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Re: [GTh] Response to Andrew

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  • sarban
    ... From: Tom Saunders To: Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2004 9:37 PM Subject: [GTh] Response to Andrew .
    Message 1 of 12 , Apr 12, 2004
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Tom Saunders" <tom@...>
      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2004 9:37 PM
      Subject: [GTh] Response to Andrew


      . Tertullian declares Thomas a device of Mani's pupils. Not so. I believe
      that is the first known anti-Gnostic Thomas comment on record.
      >
      A minor point in your very interesting post Tom.
      I think the reference to Thomas as by Mani's pupils comes from
      the pseudo-Gelasian decree. Although in its present form the
      decree dates from about 500 CE a lot of it is much older.
      However since Mani was born around the time Tertullian died
      it is unlikely that the idea that the Gospel of Thomas was
      written by a follower of Mani goes back to Tertullian.

      Andrew Criddle
    • Michael Grondin
      ... More than that, the earliest reference of any kind to the Gospel of Thomas is given in Layton s critical edition as Hippolytus Refutatio, dated by Layton
      Message 2 of 12 , Apr 12, 2004
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        > . Tertullian declares Thomas a device of Mani's pupils. Not so. I believe
        > that is the first known anti-Gnostic Thomas comment on record.
        > >
        > A minor point in your very interesting post Tom.
        > I think the reference to Thomas as by Mani's pupils comes from
        > the pseudo-Gelasian decree. Although in its present form the
        > decree dates from about 500 CE a lot of it is much older.
        > However since Mani was born around the time Tertullian died
        > it is unlikely that the idea that the Gospel of Thomas was
        > written by a follower of Mani goes back to Tertullian.

        More than that, the earliest reference of any kind to the Gospel of Thomas
        is given in Layton's critical edition as Hippolytus' Refutatio, dated by
        Layton as 222-235. This would have been around the time of Tertullian's
        death, so evidently Tertullian didn't mention a Thomas text at all (what is
        your source, Tom?). As to connecting GTh with Mani, Layton's earliest
        citation is Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechesis, ca. 348 ("The Manichaeans also
        wrote a Gospel According to Thomas..."). Cyril, however, must have been
        wrong, since Hippolytus had over a hundred years earlier attributed the
        Gospel to the Naassenes before the time of Mani (born 216 according to my
        source). Whether the Manichaeans might have used the Gospel of Thomas - or a
        quite different text of the same name - is another matter.

        Mike Grondin
        Mt. Clemens, MI
      • Stephen C. Carlson
        ... I believe that s correct for the earliest named reference. However, Eusebius (early 4th cen.) may have preserved some evidence that Thomas had been used
        Message 3 of 12 , Apr 13, 2004
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          At 12:29 AM 4/13/2004 -0400, Michael Grondin wrote:
          >More than that, the earliest reference of any kind to the Gospel of Thomas
          >is given in Layton's critical edition as Hippolytus' Refutatio, dated by
          >Layton as 222-235.

          I believe that's correct for the earliest named reference. However, Eusebius
          (early 4th cen.) may have preserved some evidence that Thomas had been used
          earlier among the followers of Simon Magus and Helen (late first century,
          Samaria and Syria): "Their [scil. Simon and Helen] more secret rites, at which
          they say that he who first hears them will be astonished, and according to a
          scripture [LOGION EGGRAFON] current among them will be 'thrown into marvel'
          [QAMBWQHSESQAI], truly are full of marvel and frenzy and madness; ..." (Hist.
          eccl. 2.13.7; trans. Lake).

          This was noticed by Robert M. Grant (EUSEBIUS AS CHURCH HISTORIAN (1980), 137,
          citing his earlier work), who suggested that the "scripture" (Lake) or "written
          oracle" (Grant) that Eusebius referred to was Thomas 4 or maybe a similar passage
          in the the Gospel according to the Hebrews known to Origen (early third cen.) or
          Clement (late second cen.). Grant also mentions that Origen used sayings from
          Thomas cited as "I have read somewhere" at Jos. hom. 4.3, Jer. hom. 1 (3).3.

