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[GTh] Re: Parallels between GTh and Paul

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  • jmgcormier
    ... wrote: etc, etc, etc ... ... Hello Kevin … All good points and thank you. When you say Paul values the knowledge (gnosis) of Jesus over all
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 1 3:39 PM
      --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Johnson" <achilles377@...>
      wrote: etc, etc, etc ...

      ----------------------------------------

      Hello Kevin …

      All good points and thank you.

      When you say "Paul values "the knowledge (gnosis)" of Jesus"
      over "all things," you are taking a great leap forward over those
      (the many, in fact) who seem to think that "gnosis" is simply
      the "ism" of knowing or of those who "know". Personally, I don't'
      think that "knowing" is such a big deal onto itself … we all "know"
      things … but what seems to be the important issue here is
      just "what" it is we are expected to know. In other words, the
      reward of Thomas' logion #2 is not simply going to be the prize of
      those who "know" (whatever that mental faculty / exercise of ours
      consists of) but it is seemingly the reward of those who know
      something very specific and very important ! The GoT never clearly
      spells that "something" out in clear detail but I think your quote
      from Phillipians. 3:5-8 probably does better than anything in GoT
      to identify that "something" by way of suggesting that it is "the
      knowledge of Christ Jesus" (and his message) that one must know. At
      least this sounds like a reasonable bet to me. Definitely a good
      point.

      Later on in your post, however, you point out (regarding the Koester
      theory) that "If Paul was arguing against a "wisdom theology" and
      producing parallels to the logia in GTh, then it is possible, or
      perhaps even probable, that he was already familiar with some
      portion of the sayings collection we now know as the Gospel of
      Thomas." … thus, seemingly concluding that GoT must have preceeded
      Paul.

      Paul, of course died c.64 – 67 CE during Nero's persecutions against
      the Christians, and if he accordingly died in the mid 60's, the late
      daters of Thomas are going to argue that all of the Johanine
      parallels (likely written much later than the mid 60s CE)in Thomas
      should then just not be in it … unless, of course, they were simply
      copied from some yet earlier (or obscure) source other than John. A
      tough "row to hoe" for sure, although "great food for thought".

      Again, thanks for your thoughts and clarifications … the mysteries
      live on !

      PS - in passing, I thought your connection between 1Cor 4:8 and
      Thomas logion 81 was brilliant ... great lead !

      Maurice Cormier
    • Jordan Stratford
      ... Let us be cautious not to confuse gnosis with episteme . Gnosis is not hey, did you hear about this Jesus guy , it is deeply incorporated insight, or
      Message 2 of 10 , Sep 1 4:06 PM
        On 1-Sep-08, at 3:39 PM, jmgcormier wrote:

        > Personally, I don't'
        > think that "knowing" is such a big deal onto itself … we all "know"
        > things … but what seems to be the important issue here is
        > just "what" it is we are expected to know. In other words, the
        > reward of Thomas' logion #2 is not simply going to be the prize of
        > those who "know" (whatever that mental faculty / exercise of ours
        > consists of) but it is seemingly the reward of those who know
        > something very specific and very important ! The GoT never clearly
        > spells that "something" out in clear detail but I think your quote
        > from Phillipians. 3:5-8 probably does better than anything in GoT
        > to identify that "something" by way of suggesting that it is "the
        > knowledge of Christ Jesus" (and his message) that one must know. At
        > least this sounds like a reasonable bet to me. Definitely a good
        > point.

        Let us be cautious not to confuse "gnosis" with "episteme". Gnosis is
        not "hey, did you hear about this Jesus guy", it is deeply
        incorporated insight, or enlightenment, without which salvation is
        merely theoretical.

        Jordan
      • jmgcormier
        ... Let us be cautious not to confuse gnosis with episteme . Gnosis is not hey, did you hear about this Jesus guy , it is deeply incorporated insight, or
        Message 3 of 10 , Sep 1 5:11 PM
          --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, Jordan Stratford <jordan@...> wrote:


          Let us be cautious not to confuse "gnosis" with "episteme". Gnosis
          is not "hey, did you hear about this Jesus guy", it is deeply
          incorporated insight, or enlightenment, without which salvation is
          merely theoretical.

          -------------------------------------

          Hello Jordan ...

