Re: [GTh] Updated Gnostic Glossary
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Saunders" <tom@...>
Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2003 9:10 AM
Subject: [GTh] Updated Gnostic Glossary
I would appreciate any corrections on the following Glossary update.
>Aramaic: is a language spoken in Israel, Syria, and Mesopotamia from as
early as 500 B.C. until now. Known to be the first language of Jesus.
Aramaic inscriptions known from at least 800 BC
>Clement: (? -215 A.D.) Greek theologian and head of the catechetical school
of Alexandria. Clement of Rome whose name is well known in church history.
He was the author of an "Epistle to the Corinthians," the only known
manuscript of which is appended to the Alexandrian Codex, now in the British
Clement of Alexandria (?-215 AD) is quite different from Clement
of Rome (c100 AD) who wrote the 'Epistle to the Corinthians'
There is another Greek manuscript of the 'Epistle to the
Corinthians' Codex Hierosolymitanus written AD 1056 and
several ancient translations.
>Didache: means by 'the gospel.' The Didache, which originated about 110 CE,
documents the emerging authority of the one great Gospel. the Didache gives
instruction on how a Christian community should treat itinerant Christian
Didache means literally 'The Teaching'
>Dositheos: Believed to be the founder of Samaritan Gnosticism, and teacher
of Simon Magus. Dositheans were a Gnostic sect which began in the time of
the Maccabees and called God only Elohim not Yehouah or Lord. May have a
connection to the "Three Steles of Seth."
I have doubts whether Dositheus is as early as the Maccabees, but
it is an obscure point, there may have been more than one Dositheus.
If there was only one he was probably a teacher of Simon Magus
which would put him around the beginning of the 1st century AD
>Ebionites: A name used by early Jewish sects who were considered
Christians. Tertullian believed the sect was started by Ebion in Jerusalem.
Iranaeus classified them as heretical. Those that believed the Jewish
traditions should be incorporated into Christianity are referred to as
Ebionites more likely come from Hebrew word for poor than
from person called Ebion
>Essenes: Jewish communal sect known as free thinkers at the time of Jesus.
They were said by Josephus to have combined Pythagoran, and Stoic theory,
with ascetic virtues, and spiritual knowledge with divine law.
Might be worth adding that the Dead Sea Scrolls may have
been written by the Essenes
>Heracleon: A Valentinean Gnostic Sage, possibly from Sicily, who flourished
around 124 A.D. He declared that the orthodox church was dogmatic and like
unourishing stagnant water. Origen and Clement preserved some of his
commentary on the Gospel of John, and others of which some fragments still
124 AD probably a bit early for Heracleon
>Heresy: Used to describe gnosticism by the Catholic church, the original
Latin meaning is 'choice.' Usually established by declaration, anything not
approved by the 'church' could be considered heresy.
Heresy originally Greek not Latin
>Mandaeanism: Pre-Christian Persian Gnostic (dualism) religion of the middle
east that has survived into modern times. 'Manda' is from the Aramaic
language which translates to 'gnosis' in Greek.
Mandaeanism may not be pre-Christian, probably contemporary
with early Christianity or slightly later (1st or 2nd century AD)
>Mani: (216 CE) founder of the religion of Manicheanism in approximately
280AD. Believed to have written or had part in the "Manichean Psalms of
Mani 216-276 CE
>Sextus: (4 BCE- 65-CE) A second century Greek Pythagorean philosopher. A
collection of his sayings are contained in the Nag Hammadi Lib. Tractate 1
I'm doubtful if your dates for Sextus are right, if they are then he
was 1st century not 2nd century.
(PS am away from computer till new year so won't be able to
follow this up till then)