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Re: [GTh] Achamoth and Sophia

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  • sarban
    ... From: Tom Saunders To: Sent: Monday, December 01, 2003 6:17 PM Subject: [GTh] Achamoth and Sophia ... or
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 2, 2003
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Tom Saunders" <tom@...>
      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, December 01, 2003 6:17 PM
      Subject: [GTh] Achamoth and Sophia


      > Andrew states:
      >
      > "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."
      >
      > The pleroma is getting to be 'like a box of chocolates, as you never know
      what you might get.' I found a reference to both Achamoth and Sophia in the
      first "Apocalypse of James."
      >
      > " But I shall call upon the imperishable knowledge, which is Sophia who is
      in the father and who is the mother of Achamoth." ( See page 266 of
      Robinson's "Nag Hammadi")
      >
      > Does this explain or complicate the explanations of Iranaeus and
      Valentinus?
      >
      Thanks for the reference. The interesting point is that I can't see any
      signs of Valentinian influence in the First Apocalypse of James which
      seems to mean that Valentinus et al didn't invent the idea of higher and
      lower Sophias. It would seem that either Valentinus himself or later
      Valentinians borrowed the idea from other Gnostics.

      Andrew Criddle
    • Tom Saunders
      Hi Andrew, Don t forget that Ballisides and Valentinus were closely related and both worked with one another. We know that Ballisides is alleged to have
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 3, 2003
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        Hi Andrew,

        Don't forget that Ballisides and Valentinus were closely related and both worked with one another. We know that Ballisides is alleged to have written an explanatory Gospel which no longer exists. It could be that where the "Apochraphon of James" comes from sects we know little about. We see more than one secular influence in the Nag Hammadi. This may be why we can have conflicting views of not only the pleroma, but the kenona.

        I would like to thank Frank for his fine post. Should we take on the rest of the parables? Its OK for some of you to jump right in and take a 'wack.' But the thought of killing off Q conjures the vision of Dr. Crosson standing there with a tear in his eye, watching the Q fly off to the abyss with flapping angle wings.

        Tom Saunders
        Platter, OK



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Michael Grondin
        ... Sorry to rain on your parade, Tom, but I don t think Q is in much danger from what s been presented here so far. The intertextual analysis of the parables
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 3, 2003
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          > ... the thought of killing off Q conjures the vision of Dr. Crosson
          > standing there with a tear in his eye, watching the Q fly off to the
          > abyss with flapping angle wings.

          Sorry to rain on your parade, Tom, but I don't think Q is in much danger
          from what's been presented here so far. The intertextual analysis of the
          parables that gives rise to your vision is pretty much non-probative,
          because it doesn't necessarily show that the scenario it envisions is
          significantly more likely than other plausible scenarios. Suppose, for
          example, that (1) a certain parable in text T1 contains elements E1 and E2,
          and that (2) the parallel in text T2 contains elements E1 and E3, and that
          (3) the parallel in text T3 contains elements E2 and E3. Sure, the author of
          T3 might have had T1 and T2 in front of him, choosing E2 from T1 and E3 from
          T2. But equally likely, the author of T2 might have had T1 and T3 in front
          of him, choosing E1 from T1 and E3 from T3. Or - the author of T1 might have
          had T2 and T3 in front of him, choosing E1 from T2 and E2 from T3. If one
          concentrates on just one of the three hypotheses, of course it will appear
          that the evidence nicely fits that particular hypothesis, but such a
          selective focus obscures the fact that the evidence is equally consistent
          with all three hypotheses.

          With respect to textual elements shared by Thomas and only one of the
          synopticists, all that we can generally conclude is that one of them got if
          from the other. It would be nice if there were a slam-bang argument showing
          who got it from whom, but the fact that there's been fifty years of
          inconclusive debates on this very issue indicates that merely showing that
          it's _possible_ that Thomas preceded Luke & Matt won't cause late-daters to
          lose any sleep. Still, the approach of combining Lukan dependence on Matt
          with the dependence of both on GTh should be tried, if it hasn't been
          already.

          Mike Grondin
          Mt. Clemens, MI
        • Tom Saunders
          Hi Mike, No doubt you are correct in that we cannot deny the existence of Q based upon just the parables and even then I do not think we can do it. I was
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 4, 2003
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            Hi Mike,

            No doubt you are correct in that we cannot deny the existence of 'Q' based upon just the parables and even then I do not think we can do it. I was trying to be amusing with the flying 'Q.' There is an underlying lesson to be learned from parables that we may have missed, and that is one of perspective.

            It appears that the synoptic parables have all been redacted and changed. This has altered an inherent quality to them, one of mystery. So far redactions have served to give an explanation to what would be unexplaned in the Thomas parables. This has altered the way the parables would be viewed, when the actual point of the parables may be to encourage certain visions and points of view from the stories. I believe this is the original intended utility of the parables.

            The characters of the parables are all in the catagory of 'agnosia,' the state of not having insight or gnosis. We can even align some of them with known descriptions of agnosia. The merchant with the pearl has the quality of prudence, (pronesis), a quality (arete) held in high esteem, like pistis, faith. However he has not reached beyond the level of psychic, unless the pearl becomes the treasure of the pleroma, as opposed to an earthly treasure. Then the pearl represents Sophia or gnosis.

            Pronesis represents an inner personal quality, the value of the pearl lies in two states, the kenona or earthly state, and the pleroma, the heavenly quality. Through praxis the initiate can develop epinoia or insight with the higher connections of the spirit and reach beyond synesis (earthly wisdom) in the corporeal world. Through some sort of catachise or meditation the initiate learns to view and change (metanoia) what he views in terms of both heaven and earth.

            The woman with the broken jar who loses all her grain represents the agnoi, one who does not pay attention to her possessions. The contents of her jar (her storehouse) represents the wisdom she will not have. She remains a saklas with no control over her 'hiemarene,' destiny. Another minion of darkness is the owner of the vineyard. He represents the apanoia, or unreason or misuse of thought and cannot put things together. The result is chaos in the kenona (earthly state) and is worse than the agnoi.

            The parable of the 'man and his storehouse' is a very straightforward parable. Prepare for the metanoia while you are on earth, because afterwards is too late, Grow like the mustard seed and the leavend bread.

            We are to learn from the parables the perspective of the psychic, inner self, the kenona or corporeal world, and the pleromic view, in developing our vision and undergoing apolutrosis, (secret redemption).

            Tom Saunders
            Platter, OK














            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • sarban
            ... From: Tom Saunders To: Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2003 10:23 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Achamoth and Sophia
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 6, 2003
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Tom Saunders" <tom@...>
              To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2003 10:23 PM
              Subject: Re: [GTh] Achamoth and Sophia


              > Hi Andrew,
              >
              > Don't forget that Ballisides and Valentinus were closely related and both
              worked with one another. We know that Ballisides is alleged to have written
              an explanatory Gospel which no longer exists. It could be that where the
              "Apochraphon of James" comes from sects we know little about. We see more
              than one secular influence in the Nag Hammadi. This may be why we can have
              conflicting views of not only the pleroma, but the kenona.
              >
              There is a very interesting example of Pistis Sophia (faith wisdom) falling
              from heaven repenting and being restored in the late Gnostic text
              'Pistis Sophia'

              Andrew Criddle
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