          ... agreed, and this is why I added "(and his / Jesus' message)" to
          the Pauline quote.

          Much of this topic was covered "way back when" in Posts of the 5654 to
          6114 period ... along with commentaries on Karen King's "What is
          Gnosticism" book.

          Maurice
        • Kevin Johnson
          Hi, Maurice - ... Hmm... this was how I interpreted the following line from Phillipians: Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of
          Message 4 of 10 , Sep 3 6:09 PM
            Hi, Maurice -

            Maurice wrote:

            > When you say "Paul values "the knowledge (gnosis)" of Jesus"
            > over "all things," you are taking a great leap forward over those
            > (the many, in fact) who seem to think that "gnosis" is simply
            > the "ism" of knowing or of those who "know".

            Hmm... this was how I interpreted the following line from Phillipians: "Yea
            doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the
            knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all
            things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ." Perhaps you
            think I am misinterpreting Paul here by emphasizing the knowledge (gnosis)
            portion of the quote. But even if I am misinterpreting Paul in this way
            (which I don't believe is the case as I agree with Jordan's comment on the
            implications of the use of "gnosis"), the original point still stands: being
            a Pharisee is just another aspect of Paul's life that has become secondary
            (or less, since "dung" is a fairly strong term) in comparison with his
            desire to know (or "win" if you prefer) Messiah Jesus. In terms of your
            original question about how we can reconcile similarities in the wording of
            GTh and the Pauline epistles when GTh contains anti-Pharisee sayings and
            Paul was a Pharisee, I think we can conclude from the Phillipians passage
            that anti-Pharisee sayings attributed to Jesus would not have caused Paul to
            reject either Jesus or his message.

            > what seems to be the important issue here is
            > just "what" it is we are expected to know. In other words, the
            > reward of Thomas' logion #2 is not simply going to be the prize of
            > those who "know" (whatever that mental faculty / exercise of ours
            > consists of) but it is seemingly the reward of those who know
            > something very specific and very important ! The GoT never clearly
            > spells that "something" out in clear detail

            I believe that what we are supposed to be seeking and finding in Logion 2 is
            God. I plan to respond soon to Paul Lanier's recent post on this
            topic ("GTh2 and GHeb") where I hope to go into more detail on this.

            > the late
            > daters of Thomas are going to argue that all of the Johanine
            > parallels (likely written much later than the mid 60s CE) in Thomas
            > should then just not be in it � unless, of course, they were simply
            > copied from some yet earlier (or obscure) source other than John.

            The parallels to John only become an obstacle to an early date for GTh if we
            assume that John has influenced GTh or if the particular subject matter in a
            parallel saying is deemed to be a late formulation. Otherwise, the presence
            of a parallel in John could be due to its presence in GTh or some other
            tradition of Jesus' sayings and it would hold no implications for the dating
            of GTh. And even if the subject matter of a given saying is believed to be a
            late formulation, it would still not necessarily preclude other sayings in
            GTh from having an early date.

            Regards,
            - Kevin Johnson
            Leicester, Massachusetts


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Paul Lanier
            ... Posts of the 5654 to 6114 period ... along with commentaries on Karen King s What is Gnosticism book. Hi Maurice, A survey of Pauline usage of gnosis
            Message 5 of 10 , Sep 4 1:30 PM
              --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "jmgcormier" <cobby@...> wrote:

              > Much of this topic [Paul on gnosis] was covered "way back when" in
              Posts of the 5654 to 6114 period ... along with commentaries on Karen
              King's "What is Gnosticism" book.

              Hi Maurice,

              A survey of Pauline usage of "gnosis" suggests Paul never considered
              gnosis as a doctrine, "gnostic" or otherwise, that ought to be
              opposed. I don't find a group post where this has been addressed in
              detail, so I am including a list here. Obviously, for those who accept
              an early date for the first edition of Thomas, if Paul did not oppose
              gnostic doctrine then one of four things must be true:
              1. Paul supported the gnosticism of his day;
              2. Paul was neutral on gnosticism;
              3. Gnosticism did not exist, at least in Paul's area of influence; or
              4. Paul was unaware of existing gnosticism.

