagels discuss the relation of Thomas to the
                Syriac
                > gospel tradition?
                >
                > Andrew Criddle

                ----------------------------------------------------------------------

                Maurice

                Your sense of Perrin overstating his case seems sound to me as
                well ... as I recall (and while opinions most certainly vary), the
                Diatessaron seems to "log in" at appx. 175 C.E. That sounds a little
                late for people to be asking (Thomas #53) if "circumcision is
                necessary" (remember ... this question was settled by Paul & Barsabbas
                in or around 49 C.E.) However, you could certainly convince me that
                both (Thomas and the Diatessaron) use common building blocks in their
                Gospels.

                On your question as to if "Pagels discusses the relation of Thomas to
                the Syriac", I dont recall that she does in amy significant way.

                You have a hunch, perhaps, that this could lead to something
                significantly new ???

                I guess what strikes me in this whole John vs Thomas aregument is that
                Pagels largely rests her case on Irenaeus' "say-so". To me, this is
                quite a "stretch" based on his track record of objectivity and
                impartiality as regards testimony in general. I could much more
                readily accept, for example, that the Gospel of John was perhaps
                written to introduce the idea (given that followers of Jesus may have
                been concerned at His failure to "return" by the end of the first
                century as promised) that He had really meant to return/resurrect "in
                the spirit" as opposed to "in the flesh", and that the Gospel of John
                was somewhat "spun" accordingly .... but to posture that John was
                written to counter Thomas seems a bit much. Indeed, not to go so far
                (in time, that is) as Perrin, it may well even be that John was
                written long before Thomas .... no ?

                Maurice Cormier
              • Michael Grondin
                ... Barsabbas? Well, at any rate, the range of meanings of the Greek loan-word ophelei used in Th53 doesn t seem to have included necessary . Typically, it
                Message 7 of 14 , Jun 7, 2003
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                  Maurice:

                  > ... as I recall (and while opinions most certainly vary), the
                  > Diatessaron seems to "log in" at appx. 175 C.E. That sounds a little
                  > late for people to be asking (Thomas #53) if "circumcision is
                  > necessary" (remember ... this question was settled by Paul & Barsabbas
                  > in or around 49 C.E.)

                  Barsabbas? Well, at any rate, the range of meanings of the Greek loan-word
                  'ophelei' used in Th53 doesn't seem to have included 'necessary'. Typically,
                  it meant 'advantageous', 'beneficial', 'profitable', etc. - something beyond
                  necessity. Even after Paul, a Christian audience might still have been
                  asking, "OK, circumcision isn't necessary, but isn't it (at least)
                  advantageous?" Or: "We know it isn't necessary to be Jewish, but isn't it
                  helpful?" This continuing question might be taken to favor post-Paul dating,
                  though I'm myself agnostic on the dating issue.

                  > ... to posture that John was
                  > written to counter Thomas seems a bit much. Indeed, not to go
                  > so far (in time, that is) as Perrin, it may well even be that John was
                  > written long before Thomas .... no ?

                  I don't know about the entirety of the original version of John, but chapter
                  21 is widely accepted as a later interpolation, and the part about Thomas in
                  chapter 20 strikes me as a bit suspicious as well. It seems to have been
                  written to counter a specific set of beliefs about the "resurrection", and
                  Thomas was chosen as representative of those beliefs, which must mean
                  something. Could the "doubting Thomas" material have been added at the same
                  time as chapter 21? There doesn't seem to be much, if any, anti-Thomas stuff
                  elsewhere in John, however, so I'd agree with you that the general
                  conclusion about the whole of John having been written to counter Thomas is
                  "a bit much". (This said having not yet read Pagels' new book.)

                  Mike
                  The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
                  http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
                • pessy@chez.com
                  ... Following G.A. Van den Bergh van Eysinga , i see it coming from semi-gnostic circels in the second quarter of the second century, and gradually catholised
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jun 8, 2003
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                    Michael Grondin writes:
                    > I don't know about the entirety of the original version of John,

                    Following G.A. Van den Bergh van Eysinga ,
                    i see it coming from semi-gnostic circels in the second quarter
                    of the second century, and gradually catholised in the second half.

                    Klaus Schilling
                  • odell mcguire
                    Dear Mike, list I read Beyond Belief a month ago, after it first came out, and don t have time right now to revisit. But I have the distinct impression that
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jun 8, 2003
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                      Dear Mike, list

                      I read Beyond Belief a month ago, after it first came out, and don't have
                      time right now to revisit. But I have the distinct impression that she
                      placed the writing of both gospels in the 90s, GThom being the earlier, in
                      the vicinity of Syria, if not explicitly, then easily inferred. She shows
                      little or no interest in the the thesis, accepted by most, that both are
                      compilations rflecting the incorporation of both earlier sources and later
                      additions. Actually the calender time is unimportant to her; only the
                      sequence and place of writing.


