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Re: [GTh] Alexandria

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  • sarban
    ... From: Tom Saunders To: Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2004 7:54 PM Subject: [GTh] Alexandria ... realistic
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 24, 2004
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Tom Saunders" <tom@...>
      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2004 7:54 PM
      Subject: [GTh] Alexandria


      > Hi Andrew,
      >
      > Thank you for taking the time to draw me at least a starting point for a
      realistic chronology of the Alexandrian "crew." The sources I have been
      using to get information is mostly the Catholic on-line stuff and New
      Advent. Frankly, you seem more dependable, and I know we all appreciate
      your help. The following is ????? (A rough draft sort of a chronology for
      Alexandria)
      >
      > "According to Testament times Peter died in the 60s.
      > Mark late in the 1st century. They are thought to have started the
      Christian movement in Alexandria sometime after 40 C.E. Their mission was to
      start Christian communities in major areas, like Alexandria, Damascus, which
      formed a Christian community early, and then Peter went to Rome.

      The link of Mark with Alexandria may be true but we don't have good
      early evidence
      >
      > Clement of Rome, became a leader in the Christian church around 100.
      Alexandria is thought to have been under the influence of Peter, Mark,
      Glaucius (?), and others who formed the Alexandrian church just before the
      Church in Rome.
      >
      > (Sometime Pantaenus assumes role of head of catachise school of
      Alexandria)
      > Basilides is active around 110 -150. (?)
      > Valentinus is active around 120-160. (?)
      > Haracleon is active around 120-?.
      > Clement of Alexandria, (? 215) succeeded his teacher Pantaenus, (This date
      is unclear, if this is true)

      According to Eusebius of Caesarea Clement succeeded Pantaenus
      while Septimius Severus was Roman Emperor. Severus reigned from
      193 to 211. Since Origen is apparently in charge of catechising in
      Alexandria before the end of Severus's reign a possible chronology
      is this:
      Clement becomes teacher around 195 then leaves Alexandria due to
      persecution around 206. Origen's bravery in continuing to teach during
      persecution leads Bishop Demetrius to appointc him head of school
      around 208.
      (all of these dates may be a few years out)

      > Origen student of Clement and (?) forms catachise school in Caesaria,
      around 231.(?)"

      Origen was a student of Ammonius Saccas as well as Clement
      (according to Eusebius) he probably knew Pantaenus although he
      may not have formally studied with him
      Origen is ordained in Caesarea in 231 but doesn't settle permanently
      there till 234
      >
      > Who else belongs in this group? What else can we say about the founding
      of this group? (I realize that this may not seem like a cohesive group, but
      I think that has to do with the nature of Gnosticism and how it effected
      individuals.)
      >
      One other person worth mentioning is a follower of Valentinus
      called Theodotus some of whose teachings were preserved as
      rough notes by Clement of Alexandria

      Andrew Criddle
    • Tom Saunders
      Hi Andrew, Thanks for the tip........ called Theodotus some of whose teachings were preserved as rough notes by Clement of Alexandria I m looking at
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 25, 2004
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        Hi Andrew, Thanks for the tip........

        "called Theodotus some of whose teachings were preserved as
        rough notes by Clement of Alexandria"

        I'm looking at Theodotus' work after I send this off. It looks like his work and others where influenced by Isidore.......
        J. Quasten writes (Patrology, vol. 1, pp. 256-260):


        The work of Basilides was continued by his son and pupil Isidore, of whom we know even less than of his father. Clement of Alexandria (Stromat. 2,113; 6,53; 3,1-3) has a few quotations from three of his writings. He wrote An Explanation of the Prophet Parchor, in which he tried to prove that the Greek philosophers borrowed from the prophets. In addition he composed an Ethica and a treatise On the Attached Soul. The latter deals with the human passions, which emanate from a second part of the soul. The passage which Clement quotes from the Ethica gives an odd interpretation of the Lord's words on the eunuch (Matt. 19,10ff.).

        It gets better! Read on and tell me if the information on Mathias is correct.

        Matthias: According to Clement teachings of Matthias were used by Basilideans and perhaps other Gnostic groups. According to Hippolytus, Basilides and his son Isidore claimed to have learned from Matthias 'secret words,' which he had received in private teaching from the Savior. A desciple called Mathias replaced Judas Iscariot in apostolic succession after the crucifixion of Jesus.
        Those secret words might well be a reference to all or part of 'Contender' the last book of Codex 2, containing our GThom. "I Mathias....."

        Clement also states regarding scripture that you compare like scripture to like scripture.

        "But the truth is not found by changing the meanings (for so people subvert all true teaching), but in the consideration of what perfectly belongs to and becomes the Sovereign God, and in establishing each one of the points demonstrated in the Scriptures again from similar Scriptures."