          Naturally, ecclesiastical writers like Eusebius were not interested in reporting
          much information about "heretical" literature or being accurate about what they
          report, so one has to be very careful about sifting through what little evidence
          they've left us. But these are some leads.

          Stephen Carlson
          --
          Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
          Weblog: http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/hypotyposeis/blogger.html
          "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
        • sarban
          ... From: Michael Grondin To: Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2004 5:29 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] Response to Andrew
          Message 4 of 12 , Apr 13, 2004
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
            To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2004 5:29 AM
            Subject: Re: [GTh] Response to Andrew


            >
            > More than that, the earliest reference of any kind to the Gospel of Thomas
            > is given in Layton's critical edition as Hippolytus' Refutatio, dated by
            > Layton as 222-235. This would have been around the time of Tertullian's
            > death, so evidently Tertullian didn't mention a Thomas text at all (what
            is
            > your source, Tom?). As to connecting GTh with Mani, Layton's earliest
            > citation is Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechesis, ca. 348 ("The Manichaeans also
            > wrote a Gospel According to Thomas..."). Cyril, however, must have been
            > wrong, since Hippolytus had over a hundred years earlier attributed the
            > Gospel to the Naassenes before the time of Mani (born 216 according to my
            > source). Whether the Manichaeans might have used the Gospel of Thomas - or
            a
            > quite different text of the same name - is another matter.
            >
            Ther are several apparent allusions to the Gospel of Thomas in
            the Manichaean psalms.
            Psalms of Heracleides: The little children instruct the grey haired
            old men. Those who are six years old instruct those who are sixty
            years old. Compare Thomas saying 4
            Manichaean Psalmbook: For there are five trees in paradise in
            summer and winter. Compare Thomas saying 37
            Psalms of Thomas: He established chambers of life, he set up living
            images in them which never perish. Compare Thomas saying 84

            Andrew Criddle
          • Michael Grondin
            ... 137, ... written ... passage ... cen.) or ... from ... (3).3. Yes, and the somewhere may have been GTh, since Origen refers to it in Luc. hom. 1 ( For
            Message 5 of 12 , Apr 13, 2004
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              [Stephen Carlson]:
              > This was noticed by Robert M. Grant (EUSEBIUS AS CHURCH HISTORIAN (1980),
              137,
              > citing his earlier work), who suggested that the "scripture" (Lake) or
              "written
              > oracle" (Grant) that Eusebius referred to was Thomas 4 or maybe a similar
              passage
              > in the the Gospel according to the Hebrews known to Origen (early third
              cen.) or
              > Clement (late second cen.). Grant also mentions that Origen used sayings
              from
              > Thomas cited as "I have read somewhere" at Jos. hom. 4.3, Jer. hom. 1
              (3).3.

              Yes, and the "somewhere" may have been GTh, since Origen refers to it in
              Luc. hom. 1 ("For there is in circulation also the Gospel According to
              Thomas ...") Layton dates this reference to 233, which would be very close
              to the time of Hippolytus' reference. As to Grant's suggestion, I don't
              think that has much plausibility. Th 2 (not 4) has several parts to it, and
              one can find these individual parts elsewhere all about. Wisdom of Solomon
              6.20, e.g., has it that "desire for wisdom leads to a kingdom", which is an
              important part of Th2, but is not to be found in what Eusebius attributes to
              the Simonians. Likewise, "Let he who seeks not stop seeking until he finds",
              which is a sine qua non of the whole progression in Th2. That the single
              element "astonishment" should be connected with secret rites isn't as
              surprising to me as that Grant would suggest a connection to Thomas. A much
              more fruitful "lead" seems to be the reference in one of Paul's letters (I
              forget which) to some apparently-gnostic-types who regarded themselves as
              "kings", based on their perceived state of spiritual wisdom.

              As to the Gospel of the Hebrews, Meyer cites GHeb 4a and 4b, which are very
              similar to Th2, but I don't know where he got these from. As I understand
              it, GHeb is very poorly and confusingly attested, and its dating obscure.

