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John v. Thomas

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  • Tom Saunders
    Hi All, I have a question regarding the differences between Thomas, and Johanian or Johnnite Christianity. If we can for the sake of comparison call the Nag
    Message 1 of 4 , May 18, 2004
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      Hi All,

      I have a question regarding the differences between Thomas, and Johanian or Johnnite Christianity. If we can for the sake of comparison call the Nag Hammadi and related texts such as Pistis Sophia etc., Alexandrian Gnosticism, what major differences do you see in the comparison of the two?

      Certainly one of the major differences is the influence of thought in regard to doceticism or spirit. Here are some fragments that describe what Clement and Heracleon termed as spirit.....


      Heracleon of Alexandria, Fragment 24, on John 4:24 (In John 4:24a, it says,) "God is spirit." Undefiled, pure, and invisible is his divine nature. (In John 4:24b, it says,) "Those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. Worthily of the one who is worshipped, in a spiritual, not a fleshly fashion. For those who have the same nature as the Father are themselves spirit, and they worship in truth, not in error, as the Apostle teaches when he calls this kind of piety " a rational service." (Romans 12:2)."

      "Now the vital force, in which is comprehended the power of nutrition and growth, and generally of motion, is assigned to the carnal spirit, which has great susceptibility of motion, and passes in all directions through the senses and the rest of the body, and through the body is the primary subject of sensations. But the power of choice, in which investigation, and study, and knowledge, reside, belongs to the ruling faculty. But all the faculties are placed in relation to one -- the ruling faculty: it is through that man lives, and lives in a certain way. ( Stromata, Bk 6)"

      Did these ideas of spirit disapear from Christianity with the advent of the proto-orthodox?

      Tom Saunders
      Platter, OK



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