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Re: [GTh] 99 Sheep

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  • sarban
    ... From: David C. Hindley To: Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2003 2:29 AM Subject: RE: [GTh] 99 Sheep ...
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 30, 2003
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "David C. Hindley" <dhindley@...>
      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2003 2:29 AM
      Subject: RE: [GTh] 99 Sheep


      > Andrew Criddle says:
      >
      > >>In Gnostic speculation Sophia is an originally heavenly being who has
      > become partly entangled in the material world. Achamoth (from the Hebrew
      > equivalent of Sophia or Wisdom Chokmah), refers to Sophia in her lower or
      > fallen form<<
      >
      > This does not appear to be an entirely accurate statement. She was not
      > "entangled" in the material world but actually produced it! Dang if I
      don't
      > have a table of the valentinian system that I teased out of Irenaeus'
      > _Against Heresies_, but I can't find it. I also have a book with a
      slightly
      > different table culled from a variety of sources (Irenaeus may not be the
      > most objective or accurate source for these details anyhow), but that is
      > being elusive as well. However, I did find a web page that claims to give
      > the Valentinian story of Sophia:
      >
      > A formless entity emanated from the Aeon Sophia on account of her
      unnatural
      > desire to know the entity called the Fore-Father (the name for the first
      > created pair of Mind-Truth, which cannot be known by the later Aeon
      > emanations), almost like the product of an unnatural reasoning process.
      She
      > was ultimately saved from her horrible error in reasoning by the Aeon pair
      > Christ-Holy Spirit, which had been specially created by the other Aeons to
      > save the pleroma from catastrophe. If I understand the web page correctly,
      > the Aeon Christ shaped the formless entity emanated by the Aeon Sophia
      into
      > the form of an aeon, but one that existed outside of the pleroma. It was
      > THIS lower level aeon that was called Achamoth (based on the Hebrew word
      for
      > wisdom), and it was Achamoth who created the demiurge to rule over the
      > material realm.
      > http://www.kheper.net/topics/Gnosticism/fall.html (the author of which
      seems
      > to compress some of the story elements and sometimes uses his own words to
      > describe the process, not the technical terms used in the texts)
      >
      The short answer is: You are correct and I was wrong

      The long answer is: The developed versions of Valentinianism clearly teach
      two separate beings the higher Wisdom and the lower (fallen) Wisdom. In
      the system of Ptolemaeus (described by Irenaeus) the higher wisdom is called
      Sophia and the lower Achamoth. In the Gospel of Philip the higher wisdom is
      Echamoth and the lower (from a Hebrew pun) Echmoth. Our limited knowledge
      of the original teaching of Valentinus makes it unclear whether he
      recognised two wisdoms and some interpret the teaching of Theodotus the
      Valentinian as preserved by Clement of Alexandria in terms of one wisdom or
      Sophia with unfallen and fallen aspects.
      It maybe then that the docrine of two separate wisdoms definitely found in
      developed Valentinianism is an elaboration of an original single Sophia who
      starts off unfallen and becomes entangled in the material world.

      Andrew Criddle
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