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Theodotus

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  • Tom Saunders
    Hi All, After I looked through Theodotus brief work ( Thank you Andrew) I found a reference to the Apocalypse of Peter. Theodotus: 48. For instance, Peter
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 25, 2004
      Hi All,

      After I looked through Theodotus' brief work ( Thank you Andrew) I found a reference to the Apocalypse of Peter.

      Theodotus:
      48. "For instance, Peter says in the Apocalypse, that abortive infants shall share the better fate; that these are committed to a guardian angel, so that, on receiving knowledge, they may obtain the better abode, having had the same experiences which they would have had had they been in the body......"

      Of great surprise to me is that Theodotus is not quoting the Nag Hammadi version. He is quoting the Israelite version. I found the following with notes at a website carrying fragments of the work.......
      2. Ibid. (48 . 1 ) The providence of God doth not light upon them only that are in the flesh. For example, Peter in the Apocalypse saith that the children born out of due time (abortively) that would have been of the better part (i. e. would have been saved if they had lived) -these are delivered to a care-taking angel, that they may partake of knowledge and obtain the better abode, having suffered what they would have suffered had they been in the body. But the others (i.e. those who would not have been saved, had they lived) shall only obtain salvation, as beings that have been injured and had mercy shown to them, and shall continue without torment, receiving that as a reward...."

      It seems all the Alexandrians use the orthodox works to make their points. There can be little doubt that the Alexandrians from a very early time decided to do this, and were opposed to revealing much about the contents of the Nag Hammadi and related texts. They probably did this to protect themselves from persecution. It does not make it easy to show they had any of the Nag Hammadi.

      Tom Saunders

      Platter, OK



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    • Tom Saunders
      Hi Andrew, Thank you so much for the responses you have been kind enough to send. You wrote, The version online as Excerpts from Theodotus is really the
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 27, 2004
        Hi Andrew,

        Thank you so much for the responses you have been kind enough to send.

        You wrote,

        "The version online as Excerpts from Theodotus is really the
        Eclogae Propheticae, as far as I know the real excerpts is
        not available online. The English translation by Casey is
        almost unobtainable but I think it was reprinted in the
        collection Gnosis by Foerster and Wilson."

        What a racket this thing we do. Guys like Devers ( "What Did The Biblical Writers Know.....") spends half his time, like others, slicing up the work of historians, archeologists, and scholars, then there are all those things like the Schoyen codex, now this. I'm not complaining, mind you, I read the "Da Vinci Code." How can we get this stuff? Where I live is slightly less remote than the Arctic Circle.

        In any case, exactly where the contents of the statement attributed to Theodotus come from, the statement about "abandon children" is clearly from the "Israilite" version of "The Apocalypse of Peter." I simply did not find anything in the Nag Hammadi version that would not be a huge stretch to the reference.

        I have found something that I think is very important attributed to Clement. His Letter to Theodore.

        http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Secret/letter-engl.html

        "This document was found by Prof. Morton Smith in 1958 at the Mar Saba monastery, southeast of Jerusalem. In the document, authoritatively attributed to Clement of Alexandria, a "Secret Gospel of Mark" is mentioned."

        What is said in this letter seems to confirm some of the assertions of Henry Barclay Swete, (died 1917, and did not know about the 1958 discovery.) concerning Mark and Peter. The picture of the document on the website might be compared with with other known writings to see if Clement or a scribe match.

        Does anyone have any information of the status of the "2nd Book of Jue?"

        Tom Saunders
        Platter, OK















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      • Tom Saunders
        Hi Andrew, I would certainly be interested in reading your article on why the Letter to Theodore, is not legitimate. I shall venture to the halls of (SOSU),
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 28, 2004
          Hi Andrew,

          I would certainly be interested in reading your article on why the "Letter to Theodore," is not legitimate.
          I shall venture to the halls of (SOSU), "Hayseed Univ." and see what I can find in the inter- Library loan.

          As to the "Books of Jue," you said, "1 and 2 Jeu are weird stuff more like magic than religion IMO."

          Thank goodness, for if I am to go to "Hayseed," and get anything, I shall need both.

          Tom Saunders
          Platter, OK












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        • Scott Rhodes
          Hey Tom you might be interested in looking for this one: Clement s use of Aristotle : The Aristotelian contribution to Clement of Alexandria s refutation of
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 29, 2004
            Hey Tom you might be interested in looking for this one:

            Clement's use of Aristotle : The Aristotelian contribution to Clement of
            Alexandria's refutation of gnosticism

            by Elizabeth A. Clark


            Clark's very reliable, readable and most importantly: insightful.