              Mike Grondin
              Mt. Clemens, MI
            • Stephen C. Carlson
              ... We re dealing with an allusion, not a full citation, so the fact that other parts of Thom 2 may have limited parallels in other works does not help us
              Message 6 of 12 , Apr 13, 2004
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                At 12:54 PM 4/13/2004 -0400, Michael Grondin wrote:
                >[Stephen Carlson]:
                >> This was noticed by Robert M. Grant (EUSEBIUS AS CHURCH HISTORIAN (1980), 137,
                >> citing his earlier work), who suggested that the "scripture" (Lake) or "written
                >> oracle" (Grant) that Eusebius referred to was Thomas 4 or maybe a similar passage
                >> in the the Gospel according to the Hebrews known to Origen (early third cen.) or
                >> Clement (late second cen.). Grant also mentions that Origen used sayings from
                >> Thomas cited as "I have read somewhere" at Jos. hom. 4.3, Jer. hom. 1 (3).3.
                >
                >Yes, and the "somewhere" may have been GTh, since Origen refers to it in
                >Luc. hom. 1 ("For there is in circulation also the Gospel According to
                >Thomas ...") Layton dates this reference to 233, which would be very close
                >to the time of Hippolytus' reference. As to Grant's suggestion, I don't
                >think that has much plausibility. Th 2 (not 4) has several parts to it, and
                >one can find these individual parts elsewhere all about. Wisdom of Solomon
                >6.20, e.g., has it that "desire for wisdom leads to a kingdom", which is an
                >important part of Th2, but is not to be found in what Eusebius attributes to
                >the Simonians. Likewise, "Let he who seeks not stop seeking until he finds",
                >which is a sine qua non of the whole progression in Th2. That the single
                >element "astonishment" should be connected with secret rites isn't as
                >surprising to me as that Grant would suggest a connection to Thomas.

                We're dealing with an allusion, not a full citation, so the fact that
                other parts of Thom 2 may have limited parallels in other works does
                not help us determine what Eusebius's source for the allusion is. Grant
                apparently favors Thomas over the Gospel of the Hebrews because Eusebius
                consider GHebrews disputed but Thomas heretical, which fits with the
                association of the text with Simon Magus and Eusebius's reticence to
                name the source. Also, I would add that the saying is at the very
                beginning of Thomas. Nevertheless, it is only a lead at this point,
                not something nailed down.

                >A much
                >more fruitful "lead" seems to be the reference in one of Paul's letters (I
                >forget which) to some apparently-gnostic-types who regarded themselves as
                >"kings", based on their perceived state of spiritual wisdom.

                Which reference is this? And who has priority: Thomas or Paul?

                >As to the Gospel of the Hebrews, Meyer cites GHeb 4a and 4b, which are very
                >similar to Th2, but I don't know where he got these from. As I understand
                >it, GHeb is very poorly and confusingly attested, and its dating obscure.

                Our knowledge of GHeb a mess, and a big part of the problem is in fact
                Jerome. Nevertheless, I believe there may well be some connection between
                Thomas and some Jewish-Christian gospel, but more work needs to be done
                (which might be impossible without additional evidence, e.g. a text of
                GHeb).

                Stephen Carlson
                Stephen Carlson
                --
                Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                Weblog: http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/hypotyposeis/blogger.html
                "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
              • Michael Grondin
                ... the author of the Da Vinci Code, who called our early Christian texts scrolls. The earliest writings may have been on scrolls. It wasn t long before
                Message 7 of 12 , Apr 13, 2004
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                  [Tom Saunders]:
                  > I saw two shows on Mary of Magdala this weekend, one featured Dan Brown,
                  the author of the "Da Vinci Code," who called our early Christian texts
                  "scrolls."

                  The earliest writings may have been on scrolls. It wasn't long before the
                  codex came along, however, and the early Christians used it so widely as to
                  almost make it their own at that point in time. Among other things, codices
                  were easier to carry - particularly without detection.

                  > I am thinking that is the same with Gnosticism, in general, as women.
                  They and Gnosticism were an a part of Christian epistemology for those first
                  Christians.

                  Epistemology is the theory of knowledge. You're misusing that word.
                  Nevertheless, the connection missing from your analysis may be that women
                  were prominent prophets early on, and that the progressive down-playing of
                  prophecy as doctrines hardened may have left women with relatively little
                  recognition.