              Here I employ the term "gnosticism" in its broadest generic sense - a
              collection of syncretistic religious approaches affirming the
              legitimate authority of Christ and gnosis, but denying that of YHWH
              and bishops - that was opposed by the developing Roman wing of the
              early church during the second, third and fourth centuries CE.

              I would surely think Paul could not have used the term "gnosis"
              without qualification if he considered gnosticism - even in an
              incipient form - a threat that had to be countered. And in fact the
              existence of one lone passage attributed falsely to Paul (1Ti 6:20),
              which condemns gnosis in doctrinal fashion, suggests the author could
              cite nothing from Paul's authentic writings to support his position. I
              do not think there is anything controversial about this. Still I
              wanted to submit a detailed list of passages containing the term,
              "gnosis," since the question of gnostic or prot-gnostic influence on
              early Thomas is still not competely answered.

              The list is divided into five time periods:
              - Period 1 (53-59 CE)
              - Period 2 (60-69 CE)
              - Period 3 (70-95 CE)
              - Period 4 (96-119 CE)
              - Period 5 (120-140 CE)

              Period 1 is subdivided further to distinguish usages of gnosis:
              - (1a) gnosis (of God or Christ) is good
              - (1b) gnosis is good
              - (1c) gnosis is bad

              Here I organize the passages as the polarity, good-bad, to simplify
              the analysis. A five-point Estimated Good Gnosis Scale (EGGS!) could
              also be applied:
              5 - gnosis is good without qualification
              4 - gnosis is better than another good thing
              3 - another good thing is better than gnosis
              2 - another bad thing is worse than gnosis
              1 - gnosis is bad without qualification

              This produces more detail but does not change the overall results.

              I have included all passages attributed to Paul, whether authentic or
              not, since these represent the development of the Pauline community
              (although that community is surely larger geographically in Periods 3,
              4 and 5).

              Of the 22 occurences of "gnosis" in writings attributed to Paul, only
              two suggest gnosis is other than good. One (1Ti 6:20) is very late
              (c.120-c.140 CE; cf. LM White 2004: From Jesus to Christianity). The
              other occurence (1Co 8:1, 53-54 CE) cautions against gnosis producing
              arrogance, although Paul also says "we know [OIDAMEN, Strong's 1492]
              that we all have knowledge [GNWSIN, Strong's 1108]." Nevertheless I
              have labelled this as "gnosis is bad," since Paul states unambigously
              that gnosis brings arrogance. Certainly the wider context of 1Co 8:1-7
              qualifies gnosis as something which sometimes ought to defer to love
              so as not to offend a weaker conscience.

              All dates are taken from LM White 2004: From Jesus to Christianity.
              The NT text is NAS.

              regards,
              Paul Lanier

              =========================================

              PERIOD 1a (53-59 CE) -- gnosis (of Christ or God) is good (four passages):

              * 2Co 4:6 (55-57/58 CE) For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of
              darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of
              the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

              * Php 3:8 (55-56 CE) More than that, I count all things to be loss in
              view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom
              I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so
              that I may gain Christ,

              * 2Co 10:5 (55-57/58 CE) {We are} destroying speculations and every
              lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and {we are}
              taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

              * Ro 11:33 (58-59 CE) Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom
              and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and
              unfathomable His ways!

              PERIOD 1b (53-59 CE) -- gnosis is good (14 passages):

              * 1Co 1:5 (53-54 CE) that in everything you were enriched in Him, in
              all speech and all knowledge,

              * 1Co 12:8 (53-54 CE) For to one is given the word of wisdom through
              the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same
              Spirit;

              * 1Co 13:2 (53-54 CE) If I have {the gift of} prophecy, and know all
              mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove
              mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

              * 1Co 13:8 (53-54 CE) Love never fails; but if {there are gifts of}
              prophecy, they will be done away; if {there are} tongues, they will
              cease; if {there is} knowledge, it will be done away.

              * 1Co 14:6 (53-54 CE) But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in
              tongues, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of
              revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching?

              * 1Co 8:10 (53-54 CE) For if someone sees you, who have knowledge,
              dining in an idol's temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be
              strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols?

              * 1Co 8:11 (53-54 CE) For through your knowledge he who is weak is
              ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died.

