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Lost Christianity

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  • Tom Saunders
    Hi Frank, There are more than one creationist myths in the Gnostic works, if you include additional stuff like some of the Alexandrean work. Without
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2004
      Hi Frank,

      There are more than one creationist myths in the Gnostic works, if you include additional stuff like some of the Alexandrean work. Without considering a better model it might be hard to figure tenets from the differing texts. I think we can characterize Valentinean, Sethian, and Hellenistic theories starting with the idea of the monad.

      Monad: From the Greek word, meaning "one", "single" or "unique." It can have many meanings according to different contexts: According to Pythagoras it was the first thing in existence. The term's use came from..... Monoimus: (150-210) Student of Tatian. He is known for coining the usage of the word 'Monad' for use in the Christian Gnostic context.

      In "Trimorphic Protennoia" there is no mention of monads. There is the barbelo. There seems to be a relation to Allogenes and other works that do not use Archons, Logos, the Diamurge etc. Pleroma is a common concept in both camps. Aeon is also used. (From Tri. Prot.)

      ":He perpetuated the Father of all Aeons, who am I, the Thought of the Father, Protennoia, that is, Barbelo, the perfect Glory, and the immeasurable Invisible One who is hidden. I am the Image of the Invisible Spirit, and it is through me that the All took shape, and (I am) the Mother (as well as) the Light which she appointed as Virgin, she who is called 'Meirothea', the incomprehensible Womb, the unrestrainable and immeasurable Voice."

      Compare this to that below from the un -named text in the Bruce Codex...
      "This is he who is sought in every place. And this is the Father from whom, like a light-spark, the monad came forth, beside which all the worlds are as nothing. . . . It is this which moved all things with its shining. And they received gnosis and life and hope and rest and love and resurrection and faith and rebirth and the seal. This is the ennead which came from the Father of those without beginning, who alone is Father and Mother unto himself, whose pleroma surrounds the twelve deeps - "

      There are other scenarios that can be put together that relate that 'forces' or entities, pleromic in nature, joined with Jesus, and through him or his teachings undergo the process of Gnosis. I have not mentioned Sophia and Achamoth yet, and they are others of somebody's pleroma. This refers to the Christian model, there are others.

      I think the different characterizations might make a good study for somebody to write up. It is definitely something that should be studied more, especially in concern with Gnostic writings. (Nag. Ham., Bruce, Askew, and other codices.)

      Bart Ehrman, needs to clarify which version of the creation myths, he is going to apply tenets to. I am pretty sure that some of the different Gnostic stuff are adaptations from possible pre-Christian, Jewish (other) versions of the creation, going back further than Pythagoras.

      Christian Gnosticism is not as difficult to apply tenets to. Clement said, in so many words, (I mean soooo many words) the tenets are "faith, hope, and love." Carpocrates may have had some other ideas about tenets as they apply to Gnosis. So may have Marcion and Tatian. These differences would seem to be in relation to how wisdom came about in the pleroma, but all say "Pharisatha" through Gnosis, "apokatastasis" connects them to "it," wisdom and pleroma.

      I think the Alexandreans would have understood this and that made the creation myth in its various forms a manageable allegory. You might not want to put Pharisatha in the "bridal chamber" with naked boys dressed in white linen, but if you did you could explain it, with the right symbolism. (Ophite symbolism or tenents might not go over to well, if they interpreted 'bridal chamber' other than bonding with wisdom. )

      Ehrman needs to get specific about who he is talking about, and which neighborhood of the pleroma they come from. He is not qualifying, (I'm trusting Frank's descriptions of his tenets.) his schema of what Gnosis is, and reflects no specific Gnostic model, other than a haphazard one.

      I do think applying what Ehrman thinks is Gnostic, to the GThom, would require a more realistic model of what he thinks the GThom has to do with Gnosis. Frank, I don't see your arguments against this guy, without a better understanding of your Gnostic model for Thomas. We can be on the same page (of the glossary) about parables, precepts, I haven't thought too much about tenets. As to that, how would you fit tenets into the Gnostic model?

      Does anyone know a legitimate source other than the GPhil, for Jesus being referred to as Pharisatha, in Syriac, or otherwise? (Pharisatha is a fun name to use, nobody generally knows who he is.) Pharisatha said, "where else might be texts today with my name in them, who ye and nobody would recognize, that did not have the GPhil?"

      Tom Saunders

      Platter, OK

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