Re: [GTh] Pre-Christian Gnosticism
- [Tom Saunders]:
> First, I submitted the definition of 'prunikus' from our own glossary,Nope, I didn't, but it doesn't make any difference. I don't regard the
> when you asked. That is where I got the term. I thought perhaps you
> might recognize the source of our own glossary.
glossary (which is basically your own) as reliable, since it rarely
indicates where a term occurs in ancient texts, and the source of the
entries themselves has never been clear. I know you put this together from
various online sources, but there's no way to judge the reliability of those
sources, since you didn't indicate what they were. Since I myself haven't
seen the term 'Pistis Sophia Prunikus' in anly of the Nag Hammadi texts, I
still wonder where it came from, though now I understand that you don't
> I qualified that I was using 'prunikus' as slang, and used it that way.Neither 'faulty' nor 'flawed' is "slang" for 'whore'. It isn't allowable to
use words any way you want to.
> Should I put references in our own glossary each time I use it?There's no need to use Greek or gnostic terms at all, unless the text being
analyzed uses them. But yes, if you use an unfamiliar term, a reference to
the glossary would indicate your immediate source. It doesn't, however,
address the question of the primary historical source of some of the terms
in the glossary.
> "For I have heard from one of the wise that we are now dead; and that theBut as you have seen, the implication about Plato's view which you drew from
> body is our sepulchre."--PLATO.
> This statement, not the whole of Plato's work is in contention in my
> address to it. In this statement there is no earthly escape implied,
> and the connotation and denotation are that life on earth is being dead.
the quote is invalid. That could have been avoided - not by being familiar
with "the whole of Plato's work", but by not jumping to implications about
the quote unless you knew that those implications were consistent with the
context of the quote. If nothing else, the phrase "For I have heard ..."
should have tipped you off that this might not have been Plato's own view.
> Kenoma, from our members source means, implies, relates, etc., thatNevertheless, you may be interested to know that Plato DID believe in the
> earthly state, where one is 'prunikus,' (flawed), and that state is due
> to the fact he/she is separate from the perfect state in the Palermo, and
> therefor flawed. This is not the same 'earthly' analogy as Plato makes
> in his statement- life is death in the body.
pre-existence of the soul. In fact, he had a "proof" of it. I'd suggest that
you not play around with Plato until you come to know more about his views.
> "The Thomas parables aren't about epistemology, and they aren't GnosticPure speculation.
> in any meaningful sense." [MG]
> If you believe there is no relevant 'theory of knowledge' (epistemology)
> involved in the Thomas parables and there is no 'knowledge' concerning
> them in any meaningful sense, ("they aren't Gnostic"), what are they for?
> Are they statements, the most likely ones Jesus actually related,
> ... with no meaningful sense?You seem to be suggesting that for a statement to have meaningful sense, it
has to be epistemological and/or gnostic. This suggestion is absurd. Even if
it were correct, then ALL meaningful statements would have this
characteristic, and so your claim that the Thomas parables in particular had
this characteristic would be uninteresting, because it would be
tautological - rather like proclaiming that the parables were composed of
> If you really believe my out of context statement of yours above, then canDo you mean can I fix up your statements? Why should I do your work for
> you make it true?
you - especially since you make so many claims that stand in need of being
> Or will you be just like the guy in Saying 64, who is receiving guests...This is apparently another new sense for 'prunikus' (now meaning 'awry', or
> who doesn't get any guests. He believes he will, and his plan goes all
something like that - certainly not 'faulty' or 'flawed', since it doesn't
make sense to say that a plan "goes" faulty or flawed). If you can't use the
word right, don't use it.
> The entire homeowners association, renters, and storehouse keepers inMore than that, the parables are not cast with a "Gnostic" framework in
> Sayings 63-65, fall victims to the unawareness in the kenoma, the pleroma,
> and the psyche. OOOOps, there I go again, there is no pleroma, kenoma,
> or psyche in the parables, 'cause they ain't mentioned.'
mind. You're projecting gnostic thinking onto them, and then proclaiming
that they're examples of gnostic thinking. Take 63 as the best example.
