bride's chamber in Thomas
- Hi Andrew,
Eusebius claimed that the Therapeutae were early Christians
and others have followed him, but it is IMO just a wild guess.
In China during the first century there were also Theraputae like references. What I mean by this is there was a social movement to share and learn new information in the same areas of study as suggested by what we know about Theraputae. That is really all we know about this movement too, is there seems to be some historical links (blips) to people hitting the trail (silk routes) to distant lands to seek information.
Both east and west during this time period may have seen Theraputae on the trail, but real historical and archeological proof is lacking. It seems it would be like Albright looking for the historical patriarchs in the hill country of Canaan, Bethel, etc. The nomadic folks in this movement would have left little behind as evidence of their existence, and probably put down roots in different places. However there was motive for the exchange of information during this time period and at least to a degree it probably happened. A great setting for historical fiction, if nothing else.
I read where Franklin makes the distinction between Simon Peter and Simon Magus. This is what he said.
"Eusebius records that between 40 and 45 A.D. the great Jewish Stoic Philosopher Philo (an on again off again personal friend of the Caesers) traveled to Rome from Alexandria, Egypt to pay a special visit to Simon (Eusebius insists this Simon was the Peter we know in scripture when he was in actuality the Great Magus, the chief magi, and not Simon Peter). Philo persuaded Simon to graft into his liturgy that of the Theraputae of Egypt. Simon made many visits to Egypt after this in order to better learn of their ways."
It seems that the description (picture) of Essenes and Theraputae are very similar in their values and lifestyles. This to me makes the existence of Theraputae more plausible. Far more important to Thomas is the Heracleon statement about Levites and gnosis. ( being one with the pleroma, while living) This indicates pre-Christian gnosticism from both Jewish and Mandaean pools of thought, and supports the idea that pre-Christian gnosticism did influence Jesus' teachings.
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