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Re: The Cave of John the Baptist

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  • Karl
    Hey Tom, I hope your Holidays have gone well... and the same for everyone else here. Tom, you state.... ... built around harmonic parallels to the process and
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 1, 2005
      Hey Tom, I hope your Holidays have gone well... and the same for
      everyone else here.

      Tom, you state....

      >>>"This is what I see in the Thomas Gospel, a secondary implication
      built around harmonic parallels to the process and elements of
      Gnosis.

      Harmonizing represents a natural tendency of the human mind to
      resolve discord by drawing contrasting elements into a balanced
      composition. It is the opposite of analyzing: separating a
      composition into its constituent parts."<<<

      Well, on a personal note, my first major back in my university says
      was music composition. I am well versed in the notion
      of "harmonizing" ;) *lol*. I can not only agree, but actually
      empathize with everything you said but one point... and that point I
      strongly disagree with.

      Harmonizing is in no way the opposite of analyzing. In music you
      cannot draw a line between the ability to take a piece apart from
      the ability to put a piece together.... and I think the same is true
      of critical understanding of a text like this. If we are attempting
      to understand without committing eisegesis (and this does not
      exclude initiatory or emotional response), we cannot put it together
      if we cannot take it apart.

      Ok, well, I do understand that I am simply speaking anecdotally,
      here, but I think the point is important all the same. You cannot
      harmonize an augmented scale with the "A-m" scale into unaltered
      chord structures... to connect the two you must instead "modulate".
      I think the distinction works as an observation of critical
      understanding of these texts as well.

      >>>"In addition to parallel harmonization of similar text, is the
      question of literary dependence, or which version of a similar text
      was first. There are five basic indicators of literary
      dependence.....(Karen King.)"<<<

      Since I was under the impression that Karen King agrees with Dr
      Williams in the view that there is actually no such thing
      as "Gnosticism" I am not completely sure I am understanding your
      point in her inclusion. However to deal with these points.....

      >>>"
      1. Extensive word for word similarity. (citation)
      2. Similar arrangement or ordering of materials.
      3. Similar narrative context or setting.
      4. The use of a citation formula, between texts. (I have omitted
      Kings examples
      as I do not entirely understand them.)
      5. Use of language specific to the source work.
      "<<<

      This only outlines literary dependence.... and literary dependence
      can actually be about opposition. So when you say……

      >>>"The harmonics and parallels of Gnostic works, regardless of even
      citation to
      canonized scripture, are not dependent upon the harmonic or literary
      purpose of
      non-Gnostic texts. The harmony and literary dependence of Gnostic
      works are
      based upon the elements and process of Gnosis. Both key terms,
      ideas, and the
      process of Gnosis in the Christian Gnostic context, can be shown to
      be
      formalized (IMO) in a citation formula, and harmony schema, relative
      to "Thomas" and the related
      texts to it."<<<<

      ….. it becomes important to point out that the concept of "Gnosis"
      does not necessarily even have a singular function WITHING the
      Gnostic works, and that at the very least we should be very careful
      about specifying such a direct literary dependence between works
      that were generally used without relation to each other. And
      inversely we should not assume relation where texts may have been
      used in conjunction. The reason I think it is important is because
      of your next part…..

      >>>>"The purpose of Gnosis is devoid in Orthodox works, unless you
      try to separate
      out bits and pieces that 'could be Gnostic.' The purpose of
      learning 'Gnosis' in
      the Gospel of Thomas is obvious in the construction of the parables,
      and other
      sayings warning of a lack of Gnosis, like the Pharisees. I see the
      citation
      formula in the Gnostic texts as allegory aimed at implying the
      elements and
      process of Gnosis. The bonding with the Holy Spirit, and becoming a
      'Craftsman,' or Pneumatic….. {snip}

      ….Thomas fits both the secondary formula that coincides with
      literary dependence
      on other traditional Gospel works, but shows a harmonic paralleling
      to the
      Gnostic works. Does the fact the Thomas parables are clearly in the
      literary
      formula for Gnosis, and the 'other' parables from other works, have
      lost this
      aim, show that the Thomas parables were first? Did the 'sagacious
      and Mystery
      ideas come from "Baptist" practices?"<<<

      You confused me a bit here. Could you tell me exactly what Gnostic
      texts you mean to refer to when you equate "Craftsman"
      with "Pneumatic"? Well, in truth it isn't important I guess, the
      real point I think is the importance you place on the concept of
      Gnosis in this literary dependence.

      I think it is very interesting that in Dr Logan's introduction to
      his book "Gnostic Truth and Christian Heresy" he uses essentially
      the same argument as you to present the opposite opinion. I hope it
      is ok with you that I present a little criticism, not of the theory
      you offer so much as the fact that I think that in both Dr Logan's
      case and yours the methodology should maybe give less emphasis to
      the significance of ideological elements in the texts for literary
      dependence and dating. In truth, this implies very little concerning
      which came first. On the contrary, it is only the rhetorical
      linguistic usage of the term "lost this aim" that implies origin.
      You could have just as easily said "Added this aim" and reversed the
      two movements. Let me say that at this time I am more convinced of
      the theory you are trying to demonstrate than his, I simply think
      that perhaps there are some textual elements that you did not use
      that would have served you better.

      Karl
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