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Faith Sight and Knowledge

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  • sarban
    There has been some discussion on this group of Beyond Belief by Elaine Pagels, and the idea that the Gospel of John was written in opposition to the type of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 9, 2004
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      There has been some discussion on this group
      of 'Beyond Belief' by Elaine Pagels, and the idea
      that the Gospel of John was written in opposition
      to the type of views expressed in the Gospel of
      Thomas, and that the criticism of Thomas in John
      for not believing without seeing is a critique of
      Gnostic tendencies in the Thomas tradition.
      There have been other works arguing that figures in
      John's gospel represent various contemporary
      positions which the author of John is challenging
      (see eg Brown's 'Community of the Beloved Disciple')
      and Thomas is a plausible candidate for such a figure.
      However I have doubt that the distinction between Faith
      and Knowledge found in Gnosticism, (and in such
      orthodox Gnostics as Clement of Alexandria), is the
      same as the distinction between Faith and Sight in John
      20. (I am aware that the same Greek roots can be used
      to mean knowledge as well as sight but the passage in
      John 20 is clearly referring to sight)
      If Thomas in John represents a contemporary attitude of
      which the author disapproves it is IMO more likely to be an
      emphasis on continuing revelation rather than on deeper
      spiritual enlightenment. In other words the sort of attitude
      more likely to lead to Montanism than to Gnosticism.

      Andrew Criddle

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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