Sure, there's a contrast drawn between this world and the one that the man
should have been concerned about, and if YOU equate the kenoma with this
world, and the pleroma with the perfect world, then you could say that this
is how _a gnostic_ would have understood it, but that doesn't show that #63
is gnostic. It only shows that one can translate it into terminology which
is purportedly gnostic, but which is in fact conceptually indistinguishable
from standard Christian theory. If standard Christian theory is gnostic,
then the claim that parts of Thomas are gnostic is totally uninteresting -
because it only means that they're Christian, which we knew already.
> Plato, I am so relieved to know from our wonderful members who help meLook, 63-65 are in the synoptics. So if they're "Gnostic" in some important
> stumble about in my 'prunikus' academic attempts, inform me, that Plato
> has something like an earthly state, a heavenly state, and a hell. You
> say he ain't got no kenoma, as I understand it, by my interpretation of
> your above statement, because he does not use the term. Neither do
> any of the parables contain any meaningful Gnostic sense by your
sense, then so is that portion of the synoptics. But if that's your claim,
then you're using the word 'Gnostic' in a way that most folks don't.
> Fill me in. Do Thomas sayings not make sense in the kenomic sense,They do have a meaningful sense, but there's just no reason to bring in the
> the pleromic sense, the psyche, or Plato's earthly state, heavenly state,
> or hell, when they don't have any meaningful sense?
concepts of kenoma and pleroma, unless those terms appear in Christian
writings. Let me give you an example of what I'm trying to say: suppose I
coin the words 'zipple' and 'krasny' to use in a theory I'll call
'Grondinism'. I define the word 'zipple' to mean 'life' and 'krasny' to mean
'death'. I will now proceed to demonstrate that the Gospel of Thomas is
"Grondinistic", for does it not speak of life and death, which are the same
as zipple and krasny? Ergo, GTh is Grondinistic. Being the author of this
theory, I'm quite pleased to "discover" that the ancients were all along
speaking in support of it. What's wrong with this picture?
> Let me speculate that these Gnostics must have been confused if nobodyPlato had a "Gnostic-type agenda"? Whatever do you mean?
> Christian ever thought about Plato having a Gnostic type agenda where
> these states could have possible occult and hidden meanings in relation
> to one another.
Evidently, Christianity and Platonism are "Gnostic" to you. If so, it would
seem at first glance to be more historically accurate to say that
Christianity and Gnosticism are Platonistic, since the latter came first.
But you see, here's where that problem of big-G "Gnosticism" and small-g
"gnosticism" comes in. "Gnosticism" is generally understood to be a
theoretical approach that developed post-Plato. If you want to claim that
Plato was a major proponent of small-g "gnosticism", then you need to spell
out what that is, so that you and other folks don't get confused about what
you mean when you claim that the Thomas parables are "gnostic". Better yet
would be to avoid the term that causes the confusion. There's no doubt in my
mind that Platonisitic ideas undergird Christianity (whether they came
directly from Plato or not), but there is a lot of doubt about what
"gnosticism" means. If it means that one can "know" about the existence and
nature of a supernatural world essentially separate from the natural world,
then this is a generic "gnosticism" that could develop in many different
directions, only one of which is represented by the various full-fledged,
dualistic, and heretical cosmological systems (wherein the world was
regarded as having been created by an inferior god) that we associate with
big-G "Gnosticism". Hence, if you speak of a generic "gnosticism" present in
Plato, there's no necessary connection with later "Gnostic" systems.
Now having worked my way through much of your reasoning, it does seems that
what you have in mind is some kind of generic "gnosticism" that is
supposedly common to Plato, Christianity, and big-G "Gnosticism". It remains
for you to spell out what that is, exactly - and hopefully without using
big-G "Gnostic" terminology to do so, since that begs the question and is
irrelevant and anachronistic to boot.
Mt. Clemens, MI