                  > Mary seemed to have had the capacity to understand Gnosticism.

                  I assume you got that idea from so-called "Gnostic writings", wherein MM is
                  given a prominent role. It may be that we can extrapolate backwards to
                  hypothesize that there must have been some reason for the "Gnostics" giving
                  her that special role, but your statement goes way beyond that.

                  > Does anyone think there could be a correlation between the role of women
                  and Gnosticism, and church policy? Was there an event that made them kind
                  of go underground together, and gave power to the Proto-Orthodoxy? This
                  could have happened in some Gnostic sects, if women were declared,
                  "prunikus."

                  What does 'prunikus' mean? Where and how do you find it being used? It
                  doesn't appear in Strong's Concordance, so I'm assuming you're taking it
                  from some "Gnostic" source and applying it to contexts where it didn't
                  belong.

                  > I do think that Gnosticism was always there in Christian history, still
                  is, "but we don't see it," and we have to look at Thomas as early as any
                  written Christian document, because it was.

                  Well, that's a good argument (not). But also, you should uncapitalize
                  'Gnosticism', since what you're talking about is small 'g' gnosticism
                  (assuming that that's the proper term in the first place), not the later
                  full-fledged systems.

                  > I think showing that the Thomas parables are the oldest, and Gnostic, ...
                  would help establish that Jesus related Gnostic ideas, and had a Gnostic
                  pedagogy.

                  You've made claims in the past about the nature of the Thomas parables that
                  haven't turned out to be justified.

                  Mike Grondin
                  Mt. Clemens, MI
                • Michael Grondin
                  ... Alright, you made me look it up. 1 Cor 4:8 - wherein Paul writes: Already you are filled! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings!
                  Message 8 of 12 , Apr 13, 2004
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                    > A much
                    > more fruitful "lead" seems to be the reference in one of Paul's letters (I
                    > forget which) to some apparently-gnostic-types who regarded themselves as
                    > "kings", based on their perceived state of spiritual wisdom.

                    [Stephen]:
                    > Which reference is this?

                    Alright, you made me look it up. 1 Cor 4:8 - wherein Paul writes:

                    "Already you are filled! Already you have become rich! Without us you have
                    become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule
                    with you!"

                    I read this as a sarcastic reference to what some Corinthians had claimed
                    about themselves. To be "filled" and "rich" and "kings" are familiar gnostic
                    themes inconsistent with what Paul then goes on to say about himself and his
                    fellow apostles.

                    > And who has priority: Thomas or Paul?

                    Dunno, but counter-question: where did the Corinthians get those ideas from?

                    Mike Grondin
                    Mt. Clemens, MI
                  • Michael Grondin
                    ... To repeat what s been stated previously, the first reference by title is in Hippolytus Refutatio (222-235, according to Layton). He (Hipppolytus of Rome)
                    Message 9 of 12 , Apr 13, 2004
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                      [Tom Saunders]:
                      > What is the first reference in Christian History to the GThom?

                      To repeat what's been stated previously, the first reference by title is in
                      Hippolytus' Refutatio (222-235, according to Layton). He (Hipppolytus of
                      Rome) attributed it to the Naassenes, and cited two sayings from it - one
                      almost word-for-word what's found in Coptic GTh, the other somewhat similar
                      but also significantly different. At about the same time, Origen, In Luc.
                      hom. 1 (233, according to Layton) referred to the title 'Gospel According to
                      Thomas', and elsewhere discussed sayings which seem similar to it, but
                      didn't connect the sayings with the title. So around 230 is the first
                      reference. (Mani would have been about 14 years old at that time.
                      Presumably, he and his followers incorporated portions of GTh into their own
                      writings some decades later, but from my own small sampling of Manicheaen
                      writings, the bulk of them don't strike me as particularly consonant with
                      Thomas, although I seem to recall that Mani styled himself as "the twin". It
                      looks as if the influence of Thomas on Mani was relatively early, and his
                      own ideas developed on from there.)