        He included lots of Old Testament stuff that could be used to see if he took his own advice. I'm guessng that he had another Gospel hidden away he could compare to Matthew. One written all lined up with precepts he could refer to quickly. Or he didn't take his own advice to 'hide secret knowledge,' and use comparitive scripture, and read Matthew every time he wanted him as a reference.

        This would of course mean that "Pistis Sophia" made a false claim about Matthew and Thomas being written together. "Pisitis Sophia" certainly seems to belong with the Nag Hammadi texts, and if so why would the Alexandrian lineage treasure it, if its a lie?

        Tom Saunders

        Platter, OK







        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • sarban
        ... From: Tom Saunders To: Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 9:33 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] Alexandria ...
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 26, 2004
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Tom Saunders" <tom@...>
          To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 9:33 AM
          Subject: Re: [GTh] Alexandria


          > Hi Andrew, Thanks for the tip........
          >
          <SNIP>

          > It gets better! Read on and tell me if the information on Mathias is
          correct.
          >
          > Matthias: According to Clement teachings of Matthias were used by
          Basilideans and perhaps other Gnostic groups. According to Hippolytus,
          Basilides and his son Isidore claimed to have learned from Matthias 'secret
          words,' which he had received in private teaching from the Savior. A
          desciple called Mathias replaced Judas Iscariot in apostolic succession
          after the crucifixion of Jesus.
          > Those secret words might well be a reference to all or part of
          'Contender' the last book of Codex 2, containing our GThom. "I
          Mathias....."
          >
          It is correct (or at least Clement and Hippolytus said so)

          > Clement also states regarding scripture that you compare like scripture
          to like scripture.
          >
          > "But the truth is not found by changing the meanings (for so people
          subvert all true teaching), but in the consideration of what perfectly
          belongs to and becomes the Sovereign God, and in establishing each one of
          the points demonstrated in the Scriptures again from similar Scriptures."
          >
          > He included lots of Old Testament stuff that could be used to see if he
          took his own advice. I'm guessng that he had another Gospel hidden away he
          could compare to Matthew. One written all lined up with precepts he could
          refer to quickly. Or he didn't take his own advice to 'hide secret
          knowledge,' and use comparitive scripture, and read Matthew every time he
          wanted him as a reference.
          >
          Personally I think Clement used a private oral tradition from
          Pantaenus and others as his guide to the real meaning of Scripture.
          For Clement the oral is private not the written
          "But secret things are entrusted to speech not to writing"
          "For it is impossible that what has been written should not escape"
          In the Stromateis Clement discreetly brings in his private oral tradition
          so that only those for whom it is appropriate will comprehend
          "... to speak imperceptibly, to exhibit secretly and to demonstrate
          silently"

          Although IMO Clement is more 'orthodox' than the author of Thomas,
          the method may be similar, On the surface various rather
          miscellaneous sayings with a more or less edifying 'spiritual' message,
          Underneath for those who read carefully and compare passage with
          passage a much more esoteric message not intended for everyone,
          which those for whom it is not relevant simply won't notice.

          Andrew Criddle
        • Michael Grondin
          Tom- ... In between was a lot of stuff about Gnosticism, which I would urge that you and others keep to a minimum - and keep relevant to Thomas - since this is
          Message 4 of 4 , May 26, 2004
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            Tom-
            At the beginning of your your response to Jerry, you wrote:
            > I would venture to say that there is more than one 'secret' we are dealing
            > with here in regard to Gnosticism.

            ... then at the end:
            > No doubt the 'secret' you [Jerry] are referring to is somehow related to
            > the nature of spirit, and the corporeal nature of both God and the soul.

            In between was a lot of stuff about Gnosticism, which I would urge that you
            and others keep to a minimum - and keep relevant to Thomas - since this is
            not a Gnosticism discussion list per se. As to what Jerry had in mind,
            however, I think his latest note makes clear that it isn't what you think.
            In fact, he seems to be combining two quite distinct "Mosaic secrets" - a
            Jewish one having to do with secret priestly instructions with no reference
            to Jesus, and the other a distinctly Christian "secret" denied by Jews,
            namely that the "Books of Moses" - the Pentateuch - spoke about Jesus. That
            Jerry had the first "secret" in mind is clear from his latest note, where he
            talks about that secret exclusively. But that he also included the second
            "secret" in his original presentation is clear from his citation of John
            5:46, which reads:

            "For if you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me."

            The clear difference between these two "secrets" places in doubt the value
            of regarding as a single group the two quite different groups of believers.
            Not to say that _some_ Christians might not have accepted the "Jewish
            secret" in addition to their own, but the reverse wouldn't hold. And then
            there's the matter of the term 'true gnostics', which Jerry wants to apply
            to the conglomeration of folks who believed in either one of the two Mosaic
            "secrets". That seems seriously misleading.

            Mike Grondin
            Mt. Clemens, MI
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