                      Her main point is that author 4G was a salesman for the LOGOS solution to
                      the "Who WAS Jesus, anyway?" probem. As a salesman, he had competitors,
                      active in the same neighborhood, and part of his pitch was a diminution,
                      denigration of THEIR products--so modern readers can best judge who that
                      competiton was by who it was that author 4G was most interested in
                      diminishing.
                      In 4G, to be specific: The Baptist, was a Witness to The Light, nothing
                      more; The Magdalen, tho first to enter the tomb, mistook Jesus for the
                      gardener; Peter was outrun by the BD (John, no real ? about it here) to the
                      tomb; Thomas was out of town, was the absolute LAST of the original Apostles
                      to see the risen Jesus, and even then, didn't believe what he saw.
                      Obviously, the gnostics, Mary M. and Thomas, are LEAST qualified to answer
                      ?s about Jesus' identity and that places their cults, if not their written
                      expositions, among author 4G's existing competitors.

                      I think her case is convincing. You ought to read it Mike.

                      As far as Irenaeus is concerned, I think the most interesting thing about
                      him is that, according to Pagels, he wrote out of a conviction that he,
                      himself, could trace his apostolic succession directly through Polycarp, his
                      1st teacher, to John, the BD and author 4G, who in turn was Polycarp's 1st
                      teacher. Again, she has a good case. And in any case, the notion that such
                      a writer as Irenaeus could be a mere mouthpiece for the Latin Tertulian is
                      about as preposterous as any I've seen voiced on this list. And as you
                      know, from my own contributions if not otherwise, thats goin' some.

                      Odell McGuire
                      Lexington, VA




                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
                      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Saturday, June 07, 2003 11:42 PM
                      Subject: Re: [GTh] Beyond Belief ...


                      > Maurice:
                      >
                      > > ... as I recall (and while opinions most certainly vary), the
                      > > Diatessaron seems to "log in" at appx. 175 C.E. That sounds a little
                      > > late for people to be asking (Thomas #53) if "circumcision is
                      > > necessary" (remember ... this question was settled by Paul & Barsabbas
                      > > in or around 49 C.E.)
                      >
                      > Barsabbas? Well, at any rate, the range of meanings of the Greek loan-word
                      > 'ophelei' used in Th53 doesn't seem to have included 'necessary'.
                      Typically,
                      > it meant 'advantageous', 'beneficial', 'profitable', etc. - something
                      beyond
                      > necessity. Even after Paul, a Christian audience might still have been
                      > asking, "OK, circumcision isn't necessary, but isn't it (at least)
                      > advantageous?" Or: "We know it isn't necessary to be Jewish, but isn't it
                      > helpful?" This continuing question might be taken to favor post-Paul
                      dating,
                      > though I'm myself agnostic on the dating issue.
                      >
                      > > ... to posture that John was
                      > > written to counter Thomas seems a bit much. Indeed, not to go
                      > > so far (in time, that is) as Perrin, it may well even be that John was
                      > > written long before Thomas .... no ?
                      >
                      > I don't know about the entirety of the original version of John, but
                      chapter
                      > 21 is widely accepted as a later interpolation, and the part about Thomas
                      in
                      > chapter 20 strikes me as a bit suspicious as well. It seems to have been
                      > written to counter a specific set of beliefs about the "resurrection", and
                      > Thomas was chosen as representative of those beliefs, which must mean
                      > something. Could the "doubting Thomas" material have been added at the
                      same
                      > time as chapter 21? There doesn't seem to be much, if any, anti-Thomas stu
                      ff
                      > elsewhere in John, however, so I'd agree with you that the general
                      > conclusion about the whole of John having been written to counter Thomas
                      is
                      > "a bit much". (This said having not yet read Pagels' new book.)
                      >
                      > Mike
                      > The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
                      > http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --------------------------------------------------------------------
                      > Gospel of Thomas Homepage: http://home.epix.net/~miser17/Thomas.html
                      > To unsubscribe from this group,
                      > send a blank email to gthomas-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • sarban
                      ... From: Michael Grondin To: Sent: Sunday, June 08, 2003 4:42 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] Beyond Belief ... ...
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jun 8, 2003
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                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
                        To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Sunday, June 08, 2003 4:42 AM
                        Subject: Re: [GTh] Beyond Belief ...


                        > Maurice:
                        >
                        > > ... as I recall (and while opinions most certainly vary), the
                        > > Diatessaron seems to "log in" at appx. 175 C.E. That sounds a little
                        > > late for people to be asking (Thomas #53) if "circumcision is
                        > > necessary" (remember ... this question was settled by Paul & Barsabbas
                        > > in or around 49 C.E.)
                        >
                        > Barsabbas? Well, at any rate, the range of meanings of the Greek loan-word
                        > 'ophelei' used in Th53 doesn't seem to have included 'necessary'.
                        Typically,
                        > it meant 'advantageous', 'beneficial', 'profitable', etc. - something
                        beyond
                        > necessity. Even after Paul, a Christian audience might still have been
                        > asking, "OK, circumcision isn't necessary, but isn't it (at least)
                        > advantageous?" Or: "We know it isn't necessary to be Jewish, but isn't it
                        > helpful?" This continuing question might be taken to favor post-Paul
                        dating,
                        > though I'm myself agnostic on the dating isssue.

