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Response to Andrew

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  • Tom Saunders
    Hi Andrew, Thank you for your observation about the pseudo-Gelasian decree. I saw two shows on Mary of Magdala this weekend, one featured Dan Brown, the author
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 13 12:00 AM
      Hi Andrew,

      Thank you for your observation about the pseudo-Gelasian decree. 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." Karen King was featured on both programs, and makes the point that women were much more involved in the early 1st century church, than we know about today. The Proto-Orthodoxy of course tried to destroy these facts, so we know really little about the true stature of 1st Century women.

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

      Andrew, you mentioned you had a couple of theories about linking Thomas to the 2nd Century. I am interested in knowing methodologies in doing that. I'd be interested in hearing about them.

      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. Of all the written Christian literature the parables are most likely to have come down to us closest to what Jesus had actually told.

      I think showing that the Thomas parables are the oldest, and Gnostic, with as many ways as possible would help establish that Jesus related Gnostic ideas, and had a Gnostic pedagogy. Would some of the methodologies for showing 2nd century stuff work for showing oldest, and Gnostic?

      Tom Saunders
      Platter, OK















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    • Tom Saunders
      Hi All, I was referencing from memory of past discussions, about a reference somewhere for the idea that Mani s pupils wrote Thomas. I remember the important
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 13 1:14 PM
        Hi All,

        I was referencing from memory of past discussions, about a reference somewhere for the idea that Mani's pupils wrote Thomas. I remember the important part of the reference was that it was thought to be a false statement, and Mani's 'three pupils' could not have written it. I am sorry for using the reference except that it got a good deal of interest for discussion. I did not think that reference would turn out to be that important, because it was, after all, not true. What is the first reference in Christian History to the GThom?

        Manichaeans can be aligned with the "Psalms of Thomas" as the title of the work is "Manachaean Psalms of Thomas," According to one source the Manichaeans were attacked and persecuted by 303, in a purge.

        I think there are parallels to the "Manachaean Psalms of Thomas" but not a huge amount that would prove a direct literary dependence to the GThom. (That is, with the way I am understanding that methodology) On the other hand here is a Christian sect that honors Thomas. The one real link to the GThom is that it was a well kept secret. My point about constructing a Thomas from a Matthew, and Luke, is that you don't need a Thomas to produce a Thomas, you only need Matthew and Luke, or if you know Thomas, perhaps you need only Matthew.

        Thomas is as old as the secret to using it and we know that Gnostics existed in the environments where Christianity began. (Am I correct in the assumption the process of apokatastasis is directly linked to Gnostic practice?) If so we are looking at Gnosticism at the earliest times in Christian history.

        Now, if I knew how to devise a test to see if there is Gnosticism in the 'Psalms of Thomas' I could then use that information to figure out how Gnostic are the "Psalms" and how Gnostic is Thomas? My current position on Gnosticism and Christianity is that Gnosticism became a reality in Christianity when the first one familiar with a Gnostic epistemology became Christian. The big question is how much of that epistemology did Jesus know about?

        Tom Saunders
        Platter Flats, OK







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      • Tom Saunders
        Hi Mike, 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
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 14 11:53 AM
          Hi Mike,

          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.

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

          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."

          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?

          Tom Saunders
          Prunikus, OK






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        • Tom Saunders
          Hi Andrew, IMO the statements about priests and levites should be taken in the same way. They are not saying things about literal levites but things about what
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 25, 2004
            Hi Andrew,

            IMO the statements about priests and levites should be taken
            in the same way. They are not saying things about literal levites
            but things about what John on a spiritual level really means when
            he talks about levites.

            I ranted out an explanation to Mike I think would pretty much be my view on psychics, and gnostics or pneumatics. Heracleon's statement's all of them, jump out to me as someone who understands becoming a pneumatic is one who is the kind of Craftsmen Clement describes, Paul too. He's one of them. An animate person walking around as if joined with the Holy Spirit.

            I read Heracleon like Clement looking to put a puzzle together from arcane knowledge. I was looking for a way to explain Gnostic backgrounds to support that GThomas was written in part for those who had some similar idea about a local form of gnositicism besides Mandaeanism would have influenced Jesus to address 1st c. gnostics. Heracleon's statements say to me that Levites were the Jews I was looking for who could have thought up the idea of being alive, and pleromic, which put in another way is being a pneumatic.

            I don't want to be redundant with what I wrote to Mike. I have a perception of how to become "Wisdom."
            Like Thomas' Emperor in India, I have to die, then "I'll see the Temple." I realize that I am not using the kind of paralleling that shows relationships we make in this group to N.T Gospels. I would admit that I study 'form' in the martial arts as hidden information and I see the same kind of hidden and arcane information in the gnostic works, as I do ancient kata (forms), and this is all hidden knowledge, all in plain site. That is the way I read gnostic texts. This is the way they make sense to me. But, I am looking for the gnosticism.

            Putting your own stuff into a gnostic framework is how you have to build a framework. If you are not looking for Gnosticism you probably won't see it. Heracleon in my opinion is teaching esoteric knowledge in his statements about the GJohn. He is advising those who want to be one with the Pleroma while animate in human matter.

            My framework is my framework and yours is yours, but show me the pleroma with a framework. If what I say in my post to Mike about this structure makes sense, try looking at Clement and Heracleon again with an eye toward a gnostic framework.

            Tom Saunders
            Platter, OK





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