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Re: [GTh] Response to Andrew

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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