                        Doesn't the answer to the question about circumcision in Thomas suggest that
                        the point isn't just that circumcision is unprofitable to Christians but
                        that it was never
                        of any value as a physical rite?
                        This would be similar to the position of the "Epistle of Barnabas".

                        Andrew Criddle
                      • pessy@chez.com
                        ... That epistle even predates Christianity. Therapeutae or other diaspora Jewish mystery cults may have given up on the outer expressions of the law when the
                        Message 11 of 14 , Jun 8, 2003
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                          sarban writes:
                          > This would be similar to the position of the "Epistle of Barnabas".
                          >
                          That epistle even predates Christianity.
                          Therapeutae or other diaspora Jewish mystery cults may have given up on
                          the outer expressions of the law when the Romans oppressed those
                          after the temple fall, and even more the messianic wars of Lukuas
                          and Artunion,
                          and sticked the more to the inner values of the Thorah instead,
                          like some later Quietist Christian movements
                          e.g. the Beguines (13th century) or Miguel De Molinos (17th century).
                          Another important work of those circles is the Didache, or
                          Doctrina Apostolorum.
                          This has been developed in Edwin Johnson's book "Antiqua Mater".
                          The Didache knows some of Matthew's logia,
                          but in a varia lectio that represents a more judaist phase.
                          For example, the Golden Rule appears still in its passive formulation
                          the Talmud ascribed to Hillel (1 cent. BCE).

                          Klaus Schilling
                        • pessy@chez.com
                          ... that d be Barnabas. Barsabbas is the guy who drank lethal poison without being harmed. ... Following Couchoud La Premie`re E dition de St. Paul and Van
                          Message 12 of 14 , Jun 9, 2003
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                            jmgcormier writes:
                            > Your sense of Perrin overstating his case seems sound to me as
                            > well ... as I recall (and while opinions most certainly vary), the
                            > Diatessaron seems to "log in" at appx. 175 C.E. That sounds a little
                            > late for people to be asking (Thomas #53) if "circumcision is
                            > necessary"
                            > (remember ... this question was settled by Paul & Barsabbas
                            that'd be Barnabas.
                            Barsabbas is the guy who drank lethal poison without being harmed.
                            > in or around 49 C.E.)

                            Following Couchoud "La Premie`re E'dition de St. Paul"
                            and Van den Bergh van Eysinga "Marcion als Getuige voor een
                            voor-katoliek Christendom" I put Paul's epistles into the
                            second century, and posterior to the Marcionite versions
                            reported by Tertullian and Epiphanius.
                            Justin Martyr does not use the Paulinics where they should be used,
                            so this first chief ideologer of fledgling Catholic Christianity
                            does either not know about the canonical versions or not consider
                            them as authorative, even if (which I doubt severely)
                            they were extant before Irenaios and Tertullian wrote against Marcion.
                            In any case this shows that in Antonius Pius' times, they were not
                            accepted as guidelines throughout early Christianity.
                            This has been pointed out by E. Johnson in "Antiqua Mater".
                            Severians and Elkasaits also refused Paul as too hellenic.
                            Van den Bergh van Eysinga, using H. Raschke's "Werkstatt des
                            Markus-Evangelisten", showed also that the Marcionite Gospel
                            predates, or at least is more original than the canonical ones.
                            Turmel in "The Fourth Gospel" shows that John's contains much of
                            Marcionite stuff, thinly overpainted by Catholic redactors.
                            Justin Martyr even is ignorant about Evangelia as a literary genre,
                            and talks about Memorabilia Apostolorum, which contained much
                            of the material of the canonical Gospels.

                            Klaus Schilling
                          • kirby@earthlink.net
                            ... Jay Raskin has shown (according to him) that Justin Martyr is the mouthpiece of Tertullian as well. best, Peter Kirby
                            Message 13 of 14 , Jun 9, 2003
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                              On 9 Jun 2003, at 12:27, pessy@... wrote:

                              > Justin Martyr does not use the Paulinics where they should be used,
                              > so this first chief ideologer of fledgling Catholic Christianity
                              > does either not know about the canonical versions or not consider
                              > them as authorative, even if (which I doubt severely)
                              > they were extant before Irenaios and Tertullian wrote against Marcion.

                              Jay Raskin has shown (according to him) that Justin Martyr is the
                              mouthpiece of Tertullian as well.

                              best,
                              Peter Kirby
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