            S


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          • j_t_palomares
            Tom Saunders wrote, I have found something that I think is very important attributed to Clement. His Letter to Theodore.
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 30, 2004
              Tom Saunders wrote,

              I have found something that I think is very important attributed to
              Clement. His Letter to Theodore.

              http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Secret/letter-engl.html

              "This document was found by Prof. Morton Smith in 1958 at the Mar Saba
              monastery, southeast of Jerusalem. In the document, authoritatively
              attributed to Clement of Alexandria, a "Secret Gospel of Mark" is
              mentioned."

              ********************

              Assuming the SGM is genuine, it does follow Clement's line in
              other places concerning the graded revelation of some of the
              parables. In the SGM above, what can be called an "enacted parable"
              is shown in one part that has caught the attention of some writers:

              "And after six days Jesus told him what to do and in the evening the
              youth comes to him, wearing a linen cloth over his naked body."

              This particular line has been linked to the Thomas log. concerning
              the "child of seven days." Further, it recalls the commerating of
              the January sixth festival that was celebrated in Alexandria.
              Tally's remarks along this line are very interesting.


              jt
            • Tom Saunders
              Hi jt, Thank you for your post. The Clement letter wears the garment of speculation here. I did not realize at first that the artifact was probably a copy
              Message 6 of 6 , Jan 30, 2004
                Hi jt,

                Thank you for your post. The Clement letter wears the garment of speculation here. I did not realize at first that the artifact was probably a copy from the 17th c. That is, if Smith did not produce a forgery as one writer suggests. Perhaps the relic should be placed in Jame's 'bone box' for now to be examined with finer more advanced tools.

                Thank you for the idea of the 'enacted parable.' Did it come before or after Thomas? (This seems to me to be a chicken and egg argument again.) What worries me about this 'Mark' question is that the gospel does not show up in any of the Gnostic texts mentioned in our glossary. (Please correct me if I am wrong) We spend so much time with it I think we get like the 'blind men,' studying it.

                I don't think we see any enacted parables in the GThom. We certainly have parables, and they can be sorted out as different literature from the rest of what is in Thomas. I think the rest of Thomas are precepts. I recently wrote a study on the precepts in the "Bubishi." This once secret text is known to have come from at least in part from the famous Shoalin Temple.

                "Precepts are short statements something like parables. They are statements meant to be allegorical, but most important they are to be used as 'applied phrophetics.' Unlike koans the precept is not a question without an answer, it is a statement that can be applied through its own wisdom, to those that would apply it. Precepts are demonstrable, and self evident in their nature, therefor they become tools of wisdom in the past, the now, and the future....." (The Essence of Kenpo Gukui, The Eight Precepts of Quanfa" by Saunders, 2004)

                The boy in the SGM is a character in the enacted parable that is learning 'precepts,' i.e. the teaching of Jesus.

                In terms of the concept of 'garment' the naked boy in white linen seems to be very symbolic of life, and death, and the: Pneumatophoroi: One who has united his soul with the 'light' (Sophia, Wisdom) achieving gnosis which is thought in Christian Gnosticism to be a union with the Holy Spirit. A common name for those who have reached this state are 'spirit bearers.' Those having reached this state are mentioned in "Acts" and Pauline works. Thought to wear the Holy spirit like a garment.

                Consider how the precepts of the GThom and the parables are in seemingly 'straight up' harmony.

                Parable: Stories with a point that Jesus is believed to have spoken to the multitudes around Galilee. (See the Gospel of Thomas, Sayings 8, 9, 20, 57, 63, 64, 65, 76, 96, 97, 98, 107,109. According the "Apochryphon of James" and "Pistis Sophia" the parables are passages which relate or are intentional mysteries. In Greek (parabole), meaning comparison, or similitude, placing beside or together. Clement of Alexandria writes:

                "Wherefore the holy mysteries of the prophecies are veiled in the parables -- preserved for chosen men, selected to knowledge in consequence of their faith; for the style of the Scriptures is parabolic. Wherefore also the Lord, who was not of the world, came as one who was of the world to men. For He was clothed with all virtue; and it was His aim to lead man, the foster-child of the world, up to the objects of intellect, and to the most essential truths by knowledge, from one world to another.
                Wherefore also He employed metaphorical description; for such is the parable, -- a narration based on some subject which is not the principal subject, but similar to the principal subject, and leading him who understands to what is the true and principal thing; or, as some say, a mode of speech presenting with vigour, by means of other circumstances, what is the principal subject." (Stromata, Bk VI, et sec.)

                Now consider what I stated earlier, "The boy in the SGM is a character in the enacted parable that is learning 'precepts,' i.e. the teaching of Jesus." ( It does not escape me here that the Alexandrian 'crew' would send all the rest of Christianity on a quest for the 'holy grail' (SGM), then write the GThom on white linen and have it made into a suit).

                Tom Saunders
                Platter, OK








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