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Gnosticism then and Now

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  • Tom Saunders
    Hi Scott, In short, if your going to put Clement in with the Gnostics you got the field all to yourself. It s a dirty job that only a Rogue scholar like me
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 22, 2004
      Hi Scott,

      "In short, if your going to put Clement in with the Gnostics you got the
      field all to yourself."

      It's a dirty job that only a "Rogue" scholar like me would appreciate. I'm sorry my sources were so misguiding in that post.

      Clement is hiding Gnosticism, by his own admission. I think by then he like others he knew, needed to lay low and hide from the threat that Iranaeus, and the those like the Israelites pose. If Clement could claim enlightenment or pneumatiphori like those mentioned in other works, he had to hide it. See Paul's explanation of those with the Holy Spirit, 1 Corin. 12, Romans 12:3-8. Enlightenment as was meant included development of wisdom, knowledge, faith , healing, miracles, prophecy, and other traits brought on by bonding of the light, or of Gnosis.

      Look where he is in the lineage of Alexandria and who's stuff he has to consider. (Thank you Andrew)Basilides, Haracleon, Valentinus, etc., and all that came before him and most all others who we consider Gnostic, during his time. (He mentions some interesting people in Book 3, but I am unable to find a translation of Bk 3. If anyone has a translated copy of Bk 3 I would like it please.)

      He criticizes everyone, but he also reveals their thoughts on some interesting things, such as faith, and love, which could be considered a parallel to the Gospel of Phillip's explanation of "love gives, faith receives." He also drops little Gnostic hints like, "Peter in his Preaching called the Lord, Law and Logos. " I take this to mean examine what the Gnostic texts call the Logos, and does not that put Peter in the lineage for those that would explain the logos.

      A good example of what Clement calls law is, "don't give to dogs what is holy." (Mt 7-6, Th-93). He calls this a 'precept,' and gives no real clue as to its origin, except he cites Matthew generally, never Thomas. Does Matthew use this 'giving holy to dogs' line as a precept? (Clement's words) "To impart of holy things to the dogs" is forbidden, so long as they remain beasts."

      Mt 7-5. Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
      6. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before the swine, lest haply they trample them under their feet, and turn and rend you.
      7. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
      8. for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

      Matthew 7, v's 5 thru 8 seems to be a familiar group of Thomas wisdom. If these lines are the precepts of the law that Clemment has, did he have Thomas? I think we can show he did but we have to get the kind of parallels with the Gnostic texts we have with the NT and Thomas. It looks like Clement has Phillip, and Contender. My, my, those all would be in Codex 2. We have the Jung Codex from two different places but this at least suggests works were copied codex to codex. It isn't much but it is a hint.

      Tom Saunders
      Platter, OK

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