- Hi Michael,
Thank you for sharing the articles. From the description of Thomasines:
Basic Tenets: Since creation, we have all shared in divinity. Jesus teaches us to rediscover it in us. Understanding that is more important than believing in his atoning sacrifice
Requirements: Thomasines were fascinated with the arcane and probably were ascetic and abstinent
Appeal: The sect offered rejection of hierarchy, greater freedom of personal expression, an openness to the role of women and a drastically decreased sense of guilt.
Thomas seems to be the central Gospel for the Gnostic communities and I am not sure the above holds true. For one I am sure that Thomasines did recognize hierarchy and recognized states or realm of 'hylic being' which are reflected by the parables. They also must have recognized class divisions in terms of government as well as spiritual realms of psychic, kenonic, and pleromic recognition's in both the heavenly and earthly state. On the other hand Thomas' order of 'no order' may be to connote the world as seen in a state of chaos.
They learned to look at things differently, and on their own terms than others in their society and that does not always make speaking freely pleasant, or productive in 'linguistic fields,' (pools) the 'Hood.' ( I would not care to be referred to as a Thomasine. I do not mind Thomast/ Thomist at all. What do you all think?)
Because Thomas is central to Gnostic sects and obviously used by Gnostics in the earliest stages of Christian Gnosticism, it is much older than John. John may have been written years after the first Gnostic secular groups started to form. There are no refutations against or references for the GJn. in Gnostic texts. ( I don't recall any references to it in the Nag Hammadi. There may be.)
Perhaps the Gospel of Phillip is a much better candidate to compare John's Gnosticism to established Orthodox v. Gnostic comparisons. Phillip uses Mt. and Pauline references and because the GJn. has Gnostic aspects it seems like it would have had significance to the author of the GPhil.
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