- Hi Mike,
"What I want to know is why you call such "elements" as spirit and soul
"Gnostic" when in fact they were in wide use by just about everybody."
That is part of my point about ideas like the demiurge having one meaning for the Gnostics and another for the proto-Orthodox. It also relates to what I have been saying about things being hidden in plain sight right in front of us.
"Is this a back-hand way of admitting that your data was haphazardly put
together, and isn't meaningful? If so, we can stop right now, cuz I agree."
No. But we are dealing with a very crafty bunch of folks who are imbedding their key stuff in the texts, just like Clement did, and says he did in "Stromata." I could have extended the sets into what is said about man and nature and animals. Think about... "Before Christ came, there was no bread in the world, just as Paradise, the place were Adam was, had many trees to nourish the animals but no wheat to sustain man. Man used to feed like the animals, but when Christ came, the perfect man, he brought bread from heaven in order that man might be nourished with the food of man." (Phillip)
The insight here into the nature of man and his relation to the animal kingdom is adverse to the standard idea of the proto-Orthodox about creationism, and the nature of man to animals. Like the passages about the Sabbath, these ideas are radical for the times, especially in the light that so many Christians align themselves to the Jewish roots of the creation myth, and Jewish law.
I don't think 8 is the magic number in the sets. I could extend some sets to more than 8, but my feeling was this was enough to show that the texts were related in these (key) concepts.
I am not sure you are using the 'Seed' set I posted last, in the title of "Books," and I did make some changes in the sets I posted, so for that I apologize for not making those changes clear. I have put the sets for Seed, and Tree below. [Ed note: this material removed because it duplicated earlier-posted material.] I am not sure about the reference you made to No. 8, which would be 'Garments' in the 'Books' and there is no duplication.
Actually at this point I think we need to both stop, and agree that there is a relationship between these texts that show a cohesive beleif system between what I have deemed as the key ideas in the 'core texts.' We can be at odds to the point that we miss the 'meat and potatoes' of what are and are not core Gnostic ideas related to Thomas. That is why I did these constructions, and the important point I was seeking. I know these works so much better now than I did, I can't see the effort as a waist of time at all. These works cannot be based upon a separate belief system for each one.
I think the relationship in the texts are far more than just being familiar with them in respect to one idea influencing a like idea. I see a concerted effort to hide the same idea by using a different term to express the same idea. The case in point would be the extensive variation in the use of the terms Savior, Father, Pleroma, All, Holy Spirit, Logos, Sophia, etc., being used constantly as if they did mean different things.