              * 1Co 8:7 (53-54 CE) However not all men have this knowledge; but
              some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat {food} as if it were
              sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

              * 2Co 11:6 (55-57/58 CE) But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I
              am not {so} in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made {this}
              evident to you in all things.

              * 2Co 2:14 (55-57/58 CE) But thanks be to God, who always leads us in
              triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the
              knowledge of Him in every place.

              * 2Co 6:6 (55-57/58 CE) in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in
              kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love,

              * 2Co 8:7 (55-57/58 CE) But just as you abound in everything, in faith
              and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we
              inspired in you, {see} that you abound in this gracious work also.

              * Ro 15:14 (58-59 CE) And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also
              am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all
              knowledge and able also to admonish one another.

              * Ro 2:20 (58-59 CE) a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the
              immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,

              PERIOD 1c (53-59 CE) -- gnosis is bad (one passage):

              * 1Co 8:1 (53-54 CE) Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we
              know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love
              edifies.

              PERIOD 2 (60-69 CE) -- No passages on gnosis

              PERIOD 3 (70-95 CE) -- gnosis is good (two passages):

              * Col 2:3 (70-80 or 85-95 CE) in whom are hidden all the treasures of
              wisdom and knowledge.

              * Eph 3:19 (85-95 CE) and to know the love of Christ which surpasses
              knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

              PERIOD 4 (96-119 CE) -- No passages on gnosis

              PERIOD 5 (120-140 CE) -- gnosis is bad (one passage):

              1Ti 6:20 (c.120s-130s CE) O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to
              you, avoiding worldly {and} empty chatter {and} the opposing arguments
              of what is falsely called "knowledge"

              =========================================
            • jmgcormier
              ... Hello Paul and Kevin … … good commentary in both your recent posts re the Paul, G oT 2 and the G. Hebrews threads. A few thoughts and questions,
              Message 6 of 10 , Sep 6 7:02 PM
                --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Lanier" <jpaullanier@...>
                wrote etc., etc :
                >


                Hello Paul and Kevin …

                … good commentary in both your recent posts re the Paul, G oT 2 and
                the G. Hebrews threads. A few thoughts and questions, however, if
                you both have a moment and can help me better understand your own
                thoughts and postures …

                For openers, I found Paul's list of Pauline references
                to "knowledge" / "gnosis" (Post # 8175) very useful, although I must
                ask why you divided your references into 5 distinct time periods,
                (actually ending long after Paul's death c. 64 C.E.) and why you
                chose the time periods you did. For example, why bother to have
                a "period #2" if there are no references to "gnosis" or "knowledge"
                during that time period ? Am I to thus presume that you embrace some
                sort of a theory or belief that Paul's faith or "knowledge legacy"
                (as recorded) evolved from some sort of a logical starting point and
                ended up being "full blown" or appreciably more mature by the end of
                the fifth time period ... and possibly that the evolution of his
                thoughts on "gnosis" thus logically flows from "gnosis is bad
                without qualification" to "gnosis is good without qualification" ?

                As an add-on to the above question, I can't help but think that
                associating the word "gnosis" with the interpreted English
                word "knowledge" in Pauline writings may indeed be one way of
                identifying a certain penchant in Paul's leanings, but it does seem
                to me like a bit of a limited approach to determining if a high
                correlation or incidence of either word would make him a bona
                fide "Gnostic" … Actually, Jordan Stratford has already pointed out
                correctly (Post # 8166) that the word "knowledge" has more than one
                meaning – strictly speaking ("let us be cautious not to
                confuse "gnosis" with "episteme" "). In passing, if there are any
                etymology experts on the list, I would love to get to the root of
                the word "knowledge" in English. Interestingly, in French and in
                some of the other latin based languages, the word "knowledge"
                (connaissance) is rooted in the words "co" and "naissance" which
                when joined together literally means "co" or "joint" births … thus,
                being "born together" like (yup, you've guessed it) twins ! (Was
                Thomas Didymos perhaps simply a twin, then, because he
                was "gnostically speaking" born a body and soul twin ??? … or
                perhaps yet a "spirit twin with Jesus" as hinted at in logion #108
                …. hmmmm !)