                      Mike Grondin
                      Mt. Clemens, MI
                    • sarban
                      ... From: Michael Grondin To: Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2004 5:54 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Response to Andrew
                      Message 10 of 12 , Apr 13, 2004
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                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
                        To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2004 5:54 PM
                        Subject: Re: [GTh] Response to Andrew


                        <SNIP>
                        >
                        > As to the Gospel of the Hebrews, Meyer cites GHeb 4a and 4b, which are
                        very
                        > similar to Th2, but I don't know where he got these from. As I understand
                        > it, GHeb is very poorly and confusingly attested, and its dating obscure.
                        >
                        The parallels to Gospel of Thomas 2 in the Gospel of the Hebrews
                        come from the Stromateis of Clement of Alexandria (books 2 and5).
                        This is the only reference to the Gospel of the Hebrews by Clement.
                        In March I posted to this group a slightly wild speculation that
                        Clement knew Thomas but called it the Gospel according to the
                        Herbrews on the basis of saying 42, interpreting Jesus's injunction
                        'Become Passers-By' as 'Become Hebrews'

                        Andrew Criddle
                      • sarban
                        ... From: Stephen C. Carlson To: Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2004 12:40 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Response to
                        Message 11 of 12 , Apr 13, 2004
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                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@...>
                          To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2004 12:40 PM
                          Subject: Re: [GTh] Response to Andrew

                          <SNIP>

                          Grant also mentions that Origen used sayings from
                          > Thomas cited as "I have read somewhere" at Jos. hom. 4.3, Jer. hom. 1
                          (3).3.

                          The Jeremiah homilies parallel is to Thomas 82
                          Which saying does the Joshua homilies parallel
                          correspond to ?
                          It's not a parallel to Thomas which I was aware of.

                          Andrew Criddle
                        • Michael Grondin
                          ... I asked you *specifically where* you had encountered the word prunikus . You didn t answer the question; please do so. Secondly, even if you had seen the
                          Message 12 of 12 , Apr 18, 2004
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                            [Tom Saunders]:
                            > So my use of the word epistemology or theory of knowledge is "prunikus?"
                            > I am using the term to mean 'faulty' and using it as slang gleaned from
                            > its more formal definition:
                            >
                            > Prunikus: "Whore" Sophia is sometimes referred to as "Pistis Sophia
                            > Prunikus". The fallen Sophia. In some Gnostic works Sophia is considered
                            > fallen because outside her perfect self in the pleroma, she has 'fallen'
                            > to the earthly, hylic state as an entity.

                            I asked you *specifically where* you had encountered the word 'prunikus'.
                            You didn't answer the question; please do so. Secondly, even if you had seen
                            the word 'prunikus' used to mean 'whore', that doesn't justify your turning
                            the noun into an adjective and *giving it an entirely different meaning*
                            (i.e., 'faulty')! This is intellectual sloppiness of the first order.
                            Unfortunately, if the below is any indication, you seem inclined to defend
                            and continue on with this pattern of conceptual ineptitude:

                            > "You've made claims in the past about the nature of the Thomas parables
                            > that haven't turned out to be justified." [MG]
                            >
                            > Thank goodness I am not under the horrid burden of having an academic
                            > reputation to protect, and ain't scared to make them kind of mistakes. On
                            > the other hand sometimes I'm not that wrong, or not that "prunikus."

                            Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while. No, you aren't "scared
                            to make them kind of mistakes". You make them constantly. One would think
                            that this would lead you to be more cautious and careful about making grand
                            claims about the relationship between gnosticism and Christianity, but no.

                            > What I think is that the parables are there to teach the 'prunikus'
                            > (Sophistry) faults of the existence in the kenoma, the imperfect state
                            > outside the perfect existence in the pleroma. Especially significant are
                            > Sayings 63, 64, and 65. If the Thomas parables were first this 'theory of
                            > knowledge' about the kenoma is real Jesus stuff, more like the way
                            > Jesus related them. Prunikus? Sophic? Gnostic?

                            The Thomas parables aren't about epistemology, and they aren't gnostic in
                            any meaningful sense. If you believe otherwise, please provide some
                            justification for these views, instead of merely repeating them and then
                            drawing erroneous conclusions from the misinterpretations.

                            Mike Grondin
                            Mt. Clemens, MI
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