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Re: [GTh] Pauline Thought?

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  • Michael Grondin
    Tom- I ve taken the liberty of correcting your misspelling of Pauline in the subject title. ... Who said they were? ... In my previous two notes, I suggested
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 28 9:29 PM
      Tom-

      I've taken the liberty of correcting your misspelling of 'Pauline' in the
      subject title.

      > The Gospel of Phillip is not based upon Pauline thought, and neither is
      > Thomas.

      Who said they were?

      > Phillip says a few things about baptism that are not going to correlate
      > with orthodox views of baptism.

      In my previous two notes, I suggested that the author of GPhil was arguing
      against the Pauline concept of baptism. Here, you seem to agree with me
      (insofar as "orthodox" = "Pauline"), but then later in your note (which I'll
      get to in a moment), you suggest otherwise. First, though, a short
      digression into your use of the word 'apokatastasis':

      > ... 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......"

      Lest this be misunderstood, the parenthetical insertions here are yours, not
      the translator's. Also, I assume that you're not suggesting that
      'apokatastasis' MEANS 'resurrection'. In fact, the Greek word for
      'resurrection' (the word used in the text) is 'anastasis'. 'Apokatastasis'
      means something like 'restoration', as far as I can determine. (It would
      help if you would use the English equivalent of the Greek terms you're
      using. Members of the list should not be burdened by having to look up
      unfamiliar terms. Also, they need to know how YOU are using the word.)

      > The 'new life of the spirit' for the Gnostic is not with the baptism, it
      > is with the chrism ( apokatastasis), with the Holy Spirit.

      Why did you insert 'apokatastasis' here after 'chrism'? Seems to me that
      either you don't understand what 'apokatastasis' means, or you're doing
      funny things with it without explaining what you're doing.

      > 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.....
      > (quotes from "On Baptism" A and B) ...
      > These baptism descriptions are probably from Valentinus.

      Quite so - which shows that your reasoning is very confused, since Paul
      presumably did NOT subscribe to the Valentinian views in "On Baptism". Hence
      to say that "Phillip is not talking about a Pauline theory, unless Paul
      subscribed to [the Valentinian theory in "On Baptism"]" is a specious and
      self-contradictory argument.

      In my previous notes, I gave reason to suppose that GPhil WAS talking about
      a Pauline theory - in order to rebut it. You're suggesting now, I take it,
      that GPhil's author was rebutting another Valentinian's view of baptism. To
      resolve this, let's try to figure out who "those who say" are in the
      following passage:

      > Those who say they will die first and [then] rise are in error. If they do
      > not first receive the 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."

      Seems to me that the view ascribed to "those who say" here is an orthodox
      view. It may be that some Valentinians endorsed that view, but that doesn't
      make it any less orthodox. It isn't
      so much evident in this passage that that view was also Pauline, but the
      other passage disassociating the water of baptism from death seems directed
      at the Pauline doctrine that to be baptized was to participate in Christ's
      death. In the passage above, the author seems concerned with denying the
      other part of the Pauline doctrine - that to be baptized is also to
      participate in Christ's resurrection. (We should think of full immersion -
      being submerged under the water presumably correlated with death, the
      popping up out of the water with "resurrection" - i.e., entry into a new
      spiritual life. When it became more common after Paul's time for baptisms to
      be performed in churches using consecrated water, rather than in rivers or
      other natural bodies of water, the water involved could presumably no longer
      be associated with the world, or with death.)

      Mike Grondin
      Mt. Clemens, MI
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