                Coming back to the above point of simply searching out the incidence
                of "gnosis" and "knowledge" in Paul, then, why not, perhaps more
                productively search out the incidence of the
                words "light", "darkness", "raised from the dead" and other gnostic
                like expressions .. (including my own favorite pervasively used by
                Paul viz "in Jesus" or "in Him" - c.f. Thomas logion 3 – "the
                kingdom is inside of you" which occurs no less than 165 times in his
                letters alone) and which probably denotes a much greater leaning
                towards gnosticism than his use of the sole words "gnosis"
                or "knowledge"? This might better tell us if Paul had a genuine
                leaning towards gnosticism … whatever that word may truly have meant
                at the time of his writings!

                As for your excellent observation about the 4 possibilities
                regarding Paul's demeanor vis-à-vis "gnosticism" in your post of
                2008-09-04, I think this is brilliant. My own pick would be (#4)
                that "Paul (not unlike other Christians of the time period perhaps)
                was unaware of existing gnosticism." The reason I believe this is
                that I see no evidence in any canonic writings or in serious
                discoveries that "gnosticism" came as a belief system (not even an
                apologetic) in opposition to mainstream / orthodox Christianity …
                but the reverse appears to be more so true …. That is, not only have
                searchers and archeologists not (yet?) found hard evidence of
                Gnostic Churches, practiced rituals and the like which may have
                characterized early 1st century Judea, but it seems to have been a
                largely "unheard of" phenomenon in the west, at least, until
                Ireaneus suddenly pontificated against it in the name of
                Christianity late in the 2nd century. In the meantime, even he
                (Ireaneus) didn't appear to be put out or offended by some of
                the "gnostic sounding innuendos" in the accepted writings of the
                synoptics … (viz Matt 21 – let the dead bury their own dead, 18:5,
                19:4 etc etc, as well as in Luke 17:20 "the kingdom of God is in the
                midst of (within) you. … and 17:34/35 "I tell you, in that night
                there will be "two" in one bed; one will be taken and the other
                left" etc. and even in Mark "4:11 " - for those "outside"
                everything is in parables" … and the list goes on and on …) So, if
                these (Gnostic sounding) sorts of statements sounded "orthodox" to
                even Ireaneus, why would Paul and other Christians of the period
                feel that they were anything but acceptable ? ( … well, my personal
                bias anyways !) Conclusion: "Paul (not unlike other Christians of
                the time period perhaps) was likely unaware of existing gnosticism."

                Kevin (with reference to logion #2), in turn writes on 2008-09-05
                that "When trying to understand a particular saying, I tend to look
                for parallels to see if they can shed any light on the terms used.
                In his analysis of this saying, Klijn breaks it down into four
                parts: seeking/finding, finding/marvelling, marvelling/becoming
                king, and becoming king/resting."

                Personally, I have always associated this logion somewhat with
                logion #13 and the "three things or three words" which Jesus told
                Thomas which he dared not repeat. (This is where I believe "gnosis"
                is more than mere "knowledge", but rather "knowledge of something
                very important and specific"). My only sway in this logion is
                that "ruling over the All" is no doubt something only the Living
                Father is capable of, and thus if "he who seeks" can end up "ruling
                over the All" then he or she will only be able to rule thus if he or
                she has become "one with" the Living Father. (Very Gnostic sounding
                to me !) Klijn, of course, is like-minded, and describes the whole
                exercise as an exercise wherein one should "seek God".

                Interestingly, in his book The Gnostic Religion, the seasoned
                Gnosticism author Hans Jonas (Beacon Press p. 35) notes that in
                early Greek, the word gnosis, meaning "knowledge," specifically
                meant "a knowledge of God", and adds that it "… equally had to do
                with salvation to be gained therefrom … to the point where gnosis
                accordingly transformed the knower by specifically including him
                into the essence (one with ?) of God and thus surpassing mere
                assimilation." Sounds to me like you are likely "on the right
                track" in your thinking …


                Regards, Maurice Cormier
              • Paul Lanier
                ... periods, (actually ending long after Paul s death c. 64 C.E.) and why you chose the time periods you did. For example, why bother to have a period #2 if
                Message 7 of 10 , Sep 7 8:07 PM
                  --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "jmgcormier" <cobby@...> wrote:

                  > I must ask why you divided your references into 5 distinct time
                  periods, (actually ending long after Paul's death c. 64 C.E.) and why
                  you chose the time periods you did. For example, why bother to have a
                  "period #2" if there are no references to "gnosis" or "knowledge"
                  during that time period ?

