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Puline Thought?

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  • Tom Saunders
    Hi Mike. In Pauline thought, to be baptized is to partake of J s death (and THEN to enter the new life of the spirit). In Gnostic thought this would be
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 28, 2004
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      Hi Mike.

      " In Pauline thought, to be baptized is to partake of J's death (and THEN to enter the new life of the spirit)."

      In Gnostic thought this would be similar if the water symbolized Jesus in the same way, but I doubt it. The Gospel of Phillip is not based upon Pauline thought, and neither is Thomas.

      Phillip says a few things about baptism that are not going to correlate with orthodox views of baptism.
      "The chrism is superior to baptism for it is from the word chrism that we have been called Christians, certainly not from the word baptism."

      In the "Nag Hammadi Lib. on page 153, the second paragraph is badly damaged and I don't want to speculate what it says. The third paragraph is revealing that there is a view point of 'some' that receiving baptism means avoiding death.

      "Those who say they will die and first and rise are in error. If they do not first receive the resurrection (Chrism is perhaps symbolic here to resurrection) while they live when they die they will receive nothing. So also when talking about baptism, They say Baptism is a great thing, because when people receive it they will live."

      And Phillip falls short here of saying 'they' like those hoping for a Pauline Baptism, are in error. He does say on the bottom of pg. 153, "That he who has been anointed (received the chrism) possesses everything. He possesses the resurrection (apokatastasis), the light, (The Word), the cross, and the holy spirit. The father gave him this in the bridal chamber......"

      The 'new life of the spirit' for the Gnostic is not with the baptism, it is with the chrism ( apokatastasis), with the Holy Spirit. I think both oil of the chrism, and water of the baptism make the substances symbolic in much the same way, but to different processes, and beliefs about them. Phillip is not talking about a Pauline theory, unless Paul subscribed to the following.....

      In NHL on page 488, "On Baptism A" it states that the first baptism is for the forgiveness of sins. It is clear that the Gnostics had a baptism ceremony, but I see it having nothing to do with an orthodox philosophy, like Pauline thought. 'Baptism B' is a whopper..... " From the world into the Jordan {baptismal water} and from the blindness of the world, into the sight of God, from the carnal into the spiritual, into the angelic, from the created {by apokatastasis}, into the Pleroma." These baptism descriptions are probably from Valentinus.

      'From the blindness of the world, into the sight of God, from the carnal into the spiritual from the created, into the Pleroma,' is the exact structure I parallel to all the other Heracleon and GPhil passages we have talked about. It is not a complete model, but it is the very structure and method to use as the parallel to the other passages I have been talking about. A Gnostic should not be 'chrismtized' without one.

      If not then you get 'dunked' in the baptismal water and join in with Jesus' death and start picking out your living room furniture for the hereafter. And, you don't worry about 'understanding' these words in the Gospel of Thomas. Being 'created' from the carnal to the spiritual to become pleromic is all taken care of in one good 'dunkin' and then you're Logos, and on the way to the furniture store. There is the Eucharist....and the Sabbath, and the occasional 'dunking' to 'keep em,' the orthodoxy coming back.

      I take this sarcastic view knowing the Israelite "Apocalypse of Peter" declares the church the 'stairway to heaven' or something of the such. The Gnostic stairway to heaven is evolving the gnostic process and structure into your perception. That would be the one where you read the Gospels, all of them, with the 'gnostic' parallel you 'create' to go 'pleromic.' That would be the one you use to overcome the 'blindness of the world the author of Phillip is talking about.

      An interesting Gnostic is this author of Phillip. He drops a hint who he might be in terms of his lineage....Pge 153 NHL. "The father anointed the Son, and the Son anointed the Apostle's, and the Apostles anointed us." Us would be the lineage of, Polycarp, Barnabus, Pantaenus, Heracleon, Basilides, Isadore, Valentinus, Clement, etc. It also puts Phillip in the early Christian movement. How early does anyone think the GPhil could have been written based on 'us' being a 1st generation Christian?

      Tom Saunders
      Platter, OK

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