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Re: The Cave of John the Baptist.

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  • Karl
    Tom.... ... a piece apart and put it together in our minds, to me is like the statement in Phillip which says, faith receives and love gives. It is like an
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 7, 2005
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      Tom....

      >>>"I understand your statement here but the ability to take
      a 'piece' apart and put it together in our minds, to me is like
      the statement in Phillip which says, 'faith receives and love
      gives.' It is like an analogy to the process of breath or pneuma as
      spirit. In this sense it is more than analyzing, and de-analyzing. I
      don't see it in a linear, exact, or mathematical type of analysis,
      completely. Gnostic works should be read as occult material.

      The laws of musical harmony, are linear and fixed. The Gnostic
      harmonizes with a sagacious or occult harmony in his interpretation
      of Gnostic scripture, and it will not be linear in perspective or
      meant to be understood like the musical harmony point you make. This
      may be one point of why the Thomas Gospel is written as if in no
      particular form or order. There is an opposite side to it,
      maybe it is."<<<<

      I understood that, Tom, which is partly why I chose music as the
      example. I don't think you mean to imply that music is strictly an
      anylitical process either, do you? In fact, music is an "occult"
      practice in the truest meaning of the term.

      Usually when somebody uses the term "harmony" in conjunction with
      the study of Christian history, they are talking about the type of
      early liturature called a "Harmony" in which the Gospels are spliced
      together in attempt to make a cohesive whole. However, the problem
      is that these Gospels were never intended to be read this way, so
      these harmonies are based on certain assumptions of cohesion that
      don't exist in the original works.

      The same can be said of "Gnostic" works.

      However, I get the impression that you are drawing a larger line
      between "Gnostic" and "Orthodox" than actually historically existed,
      while assumeing a greater "harmony" between Gnostic texts than
      actually exists. While I do understand that you would like to
      explore an outline that lends greater clarity to the points
      that "Gnostic" beliefs had in common, I think that this line of
      literary interaction may have less meaning on that front than it may
      be tempting to see in them.

      The case becomes more difficult when we are talking about literary
      dependence. The reason there is no "Gnostic Interpretation for
      Dummies" (as you call it) is because hermaneutic outlines are given
      within the confines of a group. This is even more true in the kind
      of initiatory group you are talking about. In fact, this becomes so
      much the case that literary origins, and even the liturature itself,
      can often say very little about what a group actually believes.
      Consider how different Jewish and Christian groups that use the very
      same liturature are in their beliefs.

      BTW, can you point out exactly where you are equating "Pneumatics"
      with "Craftsman"? Since Clement is not Gnostic, in the way Sethians
      are "Gnostic", I am a little bit thrown of by the equation you are
      making.

      >>>"In other words, does the Gospel of Mary, Phillip, Truth, etc.,
      comply with the harmony we see presented in Thomas? From the "Corpus
      Juris Secundum" "The first step in "looking up the law" is the
      formulation of the precise question the answer to which is sought."
      This is called 'fixing the question,' and it is what we have to do
      to establish the harmony or parallels we can qualify as "Gnostic." I
      actually think this very idea is underwritten in both Clement's
      work and some of the Gnostic scripture, concerning ideas of
      organization."<<<

      Fixing the question sounds, in this particular case, like a short
      step from the logical fallacy of "Begging the question" and doing
      this never yields accurate results. Sure, if you want to take
      specific attrubutes that you desire to highlight in common with
      certain texts, you could do it with ANY texts. But this fails to
      deal with whether those attributes are in fact the primary concerns
      of the texts involved, or whether we are creating meanings through
      eisegesis.

      And, ALL this must be based on whether or not Thomas is even
      technically "Gnostic". It is one thing to theorize that it is, it is
      another thing to start bassing other theories on this as a base
      assumption. At this point, it is like building a house on a
      foundation of sand. I still think that there are other evidences you
      could use to make your same case that would offer you better results.

      Karl
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