                  Hi Maurice,

                  I went with time periods that seemed to arise naturally from the dates
                  of composition presented by White in From Jesus To Christianity. Here
                  are his dates for the texts in question:

                  1Co 1:5 53-54 CE
                  Php 3:8 55-56 CE
                  2Co 4:6 55-57/58 CE
                  Ro 11:33 58-59 CE
                  Col 2:3 70-80 or 85-95 CE
                  Eph 3:19 85-95 CE
                  1Ti 6:20 c.120s-130s CE

                  There is a natural border at 59 CE, the date of Paul's last authentic
                  text. I would suggest that division is essential to make when
                  discussing Paul's attitude on any subject. The next period which
                  suggests itself is 70-95 CE. This covers Colossians (regardless of
                  whether the early or late date is correct) and also Ephesians. That
                  leaves one remaining period for 1Ti (c.120-c.140 CE), and two periods
                  for which no text exists (60-69 CE, and 96-119 CE). I would argue it
                  is important to consider periods for which no text exists, since the
                  question can be asked: why is there no Pauline text addressing gnosis
                  during those periods?

                  > Am I to thus presume that you embrace some sort of a theory or
                  belief that Paul's faith or "knowledge legacy" (as recorded) evolved
                  from some sort of a logical starting point and ended up being "full
                  blown" or appreciably more mature by the end of the fifth time period
                  ... and possibly that the evolution of his thoughts on "gnosis" thus
                  logically flows from "gnosis is bad without qualification" to "gnosis
                  is good without qualification" ?

                  Well, I would not argue that! I think what happened is that Gnosticism
                  was not an issue for Paul - probably because there was no such thing
                  before the second century. Pre- or Proto-Gnosticism (including early
                  Thomas) was not opposed by proto-orthodoxy for at least two reasons:
                  proto-orthodoxy was not yet distinct from proto-Gnosticism, and
                  proto-orthodox leaders were not yet powerful enough to exclude
                  believers. This could not happen until the period 140-180, when
                  actions by Marcion and Valentinus forced the issue with proto-orthodox
                  bishops. Emerging proto-orthodoxy did not clearly stand out from the
                  numerous and highly diverse Christian communities until after the
                  Jewish revolts of 112-115 CE and 132-135 CE.

                  > Jordan Stratford has already pointed out correctly (Post # 8166)
                  that the word "knowledge" has more than one meaning – strictly
                  speaking ("let us be cautious not to confuse "gnosis" with "episteme").

                  I think Jordan is saying the Greek term 'gnosis' should not be
                  confused with 'epistome.' I would certainly agree, as the apparent
                  condemnation of Gnosticism in 1Ti 6:20 refers to "so-called knowledge
                  [gnosis].

                  > Coming back to the above point of simply searching out the incidence
                  of "gnosis" and "knowledge" in Paul, then, why not, perhaps more
                  productively search out the incidence of the words "light",
                  "darkness", "raised from the dead" and other gnostic like expressions
                  .. (including my own favorite pervasively used by Paul viz "in Jesus"
                  or "in Him" - c.f. Thomas logion 3 – "the kingdom is inside of you"
                  which occurs no less than 165 times in his letters alone) and which
                  probably denotes a much greater leaning towards gnosticism than his
                  use of the sole words "gnosis" or "knowledge"? This might better tell
                  us if Paul had a genuine leaning towards gnosticism … whatever that
                  word may truly have meant at the time of his writings!

                  I chose to explore 'gnosis' in the Pauline tradition because 1Ti 6:20
                  (which uses the term specifically) is often cited as evidence that
                  Paul opposed Gnostic teachings. If true then one would have to ask why
                  Paul otherwise employs the term 'gnosis' favorably. The answer, of
                  course, is that Paul never condemned 'gnosis.' 1Ti is a very late
                  attempt to put words in Paul's mouth that he certainly never would
                  have uttered.

                  I think Pagels concludes Paul was sympathetic to Gnostic or
                  Proto-Gnostic ideas. I am eager to get a copy of her book, Gnostic
                  Paul, to see how she treats this.

                  regards,
                  Paul Lanier
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