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Tom's Constructions

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... We have not reached a point of agreement. In the first place, I disagree that the 23 theme-sets (which you erroneously call secret books ) are the key
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 8, 2004
      [Taking Tom's comments somewhat out of order]:
      > 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 have not reached a point of agreement. In the first place, I disagree
      that the 23 theme-sets (which you erroneously call 'secret books') are "the
      key ideas" in the set of texts involved. Secondly, we haven't yet agreed on
      what are the "core texts", since you haven't explicitly agreed with the
      contention in my previous note that the Gospel of Mary, the Prayer of Paul,
      and the set of 5 small texts should be eliminated from your list of "core
      texts". Do you agree with that or not? If not, please indicate why you
      believe that the argument I presented for their exclusion isn't conclusive.

      > 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.

      The "meat and potatoes" is precisely what we disagree about. You claim that
      your 23 themes are "core Gnostic ideas"; I claim that they are not. You may
      recall that in your original note under the title "The Books", you wrote "I
      would appreciate any input you [the reader] can give me." I am now giving
      you that input, but you now seem to be adopting the attitude that one
      shouldn't look at the data too closely. At least, that is what I surmise
      from your failure to answer specific questions about it, and your apparent
      attempt to divert attention from it. Look, either your data shows something
      or it does not. If it does, it ought to be able to withstand close scrutiny.
      If you think it can't stand up to close scrutiny, then you have no right to
      make statements about what you think it shows.

      > 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.

      Well, one of the immediate results of dropping the five small texts from
      your list of "core texts" would be that the theme of "drink/cup" would seem
      to fall by the wayside as well, since those small texts account for 3 of the
      8 passages under that theme, and since the remaining 5 passages all come
      from but two of the texts (GTh and GPh). Secondly, you haven't answered my
      question about the missing passage #5 from the theme "Truth" and the missing
      passage #3 from the theme "Trees". Earlier, you indicated that some of your
      theme-sets have only 7 citations to them. Are these two themes ("Truth" and
      "Trees") among those that have only 7 - so that one should renumber the
      passages under them? Please indicate which themes have less than 8 citations
      at this point, so that I can get clear about this. And if "Truth" and
      "Trees" are supposed to have 8, please furnish the missing passages.

      > I am not sure about the reference you made to No. 8, which would be
      > 'Garments' in the 'Books' and there is no duplication.

      What I said was this:

      > I note that under the theme "Seed", you've included the same passage from
      > GTr twice (compare #3 with #8).

      Look at passages #3 and #8 (both from GTr) under the theme "The Seed".
      You'll see that, although #3 is longer than #8, it includes all of it, and
      that #8 is the part where "seed" is mentioned. Hence, they're essentially
      duplicates. If you agree, I will drop #3 from my list, and then "The Seed"
      will become one of those themes that has 7 passages purportedly related to
      it, instead of 8.

      Finally, there's this:

      > 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.

      But they DID mean different things! No "as if" about it. There's no "hiding"
      involved with respect to these concepts. What you call "hiding" is in fact a
      failure on your part to recognize conceptual difference when you see it -
      hence a failure to understand the texts you're reading. I could prove this
      by numerous textual citations from the four works that evidently now
      constitute your "core texts" (e.g., in GTh, blasphemy against the Father is
      forgiveable, but against the HS isn't, hence they must be different). As
      long as you continue to mush distinct concepts like this together, you're
      going to continue to be a "blind guide" to both gnosticism and the GTh.

      Mike Grondin
      Mt. Clemens, MI

      p.s.: In your respone, please do not ignore the specific questions I asked
      about your data.
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